< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: September 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

James MacDonald Tour

Our church, Harvest Bible Chapel of Hickory, is a plant from James MacDonald's Harvest Church, so when he was in Hickory for part of his Virtual Church Tour we were all there in matching t-shirts and tailgating! (Along with 1700 or so other people!)

James talked about how we are losing 6000 churches a year in America. And it's because Pastors aren't preaching the Word. James said that God isn't showing up in some churches because there is no passion there. We need to be all about worship. Especially for the next generation. When children aren't taught the works of God they lose the wonder of God!



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Join us on our Mediterranean Cruise April 2013

The first stop The Navigator of the Seas will make after leaving Rome next April 28th will be the beautiful island of Sicily.

Sicily is an historically cosmopolitan region, having been ruled by Asians, Africans and Europeans. There's no other place on Earth like it. The island is a unique place full of art, archeology, history, folklore and breathtaking scenery. And, of course, great food. (If you've read Eat, Pray, Love - instead of just watching the movie - you know that Elizabeth Gilbert spent the last part of her Italian culinary sojourn in Sicily, though in the film adaptation Julia Roberts never makes it south of Naples).

Sicily is almost a nation unto itself. The enchanting land where Archimedes taught and Saint Paul preached was a Greek colony, a Roman province, an Arab emirate and a Norman kingdom. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese and Jews made this unique island their own, leaving behind an eclectic history that you can still touch today.

Many people choose to take an excursion to Taormina: a gorgeous and chic resort town on the Southern coast of Sicily about an hour drive from Messina where we'll dock. Built at an elevation of 650 ft. it offers fantastic views of the sea and of nearby Mt. Etna (one of the most active volcanos in the world), but also has a wonderfully quaint medieval-village atmosphere: with endlessly winding ancient streets and tiny passages. This town is a great shopping destination (with some of Italy's most exclusive boutiques) and also perfect if you like to eat and drink at sidewalk cafes. Some of the best souvenirs are funky fruit and spice liqueurs from Vico dei Sapori (Teatro Greco 13) such as the traditional limoncello and the anything-but-classic cinnamon liqueur (absolutely delicious). You can even buy the locally made potions in flavors such as bay leaf, cactus, pomegranate and orange. Other Sicily-made products are olive oil and honey. Sicily is also famous for its Granita, a semi-frozen dessert some say is even better then Gelato!
Here's the link to the 4 page flyer with all the cruise information and pricing: There's still space for you!

Nancy Geiger
Cruise Holidays LAND AND SEA

Phone: 828-324-8399 | 828-324-8399 (fax)


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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Love your neighbor as yourself

Mark 12: 31- 34 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. We are to know God, love God and now show God. To show His love. To love others as yourself.

If you love God 100% what’s left to love your neighbor? How can we do both in this case?

The Bible says we love because He first loved us. So He pours His love down on us and then we give God all of our love and worship and adoration. 100%. God receives this love and it’s like He holds up a mirror and reflects it to other people. If God receives our love He will call us to share it with others. God wants us to pour our love out on our families, our neighbors, people who need it because He loves them so much. If we don’t love all people maybe we aren’t loving God as much as we should.

How do we show that we love God? By loving our neighbors. It’s like that song where the man keeps telling the girl he loves her and she doesn’t believe him: she sings, “words, words, words – show me!”

Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

We are called to walk in love.

We say that some people are just too awful to love. Well, Christ loved us when we were sinners – and we are told here to love others just like Christ does. We are to imitate Him! To show the world what He is like! WE are His representatives.

Are we commanded to love ourself? The culture today says we are! This Mark passage says to love others as yourself…. The Bible isn’t telling us here to love ourself; it just assumes that we do. If you read any of the New Testament you will see it tells us to think less of ourselves then we do!

If you think about this – and if we could really be that way – we would be so much better off. Think about it – we wouldn’t be wondering all the time what people were saying about us or thinking about us, or worried all the time or submerge ourself in self pity. It would be freeing!

What does loving my neighbor look like? Love is the priority of every believer to sacrificially promote the spiritual welfare of those around them. This is a Christian’s job.

1 Cor. 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor. 16:14 Do everything in love.

Love is a priority! Do everything; say everything, with love as its priority. And our example is Jesus’ love.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

We must be willing to lay down our lives for others! Some of us won’t even give certain people the time of day! But it’s supposed to be selfless and sacrificial.

1 Thessalonians 3:12  May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Here are 3 ways we can love like Jesus:

  1. Bask in God’s love.
  2. Banish selfishness
  3. Bring love with you in all that you do.
When the scribe said to Jesus, “Well said, teacher, “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Jesus told him he was not far from the kingdom of God. He wasn’t quite there though. The scribe answered intelligently, but not worshipfully. He didn’t know he was talking to God! He knew the answer. He knew scripture. But he had no relationship. So Jesus told him he wasn’t in the kingdom yet.

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