Saturday, September 1, 2007


Living Word Christian Fellowship

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7

Vol. 16, No. 9 September 2007

I had a dream. I was standing in the church preaching and God said, “Romans 8:9 and 10” over and over to the people. Romans tells us that we are living by the Spirit of God and not the flesh if the Holy Spirit of God really dwells in us. It is His righteousness dwelling in us.
Do you hear this, church? God wants you to know His Spirit is dwelling in you and ruling your heart and life. Don’t keep living after the flesh; it will kill you. There is enough resurrection life in you to protect and keep you in this hour. He is pleased with us at this hour. Don’t waver in your faith. Stay with Him because He is leading us into the promises that He has laid out for us and spoken over us.
It doesn’t matter what it looks like outwardly; the inward working of the life of Christ is active and alive.
What a wonderful God we serve. I needed to hear this word and I hope it will encourage you as well.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!

In Christ,

Pr. Steve

Tough Calls

Psa 92:1-15 “[It is a] good [thing] to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: (2) To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, (3) Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. (4) For thou, LORD, hast made triumph in the works of thy hands. (5) O LORD, how great are thy works! [and] thy thoughts are very deep. (6) A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. (7) When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; [it is] that they shall be destroyed for ever: (8) But thou, LORD, [art most] high for evermore. (9) For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. (10) But my horn shalt thou exalt like [the horn of] an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. (11) Mine eye also shall see [my desire] on mine enemies, [and] mine ears shall hear [my desire] of the wicked that rise up against me. (12) The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (13) Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. (14) They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; (15) To shew that the LORD [is] upright: [he is] my rock, and [there is] no unrighteousness in him.”
How do you make tough decisions? We are in a time when abuse, intimidation, and domineering people are out of control. Doesn’t the Bible say, “Love covers a multitude of sins?” (1 Pet.4:8) Many think they need to cover up abuse from others. But then the day comes when you can’t take any more. What are you going to do?
Each of us will face a time when we must stand up to those things that keep us pressed under evil. And while most (95%) of the decisions that we have to make can be made by a 10th grader, it is the other 5% that either make or break us.
Every tough decision that is ever made will still make you moan and groan over that decision. Why? Because every one of these tough calls includes 4 characteristics:
1. Each takes much energy, time and prayer. Never make a tough call in reaction or in anger. Never do it without sleeping on it. Take time to make that call. (In fact, that is what I have to do.) (Jam 1:20) “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (Kingdom of God) You can’t serve God when you are resentful or angry; and if you try whatever you do is going to be wrong even if it is right. Each of these calls saps the strength out of you. If they were not tough, you wouldn’t feel stressed. There is only one thing to ask God: “HELP!” Ask as often as it takes.
2. Each demands RISKS. If there were no risks, it would not be a tough call. I am not talking about just getting out of your comfort zone. With these calls, you stand in danger of losing everything: reputation, love of those who are around you, alienation of others, what they think of you – “He’s just plain mean.” The mental torment of all of this goes on while preparing to make the tough call.
3. Each will be questioned and criticized and seldom applauded. You will often face abuse, criticism, and domineering situations; and on top of this, once you make the tough call, these negative responses increase. Some people will say how stupid you are, how uncaring and unkind. But the tough decisions have to be made.
4. Each will cost you dearly! It will cost you relationships. Good people will not understand and will back off. It may cost you financially. Today, many in leadership in churches will not make these kinds of calls because they might lose financial support. Instead, they flounder and end up with nothing eternal except a group of socialites ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of what is truth.
How do you do it? Five steps can make these tough decisions a little easier.
1. Do your homework. Research your options and the ramifications of your decisions. Seek the Holy Spirit’s direction. Then put the pros and cons in writing. Make your decisions based on the deep values that you have come to live by in Christ. Evaluate the decision with clear knowledge of all that will be affected. Having a thorough realization of the consequences will prevent you from basing the decision only on your desires.
2. Set a dead line. Don’t procrastinate. It only makes matters worse. (Don’t decide in a hurry, but be reasonable about making your decision.) Make your decision on time. Even if you don’t make a decision, you still have made a decision, but one that is weak and frail, causing consequences worse than before you began considering the possible abuse, intimidation, and domination of others. (Proverbs 9:8)
Pro 9:8 (MSG) “So don't waste your time on a scoffer; all you'll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that's different--they'll love you for it!”
3. Seek counsel from the right people. Do not seek counsel only, but seek it from the right people. Get wise and trusted counsel from those outside your inner circle. Outsiders can help you see things that you have missed. They can help you identify the bigger picture when it simply stares you in the face. {I have 3 non-resident elders, apostles that I relate to and can call at any time when I get stuck} Everyone needs to have someone from outside his immediate circle to contact about tough decisions..
4. Make your decisions on principles and values you know. Base them on who you are and what you believe. If you make them based on anything else, you will have compromised. We have to be yielded and bending towards people, but be true to ourselves. Be true to your anointing within and the way you work in your life. Don’t be partial or vindictive. Don’t allow friendships to cause you to compromise who you are. (Small people will compromise and try to overlook evil, even when it goes on and on.)
5. Understand the emotions involved in making tough calls. The strongest people will be willing to suffer over tough decisions, but still maintain their ability to make them.
This is the central essence of those who will be able to go forth in the power of the Spirit and the anointing to overcome evil in these days. Decision making is one step beyond choices. Choices are made every moment of the day without regard to others. Decisions are made throughout the day putting the other person’s value up front. We must not make decisions to hurt others, but to bring them to a place of deliverance and healing, even though the process looks like more trouble and pain. Suffering is a part of life that forces a change within us. Today we are being forced to change, either into the image of Christ or the image of Satan.
1. Are tough calls worth the pain and energy? Or should we make someone else make them. Every tough call you make makes you a better person and your calling more intact. (It is painful and costly, but if you ignore it, it will cost you more in the long run.)
2. You might just be one tough call away from a breakthrough of quality. Make the tough call.
3. Do your homework, set a deadline, and seek counsel. Then make your best call based on who you are, and understand the emotions involved. And then JUST DO-IT!

-Pr. Steve

sharing with you thoughts from my journal over the past few years. This is to show you how the Lord has brought about His Word in my life to minister to you and to show you how real this walk can be. Please read and understand by the Spirit about ...

. . . My calling as a pastor

Pastor’s Journal 2006
Sept. 1: “Maintain a spirit of “Courage” so you can encourage others.” (Psm. 27:14) “Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
Sept. 2: Behold the Lamb; it changes you from glory to glory into the image of the Lord.
Sept. 12: When will you answer my prayer, O Lord? (2 Kings 21) “When I bring justice to your situation then I will answer.”
Sept. 14: My, how the determination of Christ in me keeps me going in the right direction with the right decisions that bring honor to the Kingdom of God.
Sept. 15: “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people. Speak edifying words to her because of the warfare. Her integrity is pardoned.”
Sept. 16: “Endearment” = to express affection
Sept. 18: “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk in integrity.” (Psm. 84:11) Humility breaks the pride and disappointment of life.
Sept. 21: You continue to press in past the veil to behold the secrets and blessings and the darkness and glory. Confident expectation awaits you.
Sept. 24: “Stop fighting and know that I am God!”
Sept. 26: “I have delivered your soul from the pit and am taking you to My glory.”
Sept. 27: Release and Approve – Word from the Lord about final inspection. Praise the Lord for His faithful word. His word is truth always. Forgive me for my failing doubts that cause my heart to hurt.
Sept. 28: This battle of the past six months has been about one thing, to trust the true word written by Your Holy Spirit. I have learned how much more I perceive your rhema Word to me. Now show me how to overcome fear in my heart when the enemy of my soul harasses and rules.

Are You Committed?

part 3 of 3

We are being discipled. Good. But how many of us have a disciple? If we do not have at least one, we are too busy. (This does not include your children.)
We are not leaders if we do not have followers. Who do we spend time with? What are we talking about when we are with them? Is there a comradery for the Kingdom of God?
We should be committed to family and church groups.
Are you committed to:
Your family?
Your church?
Men to Men’s group?
Women to Women’s group?
Youth to Youth group?
Children to Children’s group?
Singles to Single’s group?
Special ministries?
Giving to needs?
Your brothers and sisters?
Parents who teach their kids based on performance have teens that feel little self worth. They feel they are loved based on what they do, not who they are.
Jer. 1:10 (NKJV) “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”
If you have burdens for people, spend time with them. Jer. 1:10 calls us to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, to build, and to plant. We can not do this alone. We must be people of integrity. This means that we should do what the word says.
Let’s go back to Matt. 7:24 through Matt. 7:27 (KJV) “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
Being committed is like building on the rock. Nothing moves you. You are confident in who you are, and others have confidence in you.

-Pr. S. Chad Ross

One Narrow Road

part 1

Mat 7:13-14 (KJV) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Many definitions of, “modern day Christianity” seem to have become broad and obscure. The Holy Bible, in its original text, has not changed; but portions being taken out of context have increased immensely. That may simply be a result of people not wanting it in its original form. Like anything in the natural that needs to be solid but gets mixed, it takes only a little variation to ruin the whole batch. Therefore, if the path is already known to be narrow, we should use great caution if ever attempting to broaden the conditions for walking thereon.
Mat 23:37-39 (KJV) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (39) For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
People have always had a problem with the untainted word of God. Think about it, everyone loved following Christ when He was healing and feeding them and casting demons out of them; but when He would stop and teach them, the crowd would usually diminish until there were only twelve. At some point even the twelve were noted as saying, “This is a hard saying, who can abide in it.” Jesus knew that there would not be many that would follow, but He was not impressed by numbers and notoriety. Jesus gave more notice to the conversions such people as Mary Magdalene and Zacheus the tax collector, along with the difference that their faith and repentance made in the way they lived. Why? Because it is God’s living word, and the difference that it makes when applied to our lives that is needed.
Many churches that have diminished in membership and attendance numbers have been influenced to turn to this modern age of new technological strategies, and philosophical approaches for drawing in new people. They have been labeled, “Seeker-Sensitive Churches.” Rather than emphasizing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the emphasis of these churches has shifted to meeting the needs of the people. Those who attend will no longer view themselves as sinners that need to be saved, but rather as seekers that come from broken and messed up families, the lonely and single, or victims of society. The messages are mostly formulated to appeal to natural needs of the seekers instead of encouraging a love for God and a walk of obedience to His Word. The main pitfall is that the focus of the seeker-sensitive church is too often on the seeker rather than upon God.
(to be continued)

-Kurt Thurston