HOW TO GROW AS A CHRISTIAN

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

One of the greatest of human follies is to ignore God. God is at the center of the universe, at the center of all that is. To grow as a Christian, we must pay attention to what he says. He commands and instructs us to read his word. To ignore the Bible is, in effect, to ignore God. Most simply put, the Bible is God’s written word to every person. When we read it we find out that God’s will for us is is good. All Sixty six books of the Bible are inspired by God, and given to us that we may know about God, his will and purpose for our lives; how we may have a right relationship with God and how we can live an enjoyable, wholesome and good life.  If God, who created all things, cared enough to inspire and guide men to write the books of the Bible—then it behooves us to pay attention to what God has said!

I trust that the following suggestions will be encouraging and helpful:

1. Read the Bible and pray every day

“O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee and watch.” Psalm 5:3

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure enlightening the eyes.” Psalm 19:7,8

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, and who correctly handles the the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15

2. Attend Sunday Church services

“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work…” Exodus 20:8-10

“…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. “ Acts 2:42

3. Obey the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus

“…let every one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” I Corinthians 7:17

“Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their consciences when it is weak you sin against Christ.” I Corinthians 8:12

“For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” I Thessalonians 4:7,8

4. Participate in group Bible Study

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms…Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:12,17

5. Expect that you will grow in God’s grace

“And (Jesus) said, “take heed that you are not led astray, for many will come in my name, saying I am he! And, The time is at hand! Do not go after them. Luke 21:8

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2

6. Engage in being a witness for Christ

“…for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” Luke 21:15

“He who believes in him; he who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believed is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Luke 3:18

“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God, who tests our hearts.” I Thessalonians 2:4

IS THE BIBLE TRUE?

Either the Bible is the the inspired word of God or it is fraudulent. Jesus and the disciples recognized the whole of the Bible as the inspired word of God.  The preponderance of evidence weighs heavily on the side of the Bible as compared with other systems. Many reject the reliability of the scriptures on scanty evidence and faulty impressions. Every person will have some questions about the Bible. Because of the limitations of our knowledge and comprehension, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth as we study God’s word. As we do, and then live by the teachings of scripture, we experience the absolute reliability of the Bible.

Find out for yourself. READ IT!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

LIVING WITH GOD

Everything we have comes from God . . . and we give out of His hand!

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

LIFE IS FROM RELATIONSHIP

How do we enter this world?

All of us come out of our mother’s womb. I was delivered into this life in the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Chicago, IL, Sunday, 13 July 1930.

How do we live?

We are cared for by mother and father, and possibly by older siblings and family.

What are we to do?

Almost from the day of our birth, we begin to desire what is good and desirable for us. A baby makes its desires known by crying.  We all need food and clothing and a proper placement to grow physically and learn habitually and mentally. We are to live where our parents live, to be taught and provided for by them. We are naturally selfish, and early on we expect (demand) that our desires will be filled. As we grow physically and mentally, hopefully we will be taught principles by father and mother who talk about God, and read from the Bible. What father and mothers always want is an ideal child, and hope that they will do what is right. The desires of father and mother for the children may not be the same–and it is possible there will be disagreement. The child may be dissatisfied, too.

How are we to know how to live?

Do we not recognize that we are not a happenstance? That the Earth and all people and animals have a Creator? The Bible gives us the information that God is our Creator. As we would not be here without parents, we would not have life without Him. In the Bible, we learn that God cares for us. As a good parent, he gives us rules that we should live by, with the Ten Commandments as an example. Through them we find out that God loves us, and that we are to love one another. Love is the capacity to desire good for others, and to be moved to help others. The children are to love their parents, and the parents to love their children.

However, we find ourselves in the midst of good and evil; of truth and falsehood of caring and indifference, and encounter ideas that are bad for us. Early on there are challenges as to what path we may take.

WE ARE CHALLENGED WITH SERIOUS PROBLEMS

1. Single moms account for 41% of infant births in the USA.

2. Children today are obsessed with cell phones, TV, computer games, texting, and pornography.

3. A large percentage of children today have become selfish, disrespectful, and unappreciative of what they have.

GOD IS THE EXAMPLE

There are many challenges, but we can rejoice that God is the example, in that he loves us, in spite of our sins. Since he created us, he knows what we are made of. He understands our needs and seeks our welfare. As we are born into this world through relationship with our parents,  we can be born into a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Children are fortunate who have parents with faith in God, who read and believe the teachings that are found in the Bible, and can introduce us to him.

We are fortunate to get guidance through good parents, through study of the Bible and through the fellowship with other believers. Even if not, God has equipped every human being with a conscience, that makes us feel guilty or satisfies us. God guides us through the Holy Spirit  to sense the challenge of good and evil. We can choose either to live in a relationship with God or without a relationship. We are equipped with the ability to think. We are enabled to examine and consider. We make decisions either good or bad—and we live with the consequences.

We are challenged in what we read in the Bible. We may be tempted by the society in which we live. We may associate with friends who are a good influence upon us, or with others who lead us in bad paths. How do we discern the difference, or do we care? Do we respect the wisdom of God, or do we rebel against it.

Why are we inclined to what is bad?

There are good amusements, and there are bad, even awful amusements. The primary challenge comes out of the Bible. God teaches us through the prophets, Jesus Christ, and the apostles. We have a number of books that deal with issues of wisdom or folly. The problem may be an erroneous aptitude or seeking the favor of a crowd who do not honor God.

WE NEED A GOOD EXAMPLE

We should follow Jesus in his examples and teachings for our lives. Just as we need good food to eat that will strengthen us, we need truth that will guide us:

I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Hebrews 12:1,2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings to closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

GOOD EXAMPLES AT GREEN LEAF PRESS

On our Green Leaf Press Book List, we have a number of books that illuminate what is good and what is bad.

For example: “Stealing From God”, by Frank Turek;

The Devil’s Delusion”, David Barlinski;

The Rage Against God”, Peter Hitchens.

You can find these and other great Christian Books on our Green Leaf Press web page, where we give a 35% discount and even pay for shipping!

Though the world is in turmoil in the Middle East, in South Korea, in Afghanistan, in many of the countries of Africa with despots governing, seeking welfare for themselves, and not caring for their people, God surveys our lives, our sins and hopes and beliefs. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world!

Psalm 121:7,8: “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life,. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and for evermore.”

Here’s wishing you a Relationship with God!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

THE ANSWER IS JESUS

“In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”~ Psalm 16:11

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We believe that God loves us and cares for us, but there are times when we feel upside down. It could be our children, our health or our job, or trouble with people who are important to us. Or it could be our concern for the problems in the United States and in the world.

What do we do when problems engage us?

We believe that Jesus is the answer. The Bible teaches that God is willing and gracious, pleading with us to return to him and to receive his love. Though he is offended by our sin. God teaches us the truth of his word, and draws us to himself. He has personally involved himself in the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection.

God sent his Son, Jesus, by the Virgin Mary. When Jesus came of age, he performed miracles, bringing dramatic healing to many. Jesus is the leader of all who will follow him. We may be Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox et. al. We must recognize that our leader is Jesus. He is the founder and leader of the entire church.

Jesus is a first-class example for us

His mission was to teach, heal and build. We are to pay attention to his teachings. We are to learn from his compassion. He tells us that he will forgive us, and we are to forgive others. The leaders of the Jews in Jerusalem, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees did not welcome Jesus as a gift from God. Under the Roman leadership, this group lived well, and were an important part of the government.

Thousands of people in Israel sought Jesus’ teachings, his authenticity, and his power to heal. His success did not go down well with the leaders in Jerusalem. They wanted him to be out of the way, and they sought to kill him. Jesus knew what was ahead; he had spoken to his disciples that he would be killed and that he would rise again. You remember his prayer at the Mount of Olives:

“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Then Judas betrayed him and led a group of soldiers to arrest him in the Garden of Gethsemane.

“When morning came, all of the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death, and they bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor.” (Matthew 27:1,2)

The leaders of the Jews took Jesus to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Pilate questioned Jesus. His conclusion was that Jesus was innocent. Jesus had not broken any laws. A crowd of the Jews yelled for his crucifixion, and warned Pilate that they would send word to Rome that Pilate had not been cooperative.

Pilate gave in and ordered the crucifixion – an unbelievably painful execution. Along with that, were derision and insults from the soldiers. All four gospels give us the picture of the crucification. If you follow their accounts, you witness incredible cruelty!

At the time of his death, Jesus cried out, “It is finished”. (John 19:30)

Yes, he died. He was the Father’s sacrifice for our sins. Sin requires payment and Jesus took the guilt upon himself and bore the punishment for our sins. Because of the mercy of God, we can look to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

Jesus is our example in giving up his life for our salvation. He is our example in the way that he spoke in parables, with reason, and teachings from the Old Testament. We who believe in Jesus have the responsibility of telling people about him. God is not indifferent to our sin. He seeks to speak to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, convicts our consciences, teaches us the truth of his word – and draws us to himself.

Disobedience to God brings suffering to the world

 It was evident to the honest and open minded person, that the power of God was working through the miracles of Jesus Christ. God created us moral and responsible beings, and His will is for our good. He has given us the great responsibility to love him, serve him, follow him—or choose to reject him. Much of the time suffering is a consequence of sin.  Not all misfortune that befalls individuals is the result of a person’s own misdeeds. but all of the misery and unhappiness—all that is unfortunate—derives from the willful disobedience of people to the will of God. It is a reminder of the awfulness of sin; that all Creation suffers because of man’s rebellion against God. Sometimes the picture becomes very dark, but the awfulness of this condition need not persist. In His mercy and love, God has provided the way, in Jesus. He IS the Way, the Truth and the Life. In His presence there will be no crying, no tears, no death, no sadness, no sorrow.

Will we ever fully understand what Christ has done for us?

Wishing God’s Love and Life for YOU,

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

READING THE BIBLE

“For ever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.”~ Psalm 119:89

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.” ~Psalm 119:105

In the summer of 1944 I had come from Sand Springs, Oklahoma to spend the summer in Los Angeles with my aunt and grandmother, as I had done in 1939 and 1942. In those summers I attended Immanuel Presbyterian Church on Wilshire Blvd. I was impressed with the preaching and teaching, and the great organ in the worship service. The summer of 1944 I went with a group of high school students from Immanuel to attend a summer conference at the Presbyterian Conference Grounds at Big Bear Lake. That one week made a great impression on me. It was on the last day that we were given a paper to make a commitment: that we believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior. I affirmed, knowing that I had already believed and had been baptized. The second question was on tithing. That was a bit above my head, and I skipped it. I think that I started tithing when I was a senior in high school. The third question was, will you read your Bible every day? I responded that I would. I have kept that promise, and believe that it was one of the most important decisions I have made in my life.

I hope that you have the commitment of daily Bible reading. It encourages us, it guides us—and God speaks to us in it. I continue to be amazed that the text which I read often speaks directly to my daily experience. The Bible is indeed the word of God! There is nothing more important, than our relationship with our Savior. God’s word is true:

“God is not a man, that he should lie.” ~Numbers 23:19

 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”~Luke 21:33 

Why should you read the Bible?

1. The Bible is considered the most important book in the world. It was the first book to be printed by Gutenberg in Germany, 1455 A.D. It has been a perennial best seller—outselling all other books year after year and has been translated into more languages than any other book.  The Bible has had greater influence upon at, literature, ethics, and culture than any other writing. A great deal of the world’s conversations presume a knowledge of the Bible.

2.The Bible is God’s message to you. It reveals God’s great love and care for you and is earnestly concerned for your well being. God desires a personal relationship with you.

3. The Bible teaches us the purpose and meaning of life.

4. As you gain knowledge of the Bible you will become a happier and better person.

5. God wants us to know him. He instructs us to read his word. God is at the center of the universe, at the center of all of life, at the center of all that is. To ignore the Bible is, in effect, to ignore God.

How to Study the Bible?

I have written a basic book on the study of the Bible: So You Want to Study the Bible. It has 64 pages. I believe that it can be helpful to almost anyone. There is considerable information related to the study of the Bible. It includes a section on daily Bible reading for a year. (Keep reading below, to see how you can get a free copy sent to you!)

This book will tell you some basic facts about the Bible. It will give you guidelines for study. It will encourage you to begin with a one year daily reading plan that will guide you to the most important passages throughout the Old and New Testament. It contain sufficient background information so that you can have an understandable framework as you read in the Bible. Each day’s selected passages will take you no more that three to five minutes to read. You will not, of course, read everything in the bible in a year following this plan—only about one-fifth of the total contents of the Bible. But you will have read a most important one-fifth, and you will have laid a foundation to continue a lifetime of profitable and enjoyable Bible study. You will find this plan on pages 46-50. You can refer to it immediately, and begin using it as you read through this book.

I would like to send you a free copy of my book, So You Want to Study the Bible – nothing required except to ask for it, no cost, and no strings attached. You can contact me at fjshannon@sbc global.net or foster@glp880.net. My cell phone, 323 493 0714.

Warmest Wishes,

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

HEAVEN

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

IS THERE A HEAVEN?

What is Life about? The beginning, the middle, the end? Do we just live, or is there a purpose to our lives? For some people, their aim is just to ‘get by’. Thankfully, the Bible gives us instructions – so we can have a good life here on earth and in the world to come.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

This passage from the Bible reminds us that there is a good life to be lived. But what about the end, death and burial and mourning?

The Word of God affirms that there is something great beyond this life for all who have believed in and entrusted themselves to Jesus Christ. The believer will dwell with God forever in Heaven.

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the first born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of the just man made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.” (Hebrews 12:22-24)

ALL WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST ARE DESTINED FOR HEAVEN

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building form God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.” (II Corinthians 5:1)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)

“But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20,21)

LIFE HERE ON EARTH IS FAR FROM PERFECT

The life that God calls us to, is incredibly better than what we see here on earth. When we look about we see the evidence all too often. The terrible crimes in Chicago, the awful behavior of Stephen Paddock, who murdered fifty people in Las Vegas and wounded 400 more, and Harvey Weinstein, a prominent and successful in Hollywood, who sexually harassed scores of women. We could go on, including Isis in the Middle East and Kim Jong-Un in North Korea and more.

However, we do not want to demean this life. There are many good people who believe in, and honor God here on earth.  For those who love God, the best is yet to come.

WHAT IS HEAVEN LIKE?

It is being a new person. It is being akin to Christ. It is being with God and seeing the magnificence and beauty of his glory!

“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will! Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!” (Psalm 103:19-22)

God calls us to his life and into his kingdom—in this life and in the life to come.

We have many reasons to rejoice!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

GOD’S BLESSING ON THE WORLD WE LIVE IN

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Finally, brethren whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:6-9)

What we see in the Bible is to encourage and teach us. This passage, from the book of Philippians is characteristic of the biblical teaching on how we should live.

Where do we get this kind of thinking and doing?

We have the Ten Commandments, the teachings of our Saviour, and the words of the prophets.

How do we know that this comes from God? Because it is radiating from beginning to end.

The consequences of ignoring God are like a spiritual car wreck.

It is evident that many people believe that they can live their lives without God. We live in a day when many are unhappy and confused. Many actually state that they do not believe in the reality of God. Or they may believe that there is a God—but they don’t care!

For 4000 years the Bible has affirmed God as the creator:

Where do we come from? What makes us what we are? Is our existence an accident without any explanation? How can we recognize what is right and wrong without the Bible?  The Bible affirms the reality of God from the beginning of the world. He created our world, and he created us. It is dangerous to ignore God and his teachings. We would not have such learning if it were not for God.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep; and the spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1,20)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)

The word of God – and the presence of the Holy Spirit— enables us and gives us confidence.

“In many and various ways, God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God, and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)

How shall we live?

The Bible teaches us to be better people:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in the wrong, but rejoices in what is right. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7)

What helps us to believe effectively?

  • Cultivate friends who believe in and respect God.
  • Worship God at home, and in the Church.
  • Read good books that strengthen your understanding and your faith.

Here is a spiritual challenge:

Look up the 65 books in the Green Leaf Press website: www.gogreenleaf.com

Order at least one book, and when finished reading it, order another! This will strengthen your faith and your ability to speak convincingly with the people of this world.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” ~Eph. 6:10

Dr. Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

THE GREATNESS OF CHRISTIANITY

“Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet and Light Unto My Path” ~Psalm 119:105

God does not leave us alone.

Life was not a colossal, unexplainable accident! 

His Word lights our way. What does it reveal?

1. God Created the Heavens and the Earth and all life.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1,2

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was light and the light was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

“In many and various ways, God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1,2)

2. God teaches us the difference between truth and falsehood, and between good and bad.

“Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, If you continue in my word you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:11,12)

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare unto you the things that are to come.” (John 16:12,13)

“But the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord.” (II Chronicles 18:15)

“Oh Lord who shall sojourn in thy tent? Who shall dwell on thy holy hill? He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart; who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;” (Psalm 15:1-3)

3. Jesus teaches us to help other people.

No one loses their light when they share it with another!

“[Jesus] said also to the man who had invited him, When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they invite you also in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the maimed, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14)

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (I Corinthians 4:4-7)

4. God gives us directions for a worthwhile life.

He has purpose for our lives. Our Heavenly Father looks out for our welfare – for our own happiness—and to be a help to others.

“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:20)

“For I know I have the plans for you says the Lord, plans for your welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me, and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places.” Jeremiah 29:11-14)

5. God makes us the best men and women.

They are the best because they love God, they study his word, they obey his teachings and are thoughtful and caring of others. I believe God sees the family as the building block of society. He teaches us to treat others the way we would have them treat us.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Luke 6:31) 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” (Luke 6:27)

6. He promises us an eternity in his presence.

Death will not destroy us.

“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who is thirsty,  come – let him who desires, taste the water of life without price!” ( Revelation 22:17)

In God we find salvation, goodness, and hope.

“And this is the testimony – That God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may KNOW that you HAVE eternal life!” (1 John 5:11-13)

ENJOY that LIFE!

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.” (Luke 8:16)

Share your light!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

GOOD NEWS

God is the Creator of the Universe and of all that there is of the animal and plant life, and creator of all of us.

He is our Sovereign. Whether or not we realize it, we depend upon him for our lives, our shelter, for our food and for our well-being. It is only appropriate that we worship and adore him – praying to the one that made us and guides our way.

“In him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:27)

We call upon our God, our Savior to teach us, to forgive us and keep us on the right path.

GOD’S GUIDANCE:

The Ten Commandments:

I. You shall have no other gods before me.

II. You shall not make for yourself a graven image. You shall not bow down to them or serve them.

III. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

IV. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

V. Honor your father and your mother.

VI. You shall not murder.

VII. You shall not commit adultery.

VIII. You shall not steal

IX. You shall not bear false witness against you neighbor.

X. You shall not covet.

There are many other teachings, that are important for us.

Jesus condensed the all-important truths into this one in Matthew 7:12:

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”

WE HAVE ALL SINNED

In the Bible all are referred to as sinners. That may jar us— but it means we must humble ourselves before him. Many places in the Bible remind us that we have fallen short. We have ‘missed the mark’, by not honoring God or obeyed his teachings. We have not fully kept the teachings of the Ten Commandments, nor have we kept other commandments as we look through the Bible. We have sinned in thought, word and deed.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27)

“And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell. James 3:5,6)

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~Romans 3:23

HOW CAN A HOLY GOD FORGIVE OUR SINS?

We must seek his forgiveness. He invites us to repent of our sins and seek his forgiveness.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” !1 John 1:9

IT IS GOD’S PURPOSE TO SAVE SINNERS

The consequences of suffering were fulfilled by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ paying the penalty for our sins on the cross. We reckon with our sin by seeing God’s forgiveness, knowing that our Heavenly Father will forgive us if we confess our sins and ask for his forgiveness. What we are to do is to face the truth, recognize what God has taught, and to confess our sins to him. We know that Christ our Savior has suffered the penalty for our sins that we may be forgiven.

The mercy, kindness, and forgiveness of God is seen in the parable of the workers who worked in the vineyard hour by hour. They were hired one by one to work until the evening. When the end of the day had come, the workers got in line to be paid. Each one was give a denarius from the last to the first. The early ones grumbled that the last ones had been paid the same.

Jesus said, “…take what belongs to you, and go; I chose to give to this last as I gave to you. Am I not allowed to do as I chose with what belongs to me?… So the last will be first and the first last.” (Matthew 20:1-16)

God is merciful. Where there is life, there is hope!

HOW CAN WE LIVE A GOOD LIFE?

If we have already reckoned with our sins before God, then what are we to do?

CAN we be the people that he would have us be? How do we find his favor? He tells us:

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” ~Colossians 2:6

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1,2)

“He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he it is who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

“Now to him is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.” ~Jude 1:24.

Amen.

THAT’S GOOD NEWS!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

A TERRIBLE EVENT

“…THOU SHALT NOT KILL…”

The acts of Nikolis Cruz, 19 years of age, in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida—stunned, appalled, and dismayed us in killing fifteen students and teachers and wounding others. He had a fixation on weaponry. Nikolis Cruz hated Jews and Negroes and neighbors and classmates knew that he was a big problem. It is likely that he was involved in a militant white nationalist group called the Republic of Florida.

We are aware of similar acts in recent years: “In one of the deadliest mass shooting incidents on record in the US, at least 50 people were killed and over 200 injured on Sunday outside the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Sunday, October 1, 2017.” Why do people behave in this way? What gives them the desire to slaughter unarmed innocent people? We have experienced a score of such behaviors in the last twenty years.

The Lord instructs us, Exodus 20:13 “You shall not kill.” Romans 1:29, “They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit” Revelation 9:21, “nor did they repent of their murders, their sorceries or their immorality or their thefts.” Murder, murderer, murderous, are mentioned as sins about sixty times in the English Bible.

Cruz told investigators “that he heard voices in his head, giving him instructions on what to do to conduct the attack, describing them as demons.”

“Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith,” I Peter 5:8,9 “For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of the darkness.” I Thessalonians 5:5

We need a spirit of rejecting Satan, and of receiving guidance from the scriptures.

Many people say why are these things happening to me? It is probable that they lack the teachings and glory of God.

It is God who teaches us what is good. It is God who warns us of evil. He gives us the Ten Commandments in Exodus. He instructs us to live worthy lives. He teaches us to model our lives like Jesus and the apostles. We are to be students of the word of God. All of us need a close relationship with our Savior. It is Tragic that many people live as if God does not exist! When a person lives without God, he or she is destined for destruction.

“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” Psalm 53:1

God is our Creator. He makes us in his image. For our benefit, he teaches us what is good, what is desirable, and warns us of what is harmful and awful. Here are some of the works that Christians should engage themselves in:

  • Read at least one chapter in the Bible every day.
  • Attend Sunday worship regularly.
  • Confess you sins to God, and ask for his daily guidance.
  • Let him speak to you out of the Scriptures.

He wants us to have good lives, not disasters that we have brought on ourselves. The United States of America needs what God teaches. We need to be set free from actions and desires that disrupt us. To be close to God is good. To be distant from Jesus our Savior is bad and harmful.

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” ~James 4:8

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

TRANSFORMATION

person helping someone up

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1)

We need to be students of the Bible, the word of God, so we will know what is right and recognize what is wrong. Every Christian should read at least one chapter in the Bible every day. It is better to do even more.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea from Friday, February 9 to Sunday, February 25, 2018. The events include Ski Jumping, Cross Country Skiing, Bobsled, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey, and much more. One thing we can be sure of—the participants have been preparing for a long time. They would not think of participating without preparation! They are an example to us all.

Our Savior tells us to bear witness for him, so that others can believe in and follow him. I think that most Christians recognize that we need to prepare to share our faith with others and even to teach others. We not only need to lift other up, but we need to be encouraged, too:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” (Matthew 5:13)

“Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;” (I Peter 3:15)

“You then my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:1,2)

“…but how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)

Chuck Colson was a sharp attorney who served as a special counsel to President Nixon from 1969 to 1973. He was known for his toughness and ruthlessness, and he became involved in the Watergate Scandal. As a result he was arrested, tried, and sentenced to prison. He had to rethink what life was about; what was truly worthy. A friend gave him a copy of Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. He read it, and came to faith in Christ and to trust in the Bible. As a result, he became a strong witness for Jesus Christ. He founded Prison Fellowship. For more than 40 years, Prison Fellowship has been going into correctional facilities, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those behind bars. He is the author of twelve books, including the inspirational classic, THE GOOD LIFE, available at GreenLeaf Press.

Chuck Colson has been an example and an encouragement to many who found new life in Jesus Christ. He commented on the matter of preparation for Christians: “Most professing Christians don’t know what they believe, and so can neither understand nor defend the Christian faith–much less live it. Many of the things we tell non-believers do not represent real Christianity.”

Maybe Chuck Colson has been a little tough on us, however, his words are worth considering.  We can all become better informed so we can help others who lack knowledge of true Christianity.

I have worked with Green Leaf Press since 1980. We sell a selection of Christian books that we believe will help inform and encourage many. I would challenge you to go to our website, www.gogreenleaf.com and find at least one book that will nourish and encourage you.

One way we can help others is to be like Chuck Colson’s friend, who gave him a book that changed his life!

Here are some books that you might look for:

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis;

God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis;

Answering Questions People ask about Christianity, Foster Shannon;

7 WOMEN AND THE SECRET OF THEIR GREATNESS by Eric Metaxas:

7 MEN: AND THE SECRET OF THEIR GREATNESS by Eric Metaxas;

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (God’s Anointed Servant in the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century  Arnold A. Dallimore, Crossway;

William Wilberforce (The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner), William Hague.

The Major Themes of the Bible, Foster Shannon (designed for Bible study groups).

There are many more!

Thank you.

Foster H. Shannon

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!