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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

Friday, June 30, 2017

All – 30 June 2017, Anno Domini

If you prefer, there is an easy to read and print READER version RIGHT HERE!

B
ut now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is ALL, and in ALL(Col 3:8-11)

            We all have some favorite darling in whose image and presence is magnified a likeness of the ‘Apple of our Eye.’ That one person may be a dear and faithful spouse, a child, a parent, or even some dearly beloved pet. We would not part with that treasure under any circumstance within our power to satisfy. That object of our affection is our all-in-all. God is pleased that we bear a genuine and over-flowing love for a creature of His own making; but He also expects that our love is held in great perspective of Himself – the Giver of all Good Gifts, and of life itself. We would have no loved ones on earth were it not for the charity and love of God to grant them to us. We often turn our unjust anger and disappointments against God when we lose such a treasured possession; but that is a complete abrogation of the love our Father has shown in allowing us that gift.

            Because of Adam’s sin way back in the Garden eastward in Eden, the dark shadow of physical death comes to all living. It is a natural result of Adam’s great sin. But the Father has provided a remedy for the curse of sin (death) in the form of His only Begotten and well-Beloved Son. The Father in Heaven would be able to create anything of His desiring from nothing by only speaking it into existence; but He cannot create Himself, or that which is part of Himself. His only Begotten Son is not a Personage of the Father’s Creation. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Begotten – not made. Therefore, He is the most treasured possession of God the Father. Jesus Christ is the one great ‘ALL’ in Heaven of the Father. All of the Father’s love is rooted in His Beloved Son. God gave the one possession that He could not create as a propitiation for the sins of you and me. 

            If our Lord Jesus Christ is the All-in-All of the Father, surely His lesser creation of man should also view the Holy and Divine Son with the same love and reverence. Our good Bishop of Liverpool, J. C. Ryle, wrote in detail of the nature of Christ as All we will ever need or should desire in his book, Holiness. He points out with great love the fact that Jesus Christ is our All-Sufficiency in every matter of life.

            There is a grand beloved 34th Psalm illustrates only some particulars of the ‘Allness’ of Christ to us:

1. I will bless the Lord at ALL times.  Our Lord is not a Sunday morning only Lord, but a continual Lord who is owed our continual praise and reverence. How? . . . . his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Psalm 34:1) Has He delivered us from only some of our fears? I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from ALL my fears. 34:4 What has the Lord done for the blind and lame? This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of ALL his troubles. 34:6 The Lord is partial to His Elect people: The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of ALL their troubles.  34:17 We must revere Him for He has delivered us from our afflictions: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them ALL. 34:19 

            If Christ is not our ALL-in-ALL, we have no such ALL. It would be impossible to measure the ALL-NESS of Christ to the believer. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in heavenly places in Christ: (Eph 1:3) And ALL THINGS are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation(2 Cor 5:18) There is no gift we can possess that does not come down from the Father of Lights. So, which is of greater worth –the gift, or the Giver?

            We all will lose a loved one at some point in this life. We mourn the loss without knowing that we mourn not for the Heaven-Bound soul, but for ourselves in being left behind. The death of a precious little child is heart-breaking to us. We wonder how God could take such a creature of tender years and innocent spirit – yet, the gift was still a gift for the time that we shared its love and presence. If the gift was for a period of one year, or one hundred, both are nevertheless gifts from God. Did you know that God even takes the clumsy mistakes His elect child makes and turns them to the child’s advantage? And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

            Our Lord enables our good efforts to perform many good works. If thou canst believe, ALL THINGS are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23) Since God enables us to do ALL THINGS, should we not give thanks for ALL THINGS?  Giving thanks always for ALL THINGS unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ(Eph 5:20)

            Christ is ALL, and in ALL is a line from our leading text in Colossians. The Person of Christ – His power, His love, His truth, His Way, His Will, and His Grace – pervades all that He has made; and all that He has claimed in His special calling and election. Our first awakening thoughts should be to thank and praise God for the gift of another day. Our last waning hours of each day should be spent in the same – and all hours in between. We are told to pray at all times. Does that mean that we should stay all day long on our knees in prayer, or close our eyes at the wheel in prayer? Not at all. It is our lives themselves that must be in an attitude of prayer at all times. Our lives must be a living prayer. Wicked deeds are often learned habits that are passed from father to son or daughter. Habits such as cursing, vulgarity, discourtesy, selfishness, etc., are difficult to break. But ALL sin is impossible to abstain from without the grace and mercy of Christ working in our organs.

            If many sins have become habitual, I believe our Lord can teach new habits of righteous living. Each pious deed reinforces the habit to do righteously. Parents have a solemn responsibility to see to the moral training of their children and to protect them from the insidious and pernicious influences that dominate in the societies outside the home. This includes safeguarding our children from unhealthy association, immoral teachings of the public school, and those threatening influences that are everywhere on the public media. If we love them enough, we will take the time and effort to teach and protect them – in ALL ways!

            You will remember the exchange between Jesus and some of His followers who had a half-hearted desire to follow Him: 19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. (Matt 8:19-22) In verse 19, the scribe had the right inclination, but it was only that – not a firm resolve. He had not counted the cost of following Jesus. He had not considered the life of deprivation that faced him in following after Jesus. Another disciple insisted that he must first go and bury an aging father who was near death; but Jesus told the man to Follow me; and let the dead bury the dead. The greatest priority is to follow Christ. The unbelievers at home (the dead according to Ephesians 2) can bury the dead, but Christ is all about life – not death!


            Don’t we often – all of us – establish priorities that do not place our ALL on the priorities of our Lord Jesus Christ? Perhaps it is some besetting vice or sin that we covet secretly, though we live an otherwise respectable life. Perhaps it is not an outward expression of sin, but simply an attitude of disregard for the things of God in our lives daily. Or perhaps it is a host of sins of omission in failing to do acts of charity when we should be ashamed not to do so. God desires our hearts and minds – all of them.  With our Father in Heaven, it is ALL or NOTHING! Where is your ALL, Reader?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

AOC Sunday Report - Second Sunday after Trinity

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
Happy Second Sunday after Trinity!

The AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

We have great sermons from Bishops Jerry and Roy, as well as Revs Hap and Bryan.  Yes, Hap!  Rev Jack is on travel to York in the UK, so no sermon from him this week.  Each of the sermons covers different ground and most cases, different scripture.  The picture above is a primrose path.  Why?  Well, even though he is careful to base his sermons on Scripture, and the word primrose does not appear in the Authorized Version, Bishop Jerry managed to work it into his sermon, read it and find out how.

There are a lot of people who need your prayers.  Start with Kurt, Shamu, Jimmy, Mary, Bob and Michael and work out from there.

May each of you accept God's help and grace for an Epic Week ahead.

Godspeed,

Hap
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Descanso, California

Sermon Notes - Second Sunday after Trinity - Saint Andrew’s Anglican Orthodox Church - 25 June 2017, Anno Domini

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
Second Sunday after Trinity.
The Collect.
                                                                                                   
O
 LORD, who never failest to help and govern those whom thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

A
nd the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3 And ere

the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. 15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good
. (I Samuel 3:1-18)

             Samuel was a child who came by way of the direct miracle of God just as Adam had come to be; just as Isaac was born to Sarah long past child-bearing years; and John the Baptist by the same means; and even like unto that greatest of all miracles of birth – Jesus Christ by means of a young virgin. It is heart-breaking to read of the sorrows of Hannah and the humiliation she experienced from Peninnah (1 Sam 1:2) the fruitful wife of Hannah’s husband, Elkanah. Though to man, it was not possible for Hannah to bear a child, yet she took her burden before the Lord in grief and longing and He granted her conception (just as He grants to every mother of children common to mankind).  Of course, the gift of conception was not without obligation – and neither is the birth of any child given without obligation. Even at the instant of conception, God is forming, not that which will BECOME a boy or girl baby, but a boy or girl that He has already created though conception – it is purely and wholly a human life – make no mistake about it. In the case of Hannah, her obligation was a particular one based upon her promise to the Lord: And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. (1 Sam 1:11) Not all mothers are bound by such a particular vow, but they are definitely bound by the natural law of God to nurture the child physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We, in the Anglican Church, even provide a backup in fulfilling that role of the mother and father in the provision of Godparents who vow to do all possible to see to the child’s spiritual nurturing.

            Today’s narrative begins with a curious introduction: And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. May I point out from the start the Word of the Lord is always precious, but the value of a precious stone is always increased by its rarity! The true and untarnished (by modern translation manipulations) is enhanced in value for our day due to its growing rarity. 11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12) 

            When we observe the moral ruins of our modern landscape, particularly in America, we are forced to admit that there is no open vision for the things of God, or even a high regard for His Holy Word (even in most churches). The comparative states of modern America and Israel of that day enjoy many parallels. Just as America, having escaped the bondage of Europe, came into being through the Beneficence and Providence of God through the labors of our Godly Founding Fathers, so did Israel come out of Egypt into the Promised Land after experiencing the challenges of the Wilderness Journey. Having crossed Jordan Waters into the Land of Promise, they had only God to be their Ruler, and they were most blessed among all nations of the earth.  The same was true of the Founding documents of America which appealed to God for protection and guidance. But, as disobedience to God’s Law grew out of a complacent regard for the Holiness of God, Israel was given judges to divide and interpret the laws of society. Israel began to reject God as her King and choose, rather, the fashions and customs of those ungodly nations over which God had given them the preeminence. The descent into the dark abyss is never partial, but is expedited by the powerful draw of the central maelstrom toward which they have drawn nearer and nearer. Judges, though begun in earnest intent, will always lead to the errors of man if unrestrained by the biblical constitution. The rule of the Judges led to a chaotic society in which every man did according to whatever he could get advantage in doing. There will forever be a king over a people whether of God, or of faulty men:  In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25) If God is not our King, we will presume to be our own king. When god is not our Ruler, lawlessness and a failure of honor will always result. Wake up, America!

           Now, God has a means of providing an “open vision” for Israel just as He did for America at our own founding. He will raise up a man through whom He may provide that vision – the prophet Samuel! Long before Hannah ever made her first journey with Elkanah up to Shiloh to worship, God had called Samuel from the misty dawn of Eternity Past to be a Prophet in Israel for such a time as this. God had, and used, a means whereby Hannah would be drawn to dedicate her first-born, Samuel, to the service of the Lord. It was not Hannah’s real decision, but one which God caused her to see and do. Are we, who call ourselves by the Name ‘Christian’ following that will of God as He rules in our lives, or do we judge for ourselves the things that seem right in (our) own eyes.

            Need I tell you that all men do not equally hear the Voice and summons of the Lord – even those to whom is given the authority of Holy Orders by the Church!  Eli was a priest; however, he had not raised up his own sons in the godly admonition of the Lord (a sin) and was not worthy of the same level of revelation received by the fair young child, Samuel. (see 1 Samuel 2:11-18).  Please observe the manner in which God calls Samuel – the keen ears of Samuel in hearing god’s call, and the dull ears of Eli to hear the same Voice! Read carefully the following passage:  3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

            Noteworthy is the fact that Samuel, even before he knew the Lord, heard that Voice calling from the dark shadows of the Temple; but the priest of the Lord who presumably knew Him, could not hear. Aren’t the works and mysteries of the Lord in His ways beyond our finding out? Another important observation in the calling of Samuel is the fact that God does not relent in calling His chosen vessel. If the Call is not comprehended at first, God will (as the Hound of Heaven) continue calling until the message is received and acted upon.  It may also be observed that the called of God continue to need counsel from others. There are no Know-It-Alls in the Kingdom of Heaven except the All-Knowing Triune God. Samuel sought confirmation continually from his elder in the Temple. I hope and pray that we, as the servants of the Lord (every Christian), will hear and respond to the Voice of the Lord in all our ways.

            There is a sharp-edged warning to parents in America, and all places, in the words of the Lord rendered against Eli for failing to: 1st) raise up his sons in the nurture and truth of God’s Law, and, secondly) for not restraining his sons for doing evil. The parents of our nation face a great judgment of God for our failure to raise our children under the Godly model. Read what God says to Samuel: 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. When God brings judgment, He often brings the final condemnation with it. It is interesting to note that Eli died of a broken neck following the loss of the Ark in battle to the Philistines. Beware the judgment of God when it comes, for it brings with it the suffering of the innocent along with the guilty. Israel was roundly defeated by the avenger – the Philistines because of their own sins, and particularly the sins of their priesthood. What of the sins of the modern clergy of churches who call good, evil, and evil, good? They have been complicit with the enemies of God and shall be the means by which a great and Godly nation has fallen. 

           Moral cowardice and greed are the two prongs of the modern ministry that has led America down the primrose path to moral depravity and materialism.  Such devices may lead us individually down the same path as well. It is not enough to hear and know the Voice of the Lord, we must have the courage to proclaim it – even to those who hold the sway of power over us: 15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.  Even the weak and wavering Eli recognize the authority and intent of god once spoken to him by Samuel, the young prophet recently called of God. Are we, fellow Christians, fearful of showing the vision of God to others, particularly those in government? Or do we allow the deleterious will of Satan to go unchecked in the name of governmental authority. There is no division or separation of church and state in the US Constitution, but there is a protection of the Church FROM state. “Congress shall make NO law respecting the establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE thereof.” How much plainer could this clause be? If the Congress has made NO law respecting the establishment of religion, which law is it that the US Supreme Court is ruling upon that forbids the free expression and exercise of religion at all times and at all places? 


            I believe America is entering into a judgment of God that has been preceded by innumerable warnings and amazing acts of God. Like Eli, we have not heard God’s Voice in the earthquake, the destroying winds, and the vulnerability of our tall towers to the wicked intent of the enemy.  America has lost her vision (there was no open vision in Israel). We have turned “as the dog to his vomit, and as the sow to wallowing in the mud.”  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:22) We have even been encouraged to do so by the modern church. Israel grew weary of having God as their King and petitioned, later, to Samuel to give them a king ‘like all the other nations.” This broke Samuel’s heart, but God told Samuel to give them a king according to their desires – such a king would rob and steal all their substance including their sons and daughters. Do we not see the same in our own day? This warning of God applies to nations as well as individuals: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7) The window for repentance of the nation draws narrow. Shall we hear the Voice and repent in time to forego that horrible judgment that is surely coming to our fair shores? Shall we again have God as our King, or shall we prefer Mammon?