Thursday, July 1, 2010

JULY NEWSLETTER 2010

Living Word

Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 19, No. 7 July 2010

There is still nothing more fulfilling than hearing the Lord speak and give you answers to your concerns. It is not easy. It takes time and patience and tuning in to that still small voice. But then something happens. When you know it is the Lord, every other voice will come in and try to drown His voice out and cause you to doubt. Don’t let that happen. Know the joyful sound! Don’t forget it. Hold on to it tightly. It will continue to encourage you and keep you on the right track.

But what about when people don’t understand you? All you have to do is hear and obey. Then let the Lord do the rest. Remember, His ways are not our ways.

Isa 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”

He knows exactly what He is talking about, so watch Him bring it to pass. Time is our enemy, but not His. Let Him have His way in bringing to pass what He wants the way He wants to do it. As I said, just knowing you are hearing is enough for me. For then, I know I am His sheep and He is leading me and in control of it all.

In Christ,
Pr. Steve

UPON THE HOUSETOPS


Luk 12:3 KJV “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

It is a fact of life that self-seeking people will seek to betray those more honorable than themselves. They will act deceitfully so they can to get what they want. Absalom is a biblical example of such action.

We are now in a time nationally when this sin is taking place. But we are also at a time spiritually when God is exposing the darkness in each of us. Nothing is kept in the dark any longer. Some of you are afraid of that darkness because of what might come out. But it is time to stop hiding what God is trying to reveal so you can be set free. God is a God of deliverance, not one of hardship because of your hidden agendas.

Joh 3:20-21 KJV “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

People who lie and manipulate do so under the cover of darkness. God is bringing everything into the light so there will be no excuse for our actions. There is coming a day when every person’s life will be manfest to see what is of God and what is not of God.

It is too easy to become cynical of all the political lies so that we don’t want to trust anyone with our lives. The enemy wants us to keep hidden the areas that tend to harm us. We have seen and experienced injustice at every turn. But the Bible clearly indicates it will all be exposed. The world is a playground for the devil and his demons. The only reason Jesus Christ permits it to continue is to raise up the overcomers who will grow in righteousness so they can govern the world with Christ.

In the meantime, people from every walk of life are being taken into the spirit world where they have neither riches nor poverty. They bring with them only their reputations – a record of what they did while living on the earth.

The Lord wants to set you free from any bondage that could go with you into life or death. You do not want to pass from this life in the same bondage you lived with while on the earth. If you are unfaithful now, you will be unfaithful in the next life. If you are a liar now, when you go into the next life, you may very well still be bound with a spirit of lying; but you won’t be able to deceive anyone any longer.

Books have been written that tell of visions people have had about the afterlife. Most accounts are similar in that people are chained to their behaviors, but the only thing they can do is curse or be cursed. They can no longer act upon their behavior.

There are many movies today about how people trick others to get what they want. The plot is based upon how people respond to the trickery or deceit. This is the way of life for us as believers. We experience certain situations to see what we will do under temptation or some other kind of pressure. Will we abandon our integrity and trust God, or will we take upon ourselves what we deem best without seeking God’s approval? When we pass into the next life, we will discover all the times we were tricked or deceived. We will discover all the times the Lord gave us a way out of our selfishness, but we voted against it. [Can you imagine those who have had an affair to get who they want because they didn’t like their current situation? But one day they pass into the next life only to discover what they had given up and then they have nothing.]

Colossian 3:1 tells us those who live as being crucified with Christ and risen with Christ will be taken to God’s right hand upon death. Can you imagine your thoughts and feelings standing before God Almighty as your dark side is revealed? I believe His presence would burn you alive. But God wants to deal with your dark side today while you are alive. He wants to judge you and change you now; and if you give Him the opportunity, then you need fear nothing, either now and on that day. Once we are delivered from the hidden agendas of our heart we have nothing to fear and we can proclaim our freedom upon the housetops.

Luk 11:32 KJV “The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”

Have you ever thought about the above prophecy? We usually think of God being the one who judges us. But this verse states that other people and nations will be involved in the act of judging. It is as though the human race will be brought together in the work of judgment so everyone can witness the justice of God.

Today, we haven’t any clue about God’s judgment. While the false prophets keep saying, “God isn’t judging us,” the godly prophets are proclaiming His coming judgment upon the housetops. But how many are listening? The purpose of accepting and following Jesus Christ is not to escape an evaluation of our life. Rather, it is for the purpose of receiving a pardon for our past sins so we can gain the virtue, power and wisdom that comes by knowing Christ alone and which change us into new creations who are delivered today!

Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, whatever you sow, you also reap. But if we are truly repenting, taking up our crosses and following Jesus, God continues to forgive us our sins while He leads us into a life change that is lasting. We may suffer for a while because of what we have done, but the spirit realm recognizes we have repented and turned away from ungodliness so we don’t have to worry about their opinion. God will spare us in the day of wrath.

But if we do not live a life of repentance and if we neglect our crosses and if we refuse to follow Jesus His way, we have something to be concerned with. God demands change. If He does not see it, all we have done in this life is worthless.

1Ti 5:24 KJV “Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.”

I’m not sure what the above means. Perhaps it means if we keep putting off the time of deliverance we will regret it more severely in that day. None of us knows when our time will come. We read about accidents or disease every day. None of us is promised another day.

1Co 3:13 KJV “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.”

“The day shall declare it…” We are in the day in which our works are being tested. What we have done in cooperation with the Spirit of God will withstand the fire. But that which we did out of our own enthusiasm or self-will cannot endure the fire. [Remember, Jesus said, “Get away from me you who are unrighteous. I don’t care what you did in my name, I don’t know you.”] This is an important word for us today. We in America evaluate Christian ministry in terms of numbers. Consequently, those who are gifted in showmanship gather the people while those who follow the Lord suffer greatly at times. We judge the former as successful and even want our children to be a part of them while they cast out their deceptive practices bringing multitudes down with them. [Yes, it is easy to get lost in a crowd. But there, you will never be confronted with the hidden agendas of your own heart.]

Luk 13:26-27 KJV “Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. (27) But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”

Is Christ impressed with our success or with our faithfulness? If we do not walk with God in a manner of integrity and faithfulness, all that we have ever done profits us nothing in the Kingdom of God. Too many times we hold on to unscriptural values. We need to surrender these wrong priorities before we stand before our Creator.

All of our heart will be brought into the light at the coming of the Lord. Our motives will either praise or condemn us.

If we believe the glory of God is going to break forth upon His church, we need to understand that transformation must first take place; for God’s glory will destroy that which is not fireproof. We must be seen as those who are utterly faithful to the Lord and who were willing to lay down their lives for the gospel’s sake so that others might be brought into the Kingdom of God.

Now is the time to turn away from all forms of filthy or ungodly behavior and seek the Lord.

Don’t let Christian “religion” become an alternative to a life of godly integrity and honor. Our Christian salvation is a gift from God that cannot be taken lightly. Live righteously before people, and they will glorify God with you.

-Pr. Steve

Time Away With God


In today’s society it is incredibly easy to get caught up in the fast pace of living that has been made available through technological increases and inventions that allow mass availability. For example: Travel is faster, therefore allowing us to go and to do more than any one person should ever want to do. Computers allow us to shop anywhere, view anything, and contact people anywhere on the planet. Cell phones make communications available 24 hours a day. Televisions can supply us with over 500 stations to watch any hour of the day, and rental DVD’s are available 24-7 at the local fast food establishments. These are only a few of the things that consume the time and minds of many Christians here in the USA.

(Mat 14:13-23 KJV) “When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. (14) And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. (15) And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. (16) But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. (17) And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. (18) He said, Bring them hither to me. (19) And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. (20) And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. (21) And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. (22) And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. (23) And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.”

In the above portion of scripture, we twice read that Jesus prioritized getting away from the pressing busyness. He knew that He could not allow Himself to be ruled by surrounding circumstances, He needed to keep a clear and open line to the will of God the Father. Jesus always led by example, and yet His disciples were slow to learn. They tried to get Him to eat when His food was to do the will of the Father. They tried to coax Him to save Himself when He spoke of laying down His life. The disciples should have realized that they would not be able to do the will of the Father unless they followed Jesus’ examples. For instance, in the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples were supposed to be praying, but they were overcome with dread and slept instead. Jesus warned them that they needed to be strengthened by communication with the Father so that they would be able to overcome temptation, but they slept on and abandoned Jesus when His dark hour came.

As Christians we must realize that it is important for us to maintain the discipline of having a sound mind. If we find that we are losing internal mind battles and our conversations are tainted because of the spiritual deprivation in our hearts, we must quickly seek God to bring our lives into proper order or we will fall. If you were driving in a car and you realized you were speeding towards a cliff, wouldn’t you slam on the brakes?

“If people would only put the brakes on their speeding minds, not only would their mind find rest, but it would be more receptive to divine Grace. Without divine illu mination, knowledge ends in disaster. Those who strive and labor for their spiritual life have their mind illumined by God; they receive divine illumination, divine experiences, and these give them foresight, so that they don’t see things only through their own understanding” (Author Unknown).

This divine illumination is the “make it or break it” of our fulfilling the will of God for our lives as well as the only way to gain revelation for reaching out to others by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

(Psa 51:11-13 KJV) “(11) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (12) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (13) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”

It is time to seek the Lord. We cannot let anything hinder us from getting away with the Lord, because it is in repentance and rest that we will find restoration.

(Isa 40:31 KJV) “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

-Kurt A. Thurston

I am going to be 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

Jul 1: ‘That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.’

Jul. 2: “We have renounced the hidden things of deceit and wickedness.”

Jul. 3: “The Kingdom of God comes with a great intensity and ardent fervor for those who want it.” (Matt. 11:12)

Jul. 4: “The continual sacrifices that you offer to Me are recognized and are significant in finding the good, pleasing and perfect will that I have for your life.”

Jul. 6: “You are sanctified through the truth. All things are sanctified by the Word and prayer and you are cleansed through the Word spoken to you.”

Jul. 8: “Relationship is built on trust. If you trust Me, I will work it out.”

Jul. 9: “I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for – believe that you have received them and you will have them. If you stand praying and have anything against anyone, forgive him so your Father in Heaven will also forgive your wrongdoing. If you don’t forgive neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your wrong doing.”

Jul. 15: “The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?” (Pro. 18:14)

Jul. 20: “Do not concern yourself with the carnal things of life. You are preparing a way for Me to come. And I will come. In order to be ready, follow My Spirit and be not concerned about the things of man. You are losing your life so you can find My life in you.”

Jul. 25: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak. O Lord, heal me for my bones are in agony and my soul is in agony. How long O Lord? Return, O Lord, deliver my soul; save me for thy mercies sake.” (Psm 6:3-4)

Jul. 27: “You are going to know what to do at the right time.”

Jul. 30: “Guard me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”

Jul. 31: “Get ready! You will know the I AM in this!”

What would you do?


What would you do?....you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

“When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?”

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.' Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning…'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning,Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball; the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay.'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!

Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

-anonymous

What is it?????

Community of Youth who attend any type of church or who don’t attend church from any city or state.
A place where truth is taught and learned

Relationships are developed

A safe refuge

A place to develop callings

Where we will be Serving & reaching out to a broken world

A place to worship together

We, Youth United together are breaking down religious barriers and walls that have kept the “church” crippled and not operating as the “ Body” of Christ.

Jesus prayed John 17:23 "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me"

We must declare it to the next Generation! Psalm 78: 1Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth 2I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.4We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 5For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

Youth United has developed small groups where youth can get involved.

These groups are: Outdoors, Dance, Drama, Missions, Music/Singing, Teaching/prayer.

Youth United had their first event on June 11th at 8pm at LWCF.

The youth participated in fun ice breaker games, a time of praise & worship, and then hung out with the other Youth and developed new relationships.

Here are some pictures.

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