Religion

Four ways to prove your faith

The 11th chapter of Hebrews is known by many Bible scholars as the “Heroes of Faith.” That chapter not only defines what faith is, but shares that through faith the worlds were framed or made by the Word of God. 

Please, please listen to this next statement: “Sincere and true faith only comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. True faith points us to God, the Creator and Maker of heaven and earth.”

In this same chapter, some of the heroes proved their faith in different ways. Abel proved his faith by giving a great gift to the Lord. Enoch proved his faith by living a life pleasing unto God, and God translated or took him to heaven.

Please listen to another awesome scripture, Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek Him.” By faith, we must live to please God. By faith, we must believe that God does exist. By faith, we must know and believe that God rewards those that truly seek Him. The blessings of God and His rewards is a wonderful testimony and glorified proof that there is a God of heaven and earth.  

In closing, I would like to share four things that I practice in my life to prove faith in God. God does not respond to our need, God responds to our faith in Him. Remember, Mark chapter 5, the woman with the issue of blood. She was sick for many years. Ultimately, Jesus declares to the woman, “Your faith has made you whole.” How important is our faith? Extremely important!

The first thing we must do is believe God’s Word. If we truly believe, we will speak words of life and not death; words of faith and not doubt. We should always speak positive things over our lives. Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” The proof of faith is in our speaking!  

Secondly, I keep praising God and keep singing unto the Lord. Anyone can praise God when things are going well, but it takes great faith to praise God in the midnight hour of our lives.  

Thirdly, we must share our faith! Have faith in God and then go share your faith. Let God do something for you and then go tell somebody!

Lastly, sow a seed toward your future.  A farmer would not have a future without sowing seeds in the ground.  I once saw a bumper sticker that said, “Honk if you love Jesus.” And later I saw another bumper sticker that said, “Anyone can honk, TITHE if you truly love the Lord!”

Speak your faith, sing praises with faith towards God, share your faith, and sow a faith seed into your future. 

Do these things and God will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a great blessing.

— Tommy Meekins

Irrationality & uncommon sense

In politics we hear an appeal to “common sense,” defined as, “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” 

I emphasize the word "simple," because the notion of common sense always seems to involve seeing situations as not particularly complex, and therefore lending to easy evaluation and straightforward resolution. If it is not simple, common sense must somehow lead directly through all the associated complexity, which is exceedingly difficult to imagine. In the broadest context, “common sense” implies the judgment or opinion to which most individuals would agree because it just seems correct. Thus, by implication, the opposite of common sense is nonsense or foolishness. Appealing to common sense for support is really to claim that there can be no real argument against. It is always helpful if the "common sense" position is actually the majority opinion. Otherwise, the opinion seems much less common, meaning less frequent.

Appeal to common sense is the background of much of human history, the bedrock of political rhetoric in every age and culture. Those who propose to lead and solicit the support of the general populace always seek to associate themselves and their positions with common sense, that which seems logical and straightforward. Simple solutions, quickly and easily implemented, are just what we all wish for.

However, what we actually experience in our world is ever increasing complexity and rate of change. There is little to nothing that is really simple. Before we can master the last bit of new complexity, the next bit has already passed us by.

Within the context of any discussion of common sense, those of a secular scientific or religious Christian bent must seriously consider the prevailing scientific and religious dogma. In the realm of science we are challenged by the counterintuitiveness of the theory of relativity and quantum theory, both of which involve ideas and concepts not remotely supported by "simple perception" or normal logic. No amount of common sense leads to either theory, and yet they are widely held as true based on a century or more of analysis and technological application.

On the religious side, Christians are confronted with the astounding ethical instructions that permeate the New Testament in the words of Jesus, Paul, and others. The rejection of eye for an eye justice, the promotion of humility and meekness, the extolling of unconditional love — each of these ideas find no support in so-called “common sense” as attested by the way these ethical concepts have been overlooked or outright ignored by the church and its adherents throughout history.

Jesus, for sure, was no proponent of common sense. In fact, he is probably the foremost advocate of irrationality and uncommon sense in all of human history. He challenged conventional wisdom at every step. Those who attempt to claim him should never rely too heavily on common sense as their measure of sound judgment. To do so is to digress and reject the essence of Jesus.

Please visit us at www.sjolanderroadfellowship.com

— Rick Crotts

Faith News: Egyptian lottery winner

For months I have been on a waiting list to attend a conference. Last Tuesday, someone who had registered canceled, and I won the chance to go. In my search for someone to preach for me I found the Rev. Eid Abdelmassih.

In 2010, Eid won the lottery. He didn’t win any money. What is did win was the opportunity to get a green card to be able to come to the United States with his family. He and his wife Neven have three children: Rose aged 10, Sam aged 6 and Yusef aged 4. Eid and Neven have been married for 11 years and since coming they have become citizens of the Untied States. They live in the Bear Creek area of Houston.

Eid received his Master of Divinity Degree from the Presbyterian Seminary in Cairo Egypt. In 2015, Eid received his Master of Arts from Fuller Seminary in Houston. Eid now pastors a church in West Houston called “Houston Hope Of the Nations.” They meet on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. at St. Thomas Presbyterian Church in West Houston. Their services are in English and one of the reasons for that is the diversity of folks who gather to worship together.  English is a common language for members who hail from Iran, Iraq, Cameroon, Philippines and Egypt.

In addition to leading his community in worship, Eid works with immigrants, helping them to adjust to life in the United States, to search for jobs, learn English, and find furniture.

I asked him what he liked about life in Houston and he said, “the traffic. It is organized.” Apparently, compared to traffic in Egypt, Houston traffic is bliss.

I invite you attend worship with us this Sunday at our 10:30 a.m. service when in my absence Eid will enjoy his commute through the lovely Houston traffic, so we can hear the gospel from a lottery winner from Egypt.

—Jim Gill

Don’s Daily Parable-Cut It Real Easy

I have mentioned ad nauseum about my stays in the body casts. I also related that at certain intervals, my Dad would have to take me in to Houston to the doctor for a status on the healing of my hip. They did this about every two-and-a-half months. 

While I was there, they would cut the body cast off and put on a new one. Oh, what a relief it was to get that thing off, and then they would take me down on a gurney and give me a shower. I thought I had died and went to heaven. Then, after the x-rays showed that the hip joint bone grafts still hadn’t healed completely, they would put a new one on.

I wanted to talk about when they would cut the old cast off. If any of you have ever been in a cast for a broken arm, leg, etc., you are very familiar with what I’m talking about. You probably remember the saw that they use. I don’t know if there are different types now or not. They may not even use the plaster of Paris casts anymore.

That aside, the saw that they used had a round blade, like a circular saw does. It did not rotate, but vibrated. This enabled the blade to cut the plaster of Paris without cutting through your skin, if it happened to go through deep enough. There was one time when it felt like it cut my leg, but I think it was more like a burn from the hot blade.

If you have seen these new tools that are on the market, they work exactly like the cast removal saws did. The blade vibrates instead of rotating, so you can hold your finger up against it and it won’t cut it, unless you put a lot of pressure on it. They are called sonic cutters.

There are times when we know a Christian man or woman and they don’t always do or say the things we think they should, as a Christian. And there is truth to the fact that a Christian should be different. However, God works on everyone in a different way because we are all different. People come from different backgrounds so what may be a small step of accomplishment for you, may be a very large one for them.

The biggest thing that the Lord expects of us is that we don’t stay the same at the end of each day, no matter how long we’ve been a Christian. We should grow, even a small bit every day of our lives, as we give more and more control to the Holy Spirit. 

So, when we feel the need to ‘do a little cuttin’, cut it real easy. 

God bless you.

—Don Cunningham

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