Friday, January 16, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

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Pastor's Kid (PK) Syndrome

Ministry can be very hard on pastor’s children:
- Your kids will hear you criticized.
- Your kids will watch you hurt.
- Your kids may see you wrongly strike back.
- Your kids might see your hypocrisy up close.
- Your kids might reject the church because you’re always there.
- Your kids may enjoy the extra attention when they are young and despise it when they mature.

No matter how healthy your church is, a pastor’s kid will likely feel a different sort of pressure. Here are a few things we do to help our kids grow up in the fishbowl:
- Put the kids’ activities ahead of the church calendar.
- Rarely work evenings. The evenings should be family time. Try not to compromise your day off with church needs.
- Don’t talk about your kids in a sermon without their permission.
- Try not to talk negatively about the church.
- Give the kids a break from church. Every now and then, let them stay home or do something else so going to church doesn’t become a legalistic chore.
- Live your private life with personal devotion to Christ. Pray and talk about spiritual things with our children regularly.

What would you add? (Click "comments" below.)

[from : swerve by Craig Groeschel]

ORU Proposes New President

The committee behind Oral Roberts University‘s search for a new president has selected a candidate to recommend to the institution’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Mark Rutland, the candidate being considered for the top post at the university, is currently the president of Southeastern University in Florida and will attend board meetings the last week of January, according to an announcement Wednesday by ORU.

Southeastern University, which has been under the guidance of Rutland for ten years, also made an announcement Wednesday of the new position “God is leading him (Rutland) to.”

"Southeastern University has experienced unprecedented growth over the past ten years with Dr. Rutland as the catalyst," said Southeastern University Chairman of the Board Charles Kelly in a statement. "We will be forever indebted to Dr. Rutland and appreciate all he has accomplished for the university far more than words can express. He will be greatly missed. However, the call of God is leading him to ORU, and we trust the same God to bring us the leader that will take Southeastern into the future."

For more than a year now, ORU has been looking for a new leader following the resignation of Richard Roberts, who served as president for over 14 years.

In October 2007, Roberts, the son of ORU founder Oral Roberts, and his wife were accused of using university money for shopping sprees, home improvements and a stable of horses for their daughters at a time when ORU was more than $50 million in debt. Both Roberts repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and Mr. Roberts said the lawsuit filed by three former ORU professors amounted to “intimidation, blackmail and extortion.”

The lawsuit, which claimed the professors were forced out after uncovering financial and ethical wrongdoing by the school's former president and family, was finally settled late last October after a court-ordered mediation session.

The school's interim president, Ralph Fagin, said the school was pleased to have the matter behind it.

As for the next leader, the ORU Presidential Search Committee said it was looking for a man or woman who has had a "significant leadership position in a fairly large, complex organization" and who is a good speaker, "devoted Christian," planner, visionary, team-builder and good fundraiser, among many more qualifications.

The job description also calls for a president who would serve as a role model, "living a Spirit-filled life, practicing the prayer language."

Though ORU has in recent years attempted to rebrand itself as an interdenominational Christian liberal arts university, the spiritual practice of speaking in tongues is common and encouraged at the self-described charismatic university that is alma mater to respected Christian leaders including Ron Luce and Don Moen as well as embattled ministers such as Kenneth Copeland and Ted Haggard.

In the past, ORU has been criticized for endorsing unorthodox doctrines of faith, including the “Word of Faith” doctrine, which critics say has been used for self promotion and justification of economic materialism.

[By Eric Young - Christian Post Reporter]

Sexual Misconduct Church Policy

Protect your church or ministry from sexual misconduct by implementing a solid policy protecting both the children who attend your church as well as the staff.

While some may consider a formal policy overkill or puritanical, we know that even the hint or accusation of sexual misconduct can ruin a church’s reputation and ability to minister in a community.

A free website called "Protect My Ministry" offers some great free resources including a sample sexual misconduct policy.

They also provide background checks for staff and volunteers.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

For a free sample Sexual Misconduct Policy in PDF, request one by writing us at

[from Planting Space by Patrick]

Pathway Bookstore Closes

Cleveland, TN - For the last several years Pathway Bookstore has served the Cleveland and Bradley County community at its current location. Pathway Press has struggled with the economic issues that affect everyone at this time. Due to the uncertainty of the economy, and after much deliberation, the leadership of Pathway Press, its Board of Directors and leadership of Church of God have made the difficult decision to close Pathway Bookstore, effective immediately.

Current plans are to sell the existing bookstore property on 25th Street. Decisions regarding possible reopening of the bookstore at another location are under consideration, but as of this date no firm plans are in place. We will continue to be available to serve the community via the internet at If you hold a gift card or have layaways, they will be honored through the internet or at Pathway Press, located at 1080 Montgomery Avenue, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-9601. Pathway Press has enjoyed the opportunity of serving the city of Cleveland and Bradley County, and appreciates the support of everyone in our area.

[COG Press Release]

Day 16 of a 21-Day Fast

Day by day we are getting closer to the end of our fasting journey. Be encouraged that you serve the God "Who Sees."

Worshiping and fellowshipping with believers in your local congregation is so important during this time of fasting. As we gather to lift up the name of Jesus and listen to the preaching of the word of God, our inner man is strengthened.

For many of you this has been your first experience seeking God through fasting. It is time to grow in your walk with God by making fasting, prayer, and giving apart of your lifestyle this year. As Matthew chapter six states, these disciplines of fasting, prayer, and giving are to be in the life of followers of Christ. Allow what you have learned, and put in practice during the first 3 weeks of 2009, become a part of your walk with Christ throughout this year. This entire year, continue to put God first and then stand back and see His provisions flood your life.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 states, "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." God promised to lead the nation of Israel into the promise land; to a land of abundance, blessed by God Himself. However, on the way to the place of abundance God led them into the wilderness to humble them and to see what was in their heart.

I'm sure each of you who have made a choice to humble yourself through fasting during this season, has seen that your heart has become much more sensitive to the ways and will of God for your life. Also, you've become aware of any areas of disobedience that have been in our life. We have each been brought to a place where, through our hunger, we have learned and acknowledged daily that we truly cannot live by bread alone; we deeply need "every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord" Many of you may wonder, "When will my breakthrough come?" I tell you that just as God prepared the nation of Israel, He has been preparing you. Fear not, God has a place of abundant living in your future. God desires for you to experience His kingdom in your life! "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Rejoice during this time of preparation! God has great things in store for you this year as you walk with Him!

Continue to press on! Humility is the necessary position in order to receive great blessings. Continue to share with each other how you are believing God to be "Lord" in every area of your life!

[by Pastor Chad Craig]

Today's Prayer

Dear God,

Your Word me to cast my cares upon you. Oh how I want to do that, to bring all my cares to you and leave them at your feet. I do not want to be a worrier, but one whose faith is strong to trust you. I want to bring those burdens and concerns to you, and not keep picking them up and worrying about them.

Through this 21 days of prayer and fasting, may this year be one of spiritual breakthrough in my life and in the lives of those I love. May our lives be filled with joy and peace through your Spirit. May you be the center and the heart of our homes. May we be more Christlike and less like the world in our everyday lives.

Help us and have mercy upon us, dear God. Please guide our steps.

In Jesus' name, amen.