Pastor's Forum

Church Security

Our church has not given extensive thought to security issues. What are some of the things, naturally speaking, that other churches are doing to address security concerns in today’s societies? Do other churches have armed security during services? What kind of training do you require for someone who is armed, and what kind of guidelines do you give ushers and others who may not be “security” in a technical sense but who do look out for the safety and well-being of the people at church. Read the responses

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I was greatly blessed this past month to see a copy of In Search of Timothy in the Arabic language. I can’t begin to put into words the gratitude that rises up in my heart as I think about this material getting into the hands of Arabic speaking believers. When this book was released in English in 2005, I had no idea that it would also eventually be published in Arabic, Russian, German, Greek, Portuguese, and Spanish. The assignment God gave us when we launched TCM in 2002 was to “strengthen churches and leaders,” and all that we do is targeted accordingly! Read the rest of this update

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Audio Interview with Rick Renner: Apathy and Complacency in the Church

Tony recently had the privilege of sitting down with Rick Renner, Bible teacher and pastor of Good News Church in Moscow, Russia, to discuss the current spiritual climate of the Church. In addition, they discussed how various aspects of a person’s culture can affect the way they hear and process Scripture. Click here to listen to the interview

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Are “Should” and “Ought” Condemning Words?
Tony Cooke

should-oughtJesus is no harsh taskmaster, but He does communicate standards and expectations to those He has freely redeemed, accepted, and forgiven. He said, “my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matt 11:30). He didn’t tell His apostles to merely teach people that they are loved and forgiven; Jesus directed, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” (Matt 28:20). The Beloved Apostle writes, “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). I have no interest in laboring under a legalistic list of do’s and don’ts and should’s and must’s. Neither do I want to be a part of what Leonard Ravenhill described years ago: “Today’s Church wants to be raptured from responsibility.” That is not a right approach either. I want to live out of a vibrant relationship with God in which he empowers me to do those things that he has clearly instructed and commanded in His Word. That is not legalism; that is liberating! Read this article by Tony Cooke

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Contributory Links
Lisa Cooke

Contributory Links by Lisa CookeThe Weymouth New Testament version of Ephesians 4:16 says “Dependent on Him, the whole body—it’s various parts closely fitting and firmly adhering to one another—grows by the aid of every contributory link, with power proportioned to the need of each individual part, so as to build itself up in a spirit of love.” The phrase—grows by the aid of every contributory link—reminds me how valuable every single person in the Body of Christ is to the grand plan that God has orchestrated concerning our time spent here on earth. The word “contributory” is defined as “playing a part to bring something about.” How are we as members of the Body of Christ to play a part and to aid in bringing something about? Read this article by Lisa Cooke

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Why I Welcome Funeral Opportunities for the Unchurched
David Osborne

Funeral Opportunities for the Unchurched by David OsborneSome time ago, I was getting out my car to walk into the funeral home for a person I had never met. In that moment I thought, “Am I really going to make a difference today?” I was tired and overwhelmed with many other ministry tasks yet to perform that week. In the middle of the groan that came from my soul came the familiar voice of our Savior by His Spirit saying, “Your ‘showing up’ changes everything for them.” I knew in an instant that regardless of how well I conducted the service, which is a pressure I always feel, I had already provided the family with something they desperately needed: someone to minister to their pain. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” This isn’t just a great Scripture to read at funerals, it’s what the Lord does through us as we “just show up.” Read this article by David Osborne

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Now Available—Lift: Experiencing the Elevated Life

liftbook-smLift: Experiencing the Elevated Life is now available, and we are receiving great feedback on it.

Order Online
If you would like to order a copy online, click here.

Order by Phone
You can also place an order by calling our office at (918) 645-9120.

Purchase e-Book
If you prefer an e-book, you can order it in that format as well on Amazon.

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Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.

ERROR
“What good is it for a thirsty man to be served foul water from precious goblets? Yet so I drank in falsity from eloquent and esteemed men.”
– Augustine

GRACE
Grace is not opposed to effort, but to earning. Earning is an attitude; effort is action. Without effort, we would be nowhere.
– Dallas Willard

HOLINESS
“Holiness is wholeness. To be holy is to be wholly the Lord’s.”
– Walter C. Kaiser

PRIDE
“Pride does not listen. It knows.”
– Kevin J. Vanhoozer

SELF-CENTEREDNESS
“We sing the (beautiful) praise chorus, ‘It’s all about you, Jesus.’ Who are we kidding? It’s all about Jesus—as long as it’s in a service I like, in a building I like, with people I like, with music I like, for a length of time I like. At some point in this generation, ‘Take up your cross and follow me’ changed into, ‘Come to Jesus and he’ll make your life better.’”
– E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien