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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 7


The Qualities of Love, Lesson 7

True Love is not selfish!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV

Lesson #7: True Love does not seek its own (i.e.: is not selfish)

How many of you from time to time plot to get your own way?  The Greek phrase is zeteo and heautou (heh-ow-too)  Zeteo=in this context means to seek worship, to plot for control, to crave or demand control.  Heautou= for yourself.

True love does not seek, or especially plot, to get its own way.  True love does not crave or demand to be in control.  This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy getting our way, or being in control from time to time.  Just we won’t plot to get it!  We’re open. 

This does not contradict Jesus’ 2nd great commandment  to love your neighbor as yourself (this doesn’t mean hate yourself.)  This only means: apply your natural love of self to others.  Do not seek your own hurt but simply take care of others first, before yourself. 

Satan is the father of murder and lying.  Yet, he was not cast out of Heaven for murder, lying, stealing, or adultery.  He fell because of Selfish Ambition.  He wanted to be more than God wanted him to be.  He wanted to have more than God wanted him to have.  He was created to worship and serve, but he wanted to be worshipped and be served.  He didn’t care who he had to step on to get there.  Satan brought this same malevolent spirit to the earth with him.  When he tempted Adam and Eve, it was not with murder, lies, or adultery.  It was Selfish Ambition.  He said, “Eat this and you will become like gods.” 

This sin of Self Ambition is the most pervasive sin in the church in America.  We have Church members climbing over other Church members to get to some office or position  they want. We have Pastors climbing over other Pastors to get to some District or National office they want.  We have Missionaries climbing over other Missionaries to get a cushy assignment they want.  This is probably the least noticed, but most devastating sin in the lives of Christians today.  In fact, what lies beneath every Christian who lies, cheats, or steals, if it’s not selfish ambition or self preservation.  (Seeking their own) 

People aren’t’ getting saved because, frankly, we’re selfish.  Christian couples are unhappy…Christian churches are in disarray…Christian businesses are unsuccessful or embarrassingly competitive…because we’re selfish.  But, true Christian love doesn’t seek its own welfare, but the welfare of others (1 Cor. 10:24)



Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 6


The Qualities of Love, Lesson 6

True Love is not Rude!



1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV


I think the idea here is crude speech or behavior that embarrasses the opposite sex, or family, or friends.  The Greek word for rude used here is askemon- (a-scheme>echo) i.e.: schemes to provoke, or repeating crude behavior or speech to provoke embarrassment.  Therefore it cannot be accidental.  In the most general sense, Paul is talking about behavior that shows due respect.  Due respect for elders.  Due respect for the opposite sex.  Due respect for children (I am highly offended over movies for children with profanity in them, especially when the children are doing the cussing.)

This is commonly called good manners, etiquette, or charm.  How long has it been since you met someone who was sincerely charming?  I found a great example of “good manners” in Adam Clarke’s Commentary.  First he said, “It’s true that some people behave like ill-bred, boorish hogs.  I must apologize for using such words; however, they best express the evil against which I wish both powerfully and successfully to declaim.” 

Are good manners obsolete?  No!  For 2 reasons:

1.      People still appreciate them

2.      The Bible requires them of us.  Christians are not crude! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

He will be GREAT!

He will be GREAT!


Luke 1:30-32a, Then the angel (Gabriel) said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great…” NKJV


Gabriel said that Jesus will be great! And He is! In the history of mankind there is none greater, for He is the Savior of mankind. Of all the wise men the world has ever known, He is the greatest. Indeed, One greater than Solomon is here (Mt. 12:42). We are all God’s children, but Jesus is the Son of God. He is great! Do you know Him?


Greatness is relative. To be great means: to be better than the best; above all the rest; the cream of the crop; one of a kind. Jesus is all that and more. He’s the greatest! Do you know Him?


When we think a person will be great we say, “Time will tell!” For Jesus, time has told the story. From BC to AD, this is Jesus’ time to shine. He is the beginning and the end; the first and the last. There is none greater. Do you know Him?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 5


The Qualities of Love, Lesson 5

True Love is not Puffed Up!



1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV

Have you ever met a husband (or wife) who thought he was so much smarter than his wife that he seemed to disdain her opinion?  What she thought, or said, didn’t matter and she couldn’t contribute anything to the conversation if he was there?  What did you think of him (or her?) 

Have you ever met a Pastor who thought he deserved a bigger, better church, that he was an eagle on a humming bird’s nest?  Well, I contend there are also husbands who think they deserve a prettier and smarter wife.  There are wives who think they deserve a richer and handsomer husband.  They exist!  Arrogant!

This word (“puffed up”-fusa) is meant to describe this kind of arrogance.  When a person truly loves his companion, his children, and his friends he feels like he has gotten more than he deserves.  He is humbled by what he considers God’s blessings, or his good fortune.  This is what Paul meant when he said Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”  When you truly love someone, you do that. 

The Greek verb fusa literally means: a bellows.  Just like a blacksmith uses.  True love doesn’t bellow!  True love doesn’t blow hot air, or pop the balloon of a loved one.  Such arrogance makes them almost impossible to talk to.  They are Puffed up!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 4


The Qualities of Love, Lesson 4

True Love is not on Parade!



1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV

Have you ever seen a couple being overly affectionate in public?  What do you think?  “How sweet!” or “That’s disgusting.”  Margaret told one couple “You need to either stop that, or go get yourself a room.”  That kind of display is always a matter of: defiance, ignorance, impulsive or immature infatuation.  It is not a display of love. 

The Greek word for ‘parade” is Perperos.  The KJV reads “vaunteth not itself” Other versions, “boast” or “brag.”  The versions that have “boast” or “brag” are not strong enough, unless you understand bragging to include the body language, as well as talk.  Usually when we think of bragging it’s just a manner of speech but Perperos includes the whole behavior.  The manners as well as the speech.  The body language.  This is the only verse in the Bible where this word is used.  In all other references where boasting is used, the Greek word is kauchaomai, and it refers to speech.  So, by using perperos, Paul clearly had something more than just speech in mind.  The root word from which Perperos comes is Peran=to cross the line of common decency or civility.  To go too far.  Ostentatious (a pretentious or excessive display.)

 As a matter of speech, this would mean: bragging to the point of embarrassment but, as a matter of action, it would mean: to show off or, an embarrassing display.  A shameful parade. Cicero, the Roman statesman, used it in a letter to Atticus.  “Good Heavens!  How I did show off (perperos) in front of General Pompeii.” 

I think a good working definition would be any of the following:

1.      True love doesn’t show off at another’s expense

2.      True love doesn’t embarrass others. (or shame)

3.      True love doesn’t treat others like a trophy or a conquest. 

This crosses the line of Christian civility.  It embarrasses instead of enriches.  IT goes too far, and as such deserves a stern rebuke. 

"...and when I go out with you, Don't put me on display!"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kerfuffle!

Kerfuffle!
This word could be the next pet term for political pundits and news journalists. Kerfuffle! Roger Federer recently had one on an Australian tennis court. President Obama had one on an Arizona tarmac. A Kerfuffle is a brief but noisy commotion. A sudden outbreak of anger that is over almost as fast as it began. Usually, a senseless, stupid argument that often separates good friends, sometimes for life! That’s a Kerfuffle.
Had one lately? A brief, noisy, senseless argument? In all honesty, it didn’t amount to a hill of beans. We made a mountain out of a molehill. A Kerfuffle is a tool of the devil to divide good friends.
Jesus said in Matt 5:23-24… “if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” He also said in Mark 11:25-26… "whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." NKJV In other words: no Kerfuffles in the Kingdom please.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 3


The Qualities of Love, Lesson 3
Love Does Not Envy!


1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV


Can true love be jealous?  Yes, but only after a Godly sort.  Clearly there is a jealousy that is bad, and a jealousy that is good; we must learn to distinguish between the two.  Love does not envy i.e.: is not jealous (zeeloo!)  Zeeloo means simply to boil over.  Whether in a good sense or a bad sense depends on the context of the sentence.  When Zeeloo is good it means: passion, fervency, and watchfulness.  When Zeeloo is bad it means: angry, suspicious, anxious and overprotective. 


Jealousy, in the bad sense, is being over protective, suspicious, anxious, and angry, due to carnal (selfish) feelings of inferiority and insecurity.  Note the word lousy in jealousy.  Some examples of bad Zeeloo:  Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 3:3, 2 Cor. 12:20; James 3:14-16 and James 4:1-2.


Jealousy, in the good sense, is being duly protective, concerned, and passionate, due to godly feelings of love, blessing, and security.  Some examples of good Zeeloo: Acts 18:25; 1 Cor.12:31; Rev. 3:19.


We are happiest when under the influence of Christian love.  The Spirit of God is the “paranymph” in our relationships.  “Paranymph”-friend of the bride and groom. (Jn.3:29)  Adam Clark said “there were two at each wedding: one waited on the bride, the other on the bridegroom: their business was to serve them, to inspect the concerns of the bride chamber, and afterwards to reconcile differences between husband and wife, when any took place.”  This is exactly what the Holy Spirit does for us! 




Monday, February 13, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 2


The Qualities of Love, Lesson 2
Love is Kind!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV

Last week I scored very low on Makrothumia (longsuffering love.)  Margaret gave me a 2.  Makrothumia is: Love that curbs a bad temper.  Love that doesn’t yell.  I may not score any better on this week’s word.  But, I did do better this week on last week’s word.  I worked at it.  Did any of you do better this week on last week’s word?  (Perhaps we should ask your spouse)

This week’s word is Chrestos.  Love is kind.  (Psalm 63:3; Luke 6:35)
Chrestos defined: Here’s what some leading authors have to say.
1.      Augustus Strong, “to show oneself useful.”
2.      The United Bible Societies Handbook, “do good” or “be helpful.”
3.      Alfred Barnes, “The secret of true politeness is a desire to make others happy; and a Christian should be the most polite of people.”
4.      Adam Clarke, “A Christian cannot be a savage, and he need not be a boor.  A Christian should never put any person to needless pain.[i]
5.      Matthew Henry said, Loving Kindness means “a large heart and an open hand.  Being ready to show favors and to do good.  To be useful.  Not only to seize opportunities to do good, but searching for them.”

Therefore, Chrestos means: Love that makes itself useful.  Love that looks for something nice to do or say.  Love that runs to the rescue!  Love that says “Let me get that for you.”  What are some useful ways we can show our love?

The goal of kindness is always Salvation.  (Rom. 2:4)
A.     Thomas Nelson, “Kindness is not an apathetic response to sin, but a deliberate act to bring the sinner back to God.” 
B.     WWJD?  What would Jesus Do?  (1 Cor. 15:33)
C.     Jn. A.T. Robertson said, Chrestos in Eph. 4:32 means “keep on becoming kind.”  i.e.: keep practicing!



What’s your score on this one?  Will you promise to practice?




[i] Alfred Barnes and Adam Clarke both were turn of the century theologians.  E.g.: The Movie “Kate & Leopold.” Leopold was considered Shiftless by 19th. Century standards, but Chivalrous by the 20th century standards.  That’s how far our standards of good manners have fallen.  It could be argued that the movie is a propaganda piece for a return to basic civility and good manners.  i.e.:  Loving Kindness sweeps people off their feet.  (Not a bad thing for Christians.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Qualities of Love, Lesson 1


The Qualities of Love, Lesson 1

Love is Long-Suffering!


1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” NKJV


Love has been called an indefinable reality (like faith.) Love must be experienced to be understood.  Someone said, “Love is better caught than taught.”  Love is easy to discern, but impossible to define.  When a young romantic says, “I am faint with love!” we old coots know exactly how they feel (we’ve felt it too, though we probably wouldn’t admit it.)


Knowing all this, Paul does not try to define love.  Instead, he gives us a list of do’s and don’ts.  If we cannot define love, at least we can discuss what it does and doesn’t do.  Then, hopefully, we will know it when we see it.  This is excellent reasoning.


Paul’s list may not be exhaustive, but it is exquisite.  15 examples.  7 positive. 8 negative.  The negative are wedged between the positive (2-8-5) The 7 positive qualities are attractive.  The 8 negative qualities are ugly.  There is an ugly side to love, but if we want to, we can surround it with the positive and the attractive.  Let the negative remain hidden, and the positive and attractive exposed. 


Lesson #1: Love is Long-Suffering!
The Greek word for “suffers long” is Makrothumia.  Makro means: far from, or a long distance away (as in Macrocosmics=the study of outer space.)  Thumia means evil anger, or a bad temper.  i.e.: Thumia refers to losing your temper.  Together, Makrothumia means:  True love does not lose its temper or throw temper tantrums.  Long-suffering Love is Spirit controlled temperament. 


Long-Suffering Love:

1.      Is a Characteristic of God. (Romans 2:4, 2 Peter 3:14-15)

2.      Is a Characteristic of saved people. (Colossians 3:12, Galatians 5:22)

3.      Is a Characteristic of Godly preaching. (2 Timothy 4:2)

4.      Implies lenience, but not neglect. (Proverbs 19:11, Matthew 18:26-29)

5.      Is without a doubt a form of patience, but it does not imply silence.

Long-suffering Love will talk, it just won’t yell! (1 Thessalonians 5:14)


Descriptive Quotes:

Matthew Henry, “Long-suffering Love will endure evil, injury, and provocation, without being filled with resentment, indignation, or revenge.  It will put up with many slights and neglects from the person it loves, and wait long to see the kindly effects of such patience on him.” 

Alfred Barnes, “Love-suffering Love is the opposite of irritable”

Warren Wiersbe, “Long-suffering Love rises above petty things.”

John Walvoord, “Long-suffering Love is the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate.”


Now you know everything I do about Long-suffering Love.  So, I guess the only question is, do any of us have it? 


Friday, February 10, 2012

February Newsletter


Pentecostal Church of God

Northern California/Nevada District

Newsletter

Rev. Lonnie J. Cox, District Bishop



2-1-12 (for January)

Greetings to the excellent Pastors, Ministers, and Congregations of our District Church,


January was a month of great loss for us. 



èLevina Butt passed away on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.  At her memorial service in Lodi on Saturday, Jan. 14, people kept filing in until there was standing room only.  David and Lee applied for credentials with us in June of 2000.  When asked what qualifies her for a credential she wrote, “I’ve worked side by side with my husband in the ministry for 32 years.”  I thought of what my mom said about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. “Ginger could do everything Fred did and do it backwards!”  I think all pastors feel that way about their wives, especially after they’ve stood beside us for 42 years of ministry.  They know every step forward and backwards.  







ç Evangelist R. W. Shambach passed away on Tuesday Jan 17.  A member of his ministry team said, “His heart just stopped.”  He was 85.  Bro. Shambach has preached the Pentecostal gospel around the world since WW2.  I will never forget when Bishop Standridge asked me to entertain Bro. Shambach over lunch when he was preaching our District Bible Conference in Stockton.  He never once stopped talking about his passion to preach, heal, and reach people for Jesus.









èMorgynn Sydney Ford was born on Dec. 24, 2011 and passed away on Friday Jan. 6, 2012.  Parents Matt and Melissa prepared a lovely celebration memorial service for her at Crescent City.  Grandparents Jim and Cindi oversaw the event.  2 souls raised their hands for salvation at the service, and many more prayed the sinner’s prayer with us.  The most poignant moment was when Melissa said, “God gave us Morgynn for just a little while. I’d like to say to Him, ‘Thank you God for ‘the little while!’”  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Margaret took my hanky and I never saw it again.





 “Congratulations!” to the Poe family!

Pastors Kaitlin and Christopher Poe of Chico gave birth to the beautiful Elizabeth Ann Poe at 5:18am on Wed. Jan. 25th.  Proud grandparents Dana and Linda Poe were standing by.  Little Elizabeth weighed 8lb 2oz and was 20 inches long.  I heard she came after 17 hours of labor but was worth every second of it. 



çBaby Elizabeth Ann enjoying some quality time with Grandpa Poe.  We pray there will be many more moments like this ahead.








Vision Visits:

VHarvest Worship Center at Lodi with Pastors Charles and Edith Patton. I love the devout spirit of reverence in this church. It’s easy to just get lost in the Presence of God. The church is blessed with 2 brothers who sing wonderful specials as well.  èThe sun shining off the sanctuary roof caused me to think Jesus must be looking in.  The Lamb is the light you know!
(Picture not available here)





V Living Word Church at Lodi with Pastor David Butt.  Due to Sister Lee’s grave illness, Pastor David was having just one service on Sunday afternoon.  Margaret and I attended and we enjoyed the Bible Study, fellowship, and potluck dinner with 15 bean soup. After 11 years, Pastor David is retiring in March; so please pray for him, his family, and the LWC congregation.    



                             VCatching up with the Standridges!

Our former District Bishops for 16 years are our neighbors again! PTL!  Bishop B. J. and Gannell Standridge have moved back to Citrus Heights at 232 Pau Hana Circle, Citrus Heights CA 95621.  Bro. Standridge would love to preach for you (he told me so), so give him a call at 916-745-3143. 





V Echoes of Calvary

at Anderson CA with Pastors Rod and Kay Kincaid. On Jan. 5 Kay endured an 8hr surgery for a brain tumor. The family was greatly helped by 100 family members and friends who gathered at Redding hospital to pray for her. ì Pastor Rod shares good news and thanks the folks for praying.

    
 







VOn Sunday afternoon, Jan 8, I got to watch the 2nd half of Denver Vs Pittsburg with my brother Mike.  We saw the “Wing and a Prayer” touchdown pass in overtime!  “Congratulations!” to Tim Tebow for developing such a positive witness for Jesus; despite the persecution.  That brings me to my top 3 Tim Tebow jokes:

            #3 Scott Nalley, “Every TE shall BOW!”

            #2 Josh Lafferty, “Tim Tebow must be the most famous white Bronco since OJ’s truck!”

    
            #1 Jay Leno, “Do you know the difference between Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Tim Tebow?  When God tells Tim Tebow to run, he wins!








V Celebration Family Worship Center at Sheridan with Pastors Mark and Jeanette Hicks.  We always enjoy great fellowship with these good pastors. Mark invited me to preach, and then we went to Casa Robles in Lincoln for lunch. PTL! I also enjoyed talking to fellow Oklahomans Harvey and Velma Rymel about the “good old days.”  Pastor Mark has been working out of the country (he is an undersea diver), and Jeanette has been suffering from something like vertigo.  They need our prayers.  We loved our time with them at Sheridan.

VOn Monday, Jan 16, we missed (due to a computer problem. I was at the store till 8pm.) the “Sectional Revival Night!” for North Central Valley at Freedom Christian Center at Manteca with Presbyter Larry Spivey. I wanted very much to hear Evangelist C. W. Goforth preach again! The meeting was fantastic with approximately 100 people in attendance and 7 of our 8 pastors in the section supporting.  I’d love for more of our sections to try Revival Nights like this.  Congratulations to NCV! Well done! 

 

VAn unforgettable weekend at Redwoods Family Worship Center, Crescent City, with Pastors Jim and Cindi Ford. On Sat. 1-21, I preached the Memorial service for Morgynn Ford. Even though we were all in tears, there was a wonderful, positive and peaceful sense of God’s Presence throughout the service.  Afterwards we all sat around the tables in the new Banquet Room and talked until we were all talked out.



èThis is the Lighthouse Inn in Crescent city where RFWC always reserves a room for us when we visit. I wish all of our pastors could enjoy an evening here.  The rooms are very large, new, and the price very modest. Margaret and I rest so well here we could stay for a week (even if I had to work for my keep).  Thank you RFWC for being so hospitable to us. God bless you all.  (picture not available) 




VCelebration Church at Fairfield with Pastors Vernon & Tina Barker.  It was so good to visit this church again, and Pastor Vernon preached a dynamic sermon on “Thriving Through, Pt. 1:   Rejection!”  “Never let rejection determine your destiny. Instead, stay open to God’s plan for your life!” CC started Multiple Sessions again this Sunday and it was great!




Some Miscellaneous Stuff:



Pastor Ron Anderson from Full Gospel Tabernacle in Stockton has joined the District Home Missions Committee, serving Div. 3.  He will be ratified at the post district convention board meeting with the returning committee members.  We believe Pastor Ron will make a positive contribution and we’re excited to have him join us.  “Welcome aboard!” Pastor Ron. 






Pastor Kim Bankston and the Harvest Fellowship congregation are back in the Sonora sanctuary.  Pastor Kim and his staff are both remodeling and repairing the church building and grounds before an opening celebration service perhaps as early as May of this year.  I’m looking forward to that with great delight.  A special “Welcome home!” to Pastors Kim and Denise.








On Sat. 1-28 we sponsored our 4th District Discipleship Class on History and Doctrine!  We were blessed with 11 more students as the classes continue to mill out more candidates for credentials.  We have now processed over 75 potential ministers. PTL!  It’ not too late to sign up for next month’s class on Character Calling and Commission! Just call Director Shawn Marshall.










Pastors: Tired of the debates?  We’re just getting started!  Now is the time to start praying for our President and the presidential elections!  It’s our duty folks.



Quotes:



Karl Rove, “As a leader the greatest strength you have is your vision.”



Richard Sinclair, “D.E.B.T. stands for Doing Everything But Tithing!”



Don Cox, Jesus will always be the Perfect Gift because, as opposed to our first BB gun or Video game, we still have Him and we always will.”



President Barak Obama, “Our iron clad commitment to Israel, and I do mean iron clad, has created closer cooperation between our military and Israel’s than ever before.” (State of the Union, 1-24-12)



David Jeremiah, "Sacrifice always means one of two things. Somebody has to pay. Somebody has to die."

Have you booked your room for District Convention yet?  Please hurry! 


Dear Pastors, Companions, and Church Delegates, I cannot express how much we want and need you to attend District Convention this year.  It is our most important meeting of the year, especially the Ordination Service Wednesday night.  This is the ministry memory of a lifetime for our ordination candidates and they have worked for years preparing for this night.  We need all our pastors and congregations present at this service.  Please come!



We are praying and fasting that the Youth, Home Missions, World Missions and Women’s ministries services will be the best ever too! Don’t miss a service! Get into it!



Please note on the flyer that we need you to stay at the Crown Plaza!  Filling 75 rooms secures the convention hall and saves us thousands of dollars!    



My personal prayer is that every pastor will get at least ½ dozen outstanding sermons of your own to take home from District Convention to preach to your congregations.  Between our fellowship and comedic missteps, you should get illustrations for ½ dozen more sermons!  More importantly, I pray that we will all connect with the Holy Spirit and each other, and form bonds of fellowship that will never be broken in our lifetimes.  We are a church, and my prayer is that God will bless us all according to His gracious will. Amen!



Until then, Margaret and I love you all very much, and can hardly wait until we can see you again!



In Him,

Rev. Lonnie J. Cox

District Bishop/PCGNCA