All posts by Pat Gustafson

Stewardship Month

September is Stewardship month. This year’s theme is FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP SHOWS LOVE FOR:

1) God

2) God’s Church

3) God’s People

Stewardship letters will be mailed the first week of October. Please return your Pledge any time during October either by mail or place it in the offering basket at Sunday worship.

Parking Lot Church Service Continues In October (FM 98.3)

Safety is our primary concern and we feel we have a simple plan that will allow us to be together and still keep everyone safe.

Worship will be at 10:00 a.m. We ask everyone to enter the parking lot from the 13th Ave. end of the alley and follow the direction of the parking staff. We will all be wearing our bright green shirts. We will not be utilizing the marked parking spaces. Pastor will be standing either on the porch of the parsonage or on the curb in front of the parsonage fence. You will remain in your cars and tune your radio to FM 98.3 If you wish to bring a battery operated radio rather than run your car that would work well, too. The handicap accessible door will be unlocked if you need to use the restroom and someone will be nearby to sanitize the bathroom and door surfaces. The drinking fountain and other parts of the building will not be available. Parking lot staff will pass between cars to collect offering. Please put it in an envelope with your name and the amount written on it. Communion will be distributed in a sterile packet. The service will not be more than 30 minutes. We will exit after the service on the 12th Avenue end of the alley.

From the desk of Pastor Stan – 2nd Sermon From The Series Rooted

I Planted, Apollos Watered, But God Gave the Growth

My aim in this message is to bring God’s word to bear on this amazing and wonderful and historic moment in the life of our church. The moment I have in mind is the overlapping transition phase in the process between my ministry as Pastor for Preaching and Vision for the last 44 years. That is the amazing, unprecedented moment we find ourselves in. <!–split–>

A Preemptive Application

This message is an exposition and application to our situation of 1 Corinthians 3:5–9. I choose this text because it is designed by God to teach a church how to think and feel about a situation in the church where two leaders have become a flashpoint of pride and division. That was the case at Corinth, and therefore my message is preemptive. I am not aiming to remove a problem; I am aiming to prevent one. If the truths of this text take hold of us as a church, what a wonderful, peaceful, humble, God-exalting season this will be. That’s my aim. The two leaders who have become the flashpoint of pride and division are Paul and Apollos. Look at 1 Corinthians 1:11–12. The church is lining up behind favorite teachers and boasting in them in such a way that quarrels and divisions are happening. The entire first four chapters of this letter deal with this problem.

An Occasion for Pride and Division

So there’s the issue and the goal: Paul and Apollos have become the flashpoint for the people being “puffed up in favor of one against another” – two leaders becoming the occasion for pride and division. That’s what Paul addresses in our text in 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 3:5–9. What can we learn about God and about human leadership, that will result in humility and boasting in the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:31) and not in man (1:29)? “Leaders are more honorable as they decrease and God increases.” Again verse 5: they are “servants through whom you believed.” Through whom. That means, the power that brought you to faith did not and does not reside in them. It flows Paul and Apollos are not saviors. They are not the gospel. They are not the Holy Spirit. They are not the source of power. The are not God. They are table-waiters. And the faith that happens when the food of God’s word is served, happens through them, like a canal, not from them like a spring. So don’t think of them as originators. They don’t originate. They deliver. They serve.

God Assigns the Response

Verse 5 again: Paul and Apollos are “servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned or gave to each.” In other words, even if you detect a difference in who responds in faith when Paul or Apollos speaks, remember: The Lord assigns those differences. The Lord gives faith to whom he will when Paul or Apollos speaks. If you think that the differences in responsiveness to the one or the other is ultimately owing to them, you do not yet understand how faith arises. Yes, you came to faith through Paul or through Apollos. But God gave that faith. God assigned that response. Don’t think Paul or Apollos was the decisive cause of your faith. They weren’t. The diversity of responses are decisively God’s doing. Verse 6: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” This makes the same point with different words. God is decisive, not man. He is going to say this again even more emphatically. But here notice that he does acknowledge the reality and the significance of planting and watering. And keep in mind verse 5: What comes through planting and watering is faith. “Servants through whom you believed.” The effect of planting is faith. The effect of watering is faith. But the decisive cause of faith — the life and growth of the plants — is not planting and watering.

The Emphasis Falls On God Not Man

It’s texts like these and hundreds of others that make us want to be a God-centered church. We want to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things. Things like planting and watering. Things like how you think about pastoral leaders. How you think about the fruit of their lives. God is supreme in the ministry of the church. God is supreme in the planting and watering. God is supreme in causing faith and giving the growth. God knows it. The Day — the Day of Judgment — will disclose it. Till they pray for them, because they will give an account for your souls and for their labor and their motives that you cannot see. God will give them their wages — their rewards — not you. Be careful how you boast and how you criticize. ONLY WHAT YOU DO FOR CHRIST WILL LAST.

Finally, verse 9: “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” “We are God’s fellow workers.” What does that mean? The original wording and the context suggest it means Apollos and I are fellow workers with each other who belong to God. Not that we are fellow workers with God as a third worker. This is another statement of God’s supremacy — his authority, his rule. These fellow workers belong to God. WE ARE PARTNERS IN MINISTRY WITH GOD

FROM THE PARISH NURSE . . . 10 Ways to Avoid Falls

  1. Get Moving   Regular exercise is a great way to improve your balance and flexibility. It also helps your bones get stronger and denser. That will lower the chance that you’ll fall and break one. Choose gentle activities like yoga or Tai chi and swimming and easy stretches are good, too. Lift weights to help with your strength.  <!–split–>
  2. Turn on the Lights   Make sure your home is well-lit so you don’t trip  in the dark. Put in ceiling lights or add switches so lamps can be turned on as you walk into the room. Double-check that your path from the bedroom to the bathroom has enough light, and use night lights throughout your house.
  3.  Wear the Right Shoes   Get ones that give you good support to help keep you on your feet. Choose low heels with rubber soles, not leather. Wear them even when you’re home. Don’t walk around in socks, backless shoes, or loose slippers – – especially on bare floors.
  4. Do a Bathroom Makeover   Install grab bars next to toilets, tubs, and showers. Attach non-skid strips to tile floors to make them less slick. Water makes things slippery, so put a non-skid bathmat on your tub or shower floor. For extra security, use a chair when you’re in the shower. Get a toilet safety frame or raised seat to make it easier to get back on your feet.
  5. Make Your Steps Safer   Be sure stairways in your home are well-lit. Install handrails on both sides so you’ve always got one in reach. If your stairs are slippery, add non-skid tread.
  6. Keep Rugs From Sliding   Replace them with non-skid ones, or add non-slip tape or pads under them. Make sure your wall-to-wall carpets are securely tacked to the floor, especially on steps.
  7. Clear the Clutter  The less stuff you’ve got lying around, the safer it is to get around your house. Keep cords and phone lines tucked out of the way, especially where you walk. Use wireless devices when you can. Also, don’t put magazines, plants, or other items in the middle of the room.
  8. Be Smart With Storage   Keep items you use a lot where they’re easy to reach. Don’t stash them on shelves that are too high or too low. If something is out of your reach, though, you can use a “grabbing” tool to help you get it.
  9. Watch Where You Sit and Sleep  Use higher chairs that are easier to sit down on and get out of. Or add a cushion to a lower one. Make sure they have armrests, which give you support when you stand up. If your bed is very high or low, swap the mattress with one that’s a better height.
  10. Get Your Hearing and Eyes Checked   If you don’t hear or see well, it can throw off your balance. Use hearing aids if you need them. And make sure your glasses or contacts are up to date. Try not to wear bifocals when you go up and down stairs, because it can make you feel dizzy.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

From the desk of Pastor Stan—Getting Rooted- Becoming and Living Stronger with God

For the entire month of August 2020, I chose to focus all my messages on the above mentioned topic. There’s a song that we sing and the lyrics go something like this:

 

“I am thine O Lord I have heard thy voice. And it told of thy love to me.

But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer Blessed Lord to the cross. Where thou hast died

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To thy precious bleeding side.”

 My brothers and sisters, I know that if we come humbly before God, make our requests known, and allow God to work in us and through God will manifest Himself through us. Now is the time to get right with God and the series helps us to become stronger, live stronger and get rooted in God. I would like to share with you excerpts from the messages. Please read and pray, and may God lead and guide you as you honestly seek Him to discover what type of soil you are. The first sermon/message was planted.

Let’s take a look at the 4 different types of soil described in the parable of the sower.  <!–split–>

A hardened or oblivious heart is a barren wasteland. (Matthew 13:19)

Some are opposed to the good news, and there are those that are oblivious to it. Whether by personal volition or innocent omission, this parable is clear that seed will not grow where there is inhospitable soil. In fact, the enemy will come and snatch the seed away because he doesn’t want the seed to have any opportunity to take root and grow in a person’s life. This kind of soil will never reproduce because it cannot reproduce.

A troubled heart produces shallow roots. (Matthew 13:20-21)

Life is a long, and at times, difficult journey. A heart that is troubled by the obstacles and adversity of life will fail to produce deep roots. These individuals have an interest in the Gospel and even seem to embrace it at the beginning of the journey. However, over time without tending to the growth of the seed of the Gospel, they will fall away during the tough times and tribulations that all disciples of Christ experience. Jesus actually warned us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Shallow roots will not sustain a person through the adverse and difficult seasons of life. It takes deep and strong roots growing in healthy soil to weather the stormy seasons.

A distracted heart bears no fruit (Matthew 13:22)

A distracted heart cannot grow the roots needed to sustain life. A heart that cares more for the things of the world than for the things of the Kingdom is not the healthy soil necessary to experience kingdom growth. Money, status, popularity, and other worldly endeavors choke out the ability of the seed to get the nutrients and care necessary to grow roots. Unhealthy and distracted soil is not the place for seed to grow, and definitely not the place to find a harvest of healthy fruit.

A fertile heart sustains life (Matthew 13:23)

A heart that is fertile is one that readily accepts the Gospel seed and does the hard work of nurturing it to grow. This heart is one that is open to the Truth of God’s Word and open to the transformation that will take place. This heart is made ready by the prompting of the Holy Spirit AND the participation of the individual. This heart does not just experience growth for themselves, but actually impacts those around them. Healthy soil is where seeds have the most opportunity to grow into life giving plants, trees, etc… For instance, a single healthy apple tree can bear enough fruit to feed dozens of people. Its shade gives rest to those who pass by on hot days. Its flowers nourish thousands of pollinators every spring. And its seed spreads and multiplies into an immeasurable amount of other apple trees over the course of its lifetime.

Conclusion/Application

What kind of soil describes your heart today? Are you indifferent to the good news of Jesus Christ? Are you needing to spend some time on the condition of your heart so that the seed of the gospel can grow deep and healthy roots? Are you distracted? Are there too many things in your life clamoring for your attention and care? If you’ve ever had an earthly garden you know the effort it takes to grow and sustain life in the garden. It’s no different with the eternal garden of your heart where the divine seeds of the gospel and the kingdom are trying to grow. They need healthy soil and consistent care.

Parking Lot Church Service (FM 98.3)

Parking Lot church service continues on September 13, 20, and 27.

Safety is our primary concern and we feel we have a simple plan that will allow us to be together and still keep everyone safe.

  • Worship is 10:00 a.m.
  • We ask everyone to enter the parking lot from the 13th end of the alley and follow the direction of the parking staff. We will all be wearing our bright green shirts.
  • We will not be utilizing the marked parking spaces.
  • Pastor will be standing either on the porch of the parsonage or on the curb in front of the parsonage fence.
  • You will remain in your cars and tune your radio to FM 98.3 If you wish to bring a battery operated radio rather than run your car, that would work well, too.
  • The handicap accessible door will be unlocked if you need to use the restroom and someone will be nearby to sanitize the bathroom and door surfaces. The drinking fountain and other parts of the building will not be available.
  • Parking lot staff will pass between cars to collect offering. Please put it in an envelope with your name and the amount written on it.
  • Communion will be distributed in a sterile packet.
  • The service will not be more than 30 minutes. We will exit after the service on the 12th avenue end of the alley.

Virtual Choir

This fall we will be doing a once a month “VIRTUAL CHOIR” and this will be open to everyone who is interested. Please contact Amie Callahan via email 1641music@gmail.com or by cell phone: 309-269-2796.