Tag: church

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE 6 Meaningful Ways To Celebrate Christmas

6 Meaningful Ways To Celebrate Christmas

By Gideon in Blog on December 23, 2020

The birth of Jesus represents the hope of mankind. “Born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord,” the Angel of the Lord proclaimed. This purpose of this article is not to say it is wrong to celebrate Christmas in the cultural way we do, but don’t miss the true meaning. To help with how to go about doing that, here are 6 meaningful ways to celebrate Christmas:

1. Advent Countdown:

Ordinarily, we may give our children a small gift in the 24 days of December leading up to Christmas Day or perhaps small candies.

You may want to craft an advent countdown of scripture verses that explain to the kids who Christ is and what he represents such as John 3:16. However, a little candy will probably go over well too.

2. Christ in the Center of the Family:

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE 6 Meaningful Ways To Celebrate Christmas The birth of Christ is our pathway to unification with the Creator. Without him, we are separated from God. This Christmas season begin the process of putting Christ in the center of your family or work to strengthen that reality. One way to do this is to hold a family bible discussion each day during the season.

Pick a part of the Christmas story and create a dialogue with your children. You may want to read to them about the journey of Joseph and Mary on the way to Bethlehem.

Discuss how our own lives parallel that rocky and dangerous trek but, with the protection and blessing of God in our lives, we will successfully fulfill our purpose.

3. Service Based on Scripture:

In his words and actions, Jesus stressed over and over the importance of the body to serve. John 13:12-14 – “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Go serve people.

4. Silent Worship at the Altar:

Before the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve service hits your church, ask for permission. Perhaps create a special night for a silent altar worship during the week before Christmas Day.

Take with you a single candle to light, and kneel before God in prayer and humbleness. Give each member of your family their own candle and keep it completely silent.

5. Reconcile our Relationships:

God came to us in human form to reconcile our relationship with him. His birth, death, and resurrection represent this reconciliation in the person of Jesus Christ.

Consider doing the same in your own relationships this Christmas season. Reconcile with and forgive those that have hurt you and, for those that you have hurt, seek forgiveness by sincere apology. Nothing could be more Christ-like at Christmas.

6. Family Prayer:

This is the easiest and most purposeful way to celebrate Christmas this year. Lead your family in prayer every night and end with the Lord’s Prayer as we were taught to do by Christ. Have your children recite it with you until they know it.

Merry Christmas!WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE 6 Meaningful Ways To Celebrate Christmas

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Top 10 Reason to Keep Christ At The Center Of Christmas

Top 10 Reason to Keep Christ At The Center Of Christmas

By Gideon in Blog on December 1, 2020

What is Christmas?

The church started celebrating Christmas on the festival of Winter Solstice because it was a way of bringing more people to Christ, by having a celebration to take place of the pagan one, it gave the pagans a way to join in and learn about Christ.

No, Jesus wasn’t born specifically on Dec 25th, we have no sure way of knowing exactly when He was, we can only infer, and many people have varying opinions on that.

So instead of focusing on the exact of when, let’s use this time to renew our love for Christ by remembering that He came down as a human, to be with us and save us. This was God’s choice, our choice is to honor Him, love Him, obey Him, or we can get bogged down in details and specifics that truly have no effect on things.WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Top 10 Reason to Keep Christ At The Center Of Christmas Christ At The Center Of Christmas:

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love all of the lights and decorations. I am thankful for what the season is really about, the birth of a Savior, Jesus Christ. If we are not careful, the season can overwhelm us and pass us by.

The hustle and bustle begins on Black Friday and continues all the way through New Year’s Day. Do not let another Christmas go by without taking some time to reflect on what Christmas really is about, Jesus Christ.

Here are ten things that you and your family can do to keep Christ at the center of Christmas and restore the joy to the season.

1. Remember the Gospel

The best way to keep Christ in Christmas is to remember the message of the gospel. God is holy and requires perfection. Man is sinful and separated from a loving God.

The gospel is at the heart of Christmas because God loved us so much that he sent his Son to lay down his life and die in our place.

We need to repent of our sins and trust Christ to save us. That is the heart of the gospel. If we are a believer, we should reflect on the gospel and be grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. If you are not saved, this is a great time to get saved.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.-John 3:16”

2. Share Your Faith With Others:

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Top 10 Reason to Keep Christ At The Center Of Christmas Another great way to keep Christ in Christmas is to share your faith with an unbelieving family member, friend, neighbor, or a stranger. Take them for a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate. You could share how you got saved or what God is doing in your life.

People’s hearts tend to be more open during this time of year, but try to avoid getting in an argument over it. Remember that you are representing Christ to them.

“But in your hearts separate Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. -1 Peter 3:15

3. Read the Christmas Story:

On Christmas morning, gather with family and read the Christmas story in Luke 1 and 2. Take some time to discuss what it must have been like for Mary, who was a young teenage girl that would now be responsible for taking care of God.

Think about what could have been going through Joseph’s mind. How can an imperfect man before a father to God? The one thing that I wonder about is what was it like for God to come to the Earth that he created as a defenseless baby.

Also, take time to reflect on the love that God has for all of us that he was willing to leave his throne in heaven and come to live among his creation. Most of all, worship God for the gift of his Son, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. -Luke 2:11”

4. Invite a Widow or a Struggling Family Over for Dinner:

Christmas can be a very lonely time for some. Be a light for Christ and invite over a widow, single person, or a family to share in a meal and fellowship. Go out of your way to make it a special time for them.

“Give proper recognition to those widows who are in need.-1 Timothy 5:2-4”

5. Be Jesus to Someone:

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Top 10 Reason to Keep Christ At The Center Of Christmas Be Jesus to someone who is in need and cannot pay you back. There are so many wonderful ministries and charities that you can support with either your time or money that reach out into the community to touch those who are desperately in need.

This could involve working in a soup kitchen, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, or any number of different things.

“The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.- Matthew 25:40”

6. Bring Christmas Cookies to Your Neighbors:

Another great way to love Christ at Christmas is to take a day and bake cookies for your neighbors. If you have kids, make it a fun time by having them help you decorate the cookies.

With each plate of cookies, include a Christmas card that has the true meaning of Christmas on it. Take the family and one by one drop off the cookies with your each of your neighbors. This can also be a great time to catch up with them and talk for a little while.

“The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.- Galatians 5:14”

7. Celebrate Christmas:

Take time to dwell on the fact that God left His throne in heaven to come and live among his fallen creation. Also, reflect on the fact that God loves us so much that he would rather come to Earth as a defenseless baby to die on a cross 33 years later for your sins and mine.

He offers salvation to anyone who trusts Him for his or her salvation. That just amazes me that the Creator of the Universe loves His creation like that. Awesome!

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. -1 John 3:1”

8. Attend a Christmas Worship Service at Your Church:

One of the easiest ways to keep Christ in Christmas is to attend a worship service at your church. Many churches have candlelight services on Christmas Eve to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

Most churches also have children’s programs around Christmas. They are always worth the time to attend because you never know what a kid will do in front of a crowd.

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord God our Maker. -Psalm 95:6”

9. Set Up a Nativity Scene:

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Top 10 Reason to Keep Christ At The Center Of Christmas A nativity scene can be a great way to remind yourself of Christ’s birth every time that you walk by. We set up our nativity scene in our living room so that it is in an area that we frequently pass through.

Take some time to think what it was actually like on that night. You have a young couple in love about to have a baby and they could not find any place to stay other than a manger.

Shepherds were minding their own business out in a field when all of a sudden angels appeared announcing the birth of the Messiah. The shepherds then go and worship the newborn Savior.

“This will be a sign to you: ‘You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. -Luke 2:12”

10. Prepare a Birthday Cake for Jesus:

Another way to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebration is to make a cake for Jesus. Be sure to give thanks for all that Jesus has given to us before cutting into the cake. If you have young kids, sing happy birthday to Jesus.

“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!- Revelations 7:12”

The Christmas season can be crazy with all different kinds of demands on our time. If we are not careful, Christmas will be over before we know it and we will miss it.

Take time to reflect on Christ’s birth and the reason that he came to die on a Roman cross for your sins and mine. If you do not know Christ as your Savior, I urge you to put your faith in Him and ask Him to forgive you of your sins.

Merry Christmas!

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Top 10 Reason to Keep Christ At The Center Of Christmas

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Courtship, Engagement, and Wedding

Courtship, Engagement, and Wedding

By Gideon in Blog, MARRIAGE on March 19, 2020

Marriage is not a human custom that gradually came to be accepted during the early history of mankind. Marriage is a God-ordained sacred institution, and it is intended to be a lifetime proposition. Jesus said, “Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning, made them male and female, and said For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh?”(Matthew 19:4-5).

Marriage originated at the time of creation; it is not a mere human invention. In Genesis 2:24 God says that a man should leave father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they two “shall be one flesh.” That text, given at the beginning of creation, says four things about marriage. Marriage is to be:

monogamous—one man, one woman; a man and his wife permanent—joined to one another speaks of a binding commitment, like epoxy glue heterosexual—given in the context of a man and woman (Adam and Eve)a separate unit—the word “leave” means “to abandon the former relationship”

1. Courtship

The Bible encourages young people to consider marriage—and certainly it is unwise for people to suddenly marry, without ever having paid any attention to each other, or without really getting to know each other. Therefore we approve of courtship among young people—but there are some instructions that need to be passed along to youth.

a. The dangers of courtship

There are many pitfalls during the years of courtship, but the most menacing danger is related to habits which can lead to sexual intimacy.

The primary reason why many marriages end in disaster is because during courtship the couple becomes too involved in their physical attraction for each other. They don’t really get to know each other as persons because the sexual attraction becomes predominant. It is very easy to overlook even obvious personality defects, since so much pleasurable emotion comes from the activities of touching and embracing (necking and petting). At those moments—when the passions are aroused—who cares about personality defects?

The sex experience is beautiful and right—but only within the bonds of true and honorable marriage. Why within marriage? Because God knows that the physical relationship between a man and a woman might lead to the birth of a child—and that the child will only get the proper nurture within the family situation of a godly marriage. The Bible says that “marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

In the Bible, fornication (sex experience before one is married) is classified as being equal to stealing and murder and idolatry. Most Christians would never think of committing murder—taking the life of another person—but God says that fornication is equally wicked.

What most people during courtship don’t seem to understand—is that touching and embracing (necking and petting) are simple acts designed to pave the way to excite the passions for the ultimate act of sexual intercourse. Step by step—if these habits are started, you’ll likely push back the barriers of what you permit—until it is almost impossible to avoid the act of fornication.
Also Read This: The Tragedy of Divorce and Remarriage
Many young persons don’t seem to recognize the principle in human behavior which is known as “the moral law of diminishing returns.” The law simply says (when related to courtship practices) that once a couple has proceeded to one level of intimacy, it is almost impossible to return to a less intimate level. The couple who progresses from holding hands to the act of touching and embracing—can scarcely ever return to the less intimate level and be satisfied.

And so a dating couple should enjoy each other’s presence—carefully avoiding familiar intimacies that could tempt each other beyond the power of self-control. Those people who can’t seem to get enough of each other before marriage (spending evenings pawing all over each other)—are often the very ones who have all kinds of conflicts after marriage.

One of the best safeguards to a pure courtship is a well-planned date—an evening filled with activities that are all planned—things to do and places to go that are planned in advance.

Visit the homes of lonely people in your community, especially the aged and widows and shut-in. They enjoy having a group of energetic young people singing a song, engaging in conversation, or letting a word of testimony. Plan activities with the family at home. Spend time together cooking a meal, making candy, popping corn, looking at pictures, or playing simple games. Spend at least part of each dating period reading and discussing a passage of Scripture. Both can agree to read the same portion of the Bible at the same time each evening of the week. There’s something special about knowing that your special friend is doing the same thing you are doing at exactly the same time, even though separated by many miles.

These are things to do, and places to go, in order to make your courtship constructive and filled with purpose.

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Courtship, Engagement, and Wedding

b. The choice of courtship

The Scriptures are clear: believers are not to even consider marriage with unbelievers under any circumstances at all. The Law in Israel forbade intermarriage with persons from the non-Jewish nations round about them (Deuteronomy 7:3). We are not to marry pagans. Believers are not to give their daughters to unbelieving boys or their sons to unbelieving girls. The New Testament commands the same thing. We are not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

To those who are not yet married, we must say this: Those who seek your hand in marriage might be generous and well-trained and handsome—but unless they are children of God by faith in Jesus Christ (not necessarily members of your church), and are concerned about obedience to the Scriptures (and give clear evidence of knowing the Lord)—you must not even consider dating [courting] them. Failure to observe this basic law of God has led to shipwreck in thousands of homes—and any girl who marries a young man with the idea that she will change his undesirable traits after the ceremony, is only inviting disaster! If a person is not honest and trustworthy before the wedding day, the words of a marriage ceremony will not change him. If he is careless about handling money before marriage, he will likely exhibit the same characteristics later on.

There are other instructions related to choosing a good partner. Sometimes I’ve been asked the question, “How can I know when I’m in love with the right person?” There is no formula that can be used to accurately answer that question—but here are some statements that will be true about the two of you if you are intended for each other:

1. There will be a feeling that you’ve been lifted to a higher spiritual level through the association with your special friend. One young man said, “Every time I’m with her, she inspires me to become a better person.”
2. You will have confidence and trust in your special friend, and will not really have a desire to date other persons. True love creates a “we” feeling.
3. You will want to see and meet and know your partner’s parents—and brothers and sisters and relatives and friends.
4. You will have respect for the one you love—respect for that person’s beliefs and convictions and moral standards. These things will be more important than his or her physical attractiveness.
5. You will be lonely when circumstances require the two of you to be separated. You will long for the day and the hour when you can be together again.
6. You will hurt when your special friend is hurt or criticized. You will rush to the defense of your friend and seek to support him (or her).
7. You will want your children to have the character qualities and attitudes which are evident in the life of your special friend.

If each of you is bubbling over with these seven characteristics, it is quite evident that love between the two of you is really growing. And remember that true love can thrive without physical contact. If you can’t be together without hugging and holding and squeezing—something is wrong. The base for your companionship is too shallow. Your interest must be in the total person, not merely in his or her physical charms.

If you took a trip together shortly after your marriage—and you were in a car accident—and the body of the girl (or the boy) you just married is really battered—and her face is re-arranged—and the doctor says “She will never quite be the same,” would you still be able to love her and take care of her? True love is concerned about the total well-being of the potential partner, and is not merely a romantic dream about spending eternity in each other’s arms!

2. Engagement

All of us have read the account of the engagement of Joseph and Mary, as it is given in Matthew 1:18-25. “Engagement” is a definite mutual agreement between a courting couple, stating that they will plan for and look forward to marriage. They prepare for marriage by further testing their love, further learning to make adjustments, seeking to correct faults, and making plans for the wedding day.

The couple should only enter into the betrothal period after much prayer, and with the full confidence that God has been leading. There’s a new joy and thrill that comes when planning things together—thinking about the future together. This new, closer companionship will help determine whether your partner’s love is really genuine, or whether it is only a clever imitation.

Sometimes when a young man becomes engaged, he thinks that because the matter of whom he is going to marry has been settled—he can now relax and let his ordinary behavior surface. He may have previously been play-acting. For this reason, sometimes, one (or both) of the partners realizes that the engagement was a mistake (and this is not to encourage breaking engagements)—yet while engagements should not be taken lightly, it is far better to break an engagement than to seek a divorce after marriage.

a. Qualities that should surface during engagement

A prospective marriage partner should have a strong faith in God and should accept the teachings of the Bible as his rule for life—including the practices of nonconformity and nonresistance.He should possess self-confidence, not with an air of superiority thinking he knows it all, but with a positive feeling that he is going to meet and work through life’s problems.He should manifest self-discipline, exercising reasonable control over his temper, his words, and his bodily appetites. He should have ambition and purpose, showing a sense of responsibility toward work, and toward getting things done on time. He should be willing to admit his mistakes, take responsibility for them, and vow to profit from them. He should have mature ideas about how to handle money. He should not be a miser who saves every penny, nor should he be a careless spender, spending everything as fast as he earns it. He should reflect a sense of respect for his home, his parents, and his brothers and sisters.

And of course, any person who looks for those qualities in a potential marriage companion should work diligently to develop those same qualities in his or her own life.

b. Purposes for the engagement period

Engagement is:

a time when you prove your love, and guarantee that you are a team, and are both going in the same direction.a time when you discover in each other an increasing companionship and a growing respect and admiration for each other.a time when you make plans for the wedding and the household that will be established.a time when you discuss such matters as how the money will be handled, how family worship will be conducted, who will take the garbage out, where you will live, and to which church you will belong. The Bible and wisdom teach that it is best not to live at either parental home. To “leave” father and mother—means to abandon the former relationship, not to dishonor father and mother.a time to learn about the more intimate things of marriage—including sexual activity and the birth of children. Seek the counsel of someone in whom you have confidence and speak about the details. A helpful book on the subject (from a Christian perspective, for persons who will soon marry) is “Sexual Happiness in Marriage” by Herbert J. Miles.
Also Read This: Improving Marriage Relationship
It is very important to remember that just because you are engaged, you are not free to explore each other’s bodies. Sexual relationships are for cementing the marriage relationship into a strong and permanent bond.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Courtship, Engagement, and Wedding
3. The Wedding

When it comes time to plan the wedding, determine to let the occasion be marked by simplicity and modesty. The money spent for a showy wedding is not an investment that will pay dividends; it is money spent that is gone forever. Think of the thousands of people in Africa and India who are dying this week.

The wedding is an important ceremony because marriage is a sacred event. Jesus says that at the time of marriage, the couple leaves father and mother and they cleave to each other. They are no more two, but one flesh (Matthew 19:6). Just as Satan tries to take Christ out  of Christmas and the resurrection out of Easter, so he seeks to take the deeper spiritual essence out of the wedding ceremony and put trivia there instead.

a) The wedding event is often too elaborate and expensive.

The average formal wedding today, among many circles in the Western world, involves decorations and gowns and suits and invitations and postage and pictures and a reception—so that the cost often falls between $5,000 and $10,000 and even more. Yet we are aware that a wedding ceremony can be beautiful and impressive and sacred without blindly following the routine cultural patterns.

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Courtship, Engagement, and Wedding

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There are ways to keep the cost of a wedding in a more moderate range. Here are some suggestions.

1) Buy (or make) a nice mid-calf length dress for the bride, and wear it occasionally after the wedding day.
2) Have only a limited number of attendants for the wedding ceremony, and request that the attendants wear clothing which they can wear after the wedding day.
3) Write your own personal notes of invitation instead of sending expensive engraved invitations.
4) Consider limiting the reception to a light snack instead of a full meal. Weddings would be a lot more Christian if they were a lot less elaborate!

There is beauty in simplicity. A wedding is not intended to be a fashion show. It is to be one of the most sacred of all Christian services. The serious purpose of binding two hearts and lives together for a lifetime of home-building must not be lost in the midst of the formality and display of an elaborate wedding procedure. It does not cost much to walk to the front of a church auditorium, and seriously repeat the marriage vows, and then kneel together and pray.

b) The wedding event is often built around the bride.

The typical wedding in many cultures is saturated with materialism. It centers on the bride, and thus violates the Bible principle of mutual love and dignity that should surround both parties in a marriage.

In some circles, the wedding format is something like this:

The people begin to arrive in the church building; there is quiet pre-ceremonial music; the ushers seat the women; the men tag along behind like frightened little puppy dogs. After a few musical selections, the clergy, the groom, and the best man appear from somewhere at the front of the church auditorium. Then, down the aisle come some sweet little girls carrying flowers, followed by some sweet big girls clad in beautiful dresses (often very immodestly designed); and finally—the big, important, momentous occasion arrives! As the rear door opens—and in answer to the call of music—finally, here comes the bride!

All eyes are glued on the bride; the people smile and everybody stands; all eyes watch the bride’s movements very carefully. After someone “gives away” the bride, the people sit down—and from that point the ceremony is in charge of the officiating minister.
Also Read This: The Truth About Living Together Before Marriage
It would be much more in keeping with mutual love if the bride and the groom would walk into the auditorium together—or even for the bride to come via one door with her parents, and the groom come via another door with his parents—and the two meet together at the altar, facing the minister in charge. In the Christian wedding, the worship, honor and glory should be directed toward Jesus Christ, not toward the bride.

After the ceremony the newly married couple should be allowed to greet guests, and then leave the scene of the wedding in peace—with the echo of their vows ringing in their ears, the good wishes of their friends lingering in their hearts, and the blessing of God upon their marriage.

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When two people stand side by side and promise to love and cherish each other until death separates them—it’s not hard to believe that the angels in Heaven hush their songs for a while, and stand in awe as they listen to the solemn vows. May God help each young person to find joy in living, whether your lot in life involves marriage, or whether in the providence of God you happen to remain single. To those who have never married, and you are somewhat older, the right person might still appear on the scene—but if not, don’t become discouraged. It’s better to want what you don’t have than to have what you don’t want!

By Harold S. Martin
Used by permission of Bible Helps, P O Box 391, Hanover PA 17331.USA
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE The Christmas Controversy

The Christmas Controversy

By Gideon in Blog, Faith & religious on December 3, 2019

Striking A Balance

The arguments for and against Christmas have lingered for so long among Christians. While there are believers who hold tenaciously to the belief that Christians should not identify with Christmas, others don’t see anything wrong with it.

The Arguments against Christmas

1. It has pagan origins. The apostate Christian church copied a pagan ceremony and gave it a Christian face.

2. Christ was not born on December 25th

3. We have no scriptural instruction to celebrate Christ’s birthday

4. People have unholy fun during Christmas or Yuletide season and Christ is hardly in their thoughts

Arguments for Christmas

But there are genuine believers who say the the pagan origin of Christmas is not relevant as long as they are celebrating Christ and not a Babylonian sun-god. They therefore see it as an opportunity to not only have godly feast but also share the love of Christ.

While they admit that the birth date of Jesus is not recorded or are even ready to concede with some researchers that Christ was most probably born in October, they see no harm in setting a special day apart to remember his birth.

The Balance

Whilst it is true that the Roman Church may have got its idea of Christmas from a false religion, that in my opinion is not a reason strong enough to condemn believers who are truly celebrating Christ on December 25th.

Honestly, many of the things or ideas that are held today’ s civilisation, are somewhat influenced by pagan Graeco/ Roman culture and that of the paganistic Anglo-saxons.

For example, each day of the week was and remains named after pagan deities.

Sunday is Sun’s day, the day they worshipped the sun or sun-god. Monday comes from Anglo-Saxon, monandaeg( Moon’s day). People paid homage to the goddess of the moon on this day.

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE The Christmas Controversy
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Tuesday is named after a Germanic god called Tiu, a good of war and sky. Wednesday is Woden’s day. Woden was the Roman god of commerce, travel and Science.

Thursday is Thor’s day. Thor was the Norse good of thunder and lighting. Friday is associated with Freya, wife of Woden. She was the goddess of love and fertility.

Saturday is Saturn’s day. If you wanted riches, you had to pay homage to this god.

Despite these days being named after pagan gods, Christians have not bothered to call them by other names. We still say ” our fellowship comes up on SUNDAY ”

We must also realise that Christians who celebrate Christmas do not have a remote or lifeless pagan god in their mind. They sing and talk about Christ.

Jesus is not happier because some people celebrate Christmas and He does not get angry because people do.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE The Christmas Controversy
Romans 14:5-6 says:

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”

It must however be said that all days remain same to God. And He wants us to remember Him and show love to people every day. Those who think it is only during Christmas that they have to care for others and the things of God, are myopic.

Let me also say, God is angry at the people of the world who add sin to sin during the Christmas season. We know that enemies of the cross, blind religious folks and the irreligious see this season as the period to organise wild parties and indulge in sexual orgies.

Even if they wish you a merry Christmas, you know that their celebration has nothing to do with Christ but to fulfill the carnal desires of their flesh. For them Christ is not the reason or purpose for the season.

Now to all who really think about Christ this season, I do not know whether to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS or a GODLY CHRISTMAS.
God bless you!

WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE BACK TO THE OLD ALTAR

BACK TO THE OLD ALTAR

By Gideon in All of God, Blog on November 24, 2019

I just got this article online and hope it will bless your soul!
It is blasphemy to gather young men and be teaching them methods of church growth, when they cannot pray for 1hour or 2hours daily..

I may not have been old in ministry.
But I was born in the church…

In a time when church was growing from the knee…

I was born in a time when people used to troop to church from kilometers away, without any invitation, no handbill, no bulk sms…
And when you ask them, they will tell you they were in the dreams, and God showed them the church in the dream and gave them directions…

Check inside that church,somebody was praying inside the vestry…

Some of them were banished…

Some were divorced by their husbands…

Some were pulled out from school…

All because they started attending the church…

But they remained…

Today, once you speak to your member any how, he will get offended and stop coming to church…

Next week, they would have made him assistant pastor in the church next street…

Those are the kind of members our church growth methods can attract …

Jesus said: “No one can bring them except my Heavenly Father draws them…”

And told us:……”Pray ye the Lord of the harvest…”

Lord, take us back to our knees..

Methods have failed us …

Our fathers knelt down and demons ran away from communities where they were domiciled..

The only constant memory I have of my late father was his kneeling position…

Even at old age he knelt down almost all through the night…

No wonder communities saw him and their native doctors ran away…

And evil forests were handed over to him, free by the villagers …

He conquered those ancient demons…

And today, to the glory of God mighty churches are standing in those places now…

They didn’t go to school…

But they were taught how to kneel …

My brother, sir, God will never abandon a kneeling generation ….

Am in tears here…

We have bragged with shadows enough …

No wonder we have started using church positions to attract them to church…

No wonder we don’t preach certain things again, so that they don’t get angry and leave…

Because we know that it is not the Holy Ghost that brought them…

We know how we stole them from the churches we were invited to minister…

A generation of ministers who are tired in the place of prayer has nothing to offer to this degenerating generation

Oh Spirit of Grace and Supplication,…

Please, invade our lives again…

Oh Lord of the harvest…

Cause us to keel in Prayer again…

…. Lord, make us to encounter You as did Great oracles of Old….

Sir, let us go back to our knees…

It is the old fashioned way that wields greatest power on earth…

Jonah used it inside the belly of the fish and he won a whole city with just one message…

Peter and others while hiding used it, and with a single message, 3000 joined the church…

Among them were bankers, doctors, engineers, fashion designers and captains of industries…

No posters and no handbills.!

And they were among those that defended the gospel even in the face of martyrdom…

They were beheaded…

Some were burnt alive…

While some were tied to horses and dragged to pieces, to their deaths…

Yet, they never had any cause to denounce Jesus…

Because they were all looking for a city whose Builder and Maker is God…

Friends, whatever that was not gotten in the place of prayer cannot stand the test of time…
The Bible said: “Whatever the Lord doeth standeth forever…”

Sir,Ma, lets trust God for grace to kneel again …

How can Satan allow the prophecies over our ministries to come to pass when he knows the threat we are to his kingdom?…

No wonder he has stolen our prayer lives..

No wonder He has quenched our hunger for His Presence…

If Jesus needed to pray to fulfil the prophesies on His head, why do we think that just reading a book written about church growth will do the work for us?…

I am talking to only those who have not forgotten what God showed them when they first began…

It is time to kneel again…

Let’s get back on our knees, reclaiming lost souls in the place of Prayer.

Beloved, cry and fast for personal and generational Revival….

Pray that God should raise die hard Revivalists in this generation….

Don’t be selfish in prayer, it doesn’t matter if it’s you or another person, Ask God to send down APOSTOLIC REVIVAL as of Old…..

Ask God to send Back Revival upon this Generation in the name of Jesus.

Hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: _Cry for Revival Beloved!

O God Arise, and Revive us by Your Spirit and Fire in Jesus’ name.
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD

THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD

By Gideon in Blog, Spirituality on July 28, 2019

I have not been in the church for a long time….I was not there on the day of Pentecost…

I was not there when Brother Stephen had to endured the cruel stones of angry religious people who were mad at his biting words…

I was not present when the church rose in unison to save the head of Peter who was already in the dungeon of Herod Agrippa 2 who had silenced the first son of Zebedee among the twelve…

I was not among the congregation that listened as elders read from the handwritings of Paul, Peter or John…

I have not been in the church for a long time! BUT!!! I have been in the church for some time.Long enough to see the era when the world was different from the church.

I saw the days when the world looked at the church with respect and reverence.

I saw the days when “born again” experience was the sincere bridge through which men crossed from the world to the church.

I saw the days of “SU” (scripture union) revivals when all truly converted people were so labelled by the world.

I saw the days when men responded to altar calls not with chewing gums in their mouths but with tears in their eyes, broken and truly submissive before the altar of God.

I have not been in the church for a long time! I have not been in the church for a long time.

BUT!!! I saw the days when men of God were not men of gold.

I saw the days when Reverends were not laughing stocks in the society but men given the honour of the God they truly represent.

I saw the days when men went to church to meet preachers and not entertainers.

I saw the days when the pulpit was not a place for comic reliefs or centers of business discussions but God’s holy altars from where holy fire proceeded to consume evil works in men’s lives.
>>>>>Also Read This :Pastor W. F Kumuyi’s Message To The Churches<<<<<
I saw the days the Spirit of God would expose the secret evils of men when they came to worship and men would not dare come to His presence with sins not yet repented of.

I saw the days when the church was a centre of transformation and God’s workshop where men’s lives were fabricated and moulded after Him.

I have not been in the church for a long time.
BUT!!! I saw the days when churches were not business centres and human empires.
I saw the days when humility was the hallmark of Christian service and men of God were content with that simple life of Christ and would not hoodwink their hungry congregations to pay through their noses for the luxury and extravagance of pulpit business men.

I saw the days when collection of money was never a means for motivating God to answer prayers.

I saw days when men prayed, lifting holy hands and not 1000 euro notes in prayer meetings.

I saw days when men of God were empowered by the Holy Spirit to raise men and not trained by godless motivational speakers to raise offerings.

I saw the days when Jesus was the centre of all messages, heaven was the centre of all focuses and holiness was the centre of all Christian character.

HONESTLY, I don’t know for how long I will remain in the church on this side of eternity. NAY,I do not know for how long the church will remain before the harvest of her Lord.

BUT, my heart bleeds for the modern day church.

Oh! The church of the computer age.

Nay, the church of the ICE age.

The church where men play more than pray.

The church where holiness is a denominational doctrine.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
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The church where those who speak the truth are extremists and biased.

I weep for the modern day Church-I see self-adverts and miracle hawking in the name of ministry.

I weep as I see the church married to the world and the world enjoying the driver’s seat of the church.

I weep when I see a church that is a million miles wide but less than a meter deep.

Although I have not been in the church for a long time, I weep brethren for what I see the church turning to in my generation.

I weep because my children and their generation do not see what I saw in the days past.

I have not been in the church for a long time!

BUT!!! I notice everyday that the Bible is the same in every age and generation.

I have read times without number what is written in 1 Peter 2:9:”BUT YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, AN HOLY NATION, A PECULIAR PEOPLE; THAT YE SHOULD SHEW FORTH THE PRAISES OF HIM WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELLOUS LIGHT”.

I keep wondering the peculiarity of the church in today’s world. Well, I have not been in the church for a long time!

I have not been in the church for a long time. BUT!!! I have been there long enough to know that the Foundation of God still stands sure and also long enough to know that the Lord still knows those who are His and everyone that is named with Christ must depart from iniquity.

I have been in the church long enough to understand that not everyone that calls Jesus Lord will enter His heavenly home.

For said “MANY WILL SAY TO ME IN THAT DAY, LORD, LORD, HAVE WE NOT PROPHESIED IN THY NAME? AND IN THY NAME HAVE CAST OUT DEVILS? AND IN THY NAME DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY” (Matthew 7:22-23).

Beloved, how long have you been in the church and what gospel have you been made to believe?

I hope it is not one that will put your eternity in serious jeopardy?

Think on these things and heed the warning of God from a sincere believer. I have not been in the church for a long time but I desire to be with the Master; my loving Saviour and my Lord throughout eternity.

I HOPE THIS IS ALSO YOUR SINCERE DESIRE!

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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Seven Dangerous People In A Local Church

Seven Dangerous People In A Local Church

By Gideon in Blog, Ministry on October 13, 2018

As a minister beware that at one stage or the other in your ministry, you will find yourself dealing with the following groups of people. If you don’t have wisdom to deal with them, challenge is there are certain levels you will not reach in your ministry.

1. Thomas group -they walk with you but they don’t really believe in you. Though God can use you infront of them, they are not easily moved they take time to believe in you. These people can delay your vision and they are also not aware they are also delaying themselves. It’s a struggle and a burden to lead people who don’t believe in you.

2. Judas group
– they walk with you but they have issues with you when God begins to bless you. They are not happy when things of great value are given to you. In short they are jealous of your success. When elevation comes they will say we have the poor in the church but the Pastor is driving a BMW 5 series but we have people that are struggling financially in this church . They want you to drive a Toyota Tazz which will make them happy. They have serious issues if your life becomes better and better. They talk as if you don’t care about the poor. Hear these Pastors, anyone who is jealous about your prosperity in your local church tomorrow he will betray you.

3. Absalom group– you give them your pulpit to teach or preach and he begins to see himself as the Pastor of the church, he believes he can teach and preach better than you. When he preaches, he preaches to prove a point that he is better than you, he won’t even mention you in his sermon. He works behind you to steal the hearts of people so that people will follow him. He will make people to feel they are neglected in your ministry. He will tell people he is there for them to help them anytime they need help. This group is in competition with you , he believes he can be a better Pastor then you . Tomorrow trust me he will split your church.

4. Korah group– this one will challenge your authority, he believes you are at the same level with everyone and he has issues when other church members give honor to you. He will say you are honoring this man too much. He has issues when you give instructions, he is rebellious and dangerous because he sees you as someone who is at the same level with him. He believes everyone is called and everyone is anointed so what is so special about you .

5. Ham group– this group will expose your nakedness, the day you find yourself in a shameful act, He will tell everybody your weaknesses and he will be happy to expose your disaster .

6. Gehazi group– this group is with you but will be collecting money from behind your back. He takes advantage that he is close to the pastor and use that to collect things from people. He borrows money from people and he does not pay them back. He goes to people to ask for financial assistance and make people feel you are not taking good care of him as he serves in the house.
>>>>>Also Read This:Grace For Finishing Strong<<<<<

7. Deotrephes group
– this group is too dangerous, he is famous in the church , he has power and influence and has a voice amongst the people. He speaks malicious words behind your back . He is poisonous, he can come with stories that can totally destroy your image as a pastor. He can come up with serious lies that cause people to leave your ministry. He will come with stories that you are squandering church money, you are sleeping with the women and you are also using sangomas to grow your ministry. His stories are very harmful and dangerous.

And Jesus said “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22-23”

Therefore I pray that God will give you wisdom to deal with all these kinds of spirits because, no Pastor can rise to higher level of his ministry until all these spirits have been dealt with in his local church, and if you deal with them in a canal way you can cause more damage to yourself and your ministry.

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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Pastor Rick Warren: Lasting in Ministry

Pastor Rick Warren: Lasting in Ministry

By Gideon in Blog, Ministry on July 5, 2018

PASTOR RICK WARREN: WHAT BILLY GRAHAM TAUGHT ME ABOUT LASTING IN MINISTRY & ENDING WELL

(The day Billy died, I ended up spending the entire day answering a dozen media interview requests about his impact on my life. At the end of the day, I wrote this below. The photo is from one of my many trips to my mentor’s home over the years.)

Billy Graham was the most influential Christian leader of the 20th century. He preached in person to more people than anyone else in history- over 215 million. With a global ministry that spanned 60 years, only Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa would be as well known around the world.

Billy’s message was simple and clear, and it never varied: No matter who you are or what you’ve done God has never stopped loving you and he has a good plan and purpose for your life Because none of us are perfect, we all need a Savior to in order to have our sins forgiven, understand our purpose for living, and gain a home in heaven. That’s why God sent Jesus to die for our sins. God’s offer of forgiveness and freedom is available to anyone who humbly repents and accepts the grace of God through Jesus, regardless of your ethnic or religious background.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Pastor Rick Warren: Lasting in Ministry
Growing up in a Baptist home, Billy Graham was our pope. I read my first Billy Graham book, Peace with God when I was in the 6th grade. When I was 16, I felt called by God to serve in ministry and I began preaching in churches and crusades on the West Coast each weekend while still in high school, so Billy was my hero and model. My grandmother was quite a woman of prayer so when I began preaching as a teenager, she would often tell me “The two people I pray for every day are Billy Graham and you.”

Then, in 1971, when I was 17, I heard Billy speak in person at the Oakland, California Crusade. I still remember thrill of it. 3 years later, at the 1974 Los Angeles Crusade, I met Billy for the first time when I was 20 years old. By that time, I had preached over 120 youth crusades and Billy somehow heard about my young evangelistic efforts and he took an interest in me. That began a mentoring relationship that stretched over the next 40 years. It would be hard to overestimate Billy Graham’s impact on my own life and ministry, on Saddleback church, and the Purpose Driven network around the world.

As a mentor, Billy taught me different things at different stages of my life, As a teenager, he was my model for preaching and inviting people to faith in Jesus. But in my 20s, it was Billy’s personal character – his integrity, humility, and generosity – that profoundly influenced me.

Then, in my 30s, I began to see and appreciate how strategic Billy was in how he organized his ministry, how he innovated, how he used new technologies, and how he strategically built relational bridges to different groups

Finally, in my 50s, Billy taught me about how to be a statesman in international settings, and how to work with governments without being co-opted by any political group. He even taught me the danger of signing public statements.

I could easily write a book about all the ways Billy Graham shaped my life and approach to ministry. He taught me many lessons through conversations and correspondence but I also caught many lessons simply by watching his private habits, his public manners, how he answered questions, how he led meetings, and especially how he related to people with different beliefs, lifestyles, and cultures. Billy led a life worth studying.

It was never my goal to copy his calling, but to learn his character. God called Billy to be an evangelist, traveling the world to witness to unbelievers, while God called me to plant and pastor a single congregation for life. Most of my global travel has been to train other pastors, and lead our P.E.A.C.E. plan. Still, many of the skills and convictions needed in both callings are the same.

The Bible tells us to “Ask the former generation. Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors. For we were born but yesterday and know so little. But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations.” Job 8:8-10 (NLT)

Anyone who has completely 60 years ministry without any moral failure or scandal should be studied. Many people start off well but they don’t end well. How was Billy Graham able to finish well? Of course, Billy built his life and ministry on the unshakable foundation of God’s Word. He preached God’s truth not human opinion. But he made many other smart choices. Let me just mention four:

1. TO LAST IN MINISTRY AND FINISH WELL, BUILD YOUR LIFE ON INTEGRITY, HUMILITY AND GENEROSITY.

It is character, not talent, that you need to make it to the finish line. I have a framed newspaper headline from 25 years ago in my office that says “Billy Graham Turns 75 With His Integrity Intact.” I framed it because, to me, that is a definition of true success and finishing well. Billy finished well because of his character. He lived with humility, integrity and generosity, which are the antidotes to the 3 most common traps of leadership pride, sex, and money.

Billy modeled humility. He never forgot his farm boy roots, his small town values, and the fact that everything he had was a gift from God. Humble people are gracious people and Billy was always gracious to everyone. Great people make other people feel great, while little people belittle people, Billy taught me to ignore both the flatterers and the attackers- the cheers and the jeers from the sidelines, and instead focus on finishing the race God has called you to run.

Billy modeled that personal integrity is a daily choice. He established clear moral and financial boundaries around his life and ministry that I unashamedly copied. Our Saddleback Staff 10 Moral Guidelines are based on same boundaries Billy set up with his team We’ve used them for nearly 40 years.

Billy modeled generosity. The list of other ministries and causes that Billy funded is quite long and wide.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Pastor Rick Warren: Lasting in Ministry
2. TO LAST IN MINISTRY AND FINISH WELL, BE A BRIDGE-BUILDER, NOT A WALL-BUILDER. BE A UNIFIER, NOT A DIVIDER.

In the 1950 & 60s Billy insisted that all his crusades be integrated. In some southern cities in America, the Graham crusades were the first public events to be racially integrated. But Billy also insisted that his crusades be religiously integrated. He put Catholics and Protestants, Calvinists and Charismatics, Fundamentalist and Evangelicals, Liberals and Conservatives, all on the platform together. He was criticized for it, but he knew that God blesses unity and harmony.

By not getting involved in partisan fights, Billy was able to minister to all kinds of politicians and to both sides of the aisle. By staying out of denominational fights and competition, he was able to serve every denomination. Billy Graham was loved by the whole world because he loved the whole world! He was gracious Christian statesman.

Billy was always more interested in the eternity of nonbelievers than in the favor of narrow-minded believers who didn’t want him associating with “unholy” groups of people. But as an evangelist, you spend most of your time talking with people who don’t believe or live as you do.

Billy taught me that to reach people without Christ, you must sometimes ignore religious and political divisions. To be a bridge-builder you must walk across the line. When Billy accepted invitations to preach in Russia, North Korea, and other countries that were led by Communists, he was ruthlessly criticized by people who considered politics more important than the gospel. Critics said “They will use you as a pawn of their propaganda” but I happen to know that Billy’s attitude was that while that might happen, he would use them to get the gospel out, and the gospel of Christ’s love is far more powerful than any political paradigm.

I have been attacked and misunderstood for accepting invitations to speak to groups of Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, LGBTQ, secular liberals, and fundamentalist Christians. But I am called by God to share the Good News where ever I can, and you cannot bring your enemies to Christ, only your friends.

Before you can help others trust Jesus, they must trust you. Before they accept that the Bible is credible, they want to know are you credible? To be used by God as a bridge-builder for the Gospel you must be willing to be unpopular with those who only want to build walls. Billy taught me that we must take the gospel wherever we can, even if that means being misunderstood, or criticized, or accused of guilt by association.

3. TO LAST IN MINISTRY AND FINISH WELL, BE AN ENCOURAGER, NOT A CRITIC.

Everybody needs encouragement, and there were times in my ministry that Billy’s encouragement came at just the moment I need it.

Some of the most valuable possessions I own are the letters and personal notes that Billy wrote to encourage me over the years. One note he sent me was after he watched the first time I was interviewed on a Larry King Show. His words of encouragement are framed on a wall in my office between letters from Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. I’m sure there are many others who received similar notes because it was Billy’s nature to encourage others in ministry.

Another time, Billy asked me to fly to his home give him an update on our Purpose Driven Global P.E.A.C.E. plan in 197 nations, His praise was effusive hyperbole but it encouraged me. After sharing a 2 hour report Billy said with tears in his eyes ” Rick, this is the greatest vision I’ve ever heard. I just wish I was around long enough to see it happen!” That was trademark Graham encouragement and it filled my eyes with tears too,

4. TO LAST IN MINISTRY AND FINISH WELL, SHARE YOUR PLATFORM WITH THE NEXT GENERATION.

We must take the long view, realizing that our ministries are just one brief phase of a long line of servants of God. Many have served God before us, and many will serve after we’re gone. Part of each generation’s responsibility is to set up the next generation for effectiveness. I watched Billy do this over and over, not only with me, but with many others.

While in college, I wrote my first book called Warren’s Bible Study Methods. Billy got a copy of it, and in the early 80s, when he organized his Global Congress for Evangelists – a 10 day training conference in AMSTERDAM, Billy called me up and said “Rick, I want you to come teach 13,000 evangelists from 190 nations how to study the Bible for themselves. He bought my book in 17 languages and gave a free copy to all 13,000 attenders.

At that time I was only in my 20s and I had very little confidence in my writing ability, but when Billy shared his platform with me, I thought, “Well, If Billy thinks my writing is good enough to give to all these leaders, maybe I should keep writing!” The Purpose Driven Life might have never been written if Billy Graham has not believed in me. So now, I am always looking for ways to encourage and share my platform with young writers and pastors.

Decades later, when I was invited to pray the invocation at the start of President George Bush’s inauguration week, and then again 4 years later at President Obama’s inauguration, Billy’s private advice was invaluable. He even gave me his hat that he wore when he prayed at previous inaugurations. He mailed it to me as a surprise along with warm personal note that said “Rick, It’s your time now. I believe in you! Wear the hat! Love, Billy” So I did.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE Pastor Rick Warren: Lasting in Ministry
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People often ask “Who will be the next Billy Graham?” and my answer is always the same: There will never be e a replacement! Not only is Billy irreplaceable but the world has changed dramatically. In each generation God raises up new women and men to do his will in new ways , My life verse us Acts 13:36 but I think it is also a great description of Billy Graham’s life and ministry. Speaking of King David, it says, “David served God’s purpose in his generation, and then he died.” To me, this is finest definition of a successful life: serving God’s purpose (that what is timeless) in your generation,(in a timely way)” To do what is permanent and unchanging in a world that is constantly changing is the highest use of life. and it is the only thing that will last forever.

As we celebrate the life and legacy of this giant of faith, I urge you to get to know the Jesus Christ that Billy spoke of for over 60 years and then I urge you to commit to “serving God’s purpose in your generation” just as Billy did.
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WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE A TRUE LIFE STORY OF A PASTOR

A TRUE LIFE STORY OF A PASTOR

By Gideon in Blog, Ministry on June 6, 2018

Why You Should Be Very Careful of What Church You Attend (and “so-called” Men of God You Follow)

My name is Chidubem Okwu. I am a pastor, but I have disappointed God and I really don’t know where to begin to tell my story.
I must tell you the truth. I can’t really say if I have a call or not. I was a Sunday School teacher in my church for 9 years at Kaduna. In 1999 I was led to start a church, but from the experiences I have gathered now I cannot say I was actually led by the Holy Spirit to start that church.

As at 2008, I was not making any progress both spiritually and materially. I saw many churches which began several years after mine and they were making waves and are still making progress. At a point I did not know what to do again, and after discussing with my wife I decided to approach the general overseer of a church that began 7 years after I started my ministry and explained to him that personally I was not making any headway and same with my ministry. My ministry would grow up to 200 people and after a short period it would shrink to 50 people and at times it would grow to 150 and shrink to 40 people. I approached him because the growth in his church was fast. He began the church in 2006 and by 2012 he was recording 11,000 people on a Sunday service and he was also making good money and riding in big cars, including the latest jeeps.

After listening to me, he promised to help me solve my problem. He said I needed to be empowered and that it is going to cost me some amount of money besides, I need to have a big and strong heart. Then he asked me if I have got a strong heart and I told him that I have, as long as it is not going to involve killing a fellow human being. He asked me thrice if I have got a strong heart and I consistently gave him the same answer. Again he asked me if I want a single empowerment or double empowerment and I asked him which one was better and he said double empowerment was better but it would cost me a lot of money, and that after the empowerment I was going to be told how to maintain and renew the power.

This time I became afraid and I asked him if the maintenance and renewal involved any ritual, he said no, that whatever the renewal and maintenance will involve are just normal things that I was already doing so I should not be afraid. He said I should go and raise three hundred and fifty thousand naira (350,000) which I had to borrow from my wife. The next day I handed over the money to him and he asked me to go and get ready that we shall be going to Lagos and Port-Harcourt. I got ready and we took flight from Abuja to Lagos that same day.

In Lagos we lodged at the guest house of a big ministry and at 11.30p.m we went out in a private car to the Bar-beach. At the Bar-beach we were at the bank when he spoke some unknown language and told me that a woman was going to come out of the water and that I should do whatever she says. As soon as he said that, there was rumbling on the surface of the water and a mermaid came out of it. The general overseer told me not to be afraid that the mermaid will not harm me, so I picked courage when I saw her.
When she came to the surface of the water, the lower part of her body was like that of a fish. My eyes were transfixed to that lower part, and as she was getting closer to me it became human. Then she came to me and asked me to have sex with her which I did in the presence of the general overseer. After having sex with her, she put her hand in her vagina and made a sign of the cross on my forehead and my palm and told me that she had empowered me and that I would see the difference. The mermaid left me, went to the General Overseer and brought out a golden cross and chain from her stomach and wore it on the neck of the general overseer who gave her some money. The mermaid thanked him and went back into the sea. All the time she spoke in English language.
Also Read This:Confession That Shook Me
When we eventually got back to the ministry’s guest house, the general overseer told me that we have to go to the church of that ministry because they were having a night vigil. When we got there I was given an opportunity to minister in the church and as I raised my hands from the altar the members began to fall on themselves, and some were tumbling on others. I must say, I was almost embarrassed because I never expected the manifestation of the mermaid power to be so soon. After the all night service we went back to the guest house and the general overseer asked me if I was happy the way the power manifested and I said yes. He told me that we should go to bed and get some sleep because we would be going to Port-Harcourt that evening.

That afternoon as I was sleeping, that same mermaid I had sex with at the Bar-beach came to me in my dream and told me that to maintain and also constantly renew the power I must be having sex with a virgin once every month, so this jolted me out of sleep. I went to the general overseer’s room to explain what I saw and heard in my dream and he said it was no problem. When I asked him how I was going to be getting the virgins he said he was going to assist me get them, but I needed to pay for his service. Honestly Apostle after this I wanted to backout, but I had no courage to say or do so.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE A TRUE LIFE STORY OF A PASTOR
While at the Bar-beach I saw many pastors who came there with other senior pastors. It is like a tradition! There must be a senior pastor bringing in younger pastors, and I believe each senior pastor had a particular mermaid they relate with because I saw up to ten mermaids attending to some other young pastors.

In the evening we were at the local airport in Lagos and took a flight to Port-Harcourt. At Port-Harcourt we lodged in the guest house of another ministry and at mid-night we got out, eventually arriving in a very big compound of a woman called Eze-Nwanyi. Inside the compound were many houses.
We met many pastors there including first generation church pastors. When it was my turn, the general overseer paid some money and itemized what should be done for me. When I went into the room I was surprised it was a woman again and as I was thinking – woman again! I found myself on top of the woman on a bed in an adjacent room. Honestly I have not been able to recall how I found myself on that bed. I had sex with her and also sucked her breasts. After the sexual session, she made some animal cry and administered some stuff into my eyes and I began immediately to see into the spirit world and also discussed with some spirit beings. After that she gave me a bottle of olive oil which she called “do as I say”. She said with this the members of my church will do whatever I ask them to do.

She also gave me another bottle of olive oil which she called “all seeing oil”. She said with the oil I could see deep into people’s secrets, and a bottle of olive oil which she called “slaying oil” for slaying people (under “so-called” anointing) during prayer. She finally gave me two more bottles of olive oil. The first one is “crowd pulling oil” and the second one is “touch and follow” – which I will be using to hypnotize women especially virgins because I will be having sex with them and married women to renew the empowerment. She said I could have sex and immediately after that I could go straight into ministration without having my bath. She bound me with an oath of secrecy.
Also Read This:Pastor W. F. Kumuyi Message To The Church
We left that same midnight and went back to the lodge, and the general overseer told me to rub the “touch and follow” oil then we went to the vigil of the church in which we were lodging in their guest house. I was allowed to minister and I burst into prophesy to my own astonishment.
In the morning two virgins were sent to the general overseer and he gave me one. So we took them to the guest house and had sex with them.
What really surprised me was that the young girls never asked where we were taking them to and why we were taking them there, which is unusual for virgin girls.

When the girls left, the general overseer told me that from then onwards I had to concentrate my sermons around prosperity and stop preaching salvation and righteousness messages. He said I should be sending tithes to him and that he knew how part of the tithes would get to the woman at Port-Harcourt. Eventually we left Port-Harcourt to Abuja and back to Kaduna.
When I began service after my return, things began to change. Money began to come, the crowd also began to come and within one week miracles, deliverance followed by prosperity began to happen in the church, the spirit of prophecy came in like I had never seen it in my life.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE A TRUE LIFE STORY OF A PASTOR
I have been having sex with virgin girls and married women and things have been working out fine for my family and the church for the past six years, but I have gotten to a stage in which I am no longer feeling comfortable with the whole thing. I have had dreams in which I saw myself burning in hell. I have had this dream of hell seven times and in one of the dreams I awoke only for the same dream to continue when I went back to bed. I have been having sleepless nights, and many nights I get raped by that same mermaid. I have lost two of my children mysteriously, but through the same pattern. For the past three months I have not been able to get virgin girls and this has affected the power as it is going down.

I want to get out of this whole issue even if it means closing the church. I have gone to the general overseer and he said it was too late for me to get out. He threatened me with mysterious death. He said it is not possible for me to turn against the mermaid and Eze-Nwanyi because they were already part of my life. I told him that I will do everything positively possible to get myself out of this.
Three days later two men approached me and told me that if I love my life I should vanish from Kaduna because they have been paid by the general overseer to eliminate me, so I had to close the church and left the town finally after two days.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE A TRUE LIFE STORY OF A PASTOR
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As I am writing to you now I have nothing to hold on to but only God Almighty. The problem is that God seems to be very far from me no matter how much and fervently I have been calling on Him and asking for His mercies. I know I have offended Him, but I know He is a God of second chance. I have read your books – Overcoming the Queen of the Coast series, and I strongly believe you are the only one that God can use to help me out of this physical hell I have put myself. I am really afraid of going to meet any other person (man of God) because those who are using devilish powers are more than those who use the power of God.

For some time now I have not been sleeping at night and I also at times hallucinate. Sir, I urgently need your help because I believe time is running out for me as the attack from the marine kingdom increases. No other pastor has exposed them like you. I know I have transferred many spirits into so many people and I want to know what I can do so that those people can be free from these wicked and evil spirits.
Apostle, it is really unfortunate that the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ has been taken over by Mermaids. The number of pastors using marine spirits is alarming, and more of them are getting initiated daily into this wicked kingdom. So these pastors are also initiating their spiritually illiterate members.

Before I messed up myself spiritually, I had always wondered why members of churches follow their pastors sheepishly, but now I know better.
The marine kingdom is working day and night to overtake the church and unfortunately the church is sleeping. In the last two months I have had four car crashes and I know they want to eliminate me, but God has been my helper and my only hope.
They have killed my two children and now they want me dead. I am becoming afraid of staying alone because of some bizarre spiritual appearances I see, and things have started to move in my brain and body. Any time I start praying the movement would start and sometimes I feel the movement in my marrow.
WORD-AFLAME LEADERSHIP COLLEGE A TRUE LIFE STORY OF A PASTOR
The greatest need I have now is to be forgiven by God. If I can get His forgiveness I don’t mind dying after that because I really don’t want to go to hell. I have been misled by the general overseer just as so many young pastors have been misled by their general overseers and senior pastors. Sir, I know you are a very busy person. I will appreciate if you find time to pray over this my problems and seek the face of the Lord on how He will use you to help me out. I know that if I am forgiven, my deliverance will be easy. I regret selling my soul to marine spirits.
The Eze-Nwanyi is also a very strong agent of the mermaid.

I look forward to hearing from you
Your co-servant in the Lord,
Pastor Chidubem Okwu.

Author’s Response:
When I received this letter I called the number over three times, but it was switched off. So the next day I called and it went through. A woman took the call and when I asked to speak to pastor Chidubem, I was told that he had died in a car crash the previous day. I was dumbfounded. I just expressed my condolences to the woman who later told me that she was his wife that she had to amend her ways with the Lord and move ahead with her life. She expressed gratitude and thanked me. Also Read This: Grace For Finishing Strong

After I cut off the discussion I was frozen to a spot for over five minutes until my son came and touched me asking what the matter was.
I must say that it is very unfortunate this pastor died. Those of us alive need to be extremely careful on what we do and where we place our hands. When we want success by worldly standards we can easily soil our hands. I know that if he had not started to get out of these evil powers they wouldn’t have killed him. Only God knows if he was forgiven by God before his sudden death. If not, no one needs to tell you his destination by now. We must make choices in life and whatever choices we make there are consequences and we should be ready to accept the consequences of the choices we have made. God is not going to hold the general overseer responsible for the sin of the young pastor. May God help us to be watchful, wise, and to wait for Him to fight on our behalf instead of seeking and succumbing to worldly and devilish measures for help!
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