Monthly Archives: January 2015

Always Reforming- Confusion, Clarity, & Controversy

We can’t help but acknowledge the seemingly prophetic words of William Tyndale, the Christian reformer, who in the mid-16th century proclaimed to the then Catholic Pope, “I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you!”

The Protestant Reformation which I believe should be properly be attributed to the glory of God, however can be traced back to the use of Jan Hus as a vessel used by God. So erupted the challenge, that the “average Christian” is called to be apart of the ‘Priesthood of Christ’ and not some religious elite. The Bible was put in the comman mands hands, and thus began the confusion. Denominationalism is what occured as many servants of God began to understand various truths contained in the Scriptures. The Reformed churches placed importance on doctrine, while the anabaptists sought to throw the government off of the people of God. The Anglicans would have their own perspective, and even some within the Catholic Church sought reform (i.e. Erasmus).

As I preached this last Sunday, it would be the God-led work of John Calvin who would seek to offer clarity in the midst of confusion. Surely the 21st century Christian Church can understand that sentiment, amen?

John Calvin which initiate a deeper look at the story of Scripture in what would come to be known as “Systematic Theology”. You can listen to my past sermon on these details by visiting the following link, http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/239650-closing-up-with-clarity-on-calvinism

Since the time of reformation, there has been plenty of controversy and disagreement within the Church. Clarity is surely not all that easy, as anyone who has discussed any topic in public, especially in our post-modern society, should know. There is always that person that will disagree, and you know what? They may have a good argument. I personally have begun a discussion with a brother named Jason Watt on an area similar to the whole John Calvin/ Jacob Arminius controversy. Jason holds to a view called “Open Theism” while I would be more in line with “Calvinism”. We both are diligent students of the Word, we both agree on many areas, however this topic, which we both deem to be pretty darn important, we find controversy. As I detail the history of this historic doctrinal controversy, I am excited to display brotherly love, humility, and respect as we deal with the details in regards to the glory of God. You can read Jason Watt’s article here, http://fulfilledfocus.blogspot.com/2015/01/conversations-with-pastor-miano.html

I follow John Calvin’s line of thinking in the regard that to even think it is possible for man to contemplate or ponder approaching the grace of God, in other words giving man the ‘choice’, is simply put “robbing God of His sovereignty”. If you go about reading John Calvin’s Commentaries of the “Providence” of God, or read through his, Institutes on the Christian Religion, you will find despite the mass confusion regarding the doctrines that follow Calvin, his goal was to defend the sovereignty of God.

In his day, due to the revolt against the Catholic doctrines of Popery and clergy, penance, as well as the very doctrines of man’s understanding of salvation, John Calvin sought to put the details in their right place- taking the false authority the Catholic Church had given to man. Instead, throughout his writings, John Calvin sought to demonstrate the ‘total depravity’ of man as revealed through the narrative of Scripture, nothing good can come from him, and all the good decisions outside of his “carnal nature” is immediately given back to God.

Why would someone want to argue this? Calvin would have simply pointed out that the “innate idolatry” ever present within man causes man to always endeavor to bring glory back to himself- therefore arguing against the very purposes and will of God.

In this article, I want to demonstrate how the Arminian Remonstrance indeed comes off in that manner.

The Arminian Remonstrance was a response to the Belgic Confession (1561) which was drawn up in 1610. The followers of Jacob Arminius, in an effort to memorialize the teachings of their leader after his death, drew up the ‘Five Arminian Articles’ in 1610, in an effort to dispute the Belgic Confession (1561). For some history, information, and a read through this Confession visit the following link, http://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/belgic-confession

You can read these 5 Artictles themselves by visiting this link:

http://www.esvbible.org/resources/creeds-and-catechisms/article-the-five-arminian-articles-1610/

Something that seems to not come up enough in the Calvinist-Arminianist debate is that both sides believe in “election”. Election is simply the view that God has chosen some and not others. What ‘Article 1’ of the Arminian Articles does it takes the authority away from God and gives it to man. Man is the author of his salvation and God simply follows suit. If only Adam had wandered into the garden on his own….however that did not happen (see, Genesis 2:15; Hebrews 12:2).

Instead, a proper view of “predestination” as originally posited by St. Augustine, then outlined by John Calvin in his Commentaries, and furthered by Ulrich Zwingli gives all authority to God in regards to His Elect.

Much of the confusion comes from “proof texts” instead of understanding the full force of the Biblical narrative. When we open our Bibles, we are reading God reaching down and bringing clarity/order to man, not man pondering the clarity/order he so desires. Simply put, ‘total depraved’ man cannot do good, which means man cannot ponder approaching God unless God acts first. That is the narrative of Israel being drawn out through the Scriptures, being highlighted through the necessity of the Incarnation. God must do something because we simply can’t. Far too many Christians seem to be reading their Bibles from a bottom to the top mindset, putting themselves in charge, rather than top to bottom, properly recognizing the sovereignty of God.

This is exactly what John Calvin was going against. The dangers of such a system is it makes man the author of his own destiny, which understably is an exciting concept, yet again, I posit it robs God of His Rulership.

Following such logic, than robs the Elect of all that God did for them and makes what I can a “Big G God” into a little “g” god. ‘Unlimited Atonements’ means that Christ came and died for all, and we all have an opportunity to partake. This completely removes the story from the narrative of Scripture. It was Israel that needed atonement from the Law they were under. It would be the grace & faithfulness of God fulfilling the promises of intervening on Israel’s behalf that would explode to the surrounding nations and cause them to glorify Him (see, Romans chapters 9 & 15). Again the use of “proof texts” in the Arminian Articles brings much confusion.

Honestly, a simple read through the Arminian Articles should cause one to shudder at how we are putting man in control, all in an effort to give man “free will”, and taking the control that God has and is drawn out through the narrative of Scripture.

I firmly believe that is the key and am willing to walk worthy. In settling alot of these disputes, we must come from a “full gospel” perspective. In noting the harm of “proof texts”, I believe we must follow the narrative of Scripture and if we truly do not believe that God has retired or changed (see, Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6 ) then we must allow the narrative to inform our view of how it is that God works in and through our lives.

Remember this…..the carnal mind is at war with God (Romans 8:7). This is displayed through the story of Scripture, in that for no other reason than bestowing grace upon man, God has chosen to create “covenant”. He did it with Adam, yet Adam chose his own way. He did it with Israel, and Israel again chose their own way. Through Christ the opprotunity has been make known, not simply to the tribes of Jacob, but to all who are called by Him (Isaiah 49:6; John 1:13).

Recognizing the story through the narrative of Scripture, I surely do not endeavor to walk the lines of fallen Adam and judged Israel, instead recognizing the sovereigty of God and the depravity of man (innate idolatry), I would much rather not exalt my “free will” and give in to idolatry, than to attribute the proper sovereignty to the God who desveres it.

As I sum up my thoughts on the Calvinist-Arminian debate that is still ongoing to our day, I simply want to posit my presupposition that this God is to amazing and sovereign for me to even begin to ponder approaching Him, and God fobid that I think such a grace that He bestows upon man is ressistible (see, Isaiah 55:11; James 4:15) . Which therefore makes an “open theism” completely impossible. For some Calvinst “proof texts”, visit the following link, http://www.calvinistcorner.com/verses-gods-sovereignty.htm

In His Service & For His Glory,

Pastor Michael Miao

(P.S.- This is not the full response I would like to give to Jason Watt’s article, that will be coming soon…)

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Responding to Newsweek: Mr. Kurt Eichenwald & Biblical Illiteracy

Well, Newsweek’s article, “The Bible, So Misunderstood It’s a Sin”, surely has caused a Godly zeal to defend the Scriptures within Christian circles. Thankfully the awareness and diligence of a woman in my congregation led me to read the article. I must say, I enjoyed the article. Mr. Kurt Eichenwald gave me unction to re-examine the proof that establishes the inspiration of the Bible. Mr. Eichenwald’s critiques of the Bible were easy for me to dismantle, often wondering if this was a plot to encourage people to see how easily dismantled attacks against the Bible can be dealt with by learned men.

Throughout this article I look to provide information and resources from Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries, Dr. Michael Brown host of The Line of Fire, Professor Daniel Wallace, and Professor Darrell Brock.

The name-calling that Mr. Eichenwald begins with is totally unnecessary. There is no way to “soften” the usage of “God’s frauds” and “religious rationalizers” is reference to any group of religious people. Therefore, right from the start (however can be further revealed through the article), Mr. Eichenwald offers proof that he has an agenda to attack Believer’s (or to whomever he attempted to attack in the article which is not necessarily made clear). This is contrary to his seeking to be ecumenical by saying he has not agenda and that this article was not an attack on Christianity.

However, I completely agree with Mr. Eichenwald on the prevalence of “Biblical illiteracy” that runs amok the world, sadly so within the Christian community. This is not news to the Christian community. We understand the need for various forms of reformation and revival within the Body of Christ. As well as a necessary “dividing line” to borrow a phrase from Dr. James White.

Honestly, I loved Mr. Eichenwald’s wording of a “call out” against those who claim to represent the teachings of Jesus Christ (in all the many forms) as well as every single individual on the face of the Earth. By “call out”, I mean a challenge. Heed this challenge:

“When the illiteracy of self-proclaimed Biblical literalists leads parents to banish children from their homes, when it sets neighbor against neighbor, when it engenders hate and condemnation, when it impedes science and undermines intellectual advancement, the topic has become too important for Americans to ignore, whether they are deeply devout or tepidly faithful, believers or atheists.”

I understand that Dr. James White perceived this as an attack against Evangelicals, and I agree, however I believe this point can be carried further. First off, I think of Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, and groups of the like that in different ways carry out “parents banishing children from their homes” as well as other aspects of the quote provided by Mr. Eichenwald. Also, as a Full Preterist, I can tell you my journey, as well any many other Christians who due to calling for re-examination of “end times” perspectives, have experiences “neighbor against neighbor”, being ostracized, and have seen outright the willful ignorance alive within many Christian denominations as well many who claim to be Christians themselves.

In contrast to Mr. Eichenwald’s subtle deceit about his motives, I am willing to admit outright that I have an agenda. My goal in all that I do to expound upon the truth of God, is to walk worthy of “making known the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10), “providing an example for the hope that I have” (1 Peter 3:15), and “demolishing all (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)”.

I must say Mr. Kurt Eichenwald’s immediate attack upon preachers as well as the Bible itself is so disappointing. As promised below I will provide resources to Dr. James White’s refutation of Mr. Eichenwald’s article, as well as others. Rather than attempt to re-account each thing that they provide details for, I would rather call you to be diligent and enjoy their materials yourself.

Dr. James White Youtube Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7yxEjhiiM4

Dr. Michael Brown Written Article: http://www.newsweek.com/response-newsweek-bible-299440

Professor Daniel Wallace article: http://danielbwallace.com/2014/12/28/predictable-christmas-fare-newsweeks-tirade-against-the-bible/

Professor Dariel Bock’s article is here as well, http://blogs.bible.org/bock/darrell_l._bock/responding_to_newsweeks_take_on_the_bible_part_1_on_the_base_biblical_text-_do_we_really_know_what_we_have

I thought Mr. Eichenwald’s usage of the “usual suspect” arguments for ‘Biblical discrepancies’ as well as his attack on the Deity of Christ was all rather ignorant. These issues have been dealt with time and time again, therefore proving that Mr. Eichenwald is depending upon the ignorance of his readers.

As I read through these attacks, I remember when I first came to Christ and how the environment provided great motivation for me to study and know how to defend the faith. I pray to provide that to other Believer’s not only in this blog, but through my ministry in service to God. Both at Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org) and online (through Facebook as well as The Power of Preterism Network & Bible Beacon Broadcasts (www.blogtalkradio.com/templetalk). Reading books by Lee Stobel has surely helped (The Case for Christ, especially). Brother Joe Daniels has been an amazing resource in learning about the Deity of Christ. I encourage you to read his articles, as well as the many others provided at TFC Magazine (http://tfcmag.com/Daniels_page.html).

As a student of Scripture, as well as the details surrounding Scripture and a desire to walk worthy as the manifestation of Scripture, I will be the first to admit that it is a difficult topic. I still have questions, areas I disagree with the majority, or even the minority, huge disagreements with other Believer’s about the application of certain passages, and so on. I recognize the complication, however as the ancient adage goes, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”. I say that to both sides. Be admonished, be encouraged. Do not be quick to establish “attacks”, especially before hearing out the other side.

I can understand Mr. Eichenwald’s frustrations with the confusion surround the “Creation Account” and the horror many “Biblical literalists” have done, as well as confusion on the agree ability of Genesis 1 & 2. (I would be careful throwing around the phrase “Biblical Literalists” because I have contrasting views with many who would call themselves that, however I would consider myself a “Biblical Literalist”). Understanding different genres of literature as well as those found within the Bible is vital to even beginning to try to get to the root of all the confusion. Also, some of the concepts developed by ‘scriptura continua’ are important to understand as well.

Many within Christian circles, I immediately think of the concept called “Covenant Creation”, and the book “Beyond Creation Science” by Tim Martin and Jeff Vaughn who have called for re-examination of the genre of Genesis as well as the context of ‘Biblical creation’. However, they are not alone. One can go to Youtube and watch videos from Dr. John Walton (and read his books), as well as ponder the things being brought forth by http://www.biologos.org. Be sure to visit http://www.BeyondCreationScience.com

Much of what Mr. Eichenwald brought forth has already been recognized by the Christian community, as well as critical scholarship, and can hardly be used to discredit to the Bible or those who are indeed fallible, yet willing to try and walk worthy of the truth found within the Bible.

It’ ok. I’ll be the first to admit, that being reminded of the seemingly and yet supposed “textual discrepancy between 1 Samuel 17:50 and 2 Samuel 21:19. One thing I love about the information age is that though there is a lot of “misinformation” on the internet, with the proper understanding of reliable research and a willingness to be challenged, you can find great wealth. CARM is a Christian apologetic organization that I enjoy because they do interact with “intellectuals”. Just like any other ‘human organization’, there must be some room for disagreement, however they do a great job of interacting with modern scholarship and what many see as issues with Christianity and the Bible. Here is a link to CARM dealing with this supposed contradiction, http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/joshua-esther/who-killed-goliath-david-or-elhanan

Again, Mr. Eichenburg returns to the issues with homosexuality that are expressed by certain Christians, especially pointing at those in politics. I refuse to deal with “proof texts” provided by many of my fellow friends and co-laborers in the Kingdom, therefore I will not do so here either. Simply put, an much deeper and richer examination of the culture and context of the first century Jews and other nations surrounding them is in order before we began to impose Bible verses. There is so much in our culture that is foreign to the context and cultural details of the first century, as well as the contextual meanings behind the writings in the New Testament.

Instead of going through all the misapplications of Scripture that were provided by Mr. Kurt Eichenwald, I want to urge you to never assume the rightness of position without seeking to understand both sides. It seems such a simple adage, yet we all so often, and sometimes so ignorantly, fail in this regard. I love the Reformed concept of “Semper Reformanda” meaning “always reforming”, the Church has a lot to learn in this regard.

Many simple shake their head at this sort of attack and choose not to give it any attention. Others are deeply offended and either choose to ignore this blasphemy, while others are provoked to respond. I value the difference in how we all respond, and I hope you do as well. Please be diligent to “prove all things” and allow Mr. Eichenwald’s in the very least bring attention to this point he made:

“Instead, Christians seeking greater understanding of their religion should view it as an attempt to save the Bible from the ignorance, hatred and bias that has been heaped upon it, If Christians truly want to treat the New Testament as the foundation of the religion, they have to know it.”

Please feel free to interact with me on Facebook, through email (ChristianityGoneWild@yahoo.com), and well as listen to my podcasted sermons at The Blue Point Bible Church (www.buzzsprout.com/11630), or
tune in on Tuesday Mornings at 10am eastern on Bible Beacon Broadcasts (www.blogtalkradio.com/templetalk).

Also, I have an Academia.edu account under Michael Miano,
a personal blog (www.mianogonewild.wordpress.com), and a collection of articles for TFC Magazine (http://tfcmag.com/Miano_page.html).

In His Service,

Pastor Michael Miano
Blue Point Bible Church, Blue Point N.Y.; The Power of Preterism Network

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Dwelling on & Living in an Irresistible Grace

Yesterday I ended a sermon about “irresistible grace” with the following quotes by Shane Claiborne:

Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived.”

…I believe in a God of scandalous grace. I have pledged allegiance to a King who loved evildoers so much He died for them, teaching us there is something worth dying for but nothing worth killing for”.

In citing these quotes, I was calling our congregation (Blue Point Bible Church) to “live in” the “irresistible grace” we believe in. We can read of the “Common Grace” bestowed upon all people in Matthew 5:43-45,

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be the sons of your Father who is in heaven: for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.”

If we are called to live in such a love as that in response to “common grace”, imagine what type of love we are called to live out in response to an “irresistible grace” that saves God’s own!

You can listen to that podcast by visiting the following link,

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/234018-calvinism-for-christmas-bible-series-part-5

So…this morning in prayer I was praying upon this and felt so convicted! It’s a blessing when a Godly conviction comes upon us and spurs us to respond. That is the essence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Daily I read through the Common Prayer book which I find to be a blessed Spiritual Discipline. As the New Year comes upon us, Spiritual Disciplines, or what many refer to as “New Year’s Resolutions”, should be at the forefront of our lives. Sure enough, the Common Prayer book was compiled and organized by a Spirit-led movement called “New Monasticism”. It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who once spoke about the need for a “new monasticism” within the Church. I have been blessed to both learn about and participate in the New Monasticism movement.

Last months focus for Common Prayer was “Locating our Lives to the Abandoned Places of the Empire”. A great point was made that, “Everything in our society teaches us to move away from suffering…, however Jesus compels us to mourn with and comfort them”. In response to the Biblical expression of ‘loving the stranger’, Common prayer says, “We are to laugh at fear, to lean into suffering, to open ourselves to the stranger”.

I must say…God has been working on my mind and heart quite a bit lately. In October I felt convicted upon the realities of “hell” and what that means from a truly Biblical perspective. I have mentioned many times I am working on publishing a book in mid-2015 based upon my theological and application convictions of a post-judgment perspective called “Wicked”. Then studying systematic theology through the lens of John Calvin has surely had an impact on my spiritual convictions in regards to those who are outside of Christ. As I prepared for our Christmas Eve message at B.P.B.C. I was impacted by the power of the incarnation and how that should call us to “live incarnationally” and bring light to the dark places of the world.

How often we forget to bring light into the areas we deem “Nazareth’s” of the world. Remember, they said about our Lord, “Nothing good comes from Nazareth.”

As I have been praying for some time now through Common Prayer and being impacted about these “abandoned places”, I have realized it is not necessarily about physically moving to another location, but rather taking time to be convicted to spend time in the areas, or with the people, we have somehow made ‘abandoned’.

In my New Year’s resolutions I made a point to “resolve” to spend more time with family, friends, and others whom I have not really developed “true friendships” with, yet desire to, and therefore spend time appreciating how God in working in there life, and seek to comfort or help where it is needed Surely “irresistible grace” calls us to that!

This has called me to an “intentionality” in 2015 to respond to God’s grace, and I hope as you maybe listen to the podcast, or spend time studying through the amazing story of God’s grace through Scripture, and how Jesus instructs His disciples to respond- you will be compelled with a similar intentionality.

INTENTIONALITY DEFINED, is that which is done by intention or design. Pray and allow God’s Spirit to compel to do this amazing work in your heart and mind.

Blessings in Christ you you and your loved ones in this blessed New Year!

In His Service,

Pastor Michael Miano

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Have you made some RESOLUTIONS for 2015?

I continually challenge friends and family to make “new year’s resolutions” and to write them down. I’m not sure where it was, however I do remember reading a while back that statistically speaking, those who write down and record their resolutions are more likely to to get them accomplished.

Here is a link to 2014’s resolution list, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/ensuring-completeness-in-2o14-resolutions/

Last year my motto was to “Begin with the end, to the ends of the earth”, which pointed to my debate with Pastor Bruce Bennett early in the year and our 1st annual Power of Preterism Conference at The Blue Point Bible Church. Preterism has grown so much this last year, I can’t even begin to tell you all the encouraging emails and phone calls I get about how Preterism is changing the world. Glory to God. As of this morning, the debate I had with Pastor Bennett is at 7, 149 views. Wow

If you had not had ample opportunity to watch through the debate, here is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNXL-4nl3zs

ORGANIZE

I am glad to say that the first resolution I started out with last year was to get a bit organized in regards to my paperwork and so forth, and for the most part I have accomplished that. I must admit though, this is a resolution every year. This year I want to carry that a bit futher.

1.) I am excited to begin a new focused method of study. This year I am taking the Blue Point Bible Church through the whole narrative story of Scripture- therefore all my studies will be organized to fir into the narrative. My only other area of intense study this year (outside of occasional discussions and readings) is the Catholic Catechism.

2. ) Also, I have already begin talking to B.P.B.C.about “ministry meetings” and seeking to better manage what we offer as a congregation. Obviuously this will requite organize many papers. Starting ministries and persevering, as well as developing “office hours”.

Clarity, Movement, Alignment, and Focus in all things!

GROW IN CALLING

I don’t believe this is something that will ever not be a resolution. I believe it is a necessity to constantly be growing in the grace and knowledge of God, as that pertains to Scripture, and to our walks in life. Therefore I am always seeking our information, insights, and wisdom about how to grow into my pastorate. However, I do believe I did a decent job this year. We surely learned a lot this year at The Blue Point Bible Church.

3.) Meeting with other ministers and attending conferences has done a great service to helping me both understand and walk in my calling this year. I pray to continue having that experience, as well as delving into Richard Baxter’s ‘The Reformed Pastor’ and other pastoral helps. From some insights I gained earlier in the week, it seems Charles Spurgeon might have a lot to offer in that area as well. Unfortunately, as I read through last years “resolutions”, this was the goal for 2014. Well….persevere!

4.) Also, a resolution of mine last year was to organize & continue the work of the Freaked Out Movement as well as Miano Gone Wild Radio Program. Well, we might call it a “growth spurt” but I have decided to end those ministries, and start with what I see as more matured efforts. Now, The Power of Preterism Network and Bible Beacon Broadcasts are my focus.

The Power of Preterism Network exists to help support furthering the cause of Full Preterism as a powerful reformational tool within Christianity. You can learn more as this develops by visiting www.powerofpreterism.com

Also, Bible Beacon Broadcasts has a host of Preterist speakers doing shows. I air on Tuesday mornings at 8am eastern. Visit www.blogtalkradio.com/templetalk for more info

5. ) Last year I had endeavored upon “journaling the Scriptures”, however I was not able to complete this. Maybe this will be an idea I can pick up in the future, because this year I am looking to publish a new book, “Wicked: A Biblical Narrative” by the end of 2015. ‘Wicked’, will be a book about the fate of the wicked, and what the says to our world today. I promise this will not be some “fire and brimstone stuff”, instead will challenge you in regards to how you may live out the Gospel message, and how you can play a role in changing the world for the glory of God.

Also, I did not rewrite or republish, Freaked Out by the New Covenant, and at the moment I do not see a pressing need, however might embark upon this during the year.

LIFESTYLE

This is surely an area that can always use work. Last year, I started out my resolutions with the following quote:

If through one man’s life there is little more love and kindness, a little more light and truth in the world, then he will not have lived in vain”. – Alfred Delp

I believe living by that quote in 2015 is a glorious thing as well. I like a quote I found a couple days ago by Jonathan Edwards:

Resolved: to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find , and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same”.

6.) John Piper has developed the thoughts of “Christian Hedonism”, which is something I have spoke about many times before. The warp and woof of Christian Hedonism is bringing glory to God. We were made to be “set free by truth”, living abundantly, with joy and gladness. “God is most satisfied when you are most satisfied in Him”, therefore I endeavor to live out this “Christian hedonist mindset” this year. Also, in doing so I look to continue to be creative in developing Spiritual disciplines. I think of things like taking a walk to the water to relax and pray, stick to Common prayer and continue doing it with friends and family, and so on.

7.) I absolutely love reading through biographical tales of men and women who either lived God glorifying lives, or simple achieved their goals. I was excited when I read the following quote, “Hebrews 11 is a divine mandate to read Christian biography. The unmistakable implication of the chapter is that if we hear about the faith of our forefathers (and mothers), we will “lay aside every weight, and sin, and run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).”

8.) And finally, I want to take the opportunity to read through a Gospel a week, therefore reading all four Gospels every month. Also, I will make time throughout the year to read through and utilize resources that help give me information on living in Christ.

9.) A major resolution that I wanted to create distinction on is that I want to truly take time to spend, share, and appreciate family and friends. I feel like sometimes I am “too busy” to truly enjoy the wonderful people I have around me. I resolve to spend more time fellowshipping, and less time being a busybody.

That about sums up this years resolutions. Surely it is looking to be an exciting year! Amen?

I look forward to others sharing their resolutions!

Blessings in and through the Son,

Pastor Michael Miano

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