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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He Comes Near Us 12/19/2008
Good Morning, Dear Family.

KJV Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

(from an account by Max Lucado)
A man had become disillusioned with his life, had walked away one day and was never heard from for many years. (He was single) His sister looked for him, asked people about him, but nobody had a clue what had happened to him. Where he had gone was to Texas and as he lived in a shack by a freeway, he got this idea that his calling was to keep a portion of the freeway clear of trash. This he did for many years. No one had any success trying to pull him out of his "calling." After around 14 years of this, two things happened which caused things to change for him. One is that the place where he called home was going to be destroyed for a building project and the second was that he contracted a fatal strain of cancer. Because his home was destroyed, he had to come out in the open and there he was found lying on the highway in severe pain. A care giver, as a last resort, began to search for any family that this man might have and through his efforts his sister was found and came to help her brother. He did not want help, resisted every effort of his sister, wanting his "home" and his "calling." When asked why she did not give up, she said, "He is my brother."

Adam and Eve ran to hide in the bushes, God came looking and calling; Moses was in the desert when God came near to him in the burning bush; Jonah was running away via the boat when God came near to him in the cloud, in the storm; the Samaritan woman was at the well when Jesus came near to her; Peter, after denying the Lord, experienced the nearness of Jesus around the cookout where Jesus was frying fish, Lazarus was awakened by Jesus' voice when Jesus came near to him.......In what way is He near you/I today? In what circumstance is He drawing near to you/me?

For some reason this story had a big impression on me and I have thought about it a lot since I read it. So many of us are like the man who walked away from everything, got caught up in nothing and did not want to leave what he was used to and into which he was bound. But his sister did not give up on him and continued to seek him, advances to which he succumbed just before he died. There is a lot to think about in this story, for a lot of different applications could be made. My main one was this: Jesus is seeking to reveal Himself to all, to those who are in darkness, but even for us who are the children of light, He wishes to establish a deeper bond between us and Himself, a bond of love and trust. Let me illustrate this:

A number of months back Beth and I were sitting and listening to a song which was being sung at a wedding. As we sat there listening, I was watching the young bride, who kept glancing up at her husband to be, seemingly hoping to catch his eyes so that she could shower her love to him through her eyes/expression as well as receive his adoration in like manner. She did this a number of times, in the hope that their eyes would make contact. He was intent on listening to the song, but then he turned to look into her eyes. I could not see his face, but I could see hers. The expression of love for him as well as the apparent reciprocation of love from him put a look on her face that to me was indescribable and, after observing this for a few seconds, I looked away because the moment was too personal and too holy for me to look upon.

Oh, the mystery of the drawing power of love! The wonder of it all! Let us think on these things.

In Christ,

Posted on 19 Dec 2008 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Understanding The Heart of God 12/16/08
Good Morning, Dear Family.

God's blessings of grace and peace be with us today and always!

Are you like me, in that we struggle to understand and live in the connection between prophecy and fulfillment? Between the Old Testament and the New Testament? Here is something that recently came to me. Maybe this will help us to "see."

Also, this statement needs to be made: In the Old Testament Jesus was prophesied of through types, metaphors, pictures, similies and so forth. When He came in the flesh to dwell among us, He was no longer as in a photograph, but He had a body just like us, but without sin, of course.

What would you and I know about our mother, the one who gave us life and revealed her heart towards us through her actions and words, if we had only viewed her in a photograph? We would have missed out on a lot, for sure. We would have never known the love, the sacrifice, the caring, the prayers, and so forth that she had for us. But more than that, far more than that, if we only knew her through a photograph, she would have missed the blessing of the outpouring of her heart of Jesus towards us as her children, and we would have missed receiving the blessing of Christ's love through our dear mother. And that, my dear brothers and sisters, is why God came in the flesh, to reveal His heart toward us, his children!

A thankful son,

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 16 Dec 2008 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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He Comes Near Us 12/19/2008
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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