Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why Christians Should Vote

  1. Voting publicly recognizes that we submit to the authority of the political system in our nation as established by God. Romans 13:1-7
  2. Voting recognizes the equality of all people and their right to speak and be heard. Deuteronomy 10:17-19
  3. Voting is one way that we can obey God's command to seek the good of those around us and our nation as a whole. Jeremiah 29:7
  4. Voting shows that we care deeply about who our leaders are as we are urged to offer prayer and intercession on their behalf. 1 Timothy 2:1,2
  5. Voting is a simple yet significant way we can do something about politics in our nation. 'All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing', Edmund Burke. Psalms 34:14
  6. Voting makes a difference the way a grain of salt makes a difference, and that is how we are to influence our society for good. Matthew 5:13
  7. Voting is a privilege not to be taken for granted. Those of us who reap the benefits of living in a democracy should play a part in upholding democracy.
  8. Not voting is a form of voting, as it will influence the outcome. We need to take responsibility for our actions, as well as our lack of actions. Luke 10:25-37
  9. Voting is part of our stewardship to use all the resources we have been given in ways that honor God; to waste a vote is to squander a gift.
  10. Voting is Biblical. The Bible contains numerous references to "casting lots." (ex. Proverbs 16:33) Acts 14:23 shows that the early Christians elected elders by voting.
[Source: Adapted from "Factfile: Top Ten Reasons to Vote" by Kandiah Krish in "Just Politics."]

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October - Clergy Appreciation Month

Clergy Appreciation Month is a special time that congregations set aside each year to honor their pastors and pastoral families for the hard work, sacrificial dedication and multiple blessings provided by these special people. It is typically scheduled in October, but can be held at any time that is convenient for the church and the community. It is also important to remember that appreciation, affirmation and prayer support of our spiritual leaders is appropriate throughout the entire year.

The nature of the service provided by pastors and their families is unique. God has entrusted to them one of the most precious of assignments – the spiritual well-being of His flock. When a pastor becomes ineffective, the very souls of his or her parishioners are endangered. When eternity is in the balance, we should all be concerned.

Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move. They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward. Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are disappointed when a pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems depressed, lets us down or completely burns out.

That's why God has instructed us to recognize His servants.

"The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching" (1 Timothy 5:17).

The good news is that we can make a difference! Clergy Appreciation Month is one way we can counter the negative erosion in the lives of our spiritual leaders with the positive affirmation they need. Be sure to lead your church in Clergy Appreciation Month!

5 Reasons Christians Should Vote

1. God has granted us authority. All authority belongs to God, but He has put human beings on the earth as caretakers. What is our task? According to Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, we are to go out and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey God in every area of life. This includes politics. We must disciple people to make godly decisions about government, and promote the efforts of those who are already doing so.

2. We need to stand against evil. St. Augustine said those who are citizens of God's kingdom are best equipped to be citizens of the kingdom of man. The alternative is unthinkable. In the 20th Century, atheistic and secular humanistic leaders gained control of nations all across Europe, Asia and Africa. What was the result? According to historian R. J. Rummel, almost 170 million men, women and children have been brutally murdered by these governments, all in the name of human progress. These facts led historian John Hallowell to note,

“Only through a return to faith in God, as God revealed Himself to man in Jesus Christ, can modern man and his society find redemption from the tyranny of evil.”

3. Christian values contribute positively to society. The Bible’s solutions make sense. It is Christian involvement in government through the ages that gave us hospitals, civil liberties, abolition of slavery, modern science, the elevation of women, regard for human life, great works of art and literature, a workable system of justice, education for common people, the free-enterprise system, and much, much more.

When we see the good that results from applying God's principles, and the horror that results from rejecting them, doesn't it seem cruel and irresponsible to keep Jesus teachings about truth, love and compassion to ourselves? At very least, we should vote to keep OUT of office those who attempt to oppose God's authority.

4. Obedience to authority demands good citizenship. The Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 13 clearly states that we must obey governmental leaders because all authority comes from God. Here's the catch: in America, the people are the leaders! Here, at least, we express our obedience to God by exercising our rights and privileges as citizens. That means voting.

5. Good citizenship sets an example for generations to come. Those who apply God's principles to government pave the way for generations of blessing. In 1768 a Christian minister named John Witherspoon became president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton. While there he taught biblical principles of government to his students.

Of the 478 young men who were graduated during his tenure, writes author John Eidsmoe,

“114 became ministers; 13 were state governors; 3 were U. S. Supreme Court judges; 20 were U.S. Senators; 33 were U. S. Congressmen; Aaron Burr, Jr. became Vice-President; and James Madison became President.”

As a Christian, Witherspoon exerted an enormous influence on the direction of American government.

You and I may not have the gifts of John Witherspoon, but we can still make a big difference if we put our minds to it. Pass this on to friends and family, and encourage them to vote in the every election!

[Author: Jeffrey L. Myers, Ph.D. / from his book Vital Truth: Christian Citizenship (February 2003). Copyright 2002, LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the author.]

Monday, October 18, 2010

God's Instrument

(This pastor appreciation poem is about how God uses pastors in our lives. October is Clergy Appreciation Month. Please let your pastor know they are appreciated.)

I see the hands that hold God's word
And fold in prayer to seek His will.
I see the feet that walk the path
And offers of praise as from lofty hill.

I see the hands that serve Him well,
The ears that seek to hear His call,
The mouth that speaks truth and wisdom,
The busy feet that carry the message to all.

I see the heart that was priked and entered
When God's man answered the gospel call
And yielded His life as a humble servant,
A man who is willing, as was Apostle Paul.

I see all of this as he stands in the pulpit,
An instrument through which God speaks
The words of wisdom, of love and peace,
To lead and guide all those whom God seeks.

[by Judy Crowe]

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Strong Vibrant Local Churches

A happy, healthy, growing church cannot continue to widen the base of its constituency without an adequate support system in place to assist its Pastors. One or two Pastors can only care for a limited number of people in this fashion. Beyond that point, without some additional help the quality of the care to that congregation will begin to diminish. As the church grows, so do the needs of its congregation.

[H. B. London]

Monday, October 11, 2010

"2020 Vision" Strategic Plan

The Church of God of Prophecy has been working on a new strategic plan for the organization for several months, and the plan was presented as "2020 Vision" at the recent International Assembly in Greenboro, NC.

As a part of strategic planning, all of the church's assets are being reviewed. To assist with that process, ARKS Inc. was consulted. The asset review was released on Oct. 6, providing the Church a clear picture of its property value and presents multiple options for implanting the church’s 2020 Vision strategy.

Findings of the report were presented at a special meeting attended by the General Presbyters, members of the Assembly Standing Committees (BDP, F&S, and Administrative), the Tomlinson Center Board, and the International Offices staff.

Before releasing the report, General Overseer Randall E. Howard noted the findings would propel a process that would include acting on options suggested from the consulting firm as well as the input received from the membership of the church.

The study suggested the Keith Street campus, a 6.3-acre office complex which includes the International Offices, the Communications building and the White Wing Publishing House, should be sold for a fair market value. Church operations should then relocate to a new International Offices complex built on the former Tomlinson College campus on Lee Highway.

The study also suggested the former Tomlinson College campus, a 94-acre-lot, should be redeveloped for more functionality, including the new International Offices complex, new and repaired Tomlinson College buildings used for leadership development in the new Tomlinson Center, and income-generating rental housing which could include senior citizen housing and apartments.

“Options for Tomlinson Center are wide and include development of a college on the campus to considering strategic partnerships with other accredited colleges,” Howard added.

The study suggested the approximately 200 acres Fields of the Wood biblical-theme park near Murphy, N.C., be closed and developed or sold to alleviate a current $100,000-a-year budget deficit, which does not currently include repairs and restoration.

2020 Vision, presented during the 96th International Assembly this past July, stresses three core values of the Church, including prayer, the harvest and leadership development.

During his annual report to the Assembly, Howard said, “The General Presbyters and Administrative Committee felt it would be highly beneficial to hire outside expertise to do a comprehensive study and analysis of our properties and the best uses for these. This is a part, a small component of our Vision and Strategic Planning process going on now.”

“We are grateful to our friends from ARKS for their detailed analysis of our assets,” Howard said. “Their findings are only recommendations that must be discerned over the next few years. We invite prayer and input from all levels of the field through this phase of decision-making.”

The report is part of a future vision and not the result of any type of “crisis” situation, Howard added, but a strategy for growth and avoiding future economic challenges.

“We are not in a moment of crisis,” he said. “The financial status of the International Offices has remained solid even in the midst of economic downturn, only due to our faithful churches, leaders and members, as well as conservative investment policies.

In June, Raleigh, N.C.-based ARKS, Inc. was commissioned to evaluate the denomination’s three main campuses — the International Offices office complex on Keith Street in Cleveland, the former Tomlinson College campus in Cleveland, and the Fields of the Wood.

The report summarizes its commission by stating, “Today, with a renewed commitment to the enhancement and expansion of leadership training, and the financial pressures facing every level of the church in every country it serves, COGOP has recognized the potential for more effective utilization of its Cleveland assets.”

After months of reviewing documents, interviewing staff, inspecting buildings, factoring in external influences and analyzing alternate actions, the group presented recommendations to COGOP leadership during the October meeting.

“Options for the Fields of the Wood include everything from sale, to finding ways to make it self-sustaining through offerings or profit endeavors,” Howard added.

“We do want to guarantee in the discernment process that we aim to maintain and augment our heritage in the Shearer School House where the Spirit fell before 1900, the First Assembly House, and other locations, as well as historical writings, film, video, and other materials that would secure our heritage in years to come.”

Howard also explained the history of the Church of God of Prophecy extends far beyond Fields of the Wood.

“We believe our heritage is far wider than only the Fields of the Wood property and therefore our commitment to heritage includes dedication to secure, preserve, and promote our history and heritage in its varied forms.”

After the presentation, ARKS representatives answered questions from those in attendance on how they arrived at their findings and recommendations.

Bishop Howard once again explained the recommendations are the first step in taking action, a process that will include plenty of time for membership interaction.

“This information is not going to be kept from anyone,” he said. “We want every member of this church to know that they have a voice to express on this subject.”

In the year leading up to the 2012 International Assembly, convening in Louisville, Ky., Howard said members can express their thoughts to his office, members of the Administrative Committee, and their local/state/regional/national leadership. A special e-mail address, is also available for members.

The executive summary of the ARKS report, which includes a variety of additional suggestions for each property, is available to leadership and members on the Church’s web site,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Forgiveness - Accountability

Some of us confuse forgiveness and accountability. When a perpetrator has committed a crime against us, he or she breaks the laws of God and of man and will suffer the consequences for it, whether in this life or the next.

Is it possible to forgive someone for a rape, for example, but still take them to trial and prosecute them? Yes! Not only does the rapist need to be accountable for his crime, but other women need to be protected from his assaults in the future.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

COGOP Overseer's Only Son Dies In Plane Crash

An investigation is underway to determine what caused a Cessna twin-engine aircraft to crash into a lake in the Bahamas shortly after taking off from the international airport.

The incident yesterday resulted in the deaths of all eight people on board – the pilot and his seven passengers. All of them were Bahamian.

It was around 12:20 pm when the plane, which took off from the international airport in the capital and was headed to San Salvador in the southern part of the Bahamas, went down in Lake Killarney.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham extended condolences to the families and friends of the victims and promised a probe.

“All relevant government agencies are lending their assistance in this tragic matter. Further, a thorough investigation of the crash will be conducted by the relevant authorities,” he said.

The aircraft was registered to Acklins Blue Company, an air charter company based in the Bahamas.

Condolences are pouring in from all over the world for those who died in the plane crash in lake Killarney, Bahamas.

The Cessna 402 driven by veteran pilot, Nelson Hanna, crash-landed just after takeoff at the Lynden Pindling International Airport. A member of the advance lighting team of the popular group Visage were headed to San Salvador along with others for an event during the island’s homecoming weekend. The event is to kick off on Friday night.

The passengers included Nat Williams (pictured), the son of Bishop Clarence N. Williams, overseer of the Turks and Caicos Islands for the Church of God of Prophecy.

“We are saddened to hear of Nat’s tragedy today. He is a dear friend and loving husband. The couple had recently welcomed into the world their first child. This is a sad story indeed,” a friend of Williams said.

Meetings at the International Offices of the Church of God of Prophecy in Cleveland, Tennessee were interrupted yesterday to announce the tragic news. The General Presbyters, BD&P Committee, F&S Committee, Tomlinson Center Board of Directors, and the Administrative Committee (Corporate Board of Directors), are all meeting this week. Everything stopped for prayer for the families of all victims.

The other victims are BEC technician, Cory Farquarson, set setup technician, Devin Storr, Sasha Mildor, Lavard Curtis and Delon Taylor. The last victim is still not confirmed at this time.

The aircraft is submerged in waters off the runway in Killarney where the air Cessna 402 broke apart on impact shortly after noon yesterday.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Holiness - Faith & Living

The Pentecostal Theological Seminary is offering a special class on Holiness - Faith & Living.

Order Your Textbook NOW - Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology [Paperback] Mildred Bangs Wynkoop (Author).

Lodging: Mountain View Inn (formerly Holiday Inn on the hill) in Cleveland, TN is offering a special room rate of $49.99 per night with FREE buffet breakfast for each person in a room.

Mountain View Inn
2400 Executive Park Drive NW
Cleveland, TN 37312
(877) 747-8713

The normal cost for a one hour course, $455. This special course, the price - $100. For those who might need to miss a portion of the course, for those who are registered, arrangements can be made.

This class that deals with Holiness - Faith & Living will have reading requirements so register early.

You may register by going to the Pentecostal Theological Seminary

You will see the second role over about the course, that takes you directly to -

The school has a special program that will allow ministers who are thirty-five years or older with fifteen years or more of ministry in a special program that allows you to work on your masters. The school has more information.

If you are involved in a graduate (masters) program, this course could transfer for credit being a fully accredited offering.

Dr. Steven Land, president of the Seminary and recent special guest for the 2010 International Assembly of the COGOP, will be leading this special Seminar Course in theological studies exclusively for Church of God of Prophecy ministers, students and those interested.

"Holiness: Doctrine and Practice" can be taken for audit or Seminary credit (1credit hour).
Classes will meet Tuesday-Friday, November 2-5, from 1:30-5:30.

There is a place for you in the new PTS!
  • At the heart of Pentecost is Holiness
  • Your entry into cutting-edge seminary training
  • "Be ye holy" is not a Christian option!
  • "Peace" and "Holiness" reflect two sides of the same person

A. Description: Central to the mission of this Seminary, its sponsoring denomination and the history of the Pentecostal movement is the holiness or Wesleyan interpretation of and approach to Christian faith and ministry. The vision statement of the Seminary asserts that our model for ministerial development "was drawn from the Scriptures and the heritage of Wesleyan-Pentecostalism."

This course will develop the substance and implications of a holiness hermeneutic in order to facilitate a deepening of the understanding, wisdom, experience and way of life associated with the doctrine of sanctification. Biblical, historical and pastoral perspectives will be brought into dialog with critical (Freudian, Marxist) and liberationist concerns in order to serve the ministerial needs of the contemporary missionary movement. The systemic, theological, personal- formational and Church polity-process implications will be addressed through a process of reading, reflection, case studies, class discussion, lectures, and spiritual exercises.

B. Outcomes: That each student:
1. Be able to research and inductively synthesize biblical and historical sources in order to arrive at working definitions of perfection, holiness and sanctification;
2. Be able to make "systemic" connections of this doctrine to other key loci (doctrines) of our faith;
3. Develop in his/her ability to do Wesleyan-Pentecostal theology-ethics in relation to actual pastoral cases and everyday concerns (special attention will be given to narrative-virtue ethics).
4. Undergo an encounter which deepens their knowledge of the Holy One.

For more, contact the Pentecostal Theological Seminary,, 800-228-9126.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Holiness Seminar

The Holiness Seminar at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Clevaland, Tennessee is fast approaching. If you have not registered, now is the time to do so. Go to ( to the flashing panel (item 2). Complete the Registration Form and click to send it.

If you have a minister friend nearby, perhaps you could call and invite him/her, and travel together You may order the required reading books. Book prices will be sent with the syllabus.

This seminar is especially designed for the Church of God of Prophecy, the Church of God, and other interested parties. We look forward to this historic gathering to discuss a doctrine we mutually embrace.