From Pastor Karl

From Pastor Karl (60)

Thursday, 15 February 2018 17:28

Exp God 7 Crisis of Belief

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
Do You Really Believe That What You Believe is Real!?

Ever Had a Crisis of Belief!?

The answer is most likely, but of course!

They’re quite common throughout the Bible; in history and, frankly in our day-to-day lives. In fact, where there is faith in Jesus, there is going to be a crisis of belief.

This is because those of us who live by faith are called on to translate faith into action, good works! The book of James states pretty definitively, faith without works is dead! (James 2.17)

So…we’re daily, maybe hourly called on to take action on God’s Promises.

Will we worry or trust?

Will we give of our first fruits, or leftovers?

Will we hold a grudge or seek reconciliation?

Will we seek the quick fix of feel good or believe God will provide the blessing…later on!?

Sunday is installment 7 in our Experiencing God journey through March. These next few weeks are a kind of “rubber-hits-the-faith-road” Biblical messaging. Come prepared to be challenged – but be prepared to receive the Gifts of God, the power of this Holy Spirit to lift high the cross and leave the sanctuary inspired and equipped to really believe that what we believe is real!

Other Things I’d Like You to Know…

After worship is the Hog Roast! Man oh man, Chef Tony has been rubbing his hands together anticipating cooking up a storm for us! Eat a light breakfast and then chow down on incredible BBQ pork and more! This one is a fund raiser, so you’re welcome to be generous beyond the requested $10/adult!

We’re honoring the work of the LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League) this Sunday which will be recognizable by women in service in worship! We’re also utilizing this Sunday to launch the permanent recruitment of women ushers and worship assistants. Although new to the traditions of Peace, women in service in worship is thoroughly Biblical and sound doctrinally within the LCMS!

Next Wednesday’s Lent worship, at 7p will continue with the deep dive by delving into the stories of those who have faced their crisis of belief and, by the grace of God, translated faith into action! The Sonic Fall of Jericho (Joshua 6.1-5) follows the crisis of belief Joshua encountered when told to conquer a city in a most unconventional manner. Come be inspired and equipped to trust God when he promises victory in the most unconventional ways.

Peace,

Pastor Karl
Monday, 12 February 2018 15:31

Do You Really Believe What You Believe is Real?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
Do You Really Believe That What You Believe is Real?
Navigating Your Crisis of Faith in Lent

The entitled question is designed to invite (invoke?) a crisis of belief – which is something each and every disciple of Jesus is called to face. Can your faith withstand a reality check? Can it stand up to temptation? Unconventional obedience? Terrible, horrible odds? Violating the laws of physics? Total trust? Persistence in the face of a silent God? Our Lent journey is about finding out…  

Ash Wednesday, Feb 14th: Jesus’ Faces Off with the Devil when hungry and tired (Matthew 4.1-11) Come be inspired by Jesus’ refute of devilish temptation. Come be inspired and equipped to do the same when down and out!  

February 21st, The Sonic Fall of Jericho (Joshua 6.1-5) follows the crisis of belief Joshua encountered when told to conquer a city in a most unconventional manner. Come be inspired and equipped to trust God when he promises victory in the most unconventional ways.

February 28th, Gideon’s 90% Victorious Reduction in Force (Judges 6.33; 7.1-8) If you’ve ever felt insignificant, you’ll want to meet Gideon; part of the least of the tribes of Israel and youngest in his family. Still God selects him for overcoming outrageous odds with skill and military deception. Come be inspired and equipped to overcome the worst odds imaginable!

March 7th Jesus Walks On Water (& Peter Does a Little Bit) (Matthew 14.22) Come be inspired and equipped to get out of your boat and on top of Jesus’ calling. You can’t walk on water if you don’t get out of the boat!  

March 14th Rich Young Ruler’s Just One Thing Left to Do (Mark 10.17) Here’s a real crisis of faith if there ever was one. Sell all that you have and follow Jesus! What “one thing” keeps getting in your way!? Come be inspired and equipped to set it down, place it at the feet of Jesus and let him decide what to do with it. Yikes!

March 21st Canaanite Woman Whose World Went to the Dogs (Matthew 15.21) If your crisis of faith has to do with a felt lack of response from God, you’ll want to be here for this last Wednesday evening Lent midweek worship.


It is my prayer we all answer a resounding, “Yes” at the end of Lent and Holy Week! Yes, I do really believe that what I believe is real!

Peace,
Karl 
Thursday, 08 February 2018 17:39

Are You Interested in God's Perspective!?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
Are You Interested in God’s Perspective!?

Your point of view can change everything.

How many times, in raising children did I say, “So that’s why Dad did that!” Only when I became a parent did it become apparent how the intricacies and complexities of parenting were understood only from the change in perspective.  

The Bible is designed to provide God’s perspective – in contrast to our own. Only when I read the Scriptures does it become apparent that, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14.12)

Actually, the Divine Perspective is so radically life-altering I’ve discovered we’re sometimes not really interested in seeing life from God’s Point of View. It’s too upsetting. Too challenging. Too…I don’t know… different than my own. And, once I know God’s Perspective, I can’t unknow it (so to speak). Seeing things from God’s Eyes can be – unsettling to say the least.

It also promises to be life-altering and completely freeing! Living every day, each day, one day at a time from God’s Perspective is an amazing way to celebrate life (more than just live it). From Jesus’ Perspective, He’s arrived on earth to provide for over-abundant life; life-squared; life-to-the max and beyond. (John 10.10)

We’re in Unit 6 of Experiencing God and ready to listen to God who speaks to us in Worship’s Word and Sacrament. We’re allowing the Spirit to show us where and how God is working – and then accept his invitation to see Life from his Perspective and live it over-abundantly!

Peace,

Pastor Karl

And speaking of no brunch at 11AM – we’re having a Congregational Meeting instead, to approve the annual budget; and address any congregational questions. Catch a quick cup of coffee and a snack and then sign-in to our Congregational Meeting to deal with the King’s Business.

And speaking of Lent and Ash Wednesday – worship will inspire under the banner, “Do I Really Believe What I Believe is Real?” We’ll hear the stories of Biblical characters and modern-day disciples who have each had to go through their own “crisis of belief” and trust God for a blessed outcome!  Ash Wednesday will celebrate the Lord’s Supper and a more liturgical order of worship than we’ve typically practiced, including the imposition of ashes for those who choose.

You’ll also notice the piano and choir have been moved upfront. This has been done for acoustic reasons and increased seating availability. It looks like the arrangement of choir cantata Sundays.

Lastly, announcements at the end of worship have begun to become unwieldy as our congregational life begins to accelerate, so we’re providing an announcement summary handout as you exit the sanctuary and the same summary on our web site and emailed to your “door.”  
Saturday, 03 February 2018 11:11

Do You Hear God Speaking to You?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
Do You Hear God Speaking to You?

It naturally raises suspicions, doesn’t it!? If someone says they’re hearing from God, you may be wondering about their medication. You likely take a step back and proceed cautiously.

If someone calls themselves a “prophet” or an “apostle” or some religious even cultic title and says they are hearing from God, it might be time to step away, maybe run away. The endless chatter of news and news alerts that find our phones love these kind of stories that make “religion” look stupid.

However, well beyond and above mental illness and devilish practices lies Biblical Truth that God does speak and his children, in faith, hear what he says. Jesus says, “Whoever is of God hears the words of God.” And in heated conversation with the Pharisees says, “The reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8.47)

In this week five of our twelve week “Experiencing God” journey, we’re proclaiming Biblical Truth on the how and what the Bible says about God speaking! And, as it turns out, God does have a lot to say about His loving pursuit of us; his merciful desire for us and his invitation to love him back!

You’re invited to a morning of transformation where we’ll listen to God who speaks and speak to God who listens! 
Saturday, 27 January 2018 12:11

Has God Manifest Himself to You?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
Has God Manifest Himself to You?

Out of context, the title-question could sound like it is a part of a psychological examination, can’t it? “Has God appeared to you? Do you hear his voice? What is it telling you to do?”

Indeed, in my training as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I was instructed how to listen for “God talk” – people using supposed commands from God to support their unhealthy or unethical or illegal behavior.

On the other hand, Jesus points out a strong, healthy spiritual connection between loving him, obeying his commands and him “manifesting” (i.e., making himself visible) to us.

Jesus says, “Whoever has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father. I will love him and manifest myself to him.”  (John 14.21) The word in the New Testament has the sense of “showing oneself” or “appearing.” 

So…allow me to repeat the question in the Biblical context. Has God manifest himself to you? Has God manifest himself in you? Through you? Sunday’s Bible study (9a) and worship (10a) is a call by Jesus and the Father to love Him, obey his commands and wait and watch how He “manifests” himself, how he appears to you – and others around us. 

It’s not an abdication of responsibility, but taking full spiritual responsibility to love and obey – and trust he will appear! I know He’ll be there in Bread/Body, Wine/Blood. I know He’ll be there because more than two or three are gathered in his Name. I wonder how else he will appear through His people at Peace!? 

And, speaking of brunch, you are invited to our 11 AM (newly formatted) Sunday brunch prepared by Corey Grier, whom we’re calling our “Brunch Lady!” J  Corey is a member of Faith and with her husband, Quinton, a professional chef, are helping us upgrade our fellowship experience. For $5/adult and for free for kids, we’ll be treated to hot egg dishes and breakfast meats along with other fare! 

And, speaking of Children’s Ministry, introducing our new Children’s Ministry Director, Pan DiSarro! She will be launching our new children’s ministry on February 11th with an upgraded Children’s Church. We’ll begin there and grow as the Lord blesses. Pam also comes to us from Faith where she has led numerous and successful ministries for children. More to come, but for now, thank you Pam! 
Friday, 19 January 2018 10:36

Do You Believe You Are Loved?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
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?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
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!?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
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!?

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
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

Written by Pastor Karl Galik
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! ?



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