Reaching Today’s Culture 0

“Churches are perfectly equipped to reach a world that no longer exists.”

I received an email recently that had this quote in bold quotations. The question being, is the church equipped to reach today’s culture? My response to that email is, if the people of God are indwelled and empowered by the Holy Spirit then they are equipped to not only reach the culture, but to turn the world upside down for Jesus.

It is postmodern stinking thinking and a statement like the one above that fuels the fires that says most churches are too out-of-date to deal with today’s culture. The Holy Spirit does not need updating. The Holy Spirit is not out-of-date. The Holy Spirit transcends every demographic, and every culture.

In fact, most of the postmodern churches of today are surely not equipped to reach the culture with the true Word of God nor with the life changing, transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit We Need Thee!

John 16:8
8 When He comes, He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.

What Language Does God Speak? 2

With so much discussion going on in the church world about being culturally relevant and how Scripture should be interpreted and presented to the culture, the one question that should be asked is, “What language does God speak?”

I have the wonderful privilege to pastor a church that is incredibility diverse. There are many in our congregation where English is a second language. With Africans, Koreans, Japanese, Endo-Fijians, Fijians, Samoans, Filipinos, Caribbean, Germans, Romanians, East Indians, Hispanic and then a mixture of Anglos from all over the United States; how is it possible to understand and be culturally relevant to this group? Yet, they return every week to be with each other in an environment that is full of love and the supernatural power of God; in spite of the funny talking Texan who preaches to them every week..

How quickly we forget Who it is we serve and call our God. What language does God speak? God speaks God! There are not thousands of cultures that need individual relevance, because God sees all things, knows all things, is all things, and is able to transcend all things. True objectivity is God Himself, who is able to speak all languages and Cross every culture!

Yet, I Will Rejoice 0

As we gather this Thursday for Thanksgiving there will be the normal celebration with parades, football games, food, family, and friends. However, this year we are surrounded by great tragedies around the world with war, terrorism, and natural disaster.  After a Presidential election that have many upset and afraid, there might be the temptation to be overcome by fear. My friends, it is the enemy’s desire that the body of Christ be crippled by great fear. Yet, I will rejoice and here is the reason why. Jehovah is still Jehovah and Jesus is still Lord and my hope and trust are in Him! So, this Thanksgiving instead of being afraid, let us take the time to remember all that the Lord has done for us.

I am so very thankful that God loves me, thank you Father for your divine hand that rest upon my life and my family’s lives. I am thankful that you loved me enough to send Jesus Christ all those years ago to pay the penalty for my sins. Thank you Jesus for saving my soul and being Lord over all I do. I am so thankful that you saw the need to leave the earth and return to your place in heaven, but You knew that I would need a helper; and you sent the Holy Spirit to reside in me to enable me to be an over comer in this world. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for walking with me and showing me the way; for being my counselor, helper, partner, companion, and divine friend; Life without You would be hopeless! I am eternity grateful for The One True God, the Trinity that loves me enough to care and help me in all situations.

I am so very grateful for Han; she is so precious to me. For 41 years, she has been my best friend and my companion through this walk we call life. I loved her the very first time that I saw her and my love for her has grown steady through the years; in fact, I think I love her now more than ever before. Thank you sweetie for going with me through the years and I look forward to many more together!

I am thankful for our daughters Luci Stafford and Tammy Hoover, I am thankful for the women they have turned out to be. I am proud of you both and your many accomplishments and successes. I am thankful for two strong men who I call sons-in-laws; Tom Stafford and Brady Hoover, I love you most guys because I see your love for my daughters and my grandchildren; thank you. I am most thankful for my four wonderful grandchildren, James, Alex, Sidney and Ketscher. It is hard to explain how my heart swells every time I am with them. They each have their own personalities and I would not change that for anything. Papa loves you guys very much and I am thankful that you are in my life

I am thankful for extended family and friends across this nation and around the world. I am hoping that this Thanksgiving finds you all well and full of hope. Remember to give thanks for what God has done for you and your families.

I am grateful for my church family, those whom I share a connection because Jesus is our hope and support. I am thankful for your prayers and your care. Many of you I miss because of distance or business, but I pray and think of you often. May God’s hand always rest upon you and keep you. I am thankful for my mentors and spiritual fathers, thank you so much for taking the time to impart to me those things that have made me a good pastor and shepherd.

Finally, to my immediate church family, Angle Lake Neighborhood Church, Han and I wish to thank you all for loving us and making us feel like we are the best pastor in the world. I would like to thank my staff for all you do. Guys I could not do this without you, you are very important to me, please thank your staffs on my behalf for all the hard work they do. I am thankful for a great group of guys the Board Members of Angle Lake Neighborhood Church, thank you guys for your sacrifice and care. I am thankful for every person who calls ALNC home and please know that Han and I love you all very much. May God’s hand rest upon you, may His countenance shine upon you, may His peace be with you, may His grace give you strength, may His power flow through you, may His providence keep you and may His presence always be with you.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!
Pastor John & Han