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Here we go again. The hussle and bustle of the holiday season. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday and for me there is always Bill Due January. But seriously, consider what is truly lost in all our celebrations, all of gift exchanging and parties. Is this not the focus to be on the Birth of the Savior. The King has come. God in human flesh. How easily we become enamored with ourselves. It is a big industry. The markets know it, magnizines know it and even some who market Jesus know it. We as people can always find temporary fixes in stuff. We can and do want to experince, even experiencing Jesus. But just thinking shouldn't we as Bible centered, Biblically oriented believers be fixatated on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 even begs the idea of having our eyes fixed on Jesus. Not just one day but daily, moment by moment. Anything that takes our eyes away from Him is an act of unbelief. Here we are as believers are addressed by God continuely to Trust Him. Not some experience but the very truths He has given to us called the Holy Bible. This season get an "I" exam. Refocus, not on the reason for the season, but the person of Christ who died for your sins giving you forgiveness and rose again to not only to give you His life but that He might live life through you.

Just thinking 

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Some time after I was saved I was approached by a sincere man and he asked me ' Are you a Calvinist?'. I was shocked I had not even heard of this and wasn't sure if I had missed something when I got saved. What is this? I was brought up as a Jew and I had enough concerns answering those who thought I was no longer a Jew. Now I had to know if I was a Calvinist. 

When I, as many of you, had first heard the gospel, the good news,it was only about what the Lord Jesus did for me that I could not do for myself. I was a sinner, lost, and far from God. I was dead in my trespass and sins. Jesus at the cross took upon himself my sins and thereby reconciled us to God. For me personally , too. 

This sacrifice

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Well today is Good Friday. I do not know if one says, "Happy Good Friday?" Was that Good Friday, Happy. I believe not. If it was a Friday at all. Colossians 2:16,17 states the following,

Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--  17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Its not about the day but about the Savior. These festivals were to point us to Messiah. Never were the meant to be raised above Him.

We dress afresh for Easter. Many buying new clothes and even dressing to the hilt. What about the other 364. Some will even attempt to go to church. Make their nod to God. But is that what it is all about. I think not.

This brings me to what often begins the Easter weekend recognition. Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. First off I have to state what I do believe which is by Thursday of the Passion Christ was either on the cross or in the tomb. There are many choices as to when Christ was crucified. Was it Wednesday, Thursday or Friday? If as I lean to Thursday then therefore there is no Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.

So as to Maundy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday is the name given to the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, known as the Last Supper. Two important events are the focus of Maundy Thursday.

First, Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples and thereby instituted the Lord’s Supper, also called Communion (Luke 22:19-20). Some Christian churches observe a special Communion service on Maundy Thursday in memory of Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. Second, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as an act of humility and service, thereby setting an example that we should love and serve one another in humility (John 13:3-17). Some Christian churches observe a foot-washing ceremony on Maundy Thursday to commemorate Jesus’ washing the feet of the disciples.

The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command.” The “Maundy” in “Maundy Thursday” refers to the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Last Supper, that they should love and serve one another. Should we observe Maundy Thursday? The Bible neither commands nor forbids it. It is a good thing to remember the Last Supper and Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It is a good thing to remember the Lord’s example of humility. However, at the same time, we should avoid ritualistic observances of holidays unless they are truly focused on God and our relationship with Him.

In Closing, observing the Lord daily and Loving one another is truly the Biblical thing to do. How well are we doing at honoring the Lord not on a day but daily?? Just Thinking

 

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Do I have a witness? This phrase is often used in a charismatic arena but I believe it still is very Biblical. The apostle John used it many times. It is the greek word, marture,w,  martureo, by which we get our English word martyr. Many people who publically testified to their Savior found that it often cost them their lives. Yet today we oddly enough remain silent and do not testify. Not due to threat of death nor of even being a social outcast but I believe indifference, a lack of passion. Many talk a good game but look at church growth today.

Is it via evangelism? Are sheep begetting sheep? Or is it the new entertainment factor with little commitment.  My challenge on how to testify is develop a conversational testimony. We live in a dynamic age of wonderful technologies. Tape yourself telling your story of how you found the Savior, about your faith and new life in Him. Post it to youtube and Facebook (Oh my, imagine future employers seeing this instead of that last party night). Do I have a witness?

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This being my first installment in Pastor's Pruning I press to make it profound and stimulating. I will probably be neither. Many blogs come across as a rant, rave or the need of a bully pulpit. My direction of this blog is to try to review something I have taught, to think outloud about something I struggle with or to preview where we will be digging into in future classes at Southwood.

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