Ordean Nelson, FBC,
June has arrived and along with the Cimarron wind the winds of change have also arrived in the lives of many people. High School Graduation has been held, most if not all of the universities have also already held their ceremonies. There are also many that may be thinking about a June wedding just around the corner. This time of year often brings about changes in the relationships we have cherished. For many of these relationships are ones many have had since childhood. This week I want to talk to the High School graduates who in many cases have been friends through thick and thin having grown up together you are all of a sudden looking at a new dynamic with these longtime school friend relationships.
First, you are faced with a societal change, the community considers you to be adults now with adult responsibilities. The tolerance they once may have had for childish things are suddenly no longer as easily tolerated. Second, you now need to learn to take care of your own financial needs. (Hopefully with a little safety net called parents.) I know that many of you have been working for many years but now it is serious you are now to become your own provider to learn the responsibilities such as finding employment. Third, you are now being held accountable for their actions when you make a bad decision you learn to live with the results. It is time now to take these things into consideration. No longer are you able to say I am just a child and my parents will be responsible for me. You have now suddenly become a part of the adult society and are responsible for yourself in ways not yet experienced in life. (I Cor. 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, (woman) I put away childish things.) Many will be faced with making life changing decisions about the future, hopefully with the good council of those who love them, no longer is the responsibility squarely on someone else’s shoulder but on your shoulders. Many will be separating from their friends to pursue their dreams whatever they would be. A great adventure does lies ahead of you. Opportunity abounds for those willing to work hard to attain their goals in life. Parents also go along with this adventure as we are observers of this process sometimes to be asked for advice sometimes to give advice even when not asked. I went through this with my children, as in my experience other parents too will groan with or about their children as they make their decisions good or bad.
Graduates, enjoy this summer with your friends, for when you return from where you have gone, these relationships will seem to be different. You will still be friends, and have many great memories together but something has changed. This change I think comes due to your growth as you seek the highway to reaching your goals in life. These are your childhood friends precious and important but in the process that you will be going through these relationships do change. One of the most traumatic experiences I ever faced was when I met up with a very old friend from my youth I discovered there was an ocean of difference in our lives and even though we were best friends earlier in life we had virtually nothing in common except for our childhood memories. Change is inevitable it will come to all. To be sure you will make new and great friends along the paths of your life that will be very special. I know that this is one of God’s gifts to us providing for us new relationships as we begin new phases in our lives.
I have one relationship to tell you about that you need to know about. Many of you may already have this relationship in your life but some may not. It’s a relationship that brings stability to the unstableness of life. When life pulls you up short and it will, this relationship will be there for you to hang on to. You may find many people will abandon you along the way when you are no longer fulfilling their needs. Jesus will never abandon you. Proverbs 18:24 tells us, “but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” That friend is Jesus. He is my friend and has never left me. Throughout my life Jesus has be that one constant that I could always depend upon. One of the reasons for this is that Jesus doesn’t change because of circumstances. Many friends will leave you when times are difficult but Jesus stays the same, Yesterday today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 One of the qualities of Jesus is that He is driven not by what He can receive from you but because He loves you; without any question, or qualification. You do not have to change for Him to love you He loves you as you are. When you experience His love for you then that love will change you. You are now embarking on a new phase in your life; spiritual things may or may not be a priority with you. But I would ask that you consider this. If you could enter a relationship that you knew would only be a positive in your life wouldn’t you consider what He is offering you? First, He reminds us that we all need what He has to offer; Romans 3:23; (we are all sinners) That there is a cost (we now are responsible for our actions) that we cannot pay Romans 6:23; Yet even though we do not have a solution within ourselves He provides us with a solution Romans 5:8 If we can believe this by faith we confess and believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be. Romans 10:9 When you do this you will be saved Romans 10:13 which is our guarantee. This is important, maybe the most important thing you will decide in your life. If you have questions seek out a person who already has a relationship with Jesus and talk to them.
Psalm 51 has always been a Refuge Psalm for sinful souls on their pilgrimage towards Heaven’s wide-open gates.
Romans 3:23 and several other verses drive home the point that “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.” A quick trip to the hospital or cemetery will prove that point. If you are not a sinner, you don’t get sick and die!
One of the most comforting truths of Christianity is the absolute assurance that we are “Justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Far too many preachers beat the religious snot out of their flocks on TV, and in the pew by moralizing law oriented messages. We are saved only by Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.
Why do we not appreciate the Gospel truth as we should? Where is the joy? Christianity is intended to be joyful, not a religion of killjoy, wet-blanket crepe-hangers. It is because we make the error of comparing our sins with others “Who are more wicked than we are.”, not sensing our own great need of God’s merciful forgiveness in Christ? What is Saint David telling us in Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation.”?
After eating at a restaurant, waitresses must completely clear the table, even though some utensils, plates, cups, glasses and saucers are less soiled than others. All must be washed for future use.
Every sinner must be washed in the blood of God’s Lamb, Jesus. If our sins are not washed away in Christ’s precious blood, even an asbestos suit will not prevent us from sizzling when Judgement Day rolls around.
When we stop comparing ourselves with other people and honestly look at ourselves in the perfect mirror of God’s holiness, we can see our need of God’s forgiveness in Christ’s death on Calvary’s Cross. Then we rejoice in His mercy. Then we have that soft peace which passes all human understanding. Then we get busy, not judging others, but sharing the Good News, that God forgives sin!
God Bless your whole week and the rest of your life.
May 24th, 2008 “Come now, and let us reason together,” say Washington bureaucrats. “It’s time to raise your taxes!” So what else is new? The price of petroleum products continue to rise and each visit to fuel pumps brings a spike in blood pressure. Until ethanol experiments took off, Dollar General sold popcorn packets at four per box for a buck. Now you buy three per box! AND SO IT GOES IN THE SECULAR KINGDOM!
By the way, what do you call a cowboy who works for the IRS? A taxes ranger!
In the Spiritual Kingdom, the eternal salvation of our souls is still free. It is wonderfully, totally different than paying for earthly merchandise. It is not like getting a paycheck for which we labor. Salvation is still an absolutely free gift of God’s grace in Christ’s death and resurrection.
Isaiah 55:1 says: “He that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine (NOT GRAPE JUICE) and milk (NOT CRACKERS) without money and without price.” When St. Paul writes in Romans 3:24 that those who believe in Christ are “freely justified by His grace,” He emphasizes that salvation is in no way, shape or form a reward for being “goody-two-shoes Christians.”
No one deserves to be saved. By our sins in thoughts, words and deeds we deserve eternal condemnation. Even our most sterling of good works need God’s forgiveness. In trying to be rid of our sin and guilt via the good we do,
However, while God fully forgives all sin and freely gives us eternal life, grace is not cheap. Sin’s debt was so exceedingly great, so great that no mere, puny human being could pay the price of God’s economy, He did all the doing that needed to be done. Nothing less that the redemption which is in Christ Jesus could bring about our everlasting rescue.
“Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of the Lamb without blemish and without spot.” While commercial prices go up and bureaucrats find ways to tax air, sunshine, moonshine, etc., God’s free grace in Christ is still that, FREE! No Wonder we can use heaven to praise God’s Lamb for sinners slain!
by Jerry Coldren
Keyes United Methodist
It has been an honor and pleasure to share the month of April in “Minister’s Musings” with the wonderful people of Cimarron County. Thanks to you C. F. David for providing Cimarron County the opportunity to hear from the Minister’s and Pastors of the Cimarron County Ministerial Alliance.
Let everyone keep praying for the needed rain/moisture. As you have heard and read, prayer is a powerful thing when used by God’s people.
I would like to ask a question of those who do not attend Church anywhere. WHY? As a Pastor and a Christian I am always asking people where they attend Church. One might be surprised at the different responses I receive. Several times when a person responds that they go to such-in-such Church, when I have shared with the Pastor of such-in-such Church that I had a visit with this person/family who said they attended and were members of his church, the Pastor would reply they were either not members and he could not remember when they last attended services/fellowship at the church.
Of course there are many who have not attended a church anywhere because they have never been invited. Is that the case in Cimarron County? When is the last time you invited someone to your church? Did you offer to come by and pick them up? Many will give excuses why they do not regularly attend or never attend.
I visited with a family where I previously ministered who said they were turned away from such-in-such church because they were not dressed properly. I asked them, were you not wearing any clothes? They replied they were wearing what they were wearing at that moment. I wonder how Jesus would have been received if had tried to attend services at that church.
As Christians we have been commissioned by Jesus to invite others to come to him as the head of the Church. Sure we have many names above the doors and on the signs in front of the churches we attend, but Jesus Christ is the head pastor of His church.
In fact one of the meanings of “church” is the people who gather together on a regular basis in a building to worship and praise God and his son Jesus Christ. We have to understand that “The Church” is not a building, but the people who gather in unity under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to worship and praise God.
May all of us who comprise The Church be bold enough, have enough courage, enough faith, enough of God’s love for others to reach outside the four walls of the buildings The Church occupies to bring others into the fellowship of The Church. April 23rd 2008.
Our county got a “little” rain/moisture. Praise God. But we need to continue to lift our voices and prayers to the Most High God so we will receive the correct amount needed to have a good crop this year and that the yields will be good. Also that the crop of calves will be good and healthy.
Let’s not forget the National Day of Prayer services to be held on May 1 at First Christian Church Boise City at 7:00 p.m. Everyone in our county is invited to come and join others in prayer for the needs of our Nation, State, County, Communities, families, and continued blessings.
“Prayer” has been noted several times in my “Minister’s Musings.” Could it be that prayer is one of the most important disciplines a person can have in their everyday living? Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have against the evil that tries to beset all humankind. The evil that comes against our children, our communities, our church’s, our Nation and it’s leaders. I read in a commentary – “Exclusive of the Psalms, which form a prayer-book on their own, the Bible records no fewer than 650 definite prayers, of which no less than 450 have recorded answers”.
A simple definition of prayer is the desire, opportunity, and privilege to talking with God. In Genesis, in the Garden; this is what God did with Adam & Eve. God came to the Garden; He walked and talked with them. I believe this is what all humankind is still wanting today – wanting to walk and talk with God. To speak to Him and to hear from Him personally and as the Church.
We who call ourselves Christian, let us be united in our prayers for our Church’s, Pastor’s, and for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour to be lead in a prayer of faith to accept Christ by one who knows Jesus Christ personally. In other words ask God to put someone of faith in the path of a lost one to lead the lost one to Jesus. That someone may be you or me! Be prepared!
by Jerry Coldren
Keyes United Methodist
April 20, 2008
I have learned since moving to Cimarron County this area of the panhandle depends on sufficient moisture and rain for good crops and economy. I understand that this area is blessed with subsurface water that can be used for irrigation, but we still need moisture and rain for the land without irrigation. We are blessed with a lot of sunshine the year around. That I have experienced! (along with the ever-present wind)
Now to the problem at hand. Problem – Moisture and rain for our crops and economy. Answer -Where but to the Lord do we go for help in times like now. I understand from the last census there are approximately 3,000 men, women, and children living in Cimarron County.
Of these who are the ones who pray faithfully? Of these who are the ones who lift their voices in praise to God? Of these who are the ones who give thanks daily to God for His blessing in their lives? Of these who are the ones who read and study their bibles daily so they know more about the One who sent His Son to die for the sins of all humankind? Of these who are the ones who share their faith in Jesus Christ with others? I am not sure how many churches there are in Cimarron County, but I am sure there is one that will minister to the spiritual needs of the 3,000 men, women, and children living in our county.
As I said in my first Minister’s Musings the people who live in Cimarron County are God’s people. It is by God’s mercy, grace, and love for these people that they have what they have. None of us who live in Cimarron County are without God’s blessings in our lives. When one stops and thinks (one of God’s blessings, we all can think and reason) about our lives, we did not get here or have what we have without some divine help from God.
We are blessed in Cimarron County to have wonderful Pastors sent by God to minister to God’s people. Yes, all of us in Cimarron County are God’s people. I think that sometimes we forget whom we belong to, who loves us with an undying and etej?fial love, who wants to be a part of our lives regardless who we are. We need to let God know and show God that we are grateful for what He has done in our lives, for His blessings, His grace, His mercy, and His son Jesus Christ.
I do not write to condemn (Satan does that), but to remind all of us of our heritage. Our forefathers, parents, and other pioneers who came before us came with a faith mat God would see them through the good and the tough times if they would honor Him through their service to take care of this great land and give Him the honor and glory He so richly deserves.
The last thing I would remind the people in Cimarron County of is the National Day of Prayer on May 1. The Cimarron County Ministerial Alliance will be holding an observance and prayer service of this opportunity. For the people of Cimarron County to come together on Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m. at the First Christian Church, Boise City to pray for our County needs, our National needs, the needs of the people, and to thank the Most High God for His Son Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit.
by Jerry Coldren
Keyes United Methodist
April 16, 2008
Being a new Pastor in Cimarron County (since June 2007) I would like to share some first impressions of the County and the people who live here in the most western county of Oklahoma. I guess I should let you know I came here from Northeastern OK, Chelsea, 45 miles northeast of Tulsa on old highway 66 between Claremore and Vinita. Pastoring a two point (church) appointment there for eight years.
Now about Cimarron County.
When I arrived in Keyes the first week of June 2007 my grandson, his dad and a school friend drove up from Denton, TX to help unload the moving truck. Being proud of the two new churches we drove out to the Marella Church, which is surrounded, by wheat fields. As we were leaving the church the grandson (age 19) made this statement, “Grandpa there sure is a lot of nothing out here.” As you can guess he was raised in big cities.
As I was thinking about my first Minister’s Musing, my grandson’s statement came to mind. This thought came; I have been here ten months now. Though one can see from horizon to horizon in all directions and not really see much but miles of fields, pastures, a grain elevator or two, some oil production, and a few trees — there are people who live here in what appears to some to be nothing.
The Lord spoke to my spirit saying, “What appears to be nothing to many people who pass through this land, is something to me! I created this land for my people; my people live and die here. This land and die people belong to me; the one who created it. They are a special people, those who live on the land I created. For many years they – their families before them who settled this land have endured hardships. They worked hard and were faithful to the land. I blessed them in their labors of the land and in the raising their families. This is my land and my people — they are something to me!”
Yes, the people of Cimarron County belong to God.-‘Scriptures say all of us are created in his likeness and image. This is something I am reminded of daily as I perform my duties as a Pastor of two churches and to the people of Cimarron County. I believe all Cimarron County Pastors believe this. It is what makes living in this great land great. It is what makes the people great as they love and respect each other as Jesus Christ has instructed in scripture.
A paraphrase – “As for me and my house, I plan to live here for a long time!” See you next week.
by Frank Lynch
Boise City Pentecostal
is the latest fad among religionists. One of the attributes of this fad is that it is a post modern rejection of absolutes. They state that with so many denominations and all the variance in theology, it becomes uncomfortable trying to take a position. There is a measure of truth in this. There are approximately 1400 Christian groups out there all claiming they are the right one. People observing this are liable to reject them all. So, now we have this group who do so. They believe you can come closer to the truth through narrative and dialogue. This does pose a threat to all of us. We do tend to refuse to accept objective criticism.
I really don’t mind the criticism. It will make me think. We could sure use a lot more of that in the church world. But there is one thing that really rattles my hocks. They are opposed to evangelism. To me, this doesn’t fit as emerging theology as much as it does submerging theology. The Old Gospel Ship is sinking. Can we bail it out? I got me a bucket. Heave to laddies!
“I am an Apostle.”
Don’t laugh, this person really made that claim. Thirty years ago or so we would say that this person was suffering delusions of grandeur. Today, we usually just walk across the room and stare. What about this? Should I just accept everything that’s coming down the pike or should I challenge them. Revelation 2:2, Jesus commends the Ephesian Church for trying those who claimed to be Apostles and found them to be liars. Yet Philippians 2:25 calls Epaphroditus “messenger” which is Apostolon in Greek. So, there were other Apostles besides the original 12. Ephesians says that he gave some Apostles which is one of the four-fold ministries given to the church. There were Apostles , prophets, evangelists and teaching shepherds. In my fifty years as a Christian I believe that I could name two that I am certain were truly Apostles. But today I get a sort of queezy feeling in my gut when I hear this. That’s because those that have made that claim have not paid their dues in being faithful to a church or in the sufferings of an Apostle. Those I have observed are too shallow to possess credibility. I don’t wish to anger God by being incredulous but I tend to be skeptical.
Is there some criterion we could set up to at least reasonably make a preliminary judgment? How about this:
1 Do they have the signs of an Apostle?
2 Do they have the sufferings of an Apostle?
3 Do they have the orthodoxy of an Apostle?
This should eliminate about 99% of the charlatans. Personally, I am satisfied with just being a Christian who loves Jesus with all his heart.
Life is a gift.
But, what about hereafter? Throughout my 48 years of ministry I have heard all kinds of theories. And I never cease to marvel how those who are obviously very close to departure do not seem to be concerned about hereafter. There are all kinds of theories about life after death but all but one have to be in error. Which one is correct? Someone asked Lord Bertrand Russell, scientist, philosopher and atheist if he would be willing to die for what he believed and he answered, “Why of course not, I could be wrong!” At least he was honest but is it sensible to be honestly wrong?
Jesus was willing to die for what he believed and die he did. And he died in my place on that old rugged cross. But he didn’t stay dead. He rose up out of that tomb and sits alive at the right hand of his Father making intercession for us. Once I scoffed but now I sit in wonder. Atheism seems to me to be mindless and illogical. Most atheists that I have known were convinced to be atheists by someone else. Someone asked me one time whether there was any evidence of the existence of God. I returned the question and asked whether there was any evidence that he does not exist. So we are all one breath away from being believers.
Surely Jesus did not die in vain. Did he? If I believe, he did not. If I do not believe, he did. I believe!
May God’s Blessings Be On All The People of Cimarron County!