ECWA USA 2018 Men’s Fellowship Week Of Prayer

by Oladele Gbadeyan | Prayer is the way in which we communicate with God, and we need to get close in our daily walk with Him through the power of prayer! (connect via oladelegbadeyan@yahoo.com.au)

2 Chronicles 7:14 ~ if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

DATE: MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
TIME: 9.00PM ET
WHERE: By phone call. The number is 6054756777. Enter code 2392872# after you dial the number
LEADER: Elder Michael Jolayemi
THEME: Thanksgiving to the Lord for ECWA, ECWA USA, men fellowship, women fellowship, youth fellowship and other church undertakings. Pray for forgiveness of sins over all our inadequacies as we fellowship throughout the year. Pray for spiritual fervency, Godlineness, zealousness toward the thing of God, and for putting God first in everything we do.

DATE: WEDNESDAY – SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
TIME: 9.00PM ET
WHERE: By phone call. The number is 6054756777. Enter code 2392872# after you dial the number
LEADER: Elder Jonathan Olaoye
THEME: Pray for ECWA, ECWA Mission Field, ECWA prayer centers, and ECWA Executives. Pray for ECWA USA outgoing and newly elected executives that the Lord will help them as they move ECWA USA forward.

DATE: SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
TIME: 10.30AM
WHERE: Various Local Churches
LEADER: Church Minister(s)
THEME: Praise and Worship through prayer at various churches to mark the National Week of Prayer.

DATE: SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
TIME: 9.00PM ET
WHERE: By phone call. The number is 6054756777. Enter code 2392872# after you dial the number
LEADER: Dr. Salihu Garba
THEME: Fervent in the spirit in serving the Lord. Pray for Nigeria, America as a whole and the world at large. Pray for individuals: Request time is 10:30AM. To be aired Live on ECWA Maryland Facebook.



ECWA USA International Conference in Chicago: July 19-22, 2018

by Sunday Bwanhot | Pastor, ECWA Chicago | Our Goal for the conference is to equip and position us for effective evangelism, church planting and growth in 21st century America | connect via pastor@chicago.ecwausa.org or bwanhots@gmail.com | (image: Scott Fishman Photography)

Download ECWA USA 2018 International Conference Introductions to Topics

ECWA USA 2018 CONFERENCE
Thursday – Sunday: July 19 – 22
ECWA 2018 THEME: JOY IN SUFFERING
ECWA USA 2018 CONFERENCE THEME:
THE MANDATE, JOYS AND PAINS OF BUILDING SOLID ECWA CHURCHES IN THE US

On behalf of ECWA Chicago I write to welcome you to the great city of Chicago for the ECWA USA 2018 International Conference that is going to bring into town many saints from across the USA, Africa, Europe and even Israel. You will not want to miss this opportunity of fellowship and being a part of what God is doing in the US and globally.

Below are the Registration form, Hotel information and Plenary Sessions/Workshops

EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT ENDS JUNE 30. Please take advantage of it.

Looking forward to welcoming you to Chicago.

Online Conference Registration

DOWNLOAD, FILL-OUT AND SEND YOUR CONFERENCE RESERVATION FORM BY SNAIL MAIL

CALLING FOR RESERVATION
Please call ONLY (630) 505-0550 or (800) 321-2211 for reservation. Our group name is ‘ECWA Chicago Room Block‘ at the Courtyard Naperville.
ECWA Chicago Room Block_Jul2018

INTRODUCTION TO TOPICS

Introduction
The Great Commission remains the enduring mandate Christ gave the Church and our church named Evangelical Church Winning All is our all-time response to our Lord and Master. Our obedience to the Great Commission in America comes at a great price and our 2018 Theme: Joy in Suffering is woven into the theme for the conference: The Mandate, Joys and Pains of Building Solid ECWA Churches in the US. Our Goal for the conference is to equip and position us for effective evangelism, church planting and growth in 21st century America.

Plenary Sessions
Biblical Mandate for Church Planting. Friday July 20, 9:05am – 9:25am (20 minutes)
This topic seeks to unveil the fact that Church Planting is not just a mandate but also the most effective model for fulfilling the Great Commission.

ECWA Must Live to its Name and Purpose. Friday July 20, 9:35am – 9:55am (20 minutes)
ECWA, as an Evangelical Church, signs off that the proclamation of the Gospel is what we live and breathe. Our most recent name change to Evangelical Church Winning All is a paradigm shift, a broadening of our vision and a bold step to cross barriers and cultures to take the Gospel where ever it is needed. A brief history of ECWA and how we have always ministered will help us see the new direction we are going.

Why Plant Churches in the USA? Friday July 20, 10:05am – 10:25am (20 minutes)
Although there are hundreds of thousands of churches in America today, America continues to be a growing mission field given the thousands of refugees from non-Christian backgrounds, Asylum seekers and young Americans who are turning away from the traditional religion of their parents. The American Church needs revival and new ways of doing church.

What kind of Churches are we called to Build? Friday July 20, 7:55pm – 8:15pm (20 minutes)
It is not a secret that churches today have different agendas and some are not necessarily concerned about carrying out the gospel mandate. There are those that focus more on Economic, Political, Social, Ecological, etc. issues than on the Gospel. The mandate to make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey all that Christ taught remains undone and we need to return to this task.

God has a Role for you. Friday July 20, 8:25pm – 8:45pm (20 minutes)
One great challenge ECWA has is that ministry is still largely being driven professionally by the clergy. Most ECWA members are spectators instead of being equipped for work of ministry – Eph. 4:11-12. We must break this habit and unleash Church members to do ministry.

How to Build strong and Multi-cultural churches. Saturday July 21, 9:05am – 9:25am (20 minutes)
The Good News is for all nations and as Paul said: I became all things to all people so that by all means I might win some to Christ. America is a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-generational nation. We need to change how we do church and reposition our churches to reflect the diversity in our communities if we are going to thrive. This will take hard work.

The Cost of being part of the Building process. Saturday July 21, 9:35am – 9:55am (20 minutes)
No one is exempted from the Great Commission. This task also is costly as suffering is involved. Jesus made it clear that if anyone will be His disciple, he must take up his cross daily and follow Him. We are advised to count the cost before embarking on any project – even that of church planting in the US.

The Joys of being involved in the Building process. Saturday July 21, 10:05am – 10:25am (20 minutes)
Joy is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit which the believer enjoys as he walks in obedience with the Lord. The hardships and challenges we face as we seek to expand the Kingdom of God here on earth cannot compare with the joy God gives us through the trials. There is Joy in Suffering and there are other blessings that come to us as we obey God and carry out His mandate.

Workshops 1 Friday July 20, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 minutes)

How to Transform our Churches into Multi-Cultural Churches. Friday July 20, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
This workshop will equip you and your church to move from being a mono-cultural church to a multi-cultural church that adequately reflects the demographics of your parish or neighborhood. When we are labeled a Nigerian Church, a Yoruba Church or even an African Church, we should not be contented with that.

How to start and sustain a Prayer cell where you are. Friday July 20, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
Many will never consider themselves to be church planters because they did not go to seminary or do not know the Bible much. Truth of the matter is that anyone of us can be a Church planter. Learn how you and one or a few others can start and sustain a Prayer cell which will eventually evolve into a full fledge church.

How can I know God’s will for my life? Friday July 20, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
Who should I marry? What career should I pursue? What college should I go to? What town should I live in? Where will God want me to serve Him? … and many similar questions. Come to this workshop and learn guiding principles of how to discern God’s will in every situation of your life.

The truth about the Holy Spirit and how I can be filled. Friday July 20, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
The Holy Spirit is neither controversial nor are His activities shrouded in secrecy. He is plain and simple but many wrong teachings about Him and His work has brought about confusion to many. This workshop will guide you to the truths you need to know about the Holy spirit and how you can be filled by Him.

Finding my right partner, Dating and Marriage. Friday July 20, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
Finding your right partner is second only to salvation. It is important to know where and how to find your partner for marriage. Issues of dating and marriage will also be discussed at this workshop.

Minimizing conflicts between parents and children arising from cross cultural differences. Friday July 20, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
This workshop will help everyone and especially families that immigrated from other cultures into America. Cultural conflicts, generational gaps, language barriers, etc. are constant areas of conflicts between parents and children. Learn how to manage these differences and bring peace to your home.

Workshops 2 Saturday July 21, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 minutes)

Understanding what the Prosperity and Health gospel is all about. Saturday July 21, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
What is Prosperity Gospel? Why is it such a popular Gospel and everyone is gravitating toward it? Can it be wrong when it is taught in the Bible and so many churches and good Christians believe in it? Find out more about it in this workshop.

Minimizing conflicts between parents and children arising from cross cultural differences. Saturday July 21, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
This workshop will help everyone and especially families that immigrated from other cultures into America. Cultural conflicts, generational gaps, language barriers, etc. are constant areas of conflicts between parents and children. Learn how to manage these differences and bring peace to your home.

How to use technology and Social Media without worshiping it. Saturday July 21, 10:45–11:45am (60 min)
The revolution of cell phones, iPhones, iPads, computers and wide-open doors to social media, have good and bad outcomes. These gadgets are not evil by themselves, but we need wisdom on how best to use them as subtly they are running our lives instead of God. If you use these gadgets much, this workshop is a must for you.

Starting and maintaining a growing Devotional life or Quiet time. Saturday July 21, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
The one Christian discipline that contributes most to our growing process in our faith is our personal devotional time with the Lord. It is also called Quiet Time. Many saints struggle with maintaining a consistent, joyful and spiritually enriching Quiet Time. Quiet time best practices will be shared at this workshop to help you launch into a more fruitful experience.

How to know my spiritual gifts. Saturday July 21, 10:45am – 11:45am (60 min)
The Bible makes it clear that every believer has one or more spiritual gifts and God expects you to steward your gift faithfully. But you find yourself among several others who say: but I do not know my gift. Welcome to this workshop; you will be shown how to know your spiritual gift(s).

How to Transform our Churches into Multi-Cultural Churches. Saturday July 21, 10:45 – 11:45am (60 min)
This workshop will equip you and your church to move from being a mono-cultural church to a multi-cultural church that adequately reflects the demographics of your parish or neighborhood. When we are labeled a Nigerian Church, a Yoruba Church or even an African Church, we should not be contented with that.

Panel Discussion: Saturday July 21, 7:30pm – 8:15pm (45 minutes)
Topic: The Role of Prayer, Men, Women and Youth in Building the Church

Sunday morning Worship: Sunday July 22, 8:00am – 9:15am (75 minutes)
Sermon Topic: Let us Rise and Build (Sermon length: 30 minutes)
This is to be more of an invitation to all join hands and carry on with the work that we, as ECWA, are committed to here in the US. Bearing in mind all the presentations made in the plenary sessions, it is time now to have all hands-on deck to build.



ECWA USA History

by Sunday & Grace Bwanhot | ECWA formerly launched its foreign missions during the centennial celebrations in December 1993 when its own ‘three pioneer couples’:  Simon & Ruth Yako, Joshua and Joanna Bogunjoko, and Sunday & Grace Bwanhot were commissioned at the Jos township stadium.

ECWA grew out of SIM’s ministry (formally Sudan Interior Mission; Now: Serving In Missions). It began its work in Nigeria in December 1893 through the pioneering efforts of Rowland Bingham, Thomas Kent and Walter Gowans. The Church planted then was called SIM church but it was handed over to nationals in 1954. ECWA was registered in Nigeria as Evangelical Churches of West Africa on June 11, 1956. Later the name was amended to be: Evangelical Church of West Africa and now: Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA).

With the exception of some EMS (Evangelical Missionary Society) missionaries working in some countries in West Africa and the few churches in the USA and Britain, ECWA has largely remained a Nigerian church. It is to be noted that EMS of ECWA is the single largest indigenous mission agency in Africa. Although ECWA, through its mission agency, EMS, has a foreign mission policy, the policy continues to remain in the back burner of ECWA.

Officially, ECWA formerly launched its foreign missions during the centennial celebrations in December 1993 when its own ‘three pioneer couples’:  Simon & Ruth Yako, Joshua and Joanna Bogunjoko, and Sunday & Grace Bwanhot were commissioned at the Jos township stadium. The Yakos proceeded to Togo (Now in Nigeria), the Bogunjoko’s to Niger (Now in USA) and the Bwanhots in the USA. God made the move in spite of ECWA’s non committal to global evangelization. While God was using Rev. James Gabis to initiate ECWA’s ministries in the UK, God worked also through individuals here in the US to establish the ministry. Currently Israel and Gambia are the latest mission fields where ECWA is engaged in church planting.

ECWA Church New York

Late Elder Francis (left) and Grace Dada (Right), ECWA NY

Late Elder Francis (left) & Grace Dada (Right), ECWA NY, 1987

This is the first ECWA Church to be planted in the US in 1987 through the inspiring work of Elder Francis Dada’s father in-law. The church uses a rented facility located at 966 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY. Attendance at its peak averaged 60 to 75 people. The biggest challenge of this church has been a lack of a resident pastor. They have had several people fill in for brief periods of time. There was a conflict that led to several leaving the church and till today the church is yet to recover from that. Attendance currently is about 10 people.

 

ECWA Church Maryland

ECWA Church MD

ECWA Church MD, 1997

This is the second ECWA church planted in the US in January 1997 and it is currently the largest of all our churches with attendance in the neighborhood of 75 or more. The church bought a property that is being used for worship services and is located at: 5526 Marlboro Pike, District Heights, MD 20747. Rev. George Adekeye has been the pastor of the church since its inception.

 

ECWA Church Chicago

ECWA Church Chicago, At Handover, Jan 7, 2007

ECWA Church Chicago, At Handover, 2007

This is the third ECWA church planted in the USA on June 1, 1997. The church has been meeting in the lower level of Uptown Baptist Church at 1011 W. Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640. Attendance is between 40 and 50 and members come from several different countries. On January 7, 2007 Rev. Dr. Isaac Laudarji took over as the pastor from Rev. Sunday Bwanhot who started the church and pastored it till then.

 

First & Second ECWA Church Louisville

First & Second ECWA Church, Louisville, KY, 2001

First & Second ECWA Church, Louisville, KY, 2001

This is the fourth church planted in the US and is being pastored by Rev. Dr. Stephen Awoniyi. The church was officially inaugurated April 15, 2001. The church worships at 5007 Southside Dr. Louisville, KY 40214. Although attendance has declined from the average of 40 in the main church, the blessing of having the 2nd ECWA Church – Swahili speaking congregation under the leadership of Rev. Jean Nzeyimana is highly appreciated.

 

ECWA Church, Atlanta

ECWA Church, Atlanta, GA, 2007

ECWA Church, Atlanta, GA, 2007

This is the fifth ECWA Church in the USA. It was officially inaugurated on Sunday September 2, 2007 under the leadership of Rev. Innocent Nwaobasi. The church currently meets at the home of Elder Josiah Osasona. Attendance is still low – under 20. Property was purchased early this year and Lord willing the church will move to its permanent site in due course.

 

 

Prayer Houses

ECWA Prayer Cell, Columbia, SC, 2006

ECWA Prayer Cell, Columbia, SC, 2006

While several Prayer houses have been started across the country, there is a general struggle to keep these prayer houses going:

  • Prayer House, Columbia SC, 2006
  • Prayer House in Los Angeles CA,
  • Prayer House in Dallas/Fort Wayne TX
  • Prayer House in Houston, TX, 2012
  • Prayer House, Xenia, OH, 2012
  • Prayer House in Minneapolis/St. Paul’s area, MN.

We need to pray for these Prayer Houses to stand.

 

How We Got Organized

Steering committee members that helped in mobilizing ECWA in the US.

Steering committee members that helped in mobilizing ECWA in the US, 1999

The first two churches planted came about because of the efforts of some ECWA individuals who felt the Lord leading them to do that. There was no organization, no plan or strategy for church planting for ECWA here in the US. The two churches existed independently of each other and of ECWA Headquarters.

Rev. Panya Baba (former ECWA President) visited the US and he and Rev. Bwanhot had a discussion. The outcome of which was a February 15, 1997 meeting in MD with the following in attendance: Rev. Panya Baba, Rev. George Adekeye, Mr. Sunday Buge, Rev. Innocent Nwaobasi, Elder Henry Bello, Dr. James Angbazo, Rev. Joseph Obielodan and Rev. Sunday Bwanhot. Our agenda was to consider our role as ECWA members in the spiritual well-being of our people and others in the US. A Sub-Committee was appointed to plan a big ECWA Family Reunion for July 2-5, 1999.



How God Defines Success in Your Walk With Him

If you fail at the right thing, you've succeeded (image: weebly.com)

We live in a culture that idolizes success and demonizes failure.

But in God's kingdom, the outcome isn't the issue. Success isn't winning or losing; it's obeying. It's honoring God whether you're in the red or the black. It's praising God whether you win the election or lose it. It's giving God the glory whether you're in the win column or the loss column.

I've never met anybody who doesn't want to be successful, but very few people have actually defined success for themselves. So by default they buy into the culture's definition of success instead of God's definition. In God's book success is spelled stewardship. It's making the most of the time, talent and treasure God has given you. It's doing the best you can with what you have, where you are.

Here's my personal definition of success: when those who know you best respect you most. Success starts with those who are closest to you. At the end of the day, I want to be famous in my home. And by the way, it's hard to be famous in your home if you're never home. If you succeed at the wrong thing, you've failed.

If you fail at the right thing, you've succeeded.

A few years ago I was on vacation at Lake Anna, a hundred miles southwest of Washington, D.C. I walked into a little coffee shop and noticed a piece of wall art that said "Chase the Lion." As it turns out, the owner was inspired to quit her job and pursue her dream of opening Not Just Mochas after reading my book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. I popped in every time I was in the area, but the shop closed down less than two years after it opened. Not only did I miss the caramel macchiato with a shot of cinnamon, but I also felt partially responsible.

However, in my eyes Linda didn't fail. Her dream was going into business, and she did just that. Going out of business wasn't part of the plan, but she is no less a lion chaser because the shop closed.

Just as courage is not the absence of fear, success is not the absence of failure. Failure is a necessary step in every dream journey. I've written books that have been disappointments, and I've started businesses that have gone belly up. But in each instance I've tried to learn the lessons those failures are trying to teach me. Then I've mustered the courage to try, try, and try again.

If you don't try out, you'll miss out. Then you'll have to live the rest of your life wondering, What if? Don't let the fear of failing keep you from trying.

Given our locale in Washington, D.C., I pastor a lot of professional politicians. Outside the beltway there is a great deal of skepticism toward politicians, and much of it is merited. But public service in the form of politics is a noble profession, even if every politician isn't.

The way I see it, running for political office is chasing a 500-pound lion. I've met some politicians who have run and won, but I might admire those who have run and lost even more. They might not have won the popular vote, but they threw their hat into the ring.

God doesn't always call us to win.

Sometimes He just calls us to try.

Either way, it's obedience that glorifies God.

Excerpted from Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small. Copyright © 2016 by Mark Batterson. Published by Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Mark Batterson, the founder and lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., is the New York Times best-selling author of a dozen books, including In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and Chase.



Praise & Prayer, March 2016

EMS OF ECWA
PRAISE & PRAYER, MARCH 2016

Prayer/Counseling hotline: 08033673654, 08051614880
E-mail: prayerpromotion@emsofecwa.org
Website: www.emsofecwa.org
Brethren, pray for us (1 Thess. 5:25)
 
WEEK ONE-FOCUS ON PRAISE/THANKSGIVING
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Psalm 95:6
 
TUESDAY 1ST Praise God for the gift of a motorcycle to the Missionary at ECWA Ikot in Aba DCC. Pray for more of God’s provision and increasing grace on ECWA Bonny whom God used to meeting this crucial need.
  • Appreciate God for answered prayer towards the provision of a Pastorium and the church building for ECWA Onne. Pray for Gods sustaining grace upon this church.
WEDNESDAY 2ND Praise God for the safe delivery of Mrs. Sunday Danladi, an EMS missionary’s wife at GarkiLokpa Mission station in Enugu State, East of Nigeria.
  • Praise God for using Rev. Joseph Ezigbo, the current Chairman of ECWA Usa to meet the crucial need of accommodation for our missionary, Cyril John Eze who is currently serving at the Nnobi-Akwa Mission Station in Enugu.
THURSDAY 3RD Praise the Lord for successful weaning and the inauguration of the Enungba Church, which was handed over to the Makurdi DCC with 333 committed members. Pray for God’s sustaining grace upon this Church.

FRIDAY 4TH Praise God for financial provision with which the Church at Ikom was able to purchase the Church land we have been praying for. Pray for more open doors for the development of this land.

SATURDAY 5TH Thank God for the answered prayers in regard to the crucial need of fencing the EMS Children School in Kufana, Kaduna State and for a standard library for the EMS Children School in Jos, Plateau State. Pray for God’s increasing blessings on the people he used in meeting these needs.
WEEK TWO-FOCUS ON EMS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND HOME MISSION FIELDS
“Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel” I Cor.9:16
SUNDAY 6TH FAR-NORTH WEST: Pray for God’s sustaining grace on the New 7 Muslim Converts in this region
  • Pray for the success and fruitfulness of the mission outreach, which four (4) DCC in this region are embarking on to Kebbi DCC.
  • Our Missionaries in Bagudu are running a Bible School with 25 students currently in attendance. Pray for divine increasing wisdom on the instructors and knowledge of comprehension for the students.
NOTE:  WE ARE FASTING TOMORROW!
FIRST (1ST) MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH IS TO BE OBSERVED NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY AS EMS PRAYER AND FASTING DAY. ALL EMS ARMS, MISSIONARIES, OFFICE STAFF, PRAYER PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS SHOULD PLEASE ENDEAVOR TO JOIN THE EMS INTERNATIONAL HEAD OFFICE IN PRAYERS AS WE TRUST GOD TO BE JOINING FAITH IN ONE ACCORD WITH BRETHREN AROUND THE WORLD IN PRAYERS FOR A STEADY AND A FRUITFUL GROWTH OF EMS, PEACE AND THE SALVATION OF NATIONS, AND FOR REVIVAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH OF THE CHURCH. OUR COOPERATE PRAYER TIME AT THE HEAD OFFICE, IS 8-9AM, 12-1PM, AND 4-5PM RESPECTIVELY. YOU CAN JOIN US IN PRAYERS WHEREVER YOU MAY BE AT THOSE TIMES OR MAKE OUT TIME OF YOUR OWN CONVINIENCE PLEASE AS YOU ARE LED TO BY GOD. JUST BE SURE TO PRAY ALONG AS YOU FAST.
MONDAY 7TH MID-CENTRAL, KAGORO:-Pray for God’s comfort and strengthen for the children and relations of late Pastor Musa Dogo whose wife (Mrs. Dogo Musa), has also gone to be with the Lord. Pray that He who is the Father of the Orphans will keep these children in faith and meet them at the point of their needs.

TUESDAY 8TH CENTRAL REGION, ABUJA: -Pray for God’s intervention on Pastor Solomon T. Kwalbe from Kwali DCC who is mentally ill and is currently being treated in Kaduna. Pray for the seven supporters and many from other regions who have indicated interest to be part of what EMS is doing, that the Lord should grace them to be committed.

WEDNESDAY 9TH MID-EAST REGION: Pray for God’s encouragement for the Church in Sabon Gida Amaku LCC, Lafia DCC who were attacked by Fulani. The pastor’s house was raided, his property done with, including some Church money.
  • Pray for God’s encouragement on Elder Moses Joel and his family who’s four Children were initiated into occult, and pray for their deliverance.
  • Pray for God’s providence for Pastor Philibus of Basharin Waka Mission fields who lost his house and properties to a fire outbreak on the 29th of January,2016
  • Pray for God’s comfort and strength on Sani L. Buba who lost his wife alongside other 17 Women Fellowship members to an automobile accident on 26th /1/016.
THURSDAY 10TH CITY MINISTRY OF EMS: – Praise God for the healing of Caleb who was reported sick and prayed for last month. Pray for the success of the anticipated outreach to Muslim street boys in the City of Jos and possibly other state in the Country.

FRIDAY 11TH ALL EMS STAFF:-Pray that all EMS Staff working in divers’ capacity will have a vital, growing walk with the Lord. Pray that they will work and lead from a strong spiritual base, submit to Jesus as the Lord of their lives, cling to his grace, embrace the truth and allow time for God to work in them.

SATURDAY 12TH EMS MEDICAL UNIT: –
PRAY:
  • For God’s healing hands on Pastor Mamuda Musa and his wife in the far-North West Region who are currently faced with health challenges.
  • One of the missionary’s wife in Lafia DCC who had five miscarriages in the past is expecting soon, though she is expected to be delivered through C.S operation. Pray for God’s provision, intervention, safe delivery and for the child’s survival.
  • That the Lord should heal Jeremiah Musa, Anthony Unenge, Stephen Adamu, Stephen John, Mrs. Rose Sunday Udeh, and for other sick EMS missionaries’ family members.
  • Pray for the healing of Mrs. Daphne Bako, a committed EMS donor who has been sick for couple of months now.
  • In addition, thank God for the arrival of Mr. Samuel Achigak Ijah the new EMS Medical Coordinator, Pray for God’s increase grace upon him as he manages this unit.
WEEK THREE-FOCUS ON CROSS BOARDERS MISSION FIELDS
“… Go into all the world and Preach the Good news…” Mark. 16:15
SUNDAY 13TH CAMEROON: Thank God for the deliverance and conversion of a 12 years old boy who was demon possessed .His parents who have given up on him had also confessed and accepted Jesus to be the Lord of their lives following their child’s deliverance. Pray that their faith would wax stronger in the lord. Also, pray for God’s sustaining grace on two other women in Douala who have joined the Church haven being delivered from satanic attacks.

MONDAY 14TH CHAD:
  • Pray for God to provide wells in 22 Villages with critical need of water where we are reaching out. Providing clean water will serve as bridge of shearing the gispel to these communities.
  • Pray for the provision of a bus for the ministry in Chad.
TUESDAY 15TH TOGO:
  • Pray for God's providence for the building of a Church in Kaboli.
  • Pray for God to make provision for the need of a borehole and a grinding machine for Tota Village where God has opened doors for EMS of ECWA. It is indeed an urgent need that requires an urgent attention.
  • Pray for God to provide EMS of ECWA Togo with a vehicle for the purpose of mission work, the challenges are obvious. Also, pray for the provision of about (N3, 500,000), for two hectares of land urgently needed for Togo ECWA Headquarters.
WEDNESDAY 16TH ZAMBIA
  • Pray for more of God’s increasing grace on Rev. & Mrs. Yusuf Kuzasuwat and his family for effective and a fruitful ministry in this country.
  • Pray for the about 40 committed members of ECWA Church Kitwe Zambia that the Lord should increase their faith and make them fruitful.
THURSDAY 17TH NIGER REPUBLIC
  • Thank God, for the successful and fruitful outreach to Dan-Ango in Dakoro division of Maradi by the Niger Church.
  • Pray for all converts made during the outreach especially Haladou Nakouda who was a sorcerer that the Lord should sustain them in their faith and that through them, many will come to know Christ.
  • Pray for God to provide a permanent accommodation and permanent place of worship for the Niger church.
  • Pray for God to actualize the vision of starting a Higher Bible and Theological Training Institution in Niger towards the award of degree in theology. Also pray for the provision of a bus for the ministry in Niger.
FRIDAY 18TH BENIN REPUBLIC
  • Thank God for the increase in Church membership in ECWA Benin Republic. Thank God for the successful Licensing of Pastor Sodji Kokou Alfred and their safe trip to and from Nigeria.
  • Thank God for the progress of the registration process of ECWA Benin Republic,
Pray for a successful completion of the project.

SATURDAY 19TH BURKINA FASO: Praise God for the total deliverance of Justine Mary who was demon possessed from child hood, but encountered Jesus after being ministered to by Pastor Dauda Iliya.
  • Pray for the provision of 50 French Bibles and for three Moto bikes needed for effective Mission work in Burkina Mission Fields.
WEEK FOUR-FOCUSES ON CHURCH GROWTH AND REVIVAL
“In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.”Habakkuk 3:2
SUNDAY 20TH MINISTERS/CHURCH STAKEHOLDERS: -Pray that God should grant his ministers “a servant heart” that He should keep them from losing heart when the ministry gets tough. Ask that He help them to improve in faithfulness with things he has entrusted to them and that He should keep them open and honest before him and help them to represent the truth plainly (2 cor.4:1; 1Cor. 4:1-3, Exo.33:13
 
MONDAY 21ST NIGERIAN LEADERSHIP:- Pray that the grace of God to do right and to walk in the perfect will of God for Nigeria will come strongly on Nigerian leaders; pray that they will maximize the use of their authority in all areas and not “bear the sword in vain” Roman 13:4. Ask the lord to open their eyes to strategic things to do in helping Nigeria stand strong.
 
TUESDAY 22ND THE CHURCH/HOMES: Pray that God should bless His Church with honorable leaders who have sound learning, and pure manners. Pray that He endues us with the Spirit of wisdom and that they may be peace and increasing joy in our Christian homes and that through obedience to His law, we may show forth His praise among the nations of the earth.
 
WEDNESDAY 23RD Pray that all new converts in our various Mission Fields both Home & abroad and Churches will personally mature; exhibit godly wisdom; integrity of the heart and a godly peace and be emotionally stable.
 
THURSDAY 24TH Pray that the truth of the Word of God will deal with both the root and the fruit of our sins there by bringing about revival in our lives.
 
FRIDAY 25TH Pray for the following indications of healthy relationship to permeate the believers in our churches; respect, trust; open transparent relationship; effective interpersonal communication; conflict resolution; responding well to authority and using authority appropriately.
 
SATURDAY 26TH Pray that the Lord should grant all Christians in Muslim dominated areas love languages, and attitude to be able to reach out to non-believers and so exhibit the true God for the provision of a land for a house of his own and for the building progress so far; pray for more of God’s providence for the completion of the project.
 
SUNDAY 27TH Pray for those ministering to God’s people today, that God will help them deliver the message from the throne of grace, not just out of human sentiments and ideas.
 
MONDAY 28TH CHRISTIAN CHLDREN: Pray for Christian Children in Schools that God will help them link up with friends in such a way as to influence each other positively, and to shine as light to unbelieving students; pray also for a sound mind to understand their teachers.
 
TUESDAY 29TH REV. SALE JAMES: – Pray that the Lord should increase upon His servant the grace, wisdom and strength to function effectively in his office as the “Training Coordinator for EMS”. Thank God for the provision of a land for a house of his own and for the building progress so far; pray for more of God’s providence for the completion of the project.
 
WEDNESDAY 30TH REV. EMMANUEL ALI: Thank God, for the life of Rev. Ali the EMS Sport friends’ Coordinator and His family. Pray that God should increase upon him grace for effective, selfless work in 2016, also pray for safety for all participants and for the success of the following programs, which he will be actively involved in:
  • Sport friends training @ ECWA Youth Alive Camp Jos.(May 12-15th,2016)
  • Sports friends Couches training @ ECWA Youth Alive Camp Jos (31st March-3rd April 2016).
THURSDAY 31ST PAS. JOSEPH JOHN: Appreciate God for the life and ministry of Pas. Joseph the EMS Admin Personnel and his family.
PRAY:
  • That as he depends on God for selfless service in 2016, God should grant him excellent mind, increasing wisdom, sound health and favor for him and his family before God and before men.
  • Pray for God’s strength on His pregnant wife, and that He should grant her a safe delivery when she is due.
Thank God, for answered prayers and for His grace upon you to pray with us in this month of March 2016. Pray for more of His grace upon to be more committed in praying with us.
GOD’S BLESSINGS!!!


Praise & Prayer, February 2016

EMS OF ECWA
PRAISE & PRAYER, FEBRUARY 2016

Prayer/Counseling hotline: 08033673654, 08051614880
E-mail: prayerpromotion@emsofecwa.org
Website: www.emsofecwa.org
Brethren, pray for us (1 Thess. 5:25)
 
WEEK ONE-FOCUS ON PRAISE/THANKSGIVING
“Oh that men should praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works…” Ps.107:8
 
NOTE:  WE ARE FASTING FIRST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH!
FIRST (1ST) MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH IS TO BE OBSERVED NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY AS EMS PRAYER AND FASTING DAY. ALL EMS ARMS, MISSIONARIES, OFFICE STAFF, PRAYER PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS SHOULD PLEASE ENDEAVOR TO JOIN THE EMS INTERNATIONAL HEAD OFFICE IN PRAYERS AS WE TRUST GOD TO BE JOINING FAITH IN ONE ACCORD WITH BRETHREN AROUND THE WORLD IN PRAYERS FOR A STEADY AND A FRUITFUL GROWTH OF EMS, PEACE AND THE SALVATION OF NATIONS, AND FOR REVIVAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH OF THE CHURCH. OUR COOPERATE PRAYER TIME AT THE HEAD OFFICE, IS 8-9AM, 12-1PM, AND 4-5PM RESPECTIVELY. YOU CAN JOIN US IN PRAYERS WHEREVER YOU MAY BE AT THOSE TIMES OR MAKE OUT TIME OF YOUR OWN CONVINIENCE PLEASE AS YOU ARE LED TO BY GOD. JUST BE SURE TO PRAY ALONG AS YOU FAST.
MONDAY 1ST Ascribe Praise to God for His divine protection over the lives of EMS missionaries and their families in Lafia DCC despite several crises that occurred in Nasarawa state in 2015.

TUESDAY 2ND Worship God for graciously delivering our missionaries in various fields from terrible sickness last month, and for many who are receiving healing from their infirmities These include Pas. Anthony Unenge and Pas. Stephen Adamu who had accidents in Makurdi.

Pray that God should grant us grace to devote our strength and good health to a humble, holy and obedient walk with Him in February and beyond.

WEDNESDAY 3RD Praise to God for the weaning of three prayer houses in Panda DCC,namely; Amburma, Buzijung, and Kogin Taro. Pray for Gods sustaining grace upon these churches as they now worship as full-fledged LCBs.
 
THURSDAY 4TH Praise the Lord for Journey mercy granted to Rev. Stephen Panyan Baba the Cross Borders coordinator to and from Mali. Also, thank God for the safe arrival of Rev. Silas Yako and his family from the Gambia, pray for more of God’s grace upon him as he continues his ministry in another capacity.
 
FRIDAY 5TH Praise God for the positive impact the EMS Sports Unit is making in the life of many young people: Pray for the salvation of the unbelieving youths in Sports Ministry of EMS who are willing to become believers of Christ, that they will have boldness to do that.

SATURDAY 6TH Thank God for the safety of Pastor Kenneth Goni, an EMS missionary in Jigawa DCC whose life was threatened by unknown men via his cell phone. Pray that all measures taken by the security agents for his safety will prove effective. Also, pray for the safety of all EMS missionaries against arm-robbers, kidnapers and Islamic militants.
WEEK TWO-FOCUS ON EMS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND HOME MISSION FILDS
“Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel” I Cor.9:16
SUNDAY 7TH A good number of prayer houses/churches have been planted in the past years but with one or two challenges especially that of the need for adequate places of worship. While some stations worship in rented apartments, school classrooms and uncompleted buildings, others still worship under tree sheds.
PRAY:
  • That in the year 2016, EMS stations in Sabon Gida, Sabon Gari, Bagaji, Ang/Kanti (All in Keffi DCC).Ugba, Ogoja, Mbaza, Oju, Obi and Igoli (All in Makurdi DCC). Useni, Karmo and Sardauna (all in Nasarawa DCC) will be granted favor to have habitable church buildings.
  • That God should raise men and women who will stand in the gap in giving towards meeting the urgent need for wells in Okore, Sanzaras, and Ungwan Tsakiya. (PANDA DCC).
MONDAY 8TH
  • MID-CENTRAL, KAGORO: Thank God for the life, Family and Ministry of Rev. Ma’aji Zakka the New Regional Coordinator. Pray for more of God’s grace and favor upon Him to function effectively in this new region.
  • NORTH WEST REGION, KADUNA: Thank God, for the success of Coordinators Seminar held on 22-23rd of January and the EMS awareness that was held at Kurmin Musa DCC on the 30rd-31rd of January.
TUESDAY 9TH CENTRAL REGION, JOS: Glorify God for the life, family and ministry of Rev. Danladi Gana, the new Regional Coordinator. His pregnant dear wife took ill last month and at the process lost her 6 months pregnancy; thank God for her safety and pray for speedy recovery and God’s increasing strength. Also, Pray for God’s provisions towards the need for EMS Coorditor’s House in this region and for hospital/medical facilities in Boko Area.

WEDNESDAY 10TH NORTH EAST, GOMBE: Pray for God’s increasing Grace and favor on the new coordinator in the person of Rev. Yunana Missal.
  • Pray for Gods sustaining grace on the 26 new converts made last month in this region.
  • Pray for Gods healing grace on Rev. Samaila Hamma, an EMS missionary at Jamjara Prayer house under Waja DCC who currently suffers paralysis.
THURSDAY 11TH SOUTH NORTH EAST, TARABA: Praise God for the 17 new converts in Waka EMS station.15 among the converts are from an African Traditional Religion (ATR) background, while 2 were from Muslim faith background, thank God for the provision and success of their baptism; pray for God’s sustaining grace upon them.

FRIDAY12TH CITY MINISTRY OF EMS: Pray for the complete healing of Caleb who was down towards the end of last year. Bingham University Teaching Hospital ran several tests on him but nothing was discovered. He was taken to JUTH on 7/1 /2016 and there has not been any improvement medically. Jesus heals.
  • Pray for Mr. & Mrs. Felix Dickson who were teachers at Gyero Center but have left to pastor a church in their home DCC at Kurmin Musa.
SATURDAY 13TH EMS MEDICAL UNIT: Ill health or lack of prompt and adequate medication is one of the striking challenge our missionaries, especially those in rural places are faced with.
PRAY:
  • For Rev. Gayus Dogara, the former EMS Medical Coordinator who has retired, that the Lord should renew his strength and grace him for increasing, fruitful Christian walk with the Lord.
  • That God will steer the heart of men and women who are medically inclined to join this ministry as their medical proficiency will serve greatly in enhancing the growth of the ministry.
  • That the Lord will heal Mrs. Rose Sunday Udeh, an EMS missionary’s wife in Makurdi DCC who suffered stroke and epilepsy and for sick EMS missionaries family members.
  • In addition, thank God for the actualization of the EMS Mobil Clinic as prayed for last month. Pray for an effective usage of these great resources.
WEEK THREE-FOCUS ON CROSS BOARDERS MISSION FIELDS
“… Go into all the world and Preach the Godnews…” Mark. 16:15
SUNDAY 14TH MALAWI:
  • Thank God for the unity in some of the zones in Malawi and serious commitment in the entire zones to the translation work of the “Creation to Christ” discipleship book.
  • Pray for God’s provision towards the adoption of seven more indigenes as missionaries in Malawi.
  • Pray for the provision of a bus for the ministry in ECWA Malawi and thank God for the successful first baptism ceremony of ECWA gospel Church Kitwe, Zambia, where14 members were baptized on 20th December 2015.
MONDAY 15TH CHAD :
  • Pray for Gounou-ndolo mission station where 6 people were bitten by viper snake within a month, which resulted to the instantaneous death of 2 people.
  • Thank God, for sparing the life of Pastor Haruna Luke, at Mogoi 1 mission station who was attacked in the middle of the night in his house by armed robbers who robbed him of his bicycle and other valuables.
  • Thank God, for the provision of a well at Morne Village, indeed it is a means of reaching out to unbelievers in the Villages. Pray for God to provide wells in 22 other Villages with critical need of water.
  • Thank God, for the lives of 284 people who were baptized from 37 different mission stations and pray for God to sustain their faith.
  • Pray for the provision of a bus for the ministry in Chad.
TUESDAY 16TH TOGO:
  • Thank God for resolving the problem of the land that was given to us in Tota Mission Field, after a lot of disagreement and fighting another land was given to the Tota Mission field to replace the first land.
  • Praise God for the successful church planting in Zanguera and University of Lomé Togo.
  • Pray for God's providence for the building of mission Church in Kaboli (N2, 000.000.00).
  • Pray for God to provide support of borehole and grinding machine for Tota Village where God has opened doors for EMS of ECWA. It is indeed an urgent need that requires an urgent attention
  • Pray for God to provide EMS of ECWA Togo with a vehicle for the purpose of mission work, the challenges are obvious. Also, pray for the provision of about (N3, 500,000), for two hectares of land urgently needed for Togo ECWA Headquarters.
WEDNESDAY 17TH KENYA:
  • Thank God for the successful starting of ECWA Academy. Pray for God to provide professional teachers who can teach in the school and for the formal registration of the school.
  • Thank God for using some of the unbelieving parents to allow their children to attend our Church who are serving as vessel of bringing their parents to Church.
  • Pray for God to touch the government of Kenya so that they would lift the ban placed on registration of Churches to enable the registration of ECWA Kenya. Pray for the provision of a bus for the ministry in ECWA Kenya.
THURSDAY 18TH NIGER REPUBLIC:
  • Thank God for a successful visit of 33 members of ECWA Wuse 2 Evangelism Team to Niger during Christmas.
  • Thank God, for the provision of Resident Permit for Rev. & Mrs. Tanimu, this has declared them Legal Citizens in Niger.
  • Pray for God to provide a permanent accommodation and place of worship in Niger.
  • Pray for God to actualize the vision of starting a Higher Bible and Theological Training Institution in Niger towards the award of degree in theology. Also, Pray for the provision of a bus for the ministry in Niger.
FRIDAY 19TH BENIN REPUBLIC:
  • Thank God for the commitment seen in Church members towards Sunday service and Bible studies.
  • Thank God for the progress made so far concerning the registration of EMS of ECWA’s work in Benin Republic.
  • Thank God, for the successful combined service held by the two prayer houses in Cotonou which was organized to praise God and to get to know each other.
  • Pray for the provision of two buses for the ministry in Benin.
  • Pray for provision of Church lands for ECWA Benin.
  • Pray that God would bless and strengthen our partnership with SIM related Church UEEB Benin on some Mission fields.
SATURDAY 20TH Pray for the supernatural release of money and every material resources that is needed for EMS and ECWA as a whole to fulfil our mandate everywhere.Phil.14:19.
WEEK FOUR-FOCUSES ON CHURCH GROWTH AND REVIVAL
“…to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the hearts of the contrite one”.Isa.57:15
SUNDAY 21ST ECWA MINSTERS/STAKEHOLDERS: Pray that God may be with ECWA ministers and stakeholders, save them from all error, ignorance, pride, and prejudice; and of his great mercy vouchsafe.
  • Ask that He directs, sanctifies and govern them in their work, so that the Gospel of Christ may be truly preached, truly received and truly followed in all places ECWA is commissioned to reach out to.
MONDAY 22ND NIGERIAN LEADERSHIP: Praise God for Nigeria as a nation, President Buhari, his Vice, State Governors, and Ministers. The Senate, House of Representatives and the Judiciary; ask that the Lord should be pleased to direct, and prosper all their consultations in 2016 to the advancement of His glory, and the good of the Church, the safety, honor, and welfare of His people.
 
TUESDAY 23RD THE CHURCH/HOMES: Pray that God should bless His church with honorable leaders who have sound learning, and pure manners. Pray that He endues us with the spirit Spirit of wisdom and that they may be peace and increasing joy in our Christian homes and that through obedience to His law, we may show forth His praise among the nations of the earth.

WEDNESDAY 24TH Pray that God may fill our hearts with thankfulness in the time of prosperity, and His should suffer not our trust in Him to fail in the days of trouble.
 
THURSDAY 25TH Praise God for the growth of the church universally .Pray that He may fill it (the church) with all truth, in all peace. Pray that where it is corrupt, He would purify; where it is in error, He would direct it; where it is divided, He would reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ His Son, and our Lord.

FRIDAY 26TH Pray that the Prince of peace may give us Christians grace to seriously lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy division. Ask that He takes away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly union and concord, so we may be all of one heart and may with one mind and one mouth glorify him.

SATURDAY 27TH MRS JUSTINA BALA: Pray that the Lord should increase upon His daughter the grace, wisdom and strength to function effectively in her office as the pool secretary to the EMS administrator. Also, pray for her family for God’s revival, for her son Jerry for God’s restoration and for her brother Elijah for Gods God’s healing.

SUNDAY 28TH EMMANUEL JOHN G. Thank God for the life of Bro. Emma the Secretary to the EMS administrator and EMS Computer Maintenance Officer. Pray that God should increase upon him grace for effective, selfless work in 2016, also pray for the success of his marriage plans coming up in April 2016, and for a fruitful home.

MONDAY 29TH REV, Dr. BAKARI I. BUNGA: Appreciate God for the life of the EMS administrator and his family through year 2015 AND FOR HIS Wife’s lecturing appointment with JETS.
  • As he (Dr. Bakari) depends on God for selfless service in 2016, pray that God should grant him excellent mind, increasing wisdom, sound health and favor for him and his family before God and before men.
  • Pray for the conversion of many of his relatives who are still Muslims, and also pray for God’s opening towards the provision for a house of their own.
  • Thank God for answered prayers and for His grace upon you to pray with us this month February 2016. Pray for more of His grace to be committed to praying with us in March 2016.

GOD’S BLESSINGS!!!

 


The Doctrine Of Prayer: The Lord Who Cares

FIRST EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL (ECWA) CHURCH
5007 SOUTHSIDE DRIVE
LOUISVILLE, KY 4021
(502) 375-1904
www.ecwa.wordpress.com, www.ecwausa.org,
ecwaky@gmail.com
THEME: THE DOCTRINE OF PRAYER
TOPIC: THE LORD WHO CARES
TEXT: First Peter 5: 1-9
Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi

INTRODUCTION

The word, “The Doctrine Of Prayer” was written by the man T. W. Hunt in the year 1986.  In reference to Robert R. McLaughlin, it could be explained or emphasized thus;  

An important point to note first is that we are not to use prayer to try and get God to do what we want done.  Many believers try and use prayer to get their own way, not God's way.  Prayer must be compatible with God's will and God's way. Sometimes that may be our will and our way, but other times it may not.

"And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him" (1 John 5: 14-15).

Prayer is not designed to get us out of trouble, but rather to express our helplessness, our humility, our total dependence on God, and our recognition of His grace and His mercy toward us.  Prayer is not what we want for ourselves, but what God wants for us.  In fact, prayer is an expression and an extension of Bible doctrine resident in the soul.

We fail in prayer because we fail to understand and utilize Bible doctrine correctly. The Scripture says,

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15: 7).

Prayer was never designed to fulfill our lusts and desires; prayer is designed to fulfill the will, plan, and purpose of God for our lives (Robert R. McLaughlin).

 

According to the Scripture, prayer must be built on the foundation of the sovereignty and the character of our Lord Jesus Christ.  That is, Prayer is as old as a man; it permeates all of history and is common to all people.  In order words, prayer is a universal in time, in space, and in the scope of its content.   The Bible narrated the story of the man Hezekiah, the man Paul, the man Samuel, the man Josiah, the woman Miriam, and the woman Anna in many ways.  The above named people were made in the likeness of God and they had great unity and fellowship with God.  The Scripture narrated it in various ways and it could be explained thus;    

  1. Prayer Is Universal
  1. Genesis 4: 25-26 (NKJV).
  2. 1 Kings 18: 17-26 (NKJV).
  3. Acts 2: 14-21 (NKJV).

             A New Son

25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.”  26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. [a] Then men began to call on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:25-26 (NKJV).
 

17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah that Ahab said to him “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.  19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah,[a] who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Elijah’s Mount Carmel Victory

20 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel.  21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.  22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.  23 Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.  24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”

25 Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.”

26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made (1 Kings 18:17-26 (NKJV).

Peter’s Sermon

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.  15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.  16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.  18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants.
I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in heaven above, And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.  20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21 And it shall come to pass.  That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved (Acts 2:14-21(NKJV).

Brethren, in the above narrated messages we just viewed, what is your ultimate relationship with God and how honestly and faithfully do you wait and depend on Him?  Be assured that our Almighty God is beside you no-matter your sorrow, discouragement, or sadness.  Depend on Him and honestly trust in Him the more and victory will be yours in our Redeemer’s name.
 

  1. The Prayer Life Of Jesus Christ    
  1. Mark 1: 32-39 (NKJV)
  2. Matthew 14: 22-23 (NKJV)

The occasions for the prayer life of our Lord Jesus Christ are many.  That is, He prayed in the early morning and at night.  That is, He often prayed alone.  This could be seen in the Gospel of John Chapter 6: 15 – 21 and in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 11: 25 – 30. The above narrated phrase that is, “The Prayer Life Of Jesus Christ” could be viewed or narrated in this way;

Many Healed After Sabbath Sunset

32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.  33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.  34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.

 

Preaching in Galilee

35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.  36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him.  37 When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”

38 But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” 39 And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons (Mark 1:32-39 (NKJV).

Jesus Walks on the Sea

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.  23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
(Matthew 14:22-23 (NKJV).

CONCLUSION

Dearly beloved, be assured that the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ is very, very, important.  That is, He faithfully, prayerfully, honestly, and obediently prayed in the morning.  Also, He diligently chose His   disciples after praying all night.  And, when He prayed in the City of Gethsemane, He expressed unwillingness to die on the Cross of Calvary.  Be aware that the final recorded words of our Lord Jesus Christ before His death was a word of prayer. 
       Brethren, how do you face your problems in times of difficulty, in times of sadness, in times of sorrow, and in times of calamity?  Understand that the Lord is on your side no-matter your situations, problems, or panics.  When you face all of these calamities and problems, tell the Almighty God that He is there for you, then, you we win the battle and victory will be yours in Jesus’ name!  Again, no matter your problems, sadness, tribulations, issues, or difficulties, trust more and depend more on Him and you will gain and win the battle in Jesus name.  Amen!    



Praise & Prayer, January 2016

EMS OF ECWA
PRAISE & PRAYER, JANUARY 2016

Prayer/Counseling hotline: 08033673654, 08051614880
E-mail: prayerpromotion@emsofecwa.org
Website: www.emsofecwa.org
Brethren, pray for us (1 Thess. 5:25)
 
WEEK ONE-FOCUS ON PRAISE/THANKSGIVING
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between mizpah and shen. He named it EBENEZER, saying, thus far the lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel, 7:12
 
FRIDAY 1ST Ascribe to the lord glory due to His name for graciously crossing us over to the New Year, Celebrate Him for his goodness in your life (Ps.31:19,21). Ask Him for blessings of rain that causes supernatural ease in all your endeavors in 2016 (Zach.10:1).
 
SATURDAY 2ND Worship the lord for His great plans for Nigeria as a nation, the Nigerian church and for EMS in the year 2016. Adore Him for blessing us in Christ with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places (Eph.1:3).
WEEK TWO-FOCUS ON EMS ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND HOME MISSION FILDS
“…Put ye the sickle, because the harvest is come” Mark 4:29
SUNDAY 3RD REV.SIMON YAKO: Appreciate God for His increasing grace upon the life of the EMS director, Rev. Silas Yako and his family through his first year of directing the affairs of this ministry.
  • As he (the director) depend on God for selfless service in 2016, Pray that God should grant Him Excellent mind, increasing wisdom, Sound health and favor for him and his family before God and before men.
REV.GANA SLASH: Thank God for his grace upon his savant and the opportunity to serve in the capacity of the EMS home mission coordinator for the past one year.
PRAY:
  • For more of God’s grace, wisdom favor and strength upon him and his family as they assume a new responsibility of the regional coordinator for the central region.
  • That God should grant them open door for effective ministry among the people in this region.
  • That the Lord should grant his wife, Mrs. Grace Gana, favor for a Job opening and for a good school for their children.
NOTE: WE ARE FASTING TOMORROW!
FIRST (1ST) MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH IS TO BE OBSERVED NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY AS EMS PRAYER AND FASTING DAY. ALL EMS ARMS, MISSIONARIES, OFFICE STAFF, PRAYER PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS SHOULD PLEASE ENDEAVOR TO JOIN THE EMS INTERNATIONAL HEAD OFFICE IN PRAYERS AS WE TRUST GOD TO BE JOINING FAITH IN ONE ACCORD WITH BRETHREN AROUND THE WORLD IN PRAYERS FOR A STEADY AND A FRUITFUL GROWTH OF EMS, PEACE AND THE SALVATION OF NATIONS, AND FOR REVIVAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH OF THE CHURCH. OUR COOPERATE PRAYER TIME AT THE HEAD OFFICE, IS 8-9AM, 12-1PM, AND 4-5PM RESPECTIVELY. YOU CAN JOIN US IN PRAYERS WHEREVER YOU MAY BE AT THOSE TIMES OR MAKE OUT TIME OF YOUR OWN CONVINIENCE PLEASE AS YOU ARE LED TO BY GOD. JUST BE SURE TO PRAY ALONG AS YOU FAST.

MONDAY 4TH pray that in the year 2016, EMS missionaries will develop strong multiplying discipleship efforts in the mission fields so that there will be a deep impact of the gospel that will enable us sustain what God is doing in our fields.
MRS. GRACE O. ADAKOLÉ: Bless God for His increasing Grace on the Life of Mrs. Adakolé and her family. Through thick and thin, she has committedly served the lord as the secretary to the EMS director from January through December 2015. As she trust God to put in more of her very best of a selfless service in 2016
PRAY:

  • That the lord should grant her excellent mind, sound health and favored before God and with men.
  • That her husband who has being very supportive would be blessed of God and that his business and ministry will prosper in 2016.
  • That the lord will visit and deliver her sister Susan Joseph who has suffered several spiritual attacks.
 
TUESDAY 5TH Pray that the holy spirit will produce constant growth and fruitfulness in the life of all our converts made in 2015 and the once that will be made in 2016 as they walk in grace and truth, also pray that as they show commitment to serving God faithful, thy would also experience development in their occupation.
 
WEDNESDAY 6TH Pray that in 2016 all ECWA office staff, Pastor, and missionaries should have vibrant walk with God, experience personal maturity, good character development, sound health, good financial improvement and discipline, improved self-leadership, great marriages and healthy family lives.
 
THURSDAY 7TH A good number of prayer houses/churches have been planted in the past years but with one or two challenges especially that of the needs for adequate places of worship. While some stations worship in rented apartments, school classrooms and uncompleted buildings, others still worship under tree sheds.
PRAY:
  • That in the year 2016,EMS stations in Sabon Gida, Sabon Gari, Bagaji, Ang/Kanti(All in Keffi DCC).Ugba, Ogoja, Mbaza, Oju, Obi and Igoli (All in Makurdi DCC). Useni, Karmo and Sardauna (all in Nasarawa DCC) will be granted favor to have habitable church buildings.
  • That God should raise men and women who will give toward mitting the urgent needs for wells in Okore, Sanzaras, and Ungwan Tsakiya. (PANDA DCC).
FRIDAY 8TH Il-health or lack of prompt and adequate medication is one of the striking challenge our missionaries, especially those in rural places are faced with.
PRAY:
  • That the effort to make EMS mobile clinic functionally effective beginning this year will pull through.
  • That God will steer the heart of men and women who are medically inclined to join this ministry as their proficiency will serve greatly in enhancing the growth of the ministry.
  • That the lord will heal Mrs. Rose Sunday Udeh, an EMS missionary’s wife in Makurdi DCC who was spiritually attacked with stroke and epilepsy, and sister Ohuoha Charity in ECWA Awkuzu church, Anambra state.
SATURDAY 9TH A good number of EMS missionaries who gave their time, their minds and energy to a selfless service unto their God retired from active service last year (2016)and as these once are got due for retirement, new, young and vibrant missionaries are being recruited to fill in vacuum.
PRAY:
  • That the Lord renew the strength of the retirees and grant them grace to keep serving Jesus Faithfully.
  • That the new Missionaries that are being recruited and will be diploid to various mission fields will be so equipped with everything, they will be needing (spiritually, financially etc.) for effective and a fruitful ministry with EMS.
WEEK THREE-FOCUS ON CROSS BOURDER MISSION FIELDS
“… Go into all the world and Preach the Goodnews…” Mark. 16:15
SUNDAY 10TH MALAWI:-Thank God for the increase in the number of ECWA Malawi Church membership, to an extent some are using mat to sit on the ground. In addition, most of the members are punctual to Prayer meetings and Bible studies.
  • Pray for provision of more chairs in the Church.
  • Pray for the provision of a bus for the ministry in ECWA Malawi.
MONDAY 11TH MALAWI: Mrs. Love let’s (a new member) dedication to the Lord has won the Husband to Christ. He was misled to follow a false prophet, which in the process treated his wife badly. However, he has now decided to follow the true God alongside his wife. Some of the instructions given to him by the so-called Pastor were to bring an egg to the Church and to eat their meals in the cooking pot not plate.
PRAY:
  • That the lord should sustain her husband in his new found faith.
  • That Keegan a teenager, who gave his life to Christ during one of the pastor’s personal evangelism, will be strengthened to keep growing in faith.
  • That Silvia Kadewere, a daughter to the Church's secretary, whom even the Doctors had given up, following her critical illness but is by God’s grace healed, should continue to enjoy sound health to the glory of God.
TUESDAY 12TH CAMEROON: Thank God for about 123 members of the Cameroonian church who were baptized in December 2015.
  • Pray that they will grow in faith.
  • Pray for the evangelism / church planting work that has now started in Yaoundé, Capital city of Cameroon.
WEDNESDAY 13TH CAMEROON: Pray that God would provide mobility for the Cameroonian
EMS Coordinator, as he has to visit distanced missionaries, some as far as a thousand kilometers.
  • Pray for Ngaoundere mission field for God to provide them with a Church land. Also, pray for the forth-coming Evangelistic programme organized in Ngaoundere for souls to be saved.
  • Pray for the new converts in Douala and for the forward coming Evangelistic programme in Douala. Also, pray for the Lord to provide funds for the construction of Douala Church. Right now, they are worshipping in a temporary church on the land.
THURDAY14TH BURKINA FASO: Thank God for healing Pastor Dauda Iliya's wife.
  • Pray for God to provide 50 Bibles, three motorcycles (N160, 000 each), foodstuff (5 bags of rice &gallons of oil) for new converts to celebrate their first Christmas or about NSO, OOO in monetary terms.
  • A land is urgently needed. One has been identified which is already fenced and would cost N20m (Twenty million naira only). Prayer for open an open door toward this urgent need.
FRIDAY 15TH BURKINA FASO: lssaka, a former Moslem gave his life Christ buthe is now facing severe persecution. He has been denied food and driven away from home. The missionary is now faced with the challenge of taking care of him from their very meager resources.
  • Please pray for lssaka to stand firm in face of persecution and for the Lord to provide more resources to take care of lssaka and others like him.
  • Another convert, a woman by name Marietu also gave her life to Christ and was delivered from the bondage to a demonic charm. Now she too is facing severe persecution since she has refused to marry her former Muslim suitor. Presently, she is squatting with another believer. She is a trained tailor and will need a sewing machine in order to fend for herself.
SATURDAY 16TH Pray that EMS will be able to administer the Goodnews in its cross border mission fields and rescue many from the enemy’s grip and for fresh and adequately equip indigenous laborers at these desperate times who will be able to withstand, stand and advance the kingdom God among their people by force.
WEEK FOUR-FOCUSES ON CHURCH GROWTH AND REVIVAL
“…to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the hearts of the contrite one”.Isa.57:15
SUNDAY 17TH One major mission force that opened rural places in the northern Nigeria in the 70s and 80s is the evangelicals, but today’s Pentecostalism and influence of materialistic gospel is weakening their resolve to pursue this noble Kingdome mandate. Pray that the evangelicals will encounter evangelistic revival and reorientation in the year 2016.
 
MONDAY 18TH Pray that ECWA sons and daughters will maintain their first love for God, have compassion for the lost and be grossly engaged in evangelism and discipleship in 2016.
 
TUESDAY 19TH Pray that ECWA ministers will be self-motivated towards the vision of ECWA, which is to “wine all nations for Christ”. Also pray that they will walk in understanding with one another and be submissive to authority.
 
WEDNESDAY 20TH Pray for the supernatural release of money and every material resources that is needed for EMS and ECWA as a whole to fulfil our mandate everywhere.Phil.14:19.
 
THURSDAY 21ST Pray for the entire ECWA executive as they continue to pilot the affairs of ECWA Around the world, that God will grant them Wisdom, strength, security and journey mercies in all their travels.
 
FRIDAY 22ND Pray for the immediate family (Wife & children) of ECWA Pastors, Missionaries and other administrative officers working in various capacities, that God should protect them from counter reactions from the kingdom of darkness because of their commitment to kingdom service.
 
SATURDAY 23RD “How shall they preach except they be sent” was the question Paul asked in Romans 10:15.One of the major mission challenge today is the resources to finance the labor, the laborers who are ready to go full-time, and many who want to volunteer their services for short time mission. In other words, “the laborers are waiting, but the senders are few”.
  • Pray the lord of the harvest to raise capable senders in the church and mission support agencies.
  • Thank God, for those who are already committed to raising support for mission. Ask the lord to increase their capacity, build their income generation system to maturity and sufficiency, and help them to do justice to the laborers on fields.
WEEK FIVE-FOCUS ON THE PEACE AND SALVATION OF THE NATIONS
“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beast from the land, and the sward will not pass through your country” Lev.26:6.
SUNDAY 24TH List and Pray for the salvation of individuals around you (relatives, friends, and colleagues’ etc.). Pray that they will encounter Jesus and be committed in serving Him in this year. MONDAY 25TH: Pray that God’s light will shine on all British youths, both male and female who have left and many who are planning on leaving to become Jihadist in Syria, Iraq etc. Ask that God’s mercy will save them as the it saved Saul of Tarsus in his misguided zeal (Act 9:1-6).Pray for wisdom for the British Government as they seek to address this evil.
 
TUESDAY 26TH Pray With the increase in violence and the activities of insurgence around the world, many being rendered homeless, children turned into orphans, women forced into early widowhood, and men decapitated. EMS through its relief project unit under the supervision of Brother Mark Sunday has made it a point of duty to reach out to such that are affected.
PRAY:
  • For more of God’s grace on Bro Mark for effective and efficient outreaches in this 2016
  • For the recently produced documentary, that through it more individuals and cooperate partners will be added to the number of partners promoting the work of this unit
  • For vulnerable young and old people who do not have families to fall back to and who are struggling to live (Math.25:35).
WEDNESDAY 27TH ARGENTINA: Military dictatorship and the failed Falklands / Malvinas war, followed by economic disaster, have led Argentina into spiritual hunger and receptivity to the gospel of Christ. Operation World states that evangelical numbers, under one million in
1980, reached 3.9 million by 2015. However, spiritual openness is also seeing many drawn into Umbanda occultism from Brazil as well as some churches with questionable teachings.
PRAY:
  • That President Mauricio Macri will be able to harness its vast natural resources to revive an economy that has for decades fallen short of its potential.
  • For investments to stream into the country, bringing with it Christians to reach out to the highly educated workforce.
THURSDAY 28TH Pray for all missionaries on transfer, that the Lord will endow them with wisdom and increasing grace as they they begin ministry in their new mission station.
 
FRIDAY 29TH Pray for Nigerian Press and security, agencies that they may be more dedicated to duty and to also contribute in promoting good governance.
 
SATURDAY 30TH I.S/BOKO-HARAM SOURCES OF CASH:
Weapons, vehicles, employee salaries, propaganda videos, international travel – all cost money. IS's methods of financing are difficult to shut down. Terrorists use their control over a territory the size of the UK to develop revenue channels. The oil fields captured in Syria and Iraq fund the group through a black market oil trade flourishing along the porous borders of IS-controlled land. It is believed some traders have even sold oil from terrorists back to Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Because terrorists control an expansive territory, they can levy taxes on the people living there. Some of these taxes are more like extortion. The group is heavily diversified: if one funding source is shut down, they turn to others to generate revenue. A steady flow of money to IS from rich individuals in the Gulf continues, with Qataris the biggest suppliers.
PRAY:
  • For countries to work, together and cut off the ‘fourth front’ cash flow in the war against IS. (Hos.9:9)
  • That the stronghold behind the strength of Boko-haram will be broken in Jesus Name
SUNDAY 31ST Pray Thank God for answered prayers and for His grace upon you to pray with us this month. Pray for more of His grace to be committed to praying with us in February.
GOD’S BLESSINGS!!!
 


Coping with Grief & Loneliness Over the Holidays

Handling grief or loss over the holidays by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (iStock photo)

"This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word revives me" (Ps. 119:50, MEV).

Christmas isn't a joyful season for everybody. Grief—whether from loss, loneliness or both—crescendos around this time of year for many, and the deep, emotional pain can seem like almost too much to bear.

Isaiah 53:4 states, "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." Jesus carries as much of the burden as we let Him. But in addition to falling into our Savior's loving arms, here are five suggestions to ease your personal Christmas blues or empower you to help someone else dealing with grief and loneliness:

1. Be kind to yourself. Billy Graham likens the death of a loved one to major surgery. But that can also be true regarding the death of a relationship, say a divorce. Healing from any medical operation takes time, and so does finding a new way of life after losing someone close. Leave the decorations in the attic this year if you need to. Find another family member to host Christmas dinner. Most importantly, perhaps, allow yourself to cry—or even scream—out to God as you process. David did in Psalm 61:2. Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died (John 11:1-44). Your tears aren't a sign of faithlessness. They're a natural and necessary response to your loss. Let God heal you (Matthew 11:28).

2. Adjust your expectations. Anticipate Christmas will be different without your loved one and be proactive about your emotional health. Don't live in fear of your emotions, but take stock of your heart, especially before logging onto Facebook or other social media. Feelings of loneliness have a way of intensifying when you're bombarded by social media posts of your friends apparently having a grand time. Sign off for now if you need to.

If you find yourself in the comforter role this Christmas, keep your words washed in love and extend grace. Whether Uncle John has been gone for seven days, seven months or seven years, your aunt still misses him. Don't wonder (especially aloud) how she can still be sad after all these years. "How are you holding up?" is typically a safe question when talking with someone who has experienced loss. Check out the Sharing Hope in Crisis course from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team if you're interested in in-depth training for these sensitive situations.

3. Reach out. Sometimes the best way to lift your spirit is by helping someone else. Isolation turns your focus inward. Instead, volunteer with a local church, serve dinner to the homeless or walk your elderly neighbor's dog. Do something to serve. Additionally, if you're aching to have Christmas dinner with others, ask to join a  family member, friend or someone in your church. Remember, it's never a bad idea to offer to bring a dish, supplies or help with cleanup. Alternatively, if you know someone dealing with grief or loneliness, do your part. Give the gift of your time (Galatians 6:2).

4. Say something. Memories linger in your loved ones' absence. Remember the funny stories. Share them. Laugh and cry with your family members and friends as you reminisce. Or don't. If there aren't good memories or it's just too soon, consider finding new traditions and ways to focus forward.  If you're on the outside looking in, don't feel compelled to change the subject if someone mourning brings up good memories about the deceased. Operate cautiously and with sensitivity but above all else be a good listener and don't mind the tears. Memories are precious gifts from God, and they are one of the few ways a loved one's legacy lives on.

5. Cling to the promises of God. Especially when you don't feel like it. Consider John 14:18, which says: "No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you." You might feel forgotten by people, but you aren't forgotten by our heavenly Father. God is here. He sees you grieving. He wants to comfort you. Remind others of that truth. If you aren't familiar with His promises, start by finding peace with God.

Some quotes from Billy Graham on grief:

  • "With Christ as your Savior and constant Companion, you, although alone, need never be lonely."
  • When we grieve over someone who has died in Christ, we are sorrowing not for them but for ourselves. Our grief isn't a sign of weak faith, but of great love."
  • "It is our Lazarus tomb dark and foreboding and drenched with bitter tears, but it is there that we meet our Lord who brings life from death and gladness from the very tomb of bereavement. Christ can give rest in the midst of sorrow."
  • "If there is something we need more than anything else during grief, it is a friend who stands with us, who doesn't leave us. Jesus is that friend."

For the original article, visit billygraham.org.

 

 

Joy

The film is uneven, but Joy knows just who she is. (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)
 
The text at the beginning of Joy, the latest film from director David O. Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook), says it is “inspired by the true stories of daring women . . . one in particular.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Rohm, Dashca Polanco, Isabella Rossellini, Robert De Niro, and Diane Ladd in 'Joy'
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Jennifer Lawrence, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Rohm, Dashca Polanco, Isabella Rossellini, Robert De Niro, and Diane Ladd in 'Joy'
That “one” is Joy Mangano, played here by Jennifer Lawrence, who is always fun to watch and certainly holds the film together. The character and her story are based on Mangano’s true story of inventing the Magic Mop, hawking it on the still-new QVC, and overcoming difficulty to become a business mogul able to support other inventors and entrepreneurs.
 
Russell makes weird and frenetic movies that aren’t to everyone’s taste. They lurch around a bit and at times seem more infatuated with style than substance or coherence. That shows up again in Joy, which is narrated by Joy’s grandmother (Diane Ladd) and includes a montage introduction and a couple early black-and-white scenes from a melodrama, shot in soap opera style. Soon we segue into a whirling-dervish madcap romp through Joy’s house, with Joy as the axis, populated by a motley crew of relatives: Joy’s two children and her grandmother Mimi; Joy's ex-husband (Edgar Ramirez), an aspiring singer who still lives in the basement long after the divorce; her mother, Terry (Virginia Madsen), who stays in bed and watches soap operas; her father Rudy (Robert De Niro, another Russell regular), who’s moving back in after his latest split—though he’ll have to share space with his ex-son-in-law, whom he sometimes-cordially hates. (Good thing he swiftly finds a new girlfriend in Trudy, played by Isabella Rossellini.) The family also includes Joy’s half-sister Peggy (Elisabeth Rohm), who manages Rudy’s auto repair shop and is by turns affectionate and undermining toward Joy’s efforts.
Jennifer Lawrence, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Rohm, Dashca Polanco, Isabella Rossellini, Robert De Niro, and Diane Ladd in 'Joy'
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Edgar Ramirez in 'Joy'
As it turns out, she learned that behavior from the family more generally. We come to understand that Joy was a gifted child with big aspirations and an active imagination, an inventor from her youth. But time and circumstance have left her, still young and vibrant, with a lot of mouths to feed and egos to placate. Those egos delight in tearing down her aspirations in the most passive-aggressive manner I can imagine (consider this your trigger warning).
 
But Joy is scrappy and persistent, and she fights her way onto QVC, still a fledgling network headed by Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper, of course). What follows is ups and downs, excruciating failure and exhilarating success, licensing debacles and mismanagement and tense negotiations. In Lawrence’s portrayal of Joy, she’s a tired, determined woman with a lot of charm and grit and desperation who can still be reduced by those she loves to a puddle of despair. What we’re watching is not the building of an empire, but a woman coming into her own.
 
That part of the film is cathartic and enjoyable, if unevenly told. Yet it leaves us with a lot of desires. For instance, I want a film about all the personalities around QVC, and around Mangano’s own later business ventures. Futures are hinted at that seem terribly interesting, enough that in this age of film-to-TV, you can’t help wonder if a series is lurking in someone’s mind. (Given how character-driven it is, the film would work splendidly, and probably be received more warmly by both audiences and critics, as an offbeat prestige comedic drama.) I want a coherently-told story; I don’t want the feeling of rushing from scene to scene.
 
lisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro in 'Joy'
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Elisabeth Rohm, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro in 'Joy'
At the film's core is our favorite sort of story as Americans, a good old-fashioned pull-up-your-bootstraps, rags-to-riches tale of rising from humble circumstances through sheer force of will. And to tell you the truth, I was into it. By the end of Joy I felt strangely similar to the end of American Hustle—frustrated by the filmmaking, but enamored of the characters, except I didn’t feel dirty for rooting for the main character. In fact, I felt an affinity to her. I wanted to be like her. That’s the point: she’s a daring woman and meant to be an inspiration, and thankfully, she really is. (The real Joy Mangano, by the way, currently holds more than 100 patents.)
Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence in 'Joy'
 
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence in 'Joy'
And so, even though Joy never really seems to figure out what sort of a movie it is, it’s still a lot of fun to watch—mostly because the woman at its center knows exactly who she is.
 
Caveat Spectator
The film is rated PG-13 for brief strong language, which is exactly what it sounds like: expletives. Otherwise, it’s all family drama.
Alissa Wilkinson is Christianity Today’s chief film critic and an assistant professor of English and humanities at The King’s College in New York City. She is co-author, with Robert Joustra, of How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World (Eerdmans, May 2016). She tweets @alissamarie.
 


Let Christmas Be Complicated

We often overlook the tragic backdrop to Jesus' birth. (Photo: ECWA Archive)

I have always loved the color gray. All my favorite hoodies, sweatpants, and T-shirts are gray. One Christmas shopping trip, my fashion-savvy mother tried to get me to “please, pick some color besides gray—something bright!” As much as I try to branch out, there is something inexplicably comfortable and comforting about the color. I feel at home in it.

Much later, the world itself seemed to turn gray. After six months of struggling with depression and self-hatred in a country that wasn’t my own, I returned home to find my nicely packaged view of how the world works shattered. Gone was the God who did things “for a reason,” the God who, if he called you to a place, would give you a deep contentment, even if circumstances were difficult.

My relationship with God went through a fundamental shift then, and the way I see the world has never been the same. As I struggle off and on with depression, I live through seasons of lighter and darker shades of gray. Instead of rose-colored glasses, I see the world through a dimming and dulling filter.

But even as the world has turned gray, it has also become more complex. It is in some ways too simple to say that I’ve gone from seeing the world as “black and white” to seeing it as gray. Of course, as a Christian, I affirm that some things are black and white; there is both real evil and real good in the world. But beyond that, evil and good can become so entangled in this time-between-times that it can be difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. Seeing the world through the lens of Scripture demands we recognize this shades-of-gray complexity of our world.

The human minds craves simplicity. We tend to simplify otherwise complex situations so that solutions are clear to us. Whether it’s terrorist attacks in Paris or protests against racism on college campuses, we find comfort knowing what the response ought to be, not to mention why it happened in the first place. We simply need more air strikes and more surveillance. We need to stop accepting refugees. We need less war, not more. We need to stop coddling students with political correctness.

I see this simplification happen on a personal level too, with well-intended attempts to explain or answer our suffering. Think of the clichés: God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Everything happens for a reason. It was just her time. Behind these sentiments, we find the good desire to affirm that God loves us and has our best interests at heart. But too often such simplifications—of individual suffering or suffering on a larger scale—belie our need to control the narrative. If we can oversimplify the situation, then we can understand it and protect ourselves. But in a world tainted by sin, circumstances are rarely that straightforward, as we learn from Scripture itself.

Many have recently invoked Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in their flight to Egypt as “Middle Eastern refugees,” in parallel to present-day refugees. And yet, their story—even in the pages of the New Testament—isn’t an isolated account of a happy-ending journey. What about the other babies and families of Matthew 2, those left behind to suffer the consequences of King Herod’s lust for power? What’s the reason for that? It is easy to see why this part of the story is often left out of our Advent retellings. In the midst of the joy and hope surrounding Jesus’ birth, we find the insertion of one of the most brutal acts depicted in the New Testament.

This detail doesn’t get included as a casual aside. Matthew tells us twice that Herod is fulfilling prophecy. First, Jesus’ family flees to Egypt, having been warned of the danger. This fulfills Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Second—and even more striking—is the “fulfillment” of the words of Jeremiah:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.

Imagine one of those Jewish mothers of Bethlehem. Her one-year-old son, having made it through those first few critical months of life, has been taken by her own king, his life snuffed out in the offhand chance that he might pose a threat. And she was powerless to stop it. She did not have the benefit of the warning that Joseph received. Perhaps she didn’t have the means to flee even if she had been warned. Now imagine had she been told that her suffering and loss fulfilled a prophecy, that it’s part and parcel of the sending of God’s Anointed One, part of God’s “plan.” It rings a bit hollow, doesn’t it?

The questions abound: What about Herod? Ultimately, his acts fulfill the prophecies. Or do they? Just because this is the way it happened, is this the way it had to happen? Could God have fulfilled the prophecies in another way? Let’s put it even more strongly: Did God want those babies to die? Is Matthew implying he did? Like any time we try to grapple with the hows and whys of God’s plan, these are tough questions. There aren’t easy answers. And perhaps that is precisely the point.

Too often we read Scripture expecting nice, neat packages. I suspect this is why some Christians struggle with the Old Testament, where it’s harder to grasp the “whys” behind the tough stories. But Scripture mirrors the complexity of the human situation it is meant to address. And Scripture often whispers, even when we would prefer that it shout.

This Advent and Christmas, I am challenging myself to pay attention to the silences of Scripture—the places where Scripture invites us to ask questions, to wrestle with the text, to wrestle with God, as Jacob did. In the shades of gray, I can listen for the Spirit to whisper in the details I might otherwise overlook.

John Calvin spoke of Scripture as “spectacles” that teach us to see God and the world rightly. As we allow Scripture to shape our vision, we may find that we no longer need the easy answers, the clichéd responses, the knee-jerk reactions. We may find ourselves able to sit and be silent.

Once upon a time, not far from Bethlehem, another prophecy was fulfilled: a strong empire executed a lowly criminal, with the religious leaders cheering them along the way. Many in that time thought they could see the distinctions between black and white. It took a resurrection to open their eyes. We too live in a time when “we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror.” Let us pray for eyes to see the world in all its complexity…until that time when “we shall see face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12).

Mandy Rodgers-Gates is a Th.D. candidate at Duke Divinity School and a Wheaton College graduate. She wrote one of the winning posts in Her.meneutics' writing contest this summer.



North Korea Sentences Canadian Megachurch Pastor to Life in Prison

by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra Toronto pastor who made hundreds of humanitarian trips dodges death penalty. (Pastor Hyeon-Soo Lim | Light Korean Presbyterian Church)

North Korea has sentenced the pastor of one of Canada's largest churches to life in prison.

Hyeon-Soo Lim, leader of 3,000-member Light Korean Presbyterian Church in suburban Toronto, has been held by North Korea since January, and allegedly confessed in August to conspiring against the government of Kim Jong-Un.

KCNAAccording to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), state prosecutors argued for the death penalty against Lim in Wednesday’s 90-minute trial at the nation's supreme court, reports The New York Times. The defense begged for mercy, pointing to Lim as a fellow Korean and his alleged confession. Lim’s lawyers asked for a life sentence "so that he can witness for himself the reality of the nation of the Sun as it grows in power and prosperity," reports Reuters.

The government accused Lim of “trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system,” among other charges, reports CBC News.

KCNA posted photos of the trial.

The Canadian foreign affairs department called the sentence “unduly harsh” in light of Lim's "age and fragile health."

Lim's megachurch has asked Canada's new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to advocate on the imprisoned pastor's behalf.

—–

[Originally published on August 3 at 11:50 a.m., entitled “North Korea Reveals Why It Captured Canadian Megachurch Pastor | After hundreds of humanitarian trips, Toronto pastor has been detained since January.”]

After being detained since January, the pastor of one of Canada's largest churches has allegedly confessed to a “subversive plot” to overthrow the North Korean government and to set up a new “religious state,” reports The New York Times.

Hyeon-Soo Lim, leader of 3,000-member Light Korean Presbyterian Church in suburban Toronto, spoke both at a press conference and later at a church service, according to reports by the Hermit Kingdom's state news agency.

"The worst crime I committed was to rashly defame and insult the highest dignity and the system of the republic," Lim told a Pyongyang congregation, apparently reading from a script.

Detaining Christian foreigners is somewhat of a North Korean tradition, but accusing them of planning to set up a theocracy is new, AsiaNews said.

Lim has been held by the North Korean government since January, when the 60-year-old was scheduled to spend a few days there on humanitarian work. His church has worked in North Korea for almost 20 years, and Lim has made hundreds of trips to oversee a nursing home and orphanage there, said church spokesperson Lisa Pak.

"That's the most that we know, that the press conference happened and he admitted, I use that word very lightly, to some charges," Pak told Reuters.

The church released a statement after Lim’s confession:

The family and church are eager to have Mr. Lim home after close to 7 months in detention in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. There are no comments regarding the charges and allegations made against Mr. Lim except that the humanitarian aid projects that Mr. Lim has both initiated and supported in the DPRK have been for the betterment of the people. It is this tremendous love for the people of the DPRK that motivated Mr. Lim to travel to the nation over 100 times. He remains a compassionate and generous man and we hope to see him home soon. We are grateful for all those who share in our concerns and ask for your continued prayers and support.

Lim was born in South Korea, and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1986, where he helped to grow his church from five families to more than 3,000 people.

“You can imagine that, being ethnically Korean, there is a personal investment in the people of Korea,” Pak told the Toronto Star when he was first detained. She told CNN it was unlikely that Lim was proselytizing while he was there.

"He knows the language, he knows the nature of the government, so we don't see that as a legitimate reason that he would be detained," she said. "We don't believe that's the way he would have behaved. He's very wise about that."

The Canadian government has severed consular ties with North Korea, but Sweden has an embassy in Pyongyang and does some diplomatic work for Canada. Reuters reported in March that the Swedish ambassador was pressing for a meeting with an unidentified Canadian citizen detained there.

"We continue to advocate for consular access and for a resolution in his case," stated Canada’s Foreign Affairs department.

Lim follows a spate of Western missionaries who have been arrested in North Korea, which has spent the last 13 years topping Open Doors’ World Watch List as the worst place for Christians to live. An estimated 70,000 Christians are held in prison camps there.

In November, the North Korean government released American missionary Kenneth Bae after two years in captivity. Also in 2014, North Korea detained American Jeffrey Fowles for leaving behind a Bible, and arrested and released Australian missionary John Short, 75, for spreading Bible tracts near a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang.

American missionary Robert Park deliberately got himself arrested and spent six weeks in a North Korean prison in 2010, saying his goal was “to proclaim Christ’s love and forgiveness” to Kim Jong Il and to call for the release of political prisoners. "My hope was, through sacrifice, that maybe there would be repentance and people could come together to address issues in North Korea," Park told CT in an exclusive interview.

South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jong-Uk is still imprisoned after after receiving a life sentence in June for allegedly working with underground churches.

Go to Christianity Today for the original article.

 



Writing a Letter of Forgiveness

An adapted excerpt from Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges by Lori Deschene (Bigstuck Photo)

All my romantic relationships have ended quickly and painfully. I often compared the new men in my life to the old ones. From my former boyfriends’ mistakes, I always found a reason to walk away from the current one. I even occasionally returned to old boyfriends in hopes that things would change, but they never did. Over time, the anger of past injustices reappeared many times, and I couldn’t overcome it.

A few years ago, I decided to make a change for myself. I stopped communication with all my exes to rid the poison I thought they brought to my life. At first it was liberating, but soon the old feelings of regret and pain came back. I couldn’t stop being a victim and feeling hurt for what was done to me. I finally understood that the only way to be truly free from anger was through forgiveness.

This year, I started writing letters to each of the men whom I’d loved and then hated for so long. I told them my feelings, good and bad, and apologized for the part I played in ending each relationship. Lastly, I forgave them for the mistakes they made- the mistakes that haunted me for years. I sealed each letter with a wish for their happiness and a kiss. I have never felt more content and free than when I placed those letters in the mail. It gave me the resolution that I needed, to say what my heart felt in its entirety and let go.

As I finished sending the last letter, I knew that my heart was ready to love without the burden of past misfortune. I can finally give myself completely to love without excuses or being a victim.

Reflections from Sara O.

I met my ex-boyfriend while we were both in recovery for alcoholism. We dated for a few months until he relapsed. There were always two voices in the back of my head: one telling me this relationship wasn’t healthy and I needed to walk away, and the other telling me to stick it out. That second voice told me I could lead by example, that if he could see how I was improving my life by being sober, he would do the same.

I kept holding on tighter, afraid he would leave and that I wasn’t good enough. When he did leave, abruptly, I was devastated. I expected him to fill that void that was still inside me, despite all the work I was doing on myself. My codependency flared up in all sorts of unhealthy ways: stalking Facebook, obsessing over what I could have said or done to make him stay, resting all my self-worth on his opinion of me. I was against feeling anger toward him because I felt I deserved to be treated this way.

With time, a network of support, and my higher power, I went back to the basics of my program: one day at a time. Each day was a struggle, redirecting my thoughts from negative/obsessive to reflective/self-loving. Eventually, I acknowledged and felt my anger and could let him go. When I find myself wanting to check on him or obsess, I redirect my thinking to my progress and what I could do with this experience to help others. I choose not to hold on to the negativity of that relationship but the self-awareness and love I’ve cultivated thus far in myself.

Today, I thank him for leaving. What I’ve learned by feeling and releasing my anger and choosing to forgive is that people come in and out of our lives every day, and they all teach us something about ourselves. If we’re open-minded, we can reap the benefits and in turn, help others.

Challenge:

  • On a separate piece of paper, write a letter of forgiveness to someone toward whom you’ve felt bitter and angry (to send or to burn as an act of release).

For reflection:

  • What are some things you’ve wanted to tell this person about their actions and how they affected you?
  • What’s prevented you from sharing these things in the past?
  • If you’d like to maintain a relationship with this person, what, if anything, do you need from them to do that?

How did it go?

  • Was this a cathartic experience for you? Did you decide to send or burn the letter?

Reflections from Stephanie Hauck. From Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges. Copyright © 2015 by Lori Deschene. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers.

 



Healthy Dating Practices for the New Year

This is what it means to date with intentionality and maturity (photo © Glow of Love by Angela D. Coleman)
 
There are plenty of unhealthy ways to date, so I've compiled 10 healthy dating practices that I believe cut to the core of what it means to date with intentionality and maturity.
 
1. Date with intention.
This is going to be for the best of both parties involved. Dating isn't a game, and the last thing you want to do is get in a relationship with someone when your intentions are anything but pure. If you're just looking for fun, I'd recommend you be open and honest about your intentions with anyone you meet or connect with. It's only fair to them and their emotions.
 
2. Make sure your first date is in a public place.
You just never know who you're going to meet. I'd recommend your first date be in a public place in front of lots of people and I'd even recommend you let your friends know where you will be in case something were to happen. You never know who the person you've chatted with on the phone might act in person, and the last thing you want to happen is end up in a private place with someone whose motives are anything but respectful.
 
3. Try to learn as much as you can before meeting them.
Yes, the beauty of social media. If they have public profiles, then make sure to do your due diligence and research as much as you can about the person. It only makes sense to do a little Facebook stalking to see whom you're meeting with. Come on, we've all done it. While someone's online profiles might not always match up with how they act in person, it's always a good idea to see how someone presents themselves online and it may give you the opportunity to end a date before it even starts. Better to be safe than sorry.
 
4. Value the input of your friends and family.
Your friends and family play a valuable role in your dating life, and it's always good to get their opinions when it comes to the person you are dating. Mind you, they might always give the best advice but it's always good to get wisdom from the people who are looking out for your best interest.
 
5. Continue to stay social with your friends and family.
Don't be that person who gets a relationship and then disappears from the face of the planet. We all know that person. Yes, I know you want to spend time with your new babe, but it's also healthy to continue carving out time for your friends and family members.
 
6. Have a "define the relationship" every few dates to see how things are going. 
Nobody likes dating in the dark. I don't mean literally, but emotionally. Not knowing where your relationship stands can be extremely stressful, so I suggest that you and your new girl/guy take time every few weeks to discuss where each other is at with things.
This will give you both clarity, keep the relationship healthy, and keep the relationship from ever going further than it needs to.
 
7. Be open and honest from the very beginning.
Relationships thrive on transparency. Letting people know about you from the very beginning is quite possibly the best thing you can do for your relationship. Everyone's made mistakes, and I'd encourage you to share about the big pieces of your life that have made you who you are today. Don't keep things hidden in fear of rejection. Be open.
 
8. Don't play with someone's emotions.
If it's not working, then end it. Some relationships are kind of like the TV show American Idol—they go on way longer than they actually should. Seriously though, don't keep a relationship going just for the heck of it. The best thing you can do is be transparent about how you're feeling. If things aren't working out, then end it with care. Ending the relationship as soon as you realize it's not working out will show you care about the person more than dragging it along. Trust me.
 
9. Don't have important conversations via text or email.
We've all been there. Auto-correct and text interpretation can be a relationship's worst nightmare. Save the important conversations for an actual conversation, not a banter of back and forth emojis and broken English. Plus, waiting to talk in person will give you time to really think about what you want to say instead of texting out of pure emotion.
 
10. Don't settle.
Simple. Don't settle for a mediocre relationship. You deserve to be with someone who supports you, encourages you, cares for you and loves you for who you are. Don't settle for mediocre when you could have extraordinary.
 
Jarrid Wilson is a husband to Juli, dad to Finch, pastor, author, blogger and founder of Cause Roast. He's helping people live a better story. For the original article, visit jarridwilson.com. For the original article, visit jarridwilson.com.
For the original article, visit jarridwilson.com