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Showing posts from October, 2008

Welcome!

Welcome everyone from the Assembly of God blog ring. Thanks for stopping by!

Out of Office Replies

I got this via Greg Atkinson's blog Best Out of Office Replies by Jeremy Wright 1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood. 2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all. 3. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received. 4. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged £5.99 for the first ten words and £1.99 for each additional word in your message. 5. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and trysending again. (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see how many in-duh-viduals did this over and over). 6. Thank you for your message, which

If you can't say anything good . . .

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You know the rest of that tag line. (If you don't, keep reading). I was reading in Rom 12 this morning (I kid you not, this is the slowest devotional study I have ever done in my life.) and came to verse 14. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. This is the hardest thing for most people to do. Bless, don't curse. There are a few who are good at blessing others but I couldn't tell you if I have ever met a master on this one. Blessing means to find something worth praising in another AND refusing to curse to them or about them. Fault finding is a national pastime for most. Especially during this political election season, candidates are expected to find faults in their opponents. To say something good, something positive to another person is expected of us. To ask God to bless or to do something good for another person can sometimes be tough. Cursing comes more easily to us, doesn't it? This means to devote to destruction. If God curse

Rom 12: 9 - 13

Roman society and culture was grand and the world power of that day. They had achieved much and had given society the seeds of its future which we still reap its benefits today. But it was a society in moral decay. Pride and arrogance had overcome them and they assumed they were the pinnacle of creation, of thought and in their own arrogance their own god. As their world began to crumble around them, they needed a scapegoat. Christians were an easy out. Blame them and their Jesus for all of this and their world wouldn't have to face reality. Things got bad for the Christians of that day. Persecutions, martyrdom and more. So when Paul says that love must be sincere that flew in the face of a world that had replaced love with lust, homosexuality and more. To hate was was evil and to cling what was good made these Romans Christians a weird lot. They would be called narrow minded and judgmental. Roman society couldn't tell the difference between right and wrong. Dev

Some days just . . . .

I am tired and feel as if I have been run through a knot hole backwards. I praise God that Donna Shurr is home and doing well. Most of you know that I don't like hospital. Yes, they are a necessary evil (no insult intended to those who work in the medical field.) I just don't like needles, pain, procedures, those stupid gowns, medications with side effects, tests, barium, ekgs', mris' cat scans ( I never did see the cat) and grumpy medical professionals. I am tired because life is getting tougher on us. Those of us who lead by faith are being challenged more and more everyday. God is our source and He is our strength. Either that is the truth or we are toast. I wished ... but wishing isn't going to make a difference. Faith is. And faith takes action. Pray, rest, trust, believe, act and react when necessary. Know that God is in the midst of it all, but also remember that have to stay out of His way. We cannot do His job for Him. Being tired isn't

We've Been Simpsonized!

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Teamwork and Christians

It is sometimes difficult for Christians in todays society to be team players. Not that all Christians are twisted control freaks. But we were raised to be individuals. As the Word of God teaches, we are together in this life as we will be in heaven. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. Many Christians have been hurt by unhealthy churches and Christians who did serious damage. Teamwork was a burden and is a painful memory. So while they was to see the church move forward, they struggle with whom they want to do it with. Yet teamwork is the key to a churches success and our personal success in serving God. God never intended for us to go it alone. Yet I find more and more Christians and churches doing just that. Romans 12:4-8 is about teamwork. When you read it all it tells you is, work together as a team. #1 - Observe that you are not everything to everyone. A key to being part of a team is humility. #2 - Acknowledge that you need help from others in order to reach Go

I almost forgot!

Anneka read her first book, on her own last week. It's called, "Tim Is A Tin Can." This is in no way a reference to our Tim who attends church, but I do find it funny that the book did come from his house. His kids use to read it.

Life Changes

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I remember in college being taught that there a some major changes that people will go through in life. Marriage, the birth of a child, mid life, retirement etc. i don't think that they were diminishing our point of view concerning such thing, I just don't think they had any idea of how this was going to change over 20 years. While relationships, education, age and careers were the key factors in such changes now add finances, dysfunctions, health and politics to the mix. We use to look forward to retirement now we are trying to put it off as long as possible. A new generation use to emerge from our culture every 20 years or so. Now it's down to every 3 and a half years. (Maybe shorter) So do you act or react to such changes as they take place. What should we do? I know that I am finding myself in a bit of a quandary as I make decisions for my life, my families and this church. Decisions that just a few years ago were not all that difficult now I have to take s

Good Morning

This is going to be a GREAT day! We are believing God for some great miracles this morning. The fellowship hall is set up for dinner and everyone is invited. The chick poppercosh is ready and I hear that there is a german chocolate cake coming too. The music set is really, really powerful. The first song is, "I'm counting on God" You're going to be humming that tune all week. So come on and enjoy a great day with us. You and your family are going to enjoy it!!!

Angel Food

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Angel Food was a great success today. We had great volunteers who made this day work very well. Thanks to everyone who helped! We ministered to over 40 families from PSL, Jensen Beach, Stuart and Palm City. Don't forget to get your order in by Friday Nov. 7th!

Angel Food

Today is our first day doing Angel Food. 71 box of food we are going to distribute this morning. This ought to be fun!

Romans 12:3

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Paul instructs the Romans to embrace some balance in their witness. First of all they were not to think more highly of themselves than they should. When you look to the culture of that day, the Romans and Greeks were very proud of their accomplishments. They felt that they were the strongest, wisest, smartest and most advanced people on earth. Some of this may have been true. But their self assessment was obviously from a heart of pride and arrogance. Paul didn't say that they couldn't be pleased and thankful for what they could accomplish either as a people or as a person. He was stating the obvious - leave selfish pride out of it! Thinking about one self is a bit of a two edged sword isn't it? On one hand you have that which you can do and do well.

20 20 20

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The leaders of 20 20 20 met with me last night to experience one of these small group fellowships. I suppose that because it is so simple, it seems complicated. But really the name says it all. 20 minutes of reading the Bible (that went fast!). 20 minutes of journaling (again that went by in a flash) and 20 minutes telling others something that you learned from the Scriptures you read. We saw how the Holy Spirit directed everything from start to finish. We learned from each other as well as from God. We could see that without even known or assigning what we were going to read the Holy Spirit had a theme for us to experience. It was very moving and profitable to all. I would suggest that you contact anyone of our 20/20/20 leaders and tell them you would like to be in one of their next fellowships. Randy and Donna Shurr / Cynthia Uhl - Palm City. Tom and Barbara Rogers - Jensen Beach Mike and Pat Scanlon / Tim and Taneal Jarrett - Pt. St. Lucie

Romans 12:1-2

Last night in 20/20/20 I was reading from Romans 12. In 20 minutes I read 2 verses. (Yes, this is possible and no I am NOT super spiritual.) But this is what I discovered. 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Can you see the mercy of God? We use the phrase, "in light of the fact" or "the evidence proves" much the same way Paul opens this verse. Where do you see God's mercy being evidenced in your daily life? Do you praise Him for these acts of mercy? Living sacrifices is more than just stating we are to be dead to sin but alive in Christ. This is an emotional act from the passion of our heart. Like saying, "This is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I will serve God with all of my heart, soul and understanding." To be holy and pleasing to God, struck me in a new way. Can you be holy and not pleasing? The answ

Fast Food

I saw this on a blog about a week ago. But thanks Deanna Shrodes for posting this again. This gives meaning to the term, "fast food."

The Assemblies of God Pt 3

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Here is an interesting fact about AG churches that some of you may or may have not known. 4300 (34.8%) of our churches are 1 to 49 – accounting for 7.1% of our Sunday a.m. attendance 3545 (28.7%) of our churches are between 50 and 99 – accounting for 13.9% of our Sunday a.m. 2464 (19.9%) of our churches are between 100 and 199 – accounting for 19% of our Sunday a.m. Another way of looking at it: 83.4% of our churches account for 40% of our Sunday a.m. Have you ever been frustrated with the number of people you needed to implement the programs developed from Springfield? If you are in this 83.4% you probably have. It isn't that our children's and youth ministries don't offer quality and excellence, they do!. But many small churches are abandoning Rangers, Girls Only, Radiant Life and other ministries because they are labor intensive. This is being addressed. I believe that within the next 12 months you will begin to see these ministries offer new formats for small

Getting back in the swing.

Wow, life is happening at a blinding pace! That can be a good thing if your are going in the right direction. That's really is the difference between living life on it's terms and living life on God's terms. Life happens and it isn't fair as a general rule is it? But when life happens on God's turf, it has to submit to His rule and reign. I like that. It doesn't mean that life is perfect or comfortable. It means that it is hopeful and purposeful. I am amazed at the world we live in today that is looking so desperately for a Savior. Our presidential elections are a great example. There are people who are voting for candidates who are promising a more peaceful, prosperous life that is going to be fair and right. Not only can they not do that, they are lying. Why don't we introduce people to the real Savior? Let's get back in the swing of things and do what we were created to do in the first place. Worship God, love one another and tell the w

Great Day at FFWC!

The Rummage and Christmas Sale was today! If you didn't come by, you missed some great deals! I'll tell you tomorrow how much we made on each sale! But suffice to say it was a great success!!

What a week!

Highs and lows all along the way. I've been to Atlanta for a Leadership Forum with the Assemblies of God (more to come on that), I saw Kenny Rogers at the Atlanta airport. I got to ride with a pastor whom I deeply respect and honor for two days. We have been working on the Rummage/Christmas Sale for days now. (much, much more to do). But . . . When you hear that word, "but" you brace yourself don't you. But, it looks like Barbara is going to lose her job today. (Still awaiting confirmation of this) Then I just took a phone call from single mom, pregnant, homeless and about to have an abortion. We don't have the resources to meet the need. Not that I'm not working on it - and a plan is in place that just might work. But it breaks my heart when the church cannot operate as it should. In this case it my cost us a life. Unthinkable I know - but true. While I could rant here with a great deal of passion the fact of the matter is this. If we are no

The Assemblies of God Pt 2

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"Change is good!" That's what I hear all the time, but to be quite honest with you I am sometimes a little leery of some kinds of change. When is change good? Well I think that our General Superintendent has the right idea when he starts by saying what isn't going to change. Our Statement of Fundamental Truths. Our belief in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in other tongues. Ou passion to reach this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. - just to name a few. He does make a valid point. You can believe in these things, but not do them. While some people think that the changes coming are going to turn the AG into a pseudo-pentecostal church (one who says they are pentecostal but doesn't actually pursue it's practice.) The opposite is actually true. It is the desire of our Leadership at the national and district (language and geographical) to see a surge of Pentecostal witness from our churches across this nation. Worship should

Is this a life?

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In an article from Yahoo I read this about a gamer. "....the biggest Warcraft fan of them all. Known only under the moniker "Prepared," the gamer plays a stunning 36 World of Warcraft accounts on 11 different computers...simultaneously." Click on the pic above for a better look. So my questions are. What does this person do for a living? Where do they get the money? How much time a day is spent doing this? Is this a life?

Rummage / Christmas Sale

Don't forget that this Saturday is our Rummage and Christmas Sale. Those of you who attend FFWC, you can come by Friday and help up set up for Saturday. Otherwise, come ready Saturday morning to get some great deals on some terrific stuff!

It's All Greek To Me - Laos

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LAOS - (lah-os) is the Greek word of people. Defined: 1) A people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language 2) of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere. It is used 142 times in the (NAS) New Testament. When you see the word people or peoples, it is laos. Now that in and of itself doesn't seem to say anything earth shattering. But when you begin to read those 142 passages you will begin to see a theme develop. The disciples and the church of Jesus had a vision, a passion and drive that motivated them for Jesus. Sometimes they enjoyed the favor of the people. Sometimes the people turned on them. Nevertheless, there was a clear understanding among Christians that whoever was around them, that whatever their nationality, they were to reach them. Why? These people were stubborn, idol worshippers, hopelessly bound for hell. The false spiritualities of that day were a heavy influence on the people, blinding them from

The Assemblies of God

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As many of you know I was in Atlanta (Griffin) Ga. Monday and Tuesday. There we met with our General Superintendent Dr. George Wood. On Monday night he shared with us what he called the "state of the church" address. It's been a little over one year since he took office and to be quite honest, he's been busy! But doing what? Remember a year ago when Dr. Wood published a book about the 5 core values for the Assemblies of God's future? Well if you didn't read the book, get a copy, find it - go to www.ag.org, do what you have to do to read up and discover what they are. I think when Dr. Wood proclaimed these core values, most of us said, "OK, go ahead - we will see!" I know that sounds a bit skeptical, but to be quite honest we have heard this stuff before and it go nowhere. Well, it's going somewhere people and I think we had better pay attention. The five core values are: 1) Passionately proclaim, at home and abroad, by word and deed Je

Financial Worries

Our General Superintendent Dr. George Wood shares with the fellowship some thoughts on our financial needs. Click here and watch - you will be blessed!

Leadership Forum

This morning I am in Griffin Ga. with 120 presbyters and district officials from about 10 states, learning about leadership and the Assemblies of God. Last night Bro. Wood shared with us the current state of the the Assemblies of God. I'm not going to go into details right now, simply because I can't remember all of the facts. I am going to see if I can get a copy of his notes this morning though. I do want to share with you many of the things that are coming in the near future for the AG. I think that you will be excited and pleased to hear what is happening!

My New Lesson for the Day!

I'm in Atlanta for a meeting with the Assemblies of God leadership across the nation. But don't ask a local for directions. You might end up heading to Alabama.

Dave Ramsey Quote

I'm in a meeting but I just picked this up off the web a few minutes ago. He tells the truth here people. Read it and then read it again!!! Dave Ramsey is the Financial Peace author, speaker, radio host, etc. There is no synergy where there is no unity. Unity is a spiritual happening. Five enemies of unity: 1. Poor communication 2. Gossip 3. Unresolved disagreement 4. Lack of shared purpose 5. Sanctioned incompetence Unresolved disagreements often exist because a leader avoids confrontation. You got to deal with your stuff leader. Confrontation cleanses the wound and allows parties to go forward in a spirit if unity.

It's All Greek To Me - Dunamis

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DUNAMIS - (doo'-nam-is) is the Greek word for power. It is where we get the words dynamite, dynamic or dynamo. As it is used in the Bible, we are empowered (dunamis) by the Holy Spirit to do the work and the will of our Father. (Acts 1:8, 10:38) Why do you need to know this greek word? Because without it, you don't stand a chance in making a real difference. So much of religion today is defined by what we do. The fact of the matter is, we cannot do much on our own. That isn't to say we cannot do anything - but think about this. My daughter constantly says to me, "Daddy! Watch this!" She will run as fast as she can, jump as far as she can (which is about 4 or 5 feet). Then she will ask me, "Was that good!" Of course it was good, it was the best that she could do. I praise her for doing her best! Now sometimes I pick her up and toss her into the air. (Don't worry it isn't as far as your imagination just went.) and she giggles with

For Pastors

This hasn't been released yet, but I think it will be something you will want to check out. It's free and just for churches. www.churchmetrics.com

God's Greatest Passion - Acts 2

Some of you asked for a copy of last Sunday's sermon. You can either listen to it or download it from here. Enjoy.

It's All Greek To Me - Koinonia

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Here is another word you need in your vocabulary. KOINONIA - (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) is the Greek word for fellowship, community and communion. It is a close relationship by which you are willing to invest your life into someone else as a gift. You will share your joys and trails. Have common interests and goals. This relationship will overrule your pride and individualism. Therefore, you will find it easy to share with generosity. (Acts 2) While I really don't doubt that people can and will love (agape) one another. I find that koinonia is a challenge for most. Imagine with me a relationship with another person that isn't sexual but it is close. It isn't formal but it definitely exists. It isn't casual but it is serious. You might think that you have that kind of relationship with your spouse or a parent and you would be right! But the thought that there could be others in your life whom you would think of in this context may seem foreign to you. Yet th

Oregon Encounter

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A week ago this past Saturday, (I know I'm late on this) my cousins Angie and Cindy paid us a visit from Oregon. I haven't seen either one of them for over 20 years. Really, that long? Cindy was here for a business conference and as far as I can figure out Angie was here to be her personal assistant. Hey, that' not a bad gig. They were staying on Miami Beach and wanted to see us. So Betty, Anneka, Mom and I all piled in her jeep and down to Miami we went. I really did forget how much I hate driving in Miami. But I soon remembered how to and we finally made it. When we finally got to the hotel where they were staying (don't ever ask me about that) we decided to go to the Dolphin Mall. (Nice!) Just so happen they had rented a jeep too! Which the valet promptly crashed. That's right people. For 36 dollars a day you can pay someone to tear your car up for you! Well it was just a bent side mirror, dented door and a scraped front bumper. Hats off to Cind

It's All Greek To Me - Agape

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Here a greek word that you need to have in your vocabulary. AGAPE - (ag-ah'-pay) is the Greek word for divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. Agape loves you whether or not you return that love. It doesn't expect anything in return. Churches, that's you and me, who try to exist without agape are pointless and doomed to fail. This month I will have pastored FFWC for 13 years. Add these 13 with the 6 I did in Coral Springs and that comes to 19. Add that to the nearly 4 years I did as a youth, music and associate pastor in Jacksonville and Crystal River and we come to 24. Add the 6 years that I was preaching before that and the total comes to 30 years. (FYI - that was depressing and that will be the last time that I do that.) My point is this. I have pastored and preached to some unloving churches. Frankly, I would rather have my teeth pulled that have to do that again. God cannot move in the midst of a people who cannot get the most basic attitude

Study Finds Americans Have Had a “Miraculous Physical Healing”

This article, courtesy of Health.com, quotes a study from Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion that says 16% of Americans have indeed seen or experienced a miraculous physical healing! Another quote from the article points out that, "Pentecostals and African-American Protestants were far more likely than other groups, such as mainline Protestants or Catholics or Jews, to say they have either witnessed or experienced a miraculous healing firsthand." You think!?! Hey! God is still doing what He promised He said He would do! What's the surprise here?

God Caused the Subprime Rate Market To Fail?

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In an article from Time magazine, dated Oct 3rd, it is suggested that Pentecostals have something to do with our current economic crunch. The author of this article, David Van Biema, suggests that the fastest growing brand of Pentecostalism is a prosperity or prosperity lite gospel. First of all, I disagree with such a broad statement. Mr. Van Biema offers no facts to back that statement up and I would find it quite difficult to believe it. In another article he wrote about the prosperity message. He says that 3 out of the 4 top megachurches in this country are prosperity message churches. Again he is wrong. Number #1, number #10 and that's it. I question whether or not you can call them all out prosperity churches. Another thing also. I've read these articles and no where does Mr. Van Biema even begin to define what prosperity preaching is. So let's understand what it is. God will make you prosperous if you will bless this ministry or ministry endeavor.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

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Richard Hammar, our legal counsel for the Assemblies of God. He is also an astronomer. He has a website www.seetheglory.com where he has documented some of God's best work in the heavens. Go take a look and enjoy the majesty of the Creators creation.

Popular vs. Favor

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Someone recently asked me why people go to a particular church. Before I could answer someone overhearing the conversation chimed in with, "Oh that's the popular place for people to go to church." Attending that church is a status symbol. Now I am not bashing any churches here. I know some people who attend that church and they do so because they are ministered to and feel that God blesses them there. But there is some truth to the popular statement. In Acts 2:46-47 "46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." So was the church in Jerusalem popular? The short answer has to be yes. Popular by definition is: "...regarded with great favor, approval, or affection especially by the general public;" The general public

Redneck Amusement Park

Today was so crazy that I forgot to blog. Sorry about that, but I'll include this for your enjoyment.

33 Pastors Pick a Fight with the IRS

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33 pastors, this past Sunday, willingly endorsed a political candidate for president. This, if you don't know, the IRS (some say law others say code) bars religious organizations and nonprofit groups that accept tax-deductible contributions from endorsing specific candidates. This was done in 1954. As a result, any nonprofit group that does that will automatically lose their tax-deductible status. These pastors are joining forces with a legal team called the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a group of Christian lawyers who work for socially conservative causes. Their purpose is to build a test case that will go all the way to the Supreme Court. You can read more about it here. So what are your thoughts? If churches can endorse candidates, should they have to pay taxes? Does the inability to endorse a candidate a violation of our 1st amendment rights? Do you think that this will open a pandoras box of government control on churches?

Jesus or God? Romans 10: 1- 4 Pt. 2

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I am still reeling from Romans 10. But before I being, let's keep one thing straight. Don't assume that I am not saying that God isn't God. What I am saying is that there are people who believe in God, but they don't know Jesus. So who is at the center of your life? Jesus or God? If you said God - that's a good answer. But can you qualify that please? We believe in the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. So when you say that you believe in God do you accept Jesus, the Son of God, as the Savior and Leader of your life? Do you accept the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit into your life too? I think that there are to many Christian who are all for God being in their life! They accept Jesus - most of time with terms and limitations. Then they accept the power of the Holy Spirit, but refuse the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Paul points out something about the Israelites that is still happening today. Peop