Zion Lutheran Church Congregation

  • Excerpt from September, 2023 "The Mountain Top Messenger" newsletter...

    Oh my goodness, September! School is beginning, leaves are changing, and you know what is going to be on the way soon, but I think I will wait at least a month before I use the "S" word...
    read more
(hover over text to stop scroll)
1111 11th Avenue West ● Ashland, WI 54806 ● (715) 682-6075 ● inquiry@zionashland.org

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

letsencrypt.org Website Accessability Compliance Certification

Current Newsletter
Newsletter Archives

Adobe® Reader® is needed to download the following documents. A free download of Adobe® Reader® is available by clicking on the logo... Get Adobe® Reader®
September 2023 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
(please click on above link to open current newsletter)

Oh my goodness, September! School is beginning, leaves are changing, and you know what is going to be on the way soon, but I think I will wait at least a month before I use the "S" word. Change, I talk about it all the time, everything in this world changes. I have shared stories with people about how I love to visit and talk with shut-ins about the changes they have seen in their lives.

I remember Walt Schutte talking about a wood planer using a steam engine and moving it around with horses. Madge Houle telling me how that when she was little, they would all load up in the sleigh and cover up with quilts and head into church pulled by the horses. The changes they had seen.

As I have contemplated these things, I have also spent some time looking at the changes in my life. I remember watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I remember watching JFK's funeral and a small black and white TV with my mother. Playing outside all the time, and being home before the 9:00 pm siren.

One thing we can be assured of is that life in this world will change. Kind of like weather in northern Wisconsin, don't like it? Wait 5 minutes. Now you may be wondering where in the world is he going with all of this? Well, there are two points I am going to try and address.

First and foremost, while things change, just about everything in this world changes, there is one constant. That constant of course is God. God and His love for His people, for you and I. God never changes, He is the same as yesterday, today, and forever, on that we can rest assured. He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. That is what we build our faith upon, that there will never be a change.

The second point I would like to work on is our living in a constantly changing world. How do we hang on to the consistency of God's love when everything around us is always in flux. I am going to try and address this and give an example that someone sent me the other day, let's see if we can make some sense out of it. Apparently, Bill O'Reilly made the following statement; "There are theologians that believe the Smart Phone is a tool of the devil, a device that will prevent millions of people from living lives of honor. The basis for this belief is that there is instant access to evil right in your hand. Every vice can be indulged; drugs can be purchased, gambling, illicit sex. Adultery, defamation, cheating on examinations, financial fraud — you name it — the smart phone can serve it up. To everyone. No boundaries.”

My first thought, wow! Now there was more to the statement which spoke about how younger Americans have no moral guidelines and live in a world where their wants and needs are all that matter. And he spoke how the smart phone dominates the lives of millions of people for hour after hour with no moderation, the famous "if it feels good do it."He concludes by voicing the opinion that Satan's soul-stealing job is much easier now.

Therefore, as I thought about this, as I considered the sinfulness of the smart phone I began to consider all of technology, not just present but past technology as well. And then not just technology but all of mankind's advancements throughout history. I believe I am correct in the belief that just about anything created to benefit mankind can also be used by the Devil to attempt to lead people away from Christ. I can only get an image of Bill O'Reilly on that day talking of the evil of radio, and all the wasted hours listening to serial programs. Or how about the phonograph, all that pagan music, that with lead to all the Satan inspired Rock and Roll of the 50's and 60's. And don't even get me started on horrors of television. I then thought of other things, what about some of the wonderful advances in science and medicine. The development of drugs to help people in their struggles with pain, those same drugs now turned on the streets to addict millions and ruin their lives.

Then my thoughts came back to what do we do? How do we combat this, do we go back to the basics? Do we get rid of science, technology, and medicine? Oh wait! In the beginning, Satan used the fruit of tree to turn man against God! We can't go back, we can't get rid of it all. We have to resist Satan and his urges. For each of those things that Satan can use for evil, we in turn can cause those things to be used for good as well.

The radio had brought the word of God to millions upon millions of listeners, phonograph has help spread the Word, television has done the same. And guess what, so can the smart phone. My smart phone contains a Bible app and with that app I have received and read my daily scripture for 495 consecutive days, I don't know that I could have done that without it.

The final word in this long dissertation is this. Satan is evil, he will use whatever tool he can, to try and draw you and I away from Christ and as he tries to stop others from finding Christ. We can and must use those same tools to do our best to help strengthen our faith and trust in Christ and sharing the Good News of the never changing God with those around us.

Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Until next month,

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

Pastor Rick