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St Andrew's Messages

Messages from St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Middleton, WI.
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Jul 14, 2024

Lord, give me patience . . .

You know how that petition concludes, "And give it to me right now!" You know some people who are given to demonstrating patience sometimes, but no one does so all the time. Something "sets off" everyone. What is it you have no patience for? In Romans 12, the apostle Paul is inspired to give us God's plan for how we respond to his mercy. One of those responses is patience. Rather than just give us a command to be patient, he gives us practical things we can do when someone tries our patience. We’re glad you’ve joined us impatient people to receive mercy and grow in our ability to be patient.  

Jul 7, 2024

“Why are you so gifted?”

That question might make you sit up a little taller. I suppose that's because we focus on the last two words and congratulate ourselves. There might be something to that. After all, the Bible does say each of us is uniquely gifted by God. But let your eyes go back to the first word of that question. Rather than sitting taller, we might be looking inward. Or toward God's Word. Why? After an exhaustive explanation of God and his working among and for us, the Apostle Paul now turns his attention to us and the gifts God has given us. And he answers the question, "Why?" We’re glad you’re here gathering with fellow gifted saints to serve one another and find God's answers for why he has given you the gifts you enjoy. 

Jun 30, 2024

Have you gazed upon the infinity of the heavens, the vastness of the sea, or the beauty of a child and muttered, "Oh, my." It's not just that you don't know the words to say, it's that words can't express what you're feeling. Paul does something like that at the end of Romans 11. He's not done with the letter. We'll benefit from 5 more chapters. But he's done with eleven chapters of describing our lostness, God's goodness, and the Spirit's faithfulness. All that's left to say is, "Oh, my." We’re so glad you’re with us today to come into God’s presence, receive his grace and, we pray, respond with, “Oh, my.”

Jun 23, 2024

Do you know any World War II veterans? Probably not—few are left. Maybe you are part of a group that you would call a remnant. It could be original homeowners in your neighborhood. It could be smartphone holdouts. At one point in our world, 100% of the population knew the true God. That makes you part of a remnant. At times, that reality confronts you starkly. What is your response? We’re glad you joined us to study the Spirit’s Word to us in Romans 11. If you have questions or would like to learn more about our God or our church, please contact Pastor Clinton Kreuziger at clinton.kreuziger@st-andrew-online.org.

Jun 16, 2024

In church, the word “testimony” makes some people uncomfortable. It conjures up images of a tearful speech, filled with regret and sadness but then ending with happy outcomes and more ups than downs. Fear not, this Sunday is not "Testimony Day." You won't be asked to "give your testimony." Yet, according to Romans 10, every day is testimony day. Plan your testimony. One day someone will ask you about your hope, and you want to be ready. Your testimony may have all kinds of ups and downs and may not even end on an “up.” Just make sure it's more about what Jesus has done than what you have done. When your testimony includes that Good News, God can use it in beautiful ways to work faith in others. Your story may be dramatic (or not) but nothing beats a man rising from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection is your best testimony.

Jun 9, 2024

Trying to do too much - Have you heard that phrase? Used that phrase? Maybe the context was "overacting" in a drama setting or refusing to take a break from work. Can we try to do too much in our spiritual lives? In Romans 10, Paul describes a zeal not based on knowledge. It doesn't end well. Let's focus our zeal where it ought to be focused. We’re glad you’re here.

Jun 2, 2024

Have you seen a little quiz or game that asks you what road sign most accurately describes you? Maybe those in the throes of raising children can relate best to speed limit – 70 (or 140). Perhaps a series of rejections in life has you feeling like your motto is do not enter. But when Romans 9 describes God, only one response (and road sign) seems appropriate. Find out which one this weekend.

May 26, 2024

How do you respond when someone gives you a gift? Do you ask, "Where did you get that? Where did it come from? Where did you buy it? How did you buy it?" Or do you just enjoy it? God has given you a gift that by faith in Jesus you can enjoy. Don't get tripped up in asking questions to which you may not be capable of knowing the answers. The best response is, "Thank you. You must love me." That’s not a bad description of worship. We receive his gift of grace and say thank you. We’re glad you joined us to do both today.

May 19, 2024

We love security. We must. We have security systems, security alarms, and security dogs. We talk about national security. We want secure jobs. We diversify our financial resources for security. We put some of our money in securities because we aren’t sure social security is all that secure. We buy deodorant, mouthwash, and odor eaters to feel more secure. Have you seen the Peanuts cartoon that shows Linus holding his security blanket saying, “Only one yard of flannel stands between me and a nervous breakdown.” What about security with God? In his Word, he tells you he wants you to be confident of your relationship with him. You can be sure where you stand with him today, next week, and on your last day. How? We’re glad you joined us for God’s answers in Romans 8. Welcome!

May 12, 2024

A single acorn has within it the power to create a huge oak tree which will then have the power to produce thousands of oak trees, each producing thousands more acorns. In other words, a single acorn has the power to cover the entire earth with wood. But that acorn's potential will never be released unless it goes into the ground and is buried. The Bible constantly talks about that. Unless you're broken of your self-sufficiency and humbled and go into the soil of suffering and weakness, you'll never be strong. Without death, there is no resurrection. You have the potential for greatness, joy, hope, and character; but first, suffering. That's the message of Romans 8. We’re glad you’re with us acorns in Christ today and invite you to come again. If we can answer any questions or serve you, please let us know via the Connection Card you received.

May 5, 2024

This weekend, we continue the powerful chapter of Romans 8. In verses 5-17, the apostle Paul emphasizes the dichotomy between the sinful nature and the Spirit. Which controls you? How? Why?

Apr 28, 2024

Have you heard the expression, "It's like putting lipstick on a pig”? It means the solution to the problem might look good, but it doesn't address the real issue. It's really no solution at all. Some people have the mistaken notion that being a Christian means doing the right things. The old campfire song, "They'll know we are Christians by our love," may be true, but we don't always act that way. That's the problem. Being told to "shape up" only makes it worse. It's like putting lipstick on a pig. God has a different solution. You can read it in Romans 8. Join me in a plan to read Romans 8 every day for a month . . . can't get enough of the real solution!

Apr 21, 2024

Are you a "glass half full" or a "glass half empty" kind of person? Most of us are a little of both. If you find yourself in a pickup basketball game with Caitlin Clark, you might be pessimistic about the outcome. But if you plan a night out at your favorite restaurant, you might be optimistic about how much you'll enjoy it. The apostle Paul, in Romans 7, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to paint a pessimistic picture about our human nature. And he was inspired to paint an optimistic picture. The key is moving from one to the other. Today, we ask the Spirit to use his means of grace, the gospel in Word and sacrament, to show us how to do that.

Apr 14, 2024

In Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel by that name, the good Dr. Jekyll fights against an evil man who arises from within him, Mr. Hyde. The apostle Paul speaks for all of us when he writes, "that's our battle." But our battle is real. Although Dr. Jekyll lost his battle, Christ's resurrection is your guarantee that you'll win yours. Welcome to the gathering of sinners/saints to receive grace.

Apr 7, 2024

Romans 6 tells us about our response to Jesus' resurrection. It is freedom! But what do we do with our freedom from sin? Freedom from righteousness, that is, living in sin, only leads to death. But now, having been raised with Christ, we are free to be slaves to righteousness, and the result is eternal life.

Mar 31, 2024

On Easter Sunday, the white cloth was folded up, no longer covering Jesus’ dead body. He had risen, so it no longer had any use except to serve as the surrender flag of sin, death, and the devil.

Mar 29, 2024

On Good Friday, before Jesus was put on the cross, he was given a scepter and mockingly hailed. The king of the world accepted subhuman treatment and shunned earthly glory in order to reign with his people in heaven.

Mar 28, 2024

On Maundy Thursday, Jesus was within hours of death, but he offered the bread of life to his followers. He gave his body for the forgiveness of sins and the Lord’s Supper as tangible evidence of his love.

Mar 24, 2024

Jesus on a donkey…crowds shouting praise…palm branches on the road. The crowd on the first Paul Sunday welcomed Jesus as a hero and a king. He deserved every bit of it and oh, so much more.

Mar 20, 2024

A Lenten devotion by Mr. Steve Pelischek from Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel.

Mar 17, 2024

On December 7, 1972, we saw our planet for the first time from outer space. All of a sudden, we were able to see our planet for what it really is. The second half of Romans 5 is like that. It lets us see our planet and our lives from God's perspective. Today we look for our ruin, our rescue, and our reign, and we find the best news ever in Romans 5:12-21.

Mar 13, 2024

A Lenten devotion by Minister for Nurture Mark Kjenstad

Mar 10, 2024

The Book of Romans is full of deep theology, but the word "peace" occurs for only the fourth time in chapter 5, in which Paul develops this idea: we are at ease because of what God has done in Christ. With so many unknowns in life, so many crises we cannot guarantee we will avoid, so many possibilities that are out of our hands, we can hang our hats on something. We have been justified. Let's rejoice in the blessing of peace together.

Mar 6, 2024

A Lenten devotion by Pastor John Boggs from Luther Preparatory School.

Mar 3, 2024

Irish singer-songwriter Bono wrote a song called “Grace.” Grace, she takes the blame. She covers the shame. Removes the stain . . . Grace, it's a name for a girl, It's also a thought that changed the world . . . What once was hurt, what once was friction, what left a mark no longer stings because Grace makes beauty out of ugly things. When interviewed about the song, he said, "There is atonement built in [into the world]: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Then enters Grace and turns that upside down. I love it.” So do we. Grace brings us together to hear the good news of how God, by grace, turns the world upside down. In Romans 4, Paul teaches us through Abraham. Don't expect God to jump for joy over your obedience; instead, you can jump for joy over what he's done for you. It's grace. And we’re delighted you’re here to receive it with us.

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