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August - Pastor's Message

posted Aug 14, 2014, 2:09 PM by Karen Lindsey   [ updated Aug 14, 2014, 2:15 PM ]
"Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies and tricks of the devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm." (Ephesians 6:10-13) 

I like clothes. If I had unlimited resources I would spend some of it on clothes. 

Did you know that as Christians we have an unlimited clothing budget? Granted it's not for fashions that change with each season of the year. Instead the Lord provides us with clothes -- a uniform, really -- that will strengthen and protect us for living out our Christian faith. 

Every day is a great day for us Christians because we face every minute in the Lord's mighty power. Yes, it's true that we are engaged in a battle with the "powers of darkness" but the battle has already been won at Calvary when Jesus died and set us free from the power of sin! We just need a style of clothing that is functional for this struggle. And so we will find strength and protection in this life when we put on the full armor of God. Read the rest of Ephesians 6 for a complete description of the wardrobe that keeps you alive and beautiful! 

While we were in Charleston, SC for the North American Lutheran Church convocation our Bible study theme was "Standing With . . . to Withstand". Pastor Dan Selbo of St. Timothy's Lutheran Church in San Jose led the Bible study and reminded us that we need to put on the entire outfit in order to withstand the "wiles of the devil". Our battle isn't with other believers or even unbelievers -- it is with the devil. He reminded us that there are many souls Christ died for who are under attack. That fills us with a sense of urgency as a Church! 

Pastor Selbo ended with three discipleship challenges: 
1. We need to be disciplined in following Jesus. That means life as a disciple involves regular, disciplined study of God's Word, prayer, worship and fellowship with God's people.

2. We need to take full advantage of the full armor we have been given. (Re-read Ephesians 6!)

3. We need to commit ourselves to the call and commission that is ours in Christ.

Pastor Selbo's conclusion: Each congregation and each Christian needs to be intentional; we need to make discipleship the main thing!

We received much encouragement and inspiration while we met together for the convocation and theological conference. Let me give you a list of who spoke at the theological conference and the titles of their lectures: 

· The Rev. Dr. Stephen Hultgren: "On Being 'Lovers of Truth': The Canon of Scripture and the Church's Commitment to the Truth"

· Dr. David Yeago spoke on "Luther's Way of Reading and Interpreting the Bible"

· The Rev. Dr. Mark Granquist (church historian) talked about "The Scripture Controversy in American Lutheranism: Infallibility, Inerrancy, Inspiration"

· Dr. R. David Nelson (a Biblical scholar who works in publishing) helped us understand "What is Theological Exegesis? Practical Resources for Preaching the Gospel Today"

· The Rev. Dr. Amy Shifrin looked at each piece of our worship service and taught us "Knowing the Bible through Worship and the Liturgy"

· The Rev. Dr. Christopher Seitz spoke about "The Ethics of Sex, Marriage, and the Family According to the Bible"

All these lectures took place in one 24 hour period! Our minds were bursting by the end!! 

Voice of the Martyrs sent a representative to remind us that Christians are still being persecuted around the world. We should be remembering our brothers and sisters in prayer every time we are together in worship. 

Dr. Amy Shifrin, director of the North American Lutheran Seminary also asked that we continue to pray for their work and our students. These are our future pastors! 

We visited displays that provided information about opportunities for mission both in the U.S. and abroad, including Friends of Madagascar, Lutherans for Life, World Mission Prayer League, China Service Venture, etc. We heard from ministry partners throughout the convocation. So many opportunities for us to participate in the Lord's mission! 

There is so much more we could tell you about our week. I wish we could have taken the whole congregation -- what fun we would have had, and what growth in faith and commitment to mission and outreach. Even though only a few of us attended we were encouraged to continue to provide opportunities here at PMLC to grow deeper in God's Word and in our relationship with Him. The more we are engaged in the life of the Spirit the greater will be our concern and love and energy for the unsaved, for so many who don't yet know the peace and freedom fullness of life offered to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I want to thank PMLC President Shirley Olsen for being such a good sport on this trip! We flew a red-eye to get to SC and got a late flight home when it was over. And we went from morning till bedtime every day that week. But we met many wonderful Christian people and were encouraged in our faith and in our efforts to reach the world for Christ. Thanks to the congregation for sending us and providing this opportunity. We pray that it will result in blessing and spiritual growth in our congregation! 

love In Christ, 
Pastor Lori Hoyum