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connection Independent Assemblies

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s t h g u Tho We View w o H on

Nov/Dec 2011 | Volume 3 Issue 4


201

calendar November

Interstate Fellowship Meeting November 14, 2011 Cyril Full Gospel Church Cyril, OK Rev. Donnie Miller (580) 464-2224

December

Interstate Fellowship Meeting December 5, 2011 Mending Hearts Church Stella, OK Rev. David Tompkins (405) 386-4351

January

Interstate Fellowship Meeting January 9, 2012 Faith Fellowship Church Collinsville, OK Rev. Kelvin Limbocker (918) 371-2996 â–şFor more information about upcoming events visit our website at www.independentassemblies.org

www.independentassemblies.org 2 • connection


connection moving? Nov/Dec 2011

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Contents 2

Calendar

4

Who’s Your Daddy?

5

Seven Things Pastors Should Never Apologize For

6

Modern Methods for Mending Hearts

7

Paradoxical Commandments

8

Hope for Ishmael

10

Thoughts on How We View God

11

Board Members

Independent Assemblies PO Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821 (580) 310-0222

Independent Assemblies PO Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821 (580) 310-0222 Produced by Layers Media, Inc. www.layersmedia.com

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God has a spiritual father for us all...who’s yours? God revealed Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and has called us to think strategically for at least three generations in everything that we do. A common mistake in leadership is to build as though God is just the God of Abraham by planning concentrically around only our present lifetime. Our highest purpose and potential must not be reached only while we are alive, but must be realized in the next generations. The scripture teaches that those who follow our footsteps should do greater works than us (John 14:12; Psalm 145:4). Do you remember when your children were little, and wandered near the street? The moment you saw them in trouble, you did whatever was necessary to keep them from danger. This is what a true spiritual shepherd does when he sees impending doom or disaster is evident. The shepherd intervenes, using his rod and his staff to protect the sheep. David wrote in the 23rd Psalm- “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Many times sheep don’t know how much danger they are in, and will resent the shepherd’s intervention. But the shepherd, who must give account for their soul, knows best. That’s why he sometimes preaches a hard word, or gives a rebuke in love. Leaders have a command from scripture to “speak the truth in love.” He will attempt to rescue them from falling into danger, which the sheep is sometimes unable to even see. Our responsibility as church leaders is not to just develop faithful members of local churches, but sons and daughters in the faith. A church or ministry will only be effective to the extent it has developed the army of God out of the family of God! Developing laborers without a spirit of sonship will produce a house of slaves or servants. Sons are more loyal than servants because sons are assured of their father’s love, their placement and role in the house, and their share of the inheritance. Servants receive wages, 4 • connection

by: Mickey Keith

but sons receive an inheritance. Galatians 4:1-8 According to Romans 8:14-19, we have not received a spirit which makes us fearful slaves, but rather the Spirit of God, which through adoption, makes us Sons of God! Real love from a father corrects you when you stray, and welcomes you when you come back! The incredible story of a father’s love for his prodigal son in Luke 15 speaks to us of God’s love, correcting us when we but welcoming us back when we return. Who is your Father? It’s an important question to ask ourselves as church leaders as well. Everyone has an earthly, biological father but God also provides us all a spiritual father to guide and guard us. Who loves you enough to correct you when you stray and welcome you when come back? We all need a father, so discover who your spiritual parents are, and don’t go through life fatherless. Be a son or daughter who seeks out his spiritual father, asking for blessing, wisdom, direction and counsel. The father’s job is to: 1. Identify who his children are2. To be bold and initiate fatherhood3. Encourage them to succeed4. Impart what God has given you5. Realize they are hungry because of rejection and pain. 6. Minister out of a pure heart- Fathers, don’t manipulate, but motivate. The evidence of spiritual fathering in the Apostle Paul’s life is found in 1 Cor. 4:14-16, “I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me.” May the Lord help you to identify both your spiritual parents and children to which He has called you.


seven Things Pastors Should Never Apologize For

by: Perry Noble

1. Never Apologize For Dreaming Big! He’s God…He wants more for the church than we want for it…ask big!We have a HUGE GOD who can do things that are absolutely MIND BLOWING…and if we focus on HIS POWER rather than our limitations we will always be willing to hear what He says and then do it…even though we don’t have all of our questions answered. 2. Never Apologize For Your Passion! I once had a guy tell me, “Dude, I think you would be more effective as a leader/communicator if you would just calm down a little.” Here’s the problem…I can’t! Jeremiah 20:9 is my verse…Jesus began a fire inside of me on May 27, 1990…and it’s only gotten hotter. You can be consumed with passion…or be content with being passive. One Jesus will use to change the world…the other the enemy will use to dull your soul.

3. Never Apologize For Wanting To Lead! If you are called by God and gifted by God to lead… THEN LEAD! Here’s the deal…someone is going to make the decisions. Someone is going to call the shots…and if that is the call that God has put on your life then DO IT! BTW…when you do this it IS going to make people mad. AND…if you can’t handle the fact that people ARE going to hate you simply because you try your best to listen to Jesus and then do what He says…you may not be called to lead! 4. Never Apologize For Not Embracing Someone Else’s Agenda! You have got to understand that, as a leader, if you experience any level of success, other people will always want to attach themselves and their agenda to you. I often tell people, “Your burden is not my passion!” As a leader we are responsible for embracing God’s vision for our lives…not everyone else’s! I am not saying everyone else’s idea is bad…or even

wrong…it’s just that you can’t embrace something that God didn’t truly birth inside of you…and doing so will only lead to personal frustration and your organization trying to manufacture energy for something that they hate! 5. Never Apologize For Expecting The Best From Others! Leaders cannot be afraid to set high standards… EVER! I believe it is WRONG to expect perfection from others…we’re all humans, we screw up! BUT…it isn’t wrong to expect others to give their best. (BTW…MOST of the time if people see the leader giving their best it will inspire them to do the same!) 6. Never Apologize For Wanting To Reach More People! From time to time people will take a shot at me for wanting to see more people come to church…and… I AM GUILTY AS CHARGED! I can’t help it…the change in life that Jesus has brought about in me…I want as many people as possible to hear about it! I want as many people as possible to have their lives changed. I want as many people as possible to KNOW that they KNOW JESUS! I just don’t see anywhere in Scripture where that is a bad thing. Don’t EVER apologize for embracing the fact that God has called us to RECONCILE (not REVILE) the world! (II Corinthians 5:16-21!)

7. Never Apologize For Saying “No” To What You KNOW You Need To Say “No” to! One of the biggest frustrations I’ve ever had as a leader is when I commit “sins of obligation,” you know, when I do something because I feel like I have to rather than doing it because I truly feel led to do it because of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in my life. Just because we have opportunities doesn’t mean we need to embrace them…because saying “yes” to everything often means we have to say “no” to the things that are REALLY important.

sermoncentral.com

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Modern Methods for Mending Hearts by: Mindy Wood

Pastors David and Shonda Tompkins of Mending Hearts Church in Stella, Oklahoma are on a centuries old mission with new century methods: preaching the Gospel through the internet with social media, podcasts, and even phone applications. In addition to an “internet” campus, the Tompkins opened their Edmond location in June. Facilitating church online is producing fruit in unexpected places. “We’ve received reports from all over the world who watch our internet campus including India, Pakistan, and Africa,” said David. “We get testimonies all the time. I was sending my sermon notes to Pakistan and they were translating them in their language so they could teach it to their congregations. We noticed that we can reach out to a lot of areas where they’re predominantly Muslim and see a good impact from it.” When the Tompkins realized God wanted them to expand, it was a big step of faith. Shonda said, “Different ministers, who had no idea what we were thinking, would prophesy about expanding. We realized we had a fairly large group of people driving from the north side of Oklahoma City, fortyfive miles one way. We prayed about starting one in Edmond for a year. We’d never pioneered a church so it was all new to us.” The Tompkins spent seven years as full time evangelists when Michael Lincoln, founding pastor of MHC and former IA board member, died in a car accident. “We’re still close to the family,” said David. “We helped the church through that process and after mission work in Africa and South America, we became the pastors in 2005. The Lincolns did a great job establishing the vision and it’s something we didn’t want to change because we believe in it.” MHC offers small groups and various ministries in evangelism such as prison ministry and City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City. Using everything from Twitter and Facebook to small groups and ministries for every age group, they believe it’s important to engage God’s people within it’s culture. “We try to stay in tune with the way our culture communicates today,” said David. “We want to make sure that we’re reaching outside the walls too. 6 • connection

David and Shonda Thompkins

I think too many churches have mastered how to do Sunday church but we’re not reaching the world for Christ. We want to make sure we’re doing that.” While many Christians believe only gifted evangelists are called to fulfill the Great Commission, the Tompkins challenge their congregations within the simplicity of the church vision, “where hearts are mended and God’s hand is extended.” David said, “We’ve been doing a promotion about being God’s hand extended outside the walls called “the Extension.” We give cards to our members with the church name and contact information. Members get a new card every week and that next week, do a random act of kindness for anybody. We try to focus on the unchurched but the main purpose is that they give, wanting nothing in return, hand them a card and walk away. The response has been amazing.” How have they managed to keep up with two campuses and online ministry? “We have very strong leadership teams,” said David. “We have different ministers and different titles but a lot of unity.” Shonda said the secret to strong leadership is, “Give people freedom to move in their gift. When you delegate, you have to be ready for it to look different.” For more information visit mendinghearts.net.


Paradoxical Commandments by: Kent M. Keith

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered... Love them anyway. 2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives...Do good anyway. 3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies...Succeed anyway. 4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow... Do good anyway. 5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable... Be honest and frank anyway. 6. The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest ideas... Think big anyway. 7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs... Fight for a few underdogs anyway. 8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight... Build anyway. 9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them...Help them anyway. 10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth...Give the world be best you have anyway. connection • 7


Hope for Ishmael by: Mindy Wood

W

hen Christians think of the Middle East crisis they may remember it all started with two brothers, Isaac and Ishmael. Taysir Abu Saada, once a sniper for the Fateh Forces and loyal patriot of Yassar Arafat, understands too well the centuries old feud that has shed blood on both sides of Abraham’s torn family. Today he is partnering with Isaac’s descendents as a loyal follower of Christ. Saada has hope for Ishmael’s descendents. “I believe it’s time for the Ismaelites to know who they truly are,” Saada said in an interview with web TV show host of The Crossover Project, Mitch Jerome. “According to Genesis 16, Hagar was Abraham’s wife. God had promises for Ishmael, ‘As for Ishmael I will 8 • connection

bless him, make him fruitful and greatly increase his numbers.’ When I first got saved I woke up one morning and read this. I asked God what was He trying to show me and He said so clearly, ‘my promise to your father Abraham was not just wealth, land and future rulers but I promised him salvation through My son Jesus Christ.’ God planned for everyone to come to know Him and when I saw that included the outcasts, I realized how merciful God was and how much He loves us.” Born in Gaza and raised in Saudi Arabia, he joined Fateh Forces after the 1967 war and later emigrated to Missouri for an education. After


nineteen years, he was managing a prominent restaurant whose clientele was primarily Jewish. His son converted to Christ, kept it a secret, and started a prayer chain for his family’s salvation. Saada fell under conviction after a friend told him he didn’t fear God. “Charlie said, ‘I can fix that. I have connections,’ pointing his finger to heaven. That word ‘connection’ stuck in my mind and haunted me night and day.’” Three weeks later, Charlie was back with answers. “He told me he’d never seen anything like it. I shook violently and lost consciousness. I started speaking in a language he couldn’t understand; then in English a prayer for salvation.” The immediate transformation from hating Jews to loving them took Saada by surprise. “I woke up the next day overwhelmed with the

love I had. I was so grateful and was thanking God when I heard myself praying, ‘Oh God gather them back to the Promised Land.’ I put my hand over my mouth and thought ‘what am I saying?’ but I couldn’t shake the feeling I had for the Jews. It was overwhelming love.” In 2001 Karen and Taysir founded Hope for Ishmael as the result of their vision to reconcile Jews and Arabs to Christ and each other. Saada journeyed across the U.S. warning the church about the impending Islamic invasion, asking forgiveness of Jews in synagogues, and preaching to Muslims in mosques. In 2006 they ministered to Muslims in the Gaza Strip but in 2008 Hamas stopped and banned them. Their work now sprouts in Jericho, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. “We founded Seeds of Hope. We have a kindergarten in Jericho and Jerusalem where we reach out to families. We have a youth recreation center and culture center where young people learn English and computer skills. We determined to reach people the way Jesus did, meet the needs and then the people will listen and it’s working. Our kindergarten in Jericho was just named the best on the West Bank. Economic development is the key to getting families back to work and feeding themselves which gives them dignity and hope. Cultural exchange helps the youth understand that the world outside their country doesn’t hate them, they just need to understand them. The Palestinians are taught from a young age that Americans hate them but when they see these young volunteers come and love them, their eyes are opened to a different kind of love.” Karen, Taysir’s right arm, ministers to women’s groups while their daughter Farah oversees operations in the U.S. and their son Ben is pastor of a church in Kansas. “We invite people to visit Jericho,” said Taysir. “If they can see the love of Jesus through our friends who tour the Holy Land and visit Jericho, they can see He is real. We have a dream to break down these walls within the hearts of Jews and Arabs so they can live free, in His peace. This is why He died. This is the only answer to the conflict.” For more information visit seedsofhopeinc. org or hopeforishmael.org. Saada’s testimony is told in Once An Arafat Man and is available on Amazon.com connection • 9


s t h g u o Th We View w o H n o y hible

S avid by: D

When I was a little boy I loved to play with a magnifying glass. Holding this glass a few inches from my hand, I could see lines and creases not seen by the naked eye. Putting the magnifier close to the ground, small bugs looked like man-eating monsters. When magnified, things quickly got out of real-life proportion. It was somehow comforting to remove the magnifier and once again ascribe true size to things. But this doesn’t work when we contemplate the greatness of God. Only by magnifying Him can we even begin to grasp His true “size” – the infinite expansiveness of His might, His love, His holiness, and His glory. He is all powerful (omnipotent), all knowing (omniscient), all encompassing (omnipresent). In David’s call to worship he says, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Psa. 34:3). The Hebrew word translated magnify literally means to make large or make larger. Of course, this doesn’t mean we make God bigger than He already is (an impossibility). It means He is made larger in our perception of Him. Some lenses are constructed to either magnify or diminish the true size of objects. Too often we tend to magnify the objects we see while we reduce the size and scope of God. The inverse should be the way we view life – the true proportion of our problems is smaller than what we perceive. And the size of God – well, He is God. “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). Are you magnifying your problems – and reducing

God’s true size? I have a word from the Word for you today: Magnify the Lord! There is nothing too hard for Him. “The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity,” wrote Oswald Chambers, “is because we have no almighty Christ.” “God also has highly exalted Him, given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9 – 11). In Prince Caspian (C. S. Lewis’s second book published in the Chronicles of Narnia series), young Lucy experiences a personal visit from her old lionfriend, Aslan. (Throughout the series Aslan is a type of Christ.) Lucy:“Aslan, you’re bigger.” Aslan:“That is because you are older, little one.” Lucy:“Not because you are?” Aslan:“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.” God does not grow, grow older, or get bigger. But, as “children of dust” we grow and grow old. Hopefully, in our perception of things we also get bigger. How? By magnifying Him. We will never have to regret that we made God Almighty too large or magnified Him too much. Every year we grow in Christ, we find Him bigger. connection • 10


Executive Board Mickey Keith

President PO Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821 (580) 310-0222 mickey.keith@gmail.com www.life623.com

Dr. Ted Estes

Vice President PO Box 2248 Claremore, OK 74018 (918) 341-8344 pastorted@lifechangerchurch.com www.lifechangerchurch.com

Ken Anderson

Secretary/Treasurer PO Box 1120 Lexington, OK 73051 (405) 527-6030 kda@valornet.com www.libertygospelok.org

Robert Johnson

Director of World Missions PO Box 978 Blackwell, OK 74631 (580) 363-2734 roj@clarionmissions.org www.clarionmissions.org

Jerry Edmon

Board Member PO Box 862 Elgin, TX 78621 (512) 281-5316 Jedmon1234@aol.com www.fwcelgin.com

Regional Representatives Southeast Oklahoma District Rev. Billy Hunter Antlers, OK (580) 298-2740 Southwest Oklahoma District Rev. Donnie Miller Cyril, OK (580) 464-2224 (580) 512-3657 Northeast Oklahoma District Rev. Mac Blackwell Locust Grove, OK (918) 479-6057 North Texas District Rev. Marc Jones Athens, TX 75751 (903) 675-6011 Southeast Texas District Rev. Herb Hawthorne Baytown, TX (281) 723-2278 South Central Texas District Rev. Jerry Edmon Elgin, TX (512) 281-5316 Midwest Regional District Rev. Mark Maynard Granite City, IL (618) 931-4106 Arkansas District Rev. Charles Kendrick Alexander, AR (501) 303-0831

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www.independentassemblies.org

Independent Assemblies P.O. Box 1546 Ada, OK 74821


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