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 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

Listen To Him 6/24/15

This is going to be short and “sweet” this morning.

I want to begin by asking you, what are you expecting today?  What is it that you are looking for today?  We probably all, or at least most of us, have our plans for the day; our agenda or our list of things to do.  And the thing is, most of us are going to get exactly what we’re expecting today.  If you’ve expected to have a bad day because you “know” some of or all of the things that you have to do today and they aren’t going to be pleasant, well then, you’re probably going to have a bad day.  I think that most of us are simply non-committal about the day we “think” we’re going to have – neither good nor bad necessarily.

King Ahaz “knew” the kind of day he was going to have.  Jerusalem was about to be under attack.  He knew it was coming and so he had decided that he was going to ask the king of Assyria to help; they were the biggest, baddest, strongest, meanest “kids” on the block and he had already decided to ask them for their help.

But God interrupted him and said, “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights” (Isaiah 7:10).  But Ahaz got “religious” and said, basically, “Oh I couldn’t put God to the test and do that . . .”  The thing is, he had already decided what he was going to do.  And the thing is, he did ask Assyria for help and just like God told him would happen, eventually Assyria attacked them and overthrew Jerusalem.  (So much for “our” plans!)

But God wanted to do something out of this world – God said, “I’m going to give you a sign anyway!  That sign, by the way, was Messiah!  Now the thing is, when the sign was fulfilled the religious people of the day weren’t expecting it to come like it did.  They wanted a political leader to solve all of their woes.  (Not much has changed has it?)  But Jesus came and said, “I don’t have any rights . . . I didn’t come to change the world THAT WAY I came to call you to be servants . . . to take up your cross . . . to become a living sacrifice.”  They didn’t like it so they simply rejected Him.

So, what are you expecting today?  I believe that God just might be saying to you that you could have so much more than you’re expecting if you’ll just listen to Him.  I’m NOT saying that God is asking you to specifically ask Him for a sign, but I think God wants to do SO MUCH MORE than we are ready for today that it would knock us down if we really just opened up our hearts and minds to Him and trusted Him!  I urge you; don’t reject Him – LISTEN TO HIM!

I love you,

Rick

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Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday June 17– We will continue our “Amazing Grace” study by Francis Chan at 5:30 in the Sanctuary.  Now you can sit at home and watch those summer re-runs or you could come out and join a group of people who are trying to learn more about the grace of God!  No meal provided except for the teens.

Thursday June 25-Saturday June 27 – Our NM District Missions Convention, Sunday School Convention and District Assembly will take place at the Heights First Church of the Nazarene in Albuquerque.  Please be in prayer for all who will be a part of these 3 very important days not only from Angus Church but from all acorss the NM District.

Sunday June 28 – Pastor Marco will be preaching this Sunday.  Let’s come and support and love him!  Ladies, there will be a SPECIAL Women’s Ministry Kick-off at 10:30 this Sunday morning in the gym.  We want to invite you to come and learn what Women’s ministry is going to be doing over the next several months!



Like Christ 6/17/15

Good afternoon,

I read the following quote a few days ago.  It was written by Dr. Timothy Crutcher, Associate Professor of Theology and Church History at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany OK.  It wasn’t until after I read his quote and actually posted it to my face book page, that I realized who this man was.  To be honest with me, it doesn’t add to or take away from the quote below, I just thought it was very interesting to see who he actually is.

I want to warn you, some of you probably won’t care for what he has to say – you might think I’m out of bounds for sending it, but I want to challenge you to really think about and pray about the point he’s making.  So here it is:

I must be missing some pages from my Bible. I have looked over and over again for the places where Jesus condemns Roman culture for its pagan values and immorality and commands his followers to do likewise, but the only people I ever see him getting mad at are religious folks. I have tried to find the places where Jesus tells his disciples to take over the culture and conform it to Kingdom standards, but I only find him warning them that the world will hate them and they should prepare to suffer and die because they follow him. I have searched and searched for the places where Jesus stridently condemns public hypocrisy among sinners with the snide satisfaction that comes from knowing he is nothing like them, but I only find him reaching out to the lost in love rather than staying aloof from them. Yes, I see Jesus holding a strong moral line. He tells one sinner to “Go and sin no more,” but that only happens after he says, “Neither do I condemn you.”

Am I missing something here? Maybe I just expect sinners to act like sinners, and so hypocrisy and immorality in the public square don’t bother me nearly so much as when those things show up in the church. Somehow I got the impression that Jesus wanted us to reach down into the messes that sin creates and fish people out of them, not smugly stand on the sidelines and point out to them everything they are doing wrong. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, but when I see the bulk of stuff that passes for “Christian media” in our culture (blog posts, Facebook links, etc.), it has to make me wonder if I’m doing it wrong. Sigh.

I too believe that Jesus has asked us to “reach down into the messes that sin creates and fish people out of them, not smugly stand on the sidelines and point out to them everything they are doing wrong.”  I truly believe that is what it means to “be like Christ.”  I also believe we put too much emphasis on the world and what’s happening “out there” rather than on the God who has called us to live for Him, to lift Him up and to love like Him “out there.”

One last thing today – I am still learning about this and so I’ll give you more information as I learn more about it, but since this begins tomorrow I want to make you aware of it and challenge you to pray.

Starting tomorrow, June 18, the next 30 days are days of challenge to us as Christians to pray for the Muslim world.  As I said, I do not yet have all of the information on this but I am challenging you to join with me over the next 30 days in praying for the people who live in the Muslim world.  God is moving in Muslim countries in incredible ways, miraculous ways and as you have been made aware there are those throughout the Muslim world, specifically involved with ISIS and Hamas, who are having visions of Christ and He is calling them to turn to Him.  AND THEY ARE!

Even though we don’t know all the details I urge you to make this a matter of prayer over these next 30 days specifically.

I love you,

Rick

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Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday June 17– We will continue our “Amazing Grace” study by Francis Chan at 5:30 in the Sanctuary.  No meal provided except for the teens.

Saturday June 20 – Mike & Laci’s wedding will take place here at Angus Church at 3:00 p.m. this Saturday afternoon.  Please pray for this couple as they begin their lives together as husband and wife!

Sunday June 21 – This Sunday is Father’s Day and we want to wish all of our dads a wonderful and blessed day!  On Sunday we will be looking at the story of Gideon out of the book of Judges, chapters 6 and 7 and the significance of a “Round Loaf of Barley Bread.”  Why not join us in either of the morning worship services to find out what it’s all about!

 Thursday June 25-Saturday June 27 – Our NM District Missions Convention, Sunday School Convention and District Assembly will take place at the Heights First Church of the Nazarene in Albuquerque.  Please be in prayer for all who will be a part of these 3 very important days not only from Angus Church but from all acorss the NM District.



A Sign 6/10/15

Good morning,

I have been studying in the book of Isaiah for my personal devotion time lately and the more I’m there the more I love what God is saying to me.  Yesterday I was in chapter 7 and there are some amazing things that have challenged me more and more.

Let me begin by telling you that my summer preaching on people in the Bible who did things that they could not do has been the catalyst for God’s challenges to me to trust Him.  Two weeks ago we looked at the four men who brought their friend to Jesus and what we saw was the “. . . when Jesus saw their faith . . .” their friend was not just healed but his sins were forgiven as well!  It was their faith that brought that to their friend.  This past Sunday when we looked at the woman and the oil, the question that Elisha asked her, “What do you have?” has been a question that I’ve felt God asking me, “What do you have?”  All too often we look at the things that we have in light of our economy instead of God’s economy and we come to the conclusion that what we have won’t do any good.  The thing is, that is exactly what that widow thought, but God looked at what she had and He provided not only for her debts but He also provided for she and her sons for the rest of their lives.  I’m asking myself the question what could I do that I can’t do . . . what could we do that we can’t do?  But back to Isaiah 7 . . .

Isaiah tells us about Ahaz, the king of Judah in Jerusalem.  They are under siege and the king has decided that he is going to call on the Assyrians for help to escape the siege.  But God tells the king that they have more to fear from the Assyrians than they do those who are attacking them, and in fact, ultimately it is Assyria that destroys Jerusalem and takes over 200,000 captives from Judah.

But here’s the part that got to me.  In the middle of all of this God directs Isaiah to tell king Ahaz, “Ask God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights” (7:11).  Literally what God was saying is, “ASK ME FOR ANYTHING AT ALL – NO LIMITS – NOTHING WITHHELD – JUST ASK!”  And king Ahaz, with mock piety, refused to do so, pretending it would be against the Law of God.  (In fact, he had long ago closed the Temple and discontinued the public observance of the Law.)  The real reason that he does this is because he has already made up his mind that he’s going to ask the Assyrians and he doesn’t want to trust God.  As I said before, it was Assyria that ultimately overthrows Jerusalem and Judah.

BUT LOOK AT WHAT GOD DID – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (7:14).  The sign that God gives is Messiah.  There is so much there in the grammar and the original language that we don’t necessarily see in the English that just makes it that much more powerful.  For instance, God stops speaking to Ahaz alone and begins to speak to everyone, the whole house of David – the entire Davidic dynasty.  There is a definite article “the” in front of the word “virgin” indicating a specific virgin in God’s plan.  And there’s even more – “Immanuel” means “God with us,” we know that.  But a better translation might just be “The with-us God!”  There is a little nuance there that I see that He is not just “with us” but He IS the “with-us God!!!!!”  That’s His idea – that’s His plan and purpose OVER 700 years before Christ was even born.

Now with all of that, what do you think God is asking you today?  Could it be that He wants to involve your faith in someone else’s miracle?  Could it be that He is asking you what you have in your hands KNOWING that if you’ll put it into His hands there is NO LIMIT to what He can do?  Could it be that God wants to use you and me to do things that we cannot possibly do?

I love you,

Rick

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Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday May 27– We will continue our “Amazing Grace” study by Francis Chan at 5:30 in the Sanctuary.  No meal provided except for the teens.

Sunday June 14 – Dave and Kim Hane, missionaries in Singapore, and their children, Jonathan and Joy, will be with us on Sunday.  The Hanes have been with us before and you don’t want to miss this time as they share the incredible things that God is doing throughout the Asia/Pacific region.

Friday June 19 – Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, which Angus Church helps to sponsor, is having a golf tournament to raise money for this incredible program.  The 4-person scramble will be on Friday June 19th beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Rainmakers Golf Course.  The cost is $125 per person or $450 per 4 person team.  For more information contact Elizabeth Potter at lincolncountybackpacks@gmail.com or the Rainmakers golf pro John Rogers at jrogers@rainmakersuse.com.