1. Giving Thanks, Even When There Seems to Be No Reason To
Many circumstances in life don’t naturally cause us to thank God; instead they quickly lead us to question God. But even in the midst of difficult circumstances we have great reasons to thank God, and even thank him for the circumstances. Pastor Bublitz will share his family’s story of health challenges and their finding of countless reasons to give thanks for them.
Psalm 30:10-12 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Presenter: Aaron Bublitz has served as pastor at Mt. Lebanon Lutheran Church and School in Milwaukee for the last seven years. He’s blessed to be married to Laura, and humbled to be able to raise three children, Micaiah (13), Arianna (11), and Keturah (8).
2. There Is a “Blessin” in the Lesson
Although not grammatically correct, this title embodies the knowledge and wisdom of my southern great grandmother. God shows his grace and mercy in many ways. One’s blessing isn’t always wrapped up in a pretty package and bow. Many times our blessings come in a lesson or in a storm. How do we recognize, appreciate, and accept our blessings? This breakout session will touch on those “blessings in disguise” and how we as women can learn to pause long enough to be thankful and rejoice in our daily lives.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Presenter: Nikki Wilson-O’Neal is a wife and mother of a 19 year old daughter, Cydni. Nikki works at Wisconsin Lutheran College as an Academic Advisor in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. If asked, she will say that “God has blessed me by showing me my purpose and allowing me to share it with others.”
3. A Mindful Marriage: Whatever You Pay Attention to Grows!
In any marriage there are challenges that undermine happiness and wellness. External stresses such as finances, health challenges, parenting worries, differences in personalities, extended family drama, work responsibilities, fear of making mistakes, and past hurts all create obstacles that impact marriage satisfaction. Women need to be emotionally present and mindful of how their thoughts, reactions, and choices impact the quality of the marriage relationship. Having a healthy Christian marriage map helps to create a foundation for managing intimacy, showing vulnerability, leading positive communication and resolving conflicts.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Presenter: Holly Schneider is a Marriage and Family Therapist from West Bend, WI, who specializes in Christian Counseling. She has been counseling families since 1993 and is passionate about promoting wellness in individuals and families. She and her husband have three adult daughters and are embracing their new empty nest.
4. Raising Thankful Kids
Counteracting a world where entitlement reigns supreme is no small task for today’s parent. Thankfulness is a discipline that strengthens contentment, peace and joy in the Creator-God of great abundance. Come and be inspired with ideas for how to grow an “attitude of gratitude” using scriptural truths that will benefit both you and your Christian family.
Colossians 3:16-17 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Presenter: Ellen Cook is a seamstress, writer, (grand) mom and Bible study enthusiast who is perpetually growing in her thankfulness for God’s amazing grace.
5. The Sovereign Effect
In a sinful world we experience trouble, regardless of the wise choices we make and the preventative measures we take. Although we can’t control all aspects of our life, we can lessen stress and anxiety by recognizing we have a loving Lord and Savior who does rule over all the circumstances of life, and he clearly has our best interests in mind. This breakout will focus on using the resources God offers us in the gospel of Jesus to relieve anxiety and depression by appreciating the sovereignty of God.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Presenter: Pastor James Hein is Lead Pastor at St. Marcus Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. He began his ministry in Rochester, MN, and after 7 years of learning about ministry to Millennials, he and his wife Adrian moved to Milwaukee to focus on urban gospel work – embracing ethnic diversity, exploring modern technology in church, and navigating the post-Christian cultural climate.
6. Put Your Basket in the Water
At the time of Moses’ birth, Pharaoh ordered that all Hebrew boy babies be put to death. Moses’ momma, Jochebed, wouldn’t have it. After hiding her son as long as she could, she finally placed Moses in a basket and put the basket in the water, thereby placing her precious child into God’s hands. Entrusting your adult son or daughter as a prodigal, or as one who is making choices you feel unwise, is as difficult as Jochebed placing her baby into the water. Let’s learn together what it means to have a fierce reliance on the Lord, how he inspires fearless parenting, and some of the wisdom in his word to guide us along the way in facing this very real dilemma for so many.
Exodus 2:3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.
Presenter: Pastor Tim Soukup is very thankful to Jesus for his amazing wife Gretchen, 3 lovely children, 4 grandchildren and the Salem family he gets to serve at Salem Lutheran Church and School in Milwaukee.
7. Come, You Thankful People, Come
Music, especially singing, is a treasured component of our Lutheran worship. How can a thankful heart not sing! Come and hear the stories behind our hymns of thanksgiving in this combination breakout session and recital.
Psalm 95:1-2 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Presenter: Valerie Floeter is a composer with over 500 published compositions. She also teaches piano and organ and serves Grace Lutheran in Waukesha, WI as organist.