What would the playhouse have looked like, that you would have had from me. Was the trophy shelf big enough that I would have made, or the doll carriage fit for a queen? I would have sewn mittens, or carved a boat out of bark, but all I got to make for you is a jewel case the size of my heart. Your life it was precious. Ten weeks it was long. So suddenly you appeared to us and in that instant you were gone. A jewel case, a jewel case, until it all is new. You cannot build a thing with me, but I will come to you.
There's a lot of "10 steps to a better you" books on the market today. So here's three steps to gain the whole world: 1. Never deny your pleasures, 2. Avoid all discomfort, 3. Follow your heart. (***Disclaimer: you will lose your soul following this***)
What does Jesus mean when he says, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" The American dream continually leads us to believe that our life is all about us and our ability to have more. Yet Jesus stood in stark contrast to that reality. There was nothing that we could give in exchange for our soul. But God gave himself in exchange for our soul!
Delivered by Pastor Chris Kopp to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday April 26th, 2015.
Mark 8:21 And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"
Jesus had a very hard question for his disciples that
started with them arguing about who was supposed to bring some bread for
lunch. Why did it escalate from the disciples discussing bread to Jesus
asking them if they had hard hearts? Because the sin of hypocrisy
sneaks into our lives is subtle ways and we end up hiding behind a mask
of self reliance or religious practice, rather than pursuing Christ for
who he is. In this sermon we look at Mark 8:11-21 and ask our self the
question, "Do you not yet understand?" Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday April 19th, 2015 by Pastor Chris Kopp.
Luke 11:2 And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Do we yearn for the holiness of God and the plead for his redemption of all things? When Jesus taught us to pray, he started with these two pillars of prayer. This past year Galena Bible Church has tried to be more intentional as a body in the area of prayer. We've implemented and emphasized two weekly prayer meetings
(Tuesday mornings and Saturday mornings), organized a prayer chain (old school paper kind #1 calls #2 calls #3 etc), had a
conference on prayer, had at least two sermons focused on the subject
of prayer, and an entire service devoted to prayer, not to mention continuing to engage in corporate prayer during Sunday services weekly. Not because it's "the right thing to do", but because it's the only thing to do. We have no power to change broken people. We can't fix broken relationships. We can't heal deep multi-generational wounds. But the holiness of God can, and He has promised that He will (Your kingdom come). Do we ask for these things? Because of the very sensitive nature of conversations I've had with people I'll just be as vague as to say we have seen the spiritual fight we are in. Not just "felt it" or "perceived it", we've seen it. We've seen the harvest without the laborers. We've seen the struggle for life. We've heard the cries of hopelessness. And so what do we do?
We labor in prayer, because we know that the darkness is being pushed back.We labor in prayer, because we know that lives are being changed.We labor in prayer, because God has ransomed a people for himself by the blood of Jesus. We labor in prayer, because the Holy Spirit goes before us. We labor in prayer because it is how we can plead with the one who loved us and called us and sent us.
We don't pray perfectly, but we know God is listening.
What are we up to:
Easter service was rather different for us this year. The church elders decided that it would be beneficial to do things a little different this year. So we held our Easter service on frozen Lake Alexander and rented the city community hall for potluck. The congregation hauled their folding camp chairs and we brought all the folding chairs we had at church. All of this was not enough seating for the 100+ people who attended. Some of whom had never attended a GBC service before. No sound system, two small fires, a spruce pole cross, and the Good News of the resurrection of Christ. After the service we had potluck at the hall and had a couple of additional guests that stopped in for burgers.
Our Wednesday night Bible studies continue to challenge us. This past week we had 20 people crammed into our downstairs living room. We're enjoying the study and conversation of Philippians and the openness that the group has.
Galena YoungLife held its annual Prom boutique a couple weeks ago. This year we didn't use the church building for logistics, but the men and women of the church helped out with students at the fitting event itself. What a cool thing to walk into a young persons life and affirm (maybe even for the first time) their intrinsic worth.
Care for the church body has been a high priority for me in pastoral care. There are a lot of good or hard challenges that many of the believers are currently facing. What a privilege to shepherd the flock of God.
We are super excited to announce that GBC and Galena YL have partnered to take on Caylee Redford as YoungLife Area Director/GBC Youth Minister starting in August 2015. Caylee has lived in Galena for four years and worked at the dorms as an RA. Caylee deeply loves students and we are excited to see someone in a full time roll who can put focused effort into student disciplemaking. We have a lot of work to get done as our compensation for her will be the Northern Light House next to the church (post flood donated home that we've moved onto the church property), which is still in need of completion.
Clint (Left) in the snowshoe race at Galena Spring Carnival. Run with endurance.
Things you can be praying for:
Man and Woman: Made in God's Image Conference. This Thursday and Friday GBC will host Don and Brenda Ernst from Huslia to teach for a Men's night and Women's night. Be praying that community members who know Don and Brenda will be encouraged to attend and that the Ernsts will have clarity of mind as they teach.
I've had several believers say "I feel spiritually attacked". I never take that lightly. Pray for fortitude, protection, energy, and endurance.
The Casey Family: Our partnership with SEND North has given us another opportunity to be on the front line of missions with the Casey family. Be praying that as they seek permission to move to a village down river that they would find favor within the tribal leadership. Pray for housing to become available as well.
Definitive salivations: Continue to pray that "professions of faith" would translate into "actual practice of faith" and radical life transformations.
That God Holy Name would be held high for all to see amongst the believers of Galena, and that His kingdom would come to interior Alaska.
Luke 5:23 Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
The scene must have been a bit comical. There Jesus sits teaching a crowded Bible study and a little plaster falls from the ceiling. Then more, and more until a ray of daylight slips through the ceiling. Does Jesus stop teaching? Do the people stair as slowly the hole gets large enough for four friends to lower their paralyzed friend before Jesus. What did they want? Physical healing for their friend. What did Jesus do? He healed his soul. "Your sins are forgiven." In less than a minute he would heal the man physically, but it is a reminder for us that the most important thing we need from Jesus is that which he could not say into existence, but that for which he had to die to purchase for us.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church by Pastor Chris Kopp, Sunday April 12th 2015.