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 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

We Have Been Called 2/12/14

You and I, everyone of us, were created in the image of God.  You are a son or a daughter of the Creator of the Universe.  There is nothing else in all of creation that is like you and me; nothing else, no other created thing, that not only bears the image of God but was created with the capacity to love God and ultimately live with God eternally.  Men, look at your girlfriend or your wife, your daughter if you have one, your mother, your sister, your aunt . . . she is the daughter of the King of kings . . . TREAT HER LIKE IT!  Ladies, look at your boyfriend or your husband, your son if you have one, your dad, your brother, your uncle . . . he is the son of the King of kings . . . TREAT HIM LIKE IT!

That person, that individual who has a tendency to get under your skin; the driver who cuts you off in traffic or turns suddenly in front of you causing you to slam on your brakes to avoid hitting them; the “young punk” or the “old geezer” who seems to just live to tick you off; that obnoxious neighbor who is a pain in the neighborhood, the phone solicitor that calls at the most inopportune time, the server or cook who completely messes up your order, the cashier who overcharges you, the thief that takes your possessions, the prostitute who stands on the street corner offending the decency of your senses, the person of different ethnicity who is completely different than you, the “flaming liberal” or the “right wing bigot” that is “in your face” with their political rhetoric, the politician whose agenda is radically different than yours . . . each and every one of them are created in the image of GOD . . . so how are you treating them?

 

Listen to or read with me these verses from God’s Word.  The first one is taken from Psalm 139:13ff – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. . . .  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. . . . Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” 

God knew you before you were even born!  All of the days of your life, each and every one of them, He knew them all before even one of them happened!  And the same goes for each and every person that is alive, has ever been alive and/or ever will be alive.  And, child of God, (I am talking to you), He knows when that person is going to cut you off, cuss you out, cheat or take advantage of you, operate on you, bother you and/or come into your life, and what if, JUST WHAT IF He has ordained that specific time for you, His child, His messenger, His walking, talking representative of Christ Himself, what if He has ordained that specific time when they cross your path for you to share a word about HIM with them?

I had the privilege yesterday of speaking with a man who was at the end of himself.  He told me that if he had had a gun, he probably would have taken his life.  I am not making this up, I promise you.  I don’t know if he was serious or if he was trying to be dramatic or not, but what I am telling you is that this man walked into my office, unannounced, uninvited and asked to talk to me.  I thought at first he wanted help with a bill, or to borrow some money, or a thousand other things he could have asked, and to be honest that was what I was waiting for and ALL OF THE SUDDEN GOT JUST SEEMED TO STOP ME AND SAY TO ME, “Just listen to him, you can help him.”  And I did stop and listen.  And I think I helped him and it had nothing at all, read this, NOTHING AT ALL to do with me . . . God brought him here and allowed  me to speak love into his life.

Now it might not be that dramatic with you, but are you listening to God closely enough where if He were to bring someone into your life that you would listen and then let God use you? 

Now here is the second set of verses from God’s Word that I want you to hear, to read from Jeremiah 1:5ff – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you . . . ‘Ah, Sovereign LORD,’ I said, ‘I am only a child.’  But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a child.”  You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD.  Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘Now, I have put my words in your mouth.  See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.’”

Do you know what I have found myself wishing and praying this morning?  I have found myself wishing and praying that you and I would take those words personally!  I have found myself hoping and praying that we would get serious about how God wants to use us. 

If you read those words in Jeremiah again some of you are going to say, “God was speaking to Jeremiah” and you would be right.  But what I know about the Bible; what I am sure about scripture; what I am finding to be truer and truer in my life and in your life, is that scripture isn’t taken out of context when you realize that the words that God writes to Jeremiah are written to you as well.  The beauty and power of scripture is that God has taken what was written hundreds, thousands of years ago to specific situations and He uses it today, right this very moment to speak specifically to you and to me.

I believe with all of my heart that God was saying those words to me yesterday when I read them again and when they were shared with me.  And just as surely and certainly, I believe with all of my heart that God IS saying those words to you today when you read them and when I share them with you.

Child of God, (I’m speaking to you), God has set you apart; God has appointed you!  You may think, “I am only a child . . . I don’t have an education in that . . . I don’t know enough . . . I’m scared . . .” and God is saying to you, “Do not say ‘I am only a child . . . I don’t have an education in that . . . I don’t know enough . . .”  I believe today that God says, “You must go to everyone I send you to or everyone I send your way and say what I am telling you.”  And I believe He’s telling you and me not to be afraid because HE IS WITH US! 

I believe He will touch our mouths and give us what to say if we’re willing to shut our mouths long enough to listen to Him and let Him.  I believe if we are willing, if we are open, if we will let go of all of the things that we “aren’t” that God will make us what HE WANTS US TO BE!

Now look at that final verse.  “See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”  If I might be so bold, let me interpret that for you.  The “nation” or “kingdom” that He is appointing you over to “uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow” is the kingdom of the enemy, Satan.  Satan is doing everything that he can to destroy people’s lives; he is doing everything that he can to make people think that no one cares, no one is going to listen, no one is willing to help.  God has given us the authority, only through Jesus, to “uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow.”  IT IS NOT IN OUR POWER, IT IS THROUGH THE POWER OF JESUS CHRIST!  But it is available to every child of God. 

But DON’T stop there; he goes on to say “to build and to plant.”  Not only are we going to be able to stop the kingdom of the enemy, we are going to be able to turn that completely around, 180 degrees, and help them to start something completely new NOT IN OUR POWER, BUT THROUGH THE POWER OF JESUS CHRIST! 

I wish there was something I could do today to make you believe that.  I pray that this email today will challenge you to at the very least start to consider it and begin to seek God as to the truth and certainty of this!  I am praying that this will become a regular thing for us.  Two weeks from this Sunday we’re going to look at God’s Word, Matthew 8:28-34, and see the truth of everything that I’ve just written to you in the sermon “Solve Our Problem, But Save Our Pigs!”  I urge you to make plans now to be here on March 2nd and hear the truth of this in person.  I believe it will be life changing for Angus Church and beyond . . .

Come on now, what are you waiting on to trust God?  Don’t use any excuse, come on now, TRUST GOD that this is His Word, that it is His time, that this is His place!  Where else would it be?  You are here; you aren’t “there” wherever “there” may be, you are right here, right now.  Well, what are you waiting for?

Rick

Upcoming Activities

Today, February 12 – WE ARE HAVING OUR MEMBERSHIP CLASS FOR ANY WHO ARE INTERESTED AT 5:30 TONIGHT!

Dinner tonight here at the gym at 5:00, regular teen and children’s activities, Hispanic Bible study at 5:30, prayer at 6:00 and then we will have THE FIRST MEETING of our second men’s group at 7:00 o’clock in one of the Sunday school rooms!  Any and all men are welcome to come and join with us.  We have the workbooks and they are $15 each, but PLEASE, if you don’t have the money to pay for one, come anyway and we’ll take care of that for you.  We just want you to come!

Friday February 14 – Feed My Starving Children Benefit here at our gym from 5-8 p.m.  Turn Hunger into Hope this Valentine’s Day!  Individual Adult Tickets are $11 and THAT FEEDS 50 CHILDREN!  Individual Youth (teen through age 20) tickets $5.50, and THAT FEEDS 25 CHILDREN!  Family of Five (up to 2 adults and 3 school-age children) tickets are $33 and THAT FEEDS 150 CHILDREN!  There will be a Full Food Court, music and a Silent Auction.  Admission tickets give you access to the food court and each person receives a free raffle ticket with Admission.  There will be children and youth contests and challenges, a Coloring Contest,  Hershey’s Kisses Booth, a Basketball Toss with the GRAND PRIZE of an iPod mini, TerryCycle Toss and much, much more!  COME AND JOIN IN THE FUN AND FEED CHILDREN!

Sunday February 16 – We will have our District Superintendent Dr. Fred Huff here to speak in both of our morning worship services, 8:45 in the gym with breakfast and 10:30 in the Sanctuary.  The title of his sermon is “Seven Steps to Help Us Keep Our Eyes On Jesus and Make a Difference in Our World.”  He will be speaking from John chapters 15 and 17.  Also, we have our Hispanic Service at 4:00 on Sunday afternoon!

Sunday February 23 – On Sunday February 23rd we will be having one combined worship service in the morning and it will be at 9:30 a.m. and it will be in the gym!  This is going to be a very exciting day as we wrap up our month long emphasis on the Body of Christ.  Randy Hutchison, one of our laymen, will share the message from God’s Word on that day on the subject “Workplace Believers”, sharing from Ephesians 3:23-24.  We are ALL workplace believers and God has called ALL of us to minister for Him.
     Breakfast will begin that morning at 8:30 if you would like to come a little early to eat and fellowship together.  We are going to have a Ministry Fair – All of our ministries will have booths around the gym on that day for you to go by and see what is happening and see how you might get involved.  The booths will be open before and after the service that morning and there will be special give-aways at the booths!
We are planning, if technologically possible, on Skyping with our very own missionaries in Papua New Guinea, Harmon and Cindy Schmelzenbach and Dr. Erin Meier.  If everything works right they have agreed to get up at 2:30 a.m. their time on Monday morning so they can “be with us” in our worship service.
THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY EXCITING DAY AND WE HOPE YOU WILL BE WITH US!

FINALLY, Bobbie Harkey is having surgery tomorrow, Thursday February 13th, for breast cancer.  Please be in prayer for Bobbie that there is NO CANCER in the lymph nodes so that she will not have to take chemotherapy treatments.

ALSO, continue to be in prayer for Ron Mortenson in Michigan.  We sent an update Monday – Ron had brain surgery a couple of weeks ago for a blood clot on the brain and then had to have another surgery for another clot a few days later.  There is a leak in the spinal fluid sac that is causing these problems.  Ron was back in the hospital yesterday for another “blood patch” in the spinal fluid sac and that is helping.



Time For a Little Humor

Good Morning!

We have begun the new year and already 2014 is loaded with more challenges than it ought to be.  So this morning, for our Wednesday email, I thought I’d give you a little humor to start your day.  Enjoy!

Rick

 

Computer  Tech Support

Tech  support:     What kind of computer do you have?
Female  customer:    A  black one…

===============
Customer:   Hi, this is Celine. I can’t get my disc out.
Tech support:  Have you  tried pushing the release button?
Customer:  Yes, sure; the tray comes out but there’s nothing in it.
Tech  support:  Does disc content show up on your screen?
Customer:   …Oh! …wait a  minute….. I hadn’t inserted it yet…
it’s still on my desk… sorry….
===============

Tech  support:   Click on the ‘My Computer’ icon on the left of the screen.
Customer:   Your left or my left?
===============

Tech  support:   Good day. How may I help you?
Male customer:   Hello…  I can’t print.
Tech  support: Would you click on “start” for me  and…
Customer:  Listen pal, don’t start getting technical on me! I’m not Bill
Gates.

===============
Customer:  Hi, good  afternoon, this is Martha, I can’t print. Every time
I try, it says ‘Can’t find printer.’ I’ve even lifted the printer over and
placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says it can’t
find it…

===============
Customer:  I have problems printing in red.
Tech  support:  Do you have a color printer?
Customer:   Aaaah…………………thank you.

===============
Tech  support:   What’s on your monitor now, ma’am?
Customer:   A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the carnival.

===============

Customer:    My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech support:  Are you  sure it’s plugged into the computer?
Customer:  No. I can’t get  behind the computer..
Tech  support:  Pick up your keyboard and walk to the other side of the
room.
Customer:   OK
Tech support:    Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer:  Yes
Tech  support:  That means the keyboard is not plugged in.  Is there
another keyboard?
Customer:  Yes, there’s  another one here. Ah..that one does work.
===============

Tech support:  Your password is the small letter “a” as in apple,
a capital letter V as in Victor, and the numbers 7274.
Customer:  Is the 7274 in capital letters?
===============

Customer:    I can’t open Yahoo calendar.
Tech support:  Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer:  Yes, I’m sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Tech support:  Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer:  Yes… five stars.
===============

Tech support:  What  anti-virus program do you use?
Customer:   Hotmail.
Tech  support:  That’s not an anti-virus program..
Customer:   Oh, sorry… Internet Explorer.
===============

Customer:   I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on
my  computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.
Tech support:  ….Who transfered this call to me???
===============

Tech support:  How may I  help you?
Customer:  I’m writing my first e-mail.
Tech  support:  OK, and what seems to be the  problem?
Customer:  Well, I have  the letter ‘a’ in the address, but how do I get
the circle around  it?
===============

A  woman customer called the Canon help desk with a problem with her
printer.
Tech  support:  Are you running it under Windows?
Customer:   “No, my desk is next to the door, but that’s a good point.
The guy sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window and  his
printer is working fine.”
===============

And last but not least…

Tech  support: “Okay  Bob, let’s press the control and escape keys at the
same time. That  brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now hit
the  letter “P” to bring up the Program Manager.”
Customer:  I don’t have a  P.
Tech  support:  On your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: What do you mean?
Tech  support:  “P”…..on your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: I’M NOT GOING TO DO THAT!

 

Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday January 22 – Join us tonight at 5:00 for dinner and our regular Wednesday night activities

Sunday January 26 – We will finish our series on Stewardship and we hope you’ll be here to worship with us.  We have our early service in the gym with breakfast at 8:45 a.m., our 10:30 a.m. service is in the sanctuary and our Hispanic service is at 4:00!

The month of February is going to be an emphasis on the Body of Christ.  We are going to have a lot of fun and we are going to have some great speakers for our services.  On February 2 our very own Korey Frazier will be speaking.  On February 9 John Rivas will be speaking on the body of Christ worldwide.  On February 16 we will have our District Superintendent Dr. Fred Huff speaking to us about the body of Christ through the NM District and International Church of the Nazarene.  On February 23 Randy Hutchison, a layman in our congregation will be speaking to us about the fact that everyone has a ministry.  On the 23rd we will have one combined worship service at 9:30 a.m. in the gym and we are planning some unusual, neat and fun things that will challenge us as the local body of Christ to find what God has for us.  We will have some VERY special guests on that Sunday morning that you won’t want to miss.

Friday February 14 – Feed My Starving Children will be having a fund-raising and awareness-raising event here in the Angus Church gym.  Watch for more details as to how you can be a part of feeding starving children around the world.

Wednesday February 19 – We will be having a baptismal service on that Wednesday evening.  If you have not been baptized and would like to be please talk with one of our pastors, Rick, our youth, children’s or Hispanic pastors about being baptized!

 



Close to Home 1/15/14

The closer to home, the more real it seems.  That could be said about so many things, but I am speaking specifically about the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell yesterday.  Evidently a 12 or 13 year old boy took a shotgun into his school and shot two students, a boy and a girl.  Thankfully, both students survived the initial attack and a teacher was able to talk the student who shot his classmates into surrendering his weapon and no one else was hurt.  We’re read about it, heard about it in other parts of our country, and now here it is approximately 75 miles from our front door.  The closer to home, the more real it seems.

I have followed this news with a lot of interest these last 24 hours.  I know a lot of people in Roswell; no one directly associated with the shooting, but people who are friends, people who are pastors and then I found out yesterday afternoon that the young girl was related to a man here in the Ruidoso area.  I have never met this man, but because of a third party, I have had some contact with this man through a completely different avenue.  The closer to home, the more real it seems.

Last night, less than 12 hours removed from the shooting, over 1500 people came together at the Civic Center in Roswell to pray.  I don’t know for sure, but I assume that there were people in that prayer gathering that I know because of the people that I know there.  As I said, I have pastor friends and friends who are Christians that live in Roswell that would more than likely have been a part of this gathering.  The closer to home, the more real it seems.

My prayer is that nothing like this ever happens any closer to home.  I have been praying for our schools in this area, Capitan, Carrizozo, Ruidoso, Hondo, Corona and Mescalero, a lot closer to home.  Yesterday as I heard the story developing I prayed for the victims and the families and the teachers and students, but one person that I didn’t pray for was the young man who perpetrated this act of violence.  I have since prayed for him but there have been a LOT of things that have gone through my mind in these last 24 hours.

The young man who shot his classmates probably would not have been considered this dangerous before the shooting.  Now you have to  understand that I don’t know anything about him, who he is, what the motive was, why he did this, if there were any warning signs, I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HIM.  I am only surmising the things that I am saying to you.  But because of past incidents that are at least similar to this, I think there probably would have been some signs that something was going on in this young man’s life that would have indicated a problem or problems that were there.  I AM NOT SAYING THAT EVERY PERSON WITH PROBLEMS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS – I AM NOT SAYING THAT

What I am saying is that there are people all around us that are hurting and as Christians we need to be aware that God could use us to make a difference in someone’s life.  It probably wouldn’t be that we would be stopping a mass shooting or something to the level of this amount or type of violence, but there are people all around us who feel alone; people who feel like no one cares; people who feel like they have no real options in life; people who feel like there is no God, or if there is a God He either doesn’t care or can’t do anything to change their lives.

But we know that there is a God and that He does care deeply for every human being alive, no one excepted, and He can do some incredible things to change their lives.  I am saying to you this morning that as followers of Christ, we need to open our ears to the promptings of God every day, everywhere we go.  When we see someone going through a problem, someone who is hurting, someone who is perhaps doing something destructive to themselves or walking down a road that will lead to destruction in their lives, maybe we see them because God has put them into our path and given us this knowledge because He wants us to love them.

I KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT HE DIDN’T SHOW THEM TO US SO THAT WE COULD TALK ABOUT THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE, GOSSIP . . . I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT WHEN WE SEE SOMEONE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING THAT IS OR COULD BE DESTRUCTIVE OR WHO IS HURTING, OR WHO IS IN A SITUATION THAT IS LESS THAN IDEAL THAT WE CANNOT BE JUDGMENTAL, WE MUST NOT WRITE THEM OFF!

Followers of Christ, whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you do, could this be a wakeup call to us to start every day with the prayer, “Father God, help me to listen to You today, to really listen to You today and when we see something to realize that it is more than likely You trying to prompt us to care, to love like you love”?

I am going to urge you to have a change of mind and purposefully begin to ask God to use you each day.  Ask God to show you what you need to see and when you see it, ask Him what He wants you to do AND THEN DO IT!  Don’t judge them, REGARDLESS!!!!!!!!!  Don’t go tell someone what you saw, as in gossip.  But listen to God and then do what He shows you to do.  Love like God loves you.  Care, as if their life depended upon it.  It just might . . .

The closer to home, the more real . . . let’s be real for someone God puts in our path!

I love you

Rick

Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday January 15 – Regular Wednesday activities beginning with dinner at 5

Sunday January 19 – We will have our worship services at 8:45 in the gym with breakfast, 10:30 in the sanctuary and 4:00 in the sanctuary for our Hispanic service.