Mateo V. awarded the monthly Servants Heart Award to Bob Gadra for a “faithful heart and willing spirit”. Bob is a highly skilled electrician who has done an enormous amount of installation and replacement work at the church. Please have a look at 1 Thess 1:2-3, highly appropriate verses that Mateo read in honor of our award recipient.A music special opened the service: The foursome of Lori, Michael, Julia, and Ross Giardino sang “When the Sun of My Life Goes Down”. They were joined by Leah and Lydia for the second music special, singing “It’s All About the Blood”.“The Dominion of the Dot” was Pastor Vince Giardino’s title for the morning sermon. The Psalmist wrote, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Psalms 8:3-4. Pastor spoke how things in our lives may be big to us, but to God, they are nothing but a dot. He talked about the stars in the sky, how they “display God’s glory”, how the fingers of God created a dominion that science is just beginning to understand. Stars appear to be dots to us, but are in fact enormous in size.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalms 19:1. All people can see that the stars tell a story of God’s love for humanity. Pastor commented that, if you connect the dots, you can understand God’s creation. He said that God placed the stars purposely to tell a story of His glory and His redemption. An example is the constellation Orion, which is a picture of Jesus Christ’s coming. So if God can connect the lines of heaven, Pastor reasoned, “don’t you think He can connect the dots of your life?” “Shame on you!”, Pastor admonished us, if we don’t “allow God’s hand to connect the dots of your life.” Pastor G. pulled out a copy of “The Greatest Dot-To-Dot Book in the World” and said, “If we follow the lines, we make something much more attractive than just the dots!”
1. Connect the Dots – God can make something special in our lives. God can allow us to have dominion in our short lives. Israel was “the fewest of all people” Deut 7:7, yet God chose them “to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” Deut 7:6. God can take the least and make something of it. Jesus said “he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.” Luke 9:48. The Apostle Paul wrote that he was “less than the least of all saints”. Eph 3:8. Thus, God is “for the underdog”, Pastor Giardino taught. When we allow God to make something beautiful out of the mess that is our lives, we ought to allow the world to see the picture God made of us. “Why can’t Christian people be on display for people that may want to buy into it?”, Pastor asked.
2. Clearing Up the Spots – Pastor defined spots as marks of foreign matter that blemish things. Spots are like sin, he reasoned. Purification of sin in the Old Testament required a sacrifice during temple worship. In the New Testament, we are redeemed by the lamb without blemish, Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). “You need to get clean to get rid of the spots”, Pastor G. said, “so when God starts to connect the dots, the spots (sin) will not mess up the picture.” Our pastor used sun spots, cooled down surface areas out of harmony with the rest of the sun, as an analogy. He said “When you cool down for Christ, you start to have spots – sin; we need to be on fire for God.” As a prop, he used Tide-To-Go, a stain remover: “Stains can just vanish”, he quipped. Likewise, “a lot of sins can be eliminated if we can just bring the gospel to the lost”, Pastor reasoned.