Reformation Sunday Recall – John Newton

John Henry Newton (July 24, 1725 – December 21, 1807) was a British sailor and Anglican clergyman. Starting his career at sea, at a young age, he became involved with the slave trade for a few years, and was himself enslaved for a period. He came to faith in Jesus, and  became a minister, hymn-writer, and later a prominent supporter of the abolition of slavery. He was the author of many hymns, including “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken.”

His ministry in Olney and London had a profound impact and he influenced many to live for Christ!  Among them was William Wilberforce, who, as a budding politician, came to faith in Jesus and worked with the “Clapham Sect” to abolish the slave trade in England!  The following is the trailer for the movie “Amazing Grace” which portrayed Wilberforce’s life and mission along with Newton’s influence!


A people of Word and Sacrament

In Mark Driscoll’s (Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle) book “Doctrine” he quotes G.K. Beale: “What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or restoration.” Driscoll continues – ‘ Because we are created in the image of God, everyone is always, without exception, reflecting God or a god. If we do not reflect our Creator to our restoration then we will reflect creation to our ruin’.

We have in our mini “Modern Reformation” series attempted to demonstrate that as we gather on Sundays – are a people of the Bible in the way we pray, listen, and approach the table for Communion each week! I am so thankful to theEnglish Reformers & how they point us to the redemptive work of Jesus each and every week, and as we approach the Table each and every week for Communion – we are reminded that God is our Host with a towel wrapped around his waist serving us His unworthy servants so that we might serve our neighbors throughout this week! As people who worship on Sundays using the Book of Common Prayer – it is wonderful to know that as a community our corporate worship is soaked in scripture – for our restoration!
Questions to consider:
1. What idols in our lives are inhibiting our worship?
2. When do you find it natural to worship?
3. What does it mean to worship our Lord in spirit and Truth?

This Week’s text at CCW – Romans 10:5 – 21 “A Church of Word and Sacrament”

[5] For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. [6] But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) [7] “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). [8] But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); [9] because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. [11] For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” [12] For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. [13] For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
[14] How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? [15] And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” [16] But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”

(Romans 10:5-16; Romans 10:17-11:1 ESV) [17] So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
[18] But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for
“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”
[19] But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”
[20] Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
[21] But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

Instructed Communion Sunday thoughts

So many came up to me, Bob, and Sean yesterday and stated how much they enjoyed the Instructed Communion Service, and how surprised they were with the theological “richness” of how we worship on the Lord’s Day! I want to encourage all of you to save your bulletin, and share with your CCW friends who were unable to attend the beauty of the Prayer Book Communion Service, and how we “pray scripture” back to God each and every week as we gather!

Preparing for Sunday! Instructed Communion Sunday

This week at Christ Church Westshore will feature an instructional service of why we do what we do as Anglican Christians at both the 8:00 and 10:30 Services! This will be a fun and informative time as we gather and see the depth and richness of The Book of Common Prayer, as well as offer a time for Questions and Answer within the service! So, come one and all and discover afresh the richness of the Anglican tradition!

Text of the Week: 1 Cor 11:17 – 34

Thoughts from Jonathan Edwards

Characteristics of humility – paraphrased from Jonathan Edwards

 James 4:10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.  (James 4:10 ESV)

1) Far more aware of your own faults than the faults of others.  

2)  Whenever you speak of faults, you do it in with grace and mercy.

3) Stick through with people who you have been critical of, and those who have criticized you.

4)  The Humble person holds convictions, but in minor issues understands mystery.  Is able to be flexible! 

5)  The humble person confronts necessarily with grace in hopes of restoration. 

6 – The humble person is so filled with gratitude recognizing that they don’t deserve anything, yet no self pity, and not complaining about life.

 How are you doing?

Reflections on James 4:1 – 12 Pride

6 characteristics of prideful people! From Jonathan Edwards:
1) Prideful people are Aware of others faults, and fixates on them!
2) Pride leads to an air of contempt.
3) Pride leads you to separate from those you criticize, and those who have criticized you.
4) A proud person is pridefully dogmatic about every point of belief, and cannot distinguish between major and minor points.
5) The Proud person loves to confront, either because they like winning, or they refuse to confront because you don’t like controversy.
6) Proud people are filled with self pity because of 1 – so sure that they know how life ought to go & 2 – deserve a good life.

Preparing for the Highlight of the Week! Sunday!

God’s people – A Counter Culture of Grace – pt. 2
James 4: 1- 12

[4:1] What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? [2] You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. [3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. [4] You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [5] Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? [6] But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” [7] Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [8] Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. [9] Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. [10] Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
[11] Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. [12] There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Monday Reflection James 3:18 – 4:6

Looking at our text in James:
1) Being a peacemaker in the community produces a harvest of righteousness, therefore – where are you bringing peace in God’s church?

2) Where are your building Community in God’s church?

3) The Bible says honor one another (Romans 12:10)
Forgive one another Col. 3:13
Bear with one another (Eph 4:2)
Confess your sins with one another James 5:16
Pray for one another James 5:16
Hebrews 3:13 says you are to admonish and challenge one another
Confront one another – Romans 15:14
Warn one another and stop being fake with one another – Romans 12:9

Where in our community are you doing these things?

4) Do you find yourself indifferent to such community, or do you find yourself an disrupting community because of “hobby” issues?