Pathway Family Worship Guide

Pathway Family Worship Guide  

  1. Time and place:
Choose a day of the week (Sunday if possible) and a time that best fits for you family. Do not exceed one hour.  But within the hour, mix things up with singing, sharing, explaining, and praying for each other.  You will be amazed at how fast the time goes.
 
  1. Have a reading plan.
Chose a plan of reading your Bible. If you are following the Gospel Project the chapters and verses are laid out for you.  If not, choose a book of the Bible to go through together.  If you have small children, keep it simple with Psalms or New Testament examples such as stories.  Children can follow story lines.  So use appropriate readings like Ruth or Esther, or even the parables of Jesus.  With older kids, you can just go through a book of the Bible.
 
  1. Involve the family.
Every family member who can read should have a Bible to follow along. Set the tone by reading Scripture with expression, tone and emphasis like you were reading the words of a play.  Share the reading with members of your family and help them read with emphasis.  You will have to help them pronounce certain words, and even explain what they mean. Read and prepare yourself ahead of time. You might provide explanations of the material as you read certain passages.

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Fear Not! And Don’t Panic!

There is no reason that Christians should fear. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My Righteous Right Hand.  

  1. Respond with Faith – We trust in God

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Thoughts on Prayer

Learning how to pray

“The LORD would speak.. (with Moses) ..face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Jesus: “My sheep listen to My voice;  I know them, and they follow Me.” Prayer has been the one practice that cannot be scientifically proven… other than that patients who pray to God & have people praying vocally over them generally do much better & heal faster.  “Prayer is more than a lighted candle,” insists the theologian George A. Buttrick. “It is the contagion of health. It is the pulse of Life.” A real relationship with God means walking with Him daily, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  It means talking with Him intimately,  Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, and left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” The greatest person who ever lived on this planet was preeminently a Man of prayer.  After being Baptized, after meeting most of those who would be his disciples, He sent them home.  Before beginning His ministry, He would go into the wilderness and fast and pray for 40 days and nights.  At the end of that time Satan came to test Him.  The priority of prayer is found in one way or another on almost every page of the Bible and in every chapter of church history. It is neither a peripheral theme nor an optional extra for the desperate and the devout. How to “PRAY”: An acronym P=Pause  R =Rejoice  A=Ask  Y=Yield         A 4 fold Circle of Prayer Your Guide for 15 minutes of Prayer daily
  1. Choose a time and place
  2. Sacred meeting between you & God – no interruptions, music, phone,
  3. Know that He wants to meet you more than you want to meet with Him
  4. Talk out loud to God,(Whisper if you must)what’s currently on your mind
  5. If you run out of things to say then just listen.. come expecting to hear
Prayer does not belong to some other time in history, nor to some other type of person more spiritual or disciplined or experienced than you and me. Prayer is nothing at all unless it is a matter of vast and all-consuming importance for each one of us. And it means listening attentively to his voice because, as Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
Below you will find a great resource for family reading and gifting. It comes from Chuck Colson’s website listed below and was written by Eric Metaxas. Let me encourage you to go to their website which has outstanding resources for navigate our culture in these difficult times. Eric is an excellent author and I encourage you to read anything he writes.
Blessings, Pastor Mike

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Rest in Peace

Someone asked me today about the use of the phrase, “Rest in Peace” when we bury a loved one.  It is the reason why Halloween became such a popular holiday in the world. It started out as “Hallows Eve”.
Just like on Christmas Eve, we honor that night before the birth of Jesus. So, on Hallows Eve, we remember the “saints” who have gone on from this world into God’s eternity.  We don’t forget the loved ones who have gone on before us, rather we remember them, visit their graves and leave flowers.
Rest in Peace is taken from the Latin (Requiescat in pace; hence the term “Requiem”.) It is a phrase that was used in Christian funerals.  It is way of wishing that the deceased’s soul may find eternal peace and rest in Jesus Christ. Such inscriptions were found in the catacombs of the early church and continued to be used on gravestones to this day.  Over time it was abbreviated as “RIP”, merely signifying that someone (regardless of faith) has died.  Oddly enough these words have been found inscribed into Hebrew gravestones dating from the 1st Century BC (Before Christ). “Come and rest in peace” has been transferred to the ancient Talmudic prayers in the 3rd   century AD & is used today in traditional Jewish ceremonies.
Later in history, when the phrase became ubiquitous, it was often used to refer to the body itself, not the soul.  The soul would sleep in the body, and it was wished that the body would find a peaceful rest.  This is commonly known as “soul sleep” and is not a Biblical concept.  For the Christian, to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”, 2 Corinthians 5:8.
After the reformation (1517, 500 years ago this year) things began to change in the minds of the Christian world. The church season known as “Hallow Tide” (when the saints were honored), became less and less enchanted.  By that I mean that the belief in ghosts & spirits went on the decline because of the Biblical teachings on the matter that became open for the public to view and read for itself.  Then you add to that the “age of enlightenment” (17th & 18th  centuries) where the educated elite ruled out any thought of an afterlife or spirits or ghosts or any other such thing. Slowly that line of thought trickled down through our education system and it became common knowledge in the west that the time of enchantment was over, and all there was in life was what you could feel, see, taste touch etc. 
But outside the culture of the wests modernization, in South America, where Catholicism still reigned supreme, the world was still enchanted with spirts, good and evil.  The faith merged with some of the cultic beliefs in Mexico and South America.  So that throughout the Caribbean island’s & Mexico “All Hallows Eve” became the “Day of the Dead”, when spirits supposedly came back to life and people began to wear dreadful looking costumes to frighten the evil spirits back into their graves (or wherever they came from).   It became a holiday that people looked forward to because of the revelry of the event, (much like “Ash Wednesday” became a Carnival in South America.  It is also widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, from cults prior to Christianity.  
All Hallows Eve became colloquialized as “Halloween” and that is how it came to America.  Children would dress up in costumes and go door to door asks for “treats” & if they didn’t get them, then certain “tricks” would be played on that household.  From that we get the phrase “trick or treat?”
Today it has become one of the most celebrated “holidays” in America.
Sadly, it has lost its innocence.  With the rise of the occult beginning in the 1960’s Satan worship, witches, spiritism, talking with the dead, have all become a big part of our culture.  More adults participate in “Halloween” than do children.  The onslaught of horror movies has taken over, and the pornography industry is cashing in big time.  Today in America, the age of disenchantment is over.  And despite the efforts of so many atheists, the spirit world is very real to the clear majority of American’s.   It is not unusual to find Christians who today, believe in ghosts, that is departed spirits, come back from the dead to haunt.  I’ve done enough funerals to know that most of America’s beliefs about the dead are sadly mistaken.  Let me be very clear, “it is appointed for each man once to die, and then comes the judgment”, Hebrews 9:27.  Your deceased relatives are not here for you to talk to.  They are not up in the sky watching you make that touchdown, so you can look up point up and say, “this one’s for you”. No one comes back from the dead, or sits in heaven watching you.  But there are evil spirits out there, fallen angels (known as demons) who followed Lucifer, as he became “Satan” and the “Devil” to be thrown out of heaven. They would like you to believe that they are your dead relatives or someone from the past ages, but they are not.  One thing for sure, their powers are real.  They can lead you into temptation.  They can possess people and lead them to many destructive things (even like mass shootings or suicide bombings).  The occult is nothing to be trifled with.  
All Hallows Eve is a time to remember the beloved Christians who have gone on before us and now reside with Christ.  They are a great host in heaven, and that remind us that our greatest Hope is in Jesus Christ & His salvation.  

In eius dilectione
Pastor Mike



The Greatest Easter Sermon Ever Preached

 
 
Was by 
John Chrysostom (349-407), the early church’s famed preacher and archbishop of Constantinople at the great Church of Holy Wisdom (Built by the early Christians, nowt aken over by Islam as if it were there own creation, the Hagia Sophia in what is now called Istanbul).

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