From Jim McGuiggan... NEAR THE TOP OF THE HILL


I saw him near the top of the hill—he was alone and looking up at it and I didn’t want him to be alone so I went up and stood beside him. He didn’t see me though we were only a foot apart—I might as well not have been there.

There he stood, transfixed, silent, wondering, earnest but not gloomy, something of admiration—is that the word? I thought to myself—yes, that was it; there was something like admiration on his face. I didn’t understand that. How could I, for when I looked up at it I felt shame and guilt—nothing that would generate that sense or feeling.
Were we looking at the same awful thing, he and I?
“Awful, is it not?” I said. “Inexpressibly criminal and treacherous—yes?”
He didn’t speak, didn’t move, he just kept on look, eyes shining.
Once more I felt compelled to voice the evil of it, he heard my words this time and not just the sound.
“Yes, awful,” he said, “awful in so many ways, and astonishing.”
“Yes,” I said, “The Holy One punishing his own Son for our sins!”
Punishing? Punishing his own Son? Never! The Holy One doesn’t punish the innocent or the faithful and much less would he punish his sinlessly obedient Son.”
“But,” I said, “He was bearing the sins of the world there, was he not?”
“Yes, the Holy One purposed this place as the place of Sin’s condemnation and humanity’s deliverance. ‘There,’ the Holy One said, ‘There and in him Sin is judged and its dominion is destroyed.’ But it’s condemned by the self-offering of a beloved Son, a spotless lamb—it has nothing to do with his being punished.
“Still,” I murmured, “how ugly and cruel we are and this blood-streaked stake shows it.”
He said, “Indeed that’s so but it speaks of more than that and our grasp of that ‘more’ must become part of our speech and praise and view of our entire existence in and under the Holy One. For on that cross the Holy One has confirmed his loving and creative purpose to a wayward world; there he has revealed his faithfulness in the very presence of our intolerable faithlessness; there in our very act of stealing life the Holy One was giving it; there in our very act of seizing the Holy One was gifting; there in our act of murdering the Holy One was sacrificing; there in our very act of destroying the Holy One was re-creating; there in our re-enacting the ancient evil the Holy One was making all things new; there in our ultimate act of power the Holy One was showing us another kind of power and there where ‘the god of this world’ was showing his character and establishing his rule the Holy Father was casting him out. That and more leads me to say that I glory in the Lord Jesus’ cross by which the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.”
No wonder Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are seen by biblical writers to have such witnessing and ethical and spiritual depth and sustenance and empowerment—see how they bring us to all these, being invariably linked with all that the cross means and leads to.

by Bert Thompson, Ph.D. ... Scientific Humanism


Scientific Humanism

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

“In the natural sciences,” said J. Robert Oppenheimer (one of the developers of America’s atomic bomb) in a speech in 1954, “these are, and have been, and are most surely likely to be heroic days.” Few would doubt such a statement—especially in our time of great scientific achievement. What great strides for mankind science has made! The World Health Organization announced, for example, that we now have eradicated smallpox worldwide. Add to that the successful assaults being made on many other diseases (e.g.: polio, tuberculosis, etc.), and the story is quite an impressive one. Consider, further, the many technological advances that science has made possible—man on the Moon, communication and transportation systems, agricultural expertise for the feeding of the world population, genetic engineering, etc.—and one is likely to get the idea that science can do almost anything.
That is, in fact, what many have come to believe. This “do virtually anything through science” attitude is exactly what scientific humanism is all about. And no less an eminent humanist than Antony Flew of England has asserted exactly that.
...as I construe the phrase scientific humanism the first word indicates an approach to matters of fact while the second refers primarily to fundamental criteria of evolution. To adopt such a scientific approach unreservedly is to accept as ultimate in all matters of fact and real existence the appeal to the evidence of experience alone; a court subordinate to no higher authority, to be overridden by no prejudice, however comfortable (Kurtz, 1973, p. 109, emp. added).
So there you have it. The scientific humanist appeals “to the evidence of experience alone” as a “court subject to no higher authority.” M.C. Otto, professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, viewed the matter in these terms:
Dependence upon human effort more and more replaced dependence upon God.... In proportion as men have ceased to lean upon God, they have opened up undreamed-of resources for the satisfaction of the noblest desires of which they are capable. Whenever men and women have been able to act as if there were no divinity to shape human needs, and have themselves assumed responsibility, they have discovered how to turn their abilities to good account. Not believing in God has worked well. It has worked better than believing did.... I have for myself arrived at an affirmative faith in the non-existence of God (1940, pp. 322-325, emp. added).
Sir Julian Huxley, the famous British biologist and humanist, couched his sentiments in these clear terms: “A scientifically based philosophy enables us in the first place to cease tormenting ourselves with questions that ought not to be asked, because they cannot be answered—such as questions about the Cause or Creation or Ultimate or Reality” (1965, p. 101). Corliss Lamont, the renowned humanist author, framed the topic in these words:
The development, over the past four centuries, of a universally reliable method for attaining knowledge is a far more important achievement on the part of science than its discovery of any single truth. For once men acquire a thoroughly dependable method of truth-seeking, a method that can be applied to every phase of human life and by anyone who faithfully conforms to certain directives, then they have as a permanent possession an instrument of infinite power that will serve them as long as mankind endures. Scientific method is such an instrument.
Humanism believes that man has the power and potentiality of solving problems successfully, relying primarily on reason and scientific method to do so and to enlarge continually his knowledge of the truth.
Humanism believes in a naturalistic cosmology or metaphysics or attitude toward the universe that rules out all forms of the supernatural and that regards Nature as the totality of being and as a constantly changing system of events which exists independently of any mind or consciousness (1949, pp. 236-237,20,19, emp. in orig.).
Indeed, scientific humanism demands a refusal of anything with which the sacrosanct scientific method cannot deal. Arlie J. Hoover correctly assessed the situation when he wrote:
Reality in its fullest sense is extremely complex. It contains intuitions of value and significance; it contains love, beauty, mystical ecstasy, and intimations of divinity. Science does not possess intellectual instruments with which to deal with all these subjective, non-empirical aspects of reality. Consequently, it ignores them and concentrates its attention upon those traits of the world that it could deal with by means of arithmetic, geometry, and the various branches of higher mathematics.
Why does the scientific method reject subjective factors, emotions, feeling? Simply because it is not convenient! Because the method will not allow you to deal with the immense complexity of reality. The scientist, therefore, selects from the whole of experience only those elements that can be weighed, measured, numbered, or which lend themselves to mathematical treatment. By using this technique of simplification and abstraction the scientist has succeeded to an astonishing degree in understanding and dominating the physical environment. This success was intoxicating and thus many scientists and scientific philosophers jumped to the conclusion that their useful abstraction from reality was reality itself.
This is a fallacy we call reductionism. You commit the reductive fallacy when you select a portion of a Complex entity and say the whole is merely that portion. You do this when you say things like: love is nothing but sex, man is just an animal, music is nothing but sound waves, art is nothing but color....
Someone has well said that science gives perfect answers to trivial questions. This is largely true. When it gets down to the real serious questions of life—origin, purpose, destiny, meaning, morality—science is silent. Like a helpless computer it confesses: “I’m not programmed to handle that kind of question....”
If science can’t handle morality, aesthetics, and religion that only proves that the scientific method was reductive in the first place. Sir Arthur Eddington once used a famous analogy to illustrate this reductionism. He told of a fisherman who concluded from his fishing experiences with a certain net that “no creature of the sea is less than two inches long.” Now this disturbed many of his colleagues and they demurred, pointing out that many sea creatures are under two inches and they just slipped through the two-inch holes in the net. But the ichthyologist was unmoved. “What my net can’t catch ain’t fish,” he pontificated, and then he scornfully accused his critics of having pre-scientific, medieval, metaphysical prejudices.
Scientific reductionism or “Scientism”—as it is often called—is similar to this fisherman with the special net. Since the strict empirical scientist can’t “catch” or “grasp” such qualities like freedom, morality, aesthetics, mind, and God, he concludes that they don’t exist. But they have just slipped through his net. They have been slipping through his net all the way from Democritus to B.F. Skinner to Carl Sagan (1981, 98[4]:6, emp. in orig.).
In addition to the three scientists mentioned by Dr. Hoover in the last paragraph of the above quotation, many others could be added to the list of scientific humanists. Such a list would include, for example, Sir Francis Crick, Isaac Asimov, Linus Pauling, Preston Cloud and literally hundreds of others, both living and dead. The list might look like a “Who’s Who” in science. The names of many of these men are to be found among those who signed either the Humanist Manifesto I (1933) or the Humanist Manifesto II (1973). The fact that their signatures appear on these documents, or the fact that they avidly support what these documents advocate, should leave little doubt about the position taken by some of our leading men of science.
Jesus spoke of such stupidity—being a scientific “giant,” but a spiritual “dwarf ”—when He said:
When ye see a cloud rising in the west, straightway ye say, “There cometh a shower,” and so it cometh to pass. And when ye see a south wind blowing ye say, “There will be a scorching heat,” and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye know how to interpret the face of the earth and the heaven, but how is it that ye know not how to interpret this time? (Luke 12:54-56).
Pity the people of Jesus’ day. They could read the scientific signs, but were not able to (i.e., refused to) read the spiritual signs. While they saw themselves as scientifically precocious, they were in reality spiritually retarded. Paul, too, wrote of such men. He said:
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He that taketh the wise in their craftiness: and again, The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise, that they are vain. Wherefore let no one glory in men (1 Corinthians 3:19-21).
Paul spoke of men who, “professing themselves to be wise...became fools” (Romans 1:22). He also said:
And even if our gospel is veiled, in them that perish; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
Pity the people of our day who fall into the same trap—and to whom these words spoken of old still apply. While the scientific humanist is busy measuring, weighing, numbering, calculating and classifying, he has “left undone the weightier things of the law” (Matthew 23:23). He has reduced everything to science—not because the evidence demands that he do so, but because he “refuses to have god in his knowledge” (Romans 1:28). Professor D.C. Macintosh well stated the issues when he said: “There is almost nothing upon the destruction of which leading humanists seem so determined as any vital belief in God as a superhuman intelligent Being worthy of human faith and fellowship” (1931, p. 55). From the pages of their own Manifesto come the words that document the truthfulness of professor Macintosh’s statement:
As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons,...is an unproved and outmoded faith.... We believe, however, that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species (Humanist Manifesto II).
Sir Julian Huxley wrote:
This new idea-system, whose birth we of the mid-twentieth century are witnessing, I shall simply call humanism because it can only be based on our understanding of man and his environment.... It must be organized around the facts and ideas of evolution, taking account of the discovery that man is part of a comprehensive evolutionary process, and cannot avoid playing a decisive role in it. ...it will have nothing to do with absolutes, including absolute truth, absolute morality, absolute perfection and absolute authority... (1964, pp. 73,74, emp. in orig.).
What a glowing description of the scientific humanist! What ever is to be accepted must have to do only with man and his environment, must be based on godless evolution, and must refuse any association with absolutes of any kind. The scientific humanist suddenly finds himself involved in the sin of which he has accused the believer in God—bigoted narrow-mindedness! In the words of Sir Arthur Keith of Great Britain: “Therein lies the weakness of their case, for the human mind craves for a solution of the great mystery and is restless until it is satisfied as to its place in the great scheme of the universe” (1928).
The scientific humanist needs to understand that altruistic love, morality, ethics, rational thought, aesthetics, art, and a hundred other things simply cannot be explained solely on the basis of scientific humanism. Humans will indeed “crave for a solution” and remain “restless” if the only diet upon which they are able to feed is the steady diet of naturalism, hedonism, uniformitarianism, utilitarianism, and godless/purposeless atheistic evolution. Something is missing in scientific humanism. That something is God.


Keith, Arthur (1928), Westminister Gazette, June 7.
Kurtz, Paul, ed. (1973), “Scientific Humanism,” The Humanist Alternative (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
Hoover, Arlie J. (1981), “Starving the Spirit,” Firm Foundation, 98[4]:6, January 27.
Huxley, Julian (1964), Essays of a Humanist (New York: Harper and Row).
Huxley, Julian (1965), “A Biologist Looks at Man,” Fortune.
Lamont, Corliss (1949), Humanism as a Philosophy (New York: Philosophical Library).
Macintosh, D.C. (1931), Humanism: Another Battle Line, ed. W.P. King (Nashville, TN).
Otto, M.C. (1940), The Human Enterprise (New York: Crofts).

Originally published in Reason & Revelation, July 1981, 1[7]:25-27. Copyright © 1981 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

From Mark Copeland... The Macedonian Call (Acts 16:6-10)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                    The Macedonian Call (16:6-10)


1. With Timothy accompanying Paul and Silas, they...
   a. Delivered decrees determined by the apostles and elders in
      Jerusalem - Ac 16:1-5
   b. Journeyed through Phrygia and the region of Galatia - Ac 16:6
   c. Were not alone; the Holy Spirit was very much with them - Ac 16:6-7

2. The Holy Spirit's guidance in this case was unique...
   a. Though it was very much in evidence in Paul's journeys - cf. Ac 13:2,4
   b. It should not be considered typical as to how God directs His

[If so, how does God guide His people today?  How can we ascertain
God's will for us in our own lives?  Before I suggest how God directs
us today, let's first review...]


      1. By the Holy Spirit - Ac 16:6
      2. Paul later spent 2 plus years at Ephesus - Ac 19:1-10
      3. Perhaps the Spirit forbid them at this time, knowing that they
         would later have the opportunity to serve for some time in Asia
         (SW Turkey)

      1. By the Spirit of Jesus - Ac 16:7; cf. Ro 8:9-10
      2. Peter later wrote to Christians in Bithynia - 1Pe 1:1-2
      3. Perhaps the Spirit did not permit them at this time, knowing
         that others would minister the area of Bithynia (NW Turkey)

      1. Bypassing Mysia (NW Turkey), they arrived at Troas (the coast of
         Mysia) - Ac 16:8
      2. Paul has a vision of a man of Macedonia ("Come over to Macedonia
         and help us.") - Ac 16:9
      3. Conclusion (dream) and inclusion (Luke) - Ac 16:10
         a. Concluding that the Lord was calling them to preach the
            gospel in Macedonia
         b. Including the author (Luke) who now uses the personal
            pronouns "we" and "us"

[And so the Spirit directly led Paul in doing God's will on this
journey.  But what about us today?  How we can be sure that we live and
act in harmony with God's will for us?  Here are thoughts to consider...]


      1. God has made His will known in many respects - e.g., 1Th 5:18;
         1Pe 2:15
      2. This He has done through revelation
         a. By sending inspired prophets in the past - He 1:1
         b. By sending His own Son - He 1:2
         c. By having the Spirit guide the apostles - Jn 16:12-13; e.g.,
            1Co 14:36-37
      3. It is this proclaimed will of God that we must do to be saved 
         - cf. Mt 7:21
      -- That which is essential to know, God has revealed through
         Scripture - 2Ti 3:16-17

      1. God acts providentially in our lives - cf. Ro 1:10; 15:32
      2. For such reason we are to pray regarding our plans - Jm 4:13-15
      3. Our requests are answered as it may suit God's will - 1Jn 5:14
      -- We may not have certainty as to what is God's providential will
         for us

      1. God allows things to happen that are not necessarily according
         to His desired will
      2. He permits people to sin and even hurt other people
         a. He is not pleased, and will one day render judgment - Ac 17:30-31
         b. He is able to fulfill His own will, despite such rebellion 
            - cf. Isa 10:5-7
      3. God permits people to do things that are indifferent to Him
         a. There are some matters of indifference to God - e.g., Ro 14:5-6
         b. Likewise, some decisions we make might not really matter to
      -- Thus not all choices please God, nor are they necessarily
         required by God

[With these thoughts in mind, here are some suggestions for...]

      1. I.e., study diligently to learn what God has revealed
         a. If you don't embrace and practice the revealed will of God...
         b. ...what difference does it make to seek areas of God's will
            unknown to you?
      2. The value of focusing on the proclaimed will of God
         a. We will not be ignorant of what is essential for us to know
            and do
         b. We can avoid choices that are clearly contrary to God's will

      1. Discuss your alternatives with older, mature Christians - Pr 11:14; 12:15
      2. Consult the wisdom found in the Bible (especially Proverbs,
         Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)

      1. Pray diligently for the ability to discern wisely - Jm 1:5-8
      2. Wisdom is that spiritual insight that enables you to evaluate 
         situations clearly, and helps utilize what options and abilities
         you have
      3. Use such wisdom to eliminate what appears less acceptable

      1. Whatever you do, do it for the Lord's sake - cf. Ps 37:5-6,23-26
      2. Make your plans subject to God's will, both proclaimed and
         providential - Jm 4:15
         a. Give God permission to close the door on your choice if that
            is His will
         b. If He closes the door on your choice, look for alternatives

      1. God is not like a train; he is able to run on more than one
      2. A choice may not be between good and bad, but between good and
      3. God can use us in many different ways
      4. If need not choose right away, wait; that will give you time to
         grow and gain wisdom
      5. Whatever your hands finds to do in your existing circumstances,
         do it with all your might


1. Our goal should be to "stand perfect and complete in all the will of
   God"... - cf. Co 4:12
   a. Especially as it pertains to the proclaimed will of God
   b. Even as much as possible in the providential and permissive will of

2. Epaphras' desire for his brethren serves as a good example; as does 
   that of our Lord...
   a. Who taught us to pray, "Your will be done on earth as it in
      heaven" - Mt 6:10
   b. Who Himself prayed, "Not as I will, but as You will..." - Mt 26:39-42

Are you seeking to "find a way in the will of God" as it pertains to
the plans in your life...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading June 17

Bible Reading  

June 17

The World English Bible

June 17
1Samuel 27, 28

1Sa 27:1 David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
1Sa 27:2 David arose, and passed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
1Sa 27:3 David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.
1Sa 27:4 It was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.
1Sa 27:5 David said to Achish, If now I have found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?
1Sa 27:6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: why Ziklag pertains to the kings of Judah to this day.
1Sa 27:7 The number of the days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.
1Sa 27:8 David and his men went up, and made a raid on the Geshurites, and the Girzites, and the Amalekites; for those nations were the inhabitants of the land, who were of old, as you go to Shur, even to the land of Egypt.
1Sa 27:9 David struck the land, and saved neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the cattle, and the donkeys, and the camels, and the clothing; and he returned, and came to Achish.
1Sa 27:10 Achish said, Against whom have you made a raid today? David said, Against the South of Judah, and against the South of the Jerahmeelites, and against the South of the Kenites.
1Sa 27:11 David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell of us, saying, So did David, and so has been his manner all the while he has lived in the country of the Philistines.
1Sa 27:12 Achish believed David, saying, He has made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant forever.

1Sa 28:1 It happened in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. Achish said to David, Know assuredly that you shall go out with me in the army, you and your men.
1Sa 28:2 David said to Achish, Therefore you shall know what your servant will do. Achish said to David, Therefore will I make you keeper of my head for ever.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. Saul had put away those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
1Sa 28:4 The Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and encamped in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they encamped in Gilboa.
1Sa 28:5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.
1Sa 28:6 When Saul inquired of Yahweh, Yahweh didn't answer him, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
1Sa 28:7 Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman who has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. His servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman who has a familiar spirit at Endor.
1Sa 28:8 Saul disguised himself, and put on other clothing, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, Please divine to me by the familiar spirit, and bring me up whoever I shall name to you.
1Sa 28:9 The woman said to him, Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
1Sa 28:10 Saul swore to her by Yahweh, saying, As Yahweh lives, there shall no punishment happen to you for this thing.
1Sa 28:11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up to you? He said, Bring me up Samuel.
1Sa 28:12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, Why have you deceived me? for you are Saul.
1Sa 28:13 The king said to her, Don't be afraid: for what do you see? The woman said to Saul, I see a god coming up out of the earth.
1Sa 28:14 He said to her, What form is he of? She said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a robe. Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.
1Sa 28:15 Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disquieted me, to bring me up? Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I shall do.
1Sa 28:16 Samuel said, Why then do you ask of me, seeing Yahweh has departed from you, and has become your adversary?
1Sa 28:17 Yahweh has done to you as he spoke by me: and Yahweh has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, even to David.
1Sa 28:18 Because you didn't obey the voice of Yahweh, and didn't execute his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this thing to you this day.
1Sa 28:19 Moreover Yahweh will deliver Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me: Yahweh will deliver the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 28:20 Then Saul fell immediately his full length on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
1Sa 28:21 The woman came to Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said to him, Behold, your handmaid has listened to your voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have listened to your words which you spoke to me.
1Sa 28:22 Now therefore, please listen also to the voice of your handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength, when you go on your way.
1Sa 28:23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, constrained him; and he listened to their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat on the bed.
1Sa 28:24 The woman had a fattened calf in the house; and she hurried, and killed it; and she took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread of it:
1Sa 28:25 and she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they ate. Then they rose up, and went away that night.

From Gary... The joy of memories...

This is a picture of a food booth at the Schaghticoke fair and I want to thank brother Walter Vogt for sharing with me (and now you- of course)!!!  As a kid, I couldn't wait until it was fair time!!! And even after 50 or more years, I can still taste those sausage, green pepper and onion hoagies!!!!  And the smells that were associated with those sandwiches!!!  What memories!!!!  I guess it is true; what you really love- you WILL remember!!!!  I wonder... do we love the brethren as much as the things we enjoy???...

Philippians, Chapter 1
Php 1:1  Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
Php 1:2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Php 1:3  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
Php 1:4  always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,

Php 1:5  in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
Php 1:6  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Php 1:7  For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.
Php 1:8  For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
Php 1:9  And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
Php 1:10  so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
Php 1:11  having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

I have to admit, Philippians is among my top three books of the Bible.  Its message of joy always brightens up my day!!!  Somehow, every single time I read that book, I feel good; satisfied, pleasantly filled with unexpected happiness.  And there is a bonus that no sandwich could ever give- sometimes when I apply the principles found in Paul's book of Philippians- people appreciate it and actually thank me. With these things in mind- I can't wait to go to church this coming Sunday.  Who knows, perhaps we will have a surprise pot-luck?  If so, you already know what I'll be looking for.....