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The Command to “Love and Respect”

The Command to Love and Respect (Ephesians 5:33) “Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular (speaking to husbands), so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence (respect) her husband.

(1) A husband is to obey the command to love, even if his wife does not obey the command to respect.

(2) A wife is to obey the command to respect, even if her husband does not obey the command to love.

(3) A husband is called to love a disrespectful wife.

(4) A wife is called to respect an unloving husband.

(5) There is no justification for a husband to say: “I will love my wife after she respects me; nor for a wife to say: I will respect my husband after he loves me.”

(6) When a husband feels disrespected, it’s very hard to love his wife.

(7) When a wife feels unloved, it is very hard to respect her husband.

(8) When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife.

(9) When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband.

(10) It is very important to understand – When someone reacts toward you, respond to them.

a. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

b. Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).

c. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord (Ephesians 6:8)

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Seven Reasons Not to be a Champion

  1. I don’t want to buy your breakfast
  2. I have a whole congregation of close friends
  3. My church runs smoothly
  4. I don’t want to invest in anyone’s life 
  5. My family is fine 
  6. I don’t have problems 
  7. I don’t need accountability I have my spouse

So, tongue and check out of the way, I love meeting with my table mates every week!  I am human and have real needs, not just as a woman but as a pastor’s wife that takes hits from all sides that could use a friend that truly understands things from every side.  So yeah, some weeks when money is tight I might need to buy her breakfast.  My table mates have become a place where my marriage and family have been prayed over with earnest, sweet blessings and in confidentiality. It’s wonderful to see the fruits!  I love having a place to run and share.  Ultimately, I’m not the champion, my table mates are my champions!  That’s what being a part of a table is about.  I could have gone on and on, listed a scripture for every point!    What is holding you back?     Become a Champion! Be someone’s Champion!

 

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Developing Leaders vs Gathering Followers

Developing Leaders vs. Gathering Followers

Your ultimate long‐term success as a leader will be determined by your ability to develop a team of leaders…those who know how to lead to the future and not just manage the present. In order to fulfill the vision, you must be able to guide the way the team works together in order to deliver the desired results.

Team success is the ability of their leader to rally all the team members to commit to the vision and common goals ‐ not because they have to, but because they want to.

Forming a team of mentally, emotionally, and spiritually mature leaders is worth your time and effort. The greater challenge is getting them to lay aside personal ambition and ideas for the sake of becoming a team centered only on the mission and vision. A group of followers working on the same effort is far different from a team of strategic‐thinking leaders focused on the same goals with a clear understanding and commitment to the same outcome‐based results.

Independent thinking team members normally focus on their own strengths, abilities and promote their own ideas of what success should look like. Most of the time, this leads to everyone pulling in different directions and momentum is lost, if it was ever there to begin with. As a leader, it is your primary task to inspire individual team members to check their ego at the door, set aside personal agendas and cultivate a passion for teamwork, team solutions and team wins. Look at yourself first.

Your top priority as a team leader, leader of leaders and most of all as a senior leader, is to have your team understand, focus and commit to the outcome‐based goals of the mission, vision, values and strategy. Without clarity about these four key elements, buy‐in by the team and commitment to work together as a team will never happen in any significant with developing leaders out of the followers you have gathered happens best when working together as a team is the only option. Team dynamics cannot develop in solo situations. Lone rangers, overbearing personalities and divisive behaviors have to be overcome and not tolerated for very long. As the leader, you must have the emotional strength and maturity to help clarify non‐productive behaviors in both strong‐willed and weak‐minded individuals. Somehow you must be able to persuade them to see the big picture; how every individual effort is not only valuable, but also vital to the team’s success.

Five principles critical for developing a team of leaders:

Provide adequate and accurate information; clarity about desired results and the rationale used to shape your views.

Anticipate and resolve conflicts quickly. As the leader, it’s your job to make sure overly competitive or domineering team members don’t exploit another’s vulnerability when discussing either positive or negative issues as they relate to the team’s on‐going efforts or final results.

Recruit, teach, train and deploy the right team members. Be slow to appoint so you won’t have to disappoint. No matter how talented they are, if their ego, personality and effort cannot complement the team, you have to decide what’s more important to you —individual contribution or the team’s success.

Provide prompt and adequate feedback. Waiting until the annual performance review means many significant coaching opportunities may be lost. Feedback for both individuals and the team as a whole is most effective in written form. And, I don’t mean the small and big wins on a regular basis.

Recognize and deal with promptly those that I refer to as “Vision Drainers.” The single biggest reason for teams not performing effectively and winning often is the emotional maturity of the leader. It often lies in the discomfort and sometimes the fear of giving honest feedback necessary to develop a group of followers into a team of leaders who win on a regular basis.

Remember, leaders who turn followers into leaders on a consistent basis are leaders who know what they are doing and why. Many times, there are those who give promise of being great leaders because of superficial personality and character traits. Intelligence, confidence and the ability to communicate are important. However, having all these does not mean they have the emotional maturity and ability to make good judgments, which are invaluable in turning followers into leaders.

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The Power of CIA!

I know you are wondering what I am talking about. CIA is one of the first benefits we receive upon accepting Jesus Christ as our savior and exercising our faith by believing Him. Consistent CIA is required for every Christian to maintain a productive growing relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. CIA is Christian Identity Assurance. It is the clear fact of a Christian completely believing and being who God says he or she is.

The word Identity is defined as the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. God made us to be who and what He said we are. In Galatians 4:6-7 the bible says “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ”. This scripture and fact is absolutely clear. We as Christians are to refer to ourselves as sons of God with undeniable comfort in our spirit. We must exercise complete identity assurance in the facts of who God says we are. This means believe and behave as who God says you are. A son who sees his human father return home from work runs to the door to greet and embrace his father. A son of God should willingly want to greet and worship God without a pastor, leader or brethren asking him or her to do so. Church leaders would not need to call anyone who has Christian identity assurance to come to church. They would already know they are supposed to be in church.

We are taught in Psalm 8:6, “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet”. This is a fact of the authority given to us. Anyone given authority is accountable for the use of the authority. Brothers and Sisters don’t leave your authorities resting in the pages of the bible. Scripture teaches us to whom much is given, much is required. Partner with the Holy Spirit to properly use the authority God has given you every day. The bible teaches us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. This is a fact of the duties (good works) given to us. Anyone given duties is responsible to be available, flexible, teachable and trainable to perform the duties. Let Godly good works be our way of life at home, place of work and all other areas of our lives.

Finally, a believer who has consistent Christian identity assurance is a Christian who truly believes and behaves as who God says he or she is consistently. Such a person has begun the successful journey of pleasing God. It is written in Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Pleasing God is about first believing who God is and then who God says we are. Once we accept who God says we are, we know to yield and partner with the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s purpose. Let us not allow the world to turn us into people who doubt, fear, complain and worry. None of these are pleasing to the Lord. Remember Apostle Paul said “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. Rise up beloved and constantly walk in who God says you are. Be the salt, be the light, be the blessing, yes, be the breakthrough for those waiting for you.

Shalom and Glory to you.

 

Ps: Come by next month to check out suggested consistent CIA prayers.

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The Legal Duty of Child Abuse Reporting by Members of the Clergy

“If I suspect a child is being harmed, don’t I have a legal and moral duty to report the suspected abuse, is a question that I’m asked from time to time by various clergy members.  And does this violate the Clergy-Penitent Privilege?”  We all want to see all children safe from abuse and live by the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.”  But even a pastor has a duty to follow the law of our land. 

One of the most difficult facts I have to explain to my clients at times is that “morally right” and “legally right” are sometimes not the same thing.  Morally, you feel that you have a duty to report suspected abuse.  But do you legally have the right to?  When this conundrum pertains to the abuse of a child, it can create a profound ethical dilemma for the clergyman or woman who has knowledge of the abuse.

First, let’s start by examining the meaning of “child abuse.”  The statutes in Florida define child abuse as “Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;” or “An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child;” or “Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.”  While I’m certain that similar legal definitions exist in other states, it’s first and foremost important for you to know the exact language of the definition of abuse in your state.  Furthermore, child abuse reporting laws are often amended, so it is of utmost importance for you to review the statutes that govern you and apply to your church on a regular basis.  

The bottom line is that each state and venue has laws designed to protect children from abuse by designating people in certain professions as “mandatory reporters.”  In many states, members of the clergy are mandated to report known or suspected occurrences of abuse on a minor, and they may even face criminal charges for their failure to comply with this law.  However, in some states, clergy members are exempt from alerting authorities to their suspicion or knowledge of abuse if they learned about the abuse during the course and scope of a conversation that is protected by the Clergy-Penitent Privilege.

Again, in Florida, the law defines “Clergy-Penitent Privilege” [in part] as “A confidential communication is between a member of the clergy and their parishioner, if the communication is made privately for the purpose of seeking spiritual counsel and advice from the member of the clergy in the usual course of his or her practice or discipline, and the communication is not intended for further disclosure.  A clergy member has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication by the parishioner to a member of the clergy in his or her capacity as a spiritual adviser.”  

And now that we’ve seen exactly what the law [in Florida] defines as “Clergy-Penitent Privilege,” we can see that the law did not release a member of the clergy from reporting their suspicions or knowledge of child abuse if they became aware of the abuse or possible abuse while they were acting in any other capacity of a mandatory reporter.  For example, if a father comes to you privately seeking spiritual help for his alcoholism, and in confessing how his addiction affects his life, he admits to abusing his child, you are bound by the law to keep his confidence and not reveal his admission.  But if he did not come to you seeking spiritual guidance, but rather you witness him striking his child, or you saw bruises on the child, or the child told you she was being abused, then you do have a moral and legal duty to report the abuse.  

Because of this inner struggle, too often, clergy personnel can be torn between fulfilling their legal duty to report suspected abuse and upholding their ecclesiastical obligation not to breach the confidentiality of a privileged communication with their parishioner.  They then assume that they can resolve the matter offering counseling to the abuser and the victim without getting law enforcement involved.  This is a pitfall which can carry serious legal repercussions for the clergyman or woman.  

For example, clergy personnel with knowledge or suspicion of child abuse which was obtained outside of the scope of the Clergy-Penitent Privilege and who fail to comply with their state’s child abuse reporting law may face criminal prosecution.  Furthermore, some states have adopted laws which allow victims of child abuse to sue and some courts have permitted child abuse victims to sue clergy members or the church for failing to report their abuse.

This brings us to the question of whether or not a clergy member can be held liable or reap legal ramifications if they report a suspected incident of abuse that later proves to be unfounded.  The answer is that each state grants limited immunity to those who make such a report.  States encourage abuse to be reported so they can protect their children.  Because of this immunity, clergy members or the church cannot be sued simply for notifying the appropriate authorities of their suspicions of abuse, unless such a claim was made with maliciousness and the intent to harm the person being reported.

If there arises such a time that you must report a suspected incident of child abuse, you should call your state’s Department of Children and Families to file a report.  Be prepared to identify the child, the child’s guardian(s), and the identity of the alleged abuser.  You will also be asked the age of the child, the child’s address, and the nature of the abuse.

Remember, we all have a duty to protect children from abuse.  But we also want to protect ministers within the church from legal problems arising from their reporting an alleged incident of abuse.  The best way for this to be upheld is for the church to have a written policy and procedure manual dealing with mandated reporters and how they should handle such claims.  Furthermore, mandated reporters should be educated and trained by the church how to recognize possible abuse, how to protect children, and how to report an alleged incident of abuse. Your church’s insurer may have information regarding this training.  

Taking all this information into account, it should be noted that while we discuss “Clergy-Penitent Privilege,” in many states, the term “privilege” applies only to courtroom testimony or depositions, and not to the statutory duty to report to a state agency.  The bottom line:  It’s your duty to know the current Child Abuse Reporting law in your state as well as in your church, as it pertains to you.

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Dean Burnetti is a personal injury attorney who practices law in Central Florida.  He received a Pastoral Ministries degree from Oklahoma Baptist Seminary in 1980, and he dedicates a portion of time at his law practice to assisting clergy members with legal matters involved in their service to the Lord.

*Unless otherwise noted, the legal opinions given above apply to clergy personnel in the State of Florida.  It is important to note that each member of the clergy should be aware of current laws that govern their own state.  Furthermore, the information contained herein is a legal opinion, and should not be construed as legal advice.

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A Regret-Free Marriage

“Everyone has experienced regrets at sometime in his or her life. Sadly enough, they seem to be part of

the cold realization that we all do things we wish we hadn’t done or fail to do the things we should

have. Nonetheless, if we allow regrets to keep our focal point on the past, we are setting ourselves up

for trouble. Someone once said that living with your focus on regrets is like trying to drive a car while

looking in the rear-view mirror; there’s no doubt about it—you’re going to crash.”

One question asked many husbands and wives was to “share some of the regrets they harbored.” Later,

those surveyed indicated that “these feelings have affected their personal lives, and, in some instances,

have had a derogatory impact on their marriages.”

Here’s just a partial list of what some of the husbands and wives said. Please read them carefully—

we’re hoping that we’ll learn from them so we won’t continue to make the same mistakes and

eventually live with the same regrets:

THE WIVES SAID 2

:

• I wish my husband and I wouldn’t have argued in front of the children.

• I’m afraid we got married too soon. We were counseled to wait, but we didn’t.

• I regret not making “our relationship” more of a priority over the children. Now that the kids are

older, I feel like my husband and I don’t really know each other.

• I wish we hadn’t lived together before we got married.

• I would have asked Jesus into my life sooner. I regret the wasted years.

• We should have changed the way we conducted our financial situation. We’re so far in debt, I

don’t think we’ll ever be financially secure.

• I wish my husband and I would have prayed together. Whenever we’d hear someone preach

about having prayer time as a couple, we’d talk about it but never follow through. I feel like

something is missing between us as a result.

• I regret never really enjoying my children. I wanted them to grow up quickly. They kept me

from doing things I wanted to do, got in my way, and drove me crazy. Looking back, I feel

foolish for being so short sighted. I wish I could do some of it over.

1 Anderson, Roger & Ponceti, Anthony – Love is a God Designed Hunger © 2011

2 Hot Topics for Couples: What Husbands and Wives Aren’t Telling Each Other By Steve & Annie Chapman

All Pro Pastors A Regret-Free Marriage Page 1 of 3

The Husbands Said:

• I regret raising our children in a spiritually unfit environment.

• I regret buying a house that was too large for our income. The financial stress is suffocating me.

I feel the pressure all of the time.

• If I could change anything, I would have been a nicer person to live with. I regret being so harsh

and mean to my wife and kids.

• I regret hitting my wife.

• I wish I had not had an affair and betrayed my wife.

• I regret straying from the church.

• It makes me sad when I think about how much my wife and I have drifted apart.

We can conclude that husbands and wives aren’t telling each other about the pain from their past. What

they can’t say is:

“I love you and want to show you how I feel. However, there’s a part of me that can’t reach out to you

because I’m holding on to merciless regrets. My emotional paralysis has nothing to do with what

you’ve done. I’m the one who must deal with the pain from my past. As you pray for me and support my

pursuit of God, I’m confident I will find peace.”

Scanning the list we realize:

That all of their regrets could be resolved using three remedies:

1. Avoid the Avoidable

2. Change the Unacceptable

3. Forgive the Unchangeable

Avoid the Avoidable:

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with

the same person. 3

The first remedy is to admit that many of the regrets were actually avoidable. In most cases, the

regretful things that were done by the men and women who responded to these questionnaires were a

product of yielding to temptation. For that reason, the individuals were wearing the “handcuffs” of

guilt.

For example, many of the couples voiced sincere remorse for a variety of ‘sexual indiscretions’ (the

politically correct jargon for the word sin). Some had guilt feelings about living together outside the

bonds of marriage. Others regretted their unfaithfulness toward their spouse. Obviously, all of these

failures could have been sidestepped by better choices.

Yet the sins were committed and the feelings of shame the people feel are very real and debilitating to

their marriages. But as devastating as these downfalls may be, there is hope for all spouses who feel

‘cuffed’ by condemnation. As grievous and horrible as our sins may be, they’re no match for the

boundless love and grace of God, through Christ.”

3 https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/248519.Mignon_McLaughlin

All Pro Pastors A Regret-Free Marriage Page 2 of 3

We feel it’s important to remind us all of what God’s word says about His willingness to forgive us:

• 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse

us from all unrighteousness.”

• Psalm 32: 5, “I said ‘I will confess my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.’ I said, ‘I

will confess my transgressions to the Lord’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

These are just two of hundreds of verses in God’s word that speak to His willingness to forgive us. So,

if you’re struggling with guilt and can’t forgive yourself, turn to the Bible and begin a word study on

forgiveness.

Change the Unacceptable:

A perfect marriage is one in which “I’m sorry” is said just often enough. 4

Take a few minutes to look over once again the regrets revealed by the husbands and wives. As you

reread them, make a mental note of how many regrets fall under the category of ‘changeable’.

They make an excellent point. Just because you were bad at handling finances doesn’t mean you have

to stay that way. That can change. If you’ve drifted apart that doesn’t mean it has to be that way today.

You can rebuild the relationship.

Forgive the Unchangeable:

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. ~Ruth Bell Graham

While changing the unacceptable may be achievable in most cases, to forgive the unchangeable is a

goal that may require more strength than a person feels they possess. Yet it can be done. Because the

events or issues that cannot be altered are often the regrets that seem to do the most damage to a

relationship, it is worth the effort to gain resolution. And sometimes, accepting the unchangeable means

accepting God’s forgiveness.

Matthew 6:9-15 Matt 6:9-15 (ASV)

9 After this manner therefore pray ye. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 11 Give us this day our daily

bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And bring us not

into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your

heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will

your Father forgive your trespasses.

If any of you find yourselves stuck in a place of not being able to forgive yourself or your spouse or

don’t feel anything can “change” for the positive, I recommend you seek the counsel of a neutral third

party. It can be a pastor or Christian counselor, or maybe just another couple whom you both trust and

feel they have the understanding and compassion to help you through a difficult place in your marriage.

The key here is to not let any issue or problem in your marriage just “sit there” like the proverbial

elephant in the living room—everyone knows it’s there and making a mess, but nobody does anything

to get rid of it.

We pray you’ll start today to un-harbor the regrets of your past leaning upon Christ as your guide. Do

this as a love gift to the Lord and also to each other. In doing this your marriage will bring honor to

God in every way. And as you apply yourself to this huge task, we are “confident of this, that He who

began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

4 https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/248519.Mignon_McLaughlin

All Pro Pastors A Regret-Free Marriage

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Reaching the Lost with the Gospel

Jesus final command was “Go Ye” into all the world.  We have to be careful we don’t practice “Sit Ye”.  Jesus was pro-active when it came to the harvest.  He was forever empowering and sending.  “After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”  (Luke 10:1-2)  Jesus held the shortest “School of Evangelism” in history.  First He “Appointed” them, then He “Sent” them, and finally He told them to “Pray” for the harvest. This appointment was so important that Jesus, for the rest of His earthly ministry, never went to one city or place, but that His front teams from Luke 10 had gone before Him to prepare the way. We know what they did, by what they reported.  “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.  And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.’”  (Luke 10:17). When we go, we release His authority!  When we sit, we watch Satan take over nations.  Jesus came into the world to “manifest” two things.  First, the power to take away our sins, for He was sinless.  Second, to destroy the works of the devil.  The first is evangelism, the second is discipleship.

1. What is the need?  Jesus said there was only one TRUE sign on earth before His return.  “When this gospel of the kingdom is preached in all the world, unto all nations, then shall the end come”.  Matthew 24:14 We can hasten the coming of the Lord by finishing the harvest.  Jesus, by the way, said he will not return until this is done.  Kinda threatens our eschatology views doesn’t it?  

  1. Where do we stand in completing this mandate from Jesus?  The JOSHUA PROJECT gives us the best global reports on the progress of the world harvest.  I quote directly from their front page of their website:  Number of people groups in the world… 16,584.  Number of unreached people groups… 6,733.  Percentage of unreached groups 42.2% of world population.  The world’s population is currently 7.39 Billion.  The world’s unreached population is 3.11 Billion.  A people group is defined as a “dialect” or “Nation” in Matthew 24:14.  “Unto all nations” means “distinct dialectic people group”.
  2. What is Action Evangelism doing to make a difference? We have been working the harvest of the nations for over 40 years.  Nations like the Philippines, Romania, Singapore, India, Africa, etc. have all been hotspots for Action Evangelism. Not only have I traveled to those nations, but have set up our Kingdom Life University remote mission campuses to train nationals to help finish the harvest.  They are doing a magnificent job!  Nations like Northern India have seen 132 churches planed in remote villages.  Some churches running into the hundreds.  

I will be sharing, on Pastor Paul Pickern’s request, a monthly article outlining the need for your church to mobilize for the world harvest.  We have some practical ways you can partner with us, or if you like, do it on your own.  

https://vimeo.com/pioneersusa/unreached

Video of the need… well done!  

Dr. Jerry Brandt   Founder of Action Evangelism/ Kingdom Life University, WATV network  

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Heart to Heart from a Fellow Pastor

I am honored to be writing an article as a Pastor for Pastors to encourage and inspire.  I have been a full-time Pastor going on fourteen years and one of the best things that has ever happened to me was when I joined a “Champion’s Table” through the ministry of All Pro Pastors.  Paul Pickern really encouraged me to join a Champion’s Table as I attended the All Pro Pastors’ events but I kept putting it off.  Paul never gave up on me and even personally called me in regard to joining a Table.

When I really started to consider it, and pray, I felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to follow through with joining a Champion’s Table. Paul set everything up for me to introduce myself to the table and I’ll never forget that it was at McDonald’s in Valrico.  After that initial meeting, I was then accepted at the table and it has been truly life changing ever since.  It takes time to get to know one another and at this time we really do know each other.

One of the challenges that all pastors face is accountability and friendships outside the church. When I Joined the Champion’s Table, I was blessed to be able to have accountability and friendships.  Being a Pastor can truly be a lonely place where you cannot relate to a lot of people because of your position. Pastors are not perfect and there’s a lot of pressure when people put you on a pedestal.  When I come to the Table each week, I get to vent and truly pour out my heart with whatever is pressing me.  Being at the table allows me to be a better listener and not being the one who does all the talking.  I find it interesting that Yeshua had His last supper at a table with His disciples in Jerusalem before He was crucified and I get to meet my friends every week at a table.  I look forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb when we can all sit at the same table with Yeshua our Messiah.

 

Pastor Nick

Beit Tehila Congregation

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Blind Side

 

In a study I read in relations to a personality profile test, that there are 4 aspect of a person’s life. Most in which only the first one gets revealed in the test. Nevertheless, in my humble opinion, I believe that small group relationships can actually touch all 4 of these aspects. Most people tend to grow more wholesome in a small group of close friends.

(Proverbs 18:24 ISV)  A man with many friends can still be ruined, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.

There are friends, then there are friends that are close. Also in these four aspects of a person’s life I can see 3 core basic needs that man needs that is desired to be meant. I believe God put them inside of us causing us to search for Him. They are LOVE, SIGNIFCANCE and SECURITY.

By defining 4 aspects of our live, I hope to show how we need each other – and how seriously considering joining a Champion’s Table can be a benefit to some pastors who need close friends.

First there is the arena persona. It’s the public you. It’s the part of you that you know and others know. When we first meet all you see is the “arena” me – But there is more because we have that…“I need people who really know me. Who knows what going on inside”. All of us have a part inside of us no one else can see. We need someone that knows us.

We all have a need to feel a sense worth. We have a need for significance.

Next is the mask – It’s the aspect of “What you know about you and others don’t know”.

(1 Corinthians 2:11) “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?”

We all have stuff no one else knows about except God. You are not safe if you are the only human being that knows about that thing. Adam walked with God and God said “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:28). The enemy wants you isolated in your issues so he has a better chance in causing you to be defeat through it.

Here is another reason why we need someone else who knows what’s behind the mask. God forgives our sins, specifically in this case, those that may have caused physical sickness. Nevertheless, the prayer of a righteous man, a spiritually passionate for God kind of man, has great power. His prayers have the power to heal the condition that sin leaves us in.

James 5:16 MKJV Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one avails much.

Like verse 17 of James 5 signifies, that man can have his own issues, but still zealous, passionate and true to the things of God. That only means that you need each other.  It is good having friends whose prayers are available in the sight of God. This is friends who know the truth about what to prayer, because God only works in truth.

You don’t have to particularly go to an All Pro Pastor’s Champion Table, but you better have someone who knows what’s behind the mask. The Champion’s Table is a place that you can find those kinds of friends. I’m not saying the first week at a Champion’s Table the mask is going to come off. But hopefully after several weeks you feel safe enough to reveal what behind it.

We wear masks to protect ourselves, or to hide some undesirable truth. But God intent is that we protect each other. We need people who will protect us, because we have a need for security.

(2 Corinthians 4:2 MKJV)  But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the Word of God, but by the revelation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

In layman’s terms “We refuse to wear masks and play games.… rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open…”Your life will be better and you will be free from the control any habitual thing/sin.

“You know that thing that you don’t want to do but you do it anyway. Yeah, that thing”. (Rom 7:15-18)“You say that Jesus’ job – Nope – He will forgive you. If you confess your sins to God He will forgive you, but He will not be the one who makes sure you don’t do it again. He will only forgive you for it because He has already given you the grace not to do it.

(I John 1:9)   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(James 5:15)  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he who have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

(James 5:16) “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

People’s prayer cannot forgive your sins but can get you to healed and delivered from the condition of your situation. I personally believe it’s because of accountability. Lack of accountability (revealing what’s behind the mask) is the number one reason pastors fall and men fail as husbands and fathers.  

A Champion’s table of men also is a hedge or guard to help protect us from our vulnerabilities and that thing that you struggled with and no longer do. Apostle, Arch Bishop, Bishop, Pastor we all are vulnerable so we have a need for security, which brings us to the next aspect of our lives.   

Blind spots – Blind spots is when “you don’t know or see it but other know and see it of you”.  It’s like having spinach in the teeth, or your fly is open and you are putting on your arena persona.  

Once I yelled out to my wife from across the house that I was running out to the grocery store. So I put on this really nice golf shirt I had been wanting to wear. I strutted through the store greeting and smiling back at people while styling my new shirt. I went on through the checkout line, only to get home and my wife telling me that my shirt was on inside out.

Who protects your blind side? Who do you have around you that loves you enough to be honest with you? We need people who will be honest with us.  

We have that need for love and protection.

Your Greatest Vulnerability?

Have you ever seen The Blind Side?  It’s the story of  Michael Oher, and how he came up from high school, through college then to play in the NFL. The position he plays is left offensive tackle. One the highest paid positions and highly valued positions in the NFL. Left tackles in the NFL are called silent millionaires because they are sometimes the highest paid position after the QB. Why is the left tackle so critically important? It’s because he protects the quarterback’s blind side.

Most quarterbacks are right handed, so when they drop back to pass, they can’t see pass rushers coming from their left sides. That is why it’s called the blind side.

In 1985, Monday Night Football, it was quarterback Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskin verses the NY Giants and Linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

Lawrence Taylor beat the Skins left offensive tackle, broke free and snapped Theismann’s leg like a breadstick, ending the quarterback’s career.

As a quarterback, you need a world-class left tackle covering your blind side, your greatest vulnerability. As husband, as a father, or pastor, you need a world class friend to protect your blind side. If you get blindsided too much, you not only lose the game, you might lose your career. Just like a professional quarterback, as a husband, father, and pastor, you are crucial and incredibly valuable to the team. You are valuable to your family, your church, the Body of Christ and to God, and just as important, to yourself. 

Like a quarterback, you have a blind side that must be protected at all costs. So, who or what protects your blind side? Your left tackle could be a trusted friend, who keeps you informed, covers you and stands with you when things gets tough. OF course you can also serve as someone else’s left tackle when that person is distressed. Whatever or whoever you choose to be your left tackle, you need one.

When your blind side is protected, you have a foundation to stand upon. You have the love, significances and security necessary to take risks to be the champion that God made you to be.

We have to earn the right to say certain things to people. That’s really only to those who I believe really love me. If I think that you really care, I’m going to listen to you.

(Proverbs 27:6 NKJV) “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

We all need someone who has our back…to stop us from going over the edge.

Potential – it’s the aspect of “I don’t know and you don’t know”.  

Who knows? God knows! The potential He knows that we have is always far greater that what we could ever imagine or think.

So what could that have to do with Champion’s tables? God has devised a plan for us to find our potential through us getting together with other believers.

(Proverbs 27:17 ISV)  Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens a friend’s character.

You will never realize you full potential alone…not ever. You will always hit a ceiling that’s never close to your potential. It’s a whole lot more when you connect with a team.

Proverbs 15:22 RV Where there is no counsel, purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.

We all need a place where we can realize our full potential because it’s not going to happen for you us alone. The real motivation is for you because it’s going to help you to go farther. The more you connect to the body the stronger you grow

(James 5:16) “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Who can benefit greatly from a Champion’s table? Those who have…

  • Those who has a blind side and are vulnerable
  • Those who have ever been disappointed – Lost trust –have been hurt
  • Anyone who has or had “you know… that thing. (Rom.7:15-18)
  • One who doesn’t have a Barnabas to come along side of them mutually sharing love, significances, and security when you are dealing with that thing.
  • Desire to maintain a strong marriage

As pastors we all know that we cannot do everything or just can’t commit to another thing.  Nevertheless there will always be a lot of thing things that is urgent,   but there are a few are critical. The critical being the most important.

Luke 10:41 ESV But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,

Whatever you do first affects the rest.

(Hebrews 10:25) “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

There are pastors who have struggled, stumbled and fell. Many have left the ministry because of discouragement. Plenty has lost their families, and some have even taken their own lives. Most of whom I believe loved and honored God and did the best that they could. But I am convinced that the baseline of their demise were the lacked the LOVE – SIGNIFCANCE – SECURITY and knowledge of their God given POTINIAL that would come through a relationship of a close friend or brother in their life. We need a friend that sticks closer than a brother, one born for harsh conditions.

(Proverbs 17:17 ESV)  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

These words that I have written come from personal observation, experiences, and truths that are in my heart. They are without intentions to generalize anything or anyone.

-Pastor Don Rhone Sr.-

Bridge of The Bay Community Church.

 

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Who Cuts the Barber’s Hair?

Who cuts the barber’s hair? Who pastors the pastor? Who shepherd’s the shepherd? Who do I go to when I need council or advice? I can’t go to my staff, they look to me for leadership. Sometimes, a staff member could be the cause of my stress! I don’t want to burden my wife with every problem in the church because she didn’t marry her pastor, she married her husband. What’s a pastor to do?

Last Saturday I took my grandson to the barber shop. Sitting there I noticed that all these young barbers had neat looking haircuts, some shaved and some styled. I thought to myself, they must cut each other’s hair. I asked the young man, hey who cuts your hair? He replied Oh, he does, he’s cuts everybody’s, He’s the best barber here. Ah ha, I said to myself. I need to find a pastor better than me, or least longer in the ministry, who can impart to me guidance, advice and wisdom.

The Champions table was never intended to be a Bible study, I know the Bible. It was never intended to be a church growth seminar, the Lord builds his church. It was created to be a safe haven for men who just happen to be pastors. My table is a place where I can unload weekly on my brothers, my co-laborers. It’s a place where love and encouragement meet. A place of respite and refreshment is how I would describe my weekly trip to my ministerial barber shop however it takes place in our local I.H.O.P.

Pastors, fellow laborers in the Lord’s work, get sharpened weekly by joining a Champions table near you. It can make you a better husband, father, grandfather and it may just spill over into your pastor role.

Blessings,

Pastor Rev. Fred Harrold AAed, BAom, MAbs

One Accord Church, Plant City, Fl. USA

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Empowered for Transformation

We jumped in head first with faith of a mustard seed and have been amazed every step of the way how our Lord blesses. We also realize how it takes continuous fertilizing for that seed to grow.

Paul and I are overwhelmed how Pastors and wives are clutching onto this calling of “ALL PRO PASTORS” and how much they are craving to be the men and women God called them to be—-as individuals, husbands, wives and parents, becoming a blessing for their ministries.

Unless you have been there it’s hard to understand

Why is it that we find it difficult to sympathize with others if we haven’t walked in their steps? As the wife of a pastor, she feels like others can’t imagine what she should deal with daily.

I hear the wives saying:

I work all day and come home with the phone ringing off the hook……

They expect me to be there for every meeting, occasion, shower, funeral,        births, dinner….

He is never home when we need him….

His mistress is the church…

He is too tired when he gets home to play with the kids, missing their games and activities….

If only we could get away for a weekend together without feeling guilty….

I have no one to share my REAL feelings, pain and thoughts with….

Who can I really trust?……

I MARRIED THE MAN…………NOT THE PASTOR!

 

Hopefully, if your husband is NOT already in a CHAMPIONS TABLE—-He soon will be!

Be sure to look at our website “ALLPROPASTORS.ORG”, if you are not familiar yet with all the All Pro Pastors is doing, I am sure it will give you some encouragement.

We are witnessing some remarkable changes in MEN who happen to be PASTORS, and because of those changes we can’t help but to notice some very HAPPY wives.

Ladies, I urge you to pray with your husband. If he hasn’t already initiated it you may have to do it for him.

We are in a WAR ZONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We need to pray for our husbands before they walk out the door in the morning.

He needs that FULL ARMOR on so that he can tackle each problem, temptation, and only heaven knows what else during the day.

Yes, ladies he needs our prayers more than ever before to have the wisdom and courage to stand up to what God has called him for. I PROMISE-you will see the MAN that you married real soon!

Please contact me if there is anything I can do or help you with.

Your Servant,

linda

 

 

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The Great Inception! The Introduction

You’re standing on a battlefield. A war rages around you, although you can’t perceive it—not directly, anyway.The combatants are supernatural. On one side, the Creator of the universe: God. Yahweh, or YHWH, if you prefer. On the other, evil intelligences who chose rebellion over service long ago.

In former days, people were closer to the conflict than we are today. Or maybe they were just more sensitive to the struggle. Three thousand years ago, if the Bible is to be believed, people understood that nations were under the rule of gods. While people might believe in a pantheon, nations in the ancient Near East were championed by national deities—Chemosh for Moab, Molech for Ammon, Marduk for Babylon, Ashur for Assyria, Hadad for Aram, and so on.

Today, Christians have a cosmology that’s been, well, dumbed down since the apostolic age. For the last 1,600 years, we’ve been taught that since God is the only true god, then the gods of the nations around ancient Israel were just imaginary beings represented by carved images.

That is spectacularly incorrect.

The authors of the books of the Bible understood that there were many small-G gods. They knew that these supernatural entities had been assigned to the nations, but that Israel had been reserved for Yahweh. Their writings reflected this. It’s in the Bible. We just haven’t heard about it in church. For example, when God told Moses:
For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.

Exodus 12:12 (ESV), emphasis added
Or later, when we read:
They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the day after the Passover, the people of Israel went out triumphantly in the sight of all the Egyptians, while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down among them. On their gods also the Lord executed judgments.

Numbers 33:4 (ESV), emphasis added
Now, are we supposed to believe that God inspired Moses to write about His righteous judgments on lifeless bits of wood and stone?

The conflict between Yahweh and the gods who chose to rebel is most clearly seen in Psalm 82:
God has taken his place in the divine council;

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly

and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;

maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
They have neither knowledge nor understanding,

they walk about in darkness;

all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, “You are gods,

sons of the Most High, all of you;

nevertheless, like men you shall die,

and fall like any prince.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth;

for you shall inherit all the nations!

Psalm 82:1-8 (ESV), emphasis added
Traditional analysis explains away the use of the word “gods” in this psalm as references to human rulers. This makes less sense than a straightforward reading of the text.

Yahweh presides over a divine council that is tasked with carrying out His orders. Some of these supernatural beings disobeyed orders and were informed by God that their punishment would be to die “like men.” That makes no sense if God was addressing a human audience.

The divine council concept is not new, although it may be to you. (It was to me when I first encountered it ten years ago.)  Rather than build a case for it here, which would cover territory that’s already been explored in greater depth by better minds, I recommend Dr. Michael S. Heiser’s excellent book The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible. In a nutshell, a group of seventy bene elohim (“sons of God”) were assigned to supervise the nations after God divided mankind at Babel. (You’ll note that seventy ethnic groups are named in Genesis chapter 10, the Table of Nations.)  They apparently decided to present themselves as gods to humankind, which required God’s counter-move—reserving one nation for Himself that would someday produce the Savior.

Mountains have always been key in this drama. People have known since our earliest days that mountains are sacred, the abode of the gods. Why? Is it the mystery inherent in locations that are remote and inaccessible? Is it the awe inspired by their size and beauty? Is it simply that primitive humans noticed that mountains were tall and closer to heaven than where they lived?

No. Mountains are sacred because the original location of the divine council was on a mountain. The original home of humankind was also on that mountain. After rebellion broke out, the Fallen chose other mountains to call their own. And all of history is a chronicle of the long war that broke out on the original cosmic mountain, Eden. (Yes, it’s a garden, but it was also on a mountain.  See Ezekiel 28.)

But the accounts of this war aren’t just contained in the Bible. Secular history records important information about this conflict, although most scholars don’t see it for what it is. The war between God and the gods has been fought in the supernatural realm and in our time-space domain by human agents of the warring parties. In the months ahead, we’ll look at some well-known events in the Bible in a way you probably haven’t before—acts of war by God against gods that you’ve been told were imaginary.

We’ll examine one of the people groups Joshua and the Israelites had to fight to claim their new homeland in Canaan. We’ll document the connections between this group of people and the shadowy race of giants called the Rephaim, the occult center that was Babylon (past and future), the king of Egypt who was forced to let God’s people go, and the mythical race of old gods called the Titans.

You read that right: There are links between the Titans of Greek mythology, ancient Egypt, Babylon, and Canaan, and the prophesied Babylon the Great.

We’ll also examine the roles of two divine entities that have been particularly resilient in the long war, appearing again and again at key points in history. And we’ll present what we think is a plausible scenario for the end times that’s best described as a cosmic double-cross, a PSYOP that exploits our human biases and weaknesses—nationalism, racism, and a desire to take onto ourselves a role that God has reserved for the Messiah.

This all sounds like what skeptics call “woo,” but it’s not. These claims are based on documented history, theology, and linguistics. No fringe research, and only a little speculation—although the scholars whose work I cite would probably disagree with my conclusions. That’s to be expected. We’ll apply a supernatural filter to offer an analysis of why history happened the way it did, and to demonstrate that the historical record supports the biblical account if you look at it the right way.

But mainly we want to emphasize that the supernatural war that’s been fought since Eden is more obvious than you think. If you read the Bible with your spiritual eyes open, you’ll see stories you’ve known since Sunday School a whole new way.

The command centers of this long war are mountains. The prophesied climactic battle at the end of history will be fought for control of one specific mountain. We will identify the key mountains of history and lay out a prophetic scenario that the Enemy may use to deceive the world into accepting their man as a savior.

Sadly, most American Christians don’t believe Satan is real, much less end times prophecy.

To confuse things even further, the Fallen have introduced other religions into the end times mix, most significantly Islam. Muslims will play a significant role in the unfolding drama. Sadly for them, their end won’t be victorious global jihad. Their most likely future is as sacrificial victims to draw Jews and Christians into the greatest double-cross in history.

Jesus didn’t warn us of a great deception for nothing.