“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16


This is the last text in our sermon series “Faith that Works”. It comes down to prayer in this last text, prayer that is life-giving, saving, healing, truth-telling, revealing.  James declares that “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” It made me wonder, how do we know that our prayer is powerful or effective?  It’s not that I don’t believe that to be true, it’s that I want to know how that manifests itself in our daily lives. Do we see the power of prayer in action through the way we behave, the way that we speak, the ways that we care for others?  In a faith that works, prayer is an essential piece of our relationship with God, it’s the piece that connects on a personal level that opens us up to express our brokenness and our joys in ways that reveal our deeper connectedness to a God whose faith works for us.

This text describes the prayer of faith as one that we both receive and one that we share.  When I read these verses, I have also come to understand that sickness is not just a physical ailment, but it perhaps how we can identify sin, that sin in and of itself is a sickness.  When we come before God to pray, we should know that this is our faith in action.  We need an active faith to save the sick and bring forgiveness to the broken, to the sinners. Forgiveness itself, not a free pass or solely an act of grace, but God’s mercy on us as we confess our sins. The author says, “confess your sins to one another,” and pray for one another.  It is in our confession, coupled with prayer that is our faith in action and brings us to the healing mercies of Jesus Christ.
 
Pastor Carrie Baylis

OWL’s COG Railway Update

The summit parking lot is being paved over the next few days, and those who planned to drive to the summit for our OWL’s trip tomorrow, will not be able to go past Devil’s Playground. This DOES NOT affect those who are riding on the railway! The visitor center will remain open for COG railway passengers and hikers. See you tomorrow!

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
-James 4: 7



Whew.  Just those first few verses of this text have left me a little exasperated.  I have never given much thought to negativity being a direct connection to the devil.  Think about how easy it is to slip into negative thoughts which so often turn into negative words or actions.  It makes me wonder what can we do to negate that, how do we choose to keep Christ on our hearts, in our ears and from our mouths.  Some of it might just be some sense of awareness and self-reflection, to remind oneself that Christ would not talk this way or do these things.
 
I saw a meme recently that makes me chuckle, a subtle reminder of our life situation..

James offers us many reminders of the good that Christ intends for us and that we need to keep those at the forefront of all that we do.  It’s the last few verses of the text that bring us the good news.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Remember that to resist the devil is to embrace our identity as children of God, made in the image of God, and called to live like Christ.  If we humble ourselves surely the devil will be put on the run.

-Pastor Carrie

Pastor Travis Norton

“The tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.” 
James 3:6

I’m not fully sure I understand this verse from James, but it paints a vivid picture. What we say matters, and the words we use can cause immeasurable harm. How many of us still remember the sting of harsh words said to us by family or friends or teachers or bosses? Our words can linger in someone’s memory and shape their identity for decades and lifetimes. Now with social media our words typed in anger or thoughtlessness can hurt strangers around the world over and over again long after we’ve forgotten that we even said them. It’s no wonder James spent so much time urging us to tame our tongues and be self-controlled in our speech. Because the opposite is true of our words too. They can save lives and lift spirits and change the world for the better when used in concert with the Word of God. 

-Pastor Travis

2021 Thrivent Faith Home Build

First Lutheran Church is providing a ten-person team to work with Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, August 28. The volunteer shift is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with lunch provided from 12:00-12:45 p.m. There
are three core goals on the job site.
1 – Safety
2 –FUN! We are here to work hard and have a goodtime
3 – Teaching: PPHFH is a teaching organization, and our qualified staff are more than willing to help!

There are only 10 available slots,so please sign up before they are gone! https://bit.ly/3y6GxTh.

Please let Cheryl Mahon know if you are willing to provide lunch for our volunteers! cheryl@flccs.net or 719.447.6064.

The Peel House at First Lutheran Church Grand Opening!

It started with a parade with Pastor Peel and Louis Peel in a horse-drawn carriage, while Pastor Travis was driven around in a vintage 1959 Mercedes!

We then had a ribbon cutting ceremony, which you can watch below!

After the ribbon was cut around the Peel House, everyone was invited to go inside a take a tour! We had amazing food, friendship and fun! Take a look at the photos below. More will be added as they come in!

Pastor Carrie Baylis

“You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;… But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.”
-James 1: 19 & 22

This is some sage advice.  I wish I was better at taking advice.  The whole passage from James is one that directs on how to live, and I think how to live a good life worthy of God who loves us.  How many times in just this past week have I jumped in before someone could even finish a thought to either defend myself, offer an excuse, or suggest something different.  I wonder what it is that I’m missing when I don’t actually take the time to hear what others are saying and am only getting ready for the next thing that I want to say?  What do we miss in doing that? 

These verses also steer me, to the idea of not just listening, but actually doing.  What does it look like to be a doer of the word?  Really, if we hear the good word, but we have no accompanying action how are we living out the gospel truth.  For the next several weeks we are going to listen to the sermon series “faith that works” and examine how our faith drives our daily lives.  Where are the places that we need to listen more closely, speak with intentionality and thought, and live the gospel in both word and action.  I hope that you too will dive into the book of James with us and we all seek to deepen our faith together.

-Pastor Carrie

Pastor Travis Norton

“I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is with you…” 2 Timothy 1:6

I remember stumbling over this passage with Pastor Carrie when we were trying to figure out a theme for the capital campaign to fund the renovation of the Peel House. The word “Rekindle” jumped off that page. That’s exactly what we wanted to do with with the Peel House. We understood it as a gift from God that just needed to be fanned back into full flame and use. The gift of this historic home has been rekindled and now we get to see all the ways God will use it in the life of this congregation and a gift to the city. It’s also a good time to look at our own faith as a gift of God that needs to be nurtured and rekindled. What can we do to make ourselves more ready to be used by God as a gift to the congregation and the community?

-Pastor Travis

Pastor Travis Norton

“But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” -Jesus (Luke 6:27)

We are finishing up the “Copy That” series on learning to imitate Jesus. This last lesson is the most counter cultural and should be the thing that sets Christians apart from the ways of the rest of the world. Love you enemies and do good to those who hate you. We’ll talk about the first part this Sunday, but what really strikes me is that last part. Do good to those who hate you. Who hates you? Who thinks you are a terrible person? Who wants you to fail? Who is actively working against you trying to make you look bad, bring you down, make your life harder? Jesus calls us to do good to them. Help them. Speak well of them. Honor and respect them. Try to make their lives better. Serve them. This is what it looks like to follow Jesus. Woah!

-Pastor Travis

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