Monday, June 27, 2016

Fortunes of Misfortunes

Alas, how often we show ingratitude for the gifts of misfortune! How frequently we display little appreciation for sorrow, disappointment, and failure! Wrapped in darkness, delivered with suddenness, and often greeted by disbelief, misfortunes are the fortunes that can easily be missed by the proud, careless, and ungrateful. Yet, through them we acquire wisdom, sympathy, humility, and a healthy dependence on God. The gifts of misfortune won't always be appreciated, but can be converted to meet our needs. Tomorrow’s fortunes are enveloped in today’s misfortunes. Let’s redeem this hidden wealth by developing attitudes of gratitude for life’s vicissitudes (Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18).-- 
Samuel Koranteng-Pipim. (

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Barbecue First!

THIS Sabbath's sermon is entitled "Barbecue First." Summer is here! Perfect time for some camping and barbecue. So what does it have to do with church?

In Acts 2:42-47, Paul gave us a picture of an authentic community:

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
 So how do we get to experience such community? You guessed it right! You gotta BARBECUE FIRST! Relationships just don't happen. We need to spend time to get to know people. An authentic church knows the needs of its members and meets them. KNOWING comes first. We need to get to know one another. We need to build a loving and trusting relationship for God said that the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another.

Life in Japan is fast-paced and everyone is busy--all the more reason for us to slow down and re-think our priorities. At the end of the day, God will hold us accountable with what we have done with the relationships He's given us. He will not count our possessions, or check to see what we have achieved in this life.

Our REAL Groups exists so we can fellowship, open up and get to know one another more. Let's be praying for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and for God to give us the grace to respond. The Christian life is not to be lived alone. We all need one another. Let's take time to get to know our brothers and sisters! 

This summer, lets enjoy some downtime and maybe have a barbecue party!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Rough Mountains

There are no smooth mountains. If our mountains were smooth, they would be difficult to climb. So, when God gives us mountains to climb, He leaves them rough. The bumps and rocks along the way—the obstacles and hurdles in our path—are actually stepping stones in our mountain climb. Thank God for your rough mountains—your trials and afflictions, your temptations and setbacks, your disappointments and sorrows. Without these jagged sides of life, there'll be no maturity and growth, nor mountaintop experiences. Faith climbs rough mountains. Therefore, welcome your struggles and challenges. By faith, Caleb said: “Give me the mountain” (Joshua 14:12). May we dare to say: “Give me my ROUGH mountain.”

Credit: Samuel Koranteng-Pipim (