Anglican Orthodox Church
First Sunday in Advent
I do recommend and assign Thursday … next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.
This letter from Bishop Jerry is so important and critical that you read it, that we have put it right after the first President of the United States of America’s message. If you read nothing else, read this. We have seen what happens when we ignore God in our country. If we want happiness, we need to follow His Will, His Directions, His Commands. It matters not if you believe in Him. He believes in you, thus you exist. If we want our country to survive and prosper, we need to do what He wants us to do. We cannot depend on others to do His Will, we must start, each of us, and NOW. Please read this.
Thanksgiving 2014, Anno Domini
Letter to the Anglican Orthodox Church from Bishop Jerry L. Ogles, Presiding Bishop, Anglican Orthodox Communion – Worldwide
1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. (Psalm 95:1-6)
Each fourth Thursday of November we celebrate a National Day of Thanksgiving to our God. It is a day sanctioned by a proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 in the midst of the War Between the States and an act of the Congress of the United States. Sadly, many in government and the public sector wish to diminish the meaning of the day by referring to it as ‘Fall Break” or “Turkey Day.” It takes a human turkey to call Thanksgiving by that latter name. It is irreverent to God and the meaning of the day to do so.
When we read the passage quoted above from the 95th Psalm, one will labor in vain to find the invitation to come before the Lord with Thanksgiving limited to a single day of the year. In fact, our thanksgiving should be offered up every day, and every hour, of the year. But it is good that a grateful nation recognizes such a day each year. It is a time for gathering of family, friends, and loved ones for a meal reflecting the abundant blessings of God upon that family, and upon the nation. It is a blessing and comfort of Godly faith that families dine together. Our Thanksgiving Supper may even resemble that great Supper of the Lord where we sit down together with the whole church in the presence of the Lord for Communion. Love burns warmly in our hearts as we feast and celebrate our thankfulness to God, and to each other, for all of the blessings of the year. In view of the love and camaraderie that we feel during the Thanksgiving Feast, perhaps we should extend the practice to every meal of the family. Families that dine together stay together, as the saying goes.
There are ample examples in nature that point to the spiritual. Let us consider the following illustration of thankfulness: “The circulations of the ocean currents constitute a plain and permanent picture of these relations between a human soul and a redeeming God. The sea is always drawing what it needs down to itself, and also always sending up of its abundance unto the heavens. It is always getting, and always giving. So, when in the covenant the true religion has been constituted, the redeemed one gets and gives, gives and gets; draws from God a stream of benefits, sends up to God the incense of praise.” Wm. Arnot
In the illustration given, it is worth noting that the waters of the sea are never diminished or exhausted by their giving. We ask only one thing of the Lord in the prayer He taught us to pray – the Lord’s Prayer. That one thing is our daily bread. In the Shepherd’s Psalm (23rd) we acknowledge that those who worship in spirit and in truth the Triune God are so blessed by Him that their Cups “runneth over.” These are cups of love, of faith, of plenty, of security, and of blessings. If the cups of our hearts are open to receive the grace and love of God, it will be impossible to want for a full cup regardless how much we give of our love and resources to others – is constantly being replenished and runneth over. It is a tried and true axiom that you cannot out-give God.
May this be a year of true Thanksgiving, national repentance, and renewed faith for a nation so well favored by God.
Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless you.
Jerry L. Ogles
from around the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
Thanksgiving, most old-fashioned American holiday
Thanksgiving is syrupy occasion but should have significance as the most unrepentantly old-fashioned of American celebrations, a patriotic heirloom. It represents more than a litany of good tidings and an amalgam of turkey-time truisms. There is a stubborn rectitude to the holiday itself, reminiscent of its stiff-necked Pilgrim forebears. More than any other date on the calendar, Thanksgiving has remained private and personal, devoid of tinsel trappings. Americans are allowed to be as prayerful or as secular as they choose, with no one complaining that they have somehow taken the thanks out of Thanksgiving.
No other holiday brings generations together without the lure of anything more tangible than a good dinner. The merchants, media and politicians haven’t ruined it yet. Thanksgiving stands out as an oasis of tranquillity and a reminder of the values that once tempered America’s materialism. We should give thanks for the one holiday that cannot be bought.
Rev. Geordie Menzies-Grierson
AOC United Kingdom
Blessed Thanksgiving Day Dear Bishop and to all the saints at AOC Family Worldwide…
Rev. Shine in India
We give thanks today for the many blessings God has given us. We also commemorate the celebration by the Pilgrims of their having survived the first year in a new land.
A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all.
And no, it isn’t “Turkey Day”.
Rev Ken Howe
Thursday brought us Thanksgiving Day; a day known primarily for the excess consumption of food in the company of all available family members. Sometimes we forget the origin of the thanksgiving in Thanksgiving Day. While we are, or certainly should be, grateful to God every day for the wonderful world, country and family He has given us, this is the day our country has set aside to give thanks to God. Not thanks in general, but thanks to God. If you look at other countries and other times, you cannot be but thankful to God we live here and now. The list of things to be thankful to God is endless. If nothing else, give thanks you are here now and able to praise Him. Here is the start of our family list of things for which we are fortunate and give thanks for:
God’s love for us;
Our great country;
Our military who protect our freedom at great cost to themselves and their families;
Our friends (that would be each of you)
Our earthly great fortune;
Surely your list is similar.
The propers for Thanksgiving Day are found on pages 265-266:
MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle for Thanksgiving Day uses one of our favorite phrases “superfluity of naughtiness” and comes from the Epistle of St. James, the First Chapter, beginning at the Sixteenth Verse. James counsels us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” God is the perfect source of good. What is good is of God. Through His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, we have been given instructions on how to act. Many of us have listened and claim to be followers of Christ. But James warns us, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man be-holding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” With so much about us, we need ask, what is it to do the work of the Lord? The answer is simple, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Being able to fluently and glibly talk the talk is meaningless, if you will not walk the walk. You have to fulfill with your body the promises you made with your mouth.
o not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man be-holding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
The Thanksgiving Day Holy Gospel came from the Sixth Chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew beginning at the Twenty-Fifth Verse. Jesus tell us to “Trust in God and Dread Naught”. He reminds us that by worrying, none of us can add even one cubit, or one second for that matter, to the span of our life here on earth. In a very graphic example He points out that not even the raiment of Solomon, the most glorious of all kings, could approach the beauty of a lily, who toiled not at all. Do as God asks, put your faith in Him and all you need will come to you. Understand, this means doing as He asks, not just sitting by and watching the world go by. Note the words of James in the Epistle.
esus said, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? And why are ye anxious for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore be not anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Sermon – Rev Hap Arnold – Time and Action
The Collect acknowledges in effect God hast blessed the efforts of the workers as shown by the things they produce from the natural resources God provided and that we give thanks for this great harvest of useful things, food and others, and that we pray God will continue to guide us and help us so we can stay prosperous and happy to show how great He is and for our own comfort, by the way.
In his Epistle, James tells us all good is of God and if we are of God, we will act of God. Saint Matthew reminds us we should not worry about how things will be or what we will do. Just do what we are supposed to now. For yesterday will never come again and tomorrow will never get here. If we do not act today, it will not be done.
Few thinking people would dispute that our country is in trouble. More than it has ever been before. With the exception of the Civil War, in the past our threats have been external. We were able to come together around a common core and eliminate the threat. Today, our enemy is among us and attempting to divert people from our common core values.
Make no mistake, this has been a Judeo-Christian country since it was first inhabited, read General Washington’s proclamation regarding Thanksgiving. From the beginning, people came here to worship in freedom, the greater part of them serious Christians, almost all nominal Christians owing their heart’s allegiance to our Lord. But, almost all in the end feeling their world would be best served with freedom of religion. None looked for freedom from religion. Even the very few agnostics valued the Christian religion as the only one suited for a Republic.
Christians are exhorted to pray hard, love hard, work hard and yes, play hard. We are not to be slothful in any thing, but moderate in all things. To be respectful, conservative and happy. We are not to be a burden on others, if possible. “…if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3)
But, what do we find today? People being exhorted to do what feels good, to take it easy, to accept the handouts instead of working. To be slothful, disrespectful, immoral and illiterate. All this by our government and its minions.
What is the result?
Record levels with regard to:
Our country’s respect level at its lowest since 1776;
Cohabitation And Serial Habitation;
So, what is the cure? Follow God’s instructions.
What can you do?
Act on those right next to you. Spread the Gospel to the person next to you. It is your job! It is God’s commandment. Start with yourself and work outward.
Accept nothing less that your best from you. Maintain a positive attitude, encourage your family to maintain a positive attitude. Attend church, so you can be around people with the right ideas at least once a week. Work with members of your church to stabilize their lives. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Remember, we all die. There are none so poor as cannot purchase a noble death. Act like today is your last day. Do what must be done. Accept nothing less from yourself. Encourage your friends and family.
God gave us a job to do. We must not fail. The country may survive, it may not. That is not our concern. I took an oath of office well over forty years ago agreeing “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” Now is not the time to stop.
The oath of office I took lays out our job pretty clearly. We must do what we can to insure our country is here for the future. That means bring people around to the side of God. We need to be on His Side. God is never on our side, He expect us to come to His Side. The country’s problems all stem from a failure to follow His Directions. So, one person at a time, we need to bring people over to His Side. Start with you and work outward. If one out of a hundred of us had brought one person to His Side, things would be different soon.
Start today! Read Scripture every day. Figure out what at least one verse means. It will take a while, but you have the rest of your life to complete your study. Figure out what God wants you to do and do it. Try to pay your own way everywhere. If someone must owe, let others owe you. Do your part. Be part of the economic solution, not the problem. Remember, debt is not your friend. Be vigilant in protecting your civil rights. Do not surrender civil rights for temporary and illusory security. Take the time to talk to others and try to help them understand how much more freedom and hard work can bring compared to “free things” from a plantation government. Support free enterprise and this country. Remember you are free because of the blood shed on your behalf by those who have gone to war to protect you. Do not give up the freedom they died for.
Do not despair! All is not lost. And, if all were lost, there would still be no room for despair, rather one last charge. There is a lot to be done. Go forth and do His Work.
This is a great country; not because God was on our side,
but rather because it has always been on God’s Side.
Let it stay that way!
First Sunday in Advent
Today was the First Sunday in Advent. This is the first day of the new “liturgical year”, a New Year’s Day, so to speak.
Someone asked, where do the quotes come from? The answer is from the people who uttered them. But, how did you find them? Oh, that. Some from Bishop Jerry, many from Rev Bryan Dabney, a few from other places, some from Rev Geordie Menzies-Grierson, but overall mostly from Bryan. He always has some great ones to share. On to the On Point quotes –
Rule of Law
Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.
essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749
The New Man
And now we begin to see what it is that the New Testament is always talking about. It talks about Christians ‘being born again’; it talks about them ‘putting on Christ’; about Christ ‘being formed in us’; about our coming to ‘have the mind of Christ’.
Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry it out—as a man may read what Plato or Marx said and try to carry it out. They mean something much more than that. They mean that a real Person, Christ, here and now, in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you. It is not a question of a good man who died two thousand years ago. It is a living Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.
tOh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Thus speaketh the LORD of host, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother.
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
St. Mark 7:7
Nothing is a greater prejudice to our joy in God than the love of the world; and the sorrow of the world, the consequence of it.
17th and 18th century English pastor and author
The Devil’s power is greatly and strangely enhanced by his system of worship, which, while it degrades, fascinates many people. The system of pagan worship and devotion is very powerful. It holds its devotees by iron chains. It is not a work of chance, and it does not spring from native religious instincts. It is a system of rare power and skill constructed by a graduate in the craft of seduction and delusion. Satan’s hand is at the root of all pagan worship — planning, ordering, and inspiring it. It is this fact that gives it strength and influence.
19th and 20th century American theologian and author
Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p. 88
Peace either exists as a given condition or it is maintained by strong armies and ready deterrence. Peace cannot be found on the moral high ground, only [on] the mountains of the graves of the dead.
21st century American commentator
Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.
19th century American president and patriot
The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.
Screwtape on going to Church
Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.
The reasons are obvious. In the first place the parochial organisation should always be attacked, because, being a unity of place and not of likings, it brings people of different classes and psychology together in the kind of unity the Enemy desires. The congregational principle, on the other hand, makes each church into a kind of club, and finally, if all goes well, into a coterie or faction. In the second place, the search for a ‘suitable’ church makes the man a critic where the Enemy wants him to be a pupil. What He wants of the layman in church is an attitude which may, indeed, be critical in the sense of rejecting what is false or unhelpful, but which is wholly uncritical in the sense that it does not appraise—does not waste time in thinking about what it rejects, but lays itself open in uncommenting, humble receptivity to any nourishment that is going. (You see how grovelling, how unspiritual, how irredeemably vulgar He is!) This attitude, especially during sermons, creates the condition (most hostile to our whole policy) in which platitudes can become really audible to a human soul. There is hardly any sermon, or any book, which may not be dangerous to us if it is received in this temper.
The Screwtape Letters
Each Sunday there are Propers: special prayers and readings from the Bible. There is a Collect for the Day; that is a single thought prayer, most written either before the re-founding of the Church of England in the 1540s or written by Bishop Thomas Cranmer, the first Archbishop of Canterbury after the re-founding.
The Collect for the Day is to be read on Sunday and during Morning and Evening Prayer until the next Sunday. The Epistle is normally a reading from one of the various Epistles, or letters, in the New Testament. The Gospel is a reading from one of the Holy Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Collect is said by the minister as a prayer, the Epistle can be read by either a designated reader (as we do in our church) or by one of the ministers and the Holy Gospel, which during the service in our church is read by an ordained minister.
The propers are the same each year, except if a Red Letter Feast, that is one with propers in the prayerbook, falls on a Sunday, then those propers are to be read instead, except in a White Season, where it is put off. Red Letter Feasts, so called because in the Altar Prayerbooks the titles are in red, are special days. Most of the Red Letter Feasts are dedicated to early saints instrumental in the development of the church, others to special events. Some days are particularly special and the Collect for that day is to be used for an octave (eight days) or an entire season, like Advent or Lent.
Today, the propers for today can be found on Page 90-92:
The First Sunday in Advent
LMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
¶ This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.
The Epistle for today comes from Paul’s letter to the Romans, starting at the Eight Verse of the Thirteenth Chapter. Paul tells us to be self sufficient, but love and care for one another, do not commit adultery, do not murder, steal or lie. But more than that, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” For, if you love your neighbor, you will do no ill to him. “Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” We need to do this today, because the time of “our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” We hear often “The end of the world is near.” And it may well be. But for each of us, this world’s end comes when we leave for the next. Have we treated our fellow beings as Jesus commanded us in God’s name? Because in the answer to that is hidden the key to our next life.
we no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Today’s Holy Gosel came from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, the Twenty-First Chapter, beginning at the First Verse. It is the story of Palm Sunday when Jesus came triumphant into Jerusalem. Jesus sent “two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” This was done that the prophecy of years gone past might be fulfilled of a triumphant entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem. The people expecting a Prince of this World, “spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” Rather than assuming the crown of this world, “Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
hen they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
¶ At the time of the Celebration of the Communion, after the prayer for the whole state of Christ’s Church, the Priest may say this Exhortation. And Note, That the Exhortation shall be said on the First Sunday in Advent, the First Sunday in Lent, and Trinity Sunday.
EARLY beloved in the Lord, ye who mind to come to the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how Saint Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament; so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily. Judge therefore your- selves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord; repent you truly for your sins past; have a lively and stedfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men; so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries. And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man; who did humble himself, even to the death upon the Cross, for us, miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death; that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life. And to the end that we should always remember the exceeding great love of our Master, and only Saviour, Jesus Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious blood-shedding he hath obtained for us; he hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless com- fort. To him therefore, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, let us give, as we are most bounden, continual thanks; submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.
Bishop Ogles’ Sermon
We are oft fortunate to get copies of Bishop Jerry’s sermon notes. Today is one of those Sundays. Today’s sermon starts off with the collect, and like always, it will give you a lot to consider in your heart.
Sermon Notes – Evening Gospel
First Sunday in Advent
30 November 2014, Anno Domini
The First Sunday in Advent
LMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
¶ This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.
hen shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the doorwas shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1-13)
As with all of the Parables of Christ, I love this one. The Words of Christ are full of life! Each time I read the Gospels, and especially the Parables, a new and meaningful insight presents itself as it does with all Scripture. Once, again, the central theme here is of a marriage supper an event extremely important in imparting the importance God attaches to the estate of matrimony as well as to His Church as the Bride of Christ.
The key thought in today’s message is that of having enough oil on hand to light our lamps. Have you considered the importance of Light, and of thanking God for the Light that He has given us? Here is an old illustration on the importance of Light and how we should be thankful for it:
Suppose the Sun Shouldn’t Rise?
There is an imaginative story of that morning when the sun did not rise. Six o’clock came and no sign of dawn. At seven o’clock there was still no ray of light. At noon it was as black as midnight and no bird sang. There was only the hoot of the owl and the swoop of the bat. Then came the black hours of the black afternoon. No one slept that night. Some wept, some wrung their hands in anguish. Every church was thronged to its doors with people upon their knees. Thus they remained the whole night through; then millions of eager, tear-wet faces were turned toward the east. When the sky began to grow red and the sun rose once more there was a shout of great joy. Now millions of lips said, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Why were these people so thankful? Just because the sun rose after one day of darkness. The very constancy of God’s blessings sometimes seems to kill our gratitude. Whereas the wonderful thing about the mercies of God is that they are fresh every morning and new every evening. —Henry Alford Porter
We observe in today’s text two different kinds of character and two different outcomes that ensue from each.
This is a Parable of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a picture, if you will, of the existence in the Church of those who are burning and sincere followers of Christ, and those who are only nominal Christians who make no preparation or study to be accepted of God. These are the two different kinds of hearts that are depicted. The lamps represent those hearts and the oil, the grace and love. The virgins represent the purity of doctrine and faith in the church. The Bridegroom, of course, is Christ. It is true that all of the oil in the world will not benefit us unless we have used it to fuel the FIRE of our Light. There is a subtle reference also to two doors: an open door, and a shut door.
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. So far, we have ten virgins whose appearance seem very similar, but those qualities not seen such as wisdom and fool-heartedness do not appear by simple observation. Perhaps more than 50% (and most certainly so) of all professing Christian fall into the latter category of being foolish. But they all subscribe to the same faith and truth of the Gospel. They appear righteous.
They are good moral people for they are virgins. The church is comprised of both wheat and tares. The tares APPEAR to be wheat. They grow where the wheat grows. In every way, the tares look like wheat in texture, in color, and in size. So many Christians may have an intellectual assent of Christ, but they lack the oil and fire of true faith. They look like Christians. They talk like Christians. They attend church every Sunday. But they are lacking the testimony, love, faith, and grace of a true follower of Christ. The only Bible they know is that read by the minister or Lay Reader. They have hearts, but nothing to fuel the fire of faith in those hearts. Both the true Christians and professing Christians go forth to meet the Bridegroom. But five have a problem.
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. Can you receive Christ in your heart but not love? These foolish virgins (professing Christians) took their hearts to Christ, but they did not allow Christ to enter those hearts. The oil that could have been purchased by Bible study and faithful service is lacking. Those who seem to strictly keep the commandments are often those whose hearts are the most devoid of love.
But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. The wise virgins had made preparation for this expected moment. They had purchased oil and carried it in vessels to take with their lamps. We cannot follow Christ in darkness. These wise virgins were not at all casual in their faith, but earnest and sober.
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. (Note that all ten virgins slumbered and slept while the Bridegroom tarried.) Those of mild conviction slept alongside those who took their faith seriously. We all need sleep. Because of their lack of real faith, the foolish virgins were able to sleep not expecting the Bridegroom. The wise virgins, because they DID have faith, slept in peace because they had peace in their hearts toward God.
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. The custom in Israel was for a man to seek a bride for his son. When a suitable bride was found, a meeting would be arranged for the young man and young woman to meet. They would meet at the home, and with the girl and her parents, of the young lady. There would be a cup of wine prepared on a table around which the company gathered. The boy and girl would chat a bit. After a while, if the boy found the girl acceptable to his liking, he would drink from the cup. The girl, if she found the prospective bridegroom acceptable, would drink from that same cup! That exchange of sups from the cup formally signified the betrothal of the couple.
The son would then go to his father’s place and build a residence for his bride under supervision of the father. This may consume a period of one, two, or more years. When the father believed the provision constructed for the bride was acceptable, he would send the son to fetch the bride.
The bridegroom would send his groomsmen to fetch the girl. The hour was usually irregular for the sake of surprise, and most often at, or after, midnight. One of the groomsmen would sound a trumpet near the girl’s
home. This was the signal that the bridegroom had sent for her. She and her bridesmaids would need to grab whatever bags and provisions desired and rush out to meet the bridegroom.
How like that is the manner in which Christ will return for His Bride! Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor 15:51-52)
The point here is that the true worshippers must be ready at all times to go with Him. There will be no time to set our affairs in order once the trumpet sounds.
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. See how similar are the actions of both groups of virgins! They BOTH arose, and they BOTH trimmed their lamps the foolish virgins were going through the motions still of being prepared, but they were NOT!
“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.” Those who are lazy and slovenly will always beg to enjoy the fruits of preparation of others. But in actuality, the wise virgins could not share their oil. There was only enough for themselves. That is true of faith. The faith of the most faithful mother in the world cannot be granted to a son to save him. We must all come to Christ by grace through that faith! But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you. The wise will always ensure that their faith is sufficient to receive sufficient grace.
“But go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” “Buy the word and sell it not!” This is the approach the AOC has always taken toward the sharing of the Gospel – we share it without cost to the recipient. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1)
The wise virgins knew that it would be too late to purchase the oil and still meet the bridegroom, but they answer courteously and out of sympathy. If they did share, they knew that the oil would run out and both would be lost.
“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage.” Only those who are ready will go with Christ when He comes. It will be then too late to study, to nurture faith, to love more, and to trust God. These wise virgins went into the marriage through and open door. That door will open for those who are worthy through the imputed merits of Christ. “..and the door was shut!” The door was open for those who were prepared and ready, but shut immediately behind them.
Now we come to the SHUT DOOR! “Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. How seemingly tragic that many Christians will sit in church week after week and appear real and true Christians. The church door has always been open to them but, now, the door is shut in their faces at the end. They have put up a good front. They have worshipped God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.
Who shut the door? Was it the wise virgins? No, it was not. It was God who shut the door. Man has not the authority to shut the door of salvation on any man, but only God. Remember Noah and the Ark God commanded him to build. When the time was come, the Lord commanded Noah, not to GO into the Ark, but to COME into the Ark. Do you notice the important difference? Where God is, that is the place of safety. Where the bridegroom is, that is the place of blessing. “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” (Gen 7:1) So Noah went into the place of safety – the Ark. Then, after Noah entered the Ark, what happened? Did Noah shut the door of the Ark? No, man has no authority to close the doors of mercy on mankind – that is the prerogative of the Lord. “ . . .and the LORD shut him in. (Gen 7:16b)
“But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” If we do not take the effort to know Christ very well as intimate friend, Savior, Redeemer, and Sovereign, he will not know us either. For friends to be close, each party must know the other intimately. How tragic will it be to hear those words from the mouth of Christ!
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. There are a lot of pseudo-prophets today attempting to determine the exact day and time of Christ’s return. Why is it so important to them? Perhaps it is the money they make in selling books with such sensational predictions. But, perhaps a more important reason is that they do not desire to serve God presently. They prefer to hedge their bets and live according to the lust of their flesh for now, and then, as their presumed day arrives for Christ’s return, they will clean up their act, so to speak. It is the will and intent of God that we know not the hour or day of His return. We are to watch and pray in our lives each day as if that were the day of His Coming.
I like what Horatius Bonar, an old-time minister and hymn writer of the Free Church of Scotland, says about this Parable:
THE oil is the Holy Spirit. To oil he is likened throughout all Scripture, though in some places to fire and water, to wind or air. But it is as the light-giving oil that he is specially spoken of here; and the lack of him, as such, makes the difference between the foolish and the wise ; having not the spirit. (Jude, verse 19.) Thus a man may be very like a Christian, and yet not be one. He may come very near the kingdom, and yet not enter it. He may have all the outward features of a Christian, and be lacking the main one. He may have the complete dress of a saint, and yet not be one. He may have a good life, a sound creed, a strict profession; he may be one who says and does many things excellent; he may be a subscriber to all the religious societies in the land, a member of all their committees, or a speaker at all their meetings, and a supporter of all their plans; he may profess to be looking for Christ’s coming, and going forth to meet the Bridegroom, and yet not necessarily a Christian. He may lack the oil the Holy Spirit. A religion without the Holy Ghost profiteth nothing. There is the religion of the intellect, of the sense, of the fancy, of the flesh, of the creed, of the liturgy, of the catechism, of nature, of poetry, of sentiment, of mysticism, of humanity; but what are these without the Spirit. Christianity without Christ what would that be ? Worship without God what would that be? So religion without the Holy Spirit what would that be ? Go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Not to men, or churches, or ministers, but to Christ. Go to him. He is exalted to give it, and he will. Apply to him ere it be too late.
Do we possess this oil? Do we have fire to cause the oil to provide light? Are you aware of the precious oil available in God’s Word to be replenished daily by your study? Perhaps we should all be better Scouts!
Bishop Dennis Campbell’s Sermon
Bishop Dennis is a brilliant speaker. He is able to take biblical precepts and make them perfectly understandable, even to me. Oft he provides the text of his sermons and I take the utmost pleasure in passing them on:
First Sunday in Advent
November 30, 2014
We have come to the time of year when we return to the doctrinal content of the Christian Faith. We have been emphasising what Christians do. Now we turn to what Christians believe. Both are important, even indispensable parts of being Christian. That is one of the major points of the book of James, who wrote, “faith without works,” that is Christian belief without Christian living, “is dead.”
The Christian life revolves around two poles: worship and service. Worship draws us aside from the world to focus on the Being and works of God, especially His grace towards us in coming to earth as a Man, to die for our sins. Real worship is not something we add to our lives when we become Christians, like accessories on a car. Real worship is a way of life. We often hear evangelicals say being a Christian is a relationship with Jesus. Most of what they mean by that is incorrect, but the relationship with Jesus part is right. It is the way that relationship is done that they misunderstand. We relate to Jesus primarily through the means of grace, and we experience the means of grace in worship. Worship, then, is the heart of what Christians do.
Worship, then, turns us aside from the world to revere the things of God. Service sends us back into the world to do the things of God, to live holy, Godly lives. Doing the things of God is not always what some imagine to be great deeds of valour. Usually it consists of doing our jobs well, loving our families, dealing with the countless problems and temptations of life, mowing the lawn, cooking the meals, and going to Church. But, if we really think about theses things, we may see that they are great deeds of valour, equal to writing great theology books, or building great congregations, or traveling the world preaching to millions of people.
I said worship and service are the two poles around which the Christian life revolves. Let me change that metaphor to that of a building. The Christian life is a building with two glorious rooms. One is worship, the other is service. But the ground on which that building stands is doctrine. Without docrtine worship becomes an emotional experience which we work in our selves through psychological manipulation. You can see this in most of the TV/radio churches, and in most of the congregations throughout the world today.
Real Christian life is a response to the revelation of God preserved in the Bible. That revelation is not an emotion, it is propositional truth. The Church calls that truth, “doctrine.”
Today we are looking into the revelation of God, and emphasising two of the foundational doctrines of the faith. Jesus has come. Jesus will come again.
When we say Jesus has come, we don’t mean He came to visit our world, like a tourist. He came to work. He came to give Himself on the cross, by which He accomplished our redemption. To say He visited our world is to declare that He is not of our world. He is different from us. It is to affirm that God became flesh and dwelt among us. Some how, as only God can do, He remained God in Heaven, and, at the same time added human flesh and soul to Himself and became Man on earth. Fully God and Fully Man.
Advent reminds us that this planet existed for generations in hope of the Redeemer. In the Old Testament era, the law and the sacrifices reminded us that a fundamental dysfunction exists in nature, in humanity, and in every single individual person. We are out of fellowship with our world, with one another, and even with our own selves, because we are out of fellowship with God. The more we looked at the law of God, the more we realised that we fall short of its demands. The more sheep we slaughtered to pay for our sins, the more we realised no amount of sheep could ever atone for the sins we have committed, and the more we realised our complete and total inability to make ourselves right on any front. And yet, we were not without hope. The very law that told us of our sins also told us of the One who would come to take away our sins. The very sheep we knew could never pay for our sins, told us of the One Lamb of God that can pay for them. And so we lived in hope. We heard from the prophets that the Messiah was coming. We heard He was coming to forgive sins, and to begin to re-make this world and us, into something that is far better than anything we could make on our own; something that is very much like the world before sin ruined it, and very much like man before sin ruined us. In short, He would begin to reform us into something very much like Heaven itself.
Advent also reminds us that, though that great reformation has begun, it is not yet complete. In fact, it is here in seed form. It exists in the Church. We are the society of the restoration. The “world” remains in darkness. So we still wait for the completion of the Messiah’s great work. We live in hope that He will return and make all things right for His creation and His people.
Thus we come to the meaning of this First Sunday in Advent, hope. We have hope. Therefore, let us live in hope. Let us put away the works of darkness. Let us live in the Light.
Bishop, Anglican Orthodox Church Diocese of Virginia
Rector, Holy Trinity Anglican Orthodox Church
Sermon – Rev Jack Arnold
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.
The First Sunday in Advent
LMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
¶ This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.
To cast off the works of darkness and don the armour of light, we must turn to Christ, who came to visit us, born in a simple and humble inn in Bethlehem. As His manner of birth, we must be humble as well, not boastful and proud like the rich, but meek and lowly, to embrace light and cast off the works of darkness. Though He came in a rather humble manner, He shall return in a glorious and majestic manner, a rather stark contrast to His original incarnation, leaving no doubt who has come to lead us.
We must not be for God in speech only, but in deed. For many in the very same crowd who cried “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday were there early on Good Friday. What did they cry for then?
“Crucify Him, Crucify Him!”
Pilate asked for them to cry for mercy, they cried for vengeance on their Lord and Savior!
A swift 180° turn from “Hosanna to the Son of David”. How quick are men to turn upon that of a good thing. As Charles Spurgeon said “It is an astounding thing and a proof of human depravity that men do not themselves seek salvation. They even deny the necessity of it and would sooner run away than be partakers of it.” This is due to our natural inclination to choose the fruit of death rather than the bread of life, which comes from the Baker of Life, Jesus Christ.
I was reading Genesis 40 the other day with my parents and it struck me how the tale of the baker and the butler of the Pharoah, with each with three days to their eventual fates, was a parallel to Christ. Why the two had differing fates is not clear in Scripture, but for certain Christ is the Baker of Life, and who in three days arose from the dead to have conquered death. The Bread of Life is Christ’s sacrifice for us, and every time we partake of it in Holy Communion and listening to the Gospel and the Epistle, we must always remember the cost of our freedom from death. Also with the cost comes conditions, namely that we profess Christ as Our Saviour and to put Him first in our lives, love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and love our neighbors as ourselves. We have heard this before in the Summary of the Law. This is what the Law of God condenses down to, and this is what all our laws that we set forth must be based upon, for there is no other rational or foundational base so great and solid as Christ. He must be the Chief Cornerstone in our lives, if our lives are to have any meaning. There are those who He is not chief in, and they are those who may vainly profess His name with their lips, but not in their actions. This is a great sorrow for them. They have not kept the Word of God in their hearts, though they may shallowly profess it with their lips. It is action and not diction that counts!
We must not be like them. We must put on the great Armour of Light and to reject our former lives of sin and vanity. We must switch from our old selfish lives to a new unselfish, Christ filled lif. It is something that we always will be struggling with, but god never gives up on us. As long as we repent from our sin and turn back to God in our private prayers and devotion, he will wipe our slate clean. I know I have a hard time keeping on the straight and narrow path, so I am glad He left the Scriptures to guide us.
Through following His Word and Instructions, we shall be given a greater reward than anything existent on the Earth; past, present or future, that gift of immortal life, life for all eternity, that will outlast this physical world. To don the armour of light is not merely putting it on, you have to utilize it, and utilize the helmet, the buckler and sword (Scriptures and Christ’s teachings). You need the who complement of weaponry to go into combat with the Prince of Darkness in this fallen world.
Make no mistake, we are engaged in a World War with the Prince of Air, the Prince of this world for the souls of men, starting with our own, a World War which which has been going on since the beginning of time. But we know the ending is in our favor for certain, for the Book of Revelations tells us so.
As individuals we may not experience victory here on earth. We may struggle with problems in this world and our own, our whole lifespan on this planet. We may not know that savor, but we know that in the end, He will be victorious as we know the Savior. We will win, for we are on His Side.
Cast off the dull worn robes of darkness, which lack luster, give no warmth, protect not from the heat, and put on the shining glorious armour of light. So kitted up, we walk in light, not in darkness where we may stumble and fall. Unlike moths, for us light is life, not the destruction of darkness.
Come, put on the Armor of Light and go forth to destroy that last enemy, death!
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
Roy Morales-Kuhn, Bishop and Pastor – St. Paul’s Anglican Church – Anglican Orthodox Church
Bishop Roy is pastor of the biggest AOC parish West of the Mississippi and is in charge of the Diocese of the Epiphany.
First Sunday in Advent
Psalm 46 • Isaiah 28: 14 – 22 • Hebrews 12: 14 – 29
30 November 2014
As we reflect on the three passages of scripture we heard this morning, let us look at themes that come out in each set of verses:
Let us take time to reflect on the Word of God, reflect on His great gift to us, His Son Jesus, let us use the time at hand to delve into the Word made flesh, Immanuel.
Psalm 46. Deus noster refugium.
OD is our hope and strength, * a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved, * and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof rage and swell, * and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God; * the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most Highest.
5 God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed; * God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are moved; * but God hath showed his voice, and the earth shall melt away.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; * the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8 O come hither, and behold the works of the ord, * what destruction he hath brought upon the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease in all the world; * he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder, and burneth the chariots in the fire.
10 Be still then, and know that Iam God: * I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; * the God of Jacob is our refuge.
In Psalm 46 we read:
There is tumult and fury, “nations in uproar, kingdoms fall” “come see the works of the Lord, the desolation he has brought on the earth.” And yet out of this chaos we get peace.
“He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.”
And then the promise;
“Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.
This last verse brings us back to the first verse in this psalm as a full circle.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
In this refuge, this citadel, this stronghold, God protects his own. We have that promise that even in the times of trouble, chaos, confusion, ‘the God of Jacob is our refuge.’
In the Isaiah passage we get a glimpse of the coming Christ as Isaiah warns the people of Israel to be careful, to stop sinning, to repent, and to come back to God, because there will be justice, there will be judgment:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (Isaiah 28:16-17)
And yet even in all of this judgment and justice mete out by God, he still gives us hope, that hope that comes in the Name of the One chosen to bring Salvation to the world. That covenant with death is void, your contract with hell is null, but be mindful to not mock the Gift of God, don’t scorn His gift that He sent as a baby.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.”
The whole Hebrews passage is a warning against refusing God.
22 But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
He who came, He who is coming, He who is here.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25-29)
These words were written to the Hebrews who for the most part had rejected Christ the promised Savior. The author is giving the Hebrew readers a chance to understand that this same Christ is the promised Messiah from the Old Testament prophets.
As we think upon these verses and passages of God’s word, let us reflect on the great gift that was sent us by way of the baby Jesus, when he came the first time those so many years ago.
Let us try to use this time when things are so busy, activities are bustling, no one seems to have the time to stop and pray; to STOP, BE STILL, and know that He is God.
Take the time to refresh yourselves on the Word. Peace be still.
Let us pray,
LMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.
God, who hast prepared for those who love Thee such good things as pass man’s understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward Thee, that we, loving Thee above all things, may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God, who hast made all those that are born again in Christ to be a royal and priestly race; Grant us both the will and the power to do what Thou commandest; that all Thy people may have the same faith in their hearts, and the same piety in their actions; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
lmighty and everlasting God, the Comfort of the sad, the Strength of sufferers, let the prayers of those that cry out of any tribulation come unto Thee; that all may rejoice to find that Thy mercy is present with them in their afflictions; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Eavenly Father we studied your word today, seeing your hand down through the halls of history. Help us to live according to Your Word as we have no excuses today. The word of God is both in our hands and has been manifest by the Son Jesus, who was born of a virgin, grew to adult hood, began his earthly ministry, was tried under Hebrew and Roman law, was crucified, died, was buried, and rose again to new life. He gave us the hope of resurrection by his perfect example. Let us intend to lead Godly lives today and as we leave here today and go forth into the world. Let us show the world we are God’s children, we are children of the kingdom. These things we pray in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen
God loves a cheerful giver, give as you are able, and be blessed.
Rev Bryan Dabney of Saint John’s Sunday Sermon
We are fortunate to have Bryan’s Sunday Sermon. If you want people to come to The Truth, you have to speak the truth, expouse the truth and live the truth. This is really a good piece and I commend it to your careful reading.
First Sunday in Advent
Consider I Thessalonians 5:3-9:
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Reflect on the words: For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye… are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief… For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul was meticulous and straightforward in his presentations. He was given God’s word to inscribe and he did so with the passion of a man who was filled with the Holy Ghost. And as we have the word of God before us, we Christians are obliged to heed its several warnings concerning the coming wrath of God. We know from Scripture that it is not a question of if but when. For while we have not been given the day or the hour, an integral part of our Christian witness has been to proclaim our Lord’s return, and in light of that we ought to persuade as many as we can to come to God through the shed blood of his only begotten Son.
Now our adversary the Devil is a very wise and crafty being who has on numerous occasions attempted to use the reticence of God to deceive men that they might continue living sinful lives. He has insinuated into the hearts of the unregenerate the notion that our Lord will not be returning anytime soon. He has also led men to believe that peace and safety can be had by their own works apart from a lively faith in the LORD their God. Satan has so successfully blinded the minds and hearts of the unregenerate masses that they have failed to grasp— and history is filled with examples for those who dare to research them— that human desires for peace, prosperity, gain, empire, etc. while attainable, are never lasting. He has over the ages convinced men that the things of this world are worth the effort because it holds for them glory, honor and wealth—vehicles which swell their pridefulness and pave the way for their ultimate downfall.
Consider the verse in our epistle lesson, For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape (v. 3). How many treaties have actually led to a lasting peace between men and nations? In just the twentieth century alone, our country has signed treaties ending the First World War; the Second World War; an armistice with North Korea and China ending the Korean Conflict; an accord with North Vietnam to end our participation in the Vietnam; an accord with Iraq to end the First Gulf War; along with numerous arms control agreements with Soviet Russia. Still, in spite of all these paper promises, wars and conflicts have continued. In spite of all the efforts of presidents and secretaries of state, those agreements have not brought us lasting peace and allayed our fears of further confrontations. In fact, the ideals of Peace and safety seem to be wafting away as I am writing this sermon. War between Israel and Iran might come at any time. It should be understood that any attack on Iran could result in a war with both Russia and China. There is also the likelihood that such a conflict might include the use of nuclear weapons. And if they are used, there is no telling if they will be used in a limited fashion, that is, regionally, or if their use would take on a more global application. There can be no peace and safety with such a “sword of Damocles” hanging over our heads.
History teaches that reliance on a piece of paper— a treaty— to protect one’s country is incredibly naive. But that is what our leaders have done over the last half century, or so. They have opted to sign pieces of paper which have no real power to prevent the very catastrophe which those documents were meant to forestall. Some will say that weapons treaties, and the like, have helped to allay fears and ease suspicions; but in reality they have only masked the real issues and given our populace a false sense of security. Consider the several treaties and agreements which were signed in Europe over the last thousand years and you will readily see that none of them ever led to a complete cessation of hostilities. To the contrary, they either created parenthetical periods of peace, or they laid the groundwork for future conflicts as nations [rose] against nation and kingdoms against kingdom (St. Matthew 24:6-7).
In today’s world, it seems that with each new attempt at conflict resolution, the potential for new and even more devastating conflagrations have increased. As a result, our government has become like the mythical Sisyphus: who was cursed by the gods to perform a seemingly never-ending task. Couple that with our country’s unique ability to determine the time of victory in a conflict apart from an end to hostilities, and you have the makings for a tragedy of epic proportions. Our country’s leaders have become like certain charismatics who claim that if one simply speaks a thing, then it will be so. They believe that they can appoint the time of battle, and then say precisely when that victory has been achieved. Can’t you hear them now: Well, there it is— we’ve won; the conflict is resolved; the issue has been handled; our people are safe; and the homeland has been secured; and it was all due to the efforts of President So-in-So or Ambassador Such-and- Such.” Translation, “It was all about mortals and had nothing to do with God.” But God has everything to do with any good we might experience because we know that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (St. James 1:17).
Truly, our country was once blessed by Almighty God — as one collect reads— “with substantial industry, sound learning and good manners.” We possessed those things because we used to be a people who were for the most part true believers in the Godhead and accepting of his word. Unfortunately, our country has been in decline for many years. Look about our society and you will find an ever-diminishing number of Bible-believing Christians. There should be little doubt that our declining national life is directly proportional to the actual number of truly regenerated souls who are present within our society.
If one really desires to see what is coming in our national life, we need only look at II Chronicles 36:15-16 regarding the kingdom of Judah wherein it was written that … the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. The Bible tells us in those verses that God’s patience with the people of Judah had run out. And so, by extension, would you think he will do any less regarding our wicked society? Either we repent and turn from both our national and our personal sins and trespasses, or the Lord will deal with this country in his hot displeasure. Just by the way things are going should be evidence enough that God has begun to do just that.
But God will not remove his hand from around those who have been born- again of the Spirit; neither can such be taken from his hand by the evil one. No, my friends, we have not been called to experience the wrath of God, only his mercy and grace. The word of God to the apostle Paul in our epistle lesson is sure and certain: But ye… are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief… For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. .
Our principal duty in this life is to serve our Lord by being obedient to his word. While we cannot change God’s plan for this world, we ought to commit our cares and concerns to him concerning our roles in these last days. We ought to trust and not worry about the state of things which must come to pass. We are suppose to occupy till his comes again, which means that we should be working, studying , and living our lives in faith. We ought to be engaged in intercessory prayer for those who oppose themselves across the whole of our society, that God would give them the spiritual insight to see the dangers ahead (II St. Timothy 2:24-26). As Abraham asked of God for a stay in his plan to deal with the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah, so we must also pray that our country and its leaders will see the error of their ways and turn back before it is too late (Genesis 18:23-32).
Scripture tells us that great and terrible things will come upon the children of disobedience, so we should endeavour daily to pull as many as we can from the fire (St. Jude 23). While we have not been called to experience God’s wrath, we nevertheless understand from our study of his word that evil will triumph prior to his coming in glory. However, as it is manifesting itself, God will pour out his vials of vengeance and judgment upon the wicked.
The Peace and safety crowd will eventually declare victory whether it is after a horrible world conflict, or after some global leader has convinced the nations to accept his offer of universal peace via their participation as members of a giant global superstate. The prison planet is coming. It might already be here. As terrifying as that may sound, we ought to keep in mind that those things are going to come to pass and to prepare our hearts for the second advent of our Saviour. Our Lord repeatedly warned us to avoid deception and so let us go forward each day serving him by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ who has offered us true peace and safety in his coming kingdom.
Let us pray,
ather, we pray that thou wouldest help us as we fight the good fight of faith, and stand our ground in this time of our mortal life; that in our warfare and in our work we might do those things which are pleasing and acceptable to thee as we occupy until our Lord Jesus Christ returns; for these things we ask in his most blessed name. Amen.
Have a blessed week, Bryan+
After Church Hospitality
We would like some pictures of your after service gatherings. Come on! Help out!
People in our Prayers – http://faithfulcenturionprayerteam.blogspot.com/
Why? Prayer is an extremely important activity.
It is not that God knows not our needs, for He surely does. Yet, Jesus commanded us to ask God for those same needs. In addition to the obvious of asking God for help, offering thanksgiving and the like, prayer helps us focus our thoughts on how we might do God’s work.
The Prayer Team of the Anglican Orthodox Church was established to help our members and fellow Christians pray for those in need and to give thanks as well for the blessings we have been granted.
Who can be on the list? Do I have to be a member of the Anglican Orthodox Church to be prayed for?
No! The only qualification to be on the list is that you want our prayer team to pray for you. We are Christians and are happy to pray for you, no matter who you are. If you want help from God, you are our kind of people.
What is the commitment from the prayer team?
Each member of the team will pray for the desired outcome at last once per day.
How do I get myself or someone else on the prayer list?
You can email one of the prayer team leaders: Jack – email@example.com or Dru – dru@ faithfulcenturion.org, or call the office at (619) 659-3608 or fill out a prayer card at church.
What should I ask for?
Depends on what you want. Some people merely want God to be asked to heal their ills and be mentioned by their first name, others want a specific outcome and / or have more of their personal information known to the team. Ask for what you want. It is your desire and need for prayer the team is attempting to meet. For typical examples, see the list below.
Updating the Team
If you are on our prayer list, or if you have submitted a person that you have asked us to pray for, please update one of the team members or Hap in person, by telephone or email. It helps to be able to pray specifically for these individuals including their specific needs; plus if they get better, it is nice to give thanks!
Please note that on the yellow (maybe green or orange if you get an old one) cards at church, you can ask that those to be prayed for have their names disseminated to the prayer team. Those names will be said in church and appear here. Or, you can ask that their names and purpose be kept confidential, then only Hap will know to pray for them.
Prayer List Notice – If you have someone on the prayer list and their needs have changed, please let us know. We’d like to update our prayers to reflect the need and most important to give thanks!
Hap and Dru Arnold are on travel this week.
Lucius Dabney celebrated his 89th birthday 23 November 2014. Lucius, father of Rev Bryan Dabney is an attorney who still practices, opening his office every weekday as he has since 1949. A veteran of both World War II and Korea, a Bible teacher and lay reader, Lucius is our country.
The Anglican Orthodox Church celebrated its 51st birthday on 16 November 2014.
Erma Jacob and Ashbil Gill were married the afternoon of Friday 28 November 2014, Peshawar, Pakistan. A reception followed and the next day the wedding couple and others continued to Lahore, Pakistan where the groom’s parents had a Walima dinner and reception. Erma is the daughter of Bishop and Mrs. Ernest Jacob. Please pray for Erma and Ashbil as they work to come together as a single unit and grow closer to our Lord.
Natalie and Willy were married on 8 November 2014. Please pray for them as they come together as a single unit. Pray each of them will work together to actually join as one and grow closer to our Lord.
The Thomas Family is now in Okinawa for a second short tour. Please pray for this new assignment to go well for Kurt and for Mary and the kids to make new friends.
Doctor Manjun Ryu died suddenly of a heart attack. Please give thanks for his time here on earth and pray for his family members who of necessity remain behind and are not only grieving, but adjusting to the loss of the family leader who left without warning. This is so very hard. While we can never really prepare for the loss of a loved one, it is very hard when there is absolutely no warning whatsoever. Please pray for the Ryu family, remembering it can happen to any of us and they need your prayer.
Carol Anne left for home with our Lord on 11 November 2104, after a hard fought battle with cancer. Please give thanks for her time here on earth and pray for her family members who of necessity remain behind.
Annette left for home on 9 November 2104, after dehydration problems, plus kidney and liver problems. She had delayed getting help because of financial. Please give thanks for her time here on earth and pray for her family members who of necessity remain behind.
Tazeem Gill, AOC Pastor of the church in Narrowal, returned home to be with our Lord after a heart attack on 7 November 2014. A 2002 graduate of Faith Seminary, he was married last year and leaves behind his wife. Please give thanks for his time here on earth and pray for comfort and strength for his wife who of necessity remains behind. Pray also for his congregation who miss their pastor.
Bill Harrington passed away the afternoon of 31 October 2014, quite unexpectedly. Please join his family in giving thanks for Bill’s time here on earth. Please pray for his family who of necessity remain behind, that they might put their sorrow at the temporary separation on God’s back, while they look forward, not back. Pray in particular for his mother who has now lost three of her six children and for his brother Michael who will have to help in straightening things out.
Anniversary of Departure
Ken Jennings, Grasshopper, left for home on 2 November 2013. Please give thanks for his time here on earth and for pray comfort to his wife Terri and children Trevor, Tawnya and Tessa.
Nearing the end of their time here on earth
Maggie is nearing the end of her time here on earth. Please pray for Maggie and her husband Dub as she prepares to go home to be with her family who have gone before her. Pray for the faith of her family to build and the transition to be good.
Alan is a victim of metastasized colon cancer already destroying his liver. His youngest sister has put aside her hard-earned career to care for her brother in these days on earth. Please pray for him as he prepares to go home to be with his family who have gone before him. Please pray for comfort, understanding, strength and guidance for Alan and his family who will of necessity remain behind.
Saundra is in ICU with congestive heart failure after a heart operation. She is aged and frail. Saundra is near the end of her time here on earth. Please pray for comfort, understanding, strength and guidance for Saundra and her family who will of necessity remain behind. Pray for the love of God to stay foremost in their hearts.
Polly is in hospice care with dementia and spinal stenosis. Please pray for her as she prepares to go home to be with her family who have gone before her. Pray for the faith of her family to build and the transition to be good.
Homebound or Infirm
Mary is an elderly woman who had a hip replacement. Please pray her as she is home recovering.
Joan has had serious medical problems that have kept her confined. On 26 September 2013, she took a fall. Please pray her health will remain stable.
Norma, Sara’s mother is in a state of deteriorating health, both physically and mentally, with both dementia and Alzheimer’s. She is slowly drifting away, though she still recognizes Sara and prayer gives her a sense of peace. Please pray for both Sara and her mother to put their cares and worries on God’s shoulders so they can deal with the many problems involved.
In need of a miracle or understanding of God’s Plan
June found she has a recurrence of colon cancer, which is now Stage Four, that is it has spread. Please pray for a miraculous remission; that June’s remaining time here on earth might be good. Help June and her family put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their sadness, fear, worry and terror.
Cindy has been diagnosed with an aggressive malignant brain tumor. Please pray for a miraculous remission; that Cindy’s remaining time here on earth might be good. Help Cindy and her family put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their sadness, fear, worry and terror.
Sarah, wife of Rev Geordie (AOC – UK), has been treating for ovarian cancer. She has lost her son, as well as a long time furry family member; she is home from hospital having had fluid drained from her lungs. God will give us all the strength we need if we but let Him. Having said that, Sarah is under more stress than can be imagined. Pray that Sarah and Geordie be guided to the new kitten God has chosen for them. Please pray for a miraculous remission; and that Sarah might put all her sadness, fear, worry and terror on God’s back so that her remaining time here on earth might be good. Help Sarah, Geordie and their family put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry.
From Sarah (5 November 2014)
Dear Prayer Partners,
My husband George forwarded to me your prayers.
I was humbled and amazed at how God our Heavenly Father works in and through individuals to encourage and uplift others – me! That He would place upon your hearts thoughts and prayers for my health and well being, I am in awe and wonder at the greatness of our God who pays attention to the little details of our lives. What an awesome God we serve people. Bless you all for your faithfulness, constancy and through you, an outpouring of grace to me. I feel well loved.
With sincere love in Christ, Your sister in Jesus, Sarah
Leon McKay suffered a stroke a few weeks back that has left him unable to speak and while undergoing evaluation the doctors also found he has a very aggressive cancer. Please pray for a miraculous remission; that Leon’s remaining time here on earth might be good. Help Leon and his family put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry.
Rev. Thomas Brooks is not improving and being kept alive by artificial machines. Please pray for a miraculous recovery and if that not be God’s Will, a rapid passing to home. Help Thomas’ family put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry
Ronnie has kidney cancer that has spread and the surgeons are very concerned. Please pray the medical team to formulate a successful treatment plan and for a miraculous remission; that Ronnie’s remaining time here on earth might be good. Help Ronnie and family put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry.
Levi was cancer free for 4 years and just discovered he has kidney cancer. Levi has a great deal of faith and said whether he is healed or God takes him home he will be fine. Please pray for the medical team to pay attention and to their best and for a good outcome. Pray also that Levi and family will be able to put their worry on God’s shoulders. In particular, please pray for pain relief; Levi is 22 years old.
Ray Daley is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and served his country during the Korean War era. Ray is taking chemotherapy treatments for cancer. Meanwhile his son Trevor is in the hospital in a coma and seems to have lost the will to live.
Pat has been under treatment for colon cancer for sometime. He has had major complications the last few days and your prayers will be appreciated by family and friends.
Dorothy had pneumonia, on checking her lungs they found tumors which permeated the lung area. Further investigation found a primary site in the colon, with the lung being secondary. It would appear there is no viable treatment at this time. Please pray for a miraculous remission; that her remaining time here on earth might be good. Help Dorothy and her family put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry.
Becky has fourth stage metastasized lung cancer and is not doing well with chemotherapy treatments. Please pray for Becky and her husband as they are together during this difficult time in their lives.
Jane has fourth stage cancer and is not doing well. Please pray for Jane and her family as they are together during this difficult time in their lives.
Larry Howes suffered a fairly severe stroke. 4 December 2012, doctors replaced a valve in a shunt that had been put in about two weeks before, and Larry responded very well. He was able to go home.
Pray also for confidence in our Lord for Larry and his family. Larry needs a miracle, pray for one. Please.
Colleen has been battling pancreatic cancer over the last year and it has now spread to one of her lungs. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.
Christine has cancer of the colon, which spread to her liver; she is receiving chemotherapy and is having difficulty eating. Please pray for the medical team treating her to pay attention and do their very best; pray also for confidence in our Lord for Christine and her family.
Todd and Kenny have both been fighting osteocarcinoma for over five years and have been told their time here on earth is nearing its end, absent a miracle from God. Both are ready to go home and leave the pain, but would like to stay. Please pray for them and their families.
Albert had a pacemaker installed recently. He will require surgery soon for a leaking heart valve and has just been told he has esophageal cancer. Pray he will turn to God and come to know Him on a more personal basis as the days go by.
Jane underwent heart valve repair surgery on 3 July 2014. Please pray for full recovery. Pray also Jane and her family to put their worry on God’s shoulders.
Mario has early-diagnosed prostate cancer and had surgery. Pray for complete remission and that Mario and his family will be able to put their worry on God’s shoulders.
Eddie has upcoming bladder surgery. Please pray for the surgical team to pay attention and to their best and for a good outcome. Pray also that Eddie and family will be able to put their worry on God’s shoulders.
Testing and Treatment
Roman has been ill with acute sinusitis for over a week. It has affected several areas and he is on strong antibiotics. The doctor feels he can heal without a surgical procedure. Please pray the Almighty will heal him without the need of hospitalization.
Paul has been hospitalized recently several time because of persistent high fevers. He is being tested and checked by physicians and seems to have a slight scoliosis, a node and Schuermann’s disease. Please pray it will be discovered how to treat these problems and healing will begin so he will be inspired to continue his education.
Maverick, a newborn little boy, has congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This is an inherited genetic defect that limits production of one of the many enzymes the adrenal glands use to make cortisol.
Most of the problems caused by classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia are related to a lack of cortisol, which plays an important role in regulating your blood pressure, maintaining blood sugar and energy levels, and protecting your body against stress.
This condition has no cure, but can be managed. Prayers are requested for Maverick, and his parents Kellie and Robert, as they adjust their lives to deal with Maverick’s condition.
Carol Anne needs God’s comfort and healthy test results as she is anxiously undergoing tests related to previous hysterectomy and experiencing symptoms in the surrounding area.
Garth Neel is undergoing chemotherapy for lymphomacancer. He had to postpone last week’s chemotherapy due to low white blood cell count. Please pray his numbers will get in line so that the treatment can continue. Pray for medical team contemplating and evaluating the treatment that they might be guided to the correct choice and do their very best. Pray also for peace of mind and trust in God for Garth and his family.
Garth is the AOC Bishop of Canada with oversight of South America and a really both good and nice fellow.
From Garth – The results of a recent CAT scan indicate the tumour in my abdomen has been reduced from its original 12 by 9 cms to 8.5 by 7 cms … The doctor’s office calls this “significant” … and adds the tumour is “stable” … ie not trying to grow back. I continue with my 4th chemo therapy treatment on Tuesday, and am confident, by the grace of God and through the prayers of all, the tumour will continue to recede and finally be eradicated. + Garth (1 November 2014)
Jennifer has some lumps on the right side of her neck; they have grown and multiplied. In the last few months she has been having problems swallowing. Jennifer has an appointment with specialist in several weeks to try and discover what it is. She is having a great deal of anxiety as she waits for her Doctors appointment and will appreciate your prayer for anxiety and health.
Rick has heart problems. Please pray for guidance for the medical people treating him that they might pay attention, do their very best and make the right recommendations regarding treatment. Pray for help for Rick and his wife Wanda to keep their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry.
Clay has melanoma. Please pray for guidance for the medical people treating him that they might pay attention, do their very best and make the right recommendations regarding treatment. Pray for help for Rick and his wife Pam to keep their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry.
Tom is battling cancer. Please pray for guidance for the medical people treating him that they might pay attention, do their very best and make the right recommendations regarding treatment. Pray for help for Tom to keep his trust in the Lord and let Him carry his worry.
Atina has been diagnosed with skin cancer. Pray for guidance for the medical people treating her that they might pay attention, do their very best and make the right recommendations regarding treatment. Pray for help for Atina to keep her trust in the Lord and let Him carry her worry.
Evelyn has been diagnosed with bone cancer. Pray for guidance for the medical people treating her that they might pay attention, do their very best and make the right recommendations regarding treatment. Pray for help for Evelyn to keep her trust in the Lord and let Him carry her worry.
Stacy has Multiple Sclerosis and was hospitalized for what turned out to be food poisoning. Pray for trust in God for Stacy and Chris as they deal with Stacy’s illness.
Dick Gray had developed a Merkle Cell carcinoma just under his sternum carcinoma which is considered a stage four carcinoma since it has ‘metastasized’. He traveled to Seattle, Washington where he was examined and considered for a new type of treatment. That treatment will not begin for at least three months, so they referred him to the Rutgers University Cancer Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey. They have accepted him into the evaluation process, which will begin on Monday 11 August 2014. Rutgers started with monkeys and had good results, so now they are working with humans, Dick is hopeful as he has oft been referred to as an “Old Monkey.” Please pray for peace of mind and safe travel for Dick and his lovely wife Jennifer as they travel to New Jersey this weekend. Pray for those contemplating the treatment that they might be guided to the correct choice and do their very best. Pray also for peace of mind and trust in God for Dick and his wife Jennifer. Dick is the Treasurer and a Vestryman at Saint Paul’s AOC in Missouri.
Janet Jessup had a stroke on 3 July 2014. She has made some progress and is now out of the stroke unit and in the General Surgery and Care Unit. Please pray for those treating her to find the appropriate treatment and for trust in God and peace of mind for Name and her family, in particular her husband of 43 years, Rev Roger Jessup, minister of Saint Joseph of Arimathea Anglican Orthodox Church.
Liz Strauch had a pineal cyst, which in the end responded well to a surgical draining last year. Since November 2013, similar symptoms have returned. A CT Scan turned up what is thought to be either a new cyst or an enlarged pineal gland. More testing, including an EEG is in the works. She can no longer work. Pray for strength, courage and understanding for Liz and her family, in particular her husband Ken and sons Caleb and Nathan; as well as for God’s guidance for the medical people treating her that they might find the best course of treatment and allow Liz to heal completely.
Faye is in the hospital because she is weak has been receiving blood transfusions. Pray for strength, courage and understanding for Faye and her family; as well as for God’s guidance for the medical people treating her that they might find the best course of treatment and allow Faye to heal completely.
Tom has heart and kidney problems. Pray for strength, courage and understanding for Tom and his family; as well as for God’s guidance for the medical people treating him that they might find the best course of treatment and allow Tom to heal completely.
Harold has had a severe stroke. He is now home, but his family is looking for a rehabilitation facility to help him recuperate. Pray for strength, courage and understanding for Harold and his family; as well as for God’s guidance for the medical people caring for him that they might find the best treatment facility to allow Harold to heal completely.
Joe has had a preliminary ALS diagnosis. Pray the final diagnosis will something that will allow him to continue taking care of his devoted young family. Pray for strength, courage and understanding for Joe and his family; as well as for God’s guidance for the medical people treating him that they might find the best course of treatment.
Mark hadswelling and fluid buildup in his lungs. It appears things may be getting under control. He needs to use a Bi-Pap mask to breathe until his lungs clear and he hates it. Pray that he will be able to adapt so his lungs can clear. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Mark, as well as for his family, and for God’s guidance for the medical people treating him that they might find the best course of treatment.
Preston is reacting poorly to recent neck surgery and now has problems with his liver count; Physicians feel that dialysis will help. There may be a blockage in the bowel and an operation might be necessary. Please pray for the medical team to pay attention and to their best to determine how to help Preston and for a good outcome. Pray also that Preston and family will be able to put their worry on God’s shoulders while Preston does his best to facilitate a return to good health.
Erica has a non-malignant Brain Tumor which cannot be surgically removed due to the size and location. They are going to attempt chemotherapy. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Erica, as well as for her family, and for God’s guidance for the medical people treating her that they might find the best course of treatment.
Brenda is in the hospital because of bleeding on her brain. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Brenda, as well as for her family, and for God’s guidance for the medical people treating her that they might find the best course of treatment.
Mackenzie is a young girl with leukemia. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Mackenzie, as well as for her family, and for God’s guidance for the medical people treating her that they might find the best course of treatment.
Mack has had diabetes most of his adult life. Circulation in his legs is very bad and doctors are considering amputation. Please pray his medication will help and he will not face amputation. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Mack and for God’s guidance for the medical people treating him that they might find the best course of treatment.
Michael has been diagnosed with lung cancer recently after making it through gastro intestinal cancer last year. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Michael and his wife Gayle; as well as for God’s guidance for the medical people treating him that they might find the best course of treatment.
Ken Strauch has been tired and is anemic, he had a colonoscopy which found a pair of polyps which were removed and are being tested. Just for good measure they found he has a hiatal hernia with ulcers, basically part of his stomach is pushed up into his esophagus and is bleeding from there. Sounds like there may be surgery involved. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Ken and for God’s guidance for the medical people treating him that they might find the best course of treatment.
Adriano is in the hospital due to high sugar and high blood pressure. He is very weak and will appreciate your prayers.
Heather recently found out she has cancer. Please pray for peace of mind for her and for the medical team treating her will be guided to the right solution.
Jim has had an aneurism and blood clots. Pray that healing will come.
Georgia has liver and pancreatic cancer. The doctors are evaluating whether to do surgery and how to tackle the disease. Georgia is a faithful Christian and appreciates your prayers. Pray for God’s guidance for the medical people treating her that they might find out the source of the problem and best course of treatment. Pray also for peace of mind and trust in God for Georgia and her family.
Lana’s doctor found something on her lymph nodes and ovaries. Pray for God’s guidance for the medical people treating her that they might find out the source of the problem and best course of treatment. Pray also for peace of mind and trust in God for Lana and her family.
Debbie is just beginning chemotherapy for cancer of the lymph nodes. Prayer she will be able to tolerate the therapy acceptably and remain strong as she remembers the Lord is with her at all times.
Lew Valkenaar had what is classified as a “small stroke” on 3 November 2014, and is now in skilled nursing facility at The Spokane Veterans Home in Idaho. Things are tough for Lew and his wife Dotty. Please pray for comfort for Lew and his wife Dotty as they struggle with the minutes, hours and days ahead; strengthen their strong faith and comfort them.
Liz had a massive stroke at age thirty-seven. The prognosis is good but she has a long road ahead. . Please pray for guidance for those treating her, for trust in our Lord for Liz and her family, for healing.
Ebick is suffering from a severe ulcer but the Doctors cannot give her the proper dosage of the medicine due to her six month pregnancy. Please pray doctors will find an alternative avenue for treatment or that God will provide.
Stan is going through chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. He is elderly and the treatments are tiring him. Please pray for his wife Marvelene as they do this together.
Meg recently found out she had heart problems causing low blood oxygen levels, loss of focus resulting in an emergency room crisis. As a result of the symptoms she made errors on the job that caused her to lose her job. She is grateful for the excellent medical care she has received and optimistic, feeling with God’s intervention in her life her health may be reversed and a new job will become available.
Donald is in the hospital and had his leg amputated on 14 April 2014. Pray he will adjust and healing will begin.
Lucius Dabney (father of Rev Bryan Dabney) is now at home recovering from an infection. Please pray for a complete healing of the infection and return to health.
David has many concussions and unable to go to school, read books, watch TV and has headaches and migraines. He has trouble sleeping and his family will appreciate your prayers for this 10 year old young man.
Barbara Apple fell the week of 11 January 2014, in her home, breaking her right humerus (the large upper arm bone) in a spiral fracture, which cannot be set. Movement is very painful and due to a total lack of energy, she is more or less bedridden. Healing does not seem to be going well at this point. Pray for inspiration for those caring for her that they might find the appropriate treatment. Please pray for Barbara to put her trust in the Lord, look to Him for strength and for her to gain energy so she does not lose the mobility she has; pray for a full and rapid recovery. Please pray also for her husband Bob who is taking care of her that he might be comforted and strengthened in this time of stress.
Gladys has breast cancer and has had a lumpectomy. She needs to take a year off of her work to have chemo treatments.
Alwin Jack has had a stroke and recently has had a relapse. Please pray for those who treat Alwin that they might chose the best possible treatment and pray for peace of mind for Alwin during the recovery phase.
Carolyn has Multiple Sclerosis with complications. Pray Carolyn and her children will be close to our Lord Jesus Christ as they and family members help to ease the problems.
Jeong was in an auto accident and sustained a serious back injury. Please pray for a full and rapid recovery.
Dale was hospitalized Sunday 25 August 2013, after a heart attack. Please pray for guidance for the medical team treating him and for peace of mind for Dale and his family.
Gil Garcia is home and doing pretty well. Pray for strength for Gil and his wife Mary as they deal with the stresses of Gil’s paraplegia and the general aging process.
Mary Garcia had surgery, she is home, but not healing as well as she hoped. Please pray for her continued healing.
Bill had malignant growth removed from a lip last month and seems to be experiencing a re-growth of the cancer. He asks your prayer for the medical team treating him and for peace of mind for himself.
Hank has osteoporosis, which has caused him a great deal of pain and inconvenience in the past few years. Pray for his healing and that his medical bills will be met.
Evelyn is an elderly woman who has had problems with her eyes and is now blind. It appears some sight will return shortly, pray for that to happen!
Joanne has begun kidney dialysis as a result of kidney failure due to extensive chemotherapy. Additionally she cares for an adopted drug addicted baby who is now nine years old. Please pray for her to keep her faith, to let the Lord carry her worry and concern and to give her strength. Pray also for those treating her that they might pay attention and do their best.
Mr. N. Anand is in the hospital and is seriously ill. He is being encouraged to pray for repentance of his sins and to depend upon our dependable God for a cure and recovery of his health. Pray that he will be a strong witness for Christ.
Jacob has been going through some dental procedures and has some pain and aggravation with the numbness. Please pray for comfort and strength for him, as well as for guidance for the medical team treating him that they might pay attention and do their best.
Jean fell and broke her ankle in three places. She will be in the hospital for rehabilitation for the next 6 weeks. Please pray for comfort and strength for her, as well as for guidance for the medical team treating her that they might pay attention and do their best.
Bud and his wife for their continued welfare and enthusiasm. Bud has been advised of an aneurism in his heart of a size not mandating immediate surgery. This comes at a time when he has sole care of his wife who recently broke two vertebrae and thereafter sustained pneumonia.
Virginia has Sinus and Allergy problems giving her severe problems. Pray that the Doctor will discover why it continues and find a cure.
Steve Thornell had a brain aneurysm, which was found before it burst. He is home from the hospital and working hard on recovery. He lacks energy from seven days in the hospital. His doctor told him he has to make serious life changes. One of the two main arteries in the back of the head is now completely closed. He must take blood thinners, he has thick blood and recent chemotherapy made it worse. Steve has always operated at 110 percent, he needs help to slow down. Please pray for trust in the Lord and a full and rapid recovery. Pray for peace of mind for Steve and his family.
Arlen is receiving treatment for lung cancer and recently experienced a ruptured colon during treatment. She is alone in Oregon but does have a friend who has traveled a great distance to be at her side. Please pray for guidance for the medical team treating her and for strength and trust for Arlen.
Oscar discovered some time ago he had blood clots in his leg and lung. He has been treated for them and has not been cured. He now will be facing surgery. Please keep him in your prayers.
Angela had an ischemic stroke (clot).Please pray for guidance for the medical team treating her and for strength and trust for Angela. Please pray also that she and her family might put their worries on our Lord’s back so she can work hard towards recovery.
Nora had a stroke mid February 2013. Please pray for guidance for the medical team treating her and for strength and trust for Nora. Please pray also that she and her family might put their worries on our Lord’s back so she can work hard towards recovery.
Linda has been hospitalized for several days with a gastrointestinal problem. Please pray for guidance for the medical team treating her and for strength and trust for Linda.
Dester is suffering from unknown skin and diseases. Please guide the medical team treating him to find out what the problem is and cure it. Pray also for Dester to trust in the Lord.
Lee has Arterial Fibrillation; the medical people are not sure how to help her. Please pray for guidance for the team treating her and for Lee and her family to make the right decisions regarding treatment..
Nell recently adopted two children and has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Mary Lou has been suffering with seizures. She was in the hospital with a 24 hour monitor and is being sent home from the hospital with two medications and orders to return in 2 months for another MRI to review whatever is going on in her brain. Please pray for guidance for the medical people treating her, as well as peace of mind and trust in God for her and her family.
Kathleen has spent the last two weeks in the hospital. She has been diagnosed with colitis, shingles and possibly colon cancer. Pray she will be comfortable and begin to heal.
Rachel has Mitochondrial Myopathy. This is a hereditary disease of the muscles and they do not have a cure for it. Part of her pain is her family does not believe she is indeed ill, as she appears to be just fine. Please pray her family will learn the truth and be supportive of her; pray also the medical people treating her will find the right measures to minimize the disease. Most particularly pray for Rachel’s trust in God.
Nicolas is in the hospital with serious symptoms of a heart disorder. Please pray for peace of mind for him and guidance for the medical team looking for the cause and cure.
Juanita is a young girl who was in a coma because of a blood disease. She has not come out and is gaining strength. They are awaiting results from blood samples. Her family thanks you for your prayers and asks that you continue.
George had foot surgery. Please give thanks for the surgery and pray for a full and rapid recovery.
Nellie is in the emergency room of a hospital in a great deal of pain. Please pray for peace of mind for her and guidance for the medical team looking for the cause and cure.
Lauralee Meade underwent a lumpectomy on Friday after Thanksgiving. A further anomaly has been discovered and she had additional preventative radiation treatment. Please pray for a complete remission of the cancer. Pray also Lauralee will maintain her great attitude and trust in God.
Bill, Sara’s husband, had a third abdominal surgery on 22 November 2011, to remove a tumor. Bill is doing better keeping the doctor’s instructions, for which we are all grateful, including taking chemotherapy once a day for one more year. He has decreased the consumption of alcohol and eating at least mostly properly. Please pray for help for him to continue do all this. Please pray also that Bill might turn his heart outward to help those around him, as well as live a long and healthy life to the honor and glory of God. Pray also for peace of mind for Bill and his wife Sara.
Kay Denton (Mrs. Kay) has had a chest infection, perhaps viral, but seems to be getting better. Please pray for continued peace of mind for Mrs. Kay and her family. Give thanks for her trust in the Lord and her positive attitude.
Matt Alcantara, age 16, came back with ZERO SCANS again in August 2014! Matt has Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), a very rare and often lethal form of cancer with limited treatment options. This is a disease that is about 90 percent fatal in a couple of years. He has no hip joint on one side, but he walks and swims! Courage? Guts? You bet! Please also give thanks for the great faith of Matt and his entire family. Their faith and trust is a wonderful example for each and every one of us. But, now is not the time to stop praying. Actually, it never is the time to stop praying!
Judith Clingwall, is afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She is currently in Laurel Place, an extended care facility in Surrey, British Columbia. Judith’s condition has worsened recently. Please pray for her to take an active part in her own life, for her strength, peace of mind, trust in God and remission of the disease so she might return home to her family. Pray also for strength for her husband Martin as he deals with all the problems and stress of Judith’s situation.
Vince (age 15), reoccurrence of Osteosarcoma, recent testing found a nickel sized tumor in his lungs. The doctors are consulting with a specialist in Houston. Please pray for guidance for the medical team and for peace of mind for Vince and his family.
Healing and Patience
Christopher has had problems with his leg for some time. Now he has to have it casted and it will stay that way for what to him seems an interminable time. Pray for patience and peace of mind for this young man who has much he wants to do.
Thanksgiving and Continued Healing
Sherill had prostate surgery Thursday 6 November 2104. All went well, please give thanks for the good outcome.
Jenniffer had surgery for breast cancer on 15 October 2014, which seemingly went well; please give thanks for that. She is in considerable pain and has an apparently minor infection. Please pray for the pain and infection to both subside. Pray for guidance for the medical people treating her that they might pay attention, do their very best and for a good outcome. Pray for help for Jenniffer to keep her trust in the Lord and let Him carry her worry and concern as she recovers. Please pray also for strength and courage for her family as they try their best to help her.
Earl had successful surgery to remove a cancer on his nose. They had to go deeper than they originally thought, so he will need plastic surgery to rebuild the nose, but all the cancer was removed! Please join Earl and his family in giving thanks for the great result!
Jim had infection complications from diabetes in his foot. The infection appears to be under control and he has been released from the hospital. Please join in giving thanks for the quick and good result and pray for complete healing.
DiAnne Thornton had back surgery 23 September 2014, with apparently good result. Please give thanks for the good result and pray the L5 decompression will allow her walking abilities and balance to be restored.
Alice had a mastectomy on 17 September 2014, that apparently went very well with a good result. Please give thanks for the good outcome and pray for full healing and complete remission.
Mary had successful hip replacement on 10 September 2014. Please give thanks for the successful surgery and ask for God’s help in her recovery.
Kathy had what seems to be very successful surgery on Wednesday, 3 September 2014, for cancer that returned somewhat unexpectedly. Please give thanks for the good results of the surgery and pray that the cancer will be held at bay by this action. Pray also for Kathy and her family to let God carry their worry, concern and terror so that Kathy can recover fully and quickly, so as to gain the best result. Help their entire family to keep their full trust in God.
Peggy had very successful knee replacement surgery 26 August 2104. She is going home on 29 August 2014 with no pain! Please give thanks for a great result.
Nathan had successful surgery on 4 August 2014, to remove a tumor near his heart; he is home from the hospital. They think they got it all but he will continue on chemotherapy for a little while. Nathan and his family thank you for your prayers.
John Evetts had successful extensive heart surgery; he is still in the hospital and recovering. He is in good spirits. John and his family thank God for the answer to many prayers on his behalf. John is a minister in the Anglican Episcopal Church which as a relationship with the AOC. We look forward to his return to his ministerial duties at St. George’s Anglican Church in Ventura in the near future.
John Evetts entered the ministry after a lifetime of work in industry and business as well as service in the Armed Forces in Vietnam. Like the Apostles, he came to the ministry from the secular world of work. Rev. Evetts is married and has two daughters and two grandchildren.
We thank the Rev. Evetts for his service to our country and his continuing service to God and His people.
Mary Thornell had surgery on 30 October 2013, at the Riverside Community Hospital to remove a huge mass along with about ½ her colon and part of her lower bowel. Mary finished chemotherapy 17 June 2014. Tests the week of 2 June 2014 showed totally clear scans. For now, treatment is done after the last chemotherapy session. Please give thanks for the great result and also for the strength, guidance and peace of mind our Lord gave Mary and her husband Jim, as well as daughter Janice and son Jimmy, she underwent treatment. Please pray she will stay free of the cancer in the future.
Eli a two month baby is back home after going to the ER the night of 28 May 2014, not able to breathe. Please give thanks for her recovery and pray for strength, courage and understanding for Eli’s family; as well as for God’s guidance for the neurologists and other medical people treating Eli they might find the best course of treatment and allow Eli to heal completely, as well as for strength and understanding for the parents.
Jim has been hospitalized and had several operations for cancer the last few years. The physicians discovered a number of spots; but his exam was better than expected-prayer changes things and he thanks you for your prayers. Please continue him in prayer for he will have another scan in April.
Al had an abscess found on his liver for which he was hospitalized, it turned out to be benign and will not require surgery, he has been released from the hospital. Please give thanks for this good result and pray for continued healing.
Elma is suffering from cancer. She was taken home from the hospital on the advice of her Doctor. We were asked to pray that Elma’s remaining time here on earth might be good and that Elma and family might put their trust in the Lord and let Him carry their worry. Since then, Elma’s Bishop told us a great Miracle of the Lord is working over Elma. Doctors sent her home to die, but now she seems to be doing all right. On behalf of her, thank you for all of your prayers. Please continue praying for her complete healing.
Dennis has heart problems; now the medical people treating him discovered a large mass on his liver which turned out to be a cyst! Please give thanks for this great development and pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Dennis and for God’s guidance for the medical people treating him that the contemplated surgery might go well.
Dwight had major oral surgery, for which he gives thanks. He is recovering slowly and asks your prayers to speed the process.
Mike is a veteran who has served his country when she called. Please pray he will open his heart to God so He can make Mike’s crooked road straight and pull him towards the summit rather than to the pit.
Dick’s left arm was amputated after treating for Merkel Cell carcinoma over a year ago. He is now believed to be cancer free and is waiting to be fitted with an artificial arm. Please join Dick and his family in giving thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ for his recovery as well as for their trust in God.
Bob Smouse had shoulder surgery on 28 November 2012. While the surgery went well, he is still in pain and would also appreciate prayers for continued healing and the pain to subside. He promises to work very hard on recovery therapy.
Carol Stone, the sweet wife of Mike Stone, recovered far better than expected from a severe brain bleed, but fell recently and broke her hip. She still requires 24 hour care, which Mike provides with little help.
Mark’s business is in difficulty. He works in a shrinking field, of which he is one of the country’s true masters, but there is little work available. He asks that you pray that he can find a way to survive in his industry, which he loves and needs his talents. Pray he can find new sources of business and new ways of doing things, perhaps someone to partner with to better use his talents. Pray also for those who work for and with him that they might do their best to help.
Financial Guidance and Employment
Charlie is coming along in his need of both spiritual and financial. Please pray God will continue to fill his heart with the Holy Ghost for guidance. In addition, Charlie needs God’s guidance as to how to handle his life from this point forward. After many years in the aerospace industry, he is looking for a place to employ his talents to the mutual benefit of a company. He asks that you pray for God to guide him.
Doug recently became unemployed from his job of 18 years. He has been applying for jobs, but unable to get one at this time. His wife is working; this is not enough for the family. Please pray he will find employment with a firm that will be able to use his considerable skill and hard work to benefit both the firm and the family.
Catherine and Lewis are at a low ebb due to a struggle for employment. Your fervent prayers will be appreciated.
Lori is considering a potential change in her employment. Please pray for God’s guidance in considering all aspect of her potential work.
Sara is concerned about the future with her company. She would appreciate prayers for her continued employment and that her firm might find more and better ways to use her considerable skills.
Financial Guidance and Healing
Clark is in need of salvation; for God’s Will to be done in his life. Pray his family will be blessed with the financial miracles that come from doing His Will.
Timothy and Sharon had their home foreclosed the morning of 15 April 2014. They are experiencing spiritual, emotional and financial crisis at the current time. Please pray for God’s guidance as to how they might handle the financial difficulties in which they have found themselves and more importantly have them draw closer to God and each other.
Linda, Rick, Christian and Sawyer are a family experiencing spiritual, emotional and financial crisis at the current time. Please pray for God’s guidance as to how they might handle the financial difficulties in which they have found themselves and more importantly have them draw closer to God and each other.
David and Lorna are having financial problems. They are trying to find a smaller home which may be more affordable. Lorna has had an ongoing battle with brain cancer, her trips back and forth to the hospital have drained their finances to the point they sometimes struggle to have enough food in the house. Pleaser pray for Lorna’s healing and guidance on how they might handle the financial difficulties in which they have found themselves.
Edward (45) had the opportunity to meet with a Christian during the conversation she discovered Edward had some background about God but thought He was not relevant to this day. Edward asked many questions about the Bible and was surprised at the answers and continued to ask questions. They both went their separate ways and the Christian told Edward that she would pray for him. Will you join in prayer for Edward, please?
Kathy is experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks. Please pray she can let the Lord calm and direct her in the best path to take to help alleviate these problems.
Michael and his Family ask your prayers for wisdom as they are under trial and affliction to follow the law of the land and yet honor God in so doing.
Flora is in remission with cancer, but has high blood pressure and fatigue. Flora’s Mother recently died and this has caused added stress. Please pray that she will be able to let God carry her worry and sorrow so she can do the things she needs to do.
Elizabeth and Gunner need your prayers for their general well being. Pray that they might see the Light of the Lord and let Him guide their lives. Pray they might open their hearts not only to the Lord, but to each other to become one in Him and happiness.
Eric and Betty need your prayers for their general well being. Pray that they might see the Light of the Lord and let Him guide their lives. Pray they might open their hearts not only to the Lord, but to each other to become one in Him and happiness.
Eli has lost his way both spiritually and mentally, please pray for him and his parents Ed and Barb, who are having great struggles seeing their son, go through these afflictions having brought up in a Christian home. Please pray his parents can find a way to help Eli.
Marie has suffered the loss of her husband, her job and her pet all in a short period of time. Please pray for peace of mind for Marie, as well as for trust in the Lord for her and those around her that she might adjust to the changes in her life and move forward to the honor and glory of our Lord with His Help. (140607)
Mitten has a Christian talking to him about Christ. Mitten does not believe and does not seem to care. Please pray Mitten will see the light.
Kristen, Rickey and their two children ask you to pray for grace, wisdom and understanding as they attempt to cope with infidelity, separation and possibly divorce as a result of backsliding from the Lord into the World.
Aaron has a problem seeing is where his life should be leading him. Please pray that he can listen to his father Paul and those around him who want him to work hard and obtain a real education now rather than just coast towards oblivion.
Danielle has accepted Christ as her Saviour. Pray she will read the Bible and meditate on His Word so she can grow in him.
Helene and her family ask your prayers for them as they deal with the loss of Alan, husband and father.
Stephanie seems to be very deeply into post partum depression after her baby was born prematurely. Please pray for her Mother in Law who is going a great distance to help Stephanie and her new Grandson. Pray that Stephanie will be able to direct her attention outward, rather than inward.
William is an elderly man living with his Son and Daughter in-law. William is causing trouble in the family because of his demanding ways and continually using bad language. The family is at wit’s end to know how to handle him and will appreciate your guidance and prayers.
Caitlin is in the grip of the Prince of Darkness; she thinks there is escape from reality in drugs. The saddest part is that reality is not as she sees it. Her family is despairing as they can do nothing to help her and ask that you pray for the Holy Ghost to enter into heart and show her the need for change before it is too late.
Nathaniel is in spiritual turmoil. His family and friends will appreciate it if you will keep him in your prayers for him to find the root of his trouble and accept God’s help to heal his heart.
Sam and her two children that have been living in a shelter and are to lose their place there. Please pray a place will be found they can stay in and recover.
Please pray Darlene will surrender her life to Christ.
Norrie is facing daily exams in the weeks ahead. Pray for calmness and concentration and to do the best possible.
Jonathan is addicted to drugs. He is now in jail awaiting trial. His parents and friends will appreciate it if you will keep him in your prayers for him to find the root of his trouble and accept God’s help to heal addiction.
Beth is suffering from ungodly treatment in her marriage. Please pray God will guide her in her behavior, actions and thoughts that she might be able to lead her husband to God so her marriage might prosper to the benefit of them.
Brandon a young man from a Christian family who married a year ago and almost immediately became estranged from him family. As a result he has had a serious problem with keeping the civil law. Please pray for Brandon that he will return to the Lord and the many problems will be eventually settled. Pray the hurt he has caused so many will be helped with our Lord’s care and love.
Dennis has some decisions to make and will appreciate our Lord’s guidance.
Earl to read and understand Scriptures he has been given.
Jeanette has had many members of her family die from diabetes and several are near death now. Jeanette does not know the Lord and is despondent and perplexed about her family and herself. Please pray she can open her heart to allow the Holy Ghost in to bring her knowledge and understanding.
Dr. Elizabeth Raj is teaching a biblical approach to the psychological problems facing many in our society today. She is battling against the growing influence of worldly psychology adopted by the churches themselves. Elizabeth constantly stresses answers are found between the covers of that precious Book, the Holy Bible. Please pray for encouragement, strength, fortitude and courage for her.
Abigail is a teenager who has behavior problems. She feels she is in an area of mental darkness. Please pray that she might look to God for help and not within herself.
Sara asks that you pray for guidance for her as she deals with the stresses of her family and life. Pray that she can separate those things which she can affect from those things which she cannot and give her grace to accept that she cannot do everything and can only change those things within her control. She asks for God’s help for her business so that she might remain gainfully employed while keeping up with the needs of her mother and husband and healing her own problems.
Jacquie to open her heart to God and accept His Love and Grace.
Hap asks you to pray he might be able to trust God will help him make the right decisions at the right time and not to worry uselessly, to change those things he can change, accept those things he cannot change, sleep well to be able to do the correct things with a clear head and that he will open his heart to the Holy Ghost.
Destiny, Blake and Janet
Anglican Orthodox Church
Please pray for the Lord’s will regarding the establishment of an AOC church in Indonesia.
lmighty God and Father of all who trust and believe in thy dear Son, Jesus Christ: We seek thy divine will in the establishment of an Anglican Orthodox Church of Indonesia. In this present day of waning faith and compromising ministers, we hope to discover your will in this important matter. Keep us always strong in faith, worship, and practice; purify continually your visible church on earth, and lead us into green pastures of evangelism and love of truth. The people of Indonesia are a precious people in your sight, and we would seek the honor of preaching your Gospel in those great islands. Grant us wisdom to know and do your will always, for we ask it in the Name of thy dear Son, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN
Good news from Bishop Anthony of the Philippine Islands:
Dear Bishop+ Ogles:
Hello! I just arrived from Tabuk after consecrating the Chapel made out of cogon in Nambaran. Its exciting to see plenty of kids attending the service. On the opposite village, the whole community invited us to schedule a service in the place. Their sincerity was confirmed by the willingness of one couple, Mr. and Mrs. Nestor Binnuloc, to donate a portion of land for the purpose. I instructed The Rev. Sherwin to arrange a schedule of service in that place. Thank you again for your continuous prayer over our ministry here.
In Christ Jesus,
Bishop of the Philippine Islands
Tazeem Gill, AOC Pastor of the church in Narrowal, returned home to be with our Lord after a heart attack on 7 November 2014. The congregation has been placed in the care of Rev Irshad Masih. Pray for inspiration, guidance, strength, perseverance and courage for Rev Masih as he moves forward.
1 November 2014 was the 118th Anniversary of the India Diocese of our Church in South India. Throughout the area they will have prayer and would like us to join with them as they pray for the Completion of a new Church Building to be dedicated in December.
Central African Republic
Christians in the Central African Republic are experiencing the ravages of a war between the Muslim and Christians. We have both ministers and members of the Anglican Orthodox Church in Central African Republic. Please pray for God’s guidance and protection for all persecuted Christians and those around them.
Diocese of the Epiphany
Saint Paul’s, Moberly, Missouri would like your prayers that the Holy Ghost might enter more fully into their hearts so that they might be more effective in spreading the Word of God.
Diocese of Virginia
Saint Joseph of Arimathea Anglican Orthodox Church is under a lot of stress. We all are, but they need even more prayer. Rev Roger Jessup, their wonderful minister, is pressed by the duties of a primary care giver, in addition to all the worries of this world. They have one of their family’s primary breadwinners who will be soon unemployed, absent His intervention. As Rev Roger said so eloquently, “We must pray for those who mean us harm and deprive us of our property are our enemies: Our LORD has so commanded us.” We must pray they will see light and cleave to it while turning their backs on the Prince of this World. Equally important, we must pray that the Lord will raise up a political leader from among us as He has done in the past. Pray also for trust in God for each member of the parish and for them to find economic relief.
Armed Forces & Contractors
Kristyna Thomas (Fort Bragg, SC – Boot Camp), Airman Donny Patton (Hulbert Field, Florida), Jordan Brown (USMC – Fleet Marine Force – Pacific), Trevor Jennings (USAF – KC-10 Boom Operator – New Jersey), Trevor Di Marco (USN – Whidbey Island, EF-18 Pilot), Kurt Thomas (USN – Camp Foster, Okinawa)
For Our Country
Our country has lost its way. Over half the people that vote, voted for a government that promises them things it cannot deliver in return for their souls which it can, will and does take. Our foreign policy backs the rise of Islam, we turn our backs on those who would follow God and arm those who murder them. Pray God will raise up a leader from among the people who can turn the country’s course 180° and attempt to come back to God. Pray the people will recognize that they are headed down a smooth wide road into the pit, a road that will get smoother and smoother, steeper and steeper until the only possible way is down. Down, into the depths of the pit. Pray people will recognize there is:
- · One True and Triune God who is goodness in and of Himself
- · All religions are not equal
- · All ways of life are not equal;
- · The Bible holds the Key to Life;
- · All rights come from God, not the State;
- · Good;
- · Bad;
- · Evil;
- · Right;
- · Wrong;
- · Allah is the Devil;
- · Abortion is no more than sacrifice of children to Baal.
Pray this recognition will not come too late. Pray we will, each of us, do our duty to God, Country and Family, putting His Honor above all.
Around the world, Christians are under attack, not only in the Muslim world, but from Hindus and others in India. Also, they are under continual attack in the name of “Separation of Church and State” in the western world, as it becomes actively atheist or pro-devil buddy. Please pray for God’s guidance and protection for all persecuted Christians and those around them.
Jerry Ogles gives thanks for safe travel to establish the Anglican Orthodox Churches in Serbia and Macedonia.
Various Special Requests
Africa is experiencing an outbreak of the Ebola Virus; causing sickness and many deaths. Please pray for people of Africa and for their Health Providers.
The Anglican Orthodox Church in Peshawar, Pakistan sustained damage to their building as the result of heavy rains. At present the roof is being rebuilt and they have not been able to hold services. Pray it will be fixed very soon and a new place might be found until the church is restored.
Nathalie is teaching English in a small western Ukrainian town where they are having so many problems. Pray for Nathalie and others around the world who are standing up for Christian principles in their countries.
This is a horrible time for the people of India, Christians in particular; they are having problems with Hunger, Bank Closings, Transportation and Schools not functioning. Pray for the Leaders and Members of our Church in Eluru Andhra Pradesh. Pray their basic needs will be met and God will be close to them in this time of need.
Please pray for all the people of Egypt; Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt is asking your prayer as the supporters of the deposed Mursi government, with the support of the United States government, have been attacking Christian churches–Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox. They destroyed the car of Anglican priest Rev. Ehab Ayoub. The people of Egypt, the people of the United States need our prayers, even more so the people of the Muslim Brotherhood that they might repent of their evil and know God so the rest of the people may live in peace.
We ask that you pray, please ask God that the Holy Ghost might give you insight into how you might make the lives of your friends and family better. Remember helping others is not just those who you don’t know!
Please join us in praying that the Free Teen Guitar Class will be continue to be an opportunity for God to work in the lives of the kids and their families. Please ask God to guide the class to new opportunities to make Him known to others. Help us to let the love of our Lord shine through us into their lives, putting Him first, so that He might enter in to their hearts and lives.
What is the “Liturgical Year”?
Liturgy based Christian churches who consider themselves catholic, or universal, use a Christian Calendar which has a pre-set annual cycle of liturgical seasons which determines when Feasts, Memorials, Commemorations, and Solemnities are to be observed and which portions of Scripture are to be read.
Distinct liturgical colors are used in connection with different seasons of the liturgical year. The dates of the festivals vary somewhat between the Western (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Protestant) churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches, though the sequence and logic is the same.
The dates of many feasts vary from year to year (Moveable Feasts) due to the variation in the date of Easter, and all other dates follow from that. The extent to which the fasts and festivals are celebrated also varies between churches; in general Protestant churches observe far fewer of them than Catholic and Orthodox churches, and in particular are less likely to celebrate feasts of the Virgin Mary and the Saints.
The liturgical cycle divides the year into a series of seasons, each with their own mood, theological emphases, and modes of prayer, which can be signified by different ways of decorating churches, vestments for clergy, scriptural readings, themes for preaching and even different traditions and practices often observed personally or in the home.
In churches that follow the liturgical year, the scripture passages for each Sunday (and even each day of the year in the Anglican tradition) are specified by a list called a lectionary. Anglicans and Lutherans have traditionally followed the lectionary since the days of the Protestant Reformation. Since the 1960s, the adoption and use of lectionaries in other Protestant churches (Methodist, Reformed, United, etc.) increased. This has led to a greater awareness of the Christian year among Protestants in the later decades of the 20th century, especially among mainline denominations.
Biblical calendars are based on the cycle of the new moon. The year is from the first new moon on or after the spring equinox to the next new moon on or after the spring equinox, rather than an arbitrary starting point like the modern calendar.
Western Christian liturgical calendars are based on the cycle of the Roman or Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, including Lutheran, Anglican, and Protestant calendars since this cycle pre-dates the Reformation.
Generally, the liturgical seasons in western Christianity are:
- Green Season (Time after Epiphany)
- Green Season (Time after Trinity)
Advent From the Latin adventus, “arrival” or “coming”, the first season of the liturgical year begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Historically observed as a “fast”, its purpose focuses on preparation for the coming Christ.
Although often conceived as awaiting the coming of the Christ-child at Christmas it also points towards the final coming of Christ.
This period is marked by the Advent Wreath, a garland of evergreens with four candles. Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent. Although the main symbolism of the advent wreath is simply marking the progression of time, the church attaches themes to each candle, most often ‘hope’, ‘faith’, ‘joy’, and ‘love’. Color: Violet or Blue. On the third Sunday of Advent, also called Gaudete Sunday, Rose/Pink is used.
Historically, the primary sanctuary color of Advent is Purple. This is the color of penitence and fasting as well as the color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King. Purple is still used in Catholic churches. The purple of Advent is also the color of suffering used during Lent and Holy Week. This points to an important connection between Jesus’ birth and death. The nativity, the Incarnation, cannot be separated from the crucifixion. The purpose of Jesus’ coming into the world, of the “Word made flesh” and dwelling among us, is to reveal God and His grace to the world through Jesus’ life and teaching, but also through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
To reflect this emphasis, originally Advent was a time of penitence and fasting, much as the Season of Lent and so shared the color of Lent. In the four weeks of Advent the third Sunday came to be a time of rejoicing that the fasting was almost over (in some traditions it is called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin word for “rejoice”). The shift from the purple of the Season to pink or rose for the third Sunday Advent candles reflected this lessening emphasis on penitence as attention turned more to celebration of the season. Churches other than Anglican have changed colors and emphasis on the whole wreath, we remain true to tradition. Maybe we are just slow learners or not so open to change for change’ sake.
The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival. ” The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life. In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. That acknowledgment provides a basis for Kingdom ethics, for holy living arising from a profound sense that we live “between the times” and are called to be faithful stewards of what is entrusted to us as God’s people. So, as the church celebrates God’s entry into history in the Incarnation, and anticipates a future consummation to that history for which “all creation is groaning awaiting its redemption”, it also confesses its own responsibility as a people commissioned to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and to “love your neighbor as yourself. “
The near future, as well as Next Sunday
7 December 2014 – Second Sunday in Advent – Morning Prayer – Service start time 1000 (10:00 am); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 0945 (9:45 am); Time 1000 (10:00 am); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
14 December 2014 – Third Sunday in Advent – Morning Prayer – Service start time 1000 (10:00 am); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 0945 (9:45 am); Time 1000 (10:00 am); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
21 December 2014 – Fourth Sunday in Advent – Holy Communion – Service start time 1000 (10:00 am); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 0945 (9:45 am); Time 1000 (10:00 am); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
25 December 2014 – Christmas Day – Holy Communion – Service start time 1000 (10:00 am); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 0945 (9:45 am); Time 1000 (10:00 am); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
28 December 2014 – Holy Innocents – Morning Prayer – Service start time 1000 (10:00 am); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 0945 (9:45 am); Time 1000 (10:00 am); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
If you would like to know what the liturgical year is all about, there is an explanation near the end of this report.
Sometimes quoted as a reason for the church not to have rummage sales, the sellers were thrown out as they were cheating the people, selling the one legged sparrow in the morning as a “perfect specimen of an unblemished dove” without fault for a sacrifice, then reselling the same sparrow in the afternoon. They were indeed making the temple a den of thieves rather than a place of worship.
It is not worldly wealth is, in and of itself, bad, but rather the attitude it can bring, one of self-worth beyond that which is correct. Wealth often brings to us a “better than thou” attitude, which soon turns to “Holier than thou.” The kind of thing that was referred to when Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Mark 10.25