Pastor Jim Joseph, Living Waters Fellowship
'A Time of Joy': Christmas is a time of joy/When in their hearts each girl and boy/Thinks about such earthy things/As all the toys that morning brings.
In the course of my life, I have been blessed to have numerous opportunities to experience the various flavors of Christianity. I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, attended Vacation Bible School with a Dutch Reformed friend and experienced the beauty of Eastern rites. I have preached and lead worship in Assemblies of God, Baptist, Evangelical Free, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ churches. I have pastored a German congregational church and three Assemblies of God congregations. I hold my credentials with the Assemblies of God.
A Finished Work As Jesus hung upon the cross, He cried, "It is finished. Father, into Your hands. . .", and died. He died for Adam's fallen race. He died sin's curse to be erased. He died, that we might have God's grace. He died. They laid Him in a borrowed tomb that day. Shut the door, set the seal, the guards barring the way. Three days He lay within that grave. Three days the price for sinners paid. Three days within death's grip He laid. Three days.
Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is an excellent summary of his teaching and a revelation of the heart of God. Previously, we looked at chapter 5 and part of chapter 6. In this column we will explore the rest of his sermon.
Jesus' sermon on the mount is found in the fifth, sixth and seventh chapters of Matthew's Gospel. It provides an excellent summary of his teachings and a challenge to each of us who call ourselves his followers. As we begin a brand new year, I want to encourage each of us to read that portion of scripture weekly and to ask the Holy Spirit to help us better understand it and more perfectly live it out in our lives.
The Christian faith is much more than adherence to a creed or doctrinal statement. It is trust in and obedience to a Person. It is having a vibrant and personal relationship with the ever-living God of the universe through his resurrected son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Two Harbors Christian Ministerial Association is effective in reaching our community in so many ways. We cooperate in joint services including the Community Advent and Eastertide Services, Heritage Days Worship, and Two Harbors High School Baccalaureate. We sponsor ministries at the Lake County Jail, Ecumen Nursing Home, and all the assisted living facilities in our community. We operate the Good Samaritan Fund which is there to help those in need. And then there is Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Store.
Anna Hodul was only 14 years old when she left her mother and younger brothers in Myjava, Hungary (now Slovakia) to sail by herself on the SS Kronprinz Wilhelm across the Atlantic Ocean to join her father and older brothers in Chicago. Anna was a remarkable woman and my maternal grandmother.
Our nation is trillions of dollars in debt teetering on the brink of financial disaster. Racial violence is escalating in our cities and people are going to bed hungry every night in a country of super abundance. There is an increase in violence directed toward people of faith with churches targeted throughout the country. Almost 57 million babies have been aborted since the Roe vs. Wade decision.