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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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
Bound Together in Prayer 7/23/2009

And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered (understood) not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened. (stubborn, unbelieving) Mark 6:46-52

As we experience the storms of life, may we remember that Jesus is mindful of our own situation, He is mindful of our fear, He is near us by His Spirit, and He comes to us in His Word. May we hear His words today: Be of good cheer: It is I; be not afraid.

May these words from the Lyle Matson family give us comfort, encouragement and hope today.
Monday, July 20, 2009 4:38 PM, CDT

"The test results were not what we would have liked to hear. The two masses that were found are clusters of AML cells, Natalie's original disease. We went home for the weekend. We are now back at the Children's Hospital. As I am updating this she is having another MRI and an MRV( to look at her veins) done. She will be having another central line placed tomorrow and begin treatment. Natalie will need to have another bone marrow transplant for the best end results. It's a good thing God sees What is beyond today and knows what is best for each of us even when it's hard to understanding. Continuing on in the strength of the Lord. Thank you all for your prayers and words of comfort. Remember to live like today is the only day you have. Don't be afraid to really love the ones you have. God wants us to hve abundant joy each day, and He shows us how to smile through our tears and lets us laugh when it seems there shouldn't be much to laugh about. Our JOY is in JESUS not in the things we have here on earth. Nothing can take that joy unless we choose to let the things of life make us bitter instead of better. Trusting that God will be with each of you through what ever Trials you each may be facing in your own lives. He has been so good to us and we trust that He will continue to give us what we need for each day and show us the blessings in each day. Resting in His love."

We are bound together in prayer with and for this family.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 23 Jul 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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United By The Bond Of Love
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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