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Stories by Michael Bannon

Stories by Michael Bannon

For God’s Sake: Some comments on commentaries

July 18, 2024
A relative recently asked for my opinion on her pastor’s Bible commentary recommendation to her. Of course, the commentaries he recommended are those he uses for his own personal study. I considered his list of three and, whereas they would provide a reader with some interesting information on the Bible, in my opinion, they were not the best for helping someone better understand the message of the Bible.

For God’s Sake: Who is this about?

July 11, 2024
The Book of Acts describes an encounter between Phillip, a newly minted deacon, and an Ethiopian court official, who was sitting in a chariot reading Isaiah 53. The Spirit of God directed Phillip to ask him if he understood what he was reading. “How can I, unless someone guides me? About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or someone else?” Phillip told him from the Scriptures the good news about Christ Jesus, and that man put his faith in Christ.

For God’s Sake: Tests and trials

July 2, 2024
I did something last week that I had not done in decades – I tested a 9-volt battery by touching its posts to my tongue. Have you ever done that? My friends and I used to do it for kicks when we were kids. The unpleasant tingling sensation I felt told me that the battery was still good. Afterward, with a brain that may have just received a 9-volt kick start, I pondered that age-old question, “Why?”

For God’s Sake: Believe and be saved

June 27, 2024
Every day for the past two weeks, I have received an email claiming to be from Sirius XM, warning me that my subscription is about to be terminated due to lack of payment. All I must do to correct my perilous situation is submit my payment information to the sender. It is a scam, that fact validated by their atrocious spelling, and by the daily emails I receive from Sirius XM informing me of musical programming I might like.

For God’s Sake: what really matters?

June 20, 2024
Technology is great…when it works! The church I serve as pastor livestreams its worship services and occasionally there is a glitch in the technology and our livestream is, well, a dead-stream. That happened this past Lord’s Day and was only discovered at the end of the worship service. My immediate thought? “Okay, nobody leaves! We’re going to do this worship service again!” Of course, that was my frustration talking and the thought was never vocalized. Instead, I perused the coming week in my mind to determine when I could at least record the sermon and make it available.

For God’s Sake: rhyme time

June 13, 2024
My wife has a gift for making up rhymes. She will observe something interesting or unusual and a moment later some clever verse will spill from her lips, usually to an improvised tune. I think to myself, we should be writing these down, but the moment passes, and her verse is lost.

For God’s Sake: a community in Christ

June 6, 2024
In our weekly COMPASS leadership prayer meeting, one brother prayed for a growing sense of community in our congregation. A strong sense of community is what characterized that first congregation described in Acts 2, a sense of community so strong that it was attractive to those outside the church. Their sense of community was not self-motivated but the evidence of their unity in the Spirit together with Christ through faith in His gospel. Because that same Spirit unites believers together in Christ today, that strong sense of community is possible in any gospel-believing congregation. A recent article in The Atlantic offers a less hopeful message.

For God’s Sake: seeing glory

May 30, 2024
Recently, our skies were the canvas for some spectacular natural phenomena – a solar eclipse and the northern lights. Despite having been born and raised in Canada, I cannot recall ever having seen the Northern Lights, yet people here in north Florida were posting stunning photos of them. My wife and I even doused the porchlight and stood in the driveway gazing into the northern night sky but saw not a glimmer. I woke up very early the next morning and decided to try again. It was raining. I still have not seen the Northern Lights.

For God’s Sake: imagine that

May 23, 2024
I have a vivid imagination and have had it all my life. It is so vivid that I imagine myself to be six feet tall with brown wavy hair and sporting washboard abs. Others see a man whose hair has turned white, some of it turned loose, and who is sporting washtub abs. They just lack imagination!

For God’s Sake: sin in nature

May 16, 2024
I came to faith in Christ 40 years ago in a church in southeast Florida. The members of that small congregation embraced me as family, inviting me to their homes for dinners and cookouts. I marveled that such a loving group of people existed and even came to perceive them as being without fault. It wasn’t long before I realized that they, like me, though redeemed in Christ, were real human beings who had to deal with a sin nature.
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