Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik is the Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Naples Florida.
Thursday, 27 July 2017 16:34

Do You Live with the End in Mind?

"Begin with the end in mind" is recognized (probably by) millions as Steven Covey's second of seven recommended habits. His book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" sold over 25 million copies in 40 languages. And although I am among the millions who have read and engaged many of his effective principles, I'm certain he didn't make this principle up. In fact, I first discovered it the Bible. It's the way Jesus invited us to live - in preparation for the End Times. 

It's also the focus of worship on this 5th Sunday in July. Here's the question, "Do you live with the End Times in mind?" (Cf Matthew 24.3fI) 


Jesus was privately preparing his disciples for a number of "end times" all at once. Fully aware the Pharisees were hatefully plotting, he was prepping the disciples for his own version of "end times." Aware the mission of the church was about to be launched like a rocket by the Spirit, he was providing a leadership principle for their global mission to disciple the world. Knowing most would die a martyr's death, he was equipping them to live life fully in each adventure-filled missional moment! 

And so will be our messaging this Sunday. Well beyond Covey's sage advice, Jesus is calling us to live with the "End Times" in mind. 

Jesus' purpose was to gift us with purpose, eternal purpose. Fully aware there are hateful forces at play, a focus on the End Times shapes and strengthens the soul for the times ahead. Aware the mission of God is to be engaged throughout the planet, Jesus is providing us with a key leadership principle - begin with the End Times in mind. Knowing virtually every one of us is certain to die, he is providing inspiration to fully live each adventure-filled missional moment for our good and his glory! 

I think Covey was right, but only in the small scales of this life. Focusing on the End Times is life-changing now and eternally. 

An immediate case in point is this Sunday's commissioning of Laura Grundeman. Last Sunday we received your generous door offerings for Laura‚Äôs ministry to be presented by "The Women of Peace" in the form of one check from all of our gifts. (If you would still like to contribute, just go to our web site, press the "Donate" tab and follow the web site for your e-giving.) She's leaving Naples for a ministry in Boston's inner city. We praise God for her passion and purpose as she exemplifies living with the End Times in mind. 

See you Sunday, Good Lord willing, 
Pastor Karl 


Why Jesus!? 

Last week we listened to hard to hear - much less understand -  sayings of Jesus, but this week, the opposite side of the same theological coin is proclaimed. 

God expresses amazing love for us through Jesus that, frankly, seems hard to believe. Jesus gives up eternity for humanity, for you. He allows mistreatment to the point of crucifixion, for you. He describes his searching - again, for you. He supplies invitations to come and rest and find reassurance, for you. (Matthew 11.25f; Luke 19.1f)

What's almost as amazing is our resistance to being loved so profoundly. Perhaps there's a sense of unworthiness? Perhaps there's resistance because forgiveness leaves us free and responsible? (And irresponsibility can be a marvelous hiding place, can't it?) 

This week's message is a (quick) review of one of the most compact and powerful expressions of God's Love found in the Bible. The 23rd Psalm. It may be one of the easiest Scripture lessons to hear, and that's what you'll be asked to do. Hear it. Receive it. Let God's Love do its work through it. Our mission is "To Receive, Invite and Invest in God's Power and Peace." This Sunday we'll focus on receiving what's easy to hear - to accept how God has made us worthy in Christ; to forgive as we have been forgiven; to be responsible with our worthiness and live like it matters. 

Additionally, you'll be asked for a special contribution to the new ministry of Laura Grundeman who has been accepted in the Lutheran Young Adult Corp (
https://www.lcms.org/young-adult-corps) for work in the inner city of Boston, MA. Each member of the Lutheran Young Adult Corp is asked to raise some of their funds for their mission. I trust Laura will experience generous support for her Peace family! All checks are to be made out to "Women of Peace" with Laura Grundeman in the notation. Our woman's group will deposit our gifts into their account and provide Laura with one check on Sunday, July 30th, at her official commissioning. 

See you soon, Good Lord willing! 
Thursday, 13 July 2017 11:53

How Do You Face Hard Truth (Or Do You)?

So, since June 4th we've been answering the question, "Why Jesus!?" 

Our response this week is because we trust him to deliver and be present as we receive a hard truth. 

Most of us like the darkness (metaphorically speaking). There's no accountability in the darkness. There's no vulnerability there either. We remain hidden (but also trapped). "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come into the light, lest his works be exposed."  - Jesus (John 3.20) 

The "problem" with the Light is that it is Bright to the point of blinding; piercing and revealing. Beyond vulnerable, we're utterly exposed. The Light Illuminates the reality of our "stuckness" - our being trapped. This is the reason for Jesus and why we proclaim him as Savior and Lord even through (maybe especially through) hard truths. 

This Sunday we'll briefly examine three hard truths spoken by Jesus:


  1. Jesus said he came not to bring peace, but a sword that will divide families... (Matthew 10.34f)
  2. Jesus said to let the dead bury their own dead, following him was the higher priority...  (Matthew 8.18f)
  3. Jesus said we must eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood or we have no life in us.... (John 6.52f) 

I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday because, even though the Light is Bright to the point of blinding; piercing and revealing, the Truth is, His LIght is the only way out of our darkness! 

Come to be illuminated by hard Truth!
 
Of what or whom are you absolutely sure? 

Certainty and absolutes seem harder to find and perhaps harder to proclaim than ever before.

Really smart scientists tell us the universe itself is "relative" - that time and space change and bend. When I was in elementary school, electrons were charged particles that orbited around the nucleus of an atom. Now I'm told they are neither wave nor particle and do not orbit the nucleus but are more like standing waves (or something). 

Various world faiths and world views seem to push their relative opinions - sometimes simply by the phrase, "your truth." It seems like the more relative space we can make the more there's room for wide and various opinions.

This week, we're answering the questions, "Why Jesus!?" by illustrating his absolute and timeless nature. He is.

Although the science and religious and philosophical debates about what is relative can make me dizzy, I can proclaim with absolute sincerity and trust - Jesus is absolute. I don't have to work to try and understand the dummies version of quantum mechanics, I can simply approach the altar, open my hand and receive Jesus in bread. I can raise the cup and drink in Jesus who is.

This Sunday, by the power of the Spirit, you and I will leave with absolute, timeless assurance (and take that into our relative world.)

I'm absoutely certain of it.

Pastor Karl    
Friday, 30 June 2017 14:47

Are You a Free Soul!?

"I AM...the Truth."  - Jesus 

In a heartbeat, Jesus transforms the Truth from a philosophical enigma to a Person - Himself. From here on out, He has provided the Way to know the Truth. Know Jesus. The Truth of Jesus will serve as the backdrop for each Sunday in July!  

"...and the Truth will set you free!" - Jesus (again)

In a heartbeat, Jesus connects freedom and Truth - and implicitly He connects lies and emprisonment. From here on out, the prison cell doors will be open (but you still have to want out). 

The 4th of July holiday weekend is an ideal time to celebrate our civic freedom - but also the opportunity to look well beyond being a free US citizen to being a free soul! The sign out front of Peace asks, "Are you a free soul?" The question will serve as a launching pad to contrast civic freedom from spiritual freedom; from free to be outside, to freed from the inside, out; from appreciation for our country to God's larger mission of so loving the world that he gave his only Son. God has sent Jesus for global freedom! 

I found a great rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to honor both God and country for our 4th weekend celebration! I'm certain you will be inspired. 

I look forward to seeing you in worship where Truth is a person and it sets you free. You will be free indeed! 

Pastor Karl 



 
Saturday, 17 June 2017 12:32

In A Word, "Forgiveness"

Picture the scene... 

Jesus responds to the question, "Who's the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" It starts Jesus on a discourse of God's understanding of greatness. It's illustrated by a small child, driven by an urgency to find the lost and ready to work diligently to restore relationships. 

It seems the time and work involved in reconciliation may be a bit much for Peter. There's the personal one-on-one loving confrontation, (and which of us likes that?); followed by a small gathering to continue the process; and finally, in the case of unrepentance, recommend the church excommunicate. I'm thinking this is registering as a lot of time-consuming hard work for Peter. 

So... a little while later...

Peter approaches Jesus and asks, "How often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times!?" In the GUV (The Galik Unauthorized Version, which in addition to being unauthorized is also uninspired), Peter says something like, "Really and you want me to do this how often!?" 

Jesus response to Peter is where our worship picks up. 

We'll look to God's Word to provide perspective in forgiving one another - and the spiritual, physical and emotional power of forgiveness. You see some powerful stories that illustrate both Godly perspective and the Godly Power inherent in forgiveness. All of it will be from Matthew 18.1-35. Read it for yourself! 

Integrated into our worship will also be time to honor dads in honor of Father's Day. We'll wish a happy Father's Day to dads and pray for the power of our heavenly Father to work in and through dads at Peace. 

See you soon in worship, Good Lord willing! 

Karl 



 

Why Jesus!? 

Our summer theme, "Why Jesus!?" is designed to widen the conversation - to encourage you to briefly and even passionately respond to why you follow Jesus. 

The backdrop for our focus will be the mysterious Trinity - the three-in-one relationship God proclaims himself to be. It turns out, a relationship with Jesus connects us to the Spirit, connects us to the Father. It places us in relationship with one another. It places us in relationship. Period. 

It turns out, this mysterious, powerful God of Relationship is looking for you; pursuing you; seeking you to be in... you guessed it, relationship with Him! 

Unlike the purported gods around the world demanding you to seek them, our Triune Relationship God want you to stop running. Stop hiding. Stop fearing. 

Just surrender and be a part of the powerful and mysterious relationship in this world, or the next. 

See you Sunday at 10a for worship and at 9a for "God Questions Cafe" where we'll examine what the Bible says about suffering. (We probably won't finish this topic in one sitting.) 

Peace, 

Pastor Karl 
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 08:59

The Bubbling Brook Within You: Drink Up!

Wisdom is a bubling brook or so the Proverbs say. 

Consider Proverbs 18.4 "...the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook." 

Wisdom, it seems, flows...so, like a bubbling brook it has an abundant Source. 

Wisdom, it seems, has Life-giving qualities.

Wisdom's Abundant Source and Life-giving qualities quench the body and invigor the soul through the Creator's generosity!  

Who'da thunk, this Wisdom would be a type of foreshadowing of the Spirit on Pentecost!? 

But it is, and you have it, so drink up. Drink deeply and be quenched. I mean really satisfied. 

Being quenched and profoundly satisfied - THIS is the gift of Pentecost! 

So, drink up! 
Monday, 29 May 2017 10:13

Memorial Day 2017 Do You Remember?

Do You Remember? 

In reviewing Memorial Day tributes online, I found this brief tribute by President Reagan. I was especially struck by the phrase that we owe our fallen military serviceman a "debt we cannot repay." How simple. How profound. How true. 

So, in the very least, remember.  Pause. Stop. Watch. Listen. Reflect and remember on this long holiday weekend because it honors their sacrifice.

Secondly, as Christians who live by faith passed down one generation at a time, our civic calling to remember provides a great time to remember Christian martyrs, such as this family,  that were killed bearing witness to Christ. They too have made a sacrifice we're unable to repay, but we can remember. Pause. Stop. Watch. Listen. Reflect and remember on this US holiday what is true globally for Christian martyrs.

By remembering we honor their sacrifice...and gain perspective on our lives...

Do you remember?

Pastor Karl
 
Thursday, 25 May 2017 10:07

Ascension Day Thoughts

Ascenday Day, today, is a little like a transfer of Power, kinda. 

The Christian church celebrates Ascension day 40 days after Easter, basically since the 14th century. There isn't much in the way of detail, and Luke has most of the story in 24.50-53. 
"He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God." 

Jesus, the Resurrected Jesus, had just completed 40 days of coming and going, appearing and disappearing, assuring and equping for what was next. And one thing is clear in his pattern - it's all about the mission to bring souls back to God where they were first together - in the Garden. By this point he had instructed his diciples to "stay and wait" for "power from on high." (Luke 24.49) They didn't know, they couldn't know the Spirit's Power, sent from Jesus, would distribute all that Christ had won on the cross, and guarntee it all in the resurrection. 

We're here because of that "transfer of power." We have the freedom to live freely because of that "transfer of power." We have the assurance we've been designed and redeemed to live forever because of that "transfer of power." 

What a life we live as a result of Jesus' ascension and the power of the Spirit that came after that... but that's getting ahead of the story a litle bit... 

Pastor Karl 
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