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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The angels are hovering! 12/30/2008
Dear Family,

May the grace and peace of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with us today and always!

KJV John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

As I write this morning, my wife is at her mother's bedside in New Hampshire, where it is becoming increasingly apparent that her mother is soon going to be gathered up by the angels of God, who are continually praising God around his throne awaiting their dispatch to go and bring back with them those who have come to know and experience His peace. My dear mother-in-law eagerly is awaiting that time, but it is a difficult time for her as she has a lot of pain due to the recent hip fracture. Lord, thank you for the grace and favor that you have extended to my dear mother-in-law, for she has been a blessing to so many, to me and my family, to her neighbors..... Lord, may it be that she would rest in the peace that is understood only by the revelation of the Holy Spirit through your Word. May she see and hear in her family the loving and caring heart, eyes and hands of Jesus, as they minister to the one who has blessed them so richly in Christ Jesus. And may this ministering to her by her loving family be unto her as a warm balm of comfort and assurance. Our Dear Father in heaven, as you allow her to depart in peace, according to your word, may all glory for her life and testimony be unto you, who have loved us and given yourself for us in your Son!

May her homegoing be an encouragement to all of us who are still waiting and watching for the time when we will receive the summons to go home forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you wish to follow Mummu's on her way home, go to the Caringbridge site of inamaesomero.

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 30 Dec 2008 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Shall we open the Gift? 12/23/08
Good Morning, dear family.

KJV 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

KJV 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

In the the Christmas narrative accounts found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke there are four "fear nots!'

To Zacharias

KJV Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

To Joseph

KJV Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

To Mary

KJV Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

To the shepherds on Christmas eve.

KJV Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Let us look at one of these people to whom the messenger spoke the comforting words, "Fear not." According to most theologians, Mary was around 13-16 years old when the message of the Lord came to her through the voice of the angel, Gabriel. In Luke's gospel, chapter 1, verse 27 we meet Mary for the first time in the scriptures and in the book of Acts, chapter 1, verse 14 we read the last mention of her. Here are the two scripture verses:

KJV Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

KJV Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

A brief study of her life reveals to us that she was a girl of faith, in that she believed that which God had said. In her song of praise which begins in Luke 1:46, it is evident that she knew the scriptures and had memorized them. How do we know this? We may conclude this by careful examination of the words that she was given to speak by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, for the bulk of her song of praise of the Lord is taken from the Old Testament scriptures. Therefore, because she believed she spoke, speaking from the abundance of her heart, speaking that which was grounded upon the truths of the Holy Bible. As I prayerfully spent some time in the Word with the prayer in my heart to get to know Mary better than I had known her before, the Lord was gracious to me and through the scriptures enabled me to do so. And consequently, through her life and testimony, I was able to see that she knew and loved Him, Whom she was to bear into this world. She was a prepared vessel of the Lord through whom many would come to be blessed and that " he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (Luke 1:48)
Through all this, she remained a humble child of God, recognizing that the Lord, who is mighty, had done to her great things, and holy is his name. (Luke 1:49)

Have we not been able to call her blessed ourselves, because of the example of faith and trust that she modeled, in that she believed the message from the messenger, which was sent from the portals of Glory? Yes, we have come to understand the blessing of having been granted the favor of grace that was bestowed upon her. It is the same favor that was poured out into the life of Joni Erickson Tada, which she herself spoke of in a couple of seasons of her life. After her diving accident which paralyzed her from the neck down, leaving her with only the use of her arms and not her hands, she wished that she could die. When she realized that this was not a possibility, she spoke to the Lord: "Lord, if I cannot die, you are going to have to show me how to live!" At this point she begin to work toward living and a number of years later as she was speaking to a large crowd, these words were spoken by her: "I would rather be in the wheel chair, and to know Jesus Christ, than to be a normal healthy woman and not know Jesus Christ!" In between these two times of her life, she had become acqainted with a young man, through whom Christ and his saving grace was revealed to and experienced by her.

Mary trusted God to fulfill in her life that which was humanly impossible and that which would require divine intervention in order to come to pass. Joni trusted God to fulfill in her life that which was humanly impossible, which required the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit to enable her to live a life that was a blessed life of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Can we not say, that Christ was born into her heart and that she is called blessed by all those who have come to understand what the real blessings of Christmas are. For it is in the receiving and the opening of the gift that God has provided that the blessing is experienced. It is not experienced without the opening of it. A gift is not a gift until it is opened. Just this morning I spoke with my daughter who is in Morales, Guatemala, where she will be spending Christmas with a family that invited her to be with them for Christmas. She told me: "When they receive a gift from the States, they do not wait until Christmas to open it, but they tear into it right away." May we do the same with the gift that the Lord has provided, tearing away the outward wrappings so that we may be able to see Him!!!

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 23 Dec 2008 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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The angels are hovering! 12/30/2008
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Carol Fischer and her family as they grieve the loss of Bob