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The worship style St. John is known for with biblically-sound real life messages, band and vocal music that enhance worship and the message while maintaining a focus on the sacred and encouraging you on your LIFEjourney with Christ.

9:00am* and 10:45am*|Sanctuary


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*Children's Ministry options are available for children from birth through fifth grade at the times marked.  Children are always welcome to worship with their families. A Parents' Room is also available if you need to step out for a moment.



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Showing items filed under “January 2017”

"If I Were You..."

The sign said, “Before you criticize another person, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you will be a mile away and have their shoes.”  It was a funny take on an old proverb, but in light of all the vitriol dividing families and friends, we could benefit from a lot more empathy and a lot less rhetoric.

Recently I flew to Houston to attend a meeting on behalf of The International Lutheran Hour. It was during a spell of bad weather that brought ice and subzero temperatures to most of the nation. As a result, my connecting plane in Atlanta was delayed by a couple of hours. Instead of landing at a respectable 9pm, I didn’t arrive in Texas until after 11pm. I was fortunate the rental car agency stayed open to accommodate their customers.

Like anyone else who travels for a living, I’m always getting in and out of different makes and models of rental cars. It takes a moment to figure out all the bells and whistles, not to mention the confusion of getting out of the airport and finding your destination, which for me was a TBD hotel somewhere west of the city to avoid rush hour traffic early the next morning.

I had not been on the toll road more than 15 minutes when a police car rolled up behind me and flashed on his bright blue lights. I had no idea what law I had broken. I certainly wasn’t speeding and I had paid my toll, so I suspected it was my uncertain driving as I tried to find my exit. Regardless, I pulled to the side of the road, rolled my window down, put my hands on top of the steering wheel and waited for the verdict. The officer walked up slowly, while his white-hot spotlight flooded my car with blinding light. It was nearly midnight by now so both of us were on high alert and a bit nervous.

“I’ll bet you are wondering why I stopped you?” he began the conversation.

“I have no idea. I’m sure there are any number of reasons.”

“Is this a rental car, sir?” he asked.

I wondered for a moment if there was something wrong with the paperwork, and I had been reported by the rental company for stealing their car. “Yes, it is. Is there a problem?” 

“You were driving with only your running lights on, not your headlights,” he replied.

I smiled a smile of relief to know the cause, and admitted I was wondering why the dashboard lights were not working. He excused himself, explaining he was going to have to write a warning ticket to justify the stop, but would not be issuing a citation. That was a relief. After a few minutes, he again approached my window, and I again put my hands on top of the steering wheel so he could see them. He noticed.

“You can take your hands off the wheel, sir. I know you are not out to get me,” he said with a smile in his voice.

“I just respect what you do, and know how dangerous it has become. I wanted you to feel safe,” I replied.

He appreciated my understanding and shared a moment’s conversation about where I lived in St. Louis and the friends that he knew in the city. I was delayed again, but relieved to be on my way – this time with my headlights fully illuminated and my dashboard lights glowing.

I’ve had some time to think about that exchange and how important it is to put yourself in the place of the other person. I was concerned that he was not threatened by stopping a car of a possible drunk suspect, driving on the well-lighted toll road at midnight without his headlights on. He was aware of how nervous I was being stopped late at night in a strange city, not familiar with the toll road confusion.

It’s a simple example of how we all should take a breath and try to understand each other better before escalating any given situation between friends, family and even strangers. With all the partisan politics, and strong opposing opinions about immigration, abortion, health care, and race relations, Carol and I have been trying harder to be more accepting of people whose culture and opinions are different from our own. We’ve been making the effort to better understand their point of view and put others at ease. I’m asking more questions and making fewer statements these days, even when I disagree. We rarely comment or even “like” a social media post that is negative or strongly worded in opposition to those who see things differently.

The Bible says,

Dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1

Jesus is the world’s Savior to be sure, but He is also our role model when it comes to putting others interests ahead of your own. Of him Paul said,

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing…

I’ve noticed when I am more like Jesus, I like myself more and have more meaningful and less volatile conversations with people who are different than me.  It might also be the difference between a police officer issuing you a warning or a citation. … just saying.


The Scripture

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
Galatians 6

      • No one is perfect. What subject do you feel so strongly about that it’s nearly impossible for you not to argue when you hear a different opinion?
      • How would Jesus handle that situation?
      • What could you do differently to have a more meaningful conversation?

Survey Question

When it comes to Social Media, do you often jump into a discussion of issues, or do you just move on?

A.) I’m always eager to hear what someone has to say, whether I agree with them or not.
B.) I can’t read those opinions without getting agitated.
C.) I think it is an important new way to exchange opinions about important topics that need to be discussed.

What's your opinion?
Take the survey and l
eave a comment for the benefit of others.


If you were unable to attend services last weekend and would like to listen to the message, visit our homepage at stjstl.net and click on Media at the top right of the web page. Growing Deeper, a Bible study, written to accompany the message series is also available to download.

Live Stream

St. John Church live streams Sunday services at 9:00am and 10:45am. Join us!

The Prayer

I don’t think there is a better prayer on this issue than this classic.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Brief Notes

Getting Connected | January 29 | 6:00pm | Ministry Center Room 250

IronMen Breakfast | February 3 | 6:00am | Cornerstone

GriefShare | Begins February 12 |Ministry Center, Imagineering Room

Trailblazers | February 13 | 11:30am | Ministry  Center, Room 250

Community of Veterans Informational Meeting | February 9 | 6:30pm | Ministry Center, Imagineering Room | Contact for more information.

Stephen Hower, Pastor



Posted by Stephen Hower with


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