Sunday, June 28, 2015

Unforgettable Mountains: Promises

I shall not be moved. Ever. Stand strong on the unshakable Immovable Eternal One. Help, Lord , for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue— those who say, "By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?"

Dave Ens pastor

This summer we explore Events that took place on mountain tops. There are lots of them in the Bible.
We talk about mountain top experiences. Defining moments don't last forever. It felt so good. But they don't last. They are the point of our relationship with God. The danger is that we keep chasing a new variant of the experience rather than letting them impact and change my life.
Noah was on top of Mt Ararat. That's a difficult story to work through. Every inclination of the human heart was wicked. The bright spot is Noah. He was listening to God. He did as God commanded him to do.

Gen 7:17 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

Nothing else anywhere. What did Noah feel. Despondent? Going nowhere. Cut off from everything.
How long oh Lord will you forget me?

At age 8 the house was being renovated. When  Dave came out of the bathroom all the windows were black. No one there. Turned out the stucco guys had covered the whole house with tar paper.

Gen 8. But God remembered Noah. Those are the most beautiful words in the Bible.
God is with us.

8.21.ESV And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

God chose another way to reconcile the world to himself. Never again will he disenfranchise humanity.

We get a glimpse of his promise to restore mankind.

This is a But God Moment. Repeated in Rom 5.8.ESV but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thirsty: bless me oh my father

Pastor Delbert Enns:
Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes didn't want to put in the effort to be successful.

What happens when there is so much dysfunction around us we can't move forward? Do we lose the passion?

Today is Father's Day and without a relationship with our heavenly Father it is impossible to explain what a good father is.

Randy's story video. Dad was a military man. Jeff Vanderstahl became an example of how to be a loving father.

Genesis 27:2-4 shows a dysfunctional family of Isaac and Rebecca. To pass on the blessing was a huge thing. The story is not so much about Isaac as about God. Rebecca sent her favorite son in before Esau had a chance. Jacob told a long string of lies. Just to get the blessing. That's humanity. We tell lies.
Read the blessing:  May God give you dew from heaven and make your fields fertile! May he give you plenty of grain and wine!  May nations be your servants, and may peoples bow down before you. May you rule over all your relatives, and may your mother's descendants bow down before you. May those who curse you be cursed, and may those who bless you be blessed."

When we go to our heavenly Father he blesses us all the time. Esau knew he got the short end of the stick. This as an example of dysfunctional family.

1. Meaningful touch. Kiss me my son. That was so important in that culture. We have a culture of fear. We are so sterilized.
Jesus touched the children and blessed them. Start hugging. Everyone loves to be hugged and blessed.
Met ex Muslims that wanted to be baptised at Lake Victoria. He held my hand while walking to the baptismal site.

2. Affection. You smell like a field. We walk away from people with body odor.

3. May God bless you with wine. Jesus's first miracle was party wine. The party begins when Jesus shows up. What's wrong with us and our long faces? What does it look like for us to become party value add?

4. Glorious future. Be blessed! When you are loved and cared for you will have lots of friends that want to be part of what you do.
We think we gain value by doing things. What's so amazing about Grace? Start hugging more people. Prodigal daughter. She thinks her parents are too strict and leaves home and becomes a prostitute. When she finally comes home she is welcomed with open arms. A big party is waiting. I want to love you. You don't need to say anything. When the father's blessing comes the real party begins.

Prayer: the Father's love sent his Son to give eternal life not to condemn you. Father we confess that we are not that good at accepting your unconditional love. Help us to remember that the blood of Jesus paid our debt.

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lord's Prayer

All People's Church Falcon Lake
Pastor Brian
Matthew 6
This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored;  may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today the food we need.  Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.  Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.'

Is your prayer life exactly where you want it to be? Not likely. The disciples asked Jesus "teach us to pray" not how.
They noticed Jesus didn't do structured prayer but real prayer. V6 pray secretly.

1. There is a reward of prayer.
We think a real prayer should be answered. But God wants to reward us for prayer time. The Pharisees prayed publicly so they could be collecting compliments and get their reward from people.
God wants us to pray in secret and will reward us. It's not about words but about communion with God. Seeking God with all our hearts. It's not a magic formula. It's not the words that make us Christian but the new life God gives to those who genuinely seek him.
Be aware that the Lord's Prayer often becomes just vain repetition.
Our Father. This is the first time in the Bible that God is called father. ABBA (daddy). Jesus calls God Father 17 times.
We are adopted by God as his children. We can now call him Daddy.
Our Father is limitless in capacity. Big enough to help us with every issue we ever face.
We need to open up in intimacy with God. That can be difficult. That Honest communion with God is the reward that God gives us.

2. Alignment with God. Your will be done on earth and in my life. Me aligned with God. Sin interrupts the flow of God's will. Isaiah said here am I send me. Never pray this prayer if you're not serious about doing God's will.

3. Prayer brings us the provision of God. Daily not monthly supplies. We are not entitled to long term enough. Ask God for relief from fear for the future. Proverbs says I need only what I need for today. Contentment is great gain. Be Content or you jeopardize your intimacy with God. The Lord is my shepherd. We ask for bread not cake. It's OUR bread. That includes the neighbor. Share it. It is a gift. Not a right. All material possessions are on loan from God.
Our union with God makes us a blessing to the world. Forgive as we forgive. It takes 2 people to build a relationship. Forgiveness in us is God flowing through us.
God is not the author of temptation. When you travel into the desert you must have a capable guide. We are pilgrims traveling with a divine guide. Lord we trust you to guide us in the right path. Keep us from the deceit of Satan.

In the secret place God will reward us. Challenge to become a people of prayer. Yours is the power and the kingdom.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Falcon Lake all people's church

Pastor Brian
Kids camp is August 10-14 volunteers are still needed.
The Love of God was the favorite theme of Brian's professor Dr Murray. Brian was invited to his house for supper. The professor and his wife sat side by side at dinner holding hands. All his life was about showing God's love.

Pastoral prayer: wars and rumours of war in the Ukraine and Africa. God is sufficient.
Lord we can't begin to describe the depth of your love. We can't fathom such love. Thank you that you are the creator God. We don't always honour you and we ask for your forgiveness and restoration. We want to walk in your mercy and come boldly into your presence to meet our needs and help us in our struggles.
We ask that you pour out your healing on our friends and family. Help us all to rest in you.
We pray for those who are confused in life and we pray that you give guidance.
We pray for our brothers and sisters around the world that are being persecuted. We pray for protection and peace for them.
You have asked us to bring peace. We pray for the persecutors that you will reveal yourself to them in dreams and teach peace to everyone.
We pray that the glory of Christ may shine on everyone. Amen.

Acts 15. A foundational story that keeps touching us.
Jewish believers told gentile believers they had to be circumcised. The church sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem for a ruling.
What was at stake here? To be a Jew you had to be circumcised.
God promised Abraham a son that would become a nation and the messiah would come from there. 
God established a global blessing.
Some of the Jews thought that to be in a proper relationship with God you needed Jewish rules plus Christ.
They missed the point that Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures. Jesus was the finishing touch. All the roads of Jewish scriptures point to Christ and are fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus is not just an add on. In Christ alone my hope is found.
The prosperity gospel says Jesus affirms that the godly will be rich. That is so wrong. They miss the transformational power of Jesus.
Many denominations have been built around the prosperity slogan. But there is always a catch.
Jesus offers salvation as a gift of God. Nothing more nothing less. The Jesus plus gospel is so wrong.
Acts 15. We are saved by faith in Jesus. Nothing else.
Some believers said it is necessary to circumcise.
The law does not bring freedom. Jews can't keep the law. God's grace does it all.
We should not make it difficult for new believers. We need to reach people for Christ and resist putting burdens on new believers.

One day Bunky Baker came to church. He rode a bike always drunk. What does he think he is doing in church? Isn't this the place for messed up people?

Our only contribution to salvation is the Sin from which I need saving. It's not Jesus Plus. It's Jesus. He is the answer for the world today. Thank you Jesus. You came for sinners and that's who I am.

Father. Simple things can be so hard for us. Jesus I trust you alone. Give me the gift of the Spirit of God. I celebrate.