Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BLOOPERS



SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


BLOOPERS


(2 Cor 4:7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.


Do you ever have times where you're making a lot of mistakes and you feel you're off your game? For whatever reason you're fumbling the ball and your thunder has turned to blunder. You feel you're a candidate to win the America's Funniest Videos contest. But the only problem is it's not so funny and the jokes on you! You want to be on top of things. You're embarrassed about yourself and your performance. You know you could do better but just feel so weak. If that's you then read these funny church bulletin bloopers then we'll talk.


Thursday night will be Potluck Supper-prayer and medication will follow...Evening massage at 6 p.m....The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession....Ushers will eat latecomers...Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community...Don't let worry kill you off-let the church help... A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow...At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice...Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the church. Please use large double door at the side entrance...The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir...Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door...The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth into Joy."...Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It is a good chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands...Barbara C. remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests recordings of pastor's sermons...Missionary from Africa speaking at church. Her name is Bertha Belch. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa...Applications are now being accepted for 2 year-old nursery workers... Men's Prayer Breakfast. No charge, but your damnation will be gratefully accepted...I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he diets, yet shall he live...A new loudspeaker system has been installed in the church. It was given by one of our members in honor of his wife...Today's Sermon: HOW MUCH CAN A MAN DRINK? with hymns from a full choir...Please welcome Pastor Don, a caring individual who loves hurting people...Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch...The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility...Next Sunday is the family hay ride and bonfire at the Fowlers' so bring your own hot dogs and guns. Friends are welcome!...The agenda was adopted-the minutes were approved-the financial secretary gave a grief report... Hymn: "I Love Thee My Ford."...The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.


Yeah, so we make mistakes. Let's learn to laugh at ourselves and claim the grace of God over our lives. I used to take things so seriously. Now I like to see the humor and irony of things. Like when I poured myself some cereal and put the milk in the pantry and the cereal box in the fridge! I now call those moments "funnies." I'll tell Cheryl I did a funny and then we'll laugh. (She probably thinks early Alzheimer's!)


Sin is one thing but making bloopers and blunders is another. You don't have to be Superman or Superwoman or even Superchristian. All the heroes in the Bible were just regular people like you and me.


God used them not because of themselves but in spite of themselves. God can use cracked pots!


Louie


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Friday, September 25, 2009

THE WAY REUNION

Here's a video clip of The Way reunion that was held tonight at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa . They were one of my favorite bands when I was a new believer during the Jesus Movement.

video

Though we are never to look back we can recollect the goodness of the Lord to us in the past. Praise the Lord He is the same always. Let's look ahead to greater days because... Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ISLAM


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP

ISLAM

Islam is a religion of 1.3 billion adherents (compared to Christianity's 2 billion). Islam means "submission" and Moslem means one who surrenders to God. It's founder was Muhammad who was born in 570AD. He claims to have had encounters with the angel Gabriel who commanded him to recite. This recitation became the Koran. His followers were few at first but steadily grew with their center in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The Qur'an (Koran, Quran) is the Holy Book of Islam. Muslims consider it the actual word of Allah and not the word of Muhammad to whom it was given. The work is roughly the same size as the New Testament. The Koran is divided into 114 chapters, called Surah's. The major sects are Sunnites (85%), and Shiites (15%).

THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM - These core beliefs faithfully fulfilled will assure paradise. 1) Statement of Belief (shahada): "There is no God except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger." 2) Prayer (salat): Prayer is performed five times a day. The first prayer is at dawn and the last at sunset. 3) Fasting (saum): The month of Ramadan is the month of fasting in Islam. Usually, this fasting entails no drinking, eating, or sexual relations during the daylight hours for the entire month. 4) Alms-giving or charity (zakat). 5) Pilgrimage (hajj): This is the pilgrimage to Mecca. All Muslims, if they are able, are to make a pilgrimage.

THE SIX DOCTRINES OF ISLAM - 1) Allah: Allah is the supreme being of all. Everything that occurs, does so by his permission. 2) His Angels: Angels reside in the unseen world and carry out the commands of Allah. 3) His Messengers: Some of them are Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and, of course, Muhammad. 4) His Books: They include the Koran, The Torah (first five books of Moses), The Injil (the gospel message of Jesus in the New Testament), and The Psalms (the sacred writings given to David). 5) The Last Day: Muslims go to paradise and non-Muslims go to hell. Divine Preordainments good or bad: Allah is completely in control of all things and ordains all things that occur.

THE KORAN AND JESUS - The Koran says that Christ never really died on the cross. According to Islam, Allah took Jesus to heaven just before the crucifixion. So who died on the cross? It was Judas made up so cleverly to resemble Jesus that even Mary and the disciples were fooled! (Rom 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

ISLAM IS SALVATION BY WORKS - In Islam, forgiveness is based on a combination of Allah's grace and the Muslim's works. Christianity is a religion of salvation by grace alone: "For by grace through faith you have been saved...not of works..." (Eph. 2:8-9). The work that Jesus did on the cross is sufficient for one's redemption. One who places their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ will be saved.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS - Has Allah performed the greatest act of love? The answer is no. Allah has not sacrificed himself at all. Allah has not died for another. Allah has not loved us to the point of death. (And Mohammed took lives!) In Christianity, Jesus, who is God in flesh laid His life down for us. Jesus performed the greatest act of love. (John 15:13) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Muslims represent about 22% of the world's population and Islam is growing rapidly. Knowing your Bible and a little about Islam...will you pray for the salvation of these Jesus died for and seek to win them to Christ?

Louie

Friday, September 18, 2009

ROSH HASHANAH


At sundown today begins the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. It is one of the Feasts of Jehovah and has spiritual significance for us today as Christians:

Leviticus 23:23-25 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’”
Historic Significance: The Feast of Trumpets (later called Rosh Hashanah or New Year’s Day) ushered in the civil year. Israel remembered God’s goodness. (see also Num 29:1-6)

Prophetic Significance: Speaks of the Rapture - 1 Thess 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Also points to the regathering of Israel at end of Tribulation: Mat 24:31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Who knows...maybe today we'll hear the trumpet sound and will meet the Lord in the air! Anyone look outside yet to see if there are any clouds?!

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ROSH HASHANAH BEGINS AT SUNDOWN TODAY

This post is from one our GO! missionaries in Israel.


Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish New Year. It falls during the month of Tishrei (September) and occurs ten days before Yom Kippur ( The Day of Atonement). Together, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Yamim Nora’im, which means the “Days of Awe” in Hebrew. In English they are often referred to as the High Holy Days.

Rosh HaShanah literally means “Head of the Year” in Hebrew. It falls in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. The reason for this is because the Hebrew calendar begins with the month of Nissan (when it’s believed the Jews were freed from slavery in Egypt) but the month of Tishrei is believed to be the month in which God created the world. Hence, another way to think about Rosh HaShanah is as the birthday of the world.

Rosh HaShanah is observed on the first two days of Tishrei. Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days God decides who will live and who will die during the coming year. As a result, during Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. This process of repentance is called teshuvah. Jews are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year. In this way, Rosh HaShanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person.

Even though the theme of Rosh HaShanah is life and death, it is a holiday filled with hope for the New Year. Jews believe that God is compassionate and just, and that God will accept their prayers for forgiveness.

The Rosh HaShanah prayer service is one of the longest of the year. Only the Yom Kippur service is longer. One of the prayer during the Rosh HaShanah prayer service is the Avienu Malkeinu, which means “Our Father Our King” in Hebrew. Usually the entire congregation will sing the last verse of this prayer in unison, which says: “Our Father, our King, answer us as though we have no deed to plead our cause, save us with mercy and loving-kindness.”

…Celebrating Rosh HaShanah include apples, honey and round loaves of challah. Apple slices dipped in honey represent our hope for a sweet new year and are traditionally accompanied by a short prayer before eating that goes: “May it by Thy will, O Lord, Our God, to grant us a year that is good and sweet.” Pomegranates are eaten because Israel is often praised for its pomegranates and because, according to legend, pomegranates contain 613 seeds – one for each of the 613 mitzvot. Another reason for eating pomegranates on Rosh HaShanah has to do with the symbolic hope that our good deeds in the coming year will be as many as the seeds of the fruit.

Some people choose to send New Year’s greeting cards or give gifts and that is what Hope For Sderot will do next week. On Tuesday our volunteers and the fifteen volunteers from H.O.T cable will pack and deliver two hundred baskets with apples, honey, grape juice, a honey cake and of course a Pomegranate.

To all of our supporters and those who receive our news letters, may this coming year be filled with blessing even greater than the seeds in the Pomegranate.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the L-RD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RAPTURE READY


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


RAPTURE READY

(1 Thess 4:16-18) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. {17} Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. {18} Therefore comfort one another with these words.

A lot of people wonder about when the Lord is coming back. Will we go through the Tribulation? Or will Jesus rescue us before that happens? There is a lot of debate over this issue but I personally believe the Lord will take us up in the Rapture before the seven year Tribulation judgment. (Rev 6-18)

First of all we have to explain the word rapture. Rapture is taken from the word "caught up" in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. It's from the Greek work harpazo but translated in the Latin Bible as raptus, from which comes the term “rapture.” It means “to seize, carry off by force, to snatch away.” So the word rapture is not mentioned in the Bible but neither is the word trinity. But both terms describe a truth that is taught in the Bible. The word rapture has really caught on so it remains the main word to describe the Lord coming back before the Tribulation. I guess it sounds better than saying the Lord is coming back in the Harpazo!

Are there other scriptures that describe the Rapture? (1 Cor 15:51-53) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— {52} in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. {53} For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (John 14:3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

The teaching of the Lord's coming brings hope to the believer: (Titus 2:13) looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. We can bring comfort to each other when we remind each other that the Lord is coming soon! Would we have much hope if we thought we'd have to suffer God's wrath during the seven-year Tribulation? (1 Thess 5:9) For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The teaching of the Rapture also encourages being ready! (1 John 3:3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (Mat 24:44-51) Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. {45} “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? {46} Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. {47} Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. {48} But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ {49} and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, {50} the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, {51} and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There's something exciting about anticipating something that will happen suddenly and unexpected. Just to think that the Lord will come for His Bride at any moment! Keep oil in your lamps and be alert for when He comes. (Mat 22:1-13) You want to go up when the Lord comes down!

Jesus is coming back soon. Are you rapture ready?

Louie
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Friday, September 11, 2009

911


A good friend told me one time that when you get into trouble call 911. That's Psalms 91:1...He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Read the rest of the Psalm and you will be encouraged by Gods protection over our lives when we put our trust in Him. God Bless America!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"THE FIRST WEBSITE TO GIVE ME CHILLS"


A sister in the Lord sent me this today:

"The first website that ever gave me chills. Do you think Christians could ( or would be allowed ) to do something like this? Unbelievable":

Washington, September 25th there will be a national prayer gathering of Muslims on the west front of the U.S. Capitol Building. They are expecting at least 50,000 to attend from mosques all across America. They will gather to pray from 4:00 AM until 7:00 PM. The gathering will take place by the site where U.S. Presidents have been inaugurated since 1981.

They have a website set up for this event. If you never look at another website look at this one, especially the final words: islamoncapitolhill.com
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WHAT IS WORSHIP?



SHEPHERD TO SHEEP

WHAT IS WORSHIP?

(Rev 4:11) “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”

It is common for people to think of worship as the singing part of a church service. You follow along with the song leader and then the pastor comes up to preach. But there is so much more to the definition and experience of worship that we need to take time to study it more closely.
The primary Hebrew Old Testament word for worship is shachah and it means "to bow down." (Psa 95:6) Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. The primary Greek New Testament word is proskuneo and it means "to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence." (Luke 7:38) and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Both words express deep reverence and adoration.

Worship is from the Middle English word worshipe and it means worthiness, respect, and reverence paid to a divine being. It actually comes from an Old English word weorthscipe and is broken down as weorth which means "worthy", and shipe which means "shape" or "quality." Think of words like friendship and sportsmanship which means the quality of being a friend or the quality of being a good sport. So when we worship God we are attributing worth to Him by declaring how good and great He is. Like the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4 we recognize God's worthiness and give him that worthiness through worship.

Psalm 150 is a great psalm to study when we ask, "What is worship?": (Psa 150) WHAT?: {1} Praise the LORD! WHERE? Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! WHY? {2} Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! HOW? {3} Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! {4} Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! {5} Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! WHO? {6} Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. YOU! Praise the LORD!


We worship the Lord for who He is and what He has done: (Psa 106:1) Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. We can worship the Lord with our LIPS: (Heb 13:15) Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. We can worship the Lord by our LIFE: (Rom 12:) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

In the Old Testament worship was centered around the Temple with sacrifices and singing. In the New Testament we see that we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit giving personal praise to God. We can also praise God corporately...(1 Pet 2:5) you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

What is worship? Worship is our responding to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father. (R. Foster)

(Psa 147:1) Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

Louie

PRAISE IN THE PARK - Saturday October 3rd, 3-7pm

This is going to be an awesome event. We're just going to get together and praise the Lord in song. Any church praise band that wants to participate can contact me at (951) 272-9673. Everyone is invited. It's not entertainment...it's participation! He is worthy to be praise!!
Psalms 34:3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

HAPPY LABOR DAY


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP



LABOR DAY

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Over the years, it has developed from a purely labor union celebration into a general "last fling of summer" festival. School is starting and fall is around the corner. Everyone loves the day off enjoying BBQ, beach, or baseball and in a general sense feels honored for their hard work.

But is your labor feeling more like toil and drudgery? Do you feel more like a slave than a happy worker? Do you work hard and feel no one appreciates what you do? Then take heart because God sees how hard you are working and values your labor of love! Be encouraged through these words of scripture:

(Heb 6:10) For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love . . .

(1 Cor 15:58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.


How can we find new energies and fresh inspiration for life’s tasks?

(Psa 127:1) Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it . . .

(Col 1:29) To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.


(Mat 11:28-30) "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

And remember that the work of salvation is free and you don’t have to work for it!

(John 19:30) . . . Jesus . . . said, "It is finished!" (The work has been done on the cross)

(Eph 2:8-9) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, {9} not of works, lest anyone should boast.


So work hard but at the same time rest in the Lord and enjoy the work of your hands!

(Eccl 2:24) Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.

Louie

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN

(Job 2:7) So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

Lately I've been asked a certain question by unrelated people. And when they ask it they are dead serious as well as perplexed in their inquiry. The question posed is this, "When something bad happens to me is it the Lord allowing it or is it Satan just attacking me?" This question is usually born out of a fresh painful experience they went through. At this point believers are grappling for answers to help them in their puzzled minds. You can't blame them because it's a question that we all ask when the going gets rougher than usual. So what do you say to someone when they ask is it the devil or the Lord?

Job had it bad. He went from being so blessed to being entirely stressed. In rapid succession he lost his livelihood, his children and his health. He ends up on an ash heap scraping his sores while his wife's words are ringing in his ears..."Curse God and die!" Behind the scenes Satan appears before God with the angels and the subject of Job's righteous character comes up. Satan challenged God that he could get Job to curse God to His face if he could afflict him good. With God's permission the challenge was on! Satan put Job through the wash machine. Though tried and strained, Job held onto his faith, was doubly blessed in the end, and Satan lost the game!

Do you begin to get the picture? Our problem as Christians is we usually think in terms of "either/or." It has to be one way or the other. When afflictions occur it has to be Satan or the Lord because their purposes are in direct contrast to each other as well as (we surmise) evil and good can never cooperate. Our finite minds like to put things into tidy categories and in our pain we cannot reconcile evil with the loving hand of God. When things are going good we tend to "feel" God. When things go wrong we sense our adversary the devil riding shotgun with us.

Might it be easier if we just thought of two sides of the same coin? This does not compromise the truth but brings two separate realities back to back to each other in one unit. It would be absurd to say a coin is not a coin because it has heads and tails. But does a coin work? Sure it does. It buys things as well as decides things. It can buy you a football as well as decide who is going to kick off first. You never throw change away because it is two-in-one. Instead its value causes you to pick it up off a dirty street.

Satan's purposes are to destroy you. God's purposes are to bless you. Paul had this worked out in his mind when he suffered with his "thorn in the flesh." (2 Cor 12:7) And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. He asked the Lord for this "thorn" to be removed but the Lord denied his request. Instead Paul received a gift of sufficient grace in his weakness so the power of Christ could be evident in his life and ministry.

God's discipline is not punitive in nature. It is corrective. Though cloven hooves leave their prints all around you be assured that God is working all things for good. And when He does, go back to that coin that landed devil side up and turn it over. You will find Romans 8:28 written all over it. Then the next time you are afflicted you'll be more likely to flip that coin over even sooner. Why? Because...we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Louie