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But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Years ago when I decided to go to seminary, I told an associate that I was leaving my job at the bank and that I was going to become a pastor. I told him that I was going to spend the next four years in seminary. He called me an idiot.
There is a story about a man named Hancock who served in General George Washington's army. When Washington besieged Boston, he asked Hancock if the city should be bombarded. Hancock advised the general that everything he owned was in that city; however, if it meant getting rid of the British, then he should burn it to the ground.
Hancock was prepared to sacrifice everything that he had for the sake of the new country, the United States. Would it not be a wonderful thing if Christians shared the same spirit of Hancock? What are you prepared to give up for the sake of the gospel?
I pray that Christians everywhere are able to share the wonderful testimony of the apostle.
Paul shows that even though he had much, he realized that it was nothing compared to the joy which he shared in Christ Jesus.
He said, "I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." The things of the world did not bother him because he had Christ. His reward in Heaven is far greater than anything which he might have achieved here on earth.
Many times, we in the Christian church want to serve God, but we are reluctant to give up the things of this world, which get in our way and keep tripping us. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:24: "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
The wealth and all the amenities which we enjoy in this world were given to us by a generous God as a blessing. However, we allow these gifts to become trappings. They get in our way and cause us to turn our eyes away from God.
The apostle in his zeal for Christ writes, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." What a testimony.
Paul is saying that he is willing and prepared to give up all for him who gave up all for us, Jesus Christ. He came to Earth, lived among us, suffered at the hand of those he came to save, then stretched out and died for us on a cruel cross, so that we would inherit the kingdom of God.
Martin Luther says that the greatest calling is that in the service of Jesus Christ. God calls us to serve him through our service to our fellow men. We serve through our living. The way we live speaks of the god whom we serve.
Therefore, if the world sees that we in the Christian church are avaricious they will turn away form the faith. The people of God are called to be generous, kind, and loving, not greedy cheats.
The things of this world do not make us rich. They are only loan to us for a little while. Our wealth lies in Jesus Christ. Our wealth in Christ is for all eternity. Amen
o Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor The Lutheran Church of Nassau, P. O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bah. Phone: 426-9084 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand."
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. [Genesis 14:17-20]
What are you prepared to give to the Lord in return for all of his blessings to you? You might respond, "What blessings?"
Several days ago, a terrible hurricane passed through The Bahamas. It was a very large and dangerous hurricane. Yet, a gracious God brought us, the people of The Bahamas, through without loss of life.
It is regrettable that some of our people suffered the loss of property and personal belongings. However, those material things are replaceable. A life is not. That is a blessing from the Lord and we should be thankful for that.
Just to the north of us, in the United States, a country which is much more developed than we are, there were more than 20 deaths attributed to Hurricane Irene. Furthermore, there are hundreds of thousands of homes which will not get electricity for the next three weeks or more.
Are we not fortunate? Even though some of us might be quick to complain we should think about others in the world that are far less fortunate than we are. They are struggling for the basic needs in life -- food and shelter. We have that and more. For that, we should say thank you Lord for all your blessings.
In the above text, Abram went to rescue his nephew, Lot, from an invading army. He went up against a force far superior to his. Yet he was successful. He had the Lord on his side. When the Lord is on your side, nothing can impede your success.
Not only did Abram have great success routing the army of King Kedorlaomer and those kings allied with him, he received a blessing from the Lord. In appreciation, Abram gave a tenth of everything he had taken from the invading army to the Lord.
God is a generous God. He gives us everything that we have. We live in a wonderful land here in The Bahamas. Have you ever thought about the people in other places in the world? They have little or nothing. They don't live in decent homes. They cannot get clean water to drink, something we take for granted.
Have you ever considered that you are here and they are there? Had you been born in one of those countries, your state could have been a degenerate one.
But, thank the Lord, you live in The Bahamas, a land of plenty. Even in bad times we are fortunate. We have plenty of food; we have freedom; we have a most beautiful country.
When we think about God's generosity to us, as a people, we should thank the Lord every day. We are a most fortunate people.
Even more than the material things, God has given us his Son who suffered for our sins. Through his suffering and death, we can claim everlasting life. We in the Christian community have a baptism in Christ, which makes us heirs of the kingdom of God.
All this we get, not because of what we have done but because of what God has done for us in Christ. God continues to bless even when we turn our backs on His grace. God gives and gives even when we display ingratitude. What a generous God!
Abram knew how to give thanks to a gracious God. Do you?
Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, Pastor The Lutheran Church of Nassau, P. O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bah. Phone: 323-4107; E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.
"Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be of their slander." [I Peter 3:13-16]
Normally in life when someone asks us about our school, our professional teams or our political party, we are ready to speak about them at length. We know all that is to be known about our school, professional team and our political party.
To some extent, we have the same enthusiasm about our country. Most people love their country even though they might find reason to flee it for another land. A country music artist penned the words: "When you are running down my country, you are walking on the fighting side of me".
Someone once said, "It is not enough for us to cherish Christ in the heart. The believer should always be ready with an answer or defense concerning our faith."
If we are so ready to defend our school, political party or professional team, then we should be ready to defend our faith. The things of this world - our school's name, our political party or professional team are transient. Either they or we will eventually pass away.
However, God is forever. We can never escape him- not in life, nor in death. Scripture tells us in Matthew 10:28: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
God came to live amongst humankind through the person of his son, Jesus Christ, who suffered humiliation, crucifixion and death, and came back from the grave so that we can have life - yes, life eternal. Therefore, the most important relationship that we can ever have is a relationship with God through his son, our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
Yes, Jesus is our Lord. He is the one to whom we owe our allegiance. When we acknowledge this as true, we should be prepared to defend his name.
Consequently, we who call ourselves Christians should have a heart for Christ. In having a heart for Christ we should live as his ambassadors, always ready to share our faith and tell others about him. However, in sharing our faith, we should do so lovingly.
During his lifetime, Christ always displayed love and concern for others. Therefore, we who are called by his name should also display that love and concern.
The love we have for Christ is demonstrated in the love we have for one another. The picture of our living faith speaks louder than our words.
How do we prepare ourselves to share and defend our faith? We do so by studying God's word.
When we speak about our faith, we should really become ignited. Our faces should show radiance and glow with excitement. Yes, when we speak about our faith, we should generate the same passion that we do when we talk about our country, our political party, our professional team or our school.
We speak life when we speak about the god who has made a change within us and brought us in to his marvelous light. Therefore, we need not be afraid of those who seek to terrorize us with fear. They can injure the body but not the soul. Christians should not be afraid of the rage or force of the enemy. Our enemies are also God's enemies. Amen.
o Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P. O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 426-9084 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.
Peter replied,"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call."
- Acts 2:38-39
Our mother is the one who normally connects us to Jesus, the building blocks for life. She sees to it that we are brought before the Lord's altar and baptized into the holy Christian church. She teaches us the first prayer that we utter to God.
This coming Sunday is Mother's Day. I am saying a special prayer for the mothers of our nation that they keep connecting their children to Jesus.
In the text, the apostle Peter encourages the people listening to him to repent and be baptized. He reminds them that the promise of God is for them and for their children.
Even though we live in a perverse world where people spurn God's word and harden their hearts towards God, there is still hope. This hope lies in godly mothers and grandmothers who act as a guiding light in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
I had a Russian friend when I was in seminary. During his infancy, most of the people in Russia, including his parents, were atheists. Notwithstanding this, his grandmother, who feared God, had him baptized in a secret ceremony.
Today this young man who holds a doctorate degree in physics and previously worked for the Russian government building bombs, works as a pastor in the army of God. Thanks to his grandmother who trusted God and prepared him in his infancy.
In our country we still have such mothers and grandmothers. For them, I thank God. They help to build our country and give it a sound foundation. That foundation is built on Christian principles.
I am thankful for my mother who turns 87 on Sunday, Mother's Day. Over the years, she has been like a lighthouse to my siblings and me, guiding us to the throne of God. Yes, she has been our angel, guiding us and putting us on the right path whenever we stumbled.
My mother gave birth to, and raised nine children and raised an additional two she adopted. She loves us all, yet she never encourages nor did she ever encourage us in any wrong. I love my mother. I thank God for her.
As I look around my congregation, I see many mothers and grandmothers whose love and care extend far beyond their children and grandchildren. They fear God and because they do, they help to guide our young people in the way of the Lord.
They make the words of our Lord a part of their living: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)
For this, I am encouraged and see hope for the future of our country.
My mother was the one who taught us God's word. She created the spark in us and kept us close to the Lord. Like my mother did for my siblings and me, I pray that our younger mothers would spark a connection to Jesus in their children.
Mothers and grandmothers, I beseech you, continue to be God's angels in the lives of the children around you. Over the years you have made it your responsibility to ensure that these children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and neighbors get connected with Jesus. Your gift to these children give us good and productive citizen. Happy Mother's Day! Amen.
o Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. - Mark 13:31-33
Throughout the ages, people have been conscious of the importance of the guard. Here in The Bahamas, even though we have lived in peace for as long as we can remember, we are still very conscious of the need to be on guard.
We have the men and women of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force who guard and protect our borders. They protect us against illegal immigrants and poachers who try to exploit our fishing resources.
Then we have the police who protect our streets, our neighborhoods and our homes. Because these brave men and women are on duty, we feel safe at work and at home. We thank God for the wonderful work they do.
In the above text, Jesus says,"Be on guard! Be alert!" The people of his time understood quite clearly what he was saying. They were very cognizant of the importance of keeping guard.
Guards are most important people. They watch to keep danger away. Consequently, they must always be vigilant. Otherwise, those who depend upon them may fall prey to the enemy.
How are you at your post? Are you an alert guard? Are you true to your assignment? Have you allowed other issues to take up your time and, as a consequence, fallen down in your responsibility? Have you been so diverted from your calling that you are unaware that the enemy has an uninhibited access to that which you have been given the responsibility to guard?
When Jesus tells us to be on guard, he is telling us to hold to his word and to share his gospel with the world. He wants us to make a difference in the lives of the people around us. He wants us to emulate his life.
Through our living, others will come to know him as savior. Yes, the way we live helps others to come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
We in the Christian church are the gateway to Christ. We build his kingdom here on earth. That is how we keep guard, by doing what he called us to do.We are to continue until he calls us home to be with him.
As we hold our post, doing the work our Lord called us to do, we will be tempted and we will stumble. Therefore, we should remain grounded in God's word. Keep our focus upon the cross and do our part to ensure that the gospel is proclaimed.
We in the Christian church are to continue and remain faithful until Christ's return. This is his charge to us. His word will not go silent. Satan will not and cannot silence the church.
As we await our Lord's return, we must not become lax and complacent. We are the watchmen for the kingdom.
Yes, in this world full of pain and woe, we will struggle. We will be tested. In doing the Lord's work, we will have our good days and our bad days.
The evil one will challenge us at our post. He will give us cause to doubt our faith and our resolve. He will cause us to doubt what God says in his word.
Notwithstanding this, he cannot win because we have Jesus on our side. Our Lord realizes that it is a challenge. He is aware of the mountains, hills, and valleys in which we find ourselves, at times. He is aware of our pains, and our grief. He knows that the church navigates through some turbulent waters.
He knows that we need extra strength to carry on. That is why he sent us the Holy Spirit to keep us strong in the faith. That is why he gave us the means of grace, the Sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They keep us focused and as a consequence, we watch and pray. Amen.
o Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
Being able to share God's word openly was an unbelievable experience for eight members of the Encouraging Leaders Everyday Through Visual Arts, Talent and Education (ELEVATE) American Christian youth group that visited The Bahamas on an eight-day missionary trip to spread their ministry.
The group visited Woodcock Primary School and Sandilands Primary School where they spoke to students about peer pressure, alcohol abuse, drug prevention, staying pure to themselves and God, and how to handle different situations that will come their way in life. The members of ELEVATE who range in age from 16 to 25 thought it was necessary to reach out to the primary school students now so that they have a good foundation to work with when they attain their teen years.
ELEVATE, which was founded by Family Life Christian Church in San Antonio, Texas six years ago, aimed to bring together the youth of their church and help them explore their creativity and ability to influence others their age through their own testimonies, art forms and Christian beliefs. After school, the group members meet to share God's word, because they aren't allowed to meet as a group during school hours to pray.
For many of the members like 19-year-old Austin Blue, coming to The Bahamas where his worship was not hindered in a school setting was a breath of fresh air. He hopes to take this new sense of encouragement with him as he continues his ministry.
"We came here basically to touch lives because it's something that we do back home as well. My experience so far has been great. It's amazing to see how on fire for God kids here are," said Blue. "It's humbling to be here. It was life-changing and I really want to take home memories and see how I can incorporate it in my life back home. You see we aren't allowed to openly praise God and worship in school so it's refreshing to be able to do it at a school, on the street ... anywhere you want here. It's great to see that, and it makes me more appreciative to be a Christian."
The experience of coming to a country where God is openly worshipped and children are free to express themselves spiritually was an eye-opener for 20-year-old Aebonee Odom, one she says she will never forget.
"It is good to see people who can freely lift their voices and aren't made to feel ashamed to say 'Thank you God for what you have done in my life'. There is no punishment for your belief. Back in the U.S. you can get suspended from school for a certain amount of time if you start a prayer group at school. It's mind-blowing and makes you more appreciative of what's out there," said Odom.
'"It was especially good to see how happy and lively the kids are. They want to be a part of the worship while back home, kids do whatever they feel and often aren't inspired to follow Christ. It's also interesting to see the cultural difference in terms of attitude and respect that kids have for their elders over here compared to back home," said Odom.
Fellow group member Alexis Hall said visiting The Bahamas was perfect for her to share God's message and speak out on topics that young people encounter daily in a different culture and environment.
Through the primary school visits, Hall says her main focus was to let young people know that it's okay to follow God and His teachings, and still be a cool teen even if your friends don't feel the same way.
Getting to see the island of New Providence and experience the culture was also an important aspect of the trip for some of the members, especially Alfred Blue. He said being able to see the country for what it was by walking through the communities and meeting everyday people in their own environment and not only in books, over the Internet or through the eyes of a tourist is what he appreciated the most about the trip.
Being open to learning new things and ways to handle life was something that 18-year-old Josh Greene and 16-year-old Brandon Lavender say they learnt on the visit. They were glad to be able to share their experiences and learn about those of others so they can share the new experience with others.
Being able to be herself and share her fire for the Lord was a major incentive for 16-year-old Jada Spruiell who also participated in the creative mission trip to The Bahamas.
"At school I may not be able to pray out loud but I always try during quiet time to do so anyway. I am glad to be somewhere that is different and praising God is not a crime. I feel it's important to express yourself and not worry that one person in our country says we shouldn't do this thing so I feel it's important for us to still say why should we not? Coming here is really encouraging and helps me see it is possible to have a whole country where it's okay to have a freedom of speech and religion that isn't restricted.
There is just a whole (lot) of things going on, tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes that are happening a lot more often now that I feel is because the people will not praise God. The Bible says if the people will not cry out, then the rocks will, so that's what's happening. We need to get back to openly praising God and it's great to see that it is still here in The Bahamas. The people here cry out in the morning, in the evening, before eating, all the time. It's great to stand up for God and see what He can do for you because you do. It's amazing to see a whole nation dedicated to this.
"The six-member group with their two chaperones, Pastor Vee Blue and Shameka Moore, hope to return to The Bahamas in the near future to share more of their creative testimony and meet more people with interesting stories to tell. They intend to share their experience with others and continue to make a difference in their nation starting with their own communities.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. [I Thessalonians 5:16-18]
I have learned, especially from going to conferences abroad, that even though one may find one's self in unfavorable conditions, one should still give thanks and praise to God. Many times at these conferences, I would get into conversation with other pastors and when I hear their state or condition, I would say thank you God for blessing me.
Sometimes you might think that you are in a bad state, however, when you talk to others, you learn that you are blessed. Therefore, whatever your state, say thanks to God.
Recently, I was at a rest home for the aged. I was attending a luncheon for the residents of the home. Many of them have nothing. The few pieces of clothing and some personal effect are their only worldly possessions. Yet, they were happy to give thanks to a gracious God for the little they have.
They did not complain about the aches and the pain. They did not complain that they probably don't get a regular visit from family members, or that their life is controlled by someone else. No! They expressed thanks to God for life and the little health that they enjoy and for the people who take care of them.
Saint Paul says in the above text: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances." In the same text, Paul tells us to "hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil."
Don't dwell on the negative thing of this world. There is so much good which we can embrace. Yes, things are difficult. Some people might experience financial setbacks this Christmas. There are some who may not make it to the end of the year. Others might not see next Christmas.
But that is not important. What is most important is that we acknowledge God's grace in our lives this very moment, today. Say thanks for that.
As we celebrate the season of Advent, let us be cognizant that it is a joyful time. It is a time of hope and expectation. Therefore, rejoice.
Granted, for some, times are somewhat difficult. Constantly we learn of people in our country who are losing their jobs. Prominent businesses are closing down or downsizing. This is making it difficult for the affected people to take care of their families.
Consequently, when such people hear "give thanks," they find it difficult to do so. In such instances, giving thanks is something very difficult to do. Notwithstanding this, we are called to give thanks to the Lord for his grace and mercy to us.
The people in the rest home, even though they have very little, give thanks. God has been gracious to them. They don't have much but they have life, some health, and people to care for them.
Material things do not measure God's grace to mankind. Those are perishable. The gift of God is much more than the things that we accomplish in this life. When we die, we leave them behind.
The greatest gift of God is eternal life -- which comes through Jesus Christ our Lord. That is more important than the material things that we can acquire and again lose. Eternal life we take with us when we leave this world. In fact, it's our passport.
Advent is the time of the year when we celebrate that gift. Therefore, let us give thanks to a gracious God for his gifts to us. Amen.
o Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 426-9084 E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
Today, Bahamians are faced with a similar situation as when I was a young man. At that time independence was the issue. There were those false prophets advocating happy days for every Bahamian when we would have obtained our independence. They were wrong then and now they are wrong again.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. -- Romans 3:22-24.
In order to get fully ignited for God you have to lay aside, or "set on fire" everything that threatens your spiritual walk said Pastor John Baldwin of Atlanta, Georgia as he addressed dozens of young people, parents and youth leaders at the Ignishun Youth Conference at the Parish Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Stapledon Gardens last Thursday.
The three-day conference, which was hosted by Generation Next, the church's youth arm, was themed 'On the wings of mercy' and sought to encourage young people not to buy into the world's message of "hopelessness", but rather become ignited so that they can make a positive impact on the world.
Pastor Baldwin told the audience that getting "ignited for Christ" is vital as it relates to getting to the heart of their spiritual self where real change begins. In addition, he also acknowledged the powerful anointing he said was present as a result of prayer and worship. He admonished the youth to build their lives on a foundation of prayer and worship.
"We must be willing to get set on fire and be willing to burn fervently because being set on fire means you can change the world," he said. "Everyone wants to talk, but you must be willing to walk.
"Fire needs to pair with an oxidizer, and heat needs something to ignite it. Without something to ignite it, the oxidizer just stays as energy but when ignition takes place with oxidizer, fire is produced."
Baldwin encouraged parents and youth leaders not to believe the nay sayers who claim that the youth are "lost". He said that the problems and issues facing many of our young people are a direct result of the failures of those who were entrusted to mentor them. He said that proper role models are lacking and young people have very few who they can emulate.
He said that when it was first invented, dynamite was designed for scientific purposes, but, was later used for war and in the creation of bombs. Rev. Baldwin compared youth who have been improperly led and mistreated to dynamite. He said that in the wrong hands, even the most innocuous of instruments can become extremely destructive.
Rev. Baldwin added that if they are turned on to the Word of God and The Holy Spirit, young people can become a powerful force for good and positive change in any nation.
He said that while youth on fire for Christ can be beneficial to the kingdom of God, young people on fire can also be extinguished through fear, doubt and unbelief.
Speaking specifically to the young people in attendance, Rev. Baldwin cautioned that "fire extinguishers" can take the form of "teachers, who hold you back from achieving your full potential; peers, who mock you; people who discourage you from doing your best and people who try to tell you that you are not good enough."
"If you find you have a natural swag and then you find yourself being teased or made fun of, that [can] steal that God-given swag and confidence and leave you feeling insecure. This can manifest in destructive ways. It can steal your fire," he said.
Rev. Baldwin encouraged the young people not to listen to those who would be used as extinguishers, "For God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind," he said.
He also told them that doubt and unbelief will slow them down and retard their faith because unbelief is the opposite of faith. He said that when doubt and unbelief begin to creep into their lives and draw them away from God, "it is time to reassess your priorities."
In contrast, he said, confidence and faith can keep the "fire extinguishers" at bay and make young people burn brighter and hotter than ever.
He said that some of the symptoms of fear, doubt and unbelief include promiscuity and anger, both systems of behavior that will keep them from a life filled with the fire
He used the story of Jacob and Rachael leaving Laban's house as an example of taking bad habits on a spiritual journey. He said that when God told Jacob to leave Laban's house on his spiritual journey, Rachael, afraid they would be excluded from her father's inheritance took valuable "gods" from her fathers house, and hid them.
"You can't take something from the last place you were in into the new place where God is taking you," he said. "You have trust and hold onto what's right and righteous because God will provide for you."
Rev. Baldwin said that an angry, argumentative person, who joins the church and takes their bad attitude on their spiritual journey could find themselves ostracized by the church members for not being able to speak to people properly.
"If we are going to get ignited we need to clear the air and give up some stuff," he said. "Sometimes it's not the devil holding you back but yourself."
Baldwin cautioned young people not to be influenced by friends who engage in behavior that is against God's Word.
At the end of the message, many young people answered the alter call and received prayer.
The conference which ended on Saturday ended with a Jesus Party, the purpose of which was to show young people that they can have fun while serving God.
I wholeheartedly commend Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson and the group of pastors (Pastors Lyall Bethel, Dr. Myles Munroe, Cedric Moss, et al.) out of Nassau who openly spoke out against the illegal gambling industry that continues to erode the moral fabric of The Bahamas.
Like them, I too am vehemently opposed to gambling. Even though there is no 11th commandment that says ''thou shall not gamble,'' I believe gambling is a violation of at least seven Biblical principles: honesty, love, stewardship, a good work ethic, avoiding greed, trusting God and avoiding danger.
By that last principle, I mean addiction, bankruptcy, crime, corruption, destruction of families and economic destabilization. The gambling industry is about capitalizing on the loss of the thousands who participate in it. It is as simple as that. If everybody wins all the time, there would be no gambling industry. I find it troubling that the Christie administration is now hoping for Bahamian gamblers to lose their money in order to line the coffers of the government. I find it absolutely amazing that many Bahamians appear not to be troubled by this. Perhaps this is an indication of the signs of the times in which we are living. Still, if it doesn't upset you that your government is now counting on you to lose your money in order to improve its fiscal standing, what will?
A Christian, according to Chad Hills of Focus on the Family, should seek to love his neighbor, not profit by his/her loss. I think Hills hit the nail right on the head by saying that gambling promotes the false hope of escaping work and education, while living in wealth.
The BCC should continue to sound the alarm on this ungodly practice, gambling. But I think that Patterson and the other pastors who recently wrote a letter to the editor of The Nassau Guardian may be setting themselves up for a big letdown. They seem to have too much confidence in the Bahamian people concerning this vexing issue. If this issue goes to a referendum, it will pass. There's simply no question about that. Even the BCC and the group of pastors would have to admit that even in this so-called Christian nation, morality is a precious commodity. If they don't believe me, then all they have to do is count the number of bar rooms and liquor stores in Nassau.
I recently heard a well known journalist say that 172,000 Bahamians buy numbers. Even though his claim wasn't based on any scientific data, he might not be too far from the truth. If it is true that one of the gambling moguls in Nassau has on his payroll a staggering 3,000 workers, then one has to admit that the numbers racket has mushroomed into a huge industry. If the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government were to shut down the number houses, it would essentially be digging its own political grave.
The PLP would only need a little over 86,000 of the 171,932 registered voters to vote yes on legalizing gambling in order for this thing to pass. I believe that the PLP will pull this thing off because it was able to get 78,815 votes on May 7. Supposing that the overwhelming majority of the 78,815 Bahamians who voted PLP would support their party's attempt to legalize gambling on Referendum Day, the governing party would only need an additional 7,186 votes from the opposition parties in order to get over the 50 percent mark. With so many Bahamians gambling nowadays, I would be shocked if they are unable to pull this thing off. Remember, it has been estimated that some 172,000 Bahamians take part in some form of illegal gambling. Therefore, passing this referendum should be a piece of cake for the Christie administration.
Another thing, the PLP can afford to legalize the web shops and not worry about losing substantial political capital, especially within the church and among the thousands of grassroot supporters in the inner city communities of Nassau. If the results of the last election taught me anything, they have taught me that no matter what scandal the PLP is alleged to have committed, it is still the most popular party in this country.
Since time immemorial, the Baptist community has been a staunch ally of the PLP. I don't see this issue changing that. As a regular churchgoer, I can tell you that most Christians that I have met have a deep disdain for the Free National Movement (FNM). The way some of these people carry on, a vote for the FNM would be tantamount to supporting the kingdom of Satan.
We must keep in mind that Prime Minister Perry G. Christie pledged on numerous occasions at his party's Gold Rush rallies to bring the issue of legalizing gambling to the Bahamian people via a referendum. Despite making this campaign promise, his party still won 29 out of 38 seats in Parliament. Had it not been for the church, the PLP never would have seen the light of day. That is why Christie is so determined on holding this referendum. He knows that his party will not suffer any political repercussions from the church, notwithstanding the opposition of the BCC and the group of pastors.
The PLP administration isn't afraid of the church. The BCC could huff and puff as much as it wants to, but it won't be able to frighten the prime minister into changing course. Clearly, the odds are stacked in the PLP's favor. It is quite possible that the prime minister has chosen to ignore Pastor Lyall Bethel and the BCC for the simple reason that many church attendees are gainfully employed in the casinos.
Let me play devil's advocate and pose several questions to the BCC. If the BCC and the group of pastors are so opposed to gambling, why don't they simply lobby the government to shut down the casinos in New Providence and Grand Bahama? If gambling is wrong for Bahamians, then surely it is wrong for the thousands of tourists who visit Atlantis Paradise Island in order to gamble.
To the best of my knowledge, I never recall personally hearing any pastor speak out against the casinos. As the BCC should know, God's moral laws are universal. It is wrong for all peoples of every nation in every age to commit adultery or to commit murder. Contrary to what the heretical Anglican priest Joseph Fletcher taught in the sixties, there is no such thing as situation ethics. Further, are any of the pastors willing to admit that any of their members are casino workers? If the answer is yes, do they collect tithes and offering from them? Clearly, these are the hurdles that they must overcome in order to effectively oppose this plan to legalize gambling.
To be sure, I support the BCC and the group of pastors. After all, I am also an evangelical Christian. But I think they have already lost this battle. Christie knows this. And he is not afraid to challenge the church in this regard. After all, he knows that the Bahamian church is pro-PLP.
- Kevin Evans
I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. -- Isaiah 5:1-2.
We do not have to look hard (in part, at least) to determine why most of our youth are so disillusioned and lost today.
I recently listened to the prime minister's speech to CELAC in Costa Rica and a particular line caught my attention. Speaking on poverty and its negative effects on the youth he said, "We must make special efforts to ensure that young people are nurtured and protected. We ignore this at our peril."
As mentioned here, the context in which Prime Minister Christie spoke related to the youth and poverty. But there is a component of the upbringing of young people that is as vital to their development and nurturing as food, water and air that I would have liked to hear him address - and that component is moral clarity. I speak of the brand of morality derived from the Christian Bible by the Word of God, Jesus Christ. After all, His teachings form the basis of our constitution.
Many of our young people today have little or no moral compass. This is no longer a future fear, it is now the reality that we face.
Many of our youth are on a grease-pole to hell and are enjoying the slide down. Many are profane. Many are promiscuous and practice perversion. And many of them are criminals. Many are even Godless!
By the way, if even 10 percent of our youths fall into this category, that is too many, and I believe that it is much more than 10 percent.
We can link the degradation of our youth in part, to three events in our history. The first was the elimination of punishment from the classroom, the second was the refusal to administer the death penalty and the third was the introduction of cable TV to our islands.
Students now do as they please in schools. They even commit criminal offences against other students and even teachers and are back in school within days with a smirk on their faces and no sense of remorse.
These same students leave school and some will easily commit murder because the worst that can happen is that they will be put away for life.
Cable TV has made its mark on the destruction of our youth by exposing them to all kinds of filthy, immoral, atheistic, Satanic and destructive ideas - ideas they are now acting out at very disturbing levels.
Of course, there are other dynamics that contribute to waywardness in our society and two of them that intensify the above reasons are the use of drugs and alcohol, which is made so readily available. I always cringe every Sunday on the way to church as I pass a certain liquor store that is a revolving door for young men buying liquor first thing in the morning.
Am I blaming the government for the predicament in which the youth find themselves? Partly. While we cannot hold the government responsible for everyone's choices, there are definitely things that it can do to help alleviate the problem.
The government can and should sensor what Cable Bahamas and satellite TV (where possible) broadcast. Shows like, 'Bad Girls,' 'The Simpsons,' 'Family Guy,' 'Scandal,' '16 and Pregnant,' 'Game of Thrones' and so many others that promote every vile thing imaginable.
And then there are the music videos that have also done horrendous damage to their fertile minds. If we are truly in the business of protecting our children, then something must be done. And I pray that the new BTC TV offering will filter out so much of the filth that is shown on cable TV. And by the way, in a Christian nation, should cable/satellite stations, video or bookstores be allowed to benefit from the sale of pornography?
The government should forcibly restrict access to liquor in this country, even to the closure of stores which sell to the mentally disabled or minors. Drug dealers should get the death penalty. After all they kill societies with their product.
We set a double standard. We say we don't want drugs, but people can walk around with marijuana leaf representations on their shirts and hanging from their rear view mirrors. We want our girls to be decent, but we allow them to twerk and dress like prostitutes, while our young men wear their pants below their hips exposing their underwear.
We elect leaders to be examples of decency, but some of them are involved in as much deviant behavior as the citizenry.
A good number of church leaders are either gay, pulpit pimps or pedophiles.
What message are we sending when we employ the likes of Beyonce or Rihanna, who employ sexually charged performances, to entertain our people for profit? And I do trust that the Christian community will protest feverishly against any of these people performing in our beloved country. Quite frankly, I think these people should be banned from even visiting The Bahamas.
In the end, we really don't have to wonder why our youth are the way they are, but it is entirely within the scope of the prime minister and his government to implement all of the reasonable things outlined here.
God does not judge leaders by the effectiveness of the Ministry of Education, or the conservationism of the Ministry of the Environment, or even the fiscal responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. In the book of Kings each king's reign was always labeled by either of two epitaphs, "...and this king did that which was right in the sight of God," or "this king did that which was evil in the sight of God." (And the 'right' or 'evil' here had to do with how much their leadership reflected God's values in every segment of their leadership.)
Let this government be remembered for the right and not the evil. Governments are indeed commissioned by God to be His moral agent for righteousness, judicial fairness and His destructive force against evil. There is no other road a government is allowed to take.
This government can indeed legislate morality and to a greater degree than it is presently legislating. It is for righteousness that a people are exalted and for sin that they are destroyed.
- Marcellus Bassett
His name is Keith Gray, but to the people who heard him perform at the Extraordinary People concert in Paris, France, the gospel artist is known as "Halle", short for "Hallelujah".
The 21-year-old busboy, who works at the Bahamian Club restaurant at Atlantis, began using his singing talent to praise God shortly after he attained his 17th birthday, when he said he realized that doing anything unless it was for and to God was selfish. Since then, he has grown from singer to a Christian youth activist. In October 2013, he won the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture's Pacesetter Award in creative arts.
The award was given to the most outstanding Bahamian under 25 who had contributed significantly to arts and culture. Gray did it not only with his singing but by helping other young people find and express their talents.
As the founder of OCD (Obsessively Christ Driven), Gray uses the platform to bring together various Christian artists to stage concerts that include music, dance and poetry. OCD also regularly does community service, which Gray said is critical to its mission "to display God's glorious grace that will stir a passion in the hearts of people for him through love service and ministry".
The success of OCD led to Gray's latest initiative, Four-Walls Down, which encourages church members to go out into the community, providing love and service beyond the church's four walls. Gray hopes that more young men will be inspired to live better lives through the work of his team.
"We don't have a gang problem or a drug problem, but an identity problem," said the activist. We need to go back to what gives us identity and purpose and that comes from the creator. Go back to the creator and find true identity in him, and that's where you find real purpose. Be everything God wants you to be, instead of others. Don't live your life for other people who won't be into you anyway. Live your life for God."
Gray, who maintains a full-time job while working on obtaining a degree, performing and engaging in community organizing, said he is able to do it all because of a combination of balance, God and an intense desire to learn and give.
"Take everything one day at a time" is his advice.
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the 12, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it".
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe".
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" - John 20:24-28
Because of the faith given to you by God to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the pains of this world may affect you because you are a human being in a sinful world. However, the pains and setbacks you experience do not have to burden you because you have a God who cares. He is merciful, loving, forgiving and gracious. He has given you a faith to trust Jesus to deliver you.
In the above text the disciples informed Thomas, one of the disciples, that they had seen Jesus. At the time when Jesus appeared to the others, Thomas was absent. Consequently, when they told him that Jesus was alive, he exclaimed, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it".
Thomas had his doubts. He received the resurrection account from 10 witnesses to the risen Christ, yet he refused to accept their word. Even though Jesus had forewarned them of his impending death and resurrection, in Thomas' mind, the resurrection was an impossibility.
Thomas - like many in our world today - did not rely upon God, but upon human reasoning.
When we try to apply human reasoning to the workings of God we get into trouble.
Nonetheless, the resurrection account requires a faith from God. Jesus reappeared to the disciples to give Thomas such a faith. The Lord took the time to appear to Thomas in the midst of the other disciples and restore his faith.
Yes, Jesus took time out for Thomas and he does the same for you and me. The same patience Jesus showed to Thomas, he graciously shows to you and me in order to remove any doubts we may have.
The crisis we encounter in this life causes us to cry out 'why'. Why did mom or dad have to take ill and die? Why did my child have to be the one to be murdered? Why am I out of work? Why did God allow me to have cancer? Even though we cry out 'why', our faith in Christ brings us comfort. We know that our Lord is with us.
In our struggles, we find solace in his promise to us. These words of his have brought me peace and comfort in the past: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mat. 11:28).
Thomas might have been somewhat embarrassed but still thankful that his Lord had been patient and loving to reach out to him. Yes, Jesus visited Thomas because he wanted to give him the same faith that the other apostles had.
The faith that we have, which causes us to believe in the resurrection account, comes to us from God. Mankind does not have the ability to generate a faith or belief in God. We believe because we have a faith given to us by God through the Holy Spirit. This same faith helps us to live through the many setbacks we experience from time to time. Thank God for a faith that brings us peace and helps us to cope. Amen.
o Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P. O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 426-9084, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.
Hard work and dedication pays off, and it did for Bishop Hubert Pinder who was recently honored by the members of his church for being a man of God who unashamedly proclaims the beauty and majesty of Christ from the pulpit of Lively Stone Church of God, and as a visiting preacher in many churches...
Today marks the third day of Holy Week. As many Bahamians are aware, Holy Week is observed on the Christian calendar every year commemorating and focusing on the travails as well as eventual death of Jesus Christ. It marks the culmination of the Lenten season which, according to custom, lasts for 40 days.
The just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). I do not play the numbers nor do I encourage others to do so. While the scriptures do not have a clear statement "thou shalt not play the numbers", at its core, gambling is "chance-living". It is covetousness and materialism. Believers in the faith community are called to "live by faith".
PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham thanked leaders of the Church of God for their commitment to Christian values, unwavering support of the poor and contribution to society yesterday.
The nation's chief said the Church of God "is special to me" and recalled it as his childhood place of worship while growing up in Cooper's Town, Abaco.
He said he was very happy to join the congregation as they dedicated "a monument to honour, and in memoriam of the late Bishop William M Johnson, the first National Overseer of the Church of God in the Bahamas".
Not only was the Church of God the church of his childhood, but "so was Bishop Johnson, whose memory I cherish."
Mr Ingraham said ...
The Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (Awana) Ministries of Calvary Bible Church recently recognized club members for excellence.
Alexander Poval and Lazaria Colebrooke were named most outstanding male and female and received the "Sparkie" prizes during their recent end-of-term Christmas party. Lashae Lightbourne received the prize for most outstanding "Sparks" female athlete, and K'vin Stuart received the most outstanding male athlete award. The general excellence award for the club member who excelled in all areas such as Bible verse memorization, showing good sportsmanship, and having a good attitude, went to Keyezia Wilson.
The recent end-of-term Awana Christmas party was hosted by former club member Dr. Sean Knowles, who also served as a leader for the "Sparks" group in the early 2000s before attending college to study towards a medical degree.
"I want the kids, especially those who are growing up in the Centreville, East Street, and Mason's Addition areas, to know that they can be successful at whatever they desire to do in life, but it all has to start with knowing Jesus Christ as lord and savior and allowing God to direct and order your steps," said Dr. Knowles.
Awana is an international, Bible-centered children's and youth ministry providing local churches with weekly clubs and programs for preschool aged through high school children. The goal is to reach children and teenagers and their families with the Gospel of Christ and to train them to serve him.
"Being a part of the Awana ministry was a blessing for me," said Dr. Knowles. "My late grandmother made sure I attended church and every Awana meeting. I was instructed at such a young age about God's Word and about how to live a productive Christian life. I was even led to Christ at the age of nine by one of the leaders Mr. Basil Miller, who is still active in this ministry today," said Dr. Knowles. "Even though I am not as actively involved with Awana, I cannot ignore the fact that part of who I am today is because of this amazing youth ministry, and I very much want to continue to be a part of it in any way that I can."
The hottest news around town these days is about who is going to Mt. Fitzwilliam to be the next governor general of The Bahamas. Everyone is speculating, probing, digging, guessing, estimating, editorializing as to who, why, why not, what for, when, yes, no, maybe so, who owes and didn't pay. My name was even called in the mix to go to the house on the hill.
I would dare say that we are indeed a peculiar people -- we do not really like to see people succeed and move on in life. Why now should one look up to see who owes what, just because they forecast something good about to happen for someone? There goes the marking of an evil mind -- for the bill was always there.
I really do get sad when I see the published list of distressed houses up for sale. It hurts when people are mean and cruel and no love, care or sympathy is in them. But little do they know that they too are headed for a house either up or down, and how it looks to me, more are going downtown rather than uptown.
In this second book of The Corinthians, Paul continues to address the saints at Corinth. This church was in trouble, and Paul in his first letter to them shared the mind of Christ. He encouraged them to accept this new worship, to give with love in their hearts and believe the resurrection of Christ, and the resurrection of the dead. Greeting them, he bestowed "Grace be to you and peace from God our father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and God of all comfort. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ".
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. We are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, and a house not made with hands, that is eternal in the heavens.
Joseph told his brothers down in Egypt that what was done for evil, God turned it around it for good. I pray that with all the talk about who is going to Government House this will help us to think about the day when we will be going to a new house that is not made of mortar and stone or located in some gated community, but eternal in the heavens. Oh how we make gods of houses, while some take no care of maintaining.
Let us begin to develop the kind of love when we first began to celebrate nationhood. We cannot allow evil to corrupt our spiritual houses and cause us to inherit eternal houses of gloom and doom.
o E-mail email@example.com or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's blessings!
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 2:5
I love the adventure of shopping for bargains, whatever, wherever. I get a lot of people complimenting me on my dress style and coordination, who think I spend every dime I make on clothing. I simply tell them that God shops for me. I can go into a store and head to the clearance rack, and usually there is only one size - my size - and it is ridiculously marked down. I don't even have to try it on. Imagine buying a suit that was $425 for $29.99. My God and I have such great times together. He surely looks out for me, and yes, I do get the best for less! And yes, he also guides me in my writing every week, insomuch that there are instances and occurrences, locally and globally that tie right in with the message that he gives to me.
I was parking in front of the bank just a few days ago, and a gentleman attempted to get out of his car, but I noticed that there was not enough space for the full opening of his door; I continued the parking process. He was neatly dressed, and as he walked there was an air of calmness and confidence about him. I caught up with him behind him on the bank lane. While waiting for the teller to return for his transaction, we engaged in conversion - of course I began it. Strangely, I asked him if he was a Jehovah's Witness; he smiled and said that he was an Adventist. My curious mind found out who he was -- Dr. Joseph L. Evans, director of the Bahamas Urology Center. I told him my name and he said that he knew and how he enjoys reading "Along Life's Road".
Leaving the bank, Paul's admonition to the Church at Philippi came to me: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus". Yes, it is the mind of a man that lifts him out of his environment and circumstances to lofty heights of professionalism, dignity, decorum and wellness of mind, body and soul.
And again, as I begin to write in the wee hours of the morning, I read Internet headlines and see one about a tourist giving a doggy bag of food to a homeless person. I laughed to see how my heavenly father gives me nuggets that tie in with what I am writing about.
A first-time French visitor to New York was walking through the famous Little Italy neighborhood when she saw a bearded homeless man rummaging through a dumpster looking for food. Carrying the remainder of a pizza in a doggy bag for later, her kind heart offered it to the homeless man. He accepted and thanked her for it. She went on her way. It was not until the next morning while at the breakfast table and reading the morning paper that she could not believe her eyes: Her picture with the hobo was in the newspaper, accompanied by a story. Richard Gere, famous Hollywood mega star, was on the set of a movie scene dressed as a homeless hobo. The name of the movie is "Time out of Mind". What a story for a first-time visitor!
One has to have the right mind to carry out the mandate that Jesus gave -- "Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me."
I was sick and you did not visit me; hungry and thirsty and you gave me no food nor drink; naked and you offered me no clothes; in prison and you had no time for visitation.
To do these deeds of kindness and acts of love, the right mind, the pure mind, the focused mind must be patterned after Jesus of Nazareth.
As children we grew up with admonition from parents and elders, that it is the mind and mannerly actions that make a man and woman too.
There are many books that are written about character and the role it plays in leadership. Who better than Saul-turned-Paul to write about the power of a good character?
With his notorious past behind him - and how I pray that we begin to leave people alone with their pasts and encourage them in their quests for newness of spirit - Paul is writing to the Church at Philippi from Rome. It is reciprocity of love and gratitude for the affectionate generosity and cheerfulness of the Philippians.
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ...Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
Oh how we need people, especially those of the household of faith, to continue to have the mind of Christ. The only hope for our nation in this time of national distress over the crime wave will not be found in legislation, but in salvation. We must put away strife, malice, backbiting, envy, bad minds and all those evils that are the nesting place for crime and violence. People are singing and shouting about what Jesus has done for them and their actions and deeds refute it. Sometimes I think that David must have been pointing at some of us when he sternly warned us that we are standing in the way of sinners to repentance.
When Paul spoke about the mind and spirit that should characterize the Christian community, his meaning was determined by the reality of that mind encountered in Jesus Christ. It is the attitude and disposition expressed in Jesus that governs the Christian in his or her relationship with other believers and the desire for sinners' acceptance of Christ.
It is my prayer, dear readers, that our constant prayer be "O to be like thee, full of compassion, loving, forgiving, tender, kind, holy, harmless, patient, brave, helping the helpless, cheering the fainting, meekly enduring cruel reproaches and seeking the wandering sinner to find".
o Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
Hundreds of mourners filled Christ Church Cathedral to bid farewell to Edith, Lady
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, He said to him, "Follow me."
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and about whom the prophets also wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.
"Come and see," said Philip. - John 1:43-46.
Constantly, you and I encounter people who feel the way Nathanael felt when he was told about Jesus, the Messiah of God. Follow Philip's example.
Don't get into an argument about it. Don't be afraid to take them to the Messiah. He has all the answers. He can revolutionize their lives. He can open their eyes to see. He is God's anointed.