Wednesdays in Lent


Hours before he died, Jesus prayed. He humbled himself before his Father in heaven in conversation. For what did he pray? The brevity of life and the gravity of the situation before him leads him to pray for himself, his disciples, and believers of all time. A unique prayer is set before us in John 17. For what would you have prayed? For whom would you have prayed? Where would your focus have been directed? Join us during the Wednesday's of Lent as we see our Praying Savior who has us in his heart and on his lips as he prays…

This series will take place every Wednesday and will include dinner at 6:00PM and a devotional service at 6:45PM.
The date and theme of each midweek service are as follows:

Ash Wednesday - Dust You Are (Genesis 2:19b)

February 21st - A Prayer for Accomplishment (John 17:1-5)

February 28th -  A Prayer of Gratitude (John 17:6-10)

March 8th - A Prayer for Protection (John 17:11-12)

March 15th - A Prayer for Joy (John 17:13-17)

March 22nd - A Prayer for Unity (John 17:20-26)

Carolina Forest Tree Lighting Message

On Monday, December 4th, Carolina Forest Recreation Center hosted the Sixth Annual Tree Lighting for the community. Pastor Zahn was, again, invited to share a Christmas Message with the attendees.

Christmas is for kids. We hear that all the time, don't we? I'm sure when December 20th rolls around, some of you kids are going to travel to grandma and grandpa's house for Christmas. Or maybe grandma and grandpa are going to come and visit. And kids, I want you to picture that moment when grandma or grandpa sees you. It's the first time they've seen you in months or maybe even a year. There's the big hug…maybe your cheeks get pinched…grandma tells you how beautiful (girls) or how handsome (boys) you are. Grandpa maybe gives you a noogie on the head and talks about how tall you've gotten. And if there is a baby brother or baby sister - grandma and grandpa - make strange faces and noises at your little brother or sister that for some reason is a socially acceptable way for adults to behave around infants. That’s something grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and moms and dads are especially prone to do at Christmastime. What is so special about babies and Christmas? The connection is traced back to the origins of Christmas.

Think about the centerpiece of every nativity scene. Sure there might be an angel, some wise men, a sheep and some shepherds, Marcy and Joseph, but what's at the center? The centerpiece of every nativity scene is the baby. Churches talk about a baby. The most familiar Christmas songs focus on the baby. And we love it. Think of “What Child is This?" "Mary, Did You Know?"  Or how about "Silent Night, Holy Night.” Why is it a favorite? Because we love the picture of an infant, tender and mild, sleeping in heavenly peace. Why do we love that picture? Because Jesus was cute? Because he coos? Because he had that belly laugh that only babies have?

Jesus may have had all those things. But what makes this child the centerpiece of this month and of the Christian faith is not his cuteness. Rather, it’s his significance for our lives.  What is that? He comes to deal with the stuff we'd rather deny, hide, ignore, or even consider taboo. It feels counter to the season to bring up things so dark and difficult. Christmas is supposed to be about joy, feeling merry and bright, right? So shouldn’t we avoid talking about the ugly side of humanity? If we’re going to hold on to the joy of this season, shouldn’t we just turn a blind eye to way people’s greed can turn them ugly toward others in the store this time of year? While we know it’s not right to gossip…it does seem to make the conversations at the company party or the family Christmas a whole lot more interesting, right? If we’re supposed to be gathering for celebrations, can’t we just set aside the struggles we’re facing, or the loneliness we’re feeling, or the guilt we’re bearing, for this season? Out of sight out of mind, right? Let’s hold on to the joy by hiding the problems.

You and I don’t want to talk about that. But Jesus does. All that really matters in life is what you put between the letter “s” and the letter “n”. Sometimes we think of me, myself, and put “I” there and we “s-i-n”. But God looked down, backspaced your vowel and typed an “o”. S-o-n.   God’s Son, born for you.  He’s not just a tender, mild, sleeping baby. He’s your deliverer from life's disappointments, healer of the hurt you're experiencing, hope for the hopeless, a rescuer from eternal ruin, the forgiver of all wrong. Christmas, is all about this child - Jesus, the Savior, born for you.

Summer Worship/Bible Hour

Our summer schedule begins Sunday, June 4th. Kids G.R.O.W is on summer hiatus, as is adult Bible class.  But throughout the summer, we run a simple and fun 20 minute class, immediately following a 40 minute worship. This year the 20 minute Bible Study will be intergenerational. Christ in the Family, the Bible Study, has discussion questions geared at various groups: twelve-and-younger, teenagers, adults. It calls on certain people for answers - parents, children, grandparents. There are twelve lessons, dealing with a variety of family issues that will benefit each of us as we explore them on the basis of God's Word.


June 11th -- Loving Your Family Too Much

June 18th -- Do Not Despise Discipline

June 25th -- Congregational Open Forum

July 2nd -- Family Roles:  Parents and Children

July 9th -- Family Roles: Grandparents

July 16th -- No Bible Study

July 23rd -- VBS Closing Worship

August 6th -- Bad Company, Good Character

August 13th -- The Christian and Single-Parenthood

August 20th -- My Brother’s Keeper

August 27th -- The Death of a Loved One

New Bible Study in the New Year

I’m too busy!

We've all heard it. We've all said it.

However, have you sensed when asked that question or when you ask that question, the increasingly common response is: "Busy!" In our 24/7/365 world, no one even dares question such an answer. Who isn't busy? Who of us hasn't felt the pinch of more demands than we have time? Who of us hasn't wished we could find some sort of way to be less busy?

This three-week study is designed with that ambitious goal in mind! The series is designed to help you discover the spiritual dangers of busyness, apply God's Word to this intensely practical issue, and in the process refresh your soul.  

Join us Sunday, January 8th at 9:15 as we begin the New Year slowing down with God in the lead!




Coming Soon

Christmas is important for only one reason. Just as Christ came once, bringing salvation, so he will come again, bringing the end of the world as we know it. He came the first time as a weak, helpless baby.  He comes again as King and Judge and Lord of all. And so a better question than “Are you ready for Christmas?” is “Are you ready for Christ?” Christmas is important only because a proper understanding of Christmas is what will prepare us for Christ’s return.

Christmas is important for only one reason. Just as Christ came once, bringing salvation, so he will come again, bringing the end of the world as we know it. He came the first time as a weak, helpless baby.  He comes again as King and Judge and Lord of all. And so a better question than “Are you ready for Christmas?” is “Are you ready for Christ?” Christmas is important only because a proper understanding of Christmas is what will prepare us for Christ’s return.

New Worship Series

Coming Soon!

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While the world around us becomes obsessed with what's "coming soon" (whether that’s a real physical place or somewhere in cyberspace), the Christian Church turns its attention to what God has "coming soon" for the world and its people. By revealing to us everything about the future that he wants us to know, God also helps us get ready for what he has planned. In this series we will find joy and peace in the promises of God that he will uphold us and carry us, that he will be our sunshine through the last dark days of this world and that, in the end, a true paradise awaits us.  “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).

What's The Weather?

How many conversations have you had about the weather over the last 72 hours? Maybe on Friday you were pumping gas or standing in line at Kroger and the person at the opposite pumping gas or standing ahead of you in line asked your thoughts on Matthew's path? Maybe on Saturday some text messages came to your phone from unknown numbers. They were friends you rarely speak to, but when they saw Hurricane Matthew bearing down on our coastline, they reached out to you, How's the weather? How are you doing? Maybe today, after getting cabin fever, you got out of the house and walked around the neighborhood. You struck up a conversation with a passer-by, Man, that wind was whipping once the rain stopped! I've never seen anything like that.

Have you ever noticed how two strangers, with nothing in common, can carry on a conversation about the weather? Why is that? Is it because everyone knows they can be a weather forecaster? Maybe it is a result of our frustration with hearing a Hurricane is suppose to turn out to sea but instead slams into the seashore? Or, could it be that weather is the common denominator in everybody's life? We all experience weather all the time. Of course that's true. As I write this devotion it's 61 degrees in Myrtle Beach; 60 degrees in Fort Morgan, CO where my sisters live; and 70 degrees in China where my sister-in-law lives. We all experience weather every single moment of our life.    

But that's not all. We also all experience the apparently arbitrary nature of weather. Winds whip at 65 mph along the coast as Hurricane Matthew churns while 5 miles inland the wind-speed is only 45 mph. A tornado crosses Ocean Boulevard leaving  a trail of damage all the way to Highway 17 Bypass in North Myrtle Beach while leaving other areas untouched. Rain falls rapidly filling streets and ponds in Springlake subdivision while mist falls miles to the North in Wilmington. We thank God for the Weather Channel, WMBF, WPDE, and all the meteorologists (whether professional or novice). These experts can predict the weather, but ultimately, they can't control it. Only Jesus can do that. Only Jesus did do that when he walked on this earth (Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25). He was known to have calmed a storm or two. And who’s to say that he didn’t create that same storm just so that he could calm it? After all, God doesn’t just control weather, he creates it.

The psalmist tells us: “He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind … He makes springs pour water into the ravines … He waters the mountains from his upper chambers … How many are your works, O Lord” (Psalm 104:3,10,13,24).

So what does this mean? Could it be that a Hurricane named Matthew was a work of the Lord? The Lord's efforts are in no way arbitrary. God didn't roll the dice when it came to Hurricane Matthew - the wind, rain, and storm surge. God didn't roll the dice when it came to the cool sunny day after Matthew passed through. He doesn’t roll the dice when it comes to weather or any of his works. It’s all part of his purpose and plan. Weather is by his design. Take a closer look at Psalm 104 and you’ll find that sandwiched between the lines of praise for what God does (God's handiwork) are statements related to why he does it (his design for weather). God’s weather gives water to cattle and makes grass grow for them to eat. God’s weather provides for crop cultivation to feed people. God’s weather creates wind for ships to catch in their sails. God's weather is a wonderful work of his mighty hand.

Consider for a moment how God intervened once in Old Testament times to make the sun stand still so that his chosen nation could successfully defeat an oppressive enemy (Joshua 10:12-14). Remember how God sent the storm that chased his wayward prophet, Jonah, back onto safe ground (Jonah 1:4-16). God rocked the planet with the tremors of an earthquake sending its shockwaves to the world when Jesus died as a signal that his sacrifice was for everyone (Matthew 27:50-53).

Every sunset. Every raindrop. Every barometric pressure change. Every cloud that silently floats overhead. Every gust of wind that whips. God designs and delivers with a purpose in mind. That also applies to hurricanes like Matthew. Therefore, Matthew is not bigger than God. Matthew answers to God. Matthew received his coordinates from God, his power from God, and his orders from God. Now Matthew is gone but God is not. God is still here to enact the next phase of his purposeful plan that we've labeled Hurricane Matthew.

What is that next phase? Might God be giving us more than just the weather to talk about with strangers? Might God be giving us opportunities to his love to people, to help them with compassion, and to share his free forgiveness with care and concern. You might not know that stranger, but now you've experienced the weather together - Hurricane Matthew. May God let that common denominator be an open door to show them Jesus, to pray for them, to help them, to show them we care.

Almighty God, you created the heavens and the earth, and you constantly orchestrate weather with a loving and holy purpose. To be honest, I don’t really understand this (or agree with it) when rain washes out afternoon plans or a hurricane churns along our Eastern coastline and slams into the homes and cities along the way. For now, I give you the praise and respect you deserve as Creator of all and chief engineer of all weather around the earth. I also thank you for the blessings of your created system of weather - the variety and beauty it brings to my days, the fruits and harvests it makes grow, and the spectacular wonder it produces in my mind and heart. Only you are awesome enough to fill that wonder. Only you are gracious and patient and understanding enough to listen when I ask that you teach me more your purpose and plan that includes this hurricane come and gone. Open my ears to hear, and my heart to believe. Amen.

Amazing Grace Celebrates 15 Years

On Sunday, September 25th, God's people rejoiced for the blessings of 15 Years of Gospel Ministry in Myrtle Beach, SC. Pastor Chuck Westra of Christ our Savior Lutheran in Columbia, TN and also President of the South Atlantic District, preached a sermon based on Genesis 19 titled This Place Is Really Awesome. Following the worship a pig roast/potluck was enjoyed with a presentation by Pastor Zahn.




New Bible Study Begins This Weekend

We all worship. We all worship something/someone every day. Functionally, these are our gods.

While many people consider idolatry to be the primitive practice of ancient Near East cultures or even modern tribal peoples, the reality is that idolatry is as much or more an issue today in the Western world as it has ever been in any corner of the planet. In fact, one could argue that the idolatry practiced today in the United States is more embarrassing and more dangerous than bowing down to little carved images because we don’t even realize we’re guilty of it.

God did not design or make us for idolatry. Rather, God built us for God. As God gives us trust in him and lets our lives serve and worship him, it’s a great blessing to us and others.

Join us this weekend as we begin a new Bible Study series entitled Idols We Never Knew We Had. We meet at 9:15 am!

Preschool enrollment open

Amazing Grace Lutheran Church is pleased to offer a single 3&4 year old preschool program for the 2016-2017 school year.

Amazing Grace Lutheran Preschool is a preschool for learning and for life. We provide your child with a Christ-centered and quality educational experience. Yet, academic growth is not the only aim of Amazing Grace Lutheran Preschool – we also strive to give each child an opportunity to grow in self-confidence, in concern and respect for others, in cooperation, and in a spirit of sharing. Tours are available by request where you can learn more about the school.

The program runs Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 - 11:30 AM.
Monthly Tuition is $200/student

To schedule a tour and to register for preschool please sign up for one of the following times located here

Easter 2016 Worship Series

With the women we’ve traveled along with Jesus through his Passion and watched as his lifeless body was laid in the tomb. But the final trip to the tomb doesn’t reveal the finality of death over us. Rather, with glorious vividness, it demonstrates Christ’s triumph over death. What a change! No doubt the women were confused and wonder what happened. They came with tear soaked eyes to view his dead Teacher one more time. But the power of the resurrection opened their eyes to see with vivid clarity, Jesus meant what he promised! Death has been swallowed up in victory; Christ has risen just as he said! Death no longer has mastery over us! Easter means that through Christ death brings forth new life!

During this season of Easter, our worship follows this path.

March 30th: Death looks different in the light of Christ’s empty tomb
April 3rd: Doubt is dispelled with vivid focus on the vivified Lord
April 10th: Seeing Jesus vividly through new eyes
April 17th: Good Shepherd: the vivid picture of the heart and character of Jesus
April 24th: The risen Christ gives vivid detail on God’s will for our lives
May 1st: Seeing true love in vivid detail with the help of our risen Lord

When do you pray?

Prayer is a privilege. Prayer is the heart of the Christian sharing with the ears of our Heavenly Father. You can pray anytime. You can pray in any place. So, when do you do it? Where do you do it? Why do you do it? For what do you pray?

Over the next several Sundays, we’ll be talking more about prayer and some important and significant times to pray. We’ll use a book in the Bible (often called the songbook of the Old Testament) the Psalms to guide us!

Join us during the Sundays in Lent as we: Pray the Psalms! Invite others in your circle of influence to come too!