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Richard Tow
 
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The movie, "Stand and Deliver" is based upon the true story of a math teacher, named Jamie Escalante. Through his leadership, a group of inner city students at East Los Angeles Garfield High School rise to excellence on the National Advanced Calculus Exam. “All’s well that ends well” and by the end of the movie their hard work pays off.

But the scene we are going to watch comes in the middle of the movie right after they have suffered a major set back. The students have taken the test and scored extremely high. But the authorities accuse them of cheating and disqualify the scores. In this scene Escalante has hit rock bottom emotionally and feels like giving up.

Show clip Ch 9 0:40:35 to 0:43:44.

I showed that clip because I do not want us to approach Peter’s denial without some since of his emotional state at the time

 
Contributed By:
Paul Dietz
 
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Brethren Elder Peter Nead [1796-1877] was definitely a man of distinction. Living in a time when few Brethren were authoring books, Brother Nead chose to do so. In penning his theological point of views there was evidence in the words and phrases that his writing abilities were a little amateurish; especially when held in contrast to the deep theological writings of those with scholarly backgrounds. But yet his books often showed a bit of polish for those Brethren from the rural areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. As one would read, simple images and even splendid statements could be discovered.

Peter Nead was truly a blessing amid the Brethren, especially during the mid part of the nineteenth century. It has been stated that his book entitle, "Theological Writings of Various Subjects," published in 1850, he has definitely encouraged many individuals to join with the Brethren more so than any other writers. He also is credited as the author of the Brethren’s first published title on faith and practice, called "Primitive Christianity."

In the previous publication one can find this theological statement: “The Church, which is the body of Christ, will be found in a state of self-denial, walking in all the ordinances and commandments of the Lord, blameless.” What a profound statement penned by such a modest man: Definitely here is a series of phrases challenging all its readers to live in a life of “self-denial” and above that to be found “blameless” in their daily walk with the Christ.

How can anyone of us live such a life? Better yet, is it really possible to do?

 
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SermonCentral Staff
 
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MENDELSSOHN AND REMBRANDT: ARTISTS IN CHRIST

This past Tuesday we noted the 200th anniversary of the birth of the composer Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn was born into a family with deep spiritual roots. His grandfather Moses Mendelssohn was a rabbi and a philosopher. But Felix’s parents, evidently for reasons of social standing, took Felix and their other children to a Christian church to get them baptized. They wanted their children to avoid the anti-semitism of 19th Century Germany.

But for young Felix, this was not just a social statement. This became real. This became authentic. This young man came to know Christ, and what creativity resulted! The Reformation Symphony built on the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress." The oratorios "Elijah" and "St. Paul." An organ sonata fashioned on the Lord’s Prayer -- so much creativity, so much life, so much soul, and it was unleashed by Christ.

In the Netherlands, in the 17th Century, a young painter was stumbling through life, surrounding himself with wine, women, and song. Look at Rembrandt’s early self-portraits, and they are the face of an indulgent young man. But things changed. Rembrandt married, but he and his wife lost three of their four children quite young. Then his wife too died, and Rembrandt’s self-portraits, of which he did many, became full of brooding and depression. Everyone noticed how dark his paintings were, and how much they seemed to point to a troubled spirit. Troubled he was indeed, with lawsuits and bad debts and promiscuous behavior. But in his later years Rembrandt started to paint scenes from the New Testament, especially scenes from the life of Jesus. Look at them and you will see a life being transformed. This masterful artist began to see Christ Jesus for who He really is.

Rembrandt the moody mole slowly but surely became a shining soul. He gave us a painting of Mary Magdalene, contemplating her sin, but with a glowing light shining behind her, the light of forgiveness. And a painting of Peter, tortured by his denials, but lifted up by the light from Jesus’ face. And a painting of Paul, one of my favorites, where the one who had once persecuted believers now sits writing his grand epistles, and there is a warm light shining around his face.

Do you get it? Rembrandt, coming to Christ, gave us paintings that send one central message -- that the light shines in darkness and darkness cannot put it out. It is light eternal, life eternal. It is from Christ. It is everything.

Source: From a sermon by Joseph Smith, "Moles or Souls?" 2/21/20090

 
Contributed By:
Ross Cochrane
 
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THE DIVERSE DISCIPLES

I have always been a bit of a loner. I was not the sort of person you wanted in your team. I didn't fit. If Jesus hadn't come into my life, I am sure I would have ended up as a starving artist or at least a hermit - a recluse with a long beard, black jeans, T-shirt and sandals. It still sounds kind of good. I like my own company.

Strange that Jesus called me to be a Pastor and that I love it. I love people. Oh, there are times when relationships can get a bit strained, but I can be friends with the most diverse range of people. Sometimes the only thing they have had in common is me.

A couple of days ago I sat around a table as people from many backgrounds talked. One was from the outback and called herself a bushy. Another was from Adelaide and had a more cultured upbringing. They all accepted each other and me into their midst. What a great time we had as we talked and laughed together as we ate lunch - unity in diversity.

And speaking about A DIVERSE GROUP OF PEOPLE, what about the disciples of Jesus. In Matthew 10:2-4 we are given their names...

"Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (also called Peter), then Andrew (Peter's brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James's brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him)."

It's interesting to me that there were 3 SETS OF BROTHERS among the disciples - Simon Peter and Andrew, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), and the other James and Thaddeus. Why choose brothers? What's with the FAMILY thing? Wouldn't there have been A CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Not when Jesus is leading. The only conflicts that arose were because of sin and selfishness. James and John seemed to quarrel at one stage. I wonder if Jesus separated them and paired them up with others when He sent them out? But the thing they all had in common was Jesus and HIS LEADERSHIP AND AUTHORITY over them. Without Him this disciple and apostle thing would not have worked.

Can you imagine the conflicts without Jesus? Simon the Zealot who had once belonged to a very Patriotic band of Jews would have hated Matthew if not for Jesus. I wonder if they were paired together when Jesus sent them out? That would have TESTED THE RELATIONSHIP!

When I give my past to Jesus I can begin to see others through His eyes. I can also give perspective to others concerning their relationships. When all of us realise that SIN DISTORTS OUR FRIENDSHIPS, it makes a great deal of difference to how we view others. WHAT DID JESUS SEE IN JUDAS? Surely He must have known what would happen? Come to think of it - What does He see in me? The most unlikely of disciples WAS STILL GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY. Unfortunately for Judas,...

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Contributed By:
Michael McCartney
 
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THE CRY FROM THE CROSS

Mark's Gospel reveals the one cry recorded by Jesus at the crucifixion. Mark's Gospel is written from Peter's view point and it only emphasizes one agonizing lonely cry.

Why would Peter only include in his account the one cry of Jesus on the cross? Could it be that Peter could relate to this point of the crucifixion. It stands to reason from what the other Gospel writers recorded that Peter was deeply impacted by this moment in time. His re-telling of what he heard about the crucifixion centers in on Jesus' One cry. We know that He was not there because he had denied Christ the night before. He had fled and maybe he had already started heading back to his home town and back to his old trade of fishing. Maybe he remembers this time on the cross because of what he was doing at that same time. Could it be that he was at this horrible moment for Jesus walking back home in utter defeat. He was upset crying, weeping and having to face the separation between Him and Jesus? He had denied Jesus the one he loved! How could he have done that? Could it be this moment in time sticks out to him because he would have known the pain of being alone with sin rushing through over his life. He was facing it at the same time! Could it be that Peter knew how special Jesus relationship with 'Abba" Father was? Peter being close to Jesus would have known how deeply the Father's separation from Jesus would have hurt His Lord. He knew how lonely and hurtful it would have been for Jesus at this point in time. Peter knew the feeling when you are separated from the one you love the most? Remember Peter experienced what happens when you reject the Lord and fall into sin. He was even warned by the Lord but he fell prey to temptation and denied the Lord 3x and then the rooster crowed. He knew the pain and agony of it all. So he chooses to put in one lonely cry at the crucifixion. Maybe when he heard about the "One cry" from the others his mind reflected back to his nightmare of denial and the lonely feeling of rejection?

 
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