GOLTER'S MUSINGS December 2018

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • Your practice preaches

    December 1, 2018

    Don’t be naïve. Your practice preaches.

    What you do preaches louder than what you say.

    People especially watch Christians. They look for consistency.

    If a believer in Jesus spends the majority of their time consumed by entertainment, while occasionally attending church, well, this preaches. If a believer is using their tongues to slander others or gossip, well, this preaches. A gutter mouth is no different than this culture.

    The Holy Spirit preaches consistent, modest living for followers of Jesus. He often uses the word “self-control.”

    Solomon compares a man who “lacks self-control” to a “city broken into and without a wall,” (Proverbs 25:28). He is not able to control sin, but lets his sinful desires have free reign. In the end, he leaves his soul vulnerable for a fall, like a city without protective walls.

    “Self-control” is the Spirit-worked restraint of ungodly emotions, impulses and desires. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit worked through the Word (see Galatians 5:23), along with love, joy and peace.

    Peter reveals what out-of-control looks like, after urging “self-control” in 2 Peter 1:6, he writes of: Uncontrolled mouths (2 Peter 2:12, 18); adulterous eyes (2 Peter 2:14), and unbridled desires (2 Peter 2:13, 18).

    The Christian life is different. There’s a new Master in town, the Lord Jesus Christ. He rules with the surprising power of mercy, forgiveness and grace.

    Peter even urges constraint in dress, as he instructs believing wives who have unbelieving husbands, (1 Peter 3:1-6): “Do not let your adorning be external — the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear; but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable, beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” (3:3).

    Faith in Jesus with outward modesty in all areas of life preaches, perhaps even persuading others.

    This Advent and coming Christmas season gives opportunity to show self-control. Believers are more giddy over the Giver than the gifts.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Pause to be in god's word

    DECEMBER 7, 2018

    Reading a book entitled “Leadership in Turbulent Times” by Doris Kearns. She analyzes the leadership of four U.S. presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

    Beneath the title “Turnaround Leadership,” she reviews Franklin Roosevelt’s leadership decisions made when he took office in 1933. Times were turbulent, the bank system near collapse. The country was in panic mode, as the full brunt of the Depression was felt. The future of the country was in doubt. People felt helpless, powerless, and dread filled the air.

    President Roosevelt did many things, but here’s one point: “Create a gathering pause, a window of time,” (p. 282). He created a four-day bank holiday, creating a “breathing space to devise a plan to reopen the banks in an orderly way,” (p. 283).

    Creating a “breathing space” is exactly what the Lord provides through His readings of Scripture and prayer, at home and church.

    “Our heart is restless until it rests in You,” St. Augustine (Confessions, 1.1.1). The words of the fourth century church father still ring true.

    Lutherans call this a passive spirituality, meaning, God is at work upon and in you.

    When you read His Book and hear it preached, you’re not the one who’s really active. You may think you’re interpreting the Bible. Actually, He’s interpreting you. He exposes and clears out the clutter which causes anxiety; He then comforts your soul with His balm of mercy and forgiveness found only in Christ.

    Every time in His Word is a “bank holiday,” a joyful pause. 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Habits Preach

    DECEMBER 13, 2018

    My folks went to church often, regularly; it was their habit. We lived 28 miles from church. Regularly they took their three boys.

    In my recollection, there were two exceptions when we didn’t attend church: the opening weekends of pheasant and duck hunting.

    Mom and Dad taught me that life revolved around a regular pattern of hearing the Lord’s Word.

    When I went to college and, even if I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning, I got up and went to church. The folks’ habit still preached.

    The Holy Spirit records Jesus’ habit. He regularly prayed to the Father (Luke 22:39), and His step-father, and mother Mary patterned their lives around the church calendar of festivals (Luke 2:41). God the Father’s gracious words were Jesus’, and His family’s centering focus of life. They heard and prayed.

    Habits preach what’s treasured. For believers in Christ, what’s treasured is Christ and His Word. 

    Life comes from Him. Therefore, life orbits around Him. Going to church is simply what a believer does. It’s life, the way of life.

    The Holy Spirit writes to the little persecuted church in ancient Rome. “Let us hold fast our confession of our hope without wavering…” (Hebrews 10:23).

    And, then: “And let us consider now to stir one up one another to love and good works…”

    And, finally: “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some…” (Hebrews 10:25, emphasis added).

    Some of the believers changed their habit. To what? The gladiatorial games at the Colosseum in downtown Rome? Stayed home? Other religions? Don’t know, but their religious habit changed.

    Habits preach.

    What’s your (religious) habit? 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran


    DECEMBER 20, 2018

    I still remember hearing a preacher preaching this: The loneliest people on Christmas Eve and Day are those in the bar.


    No family. No friends. Only a bartender.

    I doubt many bartenders have pronounced the absolution.

    Christmas magnifies loneliness, even though so many put on the right face.

    Facades don’t wear well, and neither do they last. A burdened heart needs the Burden-bearer. “And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” (Isaiah 53:6b).

    That’s what Christmas is all about.

    Jesus is the Father’s Absolution to the world.

    I just asked Siri what absolution means. She said: “Formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.” And, then: “An ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins.”

    Pretty good.

    Sinners need forgiveness. This is Jesus, and why He came. This is why the heavens explode in praise and joy. The Father’s absolutely giddy over His Gift He gave….and still gives.

    Come home for Christmas.

    Jesus doesn’t care of your baggage. That’s why He was born.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran