Monday, June 30, 2014

Trust in the Lord and Stay in the Race!

By Pastor Ken Foreman

Text: Genesis 50:24-25 - "And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which He sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence."

Joseph's family was still in Egypt when he died. He knew they would not be there for ever. But it came to a place and time (400 years later) when they had accomplished all that could be done in Egypt. It was time for them to go to "the promise!" You'd think that the promise was something they should have rushed toward - ASAP! But it was necessary that they go through the wilderness "school" before they were fit (prepared) for the promise.

Stuff had to be purged (burnt out). Stuff had to be laid aside (laid down). Stuff had to be pruned (cut off). It was necessary for Israel to learn patience as thy waited for God to bring them to the promise. They had to learn - it's not me, but it's US!

"Let us run this race with patience."
"Let patience have her perfect work."

We might not see the big "picture," but you can rest on the promise. He did not call you out so you could fail. He called you so you could be victorious! Jesus endured the cross... for the joy! We need to do the same - endure our cross. You can have joy in the midst of a trial. You can have everyone wondering what you're smiling about... not because of the tribulation, but because of what's on the other side!

Our witness needs to be about the goodness of God. That's what brought us into the truth. And it's what will bring them in too. This is the reason we hold on. This is the reason we don't give up. Think about it...! What happens if we get out of the race? They're watching us. We have a responsibility to them and to Him. As long as we trust Him and stay in the race, He has promised that we will reap the benefits. He wants to save more, fill more. The promise is there. It's prepared, waiting and ready for those who continue, those who endure, those whose eyes are on the promise, and who invite others to partake in the promise too.

Blemished Sacrifices

By Bishop Charles R. Grisham

Text: Romans 12:1-2 - "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Hebrews 13:15 - "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name."

In the times of the Old Testament, Jehovah required the best to be sacrificed -- nothing less would do. The best lamb, goat, heifer, bullock, turtledove, whatever -- it was necessary that it be the best they had. (Best, first, highest quality)

The New Testament requires a living sacrifice (us). The problem with living sacrifices is that they have this strange tendency to crawl off of the altar on a frequent basis. Some folks hang back because they are not ready to give their best. And even today, the only thing God tolerates by proxy is intercession. You can stand in for someone who is in need of salvation, deliverance, and/or healing -- by faith! This "standing in" does not save them, it's for the purpose of interceding that their "bonds/bands" will be broken/loosed. It seems that He smiles on this endeavor.

Let us compare our (New Testament) sacrifice to the Old Testament lamb...

flawless, spotless  -- --  blemished
whole  -- -- deficient
healthy -- -- diseased
clear-eyed -- --   rheumy w/cateracts
breathing clear -- -- mucus filled
sturdy -- -- lame
ears cleaned out -- -- deaf
clean -- -- filthy
blue ribbon best -- -- second string or less
first born -- -- runt 

What could be more important than coming to service to worship the King of kings?


Tardiness -- brings questions as to your commitment
Traffic -- traveling
Drowsiness (physical or spiritual)

In Malachi's day, God gave a scathing rebuke to the Jews who brought their lame and blind animals for their sacrifice. He saw it all -- -- what they brought AND what they left at home! (See Malachi 1:7-14.)

Ten Things My Dad Taught Me!

By Mark Henry

Text: Isaiah 38:18-20 -- "For the grave cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known Thy truth. The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD."

At the age of twelve, Jesus said, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" Early on, He knew He was on a mission ordained by His Father, and had already purposed in His heart to carry it out faithfully.
My father and mother were divorced when I was still very young. I would spend the school weekdays with Mom and go to my Dad's on Fridays after school. Every Friday, as soon school let out, I'd climb to the highest point on the playground and begin my watch for my dad's truck to come into view. Many times over the years he took me with him to job sites. There I learned many important lessons. I've listed ten of them for this Father's Day message...

  1. Work Hard - Not just a conqueror, but "more than conquerors." Dad said, "If you're willing to do hard work, you'll always have a job, 'cause [most] people won't work hard."
  2. Do the Right Thing - Do it the right way. Share the truth with your children.
  3. Hang in There - Life doesn't always bring pleasant surprises. Stay in the game. Never give up!
  4. With Privilege Comes Responsibility - Be faithful in the small things and God will open the door to greater things. Peter was given the "keys"-- and also the responsibility (Acts 2, 8, & 10)
  5. Be Faithful - Mark worked at pizza delivery for seven years - Dad said, "Work it well and see what happens." Clean the toilet, do whatever needs doing. Rejoice! Do it as unto the Lord!
  6. God Will Make a Way - God will never allow you to get into a situation where He can't/won't provide the solution (a way of escape).
  7. Reminders are Needed - Repetition/drill! It's needed! Read it again! Quit resisting! Get it done! Get busy! Otherwise, you're wasting time.
  8. Learn to Take Correction - Sin has consequences. (Sinking sand, Bottomless pit) "Go and sin no more!" Walk in the Spirit - be led bu it! This proves you're a "son of God." Don't run away! Running makes for spiritual anemia. "Spiritual teenagers" won't take it. Growth is God's goal. He's a loving Father.
  9. Let God Take You Home -- We don't know who's hurting. Wait on God's timing - He knows when - don't take it into your own hands. When HE's Ready!
  10. Get Your Head Up! - Keep looking up! Redemption draws near. Your Help comes from "up." (the hills) Be strong, keep the commandments of God.
Editor's Note: Bro Mark Henry and his family serve as associate minsters under Bro. George Hicks in Boulder, Colorado. They visited with us over Father's Day weekend and New Life was blessed and strengthened by their ministry. He was recently ordained by the Colorado District of the United Pentecostal Church International.

Russian Report...

By Mark Stumbo
St. Petersburg, Russia

It is a very sensitive situation right now for Americans living in St. Petersburg, Russia.  A gap has widened in U.S. and Russian relations more than I have ever seen. The recent conflict in the Ukraine has the potential to directly or indirectly affect us and the work of the Lord in Russia and our contacts in the Ukraine. Not only are the Russians starting to feel the impact of sanctions, but since we live among the people we feel them as well. Prices for food and travel have already started to rise. In the future, I am sure items and services will be limited. We hear rumors from time to time that it will be harder for Americans who wish to life in the country to get visa documents, and that Master Card and American Express will stop doing business in Russia. Already, some 70 billion dollars' worth of investment has left the nation as the world has lost confidence in Mr. Putin, confidence which took him around fifteen years to build.

Right now, there is a tense calm. We are praying for God to give us direction and divine protection as we are unsure what will unfold in the future. Some of our Russian neighbors do not look at us in the same way they did before. We see a storm across the bow of the ship.

Nevertheless, we are still determined to step across the railing and out into the sea of humanity; not to sink in the storm around us, but to keep our eyes on Jesus. We know that if we look at the ominous clouds of uncertainty, we will sink in doubt and self-pity. If we look at the crashing waves around us, we will be drowned by the opinions and feelings of others. But if we look at Jesus -- He shows us the way.

As I write this report, this upcoming Sunday will see three young children from the Sunday School Department being baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the 25th of May, we are planning a city-wide outreach,expecting people to come and break through in the Spirit. This summer we are planning to host a special event reaching out to children through English Evangelism. So, let kingdoms rise up against kingdoms, nations against nations, but as long as the Lord gives us the ability we want to labor in His Kingdom. We are not blind to the struggles around us, but are praying for revival, praying for the expansion of the church, praying and planning for God to do great things!

Editorial Note: Bro. Mark Stumbo and his family are ALJC missionaries home-based in St. Petersburg, Russia, with outreach in numerous places around the nation. They solicit your prayers that revival and a Holy Ghost outpouring will saturate the Russian people, filling them and empowering them to be witnesses any and every where all over this enormous nation. Hearts are hungry, God is willing, laborers are needed, prayer is vital! 

My Little Friend

By Carol Warfield

My name is Minnie, where it came from I cannot say. I have a special look when my master comes my way.
She knows if I am hungry or need a special touch. She takes me for a walk or car ride which I enjoy so much. If a storm comes up, she's there to take away my fear and say, "It's all right my little one. I'm right here beside you. Everything's okay."

Whenever I need to relieve myself, she's Johnny on the spot, whether it's morning or the middle of the night. She's always there for me. If I'm in need of anything, she knows I'll give her just a small tap and a special look to say, "My water bowl is empty, please fill it right away." Sometimes I give her a special look because I'm wanting a real treat. All I have to do is lick my lips and she's on her way.

And if I'm feeling sick, she knows just what to do. Her gentle touch and whisper of prayer gets me back up on my feet. She knows where our help comes from and she quickly calls on His Name. For you see, God made us both to fulfill His purpose.

When my time comes to leave this life and go back to the dust, she'll have eternity to hear God say, "Well done, My child. You have done okay. (Proverbs 12:12; Psalm 36:6) We both have faced many trials in life. God has always seen us through and given us extra strength to make it through.

I'm grateful for my master, she has taken me to where I am today and I know I need not fear for God and my master are always near.

It's such a blessing and comfort to know each and every day -- I love my little friend God sent my way. If you could hear my heart, you would hear it say, Thank You, God, for Your blessings You so freely give. To know that Jesus loves us by the care He gives and sends our way. (Psalm 23:4)

Editorial Note: Carol and Don Warfield are faithful saints who've been a part of New Life over many years. She is an enthusiastic writer and lover of the Word, having read the Bible through well over 100 times. It's a source of joy to her heart. 

Remembering Ruby...

"Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price is far above rubies."
(Proverbs 31:10)

Ruby Justice has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember; first, as the mother of my "best friend," Shirley, then, as a close friend of my mom, and later, (after mama died) she became a friend to me. My general conference buddy, we traveled back and forth, sharing hotel rooms, plane rides, food and fun. We always had fun, no matter who else was with us. Count on Ruby to bring joy and laughter into any and every situation. No one could sit in the mulligrubs long when Ruby was around.

Jesus took Ruby home with Him on May 3rd. It's remarkable that her transition was so close to Mother's Day and that it was reuniting her with Shirley and Gene, as well as Eugene and her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What a reunion that must have been! 

Mother's Day always makes me think of the Proverbs 31 woman. And as I sat in her funeral service the following Friday, it came to me that Ruby was a Proverbs 31 woman, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great, great-grandmother! To illustrate what I mean, let's look at the Proverbs list with Ruby in mind...
  • The heart of her husband safely trusts in her -- What loving care she took of Eugene, life-long!
  • He lacks nothing of value -- Eugene oozed pride (the good kind) in his godly wife.
  • She will do him good (not evil) all her life -- In sickness and in health, no matter what!
  • She works willingly with her hands -- A spotless house, an open door, and a friendly welcome. 
  • She gets up early and provides food for her family -- Truth, Lord!
  • She's diligent, thrifty, careful, capable, and strong -- Ruby's life example was good stewardship.
  • She was aware of her responsibilities and did them to the best of her ability.
  • She was compassionate, reaching out to those who are hurting.
  • When hard times came, she was not afraid for her family. She had provided for them.
  • She dresses herself well -- Neat as a pin and twice as pretty (with help from Jim).
  • She makes her husband look good. He is respected -- No wonder he was so proud of her!
  • She's wise and kind, her instructions are faithful -- Were you listening? Do you remember?
  • She takes good care of her house -- Oh, My! Need I say more on that score?
  • She's not idle, nor is she a busybody -- My mom loved that about Ruby.
  • Her children rise up and call her blessed -- More truth, and she deserved every word.
  • Her husband "sang" her praises -- His heart and his home overflowed...
  • Others do well and are virtuous, but she excels them all -- Ruby was a good example!
  • Because she honored and feared the Lord, she shall be praised -- She was, is, and will be!
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise..."
(Proverbs 31:30-31a, NIV)


Protecting the Harvest

A Poem By Marjorie Kinnee

An uneasy restlessness grips me.
Finding no simple solution, I begin to probe deeper,
Touching tender places, bruised and sore,
Seeking the core, the roots.
On my knees I crouch low;
The hot sun scorches my back
And I sweat in the heat..
It's hard work,
Work that I'd rather leave for a more convenient season,
When the sun's rays weren't so hot,
And the ground was softened by rain.
But the angle of the sun tells me
I haven't much time,
So, I poke and sift, pinching off insects
And driving away the pesky birds and bunnies
That would harm my harvest.
My heart is cheered when I pause
and realize that the Lord of the Harvest
Is working close by.