Would the Real Prophet Please Stand Up?

[fa icon="calendar'] December 12, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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Occasionally, when I was pastoring, I would hear something like this: “Ray, I really believe that in our church God is saying to us that we need to move more and more toward prayer (or whatever). We’re beginning to move away from it and we need to move back towards it. 

Do you believe that God speaks through His church directly concerning needs like that? I believe he does. I also believe if a message like that is from God, it will be felt throughout the body. It’s something specific. God will speak to his church, and he will communicate that message through his people – that’s prophecy. That’s all it is – it’s not as spooky as we think.

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The Value of Partnership is Clear [Camp Fire Update]

[fa icon="calendar'] December 10, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in CPD Member Highlights, News

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While the news coming out of Paradise and Chico has slowed down, efforts to help our CPD churches here have only ramped up. Our C&MA family across the nation has mobilized prayer and resources on an unprecedented level. We're also seeing support from non-Alliance churches as God prompts them with this great need.  

While Neighborhood Church in Chico is no longer being used as an evacuation center, NC Chico is still housing our Paradise Alliance Church. Now that we're past some of the initial chaos, I thought it would be good for you to hear directly from Josh Gallagher, the new pastor at Paradise Alliance Church.   

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I Am With You

[fa icon="calendar'] December 5, 2018 / by Jim Bailey posted in Guest Post

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“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

I read this today and it hit me. The last thing Jesus says in the book of Matthew is one of the most important things we need to recall to thrive in ministry today: “I am with you.”

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To Prophesy or Not to Prophesy?

[fa icon="calendar'] November 30, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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Let’s take a look at serving gifts that speak. The serving gifts themselves break down into two categories:

  1. Serving gifts that speak – prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom
  2. Serving gifts that act, or do something – the gifts of mercy, faith, help, leadership, and giving.

At this point we’re talking about the spiritual gift or spiritual manifestation of prophecy.

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Shifting Perspectives of Gratitude and Grief

[fa icon="calendar'] November 23, 2018 / by District Office posted in Equipping

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In the aftermath of the Camp Fire, it’s easy to have shifting perspectives of both gratitude and grief. Some of us are grateful just to be alive while others are mourning the loss of loved ones. Some have gratitude their home was spared, while neighbor’s homes next door or across the street were lost. We all have gratitude for how the communities have come together to shelter and support evacuees, but we grieve for the loss of a city, of people’s livelihood, that life will never be quite the same for anyone who has lived through and been impacted by the events of the Camp Fire.

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Member Highlight: Pastor Josh Gallagher, Paradise Alliance Church

[fa icon="calendar'] November 21, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in CPD Member Highlights

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On a regular basis we have been introducing you to our CPD workers and their families. When we went to send our next one out, we realized it was Josh and Erin Gallagher of Paradise. We were speechless at the timing. But even with everything that has taken place [as a result of the Camp Fire], we wanted to follow through and introduce you to a family that while suffering great loss in their first 3 months in the CPD, are nevertheless leading this church with compassion and excellence even while scattered. 

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It's Okay to Be in a Season of Grief [Camp Fire Update]

[fa icon="calendar'] November 19, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in News

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I thought I would be ready for what I saw today. I wasn't. Not by a long shot. I'm not sure I could ever be. I'm not sure I should ever be. Donice and I were back in Chico Sunday for the combined service of the Chico and Paradise churches, joined by Terry Smith, C&MA Vice President. At one point all the people were asked to stand that had lost homes so we could pray for them. As hundreds of people stood all around this large auditorium, the gasp was audible as we experienced a new depth of grief for those affected by this disaster. It was another service where tears flowed freely.

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Update: How Our Churches Are Being Impacted by the Camp Fire

[fa icon="calendar'] November 16, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in News

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As many of you know, the devastation caused by the Camp Fire has directly impacted two of our alliance churches. I have never been in a situation where I have heard and said so many times, "Words fail. There are no words to describe this."

It is in times like this that we have no choice but to rely on the Lord like the Psalmist in Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." And then the end of the chapter, vs 10-11, "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." 

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4 Reasons to Church Plant

[fa icon="calendar'] November 15, 2018 / by District Office posted in Church Planting

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Every once-in-a-while I get the question, “Why should we plant new churches?” Here are some of the answers I have given over time:

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Missions Update: Reaching the Guarajios

[fa icon="calendar'] November 8, 2018 / by Tim Agnello posted in Missions, Fundraising

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So excited to give you an update on our progress engaging the unreached people group known as The Guarajios in the mountains of Central Mexico. Over this past summer, I trolled the CPD family looking for potential partners to engage and support this new endeavor along with Alliance Mexico.

Praise God - we got several churches and also several individuals from the family who felt called to jump in! 

You'll see the pictures of the truck we helped purchase and filled it with supplies to make an impact as they hike out into the mountains, hopefully to initiate our first contact with the native tribe where they actually live.

The truck and the team left last week, so be in prayer that we will have a successful first trip. We will keep you updated and let you know how it went when they return in a couple weeks.

Thanks so much for partnering and praying for this brand new work!!

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