September 2016 


Have you ever had a “mountain top experience with God”? It is that moment when emotionally and existentially you feel most closely connected with God.
Not me!
I have seen people talk about that moment on television. I have visited with them in person. But for me, it has never happened. I bet it never happened to you either.
I believe mountain top experiences happen. For most of us, however, our relationship with God occurs one step at a time. It began with our baptism, and it progresses. Along the way there are setbacks, but all in all, we like to think we are growing: one step at a time.
Scripture teaches us that our relationship with God is a growing process: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
A congregation the size of St. Paul has many people in different places in their spiritual growth. Some walk easily within spiritual matters, and others feel awkward and ill-equipped.
That is why scripture uses the term “grow” to describe our spiritual journey. For most of us God sometimes works baby steps – tenderly and carefully nudging us along – maturing.  Stagnation is to step backwards. We should be looking to take one more step – growing and maturing.
A Challenge

The St. Paul congregation helps you mature in your faith through worship services and corporate Bible study. Some who read this have not been in corporate Bible study since confirmation classes. Others might have gone at one time but now have stopped. Still, others are comfortable in Bible study and attend most of the classes.
Regardless of where you are in your spirituality, I challenge you to grow this coming church season – even if only by a single step. From September 9th through the end of May I want you to set a personal goal of spiritual growth. If you go to church once a month then go one additional time every three months.
If you have never been to Bible Class start by attending one class – just one! If you go to ten classes a year add one or two more. Never go backwards and never settle for the status quo. Set for yourself a personal goal to take one more step to mature in your faith. It doesn’t have to be a mountain top experience. Start slow and take just one step or maybe two. Resolve to make progress.  Resolve to grow – even if it means taking just one more step.
~ Pastor Robert Fleischmann

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. ~ Mark 10:45