If you are looking for spiritual growth, Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church has a discipleship ministry ready to assist you. Our discipleship program consists of 18 one-on-one (or couple-to-couple) Bible lessons on various doctrinal topics including, salvation, prayer, baptism, the Word of God, etc.
Any blog-writer tries to keep things fresh and interesting. Sometimes though, they need a little help. That is why this forum has considered bringing aboard an advice columnist. To that end, and after carefully selecting from many applicants, this blog would like now to introduce Miss Norma Lee Wong, our new contributor to this space. She will field questions from letters and e-mail to the GLBBC blog and attempt to provide doctrinally sound answers. Have at it, Miss Wong:
Question: A friend of mine at Gospel Light suggested that next year’s church theme should be “We’re like fudge, really sweet with a few nuts.” What do you think of the idea? – Robin Banks, Gates
Question: I’ve been recently studying the Sermon on the Mount. While researching the passages in the gospel of Matthew, I’ve come across many schools of thought on how to interpret what Jesus said. Can you straighten me out regarding this most famous open-air sermon? – Biblically Boggled, Rochester
Question: Did Moses look anything like Charlton Heston in the movie “The Ten Commandments”? – Amiya Crank, Spencerport
Answer: Through archeological evidence taken from Egyptian hieroglyphics, ironically, Moses looked more like Steve Carell in the movie “Evan Almighty“.
Question: My parents keep telling me to be silent and sit still in church. I’m only 5 years old, so why do they expect me to keep quiet? – “Candy” Applebee, Hilton
Questions and Answers: Because an inquiring church congregation wants to know.
In high school, were you cool/ nerdy/ tomboy/ other? I was a mixed breed; I was pleasantly anti-social. I preferred the company of a good book and played basketball every day with my 6’5” brother and his friends.
What was your first impression of your husband after meeting for the first time? A really nice guy; he still is.
What is your favorite TV show ever? I don’t “do” TV. As a child, my favorite was probably “Little House on the Prairie”.
What is guaranteed to make you laugh every time? I make myself laugh; I have an intense sense of humor.
What is your favorite meal? Shrimp Primavera at Olive Garden.
What is your worst kept secret about yourself? I am obsessive-compulsive, but deny it.
What is the worst kept secret about your husband? He will work on any vehicle, dead or alive.
How old are you? 50
What do you do to relax? I don’t relax; I’m obsessive-compulsive.
What is your dream job? I love being a labor and delivery nurse; that is what I do. I love being a mother; that is what I am.
If you had the means to travel anywhere, where would you go? I would travel to Switzerland with my father. We would read every sign in every museum.
What is something people would find surprising about you? I don’t “do” the Christmas tree/gift giving thing.
No really, how old are you? 50
What was the first car you ever drove? The first car I drove was my mother’s blue Dodge at the age of 14. I used to take my 12 year old brother for a spin, then he would take me for a spin. My parents were not informed, and it is still illegal in New Jersey! We were typical preacher’s kids!
Do you have any hidden talents? I have an intense sense of humor.
What is one thing that your husband owns that you wish you could throw out? The garage.
What was your first job? I was an order taker at a seafood take-out place in Ocean City, NJ.
Did you have a nickname as a child or in school? What was it? I was called “the pet” as a child. My siblings perceived that I was the favorite one probably because my parents perceived that I was the perfect child. Both were misperceptions.
Outside of family, who was the first boy you ever kissed? My husband.
What is your favorite binge/junk food? Pure Chocolate.
There is nothing like the warm and friendly family fellowship at Gospel Light, where you can really know people care. It is hard not to feel right at home amongst the most sincere and genuine folks one will ever meet. This Wednesday evening’s service was no different. Young and old, new folks and regular folks alike, were all greeting, chatting and smiling before, during and after service. A home away from home this church building is to most of us.Some announcements of note:
Bill and Donna will soon take the plunge – they are on the docket to be baptized here in the Gospel Light Pond. Don’t forget your rubber ducky.
Peter Bard and family will soon be arriving in Rochester (after his wife gives birth, of course) and will be staying at “Hotel Gospel Light”, aka the missions’ apartment.
The missions’ apartment is currently receiving a sprucing up by Lori and Pearl.
Also tentatively scheduled is a collection drive, which has been named “Bling for the King”. The drive will involve people donating old or broken jewelry, watches, necklaces, etc. All proceeds will go into the general fund and will be tagged for upgrading the Teen Room, including buying a badly needed carpet.As always on Wednesday evenings, prayer requests were solicited to add to the prayer list that was handed out. Prayers were made for those in need. Be ever thankful for the blessing God brings our way, but remember always to share each others burdens with charity and compassion.
During the offering, we heard an outstanding arrangement on the piano by Raquel. Not only are your parents pleased with you, Raquel, but we all are proud of your progress and piano performances. Having a hard act to follow, it was Mateo’s turn to inspire us. He did not disappoint, serenading the congregation with, “He is all I need” (which was appropriate because he had no musical accompaniment).The “Way of the Master” video for the evening was titled, “How to get on Fire for God”. Ray and Kirk spoke about reasons Christians don’t share their faith, such as lack of enthusiasm, fear, not knowing what to say, and cold feet. They called this kind of Christian the “frozen chosen” and “evangelistic chickens”.
In 1 Cor 2:1-3, they show that Paul also was weak. But what was needed was courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of fear. The answer, Kirk and Ray explained, is to “be determined to be a true and faithful Christian.” “If you are in God and God is in you, then you will have a fire for God.” They demonstrated how being lukewarm in your attitude toward your Christian life is an insult to God. (See Rev 3:16.)
The three keys for getting on fire for God were presented: (1) Faith – which provides joy, which then leads to energy; (2) Love for God – mature love pushes aside fear; and (3) Compassion – love other people and have compassion for their eternal destiny.After the video, Pastor Giardino provided a follow-up mini-sermon. His picture of Paul’s personality was one of social ineptness, someone who did not fit in. Likewise, human aspects of our own selves make us feel uncomfortable about witnessing. “We excuse ourselves because we don’t measure up”, Pastor stated. However, anyone can be a witness for Christ. “No one here tonight is beyond the power of the Holy Spirit”, Pastor Giardino preached.
Our next ladies meeting will be on Monday, August 9th at 7 pm. Please free up your calendar and come join us! This is another chance to fellowship with the women of Gospel Light. Invite a friend. Let’s see if we can have a full house!
We are considering the start of a weekly ladies Bible study. The Bible study will require the purchase of books, so we need to know who is interested before we can begin. If you think this is something you may want to be part of, please put your name on the list on the back table in church or contact Lori Giardino. We would be meeting on Monday or Tuesday evening, depending on which is best for everyone.
A Christian graduate student enrolled in the Counselor Education Program at Augusta State University in Georgia is facing expulsion from the university because of her Christian beliefs. She is being forced to either take a remediation program designed to change her opinions on homosexuality and transgendered persons or be dismissed from the graduate program. Read the whole story on her subsequent lawsuit here and here. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have filed suit against the university on behalf of the student, Jennifer Keeton. Is this an isolated case? Thank again. In universities across the country there are many instances where Christian students in counseling or psychology programs have been expelled or threatened with dismissal for refusal to change their religious beliefs
There not many folks that take advantage of our Saturday Family Prayer Meetings for the chance to pray together. Maybe you would consider coming out on Saturday at 6 pm and joining. This is is open to anyone who wishes to come. We meet in the second floor library and gather around the conference table where we let our prayer requests be known. Let us be a church that prays together and witness the power of prayer in our lives.
“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18:19-20
Thanks are owed Pastor Giardino for taking notes at Sunday evenings service and for the photo of the “mystery” guests, which he kept as a secret until the service. The contents of this blog post were authored then by our pastor with slight editing alterations by your friendly neighborhood blogger. I pray that all in attendance for this service were greatly blessed.
We had a nice service last night at Gospel Light with Evangelist John Marshall and his wife Lee. They have raised ten children over the last 45 years and all of them are serving the Lord in ministry throughout the world. Their website is www.johnmarshallfamily.com. They sang two specials together with their guitar and violin gracing the songs.
Bro. John preached a sermon entitled: “Two are better than one” from the text of Eccl. 4:9-11. His outline was: Work, Weakness, Warfare, Warmth, Wonder. He related the “threefold cord” from the text as Jesus Christ that gives us this extra strength as we work together. The text teaches us to work together with one another in the ministry. His point on two are better in prayer used Matthew 18:20 to drive home the point of getting answers from God and encourage our church to keep on praying in unified prayer, especially the Saturday evening prayer meeting at Gospel Light. As we fight against Satan, the text also teaches us that “Two will withstand him”.
Bro. Marshall shared his life experience, especially while growing up in the depression times of our country. He stated that the meager portions of food during this time was tough for him and that we should thank God for the bounty of food we often take for granted!
Bearing one another’s burden was also a highlight of the sermon as we need to help one another during difficult times in our Christian journey. Several came to the altar to pray as those in attendance responded to this fine sermon by an experienced man of God.
Before Mateo Vasquez could even step up to lead us in singing hymns, Gospel Light’s morning service brought out it’s talent for a musical special. As anyone who regularly attends our church knows, we are all about praising our Lord with music. Lori and Michael G, mother and son, took center stage to sing their duet, “Marching on to Zion”. During our offering, Dan Prosser’s unique style was heard on the piano. And capping off the music specials was Grayson Krol, who sang his newly written song while playing beautiful chords on his guitar.
“Out to Launch” was the title of Pastor Vince Giardino’s sermon this past Sunday morning. The key scriptural passages were from Luke 5:1-11. These verses reflect the Christian life. Before Jesus asked Simon to, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Luke 5:4, he spent the time to prepare the fisherman: “he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship” Luke 5:3. The ship in the passages is like the church. Christians follow the same progression of steps as in the scriptural passages before they “launch out into the deep” to look for lost souls. Pastor stated that you “have to get settled into the Christian life before you go fishing.” However, he also stated that “some of you are finished (as were the fishermen at the start of the verses); you don’t want Jesus working in your life.” These are Christians “out to lunch” and not “out to launch”. The sea is Christ’s, Pastor Giardino reminded us, and out of the deep waters, He will deliver people, using the church, i.e. the ship.
The more a person gets caught up in sin, the deeper they are in the sea, and the greater the pressure gets. Pastor Giardino read from Psalm 107:23-32 to show us God’s power and care over the sea and those within. There are people dying and going to hell, but some of us are “by the coast”, unwilling to do the work of the Lord and unwilling to put in the effort. “You won’t see the wonders of God unless you launch off and trust God”, Pastor exclaimed.
Sunday, July 25, saw Pastor Giardino teaching his morning adult Sunday school about the controversy around different bible versions. He started out referring to the recent James Cameron movie, Avatar, the biggest box office hit of all time. The movie refers to an alien race or deity that comes to earth. Pastor read definitions of the word “avatar” which generally means an incarnation of a god. The point of bringing up the movie was to illustrate how movies and today’s New Age culture are conditioning people’s minds for the coming of the Anti-Christ, who will be deity that performs miracles.
In a similar line of reasoning, the newer translations of the bible, such as the New American Standard Bible or the New International Version, take and pervert the words and the message. Pastor Giardino introduced the book, New Age Bible Versions, by Gail Riplinger, as the definitive work on the subject of navigating different bibles. Diluting the Word of God and tainting the message is major concern in modern Christianity. Riplinger’s book brings to light the gospels and gods of the New Age, comparing the perversions of counterfeit bibles to the one true Word found in the King James bible. Pastor Giardino provided a few examples of the differences and their impact on the meaning of the passages. He said it is essential that Christians today have “the sharpness of a two-edged sword”, “a gospel according to the scriptures.” His colorful analogy was, “You can’t cut Italian bread with a rubber knife”, and further, you can’t save souls with a “spiritual butter knife”. Thus, he warned against casual churches using counterfeit bibles with a pop christian culture (PCC). “What’s the next generation going to be like?”, he asked concerning these churches, “Are they really saved?” Pastor expressed regret about the loss of people from Baptist churches that have failed to teach their congregations why they are Baptists.
It is not possible to understand the actions or motives of the leading patriots in the American Revolution without taking into consideration their religious faith and world-view. To a man, the founding fathers were men who had been shaped by the morality and theology of the Bible. Of the fifty-five men who signed the American Declaration of Independence, only two, Franklin and Jefferson, had no denominational affiliation. And yet even they accepted the basic presupposition of a Christian world-view. – taken from Give Me Liberty, The Uncompromising Statesmanship of Patrick Henry, by David J. Vaughan, page 155.
Recently, Mateo Vasquez, GLBBC music director, has contacted those who might be interested in attending the annual Music College given by Majesty Music. This is how Mateo described it to me: “Music college gives individuals of different levels in musical ability an opportunity to be taught very practical methods in instrument playing, orchestra/ group singing, individual singing, and even choir directing by some of the most Spirit-filled, talented people in conservative Christianity. The preaching is effectual as are the teachers. I have greatly benefited from music college and I really hope that there would be great interest in attending this event. It will greatly help our Music ministry at Gospel Light and even individually.”
And… this is Mateo’s original e-mail soliciting participation from the church: “Hello all. Attached is the registration for music college in PA. It is scheduled for August 5-6 (Thurs-Fri). I need a count of people that are interested in going so that we could plan the trip. The final cutoff is on July 30th. Unfortunately, we missed the July 2nd cutoff date, but there is still time to register. Please let me know if you are interested and we will hammer out the details (driving, hotel) later. The cost is about $100 for registration….in addition to hotel, fuel and FOOD. Please pass this along to anyone that may be interested. I’d like to have all plans laid out before weeks end!! Can’t wait to go!! Lord Bless… Mateo”
The registration form is also available for download from this web site. Right-click ->HERE<- to download the PDF form to your computer. (Left-click to view the file in your browser.) This session of Music College is at Bethel Baptist Church in Sellersville, PA. Majesty Music describes it thusly: “Get your music ministry re-vitalized with our highly-skilled team of music professionals. Gain generations of advice to make the most of your church music. Clinicians Ron Hamilton and Frank Garlock lead an energized and enthusiastic tour through two fantastic days filled with musical discoveries!”
While we don’t do baby baptism, we do dedicate our children to the Lord as a testimony to others that we wish to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church will be holding a Family Dedication on Sunday, August 15th. If you wish to have your child dedicated, please list the name(s) of your child/children (as you would want them on a certificate) on the sheet at the back table of the sanctuary. Parents names are needed as well. We will have a pot luck dinner that day. Plan to invite friends and family. (Note: The date has been changed from an early date due to conflicts.)
This morning I stopped by to pick up Brother Mike Deming. He directed me to a favorite restaurant of his in the South Wedge of Rochester on South Clinton Ave., South City Garden, where he bought me breakfast. He recommended the French Toast and I am glad I took the suggestion. Mike and I chatted while my taste buds sang. Mike was kind enough to answer a few questions. This didn’t start out as an interview, but the more I found out about this most interesting man, the more questions I asked.
I found out that Mike was saved in October of 2008; that he came to a saving knowledge of Christ and salvation after long, hard deliberation on the matter; that he subsequently led his family to Christ; that many of his friends and associates were already Christians; that Mike is a very deep and scholarly thinking man; and that he asked Sis Gail Reed for advice as to which church he should attend (bringing him to GLBBC, of course).
I found out that Mike is the proprietor of an antique business called “The Antique Guy”; he once had a store front, but now just operates out of a warehouse; that for 3 years he appeared on air with R-News doing 2-minute spots as “The Antique Guy”; and he spends much more than 40 hours per week involved with his business.
I found out Mike does a 1-hour radio show each Friday morning at 11 am on the SONshine Network, 1310 AM WRSB Canandaigua and 1590 AM WASB Brockport; that his show has a political opinion/call-in format; he started out in late 2008 after meeting with the station owner Mr. David Wolf; that he is a Ron Paul and Tea Party supporter; that the sponsor of his show is “The Antique Guy” (imagine that); that he does all the technical/producer work during the show; and Sis Gail Reed fields his calls as he broadcasts from the Brockport studio.
I found out Brother Mike Deming and his family live in a lovely neighborhood on Highland Ave. just inside Brighton; in a 3 bedroom home built in the 1920’s; with a marvelously picturesque, park like back yard; and that the Demings moved in during 2002.
Additional Comments: I had a chance to listen to one of Bro. Mike’s radio shows. He had let me borrow a CD of his June 6th 1-hour show. Mike has a pleasant radio voice with a calm demeanor. The political reviews and topics were well thought out, and he had the chance to talk with one call-in listener. I was listening to the CD at work, and the content made me sad for this country, even though Mike remained optimistic. My co-worker also was listening, and the radio show mad him mad. He agreed with all Mike said, but it got him riled up a bit at the state of politics and the country.
Wednesday evening service was graced by two remarkably spirited music specials. At the pulpit, Doris sang for us, “Are you walking and talking for the Lord?” And at the piano, maestro Michael sang, “Holy Field of Grace”.Pastor Giardino had a number of announcements, among which was that Luke and Jesinia were engaged. It’s about time Luke. Our pastor asked for help with transportation to teen camp, wishing to keep costs down without sacrificing safety. The upcoming Family Dedication on August 15 was mentioned with a call to sign up and a reminder of scriptural precedence. Much progress toward the renovation of the game room was accomplished during the day on Wednesday. Mateo asked that all those interested in Music College to please get their money in by this weekend at the latest.Besides the prayer request sheet that was handed out before the service, Pastor Giardino fielded additional requests from the congregation. Some requests of note included: Marji’s knee recovery suffered a setback with an infection in the knee; Mike Farris needs prayers for his mission to the U.S. military, Josh has 2 weeks of military training coming up; the Bard family hopes to move to Rochester in August.Pastor Giardino continued to his series on “Soul Winning” with an eloquent presentation, leading us in how to win souls for Christ. He recalled watching Wide World of Sports on TV where divers were seen doing “full gainers” off the board. As an analogy, Christians likewise need to do full gainers in all out efforts to “gain” souls. “Too many times we lose ground to the devil”, our pastor lamented.John 15:16 tells us to “bring forth fruit”. In order to do this, though, we need to lose some things in our lives that may be hindering us. In Phil 3:8, Paul “suffered the loss of all things” in order to win Christ. Pastor Giardino exhorted us to “go all out for Christ” and not put a spiritual “governor” on our life (similar to the governors used to slow racing engines). He asked, “Why do you want to limit Christ in your life?” Mediocrity in your Christian walk limits God. “God is looking to take souls from the gutter-most to the utter-most.” I Cor 9:19 calls us to be servants unto all. The paradox to this is that by serving, you can be happy and gain at the same time. Pastor concluded by saying that, to be a soul winner, you need to know what you want to attain and know where you are going in life.
Registration is beginning now for youth camp at the “Summer’s Best Two Weeks” coed Christian sports camp located in Jennerstown, PA. Sponsored by Happy Valley Baptist Church in Somerset, PA, the camp runs for 5 days, August 16th – 21st. The cost is $75 per person. Ages are 12 and up. Please see the registration forms on the back table in church. Michael G is looking for input and help with fund raising so that we can help send more people to camp.
Activities include: bible study, zip-line, waterslide, high ropes course, pool, tubing, water park, fishing, rock wall, canoeing, mini-golf, challenge course, cabin games, sports competitions, nightly preaching services, and more.
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