Friday Followings with Pastor Tim

Friday Followings: Biblical Fashion Show

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
This past weekend we took a look at Biblical Fashion. In other words, now that the Good News of Jesus as Savior and Lord of lives is a reality for us, what kind of “clothing” is God calling and equipping us to wear? And by clothing, the Bible isn’t talking about what we wear on the outside, but those qualities and attributes that begin on the inside and then shine out to the world.
 
We began last week with Forgiveness. Forgiveness is often times hard to “put on”. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we love to receive it, but it can be hard to give.
 
This week we continue with our theme of Biblical Fashion. And we continue in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Read once again Colossians 3:12-17. Which of these attributes listed are easy for you to put on? Which ones are harder? Which ones come naturally? With whom do you share them? In worship we’ll continue to explore the clothing that reflects the very Kingdom of God.
 
Wednesday worship is up and running too. Our theme for the next two months on Wednesdays is to share one of Jesus’ many parables each week. Worship begins at 6 pm and goes for about 35 minutes. Of course, all are welcome.
 
One more thing. Pay attention to your email this coming Monday. We have a Big Announcement you don’t want to miss. (Don’t worry, we are not relocating our campus again. And no, no one is leaving). But this announcement involves all of us. So be ready!
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: What Are You Wearing?

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
I’m fortunate to have a wife and daughter who attempt to keep my fashion and clothing style up to date. They have a tough job, because there’s not much to work with, but they do their best. Someone once said, “Clothes make the man” or “Clothes make the woman.”
 
This weekend in worship we are starting a three week preaching series called “Biblical Fashion Show.”  We’ll be focusing in on chapter three of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, particularly verses 12 to 17.
 
The Bible tells us that more important than what we’re wearing on the outside, is what we, as Christians, wear on the inside. Attributes such as kindness, compassion, peace, love and forgiveness are a few that Paul lists. Having been set free by Christ, we take off things like unholy anger and hurtful gossip, and instead we lift one another up with kindness and love.
 
With Rally Weekend and full Wednesday worship and programming kicking off last week, we are off and running at Gloria Dei. We keep that going this week and all through the year. God is good… all the time. As Christ-followers, the old clothing is put to death, and Christ gives us new clothing of kindness and compassion. This weekend we’ll take a look at the garment of forgiveness and its importance for abundant and healthy lives.
 
Thanks for your partnership in the gospel, and I’ll see you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Spirit Alive 2019

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Alright, if you had to choose one chapter in the whole Bible that would be your favorite, which would it be? That’s a tough question. And maybe at different times of life, the answer would be different. Thank the Lord we don’t just have one chapter, but we have the full 66 books of the Bible that speak to us in joyful times, in challenging times, in times of laughter and of grief. Yet for me, Luke chapter 15 will always be up near the top of the list. Luke 15 tells us of a God who never stops pursuing us with his words and embrace of grace. Luke 15 shares with us the immensely loving God who welcomes us home, despite our misgivings and mistakes.
 
This weekend is Spirit Alive / Rally Weekend. Our theme is WELCOME HOME. Read Luke 15 over these next few days, as it will be our focus in worship.
 
We also have a special guest at all three services. Paul Oman will be painting a portrait of our theme during each hour of worship. He will be front and center, and you will be blessed as you watch his pictures come to life right before your eyes.
 
Be reminded that Church School begins on Sunday, with two options in conjunction with our two Sunday worship services.
 
Wednesday worship begins this coming week, September 11, from 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. along with all the regular Wednesday programming, including Church School.
 
Thanks for your partnership in the gospel of Christ and I’ll see you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Laborers for Christ

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Over these past two weeks we’ve learned a little bit about Timothy. We learned that the apostle Paul mentored Timothy and saw great leadership ability in him. We learned that Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus to bring the believers back to the true gospel message of salvation by Christ alone. And we learned that Timothy, although he was a young man, was up for the task.
 
This weekend we’ll take a look at Paul’s second letter to Timothy. I urge you to read 2 Timothy in preparation for this weekend’s worship.
 
One of the ways Paul encourages young Timothy is to remind him of who he is. He is the son of Eunice and the grandson of Lois, both very devout and faithful women. But beyond that, Paul reminds Timothy that he is a child of God. And urges him, despite his youth, to stand firm in the reality that God has claimed him as his very own.
 
This is our reality too. We are people named and claimed by God. We are Christians. I said last week in my Friday Followings that the title of Christian literally means “one who belongs to Christ”. You and I belong to Christ; we are loved by Christ; we follow Christ. That’s our primary identity. What a fantastic gift!
 
The gift of belonging to Christ by faith plays itself out in many different ways. This being Labor Day Weekend, we are reminded that our Christian faith is lived out in part by our work. How is it that you spend your days? Are you employed full-time or part-time? Do you spend days taking care of family or children? Do you volunteer your time at church and/or other organizations? No matter our age, young or old, our labor helps give our lives purpose.
 
My good friend and long-time Gloria Dei pastor, John Degelau, used to say “There is no retiring from the Kingdom of God.” John is right. As those who “belong to Christ”, we are set free by the cross and resurrection to live our lives making an impact for good in the world in Jesus’ name.
 
On this Labor Day weekend let’s be reminded that God gives each of us our identity and our calling. “You belong to me”, God says. “I’ve purchased you with the life, death and resurrection of my Son. You’re a family member once again. And as my child, I’m giving you the joy of participating with me, your Heavenly Father, in the work of the Kingdom.”
 
A few reminders about our life together:
  • Spirit Alive/Rally Sunday is September 8. Invite a friend. It will be a great day at Gloria Dei. Paul Oman will be with us, painting a portrait for us up front during worship. Church School classes begin along with other various activities for all.
  • Wednesday programming begins on September 11, including Church School, Confirmation, and Worship.
  • We are collecting Hearty Soup to distribute through “Food to You.” Bring cans of soup with you to church. There are containers near the front entrance. Thanks!
 
See You in Worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: What’s In A Name?

When I was a young boy my two older brothers used to say to me, “It’s a good thing that Mom and Dad named you Tim, because that’s what everyone calls you.” As a kid, I had to think about that one. They loved to tease their younger brothers and sisters.
 
My Dad would sometimes join in their play on word jokes. He’d say to me, “Tim, you were named after me.” And I’d say, “No I wasn’t, your name is Gordon.” And he’d say, “Yes you were. I was named in 1923, and you were named in 1961, so you were named after me.”
 
Again, I had to think about that one for a while.
 
Yes, everyone has a name. And yes, mine is Tim, or Timothy. I’m proud of that name, not just because my parents gave it to me, but because of Timothy in the Bible. The name Timothy comes from the Greek Timotheus, which means, “Honoring God.” Timothy in the Bible is one who honored God. We are in a three week preaching series on Paul’s two letters to the young man named Timothy. If you didn’t hear last week’s sermon I’d encourage you to listen to it on our website to get some background information on Paul and Timothy’s relationship. This week, our focus will be on the content of 1 Timothy. Urged by his mentor Paul to stay in Ephesus, Timothy’s mandate was to make sure that the good news of God’s grace and love was being properly taught and proclaimed. And furthermore, that it was being lived out in ways that reflected the love of Christ to others. Paul loved the church at Ephesus. Paul entrusted Timothy to keep the gospel of salvation pure and unchanged in that place.
 
Timothy did all he could to live up to his name, to honor God.
 
You have a name too, and probably a middle name. What does your name mean? Or who have you been named after? It can be fun and meaningful to understand our names. But in addition to the name given you by your parents, you have a name given to you by Christ. That name is “Christian”. You are a Christian. God has claimed you and named you and loves you. By grace through faith, you are a follower of Christ.
 
Like Timothy, you and I live up to that name by sharing the good news of Jesus, and by living in such a way that others see the light of Christ shining in and through us. If you have opportunity, please read this six chapter letter of 1 Timothy in preparation for this weekend.
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Gloria Dei Online Directory. Exciting!

We are excited to roll out a new, online Gloria Dei member and friend directory. Church directories in the past have involved lengthy, time-consuming processes that ended up being out-of-date even before the directory was finally printed. With an online directory, you control when your information gets updated!
 
And maybe even more exciting, you get to upload your own pictures! No more church photography companies pressuring you to buy their products. Upload a headshot from work, a selfie, or a cropped photo from that last family photoshoot. You can even upload a picture of your whole family.
 
In order to make the online directory useful, we’re encouraging everyone to fill out this Online Directory Form. Our online directory is ‘Opt-In’ meaning that your information will not be available to other Gloria Dei members unless you ‘Opt-In.’ In a big church like Gloria Dei, it can be hard to get to know everyone, so we are really encouraging everyone to take the time to fill out the form and update your picture. Our office team is happy to help you complete the form if you need, so don’t hesitate to call or stop in and ask. Again, I encourage you all to Opt-In. That way our directory will be useful and valuable for all of us.
 
In this process, you’ll be asked to complete the form for each of your family members in your household. If your children are older and have moved out, please ask them to complete the form for themselves. Updating your information with a home, cell, and work phone number (include area code), your preferred email address, and your physical address will also help to make sure you’re getting emails and mailings from Gloria Dei. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll be invited to create a login and password to access the directory. There you can control what information is included in the directory. (For example, you may not want to include your work phone, or you may want to make your email address private. Anything marked private will be available for staff to see, but not other members.)This way you can control what is accessible to others in your Gloria Dei family of faith. It will take some time for your information to show up to other Gloria Dei members who’ve logged in, so please be patient and check back again in a couple of days.
 
Finally, your information is completely secure, and we will not share your information with anyone other than Gloria Dei members. If you have questions about data security, or anything else, you can talk with Cicely Schock in the office or Pastor Chris.
 
Click Here to fill out the form and ‘Opt-In’ to our online directory.
 
Thanks, and I’ll see you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: A More Excellent Way

A More Excellent Way
 
Over these past four weeks in worship we’ve been centered on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Written to a church he loves, he urges them to heal their divisions and to work for unity. He reminds them that they all belong to Christ, and that God has given each of them gifts to uplift and serve one another, with no gift being more important than the other. Unity is found in Christ, the one Lord and the one foundation to life and faith.
 
This weekend we conclude that series with a focus on 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Often read at weddings, this chapter describes “a more excellent way to live” (12:31). It is the way of love. Knowing how much God loves us, we are empowered to love God and one another. At the heart of all that God has gifted us with, our talents, our interests, our gifts and our personalities, is to be love. If we have the gifts of prophecy, and faith, and generosity, but do not have love, Paul says, then our gifts are being wasted. Love is central.
 
In preparation for worship this weekend please read 1 Corinthians 13. It is such a beautifully written description of Agape love. And it becomes even more beautiful as it is lived out among us. Our unity with one another is finally found in the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ. Even though we may not get it perfect this side of eternity (now we see dimly, then face to face) we are the ones who have been redeemed and forgiven by the blood of the cross. And as recipients of God’s love we are given new life, striving for the more excellent way of love for one another.
 
See you in worship,
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Thankful for Pastor Loren

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
A couple of things to say today.
 
First, we have an exciting opportunity for High School students that has just come upon us. I encourage High Schoolers to attend, and parents to encourage your High Schoolers to attend. It is short notice, but Josh Brewer from Lifelight ministries will bring a message about how Lifelight will continue to expand into the community of Sioux Falls. Our youth at Gloria Dei volunteer their time in service in many ways. We will be looking to volunteer periodically with Lifelight as well as our young people grow in discipleship by making an impact for Christ in our community.
 
So, Josh Brewer, this Sunday night at Gloria Dei, from 7 to 9pm. All High School students are invited. Come and bring your friends for a night of food, games, and Josh Brewer.
 
Secondly, I want to say a word about Pastor Loren Odland, who served as one of Gloria Dei’s pastors from 2006 to 2016. I sent a notice about Loren’s passing earlier this week. Many of you were at a time of visitation last night. His funeral is this morning. If you knew Loren, you know he lived his life with passion… passion for the gospel of Jesus… passion for his family… passion for the congregations, friends, and people with whom he served… passion for the outdoors and for his many hobbies. He was a friend to so many of us, and we were blessed by him. His passion for living is a good model for all of us.
 
Loren also knew the promise of Scripture that in Christ, death is not an ending, but a beginning to our everlasting and eternal home. “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:54, 57.
 
Like Loren, we all can live life with passion for faith, family, friends, and the gospel. And like Loren, we can and do put our trust in the great Easter promise of life everlasting.
 
“Lord, we thank you for Pastor Loren, for passionate living, and for new life. Surround Loren’s wife Sandy and their family with your grace, compassion, and care. In the life giving name of Jesus we pray. Amen.”
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Spoudazo – One More Time

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Okay, Okay, I know I wrote about Spoudazo a couple of weeks ago, but this is the week, so here we go again. Spoudazo is a group of High School students who travel each summer and perform Christian contemporary music along with skits and drama.
 
This group is touring in July and will be at Gloria Dei this Tuesday, July 16, at 7:00 p.m.
 
I encourage and wholeheartedly request that you as individuals or families come and support this traveling group of students. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy their presentation. Spoudazo is based out of First Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, but the group includes students from many Christian denominations. If you’re in town and looking for a good time for the family, please come and be part of this one hour and 15 minute performance. I’d love to have a good group of people here supporting them. They will take up a free will offering to support their tour.
 
Spoudazo! Tuesday, July 16, at 7 pm. Come and enjoy!
 
And in worship at Gloria Dei this weekend we will be kicking off a five-week series centered in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Not unlike today, there were many issues dividing people in Corinth. Paul claims that our unity, despite our differences, can be and is found in our common faith in Jesus. The series is simply entitled “One”. United by our one faith and one Lord, we indeed are one in Christ. Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Independence and Dependence

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
I trust you had a good 4th of July. As we look all the way back to 1776 and celebrate our nation’s Independence, we pause and give thanks for it. We are called to do all we can to hold onto it and to not take it for granted. Independence is a great and worthy endeavor.
 
In our families, for example, we raise our kids to grow up, get fulfilling employment, and maybe to have and take care of their own families one day. In other words, we raise them to become independent.
 
Yet, as Christians, we know that while independence is a worthy endeavor in many regards, we are, in reality, fully dependent on God. It is God, after all, who has created us and gives us life. It is God who has placed us on this planet, and who provides the proper conditions for food and water and sustainability. It is God who puts us in families and communities. And it is God, through Jesus, who gives us the gift of salvation, not by our own doing, but by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We are saved, as the apostle Paul reminds us, by grace through faith.
 
God is a giver and provider. As we celebrate our nation’s independence, let us never forget that all we have is a gift from God. This simple, yet profound reminder, is needed for all of us, lest we fall into the ever present trap of Adam and Eve and humanity, of thinking we are our own gods, capable of life all by ourselves. This weekend, give thanks for our nation’s independence, but give thanks even more for your dependence on God for all things good. Life is so much more meaningful and purpose filled as we stay connected and dependent upon God and then strive, as Jesus teaches, for the well-being others.
 
This weekend in worship we will finish up with our Spirit-Filled Living series in the book of Acts. Please read Acts chapters 27 and 28, as Paul ends up in a Roman prison, all the while proclaiming the Good News of God’s love found in Christ.
 
See you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: Spoudazo

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
I’ll bet you’re wondering who or what is Spoudazo. I was too when I first heard about them. But Spoudazo is a group of High School students who travel each summer and perform Christian contemporary music along with skits and drama.
 
This group will be touring in July and will be at Gloria Dei on Tuesday, July 16, at 7:00 p.m.
 
I encourage and wholeheartedly request that you as individuals or families come and support this traveling group of students. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy their presentation. Spoudazo is based out of First Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, but the group includes students from many Christian denominations.
If you’re in town and looking for a good time for the family, please come and be part of this one hour and 15 minute performance. I’d love to have a good group of people here supporting them. They will take up a free will offering to support their tour.
 
Spoudazo! Tuesday, July 16, at 7 pm. Come and enjoy!
 
For this weekend please read Acts 16:11-15.
 
See you in worship!
Pastor Tim


Friday Followings: The Light of the World

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Well, the summer solstice is upon us. Today marks the longest day of the year for anyone living north of the equator. That, of course, includes all of us in South Dakota. Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs this morning at exactly 10:54 local time. The sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5 degrees north latitude. Thanks Google.
 
On this “longest day of the year” I’m thinking about light and darkness. What is the only way to get rid of darkness? To shine light into its midst. The darkness disappears.
 
In Jesus’ day, one of the major celebrations of the year was called the Festival of Tabernacles. During this festival and feast, the people of Israel would dance through the night, celebrating and remembering God’s deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt. To keep the party going throughout the night, four giant candelabras or lampstands (maybe 75 feet high) would be shining brightly all night long. With the darkness of night being overcome by the incredible light, Jesus stands up and makes his great statement, “I am the Light of the World.”
 
With this claim, Jesus says that for all those who trust in him, the darkness of sin is defeated. The things of darkness, like violence, hatred, prejudice, and self-centeredness, do not win the day. No, in Jesus, the Light of the World, the power of sin, death, and darkness is defeated. The light of God’s love shines brightly and gives light, even amidst this world’s darkness.
 
Today, give thanks that Jesus loves you and that his light is given to you. Just as we light a candle at each person’s baptism and recall Jesus being the Light of the World, we also recite the words of Jesus which give us our life’s purpose: “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
 
No matter if it is summer time or winter, let the light of Jesus shine in you and through you to bring light and love to this world for which God so deeply cares.
 
On this day of summer solstice, ask yourself these questions. Where do you need the light of Jesus in your life? And who can you shine light upon today?
 
This weekend in worship we continue our series on the book of Acts called “Spirit Filled Living.” Please read Acts 10:34-43.
 
See you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim