Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Pentecost 5/1/2013



Waiting, waiting, waiting, all the time waiting. Who wants to wait anyway? Well, to be honest, none of us ever are happy waiting. But we must get used to waiting for life is full of waiting. All our lives we wait, we wait for our birthday celebration and the gifts that come with it, we wait for the first day of school, we wait to get out of grade school or middle school, we wait for Sunday School/Confirmation, we wait to get our driver's license, we wait for our first date, we wait to graduate from high school, we wait to get our first deer, our first job,to get our first car, to get married, to have a child, to get the job we really want, to buy a home, our first child to get married, our first grandchild, our retirement, and so on. It is hard to wait, but after living a while we begin to learn that the best things in life are worth waiting for. As we age and as we learn through experience that all things are in God's time, we are able to look at life with an eternal perspective as we walk by faith. As we grow in this knowledge and experience, we look more and more towards heaven and it promises which are attained only through faith in Christ.

Throughout the history of the world, people have waited for God's Promise to be fulfilled. We do not really know that it was like for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden while they lived in fellowship and communion with God, but we do know that after the fall God made a promise in Genesis 3:15 that a day was coming when He would make all things new again as He Promised that a Redeemer would one day come. People waited for years for this Promise to be fulfilled, often getting impatient with waiting and at times finding it too difficult to wait for God's time, resorting to their own human efforts to speed up God's timetable. Of course, all they did was bring grief upon themselves and on those around them as we well know happens when we do the same things.

When the fulness of time came, God sent His Son to become the Saviour for all mankind, coming down from heaven as the God Man in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. He was born not of the natural way, but through the Holy Spirit Mary was impregnated so that she became the mother of Jesus Christ, the God Man.
Jesus grew up just like any other boy of that time, and at 30 years old He began His public ministry, using signs and wonders to reveal to people ;that He was the Messiah.

As we said earlier, people had been waiting for the Messiah ever since the Promise was given, but the problem was is that their expectations of who the Messiah would be and what He would do were different from God's plan. For the most part, their waiting turned out to be in vain, for their expectations were great, but they were waiting for someone according to who they thought should come and did not understand what God had in mind for them. So, they were disappointed, just like we would be if we had a certain thing in mind that we were waiting for and when we got it, it was not what we expected. Wrong Expecatations will disappoint us everytime.

Toward the end of His life, as recorded in the Gospel of John explained to the disciples of the Promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-27). The Work of the Spirit (John 16:4-15) and after His resurrection and before His ascension instructed them to go wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-5) This they did, for we read that they were waiting and praying together for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14)

And then 50 days after Jesus' resurrection, the Day of Pentecost came, as they were all in one place united to gether in desire and purpose: They had one mind: They were waiting for what Jesus had promised them would come: The Holy Spirit!

KJV Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Three things happened at the coming of this promise: A sound like a wind, the appearance of fire and the believers began to speak with other tongues by this same Holy Spirit.


5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

It was not just one culture gathered there, but the gathering was representative of the entire world at that time. When those outside heard of what had happened, the huge crowd came together being confounded, they marvelled, they were amazed and they were perplexed. They could not grasp as to how they all heard the wonderful works of God spoken in their mother tongue of the wonderful works of God. Note that they did not wonder about the sound of the wind or the sight of the fire, but they marvelled that they heard of the wonderful works of God and in this in their mother tongues.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. {was...: Gr. voice was made confounded: or, troubled in mind}
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

The fifteen areas of the world are designated for us here, which is followed by the repeated statement "we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." To this they asked a question, a practice which it do well for all of us to copy: "What does this mean?" Again, note that even those who accused the speakers of being drunk with their Holy Spirit empowered speech did not say anything about the sound of the wind or the sight of the fire, but they concentrated on the speech which they clearly did not receive or understand.

What was the response to this accusation? Was there a response? Or did the speakers just let it pass by?
No, they did not, and now Peter, who later wrote these words in his epistle, " 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:14-15, was the one to respond which he did by bringing forth an explanation by first refuting the ridiculous accusation, and then using the Old Testament prophecies gave explanation to the meaning of the amazing signs that happened on that day. In the remaining part of the chapter, he explains the meaning and gives application to his sermon and the people respond in a favorable manner toward their God....

I would like to bring forth a couple of other passages which explain the office of the Holy Spirit, who we learned as youngsters in Sunday School: "that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true."



Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. {affections: or, passions}
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, {of the Lord: or, in the Lord}
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.


They were waiting for Him, for the Holy Spirit whose fruits are listed in the book of Galatians and which are contasted with the works of our flesh. In the book of Ephesians, we are called to keep the unity of this Spirit in the bond of peace, for there is only one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. who is above all, and through all and in you all.

The Day of Pentecost was a one time historical happening which will never be repeated in its significance, but nevertheless we individually may experience "the giving of the Holy Spirit" into our lives and congregations from time to time. We long for those Holy Spirit visitations from on high which will renew and refresh us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ so that we will be rejuvenated in our love for Him, for one another and for the world.

May I ask the question, which relates to our original emphasis of waiting: At our stage in life, what is the main focus of my waiting, of your waiting, of our collecting waiting? My mother, who through the years waited for many things in life, now waits on her deathbed for only thing: For the Lord to receive her into heaven. For her it is very simple....But how about us, What are we waiting for? Is there something that hinders us from living in the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Let us think on these things today as we consider the great gift of the Holy Spirit which was poured out upon all on Pentecost.


Please allow me to close this meditation with a story that I heard a few years back and which always comes to mind when I read the first verse of this chapter. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

A young man was riding on a train and as he began his journey, an older man sat down by him. As they traveled, the young man discovered that the older man was a retired minister.. After a while the young man asked the older one: "Could I share something with you?" "Sure" said the older man. The young man said, "I am a young minister and I have a problem. I cannot preach without crying. And I do not know what to do about it." The older man replied quietly, "Please tell me about it." The young man then related his story. "A couple of years ago I had barely begun to teach at a pastor's seminar when it seemed that the Holy Spirit descended upon our gathering and moved those sitting in the audience to go to their brothers to confess their sins against one another. Before long, many were doing the same thing and we ended up having a wonderful conference being renewed in our love for one another and had wonderful fellowship in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.It was wonderful and I will never forget that occasion."

The retired minister replied, "Wonderful, then what is the problem with that?" To this the younger said, "Well, ever since that occasion, when I stand up to preach, I cannot stop my crying and my tears."

The seasoned minister hesitated a moment and then replied, "I only wish there were more of us who were like you." .........................................................

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.....

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 19 May 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
The Gospel/The Good News 5/12/2013
It is Mother's Day, a day in which mothers are remembered in appreciation for their love and care for those children whom they have been blessed with. We thank all the mothers who are with us today for your example of sacrificial love towards your children. Your children have first learned of the giving grace of our God through the selfless care and nurture that you have had and continue to have toward your children.

Today we will hear of Apostle Paul's care for his young coworker, Timothy, and of the counsel that he, Apostle Paul, wanted to leave with his beloved brother with. The Apostle was in a Roman prison in which he was held until the time would come when he would lay down his life for the sake of the Gospel. Being that his end was close at hand, Paul wished to say those things that were of the utmost importance to his young brother.

In verses 8-10 we are given insight into that which Paul considered to be very important which he wished to pass on to Timothy: The Gospel or the Good News of Jesus Christ. As we approach this text, we will use three questions to help us learn from the Lord today through His Word.

What is the Gospel?
Why is the Gospel important?
How do we preach and live the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?
KJV 1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Here are some verses which give us more insight as to the heart of our beloved brother, Apostle Paul in relation to his understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

KJV Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;

ESV 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

ESV 1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel
Prayerfully let us read this portion of Scripture, asking the Lord for His Spirit that we might receive with gladness, openness and humility this day. I will insert comments for clarification and application if it seems fitting.....


KJV 2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Greetings from God are given to his beloved son, Timothy, and they are greetings from heaven, from our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. We must understand the Paul is in prison in Rome as he writes this letter, a prison in which soon he would be taken from and would give his life as an offering for the sake of the Gospel. He is writing this letter to Timothy, wanting to share of the things of utmost importance as time is running out. As may be noted by the tone and content of the letter, Timothy is in need of affirmation, of encouragement and of instruction. We will see how Paul gives all three as he continues on with his letter.

3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; {Greatly...: or, remembering thy tears, I greatly desire to see thee that}
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.


The thankfulness that reigned in Paul's heart and life is displayed here as He before God testifies of his remembering of Timothy in his prayers. What a good pattern for us to remember to follow but it is more than a pattern, for what we see here is the heart of one who is united unto Jesus Christ by His death and resurrection so that his life is no longer his but it is hidden in Christ. This means that the desires of Christ now reigns in and flows out of the heart of the Apostle.

He is thankful before God and before Timothy, he longs to see his brother so that he may comfort him in his fears and worries, knowing that if they could be together they would rejoice in Christ in one another. He reminds Timothy of the blessings of his forefathers as he points to his having been reared in a Christian home with a Christian grandmother and mother, and reassures him that he is a believer in Christ himself.


6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

He calls his brother to fan the fires of devotion into his heart in the midst of his fears. Do not forget that Christ lives in you, and He does not dwell in him in a spirit of fear, but Christ's Spirit is a spirit of power, and of love and of a sound or disciplined mind. Timothy does not need to be blown about by the fears of what might happen, but he is to live in the power of the Holy Spirit which points to Christ and what He has done through His death and resurrection. He calls upon Timothy to be a partaker of the sufferings for the Gospel's sake, instead of being ashamed of it by succumbing to fear of man.

9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Paul reminds Timothy of how through the Gospel they/we has been saved and called for God's purposes and grace, and and goes onto to list of the effects of the Gospel for all.

11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

He then again relates of his own experience in that did not appoint himself to the ministry, but he was appointed by God Himself. Because of this reality, he willingly suffered on behafl of the Gospel, so that there was no way that he could be ashamed, for he trusted in that which God had done in Christ and knew that no one would ever be able to take away that which God had done for him. He calls Timothy to keep on trusting in the finished work of Christ for his soul's salvation.

13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

He tells Timothy: "Hang on, do not let go of the words of the Lord that I have shared with you!" Continue in faith and love, which you have received by being united with Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit who dwells in you will be the manner by which you are kept until the day when faith becomes sight in heaven. In another place, Paul writes concerning the earnest of our inheritance is given by the Holy Spirit. It is a promise that guarantees our inheritance in heaven.

15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

Paul again reveals some of his personal struggles of the ministry, sharing of how the ministry in the Gospel is popular, for here he writes that "all which are in Asia be turned away from me" and he mentions two by name. He wants Timothy to know through his example that many are going to not be willing to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and will turn away from him and his preaching.

He then remembers his beloved brother, Onesiphorous, who came to visit him in Rome in prison. This is one short verse which in times past I quickly skipped over, but after reading an article in the Voice of the Martyrs magazine recently, I no longer do so. This article explained that the prison that Paul was in was an enclosed dungeon with no windows or doors with the only access being high up in the ceiling. In order to visit one would be tied to a rope and would be lowered into the prison which was filthier than anything we have ever seen here in America. Food would be let down by the guard through the hole in the ceiling, but the waste that past through the prisoner's bodies would never be cleaned out of the cell......

It is hard to imagine what the conditions were like at that time and are still to this day in many of those countries. For example, recently a missionary with whom we are acquainted was arrested and was threatened with being sent to a prison which those in the know stated that he would most likely die within a few months if he was placed in it. (It turned out that he was not put into prison, but had limitations put on his ministry by the government)

It was into this type of prison that Paul received Onesiphorous as a visitor, for which he was very very thankful. Knowing the background gives one a much better understanding of the bond of love that was shared between Paul and Onesiphorous. In the beginning of the letter, we hear of the care of Timothy's family for their grandson and son, we hear of Paul's care for his beloved son, and now in the end of this first chapter, Paul shares of how those who share in the sufferings of Christfor the Gospel's sake relate to one another in very practical and caring ways.

He closes this thought by sharing with Timothy of his desire that his friend Onesiphorous would be rewarded for his care for not only Paul but for others in Ephesus. What he seems to be pointing out is that the care that Onesiphorous had for him was not a one time happening, but that Onesiphorous lived his life in Christ Jesus, so that the by faith, love ruled his life and it was demonstrated through practical ways of serving others.

On this Mother's Day when all aspects of motherhood are considered, it is hard not to see the heart of our mothers coming through the pen and life of Apostle Paul in this first chapter. Was it not through our mothers (and our fathers) that we experienced the givingness of God in our lives as we received one way love from them. Can we not see the love of our mothers as we listen and think on the love and care of Paul toward his son, Timothy? I think we can, for sure.

May the Holy Spirit come like a dove to gently lay these words of affirmation, of encouragement, of direction and of inspiration upon our hearts today as we celebrate the power of the Gospel, as we renew our minds and hearts in the importance and necessity of the Gospel and as we seek to allow the Lord to have His way in our lives so that we will not only speak of the Gospel, but that we would live the Gospel in practical ways with one another and in and amongst the world.

May His grace be upon you this day,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 12 May 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Pentecost 5/1/2013
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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2/28 7:00 pm:Lent Service
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The Lawry Kilpela family as they grieve but yet rejoice in Lawry's being called home.
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