Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Who we are...

BAD HABITS are NOT who we ARE but rather, they're what we've done and can choose not to do and do differently in the future! 1 John 3:1-3

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ascension Parallels to Graduation

One of the books that we've been reading, reflecting, and exploring during the Easter Season is The Acts of the Apostles. The title of this book quite easily could have been The History of the Early Church, The First Followers, Principles of our Faith or some other clever title, but it's not! The key is Acts the book is about how the Apostles and first believers lived out the faith and it is meant to strengthen and encourage us, the Church today, to live out our faith to the fullest.

Ascension Readings

When it comes to living out our faith we can react or live like many high school and college graduates. We are in the season of grads and speaking of grads, it seems that we tend to get 3 types of graduates. First are the ones who say "we're done and not looking back," the second say, "I'm moving on to the next phase of my life," in a very status quo kind of way, and then lastly we have those who upon graduation go forth in a very passionate and excited way ready to tackle life and do great things. In our faith there are some who come to Church on Sunday to simple check off the obligation box for the week, while others know their faith matters but are not that active and then there are those who like a passionate and excited graduate will go forward to actively live out their faith. The active living or participation in our fatih is the goal, ideal, and key to living the Christian life to the fullest.

At this juncture between Ascension and Pentencost where do you find yourself in regards to actively living out your faith? What gifts or fruits of the Holy Spirit do find to be present and active in your life now? What gifts or fruits of the Holy Spirit do you need to pray about or access more in your life? We are meant to live our faith to the fullest, to ACT upon our faith, may the commissioning of Christ to go forward to make disciples in His name and the strengthening of the Holy Spirit be with us to help us live the faith we are called to live.

The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
1. Wisdom
2. Understanding
3. Knowledge
4. Counsel
5. Piety
6. Fortitude
7. Wonder & Awe/Fear of the Lord

Derived from Isaiah 11:1-3 

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide.

Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control 

Galatians 5:19-26  

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ (Jesus) have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit. Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envious of one another.