Mt. Pisgah

Lutheran Church

9379 Hwy 127 North

Hickory, NC  28601

(Bethlehem Community)

Phone:  828-495-8251

Fax:  828-495-8252

Worship:  8:00 and 10:30

Sunday School:  9:15 am

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Sunday, December 17th

Children's Christmas Program

8:00, 10:30 am


Sunday, December 24th

8:00 and 10:30 am Worship

Christmas Eve Services

5:00 pm Family Service

7:00 pm Traditional Service

January 13th -15th

Strength to Stand Conference

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New Sermons!

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Regular Classes

 T/TH for 3-yr olds

M/W/F for 4-yr olds


 Girl Scouts

5-6 year olds

Meeting Mondays

6 - 7:15 pm in

Old choir room


Boy Scout

Troop 275

Meeting Thursdays

6 - 8 pm


Food Pantry Hours

Mondays 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Fridays   1:00 - 3:00 pm


Food Pantry 

On-going Needs

Miscellaneous Vegetables

Click here Thanksgiving needs








Installation Service of David Fox ---Daniels Lutheran (Lincolnton, NC )

November 30th 2014

For my blog I thought you might enjoy this special time at David Fox’s installation service

John 13: 3-17,20

Preached by Pastor Mike Stone

David it is a great honor to share this special day with you; your family—and your NEW family at Daniel's Lutheran Church. I am humbled to be able to share a word with you and am so grateful for the opportunity. Doing this brought back memories of being given a gift from my home congregation some 28 years ago. It was a cross which I cherish to this day and wear regularly: always remembering my home congregation. It is close to my heart as is my home church, so David I would like to give you this cross on behalf of your home church family....Mt Pisgah. This is for you to wear as you too remember and hold us close to your heart.

This is a time of great excitement and gratitude to God. It reminds me of a funny story also during a special service in the Catholic Church when a Priest was being installed to a new Parish. The church was packed and there were several Lutheran Pastors in attendance. They were a bit late and were in the back- both of which are Lutheran traditions. They were standing in the back because there was no room for them to sit. From the Chancel area the Priest noticed the 3 Lutheran clergy standing, so he waved to the acolyte and pointing to the Lutheran Pastors whispered, “Three chairs for the Lutherans.” Being across the chancel the acolyte did not understand so he motioned for the Priest to repeat it please. The Priest pointed again to the Lutherans and mouthed, “3 chairs for the Lutherans.” The young Acolyte, a bit flustered at this time, still did not understand but stood up and looked back at the 3 guests and shouted, “Three cheers for the Lutherans!”

Well today we say 3 cheers for the Lutherans of Daniel Lutheran Church for calling David Fox to be your Shepherd!

Today we say 3 cheers for David for his life in Christ beginning with a splash of water, when God put dibs on you as a baby baptized and sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.


Today we say 3 cheers for your family, for your dear wife Liz and little Ollie and all of your family—of whom none are more proud and excited than grandma.

Today most of all, we say 3 cheers to God--only He could have pulled this off—all the way from North Dakota to North Carolina—really? By the way David it is 18 degrees in Glenora, N. Dakota right now.

We say 3 cheers most of all to God for His great faithfulness and love---which David you know and you share so well.

And isn't that truly your calling? To share in Word and Sacrament not just what you know but whom you know: your God and Savior and Best Friend, Jesus Christ—Our Good Shepherd.

What you have to share is unique. It is YOUR faith story of how God has been faithful in YOUR life. So it is YOU who get to share about His amazing grace and love in YOUR life in the past and now how you see His presence at work in your midst with the people of Daniel’s Lutheran.

A Seminary Homiletics Professor, or “Preacher-Teacher,” as they are often referred to in the South always greets her class on the first day with a reading from 1 Kings 3:12. It is a word from God to Solomon, “No one like you has ever been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.” That is a word to you too David, that you too have a unique word to share—no one else can make the Word of His grace and love take flesh--- become real and alive-- quite like you. So be yourself---as a Pastor on a journey to grow and to know Him, just like everyone else, That means to freely, humbly admit all your struggles, challenges, doubts and sins: along with all those who are alongside you in the journey.

That reminds me of the story of the Pastor whose microphone was not cooperating---at the beginning of the service. It was the Greeting time---where he was to say, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Love of God and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Now as good Lutherans---we know the response by rote, “and also with you.” However instead he announced, “There is something wrong with the microphone,” to which the congregation responded “and also with you.”

Yes there is something wrong with all of us—myself, David—all of us: are broken sinners in need of a Savior. That kind of candid honesty does more than anything else in bringing God's people together, all on equal footing; all overwhelmed and grateful for His amazing constant forgiveness and mercy.

It may have been St. Francis who said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words.” In the 13th Chapter of John we see Jesus doing just that, preaching without speaking a word as he washes the feet of His disciples. If we look at the whole context of this it even makes our Lord’s actions more touching. Take a look at that evening. It is Thursday before Jesus crucifixion; the one who was to betray Him was at the Passover meal; Jesus is to face the cross in less than 24 hours. According to John 14 Jesus is more concerned about his disciples being afraid and upset than He is about His upcoming trial, as He says to them, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” To make it even more amazing Luke 22, tells us that it was at that table on that night that Jesus disciples got into an argument as to who was the greatest among them. Really? how uncaring. Was it a debate as to who should get to sit closest to the Master?

We do not know. What we do know is that without a word Jesus preached a life changing sermon with a towel and a basin, as He washed the disciple’s feet. And then said “If I as your Lord and your Teacher, have washed your feet, you too also ought to wash one another’s feet.” So David, as Shepherd as the head servant, are one who knows that when you preach and teach, people… will listen, but when you fold tables and stack chairs, people….will follow. This gracious word of God among you takes on flesh in your servant actions and in the servant actions of the people of Daniels Lutheran Church.

And so to share this word of Grace---to make Jesus Christ known—we have to get out of the way –because it is all about Him. It is He who we share; It is He who we serve.

St. Augustine put it this way; “Only if we come to God with empty hands, can He fill them.” So come empty—of yourself—everything—David, and people of Daniel’s Lutheran, so that God can fill you to over flowing with Himself. As exciting as this time is –I am sure everyone has a “to do list” for David. In fact before you even got here David—I assure you they were working on it. We need this and that done. I would say please set it aside, all your agendas and “to do lists”--come empty –so God can truly fill. Come empty but eager. Come eager to be surprised about what God has in store for you together in ministry. So that all your best intended human wanderings might be replaced with the amazing Promised Land that only comes from His Providing. And when it is all done, at the end of the day—you can look back and say---surely the Presence of the Lord was in this place.

Surely this was the Lords doing… and it is marvelous in our eyes.

So every gathering, whether it is like your recent October Country Breakfast or whatever it is, all becomes just one more opportunity to be surprised by God's amazing gracious Presence.

I wouldn't want to get in the way of that. Would you?

So in whatever the task; your willing hands that serve,

and your smiling face that gives- others will not see you, but Him

For He truly is the One that we all serve.

Expect great things when He is leading your way together. I wonder if that is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said in 1 Corinthians 2:9

“No eyes has seen,

no ear has heard

and no mind has begun to perceive all that God has in store for those who love Him.”

And that is all of our mission --our priority above all else, to love Him and share that same love for all people and those He has entrusted to you at Daniels Lutheran and those yet to be part of this family.

This is an exciting time! So we say three cheers to God, for this time for David and the people of Daniel’s Lutheran, in your partnership in the Gospel—The Good News, to reclaim and accept God's calling together. A calling that none of us are worthy of, but all are called to. For the One who calls us is the same One who bids us come to His table of grace “to take and eat,” as He gives us Himself, empowering us to do what we ourselves could in no way do by ourselves.

And David and all who gather here…. may the amazing Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the peaceful communion of the Holy Spirit and the unconditional love of God be with you now and always.




Dog-God dayenu

Dog - God- dayenu

It is enough
The sight of his half cocked
inquisitive head
or his shining eyes or drawn back
happy ears
his desire to please in the ever exuberant
never failing wagging welcome

Or the sometimes demanding,
sometimes protecting bark
so easily quieted with a much cherished
pat to the head

It is enough
You diminish my constant neediness with your instant satisfaction in the simplest of pleasures
for that makes me realize what really
Is enough
your other worldly way of communicating
impregnating the quiet
Without a word
Is Enough

The unconditional way you
who are so good at laying around
would without a thought
lay it all down
for me
That is enough

Enough for me
To know
There must be a God
For only a God could possibly be bold enough to change and challenge my world with
one such as You


Share Your Thoughts

The following are two poems, the first recently published in the Trinity Seminary Review.

Hope you enjoy - share your thoughts and words
Pastor Mike

Michael Stone ⋅ 26 April

Back to Eden

An enigma it is
that death...and evil
can be ..
so undeniably tangible;
so painfully palatable; so real
be so foreign; so unreal; so stark; yet so alien to 
that relentless, unquenchable 
primordial memory
of a time, long past,
but of a truth so present
that it bends back and softens
even the stiff hard reality of the day
beckoning us
to reclaim a pure harmonious 
time beyond time...
In a garden
Romans 8:22
"all of creation mourns for a lost good"

Michael Stone 15 May


Is faith 
Best measured 
by those doubt free days
When all goes so well 
that to believe in a Sovereign
Only makes good and easy sense
Or is it better seen in those 
chaotic, senseless times when any sort of order or control seems
persistently and elusively nonexistent 

Or is faith best displayed
by those 
who contrary to the most adverse of circumstance cling on 
for life 
to that Alone worth hoping in 
For is it not the comfortably smug who alone can afford to disbelieve or who have the luxury of finally surrendering to their persistent doubt 

Perhaps God is not as moved by those light exuberant times when we effortlessly bound out of bed to greet a new day
As those despairing mornings when shakily peering above the sheets 
with only scary, threatening possibilities
yet in greater faith 
we carefully step out into the hesitant unknown.

Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen"



Jacob - Wrestling with God

This is a familiar story when Jacob is up all night wrestling with God.  In our own lives we too have had times when we have wrestled with God over fears, doubts and struggles.  This great story is a powerful reminder that God is stronger than our greatest doubts or challenges. God always wins and we come out the stronger for it. In fact with Jacob he even came out with a name change... to Israel.  It means "God Prevails" and aren't we glad He does!

Wrestling with God

The nets we thrust
round God so tight
would break at slightest tug
Still we persist
hoping to capture 
yet trusting not in those frail finite bindings
But hoping that in their breaking
will rise again One stronger still



"To wonder as we wander" is at the heart of our Epiphany journey.

We too ponder in wonder with Mary as to how such Good News of her giving birth to the Savior can be both the greatest joy and  the greatest heartbreak and sorrow known to Woman.

We too Journey in our wanderings with the Magi as we know that life is now different.
Nothing will be the same.

We  are wise as they were  to take heed, knowing that after seeing Him we too must leave a different way.

This new kingdom ushered in by the Holy child of life; love and light, is even this day being hunted down by the old world of Kingly pride darkness and death.

So flee as they, but do so quietly  so you can ponder this Wonder and go slowly so you will not miss a thing.  For this is journey home is now a Holy Wandering.

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