Monday, January 7, 2013

Overseer's Insight: January 2013

Dear Saints
Happy New Year
It is hard to believe, but we have entered into a brand New Year.  Though we may be uncertain of what the New Year holds for us, one thing we can know for sure, and that is “We are one year closer to the Coming of the Lord!  We don’t have to rely on man’s wisdom or man’s prophecies (e.g. the Mayan Calendar) to know that our Lord will come one day as a “thief in the night.”  Therefore, we are instructed to watch and always be ready, “for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44). What will the New Year hold for you?  Possibly you have some uncertainty about your job, where you will live, or what your financial picture will look like.  It is true, none of us know what tomorrow will bring.  What I do know for sure is that my hope and my future is in Him.  Our Lord has promised us that HE would never leave us or forsake us.  We can totally rely on Him for everything.  If you have some doubts or apprehensions about what the New Year holds for you, I would encourage you to remember Jesus’ promise to us in John, chapter 14, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in  God, believe also in Me.”  Yes, He specializes in caring for hurting and troubled hearts.  So, why not begin today by believing and trusting in Him fully as we enter into the New Year?!
Teen Retreat
January 18-20 are our dates for Teen Retreat.  This year will be our very first Retreat in our New Campground, Camp Roganunda!  Please encourage all youth to attend.  I am a firm believer that Camps and Retreats change lives.  For more information about Teen Retreat, contact Bob and Donella Gaines at 509-658-1013 or e-mail them at
Adult Retreat
Our Adult Retreat Theme is: “Anointed For Service.”  We are expecting an awesome time (February 1-3, 2013) in the Lord!  Western Canada National Overseer, Bishop Walter Doroshuk and his lovely wife, Sister Claudia will be our special guest speakers at this year’s  Retreat!   They are both so excited  to be with us and we are excited to have our neighbors to the North of us with us.  Applications have been sent out individually and will soon be sent to the pastors.  You can also download an application by going to the State Website at:
Applications should have been sent in no later than November 30th, 2012.  This is going to be a Great Retreat!!!  Please don’t miss it!!!  Pass the word on to others.  We look forward to seeing you there!!!

Prayer and Fasting
The New Year begins our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting in the Church of God of Prophecy.  Bishop Randy Howard states that this is year number 7 where our churches from all over the world will take part in joining together in starting the New Year with prayer and fasting.  Please pass the word on to your family and friends in the faith that they will join us in this special time of Seeking.  We must have Him in all that we do to build the Kingdom of God.

Stewardship Month
January in the Church of God of Prophecy is “Stewardship Month.”  The Lord desires for all of us to be good stewards.  He wants us to be faithful with our tithes and offerings, and He wants us to be good stewards of all that He has given us.  Though our economy may be down, this is the time to be faithful and prove Him that “He will not open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing.” Faithful stewardship is how we trust the Lord for His Divine Providence and care over our families and our churches.

Lay Ministers
All lay ministers are asked to send in their lay minister’s certificates to my office, 7319 199th St. Ct. E., Spanaway, WA 98387 by the first of the year, so they can be issued a new one for 2013.  Their current certificate is only valid for 2012.
Events Calendar for 2013
January                       Stewardship Month and 21 Days of Prayer/Fasting
January 18-20             Winter Teen Retreat - White Pass (Shelly Symonds, Director)
January 24-27              Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Salem, OR
                                    (History of the Church of God of Prophecy - Dr. Ortiz)

February 1-3               Adult Retreat - Pacific Beach (Don & Mary Knoblich, Directors)
February 15                 District Convention - Tacoma (Rick Bear, District Overseer)
February 16                 District Convention - Brush Prairie (Franklin Smith, District Overseer)

March 16                     District Convention - Tri-Cities (Leonard Lord, District Overseer)
March 23                     District Convention - Kirkland (Roger Jones, District Overseer)
August 23-25              Washington State Convention - Kennewick (Red Lion Hotel)
“Designed For God’s Greatness
Bishop/Dr. Don Knoblich
In last month’s Lamplighter, I presented the Introductory section for my annual address, “Designed For God’s Greatness.”  For this section, I will begin with the various ways in which He has Designed Us For His Greatness, namely, we were “Designed To Work In The Harvest.”
I.  God Designed us to Work in His Harvest
A.  Believe it or not, God Designed us to be Laborers in His Great Harvest Field.  Yes, we are to Pray for Laborers in the Harvest.  But, part of that Prayer, may be, “Lord, I know the Laborers are few, so SEND ME!”
It is interesting to me that one of the very last things that the Lord said before ascending into Heaven is:  “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I with you always, even unto the end of the world.” 
Notice the strong emphasis that Jesus places on the word, “Go.”    This word “Go” does not mean just “Go” as in “Go,” it literally means “GO AND CONTINUE TO GO ON YOUR JOURNEY!”   
In other words, “Go” is not a one-time event.  Jesus intended for us to “Go” into the Harvest Field CONTINUALLY!!!  (We don’t say, “Oh, I went last year, so I have done my duty!”)  Also notice, that if we follow the “GO” of Jesus, we will receive the “LO” of Jesus.  That is, if you “GO” you can expect the “LO!”  “GO, and LO I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”  Do you want to experience the presence of God?  Then do the “GO” and the “LO” will come!  However, if there is “NO GO ----THERE IS NO LO!!!”
B.  Let’s  look at some Bible Examples of “Going.” 
1.  The Samaritan Woman:  John’s Gospel tells us that after Jesus had the discourse with the Woman at the Well, that immediately she left her waterpot.  (Her Waterpot was not of importance to her NOW!  And remember Water is really important, however that day she found the true living water.)  She went her way into the city and said to the men, “Come see a Man, which told me all things that ever I did:  is this not the Christ?!  Then they went out of the city, and came to Him.  And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman , which testified, He told me all things that I ever did.”  - And I don’t believe the Woman at the Well was silent from that day forward!  SHE is an EXAMPLE of what it means TO GO!!! And to CONITNUE TO GO!!!
2.  The demoniac of Gadara: 
You remember the story of demoniac of Gadara.  He had the legion of devils that Jesus cast out into the swine.   After his remarkable healing, this man wanted to follow Jesus.  But Listen to what Jesus told him:
Mar 5:19  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Mar 5:20  And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
Look what this man did.  Immediately, he followed the “GO” Commandment of the Lord.  He went to his friends and told them what Great Things the Lord had done for him.  Here, “Publish” means “To Proclaim” or “To Herald”, “To Preach.”  Sometimes we want to GO where we want to go instead of GOING WHERE JESUS WANTS US TO GO!!!
C.  I believe God is giving us some Open Doors, AND WE MUST GO THROUGH THEM.
1.  Paul said, “I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.  For a great and effective door has opened to me.”  (I Cor. 16:8-9).  “Effective” = Powerful and Operative.
2.  Paul involved others by asking for them to pray for open doors so he could minister the Gospel of Christ.  “Praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ….” (Col. 4:3). 
Will you join me in praying for more souls?!  Will you join me in praying for more Open Doors? 
Pray for More souls in our Churches and for more Churches being established.  Over the last three years, we have established four churches.  But there are many more that we want to Organize with the Church of God of Prophecy.  Others are out there that want to join with this marvelous Body.  We have new Spanish Mission Works in Anchorage, Alaska and in Rainier Valley, Seattle.  We have just started a new Spanish Mission in Bremerton with Pastor Julio Ruiz and his wife, Sister Maura.  We are starting new works in Spanish in Sumner and Tumwater with Pastor Ruben Aguilar and in Spokane with Pastor Alvero Gomez.  We have the possibility of reaching an Indian Church in Seattle, and a Korean Church in Tacoma.
D.  Reaching Your Community
1.  What are you doing to Reach your Community?   I asked this Question last year.  If your Church was to close its doors, would the Community it is in even know it was closed?
If we are not reaching our Communities, WHY NOT?!
Once a month Pastor Rob and Rivers Fellowship have a unique Community Outreach.  They call it “Worship ain Workclothes.”  On One Sunday out of the Month, they go into their Community and lend assistance.  If a lawn needs mowing, garbage needs taken out, yes even if toilets are needing repair, they are there to help.  If people need prayer, they are there to pray.  One Sunday they passed out batteries for smoke detectors (The Church does not make a quid pro quo agreement with those they help.  They do not say, “Well, we have mowed your lawn, we expect to see you in Church next Sunday!)  No, they just demonstrate love and care, and let God deal with the rest!  Amazing, huh? 
2.  Don’t strive to be the Best Church “In the Community.”   Rather, strive to be the Best Church “For the Community!”  (There is actually a book on this very thing.)


Stewardship 2013

Dear Saints,

Over the years, you have read many Stewardship letters, each emphasizing a particular mission, a financial need or your responsibility. This year I chose not to do any of this. Instead, I challenge you to shift your approach on stewardship and redefine the very action of giving.  The reason for this perspective is my belief that no stewardship letter, no matter how well it is written, can change your heart, the source of stewardship.  In that light I’d like to share an edited letter by Fr. Ciprian Streza which encourages examining our motives:
So, why do you give to the Church?

When was the last time you asked yourself this question?  If you did, what was your thought process? Did you have a businesslike approach to the question, considering your priorities and family budget, or did you do it in a spirit of prayer and profound gratefulness for all the blessings God has bestowed on you in your life? 

You see, giving should not be motivated by any external force (stewardship campaigns, incentives, recognitions, etc.) nor by a sense of organizational duty (to fulfill x amount of pledged dollars). Giving is an opportunity to share joyfully a small portion of what God has given to you and your family. It is an opportunity to acknowledge that everything belongs to God.  We read in Psalm 24:1 "The Earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world and all who live in it".  A gluttonous and frantic entitlement of our material possessions deprives God Himself of what belongs to him.  It is claiming as our own that which belongs to God, and was only entrusted to us to multiply for His glory.

Even stewardship, the act of freely giving, should be done in a spirit of humility and thanksgiving.  If we consider the Old Testament expectation of 10% (or tithing as practiced in many churches), the act of giving should be gratitude that God, in His generosity, allows His servants (His stewards) to keep 90% of what has always belonged to Him.  Even if we give more than 10% begrudgingly, or we feel poorer because of the giving, we failed to understand what stewardship is all about.  Stewardship is the only instance when by giving we feel richer.

Stewardship begins with YOU and GOD.  (Giving) should not produce anxiety.  It produces joy in which our hearts resonate with the heavenly powers. It is an acknowledgement of God's gifts given despite our sinfulness.  It is the excitement about the things we can achieve individually and as a community. 

Please take time to reflect on the message of this letter.  May God, Who for our salvation gave His only begotten Son to die for us, continue to bless you!

In His service,

Fr. Ciprian

What is the attitude you’ve developed in giving?  As our pastors highlight our stewardship this month let us give prayerful consideration to the aspect of “partnering” with the Lord in the areas He asks us to support.  What exactly is He hoping to achieve through us individually and as a community?  Let this be the year we choose not to hold back!

With love, wishing you a blessed 2013,

Carol Dillard
Stewardship Ministries Director


Local Church Report: Kirkland Family Church

Happy New Year from Kirkland Family Church! This last month has been a full month at KFC. The month started off with our Annual Dessert Concert. This is a concert put on by the Kirkland Family Church Worship team and many of the KFC members participate to help make the night successful. The theme this year was "The Sounds of Christmas". It was a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season. There were many familiar faces in the audience as well as quite a few people that have never been to the church before. It was a sell out and we are looking forward to next year's concert.
The following week, we had our monthly pancake breakfast for all those who want to have a great breakfast before Sunday School begins. Our Sunday school classes are going great with several special topics being taught. Debbie Yaros taught a 2 month long class for the teens based on Dave Ramsey's Generation Change. This is a series geared toward teens and young adults on how to be good stewards and handle money responsibly. The class concluded in December and was well-received by all. Pam Murkerson began a series on Esther for the Ladies Sunday School class following the series of DVDs by Beth Moore. This series will continue for the next month and all the ladies are enjoying it. The Men's class and children's Sunday School classes have been full and enjoying the messages that their teachers are bringing. Our teens are also getting a remodeled Sunday School room, spearheaded by Jim Brown and Allen Cabales and it is nearly finished. 
December is a month of fundraising at Kirkland Family Church. Along with the Dessert Concert, we have an annual Pledge Drive, that we call the Stocking Fundraiser. The people of KFC are generous givers and we exceeded our goal for this fundraiser. This helps us kick off 2013 on the right foot, financially.
It has been a blessed year for Kirkland Family Church. There are several who have had health challenges but God is bringing them through. There are several new faces in the congregation, and the entire church family has been excited to welcome them. KFC is looking forward to 2013 and experiencing the blessings that God has for each one this year.
Ladies- Mark your Calandars for the annual Ladies Tea at Kirkland Family Church. We will hold this event on February 16th. This will be a fun day of tea, fellowship, good food, and shopping. We will have approx. 8 vendors in attendance of various types. More ticket information will be forthcoming, but save that date. Tell your friends, your sisters, mother, daughters, everyone! It will be a great time.
Jessica Cabales
Kirkland Family Church