The Journey: Six Years Later

After re-posting, “The Journey” for Throwback Thursday, I had meant to write a follow up to the series but honestly with everything that has gone on in six years it has been a bit overwhelming. I realized today I don’t need to fill this follow up with all these details on my life but just focus my attention on God.

God has continued to take me on this journey, molding me and changing me along the way. I am much better man the more I submit to Him and His Word.

The past few years I have gotten more into theology, invested my time in church and have became a deacon. I give all glory to God for these next steps in my journey.

It hasn’t been all great, it has been a tough road in these six years since I last wrote “The Journey” but what I can tell you is God has been there the whole way. It sounds cliché but its true. My wife and I have experience death of loved ones, financial strain, marital problems, doubt, fears, anxieties but God has always been there and He has blessed us even though we don’t deserve it.

He does this because He loves us and He loves you who are reading this!

I don’t know what my future hold but I know God has always been there and will always be there because He is the One who Was, Is and is Yet to come.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Scripture Reading:

Monday – Acts 16:9-15 

Tuesday – Psalm 67 

Wednesday – Revelation 21:10, 21:22 – 22:5

Thursday – John 14:23-29

Mother’s Day 2022

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.

I know for a lot of people their mother’s had a big influence on them spiritually. I know my mother has always been a woman of God who has cared deeply about church and all of her children’s relationship with God.

I thank God for my mother.

I would like to share a prayer with you I found,

“Dear Father, we approach your throne on behalf of the mothers whom you have entrusted with the care of your most precious little ones. We thank you for creating each mom with a unique combination of gifts and talents. We thank you for the sacrifice of self each mom gives for her children. For the late nights spent rocking a colicky infant. For the hands calloused from washing, wiping, scrubbing, mixing, backing, stirring, hugging, patting, disciplining, holding, writing, erasing, painting, and pouring.

We thank you for the gift of time moms give for their kids, whether it’s stay-at-home moms, working moms, and moms who have some combination of the two. We thank you for the flexibility of moms, for their tirelessness, their perseverance, and their devotion.

We pray you give each mom strength. Help her to see in every mundane task the eternal, cosmic significance that you place on motherhood. Help her to understand that the most radical, world-changing events may be happening anonymously in her home. Help her to forgive those who undermine her significance.

We especially pray for single moms, who must lean solely on you for the fathering of their children. We thank you that you’re big arms surround children who may never know their earthly father. We also pray for mothers who never had the honor of bearing children, but whose nurturing extends to the many poor and needy who cross the threshold of their lives.

We ask you to be the daily bread of tired mothers. We ask you to be their living water. We ask you to be their source of spiritual and physical strength. We pray that the same grace that flowed from Father to Son to us in salvation will flow from mothers to their children. We pray that each mother rejects perfectionism and instead embraces the goodness of the gospel. We pray the rhythms of repentance and forgiveness shape every home.

Lord, give each mother a worshipful reverence of you, the Creator and Sustainer of life. Help each mother to rest in the knowledge that they are but stewards of your children and that only your Spirit can produce change into the hearts of each boy and girl. May each mother find rest in you.

Most of all, Lord, on this day in which we honor mothers, may we love and cherish the special women who have born us, who have nurtured us, and who have prayed for our well-being. May our hearts overflow with gratitude to you, who formed and knitted each of us in a mother’s womb.  Amen. 
– Daniel Darling”

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Scripture Readings:

Monday – Acts 11:1-18

Tuesday – Psalm 148

Wednesday – Revelation 21:1-6

Thursday – John 13:31-35

For the Source of the Prayer and Other Prayers Click Here…
https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/mother-s-day-prayers-to-encourage-and-uplift.html

Rethinking Doubting Thomas

John 20:24-29 (New International Version)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

A couple Sundays ago my Pastor was preaching about the above story from the Bible, he asked us if we as Christians focus too much attention on Thomas’ doubt and miss a more important message.

The message that Jesus met Thomas’ need. Jesus wanted Thomas to believe so He showed him His wounds, giving Thomas exactly what he needed in order to believe.

How amazing is that? That is a wonderful thing to focus on but instead we often focus on the doubt, we call people a “Doubting Thomas” if they have doubts, rather than focusing on their need and what will help them believe.

Yes, Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” but He did not condemn Thomas for needing to see, instead Jesus knew Thomas’ need and didn’t hesitate. He didn’t shame Thomas, He didn’t call him an insult instead He met the need. What a merciful and gracious God we serve.

Let’s try mercy and grace with those struggling in doubt.

Lord helps us do so.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Bible Readings:
Monday – Acts 9:36-43

Tuesday – Psalm 23

Wednesday – Revelation 7:9-17

Thursday – John 10:22-30

Orthodox Easter

Usually on Thursdays I re-post an old entry for “Throwback Thursday”. However instead this week I am going to post an article of something that is a Throwback to my old life. I grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church and I get a lot of questions when I mention this so today I will be posting an article about “Orthodox Easter”.

Without further ado here is the article…

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/orthodox-easter-origin-and-date.html

Easter Monday

Hello everyone,

First I just want to say I hope everyone had a nice Easter. If you’re Orthodox well, I hope you have a nice Easter this Sunday and Christos Anesti!

I am tired today, here in Maryland the weather has felt like August, June and April the past week. Well today the weather was like January with a lot of rain. I am wiped out and have writer’s block.

I ended up googling, “Easter Monday” assuming it was just a day that many like my wife have off for travel or rest purposes but I found this on Got Questions….

“Easter Monday, also known as Bright Monday, Renewal Monday, Wet Monday, and Dyngus Day, is the Monday immediately after Easter Sunday. It is observed by many Christian groups, but primarily by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. It marks the beginning of Easter Week (Roman Catholic) / Bright Week (Eastern Orthodox).

Different cultures observe Easter Monday very differently. For some, Easter Monday is a solemn remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection marked by an outdoor procession. For others, there are Easter egg-rolling competitions. For still others, siblings and/or spouses wake each other up by pouring buckets of water on each other (hence the name “Wet Monday”). And others celebrate with a large gathering and a polka festival (Dingus Day).

Some of these observances have more Christian symbolism in them than others, but none of them are explicitly biblical. The Bible does not say anything about what happened on Easter Monday, the day after Jesus’ resurrection. The Bible does not instruct followers of Jesus Christ to observe Easter Monday, so there is no obligation to celebrate it. As with many holidays, there is nothing wrong with observing some cultural traditions, but it is important to not allow traditions to detract from the message of the gospel. “

I had no idea of this and found the information interesting. I figure I would pass it on. Consider it an extra Easter Egg or Treat.

Hope you all have a good and blessed week,
Chris

Scripture Reading

Monday – Acts 5:27-32

Tuesday – Psalm 150

Wednesday – Revelation 1:4-8

Thursday – John 20:19-31

https://www.gotquestions.org/Easter-Monday.html


Palm Sunday 2022

This Sunday is Palm Sunday.

Let’s get ready by looking at Jesus’ triumphant entrance from scripture.


John 12:12-19

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! ” Blessed is the king of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

More Good Things…
Here is an awesome link to an article about Palm Sunday from Bible Study Tools
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/palm-sunday-bible-verses/


This is a video of a compilation of movies depicting Jesus’ Entrance:

Daily Scripture Readings:
Monday – Isaiah 50:4-9a

Tuesday – Psalm 31:9-16

Wednesday – Philippians 2:5-11

Thursday – Luke 19:28-40

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Suffering Can Be Good

You read the title right, suffering can be good.

We all know suffering is a terrible thing and many atheists use the problem of suffering as an argument to disprove the existence of God.

I am currently reading On Guard by Dr. William Lane Craig which is an excellent apologetic book. A topic he covers is the problem of suffering. Now he gives many fantastic points on the topic but one of my biggest takeaways is how suffering can draw us closer to God. It makes us rely more on Him and we appreciate our blessings. You can see this in how many of the nations who suffer the most turn to Christ more than the nations who live in prosperity. The Gospel is exploding in countries that suffer.

Which means suffering can be good because it draws us closer to the One who is good, God Himself.

Remember this and also that our suffering is only temporary.

As it says in 1 Peter 5:10, “10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

Stay strong in the faith, and as always…

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Bible Readings:

Monday – Isaiah 43:16-21

Tuesday – Psalm 126

Wednesday – Philippians 3:4b-14

Thursday – John 12:1-8

Links:
William Lane Craig on Suffering:

Bible Verses on Suffering:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-suffering/

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision:



Full God

One of things I’ve noticed people do is they only focus on part of God. 

This is true certainly with the secular and skeptic crowd who want to focus on what they perceive as negative but it is also true of some Christians.

Let’s look at two examples.

On the one hand you have people focusing only on fearing God. They talk of His wrath, judgment and how depraved humanity is but they miss the grace, love and mercy of God. 

The other side you have people who focus so much on God’s love they take advantage of His mercy and grace. There is no fear of God at all and this means you truly don’t love God in return but instead you love yourself.

Now of course they’re other examples but let’s focus on the solution to this instead.

And that is to know God and His Word. Look at God as He is, the Great I am, the creator of the Universe, our King but also the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

There is no one greater than God, so love Him, respect Him, fear Him.

Know Him.

If you do you than you will have the full God.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

A Fantastic Article on The Attributes of God…

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/15-amazing-attributes-of-god-what-they-mean-and-why-they-matter.html

Daily Bible Reading

Monday – Joshua 5:9-12

Tuesday – Psalm 32

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Thursday – Luke 15:1-3,11-32

St. Patrick’s Day 2022

No Throwback Thursday today. Instead a St. Patrick’s Day post.

St. Patrick’s Prayer

May the Strength of God pilot us.

May the Power of God preserve us.

May the Wisdom of God instruct us.

May the Hand of God protect us.

May the Way of God direct us.

May the Shield of God defend us.

May the Host of God guard us

Against the snares of the evil ones,

Against temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us!

May Christ be before us!

May Christ be in us,

Christ be over all!

May Thy Salvation, Lord,

Always be ours,

This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

Source:

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/st-patricks-day-prayers-irish-blessings

A link my Mother sent me from the Orthodox Church Perspective…

https://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints?contentid=2365&language=en

Have a Blessed and Lucky St. Patrick’s Day,

Chris

Limiting the Gospel Part II

Last week I wrote about how we limit the Gospel to just the end of Jesus’ story, this week I want to talk about another way we limit the Gospel.

And that is how we spread the Gospel.

They’re many different methods that get discussed on how to talk to someone about the Gospel and they’re mostly super helpful.

The problem comes when people start criticizing others for how they spread the Gospel. 

The truth is we have no idea how someone might accept Jesus. The traditional ways of preaching are most effective but let’s not be a stumbling block to the Gospel by limiting how the Gospel is preached.

I am going to give two unique examples.

Tim Mackie of the Bible Project has a unique testimony. He was a teenager who liked to skateboard, he started attending a place called, “Skate Church” a place where youth could come and skate but the catch was at a certain point in the day skating would stop and a church service would begin. Most people including Tim Mackie tolerated the service just so they could have free place to skate.


Well eventually Tim got hooked on the Bible and became a Christian through this church skateboard community. Not exactly how you would expect a teenager or anyone to come to Christ is it?

Another interesting story is from a book I read which unfortunately I can’t recall the name of. A woman wrote about her friend who she had tried and tried to convince to come to church. He always refused but then one day decided to do so. The Pastor that particular Sunday ended up reading from the Bible the Census from Numbers. The woman was so upset and couldn’t believe it. She felt her friend would be so bored the entire time. She was hoping for a powerful sermon delivered from God through her Pastor.

As it just so happens her friend gave his life to Christ right after service. Why? Because the man had been searching for family his whole life. You see his family didn’t care about each other; they did not value each other. The census from Numbers proved that God cared about family, He cared so much He had the Israelites record every persons names.

These are just two examples, I’ve heard many more ways that are special and unique but the point is don’t limit how the Gospel is preached. We never know what will be the point someone accepts Christ.

Preach the Gospel, the full, true and beautiful Gospel.

It’s the only thing.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris 

Monday – Isaiah 55:1-9

Tuesday – Psalm 63:1-8

Wednesday – 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Thursday – Luke 13:1-9