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Gratitude From a PRAY LIKE A Child's Perspective MAN!

5 WAYS TO GET READY FOR SCHOOL A First Church of God Publication | Summer 2017




The Blessing of Being a Disciple of The Seductive Nature Serving a Great Pastor Jesus of Spiritual Warefare A First Church of God Publication | Winter - 2016

Spring Forward! An Open Letter

Inspiration from the Heart: Fully Persuaded

A First Church of God Publication | Spring - 2016

The Power of Prayer from a

Righteous Believer Making Ready a People Prepared to Meet the Lord.

What My Mother Means to Me!

Saving Our SONS

Making Ready a People Prepared to Meet the Lord.

...and the library


Missed a past issue of Empowerment? Just click on any of the magazine covers to get caught up on what Empowerment has to offer!


The Bishop Speaks Bishop Timothy J. Clarke


I am excited church's E-m

As many of filled with c in our youth added a Sat both by our

As I thought journey is an which we pl comes, how the change it which ofte but when w

Finally, chan be transform before. As se encourage y

They change season has b


summer 2017


d and delighted to once again share with you our magazine, Empowerment!

you know the past several months have been busy and change here at First Church. We have been worshipping h church during the Retrofit of our sanctuary. We have turday evening service that has been warmly embraced r members and neighbors of our community.

t about these past few months, I began to see how our n illustration of life. Life is filled with change, some of lan for, others that come unexpected. When change w we respond to it is often times more important than itself. Sometimes people resist change and fight against en makes the change more difficult and challenging, we embrace change it often yields great fruit and benefit.

nge is not always negative or destructive, in fact it can mative and we often are better after the change than easons change and our lives take various turns, let me you to remember the seasons of life.

e, they are unique, and they call us to adjust but each beauty when we embrace and celebrate it!

- Bishop 4


3 / The Bishop Speaks by Bishop Timothy J Clarke

When change comes, how we respond to it is often times more important than the change itself..


by Pastor Herbert Banks If we trust God even when we are hurting, in pain, or in a storm, he will bring us through.



by Pastor Brian Holland

If you say that you have faith then you must put that faith into action when you pray.


The choice to wrap yourself in gratitude is like dressing yourself each morning.

19 / live and grow from your rough days. a personal story by Sister Felicia Hence

Thank God we have someone watching over us, to encourage and uplift us when we are having those days.


summer 2017

21 / Q&A with Ericka Settles

...Singing is therapeutic, it soothes my spirit.

25 / Seasonal Updates For many people, August is a sign for the new school year. Here are some tips to get your children off to a good start!

29 / From the Kitchen Here are some quick and easy dishes to fix for those hot days of Summer!

mpowerme 2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)

"Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded"


Empowerment Article and Interview Contributors

Summer 2017

Empowerment Staff Pastor Herbert Banks

Bishop Timothy J. Clarke Executive Publisher & Chief Executive Officer

Brother Edmund Davidson Publisher

Sister Felicia Hence Editor

Minister Brian Holland

Sister Deborah Thompson Editor

Sister Tanya Word Editor

Sister Villia Davidson Senior Advisor

Deacon Isaiah Cobb

Sister Pamela Clarke Liaison Manager

Attention Sister Felicia Hence

Sister Ericka Settles


summer 2017

Want to EMPOWER others? We are looking for writers, reporters, editors, and graphic artists to spread the Word! Please contact brother Edmund Davidson at for more information.

Spread the


N ews

Introduce your friends and loved ones to Empowerment, an online publication from First Church of God. Published quarterly, Empowerment delivers words of wisdom, inspirational stories, and advice from members of First Church of God in one lifechanging and easy to read publication. Just share the link www.empowerment.1stchurch. net

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Empowering a people ready to meet the LORD!



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HURTS by Pastor Herbert Banks

Trusting God in the midst of trial or tribulation does not mean everything will work out. It means that by trusting in God we find peace, purpose, and power, even if the worst-case scenario happens.


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The scriptures are filled with stories of those who trusted God even when it hurt and was painful to do so. To name a few: • Joseph was sold into slavery and imprisoned. (Gen. 37) • Job lost his good health, wealth, and children. (Job 1) • A messenger sent from Satan harassed Paul continually. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)


If we trust God even when we hurt, God will make all grace abound toward us. (II Cor. 9:8) Not just saving grace, but keeping grace. "

I. Paul’s Pain and Struggles Pain and struggles are a part of life. Paul struggled with sin, the church, and daily conflict with Satan. (Rom. 7:14-25; II Cor. 6:3-10; 12:7-10) This daily conflict was called a messenger of Satan that beat and harassed him constantly. Paul was not exempt from struggles and pain and neither are we. The scriptures declare, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3:12 - KJV) Jesus, the Son of God, struggled and had pain as well. He was constantly attacked by the religious leaders of his time. He was betrayed, rejected, and disappointed by those he came to ransom his life for. Yet Jesus trusted God the Father while being in pain and agony. From the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed until these words fell from his lips, “Nevertheless, not my will but your will be done.” (Matt. 26 - KJV)

Consider what Paul must have felt. He lived sacrificially for Christ. Yet he had to endure a variety of pain. Even in constant prayer God’s only response was, “My grace is SUFFICIENT for you.” We see through the lens of the Apostle Paul:

Your struggles and pain are a part of life. In every life there is day and night; sunny days and stormy days; cold days and hot days. There is a time and season for us all. (Eccl. 3)

• Struggles come with pain • Struggles come for and with a purpose • Struggles come with power

2 Cor. 4:17,18 (KJV)– Light affliction for a moment working for eternal glory


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II. The Purpose of Pain & Struggles

There is a purpose for your pain and your struggles. Paul was given a thorn

in his flesh, a messenger from Satan, not Satan himself, but a messenger. God allowed it to be so. Satan sent the messenger. Have you met Satan’s messenger? The messenger was sent “to keep him humble” because of the greatness of the revelation Paul had received. Paul was once taken to the third heaven and saw things that were not permissible for him to tell. This messenger from Satan prepared Paul against future attacks. He learned to trust God because of the thorn in his flesh. He experienced the sufficiency of God’s grace. As a result of the thorn Paul turned to God. It taught him to depend on God. The thorn caused him to stay close to God through prayer. III. The Power of Paul’s Pain Acts 9:16 (KJV) - show him how many things he must suffer The greater our position in the body of Christ, the greater our pain, and the greater the pain the greater the power of God is revealed. God does not cause the pain in our lives but He allows it. “All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) God used Paul’s pain to reveal His power. He kept saying to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you.”

authority to save not just his family but also a nation. (Gen. 50:19-21) Paul prayed three times that the thorn in his flesh be removed, but he did not get what he wanted. God gave him what he needed, Grace! God’s grace met whatever demands were made upon his life. Over and over again the power was revealed through his pain. He was healed of a poisonous snakebite. (Acts 28:3) Paul prayed for a dead man who died from a broken neck and he recovered. Yet, Paul could not cure himself. He could only bear in his body this thorn because of the Grace of God. If we trust God even when we hurt, God will make all grace abound toward us. (II Cor. 9:8) Not just saving grace, but keeping grace. If we can trust God even when we hurt, his grace will restore, establish, strengthen, and support us. (I Peter 5:10 - KJV) Conclusion

A Father and his daughter were driving when a storm came upon them. The daughter was driving. The storm made it difficult to see and to control the vehicle. Cars and semitractor trailers were pulling over on the side of the road. The daughter prepared to pull to the side of the road as well. Suddenly her father said, Joseph’s brothers sold Joseph into “Keep driving.” She said to him, “Dad, slavery. It wasn’t until years later that you told us that when in a storm we he realized God’s purpose for his pain. should pull over until it passes.” He It was to give Joseph the power and said, “I know but keep driving.” She


kept driving. She saw cars on the side of the road, motorcycles, parked under bridges, and large semi-tractor trailers on the side of the road. She kept driving. Suddenly the storm passed as quickly as it had begun. Now her father said, “Pull over.” She said, “Dad, the storm is over we can make up for lost time.” He said, “I know but pull over.” She pulled to the side of the road and her dad asked her to get out of the car. As they exited the car her father asked her, “What do you see?” She said, “I see vehicles parked on the side of the road.” He said to her, “If you had stopped, you would still be in the storm parked on the side of the road. Because you kept driving you are now out of the storm.”

b. "My strength is made perfect in weakness."

If we trust God even when we are hurting, in pain, or in a storm, He will bring us through. Just trust in God and keep moving forward.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths "

The power of God is made available to you. If you are struggling with the issues of life, God’s power is made available because “His grace is sufficient.” From a perplexing passage, we can glean powerful principles applicable to all we encounter. In times of infirmity, pain or struggles, trust God enough to pray. But don't be surprised if the answers to your prayers are similar to those given to Paul a. "My grace is sufficient for you."


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The Lord may choose not to remove the infirmity. Instead, He may choose to give you the strength to endure it. If so, then rejoice that the power of Christ rests upon you. Trusting in God in the midst of trial or tribulation does not mean everything will work out the way you want it to. It means that by trusting in God we have peace, purpose and power, even if the worstcase scenario happens.


Proverbs 3:5-6

Dr. Banks has served as the Lead Pastor of the New Creation Church of God in Flint, MI since 2004. He is a strong supporter of the Revive Flint Initiative in an effort to Evangelize the city of Flint. He also advises and serves other non-profit organizations. Dr. Banks earned his Doctorate of Ministry at Andersonville Theological Seminary in Camilla, GA. His ministerial affiliation is with the National Association Church of God at West Middlesex, PA and the Church of God Anderson, IN. Dr. Banks is a devoted husband, father and proud grandfather who values spending quality time with his family.



MAN! by Minister Brian Holland

Men of faith must pray in faith. If you say that you have faith then you must put that faith into action when you pray. The Bible says in Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.� To me the word believe in the scripture is the same as hope, and hope is


summer 2017

nothing more than expectation. I truly believe that many people do not get their prayers answered because they don’t expect one.. So if this is the case, why even bother praying at all. If you are going to pray, you might as well pray with expectation; pray with hope, and

pray with the belief that God will answer your prayers because that is exactly what he said He would do. So what should men pray for that will bring changes to their families, people around them, and society. The first thing that men should pray for is focus. Men need to pray that God will keep them focused. With all of the distractions in the world from the music to movies, to reality TV to social media, and our hand held devices we need to stay focused. We can be distracted so easily and get off track with a blink of the eye. We must pray that God will keep us focused. We must stay focused on God. We must stay focused on guiding our families. And we must stay focused on reaching our goals. The second thing you should pray for is fitness. This is an area that men, especially black men need to pray about. We have to be proactive with our health. I am trying to understand why men don't go to the doctor. Are they afraid? Do they think that the issue will go away on its own? Do they feel that their less of a man if they don't tough it out and go the the doctor? That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of. We have to pray about our fitness. We have to go to the doctor. We have to eat healthier meals. We have to exercise. I truly believe that if we pray about our fitness God will give us direction in this area of our lives.

OUR FINANCES! This does not mean that we just pray for God to bless us with more money. Now don’t get me wrong, God is more than able to give us more money, but most of us have trouble managing the little bit of money we have now. Why in the world would he give us more. So pray that God will help you manage your money better. This begins by giving back to God what is his. Yes, I am talking about your tithe and your offering. If you do this first I guarantee that he will take care of you. So you pay God first. Then you pay yourself. You have to put money aside for a rainy day. You have to have a retirement plan. You have to invest some of your earnings. As well as putting something aside for your family. Then you need to pay your bills. As a man of God you should be paying your bills. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You have to pray that God will help you manage your finances. When you pray that God will keep you focused, control your fitness, and manage your finances this will have a dramatic effect on your family, the people around you, and society. Remember what the Pail said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17(KJV), pray without ceasing. We are to be in constant communication with God! Be Blessed!

The third thing you should pray for is finances. WE HAVE TO PRAY OVER


GRATITUDE From a child's

perspective by Deacon Isaiah Cobb


summer 2017

There are many blessings when gratitude is used on a daily basis. The word gratitude means the quality of being thankful; and the readiness to show appreciation for an act of kindness given by an individual(s). Over the years, I have learned the importance of saying, “thank you�to others for their act of kindness. It could have been the

opening of a door, a phone call just when I need someone to talk to, or helping an individual in time of crisis. Sometimes, gratitude comes from a little child’s perspective. Even a child you never met before.

Nevertheless, it was through a child’s eyes that got my attention. For the entire time until I transferred to another city, this little girl named, Joanna would find me in the grocery store and speak to me. It was a friendly relationship between this six I was on my first job during the late year old girl and me, and I thank God seventies at a grocery store called for the opportunity to have known “Piggly Wiggly, Southerners” in the her for that season in my life. They heart of Louisville, Georgia. This is were one of my favorite customers where I learned the responsibilities because of their gratitude for my of working on a job. My job title service on a different level. Many was Courtesy Clerk with the people from all walks of life are responsibilities to bag, and unload waiting to express a “thank you”; all it customer’s groceries from their takes an act of kindness in words or shopping cart. One day, I was working deeds. on the front when a young lady and her daughter entered the store. I had This story has impacted my life in never laid eyes on this mother and many ways. One, we should always daughter before. Perhaps, they were be thankful for little things. This visiting or were shoppers from out little girl was very thankful for my of town. They did some shopping assistance in unlocking her mom’s and soon were waiting in line to pay car. Two, the Holy Bible reads in 1 for their groceries. I just happened Thessalonians 5:18(KJV), In everything to be the Courtesy Clerk to unload give thanks: for this is the will of God and bag their order. After I finished, I in Christ concerning you. The love followed them to their vehicle. As we shown to mankind and sacrifice approached the vehicle, the mother given by the Begotten Son is more made a comment and said, “I believe I than enough to show and share locked my keys in my car.” gratitude to Almighty God. We can share it in words and deeds by living Once we were close enough to her a Christian Life wherever we go. The vehicle, I could see the keys in the choice to rob yourself in gratitude is ignition. I knew I had to help this like dressing yourself each morning, customer quickly, because of their you can do it because it is the wise groceries and the little girl. So, I and rightful thing to do. Or, you can returned to the store to retrieve a choose to let blessings pass you by, clothes hanger, then I put my skills because the choices you made were to work to unlock the door. Shortly not wise. Today, make your choice to afterwards, I accomplished the be thankful in all things, and see your mission. My customer was relieved view in life through a child’s eyes and and very thankful for my help be thankful. The choice is yours. and they were able to go home.


live and grow from your

rough days

a personal story

by Sister Felicia Hence

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) - Give your worries to Jesus. Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Like many who are reading this article, I have also had my share of ups and downs, personally and professionally. I believe that anytime we are faced with adversity whether it be on the job, at school, etc. there is always a growth opportunity. That growth may hurt as you’re going through it. Of course, you don’t want to hear anything about growth or learning at that moment, but when God brings you to it He will most definitely bring you through it; and that’s when you can’t help but rejoice. Later, you may reflect and realize that God was with you all the time. This is my story…


summer 2017

Romans 5:3-4 (NIV) - Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV) - If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.

doesn’t? Even in these moments I am constantly learning. I apply my learnings to future transactions and use them to help newer agents that may be faced with similar situations. Your trials and experience will serve as a help to someone else. You can bless someone else with your experiences. As Christians this is how we help others.

What I’ve learned over the years about having rough days is that I spent over two decades as a they test our faith and increase marketing/communication/sales our perseverance. It doesn’t matter professional. Each day brought what your career, job or role may something different. Some days be, you may have some days in the were great, while others presented office or even at home when you get challenges but it was in those days discouraged, but God! Thank God we that I persevered and sharpened my have someone watching over us, to skills. One day, I finally decided that encourage and uplift us when we are it was time to take the skills that I’d developed in the corporate world and having those days. invest in myself. To that end, I left the corporate world to pursue my dream One of my favorite quotes says, “Life is 20% what happens and 80% how of being a realtor. you react to it (Charles Swindoll). How will you react to your next rough It was during the rough days in day? Will you remember that you corporate America that God was can learn from it? God can teach you testing, teaching and preparing me a lesson about Him, or yourself in for my destiny of owning my own those moments. God is loving you, business. They say that experience is even though it may feel like you're all the best teacher. I can truly say that alone. We can choose grace, which my earlier career prepared me for assumes that there will be rough days a career in real estate. After all, real and that do-overs are needed. And estate is all about marketing, sales Christ, in His grace, offers not just the and building relationships. God was do-over but the power for the do-over. preparing me all along! All of the challenging days and nights spent God Bless all of your days! in the corporate world were for this time! As a realtor, I still have rough days every now and then. Who


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• What is your favorite color? My favorite color is purple. • In your spare time what do you do for fun? ……binge on Netflix, shopping! • …and for that matter what things do you not like to do? ……yard work!

• As a highly respected sister at First Church, if there was any advice you would give to a young woman trying to make it in this world, what would it be? Romans 8:28 (KJV): All thing work together for the good of the that love the Lord, so Love the Lord with all you heart and soul.

• What is your favorite scripture? Philippians 4:8 (KJV): Finally, • What is your hobby? brethren, whatsoever things My hobbies are singing and are true, whatsoever things are dancing. honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, • What is your favorite food? Greens/cabbage. whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if • You are part of our excellent there be any praise, think on these worship team! What motivates you things. to sing? Singing is therapeutic, it soothes my spirit.


• When growing up, who was the one person you looked up to as a role model, and why? My mother was my role model. She was educated and exhibited strength, She was an example of what a Christian woman should look and act like...and we had fun. • What career did you dream of having as a teen? ……..I didn’t have a thought about my future. I just wanted to make it day by day. • If there was one thing you would like to change about the world, what would it be? Nothing….with everything there is a reason and a season, If you never had a problem you would never know how to solve them. Tell us something about yourself that you want the world to know What you see is what you get, so enjoy the show LOL!


summer 2017

If you never had a problem, you would never know how to solve them.

are you ready for the

goodlife YOUTH

Sundays at 11:00 AM

Seasonal Updates


ways to get ready for

school by Haley overlandr today's parent

Back-to-school is just on the horizon and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the things we need to contend with: the new routines, stuff to buy and the massive emotional change itself. Here’s a checklist to help you and your family ease into this exciting new time.


summer 2017

Food: What to pack? If your child is transitioning into full day this year, congratulations! That’s a huge milestone. Not only does it mean they are that much closer to independence, but it also means you’ve got to be more creative than ever in the lunch department. Whether they are eating her lunch at home, in a loud lunchroom, or right in the classroom, the nutritious opportunity that is lunch should not be wasted. Stock up on some BPA-free containers and fill them with carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers and peanutfree dips. Homemade muffins, wraps, simple sandwiches and cutup fruitand cut up fruit, make easy, yummy and nutritious lunches. My personal favorite trick, which has worked brilliantly at camp this summer, is smoothies! Try some of our smoothie recipes, or have fun creating your own, and ask your children to sprinkle in the cinnamon, pour in the fruit and test it out. And don’t be afraid to add spinach, romaine lettuce or cucumber — all of which hide really well. You’ll get a good two to three servings of fruits and vegetables into your kids through delicious smoothies. Remind them to give it a good shake before they drink — and you may want to draw an arrow on the lid so they know which way to twist it open. In addition to cute lunch boxes, fun Thermoses, water bottles and BPA-

free lunch containers, if your kids are eating lunch away from home, you’ll need some sticky notes or mini cards. Your kids will feel the love when they open their lunch boxes to find sweet notes from Mom and Dad. Gear: Clothes, backpacks & supplies Time to hit the malls for back-toschool clothes your kids will feel confident wearing, and school supplies they’ll enjoy putting to use. As school approaches the malls are going to become increasingly packed, so get on this as soon as possible. Lots of stores have back-to-school sales on already, so pack up your coupons and get shopping. For little ones going into junior kindergarten, make sure they have a big backpack. Those little preschool packs aren’t going to cut it in kindergarten because they’ll now be coming home with library books and folders filled with teachers’ notes . keeping you posted on the classroom even. School bags also have to be big enough to accommodate gym shoes, snack and, later in the year, winter gear. Pens, pencils, binders, oh my! Shopping for school supplies is fun with all the great gadgets and funky styles on the market. Make an event out of it with your kids, and be sure to shop in bulk if you have more than one school ager.


Seasonal Updates have evidence of their strengths to Emotions: How to prepare the family remind them of. for change • If there are any separation worries, Preparing yourself and your children (especially if there is baby at home emotionally for back-to-school they may feel jealous of) think of may be your biggest challenge, but some special things together that we’re here to make it easy and less you and your older child could do overwhelming for all, with the help of together to make up for the time parenting expert Alyson Schafer. Here away at school — a special one-onare her fail-proof tips on getting ready one tradition. for the big transition: • "Happy snappy good-bye” for first day. Avoid prolonging the • Don’t start talking it up too early — inevitable. The sooner you say one or two weeks before is usually good-bye, the sooner your child fine. will learn to adjust to her new • If it’s a new school, go tour surroundings on her own. the grounds and play on the playground to familiarize. • If your kids are anxious, arrange Routine: Get it started now a few playdates with kids in their The shift in routine is going to be the class so they can reconnect in most challenging and noticeable advance. change for your children. Be prepared • Validate and normalize their fears, but never pity or feel sorry for them for breakouts, canker sores, extra naughty behavior and trips to your because that’s actually a vote of bedroom at 2 a.m. for the first few non-confidence. They look to you weeks. Transitions are scary, and and your attitude to judge how shifts in routine trigger uncertainty, fearful they should be, and if you confusion and anxiety in children. are calm, they are more likely to believe they will manage just fine. So definitely make the most out of • Don’t use school commencing as the final days of summer, but try to a way of adding pressure about get the kids to bed earlier, as well behavior changes or habits ― i.e., getting them to the breakfast table needing to finish potty training or earlier, so they can ease into the to stop nail-biting because now habit of getting dressed and ready school is starting and what will all to go. Sticking to regular mealtimes the other kids think. in general is an effective strategy for • If your kids are nervous, remind giving your kids a soothing sense of them of other times they were regularity during this uncertain time. nervous about the unknown but Consider doing the school run after it turned out fine. Remind them breakfast a few days before school of stories of past success so you

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starts. Take the opportunity to play in the schoolyard, too, so you can familiarize your kids with school surroundings, and hopefully bump into some school friends. After-school programs/care Dancing? Karate? Art class? Hockey? Swimming? If you haven’t already started thinking about after-school programs for your children, you’re not alone, but get to it. These programs fill up fast, so to get the class you want, it’s imperative that you start making those phone calls as soon as possible.

the kids and go through the school pickup routine, what to pack in your children’s backpacks, after-school snacks, program locations and times and so forth. Make this a great school year for everyone!

Find out where your child’s friends are going, talk to your neighbors, your friends, check out your local library and community centre. And make a conscious effort to leave some days open for play dates. Most afterschool programs don’t begin until the second or third week of school, but you’ll still want to prepare ahead of time by buying the gear you need — tap shoes, skates, paintbrushes. After-school care needs to be addressed as soon as possible if you haven’t dealt with it already. If you have child care in place, pay your childcare service a call to make sure they have all the materials they need: photocopy of birth certificate, emergency contact numbers, allergy medications, extra clothes, or any other information they request or you wish to offer. If your child care service involves a nanny, take your nanny on a school run before dinner with


From the Kitchen Here are some simple and quick meals that will complement the Summer season!

Shrimp and Zucchini Scampi

Note: A frying pan is the secret to this super simple dish! Ingredients Directions • 1 1/2 lb. shelled, deveined shrimp • Cook shrimp in oil 3 minutes or • 2 tbsp. oil until cooked through, turning once. • 2 medium zucchini, sliced Transfer shrimp to plate. • 4 cloves garlic, chopped • To skillet, add zucchini, garlic, • 4 tbsp. butter and butter. Cook 3 minutes. • 3/4 c. white wine Add white wine and salt; cook 2 • 1/8 tsp. salt minutes, stirring and scraping. Toss • 1 lb. linguine, cooked vegetables with shrimp linguine, • 1/4 c. pasta cooking water pasta cooking water, lemon peel, • 2 tsp. lemon peel, grated and parsley. • Chopped parsley, for serving

GRILLED PEACHES WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM Ingredients • 2 ripe peaches • 2 ripe nectarines • canola oil • 8 large scoops vanilla ice cream • Honey and sea salt for finishing


summer 2017

Chili Steak with Hawaiian Rice

Note: This 20 minute meal is full of flavor but low on effort. Save leftover cooked white rice for quick weeknight meals like this. Ingredients • 1 1/2 lb. skirt steak • 2 tsp. chili powder • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lime peel • 1/2 tsp. salt • 2 c. fresh pineapple, chopped • 1 c. packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped • 3 c. Cooked white rice

Directions • Heat outdoor grill on medium-high. • Rub skirt steak with chili powder, lime peel, and salt. Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side or until desired doneness. • Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, toss pineapple with the cilantro leaves and white rice. • Thinly slice the steak and serve with rice. Garnish with lime wedges.

Directions • Heat grill to medium high heat. • Brush the peach and nectarines halves with a touch of with oil and place on the grill for a few minutes and then rotate 90 degrees to continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes total grill marks appear and the fruit starts to caramelize. • Remove from the grill with a pair of tongs and serve with a scoop of ice cream in the center of the fruit. Drizzle with honey and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.


First Church of God


Cities of refuge in the Bible were designated places where someone who had accidentally done wrong could go to escape and could safely wait until trial. The church serves the same purpose, it is a refuge for you and I, sinners, to go to and be protected from the avenger of blood, to avoid making the payment of sin ourselves and take on God as our Lord and Savior and offer up his payment to the cost of sin being death, all the while waiting for Judgment Day. “Making Ready a People, Prepared for the Lord” Is one taken directly from scripture Luke 1:17 and refers to the ministry of John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of Jesus. His mission was to go before the Messiah and prepare the people for His coming. We believe that we as a church are sent and commissioned to prepare people not only for the coming of the King, but also to live full, meaningful and purpose filled lives here on earth as well.

Our Purpose

By now, you have probably either seen or heard the phrase, “Making Ready A People Prepared For The Lord.” This statement comes from Luke 1:17, a passage that deals with the mission of John the Baptist in preparing the way for the ministry of Jesus. “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17 emphasis added) At First Church we have adopted this as our mission statement. The Bible teaches us that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) and that “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10). It is the mission of First Church of God to prepare persons for their ultimate and great appointment, namely standing before the Lord. Everything we do then is done through the lens of this mission statement.

Our Mission

The purpose of the First Church of God is three-fold. To EXHALT Christ - We are called to raise or to lift up the name of Jesus as the way to salvation, the Son of God and the Savior of the world. {John 3:14-18; John 12:32; 1 Corinthians 1:23-24} To EVANGELIZE The Lost - We are called to spread the Gospel message to all of the world and make disciples of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. {Matthew 28:18-20} To EDIFY The Body - We are called to “build up” the Body of Christ through the discovery and exercising of the spiritual gifts placed in us by the Holy Spirit of God. {Ephesians 4:7-16} At First Church, we do this in a number of ways. We do this through our worship and praise, preaching and teaching, through Christian Education and fellowship with one another and other assemblies of faith.


summer 2017

Come and Worship with Us! I invite you to visit us for one of our church services when you are in the Columbus area. You will feel right at home!

Service Times August 2017 Saturday: 6:00pm Sunday: 10:00am Sunday, September 3rd 10:00am Regular Services after September 3rd Saturday: 6:00pm Sunday: 8:00M and 10:00am

First Church of God 3480 Refugee Road Columbus, OH 43232 Phone: (614) 338-8338 Fax: (614) 338-8008

august is member information

update month New address? New phone number? New members in the family? Empty Nester? Be sure to stop by one of our tables and update your information!

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Photographs by Wes McIntyre, Terreece Clarke

Since 2000, the sanctuary at 3480 Refugee has sheltered tens of thousands of worshippers, mourners, celebrations and educational activities. It truly has been a city. Like every bustling city, updates are necessary. The Retrofit of the First Church of God sanctuary and Narthex is the vision of Bishop Clarke as he prepares the church to continue to lead and serve FCOG and the surrounding community for years to come. Over the last couple of months the whole First Church of God community has come together to pray and support the construction. Many ministries relocated and altered their normal schedules and members continued to show up and worship during the alternate weekend worship times. In fact Saturday night service and the two Sunday Service times have been so successful they will continue to be offered after the main sanctuary opens in the fall!

JOIN US 9.3.17 | 10 AM Dedication Service & Reception

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Empowerment Summer 2017  

Check out our Summer 2017 issue of Empowerment! Read articles like trusting God when it hurts, appreciating gratitude, and more. Don't miss...

Empowerment Summer 2017  

Check out our Summer 2017 issue of Empowerment! Read articles like trusting God when it hurts, appreciating gratitude, and more. Don't miss...