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Friday, February 25, 2011

A Portrait of Poverty

30,000 children are feed throughout the Philippines each week:

As I was waiting for my friends laundry to dry at a local laundromat, I picked up a magazine called Pentecostal Evangelic. The Nov. 14, 2010 magazine did an extensive article on a faith based organization called Convoy for Hope. In 15 years, Convoy of Hope has fed 36 million people in more than 109 countries. As a partner with the Assemblies of God, Convoy of Hope goes into all the and provides the resources and means necessary to sustain life.

Only a few miles south of Manila, Philippines near the ports is an area called Baseco. Baseco is one of the most impoverished places that Convoy of Hope feeds.

Would you be able to imagine no food, no water, indoor bathroom, mattress-less beds? That life is everyday for the people of Baseco, Philippines. Convoy of Hope emphasis the importance of nourishing the body and the spirit. A quote from the AG director in Southeast Asia who has served in the Philippines for 22 years says "The local church is Gods powerhouse for long-term ministry". Convoy of Hope is on the front lines delivering needed resources not only in the Philippines but all over the world. Starting churches, schools and providing classes to improve the quality of life. You can see for yourself what is being done when local churches and communities pull together.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Salt?

Jesus says in Matthew 5:13, "You [believers] are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." We must, as Matthew Henry comments, retain the relish and savor of the salt. For "if this salt lose its saltiness, if a Christian revolt from his Christianity, if he loses the savor of it, and be no longer under the power and influence of it, what can recover him, or wherewith will you season him?"

God used a small number of people to support Herbert W. Armstrong in the preaching of the gospel to the world. We are now even fewer in number, yet we have influence far out of relation to our size. What is more, only a remnant of us will support the work of the Two Witnesses. God has always worked with the few. However, if we ease up, if we lose our flavor, we will "be thrown out and trampled underfoot"—a scary thought indeed!

At one time, salt was thought to be very rare. As drilling techniques improved, it was discovered that the earth possessed huge underground salt deposits. Near the town of Cardona, Spain, there is literally a mountain of salt. Covered by a few feet of soil, most of the mountain—around 70 percent—is pure rock salt. Just as God's people are rare now, we represent multitudes to be "discovered" in the future. A little salt goes a long way.

These three points barely scratch the surface of this subject. As with salt itself, there is more to it than what first appears. Pointing out the depth of what, on the surface, looks to be simple statements about a common substance could expand into volumes of insights and instruction. Like so much of what we read in the Bible, God has built in many layers of meaning.

What "simple" principle can we take away from this study? God has called us to be living sacrifices. The Christian life is an ongoing process of striving for purity, in which we must ensure that our lives are properly seasoned so that we might not lose our "flavor" and succeed in being among God's firstfruits.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3

There is a Time for Everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.
There is a time to be born,
and a time to die.
There is a time to plant,
an a time to pull up plants.
There is a time to kill,
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy,
and a time to build.
There is a time to cry,
and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad,
and a time to dance.
There is a time to throw away stones,
and a time to gather them.
There is a time to hug,
and a time not to hug.
There is a time to look for something,
and a time to stop looking for it.
There is a time to keep things,
and a time to throw things away.
There is a time to tear apart,
and a time to sew together.
There is a time to be silent,
and a time to speak.
There i a time to love,
and a time to hate.
There is a time for war,
and a time for peace.
God controls our world...what will happen in the future has happened before.
What happens now has happened in the past.