Sunday’s Guest Preacher @ GLBBC: Craig Cobb

Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church will soon be happily welcoming Brother Craig Cobb, Associate Pastor at Old Time Baptist Church, into our midst. He will be stepping up to the pulpit to be our morning service preacher this coming Sunday, February 6 at 11 AM.

Located in Hamburg, NY, the pastor of Old Time Baptist Church, Lou Guadagno, wrote this about his church on their web site:

“God moved in my heart back in the spring of 1984 to start a church. I wanted the name to stand for the “old time” religion of Holy Spirit conviction, conservative standards, soul winning zeal, Christ-exalting music and worship, and old fashioned preaching from the King James Bible. Thus, Old Time Baptist Church was born.”



Reaching for Higher Ground

An observer from outside of Gospel Light would scarcely believe the quantity and quality of musical talent that God has blessed our small church with. Our music director, Mateo Vasquez has a deep pool of singers and musicians to draw from, a pool that just keeps expanding as our youngsters train and develop their skills. Case in point: Rachel O., one of our newer members, displayed the wonderfully sweet voice that God blessed her with in singing, “No More Night” during our morning service this past Sunday. Likewise, among the very many pianists at Gospel Light, Dan P. displayed his expertise with an upbeat style of music during the offering.Pastor Vince Giardino opened his Sunday morning sermon with Psalm 18:32-36 to show that it is God that sets us up on high places. He followed with reading the lyrics of the John Marshall Family song, “To the Highest Place”, which was also the title of his sermon. Our pastor’s goal for the morning was to motivate and encourage those of us that are in the midst of difficult times, times that are affecting our attitudes. The sermon outline was based on a famous quote from American author “Zig” Zigler,“It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.” Pastor also mentioned the devotional by Christian minister Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest”. Pastor G. explained how our generation, contrary to earlier generations of Americans who had to work hard for what they obtained in life, has become “fat and lazy” and dependent on the government. We often bow down to material things instead of God.

Pastor then read the lyrics of the hymn, “Higher Ground”, in the hope that he could help us to get our feet on higher ground. After talking about climbers reaching 18,000 feet, the maximum height to which human life can be sustained, he asked, “How can a Christian reach that higher ground spiritually?” Holding his bible to his face, Pastor G. took several deep breathes, then said, “Breathe in, breathe out” the Word of God. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”, the apostle Paul wrote in Phil 2:12. Pastor spoke of long distance runners that train at high altitudes and are frequent winners of marathons. So too should we train in high places with the right church and the right friends, then being able to run the race of life more effectively for the Lord.

Pastor asked his congregation, “What are you looking for?” Among NASA’s goals is reaching toward the heavens in search of extraterrestrial life (a futile effort indeed). “Are you reaching for lost souls?”, Pastor asked. We should be searching for truth also. Local churches like GLBBC and others like it are “pillars of the living church … that can help you achieve higher ground”, our pastor prompted. How close we can get to God is up to us.

Point #1 in Pastor G.’s sermon was about Attitude. By church attendance, through conversation and other means, a person’s attitude can be assessed. Even more so, God knows your every thought. “Thus saith the Lord … I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them”, Ezek 11:5. “God will judge the intent of your heart”, Pastor Giardino warned. Some of us are “cold, saved, but carnally minded saved”, he continued, and need to be renewed and refreshed. I Chron 17:16 shows the humble heart of King David. We would do well to follow David’s example and read the Psalms for instruction in attitude.

In the time of the prophet Malachi, God’s people had a bad attitude. Pastor showed several examples in the book of Malachi where the priests and higher ups showed contempt for God. They were contrary in attitude toward God, who was speaking to them through Malachi. “Say what?” exclaimed Pastor, mimicking the haughty disrespect of “God’s people”. For the people of Israel, what followed was 400 years of silence from God.

Pastor concluded by asking, “How is your attitude?” It could be why we may not be getting anything out of church. Your attitude toward money may be why God does not bless your finances. God would allow us to go further than we are right now if our attitudes were a little better. Pastor advised us to thank God for our job, our spouse, our family, our church, and our relationship with God. Mal 1:2 states, “I have loved you, saith the Lord.” Following up, Pastor asked, “Have you forgotten how much God loves you?” “Now is the time to get right.”, he said as we were called forward.

Class Topics: Substitution and Reformation

Pastor Vince Giardino began our adult Sunday school session with Genesis 12:1-4 and the promise given to Abraham. God established a covenant with Abraham that would influence the future of world events. Pastor said “world history has to be looked at from God’s perspective”. Because Abraham “believed on the Lord”, Gen 15:1-6, world history was sent on its path that led, as seen in prophecy, to the 10 kingdoms, principalities and powers, Daniel’s 70 weeks, the pause button at 69 weeks, and the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7). The Davidic covenant in II Sam 7:12-16 initiated the purposes of God, with God’s people being “where it all happens”, Pastor taught, “It’s all about Israel.” The covenant established David as rightful King and led to the future reign of Jesus Christ, the throne of His kingdom established forever. Events surrounding the return of the Jewish people to Palestine and the creation of the nation of Israel in 1948 were contemplated in regard to the coming rapture of the Gentile church.Each week, someone comes forward to the New Testament time line at the white board to conduct a walk-through. This week, we had a partnership; Tito and Mateo teamed up. For each New Testament event, Tito announced the event and then Mateo sang a line from a hymn related to the event. Their performance was unique, entertaining, and edifying.Also each week, starting with last Sunday, Pastor Giardino will be teaching about important “ION” words (words that end with “ion”) and their place in Hebrews chapters 9 and 10. This week included “substitution” and “reformation”. The handout with the list of words and their meaning was made available in class. Some of what was covered is as follows:

  • Substitution – the word is not in the bible, but is one of the major themes throughout. Heb 9:7, “the high priest … offered for himself and for the errors of the people”, expresses what Christ will do for us, Jesus substitutes himself on the cross for our sins. In the Old Testament, “the blood of bulls and of goats” … were used for “purifying of the flesh”, Heb 9:13. However, Christ is a more perfect substitute, “How much more shall the blood of Christ … purge your conscience”, Heb 9:14. Another example of substitution is found in Lev 16:8-10 where one goat is offered for the Lord so that the other, a “scapegoat”, may live; this reflects Jesus being offered in our place. 1 John 2:2 and 1 John 4:10 speak of Jesus being “the propitiation for our sins”. Refer to the class handout for more information.
  • Reformation – is a change for the better, such as a reformed alcoholic. Heb 9:10 mentions “carnal ordinances, imposed on them (i.e. Israel) until the time of reformation”. The time of reformation is the coming of Christ as the high priest, obtaining eternal redemption for us. By accepting Jesus as our savior, a restoration takes place in us, making us perfect in the eyes of God through the atoning blood of His Son Jesus.

Progressive Dinner Recap

Pastor Peter Bard led a flock of 9 young couples from Gospel Light through the gauntlet of 4 locations during the Progressive Dinner this past Friday night (01-28-11). Our church couples were able to endure appetizers at the Caletz home, dinner entrées at the Vazquez and Giardino homes, and lastly, desserts in the church library. Pastor Bard gave a charge from Eccl 4:9-12 with the theme, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. Two host couples, Rey and Pearl Caletz, and Mateo and Bonnie Vazquez, gave testimonies from their marital experiences. The level of participation in this event was a true inspiration for the church.

Total Picture – Events of the New Testament

We interrupt your day to bring you … Total Picture – Events of the New Testament … a spreadsheet of, you guessed it, events in the New Testament … the major ones anyway. Brother Tom Hamilton constructed this spreadsheet as a reference used during his Sunday school walk through at the New Testament time-line white board. I think you will find this table of events comprehensive, well done, and useful in your own studies. (A certain blogger may cheat and use it during his own walk through.) The major points are as follows:

  1. Conception
  2. Birth
  3. Baptism
  4. Gathers disciples
  5. Crucifixion
  6. Resurrection
  7. Commission
  8. Ascension
  9. Pentecost
  10. Stoning of Stephen
  11. Saul’s conversion
  12. Salvation to the Gentiles
  13. Missions
  14. Christ’s liberty declared
  15. Rapture
  16. Judgment seat of Christ
  17. Marriage
  18. Great tribulation
  19. Second Coming
  20. Throne of Glory: Satan cast into pit and nations judged
  21. Millennial kingdom
  22. Satan loosed for season
  23. Great white throne
  24. New heaven and new earth
  25. New Jerusalem

The spreadsheet contains key verses and locations for each of the above points. Reference verses can be found on the second page (2nd tab) of the spreadsheet. Use Microsoft Excel or the free software, OpenOffice, to view the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is stored on this website and can be accessed or downloaded using the above hyperlink or right here.

Another title for our pretty cool blog

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Limited Atonement … an elite few?

The fourth installment on Calvinism was presented Wednesday evening at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church. Brother Scott Allis started out by commenting on the rapid growth of Calvinism in this country. He sees the internet playing a big part in that growth. Naive or inexperienced people, unable to or untrained in rightly dividing the Word, have easy access to religious materials on the internet, including heresies like Calvinism. The appeal of Calvinist and Reformed churches is often their family focused approach, rather than Christ focused; they push Christ aside.

Of the 5 points of Calvinism, Limited Atonement was the topic focused on this evening. Brother Allis said that limited atonement (LA) is “the glue that holds Calvinism and the other 4 points together.” If LA is true, then Calvinism is true. However, if LA can be proven false, then Calvinism falls apart.

What LA means is that the blood of Christ is not for everybody, but just for an elect few. Calvinists go further, reasoning that if the blood of Christ were for everyone, and not everyone is saved, then God has failed. In Calvinism, there is no greater heresy than to suggest that God loved all alike. Jesus’ words in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world”, cannot be true in Calvinism, since they believe God only loved the elect. This elitism often drives people look for other religions.

Brother Allis explained that God did not love Abel over Cain; our merciful God loves all the same. All people are free to chose to believe in Christ since God provide salvation for all. But if people don’t come, God didn’t fail; people have chosen not to do God’s will (e.g. Cain) and have limited what God wanted to do for them. In essence then, LA limits God’s mercy, grace, and sovereignty, ignoring that God bound Himself to His promises to all men.

Within Calvinism itself, a struggle continues over the meaning of the words “world”, “we”, and “whosoever” in the scriptures, Since LA means Christ could not have died for the entire human population, what then do these words refer to? Consider the following verses:

  • 2 Cor 5:19 – “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself”.
  • Matt 10:32-33 – “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
  • Rom 5:11 – “but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement”.
  • John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  • Isaiah 53:6 – “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
  • Joel 2:32 – “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”
  • Acts 2:21 – “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If LA were true, the majority of the world’s people would be condemned, not by their own sin, but because God chose not to elect them for atonement. The idea is elitist and racist since the “elect” are overwhelmingly white people in America and Europe, and only since the time of Calvin. Brother Allis suggested that those not elected might now have an excuse, saying, “Why Lord not me? Was I so much more rotten than your saint Calvin, who condemned Christians to be burned…”

Harry A. Ironside, Bible preacher and pastor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was cited for expressing the common evangelical understanding in contrast to Calvinism’s LA. In his book, Except Ye Repent, Ironside wrote, “Calvin made some stupendous blunders … for which the world has never forgiven him.”

Calvinists do preach salvation to the world, despite believing not all can be saved. However, they will not practice invitations to accept Jesus in their services, believing that only God’s elect are invited. Thus, they cease to be God’s ambassadors. How a Calvinist can explain Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, seems beyond reason.

Pastor Vince Giardino concluded with a few comments of his own. He stated that the lack of opposition to hypocrisies such as Calvinism is a characteristic of the Laodicean church. He also said that Calvinism cannot coexist within the church, but will end up harming or splitting a church. They are wolves that prey upon the flock. Paul said in Acts 20:29-30 to the church, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

So Little Time

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; 2 Tim 4:2-4

For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

“Be not soon shaken in mind” 2 Thess 2:2

The congregation at Gospel Light partook of the Lord’s Supper this past Sunday evening. Pastor Vince Giardino read Isaiah 53:1-12, which is a prophecy of the perfect sacrifice of Christ and what he went through for our redemption. We were given time to reflect on the passage and search our hearts. Men of the church passed out, first, the unleavened bread. Pastor read Mark 14:22, Brother Peter B. prayed, and the bread was eaten. After the grape juice was passed out, Pastor read Mark 14:24, Brother Kevin S. prayed, and the juice was drunk.

Our music special during the service saw Leah Bard singing “Heaven, Can You Imagine” and Michael G. ably accompanying on piano. Leah gets the “cool as a cucumber” award for pushing through the song despite sound system problems.

Pastor Giardino began his seventh message on the mind by reading James 1:8, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” as his key verse. The first point our pastor wished to make was that “the bible is a medicine cabinet of help for the Christian.” It is the place we need to go for our troubles.

In introducing the idea of double mindedness, Pastor told the story of Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England who refused to live a life of duplicity. He was convicted of treason for refusing to take the oath declaring the king the Supreme Head of the English Church; to More, God came first. Thus Pastor asked us, “Are you two-faced? Are you paying allegiance to something beyond God?”

In order to help us not to fall into double mindedness, Pastor G. reviewed the many positive “doubles” God placed in His Word:

  • The double-rest for a child of God in Matt 11:28-29.
  • The double-character of priesthood in I Pet 2:5-9.
  • The double-place and freedom in John 10:9.
  • The double-protection from the shepherd in Num 27:16-17.
  • The double-abiding and continual faithfulness in John 15:7.
  • The double-peace to gladden our hearts in John 14:27.
  • The double-presence of the Lord in your life in John 14:17.
  • The double-association with Christ in Gal 2:20.

Two passages of scripture, 2 Thess 2:1-2 and Jam 1:2-6, were used to show, that in the end times, before the rapture of the church, God’s people will experience mind warfare. There will be a “trying of faith” in “the day of Christ”. It is the characteristic of a Laodicean Christian to vacillate and be “shaken in mind”. Bringing to mind a cattle prod, Pastor said “Sometimes Christians need to be prodded due to their double mindedness” to help set things right.

We were then admonished to not have a double standard with respect to persons. Reading from James 2:1-7, our pastor warned against judging others and displaying differential treatment of others based on appearance, on how much they give, or other superficial qualities. “Everybody is welcome” at Gospel Light “and is supposed to fit”, Pastor stated. Having a double standard “will wreck your Christianity”, he warned. Citing John 12:42-43, Pastor then warned against seeking approval from men rather than seeking “the praise of God”.

Pastor asked his congregation, “Are you confessing Christ openly and publicly before men?” (refer to Matt 10:32 and Luke 12:8). “The judgment seat of Christ is going to be a fearful thing”, he continued, “We will have to give an account of what we have done for Him.” “We are two-timers; we cheat on God; we’re not faithful to Him”, Pastor said. Further, he reminded, “Be not shaken in mind. This is what goes on before the coming of Christ: double mindedness.” We were then called to examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith and many went forward to the alter.

A Sunday Morning Full of Blessings

Dear reader, you will need more than one hand to count the blessings that came our way during Sunday morning service at Gospel Light:

  • This morning, Pastor Vince Giardino and his wife Lori became grandparents once again. Sean David was born to their eldest daughter Sarah and son-in-law David at about 10:45 AM at Unity Hospital. “A nine pounder”, our pastor said.
  • Pastor G. praised our unsung heroes at GLBBC, voicing appreciation to those who shovel snow, clean toilets, teach lessons, helpers in class, the construction of the expanded whiteboard, and the many others that do chores behind the scenes.
  • Pastor would have gifts (in the evening service) for those who responded to his phone text message this week, saying we need to “get a hold of stewardship and what it means to give to the Lord.”
  • It was announced that Dr. Vince Massa, pastor of Landmark Baptist Church in Stamford, CT, will be visiting this coming March 4 – 6.
  • Gail H.’s piano playing, along with Michael G. on electric keyboard, during the offering was absolutely beautiful. The song was the hymn, “Master, the Tempest is Raging”. Leah G. was Gail’s page turner during this mini-concert.
  • The trio of Jeremiah, Mateo, and Gabriel blessed us with their polished harmony, singing “There Rose a Lamb”. The powerful song was used for heartfelt praise for the “Lamb in Jerusalem”.
  • There were 118 souls in attendance at the morning service, 10 of which were visitors. One of the families (with 4 children) had found our church on the internet that very morning.
  • At the end of the service, during the alter call, one of our guests, Steve H., was led to the Lord by brother Gabriel. Steve is a friend of Samantha, Donna’s daughter. Samantha was saved two weeks ago at a discipleship meeting.

Pastor Giardino’s sermon was titled Heaven, Due North – Part 2 and the key verse was Heb 12:22. Then from last week, he read again Job 26:7, “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” He then asked, “What is that empty place?” Citing an article in a scientific magazine, a large empty area was found in the north by the 200 inch telescope of the Palomar Observatory on Palomar Mountain in California. The area is large enough to contain 2000 Milky Ways. Pastor’s comment: “In case you haven’t figured it out yet, heaven is due north.”

Pastor continued his three point sermon by reviewing Point #1 from last week, Confidence in Your Coordinates. Fix your coordinates on heaven was the theme. Just as navigators on the sea use oceanic charts, we need to use the bible as our “oceanic chart” when things are going good or going bad. Even as every compass points north no matter where it is on earth, so too can you rely on the bible to point toward heaven. Pastor mentioned how people today turn to drugs to provide relief from stress. However, “your hope and peace should be lined up with what God wants in your life”, he advised instead. “God should be a fixed coordinate in your life”, he continued, and a map by which we daily walk. God fixed a time where Israel would be his wife (Ezek 16:8), and “your time to be saved is when God’s love intersects with you”, Pastor G. explained. We make the personal decision to accept the fixed coordinate of Calvary and the Son of God. “If you are not saved”, our pastor claimed, then “the coordinates are on you today.” “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Psalms 14:1.

Point #2: Correct Your Course. Pastor Giardino spoke about having an independent spirit, citing the Frank Sinatra song “I did it my way”. In Isaiah 14:13-14, Satan exalts himself above God. But he was cast out of heaven and now walks about the earth like a roaring lion, seeking to devour whom he can. Pastor asked us, “Have you run into Satan’s lies lately? Are you going down the wrong path?” We will be way off course without the right chart (i.e. the bible) and in a sea of trouble. Passages were read (Psalm 75:6, Luke 9:62, Job 23;9) to encourage us to “keep our eyes on God … set your affection on above and God will bless your life.” Pastor G. then warned us that we “may be doing are own thing, but God sees it on his radar” (see Psalm 139:2 and Job 31:4). “God’s got the all the goods on us”, he said; we are a “walking transponder” where God sees all we do or think. “Line up your Christianity exactly on north”, Pastor advised.

Point # 3: Encompass in Christ, which means to be fixed on north. Pastor Giardino spoke of a Rose Compass, an ornate and beautiful instrument decorated often with the winds of the seven seas. He spoke also of the stars being used as fixed points for navigation with the north star being used to line up charts. But the Devil has taken astronomy and twisted it into astrology, Pastor warned. “Who’s calling the shots in your life?, he asked us. “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys” Song 2:1, is a passage that reveals Jesus’ character and reminded our pastor of how unimaginably beautiful heaven will be. “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden” Song 4:16, shows us where heaven’s blessing come. Pastor then asked, “What direction is the wind blowing for you? Is it a north wind?” “God wants to blow the north wind of heaven on you.”, he continued. Encompass the Rose Compass of Christ.

We arrived this morning to attend Adult Sunday School at Gospel Light and found an expanded white board! The Total Picture New Testament time line was now extended across double the length as before, providing much more room for the time line events, thanks to the hard work of Rey Caletz. Pastor Vince Giardino began by marching us through the time line, from the 1st advent of Christ straight through to the New Earth. “Repetition is a good teacher” he said.

Gabriel G. also had a chance to run through the time line. He spoke of the 7 churches in Revelation, being both actual churches of the time and the seven ages of the Gentile church. He added detail to the four gospels, briefly mentioning each book’s point of view:

  • Matthew was about Jesus as king,
  • Mark was written to show Jesus as a servant,
  • Luke saw Jesus as the Son of Man,
  • John was written with Jesus being the Son of God and was from the “perspective of the church looking backward”, Gabriel said.

Many points were made this morning and your blogger tried to catch as many as he could. In no logical order, I’ll list them as such:

  • In the Old Testament, it was not possible to be perfect. But in the New Testament, we are made perfect through Christ’s death and resurrection. Pastor G. emphasized that “perfect does not mean flawless.”
  • Pastor spoke of the apostasy of the church at the beginning of the last century, where many false bibles were introduced and many break-away churches were formed based on false teachings and bad doctrine.
  • Matt 15:27 was cited to reiterate that Jesus came to save the Jews first. “There is a lot going on in Matthew that does not apply to us”, the church, taught Pastor Giardino. We need to “rightly divide the Word”.
  • Two passages, Acts 13:46 and Acts 18:6, were used to show how, after being rejected by the Jews, Paul turned toward the Gentiles, which was his mission.
  • As seen in the book of Acts, signs were used “to energize the early church”, Pastor reminded us, but these signs went away as the Gentile church became mature (see 1 Cor 13:10).
  • In the old testament, the temple was built according to God’s ordinances and when complete, was filled with God’s glory. Today, we are God’s temple and are filled with His Spirit.
  • Pastor G. defined “parable” as a heavenly truth told in an earthly, familiar form.
  • A table of ION words, taken from Hebrews 9 & 10, was introduced and a handout was passed out listing some of them. (More handouts with ION words will be made available in the next few weeks.) Pastor called these words “the nuts and bolts of proper theology” and are helpful in properly navigating in the bible.
  • The first of the ION words, Ordination, was discussed. The ordinances spoken of were from the “first covenant” (Heb 9:1) in the Old Testament and describe the heavenly pattern being copied on earth. But this was just “a shadow of good things to come” (Heb 10:1) with Christ as the “high priest” of “a greater and more perfect tabernacle” (Heb 9:11).

Its Not Too Late …

The next ladies gathering will be this Monday, January 24th at 7 PM. The location is the home of Mrs. Jesenia Curley. (Directions are at the back of the church, or just ask Bonnie V.) Mrs. Kim Bauman will be giving a charge from the Word. There will also be opportunities to share your testimonies; please be prepared to speak about what God is doing in your life. Please consider joining in.

The Gospel of a Secular Age

We all have different interests. The news articles I may wish to read may not be of interest to you. However, even though this blog is going to point you to a particular article, one you may find dull, the web site itself, Christian Post, may have many articles that may be of interest to you. Thus, check out this article, A World Without Steve Jobs – The Gospel of a Secular Age, or check out the web site, Christian Post.

Article Extract: But the genius of Steve Jobs has been to persuade us, at least for a little while, that cold comfort is enough. … It is a religion of hope in a hopeless world, hope that your ordinary and mortal life can be elegant and meaningful, even if it will soon be dated, dusty, and discarded like a 2001 iPod.

Temptation

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7 (KJV)


Our Wednesday evening at GLBBC

As is the case on most Wednesday evenings, each of us in the congregation were handed a prayer sheet that listed the requests of those needing prayer. Further requests are always solicited by Pastor Giardino, who led his congregation in prayer on this evening, petitioning our dear Lord and Savior for his grace and mercy for those in need.

The pitfalls and heresies of Calvinism has been the topic of Scott Allis for the past few weeks on Wednesday evenings as part of GLBBC series on cults. Brother Allis continued this evening, concentrating on two of the major tenets, first on “Total Depravity” and then on “Unconditional Election”. His goal was to show the heresy behind these doctrines by using the scriptures to refute them. A major pitfall in Calvinism was shown to be taking scripture out of context; they don’t rightly divide the Word of Truth. “They try to change the truth into a greater truth to lead the people away from the only Truth”, Bro. Allis explained. After taking a portion of scripture of of context, Calvinists then elaborate a complete doctrine on their deductions. However, 2 Peter 1:20 states, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

We encourage you to sit in on the next installment this coming Wednesday evening since Brother Scott Allis usually will catch us up with a review of the past weeks teachings. Eventually we hope to have his work posted in the Cult Series Library in this blog. All Wednesday evening teaching are recorded for posting on the church web site.

GLBBC Quick Links (UPDATED!)

Just a heads-up to point you to a pair of interesting Facebook posts:

  1. Michael G., through his Palette Films venture, has made available a 3 1/2 minute video of the highlights of Luke and Jesenia’s wedding. Find it here. (Note: your browser will need Adobe Flash Player installed in order to view this video.)
  2. Lori G. has posted a series of 26 photos of the “stunning” art work her daughter Salina has done for FBBC. You’ll find that here. (Note: you’ll need to be a “friend” of Lori on Facebook to see the photos.)
  3. One more link !!! Jaime has posted the photos of the Family Bowling Night in the GLBBC photo album. Click here.

An Unconscious State

Just a Thought – The battle for minds continued …

Sunday evening service, Jan 16, came with few surprises to start out with. Grayson (on banjo) and Joe (on harmonica), both singing harmony vocals, performed “Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb” in a most delightful bluegrass style. Bonnie V. then unveiled “Operation Lori”, a campaign to honor Lori Giardino, our pastor’s wife, for all that she does for our church. Every Monday evening, dinner will be delivered to the Giardino home. This will continue until the volunteers run out. Pastor Vince Giardino took great pleasure in having this been kept a secret from Lori, since he saw it as payback for the Dr. Massa incident from last February. The amusing video can be found here.Continuing with his series on the mind, Just a Thought, Pastor Giardino began with James 1:8, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” “We are in a battle for the mind”, Pastor G. explained. “No one wants to be a phony” with duplicity in their life, he said, “but the flesh is powerful”. 1 Chron 12:33 was cited to show that those who “went forth to battle” for David were not of a “double heart”, a military term to show that David’s men were loyal and with one purpose in mind. Thus, it was our pastor’s purpose for us to gain victory over double mindedness, duel personalities, and double lives. Last week, he examined Ephesians chapter 6 to armor us against warfare for your mind; this week he encouraged us to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” 2 Tim 2:3. We should use our bibles as a double-edged sword “to deal with the darts Satan throws at us”, Pastor G. said.

Pastor Giardino’s goal was to “march through the book of James and have some victory.” James 1:5 urges us to ask God for wisdom. Pastor said to “embrace wisdom … to be complete and entire … to be stable.” “We need wisdom because we vacillate and struggle with evil … if you let your mind wander, you can get in trouble”, he continued. Jumping to Matt 6:22-24, Jesus warns that “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single” and “No man can serve two masters”. Pastor followed, “You can only bow to one … who is your master? … it should be Jesus.”

James 1:12 states, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation”. Pastor warned that “temptation will come for all of us” and, when it does, “double mindedness is very dangerous”. James 1:22-25 advise to be “doers of the word” and “not hearers only” or “a forgetful hearer”. Pastor G. responded that “somehow, when it comes to faith, we don’t do what we learned.” Similarly, in 2 Chron 3:12-16, Paul wrote of a vail on the hearts of the “children of Israel” and how “their minds were blinded” since the days of Moses. “Nevertheless when it (Israel) shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away”, 2 Cor 3:16. Pastor spoke of the need to be patient and learn to wait on the Lord (refer to James 5:11). And with time running out on the evening, our pastor taught about double religion, citing James 1:26-27, to show vain religion versus pure religion. “Submit yourself to God and resist the devil”, he concluded.

Fishing for Men at the Public Market

Gospel Light’s House-2-House outreach ministry will be going to the Rochester Public Market this coming Saturday, January 22nd (weather permitting). We will be meeting at the church at 9:30 AM. Please contact Gabriel G. if you plan on going or need more information. Come be a fisher of men!