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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God's Family Reunion 8/21/09
"Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recommpence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, and lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. And when one of them sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many; And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first one said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it. I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. Luke 14:12-20

As it was our blessing to travel to Washington State to enjoy a family reunion with our children and grandchildren, this verse came to mind as I thought of the blessings of family. It was important to us that all of our family was there, for that brings the greatest enjoyment when the whole family is together in one place for a period of time. Often times, though, not all are able or willing to join in such gatherings such as family reunions, even though the the invitation is sent forth. In these difficult economic times it is understandable why some are not able to travel great distances, it is understandable that due to circumstances that some are not able to make it. But it is quite another thing when some stay away for other reasons, in their mind concluding that they are not welcome because of strained or broken relationships within the family. And sometimes that is the case, but usually it is only their perception that they are not welcome.

Which bring us to our point of this parable of Jesus: All are welcome to the Great Reunion of God's family. Through our fall into sin, our connection in His Family has been lost, but through the work of Jesus on the cross, God has reconnected the world (us) unto Himself. There is no good reason why we should stay away from the Reunion that God organized through the cross. We have all received an invitation, which is printed in red on white paper. He is looking upon his creation (us) with grace yet today, not wanting that anyone would turn away the invitation to enter into His Family. His clear message to us today it for us to come to His Reunion. Let us not be deluded into thinking that we would not be welcomed/enjoyed by Him. There we will find grace greater than all our sin. Let us believe the message of the Gospel today, that through faith in Christ, we have the forgiveness of our sin. In the same way that we are most joyful when many of the family are together at a reunion, much more so our Father is overjoyed when many many of His Children are reunited with Him in the Greatest of all Reunions, the Kingdom of God.

In the Reunited Family of God.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 18 Aug 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
United By The Bond Of Love
(Article written by Pastor Chuck Bylkas, who is also a Central Board member)

Dear Friends,

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one: and that the world may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”
John 17:20-22

At our recent church convention there was considerable discussion on the subject of unity in the Body of Christ. The Kingston congregation had selected “Bind Us Together in Love” as the theme for the convention. While this sounds like an obvious goal for Christians, how do we go about achieving such unity? Because we are selfish by the old nature, we tend to get along only with those who agree with us. We agree to unity if others see things our way. We try to come to a sense of compromise or general agreement on matters of principles or practice, but such efforts only result in a cosmetic unity, or it fails because we rarely agree completely with anyone on anything.

We cannot solve this problem. True oneness cannot be achieved by the efforts sinful human beings, but rather by the work of the One Man, Jesus Christ. When Christ prays the High Priestly prayer in John 17, He is not praying for something that He hopes may happen, but rather what He knows will happen. God the Father answers the High Priestly prayer, and His answer is the Cross. Because of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are united with Him and one another by faith. The Apostle Paul asks the question to a church in Corinth that was selfish and divisive “Is Christ divided?” The answer is a resounding “No!” Indeed, we are all uniquely different, but we are all part of the same body; the Body of Christ. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all…Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular. ” I Corinthians 12:4-6, 27

As members of the Body of Christ we are united by the bond of love and called to use our gifts to edify one another. To paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer, unity is not something that we hope to create, but rather a new reality in which we are allowed to participate. May God grant us grace to recognize the unity that He has established in the Body of His Son and enable us by the power of the Holy Spirit to build one another up in love.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation: to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” II Corinthians 5:17-19

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Chuck Bylkas

Posted on 03 Aug 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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God's Family Reunion 8/21/09
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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2/28 7:00 pm:Lent Service
3/7 7:00 pm:Lent Service
3/14 7:00 pm:Lent Service
3/21 7:00 pm:Lent service
3/23 11:30 a.m.:Senior Luncheon
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The Lawry Kilpela family as they grieve but yet rejoice in Lawry's being called home.