Why?

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Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God allow suffering and evil? These are questions central to the Christian faith, and questions that have not gone unexplored in the canon of Christian philosophy. Job, Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and others have contributed to the ongoing dialog surrounding this issue. For some, stories of personal suffering, persecution, and martyrdom provide a rallying point and reminder of the pain Christ faced at the cross and the price of our sin; others suggest suffering is a character-building endeavor. One thing is sure: suffering is an important element of the Christian faith. As the apostle Paul wrote: ” I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3 :8, NIV).

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Our Pastor’s Role as Chaplain

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Police officers are in a class by themselves. By nature of the task they perform in the line of duty, they are a breed apart. They bear a tremendous responsibility, they are arbitrators of everything imaginable, instant problem solvers and often called upon to make split second life and death decisions  An effective chaplaincy program can help to conserve this valuable resource. As a chaplain with the Knoxville Police Department my first responsibility is to the Officer, to assist them in spiritual and occupational issues. Next we minister to the victims of crime, inform families when there has been a death or accident. We are one way in which God can use to let law enforcement know that they are not forgotten.
Pastor Russ

Why Christians don’t share their faith

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1. Fear. The fear of being ridiculed, disapproved and persecuted by the world, especially those close to us and those who have authority over us like parents, spouses and bosses.
2. They don’t feel or think that they are qualified. I AM ALSO GUILTY OF THAT. I spent most of my life trying to heal my
emotions. Didn’t feel qualified to share the gospel I was so messed up who would want what I have if I am still a mess?
3. They want to keep their jobs. Just to keep their jobs, Christians have negated the Great Commission. In the workplace you fear losing your job. It is a very real possibility in this day and age. However in the church it is also a problem because of those with legalistic perspectives. You might not get it right.
4. Complacency, lack of compassion and passion, spiritual laziness Luke 8:14 and that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
5. Too many worry about “political correctness”. It’s not politically correct anymore to share your faith.
6. Influenced by worldly culture because they have believed the lie that they are “pushing” their beliefs on someone.
7. A lack of training and don’t know how to share. ! believe it’s because they weren’t informed about the true meaning and responsibility of being a disciple of The Lord Jesus Christ.
8. Not strong Christians with strong faith.
9. Few people believed what they said and believed in. Because we live in a world that is so tolerant of everything but Christianity! Just the mention of “Jesus” sends everyone to their politically correct corner.

10. ” they don’t see the example from Church leaders.

Sharing Our Faith

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We can share our faith with others in many different ways. The first
and most important way is through our lifestyles. We must live a life
that is reflective of our convictions in such a way that it attracts others.
Jesus said the 2nd greatest Commandment was to love others and
Ephesians 5:2 tells us to “Live a life filled with love, following the
example of Christ.” Paul says “I always try to please others instead of
myself, in the hope that many of them will be saved. You must follow
my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:33 f).
We become ineffective when our lives are out of sync with God’s will.
Living a healthy, holy and attractive life is always compelling. When
others notice your life they will often be curious and want to know
more about it. Peter tells us “if someone asks about your Christian
hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and
respectful way” (1 Peter 3:15-16). It doesn’t take a Bible College
degree or years of Bible study to be able to answer the questions of
others about our faith. Yet, the phrase “always be ready” means that
we’ll have to spend some time preparing. Every Christian should think
through their personal testimony of God’s faithfulness to them and how
that has given them a new perspective on life and a hope for eternity.
Not all of us have dramatic conversion stories but we all have stories of
how God has impacted our lives positively. Every believer has a story
to share and every believer must be ready to share it.
Your story should contain three parts. The first part is what your life
was like before God acted in his marvelous way to bless you. For those
who came to faith in Christ later in life, that is normally our salvation
experience. I was in the midst of a divorce and faced the prospect of
losing my family and other precious things in life. But for others it’s a
personal testing; the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a stage of
sheer disillusionment with life as a whole, or many other issues that
drive us to take a more serious look at our life and very often drives us
to our knees and opens our hearts to hear from God. We should not
spend too much time on this part of the story, but use it to set the stage
for giving God the glory for His wonderful work. The 2nd part of the
story is about what God did to resolve my life crisis issue or personal
struggle. This part takes some deep reflection because God’s ways are
usually mysterious and we need to work at understanding what and
how God worked in our hearts during that period. The last part of my
story is about how I changed after God’s work in my heart. The
difference.

Welcome Home

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New Doors to Sanctuary

New sanctuary entrance doors recently installed at St. Paul East United Methodist.

Who is coming to Homecoming on Sunday, September 14th at 10:30 am? Check out the new entrance doors to St. Paul East. The slogan of the United Methodist Church is “Open Minds, Open Hearts, and Open Doors.” However, in order to showcase the beauty of the new wood and glass details, we decided photograph the doors while closed. Doors will be wide open and welcoming everyone for the annual Homecoming service this coming Sunday, September 14, 2014. Mark your calendar and make plans to attend. The service will be followed by a covered dish meal in the basement fellowship hall. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend this wonderful service and meal.

Homecoming 2014

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Mark your calendar, and make plans to attend Homecoming
September 14, 2014
10:30 am

Guest Speaker: Tom Ballard
Special Music: Harmony Ladies Trio
Homecoming Meal: Everyone brings a covered dish and enjoys food, friends, and fellowship downstairs in the church basement following worship service.

We encourage everyone to worship at St. Paul at every Sunday. Our annual Homecoming service is an especially great time with a guest speaker and special music. If you ever visited or once attended St. Paul, please come back and see the great things God is doing.

Questions? e-mail Pastor Russ: contactus@stpauleast.org

Near the Cross

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After services on Sunday was a good time for friends and fellowship with Pat Luttrell (left) and Cathy Young (right) at the door of the sanctuary. Check out Cathy’s shirt that she got at annual conference at Lake Junaluska. It has the symbolic Methodist cross and flame. The image relates The United Methodist church to God through Christ (cross) and the Holy Spirit (flame). The flame is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were unified by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw “tongues, as of fire” (Acts 2:3).
>> more in-depth information about the Methodist cross and flame symbol

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Near the Cross

Hear the St. Paul congregation sing “Near the Cross”