An Encouraging Note from Pastor Mark
The Story of Us
In that brief moment before sleep overtakes you, or in the distant thoughts of a
daydream, when you realize, in a fleeting moment, that something is wrong, something
is broken, something is not the way it’s supposed to be.
Over the ages there have been countless books written describing a utopia, the
existence of humans and nature in a peaceful balance with harmony, justice and love.
Why? Why do you long for a utopia? Why do you instinctively know that a utopia is the
desired state for all beings? You can clearly see that this world is no utopia, so why the
longing for one?
Could it be that our hearts sense that this is the way it was supposed to be? Yes,
that is what we know; what we know deep down inside.
How can we see humans and nature in a peaceful balance with harmony, justice
and love? It can only happen if we place God back in the center; when His desires
become our desires, His will our will. He alone will usher in the Utopia.
Listening carefully; you will hear the joy of a world restored, the world as it is
supposed to be.
In each of us, is a deep, intuitive longing for a world in which humans and nature
exist in a peaceful balance with harmony, justice and love. We instinctively sense it, we
feel it, we crave it.
In humanity’s primal past, there was a place, and only one place, in which
humans and nature existed in a perfect balance. A place where peace reigned, and
justice triumphed. A place where people lived in harmony, and relationships thrived. A
place where both humans and nature were safe, and there was no fear of being harmed
by another. This unique, and ultimate soul-satisfying place was called the garden of
Could it be…is it possible…that the deep longing in your heart for peace, love
and harmony in this world is a longing for Eden?
Eden, that harmonious place of peace and love was made for humanity. It was
fitted for us to explore, grow and cultivate, to create a culture of peace, harmony and
love for our fellow human beings in which they could flourish. All those things our hearts
yearn for today that are absent in this world. Utopia.
Eden was exactly what humanity needed to thrive and develop into the people
we were intended to be. It was our workshop, our playground, our safe haven. It was a
gift given to us. A gift of grace.
Who gave us this harmonious, peaceful place so full of love? Who provided
precisely what we needed? Who cared so deeply for our well-being, who provided so
richly for our needs, who loved so abundantly because of who we are…our Creator?
In Eden, we were free to learn, grow and explore in an environment that was
permeated by love. We were free to laugh at our own ignorance. We were free to
converse without fighting or demonizing the other. We were free to share our hopes and
dreams without fear of ridicule or rejection. We were free to be all that our Creator
intended. We were free.
But that all changed…
Eden, that idyllic utopia fitted for humanity suddenly seemed to fade. The colors
muted, the fragrances dulled, the sense of peace replaced by a sense of dread; its
brilliance diminished by something new and frightening. Something was new—new
thoughts, new feelings, new horrors. Thoughts and concerns, once directed toward the
Creator and others, were directed now toward self. Self was the center and not the
Creator. Love for others was replaced by love of Self. The desire to please the Creator
replaced by the desire to please Self. Joy and contentment were gone. A new feeling
What have we done?
We willed rebellion, rebellion from our Creator. His beneficial rule over us chafed
us, repulsed us, irritated us. We would reign now. We are the kings and queens, the
masters of our own souls. We are the captains of our own fate; we steered the ship
now. Little did we understand that we were steering the ship toward the rocks of
destruction, our destruction. By rebelling against our Creator, we alienated ourselves
from His love, distanced ourselves from His beneficial care, and became captives in our
sin, our rebellion.
There are always consequences to rebellion. The consequence, that devastating
consequence for our rebellion was death. Man and woman, created to live forever
without fear of death, now is entrapped and held firm by the ghastly tentacles of death.
We cannot shake it, run from it or avoid it. Now, death comes to all.
What can we do to live again, to be free?
God, in His great mercy and grace, sent His Son Jesus into the world as a
demonstration of His love. Our Creator still loves His creation. God’s Son was sent to
become the means whereby all who believe His message can be set free from the
bondage of death and find an eternal kind of life in this world now, and eternal life in the
world to come. Jesus, God’s Son, willingly went to the barbaric cross on our behalf as a
voluntary sacrifice for the payment for our rebellion.
On the cross, God poured out His wrath against our sin by placing our sins on
Jesus, who willingly bore them. The Son’s substitutionary sacrifice appeased God’s
wrath against our sins, so that we could be forgiven. Jesus, the sinless One, became
sin for us so that we could receive the righteousness of God. It was impossible through
our own merit or by our own works, which we deemed good, to achieve this forgiveness
and righteousness. So, Another took our place.
God calls us all to repent of our sins and believe the Good News about Jesus—
that is, He died in our place, took our sins upon Himself and appeased the wrath of God
against us by voluntarily offering Himself in our place and rose again three days after
His crucifixion. Today is the day of salvation.
Will you believe the Good News about Jesus and find life in Him today?
God is moving in the history of humanity toward another garden; Eden will be
restored, and yet infinitely better. When everything is finished and God is all in all,
those who have believed in Him for salvation, will experience the ultimate utopia. God
at peace with His creation, believing mankind delivered, God’s family of faith
experiencing the goodness of God for eternity. The world as it was supposed to be.
Will you be there?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)
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A Note From
Welcome. My name is Mark. I have been married to my best friend Teresa since 1986, and
am the father of three children, 28, 26, and 15. Coming back from Germany as church-planting
missionaries in the fall of 2000, Teresa and I have been ministering at Medical Lake Community
Church since June 2001. It has been exciting to see Medical Lake Community Church become
the church it is today.
Medical Lake Community Church is a non-denominational church founded in 1883 by a
church-planting missionary Cushing Eells. Today, we meet together in two services in a historic
building, with a warm, comfortable, inviting feel. Visitors often say how welcomed and valued
the church made them feel. We care about people.
By its very nature the Church is a family. Embracing the family dynamic, we seek to
build strong relationships. If you are looking for deep, committed relationships, we promise to
provide the environment where these can be established. Since we are a “perfectly imperfect”
church, we give each other lots of love and grace, because none of us have arrived at perfect
Christian maturity. After visiting us for one service, it will be obvious to you that we really
enjoy being around each other.
We believe the Bible is the ultimate authority for faith and practice. So, we are
committed to teaching and preaching the Bible in a way that explains its meaning, focusing on
the context of the passage and how the modern Christian can put it into practice daily. This is
our commitment to you: if you want to know the Bible and the God of the Bible, we will
faithfully teach week in and week out the truth of the Bible.
We invite you to make Medical Lake Community Church your church home. If you
would like more information about who we are, and how we serve our community and the world, please feel free to give me a call at 509-299-3286