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  • Be Shrewd and Win Friends

    Posted on September 30th, 2007 Pastor Kevin Draper No comments

    Based on: Luke 16:1-13

    Be Shrewd and Win Friends (.mp3 – 4.5 MB)
    Watch the Video (.wmv – 51 MB)

    The world really appreciates and looks up to someone who is clever. Those who are able to outwit someone, to solve a problem in an ingenious way, to beat the odds with shrewd determination and innovative thinking win the world’s respect. Think of those who have shown their military shrewdness such as Alexander the Great or Napoleon and those who are successful in business like Donald Trump and Bill Gates. We may not agree with the way they achieved their success, but we have to admit that the world considers them clever and resourceful, even shrewd. They have used the resources that were available to them to get what they wanted. Jesus tells us to do the same thing. He tells us to be shrewd – to use the resources available to us to win friends in heaven.

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  • Found

    Posted on September 23rd, 2007 Pastor Kevin Draper No comments

    Based On: Luke 15:1-10

    Found (.mp3 – 3.7 MB)

    You know there are two types of people in this world, right? There are those who, when they are lost, know they are lost and are willing to admit it. Then there’s the other type of people who when they are lost are not willing to admit it. Perhaps they are new to an area and realize they’re lost or perhaps they may not even know they are lost. This is exactly the two types of people that Jesus is dealing with when he tells the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coins. They are the tax collectors and the sinners. The sinners knew they were lost. They are the ones who were gathering around to hear Jesus. They knew they needed to hear what Jesus had to say. In contrast there were the Pharisees. We know they were lost as well, but they didn’t think there were lost. And if they did realize there were lost, they weren’t about to admit it. With these two parables Jesus tells them that he came into this world so they could be found.

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  • Fall at the Parsonage

    Posted on September 21st, 2007 Sallie No comments

    Last weekend was an exciting one for us. We cleaned and shined the parsonage for a congregational open house on Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we enjoyed visiting with many members who stopped by for a tour. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Sunday evening we got a “new” upright piano. After six years of practicing on a keyboard, we finally have a real piano in our home! We posted a few photos in our online gallery (and one below to get you started) for you to enjoy.

    Check out the Parsonage photo gallery

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  • Look at the Cost of Discipleship

    Posted on September 16th, 2007 Pastor Kevin Draper No comments

    Based On: Luke 14:25-33

    Look at the Cost of Discipleship (.mp3 – 4.7 MB)

    How many unfinished projects do you have lying around the house? You know, those things you thought would be a great idea – redecorating the house or a new hobby you thought would be fun. I have plenty of those projects that I keep thinking, “Oh, I’ll finish that some day,” but that day never comes. Most of these are little things – if they don’t get done it’s not a big problem. It is very different when we are building a house. In fact, the bigger the project the more we will want to plan and think about it ahead of time. We don’t want to get partway into the project and find out we don’t have the resources to finish. The half built building is a waste of time and money and makes the builder look like a fool. How much more important is it to look at to the cost of discipleship, the cost of following Jesus. This is a matter of eternal consequence and so we must, as Jesus directs us, look at the cost of discipleship. The cost is high, so consider it carefully.

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  • Let Christ Exalt You

    Posted on September 9th, 2007 Pastor Kevin Draper No comments

    Based On: Luke 14:1,7-14

    Let Christ Exalt You (.mp3 – 4.5 MB)

    Have you ever seen kids fight over the biggest piece of cake on the table or a toy they all wanted to play with? They will argue and perhaps even fight to get what they think they deserve. Maybe we call that being selfish. Sometimes don’t we as adults do the very same thing? Of course we are more sophisticated about it. We aren’t so blatant, but sometimes we are selfish. Where does this selfishness come from? Behind the selfish actions there is that thought that I should come first, or I should have more, or I am more important than this other person. Our selfish desires are motivated by a sinful, self-centered pride.

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  • The Kingdom of God Grows

    Posted on September 1st, 2007 Pastor Kevin Draper No comments

    Based On: Mark 4:26-34

    The Kingdom of God Grows (.mp3 – 3.8 MB)

    How many times have you prayed the Lord’s Prayer and said “Your kingdom come”? But what is the kingdom of God and how does it come? First, the kingdom of God is not a geographic location. It is God ruling in the hearts of his people. For example, when Elijah talked to God on Mount Sinai Elijah claimed that he was the only believer left. God told him that he had reserved 7,000 in Israel who had not worshiped the false god, Baal. That was God’s kingdom in the hearts of those 7,000 believers who only worshiped the true God. Now, how does His kingdom come? Or to ask the question another way, how does God’s kingdom grow? Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God grows in ways that we don’t understand and it grows to a size that we don’t expect.

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  • August 2007 News

    Posted on September 1st, 2007 Sallie No comments

    The Draper’s are back once again with news from our last month of summer. August proved to be quite a busy month which overflowed with blessings for our family.

    Pastor Draper continues to settle into his new responsibilities, and the work is definitely agreeing with him! Along with his regular duties, he has had several baptisms and funerals, and with the start of school last week, he is teaching catechism classes as well. During September he will attend a pastor’s conference and perform his first wedding. You can read and listen to his sermons here or at our new web site

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    The Draper boys may not admit it, but they are all very happy to be back in school. They all have loads of new friends and lots to keep them busy. During August they enjoyed biking to the library and swimming pool on their own. Their other favorite activity was watching Gilligan’s Islands reruns. They are back in the swing of music practice and lessons start next week.

    I (Sallie) have spent time this past month continuing to settle into our new home, enjoying all the homegrown vegies people have shared with us, catching up with old friends and preparing to start two jobs. My job with synod resumes on September 4th (part-time) and my new “job” as a volunteer computer lab teacher at St. John’s School starts that day too. I’m planning 2 to 2.5 hours of teaching time each week across the various classes. During August I also worked on a new website for our church and school: www.stjohnsse.com.

    We had a great time visiting with friends who were in New Ulm for various reasons. Several of Sallie’s co-workers were in town to work at Synod Convention and actually attended church with us and took a parsonage tour. What a treat! We saw friends who were delegates, including Peace, Sun Prairie friends Pastor Luke Werre and Paul Patterson as well as our former Pastor John Liebenow, who is now serving in Michigan. Again, what a treat! Sallie even had the privilege of carrying the Colombian flag in the LWMS opening flag ceremony at convention.

    The Bolwerk family, Pastor Jeff, Arleen, Sasha and Robert, visited us for several days as they moved Sasha in for her first year of college at MLC. Jeff was another second-career classmates of Kevin throughout our school years. It was a treat to have them here and an added treat to have Pastor Greg and Ardis Tobison join us for dinner one night. Greg was yet another second-career pastor who finished a year ahead of Kevin at Sem. It was a happy reunion.

    And I couldn’t let our August update pass without a mention of the Sleepy Eye Buttered Corn Days which we attended. It was a dream come true for all us Draper’s – all the fresh buttered sweet corn we could eat!

    We invite you to scroll through the rest of our posts from this month and come back for more news next month (or next week, or tomorrow, if you want). We close this month’s news with special birthday wishes for our Luke -who turned 10 today!!! We have a gallery of photos up from our silly birthday celebration trip to St. Peter and Mankato yesterday. Check them out to see the fun. (We added one here to get you started.)

    The photos below are of the boys first of many happy days of school at St. John’s. God bless and keep you all! 😉

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    Ben and his 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Laurie Halvorson

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    Luke and his 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Naomi Evenson

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    Stanley and his 7th grade teacher, Mr. Kurk Kramer

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    Ten-year-olds sure do drink a lot of water!