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  10:03:00 pm, by Pastor Plagenz   , 727 words  
Categories: Devotions

November 22,2020


November 19 & 22, 2020




HYMN # 216, verses 1-2 Saints, Behold!  The Sight Is Glorious



THE CALL TO WORSHIP - Read responsively


P:   To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;

C:  In you I trust, O my God.


P:   Do not let me be put to shame,

C:  Nor let my enemies triumph over me.


P:   But who may ascend the hill of the LORD?

C:  Who may stand in his holy place?


P:   He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

C:  Who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.


P:   Heavenly Father, I confess to You that I am totally sinful.  I am ashamed of things I have done, how I have spoken to other people, and the thoughts that have gone through my mind.

C:  I am ashamed of how I often value so many other things more than Your love.  Forgive me for those times I have neglected Your precious Word or failed to trust in Your awesome power to care for us.


P:   Jesus has died, risen, and ascended into the glories of heaven to redeem us from our sins and to assure us that He has won the victory for us.  Because of your faith in His victory, you have what it promises, namely the forgiveness of all of your sins and eternal life.



M:  Lord Jesus Christ, by Your victory You have broken the power of the evil one.  Fill our hearts with joy and peace as we look with hope to that day when every creature in heaven and earth will acclaim You King of kings and Lords of lords to Your unending praise and glory; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C:    (Spoken)  Amen



THE FIRST LESSON – I Corinthians 15:20-28



THE PSALM OF THE DAY – Psalm 47:       (Read responsively)


P: Clap your hands, all you nations;

   C: shout to God with cries of joy.


P: How awesome is the LORD Most High,

   C: the great King over all the earth!


P: God reigns over the nations;

  C: God is seated on his holy throne.


P: God has ascended amid shouts of joy,

   C: the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.


P: Sing praise to God, sing praises;

  C: sing praises to our King, sing praises.


P: For God is the King of all the earth;

  C: sing to him a psalm of praise.


All:  Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

       As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.



THE GOSPEL – Matthew 27:27-31


C:    I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  Alleluia!



MANCHESTER:  The Children’s Sermon


HYMN # 360 The Lord’s My Shepherd; I’ll Not Want



THE SERMON – Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24



  1. We are wandering sheep.
  2. We are loved by our Shepherd King.




I believe in God our Lord and Father in heaven, who made us the crown of His creation and preserves us with every good thing that we may live before Him in peace and joy.


And I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God's only Son from eternity, who became a man for us sinners, who redeemed us from Satan's power with His holy precious blood, rose from death, and made us His own to live with Him now and forever.


I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who draws us to our Savior by the gospel, who keeps us united in the true faith, forgives our sins, and at the end of the world will raise us from death to life eternal.  Amen.






Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.  Amen.




    The congregation speaks:  Amen!


HYMN # 341 Crown Him with Many Crowns


  12:41:00 am, by Pastor Plagenz   , 331 words  
Categories: Devotions

God Will Work It Out

God Will Work It Out

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Written by Micah Hinds, WLA Class of 2019

Often times it is hard for us to see God's love.  We struggle daily with problems, changes, challenges, and temptations that God allows in our lives.  We tend to focus on the negatives.  We pick out every thing that goes wrong in our lives.  It is hard for us to see things as good.  God doesn't say all things in our lives will be good, but rather that He can and will work everything out for good.  I think we all agree that cancer isn't good, getting in a bad accident isn't good, war isn't good.  That is why as Christians we put our trust in God and His promise that He can and will work all things out for us in the way He sees best.

I picked this passage because it has helped me throughout my life and throughout the lives of many others.  We struggle with little things every day, get frustrated and wonder why we have to put up with them.  Even as Christians we sometimes struggle so much that we doubt God's existence, feel God hates us, or we hate Him.

This is when we need a reminder from a passage like this.  We all face challenges, and this passage serves as a constant, encouraging reminder that we're never alone and never have to go through anything alone.  This passage brings us the comfort of knowing that God really is there, He has a plan, and He is going to work things out in whatever way He know is best.

Dear Lord, sometimes we don't understand the trials You place in our lives.  Help us to remember Your promise to always be there for us and work things out for us, in whatever way You see best.  Amen.


  03:09:00 pm, by Pastor Plagenz   , 286 words  
Categories: Devotions

Lord, Keep Me on the Path

Written by Grant Manke, WLA class of 2018

The New Year and the month of January are here, bringing cold temperatures, ice, and snow.  Although winter is a jolly time of year, we still have to travel and deal with questionable, icy, snow-covered Wisconsin roads.  Being tough Wisconsinites, we may think that we have winter roads figured out and feel under control.  There's always that one low shoulder full of slush or that sheet of black ice that can send us spinning completely out of control.

Living in this world is like driving in a blizzard on an icy, snow-covered road.  We can only see what's right in front of us.  Just when we feeel under control, our lives can be sent spinning out of control.  We try to correct the situation on our own, but trusting ourselves we most often over-steer and end up in the ditch.  Our God makes His Word so easy to access.  It is the one thing that will keep us on the straight and narrow.  Yet our Bibles are sitting on our shelves covered in dust.  We look to ourselves for guidance and neglect what has been put right in front of us.

Thankfully, God doesn't leave us to die in the ditch.  He brings us back to His Word and graciously shines the light on our Savior who rescues us.  He lifts us out of the ditch of our sinful pride and sets us back on the path to heaven with His free forgiveness.  And the sweetness of it all is God's  promise of the warm, cozy mansion awaiting us after we have finished this long, cold, uncertain drive.  This is a drive we certainly couldn't make without our Lord.


  04:09:00 pm, by Pastor Plagenz   , 373 words  
Categories: Devotions


The following devotion was written by Pastor Phil Janke, Winnebago Lutheran Academy

"In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.  The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid” (Psalm 118:5, 6a).

Jesus’ baptism is one of my favorite accounts of Jesus’ life.  Why?  Because that was one of our Savior’s ways of showing, “I’m here with you.  I’m here for you.”  You see, Jesus didn’t need to be baptized…at least not for the reasons you and I needed to be baptized.  He didn’t inherit his mother’s sin because he was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit.  He also never committed any sin.  He is perfect!  I, on the other hand, have receive my parents’ sin.  Now it’s my own, and I’ve done more than enough to prove it.  So, I needed to be baptized.  I needed to have my sin and guilt washed away.  I needed to have faith created in my heart that trusts God’s promises.  Jesus didn’t need baptism to do that.  I did.  So did you.  But since we needed that, Jesus said, “I’ll be baptized, too.”  By being baptized, he would fulfill what needed to be done.  He took up my cause and yours.  He saw our sad condition and said by his baptism, “I’m here with them.  I’m here for them.”

Did Jesus know that that meant he would suffer and die?  Did he know that because he identified with sinful human beings (although he himself was sinless) that he would suffer for it?  Did he know that taking up our cause would lead to his death?  Yes.  In fact, that is who was crying out to the LORD for help in Psalm 118.  When his enemies were pursuing him and causing his suffering which culminated on the cross, he cried to the Lord for help.

The LORD helped him.  The LORD rescued him.  The LORD was with him.  And because Jesus was victorious over sin and Satan and the grave, so is everyone who trusts in him.

Because of that good news, the lonely person no longer needs to feel lonely.  The struggling person can have renewed strength.  The person with a guilty conscience can find peace.  So you, too.


  12:20:00 am, by Pastor Plagenz   , 409 words  
Categories: Devotions


This devotion was written by Pastor Phil Janke from Winnebago Lutheran Academy.

“Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.”  (Isaiah 9:5-6)

You could probably file that verse under “Things you will NOT find on a Christmas card to Grandma.” It could also be linked to other files, such as “Things NOT to write your wife to show her your love,” and “Things you will NOT hear a Kindergartener say at your local Christmas Eve Children’s Service.”

But actually, those are Christmas words. In fact, they are the words immediately preceding this famous Christmas promise: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

“How in the world are those two verses related?” you ask.

I’m glad you did. The answer is in one word: Peace.

We might better understand it in these terms: “Every terrorists vehicle, every IED, and every ISIS flag will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders…”

For ancient Israel, the promise that their enemy Assyria would be destroyed meant the world. But even greater than rescue from that enemy was the promise of rescue from their more dangerous spiritual enemies of Satan, sin and guilt. God promised his people from long ago peace from all those enemies.

And he promises you peace, too. Yes, one day we will not have to fear any terrorist. That ultimately will be in heaven. (We will probably have to deal with terrorists until then). But even today, we have a greater peace. God gives it to us. It’s a peace with him that happens when he promises he will not hold our sin and guilt against us. He held it against his Son Jesus in our stead. That’s why Jesus was born: to destroy the power of sin, death, and the devil. He was born to bring us peace from our spiritual enemies.

So I guess you could include battle boots and blood soaked garments in your Christmas cards. Just make sure you explain that the peace between nations pales in comparison to the peace that the baby in the manger came to bring.

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