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

The joy of filling sandbags! 4/04/2009
Lord, bind us together in love, with cords that cannot be broken.

Recently our youth along with some adults traveled to the Fargo/Moorhead area to help with the sandbagging efforts which were going on in order to prevent the towns from being flooded by the rising Red River. Since the leaders of the youth group were not available to be with the youth on Friday night, I was asked to be their substitute. Here are the comments of those who were at the youth meeting who had gone to Fargo. We thank Carl, Brian, Patty and all the parents who supported this trip and made it possible for it to happen. We also are thankful for the giving hearts of the young people in our congregation. May the Lord richly bless you as you serve Him.

Jordan Sterner: "It was amazing to see how many people came together to help in the time of need."

Gabe Hendrickson: "I was amazed at how many sandbags got filled and it made me sad to see how so many people had lost so much by the flooding that did happen."

Kelsie Sterner: "I enjoyed working hard and it was even fun."

Nathan Rokala: "It was good to see how many people of the area donated food and materials toward the efforts at the dikes."

Bill Peterson: "There were so many people that we had to wait our turn to pile sandbags. It showed to me of just how many people were there to help."

Katie Sterner: "It just felt good to help people."

Robin Rokala: "It was cool to see how far people traveled to offer their help."

Caleb Saukkola: "I was surprised at how bad the flooding was and at the large number of people who were willing to help."

Rhonda Rokala: "I noticed that people were happy to help and nobody acted like they were forced to help."

Tom Peterson: "I was amazed at how quickly filled sandbags were placed into the bin which was used to transport them to the dike area. It was amazing to see how fast things got done by so many people."

Misty Aho: "It was fun working hard."

Debbie Rokala: "It was amazing to see that so many people came from so far away who had not been affected by the flooding."

Following this we had a little discussion about the following:

1. God is the source of love;

2. Love must first be received in order to be given away;

3. Love must be extended to others in order to be active;

4. Love is patient, kind, not jealous, boastful, proud, rude. Love does not demand its own way, is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice/evil but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

How do we define love?

1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 But anyone who does not love does not know God-- for God is love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.
10 This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

Is love simply receiving or does it involve giving?

1 John 3:16 We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.
17 But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help-- how can God's love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.

Love must serve others in order to be genuine

NLT 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody.
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
5 or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
6 It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear.

Lord, bind us together in love with cords that cannot be broken. You made all this possible through the suffering, the death and the resurrection of your Son, Jesus.

Always in Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 04 Apr 2009 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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