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 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

Words 2/3/16

Good morning,

I am struck by the power of words.  We know that words can impact us in so many ways but let me just point out two verses from the Bible, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament, that remind us of the incredible power of words.

“The tongue has the power of life and death . . .” Proverbs 18:21.
“They overcame him [the accuser of the brothers] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony . . .” Revelation 12:11.

I cannot confirm this statistic, but I heard it from someone this morning that has done some research on it.  The statistic quoted said that each day there are 190,000 messages that ISIS puts on the internet in order to recruit men and women into their agenda.  Now that seems like an incredible amount of messages, but I want you to think about this.  If that number were only 190 messages a day, do you realize that the total of that is 69,350 message a year.  If the statistic is correct then that number is 69,350,000 per year!  In a day when social media is exploding exponentially around the world both of those numbers are staggering.  And we know that some of those messages have an effect on young men and women right here in the United States.  I have read stories of young women, not reared in Muslim homes but reared here in the United States who leave family, security and everything to go to the Middle East and join their ranks.  And the reason that I mention women is because the way that women are treated in that culture is basically as objects.  In a nation and culture where women’s rights are being trumpeted everywhere, why are young women willingly putting themselves into those situations?  The answer, I believe, lies in the power of words.

The Bible is very clear about the power of words and we see it every day.  But if you will just focus on the two verses that I’ve quoted above for a few minutes I’d like to challenge us to recognize that we too have power that God can use exponentially if we will let Him.

I am one person, but what am I posting on social media, in emails or notes or letters, what am I saying to people that I speak to every day?  What I’m asking you is, how do you use words?  Sadly, too many times Christians use their words on social media or in other forms to put down other Christians who don’t agree with them.  We take the opportunity to make fun of, ridicule or viciously undermine what other Christians believe that is different from us.  And it isn’t just differences in theology, but differences in culture, politics, music, even age related differences.

If it is true, and I believe that it is 100% true that there is the “power of life and death in the tongue” then I want to challenge you for the next week, then for the next month, then for the next year and ultimately always to use your power to lift up Christ.  SURE there are problems in the church today; of course there are people who have different opinions and beliefs than you do; and of course there are those who are radical in their beliefs in wrong ways; but instead of pummeling them with your words, what if, instead, we choose to speak life?  What if, instead, we choose to talk about what Christ can do in your life?  What if, instead of pointing out why “they” are wrong and “you” are right, we simply disregarded what “they” are saying and we instead choose to speak about what God in doing in a positive way in your life?  Why if we would do that then it seems to me that we could “overcome the accuser.”  (Can I just say that when we “prove” others wrong we seldom if EVER convince them or for that matter ANYONE over to our side; all we are doing is saying that what we believe is more important, more right and that everyone who disagrees with us is wrong.  I don’t know of ANYONE, EVER, who has argued someone into the Kingdom of God and it MOST certainly doesn’t happen on Face Book, Twitter or any other forms of social media.)

Words are powerful.  Use yours to lift up Christ rather than putting someone else down.  We’ll explore this much more in depth this Sunday!

Rick

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Upcoming Activities

 

Wednesday February 3 – We have our dinner tonight at 5:00 and then the adults and teens will come together to engage one another and encourage one another!  Seems to me like this might be an EXCELLENT opportunity for us to use our words for good!  Hope to see you here!

 

Friday February 5 – First Baptist Church Ruidoso is hosting a “Turn Hunger Into Hope” evening of fun, games, great food and fellowship to benefit the Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack that will take place at the end of February.  This event takes place Friday evening from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m.  Why not take some time to go out and be with fellow believers and support a great cause!

 

Sunday February 7 – This coming Sunday we are coming together to celebrate what God wants to do in us.  We are going to be beginning our journey toward Resurrection in both the 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. services and our Hispanic Congregation will meet at 1:00 p.m.  You don’t want to miss this amazing day!

 

Sunday February 14 – WE WILL HAVE ONE COMBINED WORSHIP SERVICE ON SUNDAY MORNING FEBRUARY 14 AT 10:00 A.M. IN THE GYM FOLLOWED BY A YOUTH FUNDRAISER wDINNER!

 

PRAYER NEEDS – Angie Fowler, Charlotta Stewart’s niece, is undergoing surgery this morning to amputate more of her leg.  Please pray specifically that the doctors will be able to get rid of ALL of the infection!

Keith Robert’s mom passed away yesterday.  Please keep this family in your prayers.

Isaiah Heltzel is in the hospital with pneumonia and RSV.  Please pray for this little guy for God’s healing on his body.

 

 



A God Like That! 1/27/16

Good morning,

There is a verse in the book of Isaiah that is not one that we quote often, but this morning I want to share it with you.  It is found in Isaiah 64:4 and it says, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God beside you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”  Read it from The Message, “Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him.” 

In every religion of the world except Christianity, life is a series of things that we have to do to get to god.  We are constantly trying to please our god; we have to do different things, sometimes outrageous things not just to please but to appease that god.  There is no religion, except for Christianity, where the god in question is doing everything that he/she/it can do to help its follower.

But then there is our God.  No one has ever “imagined” a God like you!  No ear has ever even come close to “hearing” about a God like you!  No eye has “seen” a God like you who is “working for those who wait for him.”

The good news this morning is that you don’t have to work to please God.  You don’t have to do anything to appease His wrath, His anger or His justice.  God loves you and He is working on your behalf.  HE SACRIFICED HIS OWN SON SO THAT HE COULD HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU!  That thought has become so commonplace that it is sad.  Stop and read that again; think about that again; see the absurdity of that:  GOD sent His own Son to DIE so that you and I could have a relationship with Him.  There wasn’t any other way.  There isn’t anything that we can do to substitute for that.  We are sinners and He is holy.  The ONLY thing that could give us a relationship with Him was for a sinless man to take our place receiving what we deserve; DEATH; eternal separation from God.  And Jesus, God’s Son, did JUST THAT!  And when we receive that gift then we can have THAT relationship with God.

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God beside you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”  “Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him.” 

 Pretty amazing if you ask me!

Rick

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Upcoming Activities

 

Wednesday January 27 – We have our regular Wednesday evening activities tonight beginning with dinner at 5:00!  Hope to see you here!

Sunday January 31 – This coming Sunday we are coming together to celebrate what God wants to do in us.  We are going to be continuing our journey through 1 John in both the 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. services and our Hispanic Congregation will meet at 1:00 p.m.  You don’t want to miss this amazing day!

PRAYER NEEDS – Cheyenne’s mom, Elaine Park, is in Denver CO where they are running tests so that she can receive a liver transplant.  Please be in prayer for Elaine and for the family.

Charlotta Stewart’s niece, Angie Fowler, is back in the hospital and will have to have more of her leg amputated.  This has been going on for awhile and we need to cover her in prayer that God will direct the doctors and be with her and her family.

Joe and Beverly Brazel remain in Houston where Joe is undergoing chemo for a brain tumor.  Please keep them in your prayers and for God’s touch on Joe!

 

 



What Are We Looking At? 1/6/16

 

Good morning,

I want to ask you the question:  “What are you looking at?”

I’m asking you this question because I was looking at the wrong thing yesterday and I feel like I messed up.  I was talking with someone and I allowed my frustrations to control my words and I said things when I should have been listening, I said things in a way I shouldn’t have.  I blew it.  I have asked the person to forgive me and I’ve asked God to forgive me.  I’m coming clean before you because I want you to know how very, very easy it is for anyone of us to miss an opportunity when we are looking at the wrong thing.  Now let me explain just a little more what I’m talking about.

Everywhere I go, physically, online, listening to or watching the news and talking to people, there is an extreme frustration with our nation and our world.  I have read and listened to people who profess Christ as their Savior justify attitudes that say that we need to do everything that we can to kill those who are seeking to kill us, especially and specifically talking about radical Muslims.

There is also an extreme frustration with certain and specific political figures.  It doesn’t matter which side of the political spectrum you are on; there are people who are violently frustrated with the President and his political allies, and there are people who are violently frustrated with the other party’s Presidential candidates or political allies.

I have highlighted, purposefully, extreme frustration and violent frustration.  I am not going to share my political leanings, although if you know me very well you at least have an idea, but the point is NOT what side you or I are on.  THE POINT HERE IS, “What are you and I looking at?”

Jesus said, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32).  Jesus was predicting His death and what kind of death He would suffer, but I believe with everything in my life that He was speaking about SO MUCH MORE than just the type of death He was going to suffer.  I believe this because of the context of the statement.  Just after He made this statement He talked to the people about walking in the light.  He went on to say, “Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light” (John 12:36).  I’m being brief here but if you take the time, which I strongly encourage you to do, to look at the rest of that chapter and the surrounding chapters and verses, I believe that what you’re going to see is that Jesus was also talking specifically to us about what we’re looking at.

When we are looking at Christ, we are going to point people to Christ.  When we’re looking at Fox News, or CNN, or our frustrations or our rights or our politicians, we’re going to point people to our particular leanings, political or personal.  I believe when we are looking at Christ, we are going to point people to Christ and that is what I believe our world desperately needs right now.

I am asking us, as followers of Jesus Christ, the man who told us “Do not resist an evil person.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. . . . Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. . . .  do not worry about your life . . . Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. . . . Do not judge, or you too will be judged. . . . If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  (Matthew 5:38ff – 7:11)  I know, some of you are thinking or saying, “Yeah, but . . .” BUT I want to tell you, please, look at Christ.

I want to urge you to look at Christ and then yours (and my) own frustrations, the political leaders, the world’s terrorists and every other thing that causes us extreme frustration or violent frustration will be seen for what it is:  A TRICK OF THE ENEMY TO GET OUR EYES OFF OF JESUS AND ONTO OUR PROBLEMS!  Our enemy is not the President; our enemy is not the other political party; our enemy is not ISIS; our enemy is not each other.  Our enemy is satan!

I do love you!

Rick

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  Upcoming Activities

 

Wednesday January 6 – ALL WEDNESDAY EVENING ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED TONIGHT AT ANGUS CHURCH BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER.  PLEASE STAY HOME AND STAY SAFE!

 

Sunday January 10 – This coming Sunday we are coming together to celebrate what God wants to do in us.  Korey Frazier will be speaking in both morning worship services, 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. and our Hispanic Congregation will meet at 1:00 p.m.  You don’t want to miss this amazing day!

 

A PRAISE REPORT – Yesterday, Tuesday January 5, Tom Bulin, Lonnie Moyer’s nephew, underwent another grueling chemotherapy treatment where they flooded his stomach with hot chemo to attack the cancer of the stomach.  A few weeks ago they told him there were new tumors in his stomach.  After the treatment yesterday they told him they saw NO NEW TUMORS and they then did some biopsy’s and told him if there was no cancer they would be able to remove his stomach in a couple of weeks to eradicate the cancer.  Please keep praying for Tom and for God’s continued miraculous touch on his body!