The Body Church Vision Cast 9.26.15

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The Vision Casting Saturday the 26th was a great step toward The Vision of 2016!  (Prezi can be scene here).

The presentation featured not only the casting of the vision for the church, but an outline of the who’s what’s and how’s to achieve the vision set for the Kingdom of God.  I presented the 2016 theme, “Let’s Grow Together!” to those gathered, encouraging believers to join the studies and launch the worship service for personal growth. vision6

The saying “Membership is Discipleship” was spoken into the atmosphere to help set the ground work for the church that will focus on building people.    Attendants were asked 3 Discipleship Questions:

1. Who are you following?
2. Who is following you?
3. Who are you serving?

These questions are key to the discipleship process, ensuring that one is has a mentor to teach them and be accountable to, have someone they are responsible for developing and showing the love of Christ by serving others.

Currently, the church has 2 Bible Study groups that meet each week for study and fellowship.  The 2015 goal is to develop 5 groups to 25 members in an effort to transition the weekly Discipleship Groups into a weekly Corporate Worship Service.

vision3Members and interested attendants can participate in the direction of the 2016 Corporate Worship Service with this survey.  Those interested in leading/hosting one of the new Discipleship Groups can sign up here.

The leadership team is planning two more vision castings.  There will be an additional meeting in Tomball, and a meeting in Cypress.   Subscribe to the Word Press Blog or the thebodytx.org newletter.

Johnny Ogletree, III
The Body Church
TheBodyChurchTX@gmail.com
832-534-2380

If Horton Hears a Who; Then I Know He Hears You!

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2 Samuel 22:7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

As I read the 7th verse of Chapter 22, I was impacted by the imagery created by God’s Word! One can see our mighty God siting high, and looking low, actively involved, and patiently waiting. Much like a life guard, He watches over His creation as it creates both life and death with its own actions, leading one towards life to the full, and saving others from the penalty of their sins.Horton-Hears-a-Who

Our God is larger than creation, as creation was drawn from within Him via His Word which manifested His thoughts from design to product to productive. God holds the world in the palm of His hand, and props His feet up on the earth for a foot stool. No matter how large are massive we get with our unhealthy eating, to the Lord we are more like the people of whoville. To Him, we are tiny specs in size! Our entire life story with full edits and commentary take up less than 1 mb of ram on a mind that is able to hold and remember every single detail, but never creeps close to storage issues because of His constant forgiveness and the erasing of past deeds that have been forgiven and forgotten.

This God maintains personal relationships with each of us, and as no respecter of persons, serves us all with the same love and compassion. This holy God sits in eternity, clothed in righteousness, surrounded by the praise of the Angels and accompanied by praise and worship from His creations. And amidst all this, God is able to hear not just the chorus of praise, but the voice of need.  Though He could sit back and see His job as finished through Christ, He still has compassion for His creation and our experience on earth.

I thank God that He is listening!  I am grateful that He just doesn’t hear us from the buildings, but that He hears our voice without intercessor, go between and or a specific facility.  God has placed His Spirit is us, making our bodies His temple!  From within us, we can cry out with our own words, and when we can’t figure out what to say, He even allows the Spirit to utter groaning’s and sounds, giving us the ability to release our tongues and speak in a Holy language to Him!

I love that Horton is attentive and patient.  While other walk around absorbed in themselves, Horton inclines His ears towards this flower that represented just a small piece of his surroundings, and sought to hear a voice that represented even a smaller portion of the larger creation.  In the same way, I celebrated knowing that Horton is not our God, and while his character example is admirable, He fails with the rest of us in meeting the standard of character set by our God.

 

And I Would Have Gotten Away With it……. Genesis 9:19-25

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The Title of this message was drawn from one of my favorite childhood cartoons.  Scooby Doo, the iconic show, was built on a frame of a story line, which had a formula that was consistent, but a story line that was ever changing.  The rotated in villains and mysteries to solve, changed scenes and characters, but the main cast and conclusion always remained the same.  Each week, it seemed the group would capture the villain, and unmask him/her in front of a confused and scared audience.  After a brief confession, the evildoer would conclude, “…and I would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” scoobydoo

We live in a generation of exposers!  It seems that our lives revolve around storylines, plots and schemes, filled with detective work, stakeouts, undercover work and the likes.  Day after day, we search for the latest trending topic and post, waiting for the great mysteries of the lives of those around us to be revealed.  Truth be told, both kid and adult alike, keep their phones and technology handy, ready to break the next story and expose the sins and shame of our fellow brother or sister.  It seems that we are all to eager to tag people in post that feature videos and photos with full descriptions and dehumanizing titles designed to drive plays; with the hopes of going viral at someone’s expense.

In this passage, we find our hero Noah, caught by his youngest son in an uncompromising situation.  He has gotten drunk off of the wine that was made from the very garden he planted post flood.  Just verses ago, he walked off the ship and God entered into covenant with both he and his sons, yet Noah made a mistake in his personal walk.  As if the mistake wasn’t bad enough, his son Ham walks in and sees him in his sin.  Even worse, he leaves the tent, gets his oldest brothers and exposes him

First we looked at the difficulties experienced by the Ham.  It is hard for a child to see their parents flesh and still encounter them as spirit.  For the early years, Ham experienced his father as the man whom God identified as having been blameless for 600 years.  Now in one moment, all he has known or thought has now been brought into question from a different.  His immaturity then causes him to share what he has found with his older siblings.  He makes the wrong decision.  The tendency of a child, once they discover their parents sin is follow the pattern of Ham.  In exposing his father, Ham was disrespecting him.  He loss appreciation for the man who had not only given him life, but to the very one whose life saved his life.

Think it ironic that Noah righteousness was what kept Ham alive.  When God searched the earth, His focal point was the life of Noah who had walked blameless for 600 years, and then followed that walk with obedience in building the ark.  It was this life and obedience that was chosen, not that of Ham.  Furthermore, the blessing and covenant that Ham has received was due to his connection with his father and not his own personal walk with the Lord.  Even Hams knowledge of who the Lord is due to his father.

Ham like many of us, in this generation of exposers, seeks to make Noah’s moment, his life!  Why is it that we seek to document a moment in time, and use that moment to erase the past, and rewrite the future?  Had Ham been alive today, he would have taken a photo, meme’d it, grabbed a couple of video clips, placed them on worldstarhiphop and youtube, contact TMZ and sold the story and the rights to make a profit!   Mind you, Noah had 600 years of righteousness, and is now being defined by Ham, and potentially others by one mistake.  This is today’s generation.  We “comment”, “like”, “retweet” and post people into their graves, forcing them to be in a constant state of defense of their character.

noahdrunkNoah fell into sin a righteous man, and awoke a man that had been violated by those closest to him.  Thus he awoke from his stupor and cursed his seeds seed!  Exposing sin, will Expose you and your seed to Curses.  Though it was not Hams intent, Noah was so bothered by his actions, that the words that followed placed those to follow Ham into strife with others.  Much like the Hatfields and McCoys, Ham now sat in a sub-servant role and the generations to follow would always stand opposed to their relatives as Noah passed on his blessing through Shem first and Japheth as he followed Shem.  This, much like today!  We are living in a time where strife is common.  It has been passed down from generation to generation, and has caused us to war against each other, and treat each other as less than.

Though many would feel comforted by the fact that Ham received the blessing just as his father and brothers did, we are privy to follow the journey of Ham’s lineage.  Though he too was blessed by the Lord, and able to live and his seed thrive and prosper, he was unable to feel the full blessing of the Lord because his sin caused them to live at odds with God’s people.  His disrespect to his father caused him to exist outside of the covenant that was coming to Abraham.  You can have the blessing of being under one covenant, and miss the next covenant.   

One of the nuances of the passage is the ease that Ham had both seeing and exposing, but the efforts Shem and Japheth went through not to see their father naked.  They placed his garment on their shoulders, walked in backwards with their face turned away.  It’s easy to Expose ones Sin, and hard to Cover ones Sin.  Shem and Japheth decided not to view their father in his sin.  The maintained respect for him and appreciation for him in his fallen state.  This is what we should be ascribing to do.  Find it not unique that our Lord could see every sin every committed, and chose to take upon the sin of the world on His shoulders and die for mankind.

His blood is Noah’s garment!  He has chosen to cover us and to see us as righteous, though we lay before him as sinful people not worthy to be in his presence.  Though He had the right to expose us, He chose to cover us and to restore us to our former glory.  He like Shem and Japheth went through many difficulties to cover us, but stayed committed to the task and made the sacrifice needed to keep us in relationship with one another.

In conclusion, we looked at Noah as the Man of God.  Find it not a coincident that the story of his falls list him as “a man of the soil” (V. 20).  In other words, even after 600 years, God knew he was still prone to fail.  We looked at the phenomenon of church hoppers.  Those treating the local church as they do their social clubs and or social outlets.  Here they are under the leadership, anointing and covering of the Man of God, and after one mistake, Ham is ready to redefine him and offer his righteousness up for public question.

It is always interesting to talk to people who have left their place of worship after the failing of the Pastor or leadership of the congregation.  Its as though one moment erases a life time of prayers, hospital visits, baptisms, teachings, healing, counseling, jail visits, financial support, weddings, funerals, hugs and tears!  One moment, and the one who covered you now somehow becomes unworthy to be called a Man of God.  Not that a Man/Woman of God should be allowed to live a life of sin and accepted in his disobedience to the Word of the Lord, but it would seem that the same forgiveness applied in restoring the sheep could be applied to the shepherd.  Yet, we continue to find sheep searching for the shephards flaws, waiting to catch and to expose the shephard and reveling in being the one to expose his flaws to the world.  Why?

Why?  See, the difficult task that lay before Noah isn’t made private.  Noah walked with the Lord and would eventually have to speak to the Lord about his sin.  Though we might revel in the public crucifixion of God’s chosen vessels, its the private visitation of the Lord that is the most challenging.  Standing before the Lord, will always be more challenging than standing before man when a man heart is truly sensitive to the Lord!  Though this painful moment lay ahead, the actions of Ham have added more to do to the plate of Noah.  Though no others witnessed His nakedness, the word about his shame had no doubt reached the other members of the family, so much that he had to address it publicly.

Save Ham, Noah would have only had to deal with the Lord.    And hence the title of this message, ” And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”

#PastorJDO3