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Post Category: Reflections

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Christ is Risen! So What?

O Death Where is Thy Sting?

Scripture not only asserts that Jesus rose from the dead. It also explains why his resurrection matters. Below are six implications of the empty tomb. The Resurrection of Christ declares that Jesus is the Son of God. By raising Jesus from the dead, the Father affirmed Christ's identity as the divine Son. "[Christ Jesus] was declared to be God's powerful Son by his ...

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Reconnecting with God

Psalm 51

When I moved to New York City in the late 1980's, my first job was as a long-distance telephone operator with ATT. This was back in the days before texting and cell phones and social media. Email had been invented, but few people used it yet. Back then, Zoom and Skype would have seemed like something out of science fiction. So, because long-distance calls were costly, to p...

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Singing in Church

Sing

It has been five months since ACC began holding in-person worship services on Sundays. I am grateful for the safety guidelines developed by our Re-Opening Task Force and for the hard work done by our Hospitality Team each Sunday to help us follow protocol. When we returned to in-person worship, we decided to be more cautious than required by public health guidelines. The ...

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Gentle and Lowly

gentle-and-lowly

We have different ways to warm ourselves up on cold winter days: a cup of hot chocolate, a favorite sweater, an extra blanket on the bed. But how do you warm up your heart? If your sense of God's love has grown cold, what can you do? A book that helped to warm my heart this winter is Dane Ortlund's Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. Drawing ...

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Deeper Community Amidst a Pandemic

Zoom 1

My name is James, and wanted to share with you how I got connected to Astoria Community Church over the past year. Though I grew up in Queens and have lived here mostly since, I had been attending a large church in Manhattan for many years due to working in the city and many of my friends being there. I, for some time, had a desire to attend a local church in my borough wh...

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ADVENT WEEK 4 DEVOTIONAL

Advent Joy

The nativity stories in the Bible show us that God's actions are often initially frightening. But when we move on from fear to faith, we soon experience God's joy. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE DEVOTIONAL....

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ADVENT WEEK 3 DEVOTIONAL

Light in the Darkness

The light of Christ shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it! Click hereto watch the video....

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ADVENT WEEK 2 DEVOTIONAL

Advent Hope

One of the themes of Advent is 'hope'. In this devotional, I share what Christian hope looks like and how we can put it into practice. Click here to watch the video....

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21 Ways to Pray on Election Day

Prayer Election

Thank God for allowing us to live in a democracy, where the people have a say in the selection of their leaders. Praise God for his mercy and generosity to our nation over the last 244 years. Praise God that we have been able to proceed with the election in spite of the pandemic. Ask forgiveness for bitter thoughts you have harbored and unkind words you have spo...

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Spiritual Warfare and Prayer

Spiritual Warfare

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powersof this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." (Eph. 6:12, 18b) According to the Bible, there is a battle being waged in a realm we canno...

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EXTRA-ORDINARY WORSHIP

worship with masks

Among the many areas of life disrupted by the COVID pandemic are the worship practices of Christians throughout the world. Believers have been forced to worship God in ways that feel unnatural to us. For months, we have sat in front of computer screens, following a service from home. Now, as congregations begin to gather again, we find that worship is still not what we wou...

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Six Reasons Not to Worry

Worry Post

Matthew 6:25-43 is probably the most well-known passage of the Bible that deals with the problem of anxiety. In these verses, Jesus gives us six reasons not to worry 1) Worry obscures what is most important in life. People tend to worry most over temporal issues finances, deadlines, the opinions of others. Stressing ourselves out over these things can make us forget mat...

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Secret But Not Unseen

Father Sees in Secret

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? So goes the age-old metaphysical question. Does the occurrence of an event depend on it being perceived? I will leave it to philosophers to answer that one. But what I do know is that, when it comes to acts of kindness toward others or devotion toward God, no acts are unobserved. In...

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Vacation Bible Club Recap - 2017

Mom and Daughter Craft 2017.JPG

We walked into Dutch Kills playground that first day not knowing if any kids and parents would join us. We left Friday evening knowing that 170 children and many parents/adults heard the Good News of the saving work of Jesus Christ! Each evening we sang songs, listened to a Biblical Character share the Gospel, helped anywhere from 40-75 kids make a craft related to the mes...

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Why I Volunteer

There is something about the prospect of volunteering that can be intimidating. It's a commitment, yes, yet also an infringement. Here I am, whoever and whatever I am, going to you, whoever and whatever you are, and deciding to share. I will share myself, and you, perhaps unaware of the connection that this transaction entails, will receive, willingly or unwillingly. Yet...

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Thy Kingdom, Thy Will

The second and third petitions of the Lord's Prayer are "Thy kingdom come" and "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." What does it mean to pray for the coming of God's Kingdom? We are essentially praying three things: that the Father would send the kingdom of glory (that Jesus would return); that he would crush the kingdom of darkness (putting an end to the lies ...

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I Was a Stranger and You Invited Me In

At the ACC after-school tutoring program a few weeks ago Pastor David casually mentioned to me that he and Sobeyda were going to be hosting a refugee family from El Salvador. My heart jumped with excitement...what an opportunity for ACC to show the love of God! I also was encouraged by their willingness to share their living space with strangers, knowing they give so much ...

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Reflections on Holy Week

Ushered in by Palm Sunday this past Sunday, we are in the middle of what Christians call Holy Week, the week in which we celebrate Christ's Last Supper and final words to his disciples, his humiliation, crucifixion and death, and finally his resurrection on Easter Sunday. We are quickly approaching the Triduum Sacrum, the three days in which all eternity hangs in the bal...

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