May 31, 2013

The Lord Is Faithful

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. ~2 Thessalonians 3:3

May 25, 2013

What on Earth is the Pope Saying?

At mass on the 22nd, he said:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Some have reacted to this as a doctrine articulating the salvation of atheists. Having read all reported versions of Francis’ homily, in both English and Italian, I do not find an explicit statement that an atheist who does that which is good, il bene in Italian, will be saved. However, Francis does emphasize the universality of Christ’s redemptive power, and it is through that redemptive power that salvation becomes possible. He is clearly open to the idea that Christ may well redeem even those who are non-believers. More fully articulated, that would open up a new wager, in which whether or not one believed, one’s actions in the world would determine one’s access to paradise. Even the hint of such an idea from man whose spiritual power stems from being the heir to St. Peter, holder of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, is striking. Still, that God might save those who neither believe nor participate in the sacraments is not a new idea. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, one finds the statement, “God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.” If God wants to save someone, they will be saved.

H/T: Pope: Second look at letting atheists into heaven?

H/T: What was he thinking?

Being good, good acts, good works is a result of one’s Faith. It’s what happens after you put your faith and trust in Christ. Christ did all the work on the cross once for all. Christ’s shed blood was and IS enough. We were reconciled through Him. John 14:6 says that Jesus answered, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are god’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Being good and doing good are only part of the equation. We can’t do any of it without Jesus. Acts 16:31 says believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. Most of us already know what John 3:16 says. I’m not Catholic and that’s okay. I do follow the happenings in the Catholic Church because of my Greek Orthodox background. I’m not a Greek Orthodox either. I am disappointed in the Pope’s words but not shocked. After all, he is just a man. He is not God. I wish more people would read what God has to say. Start in the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Continue on in the New Testament. Stop getting your marching orders from men and see what God’s Word has to say. John 1:1 will encourage you to read your bible. If the language is too complex go for the NIV or ESV.

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Read Romans Chapter 3 - What I copied is only part of it.

All Things are Possible with God

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

May 24, 2013

God Is Bigger Than Your Problems

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

May 21, 2013

Without a Gossip a Quarrel Dies

Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. ~Proverbs 26:20

May 20, 2013

A Gossip Betrays a Confidence

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. ~Proverbs 20:19

May 19, 2013

I Can See Clearly Now

We Can Be Bold!

We can be bold because Jesus was bold. Sometimes we need to remove something so we can add something better. That's my take away from our church service today on John 2:12-24.

May 17, 2013

Fueling Mean Girls Who Gossip

This week I have been focused on my word study.

The word is: Gossip.

I have asked myself a question: Am I fueling gossip by sharing with someone who doesn’t have my best interests in mind?

There have been times in my life I have struggled with various circumstances. I will tell a person what is going on, ask them to pray, and then I walk away from the conversation feeling like I should have never even shared with them in the first place.

Why? Because I get the impression through their actions/inaction that they only care to know about the juicy details so they can talk about us behind our backs.

I can tell who truly genuinely cares about some of our struggles. I can also tell who is looking at our struggles and scoffing. Live and learn I guess.

I ought to stop being vulnerable with the wrong people. I need to stop giving people who act poorly the benefit of the doubt over and over again.

I can count on less than one hand the people who I trust who care and will pray, who follow-up and do not speak ill of us behind our backs.

More importantly – I ought to focus on Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” (H/T: Mommas Time)

I have limited my sharing and feel good about that decision. I can go to God first. If I need help after that I will stick to my core peeps who I know have integrity and won’t throw me under the bus the first chance they get.

Have you ever been vulnerable with the wrong person?

May 16, 2013

The Words of a Gossip

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. ~Proverbs 18:8

May 14, 2013

I'm doing a word study on gossip

The more I read what the bible has to say about it, the more I want to steer clear of it. A friend of mine on facebook wrote the following: Simple way to remember how gossip stands out from other talking: 1. INTENT - Harmful. 2. CONTENT - Hurtful.

Someone else had this to say about gossip: I've always been taught that if I am talking with someone about a problem and we are not part of the problem nor part of the solution, it is probably gossip.

This verse really makes me stop and think: A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. ~Proverbs 16:28

Gossip makes me think of Matthew 15 verse 11: What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.

That's some pretty powerful stuff to think and pray on.

What Perverse People Do

A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. ~Proverbs 16:28

May 13, 2013

What Gossips Do

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. ~Proverbs 11:13

May 5, 2013

The Thief On the Cross

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”  But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ”  Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43 NIV

May 4, 2013

Ephesians 2: 4-10

The Gospel In a Nutshell

Jesus Christ, by His death and the sacrifice of Himself, secured a once-for-all atonement between humanity and God. Justification is by grace through faith. Justification: This is what atonement offers – being declared righteous before God and no longer being under wrath. By grace: This is how atonement comes – by God’s grace and not because we deserve it. Through faith: This is how we accept God’s gracious gift of atonement through Jesus – trusting what He has already done rather than our own efforts. Ephesians 2:8-9, 10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”