Sunday Devotional: Making fishers of men in a time of declining church attendance

Mark 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

There are so many things left unsaid and unexplained in the Gospel accounts of Christ: Why are there no descriptions of what our Lord looked like? Why are the accounts of His childhood so sparse? The child Jesus’ life must have been fraught with danger, for surely King Herod did not stop trying to kill the remarkable infant who had inspired the three Magis to journey from afar with precious gifts for the baby born in a humble manger. And why was Jesus’ public ministry so brief, lasting but three years?

Knowing His time would be brief, Jesus began His public ministry by gathering a small group of followers — the Apostles — whom He deputized to be “fishers of men” who would continue His ministry and spread His word far and wide.

Though most of us are not priests, ministers and preachers, as believers we each had heeded His call and, as followers of Christ, are asked to spread the good word (which is what “gospel” means).

Our task is all the more urgent because the Light of Christ is dimming in America, one of the more religious countries in the world.

In a report for Breitbart, Jan. 3, 2018, Dr. Thomas D. Williams alerts us to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, which found that:

  • The United States has experienced an alarming dip in Christian religiosity over the last decade, whereas Islam, Hinduism, and “other religions” show no decline.
  • Mainline Christianity and Catholicism have fallen 3.4% and 3.1%, respectively.

While there are Christians who reject and dismiss organized Christianity, arguing that faith alone is suffice, without need of attending and belonging to a church, the plain fact is that we have decades of data that regular church attendance confers beneficial effects on both individuals and society. As John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, put it, the advantages of regular religious practice are so well documented that people would be foolish not to consider them.

Personal and societal benefits of regular church attendance include:

(1) A longer and healthier life: Religious people live longer than the non-religious by 2 to 3 years. One reason is that religion encourages a healthier lifestyle: Compared to non-churchgoers, regular churchgoers tend to drink, smoke and use recreational drugs less, and are also less likely to be sexually promiscuous.

(2) Psychological well being: Regular church attendance strengthens social ties and create communities where people take care of one another. A study of 15,738 Americans between the ages of 18 and 60 by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, found that:

  • People who attend religious services on a weekly basis are happier: They are nearly twice as likely (45%) to describe themselves as “very happy”  than people who never attend (28%).
  • Conversely, those who never worship are twice as likely to say they are “very unhappy” (4%) as those who attend services weekly (2%).
  • Higher levels of church attendance predict greater life satisfaction.
  • Not just church attendance, but self-reported “religiosity” and religious “affiliation” are also linked with happiness levels.

(3) Children who are high-achieving, social, and well adjusted. According to sociologist Robert Putnam in his book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis:

  • A child whose parents attend church regularly is 40% to 50% more likely to go on to college than a matched child of non-attenders.
  • Children involved in a religious organization take tougher courses, get higher grades and test scores, and are less likely to drop out of high school — which means they also have better employment prospects.
  • Religious youth have better relations with their parents and other adults, more friendships with high-performing peers, and are more involved in sports and other extracurricular activities.

(4) It goes without saying that America as a society reaps benefits from healthy, happy, high-achieving and social individuals. A recent study by Brian and Melissa Grim of Georgetown University and the Newseum Institute, even placed a dollar value on the benefits of regular church attendance. The study concluded that the “value of the services provided by religious organizations and the impact religion has on a number of important American businesses” totals $1.2 trillion.

One troubling aspect of regular church attendance is an increasing class gap or division:

  • Contrary to a commonly held belief that irreligiosity tends to rise with education and income, regular church attendance among college-educated families has remained more or less the same since the late 1970s, but has fallen by almost a third among families with a high school diploma or less. According to Putnam, this disparity has created “a substantial class gap” that did not exist 50 years ago.
  • Statistics from the Pew Center’s comprehensive 2015 report on religion in America confirmed that most religious “nones” tend to be:
    • Less educated: only a small portion have a college degree; 45% have a high school diploma or less.
    • Poorer: earn less than $30,000 a year,
    • White males.

And so, with Matthew 4:19’s injunction of making fishers of men in mind, how do we spread the good word in our time of declining faith and church attendance, in a culture of increasing hostility and enmity toward Christianity and Christians?

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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29 responses to “Sunday Devotional: Making fishers of men in a time of declining church attendance

  1. Thank you. My church is a rented hall. The pastor and his wife are bikers who don’t get paid (they each also have full time jobs). The congregation is very mixed. Several are homeless, others are business people, military veterans and about half are bikers. Many are families with children. The pastor’s wife teaches “Sunday School” in a small office at back of the Hall. About a dozen of us cook a variety of dishes that make up Sunday lunch, desert and tea/coffee. We serve buffet-style after the service. Non-denominational, all are welcome to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s a great place.
    Many main street churches might need to do more to connect with the communities they serve.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Sunday Devotional.

    kommonsentsjane

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank You Dr. Eowyn, in spite of moral decline, the devotionals reinforce our faith and beliefs; no matter where I am, HE is The Church within my heart, I worship one God forever and ever, Amén.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Church attendance still off? I can’t believe it. It’s not possible now that traditional liturgical music has been anathematized in most parishes in favor of New Age/Gnostic, navel-gazing hits, such as Here I Am Lord or On Eagles Wings, mirroring the anathematization of dogma itself. Next thing you know the elderly EM’s will be dancing around as bacchates with tambourines and nobody will think it’s out of place.

    Quick quiz: which of the following composers wrote On Eagles Wings—was it Palestrina, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Verdi—or was it none of the above and rather a New Age fruitcake trying to insinuate Gnosticism into the Church under the guise of a virtue-signaling new sort of Mercy that sounds more like the platform of the DNC than that gospels? Hint: this perversion of mercy and “singing a new church into being” as they like to sing, also poses as “discernment,” which in practice equates to “my truth” and straightforward relativism.

    Apparently the younger generation has been seeking out traditional liturgical music under the mistaken belief that sacred truths and rites are more properly accompanied by chant and polyphony than by New Age Kumbaya tunes accompanied by guitar and piano. If anyone can set them straight, however, it’ll be PF himself.

    Like

    • Dan . . . . I found I had to “weight in” on this. I live on the other end of the block from a church that used to be Baptist, but then they disbanded, and now it is called “The Red Sea.” Often when I see members of the congregation arrive to attend church, they are wearing jeans with holes in them, very grungy shirts. Now if these are the “very best clothing” you own, then it is better that you go and worship dressed in that manner, but if you are saving your “best attire” for an important occasion . . . this nearly causes my head to twirl around. If coming to that edifice where we commune with our God, and give thanks for the Atonement which was made for us by Jesus Christ, the Savior is not an “important occasion” . . . then I don’t know what is.

      Years ago, we would hear rather regular hymns being sung, and it was rather pleasant . Then perhaps 10-15 years ago, they started using drums, and other seemingly noxious instruments (I don’t know, perhaps they feel The Lord cannot hear them sing a regular hymn . . . so they need VERY LOUD music to get his attention in order to worship Him.) On an average Sunday around here it reminds me of walking by a tavern that has a very loud live band.

      I guess, I am just not a fan of these “new age” changes. It seems as though it takes away from the quiet spirituality of the of the religious setting. I am very glad that there are among young people, those who are seeking to find the old ways of worshiping.

      Dr Eowyn . . . . this is truly an excellent article! It is wonderful to actually see enumerated the various ways that church attendance helps us . . . physically, emotionally, financially. There is little wonder that fully participating in actually going to worship Our God, gives us blessings in abundance as a consequence.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks for your kind reply, Auntie Lulu. Maybe people don’t do anything about the dreadful music because they’re gracious and not because they don’t notice or care. This allows the New Age-ers to displace traditional hymns with that mawkish stuff that’s shrill enough to shatter glass, and replace the sacred with self-absorption.

        I can almost as easily get to a Latin Mass as the Novus Ordo Mass I usually go to right down the street, but I’m too lazy. The Latin one has a missal for everyone with a running English translation for every word spoken in Latin, explanatory photos and drawings of every single movement—and this used to hold true for any country or its language and was one of the benefits of sticking with Latin. At a traditional High Mass there’s incense, only traditional songs are used, and it’s all intended not to be some sort of Catholic hocus pocus, but as fitting solemnity for when people come together to worship God. At the Latin Mass everyone is dressed in Sunday best while at the new Mass it’s pretty much the opposite because it’s all about me. Look forward to seeing your comments as always.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Dan . . . . I am so very glad to know that there are still religious services among Catholics where they dress in their best, and truly commune with God. I guess as an old fuddy-duddy, I just cannot get with the idea of practically practicing “drive-thru religious services.” I find that it is delightful to my senses when people observe services which are intended to be “be fitting solemnity for when people come together to worship God.” When religions, any religion, starts down-playing the solemnity aspect of worshipping God, and start pandering to the crowds like a rock bands . . . it is little wonder that people abandon their desire to attend church services–after all then it becomes only another form of entertainment, rather than a serious attempt to express gratitude to and for Our Savior who performed Atonement for each and every one of us.

          I very much enjoyed your addition to this discussion. I find that you are right on the money! Thank you.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. An old joke went, “Why are there no Jonestown jokes? Because the punch line is too long.” Most regrettably, this has been the plight of the Catholic Church ever since Illuminati Freemasonry successfully infiltrated the Church publicly and by stealth, with the election of Roncalli as John XXIII in 1958.
    I grew up with the changes of the Second Vatican Council. We were sold a bill of goods that proclaimed that the Church was going to “align itself with Modern Times” and “gain converts” and “be friends with the world, believer and non-believer alike.” Instead, the EXACT OPPOSITE occurred: Within six years of Paul VI’s Papacy, priests and nuns fled their religious orders by the TENS OF THOUSANDS, as did the Faithful, by the TENS OF MILLIONS, as they fled the pews.
    “By their fruits Ye shall know them.” Repentant communist and convert Bella Dodd, author of “School of Darkness” recalled her duty as a communist agent to recruit communists for the priesthood (as Stalin in the Soviet Union had likewise ordered). These communists became priests and infiltrated the Church’s bureaucratic apparatus in the United States, as they had done in the Vatican with John XXIII’s ascension to power.

    The Fight was ON.

    I have to be very careful here and admit that, regardless of what has happened to the Church since 1958 still constitutes NO EXCUSE for me or any other believer to neglect one’s Faith and the practice of it. This is what is happening: Just as Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, the Church—the Mystical Body and Bride of Christ—has been betrayed. Where were all the other Apostles? They all fled. The exact same thing has been happening for over 50 years now. Like John, the Apostle whom Christ loved, we must stop ourselves abruptly and return and throw ourselves at the Foot of the Cross.
    And as a man, I must tell everyone out there that we men need MANLY religion. We do not need the religion of “girly men”: The fact that the priesthood itself seems to have become a profession of gay men is utterly appalling and GROTESQUE. Yet this is what has happened, and we have to practice our Faith in the face of the appalling, despite the grotesquery of it.

    And this is the other fact that bothers me immensely: The enemies of the Church are in the Church. The Faithful and the enemies occupy the same physical and juridical SPACE of the actual Church buildings themselves. When that Dreadful Hour comes, the Faithful will be expelled from those spaces, from those actual Church buildings, and the Church Herself will be reduced to a Remnant, and forced to live and conduct its Masses UNDERGROUND, in both the guerilla and physical sense of the word.
    So it bothers me immensely that, of the Faithful remaining, that they refuse to study the History that has happened since 1958. It is painful to talk to the Faithful, who know nothing of what has happened, crow about how good John Paul II was, or how intelligent Benedict XVI is/was, or how democratic or inclusive Bergoglio is. The Faithful, it seems to me, HAVE NO IDEA of what is about to happen, in historical terms, that “Pope” Francis—whom I believe is an anti-Pope and the False Prophet of Revelation—is the Illuminati Agent who is about to deal the Death Blow to Holy Mother Church in every angle he can, much like a matador in a bullfight: He has delivered the ecumenical blow, the liturgical blow, the bureaucrat apparatchik blow. He is so awful that even some of the cardinals and bishops have begun to wonder what is going on.
    Will the Faithful be red-pilled? Will they wake up and FACE SQUARELY what is happening? Or will we surrender our Faith and our intelligence in the Jonestown that Bergoglio is bringing on?

    Again, plainly: It is bad enough to go to a Clown Mass and watch a gay priest celebrate what seems to me to be an invalid and illicit service. So I won’t attend a Clown Mass. I want REAL MASS. So it remains painful to go to a real Mass and watch a gay man (or someone who appears to be a gay man) celebrate one. It is appalling to me to have to confess my sins to what appears to be a gay man.
    Do you want to know WHY the pews are empty and WHY churches themselves have been abandoned, sold and torn down? I have described the reasons. Bergoglio HAS NOT addressed this issue, and he has all but stated he WILL NOT. Instead, he has uttered, “Who am I to judge?” and has issued a horrible document, “Amoris Latitiae.” But it seems to me the Faithful are RESOLUTE in their steadfast refusal to LOOK at the record of this so-called “Pope,” this postmodern Iscariot.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Steven . . . . That was absolutely mind-blowing, particularly for those of us who are non-Catholic. We come from a background of knowing nothing about the governmental intrigue of the Church in Rome. I do remember back in the mid 1950’s, we had as neighbors a very large family who were Catholic. All the children attended Catholic school, even though this family was not wealthy. Then fast-forward a number of years, and things had changed. Those of us on the outside knew things had changed, but we knew not why . . . for instance all of a sudden you never saw nuns wearing habits on the streets—in fact it appeared that there were no more nuns; public schools and restaurants used to serve “fish on Fridays,” but that was no longer observed. I personally just do not believe that when you bend the rules, or do away with them in order to entice others to gravitate to join your group . . . I just don’t think that works. Somehow people perceive that evidently the original guidelines were just not that important, and now the guidelines have been changed to suit the fancy of mere men. Any religion that does not have the ability to ask their members to sacrifice (to some degree or other) does not have the ability to hold them, and thus promote them towards a path which will help them return to the presence of their God who resides in mansions on high.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Dear, dear Steven; I feel we are bonded in our mutual fiinancial poverty and spiritual wealth, so I’ll make the effort to give a reply to you as good as your statement. But bear w/me, as my chronic back, leg, & knee pains have spiked w/o warning 30 minutes ago, and loss of most of my R eye’s vision makes my 2 finger typing very arduous now.

      Some 10 yrs ago I came across online the entire book, ‘The Broken Cross’, by former Father Piers Compton, and after reading just a small part of it I downloaded and printed it out entirely. I say ‘former’ because shortly after his book came out in England, his home country, he was defrocked by the RC Church there for its several messages. The book is very rare now, as at the same time some one or group bought every available copy, and the Church interceded w/the publisher to cease printing it. I’m sure a LOT of money changed hands on that deal, when Judas Ischariot came home to the 20th century! Amazon has 8 paperback copies for sale, 2 are ‘new’ collector’s copies: [https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Cross-Piers-Compton/dp/0859780651], 6 Used from $239.95 2 New from $746.95

      I’m only going to give a few details, as w/NSA & other police state agencies spying 24/7 on everyone domestically, I do NOT want Eo or this blog put in the same jeopardy as Father Compton suffered. In his superbly researched and citation-loaded exposé, Fr Compton revealed the secret intrusion into the Vatican & all Church politics by TPTB and/or the Iluminati. The book was first published in 1983, so it was way ahead of its time. His suspicions started long before, but it was the installation of Pope John Paul that was the final straw for him, as he felt this was clearly the work of an immense dark force[s]. In retrospect, what he wrote confirms that the current Pope is yet one more secret agent of the power[s] behind the Papal throne.

      The reason I bring this to readers’ notice is that, as you wrote above, “The enemies of the Church are in the Church.” To which I think Piers Compton would agree that ‘They sure as Hell are!’ I make this sardonic jest because that is exactly what now lays before all believers and adherents to the RC Church. I know & believe the most crucial Church’s teachings are both true and useful; BUT if it has been betrayed –as we have every reason to believe it has– we are left with the gates of Hell opened for us. Truly, ‘Abandon Hope, all who enter here!’ Dante Alighieri

      Liked by 2 people

      • You may find reading about Malachi Martin’s “novels” about what happened in the Vatican interesting. I was reading a separate book by Steven LaChance called “Confrontation With Evil”. It’s a very riveting book especially if you have ever dealt with a “haunted house”. Anyway, he makes reference to what happened to Fr. Martin. Martin revealed certain ‘secrets’ about ceremonies that happened in the Vatican in the early 1960’s. He claimed that the devil is actually IN the Vatican and is being protected there as well. From what Fr. Martin said, Pope John Paul II knew of this and was powerless to do anything about it. The novel “Windswept House” was supposedly written for the Pope, as a way to let him know that others knew what was going on. Pope John Paul did say something about the smoke of satan entered the Vatican. Very interesting article here, actually: http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/pope-electors-told-of-smoke-of-satan-in-vatican/

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joseph,
        my response to you is based upon your comment of regular pain.
        have you tried red-light therapy for your pain?

        infrared (IR) light is part of the spectrum of light you receive when you go outside into sunlight, but light therapy condenses the red light wavelength so that you receive more of the specific, beneficial wavelengths for health and pain.
        I use infrared light every day to help my thyroid and mitochondria and to aid with natural liver detoxification process (point the light over the liver) and to help prevent soreness after exercising and, it’s good for your eyes. It’s also VERY relaxing…you lay there and the warmth hits your body and the warm glow from the red light..forces you to relax. It’s like sunbathing.
        I even use it on my family.
        It’s great during the winter when there is less sunlight (SAD…Seasonal Affective Disorder). You can also make it into a sauna for detoxification if you have enough light bulbs in a closed environment (like a bathroom) that holds heat so you can sweat while using it (I think my ipad floorstand can probably hold 3 clamp lamps…when the budget permits, I am going to get a couple more).
        Just take the light and point it to the area of your body that you want to focus on (keep the light bulb no more than 24 inches from your body so the IR light is close enough to penetrate through your skin).
        I use a therapeutic infrared light bulb with a clamp lamp and bought an ipad gooseneck floorstand that the lamp can clamp onto (or you can use the back of a chair to clamp the lamp onto)…they actually sell heat lamp stands but they run around $200 and up. I paid $35 for my ipad floorstand and it works great with the IR light clamp lamp.

        Also, remember to drink plenty of fresh, clean spring water, glacier water, or filtered water (no chlorine or fluoride…I assume drinking water in Canada is probably less industry-contaminated than drinking water from the usa)…lack of proper hydration and good water are part of the reasons we have so many health problems today.
        1/2 oz for every pound you weigh….so, if you weighed 150lb, you should drink 75oz (or ~9 glasses of water) per day.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Since you brought up amazon, here is a link where you can buy the therapeutic IR light bulbs and there are many different clamp lamps listed on the page with the light bulb for you to choose:
          https://smile.amazon.com/TheraBulb-NIR-Near-Infrared-Small/dp/B01HHT6ZSM/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1516652584&sr=8-8&keywords=rubylux+red+light

          Liked by 2 people

        • Dear MomOfIV: It’s significant that you mention the near-read & infra-red light waves, as my daughter went way out on a credit card limb to buy me an Omnium1 from BioSwiss, the leading maker of Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Forces therapy devices. The spectrum you describe is part of what Swiss-German technology assembled in this most beneficial SAFE machine. It cost her Canada$ 4400, but in the US it is only US$ 3200, I believe. I first used it at the Wellness Center in Langford, BC where the couple who are part of that facility have a room for demonstrations and lectures.

          After I lost 95% of my R eye’s vision –due to a strange charcoal-grey cloud in the center of that eye’s field of vision– Dr John Aitken [head of the Eye Clinic at Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, BC] and Dr Olivia Dam, our newest opthamologist [in private practise] also in Victoria, both certified that after 2.5 yrs of very intensive study, my eye was non-reparable and I could only hope I didn’t lose what little sight remained. I was grievous from fear of failing my driver exam due on Feb. 17th, 2018, my birthday, as that would mean an immense curtailment of my life.

          After one free session at the Wellness Center, I immediately noticed that the cloud was no longer as opaque as before, but was mottled. Lela got an Omnium1 for herself and I used it several times during visits to & with her; each time the density decreased, and soon the remaining ring of vision had increasd to about 50% of before. Mine is on a fold-out bed in our LR in the very modest 1937 house I share w/2 medically-pensioned other males. The grey area is much lessened and, while my R eye is far from the near perfect 20/40 it had been, there truly is light at the end of my eye’s once very dark tunnel.

          Having said that, there have been two/2 prayer groups praying for my recovery, one by a very devout RC who lives in NY state, and the friends I have here at the FotM, for whom I now publically give THANKS for keeping me in your prayers. As I’m grounded in the biological sciences, I herein attest that faith & prayers do work, and are always more efficacious [http://www.dictionary.com/browse/efficacious] than we know!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Joseph,
            I’m so sorry to hear about your eye, but, I am glad your daughter is helping you. I’ve read wonderful stories about PEMF, and it’s awesome to hear that it is helping you.
            God’s blessings upon you and you are in my prayers.

            Liked by 1 person

      • I have heard of the book, Joe, and I regret I’ve never had the time to read it. But I will keep my eye open for any PDF on the internet. But I have read the Alta Vendita, in which Masonry publicly announced, in the early 1800’s, their intentions to infiltrate the Church and subvert it from within.
        I have also gotten the equivalent of a Masters Degree from reading Dr. Henry Makow.
        Thanks again.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joseph . . . . that was an enlightening post! Thank you. I am going to try to get ahold of a copy of this book from the Multnomah County Library via their inter-library loan system. You can always tell when something turns out to be a “smoking gun” and the power’s that be want it buried six feet deep.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn for this very insightful devotional.
    I’ve read that many people have turned away from the church for various reasons…one question I ask: has the church turned away from people?
    I remember watching an episode of ‘Davey and Goliath’ where the pastor was talking about ‘loving thy neighbor’ and how the pastors statement made Davey question his own actions towards a friend and it made me think about how pastors used to have such a moral authority, such a position of respect in society just a few decades ago (coincides with the decades of decline).
    As society has “progressed” towards political correctness, many (not all) churches have followed suit.
    I think a lot of people are turning to the internet for church.
    I’ve noticed a lot of Christians holding sermons online trying to reach people.
    I wonder how the numbers of online church attendance compare to the numbers of brick and mortar church attendance?
    Non-believers have found faith and trust in Jesus through the internet and some believers have found a connection to church services or devotionals or classes or worship through the internet…
    I say, if every man, woman, and child can hold their faith and trust for the Lord, then they become a stone in the ‘building’ of the Church.
    And, I believe, the Church is not a building at all, but a construct of faith and trust with Jesus (God) as the cornerstone.
    There are people who are unable to go to a brick and mortar church for various reasons. There are also people who meet in secret to have a church service.
    I believe in the same benefits you listed above regarding church…I also believe that where ever man exists who has faith and trust in the Lord, he is a stone in the building of the Church….and there are many stones.
    “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20.

    Liked by 3 people

    • “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20.

      MomOfIV, as I was reading your comment, Matthew 18:20 came to my mind. Then I saw that you ended your comment with the exact quote! Blessings!

      Liked by 3 people

    • MomOfIV . . . . Thank you for that most eloquent addition to this Sunday Devotional. I think you have hit on many very valid points. Although not everyone can leave their respective homes and travel to a “building to worship,” it is important that their home to a place of meaningful worship and a safe place from the worries, strife, and evil of the outside world.

      There is a special blessing to be had when we reach out to those who cannot travel to an actual building to worship. I find that for me, my FOTM family, in addition to attending church, gives me an extra opportunity to grow spiritually. I am so grateful for the tireless acts of Dr Eowyn in continuing to work on behalf of the spiritual growth and wellbeing of each and every one of us.

      The scripture you quoted: Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” I absolutely feel this applies to all of us at FOTM. There are many, many times that I go away feeling uplifted, and spiritually fed by reading what other’s have contributed to this sight.

      God Bless Each and Every One Of You!

      Liked by 5 people

  7. Don’t forget this too, that the Christian churches contribute financially to the stability of neighborhoods. After service is over, people go out to eat, they buy things in the local area. Also they help support via charity, clothing giveaways, soup kitchens, things like that.
    If you read about the Protocols of Zion, it shows that they (the zionist freemasons) were planning on destroying the Christian churches (as well as every other institution) in the predominantly Christian nations over 100 years ago. They have been trying urgently to bring about the Antichrist. They worship the devil, they do not worship God. Everything that they had talked about either happened (like the horrifying things in Russia and China) or are happening right now.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I thank God for the woman who obeyed Him and persuaded me to go to a humble home prayer meeting 45 years ago.

    Liked by 3 people

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