Published on July 20, 2009
bcf 2009: A Year of Opportunity Bethel Christian Fellowship - St. Paul Campus: 1466 Portland Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104 (651-645-1534) Minneapolis Campus: 1429 Madison St NE Minneapolis, MN 55413 www.bcfnations.org July/August 09; Vol. 7, Combined Issue 7-8 MONTHLY THEME: 2006: A Year of Bounty ~ part 2 [A continuation of our review of past BCF annual themes] The Bounty of God’s Power Last month, in our June LIFEline issue, we began to power,’ and He showed up and highlight the 2006 theme: A Year of Bounty. Our emphasis filled them. I’m a living witness was directed toward the ministry of God’s bounty in His of thousands who have broken grace and goodness. In this, our July-August LIFEline out to be empowered by God issue, we conclude our review of God’s bounty, specifically and have their lives changed.” as it relates to His power. As Pastor Jim explained, God’s When Pastor Jim introduced BCF to the concept of God’s bounty is for us both individually bounty, he defined it as “the goodness of God, expressed and corporately. This means in every dimension—body, soul, and spirit—expressed to that God wants to pour the us individually and corporately.” This is what God has bounty of the Spirit’s power into provided for us at BCF, and a very significant expression my life and through my life— of His bounty is the power of the Holy Spirit. and also into us and through us as the BCF body. How does The 2006 bulletin cover was At the Outpouring service this past May 15, Dale God do this? To help answer designed by Greta Sandquist. VanSteenis, who provides apostolic oversight for BCF, this question, we are printing an gave a strong word about the power of the Spirit and edited version of Dale’s May 15 remarks on page 12. especially about speaking in tongues as “the door that God has provided for us to walk through to enter the realm The bounty of God’s power is available to us, and we can of spiritual things, giftedness, prophecy, miracles…and participate in its abundance. After he identified speaking in whatever else we may need to bring the kingdom to its tongues as the door to God’s gracious gifts, Dale said, “If maturity in this day.” that’s the gateway, let’s go there.” I heartily agree. Dale told us how he has “seen …thousands, through the --Ken Holmgren years, all across the world…just [say], ‘Jesus, come in your You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. MONTHLY SCRIPTURE: Psalm 65:11 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: CONTINUED: Historical LIFE: “The Bounty of God’s Power” Page 1 Worship LIFE: “An Invitation to Step into the Bounty” Page 7 Pastor’s Page: “2006, A Year of Bounty - Part 2” Page 2 Prayer LIFE: “Pray in the Spirit,” Pages 8-9 “A Testimony about Praying in the Spirit” Historical LIFE: “The Anointing Oil is Still Flowing” Page 3 Fun Page for Fun Kids Page 10 Financial LIFE: Pioneer Press reprint, “The Return of our First Page 4-5 Fruits,” Fisherman’s LIFE: “Invite the Twin Cities to Dinner!” Page 11 Poetic LIFE: “Healthy Living” Page 5 Ken’s Korner: “A Notable Anniversary” Page 12 Lifers: “Capturing God’s Truth” Page 6 Community LIFE: “A Garden of Opportunity
pastor’sPAGE Where Do You Get Your Power? way for us to tap into supernatural power. Jesus talked I grew up as a missionary kid in southwestern Mexico. about this in John 14, 15, and 16 where He told His Life on the mission field wasn't easy for my parents, and disciples that the Holy Spirit would no longer be with having a rambunctious son, to put it lightly, probably didn't them, but in them! help the situation. In Luke and Acts, Jesus told His disciples to go into the One day, when I had done something wrong, I found out city and wait for power from above. He said He would give that my discipline would be to do extra work. (This, by the them power to do what He was calling them to do. It was way, was a really good idea for a kid with lots of energy). so important to Jesus that He told His disciples to wait until We lived near the base of a small mountain with a dirt road the Holy Spirit came! That same power is available to all of that led up to our house. In the rainy season, the water us today! Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has would rush down the hillside and onto our road and wash given us everything we need for life and godliness it out so badly that we couldn't drive home. Even walking through our knowledge of him who called us by his own was precarious because of how badly the road was carved glory and goodness.” out. God's power has given us everything we need to live for My dad thought it would be a good idea to fill in the worst Him…everything we need to move that mountain or find a part of the street with some truckloads of dirt and rocks so way around it…everything we need to face the difficulties we could pass. Unfortunately for me, that was the day I and challenges of life…everything we need for what He decided to misbehave badly enough to merit special has called us to do! But there's a difference between treatment. I ended up in front of the mountain of dirt knowing about His power and experiencing it. Ephesians that covered our road, with only a shovel, a rake, and a 3:16-21 says: tamper. My job was to level the mountain, fill in the holes, and tamp it. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in I remember looking at the pile of dirt and being so over- your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your whelmed that all I could do was plop down on the side hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being of the dirt pile. It seemed like an impossible task. After all, rooted and established in love, may have power, I thought helplessly, I was just a kid. This is something a together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and bulldozer should do, not a kid with a shovel! long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that Have you ever felt like that—like there's no way you could you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness possibly do what lies in front of you? Maybe you're facing of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasura- a mountain in your family and you don't know how to move bly more than all we ask or imagine, according it or get around it. Maybe your financial situation looks like to his power that is at work within us, to HIM be it’s just too difficult. It could be that you are overwhelmed glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through- by a combination of things; I know I've been there. out all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. I was definitely there that day when I was working on Immeasurably more = exceeding abundantly above = the road. After receiving some encouragement from my way, Way, WAY More! God will do way, Way, WAY more parents, which may or may not have involved mention of than all we ask or imagine through Him at work within us! other possible forms of punishment, I started working and We must experience His power within us! If we try to rely was able to get the job done with the tools that had been on our own strength, we have every reason to be over- given to me. I really did have everything I needed. Once whelmed, but if we are being filled with the Holy Spirit and my Dad saw that I was working hard at leveling the pile spending time in relationship with Him, His power will flow and I wasn't going to quit, he came out and helped me through us to do immeasurably more than all we ask or finish it off. imagine! --Pastor Sam Snyder Where do you get your power when you're facing obstacles that seem too big to handle? Where do you Would you like to hear more about The Year of Bounty? get your power to do what you are called to do? God Please go to our website at www.bcfnations.org knew that we would not be able to effectively face all the to hear the original message in its entirety. excitement and challenges of life alone, so He made a Page 2
historicalLIFE L The Anointing Oil Is Still Flowing Fifty-four years later, in 2006, a Year of Bounty, I was back at Bethel. The building was different. The name had been changed from Bethel Temple to Bethel Christian Fellowship. And I’m sure that most, if not all, of those Three years ago I came to Bethel Christian Fellowship for "elderly" people in the meeting in 1952 have gone on to be the first time in over twenty years. As I sat and waited for with the Lord. But God has honored the faith expressed by the service to begin, so many memories flooded my mind. that young evangelist who was anointing the sidewalk. Although I had never been a member here, we had always had good fellowship with this congregation and its pastors. Some of our children attended here during their college Instead of ten or fifteen faithful prayer warriors sitting in years, and my mother was a good friend of a former pastor, the pews, families of different ethnic backgrounds, young Helen Jepsen. people, and children now stream down the aisles and fill the seats. A worship band gathers in a circle to pray together before starting the service. Many missionaries I have a special memory of the days when Helen Jepsen have been sent from this place to different parts of the was pastor. The year was 1952, and I was seventeen. As world to preach the Good News. And people reach out to I walked into our house after school one day, my mother welcome me. said that she had received a phone call from Sister Jepsen, who told her about a revival at her church, Bethel Temple. Although I loved the Lord, I was not very far along in my Psalm 65:11-13 testifies of God: sanctification process. I wasn’t really too thrilled when Mom said, "Tomorrow night I am going, and you are going with You crown the year with your bounty, and your me. Sister Helen specifically asked that you come.” carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with glad- "Why do I have to go?” I asked. "They’re only old people ness. The meadows are covered with flocks and that go there." Of course, in my teenage mind, anyone over the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for forty was "old." I tried to get out of going with any excuse I joy and sing. could think of, but to no avail. Sister Helen had asked that I come, and the next night we were on the streetcar, on our The anointing oil is still flowing at Bethel, and the Spirit of way from Minneapolis to St. Paul. God is still drawing people in as they walk through the doors of this church. Even in these troublesome times, He As we walked toward the church from the streetcar line, I continues to pour out his Bounty upon us. noticed a young evangelist bending over in front of the church, pouring anointing oil up and down the sidewalk and --Dianne Jones on the entryway of the church. I happened to know the young man, as he used to visit our church in Minneapolis when he was in Bible school. "Dick,” I asked, “what in the world are you doing?" "We are believing God for a miracle,” Dick responded. “We trust that whoever walks by will be drawn supernaturally into the meeting and find the Lord, so I am anointing the sidewalk." As I rolled my eyes, my Mom noticed, and she poked me in the ribs. "Don’t you discourage this young man,” she whispered under her breath. “You could use a little more faith, young lady." There were not a lot of people in the service that night, and yes, most of them were "elderly." But that young evangelist, who was just starting out in ministry, preached as if the BETHEL’S CONGREGATION AT A REVIVAL SERVICE place were packed out. Sister Jepsen was a woman who AT THE TRAIN COACH IN FALL 1949. loved to encourage young people to step out into the ministry to which God had called them. Page 3
financialLIFE L The poor stretch further to give richly, To explain her giving, Women are more studies find Faith and empathy Davis offered the two reasons most commonly generous than men, are central motives heard in three days of studies show. Older By Frank Greve conversations with people give more than McClatchy Newspapers low income donors: younger donors with Washington “I believe, that the more equal incomes. The (From the St. Paul Pioneer Press on 5-22-2009) I give, the more I receive, and that God loves a working poor are When Jody Richards saw a homeless man begging cheerful giver,” Davis America’s most outside a downtown McDonald’s recently, he bought the said. “Plus, I’ve been generous group, man a cheeseburger. There’s nothing unusual about in their position, and that, except that Richards is homeless too, and the according to author someday I might be Arthur Brooks. 99-cent burger was an outsized chunk of the $9.50 again.” he’d earned that day from panhandling. Herbert Smith, 31, a Seventh day Adventist who said The generosity of poor people isn’t so much rare as he tithed his $1,010 monthly disability check – giving rarely noticed, however. In fact, America’s poor donate away 10 percent of it – thought poor people give more more, in percentage terms, than higher-income groups because, in some ways, they worry less about their do, surveys of charitable giving show. What’s more, their money. generosity declines less in hard times than the generosity of richer givers does. “We’re not scared of poverty the way rich people are,” he said. “We know how to get the lights back on when we “The lowest-income fifth (of the population) always give can’t pay the electric bill.” at more than their capacity,” said Virginia Hodgkinson, former vice president for research at Independent Sector, In terms of income, the poorest fifth seem unlikely a Washington-based association of major nonprofit benefactors. Their pretax household incomes averaged agencies. “The next two-fifths give at capacity, and those $10,531 in 2007, according to the BLS survey, compared above that are capable of giving two or three times more with $158, 388 for the top fifth. than they give.” In addition, that income bracket’s members are the Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest survey least-educated fifth of the U.S. population, the oldest, of consumer expenditure found that the poorest fifth of the most religious, and the most likely to rent their America’s households contributed an average of 4.3 homes, demographers say. They’re also the most likely percent of their incomes to charitable organizations in fifth to be on welfare; to drive used cars or rely on public 2007. The richest fifth gave at less than half that rate, transport; and to be students, minorities, women and 2.1 percent. recent immigrants. The figures probably undercount remittances by legal Many of these characteristics predict generosity. Women and illegal immigrants to family and friends back home, are more generous than men, studies have shown. a multibillion-dollar outlay to which the poor contribute Older people give more than younger donors with equal disproportionally. incomes. The working poor, disproportionate numbers of whom are recent immigrants, are America’s most gener- None of the middle fifths of America’s households, in ous group, according to Arthur Brooks, author of the book contrast, gave away as much as 3 percent of their “Who Really Cares,” an analysis of U.S. generosity. incomes. Faith probably matters most, said Brooks, president of “As a rule, people who have money don’t know people in the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative need,” said Tanya Davis, 40, a laid-off security guard and Washington policy-research organization. That’s partly single mother. because above average numbers of poor people go to church, and those who attend church give more money Certainly, better-off people aren’t hit up by friends and than those who don’t attend to secular and religious kin as often as Davis said she was, having earned a charities, Brooks found. reputation for generosity when she worked. What makes poor people’s generosity even more Now getting by on $110 a week in unemployment impressive is that their giving generally isn’t tax- insurance and $314 a month in welfare, Davis still fields deductible, because they don’t earn enough to justify two or three appeals a week, she said, and lays out $5 or itemizing their charitable tax deductions. $10 weekly. Page 4
The Return of Our Firstfruits With the van following us on a trailer, God led me to read Psalm 112. These things came forward as I considered (Editor’s note: The author of this article wishes to remain what God was teaching me about our finances: anonymous. However, we believe that the insights and testimony given here will enrich and encourage you.) Obey (verse 1). If God says; “Do it,” just do it. Don’t ask why; just trust and watch. Verse 1 says that those who fear the Lord “Just do it and watch what happens,” they said with a grin. This will be blessed. was the encouragement given to us by a couple who have been tithing their firstfruits for years and literally light up with Model Trust (verses 2-3). Even when it’s hard to trust, stories of God’s faithfulness during lean and uncertain seasons it’s good for our kids to see us relying on the Lord. We can of family life. expect to be strengthened as a household when everyone is waiting on the Lord together. Likewise when the storehouse Last year, our family entered an uncertain season, and we opens up, everyone acknowledges God’s provision together. were challenged in unprecedented ways. During this time, the When our kids watch us trust God, we help them avoid Lord asked us to seek release from old patterns of behavior so displacing God’s riches with the fruit of their own labors, that He could deliver fresh direction about what He wanted and which lead to diminished faith, reliance on self, exaggerated desired for us. Our money—where it came from and where it self-worth, and eventual burnout. went—was one of the first patterns He chose to deal with. In response, we saw that our behavior with regard to tithing had to Walk a straight path (verses 4-9). The rewards for blind change. obedience are vast. We can expect light to rise up for us in the darkness. We are promised that as we walk in It went like this. God said, “Do it.” We got paid and we did it. compliance to what God requires of us, He will deal with us We gave ten percent back to the Lord. It was easy for my compassionately and stand for us when we face judgment. husband, but I held my breath and closed my eyes. In the first If we maintain a place of honesty and repentance, we are month, through unexpected sources, God gave back every stable in adversity, and we face bad news with courage. dollar we gave. I began to write down every unexpected return Finally, if we believe that God really is the source of our that came in, down to the dollar amount, and we thanked God provision, we are able to share and release more of what for His increase even as we were giving more. we have to help others. In the second month, we learned a lesson about trusting God Hold on (verses 9-10). Stay committed for the long haul. by way of an 800-mile road trip and a faulty head gasket on our We will be honored for our strength during hardship. The I minivan. With a sufficient budget for meals and gas, we left mplications of righteousness are eternal, and those who Minnesota to visit family for Christmas. We left a “cushion” for choose to live for immediate pleasure, materialism, and the “unexpected” in our account at home. This, I thought, was a self-gain will painfully regret it. wise thing to do, given the age of our vehicle and the numerous things that can happen on a lengthy road trip. God is still shaping us. Our desire, like most parents, is to be able to provide for our children, be good stewards of what we On the way back, still far from home, the van “unexpectedly” have, and avoid the unnecessary trappings of the material broke down. At that point, the “cushion” was needed, and we world. We fail often, but He redeems us daily. Watching my faced having to relinquish our reserve and return home with husband write out the weekly tithe check is still, for me, an very little cash. My husband just smiled, but my anxiety flared. act of blind submission, but I believe by faith that my heart is The confidence I had placed in the Lord with regard to our maturing. Soon, by grace, the return of our firstfruits will money was replaced with dread. become an act of unbridled worship. poetic Healthy Living Want to live a healthy life? Our lives should bring glory to God – If the way seems dark then follow the Son There’s really no mystique – This goal should be clear-cut. Wherever you will embark. Just be aware that seven days God is looking for spiritual fruit, When God puts a period on His plans Without Jesus makes one weak. Not for religious nuts. Don’t throw in a question mark. Don’t let your heart be tempted It’s hard to be sure which way to go With all of the challenges that we face By enticing schemes and shams When the options are all so demanding. We need to be able to cope. Because it’s true that forbidden fruit You’ll find that a lot of kneeling Man’s way leads to a hopeless end – Creates many kinds of jams. Will keep you in very good standing. God’s to an endless hope! --Liz Kimmel Lies and falsehoods assail our minds We like to feel that we’re in control And many are quite absurd. In each situation we meet. If you find you’re suffering from Truth decay But if God is in the co-pilot chair Be sure to brush up on the Word. Then it’s time for you to swap seats! Page 5
Capturing God’s Truth God tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we are to “take (Editor’s note: The following article will captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Any introduce you to “Capture,” an important rationalization, argument, or belief that has taken hold is to ministry that Marie Wang leads as part be demolished. “Capture,” a group for BCF’s high school of the Lifers youth ministry at BCF. girls, has a two-fold meaning: to know how captivating we We believe it will be a blessing to you.) are to God, and through His love, to capture the thoughts that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. Have you ever wanted to let loose? Have you ever wanted to do what seems really crazy—something that walks the In the past several months, we looked at some practical tightrope between being crazy-cool and crazy-not-cool? steps for taking every thought captive. These steps include Have you ever been held back because you didn’t want to being aware of the different types of experiences we have, risk losing self-respect and other people’s respect, however whether they be emotional, rational, or an integration of the little or much of it you feel you have? two. From that awareness, we talked about some ways God’s power enables us to capture our experiences: Or, at the other end of the spectrum, have you ever given watching our experiences with our mind’s eye, describing yourself too much permission to be smarter than others, to them to get a better handle on them, and engaging in them be better at the game than others, to be better at “critical with every ounce of our strength. thinking” about something, someone, or even yourself… and then realized that these were just socially acceptable We also talked about the heart posture we need to do ways to be judgmental? these things well: focusing without distraction, giving up our “right” to judge the other person (or even ourselves), and Sometimes we have thoughts that stop, inhibit, and prohibit engaging in things that we can do effectively without being us where God doesn’t want us to be stopped, inhibited, or paralyzed by the ideal way it “should” be done. prohibited. We want to find ways to deal with judgmental thoughts we have toward others and ourselves. We want After a summer’s rest, we plan to resume meeting in the fall to capture God’s truth about the things that raise fear, with a look at a different aspect of how we are captivating anxiety and stress in us. We want to conquer our self- to God and how we can, in turn, capture our experiences to consciousness and our concerns about looking foolish, align them with His truth and love. silly, or even downright stupid. We want to know God’s --Marie Wang thoughts. communityLIFE L A Garden of Opportunity Enjoy edible theme-related snacks Day Camp 2009 is right around the corner. During the Sing songs and have lively week of August 3-7, BCF will open its doors to receive over interactions in Eden, learn- a hundred children for a fun-filled week of activity centered ing the weather conditions around our theme: God's Great Earth Camp - Learning of the heart with Guy to Love the Lord and Care for His Creation. What an Weather opportunity we have to pour seeds of love, Scripture, and prayer into the hearts and lives of many and prayerfully On Thursday evening, August 6, lead to a great kingdom harvest! campers and their families will be invited back to BCF for a Garden Each day campers will be introduced to a garden Gathering to celebrate together. It is an opportunity parable, along with two "pair of bull" puppets beautifully for whole families to be welcomed into our House, and crafted by Julie Thompson. This will help them learn more ultimately the kingdom of God. We will have a meal, about our loving Father's desire for His Word to take root in activities, and a swap/donation event to encourage the our lives and for us to live lives of faith, trust, and hope in recycling of books, toys, and media. His provision. In addition, campers will: Learn to scatter their own "prayer seeds" for It is our prayer that the seeds scattered during the week will unreached people groups as they make a fall upon good soil. It is our desire that the Word of God will mini-garden take root and be established in the hearts of many so that a Make nature crafts that celebrate the beauty of great crop of faith will be produced. We pray against thorns God's creation and obstacles that would interfere in any way. Please read Explore earth science and learn to appreciate Luke 8: 1-15, and pray that those who come will have ears the wonders of this world to hear from the Lord. Play recycled yard games that teach how fun can be had anywhere, with anyone, at any --Carole Pankow time, with things around us Page 6
worship An Invitation to Step into the Bounty To many of us, it’s likely that this idea seems exhilaratingly enticing and yet completely terrifying. May I encourage you Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion… that this praise has already been ordained by God, crafted --Psalm 65:1 by His hand within you? There are no prerequisites! There is nothing that you need to do to work it up, figure it out in Looking back to the year 2006, a Year of Bounty, I advance, or practice it to perfection. remember how we as a church wondered, “What is this bounty that God has for us?” However, that entire year, You do not need to take a worship dance workshop, have I don’t remember ever thinking of bounty in terms of the experience playing on a worship team, or have received bounty that is due to the Lord from us, His people. In special vocal training. You need only to remain sensitive to revisiting Psalm 65:1, God has given me fresh eyes to the voice of your Father. And when He whispers to you, see that a bounty of praise is due to the Lord! There is a “Come, My child…,” throw up your arms in abandoned praise that awaits Him, a bounty that is stored up within freedom and run into His arms crying, “Abba, Father!” us, His people, His bride, His children. (Romans 8:15). Truly, it is not the children who need to learn from us; we need to learn from them! “And a little Psalms 8:2 says, “From the lips of children and infants you child shall lead them…” (Isaiah 11:6b). have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Dear reader, do you know that Dear member of Bethel, God has given you a unique there is a bounty of praise literally stored up within you that offering to bring before Him, and our corporate worship God Himself put there, that He destined for His glory, and will not be complete without you! His bounty will not be for the defeat of His enemies! Hallelujah! complete without a free expression of worship being released from each and every person. It’s not enough that Initially, God impressed this verse on my heart for the the children are stepping out; it’s not enough that some children of Bethel. Surely they belong with us in our adults are stepping out; it’s not enough until YOU step out corporate worship, and we need to embrace them and and the unique expression of praise that is woven into your create a place for them within our assemblies because very being by the Lord is released for His glory. Hallelujah! they have a vital, powerful role to play. But now, as I sit “Then Israel sang this song: Spring up, O well! Sing about down to write this article, God is speaking to my heart a it…”(Numbers 21:17). reminder that we are all His children. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called In conclusion, these verses—Isaiah 43:1, 19, and 20b-21— children of God! And that is what we are!” (I John 3:1). are God’s exhortation for us today: Adults of Bethel, I declare to you that this is what you are: But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created CHILDREN OF GOD! No matter your age, this is a title you you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, will never outgrow. Hallelujah! God wants you to know that for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by in this Year of Opportunity, He is placing before you an name: you are mine…See, I am doing a new thing! Now open door to step into His Bounty—the glorious bounty of it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a bringing Him the glory due His name! God has deposited in way in the desert and streams in the wasteland…to give your heart a bounty of childlike praise and adoration! Now drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for is the time to step out in the freedom of God’s Spirit and myself that they may proclaim my praise.” release to Him what He has already planted within you: the glory that is due His name! So Spirit of God, we ask you to open up the deep wellsprings of praise within the spirit of each person at In Matthew 18:3-4, Mark 10:15, and Luke 18:17, Jesus Bethel! Come young, come old. Come, elders of Bethel; teaches that unless we humble ourselves to change and come, nursing infants. During our corporate worship, become like little children, we will be able to neither receive remain sensitive to the “springing up” of His praise within nor enter the kingdom of God. Initially, I was asked to write your heart. this article about my vision of including children in our worship; but as I sat down to do so, I felt the Lord showing And when you feel it happening, do not fear! You need only me that He wants to give us a paradigm shift. choose to say, “Yes, Lord!” and release unto Him the bounty that He has already placed there for you to give. God is not interested in us as adults grafting the children Then, together, as we corporately release His Bounty to into our expression of worship, which is limited by the Him, God will release His power to us, and the enemy will “adult-sized boxes” into which we have compartmentalized be silenced. our experience of God. Rather, He is far more interested in encouraging us adults at Bethel to leave our broken boxes Hallelujah! To God be the glory! behind and step out into “the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21). --Karin Miller Page 7
prayerLIFE L Pray in the Spirit! prays through that and immediately gives time for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. “Now (Editor’s note: The following article is taken from a message Dale you know Jesus,” he’ll say, “and you need power to live VanSteenis gave at BCF’s Outpouring service on Friday, May 15, that life to be useful to Him. Here’s what that means: God 2009. We believe that this is a very significant word from God for wants to fill you right now.” Brand new believers are like Bethel, something for us to prayerfully receive and practice.) hungry birds, and my reckoning is that about seventy-five There is something incredibly powerful going on in the percent of every hundred are immediately filled with the heavenlies tonight. Your much praying has changed the Holy Spirit and speak with tongues after they’ve been environment, and it just rolled over me repeatedly. God is saved three minutes. moving this house up to a place not of asking the Holy This is the door that God has provided for us to walk Spirit to come, but of hosting Him. Now that’s different than through to enter the realm of spiritual things, giftedness, interceding, that’s different than celebrating. Hosting is prophecy, miracles and all the twenty-some things listed in entertaining. You see the Spirit of God in us is for our the Bible as gifts, and whatever else we may need to bring benefit, to rectify and improve us. But the Spirit of God is the kingdom to its maturity in this day. If that’s the gateway, on us so that we can share life with everybody around us. let’s go there. I’ve seen so many hundreds of people—now That’s the destiny of everyone here. Like John the Baptist in the thousands, through the years, all across the world— testified of Jesus in John 1:33, the Holy Spirit descended who weren’t manipulated or given phrases. They just said, upon Him and remained on Him. We’re the temple, the “Jesus, come in your power” and He showed up and filled house of God, and since He’s heard your longing and them. I’m a living witness of thousands who have broken repeated praying, He has decided to not only allow you to out to be empowered by God and have their lives changed. fulfill your responsibility inside to be a House of Prayer for When we come to the Book of Acts in the upper room, we All Nations. The blessing outflow side is that you be a host read that they were all in one place and in one accord—a and get good at it. miracle in any culture! And what happened? There was a When God’s around, you lose consciousness of where you noise, wind, and fire. And then we read that all those fifteen have to go next and where you’re going to eat because tribes that had come to Jerusalem from all over the place you’re feasting on something from the other world. A heard the disciples speaking the wonderful works of God certain satisfying portion comes from it, and that’s the in their own languages. Speaking in tongues is our anointing that comes on us. Your much praying is changing opportunity to pray the wonderful works of God in the the atmosphere here, and it is producing something that Holy Ghost. We’re releasing that into the atmosphere. you really haven’t asked for directly. It is creating an When we host the presence of God and, out of that, speak environment where Jesus is in the house when you gather in the Spirit, we’re releasing the wonderful works of God together on Sunday morning. He’s in the place. whether we understand it or not. And, furthermore, how The whole different dimension of this is just that we’ve many know that Paul said, “When we speak in an unknown sought God and He’s done things internally to us to qualify tongue, we speak mysteries” (1 Corinthians 14:2). In the us for this. He’s willing to trust another dimension of His Greek it comes down like this: As we speak in the Spirit, presence in this house. What an incredible responsibility! things that were hidden before become revelation and are What an incredible blessing! What kind of a church is this? no longer hidden. Well, it’s a Jesus-is-in-the-house kind of a church. I It’s like what Paul said earlier in 1 Corinthians 2:9, eyes encourage you to just step into what God is doing here. haven’t seen or ears heard—we haven’t conceived yet—all He’s already in you anyway—why not live your life in such the things that God has prepared for us. Verse 10 says a way that will entice Him to be upon you so that you have that the Holy Spirit has revealed them unto us. There are something to share and give away on a regular basis. a whole lot of things I don’t know about God and His work I want to talk to you a little bit tonight about the power and people, but as we pray in the Holy Spirit, God begins of the Spirit and especially about speaking in tongues to kick the dust off those things and we have a holy because it’s a gateway to a number of things. When we “ah-hah!” If you’ve ever had one of those awakenings, come to the Book of Acts, we understand clearly that the you just know what you didn’t know a few minutes ago. baptism of the Spirit involves tongue talking. That was How many know that heavenly information has power normative. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by connected to it? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:4 that when tongues and fruit bearing, is the introductory lesson to all we speak in the Spirit, we edify ourselves. Edify is a word the other giftedness. It’s the doorway to all that God has that means either to build a house or to repair one. How provided in the New Testament. It’s a gateway to sweep many of you have come home from work at a desk job—a us into spiritual ministry and spiritual work, sensitive and brain job—exhausted as though you’d been out in the attuned to our giftedness. bleaching sun fifteen hours somewhere? It’s not that your As you know, I belong to a church where lots of people get body exerted so much effort during the day. It’s tension saved. When our pastor has a whole bunch of people who from the spirit world, the warfare around you. are coming to Christ around the front of the church, he Page 8
How do we repair that? We don’t have to run to a miracle comes from there—it’s a higher place. So when we pray meeting to be refreshed—we open the well! What’s in you in the Spirit, we release that. will draw from what heaven wants to put upon you. It’s part I hope that you have a growing appreciation for what God of that hosting. We have to do our piece, and He will come. has done for you. Let’s learn these skills—learn them Every once in awhile I feel surges come out of heaven, well—and practice what we believe. Be prolific tongue- and sometimes, without an apparent reason, waves of the talkers! Well, what if I don’t feel like it? That’s the time, presence of God just come and come. To speak in tongues especially then, because that’s the discipline of the Spirit. is to speak of the wonderful works of God. What do the Pray in the Holy Ghost! Pray in the Spirit! For you who are words mean? I don’t’ know, but we’re glorifying Jesus. in business, holy creative ideas are going to come to you I don’t need to know. Our spirit has to go beyond our in the marketplace. Those ideas will promote you above understanding. Many times understanding follows, but it others because they are whispers from heaven. If we doesn’t necessarily precede. can draw down what God has freely given from the supernatural, it will affect the natural in which we live in Isaiah 28 is a chapter about Ephraim and judgment. Right some very beneficial ways. in the middle of it the Lord lays down an incredible principle about the Holy Spirit’s work. In verses 11-12, He says that God is doing a very good thing tonight and onward in this He will speak to His people through stammering lips and a atmospheric change. He’s moving you up to a new level of foreign tongue. Here’s something for those of you who hosting God’s presence. When you pray as much as you feel you have inadequate flow of spiritual language. have around here, you should expect some answers. He’s Stammering lips is okay. Keep doing what you’re doing. moving you to be increasingly sensitive to the idea of You’ll get to a better place eventually. With stammering lips hosting. Your personal responsibility is to be and remain and a foreign tongue, he said, is rest—rest to the weary. Spirit-filled and Spirit-anointed so that you’re a contributor to the bigger corporate expression. If you come here The original language uses two words here. The first word Sunday as a parishioner of this house, your responsibility is means “restfulness or quiet” The second word means to come here in good condition spiritually, shouting out the “ease, to be at ease or to be peaceful.” In our stress-filled, wonderful works of God, speaking life into the atmosphere pressure-filled hurry-up world, the clock dictates everything. over this place. We’ve gotta hurry to do this or that. We’ve adopted a mentality of stress and press. When the Holy Spirit comes We don’t know who’s going to come in here having into us and out of us, He deposits strength and renewal suffered the sudden death of a loved one, an accident, a and refreshing. How do we rebuild what the world has financial reversal. So corporately create an atmosphere taken from us? We pray in the Holy Ghost. that goes beyond begging, asking, petitioning to the Lord. Beneficial stuff happens in any service where God rises up And that’s when we learn how to host. One of the earmarks high and we are blessed in His presence. of the true people of God in this world is that they’re going to be joy-filled and peace-filled in this riotous, chaotic Hallelujah! environment. Our home is in heaven and our guidance --Dale VanSteenis A Testimony of Praying in the Spirit church on Sunday morning. And so I did, except when a car pulled out in front of me on Sunday morning. However, I In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our recovered, asked forgiveness for my outburst of anger, and weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, continued praying in tongues. but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches I have found myself praying more and more in the Spirit, our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the especially when I get messages on the prayer chain. Most Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with of the names are people I do not know, but God knows God’s will. Romans 8:26 27 them. Since Tim Petschl’s awful accident in late May, praying in the Spirit has really come to the fore. With each Several years ago I received the gift of tongues. At first it update on the prayer chain, I visualize Tim, whom I do not felt mechanical, and I questioned if it was just me saying know, lying in bed. I thank God for His healing power, gibberish or if it was really the Holy Spirit. Over time, I found speak Tim’s name, and pray in tongues. I also visualize myself focusing on the issue I wanted to discuss with the his medical team and do the same for them, as well as for Lord and just let the sounds form by themselves. I began Tim’s family. using tongues to pray for situations where I really had neither opinion nor request—just something I thought the For me, this has been a powerful spiritual leap. Throughout Lord should “do something about.” the day, I point things out to the Lord. I think that is what the apostle Paul meant in I Thessalonians 5:17, where he calls This spring Dale VanSteenis was with us and spoke at a us to “pray without ceasing.” Friday evening meeting. (I am new to Bethel, so I had no idea who he was). He talked about praying in tongues, and --Jennette Gudgel he challenged us to use tongues more—to pray in the Spirit as we drove home that night and again as we drove to Page 9
Fun Page for fun kids ☺ The prophet Elisha helped a widow by causing her small jar of olive oil to fill many jars. She sold the oil and paid off her debts. That’s POWERFUL and that’s BOUNTY! Look at the many jars above. Circle the ones that match exactly. Page 15 Page 16
fisherman’sLIFE L Increasing Influence in Evangelism Invite the Twin Cities to Dinner! described it as a classroom-like experience where I could learn Imagine how God’s bountiful power could be unleashed if the basics of Christianity. This thousands of people across the Twin Cities: appealed to me since our family did -Were prayed for by name? not attend church and I knew very -Were personally invited to a warm, friendly dinner? little about Christianity. Although I wanted to be there, I -Could explore the important questions of life from a barely said a word. I finally understood that Jesus cared Biblical perspective? and wanted to have a relationship with me. I knew I wanted to follow Him, so in response to something the That’s exactly what will happen this September as DVD teacher said, I asked God to forgive me and come Bethel Christian Fellowship joins other believers and into my life. God has made a huge impact on me. I am congregations to “Invite The Twin Cities To Dinner.” now a new creation, and Christ is living and working in And you can be a part of it. me. Alpha is a ten-week course to which believers can invite BCF will be hosting an Alpha course every Sunday unsaved family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Each evening from September 13 – November 22, 2009. session includes a meal and conversation, an interesting Guests will be served dinner at our River Cafe, before the DVD presentation that explores a topic from a Biblical lecture and small group discussion time. perspective, and a small group discussion time where guests can ask questions, share thoughts, or just listen. Also, BCF will work together with other churches across the Twin Cities to pray and plan for the Alpha course this fall. Reaching the Twin Cities with the gospel of Jesus Christ is “Pray about getting involved,” as Pastor Jim would say. If the goal. Using Alpha courses run by local churches is the you are interested or would like more information, talk to strategy. Pastor Carol. Sarah and Andrew Gross headed up the Alpha course at We need people who are willing to step up to leadership BCF several years ago, and saw God’s bountiful power roles, and excellent training is available for this. (See box unleashed in many lives. Let’s listen to Sarah and two for training conference information.) We all can get people who attended that course. involved, whether or not we’re in a leadership role: Sarah Gross: 1. Ask God to put on your heart the person(s) He would I love to refer family, friends and therapy clients to like you to invite. Alpha because the approach to sharing Christ is kind, 2. Begin praying daily for him/her/them. non-confrontational, and relational. Several loved ones 3. In August you can use pre-made invitations to invite have been impacted through Alpha. My older sister, a your guests to dinner. practicing shaman who was antagonistic to Christianity, 4. Attend the introductory dinner on Sunday, September attended Alpha in Seattle. She experienced an amazing 13, with your guest(s). transformation and became a truly committed follower 5. Continue praying for your guest(s) throughout the of Christ! Another sister was struggling with her faith. ten-week course. She (and eventually her unbelieving husband) began 6. Watch God’s bountiful power at work in their lives! attending Alpha. They eventually became the Alpha leaders for their church! God uses many wonderful --Jean Swenson tools, but I believe Alpha is one of the most effective outreaches for our culture at this time. Alpha Leaders Training Stan Burlager: Saturday, July 25, 2009 God’s unbelievable love for me made me want to know this Man who died on a cross for me. Through attending Calvary Lutheran Church an Alpha course I realized I knew about Jesus, but I 7520 Golden Valley Road didn't know Jesus. Every week something new was Golden Valley, MN 55427 revealed to me. All I had to do was just come. I see it 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM over and over in the Bible where people just came—the 8:00 AM for check-in and coffee feeding of the five thousand, the sick and the lame, “Getting Started: How To Run Alpha” sinners. They all came to get to know Jesus. So I en- More information at: www.AlphaTwinCities.org courage people to come just as you are and let Jesus Alpha Office: 612-605-3704 firstname.lastname@example.org. Christ do a powerful work in you, as He did in me. It's free, there’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain. BCF will pay the registration fee of anyone Just come... and bring a friend. who would like to attend the conference. If you are interested, please call Pastor Carol Christine Malmgren: at the church office at 651-645-1534 My sister, Julie Hanson, invited me to an Alpha course at her church, Bethel Christian Fellowship. She Page 11
ken’ KORNER A Notable Anniversary After my grandfather, Philipp Holmgren, died in 1965, my The Holmgren family arrived in the Midwest, in Tripp, father inherited the heavy steel safe Grandpa had used South Dakota, on October 25, shortly before my to store his valuables. At the bottom of the safe lay a grandfather turned fifteen years old. It would be really piece of history that fascinated my teenage mind. nice to say that everything went well for them here in the United States, but that simply would not be true. It was an official document—dated August 18, 1889 and Both my great-grandfather and grandfather suffered apparently originating from an evangelical Lutheran many difficulties in the years God gave them. church in Russia—that recorded the birth dates of my great-grandparents, Samuel and Frederika Holmgren, Before he died in 1927, Great-Grandpa Samuel suffered my grandfather, and his siblings. Written in German and the loss of his remaining daughters and his wife in validated by a church stamp with Russian letters, it is an death. In the last years of his life, he depended on my invaluable source of information about my Holmgren grandfather for a place to stay. Grandpa Philipp’s first ancestry. wife died unexpectedly when he was only thirty-one years old, leaving him with three young boys to raise. This paper, which will be 120 years old in August, gives (God graciously blessed him with another wife, his a peek into the suffering and loss my great-grandparents first wife’s sister, and he had six more children.) He experienced. Eight children were born to Samuel and experienced some success as a farmer, but hard Frederika Holmgren in the Black Sea area of Russia in financial times eventually caused him to lose his farm the fifteen-year period from 1872 to 1886. However, four to an insurance company. of them, for reasons we do not know, died before they reached the age of two. Their firstborn, a son, died about In spite of the negative life experiences they had, both a year before my grandfather, their second child, was my great-grandfather and my grandfather were recipients born in 1874. Three of their daughters, including one who of the bountiful grace of God, and they left a legacy of was a twin, also died at very young ages. love for God and His Word. One of my uncles told me how Great-Grandpa Samuel us
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