You are Beloved, precious child of God, and beautiful to behold.
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
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).
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:
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.
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.
These reasons are
As churches (communities of faith) our challenge is to make our message and our activities
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
You are Beloved, precious child of God, and beautiful to behold.
At Billy Graham’s funeral, youngest son, Ned Graham said:
“I just want you to know my father was ‘FAT’ – he was faithful, he was available, and he was teachable,” said Ned Graham, his youngest child. “Faithful, available, teachable, may we all be that way.”
My prayer is that I will be faithful, available, and teachable.
The billy Graham Association has an event center called the Cove. Grandson Will Graham is one of the leaders
The Christian Life
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
It has been said that in Europe people only go to church 3 times, to:
I learned to appreciate James Garfield listening to Play the Man by Mark Batterson on RightNow Media.
Born in a log cabin in Ohio.
Only ordained preacher to become US President. (our 20th)
Only president that didn’t run for president.
The 1880 Republican National Convention, they were deadlocked after 35 ballots. They nominated James A Garfield, who hadn’t been running and had not been previously nominated. We was chosen as the Republican nominee and went on to win. Inaugurated in March 1881.
Was shot in his first year as president. After a extended illness (and infections) he died some 200 days after holding office.
I mean to make myself a man, and if I succeed in that, I shall succeed in everything else. James A. Garfield
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/james_a_garfield_150413
He was a teacher, preacher, college president, officer in the Civil War, scholar, politician, proponent of education for all, and family man. (and a hard worker, because of all that he did)
He was left-handed. As a teenager pulled canal boats along the canal in Ohio. Out-going. Friendly. Moderate Republican.
Last, but certainly not least, he found a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem can be proven in scores of ways and we’ve had it since the Greeks, but it is significant that Garfield found new, cogent proof in 1876.
He’s an inspiration.
2-hour plus excellent video from CSpan: Life Portrait of James Garfield
LibroVox has a reading of his “Presidential Farewell and Last Addresses,” which, sadly, was his Inaugural address.
I heard this song this Christmas. It’s a good one.
Much can be learned from the story of Ruth. Joe Stowell has an excellent 3-Part message.
(These notes are not organized. Sorry.)
Boaz was the kinsman redeemer. Jesus is our kinsman redeemer.
God has Hesed love. This Hebrew word is powerful and often used in the Bible (OT, I believe; in NT, Agape is commonly used). Commonly translated as “loving-kindness.” A common term in the Bible for describing God’s love for mankind. RC Sproul (in https://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-hesed/) says:
There may be no more significant Old Testament description of how God relates to His people than this Hebrew word hesed. I argue that the best translation of this term would be “loyal love.” God loves His people genuinely, immutably, loyally. Both the love and the loyalty are, of course, tightly bound together. That is, just as one cannot love capriciously so one cannot be loyal without love. God is for His people, and will never cease to be for them.
The two great commandments are strongly tied to each other.
God’s care for people is throughout the Bible.
Boaz is a hero. We need to be willing to be a hero.
Interesting Trivia: Sodom – In Ezekiel 16:49 we read that Sodom sinned (among other sins) by not aiding the poor and needy.
Disciples of John the Baptist ask Jesus if he is the Messiah. Jesus’ reply (Matt 11:4-5) is report what you see, I make the blind see, the lame walk, poor are told the good news. Jesus came to show us many things. One of the primary things is God’s hesed love for the people, the poor and needy.
Understanding the Will of God – Taking God’s Heart into our Hands – 6 steps of a pattern of life:
For God’s sake be a superman for someone.