Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Todd Scoles Shares a Message of Hope at Christmas

The Christmas Bells from Clay Productions on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Join North Shore in Praying About Building Offer

Here's a prayer request from Pastor Jack Brown of the North Shore Bible Church in Essex, Massachusetts:

I’d like to urge you to pray for our church family… as many of you know our church made an offer on a building at the end of October… there is nothing blocking the purchase of this building except for what seems to be corporate bureaucracy. Pray that we will receive a Purchase and Sale Agreement this week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Richards, Carmean Complete Africa Assignment

Grace Brethren pastors Jason Carmean (left) and Joel Richards (right) returned home from Africa on Friday, November 14. Richards, who is president of the AGBM and pastors in Modesto, Calif., originally was asked to attend the 50th anniversary of the African pastors' ministerial group. He accepted this assignment as a representative of the Association of Grace Brethren Ministers.

Since Richards was going to be in Africa, Dave Guiles, executive director of GBIM, asked if he would teach a class in the seminary. This would be the first class in what is now called the Aquila Project.

The Aquila project is designed for American pastors with a minimum of a master's degree to go and teach a course in the seminary. Before this project even had a name it was mentioned at the annual AGBM meeting in Florida.

Jason Carmean, who pastors in Lexington, Ohio, spoke with Fellowship Coordinator Tom Avey about this in September and agreed to go and be an apprentice while Richards taught. Currently, the plan is for Carmean to return in the spring of 09.

Joel and Jason would encourage any pastor to consider this awesome responsibility. Pastor Richards would sum it up this way: "Jason and I had the privilege of not only going to teach and minister in Africa, but to accompany lifelong missionary Eddie Messinger.

"Everywhere we turned Eddie was introducing us to one of his former student who are now pastors somewhere in the CAR. I am not sure if I will ever be able to return to this country but if I do, I am sure I too would meet men that I had invested in their ministry and education who were now faithfully serving the Lord.

"That is a pretty awesome thought!"

Pastors interesting in knowing more about teaching in African can learn more by clicking here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Got the Post-Sermon Letdown?

From Ministry Today -- to read the entire article click here.

I Got the Preachin’ Blues

Chris Jackson Ministry Leadership - Preaching

Feeling discouraged after a sermon? You’re not alone.

Discouragement. It’s one of the greatest hounds of hell that assaults us pastors who are trying to share powerful, dynamic messages from God’s Word with our people every Sunday morning.

There’s a reason for the pastors’ adage of “no resignations allowed on Mondays”; post-preaching discouragement can be brutal as we review every nuance of the sermons we’ve so painstakingly crafted and delivered.

Sometimes I feel guilty for these feelings of discouragement. And when the next Sunday rolls around and I’m elated because I think I “hit it out of the park,” I feel guilty again and wonder how pure my motives are after all. Either I have personal issues, or there’s an enemy that opposes us every time we take our stand behind our pulpits and lecterns. I believe it’s the latter and that we’re vulnerable to his assault for several reasons.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Triplehorn Book on Worship Now Available

Worship, the Golden Thread, a new 515-page paperback book on worship by Grace Brethren missionary Bruce Triplehorn, has just been released by BMH Books of Winona Lake, Ind., and was the focus of a public reception at the International Mission Center in Winona Lake this Wednesday afternoon, December 3.

Subtitled "weaving worship through the fabric of life," Worship, The Golden Thread is a masterful exposition of scriptural teaching on worship along with examples from real-life, including Triplehorn’s work in Brazil and his use of marriage as a metaphor.

In the preface, Triplehorn says, “The Scriptures are a history of God’s relationship with man through worship. Worship is the underlying theme of every page and the glue that ties its long history together.” It is the key, he says, that unlocks both the meaning of the Bible and also the foundation of God’s redemptive plan.

Stressing that the great men of the Bible were called into ministry in the context of worship, he declares that somewhere along the way, the church has lost the golden thread and has drifted into a tendency to divide the Christian life into the sacred and the secular. He invites believers to engage fully in what he terms “a life-attitude of worship” in which “the Lord’s people are called to be full-time priests, full time in the ministry, having been set free from the restraints of religion to worship God in spirit and truth.”

For use as a small group or study text, the book contains “Where to Start” suggestions and questions after each chapter. After discussing misconceptions about worship, Triplehorn reveals in successive chapters worship in truth, worship as a choice, and the transforming power of worship. The second part of the book focuses on the place of worship in the areas of evangelism, discipleship, and leadership in the church.

Worship has been Triplehorn’s passion for more than 20 years. He, his wife, Lisa, and their children have been serving with Grace Brethren International Missions in a ministry of leadership training and mentoring in Brazil for several decades. He was called to missions after a career in entomology, having earned a Ph.D. degree in that science. He previously taught at Liberty University in Virginia.

Dr. Tom Julien, executive director emeritus of Grace Brethren International Missions, says, “In spite of our Lord’s clear words in John 4:24, too many believers still associate worship with particular practices or places. Feelings of worship, rather than God Himself, too often become ends in themselves. For Bruce Triplehorn worship is knowing God, loving Him, and offering ourselves to Him in every circumstance of life, and it is the golden thread to be woven into the totality of our ministries. This is not another book of theory. The author’s teacher has been His Lord, as he and his wife have had to discover through worship that ministry is not what we do for the Lord, but what the Lord is able to do through us because we have learned to practice His presence and continually offer ourselves to Him. The reader will discover countless gems from the beginning to the end.”

The ISBN number for the book is 978-0-88469-309-3 and the retail price is $21.99. To purchase, log onto www.bmhbooks.com, call 1-800-348-2756 or obtain through any local bookstore. Call for quantity discounts.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Makofka Concluding Ministry at Centerville, Ohio

Steve Makofka (pictured), who started at the Centerville, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church as associate pastor in 2000 and became senior pastor in February of 2003, has told his congregation that his pastoral ministry with them will conclude on February 22.

Steve says, "There was no great crisis or conflict--just a sense that I was done with the job God had given me to do and that it was time to move on." You're encouraged to pray for the Makofkas and their future, and for the Centerville church as it contemplates transitioning to a new pastor.

Steve has a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Grace College and a Master of Divinity from Grace Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Lorrie, have four children. Steve regularly participates in community music and theatre programs and is a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus. He was named to the 2005-2006 National Register's Who's Who in Executives and Professionals.