Charles Wagner, in "The Gospel of Life," points a conclusion worth considering:

   In finance, a figure is a figure. Two equal numbers have the same value, and a hundred dollars are twice fifty and twenty times as much as five dollars. But when intentions are involved, it is another matter; then the value of the figures depends no longer upon their size. This is what Jesus causes us to observe. Beware of neglecting the little pennies; there are pennies that are poems, there are pennies that have a soul.

  This Lenten banner prompts meditation on the temptations of Christ, and His use of God's Word to overcome the deceptions of the devil, the world, and the flesh. In the center we see, "Child of God in Christ." Just as Jesus was baptized by John, named Son of God, promised an eternal inheritance, and called to serve God only, we, who have been baptized into Christ are also declared God's child, promised forgiveness of sins and eternal life, and are called to fear, love, trust, and serve God only.
   The powerful words which Jesus clung to are from Matthew 3:4,7,and 10, and are depictied on the three baptismal shells on the banner.
   In shocking red and pulsating pink, around the rim of the circle are listed some of the categories of temptations which try to lure the people of God into striving for their empty promises. They lead, however, into misbelief, despair, and other great shame and vice by ignoring/abandoning/disobeying God's Word: Fortune, Fame, and Freedom (in the sense of pursuing our own way); Security, Superiority, and Success; and Power, Possessions, and Pleasure. All these beckonging pursuits may conflict with the gift that God has given to us by His grace: a name as His child, and a relationship with Him which cannot be taken away, a forgiven past and future filled with His providence and promise, a calling to know Him, love, trust, and serve him alone.
   Jesus lived this way, and even death could not separate Him from the love of His Heavenly Father, who raised Him from the grave and has now given us to Him as His fellow saints and heirs. He is our Head, and we, now, are His body in the world. called to follow Him and do God's will, as the Holy Spirit leads. banner design and article by Lois Prahlow

When the pure soul is from the body flown,
No more shall night's alternate reign be known;
The sun no more shall rolling light bestow,
But from th' Almights streams of glory flow.
Oh, may some nobler thought my soul employ
Than empty, transient, sublunary joy!
The stars shall drop, the sun shall lose his flame,
But Thou, O, God! for ever shine the same.
by John Gray.

It is not death at all; it is life. Some one said to a person dying:
"Well, you are in the land of the living yet." "No," said he, "I am
in the land of the dying yet, but I am going to the land of the living;
they live there and never die." This is the land of sin and death and
tears, but up yonder they never die. It is perpetual life; it is unceasing.
by D. L. Moody.

"When life's close knot, by writ from Destiny,
Disease shall cut, or age untie;
When, after some delays--some dying strife--
The soul stands shiv'ring on the ridge of life;
With what a dreadful curiosity
Doth she launch out into the sea of vast eternity."
by John Norris, 1690.

" 'Tis immortality,--'tis that alone,
Amidst life's pains, abasements, emptiness,
The soul can comfort, elevate, and fill."
 by Young

"Ah, yes! the hour has come
When thou must hasten home
Pure soul, to Him who calls;
The God who gave the breath
Walks by the side of death,
And naught that step appals."
by Landor.

This illustrious Englishman wrote to his wife from the tower of London, just before his execution. "Time and death call me away. The everlasting God, powerful, infinate, and inscrutable God Almighty, who is goodness itself, the true light and life, keep you and yours, and have mercy on me, and forgive my persecutors and false accusers, and send us to meet in his glorious kingdom! My dear wife, farewell! bless my boy; pray for me; and may my true God hold you both in his arms! "Yours that was, but not now mine own."
by Sir Walter Raleigh.

"His spirit, with a bound,
Burst its encumb'ring clay;
His tent, at sunrise, on the ground,
A blaken'd ruin lay."
by Montgomery.

"An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave.
Legions of angels can't confine me there!"
by Young.

"Why should we dwell on that which lies beneath,
When living light hath touch'd the brow of death?
by Hemans.

"The eternal flow of things,
Like a bright river of the fields of heaven,
Shall journey onward in eternal peace."
by Bryant.

John, is but gone an hour or two sooner to bed, as children are used to do, and we are undressing to follow. And the more we put off the love of the present world, and all things superfluous beforehand, we shall have the less to do when we lie down.
by Archbishop Leighton.

Babes thither caught from womb and breast,
Claim right to sing above the rest;
Because they found the happy shore,
They neither saw nor sought before.
by Erskine.

"Death is an equal doom
To good and bad, the common inn of rest;
But after death the trial is to come,
When best shall be to them who lived best."
by Spenser.

"If yonder stars be fill'd with forms of breathing clay like ours,
Perchance the space which spreads between is for a spirit's powers."
by Longfellow.

"These birds of paradise but long to flee
Back to their native mansion."
Prophecy of Dante.

"We miss them when the board is spread,
We miss them when the prayer is said;
Upon our dreams their dying eyes
In still and mournful fondness lies."
by Newman.

May he find a Savior's breast
That when life's weary journey's o'er,
He may--to wake in sin no more--
Sleep there,
Free from care,
As on his mother's breast.
by John S. B. Monsell.

   S. D. Gordon, in "The Sychar Revival," gives an incident several times paralleled in the histories of warfare:

   There is a simple story told about the time when the British were putting down a rebellion among the Ashanti tribes on the west coast of Africa. One morning the officer in command came to speak to the soldiers as they were drilling on the level stretch of land. He said, "Soldiers, I have a dangerous enterprise to-day. I need so many men. Every man that goes may lose his life. It is as serious as that. I am telling you frankly. I could draft you, but I don't want to. I would like to ask for volunteers. I want those who will volunteer for Her Majesty's sake to advance a pace." They were drawn up in a straight line, and thinking the men might be influenced by his look he swung on his heel, and off, then back again and looked. The line stood as straight as before. His eye flashed fire. "What, not a single man to volunteer?" Then a fellow standing at the end of the line next to him saluted and said, modestly, "If you please, sir, every man has advanced one pace."

  Have you advanced the pace for the cause of the Gospel of Jesus, today? Soon our God will return or you will ascend into the heavens to live with Him forever. Once with Christ, you will no longer be able to profess His mercies here on earth. So what are you waiting for? ADVANCE ONE PACE!

   Rev. Edward Payson Scott, Baptist missionary in Assam, was strongly moved to visit a wild hill tribe--the Nagas--three day's journey from his station, whereas yet he had made only a start in the Naga language and had to take a Naga teacher along. He was strongly urged by the British resident officer not to run such risk, but he could not be deterred; and, when an escort of soldiers was offered him, he firmly declined, as it would defeat the very end in view, which was to go as a messenger of peace. A military escort would give a false impression of his whole spirit and motive.
  So with a native companion he set out, and when they reached the base of the mountain ridge where the native village crowned the summit, and began the ascent, the alarmed villagers forming in battle-line, waved their spears in menace, the chief crying out, "Halt! we know you! You are the man of the British Queen, come to make us prisoners and carry off our children. Come no nearer!
   The missionary drew out his violin, and began to sing in the native tongue, "Alas, and did my Savior bleed!" When he had sung one verse, the chief and his warriors had already thrust spears into the ground and broken ranks. As Mr. Scott sang on, about the amazing pity, grace, love shown when the Maker died for the sin of the creature, the wild men began to creep down the hillside, nearer and nearer; and the chief cried out, "Where did you learn that? Sing us more; we never heard the like before." The savages were subdued. The stranger was safe from their spears, and welcomed to their huts and best hospitality. The cross has never lost its charm (text) -- Missionary Review of the World.

   It is said that two famous enemies of Christianity were once talking together of a plan for the reconstruction of religion. They believed only in the enjoyment of the life that now is. They talked of the building of the temple which would express the religious impulse and yet lay stress on the glory of the life that now is. And after they had talked of marvelous music, forever in the major key, they admitted that something was lacking in their scheme. "I know what it is," finally declared one. "It is that hymn, 'O Sacred Head Now Wounded.' Without that there is a fatal lack of beauty and of power." And this goes down pretty far toward the center. The compelling beauty of Christianity is in its doctrine of self-sacrifice. The cross sets the Christian teaching on high.-- Francis J. McConnell.


   Mozart's dying words were, "From heaven's mercy alone can I hope for succor; and it will be granted, Emilie (his young daughter), in the time of my utmost need; yes, in the hour of death I will claim His help who is always ready to aid those who trust in Him.
   "Take these notes, the last I shall ever pen, and sit down to the instrument. Sing with them the hymn so beloved by your mother and let me once more hear those tones which have been my delight since childhood."
   Emilie closed the second stanza,

"Spirit, how bright is the road
For which thou art now on the swing!
Thy home it will be with thy Savior and God,
Their loud hallelujahs to sing,"

and waited for the mild voice of her father's praise. But he was gone.
   How beautiful is the soul's farewell to all that is mortal, when we can say as one of old, "Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

   The influence on John Wesley's theology of an escape as a child from a burning dwelling is thus described by Rev. W. H. Fitchett:

   His theology translated itself into the terms of that night scene. The burning house was the symbol of a perishing world. Each human soul, in Wesley's thought, was represented by that fire-girt child, with the flames of sin, and of that divine and eternal auger which unrepenting sin kindles, closing round it. He who had been plucked form the burning house at midnight must pluck men from the flames of a more dreadful fire. That remembered peril colored Wesley's imagination to his dying day.--"Wesley and His Century."

   A good example of symbolic preaching is afforded in the following descriptions of a sermon by a Chinese evangelist named Li, of Changsha, China on the value of the soul:

   Mr. Li began by describing a clock, without naming it, calling it dead and yet alive. He showed that it has all the parts of a living mechanism, but that this mechanism is dead; without two great essentials. The clock was then shown to the audience and they were led to see that a spring is the source of power, but that power must be applied to the spring before the mechanism does it work. The preacher skillfully illustrated by these facts the importance of the soul, and the relation which it bears on the one hand to man and on the other to God. About twenty minutes were devoted to this illustration, after which the preacher quoted a number of texts from the Scriptures bearing upon the teaching of the value of the soul. G. E. Dawson, Missionary Review of the World.

   In a private letter, written to a local paper by a resident of Cazenovia, N. Y., who is dwelling in Japan, the following was related:

   I must tell a story connected with the visit of our American fleet. One day, just as some of the troops were marching to the railroad station, an enormous arch which stood just in front of the station took fire. Instantly one of the Japanese soldiers climbed to the top and brought down the United States flag that hung over in his direction. No greater act of courtesy could be performed, according to Japanese ideas than to save our flag from harm. But when without a moment's delay, one of our blue-jackets ran up the other side of the arch, as tho it were the rigging of a ship, and snatched the Japanese flag just before it fell, tho his hands were scorched and he was nearly choked by smoke from the burning evergreen, the crowds nearly went wild with excitment and could not stop cheering.

   Men talk sometimes as if the passage of  ship through the sea or a bird through the air is a fit symbol of man's passage through this world. I do not think so. A better symbol would be the passage of a plow through the soil leaving a furrow behind. What does the furrow include? All the memory of every beautiful picture and landscape you have ever seen. It includes the memory of every experience, every sweet association, every tie of love, whether of father, mother, wife or children. All these, whether living or dead, speak to you. They have a voice, a language that you will understand. -- George L. Perin.

   "When you bury me, put shoes on my feet, and give me a staff in my hand, and lay me on one side, that when the Messiah comes I may be ready." quote by Rabbi Jerekiah.

Rabbi Abbu says, "A day of rain is greater than the resurrection of the dead; because the rain is for all, while the ressurrection is only for the just. 'Sodom and Gomorrah shall not rise in the resurrection of the dead.'"

   "The patriarchs so vehemently desired to be buried in the land of Isreal, because those who are dead in that land shall be first to revive and shall devour his years, (the years of the Messiah.) But for those just who are interred beyond the holy land, it is to be understood that God will make passage in the earth, through which they will be rolled until they reach the land of Isreal."quote by Rabrichebeo.

   "Carefulness leads us to innocence, innocence to purity, purity to sanctity, sanctity to humility, humility to fear of sins, fear of sins to piety, piety to the holy spirit, the holy spirit to the ressurection of the dead; the resurrection of the dead to the prophet Elias." quote by Rabbi Pinchas.

   "The very nerves and sinews of religion is hope of Immortality. The destruction of such high powers is something which can never, and under no circumstances, even come into question."quote by Goethe.

   To the student of architecture it may be surprising to learn that the arch, until recently supposed to have been unknown to the ancients, was frequently employed by the pre-Babylonians of more than 6,000 years ago. Such an arch, in poor state of preservation, was, a few years ago, discovered in the lowest stratum, beneath the Babylonian city of Nippur. More recently an arched drain was found beneath the old city of Fara, which the Germans have excavated in central Babylonia. The city, altho one of the earliest known, was built upon an earlier ruin, and provided with an arched drain constructed of small, plano-convex bricks. It measures about one meter in height, and has an equal width.
   While delving among the ruins of the oldest cities of the world, we are thus finding that at the time when we supposed that man was primitive and savage, he provided his home and city with "improvements" which we are inclined to call modern, but which we are only reinventing. (Text) -- Prof. Edgar James Banks, The Scientific American.


   The Creation banner ties together two texts from Scripture: Genesis 1-2:3 and John 1, and the concept of light. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... And God said, Let there be light, and there was light... And God saw that the light was good. (Genesis 1)." "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God   In Him was life, and the life was the light of all people (John 1)."
   The banner is divided into eight segments, seven for the days of the creation, and one for the day of new creation, the day of salvation in which we live. In the lower left, the separation of light and darkness is depicted on Day One. Proceeding clockwise, Day Two symbolizes the separation of the waters; Day Three, the establishment of dry land and plant life; Day Four, the creation of sun, moon, and stars; Day Five, the creation of fish and birds; Day Six, the creation of animals and man, with male and female being given dominion over all of creation; Day Seven, God's resting from his labors, with open hands extending in blessing. Day Eight shows the hands of Jesus, God's Son, marked with the wounds of the nails. From a chalice, droplets of blood splash beneath those hands. A cross and Host, marked with IHS (monogram for Jesus) are central to the eighth Day.
   Pure light, when broken up by a prism, reveals the spectrum of the rainbow. Hence the banner was constructed using the rainbow color progression to emphasize this quality of light. The center of the banner depicts the Spirit of God (dove) who moved over the face of the waters when the world was created, and Jesus Christ the pure Light of the world. article and design by Lois Prahlow.


This spirit shall return to Him
That gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim
When thou thyself art dark!
No! it shall live again and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine
By Him recall'd to breath,
Who captive led captivity,
Who robbed the grave of victory,
And took the sting from death.

Go, Sun, while mercy holds me up
On nature's awful waste,
To drink this last and bitter cup
Of grief that man shall taste--
Go tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race,
On earth's sepulchral clod,
The dark'ning universe defy
To quench his immortality,
Or shake his trust in God.

by Thomas Campbell.

   Sometimes like to fancy things about the stars. May there not be moral systems as well as physical? -- moral wholes or plans; a portion of the plan being carried on in one world, and another in another world, so that, like different pieces of a machine, or like the different stars themselves, the whole must be examined before he plan can be understood. The world may be a moral center; the center being the cross from which moral radii extend throughout the moral universe. Physical space and moral space have no connection. It used to be an old question how many angels could dance on the point of a needle, but it had a glimmer of wisdom, too, for it arose from the feeling that spiritual things have no relation to space. by Rev. Norman MacLeod, D. D. 

   "Strange," said a gifted metaphysician once, "that the barrel-organ, man, should terminate every tune with the strain of immortality!" Not strange, but divinely natural. It is the tentative prelude to the thrilling music of our eternal bliss written in the score of destiny. When at night we gaze far out into immensity, along the shining vistas of God's abode and are almost crushed by the overwhelming prospects that sweep upon our vision, do not some premonitions of own unfathomed greatness also stir within us? Yes: "the sense of Existence, the ideas of Right and Duty, awful intuitions of God and immortality, --these, the grand facts and substance of the spirit, and are independent and indestructible." W. R. Alger.

   Such worshipers of the new are all made by the creative genius of our era, that in order to appreciate the old you must ask your imagination to picture them as coming up before you for the first time. With what tears of joy would you hail the hope of immortality had that hope just come into the world! If dust had been the assumed end of man, what discovery of science or art would compare in sublimity with the sudden assurance of a second and blessed life? Such an expectation dwarfs all the common hopes of this world. A Prince yearly approaching a throne, a gifted mind gathering up the honors of learning or power, a citizen drawing near a fabulous fortune, are all small scenes or outlooks compared with that of a humble child steadily moving toward an endless and painless being. When you remember how you all love life and feel sad over the fact that the grave is before you, you may well be amazed at the height and depth of the doctrine of a second existence that shall be in all ways higher and sweeter than this. The slowness with which this notion came to man has hidden its vastness. Its age is a witness for its truth, but is against its grandeur as a thought. It is modified by its antiquity as mountains are made treeless and cold by intervening miles. Their verdure, and cascades, and song of birds are all toned away from the senses by their distance. They are spoken of as "gray," or hazy," or "blue." One simple attribute thus remains out of a marvelous richness and variety. From many old doctrines has the multitude moved away until ideas are seen in some one dead color -- ideas vast as God and beautiful as Paradise. by Prof. David Swig.

   "When love once fears that it may cease, it has already ceased. It is all the same to our hearts, whether the beloved one fades away or only his love." -- Jean Paul.

   Done in muted tones of tan and beige, this banner suggests the somberness of the events of Holy Week. The stone-shaped squares which form a cross each depict those things which were done to Jesus by humankind: crowned with thorns, scourged, betrayed, pierced with nails, mocked, numbered with criminals and crucified, denied, offered vinegar to drink, and stripped of his clothing. They cause us to reflect on the stoniness and cruelty of sinful beings.
   The four quadrants are likewise stone-shaped, but are in the form of a heart, which represents God's love for sinners in giving Jesus Christ, His beloved Son. He is the Cornerstone on whom the Church is built. The symbols in these quadrants represent what God has done for us in the suffering and death of Jesus; brought healing (OT brass serpent on a pole, a type of Christ), overcome death (OT story of the Passover), given His body and blood for the forgiveness of sins (cup and host), and served us all (ewer, basin, towel). The palm branches in the quadrants are reminiscent of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
   Around the perimeter are adjectives describing Jesus: betrayed, denied, abandoned, despised, scorned, rejected, mocked, scourged, humiliated, condemned, cursed, crucified. article and design by Lois Prahlow

   The center of the Easter Banner boldly proclaims, "HE IS RISEN!" When Mary went to the tomb on Sunday morning, she looked inside and saw two angels in the place where the body of the Lord had been laid, one at the head and one at the foot (John 20:11 ff). This picture brings to mind the description of the Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat in the OT (Exodus 37:1-9). The blood which Jesus shed on the cross and which stained his burial place has indeed been sprinkled for our forgiveness on the Heavenly Mercy Seat. This truth is symbolized by the use of burgundy red color on a predominantly white, yellow, and gold banner. These latter colors are liturgically correct for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. Four small circles depict different animals which are useful in telling the story of salvation: (top) the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; (right) a butterfly which symbolizes death, resurrection,
transformation; a pelican (bottom) which, according to legend plucks its breast to feed its young during times of famine, and thus symbolizes Christ's giving of himself, the Bread of Life; and (left) a phoenix who, according to legend perishes in fire and rises anew from the ashes, also a picture of the risen Christ.
   Words on the perimeter repeat songs of praise from Revelations 5:12 and 7:12: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!" and Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever, Amen!"


   The colors used on the Pentecost banner help create a warm mood. Nine flames represent the gifts listed in gold on the edge of the banner: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10). The nine bunches of grapes symbolize fruit of the Spirit and are written white on the banner's edge: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23). The use of the vine and grape motif also suggests Jesus' words, "I am the Vine; you are the branches. Abide in me and bear much fruit (John 15)." article and design by Lois Prahlow

   "The Lord God planted a garden in eden and watered it with the crystal river of the water of life flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. You are that garden rooted in His love, spreading His fragrance."

   This colorful banner celebrates the variety of ministries in which the baptized Church engages in grateful response to God for the salvation they have received in Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain for them. It draws from and combines imagery in Genesis 2:8ff, John 4:7ff, Matthew 28:16-20, II Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 3:14-19, and Revelations 22:1-5.
   In the waters of Baptism and by His Word, the Church is united with Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection. They are planted by God like flower in a garden, and are watered with pure, life-giving crystal water, untainted by sin or death. They are empowered by the Holy Spirit and filled with the water of life flowing from the rainbow-encircled throne of God and the Lamb. Filled with love and the joy of salvation in Christ Jesus, their Lord, they go into the world, the street of the city, and there let the living water flow through them in service to God and mankind whom He wants to save. They draw sustenance from His love in which they are rooted, and they spread the fragrance and knowledge of Christ wherever they go. article and design by Lois Prahlow.


   A flower with five petals represents the rose on Luther's Coat of Arms. Within each petal is a golden heart (God's love) with symbols of five of the six chief parts of Luther's Small Catechism: the Ten Commandments, The Lord's Prayer, The Lord's Supper, Holy Baptism, and The Creed. The sixth chief part, The Office of the Keys, is represented in the center of the flower. Between the petals are blue flowering waters each marked with a Chi Rho (Greek monogram for Christ). The elongated form of the monogram suggests the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Drawn to the Cross in the water of Baptism (blue arrows), the repentant sinner is gathered in, forgiven, cleansed, and sent forth with the good news of the Gospel into all the world (dark golden arrows)! "YES" is the believer's response to God's love and call in these mighty teachings of the Spirit (red flames)! article and design by Lois Prahlow

I'm tired of sailing my little boat
Far inside of the harbor bar;
I want to be out where the big ships float --
Out on the deep, where the great ones are!

And should my frail craft prove too slight
For storms that sweep those wide seas o'er,
Better to go down in the stirring fight
Than drowse to death by the sheltered

   The flower does not live for itself. Beautiful, fragrant-making, the tree an incense-holder, hang the apple-blossoms for a day; tomorrow they have let go their hold upon the tree and are scattered over the ground in order that the fruit may grow. The fruit guards the seed until it is mature, then the fruit goes to decay that the seed may be released; the seed gives up its life that a new tree may come. What a glorious parable is this: life for life, the old dying for the new; every tree in the orchard, every grain-stalk in the corn-field, every dusty weed by the roadside living for others and ready to die for others. The doctrine of unselfish love and of sacrifice comes to us fragrant with the odor of ten thousand blossoms and rich with the yellow fruitage of ten thousand harvests. Self-preservation is no longer the first law of nature. The first law seems to be preparation for that which is coming next. -- John K. Willey.

   The Venus fly trap is small and shaped as if you placed your two open palms side by side. Its surface is plastered with honey and the other palm has sharp needles pointing outward. The "silly fly" yields to the attraction of the sweets and is immediately shut in as the two palms close upon him. He is instantly stung to death by the needles.
   How alluring evil can appear at times. Satan himself can pose as an angel of light. Evil often presents its most subtle attraction to the young. But sin in any guise is the soul's death-trap.

   No. We believe in Salvation by Grace alone through the shed blood of Jesus. We believe that "good works" when appropriate and pleasing to God, are done out of LOVE for God. Work that is proper and good is the result of the human heart being touched by the Holy Spirit and trained up to mirror the likeness of Christ. Works are the proper result of Grace already present within each believer. This is frequently called "Sanctification" in the Lutheran Church. Different Christians may call it by other terminology. But "a rose is still a rose by any other name." Human works are but "filthy rags" in comparison to the works of angels in heaven but these are still necessary to the growing up of believers for the kingdom of God. We live here for a purpose and that purpose is to show Christ to others. We can not do this affectively without living out good actions, thoughts, and feelings. We work to aid humans and ourselves in this respect and to show love for God, not to earn salvation.
   Evil people can appear to do a good deed without faith, but a person with faith will always be convicted by the Holy Spirit to do good, even when it does not benefit himself. If a man says that he is saved but then has no outward sign of change that is the result of his repentance, then he is probably lying about his true motives for claiming to be a Christian. God can determine whether or not a soul is willing to change for Him or if a person is simply lying in order to coexist with Christians for some other reason. This could be a difficult or easy thing for people to see clearly in others. Evil doers may deceive many but they cannot ultimately deceive God.
   One thing is for certain, that those who love God and are grateful will always display some form of good works. These works won't always be what you or I may stereotypically call "works." But we do not define works the same in every person and neither does God. Every part of the body of Christ has it's own gifts and talents. Works look different for a pastor, doctor, lawyer, artist, musician, mother, chemist, police officer, rich man or poor man. Each gives back to others in his own way by the power of The Spirit and by the influences of Christ on his or her life through the study of the Holy Bible.

   This banner is divided into four parts by four trumpets proceeding from the center cross. Each quadrant proclaims, "Praise the Lord!" We are reminded of the four corners of the earth where our Lord has directed us to carry the Good News of the Gospel. Between the trumpets are four petals in which are depicted human figures with arms uplifted. These figures in varying colors represent all humanity in all nations. Their song is "Alleluia" and the notes of that song have as their center of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. article and design by Lois Prahlow.

   This Christmas banner is a celebration of the "fullness of time," when God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world. It is divided into 12 segments, representing the face of a clock. Galatians 4:4 says: "When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." Ephesians 1: 3-10 also refers to God's plan to make us his children in Christ Jesus in the fullness of time.
   The flower in the center is the Messianic Rose which symbolizes our Savior. A sharply pointed star in the center foreshadows the five wounds he endured on the cross, the price he paid to make us his own. design and article by Lois Prahlow






   The Great O Antiphons of Advent provide the theme for the Advent banner. The originate from the Middle Ages or possibly earlier from St. Gregory the Great, and were sung in Vesper services on the seven days before Christmas. Each antiphon is a prayer beginning with "O" which address the long-awaited Messiah by a name or title from Scripture, imploring Him to come and save, redeem, teach, deliver, enlighten, and rescue His people.

  • Immanuel: Isaiah 7:14
  • Lord: Isaiah 3:15
  • Wisdom: Isaiah 11:2
  • Root of Jesse: Isaiah 11:1
  • Dayspring: Malachi 4:2
  • King of Nations: Zechariah 9:9
  • Key of David: Isaiah 22:22

   The spiral format brings to mind the words of the Advent prayer, "Stir up your power, O Lord, and come." The banner design focuses centrally on the appearance of the Word made flesh who did come to save us, namely, the infant Jesus resting in the arms of Mary, His virgin mother (John 1:14).

Pattern copyrighted by Lois Prahlow.


Free Standing Circular Banner Stand.
  1. Start with a six foot felt banner.
  2. Half-circle of felt stitched to back of banner 1/4" from edge of circle
  3. Corrugated plastic is available in 4x8 sheets from sign companies. Cut with x-acto tool.
  4. Insert should be cut 1/2" less than felt circle
  5. Slots into which Velcro strips are inserted to secure pole to corrugated plastic. Push pins should be pressed through each Velcro piece into wood to prevent slippage.
  6. Corrugated plastic insert, after attachment to pole, is slipped into the loose-bottomed pocket on the back of the banner.
  7. Metal plate and pipe, diameter slightly larger than that of the pole, welded to wheel base. Discarded automobile wheel from junk yard.
designed by Lois Prahlow

  "Authority exercised with humility, and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live." by C. S. Lewis.

"As long as this deliberate refusal to understand things from above, even where such understanding is possible, continues, it is idle to talk of any final victory over materialism." quote by Lewis. 

"The idea which ... shuts out the Second Coming from our minds, the idea of the world slowly ripening to perfection, is a myth, not a generalization from experience." by C. S. Lewis

"You must not do, you must not even try to do, the will of the Father unless you are prepared to 'know of the doctrine'." Lewis

"Don't you mind him,' said Puddleglum. 'There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan.'" by C. S. Lewis.