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LOGOS

March 13, 2019

LOGOS

March 13, 2019

Missionary Prayer Calendar

This is a continuing feature that will appear in each edition of LOGOS going forward. A different missionary will be referenced each week. This information is provided by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

This week's missionary couple is Matt and Laura Lawson. They are church planters in Burbank, California. You can reach them at Story City Church, 320 E. Angeleno Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505. You can also reach them at matt@storycitychurch.com.

They are asking us to pray for the multiplication of leaders, planters, churches and campuses in Los Angeles.

The population of the metro Los Angeles area is 10,137,915. It is estimated that 84.7% of the population is lost. There is one Southern Baptist Church for every 17,570 Los Angeles residents.

We do not have this same information from the International Mission Board due to security issues. However, pray for our international missionaries as a group. Pray for their families to have good health. Pray for their family members that have birthdays and anniversaries. Pray for them as they deal with news from loved ones here in the states. Pray that God will refresh them spiritually and physically. Pray that God will open doors for their ministries to be fruitful.

Men's Book Study Continues Each Thursday Evening:

Act Like Men

The Men's Ministry continues a book study by James MacDonald entitled, Act Like Men. Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.“Men have five main areas in which they spend their money: electronics, sports, cars, gambling, and alcohol. The problem with most men is self-centeredness. Internet porn is devouring men's souls like a new and deadly form of cancer. We are losing our kids in broken marriages. Men don't work on themselves. Men work on projects. Most women work on themselves. They work to improve themselves. Guys roof the garage, paint, and fix things. Women work on relationships and the family.”

In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, God reminds men to, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (ESV)

This will be, at most, an eight week study. Mike Wharton will lead the study.

This week (March 14) is lesson #4.

Thursday Morning Bible Study: Genesis

The Thursday Morning Bible Study taught by Ron Parkinson continues a study in Genesis each Thursday at 10:30 a.m. This bible study is open to anyone who has the time available. They meet in the east end (opposite the Kitchen) of the Fellowship Hall.

Next PRAYER WALK Scheduled for March 30

The next Prayer Walk associated with our bible distribution ministry is scheduled for Saturday, March 30, at 9:00 a.m. We will meet in the Sanctuary for prayer and assignments! Then we will go pray in the chosen community!

2019 Vacation Bible School Organizational Meeting

The organizational meeting for this year's Vacation Bible School (VBS) was held on Tuesday, March 5. From that meeting, we are needing church volunteers for crafts, recreation, and missions. If you can volunteer (the dates are June 10-14), please contact the Church Office at 793-5670.

The next VBS planning meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m.

This year's theme is, “In The Wild!” “Throw on your camera strap and buckle your seatbelt. VBS 2019 takes you on a wild adventure—with elephants and egrets, polar bears and penguins, cockatoos and crocodiles. As you seek out exotic animals, you’ll also find snapshots of real-life encounters with Jesus in Scripture. Kids go from bewildered to believing as they get In The Wild at this summer’s VBS.”

Easter Musical: WE Are WITNESSES

The Sanctuary Choir will present an Easter Musical, WE Are WITNESSES, this coming Easter season.

“What better way to share Easter Sunday … than by singing out the testimonies of those who encountered Jesus firsthand? Throughout Jesus' ministry, people experienced divine appointments with Him that left them amazed and in awe. So much so, that they could not help but bear witness to the miracles he performed and to the love and mercy shown to those he met along the way. This is the retelling of those testimonies in an inspiring new Easter musical.

EASTER Week of Celebration

We will be celebrating Easter week (April 14-21) with the following special services:

We will have Maundy Thursday (April 18) service at 7:00 p.m. The Lord's Supper will be the central focus of this service.

We will have a Good Friday (April 19) service at 12:00 Noon.

We will have a Sunrise Service at the Wellington Amphitheater at 6:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 21.

We will have two worship service at our church: 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 21.

Church History Made Before Our Eyes:

United Methodists Make History, Affirm Biblical Standards of Sexuality

By Albert Mohler

This article is reprinted from the website, www.albertmohler.com. It is recommended reading for you by Pastor Terry Townsend.

Church history spans two millennia—2,000 years of recorded experience. The weight of that history is heavy and humbling. Seen in that light, it takes a really big event to rank as historical, even as it happens. Such an event happened within the last seven days.

In St. Louis Missouri, the United Methodist Church met for a special General Conference to answer unavoidable questions central to the sexual revolution and the LGBTQ agenda. The United Methodist Church stands as the last mainline Protestant denomination that has not yet fully surrendered to the sexual revolution. The church has long agonized over this issue, with many in the church advocating for capitulation while a slim conservative majority still held to an orthodox teaching of marriage and sexuality.

A standoff has engulfed the church since the 1970s, with liberals pushing for the full acceptance and normalization of homosexuality and the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ ethic—they demand the ordination of openly gay clergy, the affirmation of same-sex marriage, and even electing homosexual bishops. But the liberals within the United Methodist Church have been thwarted in this effort – and the reason is illuminating.

Despite its basic theological liberalism, the UMC made history this week by upholding a biblical ethic on sexual morality. The General Conference sustained its biblical standards on marriage as an exclusive union between one man and one woman and rejected the LGBTQ revolution. This has never happened before and thus history was made. A mainline Protestant denomination long characterized by theological liberalism defeated the LGBTQ juggernaut and affirmed the biblical vision for marriage and sexuality. This demands our attention.

Though Methodism stretches back to the 18thcentury with the teachings of John and Charles Wesley, the UMC, as a denomination, is only about 50 years old. In 1968, The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren merged, forming the United Methodist Church. Generally identified with liberal Protestantism, the UMC also included a large representation of classical Methodists committed to traditional Christianity—many of these Methodists could rightly be described as evangelical.

Those conservative members have long summoned the UMC back to its historic, evangelical roots. In the wake of liberalism within mainline denominations, the evangelicals in the UMC founded the Good News Movement, which promoted conservative and orthodox theology, encouraged evangelism, and opposed the abdication of biblical morality.

As the sexual revolution targeted and captured many mainline Protestant denominations, the UMC held its ground. The committed conservatives within the church did not leave; they pressed on with convictional leadership as they attempted to stem the tides of secularism and liberal theology. Moreover, conservative leaders in the UMC received encouragement when the denomination opened its membership to international churches in Africa and Asia—these churches maintained a deep fidelity to traditional, biblical sexuality. Indeed, over the last several decades, the majority of the UMC’s growth arises from those Methodist churches abroad. Thus, when the denomination gathers every four years for its General Conference, conservatives have enjoyed greater representation because more representatives hail from places like Africa and the Philippines.

Liberals saw the writing on the wall—they understood the general trend of the denomination towards a conservative theology and biblical ethic. As such, the liberals who fought for the UMC’s acceptance of the LGBTQ agenda understood that with every passing year, their chances of success dwindled. The liberal leaders within the UMC knew they needed to force a vote on these issues fast, hence the special General Conference of 2019.

The showdown in Missouri stems from a long line of debates held at every General Conference since 1972. For the last 47 years, liberals have already fought for the liberalization of the UMC’s official teaching, which is known as the Book of Discipline. The historic discipline of the denomination asserts that “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals cannot be ordained as ministers, even as it is to be recognized that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God.” It also promotes marriage as union of one man and one woman, and states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Despite the clarity of that language, the liberal faction in the UMC has repeatedly defied the denomination’s dogma. Dissident pastors have affirmed the LGBTQ agenda and celebrated homosexual marriages in their churches. Openly gay pastors serve in pulpits, and one conference of the UMC is led by an openly gay bishop – all in open defiance of the Book of Discipline.

A house divided against itself cannot stand. Church practice cannot be severed from official church doctrine. The separation between doctrine and practice will doom any denomination. Indeed, the UMC stood at a crossroads. It would have to go one way or the other—a decision that would assuredly lead to a massive division in the church and eventuate in a denominational split. After yesterday’s decision, the UMC will most likely endure a schism between conservatives and liberals, with the conservatives holding onto the UMC while the liberals start a new denomination made in the image of the sexual revolution.

When the delegates arrived at the General Conference, they faced three different proposals: the liberal option, the traditional option, and a middle option. The middle option, known as the “One Church Plan,” boasted the overwhelming support of the bishops in the church. It promoted a local option, where congregations and conferences (regional jurisdictions of the UMC) could decide for themselves which direction to take.

The middle option was illogical and unprincipled. The UMC’s bishops would willingly sacrifice doctrinal and moral clarity on the altar of denominational unity. The “One Church Plan” surrendered theological conviction for a loosely defined and weak ecclesiology.

Furthermore, 93 presidents of historically Methodist universities implored the General Conference to join the sexual revolution. These presidents represented universities like Duke, Boston University, Emory, and American University in Washington D.C. They demanded the liberal option.

Thus, the battle lines were drawn. Liberals and conservatives marshaled their forces, counted votes, wrote articles, preached sermons, and descended on St. Louis for a historic showdown over the future of America’s second largest Protestant denomination.

The final vote not only rejected the liberal option but the defeat of the “One Church Plan” as well. The General Conference upheld the historic teaching of the church regarding sexuality and marriage. The vote, however, was remarkably close—438 to 384, or 53% to 47%. This marks a deep divide within the UMC.

There is no going back. This divide will not heal. The theological divergences that have plagued the UMC bubbled over this week in St. Louis and the results will undoubtedly lead to a massive split in this global denomination. The two sides of this debate essentially affirm different religions, not just different visions of Methodism.

Perhaps the most important decision taken by the General Conference centered on its rejection of the middle option. Even though an overwhelming number of UMC bishops called for the “One Church Plan,” the delegates decided that unity at the expense of doctrine is no unity at all—if the church does not present a unified and clear teaching on something as basic as sexual morality then it is no church at all. It cannot stand as one body, unified by its faith in Christ, if half the church upholds orthodox sexuality while the other half joins the sexual revolution. This decision by the General Conference took an enormous amount of conviction and fortitude. It sent a clear message that the UMC will not join the sexual revolution.

Even though the UMC remains a generally liberal denomination, that will likely change as the ripples of this decision spread. Eventually, a church must decide which road to take. The forces of modernity and the tides of secularism have swept many churches and denominations away. The UMC, however, drew a line in the sand and made no compromises on sexual ethics. As such, part of the history made yesterday is not only a mainline denominations refusal to join the sexual revolution, but a denomination that may, in the years to come, return to its evangelical heritage and theological roots that reach back to men like John and Charles Wesley.

The General Conference’s decision amounted to a surprising and stunning turn for this major denomination. It contradicted the wisdom of the world, which demands that all churches dance to the tune of the sexual revolution. Long ago, many denominations surrendered their theology in the service of cultural relevance. Those churches are now dying—the churches that are growing are those who have held fast to the clear teachings and admonitions of Scripture.

No church or congregation can move in two contradictory directions at once. Theological fidelity cannot mix with cultural capitulation. One must give way to the other. Yesterday, the UMC stood upon the authority of the Bible. History was made, and such a moment, rare as it it, should give hope to all biblically minded Christians.

Dr. Albert Mohler is President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

Be a blessing to others for God!

Pastor Terry


LOGOS

March 6, 2019

LOGOS

March 6, 2019

Missionary Prayer Calendar

This is a continuing feature that will appear in each edition of LOGOS going forward. A different missionary will be referenced each week. This information is provided by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

This week's missionary couple is Fredy and Nadiya Ontibon. They are church planters in Marietta, Georgia. You can reach them at Iglesia Bautista Roswell Street, 874 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060. You can also reach them at FredyOntibon@roswellstreet.com.

They are asking us to pray with them for leadership development and that the church will multiply.

We do not have this same information from the International Mission Board due to security issues. However, pray for our international missionaries as a group. Pray for their families to have good health. Pray for their family members that have birthdays and anniversaries. Pray for them as they deal with news from loved ones here in the states. Pray that God will refresh them spiritually and physically. Pray that God will open doors for their ministries to be fruitful.

Men's Book Study Continues Each Thursday Evening:

Act Like Men

The Men's Ministry continues a book study by James MacDonald entitled, Act Like Men. Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.“Men have five main areas in which they spend their money: electronics, sports, cars, gambling, and alcohol. The problem with most men is self-centeredness. Internet porn is devouring men's souls like a new and deadly form of cancer. We are losing our kids in broken marriages. Men don't work on themselves. Men work on projects. Most women work on themselves. They work to improve themselves. Guys roof the garage, paint, and fix things. Women work on relationships and the family.”

In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, God reminds men to, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (ESV)

This will be, at most, an eight week study. Mike Wharton will lead the study.

Thursday Morning Bible Study: Genesis

The Thursday Morning Bible Study taught by Ron Parkinson continues a study in Genesis each Thursday at 10:30 a.m. This bible study is open to anyone who has the time available. They meet in the east end (opposite the Kitchen) of the Fellowship Hall.

BIBLE Distribution Scheduled for Saturday, March 9

We will be distributing bibles this Saturday, March 9, at 9:00 a.m. We will meet at the church for a word of prayer and disperse from there. We will be focusing this bible distribution effort on Stratford Street which will include Mystic Way, Hickory Trail, Sugar Pine Trail, Alder Lane, and Sycamore Lane.

If it rains, we will postpone to the following Saturday, March 16.

2019 Vacation Bible School Organizational Meeting

The organizational meeting for this year's Vacation Bible School (VBS) was held on Tuesday, March 5. From that meeting, we are needing church volunteers for crafts, recreation, and missions. If you can volunteer (the dates are June 10-14), please contact the Church Office at 793-5670.

The next VBS planning meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m.

This year's theme is, “In The Wild!” “Throw on your camera strap and buckle your seatbelt. VBS 2019 takes you on a wild adventure—with elephants and egrets, polar bears and penguins, cockatoos and crocodiles. As you seek out exotic animals, you’ll also find snapshots of real-life encounters with Jesus in Scripture. Kids go from bewildered to believing as they get In The Wild at this summer’s VBS.”

SENIOR ADULT LUNCHEON, Sunday, March 10

The Youth are sponsoring a Senior Adult Luncheon at 12:00 Noon this Sunday, March 10. This invitation is open to all Senior Adults in the church. There is no cost to the Senior Adults for the luncheon.

The menu will be roasted pork, green beans, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, beverage, and dessert.

Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday, March 10

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 10. This is when you move your clocks ahead one hour. Therefore, you will lose one hour of time during this process. However, you gain an hour of daylight.

If you fail to set your clocks forward, you will be late for church.

How To Mobilize Our Churches to Finish the Task

by Rick Warren

This articles is reprinted from the website, www.pastors.com. It is recommended reading for you by Pastor Terry Townsend.

For the past 2,000 years, Christians have been praying for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

And we’re still not there yet. But it’s within sight. We’re closer than ever before.

More than 2 billion people have never even heard the message of Jesus, so it’s time to take a radical stand and say, “This has to be completed in our generation.”

Nothing matters more than getting the Good News to people who haven’t heard it.

It’s why you’re still on this planet. It’s why every person in your church is still around. There are only two things you can’t do in heaven: You can’t witness to other people, and you can’t sin.

Nothing matters more than getting the Good News to everyone—and finishing our task. History depends upon it. The spiritual destinies of people depend upon it.

The church’s birth in Acts 2 gives us a great model for how we’ll reach the remaining unreached people groups on the earth. Within the story of these early Christians, we get the biblical foundation for mobilization.

1.We must depend upon the Holy Spirit.

If we don’t begin, continue, and end with the Holy Spirit, we’ll never finish the task before us. We can’t finish the task without the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s presence is what makes us different from every other organization. No business or government has the Holy Spirit, but we do.

In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells us,“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”(NLT). The Holy Spirit gives us his power for evangelism, to share the message of the Gospel.

We’ll never finish the task of reaching the unreached without supernatural power. If we don’t have supernatural power, let’s just close up shop. Nothing we do on behalf of the unreached will get done.

2. We must use every available communication channel.

If we’re going to reach people without any other access to the Gospel, we must employ saturation evangelism. We can’t leave any options that work off the table.

In Acts 2, these early Christians spoke in different tongues. The people in Jerusalem on Pentecost came from countless nations. The apostles couldn’t have communicated with them using just one language, so the Holy Spirit enabled them to speak in the heart languages of the people to whom they were preaching. We won’t finish the task unless we speak in the heart languages of those we’re engaging.

We need each other to do this because it’s not just about reaching people who speak different languages. It’s about using multiple channels to reach people with different backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Your church might need to partner with another church with experience speaking into a rural community or an urban one. Or maybe you need help speaking the language of art, music, or accounting.

No channel should be off-limits. Our task is too important and our mission too urgent to quibble over methods.

3. We must use everyone’s spiritual gift.

We can’t just depend on those with the gifts of evangelism or prophecy. To finish the task before us, we need 100 percent participation. There are no spectators in the mission of God. We must mobilize every member in our churches. Everyone can have a role and use their gifts. The church isn’t an audience; it’s an army.

To do this, we’ll need a discipleship process that turns attendees into members, members into mature members, and mature members into ministers and missionaries. That’s why wedevelopedthe CLASS systemat Saddleback.

Peter certainly understood this. In his Pentecost sermon, he quotes this passage in Joel:“‘In the Last Days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy’”(Acts 2:17-18 The Message).

The passage mentions sons, daughters, young men, old men, and women. No one should be left behind as we engage the unreached! The church’s mission has always takenthe whole churchto complete. It still does today.

4. We need to give people the Bible.

Our opinions won’t help the unreached. Psychology won’t help them. Western culture won’t save them either.

The Bible is what transforms the hearts of people. It’s the truth that sets us free. No other message on planet Earth transforms people into saints.

Peter’s sermon on the first Pentecost was full of God’s Word. He pointed to what God was doing in those days and showed how God had prophesied about that unique moment in his Word. As God formed the church out of the 3,000 saved at Pentecost, the church was devoted to the apostles’ teaching. Why was God’s Word so important in the early church? Because you can’t reach the unreached without it.

5. We must demonstrate God’s love by cooperating together.

Our greatest witness to the world isn’t our apologetics. It’s how we love one another. The world needs us to show them a different way as we work together to fulfill the task God has given us. Political and denominational barriers shouldn’t divide us in this. That’s why our upcomingFinishing the Task conferenceis so critical. It’s an opportunity for you to connect with others committed to fulfilling the Great Commission.

We’re not in competition to reach the unreached. We’re on the same team. The early church understood this. Acts 2:42 tells us the early Christians“were like family to each other”(CEV). We need to learn from their example.

6. We must go with the spirit of joyful praise.

Acts 2:46-47 says,“The believers had a single purpose and went to the temple every day. They were joyful and humble as they ate at each other’s homes and shared their food.At the same time, they praised God and had the goodwill of all the people. Every day the Lord saved people, and they were added to the group”(GW).

The early church knew that the Great Commission isn’t a task we complete out of duty. It’s a mission we embark on in delight. We don’t tell the world about Jesus in drudgery but out of gratitude because he changed our lives. Worship energizes missions, missions creates more worshipers, and worship creates joy.

7. We must make generous sacrifices.

We’ll never finish the task in our spare time. It’ll never be convenient. It’ll take sacrifices.

It’s why the early church grew so rapidly. Acts 2:44-45 says,“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need”(NIV). Think about this a bit. They sold their land and everything they owned to give money to those who needed it. How many people in our churches would do that today?

Pastor, your church will become generous when you’re generous. If you want to know the temperature of your church, put the thermometer in your mouth. You don’t grow a generous church by accident. Your church becomes generous when you intentionally build it to be generous. We must teach people in our congregations that the greatest thing they can do is sacrifice for something greater than themselves.

8. We must expect exponential growth.

I call this the “faith factor.” When I was still in seminary, I wrote to the 100 largest churches in America and asked them a series of questions. I read every book in print on church growth. At that time, there were about 72 books. I also did more than 120 crusades before I was 20 years old. During this period, I kept notes about what was working in those communities—and what wasn’t. I kept looking for common characteristics. I discovered God uses all kinds of churches and all kinds of methods. Anyone who tells you there is only one way to reach new people is simply wrong.

The only common denominator I could find in churches and other organizations God uses in an unusual way is that the leadership isn’t afraid to trust God. Jesus said in Matthew 9:29,“According to your faith let it be done to you”(NIV). God tells us we get to choose how much God blesses us.

When will we finish the task? We’ll do it when enough people believe we’ll finish the task.

My dad died a few years back. During the last week of his life, he began dreaming aloud. For that last week, I sat by his bedside just listening to him dream. You learn a lot about somebody listening to their dreams. I never once heard him talk about being a war hero in World War II. I never heard him talk about the books he’d read or the movies he watched. I never heard him talk about fishing, which he loved.

More than anything else, he talked about the mission projects he had been on. I’d hear him all the time reliving building projects he had participated in.

The night before he died, he was in this dream like state. He became very agitated and kept trying to get out of bed. Every time he’d try, Kay would tell him, “Jimmy, you can’t get out of bed. Whatever you need, just tell us. We’ll get it for you.” He still did it over and over again. He could barely stand up though.

Then my dad started saying, “Got to save one more for Jesus. Got to save one more for Jesus.” He said it over and over in front of my wife, my niece, and myself.

As I sat by my father’s bed, tears ran down my cheeks. I thanked God for a heritage of a father like that.

Then my dad frailly reached up his hands and put them on my head like a blessing as he said, “Reach one more for Jesus. One more for Jesus, one more for Jesus.”

I intend for that to be the theme for the rest of my life. It’s why I am committed to the very core to finishing the task of reaching all of the unreached people groups around the world. There is nothing more important than bringing God’s lost children back to him, building them up to maturity, training them for ministry, and sending them out on mission. I decided a long time ago I didn’t want to waste my life.

I’m addicted to seeing God change lives. I hope you are, too. That’s why we’re going to finish the task before us.

Together, let’s reach one more for Jesus.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church.

Be a blessing to others for God!

Pastor Terry


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