God’s Unstoppable Church

The Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church transcends denomination, organization, or fellowship. The Gospel is supreme, stands on its own, and extends beyond culture, tradition, or man’s acceptance or rejection.

Yesterday morning Jerry and I attended The Lighthouse in Yucaipa, pastored by our dear friend Patrick Garrett and his remarkable wife Holly. Growth is evident there, Apostolic worship was apparent, and Brother Garrett preached from the Word of God. The Lighthouse is associated with the Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship, commonly referred to as the WPF.

At 5:00 last evening, I settled myself into a comfortable chair here in my dining room, a cup of coffee beside me, and tuned in by computer live streaming to The Anchor, a church in San Diego pastored by James Larson and his talented and sweet wife Joni. The Anchor is associated with the United Pentecostal Church, commonly referred to as the UPC. A powerful move of the Holy Ghost unfolded, for as I watched, an associate pastor, Brother Sam Gutierrez, pushed past what seemed to be the “order” of the service, and called the congregation to an extended period of worship. Then followed the scheduled preacher for the evening, Youth Pastor Ron Boling, who was so moved in his spirit that he set aside the message he had planned for the evening, instead encouraging the congregation to continue in their deep worship. Several minutes into this distinct time, Pastor Larson took the microphone and said he believed Brother Andrew Buxton, a lay-minister, had a word from the Lord. Brother Buxton took the pulpit and spoke in a powerful way for 20 minutes or so.

Recently, in Tulsa, OK, the WPF concluded its national youth conference named PEAK. Last week, in Louisville, KY, the UPC concluded its national youth conference which it refers to as National Youth Congress. More than twenty thousand persons attended this meeting which some referred to as perhaps the best conference they had ever attended. One minister who attended PEAK told me it was an outstanding meeting. I have not been able to determine the attendance there.

In Gatlinburg, TN, on September 4-6, the national conference of the WPF will convene. On October 1-4 in St. Louis, MO, the national conference of the UPCI will convene. (There are other apostolic organizations which have similar meetings with similar results, but I am only closely acquainted with the two I have been mentioning, thus my use of them for this discussion.)

So, Apostolic youth from across the country have recently been invigorated as a result of their national conferences, and in early fall both of the aforementioned organizations will gather from around the world to do their required business and to encourage and prompt each other. Propagation of The Gospel is the theme of these meetings. It is a precious thing, and of little matter is the flag under which God’s full Gospel is preached. . . “Unstoppable” is God’s church, Andrew Buxton said last night.

………And so it is.

…the Death to Eternal Life

It was fitting that a large container of the seed packets pictured here was in a prominent place at the Wakeline’s Funeral Home where Rev. Don Ikerd lay in state on Monday night. For of death is life, of life is death…and the righteousness epitomized in the 72 years of Rev. Ikerd’s earthly being comes only by death–a living death. For by no other means can it be hoped for a human to take on godliness and holiness. Death–unwanted, unsought–is the process. Only by dying comes growth; only by decay does spring up the fruit; only through sorrow and pain emerges birth.
“Verily, verily, I saw unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24
Could we know the stories…behind the stories; could we know the sorrows before the victories; could we feel the wet of tears preceding the glory; could we see the long night soul-anguish before dawn’s breaking…then we could say surely that the life of the godly is one of death…glorious death that produces life.
“…let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” Numbers 23:10
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:15
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