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.