Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Salvation From Eternity Past, Determined in Unity -- Part 2

Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane -- photo used under Public Domain license.
The image is of a painting at the Darlington, MD Methodist Church, also under Public Domain license
We're back with the second part of this important Biblical topic.  Consider a couple of further things with me.  We can go to the book of Job and read about a person who is only a man, going through most of 42 chapters with trials and pain.  He decried His existence because of them.  But Job never asked God to change His mind about the trials nor did Job curse God.  And Job was only a man. When Jesus prays, in Luke 22:42, for the cup's removal, are we to assume that part of the Trinity is less than Job and willing to go against the Father by begging out of going to the Cross?  Let's look at the passage.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Salvation From Eternity Past, Determined in Unity -- Part 1

Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane -- photo used under Public Domain license.
The image is of a painting at the Darlington, MD Methodist Church, also under Public Domain license
There was an online discussion, based on a devotional that suggested Jesus was sweating blood because of the intensity of His prayer and asking to get out of going to the Cross.  He highlighted the struggle Jesus was experiencing, which I had no problem with.  But I suggested there was an alternative interpretation of the struggle that I believed was correct.  I still believe his interpretation, to my way of thinking, misrepresents Jesus' character and nature.  I could be wrong in my understanding.  But, it fits in with the Easter season.  Enough to make me want to document how I came to my conclusion.  And to open it up for further discussion.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Alive: Calvary, Cowardice and Honor (Video)

image used under Creative Commons 
license, courtesy of Wikipedia

As we mentioned, last Saturday, our church, Greater Grace World Outreach, is celebrating the Easter season with four dramas as part of our Sunday morning services.  One drama each week for four weeks. We're resharing those the following Saturday, along with the related sermon.  I know.  That makes it almost a week late in timing.  But, perhaps, it'll stretch the Easter season a little longer. And it will prepare our hearts for the following Sunday service.  Here's the second of the series.





Monday, March 21, 2016

Earth Music

The earth has music for those who listen.

That's an almost correctly worded statement that usually gets attributed to Shakespeare or George Santayana.  It actually is most of a line from the last stanza of a poem titled "The Magic of Sound" by Reginald Vincent Holmes, from his book Fireside Fancies.  The stanza reads like this:
The earth has its music for those who will listen;
Its bright variations forever abound.
With all of the wonders that God has bequeathed us,
There's nothing that thrills like the magic of sound.
The first and third verses caught my attention, Especially the first one. As a child I had music lessons, like many have.  My parents thought it would compensate, to some degree, for my physical handicap.  My instrument was the cornet.  Later on, I was in my high school glee club.  At this point, I don't have the lip for cornet/trumpet and  I'd need some help singing on key.  But God gifted me with a good ear.  Which can be a good or bad thing.  


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Alive: Darkness Defeated, the Cup Taken

image used under Creative Commons 
license, courtesy of Wikipedia

Our church, Greater Grace World Outreach, is celebrating the Easter season with four dramas as part of our Sunday morning services.  One drama each week for four weeks. We'll be resharing those the following Saturday, along with the related sermon.  I know.  That makes it almost a week late in timing.  But, perhaps, it'll stretch the Easter season a little longer. And it will prepare our hearts for the following Sunday service.  Here's the first of the four.





Monday, March 14, 2016

God Commendeth His Love Toward Us


It's been awhile since we've shared a portion from our one year devotional book, Breastplate Gems. So, we thought it was time to share one of the devotionals for March.

One of the powers of having a relationship with God is that our priorities change.  And our focus changes.  Let's start with the verse that brought on today's devotional thought from Breastplate Gems.  Then we'll move on to the reading.

Romans 5:8 (KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Lose Yourself at the Cross (Video)

image used under Creative Commons 
license, courtesy of Wikipedia
I'm blessed enough to be in a ministry where, when my pastor is away, there are other preachers who can stand in the gap and share great messages.  So we always get a great portion from the Word.  And if I'm away on a trip or on the mission field, I can always stream services and sermons.  But there's just something special about hearing your pastor live, in person.  I'd hope you feel the same way about being spiritually fed and taught by your own pastor.

Anyway, my pastor was away, speaking at our European Conference in Budapest.  And Sunday morning I was visiting one of our affiliated churches.  So Wednesday was the first time I could hear Pastor Schaller live, after that conference. It might be that I missed his portion, but I think this was just a special thought from God.  I think you'll be as blessed as I was, sitting in the chapel.  The video is on the other side of the break.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Man's Economy vs. God's Economy

 


There's a lot of rancor in the political world of US politics.  I reshared today's illustration as a commentary on some of today's political thought.  But, as I was rereading it, I started thinking about it, there's a spiritual aspect to that, too.  While some would suggest that the things of this world are separate from the spiritual realm.  But can we think, say, or do anything without it either being effected by the spiritual or it effecting our spiritual life?  Let's take a look.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Confidence Towards God

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
Since we gave our friend Todd Parsons a vacation of sorts, while we had our series based on our first trip to San Jose, Costa Rica, we get blessed by him two Saturdays in a row.  As usual, Todd has some great meditations to carry us a little closer to our Lord.  And, as usual, Todd makes us think.  But definitely spiritual thoughts.

There's a standard greater than our own.  Greater than our own imaginations.  When we hear "wisdom" from others, we need to be careful that we don't take in the world's wisdom, careful we're not fed by Satan.  Indeed, when we teach others, we need to be sure we're not giving them a spiritual banquet straight from the world, the flesh, and the devil.  That's the thought Todd has gleaned from today's journey into the Word.  Let's travel with him.