GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES

“HE IS COMING!”                Photo by Tatjana Kaufmann / Getty Images

By Foster H. Shannon

Advent is the observance of the birth of Jesus Christ from Sunday December 3 to Sunday December 24. It is the realization of the promises of the prophets in the Old Testament. It is the fulfillment of the hopes of all believers. Out of our understanding, it brings great joy. The music brings delight. Celebrations are appropriate and uplifting. The inspired word of God affirms the coming of the Messiah:

Genesis 49:10 ‘The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he come to whom it belongs, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

Numbers 24:17, “I see him but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”

Psalm 72:1-7 “Give the king thy justice O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son! May he judge the people with righteousness and thy poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, and give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor! May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days, may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more.”

Micah 5:2, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.”

Isaiah 11:1-3, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”

Isaiah 9:6,7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”

Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, as passages from the Old Testament had prophesied. As a young man he worked as a carpenter with his adopted father. He was baptized by John the Baptist. At that time, the Spirit of God was seen to descend upon him. Jesus attended a wedding feast with his mother. When they ran out of wine, Jesus turned water into wine; the first of many miracles. During his time of ministry he healed many. He gave sight to the blind,  healed crippled bodies and raised people from the dead. He exercised the power of God because he was the Son of God, very God of very God. He gathered twelve men to be his disciples. With them he declared the gospel in Judea, Galilee, Samaria, the east side of the Jordan, and north of Galilee. He assured those who heard him that if they believed in him they would be forgiven of their sins, and live with him in heaven. Thousands of people came to see and hear him. The higher classes were jealous and fearful of him. They crucified him to get him out of their way. He was buried. On the third day, he was raised from the dead, appeared to his disciples and to many others.

He was the most famous man ever to live. Tens of millions have believed in him, and have been transformed as the result of that belief. Our lives are better due to his teachings. We have much to celebrate when we remember the teachings of the Bible, the example of Jesus, salvation, regeneration, and making our home with him in Heaven.

Merry Christmas!

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!




 

TRUTH, HONESTY, AND GOODNESS

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The Bible teaches us the things that we need to know. If we do not have truth, we deliver statements that are misleading. If we do not have truth in our homes, bad feelings will result. If we do not have truth in the United States, we lack clarity, and do not trust our government.

Truth helps us to understand. Truth helps us to come to the aid of another. Truth helps us to keep our lives in order. It keeps us off of bad roads! We can say we believe the Bible to be true, and inherent the wisdom of the ages.

The God who created us knows our needs. He understands what we are made of. He understands the bad situations that we may get into. He understands the causes that can devastate us. We must value the Bible and the love of God. In the Bible we find God speaking directly to us. He gives us rules that will keep us from driving off of the highway of life. We are warned:

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seats of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law, he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1,2)

Too many people live their lives without the instructions of God. They are likely to end up in disaster and unhappiness. God loves us. He wants us to have a good life. Even if the dedicated Christian reads the Bible and attends Church regularly—we can find ourselves in disappointing and hurtful situations. But we should know what to do. We must come more close to our Lord, and we must use our common sense regarding money, regarding health, regarding our family, and graciously welcome those who are willing to help us.

“…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22)

God is good. God is amazingly wise. He is all knowing. He is all powerful. He desires goodness for each of us.

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

Too many people are destroying their lives with opioids; 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016. In the last 16 years more than 187,000 died from overdoses related to prescription opioids. God’s ways are much better. If we need advice, we should seek his counsel. If we want purpose, we need to come to Jesus.

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27)

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)

“So then whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)

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.
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CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE EVANGELISTS

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the Power of God for Salvation to everyone who BELIEVES.” ~Romans 1:16

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

GOD DOES GREAT AND WONDERFUL THINGS FOR US

“Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

God created us and desires a good life for everyone.

These verses from Psalm 103 give us a grand view of God’s goodnesses to us who will call upon him. God has created us in his image. He has placed us on a marvelous planet with beauty and promise. In the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, he provided the way for the forgiveness of our sis

How do we respond? One may say, “I am no Billy Graham.” By trusting Jesus as our Saviour; by reading his Word, and being baptized in his name as an assurance that we believe in him and will follow him. We gladly rejoice in his goodness and his provisions for our lives. When we take Communion with the bread representing the body of Christ and the wine representing his blood. We are bound to our Savior. He calls upon us to make him known to the world:

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

“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)

“And he said to them, The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.” (II Timothy 2;24,25)

“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.” (II Thessalonians 2:4)

“And Jesus came to them and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on 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 28:18,19)

There are those who will not listen to us. But many will recognize our faith, and value our understanding.

MANY PEOPLE NEED OUR SAVIOR

1. People who struggle with opioids

2. People who need a good job

3. People who are confused about life

4. People who have family trouble

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

1. Read the Bible every day

2. Be an active participant in your church

3. Listen to people who talk to you. They may not show it, but they may be hurting inside.

4. Read a good Christian book. Give or recommend a book that will guide and encourage.

5. Pray for those who need Christ.

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

What is life about? The beginning, the middle, the end? Is it good or is it bad? Do we just live, or do we have a purpose in our living? For some people, it is just to get by. The Bible gives us instructions so that we can have a good life.

“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. That is, that 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)

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)

We do not want to demean this life. There are many good things for those who will believe in and honor God. Nonetheless, when we look about, we see the murders in Chicago, the awful behavior of Stephen Paddock who murdered fifty people in Las Vegas and wounded 400 more. Harvey Weinstein, prominent and successful in Hollywood, who sexually harassed scores of women. We could go further with Isis in the Middle East and Kim Jong-Un in North Korea.

The life that God calls us to is incredibly better than what we see on earth all too often. God calls us to his life and his kingdom—in this life and in the life to come. We have many reasons to be joyful.

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!




 

WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE

Taking in the sunrise at Mt Wellington, River Derwent Estuary, Hobart. (Photo: Bruce Miller)

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“If the gold rusts, what will the iron do?”

We live in a time when Christians, who believe in God and admire the truth of the Bible, may find themselves discouraged. We see values that have been previously held in our nation eroding. Changes in views of morality have come like an avalanche. Good people who have held views of the sacredness of marriage have been caught up by the winds of change. Others have been stunned by the change of mind that many have had on this and other subjects. It was not that long ago that a majority in our nation believed abortion to be a sin to be avoided. Now the position in our society is about 50-50. In the 1940s fifteen percent of marriages ended in divorce. At the present time, it is about fifty percent. One-third of our children do not have a father in the home. The percentage of couples who choose to live together without the benefit of marriage has increased substantially.

It is tempting to give up and withdraw—to throw in the towel! Many who have held to the basic moral teachings in the Bible have changed their minds, and interpreted the scriptures differently. It is easy to be caught up and carried away by this flood. We have a calling from our Saviour that we find in Matthew, chapter five:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how will its saltiness be restored.” “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

What should we do in these days? Should we dig our fox holes and hide? No, someone needs to be the gold. Someone needs to be the light. Someone needs to be the salt. We have a wonderful view of the San Gabriel Valley from our house—looking east. Almost every morning we can see the sunrise, and I never get tired seeing it. Every day it comes up and every day we have light! We rejoice in the light of the new day! What would we do if we did not have that light? We have many neighbors who are trembling with fear, and who are waiting for you to show up. If those who know you, see that you are firm in your convictions—they will be encouraged. The world is waiting for us to see that we are faithful to our God.

Goodness is not an invention. It is not something that someone stumbled on. It comes from God, and without him we would not have known goodness. God knows better than we do! We, who believe in him, are to be the light and the hope of the world. The Bible from beginning to end assesses our plight and our potential. Read II Peter, chapter two. God knows that our trouble is heavy. Through Peter, God calls us back to the prophets of the Old Testament and to the disciples of the New. May we celebrate and rejoice in the greatness of our 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 SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

GOD is the Creator of the Universe. He has made all things; the Sun that shines; humanbeings, trees and flowers, wonderful animals, the seas, rivers, lakes, and mountains. We are his children, and are to acknowledge him as our Heavenly Father. We are to believe in him, to follow him, to depend upon him.

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let thy glory be over all the earth!” (Psalm 57:11)

“The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)

He reveals himself to us through the sixty-six books of the Bible; through the Church, which he has established; through people who have encouraged us in Christian faith. We owe to him our lives; our energy, our strength, our hopes and desires. We are dependant upon him.

God is the author of our lives and of our being. He provides us with shelter and food. How do we respond to the God who created us? Surely, we must respect him! We relate to God as we view his creative work. In the Bible, we learn much more fully. As the creator of all things, we must learn of him . Without him, we become confused, we are not able to understand the significance of life.

Through the scriptures, God teaches us how we should live: the Ten Commandments, the writings of the prophets, the advent of Jesus Chris, the teachings of Christ and of the apostles. We are reminded of the consequences of disobedience.

Without the love and mercy of God we should all be lost. Read the newspapers, many are lost, and are doing great harm to themselves. This is contrary to what God wants for us.

“My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27,28) “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

When we stray from the teachings of our Savior, we are distancing ourselves from God. Because he loves us, he provides for our salvation that we may be forgiven of our sins. He sent his Son to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. As we repent and seek to do his will, he heals us and assures us of live eternal with him in heaven.

We recognize God’s sovereignty. Therefore, we respect him, we adore him, we seek to obey him. We honor his authority. We find it helpful, to read the scriptures with care. We will not be overrun by the bad ideas of this day. We properly seek to do his will and seek his favor. With that we find joy and meaning and a worthwhile life.

“Preserve me, O God, for in thee I take refuge. I say to the Lord, Thou art my Lord; I have no good apart from thee.” (Psalm 16:1,2)

Many people are doing great harm to themselves, because they disregard God and his teachings.

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!




 

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.
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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.
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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!