|Posted by Firehouse of God Ministries, Inc. on November 3, 2011 at 9:45 AM|
Firehouse of God Ministries – Vol. 5 – Issue # 11 November, 2011
Why Study the Bible Together?
Many of us over the years have probably attended a Bible study of some kind – some for men or women only and some combined. There are many reasons that we choose to attend – but do we do it for the right reason?
Do we do it for “self” – to be able to say that we have indeed “studied” the Bible? Did we meet to simply read chapter and verse perhaps with a question and answer period. Are we studying the Bible much as the ancient Jews did, reading and dissecting each and every word or do we “listen” as we read, finding answers to problems in our life, learning the rules that God wants us to live by; are we brought face to face with our sins that we may repent and “sin no more”?
We must remember that the Bible is truly “God’s Operating Manual” – everything we need to know about how to live our life, the rewards for following His rules and the results of not following His rules is in the Bible…and that is one of the reasons we should read and study it – so there can be no question as to whether we are doing right or wrong according to the Word and we learn how right the wrongs we have done to gain God’s forgiveness.
A meaningful group Bible Study group should be as confidential as a confessional! As we read words that seem to come just as we have the need for them, we should be able to speak out to the others, perhaps asking for help with understanding what we’ve just read as it applies to us or maybe explaining our problem and asking others for their help and prayers.
Bible study should strengthen our faith and promote our personal growth as a Christian. We should begin to see ourselves and others in a different light – open our hearts to one another – begin to ask ourselves “am I really doing all that I can do for my Lord, my church and my family and friends?
Bible study should create an excitement within us – causing us to want to share it with others – wholeheartedly invite others to join us – make sure someone who has no transportation is picked up – or a Mom has someone to watch the kids so she can attend –
Do not forget that to study the Bible is not meant to be just a weekly event – we are commanded to read it and learn it thoroughly so that we may in turn teach it to others.
The Friendship Circle – women’s Bible study meets at 7:00pm on Thursday evenings at the church – women of all ages are invited to attend and share their faith – see Sheryl Noble if you have any questions.
Men’s Ministry – to be announced – leadership needed!
Let us give thanks for what we have and not yearn for what we don’t have
If you have a roof over your head – give thanks
If you have food on the table – give thanks
If you have clothes on your body – give thanks
If you have family and friends – give thanks
If you have fellowship at church – give thanks
If someone gave you a hand today – give thanks
If things are better today than yesterday – give thanks
If you made a new friend today – give thanks
If the sun is shining today – give thanks
If someone offered you forgiveness – give thanks
If you saw a beautiful flower today – give thanks
If you recovered from an illness – give thanks
If you __________________(fill in the blanks!)
If you __________________
If you __________________
If you __________________
All good things that we have or experience come from the Lord – and we should thank Him and be grateful each and every day
Are we obligated?
Oblige – to bind together legally or morally
Obligation – an act of obligating oneself to a course of action – something (as a promise or contract) that binds one to a course of action – duty
Life is filled with obligations – go to school, go to work, pay our bills, and take care of our children…
Do we also have an obligation to the Lord to use the talents He has given us to serve Him in our church? Yes, we do!
The words obligation and commitment seem to have disappeared from our Society today – there is a lack of commitment to enter into marriage – lack of commitment to obey laws – lack of commitment to our friends and neighbors – few see these things as an obligation we have as Christians.
We have an obligation to our husband or wife to keep our marriage vows – we have an obligation to our children to teach them the Word and to bring them up as law-abiding members of our Society – we have an obligation to our friends and neighbors to always be there when we are needed – and we have an obligation to our church to use our God-given talents by serving whenever and wherever we are needed even when we think it’s an inconvenience.
God gave everyone of us a talent to use for Him – are you using yours? This can include but not be limited to teaching at Children’s church – baking something for a fellowship dinner or bake sale – helping with a church repair – cooking the shelter or Council House dinner (and if you don’t think you can cook, you can serve or assist with cleanup – these are talents also) – leading a Bible study (man or woman) – developing new church programs – organizing a church event – cleaning at the church – children’s programs – praise & worship – the list goes on and on and you are free to offer your time and talents at any time!
You may even find that you have more than one talent and volunteer in several areas of need at the church – feel free to volunteer – I doubt you will be turned down!
So, many things are not really a choice – we are obligated to the Lord to get them done.
November Events & Activities
Nov 16th – Barb Evans 22nd – Connie Pursell
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6th – DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS!
6th – 5:30pm City of God evening service – 20th Anniversary celebration – Pastor Brian will be giving the closing prayer – all are invited to attend
8th – Election Day
10th – 4:30 pm – “Four Winds Summit” at the Worship Center **
11th – Veteran’s Day
18th – 6:00pm – 8:00pm Hometown Holidays – US Bank parking lot 2nd Ave and 3rd St in Rock Falls – we will be giving fire truck rides - volunteers needed ***
24th – Thanksgiving – church office closed – no meal served – Harvest Time church in Rock Falls will be serving free Thanksgiving dinner
27th – Advent ****
** Four Winds Summit – based on Ecclesiastes 27:8-10 - this is a prophetic conference – 4 out-of-town pastors will be speaking – sign up for a ride if you would like to go
*** Hometown Holidays – Volunteers will also be needed to provide baked goods – cookies/brownies – no cake or pie
**** Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas
For Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return
Even though Advent occurs in the month of December and is usually considered to be a prelude to Christmas, it is not simply about waiting for the birth of Christ. Advent is as much about preparing for Christ's return on Judgment Day. Indeed, the Advent season focuses on Christ's threefold coming -- past, present, and future.
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Men’s Ministry – to be announced – Leader needed!
Women’s Friendship Circle – Thursdays 7:00 p.m. at the Church
Community Light Feeding Program: Monday – Friday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Dinner Served / Saturday 12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch Served
Firehouse Youth Ministry – Sundays 6:00 p.m. at the church
Old News Items…
Lyons Mirror Lyons, Clinton County, Iowa
October 15, 1857
Banking House Closes
The Bellevue Republican of Sept. 20th, say that the banking house of Jonas Clark, at Maquoketa, has closed its doors, and it is thought depositors will sustain much loss.
Emmetsburg Palo Alto, Iowa, Wednesday, October 18th, 1905.
TOWN TOPIC OF THE WEEK
-- Edward McNally is putting in a furnace in his residence and also sewerage connections
On the lighter side…
It seems that there was a little old church out in the countryside: painted white and with a high steeple. One Sunday, the pastor noticed that his church needed painting. He checked out the Sunday ads and found a paint sale. The next day, he went into town and bought a gallon of white paint.
He went back out to the church and began the job. He got done with the first side. It was looking great. But he noticed he had already used a half-gallon.
He didn't want to run back in town and being the creative person that he was, he found a gallon of thinner in the shed out back, and began to thin his paint. It worked out great. He finished the remaining three sides with that last half gallon of paint. That night, it rained: it rained hard.
The next morning when he stepped outside of the parsonage to admire his work, he saw that the first side was looking great, but that the paint on the other three sides had washed away. The pastor looked up in sky in anguish and cried out, "What shall I do?"
A voice came back from the heavens saying, "Repaint, and thin no more!"
A young pastor was known for his amazing command of the English language – a talent most often than not got in the way of making his points clear.
One Sunday, he exhorted, “Oh, Lord, waken Thy cause in the hearts of this congregation, and give them new eyes to see and new impulse to do. Send down Thy lev-er or lee-ver – according to Webster’s or Worchester’s dictionary whichever Thy uses – and pry them into activity!”
Contributed by Don Noble
Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before people, that they may see your good works and praise your Heavenly Father
Summer/Winter Homeless Ministry and
Summer Kids Program
Feeding the homeless and the hungry – providing temporary shelter for men and women.
Homeless Coordinator Men’s Rescue Leaders
Mike Russell Barb Evans
Council House Caretakers –
Clayton Conrady / Robert Pyron
Volunteer - Darryl Snow
Shelter Dinner / Lunch Shift Leaders
Mike Russell – Keven Miller - Maria Lopez
Christian News from onenewsnow.com
Nat'l policies restricting religious speech revoked - Chad Groening and Stacy Long - OneNewsNow - 10/24/2011
Yeah! One for our side!
Veterans at the Houston National Cemetery are celebrating a national victory for religious freedom and expression.
Federal District Judge Lynn N. Hughes has signed a consent decree ordering the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to stop banning prayer and the word "God" at national cemeteries, to revoke national policies hostile to religion, and to reopen the chapel at the Houston National Cemetery.
National policies restricting religious speech brought on a lawsuit filed on behalf of a pastor and several veterans groups over religious censorship during military funerals at the Houston site. The case started in May when Houston Cemetery director Arleen Ocasio told Pastor Scott Rainey that he could no longer pray in Jesus' name at Memorial Day services there.
The Liberty Institute took up the case on behalf of Rainey, but further investigation revealed additional First Amendment violations made by the Veteran’s Affairs officials, such as telling speakers to edit the word “God” from their vocabulary, requiring that prayers be submitted in writing for approval, and closing the Houston National Cemetery Chapel and using it as a storage facility. Rainey v. VA developed into a major case against the VA for the re-establishment and protection of First Amendment rights.
After five months of litigation, the government chose to act to end these national policies opposed to religion. The two national policies revoked are the NCA Director 3170 and the November 1, 2007, NCA memorandum, both of which restrict speakers at events held at national cemeteries and require that speeches and prayers must be “inclusive and non-derogatory.” Hiram Sassar, director of litigation at Liberty Institute, says this was a huge victory for veterans and religious liberty across the country because the policies revoked are nationally binding.
"This is an order from the court that enforces about 12 pages of provisions, some of which include the repeal of some long-standing national policies concerning banning [of] certain religious statements during military funerals,” Sassar explains. “It's just a huge victory for religious freedom across the board."
The attorney says this law not only allows for freedom of religious expression, but if any VA employee violates the order, they will be held accountable.
"This consent decree will apply to every employee of the VA, including the director of the Houston National Cemetery,” Sassar says. “If any employee of the VA violates this order, they will be subject to contempt of court and be thrown in jail."
School to allow invites to all events - Bob Kellogg - OneNewsNow - 10/25/2011
A federal court has decided that a Pennsylvania elementary student will now be allowed to distribute invitations to church Christmas parties.
A fifth-grader in the Pocono Mountain School District was told last December she could not hand out invitations to her church's Christmas party, even during non-instructional time. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) represented the student.
"Christian students have positive messages to share with other students that are not only protected by the Constitution, but that should be welcomed in public schools," notes ADF attorney David Cortman. "The court was right to stop this unconstitutional ban on Christmas party invitations."
Though school officials prohibited invitations to the church party, ADF staff counsel Matt Sharp says they indiscriminately permitted other students to distribute invites to other events.
"The flyers were banned simply because the party was being held in a church, while flyers for Halloween parties and promotional events for businesses and other community groups went unopposed," Sharp reports. "If the party had been held in a pizza parlor, the district would have approved the flyer -- and that just doesn't pass constitutional muster."
But the recent court decision ends that discrimination. It also stops enforcement of any school district policy that prohibits any student speech considered to be promoting Christianity.
Compliant made about pre-game prayers in Alabama - Associated Press - 10/26/2011
FLORENCE, AL - Alabama's Lauderdale County school district is accused of violating the First Amendment by allowing prayers that invoke Jesus Christ to be broadcast over the loudspeaker before football games.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation calls the prayers illegal and has written two letters to the school district on behalf of Lauderdale County resident Jeremy Green, who confirmed that he filed the complaint.
The TimesDaily reports that Green says he's not trying to prevent individual Christians from praying. But the Foundation includes all school-sponsored events in its complaint
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.