1 The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Should I fear anyone?
The Lord is a fortress
protecting my life.
Should I be frightened of anything?
2 When evildoers come at me
trying to eat me up--
it’s they, my foes and my enemies,
who stumble and fall!
3 If an army camps against me,
my heart won’t be afraid.
If war comes up against me,
I will continue to trust in this:
4 I have asked one thing
from the Lord--
it’s all I seek:
to live in the Lord’s house
all the days of my life,
seeing the Lord’s beauty
and constantly adoring his temple.
5 Because he will shelter me
in his own dwelling
during troubling times;
he will hide me in a secret place
in his own tent;
he will set me up high, safe on a rock.
6 Now my head is higher
than the enemies surrounding me,
and I will offer sacrifices in God’s tent--
sacrifices with shouts of joy!
I will sing and praise the Lord.
We had a nice discussion in one of our latest Shepherd Groups where we are studying on Great Historical Preachers and Leaders. In one session we had some wonderful conversations concerning this passage from one of the books we are using as a reference.
Moody was an incipient theological liberal, or a fundamentalist.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century a number of trends converged to challenge the traditional doctrines of the Christian faith. The umbrella term commonly used to cover this convergence is ‘liberalism’. The streams that converged to produce liberalism were Unitarianism, transcendentalism, the evolutionary worldview, radical higher criticism, and philosophical idealism. The full-blown result of this convergence was a liberalism that viewed the Bible as essentially a human book; accepted a moral influence theory of the atonement; emphasized the immanence of God nearly to the point of pantheism; insisted on the essential worth of human nature; and preached the universal Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man and the Social Gospel.
This convergence was pretty well completed in the first two decades of the twentieth century, and with that came a polarization between the liberals and those who soon came to be known as the fundamentalists. And with that came the question, ‘Where would Mr Moody stand?’, a question asked in no less a liberal journal than The Christian Century in its issue of 12 July 1923. This editorial brought to public attention a debate that had been brewing for some time: Who were the true heirs of Moody? Was it the YMCA in which Moody had early on been such a formative influence and the Northfield schools he had founded, both of which were steadily moving down the road toward liberalism? Or was it Moody Bible Institute? Would Moody have stood with the liberals or the fundamentalists?
The Christian Century’s answer was unmistakable: not with what it perceived to be the fundamentalist stance of the Institute. Even Moody’s younger son Paul argued within the pages of this same liberal voice that his father was for his day a liberal and that if ‘he were living today  … he would be … more in sympathy with the men who, like Fosdick, are preaching what he loved to spread—the love of God and the power of Christ—than with those who are attempting to persecute them because they will not substitute certain shibboleths’.
That such a question should even be asked, let alone require an answer, might seem strange in light of what we have seen about the conservative evangelical theology implicit in Moody’s preaching. Still, there was some justification for the question. Moody was a man of broad spirit. Lyman Abbott rightly lauded him for his catholicity of spirit. Within a few days of Moody’s death, liberal Old Testament scholar, George Adam Smith, bemoaned the fact that ‘we have lost not only one of the strongest personalities of our time, but a man who was more able than any other to act as a reconciler of our present divisions’. Moody’s close personal relationship with Henry Drummond and his invitations to higher critics such as Smith and William Rainey Harper to speak at Northfield were further reasons why these questions emerged.
( From " Mr. Moody and the Evangelical Tradition ". By Timothy George )
I trust everyone has safe traveling this holiday season. Enjoy your family and friends.
I am praying 2020 will be a year of great changes and wonderful opportunities. With God revealing His hand in so many areas of your life.
I share this with you from a devotional I have been using of late.
He Is Our Refuge
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall and like the heat of the desert. You silenced the uproar of foreigners; as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled. (Isaiah 25:4–5)
God is a refuge. He is a shelter, a safe place where we can rest even when things around us are terrifying. God not only understands our circumstances, but he also protects us when we are out of strength. While our lives may feel like they are spinning out of control, “Under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4).
When you feel like no one understands you, when you’re afraid, discouraged, anxious, or desperate, when you want to run away or harm yourself, pray with the psalmist, “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1).
We can bring our mess, our broken pieces, and our out-of-control life to God. He can put us together. We don’t have to fix ourselves before we go to God. We rest—alone and with others—when we read the Bible, when we pour out our heart in prayer, when we talk about God’s promises and great deeds. Our rest comes from God, our refuge.
God says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). How can you be still and rest in God as your refuge today? Try turning off your phone, computer, or any distractions for a while. Find a way to be still. Go for a walk and let your mind be still or find a cozy spot to close your eyes and think about the verses you’ve read. Ask another Christian to tell you about a time God was their refuge. Be still and think about the words in a song or Bible reading during church. Take time to pray and rest so God can calm your fears. Be still and know that he is God. ( Shilo Taylor, A Brand New 40 Day Guide )
I Trust You Will Find Rest And Refuge In Him This Holiday Season. Abiding In His Grace, His Love And Those You Share Your Holiday With This Week.
In His Grace,
I love how he say's ".. he put his hand into the serpent's den, removed the venom and took away sin. "
This is a reminder to all preachers, teachers and ministers of CGMF.
In our last Ministers Training session we discussed licensing beyond Covenant's local covering. In that discussion I expressed the importance of many to be in a position to expand and develop their ministry within the fabric of a larger covering. Also, it is my intention that whoever might move on as pastor or Spiritual Administrator for the fellowship to be required to hold such credentials with Full Gospel Restoration of which I, and the ministry are affiliated with. I believe this is both healthy, and vital for our future. Especially after some of the circumstances of which we have dealt with in 2019, which were not easy to deal with.
I expressed to you all in our meeting of my thanksgiving of heart for FGRMC, its ministers and churches. I also related their confidence in your pastor, his ministry and talents. Calling upon me to be a part of the Counsel of Elders, serve as President of FBC, and licensing me as a Bishop. Given all this and more I asked you all to pray concerning applying for license with FGRMC. I want you to know you all will be glad you did.
I have spoken to the Shepherd Leaders and they know I will propose a change in our by-laws that the Pastor, Spiritual Administrator and Minister of Music. Each will be required to receive license with FGRMC in the future after our annual meeting in February. This I believe will help us in the future, and give the church protection from a truly covenant partner in FGRMC.
I trust you will pray with me as we go and grow, and expand this ministry beyond its current structure. Becoming a part of greater umbrella of ministry in the years to come.
Blessings to all of you for your commitment, love and prayers.
We have finally edited the the Gathering Message by Dr. Vossen from the Gideon Series of Messages. Here is Gideon Mighty Man Of Valor.
We have been changing our venue a bit of late for bible studies or Shepherd Group meetings. Also, I have been helping out Reverend Rollerson of late and have enjoyed the fellowship quite a bit.
Here are some photos of fellowship.
Blessings to all,
Students And Friends Of FBC. The 5th Review Exam Is Ready For The Course : " Counsel From The Cross. "
For those studying Counseling From The Cross at Focus Bible College. I have uploaded the current exams for chapter 9-10 of our study. We are getting close to wrapping up this course and working toward the final exam portion. Thanks for your due diligence.
Counsel From The Cross Exam 5
We have added 5 more lessons to our Laying The Foundations Study we started in late 2018 at CGMF. The Shepherd Groups studying the series are in lesson 35, and we have uploaded a total of 31 of the lesson plans thus far. If you would a copy of it, or have not been able to be part of the series. Please feel free to download any of the offerings on our ministry archive page.
Also our Founding Pastor's latest message " The Jesus Movement Of the 70's And How It Affected Me. " Will be edited for posting in the next few days. I know a lot of you have asked for it, as God touched so many through that Word shared.
Ministry Archives Page
Reverend Ted Stevens
Education Director, CGMF
I posted today a new From The Shepherd's Desk Newsletter for the body. I am sorry I missed September's, but I trust this month's offering will minister to you in a profound way.
Keep the ministry in prayer as usual. Your faithfulness in all areas of you lives allows us to be a witness of God's love to many, and minister the Word to so many throughout the state. From North Platte to Omaha we are sharing the gospel in every form we may. However, only through your gifts, grace and devotion can we endeavor to do so. God bless you all for your loving generosity in so many ways. Amen.
Reverend Patrick Vossen,