“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
February 12, 2017
“I Sing Praises to Your Name”
“Standing on The Promises”
“I Want To Be Where You Are”
Prayers of Intercession
SERMON: Pastor David Perry
“God Has Incredible Plans For Us”
“He Who Began a Good Work In You”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
by Tammy Tkach
I’ve loved fairy tales since I was a little girl. I read the stories over and over again, enjoying the drama, mystery and especially the happy endings. When my daughter became old enough, we not only read the stories I loved as a child, we watched the movies too. Much to our delight, a new television series, Once Upon a Time, began last year. We never miss an episode.
I don’t enjoy books or movies with sad endings. There are too many sad stories in real life. Perhaps it’s a form of escape, but happy stories make us feel good and remind us we can have hope in our lives.
The Bible is full of stories, some ending happily, some not. My favorite happy one is that of Joseph. His life began well enough, but the twists, turns, ups and downs keep you on the edge of your chair until the very end. Another Cinderella tale is Esther’s rise to royalty, with a couple of cliffhangers adding to the drama. And of course, there’s Job, who went through a lot of misery before his happy ending.
Many didn’t get their happy ending as we read in Hebrews 11, and won’t until we finish the race (verse 40). Wait – until we finish the race? Yes, God’s love is inclusive, which means he doesn’t want those who went before to receive the reward without us and vice versa. He loves everyone and his plan includes everyone. No one will be left out.
What this means is everyone who’s ever been born can have a happy ending. God has written the ultimate fairy tale, only it’s not a fairy tale as we know them, this one is true. It’s possible some may get lost on the way to the castle, but it’s also possible God won’t let them wander in the forest forever. His intention (1 Timothy 2:3-4) is for all people to be saved and to understand the truth about the Savior.
Most won’t experience a happy ending in this life and many will feel as if their lives have been hell on earth. But the good news is it will come. The ancients as they’re called in Hebrews 11, knew this and had faith that “is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (verse 1, NIV).
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV).
That sums it up pretty well. Happy ending, here we come!
From Joseph Tkach, GCI President
On January 19, GCI’s Board approved my appointment of Dr. Greg Williams to the office of Vice President. I felt it important to appoint Greg to this position to coordinate the 2018 move of our Home Office from Glendora, California, to Charlotte, North Carolina. In this new position, Greg will continue as Director of Church Administration and Development (CAD) and will add oversight of media and our educational programs, both throughout the move and once we have relocated. In his expanded responsibilities, Greg will be working closely with me and Mat Morgan on personnel and other issues as we work as a team to tackle the increased work load (due to the move), seeking a smooth transition.
By way of clarification, I note that the Vice President serves at the discretion of the President of the denomination, for the duration of projected assistance, and is not seen as filling a permanent position. In any case of emergency, the Vice President would serve as Interim President, reporting to the Board which would be led by the Vice Chair, who presently is Russell Duke. That said, we do not anticipate any emergencies, and I am in good health, but as a ministry of Jesus Christ we feel it is important to have a secure plan for the unforeseen future, and to best organize leadership for the present ministry. I will continue to give oversight on the move to Charlotte, and will be continuing my church visits, President’s letters, and Speaking of Life programs as we progress through this important move to North Carolina.
Thank you for your prayers for leadership during these eventful times. I appreciate the assistance that Greg has provided already with both GCI-USA (via CAD) and with our international leadership. We look forward to continued growth as we serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Our fellowship with Christ must be continually renewed and we must abide in Him by living faith, moment by moment,and not live on old memories and experiences.–A. B. Simpson
China: 6 Christian Women Face Charges for Holding Bible Study
Veronica Neffinger | Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com 1/20/17
Six Christian women were arrested by government authorities in China for holding a Bible study.
China Aid reports that the women were taken into custody on Jan. 10 after authorities broke into the church where they were holding a Bible study around 10:30 a.m. The women were charged with holding an illegal religious meeting.
A pastor of the church where the women were meeting told China Aid:
“We rented a room in the county for regular gatherings. The religious affairs bureau posted a notice, accused us of illegally [gathering], and threatened to ban our church. We did not stop the gatherings; on the contrary, we kept on meeting. The officers from the government departments came and took away our doormat, but we managed to get it back. After about 30 or 40 minutes, they simply walked in and began to grab our chairs. The [Christian] brothers tried to stop them, and the officers began to shove us away and beat us up. They took our stuff away in the end.”
Each woman has been sentenced to 10 to 15 days in prison for organizing and participating in unauthorized religious activities.
Persecution of Christians has been increasing in China, and it has now become risky for Christians in most places in the country to meet to worship or hold Bible studies.
God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.—Billy Graham
Prayer for the Week
Dear Heavenly Provider, thank you for your promise to provide for my daily needs; convict me when I fail to give as I should; show me the life-changing power of generosity.
†† Pastor’s Corner ††
Pastor David Perry & Jonnie
Yesterday, Jonnie and I had the wonderful privilege of seeing an awesome movie Hidden Figures. I had read a little about it, but wasn’t prepared for it to touch my life the way it did.
I grew up on a farm in east central Illinois. All through my grade school and high school years the only interaction I had with African Americans/Blacks was through Major League baseball: watching the Cubs Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins. I was pretty much oblivious to the awful struggles of our dear brothers and sisters in the south and in other areas of our country. Then I went to college and met some awesome African American students. Still I wasn’t as aware as I should have been of the past and present struggles of our brothers and sisters as I should have been. It was only when I was hired full time as a pastoral assistant, and moved to serve churches in Charleston, S. Car. and Savannah, Ga., that I came to learn and understand more regarding what it was like to be African American / Black in the USA. I began to learn even more as I moved to pastor our church in Indianapolis, especially through the many Black History Month presentations in February. What a blessing it has been and is to have so many awesome and lovely African Americans /Blacks as part of my family.
“The movie HIDDEN FIGURES tells the incredible – untold until now – true story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.” (review from: www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hidden_figures)
“It’s a story of struggle and willpower, but not of individual glory. Set in 1960s Virginia, the film centers on three pioneering African American women whose calculations for NASA were integral to several historic space missions, including John Glenn’s successful orbit of the Earth. These women—Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan—were superlative mathematicians and engineers despite starting their careers in segregation-era America and facing discrimination at home, at school, and at work.” (www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/01/hidden-figures-review)
GO see this important movie – learn about the struggles of African-Americans and the beginning of our space program. ~ Pastor David
Pray for the Persecuted Church – Pray for Revival in the Church
Pray for our Nation & Pres. Elect Trump
LOCAL PRAYER REQUESTS
Jerry Hudson prayers for healing and strength.
Mary Coffey – Encouragement and healing.
Helen Pavy – Encouragement and good health.
Rita Smith – Her hip is hurting a lot
Jim Moran – (Melissa Moran’s husband) Recovery from surgery this past week to repair a torn and partially detached retina
Sue Durbin – (Lafayette) Prayers as her blood levels are very low
Jim & Nancy Ray (Jim is GCI Assist pastor in Hope) Jim is having some concerns following gall bladder surgery over a month ago. His wife, Nancy, has pneumonia and continued back problems
Patricia Robinson – Prayers as she is still experiencing headaches.
PeeWee Barnett – Mel Barnett requests continued prayers for his brother
Tom & Zadie Conklin – Recovery from flu and colds. Tom still has numbness in his arm and hand
Joe Wilber (Melissa Moran & John Wilber’s brother) Dealing with life’s difficulties
Joe & Tammy Tkach – Protection, health, wisdom, insight & encouragement
For Divine Appointments To Touch Others With Jesus’ Life & Love
PRAYERS FOR MISSIONS – GCI International Churches & Mission Leaders – Blessings & protection as they share the Life & Love of Jesus, and train up new leaders and pastors.
Mozambique GCI – Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters there, as the political tensions continue. – Deben Sam & Nepal Ministry – Prayers for Freedom to share Jesus in Nepal – Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School –Prayers for the church, school staff & the children. For safety…Haiti is in political turmoil right now. Prayers for our Haiti school that begins soon.
GCI Churches we support in Mozambique, Bangladesh, Namibia, Nepal, Kenya and Columbia – blessings & provision as they share the Life & Love of Jesus