Saturday, November 08, 2008

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Pastor Stanback's Reflections

OK it’s time for bible class. Look with me for a moment at the last prayer Jesus prayed. I am taken by the way John uses “monosyllabic” sentences. That is, whole sentences of one syllable words. Particularly, John 17:9 (with exception of one word) and the 16th verse. Jesus said I pray not for the world but for those the father gave him to care for. (good reason to come out of the world by the way) In verse 16, he says for they are not “of” the world even as He is not “of” the world. The suggestion here is that we are “in” the world but not “of” the world (we see this plainly from verses 11 & 16) and that we are under the tutelage and “watchful eye” of the Father. How calming and peaceful that is. We often and rightfully so, ask people to pray for us but isn’t it good to know that Jesus himself has prayed for us and commended us to His father’s love and care. How cool is that! Class dismissed.  -c.e. stanback


Francis Bacon, was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, and author. He served both as 
Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. His outstanding credentials made me take a second look at him. I said, he must have had great will power. He is the one who said that, “a healthy body is the guest chamber of the soul; a sick body is a prison.” And let the church say amen! Some people say that if God wants you sick, you will be sick and if God wants you well, you will be well. If you think that way then you must not know that God gives us a will too. God has blessed us with will power. “Will power” sounds like a super hero. It almost is. Will power can help you find the success you are looking for in life. When you have the will to do a thing, almost nothing can stand in your way but when you loose that will power almost nothing can help you. I am not implying that all you need for good health is will power. Because certain illnesses can be heretary and others can be contracted from other people. I simply believe "will power" can take you much closer to reaching any goals you may have in life. Now you may ask, “where can I get this will power or how can I increase my will power?” We will talk about that in the next blog. -c.e. stanback


It Christ-mas time again. Here is a gift I hope you will like.

The Power of WANT. In John chapter 4, Jesus asked the man who laid around the pool 38 years, do you want to be made whole? Jesus understood the power of want or desire. He understood that people go after what they want in life. Jesus helped the man clarify his wants. Some people kind of know what they want but need help to clarify what they want. Therein lies the problem. Jesus to the rescue. But once we clarify what we want. People are notorious for making every effort to do those things they really want to do. World leading markets have figure this out and tailor-make all of their advertisements to the desires and wants of people and have turn their business into multi-billion dollar businesses by selling people their wants. The important thing here is that businesses have figured out how to make some people want what they (the business) want them to want, regardless to needs.

The main point to get out of this is, clarify your wants and if you want something bad enough you will go after it with all your might and with all your talents and gifts. The main take away question here is, what do you want most out of life? Finally, Jesus gave the man what he wanted only after helping the man in clarifying his wants and desires. Jesus said, take up your bed and walk and the man got what he wanted and praised God for it. He was so happy. His wants what just what he needed. God wants to meet your hearts desire, your needs, and your wants, especially when your wants match up with your needs. Jesus says I will supply your every need. What a powerful statement by a powerful God. And, once again these are my perceptions. –C. Stanback


Why celebrate Easter, 1 Cor:15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

Easter is a noun and is now a Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus. It is the day on which this feast is observed, the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox.  I’ll explain that in the next verse.

MARCH 20TH is the first day of spring, or "vernal equinox" as astronomers would have it; vernal meaning "of or pertaining to spring," equinox meaning "equal night." As the angle of the earth's incline toward the sun changes throughout the year, also the days lengthens or shortens according to seasons and hemisphere. Just let it soak for a moment. There are two times a year when day and night are about the same length: the spring and the autumnal equinoxes.
What does all of this have to do with Easter? Well not much, other than this is the time we celebrate Easter, but you get to decide. Yes I know the holiday is steeply rooted in myths and paganism but so is Christmas and I personally love both days. Christianity has taken both these days and turned them into important Christian celebrations. I think that is as it should be because Christianity is designed to take that which “Satan” has once used and restore it to Christ. We are still working on Halloween; it is not quite there yet.

What about the bunny rabbit and the Easter eggs? Well, both are leftover trinkets from the days of paganism but they do have meanings of fertility. It’s Easter, spring, fertility; life is coming back so to speak, especially to the grass and flowers, so get your lawnmowers out and your allergy and sinus meds.
But even more so than these, this is a time to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. So, do you see the connection of fertility and rebirth? Yes, Easter is here again with all its usual controversies. This is a great time to honor Jesus and teach about the crucifixion and the surrounding events. Don’t forget dark Friday or as many call it, Good Friday.  Christians and of course merchantmen and women celebrate this day right along with Easter. Friday is the dark day Jesus died out on a hill sometimes referred to as Skull hill also called Calvary.

It must have seemed the whole world stopped and stood still on that Friday to his followers. Jesus was making right on the cross what Adam messed up in the garden. The sin of Adam infected all mankind and we needed someone with blood not infected by Adam’s blood, so walks in Jesus born of a woman but not a man. Therefore, he did not have the blood of Adam or man but given of God the father. So he was the only one and only way we could get redemption because sinless blood was needed to satisfy the payment of a pardon for our sin. Jesus paid it all and all to him we owe.
So that is why I celebrate Easter. It is great time to set aside to reflect and meditate on what Jesus has done for us, to us and in us. So why not join in with Christians from all over the world as we come together if only for a day to shout Hallelujah and thank you Jesus for dying for us and setting us free from the penalty of sin.
On this Easter why not thank Jesus for dying on the cross and rising that third day morning with all power in his hand. He lives! Death nor the grave could hold him down. Death had to resend its cold chilly call and the grave had to release its grounding grueling grip. Jesus stepped out on resurrection ground reclaimed all that the devil had stolen. The resurrection of Jesus is the only hope that you and I have that we too will live again. Hallelujah!!  I have everything riding on the resurrection.   It’s not in vain.
And these have been my reflections and meditations       -Charles Stanback


My reflections and meditations on the gospel of Matthew chapter 24, verses 36-51.

My thoughts are not meant to be a theological construct or a biblical breakdown of the text. This is a revelation of personal perceptions and practical principals granted during my study. Thus comes the thought, God rewards faithfulness.

I googled the word Faithful and this is what came up: numbers 1-5 is a description of the adjective, and numbers 1 describes the noun form. Here they are:
Adjective- this describes what faithfulness looks like.

1. Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal.
2. Engaging in sex only with one's spouse or only with one's partner in a sexual relationship.
3. Having faith or full of faith.
4. Worthy of trust or belief; reliable.
5. Consistent with truth or actuality.

Plural noun as in:
1. The practicing members of a religious faith, especially of Christianity or Islam: (sentence)Regular church attendance is done by the faithful. You can always count on the faithful few.

In the text, God speaks of faithfulness to describe the character and tenacity of the loyal Christians who will be around at or near the end of the world. The end of the world describes the time that Jesus will return to collect the faithful and carry them home with Him. It does not at least in my view describe the end of all things. Things will go on but not as we know them today. There will be a new heaven and a new earth with no democrats or republicans, no poor or rich, no aches and pains and no crying or worrying. God reward faithfulness. Be thou faithful over a few things and I will make you ruler over much.

If you don’t have a lot of gifts and talents like some, then just use the few that you have faithfully and watch God bless and multiply. God does not seek out the gifted and talented. He seeks out the faithful.

When he needed to feed the five thousand, he did not seek out the big grocery store but he used a small boys, small lunch. That’s my God and that is the way he operates. God does not look for the smartest kid but the most faithful.

Are you faithful or are you half hearted about life? Can people count on you to do what you say or are you quick to give up and say the “heck” with it? Do you look for life to be simple and easy? If so you will live a life of constant disappointments and agitations. 

You may not always be right. You may not always make the best decisions, but you can always be faithful to God because when you give your best to him he does the rest and makes up the short falls. Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life. Trust God with your life, your financial affairs, social affairs and love affairs. God rewards faithfulness.

These have been my reflections and meditations. Look for more to come  –Charles Stanback


These are my early morning reflections and meditations to enjoy.  They are free.

My reading is from Proverbs chapter 4. What really caught my attention were verses 18-27. I read them over and over because the writer said pay close attention. Reading verses over and over is a good way to pay close attention and it allows the words to sink deep into the heart, sort of like slow cooking your favorite foods. My thoughts this morning, that we are cooking up, is on WISDOM.  Wisdom is available to all and yet used by so few! That is truly amazing to me!

We are free to choose but the wisdom of our choices determines the destiny of our lives. We must make choices that lead to godly growth. Don’t try to figure thing out on your own. Ask God to guide you instead of you trying to guide yourself or depending solely on others to guide you. We must do our utmost to get his wisdom and his peace and walk in it. Now take time to read Proverbs 2:9-11; Pv. 3:1-12.

God’s wisdom is hidden from those who do not seek him. We gain wisdom by asking for it and from seeking God. Wisdom is a process of growing in grace and learning from ones mistakes. You probably want get wisdom by asking today and it somehow over take you by morning.

We must place our trust in the Lord. We place trust in a lot of faulty and failing things primarily because we can see them with the visible eye but never underestimate the power of the unseen. We swing our children through the air. We toss them into the air believing we are going to catch them. We place our trust in each other and we should have a level of trust in each other. We place trust in our jobs that can leave at any time. We take trips in cars, planes, buses and cruise ships. These are all risky business. Hence, we are often let down because we trust faulty and failing things. Therefore, we are back to square one. Now read Proverbs 3: 5-7, lean on the Lord and trust in him.

I was watching TV not long ago and I saw where one woman had placed her trust in a man whom she trusted was very nice until he brutally beat her. She was hospitalized and had to go through surgery. In the news, that woman was now fighting against that man’s early release from jail, all because she trusted in that which is faulty and failing.  I read somewhere and I agree with the statement, “trust should not be given, trust should be earned over time.”

We all want so badly to trust and we should trust, even in people but wisdom teaches us to guard that trust closely. And above all, know that we can place all our trust in the Lord for he will never let us down even though we let him down. A person of wisdom once said, “His eyes are on the sparrow and I know he watches over us.” You can trust that! These have been my reflections and meditations on the subject of wisdom from the pastor. Remember, on every subject, to guard your life with wisdom in order to have a better life.

Watch for our blog and website and look for more of these reflections and meditations to come.    – C.E. Stanback

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Friday, November 07, 2008

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