Apr 07 2014

Thursday 17 April 2014 PRAYER VIGIL

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Thursday 17th Prayer Vigil

As we prepare for Good Friday we remember the words of Jesus to His Disciples as He went to pray in the garden.  40b …”Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:40b)

 Here is Jesus in anguished prayer for what He is about to do.  Jesus goes back to His Disciples and sees they are asleep and says words that are just as relevant to us today.  40b“…Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.  41a“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation…” (Matthew 26:40b-41a)

On Thursday the 17th we have the opportunity to keep a prayer vigil, to pray for an hour or more as we keep watch with Jesus.  Merredin Church of Christ will be open from 7pm Thursday night to 6am Good Friday so people can come and pray for this Town, nation, world, leaders, ministries and for others.

Please commit to an hour, or more.  There is a sign up sheet on the Merredin Church of Christ web-site, here is the link: http://www.merredinchurchofchrist.org/prayer-vigil/?sheet_id=1.

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Feb 24 2014

Sermon 23 February 2014: Trust by Kevin Tengvall

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After many months of praying and searching we finally got to meet a candidate for a minister for our parish.

I for one really enjoyed meeting John and Bronwyn and was glad of the opportunity to talk to them about their plans and ours for ourselves and our congregation, which got me to thinking what a great responsibility we have, to make the right choice, or do we?

I know that many of us have been praying (since before David left) that God would prompt the right person to feel the call to come to Merredin and lead us into the next phase of our journeys with Christ.

And I urge all of us to continue praying for God’s wisdom to shine, let us put our own agendas and desires to one side and “Let go and let God” send us the right person to be our paster.

In one of today’s readings it tells us to be Holy.

Leviticus 19:1-2

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

As God spoke to Moses let us open our hearts to him that we might hear also, our call to worship this morning is Psalm 119: 33-40, more particularly in verses 33-36 it tells us what we must do when we ask God for guidance ,

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
God tells Moses to

Teach

Follow

Obey

Direct

May God be with us all as we seek his guidance in calling the right person or couple to serve in our part of his wondrous Kingdom.

Today’s sermon is about Trusting God, this saying has become something of a cliché, something we say and mean but then we go and let ourselves get in the way. Is it because we don’t trust God? Or is it because we think we know better? Or is it that we are so impatient that we think things must be done in our time?

I don’t know about you but if I’m honest, I have been guilty of all of these. Is it so hard to trust God? Why is it so hard to let go? Why are we so arrogant that we forget to let go and let God and try to take over ourselves?

The answer I think is that we are human, and suffer all the frailties of that, that make us who we are.

ALWAYS BELIEVE IN GOD

BECAUSE THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS

EVEN GOOGLE CAN’T ANSWER

I wonder what would happen if we applied the same standards of loyalty to our Christian activities that we expect from other areas of our lives?

For instance, if your car starts once every three tries, is it reliable? If the postman skipped delivery every Monday and Thursday, is he trustworthy? If you don’t go to work once or twice a month, are you a reliable employee? If your fridge stops working for a day or two every now and then, do you say, “Oh well, it works most of the time.”? If your water heater provides an icy cold shower every now and then, is it dependable? If you skipped a couple of electricity bill payments do you think Western Power would mind?

In our walk with God do we hide behind colloquial language? Are we trusting God when we use Christianese? For example, do we use these sayings to cover up our failings?

Christianese: “If it be God’s will.”

Translation: “I really don’t think God is going to answer this one.”

Christianese: “Let’s have a word of prayer.”

Translation: “I am going to pray for a long, long, long time.”

Christianese: “That’s not my spiritual gift.”

Translation: “Find someone else.”

Christianese: “Fellowship”

Translation: “Organized gluttony.”

Christianese: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Translation: “I’m totally clueless.”

Christianese: “Lord willing . . .”

Translation: “You may think I’ll be there, but I won’t.”

Christianese: “I don’t feel led.”

Translation: “Can’t make me.”

Christianese: “God led me to do something else.”

Translation: “I slept in instead of going to church. “

Christianese: “God really helped me with this test.”

Translation: “I didn’t study but I guessed good, so I’m giving God credit in the hope that He helps me again.”

Christianese: “She has such a sweet spirit!”

Translation: “What an airhead!”

Christianese: “I have a ‘check’ in my spirit about him.”

Translation: “I can’t stand that jerk!”

Christianese: “I’ll be praying for you.”

Translation: “There’s an outside chance I’ll remember this conversation later today.”

Christianese: “Prayer concerns”

Translation: “Gossip”

Christianese: “In conclusion . . . ”

Translation: “I’ll be done in another hour or so.”

Christianese: “Let us pray”

Translation: “I’m going to pretend to talk to God now, but I’m really preaching at you.”

Christianese: “You just have to put it in God’s hands.”

Translation: “Don’t expect me to help you.”

Christianese: “God wants to prosper you!”

Translation: “Give me all your money.” (Author Unknown)

Trust

Trust Your Instruments

Inside every airplane are instruments that are critical to flying the aircraft.  The instruments will give a true reading of how the aircraft is flying, even if a pilot’s mind may tell him differently.  On a clear, sunny day a pilot may not need some of these instruments, but at night or in poor visibility, these instruments become vital to his survival.  Many planes have crashed because the pilot became disoriented and failed to trust his instruments.

While attending Texas A&M, Jeff Patton and I became friends as members of the Corps of Cadets.  He is now Lt. Col. Jeff Patton and flew as an F-15 fighter pilot in Desert Storm.  On the first night of the war, his mission was to escort a large formation of fighters in bombing a chemical weapons plant in northern Iraq.  The date for Desert Storm was chosen because the absence of moonlight and the high clouds helped the attacking allied fighters from being detected by enemy defenses.  Flying in total darkness, the pilots became completely dependent upon their instruments.

Shortly after crossing into Iraq, Col. Patton’s jet was “locked on” to by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile radar.  He violently maneuvered his aircraft to break the radar’s lock on him.  His maneuver successfully broke the lock, but it created a new problem.  Those radical movements in the dark threw off the balance in his inner ear (which is what happens when a person gets dizzy), causing him to become disoriented.

His mind was telling him his plane was in a climbing right turn, but when he checked his instruments, they indicated he was in a 60 degree dive towards the ground!  He was sure he was in a climb instead of a dive, and his mind was screaming at him to lower the nose of his F-15 to halt the climb.  While his mind commanded him to correct the plane in one direction, his instruments instructed him to do just the opposite.  Because he was flying in total darkness, he had to decide quickly whether to trust his mind or his instruments.  His life depended on making the correct choice.

Even though it took everything within him to overcome what his mind was telling him, he decided to trust his instruments.  He rolled his wings level and pulled his F-15 upward, which drew seven times the force of gravity, pulling the aircraft out of its dive.  It only took a few moments to realize he had made the right decision.  If he had lowered the nose of his jet like his mind had been telling him, he would have crashed the plane.  Trusting his instruments saved his life!

Immediately he looked at his altimeter, which told him the elevation of his aircraft.  He had narrowly escaped colliding into the mountains of Iraq by just 2,000 feet.  Although he had made the correct decision by trusting his instruments, he realized if he had delayed just three more seconds his plane would have crashed into the mountains.  Even right decisions can be wrong ones if they are made too late.

God will guide the “instruments” inside our hearts through his Spirit, even though our minds may tell us to do just the opposite.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. (Kent Crockett, The 911 Handbook, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003, 17-18)

At the End of Your Rope

During the 1930s, 250 men were holding the ropes to a dirigible (an airship similar to a blimp) to keep it from floating away. Suddenly a gust of wind caught one end of the dirigible, lifting it high off the ground.

Some of the men immediately let go of their ropes and fell safely to the ground. Others panicked, clinging firmly to the end of their ropes as the nose of the dirigible arose to greater heights. Several men who couldn’t keep holding on fell and were seriously injured. One man, however, continued to dangle high in the air for forty-five minutes until he was rescued. Reporters later asked him how he was able to hold on to the rope for so long.

“I didn’t hold on to the rope,” he replied. “I just tied it around my waist, and the rope held on to me.”

So as we pray and ask for God’s will to be done lets us truly put our trust in him. Instead of trying to hold on to God, let God hold on to you.

You Have Got to Ask for It

“Just remember that when you don’t know what to do, God always knows what to do, and He will tell you (James 1:5).” –Kent Crockett

Blessing

Rom 15 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2Cor 13 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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Feb 10 2014

Bring and Share Fellowship Tea this Saturday 15 February 2014

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A bring and share fellowship tea will be held at the Merredin Uniting Church this Saturday 15 February 2014 at 6pm.

This will give the opportunity to meet and talk with John and Bronwyn McKane in an informal setting.

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Jan 25 2014

DAY OF THANKSGIVING FOR THE BOUNTIFUL HARVEST

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There will be a day of Thanksgiving

Sunday 2 February 2014

from 9am to 10am

at The Cummins Theatre Merredin.

 

DAY  OF  THANKSGIVING FOR THE RAIN AND COUNTRY COMMUNITIES.

SUNDAY, 2ND FEBRUARY.

After a very dry June and much of July last year, many crops in the wheat belt were dying and communities in our country areas were despondent, worried and anxious, facing another poor season and financial ruin.

A group of intercessors from Merredin sent out a call for a day of prayer for rain and for their communities to be held on 19th July 2013.  Groups of Christians throughout the state, including many prayer groups in Perth, met at 10.00am that day to pray.

The following week on 23rd July 2013, a strong rain bearing depression brought good rains across the grain growing areas.  The rains continued regularly through August, September and well into October.

The front page of the West Australian on December 20th 2013 under the title of HARVEST JOY, wrote,

“WA farmers have fought back from the brink of disaster to deliver the State’s biggest grain harvest and a  $5 billion-plus boost  for the WA economy five days from Christmas.

The record of 15.06 million tonnes delivered to Co-operative Bulk Handling by yesterday, highlights a massive turnaround in what has been WA farming’s most remarkable season.  The size and the speed of the great grain harvest has shocked industry veterans who feared the worst when virtually no rain fell in the Wheat belt  in June and July.  The crop has broken scores of records and put hundreds of farmers back on their financial feet after a run of poor seasons.”  A centre page in the ‘West’, continues under the heading of “Wet, warm spring was key to salvation.”  This article gave all the statistics of the harvest, noting all the record breaking data.

As the children and family of God, we know who sent the wet, warm spring in answer to our heart-felt prayers in July.  What a gracious, faithful, kind and merciful heavenly Father, who sent all the conditions required for that bumper harvest.

I feel very strongly that we should set aside a day to give thanks to our God for His goodness and kindness in hearing and answering our prayers.  Remember when Jesus healed the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Him – and He enquired regarding the nine that didn’t return. Luke 17:17-18.

I am aware that in some towns there are churches who still hold “Harvest Thanksgiving” services, and I praise God that they do.  But I believe that all of us who prayed so desperately back in July for rain, need to gather once more to thank and praise our God for His faithfulness.

Having spoken about this with some of our country intercessors, we have decided to set aside, Sunday 2nd of February as a day of Thanksgiving for the Bountiful Harvest.   As churches meet across our state on that day, let us set aside a time of thanksgiving and gratitude to our wonderful God for His provision.  Let us also take this opportunity to pray for a mighty harvest of souls in our cities, towns and regions.

Remember the Scripture that says, “First the natural and then the spiritual”. 1 Cor.15:46

As well as offering the Lord thanks publicly, please also spend time with the Lord (if possible with other intercessors) on this day of Thanksgiving,  giving Him thanks and praise for what He has done, and wait on Him to show you how to pray for the Harvest of souls in our state.

The Scripture used in preparation for the day of prayer for rain in July was from 1 Chron.7:13-15.

The Lord always chooses to work through HIS people,  that is why we are called to prayer.

In 1 Tim.2:1-6, the apostle Paul emphasises to Timothy the importance of our prayers, supplications, intercession and thanksgiving for all men (people) because His desire is for all men to be saved.

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Dec 31 2013

Part one: Advent what is it?

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Part one:  Advent what is it?

There are four emotions God has given us that I want to dwell on today, I think they are very relevant especially today as we have just been a part of the baptism of Ruby who we pray Has Hope, Peace, Love and Joy all ahead of her.

Which doesn’t mean that we don’t have it ahead of us as well, for in John 3:16 for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

And in that belief we have Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Over the last few weeks we have been observing Advent I want to go into it in just a bit more depth, you may want to grab a pen and paper as I wish to draw your attention to three scriptures pertaining to each part of Advent.

The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.

Malachi 3

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

How amazing is that? This prophesy was stated four hundred years before his coming, I wonder if there are prophets today that are forecasting events that will change mankind in the next four hundred years?

The first candle – The Prophesy candle –Hope!

The first candle we lit was the candle of hope, not the hope that we have more money or bigger better or brighter presents in a couple of days’ time, but the deeper and more everlasting Hope that we can have in Christ Jesus who was born, lived and died that we may have eternal life. Now isn’t that something to hang your hat on? In the Psalms there are many verses that encourage us to have Hope in Christ.

Psalm 33:18

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

Psalm 42:11

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.

Psalm 147:11

the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

The second candle – The Bethlehem candle –Peace

Can you imagine? If you will what it must be like in a time when there is no Peace, we are lucky indeed to be in a country where we take peace for granted, the mind boggles at the thought of a politician or leader who can order the death of our first born, but it is another Peace that I draw your attention to and that is the peace we receive when we trust in God. I think it is harder sometimes to remember to trust in God when everything is going well, we can become complacent and carry on in our own strength. Many years ago I remember at a bible study a friend of ours said “that if we wanted more people to believe in God then we must organise a disaster”. If you think about that you will find that it is both sad and true.

1 Samuel 1:17

Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

Job 22:21

“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.

Luke 2:14

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.

The third candle -The Shepherds’ candle- Love.

We are reminded when we light this candle that God sent the angels to proclaim his arrival to common man and that he still uses ordinary people today to spread the good news of Christ, his love and faithfulness. We are commanded by God to love. Love I might add not to be confused with lust. Are we ready willing and able to go out into our communities and show the love of Christ? People, Christians and non-Christians alike, tend to show more love at this time of the year than the rest of the year. Why is that? What is so special about this time of the year? I know and most of you do too, so do we/shall we go and tell others?

Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

 

Mark 12:33

To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Romans 13:9

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

The fourth candle- Angels’ candle – Joy

God sent his angels to tell the world that Christ is born with “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy” what would we do today if an angel appeared in front of us now shouting “behold I bring you good tidings etc?” quite scary I think? Don’t get me wrong it would be wonderful and amazing and awe-inspiring but scary too, what would you do? The shepherds and wise men all had these feelings but they also had the faith and belief to go and do as directed by the heavenly host.

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Deuteronomy 16:15

For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Psalm 19:8

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

To be continued.

Part two will be on Wednesday the 25th Let us go forth with Joy as we prepare in a couple of days to celebrate the birth of our Lord and saviour.

Blessing

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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