Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

Discussion in 'Religious Discussions' started by ampaterry, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    We do not have a list of “beliefs” at my church. We have no code of conduct, no dress code, no man-made list of things which you are expected to do. Instead, we rely 100% on the Bible for all our guidance. I have a problem with those lists of man-made do’s and don’ts which are NOT found in scripture. I have noticed one thing in particular about them, though. The do’s will include all those things which the person who wrote the list usually does, and the don’ts usually list all those activities which the writer of the list does not like doing anyway.
    The ability to be objective is a rare thing indeed; we almost always filter the world through a pair of glasses that are our own prescription. As a result, the areas in which we expect others to be consistent are those areas in which we have no trouble with being consistent. If certain sins are no problem for us, we cannot understand how in the world they could be a problem for anyone else. Of course, the sins with which we struggle are sins which require the utmost patience and understanding from our brothers and sisters (either that, or we take the easy way out by simply hiding our sins and praying that no one ever finds them out).
    The Word of God gives us complete guidance regarding sin and sinners. Just a few of the verses are:
    Proverbs 20:9 (KJV); "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"
    Romans 14:13 (GWT); "So let's stop criticizing each other. Instead, you should decide never to do anything that would make other Christians have doubts or lose their faith."
    Romans 15:1(KJV); "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."
    Galatians 6:1(NCV); "Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too."
    If we follow the guidance given us in the Word of God, we will find that we don’t need no stinking man made lists!

    I have a small sign on the bulletin board in the back of my church which reads:
    The opinions of the PREACHER in this church are not necessarily those of the MANAGEMENT -
    signed
    GOD
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    Today, Israel celebrates Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day. In order to understand this day, some history is required.
    The UN set the borders of Israel in 1947. Although these formed a very small area, Israel accepted them. The Arab states did not. When Israel declared it's independence in 1948, the surrounding Arab states attacked in less than 24 hours. They captured Jerusalem, and during the rest of this war, Israel was unable to capture the entire city, but had gained ground on other borders when a cease fire was called, and all borders remained as they were, with Jordan occupying the Old City and East Jerusalem. During the following years, Jordan destroyed half of the synagogues, and demolished a Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives so they could use the tombstones as paving stones. In 1967 Israel, ever the peacemakers, sent a message to King Hussein of Jordan telling him there would be no hostilities toward his occupied area of Jerusalem or the West Bank as long as all borders remained quiet. Jordan responded by shelling civilian locations within Israel, and on June 6th Israel started fighting. On June 7th, they recaptured all of Jerusalem. On June 11th, the six-day war ended with Israel once again having gained ground, including all of Jerusalem. The hopeful toast of “Next year, in Jerusalem!” had become reality, and Jerusalem Day was proclaimed on the day the city was re-united in 1948, and made a National Holiday in 1998.
    Should we be surprised that Jerusalem was re-united?
    Scripture tells us:
    Psalms 122:3 (KJV); Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
    Once in a while, the English of 1611 (actually 1560!) leaves a bit of doubt concerning the meaning. Let us look at a couple of more modern translations to clarify what the KJV means by “compact”:
    Psalms 122:3 (GW); Jerusalem is built to be a city where the people are united.
    Psalms 122:3 (NLT); Jerusalem is a well-built city, knit together as a single unit.
    GIIC, folks: God Is In Control.
  3. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    ;)
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    Today is Ascension Day, one of the earliest Christian festivals. It was celebrated at least as early as the year 68, and marks the occasion on which Christ ascended into Heaven from the Mount of Olives as his disciples watched. This marks the end of the Easter Season.

    With this celebration being so very old, it is not surprising that there are many customs and beliefs attached to it that really have nothing to do with the event being celebrated.

    In England, it is believed that eggs laid on this day will never go bad, and it brings good luck to place one in the roof. In former times, they would “beat the bounds, which meant beating the kids with willow branches as they drove them around the borders of the parish, thought to purge them of evil as well as teach them where the borders were.

    The Welsh believe it is bad luck to do any work on this day, so if you want to laze off, you can claim this belief as your own.

    In Sweden, people go out in the woods at 3 AM to listen to the first birds sing. If they hear a cuckoo, it is considered good luck. Personally, it will take more than a chance at good luck to get me out in the woods at 3 AM.

    There are many more, but let's turn from tradition and superstition toward truth. What does this day truly signify?




    Mark 16:15-20 (KJV); And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

    What are you doing today, guys?
    Are you following the path that Jesus walked?
    Are you following the directions that he left us with?
    Or are you following something else?
  5. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    Some of this is loosely adapted from the book Orthodoxy by Chesterton:
    We must understand that it is mysticism which keeps us sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has always had one foot on the earth, and the other in - somewhere else. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but unlike the Atheist, free also to believe in them. Thus he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also. Thus he believed that children were indeed the kingdom of heaven, but nevertheless ought to be obedient to the kingdom of earth. He admired youth because it was young and age because it was not. It is exactly this balance of apparent contradictions that has been the whole survival characteristic, the whole SANENESS, of the healthy human being. The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything with the help of what he does not understand.
    The Word of God tells us much about the mystery which we cannot understand or explain:

    Romans 11:33; "God's riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep that it is impossible to explain his decisions or to understand his ways."
    Ecclesiastes 3:11(GWT); "It is beautiful how God has done everything at the right time. He has put a sense of eternity in people's minds. Yet, mortals still can't grasp what God is doing from the beginning to the end of time."
    Proverbs 25:2 (NCV); "God is honored for what he keeps secret. Kings are honored for what they can discover."

    So do not waste your time lamenting that you cannot grasp everything which you would like to grasp. It is the MYSTERY that keeps you seeking, instead of just kicking back, relaxing, and stagnating into nothing but a big lump of dead flesh.

    God bless you, guys!
  6. permafrost

    permafrost Active Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    A question for you, Terry:
    Today I saw a sign tht read" Praise the Lord, and pass the popcorn" ****Church.TV
    My question, Do you think setting at home and getting religion is a very good way to worship or get closer to God? Seems to easy to me. Most things that come easy are not very long lasting, IMO. I know today, it's more difficult to get people in church. Do you believe this has become necessary to reach people? I'm not a regular church goer either, but I have a firm belief in a higher power. I don't really feel I have enough info to make a proper determination. Am I missing something? I don't feel I'm qualified to answer this question. Please enlighten me.
  7. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    Permafrost, if you believe in the bible, it says: "Do not forsake the assembling of the saints as some are accustomed to doing". Terry will have to fill in the book and verse to allow you to double check my memory on the wording there. A do-it-yourself religion is not what God had intended because it is not as effective. I've heard some people say and encourage the conception that church is not social. I disagree. That's a LARGE part of church. First is focused on God, of course, but the interaction between Christians is essential to be strong. Church is a gathering that allows us to make time to come together and be strengthened and supported by those that are around us. We get to know each other more than we would if we didnt have that reason to come together and therefore are able to more effectively meet the needs of our brothers and sisters around us. Knowing each other well enough also helps us confess our problems and sorrows to each other. We are able to share our experiences with those that are going through the same things that we have been.

    I dont know if the tv/internet is the best way to bring people to Christ, but if it helps a small number it is worth it. I think it is good too, for those that are shut-in or otherwise unable to come to church. But, bottom line, it's good, but it'sno substitute.

    Those are my thoughts on the matter.
  8. permafrost

    permafrost Active Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    Thank you for your response. As I remember from when I used to go the social aspect was important. I was just more concerned , I suppose, to some type of pandering, just to get people's money.
  9. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    Yeah, it seems that more of those types of minitries are used as scams, but there are some genuine ones out there. You can find that in many forms though, so you just gotta take it for how you see it. If you get took, I think God is still pleased if you are doing the best you know how. Use whatever gets you closer to Him. Jesus told the disciples not to stop a man that was proclaiming Jesus, even though he was not connected with Him in any way. It spread the word, so it was all good, so to speak.
  10. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    Permafrost, I agree with Country101 right down the line on his thoughts. The passage he mentions is:
    Hebrews 10:25 (KJV); Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    We draw strength from each other. Sitting home watching TV is an isolated experience. If you agree or disagree with something said, there is no one to discuss it with.
    I agree that there is a need for a ministry that can reach shut ins. For some folks, if it were not for TV ministry they would never hear the word at all.
    But it comes at a cost to the local church. I mean, here I am in the boondox of Tennessee preaching a church that is not large enough to support a pastor. I have always, until retirement, worked full time to support my family and the church also. My family and I do the repairs, do all the maintenance, etc. Then someone comes in on Sunday morning and informs me that they just watched a TV preacher who does not use notes during his sermon as I do. I am tempted to inform them that he, just like our president, reads everything from a telepromptor. But I don't; I just smile and say that is really great for him.
    But these guys have a budget of millions, the latest hi-tech video and audio equipment, and the ministry is ALL THEY DO. Can a small neighborhood church compete with that?

    Yes, we can, and we do. Because when your wife is hospitalized, I will be there with you, not the TV preacher. When your daughter accepts Jesus, I will rejoice with you and offer to baptize her, not the TV preacher. When a loved one dies, I will cry with you, and conduct the funeral ceremony. When you stumble and fall, I will be there to offer a hand back up again. And on Sunday morning, I will give you a teaching without audio-visual equipment, without world class choir accompaniement, and will I look down at the podium now and then at my notes because there is no teleprompter. But the teaching will be what God has prompted me to give. It is truth, and it is from my heart.
    And when it is over, you will talk to your neighbors at the door of the church. You will share how you enjoyed the message and why, or you will complain about it and why. But you will interact with other believers, and grow stronger as a group - as a church family.

    It boils down to this:
    TV ministry is needed by some, but is detrimental to those that do not actually need it.
  11. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    And speaking of TV and the problems with it, that goes along with my thought for today:

    I prefer to get my news unbiased. To some, that might mean I use CNN. Others might say that would be MSNBC. Others, FOX. Someone else might think that means CBS, ABC, or the Drudge Report on the internet. All of these would be wrong. In the mass-media age, journalism is more than the transmission of neutral information: It traffics in the kind of information and spectacle calculated to embarrass Western leaders.

    But the media don't confine themselves to embarrassing politicians: They also work to create shame about Western history, traditions, and institutions. Have you ever wondered how many important news stories were left on the cutting room floor when everyone decided to air the spectacle of Arnold Schwarzenegger's affair?'

    Not only our vices but our virtues and values are eligible for assault. Old sexual mores come under fire as much as segregation laws. Christianity is represented as dogmatic, obtuse, repressive: The Pope too is convicted of "gaffes." Bizarre phenomena like lesbian nuns are treated not as screwballs but as legitimate protesters against harsh restrictions. Every malcontent, no matter how wrong, is represented to us as a victim.

    Isaiah 59:14-15 (KJV); "And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment."

    I solve the news issue this way: I get my news from every source I can possibly find, then I discard that which is sensationalist in nature. I determine this by checking up on some of the “facts” presented, and thus can eliminate such stories as the claim made by ALL media of a rash of black church burnings a few years ago. In checking the statistics, I found that there was no difference, per capita, between the number of black church fires and white church fires. I also discovered that the rate had NOT increased at the time of the sensationalist reporting.

    what little bit remains after such discarding is, in all likelihood, legitimate news.

    God bless each of you!!
  12. permafrost

    permafrost Active Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    A very thoughtful response. Thank you, Sir
    I have become somewhat jaded towards churches in general, so your words carry inspiration.
  13. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    There was a point in my Christian life where I became jaded with churches in general as well. Good ones ARE hard to find - but they are out there, so don't give up the search!
  14. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    yes they are out there , ask ;)
  15. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Chaplains Corner

    There is an image in my mind from my youth that will never depart, although the details of it have become sketchy with time. In the house of one of our relatives, there sat in the middle of the dining room table a bowl of the most delicious looking fruit! Apples, oranges, grapes and bananas. The image is very clear in my mind, and I know it was VERY long ago, because the surface of the dining room table was eye level with me when I stood on tip-toe and grasped the edge of it.
    On several of our visits, I asked if I could have one of those delicious pieces of fruit, but was always refused. There was always some explanation of why, but it never became part of my understanding. Finally, after my request was repeated for the umpteenth time, I was asked which one I would like. I pointed to one of the perfect yellow bananas, and it was taken from the bowl and handed to me. I worked for some time trying to remove the peeling, and failing this I just bit into the end of it. It was hard, and the taste told me this was no banana, so I spit it out - I can remember several adults laughing as I spit out the end of the wax banana.
    I came to the very correct conclusion that, no matter what these items looked like, they were NOT fruit. Even if the fakes had later been exchanged for real fruit, I would have declined to eat them. In my mind this bowl contained foul tasting items, no matter what they looked like.
    Over the years, I have frequently thought of this story. We find people of this sort even in our own churches, looking extremely like what they should be, yet having no real substance to them. If, even accidentally, one happens to taste of their nature, the falsity of the images will be revealed.
    The Word of God speaks of people like this, and how we should avoid being taken in by their appearance:
    2 Timothy 3:5-7 (KJV); "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
    You cannot judge the fruit by the appearance, the book by it’s cover, nor the person by what they seem to be.

    I will talk to you again tomorrow - and may God RICHLY bless you.
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