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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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The Weapons we Fight with are not Carnal

The voice is the most powerful resource a human being has been given by God. Part of my calling is to help you find your voice, craft your message, and speak it clearly to the world. Your voice matters!

Yes, I have taken some heat because of my support of my Christian black brothers and sisters who last Sunday, in prayer, asked God to help Americans see that black lives matter. I again want to commend the Church of God in Christ for using their voices to bring a deep wound to the forefront of the national Assemblies of God consciousness.

Today, if I understand the story correctly, a man greatly sinned against God, the people of our nation, the entire family of police officers in our country, the by-standers, his girlfriend, two police officers, and all of their friends and families.

Wenjian-Liu-and-Rafael-RamosMurder is among the worst of all sins. Murdering a person properly placed by God’s shared authority for the protection of the population is among the worst of the worst sins. In no uncertain terms the intentional, pre-meditated, surprise attack against peace officers, today and always, is not acceptable for any reason, ever.

To say “all lives matter” isn’t adequate. Officer Rafael Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu’s lives matter. These officers have been robbed of their breath, joys, future and their lives. No more Christmases, birthday parties, weddings, or sunsets on the beach for them. They have experienced Cain’s sin against Abel.

Allegedly the accused, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then committed the cowardly sin of suicide. If this is accurate, Ismaaiyl Brinsley completed sin in 360 degrees- he was wicked, in ways that defy reason, to the entire world and in every dimension.

It is clear. The human heart is capable of EXTREME evil. Morality, decency, respect, and honor can quickly be replaced by hatred, vile violence, immorality, indecency, disrespect, and dishonor. In a flash, a human being can become, as it were, a demon of hell.

Brothers and Sisters, this is why it is VITAL that we learn to find our voice and allow the other to find their’s too. As followers of Jesus we fight injustice with our words not weapons, language not Lugers, sentences not swords, grammar not guns, prayer not pistols, and verbally not with violence.

In my world of wishes, Ismaaiyl Brinsley would have been walking down a Brooklyn street last Sunday and heard some amazing music wafting out of a local Christian church, maybe one like the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Interested in the terrific sound and feel of the music, he decides to walk in and check out what’s going on.

He can hardly fathom what he sees. People of all ethnicities are harmoniously and energetically worshiping with song and dance. The love flowing in the racially diverse crowd is so different from the feelings he has inside; feelings of oppression, white aggression, hate, anger, and murder.

The next thing he sees rocks his emotional world. The pastor walks to the center of the stage and says, “Folks, today we will be in prayer for our nation. Today we are honoring Black Lives Matter Sunday. If you are here today and your heart is hurting, you can’t make sense of Grand Jury decisions, it seems to you that the world is intentionally stacked against those among us who are black, and your heart is full of rage, please know that you and your pain matters to us and to Jesus. The best way to deal with life’s injustices is to use your voice to cry out. The Bible is full of people crying out against injustice. Please come and talk with us. We won’t argue against you and your position, we won’t demean you, in fact we will honor you and your voice.”

If only.

Maybe Wenjian and Ramos would be alive today.

Posted on 21st December 2014 in Glocal, Ministry Development, Prayer, Serving, Spiritual Growth  •  Comments are off for this post
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2013 Pastor Appreciation Message for Pastor and Mrs. Alan Humphries

alanAlan and Miriam Humphries are being honored for their twenty-six years of pastoral ministry at the Soldotna Church of God and I am delighted to have a part in the honoring.

Alan and Miriam are very close and meaningful friends of mine and I jumped at the opportunity to present the weekend message in their honor. Following are the notes for my message.

As you read these notes, will you consider how much honor you are giving to God’s gift to you (your pastor)? Enjoy!

In Appreciation Of
Pastor Alan and Miriam Humphries

It is my joy to give honor, blessing, and appreciation to Pastor and Mrs. Humphries on the occasion of their twenty-sixth year of pastoring the Soldotna Church of God.

Let’s study, today, Ephesians 4.

In verses four and five Paul emphasizes the “One” part of our Christian reality:

• One body Vs. 4
• One Spirit
• One hope
• One Lord Vs. 5
• One faith
• One baptism
• One God and One Father of All

There is no mistaking it. Our Christian life is ONE! Everything is the same.

HOWEVER, in that “one-ness” Paul sees very different graces in each person. “But grace was given to each one…” Vs. 7

Everything is the same and everything is different too!

The graces, of Ephesians 4:7, are given by Jesus in the measure He choses!

Notice the emphasis in verses 7 and 8 on “gifts.” “He gave gifts to men.”

What are the particular graces and gifts that Paul is speaking about? Ephesians 4:11. “And he gave the Apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers…..”

It is my distinct joy and delight to declare, upon the firm foundation of the Word of God, that Pastor Alan and Miriam Humphries are “graces and gifts from Jesus to you!”

In Proverbs 18:16 we learn that “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.”

Paul just taught us that Pastor Alan and Miriam are God’s graces and gifts to you and now we learn that ….

God’s gift to you makes room for Him. In other words, “Alan and Miriam, God’s graces and gifts to you, make room for God’s presence among us.

• God is Head over everything and His gift is Jesus.
• Jesus is Head over the Church and His gift is Alan and Miriam.
• Alan and Miriam are head over Soldotna Church of God and their gift is their whole lives in ministry to you.

God hates grumbling and disputing (Philippians 2:14) and loves blessing, thankfulness, and honor. I Thessalonians 5:12, 13

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.

• We are to respect God’s gift, Alan and Miriam.
• We are to esteem them very highly
• We are to do all of this in love.
• Because of their work.

God loves it when you love His gift to you!

When you honor, respect, and esteem highly God’s gift, you are, in fact honoring, respecting, and highly esteeming the Gift Giver, who is God.

When you bless your pastor you bless God who called your pastor, prepared your pastor, sustains your pastor, anoints your pastor, enables your pastor, gives revelation to your pastor, empowers your pastor, and protects your pastor.

I love the truths of Psalm 133 when applied in this context.

The oil of blessing runs down!

2013 Pastor Appreciation Proclamation

Pastor Alan and Miriam are my shepherds; I shall not want.
They make me lie down in green pastures.
They lead me beside still waters.
They restore my soul.
They lead me in paths of righteousness
For God’s name’s sake

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For they are with me;
Their rod and their staff,
They comfort me.

They prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies;
They anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Posted on 17th November 2013 in Pastors, Peak Performance, Prayer, Remarkable, Serving  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Prodigal Son Model of Repentance

I have been teaching on the subject of repentance and forgiveness and it dawned on me……..I have never heard a teaching on how to repent. Hundreds of times I have listened to well crafted messages on our need to humble ourselves before the Holy God in contrition and repentance, but never a simple message on how to do just that.

Although we see many people repenting throughout the Scriptures, the repentance of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 provides a model for us today. When you need to repent, consider (what I am calling) The Prodigal Son Model of Repentance.

1. First, I come to my senses about the fact that I have sinned. Luke 15:17
2. I set out to “go back” to the one I have injured. Luke 15:18
3. I plan my confession of sin. Luke 15:18, 19
4. Notice, that the compassion of the one injured is not a reason to cease the repentance process. Luke 15:20
5. I identify, specifically, those who have been injured by my sin. Luke 15:21
6. I address, verbally and specifically, those whom I have injured by my sin. Luke 15:21
7. I address, verbally and specifically, that my sin has damaged the relationship and I am not deserving of forgiveness, but I would certainly enjoy seeing the relationship restored. Luke 15:21

Posted on 11th September 2011 in Message Response, Ministry Development, Serving, Simple LIfe, Spiritual Growth  •  Comments are off for this post
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Late Night Thoughts

Usually, after my family goes to sleep, I take some time to read, pray, think, meditate, and consider. Although I am not much into what the media calls “news,” I have been noticing many events that gain most of the world’s attention.

These events, in some way, intersect with God’s promise to Abraham: “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” As Great Commandment Christians, we too are interested in taking Jesus into all the world and seeing all peoples in all nations blessed by Him. We are part of fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham.

My attention continues to be drawn away from my “Abrahamic calling” and into the details of the world event. More than I am interested in Japan’s nuclear radiation problems, I should be strategizing about how the nuclear challenge may open the door for me to bless the Japanese with the love of Jesus through acts of kindness and the sharing of the Gospel.

Was the raid that killed Osama bin Laden just or righteous is a question of some importance, but seeing Islamic folks come to personal faith in Jesus is of total importance.

With this in mind, the most important activity of one’s global influence for Jesus is prayer. Prayer sanctifies the sacrifice.

Without prayer a glass of water, “in Jesus’ name,” is simply a glass of water with His name on it. With prayer, a glass of water in His name can be transformative and tremendous.

In some ways we are far removed from Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. By prayer we can be closely involved in seeing the Gospel powerfully proclaimed, folks turning to Jesus for salvation, with the result being God’s promise to Abraham continues to be fulfilled through us.

Today I am praying for the totality of Christian witness in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, Syria, Egypt, and other nations. May all those who risk their lives for identifying with Jesus be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. May God’s promise to Abraham be continually fulfilled in our generation.

Let’s increase our prayer quotient.

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A True Hero and Example!

A bold follower of Jesus Christ was assassinated in Pakistan a couple of days ago. With great devotion to our Lord, he proclaimed that he would be faithful to the call of God even in the face of death threats from the Taliban, Sharia Law proponents, and Al Qaeda. These wicked, God-less, and violent types have threatened the work of Jesus for 2000 years.

But God’s Truth marches on.

Please, on behalf of all Christians on the planet now, in the past, and in the future, view this short video of the now martyred Shahbaz Bhatti.

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Pastor Pam, Peggy, and the Puppet People :0)

I couldn’t resist starting all of the keywords above with the letter “P.” Actually, Pastor Pam and Kids in Training Director, Peggy, are leading the Kids in Training team to Yakutat, Alaska for a week of ministry. The children are well rehearsed, prepared, and anointed for service. The leadership team is ready to lead the way into a tremendous season of effective ministry there.

The Kids in Training ministry is designed to equip children to do works of service at MCA, in Anchorage, Alaska, and the world. KIT team is a prolific children’s mission ministry that has launched many children and adults into global ministry.
Special thanks to the children for their steadfast and diligent work in preparing their lives for service to Christ. We are also full of appreciation for the many adults who give of their time and skill to enable these children to become all God intends.

Children’s ministry is one of the leading edges of the current MCA growth curve. In the months of January and February the Children’s Ministry has an average Sunday morning attendance of 280 young champions for Christ. Should the Lord tarry, we would like to see at least 400 children in Sunday morning attendance in the 2012 ministry year.

Together we can reach the children in South Central Alaska with the Good News of salvation in Christ. Invite a child and her or his parents to hear the Good News through Pastor Pam’s team and let’s see what the Lord accomplishes.

Posted on 1st March 2011 in Children's Ministry, Evangelism, Peak Performance, Prayer, Serving, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Can-Am Spyder and Tubing

My kids, poor things, are dad impaired.

I don’t have a truck.  No snow machine.  No four wheeler.  No motor cycle.  No plane, helicopter, paraglider, or glider.  No boat, raft, jet ski, wave runner, or even water skis.  No hunting rig.  No rifle, harpoon, bow, or machete.  Nope, not even a tent.

But………I have friends!

Bishop Bill and Dori blessed my family with a Can-Am Spyder tour and Elder Kevin and Lynn grand-slammed it with late night tubing.

Posted on 1st June 2010 in Events, Friends, Parenting, Pastors, Serving, Sports, Student Ministry  •  Comments are off for this post
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Jael Cox

In perfect alignment with our Mother’s Day theme (Fragrant), Jael Cox filled our hearts with the glorious aroma of the faithfulness of God.  Telling her experiences with challenges, setbacks, disappointments, and loss, Jael explained the roll of Biblical faith in her life.  Faith, being declared with one’s voice, is a primary tool of the faith life.

You will be much enhanced if you take the time to listen to her talk by directing your web browser here.

Posted on 10th May 2010 in Message Response, Parenting, Prayer, Serving, Simple LIfe, Spiritual Growth, Women's Ministry  •  Comments are off for this post
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Find Your Place on the Giving Chart

Following is a list of the number and size of gifts we need to get the mission accomplished in Burkina Faso.  “All hands on deck!”  Please direct your web browser here to make your donation now!

Number

Of Donors

Donation Amount Total
1 $10,000 $10,000
2 $7,000 $14,000
3 $3,500 $10,500
20 $700 $14,000
307 $70 $21,490
Posted on 8th May 2010 in Burkina Faso, Remarkable, Serving, Simple LIfe, Student Ministry  •  Comments are off for this post
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Burkina Faso Students Await Your Generosity!

Your gift is urgently needed to provide for the educational, economic, and spiritual development of our Burkina Faso student ministry.  We are asking God for His favor to move upon you so that you have more than enough for your needs and for generous giving.  It seems an impossible task for a group of teenagers to pull off, but their faith is high and God is well able!

Howard and Rezia Hansen are leading the faith charge into financial miracles for this ministry.  WOW!  God is good and is rewarding their faith and hard work.

KTUU reported on the need for the Youth Development Center and the hard work and faith of Rezia and Howard.

Posted on 8th May 2010 in Burkina Faso, Ministry Development, Serving, Simple LIfe, Spiritual Growth, Student Ministry, Uncategorized, Young Adult Ministry  •  Comments are off for this post