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             Welcome to Bytes of Bread!  
 
 

 
            At the beginning of each Bytes of Bread you will find
           a short bible study followed by announcements
        and reminders for everyone at Lamb of God.
 

 
 
 


Thank  you

 

When the situation calls for it—no cancer, promotion at work, honor roll at school--we certainly say a special thanksgiving prayer that usually sounds something like this: “Thank you, thank you, Jesus.”  We don’t like to think that we’re slackers when it comes to God.  We do what the leper did in 1 Samuel.  We come back and we say: Thank you.

_____

 

So what did that leper actually do?  He gave thanks, right?  That’s how the story goes and we’ve heard it over and over again.  All ten lepers begged Jesus for help and all ten did what Jesus told them to do: they ran off to show themselves to the priests—their hope was Jesus would heal them on the way.  You know what happened: one leper came back, and we all know why he came back.  He came back to say thank you.  And ever since St. Luke told this story and ever since Christians have been hearing it, that leper has kind of set the standard for what Christians do when God does awesome things. 

 

And so that’s what we do.  We say thank you.  And we mean it.  We appreciate all the good things God does for us, the little things and the big things.  We’re thankful for beautiful weather in October and leaves that turn colors.  We’re thankful our health is good enough so we can come to church and go to work and school. We’re thankful for friends and family who love us and support us.  We’re certainly thankful for Jesus.  We’re thankful he forgives our sins and promises to take us to heaven.  We’re thankful we don’t have to worry where we’ll be when we die, and we’re thankful that while we’re still down here God works things out to bless us.  We look at all the amazing things God has done for us, and we don’t let a day that go by without saying: Thank you.

 

Well, maybe some days go by.  Life gets busy; you know what I mean.  We really do think about God’s blessings.  We hear some good news, and we say “Thank God.”  We finish our food with “O give thanks unto the Lord.”  When the situation calls for it—no cancer, promotion at work, honor roll at school--we certainly say a special thanksgiving prayer that usually sounds something like this: “Thank you, thank you, Jesus.”  We don’t like to think that we’re slackers when it comes to God.  We do what the leper did.  We come back and we say: Thank you.

 

OK.  Here’s the point: the leper did a lot more than say thank you.  The leper’s thank you is what we tend to remember from this story, but Luke wrote down more: “He came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.”  And here’s what Jesus noticed: “He said to him, “Rise and go.  Your faith has made you well.”  Luke and Jesus saw a lot more than Thank you.

 

Maybe we need to rethink the whole thank you issue.  If the leper did more than say thank you, we probably need to raise the bar at least a little and maybe we need to raise it a lot.  Maybe we need to ask how God really wants his people, his faith people, to react to his blessings.  So here’s the question: What Do You Do with an Awesome God?

 

I started this sermon with a Bible story you all know, but I’m going to finish it with a Bible story you probably don’t know.  We heard part of the story in the First Lesson for today from the First Book of Samuel. It’s a story about an old preacher named Samuel, a young king named Saul, and God’s faith people in the Old Testament, the people of Israel.  You all remember that God called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and to settle them in the Promised Land.  Once they got to the Promised Land God gave his people leaders the Bible calls judges, although they weren’t judges the way we understand that word.  A judge was an ambassador, an archbishop, and a prime minister all rolled up into one.  Samuel was one of those judges.  But God was the king.

 

There was a problem.  Some of the people in Israel wanted a king they could see, a king who would actually lead them into battle and look good at victory parties.  They more or less demanded that Samuel give them a king.  Samuel was insulted, more for God than himself.  God didn’t like it, but he gave the people what they wanted.  That’s where Saul comes in.  Saul was the king God hand-picked.  I’ll say that again: hand-picked--in other words, the people had their king, but God intended to stay in charge.

 

That was exactly the message God wanted Samuel to share with the people.  And so Samuel called a little convention.  He had a lot of things to say, but eventually he put it to the people: “Now stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!”  And it started to rain and it started the thunder, and it rained and it thundered.  The people were terrified.  Terrified of rain and thunder?  Yup.  They understood something you and I can’t understand living here in Alabama.  In Israel, it NEVER rained during the grain season.  Never.  The rain and the thunder were coming out of the blue; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  God made his point.

 

So what did they do with this awesome God?  The first thing they did was repent, and I imagine it was pretty intense repentance.  They were scared: “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”  This was a good start.  These people had a long history of making God angry.  They always figured they knew better than he did.  God said one thing and they did the opposite.  All God ever wanted to do with these people was bless them, and he had wonderful plans for their future.  But whenever they went out and disobeyed God, they lost out on his blessings.  When they repented, they were saying: You were right and we were wrong.  And they said more than that.  They said: You’ve been right and we’ve wrong all along.

 

Samuel was happy to see them repent.  They were coming around and that meant that were coming back to God.  But he knew there was more.  “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord.”  It was time for them to remember their history.  They needed to look back and apply some common sense to their life with God.  When did they ever get anything from the idols they chased after?  They didn’t get anything out of the golden calf except for trouble.  “Do not turn away after useless idols, Samuel said. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.” Well, of course.  If you invent a god or create a god, what can you expect?  Then Samuel turned their thoughts to God: “For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.”  The nation of Israel was a nobody nation: nobody started it, nobody built it, nobody fought for it.  It was God who called Abraham to leave his old home and set aside Palestine to be his new home.  It was God established the nation and wrote its constitution on Mt. Sinai.  It was God who knocked down the walls of Jericho; all the people had to do was stand around and shout.  Do you remember all that, Samuel meant to say?  You need to recall it and remember it every day.

 

When the people repented and turned back to God, they would be able to recall all the awesome things the Lord had done for them.  But Samuel wanted the repenting and the recalling to lead to something else. This is what he said: “Serve the Lord with all your heart.”  And he said it again: “Be sure to respect the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”  Samuel gathered the people together for a convention, and it was time for a convention resolution.  They heard the thunder and felt the rain coming out of a cloudless sky.  They knew they had an awesome God.  It was time for them to resolve to make a new beginning, to be the kind of the people the Lord wanted to be.

 

Well, what do you do with an awesome God?  I’m guessing most of you picked it up: repent, recall, resolve.  That’s what Samuel advised the nation of Israel to do.  And if we would study today’s Gospel carefully, we would discover the lonely leper did about the same thing. 

 

Brothers and sisters, we need to be careful we don’t fall into the thank you trap.  The Lord Jesus is looking for a lot more from his faith people—and that’s what we are: we’re believers who put our trust in Jesus.  There’s nothing wrong with saying thank you, but saying thank you doesn’t necessarily lead us to realize just how undeserved God’s blessings really are.  We begin to take things for granted; worse yet, we think we’re entitled.  Or we play a game with God: “I’ll be good to you as long you’re good to me.”  That’s why it’s so important for us to repent, and I mean everyday in some way.  When we repent we’re admitting that God doesn’t really owe us anything, except for hell, anyway.  When we repent we turn our eyes away from the sins we sometimes love and place our eyes on the one who loves us more than we can understand; I doubt any of us can understand a love that was deep enough to die for us.  When we turn and look to Jesus we begin to recall all the things and all the people we chased after in our lives that Jesus didn’t want us to chase after.  You know what else we recall?  We remember that in the long run none of these things and people did us a drop of good.  Come to church, go to Bible Class, open your Bibles, review your own personal story—I don’t mean once in while; I mean as often as you can.  Think about all the blessings God has given you.  There’s not time today to make a list, and my list isn’t going to be the same as yours anyway.  Here’s a start: recall how God created you to have such a magnificent body and mind and how you haven’t been starving in a long time; recall how Jesus went to the cross with your sins on his back and then rose again so you would never have to wonder about your eternal future.  Recall how the Holy Spirit led you to believe in Jesus—that’s an awesome miracle all by itself—and how he keeps you believing when so many people you know don’t have a clue.  I’ll tell you something.  If you and I take a minute every day to repent, to honestly assess the wrongs we've done and the rights we haven’t done, if we take some time everyday to recall and remember and rejoice in what Jesus has done for us our entire life, if we repent and recall, it’s going to happen.  When we repent of our sins and recall Jesus’ love, we are bound to resolve to be the people he wants us to be.  It’s the way God makes it work.  When his law leads us to repent of our sins and his gospel allows us to recall his great love, we become determined to love him and love one another, we become committed to follow him wherever he leads, we become devoted to sharing his message with the world. 

How do you respond to an awesome God?  Repent, recall, resolve.  That’ll do it.  Like I said, the leper did a lot more than say thank you.  Amen.
 

Hurricane Harvey & Irma Relief
Here is a link to our WELS financial assistance for Hurricane Harvey & Irma. This will go to the the churches and their surrounding communities. We will also gather a door offering for this effort after worship a last time this week Sunday Sept 24.

https://community.wels.net/page.aspx?pid=394 
 

Summer Sunday Bible Classes
Sundays 9:00 AM
Our Sunday Bible Study will focus on the word covenant - God's promises to us. Each Sunday will be a stand alone Bible Study for the summer. Sept 24th study of Symbols: Seven


Growing In Hope
Sundays 9:00 AM
By God’s grace, your faith is alive. But like every living thing, your faith needs nourishment and care. To truly know God’s thoughts, you must know his Word, the Holy Bible. Studying the Bible isn’t just about learning names & places, history & doctrines. Every Bible study is practical in nature because it makes your faith in God’s goodness and love grow. 

Galatians Bible Study
Every Tuesday morning at 6:30 AM at Lamb of God.
Want a great way to start your day? What better than the
good news in the book of
Galatians!
 
Wednesday Worship Bible Study 6pm
What do we do in worship? Why do we have the order that we do? What is a liturgical service? Beginning Wednesday, September 27, we will start a new Bible Study entitled "Worship Is Worth It!" Join us as Pastor Schmeichel leads us through a study of the way we worship as Lutherans. Class will be at church at 6pm so that choir members can then attend choir afterwards.

 

A Return to Grace~Luther's Life & Legacy
500 years ago, Martin Luther triggered a seismic upheaval that rocked the western world-with an impact that continues to reverberate to this day. This entertaining new film follows the great adventure story of Luther’s life, packed with political intrigue, kidnappings, secret hideouts, and life-or-death showdowns. At the same time, it's a story about the most important questions of life. "Who am I?" "What is my purpose?" "How do I get right with God?" It’s a must-see for any lifelong Lutheran, and a chance to share the message of our Lutheran heritage with others. And the only place you can see the film is at the Bob Jones High School Zoompa Auditorium on the night of our church’s special event, October 22 at 4 PM. Filmed in historic locations across Europe, this movie brings Luther’s story to life with exquisite attention to detail. It’s a way to strengthen our faith by revisiting the birth of the Protestant Reformation, and a chance to share that experience with others. Watch for more details!


EHV - Evangelical Heritage Version
The last several Sundays, and for the foreseeable future, we will be using a new translation of the Bible for our lessons in worship. It is the EHV - Evangelical Heritage Version. The translation was done entirely by our WELS and ELS pastors. The New Testament and Psalms book is available through our Northwestern Publishing House. There is a volume discount for ordering, so we can place a group order. There is a sign up sheet on the table in the narthex for it. The link to the information is http://online.nph.net/holy-bible-evangelical-heritage-version-ehv.html. The entire Bible should be ready for publication sometime in the next year. You can find out more about this translation at http://wartburgproject.org/. 

 

Sound Board Help Requested
We are looking for people willing to serve running the sound board on Sundays. If you might be interested in this opportunity to serve contact Tim Howard. We would love the help and it really is fun to do.


New Hymnal Committee
The new hymnal committee is "making the cuts" list of hymns and would like input. There are a number of hymns on the cut list. They want feedback from members in case some of their favorites are on the list.
Here is the link


Every Member Home Visits
If you have not yet signed up for your home visit, please do so. If you have questions, please speak to Pastor about a time that works best for you.

 
Monthly Fellowship Meals
We will be having sandwich pot lucks every 2nd Sunday with sandwiches, chips and cookies served.
Being a pot luck meal, just bring what you can add to the meal and come and enjoy the fellowship!


Sunday Morning Coffee Set Up
Here is the link if anyone is interested in signing up for coffee/tea set up on Sunday morning before Bible Study or they can just email me at
gwen_yarbrough@yahoo.com and I can add them in:  
 

Church Library
You can search online anytime to see what is in our library collection! Here's
the link or you can click on the Church Library link from this LOG Website. About to buy that book from amazon.com or make a trip to the public library? Wait...check our church library first! We might have it! We now have 157 titles in our collection. If you have a special birthday or anniversary coming up and you would like to donate a book to the church library in honor of a special event or person, please see Gwen Smith at church or you can e-mail me at gwen_yarbrough@yahoo.com or call me at 256-506-1024. 
To God be the Glory!

 
Free Stuff for College Students--
While you sign up for classes and possibly attend orientation on campus, also think about signing up for your course material in spiritual education. The perk: no homework, tests, or papers! Sign up to get both Forward in Christ magazine and Meditations, a book of daily devotions, mailed to you free. When you sign up, you will also be able to get other free, helpful information from WELS Campus Ministry.
 
Food Pantry
We are collecting donations of food and/or money for Food Boxes. Please contact Laurie Aikens
(256) 631-8213 for more information. Laurie could also use help with deliveries.


SIMPLY FRIENDS
The Lamb of God Simply Friends group was established to help members and non-members who are in need. To date, with the assistance of numerous volunteers, we have assisted several members of the church who are dealing with health or personal problems. I would like to thank those individuals who have donated their time and assistance the past year with helping these members. Just remember, The Simply Friends Group is always available, so if a situation arises, don't be hesitant in asking for assistance, we are more than willing to help you. If you would like to join one of these teams or if you have any questions regarding the Simply Friends Group, just give us a call. Larry Harbaugh 256-464-5977, or church phone 256-464-3900


Men's Breakfast ~September 30th
The last Saturday morning at 7:30 of each month is the men's breakfast. Great food & fellowship make for a wonderful way to start your day!
Sunny Street Café 7143 Hwy 72 W  256-213-7120  Sunnystreetcafe.com across from the Kroger on 72 & Slaughter.


CRAFT CIRCLE
Anyone can come to the fellowship room on Fridays (10 AM to noon) and join with others working on their own arts and crafts projects. The Craft Circle is the place to come to relax and work on any sort of project you want to!! Our ladies have worked on cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, scrapbooking, quilts, beading and jewelry, or just come and relax~! Come and join the ladies~feel free to bring a friend.  She works with her hands in delight...Proverbs 31:13

There is power in the simple story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Don't complicate it. Don't add to it. Don't take away from it. Don't apologize for it. Just proclaim it, and watch what God will do.


Bible Reading on the Go!
Would you like a free app for your iphone or ipad for bible reading? The Bible Gateway Bible App offers many wonderful ways to experience Bible reading and Bible study, including:
More than 90 different Bible translations, including NIV. Easy-to-use and reliable Bible search, both online and offline. Daily Bible verse in the translation of your choice Daily Bible reading plans Bible audio in a number of different translations and styles.
Here is the link to
get it at itunes


~~~~~ Just for Fun!~~~~~
When I run into something I hope you'll enjoy I drop it here! An

Fun Stuff 

Missed a Sunday? ... Want to Hear it Again? 
We are so blessed at Lamb of God to have a Pastor who preaches theology without apology! Enjoy the Word preached! 
Want to reinforce what you heard?  You will absorb even more the second listen. Guaranteed. 
Give Attention with Intention! 
Recent Sermons
Send this to a friend! You may find their heart open to visiting sometime after they have had a taste of what we hear on Sundays!
Here is the September WELS Connection that is played once a month after service if you would like to rewatch it or share with a friend!

Worship the Lamb of God!
We enter to worship and leave to serve!

This summer's worship services will have a series on the New Testament letter to the Romans. This book is at the heart and core of our faith as believers in Jesus. Each week we will study another important truth and word in our life as believers in Jesus.

TODAY’S FOCUS
“Do not owe anyone anything except to love one another.” Those are the words our God gives us today. We are citizens of two kingdoms, with responsibilities in both kingdoms. God established both. “Loving” God’s way is speaking the truth to encourage, teach, and yes, sometimes to rebuke and correct. It is the way God loves us. It is the way we love one another.


Liturgy Outline for Sunday Sept 24th
Romans Bible Series: Love for God & Country
Sermon Text: Romans 13:1-10
Lessons: Ezek. 33:7-11; Rom. 13:1-10; Matt. 18:15-20



Lamb of God Coming Events

Friday 9/22  Game Night 6 PM

Sunday 9/24  Adult Bible Class & Sunday School 9 AM    Worship Service 10:30 AM


Monday 9/25  Elders Meeting 5:30 PM

Tuesday 9/26  ~ELECTION: OFFICE CLOSED~

Wednesday 9/27 Bible Study 6 PM @ Lamb Of God     Choir 7 PM

Thursday 9/28  BOCE Meeting 6 PM

Friday 9/29  Craft Circle 10 AM

9/30 Men’s Breakfast 7:30 AM at Sunny Street Café at 72 & Slaughter.

Sunday 10/01  Adult Bible Class & Sunday School 9 AM    Worship Service w/Communion 10:30 AM

10/7  Mary Martha Meeting at Church

10/8  German Meal Fund Raiser for Missionary Proclaimers Purchases

10/27  Game Night 6pm

12/2  Christmas Decorating at Church

12/3  Advent by Candlelight