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 am

(Nursery provided)

Sunday School:  9:15 am

(For all ages)

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 Sunday, March 25th

Palm Sunday

Easter Egg Hunt  9:15 am

Choir Easter Cantata

First Communion

 both services


Thursday, March 29th

Maundy Thursday

6:30 pm Soup & Service

Celebration Hall


Friday, March 30th

Good Friday Service

 6:30 pm


 Sunday, April 1st


Sunrise Service 8:00 am

Breakfast 9:00 am

Easter Service 10:30 am


Saturday, April 14th

Bethlehem Farmers Market

at Mt. Pisgah

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday

8:00 am to 12:00 pm


Saturday, April 14th

Confirmation Banquet

6:00 pm

Sunday, April 15th

Confirmation Sunday

both services

Sunday, April 29th

Raffle for Fun Fundraiser


following 10:30 am service


Sunday, May 13th

Mother's Day Celebration

8:00 am & 10:30 am


Saturday, May 19th

Book Club

8:00 am to 11:00 am


Sunday, May 20th

Congregational Meeting

Preschool Sings

9:00 AM

Sunday, May 20th

God & Country Service

8:00 am & 10:30 am

Tuesday, May 22nd

Men's & Women's Bible

Study Banquet

6:00 pm


Friday - Sunday

May 25th - May 27th

3rd - 6th grade Retreat

Blowing Rock Conference Ctr.


Sunday, June 17th

Father's Day Celebration

8:00 am & 10:30 am


Sunday - Thursday Evening

June 24th–28th

Vacation Bible School

Shipwrecked Rescued by








Holy Week

"Prayer is the heavenly repose for earthly empathy which has no place to go but up" 

Today we had to take our dog to the vet. Now before you stop reading, for fear that you may be in for  just one more of those overly detailed, what I did in my day "net" dribble, please read on... I assure you there is much more.

Our 13 year old Westie, Chandler has stolen our hearts. I pray that I will get more sweet and lovable with age as he has. We walk him at 5:30 every morning, in large part because he so enthusiastically embraces each daily venture, as if it were his first and perhaps his last. With a vet appointment today last night we had to start a fast for him beginning at midnight.

It was rough this morning with those little eyes and cocked head looking at us wondering why there was no food this morning. As if he was to be punished or somehow forgotten. First please know that without apology we spoil Chandler with human food, from pizza bones to Clementines, which he loves. He lives to eat. So this morning was not much fun. We found that our empathy for him made us unable to enjoy or even finish our simple breakfast. 

It got me thinking about the Ugandan children who came to our church, who barely have enough to eat, and who welcomed our hospitality and sponsorship for their future needs. But is that action really not just a token, a sympathetic gesture of good will? True empathy would make me uncomfortable to eat until all God's children had something. It makes me appreciate and love our Lord all the more when He said, "when you do it to the least of these, you have done it to me." He is not just saying by the way don't worry about me this Christmas,  I don't need any gifts do something for someone  else. He is saying if you ever want to truly do something that pleases me take care of those least likely to be considered. Though I confessed such lack of compassionate empathy this past Ash Wednesday, this Holy Week I will once again come to the cross admitting that I have a long way to go. I need to be careful in my praying, "Lord break my heart for what breaks Yours," as my heart is not quite big enough.

The little bit of empathy I had this morning for my dog's momentary plight also reminded me of the saying, usually before the proverbial punishment, "this is going to hurt me more than you."
With one look at my dog this morning I understood that as a broken heart is worse than an empty stomach. 

This Holy Week as the Son sets His face to Jerusalem, I realize that the Father is most grieved. Though the pain of the cross will be experienced  by the Son, the dreaded appointment, which needs to happen, and the ensuing separation must tear at the Father's heart. The mutual hurt is inseparable and unimaginable. No wonder the more I focus on the cross the less  I can be so self absorbed and the more I want, in some pathetically small way, to share for a world desperate to know, this amazing passionate Love of His.

And this Holy Week I am so grateful to this One. For the One whose sympathetic realization of our plight changed to an empathetic reality that took on our flesh so that He could enact the supreme example  of Love on a cross.

As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "He who knew no sin took on our sin, so that we might be the righteousness of God." Or in essence - He who knows nothing but empathy took on our apathy so that we might know of and share His true love.
Easter is indeed the exclamation mark of the plus sign of His Love on the cross.

A blessed Holy Week to all



This "Glorious Season" of Lent


  John goes out of his way to let us know that Jesus was not a victim caught up in the strong will of Rome or the debauchery of the Jewish religious hierarch.  Jesus was, from his betrayal, denial, flogging and crucifixion, always in control.  He was the Good Shepherd whose life was never taken, but was laid down of His own accord.  The way of the cross is the Groom willfully and lovingly coming down the aisle to His Bride, the Church.  As a seminary professor was fond of saying, “this was not a shotgun wedding!”

            In John’s Gospel, we miss some of the physical agony of this walk to the cross.  There is no mention of the sweating of blood in Gethsemane and other gruesome physical details are left out.  John, whose heart was particularly close to His Lord, wants us to know that as awful as the physical pain of those days was for our Lord, it was nothing in comparison to the spiritual pain of the separation of the Son from His Father.  The Word which had been in perfect harmony and unity with the Father before time began is now to be separated by our sin which He Never knew.  It is this pain of loss and separation from the Holy Father, as the Son takes on the sins of the world—ours—past, present and future---that deserves our real attention and gratitude.

             Then there is that recurring word of glory, which particularly surfaces in these latter chapters of our Lord’s passion; so what is glorious about this time?  John, who, compared to the other Gospel writers, seems to have a monopoly on the understanding of love, wants us to know that behind every step to the Cross is a heartbeat of our Savior’s love.  When Jesus “sets His face” to Jerusalem it is you and me He is really focused on.  It is perhaps those who have lost loved ones and have been at their bedside in those difficult hours that know His love best.  The love and compassion given by them is not done begrudgingly or with hesitation.  But rather, it is done in love that has its own special glory that appears in those last tender moments.  So it is with our Lord; it is not His obligation or duty to go to the cross, as much as His loving joy and glory.  No one else could do it and He would not want anyone else to.

             It is the Groom gloriously making His way down the aisle to literally rescue and save His Bride (us). The Church. John wants to make sure that in the blood and seat of the cross we do not hear so much a heavy sigh with the thought that, “some one has to do this for these sinners” as much as a smile and an unrelenting drive forward, as Hebrews 12:12 says, because of “the joy that was set before Him.”  Whenever and however we begin to realize that you and I are that very joy that was set before Him is when the cross makes life changing sense.

             His love for us would never let us go and it is that great love that captures our hearts and will never let us let go of Him.  It is that love that makes us say with the hymnist, Bernard Clairvaux, “what language shall I borrow to thank thee dearest friend, for this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end? O make me thine Forever and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love for Thee.”


It is on the cross where the Groom Jesus Lets His bride, the Church, know that He would rather die than live without us.


Happy New Year 2016

(One More Pastor’s Point)

So what resolutions should we make as individuals and as a congregation the New Year 2016?  Three things in particular that will help ensure that 2016 is also grounded in His will and work.

First,   of all prayer—that He continues to be the center and focus of our life together—that we follow our Lord’s lead---especially future plans.

Second, Worship---as we gather weekly or on Wednesday(s) in Lent.  Someone asked how we had so many (over 150) every Wednesday in Advent and the answer I heard was, “no one wants to miss anything.”  Worship is a great time when God does encounter us---don’t miss it.

Third,  Bible Study---What a joy it is to dig into God’s Word.  I can’t begin to express my gratitude for our Tuesday night 5:30-6:30 guys Bible Study.  We have so many opportunities and some brand  New---What a great New Year’s resolution to commit to some Bible Study opportunity:  Women’s Monday Mornings 10-11:30 and Wednesday 6:15-7:30 pm.  Also new Sunday School Blessing Class 9:15-10:15.

Monday—Women’s Bible Study @ 10:00.  Study on Ephesians 5

Tuesday—Men’s Bible Study @ 5:30-6:30 on Mark

Wednesday—Women’s Bible Study (Upper Room)  Mom’s when you bring your kids to Mt. Pisgah Bible Study @ 6:15-7:30---Join us for dinner 5:45-6:15 too!

What a great way to start the New Year!

This page got a little “preachy” so shorter sermon on Sunday.  See you in Worship!

God Bless

Pastor Mike


Blessed to be a Blessing!

Exodus 16 

“Pastor, it seems that my blessings from God can be my biggest problem, too.  My new car – spends so much time in the ship – my long-awaited child – keeps us up all night – my new promotion – has caused me to get a new ulcer.”  Blessing does indeed bring responsibility.  No wonder the people of Israel, just after their amazing blessing of deliverance through the Red Sea, they were now grumbling and openly discontent.

This caravan of 3 million people, traveling in a desolate wilderness, had to learn to trust God for their supply.

God did bless them, but with each blessing came a response.  With their daily manna came the responsibility to collect and eat it in a particular way.  With the pillar of cloud and fire came the responsibility to follow it wherever it moved.

God blesses us as His People so that we can be a blessing.  Just like the manna, we are never to collect and hoard the blessings, but to use and share them each day.

Lord, From the beginning You told Abraham that he was blessed to be a blessing.  Remind us this day of all the ways you have blessed us with the cloud of Your grace and the pillar of fire of Your love and manna of Yourself, given for us, and empower us to open and to share these great gifts this day.  In Jesus Name, Amen.


Lenten Devotion

Ash Wednesday February 18th marks the beginning of the season of Lent. This is a time when we intentionally take time to reflect on the greatest love ever known through the greatest sacrifice ever given. God's great love for us evidenced in the death of His only Son—for us.

This is a time when we often speak of giving up something up as a way of acknowledging God giving Himself up for us in Christ.

I hope our time each Wednesday night in worship throughout this season will be one thing we give up in his honor and name. From a spiritual stand point what God invites and encourages us to give up more than anything else is ourselves, to relinquish control of our lives so He truly can be Lord.

The following devotion is one I have found quite meaningful: 

When I met Christ

it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride,

but it was a tandem bike,

and I noticed that Christ

was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was

that He suggested we change places,

but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way,

It was rather boring, but predictable....

It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,

He knew delightful long cuts,

up mountains, and through rocky places

at breakneck speeds,

it was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness,

He said, “Pedal!”

I worried and was anxious and asked,

“Where are you taking me?”

He laughed and didn't answer,

and I started to learn to trust.


I forgot my boring life

and entered into the adventure.

And when I'd say, “I'm scared,”

He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,

gifts of healing,acceptance, and joy.

He said, “Give the gifts away;

they're extra baggage, too much weight.”

So I did, to the people we met,

and I found that in giving I received,

and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first,

in control of my life.

I thought He'd wreck it;

but He knows bike secrets,

knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,

knows how to jump to clear high rocks,

know how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up and pedal

in the strangest places,

and I'm beginning to enjoy the view

and the cool breeze on my face

with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.


And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,

He just smiles and says …. “Pedal.”

~Author unknown


Lenten Blessings to you all

As we surrender to the only One worthy to be in control..and steering our lives

God Bless,

Pastor Mike

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