Edgewater Lutheran Church
Eternal Perspective - 7.31
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        Fall Church Retreat

        August 6, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 7, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be at Rancho Jurupa park. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. Bring your RV or tent camp, enjoy a Worship Under the Stars type experience on Saturday night, and spend a weekend with your church family! The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Registration covers the whole family and includes the campsite and food for the weekend. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Fall Men's Retreat

        August 13, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 14, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. The cost of registration covers food and housing for the weekend. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Fall Women's Retreat

        August 20, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 21, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Blood Drive Rescheduled!

        September 4, 2022 - 3:30 PM - 3:30 PM
        Edgewater Lutheran Church and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive. Please join our lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment today! Click here to make an appointment The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.
      • Bible Trivia
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  • Where The Spirit Of The Lord Is
  • You Are Good
  • Promises
      • Mark 8:1–10ESV

  • Delayed Gratification

    So there’s this book series that I really enjoyed in high school, I came back to it a couple times and re-read it, it was one of those series that was just right up my alley. It’s called The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott - not that Michael Scott - and the basic premise of the books are that there is a race of powerful entities outside and above humanity called Elders. Now these Elders cannot operate directly in the world, so they choose human servants to do their will. In exchange, the humans receive immortality.
    In one of the books, the author starts to introduce a new character and from the get-go you can tell he’s a villain, he’s a bad dude. One of the adjectives used to describe him is that he’s a snake, he’s described as wearing an all black, custom tailored, Italian suit, and he’s attending an auction of items that may or may not have been obtained ethically. And this character is actually based on a historical figure that furthers that idea of him being a bad guy. His character’s name is Niccolo Machiavelli, the historical Niccolo Machiavelli is known for writing a political treatise titled The Prince in which he said “it is better to be feared than loved” - earning him the title of a “teacher of evil.” So we have this villain at an auction and he loses out on a piece of art that is vital to his collection. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “he’s definitely going to find the person who just won the auction, kill them, and take the art.” Because that’s what a bad guys would do, right? But he doesn’t, he more or less says “I’ll keep an eye on that family, I’m sure the painting will be for sale again in a century or two - given that he had made a deal for immortality.
    And that scene has stuck with me all these years, I read those books over a decade ago and I still remember this scene of Machiavelli at the shady art auction. It still stands out to me, astounds me to read about the incredible patience this guy showed. I mean, can you imagine starting the ball rolling today on something that you know won’t come to fruition for another hundred years? I don’t think I can, for the same reason that this scene stuck out to me in the first place. I struggle with the idea of delayed gratification, now I’m a lot better than I used to be, but it still sometimes eludes me. The idea of waiting, suffering even, until a better opportunity arrives has always been difficult for me. I don’t want to train for years, I want to bench 405 now. I don’t want to slowly take classes one at a time, I want to finish my degree now. I don’t want to wait for God’s timing, I want Him to answer my prayers now . . .

    We want it now!

    It’s my educated guess that we’ve all struggled with that last one sometime in our lives. We want God to answer our prayers immediately, exactly how we want Him to answer them.
    In the midst of this struggling economy, we want God to make our money problems go away now - not sometime in the future.
    When we struggle with illness, we want God to make us better now - not sometime in the future.
    When we face chronic pain or depression or anxiety, we want God to take that burden away now - not sometime in the future.
    When we face infertility, we want God to give us a child 9 months from now - not sometime in the future.
    When we face questions about what we’re going to do in life, we want God to give us clear answers now - not sometime in the future.
    We’ve all been there, or at least in a very similar place, but the reality brothers and sisters is that kind of attitude is sinfully arrogant and shortsighted. Job had that attitude and in Job 38:2-7 God says this
    Job 38:2–7 (ESV)
    “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
    Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.
    “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
    Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
    On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,
    when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
    Or in Deuteronomy 6:16 we hear God warn the Israelites saying
    Deuteronomy 6:16 (ESV)
    “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.
    A lesson that Jesus repeats in Matthew. Who are we to question God’s timing? What do we know? And yet we question God, we think that our timing is better than His, that our wants are better than His plan.

    God Follows Through

    And sometimes God’s Word makes these questions even harder. In our Gospel reading for today, Jesus miraculously and instantly feeds the people who are hungry at His feet. Throughout His ministry, He heals the deaf, the blind, the lame, and the sick. He brings back the dead. And He does it all instantly. We read these stories and it is natural to think “why won’t He do the same for me?”
    But compare those stories with our reading from Genesis this morning, where God promises to bless Abram but says in Genesis 15:13-15
    Genesis 15:13–15 (ESV)
    Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.
    But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
    As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.
    And as we compare these two stories, one of the hardest parts is this. I can’t tell you why. I can’t tell you why God worked instantly in some people’s lives and His promise to Abram would only take place after hundreds of years of suffering for his descendants. I can’t tell you why some people’s cancer seems to miraculously go away and others battle it for the rest of their lives. I can’t tell you why some people’s pain or illness goes away and others continue to suffer. I can’t tell you why some people’s prayers seem to be answered right away and God hasn’t answered yours.
    But I can tell you this. Both of these stories have something in common, God ultimately keeps His promises. God loves His people, God cares about His people, God cares for His people. I can tell you this. God has promised to love you. God has promised to care for you. God has promised to bring you to eternity without suffering or loss or tears. And God has never, not once, failed to follow through on His promises.

    The Blessing

    And that’s why I love the song we sang earlier today so much. The first time I heard this song, it was sung as a prayer over the people I was gathered with. It was a prayer for me. Sometimes it’s hard to see, but His presence goes before you and behind you and beside you. He is all around you and within you. He is with you, He is for you. And I love that this song, this prayer is for a thousand generations, it helps to remind us of our eternal God. He might now bless you now in the way you want, but this morning we remember to broaden our perspective. To remember that God has a plan that spans eternity, and that He will follow through on His promise to love you, to forgive you, and to take care of you.

    God Keeps His Promises

    We when we come before God in prayer, when we want Him to take away things we’re struggling with or when we want Him to bless us, when we’re frustrated by His apparent inaction - it is my prayer that we remember, that we are a community that reminds each other, of this.
    God keeps His promises, and He promised to love you, me, us.
    God keeps His promises, and He promised to take care of you, me, us.
    God keeps His promises, and He promised to do what’s best for you, me, us.
    God keeps His promises, and He promised to forgive you, me, us.
    God keeps His promises, and He promised eternity to you, to me, to us. Amen.
      • Genesis 15:1–15ESV

      • Job 38:2–7ESV

      • Deuteronomy 6:16ESV

      • Genesis 15:13–15ESV

  • Your Spirit
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        Blood Drive Rescheduled!

        September 4, 2022 - 3:30 PM - 3:30 PM
        Edgewater Lutheran Church and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive. Please join our lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment today! Click here to make an appointment The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.
  • The Blessing

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