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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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          Yesterday I viewed part of a 2015 television mini-series, Saints and Strangers depicting the Nov. 11, 1620 coming of 102 Pilgrims to New England to found the Massachusetts Colony. That first year 56 died of starvation, disease and the cold winter. In 1621, 46 surviving pilgrims and 91 Native Americans met to give thanks for God's bountiful harvest and for the preservation of their lives. They had every reason to be depressed and discouraged, but instead they chose to give thanks.

          What would motivate them to become Pilgrims and leave their family, possessions and homeland to travel a perilous 66 day journey on a sailing ship, The Mayflower, to an unknown land? A century earlier the Church of England broke with the Roman Catholic Church. The new Church of England religion mandated worshipping only in their churches.

          Opting for a more simple form of worship  a group of Purists sought to worship God in more pure, simply ways. The Purists became known as Puritans. Another group even more radical became known as Separatists. They believed you could not reform the Church of England and demanded new, separate congregations. In the 1600's English Law made it illegal to be be a part of any church other than the Church of England.

          Fleeing persecution. the purists and Separatists moved from England to the Dutch Netherlands. Life there wasn't easy either, but they learned trades that would be useful in the New World: carpenters, tailors, printers. They fled again after making a deal for a 7 years of trade agreement with English investors. They left England on September 6, 1620, Mayflower set out alone with 102 passengers. The rest is history.

          These early pioneers came to this country for a single reason: to worship God in the manner their conscience dictated. We are grateful for their dedication, hard work and sacrifice. They became Pilgrims in a Strange Land and gave us a reason to be Thankful.


Pastor Phil  <><<


November 19, 2017 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil  <><<



Genesis 12:1-5 - Hebrews 11:1-3; 10; 13; 16

"A pilgrim is a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons. A pilgrimage is a long journey made to a scared place as an act of religious devotion. Dede Radkowski of Sharon went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. She felt is was a life-changing event. Pilgrimages are like that."                                                                                                                          Pastor Phil  <><<

Abel. . .Enoch. . .Noah. . .Abraham. . .Sarah. . .

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.     Hebrews 11:13

18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18



            In 1623 Governor Bradford issued a proclamation establishing that there would be a day of Thanksgiving. He declared, ''Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forest to abound with game, and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience.'' On the basis of that he proclaimed November 25, 1623, as a day, which he said, ''For rendering Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.''


            In 1863 Abraham Lincoln made a national proclamation, setting aside a day for Thanksgiving. It was the midst of the Civil War. No one in their right mind would thank God for the Civil War; but in the midst of the war, Lincoln knew that the nation would only survive if it looked beyond the immediate situation, and found its strength in God. So he called for a nation divided to be at one in prayer.


Abraham became a Pilgrim in a Strange Land


1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family

And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.
A. God Calls and Commissions Abram

                        1. God directly gives Abram His charge, order, mandate

                        2. Abram hears the Directive Word from God


            B. Abram Hears the Directive Word from God and Obeys

                        1. A “Word from God” - “Ray-ma” – A Specific Word to you

2. God’s Direction and Instruction at a specific time

C. God’s Commissioning

     1. Authority to do God’s work at a specific place or time

     2. Links up Rayma with God’s Direction and Empowerment


Abraham became a Pilgrim in a Strange Land


2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will

curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall

be blessed."

            A. God gives Abram Six Amazing Promises

                        1. I will make you a great nation

                        2. I will Bless you and make your name great

                        3. You shall be a blessing

                        4. I will bless those who bless you

                        5. I will curse him who curses you

                        6. In you all the families of the earth will be blessed
            B. Abraham believed God's Promises and Acted on that belief

                        1. Abraham lived 175 years - Genesis 25:7

                        2. God's Promises exceeded Abraham's mortality

                        3. Abraham simply believed God

Abraham became a Pilgrim in a Strange Land


4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him.

And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
A. He was unique in the midst of polytheism, he was a “Monotheist”

                        1. Ur Abraham's birthplace was Babylonian

                        2. They worshipped the Moon-God, “Sin”

                        2. They also worshipped the Moon-Goddess, “Ningal”

                        3. Worshipped fire, the sun, stars and various forces of nature

            C. Abram finds God for himself, personally

                        1. He didn't borrow the polytheism of his culture

                        2. He was a rebel whose story of his search for God is missing

                        3. Have you sought Him, personally?

                        4. You know He is God, but is He your God? – Phil 12b, 13

                        “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is                             

                        God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

            C. In August of 1976 Lois and I and the 3 kids left our homeland

                        1. The first several days after we left were tough

                        2. Loneliness is the largest hindrance to following God


Abraham became a Pilgrim in a Strange Land


5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions

that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they

departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.

        A. Abram was 75 years of age when he left his homeland

                        1. He took all his possessions, family and servants

                        2. He began a 1800 mile Journey: Euphrates River to the Nile

                        3. Now called the Fertile Crescent, we call it "The Holy Land"

                        4. There was another Promise given by God - Deut. 11:24

                                24 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours:

                           . . .from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea,                                

                          shall be your territory.

        B. Abram laid down his head in final rest 100 years later / Aged 175

                        1. God preserved Abram thru obedience and faith -  Heb. 11:8

                                8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place

                          which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not

                          knowing where he was going.

                        2. Well, done, good and faithful servant - Matt. 23:23

Abraham became a Pilgrim in a Strange Land


10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

        A. Abram walked in Job's Faith - Job 19:23-26

                23 "Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
             24 That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever!
             25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the                        

            earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,

                        1. Job had faith both to hear and see God - Hebrews 11:1

                                1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we

                          do not see.

                        2. Job had "Now Faith" in God's Promises

                        3. Abram walked in Now Faith. can you trust him NOW?

4. Now Faith springs to action at the Rayma Word of God

        B. Abram, like John the Beloved, saw in a vision God's Promise

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first               

              earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw

              the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

              prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice

              from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He

              will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with

              them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their

              eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be

              no more pain, for the former things have passed away."   Rev. 21:1-4