Elders Corner – May, 2017
From Pastor Terrance Taylor
Memorial Day is approaching toward the end of this month. Therefore, I thought it would be fitting to write this month’s elders corner article about memorials.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. It is now celebrated the last Monday of May.
Memorials are not just an American tradition, but they are part of our entire world, and have been around since the beginning. Even in the earliest biblical times, it was a commandment to remember and tell others of what has gone before, and what God has done.
Deuteronomy 4:39-40 – “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.”
God commanded that the people tell their children, and their children’s children, so that they never forget. To remember and not forget is the main purpose for memorials.
Today, it is important that we keep a personal memorial of what God has done and is doing. It’s important that we remember those that have paved the way for us, but most important, we need to remember where we have come from so we know where we are going. And when we think on those things, those are the days worth remembering.
Elders Corner – April, 2017
From Pastor Hubert Ulysse
He is Risen
“He is not here. He is risen.” In almost every church,we will hear this message on Easter Sunday. This is one of the most powerful messages ever preached, for without the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we could not be saved. Jesus came to pay the price for the world’s sins, so that we would not perish, but be with him in Heaven.
John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
That’s certainly true of our salvation, but it’s much, much more. As we go through our lives as Christians, we face many things. There are challenges along the way. Those times in our walk is when God carries us.
Acts 17:27 – “that they should seek the Lord, if haply they should feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.”
In any circumstance in our life, God is always very near to us. God delivers us every day. He knows everything we go through. Be faithful to call on Him and He will be faithful to answer you.
This Easter, as we celebrate the risen Saviour, I offer this expression of praise…
HE IS HERE! HE IS RISEN!
Elders Corner – March, 2017
From Pastor Peter F. Paine
We Have All We Need to Succeed
I am very excited to greet you today in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Many wonderful things are happening in Christian Fellowship Church.
Recently I had the privilege to deliver the State of the Church Address. It is currently online and available for you to listen to.
May I encourage you to take note of the many powerful improvements at the advancing Education website. If you believe you are being lead to serve in that area of ministry please reach out to Pastor Brand.
Tom Hanson is making the move to Jacksonville, Florida to take the role as Fellowship leader. Perhaps as you read this you might feel the pull to serve in a similar way. If that’s you, please communicate with Rod Williams.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who serve the Lord in this great ministry we are a part of.
We have great volunteers and it is a great joy to be in this ministry together.
We are striving to keep getting better and better at living our mission statement…
Evangelize, Educate, Equip
Providing Christian Fellowship and spiritual support Worldwide.
Pastor “Pete” Paine
Elders Corner – February, 2017
From Pastor Terrance Taylor
Above any other time of year, February is best known for love. We celebrate Valentine’s Day; expressions of love are everywhere. People buy cards and flowers; celebrate love for boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, children, family, etc. There are valentine celebrations, marriage proposals and more.
I have a great love for my wife, Edna; my children and family, and my church family. There are two great loves that are above all else, though. It is vital for these two great loves to be first in our lives.
The first is how much Jesus loves us. He died for us so that we can go to Heaven. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The other greatest love is the love for God. The first and greatest commandment is: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)
I also wanted to share with you a couple of praise reports. The first is that Pastor Paine, Rod Williams, and myself recently had a powerful and blessed visit with our brothers and sisters in San Diego. It was a great time of fellowship and worship.
As we move forward in developing our Elder-led ministry, we have selected five faithful men to train in ministry for the next year to become Elders. They are Jonathan Santiago, Scott Shepherd, Pat Tamakloe, Rod Williams, and Jeff Linger. Also, we selected three additional deacons to help with church administration. They are Jim Ottoson, Paul Rudolph, and Alberic Mareus.
As we move forward, I am looking forward to many blessings for the church. God bless you.
Elders Corner – January, 2017
From Pastor Hubert Ulysse
Welcome to 2017
As we usher out the old year and bring in the new one, that means a lot of different things to different people.
Many people will gather to celebrate with friends and family. Many churches will spend the evening in worship.
To the nation, we are bringing in a new president. To others, it’s a celebration of additions to our families. To some, we mourn those who have passed on before us. It’s a time that many people resolve to make their lives better in the coming year.
People place an emphasis on making things new. But remember, Jesus is here to make things new every day, not just on New Year’s.
We’re reminded in Hebrews 3:13 – “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Let’s resolve to keep our standard of faith, not just at New Year’s and forgetting it, but all though the year and until Jesus returns.
Elders Corner – December, 2016
From Pastor Peter F. Paine
Review of 2016 and What’s Ahead
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If you are like me, it seems like this year has gone by faster than any other.
Many wonderful things are happening in Christian Fellowship. Souls are being saved, fellowships are growing, and our Headquarters congregation is growing stronger every day.
We are blessed to be a part of this great ministry. In the year ahead we will see the benefits of the many weeks, months, and years of our faithful Advancing Education Team begin to bear much fruit. My thanks to Pastor Brand and his entire team. I hope you will take advantage of that as well as our other resources on this website.
Much work goes into making sermons, Bible studies, and other resources available so that we can grow in the Lord. I appreciate all of those who make these resources available.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and yours a most blessed Christmas Season and wonderful New Year! Thank you for your prayers, financial support, and faithful serving of our Lord.
Elders Corner – November, 2016
From Pastor Terrance Taylor
We all live busy lives. We get up in the morning with most of our day planned out, and we don’t stop until we lay our heads down at night. If we are not careful, we can get caught up in the physical things of life and sort of forget the spiritual things such as earnest prayer and just giving God thanks for the small things.
Colossians 3:17 – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
This scripture means a lot to me all through the year, but especially during this season. There is so much to be thankful for.
First, I am thankful that Jesus saved me and placed me in this ministry. I am thankful for my wife, Edna, and how she is not just my partner in marriage, but is faithful in her service to God.
I’m thankful for all my brothers and sisters in the church and how we are all called to share the gospel. God has something for every one of us. Having been a Christian for several years and now an elder in ministry, I have been privileged to see the growth of the ministry and look forward to things to come.
The Thanksgiving season emphasizes being thankful. We thank our veterans, we gather together with family and loved ones, we have a great meal, and express thanks. All those things are great, but while we do that, here are a few things to consider…
- Are we thankful every day of the year?
- Do we give thanks for the small things as well as the great things?
- How does our thankfulness look as time goes on?
When we look at things around us, we can always find challenges, but take time to count your blessings. You’ll find that the things to be thankful for far outweigh anything negative, and the best way to show your thanks is to keep Jesus in the center of all you do.
Elders Corner – October, 2016
From Pastor Hubert Ulysse
Approved Unto God
All of us are familiar with wanting approval. I think most of us can relate to the feeling of taking a test in school and anticipating the result. If we had studied and prepared, we looked forward to a good score and perhaps a note of encouragement as we got the test back. We are studying for our A-U-G, our approval unto God. Paul, as an older man, aware he was nearing the end of his journey (2 Timothy 4:6) writes to Timothy to encourage him to keep the bigger picture in mind, that he must consider the legacy he will leave and if it will be one that points others to our Lord.
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Our lives are a canvas and everyday a little more of the work is completed, the end of which others will get to look and consider. We are all leaving a legacy. Some will be good, while others will leave much to be desired. In fact, in a real sense, every time you walk out of a room you have left a legacy. You have left the sweet aroma of fellowship and kindness or the stench of ego and self-centeredness. It doesn’t matter if you are at the beginning of your journey or nearing the end, you are in the process of leaving a legacy behind; the only question is what kind of legacy?
Every time I attend a funeral, the thought of what impact I will have on others becomes pressing. My focus becomes less on the moment and more on the entirety. Will my life have made a difference? Have I been kind enough, shown enough love and been more interested in the affairs of others than my own? Human eloquence and mental cleverness will be forgotten. If I show how much I know, how witty I can be, it will not make such a lasting impact, but kindness will always be remembered. Love endures forever.
How can we live a life that will show the approval of our God, on that is worthy of the high calling He has given each one of us? There are many things, but here are 4 helpful things to keep us focused and on track.
- Determine to live your life as to be missed, live in such a way that your absence will be felt. Not with bursts of activity followed by periods of doing nothing. Look to be consistent, not just in the big moments, but also in the everyday things. Seek to be approved even in the monotony. So often we want to show up for the “important” moments and miss the small opportunities that constantly present themselves. If we want God’s approval, live a life that others will miss. Being gentle, be kind, love, give kind words. Good deeds should permeate your life.
- Don’t underestimate a solitary life lived to God’s glory. The devil has two ways that he makes us ineffective. He will give us a big head and if you have this ego that makes you self important, you will be useless to God and useless to those around you. We must not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. The other way is to get us to think so low of ourselves that we think there is no possible way God could every use us. God has used prostitutes, murderers, drunks, thieves and all sorts of people to further his kingdom. Remember, humility is not thinking less of one’s self, it thinks of one’s self less. If the focus is on you, it’s in the wrong place. Make the focus about the glory and renown of the name of the Lord.
- If you’re going to be remembered as part of the crowd, make sure it’s the right crowd. There are good crowds to be a part of and then there are those that, looking back, no one would want to be associated with. Who you choose to do life with matters. The people that you allow to speak into your life will have a huge effect on you. Whether we realize it or not those we spend time with, particularly those we spend lots of time with will influence our thinking and thereby our decisions and ultimately our life path. There is a crowd we want to be associated with and that list is found in Hebrews chapter eleven.
- Determine with God’s help to seize the day. We never know what day will be our last. Live fully in the moment and take the opportunity now to be kind, to speak life into those around you. You and I are not promised tomorrow, so in our relationships live that way. Let love drive your actions and do all that you can in this moment, today (James 4:13-15, Matthew 6:34).
We only have this one life, make sure it’s spent on the things that matter. Don’t be content to reach your cruising altitude and then sit back and relax. Finish stronger than you started, put more energy now than you did in the beginning. Pour your life out for the gospel. In the end, you cannot lose. Your life will be one that was well spent and well missed.
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
Elders Corner – September, 2016
From Pastor Peter F. Paine
I Love This Ministry
I love this ministry! I really love this ministry! God has blessed me to be a part of Christian Fellowship from the beginning.
Our mission Statement is “Evangelize, Educate, Equip, Providing Christian Fellowship and Spiritual Support Worldwide”; ten words that tell the mission that God has given us.
We embrace the Godhead, baptism in the name of Jesus, and grace. We have a passion to minister to people by way of military fellowships and family fellowships in several places here in the United States and abroad. This gives us a unique ability to live our mission statement daily.
The home congregation in Norfolk, Virginia is a strong, multicultural, elder-lead church family that strives to serve God and provide Christian Fellowship and spiritual support to our brothers and sisters worldwide.
One of our goals is to have a fellowship in every Navy port and near every military base; to create a seamless point of contact and spiritual support as our brothers and sisters and their families move from base to base and port to port.
God is doing great things and as we strive for unity, victory and the opportunity to do more for the glory of God, we seek to be blessed and to be a blessing.
Please let me know if you are aware of any way we can be more effective in doing the work of the Lord together.
Peter F. Paine
Christian Fellowship Church Ministries International