From Pastor Karl

From Pastor Karl (60)

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!?

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"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"

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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! 



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.) 


Pastor Karl 
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 08:59

The Bubbling Brook Within You: Drink Up!

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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,, 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?

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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

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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 
10AM Worship Schedule Change

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new worship schedule?

We’ll be celebrating worship at 10a every Sunday from now through September.

What is being asked of me?

Each family is being asked to alter their worship patterns for a season – for the sake of the mission. This is a simple but profound way to sacrificially contribute to the building of our mission, “Receive, Invite and Invest in God’s Power and Peace.”  

What is the full Sunday morning schedule?
·       9a “God Questions Café” (beginning June 4th) is an interactive, conversational study to address the questions you bring forward. Ask anything. They’ll be organized and then discussed each time we gather. We’ll meet in the sanctuary and begin precisely at 9a with hymns and songs of praise, prayer and then the topic at hand. We’ll conclude no later than 9:45a.
·       10a Worship will proclaim the theme, “Why Jesus!?” all summer. Each message will also include an opportunity to create and edit your story of “Why Jesus, for you!”  This is a call, a challenge to rise above church-like institutionalism to the personal transformation to which Jesus has redeemed us!

Why did we move to the new worship schedule?

Seasonal attendance no longer supported two worship services which inadequately illustrated our passion for God’s vision and mission. The phrase discussed was, “emptiness = awkwardness”  - i.e., it became awkward to welcome visitors. We’re the third of five area LCMS congregations to reduce worship offerings out of season.

How was the decision made?

Pastor Karl initiated the conversation after focusing on what would best serve our mission;  research from area LCMS congregations and our history at Peace. His proposal was taken to the Elders for prayer and conversation, then to the Church Council for discussion and consensus. Lastly, “Let’s Talk About It” 5 voluntary small groups discussions were held at 5 different times of day.

What was the purpose of the “Let’s Talk About It” gatherings?

The primary purpose was to practice loving and respectful conversation when we disagree while focusing beyond personal preferences to mission-mindedness. Secondarily, it was to begin to grow our partnership relationship; thirdly to make sure nothing was missed in the recommended proposal.

Saturday, 20 May 2017 15:38

Speaking the Truth in Love

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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

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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."
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