President's Page

President’s Page – March 2018

Posted by on Feb 22, 2018

by Pastor Dave Stall When I agreed to serve as conference president this year, it was on the condition that it would be a family experience. This was NOT going to be a season where extra ministry and travel would take me away from my family. Every trip would include my wife or the entire family. We have stuck with that plan and the experience has been great! Just in the last few years, I have learned how to minister to my family first, and engage my family in ministry to others. This is in contrast to the “you stay here and have a good life while dad goes out to save the world” model of my earlier years. Why did it take so many years for me to figure this out? How was my wife so patient and loving through all of those years? I’m not sure, but better now than never! For years, I talked about being a husband and father. Talk didn’t help anyone. It was time for LESS TALK and MORE ACTION in my own family. Maybe...

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Alliance In Ministry

Forgiveness = Happiness!

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018

By Rob Appel Executive Director Last May I received a birthday card from my daughter and her family. When you opened up the card, the song by Pharrell Williams entitled “Happy” started playing. My youngest granddaughter procured the card immediately and it is now her card. Why? Because when she opens it and the music starts playing, her whole face beams! It obviously makes her happy. Have you ever noticed how one person can affect the whole room with their attitude? If they are happy, then all are happy. If they are sad, then everyone is gloomy. And if they are angry, everyone else is just a bit annoyed. Fortunately this is not true in all cases — however when that one person has such influence that it permeates the whole atmosphere, then it becomes a problem. I was talking to Pastor Bob Peet of the Kingdom of God church in Kingman, Arizona, in early February. While we were talking, I shared a story with him about when I was in Brazil in 2011 with Pastors Andrew Samuels and George Calhoun...

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Features

Focused to Race – Part 1

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018

By Brenda Rankhorn I’m sure most, if not all of you, have ridden a bike. Before my sons were out of school for the summer I had made a habit of taking a bike ride in the mornings. I enjoyed these early morning bike rides so much that I had found several 5-6-mile bike routes that I could take. I would attach my water jug to the bike and set an app on my phone to record speed and distance. This one particular day I had made it about 1.5 miles into my route when the chain came off my bike. Because this bike is a 15-speed with several sprockets, it took me a while to replace the chain. In the meantime, I had to endure people slowing down as they passed, causing me to wonder if some shady character was going to stop and harass me; I had to endure the heat and the bugs; and I had to endure my own worrying thoughts that maybe I would just have to walk all the way back home pushing the bike....

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Departments

Forgiveness = Happiness!

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018

By Rob Appel Executive Director Last May I received a birthday card from my daughter and her family. When you opened up the card, the song by Pharrell Williams entitled “Happy” started playing. My youngest granddaughter procured the card immediately and it is now her card. Why? Because when she opens it and the music starts playing, her whole face beams! It obviously makes her happy. Have you ever noticed how one person can affect the whole room with their attitude? If they are happy, then all are happy. If they are sad, then everyone is gloomy. And if they are angry, everyone else is just a bit annoyed. Fortunately this is not true in all cases — however when that one person has such influence that it permeates the whole atmosphere, then it becomes a problem. I was talking to Pastor Bob Peet of the Kingdom of God church in Kingman, Arizona, in early February. While we were talking, I shared a story with him about when I was in Brazil in 2011 with Pastors Andrew Samuels and George Calhoun...

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Recent Posts

Focused to Race – Part 1

Focused to Race – Part 1

Feb 23, 2018

By Brenda Rankhorn I’m sure most, if not all of you, have ridden a bike. Before my sons were out of school for the summer I had made a habit of taking a bike ride in the mornings. I enjoyed these early morning bike rides so much that I had found several 5-6-mile bike routes that I could take. I would attach my water jug to the bike and set an app on my phone to record speed and distance. This one particular day I had made it about 1.5 miles into my route when the chain came off my bike. Because this bike is a 15-speed with several sprockets, it took me a while to replace the chain. In the meantime, I had to endure people slowing down as they passed, causing me to wonder if some shady character was going to stop and harass me; I had to endure the heat and the bugs; and I had to endure my own worrying thoughts that maybe I would just have to walk all the way back home pushing the bike. After replacing the chain, both my hands were black and greasy from the effort, and sweat was trickling down my back. Now I had to decide whether to ride the 1.5 miles back home or to ride about another 4 miles to finish my usual route. As I looked at my blackened greasy hands, I was reminded of my chain coming off and how inept I was at replacing it, and I began to worry that it would come off again when I would be even further from the house. I did not relish the idea of possibly walking 2-3 miles back home or squatting by the side of the road again to replace the chain. But as I looked at my hands and thought all these discouraging thoughts, I saw something else that caused my racing thoughts to take a different direction. I saw the ring on my hand and I remembered to whom I belonged. I knew that worst case scenario I could call on my husband and he would pick me and the bike up and return me to the...

Forgiveness = Happiness!

Forgiveness = Happiness!

Feb 23, 2018

By Rob Appel Executive Director Last May I received a birthday card from my daughter and her family. When you opened up the card, the song by Pharrell Williams entitled “Happy” started playing. My youngest granddaughter procured the card immediately and it is now her card. Why? Because when she opens it and the music starts playing, her whole face beams! It obviously makes her happy. Have you ever noticed how one person can affect the whole room with their attitude? If they are happy, then all are happy. If they are sad, then everyone is gloomy. And if they are angry, everyone else is just a bit annoyed. Fortunately this is not true in all cases — however when that one person has such influence that it permeates the whole atmosphere, then it becomes a problem. I was talking to Pastor Bob Peet of the Kingdom of God church in Kingman, Arizona, in early February. While we were talking, I shared a story with him about when I was in Brazil in 2011 with Pastors Andrew Samuels and George Calhoun and we were taking turns preaching in the evenings. We all had prepared separately, and yet our sermons were very similar. The night that Pastor Andrew was preaching I was praying for him and the message when a clear strong voice told me that I was to preach on something completely different the next night at a church that we had not been to before. The next evening, not prepared to preach something else, I said to our interpreter Pastor Jonas Sommer, “I am not going from the script, and I will try not to race out too far in front so you can interpret.” That was a scary moment for both of us! I spoke about forgiveness. I cannot remember anything that I said that night. It was from God and aimed straight at their ears and hearts. I do remember talking about people sitting right there in the church — that they were finding it very hard to forgive someone who had done them wrong; and that they still get angry when they think of all the bad things people did...

Lights, Camera, Action!

Lights, Camera, Action!

Feb 23, 2018

by Jeremiah Owen Ten years ago, thoughts about broadcasting your church service would have involved lots of dollar signs — and some animated discussions about mortgaging the church property! With the advent of Facebook Live, YouTube Live and many other livestream options, the question is more about who will be in charge of setting up a cell phone on a tripod. Using Facebook Using Facebook is VERY easy, and often times has the best chance at reaching a large audience (dependent of course on the amount of people you have that “Like” your page). Facebook has the advantage of making your audience “ready-made” and ready to watch. When you begin to stream, Facebook will notify your followers that you have a livestream happening. This is a great feature that helps people get notified when you are live! To stream on Facebook Live, here is a great guide on how to get up and running: Stream Your Church Services with Facebook Live (https://churchtechtoday.com/2017/06/21/stream-church-services-facebook-live/) Using YouTube Using YouTube is a great option for livestreaming as well. YouTube will also notify your subscribers that you are live. The main knock against YouTube Live would be that it does require you to develop an audience on that platform — something that you may already have in place on Facebook. Regardless, it’s a great platform to stream and the price, like Facebook, is very economical, depending on how you want to approach it. To stream on YouTube, here is a good starter guide: Church Edit | Church Websites | Live streaming using YouTube (http://www.churchedit.co.uk/website-tips/church-video/live-streaming-using-youtube/) Other Options Of course, there is more than one way to stream your church service, and depending on your church’s goals or audience, some of the options include Livestream.com or Sermon.net (among others). I would encourage you to research each option and find the best fit for your church’s needs. It’s incredible that we can now reach people with the Gospel using high quality video for fractions of a fraction of what it used to cost — and those people can be thousands of miles away! What a time to be...

March 17th

By Sarina Villalpando Maranatha Community Church in Colton, CA I’m going to start this by saying, I’m not a professional historian or researcher and I might not have all my facts straight but thought I would spread the knowledge I have gathered. Understanding where things came from, why they are important, how they came from point A to point B and all the background of all the different things in the world is both important to me and interesting to me. Well, as many of you know there’s this holiday that comes along in March covered in a whole lot of green. St. Patrick’s Day is about a man named Patrick, but why it’s about him I will explain later. First lets discuss the man himself. Patrick was born in Britain circa 385 A.D. Patrick’s dad was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest but he never felt religious until his life changed at age 16. At 16 years old he was attacked and kidnaped by Irish pirates from his family’s villa. Patrick had been sold into slavery and was put to work as a shepherd for pigs. In his confession he says the experience was what really renewed his faith. I personally love that part. Now you may be asking, why is this man so important that he has a day of recognition? Patrick holds a story of a man who had nothing and learned to love God and was devoted to God by spreading the Gospel throughout Ireland. About six years later he had a vision that God wanted him to return to his homeland. When escaping, he boarded a ship heading for Gaul, where people thought he was trained for ministry. But when he returned home, he was reading a letter aloud called, “The voice of the Irish,” where he heard Irish voices pleading him to return to Ireland. Around 432 A.D., Patrick returned to Ireland as a bishop to share the Gospel. He journeyed across Ireland, spreading the Gospel, as well as baptizing and confirming countless believers. Along with this he founded many churches and monasteries. His strategy was to convert the King, who would influence the conversion of...

7 Ways for a Pastor to be a Great Parent

7 Ways for a Pastor to be a Great Parent

Feb 23, 2018

by John J. Pethtel   God intends for pastors to be great parents. Sadly, some churches don’t care if their pastors are faithful in their homes as long as they perform well in the church. This is unacceptable. Speaking of pastor/elders in 1 Timothy 3:4-5 Paul wrote, “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” God’s primary proving ground for a pastor is not his work in the pulpit, but his home. This means that a pastor qualifies and disqualifies himself in the home before he ever does in the church. No amount of ministry fruitfulness will justify our failure to love and lead the families God has given us. Yes, pastoral ministry comes with a unique brand of difficulty. The hours are long, the work is hard, and the results are often unseen. We cannot let this serve as an excuse for being lousy parents. We can do better. We have a heavenly Father who willingly sacrificed His own Son, so that through faith, we could be saved and faithfully father our own sons and daughters. By God’s grace and through the Spirit’s strength, here are seven ways for good pastors to be great parents… 1. Model humble repentance. Sin is going to be commonplace in our parenting — the question is, will repentance be? Apologizing to my kids has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Our kids should learn how to repent and when to repent, not only from our instruction, but also from our example. 2. Practice what you preach. Nothing will be more damaging to our kids than seeing a disconnect between our public and private personas. The same person that occupies the pulpit must occupy the home. 3. Be present in the moment. Our presence isn’t enough, our kids also need our attention. We need time to be fully engaged in what’s happening at home. 4. Pastor your home. We need a strategy for how to make disciples in our homes as well as our churches. We pastor our homes,...

A Woman’s Place?

A Woman’s Place?

Feb 23, 2018

By Katrina Goodrich Maybe not this week or next, but if Jesus’ return does not preempt your time here, then your body in this broken world will fail and you will stop being counted among the living. We often try to pretend otherwise despite the regular reminders and evidence around us. Almost no one in the billions of people that have come before us made it out of this world without dying. It is the normal progression of things when sin infects the equation. People are not the only ones subject to temporal impermanence. Plants and animals are born and return to the earth, seasons pass, lakes dry up, nations rise and fall, monuments of stone wear and crumble into dust. It seems it is also common among congregations. Even long-lived local churches will see cycles of growth, maturity, stagnation, and death. It might span decades or even centuries, but typically a change of state is the only constant. I was reminded of this visiting the Seventh Day Baptist congregations in the UK in November 2017. Boasting the title of oldest SDB congregations in the world, they remain the same mostly only in name. The original congregations of hundreds of years ago are really only the same in fundamental beliefs and unity in the Spirit. The congregations of today are almost entirely of Afro-Caribbean heritage and culture. I am quite certain that you would have a challenge convincing a founding member of the early church in England that this was actually their church. What they would recognize as their church died a long time ago. Those of old British ancestry and culture diminished in numbers and participation over the decades and were replaced by their spiritual grandchildren from across the seas that came for educational and economic opportunities. Mostly Jamaicans that had carried their own styles of worship and favorite hymns and choruses came to dominate the congregations and now have transformed the church into something different. While no one may be able to put a date on it, the old church died and a new one came into being. Now with aging congregations, and church facilities in communities that do not reflect their...

Fear of Communicating?

Fear of Communicating?

Feb 22, 2018

by Katy Bofinger Can I be really honest with you? I have a paralyzing fear of making calls using the telephone. It’s ridiculous, but I worry about interrupting people, or catching them at a bad time. Without body language to interpret, I fear that I may misunderstand them or misrepresent myself. As I sit and type this, I realize the silliness of this fear. For YEARS my parents and my husband have tried to convince me to get over it. My family has tried to explain that if someone was inconvenienced by the call, he wouldn’t answer. In my head I know all of that is true, and I normally consider myself to be a very rational person. But when I go to dial, my blood pressure increases and I have to coax myself to actually do it. I actually consider myself a pretty good communicator (besides the part where I fear dialing the phone and someone actually answering). I’ve been teaching for 10 years, talking daily with hundreds of students. I truly enjoy public speaking! In my current job as a P.E. teacher I talk with students, classroom teachers, parents, the administration team, our secretaries, business office personnel, maintenance staff, and on and on. As an Athletic Director, I communicate with even more people — other AD’s, the people who mow and line the fields, officials, coaches, t-shirt companies, newspaper reporters, bus drivers…it’s never ending! While I prefer email or text, I will go out of my way to talk to someone in person if I can. I will make calls from my office phone if I need to, but usually as a last resort. I have adapted the way I do my job to accommodate my hatred of using the phone. I am glad that Jesus didn’t have fears about communicating — that He didn’t worry about missing body language cues. He spoke with authority and people listened. He was the perfect communicator. When Jesus was leading and teaching His disciples, He spoke to them with stories and words they would understand. He spoke to crowds, to individuals, to those who hated Him, and to those who loved Him. When we communicate...

Calling All ‘Eu’ Angels!

Calling All ‘Eu’ Angels!

Feb 22, 2018

By Rev. Nicholas J. Kersten Director of Education and History “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” — The Apostle Paul in Romans 11:14-15 “I need a sign to let me know you’re here ‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear I want a reason for the way things have to be I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me And I’m calling all angels I’m calling all you angels.” —from the Train song “Calling All Angels.” Evangelism. How does that word look on the page to you? What honestly happened in your heart when you read it? What pictures spring to mind? What people in your story have that title in the script of your life? Are they heroes, villains, or something in between? If you’re like me, that word “evangelism” has a bit of a mixed history in your life story. I feel a vague sense of guilt and shame when I see the word if I am being honest. The reason is because I was always told that it was my responsibility and I never felt like I was doing it right. My definition of evangelism was built around those impervious souls who took a bullhorn and tracts to the streets and got spat on for telling “heathen unbelievers” that they were going to hell. If that description fits for you, my purpose today is to shatter that view in less than two pages. The definition we have given the word is part of the problem. Because of our associations with people who have used that title or bad experiences we had, we have made evangelism a thing we view negatively — like taking terrible tasting medicine. The reality is that the word evangelism has its root a Greek word with two parts — one...