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A pastor I know, Stephey Bilynskyj, starts each confirmation class with a jar full of beans. He asks his students to guess how many beans are in the jar, and on a big pad of paper writes down their estimates. Then, next to those estimates, he helps them make another list: Their favorite songs. When the lists are complete, he reveals the actual number of beans in the jar. The whole class looks over their guesses, to see which estimate was closest to being right. Bilynskyj then turns to the list of favorite songs. "And which one of these is closest to being right?" he asks. The students protest that there is no "right answer"; a person’s favorite song is purely a matter of taste. Bilynskyj, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame asks, "When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is that more like guessing the number of beans, or more like choosing your favorite song?" Always, Bilynskyj says, from old as well as young, he gets the same answer: Choosing one’s faith is more like choosing a favorite song. When Bilynskyj told me this, it took my breath away. "After they say that, do you confirm them?" I asked him. "Well," smiled Bilynskyj, "First I try to argue them out of it."
Tim Stafford, Christianity Today, September 14, 1992, p. 36.
The largest church in this country according to its doctrine on sainthood has only one saint born in America, Elizabeth Seton.
C. She was decreed to be a saint in December 1974, accepted by the rite of saint-hood september 14, 1975.
D. the process:
1. She was first suggested for sainthood by a famous author.
2. This was followed by 17 years of close scrutiny of her writings.
3. 11 years of confirmation study by the vatican followed.
4. In 1936 the Sacred Congregation of Rites decided the way was now clear to proceed with the cause.
5. In 1940 Pope Pius XII made a formal announcement for formal initiation of her cause.
6. In 1957 (136 years after her death) the Sacred Congregation found her to be of "Heroic virtue."
7. Two verifiable miracles from her life time had to be found.
8. However after years of research, officials were able to produce a testimony from a sick construction worker who prayed to her in 1963 (142 years after her death) and was healed of meningitis of the brain.
9. Se was finally canonized 154 years after her death.
"By the time a man asks you for advice, he has generally made up his mind what he wants to do, and is looking for confirmation rather than counseling."
There was a frog that absolutely knew his destiny was to turn in to a handsome young prince. But for confirmation, he decided to visit a fortuneteller. The fortuneteller brought the frog in and gazed into her crystal ball. She said, “Oh, I see something. You are going to meet a beautiful young woman.”
The frog gets very antsy, “Yes, I knew it. I’m going to become a prince.”
The fortuneteller continues, “From the moment she sets eyes on you she will have an insatiable desire to know all about you. She will be compe...
Story: When Winthrop and the Puritans arrived in Salem they were shocked to discover a settlement which had been devastated with sickness, death and despair. The people who greeted them at the shore were lifeless, lethargic and in a depression. Many wanted to go home to England and the settlement was like a camp site not a city as they had expected. The settlement seemed doomed to failure just like Jamestown. Instead of being a city on the hill shining the light of Christ it was a camp site filled with darkness and hopelessness. Winthrop overwhelmed by the sight returned to the ship “the Arabella” and started praying to God for help and insight in what to do. That night the thoughts and the vision started pouring into his heart and mind from the Holy Spirit. After the vision and inspiration was clear in his heart and spirit he sat down and wrote out “A Model of Christian Charity.” The Lord spoke to him that night and told him this was the solution to the problem in Salem. He returned the next morning and met again with Endecott the current Governor who he would replace and they talked about what Endecott had learned from the Pilgrims down the coast. Winthrop got his confirmation from that discussion which pointed right to the vision he got for this cities renewal. He then called a city wide meeting telling everyone to come out dressed in work clothes, leaders, nobility, gentry everyone! When they showed up as their new governor he stood there with his work clothes on and then shared the vision he had received from the Lord. He told them that all of them would work together building each other proper dwellings. They would all become servants of each other and usher in the plan and the purpose of God. They would not only honor the 1st Commandment of Jesus “To Love God” and serve Him, which they had been doing. They went to church twice on Sunday and held Bible Studies during the week. But they would also honor the second Commandment and that was the horizontal relationship they were to have with each other in the community. Jesus also told them to “Love each other like they did themselves.” So it was time for all of them to roll up their sleeves and work hard for each other to create a community driven by a servant’s spirit. The leaders he included where also going to role model servant leadership by being willing to work hard physically for their neighbors who where in need! The result Salem was birthed and the city was lit on fire for Jesus.
Beware of human add ons; It’s like when you go to a store like Wal Mart or Makro and you buy loads of stuff and you think its really cheap till you go through the check out and you find out they havent added the VAT on until you ready to pay as you go through the check out.. There is a big add on at the end its your VAT.
Some people think that a particular denomination will save them! Many people believe being a Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist etc if you are like that believing in your denomination you are as bad as these pharisees you need to see that its through Grace. No add ons!
Some people consider pilgrimages are important for salvation and that this will save them a muslim my go to Mecca, to some Shrine, a Christian my go to see the pope or Israel to see the Holy land.No add ons!
Some people think that a certain experience will save them mayber a vision of Angels a near death experience an amazing gift given etc.
Through Prayer and God gives me things. lighting candles on tragedies (princess Diana etc. ) No add ons!
Some people think family connections will save them.
We come from a family of Christians, my dad is the vicar , there is no add ons!
Some people think church ordinances will save them,
baptism, confirmation a blessing communion etc
I meet a christidelpian in Leicester THIS WEEK CALLED Carmwl she said that baptism is pivotal for salvation! Is it really, remember no add ons!
I am sorry to labour this point but it must be emphasied but also as evangelical Christians we also must be aware of not imposing our evangelical traditions upon new converts to faith expecting them to meet up to our requirements.
Pastor Stephey Belynskyj starts each confirmation class with a jar full of beans. He asks his students to guess how many beans are in the jar, and on a big pad of paper writes down their estimates. Then, next to those estimates, he helps them make another list: their favorite songs. When the lists are complete, he reveals the actual number of beans in the jar. The whole class looks over their guesses, to see which estimate was closest to being right. Belynskyj then turns to the list of favorite songs.
“And which one of these is closest to being right?” he asks. The students protest that there is no “right answer”; a person’s favorite song is purely a matter of taste. Belynskyj, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame asks, “When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is that more like guessing the number of beans, or more like choosing your favorite song?” Always, Belynskyj says, from old as well as young, he gets the same answer: Choosing one’s faith is more like choosing a favorite song.
SWEET, SIMPLE SUBMISSION
Christin Ditchfield, in a recent issue of Focus on The Family magazine, writes that basically Mary took the news in stride.
“[She] didn’t demand a sign,” notes Ditchfield, “some sort of proof or additional confirmation. She voiced no complaint at the total disruption of her life. She knew now that things would not turn out the way she had planned at all.” She concludes, “But in her heart there was no resistanc...
Consumers Want Experiential New American Express research of consumers at all income levels finds that no matter who we are or where we live, how much or little money we make, how much or how little money we spend buying something, we all want the same basic things. We want to feel special. We want to buy the very best quality thing--whatever that is--that we can afford. At the same time, we want to make sure we paid a good price and didn’t get gouged or over-pay. We want the item we buy to work right, to look good, to last a long time, to perform as expected and as promised. We want to be treated well and with respect by the sales people in the store. Regardless of whether we are spending $1, $10, $100, or $1,000, we all want the same special feeling about our purchase. This is the underlying motivational dimension of today’s consumer market: Everybody everywhere wants to feel special. You don’t have to be rich in our society to want to feel special or to actually feel special. Sometimes we turn to the store, the mall or the restaurant to get our deep-seated needs for confirmation met. Everyone wants that same feeling of specialness and we all have some means, no matter how big or how small, to get it. This has huge implications for our businesses and ministries in the future. (Unity Marketing 8/24/04)
"Let’s say you have an appointment in another city, and you need to fly there. You purchase your ticket on the internet, you get your confirmation with times and flight and gate numbers. But you are delayed enroute to the airport, and when you finally arrive, running through the airport you come to your gate only to be told that the plane you see rolling away outside the window is the one you were supposed to be on, and you’ve missed your flight. You were very, very close. But there’s no such thing as being half on and half off a commercial flight. You’re either all the way on the plane and heading for your destination, or you’re standing in the airport with your hands dangling at your side because you’re helpless to change your circumstances.
This is the difference between children of light and children of darkness. There is no in between. You are light, or you are dark. Yo...