Dear NEO Family, Do you ever wonder if church attendance matters? We can worship God anywhere, after all. Why don’t we just go to the park and listen to a podcast to be fed spiritually? I hope you will read the words of my friend, Pastor Shane Ash, below: “Church attendance matters. And not for the growth of the organization itself, but more importantly, for the formation of the people. Why? Church is participation. It is our submission to the body of Christ. It is part of our salvation…transforming us from the idolatry of self into worshipers of God. Church is formation. It is an identity. It is practice. It is a dress rehearsal of how to be Christian. As we partake in sacrament, we are accepting the grace of God. As we sing praise, we are aligning our minds and bodies in worship. As we listen to the......
Dear NEO Family, When the Royals won the World Series 19 months ago, I did not have to go to a training event on how to share about their crushing victory over the New York Mets. You couldn’t shut me up. I had a story to tell. In his book, Gospel Fluency, Jeff Vanderstelt says it is natural to talk about what we love and what affects us. It comes from the overflow of the heart: “When you come to know and experience the love God has for us in Jesus; when you realize that God loved us so much that he was willing to suffer and die for our sins, even though we were his enemies; when you meet Jesus and experience him pouring out his Spirit into your heart, filling you with himself and his love, you can’t contain it. You have to talk about it.” (p.......
“Waves of Glory” at District Assembly? Over a year ago, research I was doing led me to the Journal of the 1921 District Assembly of Eastern Oklahoma. One thing was clear as I read the account of the proceedings – as they met for the business of the church, the most important business was connecting with God! Several times the journal referred to “waves of glory” coming over the gathering. For example, the journal records, “As Brother Douglas led the song service, waves of glory came on the people, until old time Pentecostal shouts were heard… Brother Bud Robinson preached from Tim. 4: 1 and 2, a number of seekers came forward and most of them were either saved, reclaimed or sanctified.” Another day, “Dr. Goodwin gave such an inspiring address that all of the Assembly caught a vision of the great movement of our church as we have never......
Dear NEO Family, This week in my devotional guide, I am asked to daily sing/read the great hymn, “How Firm a Foundation”. As I have done so, I have reflected on how thankful I am for the faithful God depicted in the words of this hymn: · I have faced some challenging tasks, as you have, demanding wisdom and strength beyond what I have to offer. How helpful to hear God say, “Fear not; I am with thee. O be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.” · I have conducted three funerals in the past month, which is unusual for me in this ministry role. How thankful I am that I can remind families, “When thro’ the deep waters I call thee to go, the rivers......