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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Praying for our children 1/27/09
This following is from Pastor Ron Holmgren, of the Hockinson Apostolic Lutheran Church in Hockinson, WA from a sermon preached by him on January 11, 2009 and it is with his permission that I place his words here.

KJV Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

"I was praying for my family the other night. As I came across one of them, a specific concern came on my heart and a request to my Father in heaven, to God the Father, for and in behalf of my son, a plea from this father's heart from my heart as a father. These words all of a sudden (the verse above) hit me that are in this text: What about His Son? I am asking the Father in heaven to bless this father's son, but what about His Son? How have I treated His Son? What did I do to His Son? God's only son, I have six sons. He had only one. What did I do to Him? Why did He come here? Why did we need this one to come who was a preparer? A voice crying in the wilderness? What happened to His Son after the journey into the wilderness? ...................And I am going to ask His Father to help me with my son? It seemed absurd for a moment. But just for a moment, and as I sat in the darkness, it just gripped my heart. How dare I ask a Father to care for my son in the way that I treated His Son? But just for a moment. Then came a great comfort, because God sent His Son to save me, because God loves me, because God loves you and sent His Son to save you from your sin. Now listen to the voice from heaven speaking to Jesus: "Thou are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And I am in Him and you are in Him. And hear His voice. He is pleased with His Son (and he has helped my son, by the way) and He hears my prayer and I will continue to pray for all my family, for this congregation and for all the loved ones that I know and even those who I don't know. And maybe once in a while I will remember that, that is only for a moment that I contemplate how great the love of God is, that He sent His Son to this earth for us. And God is pleased with Him, and He never said that about anyone else. But all those who are in Christ, who have come through the way of repentance, who have acknowledged their sin, as a fruit of repentance, not as a prerequisite to it, not as a law, not as a demand, but as a fruit of a repentant heart, then He comes and dwells within our hearts. And all these things and obstacles that are so big that we cannot deal with them are removed and He comes in and dwells with us. By faith we receive Him throught the gift of the Holy Spirit. On this day of the baptism of the Lord, may we be blessed by this word. In Jesus name, Amen. "

Pastor Ron Holmgren
Posted on 27 Jan 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Amazing Grace 1/23/2009
Amazing Grace
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

On Thursday, January 22, 2009, as my wife and I along with Pastor WallyGlucklich and some members the Elim Mission congregation walked toward the state of Minnesota capitol building in St. Paul, the loud and majestic, but mournful strains of John Newton’s “Amazing Grace”, being played through bagpipes, floated through the air to our ears. Soon we would be joining the large throng (between 4,000 and 5,000) of people who were gathering to mark the 37th anniversary of the decision which was passed by our Supreme Court in 1973 which legalized abortion, the taking of the life of a child in the womb. It is estimated that approximately 50 million unborn children have been killed through abortion in America since that time. This event is held annually on the anniversary date of that decision and is sponsored by the organization called Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life. (MCCL) Many of us marched around the grounds carrying signs on which messages promoting the culture of life were displayed. After the march, speeches were made by various leaders of our state as well as those who are leaders in MCCL. One emphasis in particular struck a chord with me. A speaker noted that in our Constitution of these United States of America, every citizen is guaranteed the right to life, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness. It was pointed out that if we do not keep these in proper sequence, and there is no life to live in order to enjoy liberty and to pursue happiness, well, how does that work? Another speaker noted that change begins in our hearts, and as a result of inward change, outward attitudes, convictions and practices change, and over time laws are changed which reflect the attitudes and convictions of the people. And therefore we must pray that God’s truths would be accepted and received in the heart.

As I walked away from the gathering, and to the music again playing the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace”, I thought of the words that are sung along with this tune. I thought to myself, why, Lord, have I never come here before to show my support for those who have devoted their lives to promoting life and to resist those forces that would diminish and devalue life? Why have I been so indifferent to the cries of those who have no voice, who cry from within the womb? What has been preventing me from being more involved publicly in this cause?

In my heart the words of Amazing Grace were being pressed into my heart as the music slowly faded away as we left the area: Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound! That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, I was blind, but now I see.

Then the second verse came to me: “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed.” For a moment as we walked away, I caught a glimpse of the heart of our Creator for His creation; for those who have been not allowed to live, for those who are living with the regret of abortion, for those who believe that they are justified in the killing of the unborn, and for those such as myself who do not want to get involved, or do not think it necessary to be involved outside of our churches. Through the music and the words, I heard the Lord calling to me: “My grace is greater than all your sin, and may the reawakening of my grace in your heart motivate and inspire you to my truth in all things, both in the church as well as outside of it. But remember, I love all my people, be graceful unto all even as I have been graceful to you.”

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 23 Jan 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Praying for our children 1/27/09
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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