From 2011 to 2015 I was involved with my church's men's group, but unfortunately changes in my life (different job and work schedule & 4 live teenagers about to leave the nest and ageing parents and and and ...) do not permit me to continue in my work with this group. I make every attempt to portray Godly views and try to reflect biblical views in every post, but I cannot hope to please all who may come across this little newsletter or those who interpret our world differently from their experience with other fellowships. With all that in mind, Please consider this newsletter as one person's viewpoint.
Since 1957, I have been priviliged to have been a part of the PAOC fellowship group of churches, having been born into a pastor's family and inspired by Dad's influence and the influence of our fellowship. As well I have sat under some amazing and Godly leadership I might add, that have left their mark on my life. As an organization with worldwide influence, I feel the PAOC has excellent & biblically strong theology! (see PAOC Statement of Faith). This theology has been shared amoungst it's some 1,100 churches strong and as well a shared history with our sister fellowship stateside, in the 13,000 AOG churches (Assemblies of God USA). No-doubt that I have some inbred bias because of my close association with this fellowship....however, I think overall that is probably a good thing as these are the finest people I know. I know who I am, and I know Who I believe in as my Saviour, my Baptizer, my Healer and my Soon Coming King!
Fellowship can be defined as ...those having the same goals, walking in the same direction.
7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from allb sin. ~ 1 John 1:7
Christianity is under severe attack globally and I feel this newsletter is but one voice against the enemy's attack, if only to expose issues and bring us to our knees. If you don't see things the way I do from time to time, RELAX & let it go....not everyone see's the world as you do either...however, all of our voices are necessary in God's kingdom. Don't feel it necessary to want to control another's effort. Control is not ..."iron sharpening iron!". Perhaps influence is...but control isn't. Further, control only stifles growth! I use discretion when I post, but from time to time it is inevitable that someone may be offended, although that definitely is not my intention. This newsletter has been published since 2011, and I feel the people I've offended truly are few...very few. It simply is not in my nature to want to offend although at times perhaps I should soften my stance (Help me LORD!). Am I always right? No. Furthermore, I will be a voice against those who feel they must attack the deity of Jesus Christ (i.e. cults). If you find that you have issues in this regard, I would suggest you indeed have larger issues that have never been resolved or perhaps need more or better information.
Physically I am probably over the hill and past my prime, mentally I am able to disect and research difficult scripture passages albeit sometimes small bites at a time, (there's a big secret right there for you seekers ....as in "inch by inch - it's a cinch") ...but spiritually ....WOW! I just come alive when I hear the name of Jesus, and learn of who he is and how much he just simply loves me.
There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated "word" in the New Testament. The first is "logos", and refers to the total inspired Word of God and to Jesus, Who is the living "logos".
"In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was God" ~ John 1:1
The second Greek word that describes Scripture is "rhema", which refers to a word that is spoken and means "an utterance". A rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to our attention with application to a current situation or need for direction. The Holy Spirit illuminates particular Scriptures for application in a daily walk with the Lord.
To be in step with God, we need to constantly tune in to what the Holy Spirit's plan for us is; 1). through His Spirit and 2). His Word. His plan for mankind is simply out of this world! He is soooo sweet and intoxicates me over and over with the next dimension of Who He really is! He is or becomes whatever I need! I'm learning to depend on Him more and more.
Religious activity does not necessarily mean spiritual activity. We can be religious and still be sowing to the flesh. I regularly encourage my men's group to study the written Word "just a bit more" to increase faith (Romans 10:17) and find out more and more about the Living Word....and teach others to do the same through constant study and meditation. The glossy eyes often roll back at me, ...the sighs are audible, as if to say ..."boring". But I was "there" at one time, so I well understand the reactions to my "encouragement". An old saying says, "....teach a man to eat and he will be filled for a day, ....but teach him to fish and he will always be filled". I love to teach others to learn more about the Bible.
I encourage you to keep a balanced view of who God is! Be careful to study the "whole counsel" of God's Word. (Cover to cover...even the maps!). Picking verses here and there and presenting them out of context is not the best way to study your bible. On one hand, my preference is to study a book at a time, yet I want to be open to learning Godly principles scattered throughout the Bible. In doing so, I try not to pick verses out of intended context.
...Remember, the same God who is an immense God of Love ...so much so that He sent His Only Son ..... and offers Grace and Mercy we don't deserve, also is a God of wrath to his enemies and those who attack his people.
His name is also "El Qanna"; "...I am a jealous God. "~ Exodus 34:14; Exodus 20:5. God's Spirit wants our love and commitment for Himself exclusively. When He sees us devoting ourselves to the world and material things, He is jealous of our misplaced devotion.
Studying all of scripture, or the "whole counsel" of God makes us aware of different aspects of who God is:
"...Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.7So Joshua and all the people of war with him came upon them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and attacked them. 8The LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, so that they defeated them, and pursued them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim and the valley of Mizpeh to the east; and they struck them until no survivor was left to them. 9Joshua did to them as the LORD had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire." ~ Joshua 11.
Ouch! But that's my God! There is more than just one way to study His character and sovereignty. I occasionally like to post articles from a variety of angles and vewpoints. ... And God's master plan uses human instruments (like YOU and Me!), ...but they must not ever glorify themselves. All the Glory must be to the LORD!
The bible says that "...19So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." ~ Isaiah 59:19 AKJ
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~Ephesians 6:12
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.~ 2 Corinthians 10:3
So before you take up offense against something you've read here, consider the bigger picture and what the bible has to say about the issue. I welcome all written (& signed) viewpoints to the contrary that are scripturally based and in fact I promise to publish any reasonably written article from biblical viewpoints that do not contain personal attacks. I am especially keen to hear testimonies of God's goodness, and His greatness and Grace and Truth in action! Please pray with me as I work on this newsletter. I spend much time travelling and in hotel rooms and this has been an awesome way to put my thoughts to paper and create something that I find useful and beneficial to my readership. If you like to spot and discuss emerging trends from a christian perspective, enjoy bible study, worship and are open to learning....AND....things connected to the birth-pangs that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24 (Seriously... some of you want the ANVIL Newsletter to put it's head in the sand and ignore the warning signs that Jesus left us with?).....then this blog is for you! If not, then hold your emails, dirty looks, Molotov cocktails, potato-guns and drive-by shootings! At the top of the screen it says "Next Blog"....if you don't like this one, there are many out there. Choose wisely.
Feedback is always appreciated; (...and did I mention I love to hear stories of how God has worked in your life?) God Bless you & I trust that the posts I select will challenge your heart and thinking! ~Ed.
The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and [it is] his glory to pass over a transgression. ~ Proverbs 19:11 KJV
Thank-you Pastor for recently revisiting 1 Corinthians 13.....
it is the "heart" of the gospel and it's message.
'The Law of the Garbage Truck'
Recently I hopped in a Taxi and we took off for the Airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'
This is when my Taxi driver taught me what I now call 'The Law of the Garbage Truck'. He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of Garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their Garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.
Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their Garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so ... Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is Ten percent what you make it and Ninety percent how you take it! Have a garbage-free day.