Before I officially joined a church, I tried to study Scripture on my own. I wanted to learn more about Jesus and how the Old and New Testaments both point to salvation through Jesus Christ alone. But I didn’t know how to, and I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand it and couldn’t just “do it on my own.”
When I talk to others—even those who have been involved in churches since birth—I hear similar sentiments. Do you find studying Scripture on your own to be difficult? We all need to be reminded that reading Scripture is a skill that needs support and structure. That might seem totally different from other types of reading, but when we read Scripture, we are studying an ancient text. It makes total sense to structure studying.
Most of the other people in the churches I’ve attended grew up going to a Lutheran Church. It has seemed pretty rare to find people who do not have a background of belonging to the church. So when I found out that Author Molly Lackey also converted to the Lutheran Church in high school, I knew that we shared something unique.
As a sinful human being, I rely on the Holy Spirit to help me respond with grace when I am under pressure. I have often fallen short on this. I’ve responded without grace or a caring heart toward my neighbor. I have lashed out, said unkind things, and made situations worse. I am clearly not an authority on responding correctly to stressful situations.
Have you ever felt like time is just slipping away? Maybe it’s time to rethink and slow down! Adele Werner shares her reflections on the benefits of stepping back and slowing down.
When I first became a follower of Christ, I was not very biblically literate. I had a very basic understanding of the Bible as a whole. I knew the bullet points of how we historically got to Jesus and beyond to His Church, but I’d never really read Scripture and definitely hadn’t studied it.
A lot of us start our day by playing Wordle, but do you know what WORD-will change your life? It is fun to awkwardly joke about how to connect our culture to the story of Jesus. But in reality, it’s not that hard. Christ’s life is often emulated in the stories we share and in our own lives.
I love watching movies. The experience goes beyond enjoying the story unfold before your eyes. I love the discussion that comes after the movie. Asking your friends or family what they thought can uncover what they discovered about themselves or the world from the way the movie presented its themes. I’ve spent hours in a donut diner dissecting many movies I’ve watched with friends. We usually talk about how what we saw in these movies was mind-blowing, emotional, just okay, or funny. So when my husband told me about the Faith and Film club at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, I knew I wanted to participate. Here are three things I learned while participating in this program.
The first time I heard the hymn “Thy Strong Word” (LSB 578), I was at a friend’s church choir concert. The beautiful architecture and stained glass windows combined with the multiple choral voices almost had me in tears. I heard the words “Give us lips to sing Thy glory, Tongues Thy mercy to proclaim, Throats that shout the hope that fills us, Mouths to speak Thy holy name” in a whole new way. I felt this same newness to familiar lyrics when I was visiting a church and watching a newborn get baptized while her uncles played their instruments and sang.
I keep a relatively busy schedule and often feel like I have a lot on my plate. Some weeks it feels like my husband and I are running on several different schedules from one another, only connecting for brief moments maybe at dinner or a shared responsibility.
I was 12 when I first got my Facebook account. My parents believed it was a good way for me to stay connected to my family who all were starting to disperse across the nation. I already had an email account through a child-friendly service so my parents could access and read every email (even if it had previously been deleted). Facebook felt like my first account that had true freedom on the Internet. I could post whatever I wanted, and I could talk to any of my Facebook friends. My parents warned me not to accept anyone I didn’t know in real life and that even if the Internet seemed temporary and I could delete, posts live on forever. Soon, I was on my way.