Calvary Assembly of God

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Apr-23-15

We Must Pray

posted by Craig T. Owens

We Must PrayPrayer is the vital empowering source for the church. Unless we pray, we are operating only under our own power, and that can become very tiring. But when we wait on God, He empowers us with His strength!

We invite you to join us for prayer the first Sunday of each month at 5pm. Our next prayer time is Sunday, May 3, at 5pm.

Please come invest an hour of prayer with us.

 

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Apr-20-15

Are You Grace-full?

posted by Craig T. Owens

As we continued in our series looking at the greatest words ever spoken, Pastor Craig addressed the question, “How does one grow in grace?” Here is the recap of his message posted on his blog.

The order that words and phrases are listed in the Scripture is not haphazard nor random; each word is divinely inspired, even the order in which they appear. So look at the order in these verses:

  • But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18)
  • The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Do you see it? Grace then truth/knowledge.

FullOur human tendency is to switch this order: we want truth and knowledge first. But the Bible never teaches this, and the One Who delivered the greatest words ever spoken never said this. Our tendency is to want to get the facts, and then choose which ones we’ll embrace because they “fit” with what’s comfortable to us. Then we argue with others over what we claim to be “truth” and get labeled as judgmental and haters.

Bottom line―We cannot know what “truth” is without first having received grace. 

To fix this, we need to pursue grace, not more knowledge. We need to pursue Jesus. Look at the order again: IF you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32).

Why can’t we know what truth is without having first received grace?

  • Jesus said this about the devil, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
  • The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Jesus never talks about grace. Why? Because He IS grace.

For IN Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form giving complete expression of the divine nature. (Colossians 2:9, AMP)

...I am IN My Father, and you are IN Me, and I am IN you … Remain IN Me, and I will remain IN you… (John 14:20; 15:4)

And you are IN Him, made full and having come to fullness of life IN Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature… (Colossians 2:10, AMP)

You grow in grace by growing in Christ. You grow in truth by growing in grace. When you are full of Christ―when He is IN you and you remain IN Him―then you are grace-full, and therefore you can also be truth-full. This is how you can reach full spiritual stature.

So here’s a question for you: How grace-full are you?

If you are around Cedar Springs this coming Sunday, we would love for you to join with us as we continue our series answering your questions with the greatest words ever spoken.

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Apr-16-15

Fight The New Drug

posted by Craig T. Owens

Fight The New DrugPornography is ripping off our culture.

It’s robbing youth of their innocence. It’s robbing women and children of their dignity. It’s robbing married couple of intimacy in their relationship. It’s fueling the sex trafficking industry.

Porn is a drug that is addicting, and its destroying lives!

Fight The New Drug is confronting this addiction head-on.

Science shows that the same parts of the human brain “light up” when someone views porn, as if they were taking drugs. This is what not only gives pornography its addictive nature, but then something even worse begins to happen: the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

The law of diminishing returns says that in order to get the same “high” someone has to take stronger drugs, or take them more frequently. So porn users have to look at harder and harder material, or they have to view it more and more often.

Fight The New Drug is coming to Cedar Springs. Local youth pastor Chris Anton has helped coordinate this much needed event to make students, teachers and parents aware of the drug-like dangers of pornography. The En Gedi Youth Center is making this event available on Friday, May 8, at 3:30pm in the Cedar Springs High School auditorium.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Pray for open hearts and minds at this event.
  • Give financially to help cover the expenses for this event.
  • Tell the teenagers, parents and teachers that you know about this event.
  • Attend this event with your teens.

Let’s help save our culture from the ravages of the destructive drug of pornography.

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Apr-13-15

Read The Red Letters

posted by Craig T. Owens

We launched a brand new series yesterday, and here is the recap of the first message which Pastor Craig posted on his blog

Read the red lettersLet’s see if you can guess what famous person said the following (the answers are below … but no cheating!):

  1. “The phonograph is of no commercial value.”
  2. “I think there is a world market for about five computers.”
  3. “I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle the matter by lunch time.”
  4. “There will never be a bigger plane built.”
  5. “The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.”

People get it wrong lots of times. Even really smart, successful people. King Solomon, who was called the wisest of all, wrote a book called Ecclesiastes in which he shared some bad advice he tried to follow. In the closing verses he gave this warning, “My son, be warned. Of making many books there is no end so do not believe everything you read, and much study is the weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).

In the Hebrew world there were three departments of knowledge:

  • Law―words from God to man
  • Prophesy―judgment from God on how man is doing in observing God’s law
  • Wisdom―man’s attempt to live out God’s law based on observation, experience, and reflection (for a great example of all three departments at work, see Luke 10:25-37)

What we need is someone who (1) knows God’s way, (2) lives God’s way, and (3) can teach us how to live out God’s way for ourselves. Someone who is perfect, flawless in every phase. We need the One Who said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). That One is Jesus.

Can I make a suggestion that will bring you amazing results? Spend some time reading the red letters. That is, go to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and focus on the words of Jesus (which many Bible translations print in a red font). There I am certain you will discover the greatest words ever spoken!

If you can, please join us over the next few Sundays as we will be attempting to discover the greatest words ever spoken on a variety of subjects. Folks have turned in the questions that they would like answered, and we are going to look to the red letters to see what Jesus has to say.

Answers to the quiz:

  1. Thomas Edison, remarking on his own invention 
  2. Thomas Watson, Sr., chairman of IBM
  3. Napoleon Bonaparte, at a breakfast with his generals preceding the Battle of Waterloo
  4. A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that held ten people 
  5. IBM board of directors, to the eventual founders of Xerox
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Apr-8-15

The Greatest Words Ever Spoken

posted by Craig T. Owens

The Greatest Words Ever SpokenEver been stumped or confused about something, and then received perfect advice from a friend? Maybe that advice helped you get through that particular time in your life.

But what if, later on, the wise friend from whom you got advice wasn’t following his own advice? What if your friend got off track? And now they were the one needed advice? Would you still go to them for counsel? Or would you look somewhere else?

On the other hand, if we could get advice from someone, and their advice helped us not only in a particular situation, but in every situation we faced. If this friend’s counsel was good all the time, and they always practiced what they preached … if they were able to show us things we would have never seen on our own … and guide us where we may never have gone by ourselves … that would be amazing! And what if this friend’s counsel was not only beneficial for you, but helpful for everyone who chose to follow it?

Those wise words could quite possibly be the greatest words ever spoken!

We invite you to join us this Sunday as we begin a new series called The Greatest Words Ever Spoken. And if you are facing a challenging situation, we might even be able to find the right counsel for you. Others have submitted questions on which they would like to hear the wisest words of counsel, so feel free to email us with the questions you have.

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Mar-18-15

En Gedi Youth Center Auction

posted by Craig T. Owens
(l-r) Carley, Bailey and Heather would love your support at this year's auction

(l-r) Carley, Bailey and Heather would love your support at this year’s auction

We are HUGE fans of the En Gedi Youth Center. This outstanding, Christ-centered program is providing invaluable mentoring opportunities to the youth in Cedar Springs.

Instead of making constant appeals for finances, En Gedi only asks for donations once each year, at their annual fundraising auction. This year’s auction will be held this Friday, March 20, at 6pm in the Cedar Springs High School cafeteria. 

Admission is only $10. There will be desserts, beverages, silent auctions, and a live auction, as well as plenty of opportunities to learn more about En Gedi. Please come support this very worthwhile ministry!

UPDATE #2: CS Manufacturing increased the level of their matching sponsorship, so the total funds raised at this auction now stands at $45.000! We are so grateful!

UPDATE: The generous folks of Cedar Springs (including the matching sponsorship of CS Manufacturing) gave nearly $35,000 to support this ministry!!

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Mar-12-15

Are You Inviting?

posted by Craig T. Owens

1 one 12 stat2

What are you doing about this?

1:(one):12

 

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Mar-5-15

The Old Rugged Cross

posted by Craig T. Owens

The Old Rugged CrossThe Apostle Paul traveled the known world preaching and teaching. Luke preserves some of his sermons for us in the Book of Acts, and Paul’s letters reveal the depth of and breadth of his Spirit-inspired thoughts. But of all the doctrines which this eminent apostle taught, there was one truth that stood out as the foundation for all others—

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).

The work that Jesus Christ did on an old rugged Cross is absolutely the most central message of all others. Without the Cross, no other doctrine makes sense.

Sadly, we spend far too little time looking at the Cross.

Join us this Sunday as we take a long look at the Cross and the Lamb of God Who was sacrificed on it. Our series is simply called The Old Rugged Cross.

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Jan-15-15

Shop To Support Calvary

posted by Craig T. Owens

Amazonsmile

Do you shop on Amazon.com? Here’s a great way to shop and support the ministries of Calvary Assembly of God at the same time: Shop with a “smile.”

Amazon.com has launched a program that gives 0.5% of your purchase to the charity you choose to support. Simply go to smile.amazon.com, add your purchases to your chart, and check-out. That’s it! Then Amazon will send a donation to the church each quarter.

Thanks for helping support the ministries of our church!

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Dec-1-14

Setting The Example For Us

posted by Craig T. Owens

FundraiserThis is from our Pastor’s blog

When Paul was writing to his young protege Timothy he said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). I was so proud of a couple of young people who did this for us at Calvary Assembly of God yesterday!

Savannah has been raising money for childhood cancer research. She shared with us how this is the least-funded form of cancer research, and that every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. “That is unacceptable,” Savannah said. So in an amazing example-setting move for all of us, Savannah and two of her coworkers worked to bring in over $3000 in donations for childhood cancer research, and they shaved their heads as a sign of solidarity with the children undergoing cancer treatments. By the way, you can still donate to this noble cause by clicking here.

Then Josh brought us a challenging message entitled Are You Growing? Taking his text from 1 Corinthians 3:6, Josh reminded us that God makes things grow, but we can put ourselves in a place for Him to do that. Just as with a plant, our spiritual growth requires:

  • Sunshine—basking in God’s presence.
  • Water—soaking up God’s Word.
  • Nutrients—surrounding ourselves with the people and things that encourage growth.
  • Time—the dedication and investment in God’s process.

I am so proud of Josh and Savannah for setting an example for us to follow!

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