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34 BATTLE SCARS

20 REDIRECTING MY FAITH

3 26 SEE CHRIST IN YOUR CRISIS

EDITORIAL

FIVE THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM BIBLICAL DADS


EDITORIAL BY P. DANIEL BUFORD

D

Five Things I’ve Learned from Biblical Dads

ad taught me the value of the Bible by reading it, reverencing it, loving it, and living it. As a result, when I try to understand fatherhood, I turn to the Bible. What can I learn from biblical dads? 1. Noah—My family is my first responsibility. God commanded Noah to build a three-story wooden ark with a door and a window and to stock it with food for all of the animals that would be coming on board. But in Genesis 6:18, God instructed Noah to “come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” Noah “prepared an ark to the saving of his house” (Hebrews 11:7). God’s call was to save his family—his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law. Peter referred to Noah as a “preacher of righteousness,” possibly preaching to the unbelievers in the months ahead of the flood. Even with the responsibility of preaching to the “world,” God commanded Noah to save his family. And His command to me is the same. 2. Eli—Refraining my children is my responsibility. We remember Eli as the priest who directed Samuel to recognize the voice of God as God spoke to the boy in the night. But we sometimes forget Eli had other boys—his own. They were grown, and while they were Eli’s sons, they were also “sons of Belial” (I Samuel 2:12). Serving as a priest’s servants, they abhorred the offering of the Lord. Some of the saddest words of Scripture are found in I Samuel 3:13-14: “I have told [Eli] that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have

sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.” God’s desire for Eli was for him to refrain his sons. His desire for me is that I do the same. 3. Jacob—Partiality to one child over another is not the best pattern. It is obvious. Jacob loved Joseph more than all his children (Genesis 17:3). He made it apparent by making Joseph a coat of many colors. It is also obvious that this partiality did not endear Joseph to his brothers. They hated him, leading to a dysfunctional family. The good news is God’s will was done in the path Joseph took leading from a colored coat, which he lost; to a coat in Potiphar’s house, which he lost; to a prison coat, which he exchanged for a vesture of fine linen as second only to Pharaoh. Parenting with partiality did not bring family harmony for Jacob and Joseph and the other brothers. It will not work for me either. 4. Philip—I can prepare my children to follow the call of God for their lives. Philip the evangelist had four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:89). This is a biblical example—my children can follow the call of God for their life. In Philip’s case, he was following God’s call for his life as an evangelist. It matters not what God’s call for me is, just so I follow it. When my children can see patterned in my life a willingness to follow God’s call, it opens the door of divine favor as they more easily follow God’s call for their life. While I can influence them and guide them, I cannot force them. I cannot coerce them, but I can be thankful when they do follow God’s call. I can repeat John’s expression of joy: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my chil-

dren walk in truth” (III John 4). God wants my children to walk in truth. So do I. 5. Paul—I can have “spiritual children.” We do not know everything about Paul. We know he was Saul before he was Paul. We know he was blind for a short time but wonderfully regained his sight. We know he had a thorn in the flesh but we do not know what it was. While we have no record of Paul having natural children, we do know he had “spiritual children.” He called Timothy his own “son in the faith” (I Timothy 1:2). He spoke of him as his “beloved son” (I Corinthians 4:17). He also had Titus, his “own son after the common faith” (Titus 1:4). Paul was a busy man—preaching, teaching, getting shipwrecked, getting stoned and being left for dead, speaking to philosophers at Mars’ hill, to chief rulers in synagogues, and to governors and kings in high places, and yet he had time for young lads. He took them under his tutelage and walked with them through the stages of growth from salvation even to establishing them as ministers of the gospel. God’s plan for Paul was for him to raise up sons in the gospel. It is His plan for me to do the same. As we consider biblical dads, our eyes turn to our heavenly Father in thanksgiving, who in His wisdom equipped us to follow Him, even in our own fatherhood. P. Daniel Buford is the editor of the Pentecostal Herald and an associate editor of the United Pentecostal Church International.

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Fundamental Doctrine The basic and fundamental doctrine of this organization shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. We shall endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith, at the same time admonishing all brethren that they shall not contend for their different views to the disunity of the body.

The One True God

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PRODUCTION MANAGER Larry Craig PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jina Crain CREATIVE DIRECTOR Abraham LaVoi DESIGN SUPERVISOR Tim Cummings GRAPHIC DESIGN Tim Burk, Dennis Fiorini EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Kelly Middleton COPY EDITOR Patricia Bollmann

The Pentecostal Herald (USPS-427-240) is published monthly by the United Pentecostal Church International, 8855 Dunn Road., Hazelwood, MO 63042-2299. It is the official publication of the United Pentecostal Church International. Periodicals postage paid at Hazelwood, Missouri, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Pentecostal Herald, 8855 Dunn Road, Hazelwood, MO 63042-2299. ©2015 UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH INTERNATIONAL.

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P E N T E C O S TA L H E R A L D

PENTECOSTAL HERALD EDITOR P. Daniel Buford EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin Johnston ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lee Ann Alexander ASSOCIATE EDITOR P. Daniel Buford

VOL. 91, NO. 6.

We believe in the one ever-living, eternal God: infinite in power, holy in nature, attributes, and purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father; through His Son, in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit, by emanation (I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; II Corinthians 5:19; Joel 2:28).

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GENERAL OFFICIALS

GENERAL EXECUTIVE PRESBYTERS

GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT David K. Bernard* ASSISTANT GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT Stan O. Gleason* ASSISTANT GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT Paul D. Mooney* GENERAL SECRETARY-TREASURER Jerry Jones* DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL MISSIONS Bruce A. Howell* DIRECTOR OF NORTH AMERICAN MISSIONS Carlton L. Coon Sr.* EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin Johnston GENERAL SUNDAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR Steve L. Cannon GENERAL YOUTH DIRECTOR Michael Ensey SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION Dan Batchelor

Gary Gleason* Aaron Soto* Kevin Borders* Kevin Cox* Keith Sjostrand* Philip Harrelson* Ronnie Mullings* Darrell Johns* Raymond Woodward*

GENERAL PRESBYTERS

J.R. Blackshear, Ernest Breithaupt, W.L. Clayton, B.S. Cole, Daniel Garlitz, Arless Glass, John Grant, Tommy Hudson, David Johnson, James Kelley, Carrol D. Kennedy, Carl Lagow, Roger Lewis, R.J. McIntyre, John D. Mean, James Merrick, Ronnie Mullings, Paul Price, Paul Reynolds, J.M. Russell, Harry Scism, Scotty Teets, T.F. Tenney, B.J. Thomas, Wayne Trout, G.L. Vittitow, Ted Wagner, David O. Walters, R.D. Whalen * Member of the Executive Board

Dennis L. Anderson, Elvin Anthony, G. Terry Brewer, Ronald L. Brown, Steven Carnahan, Steve D. Carrington, Brent Coltharp, Mike Conn, Carlton L. Coon Sr., Kevin Cox, Jack Cunningham, Steven D. D’Amico, J. Stanley Davidson, Devon Dawson, Dean M. Dickinson, Andrew Dillon, Daniel Fleming, Jesus B. Fortaleza, Edward Goddard, Scott Graham, Percel T. Graves, Ken Gurley, John W. Hanson, Arthur E. Hodges III, Gary Hogan, Jerry T. Holt, David Hudson, Wayne Huntley, Darrell Johns, J. Mark Jordan, Ron Lichtle, Arnold MacLauchlan, Daniel McAllister, Richard McGriffin, Scott D. Marshall, Matthew Martin, Mark Morgan, Arthur Naylor, Trevor Neil, Gordon Parrish, Kevin Prince, David D. Puckett, John E. Putnam, Stephen P. Spite, Jay Stirneman, Rick Stoops, Robert Stroup, David Tipton Jr., Jerry Tipton, David Trammell, Marney Turpin, C. Patton Williams, Raymond Woodson Sr., Chester Wright

HONORARY PRESBYTERS

Scan the QR code on your mobile device to visit pentecostalherald.com.


[FAITH IN REAL TIME] Columns

8 Value in the Wilderness

3 | Editorial

10 The Impracticality

7 | The General Superintendent Speaks

15 | Worldline

16 Living in the

24 | Teacher of the Month

25 | Multicultural Ministries

Parent

P. Daniel Buford

David K. Bernard Bruce Howell

Kent Elliott

29 | Faith & Culture Eugene Wilson

Written Anonymously

of Practical Christianity Kerri Wilson

12 It’s Real

Don Martin

Real World 18 The Single

David McCurrach

20 Redirecting

My Faith

Justin R. Craun

22 Single and

37 | Apostolic Man

Michael J. Williams

40 | Feedback

20

J. R. Ensey

33 | New Start

Scott Armstrong

Thriving

Rachel Zehm

26 See Christ in Your Crisis

Jay Carney

43 | Ladies Ministry

30 Overcoming the Doubts

49 | The Last Word

Gwyn Oakes

Robin Johnston

. . . and the Coon Dog

Frederick E. and Vera D. Kinzie

34 Battle Scars

Pentecostal

10

Lindel Anderson

Life

8

38 | The Importance of Feeling God Simeon Young Sr.

44 | Quizzing for Life Kristin Hoover

46 | His Life Said It All

Ronnie H. Mullings

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General 2 0 1 5 Conference Schedule: At A Glance Tuesday, September 22, 2015 All events will take place in the music city center church services will be held in Hall d, Exhibits in hall c, and seminars in rooms 201-209 On-site Registration opens at 8:00 am

6:30 pm WNOP Prayer Service 7:00 pm General Conference Service - Tim Zuniga and Anthony Ens

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 9:00 am - 2:00 PM Business Meeting 10:00 am - NOON Ministers’ wives Breakfast - (renaissance Hotel) 6:30 PM Lighthouse Ranch for Boys 6:45 PM WNOP Prayer Service 7:00 PM North American Missions Service - Jerry Dean

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

9:00 am - 11:50 aM Seminars

9:00 am - 11:50 aM Seminars

11:00 am - 11:50 aM Closed Ministers Session

9:00 am - 11:50 aM Ladies in Action

NOON - 2:00 PM General Sunday School Division Service - Tim Gaddy

11:00 am - 11:50 aM Men’s Ministry Service

3:30 pm - 5:20 PM Seminars

NOON - 2:00 PM General Youth Division Service - Sammy Sherrill

6:30 PM Tupelo Children’s Mansion

6:00 PM Memorial Service

6:45 PM WNOP Prayer Service

6:45 PM WNOP Prayer Service

7:00 PM Global Missions Service - PauL Mooney

7:00 PM General Superintendent’s Message - David K. Bernard

Music City Center

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Nashville, Tennessee

www.upcigc.com

#UPCIGC15

4/29/15 2:31 PM


2:31 PM

THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT SPEAKS BY DAVID K. BERNARD

God’s Plan for the Family he family is important to God’s plan for humanity. God instituted marriage with the first humans. When He covenanted with Abraham He included Abraham’s household, children, and other descendants in both the commands and the promises (Genesis 17:1-14; 18:19). God thinks of humans in families; He promised that through Abraham “all families of the earth” would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). God also cares for individuals and for people in broken families. He is father to the fatherless and protector of widows, which can include victims of divorce (Psalm 68:5). True religion involves caring for needy children who have lost fathers and women who have lost husbands (James 1:27). God places the solitary in families (Psalm 68:6). The church is a spiritual family of fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. (See Mark 3:35; 10:30; I Timothy 5:1-2.) The family is based on marriage between one man and one woman who make a lifelong commitment. We see God’s plan for marriage in the creation account before the intrusion of sin. God created a man and then a woman as his helper, “an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). The word “meet” here is not a noun but an adjective meaning “suitable” (NIV) or “comparable” (NKJV). Man and woman are partners of equal value and respect; they are “heirs together of the grace of life” (I Peter 3:7). Marriage involves a public “leaving” from one’s birth family, a public “cleaving” or commitment to join together, and a lifelong union of becoming “one flesh” physically, emotionally, and spiritually. (See Genesis 2:24.) The husband should love his wife sacrificially, lead his family spiritually, and provide for them materially; while the wife should respect his leadership and work alongside him (Ephesians 5:22-33). They submit to one another

in forming a godly marriage and family (Ephesians 5:21). Such a marriage is the means for nurturing children, teaching them to love God, and training them to be productive members of society and church (Ephesians 6:4). Father and mother each make unique contributions in raising children (Proverbs 1:8-9). The influence of even one godly parent can make children holy (I Corinthians 7:14). A godly marriage is the best environment for producing godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). Because divorce undermines this divine plan and is a treacherous breaking of covenant, God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Divorce never comes by God’s plan but because of human sinfulness. Sometimes separation or divorce may be the lesser of two evils, as in the case of spousal or child abuse or persistent breaking of the marriage vow. Except in the case of sexual immorality, two Christians should not divorce (Matthew 5:32; 19:1-9). If circumstances have caused separation they should remain unmarried or be reconciled (I Corinthians 7:10-11). A married couple should not settle for a miserable, unhappy, unholy existence, however. By God’s grace they can enjoy abundant life and, when needed, restoration and renewal in marriage. Some are called to a single life or a single season of life, and they have special opportunities to serve God in ways that married people often cannot. (See I Corinthians 7:6-7, 32-35.) They too can enjoy an abundant, fulfilled life, complete in Christ. It is much better to be single in God’s will than to be married out of God’s will. According to secular research in Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure (2013) by Nick Schulz, God’s plan for the family is the best economically and socially. US Census Bureau data shows that if young people graduate from high school,

get a job, and get married before having children, they have a 75 percent chance of joining the middle class and only a 2 percent chance of falling into poverty (39). Almost 30 percent of single-parent households are poor during a given year, compared to only 5 percent of marriedfamily households (52). Schulz concludes that the key to a healthy society is character, which is primarily molded by family, and strengthening families requires changes of the human heart and soul (94-97). Many serious social problems stem from the breakdown of the family, as reported by the National Fatherhood Initiative (www.fatherhood.org). In 2009 over 24 million children in the US, or 33 percent, lived apart from their biological fathers, compared to only 11 percent in 1960. “Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.” Other significant problems correlated with absent fathers are teen sexual activity and pregnancy, childhood obesity, educational underachievement and dropout, and incarceration. Nevertheless, by God’s grace and support from the church, single parents and fatherless children can overcome adverse circumstances to live holy, blessed, and successful lives. As the church we should both proclaim and model God’s plan for the family in a positive way. In doing so we will be blessed and will bless our society.

David K. Bernard is the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International.

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

iving with an alcoholic spouse can sometimes seem much like the wilderness in which the Israelites spent forty years wandering around—vast, long, and at times unending. As a nineteen-year-old new convert with a three-month-old daughter, I chose to marry her father knowing he didn’t share my beliefs. Back then, I didn’t realize that one choice would send us on a twoand-a-half decade journey circling through the wilderness of his addictions. What began as drinking a couple times a week slowly escalated to every other night, and then finally advanced to the point he struggled to fall asleep at night unless he was drunk. Somewhere in the midst of this, he transitioned into using drugs with the alcohol. Since then, he’s been to countless AA meetings, four rehabs, striven through four recoveries, endured four relapses, and attempted suicide once. Some may ask why I didn’t just leave. Why don’t you chalk it up as a poor choice and move on? Who would want to raise a family in a place like that anyway? I understand that. But since leaving wasn’t always a viable option, I was left with two choices. I could allow my children and myself to die spiritually in that place, or I could ask God to help me teach my children how to live for Him even though it wasn’t an ideal situation. But to do so I would need a wilderness survival plan. Number one on my list was church attendance. If one of us wasn’t sick, we didn’t skip going. Period. Prayer meeting? We’d be there. Children’s choir? Of course. Friday night 8

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youth activities once my children turned twelve? I’d have them there. They needed to make friends, find support in the family of God, and learn the world was not just about what went on in our home. Even though I hid as much of it from my children as possible, oftentimes dealing with my husband’s cycles of addiction made our home tumultuous. But my mind was made up. If I had to dry my eyes, put on an uplifting song, and drag my frustrated soul to church, we would be there. If my children were to understand how great a refuge church and serving God could be, we needed to make it a regular stop on our journey. God never failed to meet us there, and we never went home feeling the same way as when we came. However, attending church wasn’t enough. We needed to pray. At night I listened to my children’s bedtime prayers and read them their nightly Bible story. During the day I took time to develop a relationship with God on my own. When the children were little, I used their nap time to pray until they became too old. Then we instituted a daily one hour quiet time while their father was at work. The children could each spend time in their own room reading or playing quietly while I had time to pray, read my Bible, and have a little time on my own. The third thing on the list was that we never tore down the church at home and tried never to tear down my husband at church. Now, that’s not to say God didn’t provide people in the church we could share with and receive encouragement and prayer from. My children were instructed if they needed to talk about a problem at church, we’d go for a car ride or talk in their rooms. But I determined when my husband made


W R I T T E N A N O N Y M O U S LY

the decision to come to church, he wouldn’t have to wonder if the entire church knew all his mistakes and faults, and he wouldn’t know the church’s. I didn’t want to give the enemy any extra room to play with my husband’s head. Along with that, I wanted to teach my children not to mimic their father’s wrong behaviors. They were not to use the language he used nor drink what he drank. However, his addictions were never an excuse not to respect him as their father. The last thing on my list, I’m ashamed to admit, had nothing to do with my husband, but with me. During all this time I’d been strong for my children, shielding them from as much as possible and doing my best to teach them to love God. Now they were grown and had flown from the nest. Yet here I was, still wandering in monotonous circles in the desert through the cycles of my husband’s addiction. I was exhausted. I’d never intended to sign up for the forty-year wandering plan. I wasn’t looking for a lifetime achievement award for playing wilderness games. I wanted to live my life serving God, being used for His purpose. Then one day my world was brought to a stop by three lines of dialogue discussing with a painter how she determined the value of her beautiful paintings and the similarity to how she determined the value of a person. I remember sitting there thinking, “How do I value people?” My mind went to the many visitors at our church. I felt confident I saw the potential they had to serve God. Still, throughout the week the thought refused to fade into the background. The next afternoon I asked God to show me the value of

people through His eyes. I needed to be sure. That Friday my daughter and I traveled to a ladies conference, and the words that came across the pulpit smote my heart. I discovered the one person I didn’t value wasn’t the visitor at church; it was my husband. Every time I heard the opening of another beer can all I saw was “just an alcoholic.” A man who would rather take his own life than give it to God. A man who’d been more committed to his addictions than his family. I only saw what my anger saw, what my hurt saw. I needed to see what God saw. God saw a man who hated himself enough to swallow a bottle of pills and then wake me an hour later because he didn’t really want to die. God saw a man who’d experienced the Holy Ghost many years before and lived an incredible six months for God before slowly sliding back into addiction. God saw a man who in his sober times encouraged others and loved his family. That night I knelt before God and wept in repentance. Suddenly, I saw not just an alcoholic, but a soul, not unlike my own, which Christ valued so highly He died for us while we were yet sinners. I had hoped a pivotal moment like that would’ve signaled the end of the wilderness. But it didn’t. As of today, I’m still there, unsure of when it will end. But it doesn’t seem as bleak now. You see, just like the Israelites, I’m not alone here. In fact, I never have been. God has always been with me and taken care of my family. His Word says He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. And never is longer than I’ll ever be in this wilderness. JUNE 2015

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

KERRI WILSON

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Christian is a disciple of Christ. A disciple of Christ is a follower of Christ’s teachings. Based on what it means to be a Christian disciple, is it possible to be a successful Christian from a practical sense? It depends on how the word practical is being used. A person who practices the act of Christianity could be called a practical Christian. But someone who only lives life according to what seems practical or ordinary will likely find Christian living very difficult. I’ve been told I sometimes seem to make decisions based on blind faith without considering reality. I have also been told I can be too analytical. After some consideration, I have come to realize both of these statements describe me accurately. I do tend to operate on both blind faith and over-analytical thinking. I have found when I channel these aspects of my personality correctly I end up with a balanced perspective. Hebrews 11:1 explains, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In other words, faith is the foundation of what I trust will happen and the proof of what I am unable to see with my physical eyes. Matthew 6:26 says, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Verse 28 further instructs, “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.” In other words, I am supposed to think meticulously about God’s willingness and ability to take care of birds and flowers and to understand His willingness and ability to take care of me. So in terms of how Hebrews defines faith, my faith is blind. In terms of how Matthew instructs me to trust God’s nature, my thinking is overly analytical. While I realize conversing with me can at times be frustrating and exhausting for others, I don’t apologize. When making decisions about things that impact my life, I simply have a desire to apply God’s Word. Before I make any faith- and trust-based decision, I have to know I’ve heard from God. I would be foolish to think I could survive without God’s voice as my priority. God’s voice has loudly and clearly called for me to get out of the boat. My analytical side looks at the water and knows from logic and experience it’s impossible for me to walk on top of it and my attempt to do so will endanger my life. But my faith side considers the water, and then logic and experience tell me if Jesus has bid me to come, the impossible will be made possible and my life, as I’ve known it, will be completely over. As long as my act of faith and trust is based on my obedience to His call, I’ll walk on the water, and my life will be forever changed. Stepping out of the boat is never a practical decision, and staying inside the boat is logical only if that is where God told me to stay. My experience, however, with crossing over to another place in God has never included my staying in the boat; it has always required me to experience the impossible. I believe my biggest display of faith in God’s call to purpose will always be when I’ve analyzed the danger,

counted the cost, am completely aware of how impractical it is, and then step out anyway. I’m not interested in living a practical life anymore. If I was expected to do so, I should have never been allowed outside of the boat. I can choose to live according to man’s reality or God’s reality. When I live according to man’s reality, I am influenced by what I see with physical eyes. But when I live according to God’s reality, I am influenced by what I see with spiritual eyes. I’ve often heard my husband say the supernatural supersedes the natural. God’s Word instructs me to walk by faith, not sight. It explains God’s ways are not my ways. It also encourages me to bind and loose on Earth what has already been bound and loosed in Heaven. Jesus instructs me to pray for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done here in my world as it has already been done in Heaven. These principles are not derived from enticing words from man’s wisdom; they are life-applicable biblical principles. So when do I apply them? Are they only applicable for spiritual warfare? What is spiritual warfare? Although it is certainly not limited to this, spiritual warfare includes the natural realm’s attempt to usurp the supernatural realm. Therefore, to live victoriously, I have to apply these principles at the most basic level of my daily living. While I am neither encouraging positive mental attitudes nor name-it-andclaim-it attitudes, I am advocating that living out these principles of faith is necessary to the transformation process. The Bible says I need to be transformed and my mind must be renewed. But transformation and mind renewal cannot happen unless I cast down my own imagination and any high thing that tries to rise above the knowledge of God. We hear these Scripture passages used often, and they are exciting and encouraging, but what do they mean exactly? I live every day in human reality, yet I know I have to be influenced every day by God’s reality. To do this, I have to know God’s purpose. When God makes His purpose clear to me, I can rest assured He has already bound and loosed in Heaven those things that are applicable. My job is to align my life with that purpose by making intentional decisions about physical things according to the influence of my faith in God’s purpose. I am not supposed to make decisions according to the influence of what I think is practical (my imagination) or those things that try to distract my focus away from God’s purpose (high things that try to exalt themselves). If I am going to live according to the purpose God has made clear to me, I have to overcome the influence of my world. If I am going to rise above my world, I have to apply God’s Word to my basic everyday life. I have to live by faith, not by what seems most practical. It may appear as if I have become too spiritually minded and am of no earthly good. But what good am I to my world if I am not spiritually minded? What good am I to my world if I fail to fulfill God’s purpose because I can’t get past practical living? If I am going to be a disciple of Christ, go and make disciples for Christ, and fulfill God’s purpose, it is impractical for me to think I can be a practical and ordinary Christian.

Kerri Wilson is a freelance writer and editor and lives with her husband, Eugene, in Dallas, Texas.

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

It’s Real DON MARTIN

he story behind the song “It’s Real” has a history hidden in the early twentieth century. However, we do know where the song was born, some of the religious background of the author, and many Apostolic Pentecostals are familiar with it. The narrative song tells its own story.

THE SONG Verse 1

When first I heard of Pentecost, I thought it was a shame For such unholy teaching to be taught in Jesus’ name. They said it was the Bible and I didn’t want to doubt So I went down to see them just to see them sing and shout.

Verse 2

 ome were shouting, “Hallelujah!” Some were prostrate S on the floor. Some were dancing in the Spirit from the pulpit to the door. Some were shaking, some were quaking, as one by one they fell. And when I saw that brother shout, I thought he had a spell.

Verse 3

 o I stayed a little longer wondering what my folks S would say

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For I knew they did not like it in this Pentecostal way For just a day or two ago, I heard my daddy say That when he got religion he didn’t act that way.

Verse 4

So I started to the altar with a hunger in my soul I didn’t care who saw me for the Spirit made me go. I raised my hands toward Heaven and let God have His way And praise the Lord He filled me in this Pentecostal Way!

CHORUS

It’s real! It’s real! I know it’s real! This Pentecostal blessing and I know I know it’s real! It’s real! It’s real! I know it’s real! This Pentecostal blessing and I know I know it’s real!

The Story

The author lived during the early part of the century (1900-1930s) when the Pentecostals were passionately preaching Acts 2:38; 8:16, 17; 10:44-46; and 19:2-6. The revival was a Jesus Name Pentecostal revival in Arkansas because baptism was being taught “in Jesus’ name.” It had to be quite a well-known baptismal teaching because this outsider did understand what was being taught and felt it was “unholy teaching in Jesus’ name.” The worship was truly Pentecostal—singing, shouting, dancing in the Spirit, falling out in the Spirit, and so on. The author’s parents, denoting the author was a younger person, were against these Pentecostals, and any attendance to


this meeting was strictly forbidden. However, the inquisitiveness of the youthful author led to this “holy roller,” Oneness Pentecostal brush arbor revival just to see them “sing and shout.” The father of the author, a few days before, had given his strong assessment that he knew this was not biblical “religion” because he certainly did not act as these Pentecostals did. As anyone who knows what the drawing of the Lord does to a person, the author began to feel the pull of the Spirit of God to an altar of repentance. This heavenly hunger did not stop the author from going to the Pentecostal altar and soon the author’s hands were raised in surrender to the Lord and he personally experienced speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance and was baptized in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:4, 38).

THE MAN, C. A. NELSON

I remember playing the piano for the late Clarence Audrey “C. A.” Nelson (1908-1995) who was from Claremore, Oklahoma. Nelson’s biography includes the reference to me playing for him to sing in 1979 at Apostolic Bible Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota. S. G. Norris, president of ABI, always enjoyed him singing this song. Nelson would tease me and say loud enough for everyone to hear, “Play it in the key of G for Jesus.” He really sang it in the key of C. If he were alive today, he would get on my case for telling his middle name. However, his son and daughter agree with me: God used a boy named Audrey from Arkansas to become an awesome Okie for the Lord. He served the Oklahoma District UPCI as their district superintendent for twenty years (1949-1955, 1961-1975). Here is an excerpt from the book, “The Story of C. A. Nelson: It’s Real, by Mary Wallace. You want to know the truth? This is the only song I know without looking in a book. So you see, I don’t make a living singing. Amen! This song was written by a Church of Christ lady when she was a young lady a little ways from Zack, Arkansas. Now Zack was so far back in the woods, I don’t know how they ever found it. I thought maybe they had followed an outlaw in there and established a little town named Zack. It is not too far from Harrison. It was under a brush arbor—first time the Pentecostal experience had ever come to that part of the country. Her whole family, as well as herself, belonged to the Church of Christ … There [weren’t] as many of us, the music wasn’t as good, the singing wasn’t as beautiful, but they sang anyway. So, she thought it over and under threats of excommunication from her family, her need was greater than the circumstances around and God baptized her with the Holy Ghost. So, she wrote this song. There was never any printed music with this song that I know of. I sing it in the key of C. Now who’s going to help me? Alright, Brother Martin, you’re over there… they tell me it’s original. It’s just like she sang it. Not as

well, of course, but the tune and the words are yet the same and that happened many, many moons ago. But there are some things that live on. Rev. Nelson was a true example of this song. He was preaching for Claiborne Price “C. P.” Williams in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1934, when the late Sam Grisham would recount as told by Mary Wallace: This may sound almost like a “believe it or not” tale. How could he [Rev. Nelson] preach like that without the Holy Ghost? Then one night it happened. I was sitting on the floor at the altar right behind Brother Nelson, praying for and with him, when God did indeed baptize him with the Holy Ghost.” Though Rev. Nelson did not write this Arkansas song, he made it famous by singing it wherever he went. Where was Zack, Arkansas? Zack, Searcy County, Arkansas, is north about four miles of Marshall, Arkansas on Highway 419 and southeast of Harrison, Arkansas. Zack, according to Arkansas historian, Orville J. McInturff, was a small town built in 1902 when the Missouri and North Arkansas railroads made it a shipping point. Today, it is an unincorporated community with very few reminders of its former glory. In the heart of Apostolic Pentecostals the song “It’s Real” tells the story about the best experience anyone could imagine. If your religious experience has not included the “real” experience of repentance, baptism in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and receiving the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking with tongues, do not knock it until you have tried it. I will tell you, “I know, I know it’s real!” C. A. Nelson sang this song on his seventy-fifth birthday October 1, 1983, at the Anaheim, California, Scan here for video UPCI General Conference. Below are the other verses that make for a total of ten. They are not in the original narrative or in chronological order with the other four.

Verse 5

Oh, how well do I remember how I doubted day by day, For I did not know for certain that my sins were washed away; When the Spirit tried to tell me, I would not the truth receive; I endeavored to be happy, and to make myself believe.

Verse 6

 hen the truth came close and searching, all my joy W would disappear, JUNE 2015

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For I did not have the witness of the Spirit bright and clear; If at times the coming judgment would appear before my mind, Oh, it made me so uneasy, for God’s smile I could not find.

Verse 7

 hen the Lord sent faithful servants who would dare to W preach the truth, How my heart did so condemn me as the Spirit gave re proof! Satan said at once, “Twill ruin you to now confess your state; Keep on working and professing, and you’ll enter heav en’s gate.”

Verse 8

 ut at last I tired of living such a life of fear and doubt, For B I wanted God to give me something I would know about, So the truth would make me happy and the light would clearly shine, And the Spirit give assurance that I’m His and He is mine.

Verse 9

 o I prayed to God in earnest, and not caring what folks S said;

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I was hungry for the blessing; my poor soul, it must be fed; Then at last by faith I touched Him, and, like sparks from smitten steel, Just so quick salvation reached me, oh, bless God, I know it’s real!

Verse 10

 ome folks don’t like our shouting, they think that it’s S all wrong. They tell us that our preacher speaks some things that are too strong. They’re sure that up in heaven twill be a quiet place, But folks it will be far different when they see our Savior’s face!

Chorus 2

But it’s real, it’s real; oh, I know it’s real; Praise God, the doubts are settled, for I know, I know it’s real!

Don Martin is pastor of the Metro Pentecostal Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and First Pentecostal Church, Collinsville, Oklahoma. He is the Global Missions director for the Oklahoma District UPCI.


WORLDLINE BY BRUCE HOWELL

Mediator esus’ role as mediator is the key to understanding His identity. Whenever the New Testament makes a distinction between God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, His work as mediator is the context. Paul makes it plain: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5). “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). God coming in flesh made mediation possible. The power of God has been released in the world through the work of Jesus. Because He is still at work in the world today, people see His power revealed through His ambassadors around the world. Following are accounts of recent activity by our Mediator working through His ambassadors. Philip and Twyla Tolstad wrote to me from Uganda, “The 2015 General Conference was testified to be the very best and greatest! Not to slight the previous years, but it should be that each year should be the best. Fifty-nine received the Holy Ghost (many pastors and pastors’ wives were in the number) and twenty-four were baptized in Jesus’ name, nine of them pastors who have joined our national church. Each night was a highlight as there was great worship, singing, praising, and lifting up the name of Jesus. Our Apostolic Bible College held its graduation, and nine students graduated from the Certificate Level of classes. The churches of Uganda are seeing a great growth and a special move of the Holy Ghost. God is confirming His power with signs and wonders. Many new churches are being started each month, and at this time we are in the building programs of four church buildings.”

Robert and Gayle Frizzell wrote from the Asia region, “On Sunday morning a lady was sitting on a chair outside of the church hall. I asked if she was okay, and she replied that she was sick with a fever. I laid hands on her, prayed, the fever instantly departed, and the young lady was healed of all her illnesses. Anywhere, anytime, our Lord Jesus is present.” Glory to God! Steve and Danita Drost wrote to me from Mexico, “The church I pastor last month baptized seven and four were filled with the Holy Ghost! I just finished sending out the fellowship cards of our ministerial body, and there are currently 1,237 ministers and deacons. I have been traveling extensively throughout Mexico since the beginning of the year to the twenty-three districts to chair the business meetings in each. We are excited about what God is doing!” Robert and Jerolyn Kelley wrote from Scotland, “We were privileged to go and be with one of our Bible school graduates recently. Sam Ackah is pastoring in Geneva, Switzerland. We rejoice in what God is doing in that nation. After decades of the UPC trying to start something there, there are now four groups meeting. Pastor Sam is central to all this, and it is very gratifying to see.” David and Kathy Brott wrote from the Pacific islands, “I wanted to give you an update on our new church plant in Chuuk, a Federated State of Micronesia. Months ago we developed a three-year plan for the establishing of this church. Once per month we are sending in a presbyter from Micronesia and his assistant to teach doctrine and train leaders. It has been building very successfully, and here is our report from

Chuuk: The total number of people attending the services fluctuates from twenty-four to forty-eight. There is a total of eighteen baptized in Jesus’ name. Eight have received the Holy Ghost. We are rejoicing!” The Lonnie J. and Damarys Burton family is one of the missionary families that was able to head back to their field as a direct result of the I AM GLOBAL offering at the 2014 Global Missions service at General Conference. The final hurdle for them was waiting on Damarys’ new passport, and they wrote to me on their way back to Venezuela, “I am glad to inform you all that my wife has received her passport.” Meanwhile, another missionary couple to South America, Joey and Cristina Bir, wrote from their deputation as they prepared to return to Paraguay, “We preached in Lawrence, Indiana, at Pastor Albino Quiñones’ church, and three received the Holy Ghost. In Louisiana, Pastor Lenford Wittaker and the Pentecostals of Crowley donated five thousand dollars for our property in Encarnacion. This was an answer to prayer. That Sunday night we preached a bilingual revival service in Holden, and a young man received the Holy Ghost.” All I can say is amen! Bruce Howell is the general director of Global Missions.

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

IN THE

LIVING

REAL J. R. ENSEY

was saved by faith that embraced obedience to the Apostolic gospel. I try to live and walk by faith (II Corinthians 5:7)—a faith in real time. One can walk by faith and yet be a realist, as the theme of this issue suggests. In the context of divine healing, that simply means we understand that not all of our prayers will be answered with a “Yes, here it is.” In our church we regularly see miracles of healing, but we also make hospital visits and conduct funerals. We still 16

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WORLD live in the real world where people get sick and die. That is not an expression of doubt, or the failure of God to answer prayer. It is an acknowledgment of reality, even for God’s people. There is little doubt that the perfect will of God is to eventually eradicate all sickness and death, but will they be eradicated before sin is finally eliminated? By sin they were introduced into the human family and will be part of it until “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21). Not every time we pray for physical healing as James


instructed us (5:14) do we receive healing. We could spend countless hours trying to figure out why God chooses to heal this person but not that one. Such questioning invites frustration and bitterness. If we leave answers—whether positive or negative—in God’s hands, we can simply walk with Him in faith because we trust Him. He has always confirmed His trustworthiness. We often pray in ignorance (Romans 8:26; James 4:3), not even knowing what the real problem is or how we should pray. To pray in the Spirit (Romans 8:26) allows us to communicate on a deeper level of commitment and trust. Even then real answers beyond “Trust Me” or “My grace is sufficient” elude us. Let me suggest three ways of thinking about divine healing. We should act on what we know. We know Jesus heals. It has happened to me and to my family. We have seen others receive complete healing—often instantaneously but sometimes over a protracted period. We have to leave the details up to Him. He healed sickness and disease in the Old Testament era (Numbers 21:8; II Kings 5:1-14; 20:1-7). He healed during His earthly ministry (Matthew 12:10; Luke 17:12-15). Instances of healing pepper the Book of Acts (Acts 3:1-11; 14:8-10; 28:8). There are also times when God did not choose to heal (Galatians 4:13, 14; II Timothy 4:20). There is no clear-cut systematic theology of divine healing expressed in the Bible. We are merely told to pray for the sick and the Lord would raise them up (James 5:14-15). To pray is our part; to “raise them up” is God’s part. Obedience to that command coupled with faith in the compassion and power of God has produced testimonies of healing that have involved everything from headaches to hepatitis and from gout to glaucoma. Do what He said to do and leave the results up to Him. Don’t put all of your faith eggs in one basket. Some folks seem to use up all their faith on one situation. If God doesn’t come through at that point, their faith falters and questions abound: Does God really care? Was my faith too weak? Is there a sin that is blocking God’s action? When such questions don’t get answers, we can become discouraged and lose faith in His Word. If God healed us every time we pray, we would be into divine health rather than divine healing. Divine health awaits the next age (Revelation 21:4). Have faith in the divine Healer rather than divine healing. Use faith first for embracing salvation. It is faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ that brings deliverance from sin. Keep in mind that we may need more faith down the road for dire circumstances not involving physical healing. Other crises larger than a back strain or a skin rash may be lurking in the future. We may have to give our heads as the Syrian, Iraqi, and Egyptian Christians are doing now. Will our faith in God and His Word be sufficient then? Save some faith for the larger demands that could be just ahead. Never let an experience where healing didn’t come to cause a breakdown of confidence in God and His Word.

There is no “secret key” to divine healing. God does not always use the same method or means to perform healings. Some who have majored in divine healing ministries in the past have boasted of discovering a heretofore unknown “key” to obtain healing. We will never have God figured out so that we always know which buttons to push to make Him do our bidding. People have used faith formulas, special oils, strange anointings, touching where the pain is, saying certain words or phrases as though some password might open the windows of Heaven. Our faith should be in Jesus alone rather than some formula for coercing God to do our will. Faith in keys and mental self-manipulation will fail us in the end. God is not an ATM machine. He will never surrender His sovereignty to any man or mantra. We should not expect God to move in the same way every time. He is full of surprises. Let God be sovereign; let Him be God. I have seen God heal when faith was high, and also when faith was low. We have seen modern prayer warriors, apostles and prophets, missionaries and evangelists, pastors and leaders of every stripe pray for a sick person and he/she not be healed. At other times we have seen God respond to the simple prayer of a small child. Forget fail-safe means and esoteric methods—they are conjured up by men. Do what God commanded and then trust Him. If we were God, we would heal everybody and immediately eliminate the scourge of pain and death. But we have neither the wisdom nor the authority to play God. Only God knows what is needed in every case. He does all things wisely and well. Don’t be offended in the way God chooses to perform His will (Matthew 11:6). He is in charge, not us. Rest your faith in His will. Trust is a dimension beyond faith. When faith doesn’t deliver, trust will sustain us. Faith expects; trust accepts. Faith helps produce change; trust submits to unchanged conditions. Faith is believing; trust is knowing. The wife of a dear friend was stricken with cancer and facing death. Since she was well known, virtually everyone in the fellowship was praying for her. With her faith firmly in God even when healing didn’t come, she boldly declared, “I may have cancer but cancer doesn’t have me!” She passed this life with her faith firmly in God. Death holds no fear for the faithful—they know it is merely a vehicle to transport us to the other side. Until then, let’s be faithful and trusting as we live in the real world. J. R. Ensey is the associate pastor of Living Way Church in Conroe, Texas. He is the author of a book on divine healing titled Faith in the Furnace.

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The Single Parent DAV I D M CC U R R AC H

rowing up we all have images of how we think life is going to be. We dream of finding that “special someone,” working for the Lord, getting a good job, having a family, and growing old with our children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, more often than not life throws us a curve ball and the whole game changes. For me that happened twelve years ago when I found myself trying to pastor a church full time by 18

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myself while raising my two precious little girls, four and ten years old. I vividly remember sitting alone, scared, sad, and confused with tears running down my face asking God why. As I sat there waiting for Him to give me some insight into my situation, I felt the Lord speak two simple words to my heart: “Trust Me.” This was not a lot of help. I felt I did trust Him. After all, I was a minister of the gospel, pastor of a church, and dedicated to the furtherance of the Kingdom. But time after time all the Lord would tell me was “Trust Me.” Most single parents have two huge issues to overcome.


The first is dealing with the pain that brought you to that place and the second is trying to raise functional kids when you feel dysfunctional. The challenge is to address both issues simultaneously. You need to heal; but your kids need a strong parent. It can be overwhelming and you can only succeed when you lean on God for direction and guidance.

Overcoming the Personal Challenges

Most people don’t choose to be single parents. There is usually a traumatic event that tears the family apart. It could be from death or from sin. Either leaves a gaping hole in your heart that must be repaired. The Bible gives us several ways to become healed from the situation and, more important, to become whole again. Change your focus. Focus is a very powerful thing; it can lift you up or drag you down. The great thing about focus is that it is within our power. The Lord commanded that we should focus on the good things even when we are surrounded by bad circumstances. This is shown in the story of Peter walking on the water in the midst of the storm (Matthew 14:22-33). When Peter was distracted by the conditions around him and subsequently lost his focus on Jesus, he began to sink within the turmoil. However, when his focus changed back to the Lord and not the situation, he rose above it. My kids needed to see me walking victoriously through the storm that was in my life. I had to find a way to help myself refocus whenever I became distracted by the situation. I went to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to give me the ability to be the example my kids needed. Philippians 4:8-9 came to mind. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. I immediately sat down with a pen and piece of paper and began to list all of the blessings in my life. About fifteen minutes later I had a list of blessings that covered one side of the paper. I went to my printer and made several copies and placed them all over the house. Anytime that I felt my focus was changing to my situation, and off of the God of my situation, I immediately dropped everything, found the closest list, and began to read it aloud. The more I read, the more my focus moved back to where it needed to be and I was able to be the example my kids needed. This combined with prayer, fasting, and surrounding myself with good, encouraging friends allowed me to start down the road of healing.

Raising Well Balanced and Functional Kids

I wish there was a standard set of rules that say if you do this and that your kids will heal, overcome, and live in victory. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. When a family suffers

the loss of a parent or a division because of divorce the lives of the kids are impacted as much as that of the adults. I often hear adults say, “Kids bounce back easier than adults” or “My kids are tough.” This can be true, but it won’t happen by accident. As a single parent, we have to create an environment that presents every opportunity for God to touch and move on our kids. Here are the top three environments that I had to provide for my girls.

Look Forward, not Backward.

Because most single parents are hurting they tend to move through life looking backward, headed in the right direction but constantly looking at where they came from. This often causes a person to live in the past rather than in the present. Our kids will look wherever we look. Even though my flesh wanted me to lament what I had lost, I chose instead to look ahead at the land to which God was bringing us (Genesis 8:15-22).

Focus on Your Kids.

Research shows that most people who become single get remarried within a year. Loneliness can be a formidable enemy. However, I quickly realized that I had to choose my kids and my walk with the Lord and trust that He would guide my steps. For five years everything I did was focused on those two things. My kids were able to heal because I made them my priority and gave them time (Proverbs 3:5).

Stand Strong in Your Faith.

Losing a spouse can lead to confusion, sadness, and doubt. This is particularly true when the situation involves divorce. In these situations, faith becomes increasingly important. This is the time you have to stand stronger than you ever have before. The choices you make can dramatically impact your kids. You need to see the Word come alive in your life and witness how real God can be in the midst of the storm (Matthew 6:33). Ultimately I was not the world’s most perfect single parent. I made a lot of mistakes and lost my focus from time to time. But with the help and grace of God, I have two incredible daughters today who are twenty-one and fourteen years old and are living dedicated and victorious lives for the Lord. Remember that you are not alone! “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). David McCurrach is a licensed minister with the United Pentecostal Church Internnational and a full-time evangelist. Along with his wife, Jennifer, they have established Critical Care Ministry to help congregations, church leadership, and individuals through preaching, counseling, teaching, and training. JUNE 2015

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

JUSTIN R. CRAUN

s a young man in middle school I was uncertain of my direction in life. I was searching for something positive because at home my mother was battling sickness and addiction, my father was working several jobs, and my younger brother was struggling with our family’s circumstances. In spite of the challenging home situation my father faithfully carried us to church, where I would begin my journey with God. Although this church was not founded on Apostolic doctrine, I did obtain an understanding of sin, the consequences, and the need for water baptism. Following my eighth grade football season one of my coaches asked a former high school All-American offensive lineman, who was currently playing for Texas A&M, to talk with me about football and life. As we walked the halls talking, I was inspired, my vision grew, and I found a sense of direction and purpose. When I started high school I was focused on three things: (1) to make the varsity football team as a sophomore, (2) to become an All-American offensive lineman, and (3) to receive a full athletic scholarship to play for a major Division I university. Everything I did was centered on achieving these goals. I would pray often, asking God for His help, favor, and protection. He knew my fears, struggles, desires, and that I wanted to do the right thing. I was far from perfect but desired to live right and be an example to others. During the middle of my sophomore season, our athletic director and head varsity football coach called me into his office for a meeting. He said I was playing well and they were ready to elevate me to the varsity team. I would start the 20

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upcoming Friday night on the offensive line at right guard. The announcement brought extreme excitement and fear all at the same time. My future vision of playing football seemed more realistic, yet I recognized I had underdog status as the youngest of my peers. From the first day at right guard as a sophomore on the varsity team, I started every game at the same position until the end of my senior season. Following my junior season, I was selected to the AllDistrict and All-State teams in the state of Texas. During the off season I began receiving letters daily from different colleges and universities that wanted me to play for them after graduation. I was excited about my senior season and consistently prayed I would not get hurt. After all, this was my way to achieve and do something great with my life. Unfortunately, that season we did not win a single game; our record was 0-10. In spite of the disappointing season, I was still selected to the All-District, All-Dallas/Fort Worth Area, All-State, and All-American teams. Once my senior season was over, I began making official visits to different colleges to see where I would sign my letter of intent. Since athletes are only allowed five official visits, I found this process to be extremely difficult because I had full scholarship opportunities from nearly every Division I university. I visited Oregon, Rice, and, finally, the University of Iowa. Iowa head coach, Hayden Fry, impressed me because, when he flew in to visit with me, he went to see my mother in the hospital before driving to the high school. His compassion and character were attractive. I signed with the University of Iowa with the aspiration of playing next in the NFL. College football was a totally different level of athleticism, but we all worked hard and shared many of the same stories and experiences. In spite of my investments in the


game, even moving up the depth chart to number two behind a future NFL star in my second season at Iowa, I chose to leave the team for personal reasons. For the next five months I worked and helped my family, but was quickly discouraged because I could not change our family situation. Then one afternoon I received a phone call from Missouri State University (MSU) offering me a full football scholarship to come and play for them. Recognizing that I could not change my home situation, I enrolled at MSU in the spring of 1998 and started at right tackle for the Bears my sophomore and junior seasons, earning accolades and recognition along the way. During this time I knew I was not living right, so I prayed constantly for God to forgive me of my sins and to keep me from injury. I visited different churches while in Missouri, but I was never consistent or committed. Through hard work, commitment, and sacrifice I developed into a 6’5” 320 pound offensive lineman who could bench press 495 pounds, squat over 650 pounds, and run the 40-yard dash in 5.2 seconds. At the beginning of two-a-day camp my senior season I was told that I was a third round pick in the upcoming NFL draft according to general manager projections. But the next morning everything changed when I blew out my knee in the most bizarre way: my cleat got locked in a sprinkler hole in the field. My deepest fear had become a reality. I was so angry I rebelled against everything and eventually found myself in the darkest places searching for purpose for years to follow. During this time I met my wife and we began our family. Quickly, our marriage was challenged with the sudden passing of my mother, financial strains, and substance abuse. One day, at the end of my road, I cried out to God for help and immediately things began to change. Two months later,

on December 31, 2004, I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and shortly after was baptized in Jesus’ name. Six months later I felt a calling to ministry. One year later the Lord led my family and me to Laurel, Mississippi, where we served in children’s ministry and I was afforded opportunities to minister under Pastor Donald Moore. Following our time in Mississippi we felt the Lord redirecting us back to Texas. My family quickly connected with North Cities UPC, pastored by D. G. Hargrove, and submitted to God’s growth and development process for ministry. Since joining North Cities in 2007, my wife and I graduated from Purpose Institute with a bachelor’s in Ministerial Studies, and we have served in multiple ministry capacities, leading several to the new-birth experience. In 2014, I was asked to serve as associate pastor at North Cities—McKinney campus and also graduated with a doctorate in Business Administration with an emphasis in leadership development programs. Recently, I was approved for ordination. What was once my greatest fear that became my reality—being injured and missing my dream of playing in the NFL—became my greatest victory. Jesus turned my sorrow into dancing and clothed me with joy. (See Psalm 30:11.) One of the greatest miracles is when we allow God to intervene in our life and redirect our path to fulfill His purpose. God is no respecter of persons, and He desires to use all of us to advance His kingdom. Justin R. Craun is an ordained minister and serves as associate pastor at North Cities— McKinney campus. He and his wife, Kellen, have two wonderful children, Jack and Ivy, and reside in McKinney, Texas.

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

RACHEL ZEHM

ot married,” “available,” “not taken,” “unattached,” and on and on the list could go. “Single”: According to the US Census Bureau, as of two years ago, 105 million of 316.5 million Americans considered themselves single. That’s 44 22

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percent of all adults age eighteen and older. Our society bears witness that many of the 105 million have chosen lifestyles in blatant opposition to God’s commandment for lifestyle. However, I am writing specifically for those who are still striving to please God, no matter what life has or has not brought your way. I am writing mostly to the “never married,” the innocent “divorcee,” and the “widowed.” Maybe you are perfectly con-


tent being single; maybe you aren’t. If you fall in this latter category, I want to encourage you from one single to another. Rather than merely surviving the process, thrive in it, knowing God has a perfect plan regardless of what the future holds. The following are five things I have learned in my own experience as a single that have helped me to thrive rather than simply survive. I pray they will benefit you as well.

Realize Marriage Is not a Cure-all.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” There is a void inside every man that only a relationship with God can fill, not another human being. God made us this way. Many people have a “two halves will make a whole” mentality when it comes to marriage. In marriage two halves do not make a whole; they make for a broken marriage. The best recipe for a healthy marriage is two people that already have established their own personal identities in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10 states, “For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Married or single, you are complete in Christ. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” A help meet is a helper or supporter suitable for the husband. In essence, marriage is a commitment to bear each other’s burdens. Sometimes this means one’s load will feel lighter; other times, it will feel heavier. A godly marriage is indeed a blessing, but only Christ can make a person whole.

Meditate on God’s Word.

Anytime I have struggled in any area of life I have learned that meditating on God’s Word brings strength. Scripture talks repeatedly of meditating on God’s law day and night (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2). The psalmist spoke of meditating on God and His Word throughout the night (Psalm 63:6; 119:148). Sometimes David meditated specifically on the great things God had done (Psalm 77:12). In the Bible the word used for meditate sometimes literally does mean “meditate,” but it also can mean “to speak,” “to imagine,” or even to “plot” (blueletterbible.org). Meditate on God’s Word. Speak it. Form a clear image in your mind of His promises. And whatever He’s promised, know that you can plan on it. Meditating on God’s Word can help one overcome a sinful lifestyle. It can encourage the discouraged. It can restore sight to those who have become spiritually blind. It can do all this and more. Get in God’s Word and get His Word in you. One specific passage I would highly recommend for singles, and anyone else, to memorize and meditate on is Philippians 4:6-8: Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which

passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Know God’s Timing Is Perfect.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. . . . He hath made everything beautiful in his time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11). According to Acts 16, at first the Holy Ghost would not allow Paul and those traveling with him to preach the Word in Asia or Bithynia. In fact, shortly after, God gave Paul a vision showing them where He really did want them to go at that time, which was Macedonia. Eventually though we know from Acts 19:10 that all of Asia was indeed evangelized. You see, it was always God’s will for Asia to be reached, but the specific time referenced in Acts 16 was apparently the opportune time for Macedonia to be reached. God’s timing does not always make sense to us, but it is perfect, and it is always for a reason. Something may not be God’s will at this moment, but it may be at a later time. God is love and He is also all knowing. Trust His timing. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Grow where You Are Planted.

I have had friends (who are now married) who could have wasted their time as singles bemoaning the fact that they still hadn’t found that “right person”; but instead they thrived, growing established ministries and developing new ones. They understood that God’s timing is perfect. I personally have had experience both bemoaning and thriving, and the main thing I have concluded is that negativity helps no one—myself or anyone else. I have never found joy bemoaning anything. My joy has been found in ministering to others, using the talents, gifts, resources, and time God has given me for a greater purpose. Time is a much more precious commodity than cash. Don’t waste it. Give it to things with eternal value. Don’t wait until you say “I do” to do something for Christ. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Freely give your talents and gifts to God, all the while realizing that you may still have ones you are not even aware of yet. So be open and always continue to grow where you are planted.

Trust God.

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them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). Know this: God will not withhold anything that is good for you. This verse is not referring to what you think is a “good thing”; it is referring to what God knows is a “good thing.” The heart is deceitful, therefore these two sometimes vary from each other. Also, note that the psalmist made this observation about those who “walk uprightly.” God’s blessings are promised only to His people. Romans 8:28 also shares a similar proclamation: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Sometimes in prayer I tell God, “I trust You,” because I believe He likes to hear it. Our trust is one of the greatest things we can give someone. When we as humans know someone truly trusts us, it is a great feeling that can also provoke in us a great sense of responsibility. On the flip side, to feel that someone does not trust us is quite insulting, especially if we are truly a trustworthy person. If lack of trust feels like an attack on our character as humans, how do you think God feels when we act and make decisions as if we don’t trust Him?

When we quit trusting God and try to do things our own way, we create a recipe for disaster and lose out with God. When we honor Him, talk to, listen to, and obey Him, we can trust He will send whatever is best for us our way in His perfect timing. Hebrews 11:6 tells us God “is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Regardless of what the future holds, whether you will be “single” or “taken,” God has a plan for your future and that plan is good. Trust Him, all the while thriving in the process. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV). Rachel Zehm is a licensed minister with the United Pentecostal Church International and has served as an Associate in Missions to Europe three years. She now lives in her hometown of Rogers, Arkansas, and is a member of The Pentecostals of Northwest Arkansas, pastored by Russell Hamby.

Teacher

of the Month Kelsie Wakeham is an outstanding young lady who truly loves children. Her passion for teaching can be seen in her classroom decorations. In addition to her full-time job, she volunteers at a local hospital helping with children. She regularly brings children to church whose parents do not attend our church. Every time I see Kelsie she either has a child in her arms or walking by her side. Kelsie teaches ages four and five at Palace of Praise UPC in Aloha, Oregon. Her pastor is Darrel Sparks.

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MULTICULTURAL MINISTRIES BY KENT ELLIOTT

Catching the Vision of God for All Nations here is no doubt we all want to be obedient to the will of God for our lives. If you are a pastor, you also want His will for your church. All my life I have heard the saying “You know the will of God by the Word of God.” In other words, the will of God for our life and our church is already written in His Word. We don’t have to ponder about His will because this “will of His Word” is the unchangeable, unmovable, and unshakable truth that stands the test of time. Therefore, anything that contradicts it is not part of His plan and will for our life and ministry. I’m sure you’re asking yourself what all of this has to do with having different cultures in our church. Everything! God wants us to catch His vision for reaching a diverse population and establishing a multicultural church. The church I pastor, Faith Tabernacle in Manchester, Connecticut, has many cultures. I often say, “We’re looking to start a Caucasian work soon.” This causes a great chuckle throughout our congregation because my family and I are in the minority. This doesn’t concern me. Instead, it makes me excited! Why? Because this is the will of God for His church! This doesn’t make my congregation special or better than any other; however, I believe we are carrying out His will every time we create an atmosphere where people of all cultures feel welcome. We have a diversity of voices and skin tones fitly woven together greeting at our front doors, singing in the choir, and leading in other areas of ministry, all of which demonstrates to visitors that all are welcome. The story of Peter and Cornelius told in Acts 10, in which Cornelius, the

very first Gentile to receive the Holy Ghost, is one of the key examples that demonstrates the importance of crossing the bridge and embracing the world of diversity. To some, it is an easy bridge to cross; for others, maybe a little bit more difficult. It is very clear that Peter didn’t get it the first or the second time when God was trying to reveal to him His love for those outside of the Jewish culture. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven (Acts 10:13-16). It took three times before the great apostle Peter opened his will to God’s will. He finally got it. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him (emphasis added) (Acts 10:34-35). This was a great revelation for Peter to know that every nation was eligible to receive the gospel. He didn’t allow his own will to supersede God’s will. Not only did Peter perceive it, but he also spoke it for all to hear. The result? While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them

which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:44-45). I believe there is a great harvest waiting for all of our churches and pastors who will perceive and speak like Peter with boldness to the “nations” surrounding our churches, neighborhoods, and workplaces. There is no doubt in my mind (because it is His will) that the global harvest is right next door to all of us. I see this on my street with less than twelve houses where there are multiple families from Vietnam, India, and the Caribbean islands. Yes, I live in North America! At Faith Tabernacle we are very intentional and bold in our celebration of cultures. Our All Nations dinner is one big event we do annually. People get a chance to bring dishes from their culture to share with others. We have found that food is always an easy way to break through cultural barriers and begin conversations. This annual event—which is about food—ends up being about developing deeper relationships across all cultures. The result is a stronger church that is ready to reach more cultures. My prayer is that God would speak to all of us as He did to Peter. I pray that He will give us an undeniable vision to reach every nation and culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ. May we all catch God’s vision of the harvest! Kent Elliott is the senior pastor of Faith Tabernacle in Manchester, Connecticut.

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

See Christ in Your Crisis J AY C A R N E Y

t is easy to be faithful in the good times. As Christians we have trained ourselves to wear a smile and tell everyone how good the Lord is. I like to say, “All is well!” However, the strength of our faith is revealed when the storms come. When the test of our faith comes, how we react will ultimately determine our ability to go to the next level in our walk with God. It is tempting in the midst of a crisis to question God and curse the adversity that seems to be trying to destroy us. I wish I had the answer to the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The reality of the situation is that there is a reason for the season. The crisis we face is nothing more than an opportunity for us to grow. As a businessman I have prayed many times for God to increase my capacity and bless my efforts to grow our business, only to see a crisis arise. How could God do this to me? Didn’t He hear me asking for His blessing? It may be that you have experienced the death of a loved one, an unjust heartbreak, sickness, divorce, or betrayal by friends or family, but we all get to a place of asking why. Maybe you can identify with this scenario. Possibly you have called out to God and expected the rain of blessings only to be met with the showers of adversity and crisis. I want to tell you: Don’t curse your crisis but try to see Christ in your crisis! It may take you exactly where you need to go. Joseph had a dream of becoming a ruler, yet he was sold into slavery and thrown on a false charge into prison where he languished and seemed to be forgotten. The Bible also tells us that when Moses died, Joshua was appointed the new leader. 26

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Think about this with me: Moses led the people across the desert, and then Joshua led them into the Promised Land. Did Joshua get the easy part? The Bible says that when the Israelites entered the Promised Land, there were giants in the land. Even in the Promised Land there were problems! Why does the promise always seem to involve problems? God does this because He is building our faith and character. When we finally come to a place where the difficulties become so bad, where we’ve reached our limit, where we’ve tried everything and exhausted all options, it is then God begins a mighty work through us. The Scripture tells us that we should “greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:67, NKJV). Even though it may be tempting to curse the crisis we are facing, we need to realize God created us and called us with the storm in mind. God is a God of seasons. While He promises to protect us, He isn’t as concerned with our comfort as He is our character. In Acts chapters 27 and 28 we find the apostle Paul on board a ship ready to set sail to Italy. He was not the captain or first mate, just a lowly prisoner in shackles for doing the work God had called him to do. At that moment there was no evidence of external blessings. After a shipwreck, Paul was gathering wood when a snake bit him on the hand. Locals thought he must have done something wrong and this was God’s way of finishing him off.


“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV).

After it didn’t kill him they declared Paul was a god. God was not trying to kill him nor was Paul a god. This was God giving Paul an opportunity to share the gospel and lead many on the island to Christ. His crisis had a purpose. I have seen this principle at work in my own life and in our church. When financial difficulties came to our church and the company I worked for, it was hard to understand. How could we continue to reach our community when we were looking at having to cut back? I remember many times asking God in prayer why He would allow such a crisis to come to our church family. We had been faithful. We had tried to give over and above what was required, yet the storm still came. While it was hard, we made the decision that we would continue to trust God. We weren’t going to make rash decisions. We weren’t going to stop praying and believing. We were going to persist in the knowledge that God has everything under control. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NKJV). I learned that many times you can’t do anything to avoid a crisis and sometimes they aren’t always the result of something you did. God sees the big picture and will get you through whatever situation you face. Only through surviving a storm is the value of the foundation of your faith made visible to the most passive observer. The Bible is clear about this principle: Two houses were built, one on the sand and one on the rock. As a child of God, we were built with the storm in mind. We were built on the rock! Through this process of financial difficulty in our church

we witnessed the hand of God. We made it through the trial because we trusted Him even when we could not see. We were able to grow in the storm and provide encouragement to others because we stayed committed to Him. See Christ in your crisis. Any trial you face will give you an opportunity to share your testimony with others who could be facing similar situations. Problems have nothing to do with success and defeat—and success and defeat have nothing to do with your circumstances. Success and defeat are attitudes that people carry through life. If you’re going to get where God wants you to be, it’s not going to be without some obstacles. Receive in your heart now the resolve to press on, keep moving forward, and overcome whatever situation you may be facing. Yes, life is full of seasons. There is a time and a purpose for everything under Heaven. It is not for us to understand each and every circumstance we face. There are some things we will never know why until we get to the other side of this life. It is our job to trust Him and keep walking with Him. Stay faithful in the storm and God will take care of the rest. Your brightest days are ahead! Jay Carney is the director of Men’s Ministries for the Mississippi District United Pentecostal Church, a member of Woodlawn United Pentecostal Church, and a respected leader of his community in Columbia, Mississippi, where he lives with his wife, Demetra, and their children, Jayda, Jayce, and Juliana.

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How are you strategically using the 52 hours a year you have to shape your church’s spiritual growth from toddlers to elders? The average church has 52 hours in a year committed to the structured process of spiritual formation (based on one hour of teaching per week). What are we doing strategically to ensure the long-term spiritual formation of every age demographic?

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FAITH & CULTURE BY EUGENE WILSON

Forsake Not the Church cripture suggests as we move closer to the Lord’s return there will be a decline in church attendance. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” That the writer would reference the decline in church attendance with the end times is interesting, especially in light of statistics regarding church attendance in North America. America has long been known as a Christian nation. And to a large extent, it still is. However, the tide may be turning. Although, 49 percent of US adults say attending church is “somewhat” or “very” important (according to research by Barna Group), 51 percent say it is “not too” or “not at all” important. Additionally, a survey by Pew Research found 29 percent of US adults seldom or never attend worship services.

Church attendance is declining.

Mark Chaves and Shawna L. Anderson, in “Changing American Congregations,” share that statistics show the decline in church attendance. They state that in 2006 the median attendance at all weekend worship services was 90, but by 2012 median attendance had dropped to 76. Similarly, the median attendance at the main worship service in 1998 was 70 people; but by 2006 the number had dropped to 65, and in 2012 the number was only 60 people. Based on such statistics, we are headed in the wrong direction. Indeed, surveys targeting the Millennial Generation suggest the same. Only 20 percent of Millennials believe attending church is important, and 35 percent of Millen-

nials have taken an anti-church stance. Such statistics and surveys indicate things will not get better; they are likely to get worse.

Why are some people forsaking the church?

Why are some people forsaking the church? Some claim it is because of outdated styles of music or poor children’s programs or lack of a vibrant youth ministry or failure to be culturally relevant or moral decline and societal changes or church trouble—slander, gossip, moral failure in leadership—and so on. But are these things the primary reason for the decline in church attendance? Richard J. Krejcir, in an article “Statistics and Reasons for Church Decline,” states, “I do not believe people are dropping off in mass numbers because they do not like wearing ties to church, singing hymns, or the various Christian scandals.” Instead, Krejcir suggests the problem is much deeper. He claims the real problem is the lack of spiritual growth. Krejcir says, “When discipleship and instruction are ignored, He is ignored.”

He continues.

If we do not have a desire to pursue the will of God, we have to ask ourselves why and what is in the way. Mostly, if not all the time, it is the desire of the sin of pride that blocks us. Sometimes, we may not recognize sin and will perhaps rationalize it away. This happens especially when solid biblical theology or teaching is “dumbed down” and shown as OK in the media and entertainment which are at our disposal.

What can we do?

Krejcir may be correct in his as-

sessment. Surveys by Barna Group show the primary reason people attend church is to grow closer to God and to learn more about Him. However, Barna Group also found this seldom happens. According to research, fewer than two out of ten churchgoers feel close to God. Furthermore, only 6 percent claim to have learned something about God the last time they attended. Barna Group states, in “Americans Divided on the Importance of Church,” “the majority of people (61 percent) feel they did not gain any significant or new insights regarding faith when they last attended.” Thus, the proper response when addressing the forsaking of the church is not remodeling the platform (nothing wrong with remodeling the platform), or incorporating new songs (nothing wrong with new songs), or changing the pews out for chairs (nothing wrong with chairs), or any other such thing involving the altering of our methods. But the church is most relevant when it is aligned with His purpose: growing in Him—being discipled and making disciples. What can we do to properly address the forsaking of assembling ourselves together? We can determine to grow closer to God and align ourselves with our calling—making disciples. We can decide to engage ourselves entirely and completely with the things of God, determine not to go through the motions of praise and worship, and purpose to listen intently to His Word. We can make up our mind that church matters, and that it matters a great deal. Eugene Wilson is a minister, author, church leadership coach, and consultant. He and his wife live in Dallas, Texas.

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

Overcoming the Doubts . . . and the Coon Dog Adapted from Strength through Struggle BY FREDERICK E. AND VER A D. KINZIE

s we attended services at various churches, my mind was continually upon the Holy Ghost baptism. I recall one incident when I was so determined to receive the Holy Ghost that I fasted two days before we went to the last night of a revival in Mishawaka. I had never fasted before. It was hay-making time and we were very busy on the farm. I loaded the hay on our truck, then mowed it away in the barn. This was a difficult task. Since July was the hottest time of the year, our haymow was a virtual oven. When I came down I’d be wringing wet with perspiration. We worked all day like this as I fasted. I did not eat or drink either day. I was eager for church Sunday night. When the altar call was given, I went immediately, anticipating favorable results because of fasting and prayer. But I was so exhausted physically that I could not pray; my body refused to cooperate with my spiritual desire! When the altar calls were given, I’d feel such a conviction of need—a compulsion to pray—but when I got to the prayer room, I’d ask myself, “What am I doing here? Ac30

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cording to some teaching, I already have the Holy Ghost, and this is senseless to pray for what I already have!” Often, I became thoroughly disgusted with myself and vowed not to pray again. But the next time we went I’d go through the same routine. This went on throughout an entire revival. One night in early October, I became so disturbed that I knew something had to change. I read some confusing tracts at night after we returned home, emotionally upsetting myself, and going to bed confused and frustrated. I couldn’t seem to arrive at a definite conclusion about the matter. Returning home from church one night, I went to our spinet desk where I kept the tracts, took them out, and tossed them in our stove. Turning to Vera I said, “If there’s anything like the Holy Ghost in this twentieth century, and the Spirit baptism is for us, here’s a young man that’s going after this experience with all of his heart. I’m not reading these tracts anymore. I’m only going to believe what the Bible says about the Holy Ghost!” I meant every word! I took the Bible and for days read nothing but Scriptures about the Holy Ghost. I researched every reference, read every passage, studied the context of each event, and poured myself into it sincerely and honestly.


I doubt if any new convert ever did a more thorough job than I did on the subject. Finally I became convinced that the Bible definitely taught this experience with God. From my study, it appeared that the Holy Ghost was received when one really believed. Receiving the Holy Ghost was the seal of believing God, the earnest of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). Not only would a person receive the Holy Ghost but he would also know when it happened! (See Acts 10:46.) From my observation, one would speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance, and this would be the initial sign or evidence of receiving (Acts 10:46). Too, as the initial evidence, speaking in tongues was the same in essence as the gift mentioned in I Corinthians 12:13-14, but different in administration. If this were not true, then all of the occurrences of speaking in tongues recorded in the Book of Acts were out of order with Paul’s explanation in I Corinthians 14. Fully convinced, I set on a course to do what I had promised, seek the Lord with all of my heart. It took a while to undo some of the things I was falsely taught. My confusion had hindered my ability to believe. There’s no doubt this is one of the main barriers many face in seeking God. Whatever it takes to bring a person to a place of confident trust is neces-

sary to receive the Holy Ghost. A short time later at a service in Plymouth, the pastor announced a revival beginning November 15. Now I faced a problem I did not realize was bothering me. Noble, Vera’s brother, and I were interested in coon hunting. The Indiana coon hunting season opened November 15. When I heard the announcement of revival, immediately there was a conflict of interest within me. What would I do, go to church and seek the Lord or go coon hunting? What would I do about Rowdy? Paired with Soup, our black and tan hound, they had developed into good coon dogs. I kept Rowdy and had become quite attached to him. Noble was not attending church and would expect me to go hunting with him every night. What was I to do? This question plagued me as both the revival and hunting season drew near. I knew what I had to do. I could not put hunting ahead of the Lord. That would be idol worship. But was I to do with Rowdy? I decided to try and sell him before the season opened. “Lord, send someone by who will buy my dog,” I prayed. I would not advertise him for sale, and if someone came, unaware of this, and bought him, I’d know it was an answer to prayer! A few days later as I shoveled corn into our crib, a car JUNE 2015

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pulled up to our front gate. The man, a stranger to me, got out and came to where I was working. Introducing himself, he asked if I had a coon dog for sale. I started to say no, but before I got it out, my prayer leaped up at me. “Yes,” I answered hesitatingly, wondering if my prayer could be answered so soon. “What kind of a dog is he?” he asked. I gave him a brief description and asked if he wanted to see him. After talking awhile he asked, “What do you want for him?” I made up my mind that it would have to be a good price. Those were depression days, and a good coon dog sold for about $25.00. “I want $50.00 for him,” I answered. To my surprise, he reached into his pocket and pulled out five ten-dollar bills and handed them to me. “How long will you give me to try him out?” he asked. “Since the coon hunting season is beginning Sunday night at midnight,” I answered, “you should have him back by Monday morning.” “All right,” he answered. “I’ll try him out tonight and tomorrow night and will have him back by Monday morning if I decide not to keep him.” When I went back to shoveling corn I was weeping. I knew that God had heard my prayer. “Well, thank God that’s settled,” I said to myself. It was plain to me now that a person’s heart had to be emptied of everything that threatened to occupy it instead of God. Coon hunting was not wrong, but putting it and the love of a dog ahead of God was! My mind was settled! Peace flooded my heart as I recognized this almost impossible answer to prayer. I had not uttered one word to anyone about my prayer. But here it was, already answered and the dog was gone! But now, a new worry crossed my mind. What if Rowdy did not prove satisfactory? This man had paid a premium price for him, and he could have some second thoughts. Being with a new master and under different circumstances, Rowdy might not do as well. What would I do if he brought him back? How would I handle this situation? I prayed, “Oh Lord, let Rowdy tree such a big coon that he’ll not consider it.” At noon on Monday, I was unloading another load of corn when I looked up to see a car stopping at our gate. I recognized it at once. “He’s probably bringing Rowdy back,” I thought. “Oh, Lord, no!” I pleaded. “Please don’t let this happen. You know I want to follow You. I want You more than anything in life. Please, Lord. Please!” I watched as the man got out of his car, fully expecting him to go to the trunk, lift the lid, and get Rowdy out. But he headed for the crib where I was working. Now my hopes soared! Perhaps he wasn’t bringing Rowdy back after all. When he got close, with a smile on his face he said, “Say, Mr. Kinzie, you don’t have another dog like Rowdy to sell, do you?” “No,” I answered, “we have another dog but she’s not for sale. My brother-in-law will probably be hunting with her.” The man volunteered some information at this point.

“Rowdy didn’t do too well the first night, but last night he caught the largest coon I’ve ever seen. Treed him on a fence post. It was a beautiful sight to behold! Rowdy baying on the ground and that big coon sitting on top of that post, slapping at him.” As he was talking I was saying in my heart, “Thank You, Lord, You’ve answered another prayer. I know You’re going to fill me with the Holy Ghost. Too many good things are taking place for the Spirit baptism not to happen!” My heart cried out in praise to the Lord. We went to service every night during the revival. I became slightly discouraged, for I was sure when the coon dog issue was settled everything would fall into place. But it didn’t happen that way! It happened on Sunday, December 20, 1936, supposedly the last day of revival with Brother and Sister Tommie Stevens, evangelist from Texas. We anticipated this revival to be the one where both of us would receive the Holy Ghost. Vera’s mother received the Holy Ghost the first Monday night of the revival. We had been diligent in seeking the Lord but were still waiting. If waiting patiently and being consistent were necessary, we couldn’t be faulted. As far as any holiness issues were concerned—we knew of nothing from a biblical perspective that we were not willing to abide by wholeheartedly. I was tired, weary, and worn out, and at the end of Fred Kinzie! No doubt about it; this was the exact place I needed to be. Although none of my inner struggles held any virtue in bringing the Holy Ghost to me, they did bring me to a place where I had exhausted my self-efforts, and now God could work! Walking to the house after doing chores on that Sunday morning, I was so tired that I could barely move. “Vera, there’s no way I can go to Sunday school and be rested enough to seek the Lord tonight. I’ll stay home and try to rest for a couple of hours.” “Okay, Fred, but don’t forget the Stevens and your folks are coming for dinner, so there won’t be time for you to rest in the afternoon,” she answered. “I’ll bring the Stevens home with me.” I dragged myself back to the barn and finished the few chores I had left undone. When I came back to the house, Vera was gone and I was alone. I cleaned up so I would be presentable when the folks came for dinner, then went to the living room and stretched out on the couch to rest. “Oh, it’s good to rest,” I thought. “But I should get on my knees and thank God for a chance to rest my tired body!” I knelt and feebly lifted my hands upward, “Thank You, Lord, for a chance to rest my tired body!” Suddenly a spirit of praise swept over me and I uttered two Hallelujahs—and when the second one fell from my lips, strange words were there wanting to be spoken. The best way I can explain it is that they were forming on my tongue but not consciously in my mind. I simply yielded to God and a flow erupted from within me that just kept on coming. How long I was like this I don’t know. (continued on page 36)

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NEW START BY SCOTT ARMSTRONG

The Story of a Church Planting Victory he kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44, NKJV). Tazewell is a rural community in eastern Tennessee. It is where Michael and Sandra Cadle planted their miracle church. Decades ago, Michael’s grandfather started what is now the town’s largest Baptist church. As a child, Michael spent many summers in Tazewell. These days that Baptist church is pastored by Michael’s cousin, who lives across the street from Michael and Sandra. Michael’s life took a different turn; he had a Pentecostal experience! After experiencing the new birth Michael and Sandra Cadle served under Pastor Bruce Leaman in Michigan. Evangelism was their passion. They planted a church in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit. One church was not enough; God was not done. Jesus called the Cadles to the place where Michael had spent such wonderful summers. When they arrived in Tazewell, the Cadles were in their late fifties. The years were not easy but the Cadles remained faithful to the work. The church planter was on the list for a heart transplant, and Sister Cadle was diagnosed with cancer. There was no United Pentecostal Church nearby and the couple would drive an hour through the mountains for fellowship. Instead of dwelling on their serious health conditions, the Cadles would weep about lost souls. The Cadles have always been true soulwinners! Their passion was to reach the people God had placed in their path, and they won several through home Bible studies. For many years they operated a little thrift store in town. My wife, Su-

san, and I went by the thrift store one day where they were continuously looping a video Search for Truth Bible study on a wall. The Cadles secured many Bible studies through this innovative approach. In time the Cadles rented a storefront in which to have church services. They did a beautiful job remodeling it; making it into an inviting place of worship. In this storefront they established a solid group of saints and, in the process of their loving and reaching for people, God provided a financial miracle for a church plant. In March 2014, a new convert brought her sister to church. The sister had attended inconsistently for several years. On this visit, the lady received the Holy Ghost! Sister Cadle invited the newly Spirit-filled lady to attend the district ladies conference, and she accepted. During the event tongues and interpretation went forth. The new convert rejoiced, feeling God had spoken directly to her for the first time in her life. The following Wednesday night she came to Pastor Cadle and said, “God spoke to me at the ladies conference to give $100,000 to build a church in Tazewell.” Pastor Cadle eventually found suitable land and spoke to the owner, explaining that he was seeking property on which to build a church. The owner responded, “My wife and I have been hoping somebody would build a church right here on this property. I tell you what; we’ll sell you all fifteen acres for $130,000.” Comparable land was priced in excess of $1,000,000. Though the church had $100,000 designated for an actual building, the church plant still needed money to purchase the property. The following Wednesday, Pastor Cadle explained to the church what a wonderful thing the Lord had done and that they should start the process of securing a $100,000 loan to buy the land. The same new convert who had made the

donation spoke from the congregation and said “No, I’m giving this church a zero percent loan to purchase the land. Pay it back however you want.” This was in addition to her $100,000 gift to the church! To continue the blessing, the County Commission began constructing a water line in front of the church’s new property. The water line was originally planned to be constructed in 2018, but for “some reason” at a commission meeting the county leaders had decided to move up the construction. We know the reason! In April 2014, the church in Tazewell closed on the property in the name of New Life Apostolic Church. In October 2014, the Tennessee District gathered on a weekend to help the Cadles build their beautiful church! It was one of the most beautiful things one could ever see. At this point, Sandra Cadle was very weak; the cancer was spreading in her body. Members of the church assisted her into their new sanctuary that was being constructed. Sister Cadle stopped, threw her hands in the air and led that Tennessee construction team in a time of praise! Tennessee District Superintendent Ron Brown was there as part of the team, as was the Cadles’ pastor, Bruce Leaman (Detroit, Michigan). We gathered around Sister Cadle for prayer but soon the Cadles were ministering to others. It was an amazing day. One month later Sandra Cadle died, having given her all for the work of God. The lady she had won and then invited to the Tennessee ladies’ conference provided a financial miracle to build a church. Sandra Cadle’s miracle work continues! As always, the treasure is in the field. Scott Armstrong is the North American Missions promotions director for the United Pentecostal Church International. JUNE 2015

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[ FA I T H I N R E A L T I M E ]

ou may have battle scars after the victorious fight of a long, difficult battle. Even Jesus had scars after Calvary.” A very dear friend and UPCI minister shared those words of encouragement with me recently. Even though I still have scars, I’m believing God for a complete healing and restoration of my health. This is my story. After nearly twenty years as Indiana Bible College (IBC) dean of Music and Worship Studies and the minister of music at Calvary Tabernacle, Indianapolis, Indiana, I believed that the best years were yet to come. I had recently completed my Doctor of Worship Studies degree and was mentally and spiritually refreshed as I anticipated the future. Little did I realize that perhaps God felt I hadn’t yet completed my education. During a routine appointment with my family doctor in November 2013, I communicated that I had been having some severe upper back and neck pain. He ordered some X-rays and within a day or two I made my way to St. Francis Hospital imaging. The next day, I received a call from his office requesting to see me as soon as possible. It did concern me that he seemed a bit urgent that I come to his office, but I couldn’t 34

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imagine it being anything too serious. When I told my wife about the call, she asked if I wanted her to go with me. I told her it probably was nothing major so there was no need for her to change her plans. As my family doctor of nearly twenty years entered the exam room, I could tell the news wasn’t good. He seemed visibly shaken and his eyes misted over as he told me the lymph nodes in my neck and upper back were enlarged. More testing was needed, but the probable diagnosis was lymphoma. Thoughts and emotions flooded my head and tears filled my eyes as the reality of something so serious began to sink in. He didn’t have many answers but informed me that he was referring me to the St. Francis Cancer Center. I grew up in an Apostolic home with parents who had a great faith in God. As a child, there were times I witnessed or personally experienced the healing power of God. My praying mother would pray for me or another member of our family, and we would be instantly healed. This instilled in me a strong faith in God and caused me to believe in the miraculous. Little did I know that my health crisis journey was going to require all the faith I could muster, for I soon found myself walking through the valley of the shadow of death. There have been many miracles and answered prayers


LINDEL ANDERSON

during my journey. The first miracle happened the day my family doctor’s office faxed the referral to the Cancer Center. The precious lady who removed the fax from the machine and read my name is an Apostolic lady. Two of her sons are IBC alumni and were my students when they studied music. She assigned me to the oncologist for whom she worked. When my wife and I met her and she told us this, we both realized God was looking out for us and would be with us every step of the journey. After a battery of tests, the final diagnosis from the oncologist was stage three non-Hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma. Words of faith came from a longtime friend who told me, “A diagnosis means nothing to God!” The strength our family received from our pastor, church family, extended family, and friends carried us through some dark days. The next few months were filled with chemotherapy treatments, blood tests, and unintended reactions to chemo. I had to be admitted into the hospital several times due to the reactions. It was the beginning of what would become nearly eighty days of hospitalization in 2014. After the chemo was complete and the PET scan results came back with no cancer found, I was officially declared in remission in April 2014. I assumed I would soon begin to feel as

good as I had before the chemo treatments. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I told my wife I should have been feeling better now that I was in remission, but something seemed wrong. A few days later, I traveled to Carlinville, Illinois, for the Association of Christian Teacher and Student (ACTS) Convention. I felt weak and began having severe headaches and nausea and vomiting. At first I thought I must have caught a stomach virus but after two days I realized it was something much worse. I was getting weaker and my headache was off the charts. My friends helped get me to a car and one of them drove me to meet Kristee in Effingham, Illinois. She took me as quickly as possible to my oncologist. Almost immediately, he admitted me to the hospital and began to run tests. The MRI showed that I had multiple lesions on my brain. The radiologist declared it to be brain lymphoma, but my oncologist wanted to do more testing. Kristee and I were nearly in shock as we endured some long dark days with more questions than answers. The prognosis for brain lymphoma is very grim. After a few days and many medical tests, my oncologist was convinced that my diagnosis was cerebral toxoplasmosis (toxo). When I researched the disease, I discovered that as many as 30 percent of people in the United States have toxo in a dormant state. When your immune system is depleted JUNE 2015

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during chemo, it can become active. The medication for toxo is very strong. So weak that I could barely walk, I was nauseated day and night and my kidneys began to fail. After a few weeks they changed my medication regimen. An MRI showed that the lesions were going away, so my doctors took me off the toxo meds for a few days so my body could recover. I was discharged from the hospital and began to get stronger. After a couple weeks at home in August 2014, one morning I awoke to find the left side of my face was drooping and I couldn’t stand or walk without assistance. An MRI revealed a recurrence of lesions but in different parts of my brain. A lesion over the part of my brain that controls my facial muscles had caused the facial paralysis. After several months of taking the strong meds again, I became so weak I could hardly walk across the room. Again, my kidneys began to fail. My doctors changed my medication to one with fewer side effects. My immune system was getting stronger and after many weeks in the hospital, I was discharged and allowed to go home. In November 2014, we were watching the Sunday evening service at Calvary Tabernacle over the Internet. During the prayer for the sick, they called my name with a long list of those needing prayer. Then they called my name again and asked everyone to focus their prayer on me. As my wife and family bowed our heads to pray with our wonderful church

family, the sweetest presence of the Lord came into our home. At that very moment God touched my body and I began feeling better and stronger every day. After seven months of being unable to go anywhere except the hospital or a doctor’s office, I was able to begin working again. I directed the IBC Choir the last time they sang in the 2014 fall semester and played a piano solo at the Calvary Christmas Concert. This was nothing less than a miracle. In January 2015, I was able to resume my duties at IBC and Calvary Tabernacle with a reduced load. Each day that I’m able to teach the wonderful IBC students and serve the great pastor and saints of Calvary Tabernacle is a gift. It is impossible to include in this article all of the battles and victories won, or to mention all those who ministered to my family and me, or to tell of the many acts of kindness throughout this difficult journey. I still have scars from the battle, but I have strong faith that I will be completely healed. As of now, I just thank my God, the Great Physician, for my miraculous recovery. Thank you, Jesus! Lindel Anderson is the dean of Music and Worship Studies at Indiana Bible College and the minister of music at Calvary Tabernacle in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Overcoming the Doubts . . . and the Coon Dog (continued from page 32)

When my sister Hazel came over later in the day she asked, “Fred, do you know what happened to me Friday?” “No,” I answered, “What?” “I received the Holy Ghost!” she replied. “Did you speak I tongues?” I questioned. “Yes, I most certainly did,” she answered. At that moment something happened to me that I’d never experienced before and have not forgotten. The way I can best describe it is in the words of Elizabeth when Mary informed her of the angel’s visit, “The babe leaped in my womb at your salutation.” When Hazel told me about receiving the Holy Ghost, my whole insides seemed to do a flip flop! At the time it puzzled me, but later I learned that this was the witness of the Spirit! Many times in the future when praying with folks as they received the Holy Ghost, I again felt this same witness of the Spirit. Later that night during service as I started to testify about what had transpired that morning, the blessing started flowing. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t get many words out, just enough for the folks to hear me say I had received the Holy Ghost and I was overcome with the joy of the Lord! I wept, cried, shouted, jumped, and may even have danced a little. 36

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As the service continued and the altar call came, Vera was praying and asked for me to come pray with her. Almost immediately she started speaking in another language, so clear and precise that it was a joy to listen. Afterward she told us that she understood every word she was saying even though we did not! She was dedicating herself to God, to go anywhere He wanted, to do anything He wanted, to say anything He wanted her to! The following night my mother received the Holy Ghost just as we had! God is so good! He knew just how to deal with both our mothers and each of us to get us to the right place with the right attitude, with full faith so that He could fulfill His promise of baptizing with His Spirit. Frederick E. and Vera D. Kinzie blazed an Apostolic trail for others to follow. After traveling in evangelistic work, they took the pastorate in Toledo, Ohio, where they pastored for thirty years. She served as the president of the Ladies Auxiliary (now called Ladies Ministries) of the United Pentecostal Church International.


APOSTOLIC MAN BY MICHAEL J. WILLIAMS

Dominion eyond the obvious mandate to build better men who will help grow greater churches, Apostolic Man is committed to the concept of mobilizing the manpower of this great fellowship across North America and around the world. More than just bringing men together, we are striving to send them together into the harvest, inspired and equipped to make a discernible difference in their churches locally and in the Kingdom globally. In addition to our continuing coordinated missions-building endeavors with both the North American Missions and Global Missions divisions, ministry to men in the United Pentecostal Church International is accenting another divine imperative in 2015. With the foundations shifting all around us, never has it mattered more that believing men do all possible to introduce other men to the transforming power of the gospel. Pursuant to this goal of deploying hundreds—even thousands—of men in the mission of man-to-man evangelism, we encourage our Apostolic men to familiarize themselves with the excellent tools available for communicating biblical truth and become intentional about our Lord’s command to go into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in. Honest men are looking for answers; not the glib clichés served up by a society that has lost its moorings, but with real answers upon which they can build their lives and families, answers that offer forever-settled truths that will save them here and hereafter. One resource we encourage men to consider, which is written by men for men, is the Dominion Bible study. This particular study is comprised of just four powerful, cutting-edge lessons

based on the declaration of Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 8:6, that man was made to have dominion over the works of God’s hands. Relevant to the challenges men face in our twenty-first-century society, these concise studies tackle the issues that resonate with men everywhere, irrespective of religious preference or experience, with the miracle of the new birth clearly presented in the final study.

Statistically, if a mother attends church regularly, 32 percent of the time her children will too; but if a father attends church, 82 percent of the time his children will as well. Men make a difference. Four intriguing lessons offer biblical answers as to how men can achieve and maintain dominion over self, Satan, circumstance, and sin. Real-life issues such as moral purity, overcoming temptation, living victoriously, whether abounding or abased, and overcoming sin by the power of the gospel are confronted head-on with relevant biblical truth. Written by Apostolic men, the lessons contain thought-provoking questions, clearly written narratives, and biblical references written out for instant and easy access, as well as additional resource lists for further study. Designed to be taught one-on-one or in

a group setting, the Dominion study is concise, colorful, and current. According to information available through the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries, the fear and frustration quotient, even among men who profess to be Christian, is at an all-time high. Supposedly, nine out of ten have children who will abandon their faith, eight of ten are not satisfied with their jobs, six of ten pay the monthly minimums on their credit card accounts, five in ten have a significant problem with pornography, and four of ten will get divorced. Apparently, only one in ten evangelical men polled professed to have a biblical worldview. It has been reported that of 108 million men age fifteen years and older, fully 66 million don’t even claim to be saved. Jesus assessed this end time with these words: “The fields are white, already to harvest.” And indeed they are. Suffice it to say, there is a need for ministry to men—for Apostolic ministry to men—because men make a difference. Statistically, if a mother attends church regularly, 32 percent of the time her children will too; but if a father attends church, 82 percent of the time his children will as well. Men make a difference. So our efforts are unending: to build a brotherhood of believing men, to link the lives of this vital constituency among us already, and to get their hearts and hands into the harvest. More men in more places are doing more things to make a difference now than ever before. Michael J. Williams is the president of Apostolic Man and the pastor of United Pentecostal Church of Orlando (Apopka), Florida.

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[ P E N T E CO S TA L L I F E ]

The Importance of Feeling God SIMEON YOUNG SR.

n our relationship with God it is necessary for us to know Him, to love Him, to trust Him, to listen to Him, to obey Him, and to believe Him. It is also necessary for us to feel God. When Paul said, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7), he did not rule out the importance of feeling God. Paul, who said, “By grace are ye saved through faith” also said, “Walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). These three verses delineate Paul’s characterization of unbelievers: They walk in the vanity of their mind. Their understanding is darkened. They are alienated from the life of God. Their heart is blind. They are past feeling. They give themselves over unto lasciviousness. They work all uncleanness with greediness. Paul admonished Spirit-filled believers in Ephesus against copying the lifestyles of unbelievers. His warning, however, was not limited to believers of old, but was meant for all believers throughout the ages. We give ourselves over to many things, but many are often reluctant to give themselves with abandonment to the God who loved us so much that He gave Himself for our salvation. We must guard against our hearts being hardened. Solomon said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are 38

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the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The writer of the Book of Hebrews quoted David who said in Psalm 95:7-8, “Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15). Paul said, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Timothy 4:1-2). Again, these warnings in the Word of God are instructive for all believers. I am not suggesting that if we occasionally fail to feel God we are past feeling. But if we consistently resist the goads of the Spirit, we will become listless and dull and hard and calloused and seared. Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus, “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 9:5). It is also dangerous for believers today to resist the promptings of the Spirit. David said, “He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). I understand that to mean God takes into account our personality. He knows that some people are innately more emotional than others and that some seldom if ever feel the emotions others feel. But if we were able to get excited if given a million dollars, we could not honestly claim it is our personality never to feel the Spirit of God. We must guard against our heart being hardened to the extent that we reach the dangerous place of not being able to feel God’s presence. The Bible says, “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’ He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven’” (Genesis 28:16-17, NIV). When I read those words, I wonder why Jacob wasn’t aware of the “awesome” presence of God at the very “gate of heaven.” Was it because he was exhausted? Maybe he was worried or frightened. Did he feel guilty because he had stolen his


brother’s birthright? Perhaps it was a mixture of all these things. Paul told the Athenians at Mars Hill that God “is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28). We can feel after God and find Him because He, unlike the god of the ancient Greeks, is accessible. The Greek’s concept of God was expressed with the word apathea, from which we get the English word “apathy.” In contrast to that, the God of biblical revelation invites us to touch Him, to feel Him, to experience Him. We take great comfort knowing that our caring God is not apathetic toward us. That fact should motivate us to guard against having an apathetic attitude toward God. While my wife and I were in Europe several years ago, we learned that in one particular European country customers are allowed to touch only what they purchase. In one shop when I touched something, a sales person curtly snapped, “Don’t touch.” One sales attendant took an item out of my hand and firmly replaced it on the shelf. In striking contrast to that embarrassing experience, my wife and I visited the “Please Touch” museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Signs throughout the museum boldly invite visitors to “Please Touch.” God wants us to touch Him . . . to feel Him . . . to experience Him . . . to sense Him. The writer of the Book of Hebrews said, “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15). When I did an Internet search for the words “The Importance of Feeling God,” not one result appeared on my computer screen. However, there are 17,500,000 links to “The Importance of Feeling Good” sites. One site is titled “Nothing is more important than feeling good.” Another site is titled “The Importance of Feeling Good about Yourself.” Unfortunately, that focus on self has entered the world of Christianity. To focus on feeling good about oneself is egocentric and borders on narcissism. There are times when we

need to feel bad about ourselves—about our thoughts and actions and feelings—so we will turn to Him and feel Him. Perhaps you are struggling to feel God. If so, ask yourself: • Am I overworked? • Do I have health problems? • Am I dealing with a crisis? • Am I preoccupied with the cares of life? • Are there unconfessed sins in my life? • Are there unresolved differences in my relationship with anyone? • Am I reading the Bible regularly? • Am I praying regularly? • Health permitting, am I fasting regularly? • Do I need to “pray through”? • Is there someone I have not forgiven? • Am I being dishonest? • Am I living in submission to God and the spiritual au thority He has placed in my life? • Am I living with false condemnation? • Have I repented of anything God has brought to my attention? • Am I stuck in a rut spiritually? • Would I rather feel good than feel God? • Have I lied about any of these questions? We don’t need to feel good if we can’t feel God. Simeon Young Sr. serves as pastoral elder at Emmanuel Pentecostal Church in Mesquite, Texas. Richard Flowers is the senior pastor.

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[FEEDBACK] Let the Book Come to Your Rescue Brother P. Daniel Buford, I appreciate so much your editorial “Let the Book Come to Your Rescue.” It is always dangerous to go back into the past, but during my lifetime I have seen great challenges and wrong decisions about the Bible. With so many human-inspired-versions, we are losing the designation of lovers of the Book, which we once claimed. Can we stand silently by and allow human minds and non-Apostolic men and women tell the true church what our precious Bible is saying to this end generation? God Bless. Daniel Swim — a lover of the Holy Bible

Redemption Songs Just wanted to thank you for the Pentecostal Herald and the wonderful articles on redemption songs! They were so meaningful and such a blessing to my life. May the Lord Bless! Reverend David Ellenwood Spencer, IA

Adjusting to Divorce I cried reading “Adjusting to Divorce” in the February issue of the Pentecostal Herald. Someone finally has the nerve to write about the “d” word. I am walking this road, and the criticism that often comes from supposed Christians is overwhelming. I had no choice in this. I’ve prayed until words ran out and yet my spouse rejects me. Thank you for sharing this story. In this silent, painful journey of divorce this story has encouraged me and assures me I can make it through this. The bottom line to it all is that we must make heaven and that is possible even through the bad emotions of divorce. Thank you to the writer for her honesty without bashing her ex and to the editor for allowing this “where the rubber meets the road” kind of article. Please withhold my name. I have children to protect and I wouldn’t want shame brought upon my in-laws who have been respectful and kind to me through this trial. Anonymous 861702 Feb Herald.indd 1

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Father’s Day Subscription Give the Gift of Good News Are you looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? Order a Herald subscription for the man who has nearly everything. Discounts available for quantities as low as three. www.pentecostalherald.com/subscriptions 40

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LADIES MINISTRIES BY GWYN OAKES

Give Joyfully! s I read through the Pentecostal Herald I couldn’t help but be thankful that Ladies Ministries was so vitally involved in the work of the kingdom of God in so many ways. First I read with interest the planned activities and work of World Network of Prayer and how Mothers Memorial dollars have been faithful in supporting their worldwide ministry. The heading for Global Missions was “Your Network of Missionaries.” I liked that; it would give us a sense of ownership, a feeling that we are making a difference in the various needs of the missionaries, schools, and Bible colleges worldwide. North American Missions followed with “Having Been to War.” Ladies Ministries stands alongside and supplies many needs and services of hard-working people in the battle for souls in North America. “Case for a Multicultural Church” reminded me how Ladies Ministries helps to support Multicultural Ministries with their literature and conferences. These are only a few of the ministries we assist annually. For instance, ask a young lady at the Haven of Hope for Girls or a young man from the Lighthouse Ranch for Boys how they feel about the loving support of Ladies Ministries. Tupelo Children’s Mansion for homeless children benefits annually as well as New Beginnings, which affords an alternative to abortion and finds “forever homes” for those children through adoption. Thousands of young people’s lives have been touched by the support of Ladies Ministries’ sacrificial offerings. All of the above and more is made possible because Ladies Ministries

cares. Meet with a group of ladies on the first Monday of every month for earnest prayer for children and you will find a powerful, sincere group of women around the world who are praying that the generation to come might know and take ownership of the faith at an accountable age, and that they enter into the Lord’s harvest. Ladies Prayer International joins with hundreds of

No matter your age or station in life you will find something in Ladies Ministries to become involved in and to reach out to others. thousands of caring women and mothers who can learn about this powerful and effective ministry via a free newsletter available now in more than seventeen languages. Free Bible studies are available simply by logging on to our website and printing as many as you need. Literature for almost all situations has been written by Spirit-filled women and is available through the Pentecostal Publishing House. The Pure Path series of books on modesty and holiness is clearly defined in Ladies Ministries literature. You may call Ladies Ministries at World Evangelism center for more information on our wide range of literature. Have you heard of the club-type program called Today’s Christian Girl

that is springing up around the world? This ministry was designed to help young girls learn to grow into women of God. There is more! No matter your age or station in life you will find something in Ladies Ministries to become involved in and to reach out to others. Join us in fulfilling the request that the Lord gave to His followers: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Please visit our website to learn in detail our involvement in ministering to all ages. Mothers Memorial reaches a vast audience literally around the world, and since its inception has raised and contributed more than fifty million dollars to the work of the Kingdom. We thank you for your loyalty though the years. Please join us this year by giving your very best offering once again. See your district or sectional director for more details. Ladies Ministries believes the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Give joyfully! Gwyn Oakes is the director of Ladies Ministries of the United Pentecostal Church International.

JUNE 2015

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[ P E N T E CO S TA L L I F E ]

QUIZZING FOR LIFE KRISTIN HOOVER

he quizmaster steps to the podium. The Bible quizzer sits in rapt attention, buzzer tightly gripped within his sweaty palm. The quizmaster begins methodically reading the quiz question. As he speaks, the quizzer begins to understand the direction the question is heading. He is then able to recognize the verse mentioned and realizes this is the point where action should be taken quickly. And bam! The quizzer hits the buzzer, completes the question, and delivers the answer. Points are added to the team’s score if the answer is totally accurate or subtracted if a mistake has been made. Hours of time and plenty of brain power have gone into this one moment. Why take the time? Why make the effort? Will it ever make a difference in the lives of the hundreds of youth who get involved? I have three daughters quizzing on the Book of Proverbs this year. Because of their ages and experience, they are in three different divisions. I’d like to think that quizzing will make my young quizzers dynamic soulwinners for the Kingdom. However, I realize when witnessing to an individual it is unlikely an inquiry will come as a two-part, cross-reference question for the person who buzzes in the fastest. Neither does witnessing require word-perfect answers that must be delivered with accurate diction in thirty seconds or less. The ultimate goal of quizzing is hiding the Word of God in the heart. Most everything else in preparing for tournaments is really just a fun way to help achieve this ultimate goal. I do hope by the time my daughters complete all their years of quizzing, they are able to learn a few life lessons from their experiences. Here are a few of those lessons I hope they are able to glean from quizzing: Every year we approach with excitement the materials 44

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laid out on the Bible quizzing table. The old quizzing year is behind with all of its glories, ribbons, and trophies; a new year is ready to begin. We carefully make our selection of materials that will help us attain our greatest potential. Then we check out at the cash register, ready to get a jumpstart on the upcoming quiz year. Arriving home, we begin flipping through page after page of verse charts. It’s then we begin to wonder how all these verses could ever be learned, much less mastered. But sure enough! One day of learning and reviewing builds upon another, builds upon another, builds upon another. Before you know it, with hard work, determination, and persistence, the material is mastered! The life lesson? Anything in life that is worth attaining happens in the same manner: Persistence. Determination. Day-by-day hard work. It takes approximately five minutes to learn a verse. If the verse is not revisited frequently, the verse is quickly lost from memory. In much the same way, applying the same Scripture into our daily walk with Him is not a one-time-and-it’s-done situation. Doing what we know to do from the Scripture is a lifelong pursuit and a skill that frequently needs revisiting and refinement. As with any game, quizzing isn’t always fair. There is always that one quiz you’ll go home to talk about. “If such and such would have happened differently. . . .” Life isn’t fair either. We smile and continue on anyway. Choose your team well. Then invest your time into bringing out the highest potential of everyone on the team. You can go only so far on your own. Learning unity and submission for the benefit of a team unit comes with sacrifice, but the price is well worth the investment. Life has a way of throwing many curve balls. There will come a day when you have either fouled out or quizzed out.


In either case, it will be nice to know you have built a support group when you can no longer carry on. Your team will pick up where you left off and carry you to the finish line. At any tournament you will see coaches gather their quizzers and pray for them before the beginning words are spoken: “This quiz is now open.” If a coach is gracious, more than likely their team is not praying for a win, but for each member on the team to do his best. If a quizzer has been studious and comes to the table well prepared, God has a lot to work with in answering that coach’s prayer. If a quizzer hasn’t had the opportunity to give much time to quizzing, “his best” will usually fall quite short of the desired outcome. At the altar as young people, we place our lives into the hands of God. We ask for His direction for our lives, and to be used for His glory. We offer our gifts, our talents, our energies to building His kingdom. If we have been diligent in developing our talents and giftings, God has a lot of resources to use in answering those prayers within His timing. He holds the master plan for the universe and knows just when our part in His plan should be developed. We should be ready and diligently developing our talents for Him. We should present our best efforts for His glory. We should do everything within our power to improve our skill, and then allow God to breathe His anointing into our efforts. Many hours are spent quoting, preparing quizzes by diligently studying cross references, unique wording, and lo-

cations. All this preparation builds a quizzer to the point in time when the quizmaster delivers the question, and something quickens in the mind of the quizzer. When enough of the question is read to give the general direction the question is heading, it is up to the quizzer to hit the buzzer and respond appropriately. All the preparation is useless to winning a quiz unless a quizzer has the nerve to actually buzz in at the appropriate timing. Life is like that. Young person, just beyond these years in quizzing you will be ready to embark on the beautiful journey called life. These youthful years have been a training ground, and hopefully, you have prepared well. But similar to when a question is being read, when you feel as if you know the direction God is leading you, don’t be afraid to answer the call. When you realize the Spirit is prompting you for immediate action, throw caution to the wind, be bold in the Spirit, step out in faith, and just buzz in! Kristin Hoover is the homeschool mom of her five children. She is the coauthor of Daughters of the Promise: A Bible Study for Women. Kristin is the senior quiz coach of The Harvest Word Warriors, of Harvest Tabernacle, Lebanon, Missouri, pastored by Bob and Chris Thornton.

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[ P E N T E CO S TA L L I F E ]

His Life Said it All RONNIE H. MULLINGS

On the day I handed the pulpit to my son, Dad’s only comment was, “What an honor God has given me—to be the father and grandfather of two preachers of the gospel.”

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ife’s lessons are often learned by watching others. Some people’s footsteps are worth following. Alvin Harold Mullings was that person for me. Alvin was definitely part of the “greatest generation.” He grew up in the Ozarks of Arkansas, and if the word poverty could be defined by a family, his family was the epitome. He was thirteen years old before he tasted his first “soda pop.” When he was fourteen, his family made their first trip into “town.” While there, his dad was able to scrape together enough change to buy them all an ice cream cone. Alvin and his siblings ate the ice cream and took the cone back to the vendor, thinking it was simply the item used to serve the ice cream. When Alvin was fifteen the family moved to Arizona where he got work in the agricultural fields and purchased his first set of “new” clothes. Being the fifth son in the family, he had only worn hand-me-downs. At this same time he saved enough money to buy his mother a new set of pots and pans, the first new utensils his mom had ever owned. When Alvin was seventeen the family moved to California following the crops. While there, they located close to a little Trinitarian Pentecostal church. On New Year’s Eve in 1941, he attended a watch night service and received the Holy Ghost, beginning what would be a lifelong love affair with the Scriptures. It was just a short time later; during his personal study that he read himself into an understanding of Jesus Name baptism. Upon repeated questioning by Alvin, the pastor’s eventual answer was, “Some time you have to lay this Word aside and just follow the Spirit.” Alvin’s reply was, “I haven’t received that kind of Spirit.” Not knowing there were churches that embraced this message, he separated from that church believing he would have to live this life alone. Shortly thereafter he discovered a little Jesus Name church in a neighboring town. Over the next few months he led his mother and five brothers and one sister to this one God, Holy Ghost experience. At age eighteen, Alvin received his induction notice into the Army during World War II. For the next three years he served his country honorably while enduring great persecution because he would not carry a gun. While in the military he met a young lady named Lenora Nichols and on October 30, 1944, they entered a marriage that would last for sixtysix years until God would call him home. In the course of this journey, God sent two children into the marriage. I came along in 1946 and for thirteen years was an only child. In 1959 my little sister came bouncing into our family. Dad’s incredible love for and commitment to the kingdom of God became the primary legacy he left us. So great was his faithfulness to the work of God that from my earliest memories until the day I married and left home our family was never one time out of town on a Sunday. His devotion was not only reflected in his attendance but also in his finances. He was unbelievably scrupulous in his tithes and offerings.

Since we both were exactly the same size, it was not uncommon for me to hand down suits that were still in good repair to Dad. On each such occasion he would calculate what he perceived the value to be and the next service there would be a tithing envelope reflecting his increase. In 1947 my parents bought a little wood frame house in a small farm community near Bakersfield. For the next sixtytwo years they shared this humble abode together. Through the years, Dad had risen from a substitute custodian to the operations chief of the entire Bakersfield City School District. I often discussed with him the fact that he could now afford a much nicer home. His response would always be, “This is nicer than anything I ever had, and besides, if I bought a nicer home I wouldn’t be able to give to God like we do!” I think Dad’s greatest fulfillment in life was to see his children and grandchildren bless the kingdom of God. It was my incredible honor to pastor the great man for almost thirty years. On the day I handed the pulpit to my son, Dad’s only comment was, “What an honor God has given me—to be the father and grandfather of two preachers of the gospel.” Our current church facility encompasses almost 50,000 square feet. It was built in three phases over a period of several years. In every facet of the work, Dad was intimately involved. It was nothing to see him on site from dawn until dark for weeks and months at a time. Late one afternoon one of the other older members pulled up to the job site. Upon seeing that weary old man struggling with a wheel barrow full of dirt they commented, “Brother Alvin, why are you working so hard out here? You know you’ll never live long enough to really enjoy this facility.” Dad simply stood up, looked them in the eyes, and responded, “Maybe so, but my grandchildren will.” The last months of his life, my dad was kept alive by dialysis. It seemed his life simply existed to receive treatments. Finally he came to a point where he said it was enough. After being told by the doctors that it would mean death in a matter of days he acknowledged his understanding. Over the next few days he was able to personally speak to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. On his last night before he slipped into a coma, it was my privilege to spend the night at his bedside. Just before the dawn broke he roused and spoke to me. He said, “Son, I need to tell you something; if anybody asks, tell them it is not scary at all.” As my sister, my son, and I sat at the mortuary determining a fitting epitaph for his marker it was an easy decision. After his name, date of birth and death, it simply has this phrase: “His Life Said It All.” Ronnie H. Mullings is the bishop of Truth Tabernacle in Bakersfield, California and an executive presbyter of the United Pentecostal Church International.

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We are so grateful for the overwhelming interest in North American Youth Congress! We are rejoicing that we have experienced historic and unprecedented registration which has resulted in a sold out arena with a capacity of 18,000 and over 4,000 that have already registered for overflow seating in the adjacent Cox Convention Center Arena. This is a reason to celebrate, but we desire more than just an unprecedented number of registered attendees. We desire an unprecedented move of the Spirit. God is not confined to what can occur in a building. He does not dwell in temples made with hands. What God desires to do among the youth of the United Pentecostal Church International is bigger than the seating capacity of Chesapeake Arena. It is bigger than the overflow capacity of the Cox Arena. It is greater than anything we can build or create with our own ability, strength, or intellect. What God desires and what God has promised is an unprecedented move of His Spirit in every youth group, in every church, in every school, and in every community throughout North America and around the world. We invite your youth group, those who will be with us in Oklahoma City and those who cannot, to join us by affirming and celebrating our apostolic anthem in your city! We also invite you to join us for a time of focused prayer and fasting on two specific dates - JULY 1ST AND JULY 29TH, as we prepare for an unprecedented, transformational demonstration of the Spirit at Youth Congress and beyond. Thank you for your support of the General Youth Division and North American Youth Congress. This is our time! Now!

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THE LAST WORD BY ROBIN JOHNSTON

Traditioning

W

hile preparing for this column I learned a new word, verbing. According to dictionary. com, “verbing is the act or practice of using a noun as a verb.” Not everyone likes this practice. Classical grammarians cringe a bit when you verb. Calvin of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip fame best expressed this discomfort when he said, “Verbing weirds language.” At the risk of “weirding” language I want to write about the process of traditioning. In a speech entitled “The Vindication of Tradition” Yale theologian Jaroslav Pelikan said, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.” If you read the apostle Paul closely you see the same tension. To the church at Colossae he wrote of avoiding vain tradition. However, he commended the Thessalonian saints on their embrace of tradition. He also reminded his young protégé Timothy that his faith had been passed down from his grandmother and mother to him. Traditioning is the handing down of a living faith, a living tradition. And it involves more than just the transmission of facts and information. It is often caught as much as it is taught. Effective traditioning is often layered into the life of a believer. When it is done well, it looks organic. But this does not mean we should not be intentional about the traditioning process. Let me illustrate by looking at the transmission of the missionary impulse in the United Pentecostal churches in New Brunswick, Canada. Presently there are sixty UPCI churches in New Brunswick. Since they joined the UPCI in 1946, New Brunswick has sent forty

missionary units (couples or singles) to foreign fields, not counting AIMers or other short-term missionaries. This means that for every three churches in New Brunswick, two missionary units have been sent overseas. If this same ratio held across every district in the UPCI, we would have sent in the neighborhood of three thousand missionary units since 1945. Out of the approximately two hundred missionary units currently serving, twelve have roots in New Brunswick. So for every five churches in New Brunswick one missionary unit is currently on the field. If that same ratio played out across the UPCI, we would have about nine hundred missionaries on the field, which is over four times the present number. All of this begs the question of why the percentage of missionaries from New Brunswick is so high. In my opinion the missionary impulse is traditioned into the New Brunswick churches. It has become part of the fabric of their faith. Or to use another metaphor, it has become part of their spiritual DNA. I have long been curious as to how this came to be. How did the traditioning process work? My research suggests a number of possibilities that I think provided a layering effect. Early on in the development of the church in New Brunswick Wynn Stairs emerged as a passionate missions promoter. He served the UPCI as the first Foreign Missions secretary. He had caught the missions’ burden while reading Mattie Crawford’s On Mule Back Thru Central America with the Gospel. He in turn became the consummate missions storyteller. Although I have been gone from New Brunswick for almost forty years, I can still remember that Thursday was missions day at our annual camp meeting.

It was frequently the highlight of camp and the missions story was played out on that rustic stage. Early missionaries like Verner Larsen and Bill Drost became iconic in the district and church members vicariously joined the mission, rejoicing when victories were won and praying when resistance threatened progress. Often this joining was organic but programs were developed to encourage this attachment. For example, Northeast Christian College, the principal training institution for ministers in the province, developed a program for missionary prayer bands, one for each region of the world. Every student became a prayer band member and his or her participation was celebrated. The above example suggests a numbers of aspects of effective traditioning. It starts with a compelling narrative that is told and retold. Stories shape identity. Those who hear the stories are given ways to own the story, or perhaps more accurately, to join the story. There is a deep emotional attachment to the story, which often includes some kind of a spiritual experience. Usually programs are developed that reinforce the narrative. Programs alone are usually not sufficient but coupled with a powerful narrative they enhance the traditioning process. Traditioning works best when it is layered into a person’s life. Multiple elements come together in ways that shape the emerging identity. For example, if the home and the church are jointly working on the spiritual formation of a child, it tends to be more successful. In reality, effective traditioning looks a lot like effective discipleship. Robin Johnston is the editor in chief and publisher of the United Pentecostal Church International. JUNE 2015

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Pentecostal Herald June 2015  
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