Lakeside Fellowship Blog

Session 6a: Calling & Regeneration

by Administrator 5. March 2016 16:09
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30Writing about Session 6a: Calling & Regeneration, Gina Beecher shares her thoughts on one of the discussion questions. Discussion question #1: Read Ps. 19:1-6 and Rom 1:18-20. Give examples of how creation is the “voice of God” that goes out to all people. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. This is the first sentence in the Bible, God’s revelation to mankind. In the Bible, God reveals his plan for salvation through his Son who is the image of the invisible God. But He also reveals Himself in His creation, through beauty, complexity, and the human conscience. The beauty of creation is one example of the voice of God. Although we do not consider the words of nature audible, Psalm 19 says that day after day they pour out speech to all the world, so much so, that the glory of God is declared. Whether it be a beautiful sunset on a dusty Iowa road, a quiet first snowfall of the season, a view from the top of the Smoky Mountains, or the thunderous noise of Niagara Falls, when one views these things you either see the hand of God or suppress it. The complexity of creation is another example of the voice of God. It doesn’t take a degree in biology or astronomy to know that this world is amazingly complicated. I have been working as a physical therapist with individuals affected by brain injury for the last several years. The human brain is by far the most complex organ in our body, and daily I can see the act of God in the recovery from injury to this organ. The human body has an amazing ability to make new pathways and compensate for areas lost after a brain injury. Every brain is different and so no person presents with symptoms the same as another, even after an injury that occurs in the same location of the brain. Recovery is unknown and difficult for health professionals to predict. Patients and family members hear “We don’t know” a lot! Lastly our place in creation is an example of the voice of God. I remember the first time I realized that there had to be something greater than me. I noticed my conscience for the first time, and was amazed that I had internal thoughts. It was then that I realized that people are unique, more than animals, created in the image of God. We serve an all powerful, all knowing, amazing God who has made Himself clearly known to all people through His creation. Our response should lead to praise and worship and a desire to bring glory to Him as His created beings. Psalm 96:3-6 Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise: He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.

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Session 7: Traditions in Christian Theology

by Administrator 28. November 2015 16:24
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30Writing about Session: 7 Traditions in Christian Theology, Jesse Vonbehren shares his thoughts on one of the discussion questions. Discussion question #5: Do you think the Gospel is preserved in the Protestant Church today? Why or why not? When looking at whether I think the Gospel is preserved in the Protestant Church today I think it is important to define “preserved”. According to Google to preserve something means to: maintain (something) in its original or existing state. retain (a condition or state of affairs). maintain or keep alive. When thinking about this question I looked back at my church upbringing at a Lutheran church. I feel fortunate to be raised in a home that had Christian principles and traditions. Every Sunday when attending church we would go through the Lord’s Prayer, Nicene, Apostle’s, and/or Athanasian Creed, an old testament reading, a new testament reading and a gospel message (which is what the sermon was mostly about). I believe all churches think they are preserving the gospel however, in my opinion I think the majority of them skew it for their own benefit.   I was given a great Christian  foundation, but as I continue to learn more and more from God’s word,  I realize how each church affiliation “tweaks” the Word through their separate interpretation. Several years ago during my Christian journey I was yearning for more so I started looking for something other than a feel good sermon from a pastor that attempted to relate the gospel message to modern day life.  I wanted to know what God’s word truly said, not what someone thought it said and how they thought it related to today. As we have learned in theology class, tradition is important but should not be the at the forefront of a church’s stage of truth. The traditions we kept at the Lutheran church were comfortable because we knew what to expect, but it seemed to be done as a mindless routine not spoken from the heart. Thankfully I was introduced to Lakeside. It is here that my journey with the Lord continues and I am challenged daily because of the weekly message that comes directly from the Word. Ironically, I think the combination of the mind numbing traditions and sermons that may sugar coat the truth are hurting the attendance at some protestant churches.  Overall, I think many churches are fooling themselves by thinking they are using the Gospel for its intended purpose.  I can only go from my personal experience, but the sermons from my previous church seemed to be very watered down and only give the feel good part of the story and not always the real truth.  It seemed to me that pastors were getting more and more afraid of offending people rather than sharing the Word in its most basic form. Churches are more concerned about the number of people in church than what the message is. Pastor Dave uses the phrase, “highly religious but totally lost.” When having a discussion about this with friends and family they tend to be very defensive. Which I get, and am not trying to attack their denomination or Christian affiliation; I just want to challenge them to research and look at the Word to see if what they are practicing does truly come from scripture.

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