Quarterly Journals
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Our Worship

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. – Psalm 7:17 ESV

Learning to thank God for who He is and what He has done is our worship. Gratitude to God is crucial for our life, not to mention our spiritual journey. It is the very reason that we come together, and when we do, we sing praises to Him. Singing God’s praises invites His presence. Christianity is a singing faith. Christianity is a serving faith. When we come together, it is to serve one another. Christianity is a soulful faith. There is nothing more edifying than when we join together and belt out our soulful praise in song, shout, and dance to a Holy God. Angels bow before Him, Heaven and Earth adore Him, and He deserves our praise. The Bible commands to make a joyful noise.” It doesn’t matter if you can “sing” or not, when our voices are sanctioned together in praise and Holy worship, it is a joyful noise unto the Lord. As we celebrate this Church Anniversary, and another day of new mercies, we are reminded that healthy Christians need both impression of God’s Word and the outward expressions of hearts that are grateful.

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon



Let Us Return With Hope

“Who is there among you of all his people?” – 2 Chronicles 36:23

It’s so easy to be discouraged by the world. We look at the World as the standard, and we tend to forget that “In the beginning God created…” We lose sight of Him and everything that He stands for when we look to the world for answers to the issues of our lives. I know we are Christians, and we walk, talk, sing, and speak faith. But I also know that we, who are Christians, also grow weary; and we worry; and we get tired of waiting; and we stop praying, and we lose faith, and we stop coming to Church- because sometimes the burdens get so hard to bear. It’s hard to believe that things are going to get better, when it’s already been umpteen years the same. And I don’t know what it’s going to take for us to believe that God is truly in control; that He knows all; that He sees all- because sometimes that’s the problem. If in fact He knows all, sees all then….Why doesn’t He……? But I don’t believe He brought us this far to leave us. The world shapes our thinking more than anything else, because it is our living reality. It’s more real, I think sometimes, than our faith, because “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Heb.11:1).
 
When we don’t see what we’ve been praying and asking God for; when we can’t see the fruit of our labor; when we can’t see the promise- truly it’s hard to believe it’s going to happen- no matter how long we’ve been waiting. I know that by now this probably sounds like a faithless attack on faith, when in fact, the intent is just the opposite. The point of our reference n most events in our lives is our ability to control things. We make the plan, we set it in motion, and we see it through to the end. Discouragement comes when we come to the end of ourselves- having to realize that we have limits. When that happens, we are most likely to walk away- from our home-from our jobs-from our family-from church-because we have failed to accomplish what we perceived is within our power to do. The hopelessness we have comes from the losses we have survived. Maybe if the thing had taken us out, we wouldn’t be dealing with it. But it’s the survival of that thing that wreaks havoc with our faith, because we know it should have turned out differently. Yet, here we are-in the thick of it!
 
I had been thinking about this a lot, when Pastor preached my sermon the other night at St. John’s. He said it much better than I ever could have, when he titled his sermon, “Returning with Hope.” 2 Chr. 36:23, speaking of the Israelites return from Babylonia captivity, only to find their place of worship demolished. He said, “a life without hope is a sad life.” He said that “a child of God must know that God is in control.” He said that :if God didn’t have a plan for us, He would not have made Adam.”
 
Shiloh we are on the brink of celebrating our 112th year. This church is 112 years old: and while we may question many things, and finances may not be what we would like, God is still in control. If He didn’t have a plan for us, we would not be here. In the areas where we have turned away, perhaps in despair, let us return with hope, because God dwells here; and I don’t believe He’s brought us this far to leave us.

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon