There is so much to be thankful for, health, wealth, freedom,friendship. One thing that outshines them all is that Jesus has risen.
|Luk 24:34||Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon|
This is the foundation of the Christian faith, That Christ was born, lead a sin free life, and has, indeed, risen, to eternal life, and not just He, but we too shall rise!
|1Cr 15:20||But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.|
The first fruits of a harvest called to fruition by God himself!
How do I know that He is risen? The bible tells me so, firstly.
|Act 10:40||Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;|
It was no secret!
|Mat 28:16||Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.|
|1Cr 15:6||After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.|
These words were written when living witnesses could collaborate the story!
Secondly I know He as risen for His promise to me has been fulfilled!
|Jhn 14:18||“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.|
|Jhn 14:26||“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.|
Lastly, I know He is risen because I see Him at work! The lives that change in ways only He can accomplish , cleansed from filth and sin. This is His labor still in the world, and to be a servant to Him is great!
|Phl 1:6||Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun agood work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:|
I have several times heard a story of a soviet party speaker on Easter. He called together a crowd in the town t lecture them on the folly of religion, how superstitious it was compared to the truth of the State. He spoke for two hours. when he had finished the Orthodox Priest stood amongst the crowd and said, “He is risen!” The crowd replied, “He is risen indeed!”
The truth can not be suppressed. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Give thanks.
Tomorrow is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving has a great theme, wonderful history, and none of the stress and less of the emotional baggage that Christmas brings for me. No. 1 daughter will make a great meal, [I can put up with fruit in the stuffing, I guess], we will have guests, all will be well. All except me. I am dealing with a wave of depression. The best way to describe it is having the feeling of Satan standing on my chest. Seriously, if you have been blessed to avoid depression , I will share, it feels like waves, literal waves, and affects even the breathing. To me it is the virus of the spirit, a head cold of the heart.
So I turn where I have learned to turn for solace and strength, not my wonderful wife, I learned that is really not her job, although she helps, but to my God through His Word. I seek His joy.
A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.
I do not want to be the wet rag thrown on the party tomorrow. My fake smile is horrible. I would starve as an actor, or a poker player. You can read me like a billboard. The spirit that I need to have to serve the Lord and my family is wounded if sadness reigns. I am broken, and need mending.
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
So what is wrong with me? Am I not a disciple? I am sorely lacking in the continually part. There are times I am joyful, and I praise God for the times the Holy Spirit fills me to the brim, but it is not continual. I wonder just how long those early followers were continually filled. Didn’t they have a bad day? A bad week? I admit, I have a weak week once in a while. So I turn to the Psalms.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Make me hear it! My flesh does not want to be filled with joy, it seems to like this cozy cave of gloom and self pity, so God, please, make me hear Joy and gladness!
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
How can i not be joyous? My children are not perfect but they are a blessing. My #1 daughter is an RN, and a great one! I have been told she lights up a floor with her presence! She is good hearted, though rough talking, lives with us, she and her husband paying utility bills i could not afford since my lay off. And her husband is a good hearted man, who plays too much playstation, but has been as a son to me. #2 daughter last night was sharing about the Lord with a recovering addict who is living with us. She is a musician, whose songs have moved many people, She dropped out of colege to pursue her dream of writting and performing music. She leads our praise band and loves God. Children like this and I am depressed? Forgive me lord.
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The thanksgiving meal is not to bring joy, but to celebrate it!
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
I forget that I, little old me, gets to serve Yahweh God!!!
Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,”All my springs of joy are in you.”
While I can not toot a flute, i strum a guitar. I look forward to an eternity of singing praises to God! I like life, but death offers so much to me, a promise that I look forward to with joy.
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
I take refuge in my God, it is more an act of His strength than of my weakness, for His strength far surpasses my weakness.
For His anger is but for a moment,His favor is for a lifetime;Weeping may last for the night,But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
I know the morning is coming. The night may be long and dark, but the morning always comes.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
That is how I want to spend Thanksgiving, giving to those who have not, having a holy day unto Him. I should not be grieved for the strength of the Lord does bring me joy.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvationAnd sustain me with a willing spirit
The joy when He first touched me! When i first realized, by the Holy Spirit, that He was my Father, I was a sinner, and that He forgave me through the blood of Jesus! Indescribable joy! Yes restore that joy to me Lord! Sustain me.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
That’s what I live for, to hear those words from the mouth of God. If I can be faithful with His strength, not fail on my own, what a joyous reward awaits!
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
So for now a trial, a dark moment. morning will come showing me molded more in the image of my Savior, brought a tad closer to His perfection, yet still miles away from it.
” Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
So now I pray, Lord God, in the name of Jesus I ask you to lift my heart from the pool of darkness. Restore to me the joy of my salvation, let me sing Your praise, serve You, share You, and be faithful to you. Lift the foot of my enemy from my chest and let me embrace my trials, as if i am in Your will, that is joy enough. Let me be joyously thankful in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Whew! That is definitely better. Thank you God. I hope this helps some of you too.
The last week I was useless. While it wasn’t swine flu, something had a hold on me and would not let go. My energy was drained. Coincidentally, the family moved the dish receiver downstairs. Here at stately Willohroots Manor that is a big change.
My wife and i were never big fans of TV. We moved here twenty-five years ago and did not have a TV. This so upset some of our friends that there were occasions we would return home and find a TV left on the porch by family or friends. We finally hooked one up to watch videos when the kids came along, but still had no connection to prime time. My girls have told me that this made them outcast at their school. The other children would discuss shows that my kids were ignorant of, and my oldest daughter was scarred by no seeing Travolta in “Grease” until a late age. at least that is what she said.
We had a satellite dish for a while, but it offended me. We were painting No.1 daughter’s room, working late one night. It was around 8 o’clock . The wee bairn was watching Nickelodeon. Seemed safe. As we picked up our paint supplies and cleaned up, she appeared at the door. “Mom, Dad, I need to speak with you. If you are going to have sex, please use a condom, as i do not want you to get sick.” Drop the paint.
I should not have had to explain to my daughter that mommy and daddy were in an exclusive relationship for over a decade, and we would not get sick from making love, as we were doing things by God’s design, and His way is good. I could not bring myself to pay $88 per month to have these little chats.
When the Son in law and No.1 moved into the east wing, they brought TV back to the manor. It was not in my area of the house and I could care less. Somehow it migrated downstairs, but I ignored it, as I am kind of a busy guy. My wife Dawn, wanted to watch a couple football games. yeah I know, we have a lot of role reversal issues, and so put her blessing on the box. Being in no shape or mood to do much else this last week, I did the weak thing, and turned the thing on. I sat down with my Gatorade and crackers and a handful of remotes to be entertained.
I grew up on TV. As an only child TV was my friend. My friend has changed. I thought I would watch a show with Courtney Cox. That nice girl from Friends. I had to google Cougar to find out what the show was about. Not entertaining. There were reality shows that made me very depressed with the shallowness of my culture. About a third of the channels seemed to be infomercials. There are about three TV preachers can watch, but watching them is depressing, it just reminds me I should be doing sermon prep. The History channel had a couple good things, but most was old hat, and they only seem to have a few shows a day, and recycle them, so you can’t watch them all day. The shows on bible related stories are way off the mark.
I like the cooking shows, but being a fat guy, that probably is not good for me. Food porn. And speaking of porn. I am not a prude by any means. I live in a rough world and grew up in a rougher one, but in the 10 years of my absence from the viewers seat, things have really slid.
Thank God for healing! I am up and able to do again. My thought of this experience is this, I get people’s attention 1 hour a week. That thing is 24/7. The battle is quite lop sided. We had a child in Sunday school last week that was very upsetting. He was about 5 or 6, and told the teacher that his heroes were Jason and Freddie, and that he loved to kill, and would like to kill himself one day. This was very upsetting to the teacher, who shared with me. I went to the adult who brought the child to inquire about this travesty. I was told the boy’s dad watches slasher films almost exclusively, and when the child is in his custody that is what they do together. How is that for quality time?
Back back depression! I guess it is good I know what is out there, but I do not have to be pleased about it. If we were judged by our broadcasts, what sinners we would be. Praise God he looks at the heart not our watching history, or does He?
Filed under: Church wrongs, Uncategorized | Tags: churches, denominationalism, factions, God, gun control, Jesus, Nature
It is so easy for a group to get side tracked, to forget the reason it exists and drive the train of its time and energy down a good-looking dirt road. Trains belong on tracks, no matter what the power of opinion and well-meaning ulterior goals may be set up, a train on a dirt road is still a train wreck.
Keeping a group on mission the purpose of leadership. When a town council declares the President a war criminal, the real criminal act is that the town council is not taking care of the town. When the local PTA group getting involved in fundraising, they are not concentrating on v being a liaison between parent and teacher. Fire Companies that become purely a social hall lose their focus on fire fighting. Here is an example of this phenomena that I could never have thought up.
World Council of Churches to ring bells for global warming.
The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches also invited places of worship for other faiths to join a symbolic “chain of chimes and prayers” stretching around the world from the international date line in the South Pacific.
“On that Sunday, midway through the UN summit, the WCC invites churches around the world to use their bells, drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change,” the council said in a statement.
“By sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times, participating churches will symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere according to many scientists,” it added.
The chimes are meant to start at 3.00 pm local time in each location.
The WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches representing about 560 million Christians in 110 countries.
The Council of European Bishops Conferences, which gathers Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops, is also supporting the campaign, according to a letter released by the WCC.
If this were a group united to fight global warming, I would have no problem with this decision. Personally I find it a waste of time and energy by deluded people who have been convinced of a falsehood by a global climate change industry, but if that was what they were formed to do, more power to them. However according to the WCC website these are the purposes of the organization:
- are called to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship;
- promote their common witness in work for mission and evangelism;
- engage in Christian service by serving human need, breaking down barriers between people, seeking justice and peace, and upholding the integrity of creation; and
- foster renewal in unity, worship, mission and service
Here is their self description.
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures, and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is a community of churches on the way to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ. It seeks to advance towards this unity, as Jesus prayed for his followers, “so that the world may believe.” (John 17:21)
These are commendable goals! It would appear to me to be about as possible as bailing out the Titanic with a tea-cup at around midnight April 14, 1912, but I can appreciate impossible missions, it is the effort that counts, but how does raising global awareness of a crisis that many do not buy into further the Cause of Christ? How did a group who has avowed a purpose of Christian unity become an environmental activist coalition? Do you see this in their mission statements? Here are some other issues the WCC addresses.
“A world without poverty is not only possible but is in keeping with the grace of God for the world” affirms a call that will play a central role at the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Porto Alegre, 14-23 February.
What did Jesus say? John 12:8
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Christians should aid the poor, but a global redistribution of wealth seems out of line with the teachings of The Master.
Here is another project the WCC is working on.
Resettlement of people displaced by the consequences of climate change was highlighted as a major concern for churches at a gathering of ecumenical representatives from Asia and the Pacific region.
Now i am sure that if global warming were a truth, many regions of the world, Siberia, the Step’s, would become hospitable for settlement and food production, but that really does not fit in the purpose of the WCC. Seriously these people honestly think that global sea levels will rise dozens of feet, submerging islands and leaving people in a “Water World” environment. I thought they might be followers of Kevin Kostner, until this picture surfaced.
This could explain a lot. Well meaning people get into a group and some sort of mob mentality takes place that drives them from the goals originally set up as their very purpose in life. Global warming and poverty are not the only issues derailing the WCC.
Peoples and the Earth? I thought they were out to unite Christians? Somehow the concerns of people and the earth have taken over. The stated agenda now is Alternative Globalization. I really don’t like the sounds of that, and I admit I do not know what it is. None of this makes me want to dive in and join the WCC in its campaign to unite churches, if they still try to do that.
Every group needs a purpose, and leaders exist to make sure that the group does not deviate from that purpose. If the WCC is now more interested in political, sociological, and environmental issues, that is fine, disband, or at least reorganize. To continue to take money from churches who want to see increased fellowship and a move toward uniting the fractured Bride while existing to make social change is at the least hypocritical, at the most robbery.
Here is another WCC project.
The terrible truth of this fallen world, is that guns often stop the killing. At Fort Hood it was an armed officer who ended the rampage. History has shown us that it is the unarmed population that is subject to slaughter. Opinions aside, do you think this fits into the WCC’s stated purpose?
Filed under: Uncategorized
I feel like swine. I am going to pop myself in the oven until this is done!
I post these problems not to gloat, i have learned that that does not work out for me. I serve a God who humbles His servants! I post this because the Catholic church around my area has one problem after another.
My imagination is disturbed enough to think that I could have been sitting in a service watching a Power Point on the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and have the Chippendales or worse put on the screen. It is almost humorous, except that my imagination is also fertile enough to imagine myself putting on the presentation. Ouch. It must make this guy feel a bit better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IymxMidkyI4
The one that really concerns me is Bob Timchak. I was a regular reader of his faith column. He wrote some great stuff on several congregations that I like. He seemed to me to be a really good guy. I am hoping that this is some sort of rig. Seriously, I am that jaded. The tip to the authorities came from the diocese. We have had all sorts of molestation cases, a case where a priest was charged with perjury to a grand jury looking into a mobster friend of his, stories of mis managed money and DUI payoffs by a bishop, but the diocese drops a dime on Timchak. If they are going to rat people out, they could start on some more pressing examples! Well, I will follow the trial with interest. I pray God will allow our legal system to bring justice. Here is an article on Bob, I found. I will keep you posted.
Timchak has served in the diocese since 1992, starting in Wilkes-Barre at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.
After stints directing religious formation at Seton Catholic High School in Pittston and Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes-Barre, Timchak was assigned to Hazleton, where he became a controversial figure in 2006.
As pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Parish, and Transfiguration Parish in West Hazleton, Timchak was outspoken about his disillusionment with the diocese’s closure of Transfiguration School.
“Jesus said you cannot serve both God and money, and when the church puts money before everything else, it really is going against the message of Jesus,” Timchak in 2006 told the Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, for which he wrote a regular faith column.
“Father Bob,” as known in his newspaper column, subsequently took a yearlong leave of absence before being assigned to Pike County. During his leave, the diocese said, he worked for the Luzerne County Probation Office.
Filed under: Church wrongs, Uncategorized | Tags: churches, denominationalism, pastor, Scranton
Some of you have seen this sign on a TV show called ‘The Office’. My daughter watches the show, I do not. I tried, but I just do not get the humor, if there is any. There is far more drama, and even comedy in the reality that is Scranton. The City broke away from Wilkes-Barre a century ago at the hight of industrial Pennsylvania, and is a fascinating place. It is the home of two really quality, really Catholic, Universities, Scranton U. a Jesuit institution, and Marywood, founded by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am no expert, but that sounds about as Catholic as it gets.
Scranton is amazingly culturally diverse. King coal brought in labor from Europe in stages. The dates on the many churches give a guide to the waves of immigration. First the Irish, then the Italians, and when the coal companies had enough of those, they went to Western Europe to recruit. If there were one group they might unite, and that just would not do. Fortunately for the mine bosses , all these ethnic groups pretty much hated each other. We have Slovak, Polish, Czech, Italian , Irish, Russian , Greek , Hungarian, and plain old Catholic churches in this area. These groups never worshiped together, often fought in gangs, avoided intermarriage like the plague, and had their own language, customs, foods holidays and Saints. These were people who took their Catholicism seriously. The church was a major part of their lives, providing all social contact, education in the English language and trades, and giving political direction. Even today in Jessup, right outside Scranton, St. Ubaldo races the other Saints for honor, it is close on occasion, but Ubaldo always wins! Even when he fell of his perch one year and had to be hastily reassembled, he won!
Times are changing. Now there is intermarriage, a more homogenous culture, and a lot of empty churches. Bishop Martino became very unpopular by closing Catholic schools and churches. The diocese was broke, he said, do to a lessening of contributions and the payouts made to all the child abuse victims. As bad as things are, they get worse. Like this.
Filed under: Church wrongs | Tags: depression, Evangelism, Pastors, preacher, sermon
I popped over to the church site of a friend of mine, someone I had not checked in on in a long time. I found an eight part series on The Beatitudes, at least that was the title, but they really weren’t. A little googling and I found out that they were Rick Warren sermons, from one of Rick Warren’s sermon series. I listened to most of them. Now I was really depressed.
I heard a good man, a man with a loving servant’s heart become a shadow. His sermon illustrations were not from his own life, they were from Rick Warrens life, and so the message I was getting was like a fax of a fax, a bit blurry, lacking the crisp detail needed to bring a message. Seeing some one attempting to imitate anyone but Christ, well it just isn’t Christian.
Armed with a cynical attitude and already filled with negatives, by the power granted to me by Google, I set out to check out other web sermons. I found way too many cheap imitations of the same thing. Now I imitated Warren at a fancy dress party, but never in the pulpit. There are so many people going to Hell, so many of the saved that need the guidance of Holy Writ, and the exhorting that comes only from the Word, that I take my post very seriously. I can imitate no one. I do not need to. My God has worked in my life, He continues to do so, He does this so that I may share His Glory and point to Him.
To fight the Great War we are given the words of Moses and the Prophets, the Apostles, and even the words of the Messiah Yeshua! These words have Power!
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edgedsword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I am afraid some of my brothers are using imperfect swords. The power is not there, because instead of reaching up to God for power in preaching, they are reaching out laterally to other preachers who have had success in their area. They must forget that the success they are viewing came from God, not from the preacher whose church they are observing. Instead of getting the message from the source, they are sitting in the shadow of a man, not the light of the Son. If you attempt to copy Warren, or Piper, or Keller, or MacArthur you will be such a shadow, wielding a shadow sword. Reach High! Attempt the unattainable, and seek to copy Christ, as did James, and Peter, and Paul, and all the rest. You will fail, as I am sure they did, but it is a glorious failure, as the attempt is a victory, and fail to reach that hight the highest worship that we have. The sword from this armory will have little effect in real war.
I am not condemning Rich Warren, there are plenty of blogs for that, but I am pleading for us all to use the great weapon we were given, the Sword of the Word. Jeff , get First Baptist Langdon, North Dakota site fixed, and encourage your pastors to be themselves, as God has molded them. My wife has taught me much, but most of all to be me in the pulpit, just me. If God put me there, [and He did] , why try to be someone else? It is best to be a real little guy, standing in the Light of Jesus , wielding the true Sword, than the shadow of a giant, holding a Nerf blade against the Devil. The bible has many stories of God using men and women, but I can only think of one where He used a Shadow.