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.
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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!




 

STRENGTHENING THE CHRISTIAN

paul-and-timothy

 

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We have family Bible study almost every Sunday evening after dinner. This coming Sunday, we are beginning with II Timothy, chapter 1. A passage in that chapter stands out for me:

Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling,… (II Timothy 1:8,9)

What was it that struck me about this passage? It was Timothy’s position in the leadership of the church. He was Paul’s #2 man. He was a leader above many in the growing church. Here are some of them: Apollos, Archippus, Artemas, Barnabas, Epaphroditus, Luke, Onesimos, Priscilla & Aquila, Silas, Titus, Tychicus, and Zenas. There were others. Yet Timothy needed to be refreshed. He needed to be encouraged. We may find ourselves saying, Amen, recognizing that we need to be refreshed in the Lord. We should give priority to our Bible study and our prayer time.

Let us look at what Paul said to this valuable Christian leader:

  • “Rekindle the gift of God that is within you.” Is this not a clear teaching here that believers can have times when they grow discouraged, and need to be invigorated?
  • “Do not be ashamed of testifying to our Lord.” There are people who will put us down at any sign of our personal faith in Jesus Christ. Now, we do not have to shout or be irritating. Rather than being ashamed, we should be encouraged and devoted to our Savior. Explaining carefully, what Jesus means to you.
  • “Take your share of suffering for the gospel.” It seems to me that we prefer to have things go well. We do not like difficulties. We want to avoid suffering, if we are able. I am not suggesting that we be ready to go out and suffer! Nonetheless, the Bible makes it clear that suffering will come our way, and do not be surprised, but it may turn out to be valuable.

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2)

What may seem to be unwelcome to us, may turn out to make us better people. Again, we read, Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12) Difficult times will come to all of us. Especially, when the difficulty arises to challenge our faithfulness to our Savior—by a clear and kind response, we can be an encouragement to others, and strengthened in our own faith. Unwelcome difficulties come into our lives, we can either cry or praise God. If we are moved to prayer we are thereby strengthened in our faith. One thing we know for sure. God will uphold us.

Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Foster

Dr. Foster H. Shannon, Green Leaf Press

Green Leaf Press, Inc.
P.O. Box 880 Alhambra
CA 91802-0880
(626) 281-7221
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.
MY BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
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WHAT IS THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEMS?

"I am the vine, and you are the branches . . ."

“I am the vine, and you are the branches . . .”

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We have been doing a study at home on the book of Philippians. It is worthwhile, enjoyable and good. This last week I was struck by one passage:

“that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:15)  

Wow! this was written about 62 A.D. by the Apostle Paul. Who can find anything appealing in “a crooked and perverse generation”? Don’t we want to live in peace among people who are all good? What is happening to us?

We live with a lot of problems: a vicious drug traffic that is doing great damage to our neighbors in Mexico, that is enabled by the people in North America who are buying the drugs. In doing so, they not only contribute to evil, but those who use the drugs do damage to themselves. Mothers who destroy their unborn children; more than one-third of our children being raised in homes without a father; a devastating homicide rate, much worse among the black population; mass killings in public areas by young males, most of whom are white. Overseas, the incredible manifestations of evil seen in the blood-thirsty actions of ISIS in Syria, in Iraq and in neighboring countries. Boco Haram in Nigeria are killing and kidnaping thousands of people, and treating them terribly.

It is proper to ask, Is there a remedy? And the answer is yes. The God who created us loves us and desires for us to have good lives: to rejoice in our Lord, to obey his teachings, to sing and dance in his presence.

What are we to do? We abuse others, steal, lie, and embezzle. We eat too much and drink too much, honoring pagan gods that encourage us to “eat and drink and be merry”. 

We do better to begin with the Ten Commandments, continue with the Old Testament prophets, and regularly study the teachings of Jesus and of the apostles in the New Testament. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to take care with our speech, that we avoid disparaging others. It appears that many Christians hit their high point when they believe in Jesus and are baptized, which is vital. But we are to grow in knowledge and strength—not assuming that now we can just get along with our regular lives. The point is this: If we want good for ourselves and others, we must draw closer to our Lord, and encourage others to believe in him.

Our God is a magnificent healer, but we have to want to be healed. We do that by reading and considering his word—by doing our best to order our lives according to his teachings—to recognize that we cannot make it on our own; that we need his help.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Foster H. Shannon
P.S. I have appreciated hearing from a number of you. However, every response that I have made has been returned as undeliverable.
To get in touch with me please use this email address:   fjshannon[at]sbcglobal[dot]net  
Reformat the email address by placing the @symbol where I wrote [at] and a (.) where I wrote [dot].
I wrote it this way to cut down on the automatic robots that look for email addresses to send spam messages to.

 Thank you.

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 STRENGTH AGAINST THE POWERS OF EVIL

Illustration from Foster's book, THe Scroll with 7 Seals, What the Book of Revelation Really Says

Illustration from Foster Shannon’s book, THE SCROLL WITH SEVEN SEALS (What the Book of Revelation Really Says).  Illustration by Ruth Elliott

By Dr Foster H. Shannon

We cannot and must not ignore what is going on in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. Isis, a radical Muslim movement is seeking to expand its control over Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and beyond. The movements have different names in Iraq (Isis) and Nigeria (Boko Haram). In the process of trying to control territory, they are especially focusing on Christians. On Monday of this week we learned of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptics (Christians) in Libya. Earlier as the Isis militants moved from Syria eastward and northward in Iraq, they sought out Christians and beheaded or otherwise killed them. They slaughtered several hundred Iraqi soldiers who had surrendered to them.

It is hard for us to not be distressed when we hear and see beheadings and mass executions. We are seeing before our very eyes the fulfillment of what the scriptures teach: that we are contending with the powers and forces of evil! In fact, we are seeing manifestations of evil, slaughtering, the kidnaping of young girls and making sex-slaves of them—a thirst for blood and a delight in the suffering of others, exemplified by cutting off heads and showing all of this on international television. We wonder if matters can get any worse!

The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, and that those who resist the will of God, on the one hand, can do great harm and on the other hand will suffer for their evil, and be eternally separated from the presence of God.

We must not be downcast and crying that we do not know what to do! God has warned us against the powers of evil and their effects. These powers and forces of evil are formidable. Ephesians 6:12, “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Revelation 12:17, “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.” I think of a passage in Genesis, before the Flood: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) Surely we are seeing a similar thing in our day: the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.

Now what do we do? Do we despair? Do we give up praying? Do we give up studying and discerning what the scriptures teach? Do we remember Psalm 23? “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” (23:4) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,” (I Timothy1:7) We must be in prayer that God will give strength to those who are opposing Isis. We must honor the promises of God found in the Psalms and many places in the Bible that God will watch over us and protect us. Our Lord said, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12,13)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

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 RESOURCES OF GOD ARE ABUNDANT

"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." Psalm 59:1

“. . .the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.”Ps 59:1

Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We live in a dangerous and difficult world. There is too much violence, too much hatred, too much meanness. Isis in Syria and Iraq and Boco Haram in Nigeria are the epitome of evil. The drug traffic that is doing devastating harm to Mexico is supported by Americans (and others) who purchase illegal drugs—not caring a whit regarding the damage that they do to their neighbors in the south! France and Belgium and other countries in Europe are struggling with radical Muslim terrorist groups. We worry that more of the same may come to the United States.

Our newspapers and television and radio are full of reports of murder, violence, and thievery every week.

Some of the Psalmists looked out at the world of their day and asked if God had forgotten them; they complained that he seemed distant. And yet after their complaints, they turned again to God affirming his goodness and authority and power.

The Bible is filled with many assurances that God wants to help us. Indeed, that he is near and desires to help us. Plaintive calls like those below are found frequently in the Psalms—yet such Psalms inevitably conclude in affirming the greatness of God and the wonder of his mercy.

“O God, why dost thou cast us off for ever? Why does thy anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?” (Psalm 74:1) “For thou art the God in whom I take refuge; why hast thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? (Psalm 43:2)

The promises of God, like the following, are wonderfully rich:

“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you.  I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The Bible gives correct assessments of our times, making plain the source of the trouble:

“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of the present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

The Bible also assures us that sufficient resources are at hand:

“Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day…having girded your loins with truth…righteousness…the gospel of peace…the helmet of salvation…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17)

“I am the door, if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:9,10)

An important element of faith is trust in God. That trust includes living in accord with his teachings. He promises not to leave us or forsake us.

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

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!





IMPROVING FAMILY LIFE

Norman Rockwell told it the way it WAS!

Norman Rockwell told it the way it WAS. Or USED to be.

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The health of the family is the keystone of every nation. All of us are children or parents, grandchildren or grandparent —we have a connection with the past and a destiny for the future. Our relationships as husbands and wives, as children, as brothers and sisters is primary. We need to shore up those relationships in these days, and we need the help and instruction of our God. The health of our society begins with the health of our families and the news has not been altogether good.

One third of our children have a mother, but no father. Too many parents do not expect respect from their children—as a result, many do not receive the respect that makes for order in the home and ultimately in the society of which we are a part. Too many children are expected to raise themselves. If we begin with the 1940s, we have seen a steady increase in the divorce rate until the present century. The divorce rate has begun to decline, because increasing numbers are choosing to live together rather than marry!

Some of my remarks here are based on my Quarterly Newsletter from last April. I believe that a quote from Malcolm Muggeridge is appropriate:

“We are living in a nightmare precisely because we have tried to set up an earthly paradise. We have believed in “progress.” Trusted to human leadership, rendered unto Caesar the things that are God’s…There is no wisdom except in the fear of God; but no one fears God; therefore there is no wisdom.”

I believe that those of us who believe in our Savior and his word can make a difference, not only for ourselves but also for the society in which we live. The scriptures teach that our marriages should be exemplary:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery and I take it to mean Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:31,32)

We do not just live for ourselves. We live for one another and for the society of which we are a part. Too many people, today, look upon marriage solely from their perspective. They are interested in what they can get out of it, but not sufficiently interested in what their spouse and even their children can get out of it. The teachings of scripture lead us on the right path:

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

Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3,4) 

For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ—we are to grow in his grace. It is a life long process. We call this sanctification. The challenge of the Christian marriage should be that more and more we learn to be considerate and helpful to our husbands and our wives; to our brothers and our sisters. The closer that we draw to our Savior the better will be our lives together—and we will be what Jesus said we will be:

“The light of the world.” (Matthew 4:14)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

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 NEED THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

ten commandmentsby Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We have a saying, “If all else fails read the directions.” God teaches us what is right for our benefit. He knows that we find health and healing and prosperity in his word. God cares for us more that we realize. He wants us to be able to distinguish between right and wrong. Because of that he has given us the Ten Commandments, The Sermon on the Mount, and a plethora of teachings in the letters of the New Testament.

Many of the sceptics in our time are affirming that we do not need the Bible or the teachings of the Bible. They see God as a spoil-sport trying to take the fun out of life. The Scriptures tell the truth: “The wages of sin is death.” Either we go our way or God’s way. Our way ultimately leads to jealously, greed, strife, anger, and worse.

The Ten Commandments were given by God through Moses about 1400 B.C. Thus, they have been with us for about 3400 years. As God has blessed us with life and breath and many delights and enjoyments—for our sake, he draws a line regarding what we can properly do (Exodus 20:2-17). Here is an abstract:

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 your neighbor.

X. You shall not covet.

Which of the above should we be able to do without or to ignore? As you know, the posting of the Ten Commandments in our schools and in many of our public buildings has been diminished a great deal. A plethora of law suits have resulted in the taking down of the Ten Commandments. A reasonable question is what do you put in their place? We need to know what is right and what is wrong. We need to understand that to follow the wrong path is ultimately disastrous.

“But the wicked are like the tossing sea, and it cannot rest. And its waters toss up mire and dirt. ‘There is no peace’, says my God,  ‘for the wicked’.” (Isaiah 57:20,21)

The Evil One will try to tell us that we should go our own way; do the things that we enjoy; live it up. The truth is that we are sinners that need forgiving, redemption, and reforming. We need rules. We need guidelines. We need to do our very best to live as God would have us to live. Our God, in his mercy, has given us good rules to live by. We recognize that we are not saved by the law, but by the atonement of Jesus Christ, who paid the full penalty for our sins in his suffering on the cross. Yet, as we believe in Christ, we are to live as he would have us live!

“This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.”
(Joshua 1:8)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

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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EVIL MEN WAX WORSE AND WORSE IN BOKO HARAM

Nigerian School Girls

Nigerian School Girls, photo courtesy of Breitbart

 

The news from Nigeria is disturbing, upsetting. Unfortunately we know that there are troubles all over the world. But somehow the kidnaping of almost 300 school girls, who may be compelled to become Muslims, who may be sold into slavery, or who may be used as prostitutes—especially offends us. The Boko Haram is a blatant manifestation of the powers of evil. We must pray, that even at this late date, the girls may be found and delivered from their evil captors.

Many people are calloused, they feel that they cannot be troubled with the pain of others. They may find the problems of the world to be over whelming. And there is something to be said for that. We cannot become so absorbed in the problems and pain in the world that we cease to do the things that we ought to do or fail to live the life that we are appointed to live. Nonetheless, there are events that must engage our concern.

In situations similar to this, some ask, “Is it in our national interest to get involved?” I think that it is in our interest that justice triumphs over violence; that righteousness prevails over indifference; and that mercy prevails over disinterestedness, and that help is given where it may be effective. There are many passages of scripture that rebuke us if we do not care—if we are indifferent. The difficulties of this situation are formidable—but we should pray.

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:16,17) Everyone helps his neighbor, and says to his brother, Take Courage! (Isaiah 41:6) 

It is helpful to ask why do we and many people over the world care? What difference does it make? It is the teaching that we have had from the Bible for 3000 years. Because of that teaching many understand that life is a gift of God; that every person is created in his image. That is, life is significant and valuable. This has not been so—in much of history—and it is not so in many places today. Some resort to believing in a rigid fatalism. The consequence is indifference: “whatever will be, will be” Many believe in reincarnation, if you die you will come back as a something.

The Judeo/Christian perspective is different. We believe that every life is precious; that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. Jesus gave us the story of The Good Samaritan, who went out of his way to save a person, who had been beaten and robbed and left by the side of the road to die. As Christians we value life because it is good when we walk in the will of God, and because we anticipate the promises of God in a blessed and complete life in eternity. We can always pray, and be ready to help those who are in need—even if at the time we are not sure
how to help.

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 an in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20,21)


Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

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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IS IT HARD TO BE A CHRISTIAN?

Jesus_Savior_Pilot_Me

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Is it hard to believe in God? It appears that many think that it is hard. They cite deficiencies in the scriptures; the failure of God to banish all evil, and Christians who are not true to their faith. It is said that the British philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell, an atheist, was asked—if he died and found himself standing before God, what would he say? He responded, “not enough evidence”.

Actually, the evidence is abundant. The scriptures say, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1,2) The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:19,20)

Jesus was asked by the pharisees, “Show us a sign from heaven.” The fact is that Jesus was daily performing miracles around them, giving sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, hearing to the deaf, feeding multitudes—but they wanted something special. They wanted to be compelled to believe! Jesus refused, although he pointed ahead to his resurrection by referring to Jonah who was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish. It appears that if people are determined not to believe, nothing will change them.

The evidences for Christianity are many:

  • the evidence of design in the universe and in all of life
  • the consistency and reliability of the Bible
  • the person of Jesus Christ; no other human being is his equal
  • the public miracles of Jesus
  • the astounding resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • persons whose lives are radically transformed by their Savior
  • without righteous, justice, and goodness we are destitute without God

Our troubles, as human beings, are the consequence of our own wrongs and sins: we fight wars; we steal from one another; we murder people whom we hate or from whom we would take their possessions, we can be mean and cruel. I am speaking of the human race. We commit all kinds of sin, and then we ask why does not God do something about it? The answer is that God teaches us in the scriptures the kind of life that we should live. He reckons with our sin and in our inability to save ourselves in calling us to trust in him for our salvation. Every person on Earth has the opportunity and responsibility to believe in God; to study the scriptures; to confess Christ as Savior; to become engaged in the work of the kingdom of God. Is it hard to believe in God? Jesus said, “take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28,29)

What is the gain in following Jesus Christ?

  • We are forgiven by God of all of our sins
  • We become members of God’s family
  • Life has meaning and significance
  • Sanctification: we grow to become the persons that God would have
  • We live eternally in heaven with our Heavenly Father

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)


Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

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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