Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik is the Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Naples Florida.
“For the One:” A Three Week Worship Series on the Parables of Jesus in Luke 15

Audible grumbling.”

This is what Jesus heard as the “religious” people of his day objected to the company he was keeping, the priorities he was living; the time he was spending. The text implies, “What about us!?” may have been inherent in their grousing (dare I call it whining?).

We have a mission at Peace. It is “To Receive, Invite and Invest in God’s Power and Peace.” These next three weeks are designed to illustrate God’s passionate calling to be a loving and inviting people – to be open to keeping new company, living Jesus’ priorities and spending time on the wandered, missing and short-sighted.

The passion within our mission is inspired by God’s passion for the wandered, missing and short-sighted! Paradoxically, we receive delightful blessing in our giving and living “for the one,” for the other. It’s a signal we’re living the paradoxical life a disciple of Jesus when we receive in our giving.

We’ll continue to shape ministry and Peace herself to keep the company He was keeping; to have the priorities Jesus was living and spend the time he was spending. But mostly, we’ll ask the Lord to continue to bless us with his Passion for the wandered, missing and short-sighted – and paradoxically receive great blessing for it!

As a reminder, worship is still at 10a for the next three weeks. Irma set us back in more than a few ways and one of them was for preparation for our Fall schedule! 10a for October 1, 8 and 15th!

Come be a part of audible praise to our loving God passionately searching for his children… 



Thursday, 21 September 2017 17:09

Rebuilding & Renewing After the Storm

Rebuilding & Renewing After the Storm

Whether it was Irma or a storm of life that has battered you, when storms of life pass they can provide an opportunity to rebuild and renew.

More often than we likely care to admit, we tend to live with something just because it seems  too much work to change it. It could be stuff around the house that blew away in Irma, or stuff in and around your marriage the two you knew needed attention for years. Either way, the wakes left behind storms can be a great place for rebuilding and renewal.

This is the message for Sunday – through the eyes of three different (seldom heard from) men of the Bible from the seldom referenced twin books of Ezra and Nehemiah. These two historical books detail the re-establishing of Israel in Babylonian post-exile style.

Zerubbabel led the first wave back from exile to re-establish the Lord’s Altar and Temple so those returning would have a foundation on which to build their lives. We’ll discover God’s grace in overcoming initial obstacles.

A priest named Ezra led the second wave to re-establish Godly spiritual practices and boundaries – to rebuild and renew the hearts of those returning. We’ll discover God’s grace finding God as our primary focus in life…seeking him first!

Nehemiah led the third wave. He was a privileged, trusted Persian king, royal servant who was sent to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to provide assurance and protection for those returning.

Each man has his own rebuilding and renewing story to tell. Each story will have meaning to and Gospel insight for us – those rebuilding and renewing after Irma…or after one of the other many storms that besiege us in life.

Come to worship to be rebuilt and renewed – again! 
Friday, 15 September 2017 17:02

After the Storm Part 3 of ?

Yes, there's worship this Sunday at 10a! 

And yes, our focus will be on God's Presence before, during and after the storm! 

Hurricane Irma will serve as both example and metaphor of the Lord's invitation to be prepared for the storms of life; remain trusting within them; and grieve or find relief afterwards. 

Psalms 93, 57 and Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6.31-34) will be our guide and inspiration. 

Come prepared to offer both opportunities for praise and intercession as we love back the God who loved us first - before, during and after the storms of life! 
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 13:52

After the Storm (Part 2 of ?)

"Sufficient Unto the Day is the Evil Thereof." - Jesus as quoted from KJV (Matthew 6.34) 

I'm not necessarily a fan of the Bible in the old Kings English (KJV), but this one has stuck with me as poetic -- especially after the storm. 

To know me is to know I'm a planner. I look forward all the time (sometimes, maybe, too far forward) to see what's next, where I'm going, and for what should I prepare. 

During and after the storm, however, I've had to say, "I don't know" or "We'll see" an uncomfortable amount of times. Everything from weather to gasoline supplies have produced significant question-barriers urging me (forcing?) me to stay focused on the now, today and what I know. 

And lo and behold, today is enough. God is present yesterday. God is present today. God is present now. God is present. God is. God. 

I know you know this, and know this probably better than me. Maybe I simply needed to write it down for you to read it back to me. 

God is present in the storm and after the storm, and in many of life's hurricanes far more ferocious than Irma, but always present so I can always take solace in this. 

"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." 
Monday, 11 September 2017 12:23

After the Storm

After the storm...

Relief and grief may exist in the same place at the same time.
It's likely relief and grief co-exist in the same space as the mix of aftermath-emotions crisscross through your soul. The mixture and power of the emotions are, of course, different for everyone. Nonetheless, however they mix-up into your soul, pay attention to the energy it takes and the resources it demands to keep your soul replenished. 


Breathe deeply. Pray constantly. Reflect openly. Sort through it all patiently... 

"For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish." - God (through the prophet Jeremiah 31.25)


You may have confusion and unclear thinking about where you go from here.
Even if it's a new routine for storm clean-up ahead, or the new reality of starting a whole new way of living, conflicting thoughts about what to do next and where next to turn can leave you in a quandary. The mind has to re-create new pathways that seem unfamiliar (because they are). You may tilt your head and ask if this really happened. You're not going crazy. That's normal and necessary to create the "new normal." Ask the Lord to renew your mind (rather than try and go back to the old one). 

Breathe deeply. Take your time. Think out loud and converse with friends about options. Pray for the renewal of your mind.

"...be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."  - St Paul (Ro 12:2) 

Get started re-imagining, re-working or rebuilding. 
Even if it's picking up sticks or sweeping up a mess, go ahead and get started toward restoration, renovation and renewal. Probably the most important step is the first one. Go ahead and get started. God has designed you for movement to tend what is yours or minister to others with what is theirs, or join with the community restoring what is ours, together. 

Look forward. Trust wholly God is utilizing your efforts to recreate and create that which will bless you and others. Work. Rest. Repeat. 

"For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  - St Paul (Eph 2:10)
Friday, 08 September 2017 10:53

The Shadow of Your Wings

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.”

-        David, While Running from Saul (Ps 57)



What struck me about this Psalm is David’s phrase, “…until the disaster has passed.”

For obvious Irma reasons we share in David’s plight, and in his refuge in God. This psalm appears to have been created in a cave while David was “hunkered down” hiding from Saul who was hunting him in a jealous rage.

It’s the nature of pending disaster that caught my spirit.

First of all they happen…a fallen world produces both jealous rage and raging storms…

Secondly, amid serious circumstances, David turns and looks for “the shadow of” God’s wings. The image, (taken from the maternal security offered to birds in the nest) is designed to provide universal assurance in specific ways we have need…

My David inspired prayer,
Lord have mercy on us as Irma comes ashore, have mercy
            For in you will our souls take refuge.
Move us to whatever place is the shadow of your wings
            Until the storm has passed.” 
Thursday, 31 August 2017 20:10

Why Jesus!? Because Our Works Do Follow Us

Why Jesus!? 

This Labor Day weekend worship concludes our summer-long worship series asking the question, "Why Jesus!?" 

By way of summary, we answered the question: Because....




1.     He opens up a clear path to the Father

  1. He's part of a powerful and mysterious Trinitarian relationship
  2. Forgiveness (plain, powerful and simple)
  3. He's Trustworthy
  4. He's the Truth that sets you free
  5. He Absolute and Timeless
  6. Challenges us to embrace hard truth
  7. Invites us to accept sweet rest
  8. He promises his Presence through history's toughest times
  9. He provides eternal purpose
  10. He encourages deep confidence
  11. He redeems suffering
  12. He snatches life from the grip of death
  13. He rewards our faith-driven good works
This Labor Day weekend we'll examine the blessing of our labors - both in the world and in the Kingdom of God. 

We'll (re)learn that although heroic acts count as good works, our Lord really calls us to a lifestyle of good works that flow from faith! It's more about the way we live rather than any given big moment. And, lo and behold, our lifestyle of good works serve to glorify the God who prepared them for us beforehand! 

I pray you'll leave the sanctuary more confident and equipped for the labor of your hands to matter all the way to eternity! 

In fact, according to the Bible, (Rev. 14.13) they’ll follow you there! 

See you soon, Good Lord willing,
Pastor Karl 
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 13:27

A Loving Response to the Texas Floods

Descriptions of the SE Texas floods seem to stretch for adjectives. "Unprecedented." "Unparalleled." I've even heard "apocalyptic." And certainly the uninterrupted coverage leads us to struggle with a sense of awe, angst - and especially for Floridians, a background sense of foreboding this could be us...

What are we to do with our sense of helplessness? Frustration? Maybe even wondering why God would allow such a thing to happen? 

In short, turn to Him! 

First of all, the Bible makes it clear that in the Fall, creation itself found "its bondage to corruption" (Romans 8.18-22) I.e., as a (systemic) impact of sin, "cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you will eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it will bring forth for you..." (Genesis 3.17-18)  Creation became dis-integrated and a cause of pain.... and hurricanes.... and floods... even epic floods. The point? God isn't sending a nasty message to the people of Houston; He isn't the cause of weather tragedy - but the Source of help within such tragedy brought about in a fallen and dis-integrating world. 

Turn to Him in Pslam 46 and be reminded that in the midst of the storms and floods, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble."

Turn to Him like the prophet Jeremiah and plead, "Be not a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster." (Jeremiah 17.17) 

Turn to Him for spiritual and physical shelter like the Psalmist, "For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent he will ilft me high upon a rock." (27.5) 

Pray for those in the floods even when you don't know what to pray. Trust that, "The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." (Romans 8.26) 

Donate to those experiencing the overwhelming nature of the floods. 
LCMS World Relief and Human Care (Disaster Response) is a credible source that stands ready to help with a history of good stewardship of funds and people equipped to serve!  


 



   
Saturday, 26 August 2017 09:22

Prayers for Those in Hurricane Harvey's Path

Floridians know about the difficulties, dangers and displacement of hurricanes and storms, so, let's join together in prayers like this one - and those from our own heart, for those in Texas in hurricane Harvey's path.

Along with the Psalmist we pray,

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul mtakes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
otill the storms of destruction pass by.
                                         --Ps 57:1 

Lord, 
During and after the storm, we ask you to...
Show your mercy and provide refuge to those in need. 
Through the miraculous and mundane, 
Through their fears and trials, 
Protect and comfort with your Grace.
Be with first responders as they rescue. 
Be with recue centers who pour out your grace with daily provision. 
Hear our prayers through Him who went through the storm for us, 
Even your Son, our friend, Jesus! 
Friday, 25 August 2017 11:59

God's Ultimate Win-Win

The "Win-Lose" scenario...

Politicians engage it. Our court system often has to practice it. Divided families and congregations can suffer from it. It's built into sports competition and certainly part of the odds in a casino.

The "Win-Win" scenario...

St Paul has a better plan - actually he got the plan from Jesus who got the plan from his Father! 

"For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Philippians 1.21) This is the way the ESV translation says it. 

Some of the modern-day paraphrases expand on this "win win" understanding.

The Message says, "Alive I'm Christ's messenger; dead, I'm his bounty. Life verses even more life! I can't lose!" 

The New Living Translation writes, "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better." 

The Good News Translation says, "For what is life? To me, it is Christ. Death, then, will bring more." 

All summer we've been asking the same question, "Why Jesus!?" In this second-to-last Sunday we'll proclaim a Biblical Truth that produces a profound sense of confidence, courage and perseverance. 

In Christ - you can't lose. You can only win. You've already won. 

This isn't a denial of current suffering or a gloss over people's pain - but a message of depth and substance there is life now and later that is larger than all the world, the flesh and devil can dish out. 

What kind of confidence might you have, how much anxiety might you shed since both living and dying are in Christ!? 

Let's come together Sunday to celebrate the "win-win" we have been given in Christ! 

Confidently yours, 
Pastor Karl