Anglican Orthodox Church
The Conversion of Saint Paul
The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Today was recalls the Conversion of Saint Paul, which supersedes the Third Sunday after The Epiphany. Thus, the propers concentrate on Saint Paul’s conversion, which you will find of interest, and there are two Collects, the one for the Conversion of Saint Paul and the other for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany which is superseded by the special day.
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 a few great ones to share. On to the On Point quotes –
Discipline yourself, so others won’t have to.
What is a Star?
“In our world,” said Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”
“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.”
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I remember once when I had been giving a talk to the RAF, an old, hard-bitten officer got up and said, ‘I’ve no use for all that stuff. But, mind you, I’m a religious man too. I know there’s a God. I’ve felt Him: out alone in the desert at night: the tremendous mystery. And that’s just why I don’t believe all your neat little dogmas and formulas about Him. To anyone who’s met the real thing they all seem so petty and pedantic and unreal!’
Now in a sense I quite agreed with that man. I think he had probably had a real experience of God in the desert. And when he turned from that experience to the Christian creeds, I think he really was turning from something real to something less real. In the same way, if a man has once looked at the Atlantic from the beach, and then goes and looks at a map of the Atlantic, he also will be turning from something real to something less real: turning from real waves to a bit of coloured paper. But here comes the point. The map is admittedly only coloured paper, but there are two things you have to remember about it. In the first place, it is based on what hundreds and thousands of people have found out by sailing the real Atlantic. In that way it has behind it masses of experience just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only, while yours would be a single glimpse, the map fits all those different experiences together. In the second place, if you want to go anywhere, the map is absolutely necessary. As long as you are content with walks on the beach, your own glimpses are far more fun than looking at a map. But the map is going to be more use than walks on the beach if you want to get to America.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
St. Mark 13:22
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single [sound], thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.
St. Luke 11:34-35
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
I St. Peter 4:17
Those that hope to enrich themselves by dishonest practices will not meet with the satisfaction they expect. It will be disappointment and vexation of spirit to them. They lay themselves open to the envy and ill will of men and to the wrath of God.
17th and 18th century English pastor and author
The same God who directs the earth in its orbit, who feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and trims the lamps of heaven, has promised to supply thee with daily strengths.
Charles H. Spurgeon
19th century English pastor and author
Morning and Evening, p. 714
Tell me not that you have been baptized, and taught the Catechism of the Church of England, and therefore must be a child of God. I tell you that the parish register is not the book of life.
19th century Anglican bishop and author
Are You Ready For The End Of Time, p. 173
There are but two ways of paying debt– increase of industry in raising income, increase of thrift in laying it out.
19th century Scottish author
No belief has been more costly and deadly than a belief in governments’ veracity. Trusting their governments, people have marched off to die in useless and hopeless slaughter, sunk their savings into depreciating and worthless currencies, consigned their children to propaganda masquerading as education, funded wasteful and counterproductive spending, and looked to their leaders for security they couldn’t provide and expertise they didn’t have. To detail the duplicitous depredations of just our own government would require multiple volumes. However, since 9/11 official mendacity has broken out to the upside. It now poses a deadly threat as the government employs it not just to justify involvement in the Middle East, but to set the stage for confrontation with Russia. Foreign policy has always been relatively ignored by most Americans, compared to the attention paid to domestic issues… However, ignoring the topic, the American people have ceded foreign policy to an elite with a common mindset and goals. If stated explicitly to them, most Americans would reject both the mindset and the goals, which is where the lies come in. Furthermore, foreign policy has been and will continue to be far more consequential than many of the issues that command Americans’ attention.
21st century American
excerpted from his article, Trust Us, 1-12-15
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 or our Deacon Striker.
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.
The Propers for today are found on Page 229-230, with the Collect first:
The Conversion of Saint Paul. [January 25.]
GOD, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Third Sunday after The Epiphany.
LMIGHTY and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The scripture appointed for the Epistle came from the Ninth Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles beginning at the First Verse:
ND Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
The Holy Gospel for today was written in the Nineteenth Chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew beginning at the Twenty-Seventh Verse.
ETER answered and said unto Jesus, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
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.
The Conversion of Saint Paul
Third Sunday after Epiphany
25 January 2015, Anno Domini (in the Year of Our Lord)
The Conversion of Saint Paul. [January 25.]
GOD, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Conversion of St. Paul, 25 January 2015 Anno Domini
ND Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. (Acts 9:1-19)
A Man on the Right Road with the WRONG Intentions:
Saul was a man bent on destroying the Church of Jesus Christ, and he didn’t mind if that mission involved cruel treatment and murder of his victims. He began that morning of his trip with hate in his heart, but finished his course with a new name (Paul) and a heart full of love.
Like Saul, we have all been on that Road to Damascus. We were all on the road to no good when the Lord stopped us in our tracks and blinded us with the brilliance of His Person. We were no better, nor worse, than was Paul in his pre-salvation life. We may, like Saul, not have even sought out Christ, but He sought us out . Though we may not have been breathing out threatenings and slaughter, we were still on no better ground than was Saul for being a rebel to Christ is not a matter of degrees. It is simply a state of belonging or not belonging; of being accounted among the elect, or among those of the family of the Dark Prince of the Air.
God can do wonders with the open heart. If the heart is calloused and hardened, He is able to melt it and remake it in an instant. Saul has been the agent of hard and wicked persecution against the church. He was a prominent figure in the stoning of Stephen, and now he continues unabated in his bitter pursuit of the Christian Church.
“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” Saul is as enthusiastic in his work of persecution of Christ’s Church as he later became in its defense and propagation. The object of his actions was not only the Christian disciples, but Christ Himself. Now he has approached the high priest for a warrant of letters to travel to Damascus to search out every vestige of the Church of Christ. It will be good to remember that just as feeding the widows and orphans is doing the same to Christ, the opposite prospect holds true as well – persecution of the saints is tantamount to persecution of Christ. Little did Saul realize what would befall him on his journey?
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Evil men must beware of “lights from heaven”. It puts them ill at ease. This light apparently startled Saul so much so that he fell to the ground, and his companions with him. (Acts 26:14) The voice of Christ is heard by Saul: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Only Saul of the company heard with understanding the voice of Christ for he only was the man called of God. (Acts 22:9) He was on the road to destroy the lives of disciples, but to hurt the Disciples of Christ is to hurt Christ Himself! “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do.” It is easier to recognize the Lord’s presence when one is afraid. Saul knows this is the Lord even if he does not know the person of Christ. He calls him LORD.
“And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” A man cannot fight against the powers of Heaven. Saul was called of God long before the idea ever arose in Saul’s mind. He has resisted from the beginning. Perhaps his enthusiasm to destroy is his weapon of opposition to the call. How often men struggle against God’s Calling until God places them down and out on the road so that they will finally listen. We see that the incident has caused Saul to have a sudden change of, not only heart, but attitude! “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do.” He knows this is no dream as well as he knows that this is not a Person to resist. “What wilt thou have me to do?” This is the main thing Saul has asked and the main thing for each of us to ask as well.
“And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Yes, to the city where you hoped to persecute the people of God – the same city! A man may be called to the ministry without a firm spiritual knowledge of to what he is being called. The important point here is to answer the call and then await further orders. “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” The voice was heard but not understood by the company.
“And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.” Saul was struck blind by the Light of Heaven. He would not see the things of the world until his eyes were opened anew to the beauties of Heavenly Truth. He required an escort to get about. He would become the Apostle that would lead thousands out of darkness, but now he needs a guide just to move about.
“And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias.” Saul was blind in like number of days as Christ was in the tomb. The man who would die daily to self would also suffer the darkness for three days. Now the Lord is preparing a man to receive Saul by the name of Ananias. The Lord calls him by name, but only once. Ananias was a man accustomed to listening to the voice of Christ unlike Saul. So the Lord need only pronounce his name once to gain his attention. Ananias knew the Voice and the Person of Christ: “And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.”
“And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.” When the Lord calls us on mission, He will always require us to travel in a straight way. Our example and impression is most important as a testimony to the lost. The Lord provides full accounting of that which He expects of Ananias. Saul was not sentient to the voice of the Lord and had to await further counsel, but Ananias is a veteran disciple who knows the Lord and understands His ways.
The cause of Ananias going to this man does not seem reasonable to Ananias in view of Saul’s reputation for cruelty to Christians. “Why, Lord, would you have me go to this man?” “Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.” None of this made sense to Ananias and, frequently, the Lord calls us to a circumstance whose purpose is known only to the Lord.
“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Saul is being called to a very high Office, but he will suffer at least as badly as he has caused others to suffer in the cause of Christ. Were these decisions made by mere men, you and I would probably have ended Saul’s life long before the Damascus Road, but God knows the end from the beginning and the end of Saul will be a glorious one.
“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Poor Ananias. He is a man of courage in the Lord. For all he knew, Saul would lash out at him and have him arrested and perhaps stoned. But we must obey God and not take counsel of our fears. When a blind man receives his sight again, the world seems full of light and color. But when he receives his spiritual sight, the earth appears bland and unappealing. Heaven looms large and beautiful! The Holy Ghost gives spiritual eyes to Saul! Now Saul knows the Person of the Lord who appeared to him on the way was Jesus.
“And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” Were it not so very solemn an event, it would almost be humorous to observe this man, “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord,” suddenly and completely changed in his nature, and becoming the very thing he came to destroy. This is the Lord’s work. It is much like a plain bar of metal that has every physical property of a magnet, except magnetism. When it is properly charged with the invisible electromagnetic charge, it assumes the same property of that other magnet. That is what happens when God brings us to salvation. We may appear as the old man, but there is a new nature inside. Saul was made to see, not only physically but spiritually. Not time to waste when we come to the Lord. We must come all the way. Saul was immediately baptized.
“And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.” When a man is blind, he may not eat the Bread of Heaven. But now Saul has his sight restored and he does eat physical bread and also the Bread of Heaven. Instead of coming in the fires of persecution, Saul is now sojourning with the disciples with whom he would have never thought to do only three days past. When you came to Christ, did your vision change and did your fellowship along with it? Do you keep the same company with brigands or with saints?
Saul (Paul) begin on a dusty old Road to Damascus compelled by a full measure of hate; he finished his course constrained by a heart filled with love – that love that he describes in the Love Chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. He had no idea where that road led when he embarked, though he believed it would lead to the stoning of many Christians. How amazing that it led to his own, and countless others’, salvation.
Perhaps you have not known Christ in an intimate way, and are searching for your own Road to Damascus. Though the Roman Prelate loves to heretically aver that “all roads lead to Rome” – they certainly may, but they do not lead to heaven! So where is your Damascus Road? Believe it or, it is right at your feet. You may be facing away from that road, but it begins right where you stand, for the way to Christ is always available for the one willing to turn from going the wrong directing, and begin a journey home to Him. There are so many directions you may go from the point you are standing and still miss that road, but it is there. It is only one direction, and that direction is the same the Prodigal Son took returning to his Father when “he came to himself.” Have you, friend, come to yourself and gotten on that right road yet?
Sermon – Rev Jack Arnold
Church of the Faithful Centurion – Descanso, California
Today’s sermon ties together the propers, that is to say the prayer and readings for this week. Consider these words from the Collects and how they work together:
… through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught…
… mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us …
We will come back to Paul and how his conversion from Saul came about, but for now consider that God chose Saul of Tarsus, the primary persecutor of the very early church to spread His Gospel throughout the known world. Saul was one of the very finest scholars and defenders of “traditional” Judaism. He was totally dedicated to The Law and acted on his dedication. He was a good traditional Jew in every sense of the word. Yet, when God called him, loudly and brightly one might add, he acted on that call and gave his life to God. When we look at ourselves, we find that we, like Paul, fall very short of good, thus we need God’s protection and help. Not so much for the slings and arrows of this life, but for the subtle attacks by the Prince of this World on our souls.
Also like Paul, we find that we are called to do very important things for Him in this world. It may not be important in this world’s diluted viewpoint, but in His Holy and Great View, it is extremely important. It is a matter of losing souls or winning souls to Christ. We have to help people so that we can at least with His Help make sure that people know that they do have a choice, as we all do. That is the choice of death or Life. If we embrace Our Lord Jesus we embrace life.
When we first read in the Acts of the Apostles of Saul, “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” going to the local high priest to get a letter to allow him free hunting rights against the followers of Jesus, we wonder how could this possibly a story with a good ending? Yet, as he and his followers walked along the road to Damascus, the Lord called Saul! ZAP – “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
Saul had no idea who it was that smote him blind, but he knew that whoever it was had the definite advantage, so he asked, “Who art thou, Lord?” When he called the voice Lord, it was not that he thought it was our Lord, but rather someone way above him on the food chain. Imagine his surprise, astonishment and indeed terror at the response, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”
Saul quickly decided he would do whatever he was told and asked, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” He was genuinely terrified to discover that the Person who was addressing him was the very Person that he had been persecuting through his acts of evil. The answer to his query came quickly, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
And he did indeed get up and was led blind into Damascus. When we think of faith, how oft do we remember Ananias? Here is a fellow who knew of Saul, the evil he had done and the evil that he intended. Yet, when told by the Lord to go to Saul and to tell him that the Lord had chosen him to deliver His Word to the Gentiles, he went. He acted! The Lord is the Lord of Action!
Three days Saul was blind and did not eat, on the third day, Ananias came to him with the Good News. When Ananias delivered the Good News to Saul, his vision was clear, he could see where he needed to go, what he needed to do and to what end he labored.
As soon as he saw the light so to speak, he was baptized and began to spread The Word. It is said there are no so dedicated as the converted and the newly baptized Paul was the first of the truly converted! Perhaps as interesting as anything is what God had planned for him, he was sent to bring The Word to the Gentiles of all people! He was to bring The Word to people he would not have otherwise even really talked to. Like you and I, Paul, once Saul, was called to action. And like Paul, once Saul, in our sins we are truly blind to our own faults and devices and can only see that which we wish to see. Our mind is clouded and we need other fellow believers and the Holy Ghost to unfog our mind and vision to see what He sees, and to act how He wants us to act.
This then brings us to Peter, always a Rock and always wanting to be first. He wanted to know what he would get for following Jesus. Actually, Jesus was very patient with him, telling him that he would be rewarded in heaven, the twelve judging or leading the twelve tribes. That was something Peter could understand. But, he went on to tell Peter and each of us that any sacrifice made on His behalf would be so very minor compared to the reward. Not only in heaven, but here on earth for so long as it lasts. The satisfaction of a job well done is beyond measure. But, he also reminded Peter that our “place” here on earth is not of any import compared to the result of our actions, for “many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”
So, how does all this come together? First, Jesus Christ is a great savior. If He saved Saul, Chief Persecutor of Christians, killer of Stephen, and turned him into Paul, the man who brought The Word to the Gentiles and wrote half the New Testament, He can save you. But, like Saul / Paul, you have to accept that “Amazing Grace.” If you accept His saving grace, then you have to act accordingly.
There is but one way to heaven.
That easy to find, easy to follow, easy to hike path does not lead to the summit where eternal life in the real world awaits. Open your heart to the Holy Ghost, use His Power to follow our Lord to God who awaits in heaven.
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
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:
The Conversion of Saint Paul
January 25, 2015
Occasionally we in the Anglican Orthodox Church pause to remember some of the men and women who have gone before us in the Faith. I think this is a good idea. It reminds us that we are not the originators of the Faith, nor are we the arbiters of what does and does not belong to it. We have received the Faith as a gift, and it has come to us through a long, long line of faithful people, many of whom suffered and died to preserve it, and pass it down to us intact. Thus, as Paul wrote in Hebrews 12:1, “we are compassed about,” surrounded by, a great “cloud of witnesses.” Those who have gone before us are looking down to see how we will run the course they have already completed.
Today we remember a man who suffered much, and who also laboured much to leave a heritage for us, by which we may know more of The Heritage that is laid up for us in Heaven. We know him as the Apostle Paul, and we remember on this day, the Conversion of St. Paul.
I am glad that we call this day the Conversion of St. Paul, for it emphasises the very important fact that we become Christians through a radical change in life orientation. We call it, “conversion,” and Paul is a good example.
Paul, whose original name was Saul, was already a religious man. He was so religious he belonged to a Jewish denomination known as the Pharisees. This denomination had its origins in the time of a particularly dark period of Jewish history. Alexander the Great had gone through eastern Europe and the Mideast like a bulldozer, and every nation he went into fell before his army, including Israel. When he died, his empire disintegrated, but its remnants retained rule of Israel. We are not surprised to know that, the Jews resented their foreign rulers, and rebelled against them frequently. The most famous rebellion was led by the Maccabees around 165 B.C. They actually defeated the invaders and won a brief period of independence for Israel. The Temple was re-dedicated, and the feast of Chanukah was instituted. But the Jews were not united in their attitude toward the foreigners. Some truly believed they were better off with the foreign government. They embraced foreign culture and dress. They even incorporated foreign ideas, practices, and values into their “religion.”
One group of Jews fiercely rejected this practice. They stood firmly for the Scriptures and traditions of their fathers, with no compromise. They were called, the pious ones, or Pharisees.
Paul was a Pharisee. In fact, he was one of the brightest of them. He was more zealous than others for the traditions of his fathers. He kept all of the obscure rules and customs that defined Judaism at that time. and he kept them with intensity and fervour seldom seen. All of the fasting, and tithing, even of the tiniest portions of spices in his possession, and all of the prayers and rituals were rigorously kept by him.
Yet he did not have God. He had a “form of religion.” He had every outward form of it, but he did not have God. He undoubtedly had seen Jesus, for he was present in Jerusalem at the stoning of Stephen shortly after Christ’s crucifixion. But when he saw Jesus he did not recognise Him as God in the flesh. He saw Jesus with his eyes, but his mind was blind. He needed to have God do a renovation of his ideas about Christ and His will for humanity. He needed to be converted.
I think Paul is not the only person to need conversion. I think there are many “Christians” who need to be converted today. Some of them are religious, others ignore the Church and the Bible, but still consider themselves Christians. Some think they don’t need the Church, “just Jesus and me” is their motto. Some think they can re-invent the faith according to their own “private judgement” with or without the Bible. Many of them think that, because they hold a few pious ideas about God and morality, they are Christians. Many believe doing “Christian” things like giving to charities and obeying the law makes them Christians. Such people need to be converted.
In Philippians 3:8 and 9, after describing all of his former religiousness, Paul says he counts all of that as loss for the excellency of knowing of Christ and being found in Him. He writes about having the righteousness of Christ, not his own. He is talking about a changed life. He is talking about an event that changed him from a man trying to shape God by his own ideas, and values, and desires, to a man who lets God’s ideas, values, and desires shape him. It is as though Paul has taken a house that belongs to God, and has arranged and used it as his own. But now he returns that house to God, who converts that house into something far better and more beautiful than Paul ever imagined possible. The house, is Paul. It is his life, his body, his being. Paul has been turned from a house of Paul, into a House of God.
How was Saul’s conversion accomplished? We read in Acts 22:16 that Ananias came to him and told him, “arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Calling on the name of the Lord is the cry of a desperate sinner asking God to save him from hell. The disciples once found themselves in a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Matthew 8:24 tells us the tempest was so great that “the ship was covered with waves.” Mark tells us “the waves beat into the ship , so that it was now full.” The tiny boat was miles away from shore, caught in a deadly storm, and sinking. If Christ does not save them, they will die in the sea. With all the fear and desperation of men dying in terrifying circumstances, they turn to Him. Shouting to be heard above the wind and waves, they call upon Him, “Lord, save us: we perish”
In this same desperate fear, Saul, sees the pit of hell open before him. Legions of sins weigh on him like demons, pushing him down, down into its eternal fires. His religiousness won’t help now. His fasting won’t help now. His learning, his money, the respect of his peers are meaningless now. Only God can save him, and Christ is that Saviour God. He calls out as only a man who sees himself in hell can call, “Lord, save me: I perish.” Paul finally realises who Jesus is, and finally trusts Him to save him. This is what it means to call upon the name of the Lord.
Some people see baptism and calling on the name of the Lord as two different things. To Ananias and Paul they are one thing, one act. To Ananias, and to Paul, calling on the name of the Lord is not completed until baptism. In a way, baptism is the consummate act of calling on the name of the Lord. Baptism is not just an act of obedience. It is the act of casting yourself, body and soul, now and forever onto the grace of God. It is also God’s act of sealing the promise and the reality of salvation to you. I need to talk more about this, and, God willing, I will in another sermon.
For now let me say that I hope every person who hears or reads this sermon has called on the name of the Lord. I hope every one of you has been converted; has let God turn you into His House, His Temple, His Castle and Throne. I hope you have recognised Him as the Saviour God, and asked Him to save you. Yes, you are a sinner. No, you do not deserve Heaven. But Jesus Christ came into this world, to live and die on the cross to save sinners. Call upon Him today.
Bishop, Anglican Orthodox Church Diocese of Virginia
Rector, Holy Trinity Anglican Orthodox Church
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.
The Conversion of Saint Paul
Third Sunday after Epiphany
25 January 2015
Psalm 66 • Isaiah 45:18-25 • 2 Corinthians 12:1-9
The Conversion of Saint Paul. [January 25.]
GOD, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Biographies are sometimes one of the best ways to tell a story. When you begin to read of an individual, how he or she began in certain circumstances and over time, with positive and negative experiences, how they became the person most remembered by history. In a short sense the experiences and influences around them shaped them to become the final person we remember them for today.
Let us look at a brief biography of the man from Tarsus, a certain Saul, who would over time go from one of the most feared men in the early church to one of the most respected. What happened to this fellow to cause such a change?
Saul would be born into the most advantageous social situations in the Roman Empire. His father was Roman, which automatically gave Saul the rights and privileges of a Roman citizen. He was at the top of the social order of the time. His mother was Jewish, which by that tradition made him a Jew. He was raised in Jewish society, given the best education and was a rising star in the segment of the Jewish religious community. He was a Pharisee, not just a Pharisee, but one who had studied under one of the most respected rabbi of the time, a fellow named Gamaliel
Now after the establishment of the early church in Jerusalem, Saul began to attack the new converts. They presented a danger to the order of the system in place. They were close in belief with the Jews, one god, etc., but they believed that the Messiah had come, a fellow named Jesus.
This was dangerous and heretical stuff to those who did not understand who Jesus was. Saul began to systematically try to destroy this off-shoot of Judaism. He was witness at the first public death (martyrdom) of this new sect. A young man named Stephen, who had been set aside by the Disciples as a deacon, to minister to the orphan and widows, was arrested, tried and convicted for heresy. He was sentenced to be stoned. Saul was present at this execution. He watched as the crowd killed this young believer, in a manner that was proscribed by Mosaic law for heresy or unbelief.
Apparently this emboldened Saul and he began a campaign to eradicate the Faith where ever he could find it. He was doing a good job in Jerusalem and now set his sights on Damascus, where a sizeable population of Jews lived.
Acts 9:1-20 is most of the account of Saul’s conversion. Later as Paul he would write letters to various groups and churches around the eastern Mediterranean area giving more detail to his conversion and subsequent work for the Kingdom.
Something that must give a non-believer pause is the 180 degree shift in Saul/Paul’s life.
Here is an individual who has everything, social privilege, social stature, wealth and a name known all over as someone to respect. And yet in spite of all of this, Saul/Paul will give this all up, walk away from it, and begin a life of uncertainty as a follower of an obscure carpenter from the back country. Why ?
This very change should get a non-believer thinking, why would Paul do this ? He gave up all for a belief. That testimony in itself should get one to question and study why this happened. There was no material gain for Paul, he certainly wasn’t received by the believers 100%. He will in fact spend a number of years establishing his authority to do what he was doing, with the open opposition from other believers most
The obvious reason for this 180 degree change in direction is that Saul/Paul was converted. He was called out by Christ Jesus to be his outreach to the Gentile, he was selected by Christ to reach the educated and more privileged society of the time. And yet he did not ignore the poor, the day to day labor, merchants and regular folk. Paul’s ministry would reach across all spectrums of society at the time. “rich or poor, slave or free, male or female..”
In 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verses 1-9 Paul gives us an account of what must have happened after he was struck from his horse on the road to Damascus. All the pharisaical education he had from the time he was 12 until he was considered an elder at 30 would pale in comparison to what he learned those days, weeks and months in Damascus and in the wilderness beyond. He would learn an eternity of faith during that time and yet with all this education at the ‘feet’ of the Holy Spirit, he would still have the day to day issues of faith to deal with the rest of his life. This gives us an example of how we should always study and seek the Lord daily.
If we are to learn anything from Paul’s life after his conversion maybe it is this. No matter how prepared, smart, intelligent we are, we still must rely upon Jesus for our day to day walk in faith. In the many letters that Paul wrote to the churches during his ministry you will find instruction, inspiration, correction and many other aspects of a daily walking in faith; all of which is set forth as an edifying of the faithful. And most especially, maybe to the chagrin of those who don’t believe, Paul did this all for no gain of his own. He did not enrich himself, he did not seek fame, he did not seek undue influence. Now let us read what Paul wrote about this very idea.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Reading biographies, especially carefully researched and as true can be written, are one of the best teaching methods still in place. In the modern concept of education most biographies, unless they push a fringe agenda or extremist view, are ignored. Young and old alike can learn a lot from the lives of those who have gone before. In some cases biographies may teach what you should not do with your life choices. In other cases, choices that may be explored for the betterment of an individual can be found in the pages of a good biography.
The biographies of the Holy Bible give us a glimpse at what should be or in some cases shouldn’t be the life of a believer. Think of Samuel, Moses, Saul the king, David, Solomon, Samson, Gideon, and all the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament, all leaving us life lessons to learn from whether good or bad.
On this day we commemorate the life of the first great missionary of the early church. Let us read about those heroes and heroines of the Old and New Testament, seeking to emulate the good and avoiding the mistakes of the bad examples found in the Scripture.
Let us pray:
God of all sanctification, Almighty Sovereign, whose goodness is felt to be infinite; who art present throughout all things at once, in heaven and earth, keeping Thy mercy for Thy people who walk before the presence of Thy glory; Hear the prayers of Thy servants, that Thine eyes may be open upon this house clay and night; graciously accept this church, set apart by holy rites in honor of St. Paul, mercifully illumine and brighten it with Thine own glory. Favorably accept every one who comes to worship in this place; graciously be pleased to look down, and for the sake of Thy great Name, and high arm, readily protect, hear, and everlastingly keep and defend, those who make their prayer in this habitation; that they being always happy, and always rejoicing in, Thy true religion, may constantly persevere in the Catholic Faith of the Holy Trinity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.
he Lord bless us, and keep us. The Lord make His face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up His countenance upon us, and give us peace, both now and evermore. Amen.
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.
Third Sunday after Epiphany
The Holy Gospel according to Saint John, the Second Chapter, Verses Thirteen through Seventeen:
13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
In today’s gospel text, we read where our Lord cleansed the Temple of those who were making merchandise of the people who had come to worship and sacrifice to God. In St. Luke’s gospel account we find another version of this event where the Lord Jesus said, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves (Luke 19:46). Our Lord was angered by the profanation of the Temple by those who were providing animals for sacrifice, as well as special coins which did not bear the superscriptions of earthly potentates.
These articles were, of course, supplied at premium prices which benefitted the supplier at the expense of the faithful. As the apostle John observed, And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the table; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise (vv.15-16).
Clearly, our Lord was not against the just keeping of the law, only the injustice of profiteering. The faithful came to pray and be received of God via their sacrifices under the Mosaic system. That system forbade any deceitful practice in an Israelite’s conduct of business. Matthew Henry once wrote concerning this event that, “Merchandise is a good thing in the market, but not in the temple… it was sacrilege, it was robbing God. It was to disturb and distract those services in which men ought to be most solemn, serious, and intent. It was to make the business of religion subservient to a secular interest… “
Calvin Coolidge once opined that, “The business of America is business.” What he was referring to was the successful way in which Americans had profited and prospered in their manufacturing and marketing of their finished goods around the world prior to the Great Depression. And well before the advent of that terrible tragedy, a number of Christian denominations had been actively engaged in enterprises that focused less on the spiritual and more on the secular in order to attract new congregants. Their methods mimicked those practices that were popular in the secular world of business and marketing which increased their membership as well as their Sunday collections.
Still, their quest created only an illusion of success. As EM Bounds explained, “When collecting money, building churches, and counting attendance become the evidence of church prosperity, then the world has a strong foothold [there], and Satan has achieved his purpose.” Bounds also stated that, “God’s church must continue to do [the primary] work of converting sinners and perfecting the saints in holiness.” He also warned that, “Whenever this work becomes secondary, or other interests are held to be its equivalent, then the church becomes worldly.”
Further, Bounds reminded his readers that, “The original churches were faithfully spiritual. Their only purpose was to strengthen and cultivate all the elements that combine to make a deep and clear experience of God… The early church took it for granted that all who came to them really desired to flee from the wrath to come (Matthew 3:7) and were sincerely yearning after full redemption… “ But on account of the groundwork that was laid by modernist pastors from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, their spiritual descendants of this century have gained access to the pulpits of many once solidly Bible-based denominations. These pastors have transformed their churches from “houses of prayer” into “dens of thieves” and on account of that, they rightly earned the title of “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Now some might ask, “What’s so wrong with improving a church’s membership numbers? Isn’t that its job?… to call out to those who are unchurched, or who have no religion?” Absolutely. We are indeed to witness to said folk as God gives us the opportunity. But mere numbers are not the measure of a successful church. Using Bounds’ standard, a truly successful church is one that maintains its doctrinal purity in the face of an increase in those who are as yet unschooled in orthodox Christian doctrine. Doctrine matters. Doctrine cannot be parsed, cherry-picked or set aside because it is not “politically correct.”
The Bible is about nothing else than God’s ordering and understanding of his creation as well as how he wants us to view it, and live within the boundaries he has put in place. God desires that we have an abundant life, and to gain that we must remain faithful to his expressed will as found within the pages of Scripture. For we will all be judged by the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. He lived and walked in the light of the Father’s will and pleasure. He was obedient unto death. He came to fulfill the Law and to open the way for all mankind to reach out and find God. He came to be sin for us as we had no means of redemption otherwise. He came because he first loved us before we ever loved him. All God asks of us is that we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and be obedient to his word and commandment. Difficult words indeed, but doable if we are in Christ Jesus. And if we are sincere in our seeking of him, he will make himself known to all who would desire him.
Our Lord made a knotted cord and drove the wicked from the Temple precincts. He did not drive them out because they were sincere worshipers of God who were struggling to worship properly under bad instruction. He did not drive them out because they were supplying a benefit to their fellow Israelites. No, he drove them out because they were engaged in theft, in blasphemy, and in greed for gain at the expense of their fellows. In theft, because they were overcharging in every instance for their wares. In blasphemy, because they were engaged in conduct that was clearly prohibited by the Law. In greed for gain, because as a part of their theft, they were seeking to materially benefit through their business monopoly which they had gotten from the religious authorities. Temple worship was not established so that a select few might receive an exorbitant benefit at the expense of those who came to worship.
But just as those merchants of wickedness found their way into the Temple during our Lord’s earthly ministry, so too are there those within the various churches of today who are also guilty of the very points mentioned above. They are guilty of theft via their misrepresentation of the tithe as a viable Christian practice when it is not. To take resources from those who can ill afford to give them is not and has never been sanctioned by the LORD. The Bible clearly says, Thou shalt not steal (Exodus 20:16). And any unjustifiable taking is theft. If one urges people to give to support the church in an open an up-front way, that is acceptable and proper. But pastors and boards who twist God’s word to improve their church’s balance sheet are being devious at best and lying at worst. There is no such thing as lying to support a “good cause.” The lie removes any sort of godly value or indication. And worse, it is putting words in God’s mouth which he did not say.
And in that vein they are guilty of blasphemy through their repeated assertions that God has spoken to them concerning this program or that; this activity or that. God does indeed speak to us, but to claim this when its verification is questionable can open the door to error. As Dave Guzik has written, “What are the standards a prophecy should be judged by? First, it should be judged according to God’s established, revealed word. God will never contradict Himself. Also, He will not give the same gift of perfectly hearing Him He gave to the apostles and prophets who wrote the New Testament and gave the foundation for the church (Ephesians 2:20). It is wrong to assume anyone perfectly hears God, so it is also wrong to put too much trust and faith in a prophecy. It is probably a bad idea to record them, and meditate on them.”
Pastor Guzik then cited Tom Stipe, who penned the forward to the book Counterfeit Revival, regarding this problem. He stated in part that, “After only a couple of years, the prophets seemed to be speaking to just about everyone on just about everything. Hundreds of … members received the ‘gift’ of prophecy and began plying their trade among both leaders and parishioners. People began carrying around little notebooks filled with predictions that had been delivered to them by the prophets and seers… Not long after ‘prophecy du jour’ became the primary source of direction, a trail of devastated believers began to line up outside our pastoral counseling offices. Young people promised teen success and stardom through prophecy were left picking up the pieces of their shattered hopes because God had apparently gone back on His promises. Leaders were deluged by angry church members who had received prophecies about the great ministries they would have but had been frustrated by local church leaders who failed to recognize and ‘facilitate’ their ‘new anointing.’ After a steady diet of the prophetic, some people were rapidly becoming biblically illiterate, choosing a ‘dial-a-prophet’ style of Christian living rather than studying God’s Word. Many were left to continually live from one prophetic ‘fix’ to the next, their hope always in danger of failing because God’s voice was so specific in pronouncement, yet so elusive in fulfillment. Possessing a prophet’s phone number was like having a storehouse of treasured guidance. Little clutched notebooks replaced Bibles as the preferred reading material during church services.”
How sad indeed it is for those who put their trust in “human” messages about the actions of God rather than on trusting God to act on their prayers, and then to wait on him in patience. God always hears our prayers, but he may not answer them in the ways we desire. Pastor Charles Stanley once noted that, “God knows both sides of our requests.” Our task as Christians is to present our petitions for this or that and then let him in his time address them. But going to another human being seeking “a word from the Lord,” or receiving from such a “prophecy” regarding some thing, or activity can result in our being disappointed in the main, or at worst deceived if God’s prescription for such is not followed. The Bible supplies the means for evaluating a “prophecy” from another person. In I Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote, Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. In any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints (14:29-33).
Pastor Guzik also supplied a anecdote from Tertullian, a 2nd and 3rd century Christian writer, concerning a woman who would prophesy to the people. “We have now among us a sister whose lot it has been to be favored with sundry gifts of revelation, which she experiences in the Spirit by ecstatic vision amidst the sacred rites of the Lord’s Day in the church; she converses with angels, and sometimes even with the Lord; she both sees and hears mysterious communications; some men’s hearts she understands, and to those who are in need she distributes remedies. Whether it be in the reading of the Scriptures, or in the chanting of psalms, or in the preaching of sermons, or in the offering up of prayers, in all these religious services matter and opportunity are afforded to her of seeing visions … After the people are dismissed at the conclusion of the sacred services, she is in the regular habit of reporting to us whatever things she may have seen in her vision; for all her communications are examined with the most scrupulous care, in order that their truth may be probed… the apostle most assuredly foretold (1 Corinthians 12:1-11) that there were to be Spiritual gifts in the Church.” [“Treatise on the Soul,” Chapter 9 – Ante Nicean Fathers, Volume III, page 188]
Pastor Guzik continues, “This passage seems to describe an exercise of spiritual gifts, which is both dynamic and tempered with Biblical balances. We note an individual who is practicing prophecy. She hears the Lord’s voice, sees visions, and is speaking forth words of knowledge and encouragement. Of special note, her ‘revelations’ are not shouted out in the midst of the congregational meeting, but are meekly presented to the church leadership after the general assembly is adjourned. The church leadership does not incredulously receive her sayings, but judges them with wisdom and discretion. God can still speak this way.”
Are modern charismatics following the aforementioned methodology for determining if a “prophecy” offered by a fellow believer is to be accepted? Unfortunately, in too many instances they are not. Moses said not to accept a person who claimed to speak on behalf of God and did not tell the truth. We ought to do the same.
Where is the reverence for God’s word when anyone can say something and have be counted as coming from him without scrutiny. Our Lord warned us to, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits (St. Matthew 7:15- 16). So let us follow the Lord and not the minions of the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4).
And last but not least, these churches are guilty of greed for gain as they have profited from their deceptions which were used to advance their various agendas at the expense of their congregations. Nowadays, many pastors receive large salaries, cell phones, memberships in various social organizations as well as health insurance and an assortment of other perks. This makes it doubly problematic for them if they are taking from their congregations via deceitful pronouncements and deceptions of every sort. Look at the damage that can be done when those in authority make merchandise of their congregations? How many have turned away from the true faith because of the false messages of those who claim that they represent our Lord?
So what should we be doing? First of all, let us truly seek to be made right with our good and gracious God this day. Let us confess our sins and then partake of the Communion with hearts ready to go forth and proclaim the good news of the risen Christ to a sin-darkened world. Let us seek to daily study his word for our edification and for the furtherance of our Christian witness. And let us avoid doing or saying anything that will detract from our witness and call into question our truthfulness. It is my prayer for each of you that our heavenly Father will guide and protect you in your quest to be made right with him via the work of his dear Son, and that the Holy Ghost will assist you daily in every word and work.
Let us pray:
LORD our God, who hast made all things according to your will and pleasure; give us minds and hearts so governed by thy most holy Spirit, that we would honor you with our lips, our lives and our substance; and that further, we would properly witness on your behalf to those who are as yet in darkness; and these things we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 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 Arnold is on business travel this week to Seattle; pray for safe travels for him, as well as for him to do his very best on the trip.
Maggie is a very young lady who was expecting a baby. Sadly, the baby did not make it. She and her family need your prayers for the Holy Ghost to comfort and strengthen both her and themselves.
Hap Arnold celebrated his 65th birthday 27 December 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.
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.
Harriet Elrod who passed away the week of 4 January 2015. Harriet was a godly teacher and a good friend of Rev Bryan Dabney. Please give thanks for her time here on earth and pray for comfort and strength for those she leaves behind.
Pat Cooney passed away early the morning of 8 January 2015 after an extended illnesss, a long time member of the California Air National Guard, he will be missed by friends and family alike. Please give thanks for his time here on earth and pray for comfort and strength for those he leaves behind, in particular his wife Donna.
Dorothy Sivyer(Hap Arnold’s aunt) passed away about 0500L 31 December 2014, the last of her generation, she leaves behind five daughters and their families. Please give thanks for her time here on earth and pray for comfort for her family members who remain behind, give them faith and comfort.
Miney Farrell passed away about 0700L 20 December 2014, after about 99 years on earth, she joins much of her family gone before.
Lew Valkenaar passed away about 0100L 18 December 2014, in Spokane, Washington after a stroke last month. It was a hard fight for Lew, he hung in as long as he could. Please give thanks for his time here on earth and pray for comfort for his family members who remain behind, in particular his wife Dotty, strengthen their strong faith and comfort them.
Pakistan – 16 December 2014- Today at 11.00 a.m. six gunmen entered Army Public School 15 minutes drive from my house and opened the fire on school children ages from 10 to 16 killing 126; so far mostly children and female teachers and injuring 100 students. Army Public school is located on Warsak road few furlong from a Missionary St. Mary’s School where my two brothers teach and two nephews studying. Thank God they all are safe. One Christian student who was studying in Army School is safe. One Christian teacher who works in Army school we do not know about her, I hope she is safe. The Army security is doing operation against these terrorists and have killed all of them.
Three days mourning nationwide declared.
Please do remember us in your prayers.
Bishop Ernest Jacob
AOC Bishop of Pakistan
David Raj, father of Bishop Joshua Raj of Canada, passed away 1 December 2014, at age of 88. Please give thanks for his time here on earth and all that he left behind; pray for his family who remain behind, in particular his loving wife Gracelet Rajaram and son Joshua. David had a long life here, but it seems so short now that he is gone. Pray for comfort and strength for the family until they meet again.
Doctor Man Jun 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.
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
Sonnie, a 77 year old woman, lives alone and is affected by severe pneumonia and could use some help to care for her in her home. Please pray for a complete recovery and for God to send an angel of mercy to tend to her needs.
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
Sarah, wife of Rev Geordie (AOC – UK), has been treating for ovarian cancer. Alas the cancer is spreading causing fluid on the lungs, which is discomforting to say the least. There is a hope this side effect can be stopped by further chemotherapy; however, the last time this particular drug was tried it sent her into potentially life threatening anaphylactic shock. Please pray for guidance for the medical personnel treating Sarah, 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. Give thanks for the great courage and trust in God made manifest in Sarah and Geordie.
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.
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.
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.
Amy is scheduled for surgery on 27 January 2015, for a brain tumor. Please pray for the medical team to pay attention and to their best and for a good outcome. Pray also that Amy and her family will be able to put their worry on God’s shoulders.
Jeff has been undergoing surgery, chemo and radiation since October for pancreatitis and Pancreatic cancer. Please pray for the medical team to pay attention and to their best and for a good outcome. Pray also that Jeff, his wife and family will be able to put their worry on God’s shoulders.
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
Jenny, wife of Adam, mother of two, (niece of Marianne Lane) had difficulty breathing the night of 22 January 2015. Adam brought her to the hospital. They found a blockage in her throat and they were hoping to do a tracheotomy, but found that the blockage was too low. For now, she is oxygen, but the mass is making it hard for her to breathe, she is at risk of lung collapse. The mass must be investigated and likely come out. Now they are trying to schedule her for surgery 27 January 2015, which will likely require a heart lung machine. Please pray for guidance for the medical people treating Jenny and for trust in God, peace of mind and calmness for Jenny, Adam, their children and family.
Eli has some mental issues and has lost his way. He was admitted to the hospital for a 72 hour Psychological evaluation to get a proper diagnosis and medications. He has been in isolation and even refused to see his brother Carl. Please give thanks for Eli cooperating with the evaluation, pray he will benefit from the treatment and return to the Lord and his family.
Karen got out of the hospital after dehydration and double pneumonia. Her family is taking care of her. Please pray for strength, trust and healing.
Nancy has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and has quit taking her medications causing instability and difficulty in her family. Please pray the Lord will help the doctors find the right medications and she will take them and return her to mental and emotional stability.
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.
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. Garth is feeling a bit better, but the treatment is tiring. 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, as well as physical strength.
Dear Prayer Partners,
I wanted to let you know that I have had my seventh chemo-therapy treatment. There is to be one more at the end of the month. The tumour in my abdomen is now roughly 2/5’s of what it was when we began and is described as “stable”. But I have also learned this week from the oncologist that even though the tumour is still some 7.5 cms by 5.3 cms, the recent CAT scan we did does not tell them exactly what they are looking at. That is to say what is left of the tumour may, in fact, no longer be cancerous. After the eighth chemo treatment, they will do what is called a PET scan, which will tell them whether or not cancer is still present. At that point, a decision will be made whether or not to undergo a week of radiation therapy as well, to conclude the treatment and help prevent the cancer from returning. I have come through this last treatment with a minimum of side-effects, for which I am very grateful.
Once again, I want to express my thanks for everyone’s continuing, faithful prayers and to Almighty God for His grace, mercy, love, peace, and strength. Garth Neel
Garth is the AOC Bishop of Canada with oversight of South America and a really both good and nice fellow.
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.
Atina has been diagnosed with skin cancer, which turned out to be a melanoma. A routine CT scan found a 9mm (3/8 inch) lesion in her left lung. The melanoma appears to be spreading; they need to remove the offending tissue and test the sample. 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. Atina’s faith is being tested, she has difficulty in praying and accepting the outcome, she wants what she wants and is perplexed about her faith in Jesus. 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, retired 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 Wilson’s breathing seems to be under control at present, he is getting oxygen, which is a huge blessing for which he is grateful. He has continuous body wide pain similar to arthritis gone wrong for which he needs some kind of relief so he can rest. Pray for God’s guidance for the doctors and medical people treating him that they might figure out a way to treat him that will work and not adversely affect other parts of his body, particularly his oxygenation levels, kidney and liver function. Please pray for peace of mind and trust in the Lord for Mark, as well as for his family.
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.
Arch Crittenden has Multiple Myeloma (cancer cells in bone marrow); without this treatment life expectancy is one to two years. As long as he can tolerate the daily oral Revlimid treatments, it seems he can carry on. Arch is not worried about the weight loss side effects, he says he planned ahead for that; the hair loss does have him concerned as most of that has already left. Arch and his lovely wife Kathy ask that you pray for their trust in God to remain strong and for a good outcome.
Bernie Coogan had a stroke near Christmas time. He is still in a stroke center and expects to be there about another week, before being discharged to a rehab facility. Bernie is doing pretty well, his speech is a bit slurred, but his mind is clear. He is still Bernie. Bernie, his wife JoAnn and their family would appreciate your prayers for a full and rapid recovery as they maintain full trust in the Lord.
Scott Winters underwent apparently successful ligament replacement surgery on his knee on 8 January 2015, however he contracted an infection somehow which is causing him great difficulty. Please give thanks for the successful surgery and pray the infection will be overcome.
Amy has melanoma in her lungs, liver and kidneys; they have found a treatment for her that has a high success rate however the side effects are debilitating. Please pray that she will be able to tolerate the side effects and the treatment is successful. Amy has full trust in the Lord, but would still appreciate your prayers.
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.
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
Kym (43) has various hip problems which seems to be related to osteoarthritis. And, her mother Ruth is in the early stages of dementia. Pray for guidance for those treating both of them, as well as patience and trust in the Lord for both of them.
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
Marv Rogge had successful heart valve replacement surgery on or about 20 December 2014. Other than a desire to chew his food way too much, Marv is doing great, up and about. Please join Marv, his lovely wife Marian and the rest of the family in giving thanks to God for the great result. Pray for a full and complete recovery.
Ian had surgery to remove excess skin rendered a nuisance by controlled lost of 200 pounds. Please give thanks for the successful result and for those treating him to have paid attention and done their very best on the lengthy surgery, taking the best possible care of him. Please pray for his continued recovery and strength for his Mother who will be in charge of his after care.
Jenniffer had surgery for breast cancer on 15 October 2014, which seemingly went well; please give thanks for that. She has had other complications which preclude her from making a full recovery in particular the drugs are making her terribly sick; please pray those will be overcome. 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.
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.
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.
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 has met with the oncologist’s and reviewed the CAT scan. Good News! The tumor has been reduced in size—it was down to one half the size that it was in September and there was no indication of a new tumor in the chest area. Dick wanted the Prayer Partners to know and join him in thankfulness to our Lord. 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
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.
God’s Strength and Peace of Soul
Tommy Dunning is facing his first Christmas following the death of his only son to cancer. Please pray he can concentrate his heart on what he had and will have in his son through God.
Debbie has family problems that must be dealt with and she asks God’s guidance in making the correct decisions and how to stand.
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.
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.
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
Rev. Igor Djurcik leader of Anglican Orthodox Church in Serbia asks us to pray for his students. He has excellent young people in Belgrade who are having services and classes on the Bible.
Savusavu Fiji Islands is establishing a new Anglican Orthodox Church congregation Rev. Jack Andrew and members from the AOC in Labasa were with them for the weekend for this special time for our Church in Fiji. Pray that our Lord will be with the members in Savusavu as they bring others to his house.
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, had to retire as he was so pressed by the duties of a primary care giver, in addition to all the worries of this world. Pray 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.
Nathan had successful surgery on 4 August 2014, to remove a tumor near his heart; then underwent chemotherapy. During a visit on 2 December 2014, the PET Scan found no evidence of cancer. Nathan and his family thank God for the great result, the medical team for paying attention and doing their best and you for your prayers.
Various Special Requests
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!
Tuck Arnold, Albert Esquivel and Gene Hillger give thanks for safe travel this past week to London.
The near future, as well as Next Sunday
1 February 2015 – Septuagesima – 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
8 February 2015 – Sexagesima – 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
15 February 2015 – Quinquagesima – 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
18 February 2015 – Ashe Wednesday – Evening Prayer – Service start time 1800 (6:00 pm); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 1745 (5:45 pm); Time 1800 (6:00 pm); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
22 February 2015 – First Sunday in Lent – 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
1 March 2015 – Second Sunday in Lent – 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
8 March 2015 – Third Sunday in Lent – Morning Prayer – DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS IN THE USA – SPRING FORWARD OR BE LATE – 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
15 March 2015 – Fourth Sunday in Lent – 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
22 March 2015 – Passion Sunday – Fourth Sunday in Lent – 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
29 March 2015 – Palm Sunday -– 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
2 April 2015 – Maunday Thursday – Evening Prayer – Service start time 1800 (6:00 pm); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 1745 (5:45 pm); Time 1800 (6:00 pm); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
3 April 2015 – Good Friday – Evening Prayer – Service start time 1800 (6:00 pm); welcome or gathering songs before the service at 1745 (5:45 pm); Time 1800 (6:00 pm); Location – 10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA
5 April 2015 – Easter Sunday – Holy Communion – SONRISE SERVICE – 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
This is not really about the conversion of Saint Paul, rather the conversion of Saul of Tarsus into Paul, who would follow the Lord to the benefit of all of us and sadly to his earthly demise in a painful fashion.
This Third Day thing is a theme, is it not?
The Acts of the Apostles introduces Gamaliel as a Pharisee and celebrated doctor of the Mosaic Law in Acts 5:34–40. In the larger context (vs.17–42), Peter and the other apostles are described as being prosecuted before the Sanhedrin and Senate (or elders) for continuing to preach the gospel, despite the Jewish authorities having previously prohibited it. The passage describes Gamaliel as presenting an argument against killing the apostles, reminding them about the previous revolts of Theudas and Judas of Galilee which had collapsed quickly after the deaths of those individuals.
Gamaliel’s advice was accepted after his concluding argument:
“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” —Acts 5:38–39
The Book of Acts later goes on to describe Paul the Apostle recounting that although “born in Tarsus”, he was brought up in Jerusalem “at the feet of Gamaliel, [and] taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers”. (Acts 22:3) No details are given about which teachings Paul adopted from Gamaliel, or how much Gamaliel influenced aspects of Christianity. However, there is no other record of Gamaliel ever having taught in public, although the Talmud does describe Gamaliel as teaching a student who displayed “impudence in learning”, which a few scholars identify as a possible reference to Paul. The relationship of Paul the Apostle and Judaism continues to be the subject of scholarly debate. Helmut Koester, Professor of Divinity and of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard University, is doubtful that Paul studied under this famous rabbi, arguing that there is a marked contrast in the tolerance that Gamaliel is said to have expressed about Christianity with the “murderous rage” against Christians that Paul is described as having prior to his conversion (Acts 8:1–3)