We are coming closer to Thanksgiving, which traditionally has been a time where we as a nation pause and think back on what we are thankful for. As we read through the Bible, we see that the life of a Christian should be filled with everyday thankfulness. We are challenged to be thankful not only because of what the Lord has done, but because everything we have comes from above.
Josh, Jimmy, and myself have been discussing thankfulness with one another as we move closer to the holiday. We recently recorded a podcast on the topic of thanksgiving, which I do encourage you to check out if podcasts are your thing, we learn something interesting about what Jimmy remove from Thanksgiving meals. Josh was reading and found this great quote from John Ross Macduff that we all thought was worth putting before you to think and read through. We hope this blesses and encourages you for whatever comes your way this Thanksgiving and helps cultivate in your own life, a life of thankfulness.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
“I thank You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.” — Matthew 11:25.
A thankful spirit pervaded the entire life of Jesus, and surrounded with a heavenly halo His otherwise darkened path. In moments we least expect to find it, this beauteous ray breaks through the gloom. In instituting the memorial of His death, He “gave thanks!” Even in crossing the Kedron to Gethsemane, “He sang a hymn!”
We know in seasons of deep sorrow and trial, that everything wears a gloomy aspect. Speechless nature herself to the burdened spirit, seems as if she partook in the hues of sadness. The life of Jesus was one continuous experience of privation and woe — a “Valley of Baca,” from first to last; yet, amid accents of plaintive sorrow, there are ever heard subdued undertones of thankfulness and joy!
Ah, if He, the suffering “Man of Sorrows,” could, during a life of unparalleled woe, lift up His heart in grateful acknowledgment to His Father in heaven, how ought the lives of those to be one perpetual “hymn of thankfulness,” who are from day to day and hour to hour (for all they have, both temporally and spiritually) pensioners on God’s bounty and love!
Reader! cultivate this thankful spirit — it will be to you, a perpetual feast. There is, or ought to be, with us no such thing as small mercies; all are great, because the least are undeserved. Indeed, a really thankful heart will extract motive for gratitude from everything, making the most even of scanty blessings. Paul, when in his dungeon at Rome, a prisoner in chains is heard to say, “I have all and abound!”
Guard, on the other hand, against that spirit of continual fretting and moping over imagined ills; that temptation to exaggerate the real or supposed disadvantages of our condition, magnifying the trifling inconveniences of every-day life into enormous evils. Think rather how much we have to be thankful for. The world in which we live, in spite of all the scars of sin and suffering upon it — is a pleasant world. It is not, as many would morbidly paint it, flooded with tears and strewn with wrecks, plaintive with a perpetual dirge of sorrow. True, the “Everlasting Hills” are in glory — but there are numberless eminences of grace, and love, and mercy below; many green spots in the lower valley — many more than we deserve!
God will reward a thankful spirit. Just as on earth, when a man receives with gratitude what is given we are more disposed to give again, so also, “the Lord loves” a cheerful “receiver,” as well as a cheerful “giver.”
Let ours, moreover, be a Gospel thankfulness. Let the incense of a grateful spirit rise not only to the Great Giver of all good — but to our Covenant God in Christ. Let it be the spirit of the child exulting in the bounty and beneficence of his Father’s house and home! “Giving thanks always for all things unto the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!”
While the sweet melody of gratitude vibrates through every successive moment of our daily being — let love to our adorable Redeemer show for whom and for what it is, that we reserve our notes of loftiest and most fervent praise. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!
I wanted to encourage everyone to check out our three part mini series on “Sharing Your Faith”. They are available on all podcast formats but I also included the links below.
Part One: For the first episode, we tried to lay the groundwork for the topic of “Sharing Your Faith”. https://phillyyoungadults.buzzsprout.com/1369234/13082536-s4-e13-how-to-share-your-faith-part-1
Part Two: We had our friend Ruth on to talk about her experiences in sharing her faith and how simple practices like being “open and available” are so crucial to developing a life of sharing the gospel and the love of Jesus. https://phillyyoungadults.buzzsprout.com/1369234/13119213-s4-e14-how-to-share-your-faith-part-2
Part Three: We sat down with our friends John and Mike to continue our conversation on sharing our faith. John and Mike have 30 plus years of experience in evangelism and sharing their faith so we thought they could share a little bit about their experience and give us some great practical advice on how we can start sharing Jesus with others. https://phillyyoungadults.buzzsprout.com/1369234/13210300-s4-e15-how-to-share-your-faith-part-3
I have been super blessed by these and I hope you are as well. I am praying that these will be an encouragement for you to share your faith. Spurgeon in his book “The Soul Winner” wrote:
What I have said of soul-winners, belongs not to the learned doctor of divinity, or to the eloquent preacher alone, but to you all who are in Christ Jesus
Let us all be soul winners and share our faith in Jesus with those around us.
In home groups on Monday, we read and discussed Mark chapter 4 where Jesus calmed the storm. I was reading in G. Campbell Morgan’s commentary and came across this portion that I thought was worth sharing. I hope you are blessed and encouraged by it. Enjoy!
I think the chief value of the day’s experience was its revelation of the fact that there was no need to wake Him; that
” No waters can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean, and earth, and skies.”
They certainly did learn that in days of stress and strain and storm, if they cried out, He would end the storm. Yes! but the deeper thing they learned was this; that no storm can wreck the programme of God; that though all hell be let loose, and though it have power over elements, and events, and the hearts of men, and the passions of the world, to stir them into storm, and wreck the apparently frail bark where Christ lies asleep, it is all useless. If He be there, all is well!
That is the profoundest lesson of all. I am not prepared to say that these men learned it so perfectly as always to live in its power; but whenever they failed, He would help them, and the memory of it and of His rebuke would come back.
“With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.”
That is not waking Him! Can I smile at the storm with Christ in the vessel? I am not sure that I can; but I ought to, and I want to. I believe it is one of the profoundest lessons of life, whether in regard to personal experience, or world-wide affairs. There ought to be no panic in the heart of a man, when he knows Christ. We may be sure that Christ is at the heart of every storm.
He apparently sleeps in the hour of our anxiety. We go to Him, and say what these men said, and as others have said, Carest Thou not that we perish, Lord? What art Thou doing?
“See round Thine ark the angry billows curling.”
We are in danger of being swamped. Everything is going wrong!
All such panic is unnecessary, and unworthy. The Lord is at the heart of the storm, and we may rest in Him, and smile at the storm. It is, perhaps, more easy to believe that about the world, than it is about our own life! It is a curious fact, but it is quite true. We can often trust Him for the world, more readily than for ourselves. Does Christ seem asleep? Ah! but He is there.
If we would see the greatest things we had better not waken Him. It will be great if He will hush the storm! But there are greater things. What are they? Watching Him through the storm. That is what He wanted these men to do. In proportion as we believe this, we ought to have no panic.
Though nearly two thousand years have run their course, and in some senses we know more than these men, we are still driven to say, Who then is this? In the answer to that question is the secret of rest. In proportion as we really know Him, in that proportion we shall be quiet. It was Jeremy Taylor who said that we are far safer in the middle of a storm with God, than anywhere else without Him.
And that is what we need to learn and to remember.
This was taken from Morgan’s “The Gospel According to Mark”.
We are not gathering Monday May 22nd for Young Adults. Our church is hosting the East Coast Pastor’s Conference for Calvary Chapel. Many of your Home Group leaders will be attending. I encourage you to pray for them, that they hear what the Lord has for them. I also encourage you to listen to the studies and be blessed by them. They will be posted a few minutes after each session Monday May 22nd – Wed May 24th. https://resources.ccphilly.org/
See you all at our Memorial Day Picnic on the field at Calvary Philly May 29th!
Have you ever read a classic book and found yourself struggling to read and comprehend, yet alone finish? There were many times where I would find myself reading the same page repeatedly. I sometimes even doubted if I knew how to read with the vocabulary being used. It can be a struggle to push past the dead language and stick with the book until the end, especially with old theological books. Maybe you totally resonate with this or remember a time when this would happen to you.
I remember when I was handed my first christian classic; everyone raved about how good it was, but I found myself struggling to read and to comprehend. I will admit, however, that with some mental fortitude, we can stretch our minds to read and comprehend these works. If you work through the “pain and suffering”, you might discover a really rewarding experience and the next time will be a little easier, maybe. I truly found it easier with each book, so be of good cheer and keep pressing on!
Why This Book?
When I first read Communion With God by John Owen, it was one of those experiences. It was first written in the mid-1600s but to this day is one of the best books on a Christian’s communion with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. I was excited to see, not a modernized translation, but a modern adaptation with a purpose of presenting the same ideas as the original. Enter Friendship with God by Mike McKinley. “The problem (and the reason for this book) is that Owen can be difficult to read and understand. His language is outdated, the world that he was writing to is very different from ours, he never tires of listing out points and subpoints, and his writing style can seem overly complicated at times (he never seems to explain anything in ten words if he can explain it in fifty!).”
God desires to have a close relationship with us. He not only died for us, but He calls us his friends, his bride, and his family. What does that mean for us practically?
In an even greater way, Christians might struggle to imagine that God would actually want to be friends with us. We have been given faith to believe that he has saved us from our sin and provided us with eternal life in Christ, and honestly that’s far beyond what we have a right to expect. But the idea that he wants even more for us, that he wants to be in a close relationship with us? That all seems like a bit much. The second difficulty that Christians run into is that it can be hard to know what it means, practically speaking, to have a friendship with God. When we become followers of Christ, someone usually gives us some sense of what to do next: go to church, avoid sin, read the bible, and pray. But the question is, what does any of that have to do with being God’s friend.
Therefore, I would like to recommend this book to you. The goal was to “mine some of the most precious diamonds of Owen’s spiritual insights and make them available and applicable to you as you grow in your enjoyment of the friendship of the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. Grab it from your favorite bookstore at church or check it out on audio read by the author. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me. Let me know if you read it.
Monday 9/5– Everyone, sorry about this, but we’re going to have to cancel our Labor Day gathering out front, due to impending rain.
Next week we’ll be back on schedule with home groups on 9/12. And the following week (9/19) we’ll all be back at the church building for our large group gathering. Hate to miss you all tonight, hope your Labor Day evening is blessed regardless!
Hello everyone, we’ll take the week off from meeting for July 4th.
Next week (7/11) we’ll be back at the church building for our large group meeting.
There’s a lot going on, right? Stay close to Jesus. Stay in step with the Spirit. Listen to the word above all else. God knows who we are and what he wants us to do.
See you next Monday.
When: This Monday, May 30 @ 6:30 pm
Where: Front, Ballfield, in front of the church building
What: Cookout, Worship, Testimony, Hang Out
Food: Bring a side or dish to share, and we’ll grill up the meat!
Note: Hello everyone, we’re experiencing trouble with our Instagram account, as you may have noticed, so we can’t currently post this info. Maybe we’ll find out we don’t even need it, but in the mean time, feel free to share this info with anyone you know who might want to join us. See you then!
The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.
As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.
So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.
–By John Ellerton
Hey friends, what a great time with you all last Monday night at the Christmas Hymnsing.
Just a reminder that we do not have young adults fellowship tonight (12/27)—the church building is closed.
We’ll be back together next week (1/3) in our home groups, and then our first large group of 2022 will be Monday night 1/10. And then we’ll be back on our usual every-other-week schedule. Peace! And happy new year.
Get In Touch
Got Questions or anything else? It’d be great to hear from you!
Feel free to contact us and get in touch.
Hope to hear from you soon!