Deer Park, Wisconsin
Church office phone: (715) 269-5126 (leave message)
Sunday Worship 9:30 a.m.
If you have information you would like included in the
monthly newsletter, get that information to Lois Carnine and Julie Heiden
before the last Wednesday of the month.
Pastor’s Page - December 2014 “CAN YOU HEAR ME
Psalm 143.8 “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing
love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I
lift up my soul.”
The other day I saw a couple walking by my house. The man was wearing
headphones. Not ear buds, but big, thick, cover-your whole-ear headphones.
Although they were walking together, it was obvious he had tuned out his wife
and everything else around him. He didn’t hear the birds, chirping, the wind
kicking up snow crystals and sending them whispering across the snow crust, or
the cars approaching. He had zone out, and conversation with his wife was
The Season of Christmas has a tendency to turn us all into headphone man.
(My family accuses me of having that affliction all year long). We tune out the
old familiar Christmas story of hope and better days to come. We tune out the
Christmas hymns. Our ears get plugged and our minds get consumed with the
number of shopping days left until Christmas, solving problems, worrying about
family problems, or planning a hectic schedule of celebrating with friends and
Listening requires the cessation of speech, the silencing of not only sound
but the tirade that often goes on mentally. How many times have we crafted and
perfected, what we only wish Christmas would be like, rather than listening to
what God has to say to us about the birth of His Son in human flesh. Perhaps
during the holidays, more than any other time, we fail to hear God’s voice.
Distractions abound, and at a time when our focus should be on our blessings
and our Savior, we’re tuned in to other things that seem more pressing.
The Children of Israel were backwards-looking whiners. They spent a lot of
time complaining about what they didn’t have and wishing for a return to
their former existence. They forgot the abuse and oppression of slavery. When
Moses wanted to get their attention, the message was often preceded with
“Hear, O Israel!: In other words, “Heads up, people. I’m about to tell
you something important.” God often prefaces His message to us in a similar
way. It may be through the words of a friend, family member, Scripture, or an
event. Or He may speak to us directly via the Holy Spirit. No matter the
vehicle for the message, if we’re not paying attention, we miss important
Spiritual lack of focus is a struggle for all of us. What happens in our
physical life almost always overtakes our spiritual life, unless we make a
conscious effort to integrate the two. The world yells for our attention while
the spirit quietly prompts. The best way to tune in to God’s voice is to
spend time in His Word. Don’t use the excuse that you don’t have the time
because we make time for things that we think are important. Make Scripture
ingestion and digestion as much of a priority for your spiritual life as turkey
or ham are for your Christmas dinner.
Sometimes it feels like God isn’t listening because He doesn’t answer in
the timeframe or with the answer that we want, but Scripture assures us he
hears, “And if we know that he hears us---whatever we ask---we know that we
have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:15) Remember, we are the ones with the
hearing problem, not God. This Christmas, tune out the noise of the world. Stop
talking. Open your heart and mind and spirit, and listen. Can you hear God
talking to you?
May God Richly Bless each and every one of you this Christmas and throughout
the new year. Rev. John Wilman
LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLE
Sunday, November 30th and Wednesday, December 3: One purple candle for
Sunday, December 7 and Wednesday, December 10: Two purple candles for Hope
Sun, Dec, 14 and Wed., Dec. 17: Three purple candles for Hope, Peace, and
Sun., Dec. 21: Three purple candles and one pink candle for Hope, Peace,
Love, and Joy.
Wed., Dec. 24 and Thurs., Dec. 25: Three purple candles, one pink candle,
and the Christ (white) candle for Hope, Peace, Love, Joy, and the Birth of our
CHILDRENS’ CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
The children will present their Christmas program during worship service at
St. Paul’s on Sunday, December 21. The dinner after the program has been
rescheduled to January 11. The ladies aid will provide ham, buns, and
beverages. Please bring a dish to share.
- INCLEMENT WEATHER-WORSHIP CANCELLATION POLICY: In the event of the
following weather conditions existing during the time of worship services or
church activities, all St. Paul Church activities will be cancelled.
- 1. St. Croix County/Polk County Winter Storm Declaration.
- 2. Rain or sleet creating icy road conditions.
- 3. Blizzard or severe winter storms that make driving hazardous.
- 4. Tornado watches/warnings.
- 5. Sustained wind chills at or exceeding -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 6. Any other county or state emergency government warnings to avoid
- The decision to cancel church activities will be at the discretion of
at least two elders who are in communication with the pastor.
- Members will be notified by a mass e-mail or will be notified by phone
by the responsible elder for that member.
Pastor John Wilman, of St. Paul Lutheran Church, speaks at
Deer Park's Memorial Day 2012 observance at Calvary Cemetery. The video is 7
minutes 40 seconds long and includes the entire message.