Order, Words, & Voices

Order
Sunday, June 20, 2021 

#1 ONE Video #1 (4:28)

  • Call to Worship

    No Longer Slaves (Jonathan David Helser, Joel Case, rian Mark Johnson
    & Melissa Helser)

Live/OnLine

  • Prayer                    Rick (In Person) (Slides)
  • Music                     Rick (In Person) (Slides)
    • This Is My Father’s World (Purdy, Sheppard , Riddle , Babcock)
    • Because He Lives (Gloria Gaither, William J. Gaither)
    • There Is A Redeemer (Melody Green)
  • That Story = My Story            Peyton, Renee, Billy (No Slides)
  • Music                    Rick (Slides)
    • Father I Adore Thee (Terrye Coelho)
  • Message    ‘Me, My, Mine’         Rick (slides)

#2 TWO Video (5:41)

  • Song – The Truth (Lauren Strahm & Andrew Holt)

    Community – Next Sunday – Captive to Purpose (Acts 20)
            Vaccination Month & Story

Live

  • Benediction (inperson/online)  Peyton, Billy, Renee (Spotlight) (no slides)
  • Sharing the Peace           Rick

# 3 Three Audio (5:52)
Song -Heart of a Father (Ryan Ellis)

Voices & Words

#1 ONE Video #1

  • Call to Worship

    No Longer Slaves (Jonathan David Helser, Joel Case, Mark Johnson
    & Melissa Helser)

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God
John 1:12

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

For you have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of life.
Psalm 56:13

For you were called to freedom; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.
Galatians 5:13

As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.
I Peter 2:16

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
II Corinthians 3:17

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
John 8:21

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God
John 1:12

Live/OnLine

  • Prayer

God, we pray today for a passionate curiosity to know you

Put us on the path of constant pursuit of understanding you

May we never just settle for what we have been told

May we never stop our journey because we caught a glimpse of you
May we never cease to look even in those times when you seem absent

God may we stand on your promise that you want to be found

May we be confident in our ability to seek and search

May we be determined to find, and then to find more

God, in our seeking, searching, and finding may we discern lies

May we discern deceit
May we discern truth

May we never settle for anything less than truth

May we never be satisfied unless that truth is evident in love

God, remind us of all that is to be found

God, renew our curiosity, refresh our hope, remind us that you are God.  Amen.

  • Music

This Is My Father’s World
CCLI Song # 6167640
Aaron Purdy | Franklin Lawrence Sheppard | Jennie Lee Riddle | Maltbie Davenport Babcock

This is my Father’s world
And to my list’ning ears
All nature sings and ’round me rings
Music of the spheres

This is my Father’s world
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought

This is my Father’s world
O let me ne’er forget
And though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the Ruler yet

This is my Father’s world
Why should my heart be sad
The Lord is King let the heavens ring
God reigns let the earth be glad

This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair
In the rust’ling grass I hear Him pass
He speaks to me ev’rywhere

This is my Father’s world
O let me ne’er forget
And though the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the Ruler yet

Because He Lives
CCLI Song # 16880
Gloria Gaither | William J. Gaither

God sent His Son they called Him Jesus
He came to love heal and forgive
He bled and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove
My Savior lives

Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives

There Is A Redeemer
CCLI Song # 11483
Melody Green

There is a Redeemer Jesus God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God Messiah Holy One

Thank You O my Father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
Till the work on earth is done

Jesus my Redeemer name above all names
Precious Lamb of God Messiah
O for sinners slain

Thank You O my Father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
Till the work on earth is done

And then one day I’ll cross that river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then as death gives way to vict’ry
I’ll see the lights of glory
And I’ll know He reigns

Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives

Thank You O my Father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
Till the work on earth is done

When I stand in glory I will see His face
There I’ll serve my King forever
In that holy place

  • That Story = My Story  Billy, Renee, Peyton (Live/On Line) (no slides except title slide)

Change is a challenge; we eagerly embrace it or we don’t even try…. Often it is a life long struggle.

Have you ever contemplated changing your hair, your route to work, or sitting at a different lunch table?

What about walking into the grocery store only to find that they have moved the cereal aisle?!

Or, at episode five on Netflix you discover that the bad guy is actually the good guy. You already hate the wrong bad guy! You can’t change who you hate at episode 5!

Change has always been a problem.

The prophet Isaiah told the Israelites that change was coming. They didn’t like change either, they saw no need, so they didn’t really pay attention.

It was still a long time away so they figured someone else could deal with it.

Yeah, let the next generation deal with that.

Isaiah told the people that the change was already happening, still they didn’t care.  They didn’t listen, they didn’t even look.

It was just a matter of turning back to God but change sometimes comes with a risk. They were settled in. No one wants to be unsettled.
If you think about it there was also lot of change in the way Jesus lived and taught. He went to the home of a Gentile politician.

Which was Outrageous.

He listened to the reasoning of a Gentile woman.

Which was Dangerous.

He drank from the cup that had been used by a Samaritan.
Unsanitary, Unhygienic, and just Wrong.
Jesus’ actions were radical, probably labeled ‘liberal’.  He also ate with sinners and actually went to the home of a tax collector.

That was true almost since his birth. Gentile magicians in his house before he was two, an unclean chronically ill woman pushing through a crowd to touch him, and saving the life of an adulteress.

They never knew, we never know, what’s next on God’s path.

God told the Apostle Peter to go to the house of a Gentile. God empowered the Apostle Paul to enter the marketplace crowded with Gentiles.

Today, we see the dangerous power of three small words – ‘Me, My, and Mine.’

Paul is in Ephesus where ‘The word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.’
For three months Paul continually went into the synagogue and spoke about the kingdom of God. Some flat out refused to believe and started spreading lies about Christians.

So, instead of going to the synagogue, for the next two years, Paul returned to the marketplace and the public square. Soon, all the Jews, and Greeks, had heard about the resurrected Jesus and that statues are not really God.

Extraordinary things were happening.  New believers turned to God and changed their evil practices – even though it would doom their incomes. Those who practiced magic burned about one million dollars worth of books. They believed about Jesus enough to risk their livelihood.

When Paul was about to leave Ephesus a disturbance arose regarding Christianity. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made idols of the god Artemis, recognized the threat to his business. He gathered all the idol makers together.

Demetrius explained that their income was at risk because Paul was saying ‘gods made with hands are not gods’.
Demetirus sought to take the selfish ‘Me, My, & Mine’ aspect out of his argument, he added religiosity. Demetirus said, ’The temple of the great goddess Artemis will be scorned, and she will be deprived of her majesty.”

Demetrius’ plan worked- he made his selfishness sound holy. ‘Me, My, and Mine’ is always more acceptable when it sounds holy.

Demetrius manipulated the crowd masterfully. Soon, the workers were enraged and shouted, “Great is Artemis!”

Soon, the entire city was filled with the confusion; the crowd dragged Paul’s travel companions out. 

Paul’s disciples and even the city leaders begged Paul not to go into the crowd.

Next we see the unpredictable consequences of ‘Me, My, and Mine.”  Actually we still see this happening in in our day, and we still have to deal with the unexpected consequences.

As the crowd grew, most of them didn’t even know why they were so angry, but nevertheless, they grabbed ahold of the rage.

When a Jewish leader tried to calm the crowd the Gentiles got mad – it turned into a Jews against Gentiles uprising. 

Eventually, the town clerk, was able to calm the crowd. He corrected the false conspiracies that had gone viral in the crowd and the crowd went home.

’Me, My, and Mine’ is very human but also a dangerously powerful tool.

[Acts 19]

  • Music

Father I Adore You
CCLI Song # 26557
Terrye Coelho

Father I adore You
Lay my life before You
How I love You

Jesus I adore You
Lay my life before You
How I love You

Spirit I adore You
Lay my life before You
How I love You

  • Message        Me, My, & Mine

All public schools in the state of Oklahoma are required to conduct a minimum of ten safety drills.  At least four of the drills must be ‘threat’ security types of actions.  This includes and active shooter situation or other scenarios.  Two of the drills must be tornado drills and two must fire drills.  The remaining two drills are for local school administrations to determine based on their greatest perceived need. There is no question that these drills are essential, however, they can be rather traumatic, especially for younger children who do not understand.  And, while teachers and school staffs totally agree with the need, they also recognize that often the reality of scheduling along with all the other procedural requirements can sometimes create an administrative nightmare.  A frequent result of those nightmares is that principals will find that they are up against a deadline for the required drills.

This was the case one day when Andrea was a middle school teacher. She arrived to find that a new student had been assigned to her classroom. The family of the 12 year old boy had just moved to Norman from a different country, and, he spoke absolutely no English.  The actually happens frequently, and it is usually maneuvered with Google Translate or assigning another student who speaks the language. Andrea did all of this but as the day proceeded she found that none of those were going to fully help this situation. This just happened to be one of those drills deadline days where the school had to do a fire drill, a tornado drill, and an active shooter drill.  The boy managed to follow the crowd for the tornado and fire drill, mirroring the actions of the other students and teachers who attempted to explain.  He made if successfully through these first two, but the ‘Active Shooter’ drill was more challenging. Once he discovered the purpose of the drill this one was a bit more terrifying. He found Andrea and began frantically asking her something. She could not find any other students to help translate so she pulled out her phone and finally realized that he was asking, ‘Is this real?’ She used the international language of ‘no’ by shaking her head and a offering a reassuring look.  He was then fine

Following others is an automatic act of self preservation.  This little guy could not communicate, he had no way of analyzing the situation and making his own decision, he was stuck with no choice but to follow others.  Until….even in his situations, he recognized he could no long just blindly follow…so he deliberately found the one person who he trusted.

Marketing experts, politicians, and religious leaders all understand this aspect of our humanity. Knowing how to use, and abuse, following makes those who know how to use this reality very rich.

In Siox City Iowa, on January 23, 2016, our former president shared his understanding of humans and following as he talked about his followers, “I have the most loyal people, did you ever see that? I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn’t lose voters,”
Donald Trump
Kamisar, Ben. “Trump: I could shoot people in streets and not lose support.” The Hill. 01.23.16

I use this as an example, not to slam Mr. Trump, truth is, I am somewhat impressed that, days away from the first presidential political test, the Iowa causes, he already knew his followers well enough to say something this risky.

Truth is, following is not always a bad thing, nor is it always good. Jesus chose to compare his followers to sheep for that very reason, the act of faithfully following. The issue of following, however, is not the aspect of following, it is actually about the who of following, the leader. Jesus knew this and pointed it out as he called his followers sheep. He provided the credibility of Jesus as the leader, as the sheppherd.

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
John 10:27-30

This brings us to our story for today, the apostle Paul in Ephesus. Paul had been rejected by the Jewish religious leaders so he returned to the Marketplace. It was there that he found interest, people began to listen to what he was saying.  He quickly listened to their questions, they were free to debate and argue, some accepted and followed, some didn’t. At the end of each day they all went home, then, the next morning they returned to the marketplace and resumed the dialogue. This carried on for two years.

It was all rather civil, until a local businessman named Demitrius began to notice the intricacies of Paul’s message. Demitrius was not concerned about the religious aspect of Paul’s message, it was something else that concerned him. See, Demitrius did not care if people listened to Paul and became Christians.  The faith choices of the people was really not of concern to him.  It wasn’t until Demitrius figured out that there was a conflict between Paul’s message and and his own need for self preservation.  Demitrius was a artisan that made idol statues, this was his income, this made him wealthy.  Demitrius didn’t really care what statues he bought, as long as they would sell he was totally supportive. However, Paul was saying something that was problematic. Paul was saying, that the statues that adorned the city of Ephesus, statues of all their gods, as well as of the gods they did not know, that these statues were not really gods – they were just statues.

When the leader that we follow is ‘Me, My, & Mine’ we are looking for a human leader who is going to secure the things that we hold most valuable, most precious. For Demitrius it was his income, he was also aware that for others it may be their religion. So we became a shepherd, he called out to others who also had a ‘Me, My’ & Mine’ god. Then Demitrius knew he had to increase his base so he suddenly became religious. Eventually he threw in some cultural economics, nationalism, and politics and he had a crowd that quickly adopted his rage and as a result outrage erupted.  Most in the crowd quickly followed without any investigation or questions.  Soon the crowd was an avanlanche that had no idea of why they had joined the others. Demitrius was now their shepherd, accepted because he met their ‘Me, My, & Mine’ god.

The rioting did not quit until a very wise city leader recognized that the indignities expressed by the mob was multifold, he stopped forward and calmed their religious, their political, their income, their city, and everything else the people assumed they were mad about. The crowd dissipated.

This event brings us to many comparisons.

  1. If we go back to the beginning to God’s promise to the Hebrews, it all began with a man named Abraham. A man who came from the profession of idol making. A man who was called to give up everything, his income, extended family, nationality, his politics, to, instead, follow God. A man who had to release his ‘Me, My, & Mine.’
  2. Remember also the Jewish leaders at the times Peter, and then Paul, came before them to talk about God’s inclusion of the gentiles. Instead of creating a mob to protect their ‘Me, My, & Mine’, they became silent. They recognized the surrender of their religion the they were now called to release and they let go.
  3. Or even the story that happens just before the mob story in Ephesus. Those who made their income in darkness, the magicians. They let go of everything in order to grab ahold of Jesus.

Our truth for today is not a caution of regarding our leaders, it is a warning regarding the gods we allow to lead us to those leaders. The gods of Me, the gods of My, the gods of Mine. Our call from this story is to look at what we follow and ask ourselves, ‘Does this line up with the message of our true God, or are we too, following god statues.

Jesus said to those who had made the decision to follow him, Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in the truth I have taught you through my life and through my words, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
John 8:31-32

Who is leading you?

Let’s pray.

#2 TWO Video Post Message

  • The Truth (Lauren Strahm & Andrew Holt)
  • Community – Next Sunday – Captive to Purpose (Acts 20),

        Vaccination Month, & Story

Live & Online

BenedictionToday, we go out from here as a people. A people who are children of God. A people who share the experience of the same Father.

Today, we go out from here as a microcosm of the universe. We go out from here as children of God into the marketplace filled with the descendants of God.

Today, we, children of God and descendants of God, go out amongst the offspring, the created, of God the Father.

We go not to yell ‘This is who WE are!’

We go not to scream ‘Move aside, WE are coming through!’

We go out to be.

We go out to love.

We go out to care.

We go out to be a humble light.

We go out to reveal the Father who calls all his descendants to be his children.

We go out to let God’s offspring know that everyday is the cosmic Father’s day.

So, as we go out today, we go out in gratitude for the grace of the path sacrificially paved by the Father.

We go out allowing the love of the Father to overflow from our lives.

We go out, into the Marketplace, to love like God.

  • Closing Peace

As we go, we leave recognizing the truth of humanity – the truth that we go out into a world of lies, conspiracies, half truths, manipulative truths, selfish truths, and hateful hurtful truths.  We go out into a world where even truth can used to manipulate and deceive. A world where truth is often a tool not to free us but to control and enslave us.

We also go from here gifted by God.  We have been given the ability to differentiate what is truth in its complete context – full truth in purpose and in details. Not only have we, along with all descendants of God, been gifted to discern, we have also been given a mandate – a calling to look for truth constantly and consistently. To seek and search with a goal of finding.

Truth brings us to a life lived in love. So, as you go out from here, may the love of the Father go with you

And also with you.

Go out into the marketplace as loved descendants of God and loved children of God. Go with the power of discernment to live in and to live out the love of the Father, the Love of God.

#3 THREE – Post Worship Music
Song – Heart of a Father (Ryan Ellis)

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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