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Monday, March 19, 2007

A Heart That Worships God is the very dwelling Place of Christ

Here is my sermon for last sabbath at Comfort hall SDA to begin Youth Week of Prayer
Naturally there were some changes.

(Thankful Heart)

2 Corinthians 4:15-16

I am humbled today because I come to you as a messenger of messengers of the Son of the message Source.
Our Goal is to lift Jesus Higher
For he said if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.

In these two weeks of revival meetings we begin with Youth Week of Prayer

Though you will see me you will be hearing from Tony Fitzgerald, the Director of Leadout Ministries who worked with several college students to prepare the Sabbath messages
Daniel Bennett student pastor in USA
Amanda Archer from Walla Walla
Matthew Sanvick who loves to pray also from Walla Walla
23 year old Amy who majors in speech communications and enjoys serving God through music ministry
Terence Taylor, 28 year old theology student
Chris Stanley 22 year old Australian college student who se most important passion is God.
Young people the project manager is 20 year old psychology major and Chief Editor is 25 year old English major.

Let us remember these contributors in our prayers as we pray too that one day a youth form Comfort Hall may also get involved with exciting international Seventh-day Adventist projects like these.

The English word worship says Barry Gane comes form the contraction of worthship and is concerned with worthiness, dignity, or merit of a person. “Hence worship arises out of a sense of the worthiness of God.”

He goes on to say “It is through a salvation relationship with Jesus that one enters into worship with God.”

So my friend this first week as we seek to lift Jesus Higher in our hearts, out homes, our schools, our church, indeed our nation
We are going to worship God in the name of Jesus
We are going pray in the sure and certain faith that His Holy Spirit is in this place.
So let us accept that the Holy Spirit of God is in this place.
Let us believe it.
Pray in groups of three and pray for a revival, pray for youths, and pray for me.

He Is HereChorus 1He is here hallelujahHe is here amenHe is here holy holyI will bless His name againHe is here listen closelyHear Him calling out your nameHe is here you can touch HimYou will never be the sameVerse 1I sense an awesome movingOf the Holy SpiritI see His countenanceResting on Your face
I know that there are angels
Hov'ring all around usFor the presence of the LordIs in this placeVerse 2I searched for peace amongThe shadows dark and lonelyGave up on findingThat strong and lasting loveI tasted all the thingsThat sin could think to offer meBut today I feast on manna from above
Out topic is Thanks and our text
The text 2 Corinthians 4:15-16

“Dear Jesus” little Austin prayed
Thank you for the food
Austin more than food
“Thank for Mommy and Daddy and Shawn and Jordan and the cat and goldfish and the suckerfish and Smiley the dog and for school, trees bread juice grass to play and toys in my room”

Thought he was going to end right?

Then ‘thank you for my bed and my blanket and Mike and Jesus and birds outside and my fork and milk…”

One person whose eyes not closed notice little Austin was looking everywhere for something else to thank God for with open eyes. Anything saw he gave God thanks for.

Could we be like that!

(The greatest moments of worship we will ever experience are those marked by grateful praise to God)

I. First point then A grateful heart is the same in every season.

A. Evergreen tree. Green in every weather like Paul in our theme text today..

1. Evergreen heart always thankful to God.

2. In 2 Corinthians 4:8 we find Paul admitting that the church is troubled distressed, perplexed.
i. What was your week like?
ii. Troubles and perplexities will come against us
3. Paul says in verse 9 persecuted but not forsakes, cast down but not destroyed.
4. Paul pleads with he church to focus on the sustaining grace of God and the thanksgiving will abound.
a. Read verses 15 and 16.
b. ..Paul is saying Look higher
i. Aim higher
ii. and today we will lift Jesus higher
And receive blessings that are beyond our circumstances.
Problems there are
Hold on
Thank God for His grace in all things.
B. The heart of evergreen thanks is like the leper in Luke 17:12-18
Read Luke 17:12-18
1. All ten lepers cried for help.
a. On the borders of acceptance, on borders of rejection
b. Social outcasts
c. Begged Jesus for healing
d. Jesus restored them
2. Only one returned glorified God at Jesus feet.
3. One saw that he was healed

Commentary on text in bible says:
The lessons of the healing follow. There are several points: (1) God's mercy should yield thanksgiving. (2) God works through Jesus (v. 15). (3) Getting close to God is a matter of trusting him. One who seems far away can really be near. (4) The outsider, the foreigner (allogenes), is the most sensitive to Jesus. Those who respond to God may not be the ones we expect to respond. (5) God's blessing can be appreciated or underappreciated.
It is this last point that Jesus highlights when he asks, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?" Only the foreigner has returned to give thanks. Now what Jesus praises here is the Samaritan's initiative. Jesus had instructed the men to go to the priest. All of them had turned to do so, apparently. But only one has taken the trouble to return and thank Jesus. God's graciousness is often ignored and unappreciated. In addition, often those who have blessed forget to take time to thank those God uses. Jesus appreciates the Samaritan's sensitivity and commends it.
So Jesus asks, "Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Yes, he was the only one who gave thanks. Those who do not take blessings for granted make up an exclusive club of surprising people. In our small group at church we recently studied joy. In the materials we used there was a discussion of how some Americans had gained fortunes in the early 1980s: "The average salary for Fortune 1000 CEO's is over $500,000/year. The actor Marlon Brando is said to have collected a fee of $3.7 million plus $15 million in profit percentages for a mere 12 days work in the 1978 film Superman--a rate of $1.5 million a day." Many people in Western nations are showered with material blessing. Yet an article in U.S. News & World Report on the wealthy of the same period reported, "Half of those considered successful by their peers are unhappy." Why is this so?
Maybe it is because success and meaning are being defined in the wrong places by the wrong things. Life's real blessings are not valued and appreciated, while things that cannot really bless are assigned value and worth they do not really possess. Often our families and friends and, more important, the God of life are underappreciated, taken advantage of or ignored--not necessarily to their detriment, but always to ours.
There is one other lesson in the exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan man. God's grace, even though it is extended to all, does not mean that all gain salvation. God blesses humanity in a general way, but only the responsive who appreciate what he has done in Christ receive his full blessing and acceptance. Among the ten former lepers, only the Samaritan hears the comforting words "Your faith has made you well." His gratitude has revealed his faith. Jesus commends him for his response and assures him that the appreciation he expressed is also appreciated.
4. Comfort Hall the question today is where are the other nine?
a. Ellen G White in Desire of Ages “He has given all the riches of heaven to redeem them yet they are unmindful of His great love. By their ingratitude they close their hearts against the grace of God.”p.348.
b. Where are the grateful worshipers?
c. Touched by Calvary?
d. Theme of redemption.
e. Lifting Jesus higher 9n worship?

II. Second main point is the thankful heart takes time to reflecting on what God has done.
Student needed plane ticket to return to dying father. Student body rallied around her ad bought ticket. At school assembly she could only stare at ticket.
Could not speak; put ticket over her heart to express thanks. With tears in her eyes.
A. Stop and reflect on how God has blessed our lives.
1. Word Sabbath stop cease .
a. Remember belong to God.
B. English preacher George Henry Jowett says “every virtue divorced from thanksgiving is maimed and limps along the road.”
1. Look back along spiritual walk when limping.. Were you thanking God at that time?
a. Remember little Austin?
b. Remember the healed leper.
C. We could experience a transformation so unmistakable if we could only aim our eyes at the great gifts of mercy that God has liberally given to us.”
1. Life of Jesus filled with thanks
a. Faced with feeding 5,000 in Matthew 15:36 bow head gave thanks
2. Paul the great apostle giving thanks for faith of Christians, those converted, monetary support, partnership with church at Philippi read his epistles and discover for yourselves the attitude of thanks
3. offers us some ideas:
.. A perusal of the Word provides a full list of large reasons to be grateful. God is thanked for his deliverance (Ps 35:18), for loving us and being faithful (Ps 52:9; 107:8), for hearing our cry (Ps 118:21), for safe arrival after a long, arduous journey (Acts 28:15), for other believers and for the testimony of their faith (Rom 1:8), for the gift of salvation that enables one not to sin (Rom 6:17), for delivering us from our tendency to sin (Rom 7:25), for the spiritual gift of being able to address God (1 Cor 14:18), for resurrection hope (1 Cor 15:57), for testimony, deliverance and victory in the midst of persecution (2 Cor 2:14), for the support of a colleague in ministry (2 Cor 8:16), for other believers (Phil 1:3; Col 1:3; 2 Tim 1:3; Philem 4), for those who respond to God's Word (1 Thess 2:13), for being able to serve others for God (1 Tim 1:12) and for his attributes (Rev 4:9). Those are just some of the options for thanksgiving.
Remember thank-yous, especially to our good, gracious and great God--and let the sun shine in.

III. Third main point is that the thankful heart leaves no room for discouragement.
Norskow Olsen former President of Loma Linda University tells legend of man who entered Satan’s barn stored seeds. Seeds of discouragement were great, could grow almost anywhere. Man asked Satan if anywhere seeds of discouragement could not grow Satan answered
“The only place the seeds the seeds of discouragement will not grow is in the heart of a grateful person.”
It’s only a story a legend. But a powerful lesson.
Ellen White writing in Desire of Ages says:
“It is for our won benefit to keep the gift of god fresh in our memory. Thus faith is strengthened to claim and receive more and more. There is a greater encouragement for us in the least blessings we ourselves receive from God than in all the accounts we can read of the faith and experience of others.” P348.
Right here right now stop for two minutes and in silent meditation thank God for someone who has made a difference in your life.
Parents may assist children.
Everyone pray alone for 2 minutes thanking God for blessing you through a church sister or a church brother or a believing family member.
A. In times of trouble God is still our God
1. ..Story of Matthew Henry robbed by band of thieves: and said let me be thankful
a. I was never robbed before
b. Second although they took my purse they did not take my life
c. Third they took my all but it was not much
d. Fourth I was robbed and not the robber
2. Town of Enterprise in Alabama.
a. 1895 boll weevil destroyed cotton.
b. Forced to diversify and by 1919 peanut many times prosperous as cotton.
c. Built a monument to boll weevil.
3. Corrie ten Boom shares a similar story from her WW2 experience in a German prison. Upon reading Thessalonians her Sister asked her to give God thanks for every detail of their living quarters including the fleas.
a. ..During months that followed discovered ha they could hold prayer meetings without interference from the jailers.
b. Several months later they learned that they reason the guards would not enter barracks was he fleas.
Can you thank god for pain because reminds you to visit Doctor Jesus?
Can you thank Him for fish flowers and sunset?
Can we here at Comfort hall SDA Church lift heart in praise because around world someone else in accepting Jesus as Lord.
All heaven rejoices over one sinner who repents
Surely let us rejoice over how God has blessed us.
“Praise the Lord o my soul and forget not all His benefits.
Commit our hears to be thankful
Let th3e world see that we love Jesus
Say Lord I give you thanks for all you’ve done for me.
Our hearts will not be ungrateful?
Thank Him in Good times and bad times?
Is that your desire?
Are you discouraged? Come to Christ with a grateful heart and experience his presence now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pistachio and Iron

Bio available iron in Pistachio is said to exceed the bio available iron in pharmaceuticals.
Pistachio has 30% dv per serving.

I have gone on a vegetarian diet since last November when I came down with kidney stones.
Not vegan. Still eat fish and very limited dairy.