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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KJV Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Recently my wife shared with me some encouragement she received from reading a historical novel about the life of Hulda Klager (1863-1960) who lived in Woodland, Washington and is famous today for the Hulda Klager lilac gardens. This is from a novel written by Jane Kirkpatrick about the life of this extraordinary woman.

Hulda suffered many setbacks and losses in her life. She lost two sons in law, while her daughters were in their mid twenties, two of her three daughters died during her lifetime, and her husband died in his upper seventies. Her son also died when she was in her mid eighties. Throughout her life she had trained herself to do horticulture, and she worked her entire life with lilacs, developing different colors and different number of petals. Through the years there were many floods, plants had to be dug up and moved to higher grounds, with most of this occurring in the early 1900s, when things were done by hand and with horses.

In her upper eighties she experienced the effects of the worst flood that Woodland ever has had, and all of the lilacs were lost. She was ready to give up, but her son, who died some year after this, told her that they could start again. Not long after that people began to send her plants that they had originally got from Hilda's lilac garden. Over the years people had come to Woodland to walk through her lilac gardens, and while they were there they be would given starts of the lilacs to take home with them. It was rebuilt, but it never was the same again after this greatest flood.

In one of her most trying moments, as she was struggling with the reality of the greatest loss of the lilacs, and when her remaining family was trying to give her direction on how to handle the future, she told those who were so concerned over her:

"I remember once Martha telling me about some word called therapy, what people were saying was a way to move forward toward healing without herbs and medicines and such. It's a word that means a service, attending, "I wait upon," Martha said. So I wait upon the Lord to lead me back into service, back into 'attending' as He wants. Maybe just a few plants on my sun porch. Not the garden, no, I agree.

In 1958 at the age of 95 she went to Seattle to receive the prestigious award from the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs. As she went there she was remembering a man named Barney Reed who had wondered if "I wasn't doing the Lord's work in my garden and if the price I paid was burying what I loved, embellishing beauty and giving the results away.
"Suffering, I decided, happened, and so did good things, and the issue of God's power was not so much in questioning why He didn't stop floods or death but in all the rest of the time when He showed us how to be hospitable, generous and loving."
Our dear brother, Pastor Rodney Johnson recently shared with me of how he is learning that during his time of waiting upon the Lord he is experiencing healing as he has continues to serve his wife of more than 50 years who now has advanced Alzheimer's. He told me that in going to serve her needs in obedience to the call of the Lord to love his wife as Christ has loved the church that he begun to heal as he waits upon the Lord to minister to him as he goes through this season of life with his dear one. In the physical feeding of his wife each day, he experiences the joy of serving her, and in turn he is ministered to by the One who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.
Are you bearing a heavy load today? Have the burdens of life weighing you down? Are you struggling with disappointment? Is your waiting getting long?
May the following Scripture selections bring you encouragement, assurance and joy today as you look to the new day that the Lord has made...

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

In the love of Christ,

Pastor Orval

Posted on 11 Sep 2012 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Communing in Worship 9/02/2012
Dearly beloved,

Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be unto you today and always!

Our meditation for today is from the 7th chapter of the Gospel of Mark. May the Lord add His blessing to the writing and reading of this meditation. We begin by considering the last few verses of chapter 6 in Mark's Gospel...

Mark 6:54 .....And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,
55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.
56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole......

Jesus was enjoying immense popularity, for people were bringing all those who had need of healing to Him, wherever Jesus went He came upon people who had been laid in the streets for His healing and even those who touched Him were made whole!! Wow! Praise the name of God who has revealed Himself in His Son through His deeds and His words.......But not everybody was so pumped about it......

KJV Mark 7:1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables

They came to find fault with the Rabbi Jesus, not to learn from Him. Then since it seems that this Gospel is written to Gentiles who would not know the background of the Old Testament teaching, Mark writes an explanatory note in verses 3 and 4.

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

The Pharisees now asked Jesus the question on their fault finding mission....and Jesus responded to them, not mincing any words doing so. He knew where their problem was and he went directly to the source of their problem with Him: Their hard hearts against Him..

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias (Isaiah) prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition

Jesus speaks of their unbelieving heart to them, for He is able to see into their heart and to know its condition. He reaches back to the 29th chapter of Isaiah to quote from the Prophet:

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

In lifting tradition over the commandment of God, they are guilty of rejecting the commandment of God. He continues with his counterattack by telling them that they have done so, but also by showing them how they have rejected the commandment of God. He pointed out their error from the Scriptures that they were well aware of and purported to honor..

10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

Deuteronomy 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

He then compares what God says to what they are saying....

11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
NLT Mark 7:11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, 'Sorry, I can't help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I could have given to you.'1

12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
NLT Mark 7:12 You let them disregard their needy parents.
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Proverbs 28:24 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.

God had ordained free will sacrifices, but not at the expense of the setting aside of the 4th Commandment. There is a practical priority that God has ordained that must be honored. They taught that if a man says to his father or mother, Corban, which means free will gift, it will be for you from me as your son or daughter for your benefit and help. But the Scribes and Pharisees went against the 4th commandment when they taught that it was proper to take that which was to assist their parents and dedicate it to the Lord as a free will offering for the Temple, for God. And the result of this teaching was that often times the son or daughter were not taught to honor the 4th Commandment because the Scribes and Pharisees lifted their interpretation higher than the Scripture, namely against the 4th commandment.

Jesus is showing them and us the error of misusing Scripture to suit our own needs and desires.

14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus is speaking initially with the Pharisees and Scribes, and now he calls all the people over to listen to them of that which He wants to reveal to them concerning Himself and His mission in this world. Whereas He spoke to the church leaders very straight, He did not so to the large crowd that He invited over. He spoke to them in somewhat of parable, leaving them with something to think about.

They must have been astounded at being told that the laws concerning their eating of food were being called into question, in fact, being set aside by this Rabbi. They were left without an explanation, as Jesus simply said, "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." What is meant by that is that if anyone wants to know more, they must seek for the answer, otherwise they will be left wondering about the words that Jesus spoke concerning dietary laws and consequently the point of this discussion that Jesus is having with them His disciples apparently did not understand either what He meant, so when Jesus went into the house away from the people, they went in to ask Him about the meaning of His words......

17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

He sets aside all the dietary laws which had been in place for years and were given mainly for their protection and blessing. They were not given to restrict them but to protect them and to bless them. But Jesus continues to the crux of the matter of this encounter with the Pharisess and Scribes....

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

He is telling them that the problem is in their heart, for in their rejection of the word of God, they are rejecting Him. They have lifted up their interpretations of the Scripture over the true meaning of Scripture. They rejected God by rejecting His Word and in so doing worshipped in a manner that was man centered, not God centered.

We as humans have been given the knowledge that there is more than just us, a reality which is seen all around the world throughout the ages. All cultures have in their past or present history some indication of their knowledge of ascribing of worth (worship) to a deity that is outside of themselves. We see one of the first examples of this in the Scriptures in the lives of Cain and Abel. Abel worshipped in truth, but Cain did not. The latters offering was rejected as false and as a result, Cain killed his brother. When Jesus presented HImself as the One who is worthy of all honor and worship with the Father, those who were rejected because they rejected Him, killed Him. The same scenario has been repeated over and over again, is being repeated today and will be until the Lord returns for the last time....

ESV Genesis 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten1 a man with the help of the LORD."
2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.
3 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground,
4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,
5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.
6 The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?
7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?1 And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for2 you, but you must rule over it."
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.1 And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?"
10 And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.
11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.

But let us look at some good news....In heaven there will be a worship service that is going on now and one which will never end. It is a service which we who are in Christ here today on this earth are able to participate in part through the Holy Spirit and which one day we will participate in the celebration in the fulness of joy of being in the Lord's Presence.

There will be no separations any longer, we will not have to say goodbye to our loved ones in death, or for any other reason. No longer will we feel the distance between ourselves and anyone else. We will embrace one another in the fulness of love....................

Let us read the account of the heavenly sanctuary in which worship is occuring at this very moment. John in the book of Revelation writes of the joy in heaven in the heavenly throne room.

ESV Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."
2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.
3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings1 and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God,
6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.
8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."

This is what is awaiting us in glory, dearly beloved. It seems like a dream sometimes, sometimes it seems like the things of this life are what is really true and the things of eternity, of heaven, being one with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not real. But the Scripture says that they are real, and that all that we see, touch and feel which relate to this life are not lasting. But in our life of worship here on earth, we share experiences that remind us that heaven is real, and that our hope is an expected and sure hope that is founded and grounded on what God says....

In closing I want to share to recent experiences that were shared with me that I hope will strengthen us in faith and will cause the hope in our hearts to burn in love towards our Father in heaven, towards our Redeemer and towards the Holy Spirit and therefore, towards one another........

On August 17, there was a horrific automobile accident on Hwy 12 about 30 miles west of here in which a middle aged man lost his mother, his wife and one of his daughters to death. This deeply grieved man lives across the road from a good friend of mine and recently my friend shared with me of how this event affected him.

He emphasized to me that the man lost his mother, his wife and one of his daughters, all in one day. He also told me that at their funeral, he noted that the speaker emphasized that those who have been taken from this life, possessing the hope of eternal life, are only sleeping and that they now have entered into eternal joy and rest of eternal life. This message had such an effect on him that after the funeral he went to his farm alone to sit quietly thinking on the tragic events and of the message of life that he had heard from the Lord at the funeral. As he sat there in his chair in the quietness of the day, he was overcome with an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness as He gave praise to the Lord for the gift of faith to believe in Christ as His Saviour. He knew that his home in heaven was secure, that everything else is passing and, in the light of eternity, not that important... My friend, there communed with his and our Friend, The Triune God.... He worshipped the Lord as the Spirit of the Lord and his spirit communed together.....

And another recent communing between the Lord and one of His own....

"Early mornings is a time for me to read God's Word before all the demands and "noises" of the day find their way into our minds. One particular quiet morning, I was stopped by a clear voice saying, "Do not be afraid." Puzzled, I sat wondering, then put it in the back of my mind. Sometime later, a week, maybe, I discovered a foreign mass in my body. After all the tests, it was revealed to be cancer. The words resurfaced, "Do not be afraid."......Lord, I am afraid! Fear came in waves over me, but above it was the Voice: "Do not be afraid."

How often in God's Word are we reminded of this. God always goes before us and holds us in the palm of His hand. Sickness, diseases, and trials are no surprise to Him. They all work to bring us closer to work out His will in our lives.

Come to Me, you are are weary and afraid, I will give you strength and courage to face this, too. He lifts the gloom and sends rays of hope and peace to our hearts. One day we will exchange these earthly bodies to glorified ones where no aches or diseases will touch us. We will praise Him with new tongues and sing with all the saints in glory: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. Praise be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.

Psalm 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defends them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass or crown him as with a shield.

God's Peace! Louise Kilpela

Lord, in awe we worship you today, in humility our hearts are on our knees, our faces on the ground and our hands are outstretched toward you!!!

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.............................................................................................

A thankful recipient of grace,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 02 Sep 2012 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns