Taking a Day Off per week – God’s idea. “Making Sunday Special – Sunday Feb. 2, 2014

Armor

As we take the next 3 days of our week in preparation for the “highlight of the week” – Sunday, where we as Christians:

1) Cease from our vocations  2)  Assemble together as the Body of Christ to hear the Word & 3)  Do acts of mercy as God gives us opportunity inside and outside the church body.

Let us read and think how the Lord might use this week’s text in our lives during this part of the True Discipleship series:  Pt. 4  The Disciple’s Battle.

“Equipped as a Disciple”  Ephesians 6:10 – 20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand againstthe schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit,with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Week 5 Question of the Week! With Kent Hughes – Rector Emeritus of College Church Wheaton IL

Q5: What else did God create?  (Bold is for children)

 

God created all things by his powerful Word, and all his creation was very good; everything flourished under his loving rule.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/46824538″>NCC Q5: What else did God create?</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/gospelcoalition”>The Gospel Coalition</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

– See more at: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/ncc/2012/11/19/q5-what-else-did-god-create/#sthash.zcb1v8J2.dpuf

Remembering Chuck Cordova

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I would like to say thank you to so many of you and the love and support that we’ve received over the past week.  It has been a rough couple of weeks, and last Saturday we laid to rest Kim’s brother Chuck after his sudden death after complications from neck surgery.  

I  first walked into the Cordova home at 4316 Willow Woods Dr. in Annandale Virginia in mid March of 1980.  I had just asked the beautiful 16 year old Kim Cordova out on a dinner date to Pepper’s Texas Barbecue & I was hoping to make a good first impression to her parents – but, I quickly learned that in the Cordova home, you had better be flexible, because life doesn’t always go according to plan!  Her parents weren’t there, Kim was running a few minutes late, and her sister Kesti was babysitting their 14 year old mentally handicapped brother Chuck – who, couldn’t care less that I was there!   I came to learn that Chuckie was a gift from God who taught all of us the meaning of 1) Taking Risks – for to babysit Chuck was a risk in itself.

                    2)  Life is about serving others – not your own instant desires.

                     3)  God’s grace is sufficient for all of life’s circumstances.

Below is an email that my brother in law Rev. “Super” Jonny Minns received from his father – Bishop Martyn Minns, that I read during the homily.  Couldn’t have said it better than the good Bishop.  Rest in Peace Chuck – we miss you, but take great comfort that you are with the Lord, and that you are whole!

Chuck Cordova … Rest in Peace

 Chuckie’s life spoke volumes even though he never spoke words that we could understand. Carole and Charlie Cordova followed by their three amazing daughters – Kesti, Kim and Celeste – loved him and cared for him throughout his life and he reflected that love to the people around him. They are an amazing testimony to the power of God’s love.

 Angela and I came to know this remarkable family though our son Jon’s marriage to Celeste. We were, and are, humbled by the costly devotion that they have all demonstrated throughout the years. Truly they showed what it means to treat a human life, every human life, as a sacred gift. At this time of year we are reminded of the Sanctity of Life by public demonstrations and annual statements – they are important – but the Cordova family lived it out year-by-year, day-by-day and hour-by-hour. They never sought any special recognition for their commitment but truly God has been glorified by their faithfulness and by Chuckie’s life.

 My favorite memory of Chuckie is the day he came to the Truro Chapel just after his mother Carole died. No-one knew how he would react to the sight of her lifeless body in a casket. In tears we all watched him as he walked up to the front of the chapel and then stand at attention – as an honor guard – next to her. In his silence he spoke more eloquently than any preacher. To this day his life continues to speak of the sacrificial love and unconditional commitment of this amazing family.

 May God continue to bless them and give them the comfort of knowing that Chuckie is now reunited with Carole and Charlie in the presence of the heavenly Father who loves him even more than they ever could – where there are no more tears, no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Truly Chuckie is at peace and God has been glorified.   –  Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns

 

 

Making Sunday Special – Sunday January 19th, 2014

Take the next few days leading up to Sunday and reflect on this week’s passage at Christ Church:

Matthew 4:1 – 11  The Weapons at our Disposal

 

4 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, commandthese stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered,

“It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to che holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”  

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

 

Reflection on Monday! Epiphany! Matt 2:1 – 12 Stay Warm!

 

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Questions to ask yourself following our gathering yesterday in the Christ Church community!  

1)  What unexpected people in your life is God working in currently?  Are you praying that God would reveal to you those who He is working on around you?

2)  Are you, like the wise men, worshipping at Jesus’ feet on a regular basis.

3)  What ministry are you called to among us, and are you persevering in it?

4)  How did God speak to you yesterday, and to whom did you minister?  

Preparing for the Highlight of the Week! Sunday, Jan. 5, ’14

Take some time over the next three days to read our passage for this Sunday as we gather at Christ Church.  This Sunday is Christmas 2/ Epiphany Sunday:  Matthew 2:1 – 12

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Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we sawhis star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

8th Day of Christmas – 1st Catechism Question of the Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  It has been a long time since I last posted, but as many of you know, I’ve been caring for my wife of 29 years as she recovers from a spinal fusion “redo” surgery.  Thanks for all of your prayers, meals, and love for without it all – we wouldn’t be able to  make it!

Being week 1 of 2014  here’s the 1st of 52 Catechism questions from the  New City Catechism, featuring Rev. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian NYC.  “What is our only hope in life and death?”