David Tate

7668


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7665

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7662

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HICF - Suffering

A. W, Tozer said, “To use a man greatly, God must break him deeply.”

I was asked a couple of months ago to lead a monthly Bible study through the end of the year.

For the first evening study with the Houston International Christian Fellowship (HICF), I felt led to teach a study on suffering. Particularly the ways in which we should expect it and receive it, as well as how God tends to use it in our lives.

But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. --C.S. Lewis

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Titus 2:4-10

“Let the luster of thy life be a common school of instruction, a pattern of virtue to all” (Chrysostom)

In this lesson we look at Paul’s instructions to Titus for the teaching of older women and younger women, as well as for slaves/bondservants.

Considering the references to slaves, Charles Spurgeon speaks very strongly on what he felt Paul’s beliefs on slavery were:

“I do not think for a moment Paul believed that the practice of slavery ought to exist. He believed to the fullest extent that the great principles of Christianity would overthrow slavery anywhere, and the sooner they did so the better pleased would he be; but, for the time being, as it was the custom to have slaves, they must adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in the position in which they were.”

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Titus 2:1-4

“FEW portions of the New Testament excel this chapter. It may well form the creed, system of ethics, and text book of every Christian preacher. Does any man inquire what is the duty of a Gospel minister? Send him to the second chapter of the Epistle to Titus for a complete answer.” (Adam Clarke)

In this lesson, we look at the first few verses of Titus chapter 2 as Paul begins to lay out what types of things Titus (and overseers/pastors in general) should teach to 5 different groups of people. The first couple of groups, or roles, are the older men and older women within the church.

Now bear in mind that older does not necessarily refer to those of a specific age, but has more of a meaning of playing a role in contrast to the younger groups. It might actually be possible to fall into one or the other group depending on the make up of each of those groups. (I myself play fall into the younger category within the deacons at church, but in service at AWANAs I play an older role.)

We also begin to look at the roles of older women, and will touch on them in more detail next week.

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Titus 1:9-16

In verses 5-9 of Titus chapter 1 we found the list of qualifications for elders/overseers, and in verses 10-16 we see how Paul is tying those qualifications into the issues in the churches of Crete.

We can read about the issues with certain Jewish members of the church that seemed to be emphasizing an incorrect belief that Jewish customs (like food customs) needed to be adhered to in order to be clean/pure on the inside.

“They tried to persuade them that the simple story of Jesus and the Cross was not sufficient, but that, to be really wise, they needed all the subtle stories and the long genealogies and the elaborate allegories of the Rabbis. Further, they tried to teach them that grace was not enough, but that, to be really good, they needed to take upon themselves all the rules and regulations about foods and washings which were so characteristic of Judaism.” (Barclay)

Paul writes some very strong responses to this teaching, and gives us many good insight to important subjects that are even still present and relevant.

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Titus 1:5-9

In verses 5-9 of Titus chapter 1 we find the list of qualifications for elders/overseers. These are the two terms generally used in the New Testament to refer to the position in evangelical churches that is usually known as pastor.

Join us as we discuss the cultural and historical context of elders and the qualifications that Paul gives Titus in appointing them on Crete. And how those qualifications have not diminished over time, and are a good guideline for believers of all roles and callings.

I finish up with a quote from John Chrysostom, one of the great early church fathers well know for his eloquence.

He wrote strong words for fathers wishing to be in church leadership:

We should observe what care he bestows upon children. For he who cannot be the instructor of his own children, how should he be the Teacher of others? If he cannot keep in order those whom he has had with him from the beginning, whom he has brought up, and over whom he had power both by the laws, and by nature, how will he be able to benefit those without?...

But if, occupied in the pursuit of wealth, he has made his children a secondary concern, and not bestowed much care on them, even so he is unworthy. For if when nature prompted, he was so void of affection or so senseless, that he thought more of his wealth than of his children, how should he be raised to the Episcopal throne, and so great rule? For if he was unable to restrain them it is a great proof of his weakness; and if he was unconcerned, his want of affection is much to be blamed. He then that neglects his own children, how shall he take care of other men’s?


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Intro to Titus and 1:1-5

Recently I was given the opportunity to fill in teaching Sunday school Wilcrest Baptist Church. The regular Sunday school teacher, Jeff Adams, is helping to fill in preaching and has started up a very difficult semester at seminary.

So to give him a break teaching, and to have more time to focus on his studies, I will be teaching through the book of Titus over the next many weeks. I have filled in teaching numerous times before, but never more than two weeks in a row. So this will be a fun and new experience for me.

I wanted to record all of the lectures in order to share them with anyone who might be interested, and hopes that they might be useful in other ways. So for this first week I will be introducing the book of Titus, giving some background, context, and discussing who Titus is and the audience the book was written to.

To briefly sum up what was talked about:

Titus was written by Paul in about 64 A.D. to Titus and to the Christian population of Crete. it is one of the Pastoral letters, and it comes chronologically after 1 Timothy and before 2 Timothy (Paul’s last letter).

In the first four verses of Titus, the salutation, we have a number of great spiritual truths presented. we will spend some time looking at these first four verses and touching briefly on verse 5 leading into next week where we will discuss the qualifications for elders.

My goal will be to get each of these lectures posted online the Monday or Tuesday after they were delivered at Wilcrest Baptist Church in the Adult 1 Sunday school class.

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7659 - Christine Johnson - Ministering to the Middle Class


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7656 - Christine Johnson - Embracing a Different Culture


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7653 - Christine Johnson - Working in South Asia

An interview with Christine Johnson about her work in South Asia. She shares about connecting to women in the culture and other religions as she works as a teacher.

She shares how she is able to interact with these women and engage in their lives through establishing common bonds.

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7642 - The Wind and the Waves

As God over all creation, Jesus commands power over everything.

The power of Jesus over natural events is clearly demonstrated in Luke 8:22-25:

One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

This miracle occurred on the Sea of Galilee, which is located about 700 ft below sea level and in a depression surrounded by hills. Because of the geographic situation of this lake, storms were known to appear quite suddenly and with great violence.

800px-Galileeboat

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7641 - Ron Laurent: Children in Haiti

Ron Laurent shares more of his experiences on a recent month-long mission trip to Haiti. There he worked with the many people living in tent cities after they were displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake near Port-au-prince.

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7639 - Light in a Lamp

As we continue our study in the book of Luke, we want to examine Luke 8, verses 16-18. These verses speak of light and a lamp. Listen as I read these verses.

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.

In these verses Jesus speaks of a lamp, which at the time would have typically been a small clay dish containing olive oil and a wick. Most had handles so the lamp could be carried from one place to another.

His words did not convey a new principle to these people or His disciples. They knew about lamps, and knew best how to make the most out of the small light they produced. Remember that at this point in history lamps like this would have been the most common available source of light on a dark night. On a moonless night, a lamp would be the source of light to walk by, or the source of light indoors for anything that occurred after night fell.

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7638 - Ron Laurent: Serving the Lord in Haiti

Ron Laurent shares his experiences on a recent month-long mission trip to Haiti. There he worked with the many people living in tent cities after they were displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake near Port-au-prince.

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7637 - The Parable of the Sower

In our study of Luke today we will be looking at the parable of the sower from Luke 8:5-15:

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
"`though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.' "

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

The setting of this parable is in a field in the countryside with a well worn path running through it, and the thing that’s being explored in this parable is not the sower or the seed, but the soil which represents people.

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7636 - Women Involved

Lets consider today the many women that played important roles in the Bible.

Today we enter the eighth chapter of Luke in our Bible studies. In this chapter Jesus begins His second trip through Galilee. This time the twelve apostles accompany Jesus as He continues to mentor them in preparation for their work in establishing the future Church. This all culminates in perhaps less than a year at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit is sent to take up permanent residence in each believer, and the infant Church is born.

Let’s look at Luke 8, verses 1-3:
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

In a culture where women played behind the scene roles, it is significant that Dr. Luke mentions three women as being participants in this trip through Galilee and in general.

The Bible shares with us some impressive records of strong women of faith, and in general, Luke mentions women more than any other gospel.

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7614 - "Lillian" - Saved and Full of Joy

“Lillian” shares with us her testimony and the ways in which the Lord has saved her and blessed her with a fullness of joy..

Her background was a mental health nurse, and after having served in the past in missions overseas, she is now moving towards entering missions again after retirement. She will be serving as a Finisher with Operation Mobilisation, and is considering serving in a position on the Logos Hope with 450+ people in missions work on this ship.

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7611 - "Lillian" - Operation Mobilisation

“Lillian” shares with us about her experiences with Operation Mobilisation and the opportunities available with this ministry.

Her background is as a mental health nurse, and after having served in the past in missions overseas, she is now moving towards entering missions again after retirement. She will be serving as a Finisher with Operation Mobilisation, and is considering serving in a position on the Logos Hope with 450+ people in missions work on this ship.

She is also considering service in Haiti, or with other opportunities, but she is patiently waiting for the Lord’s leading. She then shares a young man’s testimony of service on the Doulos ship after 2 years serving with OM.

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First Time Preaching

I had the joy and pleasure of preaching at Magnolia Bible Church on Sunday. It was a great responsibility, and I was thankful for the opportunity and greatly appreciative that the Lord enabled the message to go very well.

Pastor Scot Wall was out of town leading a retreat at Camp Peniel, and he extended me the invitation to come preach in his place. It was an intimidating opportunity, and was something that I went into with great respect for the responsibility of bringing a message to the body of Christ in that setting.

I thought it went well, and was very affirmed and incredibly encouraged by the many positive responses after the service. My contact at the church, one of the elders, was very surprised that it was only my first time preaching, as he thought that I did an excellent job.

Joe Wall, Scot’s dad and the Executive Vice President of East West Ministries, was also very surprised to learn that it was my first time, and made the very encouraging remark that he felt that the Lord might have a calling in my life to do this more.

David Preaching

Faith During the Drought
For this sermon I am preaching on 1 Kings 17.

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7608 - "Lillian" - Missions After Retirement

“Lillian” shares with us about her experiences with Bible smuggling and currently with being involved in missions work after retiring from her work as a nurse.

She entered the mission field for the first time when she was 40, and after she finished serving in Romania she came back to the states and finished her career as a nurse. Now after officially retiring she is moving towards re-entering the mission field (probably full-time). She will be serving as a Finisher with Operation Mobilisation.

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7605 - Richard Cook - Growing in Christ

An Interview with Richard Cook, a member of Bear Creek United Methodist Church and the work that he is doing with the United Methodist Men ministering to injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

He shares about his Christian upbringing, but he acknowledges that he was not deeply connected to Christ until he was an adult. A visit to Bible study got his attention as he was confronted by a group of passionate Godly men. Since that point his commitment to growing has been more consistent.

He shares that, “Sometimes God puts things in front of you that you may not be comfortable with.”


To learn more about the work that Richard Cook does with Impact Player Partners, their annual golf tournament fundraiser, and to hear more about working with injured soldiers, visit our page about Ministering to Veterans in our Interview section.
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7602 - Dr. Rodney Woo - Saying Goodbye to a Pastor

Another interview with Dr. Rodney Woo, the departing pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church and the new pastor of the International Baptist Church in Singapore.

Rodney shares about his 18 years as the pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church, where the church mission statement is “Wilcrest Baptist Church is God’s multi-ethnic bridge that draws all people to Jesus Christ, who transforms them from unbelievers to missionaries!”

This church focus on transforming members to missionaries is church-wide, and now the Lord’s calling to missions has been extended to Rodney as he will be moving with his family to Singapore. There he will be the pastor of another multi-cultural church in an area of the world in great need of evangelism.

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Rodney shares about the excitement the church has in his following the Lord’s call in his life, and that they are sending their very best out as a missionary. The big thing that Rodney is praying for is that Wilcrest Baptist Church will stay focused on their calling and that their focus would be centered on Christ as the head of the church rather than the pastor.

To learn more about Dr. Woo, Wilcrest Baptist Church, and his book, “The Color of Church”, read the extensive profile of Dr. Rodney Woo and Wilcrest Baptist Church in our Interview section.

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7598 - Richard Cook - U.M. Men's Golf Tournament

An Interview with Richard Cook about the work that he and the mens group of Bear Creek United Methodist Church are doing with Impact Player Partners.

Every year they have a charity golf tournament to benefit veterans severely wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Their desire to minister to these veterans was prompted by the experiences of a young soldier who was a member of their church.

They decided that they would minister to this young man and his family, and then through that they got connected to the charity Impact Player Partners. Now every year they host this golf tournament to benefit this charity.

Casey-Owens

They are striving to minister in the name Christ by reaching out to the many hurting men and women who have sacrificed much for their country.

To learn more, read Impact a Hero in our Interview section or go to the Impact Player Partners or Impact a Hero websites.

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7596 - Dr. Rodney Woo - Following the Call

An interview with Dr. Rodney Woo, the departing pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church and the new pastor of the International Baptist Church in Singapore.

Rodney shares about his 18 years as the pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church, where the church mission statement is “Wilcrest Baptist Church is God’s multi-ethnic bridge that draws all people to Jesus Christ, who transforms them from unbelievers to missionaries!”

This church focus on transforming members to missionaries is church-wide, and now the Lord’s calling to missions has been extended to Rodney as he will be moving with his family to Singapore. There he will be the pastor of another multi-cultural church in an area of the world in great need of evangelism.

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Polishing SONlight's Sound

One of the things that I have been interested in doing for some months has been to approach KSBJ about playing our 5-minute SONspot messages. It has always been an intimidating prospect, because KSBJ is such a well done and well known Houston radio station. They are frequently winning awards, and they are well known around the world as being one of the premier Christian radio stations.

I have wanted for some time to update the SONlight sound a bit to give it a more contemporary feeling before I approached KSBJ. I felt that for them to want to play our messages we would need to be sure that our messages were well polished and sounding their best. A little like getting a new haircut and shaving before a really crucial job interview.

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7589 - David Tate - A Year of Service

This message marks my one-year anniversary of full-time ministry with SONlight.

Exactly one year ago, my wife and I began a new and exciting journey in coming here to SONlight.

I thought that in remembrance I would share a bit of testimony about how the Lord has worked in my life and brought me to serve him here at SONlight full time.

My History (read my bio)
Let me back up a few years first. In 2001 I was a fresh graduate from Houston Baptist University with a degree in Business and Speech Communications. I graduated magna cum laude with a great GPA and a good amount of business experience, but I had the hardest time finding a job.

It was a very stressful time, and it was made even harder because I was engaged to be married only a few short months later. Well, I had a few interviews, but nothing really came through until finally I found a job with a computer company doing phone tech support. That job came at the last moment, I started the Monday before our wedding. Just 5 days before I would need to provide for a wife, who was still in school, the Lord provided a job.

In 2005 though, the Lord really began to make it clear that I would be working at SONlight in the future. I started part time in 2005 as the Technical Director and took care of a lot of the behind the scenes needs here at SONlight for several years.

This was a very difficult time for me as I was working full-time during the day, working evenings at SONlight, and then working evenings and weekends as a wedding photographer to help make ends meet in my families budget. It was hard to work three jobs and still be involved with my three young sons, and serve at church.

We struggled and felt lost. I felt like I was in a dead-end job as I had not gotten promoted or received a substantial raise or anything like that. But the Lord always provided, and He was always in control.

Finally last year, 2009, after we had begun to take some positive steps as a family and really get in tune with what God wanted from us He prepared us for what he had next.

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7588 - SONlight Update

Since 1977 SONlight has been sharing the gospel and biblical teaching by radio.

Today we will depart from our usual format of bible studies and interviews to bring you an update on this ministry.

SONlight Overview
SONlight began in January of 1977 with the goal of reaching the many hurting and lost people in the world with the good news of the salvation of Jesus Christ through 60 second radio spots. In each of these radio spots the Gospel is shared through a short conversation between two people. These conversations are about every day life events, and each one shares the need for the salvation of Christ and God’s love for us.

Initially these messages were broadcast on just a handful of stations, but all these years later, these 60-Second SONspot messages are played on nearly 1600 traditional radio stations in English and Spanish. About 85% of the stations are non-christian formats.

We estimate that these Gospel presentations are broadcast through radio waves over half a million times every year. With a combined radio time of over 9000 hours annually. And this does not even consider the thousands of internet radio stations that play our messages, many of them as often as once an hour.

5-Minute SONspot Programs
Over the years we have also had a couple of different formats of longer messages. The program you are listening to now is our longer 5-Minute SONspot program. This program is played on over 60 stations and is comprised of Bible-studies and interviews.

The 5-minute Bible-studies strictly follow scripture and as we are now in Luke, that means that we consider each passage in order without skipping around. Each of these Bible studies are also archived on our website ,sonspots.org, in both audio and text formats in case you might want to listen again, or if you missed a message in the series.

Each of the interviews might be with anyone from a layperson with an inspiring testimony, someone in ministry describing the work they are doing and sharing how the Lord is moving in their area. We try to use this 5-minute program as an opportunity to help these individuals share with a wide audience, what the Lord has placed on their heart.

These two types of messages are played in all 50 US states and in over 20 foreign countries.

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7581 - Digging Ditches for the Lord

Today we will look at the importance of digging ditches

I would like to share with you some insight into a passage of scripture from 2 Kings chapter 3. It is not a very well known passage, but I would like to share how this passage has been an encouragement to me in my recent work here at SONlight.

At the time of these events in 2 Kings 3, about 845 BC, the nation of Israel was split into a northern kingdom of Israel, and a southern kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom was notorious for their ungodly and wicked kings, while the southern kingdom of Judah had at least many good kings amongst the bad.

Now, in the northern kingdom of Judah, Jehoram, the son of the wicked king and queen Ahab and Jezebel, had become king, and at that time the king of Moab decided that since Ahab had died, he didn’t really feel like continuing his tribute payments. So he stopped.

Jehoram was not really pleased with this rebellion from this subject nation so he went to the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, and requested him to go with him to fight against Moab.

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7576 - Encouragement for Nigeria

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This message is directed to all of SONlight’s listeners in Nigeria

These 5 Minutes SONspot messages are played in many different states in the United States, and in several foreign countries. Five of our broadcasting stations are in Nigeria, Africa. Even in the city where recent riots and attacks have been happening.

This message is for each of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in Nigeria.

On our way to church recently, my wife and I happened to be listening to the news on the radio. There we first heard of the terrible tragedy that came to our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

We listened to the reporter tell of the nearly 500 hundred men, women, and children that were attacked and killed for their Christian beliefs. Our hearts mourned to learn of the senseless violence and inhuman treatment of our Christian brothers and sisters. We grieve with you in your losses, and our hearts and voices join with you in prayer.

Here at SONlight we have had the privilege of broadcasting in Nigeria for 14 years, and over those years many letters have blessed us from our dear listeners in Nigeria. Thank you for the encouragement you have given us over the years. And today, I want to do my best to bring you a word of encouragement.

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7574 - Cornerstone Family Ministry - Andy Benton

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An interview with Andy Benton, the Executive Director of Cornerstone Family Ministries in Houston, TX.

Cornerstone Family Ministry has been serving their local Spring Branch community for 20 years. It was originally an extension of a local church, and has now grown into a ministry that reaches out to the children of their local area. They help with mentoring, tutoring, and other outreach programs to reach the children and families of this area.

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For more information visit the website for Cornerstone Family Ministries
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7573 - No Idols

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Today we complete our verse by verse study of the First letter of John.

This last verse in 1 John is chapter 5 verse 21, which says:
“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

At first glance this seems like a strange thought for John to use as he ends his Epistle. He has not mentioned the word idol in any other place in this book. In fact, the only other place where John speaks of the worship of idols is in Revelation (9:20). In that verse John is writing about the independent, rebellious people during the tribulation period who will not repent or stop worshipping... idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood. He observes that such idols cannot see or hear or walk. In other words, they have no life & no power. Yet people worship them.

In this last verse of 1 John the Apostle John is warning these people about any attitude of tolerance or worship of such lifeless objects. The fallacy of idolatry is explained in Romans one. We are told that God has revealed Himself to every person through the intricate and marvelous design of creation. In the many beautiful and complex objects, which were created by the wisdom and power of God, He has revealed His invisible qualities, his power and character to all men everywhere. So no person on earth can say, “I didn’t know.”

Romans 1:21 says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” You see, people have not responded to the revealed God. We do not even have an appreciative attitude. So God took His mighty protective hand from over us, so that our rational minds have turned to foolishness and darkness.

This passage goes on to say (v25), “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator...” It is almost unbelievable that people would turn away from the awesome, invisible, Creator God, and start worshipping the objects which He created –– Oh how foolish we are.

Some define an idol as anything, which is worshipped and adored, and this extended to anything which takes the place in our life which is intended for God.

In modern society the idols are things like riches, power, prestige, pleasure –– anything which takes the place of God in our lives.

As I observe the slippery downward slope on which society is joyfully skiing today, my mind searches through history and the Biblical record; and I conclude that the two greatest obstacles to godliness and holiness are prosperity and being carefree. The wide road of time is littered with demised cultures and nations, as well as corpses of hopes and dreams of well intentioned people destroyed by opulence and indulgence.

God warned Israel of this danger before they entered the promised land. In Deut. 28:47 (RSV) He said: “Because you did not serve the lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of things.” He points out the punishment will be captivity and slavery. This is exactly what happened to Israel.

Egypt, the Roman Empire, the splendor of Greece and many other cultures testify to this principle. The prophet Isaiah tells us (44:10-11), “Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing? He and his kind will be put to shame.”

The Apostle John’s exhortation is timely for the children of God in a society, which is largely composed of unbelievers. We must not fall into the devil’s trap.

So let us keep ourselves from idols.
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7572 - Men for Missions in Mozambique - Warren Hardig

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An interview with Warren Hardig, the Executive Director of Men for Missions International, a part of OMS International.
Warren Hardig Portrait
He shares about the work of Men for Missions and especially what they are doing in Mozambique.

Warren shares that Men for Missions is a group that is pursuing getting men involved in reaching out to the world, and although the name is “Men” for Missions, the group is not gender specific, they just have a passion for getting men involved in missions.

The simple questions put forth are: “Will you do whatever God asks you to do? Will you go wherever God asks you to go? Will you give whatever God asks you to give?”

To learn more, read Warren Hardig - Men for Missions in our Interview section or go to the Men for Missions International website.
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7569 - Transformed by God - Warren Hardig

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An interview with Warren Hardig, the Executive Director of Men for Missions International, a part of OMS International.
Warren Hardig Portrait
Warren shares his personal testimony and his transformation from someone who just attended church to someone who has a passion for telling others about Jesus Christ.

To learn more, read Warren Hardig - Men for Missions in our Interview section or go to the Men for Missions International website.
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Excited in the Lord - Day 9

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Today was a pretty exciting day. Not for any one particular reason, but for just a lot of small reasons.

I was finally feeling better after two days of being sick, and all through the day I continued to feel better and better.

I had a great meeting this morning with an old family friend and I was encouraged by the way the meeting went, and by his responses to our conversation about SONlight. It also appears that I may have another door opened for another church and to share at a prayer meeting.

I also really enjoyed putting the March newsletter together, and I am praying and hoping that as people get it they would prayerfully consider how to help me meet my goals in raising support for SONlight. I am asking for three different ways for people to help, and I am excited to see what kind of responses we will get...
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7568 - 1 Kings 17 - The Faith of Elijah

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Over the past year, here at SONlight I have filled a number of different roles: editing, writing and recording messages, graphic design, fixing toilets, repairing database code, networking, upgrading computers and newsletters, and designing a new website.

The Lord has truly prepared me ahead of time for the work He had here at SONlight for me to do, but it is only through the Lord’s grace and strength that I have been able to do any of what he has called me to do. There has just been too much for me to have done everything on my own or according to my own knowledge.

But really, isn’t that our true role in life? Because if we think the Lord will only call us to do things we are capable of under our own strength, then we will find ourselves in positions where we don’t acknowledge our true, great need for God.
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7564 - Men for Missions Around the World - Warren Hardig

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An interview with Warren Hardig, the Executive Director of Men for Missions International, a part of OMS International.
Warren Hardig Portrait
He shares about his experiences in Haiti as a young Christian, and how he began to pray and then become more involved in full-time missions.

Warren shares that Men for Missions is a group that is pursuing getting men involved in reaching out to the world, and although the name is “Men” for Missions, the group is not gender specific, they just have a passion for getting men involved in missions.

The simple questions put forth are: “Will you do whatever God asks you to do? Will you go wherever God asks you to go? Will you give whatever God asks you to give?”

Warren also tells us about Wendell Bole. A cyclist riding in South Africa who recently rode for 40 days through 54 cities in South Africa. He rode for 5212 km and had gospel meetings every night, and the goal was raise money for a 130,000 Bibles and 200 bicycles.

Warren shares that Men for Missions has had 500,000 decisions for Christ over the last 2 years, and planted nearly 8 churches per day. Many exciting things that Men for Missions is involved in.

To learn more, read Warren Hardig - Men for Missions in our Interview section or go to the Men for Missions International website.
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Sick and Tired - Day 7/8

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Usually when someone says they are “sick and tired” it is because they are trying to express their frustration with a situation. Something like, “I’m sick and tired of the traffic in Houston.”

However, for me the last two days I have literally been sick and tired. All day Monday I was incapable of doing anything. I spent the entire day with a mild fever, and a wicked nasty cold or something. I started to feel a bit better last night, but then today I was again sick.

I had some more energy this afternoon, so I was able to finish working on a short video of the recognition of Harold and Pauline Tate at the 2010 BridgePoint Bible Church missions banquet.

The video is 6 minutes long and can be viewed here.
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Please take a moment to watch it, and if you would like, leave a comment for Harold and Pauline in appreciation of their many faithful years of service.
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Faithful to Follow - Day 6

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Today was the last day of the 2010 BridgePoint Bible Church, and I had the opportunity to share with the Faithful to Follow Sunday school class at BridgePoint. It was a nice time, and I was able to speak for about 25 minutes about SONlight and share some of the exciting numbers about the ways that Lord is using SONlight.
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I shared many of the same exciting numbers about our broadcasts, that I shared in yesterday’s entry. There were probably about 30 members of the class, and it was exciting to share with them information that they had never heard about SONLight, or about my calling to full-time ministry at SONlight. We had some good one on one conversations before and afterwards, and I think that I was able to get one more financial supporter.
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Unexpected Blessings - Day 5

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Today my wife, Lydia, and I went to a couple of events at BridgePoint Bible Church as they are nearing the end of their missions conference. I went to a men’s breakfast and was able to share for a few minutes about SONlight and how the Lord brought me to work here. And I also had some good conversations with several people before and after the breakfast.

While I was at the breakfast, Lydia went to the “Prudent Princess” fashion show and clothing swap. This was an event that the ladies of BridgePoint put together to spotlight the options available for thrifty shopping at resale shops, and then there was a huge clothing swap. All of the ladies brought in clothes that did not want anymore, and the ladies of BridgePoint turned the entire concourse into a large clothing shop.

So Lydia was unexpectedly blessed as she came home with 7 bags of clothes. P1010887
This was a huge blessing, because she has lost quite a bit of weight over the last many months, and we have not been able to afford to replace her wardrobe that was several sizes too big. So many of the BridgePoint ladies came alongside of Lydia and helped her find just about every single item that was in here size, and blessed her so much that she was moved to tears.

And then to top that off they took up a love offering for us and each of the other missionaries. It was a wonderful morning, and particularly so because we had seriously debated having Lydia stay home with the boys because the two youngest ones had runny noses. But we went, and were both so thankful that Lydia was able to go.

Surprising Numbers
Tonight as I was preparing for speaking to a sunday school class at BridgePoint, I started to put together some of SONlight’s numbers in a new way.

I have found that SONlight is really in avery unique position. As far I have found, we have a larger network of radio stations playing our evangelism spots than any similar ministry, and we have the largest network of secular stations by far.

Just considering the 6o second stations, and conservatively assuming that our spots are only played once a day on our approximate 1600 stations, then every month, 800 hours of SONlight evangelism spots are played, and 575,000 spots are played annually. And that does not count the over 10,000 to 30,000 internet radio stations.

All of the air time for these radio messages is donated by the participating radio stations, and for those stations in the US market, the estimated fair value of similar air-time is approximately $42 for each “spot.”

So assuming that each station only plays one message per day, each year, SONlight gets the equivalent value of $24,192,000 in radio air time.

Each of those 575,000 spots has a quick gospel presentation and in total they reach a potential audience of one billion people per month, but our annual budget is hundred of thousands dollars less than other similar ministries.

As some have put it it, SONlight is a great bang for a buck.
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Digging Ditches - Day 4

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Today was another big day as I work towards meeting my goals in contacting people by email, following up on the phone, and setting up face to face meetings as I work towards raising additional support for SONlight.

I have had some good phone calls so far, and have a few meeting set up for next week, and I had a very interesting lunch meeting today that might result in some interesting developments later on down the road. Stay tuned for some for those possible developments in the future.

Tomorrow I will be at BridgePoint Bible Church again for a men’s brunch, and I am hoping and praying that I will have the opportunity to make good contact with some men and talk about SONlight. And possibly get a few names and contacts to contact as I fund raise.

2 Kings 3
In part of my study today I read through a really interesting passage today that spoke to me in my quest through this fund raising period.

First, a brief explanation of the events leading up to this passage. Jehoram, the son of Ahab and Jezebel, had become king, and the king of Moab decided that since Ahab had died, he didn’t really feel continuing his tribute payments. So he stopped. And Jehoram was not really pleased with this rebellion so he went to the king of Judah, Jehoshphat, and convinced him to go fight against Moab.

Jehoshphat agreed, and so they went to attack Moab, but as Jehoshphat was experienced in war, they opted to attack Moab in a surprising way by coming through the desert of Edom. So these two kings, and their armies, march through Edom towards Moab. The King of Edom joins their party and verse 9 tells us that “They wandered around on the road for seven days and finally ran out of water for the men and animals they had with them.”

So in their thirst and despair, Jehoshphat decides to consult a prophet of God about their plight. So they learn that Elisha the prophet is nearby, so they go down to meet him...
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7562 - David Johnson - Churches in West Africa

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An interview with David Johnson, part of the IMB Engagement Team in West Africa, where he works in recruiting coordinating churches to come to the mission field in West Africa.

David has helped survey the West African people groups. It is the 2nd most ethnically diverse region in the world, and there are 1600 different people groups in the West Africa region with 1100 languages.

He shares that a challenge for the IMB is that to make the best use of the limited resources, they can only send individual missionaries to people groups that are more than 100,000 in population. And in the West Africa region more than 79% of the people groups are under 100,000 in population. Because of their small size, the IMB just does not have the resources to reach these micro people-groups

David works from West Africa, researching, surveying, and finding out what kind of Christian presence and influence is in an area, so that the churches that are going to West Africa can have the best knowledge in what where they will be going, and who they will be talking to. Then the churches will get thorough training in the US and in Africa, with the same training and resources as IMB missionaries..

Lastly, David shares an exciting story about one particular churches experience in sharing the gospel with the chief of a village.

To learn more about David Johnson and the opportunities available to churches of many denominations, read Churches Reaching the Unreached in our Interview section or go the IMB’s West Africa website.
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Getting SONlight in the Sunlight - Day 3

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Today I attended the Keenager & Missionary Fellowship Luncheon at BridgePoint Bible Church as part of their missions week. (I will be at other events there on Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening.)

It was an enjoyable time of fellowship and sharing, and each of the missionaries and associated ministries was able to share about their ministry and what has happened in their lives and family over the past year. I got to hear a lot of fantastic accounts from missionaries from around the world: Scott Ulrich, Robin Ulrich, and Leah were there and shared about their respective ministries.

I shared about what the Lord has been doing at SONlight over the last year. The ways in which God brought me to SONlight, and in turn a various few of the improvements that I have been making and the ways in which SONlight has grown. I also talked about my 21 day pursuit of financial support and asked for their prayers, and support in that.

Then during the fellowship I had some great conversations with a number of people about SONlight, and got to share one on one with quite a few people. One of the ones I talked to was Dan Walsh, and he came up with the snappy title of today’s post: Getting SONlight in the Sunlight.

Spreading Awareness of the Scope of SONlight
It is a pretty simple statement, but it holds quite a bit of truth. One of the things that I am trying to do, is to get people aware of not only SONlight, but of the reach and impact of SONlight. A lot of people may not be aware of SONlight as a ministry, but even those who are, and often those who have given in the past or have been involved as a volunteer in the past, are not aware of the scope of SONlight in its present role.

As best as I can tell, SONlight reaches more secular radio stations with evangelism messages than any other ministry, and it does so with a budget that is grossly under similar types of ministries. All of our radio messages are played for free on over 1600 radio stations. Which works out to a minimum of 500 hours of free radio time every month to a potential audience of 1 billion people...
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A Big Task - Day 2

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It is probably clear to anyone that it is a huge task to raise the support that SONlight needs within the short span of 21 days. I am certainly burdened by the size of the task at hand, but I have to keep reminding myself that it is not my job to bring in this income for SONlight, it is the Lord’s. SONlight is and has always been the Lord’s ministry, and we are only here to serve Him.

So as I look at the monumental task of raising support, I am reminded of my recent read through 1 Kings 18 and the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. It may not be immediately obvious, but bear with me on this parallel illustration.

Competition on Mt. Carmel - 1 Kings 18:20-46
Of course most people who spent anytime in Sunday School as child are familiar with this account of the confrontation between these pagan prophets and Elijah, the prophet of God. We first see Elijah set out the ground rules for this “competition”. The 450 prophets will get to choose a bull, prepare it, place it on the wood on their alter, and then pray for fire from Baal...
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21 Days of Pursuit - Day 1

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Tonight was the second SONlight board meeting since I became Executive Director. The last meeting and tonight’s meeting were very important for the future of SONlight, as we are now going month by month to determine how best to use the limited financial resources we have.

Since May of last year, I have been receiving my salary from a large endowment SONlight received several years ago. That endowment filled in the gaps in the SONlight budget for a number of years, and was a great blessing each year. But when I came to SONlight full-time, it was because it was evident that for SONlight to continue, big changes and updates to the ministry were necessary...
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7552 - Greg Queen - Church Mobilization for West Africa

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An interview with Greg Queen, Sub Sahara Africa Connector for the IMB (International Mission Board). He and his family formerly served in Dakar, Senegal, as career missionaries heading up an engagement team that assisted churches in partnering with unreached people groups.

Greg discusses his new role in coordinating church involvement with unreached people groups in West Africa.

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The IMB is moving towards transforming from just sending out individuals to facilitating churches reaching out themselves. Greg shares that there are over 1600 unreached people groups in West Africa, and that it is one of the most diverse areas of the world, with over 1100 languages spoken. 80% of the unreached people groups in this area are categorized as “micro people groups”, having less than 100,000 members.

The end-vision is to get churches involved in starting churches among the unreached people groups. Greg facilitates churches using their specific skills to reach these people in West Africa. He works with two levels of church involvement: engaging and partnering churches. The partnering churches will work with other churches to reach a people group in a collaborative way.

Greg also shares the exciting story of a convert from the very first trip a church made to West Africa.

To learn more about Greg Queen and the opportunities available to churches of many denominations, read Churches Reaching the Unreached in our Interview section.
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7543 - Greg Queen - Reaching People Groups in West Africa

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An interview with Greg Queen, Sub Sahara Africa Connector for the IMB (International Mission Board). He and his family formerly served in Dakar, Senegal, as career missionaries heading up an engagement team that assisted churches in partnering with unreached people groups.

Greg discusses his new role in coordinating church involvement with unreached people groups in West Africa.

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The IMB is moving towards transforming from just sending out individuals to facilitating churches reaching out themselves. Greg shares that there are over 1600 unreached people groups in West Africa, and that it is one of the most diverse areas of the world, with over 1100 languages spoken. 80% of the unreached people groups in this area are categorized as “micro people groups”, having less than 100,000 members.

The end-vision is to get churches involved in starting churches among the unreached people groups. Greg facilitates churches using their specific skills to reach these people in West Africa. He works with two levels of church involvement: engaging and partnering churches. The partnering churches will work with other churches to reach a people group in a collaborative way.

Greg also shares the exciting story of a convert from the very first trip a church made to West Africa.

To learn more about Greg Queen and the opportunities available to churches of many denominations, read Churches Reaching the Unreached in our Interview section.
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7492 - Rodney Woo - The Color of Church

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An interview with Dr. Rodney Woo, the head pastor at Wilcrest Baptist Church and a New Testament professor at Houston Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Rodney shares about Wilcrest Baptist Church and the events that transpired that helped transform Wilcrest Baptist from a declining predominately white church to a growing multi-ethnic church with 44 different nations represented. The Lord gave him a burden to reach out to the minority and international community of Alief in Houston, TX by following the Lord’s leading to foster a racially and culturally diverse congregation.

He also speaks a little bit about what the Lord has been doing to bring about a new book that Dr. Woo has written: The Color of Church. It is a book that has been many years in the making and one with which we are hoping and praying that the Lord will use to develop a new wave a racially diverse church congregations around the world.

To learn more about Dr. Rodney Woo, Wilcrest Baptist Church, and his book, “The Color of Church”, read the extensive profile of Dr. Woo and Wilcrest Baptist Church in our Interview section.
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7490 - Fear of the Lord

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In this message we look at an expression found in many passages of scripture. "The fear of the Lord."

The first thing that come to mind when I hear this expression is the phrase found in Proverbs (1:7, 9:10, and 15:33) and in Psalms (111:10), "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." But what exactly is the fear of the Lord?
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7432 - My Rock of Refuge

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Today we want to share together in a Psalm of comfort and assurance. Psalm 31, has been a great source of blessing in my life right now. When it seems like everything in the world is against me, I turn to my Rock of Refuge. So today let’s focus on the first seven verses and the last six verses of Psalm 31.
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7500 - Rodney Woo - Learning from Suffering

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An interview with Dr. Rodney Woo, the head pastor at Wilcrest Baptist Church and a New Testament professor at Houston Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Listen as Rodney shares his testimony of salvation as a child and about growing up in a racially divided area. Rodney was called in to the ministry at 15, and his father worked to getting involved in preaching in jails in Port Athur.

Through the racial tensions he was exposed to growing up, God worked to foster a passion for multi-cultural ministry. This was gradually impressed upon his heart more and more as he grew in understanding and maturity in college at ETBU.

Rodney also share about how the Lord has used pain to help mold him into the man of God he is today. A. W, Tozer said, “To use a man greatly, God must break him deeply.”
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2009 Reception - Keynote

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This video is of the keynote presentation from SONlight's 2009 Reception. The video may be long, but it has video, slides, and web addresses included. Take some time to watch the presentation to get an idea of what God is doing at SONlight, and what our hopes are for the future.

Presentation given by David Tate, Associate Director.

If you are unable to view the video, you can try the slightly edited version on Facebook - 2009 SONlight Reception Video
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7460 - Man's Nature

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The study we will be working on today is on man's nature, that is, his relationship to original sin. We will look at man's natural inclinations and how those affect his behavior and relationship with God.
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