Who are we?

The center of the Traditional Anglican Communion; adhering to the Holy Bible (KJV) in all matters of Faith and Doctrine, a strict reliance on the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, The two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Two Creeds, and the Homilies and formularies of the Reformation Church of England.

Verse of the Day

Thursday, September 20, 2018

57 Cents that built a Church – 20 September 2018, Anno Domini


A
NDJesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:41-44)

            The modern church has become engrossed in the building of an institution and, in the process, has forgotten the PURPOSE of the institution. The monied class are well received and the poor and destitute are little regarded. “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)The once-and-for-all sacrifice has already been made. Our righteousness is not measured in dollars and cents, in gold and silver, but upon the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. What can we give the Lord that is not already His – only one object of value – our hearts to be His Temple.

            In the early part of the last century, a great minister named Russel H. Conwell delivered a speech to a men’s group entitled, Acres of Diamonds. That speech become so popular that Dr. Conwell delivered it across the United States more than six thousand times and finally recorded it in a book of the same title. He later became chaplain of Temple University in Philadelphia. The following story is true and involves Chaplain Conwell and a poor and destitute little girl whose small offering built a church.



Fifty-Seven Cents that built A Church[1]

            A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was ‘overcrowded.’ “I can’t go to Sunday School,” she sobbed to the pastor as he passed. Taking her by the hand, he found a place for her inside the sanctuary. The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who had no place to worship Jesus.

            Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the tenement buildings, and the parents called for the kindhearted pastor to make the funeral arrangements. Beneath her pillow he found a crumpled purse rummaged from the dump. In it were 57 pennies and a note scribbled in childish handwriting. “This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School,” the note read.

            For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor read that note, he knew instantly what he would do.

            Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger church – plain and simple, not a cathedral.

            A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a realtor who offered them a lot worth many thousands. When told the church could not pay so much, he offered it for a modest figure and said he would take as a down payment “exactly 57 cents.”

            Church members made large subscriptions. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl’s gift had grown to $250,000.00.  Her unselfish love, like the widow’s two mites, had paid large dividends. 

            When you are in the City of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3300, and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in that vicinity will ever need to be left outside at Sunday School time. 

            In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of a sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents so sacrificially saved made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a picture of her pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell. 

Postscript:
            Please note it was not the amount of money that began construction of the Sunday School auditorium at Temple, but the love behind the 57 cents that gave impetus to the hearts of many to proceed to do a work for the Lord. If a little twelve year old girl, poor and without adequate means in her home life, can make such a difference, what is holding each of us back from making a difference in the lives of many? 

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HENthe Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt 25:31-46)




[1]A true story of a real event written by William S. Deal and published by Old Tracts Society of Shoals, Indiana

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Dew of Heaven – 19 September 2018, Anno Domin


T
HESE are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.  (Gen 2:4-6)

God can stop the dew from falling, as in Haggai 1:10 - "Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit" -  by sending a famine of water just as the Holy Spirit may be withdrawn by a famine of reading the Word of the Lord. Dew is formed from moisture in the air which cools at night and condenses into pure drops of water to moisten the green plants, but when the air is devoid of water, the dew will not form. Man, devoid of the Water of Life will not know the Spirit.

God sends famine as a result of disobedience. In the last verse of the Book of Judges 21:25, we read: In those days there was no king (Jesus) in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Disobedient people do not obey God's Law, but do that which they want to do. When men behave so, God sends famine. See the first verse of the very next Book (the Book of Ruth): Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was famine in the land.

The Dew of Heaven represents comfort which the Holy Spirit gives to us after the heat of the long day and night of our striving. The Word of God which comes to us in our moments of rest and ease is that 'Dew of Heaven'.

The Dew of Heaven is God's Word coming to us, but not in the form of formal preaching and study. It is His Word which has been planted in our hearts and naturally distills in our quiet moments to bear fruit and life.

When the fever of life draws to a close, the still and loving voice of God comforts our souls through the agency of the Holy Spirit and re-assures us of His nearness even in physical sleep or the sleep of death.

Let us examine the Dew of Heaven in five particulars:

1.    Dew forms quietly and without fanfare. Its forming is invisible to the observer. The evidence thereof is discovered with the coming Light! The effectual working of the Holy Spirit likewise is invisible to our observance. We do feel the Grace and effect of God's Word, but its working in our hearts is silent and invisible.

The Dew of Heaven dampens our visage imperceptibly, gradually by degrees, yet the Light will reveal its presence.

2.    Upon some converts, the Word of God storms and Rains; but in others, known only to the mind of God, it comes gently, silently and sweetly - as the Dew.

3.    Dew comes as a life-giving relief to herbs and plants which have withered throughout the day in the heat of the Sun. It enlivens these plants and its life-water soaks into their beings and into their roots. It makes them green again with vibrant light. So does God's Word, planted deep in the roots of our hearts, lift our visage and our unbecoming stoop. We wither in the heat of daily battle, but comes the Night and the invigorating Dew of God's Word. Christ is that Bread which came down from Heaven, as the Dew, in the form of Manna. He is now the Bread and Dew of every committed Christian (Gospel of St. John 6:48). Read in Hosea 14:5 - I will be as the Dew unto Israel, and He shall grow as the Lilly.

4.    Dew is distilled without our means of preventing it. No one can cancel its falling. Even the ruthless dictators in China, Vietnam and the Sudan cannot prevent the distillation of God's Word in the hearts of His people. My Word shall not return unto me void, it shall accomplish that for which I sent it(Isaiah 55:11).

5.    Just as God began His Creation in Darkness, Dew usually falls during the night. The Word of God comes upon men's hearts during the night of this world; however, in the perfect day, this Dew will not fall - no more preaching, nor means of grace will then be afforded sinners, neither will saints have need of it. "For when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  (1 Corinthians 13:10)
           

The Word of God comes not only in the form of Dew, but also as Rain upon a dry, parched ground. It may come gently as Dew, or it may come in fierce anger and torrents as characterized by the Thunder of Heaven.


From Every Stormy Wind that Blows– 18 September 2018, Anno Domini


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Devotion on Hymns of the Church - Hymn 421 – From Every Stormy Wind that Blows– 18 September 2018, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)

A
the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.  (Proverbs 10:25)
B
EHOLD, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. (Jeremiah 23:19)
            Today’s hymn is particularly germane to the weather events of recent days during which a great storm has ravaged the coastal and inland regions of the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia leaving floods of water and many homeless. 
This is a hymn of the Trinity Season written by an Anglican cleric, the Rev. Hugh Stowell, in 1828. The music, RETREAT, by Hastings, has remained unchanged from its early publication. The hymn has been in the Anglican and Episcopal Hymnals since 1874.
            Prominently and repeatedly mentioned in this hymn is the Mercy Seat of God. It embodies the fullness of our salvation and is ABOVE the Ark containing the Law behind the veil of the Holy of Holies in the Wilderness Tabernacle. Were it not for the Mercy Seat, all that would remain to us would be the unachievable perfection required by the Law of God; but just as the grace which flowed from the Rock before Mt. Sinai, at which the Law was later given, so the Mercy Seat is exalted above the Ark of the Covenant and Law of God.
From Every Stormy Wind that Blows
From ev'ry stormy wind that blows,
from ev'ry swelling tide of woes,
there is a calm, a sure retreat;
'tis found beneath the mercy seat.
There is a place where Jesus sheds
the oil of gladness on our heads,
a place than all besides more sweet;
it is the blood-stained mercy seat.
There is a spot where spirits blend,
where friend holds fellowship with friend,
tho' sundered far; by faith they meet
around the common mercy seat.
There, there on eagle wings we soar,
and time and sense seem all no more,
and heav'n comes down our souls to greet,
and glory crowns the mercy seat.
From ev'ry stormy wind that blows, from ev'ry swelling tide of woes, there is a calm, a sure retreat; 'tis found beneath the mercy seat. The judgment of God is often realized by storm, flood and wind; but there is also a common experience of such natural events throughout the world that are common to all races, tribes, and nations. I recall the great Hurricane Katrina that destroyed Biloxi and New Orleans on 29 August  2005. Perhaps by coincidence, and perhaps not, there was scheduled to transpire a 250,000 man gay parade on that day which did not occur. Were it not for the mercy of God, no soul would have been saved from either city; but God does spare His people in grace and mercy. There is a great calm and comfort at the Mercy Seat, and it does not depend upon the severity of the stormy blast or the raging waters – it is, rather, an inward peace and calm that cannot be approached by any calamities of nature in the physical world. 
There is a place where Jesus sheds the oil of gladness on our heads, a place than all besides more sweet; it is the blood-stained mercy seat.We are an obstreperous and incorrigible people even under the best conditions of grace, but just as the Rock of Christ was struck by Moses at Mt. Horeb (the Mountain of God) to provide life-giving waters to a murmuring bunch of Israelites, so today He offers Mercy and Grace to His people who have fallen, as have all, from the righteousness that God is. The original ending of this stanza is presented here. Later editions of the Church Hymnal changed  that wording to:  It is the blessed Mercy Seatinstead of the author’s it is the blood-stained mercy seat.  It seems that the very mention of the blood of Christ is found to be offensive to the sensibilities of some sophisticated Anglicans. 
Was it offensive to those disciples who witnessed His cruel death as a Redemption for our sins? It was certainly hurtful to our Lord, so why change the author’s Godly reference to something more ‘sterile.’ 13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: 14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:(Leviticus 16:13-15)Why change that line, Reader? Does it improve the power, or lessen it?
There is a spot where spirits blend, where friend holds fellowship with friend, tho' sundered far; by faith they meet around the common mercy seat.There is, as Paul makes reference, a Great Cloud of Witnesses.  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us(Hebrews 12:1)Our spirits blend with those of our common faith in Christ to remove divisions and contentions. Moreover, the Hosts of Heaven oversee our every thought, word, and deed. Together, we gain power and courage from one another to persevere on the Hard Road to New Jerusalem. Love knows neither distance nor death - it is ever lasting and imperishable. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching(Hebrew 10:24-25)Christ is that blood-stained Mercy Seat, and wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, there is the Mercy Seat.
There, there on eagle wings we soar, and time and sense seem all no more, and heav'n comes down our souls to greet, and glory crowns the mercy seat. The eagle can soar above the storm if he KNOWS it. There is a story of Hatteras Joe – a great eagle of the North =Carolina coast who perished following such a storm because he remained behind with his talons sunk into a stump at which he had recovered from a broken wing long before. He put his trust in the arm of flesh instead of soaring above the storm on the winds of the Holy Ghost which God had provided. The eagle at mid-age renews its strength by pulling out all of its old and oil caked feathers and grows new ones. He then appears as a new eagle with a new life. So should we. If the sinner becomes sorely disgusted with himself and turns to God, how different are his days on earth and his eons in Heaven!  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.(Isaiah 40:31)
Look to the Mercy Seat!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sermon Notes - Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity - Saint Andrew’s Anglican Orthodox Church - 16 September 2018, Anno Domini


The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity.

The Collect.

O
 LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


A
NDit came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. 12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about. 18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.  (Luke 7:11-18)

          The Church needs the continual pity of the Lord in the same way we, as integral parts of that Body, need continual pity and forgiveness for our weak frames. The Church requires a stronger defense than we can provide without the Mighty Hand of the Lord superseding our frail efforts. 

Who are the dead?  Who are the living? 

11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. 12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 

The dead are those who reject Christ as Lord and Savior. Those who have no forgiveness for their sins…those for whom there has been no redemption for sins. That includes all the world which dwells in utter darkness. 

The dead hear not. Who stopped their ears? Not God. Not even Satan. They themselves have chosen to be dumb to the reality of God. 

This son of the widow is dead, but death cannot exist in the presence of the Fountain of Life. Jesus knows the importance of a son or daughter to a widow. The boy is all his mother has. 

The widow made no audible request of Christ, but Christ knew her abject sorrow and took compassion on her as He always does with those who face calamity. 

13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 

Jesus never desires our sorrow, but our joy in life. He neither wants us to “fearor to “weepFear not, I am with thee always, even unto the end of the world. Or Hagar, why weepest thou?” 

The desire of Christ is always for our extreme joy in Him. And Christ knows there is no real joy, or life, apart from that which He offers. 

He sends no one to Hell. The lost, due to their rejection of Him, send themselves to Hell. 

14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. When God is at work, we had best stand still and see the marvelous works that His hands perform. Stillness is a vanishing quality in a world bent on technology and pragmaticism. As God said to Job in Job 37:14  Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. 

Or Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

So those who bore the body remained motionless while God worked. 

And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 

Though the ears of the Rabbis maiden were closed in the lock of death, the young girl heard the voice of Christ. Though Lazarus lay long dead in a stone cold tomb, the voice of Christ, his friend, penetrated the bars of death and were heard in newness of life. So with this young man. 

And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 

Was dead! No longer dead because he had heard and responded to the voice of Christ. He sat up and began to speak. Once you have heard the voice of Christ whisper in your ear a personal message, you cannot fail to speak out. You do not keep it a secret.  

Have you heard that voice? Have your dead ears responded in life? 

When were you dead, and have you been called to life? Have you listened? Did you respond by unashamedly speaking out? 

We were ALL dead prior to responding in faith to the grace of Christ. All lost. All dead. 

How many are righteous? 

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not oneFor all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)

ALL? Does that include you and me? Yes, ALL! 

What is the condemnation to those who sin such as you and I have done? 

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6)

What remedy is there for all of us who are born under the condemnation of sin? 

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Rom10)

Christ is the great Creator and Giver of Life. Death will not exist in His presence. So, we must insure our salvation that we may be present with him. 

How?

1.     Know that the wages of sin is death 
2.     Admit that we are dreadful sinners and cannot save ourselves through any good works 
3.     Hear and respond to the Calling in Christ
4.     Repent of our sins and turn away from the desires of the flesh. 
5.     Receive Christ as you Lord and Savior – not simply Savior, but Lord of your life as well. 

How many of us present today have taken a “dryshower, a “dryswim or walked in a “dryrain? 

Is it possible to get into the water, or to come into contact with a fountain of water, and remain dry? 

There is a River of Life which makes all alive who bathe therein and drink from its fountain: 

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4)

When we are IN Christ, all our sins are covered by His blood. When we are IN the River of Life, we are wet with that water of life all over. We are baptized in newness of life. 

Your eternal destiny depends upon which choice you make at the crossroads of life – will you be fearful and unbelieving? Or will you partake of the Tree of Life and Fountain of Living Waters? 

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev 21:6)

Simple decision –That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  (John 3:15)

Have you, too, believed unto salvation? For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor 6:2)


When He calls your name, you will hear.