Dallas, Texas - Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

THE TRUMPETEER Our Redeemer Lutheran Church - Dallas, Texas
February 2015 . Inside..
Page 3 Lenten Midweek Series Page 4 The Associate’s Desk I’VE BEEN TO HEAVEN OR WAS IT CINCINNATI?
n 2004, a six-year-old Ohio boy named Alex Malarkey was
paralyzed in a car wreck. After spending two months in a coma,
he regained consciousness and went on to write a book about
how during that two-month period he went to heaven,
interacted with angels, and heard the voice of God. The book has been a
best-seller since its publication in 2010.
I Page 5‐7 Our Redeemer Lutheran School Page 11‐12 Vaca on Bible School 2015 Well, if you’ve used The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven to
convince your unbelieving friends that heaven is for real,
you’ve been left with a popular breakfast item on your
Other important informaƟon throughout...
face and it ain’t bacon or hash browns. Just this past
month, Alex himself, now 16, admitted publicly that
what he said in the book was not true. "I did not die.
I did not go to heaven… I said I went to heaven,
because I thought it would get me attention."
The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven is one of many
books that belong to a new genre the publishing
industry calls "Heaven Tourism." If you're not
familiar with The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven,
perhaps you are with Heaven Is for Real, both a book
and a movie, about a four-year-old Methodist pastor's
son who dies during emergency surgery but returns to
life to tell incredible stories about his visit to heaven.
Or Ninety Minutes in Heaven, about a Baptist pastor,
pronounced dead at the scene of a head-on collision,
who comes back to life after being in heaven for an
hour and a half. Or Nine Days in Heaven. Or To
Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her
Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again. Or My Journey to
Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life. Or
Flight to Heaven: A Plane Crash…A Lone Survivor…A
Journey to Heaven–and Back. For those curious about an
alternate eternal destination, there is even 23 Minutes in
Hell: One Man's Story about What He Saw, Heard, and Felt
in that Place of Torment.
What are we Christians to think about such “true-life”
books? Are these books to be believed? Ought we
share them with unbelieving loved ones, as a way of at
least getting them to open their mind to Christianity
and the seriousness of Christ's claims? Do these
books help strengthen our own faith?
The so-called “Heaven Tourism” books do not
bolster belief or persuade skeptics. Instead, the very
contradictory descriptions of heaven they give lead to
doubt and confusion. For instance, does Jesus ride on
a rainbow-colored horse and have a pink diamond in
his crown? Colton Burpo (Heaven Is for Real) says so –
he got to pet Jesus’ little pony, in fact. Other visitors
to heaven saw no such things.
But even if these disparate accounts could somehow
be reconciled, there is a bigger problem with these
books and it’s not so much with the idea that
someone may have actually died and come back to
life. There are several resuscitation accounts in
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Scripture - the widow's son whom Elijah raises (1
Kings 17:17-24), the Shunammite's son whom Elisha
raises (2 Kings 4:18-37), the widow's son at Nain
(Luke 7:11-17), Jairus's daughter (Matthew 9:18-26),
Lazarus (John 11:1-46), and the dead saints whose
tombs were opened on Good Friday (Matthew 27:523). What’s interesting, though, is we’re given no
testimony from any of these people as to what they
experienced between the moment they died and the
moment they were revived.
In fact, in 2 Corinthians 12, St. Paul reveals that he
himself went to heaven and back – “whether in the
body or out of the body I do not know” (v. 2). But he
goes on to say that he heard things “that cannot be
told, which man may not utter.” Paul was “caught up
into paradise,” but what he heard and saw was
impossible to put into words. And God in His
infinite wisdom decided no one else needed to be told
about it.
And that’s the ultimate problem with all these kinds of
books. Even if all of these authors did go to heaven,
what was so necessary about their writing about it?
The Apostle Paul was not given divine permission to
write about his experience in the “third heaven.” And
yet we are to believe four-year-old Colton Burpo was?
In Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich
man, suffering in hell, begs that Lazarus be sent down
from heaven to warn his brothers on earth. Christ
concludes the parable by saying, “If they do not hear
Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be
convinced if someone should rise from the
dead” (Luke 16:31). Apparently, our Lord isn’t very
optimistic about the evangelistic appeal of life-afterdeath accounts.
What then does God give us to strengthen our faith,
to bolster our hope for heaven, and to convert
unbelievers? He gives us the Word of Him who did
not have to die in order to go up to heaven but who
came down from heaven in order to die. There is no
more reliable witness to the reality of heaven than that
of Jesus Christ. “No one has ever seen God; the only
Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him
known” (John 1:18). And there are no surer promises
that we will go there someday than the ones He makes
to us in Holy Scripture: “Today you will be with me in
Paradise” (Luke 23:43). “I will come again and will
take you to myself, that where I am you may be
also” (John 14:3). “I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he
live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall
never die” (John 11:25-26).
Is God’s own Word not good enough? If the
Reformation principle of “Scripture alone” doesn’t
mean that the Bible is all we need for us to know that
there is a heaven and how we get there, what does it
It’s easy to see the appeal of the so-called “Heaven
Tourism” books. The Bible doesn’t tell us as much
about heaven as we would like it to. There are so
many details we want desperately to have filled in. But
what the Bible does tell us is enough. God has given
us just what we need not only to know how to lead a
godly life but what to believe in order to be saved.
“…that whoever believes in him should not perish but
have eternal life” (John 3:16). As Alex Malarkey said
in the statement repudiating his own book, “The Bible
is the only source of truth. Anything written by man
cannot be infallible…I want the whole world to know
that the Bible is sufficient.” Those are words that
need never be retracted.
Pastor Brent McGuire LENTEN MIDWEEK SERIES athered by the waters of Babylon, Judean
exiles wistfully wondered: Is God for real? If
so, does He really care about us? What does
our future hold? Will this ever change? God’s
people had watched their world shatter into a million
pieces. They were
demoralized and
disillusioned. Their
disaster looked terminal.
G Do you feel this
way? Does it look as
though your current
problems are more than
you can bear? Do you find
yourself asking: Why did this happen? Why did God
allow it? Is there any order in the world? Will God
really deliver on what He said?
Isaiah answers these questions in chapters 40–55 of
his book. He announces that just when Israel’s history
seemed closed and controlled by hopeless Babylonian
imperial policy, to the shock and surprise of everyone
the Lord will stir up a king named Cyrus and a new
exodus will explode in the desert! A Servant will be
wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our
iniquities. And barren Zion will be given so many
children that, like the old woman in the shoe, she
won’t know what to do! Standing behind these
marvelous promises is
God’s almighty Word.
“The grass withers, the
flower fades, but the
word of our God will
stand forever” (Isaiah
40:8). The exiles are
going home!
That’s why, this Lent, we
are “Singing with the Exiles” as they are restored to
their home. Plan now to sing with the exiles as we
learn from Isaiah to walk the Lenten way to the cross
and to the empty tomb. God promises to turn our
weeping into joy and our present pain into an endless
Alleluia! Wednesdays, starting Ash WednesdayFebruary 18, at noon and 7pm at Our Redeemer
Lutheran Church.
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THE ASSOCIATE’S DESK hen’s the last time you celebrated your
baptismal birthday? Do you even know when
your baptismal birthday is? I’ve found that
many people don’t. They have no idea. Year
after year, the day goes by without a thought, much
less a celebration.
W Why is it that we look forward to our physical
birthday so much more than our baptismal one, our
“re-birthday”? Maybe it just doesn’t seem that
exciting. After all, has anyone ever made you a cake
for your baptismal birthday? Given you any gifts?
Sung you a song? It’s a good bet no one else knows
what month it’s in, let alone the day.
It’s a shame that so many baptismal birthdays go
uncelebrated, even unremembered. No, no one may
throw you a surprise party for it, but the day that you
were baptized is a day worth celebrating.
In Holy Baptism, you received a great gift: the
washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy
Spirit (Titus 3:5). God saved you! Through the
washing of water and the Word, you were united with
Jesus in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4).
Your sins were forgiven, your Old Adam drowned,
and the promise of salvation made to you. You,
______________. Fill in the blank. On that day, you,
______________, were rescued from death and the
devil, redeemed by Jesus from your old life of sin.
Are you really not going to celebrate that?
I’ll be celebrating my baptismal birthday in a few
weeks, on February 23rd. That day will mark 29 years
of my being baptized into Christ. I’m not sure what
I’ll do, yet, but it will probably involve water, the
Word, and my family.
If you don’t know your baptismal birthday, now’s the
time to find out. If you don’t know where to look, we
can help. Once you find out when it is, celebrate it!
Light a candle, sing a song, read some Scripture, and
say a prayer. Here’s one you can use: Gracious Lord, I
give You thanks for Baptism. I ask your continual blessing on
me and all baptized children with Your Word and Spirit. On
this anniversary of my Baptism, grant that I may faithfully take
to heart the grace You have given me, boldly confess my Savior,
and share in the heavenly joy of all Your saints; through Jesus
Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
But whatever you do, don’t let another one go by
without taking a moment to remember what Christ
has done for you. Child of God, gladly say it: “I am
baptized into Christ!”
Pastor Adam Douthwaite
Average 8:00 A.M.
Total of Visitors
Average 10:45 A.M.
Total Communed
Sunday School Average
This year: $105,787.96
Last year: $124,399.33
Attendance at Special Services :
December 24, 5 PM: 199
December 25: 68, C– 45
December 24, 8 PM: 190
December 31: 44, C– 28
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January 6: 53, C– 42
OUR REDEEMER LUTHERAN SCHOOL ebruary is always the month that fills the
school hallways with lots of red and pink
hearts and pictures of former Presidents and
First Ladies. If you need a little “pick me up”
be sure to take a walk through the halls and take a look
at all of the great things.
F This month our 2nd graders are preparing their reports
and presentations on the presidents and first ladies.
This has become quite a tradition with the 2nd grade
class and all of us look forward to seeing their great
work. The Kindergarteners and First Graders will be
celebrating the 100th day of school on February 2. It’s
hard to believe we have been working at our desks for
100 days! Our basketball teams will be playing in the
playoffs at the end of the month – Go Wildcats!
as well as providing an opportunity for you to
purchase books to donate to the different classrooms.
All of the classrooms are preparing a variety of
projects for the school auction this month. Our
auction will take place at the Kaycee Hall on
February 21. Passport to Polynesia will be a great
event for both school and church members and I
sincerely hope that many of you will be joining us.
Lois Frischmann
January was our month of re-enrollment and
enrollment is now open to any student who would like
to begin the enrollment process at Our Redeemer. If
you have a friend or family member who has a child
age 2 thru 6th grade that might be interested, please
have them call the school office and make an
appointment for a personal tour. Classes are filling up,
so don’t wait too long. To enroll, go to the front page
of the school website and click on the TADS link
under “Enrollment 2015-2016”. We are very excited
to be doing all enrollment, tuition and financial aid
online now.
The students and teachers will be collecting 3rd quarter
Chapel offerings for Fostering in Texas which was
formerly The Nelson Center. If you are interested in
more information about them, go to
On February 2 the annual Scholastic Book Fair will
open. The book fair is open at school every day from
February 2-February 8. Mrs. Frieling has the fair open
both before and after school and it will also be open
during the Sunday School hour on Feb. 8 for church
members who may want to shop. There is always a
great variety of children’s books, books for grown-ups,
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The faculty and staff of Our
Redeemer Lutheran School would
like to thank you for the generous
Christmas gift . We appreciate your
Thank You from John of Beverly
Dear Our Redeemer friends,
We would like to thank you for gift cards you gave us
at Christmas. You are always so caring.
In Christian Love,
Members of John of Beverly
Wildcat Book Fair
The Book Fair will be open Sunday, February 8th,
from 9:00am – 10:45am in the school music room
(school hallway). Proceeds from the Book Fair are
used to buy books for our school library.
The ORLC Book Club
The book club will meet February 4 at
11:30 a.m. in the Parlor. All are welcome
to come and discuss the book “Counting
by 7’s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan.
A few weeks ago during his sermon, Pastor McGuire
made a brief statement, almost in passing, that for me
was one of those ‘aha moments.’ I immediately
paused and reflected on the stark truth of what he
said: ‘Do you only pray to God when you want something?’
Within a few seconds, I had reflected upon my own
recent prayers and found that -- well, I’m embarrassed -- how did he know that when I didn’t even
realize it myself….? At that moment I decided that,
beginning right then and there, I would offer up more
frequent prayers of thanks to God for answering my
prayers and continuously providing an outpouring of
His blessings. What a great new year’s resolution!
One of the things for which I am very thankful is Our
Redeemer Lutheran Church and School and, since
you are reading The Trumpeteer right now, I know
that you care about and are thankful for ORLCS as
well. Please join me in offering up a prayer of thanks
to God for the incredible blessings the Pastors, staff,
faculty and volunteers of Our Redeemer are to all of
us. Just think about how many of our ‘wants’ in life
are taken care of by these incredible servants of the
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Word. We want inspiring worship services, Sunday
school and bible studies; we want a caring and nurturing school; we want successful missions; we want incredible music; we want a perfect wedding; we want a
beautiful funeral. We want someone to visit us when
we’re seriously ill; we want someone to address our
concern; we want someone to counsel us when we’re
unsure; and we want someone to pray for us when we
have needs.
Instead of asking for yet another ‘want’, I’m taking a
minute to pray, “Thank you Lord God, for the countless blessings you have bestowed upon us through the
work of your faithful servants at Our Redeemer. We
do not tell you often enough how profoundly our lives
are enriched through the impassioned work of your
servants here. We are deeply grateful for the specific
individuals you have selected to guide our way at Our
Redeemer and thank you for entrusting them to us for
this period of time along their journey. I offer this
simple but sincere prayer of thanks to You today, in
the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Sally Backstrom
Financial Secretary
NOTES FROM THE ORGAN BENCH reetings in Christ,
G I hope that your near year is off to a great
start. January has come to a close, and in
February we begin the penitential season of
Lent with Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday the
pastors put ashes on our foreheads in the shape of the
cross and remind us that “dust you are and to dust you
shall return.” I would like to take this somber
reminder of our mortality as an opportunity to speak
about a Christian funeral service.
To discuss planning a funeral, we must first know
what a funeral is and what purpose it serves. A funeral
service is a Christian worship service which serves a
dual purpose; care for the body and proclamation of
the resurrection to the bereaved. Regarding the body,
we believe that our bodies, the very bodies that we
bury in the ground, will be resurrected when Christ
returns on the last day. This is why we pray as part of
the funeral service, “May God the Father, who created
this body; may God the Son, who by His blood
redeemed this body; may God the Holy Spirit, who by
Holy Baptism sanctified this body to be His temple,
keep these remains to the day of the resurrection of all
flesh.” Regarding the bereaved, the funeral proclaims
the Gospel, that those who die in the Lord have been
redeemed and forgiven, not because of the great lives
they led, but because Christ has clothed them with his
own righteousness through the waters of holy baptism.
With the funeral’s dual purpose in mind, we can look
at what kind of service and what sort of music would
be appropriate for a funeral. Our Lutheran funeral
service (found in Lutheran Service Book [LSB] on pages
278 ff.) proclaims the Gospel through remembrance of
baptism, reading of scripture, preaching, prayers, and
music. Most of the service planning, then, is already
done for you.
But what about the music? Appropriate music choices
for Christian funerals are ones that proclaim the
message given above. Again, our hymnal is a wonderful
resource and is full of appropriate funeral hymns. There
are too many great choices for me to mention them all
here. One hymn esteemed among Lutherans as an ideal
funeral choice is #708, “Lord, Thee I Love with All My
Heart.” I’ve included stanza 3 here. As you read it,
think about what it has to say about the resurrection of
the body.
Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abr’ham’s bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me,
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.
I recommend sitting down with the hymnal and one of
our pastors and making a record of which hymns
should sung at your funeral. This allows for a faithful
proclamation of the Christian faith to your family
members upon your death.
For further reading, see Final Victory: Contemplating the
Death and Funeral of a Christian by Bryan Wolfmeuller.
In Christ,
Tim Shewmaker
Director of Parish Music
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TIME IN PRAYER e are entering the month of February and this
February we enter the season of Lent, forty
days of preparation and of self-examination
culminating in the celebration of Christ’s
victory over sin and death on Easter. During this
time, the church on earth honors our Lord’s life, death
and resurrection, and His return to His home in
heaven. We offer thanks and praise for the love and
grace of God in Jesus ministry on earth. These days of
Lent we focus on prayer and thanks for the greatest of
all gifts given by God to all people
who know Jesus as their personal
Lord and Savior.
Lord, we come before You in prayer,
by word of mouth spoken or song, as
well as in thought, meditation, and
desires of our heart. “Let the words of
my mouth and the meditation of my
heart be acceptable in Your sight, O
Lord, my strength and my
Redeemer” (Psalm19:14). We know
that it is through Jesus we are able to approach You
Lord God in prayer.
have revealed Your blessings and Your promises. The
lives we live guided by Your Holy Spirit reflect our
response to the question posed by Jesus to His
disciples. “Who do you say I am?” The disciple
Simon Peter spoke for many when He responded in
faith, “You are the Christ the Son of the living
God” (Matthew 16:15-16). Lord help each of us
know, and ever confess as we pray, and all times, our
own words of faith in Jesus words, “I am the way, the
truth and the life, no one comes to Father except
through me. If you really knew me you
would know my Father as well. From now
on you do know Him and have seen
Him.” (John 14:5-7). Lord God almighty as
we come to You in prayer lead us and
protect us from all evil, harm, danger, doubt
of faith, and any false thoughts that we can
be forgiven of our sins without Jesus Christ.
Lord in Your mercy; know our prayers for
You only are our God. You are able to do
more than we are able to ask or think. We
pray to You only all praise, glory, and honor in the
name of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, during
each day of our lives we are aware of Your love and
mercy. We offer our thanks, for by Your Word You
LUTHERAN BIBLE TRANSLATORS Members of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church are invited to
Lutheran Bible Translators’ 50 Years Anniversary Celebration at
Crown of Life Lutheran Church, 6605 Pleasant Run Road, Colleyville, TX 76034
February 22 - Social Hour at 5pm - Dinner 6pm
Speakers: Missionary Rob Hilbert and Dr. Mike Rodewald
Please RSVP by February 16 to 800-532-4253 ext. 21 or [email protected]
A free will offering will be received
You are encouraged to invite additional guests
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We need your help. Please prayerfully consider helping with Vacation Bible School.
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We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
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“For as many of you as were bap zed into Christ Jesus have put on Christ” (GalaƟans 3:27). Gulley, Keith
Hartley, Paul
Worrall, Amelie
Bartos, Mary Meghan
Harman, Haley
DelCid, Elizabeth
DelCid, Nikolas
Prillwitz, Elesa
Melde, Jenna
Jackson, Matt
Laesch, Marvin
Reineck, Madison
Johnson, Max
Speer, Taylor
Case, Thomas
Pitch, Julia
Worrall, Dana
Lieb, Jimmy
Johnson, Melissa
Radant, Robbie
Mueller, Drew
Cleland, Julie
Ruser, Luke
Ruser, Elizabeth
Fuller, Elizabeth
Backstrom, Holly
Sanchez, Braxton
Sylvester, Melissa
Rushton, Charles
Meiller, Mark
Schemmer, Kyle
Echols, Melanie
Douthwaite, Pastor Adam
DeWitte, Lauren
Friedrich, Dana
Delzer, Dennis
Beikmann, Bernita
Investment Type
Annual Percentage Yield
Flex Savings
Fixed-Rate Term Note - 1 yr
Fixed-Rate Term Note - 3 yrs
Fixed-Rate Term Note - 5 yrs
Floating-Rate Term Note - 1 yr
Floating-Rate Term Note - 3 yrs
Floating-Rate Term Note - 5 yrs
For the latest rates and more information on TCEF you may visit www.TexasCEF.org on the Web,
call 1-800-951-3478 or email [email protected]
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O ur R edeemer L utheran C hurch and S chool NON PROFIT
R eaching O ut and S haring C hrist’s L ove
7611 Park Lane, Dallas, Texas 75225-2028
Address Service Requested
We’re on the web!
The Trumpeteer is the monthly
publication of Our Redeemer
Lutheran Church located at
7611 Park Lane,
Dallas, TX 75225.
Phone: 214-368-1371
Fax: 214-368-1473
Join us for Worship at:
8:00 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.
We commune at the early service
on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the
month and the late service on the
2nd and 4th Sundays of the
Bible Study/Sunday School
9:30 a.m.
Newsletter articles are due the
3rd Monday of the month.
Please email them to
[email protected]
The Mission of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and School is to SHARE CHRIST’S LOVE by RENEWING our commitment to God’s Word, worship, and prayer; by RELATING to each other as people REDEEMED by Christ’s Blood; and by REACHING OUT to all people with the message of Christ’s saving Cross!