God has given us many good things to do while we are in the world but our commitments often exhaust us and make us lose focus on what is most important. To restore and rebuild our exhausted hearts, minds and spirits, God calls us to rest in His presence. He calls us to come to Him and He’ll bear our burdens. He’ll remind us of our glorious, eternal future and bring perspective to our chaotic lives. Take time this week to be still and focus on Christ every day. You WILL feel less burdened, less anxiety, less worried and less irritable. He promises!
Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018, marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us to realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Join us for worship services today at 1pm and 7pm. There will be free pre-service meals at 11am and 5pm.
What’s Your Why?
What’s Your Why? Everyone has a Why. Why do you get up in the morning? Why do you exist? Your Why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 12 of our collective “Why” — “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense” — G.R.A.C.E. Christ carried all of our pains, our ugliness — all of the things wrong with us. God piled all our sins, everything we’ve ever done wrong, on him and him alone. He took the punishment for us and made us whole. His sacrifice for us is our Why. Inspired by that, what then do you do? That’s where our current Whole Life study takes us next. There is one thing for certain: when you think, act and communicate starting with this Why, you can inspire others. Join us on Sundays at 9:30 for worship and family education immediate to follow.
Ascension Music Team Kicks Back!
After a busy holiday season of singing, the members of Ascension’s Choir and Praise Team kicked back for a party. Lots of ’80’s songs were belted out and many, many lyrics were forgotten but a good time was had by all! Thanks to the Candreva’s for being wonderful hosts!
Ascension Celebrates the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
We had a great service and study on the Reformation today. We are proud of our Lutheran heritage and the message of the Reformation: It’s Still All About Jesus! We are all saved and renewed today in the free gift of salvation from God in Christ Jesus!
Pastor’s Blog: The Cost of Following Jesus
At first blush, it’s almost hard to believe that Jesus said to “let go” (and in some translations “hate”) our parents, spouses, kids and friends in order to follow Him. Don’t be confused — Jesus wasn’t telling you to cut these people out of your life in order to be a follower of Christ. Rather, this message was about rightly ordering relationships in your life. Make no mistake, the most important relationship must be with Christ. He tells the gathered crowd, not just his disciples, to put him first and warned them that they must be “all in” and following Him won’t be easy.
If you’ve ever heard someone refer to a “come to Jesus” moment — well this fits. Jesus is telling everyone that they can’t just fit Him in to their current lives wherever they have room. On Sundays when the kids don’t have soccer practice? No thanks. Christmas and Easter? Not gonna do it. Whenever you’re feeling down? He doesn’t want that kind of transnational relationship. He wants to be the center; the rock upon which your life is built and ordered.
You have a different kind of love for all of the people in your life. Love for your parents is different than the love you have for your kids. Same thing holds true for love for friends and spouse. These are all great but they cannot compare to the unique love that Jesus has for us. That love, agape love, is a giving love. It is a sacrificing and selfless love. It is love without a net. If you can accept that love into your life, it will enhance your ability to love everyone else in your life. It will also help to free you from the aspects of those relationships that tend to take your focus away from Christ.
Small Group Bible Study: Galatians
Home Study — Galatians: The Cost of Freedom Sandy Malarkey hosts a study of Galatians at her home on the 2nd and 4th Mondays, beginning September 12 at 7pm. All are welcome. The study is facilitated by Buzz and Susan Wagner. For details, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.364.4463.
RALLY DAY 2016
Rally Day 2016 is Sunday September 11 at 9:30AM! Following worship we will have our annual picnic at the Ranch House in North Park. Invite family and friends to join us. Side dishes, desserts or drinks would be appreciated. No cost. Directions: Take McKnight Road to the North Park exit (Yellow Belt) and continue on Ingomar Road. Turn left onto Kummer Road. The Ranch House will be on the left.
A New Life: Be Encouraged. Be Inspired.
Where: 8225 Peebles Road, Pittsburgh 15237
Info: 724.444.8721 or email@example.comAscension Lutheran Church is hosting Father William Wilson, a former Trappist monk and current leader of the Southern Fellowship, a non-denominational Christian ministry, for a speaking engagement addressing a living relationship with Christ.
“God loves us personally with all His Love unconditionally and independently of our moral behavior. God’s grace gives us a new way of being and a new way of living. This new life is not about observing a moral code. It is about receiving Jesus in faith and love. Grace begins when we begin to trust in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the World who loves us personally.” – excerpted from Grace and Life, William Wilson.
William works in tandem with local congregations through the United States by offering teaching, pastoral counseling, and spiritual direction to members of the congregation, under the authority of the local pastor.
William grew up amidst alcoholism, poverty, and street gangs in the inner-city of Philadelphia. Seeking union with God, nineteen year old William became a silent Trappist monk for the next 25 years. In 1981 William went to live and serve among the poorest people in the world in the Bolivian Andes. As a Trappist monk William had learned the ancient ways of union with God in solitude. As a missionary among the poor, he learned to seek and find union with God while loving people.
Pastor’s Blog: Your Words, Your Witness
If I asked you to describe a word picture of a famous “epic battle”, who would it depict? There are many. David and Goliath? The duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton? Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader ? Maybe Harry Potter and Voldemort. One common thread to all of these battles is that they involved weapons. A slingshot, pistols, lightsabers and wands. None of these involved the most powerful weapon known to mankind: words. In perhaps the most epic battle of all time, words were the featured weapon between the combatants. That battle was between Jesus and the Devil during Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. Luke 4:1-13. Time and again, the devil used words to tempt Jesus and our savior fought back with the Word. Words are powerful — they were for Jesus and they are for you as well.
Read these words from St. James: “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. James 3:4-6.
We are called to be witnesses in our community to the glory of Christ. 1 Peter 2:9-10 Our words are very important. What words have you spoken recently and what would they reflect about your relationship with Christ? James’ message to early Christians is equally relevant to Christians today — what you say reflects not only upon you but also upon Christ. This is not to say that you should hold your tongue under all circumstances. However it does mean that what you say — and when and how you say it — are very important in carrying out your call as a witness to Christ.