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.
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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.
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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!




 

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!




 

HE IS RISEN!

HE IS NOT HERE! HE IS RISEN! The resurrection is proof of the finished work of Christ, overcoming all sin and death: He died, so we could LIVE. “Not by works of righteousness which WE have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” Titus 3:5

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was arrested, falsely accused, Judas betrayed him.

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

The Roman ruler, Pontius Pilate, knew that Jesus was innocent, yet condemned him to death, to please his accusers. His disciples were dismayed by his arrest, condemnation, and crucifixion. They were crushed. The one who was their life and their hope was dead! What could they do, but mourn?

Jesus died as a consequence of the abuse that he endured, and the crucifixion nailing him to a cross, and letting him hang there until he died.

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.” (Mark 15:27)

“And when [Pilate] learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.” (Mark15:45)

“but when [the soldiers] came to Jesus and saw the he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” (John 19:13)

“And entering the tomb [the women] saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed, you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” (Mark 16:6)

Joseph of Arimathea secured the body of Jesus from Pilate, and with the assistance of Nicodemus buried him in his own tomb. Those who believed in him wept, yet I think that they waited to see what God would do. The pharisees came to Pilate and secured a military guard at the tomb. They remembered that he had said that he would rise from the dead.

The Appearances of the risen Jesus

On the third day from his crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb intending to further prepare his body.

“An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.” (Matthew 28:2)

The angel told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They ran to tell his disciples.

“And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” Mary Magdalen went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” and she told them that he had said these things to her.” (John 20:18)

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews Jesus came and stood among them, and said to them ‘Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)

“To them he presented himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

The church was built on the teachings of Jesus, upon his miracles, and upon his resurrection. In his suffering on the cross, he paid the penalty for all of our sins. Without the resurrection, there would be no church, no salvation, and no hope. Let us rejoice at the resurrection of our Savior!

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!




 

READ THE BIBLE EVERY DAY

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We live in the world, hoping that it will be good, but to our dismay, we find it filled with much evil: thievery, deceit, cheating, murder, warfare, adultery, and licentiousness.

The Bible makes sense. Its message is the same from beginning to end. It tells us what we are and why we are. It lays out a path for us that we may have a good life. God created the universe, the world that we live in. He created the plants and the animals, and he created men and women in his image.

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

If we are to grow in the grace of God, we must keep close to him. We speak to him when we pray. He speaks to us through his word, the Bible. It is essential for us to be studying in that book every day to see what God is teaching us, and what he wants us to do. If you read the Bible every day, keep it up. You should have learned to value it, and that you would not quit. If you have not been reading every day, chose a plan for every morning or afternoon or evening and hopefully set aside one-half hour for your reading.

“O Lord in the morning, you do hear my voice; in the morning, I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” (Psalm 5:3)

It is God who teaches us right and wrong, so that we may know how we should live. Indeed, he has embedded a conscience in us , so that we may be convinced of what is right and what is wrong. The conscience is exceedingly valuable. We are warned not to corrupt our consciences.

“Whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” (I Timothy 1:5)

God has given us the teachings of the prophets, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of his disciples. His authority is written on our hearts.

God seeks our wellbeing. He wants us to have a good life. He wants us to be healthy. He desires what is good for us.

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you. shall be put to shame; behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart, and shall wail for anguish of spirit.” (Isaiah 65:13,14)

We need to be in harmony with the God who created us. We need to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him. We must be students of the Bible, drinking deeply of the truth he gives for our welfare.

The Bible gives great evidence of truth in that it teaches us what is right and warns us against what is wrong. First we are to love God, and also we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

“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)

“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)

“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)

  (Matthew 11:28-30)

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 IS THE WORLD?

“Carrying The Weight Of The World?” Illustration by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 2017

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” (I Corinthians 1:20)

This week, I asked my dear wife, what is the world? She immediately responded that it is the planet that we live on. How could I contradict that? The truth is that we use this word in two different ways. When Jesus speaks of the world, he means the atmosphere, the challenge of the culture that we live in. The world is that part of the culture that excuses doing things that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible. The world ignores or contradicts the teachings of the Bible. The world is that part of society that urges us to participate in activities that can harm us, and are contradictory to the scriptures and to wisdom. Why not smoke marijuana, every one else is doing it? There is a contest in this life between what is right and what is wrong. We do what is right, because the Bible teaches us. We are to worship God, not the world!

The world is not to be our director or our guide. We are to relish the word of God, and to seek to lead a life that pleases him. When we are faced with choices that are wrong, we must choose what is right, even though it hurts. Truth is better than falsehood. Kindness is better than meanness. Pleasing God is better than pleasing the world. We lay up treasures in Heaven. We have a challenge. We have a cause. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.” (Psalm 103:15-18)

We know that God loves us. We do not see life as mean. We see purpose in life. In Christ, you are given guidance of what road to take. We are taught to treat others with respect. God gives us a good grasp of what is right and what is wrong. We are delivered from moral confusion. We understand that we are accountable to God. We do what is right, because the Bible teaches us. 

We are not to be surprised when trouble overtakes us. We know that our healing comes from God. We know that our guidance comes from God.

“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)

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 IS VALUABLE

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

I am repeating myself. I have said it before, and I will say it again that God is a marvelous Heavenly Father who cares greatly for our welfare. Thus, he gives us the Ten Commandments, the teachings of Jesus, of the prophets, and of the apostles. The teachings of the Bible are very strong regarding the importance of the truth. God wants us to be happy! Lying is condemned in the Bible.

Last November, we went through a rough experience in the USA in electing a President, in electing Senators and members of the House of Representatives. Governors of states were elected, members of state legislators were elected. We depend upon truthfulness from the candidates so that we may evaluate their worthiness. Some do not always tell the truth. When they lie, they render us a great disservice. However, we should not call mistakes lies. John tells Mary that the sun rose at 6:10 this morning. Actually it rose at 6:30. John was not lying. He was mistaken, he actually thought that 6:10 was correct. (By the way, most of us make this kind of mistake. We need to do our best that what we say is accurate.)

Our God has made it clear in the Bible that lying is a sin and that the results of lying can be catastrophic. The ninth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16) You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11) Jesus then said to the Jews 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)

Ambassadors were sent to Washington by Hirohito, the Emperor of Japan, in early December,1941. They assured our government that their purposes were peaceful. They were still in Washington, 7 December 1941, when the Japanese viciously attacked Pearl Harbor. They lied, and the result was a terrible war that brought death and destruction.

Husbands and wives must not lie to each other. If they lie, they lose confidence with one another. Parents should not lie to their children, neither should the children lie to their parents. Managers must not lie to their employees, neither should the employee lie to his or her manager. The result can be harmful for the business and for the person who lies. Truth is essential to make things work right.

God means for his children to be people of integrity. They can be relied on for the truth, for reliability, for dependability. Teachers must tell the truth; otherwise they will confuse and harm their students. Pharmacists must be truthful to their customers, lest they lead them into harm. The one who lies puts himself in the bad position of telling other lies to support the first one. The statement of Jesus, “the truth will make you free” will make us free of the consequence of lying. We will be free of having harmed another person.

We are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. “But you are a chosen race a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 3:9) Truth is the coin of the realm. We expect people to speak the truth to us, and when they do not we resent it. Our God speaks to us in truth. He is absolutely reliable. He can be fully depended upon.

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!




 

NEW BIRTH/GOOD NEWS

Monarch butterfly emerging from its' chrysalis.

Monarch butterfly emerging from its’ chrysalis.

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Sometimes people have a negative attitude toward Christianity. They focus on what you can’t do rather than on what you can do. The word, Gospel, means good news. The Bible tells us that we have new birth when we believe in Jesus Christ.

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” ~John 1:12,13

“You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” ~I Peter 1:23

New birth is definitely a positive, not a negative. New life in Jesus Christ is to be preferred to old life without him. When we believe in Jesus, we recognize that we have been given much. We have been adopted into God’s family. We have become joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and are promised a wonderful destiny. We find the assurances of heaven in many places.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” ~I Peter 1:3,4 

The Bible assures us that when we depart from this life, we will be with our Lord in heaven.

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” ~John 14:1-3

Last week, we had the privilege of attending the Presbyterian Fellowship meeting in San Diego. One of the messages that we heard was from the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Damascus, Syria. His message was quiet and soft spoken. It was based on I Peter, chapter one. I had to listen carefully to hear him. The message was good, but what especially caught me was his demeanor. He is living and working in one of the most dangerous places in the world–especially for Christians—and his peace and confidence that he would carry on his ministry whether it be life or death was amazing.

The new life, when we are joined with our Savior in heaven, will be marvelous beyond our comprehension. We should celebrate this, but we should also celebrate the transforming work God does in our lives now. We are not only to love God, we are to love our neighbor, and to seek his well being as we would seek our own well being. Our patterns of life are changed for the best. Jesus Christ becomes our leader and our guide. We do not lie. We do not seek revenge. We become students of the Bible. We accept the Ten Commandments as a chief guide for our lives. We have a desire that others believe in Jesus as we have believed in him. In the realm of marriage, we learn to give up our selfishness and seek the well being of our husband or wife. To believe in Jesus Christ is to live 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!