Pastor's Thoughts

June 2017 DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY!

 

JACK LIPTON FROM UNION COLLEGE AND SCOTT BULIONI FROM COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDIED 11 MAJOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS IN THE UNITED STATES WANTING TO KNOW HOW ORCHESTRA MEMBERS PERCEIVED OR VIEWED ONE ANOTHER.

THEIR FINDINGS AND RESEARCH WENT LIKE THIS...

THE PERCUSSIONIST: WERE VIEWED AS INSENSITIVE, UN-INTELLIGENT, HARD OF HEARING, YET FUN-LOVING.

THE STRING PLAYERS: WERE VIEWED AS ARROGANT, STUFFY AND UN-ATHLETIC.

THE BRASS PLAYERS: WERE REPEATEDLY DESCRIBED AS LOUD.

THE WOODWIND PLAYERS: WERE HELD IN THE HIGHEST REGARD; BUT WERE THOUGHT TO BE QUIET, METICULOUS AND A BIT EGOTISTI- CAL.

THEIR RESEARCH SHOWED JUST HOW DIVERGENT EACH MEMBER VIEWED THE OTHERS THAT WERE PART OF THEIR ORCHESTRA. THE QUESTION THEIR RESEARCH TRIED TO ASK AND ANSWER WAS: “HOW COULD THESE PEOPLE MAKE SUCH BEAUTIFUL MUSIC TOGETHER WHILE HAVING SUCH STRONG AND OFTEN NEGATIVE OPINIONS ABOUT ONE ANOTHER.”

THE CONCLUSION OF THEIR STUDY INCLUDED THIS STATEMENT:

“REGARDLESS OF HOW THEY VIEWED EACH OTHER; THEY SUBORDINATED THEIR FEELINGS TO THE LEADERSHIP OF THE CONDUCTOR.”

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE TO DO AS CHILDREN OF GOD IN HIS KINGDOM: WE MUST STRIVE TO SUBORDINATE OUR WILLS TO GOD’S WILL. THIS IS NOT ABOUT OUR PERSONAL DESIRES, BUT RATHER TO FULFILL HIS! THIS IS NOT ABOUT SATISFYING AND MEETING OUR EXCLUSIVE NEEDS; BUT RATHER TO MEET THE COLLECTIVE NEEDS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST! WE MUST LEAVE SELF-ABSORBTION; AND PURSUE UNITY WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

I WANT DOING THE WILL OF GOD AND PLEASING HIM TO BE THE PRIMARY MOTIVATION FOR EVERY ACTION I TAKE, EVERY WORD I SPEAK AND EVERY DESIRE I FOLLOW.

WE EACH HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN THIS ORCHESTRA CALLED ‘THE CHURCH’. THOUGH WE ARE UNIQUE AND NUANCED AS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS; IT IS ONLY WHEN WE UNITE IN PURPOSE THAT BEAUTIFUL MUSIC IS PRODUCED AND GOD’S KINGDOM IS ADVANCED.

PSALM 133:1 “BEHOLD, HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT IT IS FOR BRETHREN TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY!”

PASTOR MIRAFLOR 

 

January 2017

WE ARE IN A SEASON OF THE YEAR WHEN WE TRY TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HAS BEEN AND WE TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE… 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ARE POPULAR AND IF THEY ARE REALLY GOOD WE MAY EVEN STICK WITH THEM RELIGIOUSLY FOR 2 OR 3 DAYS…

PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A NEW THEM, NEW HABITS, NEW WAYS, NEW METHODS, NEW OUTLOOK, NEW PERSPECTIVE…IT’S ALL GOOD!

BUT IF IT IS REALLY A FRESH START THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR; I’VE GOT SOME GREAT NEWS FOR YOU…

WE SERVE A GOD WHO SPECIALIZES IN HELPING PEOPLE TO TURN FROM WHAT WAS AND WHAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN AND WHAT PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN USED TO BEING AND HE SPECIALIZES IN ENABLING US AND EMPOWERING US TO BEGIN TO EXPERIENCE WHAT CAN BE!

GOD ALONE GIVES US THE BEST CHANCE AT STARTING OVER…

HE ALONE HAS THE POWER TO FREE US FROM THE CHAINS OF THE PAST IN ORDER FOR US TO EMBRACE THE PROMISES OF THE FUTURE…

HE ALONE EMPOWERS US TO RISE FROM THE FAILURES OF YESTERDAY IN ORDER TO EXPERIENCE THE FRESHNESS OF A BRAND NEW DAY…

II CORINTHIANS 5:17 “THEREFORE IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”

GOD IS NOT INTERESTED IN JUST PATCHING US UP ENOUGH TO GET BY...

HE IS NOT LOOKING FOR A MERE MAKE-OVER OR TO SLAP A FRESH COAT OF PAINT ON US AND JUST COVER UP WHO AND WHAT WE ARE…

HE IS NOT INTERESTED IN STICKING SOME RELIGION OVER AN OLD NATURE…

BUT HE IS WILLING/ABLE TO MAKE US NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST JESUS!

WHEN YOU LOOK THROUGH THE BIBLE YOU QUICKLY DISCOVER THAT THIS GOD WE SERVE IS A GOD OF NEW AND FRESH THINGS…

NEW SONG…NEW GARMENT…NEW GATE…NEW WINE…NEW WINESKIN…NEW NAME…NEW MERCIES…NEW MAN…NEW SPIRIT…NEW HEART…NEW FRUIT…NEW CLOTH…NEW COVENANT…NEW COMMANDMENTS…NEW CREATURE…NEW TOMB…NEW TONGUES…NEW AND LIVING WAY…NEWBORN BABES…NEWNESS OF LIFE…NEW MERCIES…NEW HEAVEN…NEW EARTH.

HE IS A GOD WHO GIVES FRESH WIND, FRESH FIRE, FRESH RAIN, FRESH OIL, FRESH MANNA, A FRESH WORD FROM HEAVEN FOR HIS PEOPLE!

REVELATIONS 21:5 “AND HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE SAID, BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.  AND HE SAID UNTO ME, WRITE: FOR THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND FAITHFUL.”

ISAIAH 43:18-19 “REMEMBER YE NOT THE FORMER THINGS, NEITHER CONSIDER THE THINGS OF OLD.  BEHOLD, I WILL DO A NEW THING…

-Pastor Miraflor

 

September 2016

WEBSTERS DICTIONARY DEFINES ‘REVIVAL’ AS: “AN ACT OR INSTANCE OF REVIVING. THE STATE OF BEING REVIVED. A RENEWED ATTENTION TO OR INTEREST IN SOMETHING. RESTORATION OF FORCE, VALIDITY OR EFFECT.”

WE AS APOSTOLICS DEFINE REVIVAL AS THE DRENCHING, SHOWERING, OVERWHELMING PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD WORKING IN A CHURCH OR AN INDIVIDUAL. REVIVAL IS A SEASON OF REFRESHING AND RENEWING OF OUR PASSION FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD. REVIVAL IS THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY GHOST UPON THE HUNGRY. REVIVAL IS THE GUSHING OF LIVING WATERS THAT SATISFY THE THIRSTY SOUL. REVIVAL IS A VISITATION FROM GOD THAT AWAKENS THE SLEEPING. REVIVAL IS AN INTENSE STIR- RING OF OUR SOULS. REVIVAL IS AN AWAKENING TO PASSIONS THOUGHT DEAD.

WHEN WE FEEL THE LACK OF SPIRITUAL POWER...WE NEED REVIVAL! WHEN WE LOSE OUR BURDEN FOR SOULS...WE NEED REVIVAL!
WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES DRIFTING FROM CHURCH...WE NEED REVIVAL! WHEN WE ARE LOVERS OF PLEASURE MORE THAN OF GOD...WE NEED REVIVAL! WHEN WE SOW DISCORD MORE THAN WE WORSHIP/REJOICE...WE NEED REVIVAL! WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE COLD, CROWDED, AND CORRUPT...WE NEED REVIVAL! WHEN FLAMING FIRE BECOMES SMOLDERING ASHES...WE NEED REVIVAL! WHEN WE LOSE OUR FOCUS AND BECOME APATHETIC...WE NEED REVIVAL!

I’M TALKING ABOUT A STIRRING UP OF THE GIFT THAT IS WITHIN US! I’M TALKING ABOUT A RE-IGNITING OF OUR PASSION FOR THE KINGDOM! I’M TALKING ABOUT GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT SERVING THE LORD! I’M TALKING ABOUT LAYING ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT AND THE SIN...
I’M TALKING ABOUT FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND... I’M TALKING ABOUT RENEWING OUR FIRST LOVE...

REVIVAL WILL CAUSE TEENAGERS TO HAVE LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCES! REVIVAL WILL RESTORE BROKEN MARRIAGES!
REVIVAL WILL HAVE MEN BECOMING SPIRITUAL LEADERS IN THEIR HOME! REVIVAL WILL CAUSE MOMS TO BECOME PRAYER WARRIORS! REVIVAL WILL HAVE SINGLES CONNECTING WITH GOD!

RODNEY “GIPSY” SMITH WAS A CAPTAIN IN THE SALVATION ARMY AND A BRITISH EVANGELIST FOR OVER 70 YEARS AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY.
HE WAS ONCE ASKED HOW TO HAVE REVIVAL...HIS CLASSIC RESPONSE:
“GO HOME! LOCK YOURSELF IN YOUR ROOM. DRAW A CIRCLE
AROUND YOURSELF WITH CHALK. ASK GOD TO START A GREAT REVIVAL WITHIN THAT CIRCLE! WHEN GOD HAS ANSWERED YOUR PRAYER,
THE REVIVAL WILL BE UNDERWAY!”

I’M ENCOURAGING EVERY MEMBER OF THE LIFE CHURCH THIS MONTH TO FOLLOW CAPTAIN SMITH’S ORDER...LET US SEEK A RE- VIVING OF OUR SOULS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS COLLECTIVELY AS A BODY OF BELEIVERS WHEN WE AS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS FIND ‘RESTORATION OF FORCE, VALIDITY AND EFFECT’!

LET’S HAVE A GREAT REVIVAL!! 

 

August 2015 The Importance of Preaching God's Word

For a life to be truly and permanently changed requires the introduction of the creative energy of the spoken word of God.  Preaching is the method that God chose to accomplish such change in us.  As Apostolics, we must ever remain “people of the word.” 

We need both the conviction of his word to break us up sometimes and the consolation of his word to heal us at other times.  Nothing can ever replace the preaching of God’s word. 

Not programs, dramas, musical talent, fellowship circles or refreshments…we need the word of God spoken into our world! 

The word is profitable for doctrine…it tells us what to believe!

It is profitable for reproof…it tells us what is wrong!

It is profitable for correction…it tells us how to fix what is wrong!

And it is profitable for instruction in righteousness…it tells us what is right and how to live!

Preaching convicts sinners, preaching heals the wounded, preaching brings hope, and preaching builds the church.

May God help us as Apostolics to fall in love with and remain in love with the preaching of God’s holy and eternally settled word! 

Pastor Miraflor

January 2015  Change Our World

One of the most difficult challenges in life is the evaluation of oneself.  When that task is approached from the wrong angle, it many times leads to pride and arrogance and at least a sense of self-sufficiency.  If approached from the opposite direction, it can lead to discouragement and depression and a sense of worthlessness.  The fact of the matter is that we all have assets and liabilities in our lives.

When we take stock of ourselves, we must always remember that we are not in competition with anyone but ourselves.  God does not pit us against anyone but our very own potential.  While we will never be perfect while earthbound, we must always believe that we can be better than we presently are and strive for that ideal.

Striving for excellence motivates us.  Striving for perfection is demoralizing.  God has given each of us abilities and talents that are unique to us alone and when he called us into His kingdom He knew perfectly what those talents and abilities were.  He now expects and even requires us to figure out what our unique gifts are and then utilize them for the advancement of His kingdom.

We must not allow the devil to intimidate us or to cause us to believe that our gifts won’t make a difference in God’s kingdom.  Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that you don’t matter.  Anyone who thinks they’re too small to make a difference has never spent a night locked in a bedroom with a mosquito.

This year, 2015, let us all strive to become exactly who and what God desires for us to become.

Let us all have a desire to make a difference in our church.

Let us all be passionate enough to change our world.

 

November 2014 Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a very unique American holiday when you think about it….

As far as I know, nothing special ever happened on the 4th Thursday of November that affected our entire nation.  No one famous was born on that day, no new continents were discovered, no nations declared their independence, no presidents were

Born, no treaties were signed, no wars were begun or ended.  When you think about it, there really isn’t anything or anyone special that we are obligated to be thankful for this particular holiday. Which i think is entirely appropriate, in that gratitude and thankfulness is purely a condition of the heart rather than a response to an event or circumstances in our lives! Thankfulness is not necessarily a response to anything special that happens in our lives; rather it is a lifestyle that we are called upon to live.  

I Thessalonians 5:18 makes it simple and clear for all of us…

”in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

We are all commanded and called upon to be thankful…                                                                                                      

There is so much in our lives that we can easily and readily express our thankfulness for...  God doesn’t have to remind me that i should be thankful for my wife, children, church, health, etc.  My life is full of good things, and every single one of them came from him!  I didn’t accumulate them, i haven’t earned them, i don’t deserve them; but god in his goodness gave them to me!! I am thankful!!!

But there are other times in our lives…  

Times when we are in the ‘twists and turns’ part of this rollercoaster called life.  Present circumstances and current situations that we can’t wait until they are a part of our past history.  It is during these times that we may struggle with gratitude and thanksgiving.

It’s easy to “enter his gates with Thanksgiving” on Sunday morning:                                                                                                                                                            

When your boss finally figures out that you really are worth twice what they were paying you, when they decide to make that raise retroactive to your first day on the job, when your kids come home with straight “a”’s and no cavities, when your spouse admits that you were right the whole time, etc.

You couldn’t wipe the grin off your face if you tried…

But there are those other times…

When we are still sitting in a pile of ashes scraping our boils feeling sorry for ourselves…it makes it a bit more difficult to come skipping into church filled with thanksgiving.

But whether flush or busted; god’s will is that “in everything give thanks!”

The command does not say “for everything” but “in everything”!!

The original Hebrew word for “in” that is used here means “in the middle of” or “during”.  In other words, no matter what is happening in your life, you can still be thankful and that is still the will of god for you!! Happy thanksgiving!!!

 

April 2014 Resurrection

The promise of the resurrection is everywhere in the gospels, so it is ironic that his own disciples didn’t understand it all before it happened.

Jesus said so many time, in so many ways, “After three days I will rise again” but they just didn’t get it.  And even if they had the events of that final tragic week would surely have shattered their faith.

They had been with him in the garden as he prayed in agony for so long that they finally fell asleep from exhaustion.

They were there when Judas came to betray him and they realized the horror of what his earlier words really meant.

They tried to defend him but who could stand against a Roman Legion?

They had followed Jesus at a distance, lurking in the shadows and outside of the gates as he was put through the mockery of six trials. The heard the fabricated evidence and outright lies against Him and their hearts sank at the resounding verdict of “Guilty” that echoed from each trial.

They had seen Jesus scourged until he could no longer stand under his own power, His skin literally ripped off in patches.  They has seen the crown of thorns pressed viciously into his scalp until the blood was dripping into His eyes.

They had seen him slapped, pummeled, and punched until his countenance was marred and He didn’t even look like a man anymore.

They had hoped beyond hope that when Jesus was taken before the crowds that this nightmare would finally be over.  Surely the thousands He has taught and the Hundreds He had healed would stand up for Him and convince the Romans they were making a mistake.

But with growing horror they watched the mob, under the evil influence of the Sanhedrin, turn a convicted murder loose and scream until they were hoarse “crucify Him!” until Pilate was pressured to act.

They had watched engulfed by the angry crowds, scared for their very lives, as Jesus was nailed to the cross and hoisted up into the air.  They watched Him writhe around in agony, His breathing heavy and labored, fully aware the crucifixion was really death by suffocation.

Their ears heard His last cry, “It is finished”

But all that their hearts could comprehend was … I am Finished.

They were there when His unrecognizable body was unfastened from the cross and laid on the cold ground to be wrapped for burial.

They were in the funeral procession as He was carried to a borrowed tomb.  They watched stunned as the huge stone was rolled into place.  And they had to take that long walk home to a life that no longer existed.

You can chide them for their unbelief if you would like.  You can berate them for their lack of vision and scold them for not hanging around to see the miracle a few days later.

But you didn’t go through the agony that they did.

You weren’t there that Friday when Jesus died.

They didn’t have an inspiring drama, concert, or sunrise service to attend.

There had never been an Easter Sunday… only a dark and bleak Friday.

Yes, the resurrection was unexpected to His disciples.

Which is why when it happened in such power and Glory it became part of the foundation of the New Testament Church and all of Christianity!

Christianity hangs on the fact that Jesus came out of the grave.

It proves beyond reasonable doubt that He was who He claimed to be.  Jesus allowed Himself to be put on trial and crucified so that there would be no doubt about who He was.  When He was on the cross, His critics mocked Him, “If you are the Son of God, why don’t you come down from the cross?”  But Jesus had something more spectacular planned.

“I’m going to let you bury me for three days, then I’ll rise from the dead.”

Anyone can claim to be god; you prove it by rising from the dead...

When Jesus came out of the grave, that one act validated everything He had ever said about himself.

Founders of religions say “Follow me and I’ll show you the way to the truth.”

Jesus said, “I Am THE Way, THE Truth, And THE Life!”

 

 

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