The Blessing of a Good Belly Laugh

I have a theory. I do not know this to be true, but I have this feeling that the Pharisees and the Sadducees who gave Jesus so much trouble when He walked the earth did not laugh very much. They seem constantly to be burdened with their responsibility, and consistently judgmental and cranky. By contrast, however, Jesus took joy in children, loved a good party and looked for reasons to be with people of all walks of life. I can picture Him smiling and laughing and being the kind of person whom other people wanted to be with.

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Pass it on...

In Deuteronomy 4:9, we read,

 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

NIV

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Myths about Volunteering

At Quail, we are totally dependent on our wonderful volunteers for the excellent ministry for the Lord that takes place on the campus and beyond, week after week. But I am aware that there are a few myths about volunteering that need to be dispelled, so that many more of us can participate in a way that blesses the Lord and brings us joy.

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On the Job Training

I want to talk to you about the “on the job training” that God provides. Back when God called Moses to leave the sheep he was watching and stand before Pharaoh and declare “Let my people go,” Moses was not so keen on the promotion. He responded by saying, “Please send someone else to do it.” (Ex.4)

Maybe that is how you feel today. Maybe you are pushing a calling that God has brought to you, or a job that He is giving you, back across the table of your life saying, “No thanks, that is not for me.” Or maybe you are putting something off that you know God wants you to do, saying, “I just don’t have the skills or the smarts to pull it off.”  If so, let’s remember how God replied to Moses: "Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Ex. 4:12)

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GO Lift Every Church – Greater Christ Temple!

This month we will engage in our first 2018 “GO - Lift Every Church” project. I am sure that you know by now that these projects are designed to bless and lift up other churches in Stockton so that together we can effectively reach this city for Jesus as well as enhance our unity with other fellowships.

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Quail Welcomes Brandon Smith to full time Ministerial Staff

I am pleased and thrilled to announce that the Elders have voted to enlarge the staff role of Brandon Smith here at Quail to full time. For many years now, Brandon has had a part time role in which he was the primary teacher/leader in the young adult congregation called “Refresh.” Over the span of his leadership, that ministry has grown both in numbers and in quality of relationships.

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The Growing Surge of Text Giving

It was some time ago that the staff here in the office came to me with information regarding a growing trend among churches. It was that in order to make giving as convenient as possible for the giver, many churches were enabling people to make donations via text. I must admit that at first this seemed a little farfetched to me, but we were able to initiate this process in 2015. Since then, I have been amazed when I have received the reports that come my way. Particularly in 2017, we saw a surge in giving through this process.

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Make Disciples in 2018

When you consider the Great Commission that Jesus left us, the action that is called for is “make disciples. …go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matt. 28:19)

That is the job description of the church and, in fact, of every believer in Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish that, we need to keep a few things in mind. Here is my take on the most important points:

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Sandi Cornett Serves with Samaritan’s Purse

Recently our own Sandi Cornett traveled to Houston to serve in the relief efforts sponsored by Samaritans Purse as they responded to hurricane Harvey. Sandi is a Pediatric Physical Therapy Assistant here in Stockton and has been attending Quail for almost 10 years. She and I dialogued about this experience of self-mobilized missions and here is what she said.

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Remembering What Not To Forget as You Study Your Bible

Recently I saw the piece by Professor Todd Miles of Western Seminary.  He had some good ideas about what we must remember not to forget as we study our Bibles.  These simple points will help us stay away from bad habits than can creep into our time in the Word.  Here they are…

  1. Don’t forget that the Bible is not a magic book.
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Giving is a work of the heart

Deut. 8:10, 17-18
“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land He has given you…But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers…” NIV

In Deuteronomy 8, God warned his people not to forget that it was by His hand of blessing that they were able to enjoy their prosperity. It is an interesting paradox that people will cry out to God for help when they are having financial problems and then forget about Him when things are going well.

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Faith Based Science

On March 4th of 2016, an article was published in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “At Its Heart, Science is Faith –Based, Too.” Written by Matt Emerson, the article detailed a February 11, 2016 experiment where scientists detected gravitational waves which emanated from a deep space collision 1.3 billion light years from Earth. The news confirmed, to their satisfaction, the 1915 theory of Albert Einstein that there was a ripple effect in space-time.

Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, commenting on this event, stated that the scientists were pursuing a “dream based on faith in reason: that the logical deductions of Einstein and his mathematics would be reliable.”

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Hearing the Voice of God

Countless times through the ages, the question has been asked, “How can we recognize the voice of God?” Many times in Scripture we read of God speaking to people audibly, and often they did not recognize it as God at first. (Gideon and Samuel come to mind!) So what are we to think about this?

  1. To hear God’s voice we must be one of His children.
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