Welcome...South Dakota Assemblies of God striving to equip our churches and ministers for effective ministry to our region.
It is only the fact that He DIED so that we might LIVE that makes it GOOD FRIDAY. That is not a product of culture, it is living biblical truth. Good Friday is the one holiday the world could not hi-jack. No bunnies, no cartoons here. This is love and commitment in action and forces me back to the real question. . .
IS WHAT I AM LIVING FOR WORTH WHAT HE DIED FOR?
Rom 5:6-7: For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
He loves me - He loves me not
He loves me - He loves me not.
It seemed to be the best way to determine one’s romantic fate when we were young. We quickly realized that daisies don’t know diddley about love!
Unfortunately, as we grow up we continue that type of thinking when it comes to the love of our Heavenly Father.
I had my devotions today - - God loves me.
I got angry with my spouse today - - God loves me not.
My kids are such a blessing - - God loves me.
What’s with this -45 weather?? - - God loves me not
Just as daisies can’t predict romantic futures, circumstances are not a good indicator of God’s love. He loves you. Period. End of story. Nothing you can do will change that. Get over trying to understand it and just accept it.
Check out Wayne Jacobsen’s book, “He Loves Me”.
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah". The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him".
A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honour" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.
She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?"
Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."
The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"
The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.
"Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'
A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."
A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face."
"Yes," the class said.
"Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?"
A little fellow shouted, "Cause your feet ain't empty."
The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE . God is watching."
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.
A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."
Brian Stacy wrote a great book on leadership. He starts with three sayings that inspired his title:
2. If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest first.
3. If you have to eat a live frog, it doesn't pay to sit and look at it for very long.
One evening an old man told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside every person. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?"
The old man replied simply, "The one you feed."
So the question is... Which wolf are you feeding?
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably coifed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
"Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait."
"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.
"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged, it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. "It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice... I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life.
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing." Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
Shooting in Aurora, Colorado
The horrific and senseless shootings in Aurora, Colorado have captured the attention of our nation. The questions of how to deal such overtly evil acts are current and extremely relevant for all of us. Dr. George Wood, our General Superintendent for the Assemblies of God was recently interviewed regarding these questions.
When Pastor Kevin Petersen moved to Clark, South Dakota (population 1,044) in 2006, he knew, like every other small town pastor, he might struggle to have the volunteers needed to accomplish the vision he had for the church. Pastor Kevin and his team began looking for something different to do on Wednesday nights. After some on-line research, they came across High Point, a character-building discipleship curriculum that runs efficiently with just a few volunteers. They tried it out and, in Pastor Kevin’s words, “loved it and began using it immediately. It had topical messages dealing with the issues kids are dealing with.”
They started with pre-school through 6th grade and were one of the first churches in the nation to adopt the High Point program. Through further discussion with his ministry team and some God-inspired creativity, they decided to invest their time in a mid-week after-school outreach rather than the traditional Wednesday night program since the elementary school sat just across the street from the church.
The church that was once struggling to attract children to a Wednesday night program ran consistently around 50 kids from 2007 – 2009. The registration topped out at 74 with most of the kids being unchurched. Pastor Kevin reported that on “some weeks there were more in attendance on Wednesday afternoon than on Sunday morning. The kids were our greatest advertisers.” The church has grown from 20 to now running steadily in the mid 60s. Some of the kids that have come through the High Point program are now part of their youth group.
Pastor Kevin is quick to point out that, in a small community, the more you are seen and the more connections you make the more influence you have. Since moving to Clark in 2006, he has been very involved in the community serving as the Rotary president, coaching sports and making himself available. He believes that volunteering in schools opens doors to ministry and gives pastors the keys to their community. He reports the community has “learned and grown to trust us.” In turn, the school is very helpful in promoting what the church is doing.
They still use High Point on Wednesday afternoons but have adapted their strategy. They now have pre-school and 5th – 8th grade programs that run concurrently with their 1st – 4th graders who use High Point. They feel that age group is the “sweet spot for ministry” with this program.
They are currently strategizing their next moves. “We are really doing this as an outreach,” Pastor Kevin continues, “our next step is to make inroads to the parents.”
If you are interested in using High Point in your church ask about it on the web at www.gph.org/highpoint.