Sunday Sermon Series – Forgiveness in an Age of Rage

5 Science-Based Ways to Break the Cycle of Rage Attacks | Psychology Today  Ireland

The Cambridge Dictionary defines Rage as (a period of) extreme or violent anger. It is easy to see this in everyday life with road rage, unbridled vulgar shouting in public places, and violence in our streets. Then there is our pampered youth; they have things called rage rooms, and scream clubs whatever they can be on campuses today.

For many it is becoming harder to act in a Godly manner to the constant ungodly actions around us. Yet that is exactly what God calls us to do, be like Christ. I have said it many times and will repeat it again here, that does not mean being a pushover a carpet for the world to trample on. In reading the Whole Counsel of God you will realize that was not Jesus. He led the life He was called to live, and was very outspoken (Dogmatic) about it. Calling out sin and sinners, but doing so in a kind and forgiving manner.

Today’s sermon from John MacArthur dated back in 2017 and may be more relevant today than when it was preached.


SERMON

Forgiveness in an Age of Rage

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/28/21

Psalms 11:5 KJV Desktop Wallpaper - The LORD trieth the righteous: but the  wicked and

Once again I was having a discussion (online) with someone, who claimed to be a “Christian” but in my opinion, has a very narrow view of Christianity and the Bible in general.

Their whole Doctrinal belief is based upon, Matthew 22:36-40, God is and we should LOVE and that is it. Anything beyond that is simply minutia.

Well as you know and I repeatedly say we MUST have the Whole Counsel of God, in order to even begin to have any sense of a proper theology or doctrinal belief. In this case, let us look at one aspect that seems to be overlooked here, God hates and so should we!

I will leave you with a few Biblical examples to look over, to understand the importance of ALWAYS seeking the Whole Counsel of God before we determine a doctrine or even a course of action for our lives.

Does God hate?

God Hates Wicked People

The Hatred of God in the Psalms of David

Sunday Sermon Series – Righteous Hatred

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/25/21

Teach Us To Number Our Days (2020) - Common Thread Church

PSALM 90

CONTEXT: C.H. Spurgeon in his timeless work, Treasury of David breaks it down as follows: Moses sings of the frailty of man, and the shortness of life, contrasting therewith the eternity of God, and founding thereon earnest appeals for compassion. The only division which will be useful separates the contemplation Ps 90:1-11 from the Ps 90:12-17 there is indeed no need to make even this break, for the unity is well preserved throughout.

Today I want to look at one specific verse (v.12) in Psalm 90, that says “teach us to number our days…” As you know this is proof that the Bible is full of errors, or at least that is what someone claimed to me recently. Their argument, which started out soundly began with the Bible does not endorse numerology, to which I agreed. From there it was down hill for their whole argument hinged on that fact and God saying “teach us to number our days” but no more. Of course anyone who is any kind of student never mind a scholar would read the rest of the story (CONTEXT). Here there are two dissuading arguments against theirs.

First let us look at Biblical Numerology. It is pretty hard to read through the Bible and not see a pattern of numbers repeated. Severn (7) and (40) being the two most common. The study of these as they relate to Biblical Context, is what Biblical Numerology is all about. Unfortunately some have tried, Deuteronomy and Leviticus warned used this to sort out everyday life.

Secondly v.12, itself MUST be read in full (along with the surround text) to get the true meaning of numbering our days. Here the CBS version renders it: Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Why would God have us to number our days, so we can figure out the winning LOTTO numbers 😋. Of course no, He wants us to develop hearts full of wisdom.

Apply our hearts unto wisdom. Sir Thomas Smith, secretary to Queen Elizabeth, some months before his death said, That it was a great pity men know not to what end they were born into this world, until they were ready to go out of it.

—Charles Bradbury

Apply our hearts unto wisdom. St. Austin says, “We can never do that, except we number every day as our last day.” Many put far the evil day. They refuse to leave the earth, when the earth is about to take its leave of them.

—William Secker

RELATED: Daily Devotional – Frailty of Man

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/24/2021

I am the smartest guy I know! Sounds pretty arrogant right, but that is a typical thought for ex-military, first responders, and the like. We are taught we are the best, type-A personalities, then one day (hopefully) the truth hits you like a ton of bricks, you a dummy compared to the infinite knowledge of God.


Proverbs 2:6 - Verse for May 19

PROVERBS 2

CONTEXT: Being a “Wisdom” book Proverbs and this Chapter for certain is all about wisdom. The headings on your version may read something like The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security (AMP) or in my Spanish Bible (NBLA), La sabiduría protege del mal, roughly Wisdom protects us from evil. Matthew Henry breaks down Chapter 2 as follows: Promises to those who seek wisdom. (1-9) The advantages of wisdom. (10-22)

In my opening statement, I noted that whenever someone thinks he/she is the brightest bulb in the chandelier realizes that the source of their brightness far exceeds their own capacity, it can be very hard on them. It can also be enlightening and very comforting.

Comforting in that I no longer have to be that person, the one everyone goes to I have a greater power source, God, whom I can depend upon and refer folks to. Further, He is a God who wants us to ask…

If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.

James 1:5

I pray everyone takes advantage of God’s amazing offer of Grace, knowledge, and Wisdom.


Pray for Grace to Make you Wiser and Better Every Day

Lord, give us to grow with a growth that is from God; Colossians 2:19(ESV) to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; 2 Peter 3:18(ESV) to hold to our way; and, having clean hands, to grow stronger and stronger. Job 17:9(ESV)

Let our path be as the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. Proverbs 4:18(ESV)

We have not yet obtained, nor are we already perfect; Lord, grant that therefore, forgetting what lies behind, we may strain forward to what lies ahead, for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14(ESV)

Be like the dew to us, that we may blossom like the lily and take root like the trees of Lebanon; that our shoots may spread out and our beauty may be like the olive. Hosea 14:5-6(ESV) And let the sun of righteousness rise upon us with healing in its wings, that we may go out leaping like calves from the stall. Malachi 4:2(ESV)

Sunday Sermon Series – Walking

Do we think walking with God can do us any hurt? Did we ever hear any cry out on their deathbed that they have been too holy, that they have prayed too much, or walked with God too much? No, that which has cut them to the heart has been this, that they have not walked more closely with God; they have wrung their hand and torn their hair to think that they have been so bewitched with the pleasures of the world. Close walking with God will make our enemy (death) be at peace with us.

Thomas Watson

SERMON

Walking With God


by George Whitefield (1714-1770)

Genesis 5:24 –  “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”


RELATED RESOURCES:

THE CHILD OF LIGHT WALKING IN LIGHT – C.H. Spurgeon

THE LIFE WALK AND TRIUMPH OF FAITH – C.H. Spurgeon

LIFE AND WALK OF FAITH – C.H. Spurgeon

Walk in Love: 32 Sermons on Ephesians 5 – Thomas Manton

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/21/2021

James 4:8 (ESV) - James 4:8 ESV - Draw near to God, and he will… | Biblia

JAMES 4

CONTEXT: The overall theme of the chapter is the differences between worldly and Godly wisdom. In v.1-10 we find James cautioning the reader against worldly corruptions (sins) and in v.11-17 to never begin life’s work (business) without the consent and guidance of God.

Our text for today calls for all those trying to serve both man and God, (two masters) which is not easy for man’s human nature. We are reluctant to give up self, to surrender all to give up our earthly masters.

One of the Puritan theologians from the 1600’s said it best, it is far easier to commit sin than confess it…

Many blush to confess their faults, who never blush to commit them.

William Secker

Are your hands clean today?

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/18/2021

Romans 11:29 AMP | Bible apps, Psalms, Bible

Romans 11

CONTEXT: Matthew Henry comments; The rejection of the Jews is not universal. (1-10) God overruled their unbelief for making the Gentiles partakers of gospel privileges. (11-21) The Gentiles cautioned against pride and unbelief, The Jews shall be called as a nation, and brought into God’s visible covenant again. (22-32) A solemn adoring of the wisdom, goodness, and justice of God. (33-36)

Do you ever have doubts? Maybe about some big decision in life, should I/we buy this house, is it the right time to marry, or maybe even about your salvation? It is natural for man to doubt, that is why God left us His Holy Word to comfort and guide us. Paul in writing this chapter of the book of Romans set out to castaway all doubts from their minds (and ours).

Clearly our text for today is all about the nation of Israel (see chapters 9 and 10) and God’s plan and promises for them. Still we can apply it to our own lives in that God is sovereign and immutable (in full control and His character never changes) . We can rest in full assurance of our calling (God’s call to Salvation) that it is fully secure, a never to be revoked event. One of the great puritan’s said this:

When God calls a man, He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favourites, and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration. God’s call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names. – Thomas Watson,

God’s free gift of Grace was paid for once and forever at Calvary, less Christ sacrifice was for not.

VETERANS ARE NOT ALONE

The pictures below are strikingly similar and tragic, and many are asking the question how could this great nation repeat the failure of 46 years ago?

Photo Taken Amid Embassy Evacuation Some Call Biden's 'Saigon Moment' Is  Striking

Taken Amid Embassy Evacuation Some Call Biden’s ‘Saigon Moment’ Is Striking 14 Aug 2021 -Business – InsiderPhoto

Fall of Saigon Anniversary: How U.S. Managed Its Vietnam Failure | The New  Republic

Evacuation of US Embassy Saigon 29 April 1975 – NY Daily News

The following is from the Veterans Administration and offers some good counsel for fo those who served in Afgan, or any theater for that matter, I pray it will be of help to you or someone you know:

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service. It’s normal to feel this way. Talk with your friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, connect with a peer-to-peer network, or sign up for mental health services. Scroll down for a list of common reactions and coping advice.

Common Reactions

In reaction to current events in Afghanistan, Veterans may:

  • Feel frustrated, sad, helpless, grief or distressed
  • Feel angry or betrayed
  • Experience an increase in mental health symptoms like symptoms of PTSD or depression
  • Sleep poorly, drink more or use more drugs 
  • Try to avoid all reminders or media or shy away from social situations
  • Have more military and homecoming memories

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service.

Veterans may feel like they need to expect and/or prepare for the worst. For example, they may:

  • Become overly protective, vigilant, and guarded
  • Become preoccupied by danger
  • Feel a need to avoid being shocked by, or unprepared for, what may happen in the future

Feeling distressed is a normal reaction to negative events, especially ones that feel personal. It can be helpful to let yourself feel those feelings rather than try to avoid them. Often, these feelings will naturally run their course. If they continue without easing up or if you feel overwhelmed by them, the suggestions below can be helpful.

Strategies for Managing Ongoing Distress

At this moment, it may seem like all is lost, like your service or your sacrifices were for nothing. Consider the ways that your service made a difference, the impact it had on others’ lives, or on your own life. Remember that now is just one moment in time and that things will continue to change.

It can be helpful to focus on the present and to engage in the activities that are most meaningful and valuable to you. Is there something you can do today that is important to you?  This can be as an individual, a family member, a parent, or a community member. Something that is meaningful to you in regard to your work or your spirituality? Such activities won’t change the past or the things you can’t control, but they can help life feel meaningful and reduce distress, despite the things you cannot change.

It can also help to consider your thinking. Ask yourself if your thoughts are helpful to you right now. Are there ways you can change your thinking to be more accurate and less distressing? For example, are you using extreme thinking where you see the situation as all bad or all good?  If so, try and think in less extreme terms. For example, rather than thinking “my service in Afghanistan was useless” consider instead “I helped keep Afghanistan safe.”

Finally, consider more general coping strategies that you may want to try including:

  • Engage in Positive Activities. Try to engage in positive, healthy, or meaningful activities, even if they are small, simple actions. Doing things that are rewarding, meaningful, or enjoyable, even if you don’t feel like it, can make you feel better.
  • Stay Connected. Spend time with people who give you a sense of security, calm, or happiness, or those who best understand what you are going through.
  • Practice Good Self Care. Look for positive coping strategies that help you manage your emotions. Listening to music, exercising, practicing breathing routines, spending time in nature or with animals, journaling, or reading inspirational text are some simple ways to help manage overwhelming or distressing emotions.
  • Stick to Your Routines. It can be helpful to stick to a schedule for when you sleep, eat, work, and do other day-to-day activities.
  • Limit Media Exposure. Limit how much news you take in if media coverage is increasing your distress.
  • Use a mobile app. Consider one of VA’s self-help apps (see https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/) such as PTSD Coach which has tools that can help you deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.
  • PTSD Coach Online. A series of online video coaches will guide you through 17 tools to help you manage stress. PTSD Coach Online is used on a computer, rather than a mobile device, and therefore can offer tools that involve writing.

If you develop your own ways of adapting to ongoing events and situations, you may gain a stronger sense of being able to deal with challenges, a greater sense of meaning or purpose, and an ability to mentor and support others in similar situations.

Resources available right now

Most vaccine-hesitant group is those with PhDs, research shows

With the Delta variant spreading rapidly across the South I thought it appropriate to share some FACTS, not just the RHETORIC we all hear on the daily news. Check out this site for continuous Coronavirus updates: US FACTS you can click on each block to view more in-depth data.

The following article appears to be an in-depth study of the trends in who is taking the vaccine and who is more hesitant.


Most skeptical and least likely to change their minds, findings reveal

A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh researchers found that vaccine hesitancy is highest among those with a PhD.

The online survey of more than 5 million adults was conducted between January 6 and May 31. People who said “probably not” or “definitely not” when asked if they would get the vaccine were considered vaccine-hesitant…

SOURCE: Most vaccine-hesitant group is those with PhDs, research shows