Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik

Pastor Karl Galik is the Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Naples Florida.
Saturday, 20 May 2017 15:38

Speaking the Truth in Love

Do you know what is true and what is not? 

Do you know what truth is, and what is not? 

When you know it, and you discover an un-truth, a lie, can you lead to the truth in love? (Or are you tempted to either pick up a metphorical 2x4 and use it on the hard-headed, or just forget about it?) 

This Sunday's worship is about speaking the truth of Jesus and his resurrection, and modeling our conversation after Paul visiting with the people of Athens. (Acts 17.16-21) Although "provoked" by the mistaken spirituality of Athens, he entered into dialogue with the Jews there and the philosophers of the day. He began by respecting what they were believing and then led them from there. He quoted their own poets to illustrate the true connection to God - and the grace upon grace that is illustrated in Creation and evident in Jesus' resurrection! 

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit, "The Spirit of Truth." (John 14.17; 15.26; 16.13) His purpose, is to bear witness to Jesus and lead disciples to speak the truth - and do it in love!

We'll ask the Spirit of Truth to lead us in worship, and perhaps more importantly, lead us from worship to encounters like St Paul in Athens. There are many, many, gods out there, and together we'll seek ways to love and respect the people who follow them and then lead them by the same Spirit of Truth that has been leading the church since Pentecost!

See you soon, Good Lord willing,
Pastor Karl  

Friday, 12 May 2017 19:39

We All Need Nourishment

Our Mother's Day worship celebrates the process of being nourished by God through moms! 

Although we talk about Peace entering a New Era, the 21st century mom defies pretty much redefines any "new era" as well as any stereotypical description. From stay-at-home moms to work-from-home moms and basically any iteration inbetween, moms are writing blogs, starting foundations, doing surgery or doing laundry. And some overachievers all of the above.  

Still...there's a common denominator throughout all 21 century maternal configurations - we've all been nourished from the womb. In amazing ways, nourishment is extracted from the food we eat and tranferred to the developing child. The placenta, the umbillical cord and lots of other parts I'm unaware of, tranfer nutrition from the table, or from behind the wheel, to the rapidly dividing cells of a baby growing up... 

We're celebrating not only the marvelous, if not mysterious exchange of nutrition designed by the Creator, but also how this process serves as a wonderful, visual metaphor for the way our God has designed us to be nourished at levels deeper than cell division -- all the way to the soul. 

Jesus offers soul food (if you will) that he provides from now and onward into eternity. He calls it, "food that will endure to eternal life..." (John 6.27) It turns out, it can be defined and described in similar terms as the feeding of an unborn child. 

Come to celebrate moms and the process of being nourished by God through moms - in more ways than you might be thinking right now! 

Oh, and by the way, this is your reminder if at all possible, "Call your mom."
Thursday, 27 April 2017 08:43

A Good Thing That Burns: Passion

Passion tends to fade, doesn't it!? 

Motivational speeches stir for a while and then fade over time. Physical passion for a beloved over the years is often cyclical at best, gone dormant at worst. Excitement for your new (fill in the blank) you just purchased is high at first, but stuff gets old. Passion tends to fade as we tire of the rush of natural stimulants, like adreniline, or wear out from the unnatural boost of a Red Bull (or its competitors).

Passion tends to fluctuate when it is externally generated.

Passion continues to "burn" when it is inserted into your soul!

Such is the nature the post-Easter walk with Jesus. With the assurance of death defeated; with the promise of the Spirit in powerful way comes the red-hot glowing embers of confidence in Christ.

It is the gift of baptism that inserts this fire into your soul. It is fanned into flame by the work of the Spirit in the receiving of his Word. It is stoked in communion.

Paul told his protege Timothy, this, "...fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit - not of fear - but of power and love and self-discipline."

There it is, not a spike of energy from a can, but passion continuously burning, glowing inserted into your soul.

Come Sunday for the stoking of God's Spirit!    
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:32

When "Burning" Is A Good Thing

There aren't many connotations and references that refer to burning as a good thing, but there is one in particular. 

Now I'm fully aware "burning as a good thing" in the context of our recent fires in Collier county can be perceived as foolishness. Indeed, either in Biblical conversation or in Biblical context, "burning" is usually bad/destructive. Our county has had over 7000 acres and a number of homes scorched. Metaphoically, people can often be in trouble when "burning" with lust. In fact, when practiced immorally, relationships can receive the same scorching we've seen recently in Collier county. 

Yet...allow me to introduce a Biblical example illustrating when "buring" was a good thing - even something to be experienced today. 

Two disciples are out for a walk when Jesus joins them (while veiling his identity to them for reasons worthy of another post). To make a longer story short, Jesus ends up illustrating the Bible to them; showing how the Messiah is the center of the whole story. As He's talking the two (unnamed) disciples hearts are kindled to "burning." Their emotional and spiritual fervor rises. They're clinging to the message, hanging on every Word. 

In this instance, "burning" is a good thing - really something I long to do as well. "Burning" with an elevated passion; an increased urgency and strong sense of desire for more is more than a good thing - it's a God Thing. 

It's not really something you do. It's more of something that happens to you. It's what happened to two disciples on the way to Emmaeus and still happens today when we "walk" with Jesus. Read the story in Luke 24.13 and following as a place to bring your kindling wood. 

Worship on Sunday to begin to light the fire... 
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 10:50

Why Would Jesus Say, "Stop Clinging to Me"?

I remember "losing" our son David when he was about five years old. 

We were at a festival near downtown Fort Worth, TX, walking as a family with each of the small kids, roughly 9, 7 and 5 years old. 
Suddenly Marilouise and I looked down and then at each other to discover that Dave wasn't walking with us in the crowd. I can still feel the difficulty in suppresing the parental panic. 
Long story short - we found him in less than 5 minutes, but I aged 10 years in those five minutes. 

The Biblical point? 

When we found Dave I held him so tightly I was making it difficult for him to breathe. He looked at me with 5 year old eyes as if to say, "Okay, already, Dad." 

I'm certain Mary had that feeling on the morning of the resurrection - only magnified multiple times! She was not going to let him go again...

But Jesus is recorded as saying, "Do not cling to me for I have not yet ascended to my Father..." The present tense verb, "cling" could be read, "clinging." Like I with Dave, she was not going to let him go again. 
Jesus explanation, "...for I have not yet ascended to my Father..." is designed to give her assurance. (John 20.17) You can let go, because I've not gone away yet..... He may also be implying, his ascension is upcoming, but not here yet.... 

Jesus was already engaging the next phase of his mission - to send the Spirit in a powerful way to distribute the grace and forgiveness won on the cross and guarnteed in the resurrection. 

Personal lesson? No need to cling to the moment, let it go, trust that Jesus' plans have you in mind in bigger ways than you think! 
Tuesday, 18 April 2017 09:06

What Replaces Fear's Restrictions?

The Easter Event - the Resurrection Celebration - unlocks the restrictions of our greatest fears. Yet, it's not enough to "not be afraid;" the vacuum must be filled with something or restrictions and constrictions slowly grab ahold once again. 

The Easter Season is designed for the breath, wind and Spirit of God to breathe into us inspiration for The New Era - for our journies ahead! 

Jesus' comforted Mary next to the empty tomb - and immediately sent her on a mission. "...go to my brothers and say to them..." He didn't say, "Let's hang out" but, "Let's get going." (John 20)

Where, to whom and why are you being sent!? Our New Era at Peace church or your new era in life finds inspired purpose in loving people in your context; your relationship and from your fear-less witness. 

Where are you being sent? 
The restrictions of fears and the constrictions of hopelessness have met the freedom & flow of the resurrection. 

Living in the glow of the emptiness of the cross and tomb provide for the fullness of living out the joy of the resurrection. 

Welcome to the Resurrection lifestyle where restrictions and constrictions of life are loosed to the freedom and flow of the resurrection. 

"For l delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures!" 

 - St Paul (1 Co 15:3–4)
Palm Sunday is usually about, well, palms.
 

Palms waving...palms serving to create a well covered pathway...lots of palms frons...

However, this Palm Sunday could be mis-named Donkey Sunday because our call to servanthood is to follow the donkey...
 

Yup, follow the donkey on which Jesus rides through the streets of Bethany and Jerusalem; past cheering children and pouting Pharisees...

You'll discover Jesus' idea of reigning has more to do with servanthood than it does with authority, power or jurisdiction...

If you'll follow the donkey through some dark places, through some scary places, you'll arrive at a place of Light and peace...

But all we need to do right now is...follow the donkey on which Jesus rides...

C'mon and walk with me through this week... 
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 13:15

Hope when our appetites devour us

Here's some ridiculous rhetorical questions.

Have you ever eaten too much?

Have you ever had too much to drink?

Have you ever taken medications when you really didn't need to? Shouldn't have?

How about shopping/impulse purchases - to the point of carrying debt on a high interest credit card?

You and I both know is these are ridiculous only because the likely, honest answer to all of these "appetite questions" is, "Yes, of course."

Tonight's final Lent Wednesday addresses how the Lord addresses us when our appetites become addictions and devour us.The story from Luke 15.11f is about a son whose reckless appetites devoured him. Jesus tells the story of a long journey home with a surprise ending.

His story's ending is - or can be - ours!

Yes...there is hope when we're the ones to blame; when we did it to ourselves; when our appetites got carried away.

Jesus tells a story about a Dad who is Our Father, who provides "hope" - even when our appetites devour us!

See you at 7p in the sanctuary for some sanctuary from, well, from ourselves.

Peace,
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 15:21

The Dawning of a New Era

The Dawn of a New Era - Indeed!

It was the Good News topped off by more Good News and then a little more Good News after that!

Last Sunday began with a new worship series, "The Dawn of a New Era." The (strange) prophet Ezekiel had a vision of "dem bones" (37) coming together. Lazarus heard a voice that called him away from the light - and brought him tighly wrapped back to this world. Both stories set the table for our new era of God's Vision for new starts!

The take-away? In the continuous transitions of our lives, in the constant discovery or pursuit of God's Next Step, we learned, most new starts begin from old grief; but are most blessed when it is God's Voice fitting the pieces together and unraveling grave clothes that bind. We're designed and redeemed to be a part of a vast army - free from the bounds of fears.

Then the Good News got topped with more Good News when the results of our "Power and Peace" campaign commitments came in. We were in the mid $280's range when someone told me their gift would put us over the goal of $300k! And...the sacrificial commitment have continued to be given. We're now over $303,000 - even while I've been told by some their commitment is still pending!

Yes! Thanks be to God for your sacrificial participation; for your Spirit-driven confidence in the vision, "That Every Relationship Experience God's Power and Peace!"

Sunday afternoon's Service of Installation was more of grace upon grace, more - immeasurably more - the blessing when dozens of volunteers got organized, brought out the fine china and spruced up the fellowship hall to look like a banquet hall fit for one of Jesus' parables! Seventeen pastors (I've NEVER seen that many pastors at an installation in 35 years) brought their voices and their spirit of blessing to, in essence say, Peace is in a new era and God is the one fueling it!

I'm not trying to "one-up" John (1.16), but what I experienced on Sunday was more like "grace upon grace upon grace!"

Thanks be to God for our partnership.

Thank you for being a willing and whole-hearted part of it!

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