Grace Martial Arts Fellowship began in 1990, went online with a website in 1995 and began publishing newsletters to the Christian martial arts community in 1998.
Because of the quality of information found in those early newsletter articles and the fact they are no longer available online, we’ve decided to re-publish many of them in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that a new generation of Christian martial artists will be blessed by the wisdom of those who were on the path before them.
GMAF NEWSLETTER November/December 2001
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”
“Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”
The Apostle Paul
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 107:1
“Give Thanks For He is Good”
Sensei Mark McGee
God wants His people to be thankful. He deserves it and it is a wonderful experience for us. God deserves our thanks because He has given us life and health. We owe everything to Him. All good things come from God. It is a wonderful experience for us because it brings our hearts and minds closer to Him. Thankfulness is a positive attitude and results in positive thoughts and physical response.
One of the greatest insights to giving thanks is in Psalm 107. The psalmist exhorts God’s people to give thanks to the Lord because:
- He is good
- His mercy endureth for ever
- He hath redeemed them from the hand of the enemy
- He delivered them out of their distresses
- He led them forth by the right way
- His wonderful works
- He satisfied the longing soul
- He filled the hungry soul with goodness
- He made the storm calm
- His loving kindness
All that God does for us comes from His Goodness. That is where our thankfulness begins. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.” God’s Mercy, Redemption and Deliverance come from His Goodness. God is Good. For that we thank Him for ever and ever.
One of the shortest Psalms is Psalm 117. Though short (only two verses), it packs in everything we need to know and understand for thankfulness. Here is the entire Psalm.
“O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us; and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.”
The psalmist cries out to every nation on Earth to praise God. The reasons: His Merciful Kindness is great toward us and the Truth of the Lord endures forever.
What we learn from that Psalm is God is Great, God is Good. The children’s prayer states the Truth so well. God is a Great God. He is All-Powerful, All- Knowing, Every Where Present at the Same Time, and Unchangeable. God is also a Good God. He is Loving, Kind, Merciful, and Forgiving. For all of these reasons, we should “Praise the Lord.”
Other Psalms to read this month as you consider being thankful: Psalm 75, Psalm 118, Psalm 136
Our prayers are with you as you give thanks to God along with family and friends during this special season of the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful holidays and a great time to gather with family and friends. It’s also a tremendous opportunity to share Christ with others in our lives.
“The Game of Life”
Second Base: Perspectives on the Church
Pastor Robert Xavier
The Church is designed by God to provide the fellowship, biblical instruction, healing, guidance, maturity and sense of belonging believers need for continuous spiritual growth. It is intended to be a safe place where different forms of worship and service to the Lord can be expressed as a group. in this sense, it is a foretaste of heaven. It is designed to provide encouragement for the servants of the Lord to be renewed in their hope and faith.
The natural man “joins the Church” much the same as he would join a civic or fraternal organization. To him the Church is a building where God lives, where good people visit on Sunday morning and maybe even Wednesday nights. This building is to be highly respected and well-groomed at all times.
CHURCH IS NOT A BUILDING WHERE CHRISTIANS MEET. CHRISTIANS ARE THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST.
If a street bum or dirty and ill-mannered person comes into this building, the religious man thinks God has been highly insulted that they have treated “His House” with such disrespect.
The carnal Christian may see the Church as a place to go for spiritual food and fellowship. He may go simply to have his own needs met, not realizing the treasure and purpose of God for the Church. If he is attending a “Church” which is not much more than a religious gathering, he may think it is a rule that he must go there in order to stay in good standing with God, even if it is boring and he doesn’t receive the nurture he needs.
THE SPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN IS AWARE OF OTHERS AROUND HIM AND IS GROWING IN ABILITY TO MINISTER TO AND SERVE OTHERS.
The spiritual Christian realizes the Church is the Body of Christ. He is aware of others around him, and he is constantly growing in his ability to minister to and serve others. He treasures the relationship which have helped him grow strong in the Lord, and he continues in them as a vital part of his healthy lifestyle in Christ. He recognizes that “Church” is wherever two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name, and he partakes in these gatherings as the Holy Spirit leads.
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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