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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Devotion on Hymns of the Church - Hymn 572 – O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee – 22 August 2017, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord


If you prefer, there is an easy to read and print
READER version RIGHT HERE!
21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. 23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream  (Amos 5:21-24)

8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God(Micah 6:8)

1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour(Eph 5:1-2)


            Here is a General Hymn of the 1940 Hymnal with little theological application other than the necessity of pure love. Its author, Washington Gladden (1879), believed that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ would inevitably lead one to a love for His creatures as well. He did not believe in any such false premises as a separation of religion from state or society. A Christian, in Gladdens view, is a Christian at all times whether in education, law, medicine, or politics. A soldier does not remove his uniform at the door of the chapel, and neither does a Christian lay down his cross on the outer steps of government. Gladden recognized the blinding effects of religious leaders who placed higher emphasis on the church properties and institution than upon the Lord for whom the church was founded. He once castigated his denominationacceptance of a $100,000.00 gift from John D. Rockefeller to foreign missions due to the corrupt nature of the giver. 

            The tune selected by Gladden for this hymn is the same that appears in the 1940 Hymnal, MARYTON, by Percy Smith. It is unfortunate that two core verses pointing to Gladdens essential point were omitted from the Hymnal. I will include them at the end of this devotion.

O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee

O Master, let me walk with thee
in lowly paths of service free;
tell me thy secret; help me bear
the strain of toil, the fret of care.

Help me the slow of heart to move
by some clear, winning word of love;
teach me the wayward feet to stay,
and guide them in the homeward way.

Teach me thy patience, still with thee
in closer, dearer company,
in work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
in trust that triumphs over wrong.

In hope that sends a shining ray
far down the futurebroadening way,
in peace that only thou canst give,
with thee, O Master, let me live.


O Master, let me walk with the in lowly paths of service free; tell me thy secret; help me bear the strain of toil, the fret of care. There are moments of despondency in which we walk unwittingly with the Lord as did the two men on the Road to Emmaus following the crucifixion, and Christ walked right beside. It was in the breaking of the bread at Emmaus that the two realized that it was Jesus and recognized Him - their eyes were opened in the breaking of the bread. Those two men did not have the benefit of the full and complete revelation that we have today in the full Canon of Scripture. In the diligent study of GodHoly Word, we are made aware, both by faith and grace, that He walks with us even in the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” He reveals His mysteries in the shadows of faith and spiritual enlightenment gleaned from an understanding of His Word.      

Help me the slow of heart to move by some clear, winning word of love; teach me the wayward feet to stay, and guide them in the homeward way.” We are the lower lights of the harbor that guide the ships of sea into safe harbor after being attracted by the Great Lighthouse of God Holy Spirit. I read of a good Christian lady who found a shoeless 9-year old boy on the streets of Baltimore during the cold month of January. She took him into a shoe store, bought him a pair of new shoes, sox, and a scarf. As she turned to leave after paying, she heard the boy call after her: Are you Gods wife?”  It is amazing what power love can have, as a testimony of our faith, in others. Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive. If we have been blessed with resources to give, is it not better than suffering penury and nothing to give? We guide the feet of those around us by drawing their hearts to Christ. We are a walking Bible to those whom God may be calling to His Throne of Grace. By sharing His Word, we are providing the poor of spirit with a Lamp for their feet and a Light for their path.

Teach me thy patience, still with thee in closer, dearer company, in work that keeps faith sweet and strong, in trust that triumphs over wrong.   If we are walking with the Lord, it is quite unlikely that we may demonstrate less patience with others than He has exercised with us. When we make a separation, even a small one, between ourselves and the Lord, our work becomes less His and more ours. It becomes devoid of joy. But joining hands with our Lord adds a sweet savor to our labors so that it is He, and not us, who is working in our members.

In hope that sends a shining ray far down the futures broadening way, in peace that only thou canst give, with thee, O Master, let me live. Even if we walk on a dark path, isnit hope-inspiring to see a bright light on the path ahead? That is the Light of Hope that Christ gives each of us who follow on His footsteps. We know that there is Light ahead even if the shadows lengthen on our way. “ . . . . weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5) If we belong to Christ, we need not worry that we may be barred from living with Him. Christ will not abide in us unless we also abide in Him:  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)

            Now what of the two missing stanzas omitted from the 1940 Hymnal and others?

O Master, let me walk with Thee,
Before the taunting Pharisee;
Help me to bear the sting of spite,
The hate of men who hide Thy light.

The sore distrust of souls sincere
Who cannot read Thy judgments clear,
The dullness of the multitude,
Who dimly guess that Thou art good. 

O Master, let me walk with Thee, Before the taunting Pharisee; The hate of men who hide Thy light. I believe it beyond doubt that the Pharisees (prominent ministers of Jesus day) knew exactly who He was. But they feared the loss of their comfortable, down-ladened nests So they CHOSE blindness. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19) These covetous ministers of then, and NOW, obscure the truth for the sake of filling their coffers with filthy lucre, i.e., Joel Osteen. If one proclaims the pure, unadulterated truth of Scripture, these men try to suppress the voice. The motive is obvious to me why the modern clergy would like to remove such verses as Matthew 23:14 from their new and corrupt bibles:  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  It might expose their own greed! 


The sore distrust of souls sincere Who cannot read Thy judgments clear, The dullness of the multitude, Who dimly guess that Thou art good. It is sad to know that some are blinded in their malice toward things Godly and Divine. Many multitudes followed Christ to witness His miracles, but few stood beneath the Cross to be accounted one with Him. Those who dimly view that Christ is good probably constitute the greater number of those identifying themselves as Christians. They are casual Christians who do not seek the deeper knowledge of the One who they profess Redeemed them. But we must preach the Word regardless the mild reception of it. Perhaps even the Seed that fell by the wayside and was consumed by birds (demons) may be later deposited on a fertile field and bear fruit. That is Gods business and not our own.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

AOC Sunday Report - Tenth Sunday after Trinity


The entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
Happy Tenth Sunday after Trinity!

We have really great sermons today from Bishop Jerry, as well as Revs Jack and Bryan.  They cover a lot of different ground in a widely different manner, so you won't be bored!  I enjoyed Jack's the most, but that is probably because it was the one I heard. 

There are a lot of people who need your prayers, start with Shamu, both traveling and health, then work on Jimmy, Mary, Bob and Michael and work out from there.

Take the help God offers and have a great week ahead!

Godspeed,

Hap
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Descanso, CA

Sermon Notes - Tenth Sunday after Trinity - Saint Andrew’s Anglican Orthodox Church - 20 August 2017, Anno Domini

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
The Tenth Sunday after Trinity.

The Collect.

L
ET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and, that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Matthew 23

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city
to city35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

            Read also, Genesis 4: 1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.   3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell   6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.    9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.   13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.      16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 

This latter, from Genesis, is an account which hails back to the dawn of time and the beginning of the generations of the human race. It is taken from a Book of the Bible called ‘Genesis’, and appropriately so for genesis is a word meaning origin or beginning.

            When the name of Cain is uttered – the first child born on earth,  and seldom is it uttered, what thoughts are evoked by its mention?

            Not  thoughts of virtue or loveliness, but thoughts of murderous treachery. Cain was a treacherous murderer of the worst kind. He murdered his own brother and he did so over jealousy of a political, economic and religious nature.

            Some of our most destructive wars have had false religion as their cause (or rather, more truly, the excuse).

When Eve conceived her first son, Cain (possession), she considered this to be the man who would redeem the sins of his parents as promised in Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel."

The seed of Satan, whose head would be crushed by her seed seemed to be fulfilled to Eve in her firstborn. I have gotten a man from the LORD

When Abel was born a few minutes later, there was no particular response from Eve other than to call him Abel (or breath). Just a breath, whereas Cain was a POSSESSION!

Abel was a Godly son and a prophet of the Lord. Christ makes reference to this fact in Matthew 23: 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar
2……And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.      3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Why would Cain’s offering not be accepted. He did offer it with a good heart….didn’t he? No! He did not! He knew that a Lamb had to die to make a covering of his parents’ nakedness – Gen 3: 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 

A sacrifice represents an offering to cover our sins and weaknesses, but Cain’s was totally unacceptable and he knew it.

We read in Hebrews, Chapter 9: 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Furthermore, the source of Cain’s offering was a cursed source: Gen 3:  17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

So, please, do not mimic modern preachers and excuse Cain for his goodwill. He had none. His self-righteousness was evidenced by his not feeling a need to make a worthy sacrifice for sin. He is much like most modern Christians of today.

So out of jealousy, Cain murdered his brother – his only brother.

I witnessed a few years ago a famous evangelist and false prophet, Benny Hinn, saying that he would kill all those who objected to his brand of false preaching by mowing them down with a machine gun. See how false religion and false motives can incite us to evil?

The blood of Abel cried to the Lord from the ground. When our bodies die, we still exist…the part that makes us who we are … our souls, our spirits. This part is indestructible for it is the essence of US. And this part of us will live forever, either in the bliss of Heaven, or in the eternal fires of Hell.

What makes you different from Cain?

Do you offer to God a proper sacrifice of mere possessions?

Or do you claim the blood of His Son, Jesus, as your offering. The blood of goats or lambs will not avail. They were mere foreshadows of the guiltless sacrifice to come.

Heb 9:11 But Christ, having come a High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands (that is to say, not of this building), 12 neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.13 For if sprinkling the unclean with the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, 13 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who 14 through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Our pitiful claims to live for God are revealed as wretched rags and odorous garments by the evidence of the fruit of our works. If we love God and His Creation, we will obey Him and listen to His Voice. 

And when we fail and sin, we must confess and repent. We must claim the blood of the innocent Lamb shed from before the foundations of the world as our sacrifice, not the mere works of our hands. Regardless the good we do for others, without the Love of Christ, it is a perishable and stinking ointment. Only His righteousness will avail in the dark and cloudy day. Here is hope in the words of the prophet:

Ezekiel 34: 11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day

If you know not the voice of the Shepherd when He calls, how will He find you?

Study to make your salvation sure. Amen!

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Happiest Girl in Korea - the Story of Anna Song (OK Pun ie) of Korea – 18 August 2017, Anno Domini


I don't often write about things like this, but considering the times of materialism in which we live, I thought it might be fitting to remember a brave girl who found beauty and comfort in a cold harsh world.

During the late Choson era many of the Korean people lived in abject poverty, subsisting on the crops they were able to harvest each year and having little money for anything else. If they did manage to save a little money they were often quickly relieved of it through the squeezing taxes of the Yangban (nobility). Often the harvests failed and as a result, many people starved to death. Others, out of desperation, sold themselves or members of their family as slaves. It is difficult for us to understand but sometimes slavery in Korea was preferable to freedom. A slave was fed, clothed and sheltered by the slave's owner, but a free person was often left to fend for himself and sometimes starved to death during years of famine.

Ok Pun-ie was born in 1892. Her family, most likely farmers, was extremely poor, who barely eked out a living. They tried to provide for Pun-ie and her younger siblings the best that they could, but despite their best efforts; the children's lives were filled with hunger and cold. As time went by, the family's situation became more desperate until it probably climaxed in the great famine of 1901. Food was scarce and to the distraught parents it soon became obvious that unless something drastic was done, they would all perish. As was all too common in the past, the parents, in great sorrow, sold Pun-ie into slavery to a wealthy family for a quantity of food which they used to feed Pun-ie's siblings. She never saw her family again.

It is tragic to note that slavery had actually been abolished several times in the past. The last time slavery was abolished was during constitutional changes in the Korean government in the fall of 1895. According to Resolution 9, “male and female slavery, whether private or official, was to be abolished.'' However, laws are useless unless enforced, and the law that was designed to protect Puni-ie, failed her.

Pun-ie's life as a slave was not a good one. Even though she was a small girl she was forced to work long hours in the elements, fed too little and beat too often. This continued until the winter of 1905 when on one cold day her life changed. For hours she had been exposed to the cold with little clothing and her hands and feet became frostbitten, yet she was given no medical attention. Days passed into weeks and the condition of her hands and feet grew worse, the pain intensified and eventually developed into gangrene, and though she tried, she was no longer able to work.

Her owners took her to one of the foreign hospitals in Seoul and explained to her that the foreign doctor would make her ``well as soon as possible so that you can be of some use.'' The prognosis was bad, and the owners left her, no longer concerned about her fate. For eight months the young girl fought for her life, her days passed in fever induced states of delirium broken only by the horrific pain in her limbs, or after being anesthetized for surgery, sleeping in relative comfort. Remarkably Pun-ie often asked about her owners during her lucid moments but she was always told that they would not come and get her for a long time.

Pun-ie's final operation was completed in September 1906. The gangrene had been so severe the doctors had no other choice but to amputate both of her hands and one foot. Over the next months she was left to recuperate and become accustomed to her new life. Though she had only been a slave in the eyes of many, to the Western doctors and nurses of the hospital she soon became an inspiration.

During the Christmas season of 1906, Pun-ie noticed Minerva Guthapfel (a nurse) writing a letter to her friends in the United States. Pun-ie asked the nurse to please include a greeting from her: ``the happiest girl in Korea.'' Nurse Guthapfel could not believe that this poor child could possibly think of herself as ``the happiest girl in Korea,'' and asked her to explain why she felt that way.

Pun-ie gave six reasons. First, the doctors had taken away all of her pain. Second, she had not been beaten once since she had arrived at the hospital. Third, she no longer felt the pangs of intense hunger. Fourth, she was never going back to her owners but was instead to live the rest of her life in the hospital. Fifth, the small Christmas tree in the hospital was the first that she had ever seen, and she thought it was beautiful though it was nearly bare of ornaments. Finally, she had found God.

Over the next couple of years Pun-ie improved and always maintained her insistence that she was the happiest girl in Korea. Many people could not understand how she could remain so cheerful. One Korean woman even wondered why the doctors ``didn't take the knife they used to cut off her hands, and put it through her heart.'' It would have saved ``lots of trouble and lots of expense.'' They couldn't understand that Pun-ie gave something back in return _ she gave inspiration.

She became baptized and was no longer known as Pun-ie but as Anna Song. She learned to write with a pencil tied to the stumps of her hands, and though it was a laborious process, she wrote letters to the nurses that had befriended her and returned to the United States. Her story became known in the States and one woman, whose daughter had recovered from a severe illness, sent a wheelchair to Korea for Anna's use. She also served as an interpreter for the hospital and reminded others that their pains and sorrows were not as bad as they believed. There is always hope.


After 1910, the story of Anna Song faded from history (perhaps some of the religious libraries or archives in Korea might be able to add to this story) but she left us her legacy. During this holiday season I think it's important that we think about those around us and the trials they face, and not concentrate so much upon our own, because often ours pale in comparison.