Christmas was busy but relaxing for the most part. I was able to have friends over from the church, and enjoyed some wonderful services at various churches. I believe my kids all had a nice time with their families, and my daughter Jessica was excited to finally have her husband home to stay from Afghanistan. I missed not having my loved ones with me. Adam and I, won't be able to hook of till this week. I am looking forward to that precious time together.
I am going to miss Father Chapman who is being transferred to another parish. I have enjoyed having his encouragement with the ministry at CGMF and in endeavors at St. Martins and other endeavors. He is a wonderful pastor and a good friend. He has been so open to various opportunities in the Body of Christ, and really has a fantastic attitude about everything.
Well, I pray I get caught up with the work at CGMF. I am behind in backing up files and archiving materials. As well, a variety of bible study curriculum prep for 2014. We finished the verse by verse studies from the book of John and will be doing a more topical study with 1& 2 Kings and 1& 2 Chronicles. It should be challenging, but a lot of fun for everyone.
I pray for all a good beginning of the new year. I am looking forward to it, as it has been a tough past year with personal loss and physical difficulties from a near fatal car accident. God richly bless you all.
We are running behind in finishing the CGMF Quick Quizzes for the Book of John. We completed our study of John, and we will try to have those review lessons finally done within the next few days.
On another subject. Many of you have asked if the " Christ In Session Series " is available in its totality. The editing of the audio series " Christ In Session" has been a challenge because of two rather " noisy " lessons. We are working to have those edited or re-recorded as soon as possible. The originals had a lot of inconsistencies in the recording process.
I pray God's grace to be with each family this Christmas season, and that our Lord would make himself known to you in a special way. Enjoy your time with family, friends and others. Take time to give thanks and praise for the gift of the Son. If that is difficult to do given your circumstances, I am trusting God that He will minister to you out of His benevolent love. That you might find hope and light at the end of any trial or this period of loneliness you might be going through today. May God bless and encourage all, in Jesus Name.
" Lips That Give Thanks "
" Nor Form Nor Comeliness "
Our daily devotion for today reminds of our necessity to be identified with the Jesus of Calvary, and our battle with carnality. Challenging us to allow the Spiritual Man to reign within us, and shedding the mindset of this current generation. Recognizing rather the mindset of the Kingdom of God, and loving our fellow man like Jesus did. That the world would see Jesus in its modern setting and time through us, the Body of Christ.
" Identification To The Cross "
December 15th, 2013
Reverend Vossen's Sunday Message Preached At St. Martin Of Tours and at his local CGMF Neighborhood Group.
" The King And The Messenger "
We are beginning to plan for the following year and we are looking forward to some great changes. However, we also are a little anxious about the changes that will take place as well. Your prayers and participation in bringing about a smooth transition will be of great benefit to us all.
Here is a short list of the emphasis that will be taking place structurally within the next year at CGMF.
1. Neighborhood Groups will be better aligned geographically where possible.
2. Reverend Vossen, Reverend McNeil and other shepherd-leaders will overlap more frequently to assist in the growth and development of each Neighborhood Fellowship. This will help Encourage covenant relationships and further growth in our Christian walk.
3. The School Of Faith will be given greater attention so that supplemental education and course work will be made available online. With a more expansive approach of support for each type of study group being mentored within the framework of CGMF's system of Neighborhood Bible Fellowship Groups.
4. Better organization for regional support for fellowship with one another and within the Body of Christ.
5. Our core discipleship program will stay in place, but be updated where necessary. Also a complimentary course of expanded education within the Foundations Studies will be made with new materials from CSM Ministries.
6. Once a month Gathering's in certain locales will also give rise to Quarterly Mini-Campmeetings with guest speakers, or shepherd-leaders ministering.
These are part of the items we have discussed as primary. We also are concerned about our stewardship, for even though we are not a formal church in an institutional sense. We still have financial goals we'd like to see developed and ministry to sister works. It has become apparent that our utilizing periodic renting of facilities or home groups has given way to a lack of apparent financial involvement. For there is no consistent NEED for paying for a permanent office or facility.
After a survey of stewardship was taken in some of our more mature groups. We found that because none of our ministers take stipend, and that Reverend Vossen and Reverend McNeil have always volunteered their services. The necessity is not seen by many to give to CGMF, even if their basic Christian fellowship is only within it parameters of influence. They might tithe to another church, or even a ministry friendly with CGMF. However, CGMF is not their first thought. This is of concern to some of our eldership and we hope to address it in the year to come.
We hope you are enjoying the Christmas season. Remember to place these aforementioned items of emphasis we mentioned in prayer for the upcoming year. Our hope is that 2014 will be not just our greatest year of growth, but influence and ministry to the whole Body of Christ as well.
" What is your basic foundational discipleship course of study at CGMF " ?
We have basically used the same core curriculum with additional study groups when warranted to answer certain needs and growth patterns in the fellowship. Our philosophy is simple, " True Discipleship Takes Time And Covenental Practices ".
We at CGMF try to nurture fellowship with Christ and one another, in a loving environment of growth. Where God can encourage each and every believer to develop at their own pace. With the most appropriate group of believers who can share and care for one another in a covenantal fashion. It is here we try to develop certain Neighborhood Fellowship Groups to help encourage that development and fellowship one with another.
Concerning the Core Curriculum. We currently utilize the basic Foundations study, the Covenant Worldview Foundations Study and our Discipleship Series ( Our Faith and Our Father ) in our discipleship program. Our Foundations study and the Covenant Worldview Foundations Study has always been from outlines Reverend Vossen has written. The Study on Our Faith and Our Father are a combination of outline notes and background books. If you do not have any of these items, let us know and we can get them for you. The two books utilized for the Our Faith and Our Father series are Derek Prince's Bible Course and a trilogy of books related to the Good Shepherd by Philip Keller. From here we may divert individuals toward more advanced courses of bible study, or encourage believers to certain short term study or prayer groups as the need arises.
Today's CGMF Devotion is one we all need to pay attention to. It is about gratitude, and our being genuinely being thankful for what God has done for us. Which can be extended as well to everyone we are in relationship with, or come in contact to.
It is Saturday morning and a start of a new weekend. Its a sunny but cold day here in Ottawa, Illinois. I have come here to visit again, so our recording for today has been recorded from my hotel room. LOL. I hope the quality isn't too bad.
Skip, Mary and Joel will be running the show at CGMF and handling the organizing of the Neighborhood Fellowship Groups this week. They handle most of the day by day inner workings anyway, I am just there for the show I think sometimes. Helping in the background, and assisting with necessary training materials.
Enjoy today's message and I also am including the last two days as well in this post. For it seems they never got uploaded to the website. Have a great day everyone, and enjoy an awesome weekend of fellowship with our Lord.
" A Long, Deliberate Race ".
Dec. 6th, " Cultivating Endurance "
Dec. 5th, " The Condition Of Self-Control "
Well I just wanted to wish my daughter Jessica a happy birthday today. Her and her husband live in Palmer, Alaska and are a wonderful witness for the Lord. Have a fun day little Red.
Just a reminder as we have uploaded our devotion for the day. It is called " Right Fellowship ".
I believe it will challenge you in your walk with Christ. Remember, we always archive all our devotions on the archive page on the website at CGMF, if you ever want to catch up on a day you might have missed.
Have an great upcoming week folks.
" Right Fellowship "
Reverend Patrick Vossen,