A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

The Choice that Changed Everything–a sermon for the mentally challenged community

posted by Linda G. Howard

The choice that changed everything

Nehemiah 9:17

Central Theme: Man choices to sin and God chooses to be gracious.

A ream of paper has 500 sheets–not more and not less. A foot is 12 inches–not more and not less. There are many absolutes in our lives. There is a couple of absolutes that totally changed mankind. First, since Adam’s sin, We all choose to sin and God always chooses to be gracious and forgive. Have a member read Nehemiah 9:17.

I.     Tell the story of the first sin and the fall of mankind from Genesis 3.

A.Eve ate the fruit and Adam followed her.

B.  They were tricked by Satan.

C.God made them leave the garden but he chose to love them and forgive them.

II.     God will always choose to be gracious and loving to you.

A.We must desire God‘s love and his forgiveness.

B.  We don’t always think we need God.

III.     The ways we reject God.

1.  We decide that we can handle everything ourselves.

2.  We work toward being independent of God

3.  We want to please people rather than God

3.  We disobey God‘s laws.

A.There are unintended consequences to all of the bad choices that we make.

IV.     We should never forget that God will always show his love and graciousness to us.

Conclusions: Each of us chooses to sin but God chooses to forgive us all the time.

Friendship Evangelism

posted by Linda G. Howard

For many years, I taught a seminar called “Friendship Evangelism.”  The basis of this teaching was that people are much more susceptible to hear the promises of the Gospel, if they know and respect you.  We all have a knowledge of the friendship of David and Jonathan from the Bible.  Even if we only vague know the details, their love for each other has inspired men and women for generations.

Recently, I saw a simple–yet dramatic–example of friendship that threw me a bit.  Several weeks ago, I needed some equipment at our Sunday Special Gathering program.  It was locked in the home of an elder.  I’d been on a trip when the equipment had been used the last time.  As I came home, this program elder left town for his vacation.  Our paths crossed.  Everyone knew that this man badly needed a break and rest from the stress of his profession.  He and I had been in contact for a couple of days regarding the equipment.  But there seemed only one way to get access to the equipment.  We needed to find one of his employees who had a key and have him deliver it.  It seemed to be a simple situation.

However, the employee had also taken a trip that weekend; and he could not be reached.  Every early Sunday morning, the elder realized that he could not get in contact with his employee.  I talked with the elder on the phone.  “You will have your equipment,” he said emphatically.

“Are you bringing it?” I asked.

Silence screamed from the other end.

“Please, don’t bring the equipment you need this break much more than I need my stuff.  I can work thing out.  Don’t do this.”

Silence.

“You are going to bring this no matter what I say, aren’t you?” I asked.

“You will have your equipment,”  firmly, he assured me.

Within an hour, the equipment was being mounted and my friend was laughing about having to leave his vacation to deliver some wires.  I was deeply touched by this generous gesture and act of love for our members, who are mentally challenged.

This is the kind of friendship that woos people toward the God of Heaven who gave His all to deliver us from the grief and darkness of our lost condition.  The question for me is no longer whether I will die for a lost generation.  I’ve become more realistic in my expections.

Would I leave my vacation to enable a friend who does not know Jesus to have the equipment she needs?

Overcoming Fatigue

posted by Linda G. Howard

After four days of Camp Agape, my children laugh that I’m in my Camp Coma for about a week.  While it’s humorous there is a lot of truth in their designation of my abilities.  There are some things that I’ve learned from others and from my own experiences regarding physical fatigue.

First, this is a physical condition that cannot be ignored or “played with.”  It is a serious condition.

Second, even though rest is the most important ingredient in recovery, there is also the need for quiet.  That is, spend some time with yourself–alone.  Turn off the TV.  Unplug your mind from the Internet.  Give your brain time to recoup.

Third, find YOUR way to regather your thoughts and your well-being.  While I recoup best by reading, other will find that taxing.  Gardening, repairing your car, cleaning, puzzles.  Almost any brain-dead activity will do as long as it is something that refreshes you.

Fourth, unwind your brain. Most of us must unwind before we can truly rest.  When one of my grandchildren (aged three) realized that I was unable to sleep, she tenderly told me, “I had to learn how to sleep.  I’ll show you.  Put your arm on your head, like this.  Then,  rub the corner of your blanket and you will fall asleep.”  She had found a way to unwind her brain.

Finally, rest your body.  Sleep is vital but staring time is equally important.

The Bible tells us that the Lord gives His Beloved rest.   Take that time to be with Him in quiet and peace.  Rest.

Explaining grace

posted by Linda G. Howard

In the past weeks, I’ve been going over some of the key words in our covenant relationship with God.  Perhaps one of the most important words we use is grace.

Most of us have learned and maybe we even remember

  • God’s
  • Riches
  • At
  • Christ’s
  • Expense

This is great explanation of grace and the first one I could readily remember.  However, it is a bit churchy sounding for many people.

Then there is the wonderful explanation:  Unmerited favor.  I love this simple explanation that encapsulates this amazing concept in two words.

However, trying to explain grace seemed harder than I had imagined.  They didn’t grasp the whole acrostic idea.  And while unmerited favor seems simple enough, even the members who remember the two-word definition could not explain what it meant.

Therefore, we worked our way into another definition that they understood and fully appreciated.  Grace is receiving a gift we don’t deserve.

Receiving a gift we don’t deserve is not as catchy at the acrostic or as short as “unmerited favor” but our members understand it and have grasped its meaning.

Previous Posts

The Choice that Changed Everything--a sermon for the mentally challenged community
The choice that changed everything Nehemiah 9:17 Central Theme: Man choices to sin and God chooses to be gracious. A ream of paper has 500 sheets--not more and not less. A foot is 12 inches--not more and not less. There are many absolutes in our lives. There is a couple of absolutes that totally

posted 10:48:30pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Friendship Evangelism
For many years, I taught a seminar called "Friendship Evangelism."  The basis of this teaching was that people are much more susceptible to hear the promises of the Gospel, if they know and respect you.  We all have a knowledge of the friendship of David and Jonathan from the Bible.  Even if we o

posted 9:12:04am Aug. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Overcoming Fatigue
After four days of Camp Agape, my children laugh that I'm in my Camp Coma for about a week.  While it's humorous there is a lot of truth in their designation of my abilities.  There are some things that I've learned from others and from my own experiences regarding physical fatigue. First, this

posted 6:37:05am May. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Explaining grace
In the past weeks, I've been going over some of the key words in our covenant relationship with God.  Perhaps one of the most important words we use is grace. Most of us have learned and maybe we even remember God's Riches At Christ's Expense This is great explanation of grace and

posted 9:48:06pm May. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Familiar customs and limited means
When the Biblical young woman, Ruth, married into a Jewish family she understood little about their ways, God or religion.  This is my supposition; but I base the conjecture on facts.  Moabites were shunned by the Israelis.  Decades before, Moab wronged the wandering tribes who desired to trav

posted 7:47:06am May. 20, 2014 | read full post »


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