The Best Bread – John 6:41-51

Most people in the USA do not go hungry for food.  Many are hungry for God, but try to satisfy their hunger in things of the world that do not satisfy.  They may spend their time focused on sports, TV, or some other form of entertainment.  Or they may indulge in a variety of other sinful habits that bring temporary pleasure, but no lasting satisfaction.  They are “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Jesus came that we may have abundant life, lived with purpose and fulfilling.  God wants you to understand who Jesus is and that he loves you and wants you to choose what is best for you, then for you to share the best bread with the world.

Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NIV

  • How can you get and share the best bread?

– Understand that Jesus is God   (Learn More About Jesus)

John 6:41-42

– Take in the bread of life  (Embrace Jesus as Lord, God, and Savior and receive the Holy Spirit and new life)  (Learn more at Four Spiritual Laws)

John 6:43-48

– Share the bread of life  (Learn more about Sharing your faith in Jesus Christ)

John 6:49-51

 

Reflection:

  • How do I need to make better use of the best bread?

–How can I better know God?

–What can I do to take in more of God?

–How can I share the bread of life?

the best bread Jesus the bread of life

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Maturing Faith – Ephesians 4:1-16

Polls conducted in the USA by George Barna and others show little differences in the practices and theology of those outside the church and those that would be considered occasional attenders or born again believers.  But there are significant differences between non-Christians and evangelicals.  Evangelicals as defined by George Barna equate to mature Christians.  Those who understand the importance of regular church attendance, studying the Holy Bible, serving the church and others, and sharing the good news (Gospel) of Jesus Christ.  God calls all who follow Jesus to seek to become mature in their faith.

Paul the Apostle wrote:  Ephesians 4:1-16

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

“4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it[a] says:

“When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives
    and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

 

In the century after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it was common for new believers to spend three years in community studying the Holy Scriptures before they were considered mature in their faith.  Today most Americans spend more time each week watching TV or videos than they they spend studying the Holy Scriptures alone or in community.  I pray this encourages you to spend more time on that which is eternal and less time on entertainment that will pass away.

How can you encourage maturing in faith?

  • Start with an attitude of humility – recognize you have room to grow
    (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Treat those in need of maturity with patience and love
    (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Make use of the gifts of the church
    (Ephesians 4:7-13)
  • Earnestly seek wisdom to mature instead of drifting in life and just getting older
    (Ephesians 4:14-16)

How is God calling you to increase spiritual maturity in you and others?

  • How do you need to change your attitude towards spiritual maturity?
  • What can you do to work with your church’s discipleship process?
  • How can you be more intentional in seeking maturity?

Resources on maturing faith and reflections

Bible study tools

You can better understand your God-given gifts for service by taking a Gift Test.

I found some good stuff on Huckabee this weekend on TBN.  I pray these bless you.

Justin Flom – A Veterans tribute with just a pack of cards and a beautiful ending.

Music videos

maturing faith in Jesus Christ

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Build Unity

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be
proud, but be willing to associate with people of
low position. Do not be conceited.”
Romans 12:16 NIV

Secular society naturally encourages separation or isolation and exclusion as a way to express superiority or enhance privilege.  People tend to naturally group with others they view as similar to themselves.  This is normally emphasized in high school, but sometimes people keep up the social grouping and excluding after high school. God calls us to treat others with respect as all are created in the image of God.  When God came to earth as Jesus of Nazareth, he called the people of Israel (who considered themselves privileged and non-Jews as unclean) to no longer look down on others who were different, but to be loving ambassadors to all and to build unity.

How do you build unity?  Ephesians 2:11-22

– Include the excluded
• Ephesians 2.11-13

– Seek Peace, not war
• Ephesians 2.14-18

– Build up, not tear down
• Ephesians 2.19-22

Reflection on what the Holy Spirit is saying to you through this passage

How do I need to firm up my foundation and build unity?
– How can I reach out to the excluded?
– What can I do to be a better peace maker?
– How can I treat Christians more like family?

– Reflection Song: Sisters & Brothers (Sidewalk Prophets)

Resources to help Reservists and their families

Find other ways you can serve the city near you for Jesus at City Serve USA and City Serve NJ

Build Unity Ephesians 2 - Sermon Outlines from Chaplain Ed Paul

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Love each other – John 15:9-17

May 2018 – Sermon reflection on John 15:9-17

Love each other 

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” 1 John 5:2-3 NIV

Focus Scripture

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15:9-17 NIV

Scripture Reflection

In America today, liberal media and politicians promote things Christians are against and what we oppose in our society.  As Christians, we are called to emphasize what we would admire and what we consider good in society.  We are called to love God and love our neighbor.  Our attitudes, actions, and words should be grounded in love and truth. We need to understand, embrace, and follow God’s commands to show our love for God and to our neighbors.

There are a few ways we can show how we can love God and people

1. Know God’s commands

  • Listen to sermons
  • Read the Holy Bible
  • Study the Holy Bible using a devotional or study book
  • Study the Holy Bible with a group
  • Watch Christian teaching videos

2. Keep God’s commands

  • Make intentional efforts to apply God’s commands to your life
  • Work with an accountability partner, spiritual coach, or mentor
  • Look for ways to show God’s love to those in your life
  • Volunteer at your church or with a charity to show God’s love to your community

3. Kraft ways to encourage others to know and embrace God’s commands

  • Share scripture on social media
  • Talk about scripture at work on breaks
  • Share at small group bible studies
  • Talk with friends and family about how following God’s commands has benefited you

Reflection Questions

How is God calling you to draw closer?
Who could you work with to help you keep God’s commands?
How can you increase your sharing of God’s commands?

Love each other - love others as Jesus Christ loves us

Let us love each other

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Resurrection Response

Sermon outline from April 2018, The Resurrection Response

American society has seen an increase in persecution of Christians by the media, politicians, and others. Believing in the resurrection of Jesus and knowing He is with us can help us be courageous in sharing our faith in truth and love.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

John 20:19-31 NIV:

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. 

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

(John 20:19-31 NIV)

How do you respond to the resurrection of Jesus?
Respond with fear or joy?
• John 20:19-20
(Perfect love casts out all fear.  We can rejoice because Jesus is with us)
With or without forgiveness?
• John 20:21-23
(We are called to ask forgiveness from God and those we offend and forgive those who repent of their sins.)
Doubt or faith?
• John 20:24-29
(It is ok to question the faith honestly, because the Christian faith is well documented and reasonable)
Believe and embrace life
• John 20:30-31
(We must all choose whether or not to believe in the resurrection, but choosing to believe is better because it leads to eternal life.)

Reflection Questions:

How do I need to respond to Jesus?
–How can I embrace forgiveness?
–How can I strengthen my faith in the resurrection?
–How can I share the resurrection of Jesus with others?

 

 

 

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Work Search/Job Search

Resources to help you find work or improve your job search to find employment

What is the best thing to do in the short life that God has given us? I think we should enjoy eating, drinking, and working hard. This is what God intends for us to do. 19 Suppose you are very rich and able to enjoy everything you own. Then go ahead and enjoy working hard—this is God’s gift to you. 20 God will keep you so happy that you won’t have time to worry about each day.” Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (CEV)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

If you have a background in computers or signal or communications or engineering, consider Alion Science and Technology which currently has openings in Philadelphia and Delaware.

Job Search / Job Hunting Tech resources

Look for a job in the Computer Industry: dice.com      or Computer Jobs
also take a look at net-temps
You can use indeed.com to search and email you alerts. (This is how I found my last two jobs)
If you have not already done so, you should setup a profile on linkedin.com

You could use Career builder to search for a new job

Not sure what type of job you want?
Match your skills and interests to job descriptions at  Princeton Review or Keirsey or job seekers guide.org

For tech jobs also check Information Systems Hunter
If you are a Christian looking to work for a Christian company check out christianjobs.com
Ziprecruiter.com – Find jobs hiring near you and apply with just 1 click.

Civilian Career Resources for military service members:

smartcareers.com is a company geared to service prior military members make a transition into civilian work sectors. Or try military.com
MilitaryHire.com
CorporateGray
RecruitMilitary

Resources, Tips and Advice for Veterans Returning to the Workforce

Veterans’ Job Search Tool

Jobs/Employment/Work search help for military families:

Military Resources
(Army Reserves Private Public Partnership 877-450-4473)
Army Strong Community Centers (For unemployed Soldiers looking for work)
Personnel Force Innovation (PFI), partnering Defense Agencies and Reservists.

https://mobcop.army.mil For deployment opportunities
Soldier For Life – Transition Assistance Program

Government Resources

http://www.vacareers.va.gov/
ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs
http://www.fedshirevets.gov/
http://www.vacareers.va.gov/
www.vip.vetbiz.gov/ (Publicize and register your small business)
http://www.dol.gov/vets/ (Support for wounded vets to find jobs and write resumes)

Organizations

http://www.careeronestop.org/militarytransition/ (State employment offices for Service Member and spouses)
http://Milspouse.org (For military spouses seeking employment)
http://turbotap.org
Recovery Care Coordinator (RCCs) 866-345-8248 (Works with Soldiers and family to file VA claims, employment, referrals for injured or wounded)
www.militarytomedicine.org
www.acp-usa.org

Hiring Our Heroes (Troops to medical field opportunities)

Companies

www.military.com/Careers/
http://helmetstohardhats.com (Troops to construction/rail opportunities)
http://proudtoserveagain.com (Troops to teachers)
http://vetjobs.com (Various civilian jobs)
Hampton Roads Work/Career help for veterans

Additional Various Good Resources:

American Legion – www.legion.org

Army Reserve Family Programs

Armed Services YMCA

Disabled American veterans – http://dav.org

Hamptons Roads assistance from Christian charities

http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/ (Select ‘troops and families’)

military.com Guard and Reserve Family Support Services

www.myarmylifetoo.com

myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/

nationalresourcedirectory.gov/

realwarriors.net/

www.uso.org

Veterans of Foreign Wars – www.vfw.org

vets4warriors.com 855-838-8255, 24/7/365 including holidays and weekends for service members and their families. There is no “press one” or being on hold for an extended period of time. An actual veteran will answer the phone call.

Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Centers

Additional Job search help for NJ and Philadelphia region

In addition, Soldiers or military family members can call military one source for job search help anytime day or night for any issue whatsoever at 800-342-9647 or visit www.militaryonesource.com

Additional Resources on other topics

Finding work can be hard, work smarter.

Employment search - job search - work search - work smarter

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Wounded Warriors support

Wounded warriors support and recovery resources for Reservists, service members, and veterans

The following are some resources I gathered to help wounded warriors from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines.

http://yellowribbonfund.com (Activities, mentoring and care for injured service members)

http://woundedwarriorresourcecenter.com/ (Trained Specialists 24hrs a day for wounded warrior questions and family concerns)

http://usatogether.org (Like a craigslist for wounded warriors)

www.svasp.org and Disabled Sports USA (Learn and participate in new sports after your combat injury)

http://wtow.woundedwarriorproject.org/ (Warriors transition to work project)

http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov/

http://socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors/

http://www.dav.org/ (Disabled American Veterans)

www.homesforourtroops.org (Builds & adapts vets’ home for handicapped accessibility)

http://www.hadit.com/

Operation Purple Healing Adventures for children of wounded warriors militaryfamily.org operation purple

http://legion.org/heroes (Heroes to Hometowns program)

http://www.fisherhouse.org/

http://amputee-coalition.org/

https://www.ebenefits.va.gov

http://www.armedforcesfoundation.org/

mesotheliomaveterans.org Mesothelioma Veterans Center

Additional Various Good Resources:

American Legion – www.legion.org

Army Reserve Family Programs

Armed Services YMCA

Disabled American veterans – http://dav.org

Hamptons Roads assistance from Christian charities

http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/ (Select ‘troops and families’)

military.com Guard and Reserve Family Support Services

www.myarmylifetoo.com

myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/

nationalresourcedirectory.gov/

realwarriors.net/

www.uso.org

Veterans of Foreign Wars – www.vfw.org

vets4warriors.com 855-838-8255, 24/7/365 including holidays and weekends for service members and their families. There is no “press one” or being on hold for an extended period of time. An actual veteran will answer the phone call.

Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Centers

In addition, Soldiers or military family members can call military one source for addiction recovery help anytime day or night for any issue whatsoever at 800-342-9647 or visit www.militaryonesource.com

Wounded Warrior support in Christ

Additionally, if you know of any good resources, please comment and share them here.

Contact Me

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Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery resources for Reservists, service members, veterans, and their families

Addiction Center.com  Veterans and Addiction – a substance abuse support site

alcoholrehab.com

Celebrate Recovery – A Christ-centered 12 step program

Daily Strength  https://www.dailystrength.org/group/alcoholism

DrugRehab.com  https://www.drugrehab.com/addiction/alcohol/resources

mentalhelp.net (Comprehensive Mental Health and Mental Illness information on topics like Depression, Bipolar, Suicide, Anxiety, Addiction, Schizophrenia, and more.)

Online Intergroup  https://www.aa-intergroup.org

Recovery Village Personalized Addiction Treatment

rehabcenter.net – There are many treatment options for veterans who are struggling with a drug or alcohol dependency. Among the most common are counseling, medication, and finding comfort in a support group of individuals who share or had similar experiences and obstacles.

Self-Help Recovery Support Groups from NCADD

Smart Recovery

Support Groups for Alcohol Addiction

Women for Sobriety

Wellness Basics Handbook is a resource that contains additional information and suggestions.  It is available electronically at the following website:
http://www.work-lifeservices.com/download/WellnessBasicsHandbook.pdf.

Various Good Resources:

American Legion – www.legion.org

Army Reserve Family Programs

Armed Services YMCA

Disabled American veterans – http://dav.org

Hamptons Roads assistance from Christian charities

http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/ (Select ‘troops and families’)

military.com Guard and Reserve Family Support Services

www.myarmylifetoo.com

myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/

nationalresourcedirectory.gov/

realwarriors.net/

www.uso.org

Veterans of Foreign Wars – www.vfw.org

vets4warriors.com 855-838-8255, 24/7/365 including holidays and weekends for service members and their families. There is no “press one” or being on hold for an extended period of time. An actual veteran will answer the phone call.

Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Centers

Soldiers or military family members can call military one source for addiction recovery help anytime day or night for any issue whatsoever at 800-342-9647 or visit www.militaryonesource.com

Addiction Recovery in Christ

If you know of any good resources, please comment and share them here.

Contact Me

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The Gift of Eternal Life

Scripture:

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

John 3:14-21 (NIV)

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[a] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[b]

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.  

How can you know and share eternal life? 

  • The Gift of Eternal Life has a cost of Atonement (forgiveness of sins)

John 3:14-15 (Son of Man, not sum of man)  What Jesus did, not what you do.

  • The Gift of Eternal Life is a loving choice

John 3:16  (God loves us and chose to redeem those who would seek after God)

  • The Gift of Eternal Life is a limited choice

John 3:17-18  (Everyone must choose life or death, there is no third option)

  • Choose in your Life to Embrace and Share the light of Jesus Christ

John 3:19-21  (Choose to follow the light of Christ knowing some will reject Jesus and you)

Reflection questions on the gift of eternal life:

  • How do I need to choose life?

– How can I seek forgiveness for my sins?

– How can I show respect for other peoples choices while disagreeing?

– How can I share Jesus with others?

Resources to help embrace life:

I pray this draws you closer to God and encourages you to choose to embrace the Gift of Life in Jesus Christ. Choose Life, Choose Christ.

gift of Eternal life in Christ

 

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Making Peace in Politics

November 2017 – Making Peace in Politics

John Jay: “ Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Source: October 12, 1816. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed., (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970), Vol. IV, p. 393.

” Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. ”

Matthew 5:9 New International Version (NIV)

How can you make peace in politics?
–You need to Choose to follow God
• Joshua 24:14-15
–Value others as equally created
• Genesis 1:27
– Speak the truth in love
• Ephesians 4:15
– Point to Jesus Christ
• John 3:16-17

How do I need to improve how I handle politics?
–How can I seek honor God in my handling of politics?
–How can I show respect while disagreeing?
–How can I draw others to Jesus?
–Reflection Song: Voice of Truth (Casting Crowns)

peace in politics

Other Sermon Outlines

More on Government Stewardship

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