by Thom Rainer | October 2, 2017
In some ways, I don’t like the official designation of October to be pastor appreciation month.
I really wish we showed appreciation to pastors all the time. But like many other points of recognition, it does serve as a reminder that we are blessed by our pastors and their ministries.
So how can you bring joy to your pastor? My list of ten is based on the interactions I have with thousands of pastors every year. Some of the affirmations are letters. Many of them have no monetary cost. All of them will be greatly appreciated.
- 1.A handwritten letter committing to pray for your pastor. I just spoke with a pastor who received such a gift. He was choked up just talking about it.
- 2.A handwritten letter of support. Pastors receive criticism regularly. It’s an unfortunate way of life for them. Though many of you support your pastors, they really appreciate your telling them so.
- 3.An anonymous letter with cash. Let your pastors know the gift is for them. Most pastors have no extra funds to buy books or resources or even go out to eat.
- 4.A gift card. Find out what your pastors really like. Do they have a favorite restaurant or store? Get them a gift card.
- 5.A childcare certificate. Commit to a certain number of days to watch the pastor’s children, assuming the kids are still at an age that need childcare. That will be an incredible gift for pastors and spouses.
- 6.A handwritten letter expressing how much difference the pastor has made your life. Be specific. Let your pastors know how much their ministries mean to you personally. Don’t write in generalities, but in ways that demonstrate your life is better because of your pastor.
- 7.A handwritten letter of gratitude to the pastor’s spouse. Pastors’ spouses rarely get affirmed. Your letter of gratitude will mean so much—both to the spouse and to the pastor.
- 8.Books. Most pastors love books. Most pastors have a wish list of books they would like. If you can’t find the specific wish list, a gift card for them is great as well.
- 9.Video of gratitude. Produce a video to be shown in the worship service. Have testimonies of gratitude. Show specific ways the pastor has made a difference. Express gratitude to the pastor’s family as well.
- 10.Remember their anniversary. Let pastor appreciation month be a reminder for you to note your pastor’s anniversary at the church. Celebrate it when that date arrives. Too many pastors get passed by every year despite their ministry and labors for the church and the Kingdom.
Most pastors do not expect recognition or rewards. They did not enter vocational ministry for that reason.
But they really do appreciate it when one or more of the church members remember them in a positive manner.
I hope you will be one of those church members.
Lifeway Book stores
by Pentecostal Leadership Summit | April 2, 2017
We, the undersigned, pray for you and the significant responsibilities you carry on behalf of our nation. One of those responsibilities concerns what to do about undocumented immigrants.
by COGOP | April 2, 2017
Resolution by the Church of God of Prophecy 95th International Assembly, 2008
Today a significant amount of fear and hatred is negatively affecting the mindset of many nations because of the redistribution of population groups through immigration. As Christians, we must ensure that our response to the issue of immigration is directed by a Christian World View that is shaped by biblical principles rather than secular or current attitudes. A number of biblical principles relevant to immigration run through the Bible. Primarily, we as Christians are aliens on this earth. “. . . And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13 NIV). Our status as aliens and strangers formulates the basis for our attitudes and responses toward those people who live outside our society.
We affirm as Christians that our material possessions do not really belong to us. The Promised Land belonged to the Israelites only in the sense that as host, God allowed the Israelites to dwell in the Promised Land as His guests (Leviticus 25:23). Indeed, the children of God were strangers and foreigners in the land they lived in. Similarly, as aliens and strangers in our world today, the material resources of this world do not belong to us. We have what we have because of God; as our host, He has distributed material resources to us, His guests. As recipients of God’s graciousness and generosity, we need to guard against selfishness and possessiveness, which would cloud our attitude toward immigrants.
We affirm that we are all strangers and foreigners in this world. Borders and national ethnic identity should never separate us as God’s people. As non-citizens working in their country of residence, aliens exist outside the social and political network of the society they are residing in; thus, they are rendered powerless. Aliens are very vulnerable to exploitation. As Christians, we should recall our roots as aliens and, thus, identify with their plight (Exodus 23:9) by treating them with kindness and helping them as earlier nations did to Israel and were blessed by God for their generosity. As Christians, no one should ever be considered an outsider. “. . . The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself . . .” (Leviticus 19:33, 34 NIV). The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37–40; Mark 12:30, 31; Luke 10:27) is to apply to the alien because he or she is our neighbor.
We affirm the privilege of serving the outsiders of society that mirrors the ministry and life of Jesus. Because Christ identified with the stranger, we are to extend the same treatment to the alien and stranger that Jesus would give to others (Matthew 25:3–5 KJV).
Historically, immigration policies around the world appear to be directed more by racism and economic self-interest than compassion. Immigration quotas throughout many nations have favored people groups established long ago because of political interest or racial preferences while limiting immigrants from less desirable nations because of education, economic status, or trade skills. We must be people of compassion who pray and extend love to those caught up in the confusing and unjust immigration maze, as the Lord would be to the outcast of His day. We affirm that God has a purpose in the migration moves of people around the world. “‘Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites [Nile region]?’ declares the LORD. ‘Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor [Crete] and the Arameans from Kir?’” (Amos 9:7 NIV). God has never asked us to understand His purposes; however, today’s immigration situation presents the church an opportunity to do ministry among diverse people of every race or ethnic background. By His grace and only for His grace alone, we could have been one of these “little ones” (e.g., Matthew 10:42; 18:6) had we been born in a different time or another country where the suffering, political, and social injustices would have forced us to flee looking for a better life for our loved ones. Therefore, we did not choose the country where we were born, but we can make the choice to show God’s love for the lost, His compassion for the afflicted, and His Spirit of service toward our neighbor, the “stranger at our gates” (Deuteronomy 14:21; 24:14; 31:12). As His children, we are called by God to aid the vulnerable. We must see the alien and the stranger as individuals made in the image of God, the object of Christ’s love. Furthermore, we must see not only them, but all people from every nation as having intrinsic worth by God, needing our affirmation and acceptance._
This document is in every Ministry Policy Manual since the declaration was approved in 2008.
EL DESAFÍO DE LA INMIGRACIÓN MUNDIAL
Resolución por la Asamblea Internacional
de 2008 de la Iglesia de Dios de la Profecía
En la actualidad es evidente que un aumento significativo de miedo y odio está afectando negativamente la mentalidad de muchos países debido a la redistribución de diferentes grupos étnicos por medio de la inmigración.
Como cristianos, debemos asegurarnos que nuestra respuesta al tema de la inmigración está siendo dirigida por una opinión cristiana del mundo que está conformada por principios bíblicos y no por las actitudes seculares o actuales. Existe un número considerable de principios bíblicos a través de la Escritura que son relevantes a la inmigración.
En primer lugar, nosotros como cristianos somos extranjeros en esta tierra.
“Y confesando que eran extranjeros y peregrinos sobre la tierra” (Hebreos 11:13).
Nuestra condición de extranjeros y peregrinos formula la base de nuestras actitudes y respuestas hacia las personas que viven fuera de nuestra sociedad.
Nosotros afirmamos que como cristianos nuestras posesiones materiales no nos pertenecen. La tierra prometida le pertenecía a los israelitas solamente en el sentido de que como anfitrión, Dios les había permitido habitar en ella como Sus invitados (Levítico 25:23).
De hecho, los hijos de Dios eran extranjeros y peregrinos en la tierra que ellos vivían. De igual manera, como extranjeros y peregrinos en nuestro mundo de hoy, los recursos materiales de este mundo no nos pertenecen. Tenemos lo que poseemos porque Dios así lo quiere; Él es nuestro anfitrión. Él nos ha distribuido los recursos naturales porque somos Sus invitados.
Como recipientes de la gracia y generosidad de Dios, debemos guardarnos del egoísmo y la avaricia, ya que esto afecta nuestra actitud hacia los inmigrantes. Afirmamos que todos somos extranjeros y peregrinos en este mundo.
Las fronteras y la identidad étnica nacional nunca deberían separarnos como pueblo de Dios. Como personas no ciudadanos que trabajan en su lugar de residencia, los extranjeros existen fuera de la red social y política de la sociedad en la que residen; por tanto, se encuentran impotentes.
Los extranjeros están vulnerables a ser explotados.
Como cristianos, debemos recordar nuestras raíces como extranjeros y, por lo tanto, identificarnos con su situación (Éxodo 23:9) tratándolos con amabilidad y ayudándoles así como lo hicieron las naciones del pasado con Israel a las cuales Dios bendijo por su generosidad. Como cristianos, nunca nadie debe ser considerado un extraño. “Como a un natural de vosotros tendréis al extranjero que more entre vosotros, y lo amarás como a ti mismo” (Levítico 19:33, 34). El Gran Mandamiento (Mateo 22:37-40; Marcos 12:30, 31; Lucas 10:27) se aplica al extranjero porque él o ella es nuestro vecino.
Afirmamos el privilegio de servir a los extranjeros de la sociedad que refleja la vida y ministerio de Jesús. Así como Cristo se identificó con los extranjeros, nosotros también les extenderemos el mismo trato al extranjero y al peregrine que Jesús les daría (Mateo 25:3-5). Históricamente, las políticas de inmigración alrededor del mundo parecen estar dirigidas más por el racismo y los intereses socioeconómicos que por la compasión. Las opiniones migratorias en muchos países han favorecido a grupos étnicos que se establecieron hace muchos años a causa de intereses políticos o raciales, limitando así a los inmigrantes de naciones menos favorecidas debido a su situación económica, habilidades de comercio y educación. Debemos ser personas compasivas que oran y extienden su amor hacia aquellas personas que se encuentran involucradas en el confuse e injusto laberinto de la inmigración, como sería el Señor con los desdichados de Su tiempo.
Afirmamos que Dios tiene un propósito en los movimientos migratorios de las personas en todo el mundo. “Hijos de Israel, ¿no me sois vosotros como hijos de etíopes, dice Jehová? ¿No hice yo subir a Israel de la tierra de Egipto, y a los filisteos de Caftor, y de Kir a los arameos?” (Amós 9:7). Dios nunca nos ha pedido que entendamos Sus propósitos; no obstante, la situación migratoria de la actualidad le provee a la iglesia la oportunidad de ministrar entre una diversidad de personas con todo tipo de trasfondo racial o étnico. Por Su gracia, y sólo por Su gracia, nosotros podríamos haber sido unos de esos “pequeñitos” (Mateo 10:42; 18:6) si hubiéramos nacido en un tiempo diferente o en otro país donde el sufrimiento y las injusticias sociales y políticas nos hubieran forzado a escaper en búsqueda de una mejor vida para nuestra familia. Por lo tanto, no escogemos el país donde nacemos, pero podemos escoger mostrar el amor de Dios a los perdidos, Su compasión por los afligidos, y Su Espíritu de servicio hacia nuestro prójimo, los que están en nuestras “poblaciones” (Deuteronomio 14:21; 24:14; 31:12).
Como Sus hijos, somos llamados por Dios para ayudar a los necesitados.
Debemos ver al extranjero y al peregrino como personas creadas a la imagen de Dios, el objeto del amor de Cristo. Además, no solamente debemos verlos a ellos, sino a todas las personas de toda nación a las que Dios les ha dado valor intrínseco, y necesitan nuestra afirmación y aceptación.
V. Walter Doroshuk, Presidente H.E. Cardin
Wallace R. Pratt, Secretario Elías Rodríguez
Enos C. Gardiner Timothy L. McCaleb
Antonios Charalambou Tedroy Powell
by Jesse Yanez | March 23, 2017
Great News as A new English Church in Des Moines Iowa, with 48 Members joined the Midwest/Rocky Mtn Region COGOP on March 12, 2017.
Pastors Dr. Randall and Betty Waterman brought in their newly formed independent church to our fold.
Many more are soon to join as Spring Break deterred many from coming in on that date.
Keep Celebration Christian Center a COGOP ministry in your prayers.
by Gloria Furman | February 1, 2017
by Jesse Yanez | February 1, 2017
Pew foundation study on Pentecostalism wrote that in 2010 there 610 million Pentecostals, Charismatic believers, and that by 2020 there would be approximately 800 million.
We the COGOP are a Wesleyan-Holiness Pentecostal Church !
When a son of a slave by the name of William J. Seymour sat in a school in Houston Texas under the tutelage of Charles Parham, he had to sit outside the classroom because of the segregation laws, he later was called by a lady pastor in Los Angeles to go a preach and he went.
At some point into his time there he ruffled feathers by his belief and preaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
People from all over the world came to LA to see and receive this phenomenon…
There was a particular man named GB Cashwell who had come form Indiana
On January 12, 1908, following a sermon by Cashwell, Tomlinson fell to the floor. He professed to receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost and speaking in at least ten different languages.
He will guide you int all truth…John 16:12-14
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
When Jesus chose His followers, He asked and expected a great deal from those who followed Him.
He expected much more from them than just believing He was God’s Son.
He challenged them to embrace radically different standards, to love their neighbors and their enemies, to forgive those who wronged them, to lift up the poor and downtrodden, to share what they had with those who had little, and to live lives of sacrifice!
Then He went as far as to liken their effect on the world around them to that which light has on darkness.
Light dispels darkness; it reverses it. Likewise truth dispels falseness, and goodness reverses evil.
And to the Salt of the earth, which preserves and heals.
Paul identifies our purpose: like this:—
2 Corinthians 5:20-
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.
We are ambassadors for Christ:
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) short for ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary; a diplomatic minister of the highest rank, accredited as permanent representative to another country or sovereign
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) ambassador extraordinary a diplomatic minister of the highest rank sent on a special mission
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) ambassador plenipotentiary a diplomatic minister of the first rank with treaty-signing powers
That term defines an ambassador of Christ..
Empowered by His spirit to do as Jesus is quoted Acts
noun, plural plenipotentiaries.
1. a person, especially a diplomatic agent, invested with full power or authority to transact business on behalf of another.
2. invested with full power or authority, as a diplomatic agent.
3. conferring or bestowing full power, as a commission.
4. absolute or full, as power.
WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST!!!
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Acts 1:8King James Version (KJV)
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
John 20:19-23 NIV
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders,
Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Luke 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to preach deliverance to the captives,
and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord
We are here for a purpose….
To Be His ambassadors.
He makes the judgment calls..
His word and His spirit coincides….
His word and His Spirit must coincide in the COGOP and I believe it does within the confines of His doctrine which we fully accept…