T Nation

This Week's Homily

I was raised Catholic and fell off the wagon around the late high school early college years. I’ve recently moved and my girlfriend and I started attending what I guess would be non-denominational Christian church. The pastor is pretty good. He’s young, excited, and smart so he gives relevant and motivating homilies. I like this church because so far all of the messages can be secular as well. My girlfriend is not religious so this is important for us.

So, I thought we could have a thread that discusses the various messages from churches across the T-Nation. Hopefully this thing can take off.

This message this week was how hope and faith are interdependent on one another. God has made us a promise and that gives us hope. With that hope in our hearts we are compelled to have faith that if we follow God, he will make good on His promise.

The pastor discussed how no matter how rotten things may get in life, if you hope in God and maintain your faith, then you will be rewarded. He also talked on how hopelessness is a tool of Satan that will cause people to act savage and cruel.

More was said, but this is all I remember. Maybe I should start taking notes, anyone else do that?

Please, share your messages or discuss this one.

What is the difference, would you say, between “hope” and “faith”?

How about hopelessness and faithlessness?

Is the act of hoping different from the act of praying? In what way?

We had a pastor of a Hispanic Church, we sponsor in our Church, speak yesterday morning. This man was the head of a gang of 14,000 members. The man is tattooed from neck to feet with scars from fights. He was sent to prison at the age of 16. Even the older criminals would not get around him. They called him Demon. While in prison is when he assumed the head of the gang. He found God one night while sitting in his cell. He was convicted that he was leading 14,000 men to Hell. He did a 180 and is now a pastor. He heads up a prison ministry.

On another note there is another guy at my church that was a top guy in an Asian gang, and admitted to killing over a dozen men, and he served time in prison for murder. While in prison he too found God and has changed.

I would trust both of these guys with my life, and I would risk my life for both of them.

There is nothing God can not do…The question is will you listen?

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
What is the difference, would you say, between “hope” and “faith”?

How about hopelessness and faithlessness?

Is the act of hoping different from the act of praying? In what way?[/quote]

The pastor addressed the issue of hoping without having faith is the same as wishing, i.e. “I hope this year is better than the last.” Faith is the action one takes when they have hope. "I hope next year is good and I am willing to follow God (or do the right thing, or have integrity, or work hard) to achieve this, because I believe He will reward me.

Hopelessness was said to be a tool of the devil to pull man further from God. I would say it is the exact opposite of hope in that it makes man inactive towards a better life. Hopelessness stems from those who don’t have something powerful to put their faith towards, since nothing can offer infinite hope as God can.

I do not pray. I probably should, but I don’t get anything out of it. In fact, the main reason I like this new church is it is much shorter and the homily to me has a more relevant message to daily life. I’m hoping this thread doesn’t die as this will be a good exercise for mine and other’s spirituality.

Great thread topic. I converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism 10 years ago. Yesterday’s homily happened to sum up the main reason why I made this switch. It was essentially stating the old cliche " if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything". The priest was talking about the rise of secular individualism within the Western world and how this is a soul-destroying path to oblivion. He discussed how hollow life becomes when self-gratification replaces self-discipline. I whole-heartedly agree with this assertion.

[quote]CMdad wrote:
Great thread topic. I converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism 10 years ago. Yesterday’s homily happened to sum up the main reason why I made this switch. It was essentially stating the old cliche " if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything". The priest was talking about the rise of secular individualism within the Western world and how this is a soul-destroying path to oblivion. He discussed how hollow life becomes when self-gratification replaces self-discipline. I whole-heartedly agree with this assertion. [/quote]

All churches teach this. I live in a well to do area and our church tries to combat this way of thinking. The way you do it is by teaching to give or the “tithe.” There is a two fold teaching to giving. 1)When we have surplus money we no longer rely on God for our necessities. 2) Giving lets you know you are helping others less fortunate.

I personally only give 5% of my pay to my local church. The other 5-10% goes to other kingdom building charities.

[quote]CroatianRage wrote:
I was raised Catholic and fell off the wagon around the late high school early college years. I’ve recently moved and my girlfriend and I started attending what I guess would be non-denominational Christian church. The pastor is pretty good. He’s young, excited, and smart so he gives relevant and motivating homilies. I like this church because so far all of the messages can be secular as well. My girlfriend is not religious so this is important for us.

So, I thought we could have a thread that discusses the various messages from churches across the T-Nation. Hopefully this thing can take off.

This message this week was how hope and faith are interdependent on one another. God has made us a promise and that gives us hope. With that hope in our hearts we are compelled to have faith that if we follow God, he will make good on His promise.

The pastor discussed how no matter how rotten things may get in life, if you hope in God and maintain your faith, then you will be rewarded. He also talked on how hopelessness is a tool of Satan that will cause people to act savage and cruel.

More was said, but this is all I remember. Maybe I should start taking notes, anyone else do that?

Please, share your messages or discuss this one.[/quote]

Sounds like a good message over all, not sure ‘rewarded’ is the right word though. I think it depends on what you consider a reward. Being a sinner of varying degrees, man isn’t really entitled to reward. Keeping the faith changes us for the better, but it is a difficult journey because the whole world basically hates you and wants to tear you down and tear you away from the faith. It sounds superficial when put like that because the suffering is real and sometimes more than you can bare. But I can attest that if you keep the faith and make it through the tough times, you will receive far more than you give.

[quote]CroatianRage wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
What is the difference, would you say, between “hope” and “faith”?

How about hopelessness and faithlessness?

Is the act of hoping different from the act of praying? In what way?[/quote]

The pastor addressed the issue of hoping without having faith is the same as wishing, i.e. “I hope this year is better than the last.” Faith is the action one takes when they have hope. "I hope next year is good and I am willing to follow God (or do the right thing, or have integrity, or work hard) to achieve this, because I believe He will reward me.

Hopelessness was said to be a tool of the devil to pull man further from God. I would say it is the exact opposite of hope in that it makes man inactive towards a better life. Hopelessness stems from those who don’t have something powerful to put their faith towards, since nothing can offer infinite hope as God can.

I do not pray. I probably should, but I don’t get anything out of it. In fact, the main reason I like this new church is it is much shorter and the homily to me has a more relevant message to daily life. I’m hoping this thread doesn’t die as this will be a good exercise for mine and other’s spirituality.
[/quote]

Well, if you approach pray with the attitude that you are trying to get something out of it, you won’t. You get out of it what you put into it. It’s communication with God, a time to reflect, listen and appreciate the blessing you have with humility. The goal isn’t to get something out of it, it’s to communicate and reflect. Let God accomplish His will and the rest will be added to you.
It seems to me (not talking about you here) that people expect miracles all the time. Almost like blackmail. That if God doesn’t grant one miracles or something significant with your acts of faith than you will leave the faith and not beleive. God doesn’t do blackmail.

[quote]pat wrote:

It seems to me (not talking about you here) that people expect miracles all the time. Almost like blackmail. That if God doesn’t grant one miracles or something significant with your acts of faith than you will leave the faith and not beleive. God doesn’t do blackmail. [/quote]

Praise Him in the good, and Praise Him in the storm.