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January 18, 2019

Pastor StapfIn a conversation yesterday another man and I were talking about the value of imagination. When we were kids we made up all kinds of activities, characters, and games. We imagined what it would be like to be or to do this or that. Even the playing card we attached to the spokes of a bicycle making a motor sound took us to another place or time. God has given us the faculty of imagination to see beyond where we are at present. Jesus tried to guide His followers in this when He would say "the Kingdom of God is like...." He would give them an image of something they knew well, sheep, fields, merchants in search of some value, and so on, to help them see beyond this life into the nature of the place where God dwells, and where God desired that they be. Their imagination wasn't just for a child's game, but for a true image of all God held out our them. And as children take on a character they were being called to live in the nature of the Kingdom that was to come. This is still our calling. Scripture shows us the nature of our Lord and His life. By God's grace we are called and enabled to grow in that nature now. We bring the image of God's life into our everyday activities. It is this that draws other to Him..

Pastor Irvin Stapf

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artin Luther encouraged people to be regular in their daily devotions, and gave some instruction about a pattern they might use. He said that one should begin by making the sign of the cross over themselves. As the Protestant Reformation continued this practice decreased in use, or was considered too Catholic for protestant use. This is unfortunate. Or course, like anything else, it can be over used and misused, but that doesn't change the fact that it can be a very meaningful devotional sign. It is not made as a law that everyone must do it. If it is personally meaningful then it should be used. But more than this, whether one chooses to personally use the sign of the cross or not, we do remind ourselves that as Christians, as believers

A collection of Pastor Stapf's reflections has been published in . . .

Book ImageNot For This Life Only
A Study for Growth Into Maturity
as the Children of God

by Irvin F. Stapf , Jr.

"'What is your purpose in life?' Do you know where to begin in answering this question? If you are searching for a deeper purpose , Not for This Life Only will give you solid biblical truths to help you discover God's plan for you.

This insightful study will establish a firm biblical foundation as you prayerfully seek God's calling for your life. Through all of the circumstances of life, God is seeking to help us grow into Christ's example of sacrificial love. As a topic that can conjure up confusion, discover that God is not silent when it comes to the life he has called you to live.

Irvin Stapf weaves together common concerns such as purpose, family, suffering, and making mistakes and points them toward the focus and purpose in your life. Now is the time to start finding the answer to the question, 'What is your purpose in life?'

Irvin Stapf has been an ordained Lutheran pastor for thirty-eight years and is the Regional Pastor for the Eastern Region of the American Association of Lutheran Churches. Irvin, and his wife, Audrey, have been married for forty-three years and have five children. They currently reside in Mount Airy, Maryland."

148 pages - $11.99 (plus $3.00 S&H)

The book is published by Tate Publishing of Mustang,Oklahoma and can be obtained from the author at Christ Lutheran Church, 13903 Legion Court, Mount Airy, MD 21771.

The book can also be obtained through major book stores.

Copyright 2009

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