HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

the nativity

Photo thanks to Amy Jung

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We are now in the midst of the Advent Season, the four weeks that precede Christmas Day. It is the time that Christians remember and celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who emptied himself of many of his divine prerogatives, and came as a baby in order to come and dwell among us.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Promises of the miraculous birth, life, death, and the powerful resurrection of our Savior are foretold in the Old Testament. Some of the passages, written more than one thousand years before the birth of the Savior; others hundreds of years before.

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feed, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” (Genesis 49:10)

The hope of the believing people of Israel was primarily in the good news of the coming Messiah in scores of passages.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)

The greatness, the glory, the magnificence of the coming Messiah was celebrated by the prophets in the Old Testament—and also his suffering.

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)

One of the promises was that the Messiah would bring a good and perfect government. A major problem in our world continues to be the corruption and evil of many governments: leaders who use their position to benefit themselves at the expense of the people—whom they are supposed to serve.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Where is the peace? How is it that we have so little of it? Because when we fail to live by the teachings of scripture, we bring the roof down on our heads. Our Savior teaches us how to live in peace, and we are remiss in following him.

“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 2:2,3)

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

These teaching apply to the nations as well as to individuals. If we say and do what we are taught to do, surely we will have an encouraging influence upon others.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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.
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THANKSGIVING DAY, THURSDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2014

Thankyou-God-adjBy Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We give thanks to God for everything. He has given us our lives. He is the creator of everything: of the mountains, the oceans, the rivers, the lakes, the streams, planet Earth, the solar system, the entire universe. And he has created us in his image and called upon us to live lives that are worthy of him. He gives us home and family and friends.

He gives us the Bible so that we may understand his purposes and plans, so that we may know how to live healthy and happy lives. He warns us of the dangers that we face, how to avoid them, how to live through them. He does not give us his commandments and moral teachings to annoy us! Rather he seeks our well being, and we ignore him at our peril. We have all stumbled and fallen, disregarded his will, and taken our own course. We have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and need his favor. He has taken the consequences of our sin upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ, so that the Heavenly Father poured out his wrath on our sins in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of all who will call upon and trust him.

We properly thank God for the food and clothing and many other things that he gives us. But above and beyond all of that, we have the atoning work of Jesus Christ that makes possible a living eternal relationship with our God.

“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,” (Romans 3:23,24)

“He saved us, not by deeds done by us in righteous, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal in the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

“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)

There is no greater gift, than the gift of salvation, which we have in Jesus Christ. May we thank him, and thank him, and thank him!

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” (Abraham Lincoln)

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!