Thursday, November 20, 2003

post date: November 20, 2003
10:47 PM A thought to ponder in these days of moral confusion: "If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." St. Augustine 7:23 PM Very warm weather for late November. Took a bike ride through November and had too many layers of clothes on. Turning colder tomorrow. Total miles ridden this year: 3271. 7:22 PM Only 7 more days till the Pastor's Stroll. Better dust off those sneakers and get ready to join the fun. 1:23 PM Andy McQuitty says that "the Judeo-Christian assumptions that launched America are being leeched away by secularist values at a dizzying rate." He also says that's actually good news for Christians who want to see lives changed by the gospel. 11:38 AM First, a reminder that Calvary's music ministry will present Two From Galilee in three performances, December 6-7. Tickets are now on sale. Second, we know that many people would come to a Christmas program who would not otherwise visit a church service. This is an excellent opportunity to reach your friends and neighbors… . And that leads me to this commentary by Al Mohler, entitled "The Unchurched Next Door: A New Look at the Challenge." The latest research shows that millions of people are open to the gospel—if only someone would share it with them:
Most Americans have never been invited to church—never. Yet, 82% indicated that they would be at least "somewhat likely" to attend church if invited.
Think about that. People are more willing to come to church than we are to invite them! My point: "Two From Galilee" is a great chance to invite friends and neighbors to come with you. Think of three people you could invite—and then pick up the phone and give them a call. Don't be surprised when they say yes. 8:59 AM Answering my e-mail this AM … A note from a former Calvary attender now living in the DC area asking for church recommendations. I sent her three. (We get requests like this frequently. Always glad to hook folks up with good churches around the country whenever we can.) … A woman writes that her newly-married nephew who serves in the military will soon be going to Iraq and did I have any books I could recommend as Christmas gifts before he leaves (also a common request, and one we're glad to answer.) … A tip from a friend about a new book that might help me prepare my upcoming sermon series (starting in January) on the Apostles Creed … Someone wants advice on how to witness to a friend who says, "I don't read the Bible because I have God in my heart and he will show me what to believe." … Then there was this question: "Does God punish us for falling away from church when we are overwhelmed and busy? Sunday is the only day that I have to sleep late, put my feet up and do nothing." … Then there was an encouraging note from someone who works at a major university in Chicago:
Just wanted to say thank you for your message on Sunday. The holy spirit really spoke to me. I know you have said it before that we should be thankful to work in the secular world. I go along thinking yes this is good, but then come the times when it is really hard and I want to give up. I do feel that it is my mission field and this is where God wants me to be right now even though it is getting more difficult. I don't really fit in and I know that is a good thing. How I would love to see the Holy Spirit change the hearts of so many I come in contact with. Sunday's message really encouraged me not to give up, but to keeping trusting, keep loving, keep serving, and to be bold and share my faith when God gives me the opportunity, and finally watch the Holy Spirit work.
Those words put a smile on my face. May God bless all those Christians who light up the darkness with the love of Jesus Christ.

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Ray Pritchard
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