Seven Failures of the Modern Church

I thought this was a worthy subject of a poem, and it is based on the incredible teaching we heard last year from my pastor/husband.

 

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  1. Preaching of a Crossless Christianity

 

A  Christianity without a cross

is preached across some pulpits of our day.

Sacrifice of Calvary is but dross.

From the blood of Jesus we have turned away.

 

A social gospel many do purport.

Your own good works, yes they can do the job.

But preaching of this self-sufficient sort,

the message of Golgotha, it does rob.

 

Some focus on the loaves and the fishes,

the miracles and feelie goodie things.

Heaven we’ll achieve through our good wishes,

but man can’t rise by his own apron strings.

 

Preaching that’s crossless, God will not anoint.

Powerless it is and misses the point.

 

  1. Preaching A No Change Christianity

 

Powerless it is and misses the point,

such doctrine not requiring us to change.

The purpose of God, it does disappoint;

concept in Scripture unknown and quite strange.

 

Jesus came to save us from each dark sin

through His blood and the power of His name.

Soul that embraces this truth should begin

to see that he need not remain the same.

 

Old things passed away, all things are made new

when thru water, Spirit we’re born again.

This teaching is not conveyed to the pew.

Many go on as carnal, unchanged men.

 

Such discourse espousing no about face,

it leaves a man in a state of disgrace.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Commitment Christianity

 

 

It leaves a man in a state of disgrace

when it’s not proclaimed, our need to commit.

‘Tis a fickle love, like smoke in God’s face,

spineless profession that has no true grit.

 

Like customers before a smorgasbord

that exercise their right to choose;

some have this disposition toward the Lord.

Take it, leave it attitude is bad news.

 

There’s a definite lack in preaching now

coming down from the pulpit to the pew

of importance in making holy vows,

but it is something we all need to do.

 

When committing to God there is a lack,

we don’t move forward. Our soul does draw back.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Compliance Christianity

 

 

We don’t move forward. Our soul does draw back

when to Scripture’s tenets we don’t adhere.

We’re like a train that is on the wrong track.

The derailment of our lives is near.

 

If to worldly practices we’re conformed;

do like everyone and try to fit in.

In our minds renewing, we’re not transformed;

know that we are on the pathway of sin.

 

God’s Word calls people to separation

of the things that are grievous in His sight.

If in this we do come to reparation,

our willful compliance brings Him delight.

 

Preaching void of devotion is hollow.

It is not the course we want to follow.

 

  1. Preaching of a No Cause Christianity

 

 

It is not the course we want to follow,

religion with no lofty, noble goal;

in self-indulgent luxury wallow,

our sinful appetites out of control.

 

We’re not our own, and with a price we’re bought.

However, seldom is it preached, this cause.

Surrender of ourselves, this truth not taught,

and many do not stop and give it pause.

 

A common goal, eat, drink and be merry

in our society does permeate.

Epicurean stance does not carry

Bible truth, nor does it hold any weight.

 

A limp and causeless Christianity,

it’s nothing short of hum drum vanity.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Covenant Christianity

 

 

It’s nothing short of hum drum vanity.

A no agreement type relationship

though practiced much among humanity,

for bond ‘tween God and man, it is not hip.

 

Two can’t walk together unless agreed.

On God’s terms is the way we must advance.

To try and make our will to supersede

is nothing more than a song and a dance.

 

So blessed indeed the contract that does bind

the will of creature, Creator in one.

A good end result for sure we will find.

The purpose of God, thru man can be done.

 

If covenant agreement is not preached

God’s desire for man will not be reached.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Consecration Christianity

 

God’s desire for man will not be reached

lest we give ourselves to consecration.

Our sacred affinity will be breached

without a whole hearted dedication.

 

Faithfully, daily laboring in prayer

if this Christian race we do want to win.

‘Tis a sign to God that we truly care,

paves the way for more lost sheep to come in.

 

Lackadaisical service will not do

in any form or on any level,

from those in the pulpit or those in the pew;

nothing short but a trick of the devil.

 

Hollowed, not hallowed, then we lose the toss

a Christianity without a cross.

 

10/1/17

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Good Old Folks

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I can’t believe I just called these two fine people old. In reality, Bro. and Sis. Halstead are very young at heart. Bro. Halstead still shouts, runs the aisles and praises God like a much younger man. His worship is sincere and encouraging.

The Halsteads are a very important part of our Kids’ Church program. In the first photo, Bro. Halstead is playing Grandpa Jones, a character in our current quarter of The Real Pentecostals. Both Bro. and Sis. Halstead are wonderful teachers, and I have been amazed at some of the creative ways they have come up with to keep the children engaged and teach them the precious Word of God. Brother Halstead also heads up our outreach department and does a great job inspiring us to reach out to those in our community that have not experienced Acts 2:38 salvation.

In the second photo, they are clowning around at a meal we had recently to break a fast that we did together as a church. Earlier that week, Sis. Halstead had sent a photo to me and another sister from our church of a man devouring some chicken drumsticks. She said that was going to be what she would look like when we broke the fast. Hence, I took this photo to represent that moment. 🙂

This faithful couple has been such a blessing to our church in many ways. Getting older has definitely not stopped them from being faithful and working for God with all of their hearts.  They are living out the following verses.

 

“Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;”

Psalm 92:13,14

Just to clarify, I’m not saying that Bro. and Sis. Halstead are fat. This is talking about abundance or a “spiritual fat” that is a good type of fat.(I sure could use more of that type of fat!) I am thankful today for the great big FAT blessing that Bro. and Sis. Halstead have been to Cornerstone Pentecostal Church!

Miranda POPs It To Us

Miranda giving POP

On Sunday, March 18, we heard a great POP given by our dear sister Miranda. In previous posts, I mentioned that POP stands for Power Of Proverbs. Twice a month on a Sunday morning, we have a youth from our church take 2-7 minutes to share something from the book of Proverbs that they have studied . These have really been a blessing to our church and they help the youth as well to study the Bible more and get practice speaking in front of people. Miranda talked about the benefit and importance of listening to godly(pastoral)counsel. This is something she has put into practice in her life, and she is reaping the benefits from it.

Sister Miranda has been in church for 5 years, and I am proud of the steady growth I have seen in her life. I remember before she made the commitment to really live for God, the times when she would come and visit the church. You could tell God was reaching for her, but she was also struggling with the pull of friends who were not living for God. Many were praying for her, and the happy day finally did come when she told pastor that she had repented and was ready to be baptized and commit her life to God. It has been a blessing to see her make new friends in the church, live for God while going to public high school, graduate and continue to live for God while entering the work force. She is faithful to the house of God and is involved in outreach, children’s church,youth choir and praise singing.

I am thankful for Miranda and other young people like her that are striving to serve God daily and be a blessing in His kingdom!

 

Graduation Surprise

ICAT grads

A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday morning, pastor pulled a little surprise on a couple of students that had finished a 3 year course of study with the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology. Sister Theresa Halstead and our son Paul actually graduated last October but were unable to attend the ceremony in San Antonio, Tx. Pastor had their diplomas  put into very nice frames and took some time to honor both of them.

He also gave each of them a few minutes to say something about their experience with ICAT. Both of them expressed thankfulness for the instruction they received and were appreciative that their education has given them more confidence in witnessing and talking about the Bible with others. Sis. Halstead was working full time while she took the courses, so this was really a great accomplishment for her.

I know at times it was a sacrifice for both of them to do the work involved, but they stuck with it and finished their course. I am proud and happy for both of them. 🙂

 

Overcomer

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The lady wearing the captain’s hat in the photo above is Sis. Eva Kolej. She is our Kid’s Church Director, is the most organized person I know and does an incredible job keeping everything running smoothly for children’s church. This past year, she and her family really went through a difficult trial when she was diagnosed with cancer. In spite of everything she was going through she still managed to put out schedules for Kid’s Church so each teacher/worker could be prepared and know what they were supposed to do. She also continued taking classes through Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology and still worked her job at the times she felt physically well enough to do it. We are so thankful(although I’m sure not as much as she is)that Sis. Eva is on the other side of this trial now, with the cancer in remission. God was faithful to her, and she was faithful to Him. She testified last night in service of God’s faithfulness and goodness to her during her trial, and then her daughter Bell sang a song I love called Overcomer. The presence of God came down in a very powerful way as Sis. Bell sang, and many were touched and strengthened by the Spirit of God.

It is truly a great blessing that we can be overcomers in our trials if we will just be faithful to God and keep holding on through the storm. Thank you Sister Eva, for your wonderful testimony!

 

Piano Player In The Making

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Yesterday was Trinity’s first time ever to play the piano during worship service! In case you don’t know, Trin is the young lady to the left. Her good friend and schoolmate Sasha is on the right. I wasn’t able to get a picture of Trin playing, because I was on the platform at the same time praise singing.

I wanted to let everyone know that she did a great job! I know it can be intimidating and make one nervous doing something for the first time in front of a group of people, but I’m glad she took the plunge, and I am proud of her. It’s encouraging to see young people that will let God use them, whether it be playing an instrument, singing, witnessing to a friend, praying with someone in the altar, etc.,etc. I love the young people of our church. They are not perfect(but then again, who is?), but they are striving to live for God, and I’m very thankful and blessed to see growth in their lives. What a precious thing it is to be able to serve God in your youth!

Daniel’s First POP

Daniel's First Pop

This past Sunday was Daniel’s first time to do a POP. In case you’re wondering what a POP is, it’s an acronym that stands for Power of Proverbs. The first and third Sunday of each month, we have a young person speak for 2-7 minutes on something they have gleaned from the book of Proverbs. This is a good exercise to help young people get practice in speaking in front of a group. It is also something that hopefully encourages and motivates them to study out a verse or verses. Many times these little sermonettes have been a great blessing, spot on and timely. I know there was a least one instance when after a POP, Pastor gave an altar call.

Daniel did a great job for his very first time. I know he was nervous, but God helped him. The Scripture he talked about was Proverbs 11:23.

“The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.”

It is amazing too how a lot of what he said tied right in with our visiting evangelist who preached after Daniel spoke. I just love when God does that!

I am proud of Daniel and all our young people. Our youth group is not very large, but it is so wonderful to see all of them making strides in living for Jesus. To God be the glory!