Church Newsletter 2018-9-12


I know how hard it is to cling on to the joys of a good worship service as the week’s troubles, disappointments and sins set in. As well, our triumphs, work and family time can occupy all our thoughts and resources.

So, it is important to stop and reflect. To listen. To ponder and remember. To meditate and mull over the Lord our God in all His mysterious Glory and merciful compassion.

This newsletter is an opportunity for me to connect with you midweek and encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus. On His all sufficiency, nearness, comfort and glory.

Where has the Spirit led you? Long after our to-do lists have gone to pot, God’s is still getting His done. He is working in and through you. Look to Him. Follow the Spirit into the wilderness where Jesus defeats His enemies. And commune there with your victorious Lord. Thank Him. Praise Him and Pray for His body.

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love. (2 John 3) Continue reading “Church Newsletter 2018-9-12”

Run Toward the Machine Guns and Live

John 12:24- 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Luke 9:51 “When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”

Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem and didn’t look back. He went towards danger. Towards loss and affliction, persecution and pain. He knew the only way to return to the Father was through death. He couldn’t return to heaven and leave the mission undone. He knew the only way to provide eternal life to His brothers and sisters was going towards the danger – towards death.

On D-day, as the men came off the boats they were ripped up with machine gun fire. Their only option was to press forward and keep moving – toward the machine guns. There was nothing behind them but the sea.

They could run back to the sea and drown or run towards the machine guns and maybe… live. It was counterintuitive to every self-preserving cell in their bodies but the twisted logic was run toward the guns to live. Run toward the impregnable defenses.

Run toward death to live.

But moving forward they could survive and liberate a continent. And the miracle was as each man ran toward death and did his part, Normandy was conquered by the allies.

We need this kind of example. The army has grown lazy and fat with inaction or it cowers in the trenches with now will to move forward.

But Jesus went ahead of us to show us how, to make it possible for us to follow.

By Laying down one’s life in obedience to the Father – dying for righteousness – is eternal life, glory and joy.

You know you lie. You know you covet. You know you curse. You know the loneliness of sin; the despair and the pain of sin.

You know that loving your wife as Christ loved the Church, raising our children in the fear and admonition of the LORD, making disciples of the nations, being Holy as God is Holy – it’s an impregnatable fortress.

You can’t scale its high walls. You are too weak and feeble to claw that elevation.

Getting out of bed, going out the front door, facing your loved ones – it’s like a machine gun of failure and despair. Continue reading “Run Toward the Machine Guns and Live”

Church Newsletter 2018-9-5


Blessings on your week. Please pray for everyone receiving this email. I know school starts for most of us, so keep the little ones and their parents in your prayers. And pray for the Helleksons, this will be their last Sunday with us.

Turn your heart and mind to God and pray that He would rend heaven and pour His Spirit anew on us all, and in abundance on Sno-King. Come Lord Jesus!

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thess. 5:23–24)

Filling up the edges

In Mark 4:41, the disciples ask, “who is this?” John Mark uses this device throughout the gospels. John Mark wants us to engage with what he’s written.

In 1:7-8 John the Baptist says a mighty one is coming who will baptize us with the holy Spirit?

Who is this?

In 1:9 a Galilean comes tearing open heaven with His obedience, unleashing peace.

Who is this?

Mark expects his audience to decide what to do with what it sees and hears. He shows us the material and invites us to decide for ourselves.

Who is this?

Jesus is the messiah, the beloved Son of God (1:9-11). Jesus is the mighty one, the warrior defeating God’s enemies (1:7, 12-13, 25-26). Jesus is the Messenger, declaring the Lordship of God (1:11, 14) and declaring the proper response to that Message (1:14, 16-20).

The Son of God, the servant-messiah-king is declaring the Kingdom of God and calling everyone to come, repent and acknowledge the LORD.

This is the blueprint. If all Jesus had to do was die, then why didn’t God allow Herod to kill Jesus in the cradle and be done with it? Jesus came to do more than die. He came to live. To be the way, the truth and the life – for every man, woman and child in every age.

He wants us to be parables of Him. He wants us to be bait for Him. He wants us to live like him. Warriors, servants, messengers – obedient and joyful. Submissive and powerful.

The heavens have opened and God the Father’s word to Jesus is a word for all of mankind –  “this is beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”

And in Christ we are made partakers of this message of peace and love.

John 1:12–13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17–21 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Who is this?

He is the long-awaited ladder to Heaven. He is the bread from heaven come down to feed us eternal life. He is the mighty one slaying our demons and defeating Satan. He is the ark in which we are hid from the tidal wrath of God, the Father.

And when we go down into the water, He descends from Heaven by the Spirit into each of our hearts, into our fellowship; making us one body – his body. And in that we hear what we have all longed to hear our whole lives. We hear in Christ the Father say; “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

Truly, the Son of God became a nobody to make nobodies the sons of the living God.

Around the worldwide web

Pastor Alistair Beg offers his sermons online. His series on Mark is worthy to listen to. Especially, since his Scottish accent makes him sound even more reformedJ


My good God, Father, and Savior,

grant me aid by your Holy Spirit to now work fruitfully in my vocation, which is from you, all in order to love you and the people around me rather than for my own gain and glory. Give me wisdom, judgment and prudence, and freedom from my besetting sins. Bring me under the rule of true humility. Let me accept with patience whatever amount of fruitfulness or difficulty in my work that you give me this day. And in all I do, help me to rest always in my Lord Jesus Christ and in his grace alone for my salvation and life.

Hear me, merciful Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Church Calendar

Service 9-9-18

Ron Coverdale, Call

Jered Leslie, Prayer


Start Sunday, September 16, 9AM. Kid classes for ages 4-7 and 8-12 need volunteers; see Jered for more info.


Saturday, Sept 22, St. Edwards Park. Register for free meal tickets and meal times at


October 26-27. Save the date! Details coming.

Jesus Thirsts for Wrath

John 19:28–30 “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Psalm 22:14–15 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.”

John 19:28-30 is a fulfillment directly of Psalm 22:15. Psalm 22 is the most quoted psalm in the NT.

This moment when he speaks of thirst, as in His whole earthly ministry, Jesus is profoundly misunderstood. Physically, at this point, salving his thirst prolongs his life which prolongs his agony and the roman soldiers were all too ready to oblige him.

But Jesus didn’t mean he thirsted for anything in this world, certainly not the cheap swill the soldiers kept there to stave off dehydration. Here at the height of agony, Jesus is resolved and prepared for that cup, which just a few hours before, He Had asked His father to remove in Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”Jesus, in the garden of gethsemane, said no father I am not thirsty, but I will drink if it you tell me to. We see here mere resignation.

But Jesus goes on to suffer and suffer, and it isn’t until he asks for the cup of wrath that His father gives it to Him. The Father withholds it. Jesus endures the wrath and condemnation of men and through suffering He is perfected. He thirsts for the end. He knows what is required and so He looks to the heavens and says, “I thirst.”

The cup of wrath and judgment for mankind is mentioned often in the OT.

Psalm 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.

Someone had to deal with this cup.John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (ESV)

Jesus was not forced to drink. His will was not violated. His will, which wavered under a load of dread and misery, came into full strength and utter submission to His Father’s will. Christ’s faith at this moment, asking for that which was His father’s desire but was contrary to every fleshly desire and comfort he knew – to this Jesus submitted willingly. He thirsted for it. He desired to be satiated with the wrath and condemnation of His father because that is what He was born to drink. It is His father’s will and His fathers will is His sustenance.

The psalms are the prayers of the Messiah. The messianic songbook.

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

Psalm 63:1O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Jesus thirsted for the end of His earthly ministry which would be the death stroke of death, the destruction of Satan and the obliteration of sin. Jesus asks for that cup and after everything He had endured, His obedience and love for the Father overrules everything else and the cup He feared, that He dreaded, that He wanted to avoid, is lifted to his lips and He drank it off.

There on Calvary, especially there, He submits, and it is a long obedience in the same direction that prepared Him for that moment. Habit over momentary distress. Faithfulness over easy-safe-selfishness.

Christ thirsted for the cup of His calling as the suffering servant– His shame and terror and dread –and He drank it to the dregs because he needed an empty cup. He needed a cup with which to sprinkle cleansing water upon His bride; the living water of baptism. He needed a cup to fill with blessing, cleansing, and salvation.

There was a cup in the upper room in Jerusalem that Paul delighted to call “the cup of blessing which we bless” (1 Cor. 10:16). This is the cup the psalmist alluded to when he wrote, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation” (Ps. 116:13). Jesus was offering them this cup when He said, “Take, drink from it” (Matt. 26:27).

The Disciples too, misunderstood. There was a cup of wrath and judgment that was emptied by the thirsty Christ at Calvary.

By the time that cup is passed to us – all the terror and condemnation is gone. We find only life. Only favor. Only grace. Only the wine and water of the new covenant for the whole world. The cup of life and blessing.

Christ thirsted for the cup of judgment so that He could finish it. Drink it all down. Remove it. Washed, he offers the cup of His blood; His grace – to you.

Are you thirsty? We aren’t as thirsty for the cup of blessing as Christ was for the cup of woe. We are self-centered little wretches who mess about with drink and sex and self when limitless joy and goodness are offered to us.

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

Are we thirsty for the cup of blessing? Is the cup of hope and life our habit? Our Joy? Or have we satiated ourselves with the cup of distraction, disbelief and self-satisfaction? Are we as thirsty for the cup of life and Grace as Jesus was for the cup of Wrath and condemnation?

Don’t Look Back

Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” 

A person can only go in one direction at a time, just like he can only have one master at a time. Which way are you going? Who are you following?

We’d all say “following Christ,” of course, but lives can be compartmentalized. You are not facing forward all the time because you are still looking back to sinful pleasures of your former manner of life. .

Following Christ requires a long obedience in the same direction.

And as we keep our eyes set on the joy set before us, we are acted upon.

It’s through the back-breaking labor of sowing real seeds that God yields 10, 100 and 1000 times the produce. But a farmer plows by driving his plow in a long straight line, not weaving or doubling back over the same ground.

It’s by the turning of the head from the immodest women that God turns our heart wholly to our wife.

It’s in the regular habit of hospitality that true encouragement, belonging and generosity are found. It’s in the giving away that God ensures that you receive.

It’s in the self-denial that God gives Himself fully without reserve.

God says take this field and clear it of trees – roots and all. Clear away the rocks. Turn the earth. Scatter seeds and remove weeds and fertilize the soil. Eyes forward and stay on task.

He calls us to follow Him and to labor and instead of an obedient “yes, Lord,” our mouths are filled with questions as we look back toward Egypt.

We kick against the goads. Our work is sporadic and poorly done because its half-hearted.

So, when God says, “take this woman as your wife and lay your life down for her as Christ laid His down for you. Raise these children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Love one another as I have loved you. Be Holy as I am Holy. Make Disciples of the nations. Follow Me.”

Your mouth should not be full of questions.

He wants you to obey, knowing that in yourself it is impossible but that with Him all things are possible.

Christ has called you into a relationship with Himself that is transforming you mind and soul, spirit and essence into something like Himself.

For no other reason than the fact that He loves you.

And believing it is how it happens. Believing the one who promises to do it is how He does it.

Obeying the command to follow, putting our hand to the plow and not looking back but looking to the sky expectantly for the rain He promised, the rain that the whole venture depends upon.

This is discipleship; the process by which Jesus who came in the image and likeness of man is remaking us into the image and likeness of God.

Believing Jesus’ promises to do it is how He does it.

Church Newsletter 2018-8-29


Blessings beloved of God! I hope that your week is going well and that you are resting in Christ’s victory. This newsletter is meant to remind you of Sunday’s message, equip you for study and devotions this Wednesday, as we turn our minds toward the Lord’s Day.

May God’s face shine upon you and give you peace.

Filling up the edges

To have the message of God; to say, “thus sayeth the Lord,” is the calling of every Christian because of the Great Commission and that message is found in the bible, which is constantly opened wider and deeper to reveal more to us.

Revelation comes through the Scriptures directly from God, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, to individuals studying it, as well as, through preaching and teaching.

You are not seers, fortunetellers or mystic predictors of the future. But you do have the prophetic voice.

Because you are the church.

The prophetic voice is one crying in the wilderness “make straight the paths of the LORD.” “Repent.” “Be baptized.” “The Mighty one Comes.” “Make way.”

Mark 1:4-9. Mark is not concerned that we know about the miraculous birth or backstory of John. All Mark is concerned about is John’s preaching, which “serves only one purpose – to point to Jesus.

As John declared it to Israel, Mark is declaring the same message to his readers. And His readers, in response – repent and go forth declaring that same message.

On the day of Pentecost Peter cited the words of the prophet Joel, who said that God would pour out his spirit on all his people, and as a result, “your sons and daughters will prophesy,” (Acts 2:17).

There are thirty-three Greek words in the NT for preachingor proclaiming. Not all of these activities can be described as formal public speaking in the worship service – the form of preaching we often think of when we hear the word.

Acts 8:4 says that all Christians except the Apostles went from place to place “proclaiming the messiah.” This cannot mean that every believer was standing up and preaching sermons to audiences. Priscilla and Aquila explained the word of Christ to Apollos in their home (Acts 18:26).

Paul calls all believers to “let the message of Christ dwell in your richly,” and to “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.” Every Christian has the prophetic word – “believe, repent, make way for the mighty one comes.”

Every Christian should be able to give both instruction and admonition.

We should all be able to answer Satan’s basic question “did God really say?” We should be able to counsel and instruct anyone from God’s word. ALL OF YOU.

Mother to daughter, wife to Husband, father to son, Husband to wife, brother to sister, one to another. You all have a prophetic word for one another and for the world.

Every Christian must understand the message of the Bible well enough to explain it and apply it to other Christians, and to his neighbor, in informal and personal settings.

No church should expect all the life transformation that comes from the Word of God to arise strictly through formal Sunday preaching. It can’t take the strain. It isn’t often enough or thorough enough.

We need the prophetic voice. The World needs it. To John, the fundamental human problem is not ignorance or inherent human imperfection, but sin, understood as active rebellion against the creator.

Israel did not know her condition, so God sent a messenger. This is a pattern. Rome did not know her condition, so God sent John Mark. Seattle doesn’t know her condition, so God has sent messengers. You.

The gospel is that Jesus is King. John declares that “the mighty one comes.” This is significant given that God is referred to as the “the mighty one.”

God’s coming is marked by power and strength.

Power and strength is what Israel needed to fulfill her calling. Power and strength is what the Roman Christians facing Nero needed to fulfill their calling. Power and strength is what we need to raise large families on one income in a culture hostile to the Christian faith. Power and strength is what we need to overcome our avarice and apathy.

And the mighty one comes to dwell on each of us in the Holy Spirit. Every man, woman and child.

He comes to empower us. Acts 1:8“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Just as He came to equip the prophets. Judges 3:10“The Spirit of the LORD was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand.”

This has always been the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always been the presence of God amongst God’s children, that empowers them to overcome the circumstances that are otherwise too much for them.

The things of God always require the work and power of God made available to us so that we can accomplish what we can’t on our own. If the Spirit of the Triune God dwells within you then the power of the Triune God dwells within you.

We are confronted every day with feats that are too much for us in our own power. We need the power of God to do the things God commands us to do. We can’t fulfill the law, we can’t love God or our neighbor as we are commanded to, which God’s goodness and Holiness requires, without the provision of God’s own strength.

Full of the Holy Spirit, we proclaim the Gospel in Word and deed and thereby the church fulfills its prophetic calling. By declaring that man’s problem is sin and Jesus is the cure, we fulfill our prophetic calling. To say that Jesus is the Lord of natural law and the dictionary, of genitalia, the family and of our feelings, we fulfill our prophetic calling.

Here in the wilderness of poofdom, where it’s harder and harder to tell the difference between a man and a woman, straight and gay, evil and good – we need that voice more than ever.  We need a community built around that voice that is always preaching and teaching that same word – Jesus. We need men who lead by following Jesus and women who follow Jesus by following their man. Confess your love and fear of the world. Die and rise.

What sin has got you by the heart and soul? What word does your spouse and children need? What word does your church need? Who in your community and family needs repentance, baptism and the Lordship of Jesus Christ? The Word the world needs is Jesus. Are you willing to fight for it? Bleed for it? Die for it?

Is Jesus bigger than your circumstances? Bigger than the rainbow jihad? The abortion death camps? Your porn addiction? Your fear of man?

Is Jesus bigger than your anxiety and doubt? Bigger than your self-image and easy safe selfishness? Bigger than your insecurities? Is Jesus bigger and stronger than your sin?

John Mark, James, Peter and John the Baptizer urged the early Christians to repent of their lusts and wars, while emulating the prophets who proclaimed the judgements of God and resisted the evil rulers with patience and joy.

Jesus is the prophetic word. Proclaim Him. He is mighty, and He is with you by the Holy Spirit always.

Around the worldwide web

Part of our community life should be encouraging one another and enjoying the grace of God in our midst throughout the week. Part of our outreach ought to be spreading the Gospel message to as wide an audience as possible. Both in word and deed; in messages and actions. Social Media is a huge blessing and very affective megaphone if it is used in such a way. For the last month, we have spread our message to a wider and wider number of people and tried to foster thanksgiving in our midst by celebrating and proclaiming publicly – the goodness of the Lord in the good things He is doing.

If you want to help get the word out, follow us, share the posts and proclaim Redeemer’s message to your larger community. Boast in what the Lord is doing at Redeemer and be refreshed throughout the week between Lord’s day and Lord’s day. The Triune God is in our midst and He is mighty good.



Sermon recordings from website:

Pastor’s blog:



Thank you Lord for Sabbath rest, for work to fill the week, for the sacraments, sacred words of scripture and the fellowship of your body.

Deliver Redeemer Church out of the darkness of unbelief. Let us lift up the name of God in praise. Let us be renewed in Communion with you, washed in your word as your faithful bride, altered in heart and mind by grateful praise to you.

Let us be prepared for action, molded as a tool for the tearing down of strongholds and building of your kingdom.

Let Christ shine in our eyes and may the power of your spirit flow through us to the world. Bless our fellowship, our songs, our words of adoration and supplication, our hearing and our doing.

Bless our worship service and all our preparations for it. May our worship honor and delight you. May we be transformed by it.

In Christ, as Christ, for Christ,


Church Calendar

Service 9-2-18

Jered Leslie, Call

Byron Heward, Prayer


Wednesdays July & August, 1PM; Contact Molly for info.


Tuesday, Aug 28, 10-noon at the Letsche home: 20330 74th Dr SE, Snohomish. RSVP to for childcare.


Start Sunday, September 16, 9AM. Kid classes for ages 4-7 and 8-12 need volunteers; see Jered for more info.


Saturday, Sept 22, St. Edwards Park. Register for free meal tickets and meal times at


October 26-27. Save the date! Details coming.


A Ministry of word and deed

As we see in the opening chapters of Acts, the Apostles could care for the spiritual and physical welfare of their community.

The true ministry of the church is not gnostic, but grounded in the real-life circumstances of believers. The fallout of sin has real consequences. Dealing with poverty, addiction – all the practical and real-world circumstances of a fallen person, is as equally as important as renewing the mind and walking by the Spirit.

But neither is the ministry of the church what many have falsely deemed the “social gospel.” The problem with mankind is not merely circumstances. Poverty, a lack of education and economic inequality are not what ails mankind – they are the fruit of what ails mankind.

Jesus said in the great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Teach them to observe, he says. Discipling the nations is about what is to be believed and what is to be done. Jesus says teach them my commands so that they can do my commands.

James makes the point well in James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

The word of God teaches us what is to be done. The ministry of Jesus was a ministry of words and deeds. The Son of God came into the world to teach us love and to show us love. He calls disciples to observehis commandments– to obey his teaching.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus traveling incognito asks his two disciples what this Jesus had done – Luke 24:19 And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.

Luke 4:16. Jesus opens the word of God and then expounds its meaning, teaching about Himself and His ministry from the word of God. Jesus preaches. Then what does He do? The things Isaiah says the messiah will do. Luke 4:31-41 goes on describing Jesus’s fulfillment of that teaching in real action.

Jesus preaches, and Jesus works out that message amongst the people. He says come to me all who are burdened and heavy-laden and then He relieves their burdens. Their spiritual burdens and physical burdens. He forgives sins and feeds five thousand. He declares sinners clean and raises the dead. He gives sight to the blind and instructs the masses on the mount. His ministry is a ministry of word and deed. Continue reading “A Ministry of word and deed”