I started this article on Sunday evening August 7, 2016 but am not sure when I will have it ready for publication as I usually work on an article over several days, editing several times before publication. I belong to 2 churches in Claremore. This morning I heard 2 very inspiring messages. The first message was at Lifechanger Church. The power went out about 10 minutes before service started but there was no panic and no problem, we would have an encounter with God whether we had electricity or not. The worship team led worship with only one acoustic guitar and no microphones yet it was an outstanding performance of worship. The power came back on as we were in the midst of our last hymn. We then had our usual opening prayer, asking God to look after the needs of people from the morning’s prayer request list. Just after the prayer ended one of the ladies gave a message in tongues that was interpreted by Mrs. Estes, the pastor’s wife and resident prophet. The interpretation was that God was calling on Christians to rise up and take our country back for Him, that He is with us and if we will take the necessary steps to restore our nation to a Godly nation that He will lead us and make it happen. This nation has turned from the vision of the founders and has become a nation adversarial to the Word of God and His original design, and has become a nation based on pagan secularism, carnality, and political correctness, ignoring morality so people aren’t “offended” by Godly expectations. Homosexuality, promiscuity, abortion, and islam are championed while Christianity and morality are ridiculed and derided as outdated, judgmental, and unacceptable.
Christians are God’s people in this nation and it is up to us to do the leg work necessary to make the changes but God will lead us as He led Israel in their early battles against the pagans that occupied the land God intended for the Hebrew people. It was a very inspiring morning as I saw God manifest Himself through the positive attitudes displayed in spite of the power issue and the quest to overcome adversity and honor God when satan did all he could to subvert the proceedings. I went up at the end of the service and received prayer for healing of the disabilities that resulted from the stroke I suffered 2 years ago. I then went to Cedarpoint Church and had another inspiring experience.
At Cedarpoint we are currently having a series of messages based on 2Chronicles 6:8. The passage starts with “We serve God” and goes on to say that it doesn’t matter if people honor us or criticize us because we do what we do for God, not looking for approval from man. Both churches are pastored by very Godly men who are excellent teachers and preachers. They are both members of the Claremore Ministerial Alliance and have become friends through that association. The mission statements are different but yet similar in intent and goal. Lifechangers’ mission statement is “we bring healing and hope to heart, health, and home”. Cedarpoint’s mission statement is “we are a story changing place”. Both churches are very focused on being good to the community. Lifechangers has a food pantry service that provides grocery items as well as a hot meal to people in need. Cedarpoint hosts a Celebrate Recovery chapter and offers help to people in jail or prison in the form of visits, counseling, and help upon release. There is also quite an outreach program for the needy and the families of incarcerated people. I regularly attend the Celebrate Recovery services at Cedarpoint on Monday evenings. I am not recovering from an addiction but I enjoy the worship service and the messages taught by Tracy Morgan. I also get lots of inspiration from the regular testimonies of those in recovery, hearing about what they have been through and how God has led them out of the wilderness into the light of Jesus Christ.
Both churches have very good staff and wonderful people who love God and want to help others find solace and happiness in Jesus. There are no high pressure tactics at either church, only a desire to serve God by serving people in need. Both churches have regular outreach events in the community designed to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a setting that is fun for adults and children alike. I can highly recommend both of these churches to anyone within driving distance. I have noticed that although they are totally unaffiliated the worship and sermons often overlap. Quite often the worship portion will have common hymns and the sermons will have common verses and sometimes dovetail in the actual message. I find this affirming the message God wants put out when 2 very different styles come together based on the Word of God and His desire to have His people hear His message of repentance and service to those in need.
Lifechanger church is led by Dr. Ted Estes, who refers to himself as a “charismatic Pentecostal”. Dr. Estes was raised in a Pentecostal home in Alabama by his mother. He is a wonderful man of God and has been at the helm of Lifechanger Church for 32 years. Cedarpoint has been led by Rick Burke since he moved back to his childhood hometown 10 years ago. At the time Rick and his family arrived the church was called New Life Christian Church and had just lost our pastor. Rick had come from Clovis, New Mexico where he had been a youth pastor for about 17 years but came back to be with his elderly parents who were in failing health. I have a great deal of admiration and respect for both of these men and their wives. Claremore is in very good hands with these people leading churches and making a positive difference in our community. It is past the time when Christians should stand up and boldly proclaim the USA as a nation dedicated to the furtherance of the Gospels of Jesus Christ and to once again be the “shining city on a hill” our founders formed it to be.
I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.
August 9, 2016