Getting Warmer!

Ahh, winter.

A beautiful time of year–from the indoors!winter 2

I love to watch the snow coming down out the back of my patio door…or my office. Beautiful!

Seriously, there are very few feelings that are nicer than coming from the snow into a warm house…chili waiting…or maybe hot chocolate, wrapping yourself in a blanket and sitting by the fire.

fireplace

There is just something satisfying about warming up when it’s cold outside.

When the world is cold, a source of warmth is most welcome!

Well, we all know that there are more ways that this world is ‘cold’ than merely the temperature.

This world can be a ‘cold’, mean-spirited, critical, self-centered and nasty place. It can be a place that bullies, abuses, and discourages us.

At times, we can feel alone, isolated and exposed–like a person locked out of their house with no coat and no keys on a winter morning. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it’s also dangerous!

So, how do we ‘warm up’? Where do we get our ‘fire’ and our ‘blanket’?

It may not surprise you that I believe it comes from God.

As Augustine said,  You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee’. The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “He has planted eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). As Physicist/Philosopher Blaise Paschal wrote, that the human heart has an ‘infinite abyss’ within, and that  “…this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself” (Blaise Paschal,  Pensées VII(425)). The Psalmist wrote,

“As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God. 
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?” (Psalm 42:1-2)

This winter, let the cold outside remind you of the harsh evil of the world…but let the warmth inside remind you of the Love of God, the Father in heaven, who wants us to experience the warmth that comes from knowing Him–through Jesus, the Christ.

“This is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”–John 3:16-17

Let this thought sink in: God–the God of the Universe–wants you to know Him! He created you, He loves you, and He has ‘Life to the Full’ planned for you–as you love Him and move toward Him by faith in Jesus. hot chocolate

My prayer is that, no matter how cold the world is outside, you would experience the Love of God on the inside…and that His love would change things for you!

 

 

 

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Pots and Kettles

If you are…ahem…at least ‘middle aged’, like I am, you have heard the phrase, ‘That’s like the Pot calling the Kettle black’.

It’s an idiom for hypocrisy–when person #1 accuses person #2 of doing the very thing that that person #1 is actually guilty of.

I always wondered: Where do phrases like that come from? According to my ‘extensive research’ (Urbandictionary.com and Wikipedia.com), it arose from centuries ago when people cooked over an open fire. They would use lead pots and copper kettles. Afterward they would clean and polish the kettles…but leave the pots untouched. This resulted in the pot becoming increasing sooty and black. It the pot were to look at the kettle and accuse it of being dirty, all it would actually be seeing is its own reflection.

 

Today in this world (especially in America) there is a whole lot of ‘Pots’ calling a great number of ‘Kettles’ black.

…and before you assume that you’re the shiny one, there’s a good bet that you’ve got some ‘soot’ on you.

So do I.

We all have a worldview–a point of view from which we interpret events in this world. That’s normal and fine. However, we have an increasing tendency to assume the worst in those who see things differently than us…and we tell them so, in Tweets, Facebook posts, or Blogs.

While it may be a good thing that we’re expressing our opinions, it doesn’t take a social scientist’s study to see that the net effect in our culture has been a coarsening of discourse. What used to be an occasional debate and disagreement has become a 24-hour-a=day, 7 day-a-week Twitter war, where each person tries to get a better ‘mic drop comeback’ to their opponent. Mic DropAll the while, relationships, families, and even our society is being ripped apart.

The result? We find ourselves increasingly marginalized and separated into smaller and smaller groups, where we share our ‘offenses’ that we’ve taken from others.

The thing that unites us is…division!

The ‘Left’ accuses the ‘Right’ of being ‘hatemongers who are power-hungry’, and the ‘Right’ accuses the ‘Left’ of being ‘anarchists who morally divisive’. One claims that the ‘other’ started it, and the other replies ‘did not–you did’!

Sort of sounds like a child’s playground argument, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Proverbs 26:20-21:

“Without wood a fire goes out;
    without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.”

 

Now, we have increasing animosity in the news. Terrorism in the mailboxes…violence against a synagogue…riots in Seattle–and that’s only in America over the past week!

Soon, we have an election.

I (along with many) are so tired of the commercials. It’s almost comical to stick through one commercial break in a news program. In just one commercial break–one commercial accuses the Republican, and the next commercial accuses the Democrat–of the same thing!

Question: Where will this end?

Truthful answer: We don’t know. It depends…on us! You and Me!

It is very possible that we’ll have increasingly violent attacks on Politicians, Religious institutions, and the very fabric of our nation.

…or, we can repent of our sinful pride, and seek to be peacemakers instead.

Will we–You and I–continue to throw logs on the fire?

Will we resort to childish ‘you started it’ arguments, or will we challenge ourselves to Rise Above, and seek respectful discourse, assuming the best about the other person along the way?

Some of you reading this right now have already answered ‘yeah, but…’.

STOP! Just STOP!

The enemy of our souls is fomenting an increase in selfishness and hostility, and it’s not going to end well!

That’s why it is CRUCIAL for those who are children of God, by faith in Jesus, that we stand up and love others…as we should. It is crucial that we Christians live out the things we say we believe and show the love that we’ve graciously been given. It is imperative that we remember that we are NOT ‘of this world’ and that our #1 priority is living for the glory of God–and pointing others to our eternal future, inviting them to come along.

1 Peter 2:9-17: 

“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

“Once you had no identity as a people;
    now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
    now you have received God’s mercy.”

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.

It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.”

THIS is what we were called to–not mud slinging…and not accusing others of the very sins that we, ourselves are committing.

They’ll know we are Christians by our love!

As for me, I am trying to raise the level of discourse with those who don’t see things the way I do.

I invite you all–Christian or not–to join me!

 

No Rest for YOU!

One of my favorite ‘Seinfeld’ episodes from years ago was called ‘Soup Nazi’. There was a chef in New York who was very temperamental, and IF you wanted soup from him, you had to make sure to conduct yourself according to his ‘code’ while in his shop…otherwise you’d here the phrase, “No soup for YOU!”, and you’d get kicked out. Soup Nazi

Fortunately for us, God’s approach is very different than that, however, many don’t understand that. In fact, many–outside the Church, and even inside of it–believe God to be like that temperamental chef, and if we ‘mess up’, He’s going to say something like ‘No Rest for YOU! No Salvation for YOU! No Grace for YOU!’

The truth is that, IF it were up to us–our heart and behavior–we would stand condemned. Not because God is irrational or moody, but because we have rebelled against His righteous, holy standards. By ourselves, we can do nothing to change that.

The Scriptures make it clear: Romans 3:23: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”; Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way”; Ephesians 2:1: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…”

That’s the ‘bad news’ of the Gospel.

Fortunately for us, however, God didn’t let it end there.

Instead, He provided for One–Jesus–to be the ‘Atoning Sacrifice’ for our sin, and to earn our forgiveness…the Perfect One substituting Himself for the imperfect ones…the Righteous One paying the price of us, sinners.

Romans 3:23-24:for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Ephesians 2:1-5: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time,gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

That’s the Good News of the Gospel!

Here’s the crucial…life-changing…ETERNAL Truth that YOU need to deal with:

God loves you and wants to welcome you in…but you need to repent of your sin and receive His forgiveness, by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

God wants us to have ‘Rest’…real, eternal rest!

‘Yes–Rest for YOU!

But…sadly, many of us would rather try to figure out our own answers.

We try to either: 1) Write God, Himself, off as an ‘invention’ of people who were more ‘primitive’, and less ‘enlightened’ than we are; 2) Convince God (and ourselves),  that we’re ‘not that bad’ and that we don’t really need His forgiveness or Jesus’ sacrifice; or 3) Show God that we’re going to try to ‘straighten up and fly right’, and that we’ll just try harder.

We invent ways to make ourselves righteous, hoping to placate Him.

This is nothing new.

The people of Israel, who should have known better, did it continually.

They would try to ‘figure out their own answers’, yet they’d miss God completely. Therefore, they’d be disciplined by God–out of His love, and for their own good–to bring them back to Himself.

He–their loving God and Heavenly Father–wanted to show them love and compassion…but it’s as if they said “NO!” “No Rest for ME!”

Isaiah 30:15-18:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
    Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
    Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
17 A thousand will flee
    at the threat of one;
at the threat of five
    you will all flee away,
till you are left
    like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
    like a banner on a hill.”

18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!”

We’re pretty similar to them.

We try to figure out our own answers…our own ‘solutions’ to our personal and societal problems. We figure that, if we can just pass the right laws, put the right safeguards in place, elect the right politicians, then we can ‘have rest’.

Yet, this will never be the case–as a society, or as an individual.

You and I CANNOT have real ‘Rest’ apart from Jesus the Christ…because, apart from Him, we remain dead…separated from God.

The GREAT news?

We don’t have to stay there!

Through repentance and faith, we can be forgiven–and have New Life, in Jesus!

Then–and only then–can we hope to hear, ‘Yes! Rest for YOU!’

 

 

What Can We Do?

My goodness!

There are LOTS of stressors in the world right now!

I look at the headlines from the last week–Political turmoil (what else is new?), Weather turmoil (Hurricane Florence is coming ashore as I write, with 3 ‘named’ storms churning out at sea and Super Typhoon Mangkhut is heading toward China and the Philippines); Gunmen killing people in California and in Ohio; Iran is threatening Israel and America (again)…On a personal level, several friends are dealing with cancers, diseases and even suicides of loved ones; Racial tensions continue to simmer; and the places many turn to for ‘escape’–sports and media–are rife with turmoil…all this, and we just observed the 17th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

All of this got me wondering the other day…

What Can We Do?

Is there anything you and I can do to ‘make it better’?

Even more specifically, I mean ‘What, if anything, does Christianity offer to this world?’ What can the Church–the people of God who believe in Jesus–do?

I remember on September 12th of 2001…and on September 16th, that Sunday…that churches across the nation were filled with people. They knew that we’d been made to feel vulnerable in a way that we were not accustomed to…and it shook them to their core. They knew that thousands of countrymen and women (and even children) had died–of all races and ethnicities. They knew that war was coming, but didn’t know what the result would be.

It was a nerve-wracking time…and many, many people had the sense to know that 1) their lives were out of their control, and 2) God was a good place to turn.

Then, over the weeks and months to come, the attacks stopped, our military struck back…hard…and the ‘crisis’ subsided. Most people went back to their previous ‘normal’ lives, and forgot their need for God again.

Now, September 13, 2018…with crises all around…are people turning to God?

Some are, but most aren’t.

Why?

Two reasons, I believe:

  1. Many more believe, today, that ‘man’ is the center of the universe, and that we can ‘figure it out’ ourselves. This ‘human spirit’ is very proud, very independent, and very self-sufficient…qualities that can be beneficial–but not when they inhibit us from humbling ourselves before our Creator, Redeemer, Savior and Lord.
  2. The Church of Jesus Christ…believers who have come to faith in Him…has not done a good job conveying the truth that Jesus Christ IS Lord, and that He IS Savior to all who call upon Him. In truth, we’ve acted as though He is ‘no big deal’, or ‘one option among many’. We’ve fit Him in to ‘the spirit of the age’ with our relativistic, humanistic mindset taking over our theology. Therefore, we convince ourselves that we have nothing ‘real’ to offer.

As a result, our world continues to teeter on the brink of catastrophe…not a circumstantial one, but a theological one. The catastrophe is this: We are being deceived by the enemy of our souls…and we are celebrating it as ‘liberation’.

Romans 1:21-32:

“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”

This world–and those who are buying in to it’s ‘man-centered’ philosophy…is on its own. You want meaning? Come up with it yourself!

You want hope? Out of luck!

You want peace? Find it within your own mind!

Some see this is good–the evolution of the spirit.

I see it–and all other Biblically-literate Christians see it–as a HUGE step backward, toward our own destruction.

We have bought the lies of ‘The Deceiver’ who “comes only to steal, kill, and destroy”, while rejecting Jesus, who came to give us “Life…to the Full”! (John 10:10)

This world is desperately in need of the Truth–not ‘my’ truth, but THE Truth!

Jesus said “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; No one comes to the Father, except by Me.” (John 14:6)

We–Believers in Jesus Christ–need to share that truth more fully, more boldly, and more lovingly than ever. We need to live that truth out–not simply in our morality and religious behavior, but in our love, service, and sacrifice. We need to invest everything into the eternal principles of the Kingdom of God–and reject the temporary promises of the ‘here and now’ mentality.

Point Betsie LighthouseWe need to shine–even more brightly as the world around us gets more ‘dark’. As the ‘Bride of Christ’, the Church is called to shine like ‘stars in the night sky’…a ‘light’ in the darkness!

As Paul wrote elsewhere, (Philippians 2:12–16): “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life…”

Our world NEEDS us to shine!

It needs us to point them, consistently and boldly, to Jesus Christ!

We do so in word, in deed, in attitude. We do it through love, grace, and truth.

The hope that He gives is definitely what this world needs!

Let’s do it!

Did Jesus Really ‘Mean’ It?

When Jesus was starting his public ministry, early on He went to His hometown of Nazareth.

He went to the synagogue, and offered to read. The scroll of the Prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, and He found the spot where he read…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,                                                                                                         and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.[f]”                                                                     He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”  (Luke 4:18-21)

Jesus was making a very bold claim…that He, Himself was the fulfillment of this prophecy–which had been looking forward to the Messiah!

He’s saying that HE is the Messiah!

Understandably, some of the people balked: “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22)

It is understandable that they wouldn’t believe Him, just because he made that claim…after all, they’d seen him grow up with their kids…he may’ve been ‘different’–more righteous, for example, but it’s understandable that they’d struggle with this at this point.

‘The proof’, as they say, ‘is in the pudding‘.

So…if they watched and listened to Him, what would they have seen?

The Gospels are filled with the ‘proof’.

Blind eyes are healed and made clear; Good News is preached to everyone–rich and poor; those possessed or oppressed by demons are rescued and given freedom, many are healed of long-term diseases, the dead are raised to life…miracles are done–wind and waves obey His command, food is multiplied at His word…

The proof is right there!

But one promise stands out, in my mind: “Captives (Prisoners) would be set free” (v. 18).

What did Jesus mean by that?open prison

We have no record, after all, of Jesus walking into jails around Capernaum and releasing the prisoners. No prisons in Jerusalem were destroyed…so what did He mean?

Perhaps it was a ‘captivity’ of the soul…perhaps a captivity of our emotions…perhaps a captivity of our addictions.

Surely, Jesus sets people who were ‘captive’ to fear, anxiety, and hopelessness free. Absolutely, He sets those who’ve been captured and enslaved by the false promise of a ‘high’ or ‘relief’ in the form of a drink, a drug, a sexual escape, or other ‘addictions’.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy” (and make false promises, and enslave, and shame, and threaten), “but I have come that they might have life…to the full!” (John 10:10).

“If anyone is in Christ, they are a New Creation! The old life is gone, New LIFE has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, emphasis mine.)

Leaning on Jesus…walking with Him, step by step, day by day, is THE way to deliverance, freedom, victory and healing! Only Jesus can give you the ‘real thing’ that was falsely promised to you by the enemy of your soul.

No one can fulfill those longings…other than Jesus.

Did Jesus ‘mean it’ when He promised to be The One who would heal, fulfill, and free?

Absolutely!

“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36)

So, how about it…is there something that YOU need release or healing from?

Jesus is The Source of that freedom!

Invitation

You know that feeling–

The feeling you get when you go to the mailbox to get your mail and find something unexpected? Not your typical bills and junk mail, but an envelope with your name on it that looks like a card, or an invitation?

 

You drop the other stuff on the counter, and grab that thing sent ‘just for you’. You open it (try not to get a paper cut), and see that it’s an invitation!

Invitation

Someone–one of your family, friends, coworkers or neighbors–has invited you to an ‘Event’. They thought enough of you to make sure you were on ‘the list’. You are apparently special enough to them to make sure they saved room for you!

What a special feeling that is! You matter!

Truth is, you and I are always ‘invited’ to be a guest. We’re invited to be part of The Event. We matter. We’re cared for.

God, Himself, has invited us!

He sent Jesus as ‘the Deliverer’ of that Invitation. Jesus delivered the message to YOU.

God loves YOU and wants YOU to be part of the festivities–where we worship, honor, and serve the Savior…the Lord…the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’.

What’s more, once you’re in, He invites you ever-deeper. He wants You to be close…to be at the ‘head table’ where the ones who are really special to Him are.

He doesn’t want you just ‘in the doorway’…

He wants you moving closer…because you matter!

Your seat is reserved!

Revelation 19:6-9:

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!
    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

This wedding is NOT something you want to miss!

You want to be there!

He’s inviting You to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior…and to an ever-deepening relationship with Him.

Answer to invitation! RSVP, through repentance for sin, faith in Jesus–the Lamb of God–and life in the Spirit!

I’ll see you there!

 

Power Source

Power.

One thing we all need, and it’s the key to progress.

If you have ‘power’, you can make improvements, invent new things, have comfortable environments, light up dark spaces, etc. When the power goes out, however, you’re stuck.

There seems to be a continual quest to invent/discover new ways of making power go further, or even new ways to get power–the wind and sun, for example.

The idea is that, if we could harness the power of nature, then it would be virtually limitless (and probably cheaper in the long run).

Power is attractive. It is interesting. Think of the stories you’ve read–whether fact or fiction. Very often, there’s a ‘power struggle’ in those stories.

The wildly-popular Avengers case in point. Avengers

In every Avenger’s story is a unique source of power–whether through discovery or accident, each one has a Power Source that makes them special. That’s part of the reason that we love ‘superhero’ movies so much–each has a unique and ‘special’ talent and source of power, and that makes us think that maybe WE have a unique source of power!

If you know me at all, you know that I really do believe that there is A SOURCE of real power–power for life,  power for meaning and purpose, power for eternity, etc. That Source of power is, of course, God.

To those who acknowledge and accept Him, God gives the power to live life the way it was designed to be lived–in submission to Him, in worship of Him, in following Him–for His glory and for our good!

The thing that many of us–even sincere, committed believers–miss, is that the Power comes from GOD, not from us. Not from ‘religion’, not from ‘church’, not from a ‘program’, not from a ‘strategy’…the power is in the RELATIONSHIP with God, through faith in Jesus! This ‘faith’ in Jesus–and the relationship it brings–is THE SOURCE of our Power to change.

Romans 1:16-17:

“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

If you are a ‘believer’, but are struggling hard to ‘make it work’, it could be because you’ve put the ‘product’–the ‘victorious Christian life’ before the ‘process’–knowing God more and more, through Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

There IS Power to live in healing, forgiveness, victory,  and freedom…and that all comes from walking closely with Jesus.

That’s why we talk at Kalamazoo Community Church about “Relentlessly pursuing an ever-deepening relationship with God”. This is the key to “Life to the full” (John 10:10) that Jesus promised!

Start TODAY to invest in the ‘relational’ aspects of faith–pray, worship, talk with God. These will help you learn not only ‘What’ to do, but the ‘Why’ as well–because of God’s love for you, and yours for Him.

There’s POWER…in the name of JESUS!