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)


Church email

 secretary@mtpisgahelca.org


Webmaster email

slgreene13@gmail.com

 


Follow Us On

 

Instagram

mtpisgahelca

 

Events

 


Saturday, September 1st-3rd

Teens Ecounter Christ

(TEC)

 


 Saturday, September 8th

Addy's Giving Heart

Details TBA

 

 

Saturday, October 6th

ELCA NC Synod

Youthquake

 

 

Saturday, October 13th

Boy Scout Troop #275

Chicken BBQ & Concert

 

 

Saturday, October 7th

Fall Festival

************* 

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Mar012012

Lenten Devotion-March

Oftentimes when we take our youth to a large youth gathering there will be an opportunity for an “altar call” experience.  It is usually followed by a rousing speaker, and a  prayer accompanied by background music and a fervent invitation to make a decision for Christ. Even though this is not typical Lutheran fare I do not get in a dither about it all, as it provides an excellent opportunity for discussion—which almost always ensues.

It is mainly a question of emphasis. The reality is, God made a decision for you and for me on a cross 2,000 years ago.  I have learned that as fickle as I am, that my faith, Thankfully is not in me and a decision I make as much as it is in Him and the decision He has made for me in Christ Jesus. That is after all, what makes it grace. I cannot begin to fathom the depth of His love and amazing Grace just in His sacrificial decision for me, let alone for deciding to give Himself for this entire messed up world of ours.

Once when my youngest, Joshua attended a camp, there were altar calls every evening.  He recalled with a chuckle that one young man went up every night, but by the bad behavior of the young man during the day it made sense that he should do so!  You see,  another concern with an altar call is not that it does too much but rather too little regarding the daily nature of faith.  This journey of faith is an ongoing process of emptying ourselves- of ourselves- so that He truly can be Lord ; in control of our lives.  I think Luther understood this daily need for relinquishing the reins so He might reign in us, when He recommended daily remembering our Baptisms as we have been claimed as His cross marked children.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 I believe touched on this in the same way as he tells us to “Present ourselves as living sacrifices to God.” The picture of a living breathing sacrifice getting on the altar of sacrifice is quite interesting.  The option to freely climb off this altar of sacrifice is quite real. The idea of daily submitting ourselves in response to the One who submitted all for us is a resounding theme during Lent and throughout scriptures.

Luther also used this example: “When Satan would knock on the door of my heart, I used to answer and every time I did He would defeat me. But now, when Satan knocks on the door of my heart , the Lord Jesus answers and says, “Martin Luther used to live here, but he moved out, I live here now and the devil flees”  
Emptiness is necessary in order to be filled, death is necessary for life—and abundant life can only come through the one who made and gave it.
C.S. Lewis put it this way....
A Living Sacrifice

Give up yourself, and you will find your real self.
Lose your life and you will save it.  Submit to death,
death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every
day and death of your whole body in the end: submit
with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal
life.  Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given
way will be really yours.  Nothing in you that has not died
will ever be raised from the dead.  Look for yourself, and
you will find the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair,
rage, ruin, and decay.  But look for Christ and you will find Him,
and with Him everything else thrown in.
                       Lenten Blessings,
                                                 Pastor Mike

Wednesday
Feb152012

Lenten Devotion

Ash Wednesday February 22nd 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

Tuesday
Oct042011

October Devotions----"Tis the Season"

Isn't Fall a great time of year?  Thanksgiving is perfectly placed on the calendar between the beginning of Fall and the beginning of Advent/Christmas.  It is a time when we all can give thanks to God, even for the smallest of Blessings. 

At our church picnic I shared some special blessings we have at Mt. Pisgah: 

Joy

—We know how to laugh and we know that the “Joy of the Lord truly is our strength.” 

Fellowship 

—We enjoy getting together whether for Worship, Bible Study and even the most menial of tasks.  We enjoy knowing the promise of our Lord's presence when 2 or 3 gathered.  I practically have to blow a whistle to bring us back together after the passing of the Peace on Sunday mornings.

Children &Youth

– What a joy to have 50 + children come forward for children's sermon—I can't wait until Fall Festival and our Christmas Program!

- Our young people are such a Blessing to lead us in worship and to help in so many ways. 

Outreach

—With our church and Food Pantry—we touch many lives and would be missed if we were not here.  Close to 20% of our budget goes outside the doors of this place to help so many in need in our community and world.

 Food

—Every new member class has someone who comments “you sure like to eat!”  Well, we know that where 2 or 3 Lutherans are gathered there will always be a covered dish.:)

There are so many blessings we have at Mt. Pisgah; which I never want to take for granted. We serve a Great and Faithful God whose presence in Jesus is revealed to all.

Isaiah 43 is a scripture that lifts this up. I hope our youth will lead us in singing this on Youth Sunday October 23rd.  

Here are the words:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through fire, you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give you life. 

Do not be afraid, for I am with you. 

How can you say anything but thanks to that?  

God Bless,

Pastor Mike

Saturday
Sep102011

September Devotions from Pastor

151 years is an amazing span of time to envision and grasp.  In that time Mt. Pisgah witnessed or participated in a Civil War, the Great Depression and two World Wars and the horiffic tragedy of 9/11 2001.  Through the ups and downs of history around us and within our church history, God has always been faithful and present.

So, ponder with me for a moment all the history made in those three buildings which were called Mt. Pisgah, and more importantly with the people of Mt. Pisgah.  The thousands of gatherings to celebrate Word and Sacrament and the countless covered dish fellowship times—second to none!  In my brief snapshot of time within this history of Mt. Pisgah, I think of many things, but primarily that this is a place of grace and warmth.

To walk into the sancturary is to see the shape of a wooden boat—reminding us of God

  • who saves from the flood;
  • who calms the rough seas with an outstretched arm; and
  • who left the crowd on the shores to proclaim a word of grace.

To walk into the sancturary is to see wood carvings of mountain top journeys.  It is on the mountain tops that God has always showed up to His people in a big way.  To all who come here it is easy to see that the God of yesterday and today has “shown up” in amazing ways.

He has revealed Himself in the past faithful planting of a church by Abraham Boliek and in the present by God's faithful people building an addition in respone to Patriarch Abraham's call that we are “Blessed to be a Blessing.” (Genesis 12)

It is impossible in this Grace-place called Mt. Pisgah, not to be inspired by the gifts shared by all seen in: wood working, furniture, stained glass, mosaic, memorials and landscaping.  The people here have left their mark and most importantly realize that they are gifted in order to share their gifts.

So how, in quick summary, would you share what it means to be part of this special church?

Would it be …..

  •  the sense of generosity in outreach?
  •  the sense of pride in our facility?
  •  the sense of gracious warmth in fellowship?
  •  the sense of expectancy in our worship?

It is hard to say what one would highlight and treasure the most.  But there is not doubt that we are the sum total today of all that has preceded us in the past.  The faithful pioneers of yesterday have given us a legacy of hope to move forward into the unknown frontier of the future.  What motivated and inspired them is identical to what gives us encouragement today.  That is, finally, that we are of all things most grateful to the One that we can always count on, whose changeless grace and love is truly the same yesterday, today and forever.

Soli Deo Gloria

To Him be the glory,

Pastor Mike

 

Wednesday
Jul202011

Devotions for July 20-31

“Be Still and Know That I Am God”   Psalm 46:10 

What a blessing it has been to take our youth to work-camp again.  They worked hard in building, mulching and putting on V.B.S. for migrant worker families.  The daily trip to the work site from Eckerd College was about 40 minutes each day. Every afternoon my car was packed with noisy kids competing with the loud music heard even outside their ear buds.  But without fail, after about 10 minutes on the return trip, their hard work under the Florida sun had taken its toll.  Every one of those highly animated teens collapsed like deflated rag dolls construed in all kinds of positions in the welcome silence of sleep. In my rearview mirror, it  was a sight to behold,  and one to savor for the moment since this stillness would not last long.   The radio could be heard in this quiet moment  and this was the song I heard.  

                                “Word of God Speak” 

                   I'm finding myself at a loss for words

                   And the funny thing is it's okay

                   the last thing I need is to be heard

                   but to hear what You would say 

                   {Chorus}

                   Word of God speak

                   Would You pour down like rain

                   Washing my eyes to see

                   Your majesty

                   to be still and know

                   That You're in this place

                   Please let me stay and rest

                   In Your holiness

                   Word of God speak 

                   I'm finding myself in the midst of You

                   Beyond the music, beyond the noise

                   All that I need is to be with You 

                   And in the quiet hear Your voice. 

As someone has said we live in “noisy times” when everyone has much to say about everything.

We have political pundits on all sides ranting and raving.

We have righteous indignation expressed over what seems to be jilted justice in the Anthony case.

We have frustration and disappointment over senators, governors, sports figures and coaches who let us down over and over.

Much can and is said about all of this but in truth there is usually more fire then light.  Sometimes there is no word appropriately able to capture and express all that we think or feel.

In my own life I have regretted many words emotively and hastily spoken but I have never regretted the choice of silence.  

It is precisely in the cacophony of noise vying for our attention that we really can appreciate God's silence.  The One who tells us that it is in the stillness that we can best find and hear Him.

In all my frustrated desires for God to have an audible voice and a verbal  answer  to my every plea, it is true that what I  really need is His silent listening.  It is far more precious to have our Father's undivided attention when we speak than to be interrupted by one more loud voice.  And it is so often in His silent response that we hear the real answer. 

Our God is like that—a still small voice which can easily be drowned out by this loud and noisy world which thinks it has more important things to say.  It is no wonder that Daniel characterized God at the end of times as the Ancient of Days who waits quietly as the Anti Christ verbally accosts in rants and raves.  Our Lord modeled this same quiet confidence before both the Jewish and Romans authorities at His Passion, as they mistakenly assumed that they would have the last loud word against our Lord's persistent silence. 

So in this noisy hurried world and particularly  this summer, I hope you can find some great quiet space and time to listen for God's still small voice.  And in His silence to know that true love - truly listens. 

                   from all wavelengths

                          “Be Still and Know.....

                   Surround sound,

                   bombarded by

                   chatter and clatter

                   clamoring for attention

                   unworthy

                   to open a soul

                   or lend an ear to.

                   If that verbiage

                   of selfish agendas, political nuances

                   and subtle labels,

                   would be expunged

                    and exorcised from all sound.

                   Quiet

                   would fill up space

                   and empty noises would be swallowed with silence.

                   And in that haunting but refreshing stillness

                   we would know

                   that then and only then is

                   there room to

                   hear.....

                   God” 

                                                      Amen