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May, 2021 - Issue #199
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Doing Good & Doing Well by Jack Winkle
As we are seeing life begin to open up again, we would do well to remember what was lost over the past year. We should make every effort to encourage ourselves and others to "do good" to and for one another - to do things that benefit our friends, family and loved ones and to appreciate things that were taken from us.
I've taken to heart the encouragement of Paul the Apostle to remember that, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind" (2 Tim 1:7). Life is something we are given for a purpose and I love how the "Shorter Westminster Catechism" puts it: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
We are called to love, glorify and honor God. We do that by doing His work - doing "good." And when we do that, we "do well." The ultimate goal - the ultimate joy of man - is found not in selfish pursuits, but in godliness. And "Godliness, with contentment, is great gain" (1 Tim 6:6).
Jack Winkle is the lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Golden Valley.
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The Power of the Holy Spirit
Not all travelers fully understand how the engines of an airplane work, but we can feel the power they produce during takeoff. We feel the speed increase on the runway and the force of the ascent. Without power, an airplane would remain grounded, unable to function as intended. There is a reliance on power to do almost everything we need to do each day. Our cars, appliances, computers, lights and even our bodies require power to function properly.
Our spiritual lives are no different. Without a source of power at work within us, we are unable to be and do who and what God created us for. The Holy Spirit is what enables us to know that God is at work in and around us. The Spirit comforts us in times of pain and grief; it encourages and guides us.
Join Valencia UMC as we explore, through sermons and Bible study, how the power of God is present and at work in each of our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Valencia United Methodist Church 255-1301

How will You Fill the Room? by Jay Siegel
A rich man had three children. Advanced in age, the man created a test to see which child would take over the family business. He took the three children to an empty room and said to each of them, "Fill this room as best as you are able."
The first child got to work immediately. He called in bulldozers, earth-moving equipment and workers with shovels. By the end of the day the room was filled, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with earth.
The room was cleared and the second child was given his chance. Being more of an accountant type, the room was filled with boxes, files, archives and records that had been standing and accumulating dust for years. In no time the room was absolutely filled from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with paper.
Again the room was cleared and the third child was given their shot. This child seemed very relaxed and didn't appear to be gathering or collecting anything at all. The child waited until nightfall and then invited his father and family to join him in the room. Slowly, the door opened. The room was absolutely pitch black. Out of their pocket the child took a candle and lit it. Suddenly, the room was filled with light. This child got the job.
More and more we are entering back into our lives in new ways. This is our chance to create a new room into which we will enter. We can certainly go back to what was, or we can fill the vacuum with a new light. It is your turn to enter the room. How will you fill it?
Rabbi Jay Siegel of Congregation Beth Shalom. 254-2411

"Your Truth" is Nonsense by Dave White
At the 2018 Golden Globe awards, Oprah Winfrey famously said that "speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have."
"Your truth?" That's weird. When did truth become a statement of personal opinion or preference? Truth is not relative; it's absolute.
Truth is a story, a statement or a belief that matches up with reality. To say "the earth is flat" or "the moon is made of green cheese" is false. Why? Because no matter what we sincerely believe, it doesn't match up with reality.
This "true for you, but not for me" relativism is disconcerting because it requires the acceptance of obvious contradictions, the denial of reality and the abdication of common sense.
Obviously, everyone is entitled to "their experience" and "their perspective." But there is no such thing as "your truth" or "my truth." There is only "the truth" - that which is true for everyone, always, everywhere.
Truth is actuality. It's honest, correct, straight, exact and bona fide. This "my truth" subjective stuff is hollow, absurd, and silly nonsense. My favorite source of truth is God and His Word. I teach that every Sunday at The Bridge, if you'd ever like to join me.
Dave White is the pastor of The Bridge. thebridgescv.com
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