Pastor’s Perspective:

July 2021 

Pastor Paul Mattson

Romans 8:28 

During the pandemic, I picked up a new habit – baking. Chocolate chip zucchini bread, chocolate chip banana bread, and chocolate chip cookies. Can you see the theme here? 

So…… guess what I got for a Father’s Day gift from my spouse? A new KitchenAid mixer. The one I had been using is 50 years old and patched together with electrical tape. 

A new day of baking possibilities has arrived! Maybe you remember the sermon illustration: 

Cake is a yummy treat! But would we ever consider eating the ingredients of a cake separately? 

A spoon of flour? A raw egg? A little oil? Each of these are essential in baking a cake though. 

Life can be a lot like a cake; separately there are some bitter times, some raw, hurtful times, and some dry, bland times. 

Think of some “untasty,” tough times you or others may have experienced. Life is full of disap-pointments, pain, suffering, and hurts. We may ask God why, and that’s okay. The good news is God is able to use these for good as we trust Him; He can give them purpose. 

Yes, bad things happen to everyone; no one is immune. We live in a sin-filled world. Some ingredients of a cake don’t taste very good alone either, but they can serve a good and important purpose. 

Now think of some good times! Would we really appreciate these as much if we never had any tough experiences? We appreciate the sunshine more after several days of rain. A warm blan-ket is even more cozy when it’s bitter cold. 

God is able to blend the good and the bad experiences in our lives together for our good and for His good purpose. All together they create a life that is meaningful, useful, and tasty…like a yummy cake! 

Romans 8:28 is a beautiful promise: “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His good purpose.” 

Remembering God is at work even during the hard times when we may not sense His presence helps us persevere. We can trust Him; He is faithful. He is working out His good purpose for those who love Him. 

Continuing to bake – even with funky ingredients – all for the good – Pastor Paul 

Immanuel’s Vision Statement 

A vibrant and diverse community of faith where lives are changed;
Where people of all ages are invited and challenged
To become disciples of Jesus in their daily lives;
Where real people experience healing, help, hope and harmony

Please contact the church office if you, or someone you know from Immanuel, with their permission, is in the hospital. Due to confidentiality laws, the hospital does NOT contact the church (or pastor) when they are admitted, even if they designate a specific church/pastor on the intake form. At Immanuel, we hope and strive to provide timely and appropriate pastoral care to those who would desire and appreciate it. Too often, we are last to know about a member being (or having been) in the hospital. Thank you!