- 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.