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Thursday Morning Men’s Breakfast

 

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Christian teachings:  Please feel free to download these files.  The files are offered in wma (2017, 2016) and mp3 (all years) formats.

 

Links to Years:

2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  

2001  2000  1999  1998  1997  1996  1995  1994  1993  1992  1991  1990      spreadsheet

 

December 29, 2016                   Tim Leary                     wma                 mp3

Respond to God’s Word In Faith, Like Mary Responded to God’s Word In Faith – Luke 1:26-38

 

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

 

Tim is the Park Street Church director of grad student ministry. He personally leads a group at MIT Sloan (MBA’s) and BU Law students and internationals. He has worked full time in ministry for 18 years for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He has 4 children and lives literally on the line between Milton and Quincy.

 

December 22, 2016                   Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

The Paradox of Christmas – Philipians 2:5-11

 

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

 

Dr. Barry Corey’s book: Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

December 15, 2016

Don Brown: Psalm 100  A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

 

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

 

                        Mark Booker                mp3

Psalm 44 – Two Lessons

 

We have heard it with our ears, O God;
    our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
    in days long ago.
With your hand you drove out the nations
    and planted our ancestors;
you crushed
 the peoples
    and made our ancestors flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land,
    nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand,
 your arm,
    and the light of your face, for you loved them.

You are my King and my God,
    who decrees[c] victories for Jacob.

Through you we push back our enemies;
    through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow,
    my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
    you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
    and we will praise your name forever.[d]

But now you have rejected and humbled us;
    you no longer go out with our armies.
10 You made us retreat before the enemy,
    and our adversaries have plundered us.
11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep
    and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your people for a pittance,
    gaining nothing from their sale.

13 You have made us a reproach to our neighbors,
    the scorn and derision of those around us.

14 You have made us a byword among the nations;
    the peoples shake their heads at us.
15 I live in disgrace all day long,
    and my face is covered with shame
16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me,
    because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.

17 All this came upon us,
    though we had not forgotten you;
    we had not been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned back;
    our feet had not strayed from your path.
19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
    you covered us over with deep darkness.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God have discovered it,
    since he knows the secrets of the heart?
22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you hide your face
    and forget our misery and oppression?

25 We are brought down to the dust;
    our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us;
    rescue us because of your unfailing love.

 

The Mérode Altarpiece is a triptych by the Early Netherlandish painter Robert Campin:

http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/cl/original/DP273206.jpg

 

Detail - Christ descends on a sunbeam:

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

December 8, 2016                     David Franks                wma                 mp3

“Remembering Your First Love”

Revelation 2:1-7

 

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right handand walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds,your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

 

Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood is a poem by William Wordsworth, completed in 1804

selections:

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

 

    The earth, and every common sight,

 

            To me did seem

 

    Apparell'd in celestial light,

 

The glory and the freshness of a dream.

         5

It is not now as it hath been of yore;—

 

        Turn wheresoe'er I may,

 

            By night or day,

 

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

 

 

        The rainbow comes and goes,

  10

        And lovely is the rose;

 

        The moon doth with delight

 

    Look round her when the heavens are bare;

 

        Waters on a starry night

 

        Are beautiful and fair;

  15

    The sunshine is a glorious birth;

 

    But yet I know, where'er I go,

 

That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.

 

--------------------------------

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

 

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

  60

        Hath had elsewhere its setting,

 

          And cometh from afar:

 

        Not in entire forgetfulness,

 

        And not in utter nakedness,

 

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

  65

        From God, who is our home:

 

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

 

Shades of the prison-house begin to close

 

        Upon the growing Boy,

 

But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,

  70

        He sees it in his joy;

 

The Youth, who daily farther from the east

 

    Must travel, still is Nature's priest,

 

      And by the vision splendid

 

      Is on his way attended;

  75

At length the Man perceives it die away,

 

And fade into the light of common day.

 

--------------------------------------

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

December 1, 2016                     Jürgen Liias                 wma                 mp3

William Willimon quote               http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1052

The gospel is a story about something that has happened to us -- something that has

come to us extra nos, from the outside. This story is, in the words of the Reformers,

an externum verbum, an external word. It claims that by rooting around in our own

egos or by reflecting upon our life experiences as men or women, whites or blacks,

we really won’t discover much that is worth knowing, unless we know this Jew from

Nazareth who is the way, the truth and the life, and are part of a people who follow

him. It is only by listening to this story and allowing it to have its way with us that we

learn anything worth knowing. As Saint Augustine said, when we look at our lives

without Christ, they look like a chicken yard full of tracks in the mud going this way

and that. But in the light of Christ’s life, our lives take on meaning, pattern, and direction.

 

The Collect for the First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of

darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of

this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in

great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in

his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may

rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with

thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Acts 22:6-10a

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

 ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Witness To Jesus Christ:

“In Jesus Christ the reality of God entered into the reality of this world. The place where the answer is given, both to the question concerning the reality of God and to the question concerning the reality of the world, is designated solely and alone by the name Jesus Christ. God and the world are comprised in this name. In him all things consist (Col. 1.17). Henceforward one can speak neither of God nor of the world without speaking of Jesus Christ. All concepts of reality which do not take account of him are abstractions.”

 

Ephesians 2:8-10

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

John Henry Newman – Prayer: “The Mission of My Life

God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.

 

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you...God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it--made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.”

 

"The mold in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never seen a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it -- made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand."

 

Recommended Book: Michael Novak – “Business As A Calling”

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

November 25, 2016                   Thanksgiving – no breakfast

 

November 17, 2016                   Mark Booker                mp3

The Ten Commandments – Wrap Up.  What Does The Life – the Life that is Life – Look Like?

 

Deuteronomy 5:6-22

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[b] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

11 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lordwill not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

17 “You shall not murder.

18 “You shall not commit adultery.

19 “You shall not steal.

20 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

21 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

22 These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

 

Matthew 22:34-40

 

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

Martin Luther expounded on the phrase incurvatus in se in his Lectures on Romans and described this state as:

Our nature, by the corruption of the first sin, [being] so deeply curved in on itself that it not only bends the best gifts of God towards itself and enjoys them (as is plain in the works-righteous and hypocrites), or rather even uses God himself in order to attain these gifts, but it also fails to realize that it so wickedly, curvedly, and viciously seeks all things, even God, for its own sake."[2]

 

David Foster Wallace - Kenyon College commencement speech May 21, 2005:

 

… Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe; the realist, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it's so socially repulsive. But it's pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. …

 

also mentioned David Brooks’ book “The Road To Character”

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

November 10, 2016                   David Franks                wma                 mp3

Teaching on Wisdom, Part VII

Suffering: Solidarity Under a Good and Gracious God

 

Joseph Ratzinger – “Eschatology” (Death and Eternal Life) (pg. 101)

 

4. SOME CONCLUSIONS ON THE ETHOS OF DEATH IN CHRISTIANITY

(b) The Meaning of Suffering

Christian faith knows that human life is in a higher and more comprehensive sense than mere biology grants. Spirit is not the soul’s enemy but a richer and greater life. Man finds himself only in that measure in which he accepts truth and justice as the locus of real living, even though the opening-up of life to these wider dimensions always takes on, in human history, the character of martyria. While faith does not deliberately seek out suffering, it knows that without the Passion life does not discover its own wholeness, but closes the door on its own potential plenitude. If life at its highest demands the Passion, then faith must reject apatheia, the attempt to avoid suffering, as contrary to human nature.

 

James 5:13-20

 

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truthand someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

 

W.H. Auden – “September 1, 1939” (Selected Poems, pg. 95-96)

We must love one another or die.

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

November 3, 2016                    Rob Bradley                 wma                 mp3

John 10:11-18

 

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

 

Book mentioned: Ernest Gordon – Miracle on the River Kwai (1963)

 

link to txt file "Execution by the Cross" (Methods and Procedure)

 

October 27, 2016                      Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

Things Every Christian Ought To Know: The Life That God Wants Us To Live (part 5) – Ephesians 6:10-24

 

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Final Greetings

21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing.22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.

23 Peace to the brothers and sisters,[c] and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

October 20, 2016                      Mark Booker                mp3

You Shall Not Covet …

 

Deuteronomy 5:21

21 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

October 13, 2016                      David Franks                wma                 mp3

Teaching on Wisdom, Part VI

Development and Apocalypse

James 5:1-12

 

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

 

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waitingfor the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

October 6, 2016                        Tom Harrison               mp3

Testimony, Discalimer, and Two Retorical Questions

 

1 – Does God Speak To You?    2 – Do You Read The Bible?

 

1 Peter 3:15

 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

 

2 Timothy 3:14-17

 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

“Focus on the Fundamentals”

 

Tom Harrison has been a regular attender of the Thursday Morning Men’s Breakfast for many years.  He is a general business and real estate attorney, and is Of Counsel with the firm of WaltersLacey LLP.  He advises clients on sales and acquisitions of real estate and businesses, commercial loan transactions, commercial leasing, and general business matters, including creation of business entities and preparation and review of contracts and agreements.  Tom also enjoys teaching.  He is a Visiting Professor of History at Eastern Nazarene College and the Director of its Pre Law Program.  He is also an Adjunct Professor at Boston University School of Law.  Tom and his wife Kathy live in Norwell.  They are proud parents of Sarah Curtis (husband Josh), Lauren Hokenson (husband Erikk) and granddaughters Katie and Emma Curtis.  Tom served on active duty in the Navy and in the Naval Reserve for 20+ years and retired as a Commander, USNR.

 

September 29, 2016                  Tim Leary                     wma                 mp3

There is a big difference between “a little bit of religion” and “being changed by Jesus”

Jesus Can Change You/Your Friends – Mark 2:1-12

 

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbersthat there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man,carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

 

Tim is the Park Street Church director of grad student ministry. He personally leads a group at MIT Sloan (MBA’s) and BU Law students and internationals. He has worked full time in ministry for 18 years for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He has 4 children and lives literally on the line between Milton and Quincy.

 

September 22, 2016                  Paul Atwater               

I apologize – no recording this morning.

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

September 15, 2016                  Mark Booker                mp3

You Shall Not Give False Testimony Against Your Neighbor

 

Deuteronomy 5:20

20 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

 

The Heidelberg Catechism

Question & Answer #112
Q. What is the aim of the ninth commandment? 
A. That I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one's words, not gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone rashly or without a hearing.
1

Rather, in court and everywhere else, I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind; these are the very devices the devil uses, and they would call down on me God's intense wrath.2 I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it.3 And I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor's good name.4

1 Ps. 15; Prov. 19:5; Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37; Rom. 1:28-32
2 Lev. 19:11-12; Prov. 12:22; 13:5; John 8:44; Rev. 21:8
3 1 Cor. 13:6; Eph. 4:25
4 1 Pet. 3:8-9; 4:8

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

September 8, 2016                    David Franks                wma                 mp3

Teaching on Wisdom, Part V

Talking About A Wisdom From On High

James 4:13-17

 

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

 

a reading from Chapter One (Christ’s Mode of Time), A Theology of History by Hans Urs von Balthasar:

 

    “It is the will of him who sent me, not my own will, that I have come down from heaven to do” (Jn. vi 38, KV). These words may be said to give us the form of Jesus’ existence, and they can be interpreted with the help of many other texts, mostly from St. John.

……….

    What tells us more than anything else that Jesus’ mode of time is indeed real is the fact that he does not anticipate the will of the Father. He does not do that precise thing which we try to do when we sin, which is to break out of time, within which are contained God’s dispositions for us, in order to arrogate to ourselves a sort of eternity, to “take the long view” and “make sure of things.” Both Irenaeus and Clement consider that original sin consisted in anticipation of this kind; and indeed, at the close of Revelation the reward which the Son bestows upon the victor is that fruit of Paradise which the sinner had to his own hurt stolen in anticipation (Apoc. ii 7). God intended man to have all good, but in his, God’s, time; and therefore all disobedience, all sin, consists essentially in breaking out of time.

 

James 5:7-9

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waitingfor the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

September 1, 2016                    Jürgen Liias

I apologize, but no recording for today.

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

August 25, 2016                       Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

Transformed Relationships as a result of Transformed Men – Ephesians 5:21-33

 

Instructions for Christian Households

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washingwith water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wivesas their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

August 18, 2016                       Mark Booker                mp3

You Shall Not Steal

 

Deuteronomy 5:19

19 “You shall not steal.

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

August 11, 2016                       David Franks                wma                 mp3

Teaching on Wisdom, Part IV

Submit Yourselves To God

James 4:7-17

 

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

 

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

 

a reading from Chapter Four, The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty:

 

    She had slept in the chair, like a passenger who had come on an emergency journey in a train. But she had rested deeply.

    She had dreamed that she was a passenger, and riding with Phil. They had ridden together over a long bridge.

    Awake, she recognized it: it was a dream of something that had really happened. When she and Phil were coming down from Chicago to Mount Salus to be married in the Presbyterian Church, they came on the train. Laurel, when she travelled back and forth between Mount Salus and Chicago, had always taken the sleeper – the same crack train she had just ridden from New Orleans. She and Phil followed the route on the day train, and she saw it for the first time.

    When they were climbing the long approach to a bridge after leaving Cairo, rising slowly higher until the rode above the tops of bare trees, she looked down and saw the pale light widening and the river bottoms opening out, and then the water appearing, reflecting the low, early sun. There were two rivers. Here was where they came together. This was the confluence of the waters, the Ohio and the Mississippi.

    They were looking down from a great elevation and all they saw was at the point of coming together, the bare trees marching in from the horizon, the rivers moving into one, and as he touched her arm she looked up with him and saw the long, ragged, pencil-faint line of birds within the crystal of the zenith, flying in a V of their own, following the same course down. All they could see was sky, water, birds, light, and confluence. It was the whole morning world.

    And they themselves were a part of the confluence. Their own joint act of faith had brought them here at the very moment and matched its occurrence, and proceeded as it proceeded. Direction itself wasmade beautiful, momentous. They were riding as one with it, right up front. It’s our turn! she’d thought exultantly. And we’re going to live forever.

    Left bodiless and graveless of a death made of water and fire in a year long gone, Phil could still tell her of her life. For her life, any life, she had to believe, was nothing but the continuity of its love.

    She believed it just as she believed that the confluence of the waters was still happening at Cairo. It would be there the same as it ever was when she went flying over it today on her way back – out of sight, for her, this time, thousands of feet below, but with nothing in between except thin air.

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

August 4, 2016             Kris Mineau                 wma                 mp3

The Sexual Life God Gives Us - Sex is Holy; Sex is a Blessing; Sex is Very Good

 

Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;

    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

 

Kris is the President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Family Institute, a non-partisan public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the family and affirming the Judeo-Christian values upon which the family is based.

 

July 28, 2016                Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

Things Every Christian Ought To Know: The Life That God Wants Us To Live (part 2) – Ephesians 4:22-32

 

Instructions for Christian Living

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands,that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

July 21, 2016                Ray Bandi                    wma                 mp3     

Activity is no Substitute for Production

John 17:4

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.

 

John 15:1-9

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

 

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

After 25 years of pastoral ministry in churches in CA, MA and NH, in September of 2015 Ray stepped away from pastoral ministry in order to be available to the broader body of Christ in New England. Ray and his wife Laurel are currently helping church leaders and individual Christians grow as committed disciples of Jesus who are in turn intentionally making other committed disciples. Their vision is to help plant networks of disciple-makers in a variety of churches so that they will carry out the mission of Matthew 28:18-20 for generations to come. Ray and Laurel live in Thornton, NH.

 

July 14, 2016                David Franks                wma                 mp3

Teaching on Wisdom, Part III

There Is A Joy To Falling – Submit Yourselves To God

James 4:1-8

 

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the worldmeans enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

 

a reading from the end of Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton:

 

It is said that Paganism is a religion of joy and Christianity of

sorrow; it would be just as easy to prove that Paganism is pure sorrow

and Christianity pure joy. Such conflicts mean nothing and lead

nowhere. Everything human must have in it both joy and sorrow; the only

matter of interest is the manner in which the two things are balanced or

divided. And the really interesting thing is this, that the pagan was

(in the main) happier and happier as he approached the earth, but sadder

and sadder as he approached the heavens. The gaiety of the best

Paganism, as in the playfulness of Catullus or Theocritus, is, indeed,

an eternal gaiety never to be forgotten by a grateful humanity. But it

is all a gaiety about the facts of life, not about its origin. To the

pagan the small things are as sweet as the small brooks breaking out of

the mountain; but the broad things are as bitter as the sea. When the

pagan looks at the very core of the cosmos he is struck cold. Behind the

gods, who are merely despotic, sit the fates, who are deadly. Nay, the

fates are worse than deadly; they are dead. And when rationalists say

that the ancient world was more enlightened than the Christian, from

their point of view they are right. For when they say "enlightened" they

mean darkened with incurable despair. It is profoundly true that the

ancient world was more modern than the Christian. The common bond is in

the fact that ancients and moderns have both been miserable about

existence, about everything, while mediaevals were happy about that at

least. I freely grant that the pagans, like the moderns, were only

miserable about everything--they were quite jolly about everything else.

I concede that the Christians of the Middle Ages were only at peace

about everything--they were at war about everything else. But if the

question turn on the primary pivot of the cosmos, then there was more

cosmic contentment in the narrow and bloody streets of Florence than in

the theatre of Athens or the open garden of Epicurus. Giotto lived in a

gloomier town than Euripides, but he lived in a gayer universe.

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

July 7, 2016                  Jürgen Liias                 wma                 mp3

 

The Collect for the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

O God, by the preaching of your apostle St. Paul, you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world:  Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in rememberance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Paul Encountering Jesus       Acts 22:6-9

 

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

 ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

June 30, 2016               Tim Leary                     wma                 mp3

Marriage    Ephesians 5:21-33

 

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washingwith water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wivesas their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

Books mentioned:

Gary Chapman – The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts

Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D. – Date Or Soulmate?

 

Tim is the Park Street Church director of grad student ministry. He personally leads a group at MIT Sloan (MBA’s) and BU Law students and internationals. He has worked full time in ministry for 18 years for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He has 4 children and lives literally on the line between Milton and Quincy.

 

June 23, 2016               Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3   (I apologize – only 1st half of talk recorded)

Things Every Christian Ought To Know: The Life That God Wants Us To Live – Ephesians 4:17-5:20

 

Instructions for Christian Living

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longerlive as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of Godbecause of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands,that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

   “Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

June 16, 2016               Mark Booker                mp3

You Shall Not Commit Adultery

 

Deuteronomy 5:18

18 “You shall not commit adultery.

 

Matthew 5:27-30

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

 

Proverbs 5, 6 and 7

 

Alan Paton - Too Late the Phalarope (1953)

wikipedia entry

 

And how long he stayed there he could not remember, but at last he rose and came out of the vacant ground. And his body and his clothes stank with the kakiebos [weeds], which stinking was a symbol of his corruption, so that in his going he feared that the stench of it would go through the town, and bring men and women from every house, to find him and know what he had done. …

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

June 9, 2016                 David Franks                wma                 mp3

Teaching on Wisdom, Part II

Two Kinds of Wisdom

James 3:13 – 4:2a

3:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

 

4:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill.

 

readings from Shadows On The Rock by Willa Cather

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

June 2, 2016                 Jürgen Liias                 wma                 mp3

 

The Collect for Pentecost

O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of thy faithful

people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: Grant

us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and

evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of

Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in

the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

 

Conversions and Witnessing       Acts 22:1-16

 

“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

 ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

 ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

May 26, 2016                Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

Things Every Christian Ought To Know: Things The Church Must Understand– Ephesians 4:1-16

 

A Prayer for the Ephesians

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.This is why it[a] says:

“When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives
    and gave gifts to his people.”

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves,and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

Three Factors That Keep The Church On Track

1) The Right Attitude

2) The Right Paradigm

3) The Right Goal

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

May 19, 2016                Mark Booker                mp3

You Shall Not Murder

 

Deuteronomy 5:17

17 “You shall not murder.

 

Matthew 5:21-24

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

 

Leviticus 19:17-18

17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

May 12, 2016                David Franks                wma                 mp3

Teaching on Wisdom, Part I

Hold Your Tongue; Speak Truth In Love

James 3:1-12

 

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they sayis perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

May 5, 2016                  Jürgen Liias                 wma                 mp3

 

The Collect for the Feast of the Ascension

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far

above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to

perceive that, according to his promise, he abideth with his Church on earth,

even unto the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and

reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

 

Acts 1:1-13a

 

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come backin the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk[c] from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying.

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

April 28, 2016               Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

Things Every Christian Ought To Know: God Wants To Fill Me With Power For Life – Ephesians 3:14-21

 

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

1) Pray for “Strengthening Power”

2) Pray for “Comprehending Power”

3) Pray for “Filling Power”

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

April 21, 2016               David Franks                wma                 mp3

James 2:14-26    The Pauline James (Part 3)   

 

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e]and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

 

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29:

 

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
 
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
 
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
 
With what I most enjoy contented least;
 
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
 
Like to the lark at break of day arising
 
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
 

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

April 14, 2016               Mark Booker                mp3

Honor Your Father and Your Mother

 

Deuteronomy 5:16

16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

April 7, 2016                 Dr. Peter Williams                    wma                 mp3

Pay Attention To The Details – Luke 15:11-32

 

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinnedagainst heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your propertywith prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

 

Dr, Peter Williams is the Warden and CEO of Tyndale House Cambridge, and a lecturer on Hebrew language at the University of Cambridge.

Biography Link

 

March 31, 2016             Tim Leary                     wma                 mp3

God Wants Us To Use Our Influence For Jesus – examing Joseph of Arimathea, the Pharisees, and the Women

 

 – Matthew 27:57-28:10

 

The Burial of Jesus

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Jesus Has Risen

28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

 

Tim just finished his 14th year working for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, currently at BU and MIT Sloan reaching out to internationals and graduate students (MBA types).  He is married to Sarah and now has 3 children and worships at Park Street Church (and serves as their director of Grad ministries).

 

March 24, 2016             Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

In On The Secret: “The Mystery of Christ” – Ephesians 3:1-13

 

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given methrough the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentilesthe boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

 

1 Peter 1:10-12

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

March 17, 2016             Mark Booker                mp3

The Sabbath Day, Part 3 – The Reality of Spiritual Rest

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that theLord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

March 10, 2016             David Franks                wma                 mp3

James 2:14-26    The Pauline James (Part 2)    Justification By Faith Means Works Of Love

 

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e]and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

 

quote from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson:

 

There are two occasions when the sacred beauty of Creation becomes dazzlingly apparent, and they occur together. One is when we feel our mortal insufficiency to the world, and the other is when we feel the world’s mortal insufficiency to us. Augustine says the Lord loves each of us as an only child, and that has to be true. ‘He will wipe the tears from all faces.’ It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required.

 

Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave – that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing. But that is the pulpit speaking. What have I to leave you but the ruins of old courage, and the lore of old gallantry and hope? Well, as I have said, it is all an ember now, and the good Lord will surely someday breathe it into flame again.

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

March 3, 2016               Jürgen Liias                 wma                 mp3

 

A Series on Acts  #131

 

Collect for Lent

Almighty and Everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou

hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:

create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily

lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness may

obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and

forgiveness: through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth

with Thee and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

 

Acts 21:30-39

 

30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!”

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

“Do you speak Greek?” he replied. 38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wildernesssome time ago?”

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

 

Philippians 1:7,12-14

 

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

 ……

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

February 25, 2016         Tim Russell                 wma                 mp3

In the Beginning God Created – God Spoke – God Loved

Genesis 1:1-2

  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;

    male and female he created them.

 

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

 

Matthew 22:36-39

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

Biography Link:

http://www.lca.edu/page.cfm?p=491&viewdirid=4581&&directoryStart=31

 

February 18, 2016         Mark Booker                mp3

The Sabbath Day, Part 2

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that theLord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

 

“Bring Back the Sabbath” by Judith Shulevitz (New York Times, March 2, 2003) hyperlink

“… the eternal inner murmur of self-reproach …”

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

February 11, 2016         David Franks                wma                 mp3

James 2:1-13    The Pauline James (Part 1)

 

Favoritism Forbidden

2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judgeswith evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

 

Luke 18:9-14

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

 

T.S.Elliott’s “Ash Wednesday” (hyperlink)

 

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth
This is the time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks
But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away
Let the other yew be shaken and reply.

Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

February 4, 2016           Jürgen Liias                 wma                 mp3

 

A Series on Acts  #130

 

Collect for Lent

Almighty and Everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou

hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:

create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily

lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness may

obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and

forgiveness: through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth

with Thee and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

 

The Nazarite Law          Acts 21:26

 

26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.

 

The Nazarite Law – Numbers 6

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.

“‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.

 

Acts 21:27-29

27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)

 

Jurgen mentions YouTube video “Pope Francis Sends Video Message to Kenneth Copeland”

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

January 28, 2016          Paul Atwater                wma                 mp3

God Saves Us By Grace, And By Grace Alone – Ephesians 2:1-10

 

Made Alive in Christ

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

Biography Link   www.northriverchurch.org

 

January 21, 2016          Jürgen Liias                 wma                 mp3

 

A Series on Acts  #129   Going up to Jerusalem  Acts 21:14-26

 

14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

15 After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly.18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elderswere present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”

26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.

 

Jurgen’s Talk on James, the brother of Jesus (May 5, 2011  A Series on Acts #83)   mp3

 

The Nazarite Law – Numbers 6

 

link to Jürgen’s blog  jurgenliias.blogspot.com

 

January 14, 2016          David Franks                wma                 mp3

James 1:19-2:12

 

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Favoritism Forbidden

2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judgeswith evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,

 

David is a Theologian and Ethicist, and his blog/website is www.newcityrising.com.

 

January 7, 2016            Mark Booker                mp3

The Sabbath Day

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-14

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.

 

Exodus 20:8-11

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lordyour God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he restedon the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

Mark is the Rector of Church of the Cross, Boston           http://www.cotcboston.org/home.html

 

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