Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Overseer's Insight: May 2013

Dear Saints

April was a busy month, albeit, a blessed one.  We started the first weekend off with Washington State Ladies Retreat in Vancouver, WA.  The Theme was “Looking Back.”  The ladies were taught that sometimes it is okay to look back to see where we have come from, however, our focus should be on Looking Ahead.  Norma Johnson and Terry Cook were the special speakers for the event and did a terrific job ministering to the women.  Bishop Knoblich spoke on Sunday morning, using the topic, “Symptomology of Half-Hearted Followers.”  These type of people are characterized by having lots of zeal, but you cannot count on them to follow through.  “Divided Loyalties” and those that “Look Back” are the other characteristics of Half-Hearted Followers.  Sister Sherry Johnson and her staff are to be commended for a job well done.  From the reports I heard, there was some needed healing that took place as well as wonderful fellowship.

Youth Convention
During the weekend of April 19-20, Youth Convention was held at Kirkland Family Church.  Many of the youth came from all around the State.  Sister Syvia Staten spoke during the Friday evening general session.  Sister Staten has a unique way of grapping the attention of all that are present from young to old(er).  She definitely ministered to the people.  Sister Shelly Symonds, State Youth Ministries Coordinator, had special events and classes planned for the youth on Saturday.    Thank you, Sister Shelly, for a great day of training and fun for the youth.  I know they were truly blessed by the Word, by the Worship, and by the Fellowship.  (Please see Youth Convention Highlights in the Lampligther.)

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
On May 16-19, 2013 at Kirkland Family Church, we will be offering the course, “World Mission of the Church” as taught by Dr. Nolivos.  For those that are mission-minded, (and we all should have a mind for reaching those around us), this class will be instructional and inspirational.  If you would like to register, please notify Bishop Knoblich at dknoblich@aol.com

Men’s Retreat
Men’s Retreat is slated for May 31st- June 2nd.   The Retreat will be held at our new facility, Camp Roganunda.  Lots of work and preparation have been done over the last several months in upgrading our Campground.  We are very excited this year, to have as our Special Guest Speaker, Bishop Sam Clements.  Bishop Clements is the North American General Presbyter for the Church of God of Prophecy.  He is an anointed minister and will be a blessing to our men.  We will also have a special session with our pastors and ministers to meet with Bishop Clements to discuss vital issues on the day.  All pastors and ministers should make plans to attend Men’s Retreat.   The serene atmosphere of the Campground is a place where the presence of God can be felt and experienced by all.  The cost is only $70.00 per person.  For more information please contact Men’s Retreat Director, Bishop Frank Smith at 360-834-9368 or at Frankgsmith@aol.com

Senior Retreat
During the weekend of May 24-26, Senior Retreat will be held at the Salmon Creek Campground just out of Washougal.  Senior Retreat is a time where our precious saints gather together for a great weekend of inspiration and fellowship.  Special Guest Speaker for the Retreat will be Bishop Rick Bear.  During this weekend, the youth from New Horizons help with the meals and are there to make sure the Seniors that attend have a great time.  Please contact Retreat Director Bishop James Cabales at 360-521-7581 or Jcabales@Hughes.net for more information.

Washington State Convention
It is not too early to begin planning for State Convention. This year, Convention will be held at the Red Lion in Kennewick, Columbia Center. It will be on August 23-25, 2013. We are pleased to announce that Sister Kathy Creasy, International Children’s Ministries Director, will be our special guest speaker from the International Offices! You will definitely be blessed by her ministry.  Please make plans now to attend a glorious and spirit-packed Convention. I would encourage you to call the Red Lion and make reservations as soon as possible, to be assured of a room. The Red Lion has extended a special rate to us, $86.95/night.  When you call the Red Lion (509-783-0611), please tell them that you are with the Church of God of Prophecy to get the special group rate. Looking forward to seeing you there!!

Events Calendar for 2013
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)
                         Speaker:  Bishop Rick Bear
May 31-June 2 Men's Retreat - Camp Roganunda (Franklin Smith, Director) 
                         Special Speaker:  Bishop Sam Clements
June 7-8           Camp Focus and Clean-Up – Camp Roganunda
July 7-21         Washington State Youth Camps (Camp Roganunda)
August 23-25  Washington State Convention - Kennewick (Red Lion Hotel)
                        Special Speaker:  Sister Kathy Creasy

"Designed For God's Greatness"
Bishop/Dr. Don Knoblich

In March’s Lamplighter, I presented a section from my 2012 Annual Address, “Designed For God’s Greatness,” regarding how He “Designed Us to have Communion with Him.”  For this month, I will present a section on how God “Designed Us to Live a Holy Life.” 

IV. God Designed Us To Live a Holy Life
A.  Because God is Holy, He wants His children to be holy.  In fact the Apostle Peter writes, “Be ye holy even as your Father in Heaven is holy.” An integral part of God is His Holiness.  Before we can approach Him in His Holiness, we too must be holy. 

David recognized this dilemma in one of his Psalms.  He asks the question:

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord or Who shall stand in His holy Place?  The Answer:  “He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psalm 24: 3,4).

B.  I don’t believe we preach enough about Sanctification.  Sanctification is not necessarily holiness, however, Sanctification is the Door that allows us to live a holy life.  Sanctification is an experience by the Blood of Jesus Christ.  Then once sanctified, we need to stay in the Sanctified stream, in a continuous sanctified state.  This allows us to live a life of holiness.

1.  Sanctification is an experience that occurs inside the heart.  You do not become holy by taking a bubble bath or painting yourself white.  You do not become holy by going to church or hanging out with Christian friends.  You become holy by abiding in the One that makes you holy!

2.  The Pharisees thought that they were holy.  Jesus told them that they were “whited” sepulchures.  They were white, nice and pretty on the outside, but on the inside they were full of dead men’s bones.  When Jesus makes you clean on the inside, it will show up on the outside!

- Many years ago while at Universal studios, I was struck by the set for a Western Movie shoot.  There were very nice buildings, painted nicely, looking good.  They looked good when you were facing them. But all they were was for show!  There was nothing behind them except 2 X 4’s holding them up, propping them up!  They call these facades.  I wonder how many so-called Christians are just Facades?!  They are like “tinsel town” with all the glamour on the outside, but nothing on the inside!

C.  Decoy Christians
1.  You have all seen these decoy ducks.  They look real on the outside, but they’re as dead as dead can be!

The job of the Decoy is to attract other ducks.  The job of some Decoy Christians is to attract others to them.  They float around in Church, they look nice, but there is just something wrong with them.  They are full of guile and deceit. 

2.  Jesus had one of the highest praises for Nathanael before choosing him to follow Him as His disciple.  Listen to what Jesus said of Nathanael:

Joh 1:47  Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

The word “guile” that Jesus uses is very interesting here.  It literally means deceit or decoy.  In other words, what Jesus saw in Nathanael was the Real Deal.  He was the Real McCoy, he was not a decoy! 

It is not clear what the true origin of the saying “Real McCoy” is.  It is believed that it came from the American Boxer, Norman Selby, known as “Kid McCoy,” who was welterweight champion from 1898-1900.  It is said the McCoy had so many imitators who took his name is boxing booths in small towns throughout the country that eventually he had to bill himself as Kid “The Real” McCoy. 

A story is told of a skeptical drunk who met the boxer in a bar and denied with such vehemence that the boxer was truly the genuine article, that McCoy was forced to hit him.  After recovering, the drunk said, “He’s the Real McCoy!”

Let me ask, “Are you the Real McCoy or a Decoy?”  Do you love the attention of others?  Do you pray, do you give, so that others may see how “holy” you are?  If so, you may be a Decoy Christian.  You love to pray for others, but you have no real power! 

You see, Jesus knows all the motivations of our hearts.  Are we doing things out of the love of our heart and to glorify Him?  Or are we doing it to bring attention to ourselves?  Could  Jesus say this of you:  “Behold, Here is an “Israelite” (Christian) indeed!”  Jesus is looking for those without guile, without hypocrisy, to take up their cross and follow Him!

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