<![CDATA[Our Savior Lutheran Church - OSLC Blog]]>Wed, 27 May 2020 15:39:48 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[A Memorial Day Message]]>Thu, 21 May 2020 20:26:24 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/a-memorial-day-message
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (JB) was less than a mile from where we used to live in St. Louis. A little trivia: It is the oldest operating military installation west of the Mississippi River.

I always loved how JB would honor the women and men who had served in the military. The first-ever graveside I led there brought tears to my eyes. It was full of reverence, respect, and honor. I left feeling grateful for the thousands of people buried there that I never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face, but shared the common conviction that freedom matters.

This week, I wanted to share a Memorial Day message from one of the greats: Billy Graham.

As you remember the women and men who gave their lives to protect our national freedom, may also remember the One who gave His life for our eternal freedom.

Check out Billy Graham's message here and let me know what you think.

​Happy Memorial Day.

Love you all!
<![CDATA[What I Am Experiencing and Seeing]]>Wed, 13 May 2020 18:54:00 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/what-i-am-experiencing-and-seeing
I recently asked our ministry team to think about their relationships with friends, family, and their neighbors and describe the brokenness that they see others experiencing right now.

Their responses make me stop and pause because it's where I am, too. Check it out.

  • Trust and mistrust of government leaders (what's the truth?)
  • Loss of hope
  • Worry about where food and paychecks are going to come from after 8 weeks of unemployment
  • Cynicism about the future
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Fear and negativity toward others
  • Tensions on social media
  • Mourning the loss of significant Rites of Passage (i.e.: graduation)
  • Living alone with no human touch
  • The guilt and conviction of how much of our life has been outsourced (instead of doing it ourselves)
  • Annoyance from being in such close spaces for so long

Wow. That's heavy stuff. Do you see and feel the same things? I do.
The truth is, we're all dealing with heavy stuff. And, it's okay to tell ourselves we're tired, confused, worried, and struggling. We are also "learning as we go".

​You can listen to the conversation Melissa Fried and I had about this here.
I would love to learn what you and your neighbors are experiencing. Let me know by completing this short survey. Your input will help us, help you love God, love people, and live like Jesus.

*indicates a required question

What Do You See?

<![CDATA[Faith and Wellness]]>Thu, 07 May 2020 17:49:00 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/may-07th-2020
There is no doubt that my life has changed in the last eight weeks.

  • Family schedules are radically different.
  • Work/life boundaries are more undefined than ever.
  • I’m not spending as much time in the car - but a whole lot more time in front of a screen.
  • I’m outside and walking more (though, it’s also springtime).
  • I’m eating differently (sometimes better… sometimes not!).
  • Emotions are definitely running higher.
  • Honestly, I’m not sleeping as well.
  • I’m more easily distracted.
  • Ethan, Noah, and Jonah are my new co-workers.
  • Beth is now a homeschool teacher.

Life has indeed, changed.

I’m guessing your life has changed, too.

The truth is that our lifestyles and culture have changed… and they will continue to change.

I want to come alongside you in this online space and walk with you on our shared journey of staying home and staying healthy.

Throughout the month of May (and perhaps longer), I’ll be sharing conversations and resources at oslc.com/stayhealthy that will help us all stay physically, mentally, emotionally, and of course - spiritually healthy.

I’ll post new content each week - usually Wednesdays and Fridays, so check back often.

Love you guys. -pt
Take Me to oslc.com/stayhealthy
<![CDATA[May 7 - National Day of Prayer]]>Thu, 30 Apr 2020 07:00:00 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/may-7-national-day-of-prayerUnprecedented times call for unprecedented prayer!

God is the only one who can give hope and healing and he invites us to pray. Eugene Peterson once said, "We want life on our conditions, not on God’s conditions. Praying puts us at risk of getting involved in God’s conditions" (Working the Angles, 1989).

Let us unite in seeking and getting involved in God’s conditions - that we may be empowered as both individuals and as a collective community to bring the love and hope of Jesus to those who need it most.

Our pastors and elders have written a prayer guide that includes scripture, encouragement and short prayer to help guide you in your personal prayer time.

In addition to this prayer guide, let's come together online and be a part of one of these two events on May 7th:

  • A Time of Interactive Prayer & Worship at facebook.com/oslctacoma from 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
  • The National Day of Prayer National Observance Broadcast at oslc.com/prayer from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7).
Download Prayer Guide (pdf)
<![CDATA[Welcome Kristi Kellogg & Nora Gass; Honoring Sue & Tracy]]>Wed, 29 Apr 2020 07:00:00 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/welcome-kristi-kellogg-nora-gass-honoring-sue-tracy
<![CDATA["You are lights in the world"]]>Fri, 24 Apr 2020 07:30:09 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/you-are-lights-in-the-world
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Jesus in John 8:12
I have no doubt that our community isn’t just seeing “Our Savior”, they’re seeing “The Savior”, Jesus, Himself in you… and through you.
<![CDATA[Your Story in The Story]]>Fri, 17 Apr 2020 00:09:42 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/your-story-in-the-story
 ​Jesus is still writing His story through you – even in this unique time!

Stories inspire me. Currently, Noah’s favorite story is Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller. Arnie’s relationship with Mr. Bing moves from almost being eaten to being friends. I love stories like that.

Do you know what I love even more? Stories that both inspire and motivate me toward a greater purpose. After all, Jesus is alive and we have “the” story of Living Hope to tell.

Stories like...

  • Young couples leaving homemade cookies and a joyful personal note on their neighbor's front step.
  • Entire neighborhoods gathering non-perishable food items to assemble into Easter Baskets to give away to those who are having a tough time making ends meet.
  • Families singing and dancing through multiple devices in a single room on Easter morning.
  • A band of brothers praying for and encouraging one of their own as he walks his wife into the arms of Jesus. (She was the one who led him to Jesus, years ago!)
  • Neighbors coming together around the Easter story and to sing in their streets (even if they’re off-key!).
  • Friends standing in their driveways toasting frontline workers as they return home from their extra long shifts and those who keep our community healthy and safe during this anxious time.
  • Adult children (presumably far from God) being brought to tears by the Easter story as they engage in worship for the first time in years with their parents, online.

You see, stories like these invite us to see and experience the living, beating heart of Jesus, today. And did you notice that each of them are stories of people like you and me living a life on mission​? For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Have you seen or experienced God work in a surprising way? Has Jesus' love motivated you to intentionally choose doing something for somebody else in these challenging times? How have you seen Jesus alive in the world around you? Share your story at go.oslc.com/tellyourstory.

In the meantime, check out this COVID-19 Art of Neighboring Toolkit (PDF from artofneighboring.com) to discover more ways to be the heart of Jesus – His presence and power, right where you are.

Write your story by living out "the" story of your Living Hope, today.
<![CDATA[​Jesus Is Very Much Alive!]]>Thu, 09 Apr 2020 23:10:51 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/jesus-is-very-much-alive
​Jesus is very much alive, right where you are. We just need to point Him out.

Check out this video to learn how our ministry team has seen Jesus alive this past month. Toward the end of the video, I also share a brief financial update.
I wonder what you see God doing. Let me know by going to: go.oslc.com/tellyourstory. I can’t wait to hear about it!
May you and your family have a rich and meaningful Holy Week experience and a joy-filled Easter!
<![CDATA[Some Good News!]]>Wed, 01 Apr 2020 03:35:23 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/some-good-news
Ready for some good news?

At a time when we may feel overwhelmed by bad news, stressed out because your kids are home, maxed out because you’re an essential worker, and perhaps burned out from life right now...

Jesus is alive - in you.
Help with B4K & Abundance Gardens go.oslc.com/respond
Give to or Apply for Financial Assistance go.oslc.com/benevolence
Get Connected in a Life Group go.oslc.com/lifegroups
<![CDATA[Celebrating Communion Online, This Sunday]]>Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:51:14 GMThttps://oslc.com/blog/celebrating-communion-online-this-sunday
I’m so excited to share with you that our elders and pastors have made the decision that beginning this Sunday, we are going to celebrate communion during all of our online services. What a moment it will be to experience the peace, presence, and power of God together in this meal - especially during this time of fear and isolation.

​Here’s what I’m asking you to do. 
  • I want you to be thinking about or even discuss with your family what it means to be holy - set apart for a specific purpose. 
  • Think about how you’re being intentional with setting apart some bread and wine or grape juice (if that’s your preference) to be used for this specific moment during our Sunday worship.
  • Then, go and gather some bread and wine. You can find some around your house or you can go to the grocery store and purchase something specific. The point is to intentionally set aside some bread and wine for communion, this Sunday.
  •  Then, have your bread and wine placed in front of you when you worship, this Sunday.
  • During the service, I will lead us all to “set aside” (or consecrate) this bread and wine by saying the Words of Institution, together.
  • For children and adults who are not receiving communion, your family members will be led to speak a blessing over you.

What an incredible experience it will be during a time when we are limited due to time and space to receive the grace of the God who is not bound by time or space through His body and blood. Indeed, Jesus is our hope, yesterday, today, and forever.