Well, I hope this post finds everyone in the CGMF family enjoying their summer thoroughly. Even though it seems to be going way too fast. The winter was so long, and the summer is speeding along, I personally just want to put the brakes to it if I could. LOL.
A couple items of note. First, we have been having temporary teachers in various Neighborhood Groups as various Shepherd Leaders are out on vacation. Wade and I, have tried to help out those we can, but thankfully a lot of fine folks have pitched in to teach. A big thank you for your great efforts. I have heard of some wonderful reports of God's touching many of these groups in a special way during this time. The Holy Spirit has been at work in so many ways from what has been reported. I can't tell you how good that makes me feel guys, keep up the great work.
Next, this past weekend I worked at least 7 hours on the main server of CGMF to fix the coding errors that persisted with a seemingly bad install, or change of sources list. Anyways, it has been resolved. I also put on each drive partition a new restoration program called Timeshift, which should eliminate such a hassle in the future, and is an excellent restore point software for any Linux system. It is complete in how it covers the system, so you don't miss certain files, or restoration in your backing up of your computer.
Finally, please remember the ministry in your tithes and offerings. Your gifts and grace keep this ministry functioning and blest. Thankfully, I hardly ever in 10 years have had to ask for big fund raising of any kind. Just remember CGMF if you can, and I trust God your summer will be a blest one. If you are traveling quite a bit, you can always donate online in various places where you see the donate button on our ministry website.
Continue to pray for the ministry and thank you guys for all you do.
Reverend Patrick Vossen
Founding Pastor, CGMF
We have added some new photos to our home page here at CGMF. Please share with us others we might post. We have been somewhat sporadic in our postings of photos in the Gallery the past few years. Need the family's help.
In the past this has been up to our founding Pastor, The Craft's or Skip and Mary, but now myself and other Shepherd Leaders will be trying to take some of the website burden away from our primary leadership.
Blessings to all.
Shepherd Neighborhood Leader
We have added 12 more lessons to our new Laying Foundations series we have been studying in two of our Neighborhood Fellowship groups. The study now has a total of 26 lessons in the series and there will be more. This study ties into our Worldview Of The Scriptures series on Covenants, and our Foundational Studies series we use with the Believer's Spirit-Filled Handbook by Derek Prince. To all those who a part of the CGMF family, take advantage of the materials even if your not in the class. They will be most beneficial.
Currently we have other groups that are finishing up in our Book of Isaiah series, Authentic Man and Authentic Woman studies and a new one on Prophecy and Me.
This latter series is a new one authored by Pastor Vossen that looks at historical prophecy, Christ fulfillment of prophecy and the modern day five fold ministry. It then concludes with the Church's place in prophecy and with us personally.
Thank you all for your prayers and support of the ministry, as we try to honor the call of Jesus in our lives.
Lincoln Shepherd Neighborhood Leader
Laying The Foundations Studies
Challenges, Challenges, Challenges.
July 2nd, 2019
1 Samuel 17:32-37 CEB
32 “Don’t let anyone lose courage because of this Philistine!” David told Saul. “I, your servant, will go out and fight him!”
33 “You can’t go out and fight this Philistine,” Saul answered David. “You are still a boy. But he’s been a warrior since he was a boy!”
34 “Your servant has kept his father’s sheep,” David replied to Saul, “and if ever a lion or a bear came and carried off one of the flock, 35 I would go after it, strike it, and rescue the animal from its mouth. If it turned on me, I would grab it at its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has fought both lions and bears. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them because he has insulted the army of the living God.
37 “The Lord,” David added, “who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.”
“Go!” Saul replied to David. “And may the Lord be with you!”
Have you ever had challenges? If you haven't then maybe your not human, LOL. In any case challenges in every day living are always going to be there, and we as believers are going to have to sort them out. With that in mind, lets consider two types of challenges. The ones I have chosen to undertake to reach a purpose or goal, and then the unexpected.
The first one I am somewhat in control of my destiny, and I have chosen to fight this battle recognizing the price and opportunities for success. These are calculated risks, that I believe I have the talent or resources to deal with in life. The second one is the unexpected challenges of life. The big surprises, or circumstance that seems to shatter my faith and my confidence in a profound way. This latter challenge often leaves us grasping for the Armor of God, and our response sometimes is flailing away with the Sword of The Spirit, or just taking on blows with the Shield of Faith until we can recognize what in the world we have gotten myself into. Its in these times our true Christian Character is measured, and is found solid or lacking. Here is where we find out if the Word has become a part of us, and our faith knows how to apply the gifts God has granted us so the Fruit of the Spirit is revealed. It is here we find David in this text, it is here many of us are at today. Remember it's in this time of unexpected challenges we find out who we are, how strong our faith is, and ultimately who our friends are.
Now look back at verse 32. Notice how David first approaches this unexpected challenge. He says to the King, " I your servant, will go out and fight him. " Now that is boldness, and he doesn't address the people, he instead says this to the King.
Sometimes this is the best approach. Address the situation head on, knowing you have fought battles before that have given you opportunity to prove the Lord and press on. As long as Saul the King ( like our Lord ) says its okay to take up the battle, then take up the battle. Now Saul did question him and said " but, you are still a boy. " However, notice David's response. He had a testimony! He had a proven track record with the Lord, and no matter what the problem, he knew God could solve them. That is how we have to approach these unexpected challenges. With the knowledge that I have a testimony, and that no matter how it looks, and how big the Giant is. God is still a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Do you have a testimony today? Are you bought by the blood of Jesus, saved by His Grace and have a testimony that says, HE IS ABLE! Then the scriptures tell me that you have already won the battle. For Revelation 12:11 tells me that you are an overcomer just like David. For His Word says; " They gained the victory over him on account of the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness ( testimony ). Love for their own lives didn’t make them afraid to die. "
Satan wants to intimidate you, bully you, make the problem look bigger than anything you could ever imagine. Just shut Him Up! Trust the Word, " It Is Written!!! " That is what Jesus did during the temptation in the wilderness. Three times Satan tempted him with great challenges, but each time He used the Word. He was tired, he had been fasting, he was not in the best of environments. Yet, it didn't matter. He took a stand. David took a stand. We can make a stand!!!!!
I don't know what the challenges you're facing today. However, if you walk by faith and trust in the divine Grace of your Father's will. Your challenges will become great testimonies to what the Lord can do. No matter what the obstacle is His Word has a prescription for it in His amazing Book of Books. God and His Word is a covenant bond that cannot be broken unless we decide to sever the connection. Don't lose that connection with His Word, remember the testimony the Lord has given you, and as a blood washed believer trust that God will bring you through. This challenge is an opportunity for you to prove the Lord, and His miraculous Grace to be poured all over you.
I have had some challenges in my life that certainly have caught me offguard. Nevertheless, saint of God I have a testimony, I have never seen his children forsaken or His people out begging for bread. I have never seen a challenge where God can't offer a solution, and I know His will for me is peace. Capture that peace and confidence in the Lord, and just remember everything is going to be alright.
In His Love,
Rev. Patrick Vossen
I have recently been blest by a book I am reading by Aimee Semple McPherson, the founder of the Foursquare Churches. Here is one particular quote I thought I would share with the CGMF Family.
Martin Luther one day was walking up the steps of the cathedral on his hands and knees over broken glass, endeavoring to do penance, thereby seeking to atone for his sins. As he was toiling painfully and laboriously up the steps in this manner, blood trickling from his hands and knees, cut by the broken glass, he heard a voice from heaven saying:
“Martin Luther, the Just shall live by Faith.”
At the words, a great light fell from Heaven. It banished the darkness and doubts, it illuminated the soul of Martin Luther, and revealed the finished work of Calvary and the blood that alone can atone for sin.
“For nothing good have I,
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.”
The days that followed were eventful days, epoch-making days, fraught with self-sacrifice and suffering. The Lord had spoken, and promised that all the years that had been eaten should be restored, and out of the seas of travail and suffering that followed the preaching of Justification by Faith there was born a little body of blood-washed fire-tried pilgrims, willing to suffer persecution for His Name’s sake.
You have read, perhaps, how Martin Luther and his followers were turned out of the churches, spoken against falsely, and accused of all manner of evil. As Martin Luther, Calvin, Knox, Fletcher and many other blessed children of the Lord, stood firm for the truths of salvation and a sinless life, they suffered all manner of persecution. God’s Word says, “They that will live Godly shall suffer persecution.” (If you or your church profess to live Godly and yet never suffer persecution, if you have become popular and the shame and reproach of the cross is gone, there is something radically wrong somewhere, for those who live Godly still suffer persecution.)
As the noble tree again put down her roots of justification into the fertile soil—faith, as life again began to surge through the trunk and the limbs of the tree, every demon in Hell seemed to be raging and howling against those who saw and accepted the light of salvation. Martyrs were burned at the stake, stoned to death, swung from public scaffolds, suffered the tortures of the inquisition, their eyes were put out with hot irons, they were beaten till great gashes were cut in their backs, salt was rubbed into the wounds and they were cast into the dark dungeons, still true and unflinching for Jesus. They were tortured in unspeakable ways, beheaded, sent to the guillotine, the covenanters were driven from hill to hill and often had to hide themselves in caves in order to pray or sing the praises of the Lord, hunted and harassed at every turn.
But God had said, “I will restore the years that have been eaten,” and in spite of the burning stake, in spite of the blood and fire and the deep waters of tribulation, in spite of the raging of the demons in hell, the great arrow that had so long been going down had at last started upward and was never to stop till it reached the top and the tree was again restored to its perfection.
Persecutions cannot stop God. Floods cannot stay His step. Fire cannot delay His progress. So line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, the work of restoration has been going on. Not only did the Lord restore the years the caterpillar had eaten, but the years of the cankerworm are restored.
CGMF Administrative Notice.
April 30, 2019
After an official board meeting by our Founding Pastor and Shepherd Leaders. It has been decided that Reverend Vossen will temporarily share Spiritual Coordinator Duties with Reverend Wade Long. The two will work together, as Reverend and Mrs. Craft take on a different assignment within the parameters of CGMF. They now will be serving with Reverend Wade in His Neighborhood Fellowship Group for the time being. We appreciate their tenure as Spiritual Coordinators at CGMF. They have provided some excitement, and some wonderful ideas for us to consider in our future growth at CGMF.
We have uploaded one of the last sermons by Pastor Vossen from one of our Gathering Meetings in late 2018. We trust it will be a blessing to you all.
Our newest edition to our short courses serious will be introduced in April. It is on " The Ten Parables Of Jesus. " It should be an outstanding series, which many of you will truly gain some tremendous insights from the Holy Spirit. It again will be free to study without college credit. However, for students or individuals who would like to enroll for college credit, it will be only 50.00 for two credit hours.
The last few courses took me months to create, but my goal and discipline for this course is that each week a lesson will become available. I trust this will be a blessing to a student, and to this teacher in facilitating its arrival.
Look forward to all those who will be taking this adventure in faith with us. The resource materials are scarce but available through Amazon, or AbeBooks. They are " Parables " & " The Ten Parables of Jesus " workbook both authored by Jamie Buckingham. Let me know if you would like assistance in procuring the subject material.
I invite any pastor or bible teacher who would like to teach this series for credit or non credit to contact the office at any time. We will assist you in your efforts to make this course available to your church.
In His Grace,
Dr. Patrick Vossen, President
Focus Bible College
Avoiding the Spirit of Criticism of this Age.
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.
Frank A. Clark
Understand that the last days will be dangerous times. 2 People will be selfish and love money. They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud. They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, contrary, and critical. They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good. 4 They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited. They will love pleasure instead of loving God.
1 Timothy 3:1-4 CEB
In the above quotation we read of criticism, that is like rain that doesn't wash away like a flood a man or woman's roots, but gently helps to assist in edification, redemption or restoration. This type of criticism or measure of correction, is the type of criticism that is wise counsel that leads to hope. This is the form of criticism we should use, with the right spirit or temperament in our ministering one towards another. However, in our fast paced world, filled with with Spirit of the age spoken of in 1 Timothy 3:1-4. We see a world that cannot just be harsh, but destructive in its form of counsel or admonishment toward others. Not looking to redeem or patiently train an individual towards success, but rather make a point, or a power play of domination.
As believers we need the heart of a shepherd who looks to tend to his flock, and is intimately aware of the lives they are dealing with. Like a father or mother who looks to encourage their children toward a better life than their own. If more pastors, teachers or believers in general had that attitude. We would avoid so many of the christian casualties we have in the Body of Christ.
Questions to ask yourself when counseling or criticizing a fellow believer. What is my intent? Am trying to just shut them up or put them down? Do I have their best interest at heart, or mine? How can I use my criticism wisely toward their betterment and edification? Have I paused and prayed about the words I will speak? Theses are the type of questions you may ask yourself before you embark on criticism or the admonishment of an individual. Especially, if you are an elder or overseer in this person's life. For it can have eternal consequences. Don't rip out the roots of their lives. Establish hope and opportunity for that individual in the future. That will allow that individual to see this as a pruning of the branches, and recognize the Father's love in your approach.
We must have wise counsel, and avoid a spirit that becomes a " crop of criticism. " One of the best examples I know of this comes from a book I have in my library on " Biblical Counseling Keys on Criticism " by June Hunt. She is describing Elihu's counsel to Job, lets listen in.
Elihu (Hugh) starts out with the voice of reason amidst a torrent of emotion.… “So listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong.… It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice” (Job 34:10, 12).
While Hugh eloquently espouses truths about the character of God, he—like the others—eventually grows a crop of criticism where Job is concerned. He wrongly assesses the cause of Job’s multiple tragedies.
“Is there anyone like Job, who drinks scorn like water? He keeps company with evildoers; he associates with the wicked” (Job 34:7–8). Hugh pressures Job to repent and proclaims: “Now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you” (Job 36:17).
But the criticism will stop … when God speaks. And, oh, will He speak!
In truth, you can grow a “crop of criticism” even if you usually are not a critical person. These “crops” can suddenly sprout up through circumstances in which you cast a critical eye or bend a critical ear. With the source of your criticism rooted in resentment toward others, you eagerly point out their flaws. You may not recognize when you are being overly critical, but God does … and so do those who know you best. The Bible even says …
“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”
In conclusion, remember to measure your motives, and make sure that God's love must come through. When folks recognize God's love and concern in your confronting any issue, it will almost always turn out to benefit all those involved in the situation. Avoid the spirit of the world, let the Holy Spirit move through you, His anointing will make all the difference in the world.
In His Love,
Rev. Patrick Vossen
Reverend Patrick Vossen,