Words from the Pastor

I was messaging back and forth this morning with a friend whose husband has been in the hospital for two and one half weeks and doesn’t seem to be getting any better. He is unconscious and on a breathing machine, his kidneys had failed and it has been a rough go for him. I asked her how she was holding up and she wrote, “The enemy is so good at this game. My time in prayer and in God’s Word hasn’t been this wonderful in a couple of years, and every time I see a glimmer, he (Satan) tries to snuff it out. But I have to remember that through Jesus I have power over him. So, please pray for me that I can remember that.” I wrote back to her, “Amen!” and I quoted John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Did you read those words? “Have it to the full!” King James says, “I am come that they might have life and that more abundantly.” Are we living life to the full brothers and sisters? You do realize that “life to the full” doesn’t have anything to do with our circumstances don’t you? Like the man that asked his brother in Christ, “How are you doing?” To which the second man answered, “Pretty good under the circumstances!” “Well what are you doing under them?” the first man asked? Are we allowing our circumstances to dictate our mood brothers and sisters? Are we telling God that we don’t like what He is doing in our life and that it would be so much easier if He would let us be in control of this situation? But understand this, God is a lot smarter than we are! He knows what it’s going to take in our lives to mature us into the Christian He wants us to be. And when we came to Christ and gave our lives to Him we essentially gave Him the deed to our lives and said, “Here Jesus, do whatever You need to do get me to the place where I can have and live that abundant life.” Paul says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 3:11-13).” In other words, no matter what our circumstance are, we can be overcomers in Jesus! All we need to do is take our strength form Him! Jesus is the answer that we need to everyone of our problems and issues! He can make all things new in Him. All we need to do is hold on and allow Him to pull us through the storm. He is faithful, just trust Him. Please let me know if you need anything. Naomi and I love you all. -Pastor Steve
from Canelo Cowboy Church http://bit.ly/2SlDqGa
via IFTTT

Gov’t Shutdown-Food Boxes

Hello Church Family!

As many of you know there are families in our community that are affected financially in this government shutdown. As a church we would like to help those we can! We would like to put together a few food boxes (similar to what we did at Christmas). If you would like to contribute please bring donations THIS SUNDAY. Below is a list of suggestions to what you could bring:

Meat
Fruit
Vegetables
Bread
Canned goods/Pasta
Granola Bars/Snacks/Cereal

If you have any questions or you know of anyone who would benefit from a box you can reach out to Nick Robbs (520-471-3602) or Roslyn Bouchikas (520-604-1977). Lets lift the burden a little bit for these families that are affected here in our community!

Thank you so much!!
Nick Robbs
Nick@canelocowboychurch.com

The Lord’s Prayer

I have been studying in Matthew in my daily reading lately. Today I was studying in the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters, the Sermon on the Mount, and I read in the sixth chapter verse 8, “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Isn’t that beautiful? Our Heavenly Father who has more than a full-time job just taking care of me not to mention the rest of the whole world and everyone and everything in it, knows my need before I even ask Him! Jesus is telling us that “When you pray…” He is saying that we don’t have to pray as the hypocrites and the pagans pray. The hypocrites pray showing everyone around them how righteous they are. The pagans keep on babbling thinking that the more they pray the more God, or their gods, will hear them. “Don’t be that guy” Jesus says.
He goes on to instruct us how to pray in what has been termed, “The Lord’s prayer.” “Our Father in Heaven…” Do you realize that you have a Heavenly Father that loves you unconditionally? There are times when I had put conditions on my love for my children when they were younger. I have felt that, “Well, since they aren’t doing what I expect them to do, then I am not going to show them that unconditional love.” But that is not what our Heavenly Father does. He loves us no matter what we do. Oh yes, listen to me, we will suffer the consequences of our actions, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be loved unconditionally! You can do NOTHING that will separate you from His love. The only thing that will separate you from His love is if you die without knowing His Son Jesus as your personal Savior. Jesus tells us in John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
So, let’s look at what we are promised. Matthew 6:8 tells us that the Maker of heaven and earth, yours and my Creator, the One that hung the sun, moon and stars and put everything in place, knows exactly what you need before you know! And this same God loves you unconditionally and nothing can snatch (KJV says pluck) you out of Jesus’s hand (John 10:28)! What a deal! We just need to trust Jesus as our Savior and allow Him to work out the rest.
But even as mature Christians that’s hard to do at times. Can you trust Him in all things? There is nothing that you go through that hasn’t passed through His hands first. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4)
So, you pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Please let me know if you need anything. Naomi and I love you all. –Pastor Steve

Worship Night

You are invited to join us this Saturday at 6 pm at Canelo Cowboy Church for a Worship Night. We have members from 4 different church’s coming together for this night of worship (Canelo Cowboy Church, Vail Valley Baptist, Corona Worship Center and Mountain View Assembly of God). We are also having a time of fellowship afterwards so please bring a snack or dessert to share. Oh and spread the word! See y’all Saturday Night!!!

Vertical Relationship

I was thinking about church growth. Canelo Cowboy Church has just about doubled in numbers since we moved from the schoolhouse to our new building. That’s a praise in my book! I have had people tell me that growth doesn’t matter, it is the maturity of the believers that matters. Now I do believe that as believers we need to mature. The Bible is very clear about maturing and growing up in the Lord. But I also believe that if we are mature we are going to multiply. A rancher will not survive if their cows don’t produce calves. A sheepherder will not survive if their sheep don’t produce lambs. A church won’t make it very long if they are not producing disciples.

When Jesus gave us the Great Commission in Matthew He was telling us that He had all authority, and because He has all authority we need to go make disciples. Here is what He said: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matt. 28:16–20).” We are to make disciples, we are to baptize them and then we are to teach them to make disciples and then they are to baptize them and so on and so forth! That is what I call growth. And if we do that then our churches will grow and the Kingdom of God will be expanded.

And Jesus tells us that we need to be, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” So, what do we teach them? Do we teach them the things that we think are important? Jesus says to teach them everything that He has commanded us. What is the most important commandment? Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-39 that loving god (Vertical Relationship) and loving our neighbor (Horizontal relationship) are the two most important things we can ever do and teach others to do. Jesus says that all the law and prophets will be fulfilled in these to commandments. And that, I believe, is what we need to teach the disciples that we make. Vertical love and horizontal love. Paul Harvey said, “So many people have stopped being fishers of men and have become keepers of the aquarium.” Is the church you are attending growing or stagnating because of you? Are you disciplining people as Christ commanded you to or are you disciplining in your own power and strength? Are you bringing division or are you bringing unity? Are you making disciples to expand His Kingdom or your own? Food for thought. God help me to follow you!
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Please let me know if you need anything. Naomi and I love you all.

Grace and Mercy!

I was thinking about mercy the other day. I thought to myself, “Do I really know what mercy is all about?” I heard a definition of grace and mercy once and it was something like this: “Grace is receiving what you don’t deserve, mercy is not getting what you do deserve.” What started me thinking about this subject is when someone said, “They don’t deserve that position because they are doing thus and so!” And I whole heartedly agreed! They didn’t deserve it! And then, as I was driving home my sweet Heavenly Father started dealing with my heart. “What have I ever given you that you have deserved?” And I realized right then that I do not deserve anything but death! I am a sinner! Yes, I am saved by grace, but still, I am a sinner and I sin every day! And sometimes I even know I am sinning and I still do it. But He still loves me and is mercy endures forever.

This is a Bible definition of the word mercy: “Mercy is a concept integral to an understanding of God’s dealings with humankind. In English translations of the Bible, it comes to expression in phrases such as “to be merciful,” “to have mercy on, or “to show mercy toward.” The corresponding term, “merciful,” describes a quality of God and one that God requires of His people. The noun denotes compassion and love, not just feelings or emotions, as expressed in tangible ways.” It states that God requires mercy of His people. Another word for mercy is compassion. In the book of The Lamentations of Jeremiah in chapter 3 verse 22 Jeremiah says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” KJV says, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed…” And that is the type of mercy that we are supposed to show to everyone else. The same type of mercy He has shown us.

The apostle Paul knew that kind of mercy. Paul was on his way to kill Christians in Damascus when Jesus got ahold of him and straightened him out! If you read Luke’s record of Paul’s conversion in the 9th chapter of Acts Jesus asks Paul, “Why are you persecuting Me?” Then Jesus had mercy on Paul and gave Paul a ministry that established His church all over the known world. Paul received what he didn’t deserve, forgiveness and a place in Heaven for eternity! Can we show that same type of mercy to those that wrong us?

Please let me know if you need anything.  Naomi and I love you all.  -Pastor Steve 

Tax Day!

Well, Naomi and I just finished up our taxes. Don’t you just hate doing your taxes every year? Doing your taxes together will try a couples Christianity won’t it? But the next morning I woke up and guess what scripture was running through my head? The Bible passage when the Jews were trying to trip up Jesus about where His loyalty lay. This is what they asked Him, Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not (Matthew 22:17)?” This “Imperial Tax” was a tax that was levied on all of Rome’s conquered subjects, not on Roman citizens. So, picture this, the Romans were the foreigners here and even worse, they were forcing the Jews to bow down to their rules and regulations! And the Romans were taking up residence in the Promised Land, the land that God had promised to father Abraham thousands of years before. The Romans had the gall to implement an imperial tax! Talk about rubbing salt in the wound! So, the religious leaders sent their rabble rousers to Jesus to trap Him in His words. If Jesus said yes, then they could turn the Jewish people against them. If He said no, then they could turn the Roman government on Him. They thought they had Jesus in a real pickle.     But Jesus knew their evil hearts and He said in verse 19-21, “Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought Him a denarius and He asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then He said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Jesus completely shut them down! They had nothing to say. I do wish I could give answers like that.

But think about it for a minute. We know what belongs to the government. Really, anything that they want. And if you don’t pay it, there is all kinds of penalties and interest placed on you. But what is God’s? What does He want from us? Romans 12:1 tells us, “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.” So God wants our everything. What does a sacrifice do? It lays on the alter and gives up its everything for its Master. A sacrifice doesn’t worry about anything but being just that, being a sacrifice. Giving its all to the One that has called the sacrifice to be the sacrifice. And Paul says here, “In view of God’s mercy…” God’s mercy. That’s the only reason that we wake up in the morning. The only reason we are able to take a breath. The only reason we are able to love and the reason we should share our faith with others! I heard someone say that the only problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off of the alter. But His mercy takes us right back! Brothers and sisters, if you can find a better deal, you better take it!

Naomi and I love you all.  -Pastor Steve