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  • Scripture I Corinthians 2:1-2
  • Date Sunday, 26 November 2017
It has been awhile since I've had the time to communicate with you all. I've missed you.
Today, we continue to explore the 'sola' foundations of the Reformers. I covered all these very quickly on one Sunday morning, received much input, so decided to explore each more fully individually.
This brings us to the 'sola' on which most of the others rest. Christ alone (or equally correct, 'only Christ'). The Reformers considered scripture and considered the current practices of the 15th & 16th century church. They found the current-day church disconnected from the truths in scripture. When this reality was brought back to the church leaders, rather than consider conforming to scripture, they persecuted the people who challenged the church. Kind of like an employee who reports an improper activity within an organization - and rather than change, the company fires the person and pulls their pension and destroys that person through lies.
Christ alone wasn't the stance the Church held in the 15th century. It taught one would pray to the saints and to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary was also without sin (a human conception, not scriptural). Our mediator to God was through Mary and the saints. The Reformers read in scripture that Jesus was our mediator and His death on the Cross and His Resurrection fulfilled any obligation thus allowing direct access to God and to salvation. The Church said that salvation came through the Church and fulfilling actions as defined by the Church. Paying indulgences helped one get to heaven. None of this was scriptural and the Reformers called the Church on these points. For that, they were excommunicated and persecuted and murdered.
Today, our call that Christ alone is all one needs is a call that everyone needs to hear. Whether one is associated with a current-day Catholic Church or a Protestant Church or no church at all, the same acknowledgement must be made. We need no other person nor tasks nor earned merits to be heaven bound. One just needs to proclaim Jesus as the Lord of that life. Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved - that's what God's Word says. What it means is to find the center of your life - what is most important - what is act the center? Replace that "center" thing with God. You life will be different for the rest of your life and for all eternity.
Not difficult - just Jesus.
  • Scripture Leviticus 27:30-34; Numbers 18:21-32;
  • Date Sunday, 12 November 2017
This Sunday is Stewardship Sunday on the church calendar. Therefore, by request of the leadership, we will dive into the "tithe." Lots of scripture and probably some surprising points. For instance, is the word "tithe" used in the New Testament? If not, then why do we still do it? If so, how is it used & what does it say to the Church today?

Why bother with a tithe? Some congregations have stopped taking a 'collection' during a worship service. Rather they set plates out in the lobby and let people give. What do you think? Should collecting the tithe be a part of a worship service or not? What benefit is contained in giving a tithe?

I could go on and on ... there is much on this subject. Let's see what God says on Sunday with a few scripture references.
Oh yeah, and don't forget to count your blessings and then prepare the tithe. See you Sunday!
  • Scripture various
  • Date Sunday, 29 October 2017
October 29 celebrates the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 thesis onto the door posting points of discussion. These 95 discussion points dealt with errors he saw within the Catholic Church. While his hope was to cause the Church to examine itself and correct the errors, instead the Church at the time decided to ex-communicate or kill anyone who spoke against it. Ironic, isn't it? One struggles to understand how the Church could have gotten so humanistic & self-focused as to kill those who spoke against its errors. Anyway, it did. So, from the action of Luther, arose a movement we now call "The Reformation." October 31 is Reformation Day, but we remember it on this Sunday.
The Reformers had a foundation that was almost universal across all Reformers, certainly universal across each major Reformer. That 'standard' is known to us as 5 absolutes on which the Church of Christ must stand. These each are referred to as a "sola," which is the Latin for 'only'.
This Sunday, we will remember the Reformation and be reminded of each of the solas surrounded by corresponding song & scripture.
These foundational standards are critical and must continue to be what the Church stands upon -- when these are forgotten, the Church of Christ will become only 'a church'. The head of said church will be a human leader. This church will lead many astray.
Let us never depart from each "sola."
  • Scripture Ecclesiastes 5:13-17
  • Date Sunday, 15 October 2017
This is a follow up from October 1st when we talked about how "Life Sucks." I want to talk more about the vacuum, but more from the aspect of the void and pressure. When a void or vacuum exists, atmospheric pressure on the outside of the vacuum is trying very hard to get in and equalize the pressure. When you stick a straw into a drink and pull air up through the straw, the pressure outside the glass or cup begins to pushing on the liquid and equalize the pressure inside the straw. So, as outside pressure pushes the liquid up the straw.

Now, let's put this fact together with the understanding that every human has a void left inside them. The minds seeks something ... somewhere deep within each human, is a want, a void, a vacuum, left behind from Perfected Creation to current broken creation status. So, this void is something every person must deal with ... so the question becomes: with what will we fill that void?

Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 14:6

Pleasant Valley Church, Holland, IA

Pleasant Valley Church

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Christ first, the Bible as God's inerrant Word & work, our future is both temporal & eternal. Hell on earth? Wait 'til you get to the "eternal" part!