Fellowship in the Gospel

Fellowship in the Gospel

In his 2010 article, “America: Land of Loners?” Daniel Akst makes several helpful points to encourage people to build deeper friendships. How many “close social contacts” do you think the average American has? The answer is four, but only two of those are “friends only.” Akst points out four barriers that typically prevent us from forming and maintaining friendships: Time – we create busyness so we can feel important and mask our lack of meaningful relationships, Place – we choose…

Come, Lord Jesus

Awaiting Advent / Advent; Second Coming / Revelation 22:18–21  I confess the thought of Christ returning soon was something I did not always look forward to. When I was younger I had so many things I still wanted to enjoy. I felt like all the descriptions of heaven that I had heard lacked any of my toys and earthly interests. Heaven seemed a bit boring. Floating on clouds with chubby cherubs was not very appealing. When children are not bored…

The Water of Life

Awaiting Advent / Advent; Second Coming / Revelation 22:14–17  One of the greatest sounds a new parent hears is the sound of their baby crying for the first time. That cry lets us know that our child is alive and breathing. It also lets us know that they are uncomfortable. They want to be close to their mother. They are immediately placed upon the mother’s chest and, if possible, they should begin nursing right away. There is another kind of…

The Final Judgement

Awaiting Advent / Advent; Second Coming / Revelation 22:10–13 George Orwell’s parody of Communism, Animal Farm, basically provides an outline of how certain dictators have responded to COVID. In chapter five, Napoleon decided to end Sunday meetings where all the farm animals would vote on various decisions. He began making decisions for the farm among a small private committee. Squealer shared the news of this transition with the rest of the animals. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that…

Worship God

Distracted driving kills about 9 people every day in the US. We’ve tried doing something about this phenomenon. Unfortunately, providing more information does not seem to be working. Despite all of the public service announcements, the statistics continue to follow a discouraging trend. Distracted worship is also on the rise in 2020. For anyone sensitive to the spiritual needs that a worship service is designed to meet, attempting to worship from home has been completely inadequate. Then, the numerous restrictions placed…

A Life of Gratitude

In Love and Friendship, a movie based upon Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, the plot is typical of Austen. A recently widowed woman seeks a suitable husband for herself and a wealthy husband for her daughter. In one brilliant scene, Susan’s daughter Frederica is interacting with the wealthy Sir James Martin, who is trying to impress everyone with his knowledge.  Martin: This reminded me of many such accounts one learns in childhood. Perhaps the most significant in forming one’s principles is that of…

The Tenth Commandment: Be Content!

The Tenth Commandment: Be Content! This is an important message to hear anytime something doesn’t go as we expect. How should we respond when we are unable to get what we want? How do we cope with suffering and loss? The world offers many coping mechanisms that are dangerously misguided. Buddhism and new age meditation teach us that life is suffering caused by craving. Therefore, the goal of Eastern meditation is to learn to eliminate craving altogether. To reach Nirvana…

Sovereignty and Random Arrows

In this sermon, elder Matt Balocca speaks about the comfort of God’s sovereign control from a story found in 1 Kings 22:1-38.

The Purpose of the Sabbath

Since we often find ourselves focused on all of the things we are not supposed to be doing, we can easily dismiss the positive purpose. The Conditions of Keeping the Sabbath (v.13) The Joy of Keeping the Sabbath (v.14) The Objections to Keeping the Sabbath
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