1/27/14

From Ben Fronczek... My Mission Trip To Jamaica





My Mission Trip To Jamaica 

At first did not feel comfortable about going:

- I’d Going there to work with a group of people I did not know from FL                               
 
- I Would have to sleep in the same motel with someone I did not know

- I’d be Going to do something I never had done before

- I’d be going to work with Jamaican people I did not know anything about. In the  past I only heard about the local population’s poverty.

But in my heart and mind I sensed that this was from the Lord, and that I should just get out of my comfort zone and go, so I agreed to go trusting that the Lord wanted to expand my horizon. So off I went 2 Saturdays ago.

I met the group from FL in the Atlanta Airport, and gladly they were a happy silly bunch. We got to Jamaica with no problems, with one exception; one of the older ladies from our team accidentally checked the box on the customs form saying that she was carrying weapon into the country. They checked her out, inspected her luggage and was soon released. We labelled her our Gun runner the rest of the trip.
We did not do too much in Jamaica that 1st night. Most of us were up at 3am that morning or earlier, so it was early to bed after dinner. The first room Greg and I got had a few problems. It was extremely hot out there was little air conditioning. Initially,  my bed was covered with ants, and when we told the housekeeper, she swept them off and simply said, “Don’t worry they won’t bother you much”  The bathroom door was broke. There was almost no hot water. So the first night sleep was hot sticky and a bit uncomfortable.

Eventually the air conditioner totally died and they moved us to another room the next day which was nicer.

That first Sunday, after breakfast we went to worship at the Negril Church of Christ where we would be holding the free clinic that week. The Jamaican people were gracious, loving and happy to see us. They definitely loved to sing. They sang a whole 15 minutes, one song after another even before their opening prayer. A great sermon was preached as well as a good Bible study was taught. After we said our good-byes, we got some lunch and got to work.

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In FL, the team had purchased all kinds of over the counter pills, vitamins, pain pills, fish oil caps and more which the carried over in extra suitcases. That first Sunday afternoon we took the big bottles if pills and broke them down and put 30 pills in small plastic bags to be distributed to the people during the week.  This took us all afternoon in 90 degree weather.

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Besides the pills the team had purchased and  also brought over all kind of tubes of creams, salves and lotions, dandruff shampoo, and eye drops, as well as hundreds of pairs of reading glasses of all different strengths, and over 400 pairs of sunglasses.

The next day after we got the church building, we got busy and set up shop. The Mandarin church hired 2 local medical doctors, a husband and wife team to work 2 days each at the clinic,  as well as a local Jamaican pharmacist to distribute the drugs we bagged.

Everybody had a job to do. The Negril church had advertized the free clinic on the radio so we expecting quite a few to come. When it began at 9am, we were ready. We did not just let the people march into the building. We had a waiting area outside, and some had to wait up to 4 hours in the heat.

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After one team member filled out the person’s name and address they took a seat until a spot in the church opened up. When their name was called they were asked why they came and who they wanted to see. I explained that they could see a medical doctor for a check-up or in our vision center they could also have their eyes examined and they could be fitted with a free pair of reading glasses if needed, and everyone would receive a free pair of sunglasses.  Or they could go to our make-shift pharmacy and get some free over the counter drugs if that’s what they needed.  Some chose to go to all 3 areas.  Some only wanted sunglasses or medications.

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After I filled out that part of the form I told them that the church was not only concerned about their physical needs, they were also concerned about their  spiritual health and therefore had a few questions to ask them.

They were asked if they go to church, where they go, how often, if they had even been baptized, and if so how. We also told them that since they had to wait a while before they could get to the doctor or vision centers, if they had any prayer request we had people more than happy to sit and chat with them about spiritual things and pray with them. Most agreed to sit down with someone.

That was pretty much the process.. Now and then team members would switch jobs. We were also assisted by local members of the church, and there were 3 students from the Jamaica school of Preaching who assisted.

In 4 days time we saw about 350 people from the community in the clinic. Old young, blind, lame, sweet old men and ladies, prostitutes, mentally disabled, taxi drivers and people from all walks.

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Everyone was cared for, treated with dignity, they all receive sunglasses, Meds were given out, and the doctors were able to help many who could not have otherwise seen a doctor.
Study teams prayed with hundreds of people. Hundred of Bible studies took place while people waited, and there were over a hundred  people who requested a visit or a follow up study from the local minister. And one person was baptized.

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It was very, very, hot and sticky week. Most of our shirts were soaked thru with sweat by 10am, we got a bit tired, but a lot of good was done.

There was one problem that seemingly cropped up early in the week. When the people came and sat with us to pray and we chatted with them about their walk with God the Jamaican brothers and sisters from the local church and the preacher school were WAY more aggressive in their approach than we were. We were not so concerned about preaching the whole message of Christ right then and there, rather we were more interested in setting up a follow up study.  I began a study with one lady and it did not take long for me to recognize she had no interest in what I was saying, so rather than badger her I was going to let he go on her way, but then brother Nigel, a member of the Negril church,  jumped in and preached to her the 5 step of the Gospel, the importance of Hearing, Believing, Confessing, Repenting, Being Baptized. He taught and pleaded with this young lady but she had no interest.

Our team later discussed this and what seemed like a problem. We agreed to talk to the local brethren about it. The next opportunity I had, I had talked with Nigel. I told him we are concerned that such an aggressive approach would scare people off. I reminded him of the parable of the soils and how some people were like that hard path and would never accept God’s word.

His response opened my eyes as well as the eyes of our mission team when I shared with them what he had to say. He told me why he and his brethren were so bold and forward. It very much had to do with his own conscious.      It was conscious issue.  He told me that after sitting with someone in such as setting where people were willing to pray and chat about spiritual things in their church building, he implied that he felt morally responsible to share the good news with these people weather they wanted to hear it or not. He said that he would have a hard time living with himself and then standing before our Lord after having a chance to speak to these people but not.

As he spoke I thought that I should be as bold. In the parable of the soils Jesus did say that the farmer cast the seed out, even on the hard rocky path.
Our team members were very move when they heard this.

One member, Kathryn reminded what Jeremiah wrote in Jer. 20:9 where he said,  

“But if I say “I will not mention His word or speak any more in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones, I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.”

That described our Jamaican brethren’s hearts and desire to serve Jesus.
I was also reminded of what Peter and John told the teachers and elders in Jerusalem in Acts 4:19-20 when they were told not to speak any more in Jesus’ name; they said,  

“But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!  As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Likewise in Job we a read,  

“for I am full of words and the spirit within me compels me.”

What did I learned from my trip to Jamaica? I was reminded that there are people all around us who are poor and in need. And I am not talking about just poor financially or without material possessions, rather poor spiritually.

I heard praise and songs of thanksgiving being sung by people who lived in nothing more than shacks.  And those people were not afraid to tell their friends and neighbors about Jesus and share the truth of the Gospel, EVEN IF THOSE PEOPLE DID NOT WANT TO HEAR THE MESSAGE.

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These people I met knew where true riches lie; Only in having a relationship with Jesus, and they just could not hold it in.                                           

As I said earlier; we should be as bold.

People all around us are dying without Christ, and most of us don’t have the guts, the tenacity, or enough love to say anything to them, or plead with them. We simple let them slip away without saying a thing.

When I spoke to Nigel, he let me know that he did not want to stand before Jesus burdened with guilt knowing that he could have said something, or he should have said something to someone, but did not.

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I pray that your spirit will be re-kindled and that you   may develop a spirit of urgency like those people I met in Jamaica.

For more lessons click on the following link:
http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... Once more, 1 Peter 3:21

Once more, 1 Peter 3:21

A couple of readers complained that my remarks on 1 Peter 3:21 shed more shadow than light. Could I summarise? I’m good at making simple things complex so the complaint is legitimate no doubt.

Peter obviously believes that baptism is part of the saving process in which God brings people to himself in Jesus Christ. Because that’s true, he says "baptism saves you."

Peter says that baptism saves people "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Saving power and virtue lie only in the once dead and now living and glorified Jesus Christ. It’s him and that power that baptism links believers to.

Peter says baptism saves (there’s no denying that) but it doesn’t save in the way some might think. It doesn’t save by taking away "the filth of the flesh." What did he mean by that? That’s where my smoke was especially dense, apparently.

The physical descendants of Abraham through Jacob were the elect of God.
They were Abraham’s heirs "after the flesh" (see 1 Corinthians 10:18, KJV and other versions, Romans 9:1-5 and elsewhere).

They consistently polluted themselves and violated the covenant.

God brought that covenant to an end and re-defined "the elect," bringing judgement and an end to a fleshly standing before God.

John came baptizing, aiming to bring Israel after the flesh back to God on terms of the existing Mosaic covenant. (See Malachi chapter 4.)

That’s not how baptism in the name of Jesus Christ functions in faith. Those who were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ were baptized into someone who was the end of "the flesh" (see Romans 6 and early 7). NT baptism didn’t cleanse "the flesh" and make it acceptable as flesh. It proclaimed the end of it because Christ was put to death in the flesh and resurrected in Spirit. So NT baptism was nothing like John’s baptism (hence Paul re-baptized Ephesians in Acts 19).
"The flesh" and "the Spirit" are two ways of relating to God. Israel’s profound need wasn’t met by cleansing the flesh in some baptism that kept the Old Covenant structure alive. As in the "baptism" of Noah, God ended "all flesh" so in NT baptism, which proclaims God’s work in Jesus Christ, God brought an end to "the flesh".

Peter is writing to Jews and reminding them that their life with God didn’t rest in their being born after the flesh. They were not baptized to purge them as a fleshly nation of their apostasies. They were born again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).
That’s the best I can do. It might be no improvement.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Mark Copeland... A Faithful Saying (2Timothy 2:11-13)







                    "THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                            A Faithful Saying (2:11-13)

INTRODUCTION

1. Paul makes mention of the phrase "faithful saying" several times...
   a. Regarding Jesus' coming to save sinners - 1Ti 1:15
   b. Regarding the desire to serve as a bishop - 1Ti 3:1
   c. Regarding the value of godly exercise - 1Ti 4:8-9
   c. Regarding our salvation by God's grace - Tit 3:4-8a
   d. And also the passage that serves as our text today - 2Ti 2:11-13
   -- The Greek is "faithful is the saying" (JFB), and identifies that
      which is  "worthy of entire credence and profound attention"
      (Barnes)

2. The "faithful saying" we examine today may have been from an early
   hymn...
   a. "The symmetrical form of 'the saying,' and the rhythmical balance
      of the parallel clauses, makes it likely, they formed part of a
      Church hymn or accepted formula..." - JFB
   b. "...perhaps first uttered by some of the Christian 'prophets' in
      the public assembly (1Co 14:26)." - ibid.
   -- As many think other passages may have been - cf. 1Ti 3:16; Ep 5:14 (RWP)

3. Paul's purpose was to encourage Timothy to endure hardship for
   Christ...
   a. As mentioned near the beginning of this chapter - 2Ti 2:3
   b. As Paul himself had done and would continue to do - 2Ti 2:8-10
   -- This "faithful saying" should encourage us to endure hardship as
      well

[This "faithful saying" reveals much about our life with Christ, as we
note that the first 'verse' relates to...]

I. THE BEGINNING OF LIFE WITH CHRIST

   A. "FOR IF WE DIED WITH HIM..."
      1. An allusion to baptism, in which we are crucified with Christ
         - Ro 6:3-8
      2. It was not uncommon to speak of having died with Christ - Col 2:
         20; 3:3; Ga 2:20
      -- Have you died with Christ (i.e., been baptized)...? - Mk 16:16;
         Ac 2:38

   B. "WE SHALL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM..."
      1. We live with Christ now, in newness of life - Ro 6:4; Col 2:
         12-13
      2. We shall also live with Him in the age to come, in glory - Co
         3:4
      -- Yet living with Christ both now and then is contingent on
         having died with Him...!

[If you have started this new life by dying with Christ, you have every
reason to do what is necessary to maintain such life.  The second
'verse' tells of the need for endurance in suffering as...]

II. THE GUARANTEE OF LIFE WITH CHRIST

   A. "IF WE ENDURE..."
      1. Our life in Christ often involves hardship - Jn 15:20; Ac 14:22; 2Ti 3:12
      2. Thus the need for endurance and perseverance - He 10:36; Mt 10:22
      -- Are you willing to endure hardship to receive the promises..?
         - He 6:11-12

   B. "WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM..."
      1. A wonderful promise made by Christ Himself - Re 3:21; cf. 1:5
      2. A reign with Christ that...
         a. Begins in principle in this life - Ep 2:4-7
         a. Continues in practice in the intermediate state - Re 2:
            26-27; 20:4,6
         b. Culminates in glory in the eternal state - Re 22:5
      -- Participation in this reign depends on willingness to suffer
         with Him...! - Ro 8:17

[Implied in being willing to endure in order to reign with Christ is the
possibility of not enduring to the end.  What then?  The third 'verse'
refers to very real danger of...]

III. THE TERMINATION OF LIFE WITH CHRIST

   A. "IF WE DENY HIM..."
      1. Refuse to confess Him, or being ashamed of Him - Mt 10:32-33;
         cf. Lk 9:26
      2. A very real possibility, even by those redeemed (bought) by the
         Lord - 2Pe 2:1; Jude 1:4
      -- Denying the Lord places one's life with Christ and His Father
         in a very precarious position! - 1Jn 2:22-23

   B. "HE WILL ALSO DENY US..."
      1. He will deny us before His Father in heaven - Mt 10:33
      2. He will deny us before the angels of God - Lk 12:9
      -- This denial is indicative of the terrible judgment that awaits
         those who having known the Lord choose to ultimately reject Him
         - cf. He 10:26-31

[Of course, Peter's own denial and subsequent forgiveness reminds us
that while there is life there is hope.  And so the fourth 'verse'
provides a hint of...]

IV. THE RESTORATION OF LIFE WITH CHRIST

   A. "IF WE ARE FAITHLESS..."
      1. It is possible to develop an evil heart of unbelief - He 3:
         12-14
      2. In which like unfaithful Israel we can be cut off - Ro 11:19-22
      -- Unbelief can destroy those who were once saved; thus we like
         Israel need to 'make our calling and election sure' - Jude 1:5;
         cf. 2Pe 1:10-11

   B. "HE REMAINS FAITHFUL; HE CANNOT DENY HIMSELF..."
      1. Some have understood this to mean He will save us even if we
         live in sin
         a. Yet Paul had just said that if we deny Christ He will deny
            us
         b. We have seen that believers were warned to continue in their
            faith, or be cut off
      2. Rather, it means that Christ remains true and trustworthy, for
         He cannot be otherwise
         a. For those who persist in sin and unbelief, their
            condemnation is sure
         b. For those willing to repent, His promise of longsuffering
            and mercy provides hope!
            1) As illustrated in His words to Peter - Mt 18:21-22
            2) As demonstrated in His forgiveness of Peter, who denied
               Him three times - Jn 21:15-19
      -- While apostasy is a very real danger, restoration remains a
         viable hope because of the faithfulness of Christ and His
         Father - cf. 1Jn 1:9

CONCLUSION

1. Why should we be willing to endure hardship for Christ...?
   a. Because those who have died with Him will live with Him!
   b. Because those willing to endure for Him will reign with Him!
   c. Because those who deny Him will be denied by Him!
   d. Because those who are faithless know what they need to do to face
      Him who remains true to His Word!

2. Thus in this 'hymn' we are reminded of key elements pertaining to our
   life in Christ...
   a. How it begins (by dying with Christ in baptism)
   b. How it will end in glory (by enduring hardship with Christ)
   c. How it could end in shame (by denying Christ)
   d. How the faithless who deny Christ can regain it back (by obeying
      Him who can be trusted)

Have you started your life with Christ (Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16)?  Are
you remaining faithful to Him who remains faithful (Re 2:10)?  May this
"faithful saying" encourage you to do whatever is needed to make your
life with Christ what it should be...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary.... Bible Reading January 27


Bible Reading  

January 27

The World English Bible

Jan. 27
Genesis 27

Gen 27:1 It happened, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said to him, "My son?" He said to him, "Here I am."
Gen 27:2 He said, "See now, I am old. I don't know the day of my death.
Gen 27:3 Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison.
Gen 27:4 Make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat, and that my soul may bless you before I die."
Gen 27:5 Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
Gen 27:6 Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, "Behold, I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying,
Gen 27:7 'Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless you before Yahweh before my death.'
Gen 27:8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command you.
Gen 27:9 Go now to the flock, and get me from there two good kids of the goats. I will make them savory food for your father, such as he loves.
Gen 27:10 You shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death."
Gen 27:11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.
Gen 27:12 What if my father touches me? I will seem to him as a deceiver, and I would bring a curse on myself, and not a blessing."
Gen 27:13 His mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son. Only obey my voice, and go get them for me."
Gen 27:14 He went, and got them, and brought them to his mother. His mother made savory food, such as his father loved.
Gen 27:15 Rebekah took the good clothes of Esau, her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob, her younger son.
Gen 27:16 She put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands, and on the smooth of his neck.
Gen 27:17 She gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
Gen 27:18 He came to his father, and said, "My father?" He said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?"
Gen 27:19 Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done what you asked me to do. Please arise, sit and eat of my venison, that your soul may bless me."
Gen 27:20 Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" He said, "Because Yahweh your God gave me success."
Gen 27:21 Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not."
Gen 27:22 Jacob went near to Isaac his father. He felt him, and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau."
Gen 27:23 He didn't recognize him, because his hands were hairy, like his brother, Esau's hands. So he blessed him.
Gen 27:24 He said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He said, "I am."
Gen 27:25 He said, "Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless you." He brought it near to him, and he ate. He brought him wine, and he drank.
Gen 27:26 His father Isaac said to him, "Come near now, and kiss me, my son."
Gen 27:27 He came near, and kissed him. He smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him, and said, "Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which Yahweh has blessed.
Gen 27:28 God give you of the dew of the sky, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine.
Gen 27:29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers. Let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you. Blessed be everyone who blesses you."
Gen 27:30 It happened, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob had just gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
Gen 27:31 He also made savory food, and brought it to his father. He said to his father, "Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that your soul may bless me."
Gen 27:32 Isaac his father said to him, "Who are you?" He said, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau."
Gen 27:33 Isaac trembled violently, and said, "Who, then, is he who has taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Yes, he will be blessed."
Gen 27:34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, my father."
Gen 27:35 He said, "Your brother came with deceit, and has taken away your blessing."
Gen 27:36 He said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. See, now he has taken away my blessing." He said, "Haven't you reserved a blessing for me?"
Gen 27:37 Isaac answered Esau, "Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers have I given to him for servants. With grain and new wine have I sustained him. What then will I do for you, my son?"
Gen 27:38 Esau said to his father, "Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, my father." Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
Gen 27:39 Isaac his father answered him, "Behold, of the fatness of the earth will be your dwelling, and of the dew of the sky from above.
Gen 27:40 By your sword will you live, and you will serve your brother. It will happen, when you will break loose, that you shall shake his yoke from off your neck."
Gen 27:41 Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him. Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Jacob."
Gen 27:42 The words of Esau, her elder son, were told to Rebekah. She sent and called Jacob, her younger son, and said to him, "Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you.
Gen 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban, my brother, in Haran.
Gen 27:44 Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury turns away;
Gen 27:45 until your brother's anger turn away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?"
Gen 27:46 Rebekah said to Isaac, "I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good will my life do me?"
 
Jan. 27, 28
Matthew 14

Mat 14:1 At that time, Herod the tetrarch heard the report concerning Jesus,
Mat 14:2 and said to his servants, "This is John the Baptizer. He is risen from the dead. That is why these powers work in him."
Mat 14:3 For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.
Mat 14:4 For John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
Mat 14:5 When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
Mat 14:6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among them and pleased Herod.
Mat 14:7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she should ask.
Mat 14:8 She, being prompted by her mother, said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptizer."
Mat 14:9 The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given,
Mat 14:10 and he sent and beheaded John in the prison.
Mat 14:11 His head was brought on a platter, and given to the young lady: and she brought it to her mother.
Mat 14:12 His disciples came, and took the body, and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
Mat 14:13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat, to a deserted place apart. When the multitudes heard it, they followed him on foot from the cities.
Mat 14:14 Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
Mat 14:15 When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, "This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food."
Mat 14:16 But Jesus said to them, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat."
Mat 14:17 They told him, "We only have here five loaves and two fish."
Mat 14:18 He said, "Bring them here to me."
Mat 14:19 He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
Mat 14:20 They all ate, and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces.
Mat 14:21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Mat 14:22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Mat 14:23 After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening had come, he was there alone.
Mat 14:24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
Mat 14:25 In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.
Mat 14:26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It's a ghost!" and they cried out for fear.
Mat 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying "Cheer up! It is I! Don't be afraid."
Mat 14:28 Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters."
Mat 14:29 He said, "Come!" Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
Mat 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Mat 14:32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.
Mat 14:33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, "You are truly the Son of God!"
Mat 14:34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
Mat 14:35 When the people of that place recognized him, they sent into all that surrounding region, and brought to him all who were sick,
Mat 14:36 and they begged him that they might just touch the fringe of his garment. As many as touched it were made whole.





From Gary... boundless limitations...


I heard someone say recently: "I have seen it all". Well, how about this?  Ever notice that speed limits end in either a 0 or a 5?  Eleven miles an hour????  Sounds pretty picky, doesn't it?  But, I suppose that I shouldn't be too surprised, ever increasing regulation have become a way of life in America.  The government is attempting to regulate everything, from using a wood-stove, to that little kid on the corner, trying to sell Kool-Aid for some spending money. But, I suppose it could be worse- or could it?  Read on, to see where I am going with this...

Galatians, Chapter 3
 1 Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you not to obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed among you as crucified?  2 I just want to learn this from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?  3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh?  4 Did you suffer so many things in vain, if it is indeed in vain?  5 He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you, and works miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?  6 Even as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.”  7 Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are children of Abraham.  8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Good News beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.”  9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham.  10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.”  11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”  12 The law is not of faith, but, “The man who does them will live by them.”

I have heard it said that the Law contained 613 precepts; one for every day of the week and one for every bone in the body.  Add to this the oral traditions and Rabbinical teaching and suddenly a sign precise as 11 mph looks pretty good!!!  Paul's point in this chapter is that even Abraham (who the Jews considered one of the greatest in Judaism) was saved by faith!!!  Face it; nobody is perfect- we all do things we regret now and then.  Personally, I am glad for a Gospel of faith and not just obedience to rules and regulations, because sometimes I forget to do the right thing or inadvertently do the wrong thing!!! However, from now on I intend to look a little more closely a the posted speed limits, though....

PS. A special thanks to sister Terri Justice for sharing this picture with me.  And Terri, if you are reading this- PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHERE YOU TOOK THIS PICTURE, because I want to keep out of that neighborhood!!!!!