Month: May 2015

Sunday School and How it Began

Here is a article I ran across today (Wednesday May 13th) about how Sunday School began.  It is awesome not only because of the reason it started, but the need in the community that it met at the time which was the reason the idea became a western phenomenon.  I did not write this article it came from Christianity.com. It is an entertaining informative read…

enjoy…

Sunday School 2

Robert knelt beside his father’s grave after the funeral. Where would he go now? What would he do with his life? He’d always worked beside his father in the printing shop. But now those days were gone forever.

He mopped his teary face with a handkerchief and stood to his feet. Leaving the graveyard, Robert walked toward the printing shop that now belonged to him. He and his father had spent the last several years there, working on Gloucester, England’s newspaper, the Gloucester Journal.

Robert opened the creaky front door of the shop and slowly walked inside. The familiar smell of ink and machinery greeted him. Robert picked up the last copy of the Gloucester Journal published by his father that year, in 1757. “I’ll make you proud, Father,” he said aloud. “With God’s help, I’ll keep your Gloucester Journal alive.”

The days passed and Robert worked hard. He made the newspaper larger, improved its layout, and hired new writers. Soon even more people wanted to read the Gloucester Journal! 

On his days off, Robert often visited prisoners in Gloucester. There he found the castoffs of society living in the most appalling circumstances. Most of them were sick or even dying from overwork. They lived in crowded, filthy spaces with almost no food. Even children were sometimes imprisoned along with the worst criminals. Robert felt sad to see these sick and starving prisoners. But what could one person do to ease the pain of so many? He decided to write about the terrible prisons in his newspaper.

The White Slaves of England
One evening he walked down St. Catherine’s Street to look for his gardener. Suddenly, he saw a group of ragged children. They looked just as poor and overworked as the prisoners he visited. A little boy in a tattered blue shirt swore as he tackled another boy half his size.

“Git your hands offa me!” the little boy yelled as the two of them wrestled on the cobblestones. Soon a crowd of children gathered around, noisily cheering.

“Hey, stop fighting!” Robert shouted at them as he pulled the two boys apart. “Go home, all of you.”

As the children walked away, Robert asked the gardener’s wife, “Who are these children?”

“Ah, pay no mind to them,” she answered. “Everyone calls them the white slaves of England.”

“Slaves?” asked Robert.

“They work 12 hours a day or longer in the mills and sweatshops,” the woman answered. “Most of their parents are in prison or dead.”

Robert cringed. He knew that if his father had died when he was little, he could have been one of these poor children. “When do they go to school?” he asked.

“School? They don’t go to school. They have to work to live.” she answered.

And Sundays are the worst. It’s their only day off and they run around like wild animals!”

Sunday Schools Started
Robert knew that the future was grim for these children who had to work all the time with no hope of an education. Worse yet, with no one to teach them the good news of the Gospel or how to live God’s way, they were likely to end up cold, sick and starving in the dreadful prisons. An idea began to form in Robert’s mind which he shared with his friend, Reverend Thomas Stock.

“Let’s start a Sunday school!” said Robert.

“School on Sunday?” asked Thomas.

“Yes, school on Sunday!” answered Robert. “We’ll teach them to read and write part of the day and teach them the Bible for the rest of the day.”

“It’s a great idea!” said Thomas.

Robert waited expectantly the first Sunday for the children to come to the new school, but only a few came.

“Marcy, why don’t more of the children come to Sunday school?” he asked the little red-haired girl with freckles.

Marcy looked down. “Cuz our clothes ain’t no good,” she answered.

“Now I understand,” answered Robert. “Well, you tell your friends that all they need is a clean face and combed hair, okay, Marcy?”

Marcy smiled. “You’re nice.”

Robert squatted down beside her. “I’ll tell you what, Marcy, I think you’re nice, too. Here’s a penny for coming to class today. If you work very hard and learn your lessons, you’ll get a special reward.”

“Really?” asked Marcy, her sparkling eyes fixed on the candy Robert held in his hand. “I’ll do my very best!”

Sunday Schools Stop Crime
It didn’t take long until Robert Raikes and Reverend Thomas Stock had 100 children ages 6 to 14 attending their Sunday schools. Even though the children were taught only one day a week, their behavior began to improve. Now they had something to look forward to after working so hard every day. The policemen of the city told Robert that the children weren’t stealing and fighting like before.

Robert waited three years to see if his Sunday schools were a success. Then he printed a story about the new Sunday schools. Soon, about 4,000 new Sunday schools were started in towns all over England. Robert even used his printing press to publish reading books, spelling books, Bible study books, and copies of the Scriptures for the Sunday schools.

The World Marches On
One Sunday, Thomas and Robert walked up the street to the Sunday school building. Thomas said, “Robert, your father would be proud of what you’ve done with his newspaper. He’d be proud of your Sunday schools, too, although you know–everyone is calling you ‘Bobby Wild Goose and his ragged regiment.'”

Robert laughed. “I’ve been called worse names than ‘Wild Goose,’ I think,” he answered.

Robert looked around at the hundreds of children now attending his Sunday school and his face grew quite serious. “Thomas, my father died and his father before him died. One day we will grow old and die, too. But the world won’t die with us. The world marches forth on the feet of little children.”

Thomas patted his friend on the back. “So it does, Robert. So it does.”

Act 5 – Extended Written Edition

We have been going through the book of Acts in a series called….

Act Logo2.001

For Act 5 not only did I have to cut things from the sermon during the week but this one I had to cut 1/3 of it while I was speaking.  In fact there was a whole ending section of the sermon I just didn’t preach.

You know the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies always come out with an extended edition that is often better and more complete than the version they put in the movie theaters. They contain some of the things they left out and when they put those sections back in they tie the story together, giving it more depth and significance.

Recently we went to see the Age of Ultron. I found out recently that 0ver an hour of footage was cut from the movie.  That would explain some of the holes in the story line. Hopefully they will come out with an extended edition of that film.  It is great when a move adds the scenes that were cut back into the movie for the DVD version.

We post the Sunday Sermons online… wouldn’t it be great if we could also post and extended edition of those so you could hear it as it was originally envisioned?

Some of you are saying maybe not – others maybe so…

I like the maybe so people.

The sermon on Sunday started with an illustration about my wife giving me a GPS about 10 years ago and how it changed my life.  It continued with a story about us traveling to Rich Park and me insisting we use the GPS to get there and we wound up on the wrong side of the parkway and a pretty good distance away from our destination.

My wife was not happy.

Eventually we made it…

we are still married today.

There were also other similar illustrations through out the sermon. Some were cut from the final copy before Sunday, others were kept.  These illustrations actually were meant to tie into the last 1/3 of the message you never heard.

Act 5 exteneded.001

In Acts 2 you have these 120 people that receive the Spirit of God.  They immediately begin to speak and do things that are way beyond their own personal abilities.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit they make quite the noise in the city of Jerusalem proclaiming the Mighty Works of God to all who will hear.  Some of the people that are listening have questions concerning how this “noise” came to be. Peter steps forward to answer that question.  The first part he speaks of how this moment was prophesied long ago by the Prophet Joel.  The implications of the quote from the book of Joel means more than we may like it to mean, but that is a former sermon and another discussion.

Then, he (Peter) tells the Jews that are standing there that they are guilty of putting the Messiah to death.  Yes, this Jesus from Nazareth was God’s Son the Messiah.  In your zeal for God you put to death the very person you have looked for and that came to save you. You went down a path that took you to the you  wrong place, though you thought at the time you were doing the right thing and even though, God preordained this to occur,  the death of the Messiah lays at your feet because it was your choice to participate and make it happen.

You are responsible for killing God’s son.

He might not be happy about that.

A large portion of the people who heard this message  were “cut to the heart”. They knew they were in the wrong and desired to make it right. They wondered how they could, so they asked Peter…

“What should we do?”

Peter responded – repent, be baptized, call on the name of the Lord Jesus and be saved. Then you will receive the Holy Spirit.

It is at this moment that over 3000 did so and were saved.

Many times in life, you and I go down the wrong path.  Sometimes the wrong path we find ourselves on is a path we thought was the correct one.  Though we thought we were being guided by the right things, the right morals, the right principles we find ourselves not where we intended to go. We find ourselves in the wrong location and far away from where God really wants us to be.  It is only when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit. “Cut to the Heart” if you will. That we find ourselves opening our heart to change and do whatever it takes to get to where God wants us to be.

And

He is always gracious. Providing a way to return to Him even though we have lived another portion of our lives where we rejected him… knowingly or unknowingly.

As long as we are still breathing the air He gives us each day, there will always be a way back to Him.

Always…

If you have found yourself in a situation or spiritual place that you know is not the place God wants you to be make the decision to get back on the right path today.

What is going on…

This is a post about absolutely nothing…

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My son is riding his bike

My wife has gone to pick up my daughter

My daughter is waiting to be picked up

There are two birds in my yard eating something

And additional one just flew by

My son just came in he had a flat tire and needed me to pump it up.  Couldn’t do it right then though I tried, seems the air compressor is having issues.

My wife just texted me to see if I would like thin crust or not.  Jarvis told me I had a text message from her.

If you say Jarvis to Siri it is funny what she replies with.

Just got back from checking the air compressor I guess I’ll wait until it shuts off before I try pumping the tire up again.

Today I have been working on this evening’s Bible Study, music for tonight, a future sermon, Sunday’s sermon and submitted a manuscript for copyright approval.

Here in the past few weeks I have seen answers to prayers, some of which I have only prayed for once or twice.

The air compressor just turned off.

Yea – the tube inside the tire must have a puncture – just changed that thing out on Friday of last week. Looks like Im going to have to do it again.

A friend of mine told me a few days ago how to make a bike tubeless – might need to contact him to see how.

There are rows of cut grass in my yard that has turned brown.

Currently my music is on shuffle, every song that starts with the letter F is being shuffled through.  Right now there is a song from the album “Savior” playing called “For all these things”

Not Steven Curtis Chapman’s “First Hand’ is playing… you know the one that sounds a lot like “Footloose”

My son is now jumping on the trampoline with a friend of his.

I’m guessing that by now my wife and daughter are on their way to Michael’s. They are in the need of paint.

Just got an email from PayPal

The birds in the yard are gone.

We have been making a bike trail in the gully beside our house. That is where the issues with my sons bike started.  He must be hitting a root or something when he rides.

“Rain Rain on my Face” – yes you guessed it – it’s “Flood” by Jars of Clay.

Alright enough of this….

I’m looking forward to our service on Sunday at Farmington Baptist Church.  It’s going to be good.