Pray Until Something Happens... Sort Of...

I was waiting to pick up the carry-out Thai food.

The restaurant is nestled between a K-Mart and a high-priced jewelry store. It's an eclectic little strip mall full of bad decisions.

Having a little time on my hands, I wandered around looking in windows. And there on one of the windows in bold white letters was the acronym PUSH.

At first glance I thought the sign was an ironic set directions on how to open the store's door. The handle was a pull handle on the outside. Doors you push that have exposed handles are the bane of my existence and the cause of much embarrassment. I'm a fan of human-centered design...

But I took a second look and realized it was the acronym: Pray Until Something Happens. I thought it funny to have that sign on the glass in front of a jewelry store. Certainly many have probably prayed for the contents of those glass cases, and I could imagine seeing people lining up in prayer, hoping that "something will happen" in their lives to encourage those precious stones to fall into their possession.

That humorous thought passed quickly, though, and I honestly became irritated. Because there is a little rumor going around that prayer is somehow the mechanism Christians use to get what they want in the world. "Praying until something happens" is the formula for Divine gifting in many minds, and I'm just not sure that's how it works.

Actually, I'm certain that's not how it works. God is not an ATM where, if you have the right pin number, you receive the riches. And God is not some Divine Santa Clause who gives gifts to the faithful.   Read more.
This Sunday's Readings
Psalm 146
Luke 11:1-4

It's Rally/Raleigh Day! 
  • One morning worship service at 9:30 am.
  • Food trucks immediately following the service, so stay around for lunch! (Please be aware that cones will be blocking off spaces for the food trucks when you arrive on Sunday morning.)
  • Service opportunities at Good Shepherd and in the community following lunch.
  • A limited number of spots for donations and serving are still open. Check them out and sign up here.
  • Peace worship at 5:30 pm.
Get Ready to Sing and Play!
Choir rehearsals begin the week of September 10.  Check out the schedule for days and times. Like to sing? Play an instrument? Not sure where you might fit? Contact John Jahr for more information.

Bible Study with the Pastors
September 11, 9:30-11:00 am & September 12, 6:00-7:00 pm. Get ready to cover a variety of biblical ground starting where we left off in Judges, with 1 & 2 Samuel.  We'll imagine our way into Israel's story in one of their most transformative moments - as they move from rowdy tribes of farmers and herders to a wealthy dynastic monarchy. Exploring God's activity in the lives of Hannah, Samuel, Saul, and David will help us to see God at work in our own lives. Join us on Tuesday or Wednesday for engaging discussion! 

OWLs (Older Wiser Lutherans) Fall Picnic
Saturday, September 15, 4:00-7:00 pm  
If you consider yourself older and/or wiser, join us at the home of Lyn Nelson and Bob Maiz to celebrate fall! Meat and beverages provided; bring a dish to share. RSVP on Realm or  contact Kris Allsbury .

Cornhole Tournament sponsored by Rams Men's Ministry
Saturday, September 15, 3:00-6:00 pm, GS LC As the summer days wind down, all men (12 years old +) are invited to an afternoon of cornhole, competition, fun and food! Hot dog dinner will be served. Cash prize will be awarded. Register online.
Fall Worship Schedule & Sunday Morning Faith Formation  Begins Sunday, September 16  W orship services at 8:15 am, 10:45 am and 5:30 pm.  Faith formation for children and adults at 9:30 am. We are looking for Play-Doh donations for the Worship & Wonder classroom. Donations can be dropped off in the church office. Thank you!

Mail for Mnene Collection
Sunday, September 16 through September 30 The Mail For Mnene table will be set up in the Narthex, so get ready to drop off your letters of love and support. Contact Cathie for questions or concerns, 919-870-9439.

Celebrating 15 Years of Helping Families in Transition through Family Promise  
Good Shepherd will be hosting guests in our church September 16-23. Opportunities are available for groups, families and individuals to serve. Learn more and sign up to serve at,
password: homeless.

Baptismal Seminar - Monday, September 17 6:00-7:00 pm
Interested in learning more about baptism at GSLC? Come to this seminar for families to learn the symbols and meanings of baptism. RSVP by email to  Pr. Marsha Anderson .

Stewardship Seminar: Gifting from Wills and IRA's - September 23, 12:00-12:45 pm   Wondering how you can help your faith community by leaving a legacy?  Come to this seminar to learn a bit about how you can bless GSLC and other faith initiatives through gifting through Wills and IRA's.

Advent Lutheran Church in Charlotte is hosting a Holy Land pilgrimage from February 12-21, 2019 , and would  love for Good Shepherd members and friends to join them.  Pr. Ward Misenheimer will be the Spiritual Director as we fly from Charlotte to Tel Aviv, and stay overnight in Tiberius, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.  Cost of the trip is $3,325 per person, which includes airfare, hotels, meals, tour guides, gratuities, and extras.  Contact organizer Esther Abdel-Hameed ( ), phone 727-614-6063, or Abby Bostian ( ) for a brochure and additional information.    

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's  bulletin announcements.
Health and healing  for  Melanie Carden, friend of Kris Sloman; Lillian and Mama Connor and Susan Lane, family of Cara Vivarelli-O'Neill. 

For the orphans of Mnene Parish , including Faith Zhou and Shuvai Gumbo. 

Faith, quiet & friendly, is 19.  She failed her "O" level classes which was very upsetting for her.  She dealt with some personal & emotional issues this past year.  The Mnene staff will work with her to discern what her next educational path will be.  She visited with our 2017 mission team.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Montgomery family.
Shuvai, 23, is an outgoing, articulate, affectionate young lady.  She left school to marry & has a 1 1/2 year old son. (Young girls in Zimbabwe are vulnerable to early marriage.)  The Mnene committee has met with her and are putting plans in place for her to complete her hairdressing classes at vocational school in January.  She spent time with our 2017 mission team. Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Cash family.
Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.

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