Order, Words, & Voices 07.25.21

 Order

Sunday, July 25, 2021

#1 ONE Video #1 (4:47)

  • Call to Worship

Made A Way (Jon Reddick)

Live/OnLine

  • Prayer                    Rick (In Person) (Slides)
  • Music                     Abbie (In Person) (Slides)

    Standing On The Promises    Russell Kelso Carter
    I Will Sing Of My Redeemer    James McGranahan | Philip Paul Bliss
    Great Is Thy Faithfulness        Thomas Obediah Chisholm | William
                        Marion Runyan

  • Story  (No Slides)            McPhersons & Musgroves
  • Message    ‘The Problem with The People’          Rick (slides)
  • Music

    I Will Sing Of My Redeemer    James McGranahan | Philip Paul Bliss

#2 TWO Video Community (1:29)

  • Song – Tenderness (Bensound)

    Community
Prayer Night (Homeless)
        Next Sunday – Paths and Protocols
        Uncomfortable beginning 09.19.21

Live

  • Benediction (inperson/online)  McPhersons & Musgroves (Spotlight) (no slides)
  • Sharing the Peace           Rick

# 3 Three Audio (5:12)
Song – Song – Love Changes Everything (Jake Espy | Church of the City)

Voices & Words

Call To Worship
“Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.”  Apostle Paul (II Timothy 2:22-25)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Jesus (Matthew 6:21)

Prayer 

God,
We are  thankful that we can enjoy the tender relationship with you as Father.
We are grateful that you are the almighty God who does the impossible through and for your children.
We are astounded that you are continually tender and close, while still being powerful and impacting history.
May we hang onto your full nature and never lose sight of all that you are.
May we continually seek to know what it is to be your child embraced in your love.
Amen.

Music

Standing On The Promises

Standing on the promises of Christ my King
Through eternal ages let His praises ring
Glory in the highest I will shout and sing
Standing on the promises of God

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises that cannot fail
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail
By the living Word of God I shall prevail
Standing on the promises of God

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect present cleansing in the blood for me
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free
Standing on the promises of God

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s Sword
Standing on the promises of God

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises I cannot fall
List’ning ev’ry moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my All in All
Standing on the promises of God

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

CCLI Song # 31803
Russell Kelso Carter

I Will Sing Of My Redeemer

I will sing of my Redeemer
And His wondrous love to me
On the cruel cross He suffered
From the curse to set me free

Sing O sing of my Redeemer
With His blood He purchased me
On the cross He sealed my pardon
Paid the debt and made me free

I will tell the wondrous story
How my lost estate to save
In His boundless love and mercy
He the ransom freely gave

Sing O sing of my Redeemer
With His blood He purchased me
On the cross He sealed my pardon
Paid the debt and made me free

I will sing of my Redeemer
And His heav’nly love for me
He from death to life
Hath brought me
Son of God with Him to be

Sing O sing of my Redeemer
With His blood He purchased me
On the cross He sealed my pardon
Paid the debt and made me free

CCLI Song # 69260
James McGranahan | Philip Paul Bliss

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning
New mercies I see
All I have needed
Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Great is Thy faithfulness
O God my Father
There is no shadow
Of turning with Thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been
Thou forever wilt be

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning
New mercies I see
All I have needed
Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Summer and winter
And springtime and harvest
Sun moon and stars
In their courses above
Join with all nature
In manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness
Mercy and love

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning
New mercies I see
All I have needed
Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Pardon for sin
And a peace that endureth
Thy own dear presence
To cheer and to guide
Strength for today
And bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine
With ten thousand beside

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning
New mercies I see
All I have needed
Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

CCLI Song # 18723
Thomas Obediah Chisholm | William Marion Runyan

That Story = My Story 

We have relocated to Colorado, we wanted to take a break from the humidity of Oklahoma, maybe we can avoid the tornados of the south, maybe even be able to sit out on the porch without being carried away by the mosquitoes.

So, that has all happened, we are enjoying the dry cooler days and nights, have not felt the need to find the nearest storm shelter, and, we haven’t yet found ourselves scratching away the bug bites. We are however, experiencing the smoke from the wild fires, a new addition to our allergies.

It is always something.

You do still share some things with us still here in Oklahoma. Outrageous conspiracy theories, accepted lies and dismissed deceit, absurd solutions, the loss of human decency, the destruction of God’s creation. It never seems to amaze me with all the new things that we are faced with almost every day.

We also share football, the upcoming joy of raking leaves, gaining an hour on November 7, plus pizza and pasta.

You are really reaching there Billy.

Truth is, there is nothing new. Everything has been before and everything will be again.

A wise man said, “nothing is worthwhile; everything is futile. For what does a man get for all his hard work? Generations come and go, but it makes no difference. The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere. The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full, and the water returns again to the rivers and flows again to the sea. Everything is unutterably weary and tiresome. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied; no matter how much we hear, we are not content.”

“History merely repeats itself. Nothing is truly new; it has all been done or said before. What can you point to that is new? How do you know it didn’t exist long ages ago? We don’t remember what happened in those former times, and in the future generations no one will remember what we have done back here.”

The same wise man said, “I applied myself to search for understanding about everything in the universe. I discovered that the lot of man, which God has dealt to him, is not a happy one. It is all foolishness, chasing the wind. What is wrong cannot be righted; it is water over the dam; and there is no use thinking of what might have been.”

And, rather audaciously, he said “I am better educated than any of the kings before me in Jerusalem. I have greater wisdom and knowledge.” So I worked hard to be wise instead of foolish — but now I realize that even this was like chasing the wind. For the more my wisdom, the more my grief; to increase knowledge only increases distress.”

Well, that is depressing. I guess all the riots, the insurrection, the natural disasters, the wars, the hatred and hostility, the homeless and hopeless, the lies, and everything bad has always happened before. It might look different but it is not new.

I guess the manipulation of people, the gullibility of followers, the lack of seeking truth has also always been present.

Truth has become, and has actually always been the casualty of our refusal to think before we follow. Lies are easy to believe when everyone else is believing and proclaiming them. When the apostle Paul went through all the purification process to enter the Temple properly there were still some that started yelling that he was not purified.

They turned the place upside-down. They grabbed Paul and started yelling at the top of their lungs, “This is the man who is going all over the world telling lies against us and our religion and this place. He’s even brought Greeks in here and defiled this holy place.” This was not true.

Some of the crowds quickly believed because of what they had seen, others just as quickly believed because someone told them this lie as a fact. They didn’t check on it or even ask about it. They just joined the people that were upset.

It wasn’t long until it spread beyond the temple,  ‘the whole city was in an uproar, people running from everywhere to the Temple to get in on the action. They grabbed Paul, dragged him outside, and locked the Temple gates so he couldn’t get back in and gain sanctuary.’

It became a huge thing, as the people were joining in the mob even though they were not sure they knew why, just that someone had said that Paul was making an attack on their faith. He wasn’t but you couldn’t convince this worked up crowd, they weren’t looking for truth. Their mind was already made up.

So, Paul requested the opportunity to speak truth to the crowd, to the people. These were his people, from his faith. Paul hoped that they would at least listen to his story.

They were silent for a little while.

They listened for a moment.

Not for long though. It wasn’t long before someone shouted at Paul and soon everyone had rejoined the people rather than to listen for truth.

There is nothing new under the sun, however, truth is still truth and God still yearns that we would seek and search for truth. Maybe it is not all a waste of time, maybe truth is worth the struggle and the pain.

Message        ‘the Problem with the People’ 

Introduction: ‘This is the story of Jesus…..’

In the 1980s, sociologists and other experts set forth to discover the attraction to gangs and the glue that held them in the gang. Usually teen and young adults, and usually males, were increasingly becoming a part of the groups known for their violent behaviors and criminal activities. One of the common elements the research observed was a disenfranchisement and a disenchantment with the society and their lives. They were looking for a People, they were looking for the people that would become their People. The attraction was seldom the activities of these belonging groups but instead the very aspect of belonging, the reality of their people.  Even if they disagreed with this collection of individuals on their activities and lifestyles, the mere fact that they now belonged to the people, their people, was enough to overlook those disagreements and join in. They also found that, even though there were actually risks in leaving the group, the strongest element that kept them in the people was that this was now their people.

Even now, we are beginning to hear stories  of those who took part in the January 6 insurrection, those who had claimed groups such as Oathkeepers and Proud boys as their people, stories that mirror this same attachment and need of the gang members in the late 80s.

Dutch historian and author, Rutger Bregman, argues that mankind is not instinctively selfish, confrontational, ruthless or violent, but instead, we are born with the instinct fo find common ground, to share, to cooperate. His theory is that compassion is actually our guiding principle, but, that compassion has been tempered and reshaped by philosophies, economic systems, and even religious doctrines.

Let go of concerns about original sin and total depravity to think about that from a reality standpoint, a reality of your personal knowledge of humanity.

Bregman’schanges in our instinctual nature leaves us with the primary need for common ground, a people, a home. Often time this need leads us to a willingness to lay aside compassion and mercy in exchange for belonging and acceptance. We are willing to give ourself completely and unconditionally to a group, a people, for as little as one aspect of agreement – even though everything else may be a conflict.

As our readers said, ‘there is nothing new.’ We are in a time of unprecedented lies, falsehoods, conspiracies, and hate. A time that seems to be like no other time, yet a time that has been seen many times before. Times like Jesus experienced during holy week, and times like Paul faced when he, too, entered Jerusalem. Paul had done what the Jerusalem believers had suggested when he entered Jerusalem, he had taken up the Jewish practices that did not compromise his faith, however, lies, deceit, and conspiracies, are powerful tools of evil and soon the crowds, much like the crowds facing Jesus during holy week, were against Paul. The same happened when Paul was taken before the religious officials, the Sadducees and Pharisees.  Neither of these groups cared for Paul or what he was saying, however, when the Pharisees recognized that Paul shared their core glue, the thing that made them the people of resurrection, there was a split in the opposition group.

The danger of finding the people, our people, is that we are faced with required compromises. Things we have to walk away from, abandoning values that we hold dearly, voiding certain aspects of who we truly are and what we genuinely hold to as truth.

Here is a fact of humanity, we want some type of commonality, we want to belong, we want a people.

Conversely, we are also refreshed when we can see unity occur where commonality is absent. We are inspired when diverse people come together in unity, not because some have compromised to be a part but because all have decided that they can be a people, the people, even with disagreement, even with those things that usually divide.

Think of when President George Bush used a bullhorn to tell the essential 9/11 workers that the whole world was listening to them. Or the feeling we all had when we saw the East and West Germans dancing on the wall that had previously divided them, or on April 19, 1995 when people stood in line for hours to donate blood to the OKC bombing victims, or when homes were  opened following Katrina to the newly homeless, the images of US military freeing the hopeless from concentration camps in WWI, and the list goes on. Unless we have hardened ourselves, there is something in us that yearns to be a, the, people who are there for all people.

Andy Williams, Co-MD of Cohesive, says, “In the deeps of the COVID 19 pandemic, did society crumble into a dystopian, dog-eat-dog nightmare? No. The stories we’ll remember were of healthcare workers, inadequately protected, performing daily miracles caring for the sick. More tellingly, it was about the resurgence of community, with volunteers from all backgrounds risking themselves to look after the vulnerable. This was no localized phenomenon, either: it was universal. Those stories spread. And they brought unity, for a while.” 

However, following the events that bring us together, we are back to seeking, to settling, to compromising in order to be a part of the, people. Soon we are back to blindly rushing in to support our/the people. We don’t evaluate the validity, we fail to question or seek our relationship to the statements or conspiracies, we join in, we compromise, we stick with the people.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Twice, in this short amount of time, the people turned against Paul, in the same manner they had turned against Jesus. Not because of his actions or his words, but because of their people. Three times, we see that Paul identified with these people, he was purified as a Jew, he identified with the Jewish Pharisees as a believer in resurrection, – ultimately he identified as a Roman citizen. However, with each identification, he never compromised, he stayed true to his convictions, even those convictions that contradicted the core, the mentality, of his, of the, people. And, each time, the people, his people, rejected him.

There is nothing new under the sun.

This story of the apostle Paul is really a story of the people, peoples, and his people/peoples. Paul sought to appeal to all peoples, and to all the peoples of all peoples. The balancing act for Paul was to appeal while not compromising, and at the same time to appeal without disregarding the people they are – in other words he was not arrogant, dismissive, hostile, and he did attempt to persuade or sell them anything, he testified to his story of what he had seen. All of Paul’s people would come and go. Death, disagreement, politics, disagreements, rejection, conflicting agendas,  and the truth that sometimes it was just time to lovingly disengage or depart.

But, for Paul, his sole focus remained on truth, the God that is truth. It had been his passionate search before Jesus stopped him on the road to Damascus and it consistently remained his focus to his death.

Shortly after this, as Paul was imprisoned in Rome, chained wrist to wrist with a Roman guard, that he wrote to a young man named Timothy, a young rising Christian leader encouraging him to not be a part of a compromising crowd, to not be a part of a people who reacted to lies, deceit, and conspiracies instead of looking for the people of truth.
Paul and Timothy -“Do your best, Timothy, to  present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter which will lead people into more and more impiety. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
2 Timothy 2:15-26

The questions that stand before us today is…

Are we more concerned about our ‘the’ people or truth?

Are we more concerned with agreement with our ‘the’ people or the truth?

In the end, here on earth, what will we be left with?
Truth or disappointment?

Love or regret?
Hope or hopelessness?

Let’s Pray

Music 2

I Will Sing Of My Redeemer

I will sing of My Redeemer
And Your wondrous love to me
On the cruel cross You suffered
From the curse to set me free

Sing O sing of My Redeemer
With Your blood You purchased me
On the cross You sealed my pardon
Paid the debt and made me free

I will sing of My Redeemer
And Your heav’nly love for me
You from death to life
Hath brought me
Son of God with You to be

Sing O sing of my Redeemer
With Your blood You purchased me
On the cross You sealed my pardon
Paid the debt and made me free

CCLI Song # 69260
James McGranahan | Philip Paul Bliss

Benediction

So it is time for us to go out, to leave this place.
It is time that we go out into reality. Our reality.
It is time that we momentarily leave this people and go out in the midst of other people.
We go out into lies and deceit.
Which is nothing new.
We go out into hatred and hostility.
Again, Nothing new.
We go out to survive by seeking truth.
We go our to experience life with our focus on truth.
In truth we find hope.
In truth we find peace.
In truth we find love.

Closing Peace

May the grace, peace, joy, love, hope of the Father go with you.

And also with you.

Let’s go. Let’s go into the marketplace among all the other loved descendants of God. Let’s go, let’s go as loved children of God in the midst of the public square. Let’s go, let’s go, not amongst enemies with whom we battle, but in the midst of our created brothers and sisters as light that shines in the darkness. Let’s go, let’s go held by the embrace of grace, the comfort of peace, the confidence of joy, the proof of love, and confidence of hope. Let’s go!

Published by rickanthony1993

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

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