He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Written by Paul Warneke on .

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Text: Psalm 91

         We didn't read it earlier. We sang it. The hymn On Eagle's Wings is a musical rendition of Psalm 91. Although the part about Eagles Wings is from other parts of the Bible... like our Old Testament reading from last week from Exodus 19:4 “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore You on Eagle's Wings and brought you to myself.”

         Psalm 91 also reminds me of another song we sang already today...

Midweek Lent 2017

Written by Paul Warneke on .

Oh, What Peace We Often Forfeit; Oh, What Needless Pain We Bear…


You know the next line, don’t you? Sing it with me: “All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

       So, do you often forfeit peace? Do you bear pain needlessly? If so, this song seems to have the answer, “Take it to the Lord in Prayer”.


            “You have not because you ask not” James says in chapter 4 of his epistle. So all you’ve got to do is take it to the Lord in prayer; ask God for whatever it is that you want, and “poof!” you’ve got it! Right?

If your brother sins against you... turn the other way and run?!

Written by Paul Warneke on .

Church year date: Epiphany 6 A

Intro: What would you think of if I were to say the phrase, “Matthew 18”? You may or may not be aware that the phrase “Matthew 18” is often used as a sort of shorthand for church discipline.

           In fact, our congregation’s constitution refers to Matthew 18 when it talks about what to do when communicant members conduct themselves in an unchristian manner. It says that they should be admonished according to Matthew 18.

         So what’s in Matthew 18? Well, Jesus says in Mt 18:           Mt 18:15-17 - 15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

           I don’t think the Word of the Lord could be any more clear. If your brother… (or your sister… your fellow human being)… if someone sins against you… you are to go to them … just the two of you… one on one… and let them know that what they did to you was wrong; what they did to you… hurt; what they did to you was sinful.


Even With Tears

Written by Paul Warneke on .

Text: Phil 3:17-4:1 (emph 3:18) 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. TITWOTL

Dear friends in Christ Jesus,


            “…and now tell you even with tears…”


            That’s appropriate, isn’t it? Tears? After all, we’re in the season of Lent. And Lent is a season that’s often marked by tears. It’s a season of misery, a season of sorrow. During this season we sorrow over our sin. The law has done its job. We are conscious of our sin. And so we’re contrite and repentant.


It's the End of the World! November 2015 Newsletter Article

Written by Paul Warneke on .



            As I prepare for our worship services in November, I’ve come to notice that a number of the Scripture readings deal with times of trouble. On November 8, the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, our Old Testament lesson from 1 Kings 17 will talk about the destitute situation of a widow with only enough food for one last meal for her and her son. The Gospel lesson from Mark 12 will be about a woman who is so poor, she only has two copper coins to rub together. On November 15, the 25th Sunday after Pentecost, the reading from Daniel 12 actually says “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time.” And in the Gospel reading from Mark 13, Jesus prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem, and in essence, the end of the world.

Crossing Over: A Sermon for Reformation & All Saints

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Sermon for Reformation/All Saints Day

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

             I'm going to do something that I don't normally do. I'm going to preach on a text that I didn't read earlier.  The text for meditation is John 5:24 where Jesus says,

 “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my voice and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

This is the word of the Lord.

Dear friend in Christ Jesus.

That’s an appropriate verse for us to consider today, as we observe All Saints Day, as we commemorate the faithful departed. We all have someone we love who is among the faithful departed. Some of us have more, some of us have many people, people who were near and dear to us.  People that are no longer with us. People that we miss.

A Sermon for Confirmation - 4/26/2015

Written by Paul Warneke on .

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


The texts for our meditation this morning are the 8 confirmation verses of our confirmands.
            There was a day when confirmation verses were chosen for the student by the pastor, and given to them at their confirmation. For example, when I was confirmed, I didn’t know what my verse was going to be until I knelt before the pastor and he said these words: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22.

            It's been custom, as of late, at least at this church, to let the students choose their own verses, something that they’ve come across during their catechesis that holds some significance for them.

All is Solitude and Gloom - An Easter Sermon

Written by Paul Warneke on .

          Intro: maybe you were with us on Good Friday when we sang the hymn: “Go to Dark Gethsemane”. That hymn is one of the staples of the Lenten season. It’s got a sort of haunting melody. And it tells about the tragic events of Jesus suffering and death: His fervent prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, His arraignment in the judgment hall, Calvary's mournful mountain climb, where he died, on the cross.

                        And believe it or not, the last verse of that song is about what we are celebrating today, the resurrection of Jesus. But it continues to convey that melancholy tone:


            “Early hasten to the tomb where they laid his breathless clay            

            All is solitude and gloom. Who has taken him away?”

I Don't Have To Do Good Works! ...do I?

Written by Paul Warneke on .


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 Text: Eph 2:4-10 (emph. verse 10) “10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 Dear friends in Christ Jesus,

             We all know Ephesians 2: 8-9. Many of us have it memorized. Maybe it’s your confirmation verse. It's one of those staples of the Lutheran Church. In fact, it's practically the mantra of the Lutheran Church, the very treasure that Martin Luther set out to return to the church, that it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God! Not by works, so that no one can boast.

            Could it be any clearer? Could there possibly be any question about who is responsible for our salvation? If we are going to believe the Scriptures, as we say we do, then we have got to heed the word of our text and know that salvation comes by grace, God's unmerited favor: God’s Riches at Christ's Expense…

            And that grace comes through faith, faith that comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. It's a gift of God, by the Holy Spirit through His Word. This is not from yourselves. Once again, it's a gift...

            …Not by works, so that no one can boast.

             Ok. Are we clear on this point? As I said before, this is our Lutheran mantra. But please notice that Martin Luther did not make it up. It's right out of the Bible, a quote from the Holy Scriptures! And it's a good quote. However… there are those who will take this quotation from Scripture and use it for their own purposes. They will use it to say things like, “Since I'm not saved by good works, then good works don’t need to be part of the Christian life.”

             Actually, they're probably more apt to put it this way, “I don't have to do good works in order to be a Christian. All I have to do… is believe.”