Friday, March 07, 2003

Songs in the Night

People cry out because of the excess of oppression; they cry out for help because of the power of the mighty. But no one says, ‘Where is God, my Creator, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than the wild animals of the earth, and makes us wiser that the birds of the air?’ (Job 35:9-11, Net Bible)

One must use caution using the book of Job for a text. The poetic sections are not only difficult, but contain a raging argument over the nature of sin and punishment. Indeed, the Lord told Eliphaz, "My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has." (Job 42:7) However, the verses above come from the speech of Elihu. He was a young man who held his tongue while the older men argued. When they had no more to say, he spoke up. Although young and conceited, Elihu offered a subtly different perspective.

I have spent the last year teaching the book of Job, so I have some confidence in the meditation that I bring you today. Elihu spoke the words quoted above. There is so much of the nature of man in these words along with great hope to those going through a dark night of the soul.

“People cry out because of the excess of oppression; they cry out for help because of the power of the mighty." Someone has said, "There are no atheists in fox-holes." The point is well taken. It is often when the world comes crashing down around us that we suddenly seek a higher power that can rescue us. Very often those times are the results of others who have power. It can be the very small, like my prayers, as a young boy, for divine favor over the unstudied for test I was about to take. It can be very large, such as the desperate plea for the safety of an abducted child. The world is full of pain, and people seek divine help.

And the Lord who is full of mercy and grace knows that when the test is passed and the child returned and the soldier is home safe from the war, the one who cried so desperately moves on and forgets Him. Maybe you have been there. I certainly have. The crisis is over and the seeking heart seeks other pleasures.

So Elihu speaks, "But no one says, ‘Where is God, my Creator, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than the wild animals of the earth, and makes us wiser that the birds of the air?’" This is not a call for deliverance, but a call for a Presence in our difficult times. It acknowledges that the times are perhaps evil and will be for some time. It seeks the sovereign Creator for His own sake, because that can bring strength, inner peace, and joy. The Presence of God manifested by His Holy Spirit can give us "songs in the night." Think of Paul and Silas singing praise to God in the Philippian jail. Think of the priests singing as they marched in front of Jehoshaphat's army as they met the threat of Moab. Think of martyr after martyr who sang songs in their deaths. Sometimes deliverance comes and sometimes it does not.

"Who teaches us more than the wild animals of the earth." Animals do not have a spirit within them that can know the Lord like we can. They may have an innate patience to endure the pain and suffering that come their way, but they cannot know the Creator spirit to Spirit like we can. Jeremiah had an anguish of soul much deeper than anything experienced by Job. He lived through the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and saw the horrors of human depravity sunk low. In Lamentations who wrote, "So I said, 'My endurance has perished, I have lost all hope of deliverance from the Lord.'”(Lamentations 3:18). Just 3 verses later, he wrote, "But this I call to mind, therefore I have hope: The Lord’s many kindnesses never cease, for his great compassion never comes to an end. They are renewed every morning; your faithfulness is abundant! I said to myself, 'The Lord is the portion of my inheritance; therefore, I will put my hope in him.'” (Lamentations 3:21-24) He called for the Presence of the Lord (the portion of his inheritance), and the Lord taught Jeremiah about His mercy. Standing on ground-zero Jerusalem, Jeremiah recovered a sustaining hope for the hard years ahead.

If you are now in a dark night of the soul. Ask the Lord for His Presence. Seek His face and His songs. The night might persist for awhile, but you will have a peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7)

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Church Journey

This is the second part of a two part blog series covering my church journey from a non-charismatic evangelical Bible church to a charismatic evangelical Vineyard by way of a Messianic Jewish Synagogue. To start at the beginning, click here.

Beth Hallel Days

I mentioned, yesterday, that my children thrived at Beth Hallel. During those stormy days of dysfunctional family life, while my nieces lived with us, Beth Hallel was the one place we all anticipated. If their doors were open, we were there. The people all turned out to be friendly, they just seemed to need the outside world to commit to them before they opened up. There was a day when Jonathan was very sick. Stephanie went to the store for a few things and came back to find Jonathan up and dressed. He announced that he was better and could certainly go to Beth Hallel. His fever, when she checked it, was 103 degrees.

One year after we joined, I began to teach a series on Isaiah. Rather than the five years that I expected, it took only one. I decided to follow Paul's ministry model and paid for all my handouts and course materials out of my own pocket. Many people responded positively to this series and I was very encouraged.

The Jews have a great community life and a full holiday calendar that teaches essential theological truths. Living that cycle of holidays added an unexpected dimension to my understanding of their significance. Each spring I would anticipate Passover (Pesach) and Pentecost (Shavuot). In the fall, I would anticipate Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth). One day, it occurred to me that Jesus' first coming fulfilled the spring holidays and that his next coming would fulfill the fall. You can find complete details in my online paper, "The Lord's Appointed Times"

Two things happened that dramatically changed my status at Beth Hallel. The first thing was the Rabbi asking me to cut the Isaiah series short by two weeks. He was a regular kind of guy and did not plug into the more scholarly aspects of my lessons. He was anxious to have them end. The second thing was his announcement that his wife would teach the next series. I did not really mind the former. As for the latter, I scheduled a meeting with Robert to discuss the scriptural implications of his decision to have his wife teach a mixed group (I realize that many of you would not have a problem with this, but it was a still is a matter of conscience for me: also see Biblical Gynecology). He was cordial, but decided to go ahead with his plan anyway. My wife and I opted to not attend the lessons taught by a woman to a mixed audience. We did, however, show the respect of not discussing the issue with others. We did not wish to be divisive.

Showing an independent spirit to a controlling leader is never good. I never taught publicly at Beth Hallel again. If anyone asked me to do anything publicly, they had one of the rabbi's famous meetings. Afterwards they would express their regrets to me and found someone else more to the rabbi’s liking. I guess there are some who would have become embittered, but I carried on cheerfully, although I would occasionally feel a frustration level rise up.

I may have had no public platform, but I still had influence behind the scenes. In 1991, one of the leaders quietly began a Monday morning Bible study and invited me. At first we shared the teaching, but soon they just asked me to do it. We kind of flew under the rabbi's radar. This study goes on to this day. I may not have had a public platform, but I had the some of the elders and the deacons of Beth Hallel quietly receiving solid instruction from the Bible. Through the years we have studied 1st and 2nd Timothy, Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Hebrews. We spent 5 years on the life of Jesus Christ, sat with Job, and are now swimming in Romans. Even though I no longer attend Beth Hallel, I still have a small influence.

During my time at Beth Hallel, I learned to appreciate the Jewish holidays and the Jewish sense of community. There is no parallel among the Gentile churches. I also attended several yeshivas conducted by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations. I was able to listen to David Stern, who translated the Jewish New Testament, Dr. Louis Goldberg of Moody, and others. Those were stimulating times.


In the spring of 1994, five years after joining Beth Hallel, two events precipitated a change of direction. First, my wife had an intuition that my time of waiting was about to end. The second was that I read Jack Deere's "Surprised by the Power of the Holy Spirit."

Even when I was in Dallas, I never considered myself a cessationist. The typical arguments about prophecy, healing, etc. only being for the first century always seemed weak. At Beth Hallel, the rabbi often had words of knowledge about people that had uncanny accuracy. All this is to say that the actual theology in Jack Deere's book was not what struck me so hard and caused me, at the end of chapter 2, to rush upstairs to tell my wife that the material in the book would change my life. Coming from Dallas and Scofield Memorial Church and Believers Chapel and Community Bible Chapel etc. I felt like I knew the soul of strong evangelical life. We take life and the Bible seriously. We strive to be strong in Word and Spirit. Our meetings are conducted in decency and order. So how was it that a 3 day seminar taught by John White (White not Wimber in this instance) could reduce our kind of church to a cacophony of tearful repentances, inner healings, and demonic deliverance? If it had happened at Beth Hallel, it would have been no surprise to me. Reading chapter 2 of Jack Deere's book, quite honestly, gave me a vision for it happening at other evangelical churches, and that's when my sense of the Power of God awoke.

At first, my idea was to attend a local Vineyard Church to see what kind of training they had. I quickly discovered that Vineyard Churches were all different. They were not so much connected by common Theology and church practice as they were by a set of values. We visited The Marietta Vineyard that hosted many young Gen-X'ers. They sensed that my family would not fit in well, so they told us about Cobb Vineyard, which we attended the following week. The Sunday service was OK. It was good to hear real teaching again. The worship music was not as good as Beth Hallel.

The following Wednesday, my son and I attended their prayer meeting. We both commented afterwards about feeling a strong sense of God's Spirit while we prayed for others. Everybody seemed to be very open and friendly.

The next Wednesday my wife came to the prayer meeting. Things could not have been more different. A group of them had gone to both the Toronto Vineyard and the Kansas City Vineyard and they were hyped! While one young woman was telling about her time, a small group behind us just began laughing. It was and sounded rude, but nobody seemed to mind. Then the girl fell down laughing with great gusto. A young man began to tell his story and it was a battle between him trying to be heard and her seemingly trying to laugh above him. It was not a pretty evening. If this had been my first meeting, I may never have returned, but I had the warmth of the first and decided it would be good to see which evening was typical.

The next Wednesday, when I parked the car, my wife asked me if I had a dollar. I said, "Yes. Why?" She replied, "Because if it's like what is was last time, you can find me in the Huddle House across the street drinking coffee." I gave her the dollar. For some time after that every time we went into a meeting she would always flash that dollar at me.

Things, for a while, were never quite as dramatic as that second Wednesday night, but I was told that a new wave of "renewal" was flowing through the Vineyard and other churches. They said that it began in Toronto that January (1994). A lot of dialog was flowing among the Vineyard leadership to discern what was going on. Supposedly, nothing was going on at Toronto, Kansas City, and the local Vineyards that had not happened before. During this time, I came face to face with the less well known side effects of the First and Second Great Awakenings: besides a wave of repentance, there were also waves of strange phenomenon. Jonathan Edwards, for example, had written his “Religious Affections,” to help the church understand the why religion was affecting people the way it was.

Joining Cobb Vineyard was the second anomaly of my Christian walk. I did not join because of the renewal. As I told my wife at the time, the renewal train was going somewhere, but I did not know its destination. However, there was wisdom to be gained no matter where it stopped. Either it was going to show a profound move of God, or I would have the means to communicate why it was not. I joined because my inner sense told me it was the right thing to do. It was a call seemingly from the Lord. The only logical objective pieces in this decision were the pastor's character and his vision for what a church should be. Thomas Cooley understood the priesthood of the believer. He believed that each one had a spiritual gift for the good of the body. He was not comfortable with the renewal, but He did not want to quickly interfere with what God might be doing.

My inner sense of calling was very strong. When we joined Beth Hallel, my wife had the same inner calling as I did. We went as a team. Changing to Cobb Vineyard meant that I had to ask her to follow, against her desires, as a Christian wife. She did so as unto the Lord, and although she rightfully spoke her opinions, she never attempted to undermine my decision or sabotage the path. My inner call was so strong, that I would cry to the Lord to unify our hearts on the issue. He did not. It was as if He were asking me to choose between my wife and Himself.

Cobb Vineyard in 1994? Thomas had character and vision, but minimal leadership skills. There was insufficient follow through to bring the vision to pass. The children in the church ran wild – We had some people over to our house and were amazed to see one of the children dancing on our coffee table: the parents never said a thing. All the young people Jonathan's age were from dysfunctional homes and on medication – we were concerned about who he might meet and marry. The associate pastor preached types and shadows and hinted that you could lose your salvation. The renewal phenomena continued on. You can see why my being there would be anomalous. I had a calling and a sense that what was would not always be.

But I learned two important Biblical truths from the renewal. They were things I could not have perceived fully in the stable environment of my evangelical past. They are maxims that I carry to this day, and I think that they are true. The first is that "God will offend the mind to reveal the heart." To put this in Biblical perspective: Think of Ezekiel playing toy soldiers and cooking his food over dung (Eze 4); think of Isaiah and Micah walking about naked for three years (Is. 20:2,3; Mic 1:8); think of Jesus inciting a racial riot in his home town (Luk 4:14 ff.); think of Jesus talking about drinking blood to devout Jews (John 6:53 ff); and David dancing before the Lord in his underwear to the consternation of Michal (2 Sam 6:14­-23). The first maxim told me not judge a situation too quickly.

The second maxim, which actually completes the first, comes from 1Th 5:19-22 which says, "Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil." You may have noted that I close all my e-mail with "Examine everything. Cling to what is good." It is the verse that charted my course through the renewal times. Some was goofy and bad. Other things were strange but healthy. How easy it would be for us today to despise a true prophet who showed up at church without clothes. I have seen groups of women lying on the ground, holding their bellies, and crying out as if they were giving birth. If the former could be giving a live demonstration of foreign captivity, could not the latter be foreshadowing the birth pangs to come?

And there was good that came from the renewal. My son and I participated in the deliverance of a young man. During the prayer session, he developed a lump in his shoulder that caused him great pain. My son laid his hands on the lump and felt it go away. The young man's torment went away at the same time. That young man now coaches 3 soccer teams with an evangelistic focus. One of them is on its way the Georgia State championships.

I have experienced walking up to people when suddenly a single word would pop into my head. When I then asked if "such and such" meant anything to them, they broke down in tears. I have seen healings of the soul and healings of the body. On the other hand, I have also seen what I consider Satanic or even fleshly distractions. During a serious sermon on concern for the lost, a group broke out in laughter. It totally disrupted the message.

That was Cobb Vineyard in 1994. If you came to Cobb Vineyard today, you would see Thomas, with the same character and vision, leading a church increasingly ruled by its elders. He is teaching through books of the Bible with great skill. The children behave like normal children. The congregation is taught to seek life in the scriptures. The congregation is coming to discover and use their spiritual gifts. There is still much to do, but we have come a long long way. 

We are striving to be a 4W church. We strive to love God by our Worship and the study of his Word. We strive to love others by our spiritual gifts Working to build the body and expecting God to help with His Wonders. The 4 W's then are Worship, Word, Work, and Wonders.

I have had a rich and rewarding time these 16 years since leaving Dallas. I still have and value most highly the evangelical traditions. If I had to pick only one from among Messianic Judaism, Charismatic Christianity, and Evangelical Christianity, I would pick the Evangelical. A disciplined study of the scriptures is the easiest and most reliable path to maturity. But I have been fortunate to become intimate with all three. In my view the evangelical tradition is actually able to accommodate it all. Again, Daniel Wallace's paper speaks Vineyard Values and the scriptures clearly teach the coming salvation of Israel and the Jews. Also, Richard Lovelace's book “Dynamics of Spiritual Life” is interesting reading along these lines.

<>< Test everything. Cling to what is good. ><>

Monday, March 03, 2003

Church Journey

There have been distinct times in my Christian life when I have made decisions that were not based on logic, but rather an inner sense that told me which path to choose. For example, in 1973, an employment counselor told me that the computer industry was a closed field. I took my excellent qualifications (not quite a BA in Philosophy and a 2.2 GPA) and became a printer operator at Dallas County Data Services, because I "knew" it was the place to be. A year and a half later, I was a well respected Systems Programmer. I eventually joined IBM and have had a good career with them and other computer companies.

This post is about two more such decisions.

I became a Christian in September 1970, when I was 20 years old. I got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ in 1971 and joined their staff in 1972. This paved the way for me to move to Dallas, TX. I did not stay with Campus Crusade for long, but I did stay in Dallas, because I had met my future wife and she was, and still is, beyond the price of rubies.

Dallas, Texas is the home of Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and that institution has impacted the churches in the area. There is a solid, albeit dispensational, core of biblical teaching that exists in Dallas churches. I became involved in a strong Bible church that downplayed its DTS roots and sought to teach the scriptures with integrity. It was a rewarding 10 years. That Church is Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, TX and I highly recommend it. My week to week relationship with this church came to an end on 1987, when IBM transferred me to Atlanta, GA.

The choices that I had, coming into Atlanta in 1987, were sparse indeed. My wife and I  found and almost liked a church named Community Bible Church, which featured a pastor from Dallas Theological Seminary. In their way, they were very legalistic. Not from a works salvation sense, but in a "these are the principles by which you should live" sense. We discerned that we would soon be squirming in a tight box trying to get a breath of fresh air. For example, when I mentioned being transferred, by IBM, to Atlanta, I was informed that I should have moved only if I had a known ministry in that place. From their viewpoint, I should have left IBM and stayed in Dallas. They did not seem to remember that the Lord told Abram to pick up and go and worry about the details later.

We attended a Presbyterian Church (PCA) for a year. Our best friends in the area went there, and it was a good place to rest from searching. There were several reasons that piled up all at once to move us into searching again. The most serious was that the pastor and a segment of the congregation began to quarrel bitterly. We left before we had to take sides and remained friends with everybody. The week after we left the church broke apart at the seams (not because we left).

Since we were looking again anyway, we took the opportunity to visit Beth Hallel, a Messianic Jewish Synagogue. The Jews there are believers in Messiah Yeshua, the Son of Adonai. Although they have a love for Torah, they understand that salvation is by faith alone. Their distinctive is that they worship Yeshua in a Jewish way.

It met on Friday nights and did not interfere with our Sunday explorations. The people, initially, were not all that friendly. The rabbi, Robert Solomon, asked for money constantly. He considered himself a preacher and not a teacher, which meant that he was inspirational in tone, but soon you knew everything that he had to say. He always gave an altar call, and I hate altar calls. Eventually we realized that he ran a very tight ship and that he was the guy in charge. I mean really in charge. Indeed, when I asked the elder what his responsibilities were, he responded, "To do what the rabbi tells me to do." Also, I could tell that it was charismatic at some level, and I was not sure how I felt about that.

But the worship in that place connected me to God. For that reason, we kept going Friday after Friday after Friday. I came to enjoy the Jewish liturgy.

On Sundays, we began attending Grace Community Church. This was a good place. Sunday mornings were well run. The church was overseen by a group of mature elders. The members were serious about the Bible. Before long, I began teaching in their adult Sunday School.

In terms of my Dallas bred values, Grace Community Church was the place to be and Beth Hallel was not. The curious thing though was that my children (which had grown in number to 7 by this time, but that's another story) were thriving at Beth Hallel and dying at Grace. The other curious thing was that I suddenly saw the rich supply of qualified students and teachers of the Bible at Grace. Beth Hallel's resources were meager.

Beth Hallel became the first anomaly in my Christian walk. I dearly love to teach and Grace Community Church was a theological match, but we left it, in February 1989, and joined Beth Hallel. I went where I saw the greatest need. GCB would thrive whether I was there or not, but Beth Hallel might gain benefit from my teaching gifts. I told my self that it might take me as much as five years to earn the right to be heard. It would take me awhile to get to know people and for them to get to know me. I would have to relate to their Jewish sensibilities and sensitivities. I could hardly believe that I was making this decision. To this day, I have no regrets.

Thursday: The second anomaly in My Christian walk.

<>< Test everything. Cling to what is good. ><>

Jesus' Miracles and What They Teach Us

This is part 8 of a series that looks at why Jesus performed miracles and what He taught us through them. The series will work its way through:

  1. Why Jesus performed miracles.
  2. More Reasons
  3. His Authority Over Disease
  4. His Authority Over Satan
  5. His Authority Over Death
  6. His Authority Over Nature
  7. His Authority Delegated to His Disciples
  8. His Authority Delegated to His Church

You can get to any of the available lessons by clicking on the lesson title. If nothing happens you are either already at the lesson, or I have not written it yet.

Jesus' Miracles and His Authority

Jesus proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God. As its King, we would expect Him to rule. On earth He spoke and taught as one who had authority, and thus could command and expect obedience from His subjects. 

His miracles, however, demonstrated that His authority extended beyond the rule of citizens. In each of the next sections, I will provide several stories from the gospels and then add my comments

His Authority Delegated to His Church

Not Just for the Apostles

Jesus delegated authority to His disciples so that they could heal the sick and deliver people from demons. We know that they were successful both before and after the resurrection of Jesus. The question arises whether the authority that He delegated was only to the apostles or to the church at large. It is a question complicated by the fact that the source of healings, deliverance, and miracles remains in the hands of the Father. It is by His will and bidding that we accomplish anything. Also the Holy Spirit distributes His gifts "as he decides" (1 Corinthians 12:11,  The Net Bible). Finally the issue of faith and experience come into play. This is one area where the church tends to teach experience, and our experience is that miracles are not in play.

There is a section in Paul's letter to the Galatians that contains a well hidden nugget along these lines. I find it interesting, because theologians for centuries have seen great and important truths, but somehow this nugget never surfaces:

You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Have you suffered so many things for nothing? —if indeed it was for nothing. Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:1-5)

This is a great passage on the role of faith in our salvation and walk. Paul asks, "did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what your heard?" This is totally in keeping with Paul's admonition to the Galatian believers not to come under the Jewish religious system, but to understand that our life is a life of faith in Jesus the Messiah. But note these words, "Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you...?" This indicates that miracles were a part of the life of faith in the early years of the church. It would seem that miracles were normal.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul suggests that miracles are part of communicating the gospel to the world:

So I boast in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:17-19)

To bring about the "obedience of the Gentiles," Paul, through Jesus the Messiah, used

  • "word and deed" that is preaching and good works.
  • "signs and wonders" to demonstrate the kingdom of God on earth and to show God's mercy and compassion.
  • "power of the Spirit of God" to change the hearts of men and yield the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.

It is significant that "signs and wonders" are in this list. Very often the working of a miracle opened entire communities to the gospel message (e.g. Acts 9:26-43. Also note that Peter raised Tabitha from the dead in the same manner that Jesus did).

The presence or absence of gifts is according to the gifting of the Holy Spirit:

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all. For one is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, and another the message of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. It is one and the same Spirit, distributing to each person as he decides, who produces all these things. (1 Corinthians 14:4-11)

Perhaps the case could be made that the miracle works the apostles died with them, but the above passage is not about the works of the apostles, but rather the gifts of the Holy Spirit for "the benefit of all." There is no indication in the scriptures that the Holy Spirit now withholds the miraculous gifts in this list. Why would they not still be useful for building up the body? Dan Wallace, professor of Greek at Dallas Theological Seminary, has this criticism of cessationist evangelicals:

At the same time, the problem with non-charismatics is that although they claim that God can heal, they act as if he won't. I don't really think they believe in God's ability--they don't really believe that God can heal. Thus, the problem with charismatics is a denial of God's sovereignty; the problem with non-charismatics is a denial of God's ability or goodness or both. (The Uneasy Conscience of a Non-Charismatic Evangelical)

God's miracles are an expression of His love and mercy and sovereignty. Whether a miracle occurs or not is His prerogative. On the other hand, the gospels tell us that our lack of faith will inhibit God's ability to heal. Let us learn not to rely on experience, but to trust His word.

John Wimber, who saw a significant healing ministry arise in the Vineyard churches, recounts the history of the first healing that he saw. He had been having altar calls for healing for over a year, and no one was healed. Yet he persisted Sunday after Sunday even after half the church left for other bodies. His persistence paid off and healing then flowed in abundance and changed the face of the church in the world.

It only takes compassion and faith to ask God to heal someone. You do not have to change the tone in your voice or say great words. Not an ounce of your effort will make a difference. Just as not everyone responds to the gospel, not everyone is healed. But if no one shares the gospel, no one will be saved. If no one prays for the sick, no one will be healed.

Tuesday: Church Journey

<>< Test everything. Cling to what is good. ><>