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thoughts from still waters
Nov. 24, 2006 - Vol 3, Issue 5
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Dear Kork,

I thought that as Christmas approaches, we should keep our worship in perspective. I ran across this important article that helps to that end.

Thank you to my friend Mike Jentes for placing a link to this article in his newsletter.

Please read on with an open heart, and mind...

Why would anyone choose to follow a God who promises more hardship, not less? Exposing the myth of a prosperity gospel.

In my visits to churches overseas, one difference from North American Christians stands out sharply: their view of hardship and suffering. We who live in an age of unprecedented comfort seem obsessed with the problem of pain. Skeptics mention it as a major roadblock to faith, and believers struggle to come to terms with it. Prayer meetings in the U.S. often focus on illnesses and requests for healing. Not so elsewhere.

I asked a man who visits unregistered house churches in China whether Christians there pray for a change in harsh government policies. After thinking for a moment, he replied that not once had he heard a Chinese Christian pray for relief.

"They assume they'll face opposition," he said. "They can't imagine anything else." He then gave some examples.

Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. heb. 10.23-25
The end-of-year readings for the gospel of Mark rely heavily on end of days themes. Eschatological, or "final judgment," texts were always popular during times of severe persecution and oppression, in both Jewish and Christian circles. They provided hope for those experiencing persecution and reminded believers that suffering and evil, while mysteries, were not meaningless.

The community was encouraged to remain faithful despite adversity, for God too shall remain faithful... The Christian community was truly expecting Jesus' second coming, and thus the end of the world. The writer of Hebrews reminds them to observe the laws of God as revealed in Christ, now and "all the more as you see the Day approaching."
When have you experienced personal “apocalypse” prior to knowing Christ? How did you deal with the “throwing open (or laying bare)“ of your crisis? Are there good calamites that you have experienced that lead to sacrificial closeness to God— embracing the “Way” of Jesus? How can you encourage others as “the Day approaches?”
We truly appreciate your help and partnership with Christ in serving those with less in the greater Pottstown area. Please click the link below, should you wish to donate to Still Waters ministries. It is a secure PayPal Service.

Still Waters is a 501(c)(3) organization and your gift is tax deductible.

May the LORD bless and keep you, wishing you His presence in all that you do--as you walk beside still waters.


Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

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