Showing posts with label Bible verses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible verses. Show all posts

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Important Letter from ABC USA General Secretary 2018


AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCHES USA
___________________________________



June 15, 2018

Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Sessions,

I am writing to you today on behalf of the 5,000 congregations and 1.3 million members of the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA). As General Secretary, I serve as the national pastor of the denomination. ABCUSA has a long and distinguished record of service in welcoming immigrants and refugees to communities throughout the United States.

The American Baptist family would like to communicate our deep concern over the unjust immigration policies of the United States government, and in particular, the unconscionable separation of children from their parents on our southern border. As a fellowship of Christ-followers who recall the trials of the child Jesus and his parents, who fled from persecution in their homeland to another country (Matthew 2:13-18), we adamantly oppose separating children from their relatives. A just society can fulfill its fidelity to its own laws and border security without resorting to such unwise and harmful practices; instead, we urge that compassion, fairness and family-affirming policies characterize our response to the plight of families on our borders. We note that destructive practices such as the separation of children from parents place a serious burden on our law enforcement agents and officials, who in carrying out such policies find their own consciences ethically compromised and troubled.

Furthermore, we strongly disagree with your erroneous appropriation of the New Testament (in particular, Romans 13) to justify inhumane and unjust governmental actions. No responsible Christian theologian would assert that Romans 13, or any other passage in the Bible, supports the horrific separation of children from parents that we are witnessing at the present time. In fact, both the Old and New Testaments call those who believe in God to welcome refugees and immigrants with open arms and friendship, with loving care and concern, and with the willingness to assist others in enjoying the prospects of a future based on hope and opportunity.

Accordingly, American Baptists wish to express our sincere hope that the separation of children and parents will immediately cease. We urge Congress and the President to approve and implement without delay more compassionate and just immigration policies and procedures. As the leading law enforcement official of our government, it is your privilege and responsibility to lead such an effort. Thank you for considering our position.

Sincerely,

 Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, General Secretary
 American Baptist Churches USA

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Beyond Loaves and Fishes: Esther Week 4




Once again we left off with a cliff hanger ending. Haman is building a giant gallows to end Mordecai's life. Queen Esther has held one feast for the king and Haman and has invited them to a second, which has puffed up Haman's ego something awful. What will happen when Esther reveals the truth behind who she is and what she intends to accomplish? Watch now and find out. If you like what you see here, hit the Subscribe button at the J.S. Brooks YouTube channel and join us live.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Foundations



Sermon based on Luke 6:46-49 answering the question, how do you know you have a firm foundation? Having one allows us to be confident in the face of the storms of life. Having one allows us to live life as confident individuals who are able to fulfill the great commandments, loving God and neighbors. Living life from that firm foundation requires trying, falling flat on our faces, getting up and trying again. Are you in? Come along and learn how it is done.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Beyond Loaves and Fishes: Esther Week 2




Two weeks ago when we first live streamed we had a literal dark and stormy night. Last week I failed to broadcast because my encoder gave up the ghost. I have a new encoder now. If all works as it is supposed to work, we'll continue our study of the book of Esther, diving into the chapters and verses and seeing what Esther has to tell us about living life today.
I apologize for the lost week last week. It is especially frustrating after the testing we did to make sure everything would work. So, here's hoping we continue class next week. Until then, God be with you. If you are just stopping by, please subscribe and support this fledgling effort.


If you like what you see here and want to attend the weekly Bible study, go on over to J.S. Brooks on YouTube and hit the big red subscribe button.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Victory that Conquers the World



Sermon based on 1 John 5:1-6, in which the author is trying to quell the very real fears of Christians living through difficult times, where friends are hard to find, and truth seems uncertain, even fluid. Threats appeared everywhere and churches were starting to unravel. Sound familiar? The author takes a very simple, calming approach on how we might all respond ... and where to find the victory that conquers the world. It's uplifting and more than a little surprising. You are invited to watch.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Easy to Scatter



The sermon for Sunday, April 29, 2018, based on John 10:11-18, explores what it means that Jesus is our good shepherd. We see who we are as the flock and what we are intended to do in that capacity. Finally, we find out who the biblical writers considered "wolves" intent on preying upon and scattering the flock. We sheep are easy to scatter, but we don't have to! Come listen in. It's good news.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Spring Arrives in Lansdowne

We are celebrating the warming days, the beautiful flowers, the budding and flowering trees, the awakening grass ... 

It reminds us of the Song of Solomon 2:11-12: 

For now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 

Well, since this is a different climate, we'll say hopefully the snow is over and gone. Rain: that's another matter here in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Of course, we are right across the street from the Dollar Tree, so some unusual items sometimes end up in our yard. We don't mind nifty ones like these whirligigs. Whimsy and surprise are welcome. And if some child wants them, and it will brighten that child's day, by all means take those little whirligigs! 



Wishing you all a blessed day.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On the Road



Sermon based on Luke 24:13-21, in which two disciples of Jesus walk away from Jerusalem, knocking the dust of the town off their heels following Jesus' crucifixion, and heading out for the town of Emmaus. The meet a stranger on the road and life changes forever. Come and see. It's a powerful story. It also has much to say on how we ought to share our stories. Intrigued yet?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Late to the Party



Sermon for April 8, 2018, the week after Easter, based on John 20:19-29, the story of Thomas, who arrives late to the party, so to speak, after Jesus has visited the disciples after his resurrection. Thomas has a lot of trouble believing what his friends are trying to tell him and expresses his feelings strongly. Watch and see what this means for all of us today.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lifted Up and Drawing



Sermon based on John 12:20-33, in which Greeks and "the world" come to visit Jesus. His success, the attention his mission is drawing, is see as dangerous to some in power, a threat that will bring down death and destruction for many from Rome. They propose a solution, "lifting Jesus up." Little do they know what this will accomplish. Listen, watch, and see for yourself. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Through the Roof



Sermon for the first Sunday of Lent 2018, based on Mark 2:1-12. How to have the hospitality of Jesus and the determination of the paralytics four friends who were willing to go through the roof to get their suffering friend to Jesus, especially in these challenging times. Listen in and decide if you are up to the challenge, during Lent and all year long.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

God Provides



Sermon for January 28, 2018, based on Deuteronomy 18:15-20. The sermon explores God's provision of prophets for his people. It takes a hard, honest look at how one tells the difference between a true and false prophet. You might be surprised how useful this information is today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Plain Talk



This sermon from January 21, 2018, covers Jonah 3:1-5, 10, technically. In actuality, the sermon covers the entire book of Jonah, one of the most readable books of the Bible. Yes, it is done in roughly 20 minutes. You may be surprised who the plain talker actually is in this book full of surprises. This is an uplifting message for anyone.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Coming Light



During this busy Advent season, with Christmas fast approaching, a voice cries out, making a way straight, and pointing us all to the true source of enduring joy, to a light that the darkness cannot overcome, or understand, for that matter. I pray we may all heed the call and turn toward the light and joy this Christmas and always. The sermon is based on John 1:6-8, 19-28 and was delivered on December 17, 2017. Merry Christmas and may God's blessings be upon us all in the New Year.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

One Day Like 1000 Years



Sermon based on 2 Peter 3:8-15 given during the Advent season in 2017. The focus of the sermon is dealing with anxiety that comes upon us all as we wait.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fair Balance: Stewardship



Sermon from October 29, 2017, based on 2 Corinthians 8:7-15. Paul guides the Corinthian church and us in how to live generous, joyful lives, creating fair balance and having a positive impact. Following Paul's advice for living is character changing. To succeed, however, requires a lot of trust.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Wicked Tenants



Sermon based on Matthew 21:33-46, which reminds us what Jesus expects from us if we choose to be fruitful rather than wicked tenants. It is a message well worth reflection.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Words of Encouragement in Difficult Times

In these turbulent times, it is worth taking a step back and reminding ourselves of who are the blessed by kingdom standards. Jesus said this to the crowds as recorded in Matthew 5:1-12.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Take heart, all of you who are poor of spirit or mourn. Enjoy your inheritance, you meek people. I hope we may all be filled, receive mercy, be called children of God and see God. Have courage all who are persecuted for Jesus' sake. You stand in good company.

God bless you in your journeys, all who pause a moment here. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Make My Joy Complete



Sermon based on Philippians 2:1-13, given on October 1, 2017, and relating how Paul guided the struggling Christian church in Philippi to survive in the face of rising opposition. Paul's guidance works today as we face opposition as well, especially in an age when many online sources are now dedicated to the dissemination of false information designed to pull people, institutions, and societies apart. Paul's recommendations to his brothers and sisters in the Christian church in Philippi are just as useful to us today in our distress, as you will soon hear. God bless you all.