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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

Sunday, July 30, 2017

AOC Sunday Report - Seventh Sunday after Trinity


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

The AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

Today is one of those loaves and fishes Sundays.  There are great sermons from Bishops Jerry and Roy, as well as Revs Jack and Bryan.  You will enjoy each and they do not dwell on loaves or fishes.  As every week, they come with a double your money back guarantee.

There are a lot of people who need your prayers.  If you would not mind, please pray in particular for the family of Colonel Jon Proehl, USAF Retired, who was killed in motorcycle crash Friday 28 July 2017, most specially for his wife Cari and two children.  Jon and Hap flew together for several years. Then, move on to Shamu, Jimmy, Mary, Bob and Michael.  There are lot more, so please give a little of your heart and time.

Have an Epic Week ahead with God's help.

Godspeed,

Hap
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Descanso, CA

Sermon Notes - Seventh Sunday after Trinity - Saint Andrew’s Anglican Orthodox Church - 30 July 2017, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)

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

The Collect.

L
ORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

N
ow the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on
the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. 4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. 8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. 11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.  (1 Samuel 17:1-11)

What does the term giant’ mean? Uncommonly large….strong and formidable…terrifying….great in power (such as a nation, person, football team, etc)

Giants may also be great and challenging problems in your life.  We may have giant debts we owe, giant exams to pass, giant challenges in getting into the college of our choice, etc. 

Giants are always bigger than we are whether a real giant person, or a giant problem.

Extraordinary courage is required to take on a giant. Sometimes that courage is beyond us as well as the means to battle a giant, but faith is not simply the equalizer, but also the advantage.

In the early days of the Creation of the world, there were giants – human beings conceived outside the bounds of normal human capacity.

Let’s examine the following texts:

T
here were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  (Genesis 6:4)

These may have no longer been angels of God, but fallen angels which had rebelled against God, took part with Satan in war against the sovereignty of God, and been cast down by Michael, the Archangel, to the earth - as we read in Revelation

A
nd there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Rev 12:7)

Giants of finance, banking, and investment often become so – not through Godly living and obedience to God, but through unnatural zeal and greed.

            Such was the giant, Goliath. A strong and huge man of war. One of his arms were heavier than the entire body of the youth, David.

The giant, Goliath, mocked the men of Israel twice each day by presenting himself between the lines and challenging the Israelites to send their best man for battle – winner take all.

A
nd there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. 8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. 11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Nations and armies also face their giants. The manner in which an individual, or nation, or army, responds to the giants they face makes all the difference in the outcome – victory or defeat. 

Having the faith to know that the battle is not our but God’s is the element that will assure victory against any giant.

Let me give you an example of an Imperial giant being overthrown by a far lesser power. The lesser power appealed only to God for salvation as it could not be gotten from their meager armies.

In June, 1812, the combined allied armies of the French Emperor, Napoleon Bounaparte, undertook his famous invasion of the Holy Russian Empire. Crossing the Nieman River which divided Prussia from Russia’s western front, he deployed an army of 600,000 troops with the right flank anchored on the Dnieper River and the left on the Baltic Sea – an 800 mile front

The Russians had no army to speak of. The Russian heartland lay, like a helpless virgin, before the massed armies of Napoleon.

The Russian Emperor Nicholas and the Russian humble peasantry of Russia had no hope of victory against such and army led by the military genius who had never been defeated in battle. Knowing of no other source of help than from the Throne of Grace, they prayed to God and sang their anthem  Save us O God. The same is in our hymnals as God the Omnipotent

This Russian hymn was later included in the score of the great Russian composer, Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece – The Overture of 1812  the consecration hymn written specifically for the opening of St. Catherine’s Cathedral.

Only God could do battle with Napoleon on behalf of the Russian people.

Is there no power for the people of God when the dark angels of the enemy scream and curse over the battle lines?

Tchaikovsky interlaces the faint tones of the Russian hymn at the beginning of his piece with that of la Marsellais or French National anthem and concludes, when Napoleon is frozen out at Moscow, with live cannon fire and church bells – reinforcing the fact that the Battle belongs to the Lord –

With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. (2 Chron 32:8)

Now the people of Israel face such an enemy in the person of Goliath.

Further along in the chapter text we read: 32 And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 

Now the account of David’s courage in God demonstrated in his actions (as our own courage in God should be demonstrated in our own actions):

David refused the armor and sword offered by King Saul. Our natural, God-given weapons will always be sufficient unto us.

A
nd he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. Why five stones? Look at 2 Samuel 21:20 – Goliath had four sons! Would it be reasonable to take precautions in case the sons attempted to avenge their father?) 41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.(The pride of the enemy always disdains what he perceives as weakness in the enemy) 43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. (the elevated boasts of an ungodly man) 45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. 

`This account comports with the second line of Martin Luther’s hymn – A Mighty Fortress us our God. 

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

Please note how a true Christian hymn reflects Scripture and Truth in every line and reinforces faith unlike the light and whimsical modern gospel song.

A
nd it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.(this is courage personified! Run to face your giants head-on as David does here)  49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth (the trajectory of the stone was guided by the Hand of God) 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 

All the inventions of modern warfare are useless against the Hand of God. If we, as a nation, will turn our hearts from iPods, and TV sex, and inordinate focus on sports and romance, drugs and alcohol, and fix them upon God, He will heal our land as well as our souls and spirits. David had only the armor of God, but it was sufficient.


It is sufficient for you as well!

Seventh Sunday after Trinity

If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!
Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.

Consider the words from the Collect,  … author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same (that is to say keep us in goodness)…

To get anywhere, we must acknowledge in our hearts all good is of and comes from God.  Once we acknowledge this, we are in a position to ask God to put in to our hearts love of Him and all that is His.  This will help us to appreciate and act in goodness.  Without His love, our efforts will ultimately be of no avail. We cannot do anything without His help, and with it, it will be easier. There will be times where we fail, but if we turn back to Him, then we shall succeed. When I turn to Him nowadays for help with stuff, that I do far better than if I do not.  When I pray for something that I truly need, I find that He answers. I just have to listen to what He says.  When I don’t listen to what He says I find that I have a more difficult time than if I do listen and act on what He says. This holds true not just for myself, but all of us who follow under Christ’s banner.

So, pretty clearly we need to be of God.  For the world is lost, so we cannot be of the world and expect to be saved. So, we need to be holy, that is, set apart from the world, in our thoughts, deeds and actions. Thus, when Paul wrote to the people of Rome, he was writing to all of us; for truly nothing is new in the world. There is truth to the saying of Solomon’s there is nothing new under the sun[1]. For there is no new sin in the world that has not existed since the time of Adam. It may take different forms over the eons, but all sins are still the same since the dawn of man[2]. Up until the time of Christ, we were still bound in our chains to Satan. We could not pass into the kingdom of heaven, even the Law of Moses could not redeem us, because, on our own we cannot be redeemed. It was only with the coming of Christ, that we could be redeemed.

As Paul says, we have been transformed from servants of sin to servants of the giver of life. God has paid the wages of our sin, through the death and resurrection of His Son. We are called to be worthy of this new life as His servants. We have to truly live our lives as being of God. Being of God, as the adopted sons and daughters of God is truly a marvelous thing. It gives us the ultimate family; the body of Christ, the Church. It gives us the ultimate support system, of God and of our fellow believers. Our fellow believers, who are fellow travelers on the path to paradise, can give us moral support as we traverse the narrow and steep path towards heaven.

Before we are of God, we are of this world.  Our life is here, our end is here.  Once we are of God, then we are merely sojourners here; our life is not really here and certainly does not end here. We are merely passing through this world as a portal to our new unending life with God.  The only way to be of God is through God, that is His Son, our Lord. I am the way, the truth, the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) Jesus himself clearly says the only way to be of God is through Him. Nobody comes unto God but by Christ. What does that mean for those of other faiths? Nobody knows but Christ, what provision – if any – He has made for those who chose not to follow Him here on earth for whatever reason.  We do know He always means what He says and no one comes unto the Father (gets into heaven) except through Him.  That is clear, beyond any misconstruing.  He is the only way, so why not follow the proven way to God and salvation?

If we will follow God, we will live; not only forever in the next world, but better in this world, starting right now, not just after we our earthly time is gone.  We must put aside what we did and do what He would have us do.  Remembering what we did wrong in the past, so we do not repeat those incorrect actions in the future. Actions are the key to everything.  Talk is nice.  Action is what counts. We have to act upon our beliefs, which can be very hard sometimes but must be done. I struggle with this myself, but I find returning to God helps with this.  He cleans the slate, so I can try again anew.  This is always a very comforting thought, that God will always accept you, if you repent and do your best not to make that same error again. This will be a continuous never ending cycle for those who endeavor to do their best to follow Him, make mistakes, then get back up and try our best again. 

The key word is doing our best and not just saying we are doing our best when we aren't. We know we are doing our best, when we have done all we can in a given situation, according to our abilities. There are days that we do less than others, but so long as we have done our very best in those situations, we can feel reassured we have acted for Him. Let us put aside our excuses, which are feeble and weak and concentrate on acting for Him.

Acting is the key element of the Christian faith, for without action, there is no evidence of faith. You need faith, that is true, through the Holy Spirit, but you also need to back up that faith with actions. Your actions on this Earth, determine who you really have faith in, God or man. The only sure support source is God, because He will never let you down, He will always be faithful and true. We can always rely on him for guidance and strength in very stressful times.

He is the one who we should always look to for guidance when times get tough. In fact, we should expect, if we follow Him, things will get difficult, especially when it gets nearer to His coming. For we will be persecuted for His Name’s sake.  By those who are doing what they think is right, when they are really doing what is wrong. They will think they are doing God a favor by their acts, when really they are working for the other guy. We must hold fast and persevere in following God and Scripture. We will get our righteous reward in the end for doing so. Acting for Him may not always be easy, but rest assured it is always the right thing to do in the end.

In the end, it may not be the quickest way, but the path of following Him is the best way. Rather than take the so called ‘shortcuts’ Satan offers, that lead down the broad and wide path, let us take the harder, narrower path that He offers, that will lead us to Paradise. Many will choose the former path, for varying reasons, but in the end, it will not profit them. Our path may not profit us much on earth, in monetary wealth, but it will profit us in a priceless less gift; eternal life in heaven.

Saint Mark tells us of action. Jesus had been in the wilderness teaching a multitude, some four thousand in number.  In those pre-restaurant on every corner days, the people had been without food and were hungry.  Jesus was concerned and inventoried their supplies, seven loaves and a few small fishes.  He gave thanks to God, and commanded the food to be set out before the people.  When they had eaten their fill, the scraps gathered up from the seven loaves filled seven baskets.

Many speculated over the years as to just how He did it.  The answer is simple; He did it.  He did not talk about feeding the multitude and then sit down to His own meal.  He acted and they were fed.  The clear message of the story is action, and the whys and hows behind all of it does not matter as much as the simple message that He did it. It is all too easy to get wrapped around in fine details, when it is the bigger picture that matters. The clear moral of this story is that He acted, not just talked, but He actually acted and fed the people. That is a model we should follow, not just talk but act as well.  It serves as a template for our ministries here on Earth, to follow this plan of action and not just diction. Our love for God will be demonstrated through our actions, if we act for Him. Does this story recall the words from the Last Supper used in Holy Communion at the Consecration? “he took Bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me.”  Those few words produced The Word, which has satisfied so many over millenniums.  It does not take a lot of words to satisfy us, but they have to be the right ones, which come from Our Lord.

Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

It is by our actions we are known.

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God



[1] 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
[2] In some respects, this is a key to the Bible. Regardless of our own self-centered thoughts, we are the same people since Adam and will be until the end of time. Thus he who writes the Romans just as well writes to us. We would like to think we are better, but we are not. We are the same. But, on the other hand, that is convenient for what worked for them will work for us.