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unite october/november 2011

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One Region, One Church, One Mission unitemagazine.us

THIRD DAY MAKE YOUR MOVE TOUR

MICHAEL DERRICK SAVING WILD HORSES

MARKETPLACE MINISTRY MOVING BEYOND THE FOUR WALLS


EDITOR’S NOTE CONTENTS Once again we are excited to bring you a fresh new issue of UNITE. We welcome to this issue new contributors Ryan Loos of RKL Financial who discusses doing business God’s way on page 15, Pastor Stephen Andzel of New Creation Fellowship as well as Chris Hoisington of Brothers McClurg (formerly Relevant Worship) on page 16 who discusses the beginning of a new thing that together with UNITE, Chris and myself will be featuring and discussing with you in our upcoming issues. Another new feature you will find in this issue is our MARKETPLACE advertising section. This is a key aspect of UNITE. Not only is God moving within the church, but God is doing a new thing in the marketplace and around our region there are business people that “get it.” They get what God is calling them to do through their business. The fact is, God has called all believers to be ministers of the gospel and this ministry needs to be taking place in the marketplace. By connecting and supporting other Christians who offer products and services that you are using, you are doing a vital service in the kingdom. It takes money to spread the gospel. We need to come along side business people who are fulfilling their calling in the marketplace and do business with other Christians, when and where possible. One of the key themes of UNITE is together we can do so much more than10by ourselves. We introduced our abbreviated logo as U meaning that as we work together with others whose gifts and calling may be different than ours but if we will let it, their gift will actually compliment ours. Where we are weaker their gifts will strengthen us and vice versa. Working together we our effectiveness is multiplied. The fact is, this is basic Christianity 101, yet for so long we in the body have done our own thing, but now is the time. It’s time to unite.

4 Partners 5 Events Wild Horses

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7 News River Conference, Third Day, Women of Faith, Israel Houghton… Marketplace

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12 Cover Story Marketplace Ministry…Joseph Mattera

unite october/november 2011 www.unitemagazine.us PUBLISHER

Kyle Patterson kyle@thrivebuffalo.org Editor in Chief.....…...……………………Kyle Patterson kyle@thrivebuffalo.org Operations Director…………………..Julianna Patterson Contributors………………………………….. Lou Perez Stephen Andzel Ryan Loos Joseph Mattera Chris Hoisington Photographers… …………….....Matt and Angela Brown Troy Teague Daniel F. Hutchens Amy Lynn Thomson

14 Columns Third Day

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unite is published bi-monthly, December/January, February/March, April/May, June/July, August/ Kings and Priests….....Stephen Andzel September, October/November. The entire contents of Doing Business God’s....Ryan Loos unite is copyrighted by THRiVE! Media Group and may not be reproduced in any manner, either whole or part without written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved. Display advertising and rates may be obtained by emailing info@thrivebuffalo.org or calling (716) 771-1632.The publisher does not take responsibil...Bender’s Parable Christian Store ity for the accuracy or legitimacy of the advertising message or any aspect of the business operation or conduct of the advertisers in the paper. Advertisements placed in unite do not constitute an endorsement by the publisher.

17 Resource Review Photos

Kyle R. Patterson

OCT./NOV. 2011

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Invitation to partner Partner with UNITE and reap the benefits. One Region, One Church, One Mission.


PARTNERS GOLD PARTNERS

BRONZE PARTNERS

ZION DOMINION GLOBAL MINISTRIES Pastor Roderick L. Hennings 716-250-7040 www.ziondominion.org

CLARENCE CENTER UMC Pastors Chuck and Kim Smith 716-741-2410 www.thewayonline.net

ELIM CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP Bishop Troy Bronner 716-832-7698 www.elim-world.org

THE CHAPEL AT CROSSPOINT Pastor Jerry Gillis 716-631-2636 www.thechapel.com

SILVER PARTNERS

GRACE FELLOWSHIP Pastor Linda Giano 716-681-2059 www.gracefic.org

LOVE JOY GOSPEL CHURCH Pastor Ron and Judy Burgio 716-651-0400 www.lovejoy.org PENTECOSTAL TEMPLE Pastor Matthew L. Brown 716-852-5502 www.pentecostaltemplechurch.com

BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH Rev. Kevin L. Wright 716-688-8668 www.bethel-nab.org NORTHGATE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY Pastor Jon Hasselbeck 716-912-5477 www.northgatebuffalo.com

EAGLES’ WINGS Dr. Robert Stearns 716-759-1058 www.eagleswings.to NEW BETHEL COMMUNITY CHURCH Pastors William and Toni Clark 716-835-8300 www.newbethelonline.com DESTINY CHRISTIAN CHURCH Pastors Lou and Louisa Perez 716-297-2656 www.destinychristianniagara.com NORTHEASTERN SEMINARY JP Anderson-Director of Admissions 1-800-777-4RWC www.nes.edu GLOBAL DOMINION INT’L ALLIANCES DR. MELODY BARCLAY 716-603-5436 drmelody2011@hotmail.com For more information or to become a partner email kyle@thrivebuffalo.org


EVENTS

OCTOBER 2011

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WUFO Radio presents EXPO 2011 Job and Health Fait at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. All are welcome. The station is celebrating its 50th year in broadcasting. Sponsors of the event include MYTV, Fox 29, YMCA, WellCare, Verizon and KidsPeace.

On Saturday, October 22nd, Project URGE will host a high impact presentation and tour of Rochester’s key service organizations and ministries committed to serving the poor, the abused, and at-risk youth. Guests will meet the leaders, see them in action and tour facilities.

Business Men’s Fellowship USA, complementary luncheon at Buffalo Marriott Niagara Hotel, Amherst, New York 14221. Reaching Christian businessmen for Christ in the Marketplace. For information and registration please phone: 800-263-8981 or e-mail: info@bmfusa.com Visit online at www.bmfusa.com

Get an early start on Christmas! Reserve your seat at NCF Academy’s Live & Silent Auction & Dinner on Saturday Oct 22, 2011 @ 6PM at the Brookfield Country Club in Clarence. For tickets contact NCF Academy at 631-8595.

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Branches of Niagara Campground and Resort finishes its camping season and will re-open April 15 in Grand Island, NY. The camp, owned and operated by Christians is a state of the art camp and resort center reaching out to the 13 million people who cross the Grand Island bridge each year headed to Niagara Falls. Featuring zip lines, boating, crafts, lodging and more, the camp is a must see and visit even for locals.

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CCA Open House takes place October 18 inviting students and parents for a full tour of the school’s Williamsville k-12 campus and offering a perspective on the importance of Christian education. The open house is an excellent opportunity for parents and students who are considering Christian Central Academy for a time to meet and interact with faculty and administrators, participate in a question-and-answer forum time, and enjoy refreshments prepared by our ParentTeacher Organization Hospitality Team. No reservations required. For families who attend the Fall 2011 Open House and submit an admission application and required forms by 12/31/11, the $50 application/testing fee will be waived.

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The 3rd Annual Iron Sharpens Iron conference will be on October 29, 2011 at the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg. Speakers include Gene Getz, Bill Paige, Don Sunshine, Herb Reese and many more and will focus on topics that will equip men to be stronger in the roles God has placed us in. Iron Sharpens Iron is a firstclass one day equipping conference for men taking place from 8:30 AM to 4:55 PM

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Third Day is performing live at Roberts Wesleyan College October 30 as part of their Make Your Move tour. The band has earned 27 No. 1 radio singles and sold more than 7 million albums which reflect an impressive 2 RIAA Platinum and 8 Gold Certifications, all while leading countless numbers into a true worship experience. Tickets are available at Roberts Wesleyan (Roberts.edu) or Kingdom Bound (kingdombound.org)

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Slime Time, a fun, safe alternative to Halloween from 6:30 to 8:30 PM Love Joy Church, 5423 Genesee St., Lancaster. (716-6510400)Come and bring your kids, ages 2-12, for a slimy, good time! There are wacky games, candy, surprises and it's all Free! There's even a cafe' for adults to enjoy coffee and goodies. Friendly costumes are encouraged. Don’t see your event? email kyle@thrivebuffalo.org to get listed. Small fee applies. Space is limited.


EVENTS

NOVEMBER 2011

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Eagles’ Wings River Conference takes place featuring speakers Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda hosted at Lovejoy Gospel Church. They will be joined with musicians Julie Meyer and Aimee Reid-Sych along with Robert Stearns and the Eagles’ Wings team, November 3-5.

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"Voice for the Voiceless" Intercessory Prayer Event November 3 @ Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church. at 7:00pm. Prayer will specifically be made for those suffering as victims of human trafficking. Women of Faith Rochester women’s conference is taking place November 4-5 at Blue Cross Arena. The event features guests Natalie Grant, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, Mary Mary and comedian Ken Davis. Individual tickets start at $99 for the two day event or discounts apply for groups of ten or more.

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Buffalo Celebrates Israel is being hosted by Zion Dominion Global Ministries and is supported by a number of local congregations as a symbol of support and blessing for the Jewish population and a way to spark interfaith dialogue around the issues affecting us mutually. All are welcome. Last day of Buffalo 40 Days for Life campaign. The initiative is taking place in over 200 cities nationwide and internationally and seeks to bring a witness of God’s love for the unborn. The forty days includes much prayer, fasting and non-violent protests.

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Bazaar at Love Joy from 6 to 8:30PM Love Joy Church, 5423 Genesee St., Lancaster. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Love Joy, and we've got unique gift ideas! Some of our offerings are: baskets, pottery, purses, scarves, and more from the World Fair Trade Market. There is also jewelry of all kinds, including Silpada and handmade originals; a Gold and Silver Exchange; gourmet foods and desserts. No admission charge. Questions? Call 716.651.0400.

Place of Hope PRC, along with the Frederick Douglass Foundation is bringing STAR PARKER to Rochester on Sat. November 12 2011! Get your tickets early! (Seating is limited). Call Kirsten @ (585) 697-0003

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Ministry Awareness Fair is taking place at Christian Academy of Western New York featuring over 30 ministries from across WNY. The event takes place at 621 Payne Ave North Tonawanda. For information call Cara 381-4571.

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Saturday, Nov. 19 @ 7:00p.m: Waters Edge at the Lighthouse Café in Lockport, NY.

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Todd Agnew with author, Abby Johnson will be at Bethel Christian Fellowship. This is a Bethany Christian Services (Adoption) Event. Ticket prices vary (see Website) and can be purchased at www.itickets.com or by calling 585-288-6760. Aids Outreach Event is taking place December 2 at Lafayette Presbyterian Church in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village. The outreach starts at 6 and includes a music, speakers, artwork, and a chance to show Christian love to the AIDS community of WNY.

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Niagara ’11 The Tabernacle is the 17th

Annual Christmas Youth Conference hosted by Joshua Revolution and will take place this December 27-30 in Niagara Falls, NY. For more information and to request a free promotional pack visit our website or call 1.888.415.KIDS or visit online at www.joshuarevolution.org. Speakers include Reggie Dabbs, Hanna Ben-Haim, Bob Cornell and Loren Larson. Musicians at this year’s event include Laura-Lee Cascagnette, Mike Kim, Joseph & Grace Larson and Derek Levendusky.


NEWS Women of Faith Rochester Women’s conference is taking place November 4-5 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. The event features guests Natalie Grant, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, Mary Mary and comedian Ken Davis. Individual tickets start at $99 for the two day event or discounts apply for groups of ten or more. Their draw for women of all faith backgrounds invites women to “escape from the everyday at a Women of Faith weekend and be refreshed, encouraged and inspired. Because the God who loves you can do far more than you can ever Imagine.” The third annual Iron Sharpens Iron event takes place October 29 at Hamburg Wesleyan Church. The one day event takes place from 8:30-5:00 and promises to strengthen area churches. They are once again bringing a first class one-day equipping conference to Western NY that is specifically designed for men (age 13 and older). Keynote speakers include Gene Getz, President of the Center for Church Renewal and Bill Paige, Special Assistant to the President in Young Life.

From September 28 - November 6, hundreds of cities around the United States and internationally are joining together in prayer, fasting and community outreach for the largest and longest coordinated prolife mobilization in history -- the 40 Days for Life campaign. The campaign is praying that with God's help, this groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city -- and throughout America. The Buffalo initiative kicked off with an event in Niagara Square praying for civic and business leaders of Buffalo at that moment walking by or working nearby in businesses, courts, and public offices that their ears would be opened to hear the silent screams of tiny and voiceless victims.

Third Day is performing live at Roberts Wesleyan College October 30 as part of their ‘Make Your Move’ tour. The band has earned 27 No. 1 radio singles and sold more than 7 million albums which reflect an impressive 2 RIAA Platinum and 8 Gold Certifications, all while leading countless numbers into a true worship experience. Tickets are available at Roberts Wesleyan (Roberts.edu) or Kingdom Bound (kingdombound.org) J. Richard Middleton, professor of biblical worldview and exegesis at Northeastern Seminary on the Roberts Wesleyan College campus, has accepted a full-time professorship at the Seminary. Middleton is increasingly becoming a significant voice on interpreting the Bible and its application to the current culture. A prolific and widely published author, his most recent book, The Liberating Image (Brazos Press, 2005), has been translated into Korean. His new book on eschatology, A New Heaven and a New Earth, will be published soon.

Robert Stearns, Executive Director of Eagles’ Wings released his new book, “No, We Can’t” published by Chosen books. Stearns The book counters the popular secular belief that all religions can peacefully work together and confronts the agenda of radical Islam and much more. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda will be in Buffalo for Eagle’s Wings’ River Conference taking place in November at Lovejoy Gospel Church. They will be joined with musicians Julie Meyer and Aimee Reid-Sych along with Robert Stearns and the Eagles’ Wing’s team, November 3-5. Lafayette Presbyterian Church on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo is hosting the first of a hopefully annual outreach event Aids Event put on by representatives of a number of churches who feel the evangelical community has ignored this segment of our community and want to bring an offering of Christian love and goodwill. The event takes place at 6:00PM December 2.

This year’s Buffalo Celebrates Israel event November 6 is hosted by Zion Dominion Global Ministries and supported by a number of local congregations as a symbol of support and blessing for the Jewish population and a way to spark interfaith dialogue around the issues affecting us mutually. All are welcome for this regional event. Read more news at www.unitemagazine.us Have news to share? Email info@thrivebuffalo.org (space is limited, small fee applies)

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INTERVIEW

QUESTIONS WITH >> Israel Houghton Lead singer of New Breed & Worship leader at Lakewood Church

You see where you are at now, but really it is 20 years of music behind you. Can you touch on the process that God brings someone like you through? I think it all works together. If you look at the collective of 20-21 years, you start out with a dream, a what if and to see some of it come to pass like the things you would have never dreamed or if you did you would have never told anyone, then to live out some of the things you imagined happening, is pretty amazing. Yet I think the key to longevity is humility. Just staying low and staying small and constantly acknowledging the fact that we actually had nothing to do with it except being obedient and God orchestrated the rest. Can you touch on keeping the balance between connecting people to God as a worship leader and the praise and appreciation of man with all the awards you have won? I went to the Dove Awards in 1995 and it was the first time I went and I sat way up at the top of the arena. Michael W. Smith got up and I think that year he won no kidding like his 30th Dove Award, some crazy number and people made a big deal about it. He got there to accept it and he said, "This is just one more thing that I get to lay at the feet of Jesus." It is great to be acknowledged by our peers as musicians and artists and that sort of thing but really whatever that hardware is, you take it and lay it at the feet of Jesus. What would you say to an aspiring Christian musician today who is caught in the trials of life but with a heart to lead worship? I would say, I don't know if this applies to everybody but for me, when I stopped chasing it, when I just said, Jesus is all I want is you and I want to know you and be used by you but I am not going to chase a career, I am not going to chase the accolades, I am not going to chase the stage. For those reading this and are serving at a local church, serve in the local church like it's the thing, the only thing. I meet a lot of people who are frustrated serving in a church and are frustrated and looking ahead for the next big thing. I am like you are in the next big thing right now, the power of the local church, serve there and let the doors open up. The most frustrated people I've met are trying to kick down doors as opposed to allowing God to open the doors for them. Can you touch on what it is like working with Joel Osteen at Lakewood? Yeah, it has been fantastic, I have been there 10 1/2 years now on staff. I think there are a couple things that really stand out to me. One, when I agreed to come on staff the church was obviously growing but nowhere near what we have seen happen in the last 5 years. So, there is something to be said about believing God for big things and then watching them happen around you. And secondly Joel as a person is exactly who he is on the platform as he is off. He is just humble, very, very disciplined, very, very focused on what he is called to do and he has been an amazing example to me and my family as to how to face down your critics, he has had a lot of critics, and yet he has just sort of shaken it off and stayed the course. You have seen so much happen already, are there unfulfilled dreams or things you would still like to see happen in your ministry? Oh I think always, our heart really is to expand what we have seen God do in our ministry. So we are in the process of expanding into South Africa and developing a group down there called New Breed Africa and I think it is the precursor to a lot more expansion. October/November 2011

www.unitemagazine.us

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PICTURES

Crisis Response International gears up for their Northeast Regional Training in Ohio this October.

UNITE Editor Kyle Patterson (right) with Israel Houghton after his performance at Elim Christian Fellowship.

John Mika, Director of The Teacher’s Desk outside the organization’s new storefront. Photo by Kyle Patterson

Hearts for the Homeless has many ways to get involved with their ministry this Christmas season. Photo by Matt Brown

Eagles' Wings leads a pro-Israel rally in NYC and a protest of "Durban III Review Conference on Racism" sponsored by the UN, which attracted a number or world leaders. According to Eagles’ Wings while this conference espouses itself as anti-racist, it sadly is the exact opposite. Its bigoted agenda is to single out the democratic nation of Israel and condemn it as a "racist and apartheid state." Rally photos provided by Eagles’ Wings.

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October/November 2011

Robert Stearns led the protest rally in New York City. By 12 noon, more than 2,000 people flooded the plaza coming from across the U.S. and from many countries including New Zealand, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

The protest was hosted by a coalition of more than 30 organizations across NYC and raised a voice for Israel. Submit your pictures by emailing info@thrivebuffalo.org


MINISTRY: Aids Outreach

PEOPLE

Michael Derrick: Saving Wild Horses

him to reach and lead many people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When God says he uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, Saving Wild Horses embodies that truth. Michael explains, “God made horses to be relational creatures. God uses horses within our ministry to build relationship with the youth and adults we work with. This gives opportunity for us to have an open door to share the message of the Gospel with these broken souls.” After all, explaining how God uses wild horses to reveal His character is somewhat out of the ordinary. Yet, Michael’s experience confirms what the Bible teaches— God can and will use anything to accomplish His purposes, including animals. The ministry’s work with troubled teens, inner city youth and various outreaches have led hundreds of people to Christ while at the same time restoring beautiful mustangs to usefulness as trained riding horses. The ministry reveals how God uses our passions, gifting and past to be used for his glory while also showing what obedience can and will do. As is usually the case, the call of God is not without sacrifice. To accommodate the vision of building a first class horse ranch with proper facilities and land, Michael was led to sell his 5,000 square foot Executive Estate and downsized considerably in order to devote more time to the ministry. The other demand is caring for the nearly 20 horses within the ministry’s care. As more people get involved, the ministry is able to reach more children for Christ and save more horses, a combination that attracts visitors to the ministry’s headquarters each year for their annual fall outreach, summer Riding Into Revival and numerous other events the ministry hosts. The annual harvest event and outreach draws hundreds of visitors to attractions like wagon rides, kid’s games and a clear presentation of the gospel through music, drama and clown ministry. The ministry depends on individual and corporate donors who believe in

By Kyle Patterson

Michael Derrick isn’t your typical 38 year old. The fact is he is doing what some would only dream of. As a restaurateur and owner of Tim Horton’s franchises, Michael and his wife Jennifer could have sat back and enjoyed the success of their business, but God had other plans. In the height of their success, God began pulling at Michael’s heart to do work for a Kingdom purpose. At the pinnacle of worldly success, Michael knew there was more. After receiving the call to ministry in 2005 and seeking God’s direction, God began to resurrect the love Michael had since he was a boy—horses. Michael had grown up loving and caring for horses since the age of five and an opportunity presented itself to adopt troubled wild mustangs. This opportunity coupled together with his faith and desire to reach out led Michael to establish a growing ministry in 2006 that simultaneously accomplishes two purposes—reaches young people for Christ and rescues wild mustangs from the ravages of death. The ministry, based out of West Falls (just south of Orchard Park), titled Saving Wild Horses Through Grace Ministries has enabled

the vision of restoration as well as individuals who want to “adopt” a horse or sponsor a child, helping to underwrite the increasing costs of caring for horses and conducting effective outreach events, provided free by the ministry. Additionally opportunities are available for horse sponsorships to those who may want to own one of the horses yet may not have the space or facilities to keep the horse on their own property. In the end, through it all, it is the ministry’s desire to serve as many and reach as many people for Christ as possible while serving the community.

Event Planned for December

By Kyle Patterson

(Left to right) Chris Hoisington, Mark Schnitzer and Drew Ludwig are going where few Christians have dared to go...reaching out to a people group few have dared to reach out to and they are calling Christians across the region to join them. Their mission: reach those suffering wit AIDS in our own backyard. photo by Kyle Patterson

AIDS is not something the church in general talks about. Yet, in 2009 there were a recorded 33.3 million people living with and suffering from the disease worldwide. But what if the church did take it upon themselves to do something about the ravishing disease claiming the lives of thousands and impoverishing millions more suffering alive with the disease? Well, you guessed it, a team of people from numerous churches, denominations and backgrounds are doing that and calling for area churches and supporters to join them. The concept? Reach out to the AIDS community of Western New York with a no strings attached event, speakers, concert, art showing and gift of love to those suffering with the devastating effects of AIDS with the hopes of building bridges between two estranged communities. The meeting place? Buffalo’s Elmwood Village. The host church? Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Lafayette. The historic church led by progressive urban pastor Drew Ludwig whose non-traditional approach is getting a lot of attention from churches and ministries with a heart to reach what some say is the center of Buffalo culture—The Elmwood Village. Ludwig has opened the doors of his church to numerous community groups and Christians wanting to reach out to the community. The AIDS initiative headed up by visionary Mark Schnitzer who works as a Prevention Counselor at AIDS Community Services of WNY and Brothers McClurg frontman Chris Hoisington say this event is something that the church needs to get behind. Taking place at 6:00PM December 2, a day after World Aids Day, Mark explains that it was the death of a 24 year old man he knew suffering from the disease that broke his heart for reaching the AIDS community, “I felt that the evangelical church in America hasn’t done enough to help. I want to help people to change their attitudes to the sickness and get churches involved.” AIDS not only physically affects its victims, who range from the gay and lesbian community to drug users and others, but the disease obviously presents a large social stigma and leaves many victims in poverty. The event founders hope this will be the start of a united Christian outreach of love to those suffering with the disease. October/November 2011

www.unitemagazine.us

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Charity: The Teacher’s

FEATURES

Music: Third Day “Make Your

Desk: Now Open

By Kyle Patterson

Move Tour” Comes to New York. By Kyle Patterson

Over the past decade, the Atlanta-based, multi-Platinum Christian rock band Third Day (made up of members Mac Powell, Tai Anderson, David Carr and Mark Lee) has racked up 27 No. 1 radio singles and sold more than 7 million albums which reflect an impressive 2 RIAA Platinum and 8 Gold Certifications. Now they are continuing the momentum with their inspiring and riveting “Make Your Move” tour that started in the spring of 2011 and due to popular demand is being extended through the fall – featuring the breakthrough pop band, Tenth Avenue North and singer/songwriter Trevor Morgan. Many of the spring shows have sold out, paving the way for a high-impact fall 2011 tour. The spring tour inspired sold-out crowds in numerous cities including San Antonio, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Cincinnati, Charleston, W.Va.; Memphis, Greensboro, Nashville, and Chicago and Jacksonville, among others. The band has maintained its popularity by introducing new elements into its live show experience. To further engage the band’s loyal audience post-show ‘Jams’ (where the band performs after the actual concert at a nearby venue) and “photo booth meet-n-greets” are featured on selected dates which allow fans to make personal connections with Third Day members. Ed Lomnicki, president of EDAN Concerts & Festivals Group, offers, “The “Make Your Move” tour has left us scratching our heads and wondering, "Can it get any better than this? You get to see Third Day, at the pinnacle of its

musical excellence. Plus, each artist’s music and ministry connected with the heart and soul of every person in the house; it was amazing!" The “Make Your Move” tour partnership with Grand Canyon University has also proven impactful, with one person at each show selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship to use with one of GCU’s online degree programs, in an effort to help advance interested fans’ higher education efforts. Tai Anderson, also a GCU online student, comments, “This tour has been incredible. As always, we love to get out and interact with our fans, but the element of helping people meet their personal goals through higher education is something we’ve not had the opportunity to do before. We are thankful to GCU for its partnership and generosity.” Feedback received through the band’s website www.thirdday.com and other key social media platforms demonstrate the impression “Make Your Move” tour has had on attendees: Angel Wischerman from Beaver Falls, PA said, “Their performance blew me away. It was the best concert I have been to and words cannot express how powerful of an inspiration they are… It was the closest I felt to Jesus in a long time.” The success of the spring leg of the “Make Your Move” tour created a groundswell of momentum for Third Day’s summer festival appearances and its 35-city fall leg of the tour which will continue with the successful combination of Tenth Avenue North and Trevor Morgan. Nearby performances include Troy, Ohio on October 20, Rochester, NY at Roberts Wesleyan College on October 30 and New York, NY on November 20. Third Day has garnered 27 career GMA Dove Awards from 47 nominations, 4 GRAMMY Awards (with 11 career nominations), an American Music Award (with 3 American Music Award nominations) and multiple ASCAP honors for songwriting including the coveted Vanguard Award. As a credit to its songwriting, Third Day’s memorable “Call My Name,” off its Revelation (07/29/2008) project, was selected by country star Keith Urban as a bonus track on his Defying Gravity project. Third Day was inducted to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Due to its mass appeal on the road, on radio and at retail, Third Day has garnered coverage by media outlets including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (NBC), “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (CBS), “60 Minutes” (CBS), ABC’s “Nightline,” USA Today, The New York Times and even graced the cover of Billboard magazine, which called Third Day “one of the best rock bands.” For tickets to any of the upcoming shows visit www.

John Mika and his team opened The Teacher’s Desk in Buffalo offering free school supplies to qualified teachers and schools. Photo by Kyle Patterson

“My vision here is two-fold, one— to help children in need and two— to support teachers and say hey, somebody cares about you and somebody cares about the incredible responsibility on your shoulders. We want to do all we can to help them,” explained John Mika, Director of WNY Shares and the newly opened ministry store—The Teacher’s Desk, both non-profit charitable outreach arms of Kingdom Bound Ministries. Mika went on to explain the average teacher spends between $500 and $2000 per year of their own income on additional classroom expenses. With some private school and charter school teachers making just $21,000 per year and spending their own money to make learning possible for children who can’t afford supplies, Mika explained the schools need help. It is this concern and care that led Mika and the team at Kingdom Bound and WNY Shares with the help of many community partners to open The Teacher’s Desk, a 5,000 square foot space on Northampton Avenue in Buffalo. The Teacher’s Desk includes a store with all free supplies including backpacks, shoes, pencils, notebooks and more for qualified teachers to shop free for their students in need. The space also has office space and a shipping and receiving area. To start they will be working with five downtown schools with the hopes of growing into many more. Many area businesses, churches and ministries have come along side to assist in the effort including businesses like Walmart, Home Depot and Sherwin Williams. The vision came together through a series of God orchestrated events explained Mika, who has been involved with Kingdom Bound and was best friends with founder Fred Caserta since the start. “Whether I was awake or not I don’t know,” explains Mika about a dream that he had outlining the ministry God had called him to do. Mika, himself a former substitute teacher and GM employee knew he had a calling to reach children with the gospel. So along with long time friend Fred Caserta they founded WNY Shares in 2002, as a way to reach out and help children. The vision has been growing ever since, with the storefront it is a type of promised land for the ministry’s efforts. WNY Shares is also responsible for Send a Friend to Kingdom Bound enabling underprivileged and special needs children to enjoy the festival and A Gift for Christmas which gives Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. To get involved as a volunteer, school, teacher, donor or business sponsor see wnyshares.org.


FEATURE ARTICLE

Marketplace Ministry. A Mobile Outreach Focused Ekklesia

By Joseph Mattera As we examine the New Testament, we see that Jesus called for the formation of the ekklesia in Matthew 16:18. In Greek culture an ekklesia was the ruling body that governed the polis or city state. Thus Jesus didn’t create a new word but borrowed from a common political word to describe His goal for those who would be His disciples: that they would represent His kingdom will on earth with binding and loosing powers that would govern the heavenly principalities (Ephesians 3:8-10, 6:10-18) and thus transform earthly communities where each ekklesia was established. This is a great difference in function from the typical congregational idea of simply assembling together as found in Hebrews 10:25. The idea of conversion was not merely meant to fill seats for church growth on Sundays but to nurture disciples who would turn the world order upside down (Acts 17:6). Since the late 19th century the idea of church as a ruling ekklesia has largely been lost and replaced with rescuing sinners from this world and living secluded pietistic lives to make it to heaven. We went from changing the world to resisting the world, from engaging the world to protecting ourselves from the world. This is totally contrary to the original Greek meaning of the word ekklesia, which means being called to engage the world and govern it. Now, pastors are happy to have a lot of people show up on Sundays, whether they affect the culture or not. Thus, church attendance in this nation is at an all-time high but cultural effectiveness is at an all-time low! If the church is going to recapture its cultural commission of discipling nations and having global influence, as found in Genesis 1:28 and Matthew 28:19, it has to learn the difference between building an ekklesia and a mere congregation that assembles together. This also explains why God has had to raise up some parachurch ministries that function more like “special forces” with a call to reach cities. It may not be a pure New Testament model, but until local churches stop being inwardly focused and effectively reach their cities, God will continue to call special forces out of its ranks. This also explains why sometimes a smaller-sized church can have more cultural influence than a megachurch that compromises the gospel. Many megachurches are not ekklesias but are merely gathering places that have very limited influence in the heavenly and earthly realms. Furthermore, this also explains why some churches experience more strategic-level spiritual warfare and others don’t; mere congregations have lower-level spiritual warfare than those that function as the ekklesias of communities. The following are some of the contrasts between the two concepts: § The ekklesia challenges the status quo; the congregation assembles to find peace in the midst of the cultural environment. § The ekklesia demands a commitment that involves the vocational calling of all its members to represent the kingdom in all of life; the congregation demands a commitment that involves Sunday ministry and 12 www.unitemagazine.us

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church programs. § The ekklesia trains people for all of life; the congregation trains people for church life. § The ekklesia effects change in the surrounding community; the congregation only affects change in individual souls. § The ekklesia is at war against demonic entities in the heavenly spheres; the congregation is at war to have church growth and bring deliverance to some individual members. § The ekklesia sends out people to serve their communities; the congregation calls for their communities to attend their Sunday worship experiences. § The ekklesia is only satisfied with bringing the kingdom on earth; the congregation is satisfied if their members have joy in their hearts. § The ekklesia expands kingdom influence by converting people to be Christ-following disciples; the congregation appeals to the felt needs of people so they will continually depend on a 90 minute Sunday worship experience to feel good about themselves. § The ekklesia is outwardly focused on stewarding the earth; the congregation is focused on making it to heaven. § The ekklesia engages in Spirit-empowered humanitarianism; the congregation on Spirit-empowered pietism. § Those in an ekklesia know they have been sanctified to serve others; those in a congregation believe they are saved for the sake of sanctification. § The ekklesia embraces God’s sovereign human design for the saints since their physical birth (Ephesians 1:4); the congregation only honors what God has done in saints spiritually from the time they were “born again.” § The ekklesia preaches Jesus rose from the dead to “fill all things” (Ephesians 4:10); the congregation preaches Jesus rose from the dead merely to save individuals from hell. § The ekklesia believes in a divine cosmic plan that includes this present earth; the congregation believes in a (postponed) cosmic plan that (largely) excludes this present earth. § The ekklesia disciples whole nations (Matthew 28:19); the congregation disciples individual ethnic people groups. § The ekklesia has a vision for the whole community; the assembly for their whole congregation. § The ekklesia aspires to influence each of the seven cultural mountains of society; the congregation aspires to function only in the mountain of “religion.”


CHUCK SWINDOLL


COLUMNS

Live Like a King & Priest

A lot of times people get caught up with labels. “Oh I’m a Republican.” “I’m a BY PASTOR STEPHEN J. ANDZEL Democrat.” “I’m a socialist.” “I’m a capitalist.” Do you know what I tell people when they ask me? I tell them I’m a Christian. In God’s kingdom, Jesus said we’re kings and priests. This means we have to stop thinking like the world, always trying to solve our problems by figuring things out, arguing our point of view and passing the blame. Washington is broke, busted, and out of ideas. The only thing you ever hear about on the news is who is at fault; nobody seems to be providing real answers. God hasn’t called believers to think our way out of problems, He’s called us to believe. He has made us a nation of kings and priests (Revelation 1:6). As kings and priests, we are not subject to the circumstances holding this world back. We have been given power to reign in this life and establish God’s kingdom on the earth. God created Adam with dominion. He spoke; Adam obeyed; things got done. When Adam sinned he gave up his dominion and death reigned. The devil became the god of this world and set up a system governed by natural law (2 Corinthians 4:4). If you stay subject to the devil’s kingdom, then he’ll use you, abuse you, destroy you and when he’s done with you, drag you to hell. But if you change your mind and choose to believe in Jesus and receive His free gift of righteousness, He’ll make you a king in His kingdom (Romans 5:17). The choice seems pretty clear to me; I know which kingdom I want to be a part of. Just because it doesn’t look like you are reigning as a king, doesn’t mean you’re not one. If you’re in Christ, then you’re in the King. You can’t be anything but a king in the King! The Bible calls us “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). That means Christ’s inheritance is our inheritance and we have access to the same power given to Him by God and we reign together with Him in His kingdom. Being a king doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Kings and priests have duties and responsibilities. If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to, you’re not going to see the results kings see. You can’t behave like an unbeliever and get kingdom results. God won’t respond to you if you’re operating in the Babylonian system; He will only respond when you operate in His kingdom. Just like in the Old Testament, if a king or priest failed to do his duties, not only did he suffer, but the entire nation suffered. If you fail to carry out the purposes God has created you for, not only will you suffer, the church will suffer. Your duties as a king and priest are to use the gifts, talents and anointing God has given you to build up His kingdom. They are not given to us to serve the world, but to serve one another. God’s kingdom is always about serving others, not ourselves. In the world, it’s all about survival and self-preservation. This mentality causes people to be hoarders, afraid of losing what they have. “Will I lose my job? Will I lose my house? How will I feed my family?" Our nation is in a downward spiral without any end in sight because our leaders have been trying to think their way to a solution. The world’s system will always fail because the problems are too great for our minds to solve. God never intended man to think his way through life. As believers we are called to live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). We have to renew our minds. When we get out of the “thinking realm” and move over into the “faith realm” God’s supernatural power can go to work and solve the problems we could never figure out. This is thinking like a king and priest in God’s kingdom. Washington can’t figure out how to solve its money problems. Their only solution to the debt crisis is to throw more of your money at it and go deeper into debt. This kind of thinking just doesn’t work. Heaven isn’t broke. God’s economy always has a surplus and is ever-increasing. God’s system is based on sowing seed. Sow a seed, and have faith that God will meet your need. Simple. No supercomputers are needed to solve complicated financial equations like in the world’s system. Hear God’s word and do it and you’ll start living like a king and priest.

Stephen J. Andzel is the Founder and Pastor of New Creation Fellowship of Buffalo, New York. Pastor Andzel was born in New York on the West Side of Buffalo. He served as a Gunner in Vietnam from 1967-1968 and in 1968 was honorably discharged. He accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Ghost in 1972. He then attended a local Bible college and served as an associate minister. Pastor Andzel was ordained by the late Dr. Lester Sumrall, and recently by Bishop Keith Butler of Word of Faith International Christian Center, Southfield MI. He currently belongs to Bishop Butler's Ministerial Association. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors for the ministry of Dr. Jerry Savelle. He is a member of the International Convention of Faith Ministries, Inc., as well as partners with Dr. Creflo Dollar and Reverend Kenneth Copeland.


Doing Business God’s Way “Unless the Lord builds the house, [and your business], its builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1

BY RYAN LOOS

Conventional wisdom will tell you there is a specific formula to establishing a solid, successful business. For those of us in Christ, we know that the Lord works mostly in “unconventional” ways; therefore it is necessary that we first acknowledge and seek wisdom from the Author of Life, Himself, before we pursue any type of business or ministry endeavor: “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6 When we humbly submit ourselves and our plans to the Lord, not only are we seeking God’s blessing, but we are confessing that we cannot accomplish the task without His Counsel. If you are unsure as to whether or not the Lord is leading you to start your own business, consider the following: 1. Have you prayed about it? 2. Do you have the support of your immediate family? 3. Does your business relate to the Spiritual Gifts the Lord has given you? 4. Have other people confirmed your gifting? 5. Have you researched the current market in your area for your type of business? Do you have the financial resources necessary to start your business without going into debt? If you answered ‘no’ to any of the preceding questions, then I urge you to wait on the Lord and continue praying for His wisdom and direction. For eight years, I waited, (though with much frustration), for the Lord to direct my path. In the end, God’s timing was perfect and He used those years of waiting to prepare me for the journey ahead. Once you are certain that God has called you to a particular business endeavor, it is critical that you and, depending on your situation, your spouse and/or business partner(s) establish and record your vision, mission statement and short and long-term goals. You know you have God’s blessing to begin, now make certain that the foundation of your business is built on His biblical principles. Business, as most of you know, has its own ebb and flow, but when our faith in Christ is constant, our emotions and decision making skills are not affected by numbers, but rather on the will of God, with confidence in His timely counsel and provision. We all know the phrase: “Slow and steady win the race.” Often times we are quick to respond to any positive response from clientele and expand our staff and resources beyond our capability. As I work through a company’s business plan, I try to help them see areas that quickly need to be chaffed before the company burns. Initially, it is important to “test the waters” before committing yourself completely. When we started RKL Financial, I continued to work fulltime and rented office space from local churches before I was able to build up enough clientele to quite my job and rent our own office space. As your business grows and you begin to see God working through your company, you will receive the blessing of what your have sown. Knowing that you have made a difference in the life of someone else, for the Kingdom…there is no greater reward! When money or time invested causes you to compromise your faith, integrity and/or time with your family, that is a sure sign to redirect back to The Word of God. Remember King Solomon’s revelation from the Lord: “ Meaningless! Meaningless!...I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:2a, 2:10-11. No matter what your occupation or business, God has a purpose for you. Not only to carry out your duties with excellence unto the Lord, but also to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. If we compromise our faith; if we do not uphold to the biblical standards we preach, and if we do not openly operate under the Name of Jesus, then everything we do is in vain- a chasing after the wind. What God has called you to do, do it with all your might for the Glory of God our Father. He will bless you and while your business may not “succeed” as the world measures, your reward awaits you in heaven. Ryan Loos is founder of RKL Financial. RKL Financial provides personalized business coaching, career coaching and financial coaching. We also offer accounting services, tax preparation services and seminars. All of the services that RKL Financial offers are based on time-tested financial principles, with an emphasis on budgeting, cash flow management, tax planning, and debt reduction. We are endorsed and certified for our financial coaching & counseling by nationally recognized financial guru Dave Ramsey.

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COMMUNITY: Creating a Comm-unity of Prayer and Worship By Chris Hoisington

A few months ago I was able to connect with Zenzo Matoga. He is the director of Boston night of Worship. BNOW is an annual night of prayer and song that takes place inside Boston College’s basketball arena. Many folks attend this event well into the thousands. He shared with me how the whole thing got started, and how God used him to make this event a reality. Zenzo and I were connecting because I too have a desire to go into other cities, to serve and inspire the people living there. I shared with Zenzo different stories of how I and many of my friends have seen lives changed right here on the streets of Buffalo. I told him that I want to go to other places like Boston, and spend not just one but multiple nights reaching there city as well. Working alongside their churches to do prayer walks and outreach projects. He was open to the idea and shared how BNOW is trying to become more than just nights of prayer and song. They want to take the event ‘to the streets ‘this year, so to speak. It was a perfectly fitted conversation and we inspired each other. One thing Zenzo said that got me thinking was when he shared that during BNOW over 100 worship leaders gather on one stage to sing and pray. He spoke of the unity that is taking place in Boston, and it got me thinking about Buffalo. I would love for something similar to take place in our hometown. If you have spent time in downtown Buffalo one thing you realize is that the area is not so much dead as it is disappointed, we are not the city we hoped to become. When you walk the streets it tends to feel lonely and empty, almost like a ghost town haunted by the ghosts of the past. I feel like God is going to use this weak city to lead the strong, this forgotten city that time has left behind. I know a lot of pastors in our area are coming together to partnership, but what about the worshippers of song and prayer? When will we start living the songs and prayers we are singing and writing together? My prayer is not for more events calling unity to happen, as much as to start living that community of worship that we sing and talk so much about. I pray for a time when all of us will pray and seek God together, to find out how He would use us to do a unique work in our city. I’m not speaking anything new but a word that echoes in every worshippers head and heart all over WNY. It’s time worshippers for us to re-member one another in our hearts and minds. It’s time for us to use our gifts of song and prayer together as one. To hopefully fix, with God’s help the dis-membered community of worshippers in our hometown. We all are one membership in Christ! Let’s do as N.T. Wright says, “Invite listeners into a new world, and encourage them to see there ordinary world from now on through this lens.” People often ask me why I don’t move to Nashville to further my musical career. Friends who know me well hear my reply…because God is starting a new thing in Buffalo and I want to be part of it! I’m holding out for what I hear whispered to me every time I lead worship in downtown Buffalo and other parts of Western New York. I feel like that whisper is the Holy Spirit telling me to hold on and be strong! I hear “Start becoming the answer to your prayers and call the worshippers together, that I may strengthen the song in all your hearts and that I may use you as one voice to wash away the brokenness of this city.” Stay tuned for worship comm-unity part 2 to find out how we as worshippers of prayer and song can come together in the days ahead. Chris Hoisington serves as worship leader for Brothers McClurg (formerly Relevant Worship) and is also involved in ministry at local churches including Lafayette Presbyterian Church in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village.


RESOURCE REVIEW

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Brought to you by:

Your company is only as strong as your leaders. These are the men and women doing battle daily beneath the banner that is your brand. Are they courageous or indecisive? Are they serving a motivated team or managing employees? Are they valued? Your team will never grow beyond you, so here's another question to consider. Are you growing? Whether you're sitting at the CEO's desk, the middle manager's cubicle, or a card table in your living-room-based startup, "EntreLeadership" provides the practical, step-by-step guidance to grow your business where you want it to go. Dave opens up his championship playbook for business to show you how to: - Inspire your team to take ownership and love what they do - Unify your team and get rid of all gossip - Handle money to set your business up for success - Reach every goal you set and much, much more. What would cause an eighteen-year-old old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother's heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person but didn't know any of the language? A passion to make a difference. Katie Davis left over Christmas break her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life-at a young age--to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she's centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of "adopting" 13 children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family. Hear her story in “Kisses from Katie.” It has been over twenty years since the publication of "The Ragamuffin Gospel," a book many claim as the shattering of God's grace into their lives. Since that time, Brennan Manning has been dazzingly faithful in preaching and writing variations on that singular theme - "Yes, Abba is very fond of you!" But today the crowds are gone and the lights are dim, the patches on his knees have faded. If he ever was a ragamuffin, truly it is now. In this his final book, Brennan roves back his past, honoring the lives of the people closest to him, family and friends who've known the saint and the sinner, the boy and the man. Far from some chronological timeline, these memories are witness to the truth of life by one who has lived it - "All Is Grace."

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Eighteen-year-old Astrid Bjorklund has always dreamed of becoming a doctor. She had intended to study medicine in Chicago or Grand Forks, but when a disaster wiped out a major portion of her family's income, Astrid stayed home instead, receiving hands-on training from Dr. Elizabeth.Joshua Landsverk left Blessing two years ago, but he's never forgotten Astrid. Returning to town, he seeks to court her. Astrid is attracted to him, and when the opportunity unexpectedly opens for her to go to Chicago for medical training, she finds it difficult to leave. Love blossoms through their letters, but upon arriving back home, she makes a heartbreaking discovery. Will she have to give up love to pursue her dream? Find out in “The Measure of Mercy.”

CD

CD

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DVD

Third Day delivers its soul-stirring 11th studio album, MOVE, showcasing the band at their melodic and lyrical best, peering insightfully at life within the church as well as pointedly seeking to understand the needs and questions of those without faith. It's an often difficult balance to achieve, but Third Day succeeds in speaking candidly and hopefully to listeners. Musical depth and Christian joy have rarely come together as compellingly as they do in the music of Dara Maclean. Her s is a joyful mix of pop idioms and eternal truths, danceable beats and the good news. A singer of incredible grace, power and control, as well as a gifted songwriter, Dara has put together, with the help of Dove Award-winning producer Ian Eskelin, a debut CD that is as fresh and vibrant as any in recent years. 'Invisible Empires' follows Sara's 2009 album 'Fireflies and Songs'. "Fireflies is very much like a girl and her piano," says Groves of her previous album, "and I knew this record was going to be a little bit bigger than a girl and her piano. I like to write pop songs, I like to write bigger songs. I like strings and guitars, so I guess when I went to go write this record I didn't feel like this was going to be Fireflies Part II." VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy is a heartwarming tale that retells the classic The Little Drummer Boy story. Based on Ephesians 4:32, which says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you,” the DVD offers a timeless message of hope during the holiday season, and will feature multiGrammy and Dove Award-winning artists BeBe and CeCe Winans, singing their version of the iconic “The Little Drummer Boy” song. Based on the novel Midway to Heaven by best-selling author Dean Hughes, this Christian romantic comedy will lift your spirits with its lighthearted tale of growing up, letting go, and opening your heart to the idea of making a fresh start.

All Books, Bibles, Music, Gifts, and Stationery are available at: Bender’s Parable Christian Store, located at 8550 Sheridan Drive in Williamsville, NY. Open Monday-Friday from 10:00am-9:00pm; Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm. Shop online at: www.ShopBenders.com October/November 2011

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FINAL THOUGHT

Mission:

Finding Life in the Word of God. Study, Meditate, Listen, Pray, Speak. By Lou Perez Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him. Psalm 105:19 (NASB Do you read the Word of God for information, or revelation? Do you approach it as the transformative power in your life, or do you simply read it as a resource? Do you try to bend it for your own purposes, or do you allow it to bend you? Today’s instructional climate encourages knowledge through education for the purpose of using what you know as a tool to better yourself. We are encouraged to read the latest book with the template on “how to”, watch the latest life coach video, or listen to the most innovative speaker on how to maximize your life. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with these things, there is an underlying mindset that in order to succeed you must gain knowledge and manipulate it for your purposes. We are encouraged to even approach eternal truths the way a scientist puts his experiment under a microscope. Henry Nouwen wrote: “My growing suspicion is that our competitive, productive, skeptical, sophisticated society inhibits our reading and being read by the Word of God.” I liken this to eating your food without savoring or chewing each bite. Like taking a food supplement that has all the right nutrients but not taste or relish. The Bible has even been used in history to justify the most atrocious acts on humanity. Some Christians wield the Bible the way a person wields a gun. They look for proof texts, to justify their position and use that knowledge to beat on people. In the world of Bible scholars the one who knows how to dissect the scriptures the 18 www.unitemagazine.us

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best wins. Some use the Bible only as a resource to enhance their life or to solve some dilemma. Others use it only for comfort during hard times, or even to yield riches and wealth. What is wrong with this picture? Even we Christians can use the Bible in a way that is self serving and manipulative. Just give me the five principles for success in the Word and I will i n a w do it. Instead of being read by the Word the way Joseph was, we merely read the word for it’s informationalhow to value, but never as God invites us to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. It is clear that the way God views His word is different than just a resource or a set of principles to help us be better people. “The word of the LORD tested him. (Joseph). This was a process Joseph could not control or dissect in a laboratory, but could only submit to. He couldn’t master teachings on 3 ways to get out of prison. He could only surrender to the Word of God. That is indeed humbling to our flesh. The saints and mystics of old approached the

Word of God in a way that is not informational, but revelational. “Lectio Divina” is Latin for divine reading, spiritual reading, or holy reading, and has been practiced by Christians and Catholics alike. It is a way of approaching the scriptures that calls a person to study, meditate, listen and, pray and (even sing) and speak from the Word, from their heart. This is vastly different from approaching the Word for what it can do for us. Submitting to the Word means that the Word doesn’t just do something for me, but it does something to me. It’s not what we read, but how we approach what we read. Do we approach it with a full cup of intellect, or a cracked empty cup meekness? Approaching Gods word is a lot like feasting. First you take a bite, (read) then you chew, (meditate) then savor, (speak it) then you digest making it part of your body. (It becomes part of your life) As we come to the Word, do we say: “Lord

“Even we Christians can

use the

Bible a y

t h a t

i s

SELF SERVING

lay I open my heart, my thoughts, and my life. Transform me into what I must become”?

Lou and Louisa Perez both grew up in New York City and met in the first Church Lou pastored in Schenectady, NY. In 1999 they started Destiny Christian Church in Niagara Falls with the vision of taking Church outside the four walls. Visit their website at www.destinychristianniagara.com.


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