Friday, May 1 Daniel James Brown

September 2010.
Read On!
A special message
from the President
Eric Smith is a widely known and respected armor bearer and
friend to many of today’s most proactive ministries.
Eric Smith, President
Welcome to our most recent edition of Solutions Magazine. Solutions was designed to bless you with articles
from godly men and women serving in various parts of
the world. Within, you will find practical ministry tips,
food for thought and encouragement for your spirit.
As you read, I hope you will be inspired, knowing that
the dreams the Lord has placed inside you will come to
pass as you remain in His will.
Additionally, let me say that if Smith Media Group can
be of service to you in any way, we would be honored to
serve. Please contact us. Share your goals and dreams,
and let us provide you with a free consultation and advice on how to accomplish those goals.
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Recovering the Treasures of Christ’s Joy by internationallyknown evangelist and pastor Siegfried Thomazsewski
08.Tips For Better Heart Health Now
11.The Role Of The Equipping Evangelist
17.  Untitled
26.  Jesus Will Work It Out...Or Will He?
So many times we say we’re waiting on God. Could it be that
God is waiting on us?
27.  The Fear Of The Lord
37.  Profile: Danny Boy
38.Passion: Your Pathway To Success
40.The Waiting Game
45.The Celebrity Syndrome
49.Kill What’s Killing You
51.Get Small, Get Personal, & Build
53. What Are You Waiting For?
Vernessa Williams:
On A Mission 20
Who’s Next 14
Why It’s Okay To
Reward Yourself 31
56.Three Important Keys To Unlocking Extra Cash In Your
58.Restitution Of The Biggest Theft
Fearless 54
60.Destiny Drama Ministries
Ministry Dreams Still
Happen 43
Recovering the
Treasures of
Christ’s Joy
by Rev. Siegfried Tomazsewski
Many years ago in 1996 I stood on a
field in Africa filled with hundreds of
thousands of people crying to God.
With tears running down their cheeks they raised their hands to heaven
asking forgiveness and receiving new
life in Jesus Christ. As I stood on that
stage listening to the passionate voice
of Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke filled
with a compassion for those wonderful people, something inside of me
cried, “Lord let this also happen in our
nation!” America, Europe, Africa – all
need the Gospel so desperately. Nations are filled with troubled people,
hurting children, broken families and
leaders without answers to the problems.
The tragedy of 9/11 was a shocking
demonstration of the vulnerability of
our great nation. It was further proof
that politics will not change a nation
if the hearts of individuals remain unchanged. Even though we see millions
come to Christ in our mass Gospel
campaigns, it is always one soul at a
No matter how we wish that we had
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hundreds of evangelists like Reinhard Bonnke, Billy Graham and other
great men and women of God, this is
not actually God’s plan for us. I believe that there are two major points
we have to come back to as Christian
churches and followers of Christ.
We cannot solve the problem and ignore the outcome of a broken relationship with God. Too often we judge those who are living in sin without
reaching out to them in an attempt
to rescue them. Is it possible that we
have forgotten the need for salvation – that we no longer are aware of
the ultimate fate of the unsaved? Are
we untouched by the knowledge that
friends and family are destined for
hell without new life in Christ?
I wonder when last we shared the
Gospel with someone. I am not talking about preaching, street evangelism or any other wonderful outreach. What I am talking about is simply
sharing your personal experience
one-on-one. What was your old life
like and how has it changed? Do you
still have personal experiences with
God? Is your daily life with Jesus vital
and exciting?
One of the crucial mistakes we make
today is that we have left soul-winning to a handful of so called “professionals.” When they come to our
city or church we not only expect the
sinners to come listen to someone
they have never heard of, but if they
should come and commit their lives
to Jesus, we expect them to immediately act like everyone else who faithfully attended church for the past
20+ years! This will not happen.
Every church and every evangelist has
a responsibility for the new converts.
Jesus did NOT call us in Matthew 28
to go into all the world and count raised hands, but to preach and make
disciples. Our responsibility is to
make sure that new converts are integrated into Bible-believing churches.
We have to train our people, have
the proper material and programs in
As for us … if we want to experience what the Apostles experienced we must do what they did.
place and become serious about the
souls that have been rescued. Some
need spiritual renewal, some healing,
some counselling, some restoration. We need fathers and mothers in
Christ who are willing to take care of
those precious people. What mother
would give birth to a child and then
leave the new-born on the floor? Sadly we find this irresponsible behaviour in many churches and then we
call the evangelist ineffective because no fruit remains after six months!
For over fifty years Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke has been travelling
around the world. In the ten years
between 2000 and 2010 we were privileged to process over 50 million filled out and signed decision cards for
Christ. The people were integrated
into our follow-up system in conjunction with the participating local
churches. Evangelist Bonnke wryly
says that when he came to Africa he
learned that Africa had NOT been
waiting for him. Sometimes he preached to only 5 people and even they
did not want to get saved! But something happened and things changed.
Based on his experiences and the
knowledge gained over the years,
we established the “School of Fire”,
a curriculum compiled in cooperation
with the South Eastern University in
Lakeland, FL. Reinhard Bonnke pours
out his heart about soul winning. This
school (online and also the individual
“hard-copy” version) takes about 30
weeks of thorough study and finishes
with a certificate.
Of course, not everybody has the
time to go through such an intensive
course. For that reason we have released a 6-week church course called
Jumpstart. We want to help churches
equip each Christian to be enabled to
witness and prepare them for personal soul-winning and also lay out the
importance of follow-up which is the
real benefit to the Church.
Coming back to the rescue operation
we are all called to, it seems to me
that we are all called but only a few
know how to swim themselves, never
mind know how to rescue someone
from drowning!
Our SWIM course (Soul Winning Impartation Meeting) only takes one
day, e.g. a Saturday from 9:00 am
to 5:00 pm and there we go through
the basic principles of soul winning.
Methods are important, but they vary
from culture to culture. The New
Testament principles that Reinhard
Bonnke has proven so successfully
are still the same. Individuals and
Churches benefit from this course as
it not only ignites, equips and excites, but also brings direct fruit and
growth to the local church.
As for us … if we want to experience what the Apostles experienced we
must do what they did.
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Tips For
Better Heart Health
To Your Heart Health, by Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall
»» Waiting Too Long: A recent study revealed that
people who experience a heart attack are waiting too
long to head to the emergency room. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that
patients waited an average of 2.6 hours before seeking
help, even though they were experiencing symptoms.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 104,000
patients at 568 hospitals between 2001 and 2006.
They found that patients who arrived at a hospital between midnight and 8 a.m. on weekdays had a 25 percent shorter delay time than those who arrived between
8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on a weekday. Those most likely to
delay seeking treatment included women, the elderly,
nonwhites, diabetics, and smokers. Another study, conducted by the American Heart Journal, focused solely
on gender differences to examine which gender waited
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longer to seek treatment. The study looked at data collected after the 2001 to 2002 public health campaigns of the American Heart Association and the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute that targeted women
between 40 and 60 to educate them on heart disease and symptoms of heart attack. The study examined
three time frames after the educational campaign went
public: preintervention (2003), intermediate (2003 to
2004), and postintervention (2004 to 2005). It consistently showed that women typically wait longer than
men to report heart attack symptoms. Women waited
an average of 3 hours to go to the hospital while men
waited an average of 2.8 hours. These studies stress
how important it is to recognize the symptoms of heart
attack and to seek help immediately. The studies also
suggest that women, in particular, need to pay more
attention to their symptoms.
»» A New Heart-Healthy Food? Eating watermelon
may be good for your heart. That’s what researchers at
Florida State University found after studying the effects
of watermelon extract containing oral L-citrulline/Larginine, amino acids that help reduce blood pressure. Study participants were assigned to receive either
watermelon extract or a placebo for six weeks, followed
by four weeks of no supplement placebo. Then the participants switched regimens. At the study’s end, all
nine participants demonstrated lower blood pressure. It
was a small study with only nine subjects, but the data
shows promise that watermelon may be a good food for
heart health. It remains a good source of vitamins A, B6,
and C, as well as potassium, fiber, and lycopene.
»» Are You a Type D? Your personality type could
help contribute to your heart health. Those who tend
toward depression or negativity, and experience anxiety, stress, anger, and loneliness — called a “Type D”
personality — are three times more likely to be at risk
for heart disease than their cheery neighbors. Although
about 20 percent of people fall into this category, they
make up half of the total patient population that is being treated for heart problems. The main reason is the
high levels of stress these individuals endure. Unlike
Type A personalities, who are likely to make their complaints known, Type D’s keep their emotions bottled up
and are often loners who prefer to keep to themselves.
They generally do not have an emotional support system of friends to help them relieve stress through simple conversations. All is not lost, however, if Type D’s
can learn to remove certain stresses from their lives.
Stress reduction is just another lifestyle modification
that improves heart health.
Dr. Chauncey Crandall IV is an interventional and preventative cardiologist who currently practices in the Palm Beach area. After
struggling whether or not to become a missionary, Chauncey recalls one day, during hospital
rounds, receiving a direct call from God that his
patients were the people group that God gave
him to minister to and to get well. Dr. Crandall
lives constrained to this challenge and prays
with his patients for their healing and salvation
in Christ alone. He lectures and ministers on a
national and international level.
On October 20, 2006, a middle-aged auto mechanic, Jeff Markin, walked
into the emergency room at the Palm Beach Gardens Hospital and collapsed from a massive heart attack. Forty minutes later, he was declared
dead. After filling out his final report, the supervising cardiologist, Dr.
Chauncey Crandall, started out of the room. “Before I crossed its threshold, however, I sensed God was telling me to turn around and pray for
the patient,” he explained. With that prayer and Dr. Crandall’s instruction
to give the man what seemed to be one more useless shock from the
defibrillator, Jeff Markin came back to life--and remains alive and well
But how did a Yale-educated cardiologist whose Palm Beach practice includes some of the most powerful people in American society come to
believe in supernatural healing? The answers to these questions compose a story and a spiritual journey that transformed Chauncey Crandall.
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For the
One of the best-known parables Jesus told is that of the
Good Samaritan. Jesus related this well-known story to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” In the story, a
man was robbed, beaten and left for dead by the side of
the road. Men passed by but did nothing to help. Only a
Samaritan stopped to care for the wounded man. Here is
my challenge to you today: Will you be a Good Samaritan to
the thousands of hurting Israelis who have been victimized
in brutal terrorist attacks? The ones who truly care are the
ones who take action.
We have received an urgent request from Israel for help for
the families of victims and the survivors of terror attacks.
They have great needs that are not being met. The physical, mental, and emotional toll of these attacks is great…
our hearts grieve when we hear the stories of these victims…but we must do more than grieve; we MUST help! In
the past, our caring Jerusalem Prayer Team members have
touched many of these lives, and today I’m asking you to
join us. Will you give so that these dear Jewish people who
have lost and suffered so much can receive comfort, encouragement and help?
To JOIN US in caring for God’s people, click here.
Dr. Michael D. Evans is a #1 New York Ti-
numerous titles including nonfiction book
It’s a lie that would not die, believed to be
Chaos, in which he compares the Obama
late Osama bin Laden. It was introduced
Fueled by long-standing prejudice and
to bolster the reign of Tsar Nicholas II. It
the past, the ancient Order of Malta has
mes bestselling author, having penned
Jimmy Carter: the Liberal Left and World
and Carter presidencies; and Atomic Iran;
and the fiction book, GameChanger; and
his newest titles Cursed, The Light, and
The Protocols. Evans’ books are availa-
ble at You
can read his full biography on Wikipedia.
Dr. Evans also runs the news site JerusalemWorldNews where you can receive current intel on Israel and the Middle East.
true by Adolf Hitler, Henry Ford, and the
by the Russian secret police in an attempt
erroneously exposed his enemies as coconspirators with the Jews in a plot to take
over the world. This fabricated document
was embraced by a religious fanatic, Sergei Nilus, and published in 1905 in Russia.
know how deeply that hatred ran. Now she
is about to find out.
guided by anti-Semitic propaganda from
unleashed a plot to finish what Lenin and
Hitler started and do what Islamic extremists only dream of doing—exterminate
the Jews and their American sympathizers.
He published three separate versions of
Using four suitcase bombs obtained from
that Theodor Herzl was the writer of the
and its far-flung secret society is well on
the book, and the last in 1917 indicated
mythical conspiracy theory. The book birthed the pogroms in Russia, and was used
by Hitler as an excuse to exterminate six
million Jews in Europe. Many Muslim lea-
a Russian Mafia arms dealer, the Order
its way to success when a cryptic posting
on a website tips their hand. Only Esther
stands in the way.
ders worldwide keep it within reach as the
With the help of Paul Maddox, a former
terrorist organization uses this plagiarized
of clues that takes them across America
most revered book, after the Quran. Every
copy to support the vile acts it commits.
Esther Rosenberg always knew there were
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people who hated her. She just didn’t
Congressman, she follows an obscure trail
and around the world in a desperate effort
to unravel the plot and locate the bombs
before it’s too late. Can they do it? Or will
the prophecy of the Protocols come true.
To purchase The Protocols, click here.
The Role
of the
One distinct role of the evangelist is found in Ephesians 4:11, “To equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” An evangelist is not just a minister who carries
the fire of revival (although every evangelist should).
They must also train the average believer in how to
effectively share the Gospel. This is a key role that has
been lost in the function of today’s evangelist in the
United States of America. The evangelist needs to play
a much more vital role in local churches than just an
occasional stirring, but must leave leaders and teams
equipped to reach their community with the power
and demonstration of the Gospel of Christ.
God has placed this beautiful five-fold gift in the
church to ignite, stir, and mobilize believers to effectively share their faith. What I have found to be true
is that many call themselves an evangelist, but equipping the saints to win the lost is not on their radar.
This wonderful gift to the church has become a distorted image of what the evangelist is and how it should
function. It is far beyond good preaching (which is
needed and highly valued). Pastors and teachers often carry the gift to preach and many churches do not
need another teaching, but need to be equipped with
tools and strategies to reach their city with the saving
power of Jesus Christ.
As an evangelist, I strive not only for revival and seeing
many souls saved within the service, but also for every
church to have a healthy evangelism director and team
functioning within it just like a church would have a
healthy worship team or youth ministry. For a church
to walk in all God has for it, there needs to be a healthy
relationship with the evangelist who makes up 20% of
the five-fold ministry.
Years ago whenever I would train and equip a church
we would see at times thousands reached in the com-
Evangelist Joe Oden
munity, and the church would be charged. When I
would go back to minister a year or two later it was
like we were starting where we began two years earlier.
This disturbed me and I took it to the Lord in prayer. В It
was then that I felt from the Lord to help pastors identify a key person or couple in their church to lead as
the evangelism director. This new evangelism director
would continue to lead the church in outreaches and
continue the equipping through many different avenues determined by their experience. More important
than experience, the key was finding the right person
who loves the lost and has a passion for reaching them.
Experience will always follow passion.
As a pastor or leader you understand very well the value of fruit that remains. My goal as an evangelist is
not just to preach good messages and see a powerful
altar service, but to leave and help strengthen or birth
a ministry that was not functioning in the church beforehand. Our goal is to see a healthy evangelism director leading teams into the community on a consistent
basis long after a weekend event.
I would encourage every pastor or leader that does not
have a healthy relationship with an equipping evangelist to ask God to send one into your life and ministry.
And if there is any way I can be of assistance to you and
serve you in this area, please don’t hesitate to contact
our ministry. We exist to serve the body of Christ. В We
fully know that if the local church does not grow, the
Kingdom of God will not grow.
Together in the harvest,
Joe Oden
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By Bishop T.D. Jakes
In one of the most entertaining exchanges in entertainment history,
the comedic duo of Abbott and Costello ask the question, “Who’s on
First?” in a radio skit about baseball.
What proceeds is a back-and-forth word-play about the lineup of
unusually named players, “Who” is
on first base, “What” is on second,
and “I-Don’t-Know” is on third. You
can imagine the ensuing hilarity as
the game is called.
If I were to carry that same interchange from the playing field to the
pulpit and ask a question about as14 SMG Solutions
cension planning in the church, the
punch line might very well be the
I travel in many circles around the
globe and I am astounded to find that
very few church and para-church organizations have a succession plan
in place.
What I discover instead is a host of
septuagenarians crowding the plate,
while the bull pen of forty- and fiftysomethings anxiously awaits their
turn at bat.
Paradoxically, we serve a multi-ge-
nerational God. He is Elohim, the
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
who clearly establishes generational
order in the earth:
• Moses laid hands on Joshua, commissioning the next generation of
• Elijah spoke to Elisha, saying “if
you see me when I am taken from
you,” signaling that the work would
not be done in a single generation;
• The mantle passed from spiritual
father to son with the words, “here
I am,” as Samuel completed his
priestly ministry under Eli;
from 69 years in 1960 to well past
78 years presently according to the
U.S. Census Bureau.
we share with them that will help
them be effective at reaching the
world for You!
Leadership exchange is one of the
most pressing issues in the church
At the same time, the church has
entered an epoch where great leaders like Billy Graham have edged
into their twilight years and preeminent voices like Oral Roberts and Bill
Bright have passed from this world
to the next, having fulfilled the promise in their generation.
John Wooden, the legendary UCLA
coach famously expounded, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
By not planning, we are saying that
our best years are behind us – �well
done, thou good and faithful servants,’ GAME OVER.
We live in a time when the culmination of social, medical and technological advances has catapulted the
average life expectancy of a male
In this great leadership chasm I find
myself asking out loud, “Who will
be the next great voice in Christendom?” More importantly, what can
• Ruth entreated Naomi saying,
“whither thou goest, I will go” and
set in motion a lineage that extends
from Boaz to Jesus, establishing the
ultimate leadership exchange model
in the Biblical context.
I refuse to accept this premise ipso
All I have to do is look to nature and
observe the seed. I find that good
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fruit emanates from good seed, planted in good soil, nurtured to fruition.
Why then wouldn’t we follow the same
formula for church leadership – why
wouldn’t we simply imitate the exchange model set by Elohim, the God
of order?
In my own ministry, I have taken the
pains to establish a lineage of legacy,
with four steps of mentoring, that any
leader can follow:
• You watch me do it
• You do it with me
I watch you do it
You do it alone
Transitioning leadership is like learning to drive a manual transmission.
It requires understanding timing, being attuned to the unique rhythm of
the engine, and then letting all the
training and fine engineering do what
it was meant to do.
a deep recognition that every organization will rise or fall at the level of
its leader. Or as the Greek proverb so
succinctly surmises, “A fish rots from
the head.”
Headship is the authority and power to
influence and command. “If you are
leading and no one is following, as the
Afghan aphorism affirms “then you are
only taking a walk.”
The greatest investment the church
can make is in its people! Preparing
them for what’s next is never a waste
of time.
Write to Solutions and let me know
what you think or hit me up on Twitter!
“Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift
them up, you ancient doors that the
King of Glory may come in.” Psalm
Those at the helm must shift. Their
ideology must encompass vision and
provision. They must begin to identify, instruct and invest in those in the
wings. Those who believe themselves
to be next must not under estimate
the daunting to which they aspire.
When Philip encountered the Ethiopian
man reading from the book of Isaiah
en route to Jerusalem, he asked, “Do
you understand what you are reading?”
And the man responded, “Well, how
could I, unless someone guides me?”
Well, how can the next generation ascend unless they are instructed?
Leadership is a constant that must
continue to flow, cascading like stair
steps, level by level, overflowing one
to the next, unifying the body “like
precious oil poured on the head, running down…on Aaron’s beard...”
My passion for leadership comes from
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About Bishop Jakes
Bishop T. D. Jakes is a charismatic
leader, visionary, provocative thinker,
entrepreneur, and best-selling author
who serves as the senior pastor of the
30,000-member church, The Potter’s
House located in Dallas, Texas. Named “America’s Best Preacher” by
Time Magazine, Jakes brings a fresh,
bold new perspective to real-world issues. Visit for more
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
by Herman Little III
A few years ago, a young timid girl
sat at the end of the row quietly before our regular weekly praise team
rehearsal clinching a small piece of
paper on her lap. Just a week prior,
I had given our team an assignment.
I requested that each of them write
down a few ideas or thoughts that we
could compose into an original song
to be possibly included in our worship
set one Sunday morning. My wife and
I assured the team that this was not a
quiz but more of an opportunity for
us to learn from each other. As the
team members one by one reluctantly
walked towards the piano to submit
their unconventional lyrics, the young
girl at the end of the row sheepishly moved forward and released the
tight grip on the paper. Little did we
know from that moment, all of our
lives would not be the same from a
few little words written on a piece of
Have you ever judged someone and
labeled them over a moment of frailty? Or in the middle of frustration have
you ever made a lasting judgement of
yourself due to a lasting setback?
All of us have been guilty of using
words to pass judgements on others
but it doesn’t seem to have the same
effect until judgements, labels and
words are passed on you. This reminds me of one particular disciple
that we have seemed to casually label
and rename “Doubting Thomas.”
The scripture never once called him
“Doubting Thomas”. If anything I
would say “discouraged”. This was
the same disciple that desired to follow Jesus even to then end (John 11).
Thomas did not deny Christ three times, nor did he betray his Lord for a
little cash as a result of his own insecurity. Scripture never once reveals
that he did not believe whole heartedly in Jesus, His power or message. However, for some reason this
word has preceded him, which labels him as a “doubter”(one lacking
belief). Could it merely be that what
he thought was supposed to happen;
didn’t go as planned? He heard the
sermons and saw the miracles before
his very eyes. If anything his belief
was met with discouragement because it wasn’t supposed to happen this
Have you worshiped, praised and still
lost your home and car? Have you
prayed and served in ministry faithfully to still be staring at divorce
papers? Don’t be too quick to label,
using words that are not according to
our purpose. Did you know that Jesus himself raised the dead, healed,
proclaimed the message, went to the
cross and still was in the will of the
Words are powerful! Words are packed with the omnipotent sounds of
life or death. Before there is an expressed sound of any word, there is
a thought or idea where that sound
In today’s culture where there are so
many things going on around us, it
is said that the average person has
over 30,000 thoughts a day. That’s
30,000 opportunities that can result
in sounds or words that give life or
death. One or more of those 30,000
thoughts caused Thomas to use words
to state the level of his belief. Just as
Thomas was at a moment of frailty
and discouragement, that young girl
that sat in that rehearsal was also.
She was longing for answers to her
identity even though she was faced
with pain everyday. Pain from her selfinflicted wounds on her arms and also
pain from the sound of words spoken
over her. Praise the Lord that Jesus is
always ready to comfort us. When Jesus returned He addressed Thomas’
concerns to restore him with power
(John 20:27). This reminded Thomas
that Jesus did not call him “Doubting Thomas” or even “Discouraged
Thomas” but called him along with
the other disciples, “Fishers of Men”
(Math 4:19)
It is very important that our minds are
renewed (Romans 12:2) regardless to
what goes on around us. Sounds all
around us transmitting ideas. Ideas
that create images that result in behavior (actions) and therefore developing a belief system for our lives.
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For Jesus message has always been
“Repent for the Kingdom has arrived”.
Jesus brought a message that wouldchange our thoughts.
During challenging times in ministry
or even our personal lives, don’t be
quick to label that phase in your life.
Don’t be quick to identify that moment with any other label other than
what God has originally called it. That
young timid girl revealed the words to
that song that changed my thinking
forever. This girl was suffering from
esteem issues and problems within the
home that caused her to cut herself,
but somehow she discovered the Truth and Jesus met her, addressing her
concerns. The words leaped off the
crumbled paper into the hearts of the
entire congregation during worship,
“He Loves Me”.
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Regardless where you are in life, He
loves you. Each of us are called with
a purpose to perform His perfect will.
For when you seek the Lord you will
find Him. (Jer 29: 11-13, Proverbs
16 :1-4. A renewed mind will always
result in peace. It may get hard and
intense all around you but don’t let
the pressure disconnect you from the
Don’t let the thoughts destroy your
destiny! For everything has an appropriate time, even the rough times “They
too will pass”. But Jesus said himself
“Heaven and earth may pass away...but
My words(expressed sounds) shall not
pass away”. (Luke 21:23) Love always
protects, trusts, hopes, preserves and
Never Fails!
Allow these words to renew your
thoughts...He Loves YOU!
Have you ever wondered why people consistently ignore the
very things that have the potential to sidetrack their lives?
For most, they hunt for the advice which confirms what they
want to believe instead of searching for information that
can bring real and lasting change.
For me personally, it is somewhat difficult to watch an individual walk down a path that brings none of the change
they said they so desperately wanted. Yet, sadly there are
times when people don’t seem to want to hear what you
have to say. They choose to ignore the facts and time and
time again, they hit a hard place in life. The life slogan of
the failure is, “Don’t confuse me with the facts… I’ve already made up my mind.”
Just recently I came across a document on Jewish heritage
and understandings. The one thing that stood out to me
was how they defined wisdom. They said that, “Wisdom
Is The Ability To Foresee The Consequences Of Your Decisions.”
But I can tell you from being a leader for a number of years
that there are many people that know the consequences,
yet still choose to ignore the warning signs and continue to
proceed. For some reason, there seems to be a disconnect
from action and results, which is so excessively obvious in
our society today. We continue to abort babies, accept and
celebrate all types of immorality, spend money like there is
no tomorrow, neglect training our children and yet want to
still believe that our future is bright. All the while, we have
ignored this one simple, glaring and unavoidable truth that
Poor Decisions Will Always Lead To Undesired Results.
So let me ask you, is there anything you are ignoring?
Your weight? Your broken marriage? Your distant-minded
kids? Your ever-increasing debt? Your relationship with
It is impossible to continue ignoring what is important and
believe everything is going to turn out all right. You Are
Responsible For The Outcome Of Your Life. And only by
making right decisions can you guarantee for yourself and
your loved ones a successful and satisfying future.
If you could use any assistance in making the right choices,
I have written a book just for you… It’s called The Elephant
In The Room… A Book about Decisions…
SMG Solutions 19
On A Mission
Formerly with Motown Records, Vernessa’s career has taken her across the United States and onto six
continents, while earning Grammy and Dove (Stellar) Award nominations. An ordained evangelist, she
established Higher Ground Ministries in 1985, and traveled both nationally and internationally sharing
the good news with thousands of pastors and congregations through word and song. She has had
opportunity to minister on national platforms with renowned ministers such as Reinhard Bonnke, David
Yonggi Cho, and Bishop T.D. Jakes. She has shared her ministry through the Trinity Broadcasting Network and was honored with performing during the inaugural ceremonies of President William Clinton.
20 SMG Solutions
With a smile that disarms even the
most guarded of hearts, Vernessa
Mitchell is taking the world by storm.
From her days of working in her
father’s church to now, her life has
been both exciting and full of purpose. One might be challenged to find
the single, perfect word to describe this vocal powerhouse. Whether
she’s coming across as rough and
raw or smooth and silky, her commitment to the music and its message is felt by audiences worldwide.
Davis’ ministry for ten years.
Meanwhile, Kent Washburn, who’d
produced Vernessa during her Motown days, had given his life to Jesus Christ. He found Vernessa, told
her about his change of heart and
convinced her to sign with his label Command Records. She released
two critically-acclaimed albums with
Command, the Grammy and Dove
Award-nominated “This Is My Story:
Just as she was compelled to leave
Motown because of the influence
on youth, Vernessa is returning to
the music scene to fight the principalities that attempt to destroy our
youth. “There’s such an outcry,” she
says. “Our youth are searching for
something more than the world has
to offer. Someone needs to challenge them, share the gospel with them,
and say, �You don’t have to hurt or
settle for less.’”
Born into a family of ten, Vernessa
was determined to make her mark.
She hit stardom at a young age with
her sister Barbara and two other teenage girls. They called themselves
High Energy. Berry Gordy of Motown
spotted their talent and signed them
to a recording contract during the
late �70s. Their first album went gold
and produced the hit single “You
Can’t Turn Me Off.”
Their fame was affirmed by invitations to appear on American Bandstand, Soul Train and television shows
hosted by Merv Griffin, Dina Shore,
and Mike Douglas. However, in midsuccess Vernessa decided to leave
the group and Motown. “The Lord
spoke to me and said �It’s time to
leave all of this.’” She loved the people at Motown but was concerned
about the message her music gave
young people. “You have to be so
careful about the things you put out
there...our young people are so influenced by music.” She felt a burning need to meet head-on the negative messages that are portrayed
through music that contribute to the
violent destruction of our youth.
After leaving Motown, Vernessa joined Dr. Wayne Davis’ World Won For
Christ Ministries in California. There,
she gained a solid foundation in the
Word. “God told me I couldn’t sing
about a Man I didn’t know,” she explains. She says she soon found the
real star in life is Jesus. She became
a staff member and served with Dr.
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and “Higher Ground.” “I praise God
that he sent me the same professional people and expertise I had at
Motown; only now, we are all serving
the Lord.”
Later, she recorded with the Nicholas Family and co-wrote and sang
the lead on the hit song “I Gotta Tell
Somebody.” Vernessa’s other hits
include “Stand Up and Be Counted,”
“Trust in The Lord,” “When I’m Weak
I’m Strong” and “He’ll Find A Way.”
Vernessa’s next album was entitled
“On A Mission”. Released on the Benson label, it featured a stirring song
called “Soldier” set to a militaristic
beat. This song was nominated for a
Stellar award.
She issued her challenges through
special events such as Youth Crisis
Awareness Week, a marathon week
of youth evangelism spearheaded in
the Midwest by Cheryl Hurley, director of the High School Ministry network. Top national Christian youth
speakers were paired with wellknown musicians to enter 73 high
schools in four days and give motivational assemblies. Vernessa teamed
up with friend Joseph Jennings, who
is a former Black Nationalist known
for cutting to the heart of gang
members. The week culminated in a
stadium filled with 15,000-20,000
kids, set against a backdrop of one
of the most troubled neighborhoods
in Wichita, Kansas. Governor Joan
Finney heard about the event and invited Vernessa
and Joseph to come to Topeka, Kansas to present
their message. Finney was so moved by the pair she
gave them a letter of recommendation, endorsing
their work as they go into other high schools.
Touring Italy, France, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico,
Trinidad and our own United States, Vernessa’s talents have been heard in her music and seen in her
preaching. She is an ordained minister with the focus
to carry the Gospel to those who need it most, including inmates behind prison walls. “It’s important to
take the gospel to those who are hurting, who never go inside a church.” Vernessa wants to counsel
young people. And one day, she wants to open a
home for abused children and pregnant teens.
Vernessa has spread a message of hope, joy and love
well beyond the walls of local churches and into the
urban streets of America, the United Kingdom, Japan,
Africa, Brazil, and Israel. She was recently featured
as a guest artist during Glenn Beck’s “Restoring the
Honor” assembly in Washington, D.C. as well as the
“Restoring Courage” assembly in Israel. Her versatility
as an artist has allowed her music to transcend religious
thinking, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds. Whether she
is sharing her heart at women’s meetings, singles’ events,
or youth conferences, Vernessa meets others at the point
of their need and shares a life-changing ministry. She
currently serves as Vice President of Public Relations for
Clergy500 International, and is establishing a foundation
for American youth. The lady is, as they say, “On a Mission.”
To Bring
To Your Church or Special Event,
contact us today.
TAKE A SWIM – Make Reinhard Bonnke’s
Soul-Winning Impartation Meeting available
at your church. It’s one event that will change
your members forever...
24 SMG Solutions
Contact Us to learn how: 419-224-6010 or by email
at [email protected]
SMG Solutions 25
Jesus Will Work It Out...
Or Will He?
Whew, the last 18 months have been
like a rollercoaster ride for me. Yet,
my faith has never been stronger.
I’ve never been more determined. I
have grown in my love for God and
people. I’m still working on some
other stuff, but we’ll talk about that
another time.
If you’re in a rough season of life,
God is not mad at you. (Well maybe a
little… Just kidding! LOL). As a matter
of fact, God loves you so much, He
has already supplied all of your needs
according to His riches in glory.
Even in this recession there is no
need to fear. Let go of confusion and
ask God for clarity and peace of mind.
We can’t let ourselves be deceived.
Yes, churches, politics, business…
everything around us is changing.
Some of it is good, and some of it
not so good. Regardless, we need to
make some personal changes. Ghandi said, “You must be the change you
want to see in the world.”
So many times we say we’re waiting
on God. Could it be that God is waiting on us? Could it be that we can’t
let go of our past. Maybe we haven’t
learned how to forgive someone else
or even ourselves. Are we holding on
to a bad plan and believing God to
bless something that was never His
plan in the first place? Are we still li26 SMG Solutions
ving in pain and haven’t sought the
help we need to begin the process of
What God may be doing is trying to
get us to realize that we are imperfect people in an imperfect world. We
make mistakes. We blow it BIG TIME.
We have all been guilty of living our
lives based on our dysfunctions.
That’s why it’s so important that we
find our true identity through who
God says we are and not through our
culture, a bad childhood, or constantly berating yourself. You are
fearfully and wonderfully made.
So to get unstuck, you must get refreshed, get focused, and let your
mind be transformed. Develop the
skills you need to bring overflow into
your life.
You see God gave us incredible brain power and access to His great
power. Our God-given human mind
has developed some pretty amazing
inventions: the iPod, computers, planes, trains and automobiles, phones,
We have the God given ability to solve problems. “Jesus will work it out!”
is a good song, but some things He
is not going to work out for you. He
gave you the power to work it out.
How? By making right decisions,
personally developing, learning and
growing. Then and only then can we
have true prosperity. Blessed… to be
a blessing!
You already have faith. But faith alone is not enough for a turnaround
in every situation. We must also ask
God for wisdom. We must learn and
then grow from our experiences. Faith without works is dead.
So we must also be strong in the Lord
and actively press toward the prize
(which means taking action) instead
of constantly procrastinating or living in fear.
I believe in miracles. I believe God loves me. But I also know that we still
have some tough decisions to make
in the days ahead. Some things we
need to hold on to… other things,
we’ve got to let it go. God Himself
will make you and me strong, firm
and steadfast.
So from my heart to your home, I pray
the days ahead for you will be filled
with renewed purpose, open doors
and supernatural breakthroughs!
Remember, you are an OVERCOMER!
The REINVENTION Continues…
You matter,
Alvin Slau
The fear of the Lord is a deep reverence for Him. It implies that when we fear Him we will prostrate ourselves
before Him, surrendering our power and will, and becoming vulnerable with a humble heart. Simply put, when we
fear God we give Him the supreme position of honor in our lives.
The Fear of the Lord
The fear of the Lord requires obedience. If we truly fear God, we will
obey His every word and seek to
pursue His every desire. This type
of obedience surely requires that we
live by faith and not by sight. To live
by faith, the old man must be crucified so that only God may be allowed
to live and express Himself through
our mortal bodies. Not many can
honestly say they live this way.
Most people who say they live by
faith in reality are not living by faith at all. They are governed by their
senses and nearly atheistic in their
thinking and actions. This produces
Christians who do not believe that
God exists in a powerful enough
way to do anything real in their lives.
The Bible calls this having a form of
godliness, but denying the power
For Your Good
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says: "And
now, Israel, what does the Lord your
God require of you, but to fear the
Lord your God, to walk in all His
ways, and to love Him, and to serve
the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul, to keep the
commandments of the Lord, and His
statutes, which I command you this
day for your good?"
other words, they stopped walking
in His ways, loving Him, and giving
Him the rightful place of supremacy
in their lives.
Fearing God, loving Him, and walking in His ways will always end in
your good. If you believe you have
suffered loss when things are required of you in order to give God the
supreme position of honor in your
life, it is an expression of pride, faithlessness, and a form of idol worship.
When they stopped fearing the Lord
it launched them into a habit of
murmuring against God. They complained, discouragement came, and
they backslid.
Nothing you have, nothing you do,
and nothing you aspire to should
ever be regarded as more important
than giving God His rightful place in
your life. Nothing. If you give anything a place of preeminence above
God, you will one day find yourself
living as Israel did time and again,
faithless and in bondage.
In Deuteronomy 32:20, God said He
would hide Himself from an estranged Israel because He called them
"children in whom is no faith". How
did the children of God get to this
place? They arrived there because
they stopped fearing the Lord. In
It's no different today. People backslide because they lose their faith,
and the number one reason people
lose their faith is because they stop
fearing the Lord. One way or another they stop loving Him enough to
obey His commands, they stop fearing Him enough to walk in His ways,
and they stop giving Him the rightful
place of superiority as they yield that
place to someone or something else.
Sadly, no longer will the good of the
land be theirs. No longer will their
love and obedience produce God's
desire for them. No longer will they
abide under the shadow of the Almighty where provision and protection are abundant.
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No Fear
No one in their right mind would sin
against God because He has the power
to not only destroy the human body, but
to cast the soul into an eternal hell. Sin
only abounds when people leave their
right mind by refusing to, or neglecting
to, fear the Lord.
It's the same with your children. When
they do not fear you, or when they do
not believe you will carry out the consequences promised for their disobedience, nothing will hold them back from
that disobedience.
Why do people steal? Because they have
no fear of the law. Why do people murder? Because they do not fear those who
promise retribution for their actions.
This is why sin abounds in our nation,
and it is why sin abounds in the church.
People today in the body of Christ do not
fear the Lord. Without this fear, there is
little restraint.
The Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but
week after week Christians choose to
stay home for any number of reasons
rather than go to church. "I'm too busy."
"I need to work overtime." "My kids don't
want to go." "I stayed up too late last
night." Excuse after excuse, rather than
the fear of the Lord.
Today, obedience is considered optional.
We have Christians who prefer to watch
their pastor preach from the comfort of
their couch via internet rather than get
up, get dressed, and get to the assembly
as God commands. Technology is great
for the times when you truly can't make
it to church, but it should never be used
as a tool to enable you to live in disobedience.
I believe the lukewarm, half-committed
state of the church is only the beginning
of people losing their fear of the Lord.
When more and more lose it, they will
become more and more godless, which
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will infiltrate the church to an even
greater degree.
When people fail to honor God, when
they relinquish the assembling of
themselves together in a local church,
when they lay down using their gifts
and calling for others, when they give
up the faithfulness of a saint, the
study of the scriptures, and the establishing of the soundness of doctrine, when they are lax rather than
supporting one another, and when
they choose to be less active in their
church, it is a sign they have lost the
fear of God.
The sad thing is, because people
lose the fear of the Lord, they sell
their children to the god of this world
and to the idols of the world system.
They remove the fear of God from
their homes, and they promote other
gods, allowing their children to serve them even as they try to maintain
their Christianity in name only. This is
Let me remind you that we are not
in this world. We are in the kingdom
of God, and the world needs to see a
church that fears the Lord!
Learning to Fear the Lord
We need to return to a reverential
fear of the Lord that causes us to
prostrate ourselves before Him, becoming powerless and utterly dependent upon His hand and His alone. We
need a revival of fear in the pews before there will be a revival in the land.
Deuteronomy 17:18 tells us how this
revival begins. It says: "And it shall
be, when he sits upon the throne of
his kingdom, that he shall write him a
copy of this law in a book out of that
which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he
shall read therein all the days of his
life: that he may learn to fear the Lord
his God, to keep all the words of this
law and these statutes, to do them."
This was the command to every king
who ascended the throne in Israel.
This was to be the inaugural act of his
kingdom reign. Before any law was
written, and before any decree was
enacted, the king was to be given a
copy of the law so that he could read
it and learn to fear the Lord.
The fear of the Lord is something we
can learn. It is not a gift that comes
to us, but it is a substance that is to
be sought after. To fear the Lord we
must seek, and we will find. We must
knock, and it will be opened.
When you learn to fear the Lord, you
will migrate toward walking in His
ways; not selectively, but in totality.
It will not matter to you what will happen as a result. You will simply walk
in the ways of the Lord, fearing to do
anything else.
Our world today knows little about
sacrifice. Most of us live on the backs
of the generations who have gone
before us to secure the freedom and
the lifestyle we have become accustomed to. We have not lost blood for
that which we have, but others who
came before us did. They sacrificed
their all so that we might have the
things they only dreamed of.
How many mothers and fathers have
worked their fingers to the bone so
that their children might have a better life? How many guardians of the
faith have labored on their knees so
that we might walk in the goodness
of the Word, in faith, in the gifts of
the Spirit, and in miracles?
Who broke through spiritual barriers
for us? Who won our freedom with
their own blood? Where are those
who are willing to give themselves as
a sacrifice for others today?
We don't like sacrifice because it
means that we must give more than
we are willing to give. We want sacrifice to mean that we can give until
we decide to stop, but true sacrifice means that we give until the job
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is done and the victory is won, no
matter the cost.
In the service of God, sacrifice
means that one extinguishes his
life so that God may know that He is
first. This is true sacrifice.
The Basis of Faith
The fear of the Lord is the basis of
all faith. In other words, if you do
not fear God, you do not have faith.
You may think you do, and you may
say you do, but your actions reveal
that faith has no place in your life.
Faith and obedience are brothers. If
you do not fear God, you will not
obey. And if you do not obey, you
will not live by faith.
Hebrew 11:4-34 gives us a great
accounting of the men and women
of faith in the Bible who did great
and mighty things with their faith.
But then we hit verse 35, and we
begin to read of those whose faith
was just as great, and yet they had
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a different outcome.
The Bible says some were tortured
rather than accepting deliverance. We don't like this one. It also
says some were mocked, whipped,
bound, and imprisoned. We don't
like this one either. Some were stoned, cut in pieces, and impaled with
the sword. We really don’t like this
What do we learn here? The fear of
the Lord is the basis of all faith, and
faith is nothing more than obedience in motion. Those whose outcome
seemed like defeat are listed in the
hall of faith along with those whose
mighty acts are well-known. They
are honored not because of the
outcome, but because of the obedience and the fear of the Lord that
empowered them to stand strong
against all opposition.
This is the kind of faith we should
teach our children; the kind of faith
that causes us to be strong against
all temptation, during all tragedy,
and in spite of attacks, troubles, and
trials of every kind. No matter what
we face, the fear of the Lord must
propel us to stand strong without
wavering. What a testimony! What
a faith!
May we learn to fear the Lord. May
we pick up the Bible again and read
it as a king on his first day on the
throne. We are called kings and
priests unto our God. May we do as
it is required of a king and set ourselves to read the Word, to believe
what it says, and then to do what is
required of us.
May we teach our children to fear
the Lord. May we sacrifice and lay
down our lives so that they may
know Him, love Him, walk in His
ways, and live in His abundance. I
know it almost sounds clichГ©, but
may we truly live as Christians,
Christ-like ones, giving our all in
service to the Lord.
Do you fear Him?
Why It’s
to Reward
Yourself Now and Then
Enjoyment is the fuel we need to reach the finish line
of an endeavor with a good attitude. We may drive ourselves to finish, but somewhere along the way we will
probably become bitter and get a chip on our shoulder
if we don’t lighten up and take time to celebrate the
I believe that we must confront the reasons why we
tend to feel guilty about enjoying and celebrating life
when God has clearly ordained and commanded both.
Our thinking has been warped in these areas. Satan has
managed to deceive us, and by doing so he succeeds in
keeping people weary and worn out, feeling resentful
and taken advantage of because of excessive work and
We need times of refreshment and recreation as well
as work and accomplishment. Learn to reward yourself
because you are worth it!
Why Your Guilt Doesn’t Belong
When I ask large audiences how many people feel guilty
when they try to rest or entertain themselves or even
do things they enjoy, my guess is that at least 80 percent of the people raise their hands. I was part of that
80 percent until I decided that I was not built for guilt,
and I was not going to continue allowing a renegade
feeling to rule my life.
I studied God’s Word about guilt and studied His character and nature until I was totally convinced that God
is not the source of guilt.
I see guilt as an illegal alien that attacks our mind and
conscience, attempting to prevent us from enjoying
anything God has provided for us. Guilt has no legal
right in our lives because Jesus has paid for our sins
and misdeeds. If it is in us illegally, then we need to
send it back where it came from—which is hell!
SMG Solutions 31
The Trouble with Guilt Addiction
Your Permission to Lighten Up
I was once addicted to guilt. The only time in life
that I felt right was when I felt wrong. I especially
had difficulty enjoying myself because I didn’t feel
that I deserved it. I was most definitely a person who
needed to give myself permission to lighten up and
not be so intense about basically everything in life.
I was out of balance in almost everything. I did not
yet realize that celebration and enjoyment are necessary in our lives—we cannot be healthy spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically without it!
I was intense about how my children behaved and
looked. I was intense about how my house looked,
how I looked and what people thought of us. I was
intense about trying to change my husband into
what I thought he should be. I really can’t think of
anything I wasn’’t intense about!
I remember going to a doctor once because I was
exhausted all the time and generally felt horrible.
He talked to me five minutes and said, “You are a
very intense woman and your problem is stress!” I
got offended, left his office and continued with my
intense, stressful lifestyle.
I didn’t know how to trust God with daily life.
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We must remember that we are not built for guilt,
and we should deal with it aggressively anytime we
experience it.
The best gift you can give your family and the world
is a healthy you—and you cannot be healthy without
celebration being a regular part of your life.
You can change the entire atmosphere in your home
by simply giving yourself permission to lighten up.
This article is an excerpt from Joyce’s bestselling book Eat
the Cookie...Buy the Shoes. Copyright В© 2010 by Joyce
Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
For more on this topic, order Joyce’s book Eat the Cookie…
Buy the Shoes. You can also contact us to receive our free
magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling (800) 7279673 or visiting
34 SMG Solutions
SMG Solutions 35
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PROFILE: Danny Boy
Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Actor these are just a few of the titles that
apply to the multi-talented man named Danny Boy Steward.
Born into a family of musically talented people, he grew up listening to
the classics of jazz, gospel and R&B.
He obtained most of his inspiration
from artists like Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, and the late, great, Marvin Gaye, but none more importantly
than his mother, Dorothy, who was
also a very talented singer and poet.
back on his previous life since.
Danny is now a worship leader in Atlanta, GA. He travels the world preaching the gospel and sharing God’s
love through song to the young people with whom he naturally connects.
Danny’s popularity from his days
with Death Row and Tupac has helped to propel his ministry to heights
he never anticipated, as many students can identify with his musical
The best chapters have yet to be written about this gifted artist. Danny’s
goal today is to showcase the gift
that God gave him for all to enjoy.
He is currently working on an upcoming double CD release entitled,
“Love Offering” for his own label,
Eclectic Soul Music Group. Keep your
eyes and ears open for this artist: the
best is yet to come!
With strong roots in gospel music, he
used his passion in the church and
delighted many lives with his gift
of song. He then ventured into the
theatre to star in such plays as “Love
The Hurt Away” and “Woman To Woman” by John Ruffin.
In 1996. after witnessing the death
of his mentor and good friend Tupac
Shakur and suffering his own neardeath experience, Danny Boy gave
his life to Christ. He has not looked
SMG Solutions 37
Your Pathway to Success
by Evangelist Troy Freeman
What does Shaquille O’Neil, Jack Nicklaus, Mohammad Ali, Donald Trump,
and Oprah Winfrey all have in common? And what do they have in common with people like TD Jakes, Rod
Parsley, RW Schambach, Oral Roberts,
Kenneth Hagin Sr. and Reinhard Bonnke? PASSION! All of them became
well known, even World famous, because they are passionate about their
Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the
Law shall not depart from your
mouth, but you shall meditate on it
day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your
prosperous, and then you will
have good success.”(NKJV, emphasis
mine) What is the key element in this
verse to being prosperous and having
good success? A passion for God and
His Word!
As a minister for twenty years, I have
discovered the key to staying on
track, staying productive, and staying successful in God’s Kingdom,
and that is, staying passionate in all
things that pertain to His Kingdom.
We all have felt at times, “Weary in
well doing,” but it is in these times
that I stop, take a deep breath, relax,
and refocus.
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I believe that one of Satan’s big tools
is to quench, stifle, and steal our passion for the things of God. The Word
declares that the enemy comes only
to steal, kill and destroy. God has called every one of us to be passionate
for Him; to be passionate for His Spirit, His anointing, His Word, and for
His people.
I have learned that everyone is passionate about something. In my travels I have seen tractor-trailers with
such motto’s on the side of them as,
“Bridgestone tires; �Passion for Excellence,’” “; �Confidence in
Motion,’” and “Purina pet food; �Your
Pet, Our Passion.’” These companies
are nationally known because they
are passionate about their products.
The famous poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” We
as believers ought to exude passion.
Why is Donald trump so well known?
Because he has always had a passion
for real estate. He eats, sleeps, and
drinks a passion for property. Why
is Jesse Duplantis so well known? Because he is passionate about reaching
souls at a world wide level. Passion
has elevated them and it will elevate
us as well in our towns, communities
and cities and in our spheres of in-
fluence, and as our passion grows,
so will our territory of influence and
Passion precedes presence. God
spoke to me several years ago and
said, “I want you to travel on the
evangelistic field and re-ignite My
people with a passion for Me. Share with them what I have done in you
and what I have shared with you concerning a passion for Me.” He showed
me that a passion for Him is the doorway to His presence in an unprecedented way. He taught me that praise is a manifestation of passion. God
inhabits the praises of His people.
Passion produces. When I get so full
of love for Him, I can’t help but express myself to Him. When you get so
full of love for your spouse and children, you can’t help but express it to
them in a manifested way. Our natural passion for our spouse produces
Then He gave me the revelation that
if passion produces in the natural,
the same must be true for the spiritual. As I am passionate for God, His
Spirit communes with my Spirit and
seeds of answered prayer are planted, seeds of blessing are planted,
seeds of miracles are planted, seeds
of power and anointing are planted,
and as I cultivate those things in prayer, praise, worship and Word, at the
right time and full season, we will birth those things.
Abraham was a success because he
was passionate; Moses delivered the
people out of bondage because of a
passion to fulfill God’s word; Joshua
and Caleb had a passion to possess
the promised land; David danced
before the Lord with a passion; after
Pentecost, “Peter preached with boldness”; blind Bartimaeus cried out all
the more with a passion to be healed; and the woman with the issue of
blood pressed with a passion through
the crowd, not caring what others
said or thought to touch the hem of
His garment to be made whole. Jesus
was so passionate for us He willingly
laid down His life so that we could
have “life and that more abundantly.”
Christ carried a cross for me, surely I
can carry a fire for Him.
What is the key to increased success,
influence, and prosperity for us, and
the people we pastor? An ever-increasing Passion!
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and
take heart and wait for the LORD.”
~ Psalm 27:14
Waiting is a theme for a number of
the Psalms - moreso than in any other
book in the Bible. David, Israel’s shepherd-king, was familiar with waiting.
He had to wait on God to sort out all
the mishaps with his rise to kingship.
There was a lot of tension between
him and King Saul. There were times
when David had to literally get out of,
dodge, leave Jerusalem, because his
life was in jeopardy. Saul’s men were
looking for him to kill him. During
this very difficult time David learned
to wait upon the Lord.
David had opportunity to speed up
the waiting process. He had a chance
while hidden deep within a cave, to
kill King Saul, ending the wait, but he
chose to wait upon the Lord.
Would you have been able to do that?
How do you feel about waiting upon
the Lord? How do you handle it?
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Despite what you might think or hear
others say, there are good things that
happen while we wait.
Waiting Builds Character
The waiting process for David built
character in his life. It made him a
better person. David’s men saw the
opportunity presented in the cave
as a God-given moment. Remember
they said,“This is the day the LORD
spoke of when he said to you, �I will
give your enemy into your hands for
you to deal with as you wish.’” But David said to them in verse 6,“The LORD
forbid that I should do such a thing
to my master, the LORD’s anointed,
or lay my hand on him; for he is the
anointed of the LORD.” Think of the
respect David’s men gave him that
day because he chose to wait upon
the Lord. Would you have been able
to do that?
You see, I didn’t understand waiting
when God first called me into ministry. I was on a mission trip to the
Dominican Republic when I answered
God’s call to ministry. I didn’t think
waiting would be a part of that call.
I guess I thought I would answer the
call to ministry and have a job preaching the next day. Little did I know
that it would be 6 long years before
I entered the ministry full-time. God
needed to build character in me because I was a character. God used that
time to shape and mold me into the
man He wanted me to be. He’s not
done either. I had to wait, and I like to
think that something good happened
because of it.
I believe David became the greatest
king Israel ever had because he was
described as a man, “after God’s own
heart,” but he was also a man who
knew how to wait upon the Lord.
Waiting Stands As A Testimony Of
The word “wait” used in our psalm
can mean to put hope in, expect, to
be eager, to put trust in. It is also sometimes used synonymously with the
words “trust” and “hope.” To wait is to
trust. To wait is to hope. An author I
recently read said, “To wait for God is
the ultimate expression of trust and
The Best Example of Waiting
The best example of Someone Who
believed and lived this principle out
is our Savior Jesus Christ.
I was thinking of His temptation in
the wilderness. He was fasting when
Satan came to Him and tempted Him
with food. He waited. After seeing
that this tactic didn’t work, he tempted Him in regards to trust in God.
“Throw yourself down and God will
save you.” Jesus waited. When that
didn’t work, Satan tried offering Him
all the kingdoms of the world. What
did Jesus do? He waited and placed
His hope and trust in the Lord.
There was a lady I became close
friends with several years ago. She
has since gone to be with the Lord
after losing her battle with cancer.
She was a special and awesome lady!
She was a great friend to many. She
was so full of hope and trust in the
Lord. Even to her last minutes on her
deathbed she remained hopeful in
the Lord. She had to wait upon the
Lord, and she did it with happiness
and joy. Can you wait upon the Lord
like that?
I was also thinking about Jesus in the
garden the night before His death.
Remember that story? Do you remember Him as He was anxiously
waiting? He was in prayer and He was
deeply disturbed, but He found strength to pray, “Not my will, but Thine.”
Reminds me of the of the song:
Father. His disciples saw this just by
His waiting upon the Lord in different
situations. They learned that God is
faithful and can help us in the wait.
As we walk out our Christian lives, let
us remember two ways God will use
our waiting for good in our lives:
1. God uses waiting to build and
transform character.
2. God uses waiting as a testimony to
others of our hope in Him
“Not my will, but Thine; not my will,
but Thine;
Not my will, but Thy will be done,
Lord, in me.
May Thy Spirit divine fill this being of
Not my will, but Thy will be done,
Lord, in me.”
That is the testimony of someone
waiting upon the Lord. Through all
of this, Jesus testified to trust in the
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Vicki Yohe Shares God’s Love
With the Orphans of Uganda
Located in Jinja Uganda East Africa, Vicki Yohe’s New
Destiny for Children, is a Christ centered “Safe Place”
for children orphaned as a result of war and the AIDS
The initial phase of this mission is the Juliana Mercy House, a secure and modern compound that can
accommodate up to 60 of our children and staff.В However, the vision of this mission is to continue
expanding the property to house and educate 1000
The Juliana Mercy House
New Destiny’s goal is not limited to simply feeding,
housing and educating our children.В Rather we are
empowering them, and through education and love,
these Children of God will walk in truth and flourish
in life, making an impact in their city and their nation.
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Each of us has ministry hopes and dreams that God has
implanted within us, all-consuming passions that motivate us to press on. It’s the power of these visions that
sustain us through our journey of faith. Like me, you may
have God-given dreams that have not yet come to fruition.
A debt-free church and property
A healthy staff and church family that loves and
appreciates me, their pastor
A positive presence and influence in the community
A decent income for my family
A ministry school to train those called to the five-fold
Working with my oldest son in full-time ministry with
a growing church
These were some of the dreams of my heart for many
years. Yet, due to the lack of results and the pervasiveness
of the situation, I was discouraged to the point of quitting
pastoral ministry. I struggled with regret and feelings of
inadequacy and depression. People came to my church
for hope, and I knew they weren’t getting what they needed. They came with expectations, but I could sense their
frustration when they left with them unmet. The situation
exacerbated with this ongoing pressure - both internally
and externally. It was all my fault. I was joylesss. My high
hopes and dreams out of sight, daily life became about
survival, not success.
Value of Relationships
At my lowest point, God sent healthy, spiritual leadership
into my life to speak to my wounded spirit and start the
healing process. I thank God everyday that I received a call
weekly from a healing evangelist. It was my ongoing lifeline; it sparked my spirit to begin again. I still didn’t have
the strength to go in my own power, but receiving his call
inspired hope and vision while I was able to be transparent, sharing my vulnerability and hurt. This relationship
sparked my fire. Each call gave me fuel for my spirit for
the week, but it also gave me practical strategies to build
and grow a church. I learned a new appreciation for godly
relationships with mentors and fathers, and I found the
value of being able to open up to someone trustworthy
when I am vulnerable, weak and hurt.The fresh fire and
the new life of Christ poured back into my spirit and I felt
like I was baptized in the Holy Spirit all over again!
A Lesson of Humility
Through these phone calls, I learned humility. In the past,
I had struggled with feelings of intimidation when around
people of greater strength or anointing. I found myself
competing with them internally. As I recognized and received the anointing of this father figure, I received hope,
strength, and life.
One minister said, “We are as sick as our secrets.” In my
desperation, I was willing to acknowledge the sickness I
had been masking and make adjustments to become well
again. I chose life-giving changes.
Humility makes adjustments; pride makes excuses. As I
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adjusted my character, I thought less about my ministry
and more about my healing and desire for holiness.
Applying the Word
The catalyst to my spirit, this growing mentorship, encouraged me to go back to the power of Scripture and
daily speak twenty to twenty-five “rhema” verses over
my life and family. My mind was renewed. Through daily
Bible reading, study and meditation of the truths of God,
the depressing darkness in my heart was replaced by
the comfort and power of the Word! I was sparked and
fueled again to go forward in my faith. I also received
over this period of time practical pastoral strategies to
build and grow.
Returning to Fasting and Prayer
While in my depression, after praying so long and hard
with so little results, subconsciously I had begun to pray
less and less with no fasting. As I regained my footing
and strength, I learned the importance of breaking away
from the day-to-day routine of pastoring to spend regular, intimate time with God. He gave me specific periods
of time where I focused solely on Him and His presence
as I sat at the feet of Jesus. Like Paul, I began to pray with
greater purpose from an active position for the needs of
my heart, family and church.
The Fulfilling of Dreams
Over time and with great support, I began to regain
strength. My son was coming into his own ministry in a
new way. Together, we were building a team. Soon thereafter, our church experienced growth and we transitioned to two Sunday services. Then we built a school.
Then we built a larger church debt-free. Now we hold
three weekend services and are building a larger facility.
My dreams are coming to pass!
But as those dreams that once absorbed my focus are
being realized, God is already giving me new dreams for
the next season.
If you are going through a tough time right now, if the
stress of unfulfilled or slowly progressing dreams is absorbing your focus, I want you to know that I would be
honored to be that trustworthy person you can talk to.
I understand where you are. I’ve walked that road, and
my heart is to pass on the blessing of friendship to other
pastors as it was passed on to me during one of the
lowest points of my life. I encourage you to email me at
[email protected]
by Steve Hill
Jesus called His followers to be servants. But in today’s flashy
church scene, some leaders have become superstars.
There is a disease sweeping through the body of Christ.
It’s an infectious sickness I call “the man of God syndrome” or “the celebrity syndrome.” It rears its ugly head in
the form of self-adulation and self-promotion. Thankfully, the Bible offers the antidote.
In our politically minded, vote-conscious world, we think
we are in control of who gets raised up. But the Bible
says the opposite: “Exaltation comes neither from the
east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is
the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another” (Ps.
75:6-7, NKJV). In Daniel 2:21 we read, “And He changes
the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises
up kings.” God is plainly telling us we are not in charge!
What does this have to do with the man-of-God syndrome? Everything.
A “syndrome” is a group of symptoms that characterize a
particular abnormality. The man-of-God syndrome describes people who “think more highly than they ought” of
their positions in the body of Christ.
These arrogant individuals are enamored by their perceived value. Unlike Jesus who made Himself of no reputation, they spend their lives making sure everyone knows
their reputation. This deadly disease affects the body of
Christ worldwide. It’s in every congregation, denomination and church movement around the planet. Leaders
are stuck on themselves.
Here’s a word of caution to my fellow clergy. If you’re a
minister who’s rising in prominence and you begin to feel
as if you’re somebody, get on your face before the Lord.
Weep tears of repentance and say to the Lord: “Naked I
came into this world and naked I will return. Anything I
have or have accomplished is because You have given me
breath” (see Job 1:21).
Remember Herod’s fate when he began believing the
praise of the crowd? He died and was eaten by worms
(see Acts 12:20-23). I’d rather be a worm than be eaten
by them.
You see, it’s not by heredity. It’s not by the orders of
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men. It’s not by politics and elections.
It’s not by natural succession. Nor is it
by conquest and war that we get elevated in life. It’s by God.
Celebrity Mind-Set
When individuals infected with the
deadly celebrity syndrome enter a
room, they expect others to recognize
their presence and pay homage. They
desire front-row or platform seats
and are visibly disturbed when not
given the red-carpet treatment they
I’m not attempting to sway the mass
of ministers who, in their own minds,
have risen to such high levels. They
would attack me with Scripture and
vilify me for speaking against their
“well-deserved” positions. I’d rather
spend my time preventing the present generation from going down that
Young men and women who desire
to enter the ministry are witnessing a
warped concept of true ministry. And
many outside the church have become
repulsed by today’s Christian leaders.
They feel they must speak even when
not called upon simply because they
believe everyone present will live
in the dark without their superior
knowledge. These individuals have risen above doing menial tasks around
the church such as cleaning toilets,
picking up garbage and tending infants in the nursery. They no longer
stoop that low because now they are
They even find it beneath themselves
to spend time with a church member
who is not at their socio-economic or
spiritual level. The sad truth is, they
avoid the very people who have elevated them to their position in the
Leaders who have been infected
with this disease no longer associate
with common, ordinary people. They
claim: “Time just doesn’t permit me
to spend time with you. I’m so busy.”
But they seem to have plenty of time
to rub shoulders, play golf and sip tea
with a more prestigious crowd.
Ministers with this syndrome no longer spend time in the foyer shaking
hands with congregants. They claim
the church has gotten too large. Yet
they have time to shake hands and
dine with the elite. I call these people
“white-collar clergy.”
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hire Hollywood ad agencies and secular image consultants so they’ll appear one notch above other ministers.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with
advertising an evangelistic meeting, a
ministry or a church. But many have
gone too far.
The church of Jesus Christ needs to
send this self-promotion back to
where it was birthed—in the cesspool
of hell. Wasn’t Lucifer the first being
who became full of himself and decided he should be promoted?
The next generation of believers
needs shepherds who have a “servant
syndrome” not a “serve-me syndrome.”
I’m not speaking only of clergy. If you
serve in the church in any way—as a
Sunday school teacher, deacon, choir
member or children’s worker—then
this message should speak volumes
to you.
Stuck on Self
The world is waiting for men and women of God who are more concerned
about how they appear to Christ than
how they appear to the crowd. People
are longing to find leaders who are
stuck on helping sinners rather than
stuck on helping self. They are fed up
with our slick self-promotion; glitzy,
eye-popping Internet, TV and radio
spots; and high-gloss, self-exalting
magazine, newspaper and poster ads
that elevate man rather than exalt Jesus.
Some leaders have gone so far as to
Why? Because the same self-promoting spirit that grips those in ministry
can put a stranglehold on good, Godfearing churchgoers. The same idolizing, self-adulating spirit that has invaded the lives of so many who make
ministry their career can find its way
into your life too.
What can you do to avoid this deception? Here’s what Jesus had to say on
the subject.
The higher you rise in popularity,
the greater your position as a servant. We’re all familiar with the story
found in Mark 9:35-37: “And He [Jesus] sat down, called the twelve, and
said to them, �If anyone desires to be
first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’ Then He took a little child
and set him in the midst of them. And
when He had taken him in His arms,
He said to them, �Whoever receives
one of these little children in My name
receives Me; and whoever receives
Me, receives not Me but Him who
sent Me.’”
Before Jesus humbly blessed this
child, He had already performed incredible miracles. He healed the woman with the issue of blood, experienced the transfiguration, raised
Lazarus from the dead and fed the
5,000. Yet after all that, what did He
tell His disciples? “If you want to be
first, you’ve got to be last. You must
be a servant of all.”
The higher you rise in popularity, the
greater your position as a servant.
That concept is hard to grasp in our
Western culture because we’re known
for climbing the ladder of success.
Secular bookstores are flooded with
manuals on how to rise above the
person in front of you, which is the
exact opposite of what Jesus taught.
Jesus’ prescription for this deadly
syndrome is, “Whatever great things
you do, always remember you’re a
servant.” Let’s keep in mind that one
of the last acts of this miracle worker was washing the disciples’ feet.
The higher He rose in popularity, the
greater His position as a servant.
A person who wants to be involved
in the lives of men must first become intimate with God. We do that by
spending time in our prayer closets
repenting of our sins and getting to
know Him.
Psalm 51 shows us the way. “Purge
me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than
snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken
may rejoice.
“Hide Your face from my sins, and
blot out all my iniquities. Create in
me a clean heart, O God, and renew
a steadfast spirit within me. Do not
cast me away from Your presence,
and do not take Your Holy Spirit from
me. Restore to me the joy of Your
salvation, and uphold me by Your
generous Spirit” (vv. 7-12).
Hyssop was a plant used for medicinal purposes and for cleansing.
Here’s the clincher. After you get
right with God and are cleansed,
after you become intimate with the
Lord, something happens:
“Then I will teach transgressors Your
ways; and sinners shall be converted
to You” (v. 13). This is so clear. But
too often people get the cart before
the horse. If you want to be positioned in the ministry, if you want to be
useful on earth, let me tell you how:
Get in a place of intimacy with God.
touch from God and screamed out,
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy
on me!” What did Jesus do? Did He
say: “Get rid of him. Get him out of
here”? No! He said, “Call him here.”
My friend, that’s how Jesus operated.
With His great anointing He was still
A person who is positioned in the
ministry by God will be persecuted
by others. You might as well accept
it. If you’re positioned by God, you
will go through persecution. In fact,
Jesus, in the middle of His glorious,
crowd-mesmerizing ministry, maintained intimacy with God.
What does this have to do with
church life? Everything. Church
members, singers, musicians, altar
workers, children’s workers, future
staff members—whatever you’re after, this is the road you must travel.
The amount of anointing you possess should never dictate how
approachable you are. I’ve chosen
not to model my life on the lives of
modern-day pastors or evangelists.
Although there have been great men
and women of God in the past and
there are many alive today, it is safer
for us to pattern ourselves after Jesus. Jesus was mightily anointed,
yet He allowed everyone to approach
Him: children, people who had questions, people who had given up hope,
people who made emotional pleas for
help, people who wanted to follow
Him. And He didn’t send His thugs to
get rid of them.
You know the story of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10. He wanted a
if you’re not being persecuted, something is wrong.
Throughout the Word you will see
this pattern. The Bible says they will
revile or defame you. They’ll speak
evil of you, hate you and persecute
you for righteousness’ sake. Perhaps
the reason we are not persecuted today is because we’re not preaching
the Word.
Are you standing for truth? Jesus sent
His disciples into homes and said, “If
they reject My Word, leave and wipe
the dust from your feet” (see Matt.
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Ministers today go into the homes of
millions through television. Rather
than being rejected they are received.
Rather than removing the dust from
their feet, they are raking in donations from their followings.
So He told them: “All right. If you’re
with Me, you’re with Me. Now follow
Me.” Jesus is not going to change His
message for anybody. We must live—
and preach—to please God rather
than man.
I wonder what would happen if our
words carried a little more weight!
The Bible says all who live godly in
Christ Jesus will suffer persecution
(see 2 Tim. 3:12).
According to Jesus, a person who
wants a ministry of mighty things
must be willing to do menial things.
Menial things are insignificant things
that are done in secret when no one
is shining a spotlight on you. You’re
just busy doing something for the
A person who is popular with the
crowd should never pollute his
message. This is another antidote
to the celebrity syndrome. You never
compromise the message, no matter
how large the crowd.
Jesus was popular with the crowd. But
when He told them to eat His flesh
and drink His blood, many said, “This
is too difficult for us,” and they turned and walked away (see John 6).
What was Jesus’ response? He didn’t
flinch, change His message or run
after the offended crowd. Instead,
He turned to His disciples and said,
“How about you, boys?” They responded, “You have the words of eternal
Jesus spent His life serving. He washed His disciples’ feet. He cooked
them breakfast after the resurrection.
Jesus served.
If you want to achieve success and
climb to a place of great elevation in
the Lord, then look down. Don’t pass
up the insignificant tasks, especially
those that nobody but God can see.
There’s a new generation coming up,
and I’m going after them. I want to
raise up men and women who will get
their model for life and ministry from
the Word of God and the life of Jesus.
Their modus operandi will be to serve
rather than be served, and their lives
and ministries will be characterized
by holiness, humility and a heartfelt
love for people. I pray that God uses
them in greater ways than He has
used any other minister who has graced this planet—and that He preserves them from the deadly man-ofGod syndrome.
If we are honest, we’ll admit that we
battle with sin. Some people think that
if you are truly saved, you cease to struggle. The devil is a liar! 1 John 1:9 is
written to the church, not the sinner. It
says, “If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from iniquity.” A struggle does
not indicate a lack of salvation. Quite
the opposite! The things you used to do
before you were saved were effortless.
The fact that they’ve become a struggle
tells you that your heart is made right
in Him.
There is a progressive work in our salvation. Your spirit is renewed when
you’re saved, but your soul, your intellect, will and the seat of your emotions,
undergoes a daily process of sanctification. It is important that we remember
that because there are some things that
need to be worked out of us. It may be
rejection, deception, addiction or lust
or a variety of other failures. Whatever it
is, expect the struggle and realize that
God expects you to take authority over
that thing.
I find it interesting in Numbers 33 that
the Israelites were given divine orders to
enter Canaan, drive out and destroy all
of their enemies and their belongings.
Drive them out and destroy them. Of-
ten, we want God to do all the work for
us, but He leaves some things for us to
do and empowers us to do so. Some
destruction is left to you. Failure to destroy leads to constant grief. As we see
in verse 55, “If you do not drive [them]
out and destroy [them], [they] will become irritants in your eyes and thorns in
your side.” They will vex you daily. They
will be sent of the enemy to oppress you
in his valiant attempt to bring you to
ruin. In Joshua 23:13, we find a similar
language stating that if you don’t drive
them out, they will become snares and
traps to you until you die.
The devil is not your friend. I know
that’s elementary, but some people play
with him like he’s harmless. He’s an
enemy. His mode of operation is as the
thief. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. According to John 8:44, the devil
is a liar and a murderer. If you don’t recognize him as your enemy, you’ll watch
movies with him, go out to dinner with
him, be in association with him. He’ll
masquerade as an angel of light, as if
he’s from God, as if she’s from God. Yet
when the mask is removed, you’ll see
the poison.
In 1 Samuel 15, we read the prophet
Samuel delivering an explicit message
from God to Saul to destroy the Ama-
lekites. “Spare nothing and no one.
Destroy it all.” Saul chose to listen to
the part of the message that suited his
needs. Scripture records in verses 7-9
that he slaughtered the Amalekites and
all they owned, but spared their king,
Agag, and the best of the animals. He
destroyed the worthless and kept what
was good in his eyes, what he thought
was advantageous for himself. Saul
spared Agag. If you spare an enemy, it
will inevitably turn and destroy you because what you fail to master will eventually master you.
It’s dangerous to think you know more
than God does what’s best for you, and
there’s an inevitable danger in keeping
what God told you to get rid of. Things
may look good to you, but they’re not
always good for you. The Omniscient
One is all-seeing, all-knowing, and
worthy of our trust.
When you walk in rebellion, it becomes easy to walk into other things like
lying. Samuel came to Saul, and Saul
assured him that he had followed the
Lord’s command. Samuel said, “Then
what is this bleating of sheep in my
ear?” Every now and again you need a
prophet to get in your face and tell you
what you don’t want to hear. Samuel
said, “You’ve made your will a god, and
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It’s dangerous to think you know more than God does what’s best for you.
you’ve put it above the Lord. Now, the
Lord says, �Because you have done this
thing, your kingdom will be taken from
you and given to another.’” Could it be
that our continuous walk in rebellion
will make God say, “I’m taking what I’ve
given you and will give it to someone
Saul became ruled by his pride, and
this set the stage for a terrible fall. We
see in the next chapter that he acted
outside of his boundaries as king to
offer sacrifices as a priest - something
he was not qualified to do. Have you
ever done something that God didn’t
want you to do? Because Saul refused
to find true repentance within, he went
from worse to worse until he committed suicide in battle.
My friend, you have to kill what’s killing
you. This is a battle for your life. Learn
from the mistakes of others. Romans
15:4 says that the things written in the
Word are written for our instruction. 1
Corinthians 10:6 says that the recorded examples of those who missed
the mark are for our benefit so that we
won’t make the same mistakes. True,
the battle is not yours, but that doesn’t
mean you can just sit there and do nothing. You’ve got to do something. You
have to kill what’s killing you! So how
do you do that?
Acknowledge your vulnerability.
Don’t act like you’re too great or too
holy. If you do, you’ll come to a quick
fall, and it will be an eye-awakening
experience for you. The Scripture says,
“Let him who thinks he stands take
heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).”
You need to recognize that there’s a
vulnerability about you and take it to
God openly and honestly.
Confess your sins. You need to confess your part in the matter. 1 John
1:8-9 says that “If we say that we have
no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us.” We all sin, and we
must do as James 5:16 tells us: “Confess your trespasses to one another,
that you may be healed.”
Kill the deeds of your flesh. Romans
8:13 tells us “Kill the deeds of the
flesh,” the thing your flesh is involved
in. You must reckon your members as
dead to sin so that sin has no dominion
over you (Romans 6:11-14).
Do all through Christ. Don’t think
you can do this in and of yourself or
you will blow it miserably. Philippians
The world desperately needs what you have to give. You
must be able to deliver the goods God has deposited within
you. Forfeiture is failure. You must not run from your assignment. Instead, you must take your rightful place so as to
make a mark that cannot be erased. In order to accomplish
such a significant task, you must be properly equipped. You
can’t make a difference empty-handed and ill-prepared.
This two-part message will challenge you to rediscover your
passion for the ministry of the kingdom. It will also teach
you how to remain “spiritually sharp” in the world today
despite the many tings that come to rob you of your cutting
Let the Word of God enrich your life and strengthen your walk
as you listen and learn how to recover your cutting edge.
50 SMG Solutions
3:10 says “I can do all things through
Christ.” You must remember that it’s
“Not by might, nor by power, but by
[His] Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).”
Worship in spirit and in truth. Philippians 3:3 says that we are those who
are circumcised in heart, and we worship Him in spirit. You must come, lay
yourself before Him, and be delivered
by Him. In that intimacy you will find
deliverance, peace, salvation, healing
and victory in overcoming what has
been overcoming you by killing what’s
been killing you.
get small, get personal, & build
by Kylan Booser
Jesus came to them and said, “All
authority in heaven and on earth has
been given to me. Therefore, go and
make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything
I have commanded you. And surely I
am with you always, to the very end
of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The above scripture’s reference used
to be painted above the exit door of
our youth facility. Now that we have
remodeled, I’m getting it put there
again. It’s a constant reminder of our
mission to the world. I think it’s true
to say that the church is pretty good
at a lot of things. But what we are not
good at sometimes, and should never
be bad at, is truly discipling people.
This is not just seeing them “saved”,
but actually seeing them rooted with
a strong foundation of what it is to
be Christian (like Christ). Numbers of
salvations are great. But these numbers needed to be discipled. A number means a person. A person means
a life, a living being, an individual. A
person needs treated as such. As the
above passage says, make disciples
(a person who follows with all of their
being), baptize them (a person’s new
identity, symbolizing entrance into
the Kingdom and body of believers),
teach them to obey commands (a
person living the life that follows the
confession of Christ as Lord). Christianity is not just a prayer prayed and
survival until heaven. It’s a lot about
what happens in between.
Here are some random (or maybe
not) observations about discipling:
You cannot disicple people with pizzazz. The use of technology and excellence in what we present in our
churches and youth minitries is not
what will disciple anyone. Sort of like,
“Come sit in our service and we will
dazzle you with our tech, lighting,
great music and illustrated sermons.
If you come each week (’cause we
are the greatest thing going) you will
turn into a Christ follower.” We need
to often remind ourselves that corporate worship and teaching do not
need technology. It’s a great tool,
use it if you can/want to, but it’s
not what makes anyone a disciple.
Corporate worship is vital, as is the
teaching in corporate settings. But
eventually the pizzazz of technology and excellence wears off and what
we do personally with people is what
(And let me throw this in with pizzazz. The working of miracles and gifts
of the Spirit are not a substitute or
discipleship either. They are signs.
They affirm. Though they accompany
a believer, they are not what disciple people. And if people are focused
only on them, they become shallow.
They will simply turn into sign seekers and not much more. They end
up looking for emotional pizzazz.
You cannot disciple people through
feeding them a diet of emotional
While what was just said above about
tech and excellence should be obvious. Disciplship cannot be accomplished from behind a pulpit alone. It
is also certainly not done by sitting
behind a desk all week (this is a jab at
professional ministry & myself). We
have professionalized the minister so
much that he/she simply manages a
company and speaks once or twice
a week. Again, what happens in the
corporate setting is very important,
is needed, and should be prioritized.
We need to come together. Scripture
is clear on this. We all need to get
under good pulpit teaching. A lot
gets accomplished in the corporate
setting. These times are purposed
by God. But disicpleship needs to go
beyond this.
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thought that I will just kind of leave
hanging out there: You cannot disciple someone by shouting at them.
The church not only needs to say
the right things, but be careful how
we say them…)
Discipleship takes seasons of
sowing. Not just “here’s a booklet”
or simply “take this three week
class.” It is consistent seasons of
sowing. It takes the personal rub of
relationships (This necessitates the
need for more than just the professional minister. All of the Body of
Christ should be those who disciple.
All believers are ministers in this
regard.) That also means what is big
must at times get small (and smaller than a small group). Big church
is not bad. But we must get small
consistently. That’s where the personal rub of relationship happens.
The personal rub of relationships
uncovers that everyone has a story.
It uncovers that people are met by
God at certain places in their lives.
Discipleship helps build a road to
where they need to go from there.
Discipleship is personal.
I write this to challenge you in how
you are working with your students. I am constantly asking myself if I, and my volunteer staff, are
doing all we can to disciple those
who we have the opportunity to be
with. I am in the process of tweaking things again. Be creative. Truly
get personal with your students
and discipleship them. If you lead
a volunteer team, get them doing it
to. It is vital to do this right. What
is right? Whatever gets small, gets
personal, and builds.
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What Are You
Waiting For?
by Evangelist Daniel Kolenda
I heard a minister recently talking
about the rapture and trying to make
the point that every prophecy necessary to the return of Christ has already been fulfilled. One of his points
was that the Gospel has already been
preached in all the world according
to the promise of Jesus in Matt 24:14
(And this gospel of the kingdom shall
be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall
the end come.), “Now” he said, “We’re
just waiting for Jesus to come back.”
If you are one of those standing in line
waiting for the rapture like a ride at
Disney World, consider these statistics on world evangelism that I have
collected from a variety of sources. As
you read these keep in mind that in
the United States there is 1 ordained
minister for every 200 people. Yet…
- For every million unreached Muslims there are less than 3 missionaries.
- In Afghanistan there are 17 million
people, 48,000 mosques…but not a
single church.
- In Turkey there are 44 million
people, but less then 200 Christians
- In India alone 500 million people
have yet to hear the Gospel
- 30% of the world’s population (more
than 2 billion people) have had virtually no exposure to the Gospel.
- The New Testament has been translated into the mother tongue of over
80% of the world’s population. However the remaining approximately 20%
will require over 5,500 new translations.
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19).
The word, “Nations” is “Ethne” in the
Greek meaning ethnic people groups.
- There are an estimated 6,700 unreached or nearly unreached people
- The countries with the most unreached people groups in descending
order; India, China, Pakistan, Nepal,
- 98% of all unreached people groups
are located in the “10/40 Window”.
UNFULFILLED! Oswald Smith said,
“We talk of the Second Coming; but
half the world has never heard of the
first.” Regardless if you are “pre-trib”,
“post-trib”, “mid-trib” or some other
“trib”, we must all confess that there is something desperately wrong
with this type of doctrinal philosophy
that makes us happy to escape with
our own hides while the world burns
and billions of people are lost. Where
is the heart of Jesus in that? “…that
none would perish, but that all would
come to repentance.”
Here’s some food for thought; Jesus
died more then 2,000 years ago. If
it was God’s ultimate goal to rapture
us all out of this “old god-forsaken
world”, then why are we still here?
What are we still waiting for? One
person told me, “Jesus is building my
mansion in heaven.” Really? It took
him 6 days to create the entire cosmos, yet he’s been hung up with your
“mansion” for 2,000 years? Not likely.
Heb. 10:12, 13 says, “but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for
HAND OF GOD, waiting from that
Since we are his hands and feet, then
He must be waiting for…us. If He is
waiting for us, and we are waiting
for him, it would seem we are at an
impasse. This is why Jesus told his
disciples, “GO” into all the world and
preach the Gospel. No more waiting
and debating…just Go and PREACH.
“In the vast plain to the north I have
sometimes seen, in the morning sun,
the smoke of a thousand villages
where no missionary has ever been”
— Robert Moffat
SMG Solutions 53
You were not created to fear anything:
Jeremiah 1:8 “Do not be afraid of
them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the LORD.”
What are you afraid of? This is a very
broad question, but I would like to go
on record stating my belief that fear
is the primary factor behind most of
our failures in life. We are afraid of
rejection, people’s opinions, losing,
winning, not being strong enough,
being too strong, we are even afraid
of failure itself. Fear has a grip that is
tighter than the strongest cord ever
made. It seems to have an astounding
perseverance, and fear also seems to
know your times of weakness.
Fear is like an unwanted friend who
shows up at the party and takes over
control. It begins to organize the
functions, make all the decisions, and
has a voice louder than any other in
the room. Everyone in the room with
fear unknowingly enters into a hypnotic state under its control.
You are probably shaking your head
right now in agreement with me. If
you’re not, it is simply because you
have not identified your problem as
fear. You probably think your life is
falling apart because it’s God’s will,
your spouse’s fault, or maybe it is
54 SMG Solutions
just in your genetic make-up. These
are all good hiding places for fear.
See, fear will control you and not even
use its real identity. Fear is like the
devil; he doesn’t care who or what
you serve as long as you don’t serve
God. And fear doesn’t care what you
classify it as, just as long as its effect
is destruction.
Have you ever wondered why fear
seems to grip you every time you have
a big decision to make in your life? Do
you know why? Fear is the flesh’s or
the devil’s way of silencing the voice
and direction of God in your life.
We have read in the previous chapters
how God created us for a destiny and
how He created us with every thing
we will ever need to achieve that destiny. One of the things God created
us for was to be victorious in every
area of our lives, and the main thing
we are to accomplish these victories
with is the ability to KNOW His voice
and direction.
One of the hardest things for people
to do today is make decisions. Though
we are faced with decision every day,
most people do not have the ability
to make good Biblical decisions. Why?
Because God did not give us the ability to make good decisions? No, because fear declares war against your
creative ability as a human to make a
distinctive, unhindered decision when
confronted with any problem.
As we discussed earlier, after Adam
was created, the first thing he began
to do was make decisions. Adam had
to decide how to take care of the Garden of Eden. He had to name all the
animals. As a matter of fact, it was
his decision to eat of the forbidden
fruit that brought sin and separated
him from his Creator. Your Bible says
that Eve was deceived, but Adam was
presented with a choice. God told
him that the consequence of eating
of the forbidden tree was death. This
was the decision Adam was presented
with after his wife ate of the tree herself. Adam didn’t have to eat of the
fruit. He could have said, “No, you go
ahead and die on your own.” But he
didn’t. I believe his desire to please
God was tainted by the fear of being
alone again, or of not pleasing his
wife or maybe even by the fear of not
being loyal to God’s gift to him. Whatever it was, you can bet the voice of
fear could be heard throughout Paradise on that dreadful day.
God created mankind with the natural ability to make good decisions.
Fear, however, will bring doubt to
you when you are confronted with a
decision, not just so you don’t make
the correct decision, but more so
to silence the voice of God from
your ears.
Adam never struggled with hearing the voice of the Lord until he
made one wrong decision. That
decision caused a chain reaction
birth into sin that combats every
decision we make even until today. The fear of being incorrect,
wrongfully judged, or hurt has a
seemingly silent yet deadly cry,
commissioned by sin to keep you
from your destiny.
The good news is that there is a
voice that cries for you that is louder than the cry of fear. That cry
is the cry of love.
The love of God shouts louder
than any sound, voice, or cry that
will ever present itself to you.
The love of God shouts your innocence even when you make a
bad decision. It seems to scream
forgiveness, truth, acceptance
and honor even when you have
the sensation of being worthless,
filthy, and cast out.
We are a people with limitations.
Time, space, feelings and abilities limit us. What I mean is,
everything we do, say, and feel is
limited by what we know. Therefore, we only have the ability to
love to a certain degree and then
our love fails.
Take Peter for instance. His love
for Jesus was proven time and
time again. He walked on the angry waves of a storm-tossed sea
because he wanted to be with
Jesus. It was Peter who risked a
death penalty by cutting off a Roman soldier’s ear all because the
man grabbed Jesus’ arm. Wasn’t
it Peter who tried to hold back
days of fatigue all because Jesus
asked him to pray with Him in the
Garden of Gethsemane?
Peter loved Jesus as much as anyone, and more than most. But it
was this same Peter who denied
knowing Jesus while standing at
the gate of the temple after Jesus was arrested and put on trial.
Again he denied his relationship
with the Lord, standing by a fire
when recognized by a few cool
civilians. The failing of his love
was complete when he denied
even knowing Jesus as he was
confronted by a teenage girl.
Peter’s love started him on his
journey toward a successful life
and relationship with Christ, but
because of fear and the limitations of being human, it failed
Thank God that the story doesn’t
end with the love that starts, but
there is a love that finishes. Even
after Peter denied knowing Jesus
three times; even after he returned to doing what God had called
him out of, that is, fishing, he
encountered a greater love than
his own. Jesus met Peter on the
rocky banks of his favorite fishing hole one evening. He didn’t
condemn him, judge him or even
bring up his past. Jesus simply
offered Peter something even
fear had no strength against: the
kind of love that finishes!
This was God’s heart toward Jeremiah when He told him not to
fear, “…for I am with you.” Fear
has no effect on a person who
has experienced the love of God
and who knows that it is this love
that created him in the first place. God has created you by His
love and He will finish or perfect
you with the same.
Fear not, you shall Succeed!
Psalms 27:1-5 says “The LORD is
my light and my salvation – whom
shall I fear? The LORD is the
stronghold of my life – of whom
shall I be afraid? When evil men
advance against me to devour my
flesh, when my enemies and my
foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against
me, even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this
is what I seek: that I may dwell
in the house of the LORD all the
days of my life, to gaze upon the
beauty of the LORD and to seek
him in his temple. For in the day
of trouble he will keep me safe in
his dwelling; he will hide me in
the shelter of his tabernacle and
set me high upon a rock.”
You may be reading this book
under the pressure of deadlines,
expectations or worries, but I
speak peace to you, knowing that
if you make the right decision or
the wrong decision, the love of
God will finish in you what He
has begun. This is the only effective weapon against fear. I John
4:18 says, “Perfect love casts
out all fear.” That is the weapon
of knowing God’s love, knowing
it will lead you, forgive you and
start you over again if need be.
Whatever it takes, the love that
finishes will fight for you, if you
will call on it.
SMG Solutions 55
Three Important Keys
Unlocking Extra Cash
in Your Budget
by Jon Oral Nash
The word evaluate means “to ascertain the value or worth of” something.
It also means, “to examine and judge
carefully.” In order to unlock free cash
in your budget, you must first evaluate your situation.
Evaluating your situation means gathering up all of your monthly bills,
all of your bank statements, as well
as your check register and investment
statements (retirement accounts,
if any). You’ll need the bills to find
out how much you owe each month, as well as key information about
your debts. The bank statements and
check register will help you remember what you actually spend and where you money goes each month. The
investment statements will help you
56 SMG Solutions
determine how much you are worth.
The key numbers you need in order to
make wise decisions with your finances are as follows:
• Net Worth (add up everything you
own one page, subtract everything
you owe)
• Income (how much money are you
bringing in each month?)
• Expenses (how much are you spending?)
Once you know these two, you can
find out how much of a surplus or a
deficit you have each month by subtracting your expenses from your income (Income – Expenses = surplus
or deficit). The key to good stewardship is to turn every shortfall into a
goal. That means if you are short by
$200 each month, then start by setting a goal to unlock $200 of extra
cash each month. Then add a second
goal to unlock enough extra cash you
can use to make extra payments on
your debts.
The Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines the word investigate as follows:
“to examine in detail” or “to search
out the particulars of in an attempt
to learn the facts about something
hidden, or complex, esp. in an attempt to find a cause, or culprit. What
should you investigate? Everything in
your financial picture that could cause you to go under.
God placed dreams in your heart
that represent your divine purpose. As you go through life, you are
either moving towards those dreams
or moving backwards toward your
past. Stewardship (that is, how you
manage what God gives you) is one
of the most important things that
determine how fast you can build
the dreams in your heart.
You need to investigate every expense you incur each month in order
to locate the source of the leak in
your financial boat. In order to help
you with this task, you need to get a
spiral notebook small enough to carry with you, and begin writing down
every single time you spend money.
You’ll never be able to fix the leak if
Picture yourself in a rowboat.
You’re using the oars to row
yourself across a mediumsized lake. You’ve just left
a small island where there
wasn’t enough space for you
in order to travel to a larger,
more beautiful place that has
everything you need to live a
happy life. The small island
you departed from represents
your past and the large beautiful island represents your
abundant future.
With the sun shining down on
you, things are looking good.
However, a few minutes later,
you begin to notice water accumulating in the bottom of
the boat.
You’ve also determined that
you’re in the middle of a lake
and that if there is enough
water in the boat, you’ll go
down! In an effort to use wisdom,
you realize that the island you left is
closer than the larger, more beautiful island. Thus, you begin to turn
the boat around, facing the opposite way. You figure that you’ll have a
better chance to make it back there
safely. Right now, the most important thing you can do is Find the leak
in the boat!
Of course, the story I just told you
is an example of the way we manage our finances. The rowboat represents our financial life today, and
the leaking water (as it comes in)
represents your spending.
you can’t first identify it. You cannot manage what you do not track!
When you take one or two months to
record everything, you’ll be amazed
at how every little expense adds up.
This is a good exercise at any time,
because the more you’re watching
what you spend, the less you will
spend. This is of great benefit too!
gathering all the right information
and looking at the big picture. You
also investigated the cause of the
leak in your boat. Now you have
enough to start a list of expenses
you can discard.
The most important thing to remember about consolidating is that
you are reducing your expenses for a season. The changes
you make today don’t have
to be permanent changes.
But if you want God’s divine
blessings on your household,
you’ve got to prove yourself faithful with what you’ve
got. If you have to cut some
things you don’t want to cut
in order to prove yourself as a
faithful steward, then so be it.
Consolidating expenses will
strengthen and solidify your
finances. This is definitely
worth the cost. God’s principles always bring fruit.
When you follow God’s principles today, you always win
in the end. When you reduce your expenses for a season, you may be disappointed now, but the money you
save will be used to pay off
debts faster and once you’re
out of debt, you’ll be able to
build the dreams God placed in your
heart! Never give up on the dreams
God gave you, but become a better
steward by implementing these keys
in your own life.
To Consolidate means “to make solid or firm; solidify; strengthen.” It
also means, “to discard the unused
or unwanted items of and organize
the remaining items.” You’ve recently evaluated your situation by
2011 by Jon Oral Nash.
SMG Solutions 57
by Marco Peixoto
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and
to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that
they may have it more abundantly. “ ~John 10:10
In Chapter 10 of John, it is written that Satan came
only to steal, kill and destroy. He is an expert at this! If
you’ve already had things stolen, you know how bad the
feeling of loss is.
What do you think Satan came to steal? He came to
steal dreams, families, health, marriages, peace and
hope. Yes, but actually all of theses things are just consequences of the real devil-theft. Satan came to steal,
kill and destroy the life of God inside the man.
In Chapter 2 of the Book of Genesis, verses 7 and 8, it is
written that God breathed into the man’s nostrils the
breath of life. Life came from God and He put His essence inside the man. Breath of life in Greek: “zoe”, means
life of God.
Many people think, “My life is quiet; why do I need God?”
We need to open our mind and heart to understand that
God not only wants to give us benefits. We need to realize that there is life of God inside of us.
58 SMG Solutions
God wants to give you what you need and much, much
When God breathed inside the man, something got out
of Him and got into the man. This is stronger and deeper than what we can imagine.
Do you know why God breathed into the nostrils of
the man? Because oxygen enters by the nostrils and it
brings life. God breathed at the right place: where the
life God was giving to the man had to get in.
The devil did not accept this situation, and with sin, the
life of God inside Adam and Eve died. The communion
was over.
Satan’s intention was that man would multiply without
the essence of God. The fact that man could breathe did
not disturb him, but Satan shakes whenever he sees
people having relationship and intimacy with God.
The question is: if the Spirit of God is missing, are we
missing everything?
SMG Solutions 59
For people who have never done any
serious acting themselves, Loren and
Robin Dunfee spend an awful lot of
their time directing amateur theater.
The Lakeland couple spends 30 to 35
weeks each year producing original
If that sounds like a lot, consider
that almost all of those weeks are
spent on the road -- traveling from
one town to another, putting up sets
and lighting, casting and rehearsing,
overseeing one to three live performances, then tearing everything
down and moving on to the next town
where they’ll repeat the process.
While some might be willing to take
on such a grueling schedule out of a
love of theater, the Dunfees have a
different motive -- they do it to save
The Dunfees run Destiny Drama
Ministries. They produce their religious dramas, “Your Final Destination” and “Leaving a Legacy,” at
churches around the country, using
local church members as the actors.
Each production is cast, rehearsed
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and performed within 48 hours. The
dramas are unabashedly evangelistic and have one primary purpose, to
bring audience members who are not
Christians to belief in Christ.
when they started Destiny Drama
Ministries, selling personal effects
and taking loans to pay for the sets,
which they bought from a New York
theatrical company.
The usual schedule calls for the Dunfees to arrive at a church on a Friday,
erect their sets, hold a casting call
and hand out parts that night. On Saturday, they rehearse from morning
to mid-afternoon, and on Sunday,
they rehearse from the time church is
over until the first performance that
evening. Typically, there are performances Sunday through Tuesday;
although sometimes they are so well
attended the Dunfees are asked to
stay an extra week.
“We didn’t sell the kids,” Loren quips.
“People ask us, `How can you come
in and cast it on Friday and put it on
on Sunday?’ We’ve been doing this a
long time, and we know it can work,”
Loren says.
The Dunfees added other touches
as well, intercutting video clips with
the live drama and adding recorded
musical numbers. They spent about
$80,000 on sets and equipment
The ministry is supported primarily through donations. The Dunfees
have a suggested fee for churches,
which they will not disclose, but they
say most churches -- even small
ones -- are able to meet it.
“It’s very reasonable. If a church of
100 can do it, any church can do it,”
Robin says.
The Dunfees travel in a motor home,
pulling a trailer with their drama
equipment, accompanied by their
17-year-old son, 15-year-old twin
daughters and a Boston terrier. The
kids are home-schooled by Robin,
and the family tries for as much normalcy as possible, with gymnastics
and tae kwon do lessons in between
trips. There is educational value in
their travels, and the children seem
to adapt well to the gypsy life, say
their parents.
“If we’re home for two or three weeks, they’re looking at you
and saying, `When are we leaving again?’ “ Loren says.
While casting at a local church, a reader muffs a line and says
afterwards, “I failed, right?” “No, no,” Robin says, laughing,
“You’re hired!”
Pastor Jay Dennis from the First Baptist Church at the Mall in
Lakeland, Florida:
“I have personally had them in the church I pastor on two
different occasions. God used them in a mighty way with
hundreds of people coming to know Christ!В Their sweet spirit combined with their passion for evangelism has made an
eternally-significant difference in our church.”
Steve L. Powell, District Secretary of the Peninsular Florida
District Council of the Assemblies of God:
“I heartily recommend their ministry to the local church.
Their hearts for evangelism and the lost are strong and their
effective ministry over the years has been proven. I believe
they will be a blessing to any congregation that would open
its door to their ministry.”