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June, 2012 Exalt Educate Equip Evangelize Extend Issue #224TWO QUESTIONS ASKED BY GODby Dr. Daniel ThomasThe first question is in Genesis 3:9, "But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “WHERE AREYOU ?”Adam had sinned against God. God spoke to him a probing question, “Where are you?” All sin is a separationfrom God. Adam never repented of his sin, but blamed others for his predicament. Sin is like that. Sin tries tohide from the light of God like a cockroach hides from the kitchen light. Adam could have immediately admit-ted his guilt and repented. If he had done so, things may have turned out very differently for the human race.God is ever looking to forgive and to be reconciled with those who separate themselves by sinning. He rejoicesover the reconciliation. Some have never repented the first time and asked Christ to save them. Some, becauseof a misguided theological position believe repentance is not required as they are going to heaven anyway. Sinseparates us from the God who loves us. We easily excuse the things we do, the things we say, the things wethink. Repentance is the only way to reconciliation. He asks of each of us “WHERE ARE YOU?”The second question is found in 1 Kings 19 11And he (God) said, “Go out and stand on the mount before theLORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in piecesthe rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but theLORD was not in the earthquake. 12And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. Andafter the fire the sound of a low whisper (a thin silence).13And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in hiscloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said,“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, ELIJAH ?”Elijah was depressed and upset at the way his life was going. He ran to hide in the desert where no one couldfind him. God found him. He told him to go to the mountain. There, a lot of commotion was taking place. Hur-ricane force winds, an earthquake, a great fire. God was not in these things. Then Elijah heard a thin silence, astill small voice. He knew this to be the voice of God. Only then did he pay attention. When God spoke in thesilence, he asked a penetrating question, “What are you doing here?” What a question! Elijah could have said,“because you told me to come here.” But the question was much deeper. “What are you doing HERE?” In thesilence, Elijah learned something about himself, and he learned something about God. “Here” was not sup-posed to be on the mountain. God had use for him, not on the mountain, away from people, but down there,below, among people. That is where he was supposed to be. He had to face himself and his failure to com-pletely follow God. He had to face God, who spoke in the uncomfortable silence. Yet in his speaking, he re-
PAGE 2stored Elijah. In the presence of the Lord is strength.Our lives are so filled with noise. We do not go to church unless there is noise: drums, guitars, sound systems.We do not get in our cars unless there is noise: stereos, loud exhaust, talking on the phone. We do not go homeexcept to fill it with noise: TV, music, chatter. Work is definitely no better. All this is to drown out the voice ofthe One who asks “What are you doing here?” We need to spend time in silence so that we can hear God.What if we went to church and it was not “fun”? What if it were silence and prayer? What if it were a timewhere God could speak to us in the silence? Would we still go? Or, would we seek another place that woulddrown out the silence, and thus, the voice of God? What if we spent time in our cars, away from noise, in thequiet contemplation of God so he could speak to us in the silence? “Your will be done” we pray, but how dowe know unless we listen? Someone told me “God does not speak to people.” Yes, he does, but we do not lis-ten. Listening only comes in the silence and God’s true voice is heard when we have broken through the noisein our heads and the noise we surround ourselves with. “What are you doing here?” That is a probing question.Are we only “here” to live our short lives, go to work, play, marry, and die? Or, is there some purpose to ourlives? Yes, definitely, there is a purpose to our lives that is beyond the mundane. God wants our lives to mat-ter. We only have this one life to offer. Our place is not on the mountain, it is here, among the people, whereGod wants to use us to do something extraordinary among them. “What are you doing here?” Have you everasked him? Have you listened to his voice in the stillness? Only in his presence do we find strength. Here weface ourselves, but not alone, for he is here. Here we face God, and in facing him, we are restored and find an-swers, we find purpose, we find direction. Here, in the silence before God, listening to his still small voice, wefind our place. We know where “here” is when we meet God in the silence.Kind regards,The Rt. Revd Dr. Felix Orji
PAGE 3Lay Pastor David: David Basch HOLY VERSUS MEDo not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:11, NIV)It may surprise you to find that only two Old Testament passages refer to the "Holy Spirit." There are plenty ofreferences to "the Spirit of God," but the name we so often use occurs only in Psalm 51 and Isaiah 63. Andheres what those passages have in common: Gods holiness contrasted with our lack of it.The king after Gods own heart wrote Psalm 51 after the exposure of his sin with Bathsheba. Through theprophet Nathan, God had called out Davids adultery and murder. Two heinous sins. Add to them the secretsDavid was keeping to cover them up. The unholy stench was filling the palace, and maybe the only guy whowasnt catching a whiff of it was the source himself.But once the stink was pointed out to him, David showed why he had Gods heart. He fell into humble repen-tance. He saw the stark contrast between the unholiness of his actions and the holiness that is God. And hebegged for the continuance of Gods holy presence by His Spirit, the very holiness that exposed him.No slinking. No cowering. No disabling guilt.Just wretched honesty and a yearning for the One who had laid him out.But lets be certain of one thing: We cannot leave this to David alone. In Isaiah 63, the prophet recorded Godsobservation of His people (note the plural!). Despite His love for them, "they rebelled and grieved His HolySpirit" (v. 10). We are just as capable of unholy living as the most infamous sinners of all time. And each timewe sin, we draw the line again between God and us. His holiness cannot bear our sin. But oh, the wonder!--Hisforgiveness most certainly can! His grace is ours if we will return to it like David, coming with humble contri-tion.
PAGE 4Lay Pastor Mike: Cowboy’s Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas(1) Just one God.(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.(3) No telling tales or gossipin’.(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.(5) Put nothin’ before God.(6) No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal.(7) No killin’.(8) Watch yer mouth.(9) Don’t take what ain’t yers.(10) Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.Y’all git all that?Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth.
PAGE 5Bob Tipton: Scholar in Residence Changing “The Way We Are” Bob Tipton The “seven reasons (among many) why we are the way we are” described by Matt Kennedy should not bea surprise. The remedy suggested by Kennedy is “the painful process of re-catechizing the church from squareone.” This process is described as: “re-learning the gospel, rediscovering scripture, embracing the hard studyexposition demands.” And this was suggested for the pastors! But it was preparation for the real task of edu-cating the membership through adult education programs, Bible study under trained leaders, and active partici-pation in Bible study on the part of all members. St. Francis Anglican Church has taken the first step toward its rebirth as a faithful church. That step wasthe (costly) decision to be faithful to Jesus Christ. It has seemed like an entire journey—but we have accom-plished only the first stage of the journey. Now we must allow the Lord to re-create us into His image. Wecan benefit from some examples in history. Obviously there was the Reformation. There was the little-knownRestoration Movement. More recently there are some more practical (for us) examples. A fledgling pastor in London was assigned to a small church—tantamount to a modern “store front.” Inhis zeal, he applied his seminary training. Then, like all beginners (I suspect), he had difficulty deciding on thetopic for his sermons. He made a drastic decision: he would start with Genesis 1 and preach through the Bible.It took him three years to complete the survey. But the results were surprising—the church had grown appre-ciably and had become self-supporting. So he made another decision—he would “do it again.” This time ittook him seven years to complete the series and the church continued to grow. Then he made the monumental decision to preach again through the Bible. For him to finish, the churchhad to petition the denomination to allow him to preach past the mandatory retirement age. The result? Thatcongregation had become the largest in the denomination and was still growing. The pastor had been invitedto speak to the weekly meeting of the leading businessmen in central London. These businessmen paid for histeaching to be broadcast throughout all England. The demand for his sermons in print forced him to publishentire sets of Bible studies, some of which are still available. Just look for the writings of G. Campbell Mor-gan. They are inspiring. Or consider a pastor who retired to his life’s work: preaching through the Bible on the radio. You can hearhim in El Paso every weekday. His accent is “country Oklahoma.” His style is as dry and the dust bowl fromwhich he escaped to southern California. Nevertheless his ministry continues to grow long after his death. Heis currently heard literally around the world in many languages. His sermons were beamed beyond the IronCurtain for years and may have contributed to the survival of the church under the Communist rule. His audi-ence continues to grow and new languages are being added. All J. Vernon Magee did was teach the scriptureverse by verse. The only attraction I can see in the messages is the explanation of the text. Not really sermonsat all. A third modern phenomenon is the growth of Calvary Chapel. It was a “little country church” in southernCalifornia. A young minister was called—he had preached two years in each of two churches. His idea was topreach his hundred sermons and move on. But the location was attractive—he loved surfboarding. This meantthat he had to figure out how to have many more sermons. He hit on an idea: preach expository sermons. Justtake a book of the Bible and preach (teach) what is said. The norm became an hour sermon Sunday morning,
PAGE 6 another hour sermon Sunday evening, and an hour sermon one evening in the week. Incidentally, he is stillin Costa Mesa—but he preaches more sermons each week than he did. And he is preaching throughout theworld on radio and TV. Others, following his example, are preaching right here in El Paso and Las Cruces.The standard practice is two meetings on Sunday and one during the week—all expository (and by our stan-dards, LONG) sermons. Incidentally one church in Austin had three services on Sunday morning, two moreon Sunday evening, and three more evenings during the week. In addition most of the churches have dailyradio programs. Do you wonder why the church is growing? In each of these examples the Bible is central to the ministry. The people in the pews read, marked, andinwardly digested the truths they heard, and therefore they were prepared to give an answer to everyone whoasked the reason for the hope they shared (1 Peter 3.15). This should be our journey in the Lord Jesus Christ. Matt Kennedy, “Why North American Anglicans are the Way We Are,” StandFirm, April 30, 2012.
PAGE 7FROM THE EDITOR:“A father is a banker provided by nature.” — French ProverbTo be a successful father, there’s one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don’t look at it for the first twoyears.~ Ernest Hemingway.Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.~ Red Buttons“My grandfather always said that living is like licking honey off a thorn.” — Louis Adamic“I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in oneweek.” — Mario Cuomo“A father’s words are like a thermostat that sets the temperature in the house” ~ Paul Lewis “My father said, ‘Politics asks the question: Is it expedient? Vanity asks: Is it popular? But conscience asks: Isit right?’” — Dexter Scott King“Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” — Ruth E. Renkel“A man’s children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season”. — Un-known“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” — UnknownIt doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.~ Anne SextonA father is a man who expects his children to be as good as he meant to be.~ Carol CoatsThe most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.~ Henry Ward Beecher or Anjaneth Garcia Untalan, (not sure)“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” —Charles Wadsworth“Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” — Anne GeddesThe greatest gift I ever hadCame from God; I call him Dad!
PAGE 8MEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Now Studying COLLOSSIANS. Meets Wed. at 7:00 am (after6:30 worship) at our new church, 470 Eagle Drive. Breakfast included! All men are invited.WHILE YOU SPRING CLEAN: Save any items you are willing to part with for the Thrift Sale onSt. Francis Day, Oct. 6th. If you can’t store it, call Pat Tipton at 575-618-7133 and she will keep it in hercasita. Clothes (especially children’s clothes) will be accepted this year.LAVERDE CASA GROUP: Meets on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at 6:00pm Potluck supper and bible study. We will begin studying the book of James on May 20th. CallMike for more information: 490-5402.PASTORAL CARE: Please pray for Ed Azar, Ann May, Ann Peterson, Joe Fries, Mary Frances Keis-ling, Heather Stevens, Nancy Calvin, Midge McReynolds, Kay Lassiter, Ainsley Hines, Teacher Lin, Bill Bihn,Rob Elder, Mike Stowe, Mike Wicks, Jim Berg, Alberto Mena, Arne Stevenson, Wyatt Laverde, StephanieSmith, Mike Pomeroy, Aubrey Pomeroy, Diane Wildemann, Andrew Balsiger, Hazedl and Bishop TerenceKelshaw and Clay Gibson.MAKING A DIFFERENCE! Would you like to make a difference in a child’s life? Then join the StFrancis Anglican Church’s Mentoring Program. We will be mentoring 4th grade students at LBJ ElementarySchool in our new neighborhood. All that is required is 45 minutes of your time once a month and the cost of aschool lunch. The program will work like this --- Once a month you will have lunch with either one or two 4thgraders. Women will mentor girls and men the boys. These are children that the counselors have determinedare at risk of dropping out of school when they reach Middle School. Your job is to be a friend to them, talk tothem during lunch and get to know them. Find out what they are interested in and encourage them to stay inschool.We will have a training session for mentors on March 21st. Those of you who are interested will fill out a vol-unteer form so that EPISD can do a background check on each participant. We should be able to follow thesesame students next school year and help prepare them so that they will be successful in Middle School and be-yond. Just think, only 45 minutes of your time once a month can make a BIG difference to a child.The Lord has blessed St Francis Anglican Church so let’s pass those blessings on to our new neighbors andmake a difference in a child’s life!!!Respond to this e-mail at sudyt@hotmail or call me at 584-1978 if you are interested in helping a young per-son. Sudy Todd Laverde
PAGE 9STUDENT NEWS: Matthew Rindt was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa a few weeks ago and graduated fromBaylor University on May 12th.Youth Group Bible Studies and Activities: Wed. evenings from 6 to 8 pm. Call Trey forinformation as to location: 497-5195 or email at firstname.lastname@example.orgINTERCESSORY PRAYER: Jim and Martha Williams will be leading the Intercessory Prayer minis-try at St. Francis. Intercessory prayer will be offered in the library at 9:30am every Sunday morning. You arewelcome to join. It’s a time to pray for God’s power and blessing on our Sunday service. I asked them tolead this ministry and highly recommend it to you. -Canon FelixLAY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS & CHALICE BEARERS NEEDED: Please prayer-fully consider if God is calling you to this important ministry. Contact Bob Hamilton at581-2869.COMMUNITY OUTREACH - for May we will be accepting rice, beans or cereal for the CommunityBasket. There will be a collection basket in the west end entrance to the church. Next time you are in thegrocery store pick up an extra box of rice or beans and bring it to the church. Sudy Todd LETS TALK! If you have any suggestions or comments please call me at 581-1292 or 222-1729. Jim Uphoff, Editor
PAGE 10JUST FOR FUN ETC….Dad Wisdom: Growing old is inevitable; growing up is optional.Dad Wisdom: Raising a teenager is like nailing Jell-O to a tree!Dad Wisdom: Sweater: a garment worn by a child when a mother feels chilly.Dad Wisdom: Why, in a country of free speech, are there phone bills?Dad Wisdom: Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.Dad Wisdom: Half the people you know are below average.Dad Wisdom: I believe no problem is so large or so difficult that it can’t be blamed on somebody else.Dad Wisdom: I bought a house on a one-way dead-end road. I don’t know how I got there.Dad Wisdom: I finally got my head together and then my body fell apart.Dad Wisdom: I never start something that I am not going to fiDad Wisdom: I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done already.Dad Wisdom: Looking for a helping hand? There’s one on your arm.Dad Wisdom: Love is grand. Divorce is 20 grand.Dad Wisdom: Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.Dad Wisdom: Old age comes at a bad time.A father carries pictures where his money used to be.You’re old when you don’t care where your wife goes, Just so you don’t have to go along.Father’s Day brings out my paternal instincts. An hour of babysitting takes them away.
PAGE 11EVERY WEEK AT ST. FRANCIS… CLERGY AND STAFF BISHOP FELIX C. ORJI, Rector THE REV. DAPHNE ORGERON, DeaconSunday THE REV. Dr. MYLES CALVIN, Asst. Priest8:00 am Worship Service THE REV. CINDY ANDERSON, Asst. Priest10:00 am Worship Service DAVID BASCH, Lay Pastor10:00 am Children’s Sunday School THE REV. H. EUGENE MYRICK, Rector Emeritus MIKE LAVERDE, Lay Pastor (Pastoral Care) PAUL COLEMAN, Lay Pastor (Bible Study and Discipleship) STEVE ANDERSON, Lay Pastor (Evangelism and Missions) Child care is provided RANDALL CROSSLAND, Chair of Buildings and Grounds Dr. BOB TIPTON, Scholar in Residence LEA MAGRUDER, Director of Music, Church Secretary JOANN CASPER, Parish Administrator Monday SONIA LOPEZ, Sunday School Director7:00 pm Choir Practice LEA MAGRUDER, Secretary VESTRY Wednesday Bill Burton, Sr. Warden6:30 am Morning Prayer & Bible Study Bill Stevens, Jr. Wardenweekly at the church. Mark Musgrave, Treasurer7:00 pm Bible Study; Parish Prayer Meeting— Justin Benedict, Sonny Brown, Bill Burton, Jason Chapman, Elvia Crossland, Sonia Lopez, David1st Wed. of the month Moody, Bernard Moye, Ron Munden, Kirk6:00—8:00pm Youth Bible Study Rosenlund, Pam Slusher, Melinda Skillern, Bill Stevens, Kevin Coleman (Youth rep.) **** FRANCISCAN : Editor; Jim Uphoff Staff; Neva Uphoff, Loy Doty Inside this issue: From The Bishop Page 1 Lay Pastor David Page 3 Lay Pastor Mike Page 4 Bob Tipton Page 5 From the Editor Page 7 St Francis Happenings Page 8 Just For Fun Page 10