All Saints' Blog

All Saints' Episcopal Church, Lakeland, Florida.
The Rev. Dr. Reid Hensarling

What is the Gospel? Part 10

The theological and biblical doctrine of inerrancy explains that the Scriptures claim to be true because God always speaks the truth and does not lie (Psalm 190:160; John 17:17). The Scriptures themselves and a variety of scholars tell us that the Scriptures do not and cannot err, deceive, or speak falsely and are a dependable and reliable source of God's revelation. They bear the stamp and imprimatur of truth and lead us into truth. The Scriptures are without error in what they affirm regarding the will and purposes of God and are the only infallible guide to living. Their primary content is the living Word, Jesus Christ, and the gospel proclaimed by him and his disciples (Mark 1:14-15; Acts 2:37-39). No greater truths exist. 

The inherent, transcendent truths of the Scriptures are normally not readily received, but only understood by the illumination and guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 8:47). Donald Bloesch defines illumination as "the inward awakening of the believer to the truth that is revealed." Unfortunately, man is particularly susceptible to his sinful nature and swayed by lies, untruths, and heresies. Without the Holy Scirptures in our lives and a proper understanding of the gospel, we have a tendencey to embrace error and wrong thinking. FitzSimons Allison astutely observes: "We are susceptible to heretical teachings because, in one form or another, they nurture and reflect the way we would have it be rather than the way God has provided, which is infinitely better for us. As they lead us into the blind alleys of self-indulgence and escape from life, heresies pander to the most unworthy tendencies of the human heart." Because the Scriptuees are inerrant and true, when they are correctly interpreted, they can be relied upon in their teaching and instruction and are a sure and trustworthy authority.  

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Dr. Rickey Cotton

The Trinity, All the Fullness of God

2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God andthe fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

Trinity Sunday is June 11 in 2017. The Trinity warrants some thoughtful, caring meditation. Not primarily logical analysis, but primarily deeply spiritual, deeply loving attention—being fully present, open, and surrendered to both the Unity and the Trinity of God in love.  The medieval classic The Cloud of Unknowing says that God cannot be thought but that he can be known by love. In John 17, Jesus prayed that we could be one with him and the Father the way that he is one with Father. If Jesus prayed this oneness for us, surely we should make experiencing it a priority. God desires to bring us into the midst of the loving unity of the Trinity. Obviously we need the Holy Spirit in pursuing the fullness of God, all that Trinity Sunday celebrates. I long for God’s fullness for all of us.  Another great prayer on our behalf is found Ephensians 3. In vs. 19, Paul prays “that you [i.e, you and I] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Let us seek for Paul’s prayer to be “fulfilled” in us.

 

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Kathy Hulin

Pledge2Pray

Archbishop Justin Welby is leading our Anglican Communion to set aside these next 10 days to be intentional about praying for others and our world. The website is www.thykingdomcome.global/?thankyou=1#Pledge2Pray where you can let the Archbishop know that you are participating, and there are many resources for your personal prayer time or for your familes or teens. There are videos sent to your email which share a good word each day.

Charles and I are committing to praying together toward this cause and we began this morning. We chose 5 people for whom to pray with the hopes of reaching people who don't have a relationship with Jesus.

I hope you'll consider looking at one of the links shared below and praying as an individual or with your family. The resources are varied and unique and well produced.

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Kathy Hulin

Stability during the seasons of transitions

May can be a challenging month for families as the end of the school year brings about a series of transitions and changes. Some students are graduating and preparing for next steps; some students are preparing for being at a new school in the fall so they are already preparing themselves for leaving their current school and the friends they have there; some younger children will be getting ready to leave daycare and start a formal school setting. Then there are the transitions to the summer schedule and what that will mean for the family routine with more time at home, or summer camps and family vacations. Here at church we help see our students promote to the next small group such as Kids' Club, God Squad, Middle School Youth Group, and High School Youth Group, as well as new Sunday School classes. Thankfully, our hands-on leaders Priscilla Baez in the nursery, Carrie Kotal in the children's area, and Stephanie Paul with our teens are steady and consistent with our children and teens and will help welcome them as they move. Transitions are everywhere!

As always, during these seasons of transition, we know that we have God as our solid foundation upon whom we put our trust. He guides us through all of the changes, especially as we remain faithful to his leadership and call in our lives. For me personally, I am glad that God has brought me to All Saints' Church. I know that God has brought me here for this season in the church's life, and I have every reason to believe that God wants me here for many years to come. I continue to be in the discernment process with the Diocese of Central Florida toward Holy Orders and there has been much affirmation during this journey. 

I am still on God's timing and planning for the priesthood, but Lord willing, I should be at All Saints' to serve as a clergy member in the future to continue being part of the wonderful team and family that is All Saints' Parish. This is readily and openly affirmed by Fr. Reid and I am grateful that others are excited, too. I covet your prayers for the variety of ministry opportunities that are available for our children and teens as our Family Ministries team of staff and volunteers come alongside our families to encourage our students to love Jesus and put him first in their lives.

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Dr. Rickey Cotton

The Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:8:  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

When you just focus on just it alone, separate from the other Beatitudes, this beatitude is startling. Of course this is true for all the Beatitudes. So often we simply read all of them together as a package and don’t make ourselves fully present and open to them individually. In this short reflection, let’s be present and open to this one by itself, slowing down and fully engaging it. It is a striking statement: “The pure in heart...shall see God.” Wow, what a promise! And what a challenge! I don’t think this just refers to when we are in heaven. I think this beatitude calls for us to be wholly, completely, singly, fully connected to God now. In our lives now, to not be divided, fragmented, partial in our relating to him. In doing this, it is vital that we don’t seek to see God with our natural eyes or merely natural reasoning, nor that we strive with our own strength. Instead we surrender to God’s grace and seek to see him with the eyes of our hearts, by love. That’s why our hearts must be pure. For as Jesus said, “The pure in heart...shall see God.” This is the calling, this is the direction, the heart of our spiritual lives.

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Scripture Readings for Sunday, July 2

First Lesson Genesis 22:1-14
Psalm Psalm 13
Second Lesson Romans 6:12-23
The Holy Gospel Matthew 10:40-42

bible reading

Upcoming Events

28
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All Saints'
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Lakeland
Date: 28 June 2017
By Dan Bridgeford - Mark Classroom

28
Jun
All Saints'
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Lakeland
Date: 28 June 2017
By Dan Bridgeford - Mark Classroom

28
Jun
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Luke 18:9-14

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Patriotic Picnic following the 10:50 service on Woodsby.

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