Monday, April 28, 2008

Perspectives Week 3... Your Kingdom Come

Perspectives Week 3… Your Kingdom Come

In the world “kingdom” describes a geographical area, or people belonging to such. In the Biblical sense “Kingdom” is the right to rule. Therefore the “Kingdom of God” is the exercise of God’s kingship, and His right to rule based on His might, power, and glory. The Old Testament perspective held by Hebrews then and now was that their Messiah would come as a ruler and a leader and establish his Kingdom of peace and power. With Jesus’ life and death we have been given a new perspective. This new perspective shows that the Messiah will come twice, once to break Satan’s power and a second time to destroy his kingdom. During the period in between, we (the church) have been entrusted with the task of undoing Satan’s works and carrying out Christ’s mission of bringing the church to all nations. This new perspective also shows that our Savior did not come as a “power over” ruler and leader, but to humbly come from “power under” by serving others. This brought a whole new dynamic to the Kingdom in which the first would be last, and the least would be greatest. This was a new concept to the disciples, and it took them a while to get it.

Matthew 24 lists signs of Christ’s return, then ends with verse 14; Matthew 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Again, this reiterates my point from several posts ago that Christ is not coming back until we have “preached” to “all the nations”. So He will not come back and establish His Kingdom until we have done our job.

Our Perspectives course breaks up the nations into people groups. I will define these more in later posts. There are 35,000 people groups in the world, they are characterized and/or divided by linguistic, socio-economic, national and ethnic divisions. It looks at people groups as a group through which the Gospel can easily spread without barriers. Barriers would constitute a new people group and possibly require a different missionary approach, church, and so on. A people group is reached when there is a church in place which can “finish the job”, or continue to spread and grow to the rest of its people group. On that note, missions exist for the purpose of bringing back our King.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Making the Most of Every Opportunity

I have a calendar on my desk at work with inspirational messages/ instructions for each day, as well as Scripture to go along with it. (Thanks Tiffany, I’m enjoying my Christmas present!) A recent day’s instruction is below;

Be quick to take advantage of an advantage.

Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

I don’t particularly care for this translation (NIV) of this verse, because I don’t like the word outsiders, it also appears in the NASB translation. For me, this verse inspires the most meaning and comes across with the most love in the NLT translation below.

Colossians 4:5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.

This particularly stood out to me because I frequently feel that I miss opportunities to share my faith, or to love others in actions and in truth throughout my day. I meet so many people in a day through my job, activities etc, and at times can be so caught up in tasks, being busy, my agenda, my needs, or not having the right words that I let opportunities pass me by. I’m really disappointed at this, and I desperately desire to be so aware of the Spirit and His promptings in any situation that I am aware of the opportunities around me and will make the most of them at the sacrifice of whatever else is on my plate. Lately as I’ve started to make the most of more opportunities that I’m given I’ve noticed that the Lord is giving me more and more opportunities to minister to others and share my faith throughout my day. This has been awesome! It has been wonderful to become more aware of His presence in my work and other areas of my life and to submit those to Him! I am finding so much more joy in things like my job, which I formerly thought was all focused on the bottom line for Kelly Services, now that I can see God at work throughout my day here, and see ways that He is using me for kingdom purposes through my job. At any given moment it is the tendency of my human flesh to get overwhelmed, busy, task oriented and fall back into that mode, so this is a constant struggle for me, but the Lord is continuing to teach me how to let go of that and be led by the Spirit more regularly. It takes constant prayer and submission to Him.

The other thing that helps me in this is that my husband is a great teammate and counter-part for me in this aspect. Where I can tend to be task oriented at times, he is very much people oriented. We are both very relational, the difference for me is that if I’m assigned a task I get caught up in whether my allegiance/ duty lies to the task at hand or to what I enjoy more, which would be the relationship building. I get stuck in a worker mentality. Jeremy is very aware of people, their needs, and feelings, and isn’t quite so task oriented. A perfect example of this playing out was last weekend at Habitat for Humanity. We were all assigned our various tasks and pretty much spread throughout the house working independently on them. Next thing I know I look up and Jeremy is sitting on the porch talking to someone. My first instinct was actually to think that he was just trying to get out of doing work for a little bit, but I decided to stop what I was doing and see what was going on. I went out on the porch and Jeremy and I had a really nice conversation getting to know two of the other volunteers that we were working with. It was only about a ten minute break, but the connection that we made, and the time invested in that relationship showing them that we did care and were interested in who they were was so much more meaningful than a lot of the work we were doing. Unfortunately that was not my first instinct though, I was stuck in worker mentality and wanted to call my husband lazy. How much does that sound like Martha nagging at Jesus to make Mary help her with the work? I am very glad that we had that conversation with those two women, but more so am glad that when we discussed it later my husband was able to teach me a valuable lesson about myself and how I respond to things, and what is really important in a kingdom sense. There I was, thinking I was doing something good for the kingdom by doing my task of building houses for those in need, but quite frankly, if those in need don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus the house isn’t going to help them that much, and Jeremy realized that in that moment, he realized what was important. He is a great partner and teammate for me. Baby, thank you for the patience and grace that you show your worker bee wife! It’s amazing how in giving several hours of my time to Habitat for Humanity to serve others, God was able to take such a small situation to allow me to experience Him in a whole new way, to show me something I’ve been missing, and hopefully I will be able to carry it with me going forward. I think that I actually gained more on Saturday then the owner of the house did by me caulking their base boards, and I thought that I was setting out to be a blessing to them… isn’t it funny how the Lord can twist that around?!

Lord you are wonderful, and work in amazing ways! Forgive me for the opportunities that I have not been faithful with and made the most of, forgive me for having out of place priorities, forgive me for so frequently being centered on myself and not you. Cleanse me from those ways, fill me with your Spirit and guide me in your will. Thank you for giving me a husband who is strong where I am weak, thank you for revealing yourself to him, for his faithfulness and trust in you. Lord make us aware of your promptings and opportunities so that we may make the most of them and bring you glory.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

A little bit of catch up with us

Today I'd like to take a break from the Perspectives series and just do a little catch up on what Jeremy and I are up to.

We are almost at 8 months of marriage and it just keeps getting better and better!! Although it may get easier over time to be lazy in our relationship with each other, I continue to find our ability to commuinicate and express ourselves with each other growing. I find our unity growing increasingly as well. I find my desire to serve Jeremy and put him before myself growing as well... for me that was like a bell curve. In the initial excitement of a relationship I was all excited to serve him. Then as our newness wore off, so did this desire. Now, as we truly become one, I am being purified from some of my selfish ways and filled with a desire to serve him. I find our ability to fairly handle conflict increasing more as time goes on also. It feels like we are cultivating the foundational skills that we will need to persevere through the trials of life together. I know that we by no means have this marriage thing figured out, and at each stage of life we will go through different seasons causing us to adapt and adjust in various ways. I know that our marriage has not endured any true hardship or trial yet, and that is where real character building can take place. I'm just so grateful for the chance that we've had to build a foundation before undergoing those trials, for us to let the young sappling of our marriage establish it's roots before being attacked by the weather of life's storms. I'm grateful for my amazing husband,his heart for the Lord, and his desire to keep our marriage centered on Christ.

Jeremy is currently in the process of studying for a personal trainer certification. He is thinking about doing that on the side of real estate. For all of you who know Jeremy well, you will understand his passion for fitness and nutrition (as well as working for himself), and understand how that is an exciting endeavor for him.

This Saturday we are starting to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity on a monthly basis, and will be helping with the construction of new homes one Saturday a month. This will be quite interesting as neither of us is very handy when it comes to things of this nature. But Habitat is willing to take us, train us, and use us, and I'm sure that we will learn a lot along the way and have a few laughs while we are at it.

With some of our tax refund we were able to make a much needed repair to Jeremy's car... he now has working windshield wippers!! :-) We were also able to put some money towards paying off debt and working at our goal to be financially free from debt and unsecured loans. This has all been a huge blessing and we praise God for His provision! We continue to pray for provision to be freed from the remainder of our debts, so that we can avoid the enslavement and entrapment that debt entangles. Proverbs 22:7 The The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave.

Spiritually we have felt that we have been in, and are in a season of preparation. We set out for the first year of our marriage to be intentional about building a solid foundation in our marraige and not investing or getting involved in too many other commitments that would distract us, or take away from that critical "sappling" period of the first year. God has given us the opportunity to increase our knowledge and understanding of scripture and Himself vastly through our relationships in our church, and our read through the Bible in a year plan. He has also provided us with the opportunity to take the Perspectives class, and really opened our eyes and hearts to so much more than we formerly knew. He has given us both a heart to serve Him together, and we are in a season of growing in Him and waiting on His call. In the meantime we try to be faithful with each task, provision and opportunity that He entrusts to us.

In a nut shell I think that's it for now. Sorry, nothing too exciting, we lead fairly simple lives. We exercise regularly, eat turkey burgers for dinner at least 3 or 4 nights a week, and spend about an hour a day doing some sort of reading. Every week we throw in something like a Barnes and Noble date, a board game, a movie, or a walk on the beach, but we really don't get too much out of our routine... but's it's our life together and we love it.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Perspectives Week 2... The Story of His Glory

Perspectives Week 2… The Story of His Glory

Perspectives week 2 answered the following questions;
-What is the ultimate goal of the church?
-What was God’s purpose in creating the church?
-What was God’s purpose in creating the world, and mankind in particular?
-What is the goal of missions?
-Why do missions exist?

The answer to each is the glory of God.

In our lecture Coty Pinckney proposed that God’s ultimate purpose is to bring glory to His name, and that He does this by 1) gathering people to Himself from every tribe, tongue and nation; 2) overcoming all evil opposition.

Coty used numerous verses to show to us God’s passion for His glory, and those were just a few of the many in the Bible (the story of God’s glory). Since week 2 of Perspectives I have started to notice just how much scripture is filled with passages on God’s glory. Here are a couple of the verses that Coty shared.

Why did God create man?
Isaiah 43:6b Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

One might say that man was created to have a relationship with God. But in the trinity, I don’t think that God really NEEDS that relationship with us, even though I do believe that we are called to a relationship with Him. I can buy into the thinking that we were created for God’s glory, in that we are created in His image. As discussed later in this post, I concur with the idea that we are created to worship Him, and bring Him glory that way.

Why did God call Israel?
Jeremiah 13:11 I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory.

Israel was chosen, so that through them God may show His glory, and make Himself known to all the peoples of the earth (as discussed in the post from 4/14). God delivered His chosen people from Egypt, He gave them a land, He prospered, strengthened and grew them, yet they continued to turn away from Him and serve false Gods and fail to worship Him without inhibition.

Why did God save Israel as a nation yet leave the unfaithful generation to die in the desert?
Numbers 14:21-23 Truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the lord, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers.

God speaks of filling the earth with His glory, again as mentioned in today’s and Monday’s posts, scripture is filled with mentions of God’s glory spreading to the nations. God announces His judgement for those who have seen His glory (or known Him), but have rejected Him and not followed Him.

Why did God tell the restored Israelites to rebuild His temple?
Haggai 1:8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord.

Why does Jesus tell us to do good works?
Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.

Nothing we do should be for ourselves or our gratification, it should all be to bring glory, praise and worship to our heavenly Father.

What is to be our goal in all that we do?
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

How does God’s glory tie in with missions? God’s glory is the purpose for missions.

The ultimate goal of missions
Revelation 7:9-12 Behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb… and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”… “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Obviously there will be people from every nation, tribe, people and language at the throne. In another post I will address these terms in more depth, for now I want to focus on the fact that our job as believers in Christ is not done until people have been reached from every nation, tribe, people and tongue. To me, it sounds like Christ isn’t coming back until all of these people have been reached and had their chance to hear His message (again I’ll define “hear His message” and “reached” more in a later post). So what are we waiting for, let’s reach them… I want Christ to come back, how about you? Now isn’t that passage just a beautiful picture of people doing what they are created to do, and coming together in an ultimate worship of our Lord!

Psalm 96:1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

Again, scripture is not short on the link between God’s glory and an ultimate, all peoples/ nations worship of Him.

In seeking His own glory, is God being selfish?
Our greatest joy comes from becoming what God intend us to be; worshipers of Him. “He is most glorified, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

The next statement that Coty made seemed to invoke a lot of questions and misunderstanding in our class. I’ll do my best to relay his statement, and at least explain what it means to me, but I’d advise you to take his statement and prayerfully arrive at your own conclusions.

“Missions exist because worship doesn’t.”

In reviewing this we must first define worship. It is easy to think about worship (in our culture) as the time when a church body comes together with singing and music in praise of the Lord. This is not an adequate definition for many reasons. First, many church bodies come together and sing and play music without their hearts truly connecting in praise towards the Lord. Secondly, worship can be many things in addition to just music; for example, tithes, acts of kindness, prayer, praises etc.

For our purposes I’ll use Coty’s definition of worship; worship is acting and thinking in a way that reflects the glory of God. And the inner essence of worship is valuing Christ far above all earthly possessions and attainments.

What is the ultimate goal of the church? Ask this question and you may get any number of answers. In a missions class like Perspectives one could expect an answer related to missions, spreading the gospel etc. Coty used everything that we have built on to this point to proclaim that worship is the ultimate goal of the church. This is where he ties in his point that missions exist because worship doesn’t. Since uninhibited worship from every tribe, tongue and nation is the ultimate goal of the church (as portrayed in Rev 7:9-12), missions exist only because that ultimate worship does not. Once the great commission has been fulfilled, and worship is truly taking place, there will be no more need for missions. (Again, I may have missed Coty’s point completely, but this is the answer that I arrived at). So let’s go out there and work on our worship and before we know it (relatively) we won’t need missions anymore.

From my writings so far have you been able to sense the growing burning passion for missions and the nations that has developed within me since starting Perspectives? Well if not, hang in there… we’re only on week 2 and I still have a lot more to cover.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Perspectives Week 1... The Living God is a Missionary God

I’m going to enter on an on-going, intermittent journey to briefly discuss some of what is standing out to me from our Perspectives classes. I’m undertaking this mission to share with others what we are learning, and also to spark interest in this class for others. My synopsis should in no way be substituted for the class, as it is a brief overview of our 3 hour lecture, plus multiple hours of assigned homework reading articles and curriculum. I would just like to give others an understanding of what the class is, in the case that they may be interested themselves. Or share the material for those who don’t have the time or finances to take the class themselves. If you are interested in taking Perspectives on the World Christian Movement you can attend a class (if one is being held) in your local area for free of charge just to get an idea of the format and content. You can also find out more information at Again, in no way will my summary compete with the years knowledge of the professors that have spoken with us, and their multitude of years of experience on the mission field. Please accept my feeble attempt for what it is. Also understand that a good amount of what I’m writing will be a combination of my particular views, convictions and theology, along with the material that was presented in the class. Obviously the material that I’m presenting is what was most meaningful to me, and my take on it, someone else could have attended the same class and walk away with a very different outlook.

Week 1… The Living God is a Missionary God

God’s Covenant with Abram/ Abraham- a form of this appears in Scripture 5 times, just in the book of Gensis.

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord said to Abram, go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Some translations read “in you” or “by you” for the last line. The NIV reads “…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” This use of “through you” takes the focus off of Abram, and keeps it on God and His action. (I note this because I don’t typically read the NIV translation, but I agree with our teacher for that lesson that the NIV translation of this verse does end up bringing God the greater glory).

From the final line of God’s covenant with Abraham you can see His plans to reach all of the “families of the earth” through/ by/ in Abraham. Is this God revealing His plan to bring a Savior for the gentiles into the world? Maybe, but did He intend to wait until Christ came? As much as Pharisees would have liked to have overlooked it, gentiles were being saved and brought into faith through Jews long before Christ was born. Naomi discipled Ruth, a Moabites, took her back to her own country, and shared her home and God with Ruth. Jonah led the Ninevites to repentance. Moses’ father in law praised God and became a believer after he had witnessed His glory at work. Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah, and the list goes on and on… The Old Testament is filled with God using missionaries for His glory, to reach the nations… and somehow the Pharisees still missed it, and it still took a while for this message to sink in with the disciples. Just how much are we also missing it today? (This will come up more in additional posts, so I won’t linger here yet). Just how much are we focused on our family, church, or nation that we miss out on the much bigger picture of how God is at work in all of the nations?

As I was reading 2 Chronicles this evening (yes, our church is up to 2 Chronicles on our read through the Bible in a year plan :-)) this verse stood out to me.

2 Chronicles 6:32-33 “Also concerning the foreigner who is not from Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your great name’s sake and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house, then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name…”.

When Solomon was in his prayer of dedication for the temple he even took out the time to acknowledge the foreigners/ gentiles. He clearly understood (despite his many downfalls) that the mission was all about God’s glory, and that His glory should be carried to all the peoples of the earth.

One of the biggest changes that I have noticed is that once I have really gained a heart for the nations (and not just my nation), now that I’m starting to understand the much bigger picture of God’s plan and where and how He’s at work now, scripture has changed significantly to me. Each page now comes alive with phrases like “to all peoples”, “to all nations”, “every tongue”, “every tribe” and so forth. Instead of seeing the much smaller picture of scripture that I had previously been trapped in, God has opened my eyes and heart to how much more there is to His word. It has been an exciting journey so far, and I’m looking forward to unfolding it in our blog.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pictures from our trip to New Orleans

Here are some of the pictures from our trip to New Orleans. (Unfortunately they are posted in reverse order, now I know for next time that I have to post them in the opposite of the order that I want them to appear in). Enjoy!

Jeremy picking through the crawfish boil at Aunt Cheryl's on Easter Sunday (notice his dad sleeping in the back right corner of the picture after having eaten crawfish for at least 2 or 3 hours straight... isn't he cute cuddled up under his jacket?)
The eating table full of boiled crawfish, sausage, potatoes, corn, garlic, lemon and mushrooms. Aunt Cheryl had 150 pounds of crawfish for us all to eat. Notice Dad in the front right going to town on some.
Sign from one of the vendors in the French Quarter. We got a kick out of this one. We were in the French Quarter our first day in New Orleans... on Friday, and it was beautiful weather!
Sign for the famous Bourbon Street.
I got a kick out of the sign for this store... but needless to say I did not buy anything there.
There were voodoo signs all over the place
Don't you just love all the character, charm and flowers?!
Me and Jeremy in front of some azaleas and a famous cathedral in the French Quarter Dad, Me, Lisa and Mom
The Newlyweds (how long do we get to call ourselves that anyway?)
Thanks again Mom, Dad, and Lisa for being wonderful hosts and showing us a great time in New Orleans. We had a wonderful time, enjoyed spending time with you, and soaking up the local culture and food!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Context of Matthew 18:19-20

My desire today is simply to shed light on a verse that it is very commonly taken out of context (Matthew 18:19-20). I have quite often heard this verse taken out of context and misused, including almost weekly in a church that I attended. At that time I was unaware of this misuse. Recently one of my Perspectives teachers made a point to note the context of this verse and how it is often misused and I was amazed at how I had been led astray for so long. I was shocked that spiritual leaders that I trusted could have led me astray (unintentionally I’m sure). I guess that is why it is so important to not just be spoon fed scripture or teaching, but to rely on God’s word yourself and the guidance from His spirit. To not just listen to one verse that is recited and let it get you emotional and led into action or new theology, but to spend time in scripture looking into the context of that verse and how that influences its’ meaning and point. As Doug so frequently says at church “context is king”. Doug’s favorite example of this to drive his point home is the second line of Psalm 14:1 There is no God. Without the first part of that verse that presents quite a contradiction to the rest of scripture, but when in context the entire verse is Pslam 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” That is the perfect, brief example for how much harm verses taken out of context can do. (thanks Doug) I’m sorry if this is redundant for any of you, but after my epiphany I just wanted to ensure that anyone who may have been led astray as I was can clearly take into context Matthew 18:19-20.

So first of all… the misused portion. I’m giving it in NIV here as that’s what I hear misused so often, but later I will give additional translations that I like better.

Matthew 18:19-20 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

I have so frequently heard this used in sermons, prayers and books to back up that when believers in Christ gather together and pray God will dwell among them and answer their prayers. I am not saying that God doesn’t answer prayers, and I am also not saying that God doesn’t dwell among groups of gathered believers… I believe that He does both of those… I just don’t think that this is the verse to back it up with. This verse when put in context has an entirely different purpose, let’s take a look. (Again NIV to be consistent)

Matthew 18:15-20 If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

The context of this passage is about confronting someone who sins against us (or is living in sin)… not getting what we ask for from God. Therefore the two or three that are gathered, are the two or three that would have been confronting the believer who has been led astray. At this point they are being called to unite in prayer for the individual who would have been taken out of fellowship from their body had that individual not received (and repented with) the admonishment given first from the individual, then from the small group, then from the church. So these three aren't randomly coming together in prayer for their desires, needs and persecutions, but to present a petition for freedom for their brother. This outlook gives the verse a whole new purpose (at least to me anyway) when put into context in this manner.

Here's a couple additional translations just for kicks...

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” NLT

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. "Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." NASB

Till next time...