All posts by clintonavechurch

Our Elder Driven Devotion

Our Daily Elder Devotional

We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

The end of another year is approaching, and people are already predicting what the new year holds.  A year from now most of them will have missed the target!

The fact is that no one knows the future—except God.  We even know so little about the world that we live in.  No doubt scientists will continue to uncover astonishing facts about the universe.  But even then, they will only know a minuscule amount compared with the total sum of potential knowledge.

But god is infinite!  He knows it all because He created it in the first place.  We will always be bewildered and confused by what we don’t know, if we are honest.  We don’t even know our immediate future; as James said, “You do not know what will happen tomorrow” (James 1:14).

What should this mean?  It should give us humility before God, and it should give us trust—trust in there God who does know our futures, and who works all things for His glory.  You can trust all your tomorrows to Him!

Romans 11:33New King James Version (NKJV)

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Daily Elder-Driven Devotion

Our Daily Elder Devotional

We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Here Comes the New Year!

What should we be doing as we approach the new year?  There are many answers to that question.

  1. We should be ever increasing our prayer time (communicating with God and giving Him thanks and praise – not just asking for what we want).
  2. We should be finding ways to help our church by making time to volunteer, sharing ideas to make things better and coming up with new ideas for things to do.  This assures that you are a vital part of your church’s functioning.
  3. We should be making sure that we are displaying our faith through our works.

James, the brother of Jesus, said in chapter two that faith without works is dead.  That is because if we really believe in what Jesus taught us, we can’t help but get out there and share our time and talents with others, to the betterment of our church.  If you are not doing, then you really don’t believe, it really is that simple.  Let’s get out there and be doers!

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Godly New Year’s Resolutions

Blog Number Sixty-Three

For how many years have we made resolutions each New Year? For many of us this is a yearly routine. Do these resolutions change at all? Most people I know have made similar resolutions; to loose weight, save more, exercise more, read more books. Does that sound like your list? I suspect it does. I gave up resolutions years ago. The whole idea always seemed silly to me and no one I knew really took them very seriously.

Maybe it is time for us to make Godly resolutions for 2015. By this I mean that we make resolutions of doing more for God and God’s ministry in our congregation. Will we come and worship God more? Will we make Sunday School as important in our lives as sports, band or other clubs that we belong to? Will we resolve to inquire what God’s wants us to do before we consider what we wish to do? It comes down to a simple question: “what does God want me to do this day and this year?”

Are you willing to try this? Once we surrender ourselves to God great things can happen. How will God use us? Let’s watch and see!

The Quiet of Christmas

Christmas was noisy for me. Seventeen people were here and most of them were loud. The young people did a concert with a bass, piano, guitar, and even a saxophone. This was at two in the morning! I didn’t get the guests home and into bed until three in the morning. It was a great Christmas and we celebrated well even with the noise and confusion.

Yesterday, Friday, my scheduled “day off” I had work issues to deal with and the “day off” wasn’t really a quiet Sabbath day. This morning the house is empty except for the cats and I. I’m sipping coffee, enjoying the tree and listening to Christmas music. How good it is to contemplate the quiet of this holy season. Why does God love me? I don’t know but I’m happy for that. The noise has its place but I’m enjoying the quiet.

After the shepherds and the Magi left Mary and Joseph did they enjoy they quiet? I bet that the three of them sat and enjoyed the solitude of the quietness. It would not be long before God told Joseph in a dream to start the journey to Egypt. Quiet never lasts, but it is good to have it. It recharges us for our future work.

Our Daily Elder-Driven Devotional

Stay on Fire

Do you want your life to make an impact this morning?  You can change the atmosphere of your home or your entire office with a little bit of enthusiasm.  Choose to be happy; live with excellence and integrity, and put a spring in your step.  Put a smile on your face, and let the world know that you are enjoying the life that God has given you!

When everybody else is down and defeated, when you are all alone with nobody nearby to encourage you, simply encourage yourself.  Your attitude should be:  It doesn’t matter what anybody else does or doesn’t do, I’m going to live my life with enthusiasm!  I’m going to stay on fire.  I’m going to be aglow.  I’m going to be passionate about seeing my dreams come to pass.

1 John 5:4New King James Version (NKJV)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

All The Newest Technology…

“I wish I was on the Star Ship Enterprise, exploring new Galaxies and never having to worry about money.” This is what a Christmas Guest said to me. The guest believes that in the future technology will eliminate poverty, hunger, and injustice and will enable us to spend all our time learning and exploring.

How often over the years have we thought that technology would “save” us? The telephone would enable such good communication that wars would cease. World War I would be the “war to end all wars” and the United Nations would bring peace and prosperity to the entire earth. Of course, the Atomic Bomb would also end all conflicts.

Putting our faith in technology is like putting our faith in Government or politicians; it is misguided and will lead us to disappointment. Politician change, technology comes and goes. Our God remains constant. Where does our help come from? Our Help Is In The Name Of The Lord Who Made Heaven and Earth! May we remember that this Christmas and in the New Year.

Our Daily Elder-Driven Devotion

Our Daily Elder Devotional

We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Give it Your All

In the new testament, the apostle Paul encouraged his young coworker Timothy to “fan the flame and stir up the gift that is within you” (See 2 Timothy 1:6).  Paul was reminding his understudy to live with enthusiasm.  Give it your all.  Don’t settle for mediocrity.  Stir yourself up; rekindle that fire.

You may have to live or work around people who are prone to being negative, who tend to drag you down.  But don’t let their lack of enthusiasm squelch your passion.  If you live with a deadbeat spouse, make a decision that you are going to be happy and enthusiasm anyway.  If your parents are always negative, try to overcome that negativity by being positive, encouraging and uplifting.  Fan your flame more than usual to make sure that the fire doesn’t go out.

Psalm 4:7New King James Version (NKJV)

You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.

Our Elder-Driven Daily Devotion

Our Daily Elder Devotional

We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Live Inspired!

Let’s not be naive.  The pressures, tensions, and stress of modern life constantly threaten to take a toll on our enthusiasm for living.  You probably know some people who have lost their passion.  They’ve lost their zest for life.  Once they were excited about the future, but they’ve lost their fire.  I especially see this happening when people get accustomed to God’s goodness, living by grace becomes routine.

The word enthusiasm derives from two Greek words: en theos, meaning “inspired by God.”  Living your best life now is living with enthusiasm and being excited about the life God has given you.  It is believing for more good things in the days ahead, but it is also living  in the moment and enjoying it yo the FULLEST!  Start today.

Jeremiah 20:9New King James Version (NKJV)

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,

Nor speak anymore in His name.”

But His word was in my heart like a burning fire

Shut up in my bones;

I was weary of holding it back,

And I could not.

Mary’s Pain

As I write this I am listening to Amy Grant sing “Breath of Heaven” also known as “Mary’s Song.” It is the only Christmas Song that I know of that features Mary’s contemplation on her pregnancy and the difficulties that this caused her. My desktop picture is a screen shot of the movie “Nativity.” It shows an exhausted Mary holding her baby shortly following birth.

Do we romanticize Christmas too much? Do we minimize the pain of this young girl? I wonder if we minimize the struggle of her traveling ninety miles in order to deliver Jesus. What must it have been like to have a baby far from home, in a sheep shelter with no female family members to assist? She did not ask to do this task. It was assigned to her and she agreed.

What are we willing to endure for the glory of God? If God called on us to do something half as inconvenient would we be so willing? In our faith history, every great thing done by God has been done in conjunction with men and women willing to endure trials and pain. God calls God’s people to do the extraordinary. If God calls us would we answer?

Our Daily Elder-Driven Devotion

Our Daily Elder Devotional

We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Oh God, may the Christmas message of the angels be sung once again throughout the Universe: “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all.”  May peace of mind reign over the tensions and insecurities of daily living.  May peace of spirit reign over grief and pain.  May peace of soul reign over doubt and unbelief.  So, Lord Jesus, grant to the human race the gift of Christmas peace—that only comes through Your presence and power.  AMEN.

Christ came into a world that had problems much like the ones that we grapple with today.  Life was short, disease rampant, nations chafed under the heel of Roman rule, slavery was universal.  Widows, orphans, the disabled and chronically ill had no “social safety net”  to see them through the rough times.

To those without the joy of living, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

To those who bore the chafing burden of the guilt of sin, He said “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you” (Matthew 9:2).

To the friendless He said, “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends” (John 15:15).  He had a healing word for each one.

On the surface the world has changed radically since that first Christmas.  But deep inside, our problems are the same—for they are the problems of the heart.  And Christ still comes to us to cleanse our guilt, give us hope for the future, and heal our hurts with his love.

John 15:15New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 I do not call you servants[a] any longer, because the servant[b]does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.