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COMPLIMENTARY

Connection

MIDDLE GEORGIA

We Are Called To Be Mission Minded Churches! Matthew 28:18-20

A CHRISTIAN HRISTIAN C HURCH HURCH P UBLICATION UBLICATION JULY 2016 - SEPTEMBER 2016


Message From The EDITOR

Local

CHURCH CONNECTION Volume 6 No. 3

B

EING MISSION MINDED

Why is it so difficult for Christians to tell others what they believe? It is what God commands us to do, but we come up with so many excuses as to why we can’t share what we know or even tell what we believe. We figure we will be imposing on their time or we don’t want to be “pushy”. They might even consider us one of those “Jesus freaks”. What a great compliment! In Deuteronomy 6:7 When God is telling the parents to teach the children about his commandments, he says “repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are lying down and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”. We assume that everybody has a relationship with God and knows what we know. Turn on any device and you will see that our nation doesn’t seek God, know God, much less have a relationship with God. God has been taken out of our schools, out of our courthouses, I imagine that in the not so distant future “In god we trust” will be soon taken off all currency. At what point did we stop telling our kids about God and his commandments. Maybe there needs to be a commandents app or a ringtone. The kids would be able to recite the commandments after just a few calls. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk to your kids, nieces and nephews. Make it your mission to speak out. Our cover photo is a group of youth and adults from Northway Church that finished a week long mission trip to the Rabun County area. They held vacation bible schools in the Black Rock and Moccasin Creek areas. They have been holding these schools for over 40 years. Get involved in your church and become mission minded.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

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The Heart of Wisdom By TREY DICKERSON

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id you know that the vast majority of people who ever walked this earth lived lives of spiritual debt? What do I mean by that? I mean that they lived solely for their earthly life- fulfilling their own selfish, carnal desires- and they are paying for it right now in eternity… Some gave their heart to God but still lived conformed to this world- that is, they were born again believers, but they went through life only living for themselves and did not lay their treasures up in heaven. While these will still live in the presence of God for eternity, they will not receive the great rewards that they were capable of receiving. On the other hand, most people that have lived on the earth never even acknowledged the existence of God and lived totally ungodly and carnal lifestyles, having never received the salvation that was offered through Jesus Christ. These will experience spiritual “bankruptcy”. Both of these examples are the bookends of what it is like to live in spiritual debt. But, on the other hand, there are the few that find the path of life and live a life of consecration to Godputting their flesh under and sowing themselves towards their eternal harvest. These are the spiritually wise- the ones that have invested their life for their glorious future! Let’s look over at a verse in the 90th Psalm- which was actually a prayer that Moses prayed during the time Israel was wandering in the wilderness for 40 years)... In this Psalm, Moses prayed for something that I believe we should all consistently pray for our own lives and the lives of others. In this awesome prayer, Moses shows us how the heart of wisdom applies to our life on this earth versus our life in eternity. In verse 12, Moses asked the Lord to “teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” What a powerful verse this is!

... THE CHOICES WE MAKE IN THIS LIFE WILL DETERMINE WHERE AND HOW WE WILL SPEND ETERNITY.

What Moses was asking the Lord was to teach them to count the number of days that they had. What does this mean? Just think about it… The carnal human tendency is to suppose that we will live on this earth forever. Most people (particularly young people) just float through life never considering that their life may end soon. Since this life is all that we have ever known, we just live life never really considering what happens after we die. But life after death is a reality that we must consider! As a matter of fact, eternity is something that we better consider because the choices we make in this life will determine where and how we will spend eternity. Do you see how vague this is to most people- even Christians? But this is exactly why Moses prayed this for Israel… He prayed that God would teach them to calculate and evaluate their days on this earth so that they would be ready for the next life. So I pray now for both of us… “Lord, teach us to number our days as well- to see how short this life really is so that we would make the most of our time here on the earth. Lord, give unto us this heart of wisdom.” Amen! In the 90th Psalm as well as several other places in Scripture we are reminded of our human frailty. The Scriptures that are ringing in my ears even as I am writing this describe mankind as grass (see Isaiah 40:6-8 & James 1:9-11). And the point of emphasis in these Scriptures is that we are like grass in that we grow up one day and are cut down the next. Some of us are beautiful, glamorous, and successful like the flower of the grass, but we all will suffer the same fate of death regardless of what we accomplish here on the earth. We are all but a vapor. You see, in the world success is sought for. People live their whole lives to make a buck and be able to retire one day. And although there is some wisdom in preparing for our future here on the earth, if that is all we live for, then we are living a life of vanity. You see, our life on this earth is so short in comparison to eternity. And I believe the church has allowed the same mentality of the world to creep into it. We have adopted the same carnal and foolish thinking that is only concerned with this earth-life. This is indeed a grave mistake because a day is coming- soon and very soon- when we will stand in front of our Master and have to give an account for the stewardship of our life on this earth. I personally want the Lord to look (continued on next page)

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at me and say, “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in little (i.e. in this short life) and now you will become ruler over much (i.e. in the eternal kingdom of God)!” So which end of the spectrum are you going to strive for? Are you going to live for today and be in debt for the future or are you going to live for the future and lay down your life today? Life is short, my friends; so live for eternity! My brothers and sisters, if we would live our lives with a heart of wisdom we would be making one of the greatest decisions we could ever make in our life. My prayer is that you will take this truth and begin to reevaluate your life to make sure you are investing in those things that are of eternal value. As it was correctly stated in the movie Gladiator: what we do today will echo for all eternity! What sound will you make? Victoriously, Pastor Trey Trey Dickerson serves as the Pastor of High Point Church located at 2963 Hollis Rd, Macon, GA 31206 and is also President of Living Logos Ministries Inc. If you would like more information or materials from Pastor Trey’s ministry, you can visit the following websites: www.treydickerson.com & www.highpointmacon.com. You can also contact Trey via phone @ (706) 207-4337 or via email at trey@treydickerson.com

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Hephzibah Children’s Home: Love. Found. Here. By MIA KIMBER

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t is the beginning of summer vacation and millions of teenagers are celebrating the end of the school year while others are celebrating graduating from high school with proud, beaming parents. The anticipation fills their hearts and youthful dreams of summer fun-filled annual vacations, family barbeques and gatherings with friends before they begin to prepare for college. Some teens are hopefuls for their first summer job or volunteering in a Vacation Bible School or working in a local camp as a counselor. Yet, for many of the residents of Hephzibah Children’s Home, they will not know the feeling of a mother’s hug to celebrate end of school year. Nor, will they know a father’s voice as he says “I’m proud of you, son!” And, still for many abused children and teens, they won’t know the feeling of laying in their own bed, making plans to spend an evening with friends. Due to overcrowding in the Family Services system, they are spending these moments in hotel rooms with case workers, waiting for someone to care and to become a Foster parent. And many more are stuck with relatives who don’t really want them and make it known to them day after day. But there is one place in Georgia where teens are laughing and celebrating with mentors, role models, and houseparent’s that the school year has come to an end and they are looking forward to upcoming summer activities. At Hephzibah Children’s Home, 31 teen boys and girls have a place to call ‘home’! They enjoy the hugs of a houseparent and encouragement from volunteers. The staff share moments of pride when they see the school promotion of one of their kids in their cottage. A Human Service Professional (Hephzibah caseworker) sheds a tear when a teen mom on her case load is selected to attend the University of Georgia College bound week and yet another resident of Hephzibah celebrates with 9 other residents who have likewise achieved some incredible goals in sports and academics. At Hephzibah, a teen mom is excited about being promoted to the next grade when just seven months ago she was not attending school and was living in terror as she wondered if anyone would ever help her escape the sexual abuse she has been enduring for years. At Hephzibah, a young man who prior to coming to Hephzibah only looked forward to was death while living on the streets for months with his mother and no one offering to help them, including his own family, shares how he is adjusting to feeling safe since coming to our residential facility. He states he never knew places like Hephzibah existed, let alone a place that would accept him and genuinely show him unconditional love. At Hephzibah, this 16 year old shares that this is the first time he has ever had his own bed. For others who reside at Hephzibah, they attend church for the first time and learn what the Bible says about God’s love and have real life examples of Christ-like love from mentors at the Northway Church in Macon. In addition, the staff and volunteers of Hephzibah make it possible for the residents to experience proms, the military ball, end of the year trips and school pictures that many families take for granted but for our children where lack of money or family involvement denied them these opportunities. This year, due to the wonderful support of The Wesleyan Church, our children know what it is like to have their own bed and to decorate their own room. Teen moms watch their babies sleep safely in their cribs without the fear that someone will hurt them. Hephzibah residents are able to benefit from quality care and have their mental health and dental and physical health needs met regardless of the cost. Hephzibah residents have the opportunity to share in many on campus activities such as indoor basketball, indoor pool, and private movie theatre. They enjoy riding their bikes that donors provide at Christmas time for residents who have never had a bike before. I thank my Lord and Savior for choosing me to care for his precious children. I am honored to be given the opportunity to invest in the lives of the residents here at Hephzibah. The one thing many of us take for granted is the love of a family and THAT is the one thing these children desire more than anything. As the Program Director, it is my mission that every child that enters Hephzibah’s gate for refuge knows what it is like to experience the love of a family, the Hephzibah family.. Mia Kimber Director of Programs • DHS Impact Trainer • Ambassdor of Hope Hephzibah Childrens Home 6601 Zebulon Road • Macon, GA 478-477-3383 ext 208 • 478-972-1841 cell Some people dream of meeting their heros. I get to help shape mine at Hephzibah.

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My Story: Thanks Be To God By Kathy Manis Findley

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n February of 2014, my kidneys suddenly failed due to an allergic reaction to a medication. One afternoon, I had been to my doctor trying to find the source of my extreme pain. He ordered a number of blood tests. As we were eating dinner that evening, the doctor called to tell me to go to the emergency room immediately.

I was admitted and immediately was placed on dialysis. That year, I was hospitalized for 58 days. I had several experiences that brought me very close to death. When I was out of imminent danger, the hard work began for me. When the physical therapist came into my room, I discovered that I could not identify colors or place blocks in place. I could not walk or feed myself. I could no longer write my name. At times, I did not even recognize my husband. During those difficult days and endless nights of fear, Isaiah 43:2 kept coming to my mind. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame scorch you." I remember saying that verse over and over again to myself, willing myself to live, pushing myself to have a normal life again. Today, I am on dialysis for eight hours every day. I am on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. I can do all the tasks I did before my illness, thanks to the Divine Healer. But God not only brought health to my body. God brought renewed health to my soul. The hundreds of people who prayed for me without ceasing gave me the most precious of gifts. I found my faith all over again, new and fresh, filling me with hope on even the most hopeless days. For most of 2014, I passed through the waters, through rushing rivers, and I was not overwhelmed. I passed through the fire, and I did not get burned. I walked through the valley of death's shadow. But I found my way to God's peace-filled valley of new life. Thanks be to God. Kathy Manis Findley 204 Jabrok Circle Macon, Georgia 31216 501-351-4673 Blog: http://kalliopekathryne.com

3771 Mercer University Drive • Macon 478-471-1200

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Serving the needs of many with integrity & respect for over 22 years.

In Macon on Mercer University Dr. and now a new location in Warner Robins on Russell Parkway.

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FCA Christian Athlete Spotlight

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essy Tallant, the daughter of Mark and Susan Tallant, grew up in Macon, Georgia. She attended Rutland Middle School through her middle school years then decided to make the switch to Mount De Sales Academy to continue her high school career. She has proven to be a great leader on her athletic teams as well as on her campus in general, and she has an amazing spiritual base that provides the driving force for her motivational personality and influence on her teammates, classmates, and all whom she comes in contact with. Jessy’s spiritual journey was heavily influenced by her parents. They provided a strong spiritual foundation in the home and in the church. Jessy attended Riverside United Methodist Church growing up and now attends Liberty United Methodist Church. Her parents “planted a seed that still continues to bear fruit.” Jessy has always believed from a young age that she has “spiritual protection” over her life. She initially accepted Christ into her life at Camp Epworth by the Sea when she was a third grader, but she didn’t make a public profession of faith and deeper commitment to following Christ until the eighth grade when she felt she had a full understanding of what it meant to be a Christian. In high school, Jessy became fully involved in using the talents God gave her to compete in various areas of school life and also become involved in various clubs and organizations on and off campus. She participated on the track and cross country teams, sang in the chorus, participated on the school’s literary team (state champion girls’ trio her junior and senior years), joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Pep Club, and was a Cavalier Ambassador for the school. She assisted with the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank where she helped pack boxes and bags of food to send out to families in need. She also helped at the Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare Center where she walked rescue dogs. Jessy’s athletic successes have come as a result of hard work and perseverance. She has been a key member of the cross country and track teams at Mount De Sales. She currently holds the school record in the 800m run and the 1600m run. She is in the top 5 for all-time fastest times in school history for cross country. The summer before her junior year, she made a commitment to put in more mileage and work to try to improve her times for the upcoming season. It was towards the end of the summer

By SCOTT ADAMS, Local FCA Representative

that she became injured and had to be placed in a boot for the majority of her season. She was not able to fully recover to her potential by the end of the season, so she became very frustrated and discouraged watching her teammates compete without her. It was during this time that she realized that her schedule had been “eat, sleep, run”, and that she had not really been making time for anything else in her life. She realized that people and relationships were more important than running times and records, so she began to become more involved in investing in the lives of those around her. Jessy’s athletic career and heart for God provided an awesome platform and leadership role in FCA on her campus. Through the help of teacher and Coach Duane Hunter, she learned how to use her experiences and Christian background as a way to lead others to know about Christ. She and Coach Hunter brought a lot of enthusiasm to this group, and they enjoyed seeing what impact they could have through two things they loveGod and sports! After graduating from high school in the top 5% of her class and receiving the Medal of Honor (overall best senior serving school and community), Jessy plans to attend the University of Georgia in the fall and is currently considering and praying about an opportunity to run cross country. She plans to major in public health to either enter the medical field after graduation or find an opportunity to assist people who have low socioeconomic status in finding medical care. She plans to get involved with FCA and also service organizations as well as possibly study abroad while she is at UGA. Her advice for high school kids is “always be productiveeverything you are doing now affects your future”! She refers to Corinthians and encourages them to “finish the race”, but do not forget to stop and look around you along the way. Take time to appreciate the people you meet and the places you go. Jessy’s favorite quote is “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted (Aesop). And when you meet her, you know she is living this mantra out in her own life.

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Fill Your Cup, Friend By Marti Sullivan Tidwell

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good friend and I had an interesting and somewhat heartbreaking conversation several weeks ago over a long lunch. I can’t remember exactly how it came up, but we were talking through the challenging place in life that she finds herself. To explain, all my friend ever wanted to be was mom. She was a banker for a few years before she met her husband, but once they began to have children, she willingly left her career to throw herself into motherhood. She talks about those young years with her boys with great fondness. She and her husband have been very successful, but those years they were scraping pennies and making their way and raising her little boys were, by far, the years she looks back on with the most fondness. She loved every moment. So much so that she wrapped her very identity around those boys…they became her everything. It sounds sweet, noble even. Children are so innocent and need our guidance so desperately in those formative years. And it’s certainly biblical! Raising and forming our little children into men and women that will soldier and strengthen the body of Christ is one of the highest callings on earth. The problem with raising children, though, is that it has a shelf life…. we are eventually called to encourage our children to leave and cleave as the Bible calls them to do. My friend’s boys have grown up, strong and capable, and this year, her nest will be empty. Her youngest just graduated high school and is headed to college soon. She is thrilled and so so proud but, the truth is, she is having a really hard time. Why? She has associated her joy and fulfillment with her children… and that burden is too heavy for anyone to carry. Only Jesus can carry that load.

... I must use and cultivate the gifts God intentionally gave me.

I’m certain she isn’t the only one, and I am sensitive to the fact that I am speaking of something I know nothing of. Her vulnerability in sharing all of this with me, about to be a brand new mom, humbled me. God keeps showing me and convicting me on this, and so I know my time to struggle through this is coming and He is preparing me. I haven’t yet held my baby girl in my arms, felt that connection and unbearable love, and been willing to give her my everything and my all down to my very life. I have not yet poured my heart and soul and energy and tears into raising her well… and then watched her leave. My time is clearly coming though and, believe me, if there are words I need to eat the good Lord will show me! But, the Truth is, the Bible does call us to leave mom and dad and eventually cleave to our spouse… which can be a pretty hard journey for any Mama or Papa Bear, I’m sure.

My husband’s main love language is quality time. I am a people-pleaser and I completely adore my man. He’s just my very favorite thing. I want to give him all he would ever ask of me in the way of quality time, but I have come to realize that doesn’t come without a price. Recently, I went back on Worship Team at church after taking a hiatus during our courtship and early marriage. I was so excited to get back into the ministry of leading worship, but it would mean some adjustments for us. It would, first of all, mean another night that I wouldn’t be home until around 8:00pm…I already lead a Bible Study one night a week that keeps me out a bit late. When I talked it all through with him, he balked a bit. He certainly would never want to keep me from doing anything that I love, but he really loves our time together at home in the evenings. As we talked through it I explained to him that he rarely comes in the house before 8pm anyway… he’s an outside dweller... so very little would change. He would hardly know I was gone! And then, I heard myself say the words, “I have God-given gifts, and I will be a better wife and better Marti if I use those gifts and cultivate them.” I immediately had his blessing. It was the Holy Spirit, not me. He showed me the Truth even as I spoke the words. The Truth is, if I am going to be my very best for God and my family… and the kingdom of God… I must use and cultivate the gifts God intentionally gave me. They have a purpose! We all have them…you have gifts! We cannot completely sacrifice ourselves on the altar of our families. The consequences of that are great and they will eventually come calling. Show your spouse and your children what using your gifts looks like, and they will be inspired to do the same! Let your children see you serve the needs of others in the name and power of Christ, and do it well. Let them see you help those who cannot help themselves. Nothing… nothing… will bring joy and renewal to your soul like giving a little of yourself away to help and encourage others, to serve those that God has called us to serve…to do something for someone who can do nothing for you in return. That will fill your cup, friend.

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No one, NO ONE, will fill your cup like Jesus Christ and His plans and purposes for you. Seek Him, and serve and bless others in His Name. I promise, it will bless and affect your family beyond all your expectations. As a child, some of my fondest memories are watching my mother do the things that she was called to do. Teaching, singing, admonishing, prophesying… I was never prouder of her and never wanted to be more like her than when I saw her use her God-given gifts. I want to give my little girl that same gift, and encourage her to find and use her gifts. Ask God to show you an outlet to use your gifts that fits the season you are in right now. Then, when your children are grown and the house seems empty and sad… you have something you have cared for and nurtured in the name of serving Christ to call your own. Your joy and fulfillment will not be a burden for you to carry… your joy and your hope will be in the Lord. No one delivers deep down joy like He does, beloved. And, listen, if you have raised your babies and you’re in a later season in life, or if you are single and find yourself in an even different season of life, you aren’t off the hook here! If we are living and breathing and walking this earth, God has a plan for us to fulfill and ways He wants us to serve mankind. Ask Him to show you a way to recognize and utilize your gifts, and then get after it! My friend, I’m happy to say, has determined to do just that, and she has thrown herself into the church and the community to use her gifts to make a difference in the lives of others in the name and to the glory of the Lord. She is trusting the future and her babies to the Lord. I’m so proud of her, and so happy to serve Christ beside her. I pray I can be that brave one day, as I send my baby into the world and encourage her to accomplish what God has for her. Whatever the season we find ourselves in, blessing others as God has called us to do by sharing our gifts will serve to bless us, and our people, in with a more fulfilling and joyful life in Christ. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. – I Peter 4:10 Ephraim.

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I Am Feeling Rather Silly Today By David Duncan

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am feeling rather silly today, as I write this, so consider this your warning! :) As you might have surmised, I am a minister and counsel a right smart various group of people occasionally. For example, yesterday was a doozie of a day! My first appointment was with a guy who was addicted to brake fluid. He told me that he could stop anytime! LOL. Then, while I was waiting for the next client, a book fell off the case behind my desk in my office and hit me on the head. I can only blame my shelf! LOL. Next the phone rang and it was my 2 PM appointment who called to cancel saying that she had a bladder infection. All I could think to respond was, “URINE trouble!” LOL. So, I left the office and tried to catch some fog but I mist. LOL. I was supposed to go to the bank but when I lost interest (LOL.) I stopped to argue with an idiot but he drug me down to his level and beat me with experience. LOL. Oh, well. Just as I thought I had a handle of life, the handle broke off! :) I received some bad news this week from my transplant surgeon. (I am being serious now) My blood work revealed that my creatinine level is slowly rising. That means that the kidney function is decreasing so my doctors at Emory are debating how to slow its progression. I would appreciate your prayers please. God has always given me the UP look in regard to life and I am encouraged as I learn to trust Him for this next phase of what life holds for me. The wonderful mystery is that He is already there in the future and I didn’t get to pack it so I just rest in His Grace as it unfolds. I learned a long time ago that I don’t have to understand it to enjoy it. You would be a lot happier too if we all could grasp that freeing revelation. The good news is that if needed, my original surgeon said that since I have been such a great patient for 21 years, that I could be placed on the transplant list again and receive another new kidney! This time, my wife Shirley has also placed a request for a brain!!! LOL. I want to relay a joke that I heard this last week at a minister’s conference in North Carolina. The preacher told me that there are THREE kinds of RINGS to a marriage: 1. Engagement RING 2. Wedding RING, and then, 3. Suffer-RING! LOL. Now, here’s what I want to share with you in this issue of Church Connection:

... turn to the Lord and lean heavy into His everlasting arms of love and mercy

Suffering is a natural part of life for all of us. It isn’t pleasant and we would seek to avoid it but, unfortunately, it follows us whenever we go. It helps tremendously if you can laugh as your journey through the ‘maze of grace’. Joni Eareckson Tada is a beautiful example of God’s purpose in our pain. As a teenager, she broke her neck in a diving accident and has been paralyzed from the neck down for all of her life. Not what we would expect or desire, eh? Joni describes it like this: “permanent and total paralysis smashed me up against God.” Here astonishing attitude of joy and hope in times of devastating sorrow and heartache are an inspiration to many. She has been “bent” by life’s happenings but also “shaped” into the Lord’s own image all at the same time. Hers is a powerful testimony of God’s miraculous turning broken into beautiful! God’s use of sufferings in our lives is amazing and so mysterious as He intertwines the threads of gold and silver, along with threads of hurt, loss, and tragedy, to design an incredible tapestry of Grace.

If you are experiencing difficulty today, I encourage you to turn to the Lord and lean heavy into His everlasting arms of love and mercy. He will see you through and reveal a silver lining to the dark clouds that threaten your peace and serenity. Remind yourself that the joy of the Lord is your strength and set your anchor deep in His providential sovereignty! THAT brings us supernatural joy despite our circumstances. In His Love, David Duncan Contact me on Facebook or dedsld13@juno.com.

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Crossroads Christian Counseling Center Inc.

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FREE 2016 Financial Budgeting Classes

inances and budgeting can put a tremendous strain on individuals, newlyweds and families. Crossroads Christian Counseling Center Inc. wants to help you get this important area of 2016 off to a strong start by offering a workshop entitled - Second Tuesday Finances.

Led by Mr. Tim Hemingway, Second Tuesday Finances is an interactive class that meets from 6 pm – 7:30 pm the second Tuesday of each month. To take advantage of the time, attendees are asked to bring the following: • A copy of your written budget (if you have one) • A copy of your tax return for 2015. • A written list of three financial changes you want to achieve in the next twelve months During the third quarter of 2016, classes will be offered on July 12th, August 9th and September 13th. For more information, please call Crossroads at 478-475-4608.

Crossroads Christian 144 Pierce Ave. • Macon, GA 31204 Counseling Center Inc.

(478) 475-4608

We are a Christian-Based Counseling Program with Licensed Professionals providing Individuals, Couples and Family Counseling for people ages 5 and up.

Crossroads is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit counseling and education center. Established in 1998 at Martha Bowman Memorial United Methodist Church, it is affiliated with congregations in the Middle Georgia area. Believing that wholeness is possible when the mind, body, and spirit work together, our staff of professionals are committed to a holistic approach to counseling. The highly trained, licensed and experienced counselors at Crossroads assess problems, explore solution and provide a secure framework as you seek personal spiritual growth in your life. Our clinical staff includes licensed marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, a clinical psychologist and psychiatrists. The mission of Crossroads Christian Counseling Center Inc. is to serve all people who are affected by life’s challenges through Christian-based counseling, support and education.

Crossroads Christian Counseling Offers: Individual Counseling for children, adolescents and adults Play therapy for children Counseling for: pre-marital, marital and family Mediation services During your time of need, the counselors at Crossroads can help you with: • Marital and family problems • personal struggles with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, a sense of failure or lack of fulfillment coping with grief or loss • emotional problems associated with physical illness or accident • spiritual meaning and direction • the dilemmas of growing up, parenting or aging • issues related to separation, divorce, remarriage and life in blended families • addiction

Crossroads Clinicians Annie Biers, LPC Dr. Grady Carter Nancy Brown Cornett, LMFT Chat Dumelod, LMFT Dr. N. Don Feibelman, III Donna D. Hale, LPC (on sabbatical) Tim D. Hemingway, LPC Daniel H. Johnston, Ph.D. Lawson C. Kelley, LMFT (on sabbatical) Eleanor Lane, LMFT (on sabbatical) Bryan McMullen, LMFT Dr. Edward Olsen Derrick Pendergrass, LMFT Alisa W. Rehberg, LPC, LMFT Scott Serafy, LPC Margaret Stephens, LPC Charlotte Stewart, LPC Ben P. White, LMFT, LPC Jaqui Wilson, LPC Joe Wilson, LPC

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Love God, Love People, Serve Others

Pastor Joe S. McDaniel

Musella Baptist Church 5430 Hwy 341 North • Musella, GA 31066 (478) 836-2936 • www.musellabaptist.org

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J. Rufus Moseley: Spiritual Pioneer And Early Pentecostal By Gregory S. Camp. Ph.D.

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n the summer of 1894, a young man from western North Carolina named J. Rufus Moseley moved to Macon, Georgia to begin employment at Mercer College. Still a graduate student with the University of Chicago, Moseley had spent time at Harvard, and Germany’s Heidelberg University as part of his graduate studies in American and European history, Philosophy, and Political Science. Indeed, during his time at Harvard, he was hosted by a philosophy department that boasted George Santayana, Josiah Royce, and William James. Moseley was taught and befriended by these intellectual giants of the late 19th and early 20th Century America. He came to Mercer still a graduate student, and beginning with the autumn term in 1894, taught history, philosophy, and economics. During his Mercer days (1894-1900) he quickly became a favorite with students and faculty alike, although his unorthodox beliefs were to land him in some trouble with the then conservative Baptist administration. He left over just this lack of personal orthodoxy, as would his friend and colleague William Heard Kilpatrick a few years later. Kilpatrick, of course, went on to Columbia University where along with John Dewey, was to shape American education for the next century. Moseley, on the other hand, would shape another area of life, first in Macon, and then across the United States. After leaving Mercer in 1900, Rufus Moseley began a spiritual quest that would lead him first to Christian Science, then a new movement under the leadership of Mary Baker Eddy. Attending services at Macon’s Christian Science reading room until late 1909, Moseley became disenchanted with the movement and what he perceived to be the shortcomings in his own Christian walk. Moseley had accepted Christ as his Savior while a student at Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, sometime around 1889. By late 1909, however, it was a new movement that caught his attention and held such promise of a deeper walk in Christ that he felt he had to investigate. Rufus had heard about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from some Macon residents who had had the experience. Moseley and many others, of course, had heard of the Holy Spirit out-pouring in Wales in Great Britain and the tremendous impact it had there. Just a few years later, he heard stories of a similar otpouring in Topeka, Kansas and then in Los Angeles, California. The latter was the famous Azuza Street revival of 1906. By 1910, Macon itself had encountered some of this spiritual activity. Pentecostal meetings at Moore’s Hall and street meetings in downtown Macon loudly advertised the experience for all who would ask, seek, knock, and obey. In late March, 1910, Moseley prayed for and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. His encounter with the Holy Spirit was to forever change him, and became the rudder directing his ministry thereafter. In the early morning hours of March 23, 1910 he related that the Person of Christ appeared physically before him, then infused Himself within. As Moseley was to say, “I fell at His feet as one dead, yet more alive than I knew it possible to be.” This began a lay ministry for Rufus Moseley that, while originating here in Macon, Georgia, would over the next four decades spread across the United States and even overseas to Europe. Few who knew this inimitable man ever forgot him, as he had a revelation of the Love of God—what Moseley called “Ineffable Union with Christ” or the “Life as Love”—that harkens back to the Epistles of John. Called the Apostle of Love by the 1940’s, it was a title that was aptly given. Moseley helped to reduce the Faith to its basics—the Love life—that Moseley saw as a needed remedy to a Christianity based on works. His ministry was to the poor, the needy, and those on death row. He also regularly fellowshipped with national religious and political leaders, and both (continued on next page)

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often consulted him. He was also an early outspoken critic of racial segregation, a stance that, in the Jim Crow era South, as not popular. In 1941, at age 71, he published his autobiography, Manifest Victory. In 1949, Moseley published his second book, Perfect Everything, which was a study of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who has read these books, especially Manifest Victory, cannot help but be impressed with the width and depth of this man’s revelation. I am happy to report that his autobiography has recently come back into print. The book is his own report of his life and times in Macon, Georgia, and will delight those seeking both spiritual succor as well as early 20th century history of the community. [In future columns, I will detail some of his remarkable teachings. (of course, if asked!)] Gregory S. Camp. Ph.D. Dr. Camp is a historian who recently moved to Macon in the course of his research on J. Rufus Moseley. Over the course of thirty years, he has served as a professor, government researcher, archivist, museum specialist, and independent researcher/historian who has authored or co-authored a number of books and dozens of scholarly articles.

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From Intimacy to Bitterness and Back

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By Kelly Philbrick

or over a year a friend had been inviting me to their church retreat, a weekend geared toward encountering God in a more intimate way. Finally I was able to attend, not really sure what to expect. Part of me was excited, the other part uncertain.

The first teaching was on the prodigal son story found in Luke 15 in the Bible. The focus was on the behavior and attitude of the older brother. In the passage both brothers make choices that alienate them from God, but I was fixated on the older brother's story. Several statements from the retreat speaker that captured my attention and pierced my heart were about the character of the older brother in relation to the younger brother. She commented: The younger WANTED to be a servant. The older RESENTED being a servant. The younger ADMITTED his guilt. The older INSISTED on his own innocence. The younger thought if only his circumstances changed, he could do better. The older’s perspective was one of hurt, betrayal, and injustice. The younger rebelled and sinned OPENLY. The older rebelled in his heart, was HIDDEN. The older brother: Did what was expected of him. Chose anger instead of celebration. Always did the right things. Was results oriented. Felt superior generally and had a judgmental spirit. Felt was owed more than he was getting. The older brother appeared happy and content until…(fill in the blank) The older brother did not obey his father because of their relationship, because he loved him, BUT because it was what he was supposed to do. He felt obligated. The older brother lacked compassion. The older brother tried to earn his father’s love. The older brother was angry which kept him out of intimate relationship with his father. The older brother did not feel like his father had blessed him for all that he had done for him. For me, my spiritual life was in gridlock, and I had been trying desperately to find out why, but to no avail. It was mind boggling to me especially since I had been a Christian for almost two decades and knew the scriptures. My frequent thoughts had been, “What is wrong with me? Nothing seems to be working.” The Lord used this teaching on the prodigal in a powerful way. My eyes were opened to painful truths about the condition of my heart. Over time I had slowly lost my perspective. Let me illustrate through the analogy of a flat tire. Slow leak over time Barely recognizable Notice a change but ignore because it is miniscule Start to notice it getting worse Ask somebody about it They make a suggestion The suggestion does not fix the problem Research it Problem deteriorates Others notice Problem is exacerbated Causes other problems Flat tire ensues Now at a halt What to do now Call the repairman In a few moments' time, I saw the problem and the solution. Over time I had allowed a mountain of bitterness to creep into my life. It was barely recognizable in the beginning. I knew something had changed, but it was so little. I asked others about it, (continued on next page)

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and they made some good suggestions, but it ultimately did not heal my heart. I searched relentlessly to find an answer. The symptoms got worse. Others started noticing some differences. Problems started to occur. I was at a standstill. What to do? I had no idea anymore but was desperate for relief. The bitterness I experienced was toward God. For years I had been serving him faithfully. Certain prayer requests had not been answered. Life did not look like what I envisioned or hoped it would be. I was using Him to get what I wanted. At some point, my faith shifted from the Cross to what God could do for me. It became fix me, fix my family, fix my husband, fix my marriage, fix my children. The intimacy I had with the Lord for so many years earlier had evaporated. My joy and peace had disintegrated and anxiety, hopelessness, and despair started to take residence. Refusing to “go inside the party” and fellowship because of anger is a miserable place to be. I choose now to seek intimacy based on God’s love for me, not what He can do for me. Repentance transpired. Forgiveness was extended. Relationship was restored. Joy returned. Worship no longer forced. Increased desire to be in God’s Word Countenance changed. Thankfulness resumed. Heart free, no longer bound by bitterness. All that God accomplished in one evening, in His timing, and with my cooperation. Each day I have a choice, to choose intimacy with God or something else. Some days I hit the bulls-eye, other days not so good. But what is crucial is to keep pressing on. It is humbling to know first hand that God still chooses to use us despite our shortcomings and failures. I am eternally grateful for the Lord’s diligence in peeling away the layers of pride, resistance, and rebellion in my life. That process is never ending while in this earthen vessel. Oh how He loves us! But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18, NKJV) The Parable of the Lost Son

Luke 15:11-32

New International Version (NIV)

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

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How can Christian men lead in adoption?

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By STEPHEN STORY

doption is very much a family undertaking. As Christians we believe that within the family God has created men and women with unique roles and responsibilities. What aspects of adopting a child are especially the responsibility of men? How should we as Christian husbands and fathers lead our families in the ministry of adoption? Set the overall vision for your family Christian husbands should provide direction in the big things and in the seemingly mundane things. John Piper explains it this way: "All families stand for something. All families are known for something. All families are called to glorify God according to their gifts. What does that look like? [...] Pursue that. Figure that out."1 Does the ministry of adoption fit into the vision God has given your family? Do you need to re-cast a vision for your family that includes adoption? Why is your family pursuing adoption? Lead your family in asking and answering these questions. Maybe your wife was the first one to mention adoption. That doesn't mean you're not leading. God may give your wife the vision for something your family needs to be doing, such as adoption. That's a good thing! Your responsibility then is to explore that along with her and, if it does in fact seem to be where God is leading, then you become the champion of that cause. Take that calling, that desire, and take ownership of it. One Covenant Care dad summed it up like this: "Dad believes God has called us to adopt. This is not going to be easy, but God will be with us. Are you with Dad?" Be the decider We often say at Covenant Care, "You don't adopt a child by accident." You have to lean into it and actively pursue it. And this means making one decision after another. George W. Bush famously declared himself to be "The Decider." His point is inelegant but well taken. One mark of a weak leader is the inability or unwillingness to just make a decision. Nothing's going to happen until someone makes a decision! And as a Christian husband this responsibility will often fall to you as your family pursues adoption. Don't let fear of the unknown paralyze your ability to make a decision. At the same time, being "the decider" means making informed, wise decisions. We counsel our adoptive families to count the cost. Know what you are committing to when you choose to pursue adoption. If the cost is more than you're equipped for, then perhaps you should decide not to move forward. In making decisions as husbands we should do so gently, patiently, and tenderly. God is honored when we seek out the insights and desires of those those we lead. Seek and pray for unity, especially in the big decisions. Be the stabilizer Brian Borgman writes, “All parenting is spiritual warfare. In fact, the whole Christian life is spiritual warfare. But some children come from dark places, and parenting them means that you will fight a particular battle for their hearts and minds.�2 Adoption is not easy. It's going to be up and down, back and forth, and incredibly difficult at times. In those ups and downs you are called to the the anchor for your family. For some couples this stabilizing perspective comes from the wife, but more often it seems to come from the husband. (continued on next page)

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This is not a simple thing. The truth is that you don’t have what it takes to be the stabilizing force for a lifelong journey such as adoption. You can only give to your wife and family what you have already received from the Lord. Stability comes through you, but not from you. You have to be spending time with God through His Word. You have to be killing sin in your life by the power of the Spirit. You have to be fighting for your wife and your family in prayer. If you aren't finding security and stability in God, then you won't be equipped to be the stabilizer for your wife and children. Humility. Humility. Humility. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4 ESV). Every adoption involves brokenness, and you cannot step into brokenness from a standpoint of pride.It’s not about you, it’s about birthparents and a child who are hurting. It’s not about taking on a project of a child in need. It’s about bringing attention and glory to the God of grace, the God who redeems. In choosing to adopt you are choosing to step into a situation that is filled with pain and brokenness. Often it will be pain and brokenness that you cannot fix. You won’t be equipped for the journey if you aren’t willing to empty yourself like Christ did, and pour yourself out for the good of that child and ultimately for the glory of God. Embrace humility, because it will come one way or another. Love your wife like Christ loved the church. Be a servant to her, and to your children. Embrace humility, because it will come one way or another. What a privilege we have as Christian men of glorifying God by leading our families on the adoption journey! Stephen Story Executive Director Covenant Care Adoptions Covenant Care Adoptions is a Christian adoption agency based in Macon and serving all of Georgia. This article was originally published in a longer form at www.CovenantCareAdoptions.com. 1

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-does-it-mean-for-a-man-to-lead-his-family-spiritually

2

Borgman, B. (2014). After they are yours: The grace and grit of adoption. Adelphi, MD: Cruciform Press.

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Local Church Connection MidGa Jul - Sep 2016  

Middle Georgia edition for the period July through September 2016

Local Church Connection MidGa Jul - Sep 2016  

Middle Georgia edition for the period July through September 2016