Going to church in the peak of fall leaves we chose a church with a little distance and a circle route to extend our drive time. Therefore we left Minford to Lucasville toward Piketon and followed the Appalachian Highway back to Rarden and then back the scenic Otway route. We wanted to look at the beauty of the woods/trees/hills and countryside we are blessed to have around us. For whatever reason… heat, too much rain or whatever we skipped a lot of color and went straight to mostly the scorched leaves with some color. All the same, the trees were beautiful on this day. It won’t be long until they come gliding down to cover our lawns.
So the church in our destination sits amidst the little town of Rarden Ohio, home of the annual Whitetail Deer Festival held recently. For the second week in a row, we were visiting a Nazarene Church.
We arrived at the Rarden Church of the Nazarene as Pastor Leroy Windel was delivering a message for the adult Sunday School class.
The morning church service with one saying he had enjoyed a pleasant drive on a beautiful Lord’s day thankful for the love God had put in his heart.
Josh and Amy Bender offered a beautiful song service with a selection of three beautiful and even unique pieces.
Blind from birth Brian Mote wrote and sings a song, “Mercy Walks In!” Today it was one of three beautiful songs sung by a man/woman chorus in today’s service. It goes something like this: Mercy walked in and pleaded my case Called to the stand God’s savin grace The blood was presented that covered my sin forgiven when mercy walked in…
They also sang “Something inside of me, I heard the Shephard’s call and one I have perhaps not heard before but it was a beautiful story/song. It was “Not for sale” by Michael Motes.
The second lyric is interesting: What happened to the church, That used to be on fire. What happened to the voices, That sang in the heavenly choir.
Oh, the Church has now grown dead and cold, The choir is silent, Cause nobody goes. They sold out to the world and their own desires.
Both of the Bender’s testified, Amy saying, “I love the Lord” with Josh saying, “Not for sale…I belong to Jesus!”
Aaron Satterfield was a guest speaker today! Aaron is a member of the Church of Christ in Christian Union. We met him at the Dogwood Church in Wheelersburg Ohio. I asked him how a Church of Christ guy was speaking at a Nazarene Church and he said, “they asked me to come.” Made sense to me!
At some point in his message, he had commented that it didn’t matter so much on your denomination, but it was about your relationship with the Lord. Something like that!
He opened with an interesting story that I asked him about. He opened his bible and that story was posted in a cartoon showing a Shepherd sitting in watch over his sheep with ear mufflers on, listening to his boombox while overlooking his sheep.
He was pointing to modern times when many of us are not very good Shepherds in sharing the word of God. I believe he was pointing out in this day of media we are often distracted in our worship or we are just not listening to our Shepherd!
He spoke some on the book of Hebrew. He prayed saying that he was thankful for hearing the Lord’s word and being in his house. Also, he prayed that we would be able to put out of our minds many things and that we would be able to put into our hearts the word of God!
He also spoke some from psalms and pointed out that we don’t know everything about the Lord. We don’t know about all the things the Lord had made through the Universe before he made us. We just know what he did, speaking us into existence. God determined to make man and then the woman. God put his hands and fingerprints on man.
In part of his sermon, he spoke on the sovereignty of God. God had sovereignty on not only man but the animals which he gifted to man after creation.
He told a story about when he was a boy being on a rare vacation. His parents bought his children toy trucks to play with in Route, but then they were perhaps given Benadryl to keep them relaxed on their long trip to Palm Beach Florida. I think that was a joke by the way. The story was actually funny as he explained the children packed into a little Dodge Colt headed to Sea World to see killer whales plus animals such as lions and tigers and bears. He waited and the crowd correctly responded “oh my.” This brought a congregation chuckle. He said they were a little slow on coming up with that.
Jesus came to us as the son of God. Though Aaron said that even the Angel’s looked to Jesus. He is sovereign over everything, in control of everything. Then he asked a question, “is Jesus sovereign in your life?”
Also said was that: “all should put Jesus in their lives…. body, mind and spirit. Worship should be sovereign in our life.” Speaking some on Elijah he noted that in scripture it was said that he did not come to destroy our profit, but to fulfill the word.
This is was where he discussed that it doesn’t matter which church you attend so much as it is that our only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. Our only hope is Christ, he is our sovereign worship. All will stand before the judgment seat. “neither Jew nor Greek … for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3/28).
He said that when the Lord comes again he will gather his holy people as would a Shepherd gather his sheep and the goats would be cast into everlasting darkness. I hope goats don’t take this personal.
He covered additional scripture from numerous books of the bible but closed saying, “He is sovereign, is he in your life? In prayer ask him to fill every part of your life. Is God knocking at your door?”
After the service, I was surprised to see Tim Throckmorton here. Tim is a Midwest Regional Director for the Family Research Council. His weekly column is printed locally as well as nationally in “Our Daily Bread and the Washington Times.” He is a native of McDermott and I believe he told me this was his boyhood church. Nice to see him and everyone else here on this day.
Then I saw Jerry Ball walk by and remembered seeing a sermon he delivered while exploring the church Facebook page. We find it helpful to find a church having a facebook page we can visit prior to a service.
Beverly and I would like to invite those in the vicinity or even beyond to pay the Rarden Church of the Nazarene a visit. They will be glad to see you!
Following the service, Beverly and I extended our fall foliage drive to include a visit to the Roy Roger’s Boyhood Home on Duck Run, Lucasville Ohio.
As believers, let us share the Good News! Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Each one… Reach one! See ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.