God’s Grace!!!

A man dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates.
St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”
“Okay” the man says, “I attended church every Sunday”
“That’s good, says St. Peter, ” that’s worth two points”
“Two points?” he says. “Well, I gave 10% of all my earnings to the church”
“Well, let’s see,” answers Peter, “that’s worth another 2 points. Did you do anything else?”
“Two points? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”
“Fantastic, that’s certainly worth a point, ” he says.
“hmmm…,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”
“That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”
“THREE POINTS!!” the man cries, “At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!”

“Come on in!”

GLBBC Celebrity Profile

Behind the scenes with Lori Giardino:

Questions and Answers: Because an inquiring church congregation wants to know.

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In high school, were you cool/nerdy/tomboy/other? – None of the above. I just hung out with the cool kids so others would think I was!

What was your first impression of your husband after meeting for the first time? – Oo La La! I’m going to “Perkins with this hunk of a guy?!”

What is your favorite bible verse? – One of my favorites is 3 John 4 ‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.’

What is guaranteed to make you laugh every time? – Children / grandchildren and the things they say….so funny, so cute!

What is your favorite meal? – I like chicken just about any way you cook it…What time were you dropping off that Chicken French? I’d love a spinach salad with that. Thanks!

When was the last time you got flowers and from whom? – My husband gave me beautiful, red roses for my birthday in March…also had some lovely cut tulips from my church family.

How old are you? – Um…47?

What is your favorite TV show ever? – It’s not really a TV show, but I love ‘Anne of Green Gables.’ I know this is a contrast but I’m kind of partial to Columbo, too. “Oh , just one more thing…”

What do you do to relax? – Read or sew…

No really, how old are you? – You already asked that…didn’t you believe me? OK…so it’s a little rounder than that…

What is your dream job? – I have the best job in the world…research and child development!

If you had the means to travel anywhere, where would you go? – I would probably want to travel to Ukraine to visit our missionaries, the Ireland family…I would want to be able to take my family with me so make sure the check is a big one…

What is something people would find surprising about you? – Maybe some would be surprised that I was born and raised in a place called “Cuba.”

Do you have any hidden talents? – My life is an open book…and I have no great talent that I haven’t made an attempt to use.

Did you ever have a nickname as a child or in school? What what was it? – My mom had a nickname for each of us….I was Alkalai Pete. Just a family thing and I have to say, I have no idea where it came from.

What is one thing that your husband owns that you wish you could throw out? -I have to name only one thing?! There are sooo many! I know…How about ‘the garage?’ Sorry Honey…

What was your first job? – The only place I ever worked before having children was JC Penney Co. It was an old fashioned street front store on Main street in Olean, NY. When I came to Rochester, I transferred to the Long Ridge location.

Instructions: Viewing the GLBBC Twitter Page

Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church has many ways of communicating information: from Sunday bulletins, Pastor Giardino’s e-mails, ministry meetings, Facebook, the GLBBC web-site, and gossip (just kidding). We have recently added Twitter to the list.

1.) What is Twitter?

Twitter is a messaging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts (up to 140 characters) that are displayed on the author’s Twitter page. The posts are delivered to the author’s subscribers, who are known as “followers.” All Twitter users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website or external applications. Gospel Light now has it’s own account at www.twitter.com/glbbc.

2.) Why do I need Twitter?

Pastor Giardino has been looking for a more rapid and reliable means of broadcasting information to GLBBC members. Announcements, prayer requests, and other comments will now be posted to Twitter by Pastor G. on a daily basis. His tweets will be accessible on-line within seconds of his posting to Twitter. Church members looking for the latest GLBBC news can now monitor the church web-site, www.glbbc.com, or use their own personal Twitter account. Note, the titles to new blog postings will also appear on on the GLBBC Twitter page.

3.) How do I view the GLBBC Twitter page?

Two basic ways of viewing the church’s Twitter page (with Pastor G.’s messages) exist:

a.) The first method is for people without Twitter accounts.

  • At your computer, open your internet browser and go to www.glbbc.com.
  • You are now at the GLBBC home page. Click on the word Twitter at the bottom right-hand corner of the web page.
  • You are now at the Twitter home page. In the search box, type glbbc and click on Search.
  • You will now be able to view the Twitter posts for Gospel Light.

b.) The second method assumes you already have a Twitter account and are an experienced user. You need simply to subscribe to the GLBBC Twitter as a follower and view the posts via your PC, smart phone, or PDA.


Answers to Prayer

Sometimes God says no, sometimes yes, and sometimes wait. Far be it from me to read God’s mind, but this time, “NO” seemed predestined.

Soup to Nuts by Rick Stromoski: www.comics.com


Prayer Breakfast: 6 AM Friday, April 2

A Prayer Breakfast has been scheduled here at Gospel Light at 6 AM on Friday, April 2. Everyone who attends GLBBC is invited. Let us join together as a strong and united family in Christ Jesus as we start the Resurrection Weekend. Bagels, coffee, and juice will be served.


Pastor Strobel’s Humor: A Retelling

Two men set sail one day, venturing far out to sea. Along came a tempestuous storm, which wrecked their vessel upon the shore of a small desert island. Out along the beach, one man was in utter desperation, pacing back and forth, and in fear for their lives. The second man stood along the shore peering out at the horizon, showing every sign of calm and confidence. The first man in irritation at the coolness of the second says, “We are here on a desert island with one palm tree, hot sand, and no food. How can you not be fear of our demise?” The second man calmly answers, “I make $100,000 a week and I tithe at church. My pastor will find me.”


Sunday Evening, March 28: The Essence of Worship

Providing a sermon that dovetailed nicely with the recent messages from Pastor Giardino, guest Pastor Scott Strobel spoke to a Sunday night congregation about “The Essence of Worship”. Pastor Strobel hails from First Bible Baptist Church in Lockport, NY and has been a pastor for 22 years.

Stating that his sermon would be an introduction to worship, Pastor Strobel, right from the start laid out his objective for the evening, which was to show us how to become more spiritual. Just as new Christians are still carnal in nature and must “take root as a child of God”, so too do all Christians need to be fed and grow in the Word.

Pastor Stobel began by introducing us to the story in II Kings chapter 17, where the nation of Israel was carried away out of the land of Samaria and into Assyria. The king of Assyria then resettled the land with peoples from many foreign lands, but problems befell the new inhabitants who knew not and feared not the God of the land. Despite the help from re-introduced priests from Israel, the inhabitants continued in their old ways. The chapter goes on to declare the charge given by God to the formal people of the land, Israel, in verse 35, which contain 4 “Do Not’s”, and verse 36, which contains 3 “Do’s”. By listing and contrasting the two on a board before the congregation, Pastor Strobel demonstrated that: Bow + Serve = Worship. Thus, “the essence of worship is to bow and serve.”

Pastor Strobel defined bowing as “reverence before God”, having a “position of humility”, and being as a “student sitting before omniscience “. He expressed the importance of “bowing time”, of getting alone with God, finding a prayer closet, so that God can fill you, feed you, and show you things. Next, Pastor Strobel defined serving as “getting busy for God”, spending time and energy in the service of God. By combining bowing with serving, worship is created. Both are needed; neither can stand alone without eventual troubles befalling a Christian soul. By using salt, Na-Cl, as the example, Pastor Strobel expressed how together sodium chloride is useful and beneficial, but apart as separate ions, both are dangerous. Luke 10:38-40 was used to illustrate both parts of worship, where Martha complains during her service to Jesus and “Mary hath chosen that good part”, sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening. Revelation chapter 2 is message to one of the seven churches, Ephesus, and another example of needing both elements of worship. Pastor Stobel pointed out God’s warning to that church, that regardless of their works, “thou hast left thy first love”. By their own choice, they had lost their humility and were not bowing before God. They were told to “repent, and do the first works” or lose their place among the seven churches.

We were exhorted to make certain we have both bowing and service as part of our Christian worship. First to bow, then to serve, as order is important. We first must make time to be alone with God, to fill up with the Word of God, to make ourselves ready before we serve the Lord. Pastor Strobel stated, “Don’t serve before you have something to serve with.” This avoids getting burned out in the course of our service. Using bible verses, he showed that we need to have the heart of a servant, to have a right relationship with the Lord, and to serve with our spirit, as did Paul in Romans 1:9.

Pastor’s Pet Recommendation: Marine Iguana

Well, not really.  Paster Giardino used the Marine Iguana, which is native to the Galápagos Islands, to illustrate a point during Sunday morning’s sermon. This animal has the ability, unique among modern lizards, to live and forage in the sea. Pastor explained how they feed almost exclusively on marine algae, “sneezing” the excess salt from nasal glands while basking in the sun.  Likewise, Pastor G. says that we should have a “thirst for God” and should cast our salt out of our bodies and into the world. “God likens the Christian life as salt.”

Thus, in this concluding sermon in the series on Salt-lution, the topic was about “Salty Tears”.  Our pastor’s purpose for this sermon was to give us hope, just as the bible teaches hope to those with burdens.  Pastor Giardino used Rev 7:17 and Rev 21:4 to show that “one day, God is going to make things right.”

Pastor preached on three types of tears:

1.) Wrong kind of salty tears.  This entails crying for inappropriate reasons, such as for sad movies, loses in sports,  soap operas, or loss of economic prosperity.

2.) Right kind of salty tears.  Pastor’s gave the example of mourning the loss of a son.  See II Sam 18:32-33 and II Sam 19:1-4.  Pastor Giardino wished to stress that “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” Ecclesiates 7:3

3.) Wise kind of salty tears.  Our pastor provided many bible verses for wise tears with tears shed for the lost being his emphasis.  Jesus wept salty tears this way: “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:41-44  In conclusion, Pastor Giardino exhorts that we “fix our sights on wise tears, for there is not much time left”.

Is Preaching Against Homosexuality a Hate Crime?

Our pastor has, in the recent past, lamented the loss of a church family from the congregation due to the church’s biblical stand on homosexuality. This tidbit of information inspired this clueless blogger to conduct a bit of research involving free speech and homosexuality. In August of 2009, President Obama signed into law the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act”. The law makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. Much confusion, misinformation, exaggerations, and unfounded claims have come about regarding what this law actually means. Richard Hammar, LL.M., CPA, of Christianity Today has produced a video that attempts to clear up the confusion regarding what is permissible under the new law, especially in regard to preaching and free speech. This video is hosted by www.youtube.com

Previous Blog Incarnations @ GLBBC

Prior to the start of our current GLBBC blog (which is almost 2 months old now), there existed a previous Gospel Light blog that our church web site linked to. That old blog had not been updated in two years and we no longer link to it. Curiously, during a recent web search, another Gospel Light blog was found, this one being about one year old. This one, too, had been abandoned.

No effort will be made to delete or eliminate either of these two older Gospel Light blogs. On the contrary, our church members (new and old) may find the content highly interesting. These two blogs represent snapshots of the church as it was one and two years ago. Among other items, both both sites contain slide shows of Men’s Prayer Breakfasts, oddly enough.

Two Year Old Blog: http://gospellightbbc.blogspot.com/ Author: Ernie Giardino

One Year Old Blog: http://gospellightbaptist.blogspot.com/ Author: Matt Love


Guest Preacher to speak this Sunday evening.

Pastor Scott Strobel

This past Wednesday evening, Pastor Giardino mentioned that he had invited a guest preacher to speak at GLBBC during this coming Sunday’s evening service, March 28. Our guest will be Pastor Scott Strobel of First Bible Baptist Church in Lockport, NY. Just a quick reminder: service starts at 6 PM.

People of GLBBC: The Carpenter

Another in the fine set of GLBBC trading cards: collect them all!

Rey Caletz: Teacher and church "Master" carpenter

The Invisible Man

Welcome back to Gospel Light Blog Central!

Pastor’s Preamble

Pastor Giardino teaches that we owe each other love. If we were debt free financially, we’re still not debt free spiritually. We owe love to one another! Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Your Blogger’s View Point

Most members and many visitors at GLBBC would readily agree that our church exudes a friendly, family atmosphere. Visitors are warmly greeted, refreshments are available before Sunday morning service, handshakes are common, we sing with enthusiasm, and generally everyone is pleasant and upbeat. Further, for a small church, we have an usually large number of ministries and activities along with a high percentage of members participating.

However, as with any family, we could continue to grow and improve. By becoming more spiritual, humble and pure of heart, more selfless and giving, and genuinely thoughtful and caring of our fellow brothers and sisters, perhaps we would become even more close-knit as a family.

Let us ask ourselves: Are we willing to look beyond our circle of friends at church? How well do we know those outside our sphere of comfortably close friends? How often have we brushed past an unfamiliar soul (whether a visitor or a regular member) because: we feel shy or awkward, we are too busy at the moment, they are too different than us, we’d rather be with friends, we forgot their name, we are too tired to bother, or we’re having a bad hair day? We all do this from time to time, with barely a thought; and it is not necessarily sinful, since we’d probably not stop and talk with them out on the street. Nevertheless, are we to ignore those who stand alone and look around waiting for… perhaps a warm greeting or maybe a new friend? After all, those souls came to our church for a reason, and that reason was not so that they could be ignored. They most surely hoped to find fellowship with God’s own.

At the first church that I attended after being saved, I could stand in the lobby all Sunday morning, through service after service, without ever once being approached. Not one pastor, nor deacon, no elder, or greeter, no ministry worker, not even a salesman or panhandler said “boo” to me; as though I had become “The Invisible Man”. God did bless me with the ability to find great friends there, but that church remains fragmented with isolated pockets of cliques and cronies. Make no mistake, Gospel Light is far and away more open, inviting, and friendly. But if we are to be honest with ourselves, we can make our church family stronger than it is. Through persistent prayer, through reading the Word, and especially through modeling our lives and behavior after Our Lord Jesus, each one of us can help tie the cords that will bind us together as we grow closer to each other in God’s grace and love. Let no one who attends GLBBC feel like “The Invisible Man” or woman.

“Clog the Blog” with Fish Humor

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17    One of Pastor Giardino’s favorite bible stories:And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matt 4:19   In a way, false doctrine, false churches, and false religions are “fisheries-of-men”, competing with God’s true work of salvation:And one more of Jonah…

Next Churchwide Visitation

Our next churchwide visitation day is Saturday, March 27th. Once again, we have a great opportunity to use the information we have gained from the “Way of the Master” series and our Sunday school classes. Please plan to join us at the church at 11 AM for door knocking and visits.

Resolved

Here is another drawing by Christian cartoonist Urban S. Abell.  Thanks to Bible Believers for the cartoon repository.


Playground Cleanup

Help is need for raking and cleaning up in and around the playground area at Gospel Light. Join brother Paul Schreiner here at the church on Wednesday, March 24, at 10 AM.

Blindness and Spiritual Warfare

Pastor Vince Giardino, the shepherd of the flock at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church, keeps a close watch on the needs of his sheep. This week our beloved pastor has perceived needs that required immediate attention. Sunday’s two services were spent warning us of dangers that lie in our paths as Christians.

The morning sermon dealt with blindness. In today’s society, with all it’s unholy aspects and attacks on Christianity, sometimes our eyes will take in the wrong things. Pastor stated we are in an “Eye-War”. Vile ideas and images that the devil uses to draw in our eyes “affect our imaginations” and “harden our hearts.” “Deposits get into our spiritual vision.” So just like the blind man in John 9, we also need to have the blinding coating removed from our eyes. This man “went” in obedience, “washed”, “watched”, and in John 9:35-38 “worshiped”. Pastor Giardino wanted us to understand that worship is crucial for another type of eyesight, one that sees the Lord in His glory. There is a “demonic spirit that does not want you to see the Kingdom of God.” “Jesus is trying to make us see,” to wash us and bring us peace. We need “daily washing” and “sanctification” by the Word of God, which “fills the spiritual blanks in your life”. Pastor asked us, “How important are your spiritual eyes to you?” “Go wash.”

The evening service dealt with spiritual warfare. Pastor Giardino started out by saying, “As the country goes, so goes the church.” We, as a church, are in a fight, “the good fight of faith.” Our country is carnal and full of evil influences. So even though we have, as Pastor G. stated, “a good family atmosphere here” at Gospel Light, we also have “a lot of ills”. This country is drunk on alcohol, sex, and even perverted sex, and thus, being “sober is out of the mainstream”. Our society now has an “upside down attitude toward the church” that may soon drive it underground. Therefore, Pastor Giardino admonished us, through several scriptural verses, to be sober and to toughen up. One such verse was from 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. Using two light bulbs as an illustration, Pastor G. showed how one normal bulb contained a flimsy filament and broke easily. We are to be like the other bulb with a rugged filament and tough exterior, more able to withstand the hits. In the ironic story in I Samuel 4:1-10, our pastor used the example of the Philistines, who, being sober and quit themselves like men and fought, were able to smite a nation of Israel that was drunk with false worship. Israel mistook having the ark of the covenant as meaning God was in the midst of the their camp. Therefore, we as individuals and as a church need the presence of God, to quit ourselves like men, and fight “the good fight of faith.”