The Path

            Yikes! Those are frightening signs, aren’t they? I see them almost every morning—while I’m running—at, of all places, a county park near my home. There, in the middle of a beautiful place dedicated to peace and relaxation, is the jolting reality that if you

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The Gifts of God Through the People of God

The piano music was absolutely beautiful on Sunday. A church member blessed us with his gifts. Every week, I see God’s gifted people pour out a blessing for the church and for the world. Every week I meet educators, business leaders, parents, grandparents, laborers, homemakers, students and more who shine

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One Unified Ministry: How Redeemer Austin Repeatedly Commits to Its Community 

When Redeemer Lutheran in Austin opened its new 15,000-square-foot cafetorium late last year, it was just the latest physical manifestation of a grand spiritual vision. Redeemer’s church and school for decades have worked in concert to bring Jesus’ love to their rapidly changing north Austin neighborhood. The new facility simply

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Constituted for Mission!

The shrink-wrap never used to come off the book. Like many, perhaps most, pastors, busy with the demands of congregational ministry, early in my ministry I felt no particular need to take a look at the new triennial edition of the Handbook of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. On to the

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The Worldwide Church

I heard from my dear friends recently about life in a remote village in West Africa. I’ll keep the details confidential so I don’t endanger anyone’s life. The village is a collection of single-room mud homes. The region is not far from Timbuktu—the place at the end of the earth

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Why a Day of Repentance?

Martin Luther began his 95 Theses by stating: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” The word “repentance” means to return or to turn around. In God’s Word, He is the One doing the

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Puppies and Potlucks for All

A few years ago, during a fourth-of-July sermon, a pastor asked the congregation we were visiting, “What would your slogan for America be?” My daughter, being a dog enthusiast, leaned over and whispered to us, “Puppies for all!” Water of Life in Forney, Texas is making that dream a reality.

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Mystery Gift

When local churches determine to serve their surrounding communities, it’s not always clear whether their efforts are truly making a difference. So they continue to extend themselves in love, uplifted by the example and command of Jesus: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do,

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