pastor pat's desk

December 2020

O y! What a year we’ve had! Didn’t see it coming, glad to see it going, still not knowing what 2021 will bring…. Perhaps the phrase “it came to pass” carries new meaning and urgency for us now – the year came and now would it please pass! 

It is a transitory time. The political season has passed, not without its attending and seemingly unending drama, as we await some final outcomes with speculation and pondering even yet. Most of the leaves have fallen, signaling the passing of autumn to winter. We have hope and anticipation that soon a vaccine to battle Covid-19 will be finalized and rushed into production and then distribution. We move from the day-to-day existence of the calendar year into the season of holidays, with a proclamation of “Happy Holidays!” Decorations stored away come out and, splashed with greenery and color, lights and candles announce the season of lights in the midst of the deepening darkness of the calendar year.

One of the phrases that stands out from scripture for me this time of year, and maybe more particularly this year, is “It came to pass…” (Luke 2:1 “In those days…” the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible uses just this phrase as it simply skips over the Greek “it came to pass...” The New King James Version includes the thought, saying, “And it came to pass in those days…”). The phrase often indicates that what is happening is the result of a course of events. The first chapter of Luke’s gospel tells the story of preparations for the coming of the Child: Zacharias hears of the impending birth to his barren wife of their son, John, who will be the Baptist; the angel Gabriel appears to Mary to announce her rather awkward pregnancy; Mary visits Elizabeth and sings her wonderful Magnificat; John the Baptist is born and Zacharias sings his praises of God. And then, “it came to pass…” another way of saying, “…and so it happened!” The stage is set. Preparations have been made.

May I remind you that the coming of the Messiah, the Advent of the Savior, when it finally “…came to pass,” was a five century course of events from the time of the last prophecies of the Old Testament until its fulfillment? We, on the other hand, rush through Advent, this year in 26 days. Often we miss it entirely, busy with our own preparations for the season. You see, Advent is really a time of waiting, even longing for the fulfillment of the promise of the Coming One. We might hearken back to the final weeks of the season of Pentecost, when all the texts point to the as-yet-unfulfilled Second Coming of Christ for a comparison. Is that coming something we anticipate, wait for, even long for? Maybe this year more than ever before? Wouldn’t this be a good time for the Lord to return?

Advent is about remembering promises kept and promises yet to be fulfilled. So I would beseech you not to rush through it. Slow the train down! Along with all the decorating, planning, shopping, baking, and whatever else the season beckons you to do, hasten to step on the brakes and prepare your hearts and minds for the One who longs to come into our lives ever more deeply, even right now.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth thou art,

Dear desire of ev’ry nation, Joy of ev’ry longing heart.

Power to you! Pastor Pat


Pastor Pat's Bio here

Learn more about Pastor Pat's Christian Philosophy here


The Anchor

Devotional by Joyce Boddie

My daughter gave me an ornament a few years ago that is in the shape of an anchor. On it are engraved the words steadfast, honest, strong and there is a rope entwined around the anchor. A tag on the ornaments said, “Hold fast, stay true and sail on”. Although I knew why she had chosen this ornament, I wanted to hear her thoughts about it. She responded as I thought she reminded her of her Dad (a passionate sailor that had died a few years before) and the family values (a surprise to me). What she didn’t know was how much more the anchor means to me and why I treasure this gift beyond what she saw

The rope around the anchor represents the cord of our marriage and how we grew together and were anchored together in life.

On my graduation from nursing school, the graduates were given a pin from the school. It had a red band on a gold pin, the motto Humanitas et Firmitas and in the center was an anchor. The legend of the pin stated that the anchor was caught upon a rock and surrounded by water. It signified the fertility of resources for the nurse..a firm support, a trusty stay to the patients in hours of need.

The other deep meaning for me of an anchor is how I feel about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is steadfast and will always be there. He is a solid rock and his strength is there for me.

That ornament is so much more than just an ornament. It is a great representation of many important things in my life.

April 30, 2020

“If We’ve Ever Needed You


by David Bakken, Music Director GDLCSJ

Throughout the ages, prayer seems to accompany need. However, it’s the time of rejoicing that needs prayer and praise too. During this time of “Shelter-in-place,” when we are missing the fellowship, it’s time to reset the switches. God provides in all times.

Over the course of the last four years of Graduate school, my personal and professional lives were filled with one tumultuous event or another. I prayed for comfort rather than opening my heart to the blessings of a home and family whose faith remains strong. Perhaps I’m not as strong as it may seem. When Rose suffered her stroke in a February of 2019, I prayed for blessings. Serendipitously, when I got in the car after leaving the hospital, Laura Story’s “Blessings” came on. I almost had to pull over because tears had welled up in my eyes. Yes, Lord, I AM thankful you provide blessings.

Fast forward to this morning (April 24) at 1:00am, I couldn’t sleep. As God always does for me, he gave me a song - Casting Crowns’ “If We’ve Ever Needed You.” While it may appear that we need God because of pandemics and political strife and ailments that engulf us, it’s the blessings that cause us to NEED Christ.

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace. I am grateful we have each other, with God’s calming Spirit guiding us the entire way.

If we’ve ever needed you, Lord it’s now. May the blessings of the Lord surround you and make you joyful. Peace to you.

David Bakken, Music Director GDLC


Recommended Websites

Below is a list of Ministries that Gloria Dei Lutheran Church support with Benevolence Funds and/or partner with to continue our mission of serving.  These organization range from as near as a short walk out our front door to the other side of the globe. The links are identified in red