Saturday, January 31, 2015

Put In Trust Of The Gospel - Part 1

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license, courtesy of Wikipedia
Here's another great message from my pastor.  It was a few sentences from this that spurred last Monday's thought.


The text for the service:

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (KJV)  
1  For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 
2  But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully  entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. 
3  For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 
4  But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 
5  For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 
6  Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 
7  But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 
8  So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Abundancia

image used under GNU Documentation License,
photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans
Our title is the Spanish word for abundance.  In Italian, it's abbondanza. Yesterday's 9am service got me thinking about that. And we'll share the video on Saturday.  This was only a sentence or two, but God got my attention with it.

There are ministries that would have us believe that abundance means we gain earthly things through Christ.  And there's something wrong with our personal relationship with God if we don't have lots of things.  I disagree.  Not that there's anything wrong with being blessed with riches, if that's what God wants to do.  But that's not necessarily how God wants to move.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Trust and Then Trust Again

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay
Proverbs 3:5 (KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Courtesy of the Google Play store, the movie "Gravity" is now in my small arsenal of movies to watch and rewatch, free of charge.  I'm not one who often can watch a movie or TV show and come away with some Christian lesson.  I know people who can do that on a regular basis, in sufficient detail to blog about it. When I get those ideas, they're basically seed thoughts, as is pretty much the case today.  But today's takeaways are more directly related to the movie's storyline.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Love, Not Fear

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photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
I had a post in the works for this morning and God placed something else on my heart.  Actually a combination of things, all relating to events of the last few days. We'll get to those soon enough.  But, as I realized that what I planned on posting here was not what God intended, this time, I had the background information and a bunch of disconnected thoughts and emotions swirling around in my head. Opening my Bible program, I opened to a passage I'd tweeted Saturday, that's sort of the linchpin holding some of those thoughts together.  We'll hit that one at the appropriate time.  But, first....

Our illustration, today, is a map of Africa drawn by Hermann Moll, sometime between his birth in 1654 and his death in 1732.  If we compare it to a modern map, some city and country names may be new or changed and borders may vary, but that doesn't hide the fact that western  society hasn't done much to share the benefits of our culture with much of the continent.  There are still those who survive or get rich by killing or taking from others.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

As A Child

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
I'm on several mailing lists and in several Google+ communities dedicated to Kindle books, mostly discounted or free for a brief time.  One of the recent selections was a book of 1,000 writing prompts.  Because the blog is aimed primarily at spiritual and leadership topics, I'm not sure if even variations of some of the prompts will always be usable.  

The very first prompt caught my attention.  It says, "Describe an important item from your childhood.  Why was it important and where is it now?".  Some interesting questions.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Days of Diamonds (Excerpt)

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photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
We're into the second week of a new month, indeed a new year.  More days with God, more blog posts.  Hopefully, more books.

We've started revising each of our monthly devotional books.  January is revised and updated on Amazon.  After we're done revising them all, we'll compile them into a single volume, including both a hardcopy version and an ebook version.  Just to give you a taste, here's a selection from January's book.

As you might have guessed from our illustration, we have some thoughts on making resolutions.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Law, Wisdom, Love - Part 1 (Video)

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license, courtesy of Wikipedia
Every once in awhile, there's a sermon that just blows our thinking out of the water, rebuilds it, and draws us closer to God.  Sometimes they're called hallmark messages.  I'll let you figure out if this one fits that category for you.  This was from our early service, the Sunday after Christmas.

For me, what made this one special wasn't so much that it was complex or different.  But it's like a cut gem.  A different setting and a different angle of the light hitting the facets elicits a unique response.  Pastor Schaller does exactly that.  He takes what's really a simple topic and comes at it from a fresh angle.  For me, that got another "ahah moment".  I hope it does the same for you.

This starts with an introduction from Pastor Scibelli, which I think sets the table very well.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Heart Pondering

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photo obtained from en.wikipedia.org
Luke 2:19 (KJV) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

That verse was shared by Bishop Walter S. Thomas Sr. of the New Psalmist Baptist Church, on their Christmas morning televised service.  It got me thinking in directions that had nothing to do with Christmas.  Follow my train of thought.

Our brain is like that 1800s low profile cabin trunk to the right.  We put things in there, perhaps placing them by some form of categorizing, perhaps mixing some together for further inspection before deciding where to place them, where they belong.  And that's where our verse comes in.