Calvary Assembly of God

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May-25-15

The Counselor Instructs Us

posted by Craig T. Owens

Pastor Craig began a new series on Pentecost Sunday, looking at the role of the Holy Spirit as our Counselor. Here is the recap he posted on his blog

The life of Jesus“The Counselor” is the name Jesus gave to the Holy Spirit. Looking at the definition of the word Counselor, there are four main things the Holy Spirit will do in our lives which corresponds to another well-known passage of Scripture—

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teachingrebukingcorrecting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Counselor teaches/instructs, rebukes, corrects, and trains. And He does this through The Word that He inspired.

The Bible is one huge “the Holy Spirit said” Book. Men wrote the words of Scripture as the Counselor Spirit inspired them (2 Peter 1:19-21). That same Counselor then helps us apply those inspired words to our lives.

Jesus is our Ultimate Example of One Who was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and fully controlled by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1). The Counselor helped Jesus the Man be able to apply the inspired Scripture:

Jesus told His followers to received the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5, 8), so we could be His witnesses in the world (see Acts 8:26-35 and 10:38-43).

“God does not give us power to imitate Him: He gives us His very Self. … We are not put into the place where we can imitate Jesus; the baptism of the Holy Spirit puts us into the very life of Jesus.” —Oswald Chambers

This should be our normal life! But if we discount the Holy Spirit—or even discount our worthiness to commune with The Counselor—we begin to accept sub-normal as normal, and the normal become miraculous and only obtainable by a few “spiritual giants.”

The Father’s desire is for all of us to bear a strong, unmistakable family likeness to Jesus. Christ relied on The Counselor, so we must as well.

Next Sunday we will be continuing our series on the Holy Spirit called The Counselor. If you are in the Cedar Springs area, please join us.

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May-21-15

The Counselor

posted by Craig T. Owens

The CounselorThere are several people in the Bible that are called “a counselor.” But there is only One Who is called “the Counselor.” This is the title Jesus gave to the Holy Spirit, when He said One was coming Who would be of invaluable help to us.

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. On that first Pentecost after Christ’s ascension, something amazing happened to the followers of Jesus—they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Counselor saturated their lives with His wisdom.

From this moment the Christians operated in extraordinary wisdom, power, discernment, boldness, and effectiveness.

Josh McDowell points out, “By AD 100, the apostles had died, but the Christian Church was still in its infancy, with fewer than twenty-five thousand proclaimed followers of Christ. But within the next two hundred years, the fledgling church experienced explosive multiplication of growth, to include as many as twenty million people. This means the church of Jesus Christ quadrupled every generation for five consecutive generations!” (emphasis added)

This type of growth was only possible because of the counsel The Counselor imparted every day to these new Christians. And this same counsel and help and empowerment is available to all Christians today!

This Sunday at Calvary Assembly of God we begin a new series called “The Counselor.” If you are in the Cedar Springs area and don’t have a home church, we invite you to come join us to learn more about this power that is for you.

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Check out these notes Pastor Craig shared on his blog this morning, which were from our special guest speaker yesterday…

Pastor Bill LeachWow! We had an absolutely amazing service yesterday morning at Calvary Assembly of God! All throughout the service we could feel that the Holy Spirit was moving, and we were all blessed by His presence.

Pastor Bill Leach was our guest speaker, and he used Acts 2 as his text to talk about some of the misconceptions people have about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the correct biblical perspective of this empowerment for a Christian’s life. I tried to take notes as fast as I could, so below are the thoughts which especially caught my attention. Pastor Leach’s message was entitled “No, Virginia, Pentecostals Do Not Swing From Chandeliers.”

Our Pentecostal experience must be firmly established in the Word of God. Peter made this clear in his Day of Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:16, 25, 30, 34). This experience is not a fad, but we are involved in the eternal plan of God. So it is an important movement for us to be a part of (Acts 2:39).

When Jesus said “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49Acts 1:4), He said it in the form of a command. Our Savior commands us to receive this Holy Spirit empowerment.

Luke describes the followers of Jesus as being “all together in one place” (Acts 2:1). In other words they were together together. This is a characteristic of followers of Jesus.

God’s temple is not a house, but people. Just as the fire was to be kept burning in King Solomon’s temple, God’s eternal fire fell on His followers on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:3), symbolizing His abiding presence in Christians.

The whole Godhead continually points to and glorifies the other aspects of the Godhead—“This is My Son in Whom I am well pleased”; “The Holy Spirit will testify about Me; and “I have come to glorify the Father.” When man was created God said, “Let Us make man in Our image—worshiping along side Us and enjoying Us!” The baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers us to do this!

Impossible obstacles must give way to the Spirit-anointed trod of the Spirit-baptized Church.

Pentecostals do not swing from chandeliers, but they have yielded their lives to the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, to be Christ’s witnesses and to display God’s glory throughout His creation.

This coming Sunday (May 24) is Pentecost Sunday, and Pastor Craig will be launching a new series about the Holy Spirit called simply The Counselor. Check back later this week for more details.

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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, June 7, at 5pm.

Please come invest an hour of prayer with us.

 

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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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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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Sep-8-14

Mobile, Messy & Meaningful

posted by Craig T. Owens

If you missed Pastor Craig’s message yesterday about the role of the church, please read this synopsis he published on his blog

21st-century Americans in Christ's timeI think we have made the Church and Christianity something different than what the New Testament shows us. We’ve created far too many “things” which simply aren’t in the Bible. That’s not to say these thingst are wrong, but they may become stumbling blocks to us if we make secondary things the primary thing.

So what is the primary thing about church?

It might surprise you to know that the word church is only used twice by Jesus (Matthew 16:18, 18:17). He used a Greek word ekklesia, which meant a gathering of people called out from their homes into some public place. This word originally had more of a “town hall” meaning to it, but Jesus used this as a starting point to show us true church.

In Christ’s time the church for Him was…

Mobile—wherever He was, church was. Look at the extensive traveling He did. He held as many “church services” in people’s dining rooms as He did in the synagogues.

Messy—often as Jesus was speaking…

  • People constantly coming and going
  • Pharisees yapping and interrupting
  • Kids playing
  • Women sitting at His feet, anointing Him, crying over Him
  • Food and drink were usually involved
  • Foot washing was taking place
  • When He was outdoors: wind, waves, farmers, passers-by…
  • When He was indoors: food being served and eaten, roofs being ripped off…
  • People constantly interrupted His sermons: “Blessed is Your mother…”; “Tell my brother to give me my inheritance…”; “My daughter is dying!…”

Meaningful

  • “I must go through Samaria.”
  • “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
  • “Zaccheus, today I’m eating dinner at your house.”
  • “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me to preach good news to the poor, freedom to the captive, sight to the blind, favor to the oppressed.”

Jesus asked His disciples Who they thought He was (see Matthew 16:13-18). The correct answer was Peter’s declaration, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Jesus said, “You’re right, and on that declaration I will build My church.”

Our job is to make Jesus known as the Christ, the Son of the living God (v. 16).

Christ’s job is to build His Church (v. 18).

He didn’t tell us to build a building and invite people to come on Sundays.

He didn’t tell us to start a Sunday School or a feeding program or a youth group.

There’s nothing wrong with these things, but they are not the main thing. 

The main thing is Jesus being seen as the Son of the living God. Where we are gathered together in that confession and purpose—even just two or three of us—that’s where His church is (see Matthew 18:20).

We must be mobile, taking a meaningful message into people’s messy lives. That is true church.

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Aug-26-13

We ♥ The EnGedi Youth Center

posted by Craig T. Owens

We are big fans of the EnGedi Youth Center, an after-school program in Cedar Springs.

This Christ-centered program gives students in 6th grade and up a safe place to hang-out after school, and gives them opportunities to play some organized sports with high school coaches, get homework help, learn life skills, and develop lasting friendships with the dedicated Christian staff members.

If you have a couple of hours a week you can invest with these students, we promise you that the rewards will definitely be eternal. For both you and the students with whom you will work.

EnGedi for 6th-8th grades meets Monday through Thursday, from school dismissal until 5:15pm, in Red Hawk Elementary. For more information on EnGedi, visit their website by clicking here.

 

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