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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Speak of Prayer, Not Words

Opening the two Crimson Red doors of our church, I was excited to begin the week of prayer. Monday-Friday @ 7:00pm. The following is from the 5th century man of God, John Chrysostom. Meditate on this today, as you consider your prayers before the Lord, Almighty!

Prayer is the light of the spirit, true knowledge of God, mediating between God and man. The spirit, raised up to heaven by prayer, clings to God with the utmost tenderness; like a child crying tearfully for its mother, it craves the milk that God provides. It seeks the satisfaction of its own desires, and receives gifts outweighing the whole world of nature.

Prayer stands before God as an honored ambassador. It gives joy to the spirit, peace to the heart. I speak of prayer, not words. It is the longing for God, love too deep for words, a gift not given by man but by God's grace. The apostle Paul says: We do not know how we are to pray but the Spirit himself pleads for us with inexpressible longings. When the Lord gives this kind of prayer to a man or woman, he gives him riches that cannot be taken away, heavenly food that satisfies the spirit. One who tastes this food is set on fire with an eternal longing for the Lord: his spirit burns as in a fire of the utmost intensity. Practice prayer from the beginning.

Paint your house with the colors of modesty and humility. Make it radiant with the light of justice. Decorate it with the finest gold leaf of good deeds. Adorn it with the walls and stones of faith and generosity. Crown it with the pinnacle of prayer. In this way you will make it a perfect dwelling place for the Lord. You will be able to receive him as in a splendid palace, and through his grace you will already possess him, his image enthroned in the temple of your spirit.

Friday, September 10, 2010

HOPE4PHILLY: Following the Steps of Christ

Rick Warren's "The Purpose Drive Life" has become the best selling hard back in Amercian History, selling over 25 million copies. Everyone wants to know why they are here. What's their purpose for existence? This is a question empirical science can't answer. One must ask the Creator for its purpose.

The words of Jesus, which began his ministry, stated His purpose and ours, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19). As we follow the steps of Christ, we embrace His purpose as well. Below is an outline that gives our life meaning and power:

1. The Spirit of the Lord is still anointing us to do his work. The "anointing" speaks of both a separation, as well as an empower for work.
2. Preaching good news to the Poor. Jesus' ministry often focused on the Last, the Least & the Lost. If His did, so should ours.
3. Proclaim Freedom & Favor. It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free. If you're free, express that freedom to those still in bondage or who are imprisoned by sin and its debilitating effect. We come into God's favor through Jesus.

On Saturday, September 25, we'll be doing what Jesus did through Hope4Philly. We will deliver 80,000 lbs of groceries to nearly 20,000 people, as well as preach good news to the poor, proclaiming Freedom and the Favor of God. Together we will deliver the Hope of Christ!

Sunday, September 19, Cornerstone in Abington, PA (along with many other churches), will receive an offering so we can fulfill our purpose to the people of our region.

Our Purpose is Found in Christ's Purpose. We can do more together, than we can apart.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Small Things

Often times it is the "small-things" to make a big impact. Consider for a moment, the power of the atom. When left alone, the naked eye can't even see. But when the power is release from splitting it, the effects are enormous.

A few years ago, our third child was bitten by a small misquito. Having later been diagnosed with the West Nile Virus, that little bite produced months of illness for our little one. Small thing, big impact.

Some 70 years ago, a Sunday School bus driver knocked on the door of Mrs. Trotta's 7-weeks in a row, asking if her children could go to church that morning. It was here my grandfather found Jesus. The results have now produces 3 generations of pastors of which I'm one. Small knock, big impact.

QUESTION: What "small thing" can you do that would make the big impact on someone's eternal destiny? Perhaps a knock on the door, some flowers for your neighbor, or perhaps a simple walk across the room, greeting the one who is left out.

The teaching series we begin Sunday will help us change the course of eternal history through the small thing, a walk across a room. Bill Hybels, an Evangelistic Voice in our generation, wrote the book Just Walk Across the Room: Pointing People to Faith. Check out this video that briefly explains how God's Spirit will equip us for His Kingdom: