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10 Rosensteinstraße
Böblingen, BW, 71032

We are an Assemblies of God church serving English speaking community in Stuttgart, Germany.

Pastor's Blog

 

 

Think & Thank

Matthew Leighty

It has often been pointed out that thinking precedes thanking. When we are presented with a gift, it is because we think of its significance and meaning that we are led to express our appreciation.

What, then, are the thoughts that, entertained by the Christian, lead to thanksgiving?

Somewhere in our thinking there should be thoughts of God. Perhaps we should start there. God—what a train of thoughts should be started when we think of Him! Power, wisdom, goodness, grace, love, care: these are just some of the thoughts that cluster around the word God.

When Paul traces the downward path of mankind, he begins by saying that men, “when they knew God, … glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful” (Romans 1:21). Men were not thankful that they had a revelation of God; indeed, they sought to suppress that knowledge and to evade its power.

In addition to thoughts of God, there should be thoughts of ourselves. We should see our own insignificance in the light of the facts we know about God. We should see and confess our own frailty and failures. We should admit our commitment to earthly things. But we should not stop there. We should think thoughts about our privileges in Christ. God has loved us and made us significant, through sending His Son to die for us. The Father has accepted us in the Beloved Son.

In the light of these thoughts, we should be led to think of our responsibilities. We are now responsible to live for God’s glory. Redeemed, we should seek to serve Him faithfully. We should recognize our responsibility to be thankful, and from our lips there should come a daily song of praise.

Why is it, then, that we are not more thankful? The truth probably is that we don’t stop to think. The cares and riches and pleasures of this life choke the plant of gratitude, and our lives become unfruitful.

Thanksgiving is thus really the product of careful cultivation. It is the fruit of a deliberate resolve to think about God, ourselves, and our privileges and responsibilities. By giving thanks we make manifest the fact that our lives are not controlled by the imperious cares and concerns of this life. We give testimony to the fact that material things do not dictate the horizons of our soul.

From the Prairie Overcomer

We Have A Place to Call Home

Matthew Leighty

Stacey and the worship team leading the song service in the new building.

Stacey and the worship team leading the song service in the new building.

Since the inception of Stuttgart Missional Community Church we have rented our meeting facilities from a German congregation. This arrangement allowed us to start meeting for church services without the need for a lot of fundraising and initial capital. We rented facilities for four years.

In April of 2016 the leadership of SMCC began looking for a new location. We needed a place with more parking, that we could use more often, and that had adequate children's ministry facilities. After looking for about six weeks we found a great new place located in Schonaich.

The process of gaining the proper approvals for the relocation proved to be more difficult than anticipated but on Sunday, October 30th, 2016 we held our first meeting in the new location. We heard from missionaries, honored individuals who played key roles in helping the relocation efforts, and prayed together.

After four years SMCC has a place to call home. We are excited about what the future holds and we are looking forward to many more years of successful ministry in the South Stuttgart metro area.

Is Most of Islam Non-Violent?

Matthew Leighty

Captured Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassabeh was burned alive by ISIS.

Captured Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassabeh was burned alive by ISIS.

In a recent conversation about Islam on social media, someone wrote this to me: "The overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful." She quoted the following statistics to support her argument, "As for stats there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and <1% are violent. Most acts of terror in the US and Europe are not Islamic" (2016 pew research). So, is she right? Below is my response.

Let's me state it like this: Matthew 28:19 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This command to go into all the world is for ALL Christians (2.2 billion), but much less than 1% are actually going into the world to preach the Gospel as missionaries; why?

It's not that they don't believe that God said "go," it's that they are "going" in other ways. Sure they are not on the ground in places like China, Iraq, or Chile, but they support it, they rally behind the efforts of others, and at the very least they agree that missions work is part of Christianity. Why? Because the Bible says so.

In much the same way the Muslim community, while not directly engaged in acts of violence, supports it, rallies behind it, and funds it. Why? Because the Quran, and to a much larger extent the teachings of Muhammad, promote it. At they very least they accept violence as part of the Muslim experience.

So to say that less than 1% of Islam is violent is not true. It is like saying that less than 1% of Christians care about world missions. I also agree that this does not apply to the entire Muslim world. I know many Muslims that are only part of Islam from a cultural perspective, that is to say they were born Muslim. However, the same could be said of Christianity and the fact that these culturally religious people do nothing is more a reflection of their lack of faith and conviction. Also, there are major differences in Western (minority) and Eastern (majority) Islamic ideologies.

The question of interpretation is very cloudy in the world of Islam, but I am speaking of the Quran and the Hadith as interpreted literally, as we do the Bible. If you interpret the Quran and the Hadith literally, then you get violence, jihad, and hate. If you interpret the Bible literally, you get love, peace, compassion, charity, and grace.

Believe me when I say I am praying for more Christians to take the Bible literally and start living the words of Christ. When this happens the world will be a better place. However, I do not hope the same for the Muslim because it will result in much more violence, hatred, and make the world a far worse place.

I recommend reading the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Dr. Nabeel Qureshi. I have yet to read his other works but I hope to soon as I expand my understanding on this issue.

Recommended Links

https://www.amazon.com/.../B00GU.../ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1...

http://www.christianity.com/.../does-islam-promote...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR1j5aeiGZk