We closed out the month of January and first weekend of February with two outstanding Retreats. For the very first time, Teen Retreat was held at our own campground, Camp Roganunda. From what I understand there was about three feet of snow there. The teens had a marvelous time at Retreat. As always, Sister Shelly Symonds was blessed with a wonderful group of staff. The numerous testimonies given by the campers were heart-touching. Many of them testified of being delivered from drugs, some from depression, and others from health issues. Some of the teens had special prayer regarding family problems. Indeed, the Lord was there to meet many of the needs. Sister Shelly reports that among the teens, there were 10 saved, 19 sanctified, and 4 baptized in the Spirit! To God be the Glory! Again, much thanks to Sister Shelly and her staff for an anointed Teen Retreat.
Adult Retreat just finished last weekend. We had over 100 in attendance. From start to finish the power of the Spirit could be felt. We were blessed to have Bishop Walter Doroshuk and Sister Claudia Doroshuk with us at Retreat. He brought timely messages and challenges to the people regarding where we are in the Kingdom of God. Sister Knoblich taught a class on Saturday morning titled, "The Battlefield of the Mind." Following class, many went to the various prayer stations. Several reported that morning of being set free from past bondages. On Sunday morning, we had a special move of the Spirit among us. Two people re-dedicated their hearts to the Lord and one was sanctified and filled with the Spirit. Again, there was such a Spirit of Deliverance and a Spirit of Praise. We are thanking the Lord for an awesome Retreat. Please give thought to coming to next year's Adult Retreat at Pacific Beach (January 7-9, 2014). We would love to have you there and you will be glad you came!
Prayer and Fasting/Stewardship
I am trusting that all of you experienced a refreshing during the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting in January. I am believing that during this special time that you had some prayers answered and were given specific direction in your life. I am also believing that each of us had our vision enlarged to see our part in the great work, the Lord's Harvest Field that lays before us.
January was also Stewardship Month. Again, how wonderful it is to be obedient stewards unto the Lord! He blesses us so much, and He just wants us to learn to trust Him with our finances. Possibly you or someone in your Church could spearhead a series of financial classes for the people. Our State Stewardship Coordinator, Sister Carol Dillard, (firstname.lastname@example.org), would be more than happy to help you in getting started. May you and your family experience a most prosperous year in the Lord.
Friday, February 15th begins our first District Convention in Tacoma with Bishop Bear moderating. Then on Saturday, the 16th, Bishop Smith will direct the Convention at the Brush Prairie Church. District Conventions are a great place to experience dynamic preaching, inspirational worship, and blessed fellowship. It is a time where our State Workers promote the upcoming year's events. They always have timely information to give. I assure you that you will be blessed by attending. Looking forward to seeing you there!
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
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)
April 5-7 WA State Ladies Retreat - (Vancouver Red Lion)(Sherry Johnson, Director)
April 19-20 Youth Convention - Kirkland (Shelly Symonds, Director)
May 16-19 Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary - Kirkland Family Church(World Mission of the Church - Dr. Nolivos)
May 24-26 Senior Retreat - Salmon Falls Campground (James Cabales, Director)
May 31-June 2 Men's Retreat - Camp Roganunda (Franklin Smith, Director)
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 a section from my annual address, "Designed For God's Greatness," regarding how He Designed us for The Harvest." For February's message, I am presenting a section on how God "Designed us to Grow in Him" through Leadership Development and Spiritual Formation.
God Designed Us To Grow in Him
A. What I am talking about is Leadership Development and Spiritual Formation. I recently talked to a Pastor who stated that one member in his church had not grown any in over 20 years. WHY? It is not that this pastor doesn’t preach or teach his people.
Wouldn’t it be terrible to repeat the 3rd grade for 20 years? Are you repeating your spiritual grade in Church year after year. In the Fall are you going to move up a Grade or stay in the same Grade? Jesus clearly told us, “To Learn Of Him.” How are you doing that? By sitting in front of the TV? By playing Video games hour after hour? Jesus has prepared a Great Book, Called the Bible, so we can Learn of Him.
The Berean Saints can teach us a Couple of Things regarding Study: Listen to what Luke says about them:
(Acts 17:11) “These (the Berean Saints) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
1. They had a “Readiness of Mind:” That means a willingness of mind to Study.
2. They “Searched the Scriptures daily:” This means they Properly Examined the Scriptures each Day.
B. God has placed a certain gifting and calling on everyone of us. What are you doing to prepare yourself for your Calling? Question: From a secular perspective with a new job, or with the job you currently have, don’t you have to upgrade your skills from time to time? So it is, with honing our skills to be better ministers of the Word of God.
I think it proper to reflect on the exhortation by the Apostle Peter. He says,:1Pe 4:10-11 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
From Peter’s writings we learn that every man has a gift. We learn that we are to use that gift and minister to one another as good stewards of God. And when we use that gift appropriately, God will be glorified.
Over the last several years in the State, we have offered a number of Training programs. While some folks have attended, I am perplexed why more have not taken advantage of these wonderful training opportunities.?! We have offered SOPAS (School of Practical and Advanced Studies) for three years now, we have Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Training, and the Spanish have Inteca for Diploma and undergraduate training. These programs have helped to prepare us to fulfill our mandate “To Study to show thyself approved unto God.” ]
Let’s face it, we live in a day and age when cyfogging, just getting up and “beating the air” won’t cut it anymore. In our post-modernistic society, the young people, all of our people are demanding more from us. They come to hear the pure, unadulterated, Word of God.
From those that are availing themselves of these training opportunities, I am consistently hearing from our congregations, that they have noticed an increase in excellence (performance) of our pastors.
DON’T YOU WANT TO BE YOUR BEST FOR GOD?! DON’T YOU WANT YOUR PASTOR TO BE HIS OR HER BEST FOR GOD?! (One thing you can do is to help support them financially when they go to these (Training Events) classes. Help pay some of their tuition or their lodging expenses.) You will be blessing yourself and your church in the long run!