Core Convictions #1

Beyond Patmos – Sermon Series – Pastor Frank

06/07/15 – Revelation 1:9-19 – Core Conviction #1

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Don’t Be A Cheater

5/05/13 – Series:  Anchor Points #12 – Scripture Ephesians 4:28-32

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Sermon Description:  “Should people cheat God?  Yet you have cheated me!  You ask “When did we ever cheat You?” – You have cheated Me in tithes and offerings due Me”.  Malachi 3:8

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What is Ministry?

What is Ministry?

4/14/13 – Series:  Anchor points #10:  Scripture  Ephesians 4:11-13

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Sermon Description:  Anchor Point #10 ~ “You are living stones that God is building into His Spiritual Temple.”  1st Peter 2:5(a)

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Christ Center Wesleyan Church – Core Value #1, Biblical

WHAT WE VALUE
Christ Center Wesleyan Church, Core Value #1 – Biblical
In your auto travels you have probably noticed that almost omnipresent, super-hip, blue and white bumper sticker that spells out the word COEXIST by using various symbols of the world’s religions, such as the crescent moon of Islam, the Star of David of Judaism, the Cross of Christianity, etc…..

It’s really eye-catching and thought provoking. Lots of people resonate with this idea of world religions learning to co-exist, hand in hand, as we sing a massive version of “We are the World” worldwide! You might say that the concept is “so Sedonan!” What a wonderful notion to just get along.

But behind this idea of coexisting stands the philosophic notion that all religious ideals and revelations are equal in weight; a sort of truth equivalency where no group can claim spiritual superiority. The claim goes something like this ~ All religious books are equal, from The Bible to the Bhagavad Gita; all the varieties of spiritual experience are equal; all dogmas and doctrines are equal. I am convinced that pushed hard and long enough, this equivalency view of world religion would ultimately homogenize the uniqueness of these traditions into one big, bland bowl of tepid, irrelevant, religious schmaltz! In fact, it is happening.

 

I don’t have space or time to address all of these issues in detail, but I would like to now make a quick defense for the superiority of the Bible in comparison to the other foundational books of world religions. I am frequently shocked when some half baked scholar or TV journalist refers to The Bible and the Quran in the same breath. I always find myself asking, “Have these people actually studied these books? If they had devoted real time to study , there is no possible way, that they could be referred to as equivalent!”

Just consider for a moment the difference in historical and geographic accuracy. Dozens of archaeological digs in Israel have been guided by the Bible and have come up with pay dirt. Why? Because the Bible contains accurate information that is relevant to this day. Many of the most renowned archaeologists, alive and dead, have praised the Bible for its assistance. The Quran, The Vedas, The Upanishads and on the list goes, have only received minimal citation in the field of archaeology.

Now, I use this comparison to make a point. If the Bible is accurate historically and geographically, it is safe to say that the other information it contains, such as the account of Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection, are in fact accurate too.

 

But don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself. 

Christ Center Church is an intentional community comprised of deeply committed people who have discovered that The Bible is nothing less than The Word of God. We are building our lives on the Authority, Reliability and Truth of God’s Word and we are finding God’s blessing and His guidance in the process.

 

From the Desk of Pastor Frank 1.10.13

It’s official: Christ Center has launched 2013 right by having a 72 hour prayer and praise vigil in our Sanctuary starting on Day 1 and ending on Day 4! 

 

As we began this vigil, we learned that one of our sister church in Sedona,Solid Rock, had planned another 24 hour prayer vigil in their Sanctuary  starting a minute after ours ended for a total of 96 hours of prayer. With all this prayer now in place, I am confident that the collective mission of the churches of Sedona to reach our town for Jesus Christ is moving forward in a remarkable way in 2013. What I am saying is “God’s got plans, He will see them through and we get to come along for the ride!”

 

Our inspiration for our vigil came from Hosea 6:1-3, which is a great theme verse for any church or individual that is seeking to draw nearer to God. We know that the Prophet Hosea was dealing with the rampant idolatry of the  Northern Kingdom when God sent this download (about 760 B.C.). The tone of judgment after judgment against the idolaters radically shifts to a merciful offer ~ “Come on, let’s return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but He will heal us, etc.” It goes on to say that “restoration and newness” are as sure to come as the arrival of the dawn and the spring rains.”

  This image of “the certainty of dawn” was graphically brought home every early morning of the vigil. Here we were, about 8 of us worshiping God at Zero Dark Thirty, looking out into the pitch black through our Sanctuary’s famous window and as we continued to look at apparent nothingness the outline of “Snoopy Rock” was gaining more definition ever so slightly  as the dawn’s light slowly broke around it. As Hosea had prophesied, God’s blessing was a sure thing. By 7:30, we were flooded by the light.

 

We had 6 hours of praise time planned during the course of the vigil. When I say “planned” what I mean is, time was set aside for praise with the Worship Team, but nothing was planned as far as song selection. It seemed with each session of praise, we got better at hearing what the Holy Spirit wanted us to sing, so by the time we got to the final hour, we were in an amazing sync with God. It was one of the most blessed times of praise I can remember.

So, what are the lessons learned from this vigil?

 

First, things like spiritual refreshment, healing, restoration are available for those who are in the Spiritual doldrums, but these things must be sought. These blessing are not gained by accident. We don’t have to be weak, dull and lifeless in our journey with God. We can be refreshed – but we need to pursue it with zeal.

 

We also learned that there are no short cuts or tricks in the spiritual life. Times of solitude and silence can be difficult for seriously distracted people like myself, but once we get the “plague of flies” out of our heads, here is the Presence of the Lord. He was there the whole time, we were just being absurd (the Latin word “surdis” means “deaf”) but now we can hear Him.

 

(Listen to Pastor Frank’s Complete Teaching Series on Boldness, Refreshing and Restoration in the Lord.)  

click on:  www.sedonachristcenter.org

One other item we learned, but it will have to verified later. I don’t think Christ Center is going to have a problem with our future vigils. None of us had ever been part of a 72 hour vigil (I set the length based on verse 2 in the Hosea 6 passage; it was going to take 3 days). We rolled through the 72 hours so smoothly, I would venture to say it was breeze. Folks are telling me that want to do it again and soon.

 

Let us keep our eyes open to see How God answers our prayers from this vigil, and let us keep pressing on toward the Heavenly prize.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Pastor Frank
Christ Center Wesleyan Church