Oct 22 2014

Sermon – Chosen People by Kevin Tengval 19/10/2014

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Chosen People.

Do you feel a chosen person? Are we one of the chosen people? Are we a model to all people? My answers to those questions are, NO, Maybe and I wish. It would be great if I could say YES, Yes and yes. But in all honesty I am too often filled with doubt and self-loathing to think I am a chosen one and I see too much hatred and disaster in the world to think we are a chosen people (although in Australia I might be naïve or bigheaded enough to think that we aren’t as hateful or a lot better off than some nations) and like many others I try to do good and be a role model but that is where my doubt etc begins.

On the other hand I know that as a redeemed soul I am saved by the blood of Christ and will spend eternity with him, but that is another sermon all on its own.

In the Thessalonians reading it says that the gospel came to them with power, what does that actually mean? The clue I think is in verse, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

Paul Silas and Timothy went to them and lived among them and not only by their words but also their actions which I believe showed their deep conviction and faith.

In our time on this Earth we have the Bible which is God’s word which is given to all who so desire to read it and I believe that is the Power in which Paul and co speak of in 1Thessalonians 1:1-10.

So Paul Silas and Timothy became a model to all believers, the challenge I think is, are we a model to all those that we meet?

There have been many people in the past who have been extraordinary role models in the past, Smith Wigglesworth, Martin Luther King, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, just to name a few. But how many more people have we not heard of who have also been great role models in their communities and Homes.

This I think this might actually give me/us hope that I/we can be role models to those around us, this I might add is no less daunting to realise that as Christians we are under scrutiny from those that would bring us down.

One of the ways we can be a role model in this era is in how we react to the news of the day or the propaganda that we are being subjected to in the papers and on TV and social media.

I have a friend on face book who has started driving me nuts with his continued and relentless haranguing of Tony Abbot and this government, I said to him that I think it would be far more productive to stop sniping and undermining the Government but start praying for them instead. Which do you think would be the better role model?

How do we react to the continued bombarding in the News and social media about the threat From Isis and then by inference (from the media) of Muslims in general, I believe we need to be VERY careful in our thoughts and actions in dealing with this issue alone, as history has shown that one Man. country or organisations actions can sway the masses to hate.  We as a nation need to be careful in how we react to all forms of media and whilst we might not agree with the Muslim belief we do I think need to respect their right to choose what they believe. But at the same time our nation’s leaders do need to be alert to what has proved to be a very real threat from so called Muslim radicals.

Now isn’t that a can of worms? Because we Christians too have the right to choose what we believe, it is time that our countries leaders stood firm for the principals on which this country was founded. But more importantly it is how we react and what we say to this issue among others that we may well be judged on.

The outbreak of the Ebola virus has many people around the world worried; many are claiming that it could be the start of the apocalypse. I don’t know about you but when I started thinking about the terror of this disease I was quite surprised to find that I had a “we will be alright attitude, we live in Australia”, quite illogical really and I have no idea why I should think like that. On the other hand I was told of a group of work colleagues who were discussing the Ebola outbreak the other day and their attitude was one of imminent disaster and that we (even in Merredin) should start preparing ourselves for when it starts ravaging Our country state and towns,

As Christians,

are we going to be judged on how we react to these perceived threats? Do we need to be worried about terrorism or rampant diseases?  Or do we have the faith to do what is right? Do what is necessary with faith trust and compassion.

As Paul said in verse 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. Can it be said of us as it was for the Thessalonians that our faith has become known everywhere? Have we turned away from the idols of the first world to serve the true and living God?

Will others see our faith in God in the manner in which we receive those who are against us? Will others see our trust in God in the way in which we face natural disasters and diseases?

If we believe we are Gods children a chosen people then the challenge is that we need to be seen to have faith trust and compassion, for as *sure as God made little green apples” we will be judged on our actions thoughts and deeds here on earth as in heaven.

I will finish on these words from Paul to the Thessalonians verse 2-4 we always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you,  5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be with you.

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Aug 28 2014

Induction of Reverend John McKane into Eastern Wheatbelt Uniting Church

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The Eastern Wheatbelt Uniting Churches welcomed their new minister, as Rev John McKane was inducted into the region on Sunday 24 August at Mukinbudin Uniting Church. John is now the new minister at Muckinbudin, Merredin, Bruce Rock and Southern Cross Uniting Churches.

John has come to the region fresh from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he had been serving as a minister to the Linden Presbyterian Church. He said that he considers the local church to be the hope of the world.

“If you want to go fast, you go alone,” John said. “If you want to go far, go together.”

Muckinbudin Uniting Church also celebrated their 50th anniversary at the event, to a packed congregation.

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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

Filed under Sermons

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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