Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik is the Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Naples Florida.
Friday, 19 January 2018 10:36

Do You Believe You Are Loved?

Do You Believe You Are Loved?

Longing. Emptiness. Anxiousness. Thwarted emotional and spiritual development.

Some combination of these is likely if you do not believe you are loved. Psychologists know it. Therapists know it. Pastors know it.  Most importantly, you know this to be true. Those who are unloved struggle and suffer. Those who believe they are unloved by God struggle and suffer chronically, profoundly.

Enter the Pursuing God.

“I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” – God (Jeremiah 31.3)

“You did not choose me, but I chose you…” – Jesus (John 15.16)

“I stand at the door and knock…” – Jesus (Revelation 3.20)

Enter, you, the pursued person into a Loving Relationship with the God of the universe and the God of the cross.

Satisfaction. Fulfillment. Assurance. Maturing emotional and spiritual development!

Multiple combinations of these are the fruits of those who accept the Loving Relationship God the Father initiates through His Son, Jesus as enabled by the Holy Spirit!

This is the Good News at the center of our worship and Bible study this weekend! It’s really powerful stuff!

But wait – there’s more! J

This Sunday:

We’re welcoming new members to the vision and mission the Lord has given us!

We’re upgrading 11:00 AM Fellowship time to BRUNCH! Come prepared to enjoy eggs and such for a $5/person donation!

We’re having the blessing of the quilts – hundreds of “woman-hours” will be appreciated and sent out to global destinations!  

Oh- and by the way – the main point, you are loved.

Believe it! 
Friday, 12 January 2018 07:54

Do You Trust God?

Do You Trust God?

Do you trust God?

In all likelihood, most Christians would answer this, “Yes, but…”

“Yes, but…sometimes I don’t know his will.”

“Yes, but…sometimes I don’t understand what He’s doing.”

“Yes, but…sometimes I don’t understand why He’s allowing the evil/suffering I see.”

And, at one time or another in our Christian walk, we might answer, “No.”

The nature of trusting God; of living a God-centered life is the subject of week 2 of our mutual journey through “Experiencing God.” As you may begin to perceive, these are significant spiritual subjects. Each subject is broken down into five daily studies for your personal devotional focus. Each worship service supplies a Word and Sacrament focus. Each Sunday 9:00AM Bible study allows for a closer look. Each weekly Peace Home Church (our small groups) provides an interpersonal time to discuss the work of God in/around/through us.

It is my prayer you will experience God through the thorough and integrated exposure to his Word – that the Holy Spirit might make us a God-Centered people; that our community will be drawn to God working through us to His glory!

The focus this week is on trusting God to lead a God-centered life!

“Some trust in chariots – some in horses.

      But we trust in the name of the Lord our God!

The collapse and fall,

      But we rise and stand upright!”

-          Psalm 20.7-8  
Friday, 05 January 2018 16:08

What Is God's Will!?

What is God’s Will?

It sounds like the lead question at a theological symposium attended by prestigious seminary and graduate school professors, doesn’t it!? What is God’s will? Maybe there’s a temptation to stroke their chins, look pensive and softly say, “Hmmmm….”  

None of that – absolutely none of that is necessary or apropos at all, though, because the question is far simpler and as easily understood by my four-year-old grandchildren.

Simply put, God’s Will is to be in relationship with you!

If that’s all you know, you know enough – really, you know more than enough. God, through Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, wants to be in relationship with you…for a long time. Really, forever!

Here’s the harder questions for you. Will you allow it? Will you follow? Will you trust him? Will you go where he leads? Will you surrender to his plans? Will you join him in his work or will you ask him to follow you (and bless what you want to do)?

For the next 12 weeks we’ll be journeying through “Experiencing God.” It is a 12 week process designed to well, “Experience God.” It will be our focus in worship and our topic in Bible study. It will be what we pray about and what we talk about in our Peace Home Church small group discussions.

This is my invitation to you to participate at every level.

From the front page of our web site, click on the “Experiencing God” workbook to order yours from Amazon. Come to worship and receive God’s grace in Word and Sacrament. Attend Bible study at 9:00 AM to engage the Word more fully. Participate in “A Time of Prayer” at 8:30 AM. Share what God is doing within you in the Peace Home Church small groups.

I’m looking forward to seeing the blessings that come from “Experiencing God!”    
Thursday, 28 December 2017 12:34

Why All This Trouble for You!?

Why All This Trouble for You?

How does it make you feel when someone goes through extraordinary measures for your pleasure!?

Some people get to feeling very uncomfortable at all the attention…perhaps because it’s unnerving for others to think of them more than they think of themselves. Other may grow suspicious…concerned someone is working them for money (or something).

And then, sometimes, others graciously accept it and are blessed by it…changed by the graciousness of others!

This Sunday we’ll examine the impact of Christmas on the soul. We’ll review the amazing amount of detail and trouble God went through – for your sake! To bless you! To Love on you! To prepare a place for you!

The title of the message is, “Do You Recognize Your Need for God (When He Arrives)? The text (is one of my all time favorites): “For our sake, He made Him to be sin – who knew no sin – so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” – St Paul (2Cor 5.21)

See you at 10:00AM on Sunday, Lord willing,

Pastor Karl 
Sunday, 24 December 2017 13:01

Christmas Devotional Prior to Gift Giving

Tell the Story!
(A Brief Devotional Prior to the Opening of Christmas Presents)

Whether yours is a quiet gift giving event – or one filled with children and grandchildren anxious to rip through wrapping, it’s a great idea to provide the context for Christmas! I recommend beginning with this simple truth.

This isn’t your birthday – it’s Jesus’ birthday! Let me tell you what happened on that very special night.

[Here go into your own telling of Luke 2. 1-20 or read it from your Bible, or last option, read it from here in the NIV…]

2   In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14   “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Keep in mind what we learned in Advent:

There is great power in story. Jesus used parables for teaching – almost exclusively! (Matthew 13.34)

This story, along with all other Bible stories are grounded in history! (. 1-3)

Following God is life altering – and could have cost Mary her life (.4-7)

God empowers the powerless with his powerful announcements. The shepherds were working class people who were given a life-changing, global message. (.8-12)

There was overwhelming accompaniment from the angelic host – heaven and earth were rejoicing together! (.13-15)

There was a wonderful urgency experienced by the shepherds who couldn’t wait to let people know what they had been told! (16-17)

Internal joy finds its way to external expression. From the thrill of the shepherds to the “pondering” of Mary, the real joy of life with Jesus finds outward expression! (18-20)

Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, you started gift-giving first by providing creation for us to enjoy. You continued with the Gift of Jesus, Your Son, who entered our world to suffer, die and resurrect for us! All this so we could enjoy the Gift of heaven – eternal life with you! As we open presents today, make us mindful of how you first started it by all the gifts given to us because of your great love for us! In Jesus Name, Amen.

Now! Let’s open presents! ?

Thursday, 21 December 2017 07:25

Do You Recognize God (When He Arrives)?

Whoda thunk it!? 

Most of us would either not be looking for God to show up or looking for an astonomical sign of epic proportions! 

But, oh my, God enters the world he created helpless, surrendered as an infant and vulnerable... 

On Christmas Eve, at both 5 and 7PM, we'll journey through the familiar lessos and carols. We'll participate in the delightful and traditional lighting of the candles and singing of Silent Night, but we'll hear about God's unexpected entry into time and space. 

The sermon message will begin with the reality that some of our family and friends don't recognize there IS a God. We'll invite these family and friends to see God as the Grand Initiator! We'll continue with the understanding that many believing Christians are hoping to recognize God in the dark... in the absence of loved ones or in the confusion of addictions or the frustrations of limited finances. To these, we'll introduce our God who enters our darkness to shed the Light of Hope. All of us will be stirred by this extravagant love that brings God to earth as a child!

I'm looking forward to seeing you there to experience the rhythms of Christmas Eve worship and the surprising Love of God looking for you... 
10:00 AM Advent3 Worship: You Too Tell Luke 2 & “All Is Well” Cantata

Three quick things!

First, both worship services will meet in the middle for a 10:00 AM worship!

Secondly, our worship will be primarily led by our choir who have spent many hours working on a Christmas cantata called, “All is Well.”  Come to be blessed by the gospel message set to song! And…our worship will be blessed with the baptism of Jameson John Morfoot and 8 year old London Heleniak telling the Luke 2 story!

Thirdly, in a word, cookies. In two words, Christmas cookies! J After the cantata, please join us for a sweet-tooth, sugar-driven Christmas cookie extravaganza! There will be coffee aplenty to wash down the delectable as you scan for the next treat!

See you then and there, Good Lord willing.

Merry Christmas

Pastor Karl 
You Too Tell Luke 2

Our Advent Season has hit its stride. We’re examining the intersection of our story and God’s – in the telling and retelling of the Luke 2 Christmas story!

There’s no question about the power of story in our lives. It’s our stories that connect us and touch us at the deepest of human places. How much more incredible is it when our life stories are woven into God’s. It provides the substance of eternal life and the Light of Hope that permeates and transforms our stories to have lasting purpose and significance!

And so, we’ve taken a deep dive into Luke 2.1-21 by watching others tell it through their eyes and lives, and unpacking the Bible’s riches found in the account of Jesus’ birth into humanity. In that unpacking we’ve discovered how God grounds the story in real time real history. We’ve identified with Mary how following God put you at odds with culture and occasionally can put life at risk. Discipleship is counter-cultural living.

This Sunday we’ll hear the stories of two men, David Opland and Chuck Hall and listen as we hear how the Luke 2 story sounds through the filter of their souls. We’ll inspect the Luke 2 text about God’s angels as his primary messengers at historic turning points. We’ll note how God regularly gives a message of power to the powerless (like shepherds) in order to empower them.

And…all of this is in encouragement and preparation for you to tell the Luke 2 story through your eyes. Imagine sitting around the Christmas tree with wrapped presents…and before the gift giving begins, you ask everyone to listen to the first ever Gift Giving…

You could begin, “In those days, Caesar Augustus….


Pastor Karl 
Thursday, 30 November 2017 20:56

Advent Christmas Invitations

Fellow Saints in Light, 

As the last thing I'm doing on the last day of November, here's some invitations and preparations for the month of Decemeber! 

Advent Christmas Decorations at 12:30p tomorrow, December 1
A all hands on deck for decorating the sanctuary is hereby issued! You and I know this stuff doesn't just happen, it happens when we step up and help out! Marilouise and I look forward to seeing you there then to make ready for Advent1  and following on Sundays. 

Advent1 is Sunday December 3rd
The three Sundays and the three Wednesdays of the Advent Season will be led by the theme, "You Too Tell Luke 2." It is designed to equip us to tell the Christmas story, based on Luke 2. Imagine yourself around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning (or Christmas Eve if that's your tradition) and prior to the (the frenzy of) opening of presents, you set the context of gift giving in the Luke 2 story. Imagine telling it with clarity and passion - as your own story! We'll be prepping all Advent for that moment learning of the history, context and theology of this incredible story! 

Advent Midweek1 Wednesday December 6th
The prepartions will be continuous from Sunday to Wednesday to Sunday. Familiar Advent hymns and an in-depth look at the story of Luke 2 will continue. 

Advent2 Sunday 10
The Lord's Supper will add to our spiritual preparations and provide the Spirit's insights for our Luke 2 examination and preparations. 

Advent Midweek2 Wednesday 13
The next portion of Luke 2 as well as familiar Advent lessons will inspire depth and passion to our Christmas preparations. 

Advent3 Sunday 17th One Worship Service at 10a for the annual choir cantata! 
Although there will be a baptism and a short message to continue our Luke 2 preparations, our choir will lead us with their annual cantata, this year entitled, "All Is Well." And...there's a Christmas cookie bake to follow! It's a Sunday with treats for body, mind and soul, for sure! :-) 

Christmas Eve on Sunday Evening 5p and 7p: "Do You Recognize God (When He Arrives)?" 
It's one of those awkward years when Chrismtas eve is on a Sunday. So...we'll skip Advent4 and morning worship, celebrating Chrismtas eve in the evening. The Christmas worship theme will, of course, focus on the miraculous nature of the incarnation - Jesus becoming human (while remaining Divine). 

Christmas Day (Family Worship at Home) 
Having celebrated the Incarnation the night before, you're encouraged to celebrate with family - and tell the Luke 2 story as a part of your morning. I'll prepare a (sample) devotional to be utilized prior to the opening of presents to give Biblical context to the gift exchanges! 

Christmas2 Sunday December 31st (New Year's Eve) 
Our morning schedule will return and the Christmas theme we'll turn to God's Word about the power of the Jesus incarnation with part 2 of "Do You Recognize God (When He Arrives)?" We'll have the Lord's Supper, to give thanks to God for the year gone and to commit to his will for the upcoming year. 

Soli Deo Gloria 
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 08:46

#GivingTuesday Thoughts

#GivingTuesday Thoughts

I like it.

Although it is completely secular, and, frankly, can be somewhat overwhelming to navigate, I like the growing cultural trend called, “Giving Tuesday.”

Turning Attention Away From Self

Giving Tuesday gives us practice at looking outside ourselves to the needs of others. The commercial Christmas markets toward selfishness and consumerism while Giving Tuesday has the effect of reducing the vacuum of selfishness to review those in need.

Giving Us Criteria to Evaluate Giving

The largest giving web site has raised over $470M. Although it can be a little overwhelming to review, it can train you in evaluating when, where and how to give. Here’s some of the criteria I use for personal giving and build into giving at Peace.

1.       Kingdom Impact. Talk about long term ROI, look toward funding that brings the Word of God into people’s lives and you’ve got eternal returns!

2.       Transparent Accountability. Like our books at Peace, you should be able to have clear assurance your contribution is going where you intended it to go.

3.       Transformation. Is there a vision for transforming lives? Are people changed? Better? Encouraged?

Next, Moving Giving Tuesday Up a Week?

At the end of the day, “Giving Tuesday” still occurs after “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” i.e., after we’ve consumed till full and then turn to the leftovers. As much as I appreciate the day, it is clear it falls incredibly short of the disciple’s call and practice to first give, then spend.

The Bible’s Call? Set aside the first fruits and trust God the remainder will be the abundance you’re hoping for! Give yourself first the Lord, then to his cause and the rest will be added to you as well!

Open your Bible and read Luke 6.38; Malachi 3, 8-12 to see the clear difference between the pleasant and helpful thoughts of Giving Tuesday and powerful and trust-building giving of the follower of Jesus!