Julia Lenae’s Blog

As most of the regulars of this blog and of GLBBC already know, Pastor’s daughter Julia maintains her very own colorful blog. She’s recently seen victory in the area of soul winning and has posted her testimony. Please take a few moments to head on over to …

Mode of Mind: Out On Good Behavior

An important sermon was delivered this past Sunday evening: Pastor Vince Giardino gave his thirteenth message on the mind. His sermon’s target was the will of our minds and hearts and “how to act in some unsavory circumstances”. The role model Pastor presented to help us to learn to live right was King David, a man after God’s heart. Pastor’s opening verses were from David’s Psalm 101:1-8. (He pointed out the BMW – “behave myself wisely” that David wrote.)

Pastor’s introductory story was about photographer Ansel Adams‘ early attempt at being a pianist. While playing at a party, Ansel could get his left hand to play fine, but his right hand was separated by a ½ step. His playing was off a little bit throughout the piece. His performance was given a no-nonsense review by a fellow guest: “He never missed a wrong note”. Pastor Giardino turned the story around to say, “Our lives can be off by how we behave ourselves and how we take things in.”

“Behavior is learned”, Pastor taught, and is often influenced by the attitudes and spirit of others. “Everybody is a copycat”, he said. In defining behavior, Pastor G. reminded us that there is both good and bad behavior and that it depends on how a person reacts or restrains oneself to what the flesh wants. Pastor asked his congregation a series of questions: How do you behave in certain situations? How do you govern your life? Are you a ½ step away from making a balance in your life? How do you behave yourself once you leave the doors of this building? Is there a desire to reach for the bible more than other things that may be around you?

Pastor Giardino had us turn to 1 Sam 18:1-11 to see how David behaved himself. After David slew Goliath, “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David” Sam 18:1. Jonathan, the son of King Saul, realized that David would be the next king and “stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle” 1 Sam 18:4. Pastor pointed out that “Jonathan relinquishes his right to the throne when he gave David those articles of clothing.”

David behaved obediently and wisely in the house of King Saul. However, Saul became concerned about his throne because he saw that his son, his servants, and the people favored David. “By you behaving yourself wisely in the life that God has given you, people will start to fear you”, Pastor Giardino said. Thus, “Saul was afraid of David” even though David was not plotting against Saul.

Behaving ourselves wisely in this life is “boot camp”, Pastor explained. He told how, in 1989, when his former church needed a new bus director, he did not want the job. “But God wanted me there”, Pastor said, and trusted that “it was God’s plan.” Likewise, David did not want to be King, but it was God’s design. Saul was insecure and was in fear of losing his kingdom. In like manner, Christians can be insecure, not trusting in God’s plan, fearful of losing control of their lives.

Pastor read 1 Sam 18:29, “And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s enemy continually”. The point pertains to us also as Pastor G. explained: “As you continue to lead your Christian life … and continue to be formed in Christ’s image … there will be a continual hatred for you and your God and your Bible and your church! As you continue to behave yourself wisely in a busted world, they will continue to hate you.” So from time to time, we need to “flee to God” in prayer for guidance regarding our behavior, our pastor strongly advised.

Two characters are at odds: the old king and the new king – who will sit on the throne? Pastor directed us to Psalms 5 to get an understanding of David’s mind and heart as he is praying to God. David was trusting in God and asking for wisdom, “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness” Psalms 5:8. He referenced Psalms 23 also, “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” Psalms 23:3.

While Saul had a growing hatred toward David, David was humble with an undeserving attitude. David wasn’t looking for anything but God was opening doors for him. In 1 Sam 18:18, “David said unto Saul, Who am I?” In Ex 3:11, Moses asks the same three words to God. Even after being ordained king, David in II Sam 7:18 again asks “Who am I”. God looks favorably toward humbleness and a good attitude. Pastor Giardino advised his flock to have that same attitude, being “out on good behavior”, or God is going to “lock us out in our service” to Him. Pastor then gave an example of learned behavior: David’s son Solomon also asked “who am I” in 2 Chron 2:6.

By the end of 1 Sam 18, David understood that he must behave himself wisely, not only in the king’s house, but on the outside to others. Pastor explained that when we walk outside the doors of our church, we need to let others see us behaving wisely. Although others may hate us, we need to do as David did. Pastor said we need to go to our prayer closet and mediate on the goodness of God and how He is in control.

8-Minute Video Clip: Heads and Shoulders Above

If you ever happen to miss a sermon here at GLBBC, Pastor Giardino’s son Michael makes available (at a very low price) a DVD copy for you to take home. I’ve missed a few myself and that’s the reason why portions of Pastor’s sermons mysteriously find their way on to YouTube. Imagine trying to plant the Word of God on one of the world’s most popular internet sites. Oh, the scandal of it all.

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, the audio of Sunday morning sermons at GLBBC have been faithfully uploaded each week to the church web site’s “Preaching” page. In fact, the entire audio portion of the above sermon (titled “Heads and Shoulders Above) is available at http://www.glbbc.org/index.php?page=audio/sunday, thanks to the tireless work of Bernie W. and Michael G.

Head and Shoulders Above

Pastor Vince Giardino began his Sunday morning sermon (03-27-11) speaking of the money shell game that is March Madness. Madness means “you are crazy about it”, he said. NBA scouts are there at the basketball tournament waiting for the next big star. Pastor said “there will always be another star … always somebody coming up, because people demand it.” It can be a singer, an athlete or other type of entertainer, but people will spend their money on entertainment. Then those people come to church and “it doesn’t have the same entertainment value, it doesn’t have that punch”, he said. Our church won’t try to keep up with the world, Pastor said, “but people’s hearts will determine how God moves in our midst.”Our pastor prayed for the sermon, “God we need your help to listen, would you quicken the ears.” Pastor Giardino then read the entire chapter 24 of Psalms before moving on to his introduction, which was to include excerpts from a famous sermon. The sermon was given by the late Dr. S.M. Lockerage in Detroit in 1976. The sermon “proclaimed the greatness of our God and King”, Pastor explained. He went on to read portions of the inspiring sermon, which declared, “The glory is all His … That’s my King!” Pastor turned that around and challenged his congregation, “Is He your King? Is He head and shoulders above anything that you would deem important in your life?” Pastor continued asking whether God is above what money can buy, what your mind can image, or what the world is trying to get high on as an escape. Pastor advised that we find instead our prayer closet, where there is “an escape for whatever you’re going through in this life.” Pastor G.’s preaching fervor soared as he spoke of our future in heaven. “I know I’m a nut, But I’m screwed on the right bolt!”, Pastor exclaimed in a moment of enthusiasm. “The bible does say that, one day, every knee is going to bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, because He is Lord. He’s head and shoulders above the rest.” Pastor asked what part does God play in our everyday lives: “Do you spend some time serving the King?” Do we bow before Him in reverence?

Pastor Giardino reminded us of an old commercial: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” “Are you listening when God speaks?”, Pastor asked. He then read Jer 9:23, “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches”. The verse describes our world, where the wise are found in universities, the mighty in sports, and the money in the economy. Not understanding that God controls all things, men serve the King of all pride, Satan. Pastor asked, “What is glory?” It is one of the attributes of God’s character and purity that He does not share with anyone.

  • The Diadem Deserved – “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Psalms 24:8. To glorify God means “to bring His innate glory to light … it is to put God on display and show Him off for who He is”, Pastor Giardino taught. He deserves the diadem because He had the strength to save use. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Phil 3:21. “Your priority right now is to get ready for judgment seat of Christ”, Pastor G. preached, “Whatever you do, whatever you touch” should be funneled to glorify God one day because He gave us so much.
  • The Devils Demise – Pastor read Matt 12:23-28 where the Pharisees of the time could not understand how Jesus could be King. Soon, Jesus would unfold the mysteries of His plan for our lives on earth. Pastor asked us if we were the King’s kids, bought with the blood of Christ, or are there things in our lives that cause us to be the devil’s kids. “The bible clearly shows that there is protocol, a process, by which we are to live the Christian life.”, Pastor Giardino taught, “He has made us to be kings and priests – don’t you think we should start acting like it?” “The prince of this world will be judged and it’s only by the grace of God that you won’t be judged with Him … there is a Great White Throne judgment for non-believers … and the demise of the devil will be there.”
  • The Disciples Desire – is to fulfill His will, to learn about Him, and to act like King’s kids. Pastor Giardino remarked how “a saved Gentile dog now can have the desire and delight of a disciple of Christ.” He read Psalms 21 in order for us to glimpse how David, an earthly king, handled himself before the King of the universe. “Can you have the same attitude as this earthly king?”, he challenged us. David’s words, “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.” Psalms 21:2, shows David’s sincere appreciation for his “blessings of goodness”, understanding where they came from. Pastor G. used a wrapped present to illustrate the the “perfect gift” God has for us. Just as God couldn’t wait to bless David, so also God couldn’t wait to tell us of His gift of eternal salvation bought with his death on the cross and his shed blood. “God wants to give you good gifts … more than just salvation … but your sin is getting in the way.”

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    Photos of the House-2-House Blitz

    This morning, on a cold, but sunny spring morning in March, members of Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church set out into the neighborhoods of Gates to spread the Gospel of Christ. The House-2-House Ministry, led by Gabriel G. and Steve D., conducted a Blitz to kick of a season of reaching out to the lost in Monroe county with the good news.

    A very encouraging number of us gathered together for hymns, prayers, and instructions. Teams and car pools were organized and several streets canvased. But rather provide all the details in words, a picture album has been created on the GLLBC web site. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please click on the photo below to head on over to the Gospel Light Photograph album. We hope the photos will encourage you to join in the H2H efforts to save souls.

    Gospel Light Photographs

    A church culture around eating? Nah, it can’t happen.

    Do You Go to Church? You’re More Likely to Be Fat

    … screams the headline. A pastor interviewed in the article said, “There’s certainly a church culture around eating”.

    I sure am glad I belong to a church where food never crosses our minds (tongue firmly planted in cheek).

    To read the article and check out the video, click the apple pie:

    An article that will make you think.

    As we are all well aware, our internet searches and surfing can lead us to very good things and very bad things. Care and caution are needed. Your blogger just happen to stubble upon a very good thing, an article written and posted by another Christian blogger. The blog is called Grace and Salt and is maintained by the Pastor’s wife, Terri Cannon, of Hope Baptist Church in Bettendorf, Iowa.

    The article is titled, “Things to think about”, and starts out this way:

    We often have choices. Should I or shouldn’t I? There are many things in the Christian life that we sometimes refer to as “questionable.” … So how do we make a choice when faced with things questionable? Viewing a choice in light of Scripture is the wisest thing.

    Then the article lists the questions with scriptural verses to help answer the question. The first two are given here as examples:

    Is it right?
    All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” 1 John 5:17
    Will this bring me near some temptation?
    But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14

    There are a total of 33 questions with scripture, so expect to spend some time reading and contemplating with this article. You’ll find it > HERE <, just one click away.

    Opening the Door of Faith

    Gospel Light last saw Evangelist Tom Bard in October of last year. He was back in town after a 40 hour drive from Boise, Idaho. He had delivered a vehicle to his son Peter, our Youth Pastor here at church. Pastor Vince Giardino set aside our normal schedule for Wednesday evening service in order to allow Brother Tom Bard plenty of time to preach.Brother Bard began his sermon in his usual warm and humorous manner, pausing briefly as a cell phone in the congregation went off. Checking his own phone he joked, “I get two phone calls a week and then come while I’m preaching.” Rev 3:14-22, verses addressed to the Laodicean church, were read. Like that church in Revelation, the church today is lukewarm, has “lost its intensity” and is “indifferent to God” Brother Bard commented. “We are in the end time … the last days, there’s no denying that.”, he said. “Do you think the end times snuck up on God?”, he then asked us, “A lot of us act like it.” Bro. Bard assured us that God has made preparations for the end times, having set things up for what he knew was coming. We have no reason to worry because “we have the victory in Christ during the end times”, he preached.

    The job of the Evangelist has changed over time. We were told that rather than going about preaching to the lost, his job now is “to encourage and motivate the brethren, to stir people up.” His business now is in the churches rather than the dangerous street of today. Thus, Brother Bard wished to give us “something that can help your attitude in the end times.”

    We were given several passages to flip to in our bibles: I Cor 16:9, Acts 14:27, Col 4:2-4, and finally Rev 3:7-8, all dealing with the God’s open door to Christians of today. “Behold, I have set before thee an open door” Rev 3:8, Christ said to the church at Laodicea … and for this church age. Brother Bard said that the fact that the brethren and the church today “are a mess” is irrelevent. “God is looking for folks that want to fellowship with Him”, he pointed out, “God wants to hang out with you because you are his people.” God is looking for Christians who have “some fire”, someone that is “hot”. The church is a disaster, that isn’t going to change”, he said.

    We were asked, “If you hang out with God, who will change, you or God?” The obvious answer after a few chuckles was that we will be changed, not God. We become “more like Him as we sense His interests and desires”, we were told. Brother Bard advised that when God offers us something, we would be foolish to not take it or to hesitate, wondering what the cost will be. “If he says open the door, then open the door!”, he admonished. Let God in for fellowship and let Him do something through you before the rapture comes.

    In Luke 11:5-13, using the story of a man asking for three loaves from his friend, Jesus teaches His disciples that, in prayer and supplication, to be persistent. Brother Bard lamented that in today’s church, “no one has the devotional level to pray with the intensity we need.” “God expects us to pray … and he will open the door”, he taught. He spoke of all night prayer meetings and doubted their would be many willing to participate. He suggested we are lacking three things:

    1. We need a burden for souls. He asked, “When was the last time you stayed awake at night worrying about people going to hell?” We don’t have the urgency or the burden.
    2. We need faith that God will actually do something. “We’ve been beat up by the media and some preachers into believing that God will not do anything”, Brother Bard maintained. Y2K was his example, where people were ready to shoot a neighbor if they came to the door to ask for bread. We don’t have confidence in God. “What’s the point – why waste our time?” is what he said we think subliminally. “But all thing are possible with God”, he reminded, “He hasn’t quit trying.”
    3. We need to pray persistently. “Prayer open the Iron Curtain”, Bro. Bard said, “The politics were taken over by God … a lot of people got saved … people were praying for an opportunity.” He advised that if we want to get somewhere, get something done, then pray because that will make the difference. “God responds to you when you pray for souls.”

    Brother Bard concluded his message to us: “Before the end comes, I’d like that we’d get a little hope, that God would do things, and that people can get saved. When are you going to start the prayer meeting? That’s the question. You can’t badger people into praying, they have to want to. You need to let God in so he can accomplish what he wants to do. I hope you care. But will you do what God wants you to do, so He can do what He wants to do?”

    Hedging Your Mind

    Did you miss this past Sunday evening’s service at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church? Well despair not, my dear brother or sister. I happen to have been there and I was taking notes. My pen was drying up, but I managed. You did miss the wonderful singing of the Derefinko family. BTW, Pastor Vince Giardino’s sermons on Sunday evenings have been on the “Mind”. You know you need these messages and so does Pastor G! So why do you keep missing them? Pastor said, “It’s our responsibility that we keep in check the minds and bodies that God has given us.”Pastor titled his message “Hedging Your Mind”. The key verse was I John 5:18-21, and if you still remember where you last left your bible, dust it off, then take the time to read the verses. Hint: Look for the phrases “keepeth himself” and “keep yourselves”.

    Pastor told a story of a late 19th century village where the people stayed inside the village boundaries out of fear of the evil lurking in the woods outside the village. His story soon twisted to show that the village was actually one from the 1970’s, one where all efforts were made to keep the outside world from coming in. It was a no-fly refuge zone with people hired to patrol the perimeter. “However, nothing is perfect.”, Pastor logically stated.

    Just as the people of the village would have to deal with leaks from the outside world, such as radio and TV on the airwaves, so also do we struggle with escaping the influences from the world. We struggle even with the thoughts that enter our mind. “If you don’t have something to keep you in the love of Jesus Christ, you’ll have a tough task keeping out thoughts that come from this world”, Pastor Giardino advised.

    1 John 5:18 states “that whosoever is born of God sinneth not”. How is this possible? “You are in Christ!”, Pastor explained. “You can’t do anything to pay for your salvation, but you can do plenty to keep your thoughts and make a hedge against the world.” When we set up hedges, we protect ourselves. One example of a hedge our pastor gave was a dress code. His favorite example was how professional hockey coaches all wear suits and ties at games – they stand out and look great for the team and for the fans.

    Pastor went on to point out that sometimes churches have standards that end up being more of a wall than a hedge. “Us four and no more” is the cliché used, and when this environment exists, visitors to that church invariably feel unwelcome. “I hope it never happens in this church”, Pastor G. said. He wants our church to build bridges, connecting with good brethren, allowing people to join as we grow, but at the same time, maintaining the important hedges and standards.

    Dear reader, please turn in your bible to Isaiah 5:1-6. Read the metaphoric picture that was used to depict a people rebelling against God and the resulting downturn for Judah. Even as God removed the hedges and stopped watering the “vineyard”, so also will God judge us if we don’t keep what God has given us. God will “take away our hedges and people will walk over you”, Pastor warned, “if you don’t get your thoughts straight … stuff is flooding in and corrupting.” God has also taken away the hedges around churches in America (even Baptist churches) that compromise their standards. God abandons those churches which become pious. God stops watering their “vineyard” and they become spiritually dehydrated.

    So where can we find hedges? Pastor said that our families are a hedge of protection. Your New Testament church is a hedge. A marriage between two saved people, one in which they honor each other, is a hedge. Pastor said, “Fortify, not by building walls, but hedges.” In I Peter 1:13-14 we see that we were once ignorant but now we should know better. “Gird up the loins of your mind”, the passage reads. “A lot of junk can come into your mind”, cautioned Pastor Giardino. We need to desire that good things, fruit, are produced from our minds.

    1. Hedging It: Birds dependably like to land in hedges, our preacher said. Because of their colorfulness, they stand out. We ought to be like these birds, dependable, unique, standing out in the gap, just as God “sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land” Ezek 22:30. “We need some Gaptists!”, Pastor G. quipped.
    2. Wedging It: “How many of you have split wood the old fashioned way?”, Pastor asked us. We would have needed to use a wedge. In Job 1, God allows the devil to try and create a wedge between Job and God. Likewise, the devil wants to create wedges by “splitting the fibers in your life”, Pastor warned. “He wants to put a wedge between you and God … and he’ll split families and churches”, Pastor continued. Protect yourself from the worldly media or devil will split your mind wide open.
    3. Dredging It: “The devil wants to dredge up the past and render you ineffective”, Pastor Giardino said. When a river is dredged periodically, the sediment causes the water to be cloudy. A Christian should have clear, clean thoughts, but the devil will cause you to look at your past, bringing back memories that cause havoc in your Christian life. Pastor advised us to prevent that by creating hedges in our lives.

    Spring Visiting Blitz

    Gospel Light’s House-2-House ministry is kicking off the spring!

    What: Spring Visiting Blitz

    When: Sat., March 26, at 9:30 AM

    Where: Meet here at the church

    We will have some singing and prayer then, after the Blitz, we will return to church for a time of testimonies and refreshments.

    We will also discuss other upcoming opportunities for reaching our Jerusalem.

    Heads Up: Who’s In Control?

    Heads or tails?”, Pastor Vince Giardino asked his congregation at Gospel Light. It was Sunday morning and our pastor started his sermon out with a large hand-made coin, skillfully crafted by his wife Lori. He walked down away from his pulpit and asked a couple of folks that question as he flipped the coin high in the air. Whether the response he heard was heads or tails, he hinted that heads was a better choice. He then mysteriously added, “Hopefully by the end of the sermon, you’ll never say tails again.”

    The key verses of Pastor’s sermon were from Deut 28:13-15. God wanted to bless the nation of Israel: “the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail … if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord” Deut 28:13. However, God warned the nation also with curses in the rest of the chapter: “if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord … all these curses shall come upon thee” Deut 28:15. Pastor said the warning pertains to us also: “There is an inversion that takes place if you don’t follow God’s commandments; you become the tail instead of the head that receives all of God’s promises.” When people don’t let God run their life, being the captain of their own life, they become “the tail”. Deut 28 43-44 defines what is meant by heads or tails. Another definition is give in Isaiah 9:15.

    After giving examples of coin tosses used to decide a winner (e.g. prior to a football game), Pastor Giardino asked, “Christians, do you want to win … by your service to God?” We should be striving for God’s blessing, letting Him be the “head” in our lives. Pastor used a story of a stained glass window depicting an eye to remind us that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chron 16:9. Pastor G. said, “Too many Christians are heading things up themselves; they find themselves on the bottom of things.” He strongly advised that we take advantage of the wisdom of Jesus Christ and let Him be in control, let Him be the head, allowing Him to bless our lives.

    Pastor G. had us turn to I Cor 11:1-3 to find God’s order of things: “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God”. He demonstrated the concept using nested dolls, a set of 4 painted cups of decreasing sizes. If everything is in order, we will be protected. If things are out of order, pandemonium ensues.

    1.) You Need to Take the Head: Are you choosing Christ to be your head or are you the tail? “You need to choose Jesus Christ as your savior and your head”, Pastor insisted, “And be not conformed to this world” Rom 12:2. “If there is something in your life that is not in order, then there is going to be trouble”, he continued, “the head is supposed to give you direction, not the tail.” Even our church is part of God’s infrastructure, having harmony and enriching the people through fellowship and preaching. Avoiding church is like telling the Lord that his church is “nonsense”, Pastor offered.

    2.) Take the Head on the Heed: Pastor recited a list of things we ought to take heed to:

    • Those that act as Pharisees and Sadducees in ministry and in a lot of churchs. “The prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.” Isaiah 9:15
    • Religions with an outward show of excitement, being a mile wide and an inch deep.
    • “Regard not iniquity” Job 36:21, because “the whole world lieth in wickedness” 1 John 5:19.
    • How you open your mouth. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing” James 3:10.
    • The duel nature of Christians. There should be a change in your life when you are saved.

    3.) Take the Head for Your Health: God wants to help us. God wants us to follow his commandments “but our flesh dogs us”, Pastor grieved. We read I Cor 7:19-23 in order to understand that we are called to be the Lord’s servants, but by being such we are also His freemen. On the “heads” side of our American coins, it reads, “In God we trust”. When we trust in God, we “go into circulation” and become His servants, Pastor Giardino explained, “touching people’s lives”. Pastor said that when we make God our head, we receive “incredible benefits”. The apostle Paul agreed: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more” 1 Cor 9:19. God uses you as a servant to win others to Him, as Paul wrote in 1 Cor 9:22, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”Our morning service was concluded with the partaking of the Lord’s supper. Pastor read from I Cor 11:23-32 to remind us to be right with God before we share in the ordinance. “Let a man examine himself”, Paul wrote. Rey C. prayed before the bread and Peter B. prayed prior to the grape juice.


    “How is a person saved?”, Pastor Giardino asked.

    Adult Sunday School at GLBBC began with the question, “How is a person saved?” Pastor Vince Giardino solicited answers to the question from his students, who came up with somewhat varying responses. He indicated that there are people who say that individual effort is required to be saved. It was mentioned that a newborn babe in Christ, born of the Spirit, is not going to understand everything. So to clarify the issue, Pastor read from these verses from John 3, where Jesus spoke of being born again:

    • John 3:3 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”, which is the first time in the Bible that being “born again” is mentioned.
    • John 3:7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    • John 3:5 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    Paul makes the issue clear in Acts 16:31 while speaking to the keeper of the prison “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”. Thus, being born again, which is to “be saved”, is that simple – trusting in Jesus Christ with all your heart and mind as your Lord and Savior. Period.

    The question of whether a new born believer must fully understand the divinity of Christ to be saved came up. Pastor pointed out that the Jesus’ disciples first understood that Jesus was God in John 16:28-31, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.”

    In John 3:5, Jesus mentions man being “born of water”. “What is the water?”, Pastor G. asked us. Pastor explained that this cleansing water refers to the Word of God, but not before he explained what it does not mean. With most religions, he said, “once they see ‘water’, they equate it with baptism.” He had with him a Catholic Bible, the New American Bible, and read its version of John 3:5. The footnote for this verse was from the 16th-century Council of Trent and stated “that water here is not a metaphor but it is real water”. Thus Catholicism and many other religions are teaching the heresy that, in order for a person to be born again, they have to be baptized with water. Jesus Christ’s words prove otherwise:

    • John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    • John 3:15 “Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
    • 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.
    • John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    Baptism is just a testimony and witness that a person is trusting in Christ and is not necessary for salvation. Further, the Book of Acts teaches that believing in Jesus is necessary before you should be baptized: Acts 8:35-37 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” The Catholic Bible, however, removes verse 37, allowing a heresy to be taught – that people need not believe in Christ before they are baptized, e.g. infant baptism.Sunday school closed with Linden O. Sr. finishing the New Testament walk through he began last week. He highlighted the four watches in the bible, saying that we are at the end of the fourth watch and very close to the rapture of the church.

    The Bridge

    When I was a young Christian I didn’t really know any Christians to fellowship with or to help me grow. So I just kept reading my Bible and trusted God to lead me where He wanted. During this time period it was hard as I lost friends that didn’t want to hear about this Jesus guy. Income dropped from 4 to 5 figures a week to a low 3 figures. Many other things happened that made it hard for me in my new Christian walk. And not knowing any Christians made it harder. But if we truly seek God’s will He gives us the things we need to stay strong in our walk.

    Well one day someone I knew gave me a copy of this short story, that was the last time I saw him. He was not saved, so why God used him to give me this story to this day I don’t know. When I read this story it broke my heart, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months. I must have read it 50 times or more. I must have posted this story more than a dozen places on the internet over the years. I gave out thousands of copies as a type of tract.

    The thing this story did for me is it made me want to learn all I could about Jesus, and the great gift He gave me. So for the next few years I just read my Bible and trusted in God until He lead me to 2 men that lead me to a church that helped me to grow even more in my walk with Jesus. By the way one of those 2 men was Pastor Vince. But the thing that kept me learning and growing until that point was this story. So I want to share it with you, and I hope that it will push you to grow in your walk with Christ as it did me.

    The Bridge

    There was once a big turntable bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with it’s length running up and down the river parallel with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a certain train would come along, and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river to allow it to cross.

    A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train’s light. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance, when he turned the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but to his horror, he found the locking control didn’t work. If the bridge was not locked securely into position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came on it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. And this was a passenger train with many people aboard.

    He left the bridge turned across the river and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever which he could use to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train passed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.

    Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack he heard a sound that made his blood run cold: “Daddy, where are you?” His four year old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, “Run! Run!!” But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left the lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety, but he realized he could not get back to the lever in time. Either the people on the train or his little son must die.

    He took just a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny, broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the rushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of a sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They didn’t see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked — to tell his wife he had sacrificed their son.

    Now, if you can comprehend the emotions which went through this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Heavenly Father when He scarified His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that he caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? And how does he feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ? When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?

    Author Unknown

    Mariology 201 – Cult Series at GLBBC

    Wednesday evening’s Cult presentation at Gospel Light was the last in a series on “Mariology”. Pastor Vince Giardino has been teaching on this one aspect of Catholicism for over a month. He will hand over the reins to another yet-to-be-determined teacher as the Cult Series continues in two weeks.

    Next Wednesday evening, however, has been set aside for preaching by a special guest, Evangelist Tom Bard, father of our youth pastor, Peter Bard. We last saw Brother Tom on October 3rd of last year when his message to us asked, “Do We Glory in Tribulation?

    As we were able to do with previous cult exposures, this blog has posted the Catholicism presentations to the Cult Series Library. Please find the link listed under the “Pages” heading to the right of this post or just click here.

    The Same Mind, Part II

    Date: March 13, 2011    Time: 18:00    Place: GLBBC   Event: Evening Service

    Music Special: Teen Choir    Conductor: Peter Bard

    Choir: Joe, Julia, Analyse, Ross, Roberto, Kyle, Raquel, & Michael on piano

    Choir Song #1: “City of Refuge”    Choir Song #2: “Jesus was Guilty of Loving Me”Preacher: Pastor Vince Giardino     Sermon Title: The Same Mind, Part II

    Key Verse: 1 Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

    Pastor’s Opening Comments: Pastor Giardino expressed his gratification with the spiritual fitness and unity within our church. For the evenings message, he wished that we “be open to the message individually.”

    Followup Verse: Phil 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”

    Followup Comments: Our pastor spoke of the diverse backgrounds and skills that each of us bring into the church. He said “things are going well”, as we all work together using our individual talents for the common good of the church. We all have “the same spirit”, we use “the same bible” and he saluted us as a ministry for carrying out the great commission. Where the Spirit of God is working, wondrous things can be done in His name.

    Introductory Story: Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, conjoined twins for 6 decades, born in 1951. Pastor commented that “they fight as all siblings do, but they can’t storm off as others can.” “The vast majority of time though, they get along … there is brotherly love … they just seem like brothers”, Pastor continued.Pastor’s Sermon (semi-condensed version): A “spiritual truth” underlies the story of the conjoined twins. In contrast to our relatively petty problems, how do we cope with each other. Pastor pointed out that we, as a church, “are joined together as brothers and sisters in a spiritual body” and that we should “respect and love each other”. “We as a body ought to have unity on how to get things done”, he said. Further, “those that sin within the body of the church, they have to be judged”, Pastor G. cautioned. If issues arise, there will be judgment, publicly or privately, i.e. “a nice warning”, because the bible says to address these issues.

    Pastor read I Cor 6:15-17, stressing that we are “joined unto the Lord” when we are saved. (He advised us not to speed-read through these passages). When we have mutual respect and honor for one another, there is synergy in the church. He spoke about the power in a church that is “on the same page” and has the same “purpose”.

    Pastor also warned of divisions in the church, reading Rom 12:16, which says to “be not wise in your own conceits”. People who are “stroking their own genius … puffed up”, because their knowledge goes to their head, rise up and disrupt the church. “Who is running the show here, you or the Lord?” Pastor G. asked hypothetically. “The Lord will pop their balloon”, he added. Speaking of the past, he said, “Sometimes God is taking people out of the church who have a bad spirit. Let God do his work. If we are of the same mind, God will do things here.”

    I Cor 14:23-25 was used to illustrate how important a church’s spirit is in regard to being a true testimony to visitors and “unbelievers”, who will “worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth”. “That’s what we want at Gospel Light!”, Pastor declared.

    II Cor 8:16-20 was used to show how important it is to chose the right man to lead a church. Without prayer and diligence, the wrong man can cause a church to split or lead it to ruin. Phil 2:19-21 also warns about choosing the right man: “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”. Pastor Giardino explained that “there is a lot more to a church than taking care of a building. Gospel Light is a place of refuge and revival for those of other churches.” For new members, he said “it is very easy to serve here … to find a place to serve … to plug in.”

    Pastor G. continued his sermon by going through the entire chapter of I Cor 12 (1-31). Although we have “diversities of gifts”, we have “the same Spirit” 1 Cor 12:4. And though we at Gospel Light are “many members”, we are “but one body” 1 Cor 12:20. Even those that have passed away, in glory, are still part of the body of our church, Pastor reminded us. He emphasized that those “which seem to be more feeble, are necessary” 1 Cor 12:22. “There are no big shots at Gospel Light – God is the main deal, He’s what it is all about,” our pastor stated.

    “God hath tempered the body together” 1 Cor 12:24. As metals are tempered through heat, so is a church tempered through trials. “The tempering process unifies us”, Pastor G. explained, “This is what pleases God, when we are one body.” When we come together as one body, “God can really use this church”, Pastor said confidently.Closing Story: A young man’s first job was at a body shop. He was asked to fix a fender but his efforts were futile. He went to the shop’s boss with excuses. The boss’s response was, “ Young fella, we only allow two ‘can’t’s in this shop: If you can’t do it, you can’t stay.” The point of the story was to encourage us to participate and be a willing and enthusiastic member of Gospel Light – willing to give, willing to be a servant for the Lord, and willing to get out and spread God’s Word.

    Photos and Video from Sunday’s Service

    Your friendly neighborhood blogger was given a copy of the video taken of last Sunday mornings baptisms and service. A few frames from the video were captured and used to create a small photo album. You can find those pictures in the Gospel Light Photograph Album. From the front page of the GLBBC web site, click PICTURES, then Ministry Pictures. Or better yet, click on the photos button below.

    A portion of the video from Sunday morning’s service was clipped out and posted to YouTube. That 15 minute portion was of the baptisms of Mike and Merely Krol. If you’ve never seen a baptism at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church in Gates NY, then this video will show you exactly what it’s like and what it’s about.

    Another snippet of video was also posted to YouTube. This one, although entertaining, contains an important part of Pastor Vince Giardino’s Sunday morning sermon.

    And finally, here is video footage of a brand new feature here at Gospel Light. The first “Faithful Service & Willing Spirit Award” went to Sue Stevens, with Mateo V. and Leah G. presiding.

    Don’t Get Smart, Get Wisdom

    Written by Lori Giardino (with additions by Joe Beilman)

    Before a morning service begins at Gospel Light, people are found busy in fellowship. This morning was no different when the eleven o’clock hour rolled around. Mateo announced “One minute ’til service time! Find your seats and let’s get ready!”

    The opening hymn was sung with gusto and we moved on to a baptism service. This morning, Mike and Merely Krol were stepping in to stir the waters. Pastor gave a brief explanation stating that the Monroe Water Authority waters were not anything special. Baptism is nothing mystical but rather a step of obedience for a Christian wanting to follow the example of the Savior. The Krols both gave a short testimony of their salvation. They gave credit not only to Jesus but to Grayson for his obedience and walk with God that has led them to make decisions to follow along as well. Mike also accounted of his thankfulness to Julia G who has prayed for him faithfully, calling her one of his angels.Following the baptisms, we enjoyed music specials by Mike Walters singing a beautiful “The Anchor Holds” and by Grayson and Julia (at the request of the Krols) singing “Amazing Grace” while playing their instruments: the cello, banjo and violin.

    Mateo stepped to the pulpit and explained that, once a month, a service award would go to someone in the church whose work may go unnoticed. After reading Proverbs 31:30-31, he said, “There are certain people in this ministry, if they don’t do what they do, it will be missed. Calling Sue Stevens forward, Mateo presented her with the first “Faithful Service and Willing Spirit Award”. Leah G. also gave her a bouquet of flowers.Pastor Vince Giardino was pumped and ready to go by this time, saying “I am like a horse ready to bust out of the gate.” Preacher titled his message “Heads Up”. While we turned in our Bibles to Ps 11:4-5 (The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.), Pastor began with some memories of TV land and an old 1960’s series called “Get Smart”. Bumbling, naive, and incredibly lucky Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, with a great deal of help from his intelligent, competent female partner, Agent 99, battled the evil forces of KAOS (international organization of evil.)

    Both agents worked for the “Chief”, who was their ‘head’. Pastor explained, “The Chief is a type of ‘the Lord’ that is directing agents … Maxwell Smart, a type of ‘Christian’, sometimes clumsy, sometimes with lapses in memory … the female is a type of ‘the church’, sometimes saving the day, a place for people to learn about what God’s will is for their life.”  Interestingly enough, KAOS wants to control the world, just as our enemy, Satan, wants to do the same. We must ask ourselves what kind of Christians we are. Do we allow God to be our head and let him control us? Or do we want to do our “own thing”? Are we allowing the creator of the universe to be our “head”?

    Pastor G. had his prop brought out at this time: a headless mannequin. “I have affectionately called this mannequin, ‘Chastity'”, he joked. This mannequin is like the church today”, Pastor continued, “Christianity now days is very shallow.” He told us that we like to look good, like this mannequin with the pretty dress, but we are just as shallow as the mannequin, having no heart for the Lord or for ministry. Many Christians don’t care about having a ‘head’, but rather only care how the garment would look on them. They want a pretty church but complain that the sermon is too long or the people aren’t friendly or the preacher said something they didn’t like. They don’t want a ‘head’ because they don’t really care what God’s will is for their life. Some come week after week just looking for some reason to justify their lack of commitment and, after pastoral investment, they leave anyway! Maybe they want to run things on their own, with no honor, just clumsy and forgetful of the good (like Max – agent 86 was bumbling through life as an agent of CONTROL, but always had agent 99 to make him look good).

    Proverbs 4:5 says to get wisdom, get understanding … (not Get Smart). Does a weekly or monthly visit to church validate you and your walk? Is your life in chaos? Does evil or your flesh drive you? Maybe you don’t know your ‘head’, which is God, who is in Heaven!

    When Max was in trouble, he would take off his shoe and use the shoe phone to call headquarters. Do you do the same, trample on your Christianity all week, but then when in need or “in a jam”, call upon God? Is He just a tool to use when needed?

    “Let’s look at who the head really is”, Pastor said. Phil. 2:5-8 shows us that Jesus Christ saw fit to lay aside his royalty, humbled Himself, and come to earth so that he could ultimately give his life for us. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:9-11. “That’s the head that’s going to appear in the clouds one day and take us out of here”, our pastor exclaimed, “Do you have a heads up on that?” What are you doing with Jesus?

    Reading 2 Thess 2:9-10 as a warning, Pastor said “The King of Pride (Satan) … wants control, maybe he did not get your soul, but boy can he wreak havoc of your life.” “Don’t neglect your head!”, he admonished, “Have a mind that’s like-minded to Jesus, let Him form himself in you … Do not be a Christian mannequin on display before a world that’s looking for answers.” Jesus bruised Satan’s head on the cross at Calvary 2000 years ago – “He destroyed death”, Pastor G. reminded us.

    A mannequin can’t move, talk or hand out tracts. It can’t become involved in the church or ministry. But you can. We can. Don’t just look like a headless mannequin with “cerebral palsy”! As true and faithful Christians, it’s essential to have a heart for souls.

    Eph 5:2-3 was read to prompt husbands to love their wives. Husbands are often not treating their wives as Christ does the church. “It breaks my heart when marriages break up”, our pastor said, “… if I had a dollar for every time I heard a protection order against a couple” that once shared their lives together. “Who’s in control of that?”, he asked, “It’s not the Lord! … Family’s are in chaos … That’s the will of Satan because he is a divider.”

    Col 1:18 says, “He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” Haven’t you made enough of a mess with your life? Give it to God and let Him have control of your life! Pastor commented, “Too many of you get smart with God, that’s the problem.” Get wisdom…don’t get smart!

    Jesus Christ is the head of Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church – “He is the chief shepherd”, Pastor said. “God is still giving orders … He is in control!”, Pastor shouted. God won’t force his will on you but he has a plan for your life.

    Likewise, Pastor is another head in your life, being the local shepherd of our church. He loves the people of GLBBC. Don’t leave him out of important decisions. Let him help! At the very least, ask him to pray with you over important decisions. “Some people don’t want a pastor, they want a hired preacher”, our pastor remarked. God created an infrastructure and we need to take advantage of that because we need God’s wisdom in our lives. Unlike the mannequin, we have a ‘head’ and should be wise enough to let God CONTROL our lives so that we don’t end up in KAOS!

    1 Chron 12:33 “Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.” Don’t be of a double heart. Give your whole heart and mind to God.

    Following the sermon, the Krols, Leah K, and Mark T joined the church with their families. Two souls were saved as well. Praise the Lord!