Previous Next

Grace will accomplish

But what nature does not love and cannot perform, grace will accomplish, and make to thee a life of joy and glory.

near The end of chapter 16 in Andrew Murray’s abide in Christ 16th day for staking all for him

A Christmas Mystery: The Story of Three Wise Men

I just learned of, and very much enjoyed, *A Christmas Mystery: The Story of Three Wise Men* by William J. Locke. Librivox (wonderful audio reading) and Gutenberg (text). Image

Comments on Religion – briefly

(my views)

Faith first, religion follows.  Faith (belief in God) is more important than religion.  Faith should be the predecessor in pre-requisite for religion. Religion follows to fit one’s needs. There is a full array of available religions with many levels of orthodoxy and a wide variety of styles.  Religion should facilitate one’s faith.

Also, more important than religion is being a member of a community of believers. In most cases this will be a church.  The church/community of believers provides a structure for:

  • Worship,
  • Encouragement,
  • Teamwork,
  • Service,
  • Learning,
  • Growth.

Structure enhances and strengthens these activities.  (I won’t go into a justification for that here.) Put simply, “Together everyone achieves more.”

I do believe in Jesus Christ.  (There are certainly other forms of faith in God, other than Christianity.  Muslim and Jewish faith, for example.  This paragraph describes my situation.)   I find it very useful to be part of a community of believers. I believe God uses the power of the Holy Spirit through the church. Left to my own devices, I am faithful for a while, but at times I need support. I’ve found the United Methodist Church fits my needs. Our general direction is good. I respect our church leaders’ decisions and, at the same time, realize every decision is not perfect for every situation.  I participate in the decision-making process as we precede into the future and chart our course — a course of faith in action.

Religion is an institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.  These grow out of the needs of the community to do the activities listed above.  There are good reasons to have a system of practices. However, the system can be adjusted and modified with careful and prayerful considerations.  As pointed out, there are a wide variety of religions available and one should find one that meets his/her needs.

If the practices of the particular religion of which I’m a member do not fit my needs as a growing Christian, then I need to find a different community of believers.  (I believe loyalty has value, so I’m not continually looking to jump ship.)

Religion as an end unto itself is probably not good.  I can happen that a church gets so wrapped up in the practices, rituals, buildings, and budgets that emphasis on faith development of the members is diminished.  This is unfortunate.

Walking

I’m intrigued by walking.  Especially our Christian walk.

Lots of good verses: https://www.openbible.info/topics/walk (Especially, Eph 2:10!)

This could be a sermon.

The term elemental is a good term.

Here’s an article that could be shifted a bit to make it relate to our Christian walk.

http://footnotesonwalking.blogspot.com/2016/07/elemental-walking-earth-air-fire-and.html

 

Why Americans Go to Church – still good reasons

Ok, this is quite encouraging. I’d say paeople are going to church for the right reasons. (See the top 4 in the graphic.)

These reasons are

  • biblical (what God would want),
  • enduring (abiding),
  • genuine (true, sincere),
  • helpful (promoting the greater good and self). #Christian

 

As churches (communities of faith) our challenge is to make our message and our activities

  • biblical,
  • enduring,
  • genuine,
  • helpful and also
  • pertinent,
  • relevant, and
  • applicable.

#balanced #Christianity

from: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/july/church-attendance-top-reasons-go-or-stay-home-pew.html Pew: Why Americans Go to Church or Stay Home

God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.

God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.

And ‘the accomplishing’ might be through his followers.

World Communion Sunday 2018

PTL

31 Word Studies

31 important Christian words

from https://arabahjoy.com/31-amazing-words-for-your-next-bible-word-study/

1. Meditate Psalm 119:15-16
2. Righteousness Proverbs 21:21
3. Shalom/peace I Peter 4:13
4. Submit Job 22:21
5. Endures Isaiah 40:8
6. Stronghold Psalm 62:1-2
7. Perfected II Corinthians 12:9
8. Humble I Peter 5:6
9. Authority Luke 9:1-2
10. Treasured Luke 2:19
11. Hope Psalm 42:5
12. Protect Psalm 91:11
13. Rejoice I Peter 4:13
14. Blessed Ephesians 1:3
15. Futile I Samuel 12:21
16. Fulfillment Luke 1:45
17. Delight II Corinthians 12:9-10
18. Dignity Proverbs 31:25
19. Harmony Romans 12:15
20. Might Zechariah 4:6
21. Hiding Place Psalm 32:7
22. Enriched II Corinthians 9:11
23. Power Colossians 1:29
24. Complete Colossians 2:10
25. Grace Titus 2:11
26. Give Luke 6:38
27. Consider Romans 6:11
28. Justifies Romans 4:5
29. Love John 3:16
30. Press On Philippians 3:14
31. Forgive Matthew 6:14-15

Choose Joy in Our Relationships

by Crawford Loritts (2 parts)

Philippians 2:1-8

‘Joy’ appears in Philippians 14 times.

In verses 1 and 2 is one mind.  Throughout the book ‘mind,’ thinking and decision-making, is emphasized.  Also, will and choice.

Four Characteristics of People who Choose Joy in Their Relationships (#intentionality)

  1. They fight for unity.
  2. Act like Jesus.
  3. Look to God to validate them.
  4. Remember and realize there is a lot at stake.

 

(1) If you are headstrong (my way or the highway) will destroy unity.  Unity is sustained and nurtured by Humility

Humility (humble yourself)

  • Humility is not the abdication of station or selfhood (individuality)
  • Humility is not the denial of your worth. In fact, you can’t be humble unless you know you have something.

“in humility count others more significant than yourselves”

Politicians today — ugh!

A few comments on our politicians.

The 2016 presidential election was a life-time low. Neither party was able to put up a viable candidate. I did not support either candidate.

Historically it is interesting (but sad) as to why Donald Trump won.

For myself, I do not put myself in either (any) camp politically.

I’m naturally conservative and like it when we are good stewards of money and resources, but I also believe we need to administer to the less fortunate, feed the hungry, help the needy, and lend a hand.

I’m hoping that in the next presidential election we can find someone who is:

  • Honest,
  • Thinks things through and listens before making decisions,
  • Takes a balanced approach of
    • Being responsible and
    • Meeting the needs of our country and it’s people and
    • Can work with individuals from both parties.
  • A bridge-builder.
  • (has enough personality and political sense to get elected.)

“As a parting shot” here’s an (ugh) article titled, The First Porn President.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/the-porn-president/559523/?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

Let’s all hope that things get better.