Two teens enthusiastically talk about their French classes. Both have several years in the language study and tell of the rigor of learning to speak the language fluently. Another is consumed with his love of music. He spends hours with his guitar perfecting his method with dreams of entertaining grandeur. A third is engrossed in his computer. He is a “gamer.” For hours he concentrates on besting his internet opponents. A fourth lies down on the weight bench determined to press more weight than before. He flexes his muscles. He is determined to “bulk up.” Zeal. It is something we respect and even admire at times in those who have an inner dream, a drive, a determination to accomplish some goal in life.
A zealous person sees one thing, lives for one thing, and is swallowed up in one thing. The one who is zealous for God is no less consumed with a driving purpose than those who have secular interests. He has an inner burning desire to do the will of the Father. His central focus in life is to please God in all that he says or does.
by Dr. Gayle Woods
Ministers’ Conference as we know it today had it’s beginnings many years ago as the“preachers’ prayer retreat” which was held at different locations such as Mt. Zion Bible School and Kansas City College and Bible School. In more recent years, under the direction of Home Missions, it became apparent there was a need for a “minister and spouse get away.” According to many pastors it has become one of the highlights of the calendar year. Usually held in the month of September, it has been at Windermere Christian Conference Center near Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, for a number of years. Last year, 2015, we are moved to Lake Williamson Christian Conference Center north of St. Louis, MO about 70 miles. This will be our location for the 2016 Conference as well.
Ministers’ Conference is an opportunity for the minister and spouse to renew and recharge for ministry. Guest speakers usually include church leaders from outside our Constituency, in addition to our men and women leading workshops. Typically there are break-out sessions for the men and women. Delicious meals and comfortable lodging are provided with time between sessions for fellowship among colleagues and alone time for couples. The Home Mission Department encourages churches to provide this opportunity to their pastors with no out of pocket expenses, completely underwritten by the local church. Churches believe it is one of the greatest investments they can make in the ongoing of their ministries. Pastors receive encouragement, inspiration, and tools to take back with them to help them minister to their people and reach their communities for Christ.
~~~ The dates for Ministers’ Conference are September 13-15. The evangelist this year will be Dr. James Keaton. Plan now to come! ~~~
As I moved from door to door in my neighborhood visitation I heard the vicious barking of what sounded like a huge dog getting closer. Finally, I arrived at the residence which was surrounded by a strong fence with numerous “Beware of the Dog” signs. They were posted for a good reason. It did not take long for me to decide to skip this house.
The growling dog that lunged at me was restrained by a heavy chain. I suppose that when it was asleep it did not realize that its freedom was limited. The dog dish was close so when it approached to eat its food it drug its chain without concern. It was only when it tried to reach me that it was brought to the end of its false understanding of freedom by the stout chain and fence.
Sin is much like this. People are bound but don’t seem to realize their restraint. It is only when we find true freedom in Christ that we realize how sin has confined us. It is then that we understand deliverance. “The truth,” Jesus said, “shall make you free” (John 8:32)
by Dr. Gayle Woods