Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

April 3, 2008

Boost your religious understanding

I'm looking, actually searching, for another word for synonym. A word that is similar, yet not necessarily interchangeable. Alike, but it doesn't have to be equivalent or identical.

It is a difficult process for someone like me who paid little attention in English classes throughout my education experience. In fact, I wouldn't mind if our language was limited to only words to which I understand the meaning. Unfortunately for me, English is much more specific in its use of words.

For example:

In synonym world, people don't just carefully run across the busy street at the right time. But they may briskly traverse the bustling thoroughfare at the most opportune moment.

Likewise, in this place of verbosity and pleonasm, the struggle to find just the right word is more like a lifetime endeavor to ascertain the precise descriptor required.

It makes me glad the gospel is simple. It is good news. We have good news and that good news is that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, he was buried and rose again to new life victorious over death and sin.

The great news is that God offers that same life to anyone who places their faith in Christ. It's a pretty simple message that sometimes gets lost in theological debate and religious terminology, but it is a message that can change the course of your life for the better.

No matter who you are, no matter where you've been, no matter what you've done, be assured that God loves you and stands ready to forgive and extend His grace to you.

You can discover this simple truth at a Bible believing church this Sunday.

In other words, make it a point to attend a genuine and virtuous gathering of believers this weekend and magnify your depth of understanding of how this omniscient God wants to love you and ameliorate your life!

David Sandvick is pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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