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 in Expectation 12/10/08
In a Christmas sermon given December 2, 1928, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, who look forward to something greater to come. For these, it is enough to wait in humble fear until the Holy One himself comes down to us, God in the child in the manger. God comes. The Lord Jesus comes. Christmas comes. Christians rejoice!”

“When once again Christmas comes and we hear the familiar carols and sing the Christmas hymns, something happens to us... The hardest heart is softened. We recall our own childhood. We feel again how we then felt, especially if we were separated from a mother. A kind of homesickness comes over us for past times, distant places, and yes, a blessed longing for a world without violence or hardness of heart. But there is something more--a longing for the safe lodging of the everlasting Father.”(1)

(1) Edwin Robertson, Ed. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005).

May His grace be upon us as we ponder the meaning and hope of His coming to us.

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 09 Dec 2008 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Surges of Infinite Hope 12/03/2008
Good Morning, dear family!

Today's meditation was provoked by a statement that our dear brother Dennis Hilman, who is serving in South Africa in the mission field, made in a recent email to me:

"Well, time has flown and another day draws to its close. Another day lived in the wondrous grace and mercy of God...a day of both laughter and tears, a groping for meaning and the surge of infinite hope. And a night when the quarter moon hangs out there in the African sky between two brilliant stars. I have never seen such a phenomenon. Yes, all is different here, and yet how amazingly similar so often when we think of spiritual things."

Here is something for us to consider today. May it give us a "surge of infinite hope!"

KJV Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

My wife has been thrilled by the phenomenon which has been in the sky lately also. I have enclosed one of the photos that I took for her and through the experience of taking the photo for her and transferring it to our photo page on the computer, I have also experienced a greater insight and joy at what Isaiah wrote and does write in the 40th Chapter of his book. I was listening to a minister expound the Word the other day and he mentioned that it would be good to read that chapter at least once a week so that the greatness and power of God would not diminish in our errant and little minds.

t reminds me of a time I was standing on the shores of the mighty Pacific with a person who at that time had not come to understand that the ultimate joy of worship is that we worship the Person of Christ and not those things He has made. As we gazed out at the horizon with the sun setting with all its purplish and red hues and the waves roaring continually in our ears, I commented: "Amazing! How we worship the One who has made all these things.!!!" The other person looked at me and said, " I don't see it that way."

As we lift our eyes on high and behold who has created the moon and the two bright stars, may the joy of knowing and experiencing His grace and mercy empower us to continue to grope along with our eyes upon the coming of Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. May the "surges of infinite hope" be many in our mind and heart today, to the point that others would be infected with this same "infinite hope!"

May He give us "surges of infinite hope" today!

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala


Posted on 03 Dec 2008 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Praying in Expectation 12/10/08
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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2/28 7:00 pm:Lent Service
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The Lawry Kilpela family as they grieve but yet rejoice in Lawry's being called home.
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