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FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES DOWNTOWN

.6 miles 100 E. Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202 Rate $95 Complimentary continental breakfast, Internet, and parking

GALT HOUSE HOTEL

.3 miles 140 North 4th Street, Louisville, KY 40202 Rate $123 Deluxe rooms Discounted parking rate $5.00

HYATT REGENCY LOUISVILLE

.4 miles 320 West Jefferson Street, Lousiville, KY Rate $123 Discounted parking rate $5.00

LOUISVILLE MARRIOTT DOWNTOWN .4 miles 280 West Jefferson Street Louisville, KY 40202 Rate $123 Discounted parking rate $5.00

RAMADA PLAZA LOUISVILLE

12.1 miles 9700 Bluegrass Parkway, Louisville, KY 40299 Rate: $69.95 Complimentary parking and Internet

RESIDENCE INN DOWNTOWN

.6 miles 333 E. Market Street, Louisville, KY 40202 Rate $99 Complimentary continental breakfast, Internet, and parking

SPRINGHILL SUITES DOWNTOWN

.6 miles 132 E. Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202 Rate $99 Complimentary continental breakfast, Internet, and parking

Reservations are now being accepted for the 2012 International Assembly taking place at the Louisville Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Call the Assembly Reservation line at 800-743-3100 to book your rooms at the special Assembly rates for any of the above hotels or visit www.cogop.org for more information.


Contents w w w w March 2012 • Volume 88, Number 9

Bringing honor to the WORD by the printed word, the White Wing Messenger strives to inspire Christian thought and practice as it imparts the “good news” of the Gospel while serving the connectivity needs of our church community.

Calendar of Events For more information, visit www.cogop.org March 15–17, 2012 CBL School of Practical & Advanced Studies I South Carolina page 12

March 16–18, 2012 Southeast Youth Conference Ridgecrest, North Carolina Operationomega.org

Features 7 SEVEN (For Young Readers) 10 His Doctrine: The Word of God by Wallace Pratt

page 14

12 BIBLE: The Final Word

March 30–April 1, 2012 Niagara (Canada) Ladies Retreat Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

by Sophia Smith

14 The Word Set Me Free by Mike Jenette

16 O Earth Hear the Word by Rita Ford

page 16

April 13–15, 2012 Pacific Southwest Ladies Retreat Ventura, California

Editorials

April 27–29, 2012 Atlantic Northeast Ladies Retreat Newark, New Jersey

18 Becoming A Student of the Word by Kay Horner

20 The Bible Says . . .

The Importance of Committing Scripture to Memory by Bubba Cardin

24 Butterknife or Sword by Todd D. Bagley

27 Stories of Sharing Jesus by Bess Howard

Ministries 8 Youth: Counterfeit Detection by Aileen Ried

22 Christian Education: Making Disciples

March 16–19, 2012 CBL School of Practical & Advanced Studies II North Mexico

4 Facing Forward: Blessed to Bless

by Randall E. Howard, General Overseer

31 Messages A Personal God

by DeWayne Hamby, Managing Editor

Updates 5 Worldview

Religion–Culture–Global–Members Missions–Technology–Chaplains

30 In His Presence Visit us online—www.whitewingmessenger.org

White Wing Messenger Editorial Board: Londa Richardson, Chair; H. E. Cardin; Daniel Chatham; Hanny Vidal; Cervin McKinnon; Perry Horner; Tapio Sätilä; Brian Sutton; Shaun McKinley; and Adrian Varlack

Executive Editor/Publisher: R. E. Howard, Managing Editor: DeWayne Hamby, Copy Editor: Marsha Robinson, Editorial Assistant: Pamela Praniuk, Graphic Artists: Perry Horner and Sixto Ramirez, International Offices (423) 559-5100, and Subscriptions (423) 559-5114 Please submit all material to the White Wing Messenger; Managing Editor; P. O. Box 2910; Cleveland, TN 37320-2910; phone (423) 559-5128; e-mail us at Editorial@cogop.org.

April 27–May 1, 2012 CBL School of Practical & Advanced Studies II Curaco, Netherlands Antilles (ABC Islands) May 4–6, 2012 Great Plains Ladies Retreat Des Moines, Iowa May 16–19, 2012 CBL School of Practical & Advanced Studies III Dominican Republic May 18–20, 2012 Central America Ladies Retreat Panama White Wing Messenger (ISSN 0043-5007) (USPS 683-020) is published monthly as the official publication of the Church of God of Prophecy, 3750 Keith St NW, Cleveland, TN. Send all materials for publication to Editorial Department; PO Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910; e-mail: editorial@cogop. org, fax: (423) 559-5121. For subscription rates, visit wwm.cogop.org; call (423) 559-5114; e-mail: subscriptions@cogop.org. Subscription rate: $18.00 per year, payable to White Wing Messenger by check, draft, or money order. Periodical postage paid at Cleveland, TN 37311 and at additional mail office. Donations for the White Wing Messenger may be sent to the above address. All scripture references are from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to White Wing Messenger, PO Box 2910, Cleveland, TN 37320-2910.

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FACING FORWARD The Power of the Word of God The reports are beyond number as to how the Word of God has been proven to be powerful in its application in men. Recently I heard another wonderful testimony of this very power at work in a far remote village in the Himalayan Mountains, just 35 miles from Mount Everest. Dick Eastman, the President of Every Home for Christ, was sharing the testimony of how a tract distribution team working in that area heard of the remote village. They climbed to find it and as they entered they found huts but no one present. This is not unusual as an entire village might go out to work the sheep or harvest their crops.  The team left a tract in each hut before they descended the mountain and when the villagers returned they began to read them. The shaman (holy man) was especially curious and so he responded to the invitation on the tract to receive a Bible in the mail. He hiked two miles down a portion of the mountain just to mail the response form. When the Bible arrived, the shaman read it to the village and they all believed on the Christ they found there. They began to meet regularly to learn from this book, though they had never seen a church before. They began to worship. They even began to write their own songs and sing about their faith though they had never seen a hymnal or heard a choir. That remote village became a Christian village because the Word of God came to their small community on the top of the world. No one can know or estimate how many thousands of times this same phenomenon has been repeated through the

May we

all become more and

more ‘People of the Book’

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centuries. The Word of God is “alive and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword. His Word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.” The Word of God is a healer. It is a teacher, full of heavenly wisdom. It is a counselor. It is a map to guide us, as in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, through all the bogs and adversities of life.  As you read about the glorious Word of God in this edition, I pray all of us will be draw a bit closer to the dedication of John Wesley when he said:  “Let me be homo unios libri [a man of one book].” May we all become more and more ‘People of the Book,’ so devoted to live out its truths that those who live near will easily know. Charles Spurgeon shares this idea so eloquently: “It is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is Bibline and the very essence of the Bible flows from you.” Our hope in this edition is that the Word comes alive in us all! Randall E. Howard General Overseer


MEMBERS

Mormonism in the Spotlight Television shows, movies, musicals, and even the race for president of the United States have brought Mormonism to the spotlight in North America and beyond. Whether rising in adherents or not, Mormons are becoming more visible in American society. The Pew Research Center recently released the findings of a survey on Mormonism in America. The organization polled more than a thousand Mormons across the country for the results.

Less than 2 percent

of the population identifies itself as Mormon

63 percent

of Mormons said that Mormonism is on the rise

97 percent

of Mormons describe Mormonism as a Christian religion

51 percent

of the general public believes Mormonism is a Christian religion

76 percent

of Mormons were raised as Mormons while 24% are new converts

86 percent

of Mormons surveyed believe that it is essential to accept that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. —Source: Pew Research Center 2011 National Survey of Mormons Latayne Scott, author of “The Mormon Mirage” (Zondervan), has an extensive list of resources on her website www.latayne.org for those interested in researching more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

COGOP MEMBER GOING TO HOLLYWOOD

RELIGION

William Todd (W.T.) Thompson, a 25 year-old member of the Appomattox, Virginia, COGOP, recently made it past the first auditions of the FOX television singing competition, American Idol. The premier episode featured Thompson’s audition, his family, and scenes from his life in Virginia. Thompson will next appear on the program when “Hollywood Week,” the second round of auditions, takes place.

CULTURE

Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married —A

Record Low

Just 51 percent of all adults in the United States—a record low—are currently

married, and the median age at first marriage for brides and grooms has never been higher. The number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by five percent between 2009 and 2010, a sharp one-year drop that may or may not be related to the sour economy. In 1960, 72 percent of all adults ages 18 and older were married. —Pew Research Center WWM M A R C H 2 0 1 2

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WORLDVIEW (continued)

Continued on page 28

GLOBAL

CONGO BRAZZAVILLE NEWS

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ the Lord and the Savior of the world. The following are greetings in local African and international languages: Afrères, a soeurs: Mbori a bye. Mvula unyooru ubvie (Téké language) Bananga mu yesu: Moyo wenu. Tshidimu tshipiatshipia tshimpe (Luba Language) Bandeko kati na yesu: Mbote na bino. Mvula na sika malamu. Wanduku wa penzi: Dyambo yenu. Muakawa 2012 m’zuri Ba mpangui mu yisu: Mbote ya benu. Mvula ya malu malu ya mbote. Mes frères et sœurs : Salut. Bonne et Heureuse année 2012. Brothers and sisters in Christ: Greetings. Happy New Year 2012! To you and to all of us that the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ wanted to cross and enter 2012—peace, grace, love, and mercy abundantly from the Lord our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus-Christ. The year 2011 was a year mixed with rejoicing and sorrow. We rejoiced about the spiritual growth in several churches, miracles, healings and multiple signs that the Lord operated among us. The year 2011 was also a year of an intense pain caused by the loss of our General Presbyter for Africa, Bishop Sherman O. Allen. He helped us in our local efforts to finish the roof and the floor of our Central Building that we are looking to inaugurate in the beginning of 2012. Beloved, let the year 2012 that’s unfolding before us, be for each of us a year in which we’ll shine as the sun, the moon, and the stars in this world full of darkness. And let it be a year in which we will salt this faded earth for the social flaws: spirit movements, terrorism, imperialism, sodomy, racism, discrimination, injustice, idolatry, and homosexuality that’s growing like Noah’s flood. Earthquakes, flood, economical and financial crises, starvations are signs finding their explanation in the Bible. Let’s watch out. So, as Christians, with the banner of the cross in our hands, let’s stand up and destroy all forms of setbacks against Christianity. Let our greatest debt and our supreme duty be to love each other as Christ loved—with sacrificial love. Let the year 2012 be a year of personal consolidation and of brotherly communion as well as Christian virtues. Let’s demonstrate that we are God’s beloved and lovers of God as well as demonstrating that we love our brothers in action and in the truth.

—Office of the National Overseer Republic of Congo/Brazzaville

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BELARUS

December was a time of great celebration. Orthodox people in Belarus celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January. However, in our church we celebrated Christmas on the 25th of December, but still use these awesome days to do something special with the people of our country. In this year children took a big part in the Christmas program in all our churches. In Minsk, we had wonderful church service and a few new people came there. Andrew and Avril hold three huge Christmas parties for 60 people each for the families who host adopted people. It was an awesome time! Andrew and Avril prepared nice food, had a good program and presents for the children. Everyone was so happy! Andrew with his team was a little tired but also so happy! In Mogilyov church, Pastor Arthur Deis also had a special Christmas service for the church. They also had a Christmas program for the two orphanage homes. There were more than 30 children. The orphans were glad to see the program and our people were blessed to serve them. In our Berezino church, where Dima Sarioglo is pastor, they also celebrated Christmas and had three services, two for adults and one for the children in the town. The church was filled with people and God’s presence, and one person was saved. In the children’s service, they did not have room to put all the people who came. They had more than 300 children and adults who came for their Christmas program. We think that for such events we will be better to rent a bigger place in the future. Christmas is always busy, but a blessed time to celebrate our Lord and share His Good News with others. Please, pray that all these efforts will bring fruit for God’s Kingdom. Love and blessings, Gena. —Henadzi Kernazhyski National Overseer, Belarus

WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG


Your Guide is Correct

Trail magazine, with 37,000 readers, is one of the most widely distributed climbing magazines in the world. The February 2004 issue provided directions for climbers descending Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. Returning from the 4,409-foot summit in bad weather requires explicit instruction. The article gave step-by-step advice on navigating the trail. However, the directions were wrong. Roger Wild, the mountain safety adviser for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, discovered the mistake and immediately contacted the magazine. He wrote, “The potential consequences of following the advice provided by Trail are clear. Anyone following a bearing Check out some of these surprising characters of 281 degrees from anywhere close to the summit cairn or shelter will be taken directly over the north face. I find it and events, compiled by Robert Dunn. Did you incredible that Trail has published advice which is so know the Bible says: obviously and dangerously wrong.” Trail magazine admitted that a crucial step A man lived to be 969 years old. Genesis 5:27 in the instructions was inadvertently omitted. A man used a stone for a pillow. Genesis 28:11 Those following the article would pay a high A man had a conversation with a donkey. Numbers 22:28-29 price for the missing information. In poor visibility, climbers depending upon the There was a giant who had a bed over 13 feet long and directions would walk off the edge into 6 feet wide. Deuteronomy 3:11 Gardyloo Gully. The sun and moon stood still for a whole day. Joshua 10:13 The 1,000-foot drop is one of the longest in Britain. Guy Procter, the editor of Trail, told the Some men lapped water like dogs. Judges 7:5 London Telegraph that the problem had been caused by a production error. There was an army with seven hundred left-handed men. “There is a simple explanation. A sentence was missed from the article.” Judges 20:16 For many of us who are trying to find God’s will for our lives, we, too, have been given a map to help us in perilous navigational circumstances. One man’s hair weighed about 6 and a half pounds at his —Kristi Schalk But our map is correct. It is the Bible. annual haircut. 2 Samuel 14:26

Building Endurance

“I think there are times as believers when we feel entitled and that life shouldn’t be hard. We live in this culture of convenience that says we can do everything ourselves and find all the answers on Google. But if we can learn to fall more in love with the Lord and trust Him in the middle of every storm, we build our endurance to keep running the race.” —Kari Jobe Jobe’s newest album, Where I Find You, featuring the single “We Are” and produced by Ed Cash and Matt Bronleewe, is available now from Sparrow Records (EMI CMG). She is currently traveling North America as part of the WinterJam tour with NewSong.

THAT’s in the Bible?

A man had twelve fingers and twelve toes. 2 Samuel 21:20 There was a man who had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. 1 Kings 11:1-3 A man outran a chariot. 1 Kings 18:41-46 An axe head once floated in the river. 2 Kings 6:1-6 There was a father who had 88 children. 2 Chronicles 11:21 The sun travelled backwards. Isaiah 38:8 There was a man who walked naked for three years. Isaiah 20:2-3

A man’s life was increased by fifteen years when he prayed. Isaiah 38:1-5

A valley full of dry bones was resurrected. Ezekiel 37:1-14 A prophet ate locusts for food. Matthew 3:4 —www.whatsaiththescripture.com

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MINISTRIES MINISTRIES

Aileen Reid Co-Director Youth Ministries

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“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV). Cultural relativism, the belief that all truth is relative and every kind of belief and behavior is equally acceptable, is becoming more and more common as our youth live in a world of increased cultural diversity. In their schools primarily, students are acculturated to believe that tolerance should be their dominant moral virtue. They are told to respect others’

WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG


religious beliefs, sexual orientation and identity, and in certain cultures (as was our experience in Quebec), to experiment a little so that they can come to their own conclusions. As a result, they come to adopt an “it’s all good” mentality about faith based on a compilation of different belief systems rather than the authentic Word of God. Unfortunately, this is also the case for students in believing homes. While many are unaware that their beliefs are being eroded and debased because of their acceptance of prevailing societal norms, there are still others who, because the church has lost its influence in shaping culture, adopt and blend various belief systems as a form of rejection or rebellion against the church’s hypocrisy. Ultimately, cultural relativism is a cry for truth. “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (Romans 8:10 NIV).

The Word Detects the Counterfeit

Dean Borgman of the Center for Youth Studies at Gordon-Conwell Seminary states, “Good theology needs three kinds of exegesis or efforts at interpretation. Followers of Jesus, in our complex and rapidly changing culture, must exegete or interpret (1) themselves, (2) their culture, and (3) the Scriptures. Know yourself, understand what is happening in society, and . . . study the Word of God.”1 The Word of God is the key to detecting the counterfeit gods that today’s culture uses to alter students understanding of who God is and their role in His redemptive plan. Students must have a strong biblical foundation through which they can daily experience the true Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One thing that I have observed from being a parent of young children in elementary school is that teachers do not move too far away from their traditional or basic teaching methods. While they do incorporate media and other tools in the classroom, there are still some foundational elements that they hold firmly to, such as phonics. Why is this important? It is important because phonics, for example, gives students the basics for forming words and accelerates their reading. So it is with the Word of God. When we neglect to introduce our students to, and foster an appreciation for, the source of faith formation as early in life as possible, we do them a disservice by not adequately preparing them to live a counter-cultural, authentic faith-filled life. “. . . from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

The Word Rejects the Counterfeit The counterfeit god espoused by today’s popular culture is an issue of worldview. Today’s culture does not see the world as fallen and in need of a heavenly savior. This belief is often depicted through movies that present an alternate view of “salvation” for the world. Most often, salvation comes through individuals who overcome evil by sheer will power. And, because individuals can overcome evil on their own, God should relax His rules a bit and admit that His way isn’t the only way. But this is not the God of the Bible and our students should be equipped to recognize the difference and reject the counterfeit. They must have a sound biblical worldview. A sound biblical worldview can only come from constant and intentional exposure to and study of the Word of God. Students must be challenged to wrestle with and form conclusions and convictions on questions like: • How do we view the world? • Is this world a sinful place to be avoided? • Should we embrace this world as a reflection of the God who created it and everything in it? • Or, are we to find some middle ground where we live in this world in a way that can transform it for God’s glory? Not only does the Word expose the falsehood of the world, but it also provides the standard for students to be in the world but not of the world. “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

A Note on Media Use Since the culture primarily uses media to disseminate and alter God’s truth, we must maintain a healthy balance in our use of media. We must be careful not to: 1) “dumb down” or “water down” the Word by leaning too heavily on media too often to communicate the message; and 2) neglect the impact that the literal Word of God (taught or preached without teaching aids) has on the heart. “Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse” (Ezekiel 3:10, 11).

1Robbins, Duffy; This Way to Youth Ministry. 2Baxter, Jeff; Together: Adults and Teens Transforming

the Church

Youth Ministries WWM M A R C H 2 0 1 2

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His Doctrine: The

Word of

God

The Library of Congress has millions of books and publications. But the most beautiful volume is a Bible written in black ink with matchless perfection by a monk in the 16th century. It is the prettiest book for two reasons: First, because of the great care given to it by the devoted monk that copied each line of the text so meticulously into German. Each letter is perfect, without a scratch or blot anywhere in the 1,000 pages of the book. The second reason is sobering but true. It is the least read and studied book in the Library of Congress and so it is preserved so beautifully, yet so neglected in the hearts and minds of those who congregate so nearby.1 Almost every institution has a set of beliefs or principles called doctrine. Throughout the centuries, the Church of Jesus Christ has held up the teachings of the Bible as the source of His doctrine. In the past, Christianity and its doctrine have faced difficult times during the Roman persecution of the early 10

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centuries, the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, and even from radical Reformists. Today we face a ruthless and defiant misrepresentation and isolation brought on by spurious teachings, the deterioration of respect for authority, and secular humanizing influences. The Apostle Paul, anticipating that men and women might neglect the Word of God, foresaw this rising evil influence. During his lifetime he issued several warnings to the young pastor, Timothy, concerning the Word of the Lord and thus the doctrine of Jesus Christ: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...” (2 Timothy 4:3). “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine . . .” (1 Timothy 4:16). “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned . . .” (2 Timothy 3:14). In the present post-modernist society, countless false doctrines and impromptu fads have invaded not only

secular halls of congresses, but the ecclesiastical scene also. As a result of globalization and technology (that has both positives and negatives), Christians and churches have been exposed to all kinds of pseudo-doctrines that put them in a situation of imminent danger. Therefore, we must strive to receive and retain sound doctrine and not get carried away “by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14), even when someone claims that what they preach or teach comes from the Holy Scriptures. Furthermore, we must understand that the problem of having multiple doctrines, beliefs, and even revelations are a product of marked neglect in the reading and teaching of the Word. Add to this mixture the avalanche of new versions of the Bible (some good and some bad). These versions bombard the sincere seeker of truth with numerous renderings that the ordinary reader or hearer has difficulty negotiating through. With many pastors and congregations abandoning Christ-centered biblical study through weekly Sunday school classes, catechism, or religious education, the current trend in the post-modern ministry craves the new doctrines of rapid church growth, prosperity teaching, and the preaching of relativism and seeker-friendly messages. Instead of these heavy doses of sugar-laden philosophies, sincere and in-depth study and hearing of the Bible must be pursued for healthy spiritual growth. This was the pursuit of Jesus even as a young lad who sought out the Temple. Therefore, there must be a new commitment to the Word of Truth that will produce mature believers.

1. Encourage

the Word

Studying

Both the Old and New Testaments assure us that our spiritual growth and stability is established in the study WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG


of the Bible. Psalms 19:7 declares “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalms 119:130 affirms that “The entrance of thy words gives light.” Paul writes Timothy: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Encouragement for believers to study the Word of God is, and must be, a constant among pastors and churches to prevent false doctrine from influencing Christians. Watching PowerPoint presentations each Sunday cannot replace believers examining the Word daily which gives a fuller context of these passages so they can discern the truth of what is being projected or told to them.

2.

Consider Who Preaches or Teaches in Your Church

A second aspect that keeps us from being carried away by “every wind of doctrine” is to be cautious and screening of those who are allowed to preach/teach in our churches. Paul warns that men will rise up with a “form of godliness but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5). There are many gospel charlatans (merchants) who promote popular or enticing doctrines for the sole purpose of winning people over to give them power or to fill their pockets with money. These purveyors are not of God. In 2 John 1:9 it reads: “Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” Reviewing a person’s resume or website is not a good way to decide who should be given the awesome power of a church pulpit.

3. Analyze,

in the Light of the Bible, Any Current or New Revelation

Every movement, trend, or revelation, must pass through the filter of Scripture. Jesus, who in his days preached a new gospel to the Jews, was careful to show that everything He said came from the Father and was consistent with the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets. He used phrases such as: “It is written . . .” “What do the Scriptures say?” or, “the Father who sent me bears witness . . .” No revelation, program, or book can be above God’s Holy Word! Search the Scriptures diligently to examine what someone is teaching regardless how attractive it sounds.

4.

Avoid the Neo-Evangelical and Neo-Pentecostal Torrents

television, radio, to books and magazines. Every day we hear these currents or fads that undermine sound doctrine. It is imperative to warn our congregations to be alert and not fall prey to them. In fact, over the last two decades the Christian world has been inundated with conferences, symposiums, and seminars spreading false doctrine; we must be careful what we expose ourselves to. We must test all these through a process solid biblical exegesis.

5.

Seek the Holy Spirit’s Help in Discerning Truth

We cannot ignore the Holy Spirit’s role in discerning truth. The apostle Paul advises us to call things as they are, no matter who or what is the origin. Whether an angel, a church leader, or a famous preacher, if it is not rooted in the “scriptural gospel” it is called anathema (see Galatians 1:8-10). We cannot be afraid to refuse the voices of those contrary to the Word of God. The Bible pleads us to try the spirits: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1 NASB). To exercise this kind of spiritual discernment concerning the Word of God requires the Holy Spirit to be actively working in your heart and mind. Finally, the call is to stand firm and grow, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine. . .” (Ephesians 4:14). It was George Barna who knew how important it was to have doctrine anchored in the Word of God. Over a decade ago, he summarized: “Without a biblical worldview, all the great teaching goes in one ear and out the other. There are no intellectual pegs . . . in the mind of the individual to hang these truths on. So they just pass through. They don’t stick. They don’t make a difference.”2 Remember that His Doctrine is the Word of God.

Wallace Pratt Biblical Doctrine & Polity Commitee Chairman

1Paul Lee Tan. Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations. Rockville, MA:

Assurance Publishers, 1979, page 189.

2Charles Colson. How Now Shall We Live? Wheaton, IL: Tyndale

House Publishers, 1999, page 9.

The new neo-evangelical and neo-Pentecostal currents are booming. They are everywhere from the Internet, WWM M A R C H 2 0 1 2

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The B-I-B-L-E is still the Book for me! My love for the Word started before I could speak clearly. In Nursery and Sunday school, we little lambs sang oh, so happily, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” In Gleaners, we stood solemnly, shoulder to shoulder, in that tiny little room that seemed so huge, singing, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me!” Then we bellowed the resounding chorus, “God’s Word will never fail, never fail, God’s Word will never fail, no, no, no” and we believed. You see, it’s foundational. If the Bible says Jesus loves me, then it has to be true. If the Bible says God’s Word will never fail, then it has to be true. Our lives were

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based and built on nothing less than an unfailing belief in His Word. During the tough times in my life, I ran to the Word and it was always there, waiting, comforting, providing hope, direction, and truth. When relationship issues would arise, His Word reminded me and I then declared that our God is the God of restoration and reconciliation. When financial issues would arise, His Word reminded me and I then declared that our God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory by

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Christ Jesus. When my children were sick, His Word reminded me and I then declared that they were, indeed, the healed of the Lord. In every situation, no matter how difficult, I stood firm on the belief that He was working ALL THINGS for my good, no matter what. It was in the Word and I still believed. Some days, it’s easier to believe than others. Some days, believing is all you have. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 3-C ovarian cancer, which is often called the “silent killer.” The doctors had nothing good to say from day one. On my 50th birthday I was told clearly that I had a 5 to 15 percent chance of being alive in five years. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what that meant I had

he was bruised for our (MY) iniquities: the chastisement of our (MY) peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are (I AM) healed.” Joshua 1:9: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Psalm 118:17: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” Mark 16:17-18: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink

an 85 to 95 percent chance of NOT being alive in five years. Quietly, I pondered those words. Could they be right? Was that true? I knew they had their statistics and I knew they had their books, but what about mine? What about the Book I had based my entire life on? What did that Book have to say? Immediately, His Word became alive in me. I made posters of the Word and hung them all over my room. Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded for our (MY) transgressions,

any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Six months later, after surgery and seven chemo treatments, the doctors declared me incurable. Repeatedly and emphatically they said that I would die of ovarian cancer and that I would be sick within a year. That’s what their books said, but thank God, I had my own Book! Psalms 107:20: “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” My hope was not in the

doctors and their books, my hope was in Him! His Word had taught me that He is faithful and I can trust Him. There are no words in the English language that could adequately describe the peace and joy that knowledge brings. Ultimately, each of us has a choice. We use the Bible as our rule of faith, government, and discipline but do we really believe? When I was a child, singing those simple little songs, I didn’t really understand, but I believed. Today, the doctors don’t understand at all, but I still believe. Perhaps we place too much value on understanding and too little on believing. What if He actually said what He meant and meant what He said? Could it possibly be that simple? What if He’s looking for a people unafraid to stand on His Word and having done all, to stand some more, no matter how hopeless things seem or how futile our search for understanding? Someone asked me recently about my healing testimony. It was in the wee hours of the morning, so I made it short and sweet: “God is faithful; you can trust Him. He said what He meant and He meant what He said.” It’s been many years since I sang those childhood songs, but the profound truths they taught me still resonate deep within me. What I knew in theory then, I now know as undeniable, irrefutable truth. Yes, Jesus still loves me. God’s Word will still never fail (no, no, no), and the B-I-B-L-E is still the Book for me! When it’s all you have, you’ll find that it really is all you need.

Sophia Smith Palatka, Florida

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“If you abide in my word, you are

I’ll never forget my pastor looking

it says, “Whoever has no rule over his

my disciples indeed; And you shall

over his desk and saying, “No, God has

own spirit is like a city broken down,

know the truth, and the truth shall

many things in store for you. You, with

without walls.” My revelation was I

make you free” (John 8:31, 32 NKJ).

the help of Christ, need to remove

needed to build my life up in the Word

Many years ago, I struggled

this character flaw. But don’t ever lose

of God because it is the truth; it would

with anger and there came a time

your temper again or I will have to

strengthen me and set me free.

when it began to be out of control.

take action.”

The life I was living was based on

My marriage was in jeopardy, my

I left the office feeling shameful

past circumstances and failures; I had

relationship with my children became

and knowing I had to do something

deep-rooted anger from my childhood

hardened, and people at work were

to remove this anger. I didn’t want

that I had never dealt with. The Bible

intimidated. The saddest part was that

to fail my wife, those who respected

deals with truth, not emotion; the

I was a Christian, serving on a finance

me, or God. After several days of

future not the past once we repent,

board and teaching Sunday school, but

prayer, the Holy Spirit led me to the

and explained to me who I really am.

in denial of my problem.

book of Proverbs. I began to read the

Today I’m not co-dependent, I don’t

One day, it all came to a head. My

Proverbs chaper that matched that

lose my temper and I have been

wife had had enough and told me

day’s date. So if it was the seventh

married to the woman who gave me a

she couldn’t live this way anymore.

day of the month, I read Proverbs 7.

second chance for 23 years.

My world stopped and I was about

There are 31 chapters in Proverbs,

Men come to me now with similar

to lose two of the things I cherished

so it was perfect; I had wisdom for

problems to mine and I lead them in

the most—my wife and children. At

everyday. Reading this was exciting

putting more of the Word in them to

that moment, my pride and denial

and very revealing. In the months

push out those character flaws that

broke and I asked her what I could

without 31 days, I didn’t read Proverb

are not of God. “For the word of God is

do to change her mind about us.

31. It may sound crazy but I began

living and powerful, and sharper than

She answered, “I don’t think you can

to look forward to the next month

any two-edged sword, piercing even

change, you need help.” But I told her

where there would be 31 days so I

to the division of soul and spirit, and

that I would do whatever it took to

could read Proverbs 31.

joints and marrow, and is a discerner

save our marriage.

Day by day, there was something

of the thoughts and intents of the

I contacted my father-in-law, a Godly

in each Proverb that would speak

heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJ).

mentor, and confessed everything.

to my anger problem, show me my

He and I went to our pastor and I

errors and instruct me on how to live.

told him everything. I resigned from

This went on for three years and I

everything that I was doing in the

still practice it today. The verse that

church and explained I just wanted to

gave me deliverance was Proverbs

fix my marriage.

25:28. In the New King James version

Mike Jennett Dickson, Tennessee

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O Earth,

Hear the Word of the Lord God speaks to us through His holy Word. He wants us to know the truth. His Word tells us that. If we read His Word and listen with our hearts, He will speak to us every day. This is how we keep in communication with Him. His Word inspires us to worship Him throughout our daily lives. If His Word is instilled in us, what we do and say will glorify Him. When we memorize Scripture, our witness is strengthened.

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We have had famines that have devastated portions of this world. But God’s Word tells us there will come a day when the greatest famine of all will come. God speaks to us in Amos 8:1113. We must listen to His Word with our heart: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land. Not a famine of bread, nor of thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: . . . they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.” The famine has already begun in the land. The Lord God and Jesus have been taken out of many places where they once dwelled. It is politically incorrect to read God’s Word in public or pray in some places. God’s Word is shunned in many areas of the world today. God is warning us in Amos of things to come. Are we listening? Have we memorized Scripture? There is soon coming a day when Bibles will be scarce and hard to find. Now is the time for us to seek Him and listen to him through His inspired Word as He communicates with us the truth. His Word will never die in us, if we have it in our hearts. Isaiah 49:8 tells us, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of God shall stand forever.” We must not forget to read and study God’s Word for our lives. Jesus said in Matthew 22:29, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Yes, there is power in the Word. Jesus also said in Luke 1:37, “For no Word from God shall be void of power.” Jesus tells us in Luke 11:28 that we are blessed if we hear the Word of God and keep it. Our hope is found in God’s Word. We must never lose hope no matter what our situation. Romans 15:4 tells us, “For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Ah yes, the comfort, joy, and hope we have in God’s Word. It helps us through each day with inspiration and power to serve. Remember, nothing can take God’s love out of our hearts if we keep filling it with His Word. The Lord’s words are so valuable that Psalms 12:6 says that, “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” So pure, so holy, His words are our law to live by. Psalms 19:7-11 says that, “The law of the Lord is perfect; converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the

simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Do our hearts burn within us as we read the Word, as the disciples felt in Luke 24:32? “And they said one to another, did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures.” He has opened His Word to us to help us to be holy in His sight. His Word will burn within us if we read it and study it for ourselves. Because the scripture says in Hebrew 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” How powerful is that? God’s Word knows our thoughts and our intents.

Remember, nothing can take God’s love out of our hearts if we keep filling it with His Word. And He calls us in His Word His children. 1 Peter 1:14–16, 23–25: “As obedient children . . . But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower there of falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” And finally, “O earth, earth, Hear the word of the Lord” (Jeremiah 22:29). Amen.

Rita Ford Autryville, North Carolina

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Imagine you’ve been chosen as the guide for an exploration team across the Arctic region. You have the latest GPS Navigation equipment, a map, compass, radio, food, fuel, and plenty of supplies—even some encouraging emails from friends—in a special pack for your sled. The team begins their trek and things are going pretty smoothly. As day ends, the sky is darkening, and the limited food in your backpacks is gone. It’s time to set up camp for the night and cook a hot meal. However, you refuse to open the sled pack, so everyone goes to bed hungry. You awaken the next morning to an unseasonable blizzard. The team becomes confused and loses all sense of direction; yet once again, you refuse to take any food and fuel or the GPS, map, and compass from the sled pack. They prod and question you regarding why you are so stubborn and fearful. All you can say is, “Following maps is boring. The GPS probably will not even work in this God-forsaken place. Besides, I’m afraid we will just become more confused.” The others urge you to use the radio to call for help and direction, but still you ignore their pleas. Consequently, you and all the team members perish in the frozen wasteland. Although that account seems rather farfetched, it closely parallels what believers do when we refuse to

utilize the valuable resources God has provided in His Word. The “backpack” of what pastors, youth or children’s ministers and teachers can provide new Christians will only suffice for a while. Eventually, we reach the point in our spiritual growth when something more is needed. The Bible is a dynamic source of guidance and direction, spiritual food and strength, warmth and encouragement. God’s divinely inspired Word is also a powerful tool for communicating with our Creator—Who has all the answers to any situation we will ever encounter in life. We often hear the excuse that Bible study is boring or even confusing. Perhaps, this is true when we bypass the beginning step in the process, which is prayer and seeking the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment. When Christ was preparing His disciples for His departure, He told them: “ I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 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

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show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:12-14). One of the best ways to benefit from the Holy Spirit’s guidance following prayer is through an inductive method of study. The word inductive is from two Latin words meaning, “to lead into.” This method of study basically involves our opening the “sled pack” individually and utilizing the resources available. Research indicates that we retain approximately ten percent of what we read, twenty percent of what we hear, thirty percent of what we watch someone do, fifty percent of what we watch and have explained, seventy percent of what we verbalize to someone else, and ninety percent of what we actually participate in doing. The three main components of inductive study, which build upon and are a natural outflow of each other, are observation, interpretation and application. Observation involves reading and rereading the text to see what it says. Interpretation is allowing the Holy Spirit and life experience

or Divine providence to reveal more depth of meaning. Application involves obedience to the revealed truth or basically what we plan to do about our new insights. This final component is a primary reason for Bible study and should take place in the believer’s life when we encounter truth. Application involves not only personal benefit from the Word, but also a sharing of truth with others. In his book entitled Compassion, Chuck Swindoll shares a key principle that we should always apply to our knowledge of God’s Word. “Others will not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”We have not begun to face all of the storms that are coming in these last days and the cold world in which we live. Not only will our becoming a student of the Word be critical for us, it could mean life or death for those traveling along with us. God spoke through Hosea the prophet: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee . . .” (4:6). Will we open the “sled pack” or will we perish for lack of knowledge?

Kay Horner Cleveland, Tennessee

a Student Word WWM M A R C H 2 0 1 2

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“The Bible says . . .” This is what I was listening to from my neighbors at the next table. We were enjoying our brief visit to the complimentary “continental breakfast” at the hotel. I would hear my fellow traveler, whom I’ve never met, quote verse after verse and they didn’t ring any bells. “The Bible says you can eat anything you want and it will not harm you, if you pray in the name of Jesus.” This “walking hybrid” paraphrase misquoting the many verses was actually correcting a diabetic’s comment about not being able to eat waffles with syrup because of her diabetes. What verse could she be quoting—Mark 16:18, “. . . and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them . . .”? I thought, “Yes, for a diabetic to consume large quantities of syrup, that could become a ‘deadly thing’.” This precious pioneer packing her own paraphrase was persuasive enough to cause her friend to parade up to the bar for an intake of waffles and syrup. Not being paranoid, but I was thinking of a verse, with a smile, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12). What caught my ear was the repeated phrase, “The Bible says,” because I’m interested in verses that inspire us to commit the Word to memory.

Why is it important to Memorize Scripture? Jesus quoted the Word. Here are a few examples:

• “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7; Mark 7:6; 9:12; Luke 4:4, 8; Luke 7:27; and John 6:45).

• “As the Scripture hath said” (John 7:38). • “Have ye not read?” (Matthew 12:3, 5; Mark 12:10, 26; and Luke 6:3). • “Is it not written?” (Mark 11:17 and John 10:34). • “How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:54). These are examples of Jesus quoting the Word. Jesus did open the Book and read in the synagogue (Luke 4:17), but there were many more examples of Him quoting the Word. This is one area we are challenged to follow Jesus being our supreme example, we are to “follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21) and “to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). With the Word hidden in your heart, the Holy Spirit can use it—To give light: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105). To convict of sin: The Word reveals what is in your heart. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). To give you faith: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). To give you cleansing: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalms 119:9). To remove doubt and give you assurance of salvation: “These things have I written . . . that ye may know that ye have eternal life . . .” (1 John 5:13). Are you in doubt about your salvation? Perhaps, you’ve “done without” scripture memorization.

The Bible Says. . . The Importance of Committing Scripture to Memory

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How Can You Memorize? The popular television minister, Jack Van Impe, has been called the “Walking Bible.” He said it takes “desire, discipline, and dedication.” From his website, Dr. Van Impe says he spent about “35,000 hours memorizing 14,000 verses.” Do you have the desire? Ask God to put it into your heart (Psalms 37:4). If young children can quote large portions of the Qur’an, as evidenced on YouTube, then you, I, our youth, and children can memorize God’s Word. Use it or lose it—bring the word into your life every day, throughout the day. Use verses and apply them as much as possible in your daily life. One of our pastors sold trailer parts. I would hear portions of his phone conversations where he rattled off long numbers. Being impressed with his keen memory, I asked, “How do you do that?” “I use these every day, throughout the day” he responded.

Use the Word Every Day Look for biblical principles—Consider Bruce Wilkinson’s “5 P’s of the Word”—Passage, Principle, Personalize, Persuade, and Perform (found in his book, The Seven Laws of the Learner). If you are looking for inspiration to memorize a passage, look for a principle you may have never noticed before. If it speaks to you, the Holy Spirit has personalized it. Find verses that persuade you and move you to action, to perform. Use Bibles on your mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.). Use free tools to search for verses that fit your present situation. It is great to search key words or, depending on the application, you may be able to search a portion of the word. Remove distractions. Jesus said, “the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). To memorize anything, the brain normally must have some time, even a few seconds of uninterrupted focus.

Use Mnemonic Devices to Remember Information. A mnemonic device is an aid that’s used as a memory tool. For me, I try to associate numbers with verses. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. Think of some popular 1, 2, 3, 4 verses: Matthew 12:34, “. . . for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Luke 12:34: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Another use of mnemonic devices might be using ABC’s. An example, the ABC’s of salvation: All have sinned (Romans 3:23). Believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus... thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9).

Methods

Let’s talk practical. What are some steps you might consider to get you started or help you go deeper into Scripture memorization? Memory cards—As a child, I remember seeing a plastic loaf of bread with slots for Bible memory cards. On one side would be the verse (“For God so loved the world. . .”). On the other side would be the reference (John 3:16). The idea was grab one a day, keep it with you, read, recite, repeat until you know it. It was your “Daily Bread” as it aids in Scripture memorization. You can make your own. You can also do an Internet search for “Bible memory cards.” The free iPhone/iPad application, “Bible Verses” allows you to create “flash cards” on your device. Cluster Verses—Others may call it “subject coherence.” You would “cluster” verses that speak to the same theme. You cluster the verses together and learn them in order. Using Scripture memory with our Arminian-WesleyanPentecostal tradition concerning the subject of tongues will cluster some of the following verses for memory: Acts 2:4; 10:45, 46; 19:2, 6.

By committing to memory, we move forward into the mature, anointed, Christ-followers we are called to be. Rote Memory—This is learning by repetition. During the time when Jesus walked the earth, the literacy rate was estimated to be between 1-5 percent. They would listen, repeat, recite and remember. One of the exercises I used in youth camp teaching young campers an important memory verse involved rote memory. Print a verse on a marker board, computer, whatever works. Read the verse aloud. Now, remove the last word. Read the verse aloud again relying upon memory for the last word. Repeat the process of removing the last word, relying on memory for each word removed. Repeat this process until all printed words have been removed or rather replaced, in your heart and mind. This is great for kids. Even the youngest come forward to recite even the longest of verses. Use One Version—One mistake people make is using a variety of versions. This could leave doubt when learning the verse. While you might vary in your reading, when it comes to memory, memorize only one version of the text. The Word is a firm foundation for our lives. By committing it to memory, we move forward into the mature, anointed, Christ-followers we are called to be. Don’t settle for knowing “enough to be dangerous” or to have false confidence in telling your friends just what you think “the Bible says . . .”

H. E. Cardin Cleveland, Tennessee

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Darren Schalk Cleveland, Tennessee

Making Disciples A Renewed Priority for Christian Education

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arren Schalk, Director of Christian Education for the Church of God of Prophecy, is aware of the tremendous challenge facing the Church today—people are not getting enough Bible truth in their lives. To combat this, he is leading the charge in a re-launch of the Christian Education/ Spiritual Formation ministry. He recently spoke to Managing Editor DeWayne Hamby about the need and the solution.

You say that more and more Christians are drifting from the truths of the Bible. Why is that? “They’re not necessarily hearing it in church. There is a move in many pulpits to minister to people’s felt needs. So, some have moved from the Bible being the heart of teaching and preaching to felt needs being the heart of teaching and preaching. For this reason, we often hear sermons on emotional issues rather than biblical texts. The Bible is not necessarily the heart of all we do so that’s reflective of where we are, with extreme biblical 22

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illiteracy. Some have referred to this as the Therapeutic Preaching Model, which started to come to prominence around the 60s. This mode of preaching is in no way a bad one, but the dilemma comes when it’s all the congregation receives from the pulpit. “And this move away from the biblical text is mirrored in our other weekly church gatherings, as well. Many Sunday school classes, cell groups, etc. have moved away from Bible lessons and now favor life lessons. So we see weekly church classes on cooking, golfing, or other hobbies. And they’ll study current books as much or more than they study God’s Book. This is not a bad idea, but when these things replace our biblical teaching rather than simply supplementing it, we get into serious trouble. “Then you get into the curriculum issues, which are near and dear to my heart. This type of move in the church has caused many to pick and choose every week what they want to cover instead of the using a more traditional dated material that has a scope and sequence and covers the entire Bible in so many years. All of this has contributed to the least biblically literate body of Christ we’ve ever seen.”

And this is not solely a challenge for our Movement? “No, absolutely not. It’s across the board. Studies such as Gallup have shown the decline. I was reading one study today about incoming college freshman at a Christian university. They were testing them upon entry with basic biblical questions, and they found a consistent decline in biblical literacy year after year. “And this is scary, because the result of a lack of biblical foundation is that you are more susceptible to heresy. We see that in the polls, as we increasingly hear of Christians who believe that Jesus sinned or who don’t believe in the virgin birth. That’s becoming more of a problem in born-again believers every day.”

What is the solution? “Overall, for me, it’s the loss of an intentional focus on biblical discipleship that is the main issue. The solution is getting people to see the need for WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG


intentional discipleship, and for having a specific way to actually disciple people. Not that everyone has to do it the same, but that there are steps that need to be taken. We should not approach discipleship haphazardly. Sometimes it feels like we just throw everything up in the air and hope it will all come down to form perfect disciples of Christ, but this simply doesn’t happen. Implement a strategy to be intentional about creating disciples and helping people grow in Christ. “The campaign we are hoping to promote in the next year will hopefully enable people to do those things. We hope to share some starting points and

reference points. We want to focus on spiritual formation and push biblical literacy. We also want to help people understand what it means to truly be a disciple of Christ and to have an ongoing, growing, thriving relationship with Jesus.”

What will the campaign look like? “We’re going to have some new material to put in people’s hands. We’re going to have new website material,

including online helps and teacher training, videos, possibly an email newsletter and promotional materials that will reemphasize discipleship, giving a clear outline of what it is and what it is not. We also hope to help with general ideas of how to create a specific strategy in your church to intentionally begin making true disciples of Christ. We’ll also be releasing a church-wide biblical literacy program. The ultimate goal is that, three years from now, we’ll all have a clearer understanding of the current dilemma and we’ll be more intentional about creating disciples as Jesus did.”

PRAYING GOD’S WORD The Word of God is described in a number of places as a sword—hard-hitting and effective, capable of piercing even the most resolute mental and spiritual defenses with its simple truth. If we’re armed with God’s Word, we have no need of any other “weapons”—it is our most effective tool against unbelief.

PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD Putting on our armor and praying the word of God on a daily basis will change our lives.

GOOD MORNING FATHER—GOOD MORNING JESUS—GOOD MORNING HOLY SPIRIT Romans 12:1 Eph. 6:14-17 Isaiah 58:8 Isaiah 61:3 Matthew 16:18 Psalms 23:1 Phil. 4:19, 13 2 Cor. 10:5 1 Peter 5:7 Psalms 103:3 Isaiah 53:5 III John 1:2 Nehemiah 8:10 Jeremiah 1:12

Heavenly Father, according to Your Word, I present my body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Your sight. Now, Father I gird my loins about with truth. I put on the breastplate of righteousness. I shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, I take the shield of faith wherewith I shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and I take the helmet of salvation and sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. And, according to Your Word, the glory of the Lord is my rear guard. Now, Heavenly Father, I put on the garment of praise, and I thank you for the armor you have provided for me to dress in this day. I am completely covered now, in the name of Jesus, according to Your Word, Father. Upon Jesus I have built my life, my home, my marriage, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. You are my Shepherd, I shall not want. For you have supplied all my needs according to your riches in glory and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I cast all my care upon You, for You care for me. I praise You for walking in divine health, for YOU are my God who heals all my diseases. By Your stripes I am healed. I praise You and thank You for my prosperity and health, even as my soul prospers. For the joy of the Lord is my strength. Father, I have prayed according to Your Word and You have said You would watch over Your Word to perform it. Father, rise up and live within me today, for I am Yours, in the Name of Jesus My Lord. (Every SPOKEN word becomes a living thing—to minister or to destroy. Proverbs 18:21, 6:2, 4:20-22)

—Lawana Hughes, Cleveland, Tennessee WWM M A R C H 2012

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BUTTER KNIFE OR

SWORD

Todd D. Bagley Cleveland, Tennessee

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As I was reading in Hebrews, this very interesting concept/thought came to my mind. It is the idea of two similar items that are used for entirely different purposes. In fact, they cannot be used interchangeably; they are distinct in feature and function. The first is a butter knife. It is typically small in its size, fitting the contour of the hand. The length of the blade is usually shorter than the length of the handle. It is not necessarily balanced. It has a rounded edge and is not designed to cut even the softest piece of bread. Its primary function is to be used to spread a pliable substance such as butter. The second is a double-edged sword. It is typically not as small as a butter knife. The handle fits the contour of the hand as with the butter knife; however, the blade is much longer than the handle. It is balanced so that it can be easily wielded in defense. Unlike the butter knife, it has two sharp edges to it for cutting in both directions. Its primary function is to cut or penetrate an object, not to spread it. Though these two items have their similarities, they do not serve the same purpose. They are opposed in their functionality. Neither one is useless, if used properly. But, do not use a butter knife to defend yourself or protect yourself. Also, do not use a sword to spread butter. Too often, we treat the Word of God like a butter knife. This was never its intended purpose. It is not to be a “soothing spread,” rather it is clear in Hebrews 4:12 that the “word of God is quick, and powerful,

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and sharper than any two-edged sword . . .” It is true that the Word of God is filled with many words of comfort and encouragement that can be soothing to the reader. However, its intended purpose is to be a revelation. It is a revelation of who God is, what sin is, and what God’s plan is for mankind. It is a powerful instructional manual. We should never soften the words of God. Rather as Christians, we should speak the truth in love. Honestly sharing exactly what the Word says concerning sin. The result of the truth of the Word should cut the sinner to the very inner nature of their soul so that they cry out for salvation. Do not get me wrong; I am not saying that we should be wielding the Word of God in such a manner as to destroy the person that is in sin. Rather, we are to use the Word of God, the Word become flesh, to destroy the sin that has bound and deceived the individual. Setting them at liberty through the delivering power of the Sword and the Spirit. My question then to each of us is, “How does the Word of God look in our hand?” Does it look like a butter knife—weak and inferior? Or, does it look like a double-edged sword—full of power and authority? The truth, the Word of God, is the revealer of sin. It is the challenger of the complacent. It is the penetrating force that will divide the very intention of the heart of man. Let us hold and utilize the Word of God as it is intended—full of power and might.

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MINISTRIES MINISTRIES

Paul wrote to Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:14-16. What had Timothy learned? He had learned the Holy Scriptures. From whom had he learned the Holy Scriptures? His mother and

grandmother. They had fulfilled their God-given responsibility as parents. Paul along with others had fulfilled the God-given responsibility of the body of Christ. What did the content of the Holy Scriptures accomplish? It made Timothy wise to receive salvation and it equipped Timothy for every good work. Paul’s words verify that it is the Holy Scriptures, God’s Word that must be the content of our ministries to children. Each of us would probably be quick to affirm that the content of each children’s ministry program and session is God’s Word. Yet, research done by the Barna Group indicates WWM M A R C H 2 0 1 2

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that church-going kids are not committed to Christ and do not have a belief system that is consistent with biblical principles. We must look intently at the content we are teaching children. Before children reach thirteen their belief system is in place. In children’s ministry we have the opportunity to help them develop a belief system that is consistent with the truths of God’s Word. How will we do this?

We must be students of God’s Word.

In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul reminded Timothy to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” As children’s ministers we must correctly handle God’s Word. We must avoid teaching traditions, personal experiences, or knowledge gained from sources other than the Bible unless these are consistent with Scripture. Our teaching and behavior must affirm the authority of God’s Word as the ultimate source of truth, wisdom, and guidance. We must help our children develop a commanding knowledge of the Bible. A commanding knowledge of the Bible goes beyond being able to retell a Bible story or recite a Bible verse. A commanding knowledge of the Bible is a knowledge that includes: Understanding principle Bible truths such as: • “Who is God?” “Who is Jesus?” “How can I be saved?” “Why am I here?” “Who is the devil?” “What is sin?” “Is the Bible God’s Word?” “Where will I go after I die?” • Committing Bible verses to long term memory that affirm these principle Bible truths and provide insight on how to live them out. • Correctly applying Bible truths to life situations so that the child’s responses honor God • The ability to use the Bible and basic study tools so the child is able to study God’s Word independently

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How will our children develop a commanding knowledge of the Bible? We must rethink how we present Bible content. We cannot present Bible content randomly determining on Saturday evening what Bible lesson will be presented to the children on Sunday morning. We cannot depend solely on a published curriculum to provide the Bible content necessary. We must identify what Bible content is crucial for our children to learn. Then we must develop a systematic plan for when each Bible truth will be taught or reviewed. The development of this plan cannot be the responsibility of one lone children’s minister. It must be the united efforts of a team of children’s ministers, parents, and a member of the pastoral staff. Published scope and sequence charts, a theologically sound catechism, and a list of discipleship issues will be helpful in developing a systematic plan. (A list of discipleship issues can be requested at cgpkids@cogop.org.) The plan can be developed in stages beginning with the youngest age group (i.e. nursery) and moving through each age level—toddlers, preschool, early elementary, and upper elementary. Both children’s ministers and parents can utilize the plan using the same truth for family devotions that was taught in Sunday school or children’s worship. Finally and most importantly, we must help our children develop a passionate desire to obey God’s Word. There is often a disconnect between knowing God’s Word and doing God’s Word. How can we help kids not only know God’s Word but passionately obey God’s Word? First those who minister to children must present Bible truths with the same anointing that a pastor presents a message. The Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of the children as they hear the Bible lesson taught with Holy Spirit anointing. Prayer will also prepare our children’s hearts to receive the Word of God with joy and obedience. Loving relationships allow them to see obedience to the Word of God modeled by men and women who are intimately involved in their lives. Involvement in ministry will challenge them to live worthy of the calling God has for their lives. Take action now to assure that children are taught crucial Bible truths. Ask, “What is the first step we must take to assure that our children have a commanding knowledge of God’s Word?”

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Sowing Seeds Bess Howard spent many years teaching children about Jesus, in all types of settings—girls clubs, youth camps, and Saturday sidewalk Sunday school. She greatly enjoyed those years: preparing activities, leading spirited singing, laughing with the children as they played games together, and sharing the truths of the Bible, knowing that all of it was leading those children on a journey to an exciting, purposefilled Christian life. As the years passed, many of her students matured and began to need more than the sing-song simplicity of children’s church. They had outgrown puppet skits and sword drills. Having no transitional ministry in place for these children who had become “tweens,” Bess was very disheartened as she saw the ones whose families did not attend church slowly drift away.

Rather than shrug her shoulders and accept the loss of unchurched kids as inevitable, Bess purposed in her heart to start a ministry that would meet the need. She targeted her efforts specifically to girls; the disadvantaged and unchurched girls who had attended her Saturday sidewalk Sunday school. Each Thursday night, she opened her home to a group of these girls. They were a little rough around the edges, to be sure. They were not familiar with the nuances of sit-down dinners and social graces. They came from low-income homes where their mothers cared more about their current live-in boyfriends than teaching their daughters good manners and how to succeed in life. Even more tragically, these girls were not receiving any continuing instruction about Jesus and the foundational truths of the Word of God. Some of them had already drifted into the hard life of gangs and

crime. Most had serious problems at school. Bess knew that these girls were at risk for drug addiction, teen pregnancy and violent lifestyles. So, once a week, they would all have a nice meal at the Howards dining room table and then gather in the living room to talk, sing, and have a devotion from the Bible. As the months went by, Bess would invite ministers with a heart for young people to visit and share with the girls. Bubba Cardin, Maureen Beech, Cathy Payne and others took the time to minister to these young souls. It was a wonderful time in their lives. There were outside activities, too— camp, conferences, and trips to local churches for special meetings. Once, Bess heard that a series of revival services was taking place at the Mt. Olive church. She, Bishop Howard, and four of their young Continued on page 30

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Continued from page 6

MISSIONS

MISSION TRIP OPPORTUNITY Are you interested in a mission trip to the Caribbean?  Well, get your passport in order and start making plans!

Where: Dominican Republic When: The week of June 11, 2012 Duration: 5 or 6 days Purpose: To build a Youth and Children’s Chapel in Santo

Domingo (Construction will take place during the day day and the evenings will be committed to ministry.)

Estimated Cost: Including airfare only $1,000 per person.

(This is an estimate based upon current airfare prices and may vary slightly at a later time.)

This project includes activities for children and youth, but everyone is welcome. And, it would especially make a worthy investment as a family vacation if you’re looking for that something special with a lasting impact.

  For more information, please contact the office of: General Presbyter Bishop Benjamin Feliz • Phone (423) 559-5520 or (423) 559-5521

TECHNOLOGY

An Enhanced Bible Experience NEW YORK, January 4, 2012—Renowned producer Mark Burnett and his wife Touched By An Angel star, Roma Downey; digital Bible maker, Glo Bible; and Christian publisher, Zondervan—today announced that they are coming together to launch Bible360, a new app that brings the text of Scripture to life through video, interactive technology and social media. Bible360 will build upon Glo Bible’s award-winning digital platform— which incorporates 360-degree virtual tours and animated maps—by adding social features and reading plans. Bible360 will also feature The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, preloaded by Zondervan. In the future, video from Roma Downey and husband Mark Burnett’s forthcoming HISTORY® series about the Bible will be integrated into the app to further enhance the reader’s experience. Social features include the ability to share Bible verses, photos and snapshots via social networking channels such as Twitter and 28

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YouVersion, through the popular Jesus Daily page on Facebook, or through the reader’s own personal social networking platforms. Bible360 is free with a premium upgrade available. “With Bible360, people everywhere now have the ability to explore Biblical History in an insightful, accessible and immersive way,” said Mark Burnett and Roma Downey in a joint statement. “We are thrilled to provide millions of people with a fresh visual experience as they enjoy this sacred text.” Bible360 allows users to access any Bible chapter or verse in just two clicks. Every page of the Bible then features relevant videos, WWW.WHITEWINGMESSENGER.ORG


GLOBAL

LOCAL/STATE/INTERNATIONAL

News from Paraguay Missions

In a recent newsletter from missionaries Dan and Gwen Miller, Gwen gives an update on the work in Paraguay: “The youngest child from the Children’s Home, Liz, asked me if when she is grown up and has her own house if I will come and visit her. I told her that by the time she is all grown up and has a house I will be old and I will come and live with her. She got all excited and went and told her sister Laura our plan. Then I was joking with some of the other kids that I didn’t want any one of them to get sick of me, so if I stayed with each one of the 18 kids for one month each they would only have to have me every year and a half! “We planned and prayed for Youth Camp for months. The youth prayed and fasted with me in a fasting chain for one month. We expected great things from the Lord and we knew it would be a life changing camp. “Children’s Retreat was a huge success with 52 children participating. It was a Military Chaplains Needed small group but a great blessing. One of the highlights involves Marco, the new boy. Church of God of Prophecy ministers Our overseer, David Orozco, was doing some of the preaching during Children’s are needed to serve as military Retreat. After one of his sermons, he gave an altar call and Marco was one of the chaplains in the United State Armed kids who went forward to give his heart to the Lord. You can imagine how great Forces. Minimum requirements for that news was received among the other children!” ministers are: 1) must have completed Dan also shared: bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university AND 72 hours “As I sit and write this, it is 94 degrees in our living room; the sun is shining bright. in a graduate program of theology or We had 239 people registered for youth camp, with 162 beds! Gwen has been religious ministries from accredited doing a great job getting things together for camp. Next year, we may have to divide seminary; 2) must be under the age of into two camps. 42 years old at time of entry on active “Over the holidays, we found ourselves thinking about many of you back home duty; 3) must meet physical height and in North America. Once more, the Lord has reminded us of how blessed we are to be involved in this ministry weight standards; and 4) must be able and how blessed we are to count you to pass a criminal background check. as our friends and partners. Often in Seminary students enrolled in their our church services, during testimony first year of seminary are qualified time, one or more of the kids will give to enroll in the Chaplain Candidate thanks for you and your families—for Program. Please contact Dr. Douglas all your support. God bless each of you.” R. Stephenson, Director, Chaplaincy Ministries, 35 Dee Vue Lane, Rossville, —Dan and Gwen Miller GA 30741; telephone: 423-432-2715; Asuncion, Paraguay email: drstep@aol.com.

CHAPLAINS

artwork, photos, and virtual tours, resulting in an interactive experience that gives users the full 360 degree view of the Bible. The entire Bible and related media are also organized through unique browsing “Lenses,” allowing users to sort and search the Bible by geography, timeline, media type, and topic.  “It is an honor to be collaborating with some of the leading content creators on this new, socially-charged app,” said Bible360 President, John Kilcullen. “It’s our hope that Bible360 will be a tool to empower people to dive deeper into the Bible and engage in valuable conversations about the book within their communities.” In addition, launching with the new Bible360 app is the “Me” Lens, which includes a journal and reading plans.  After connecting to social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, the “Me” Lens will integrate relevant posts so users can see what their friends are sharing from the Bible. The premium version of Bible360 will allow users to access more premium content and sync their experiences across various devices and platforms, including the Mac, PC, iP ad and iPhone.

Zondervan, the leading publisher of Bibles, Christian books, videos, and software, has provided The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible for the Bible360 app. “We are delighted to partner with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to engage people with such a compelling application of God’s Word,” said Zondervan’s Senior VP and Publisher for Bibles, Chip Brown. “Their vision will undoubtedly help millions experience the Bible in a fresh, new way.” This announcement is in conjunction with the upcoming Bible series created by Executive Producer Mark Burnett airing on HISTORY® in 2013. The ten-part series was conceived by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and will be produced by Lightworkers Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. Video produced for the new series will eventually be incorporated into the Bible360 app, allowing for an even richer multimedia experience. Bible360 is available at all iTunes stores internationally. To learn more visit www.bible360.com

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In His Presence

Sharing Jesus

Continued from page 27

of those girls has illuminated the truth that prayers prayed are never in vain and even when we don’t see it immediately, it is the Lord who gives the increase when we lovingly sow the seeds of the Gospel.

Cochabamba, Bolivia; organized on August 11, 2011; Pastor Timoteo Alvarez Alba

charges went with anticipation to see exactly what was going on. They entered the church, which was already in full revival mode, and made their way to the second row. Early in the service, the evangelist stopped preaching and called for anyone who needed prayer to come to the front. Up popped all four girls. They were at the front of the church before the Howards knew what was happening. The first of them to be prayed for was Angie. Angie was a girl who lived in heartbreaking circumstances in the bad part of town. So bad, that one Christmas morning she was the one to discover the murdered bodies of her neighbors. She had seen enough and experienced enough bad things to last a lifetime. At the church that night, none of the little group knew it, but Angie was about to have an encounter with the power of God. The evangelist gently laid his Bible on her forehead and Angie immediately went down on the floor. She had been slain in the Spirit. Knowing that she had never been exposed to this kind of thing, Bess asked her about it in the parking lot as they were leaving the church. Angie said, “The first thing I knew I was waking up on the floor! And I couldn’t make my lips stop moving. What was that?” Bess and Brother Howard explained that coming in contact with the Spirit of God had caused her to experience those things. They shared from the Scriptures about “stammering lips.” She came away from that service with a new understanding of the power of the Holy Ghost. For more than six years, Bess poured the love of Christ into the hearts of those girls. Some held onto their relationship with the Lord. Some felt the pull of sin and the world and made unprofitable choices. But a recent letter from one

Potosi, Bolivia; organized on August 15, 2011; Pastor Carlos Ordoñez Benero

Potosi, Bolivia; organized on September 22, 2011; Pastor Eugenio Quispe

Cochabamba, Bolivia; organized on October 25, 2011; Pastor Elvis Gonzales

Cochabamba, Bolivia; organized on September 21, 2011; Pastor Víctor Córdova

Potosi, Bolivia; organized on October 15, 2011; Pastor Genaro Laka Apanaya

Santiago, Chile; organized on November 6, 2011; Pastor William Carranza

MINISTERS Nehemiah N. Roper; Portland, Jamaica; November 20, 2011; Licensed minister for 32 years. Junior Brooks Groves; Stouts Mill, West Virginia; December 24, 2011; Licensed minister for 41 years. Mayrona Seymour; Nassau, Bahamas; January 14, 2012; Licensed minister for 36 years.

MEMBERS Shirlene P. McGee; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; January 14, 2012; Shirlene was the wife of Bishop Damous E. McGee, a former State Overseer of Oklahoama and five other states.

New Churches Goldsboro, North Carolina; organized on January 15, 2012; Pastor Samuel Ewing Oruro, Bolivia; organized on May 07, 2011; Pastor Eugenio Quispe

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Bess, Hello. How are you doing? The Lord laid it upon my heart to look you up, so I did. First of all I want to thank you for always coming to get me and showing me the correct way to live—showing me love. I am sure that God put you in my life to show me because we would not have known about His greatness if you weren’t put in my life. Of course, I’ve rebelled and relied on drugs and alcohol and even men, but that void I had wasn’t filled with any of those things. And so I called on Jesus and He as delivered me from all of those things, praise God! I had a son out of wedlock and his daddy is in prison, and has been for almost five years. So I have been a single mother and my son’s name is Cameron. I want to let you know I love you and appreciate everything that you have done for me. I was a kid and probably didn’t show much appreciation, but from a kid what can you expect, right? I now have a fiancée who also lives for the Lord and I have included a picture of my new family. Mark is my fiancée and Jayci is his daughter. She calls me Mom because her mom is on pills and doesn’t want the responsibility of her, so I have taken it. And then there is Cameron and me. Cameron has taken Mark as a Daddy figure because his is in prison. All the pieces of our lives fit together perfectly. It’s awesome. Well, I wanted you to know where I am at in my life. Love ya’ll. XOXO and God bless you all! With Love, Jessica

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MESSAGES

DeWayne Hamby, Managing Editor

A Personal God Have you ever been going through a hard time and needed someone to talk to? You go to a friend, expecting to at least feel better by getting it off your chest, and sometime during the conversation, you hear, “Well, you think that’s bad!? Let me tell you . . . “ For the next few minutes, you are treated to tales so horrible, you’d think they were made up. After you’re finished with the compassionate conversation with your friend, you trail off, feeling even worse for mentioning your needs in a world of deadly problems. What could have you been thinking? How could you be so selfish? How can your needs compare to a sea of heartache? Sometimes this mindset clouds our view of our relationship with God. I admit that sometimes I’ve been very hesitant to mention things in prayer because I thought they were too petty or insignificant, and many times they are not petty at all. They are tearing me up inside. I am extremely grateful for a God who sent His Son as a remission for all mankind’s sins, to provide help for the many hopeless souls on the earth. I am also thankful that He looks after His people. But I am most perplexed and humbled by the idea that He sees me through the crowd. See, I’m not the kind

who struggles with the idea of God being so big— it’s harder for me to comprehend He’s also so small. He is a personal Savior. Hebrews 4:15 states that, “ . . . we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. . . “ Other translations paint the picture a little further . . “to feel for us in our weaknesses” (Wey), “to be touched by the feelings of our feeble flesh” (Bas). He was walking through the crowds one time when a ruler begged Him to bring His dead daughter back to life. There were people left and right. Voices all around. “Let me ask you a question, these miracles”, “Hey, now I was wondering about lunch on Friday,” “Remember me from Hebrew school?” So many voices and so many different needs. One woman knew she would be lost in the crowd, drowned out by others. But if she could touch Him, it would provide the strength she needed. For twelve years, her disease had placed her with the undesirables of society. She knew this was the Son of God and she knew He was busy. She needed strength, not a show; healing, not heroworship; power, not popularity. Pushing her way through the crowd, she is able to touch a part of his robe, the hem. That was enough. When she did it, time stood still. All the needs, wants, greetings were temporarily halted. Everything turned black and white and

the woman stood out in bold technicolor. He felt the power of faith mixed with the anguish of disease. He saw the one lost sheep in the crowd of ninety-nine. You know the story. Jesus recognized her in that moment and told her that her faith had made her whole. Then He traveled over the ruler’s house and had a welcome back party for a young girl whose problems were much worse, in the world’s eyes. The woman had to have felt intimidated by her request. Was it selfish to want it to go away, to have a proper place in society again? Would she be taking time from someone who needed Him worse? Yet she reached out. She didn’t make a spectacle but she made the step. And He cared. I don’t know if the songwriter George C. Hugg thought about that woman when he penned the following lines to a familiar hymn, but it sure seems he did “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus/ No, not one! No, not one!/ No one else could heal our soul’s diseases/ No, not one! No, not one!/ Jesus knows all about our struggles/ He will guide till the day is done/ There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus/ No, not one! No, not one!” Thank you, Lord, for being my personal Savior, for knowing the real DeWayne, for leaving the door open to talk, and for being genuinely concerned about what troubles me . . . even the little things.

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White Wing Messenger March 2012