WORSHIP WITH US!
8:30AM, 9:45AM in the hall, or 11AM

Location:
7150 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
The SE corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave
Across the street from Broward college South Campus lake
(954) 989-1903
tlcppines@gmail.com


Join Us For Worship!

Join Us For Worship!
Sundays at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

Featured Post

Advent Meditation on Joseph

The reading for Sunday, December 17, 2017: Matthew 1:18-25 This Sunday we read about an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream. We've no...

Friday, July 29, 2016

On the Occasion of the Completion of My 16th Year as Your Pastor

So this Sunday will mark the completion of my 16th year as pastor of Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines. Technically, August 1st will mark 16 years according to the paperwork, but I started a day early because I just couldn't wait any longer to get started. Trinity has been my only congregational call. This is somewhat unusual, to serve 16 years (and counting) in one's first call, at least in the Lutheran tradition. When I began my youngest son was one year old. Now I have an AARP card and he is rolling into his final year of high school. In another year I will have served as long as Trinity's longest serving pastor.
The years have flown by.

I have been privileged by God to walk with many people over these years. I have surely disappointed some, encouraged others, and by and large been myself and given myself, and made my mistakes and learned from them [hopefully] and pushed boundaries and comfort zones and sought to be faithful in the running the race set before me. At my worst I was arrogant and defensive and failed to listen to wiser counsel. My best is left for others to judge. Why this call works so well and for so long, I think, is the willingness of so many to take risks for the sake of the gospel. To seek what the Holy Spirit is up to and to embrace that with all of their hearts and minds and strength. As pastor I have tried to nurture this and encourage this and serve this vision.

Once I thought my "job" was to put the congregation on my back and climb Mt Zion through my own strength and ideas of what church could/should be. I was surely not alone among pastors in such thinking. At some point the living out of that kind of pastoring will break you, body and soul.

I broke.

And having broke, I hope that I am better for it. I'm fairly certain years of therapy and counseling and medication have not been wasted on me. I have, on the advice of my psychiatrist, blogged the last few years of my journey at https://keithandrewspencer.wordpress.com/.

I am in awe of all that God has allowed me to witness and experience so far in this call: the noisy and boisterous joys, the quiet moments of faith, the challenges, seeing Christ in the most unexpected places, blessing upon blessing, even in the pain and occasional disappointment and heartaches. In all of it I have discovered more of who I am, and moreover, who I am in and through Christ and who Christ is for the sake of the world.
And I have learned it all with you.

For this, for the past sixteen years, for the future as God so wills, thank you.
Truly, thank you.
Ever in Christ,
Pastor Keith

Thursday, July 28, 2016

John 15:16a



You did not choose me but I chose you. 
And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last
John 15:16a
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Job and Responses to Suffering

The readings for Sunday, July 31, 2016:

Job 3:  1-10, 4:  1-9, 7:  11-21

The book of Job wrestles with a great theological question:  why do the righteous suffer?  It's a question that still seems relevant today.  I would modify it a bit:  why do some people have such suffering in their lives, while others go through life relatively unscathed?

We see in the response of Job's friends a response that many of us might still espouse today:  people suffer because they deserve it--what goes around, comes around.  We reap what we sow.

But of course, the problem with that response is that some people suffer far out of proportion to any wrongs they may have committed.  So often in a human life, the punishment does not fit any wrongdoing. 

I wish I had a tidy theological answer, but I don't.  Many of us like the views of the friends in Job because it suggests that some of our lives are within our control.  But most of us, especially as we get older, realize how little of a human life is up to the human actor.

We see Job's response, which is a typical human response to the question of human suffering.  Job asks why, Job laments, Job wishes that he'd never been born.  Psychologists would likely tell us that these responses are quite common.

I find it refreshing that Job, the most righteous of men, has these responses.  I like knowing that even the righteous have their breaking points--it makes me feel a bit more O.K. about my own breaking points.

So, if we all must suffer, then what?

This realization leads us to a more pressing theological question:  where is God in all this human suffering?  We will wrestle with those questions in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Isaiah 43:3



For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
 and streams on the dry ground;
 I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
 and my blessing on your offspring.
Isaiah 43:3
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Psalm 35:7



How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
 All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:7
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Isaiah 35:4a



Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
 "Be strong, do not fear!
Isaiah 35:4a
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 21, 2016

1 Peter 1:23



You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:23
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

1 Timothy 3:16a



Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great
1 Timothy 3:16a
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

John 13:34-35



[Jesus said] "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
John 13:34-35
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Psalm 22



future generations will be told about the LORD,
 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn
Psalm 22:30b-31a
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Earline LaCroix Obituary


Earline M. (Baxter) LaCroix, of Davie, Florida passed away peacefully, with her loving family by her side on Friday, July 8, 2016. She was 81 years of age.

Born in Wichita Kansas on April 26, 1935, daughter of Earl and Helen (Houser) Baxter.

Earline is survived by her sisters, Lila Brinkley and Ellen Williams; Her children, Michelle Swartz and Jon LaCroix; Her grandchildren, Justin, Brittany, David, Luke, and Lindsay; Her Great Grandchildren Tommy and Lucia.

Earline is remembered for her love for God and love for her family. Earline was a founding member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Pembroke Pines, Florida. During her many years at Trinity, she provided leadership to many spiritual teams including Sunday School, Church Council, Women's Bible Study, and WELCA. In addition, her love for her spiritual family found her coordinating Mother's Day Banquets, Rummage and Craft Sales, Crafty Ladies, and Easter Egg candy sales. She joyfully praised God at Sunday services as an assisting minister and Bell Choir/Choir participant. Her passion for Martin Luther's teachings was demonstrated by the four generations she taught young Confirmands.

Earline now rests with Warren, her husband of 34 years. She is remembered by Lila and Ellen as a best sister and best friend. Her children, Michelle and Jon and their spouses, Tom and Cheryl, remember her for her selfless love and her desire for strong family bonds to remain after her passing. All five grandchildren considered her as their friend and she spoiled them with her love as she taught each one of them about God's love through her spiritual teachings, actions, and words.

Visitation on Thursday evening from 6:00 ~ 8:00 P.M. at Fred Hunters Hollywood Memorial Home, 6301 Taft Street, Hollywood. Funeral Service, Friday, July 15 at 10 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 7150 Pines Blvd. Pembroke Pines, Florida. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.

Entombment at Hollywood Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Mausoleum.

2 Corinthians 5:17



So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 
2 Corinthians 5:17
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

What We Talk About When We Talk About Job

This week, our congregation begins a multi-week study of Job.   The reading for July 17 will be Job 1:  1-22, which lays out the plot of the story:  Job is prosperous, and Satan has a proposal for God, to see how much heartache Job can take.  The rest of the story may be familiar to us:  Job suffers many trials and tribulations, while God and Satan look on.  Job's friends and families get a voice.  What will happen?

Before we get too far into the story, let's talk about some basics.  We will get into spiritual trouble if we take this story literally.  Remember that Lutherans believe in the truth of the Bible, while acknowledging that it may not be a literal truth or a historic truth.  What is the truth of this story?

Many of us may have felt as if God--or Satan--plays a game of chance with our lives.  I've heard more than one parishioner tell another that if we just pray enough, God will solve the thorny issues which plague us.  We've been told, by well meaning people, that God will never send us more than we can stand--but that's theologically problematic.  If I'm a weaker person, will I avoid suffering?  No.

We may feel as if supernatural beings have taken bets on our faithfulness and sent us affliction, but do we really believe in that sort of universe?  That kind of universe scares me far more than one built on free will and humans living with the consequence of their choices--although that one scares me far more.

The book of Job addresses the issue of human suffering, but does it really set out to explain the cause of human suffering?  Perhaps it tells us about the human response to human suffering.

Most of us will suffer when we've done nothing to deserve that suffering--the book of Job explores that all-too-human situation.  But the story doesn't tell us that we suffer because God has whims and God sends us suffering to see how we'll react--that's not the God that we have come to know through the person of Jesus.  That's not the God we see throughout most of the Bible.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

John 4:13-14



Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."
John 4:13-14
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Monday, July 11, 2016

Obituary for Earline LaCroix


Earline's family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines in her memory.

Also, if you would like to assist with the after funeral memorial meal set up is at 9AM.
Additional regular and unsweetened ice tea, sides, Italian bread, and desserts are still welcome.
+++

Earline M. (Baxter) LaCroix, of Davie, Florida passed away peacefully, with her loving family by her side on Friday, July 8, 2016. She was 81 years of age.

Born in Wichita Kansas on April 26, 1935, daughter of Earl and Helen (Houser) Baxter.

Earline is survived by her sisters, Lila Brinkley and Ellen Williams; Her children, Michelle Swartz and Jon LaCroix; Her grandchildren, Justin, Brittany, David, Luke, and Lindsay; Her Great Grandchildren Tommy and Lucia.

Earline is remembered for her love for God and love for her family. Earline was a founding member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Pembroke Pines, Florida. During her many years at Trinity, she provided leadership to many spiritual teams including Sunday School, Church Council, Women's Bible Study, and WELCA. In addition, her love for her spiritual family found her coordinating Mother's Day Banquets, Rummage and Craft Sales, Crafty Ladies, and Easter Egg candy sales. She joyfully praised God at Sunday services as an assisting minister and Bell Choir/Choir participant. Her passion for Martin Luther's teachings was demonstrated by the four generations she taught young Confirmands.

Earline now rests with Warren, her husband of 34 years. She is remembered by Lila and Ellen as a best sister and best friend. Her children, Michelle and Jon and their spouses, Tom and Cheryl, remember her for her selfless love and her desire for strong family bonds to remain after her passing. All five grandchildren considered her as their friend and she spoiled them with her love as she taught each one of them about God's love through her spiritual teachings, actions, and words.

Visitation on Thursday evening from 6:00 ~ 8:00 P.M. at Fred Hunters Hollywood Memorial Home, 6301 Taft Street, Hollywood. Funeral Service, Friday, July 15 at 10 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 7150 Pines Blvd. Pembroke Pines, Florida. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.

Entombment at Hollywood Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Mausoleum.

Joshua 23:8



Hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. 
Joshua 23:8


Sunday, July 10, 2016

SUNDAY JULY 17th


REMINDER: There is only a single service this coming Sunday July 17th at 10AM at Trinity Lutheran followed by lunch and waterslide !

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Updated Information on Earline LaCroix's Funeral

Funeral information for Earline:

1. Viewing Thursday July 14 at Fred Hunters Funeral Home 6-8pm

2. Funeral Service at Trinity 10am Friday July 15 with burial at Hollywood Memorial Gardens on Taft across from Hunters to follow.

3. Meal in Charter after. Trinity is providing main course. If you would like to help set up please be at Charter at 9am. We need side dishes, salads, Italian bread and desserts. Contact Pastor Keith (954) 668-6077 by phone or text if you are willing to provide and what you can provide - and please keep Earline's family in your prayers. - Ever in Christ

Pastor Keith

Remembering Earline LaCroix

Earline LaCroix who had bravely been fighting pancreatic cancer since the spring was admitted to the ER early Thursday morning after feeling unwell and died late Friday  afternoon peacefully surrounded by her loving family. Funeral arrangements are pending and will be shared as they become available. Please keep all of Earline's family in your prayers as her passing this suddenly was very unexpected. Earline was a founding member of Trinity Lutheran, taught generations of young people in Sunday school and confirmation and VBS, sang in the choir, loved WELCA, especially the Mother-Daughter Banquet, was a trusted and wise leader, and loved Jesus and loved her family with her whole heart and life and all. She will be missed.



















Thursday, July 07, 2016

VBS SUPPLIES STILL NEEDED!


1. VBS SUPPLIES STILL NEEDED!

If you can provide any of these items, please notify Tina Hines ASAP (and thank you!)

(786) 271-3789



2 Large bags of chicken nuggets

1 bag baby carrots

1 large bag frozen fries

4 large bags of potato chips

7 cans powdered Koolaid

9 cans powdered lemonade

4 bags seedless grapes

3 bags sliced apples

1 can ground coffee

1 small tub butter/margarine

2 pints blueberries

3 pints strawberries

4 boxes frozen waffles

3 bags salad mix

2 bags microwave popcorn

1 small box of saltines

2 bags of shell-less sunflower seeds

4 packs sandwich thins

3 bags shredded lettuce

2 bags shredded carrots

3 pack 6 inch tortillas

3 packs of  pita breads

1 pack plain rice cakes

1 small bag dried beans

10 large bags of corn starch

10 small plastic drinking cups

7 packages of plastic forks

3 packages of plastic spoons

2 packages of plastic knives

4 packages of 9 oz of plastic clear cups

1 package bathroom paper cups

To Lend or Give (Please indicate which)

Large glow in the dark stars

6 elmers white glue

3 towels

A piece of black cloth

A dark colored bin with lid

A diffuser or vaporizer

A small plunger

A paper map

Battery operated Christmas lights

Ace bandages


Wednesday, July 06, 2016

1 Corinthians 12:4-6



Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Ancient Prophets and the Poor

The Readings for Sunday, July 10, 2016:

Nehemiah 2: 1-8; Nehemiah 5: 1-13; Nehemiah 6: 15-16

This Sunday's readings continue the story of the return from exile.  We see the ancient Hebrews continue to wrestle with how to return, how to rebuild, how to be the people of God.

Some of the ways will make modern readers uncomfortable, with the prohibitions against outsiders, even if they are family members.  On the other hand, in Nehemiah 5, we see ancient people wrestling with problems that seem eternal:  how much interest on borrowed money is it OK to charge?

And there is the larger issue of how to treat the disadvantaged, a theme which runs throughout much of the Bible.  The message again and again comes to us that we must act differently.

What does this mean for modern people? 

I'm guessing that most of us reading these passages in our church this week are not in the business of charging usurious interest.  Every business owner whom I know personally is barely holding on, and certainly not taking advantage of workers or customers.

Some of us might need to consider our investments--we may be investing in companies who are not behaving nicely.  Modern investing makes it difficult to know.

I know people who hear the call of the ancient prophets and decide to divest completely, or to only keep cash reserves in credit unions and other institutions that are less likely to be damaging to the larger society.

If we're not willing to go that far, we can use our charitable giving to help the poor.  And more importantly, we can use our influence to try to steer our societies towards justice.  We do that each year with our BOLDJustice events.

What would a modern prophet call to our collective attention?  How can we respond?

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

1 Peter 2:4-5



Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:4-5
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Matthew 25:35



For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Matthew 25:35
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com

Isaiah 53:5



But he was wounded for our transgressions,
 crushed for our iniquities;
 upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
 and by his bruises we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5
http://thelivinggospel.blogspot.com