Child Care for Night of Knights

Do you need someone to watch your kids while you have a great time at Night of Knights?

This year, the church members of Family of Christ are offering child care for the evening.  You simply drop your child(ren) off at the school before heading over to Hunter’s Green Country Club and we’ll take care of the rest.

What’s included? [Read more…]

2017 Middle School Mission Trip

June 12-15, 2017

This Summer we will be going on a local mission trip with the middle school youth. We will…

  • Volunteer with Metropolitan Ministries serving the poor in the Tampa area,
  • Help fix up the West campus.
  • Have a lock-in in the West campus gym.
  • Finish up with a trip to the beach the next day.

Details:
[Read more…]

Bingo Fundraiser – May 20, 2017

Who loves BINGO?  We Do!!  Bingo Fundraiser for a good cause!!!

The Women’s Ministry invites you to join us for a fun-filled afternoon as we work to purchase an AED Defibrillator for our Church, School (K-8), and Community.  We have already collected 62% towards our goal and after the event, we are sure that we will meet our goal!

When: Saturday, May 20th

Time: 3:00-5:00 pm  First ball drops at 3:15 pm so get there early!

Where: Family of Christ Lutheran Church 16190 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL

Ages 12+ only please | Limited to first 50 people so sign up early! | Open to All

$20 Pre-Register | $25 Walk-In

How to Pre-Register:


We will be selling Raffle Tickets between services on May 14th, or pick up an envelope in the Narthex and leave your info & payment and we’ll get the lucky ticket back to you. Raffle tickets will be drawn for Assorted Fun Prizes.
Bingo winners will win Gift Baskets.
$1 per entry or 6 for $5—Need not be present to win.

Raffles | Fun Prizes | Free Refreshments | Raffles Tickets


Thank you to all our Sponsors for helping make our AED Defibrillator Fundraiser a success!

 

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Praying With Jesus: Waiting…

Yesterday was one of the most important days of the church year when we remember Jesus’ death on the cross. Tomorrow is another important day, Easter, when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. But today…

We wait.

But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
(Micah 7:7)

Waiting isn’t easy. Today, we expect to get everything fast. Amazon is shipping same-day now. The new Boom Supersonic plane will soon be flying people from New York to London in a little over 3hrs flying at 2.2x the speed of sound. In places with gigabit internet connections, you can download a 2hr HD movie in 25 seconds.

We want things fast and when it takes too long, we tend to lose our patience. When I worked in online marketing, the rule was that if a web page took longer than 5 seconds to load, people would start leaving.

On the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter, we wait. In prayer, we often must wait, too. God isn’t Amazon or Boom Supersonic or an Internet provider. He doesn’t work on our time table hoping to have a satisfied customer. He follows His own timing and we must wait.

I’ve spoken with people who told me that yesterday they prayed for xyz and God didn’t answer their prayer. God did answer their prayer, though. He always does. However, His answer may have been that they needed to wait.

It’s not easy, but it is for the best. It reminds us that we are the created making requests of our creator. It also teaches us to trust God and His love and wisdom, both in how He answers our prayers and when.

We know God’s will is good, His ways are wiser than ours, and He loves us. We can trust Him to always answer our prayers. We can also trust how and when He acts. So, we can join Micah in saying that we will look to the Lord and wait for the God of our salvation, knowing He hears us.

Heavenly Father,

It can be difficult to wait, but I know Your timing is better than mine. Help me to be patient and to wait on You.

Amen

 

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

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Praying With Jesus: Good Friday

Today is one of the most important days of the year. It is Good Friday the day Jesus died on the cross. I am always asked by the kids in chapel why is this day called good, when the most terrible thing happened? Here is the answer.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I remember a story told by St Jerome who was an early translator of the Bible. As told by him he went to Jerusalem and Bethlehem for a time of study and prayer and one night he had a dream. In this dream Jesus appeared to him and Jerome gave him everything he had. Jesus did not want those things. Then Jerome gave him all of his money. Jesus did not want that. What would you like? Jerome asked. Jesus replied, “Your sins.”

The day is called ‘good” because we find that Jesus takes our sins upon himself so that we might have the righteousness of God. In ways we do not always understand Jesus became our sin so that we might know the amazing love and grace of God.

Thank you for this day Jesus. For all that you did for me I am amazed by the magnitude of your grace. This day truly is good.

Pastor Dave

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Praying with Jesus: Not My Will, But Thine

We want what we want, but that’s not necessarily what is best either for us or for others. Are you willing to submit to the will of God when you pray?

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” -Luke 22:42

I’ve got a long list of things I pray for. I pray for healing. I pray for safety. I pray for wisdom. I pray that I’d be able to pay the bills each month. The list goes on. These are all my will. Even when praying for others, I’m praying that my will be done for those people (like they would be healed or protected from all harm).

My will is not perfect. My will can be selfish. But God’s will is perfect.

Jesus’ prayer in the garden was not an easy one. He knew what lie before Him, the horrible suffering He was about to endure; but He trusted the Father’s will. He knew the Father’s will was perfect and loving, even if it was difficult.

As those called by the Holy Spirit into faith, our desire is that our will would be more and more like the will of the Father and that even when our will differs, we would be willing to submit our will to the Father’s will.

Heavenly Father,

Your will is good and perfect. Sometimes, my will differs from Your will. When it does, I submit myself to You. May Your will be done, even if it is difficult. And may my will be more like Yours every day.

Amen

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Praying With Jesus: God’s Timing

Can you keep a secret? Can you keep a secret from God? Absolutely not. Jesus knew of this plan and took steps to make sure it did not disrupt his plans.

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. (Luke 22:1-6)

One of the most unusual actions of Jesus, that follows this in the Gospels, is when the disciples on the next day ask where they are going to celebrate the Passover? Jesus tells Peter and John to go into town and they will see a man carrying a water jar, follow him and that will show you where we are going to meet. Prepare everything there. Is there more than one person carrying a jar of water in Jerusalem? Of course, but Jesus does not want to tell the group where they are going to be eating this evening because that would be the perfect place for Judas to tell the guards to come and arrest Jesus. Jesus wants to make sure he has time to wash the disciple’s feet, teach them some last few things, and then most importantly, Institute the Lord’s Supper. That Passover celebration had to happen without interruption, so Judas would later lead the guards to Jesus when they stopped to pray on the Mount of Olives.

Jesus knows the timing of all things. Judas was looking for the first opportunity without the crowds around Jesus and this meal would have been perfect. Some things have to happen in a certain order for God’s will to be done. We always need to remember that when we pray. In life I have had so many prayers answered but not on my timetable. When I have to wait I sometimes wonder and question God. But this passage reminds me that God always has in mind what is needed and important. His knowledge of the future is better than my knowledge of the past. We are often told to live by faith. Today I also want to remind you to pray with faith. Knowing that today, tomorrow and all eternity is in God’s gracious hands.

Thank you Lord, for knowing the timing of all things. Help me to understand your plans for me so that I may grow in faith and trust. Amen.

Pastor Dave

Praying with Jesus: Praying in Secret

Sometimes we pray for others while we are with them.  Sometimes we pray together in a worship service.  Sometimes we pray together before a meal or in family devotions.  Sometimes, though, we pray by ourselves, alone…in secret.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6

This verse reminds us of a few things. One is that prayer isn’t a show. We aren’t praying to impress people or God. Also, sometimes it’s good to get away from everything to pray, so we can pray without distractions. Another is that God sees what we do in secret.

We may read that as a scary thing. Uh oh! God knows that bad thing I did the other day, even though know one else saw it. This is true, of course, but the implication of this passage is positive. God sees the good things we have done that no one else knows about. In fact, in another verse Jesus tells His disciples that when they fast, they shouldn’t make it obvious to others that they were fasting, but go through the day like everything is normal. God would know they were fasting. And God hears us when we pray in secret. God knows the desires of our heart, our hurts and our joys, the things we don’t share with anyone.

This doesn’t mean that we should never pray in public, but rather that God doesn’t want us to make a big show of our prayers. He simply wants us to go to Him and pour out our heart…Share our struggles. Confess our sins. Share our triumphs. Ask for help. Pray for others…just between God and us. He hears us and He answers our prayers.

Heavenly Father,

You know my heart. You hear me when I pray, even when no one else knows. Thank You.

Amen

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Praying With Jesus: Turn Me To You

We have started Holy Week and one of the things Jesus did this week caused quite a commotion in the Temple.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it `a den of robbers.” The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. (Mark 11:15-18)

Have you ever been challenged on something you are doing? The chief priests were taken aback by the boldness and the words of Jesus. Was it a den of robbers? Jesus found that the Temple had lost it’s way and became an institution and not a house of prayer. We always have to take these words to heart and be reminded that the church is here to be a house of prayer. That is connecting people to God in the various newer methods of today and the tried and true ways that have worked in all of history. Lent is in fact one of the oldest seasons of the church year and goes back way before people celebrated Christmas. This week reminds us that faith is never business as usual. Sometimes church and our lives walking with God can get stuck in a routine. Maybe there is a table in your life that needs to be flipped. It looks to be messy but it can open up new ways of seeing Jesus in faith and how he impacts your daily life.

Jesus, you turned many things upside down. Turn me so that my life is filled with your presence and help make my life a life filled with prayer.

Pastor Dave

Praying with Jesus: Strong Enough Faith?

I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24

Yesterday, we looked at how we can ask God to help us when we struggle to believe. This verse speaks to another reality as well…whether God responds to weak faith.

Some people have made the claim that if we have super strong faith, God will do super amazing miracles, but if God doesn’t do what we asked it was because we had too little faith. The Bible tells us otherwise. This father had little faith, but Jesus did a big miracle in driving the demon from the boy.

We can ask God for all kinds of things, big and small, amazing and ordinary. God’s answer, whether it is to do what we asked or not, comes from His grace, mercy, and love, not as a result of whether we have enough faith to earn God’s action. Even with faith the size of a mustard seed, the Bible tells us we could move mountains.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for hearing our prayers and answering them, even when our faith is weak. Lead us to what we should be praying for. Embolden us to ask, as a child would ask a father they know loves them dearly.

Amen

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

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