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Showing posts from October 1, 2017

Citizens Series - Work Together

Citizens Series - Work Together  When hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast at Houston, massive flooding took place. It was estimated that it would take several years to see the destruction of those few days disappear. FEMA responded but was overwhelmed by the size of this event plus other disasters they were involved in. The press and television reporters continually spoke about the fact that the bigger difference in the success of the initial and continual recovery was made by ordinary Americans lending their boats, vehicles, and hands to the work. One such group of volunteers was Team Rubicon. Their mission unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Charity Watch, which has been around for 25 years and helps people who donate learn how to give wisely, gave Team Rubicon an A- grade. Believers can learn from the actions of thousands of people in this event as well as other life threatening events that just …

Citizens Series - Love Together

Today love has been taken out of the spiritual realm and emphasized only in the physical realm. We are captured by our testosterone and estrogen and find ourselves living at just this physical level in our understanding of love. There are three different words used in the Greek language, which is what the New Testament was written in. The first is "agape" love, it is a total commitment of a person to another over any obstacle. It is the love God has for us that allowed Christ to pay for our sins on the cross and be resurrected three days later. It is the deepest kind of devotion a person can experience. Second, is the word "philo" love. This is commonly known as brotherly love. It is the love of family bonds and seen in the "Band of Brothers" movie which is a compilation of the stories gathered from extensive interviews with veterans of the "Easy Company," the Airborne's 506th Regiment of World War 2. There were deep sacrifices made for each …

Citizens Series - Agree Together

It seems that our country struggles in this area. Agreement has become an unheard of thing. No one wants to "give in" or "link hands" with another, unless it is in opposition to commonly held honorable things like our flag or laws. We seem to be very proud and full of bluster. Humility doesn't exist in our land. Paul knew that agreement was important and essential for believers in the church. He suggested that there be agreement "wholeheartedly with each other." (Philippians 2:2) Only two of the original spies who went secretly into the promise land had this kind of agreement. Caleb and Joshua had a "different spirit and followed wholeheartedly." (Numbers 14:24, 30) It is defined as "complete, consecrated, dedicated, and making full." To be wholehearted is to be completely given over to one direction. There is no wavering, no grumbling, no fear, no doubt, but complete faith and belief. Hezekiah in his purge of false religion in Isra…

Citizens Series - Suffering Together

Suffering is a no-brainer for a believer. If we are to conform to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) then we will experience suffering as our Savior did. Paul said to the Philippians, "I want to suffer with him [Jesus Christ], sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!" (Philippians 3:10b-11) Paul saw the brighter side of suffering. He understood the spiritual development that happens in suffering. It is not easy as the physical body endures it, but it provides a way to learn how to trust deeper in God's grace. Beyond that, any suffering we experience is of benefit to others. How so? Well, Paul spoke about this in his second letter to the Corinthian church. He said, "God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the…

Citizens Series - Fight Together

Eleven men on offense and eleven men on defense stand on the one-hundred yard field every Saturday or Sunday to advance the ball or stop the advance of the ball. Football is a game where men "fight together" against another team that are trying to do the same thing…get the "pigskin" into the end zone. They all have their tasks to perform during every play and if carried out well and with passion they will accomplish their goal. Paul knew nothing about football but knew much about a church coming together to accomplish the goals of heaven. He said, "fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News." (Philippians 1:27b) The word he used in the original language means "to strive together with, to help" and it is in the present tense meaning it is to be a perpetual action like "continue to be striving together in the faith." They are not fighting with each other but united in the fight against darkness and evil of the hearts of men. …

Citizens Series - Stand Together

Scientist tell us that it takes 700-1,000 standing and falling actions as infants for our brains to learn how to balance on two legs and stand erect. Standing is important to further actions of walking, running, carrying, and jumping not to mention that it sets us apart from the animals. Today, we as a nation struggle with those who would rather kneel than stand when the national anthem is played at a sporting event. They protest the flag and what it stands for and seek to make us all feel we are wrong in not joining them. However, we stand up for the flag, a symbol of patriotism in its 13 stripes for the original 13 colonies, its 50 stars, one for each state, and its three colors, red, white and blue, which represent purity and innocence (white), hardiness and valor (red), and vigilance, perseverance and justice (blue). Standing up for our flag and all it symbolizes, and as believers standing up for our faith as citizens of heaven are both important. We hold this dual citizenship in ho…