Sunday morning service, Oct 10, saw several of our men folks returned safely from the Men’s and Boys Outing at Camp Sugar Maple. Our own Pastor Giardino described his 5:30 AM wake-up on Saturday morning. While up and out of the cabin in his bare feet and admiring God’s handiwork – the stars in the sky – he saw a shooting star. This blogger wonders if it wasn’t just from Jeremiah hitting him upside the head before dragging him back to bed at that early hour. Please keep eye on out for soon-to-be-posted photographs from the outing; Mrs. Giardino has approximately 130 photographs to wade through before uploading them to the GLBBC web site Photo Gallery.
Pastor continued his latest miniseries: Lost in the Sea, Part II. Our featured text verse was Joel 3:14. In order that we better understood Pastor Giardino’s sermon, he spent time discussing rip currents. These are narrow, powerful, off-shore water currents that can catch you off guard. Many swimmers panic when caught by one, having no idea how to handle the situation. Likewise, the analogy for our lives, we also can get caught up in powerful currents: an “addiction or relationship that has drawn you in and taken you far beyond what you intended”, Pastor G. said. Just as one should keep their wits about them when caught in a rip current, it is imperative that you keep your wits about you when caught in life’s undertows, while at the same time, Pastor and the church are calling you back. He continued then with his five point outline.
- Lost in the Sea of Debt – This was the focus of last week’s sermon, which dealt with our indebtedness to Jesus for taking upon our sins and offering salvation through grace.
- Lost in the Sea of Depression – “Body, soul and spirit need to be preserved until Jesus Christ come back, but until then, there are lots of things that can drag you under”, Pastor Giardino cautioned. Regarding depression, Pastor read from Psalms 66:1-18 to encourage us to rejoice in the Lord and his refining process. We need to start to be grateful for what God has provided and our deliverance from eternal damnation, shaking off the unwarranted depression.
- Lost in a Sea of Deceit – Using both Acts 15:24-25 and II Cor 11:13-15, our pastor warned of cults and false religions and doctrines that can subvert you and “turn you from the truth.” There even “lost” saved people who have been swept away by deception, he said. Pastor Giardino advised that we should be ready to show others that “sacraments and works” cannot save you, as we witness to others.
- Lost in a Sea of Doubt – Using the story of “Doubting Thomas” in John 20:19-31, Pastor G. showed that we should be looking for God and expecting His return. We have doubts, Pastor suggested, because we are not “taking advantage of the teaching at church.” Pastor urged us to be aware that “someone or something will catch your attention and, before you know it, you are going to go under.”
- Lost in a Sea of Doom – Finishing up during the invitation to the alter, Pastor G. frankly stated that, if you are not saved, you are doomed to hell. You are not good enough under any circumstances to go to heaven. That is why Jesus had to take upon our sins.