THREE IMPORTANT STEPS

Lamb of God from the Book of Revelation

Illustration by Ruth Elliott for “THE SCROLL WITH SEVEN SEALS” by Dr. Foster Shannon

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

STEP #1 – NEW BIRTH

When we come to God through Jesus Christ we are born anew:

“But to all who received [Jesus], 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 1:11-13)”

“By his great mercy we have been born anew 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)

As obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you, be holy yourselves in all your conduct, since it is written. “You shall be holy as I am holy.” (I Peter 1:14-16)

“Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (I Peter 2:2,3)

New birth implies life, and life implies growth, and growth leads to maturity and responsibility. We should be eager to learn from God, to learn from the scriptures. Our thinking, our speaking, our acting should be formed from what God teaches us in his word. We should develop good spiritual habits: Daily reading of the Bible; regular participation in Sunday worship, being with God in our families, in our studies, in our work, in our recreation. We should learn from Christians whom we have admired.

Step #2 – SANCTIFICATION

Sanctification is the process of spiritual growth; very important to our continuing relationship with our Savior. It is good for us. It is good for our families and friends. It is good for the cause of Christ. It is good for the world in which we live. It is good for the future of our lives. This requires trust in God, and a heart for his purposes.

“But you were washed, you were sanctified you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God.” (I Corinthians 6:11)  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, behold the old has passed away, behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:17,18)

“…God chose you from the beginning to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel so you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Thessalonians 2:13,14)

Sanctification is God’s process to prepare us for Heaven.

Step #3 – GLORIFICATION

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (II Corinthians 3:18) “We have renounced disgraceful underhanded ways, we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (II Corinthians 4:2)

“Then he showed me the river of the water of the bright as crystal flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of Lord and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. And night shall be no more; they need no light or lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-5)

We believe the word of the Lord speaks for itself!

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 TEACHINGS AND PROMISES OF GOD

Open Bible with rose

“These things have I written to you that believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you HAVE eternal life…” I John 5:13

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Happy New Year! We are in the beginning of a new year, 2018. I hope that you will find these great passages of scripture in this Blog encouraging. [Note: the word man ordinarily refers to a male. However, it can also mean mankind, which includes male, female and children.]

Let us review the blessings of God:

GOD ENRICHES US WITH SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

The book of Ephesians teaches us the marvelous characteristics that God brings to us. This is like knowing that we have money in our bank account!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who blesses us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons in Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed in us through the Beloved.” (Ephesians. 1:3-6)

GOD FORGIVES US OF OUR SINS

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16,17)

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood to be received by faith. This was to prove God’s righteousness because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-27)

“A man is not justified by works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ.“ (Galatians 2:16) “for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose.” (Galatians 2:21)

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us.” (Ephesians 1:7)

We must respond to the promises of God. We must confess our sins, knowing that in Jesus Christ we have forgiveness and new life.

JESUS ASSURES US THAT WE HAVE A HOME 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 unto myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

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

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

“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 to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:30)

“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 firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is the God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant,” (Hebrews 12:22,23)

THE FUTURE OF THE BELIEVER IS ASSURED

“My sheep hear 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)

“Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more,  for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3,4)

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 GIFT OF GOD

Mother and Child- by Ruth Elliott at 16 yrs old, in Pen and Ink.)

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Christmas celebrations, rejoicing, and thanksgiving are appropriate for the gift that God gives us in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The carols can be wonderful! In the background are the many passages in the Old Testament that foretold the coming of the Messiah.

”Therefore the Lord himself will give a sign. Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

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

“In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek and his dwellings shall be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:10)

“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. Therefore, he shall give them up until the time when she who is in travail has brought forth.”then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel.” (Micah 5:2,3)

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son; and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:10-13)

“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her: the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34,35) “And Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38)

Caesar Augustus decreed a census for a large section of the Mediterranean world, that included Judea. As required, Joseph, with Mary, went up to Bethlehem to be enrolled in the census. During that stay, Mary gave birth to Jesus. The inn was filled. They found a place for the baby in a manger. In a nearby region, shepherds were watching their sheep. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them. He told the shepherds not to be afraid—that the Christ was born. The shepherds came to the manger. They told Mary and Joseph of what the angels had said to them.

They met the prophetess, Anna, who gave thanks to God, and spoke of Jesus to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. They returned to Nazareth And the child grew and became strong. They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. They encountered Simeon, who inspired by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

As we look forward to the growth of Jesus Christ into adulthood, we recognize the magnificent qualities that he posses. He was a great speaker and leader. He is the founder of the Church. He healed many, including raising people from death. He is the greatest man who has ever lived!

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made though him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)

We give gifts at Christmas time because of the gift that God has given to us, and the example of the Wise Men who came from Persia bringing gifts to the Messiah gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)

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




 

GOD 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.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

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!




 

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.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!