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Pastor Ric Vargas recent sermon on The Value of Fellowship. A timely word.

Ric shares a very powerful and relevant word at Pinecrest Bible Training Center 40th year anniversary. I encourage all the readers who come here to take the time to listen to this message. Ric deals with the misdirected focus of many in the church of looking for the next revival, move of God, or supernatural manifestation. Ric exhorts us to get back to the basics of the word of God.

True revival through God’s word

God in the Whirlwind

Stories of Grace from the Tornado at Union University

Author: Tim Ellsworth
In short: A testimony of gratitude for God’s providence.

Review by Scott Lamb

Title: God in the Whirlwind: Stories of Grace from the Tornado at Union University
Author: Tim Ellsworth
Review Date: September 04, 2008
Publisher: B&H Books (2008)
Category: General Interest

It isn’t everyday that one gets a chance to read a book about your alma mater, written by your college roommate. But then, thankfully, it isn’t everyday that an EF-4 tornado destroys $40 million dollars worth of dormitories without killing a single student.

God in the Whirlwind is a thrilling account of God’s mercy and providence throughout the horrifying tornado that hit Union University on February 5, 2008. The stories compiled by Tim Ellsworth recount how students escaped death by “mere fractions of time or space,” meaning that walls and debris fell within inches of students time and again. My own nephew walked out of the rubble alive, as did the sons and daughters of many of my friends.

When the television news crews from around the world converged on the campus in the days following the tornado, they observed Christian joy amidst utterly devastating losses. Led by the prayer and serenity of President David Dockery, the faculty, staff, and student body of Union University showed great Christian courage and strength in spite of the losses.

Even now, the students are preparing to come back to the campus for the fall semester. New dorms have been rebuilt. Damaged buildings are being restored. One day in the future the campus will have little evidence of the destruction that occurred so recently. However, the memories of this event will linger in the hearts and minds of those who were eyewitnesses to the event, as well as alumni like myself who stayed glued to the computer for updates on our beloved Union.

Therefore, a word of thanks goes out to all who told their stories and for Tim in writing them down as a permanent testimony of thanks to God for his grace in preserving life even as material buildings were blown away.

Take a look at some of these photos:

Slideshow of photos from the first hours after the tornado struck the university on February 5, 2008:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/unionuniversity/sets/72157603861654921/show

All slideshows from subsequent days throughout February 2008:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41208530@N00/collections/72157603889196007

Thanks to Bill Harrison for forwarding this book review & photo links. This book looks like it would be a fascinating read!

I am also posting this beautiful painting done by Janice after her experience with Hurricane Charlie.

Still in the storm

As some of you know, I’ve been in the middle of a storm. I’m still there.

It’s going to be interesting to see what develops over the next 6 to 12 mos. in our personal lives, our nation and economy. Due to the downturn in the construction market, my perspective may be a bit skewed. I’ll admit that. It seems that Oregon is always the first state in and the last one out during tough economic times. So, I may just have a locally skewed perspective.

However, there are a LOT of people without jobs in our area right now. Over the past several weeks I have received many calls from men out of work, looking for work. I’m even getting resumes sent to me by folks looking for jobs, which is not normal. I can’t help them. Continue Reading »

My good friend Ric Vargas and his mission’s minded traveling companion, Lou Pressman, recently returned from a trip to Africa. Ric is a little insecure about his height, thus, is standing on the sign platform😉 They traveled specifically to Kenya and Burundi. Ric has promised to provide a reflective summary of his time spent there. Just from the initial testimony I have received from him, their time was both fruitful and challenging. I’m also hoping that Lou can provide a summary of things from his perspective as well. Needless to say, many brothers in Christ were refreshed and encouraged in the Lord along the way as their travels took them into several different areas. Lou took some nice photos, I’ll be including more as they forward them to me. I’m including email summaries that I received from them during their travels. This first post will feature photos and testimonies from the Kenyan segment of their trip. Continue Reading »

Well, I’ve decided that my participation in the Todd Bentley saga is over, as far posting any more personally written articles, & commentary on my blog. I had made the decision some time back, however, after this recent news of Bentley was released, I decided to post up a few things related to the matter. I am saddened over this whole thing. I do and have prayed for Todd and his family. God knows that I have feet of clay.

My belief is that it is now incumbent upon those men and women, especially Leaders, within the renewal movement to begin to speak out about these things and clean it up yourselves. For some of you, it may mean having to make a clean break, especially in light of the fact that it appears that from most of the top tier Leaders, it’s going to be business as usual. If they do begin to speak up, I will post their statements up as a broader range of interest.

It does the movement no good when men like Bill Johnson identifies folks who have been sounding the alarm since the beginning of this Lakeland movement as, “Accusers, sharks, shooters, religious, rigid, political, throwing out the baby and operating in a denominationalistic spirit.”

It may help to save their own public image and calcify their own agenda and base. However, as someone looking from the outside in, it really only serves to reinforce the perspective that many of us have that these men are elitist, arrogant snobs. So, Bill, knock it off and just show some humility and grace. An “I’m sorry” would go a long ways.

It appears as though the core foundational belief structure and world view of men like Joyner, Johnson, Ahn, Wagner, et al, is so entrenched, I don’t know that anything in the short term can be done to rectify the situation. They have all clearly demonstrated that they are more interested in saving face and covering their own hind ends, which is sad. That’s exactly how I have taken every single statement from these men since Bentley announced through his Board that he’s stepping down. Here’s continued proof of that reality.

So, with that I’d like to recommend two sites that do an excellent job reporting on items related specifically to Bentley, I’m sure most have already accessed these sites anyway. These two have the most exhaustive coverage of these things as anyone on the net. Here are the links:

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/

http://pjmiller.wordpress.com/

The Phoenix Preacher has written some great observations as well. In addition, that site probably has the most active reader participation on the subject.

Feel free to check in from time to time as I will try and address items that are broader in nature and not specifically focused on the recent Todd sightings🙂

Scott

Update: For those of you that wrote me and told me I was spreading lies and gossip about Bentley, here you go. Straight out of ‘Apostle’ Peter Wagner’s mouth: “First of all, Todd has been removed from public ministry until further notice. He has resigned from the ministry he founded, Fresh Fire, so he is no longer a part of that board. It has become clear that he indulged in periodic drunkenness. He has no intention at the moment of reconciling with Shonna, nor does she with him. Their marriage has been torn for years by his emotional attachment with at least one other female whose physical contact went beyond hugging and kissing and holding hands. Enough said-maybe more details will be revealed later-but it was clearly immoral. All of this was skillfully concealed by lying and by swearing close associates who had observed his behavior to secrecy.”

Read his full statement dated August 25, 2008 here.

The Phoenix Preacher comments on this on August 26, 2008 here.

Thanks to PJ Miller at Sola Dei Gloria for posting this up over at her blog.

After reading this post read my post “I’m moving on

Robert is a member of Peter Wagner’s group called the ICA. He has been sounding an alarm for over two mos. now. Thanks Robert. *NOTE* If you have any questions about Bentley’s ‘other women’, write Robert, not me. I’d like to stay on track regarding the substance of the many excellent points of concern he outlines.

by Robert Ricciardelli
Robert@vision2advance.com
http://www.vision2advance.com

Robert wrote the following story:

Todd Bentley’s moral failure was publically exposed this week. There is more that has come forth from young women and pastors from his home town and around the world, so more information should be forthcoming, unfortunately. Continue Reading »

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