Our day began like any other Sunday morning at GLBBC, but with just a few more empty seats than usual. Travel plans and a hospital stay had many members away for the weekend. Our dear Pastor Vince Giardino taught an adult bible study on repentance. Citing the law of first mention where repent is first seen in the bible in Gen 6:5-6, the biblical definition of repentance was described as “changing your mind from original thought.” Many biblical references were given for repentance. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chron 7:14. Pastor Giardino wanted us to remember then, that repentance for sinners means “turning from sin”. He explained that “objective is everything when we preach the gospel.” We want people to change their mind on how they can get to heaven.
Part Two: Morning Service
Fearlessly leading our music was Pastor Giardino, having us sing 3 patriotic songs. A medley of songs for US service branches were then played. When each of the branches of service were announced, our service members from that branch stood up and were applauded. Michael sang the national anthem and then stepped to the piano to sing “I Still Believe in America” with his sister Julia. Our pastor’s sermon was titled, “Let Freedom Ring”. “We know that true liberty comes from heaven”, Pastor Giardino prayed. Several definitions of liberty and many quotes from patriot statesman were cited. His sermon had three main points. (1) Ring the bell of liberty or be lusted – there is an effort to bring lust into society through legislation. (2) Ring the bell or be licensed – churches are being coerced into being licensed by the government in order to control what can be said at the pulpit. (3) Ring the bell on living in Christ – we want to turn the culture back to Christ by proclaiming liberty to the captives of sin.
Part Three: Pot Luck Picnic
Immediately following our morning service, we headed out into the sunshine and enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship and great eating. Our master chef, Jeremiah, grilled the meats, and many delicious salads, sides, snacks, and deserts were laid out in buffet fashion. Sandra M.’s tortellini salad was a special favorite for many. Dean and Josh busy were strumming and singing. Michael manned the popcorn machine, Lori spun the cotton candy, the playground was busy, the old wagon was heavily used for rides, and the kids were delighted. After the meal, people gathered in shady spots to relax and chat.
Part Four: Evening Service
At 4 in the afternoon, we migrated indoors for an early evening service. Pastor Giardino had a special video ready for us: The Bible and the Constitution”. This was a thorough treatise reinforcing the biblical foundation for our country.
Part Five: Fireworks
A large contingent of Gospel Lighters gathered on the lawn at the Henrietta July 4th Celebration. A mighty marshmallow battle was waged (video soon to be made available), Pastor G. confounded many with a red laser pointer, and as the sun went down, we hunkered in for the show. As it happens, we were directly under many of the fireworks as the were launched and arced upwards. The show was loud, colorful, and just plain awesome.