Weekly Update – Friday May 24, 2015

November 1912, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA --- Newspaper boys, one missing a leg, stand on the steps of a bank near a busy trolley junction in Jersey City, New Jersey. --- Image by © CORBIS

Each week I post some of the more interesting articles I’ve come across throughout the week to highlight what’s happening in the church, country, world, sports, and in culture in general .

World:  “Thousands evacuated in Nepal after landslide”

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Thousands of people fled villages and towns along a mountain river in northwest Nepal on Sunday after it was blocked by a landslide that could burst and cause flash floods, officials said.   Read More

USA:  Cleveland – Michael Brelo acquital

Peaceful protests gave way to skirmishes and arrests Saturday, following the acquittal of a Cleveland police officer involved in a deadly 2012 shootout that presented the latest test to a city navigating unprecedented tensions between its citizens and law enforcement.  Read more

Parenting:  Susan Yates ”  MY MAIN PRAYER FOR MY KIDS AND GRAND KIDS…”

Recently I was with my grandson Jack. At bedtime he wanted me to cuddle up with him while he read his Bible to me. It was a special time of grandmother snuggling and listening. And of course it went on and on – he didn’t want to go to sleep!

Reflecting on this moment my heart was filled with joy. God was answering my prayers.  Read more

Christian:  Rob Dreher  “Having the Talk with the Kids”

Father Andrew Damick, a friend who is an Orthodox priest, writes on his Facebook feed:

Just overheard an earnest conversation in which the speaker was making a serious argument that church attendance on Christmas and Easter was quite enough.

People do it, of course — lots of them. But I’ve never heard anyone actually defending it.

 Read more

Song of the week:  Holy Spirit Breath of God

Taking the day off – the Lord’s Way! “Making Sunday Special” – for Sunday May 24th, 2015

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Take some time over the next few days and reflect on our text for this upcoming Sunday as we celebrate the birth of the Christian movement!

Acts 2:1 – 21  

[1] When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. [2] And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. [3] And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. [5] Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. [6] And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. [7] And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? [8] And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? [9] Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, [10] Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, [11] both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” [12] And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” [13] But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” [14] But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. [15] For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. [16] But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: [17] “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; [18] even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. [19] And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; [20] the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. [21] And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Reflecting on a Weds. – “Divine Intercession” John 17:6 – 19

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The three days after Sunday are days that we at Christ Church reflect on how God spoke to us on the Lord’s Day!  Here are some thoughts to prompt discussion in your heart, family, small group to apply this passage for life change!

We saw in Jesus prayer for his disciples:

1.  We are God’s possession

2.  We are interceded for

3.  We are set apart in the Word (truth).

There are two great principles from Jesus’ words in vss. 6 – 19:

1.  Genuine accomplishment is determined by God, not people.  vs. 4

2.  Reinforcement is provided from God, not the world

Therefore, how often do you think of yourself as sanctified?  It’s probably not the first thing that you think of as you roll out of bed in the morning?  As we are set apart in the truth – Jesus prays for us (vss. 20 – 26)  that we might:

a.  Grow in unity-  means giving in:  refusing to get bent out of shape over trivial disagreements or particular philosophies.  Those who enjoy Christian fellowship in its deepest sense have a high tolerance level

b.  Know our destiny – knowing this means giving up – total surrender to Jesus Christ.

c.  Show His love to others – authentic Christian ministry is visible and tangible.  Those who would say their faith “is private” are incorrect in their understanding of grace and discipleship.  God not only tells us he loves us, he demonstrated such love upon the cross (Romans 5:8). We are to do the same to those where we live, work, and play.

Preparing for Sunday! “Making Sunday Special! – Ascension Sunday”

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Take some time each day for the next 3 days and read the text for this upcoming Sunday – Ascension Sunday –  to prepare yourself to receive from the Lord what He would have for you in His Word!

John 17:6 – 19   – “Divine Intercession”

[6] “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. [7] Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. [8] For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. [9] I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. [11] And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. [14] I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [15] I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [18] As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Thinking it Through! Genesis 10:1 – 11:9

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Here are some Bible Study questions for us at Christ Church and beyond as we reflect on how God spoke to us through His Word this past Sunday:

1.  How do the nations strive for unity outside of Jesus Christ?

2.  Is a bad thing, a good thing, or a mixed up thing that nations do this?

3.  What happens when people emphasize diversity of the human race to the neglect of its unity?

4.  How does the Gospel allow us to maintain unity & diversity