Saturday, November 23, 2019

Christ the King Sunday with Africa Pix

Christ the King Sunday
November 24, 2019
Fr. Phil Eberhart


I feel like I need to be three people this morning - a trinity ... or maybe just wear three hats.

The regular sermon hat... this is the last Sunday of the Church year and our subject is Christ, The King!

The missionary hat... having just come back last week from Africa... some want to see pics and hear stories.

And the big hat in the back... is the wrap up of our Giving ... our generosity campaign for next year's pledges. So far we've gotten in three maybe four!
If you want to be thinking about that, we're going to actually give everyone some time to pray and fill it out before leaving today! Every bulletin has a tear off last page for your use!

So let me put on my Africa hat first... actually my South African Rugby hat. They won the world cup in Japan three weeks ago!

Time in Africa was great. I went to attend the graduation of our medical student, Olivier, from the University of Rwanda on the 8th.

It was a soccer stadium ceremony with the Prime Minister as the speaker! There were several thousand graduating.

Our Olivier graduated with honors and has been chosen to represent the medical school with his professor at a symposium on Community Health in Istanbul in early December! He will sit for the national board's exam in March. 

That will grant him a license to practice in Rwanda, everything except surgical procedures.

Needless to say, we had a joyful and bumpy ride to home in Ngarama, with the diocesan Archdeacon, a friend since my 2007 trip, joining us. We were welcomed at the Parish by the new pastor and the old one, both Jean de Dieu! We grew in fellowship and partnership more deeply through this celebration of one of their native son's success.
I was also able to meet with Peter, our business student, who graduates next year. Both of our young men are anxious to get to work and make a difference in the world, and we're hoping they will work with us in their respective capacities in the Rwandan Hope Project.

==================================

Let me switch hats to the regular Rez hat. The thing about Christ, the King that I want to bear witness to is the concept of His Sovereignty!

We really don't have any idea here in America how to even think about having a king! We just need to say it.

Sovereignty means that God thinks He's in charge! That he's in control. ... like ACTUALLY in control!

We have developed a history here at Rez of expectation! We expect that God is going to set up what we call "divine appointments." Meet ups, new faces, God-incidences... things that prove He's in charge and in control, no matter what the circumstances appear to be.

Just one Africa story here... on the morning I was flying from Kigali to Johannesburg, I and Pius went to our favorite coffee shop for breakfast. I was scheduled to meet the new bishop of Kigali. He didn't make it. Fr. Stanley did make it.

But wait there's more!

There was a bible study with American business men going on at the next table!
We engaged a few of them in conversation on their way out and it turned out the three guys that talked with us were the owner and a board member of Asiili Oils, a moringa oil producer in Kigali that we've known about for two plus years. And a missionary who works in Rwanda with Farming God's Way. Both of these contacts are vital to the agricultural development that we're engaged with in Rwanda! And as it turns out was a precursor to my time in South Africa.

Nothing is wasted in God's economy, nor in God's time! As Oak used to say, "His ways are perfect!"

So let me key off of that thought to encourage you to consider your commitment for this next year. Because of all these divine appointments I was headed to the airport at 910 for a 1010 flight!

It was clear that all that had happened in the hour before was straight from the Throne! And so, rather than feeling anxious about possibly missing the flight I thought of what I've been preaching about for a month:

This is a Rez translation...

"Live, I beg you brothers and sisters, with your eyes wide open to the mercies of God! Give yourself fully to Him as a living sacrifice. It's the most reasonable response you can have as you worship God for his amazing grace, favor and provision."

I was suddenly at complete peace on the way to the airport. He had all of this "in hand! " And He has all of this "in hand. "
And everything that concerns you ... every one of you... is well "in hand."

That, my friends, is what it means for us to have Jesus Christ as King!

Let's pray.

Tear the back sheet off of your bulletin and hold it.

Great and holy God, our Father.

We declare our whole trust is in You.
With all our heart we trust in You Lord.
Say it...
With all MY heart I trust in You Lord.

We declare that we are not leaning on our own understanding.
Say it...
I LEAN NOT ON MY OWN UNDERSTANDING.

We declare our acknowledgement of You in all our ways...
I ACKNOWLEDGE YOU LORD IN ALL MY WAYS.

We declare that Your ways Jesus, will be ours...
I WILL WALK IN YOUR WAYS, LORD, AS YOU LEAD ME DAY BY DAY.

And so, Lord, work in us and through us as we commit our way to you.

For the sake of your kingdom, Lord Jesus, and the fame of your name.

Amen

Friday, November 15, 2019

Monday, November 4, 2019

2020 Giving Worksheet

2020 Giving Worksheet (PRINTABLE)

2020 Stewardship Commitment Worksheet


       Resurrection Anglican Fellowship
         P O Box 2127    Centennial, CO
             REZANGLICAN@AOL.COM


  --------------------


(Note: If you desire to give anonymously, please leave the top part blank and mail to the above box number or return this portion in the offering plate by Nov 17, 2019)


Name:

Address:

City, State, Zip:


Phone numbers:
        Home:

        Mobile:
                (  ) please check if you text on your mobile


Email address:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Check all that apply;
        (  ) Member of REZ
        (  ) Regular Attender/Giver
        (  ) Occasional Attender/Giver
        (  )  Non-attending giver
        (  ) One time gift
        (  ) Special needs/projects giver
        (  ) Friend of REZ on Facebook
        (  ) I/We receive the weekly CC email or
        (  ) I/We would like to receive it.


My / Our giving commitment ;

        (  ) Annual          $____________________

        (  ) Quarterly      $____________________   X 4

        (  ) Monthly        $ ___________________    X 12

        (  ) Bi-monthly     $___________________   X 24

        (  ) Weekly          $ ___________________  X 52


        (  ) Special          $ ___________________



Total Giving Commitment  $_______________


If you desire to give to the building and the "Capital campaign" needs please do so by checking here [ ] and include a separate check with this worksheet.

(  ) I am interested in talking about giving non-liquid assets to REZ.  (Car, business interests or stocks/bonds/insurance assets) (This may be accomplished by setting up a donor-advised fund through the National Christian Foundation and can have huge tax benefits. Ask Fr. Phil or Pam Bradbury for info or to set up a consultation appointment)


(  ) I would like to give through my bank, bank card or other fund transfer methods.

We encourage you to set up a regular transfer through your bank's automatic payment system.  We can help you get it set up.


Please call with questions
Fr. Phil 720-219-0055.


God will bless you as you give.

Fr. Phil Eberhart+


2020 Giving Letter

Nov 1, 2019


Dear friend,

God has brought us nearly to the finish line on our building project. Some still remains for us to raise and likely some more to finance, as the year draws to its close. I can't even tell you how important your part in this has been! Whether giving sacrificially or praying overtime or, hopefully, both, we're all vitally important to the work that God is doing in and through Rez.

As 2019 ends we will enter fully into a new life as a congregation, one in which, we believe, God's purpose and plan for us as a congregation will be most fully revealed. We are a congregation moving into our destiny and we are all called to this journey.

2020 will be crucial for us as we transition from the mess and stress of construction to a more settled pace of "normal" life in our parish. I believe that our calling to be a worshipping, loving, healing, welcoming Family of God will remain central to who we are and what we will do in the coming years.

But even more than that, God is calling us to grow! Already we're seeing a number of new faces, many of whom are excited to be here and already finding their places of gifting and service in our midst.

All of this takes money! Big revelation! All of us have gone the extra mile, some 2 and some 10 miles, to get Rez to the place we're at right now. We cannot stop! As we move into 2020, I'm asking you to continue to give generously and hilariously! We have not finished, we've just begun.

Please look at the worksheet that is attached and pray about your giving in the light of God's favor and his supply. All that we have is from Him, and it's in that knowledge that we return a portion to His House, in thanksgiving and in loving obedience to his leading.

May God richly bless you as you give throughout this next year.

Fr. Phil Eberhart
Rector
Resurrection Anglican Fellowship

The Joy of Giving Up, Part 4

November 3, 2019
Part 4... The Joy of Giving Up 
Fr. Phil Eberhart 


Now for the rest of the story! 


There was a discussion between three pastors,  a Baptist,  a Pentecostal and an Anglican.   They were discussing how the offering is divided in each church between our needs and God's.  How much does God get and how much do we get? 

The Baptist pastor said they drew a circle on the floor,  threw the money up and what fell inside the lines of the circle was God's and outside was theirs. 

The Pentecostal pastor said just the opposite.  What fell outside the lines was God's and inside was the church's.

The Anglican pastor,  wanting to be the most inclusive,  said,  "No circles for us Anglicans.   We just throw it up in the air:  What God wants He can keep! 

______________


This morning I want to give you,  actually... remind you, of what Paul Harvey used to call,  "the rest of the story."

Today is the Feast of All Saints!  But I dare say that few of the actual Saints would claim that the day or even their "saint hood" waswasU about them.  I think it's probably some kind of a prerequisite that real saints know Who it's all about.

And WHO the main ACTOR is in all of this drama we call our life.  

Paul said it's "in Him we live and move and have our being! "   Later the writer to the Hebrews says,  "He is both the Author and the Finisher of our faith."  Jesus own words tell us that "apart from Me ... you can do ...  NOTHING!"

Friends, the joy we're talking about isn't just from the act of giving,  that is simply an overflow - an outcome of a life that is GIVEN UP.

Remember the old 50's song,  where you threw your hands up in the air and sang with the tune,  "I surrender - I Surrender!"

That is a life that is GIVEN UP. A surrendered life; one that is counted as no longer your own.   This kind of talk is everywhere in the New Testament writings.  In Jesus' words and throughout the whole body of the letters!

You must die to self to live for God! 

"Take up your cross daily," Jesus said.

"It's no longer I who live,"  Paul said, 

"But Christ who lives in me."

And it's not just in the New Testament either. 

Over and over and over through the whole history of God's dealings with us,  the people He created,  He reminds himself,  "I know that you are dust."   

God takes both the initiative to call us; to pursue us... and the responsibility to finish for us what we cannot complete for ourselves.

Over and over again God said,  "I will do it.  I will take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh!"  

"I am the faithful One and I will do it."

My point here is that all we are doing is following...  we are willing participants,  we are available to Him and His purposes and we are obedient to his direction in the moment.   Whether it be in offering a smile to a stranger or writing a check for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, whenever and whatever we do, we are following Jesus' leadership.  It's His direction we walk,  not ours. 

That is a "surrendered heart... a surrendered life" 

 Willing ... Available ... Obedient.

In his little book , Absolute Surrender, Rev Andrew Murray says...


O, become nothing in deep reality, and, as a worker, study only one thing—to become poorer and lower and more helpless, that Christ may work all in you.


Commenting on The Vine and branches of John 15, Murray says...


"Christ Jesus said: “I am the Vine, ye are the branches.” In other words: “I, the living One who have so completely given myself to you, am the Vine. You cannot trust me too much. I am the Almighty Worker, full of a divine life and power.” You are the branches of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there is in your heart the consciousness that you are not a strong, healthy, fruit-bearing branch, not closely linked with Jesus, not living in Him as you should be—then listen to Him say: “I am the Vine, I will receive you, I will draw you to myself, I will bless you, I will strengthen you, I will fill you with my Spirit. I, the Vine, have taken you to be my branches, I have given myself utterly to you; children, give yourselves utterly to me. I have surrendered myself as God absolutely to you; I became man and died for you that I might be entirely yours. Come and surrender yourselves entirely to be mine"


Simple,  not easy.


Let's pray. 


This is the covenant prayer by the Rev John Wesley. 


Please repeat it after me...


[93. A Daily Covenant Prayer
Prayed daily by John Wesley]

I am no longer my own, but thine.

 Put me to what thou wilt, 

rank me with whom thou wilt.

 Put me to doing, 

put me to suffering.

 Let me be employed by thee 

or laid aside for thee, 

exalted for thee

 or brought low for thee. 

Let me be full,

 let me be empty. 

Let me have all things, 

let me have nothing. 

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. 

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 

thou art mine, and I am thine. 

So be it. 

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

 let it be ratifed in heaven. 

Amen






The Joy of Giving Up, Part 3

Fr. Phil Eberhart
Rez Anglican
Oct 27, 2019

Hilarious Generosity


We're in the third week of
"The Joy of Giving Up."

In broad terms, we've talked about God's ownership of everything we have! "Whose is it all, anyway? "

How do we say it? ...
All things come of Thee, O Lord, ... and of Thine own have we given Thee!

We're quick to say "it's all God's, " but the actions that follow on from that are a little harder to get to.

Last week we explored the nature and need for sacrifice...
For sacrificial giving. Giving that costs us something and that is acceptable to God. Our 'reasonable service of worship' Paul calls it in Romans 12:1.

The byline for our book, The Joy of Giving Up, by Rev. Dave Roseberry, is...

How giving to God... renews hearts, changes minds, and empowers ministry."


This morning I want to explore those features of giving with you.

Renewal of our hearts...

Transformation of our minds...

Empowerment for ministry.

---------------

I think we can safely say that we NEED to give. It is a moral and spiritual necessity! But why?

St. Augustine warned of a human tendency he called "curving in on yourself." It is something that individuals can do, something that churches and organizations can do, something that tribes and nations can do.

It is becoming 'self' obsessed.
Self-centered. We've developed it to a fine edge in our culture; we even have invented a new word for it in our day...

The "SELFIE!"

We have a 'selfie' culture ...
A selfie spirituality!

Our worship song is...
It's all about me!... not Jesus!
And all this is for me, for my glory and my fame!

Need I say more?

The antidote is giving, plain and simple.

As one writer put it, we're to "give what we cannot keep, in order to gain what can never be taken away from us!"

It's The "Treasure Principle" in the Bible. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!" Is your treasure here on earth, or is it stored up for you in heaven, where thieves and rust can't get to it? Great question!

So let me come back to our three outcomes of giving generously... of giving hilariously (that's the Greek word for "cheerful," by the way.)

When we are hilarious, generous givers...

1. Our Hearts are Renewed...

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!

Have you noticed that our hearts get attached to things... to stuff! We collect it. Sometimes we hoard it. There's TV shows about it.

Giving is the antidote. Let me say it again... Giving Is The Antidote!

Romans 12:1 ... present (give) yourselves as a living, sacrificial offering.

The very act of giving starts a renovation inside your heart. You are no longer the center of the universe. You have turned your eyes away from the mirrors... and looked to Jesus!

Where your treasure is there will your heart be also! It really works.

2. Our minds are transformed...

Do you know what transformation is?

The word that's used here and translated as 'transformation' is the word in Greek that we get the word 'metamorphosis' from. It's almost a direct transliteration from the Greek.

The Oxford dictionary simply says this...
a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.

Romans 12:2
Don't let the world press you into its mold, but be [changed in form or nature into a completely different person, both naturally and supernaturally] be transformed by the renewing of your mind!!

You will think differently and then you will be ... differently.
Who you are and what you do will be different from the world around you because of a metamorphoses that God does by his power!

Finally...

3. This transformation empowers ministry.

When it's no longer about me or no longer about us, whose it about. Jesus and others!

It's been said that the correct priority in life spells J O Y... In that order.
Jesus... Others... then You!

Paul writes the whole rest of the Roman letter as the outflow of those pivotal verses in 12:1-2.

Just listen to what happens...
This is excerpted from The Message from the rest of just chapter 12 in Romans...

> hold yourself in a sober regard...

"it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you."


> You are now members of one another...

"we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around."

> find your ministry out of that position in Christ and in the midst of His people

6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

Friends, everything changes: Who we are: what we do: how we do it as it relates to others, both in the company of the church and in the day- to- day of our living, and moving and having our being!

EVERYTHING CHANGES!

This week there will be a letter coming to you and a worksheet / commitment sheet for your next year's estimated giving.

You can turn it in next Sunday or on Sunday, Nov 10th. We need them back, so we can look at budget for next year.

We're at a critical point again for the capital funds for our building. We got a great shot two weeks ago... over 11K came in in one Sunday offering. We're there again. This is crunch week. We're about to get about 150K in escrows back from the city and the banks, but we have to pay workers and for concrete this week. You can talk to Pam or Jody if you can help in specific ways or have good ideas. Pray, pray, pray.

God hasn't brought us this far to let us down.

Let's pray.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the efectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

The Joy of Giving Up, Part 2

Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
Fr. Phil Eberhart
Rez Anglican Fellowship

An Acceptable Sacrifice

This morning we continue our stewardship series, "The Joy of Giving Up."

I heard a story this week about two guys that were marooned on an island in the middle of the ocean. The one was frantic, trying to figure ways to signal and attract attention from passing ships or planes. The other seemed unconcerned and was digging a hole in the sand that served as a chair for him to simply scan the horizon. The one fellow got a bit frustrated and finally asked, "How can you be so cool about all this? "

"Well, you see," He said, "I go to church and I tithe on the $10,000 a week that I make in my business! Believe me...
My pastor WILL FIND ME!"
______________

This morning I want to start again with the 1st verse of Rom 12...
"I urge you, therefore, with eyes wide open to all God's mercies, to present yourself as a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service... an intelligent act of worship "

Acceptable sacrifice...

Throughout the whole Old Testament the worship of God entailed sacrifices. There are a whole host of them throughout the Torah, prescribed as worship in various ways at various times of the year. We've just come through the Fall Feast days and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.

On that day each year, the high priest would make special preparations and would present blood from a pure, unblemished lamb on the golden altar, the Ark of the Covenant, inside the Holy of Holies in the temple.

This was to be a pure, unblemished lamb. A "perfect " sacrifice once yearly for the atonement for the sins of the people.

Jesus himself fulfilled this sacrificial role for us on his cross. We speak of this every time we celebrate the Holy Communion here.

All praise and glory is yours, O God our heavenly Father, for in your tender mercy, you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption. He made there, by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world;

The blood of the Lamb was poured out as an oblation on the altar to make atonement for us through sacrifice.

Now we, in turn, are to offer our selves, "our souls and bodies"...
"And here we offer and present to you, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice."

An acceptable sacrifice...

Today we're not making a sacrifice for atonement by giving money! That heresy was done away with in the 1500's. We cannot buy our salvation.

But today we need to be mindful that God deserves our best. Whatever we give of our time or our gifts and talents or our worldly treasures, God deserves our best.

The threat of death is done away with through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. But our response to that sacrifice is to be what the song calls our "all in all!"

In the next month we will celebrate THANKSGIVING.
Once a year we set aside a day to give thanks. I wonder what might happen if we did that as a matter of course every day?

We've used the metaphor here at Rez of a "treasure hidden in a field." What was the cost to buy that field?
Everything. All the man had.
In order to get the field, the man had to sell all - to sacrifice all for the sake of the field.

Today God's requirements haven't been lowered! If anything they've been heightened! Jesus often did that, but then he turned and offered us a way in too. By his own blood.

Today's sacrifices are the Thanksgiving type.

What are you thankful for today?

What does your attitude of gratitude prompt from your heart and from your gifts, your talents and from you're time and treasure?

That's the question we're asking ourselves today as we consider the sacrifice that is worthy of all our God hs done for us!

Let's pray.

Holy God, you gave your only Son for us and He gave all for us and for our salvation. Help us, Lord, to come to you with grateful hearts and a sacrifice of praise. Help us to return to you from all that You have given us, as you enable and empower us to give.

And all for the sake of Your Kingdom and the fame of Your Name, Jesus.

Amen and amen.

The Joy of Giving Up, Part 1

WHOSE (DEAL) IS IT, ANYWAY?


When we present our tithes and offerings after the peace we say word's that end with

All things come of thee, O Lord, and of Thine own have we given Thee!

One of Val's favorite sayings to me is "Whose deal is this, anyway? " With the prayer above in mind, I simply want to ask, "Whose is it, anyway?"

We're starting today a 4 or 5 week conversation on "The Joy of Giving Up."

"How giving to God... renews hearts, changes minds, and empowers ministry."

This is a pilot program for the churches in the ACNA. You can get the book on Amazon.
---------
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0990509060/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_I0XODbED1HY68
-----------

Written by Dave Roseberry, the founding pastor of Christ Church, Plano Tx. The largest Episcopal/Anglican church in the US!

We also have resources for families with children and for adults in the back.
3 weeks of activities with kids and 5 weeks of weekday devotionals for individuals and couples.

Our pledge in-gathering will be the first two Sundays in November. So fasten your seat belts and make sure your seats and tray tables are in the upright and locked position... we're going to be asking a lot of everyone right now.

The building process is moving quickly and we're now about to dip into our final pockets of savings in order to pay our workers and our general contractor to finish before the serious cold hits.

It's crunch time, friends.

It's time again for serious prayers thanking God for His favor and faithful supply, just what we've been pursuing God for, and seen answered for the past two years! We're not done yet and neither is God! In fact I think He's just getting started with us!

Faithful Generosity

Last week's sermon showed us that faith means faithfulness!

Keep on keeping on!

When Peter was out on the water, it was when he stopped ...

that he began to sink!

So today I'm urging you to faith! To faithful keeping on.
We're not going to stop or to even pause!

And my question this morning is just a reminder of what we already know... it's all God's!

The final verses of Romans 11 tell us...

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
35. “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36. For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

From Him...
Through Him...
And To Him !!

Turn in your bulletin to the prayer of commendation at the offertory...

Let's say it together...

"YOURS, O LORD, IS THE GREATNESS, AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY, AND THE VICTORY AND THE MAJESTY; FOR EVERYTHING IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH IS YOURS;
YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, O LORD, AND YOU ARE EXALTED AS HEAD ABOVE ALL!
ALL THINGS COME OF YOU, O LORD...
AND OF THINE OWN HAVE WE GIVEN THEE! "

All things means what?

ALL THINGS!

In Him, we live and move and have our being!

And now turn to Romans 12. It's response time! As we make the good confession of the Lordship and the majesty of Jesus Christ over everything, us included, there is a reasonable response!

Rom 12:1-2

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

(Read from Phillips Translation)

With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.

Next week we're going to say more about the "acceptable sacrifice!" But note what Paul says... that this kind of sacrifice is our "reasonable" response. An act of intelligent worship!

There is no pressure, no arm twisting, no guilt involved! Just a clear view of God's merciful everyday favor and goodness towards us. Eyes wide open!

The early church devoted itself. We've been studying this in Acts, chapters 2 - 5 for nearly a decade now!

To "Devote" is a verb, not unlike faith. It's a formal commitment, a consecration, an act of making holy by a vow!

They devoted themselves!

Friends, the point of all of this is to instill in us a heart of generosity!

Abraham was given a charge... you are being blessed, to be a blessing!
It's not about you, it's about all the others, silly.

And in my study I ran across a hidden Gem! In Acts 2:46 it says...
46. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

The word for GENEROUS here is the only time in the whole NT it is used...
And it literally means
NO STUBBING YOUR TOE... NO STUMBLING!

Friends, generosity is the key to never stumbling... to have a secure and steadfast walk with God... generosity is the key.

It comes from our understanding of Whose it all is! Of WHOSE we all are!

It comes from our humble response to a full and unobstructed view of God's mercies, new every morning!

¹Our living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, who is the Author and the Finisher of our faithfulness!

Faith is the movement and generosity is the smooth surface that gives us the ability to walk without stumbling... with out sinking... step after step after step.

Let's pray.

Lord, we GIVE UP. With our eyes wide open to your every day mercies, we GIVE UP our praises to You.

Lord, we GIVE UP. With our hands extended to You first and then to others, clothe us with your Generous Holy Spirit.

Lord, we GIVE UP. Make us a people filled to the brim and overflowing with generosity, never stumbling or faltering as we follow in your footsteps, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

(Put your hand over your heart and repeat after me)

WE DEVOTE OURSELVES ANEW THIS DAY...

WE GIVE UP OURSELVES TO YOU ...

AND TO YOUR WORK IN OUR LIVES...

WE GIVE UP, LORD!

WE GIVE UP!

In Jesus name and for the sake of His Kingdom.

And everyone said...

Amen and amen.

Aug 25 - A Sure Foundation

Some of us have bought a house here, right? When you buy a house you get an inspection. One of our great friends is a structural engineer, some here know him. He comes and looks at anything I'm going to buy... house.... church... whatever!

In the letter to the Hebrews [11:10], there is a descriptive line about the city of God, that's Zion. It's described as a "city with Foundations, whose architect and builder is God. " It was that which drew Abraham out away from familiar territory to a new "promised" land.

Our prophetic passage this morning from Isaiah speaks of this same place...

"Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
    ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17 And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line;

Paul talks about this reality in our study in Ephesians 2:19-22...

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Friends, we are the ones that are being talked about here. We are the Body... We are the Building! Being fitted together and formed to the likeness of the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus, whose "line is justice and plumbline is righteousness."

I know, some of you are thinking - he's really got building on the brain! But this is a great theme throughout scripture and it's dynamically highlighted in this morning's readings.

There is a severe juxtaposition between us who are in the Kingdom and those who are in the world in these readings.

Stuff is coming that's going to shake things up. It's all in here (the Bible).

Our lesson from Hebrews is one very sobering and most incredibly hopeful passage. Did you listen to it? You need to. It was given to this church almost 20 years ago as we prepared to go on this journey of faith. This Abraham journey. Leaving a familiar place with a familiar building and familiar faces. Hard stuff but we did it. For what?

Like Abraham we're being obedient to God, obeying a call to stand in a culture that Isaiah says, "has made a covenant with death and hell!"

But God!

Over and over and over and over for the past 18 years and especially the past 2 years we've seen the "But God!" moments. Over and over things were poised to fall apart... But God!

But God!

What have you come to this morning? A worship service, a place to belong, a place to serve God and others? To sweet music, to hugs and handshakes, smiles and kisses of peace?

But wait... there's more. So much more!

Listen to parts of the Hebrews passage again, afresh...

22 By contrast, we have already come [present tense] near to God in a totally different realm, the Zion-realm, for we have entered the city of the Living God, which is the New Jerusalem in heaven! We have joined the festal gathering of myriads of angels in their joyous celebration!

23 And as members of the church of the Firstborn all our names have been legally registered as citizens of heaven!

And we have come before God who judges all, and who lives among the spirits of the righteous who have been made perfect in his eyes!

24 And we have come to Jesus who established a new covenant with his blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat; blood that continues to speak from heaven, “forgiveness,” a better message than Abel’s blood that cries from the earth, “justice.”

So whaaaaaaat is going on here? Much, much, much more than meets the eye! We are here meeting with God, in the throne room! Invited in to take our place, not as guests but as sons and daughters, as family, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, forgiven because of faith in His work on the cross and the presentation of His blood on the mercy seat of the ark- altar in heaven, of which this altar is a reflection and extension! Here, what is unseen is most real!

But now what? As Francis Schaeffer put it, "How shall we now live? "

The writer of Hebrews goes on...

25 Make very sure that you never refuse to listen to God when he speaks!

28 Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakeable kingdom  we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe. 29 For our God is a holy, devouring fire!

Friends, we are... we have received a Kingdom that is unshakeable! And what does that King require of us?

I just want to wrap it up with two quick verses...

Micah 6:8.
He hath shown thee, oh man, what is good. And what doeth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God!"


And the second is like unto it...

John 4...
23–24 From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.”

Let's stand and as our closing prayer sing again the first verse and chorus of our gospel song, Seek Ye First, from Matt 6:33.


Seek Ye First #478
By Karen Lafferty

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things
shall be added unto you
Allelu, Alleluia !

Alleluia,  Alleluia
Alleluia,
Allelu,  Alleluia !

END.

Prayer IS the Battle - July 28, 2019

July 28, 2019
Fr. Phil Eberhart


Having just come back last night from a time of prayer and spiritual warfare in Ft Collins, where the church was on the offensive, I'm absolutely undone by our readings this morning.

How much clearer can the Lord be?

I think it was A.W.Tozer who said, "Prayer isn't preparation for the battle, IT IS the battle."

I was at a meeting last week at Colorado Christian University where Lee Strobel author of The Case for Christ, said something that shook me up...

The reason God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was that he couldn't find 10 righteous people. "For the sake of 10,
I will not destroy the city!" Think of it.

Abraham was the archetypal intercessor here. He embodied our task in prayer for the city, as we stand and look over this city and pray and read scripture, whaaaaaaat arrrrre we doing? We're entering into the work of Abraham... even into the work of Jesus himself!

Look with me at two quick verses:

Isaiah 53:12 ESV — Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

And

Hebrews 7:25 ESV — Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Both of these passages speak of Jesus as our Intercessor. Our go-between, representing us to God and God to us.

Friends, our particular calling... and I believe the big C church's calling is to this ministry of prayer and intercession. We are called to enter into the work that Abraham did for the city and the work that Jesus continually does for us all.

So how do we do this? Do we have to join the Intercessors? Do we need to pray for hours each day? I think we suffer under a burden of false expectation. The accuser loves to remind us that we're not 'all that! ' If we fall short in prayer, he's quick to tell us it's too hard, give up, It's an undue burden!

Although prayer certainly is a WORK, a Labor that we enter into with Jesus, I believe that this is a particular place where the manifestation of "my yoke is easy and my burden is light" can be true. We enter into this work yoked with Jesus in His work of intercession!

It is no respecter of title, position, age, education or ability...
Everyone can do it.
You can do it at a moment's notice.
You can do it anywhere you are.
You can do it touching someone or around the world from them!

It is not bound by time or space! It is powerful because of Who we're praying to, not because of who is praying! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! We enter into that reality when we enter into prayer.

It puts us in touch with the very personality, the character, the power and the attributes of the all powerful Lord of the Angel armies!

Listen to Paul's prayers for the church we're going to be studying in the coming weeks on Wed nights.

Eph 11
17 I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation[u] to know him through your deepening intimacy with him.

18 I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination,[v]flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling[w]—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!

19 I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you!

And again in Eph 3...16...

And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.

17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.

18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude[f] of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

What if we prayed those prayers for each other and for the church in this way?
And you can do it wirelessly! Prayer is the first form of wireless communication! It is instant on! No boot-up time! No log on required, he knows who you are instantly! No credentials. Just be his child!

Maybe that's why we're invited into this "work" unceasingly!??

Paul invites us again in Ephesians 6...

Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers. 

Again to Timothy, Paul instructs...

2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 

Friends, I believe that God has given us a special place and a special calling and prayer assignment... here.

So let's pray...

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the efectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Sermon July 14 - Long Obedience, Same Direction!

No, the word is very near to you; it is in  mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

Have you ever wanted to get the winning formula for life? The winning cake recipe? The map to the treasure... that's hidden in a field?

I feel this morning like we've been running a race, like it says in Hebrews 12, and last Friday afternoon we hit the tape and the video went to a slow motion, frame-by-frame view. The tape is stretching but we're going to actually break it ...

We're going to actually BREAK THROUGH ...
this coming Friday when the second lot closes.

We stand, friends, at a threshold. The transition from one place to the next... a next room in the house... a peak on the trail... a mile marker on the journey of "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction."


No one here will ever claim the all this has happened in the least measure because of our own power... because of our own wisdom... or because of our own abilities nor ambitions.

This has been God's deal from beginning to end. No one will claim otherwise! It's not too our credit but to His glory that all this has happened. The three blue pages are completely inadequate to convey the story... it's awesomeness... it's sheer magnificence. When I think of all God has done here in the last two years I am almost literally, dumb-struck!

But I probably won't be speechless for long. As we cross this threshold we're entering a new place. And my concern is what now? What next? What is God calling us to be and do...
NOW?

The rest of this summer is going to be dedicated to this question ... from the Bible study on Ephesians, beginning this Wed evening, to the class beginning next Sunday; from the coffee hour to the pub over at Darcy's, our conversations are going to be about what we can see of the way forward into a new reality.

I already have some inklings... some... I call them "Kingdom Bread crumbs! "

Next week Mtr Barb is going to reprise for us the results of our Discerning Rez Sunday retreat (two years ago next Sunday! ). We're going to look again at all we said then and bring it forward - we're going to hit the "refresh" button beginning next Sunday.

Our Adult Koinonia study beginning next Sunday morning (0845) is also a repeat. So many were so impacted by the video series called "Godspeed," while we were in an earlier transition at "Prepare the Way." We want to come and hear again the message of God's call, the testimony of His ways and means, and recapture the vision of all we are called to be and to do.

I urge you to pray this week as we're crossing this 'finish' line ...
in SLOW MO...

Pray for God's continued favor and supply...

Pray for His hand in the final closing on Friday...

Pray for protection and God's gracious presence to go with us always...

Pray,,, pray,,, pray.

We still need it, perhaps now more than ever!

Bow with me...

Go before us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and fnally, through your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the efectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.






Lent 1 - Whosoever!

Lent 1
March 10, 2019
Fr Phil Eberhart

Deut 26:(1-4),5-11
Ps 91 or 91:9-16
Rom 10:4-13
Lk 4:1-13

Whosoever !!


Good morning! Welcome back so soon. Many were here for a grand occasion last night for the double ordination and confirmations we had here. What a beautiful night! What a short night!

I think i got about 4 hours sleep. Speaking of temptation! Almost rolled over and went back to sleep. Then i remembered... oh yes... you're preaching this morning!

I want to talk about a word this morning.
It's a word that comes up in our epistle reading. The letter from Paul to the Roman church. Chapter 10 is in the middle of a section about Paul's heart's desire!

The word is WHOSOEVER. It's a great King James word. Others translate it who ever or whom ever.

Whosoever occurs 163 times in the OT and NT. What I discovered is that the word mostly means "all." And as we all know "all means all!"

So in Romans Paul is quoting the prophets when he says " whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved."

It's interesting that this is in the middle of his letter to the gentile church in Rome! He returns for a moment to remind both his gentile readers and the eventual Jewish readers that the Jews are included in his whosoever!

In fact he goes so far as to say that the salvation of the Gentiles is tied to the salvation of the Jews and vice versa

"A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved."

Whosoever is a very inclusive word! We hear a lot today about inclusion ! Everyone wants to be a part of something big. And we have the biggest deal going!
God so loved the world ... that whosoever could come, Jews, Gentiles, slave, free, Male, female, ...
black, white, brown, yellow, red, green or blue!

There's no more need for discussion! It's time to simply GO ... do it. Go in any way you can, at all times, to every place. Go tell the story, your story, His story! And how they come together!

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

And Paul goes on to commission each of us...

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Let me repeat myself...

It's time to simply GO ... do it. Go in any way you can, at all times, to every place. Go tell the story, your story, His story! And how they come together!

People are dying to hear! The WHOSOEVERs of this world are empty and restless, "looking for love in all the wrong places." And ours is the ultimate message of God's love, for all the world, all the who - so - evers that we run into every day - and never say a word to.

Bishop Bill talked last night about the power of the gospel coming through relationships. Through connections.
Do you know that is our written mission.

Www.rezanglican.org

"Connecting people to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom!"

Let's just go and do it.

Let's pray...

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross, that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace!
So clothe us in your Spirit, that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you,




Sept 23 - Quick - Slow - Slow

September 23, 2018
Fr. Phil Eberhart

James 3
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

I've entitled this "Quick, Slow, Slow 2"

Our epistle reading this morning takes up where I left off two weeks ago...

If you recall:

So here's the checklist:   (before you open your mouth to speak!)

[ ] Purity... check your motive for saying anything at all!  Why do I need to speak?

[ ] Peace... is Peace from Christ going to be conveyed in what I say?

[ ] Consideration...  Who's first here?  Is it about me, or about the person who is hearing?

[ ] Humility ...  If I am teachable, I am coming humbly, willing to hear correction to my thinking and speaking.

[ ] LOVE...  over and over and over and over again, we cannot emphasize this enough!  

[ ] Without Prejudice ...
[ ] Without hypocrisy ...  probably the two chief accusations made by people against Christians who open their mouths!!

So if we check the checklist before we open our mouths, perhaps we will see...

A BEAUTIFUL HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!! Just a final word from James...

Good seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace. (TPT)

I wanted to start with the checklist this morning by way of a reminder of our QUICK- SLOW- SLOW dance steps and the further outcome of this kind of life style!

But James doesn't stop there... he goes from preaching to meddling!

As we move into chapter 4 we find him digging a little deeper into our motives... as Heb 4:12 says: into "the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Let's re-read the first few verses of chap 4 from the Passion Translation :

What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other? Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own way and fulfill your own desires? You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it! And if you ask, you won’t receive it for you’re asking with corrupt motives, seeking only to fulfill your own selfish desires. You have become spiritual adulterers who are having an affair, an unholy relationship with the world. Don’t you know that flirting with the world’s values places you at odds with God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy!
James (Jacob) 4:1‭-‬4 TPT

https://bible.com/bible/1849jas4.1-4.TPT


What is the cause?

We're told to always look inside first! The problem is the heart- Jeremiah says it is : deceitfullly wicked! And James has already told us in the previous chapter about the danger of the tongue! Thus our dance steps... Quick to listen... Slow to speak, and Slow to anger!

Proverbs tells us that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks!

So the problem is here... inside of us!

The heart - the mind and the tongue are our most important battlegrounds when it comes to faith and our living lives that are worthy as Paul urges us - lives that are faithful to the gospel and to the Name of Jesus.

The selection this morning from the apocrypha reads like the morning paper!

Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a child of the Lord.
He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange.

Several times this past week I've heard commentaries on the politics of our day likening them to the days just before the Civil War (interesting name don't you think for the most uncivil thing we've ever seen in our history! ).

We live in days where civility has died. Discourse across lines has died a horrible death. And like Rome under Nero, Christians are seen to be to blame.

We are and have been for decades in a "War of the World-views!" Biblical vs. Secular Humanist.

This morning I received a communique from a Christian organization in Washington DC urging me to PRAY - VOTE - STAND. On the subject I will just go on record to say that I believe that a biblically - informed vote is the most powerful form of citizenship that we can exercise today... Along with committed prayer and the internal fortitude to stand up for our beliefs in the marketplace and the halls of government.

We're in an epic conflict, that is not new!
It's as old as the world is... almost.

The conflict begins in the human heart. And it is finally won in the human heart. Turn back to James with me for just a moment more.

What is the antidote? The antidote to pride and avarice, selfish ambition, James calls it.

The antidote is humility! Jesus gave the disciples a healthy dose of humility when he turned on his heel and asked "What are you guys arguing about? " Jesus knew perfectly well the hearts of these ordinary men and what they were discussing!

Who's on first! No not the radio skit.

Who has the first place in the coming restored kingdom that Jesus will bring? That was their main concern. Each vying and competing with the others for Jesus' attention. Some even went so far as to ask him straight out : can we sit at your right and left?

They were being childish, when Jesus wanted them to be childlike. And so comes the object lesson. A child on his lap. Simply enjoy him! Be in his presence! Draw near to him and he will draw near to you! Humble your self.
James puts it this way...

Does the Scripture mean nothing to you that says, “The Spirit that God breathed into our hearts is a jealous Lover who intensely desires to have more and more of us”? But he continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. For it says, God resists you when you are proud but continually pours out grace when you are humble.” So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you. Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.
James (Jacob) 4:5‭-‬8 TPT

https://bible.com/bible/1849/jas.4.5-8.TPT

Jesus said it best...

He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Jesus' way is the way of the dance...

QUICK SLOW SLOW
QUICK SLOW SLOW
QUICK SLOW SLOW

Have you ever picked up a son or daughter and danced with them in your arms. That's what Jesus wants to do with us! I still have a picture of one of those moments with Kiri on my fridge!

And just a few weeks ago I did a last dance with her at her wedding. To the song My Girl!

The Lord God of the universe desires you as a dance partner! He wants to pick you up and hold you close and swing you around in the dance of life...

QUICK SLOW SLOW
QUICK SLOW SLOW
QUICK SLOW SLOW

LET'S PRAY...

Our dearest Father and our God.

Take our hands... we reach up to you now.
Pull us up on your lap, Papa! Take us in your arms and dance with us. Give us humble, receiving hearts; give us willing and available minds and help us to walk, to dance, finally, in your steps.

Have mercy on us Lord. Have mercy. Draw near to us as we draw near to you. Pour out your Grace as we come humbly to your throne this morning. Give us all of yourself as we humbly give you all of ourselves.

For the sake of Jesus Name and your kingdom's fame.

Amen and amen. 

September 22 - INCOMPARABLE RICHES

Sermon - Incomparable Riches! 

Sept 22, 2019 
Fr Phil Eberhart 
RezAnglican.org 


We're in a time here at Rez when we're hearing about the needs, especially for our finances as we run and finish the race to complete our building project, or as we encounter various needs in our community through the discretionary funds. 

These needs are real and pressing! You see parking lot going in out front of the church this morning. We're making room for what we believe God is doing in and through us here at Rez. 

All of this giving is towards an end! And the end isn't the church's land and building being finished... 
It isn't putting stone on the outside of the church... 
It isn't finishing our parking lot and moving our driveway up the street... 
It isn't putting in new lawn and trees on the berm... 
All those things are going to happen, and they all cost money, but they're not the end... they're not even the point! 

They all point to a single goal... Are we ready to recieve all that God has on His heart for Rez and our neighbors? 

Sure we're going to continue talking about monetary needs as we continue to build -- as we finish our race. But the question on my mind and heart is why? 

Why are we doing all this? What is God up to with Rez? 

I want to point to some signs I can see from here. 

1. The sign of FAVOR Favor is God's grace made visible in a relationship. It's one of the constant prayers of Rez for the past two years in this project. And God has been faithful to give us favor! It comes in many ways, as varied as the "multi-faceted, many colored grace of God, " Peter, in his first letter writes to the church these words... 

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11 ESV https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.4.7-11.ESV 

"Good stewards of God's varied grace " We're stewards of God's grace... His favor... His light shining in the dark! Jesus said it this way... "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 ESV https://bible.com/bible/59/mat.5.14-16.ESV 

We are all stewards of the light... we reflect what we're looking at! God's set us here on this Holy hill for a purpose. The very ground that we're moving is Holy! Consecrated to the Lord and His purposes,... Including the home sites that will be delivered to the new owners in the next week or two! As we closed two months ago, one owner did to me, "I think we have something in common! " "What's that? " I asked. "Neither of us believe in coincidence! " 

We live in view of a Sovereign God! There are no coincidences... none... not one. And so we know... Know...know... know That God has favor towards us. He has a plan and is always at work on it. ALWAYS. 

2. Following from God's favor is God's Supply! Anyone here have a sense of how much of this we get to take credit for? Yet, God has done it THROUGH US! THROUGH each of us... all! No matter how large or small your contribution ALL together its been made possible! One gift here, another there, finding savings in unexpected ways, creatively financing parts and for the grace of interest on loans that has been forgiven! Can you see the Favor of God? Can you see the Supply of God? 

A couple months ago Val had a word at end of a service... You know that I have plans for you here at Rez. I know that many of you are weary... I AM NOT !! And once again we are reminded that God is not tired ... God never gets tired. 

Psalm 121 says it this way... I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalms 121:1-4 ESV https://bible.com/bible/59/psa.121.1-4.ESV 

HINEY, LO YANUM V' LO YISHON , SHOIMEI YISRAEL !! BEHOLD! NO SLUMBER AND NO SLEEP (FOR) THE WATCHER OF ISRAEL !! 

Friends, this is what we are stewards of here on this hill... the very watch care of the Father, the God of the Universe, over His people Israel! 

Some of us attended WE LOVE COLORADO last Fri night and on Sat. Others I found at Red Rocks on Monday night at Worship on the Rocks. Both events lead me to hope ... to believe...that God has something 'up His sleeve! '  

God is preparing for a move of His Spirit that will make the 3000 on Pentecost look like what it was... just the beginning! And I for one believe that Denver and Colorado, and I pray, Greenwood Village is going to be "ground zero! " 

We are stewards of the Favour of God ! We're co-workers with Him of the message of His HESED - His UNFAILING LOVE towards His people! We are stewards of the riches of God. Spiritual and physical... all he provides... All things come of You O Lord and of thine own have we given thee! 

God's favor and His supply are ours. It is now our turn to give! And it's all of us together. Large and small, visible and invisible - every gift counts here, for the glory of the kingdom of God and the Fame of the Name of Jesus! 

Amen 

September 8 - Fr. Phil on "The Primacy of the Word"

FR. PHIL EBERHART
SEPT 8, 2019


THE PRIMACY OF THE WORD


This morning our scriptures have shown us a key to the safe passage through this world and into the life that is eternal with the Father of Lights!  WOW,  somehow I missed that!  HA,... that's why I'm here!

God said to Moses on his last day and Joshua on his first day:   Choose you this day, whom you will serve!

Every chance I get it seems I'm always saying something about Willingness, Availability and Obedience.  Here we go again!

Choose You This Day!


What part of our make up do we call our "chooser?"   Our will, right?
Every morning God's mercies are new and we are put the question again:   Are you willing?

When we say, Yes, Lord (vs. No, Lord, the opposite --- the oxymoron) we enter into a new daily adventure with God!  We probably need to stop right after that conversation and get quiet and listen.  Just practice listening - be quiet, until you can hear His whisper.  

Elijah was in the cave and he thought God would come to him in the storm, the lightning, the wind,... but no.
God came to him in the silence - The sound of silence - Be Still and KNOW that I am God.

That's where we start.

Ever been in a one-sided conversation?  Where you have to listen to someone talk - on and on and on and on?

Did you know that there's a 12-step program for preachers?   It's called  On And On Anon!

No comments!  Please.

God often has to be in a one-sided conversation with us - we do all the talking - prayers that go on and on and on!

Rarely do we stop talking and listen.

People say to me, how do I hear God?   

I just look at them and say, "Shut up!"
It's really the very first requirement for hearing God.  You cannot train yourself to hear His Voice while your're talking!
And talking isn't the only noise we have in our life, right? Do you ever stop and listen to all the noise around us?  We are probably the most distracted people in the world, here in the good ol' US of A!!

Which leads me to the next point:

Ps 1 -  Blessed is the person who makes their delight the law of the Lord , and on his law they meditate day and night.

We in the United States have the most Bibles available on the planet,  and are less engaged with it than nearly anywhere on the planet.  Not because it's restricted but because it's so taken for granted.  

Friends,  if you're going to hear God speaking you must... let me say it again... you MUST,  be in his Word!  It's our first AVAILABILITY!  

Availability to God is first availability to His Word.  Oh and that's not the verse if the day!  Nor the Promise Button!  We're a "sound bite" culture in search of a Good who wants us to marinate in His Word! 

Hold up your hand...
Little finger to thumb in order...
Hear
Read
Mark
Learn
Inwardly Digest

God spoke to Joshua about this at the very beginning of his assignment as the replacement for Moses: 

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Joshua 1:6‭-‬8 ESV

God knows the value of His Word in our lives. We sing about it...

More to be desired are they than gold,  yea than much fine gold;  sweeter also than the honey in the honeycomb. 

What Psalm is that?   Ps 19.  
Someone read it aloud from verse 7 to 10.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalms 19:7‭-‬10 ESV

Friends, willingness and availability mean nothing if we're not available to the Word!  But if we're available to God and God's Word,  eventually we're going to run up against something that takes us out of our comfort zone!  Some word, some direction,  some issue where our natural desire runs in an opposite direction from God's "BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH." B.I.B.L E.

When that happens we have to choose again... choose to OBEY GOD.

Jesus was pretty big on this one thing. 

He said it this way at the close of his sermon on the mount: 

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'  And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' 

 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
Matthew 7:21‭-‬27 

Any questions? 

Willingness

Availability

Obedience

All are indispensable ingredients in the life of faith we are called to by God.  Jesus died to give us access to this grace in which we stand and the Holy Spirit is the One "called alongside to help", to coach us and cheer us on in our 'long Obedience in the same direction.' "

The Word is our fuel, our food,  our "daily bread" - the air we're breathing! 
Without it we're desperate.  Starving children. 

One last story. 

A widow and her children in the old country,  were given one way tickets to the new world on a large passenger ship. After booking passage the widow scrimped and saved to get a few morsels of bread,  crackers.  Some cheese and dried meats.  She wrapped them in the folds of her clothing in her luggage.   Each day on the three month long journey she would take a few morsels out for herself and her children.  But as they would go and sit on deck, they saw heaping trays of food carried by the porters every day.  As the trip went on her meager fare ran out and one day she stopped a waiter to ask for some of the food,  explaining that she had run out of her own provisions.

She and her children were immediately taken to the captain's quarters,  where she learned that the tickets that she had been given were full fare tickets,  first class tickets.  

The captain escorted her to the dining room and showed her the chairs that were prepared for her and her children at the captain's table!  The table filled with delicious foods!  And he said to her simply,  "All this comes with your ticket!"

We are starving my dear friends, while surrounded by the richest of fare!  So let us avail ourselves ... make ourselves available to all that God has given us 

And let us then make ourselves willingly available and obedient to God's directions and leading in our day to day!

And let us pray...

Lord Jesus,  let us be a people who know You and who are known by You.
Let us commit our will and our way to You as Lord.  The Captain of our ship!
Grant us to come sit at your table, to feast on Your Word and to be empowered and equipped for all you call us to do in your Kingdom.  And strengthen us to be obedient to listen and do all you ask of us,  for the fame of your Name and for the sake of your Kingdom.   Amen.