All Saints Day – Nov. 1, 2019

The church recalls those who have gone before us as faithful servants of Christ. Join us https://www.rdcrs.ca/uploads/allsaintsday_17su_4c/1538688466-220w_allsaintsday_17su_4c.jpgfor a service recognizing All Saints Day on Friday – Nov. 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

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Amazing Grace

John Newton (1725-1807) was a slave owner, but he changed his life and became a Christian minister. In thankfulness for his opportunity to recognize his errors and repent, he wrote a song that has given hope to many:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;

‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

Grace” means the undeserved gift of God. Newton realized that happiness comes from recognizing our limitations and relying on the precious love of God. How much does God love us? He sent his only son, Jesus, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life.

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The Purpose of Life

October 24, 2019 – Thursday Evening & The Purpose of Life:

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them.1

There be many that say, Who will shew us any good?2 What hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. All is vanity and vexation of spirit.3 They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.4

Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.5 I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.7

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.8
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1Isa 41:17; 2Psa 4:6; 3Ecc 2:22,23,17; 4Jer 2:13; 5Joh 6:37; 6Isa 44:3; 7Mat 5:6; 8Psa 63:1;

(From Bagster’s Daily Light – KJV)

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St. James of Jerusalem

October 23 is the feast day of James, the brother of Jesus. To learn about his life, we have to put together several clues from the New Testament. Image result for james of jerusalem

Matthew 13:55 has residents of Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, exclaiming in wonder, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter’s son, surely?  In not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude?” (Jerusalem Bible translation)

John 7:2-5 says that “Not even his brothers, in fact, had faith in him.”  Hebrew and Aramaic have no separate word for “cousin,” but use the same word to refer to both brothers and cousins, so this reference is not very precise, but it has traditionally been held that James did not believe in Jesus until after the Resurrection.

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, 15:5-8, recounts post-Resurrection appearances to Peter (“Cephas” in Greek), to the twelve apostles, then to five hundred more, then to James.

In the Acts of the Apostles, 12:17, Peter, having miraculously escaped from jail, leaves a message for “James and the brothers.”

Later in the Acts of the Apostles, 15:13 ff., when a theological controversy arises in Jerusalem, James appears to be in charge and he formulates the official decision of the church council.

In his letter to the Galatians, 2:9, Paul describes a visit to Jerusalem where he met with James, Peter, and John, “these pillars [of the church].”

During Paul’s final visit to Jerusalem, he is described (Acts 21:18) as visiting “James, and all the elders were present.”

The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus describes James as “the brother of the so-called Christ” and says that he was much respected for his piety.  James was reportedly killed by stoning in A.D. 62 or 63.

In 2002 it was reported that an ossuary (a stone box used for storing bones) had been found with the inscription in Aramaic, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” If genuine, this artifact could be a contemporary physical witness to the life and death of James. 

After James’ death, the church in Jerusalem watched with concern as Jewish rebels risked more and more open conflict with occupying Roman troops. Finally, following warnings that Jesus had given, the Christian church left Jerusalem in time to avoid the total destruction of the city by Rome in 70 A.D.

James presided over a significant controversy in the early church about whether new Christians needed to first become Jews (final answer: no). This is reflected in the following prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, who set your brother James on the throne of Your church in Jerusalem: Grant that as he continually interceded for the sins of your people, and worked to reconcile in one body both Jew and Gentile; so your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity, and may ever be an effectual witness for the salvation of all mankind. Grant this, O Son of Man, who are on the right hand of the Father, in the unity of the Spirit, now and ever. Amen!

 

 

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Do I Have Hope If I Sin?

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Sin is failure to do what God wants us to do.  There are greater and lesser sins, but it is hard to deny that, to some degree or another, each of us sins every day.  This thought has disturbed Christians for centuries.  Some have feared that if they sin after being baptized, then maybe the baptism didn’t “take” and they will not be saved. Others turn their anxiety outward and tear down figures of the past because, at some time or another, they committed sin. Others rationalize that “it’s not really sin” if we limit ourselves to gossip and a white lie or two.

The Anglican tradition has always taken a realistic view, as reflected in the following excerpts from the Articles of Religion (1571):

Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void . . . But all we the rest, although baptized, and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  [From Article XV]

Not every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable.  Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism.  After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives. [From Article XVI]

The Baptism liturgy includes a prayer for the newly baptized persons, as follows, “That they may persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever they fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.”  Notice that it doesn’t say “if” they fall into sin, but “when.”  

All of this is firmly based on the Bible. Remember that Jesus’ closest followers ran away and hid when he was arrested and executed. Peter even lied to save himself. But Jesus forgave all of them.

So is sin OK with God? No. Should we go ahead and sin some more, so that God has more to forgive? By no means.

Jesus came to save us from our sins so that we can live forever with God.  The Holy Spirit is available to help us. Therefore we have good reason to hope for the future. What would strengthen that hope? We could get together with other Christians to confess our sins, pray for forgiveness, and participate in the sacrament of bread and wine that Jesus instituted for his followers. Now where could we do that?

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Pet Blessings

pet blessing animals Oct 2019

Pet Blessings!

In honor of St. Francis

Join Us!

Bring your pet for special

Blessings!

 Sunday, October 6th at Noon

St. Barnabas Anglican church

2340 N. 155th

Shoreline, WA 98133

206.365.6565

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Thoughts for Friday

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.1

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.2

O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see we beseech thee, we are all thy people.3 Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.4 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.5

Affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.6
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11Pe 5:6; 2Pro 16:5; 3Isa 64:8,9; 4Jer 31:18,19; 5Lam 3:27; 6Job 5:6,7; (Bagster’s Daily Light KJV)

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New Furnace!

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Thanks to generous donations, our project to replace our two aging furnaces is proceeding. The furnace at the north end of the church building has been replaced, just in time for the cooler temperatures of fall. 

Speaking of being strangely warmed, in 1738, John Wesley was attending a church service.  While listening to the preacher who was “describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”  Wesley went on to be a powerful preacher throughout England.  His Methodist movement continues today.

 “Trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation.”  That message sounds from the earliest writing of St. Paul and gives us hope today.  We can’t save ourselves, but Christ can save us.  If you are asked, “What do they do at that church,” the answer is, “They are learning to trust Christ, Christ alone for salvation!”

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Glory

Our lives are often filled with worries.  What have we done?  What is going to happen to us and to those whom we love?  https://personalitybuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Science-Shows-Anxiety-and-Worry-Linked-to-Intelligence.jpgWouldn’t it be a relief (and so much more than a relief) to find something of great value and just bask in contemplation of that thing?  We get glimpses of this feeling when we climb a mountain and revel in the view from the top, or when we cry because a character in a movie has done an unselfish act, or even (in a small way) when we see a quarterback make a perfect pass despite the giant defenders bearing down.  At such times, we want to cry out, “Glory!” which means, roughly, “That is great!” 

God offers us more than we can ever imagine or hope for.  God created the world, with all of its beauty and wonder, for us to enjoy.  God sustains the world in existence from moment to moment.  God loves us and sent Jesus to save us when we had gone far from him.  In the end God wants us to be in love with him forever.  Our natural response to this is to call out “Glory!”  And we do so on Sundays.  In fact, worship in church is just practice for living in love with God forever.  Come and see what we mean.

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I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills

September 19, 2019 – Thursday Evening

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I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord.1

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.2

Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.3 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.4

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.5 Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.6 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.7
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1Psa 121:1,2; 2Psa 125:2; 3Psa 123:1,2; 4Psa 63:7; 52Ch 20:12; 6Psa 25:15; 7Psa 124:8; (Bagster’s Daily Light KJV)

 

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