BLESSINGS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

“…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:19

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The Bible is full of gems. One of those is Asaph, who was of the tribe of Levi. He was appointed by King David to be a musical leader of his people.

I Chronicles 15;16, “David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brethren as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals to raise sounds of joy. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren Asaph the son of Berechiah;”

I Chronicles 15:19, The singers Heman, Asaph, and Ethan are to sound bronze cymbals;”

I Chronicles 16:4-7, “Moreover [David] appointed certain of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the Lord to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Asaph was the chief,… Asaph was to sound the cymbals and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brethren”

Asaph was a musician, a poet, and the author of many Psalms inspired by the Holy Spirit. His first Psalm is number 50. His Psalms then continue in Book III. Psalms 73 to 83. These are surely wonderful Psalms. They speak a great deal of our lives today. I encourage you to read and to re-read them. You will find blessing and encouragement.

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (70:14,15)

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (73:26)

“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my strength and my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.” (73:28)

“I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; yea, I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate on all thy work, and muse on thy mighty deeds.” (73:11,12)

“Pour out thy anger on the nations that do not know thee, and on the kingdoms that do not call on thy name!” (79:6)

“Restore us, O God; let thy face shine, that we may be saved.” (80:3)

“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would have none of me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. (81:11.12)

“I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (81:16)

“so do thou pursue them with thy tempest and terrify them with thy hurricane!” (80:15)

“Let them know that thou alone, whose name is the Lord, art the most high over all the earth.” (83:18)

These passages were written in the days of David (1040-970 BC). We see how consistent God is in all of his teachings, reminding us of his greatness and glory, and inviting us to believe in him, and to be faithful to him. Alas, those who turn their backs on him shall perish. We add these passages from the Old Testament, recognizing their harmony with what we read in the New Testament. We are reminded that God loves us; that he calls us to trust in him, and we shall belong to him forever.

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!




 

OUR GOD IS GREAT!

Flood victims rescued during the Texas hurricane.  Photo thanks to ABC News

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“So whatever you wish that men do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

HURRICANE HARVEY hit the south coast of Texas with immense power. The cities of Houston, Galveston, Port Arthur, and Corpus Christi experienced staggering destruction. The damage was amazing. The heavy seas wrought devastating wreckage on the Gulf shores. The rainfall set a record over previous hurricanes, with the rain being measured in feet rather than in inches. We could see cars covered with water. The main floors of a multitude of homes were filled with water. Homes and businesses were transformed into disaster; many were completely destroyed. Amazingly and fortunately, there were very few deaths. Possibly one hundred thousand had no home or apartment to go home to. Emergency facilities sheltered an amazing number of people. The water level was such that hundreds of cars and trucks were buried.

To see what we saw was devastating! The destruction was beyond calculation. The losses to a great number were more than extensive. But we saw something else: people helping people with their boats and with their trucks and walking with them in water up to their waists. There was an evident spirit that “we will build again”, and that their jobs and places for living would be restored.

Many teachings in the Bible emphasize that we are to help one another. We were moved and delighted when we saw a family that had taken 16 people in their home. The lady went three times to a filling station to bring them to their house. They were literally rejoicing that they could help.

“And one of them a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And [Jesus] said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 “And let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

Surely, we have seen the fulfillment of these teachings in the Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, the Salvation Army, Churches and in contributions from many businesses. We recognize that many were moved to give help simply because of the need–but many also gave because our Savior had taught them to.

The power of the seas and the winds remind us of the greatness and power of God, and bring us to pray to him for relief. We shall surely see the healing that God will bring.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:7,8

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!




 

JOY AND HAPPINESS WITH GOD

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds; his name is the Lord, exult before him! “ Psalm 68:3,4

Hopefully, most of us want to be happy—that we enjoy our life and live in a way that is good for us and for others. Happiness has to do with our relationships with other people. It can be bright or it can be dark.

“David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brethren as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments on harps and lyers and cymbals to raise sounds of joy.” I Chronicles 15:16

“Then they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” And all of the people went after him, playing on pipes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.” I Kings 39,40

One source of joy and happiness—is accomplishment. We undertake a building project that turns out well. We study and gain understanding. We become proficient with a musical instrument. We train our children under the guidance of God, and see them blossom as they grow. When we complete our studies in high school, in university, in advanced education. The result is joy although the process may be difficult.

“As we come into belief and faith in God, we find joy: “there are many who say, O that we might see some good! Lift up the light of thy countenance upon us O Lord! Thou hast put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” Psalm 4:6,7

Jesus said: “If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love, just as I have  kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken unto you that my joy may be ln you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:10,11

Joy has to do with our relationship with our Savior. If we believe in him, we have confidence. If we study his word, we have satisfaction. If we pray we grow in grace. On the other hand, if we deny the Father and the Son, we are likely to be confused. If we disobey the teachings of our Lord, we are much more likely to be frustrated and unhappy. God teaches us for our welfare, that things may go well for us. God does not want to hurt us, he wants to help us. He understands us better than we understand ourselves. We need to keep close to him in reading the Bible, in worshiping in church, in talking to him daily, seeking forgiveness of our sins, seeking guidance in what we do, Closeness to God makes happiness possible.

To go against the grain is tough. Some of the failures and disappointments that we have result from our distance from God. He is our Creator. He is our Savior. God is our sustainer. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to have a good life. To the degree that we stay with him we can be of help and encouragement to others.

“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 assembly of the first born that are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.” Hebrews 12:22-24

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!




 

WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVING OUR LORD

1 Chronicles 29:14b “…Everything comes from You, and all we give comes from Your hand.”

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

In 1960; President, John F. Kennedy, said in his Inaugural address,

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” 

The message was that if we receive, we are to give. It is disappointing to run into people whose only concern is what they can get. We receive great riches in Jesus Christ: He teaches us how to properly live our lives. He nurtures and strengthens us. He paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. We are his children. It is appropriate for us to become his servants.

BELIEF—WORSHIP—SERVING

It is most important that we hear the word of God; that we believe in Jesus Christ; that we affirm him as our Savior and are baptized. We ask God to guide us and to care for us. We are to honor him and to obey him. God calls us to serve him. He gives us gifts that fit; that are appropriate:

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are vanities of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (I Corinthians 12:4-7)

We who believe in Christ are called upon to serve God.

“And these words which I command you this day shall be on your hearts; and you shall teach them diligently to your children.” (Deuteronomy 6:6) 

“Keep my commandments and you will live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 7:2,3) 

“And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20)

“But you shall received power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, in Samaria and to the end of the world.” (Acts 1:8) 

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom…”  (Colossians 3:16) 

“I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”  (Jude, verse 3)

“…and what you have heard from me before many witness entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)

“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.” (Hebrews 12:1)

“You are the light of the world….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13 & 16)

We are to bow before the authority of our Lord! We are to grow in his grace. We are to expect opportunities to serve him. We are to prepare ourselves so that we can adequately give others reasons to believe.

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!




 

SANCTIFICATION

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6;1,2)

I hope that you find what follows to be of encouragement and help: Sanctification may sound extra religious to many people. But sanctification represents good news. In essence it means that we can become better people in our walk with Jesus Christ. The Bible puts considerable value in sanctification. The words sanctify and sanctification are found throughout the Bible about seventy times.

Sanctification brings good news to us. It means that God is going to make us better people; that we may grow in his grace. Sanctification means that with the teaching of the scriptures and our obedience to our God, our lives will give evidence that we belong to Jesus Christ. We cannot claim to be perfect. We still struggle with sins in our lives, and must come to our Savior for his forgiveness.

When we look around us, we see and hear of things that we do not like; that offend us: stealing, lying, violence, killing; some parents abusing their children; husbands and wives disrespecting and harming one another. God has a better life for each one of us. We are not alone in the process of living. God stands by us .

“I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.” (Romans 6:19)

“So put away all malice and guile and insincerity and envy and all slander. Like newborn babies long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (I Peter 2:1-3)

“I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:9)

“Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctify you.” (Leviticus 20:7, 8)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin with 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 12:1,2)

“Now to him, who by the power at work within us, is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20)

It is good news that God is enabling better people! We are not on our own, we have a great God to help us!

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 BLESS AMERICA!

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Yesterday, we sat with some friends to view eastward the San Gabriel Valley from our balcony that is on a ridge about 300 feet above the Valley Floor. The fireworks celebrations, in surrounding cities and homes, was impressive. It underlines the importance of the Declaration of Independence. Today is one day after the fourth of July, one of the great celebrations of our nation. It was on the fourth of July, 1776 that fifty-six prominent men signed the Declaration of Independence. Forty were members of churches. The others were either Deists or Unitarians. The largest church number was twelve Presbyterians.

What was the basis for political separation of twelve colonies from Great Britain? The colonists viewed King George III (1738-1820)as a tyrant seeking to dominate the thirteen colonies from the British Isles. What was their rationale? It was that God was sovereign, and that he willed freedom for his people. The king had ordered unreasonable taxes on the colonies. He had sent British troops and German mercenaries to bring the colonies under his will.

What was the rationale of the colonists?: That a sovereign God had given them freedom. What follows is the beginning statement of the Declaration of Independence:

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, their separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinion of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

…“appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,”…“And, for the support of the declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

The background of this declaration was the Great Awakening led by Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert Tennent, John Wesley, and George Whitefield, “The Great Awakening was an evangelical and revitalization movement that swept Protestant America and especially the American Colonies in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving a permanent impact on American Protestants “ (Wikipedia)

Whitefield had a great love for America. He sailed to America in 1739, 1744, 1754, 1764, and 1769. He drew exceedingly large crowds, and made an impressive impact. He became a friend of Deist Benjamin Franklin, who published many of his sermons, in his weakly paper. Franklin was awestruck with Whitefield’s oratorical power. The result of the Great Awakening was that a great foundation was laid for the Declaration of Independence, 13 July 1776!

We believe that the Bible is the word of God, that it is given to us through prophets and apostles. The Bible emphasizes truth and condemns lying and deceit. It reminds us that God is sovereign, and that we are to believe and honor him. He teaches us to treasure what is right and to avoid what is wrong. Selfishness, cheating, stealing, lying, deceiving can do great damage to any society. The Bible teaches us to respect and help others:

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so for them; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

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 BOOK OF A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER

Paul writing from prison in Rome (Illustration from a 19th Century Bible)

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

One of the reasons that we value the Bible is that God speaks to us personally as we read the scriptures. I believe that a wonderful personal word for us is found in Colossians. The Apostle Paul writes from prison in Rome. Whatever situation he is in—he is engaged in serving his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He addresses those who are in Colossae. Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament are written by Paul. The saints (members of the church) have heard the gospel and have believed in Jesus.

Colossae was one of many Churches in the Roman province of Asia. It is from this province that the name, Asia, later extended from the Aegean Sea to the Bearing Straits. Epaphras, a close associate of the Apostle Paul, brought Christ to Colossae. It was Paul who came to Asia, established himself at Ephesus, and directed the work of Christ in the province of Asia. The letter was addressed to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae

Paul speaks his hope for the church at Colossae:

“And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:9-14)

The above quotation is an incisive message of God to each of us. This is what he wants for us:

That we may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will

That we may absorb God’s spiritual wisdom and understanding

That we may lead a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him

That we may bear fruit as we increase in the knowledge of God

That we may receive strength according to God’s glorious might

That we will be delivered from the dominion of darkness

That we might be transferred to the kingdom of Jesus Christ

That we might be redeemed and forgiven of our sins

Some additional teachings from Colossians:

“…as therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6,7)

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices.” (Colossians 3:9)

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

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!




 

WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU!

Jesus And The Children, by Ruth Elliott, 2003

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Please forgive me for being late with this week’s Blog. We intend to post it every other Wednesday. Janis and I recently returned from a ten day trip to Hawaii that was very good. As a result we had to do some catching up when we came back!

All of us who have children, have hopes and desires for them. We would like to be a good example to our children, we would like for them to grow in knowledge and understanding. As they grow, we hope that they will choose a good path for their lives; that they will choose goodness over evil. Faith in Christ, plus high regard for the teachings in the Bible gives great support for the future that we hope for.

We receive good guidance from the teachings that we find in the letter of Paul to the Colossians. He writes this letter while in prison in Rome. Whatever situation we find him in—he is engaged in serving his Savior, Jesus Christ. Twelve of the twenty-seven New Testament books were written by Paul He was a great traveler for Jesus Christ, by road or by ship. He covered much of the Roman Empire. He wrote to the Romans that he aspired to go to Spain (Romans 15:24), but we are not assured that he reached Spain. There is no evidence that he went to the British isles. His allegiance for his Savior must be a great example and encouragement to each of us.

The letter is addressed to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ in Colossae. They have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ through Paul’s associate, Epaphras. Through his ministry, a strong church was established. It was Paul who came to Asia and established himself in Ephesus. Out of Ephesus many churches were planted; Colossae was one of those churches.

All who believe in Jesus are the children of God. The teachings that Paul brought to Colossae are God’s instructions to his children: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9,10)

This emphasizes that our intentions are to seek and understand and do the will of God. It clearly implies that we are to be students of the Bible, engaged in the Christ’s Church looking for the fulfillment of God’s will.

“He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13)

“And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard,” (Colossians 1:21-23)

In this remarkable scripture, we find the Heavenly Father’s desire for parent and children.

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 ANSWERS for Christians Today

By Foster Shannon

Why GOD’S Answers?

As a pastor, I have often been challenged by younger members of my congregations with
questions about how to relate the Bible and God’s words to today’s world.  I find more people today
rejecting Christianity because they believe it not applicable to their lives and is thus, irrelevant.

I suspect some Christians are “straying” since the answers to daily dilemmas and major life
issues are not evident or easily attainable. Perhaps, considering God’s point of view has
become less important for many. And yet, HIS are the only answers that truly give any lasting value to our lives.

How do we find the way?

 

“Seek and ye SHALL find.

Knock and the door SHALL be opened.

ASK and it SHALL be given.”

Searching for the truth in the Bible can seem like a daunting challenge.

There is always something new to learn, and new questions to be raised.

And, like digging for gold in the ground, it can be a long and arduous task.

However, as one who has been mining it’s pages for many years, I have done the digging for you.

An experienced guide, I will help you explore the territory to find it’s riches without getting lost along the way.

For instance, my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity is one of the great tools I have created to help you discover the treasures the Bible offers, as well as a dynamic reference in sharing nuggets of truth with others.

You can order the book directly from this link at GoGreenleaf.com

And as always, I am always here to help with any questions.

Please contact Foster directly at his email address:

The answers are there.

Don’t give up.

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!




 

CALLING PEOPLE NAMES

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

‘Whoever then breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 5:19)

“But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘you fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:22)

We live in an atmosphere of insults, people assaulting one another with an assembly of insults: bigot, homophobe, fascist, racist, stupid, dumb, idiot, liar, misogynist, etc. In the past two weeks, we saw men fighting with one another on two occasions while on an airplane. One wonders if the fights might have been brought on by one insulting the other?

“Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19,20)

“If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (James 1:26)

“So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 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)

In our politics, we see too much of people insulting one another, which accomplishes nothing except to evoke anger.

“Jesus 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 8:31,32)

We should treasure the truth, because it gives us life and light. We achieve the truth through honesty and reason. Insults are a poor substitute for reason. If we hold to the truth, people will respect us. If we curse them, they will despise us.

You remember Jesus’ encounter with Pontius Pilate:

“Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice. Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37,38)

We need to heed the teachings of our Savior, who teaches us so that we may have life, health, peace and salvation. We ignore his teachings to our destruction.

With honesty and truth, we can be a blessing to many. We live in a day, when truth will bring healing, and falsehood will cause damage.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father, who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Instead of attacking and insulting one another, we are to help one another. In our families, we need to take care of how we speak. Our Lord wants us to have good lives!

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!