Monday Reflection – Monday March 31st, 2014

Coming off of yesterday’s sermon based on Galatians 4:21 – 31 using the  original (1549 . 1552) Book of Common Prayer, take some time Monday – Weds. to ponder the following questions taken from John Stott’s Galatian commentary.

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1.  Paul turns to those who “desire to be under the law” vs. 21, and invites them to consider the logical outcome of their position.  Why is physical descent from Abraham of itself irrelevant?

2.  Paul is saying that it’s who your mother is that counts!  In his allegory, what to Hagar and Sarah stand for?

3.  “Now we brothers, like Issac, are children of promise”  What two impactions of rthe Christian community does Paul draw from this?

4.  Stott says, “The greatest enemies of the evangelical faith today are not unbelievers, who when they hear the gospel often embrace it, but the church, the establishment, the hierarchy.”  In what ways has this been true in your experience?  Discuss what action you should take.  

 

Weekly Wrapup! Saturday March 29th, 2014

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The Weekly Wrapup brings together some of the most interesting content we’ve found online, as it pertains to the church, culture,  sports and the people God has called us to reach. Keep in mind, we don’t endorse or agree with everything you’ll see included in the Wrapup.  

WORLD VISION REVERSES DECISION TO HIRE CHRISTIANS IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGES  Christianity Today:  Only two days after announcing it would hire Christians in same-sex marriages, World Vision U.S. has reversed its ground-breaking decision after weathering intense criticism from evangelical leaders.

SIX PARISHIONERS SHOT DEAD WHILE WORSHIPPING AT KENYAN CHURCH  ABC News:  Two gunmen have stormed a church near the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa and opened fire on worshippers, killing six people and wounding more than a dozen others, in what police are labelling a terrorist attack.

ABORTED BABIES INCINERATED TO HEAT UK HOSPITALS  The Telegraph:  The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

SHIFT IN SUPPORT FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE GREATEST AMONG BLACK PROTESTANTS  Deseret News:  The acceptance of same-sex marriage by black American Protestants has risen by about a third in the past year, data from the Pew Research Center revealed this week. However, both a Pew official and a leading black evangelical scholar agree that the numbers may not tell the whole story.

YOU’RE NOT AS BUSY AS YOU SAY YOU ARE  Slate:   “People are competing about being busy” [says communication researcher Ann Burnett] . . . “It’s about showing status. That if you’re busy, you’re important. You’re leading a full and worthy life. . . . As if you don’t get to choose, busyness is just there. I call it the nonchoice choice. Because people really do have a choice.”

Dayton Flyers advance to Elite 8 to take on the Florida Gators!   ESPN  

Song of the Week:  Lord Have Mercy

 

 

 

Making Sunday Special – Sunday March 30th, 2014

Take some time over the next few days and read the passage of this week’s sermon in Galatians.

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Galatians 4:21 – 31     “Emmancipated?  Then live like it!”

[21] Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? [22] For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. [23] But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. [24] Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. [25] Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. [26] But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. [27] For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than those of the one who has a husband.”

[28] Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. [29] But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. [30] But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” [31] So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

 

The Weekly Update! Saturday March 22nd, 2014

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The weekly update brings together some of the most interesting content I’ve found online, as it pertains to the church, culture, sports  and the people God has called us to reach. Keep in mind, I don’t endorse or agree with everything you’ll see included in the roundup.

HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND TO THE TRAGIC DEATH OF FRED PHELPS?

Ed Stetzer:   Death is always a tragedy. Hate makes it more so. Today, a man known for hate died. CNN concluded that his infamy was worth a breaking news alert. But how do we respond? How does this breaking news relate to the gospel’s good news?

MAJORITY OF AMERICANS NOW SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE, SURVEY FINDS

Reuters:   Support for gay marriage has surged in the United States in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts, with just over half of Americans now supporting the idea, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

LOSING FAITH: 21 PERCENT SAY RELIGION ‘NOT THAT IMPORTANT’

NBC News:  One in five Americans say religion does not play an important role in their lives, a new NBC/WSJ journal poll shows – the highest percentage since the poll began asking participants about their focus on faith in 1997.

 

IRAN’S OPPRESSED CHRISTIANS

New York Times:  Christianity of course is not alien to Iran. It arrived in ancient Persia not long after the death of Christ and has waxed and waned ever since. But in recent decades, especially in the last few years, things have grown worse.

 

A BIG-BANG THEORY GETS A BIG BOOST: EVIDENCE THAT VAST COSMOS WAS CREATED IN SPLIT SECOND

Washington Post:  An idea called cosmic inflation — a powerful twist on the big-bang theory — [has] received a major boost from an experiment at the South Pole called BICEP2. A team of astronomers led by John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced that it had detected ripples from gravitational waves created in a violent inflationary event at the dawn of time.

Akron Zips Women Team take a trip to the Dance for the 1st time – our own Coach Melissa Jackson head recruiter!  Go Zips!  

Cleveland Plain Dealer –   In typical Hollywood fashion, what looks like an overnight success story to their school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance is actually a four-year journey for five seniors from the Akron women’s basketball team. They play host Purdue in Saturday’s opening round at 1:30 p.m. 

The first two seasons the Zips were pretty much the worst thing you can be in sports, which is average. Good enough to beat bad teams, not good enough to beat the best.

Song of the Week!  Kyrie – Matt Maher,  sung by Christ Church Nashville (PCA)

Taking the day off! Making Sunday Special Sunday March 23rd Lent 3

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Take some time over the next couple of days for reading and reflection over this Sunday’s text in Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:1 – 14   

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you.” 

Taking the day off! Making Sunday Special Sunday March 16th, 2014 Lent 2

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Take some time over the next few days and reflect on the text for this Sunday as we gather at Christ Church!

fi4:1   Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God,who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly beforeoutsiders and be dependent on no one. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, ESV)

Making Sunday Special – Sunday March 9th, 2014

Take the next 3 days to prepare your heart what the Lord would have for you individually, and for us corporately in the Christ Church community this upcoming 1st Sunday of Lent, March 9th!  Our texts in Lent are taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer Lectionary.  This week, the text is from 2nd Corinthians 5:20b – 6:13

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20b  We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness ofWorking together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,

and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.   We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open.12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. 13 In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.