| Media |

| Messages | 

Did you happen to miss a Sunday? No worries. Check out any of our messages right here. You can also subscribe to our podcast by clicking on the microphone in the bottom right corner of the media player.
 
Sunday’ s Sermon (December 30) did not record. We apologize for the technical difficulties.  

WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Sorry, there are no sermons available for this playlist.

 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

Oh the Depths of God’s Love 9/3/14

“Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; everything happens through him; everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.” (Romans 11:33-36 The Message)

The scripture above is labeled a “Doxology” in the NIV. The dictionary defines “doxology” as “a hymn or form of words containing an ascription of praise to God.” I think it’s important for us to remember that this doxology comes at the end of three chapters where Paul is writing specifically about the nation of Israel. In Romans 9 he begins with “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” (9:2). He is lamenting the fact that Israel is God’s chosen nation; they had the advantage of “the adoption to sonship; divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah . . .” (9:4-5). But his anguish is the fact that most of Israel had not recognized Jesus as Messiah. He prays that they will be saved, because “As Scriptures says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame’” (10:11).

Then, in the 11th chapter he begins to talk to us, the Gentiles, about Israel and reminds us that we have been “grafted into” our salvation because of Israel. This didn’t happen because of our goodness, righteousness or holiness; it is only by God’s grace. He then sets forth the hope that “if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!” (11:24). The “natural branches” refers to Israel. In other words, he says that we cannot count them out. It would be foolish to say that they have no chance . . . or, simply put, God isn’t finished with them yet!

And then we come to that beautiful doxology, the ascription of praise to God. Our God is a generous God; in fact, perhaps that word “generous” doesn’t really catch the whole meaning. There is really no way at all to plumb the depths of that generosity; why, it is so big that we can’t even follow it all the way to the end. The mind of God is so incredible that we’ll never comprehend it and how could we even think that we could tell God what to do, what He should do, why He should or shouldn’t do anything and what makes us think that He should listen to our advice in the first place?

“For from him and through him and for him are all things” (11:36 NIV). Or another way to say it, “Everything comes from him; everything happens through him; everything ends up in him” (11:36 Message).

If you’ve been thinking that God doesn’t know your situation, or that He doesn’t care about you, or even that there just isn’t anything that God can do . . . you can’t even begin to comprehend just how valuable you are to Him, just how much He loves you and what He has in store for you.

“This is how God showed his love among us; He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. . . . And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:9-10, 16 NIV).

Hold on, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Rick

Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday September 4 – Why not join us for dinner at 5 in the gym and then if you aren’t involved in a Bible study or with the teens or children you can come into the sanctuary at 6:00 and we’ll look at the second video session on Simplifying our Lives

Sunday September 7, 14 & 28 – Three of the next four Sundays we are going to be looking at very obscure people from the Bible, probably you don’t remember some or all of them at all. And yet what God did in their lives is a reminder to us that no one is too small or insignificant for God. He knows you; He knows where you are. I hope you’ll be here this Sunday as we see God’s covenant love in action; 8:45 in the gym and 10:30 in the sanctuary. Of course you don’t want to forget our Hispanic service at 4:00 in the sanctuary each Sunday as well.

Sunday September 14 – We will be hosting a double wedding shower for Michelle Howard and for Jessica Pape at 2:00 p.m. in the Sunday school room. The weddings are at the end of September and in October. We want to encourage all ladies that you are welcome and encouraged to come to the shower on the 14th.

Sunday September 21 – We are privileged to have Dr. Bill Burch with us on Sunday morning September 14. Bill is the former District Superintendent of the Arizona District and a very close personal friend of mine and Sue’s. Bill has been a mentor to me all of my ministry life as I have the privilege of serving under his leadership in Oklahoma and Arizona. His preaching makes the Word of God come alive and will challenge us to walk closer to the Lord. You don’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to hear this man of God open the Word to us! Bill will be speaking in both of our morning worship services on the 14th.



Music, Music, Music June 11, 2014

Evidently, I need to begin by clearing something up.  This morning we were told that an email had been sent out that had my name and Phil’s name on it and it said that if we continue with the music that we have in the first service, the church is going to die.  It was sent out, as I understand, like Phil and I were saying that.

I want to be very clear here – that email is NOT from me and it is NOT from Phil.  I also want to be very clear that I LOVE what the praise team is doing with our music in the first service AND in the second service each week.  Phil has a group of musicians whose hearts are tuned to sign the praise and adoration of the Savior.  The same goes for Brenda in the second service.  This past Sunday morning, June 8, the music in the first service couldn’t have been more incredible.  The Spirit of the Lord was present in an amazing way and as we sang and worshiped it was such an incredible blessing to us.  In the second service this past week the music was amazing and incredible and God’s Spirit blessed us.  IT IS LIKE THAT EVERY WEEK IN BOTH SERVICES!

So, if this was a joke or if someone intends to try and make waves I hope this will put it to rest.  If there is some concern that you have with the church or with me, let me tell you that my door is always open to anyone who wants to come and talk to me, and especially if you have a concern about something.  I do not want to try and run away from any problems or any issues and I’m happy to set up an appointment with anyone to talk.  The office number is 575 336-8032 and my personal cell phone number is 575 937-4929.  Now I need to tell you that I will be out of contact for the next couple of weeks due to the fact that I will be having knee replacement surgery next Monday, June 16th and so if you need an appointment we might need to put it off for a couple of weeks.  Thank you for your prayers and understanding.

Isn’t it interesting how satan will stop at nothing to try and distract us from what God is doing?  I sincerely hope this is nothing more than a misunderstanding or a practical joke, but if it is something more than that then please know that it is NOT of the Lord.  Just so I’m clear here, if someone is doing this because they don’t like the music in the first service, THIS IS NOT OF THE LORD!  God does not deceive people, i.e., sending out an email with someone else’s name on it or trying to hide their identity.  In fact God is very open with what He says and I try to be as well.  I believe very strongly that we all should be.  If someone has an issue with me then I think they ought to talk with me.  If I have an issue with someone I’m certainly supposed to talk with them. 

satan would LOVE to throw us into an uproar arguing or fighting or disagreeing about things that are so inconsequential as music.  The Bible calls satan “the father of lies” and he tries to convince us that things or styles, that stuff and the like are more important than people. 

I have been listening through, for the second time now after also reading it, the CD’s from the book The Shack.  If you have never read it I would challenge you to put aside your preconceived ideas about God, about life and about religion, and dare to read it (or listen to it).  I told you this is my third time through it and as I was listening to it over the last week in my car I have come away more convinced than ever before that God is about relationships.  He ISN’T about religion.  He ISN’T about styles of music or worship or whatever you want to call it.  He ISN’T about my opinion or your opinion, He IS about relationships.  He IS about people.

I know people who have read the book, or at least a portion of the book, and come away so mad that they almost can’t be civil.  I am not going to ruin the book for you if you haven’t read it but let me just tell you that the way that it characterizes God is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING like you have ever seen before.  And I think it is PERFECT, SPOT ON, EXACTLY what we need to see.  The reason, you might ask, because some of you who have read it and are undecided about it . . . why would I say what I just said?  Well the reason is because I think God doesn’t want to be put into a box and I think He likes it when we not only get out of the box, but we try and blow the box up and start with something completely new or at least a brand new way of thinking (thanks Meghan). 

I believe that God is looking for us to get serious about people.  I don’t think God cares about our building; I don’t think God gives any thought to the car we drive, the clothes that we wear, the way we fix our hair or put on our makeup, the house we live in or the food that we eat.  I think He cares very much about how we treat people – ALL PEOPLE – PEOPLE WHO AREN’T LIKE US – PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKE US – PEOPLE.  I think He cares about the way that we spend our money if it keeps us from focusing on PEOPLE!  You aren’t going to take your car, your clothes, your makeup or your house to heaven – but you can take your neighbor – you can take that person who is hooked on drugs or the guy or gal who cuts your hair, or the cashier who checks you out at the grocery store, or the server who waits on you at the restaurant, or the neighbor whose dog is forever keeping you up at night, or the persons whose tattoos are on every part of their skin that you can see, or the alcoholic or the person who flipped you off on the highway, or the person who cussed you out in the mall, or the person who hurt you, or the person that lives in a box, or the person who drives an SUV or Hummer, or the person . . . . . . . . . do you get where I’m going here?  GOD IS ABOUT PEOPLE – THAT IS WHAT CONCERNS HIM!

I am not real sure that He cares about our music – man that makes some of you uncomfortable – but I’m not sure He does.  Have you ever watched people that aren’t like you, and I’m talking about both ends of the spectrum here folks, that praise the Lord as their style of music is being played or sung or led? 

I love you.  I want to give Phil who leads our music in the first service and Brenda who leads our music in the second service, a HUGE, BIG THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU because in both of our worship services every Sunday morning I have the PRIVILEGE or worshiping, of lifting my hands and praising God, of singing at the top of my lungs and clapping my hands and sometimes crying and sometimes laughing and sometimes “lifting my hands and spinning around” and always praising the Lord!  I let them choose the music because they listen to the voice of the Lord and the music in both services is always AMAZING!  So, as I started to say, if you are having a problem with my music then let’s talk.  Please don’t say that “I said” something when I didn’t say it.  And if someone is just pulling off a practical joke, then at least you’ve given me a chance to give my kudos to Phil and Brenda and our Praise teams in both worship services.

I love you

Rick

Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday June 11 – We would love to invite you to come and join us for dinner tonight here at the church – it won’t cost you a thing and it’ll be great.  It starts at 5 and then we’ll have our regular activities!

Sunday June 15 – We invite you to come and worship with us this Sunday morning at 8:45 a.m. in the gym or at 10:30 in the Sanctuary or if you like the Hispanic service at 4:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.  We’re going to be looking at Colossians 2:20-3:1 in the morning services and Pastor Marco will have a Biblical message in the afternoon!

Monday June 16 – I told you that I’ll be having knee replacement surgery this coming Monday.  I’m going to be in the hospital for a few days and then out of commission for a couple of weeks, but if you need me call the office and Shelly will know how to get hold of me.  Thanks for your prayers and because so many people have asked, this doesn’t have anything to do with the deer running into me a few years ago – it is the other knee.

Sunday June 22 – We are PRIVILEGED to have Korey Frazier preaching for us in the morning worship services on that Sunday.  Let me tell you, you don’t want to miss that Sunday.  Korey is becoming a great man of the Word of God and He will bring it that morning.

June 26-28 – We will be involved with our Nazarene NM District Assembly and Conventions at Clovis on that weekend.  Korey Frazier will be ordained in the Friday evening service at 7:00 p.m. at the Living Stones Church of the Nazarene in Clovis at 1800 Norris Street.  If you can come to that service you will be blessed and we can all bless Korey and Lauren on this milestone.

Sunday June 29 – We are PRIVILEGED  to have Phil Jones preaching for us in the morning worship services on that Sunday.  Again, you DON’T want to miss that Sunday.  Phil has been preaching the Word with power and conviction these 9 years that he has been on staff with us and He will bring the Word that morning!

To put on your radar – Tuesday July 29th we are hosting a blood drive here at our facility.  It will run from 12:30 until 5:00 p.m.  We will be putting up posters and giving people the opportunity to sign up to donate their blood.  Please, if you are a regular blood donor, make plans to donate here on that day.  If you have never donated blood, or if it’s been awhile, why not take this opportunity to give the gift of life!



“Continually . . . Constantly . . .” May 28, 2014

What a beautiful morning!  We had some much, much needed rain this past weekend and I so look forward to seeing the world around us start to green up more – please continue to pray for rain and for God to continue to protect our area from fires.

I want you to read these words from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, chapter 5 verses 1-2:  “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Now read it in a new translation, the One New Man Bible:  “Therefore you must continually be imitators of God as beloved children and you must walk constantly in love, just as also the Messiah loved us and gave Himself over on our behalf, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma.”

The thing that I am enjoying about the One New Man Bible (ONMB) translation is that it attempts to take not only the translation, but the meanings from the original language and incorporate that into the translation.  With that in mind, the two verses translated above bring into more clarity the meaning of Paul’s challenge to the church; in essence, to you and me.

I want you to notice the emphasis that Paul puts on “continually . . . constantly . . .”  I have told you many times that when the original readers of the Word of God read the book or the letters in the NT, they would have understood the nuances that the writers had put into it.  We read the English translations and we see a word there but many times we don’t catch the tense of the original language, or sometimes a word is used in the translation that just comes up a little short.  For example, the word “love.”  We have one word that we use for love and it can mean so many different things: “I love pizza” or “I love my wife.”  Now we know, I hope, that I don’t love pizza and my wife in the same way.  But in the Greek there are at least four different words for love and when the writes used those words the readers would have understood immediately the force of that word.

Paul says here that we are to imitate God – but in the ONMB we see that his emphasis is that we are to be continually imitating God.  This isn’t just supposed to happen every once in awhile; it doesn’t just take place on Sunday when we “come to church;” we continually imitate Him as “beloved children and you must walk constantly in love . . .”  Here is where that word “love” comes into play.  The root of “beloved . . . love” is agape – which is the highest form of love that there is.  This is God’s love.  Also, we are to “walk constantly in love, just also as the Messiah loved us . . .” (emphasis mine)

Perhaps you have wondered from time to time what God would have you do.  I have heard people say, and in fact I have said it too, “If God would just tell me what I’m supposed to do then I’d do it!”  Well, this makes it pretty clear to me that we already know what we should be doing.  Before you tell me that what you were talking about in that “situation” was something specific, let me tell you that everything that we do is supposed to be an imitation of God and that the way to imitate God is to constantly walk in love with Jesus Christ’s love for us as the example that we are supposed to follow. 

So then, when you’re wondering what you should be doing and you want to know what God would have you do, look at Christ because He said that when we saw Him, we saw the Father – we saw God.

Another part of this has to do with sacrifices.  Again, the readers from Ephesus would have understood sacrifices, where we just don’t.  When God called the children of Israel and gave them the sacrificial system, part of the beauty of the sacrifice was the aroma that came from that sacrifice.  When they sacrificed, they were to sacrifice the very best that they had.  When that sacrifice was burned the aroma from it would have been so incredibly beautiful and pleasing to olfactory senses.  Think about this even though it is a poor example – when you put something on the grill and you begin to cook it, the aroma is incredible.  One time when we lived in Phoenix we had our family send us a couple of sacks of green chile that were unroasted.  It was incredibly hot in Phoenix and so instead of roasting them in the oven in the house and making it that much hotter, we decided to roast them on the grill outside.  We hadn’t been grilling but just a few minutes when our neighbor next door came out his back door wanting to know what that incredible aroma was.  Needless to say, the family of green chile lovers grew that day by at least one.

Paul says to us that when we imitate God, which we have learned how to do by watching Jesus, when we constantly imitate God, walking constantly in love just like we saw Jesus do when He literally sacrificed Himself for us, then that will be a fragrant aroma to God – in other words, like when God gave them the sacrificial system and He talked to them about the pleasing aroma of the sacrifice, which in effect was obedience – when we do this, it is once again that fragrant aroma to God that shows our obedience.

What do you smell like today? 

Come one, keep it in context . . . is your life constantly a pleasing aroma to God?  Please don’t misunderstand, we don’t always do things perfectly, we are human.  But what is your intention when you begin each day?  If you intention is to “continually be imitators of God . . .” then you are being obedient to Him and  you are walking “constantly in love, just as also the Messiah loved us and gave Himself over on our behalf . . .”  You see, Jesus’ intention was to do whatever He had to do to show us agape love, God’s love.  So are you intentionally starting your day with the idea that you are going to do whatever you have to do to show God’s love, even to the point of sacrificing what you want to do so that whoever you come in contact with will see God’s love

What is your intention today?  Come on now, own up . . . what is your intention today?  It may not come out perfectly, but what is your intention?  “Continually . . . constantly . . .”  As if you need motivation for that let me remind you of the context of the two verses that we are looking at this morning.  If you go one verse back, chapter 4 verse 32, you’ll see that the reason that we would do this (intention) is that God has granted you and me forgiveness in Messiah, in Christ!  And this of course would lead us directly back to the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:15 where Jesus said, “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (emphasis mine)Context, context, context . . . it is really the whole book, the entire Word that we need to see.

What do you smell like today?

Rick 

Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday May 28 – THERE ARE NO REGULARLY SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES AT THE CHURCH THIS EVENING!

Sunday June 1 – We hope that you will join us as we worship together this morning at 8:45 and 10:30 a.m.  We have an incredible day planned because we are going to be looking at God’s Word to us from Colossians 2:6-12 and I want to challenge you to come expecting that God will be here and that He is coming to meet you!  He will be and He is!  Of course we also have our Hispanic service at 4:00.

Our District Assembly and Conventions are coming up June 26-28 in Clovis NM.  Please be in prayer for our District, our Superintendent and the Church as we come together from across the NM District.  On Friday evening June 27th one of our own, Korey Frazier, will be ordained.  We invited all who can to come and be a part of this incredible celebration!