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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Pastor's Blog

Being Refreshed in Christ! 10/21/08
Good Morning, Dear Family!

KJV Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (last Sunday's memory verse)

Praise the Lord, as Doris said yesterday! It is good news about Kenny, though details have not yet come forth, nevertheless the surgery of Kenny's went well and the prognosis looks good. Thank you, Lord, for your provision and your peace!

This morning I want to follow up on last Sunday's message with a few words. I find it helpful for myself to continue to think about that which the Lord gave us during our day of fellowship together and by doing kind of a followup, I find that the blessing of revelation from the Word continues to flow into my mind, heart and soul. I pray that it will do the same for you. Let us look at a couple of verses which we concentrated upon a few days ago, as we meditated upon book of Philemon which has one chapter and 25 verses.

Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. ESV Philemon 1:20-21

The words given to Apostle Paul to write concerning his appeal to Philemon to receive Onesimus back to himself as a brother in Christ, rather than as a slave, form the subject for our meditation this month. Paul asked Philemon to receive Onesimus as an equal in the household of faith, asking of Philemon that he would receive the slave who had wronged him with the same grace of Jesus Christ that he himself had apparently received through the ministry of Paul. But what precisely was Paul asking of Philemon? What benefit did he want? What did he mean when he said, 'Refresh my heart in Christ?'

Perhaps this letter from the mission field will shed some light to these questions. The letter is from Alice Magola from Africa, who works in close harmony with the Foreign Mission of the Apostolic Lutheran Church of America. Here is an excerpt of a letter written to the Foreign Mission Board:

'I thank God that He has been faithful to all of us including everybody reading this report. Many of you will be touched in one way or another. My trip has caused me to compose a song (the words have been placed at the end of this article) though my son says the type of tune was not going to attract the young listeners so he is changing it here and there. The song is all about knowing that though some of the people in this world might not be directly affected by HIV/Aids, we are in one way or another affected. If a neighbor, work mate, a relative to us or someone we know and the list goes on pass away due to Aids, surely we are affected. I for one have badly been affected as quite a number of my relatives and some friends died untimely deaths due to Aids. Some it was due to not living right but some were innocently infected by either spouse or blood transfusion. This is the sad part of this disease. I have chosen therefore to turn my pain into something that can change somebody’s life. To show the Agape type of love and I pray that God will always help me not to judge why people are in that situation. I just want to show them to the Cross of Jesus. Hallelujah!!' Alice Magola (Here Alice shows us the meaning of compassion: Experiencing pain and hurt because of suffering combined with a desire and willingness to minister to those who are in need, spiritually as well as physically)

Refreshment (encouragement) in Christ came to Paul when he observed the grace of God move Philemon to accept in grace his former slave as a brother in Christ. (He forgave instead of punishing Onesimus) Refreshment in Christ came to me when I read from Alice of her graciousness toward those to whom she ministers in her homeland. Refreshment in Christ comes to each of us upon us seeing the grace of God in Christ flowing through our brothers and sisters as they serve others in love, not judging the whys but leading them to the gracious cross of Jesus. That is where all the why's will begin to be answered. Therefore, are we not encouraged today through the mutual faith and love that is evident among those with whom we are surrounded by? I close with this article with a quote from Johann Goethe, which amplifies that which Paul wrote in verse 21..

Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. (Philemon 1:21)

"When we treat a person as they are, we make them worse than they are. When we treat them as if they are already what they potentially could be, we make that what they should be." Johann Goethe

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37

In the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Following is the song which Alice has composed:

WE ARE ALL AFFECTED
>
> Intro: Am affected, You are affected, We are all affected
>
> Solo: (narrative)
> Aids - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
> Aids has sent millions of people to the grave untimely - worldwide. People
> of all ages.

> Aids knows no face, colour or age. Aids is cruel as it attacks innocent
> kids, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, colleagues, friends -
> the list goes on.
>
> No matter how they got it, this one thing I know, God loves them and if He
> does, why should I not, so I love them. This I must tell them, this I must
> show them
>
> . I saw a nine year old and many others, different ages
> Who are orphaned because of Aids
> Their eyes spelt sorrow, so much sorrow
> Their lips dry oh so dry and stomachs mostly empty
> I wondered what goes on in their minds as they stare nowhere
> Without mother, without a father
> My God oh You are the Father to the fatherless
>
> Chorus
> My heart sinks, my heart wrecks
> When I look into their eyes
> My heart sinks, my heart wrecks
> When I hear their sad stories
> Uh uh uh, God please change their stories through me
>
> . My brother my sister, wonna know
> Aids is real, a killer, a tsotsi (thief/murderer)
> Coz of Aids, the world is slowly dying
> All of us it is affecting
> From Australia to Asia, Europe to America,
> Russia down to Africa, every part of the world
> Black or white or any color, race, creed, we all affected wo wo
>
> If a friend dies - we are all affected
> If a neighbor dies - we are all affected
> If a relation dies - we all affected
> If our colleague dies - we all affected
>
> So love the world, tell them about Jesus
> Love everyone and all never judge
> Care for the world
> Care for everyone and all
> Peace and love
> Don't discriminate
> Live right, live for God
Posted on 21 Oct 2008 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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