Authentic – Perception vs. Reality

Proverbs 4:24

“Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.”

Proverbs 4:24

With the coming election I thought it appropriate for us to consider…

Why are we there?

· Every day there are news reports about more deaths. Every night on TV there are photos of death and destruction. Why are we still there?

· We occupied this land, which we had to take by force, but it causes us nothing but trouble. Why are we still there?

· Many of our children go there and never come back. Why are we still there?

· Their government is unstable, and they have loopy leadership. Why are we still there?

· Many of their people are uncivilized. Why are we still there?

· The place is subject to natural disasters, which we are supposed to bail them out of. Why are we still there?

· They have more than 1000 religious sects, which we do not understand. Why are we still there?

· Their culture, foods and fads are unfathomable to ordinary Americans. Why are we still there?

· We can’t even secure the borders. Why are we still there?

· They are billions of dollars in debt and it will cost billions more to rebuild, which we can’t afford. Why are we still there?

· It’s becoming clear…

We must pull out of California now! J

Depending on your particular political bent as you read my statements above were you cheering me on or cursing me down? What about when you reached the ‘punch-line’? This is a story I’ve told before, so you may not have been surprised, but it illustrates well the idea I want us to focus on today. It’s perception vs. reality.

In this world of ‘Spin Doctor’s’, double speak, diplomacy and political correctness the idea that perception and reality are not the same has become the norm. As a people we have become jaded and somewhat cynical. When our leaders stand to speak rather than taking them at their word we assume we are somehow being misled. It’s a problem that goes well beyond the world of politics. This idea that perception and reality are not the same has crept into our relationships with coworkers, with friends and family. We catch ourselves trying to parse the words of our spouse…”I know he said that, but what he really meant was…” We often assume the worst and fill in the blanks with information that is inaccurate – but this is only our perception and based on those perceptions we will act and create around us a reality that reflects the world we see in our minds eye. Do you see the danger here? Perception is a powerful thing.

It’s interesting to note that God never takes the time to address in His Word perception vs. reality. From God’s perspective reality is a creation of His Word. Even when Jesus stood accused of crimes He didn’t commit you find no place in Scripture where Jesus tried to ‘spin’ things a little better His way. You never see Jesus trying to manage perceptions. With every person He met He simply spoke the truth, boldly and in love for all the world to hear. He did this even when the words He spoke had the potential of making someone uncomfortable.

As Believers in Jesus Christ who are striving to be AUTHENTIC we should be people of our word. In our homes, in our church and in our community we should do everything in our power to create a Culture of Trust. I said a moment ago that reality is a creation of God’s Word. Have you ever thought that where you find yourself today is as much a creation of your own words as it is anything else? The right word, at the right time, spoken in the right way can heal or destroy a relationship. It can bring success or failure. It will set a course or derail your from your mission. In a Culture of Trust perception is not a problem because people trust one another and are honest with each other. In a Culture of Trust conflict is not avoided, because there is an automatic assumption that everyone involved has the best interest of the relationship or organization at heart and not their own selfish, self interests. In a Culture of Trust healthy, ideological conflict always makes a relationship or organization stronger. In a Culture of Trust when the inevitable mistake is made or offenses occur our first thought is to give the offending party the benefit of the doubt until the issue is confronted, information clarified and if necessary apologies exchanged. Then we continue on together in our mission.

This season I’ve issued the challenge that we all be authentic in our relationship with Christ and with one another. In a world filled with authentic, fully devoted followers of Christ perception is never a problem for long because the truth is only one conversation away.

This week – watch your words…don’t speak to manage perceptions. Speak the truth…to your friends, family, and coworkers. When necessary, give the benefit of the doubt, be willing to clarify, apologize or make right some issue where you may have gotten yourself in trouble. Do your part to create around you a culture of trust. Even Jesus didn’t live a life above accusation, but He did live a life that was above reproach. As Believers striving to be authentic we can do the same.

Love y’all, God Bless,

Chad

Notes to Notice

Christmas Plans – “Christmas Past…Present…Eternal”

This December we’ll celebrate Christmas all month long! How!? The first weeks of December we’ll celebrate with a dinner theater:

“As Time Goes By” – A lifetime of Christmas traditions and celebrations through the eyes of faith, family & Friends.

Written by our very own, Randy Thomas, this funny and family-focused drama will capture your heart as it captures the heart of Christmas throughout multiple generations. This is not musical theater – but a three act play. We’ll need volunteers for acting, stage craft, costuming, technical arts, hosting, food services and everything in between. To audition or volunteer contact Randy Thomas, Randy.Thomas@esp-tulsa.com, or Chad Balthrop, chad@fbcowasso.org.

AUDITIONS for “As Time Goes By”

Sign up this Sunday in the Foyer for Audition times & location – Members of CAST FOR CHRIST!

NEXT Wednesday Night @ 8:00pm we’ll have an open casting call – where you can find out details about “As Time Goes By” and sign up for auditions as well!

Sunday Night, December 10th – “Christmas Past…Present…Eternal” with the Celebration Choir and Praise Band, Instrumental Ensemble, KICK & PreKICK Choirs! During this great concert we’ll share Christmas music and family Christmas stories…stories of Christmas past, present and eternal! We’ll have a Dress Rehearsal on December 9th, from 9am – Noon.

Sunday Night, December 17th – “A Family Christmas HomeComing” with the Families of FBCO. This is the night we sing our favorite Christmas songs as a congregation. This year we’ll have a twist – our special music will come from families within FBCO. Great music combined with stories of family Christmas traditions will make this a night people won’t forget.

Christmas Eve – Sunday Night, December 24th – Every year our Christmas Eve Candle Lighting Service is standing room only! This year we will pack the Worship Center TWICE – with two, hour long opportunities for the people of our community to celebrate the birth of our Savior. We’ll ask every available Choir, Praise Band, Instrumental Ensemble, KICK and Tech member to be available for BOTH Christmas Eve Services.

Christmas Eve Rehearsal 4:00pm

Christmas Eve FIRST SERVICE 5:00pm

Christmas Eve SECOND SERVICE 7:00pm

Celebration Choir in the PM Service

Be watching here for more details! This season the Celebration Choir will lead a couple of times during our Sunday PM, New Community Service – Dates to be announced!

House Cleaning – the Logistics of Details

Online Blog

Catch current and previous issues of theScore online @ http://www.thefarpoint.blogspot.com/

Online CamCast, PodCast

Heard of PodCasting? Now you can subscribe to the CamCast! CamCast is a new way I can get music and information delivered directly to your computer, iPod or other mp3 player. Using iTunes, Yahoo Music, Google Music or any other free PodCatcher you can subscribe to the CamCast and your reader will automatically inform you when updates are made. Sometimes these updates will be mp3 files of songs we are about do. Sometimes they will be devotional or informational. Subscribe today and have access to all the songs we’re giving you on CD. Stay tuned – there’s more to come! How do I subscribe?

Visit http://www.thefarpoint.blogspot.com/ and click the CAMCAST button located on the right side of the page, then follow the instructions. OR

Copy this link http://feeds.feedburner.com/fbccamcast into your iTunes software.

Online Resources

At http://www.fbcowasso.org/ you can now click FBCO RESOURCES – then select Christian Arts Ministry. Under that heading you will find several categories – under Order of Service & Support Files you will find the order of service for this week and in the other categories you will find the music charts that go along with the songs in the Order of Service. Mostly this is Praise Band music, but some of these charts include Instrumental Ensemble music and ALL of them include VOCALS – hopefully this can be a resource for us all in the coming days!

Weekly Schedule Reminder

Here are the CALL TIMES for a typical SUNDAY AM – Remember, ON TIME = EARLY EARLY = READY and from 8:30 – 8:50 we’ll clear the platform and all meet in Fellowship Hall for a light, continental style breakfast and for last minute instructions, prayer & consecration. I look forward to seeing everyone there!

SUNDAY

Þ 7:15am TECH PREP

Þ 7:30 Drama Sound Check and Rehearse

Þ 7:45 Praise Band Sound Check

Þ 8:00 Instrumental Ensemble

Þ 8:15 Special Music

Þ 8:20 Celebration Choir

Þ 8:30 Stage Clear, Doors Open, Background Music & Announcements Run

Þ 8:50 Countdown begins

Þ 8:55 Prelude – Live, instrumental, congregational or choir…

Þ 9:00 Service Begins

WEDNESDAY

Þ 6:00pm Instrumental Ensemble WC

Þ 6:30 Celebration Choir Tech Prep RM 800 & WC

Þ 7:00 Praise Band with IE WC

Þ 7:30 ALL CAM WC

Þ 7:30 Drama Team RM 800

Þ 8:05 Praise Band & Praise Teams WC

Þ 9:00 Cookie Time!

Order of Service

Sunday AM – 09-17-06

AweStruck – “I Am the Light Bread of Life”

Pre-service – COUNTDOWN CD

PRE-SERVICE

Instrumental Ensemble

SERVICE START Chad Balthrop

CONGREGATIONAL MUSIC

You Are Good – E, CHART

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee – G, BH – 7

WELCOME

Dr. Roger Ferguson

WELCOME VIDEO

BREAD – 1:52

CHOIR SPECIAL

Let the Praises Ring – E, CHART

CONGREGATIONAL MUSIC

I Give You Thanks – E, CHART

Hungry – D, CHART– (use the Lord’s Supper Jumpback here)

Breathe – A, CHART

MESSAGE

Dr. Roger Ferguson

INVITATION

Breathe – A, CHART

OFFERING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Page Cole

Presentation of New Members

Close

Let the Praises Ring – E, CHART

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