Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How Can Anyone "Delight in the Fear of the Lord" - Part 2

Part 2 – We All Seek Greater Peace

Many texts of the Old Testament, especially specific predictive prophecies, help humanity to fully confirm without any doubt, the true identity of prophesied Messiah as Jesus of Nazareth:

DANIEL 2:44 And in the days of these [final ten] kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people; but it shall break and crush and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever. 45 Just as you saw that the Stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. The dream is certain and the interpretation of it is sure.

Unlike Daniel in this chapter, Isaiah the prophet has communicated to us a deeply personal human picture of this symbolic Stone cut without hands, Who was yet to come forth as the Messiah.

Isaiah also revealed specific aspects of life in God’s Kingdom, and the final outcome of its absolute destruction of the other great imperial powers, as it grows and spreads throughout human history, until the end of this age.

These personal aspects and qualities, representing the spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God, revealed to the prophet Isaiah, are completely connected with his highly personal portrait of Jesus Himself, in his description of His fully synchronized and integrated interactions with the Holy Spirit.

In Isaiah 11, we encounter a description of what has been titled by many as “The Peaceable Kingdom,” and which has been interpreted as an ideal eschatological state of being. Some scholars believe that it has its exclusive fulfillment in the eternal New Creation future, or in an interim Millennial Kingdom on the earth according to others, while many see it as being partially fulfilled in the present age, being completed in either of these later stages of redemptive history.

“The Peaceable Kingdom” is certainly idyllic and will definitely have some form of ultimate fulfillment in the Kingdom manifestation, which will be directly and eternally ruled by Jesus when He is once again physically present in the New Creation.

It also serves as a spiritual template, a picture of possibilities for God’s people living together in supernatural harmony, even while yet in this Church Age, loving one another in the koinonia fellowship of the Holy Spirit. (2 CORINTHIANS 13:14) and the love of Jesus. (EPHESIANS 3:14-21)

This is exactly the ideal of loving community that David himself longed for centuries before, as he penned Psalm 133: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is like the precious ointment poured on the head, that ran down on the beard, even the beard of Aaron, that came down upon the collar and skirts of his garments [consecrating the whole body].  It is like the dew of [lofty] Mount Hermon and the dew that comes on the hills of Zion; for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life forevermore [upon the high and the lowly].

Such a beautiful sentiment and passionate desire for peace has been, in some form or another, given voice by many generations of people, all over the earth, as they were facing violence, upheaval, and chaos in their own time, and in their own personal experiences.

Neil Uniacke
Executive Director

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Volunteers

The Community Closet and New Hope Community Life Ministry function as well as we do because of all of the volunteer help that we have. Our volunteers process donations.

They sort, price and steam clothing.

They price books, purses, linens and household items.

They run the register.

They even help serve at our fashion show.

And, they sometimes even model at our show.

The store can only run when we are well staffed by volunteers. The volunteers come to help New Hope Community Life Ministry, but they form friendships along the way. They feel a sense of helping others in our community. They offer love and kindness to our customers. Only in eternity will we see the impact that our volunteering has made.

We appreciate our volunteers and we try to show them how important they are to our ministry. We have a Christmas breakfast for them and a summer picnic and we do other small things along the way to show that we are so grateful for their selfless giving to our organization.

Would you consider joining our family? You can call us at 786-2034, email at communitycloset@frontier.com or just stop in. We would love to talk to you.

Deb Riddell
Closet Manager

Monday, August 11, 2014

Goodbye from Shannon

Saying goodbye is seldom easy or enjoyable. Whether it's the loss of a loved one or simply sending loved one's on their way after a visit, our hearts wish we could be together longer. At least that's the way it is with healthy and loving relationships. Which makes my resignation and goodbye from New Hope Community Life Ministry a sad one.

Since 2006, I've been blessed to work with loving and competent individuals on New Hope's staff. I will greatly miss the warmth and camaraderie of our team. We served and helped each other through some difficult personal times. We supported each other in the sometimes emotionally-draining work of counseling and ministry. We laughed and encouraged and lifted each other's spirits. And I know that we will think of each other fondly as we remember each other.

But, for me, it is time to move on. New directions and new passions call me away. I'm excited once again to pursue other dreams. And as I do so, I thank God for the individuals, couples and families I've been blessed to counsel. I have learned far more from my clients than they ever learned from me.

To my clients: my life is better because I spent time as your counselor. You entrusted me with some deep pains and sorrows. Extending that trust was a risky endeavor on your part and I don't take for granted that you gave it to me. I will hold that gift as a treasure. I'm humbled by it. And I thank you for it.

So goodbye for now. May God's love and kindness grace your life with peace.

Shannon Shertzer, MS, NCC

Monday, August 4, 2014

Commitment Poem

There are times in every Christians’ life when God presents us opportunities to see just what we are made of. In our culture today, one’s faith and beliefs are being brought into question all the time. I recently had to attend a college course that revealed this very thing to me. A discussion occurred and to my amazement I was standing alone on what I know to be a Scriptural truth.  In the end the one thing that impressed my peers the most was that even though they had all attacked me for my Christian values, they respected me for not caving into the pressure I felt standing alone. The biggest surprise was that we are talking about being a part of a Christian college, where one would think that this is a stand all would take. 
What about you? When hot topics like homosexuality, abuse or abortion arise how do you respond?

Let me share this poem with you:

Commitment Poem

Today I am stepping across the line. I’m tired of waffling and I’m finished with wavering; I’ve made my choice, the verdict is in and my decision is irrevocable. I’m going God’s way. There’s no turning back now!

I will live the rest of my life serving God’s purposes with God’s people on God’s planet for God’s glory. I will use my life to celebrate His presence, cultivate His character, participate in His family, demonstrate His love, and communicate His word.

Since my past has been forgiven and I have a purpose for living and a home waiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying. Instead, I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of His family.

Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, “we” over “me,” character over comfort, service over status and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most and I’ll give it all I’ve got. I’ll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.

I won’t be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation or intimidated by the devil. I’ll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me.

When times get tough, and I get tired, I won‘t back up, back off, back down, back out or backslide. I’ll just keep moving forward by God’s grace. I’m Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.

I’m a trophy of God’s amazing grace so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for every day, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.

To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, Whenever, Wherever, and Whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I’m ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway. Whatever it takes Lord; Whatever it takes!

I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I’ll hear you say, “Well done, thou good and faithful one.”

If you have not resolved to stand for something, then you will fall for anything.  I encourage you to take a stand, regardless if the crowds agree with you or if you find yourself standing alone.

Connie Hanten, BCMCLC
New Hope Life Coach