Ponderings for August 24 2017

Hello Trinity.  This will be the first of two Ponderings this week.

This one will be a bit “official” and informative inviting you to come to the church’s Annual Members Meeting this Sunday evening at 5pm-6pm.

We will be celebrating much of what the Lord has done among us this past year as we remind ourselves of many of the highlights of the recent past. We will also be looking ahead at the coming year with our plans and hopes for Trinity in 2017-18 and beyond.

You will hear about our present financial state and members will vote on next year’s budget. Some exciting news about the present state of our acreage will be presented as well.

Part of the Annual Members Meeting is the ratifying of new leaders and board members. This year, we will be ratifying two new Trustees. We will also be saying thank you to a Trustee, an Elder and two Deacons who have served us very faithfully. We will be introduced to two new Deacons as well.

The two Trustees that will be coming on board both served on the board as “Adjunct Trustees” this past year. They are Tom Adamo and Bob Boyd. The Trustees are recommending both men with full confidence and enthusiasm.

I want you to know a little bit about both of them.

Tom Adamo was raised in a strong Catholic family. He told me, “As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate the upbringing and Christian values my parents instilled by their examples as godly parents, and the parochial education that I received.”
 
In his early 20’s, Tom accepted Jesus as his Savior while attending a non-denominational worship service. Several years later, he began attending a Baptist church, where he was baptized as an act of obedience and public profession of his faith.

Tom has much experience in the financial world as both a CPA and a CFO. In the past, he has served as treasurer of Willo-Hill Baptist Church and as a Trustee of Cornerstone Christian Academy.

Tom and his wife Marian have been married for 33 years. They have 3 adult children and one grandchild.

 
 

Bob Boyd is often one of the first people you meet when you come to Trinity. He and his wife of 57 years, Bonnie, have been serving as greeters with our Front Door Ministry.

Bob has an extensive banking background in various capacities, most recently as Vice President of Commercial Banking of the First National Bank in Mentor.

Since 1991 Bob has served with the Rotary Club (Mentor) serving both as its director and on its foundation board.

For many years Bob has exercised his faith in Christ through faithful participation in his local churches both as an organist (for 25 years!) and as a Trustee Board member.

 

I hope over time you will get to know both of these fine Christian men who are willing and capable to serve Trinity in a Trustee capacity.

Thanks for reading this and your participation in the body-life of Trinity. We’ll see you Sunday morning and evening.

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Paul

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Ponderings for August 18 2017

 

I can’t believe it’s Friday already!

What a full week. What a crazy week.

Between the aftermath from Charlottesville with so much hatred and violence, to the terror-truck attack in Barcelona; what a mess these days. Feeling pretty discouraged about our world right now. Last night my mother said, “let’s not watch the news tonight.” I totally get it.

Come Lord Jesus. (And yet I also know despite my frustration, Jesus has come in the body of his Church. We are to be salve and hope of the world in these days.)

Let’s switch to something uplifting. Our text for this Sunday as we continue our series in the Ten Commandments (Loving By The Rules) is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Wow, words from the Lord about not lying that’s timely, if not immediately uplifting.

I think we will find Sunday very relevant and even uplifting. Clearly, we are told not to lie. And we will look at some common ways we play fast and loose with the truth. And we will also see how, as we follow the One who claimed to be the Truth, we are to speak what is true and on behalf of truth. A timeless and timely privilege.

A “community of truth people” are we. That’s where the message will head.

So, see you Sunday. Or tomorrow morning if you are going to the men’s breakfast.

In these days, may our words and actions reflect Jesus’ heart of peace and truth and reconciliation.

Peace,
Pastor Paul

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Ponderings for August 11 2017

Greetings Trinity on this somewhat rainy Friday as I sit in the waiting room at Cleveland Clinic with my mother.

News swirling on my smart phone, the televisions and newspapers around me. Two stories, in particular, catch my eye. 

Angry rhetoric between President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea. Tense indeed! Let’s pray for peace and cool heads to prevail, instead of conjecturing about how God gives leaders the authority to wield the sword (Romans 13). Which has more to do with policing power among one’s own people than it does warring nations and potential nuclear apocalypse. 

And I see there is a Solar Eclipse coming! One like we haven’t seen in North America in a long time. I wish I lived closer to the trajectory “line” and could get a good view of this phenomenon. Others are foolishly speculating about what the upcoming eclipse might mean for America and God’s judgment on us for all the sins we tolerate (usually their pet peeves of sexual sins). 

That got me thinking about God’s “judgment of the nations”. (Lots of time to think.  When will this doctor show up?) In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus talks about his future judgment of the nations. His basis for judging a nation is not its materialism or greedy wealth, nor its violence or abuse of power, nor even its sexual immorality and confusion therein. (Much to the chagrin and erroneous speculations of many armchair theologians and prophets of our day.)

Rather, when the Lord judges the nations one day, it will be based upon how the weak and vulnerable were treated (the sick, the poor, the orphans and widows, the prisoners and refugees). Now that’s truly convicting and worth sitting up for. 

So, as we wait the final minutes for my mom’s doctor to arrive (maybe he went on lunch break), let me leave you with this–

I believe it is right and pleasing to the Lord (instead of making conjectures about what God is doing with various scenarios of apocalyptic judgments) that we:

**Pray for peace in our world and wisdom for our president and his cabinet as we proceed in these dangerous days. 

**Seek to care for the vulnerable in our midst and community. For it is these actions that please the Lord. (Thanks to all who helped with the Back to School Bash.)

**Find a nice place to see what we can of the solar eclipse. 

Oh, the doctor just came in. 
See you Sunday. 
Pastor Paul

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Additional Pondering for August 4 2017

Because Commandment 7 is occupying my mind. And because adultery is so poisonous and rampant on our society. And because Sunday I will present a rather unique perspective on “You shall not commit adultery.”  I give to you a second Ponderings on the New Testament understanding about adultery and its prevention:

MARRIAGE: Marriage is sacred and not to be compromised or violated (cf. Eph. 5:31-33; Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 7:1-4; Matt. 19:9). 

THE BODY: Our bodies belong to the Lord and therefore sexual sins defile God’s temple (1 Cor. 6:12-20). 

OUR THOUGHTS: Our thought lives are to be carefully guarded and kept pure (Matt. 5:27-30; Phil 4:6; 2 Cor. 10:5). 

OUR HEARTS: We must discipline and work on our hearts not just our habits (Matt. 7:23-24; Matt. 15:19; Gal. 5:13-25). 

See you Sunday. 

Pastor Paul 


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Ponderings for August 4 2017

Pondering some ponderings:

  1. This week’s “Commandment” hits every one of us directly or indirectly. “Do not commit adultery.” Wow! How many of us have been effected by this?! Immediate families, close relatives, co-workers and neighbors; there is no immunity escaping this threat. And the shrapnel! Kids’ security shaken. Trust in the home shattered like a ceramic pot. Once friends, now enemies. God can heal and forgive, but the consequences and scars run long and deep.
 
  1. I just read about the110 of 111 brains of deceased football players that showed evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)! Wow. I wonder if supporting the NFL is becoming an ethical issue for Christians?
 
  1. Trinity staff just hosted a seminar for area ministry leaders on reaching young people and college students for Christ. I firmly believe God is calling us to be the “go-to” church in our area for ministry opportunities and equipping. We’ll host again.
 
  1. Sue and I enjoyed beach time away with family. I taught Mila (our 6-year-old granddaughter) how to body surf. I’m a champion at it, you know. That along with coaxing 8 baby sea turtles into the ocean made for a great holiday. My motto: “Work hard. Play hard.”
 
  1. Working on my marriage is like physically working out. I can ignore it and make excuses not to (yesterday the road to my workout facility was flooded!). But sooner or later I will pay the piper and what was once a source of joy and a vehicle for ministry becomes a pain and hindrance to a joyful life. Thanks for signing up for the October Marriage Retreat.
 
  1. Another thought about commandment 7. If tempted, stop it. Ask God to protect you, take away wrong desires, see how poisonous adultery is. Your will and God’s grace must be a team working together to defeat this short-sighted pleasure.
 
  1. Here’s hoping the Indians recapture their magic from last season. Going to the World Series would be a great regular tradition.

See you Sunday.
Pastor Paul


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