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  ANiC Newsletter: 29 April, 2013 ... pdf version

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ANiC news

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
May 3-4 – Women’s conference at Faith Mission (Milton, ON) hosted by St George’s Burlington
May 6, 7pm – The Rev Lyle Lewis will be ordained a priest at Living Water (Athabasca, AB)
May 7 – St Aidan’s appeal to be heard at Osgood Hall, Toronto
May 11 – Bible-in-a-day seminar, Robson Square (Vancouver, BC)
May 13-15 – ACNA clergy women’s retreat in Woodbridge, Virginia
June 16 – Ordinations at Church of Our Lord (Victoria, BC) - Lynne Ellis & Neil Van der Heeden
October 21-27 – GAFCon 2 international gathering in Nairobi, Kenya
October 31 – November 3 – ANiC Clergy Retreat in New England

ANiC regional assemblies
Three regional assemblies took place in mid – April, two in Vancouver, BC and one in Burlington, ON. The focus of all three was building and supporting the ministries of the local church and shaping our own discipleship by living in obedience to and proclaiming God’s Word. From all reports the assemblies were a tremendous blessing, encouragement and challenge.

Photos of the events are posted. Some documents from the Assemblies are also online. Audio of the key sessions will be posted as they are available. You’ll find these all linked from the Assemblies’ web pages on the ANiC website. You can also read a report on the Vancouver event by a St John’s Vancouver delegate in the church’s April 21 parish life notes.

Eastern Assembly – Bishop Charlie Masters concluded his moving charge to the assembly by calling us to offer our lives to God as living sacrifices and, empowered by the Holy Spirit and in conformity to the character of Jesus Christ, to bring glory to God through proclaiming and Gospel to those around us who desperately need to hear. He added:

“To you as an individual I give this charge and challenge: 1) Begin today to beg the Lord to help you grow in prayer. 2) Begin today to take steps towards growing deeper in the Bible and increasing your intake and your application of it. And 3) begin today to pray for the names of perhaps three people who presently don’t know the Lord… and witness to them as opportunity is given… To you as a congregation… I give this charge and challenge: 1) Begin to seek and to plan to reach the children and youth in your area… 2) Begin today to make plans for… church planting from your congregations; and 3) Identify a means of increasing the quality of teaching and ministry and health and maturity for your people.”

Western Assembly – Bishop Trevor Walters encouraged us to be a radical movement, introducing people to Christ; to develop Kingdom-focused strategic plans in our parishes; to “get out of our walls”, engage the culture, and develop relationships with non-Christians; to wrestle with living authentically as Anglicans yet remaining accessible to the culture; to be culturally relevant by being Biblically faithful and preaching God’s Word; to worship God passionately in our music; to share the burden of ministry and head-off ministry “burn out”; to involve and mentor young people into leadership. He concluded:

“…let us press on to the high calling of our faith… Let us be bold as we seek to break out of our walls, while holding firmly to our faith, as we discover the language of the lost culture. Let us speak the words of life that bring good news to the poor, sight to the blind, freedom to the prisoners and release to the oppressed.”

Asian & Multicultural Assembly (AMMiC) – Bishop Stephen Leung began by noting that God is a missional God who has entrusted us with proclaiming the Good News of salvation – of new creation – through Christ Jesus. The resulting faith community is to be a fellowship of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation through which the world can see the living Christ. “The attraction of the Church… is Christ himself reigning over the transformed community in his love.”

Noting that, by 2017, it is projected that around 20 per cent of Canada’s population will be visible minorities, and that Canada is a magnet for international students, he said “we have a huge Gospel mission field among us” which, if we are faithful to the God’s mission, could resoundingly impact the growth of the Church worldwide. To this end AMMiC is: planting Asian and multicultural churches in Canada – five in the past year; charting a path for second generation leadership in these immigrant church communities; and seeking to serve the Church outside Canada by sending short-term mission teams.

He went on to discuss churches forming in Calgary, including: a Hindi-Urdu speaking church for South Asians; a South Sudanese Dinka community; and others – potentially four or more new churches in Alberta. Toronto is also a huge multicultural mission field and AMMiC is partnering with the Anglican Greenhouse Movement in Chicago to train young lay catechists in campus ministry. Bishop Stephen said
“We would like to see more church plants to different ethnic groups [in Toronto], including South Asians, Filipinos, Mandarin-speaking Chinese, Korean and Hispanic people.” In the Vancouver area, AMMiC has six church plants and parishes and a renovation of the Good Shepherd church building will include an Asian and Multicultural Ministry training centre. His vision is for more church plants on university campuses and in the suburbs to “…reach out to international students, Mandarin-speaking Chinese, South Asian, Korean and Arab ethnic groups.”

He concluded by challenging us to grow spiritually as well as numerically through conversion growth.
“God calls you and me to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to ethnic visible minority groups… Indeed, this mission is a great challenge that demands far beyond mere human effort… God will reveal his way and call out leaders in his time....”

Moderator’s reflections
Bishop Don Harvey was able to attend sections of all three Assemblies and reports that he is very encouraged by the way they were carried out. He says,
“While each had very distinctive qualities, it was not difficult to see the common thread running through all. Meeting in this manner gave everyone an opportunity to experience what it would be like if we were to change our structure to have gatherings and synods on a geographic or even an ethnic basis. Now, as we continue to seek God's guidance to discern our future, delegates will be able to reflect upon the pros and cons they experienced from this year's gatherings when they come to Synod in the fall of 2014.”

As he moves into his last year in Office, Bishop Don is trying to visit many of the parishes that came into being during his tenure. On Sunday, April 21, he had the joy of beginning this series of visits at the Church of the Resurrection in Hope, BC – which, significantly, was the first parish to enroll in ANiC.

Help shape ANiC’s governance structure
Bishop Ron Ferris and members of ANiC’s Governance Task Force are calling for submissions which address how ANiC should be governed. Synod requested a task force to “address Anglican polity with a special focus on the relationship between, bishops, diocesan council, Synod, clergy, and parishes”, and ANiC’s Coadjutor Bishop Charlie Masters has appointed Bishop Ferris (chair), the Rev Dr Brent Stiller and the Rev Mike Stewart to shoulder this task.

For more information on the issues the task force is specifically concerned with and how to make submissions, see the ANiC website. Submissions are invited from individuals, parish councils, clergy groups, or any interested cluster of ANiC members. May 31 is the deadline for receiving submissions as the task force intends to have a report to Bishop Charlie in August. The responses should be sent to See Bishop Ron’s letter for more details.

Ordinations and Confirmation
On June 16 at Church of Our Lord in Victoria, BC, Lynne Ellis will be ordained to the diaconate and priesthood by Bishop Trevor Walters. At the same service, Neil Van der Heeden, pastor of Living Edge (Victoria, BC), will be ordained to the diaconate

Please pray for ANiC’s ordination candidates, including the Rev Lyle Lewis who is to be ordained to the priesthood on May 6 in Athabasca, Alberta.

Bishop Trevor will also confirm candidates at Saint Matthew’s (Abbotsford, BC) on June 2 at the 8:45am service and at St John’s Vancouver on June 9 at 6:30pm. And Bishop Don will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation at Grace Church (Calgary, AB) on May 19, the Feast of Pentecost.

Evangelism conference in Toronto
Christ The King is hosted an evangelism conference April 26-27 at 80 Blythwood Rd, Toronto. The speaker was the Rev Dr John A MacDonald, from Trinity School for Ministry (Ambridge, Pennsylvania) together with a team of seminarians.

The rest of the story…
Remember the newspaper article featuring truck driver/ANiC rector the Rev Doug Beattie? Well, here’s how it came about… Back in November, Doug+ wrote a critical review on the movie Hellbound? and submitted it to an Abbotsford newspaper. That review was noticed by a reported at Vancouver’s The Province newspaper who contacted Doug+ for a follow-up interview. From that interview about his movie review, a connection was formed and the reporter contacted Doug+ recently for an Easter feature… which was subsequently scrapped but the story on Doug+ survived – minus the Easter angle. As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

ANiC’s National Director John MacDonald has been selected to serve on the board of Niagara Health System.

Strengthening our partnership with churches in Cuba
Bishop Trevor Walters is leading a small team of ANiC members to Cuba May 21-June 1 to further our objective of building partnerships between ANiC churches and churches in Cuba which have grown from Bishop Charles Dorrington’s years of ministry. Bishop Dorrington leads a Reformed Episcopal Church diocese in the ACNA which encompasses Western Canada, Alaska and Cuba.

Later in June, Bishop Trevor will serve as chaplain on an Anglican Leadership Initiative adventure – a seven-day Outward Bound Course in Colorado designed to shape future ACNA leaders. The Rev Ray David Glenn is the Canadian participant on the course which runs June 21 - July 2.

Visit Israel
An opportunity to explore Israel is coming this fall, when the Rev Sharon Hayton will lead a tour, October 31 – November 11. The trip itinerary is on the CMJ Canada website, as is an outline of costs and conditions and an application form.

Family Camp – All of ANiC is invited
Everyone in ANiC is invited to a family camp at Camp Koinonia, located 226 km north of Toronto and just east of Parry Sound, from August 10-17. Meals are provided as are programs, led by camp staff, for children and teens. Please email the Rev Peter Robinson, rector of St Peter by the Park (Hamilton, ON) if you are interested and he’ll provide more details.

Parish and regional news
New Song Anglican Church (Port Perry, ON), which joined ANIC in late 2011, purchased a 6000 square foot former Odd Fellows Hall and has converted the building into a permanent church home. While much of the work is now complete, some renovations are still under way. The site was recently dedicated for worship and community outreach. "We are very thankful to God," says the Rev Dr Brent Stiller, rector of New Song. "To have found such a suitable property at an affordable price is God's provision." The congregation had been meeting in a school, with offices in a downtown storefront. "We've been referring to… this space as 'a home of our own and a church for the community.’ We want to keep that focus and be an inwardly nourishing and outwardly looking space and place."

Saint Matthew’s (Abbotsford, BC) – Please pray for a group of 46 from Saint Matthew’s, led by the Rev Mike Stewart, as they travel on pilgrimage to Israel from April 21-May 5. The Rev David Pileggi, rector of Christ Church Jerusalem, will guide the group as they visit sites thorough Israel.

Also Saint Matthew’s School of Life and Ministry Easter-tide term courses are now open for registrations. Courses offered on Sunday mornings are “Catechism 3 – Christian Love: Prepared for Good Works” and “Jesus in the Marketplace”. On Monday evening a course on the book of Revelation is offered by the Rev Dr Ken Deeks.

St John’s Vancouver is sending a team of six people to Malawi this summer to strengthen their partnership with the Diocese of the Upper Shire.

Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news

Archbishop Bob Duncan set to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury
According to VirtueOnline, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby plans to meet with ACNA primate Archbishop Bob Duncan in late May.

New bishop consecrated for diocese in formation
On April 20, Bishop Clark Lowenfield was consecrated as the first bishop of the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast – a diocese in formation in the ACNA which is currently comprised of congregations in Louisiana and Texas.

Bad news in Virginia
The ACNA’s The Falls Church (Falls Church, Virginia) received bad news in the recently released Virginia Supreme Court decision – which canon lawyer Alan Haley dissects is his blog post and passionately decries in the current edition of the Anglican Unscripted news video. In response to the court ruling, a church statement says:

“The Court’s decision reverses the trial court’s ruling as to a part of our church’s funds, and sends the case back to the trial court for further proceedings regarding that point. But the Court has affirmed the trial court’s decision as to our church’s real property and much of the personal property, meaning that our lands, building, and much of our money have not been returned to us. Please join me in praising and thanking God for his faithfulness to us despite this result.

“Although this is not the outcome we had hoped for, our faith and our future do not depend on court decisions… it is a privilege to count this cost to be obedient to Christ.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we as a church are much stronger as a result of the trials that we have undergone… God has enabled us to continue to plant new churches and establish new ministries. And we have been blessed by the friendship, support, and assistance that so many other churches continue to provide to us. It is the body of Christ in action…” 

A number of Global South bishops are adding their voices in support of the (independent) Diocese of South Carolina.

In legal affairs involving the ACNA Diocese of San Joaquin, Alan Haley discusses a recent, favorable court decision which, based is the reverse of an earlier decision in a parallel case. Calling it a
“litigation lottery” he notes, “Same facts, same arguments, same Canon, and same California law applicable: but two diametrically opposite results.”

Anglican Communion

GAFCon 2 global gathering confirmed for October 21-26 in Nairobi
Reporting from Nairobi and the GAFCon Primates meeting, Canon Phil Ashey confirms that the GAFCon 2 gathering will be in Nairobi, Kenya, at All Saints cathedral, October 21-26. The theme will be
“Making disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ”. The gathering will focus on the Great Commission, on discipleship and on creating ministry networks across all provinces of the Anglican Communion. The first gathering of GAFCon (Global Anglican Future Conference) was held in Jerusalem in 2008.

Dysfunctional instruments of Communion
Canon Phil Ashey provides commentary and insight on the statement released by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion following their meeting last month. He notes how US Episcopal Church (TEC) funding has steered the governance body to become hopelessly ineffectual through interminable meetings – and, unfortunately, this “culture” of “indaba” (ongoing discussion) is being spread throughout the Anglican Communion through TEC’s financial influence. Canon Ashey notes that this
“…endless dialogue… seems to be vehicle for legitimizing any behavior despite the plain reading of the Bible.”

Canon Ashey also observes that while
“the Bible in the Life of the Church (BILC) project contains many good resources for promoting Bible reading and study, it contains a fatal flaw. This flaw… is that the “Context” of the person reading or studying the Bible is as important as the content of the Bible.” Finally, he questions the official communications agenda in the Communion, the goal of which seems to be “…to ignore the crisis of Gospel truth in our Communion precipitated by the peddling of false gospels, muffle the “noise” of bible-believing Anglicans and wear them down until they have no will to resist the agenda.” 

Praying for the news media
The Anglican Communion News Service has issued a release to the global communion urging us “…to mark Sunday 12th May 2013 as a special day of prayer for the media - and to contact their local newspaper, radio and TV station to find out what they would like prayer for.” More information is available here.

Other news in brief

An article in the Anglican Journal based on an interview with retiring Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of New Westminster contains some rather astonishing quotes:
“What’s not widely understood is that the great majority of conservative Anglicans remained part of the diocese of New Westminster,” said Ingham. In fact, moderate conservatives and moderate progressives in the diocese worked to create provisions that no one should be compelled against their conscience to bless same-sex unions and to offer a visiting bishop to oversee parishes that were opposed to the decision. “I’m proud of the fact that a lot of people of goodwill on all sides came together and helped to make it work,” he said.

But the reaction was not confined to the diocese or even Canada. Same-sex blessings remain controversial in various parts of the worldwide Anglican Communion, but Ingham says New Westminster’s process of dialogue serves as an example for the Communion. Indaba conversations—an African model of respectful listening and dialogue—are now being used to help heal divisions in the Communion.

“If I have a word of advice, and I did actually say this to Rowan Williams when he was the Archbishop of Canterbury,” said Ingham, “it is that these things do pass and you do someday find yourself on the other side of these passionate differences. And the way we deal with each other in the midst of them determines the quality of life of the community afterwards.”

Noah Njegovan, former executive archdeacon of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of Brandon – and son of the diocesan bishop – is charged with embezzling $190,000 from the diocese.

United States
The Anglican Curmudgeon, aka lawyer Alan Haley, provides a good chronology of the complex legal wranglings in the case of the Diocese of South Carolina which has severed its ties with the US Episcopal Church over the accelerating departure of TEC from its founding beliefs and principles.

The New York Times reports that an internal dispute which resulted in a lawsuit has brought to light the net worth of the Episcopal Church’s financial powerhouse, Trinity Wall Street. The church’s wealth – more that $2 billion – stems from a 1705 gift of 215 acres of Manhattan from Queen Anne of England. Trinity’s largesse is frequently used as leverage in the Global South.

West Indies
The West Indies House of Bishops issued a statement reiterating their stand for the traditional definition of marriage and urging their governments to resist pressure from the US and Britain to redefine marriage. They said,
"We urge our leaders of government and of civil society, as well as the people of our nations, to resist any attempt to compromise our cultural and religious principles regarding these matters… The threat and use of economic sanctions are not new… neither is the claim to a superior morality... While claiming to invoke human rights as the basis for such imposition, we submit that the same principle must allow us the right to affirm our cultural and religious convictions regarding our definitions of that most basic of social institutions, marriage.”

Canon Chris Sugden, who has spoken at several ANiC events over the years, is retiring as Executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream (England) at the end of July and will be succeeded by the Rev Andrew Symes.

A Church of England report, “Men and Women in Marriage”, has received mixed reviews – and multiple interpretations. Anglican Ink reports,
“The Church of England has reaffirmed its rejection of gay marriage stating the public blessing of marriage can only take place within the context of a lifelong, monogamous, male-female relationship. Marriage is a gift from God, not a right granted by the state nor cultural construct said a paper released today by the church’s Faith and Order Commission entitled “Men and Women in Marriage”.

Others however, see the report as giving tacit consent to same-gender blessings. And others like activist Dr Giles Fraser says
“This is saying you can bless same-sex relationships as long as you don’t say what you are doing. It is a wink to people like me who want to go ahead... It is coded language which says do it, but don’t advertise.”

A Scotsman article notes in passing that 50 Church of Scotland congregations have been in talks to join the Free Kirk. This reflects the ongoing fall-out from the Church of Scotland’s stand on the ordination of non-celibate homosexual ministers.

Anglican Bishop John Harrower is leading the call by church leaders for the state government of Tasmania
“…not to ignore Christian values as it pushed for legislative reform on euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage.” The church leaders’ declaration presented to the government can be summed up as “life, liberty and legacy”: “All human life is precious and the sanctity of life should be upheld… Every person has the… God-given freedom… to speak, gather, worship and generally act in accordance with the beliefs of their faith community… A family is a God-given… legacy… for the benefit of society generally… [and is] best embodied in the birth and development of children within a stable, loving home built around the marriage of a mother and father...”

The National Post reports intensifying persecution of Christians under the current Islamist regime. The article humanizes their plight:
“Tonight, an Egyptian Christian mother will lie awake, worrying if her kidnapped daughter was merely forced to marry a radical Islamist and convert or if her fate was much worse. This Sunday, an Egyptian father will hitchhike more than 10 miles to the nearest church with his sons, not knowing whether the boys will be kidnapped by gunmen who don’t conceal their identities. Also uncertain is whether he and his fellow congregants will make it through Mass alive or whether extremists will set off explosives and shoot those inside.”

A Christian Today article details evidence of police inaction and a government determined to look the other way while giving lip-service to upholding the law. Egypt’s religious leaders are tiring of the President’s assurances in the face of continued violent attacks. Pope Tawadros II, head of the Egyptian Coptic Church is accusing the President of neglect and is demanding
“actions not words”.

The Guardian reports that, recently, police seemed to aid Islamists as they attacked mourners leaving St Mark's Cathedral following the funeral of four Copts killed in earlier an earlier attack north of Cairo. In this latest incident, two Christians were killed and at least 80 injured. This is also reported in Anglican Ink. Anglican Primate Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis notes that while violence has increased in the two years since the revolution,
“No one who committed violence or killing has been brought to justice…”

Members of the Anglican Communion are urgently asked to pray for an end to the war in Syria. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that “
This week saw the massacre of many women and children in a besieged town near Damascus and on Monday, two bishops of Aleppo [one Greek Orthodox and the other Syrian Orthodox] were reported kidnapped.” In a joint statement, Archbishop Justin Welby assures Syrian Christians of his prayers.

Christian leaders in Uganda are opposing proposed government legislation which would provide legal recognition for common law marriages, saying it is bad social policy and jeopardizes the rights of women. Anglican Ink reports that Anglican primate Archbishop Stanley Ntagali said:
"Marriage for us in the Church is not a union of convenience but it is a lifelong partnership that can only be extinguished by the death of the partners.”

Islamist terrorists Boko Haram have rejected the amnesty (astonishingly) offered them by the Nigerian government. Boko Haram has targeted Christians and killed almost 3000 people in the last few years. Instead, Boko Haram is said by Christian Today to have responded that they have done no wrong and it is the government which should be seeking pardon. They justified their butchery by saying it was their mission to drive Christians out of Nigeria. Their goal is to turn Nigeria into an Islamist state. For a westerner’s first hand account of the tensions in the north of Nigeria – and the remarkable ministry of the local Anglican bishop, Bishop Ben Kwashi, and his wife Gloria – see Alan Craig’s article in the Church of England Newspaper.

Central Africa
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that,
“Young Anglicans from the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) have called for urgent training of Sunday School and youth leaders to enhance leadership skills among youths in the Province.” In addition to Bible training, the Province, comprised of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana, identified the need for training in Anglicanism, facilitation, child development, HIV/AIDS and entrepreneurship.

Soul food

Prayer meetings – A pastor offers great advice on planning, promoting and leading effective and regular prayer meetings – for men. By practicing the principles outlined, he reports, “In the last year we have seen our group steadily increase and become a vibrant band of men who regularly sacrifice time to meet early in the morning for the purpose of frontline prayer. It is awesome. God is using it greatly!”

The Book of Acts – The blog Unlocking the Bible shares Prof D A Carson’s method of studying Acts, including highlighting (literally) the themes of the Holy Spirit, prayer and witness; making note of Old Testament passages quoted, noting how records of conversions are worded, and following the events in Acts on a map.

Effective preaching Learn about an inexpensive new book on preaching which is already being compared to great works by Martin Lloyd-Jones and John Stott. Saving Eutychus was written to combat boring and ineffective sermons, and equip preachers “for the kind of preaching that changes the heart.” The book offers lots of practical tips and pointers.

12 step program for inner healing and wholeness – The Ven Darrell Critch (Church of the Good Samaritan, St John’s, NL) would like ANiC churches to know about – and consider offering – a healing-discipleship ministry featured in a workshop at the ANiC East Assembly. Freedom Session is billed as “a tried, tested and transferable Christ-centered 12 Step Program leading wounded people into an understanding of physical, relational and spiritual wholeness through Jesus Christ”.

Freedom Session is offering ANiC churches a special price on resource material. Also facilitator training is offered in Toronto at The People’s Church on August 24 for $30.

Short-term mission trips – The book Is Our Helping Really Hurting? is said to be essential reading for everyone involved in missions and planning short-term trips, helping us to be more effective and act more wisely. A summary is here. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada also offers The Code of Best Practice in Short-Term Mission.

The social moral revolution – LifeSiteNews has an insightful article which notes that same-sex marriage is “…the logical conclusion of the whole trajectory of social and sexual mores of the past century.” If we are to stand for traditional (Biblical) marriage, we will fail if we only oppose “marriage equality”. Rather we must tackle “the much harder task of rolling back the social revolution that ever permitted gay “marriage” to be calmly discussed as a viable option by reasonable people in the first place.”

The author concludes the excellent article,
“In other words, if there is going to be any hope of saving traditional marriage, then we will have to discontinue this charade, in which all of us are implicated to one degree or another, of accepting or indulging in our favorite portions of the Sexual Revolution, but then complaining bitterly when the revolution leads precisely to where it promised to lead. We simply cannot convincingly stand guard over the citadel while at the same time plundering its spoils. No. If we are ever to see the restoration of a culture of true marriage, then we are going to have to start being consistent. And that starts with you, and me, today.”

Roman Catholicism – Tim Challies contrasts the humility of the man currently installed as pope with the claims of the RC church for the position of pope.

Gender in the Church – The Rev Barbara Richardson (St Chad’s, Toronto) would like ANiC members to know about Christians for Biblical Equality, an organization dedicated to the understanding “…that the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the fundamental equality of men and women…” The organization now includes members in more than 100 denominations and 65 countries. An international conference is planned for July 26-28 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Just for laughs
Father O'Malley answers the church phone and hears: "Hello. Is this Father O'Malley?"
"It is!"
"This is the IRS. Can you help us?"
"I can!"
"Do you know a Ted Houlihan?"
"I do!"
"Is he a member of your congregation?"
"He is!"
"Did he donate $10,000 to the church?"
"He will."

You have a choice: You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.

And now a Word from our Sponsor
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Matthew 7:13-27 ESV

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