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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.

Just Mike

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About Just Mike

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Interests

  • Interests
    Wood Working, Bible Study, Camping, Fishing, Family Activities & Involvement with Grandchildren, Church, RAM trucks amd MOPAR Vehicles.

Occupation

  • Occupation
    Retired. Pastor, Carpenter, Cabinetmaker, Aircraft Fireman,

Gender

  • Gender
    Male

State

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    Missouri

Relationship Status

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    Married

Denomination

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    Southern Baptist

Country

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    USA

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  1. Just Mike

    Objections to Christianity

    I never refer to anyone as being on the "dark side" so please don't feel that way. You are a guest and I appreciate you all being here. I was raised in a Christian home, and I accepted Christ at the age of 11 on January 7th 1957. I underwent a re-evaluation of my faith while spending 9 months in a Naval Hospital in 1968. I struggled in every area possible. I needed that experience to make my beliefs really mine and not what I was taught from childhood. That nine months was a grueling time and I suffered greatly. I had to engage God as to why this was happening to me and where was God in all this. I truly questioned every inch of my faith, and wrestled with this true or not. I guess you know how that turned out right? From that point on my faith in Jesus Christ grew solid. The Bible proved to me to be the very word of God. I experienced physical damage that has lasted from that time until present day. When I was released from the hospital I was told I could never be a father and would not likely live past 40. That has proven quite wrong my wife and I have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren and two great ones. That's pretty good in my book, and I am now 73. At 37 with four young children and my bride we both felt God was leading us to go to college. Now for me that was a real challenge as I had only read two books all the way through in my life. But we believed God was directing us in that direction, so we moved about 500 miles and enrolled in a four year college. I completed college in 30 months, I could hardly believe it! Form there I believed I was being led to go to seminary and we moved 1,285 miles to so. I majored in Pastoral Care and Missions. I felt this would help me with peoples needs that anything more. My wife also graduated with her M. Div. and together we have complemented each other in reaching out to people I was pastor of four churches, one Southern Baptist and two American Baptist, and one Conservative Baptist Church. During my ministry I had a man confess to me he murdered and man. Now that did not happen right off the bat, it took lots of time to build his trust in me for him to tell me this. To make a very, very long story short I was able to find out the mak he thought he'd killed was very much alive and no charges were pending, This was the most dramatic thing that happened to me in ministry. I determined that small churches deserved a well educated pastor the same as large churches require. With my Navy Disability from the VA I was able to pastor small churches. I have been with people in their death, visited people in hospitals, in their homes, and on call 24/7. I traveled several hundred miles to do a dear friends funeral who was a member of our church. I went three hundred miles to be with a man who underwent surgery on his heart. I can honestly say I believe I was there when people needed a praying pastor and friend. When my Naval service disability became so difficult to continue being a pastor, I had to retire. However at present, I have been as active in our church as I can be. In 2004 I had both lungs impacted with clots that I was sent home from the hospital to plan my funeral, which my wife and I did. Forty days later the clots were completely gone. In recent years I have experienced acute kidney failure, and the return of cancer. I ask only that those who pray for me ask that I am in the center of His will for my life. I have deliberately avoided using Scripture as I am guessing that you have been barraged with all that. I can only testify as to what I have experienced and know. I have experienced God in direct ways in my life, in serious provable ways not the garbage you see on TV. I have been directed in my life by God. I have experienced answered prayer, comfort in sickness, I know Gods love in Jesus Christ for me. I can only tell you what I know and have personally experienced first hand. If I were to tell your more it would take many day to do so. I sincerely hope this has answered your questions. Any more?
  2. Just Mike

    Objections to Christianity

    Sharing with one another is part of the life we all live. Is there any question you have for me?
  3. Just Mike

    Objections to Christianity

    TABA thanks for giving me the heads up. I am glad you have joined us for dialog. Its important for both sides to understand each other. I personally am always interested in how one comes to their choice in these matters. By the way welcome to CF.
  4. Just Mike

    Objections to Christianity

    Willian so I don't misunderstand is Ex Christian Bart Ehrman? Or do I have this wrong? If he is EX I don't recall him before? Thanks for helping me understand.
  5. William my wife worked in a Baptist retirement home in Phoenix and she encountered a lady who was a missionary in Africa all her life, until she developed Alzheimer's. Toward the end of her life she cursed Afro- Americans and she lacked love, I am not sure if she expressed love for God or not. But dementia can bring out the worst in a person I doubt they know what they are saying a good part of the time. Alzheimer's is a terrible thing that happens to some of the most godly people I have known, their suffering is very difficult to watch, there id so little that can be done.
  6. The sign brought attention, but not the type that would make me want to go there. A negative message on a sing turns people away, even when it's true. With so much wonderful things about Jesus Christ and Gods love why waste the message board with bringing attention the Bruce Jenner? The message was negative and IMO it should not have beenput on the board. The end results was the pastor gets a chance at a new church, the church has to now change its image.
  7. Just Mike

    Objections to Christianity

    ExChristian, Thanks for sharing with me you well thought out thinking about Christianity. As I read you post you brought up a number of different reasons for rejection God Almighty, Jesus Christ as well the Holy Spirit. I doubt I can say much to that would change your thinking, and in all honesty I am not sure what you want from a Christian site. have heard a good part of what your saying in my years as a pastor and I have learned a great deal from people who have said things much like you. I too wish it were possible to sit down and have a root beer, I have learned a lot form people who have expressed real anger at God for the death of a child or some terrible event that they felt took away their faith. I try and listen carefully as painful memories come to the surface from people who honestly believe they have not only given up on the idea of Good but are so angry they hate Him for what has taken place in the life. I can never say I knew how they felt, but I was more than willing to listen and grasp something of how they felt. At times I wonder how people endure the horrific things they had suffered. What brought you to the point where you became said I quit and could no longer believe in a God? Let me frank, I can't convince that there is a God, nor argue with you about Him. You express your self quite well and have presented your feelings about God in a way that demonstrate to me that there s more to why you've totally rejected anything about God. Are you willing to share that? I promise to respect your choice and just read without prodding any further. I thank you for sharing your thinking, perhaps not many here on CF have encountered a person who feels as you you do and it takes a special person like you to dp so. I hope to hear from you.
  8. Just Mike

    Objections to Christianity

    ExChristian I appreciate your posts and you bring some thought provoking things for us to understand, so thank you and welcome to CF. If I may give you how I see some things. I spent 9 months in a Naval hospital in my early twenties. I have become an expert in experiencing pain and sever health issues from that point on, and I an 73 now. Here is how I understand Jesus Christ and my life. Jesus did not die and rise again primarily to heal my body. Jesus came to save me from my sins and by becoming a Follower of Jesus Christ when I die my sins have been washed in His blood and when I die I will be with Him in heaven. Pretty child like thinking I know, but that is how Jesus said we are to come to Him, in child like dependence on His promise of eternal life. To be very honest the very idea of hell is a terrifying thought, and in John 3:16 Jesus has made it so easy understood that even a child can understand His offer of salvation. That said to many this is foolishness and they simply refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. Here is one other way I see things, even if my body was free of cancer and all the many other problems I suffer by a "healing" its only temporary, and I am going to die be with me being healed or like I am now. Jesus reason that He came was to save sinners, and if we reject Jesus or become a Follower (saved if you prefer) we will come face to face with God almighty and on the basis of rejecting or becoming His follower that will determine where I will spend eternity. I think you have heard this before so what I have said is likely nothing new. I am thinking because the way to started this thread you most likely have lost a limb. Jesus never promised to make your limb grow back, but He did say He has paid the price for our sins, if we become His Follower, Jesus does not force us to believe in Him, its our choice. I hope you give this some serious thought, May you reconsider your thinking.
  9. Bruce Jenner is a castrated man, who is involved in homosexuality. No matter what he wares he is still a man.
  10. A few things hit me as I read this one it happened in CA, there is no surprise here. CA is getting harder for Christians to state openly what is a sin, and this pastor was open and factual that what he said is truth according toe the Bible. What was deeply sad was the church did not stand with their pastor. This church does not deserve that pastor.
  11. Its tragic for any church when court actions are brought by Christians against Christians. Paul wrote that is better to let things go rather than allow the world to judge Christians. Its shameful to read such stories, it grieves me to read this. The article makes me think the pastor was at fault. Big church have huge problems and this gives a bad testimony to the city it serves in, very sad.
  12. Just Mike

    President Trump wall

    We need both,and funding for the wall comes first and above the Senators and Representatives pay. These are the ones who should not being paid. Chuckey and Nancy are wicked, they would rather see this go on and on rather that do what is right for the protection of our country.
  13. Just Mike

    Hi all.

    Vert sad, but I pray for to Christ return soon.
  14. Just Mike

    Hi all.

    Welcome to CF, Netherlands sounds much like the US now.
  15. My dad had dementia at 55 and by 83 he died of acute Alzheimer's. He was always an angry person but he dies an angry men man. Sadly I have very few pleasant memories od him. However he provided well for his family, tithed and went to Sunday services, but used the name of God as a swear word all his life. I wonder if he even knew the Lord as I can't imagine who he could curse the Lord as he did.
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