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Gospelly Yours

November 23, 2016

Gospelly Yours

In Sanctuary  by David Jeremiah, a book of daily devotions a question is asked:"...can someone give me a definition of the gospel?  Can you?

1 Corinthians 15:1-11New International Version (NIV)

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.  (www.biblegateway.com)

My definition of the Gospel takes me back in time to the room at the top of the stairs at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in College Point, New York where my Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Sniffin taught us the song, "Jesus Loves Me". That song lives in my heart and soul.  May Jesus live in your heart and soul now, today and always! Amen  Amen

 

"Until Today is Long Ago"

November 21, 2016

Until TODAY is Long Ago

A  cousin had written, "until today is long ago" in my sister's wedding card thirty-five years before.  Now, I understand that phrase because that's what age and experience does for you!  A butterfly or moth must wait, then struggle out of it's cocoon to metamorphosize into something truly amazing. 

Joel Osteen dramatically said, "Your appointing is coming...part of the process wasn't meant to be permanent...just a step along the way.

Get ready for acceleration...when your annointing catches up to your appointing...It's all good...

if He took you before you were ready you wouldn't know how to handle it.  If it's taken a long time; it must be BIG!" www.joelosteen.com

 

On the day David became King he remembered his annointing by Samuel thirteen years earlier.   David had been called away from the sheep he was shepherding.  His six older brothers encircled him with his father, Jesse. The LORD said, "Arise, annoint him, for this is he." Samuel blessed David with the oil and the Lord's Spirit rushed upon David from that day forward." 1 Samuel 16:1-13 

  Keep to your path. Be encouraged that God is always on time even if you think you have been waiting too long.  If you are not feeling it today just think for a moment: until TODAY is long ago.  Your waiting will be  forgotten and the appointing full of joy!

Recommended reading:

How You Think Determines How You Live

by Joel Osteen

 

The LORD Has Plans For You

November 18, 2016

11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

When negative thoughts get stuck in your head and you know you have to curb your ego you have a few options:

1- Continue to drive yourself crazy with those negative thoughts that keep popping up in your mind like a crime scene on CSI!

2- Visualize a stop sign in your mind every time the negative thought surfaces.

3- Eat something because that forces your emotions down but let's be real, we know that is another unhealthy choice!

4- Let a pretty song get stuck in your head but that can drive you crazier.

5- Meditate on scripture of your choice.

Pastor Linda Burlew Gold of the First Reformed Church of College Point recommends Jeremiah 29:11 for such purposes.

6- You can visualize a scene from the Bible: Jesus walking on water demonstrating His power; why worry when you know Jesus is your LORD!

"You Are Worth More Than Many Sparrows!"

November 15, 2016

 

Jesus is talking to his disciples in Matthew "...What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light, what you hear whispered proclaim on the housetops.  And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.  Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?  Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.  Even all the hairs of your head are counted.  So do not be afraid; you are worth more then many sparrows.  Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father..." Matthew 10: 27 - 32

If our heavenly Father knows how many hairs are on our head we really need to refocus and let Him help us to live a fulfilling life according to His will.  In Daily Readings For Devoted Living by INTOUCH.ORG November 2016 Charles F. Stanley reminds us, "If our loving, OMNIPOTENT FATHER, really does desire to meet His children's needs, then why do some go unmet?  The first reason: We don't ASK 2: We ask but doubt that God can or will do it.  3: We ask GOD to address the symptom, not the real need.  Dr. Stanley continues, "...ask yourself, Is it possible that I could be standing in the way of God's intervention?"

As for myself, a door closed shut recently  but in my sadness a new door opened...two doors actually, and I am very grateful.  I know to ask, I know to wait, I know to say thank you to my Omnipotent Heavenly Father.

This column is dedicated to Mrs. Gilda Patterson who went HOME to the Lord on November 4th, 2016.

"No Matter What Happens..."

November 11, 2016

"No matter what happens at the polls today, REMEMBER: GOD IS IN CONTROL, and

HE IS FOR US, not against us.

OUR HOPE RESTS IN HIM."

From InTouch.com text message on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

That message made me stop worrying and just let go of any anxiety perplexing me as I walked up to vote.  I went to sleep with no fear that night because I know who is in control - GOD! no matter what happens.  The next day I woke up to the reality that Donald Trump is now President-elect Trump. On Thursday, November 10th, I helped put the Thanksgiving food bags together at the First Reformed Church of College Point  Afterwards, I perused The Post and there was iconic columnist, Cindy Adams talking about her friendship with Donald Trump.

Ms. Adam goes on to say, " I know Trump 40 years.  Longer than his kids or first wife Ivana.  Hysterics and histronics aside, the guy is canny. Savvy.  If he can't jump over the top, he'll creep under the bottom.  But he'll accomplish.  You don't like him?  So what?  Not everybody had tea with Lincoln.  The guy who's there now has a nice haircut, good suits, shirt sleeves rolled to just the right spot when pretending to go casual...I know the offstage DONALD. I remember that anger when I didn't attend his father's funeral. "You disrespected him," he said. I remember when his things went belly-up and he unpityingly sat behind me in a cramped seat in a junky plane.  I remember when he turned things around and flew us in a private jet to Vegas munching cookies and catered meals. I remember '97 when he brought his team over to create my security system.  I remember his extra-special care when my husband passed on.  I remember he didn't forget his promises. Not to me.  Not to you.  Not to the country he loves. And I'll always remember he's one of us, kids- only from New York..."

The most interesting thing I remember from reading TRUMP - THE ART OF THE DEAL in 1987, was the fact that he realized the men he was making deals with were all drinking too much and he didn't, which gave him a clear mind to make a deal. I wonder how Congress will behave with him at dinner behind closed doors.

For myself, I will meditate today on Isaiah 43:18- Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not: 19: See I am doing something new!  Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland rivers.  Dr. Carey Yazeed (www.drcareyyazeed.com) shared this scripture on her Periscope show this morning where she encouraged us to "let go of the past...stop hoarding things and people...to make room in our life for new things...by letting go, God will make a way when you think there is no way."

Like a lot of Americans are thinking today... there is no way I'm going to like the next four years.  Remember God is your boss! (www.justjfo.com) Jennifer  Forchelli on Periscope (just JFO) reminded her followers earlier this year..."God is your boss!" START WITH GOD and the next four years and forever will take care of itself.  Find a church, synagogue, temple or mosque to be a part of and get closer to our creator so you can let go. My church is The First Reformed Church of College Point (www.frccp.org)where Sunday service is led by Pastor Linda Burlew Gold at 10:30 AM.  Also invaluable to me is Dr. Charles Stanley and his team at www.intouch.org.  AGAIN: MEDITATE ON ISAIAH 43:18 & 19 today! Amen

Baptism is Done to Us

April 3, 2016

Matthew 3:17

 

As  Christians we are baptized.  How were you baptized?  Many churches have a baptismal font where the baby is held over it and  his head doused with water by the priest with the words:  “N., I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”  The Book of Common Prayer – The Episcopal Church

I never thought much about it until listening to Dr. Charles Stanley’s sermon on the:

Reasons to be Baptized

  1. It is commanded by Jesus.
  2. Public confession of your faith.
  3. It is a portrayal of what happened to you at salvation.
  4. You identify yourself with the body of Christ.
  5. It “drives a stake” to declare you are a follower of Jesus.
  6. It affirms your belief in Christ and the promise of a bodily resurrection.

Baptize means to immerse.  John the Baptist immersed Jesus in the water to baptize Him and that’s when The Heavenly Father sent a dove to represent the Holy Spirit and said, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!”

 

At BibleLessons.com Bob Williams helps us understand baptism from scripture in “A Study Of Baptism”.
 

The word baptize is from the Greek word baptizo, and the word baptism is from the Greek word batisma or baptismos. Together they are found 100 times in the New Testament. Thayer's Lexicon lists three primary meanings of the word baptize:

  1. to dip repeatedly, to immerge, submerge
  2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water
  3. metaphorically, to overwhelm

 

And repenting is doing something that God says we must do, and so is baptism. All these are things God says we must do in order to receive His grace. But none of these are meritorious works to earn salvation. Baptism, like faith, is also called a work, but it is the work of God. Colossians 2:12-13 says, "Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions."

In Titus 3:5, Paul said, "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit."

Baptism is actually the most passive act (or work) of faith required for salvation. Believing is something we must DO; repenting is something we must DO (and often a very hard thing to do); but baptism is something DONE TO US. It is merely submitting in faith to the working of God in our lives.

 

Matthew 3:13-17 records the event of Jesus coming to John to be baptized. While John had been baptizing people for the forgiveness of sins following their confession and repentance (Matthew 3:4ff; Mark 1:4ff), Jesus our Lord had no sins (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). When John questioned the purpose of Jesus coming to him for baptism, Jesus said, Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. (Matthew 3:15).

Righteousness is equated with doing what is right, something God and Jesus always do. In particular, we know that Jesus came to this earth for the primary reason of obeying His Father and doing His will (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38-39). Whatever purpose God had in having His Son baptized, it is evident that Jesus did so to demonstrate the importance and necessity of obeying the will and commands of God.

As I sorted through my Bible holder given to me by my late cousin, Wendy Jones when I became an Eucharistic Minister, there was a piece of paper inside Meditations For Lay Eucharistic Ministers by Beth Maynard ISBN 0-8192-1770-0 inserted at a page about baptism. Now, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts, Reverend Maynard writes, "...the font...is both a tomb, where your old self is buried, and a womb, where a new one is born. Passing through these waters gives us access, whether we consciously use it or not, to god's very life.  As you are brought into Christ, God's words to Him become God's word to you.  And if you have not ever heard them, stop and hear them now, "You are my beloved child. With you I am well pleased."

Obedience-Training

March 5, 2016

"Every revelation of God is a demand and the way to knowledge of God is by obedience." -William Temple

The Reverend John Andrew, D.D., Rector of Saint Thomas Church in New York City used this quote at Festal Evensong of Laetare on March 5, 1989:

He continued, "Get around that if you can.  The point is you can't.  Remember Christ's own baptism by John in the Jordan, and the Divine revelation in those dread words: '"This is my beloved SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED."' The demand is intrinsic in the revelation.  Believe Him.  He will say what he will say because he is what he is: my beloved Son.  What does he say?  He says a lot about obedience, his own; and John, you heard, records it for us: '"I can do nothing on my own authority...I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me"' ((John 5:30)  He says a lot about obedience.  John writes that he is later to say, '"He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him,"' (John 14:21)  And do we not know how he lived his own obedience out, how he '"became, obedient unto death, even death upon a cross'"? (Philippians 2:8)  That life, that suffering, that death, yes, and his resurrection, comprised the obedience the Divine Covenant required.  His is what Paul describes as the '"obedience of the one'" (Romans 5:19) which makes our destiny assured, if we believe on him..."

Reverend Andrew's complete message was very powerful and as relevant today as it was in 1989. Send an SASE business size envelope to me and I will send you a copy.  You can contact me at Marybradshawduncan@gmail.com.

"Relax Into What You Do Want"

January 14, 2016

Reminds me of the time Jesus said, "Someone has touched me; I know that power has gone out of me."

- New International Version Luke 8:46

How are you flowing your energy? Jesus was always aware of His energy.  You can feel how your energy is flowing. Watch this video and and think:"How am I flowing my energy?"

 

 

"The BREAD... You Do Not Use is the BREAD of The HUNGRY"- St. Basil

January 12, 2016

"The Bread

Which you do not use

Is the Bread of the Hungry;

The garment hanging in the wardrobe is the

Garment of him who is naked;

The shoes you do not wear,

Are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;

The money that you keep locked away is the,

Money of the Poor,

The Acts of Charity that you do not perform,

Are so many injustices that you commit."

-St. Basil

A 23 year old father of two daughters last week took his shirt off and dressed a shivering homeless man in the NYC Subway while others looked on doing nothing to help.  An onlooker put a video of this on You Tube and it went viral.  Jay Gold was on Good Morning New York today and that is how I found out about this good deed.  What would you have done?

Last week when I saw this St. Basil quote my dry spell was over.  I'm back to writing posts here and will be giving everything away. 

To be continued.....Mary Bradshaw Duncan

Rosh Hashanah 5776 is here! Shanah Tovah

September 13, 2015

This 1,500 year old golden necklace was unearthed near the site of the temple at Jerusalem.

Reflect upon these scriptures from the Bible which corresponds to the sound of the shofar (horn) during Rosh Hashanah:

Numbers 10:3, Numbers 10:5, Numbers 10:9 and Exodus 19:16, 19

The Gospel of the Lord- Mark 8:27-35

..."He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”

 

 

View older posts »

Gospelly Yours

November 23, 2016

Gospelly Yours

In Sanctuary  by David Jeremiah, a book of daily devotions a question is asked:"...can someone give me a definition of the gospel?  Can you?

1 Corinthians 15:1-11New International Version (NIV)

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.  (www.biblegateway.com)

My definition of the Gospel takes me back in time to the room at the top of the stairs at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in College Point, New York where my Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Sniffin taught us the song, "Jesus Loves Me". That song lives in my heart and soul.  May Jesus live in your heart and soul now, today and always! Amen  Amen

 

"Until Today is Long Ago"

November 21, 2016

Until TODAY is Long Ago

A  cousin had written, "until today is long ago" in my sister's wedding card thirty-five years before.  Now, I understand that phrase because that's what age and experience does for you!  A butterfly or moth must wait, then struggle out of it's cocoon to metamorphosize into something truly amazing. 

Joel Osteen dramatically said, "Your appointing is coming...part of the process wasn't meant to be permanent...just a step along the way.

Get ready for acceleration...when your annointing catches up to your appointing...It's all good...

if He took you before you were ready you wouldn't know how to handle it.  If it's taken a long time; it must be BIG!" www.joelosteen.com

 

On the day David became King he remembered his annointing by Samuel thirteen years earlier.   David had been called away from the sheep he was shepherding.  His six older brothers encircled him with his father, Jesse. The LORD said, "Arise, annoint him, for this is he." Samuel blessed David with the oil and the Lord's Spirit rushed upon David from that day forward." 1 Samuel 16:1-13 

  Keep to your path. Be encouraged that God is always on time even if you think you have been waiting too long.  If you are not feeling it today just think for a moment: until TODAY is long ago.  Your waiting will be  forgotten and the appointing full of joy!

Recommended reading:

How You Think Determines How You Live

by Joel Osteen

 

The LORD Has Plans For You

November 18, 2016

11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

When negative thoughts get stuck in your head and you know you have to curb your ego you have a few options:

1- Continue to drive yourself crazy with those negative thoughts that keep popping up in your mind like a crime scene on CSI!

2- Visualize a stop sign in your mind every time the negative thought surfaces.

3- Eat something because that forces your emotions down but let's be real, we know that is another unhealthy choice!

4- Let a pretty song get stuck in your head but that can drive you crazier.

5- Meditate on scripture of your choice.

Pastor Linda Burlew Gold of the First Reformed Church of College Point recommends Jeremiah 29:11 for such purposes.

6- You can visualize a scene from the Bible: Jesus walking on water demonstrating His power; why worry when you know Jesus is your LORD!

"You Are Worth More Than Many Sparrows!"

November 15, 2016

 

Jesus is talking to his disciples in Matthew "...What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light, what you hear whispered proclaim on the housetops.  And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.  Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?  Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.  Even all the hairs of your head are counted.  So do not be afraid; you are worth more then many sparrows.  Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father..." Matthew 10: 27 - 32

If our heavenly Father knows how many hairs are on our head we really need to refocus and let Him help us to live a fulfilling life according to His will.  In Daily Readings For Devoted Living by INTOUCH.ORG November 2016 Charles F. Stanley reminds us, "If our loving, OMNIPOTENT FATHER, really does desire to meet His children's needs, then why do some go unmet?  The first reason: We don't ASK 2: We ask but doubt that God can or will do it.  3: We ask GOD to address the symptom, not the real need.  Dr. Stanley continues, "...ask yourself, Is it possible that I could be standing in the way of God's intervention?"

As for myself, a door closed shut recently  but in my sadness a new door opened...two doors actually, and I am very grateful.  I know to ask, I know to wait, I know to say thank you to my Omnipotent Heavenly Father.

This column is dedicated to Mrs. Gilda Patterson who went HOME to the Lord on November 4th, 2016.

"No Matter What Happens..."

November 11, 2016

"No matter what happens at the polls today, REMEMBER: GOD IS IN CONTROL, and

HE IS FOR US, not against us.

OUR HOPE RESTS IN HIM."

From InTouch.com text message on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

That message made me stop worrying and just let go of any anxiety perplexing me as I walked up to vote.  I went to sleep with no fear that night because I know who is in control - GOD! no matter what happens.  The next day I woke up to the reality that Donald Trump is now President-elect Trump. On Thursday, November 10th, I helped put the Thanksgiving food bags together at the First Reformed Church of College Point  Afterwards, I perused The Post and there was iconic columnist, Cindy Adams talking about her friendship with Donald Trump.

Ms. Adam goes on to say, " I know Trump 40 years.  Longer than his kids or first wife Ivana.  Hysterics and histronics aside, the guy is canny. Savvy.  If he can't jump over the top, he'll creep under the bottom.  But he'll accomplish.  You don't like him?  So what?  Not everybody had tea with Lincoln.  The guy who's there now has a nice haircut, good suits, shirt sleeves rolled to just the right spot when pretending to go casual...I know the offstage DONALD. I remember that anger when I didn't attend his father's funeral. "You disrespected him," he said. I remember when his things went belly-up and he unpityingly sat behind me in a cramped seat in a junky plane.  I remember when he turned things around and flew us in a private jet to Vegas munching cookies and catered meals. I remember '97 when he brought his team over to create my security system.  I remember his extra-special care when my husband passed on.  I remember he didn't forget his promises. Not to me.  Not to you.  Not to the country he loves. And I'll always remember he's one of us, kids- only from New York..."

The most interesting thing I remember from reading TRUMP - THE ART OF THE DEAL in 1987, was the fact that he realized the men he was making deals with were all drinking too much and he didn't, which gave him a clear mind to make a deal. I wonder how Congress will behave with him at dinner behind closed doors.

For myself, I will meditate today on Isaiah 43:18- Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not: 19: See I am doing something new!  Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland rivers.  Dr. Carey Yazeed (www.drcareyyazeed.com) shared this scripture on her Periscope show this morning where she encouraged us to "let go of the past...stop hoarding things and people...to make room in our life for new things...by letting go, God will make a way when you think there is no way."

Like a lot of Americans are thinking today... there is no way I'm going to like the next four years.  Remember God is your boss! (www.justjfo.com) Jennifer  Forchelli on Periscope (just JFO) reminded her followers earlier this year..."God is your boss!" START WITH GOD and the next four years and forever will take care of itself.  Find a church, synagogue, temple or mosque to be a part of and get closer to our creator so you can let go. My church is The First Reformed Church of College Point (www.frccp.org)where Sunday service is led by Pastor Linda Burlew Gold at 10:30 AM.  Also invaluable to me is Dr. Charles Stanley and his team at www.intouch.org.  AGAIN: MEDITATE ON ISAIAH 43:18 & 19 today! Amen

Baptism is Done to Us

April 3, 2016

Matthew 3:17

 

As  Christians we are baptized.  How were you baptized?  Many churches have a baptismal font where the baby is held over it and  his head doused with water by the priest with the words:  “N., I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”  The Book of Common Prayer – The Episcopal Church

I never thought much about it until listening to Dr. Charles Stanley’s sermon on the:

Reasons to be Baptized

  1. It is commanded by Jesus.
  2. Public confession of your faith.
  3. It is a portrayal of what happened to you at salvation.
  4. You identify yourself with the body of Christ.
  5. It “drives a stake” to declare you are a follower of Jesus.
  6. It affirms your belief in Christ and the promise of a bodily resurrection.

Baptize means to immerse.  John the Baptist immersed Jesus in the water to baptize Him and that’s when The Heavenly Father sent a dove to represent the Holy Spirit and said, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!”

 

At BibleLessons.com Bob Williams helps us understand baptism from scripture in “A Study Of Baptism”.
 

The word baptize is from the Greek word baptizo, and the word baptism is from the Greek word batisma or baptismos. Together they are found 100 times in the New Testament. Thayer's Lexicon lists three primary meanings of the word baptize:

  1. to dip repeatedly, to immerge, submerge
  2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water
  3. metaphorically, to overwhelm

 

And repenting is doing something that God says we must do, and so is baptism. All these are things God says we must do in order to receive His grace. But none of these are meritorious works to earn salvation. Baptism, like faith, is also called a work, but it is the work of God. Colossians 2:12-13 says, "Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions."

In Titus 3:5, Paul said, "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit."

Baptism is actually the most passive act (or work) of faith required for salvation. Believing is something we must DO; repenting is something we must DO (and often a very hard thing to do); but baptism is something DONE TO US. It is merely submitting in faith to the working of God in our lives.

 

Matthew 3:13-17 records the event of Jesus coming to John to be baptized. While John had been baptizing people for the forgiveness of sins following their confession and repentance (Matthew 3:4ff; Mark 1:4ff), Jesus our Lord had no sins (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). When John questioned the purpose of Jesus coming to him for baptism, Jesus said, Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. (Matthew 3:15).

Righteousness is equated with doing what is right, something God and Jesus always do. In particular, we know that Jesus came to this earth for the primary reason of obeying His Father and doing His will (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38-39). Whatever purpose God had in having His Son baptized, it is evident that Jesus did so to demonstrate the importance and necessity of obeying the will and commands of God.

As I sorted through my Bible holder given to me by my late cousin, Wendy Jones when I became an Eucharistic Minister, there was a piece of paper inside Meditations For Lay Eucharistic Ministers by Beth Maynard ISBN 0-8192-1770-0 inserted at a page about baptism. Now, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts, Reverend Maynard writes, "...the font...is both a tomb, where your old self is buried, and a womb, where a new one is born. Passing through these waters gives us access, whether we consciously use it or not, to god's very life.  As you are brought into Christ, God's words to Him become God's word to you.  And if you have not ever heard them, stop and hear them now, "You are my beloved child. With you I am well pleased."

Obedience-Training

March 5, 2016

"Every revelation of God is a demand and the way to knowledge of God is by obedience." -William Temple

The Reverend John Andrew, D.D., Rector of Saint Thomas Church in New York City used this quote at Festal Evensong of Laetare on March 5, 1989:

He continued, "Get around that if you can.  The point is you can't.  Remember Christ's own baptism by John in the Jordan, and the Divine revelation in those dread words: '"This is my beloved SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED."' The demand is intrinsic in the revelation.  Believe Him.  He will say what he will say because he is what he is: my beloved Son.  What does he say?  He says a lot about obedience, his own; and John, you heard, records it for us: '"I can do nothing on my own authority...I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me"' ((John 5:30)  He says a lot about obedience.  John writes that he is later to say, '"He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him,"' (John 14:21)  And do we not know how he lived his own obedience out, how he '"became, obedient unto death, even death upon a cross'"? (Philippians 2:8)  That life, that suffering, that death, yes, and his resurrection, comprised the obedience the Divine Covenant required.  His is what Paul describes as the '"obedience of the one'" (Romans 5:19) which makes our destiny assured, if we believe on him..."

Reverend Andrew's complete message was very powerful and as relevant today as it was in 1989. Send an SASE business size envelope to me and I will send you a copy.  You can contact me at Marybradshawduncan@gmail.com.

"Relax Into What You Do Want"

January 14, 2016

Reminds me of the time Jesus said, "Someone has touched me; I know that power has gone out of me."

- New International Version Luke 8:46

How are you flowing your energy? Jesus was always aware of His energy.  You can feel how your energy is flowing. Watch this video and and think:"How am I flowing my energy?"

 

 

"The BREAD... You Do Not Use is the BREAD of The HUNGRY"- St. Basil

January 12, 2016

"The Bread

Which you do not use

Is the Bread of the Hungry;

The garment hanging in the wardrobe is the

Garment of him who is naked;

The shoes you do not wear,

Are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;

The money that you keep locked away is the,

Money of the Poor,

The Acts of Charity that you do not perform,

Are so many injustices that you commit."

-St. Basil

A 23 year old father of two daughters last week took his shirt off and dressed a shivering homeless man in the NYC Subway while others looked on doing nothing to help.  An onlooker put a video of this on You Tube and it went viral.  Jay Gold was on Good Morning New York today and that is how I found out about this good deed.  What would you have done?

Last week when I saw this St. Basil quote my dry spell was over.  I'm back to writing posts here and will be giving everything away. 

To be continued.....Mary Bradshaw Duncan

Rosh Hashanah 5776 is here! Shanah Tovah

September 13, 2015

This 1,500 year old golden necklace was unearthed near the site of the temple at Jerusalem.

Reflect upon these scriptures from the Bible which corresponds to the sound of the shofar (horn) during Rosh Hashanah:

Numbers 10:3, Numbers 10:5, Numbers 10:9 and Exodus 19:16, 19

The Gospel of the Lord- Mark 8:27-35

..."He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”

 

 

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