All Saints' Blog

All Saints' Episcopal Church, Lakeland, Florida.
Kathy Hulin

Experiencing Holy Week

Family,

I am looking forward to our week together as we move from today's Palm Sunday celebration to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. I think about our opportunities to gather for worship each day (and multiple times on some days!). I think about our opportunities to be with our young people (on Wednesday evening, Thursday evening, and Saturday morning) to encourage and teach them about the importance of this week. I think about our personal reflections in scripture and daily devotions to walk each day of this week with Jesus. 

As I think about Jesus' final days, I reflect upon the persecution that he faced. And Christians throughout the ages and in various parts of the globe have suffered in the name of Christ. Non-believers simply cannot accept Jesus as fully God and fully man. They cannot accept his grace, love, and mercy. The novel/movie Silence helped to illustrate this reality of rejection, and just this morning we read or heard about Coptic Christians in two different locations in Egypt who were killed in their houses of worship as the result of a terrorist strike from non-Christians. Also, last week I received an email from English clergy friends who are currently serving an Anglican Chaplaincy in Sicily and they expressed that they don't feel safe wearing their clergy clothing in Palermo. We live in times where persecution of Christians makes our headlines and it is something we should consider with prayerful hearts. The world in which we raise our families is global and we can't forget that.

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Dr. Rickey Cotton

The Promise of Easter

The Promise of Easter, 2 Key Verses: (1) Colossians 3: “1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (2) Romans 7: “24…Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

We know that Easter is the celebration of Jesus being raised from the dead. But we should also remember that it is the celebration of our new life, too, of our resurrection, for we have been raised with Christ, as Colossians 3 says. By embracing Jesus, we have died to our old self-involved, ego-dominated ways of living—and been delivered from living according to our own strength and our own understanding. The struggle between the old self and the new self is a repeated theme throughout the New Testament. The old self is self-centered and self-oriented. But the resurrection of Jesus provides us with a new self, one centered in God, not in our ego. Receiving our resurrection self is simple; it just costs everything. We surrender all that we are and all that we have. Then we can declare along with Romans 7:25, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

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Dr. Rickey Cotton

The Call of Lent

The Call of Lent, 2 Key Verses: (1) Luke 9:24 (ESV): “24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (2) Galatians 6:15 (CEV): “15 It doesn’t matter if you are circumcised or not. All that matters is that you are a new person.”

The Call of Lent is a call to transformation, to continue on and go deeper in the process of becoming a new person. If we aren’t careful, we can miss the essence of the Lenten call. Instead of responding to God in the depths of our spirit and surrendering to him at the core of our being, we can think only of external activities. External activities are good, enriching, stabilizing; they are a very important part of the Christian life. But if we want the most important gift God has for us in Lent, we will need to spend time opening our inner being to his deep cleansing and healing work even as we are faithful to our external practices and responsibilities. This kind of work has been called Divine Therapy. It engages our unconscious motivations and reaction patterns. These are aspects of our old self, our flesh. But as Galatians 6:15 (CEV) declares, “All that matters is that you are a new person,” what the ESV translation calls “a new creation.”

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The Rev. Dr. Reid Hensarling

What is the Gospel? Part 9

The authors of the Bible did not invent their material, since the origin of the Scriptures is from God and not from the imagination of men. The Scriptures are the living words of God through the words of human beings and are divinely inspired (2 Peter 1:20-21). The Holy Spirit supernaturally led and guided the human writers, but did not cancel their personalities (Acts 1:16). God's words were theirs and their words were God's; so what was actually written was the word of God. The only way this could have been successfully produced is that the faculties and wills of man were acted upon by the Holy Spirit to express the very words of God (Luke 1:70; Acts 28:25). Paradoxically, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God belong and work inseparably together in unision. Donald Bloesch says that "The Word is animated by the Spirit, and the Spirit always directs us to the Word." By the grace of God, the Spirit makes the true and dependable words of Scripture intelligible and understandable to the believer and efficacious for their life. 

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Kathy Hulin

The Fullness of God

Ephesians Chapter 3:14-21

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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Upcoming Events

25
Apr
Date: 25 April 2017, 16:20
Woman's Bible Study is a weekly study following The Gospel Project for adults, led by Kathy Hulin

26
Apr
Date: 26 April 2017, 18:00

26
Apr
All Saints'
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Lakeland
Date: 26 April 2017, 19:00
By Dan Bridgeford - Mark Classroom

26
Apr
All Saints'
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Lakeland
Date: 26 April 2017, 19:00
By Dan Bridgeford - Mark Classroom

26
Apr
Date: 26 April 2017, 19:00
By The Rev. Dr. L. Reid Hensarling - John Classroom

26
Apr
Date: 26 April 2017, 19:00
By Susan Waldron - Luke Classroom

26
Apr
Date: 26 April 2017, 19:00
By Phil Mays - Moses Hall

28
Apr
Lakeland
Date: 28 April 2017, 17:20
(Our once per month Bible study) Meets this Thursday in the Moses Hall from 5:20 - 6:20 p.m. We will be

28
Apr
Date: 28 April 2017, 18:00
AT UCF in Orlando on April 28-29.

29
Apr
Date: 29 April 2017, 16:00

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