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In The Begining: GOD! GENESIS - Genesis records the creation of the world by God, the sin of man, and the earliest parts of God's plan to redeem and edify man.
Exodus - Exodus documents how God rescued Israel from Egypt and it records his instructions on how to act as a nation.
LEVITICUS - Leviticus contains God's instructions for Israel's priests, and it includes God's instruction to the entire nation of Israel on how to live-spiritually and physically.
NUMBERS - Numbers tells how God guaranteed the Israelites that the Promised Land would be theirs if they trusted him. The Israelites initially refused to trust him and they were forced to wander in the wilderness for forty years until God allowed them the opportunity to try to enter the Promised Land again.
DEUTERONOMY – Deuteronomy was to remind the Israelites of what God had done for them, and it was to encourage them to devote their lives to him. Deuteronomy reminds us that we should be thankful for what God has done for us, and that we should dedicate our lives to him.
JOSHUA – Joshua records the events of Israel’s entrance into Canaan—the Promised Land.
JUDGES – Judges shows that God always punishes sin, and that he provides forgiveness for those who seek it. Judges tells of the period in Israel’s history after Joshua died, and when they were without a definitive centralized human government or leader. During this time, Israel consistently rebelled against God, causing them to be taken captive by their enemies each time they sinned. God called twelve human judges to deliver the nation of Israel from their sin and captivity during these years.
RUTH – Ruth demonstrates how the individual can remain faithful to God even when the rest of the world is corrupt. Ruth is a book of loyalty, faith, and love of God and humanity.
1 SAMUEL – 1 Samuel records the last days of the judges of Israel, the first days of the period of kings for Israel, and how Israel rejected God’s leadership in favor of human leadership. 1 Samuel shows the stubbornness and evilness of the human heart, and how we should rely on God for true leadership.
2 SAMUEL – 2 Samuel documents the life and reign of David as Israel’s king. David committed numerous and despicable sins, yet God calls him a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). 2 Samuel shows that although we humans are full of sin, we can lead a godly life.
1 KINGS – 1 Kings tells the history of the kings of the united kingdom of Israel, and the history of the kings of the divided kingdom of Israel and Judah. Most of the kings were completely corrupt and led their kingdoms into sin. 1 Kings shows the importance of godly leadership, and that God expects those who lead to take care of his people.
2 KINGS – 2 Kings also tells of the kings of Israel, but it focuses more on the prophets sent to warn the kings and people of the impending judgment they faced if they refused to repent of their sins and return to God. 2 Kings reveals the importance of making God the ultimate leader in our lives. 2 Kings ends with the nations of Israel and Judah destroyed and led into captivity.
1 CHRONICLES – 1 Chronicles documents the family tree of David, and it summarizes the highlights of the kingdom of Israel’s history. 1 Chronicles teaches that God needs to be the center of our lives, and that he is the only way to eternal peace.
2 CHRONICLES – 2 Chronicles purpose is to demonstrate that rejection of God leads to destruction while obedience to him leads to salvation. 2 Chronicles uses the history of the good kings of Israel and Judah to show how deference to God brings prosperity, and uses the history of the evil kings of Israel to show that disobeying God leads to eradication.
EZRA – Ezra tells of how God kept his promise to restore the Jews to their homeland. It records how the prophet Ezra led the first wave of Jews back to Israel and initiated the process of rebuilding their nation.
NEHEMIAH – Nehemiah is the final Old Testament history book. It records the events of the third wave of Jews to return to Israel and shows how God can use one man to accomplish his purposes.
ESTHER – Esther is a book that never mentions God by name, but overwhelmingly shows that his spirit is ever present and that his will shall always be done regardless of human plans. Esther is an intriguing story of faith, courage, obedience, drama and romance.
JOB – Job explains that God is sovereign, that the causes of suffering are not always known, that people who follow God are not immune from suffering, and that humans cannot understand the mind of God.
PSALMS – Psalms is a book of praise and worship to God. It is poetic, and it shows that the supreme purpose for man’s existence is to exalt and give thanks to God.
PROVERBS – Proverbs is a book that teaches wisdom for everyday life. It informs us that the source of wisdom is God, and that it is folly to look to anyone or anything else for truth.
ECCLESIASTES – Ecclesiastes primarily shows that life is meaningless without God. It reveals that life contains much sadness, but those who believe and trust in God will ultimately have fulfillment.
SONG OF SONGS – Song of Songs is a book that symbolically demonstrates God’s love for his people, and literally expresses the physical and emotional love between a man and a woman. It poetically and graphically tells of how physical and emotional love should be handled in courtship and marriage. Song of Songs stresses that physical love is proper and God-ordained when confined to the oneness of marriage.
ISAIAH – Isaiah is the first book of the prophets. Isaiah warns the people of Israel to turn from their sins or face the judgment of God. Isaiah also foretells the coming of the Messiah as the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind. Isaiah shows us that we need to follow God in our lives, and the prediction of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection validates the truthfulness of the Bible.
JEREMIAH – Jeremiah is another prophetic book, and it warns people to repent of their sins and ask God’s forgiveness. It shows that even when no one will listen to the truth, we still should proclaim it.
LAMENTATIONS – Lamentations is a book that expresses sorrow over the nation of Israel’s sin. It shows that true love cares for others, and it demonstrates how God anguishes when we sin. When we reject God, we sadden him and pave the way for self-destruction.
EZEKIEL – Ezekiel taught and prophesied to the exiled Israelis, and he called to them to repent of their sins. Even when we are in the midst of our enemies or trying times, we still can preach the word of God.
DANIEL – Daniel shows that we can serve God even when we are at the mercy of an immoral world. It demonstrates that we can serve God and be successful in a corrupt society. Daniel also shows that we never should abandon our faith in God, even when our personal safety is endangered.
HOSEA – Hosea is an allegorical and literal book of love and commitment. Hosea was a prophet who married an unfaithful wife. He forgave his wife for her sins and redeemed her when she lived in poverty and disgrace. Just as Hosea forgave his wife, God forgives us when we commit adultery against him by putting anything other than him first in our lives.
JOEL – Joel is a prophetic book that pronounces God’s impending judgment for those who refuse to leave their sinful life. It states that there is mercy for those who repent and turn to God.
AMOS – Amos is a book that tells us to be bold in declaring God’s truth, even when it means risking our personal freedom or reputation. Amos also shows that ordinary people can be used by God for his purposes, and that no one is too small to do his work.
OBADIAH – Obadiah pronounces judgment against those who harm God’s people. Obadiah shows that God cares for those who follow him.
JONAH – Jonah explains that we cannot escape God if he calls us to do his work. It also shows that God will not let evil go unpunished, but he also is eager to forgive those who repent.
MICAH – Micah continues the teaching that God will not tolerate wicked behavior or people, and that those who think that they can get away with doing as they please will eventually be destroyed. Again, God offers to forgive people who are willing to ask for it, and who are willing to forsake their evil desires to follow him.
NAHUM – Nahum shows that the mightiest of people and nations are not immune from his judgment and power. Nahum demonstrates that God will defend his people, and wipe out those who oppose him.
HABAKKUK – Habakkuk explains that even though evil often appears to rule the world, God is really in control. The book offers hope to people in our times of need.
ZEPHANIAH – Zephaniah urges people follow God even when we experience times of prosperity. We are not responsible for our own well-being, and Zephaniah warns of judgment when we ignore God in times of peace and affluence.
HAGGAI – Haggai challenges us to put God first in our lives. The people of Israel were living in luxury after their return to their homeland from exile, but they had forgotten that it was God who had freed them. We need to make God a priority in our lives.
ZECHARIAH – Zechariah predicts the life of Christ, and the book encourages people by telling us that we are eternally saved because of Christ’s sacrifice of his life and resurrection from the dead.
MALACHI – Malachi is the final book of the Old Testament. It warns people to let go of their evil desires and to follow God. Malachi also foretells the birth of Christ.
MATTHEW – Matthew is the first book in the New Testament, and the first of the four Gospels—the books of the Bible that cover the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—God incarnate. Matthew begins by recording Jesus’ ancestors and then it heavily documents his divinity. Jesus is the ultimate example of how we should live our lives.
MARK – Mark is the second Gospel and it focuses on the actions of Jesus—who he was, his teachings, his work, and his miracles. Mark begins by showing that the predictions made hundreds of years earlier by the prophet Isaiah were fulfilled were by Jesus. Jesus’ teachings are as true today as they were in biblical times.
LUKE – Luke presents the most exhaustive account of Jesus life and death of the four Gospels. Luke was a doctor and an educated man. He was an intellectual who examined Jesus’ life. A unique feature of the Book of Luke is that it includes many accounts of the women who were a part of Jesus’ life and who interacted with him. Luke affirms the dual aspects of Jesus human and divine nature. Jesus teaches that he is the only way that anyone can go to Heaven—no one can earn their way into Heaven.
JOHN – John consists of material that mostly is unique from the other Gospels. John focuses on conclusively showing that Jesus is the Son of God, and the only way to eternal salvation. The Book of John begins by stating that Jesus is God and that he always has existed. Jesus’ death and resurrection provides our salvation from eternal damnation. All must accept that he has paid the price for our sins, and it is only by asking and accepting his forgiveness that anyone can go to Heaven.
ACTS – Acts immediately starts where the Gospels end. It tells of the early Christian church and gives important information on how we as Christians need to live.
ROMANS – Romans is a message from the apostle Paul to the Christian church in Rome. Romans maintains that salvation is available to all who accept God’s grace. Romans shows that humanity is destined for destruction unless we accept the forgiveness that we do not deserve.
1 CORINTHIANS – 1 Corinthians documents some problems in the early Christian church. 1 Corinthians shows us how to avoid similar problems and how we can lead a holy life in an unholy world.
2 CORINTHIANS – 2 Corinthians is a letter by the apostle Paul. In it, Paul defends his authority as a leader against accusations from false teachers. 2 Corinthians shows that the Christian faith will be attacked, and we must be ready to defend what we believe and profess. 2 Corinthians also shows that we must be careful that what we believe and profess is truthful.
GALATIANS – Galatians teaches that customs and rituals are not necessary for salvation, and that customs and rituals do not provide salvation.
EPHESIANS – Ephesians informs us of the purpose of the church. The church is to be a united body of believers that strengthens Christianity and performs corporate worship of God.
PHILIPPIANS – Philippians is a letter, from the apostle Paul to a church, that expresses his joy over the church’s support of him and his ministry. Philippians also celebrates the joy that Christians should have and it reminds us to praise God.
COLOSSIANS – Colossians refutes false teachings in the church, and it shows us that Christ is the supreme head and that all truth comes from him. We must all aspects of God and his teachings.
1 THESSALONIANS – 1 Thessalonians teaches Christians to be strong in their faith in times of persecution. 1 Thessalonians also gives information on the second coming of Christ, and how we should prepare for it.
2 THESSALONIANS – 2 Thessalonians provides more information about the second coming of Christ. 2 Thessalonians tells us that although Christ could return at any moment, no one knows when that moment will be.
1 TIMOTHY – 1 Timothy gives instructions to leaders and it teaches how to administer and discipline a church.
2 TIMOTHY – 2 Timothy is another book that instructs church leaders and it encourages Christians as well. Historically, this is the Apostle Paul’s final letter before his death.
TITUS – Titus contains more instructions on how to be a good leader and how to be a good Christian. Titus warns of pitfalls and it encourages us to be responsible and moral at all times.
PHILEMON – Philemon reaffirms that all people are equal and that Christians especially should be wary of this fact. Philemon teaches us to treat those who we may see as inferior with respect and fairness.
HEBREWS – Hebrews presents Christianity is the only true faith and that Christ is the only thing that we need for salvation. Hebrews teaches us to trust in God, and it lists the members of the 'Hall of Faith.'
JAMES – James is a book that warns us to beware of hypocrisy—in others and in ourselves. James teaches us how to live a true Christian life.
1 PETER – 1 Peter encourages Christians who suffer persecution and trying times. Although we may face earthly pain and suffering, we as Christians will find eternal peace if we have faith in God.
2 PETER – 2 Peter warns us to beware of false teachings and it tells us that we have a responsibility to grow in our faith and knowledge of God.
1 JOHN – 1 John defends Christianity and cautions us to watch for people who try to lead us astray. 1 John helps explain what our relationship with God should be.
2 JOHN – 2 John tells us to be wary of deceivers and it emphasizes that we as Christians should live a life of truth and love.
3 JOHN – 3 John shows how simple acts of kindness, such as hospitality, should be a part of all of our lives as Christians.
JUDE – Jude tells us that we must never let our guard down, and that we always need to be on the lookout for heretics and false teachings.
REVELATION – Revelation is the final book of the Bible, and it gives insight into future events where evil and those who don’t know Christ will finally be utterly destroyed and Christians will experience everlasting peace and happiness.
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The Gateway2Heaven Preaching and Teaching from the Word of God.
The abundant life in and out of the church among the adults and the children.

Your Host: Lennox Anthony Blaides
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Kings Tabernacle Finding a church
It can be a difficult, time consuming experience. It often takes a great deal of patient persistence, especially if you are looking for a church after moving into a new community. Usually, you can only visit one, or possibly two churches a week, so the search for a church can drag out over a period of months. Here are some practical steps to remember, along with questions to ask yourself as you pray and seek the Lord through the process of finding a church.
Time Required: Varies
Here's How:

Where does God want me to serve?
While this resource is meant to offer practical steps for finding a church home, prayer is of primary importance in the process. As you seek the Lord’s direction, he will give you wisdom to know where he wants you to fellowship. So, be sure to make prayer a priority each step along the way.
If you’re not sure why it's important to find a church, check out what the Bible says about church attendance.

What denomination?
There are many Christian denominations to choose from, such as Methodist, Baptist, Assemblies of God, Church of the Nazarene, and the list goes on and on. If you feel called to a nondenominational or interdenominational church, there are many different types of these as well, such as Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Community churches.
To learn more about Christian denominations study of the various Christian faith groups on the web.

What are my beliefs?
It’s important to understand the doctrinal beliefs of the church before joining. Many people become disillusioned after investing a great deal of time in a church. You can avoid this disappointment by looking closely at the church's statement of faith. Before joining be sure the church effectively teaches the Bible. If you’re not sure, ask to talk with someone about this. Some churches even offer classes or written material to help you understand the church’s doctrine.
Learn more about basic Christian beliefs.

What type of service structure?
Ask yourself, “Would I feel more freedom to worship through a structured or formal liturgy, or would I be more comfortable in an informal atmosphere?” For example, Catholic, Anglican, Episcopalian, Lutheran and Orthodox churches will usually have more formal services, while Protestant, Pentecostal, and nondenominational churches will tend to have more relaxed, informal upbeat worship services.

What type of worship?
Worship is the way we express our love and appreciation to God, as well as our awe of his works, and wonder of his ways. Consider what style of worship will allow you to most freely express adoration to God. Some churches have contemporary music, some have traditional. Some sing hymns, others sing choruses. Some have full bands, others have orchestras and choirs. Some sing gospel, rock, hard rock, etc. Since worship is a key part of our church experience, be sure to give the style of worship serious consideration.

What ministries and programs are offered?
You want your church to be a place where you can connect with other believers. Some churches offer a very simple ministry approach and others extend an elaborate system of classes, programs, productions and more. So, for instance, if you’re single and want a church with a single’s ministry, be sure to check into this before joining.

Does the size of the church matter?
Smaller church fellowships are usually unable to offer a wide variety of ministries and programs, while larger ones can support an array of opportunities. However, a small church can provide a more intimate, close-knit environment that a large church may not be able to cultivate as effectively. Becoming relational in the body of Christ often requires more effort in a large church. These are things to consider when looking at the size of the church.

What type of attire?
In some churches t-shirts, jeans, and even shorts, are appropriate. In others a suit and tie or dress would be more appropriate. In some churches anything goes. So, ask yourself, 'What is right for me--dressy, casual, or both?'

Call before visiting.
Next, take some time to list specific questions you would want to call and ask before visiting the church. If you take a few minutes each week to do this, it will save you time in the long run. For example, if the youth program is important to you, put that on your list and ask specifically for information about it. Some churches will even mail you an “information packet” or “visitor’s packet,” so be sure to ask for these when you call.

Visit church websites.
You can often get a good “feel” for a church by visiting its website. Most churches will provide information about how the church got started, doctrinal beliefs, a statement of faith, plus information about ministries and outreaches.

Make a checklist.
Before visiting a church, make a checklist of the most important things you hope to see or experience. Then rate the church according to your checklist when you leave. If you're visiting many churches, your notes will help you compare and decide later. As time passes you may have trouble keeping them straight. This will provide you with a record for future reference.

After visiting a church at least three times, ask yourself these questions:
Is this church a place where I can connect with God and worship him freely? Will I learn about the Bible here? Is fellowship and community encouraged? Are people's lives being changed? Is there a place for me to serve in the church, and opportunities to pray with other believers? Does the church 'reach out' by sending missionaries, and through financial giving and local outreach? Is this where God wants me to be? If you can say yes to these questions, then you've found a good church home.

Begin your search now.
Here are online resources to help you start your search for a church right now!
Christian WebCrawler Church Directory and Search Engine
Net Ministries Church Directory Search
Ask other Christians.
If you still don’t know where to begin your search for a church, ask people you know—friends, co-workers, or people you admire, where they go to church. Also, check out these tips from our members:
How Did You Choose a Church for Your Family?


Remember, there is no perfect church.
Visit a church at least three times before making a decision either way.
Don’t try to change a church. Most of them are set in their mission. There are so many different ones out there to choose from, it’s best to just find one that's a good “fit” for you.
Don't give up. Keeping searching until you find the right church. Being in a good church is too important to neglect.

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larpull  Offline  United States
Free in grace ministries / Larry Pullega 'Taking the freedom of God's amazing grace into every area of life!'
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Matt Maher About Matt Maher
The front cover of Matt Maher’s latest offering, All The People Said Amen, is a menagerie of old tour posters, handwritten lyrics from songwriting sessions, live and candid shots with fans, even his own wedding photos. No image is random. Each piece was placed purposefully by Maher. Every item has a story behind it and has played a significant role in Maher’s songwriting over the past seven years.

“This record is a musical collage. I think most of our lives look like that, this jumble of a bunch of different stuff,” Maher offers. “Hopefully, when you take a step back, you realize something that might seem a little chaotic close-up, farther away, actually is a work of art that God’s slowly creating. These songs are created out of living as a community of faith firsthand, and it’s my desire to remind listeners that we are all His work of art.”

All The People Said Amen showcases Maher’s storied career thus far. The songs read more like chapters in his auto-biography than a typical album track listing. Produced by Paul Moak (Third Day, Mat Kearney) and Maher, the album breaks the barriers a studio can provide and allows fans to see Maher as not only the gifted songwriter they have come to cherish but also a fervent worship leader and skilled teacher. Maher’s theology is as solid as his songwriting, his heart as pure as his melodies.

The album introduces four new studio recordings, including the title track and the powerful closer “Mighty Fortress.” All of the songs carry messages Maher wants listeners to be able to champion. “I think it’s great for the life of a song if different movements or people can get behind the song and help push it along,” says Maher. For this project, in particular, he explains, “I tried to identify themes within the story of Christianity that are worth saying, ‘amen.’”

“Burning In My Soul,” another new cut, made a powerful debut at the Passion 2013 conference at the Georgia Dome, attended by more than 60,000 college students. The song is a glorious representation of the unity Maher strives to achieve through his music. As a devoted Catholic, Maher’s music continues to cross theological boundaries, and “Burning In My Soul” focuses on the power found in laying aside denominational differences for the greater kingdom work of the Gospel.

The project’s moving new radio single, “Lord, I Need You,” is a call to intentional submission. “The whole idea of being dependent on God is just really counter-cultural,” says Maher, expressing the core message behind the song, “but I think that’s sort of at the heart of the Gospel—the way of freedom is through surrender.”

Along with the new songs written for All The People Said Amen, the album also fuses the popularity of Maher’s vibrant live show, offering fans an assortment of writing and performance styles. Maher admits he fell in love with many of his favorite artists after listening to their live performances, and he hopes to provide the same opportunity for his listeners. “To me, hearing the excitement of a live audience on a recording gives the listener permission to enter into the same kind of experience,” observes Maher.

The two-time GRAMMY nominee’s most popular hits, such as “Hold Us Together,” “Your Grace Is Enough,” “Christ Is Risen” and “Turn Around,” receive a new backdrop with the addition of live voices recorded during tour stops in 2012 at the University of Notre Dame campus and in Detroit, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Baltimore.

Maher says some songs were simply created for this type of setting. “For me, being a worship leader, there’s this magic ingredient to any kind of corporate song... It needs people singing on it; it needs the collective of their voices,” he says. “There are some songs you record that really are meant to be recorded live. A studio recording would make the song feel somewhat confined.”

Maher’s musical journey has only just begun, and All the People Said Amen is a milestone, depicting where he’s been and the direction he’s headed. Looking back, Maher recalls all the changes that have taken place since his debut. When his career began, he was single, living in Phoenix, Ariz., and playing with a group of longtime friends. Today, he’s married and has recently become a father. He lives in Nashville, and almost all of the guys who once played with him have moved on. But Maher says that’s part of the beauty of life.

“Artists evolve. Obviously, there are core aspects to your sound and who you are that don’t change, but over time, as an artist, you’re always trying to be open, trying to reinvent yourself,” he says. “The interesting element is that there’s this one unchangeable part, which is our faith. It’s constant; it’s always there.”

Along the way, Maher is simply grateful for the opportunity to write songs that somehow help people along the way. “It’s a humbling but great reality,” Maher notes, “to be able to help write songs that the Church can latch on to, and then you wait and watch what happens.”
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