Archive for the ‘Liturgy’ Category

The God/King Who Makes And Keeps His Promises

god's promises

Part 1a: 24min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/2017-02-26-the-god-king-who-makes-and-keeps-promises-pt1a-2-samuel-7-tah-mp3.mp3”

Part 1b: 25min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/2017-02-26-the-god-king-who-makes-and-keeps-promises-pt1b-2-samuel-7-tah-mp3.mp3”

Full Message: 49min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/2017-02-26-the-god-king-who-makes-and-keeps-promises-2-samuel-7-tah-mp3.mp3”

Main Passage: 2 Samuel 7:8-26

“God reaffirmed and expanded the covenant promises He made to Abraham—this time to King David. God promised to give David rest from his enemies and to build an eternal house through one of David’s descendants. In response to God’s unfailing promises, David expressed gratitude and humility, and this is the appropriate response for all believers in light of God’s faithfulness’ – The Gospel Project

Theological Theme:
The gracious promises of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are meant to humble us and stir up gratitude in our hearts.

“God does not give us everything we want, but he does fulfill His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Christ Connection
God promised David that future kings of Israel would come from his family and that his kingdom would last forever. God kept this promise by sending Jesus as one of David’s descendants. All of history is driving toward the day when Jesus, the Son of David, will be recognized as the King whose kingdom is everlasting.

Missional Application:
God calls us to offer ourselves fully to Him so that the mercy and grace we’ve experienced through His Holy Spirit will go out to others.

“God’s promises are the peculiar treasure of believers: the substance of faith’s heritage lies in them.  All the promises of our covenant God are ours to have and to hold as our personal possession.  By faith, we receive and embrace them, and they constitute our true riches.” – Charles Spurgeon

Photo compliments: www. foursquare.org.ng

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.6

john-13_34-35

Part 6a: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6a-john-13-tah.mp3”

Part 6b: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6b-john-13-tah.mp3”

Full Message: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6-john-13-tah.mp3”

This message asks along with author Tim Chester, “When will we introduce [the world] to the network of believing relationships of which are privileged to be a part? When will they see us participating in the trinitarian life. When will they see that we not only submit to God’s will, but actually know God as a Father through the Son and by the Spirit? When will they see our relationships with one another: not perfect relationships, but relationships that reflect our experience of triune grace? When will they see a supernatural community that reflects the sending by the Father of the Son in the power of the Spirit, and the glorification by the Spirit through the Son of the Father.

Only as they experience the reality of the work of the Trinity in the lives of believers, and our vibrant relationship with the triune God, will the doctrine of the Trinity cease to be an academic game and become their living Hope.”

*photo courtesy of pinterest.com

A Thought on Spiritual Disciplines

chimney-top-mtnDo you ever feel that your spiritual exercises are producing little in the way of results? However we might measure or define the word “result” we’ve all experienced times when prayer, participation in worship, meditation, or other spiritual disciplines seemed hollow and rote. I recently came across this quote regarding contemplation, but I think it applies to all the spiritual exercises:

[Any spiritual exercise] . . .is a skill, a discipline that facilitates a process that is out of one’s direct control, but it does not have the capacity to determine an outcome. The gardener practices finely honed skills . . . But there is nothing the gardener can do to make the plants grow. However, if the gardener does not do what a gardener is supposed to do, the plants are not as likely to flourish. . . In the same way a sailor exercises considerable skill in sailing a boat. But nothing the sailor does can produce the wind that moves the boat. . . Gardening and sailing involve skills of receptivity. The skills are necessary but by themselves insufficient. ~ Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land, pp. 53-54

God is not a tame creature that can be called upon to perform. God is like the wind or like a garden – we pray, we come to worship, we meditate – and when the wind blows or the seed sprouts these spiritual skills make us ready and receptive to receive what God is doing. We can’t tell the Father, Son, and Spirit when to show up, but we can follow the pattern of Jesus’ life of spiritual exercise to be ready when they do.

~ Jonathan Stepp

Most Naturally an Atheist

I don’t believe in God and

I don’t know anything about God.

 

But I keep having this experience –

in liturgy, in family, in bread, and wine, and life –

where an unseen Spirit (like fire or wind)

speaks to my heart of a man named Jesus,

who died and yet is alive.

 

This Jesus believes in God

and knows God

and through the Spirit

Jesus keeps sharing with me

his faith and knowledge of God.

 

He shares with me his knowledge

that God is a good and faithful Father,

and he shares with me his faith in the Father;

And that is all I have: the faith of Jesus in the Father

shared with me through the Spirit.

 

And that is enough.

~ Jonathan Stepp

Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More! pt.5(c)

fellowship5

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/15-07-05-why-jesus-church-fellowships-more-and-more-pt-5c-hebrews-10-luke-2-mark-6-tah.mp3

On this 6th Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ through Hebrews 10: 1-26, in the continuation of pt. 5 of this Gospel Series, entitled, “Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More!” This is a series designed to help us re-think WHO and WHAT we are in light of Jesus Christ, and who and what we are called to be and do AS THE BODY OF CHRIST!

We understand more clearly in this message:

  • The FIRST thing we Christians MUST do when we are faced with any “WHY?” question!
  • How challenging and exciting it can be to work through our civic  and Church responsibilities in this time between the present evil age and the age to come!
  • What a Christians PRIMARY Job is as a citizen of both heaven and earth!
  • 9 “down-to-earth, on-the-ground-and in-the-flesh” 21st Century practical Job and Civic reminders that will help you as you think through participating more creatively and properly with Christ in your various roles in this world!

Check it out!

 

 

Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More! pt.5a

fellowship2

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/15-06-14-why-jesus-church-fellowships-more-and-more-pt-5a-hebrews-10-tah.mp3

On this 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ in pt. 5 (a) of this Gospel Series, entitled, “Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More!” and shows through Hebrews 10: 1-25 that the historical context of Hebrews demonstrates that living in God’s image (in relationship together!) is SO CRUCIAL to our well being that we ARE CALLED to FELLOWSHIP WITH EACH OTHER, all the more, even in the middle of persecution!

We hear in this message:

  • Simply, and positively, that, the reason we meet together more and more is simply because we have Trinitarian “DNA”! God through Jesus Christ, by the Spirit, shares HIS RELATIONAL LIFE with us and Relating together in the Spirit is what HIS LIFE looks like! Christianity IS Union with Christ!
  • We can only be who we are in Jesus, the New Humanity, as we relate WITH Jesus AND other people – The Great Commandment: Loving God, and Loving our neighbors as yourself! This is especially true of the Body of Christ of which Dietrich Bonhoeffer has said:  “The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself …. He needs his brother man [or sister girl!] as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation.”
  • A 4TH MYTH EXPOSED! THAT MYTH? The Primary Goal of Christianity is the American Work Ethic! Get a bit of the context  about why the American Work life puts such a negative pressure on you the way it does and a little handle on what you are up against and why!
  • A good first response to the question:  How do you sort out your calling to the Body of Christ and your calling to your civic responsibilities, including your job, in a world that runs at the pace of 24/7?!
  • A more REALISTIC picture as to the conflict and cost involved in being a Christian in this world, living between “The present evil age” and “The Age to Come.”
  • An invitation to respond to Jesus calling you to His Body and you having the greatest kind of hope because, in the Spirit, the Father and Jesus bring the future into the present through those in union with Jesus!

 

Taste And See That The Lord Is Good!

taste and see

In this Gospel Message, Pastor Richard Andrews of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ with a  message entitled “Taste And See That The Lord Is Good!” and asks the question “Are we ready to take that exhortation we find in Psalms 34 and make it something we LIVE BY, LIVE THROUGH and LIVE WITH?”

In this message we learn what trials REALLY represent and hear that:

  1. Our foolishness does NOT determine God’s actions towards us! There is no circumstance we can go through that is too big or complicated that can change who God is!
  2. No matter the circumstance, God invites us to open up our mouths and have an experience with him. God invites us to experience HIS presence.
  3. Our trials help us to taste and see God’s goodness. They make God REAL. The more we TASTE, the more we SEE, the more we TRUST!

Listen and be comforted knowing that God loves us too much not to let us experience HIM, and because of that there WILL be points of pain and trials.

Photo Compliments lizsarno.wordpress.com

A Meditation for Trinity Sunday

Rublev's Icon of the Trinity

Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity

Consider the following statements:

  • There is no God but Allah
  • God Bless You
  • May the Force be with You
  • Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Depending on one’s definition of “Allah” or “the Force” or “God,” each of these statements might be referring to the same divine being and simply using different words to do so. On the other hand, they could each be making radically different statements.

Gregory of Nazianzus is famous for saying “when I say God, I mean Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Oration 38.8). Perhaps Gregory has a point, perhaps we need to be careful to be clear about what we mean when we say “God.”

If we are speaking of the God who is incarnate in the person of Jesus then we are speaking of the God who is Triune. To speak of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is to speak of the God who is loving relationship, the God who doesn’t just “do relationship” but is relationship. The God who doesn’t just love but is love. When we speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are speaking of the God who is personal, connected, and relational, and we are therefore not speaking of God as merely an impersonal force at work in the world.

We see this in the story told by our liturgical year. It tells the story of the Father sending the Son to descend into our existence, take hold of us, and then ascend, taking us with him into the relational life of love he shares with the Father. As the Father’s children through the Son we now share in the life of the Spirit who proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and baptizes us with the Son into his relationship with the Father.

This is the significance of Trinity Sunday. It is fitting – having celebrated this story of our adoption over the course of the last six months – that we should now have a day dedicated to God’s life as Trinity. That Triune Life is not something we could have known if we had not known this story of the Son’s descending and ascending to take us into God’s life. But now that we have heard and believed the story, we have an idea of what it means to say “God.” When we say “God” we mean “the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

~ Jonathan Stepp

This post originally appeared at the Scholar-Priest Initiative.

Men And Women TOGETHER – Imaging God FOREVER!

 

image of god

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/15-04-26-men-and-women-together-imaging-god-forever-heb-1-gen-1-gal-3-eph-2-tah.mp3

 In this Gospel Message entitled “Men And Women TOGETHER – Imaging God FOREVER!”, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ who has taken up our humanity in Himself, sharing with us HIS life of union and communion with His Father through the Holy Spirit. He shows through the scriptures that all barriers between men and women and the dividing wall of hostility between all humanity has been destroyed, and our humanity renewed and healed, in Jesus Christ!

Hear in this message:

  • That Jesus Christ is the first image of God of man and woman together and is not just an after-thought. As women and men, we were always meant to be conformed to Jesus Christ’s image and what He made of our humanity in Himself. We understand that HE is the Reality, and Adam and Eve (and us!) are only the shadow of Him in this first phase of our humanity!
  • That because Jesus is the Image of God, it is best to think of men and women, male and female, as created in the Image of The Image of God!
  • That ONLY FEMALE AND MALE TOGETHER show GOD toward creation and how ONLY TOGETHER do we show creation back to God in the fitting response Jesus shares with us. This doesn’t always mean marriage between men and women, but it always means gender partnership and complementing each other!
  • The Good News of what IS superior about being female and male, and what is not! Learn how we ARE equal and how we are not! Understand our participation and roles as Kings and Queens of creation!
  • About The Great Grace that has been lavished on us as male and female in the person of Jesus Christ , and the Great and Loving Judgment against our broken humanity that compels us to reconsider and take part with Jesus as Life actually is!

You are encouraged to Participate with Christ, and in His shared humility, learning to admit your faults and receiving the forgiveness that leads to ACTUAL & REAL reconciliation and peace between human persons, plus LOTS MORE GOSPEL INSIGHT!

The Good News Of Restorative Justice!

restorative justice

 In this Gospel message entitled “THE GOOD NEWS OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE!” guest speaker, Mako Nagasawa, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore! Mako proclaims God’s vision for GENEROUS giving and the importance of Jesus giving us A NEW HUMANITY, EMPOWERING US to bring more of His JUSTICE and LOVE into this world!

In this message we understand that:

  • God has a GREAT vision for EVERY kind of relationship including Economic and Political relationships, and involving Historic Injustice. He has been very specific with us, biblically, about what that should look like on the lending and borrowing of money by fostering good banking practices, and opposing bad banking practices!
  • Jesus took OUR HUMANITY to himself and, by His Spirit, shares with us a new humanity that filters out the toxins in us such as fear, jealousy,and grief, enabling us to reach out to the poor in mercy, forgiving others their debts even as we have been forgiven our debts from God our Father.
  • We are called to manifest the LOVE and RELATIONSHIP that exists within the TRIUNE GOD, and extend THAT kind of love to others; that love looks like the Father stirring up in us a deep concern and right way about how to care for each other in our communities and through the difficult times many people have fallen into!

Check out this practically challenging message!

 

photo compliments http://www.davisvanguard.org

 

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