Hello, my name is Luke I. Tembreull, the new pastor at Beautiful Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

How many times a week do you introduce yourself to someone new? How many times a month? It kind of depends, doesn't it? When you live in an area for years and years or when you have worked for your company for a while, you tend to know just about everyone with whom you come into contact; however, if you are new like me, you find yourself introducing yourself all the time.   Hi, my name is... I just moved from... I am working at... This is my wife/husband... We have one child... That's usually enough information to get the small talk going.  But what if you want a deeper conversation? What if you want a deeper friendship? 

Well, whether you are clicking here because you are a member of Beautiful Savior, or you came across this page because you were curious about our congregation, for me to serve you, we need to move beyond small talk. So, allow me to introduce myself:

My name is Luke I. Tembreull. (You have to guess what kind of middle name starts with I.) My wife, Katie, an RN, and I have been married for 11 years. We have one daughter, Lydia, who is 7 (soon to be 8) and starting the second grade at Wilson Elementary School.  

Both Katie and I grew up around St. Paul, MN. We both graduated from St. Croix Lutheran High School in West St. Paul. (Katie's dad is principal of that school.)  She got her degree from Winona State University in MN. I received my bachelor's from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN. I also received a Master's of Divinity from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI.  From there I was called and assigned to serve as pastor at Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church in Two Rivers, WI. I was blessed to serve them with Word and Sacrament for four years before accepting the call to serve here at Beautiful Savior.

While in college, I joined the Army National Guard, serving for six years. During that time I was activated once for twenty-two months, serving in Iraq for sixteen of those. I learned much from my time in the service, and thank the Lord for his protection. 

My sport of choice is baseball. My favorite team is the Minnesota Twins, but I stand ready to adopt the Seattle Mariners. I think football is great for Sunday naps; however, I do like it when the Minnesota Vikings win. 

My family has a mini-zoo of pets: three dogs ranging from 130lbs-30lbs, three cats, and a few fish. Pet stores and adoption events are dangerous places for us, but we are aware of our problem and are working on managing it.

We love to be in the outdoors, hiking, biking, kayaking, and camping. Katie and I also enjoy a motorcycle ride on open and winding roads.

Although leaving our friends and family in the Midwest behind was difficult, we are excited to make new friends here. We are already getting to know Corvallis Area and are looking forward to knowing it even better. 

Those are the biggest events and details in my life. Those are the things that occupy much of the small talk we all like to share, but those are not really the best description of who I am. Here's the real story.

I am a sinner. Not only was I born in sin, an enemy of God and one who desires to disobey him. I sin every day (and not just a few times.) Sometimes I get lazy. Sometimes I am selfish and I get angry for foolish reasons. I have sins which nag at me and I fight against. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I fail. I am not always the best husband and father. I am not always joyful. I am not always thankful. I am not always kind. You get the picture.

I am forgiven. When the Bible says, "[Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2) and "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and have been justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23, 24), that means that Jesus died to take away my sins. That means that Jesus has declared me righteous. That means I am forgiven and God will not count my sins against me. This forgiveness becomes mine by faith in what God has done for me, faith worked by the power of the Holy Spirit through the means of grace, God's Word and the sacraments.

I am saved. My name has been written in the book of life, so this means no matter what happens to me in this life, God is my refuge and strength. Nothing can seperate me from his love. "Our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, wil transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Philippians 3:20-21). This means I long for my Savior's second coming and the resurrection of all flesh.

I am a saint. No, no that doesn't mean I am perfect. It does mean that in my baptism, I have been clothed with Christ. So God sees Christ's righteousness when he sees me. It also means that every day I repent. I turn from from sin and strive to live a new and holy life. Romans 6, Ephesians 2:1-10, and many other places describe this very well.

"I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe" (Romans 1:16). I love God's Word. I love reading it. I love meditating upon it. I love discussing it. I love preaching it and teaching it. "All Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equiped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As a pastor it is my greatest privilege, honor, and responsibility to equip all who come to hear God's Word so that they may trust more firmly in the Lord and live out their faith in their daily lives. Yet this is not my work, it is God's. I am just a jar of clay. 

So, if you are a sinner in need of forgiveness, if you are a person seeking to have the certain hope of eternal life in heaven, if you want to live out God's will for you in your daily life, or if you just want to know more about what this book, which remains the most influential book in history, the Bible says, we will have plenty to talk about. We can grow and learn together. To God be the glory.


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