What have you done to show God and Jesus that you want to enter back into their presence?

Question by Clarity: What have you done to show God and Jesus that you want to enter back into their presence?
I hear so many people touting people need to be better, but what is everyone doing out there to show their love to their Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ?

I sent a message to a friend in the military letting them know they are serving God and their country and that we pray for him to be safe.

http://www.lds.org/church/news/?lang=eng

Best answer:

Answer by gusgus
Seek His presence by living worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. At least, that is what I’m attempting to do.

Add your own answer in the comments!

Book of Hours, Latin; opening of Matins in the Hours of the Virgin with historiated initial ‘D’ showing St. Anne teaching the Virgin. England (London), ca. 1410 (ff. 2–9 only), Flanders, ca. 1470, with adaptations done in England, f.9r

Book of Hours, Latin; opening of Matins in the Hours of the Virgin with historiated initial ‘D’ showing St. Anne teaching the Virgin. England (London), ca. 1410 (ff. 2–9 only), Flanders, ca. 1470, with adaptations done in England, f.9r
Christian Teaching
Image by Dunedin Public Libraries Medieval Manuscripts
126 leaves. 180 by 125mm. Single column. Part one (Flemish) in 20 lines, ruled in black ink, written space 105 x 69mm. Part two (English) in 20 lines, ruled in red ink, written space 104 by 70mm. Part three (English) in 17 lines, ruled in brown ink, written space 124 x 7.3mm.

Note: The book is formed of three distinct components, of which the core is a Flemish Book of Hours, ca. 1470 (see Manion/Vines/de Hamel pp. 84-85, No. 61).
Binding: Quires housed in a twentieth-century case.
Provenance: Made in Flanders, presumably Bruges, for the English market. Known as the Fitzherbert Hours, the book was owned by Margery Fitzherbert, whose name is incorporated no fewer than six times in prayers on three leaves. According to Alexandra Barratt, Margery Fitzherbert (née Babington) was married to John Fitzherbert of Etwall, the second son of the tenth lord of Norbury. The Fitzherberts were a prominent legal and, later, recusant family from Derbyshire. The manuscript passed to their daughter, Barbara, who married Sir Thomas Cokayne of Ashbourne, and then to her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Cokayne, whose inscription on folio 125v reads: Elyzabethe Cokayn of ov[er]ton undr Ardenne [now Orton-on-the-Hill] in the countye of Ley’t [Leicestershire] Wydowe ys the true honer of this booke’. Barratt notes that Elizabeth’s husband, Thomas, died in 1546.
A cutting from a nineteenth-century English book dealer’s catalogue present on the front flyleaf notes an ‘old Beaufort bookplate’, but the manuscript is not identifiable among those of the dukes of Beaufort. Affixed to the verso of the front flyleaf is the armorial bookplate of William Ridley Richardson (b. 1856) of Ravensfell and Bromley House in Kent. The manuscript was sold by Sotheby’s, 31 March 1952, lot 8, to ‘Garthwaite’. It was purchased for the Reed collection from E. Markham, Darlington, Durham, in November 1954.
References: Manion, Vines, de Hamel no. 61; Reed Early Bibles no. 18; M. Orr. ‘The Fitzherbert Hours (Dunedin Public Libraries, Reed MS 5) and the Iconography of St. Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read in Early Fifteenth-Century England’ in Migrations: Medieval Manuscripts in New Zealand edited by Stephanie Hollis and Alexandra Barratt (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007), 216–46; The Medieval Imagination: Illuminated Manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia and New Zealand edited by Bronwyn Stocks and Nigel Morgan (South Yarra, Victoria: Macmillan Art Publishing, 2008), no. 47; A. Barratt. ‘Keep it in the Family: Researching Women and their Books of Devotion’ in Imagination, Books & Community in Medieval Europe edited by Gregory Kratzmann (South Yarra, Victoria: Macmillan Art Publishing, 2009), 153–54.
Shelfmark: RMM MS 5.

Description reproduced from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in New Zealand Collections (London, 1989) by permission of the authors (Christopher de Hamel, Margaret Manion, and the family of Vera F. Vines).

Ms provenance expanded upon by Alexandra Barratt (University of Waikato).

Church project nearly done

Church project nearly done
The North Platte Telegraph A dream that began in the 1970s is almost a reality. Bethel Evangelical Free Church is nearing the end of its second phase of expansion, and an open house to show off the new west wing is planned for this weekend.
Read more on North Platte Telegraph

Business group hopes to reboot early education
The group plans to push for reallocation of education dollars with the goal of getting kids ready for school.
Read more on Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

Group decorates holiday treats for homeless
Members of the Blue Sky Behavioral Health Clubhouse decorate cupcakes for residents of the Gospel Rescue Mission with members of Wesley United Methodist Church.
Read more on Muskogee Phoenix

Look What They’ve Done to My Church

Look What They’ve Done to My Church

Whatever happened to that early church — the one that Jesus founded and Paul helped promulgate throughout the known world of the first century? It changed. Slowly and surely, it changed.

Warnings of Departure from the Faith

Yes, they warned us. Both Peter and Paul said it would happen. And it did.

Paul in his first letter to Timothy: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3 NKJV)

And in his second letter to Timothy, Paul repeats his dire warning: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Again Paul, in his farewell address to the elders of the church at Ephesus: “I know that when I am gone, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise who will distort the truth in order to get disciples to break away and follow them.” (Acts 20:29-30 REB)

The apostle Peter adds this warning: “. . . there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” (2 Peter 2:1-2)

Early Church Rumblings

During Paul’s lifetime, we find divisions in the Corinthian church. Paul pleaded with them: “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)

In Revelation, the resurrected Jesus addressed another drifting church — the church at Ephesus: “You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2:4-5) In Revelation 1:20, we discover that the lampstand meant the church itself.

Church Organization Departures

Elders and Bishops

History records the slow but steady movement of the church from its scriptural foundation. The first departures were in organization. In the first century church, no distinction was made among elders in rank and authority. That was not to last. During the second century, we find congregations selecting one elder to preside over the meetings as a permanent president. Along with the new position came a change in title. The presiding elder is called “bishop.” (The New Testament applies both words “elders” and “bishops” to the same men in the church.)

Bishops’ authority and power increased over time, up to the point where each was assigned a territory called a “diocese.” With that change, bishops controlled not only their own local churches, but a group of local churches within their geographic area. This was the beginning of the church hierarchy with “city bishops” in top positions, “country bishops” below them, and “elders” of local congregations below the bishops. So began the apostasy.

Temporary conventions were selected to settle disputes between congregations of the church. General Synods and permanent councils followed. These conventions eventually assumed legislative authority. “Metropolitans”, diocesan bishops from the larger cities, presided over the councils.

The ecclesiastical men who governed the five largest districts were called “patriarchs”, which means “chief fathers.” In 606 A.D. the Roman Emperor designated Boniface III, the Patriarch of Rome, as the “Universal Bishop of the Church.”

From a simple organizational plan of equal elders to a single elder presiding as bishop, to country and city bishops, to metropolitans, to patriarchs, to a single Universal Bishop presiding over all the church, we find the church evolving step by incremental step into the apostate church with an organization vastly different from the one Jesus established and Paul proclaimed.

Preachers

The local elder position of the first century church eventually developed into bishops, country bishops, city bishops, metropolitans, patriarchs, and popes in the centralized apostate church. So what happened to the preacher position of the first century church? Remember Peter, Paul, Timothy, and Titus? In another departure from the New Testament pattern, preachers became priests in the apostate church.

Towards the end of the second century, a distinction grew between those who preached and the other members of the church. Clergy became a higher order than laity. In various ways and in varying degrees this idea is widespread among many religious groups today. Those in the clergy often dress differently, many call themselves “priest”, which is borrowed from Judaism, and wear titles such as father or reverend.

Of course, this distinction between “clergy” and “laity” is not authorized by the scriptures and it was not practiced in the first century church.

In stark contrast, Peter, and Paul showed great humility in carrying out their evangelistic missions. They never claimed to be different or exalted. Nor did they ask to be called father or reverend. Surely the Bible records their humility as examples for us to follow.

Moreover, Jesus explicitly warned us: “Do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9)

Church Doctrine Departures

Head of Church and Authority

Along with this centralization of power, with its hierarchy of archbishops, cardinals, and popes, came fundamental changes in church doctrine. Christ was no longer head of the apostate church. The Pope assumed that position. In the First Vatican Council in 1870, Pope Pius IX declared the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. That means when the Pope speaks ex-cathedra (from the chair) on matters of faith and morals, he speaks the law of the Lord.

Nor is the Bible the final word of authority. Church tradition approved by the Council usurps that authority.

Baptism

From the very beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost, baptism was for repentant sinners who came to believe in Christ. (Acts 2:38) That practice continued through the first century. However, by the second century, baptism of infants had begun. Many at that time believed babies were born sinful. To prevent them from dying in sin, babies were baptized on the second day of their lives.

Still, no scriptural basis can be cited for the claim that babies are born in sin. And all the baptisms enumerated in the New Testament were of repentant believers.

Baptism is immersion; that’s the meaning of the word. And that was the practice in the early church. So it remained until exceptions began for the ill. “Clinic baptism” was the name given for sprinkling one physically unable to be immersed. Sprinkling for baptism was not fully approved until the Council of Ravena in 1311 A.D. It has never had the approval of Christ.

Other Doctrine Departures

Absolution from sins by earthly priesthood

Adoration and prayers to the Virgin Mary

Celibacy – Popes and priests are forbidden marriage. Paul predicted it: “The Spirit explicitly warns us that in the time to come some will forsake the faith and surrender their minds to subversive spirits and demon-inspired doctrines . . . . They will forbid marriage. . . .” (I Timothy 4:1-3)

Confessing sins to a priest for forgiveness

Doctrine of indulgences – whereby prayers, gifts, or self-sacrifice mediate sins

Doctrine of purgatory – whereby souls of those who have died in a state of sin are made fit for paradise by temporary banishment, suffering, or punishment.

Doctrine of transubstantiation – whereby the prayer of the pope or priest changes bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Jesus.

Extreme unction – sacramental rite of anointing those in danger of death

Holy water- water blessed and sanctified by the priest

Images and prayers to saints and martyrs

Penance – inflicting punishment in payment for sin as evidence of penitence

Church Worship Departures

Human Creeds

The first General Council was called by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. This council was