Archive for: January, 2013

A New Year’s Prayer

Jan 28 2013 Published by under Family

by Carolyn Hittenberger

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In all of life, at all times, we pray that each of you will know- at a deeper level than ever before-our powerful and personal, holy and merciful God.  May you see His promises fulfilled in you and for you and through you every day in 2013.

JANUARY:  We pray that Jesus will bring you new joy, fresh hope and strength for the good plans God has for you.  Nehemiah 8:10b …the joy of the Lord is your strength.

FEBRUARY:  May you be increasingly aware of God’s faithfulness and unconditional, personal love.  Psalm 36:5 Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens; Your faithfulness to the skies.

MARCH:  We ask the Lord to send a rushing, mighty wind of the Holy Spirit, as on the Day of Pentecost, to empower you for serving Him.  Acts 2:2-4 & 1:8 …a sound as a rushing mighty wind came from heaven and all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit …you will receive power after the Holy Ghost comes on you, and you will be my witnesses. 

APRIL:  We pray for showers of blessing in every aspect of your life. Psalm 72:6 …He will be like rain falling on a new mown field, like showers watering the earth.

MAY:  We ask that God will help you in your personal life, to sow to please God, as you sow generously into the lives of others.  Galatians 6:8-9 The one who sows to please his sinful nature will of that nature reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

JUNE:  May you reflect on Jesus Christ giving Himself for you in order to bring you to Himself as a holy and blameless Bride.  Ephesians 5:27 (speaking of the Church)…to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish.

JULY:  May you know freedom from all that would hinder your walk of faith; true freedom from all strongholds and limitations.  John 8:36 …if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

AUGUST:  In the storms of life and the heat of the daily-ness, may you find that Jesus is your shelter and your shade.  Isaiah 25:4 You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

SEPTEMBER:  May this month find you studying to learn more of who God is and to teach others His truth.  2 Corinthians 2:15 Study to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.

OCTOBER:  We pray that you will walk as a pilgrim, not as a resident of this world, going from strength to strength in the changes appointed by God, for He is faithful in every season.  Psalm 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baca (weeping), they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains cover it with pools.  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

NOVEMBER:  May you rejoice in and overflow with gratitude for God’s goodness, faithfulness, provision, salvation and blessings.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 …give thanks in every circumstance, for this is the will of God for you, in Christ Jesus.

DECEMBER:  We pray that your holidays will be holy days and may the indescribable Gift, Jesus, be the center of your celebration.  2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift.

Carolyn Hittenberger is Assistant for the Caribbean Regional Office at Global University and also works with University Communications. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.

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The Greatest Gift of All

Jan 22 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

by Jackie Preece

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 When I was a year and a half old, I was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy (CP), which affected my legs, my gross motor skills, my speech, and my eyes. My parents were told that

I would be mentally disabled because I had too much white matter in my brain—NOT true.

I would never walk—NOT true.

I would never talk—NOT true.

I would never be a normal kid—TRUE (or so my mom says).

 I have a lazy eye and have vision of 20/200. As a child, I wore a patch over my right eye in order to strengthen my left eye. I have worn glasses all my life, which has kept my eyes straight (for the most part).

Having a speech impediment, I could not pronounce most words and could never pronounce my Rs. Being in speech therapy for ten years taught me how to pronounce words. However, there are certain words I still avoid. You can imagine if I had to speak Spanish, trying to roll my Rs.

My leg muscles were so tight that not even a piece of paper could fit between my knees. My feet turned inward badly. Mom said changing my diaper was an hour ordeal. I took my first step when I was three and a half and used a walker until I was four. Then I could walk on my own but took many, many tumbles. I always had bruises and scrapes because I tried to keep up with my older brother.

I wore braces for my legs and feet and had a special metal brace I wore at night; it strapped my legs into a straight position so I could not bend them. Going to bed was never fun for me! Once in a while, I could con my mom and dad into giving me a night off, if it was a special occasion.

When I was ten, I had surgery on my legs to lengthen my muscles. The surgeons cut my legs and feet in twelve places, cutting the bones in half on both feet, and adding bone wedges to create an arch. I was a teenager before I realized where bones at a bone bank actually came from. That was a shocker! The pain from the surgery was so intense, and the recovery was so difficult—especially since I spent my entire summer between the hospital and home, lying flat on my back, not being able to sit up for weeks at a time. I had to learn to walk all over again. Even a year later, I still had to walk with a walker and, at times, use a wheelchair. Today, I walk funny, but praise God I can walk!

When I was in high school, I felt a call to missions. I told God NO. If I cannot even walk well in America, how did He expect me to walk well in a foreign country where there are no sidewalks or handicap ramps?

That is when I stumbled upon 1 Samuel 16:7: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I had nothing to say but YES. (Have you ever tried to tell God no?)

It is safe to say I wish I did not have CP, but I know I would not be the person I am today without it. If God can receive more glory for His kingdom through my serving Him with cerebral palsy, then I am willing to do so for my Lord. If it helps just one person receive Christ, then I consider it worth it all.

Many people might look at my life and say CP is my greatest burden, but I see it as the greatest gift of all!

Jackie Preece is a clerical assistant in the Graduate School of Theology at Global University and is currently enrolled in the counseling program at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

6 responses so far

How to Be a “Go” Christian

Jan 14 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

by David Stoecker

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What does being a “Go” Christian truly mean? Is it knowing the Bible? attending church or small groups? tithing? wearing a suit/dress to church? sitting in the front row and singing the loudest with your hands raised in worship? I would call these ingredients we can use in our life, but not the recipe for being a “Go” Christian.

To be a “Go” Christian, first we have to say “No!” We have a cross to bear, and that cross is to say no to ourselves. We must deny ourselves immoral, worldly things. We have a sinful nature, yet we must be willing to deny our basic instincts. We must die to sin—even the thought of sinning—as the early Christians did.

Some may think I am talking about not being able to have fun. If this is how you feel, you do not understand what I am saying, nor do you truly understand the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. A life without sin gives us joy. Honestly, we are giving up very little for so much. Christ did not “try His best” to die on the cross; He accomplished it. Why should we be satisfied with not giving our best?

We must also be willing to talk about Christ and our beliefs even when it is not popular. We need to take a stand for our faith and for what we believe everywhere we go: home, school, work, events, restaurants, vacation, and our neighborhoods.

When we take up our cross, we become dead to the world. Before I was a Christian and began a relationship with God, I was a sinner. I lived to fulfill my will, to make myself happy. I smoked cigarettes, drank to inebriation almost every day, fought all the time, had premarital sex, lied, cursed, and listened to music and watched movies that would make a sailor blush. I lived for me! It was all about worldly achievement and self-fulfillment. I was an example of how not to live your life.

However, since the day I gave my life to Christ, I have not smoked a cigarette, gotten drunk, had sex outside of marriage, or gotten into a fight outside of a ring. I now listen only to worship music because it puts me in a great mood. I pray in between sets at the gym on a consistent basis, and I wear worship shirts almost exclusively. I read the Bible daily and pray all the time. I am by no means perfect, but I make an effort every day to not succumb to my sinful nature. It is a start, and I can build on that.

Being a “Go” Christian means I will never do or say anything that I will have to tell my son not to repeat. It means I realize I represent God, my church, my wife and son, my employer, my deceased father, my pastor, and Celebrate Recovery everywhere I go. I will not get caught up in gossip; I will not curse; I will not yell or lie. Instead, I will talk to others about the changes the Holy Spirit has made in my life. To the best of my ability, I will live to show I love Christ.

I do not intend to boast here. Rather, I am simply saying I could not live this way without the Holy Spirit in me and the sacrifice Christ made. The cross symbolizes pain and suffering, yet we think Christ wants us to live in comfort and ease. Our lives should be living sacrifices to Christ, and that is not always easy. With that said, however, since the night I turned my life over to Christ and gave Him control, it has gotten a lot easier.

Are you a “Go” Christian? To determine that, ask yourself these questions:

1.   Is my life about self-fulfillment or Christ fulfillment?

2.   Do I live as one who is in this world or as one who is out of this world?

3.   Am I ashamed of my faith, or do I profess the gospel to all who would hear it?

4.   Is my life a living sacrifice to Jesus?

If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations! You are a “Go” Christian, so keep it up. If you did not answer yes, I would recommend a lot of praying, reading the Bible, and spending time with those who are where you want to be. God bless you in your journey!

 David Stoecker is Substance Abuse Counselor with Alternative Opportunities, Inc. You may reach David at david.stoecker@gmail.com

5 responses so far

Belief in a Supreme Being.

Jan 07 2013 Published by under Evangelism

 Alver RanceBy Alver Rance

 Globally, mankind has a sense of a supreme being.  Almost all ethnic groups believe in some kind of authority beyond this world.  Most also believe in some type of life beyond the present and a belief that humanity will be held accountable for its conduct.

In the country of Morocco, the people use the word ‘Baraka’ which is defined as grace or blessing.  Another world ‘niyya’ means good intention.  They believe that if one gives grace or blessing with a good intention, it will eventually come back to them.  The more they give, the greater will be the blessing that they will receive in return. 

Although, many in the world have misguided beliefs concerning these issues, nonetheless, most believe in some type of life after death and that accountability will be required.  It is for this reason, most man-made religions believe in a merit system to achieve salvation.  They work hard to earn their salvation, but never know if they have done quite enough to truly be saved.

The Lord has given the church truth concerning these issues.  As Christians we are saved by grace through faith in the work of Christ on the cross.  To those on the merit system, this seems too easy and many fail to accept it.  Nonetheless, we are to share the message of salvation so that they will have an opportunity to receive it.  

Matthew 10:8 says, “Freely you have received, freely give”.  To freely give, means not only the sharing of the gospel, but also the resources to enable the good news to be carried to all nations.  The Lord has commanded us to be faithful in this responsibility and has promised that we will be rewarded, if not in this life, the one that is to come.   Luke also highlights giving when he says, “Give and it will be given to you…For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” and “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required”. (Luke 6:38 and 12:48 respectively)  Surely, we have been blessed and received far more than we deserve.

We at Global have the wonderful opportunity to share this good news with those who haven’t heard and give answers to the questions they have sought for generations.  We can do nothing about those who have gone to their grave never having heard the message, but we can bring light to those who sit in darkness today.  Let us be faithful in so doing.

Alver Rance serves as a missionary at Global University. Alver and his wife Linda served as missionaries to Latin America for 35 years. For more information about Global University, visit www.globaluniversity.edu

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