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 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

Let It Soak In!

God has sent some incredible rain on this area.  This past Tuesday morning, yesterday, the total rainfall in the Ruidoso area was over 10 inches.  Then on Tuesday afternoon we received another substantial rain.  One of the most beautiful things about the rain is that much I,mf not most of it has come slowly, gently and has soaked into the ground.  The green that we see everywhere is a beautiful vibrant green that reminds me of Spring.  “Thank you Lord for the moisture, for the refreshing and for your blessings!”

Isaiah 46:11, “What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.”

I hope you take a moment to read those words again . . . slowly . . . purposefully . . . let them soak into your mind like the rain has soaked into our ground.  Those are two incredible promises in one verse.

I want you to see the context of that verse from the entire 46th chapter of Isaiah.  He begins by speaking of other nation’s gods; idols.  He talks about the fact that they are “burdensome, a burden for the weary” (46:1).  He says that they are “unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity” (46:2).  A little later, speaking again of those who have idols or god made out of gold . . . He says, “With whom will you compare me or count me equal . . . they hire a goldsmith to make it (gold) into a god, and they bow down and worship it.  They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place and there it stands.  From that spot it cannot move.  Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles” (46:5-7).

Going back to verse 3 He says to Israel, “Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (46:3-4). 

GOD has just reminded His children (and you need to remember that this is for us as well) that when they worship (when we worship) idols or gods of our own making, those gods can do NOTHING for us.  In fact, WE have to carry them; WE have to stand them up; IT cannot hear us or answer us and IT cannot save us from our troubles.  AND YET WE PERSIST IN MAKING IDOLS/GODS OF SO MANY THINGS!  Folks, we even make god/idols of our limited belief about God.  (Think about that for a minute)  We limit God because we have such limited expectations of Him!  BUT He has carried us!  He sustains us!  He rescues us!  He has made us!  Let’s go on in Isaiah 46 . . .

He says, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. . . .  What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. . . .  I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed” (46:9, 11, 13).

WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!

Now, read a few paragraphs from Blackaby’s book that we have been looking at, What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches

“The Spirit of God puts the people of God into the presence of God.  [That sentence in itself is incredible]  And in His presence, the Spirit reveals God’s purposes to the church He would use.  He then waits for our response.

“What should that response look like?”  Then he gives us four things that will happen.

“1. Hear Him afresh.  God never hides the truth.  He is always open and honest with us.  We are the ones who tend to overlook, or not hear, all that God is saying.  He is always taking the initiative to make His assignment known, and we must be actively alert to receive it.

“2. Believe Him wholeheartedly.  We must determine that God is everything He says He is and will do everything He says He will do for us—if we let Him.  As He calls us to accomplish the impossible, we know He’ll provide everything we need, because to be on mission with God through His church is to be in the midst of the most practical and extensive concentration of God’s resources possible.

“3. Adjust to Him—unconditionally—in our lives and in our churches, in order to join in God’s revealed activity.  God has the right to require and to make these adjustments in us in order to conform us to Himself and to His will—regardless of how long the process takes.

“4. Obey Him—immediately and in faith, as He leads us.  He will then accomplish His purposes through us.”  And then he gives us what I would call the icing on the cake!

“Any church willing to respond this way in their relationship with God will experience His mighty deeds through them to bring a lost world to Himself.”

Now I’ve written so much here that I’m going to stop for today.  I hope you’ll take the time to go back and read this again.  I hope you’ll take the time to listen to God as you read it and let Him soak into your soul what He is trying to say.

Then I’m going to take this, over the next couple of weeks, and flesh it out just a little more.  I’ll take Blackaby’s points here and we’ll talk about Angus church and what He is saying to us as a body; about our personal relationship with Him; about what He wants to do in all of us!

Please, stop and take 5 or 10 minutes and read through this again.  I believe God is saying something to you and me.

Rick

Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday August 21 – We are back in full swing with our Wednesday night activities here at Angus Church.  We have dinner for everyone, free of charge, at 5:00 o’clock.  The children’s classes begin after school and wind up about 6:30.  Teen activities begin after dinner with some free time and then Phil will lead our teens in worship and study of God’s Word.  Our Hispanic small group meets at 6:00 and our prayer group also meets at 6:00.  If you’d like more information call the church office at 336-8032.  I hope you can make it tonight!

Friday August 23 – Our Puerto Esperanza board will be meeting this evening – please pray that God will direct us as we seek His will for this ministry.

Saturday August 24 – We are having an all-church workday here from 9:00-2:00.  We will provide lunch for everyone and we NEED a good group of people, men and women, to come out as we have a lot to do. 

Sunday August 25 – We will have our regular worship services at 8:45 in the gym, 10:30 in the sanctuary and our Hispanic service at 4:00 in the sanctuary.

 



“Your Kingdom Come on Earth . . .”

What a beautiful morning it is.  The clouds were hanging low over Sierra Blanca when I drove into the office this morning; there is a feeling and smell of rain in the air and the rain that we have had over the last several weeks has been beautiful!  The hillsides are green and there is life everywhere.

We had an incredible week of Camp with our NM District Nazarenes last week as well.  The speakers, Tim Green and Gary Henecke, both opened the Word of God in ways that challenged me and everyone that was there.  God was saying the same things through their ministry that He has been saying to me and to us and it was a confirmation of where He is taking us.  I have mentioned to you that Tim Green is one of my favorite people in the world and one of the most incredible preachers I know; he has an incredible grasp of scripture.  I spoke with him and he is going to be coming to Angus next March for a weekend with us; Friday over Sunday, March 14-16.  I know this is a ways out there but I hope you will make that weekend a priority.

I want to pull a quote once again out of the book What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches by Henry Blackaby.  He writes; “A church must expect the Lord’s assignment to be something only God can do.”  He says that if we will become convinced that this is true, then God would “accomplish what was impossible for us on our own so He could reveal Himself to His people and to our world through His people.”

Now we have been talking about this, with Puerto Esperanza and it is important that we continue to walk in this path.  But let me take just a little different tact this morning and key on just a couple of words that we might overlook if we read through that in a hurry.  He said that “a church must expect . . .”  Obviously, the emphasis is mine.  What are you expecting today?  I shared with you that both of our speakers at Camp last week said many of the same things that God has been saying to me and that I have been preaching to you.  We spent three weeks looking at The Lord’s Prayer before the week of camp and then in all of his sermons throughout the week Tim Green preached on The Lord’s Prayer.  It was powerful; it was challenging; it was a call from God.  Gary Henecke talked to us about expecting God to do the impossible.

I know that I might belabor this point a little but I can’t help but continue to emphasize this.  God continues to speak to me about this area of expectation and looking for Him when we come together.  I believe that God wants to do some things that we have, at least heretofore not expected Him to do.  There it is again . . . expected.  What are you expecting God to do? 

A few weeks ago I wrote to you and asked the question “Is God’s Presence Practical?”  Then I wrote the following:

I think we’ve gotten practical in our relationship with Christ and I don’t think that is a good thing.  I think that God wants us to trust Him when things don’t add up – (see the Battle of Jericho in Joshua 6; see Jonathan attacking the Philistines in 1 Samuel 14, “Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few” 1 Sam. 14:6; see a young boy take down a giant in 1 Samuel 17; see 5000-15000 fed with 5 small loaves of bread and two small fish; etc., etc., etc.)

I think that we have arrived at the place where we don’t expect for God to act, we just do what we’ve always done, the way we’ve learned to do it, that we’ve quit expecting for God to do the miraculous, and worse, we’ve quit asking for Him to do the miraculous.  I am just as guilty as you are!  But I’m tired of it and I have decided that I’m going to do something about it personally.  I want to invite you to join me; I want to invite you to be a part of this too; I want to invite you to expect more.

Do we actually believe that God’s kingdom can work here on earth like it does in heaven?  That is what He told us to pray.  And if He told us to pray that then we can expect (there’s that word again) that He wasn’t kidding us, that He wasn’t lying to us, that He actually wants that to happen.

What are you expecting today?  What are you expecting to see in and through the church?  Earlier I quoted Blackaby and said that not only does God want to reveal Himself to us, His people, but He wants to reveal Himself to the world through His people; that is YOU AND ME.  I want to see it in my life.  I want to see it through Angus Church.  I want to see it happen in Lincoln County through His body of believers.  I want to see it happen in NM, through our nation and into all the world. 

God is the One who is in control; we aren’t.  God is the One who is in control.  So, what are you going to expect?

Rick

Upcoming

The church board has voted to make some improvements on and around our property.  There are some things that we need to do to maintain our building and grounds and at least one new item that we believe will be a great asset to our church.  The asset I am referring to is that we have purchased a digital sign that will sit on the front of our property.  This digital sign will be a great tool for communication not only for the church but for the community.  We are also going to be doing some improving in the building as well.  We are going to be repainting the sanctuary and the gym and we are going to be doing a general clean-up in the building and around it.

The costs of the sign, the repainting and some other items will run us somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000.  We are going to need for everyone to be faithful in helping us to complete these tasks so, thank you in advance for your faithfulness in giving.

On Saturday August 24th we are going to be having an all church workday.  There is a LOT of stuff that needs doing and we need you here.  We are putting together a list of stuff that will need to be done on that day and there will be people in charge of each area.  We will begin at 9:00 a.m. that morning and plan on working until about 2:00 that afternoon.  We will provide a lunch for everyone that comes and, like I said, there is a LOT to be done.  If we had 40 or 50 people here we could get so much done.  So please strongly consider being here to help.  We can use EVERYONE!

There are new things that are going to be happening this fall as well and we hope that you will take the opportunity to get involved wherever you can.

Sunday August 18 – We are going to be coming together to worship God – COME EXPECTING!  We have our regular English speaking worship services at 8:45, 10:30 and our Hispanic service at 4:00.

Wednesday August 21 – We will begin our fall schedule on Wednesday’s again.  It all starts with dinner at 5:00 and the teens and children will have their activities and services and we will have a prayer group at 6 and there is a Hispanic group that also meets at 6.  Come and get involved!

Saturday August 24 – All Church Workday begins at 9:00 a.m.



Is God’s Presence Practical?

Is God’s presence practical?  (Taken from What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches by Henry Blackaby)

“Often, when I talk to others about God’s being present and active and involved practically . . . in our work, someone will tell me I sound like a ‘mystic,’ like someone who isn’t practical.  Meanwhile, the self-described ‘practical’ person seems to be pursuing ministry by his own effort and means, then asking God to bless it.

“Was God’s presence practical in the parting of the Red Sea?  Was His presence practical for the children of Israel in providing them with manna and water, in defeating the Amalekites, and in guiding them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night?

“Was God’s presence in Jesus Christ practical in restoring sight to a blind man, in healing a leper, in stilling a storm, and in feeding the multitudes?

“Was the presence of God’s Spirit practical on the day of Pentecost and in releasing Peter from prison and in guiding Paul when he was shipwrecked?

“Is the presence of the living Christ practical as head over our churches in supplying our needs and giving us victories?”

Well, that’s the question church, when is God’s presence practical?  It isn’t.

The Word of God tells us that when we are weak that is when we are strong . . . it tells us that if we want to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven we have to be the servant of all . . . it tells us that the first will be last and that the last will be first . . . it tells us “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).  Not very practical if you ask me; we are so fickly, so hot and cold, with nothing at all to bring to Christ and yet when we were at our worst, He DIED for our sins; FOR US!

This past Sunday I shared with you that after listening to our missionary speaker at our District Assembly and hearing him tell about the miracles that are happening in the Horn of Africa, about the literally hundreds of thousands that have come to Christ over the past 11 years, that God asked me why that isn’t happening here. 

It isn’t practical, but I believe that God wants that to happen here; I’m not just talking about Angus, but I am talking about Angus.  I think we’ve gotten practical in our relationship with Christ and I don’t think that is a good thing.  I think that God wants us to trust Him when things don’t add up – (see the Battle of Jericho in Joshua 6; see Jonathan attacking the Philistines in 1 Samuel 14, “Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few” 1 Sam. 14:6; see a young boy take down a giant in 1 Samuel 17; see 5000-15000 fed with 5 small loaves of bread and two small fish; etc., etc., etc.)

I think that we have arrived at the place where we don’t expect for God to act, we just do what we’ve always done, the way we’ve learned to do it, that we’ve quit expecting for God to do the miraculous, and worse, we’ve quit asking for Him to do the miraculous.  I am just as guilty as you are!  But I’m tired of it and I have decided that I’m going to do something about it personally.  I want to invite you to join me; I want to invite you to be a part of this too; I want to invite you to expect more.

I’m going to urge you to ask God to show you something every time you read the Bible.  I know, that isn’t practical . . . I’m going to urge you to ask God to use you in a tangible way every day.  I know, that isn’t practical . . .  I’m going to ask you to not come (or go) to church each Sunday without first praying and asking God to do something miraculous, extraordinary, out of the normal routine AND THEN COME (OR GO) EXPECTING THAT HE WILL!  I know, that’s not practical . . .  Please understand that I am NOT telling us to ask God to bless “our plans” but for us to expect Him to do what He wants to do.

I know this isn’t practical, but have you stopped to consider that we are speaking of GOD?  We aren’t talking about a human being; we aren’t talking about someone who is on sometimes and “not-so-on” other times; we aren’t talking about someone who is fickle or who gets His feelings hurt.  We are speaking of GOD!  I don’t think we’re going to offend Him by asking Him to be Him!  I don’t think that it is stretching things to believe that God can show us something from His Word!  I don’t think it is going to be too hard for Him to use you and me in tangible ways every day.  I REALLY don’t think it’s asking too much for Him to do something that ONLY He can do when His body of believes comes together.  I think the challenge is NOT going to be what He can or wants to do but what we are WILLING to do to receive His leading/miracles/touch.

Some of you are just going to read this and dismiss it; some of you are actually going to roll your eyes and think that I’m getting fanatical; some of you are going to think about it but you aren’t going to actually do it.  I’m praying that some of us, five, ten, twenty, could there possibly be fifty, would SERIOUSLY believe that God WANTS to do here, at Angus or at your church, what He is doing on a regular basis in the Horn of Africa, in South America, in China, in the Middle East, in places where they don’t have anything but God and they have found out that God is enough.

I’m urging you to start RIGHT NOW!  I’m asking you to pray that this Sunday, here at Angus Church or there at your church, that something extraordinary takes place that we didn’t do but that ONLY God can do!  And know this, I’m not asking God to do this only here, I’m asking Him to do it all across Lincoln County.  I don’t want people to see Angus Church or see me, I want them to see God.  And I don’t care what He chooses to do, REGARDLESS of whether it fits in my box or not; in fact, I’m kind of hoping that He blows my box apart!

Will you join me?

Rick

Upcoming Activities

 

Sunday August 4 – We will have our regular worship services at 8:45 and 10:30 a.m., please pray with me that God will do what HE wants to do.  At 2:00 p.m. S.A.C. is sponsoring an afternoon at the pool at Bonita Park from 2-4.  Come over and swim and enjoy fellowship with one another.  4:00 o’clock is our Hispanic service, again, praying that God will do what HE wants to do!

Monday August 5 – Our NM District Nazarene Campmeeting begins at Bonita Park and the schedule is below.  We urge you to take advantage of the services.  There are two outstanding speakers, Gary Henecke and Tim Green who will be doing the preaching in the main services and both men are great men of God.  I hope you’ll MAKE the time to come and hear them.

Campmeeting Schedule – All services are in Armstrong Tabernacle
Meals are available at the Camp Dining Hall for a nominal fee; Breakfast 7:30, Lunch at noon and dinner at 5:30 each day beginning with dinner on Monday.  Contact the camp, 575 336-4404, for more information.  There will also be activities available each afternoon at the camp.

Monday
Evening service 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday – Friday
School of Prophets Classes 8-9 and 9-10 (Tues and Wed Stan Toler will be speaking; Thursday Tim Green; Friday Dennis & DeAnn Rushing)
Morning service 10:30 a.m.
Evening service 7:00 p.m.

Saturday
Missionary service 10:30 a.m. with Missionaries John and Shannon Herndon
Brick Ceremony at the Prayer Pond 2:00 p.m.
Evening service 7:00 p.m.

Sunday (AUGUST 11 – WE WILL NOT HAVE SERVICES AT OUR CHURCH AT EITHER 8:45 OR 10:30)
School of Prophets Class – 9:00 a.m.
Morning service – 10:30 a.m.