RSS
 

First Sunday of Lent-Feb 1

16 Feb

 Jesus said “You must be born again” He is not talking about a mere makeover but a new life, a fresh start. We can’t continue to live in the way of the flesh and expect to have fellowship with God. We must die to self and be born again through the Spirit of God. Paul says in Ephesians 4: 22-24. “We must lay aside the old self which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” During Lent, let us seek to put off the old man of flesh and be born again through the Spirit of God.

 

Lent-B

16 Feb

The color for Lent is purple symbolizing royalty. It reminds us that Christ is not only our deliverer but should be ruler of our life. Lent is a time of preparation for Easter. It was originally a time of preparing new converts for baptism and later a time of preparation of baptized members as well. It is a time to reexamine our life in light of the revelations in the Gospels and is a good time to begin reading through the Gospels, a chapter or portion of a chapter every day. Faith without works is dead for our works demonstrate our faith, just as a fruit tree that doesn’t bear fruit is worthless, but works without faith is in vain because the works alone will not produce faith and often are merely a means to be seen by men. James 2:14-26. Now is a good time to reexamine your life and your faith.

 
 

Lent-A

16 Feb

Lent is a time of preparations for the Passover. Passover remembers the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. They were protected from the death angel by the blood of the lamb on the doorpost. It looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, who would deliver us from slavery to the power of sin and death. His blood would protect us from eternal death. At the Passover celebration, a chair was left empty for the expected Messiah. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, they expected Him to overthrow the Romans but the Passover celebrated the sacrifice of the Lamb and predicted He would first come as the Suffering servant, the Lamb of God, who would be sacrificed to take away the sins of the world. Jesus fulfilled it when He died on the cross for our sins and if we have been washed in His blood, we are born into a new life with Christ.

 
 

God’s Game Plan

16 Feb

God’s Game Plan– While Christ said that we won’t know the day or the hour of His second coming, God has laid down the game plan from the beginning. God proclaimed three major holidays (Passover, Pentecost, and Rosh Hosanna), which the Jews were to celebrate exactly as God told them. All Jewish holidays have a past event, a present celebration, that looks forward to a future event, and a future event when God would fulfill His promise. Had the Jews followed the script, they would have welcomed Christ when He came. In the Christian calendar, the first season consists of Lent, Easter, and Pentecost which provide a unified whole. Lent is a time when we cleanse our hearts of anything that will hinder us from serving God and prepare our hearts to receive new life in Christ. It begins with Ash Wednesday and continues up until Easter. Eastertide begins with Easter when we celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection and continues as we prepare our lives for Christian service by seeking to discover God’s gifts, by seeking God’s will in how to use those gifts, and preparing ourself for Christian service. Pentecost begins when we celebrate the establishing of the church and continues as we go forth like the early church to serve God.

 
No Comments

Posted in holidays

 

Ash Wednesday-Feb 14

16 Feb

Ash Wednesday received its name from the fact that Christians used to place ashes on their forehead as a symbol of mourning. The color for today is black symbolizing mourning because it is a time when we mourn our sin that caused Christ to die on the cross. The penalty for sin is death but Jesus paid the price to redeem us from the power of sin and death that we might have life. Some people give up something for Lent as a sacrifice to remind them of the price Christ paid, but Christ wants us to put sin out of our life all year, not just during Lent. Lent is a time to ask Jesus to cleanse us of all that is displeasing to Him. If fasting or sacrificing something helps to remind you of the cost Jesus paid, then do it but if it is just a ritual that doesn’t mean anything, find something that will. It should never be done as an open display of our piety before men, but should be done privately between us and God.

 
No Comments

Posted in holidays

 

Summary-Christmas Season

16 Feb

Christmas Season-Summary

The early church was primarily Jewish and kept the Jewish traditions. Since Jewish tradition had focused on the coming of the Lamb that would take away the sins of the world (which Jesus fulfilled) and Jesus had foretold His second coming, those were the primary focus of the early church. As the second coming of Christ was delayed and persecution declined, the second coming faded as a major emphasis and celebrating the birth of Christ has gained momentum. The Christmas season was not part of the early church celebrations and developed later during the formation of the modern Christian calender. It first appears as a minor holiday in the 4th Century, though there was discussion about the date of Christ’s birth prior to that date. The celebration gradually developed into three distinct holidays which form a unified whole. Advent is a time of preparing ourselves for celebrating the Coming of Christ, Christmastide begins with celebrating Christ’s birth (reminding us that God in Christ came down to us) and continues with celebrating God’s revelation to the Jews, and Epiphany which is a time of celebrating God’s revelation to the Gentiles and reaching out to those who don’t know Him. As Christmas has taken on the pagan trappings surrounding giving gifts, it has increased in importance while Advent and Epiphany have declined.

 
No Comments

Posted in holidays

 

Gun Control-I-B

16 Feb

In the recent shooting in Florida, the shooter went on a shooting rampage until police arrived. He then ditched the guns and ammunition and blended in with the fleeing students. In spite of the fact that it was one of the largest schools around, there was only one armed security guard in the entire school. Many schools that have been attacked have not had any security guards resulting in needless bloodshed that could have been stoppped sooner had there been armed guards on duty. While armed citizens can’t stop all shootings, they can limit the number of deaths by stopping the shooter before he is able to fully carry out his attack. Many shooters come armed with multiple rapid fire weapons and a large quantity of ammunition and if they aren’t stopped quickly, they can cause a large number of injuries and deaths. It normally takes a while for police to assemble a strike force to isolate and take down a shooter and in that time, the shooter can kill or wound a large number of people, unless he is taken down by someone on the scene with a gun.

 

Gun Control-I-A

16 Feb

When a shooting occurs, the media and Democrats rush to call for a ban on guns but they ignore the fact that a number of tragic shootings have been cut short by security guards or citizens with permits to carry guns who risked their life confronting the shooter and were able to take him down and prevent further bloodshed. While the law used to protect homeowners that defended themselves, their families, and their property, the law has been corrupted to punish gunowners who try to stop an attacker. As a result some States have passed laws protecting those who use guns in self defense, but in many States gunowners risk jail time and heavy fines in trying to stop an attacker.

 

Sixth Sunday of Epiphany-Feb 11

10 Feb

Reason For Living-

The church today often fails to recognize that the elderly need a reason for living. Men who work their whole lives see their reason for living tied to their work. When they retire, they often lose that and need to find another. Without it, they often become depressed and die. The highest death rate for men is shortly after they retire because they often lose their will to live. The church needs the talents and abilities of those who retire, but often fails to utilize them. While women are more tied to family and not so tied to work and do not face the crisis at retirement that men do, they too often have talents and abilities the church could use. The church needs to consciously work to help those of all ages, but especially those who are retiring find areas for them to use their talents and abilities for God’s service and should have an ongoing committee dedicated to getting to know members and help them discover and use their talents for God. For more suggestions on ministering to the elderly, see You Tube video “Robert Barr Session 1”

 

Immigration-IV-B

10 Feb

There was a also a large number of unaccompanied kids crossing the border into the U.S. from Mexico. In fact, there are so many that we had a difficult time processing them all. However the news not widely circulated is even more telling. Apparently a lot of these kids were not from Mexico. The reports that came in were that many were from Central America and South America. That is a long way to travel to get to the U.S. They weren’t just running across the border from nearby towns looking for a better life. Someone had to arrange for their transport to Mexico. Did the Democrats secretly arrange their transportation to flood this country with children who were hoping to get citizenship through the program so they could vote for future Democratic candidates or were there others who had a more evil motive. Since they surrendered to border patrol agents shortly after arriving, did they bring in drugs and hide them before surrendering, or were they a diversion to allow drug dealers or terrorists to slip across the border while agents were processing the childen.