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Chain of Lakes Videos

Select a link below to view recent past videos of worship services. For all past worship services go to https://vimeo.com/chainoflakes/videos Don’t forget to also check out Pastor Paul’s blog

June 2, 2024
“Women of Faith” – Miriam;  Celebrating high school graduates; recognizing Music Director Jan Boehm

May 26, 2024
“Women of Faith” – Huldah; the 2nd anniversary of moving into the new church building

May 19, 2024
Pentecost and Women of Faith – Sally Narr guest preacher

May 12, 2024
“Women of Faith” Part 2 – Ruth – Mother’s Day
Sound will be better on a phone than on a laptop

May 5, 2024
Camp Sunday – Video of the service isn’t available. Check out the website of Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Center

April 28, 2024
“Women of Faith” part one; baptism of Elouise Ivy Joy

April 21, 2024
“Why do Bad THings Happen to Good People”, part two

April 14, 2024
Celebrating Volunteers

April 7, 2024
“Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People”

March 31, 2024
Easter Sunday

Daily Devotions

Comments about the devotion can be emailed to pastor@colpres.org

Monday, June 17
Genesis 12:1-9
The Call of Abram
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot and all the possessions that they had gathered and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran, and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east, and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb.
 
This week we’re going to look at journey stories in the Bible. This past Sunday we focused on lessons from the Game of Life. That game is a journey. It covers the start of life to the end at Millionaire Acres.
Abram was asked by God to take a long journey. He was 75 when he was asked to take this journey. Most likely he was established in his country. Right before this passage we learn that Abram was living in Ur. Some people think that over 100,000 people lived in Ur. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Abram knew many people in Ur. He most likely was quite comfortable where he was.
God didn’t even tell Abram in this story where he would end. God told Abram to go and that God would bless him & make a great nation from him.
Some people have deduced that Abram traveled over 2,300 miles on this journey. No one would make this walk today as the countries are too dangerous and many of the countries wouldn’t let people into them.
God was certainly with Abram, but Abram didn’t know where the journey would end.
Have you ever taken a journey that was filled with uncertainty? Please share.
 
Tuesday, June 18
Exodus 16:1-8
Bread from Heaven
The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim and came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and ate our fill of bread, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”
 
When the Israelites were freed from Egypt they embarked on a journey. The story eventually shares that the journey took forty years to make. The Israelites were traveling to the Promised Land—a land filled with milk and honey.
The journey didn’t start well. Just before today’s reading the people were very upset about the lack of water. Eventually they received water, but the entire incident was so unpleasant that the name was called, Marah. Marah stands for bitter.
In today’s story the people set out again in the wilderness. They complained because they had nothing much to eat. They were most certainly having second thoughts about this journey. They thought back to the time in Egypt for they could eat their fill of food. Even though they were in slavery and God had rescued them dramatically, the people didn’t want to go on their journey anymore. They could only dream of the food they had in Egypt.
 
Wednesday, June 19
Joshua 3:14-17
When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were in front of the people. Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing toward the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.
 
This story of crossing the Jordan is the end of the story when the Israelites walked through the Nile in Exodus 14. The people had been on a journey through the wilderness for many years. Many people had died on the journey. But the promise that had been given to Moses was finally realized.
This was so special that the water was cut off. Earlier in Joshua 3 a somewhat elaborate ceremony had been developed. Twelve men, one from each tribe of Israel, were to walk into the Jordan. When they entered the Jordan river the water was to be cut off.
The priests of the Israelites led the procession through the Jourdan. They carried the ark of the covenant that had the tablets that God had given Moses on Mount Sinai.
Can you imagine how moving this was for people. This part of the journey that people had discussed for years was finally happening.
Have you experienced the end of a journey that you had waited for a long time? Something where you had worked very hard wanted to see happen? Please share.
 
Thursday, June 20
Mark 1:16-20
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
 
This was the start of a new journey. Jesus called his first disciples or what the church would say Apostles to follow him. In this story Jesus asked Peter and Andrew, Peter’s brother to follow him. He also asked James and his brother John to be with him.
These four probably had little idea of what was ahead of them. Something in Jesus propelled them to let down their nets and to follow Jesus.
In the last part of the first chapter of John Jesus called some other disciples. In that story he called Philip and Nathaniel to follow him.
We might remember the start of our own journey of following Jesus. Perhaps it was a time when we knew that Jesus was our Lord. Perhaps it was a time when we came to the understanding of who Jesus is to us. Do you remember this part of your own journey?
Please share.
 
Friday, June 21
Matthew 28:16-20
The Commissioning of the Disciples
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but they doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
 
This story is known as the Great Commission. Most people think it took place on Mount Arabel. This location is over a hundred miles from Jerusalem. So the eleven disciples had to take this journey to receive these instructions from Jesus. Jesus had told the disciples to meet him at Mount Arabel.
Mount Arabel is located on the west side of the Sea of Galilee and is the tallest mountain around the sea. It rises about 1,200 feet above the Sea of Galilee.
Once the disciples got there, they received another directive that put them on a journey. They were called to go make disciples of all nations or peoples.
The disciples probably didn’t realize all that this would entail. But just as their calling to Jesus at the start of the Gospels changed their life, this calling of the Great Commission changed their lives. For the rest of their life these disciples took it upon themselves to tell people about Jesus.
Have you had a time when you were given a calling that put you on a journey that changed your life? Please share.
 
Saturday, June 22
Acts 13:4-12
The Apostles Preach in Cyprus
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. And they had John also to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he fumbled about for someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
 
This is the start of Paul’s first Missionary journey. He took three Missionary journeys during his ministry. In this journey they would go to synagogues and proclaim the word of God, or the message that Jesus had died, been raised and ascended to heaven.
They would often encounter resistance on this journey. In this story they came across a magician Elymas who opposed them and tried to turn people away from them. This was one of the first times that Saul or Paul had encountered such resistance. During his journeys he encountered much resistance. But it still must have felt new to him in this story.
Do you remember a time on your own journey that you encountered resistance against something you really wanted to do? How did it go? Please share.

Monday, June 10
Luke 6:37-42

Judging Others

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap, for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but every disciple who is fully qualified will be like the teacher.  Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

This past week Chain of Lakes celebrated PRIDE. The LGTBQ+ community has suffered terrible judgment—and unfortunately judgment from the church and from Christians. This week we have the opportunity to reflect on judgment.

This reading from Luke comes from the Sermon on the Plain. The Sermon on the Plain is similar to part of the Sermon on the Mount.

The lens through which to read this passage is hypocrisy.

Jesus is not against judgment or making a criticism of something our neighbor does. Jesus himself judged people and criticized people.

But Jesus wanted people to reflect before pointing the finger at another person. He first wanted people to look at themselves. He shared this but before we point our fingers at another person, Jesus would want us to look at ourselves. “Look at the tree in your own eye before noticing the speck in another person’s eye,” he would say.

Jesus was very critical of people who criticized others while performing the same action themselves.

Remember the old saying that when you point your finger you have three pointed at yourself.

What are your thoughts about this teaching from Jesus? Please share.

Tuesday, June 11
Romans 2:1-4

 The Righteous Judgment of God

Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others, for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth. Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

This is a powerful response to the idea that Christians can judge other people when these other people’s attitudes or actions are not consistent with the Gospel.

The Apostle Paul noted that judgment ultimately belongs with God.  And when we judge others we are taking on the role of God. And God will not tolerate any person acting out the role of God.

When we judge others we are misinterpreting how God would respond. God would want us to respond in kindness, forbearance, and patience.

These three qualities might not come naturally to many of us. This doesn’t mean we can’t share these qualities with others. We can develop them through our own intentions—and through our own prayers.

Today as you pray, pray that your spirit will be filled with kindness, forbearance, and patience. This is the attitude of the heart that God wants from us.

What are your thoughts about this teaching from Paul? Please share.

Wednesday, June 12
Luke 7:36-50

 A Sinful Woman Forgiven

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and when he went into the Pharisee’s house he reclined to dine. And a woman in the city who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair, kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “speak.” “A certain moneylender had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

This story of Jesus forgiving the woman is a powerful story of forgiveness.

The Pharisee—who Jesus identified as Simon—wanted Jesus to condemn or judge the woman. And the woman probably had done something to deserve judgment. Luke identified her as a sinner. We aren’t told what she did to bring on that label; however the story assumes that she is a sinner.

Jesus didn’t judge her. Instead, he forgave her. And when the woman received forgiveness, she lavishly anointed the feet of Jesus.

How do you think the woman would have responded if Jesus had judged her—if Jesus had said something like, “you are a sinner and you need to leave this house immediately.”

It’s highly doubtful that the woman would have responded with love.

By definition, grace is a gift given that someone does not deserve.

What are your thoughts about this story? Please share.

Thursday, June 13
John 9:1-11

 A Man Born Blind Receives Sight

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am he.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.”

In this story Jesus confronted the idea that people who suffered had deserved it because of their sins. When they saw a blind man at the beginning of the story his own disciples asked Jesus the question of who had sinned—the man or his parents. The disciples assumed that someone’s sin had caused this blindness.

Jesus wasn’t interested in placing blame for someone’s condition. He wanted others to do and communicate the acts of graciousness that he had done. He didn’t care all that much about what had led to a person’s suffering; he did care about how he could help someone who was suffering.

As the great healer, Jesus spat into some mud, rubbed it on the woman’s eyes, and she could see again!

What a fabulous gift Jesus gave to the man.

If Jesus had been focused on judgment and sin, this man most likely would never have been healed.

As the story goes on the religious leaders had a hard time accepting that the man was healed. They were content to be judgmental and not let go of their judgment.

What are your thoughts about this story? Please share.

Friday, June 14
1 Corinthians 4:1-5

 The Ministry of the Apostles

Think of us in this way: as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.

The last part of verse four and the first part of verse 5 are worth memorizing.

“It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore, do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:4b-5.)

We don’t have to be concerned about judging another person. God will take care of this!

These verses can give us tremendous freedom. We are not responsible for the behavior or emotions of others. As Pastor Paul often says, “everyone is responsible for their own emotions.”

If we can live this out, we can live with a great burden lifted from our own spirits.

What do these verses mean to you? Please share.

Saturday, June 15
James 4:11-12

Warning against Judging Another

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another speaks evil against the law and judges the law, but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?

These two verses from James crystalize the ideas about judgment that have been shared in the devotion this week.

Essentially James was saying, “do not speak evil against anyone for evil is an expression of judgment, and we are not called to judge.”

Perhaps you don’t speak evil about another person, but instead speak of the person in a negative way. How often does this happen to you? For most of us it happens quite a lot.

Can you take a fast from criticism for a month? See if you can go an entire month without criticizing another person. This would be quite an impressive feat to accomplish.

Try it! What do you have to lose?

Events

Church Calendar

Community Gardens

Very big pumpkin grown in the Chain of Lakes Community Garden by Jeremy Feuks. 10/7/2021
Chain of Lakes Church is excited to offer a Community Garden Ministry next to the new church building at 2650 125th Ave NE, Blaine, MN 55449. It’s just east of  Malmborg’s Garden Center on 125th Ave NE in Blaine or .8 miles east of Radisson Rd on 125th Ave NE, Blaine.
 
The garden is open to the wider community, not just people who attend Chain of Lakes.
 
Contact the office for information at 763.465.8585 or info@colpres.org
 
If you are interested in a garden plot complete this form:
Community Garden Plot Application 2024 – Chain of Lakes
 
Please print and complete the application, and up until May 22, mail to:
Chain of Lakes Church
2650 125th Ave NE
Blaine, MN 55449

Click on Photos for Clear Picture - More Photos on the Local Impact and Youth & Family pages

Some highlights from recent events in the community! Click on image for clear, entire picture