From Pastor Karl

From Pastor Karl (41)

New Starts Tomorrow: The Reformation Is Alive & Well @Peace

9a and 11a worship: Although Irma delayed us a little, we’re back to a two worship schedule!

5 Solas: Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. This powerful and transformational Biblical focus will go for 5 weeks, starting tomorrow with Sola Scriptura. Who is your final authority?

Bring Your Bible to Church To my chagrin, after 35 years of ministry, I’ve never done this before, so, let’s see what happens together when we bring our Bibles to church! By the way, you can go digital or hardcopy.

Guest Instructor, Jim Sturgeon on “Luther As Pastor” 10:20-10:40 We’re going to ramp up our Fellowship Time with “Ted Talk” style presentations in-between worship. The timing is designed to allow for fellowship and a learning experience. Jim’s knowledge of the Reformation era will astound you!

Announcing the Peace App. Luther zealously utilized the Gutenberg Press, and I’m sure Luther would download the Peace App today! It will be officially launched on Reformation Sunday, 10/29, but is available in either IOS now!

Peace Home Church is what we’re calling our new small group ministry! You can partner up with any one of eight groups with facilitators that are ready, or start your own. It will go for a short three weeks through our Reformation worship series and start-up again in the New Year!

It’s Still About Jesus! If you ask, “Why?” about any of the above, you’ll find your answer immediately before this sentence! :-) 

See you tomorrow, Good Lord willing,
Karl   
Friday, 20 October 2017 13:05

Sola Scriptura The Bible as Final Authority

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Solas. It’s Still About Jesus!

Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

Sola Scriptura. The first of our 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation is “By Scripture Alone.”

It’s really a question on authority. Prior to the Reformation authority over one’s life and salvation was taught to be split between the Bible AND what church authorities declared. Martin Luther and other Reformers took a bold stand to say, in effect, nop, God’s Word alone is the Authority.

Interestingly enough, the debate over the Bible’s authority is as divided as it ever. Science is probably viewed by most as the 21st century authority. However, as David Berlinski illustrates in, “The Devil’s Delusion,” empirical processes are often flawed by human political activities.

Different religious books vie for equal authoritative standing in a “Coexist” kind of way; usually reducing the Bible to nice teachings, and Jesus to a “golden rule” pervader.  Yet when you place the Buddhist “Tripitaka,” the Moslem, “Qu’ran” the Hindu “Vedas” together, the total sales pales to that of the Bible. The Ladder Day Saints go through extraordinary lengths to market “The Book of Mormon” as additional Biblical testament to latch on the Bible’s authoritative claims in a persuasive deception.

Yet…the Bible stands as the most published book in history and today. It also makes the most substantive claims! It calls itself, “God-Breathed” (2 Tim 3.16); written by “men who spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1.21); that it “cannot be annulled/broken” as spoken by Jesus (John 10.35). And, the Bible’s purpose is clear, “these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20.31)

So… sola Scriptura seems to be a good launching pad for inviting you to bring you Bible with you to church! It can be hard copy or on your phone. You can download “YouVersion” or (better yet) download the new Peace App,  (found in Apple Store and Google Play) which provides a Bible. The sermon will walk us through sola scriptura references allowing you to mark up your Bible for future reference!

Lastly, introducing a Peace Guest Instructor, Mr. Jim Sturgeon, a retired attorney, CPA and Reformation scholar who will present, “Luther As Pastor” in a 20 minute “Ted Talk” style presentation in the sanctuary from 10:20-10:40! This gifted scholar and Reformation story-teller will hold your attention fast this Sunday and for the next two Sundays giving us interesting insights into the Luther and the incredible dynamics of the reformation that changed the world!

Remember, we’re back to two worship times at 9a and 11a!

See you then, Good Lord willing,

Pastor Karl 
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 11:34

Introducing the "5 Solas"

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5 Solas. It’s Still About Jesus!
Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation


I’m looking forward to our next 5 weeks of worship together – praying and asking you to pray that we allow God to work his own reformation in us – like he did then, in the 1500’s.  

I’ve always been frustrated by Protestant Reformation celebrations that only celebrate the historical Reformation. I think it’s at least as important – if not more important – to ask God to continue the constant Reformation of the heart to trust in:

·         Scripture Alone as our final authority

·         Grace Alone as God’s Unconditional Love for us all

·         Faith Alone as the only thing that saves

·         Christ Alone as the ultimate focus of all people everywhere

·         To God Alone be the Glory!

As such, we’ll be celebrating the amazing history of the Protestant Reformation that literally changed the face of the world at the time AND asking God to lead us through “Reformational Activities” such as:

·         Bring Your Bible to Church (starting this Sunday, Oct 22nd)

·         Participate in a Peace Home Church, our new, small group ministry launching

·         Download the Peace App designed to integrate our vision and mission on your smartphone

·         Celebrate the launch of our first (partially online) Youth Confirmation Class

·         Celebrate the launch of our first “Discipleship > Membership” designed to invite visitors, and all of us, to become growing disciples

First, will you join me in prayer? Pray thanksgiving for the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s and the “solas” it launched. Pray that the same Holy Spirit create in us “Reformational Activities” designed to make sure, it’s still all about Jesus!

More details to come… I wanted to get out a quick note and ask you to pray, pray, pray and then look forward to see what God is doing among us, today!

Pastor Karl 
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 11:06

"For the One" The Final Story

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“For the One” The Final Story

[audible grumbling]

You’ve heard it from disgruntled voices. Jesus heard the same people muttering about the people he was hanging around… and so, he tells three stories designed to enlighten, to inspire, to provide insight into the heart of His Father. They are all in Luke 15!

The first story about leaving the 99 sheep, “For the One” illustrated the passion and the places the Father goes to find his children. It reminded me of the longest two minutes of my life when we lost my (then) five year old son, Dave, at the Cinco de Mayo festival near downtown Fort Worth. Passionate searching only begins to describe what I was feeling. So, our Heavenly Father searches for us!

The second story about a women’s lost coin, about a day’s wages worth, was utilized by Jesus to tell of the methodical, careful and thorough search for the lost coin (and really, for us)! When the search paid off, friends and neighbors made a party! Celebrations for the found are part of the joy of heaven!

The third story in response to the audible grumbling is the longest story, and maybe the most endearing. Although it’s usually entitled, “The Prodigal Son” may be better entitled, “The Father’s Extravagant Love.” This Sunday’s focus will inspire us by helping us experience, even in a small way, our Father’s Open Arms no matter where we’ve been, how we’ve wasted our treasures… or what audible grumbling we’ve uttered…

Come receive the embrace God the Father has waiting for you…

  
Saturday, 07 October 2017 09:16

Searching Thoroughly for the One

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[Audible grumbling…]

So, the religious people of the day grunted to each other about the (unsavory) company Jesus was keeping. So… he tells three parables, three stories to lovingly, but definitively, show just how far they are from the Father’s heart…

The first story about the lost sheep made clear the Father’s deep, passionate sense of urgency when one of his children wanders away. Substituting children/grandchildren for sheep, it was made overwhelmingly clear – as you and I wouldn’t casually walk away from a missing child or grandchild, so, the Father’s heart longs for his children to be by his side… It’s all there in Luke 15.

This week, Jesus’ second story to the audible grumblers is about a woman who loses a coin – one worth about a day’s wages. It’s a story about being thorough, careful and focused on the search. It’s a story about experiencing joy and sharing it with good friends when recovered.

It’s our story at Peace. It’s our story as God’s own children in Jesus. It’s our story with fellow humans. The Coast Guard spends millions of dollars annually rescuing the stranded. Our heavenly Father has spent the life of his Son searching for and redeeming you. Our mission at Peace is to share invitations to God’s Power and Peace carefully, thoroughly!

But wait there’s more!

The story ends in friends gathered, joy shared…and as it turns out, Jesus says the party is echoed in eternity before the Throne of the Father! The recovery of the lost means it’s time to celebrate and the celebration is a foretaste of the feast to come!

[Audible revelry…] 
Monday, 02 October 2017 09:04

Oh Lord, No!

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Oh Lord, no.

This was my first prayer this morning after opening the paper – more of an utterance than a formal prayer. This, for the people in Las Vegas who died at the concert; for those whose lives will be forever altered; for all of us who seem impotent against such undiluted evil.

Oh Lord, no.

So, I turned to the Psalms because they often illustrate great depths of emotion; and I looked through the Psalms of Lament until I reached 55. And, although it may not fit exactly into Las Vegas, it comes close.

It’s a clear cry out to God.

It’s a plea pouring out from deep in the soul.

There is an urgent plea for God to destroy the evil.

There’s a deep breath of trusting God in the end, through it all.

Oh Lord, yes.

Here our personal Psalms of Lament

Give us your deep breath when ours is exhausted, depleted or disgusted.

Oh Lord, yes, give us you.

Read Psalm 55, then pray it.

Amen.

Pastor Karl 
“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

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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 ?

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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 ?)

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"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." 
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