Tag Archives: bold

Retired Police Chaplain Looks into Rearview Mirror, Sees Ripe Mission Field Ahead

By Carl Stagner

John Crose is the son of influential Church of God missions figures, Lester and Ruthe Crose. With a name like Crose, you might assume he’d follow in his family’s footsteps abroad. God did call John to the mission field, but of a different kind. For twenty-one years, John Crose took the hope and healing of the gospel into all the world of police chaplaincy. His new book, The Exciting World of a Police Chaplain, chronicles firsthand accounts of ride-alongs with law enforcement, difficult death notifications, pastoral counseling, and sharing the gospel with unbelieving officers, family members, and persons affected by police-related matters. Though retired today, his experiences of the past predict an ever-increasing need for police chaplains. Continue reading

All-Volunteer Parachurch Ministry Meets Needs, Gives Life in Arkansas

Lines of people waiting to be blessed by Healing Waters.

By Carl Stagner

Consider what just happened the weekend before Thanksgiving. Three hundred thirty meals were served and over two hundred bags of food were given away. For free. No catch. Even more exciting—thirty-eight individuals accepted Christ. But this wasn’t a special holiday outreach. Revival services weren’t planned, and no traveling evangelist had been brought in to deliver an impassioned sermon. Obviously, this wasn’t Easter, yet numerous non-churchgoers were within earshot of the gospel. Far from an unusual occurrence at Healing Waters Outreach Center in Shannon Hills, Arkansas, these kinds of Holy Spirit-happenings take place on a weekly basis! The parachurch ministry supported by the Church of God in Arkansas now has a connection through one of its founding members to the Urban Missions team of Church of God Ministries. Robert Holt gives us a glimpse into the life-giving, far-reaching impact of Healing Waters, and why so many—at least 125 people—choose to volunteer their time every week for the work. Continue reading

Pastor Engages the Enemy in Adventure of a Lifetime

Chaplain Miller prays with a Marine Corps Special Operations Team prior to a mission in East Africa.

By Carl Stagner

Calculated risk. Often used in the financial sense, Baron Miller uttered the term in the context of fear. Every time you take a drive in the car or catch a flight on an airplane, is there a chance you might not make it back? Sure, there is. But that doesn’t cancel your travel plans. When firefighters have to rush inside a burning building, or law enforcement are called to a chaotic scene, they don’t hesitate. There’s risk involved, but these community heroes trust their training and their gear to help them stand strong in the heat of the battle. The parallel to the Christian experience is inescapable; the soldier of the cross must engage the battle, must reclaim what hell has stolen. Might it get scary? Possibly. Could it get dangerous? Certainly. But at the fingertips of every believer is an arsenal of spiritual weapons and an array of training options to fully engage in the fight. Engaging the enemy—that’s what Baron Miller’s life has been about—from the halls of the Church of God he founded in Bellingham, Washington, to the shores of Guantanamo Bay. Continue reading

Regional Day 2: Church of God Unleashed for ‘Greater Works’

Don Wilson challenged and inspired on Wednesday night.

By Carl Stagner

Daring to do something about racial reconciliation, champion those far from God, challenge the status quo, or lift up Jesus over all other subjects, the Church of God was inspired Wednesday to reclaim what hell has stolen. It didn’t matter that the sermons stung a bit; truth can hurt, and we needed to hear the truth. It didn’t matter that a Church of God Ministries employee missed the first session of the morning; he encountered a homeless man, was compelled to pray with him, and took the time to purchase the T-shirts he was in need of. It didn’t matter that students from the school across the street from the convention host church hung out on church property, inside and out, after the dismissal bell rang; those students need Christ, and they’ve learned they’re more than welcome at Mountain Park Church—even when a convention is taking place. Continue reading

Florida Ministry Exemplifies ‘the Innkeeper’ in Good Samaritan Story

By Carl Stagner

Jesus told it first. Countless preachers and teachers have expounded on it since. The Parable of the Good Samaritan has captured the attention and the hearts of men and women around the world with its profound, yet simple message of love expressed in action. As church leaders renew the call to boldly move outside the walls of the church, more and more believers are identifying with the character of the Samaritan. But every Good Samaritan needs a good innkeeper! Lake Wales Care Center in Lake Wales, Florida, not only provides a place to stay (and numerous other services) for people in need, but also bridges the gap between the heart to serve and the means to do it effectively. Continue reading

Missouri Church Takes Bold Step to Eliminate Debt

Photo: First Church mortgage going up in flames.

By Carl Stagner

Two thousand years ago, Jesus paid the debt we could not pay. His victory over death became our victory, setting us free to experience new life and share it with others. Until freedom reigns, debt has a way of holding us back, enslaving us to our past. First Church of God in Jefferson City, Missouri, found themselves in this very predicament. While thankful for the grace that covers their spiritual debt, the debt that stared them down, barring the way forward, was financial. This debt kept them from experiencing God’s best and embracing the future he’d planned for them. Then, early last year, the capital city congregation fixed their eyes on Christ and boldly stepped out of the boat. Continue reading

Sex Trafficking Victims, At-Risk Youth Find Refuge in the Underground

By Carl Stagner

The poverty rate in Sunnyside, Washington, is more than double the statewide rate. Forty percent of the town’s population is under the age of eighteen, and 40 percent of those children are growing up in single-parent households. These and other sobering statistics reflect an atmosphere primed for a thunderstorm of gang-related activity. Since 2010, Oasis Community Church of God has sought to increase awareness of sex trafficking, and this year, these efforts culminated in the founding of the Underground. As a drop-in community center for at-risk youth and their families, including victims of sex trafficking, the Underground is all about offering hope for a second chance. Continue reading

Church of God Convention 2014 Begins Today

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Logo: Church of God Convention 2014

By Carl Stagner

Anticipation is high and hearts are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit over the next four days at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. Enthusiasm for #BeBold2014 has continued to rise on Facebook and Twitter over the weekend. Travelers from across the country and around the world are descending on the Sooner State for an event that has promised to usher in an era of fresh vision and hope for the Church of God. Continue reading

Warner University Students Fight Trafficking, Advocate for Needy

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Photo: Warner University social work students who advocated for social change, including legislation to curb human trafficking.

By Doris Gukich

WU Social Work Students Go to Capital

On April 8, Warner University social work majors traveled to Tallahassee, Florida to attend the National Association of Social Workers Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) with other social work students and professionals from across the state. Warner University students advocated for groundbreaking legislation in areas such as child welfare and human trafficking. They met with legislators and attended committee meetings where important bills were being proposed. As the morning came to a close, students met with Warner University alumna and board member, Senator Denise Grimsley. The social work majors learned the importance of advocacy and the necessity of representing the voice of the vulnerable and oppressed in our state. Continue reading

MACU Welcomes CHOG Convention to Oklahoma City

Register for the Church of God Convention 2014: Be Bold! (June 23–26 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) at http://www.chogconvention.org/default.

#BeBold2014

Loving Fearlessly: Boldly Caring for Women in Crisis

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Photo: Priscilla’s Lost and Found brings the hope of Jesus Christ to women who might otherwise have little or no hope (stock).

By Arnetta Bailey

It was the summer of 1997, while Arnetta Bailey and her family were still living and worshiping in Indianapolis, that a young man in her church came to her and said, “The Lord told me you would help my mother.”

Arnetta knew the woman (“Donna”). Donna was strung out on drugs, entangled in prostitution, and leaving her children home alone while she walked the streets. Because of the son’s insistence, Arnetta finally gave in. She went looking for Donna and found her. Arnetta made several contacts with Donna. When she prayerfully asked God for guidance, the Lord’s instructions were, “Speak my Word into her life.” So she began to say to Donna, “I see you saved. I see you living for God. I see you delivered from drugs and prostitution. I see you loving and caring for your children. I see you whole.” Continue reading

Shopping the Aisles of an Indiana Church

By Bryan Hughes

When the congregation of Pendleton Community Church of God arrived for worship, they had no idea that church would actually happen in the grocery store across the street.

“We work really hard to keep church simple,” Trey Oldham, senior pastor stated. “This particular Sunday we took a glimpse of the early church from Acts 2 where those in the church sell their property and possessions to take care of others in need.” Continue reading

The Boldness of Elmer Kardatzke: Welcoming Home a Prodigal Father

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By Nyle Kardatzke

The father was a farmer, and he had been in the Church of God fifteen years earlier. His wife was a devout Christian who played the piano at church and took their nine children every time the doors were open. But the father no longer went to church, nor did he pray. Continue reading

Boldly Preaching Jesus at Age 100: Linvel Arington

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By Steve Nelson

Retired Church of God pastor Linvel Arington turned one hundred years old on November 24, 2013. Instead of the typical birthday celebration, Linvel spent the morning preaching from the pulpit of Oaklawn Church of God in Hot Springs, Arkansas. What started out as a tongue-in-check joke about preaching his “next-to-last sermon” on his one hundredth birthday turned into a momentous reality. Continue reading