- Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor. 16:14
- Those in the circle of Christ had no doubt of his love; those in our circles should have no doubt about ours. - Max Lucado – Just Like Jesus
- The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart. - Helen Keller
- The more we love, the more love we have to offer. So it is with God’s love for us. It is inexhaustible. - Mary C. Neal, MD, To Heaven and Back
- Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit. - Khalil Gibran
- Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do. - David Wilkerson
- Love is always happy to see you.
- Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
- God’s love is the most powerful love there is. It is a bond that draws us to God and motivates us to serve Him successfully. - Regina Clarinda, Encounter With Jesus Christ
- God is not keeping score with our bank accounts, our trophies, or what people are saying about us. The only thing that matters is how we spend our love. - Camille Alice, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days
Starting in July will be a series on how we welcome love into our daily life and connect with our neighbors. In preparation of that... here are some "LOVE" quotes to enjoy:
Praying Together makes God smile!
CCUMC encourages you to join with our fellow Christian brothers and sisters from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Panaca Ward, to fast and pray on Good Friday (if you are able).
Please pray, asking for help and protection of the CO-VID 19.
We join them joyfully.
By Pastor Tony Ontanyo
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
40 A man with leprosy [a] came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Jesus was indignant.[b] He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead, he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
The Old Testament emphasizes how a leper could live within the society, 2 “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease[a] or a discharge of any kind, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body.” (Numbers 5:2 NIV), and “4 “‘If a descendant of Aaron has a defiling skin disease[a] or a bodily discharge, he may not eat the sacred offerings until he is cleansed. He will also be unclean if he touches something defiled by a corpse or by anyone who has an emission of semen,” (Leviticus 22:4), Leprosy was a disease regarded with terror and everyone was afraid of it. Lepers were separated from the Society and excluded to camps far away from the towns or villages.
What a horrifying existence!
Lepers not only had to bear the physical pain of their disease, but they also had to endure the mental anguish and the heartbreak of being utterly cut-off from family members and friends. They were totally shunned and cut-off from humankind.
This was according to Jewish Law.
Mark’s Gospel tells us that a leper broke the Law by running up to Jesus and begging Him to make him clean or cure him. Jesus did not drive him away, but He was filled with compassion and mercy for him and extended his hand and touched the leper. And with the touch of Jesus’ hand, the leper was cured, and leprosy left his body, and he was made clean again.
Does it sound familiar today? Are people and relationships more important than legalism and rituals? Jesus chose compassion!
Today, we should follow Jesus and choose compassion for our neighbors and to the stranger.
Nowadays, Jesus could heal us from a distance. However, Jesus overcomes our own isolation and touches our lives in a way that transforms us to do the same. Do we have a personal touch? Is this what we are called to have? Jesus says: “As you go proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.”
Everyone comes into this world needing to be touched, and this need continues till we are dead.
Today we have a different kind of leprosy, but the situation is somehow similar. These people are our neighbors, colleagues, classmates, teachers, members of the Church, and friends. They are crippled by some pain, memory from the past, a lingering illness, or a particular virus. They need someone to reach out and touch them. Someone who will love them; see their pain; have compassion, and see their suffering.
Let us see humanity through Jesus’ eyes if you are going to be faithful followers of Christ. We are to touch others with the Holy touch of Jesus to transform their lives too.
My Hope is Built . . .
Guest Post: Marcia Hurd
As a Christian, I know that ultimately my hope comes from God, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that as individuals, and as a nation, we will turn to Him.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
When darkness hides His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne
AMEN! and AMEN!
By Pastor Tony Ontanyon
This week I will continue discussing our beliefs and identity as Methodists. John Wesley used a method to educate his preachers to improve their understanding of faith, salvation, grace or any theological task or doctrine. He did it by following a process, today it may be called technique, to discover the truth of God where an individual, or collective Christian faith follow, arrives at the truth as the unique foundational origin. The foundation of the Wesley’s method and the one that maintains the others together is the Scripture. When we analyze the Bible, this analysis must be encompassed by Church Tradition; the personal Experience of the individual or the community, and involved in logical Reason to see that it is genuine truth.
Three equal corners are Tradition, Experience, and Reason. Is this conclusion making sense? Does it work? The other angle is Scripture, which is the foundational stonewall. The other three are subordinated and secondary to the Bible.
Join us this coming Sunday, March 15th, 2020, please, to explore and share the meaning of Scripture as the foundation of our faith, trying to discover the Word of God in our lives. Waiting for you at 10 am at the “Old Stone Church.” 140 Tennille St, Caliente, NV.
The Love of God and Neighbor:
By Pastor Tony Ontanyon
To be a Methodist is to be committed to a theology of Love. John Wesley does not deviate from the Protestant reformers in insisting that salvation is by grace through faith; more than anything else, his emphasis on Love gives his theology its distinctive character. Love describes both the heart of God and the content and goal of salvation. For Wesley, all that God is and does is motivated and governed by Love. Divine sovereignty, and even God’s judgment and wrath were not apart from but necessarily manifestations of God’s Love.
What is God’s Love? Divine love is “holy” Love. Holiness and Love are not equal, but they complement one another. Holiness entails purity and separation. On the other side of the coin, Love is embracing, outgoing, and inclusive. Holiness away from God could lead to an austere and intimidating legalism and cultural banning. Love away from holiness is soft, naively wishful, and self-indulgent. Thus holiness and Love must be kept in balance when we describe both God and Christian life.
John Wesley said, “God’s love is most fully revealed in the life and especially the death of Jesus Christ,” and Charles Wesley expresses the heart of God’s Love this way: “O Love divine, what hast thou did! / The immortal God hath died for me! The Father’s co-eternal Son bore all my / sins upon the tree. The’ immortal God for me hath died: / My Lord, my Love is crucified.” (The United Methodist Hymnal, #287)
Our Love for God translates into Love for one another. We, as Methodists, have been supportive and speaking out against poverty, famine, unemployment, migration, mental illness, and homelessness. We should feel called to help and work among the needy.
Join us this coming Sunday, March 8th, 2020, to explore and share the meaning of the Love of God and One Another within our Christian experience. Looking for you at 10 am at the “Old Stone Church.”
The Way of Salvation:
By Pastor Tony Ontanyon
People have the goal and the right to achieve and look for salvation. What is salvation in our Methodist context? Salvation is not to go to heaven, or having eternal love for God, or reaching into everlasting satisfaction, joy or happiness. We are Methodist, and salvation is the whole redemptive work of God in human life. We are saved by faith.
Salvation for John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, is a process; it is not an event that happens once in your life, and through a conversion from the old life to a new life in Christ. It is a process through our entire life where it could be moments of going through the desert, the valleys, and moments of abundance in our Christian life to achieve spiritual and practical growth. And this process is a journey with a goal which is perfect love with God and one another. Salvation does not consist of avoiding going to hell because it is not an afterlife experience, but a present gift offer by God to everyone where God’s grace makes possible to people needing an answer. “God offers salvation, and it is the person’s responsibility to respond to it.” The emphasis of Wesley defining salvation is: “By salvation I mean, not barely deliverance from hell, or going to heaven, but a present deliverance from sin, a restoration of the soul to its primitive health … the renewal of our souls after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness, injustice, mercy, and truth.”
Join us this coming Sunday, March 1st, 2020, to explore and share the meaning of salvation within our Methodist Church. Waiting for you at 10 am at the “Old Stone Building.” 140 Tennille St, Caliente, NV.
SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
We've often wondered and been asked why Methodist ministers only stay for a while at one church. It is referred to as the itineracy system, moving from church to church throughout their ministry.
Some argue that it is a system no longer sustainable in our culture that needs to be phased out. Perhaps, but one outcome of the system is a visceral understanding of the idea presented in I Corinthians 3 about servants together in fields of the Lord. Paul argues that our attachments are often to the wrong things: to a human pastor, to a position, to a building. No pastor works in a vacuum, but builds on ministry and mission that others directed long before arriving on the scene; and, that will continue long after the pastor departs.
Sometimes, the key is to understand it from God’s viewpoint, which stretches into eternity. As the song says, "I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together!"
2nd Sunday after Epiphany
The First Sunday after Epiphany told of Jesus’ baptism and the Second Sunday after Epiphany, this Sunday, records the initial calling of Jesus’ disciples.
We also celebrate this Sunday as Human Relations Day. In recognizing Human Relations Day, we are called to make an impact in our community where people struggle because they don’t have the tools or resources to reach their God-given potential. Our gift to the community is seen through our Lord's Pantry Emergency Food Bank; our Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets; Angle Tree gifts to help others stay warm; and, other outreach ministries as we are called to do.
Jesus called his disciples to lead in a loving and giving manner. Today is a reminder that we too should extend our hands in an effort to lift others up to their full potential. Blessed is the name of the Lord for all works done in His name will honor Him!
New Year, New Direction
The first message of 2020 by Pastor Tony asks the question: "What are you looking for in life?' Sounds simple enough... Pastor Tony always ties it to scripture and helps guide us toward a Christ centered life. The option, of course, is always ours.
What are you looking for? Is it God centric or self centered? God wants us to be faithful. We can start by hearing a message about the direction in which we are looking.
Join us Sunday at 10 a.m. and let's look together.
Final BLOG from Pastor Bob
Greetings in the Name of Jesus the Christ!
I sit here in the parsonage going over my last sermon for Caliente Community UMC. Tomorrow will be my last Sunday with the good folks of Caliente.
When I retired two years ago, I could never imagine that God would call me to serve here. It reminds me of the Emmaus saying, "Don't anticipate!" God always has a better plan.
I cannot imagine anything better than serving all of you here at Caliente! It has been nothing less then a privilege, honor and blessing to be in ministry with you.
I am ending my pastoral ministry on a high note! I thank each and everyone of you for all you have done to make this such a blest experience.
You were the hands and feet of Christ when my family and I needed it. You stepped up and kept the ministries going when I was out of town. You allowed me to be myself and let the Holy Spirit lead us. You even put up with my "accent" and fast speech.
I am forever grateful for the love you have shown me.
There will always be a place in my heart for Caliente.
In His Service,
Saying Goodbye leads to Hello!
Guest Post by Marcia Hurd
It's sad to have to say goodbye. Memories and moments flash through your mind and you think it will never be the same. And yet . . . God often opens, and, closes doors. Pastor Bob's retirement and move away to be closer to family is our loss and their gain. Just as God opened the door to His Word in Philadelphia (one of the seven churches in Revelation) he has planted the same seed of the Spirit in us. He has given us Jesus as a constant! "Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love" if we remain faithful.
As we say goodbye we also have to say hello. We will be learning more about our new pastor in the next few weeks. The Holy Spirit will prompt us to walk through the door that God has opened; continue to support our local church and to be welcoming. Not that long ago we welcomed a fast talking, east coast sounding, tattooed pastor . . . and look how good that turned out!
Thank you Jesus for always looking out for us! Thank you for bringing Pastor Bob into our lives and thank you for a future promised.
The weather has certainly been unpredictable lately! We've had snow, rain and then beautiful days. At this time of year we don't know what to expect from day to day. But we do know that each day we have is a gift from God!
It is because of life's uncertainties that we are having a Lenten sermon series entitled, "Embracing the Uncertain--During Unsteady Times". It's very appropriate for the way the world seems today and our own lives.
I hope you will join us as we journey together through this study. You will see that you are not alone and we all face uncertainty in our lives.
And don't forget our Soup Suppers every Wednesday at 4:30.
I hope you'll join us!
Has the World Gone Mad?
When I watch the news, read Facebook, Instagram and other Internet outlets, I am amazed at what I am seeing. It is as if the world has gone mad! There is no civility. Emotions are running high and people make their decisions based on their feelings rather then the truth, which we know is contained in the Word of God.
That is why I am so happy that we have so many folks in our two Bible studies.
Sunday at 12 noon and Monday at 9.
Followers of Jesus Christ need to be studying so we can grow in our faith and be able to defend it. Our next sermon series is on the "Radical Gospel" and our Lenten series is, "Embracing the Uncertain." Very appropriate topics for our day and age.
I hope you will join us as we journey through these troubled times together!
Looking Back - Looking Forward
2018 was a year of both ups and downs!
I for one am glad that we are in 2019!!
Last year we celebrated the wedding of my daughter Kathryn. It was a wonderful time for family and friends to gather. It was the high point of the Summer!
Yet, two weeks later our world would change forever.
My 26 year old son suffered a stroke and barely survived.
He had 3 brain operations and is now in rehab. Everyone in the family has been affected by this.
It has turned our world upside down.
Yet, through it all I have trusted and hung on to the promises of our God.
He has been my "refuge and strength" through all of this. I can hardly imagine going through a catastrophe like this without faith in Jesus Christ our Lord!
My church family has been the hands and feet of Christ to me and my family.
I am eternally grateful for all they have done.
So I am trusting that 2019 is going to be a better year! Ryan is still in rehab. but he is progressing. It is going to be a long journey, but the family is there to support him in any way they can.
I am not sure what the future holds for me and my family, but I do know Who holds the future and His name is Jesus Christ!
(Guest Post by Marcia Hurd)
Have you ever thought or said, "I've had an epiphany!" Meaning, of course, that you had a sudden flash of understanding or insight? The origin of the word is Greek for manifestation or appearance. In the Christian faith, some believe it is the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12). To ministers it becomes a time to start discussing the history of salvation, in essence, giving credit where credit is due. . . Praise to Jesus!
As we advance through the Season of Epiphany, may you look more intently for the light of Christ and remember to pay homage to the manifestation of a divine being, our Savior, Jesus Christ!
The Season of Advent
(Guest Post by Marcia Hurd)
Advent is a season observed by Christians as a time of expectant waiting and preparation of Jesus coming into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
There are three meanings of 'coming' that Christians describe in Advent. The first, and most thought of, happened about 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now. And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.
The four Sundays in Advent are celebrated as follows: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!
It's funny how sometimes we need a holiday to remind us to be thankful. Our busy lives and complicated family and friend dynamics blur our vision. Do I wake up every morning and smile? Do I remember to thank God for another day? No. I simply get immediately caught up with what has to be done TODAY.
I offer a prayer now thanking God for sending Jesus. Jesus saw our weaknesses and flaws and loved us anyway. May this season of giving and thanksgiving bless your lives and bring peace and joy into your heart. I'm thankful for the Spirit that lives in me. I'm thankful for the small and big occasions and especially thankful for patience and guidance; even when I'm not listening. May you experience the Lord's blessings and remember to say THANK YOU!
As Christians we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world. Caliente Community UMC is striving to be just that. We are continually looking for ways to connect with our community. We want everyone to have a relationship with Jesus Christ!
I pray that you will attend one of our events or worship service. You can give me a call or post here if you have any questions or concerns.
We hope to see many of you at our Outdoor Worship and Barbecue!!!!!
Well, Summer is officially here
Many of us will be taking vacations, visiting family and just enjoying time with our families.
It is certainly a busy season! It is also a busy season for the folks at Caliente UMC.
We just completed our Bible Camp for Children, our "Hot Topics" sermon series will begin in July and August 12th we will be worshiping at Kershaw Ryan Park. I hope that you will join us and get to meet our church community.
God bless, Pastor Bob
As Christians we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world. Caliente Community UMC is striving to be just that. We are continually looking for ways to connect with our community. We want everyone to have a relationship with Jesus Christ! I pray that you will attend one of our events or worship service. You can give me a call or post here if you have any questions or concerns. I hope o see many of you at our Outdoor Worship and Barbeque!!!!!
Pastor Tony's pastoral goal is to empower people to experience God's full life, moving one step closer to loving Jesus Christ and loving one another.