I think I know what the problem is, says the doctor. "You have a broken finger."
A man goes to the doctor. My body hurts all over he tells the doctor. Show me says the doctor. So the man pokes his forearm and yells out in pain. He touches his thigh and screams again. He then pokes his toe and screams.
I think I know what the problem is, says the doctor. "You have a broken finger."
Remember the early 1990s? We still wrote things called letters and even used stamps from the post office to mail them? As far as history is concerned, that was not so long ago.
In late August of 1991 I had completed an exciting tour singing with a Christian musical group called The Celebrant Singers. I sang all over the United States and Eastern Europe mostly in churches, but sometimes at different venues, witnessing through song. Prior to that I sang with the Oral Roberts University Concert Choir and Orchestra in Western Europe, which was also exciting. On both occasions I enjoyed ministering in Europe, but felt that I just was not there long enough.
About the time I returned home from touring, I happily noticed a brochure in the vestibule at my church stating that the Pentecostal Holiness Church needed English teachers in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and Budapest, Hungary.
I was still in my twenties and eager to minister more in Europe, so I filled out the form and mailed it in. To my surprise I was accepted to go to Budapest as a tentmaker (now bi-vocational) missionary for one year. (However, I liked my experience so much that I stayed for two years. After all, my Hungarian students would stand to attention when I walked in the room and took learning seriously. So how could I only stay for just one year?!)
I was thrilled! The missionary Rhonda Pruitt placed me in a vocational high school where I taught English. I also helped with music and street witnessing in different parts of the city.
I taught there from 1992-1994, but I have not been back since. However, I’m finally able to return after all of these years. What a joy!
I will visit old colleagues and friends of mine. I look forward to seeing missionary friends who are still there too.
Please keep me in your prayers as I travel to Hungary at the end of this week for my spring break and hope that I can somehow still be an effective witness for Christ while I’m there.
[Editor's Comment: Melvine and I are happy that Greg feels a calling from God to return to Budapest, Hungary for a visit during his spring break. He is a teacher at Moore Middle School in Special Education. His school is in Gwinnett County. He is currently the pianist at our home church, Christian Life Worship Center, in Athens, GA. He serves as the World Missions Director as well and coordinates with our pastor, Brad Cooper, about a monthly world missions emphasis, and he introduces guest missionaries that visit our church often.
Greg went with Melvine and me to Hong Kong and Beijing, China for the 5th IPHC Global Summit last May. He was a great blessing as he helped both Melvine and me with luggage, and assisting me along with Stephen Cheng, my personal escort assigned by Donavan Ng, the leader of the Hong Kong ministry and the great Wing Wong Church. Donavan provided a brand new wheel chair for me for our time in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Pray that God will watch over Greg as he travels from Atlanta to Amsterdam and to Budapest (and back again as he will fly to Manchester, UK, from Amsterdam, and a flight on Virgin Atlantic Airlines to Atlanta). Pray that the Delta Pilots will not strike. Pray that God will protect Greg and others who travel with him from terrorist attacks. Greg understands the importance of blessing others by ministering to their needs. He has maintained contact with some of the teachers in the school as well as missionaries. Pray that God will anoint Greg to minister to Hungarian teachers and others. I am confident that Greg will pick right up on his knowledge and ability to speak Hungarian. God has given him a linguistic ability along with the gift music to minister to others.]
FROM ONE FRIEND TO ANOTHER
Take two minutes to read these sayings and be sure to read all the way to the bottom.
Written by Andy Rooney, a man who had the gift of saying so much with so few words.
Rooney has passed away but used to be on CBS's 60 Minutes TV show.
That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
That when you're in love, it shows.
I've learned ....
That just one person saying to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.
That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
That being kind is more important than being right.
That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in any other way.
That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
That life is like a roll of toilet paper.
The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.
That money doesn't buy class.
That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
That when you plan to get even with someone,
you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
That love, not time, heals all wounds.
That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
That life is tough, but I'm tougher.
That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you're hooked for life.
That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.
[Editor's Comment: I want to thank my friend, Lonnie Rex, for sending this classic rendering of things Andy Rooney wrote for our benefit and blessing in our relationships. May God help us to utilize the wisdom that is expressed here to be blessed and bless others.
On Wednesday, I went to be examined following the implant of a pacemaker. I saw for the first time the wires that were run through an artery to the lower and upper part of my heart. The male nurse removed the bandage over where the heart surgeon make the incision to implant the pacemaker. I was amazed at the size of the wire and the end of it that attaches itself to the heart.
The nurse placed an object over the pacemaker to record and reveal what it is now doing. It checked out perfectly. It is doing what it was designed to do, and my heart beat now is 60 beats per minute or better.
I now can take a shower again and enjoy running water over my body. Spun baths are for the birds. I no longer have to wear a sling to hold my left arm and hand close to my body. I am not allowed to pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk, and I must not raise my left arm and hand above my head. I cannot use my Cadillac walker with large wheels, breaks and a seat. I am not to put any pressure on my left hand and arm. In it all, I am learning to give thanks and praise the Lord for His goodness, mercy, and grace for me. I am learning to be more positive.
I have been given the green light on driving again. The two week restriction was lifted, and I can drive again. However, Melvine insisted that she would drive me home and that I could begin driving again on Thursday. Of course, I said, "Yes, Ma'am!" Agreeing with your wife is a key to a successful marriage. I have been married to Melvine for over 55 years.
I will not be able to work in my two above the ground gardens or work in the yard for three more weeks. The doctor wants those wires to my heart muscle to be anchored solidly and protected with scar tissue to keep the wires in place.
We are grateful for all the medical services available and offered to us in Athens, GA. We live in Winder, about 14 miles from my doctor's office.
I want to praise God and give Him all the glory for protecting my life, providing for a firing system to keep my heart muscle pumping regularly and preventing it from stopping. Already I am sleeping better.
9 You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
10 You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.
[Editor's comment: As we see the blooming of flowers, the newly plowed gardens by the famers, the planting of gardens, let us raise our voices in praise and adoration to God the abundance He graciously provides for us all. I like the song that Louis Armstrong made popular, "What a Wonderful World."
If you will Click Here you can see and hear Louis Armstrong sing one of my favorite of all times song about this beautiful world God has made]
"Our nation is currently commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a long overdue opportunity to honor the 7.2 million living Vietnam veterans and the 9 million families of those of us who served. ... Thank a Vietnam veteran and welcome them home," Bob McDonald, Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs. March 29th, 2016.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald honored veterans Tuesday at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
After a wreath-laying ceremony, Carter and McDonald attached Vietnam Veteran lapel pins on about two dozen veterans lined up along the memorial wall.
The event was part of an annual tribute to U.S. service members killed in the war, first observed in 2012 after President Barack Obama issued a proclamation officially listing March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day. The Vietnam War Commemoration is marking the 50th anniversary of the war with local and national events.
All veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. military at any time from Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of where they served, are eligible to receive the pins.
On the front, the pin features an eagle superimposed over a blue field and red and white stripes, along with six golden stars and laurel wreaths. Each element has symbolic significance: The eagle stands for courage, honor, dedication; the blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice; the laurel wreath represents victory, integrity and strength. The stripes represent the American flag and the stars represent Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and the United States -- the six allied nations who fought alongside one another.
“A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You” is embossed on the back of the pin.
Go to vietnamwar50th.com for details about the commemoration schedule and how event organizers can get the pins to pass out to veterans in attendance.
What to say at a funeral
Three men were sitting together discussing what they want their family and friends to say when they are lying in their casket at their funerals.
The first man says "I want them to say I was a great father and a great friend."
The second man says "I want them to talk about how much I changed the world and left it a better place."
The third man says "I just want them to say `Look! He`s moving!"
My wife told me I was immature and needed to grow up. Guess who`s not allowed in my tree house anymore?
Without water there would be no life on Earth because without water there could be no coffee.
500th Anniversary of Martin Luther Nailing His 95 Theses to the Door of All saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany
Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham invites you to join him in Wittenberg, Germany to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of All Saints Church (Castle Church). The Billion Soul Network and Christian leaders from at least 100 nations will gather on October 30-November 1, 2017 to celebrate this special event. More information can be found in this full press release and video.
This unique opportunity only comes once every 500 years! You don’t want to miss this chance to hear keynote messages from world-class Christian leaders. Each delegate will also have the opportunity to participate in times of intercessory prayer–seeking the Lord for the future, harmony in the body of Christ, and fresh vision to fulfill the Great Commission.
The Wittenberg 2017 Summit will convene at the Maritim Hotel Berlin. In the midst of the bustling capital of Germany, the Maritim Hotel Berlin is located in the embassy district, along the picturesque Tiergarten. Plenary sessions will convene in the Hall Maritim, the most technologically advanced theater in Berlin. Conference delegates will experience three meals and refreshments, in addition to hearing inspirational messages by cutting-edge Christian leaders. For more information, please visit www.luther2017.tv.
A special, limited-seating closing service will be held at the Castle Church (All Saints Church) on November 1, 2017. The IPHC has reserved a limited block of seats for this special service. To join the IPHC family in this celebration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register with a non-refundable $500 deposit by April 10, 2016.
Upon the completion of the Wittenberg 2017 Summit, leaders will have the opportunity to take a Reformation Tour of the main locations in Germany where the Reformation took place, including the cities of Wittenberg, Leipzig, Eisleben, and Eisenach.
To book travel, hotel and tour arrangements, please visit www.luther2017.tv.
I called and talked with Diane, Bishop Stewart's oldest daughter. She and her mother, Miss Donna, are taking good care of our former General Superintendent. There are only two living former General Superintendents--Leon O. Stewart and James D. Leggett.
Diane allowed me to speak briefly with Bishop Stewart. He had gone to see his surgeon Tuesday which was the first time he had been out of his home since coming home from the surgery to correct a twisted intestine.
Bishop Stewart said, "The first thing my surgeon said to me was 'I want to give God the glory for the success of this operation. Secondly, I am grateful that you are in tip top physical shape for a man of 86.'"
His doctor told him it was normal for him to be weak and that it will take at least six weeks to fully recover. Leon added, I have already passed week one.
In his weakness, Bishop Stewart wanted to know how my pacemaker is doing. I was able to report that today, Wednesday, March 30, is one week since I had the pacemaker implanted in my body and connected by two wires to my heart muscle. I will visit my surgeon today in his office at 12:30 for a check up. I fully expect him to remove the bandage over the incision, and that it is healed. I want him to tell me I can take a shower and enjoy the water flowing over my body. Then, I want him to lift the driving restriction. Two weeks is unacceptable for me. I hate to have Melvine and Greg drive me where I have to go.
Greg will be flying from Atlanta to Budapest, Hungary on Saturday, April 2. He will be gone one week during his spring break from teaching school. He wants to visit with faculty and staff of the technical high school where he taught English as a Second Language, attend an opera, and visit sites he would like to see again. Greg served as an IPHC Tent Maker Missionary for two years about 20 years ago.
We will take Greg to the Atlanta International Airport for his flight on Saturday. Although Melvine is an excellent driver, I would like to drive our Honda CRV home through the Atlanta traffic. It is always tough.
You are Invited to a Revival at Family Worship Center of Irmo, SC, April 15-17, 2016, with Evangelist Bob Ely of Oklahoma City
REVIVAL AT FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER OF IRMO: We would like to invite everyone to our upcoming Revival Services on April 15-17, 2016. Services will begin nightly at 7 p. m. on the 15th, 16th. Sunday morning service, the 17th will begin at 10 a. m.
Evangelist Bob Ely of Oklahoma City will be our guest speaker. Dr. Bob Ely served as President of Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma City for 11 years. Before serving at SCU, he was a general evangelist of IPHC for 12 years. Please come and be a part of a great outpouring of God's Spirit during these days of revival.
Ron Rhodes is the pastor of Family Worship Center of Irmo.
Avalon Chronicles #56: "Careless Words" by the Honorable Allen B. Clark, A Contributing Writer for Hugh's News
"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words will be condemned." (Matthew 12: 36,37, NIV Zondervan). The footnote, "Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts. What kind of words come from your mouth?... You must allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with new attitudes and motives; then your speech will be cleansed at its source." (1674).
This passage has been part of my daily prayer "ritual" for years. It has always typically only meant for me "bad" language. However, this day I read something written by a minister that opened up to Linda and me an entirely new and profoundly deeper meaning. If you are a reader of my Chronicles, who lends no credence to spiritual warfare, demonic influence in your life, or the strength of your words as to their potential effect in power to be brought to fruition, then read no further.
If you are still with me, then allow me to quote from a book titled The Biblical Guidebook to Deliverance by Randy Clark, D. Min., a minister we personally heard at a conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee several years ago. Clark, no relation, has ministered extensively in all parts of the world to tens of thousands. He wrote,
"A curse is an evil appeal for harm to come to someone. Many of us are unaware that words of criticism or condemnation spoken to or about another can actually curse that person. When we speak against someone, we open a door for the demonic to exercise their legal right to attach to that person's life. Something said in anger or frustration can set in motion forces in the supernatural that have the potential to do great harm. Most people are unaware of this dynamic until they come under teaching that brings it to light. This is one category of curses." (80).
Linda and I began to discuss and reflect on the implications of this throughout our past lives. We give great plausibility to this spiritual teaching. We began to consider all the times in our lives when we had spoken negatively of family members, children, friends, or just anyone with whom we had come in contact. It was quite sobering indeed to recognize the possible harm we had done to others much less the spiritual failure we had committed ourselves. If we belief Scripture, and especially the words of Jesus, which are these in Matthew, and we do, it will indeed be a part of our future judgment. We do not know how we can undo ill effects of our past careless words, but we are cognizant from here forward of this truth. We requested forgiveness for those past words and requested God in the Name of Jesus to break any past or ongoing negative impacts in those lives.
Not to make light of all this, but we did have a laugh when jointly we said, "This spiritual truth has ruined our day." But, it will not again. Now we know better!
Here's another song written and sung by Andraé Crouch that speaks volumes to where most of us are or have been in our walk with Jesus. It is entitled, "Through It All."
Like Andraé, we, too, can learn to put our complete and unreserved trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for our lives and destiny. He is a wonderful Savior, Lord, Redeemer, Healer, Restorer, and Reconciler and He can meet every need in your life and in mine. When we learn the secret of offering our gratitude to God for all of His promises and provisions we will establish through God's grace an atmosphere of praise and worship where He will dwell with us in the temple of our hearts. God will release us of all of our fears and worries. It is there that we, like Peter, can cast or roll over on Jesus all of our cares.
To see and hear Andraé Crouch sing this Gospel Song he wrote you may Click Here.
In this YouTube video Andraé Crouch sings "Through It All" at a Billy Graham crusade in New Mexico in 1975. You will enjoy his tremendous testimony of his life in Jesus Christ, and about his father who prayed God would give him the gift and ministry in music. What a beautiful and wonderful testimony.
Now, here are the lyrics to "Through it All":
"Through It All"
(written by Andrae Crouch)
(recorded by Andrae Crouch & The Disciples)
I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
there's been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consulation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.
I've been to lots of places,
I've seen a lot of faces,
there's been times I felt so all alone.
But in my lonely hours,
yes, those precious lonely hours,
Jesus lets me know that I was His own
I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I'd never had a problem,
I wouldn't know God could solve them,
I'd never know what faith in God could do.
One of the greatest songs that was written in recent years entitled "My Tribute" or "To God Be The Glory" was composed by Andraé Crouch.
To listen to Andraé singing this beautiful song you may Click Here on this hyperlink I have prepared for you.
When the new headquarters buildings were dedicated after being renovated in 1974, Bishop J. Floyd Williams had this great song sung. I was there. Minchew Auditorium was filled to capacity. I remember standing at the wall on the right side of this beautiful auditorium. This song is often played in my mind and heart and I can envision being back there that particular day. Little did I know that a year later, I would resign my commission as a regular Air Force officer and chaplain to move my family to Oklahoma City to be the third president of Southwestern College, now Southwestern Christian University, to succeed Dr. W. R. Corvin. I give God the Glory for all He has done for my family and for Southwestern Christian University and the IPHC.
I hope this song will bless you as it has me and continues to bless me when I sing it, or hear others sing it.
You may read the lyrics of this great Gospel song as you listen to Andraé Crouch sing "To God Be the Glory":
How can I say thanks
for the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved,
yet You gave to prove Your love for me;
the voices of a million angels
could not express my gratitude.
All that I am and ever hope to be,
I owe it all to Thee.
To God be the glory,
to God be the glory,
to God be the glory
for the things He has done.
With His blood He has saved me,
with His power He has raised me;
to God be the glory
for the things He has done.
Just let me live my life,
let it pleasing, Lord to Thee,
and if I gain any praise,
let it go to Calvary.
This morning I spent some time in reading Psalm 65. Let me share a portion of it with you:
11 You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
12 They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.
Abundance is everywhere, if we will endeavor to look and see by faith what God has in store for us.
God opened the eyes if the psalmist, no doubt King David, to see the abundance God had provided all around him. I remember reading that the prophet Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant to see the invisible Army of angels God dispatched to protect him and his servant from the Assyrian Army.
Today, you may be wondering how you are going to pay your monthly bills or how you will ever get out of debt. You may have other extenuated circumstances that seem overwhelming and there seems to be no solution. God wants you to look to Jesus for the answer to your problem, Through it all you can completely depend upon the Lord. Place your trust in Jesus today.
You, too, can shout for joy and sing a new song about the victory God has given you.
"Remembering J. B. Williams, the father of the Late Bishop J. Floyd Williams" --written by Karen Lucas, Archivist of the North Carolina Conference
One of the most interesting stories of the IPHC comes from the North Carolina Conference and is of the life of Jacob Benjamin Williams. He was better known as J. B. or just “Jake,” and was the father of the late Bishop J. Floyd Williams. Unfortunately, Jake died when J. Floyd was just a toddler but his influence and talent, especially for preaching, lived on in his son. That is partly why some of the old timers held J. Floyd Williams in such high esteem and were pleased to see him rise through the ranks of leadership. They remembered his father as almost a legend.
Jake Williams was born October 17, 1886 to John Rhoderick Williams, Sr. and Tarley Ann Tyson Williams. He was the sixth of eight children. His parents were Baptists and his father was a Baptist preacher. Jake remembers that his father prayed for two of his sons to be preachers. When Jake was only seven years old, his mother died. Fourteen months later, his father also died, leaving all the children orphaned. While on their death beds, both parents asked their children to meet them in heaven. Some of the oldest children took in some of the youngest children to raise and the others were raised by other family members. Jake did not get along well. He was shuffled from home to home and was told he was the meanest boy in the family. In his autobiography, titled, “The Life and Way to Heaven” Jake recounted a bleak childhood. After the death of his parents, he felt he no longer had any one to pity him or love him. He remembers working hard for the men he lived with but only received one pair of shoes each year just before Christmas. Many cold frosty nights, he spent on the ground.
At twelve years old, Jake hired himself out to a wealthy old man for three dollars a month. During that time, the conditions were so discouraging for him, that he often considered taking his own life. After eight months, he left and went from home to home and soon took up gambling. During these years, he would work during the summer and save up enough money to pay for board to go to school in the winter. He tried his hand at various occupations, working for a farmer, a fisherman, a carpenter, a merchant, a brick mason, a butcher, a book keeper and finally a preacher. It was when he met the preacher, that he also met the woman that would become his wife. At 18, he was married, his life improved. Two years later, he took a walk in the woods and sensed the Spirit of God meet him to say he was coming for the last time. Jake recalled, “Then I fell on my knees and surrendered with tears running down my cheeks.” Afterwards, he prayed and fasted for ten days, recalling every mean thing he had done in his life. He felt that either Jesus had changed him completely or that the world itself had drastically changed.
One week after Jake was saved, he was sanctified. On the following Thursday, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and on Friday, he came home and invited all of his neighbors to a prayer meeting at his house. No one around there had ever done anything like that before and they didn’t quite know how to handle it. The neighbors asked him who would preach and so he told them to come and see. Jake remembered, “I opened my Bible to preach that night at about eight o’clock. I never knew what I said, but I preached all night. The services went on until Sunday P.M. I do not know how many were saved and sanctified, but there were seventeen that received the Holy Ghost.” What an intense start to ministry. No wonder he is so legendary.
Similarly, on his death bed, he sat up and began to preach, blind and with no Bible. For four hours he preached, turning the pages of an imaginary Bible and led everyone present through the 5 cardinal doctrines. He passed away soon after.
[Editor's Comment: Dr. Vinson Synan called my attention to a great find in the Archives Department in North Carolina by Karen Lucas. Dr. Synan wrote, "J. B. Williams first and last sermons were legendary. Give Karen Lucas credit. She is the excellent Archivist of the NC Conference." Karen is engaged in a master's degree program at Campbell University. She is to be commended for making the time to write this great historic article about J. B. Williams, the father of the late Bishop J. Floyd Williams, a former General Superintendent of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. I had the privilege to get to know Bishop J.Floyd Williams when I was president of Southwestern College, now Southwestern Christian University. After he left the office of general superintendent we remained friends when he moved back to North Carolina.. Every year at Harvest Train we would meet and dine together for the Thanksgiving Luncheon provided by Falcon Children's' Home.
Bishop J. Floyd Williams' father, J. B. Williams was born October 17, 1886, and my father, Hugh Henry Morgan was born December 12, 1884 in Denison, TX. Six years later Dwight David Eisenhower was born October 14, 1890, and died at the age of 78. My father lived to be 94. In the providence of God I became my father's pastor when I was called to be the senior pastor of Good Shepherd Pentecostal Holiness in Birmingham, AL, formerly the First Pentecostal Holiness Church. That happened soon after I resigned as president of Southwestern College. I was present when my father died of pneumonia in a hospital in Birmingham.
Bishop J. Floyd Williams was an orator, and a great preacher. He was brilliant. I believe he had a photographic memory. He was superb in presiding over General Conferences. I remember how he loved great choirs. He invited Lonnie Rex to lead the great General Conference choirs and orchestras; and Karl Bunkley invited Lonnie Rex to lead the choir and orchestra for our General Sunday School Conventions. We sang what our people wanted--the Great Hymns and Gospel Songs we love to sing.]
A friend was in front of me coming out of church one Easter morning, and the pastor was standing at the door as he always is to greet the people and shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside.
The pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"
My friend replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."
The pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"
He whispered back, "I'm in the Secret Service."
[Editor's comment: May I encourage you to read this anointed, heaven sent message that God has given to Leroy Baker for the reading audience of Hugh's News. You will sense that, like the two disciples walking toward the Village of Emmaus, that Jesus, Himself, has joined us in the journey, and is revealing important things about Himself and the plan of salvation for all mankind. It is amazing how Jesus, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, has led Brother Baker to give us each Scripture in an amazing order, and laid out and organized for our spiritual benefit and understanding. Read this message with joy and understanding. You will be blessed. You are now approaching holy ground that will touch your life dramatically and for all eternity. You will be challenged to make a decision for Christ that will effect your destiny.]
Title: "Take up the Cross and follow Me"
Text: Matthew 10:38 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”
Luke 13:29 “And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto Him, Get Thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill Thee.
32 And He said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
33 Nevertheless I must walk today, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”
Here we see the knowledge of Christ in full control of coming events. Jesus now frames, with eternity, a picture that Michelangelo tried to hang in the arches of the chapel in Rome. Here our Lord informs eternity, I have come to gather all who will believe under My covering and restoration. Jesus releases the open call to whosoever will, “Come unto Me” “Take up the Cross and follow Me.” Jesus sends the message “Go and tell that fox, I cast out devils, do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” On an Old rugged Cross I will be perfected. My friends will take Me down from that bloody Cross, smitten of God, bruised, wounded, and dead.
Isaiah 53:4 “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Unafraid and unashamed, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, men of renown, lawyers and leaders of the Sanhedrin, besought Pilate for My torn body. They embraced Me, openly carried Me, lovingly wrapped Me, and tenderly laid Me in a new tomb to rest there in sweet spices.
John 19:38 “And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid.”
I will leave my Body There and go underground on a Preaching mission, into the dust like the first Adam. As the last Adam I will go, like millions before Me, and find my place in Abraham’s Bosom, Paradise, Hades, the place of the departed righteous. I will finish the sermon I started on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:-25). I will preach to the spirits in prison the message of Redemption, Restoration and Reconciliation. I will stand up in my Father’s image and deliver the Word of Grace and Faith to all who will receive and believe.
1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”
I will lead Captivity Captive, Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”;
I will prophecy to the Gates of hell, Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
As Samson carried the gates of the city on his shoulders to the hills of Hebron, Judges 16:3 “And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.”
I will carry the Gates of hell to Mount Moriah in the shape of a Cross.
I will lead My Train Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.”
Through the streets of the Holy City en route to My Father’s House
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
The Presence and Power of Resurrection will touch the city, as the power of resurrection in the bones of Elisha revived the dead, 2 Kings 13:21 “And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.”
Many of the Dead will rise up and walk the streets of Jerusalem and be seen by loved ones in Revelation power. Matthew 27:51 “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
I will take the throttle of this restoration Train and carry captives from the Dust, through the tomb, through the garden, through the Eastern Gate,
and into the Sides of the North. Psalm 48:2 “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”
The theme song of this congregation could be “This Train is bound for Glory!” I will take the helm of this “Old Gospel Ship” and will fill the sails with the Wind and Power of My Spirit to Sail through “Troublesome Waters” into “Souls Harbor,” safe forevermore. I will return to walk on the road to Emmaus to warm and comfort the hearts of some dear friends. I will meet and show Myself alive to My amazed disciples, including Thomas. I will go fishing with Peter, John, and others. I will set around the camp fire and have breakfast on the shores of Galilee. I will teach these disciples for forty days, lessons of love and ministry. I will lead these faithful ones back to our place of prayer on the Mount of Olives. I will bless them once again, bid them farewell, and leave them with special words of encouragement, blessing, hope, special instructions, and a Great Promise.
Act 1:4 “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Luke 24:45 “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures,”
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
49 And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50 And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up his hands, and blessed them.”
Acts 1:9 “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:52 “And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.”
Revelation 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 22:20 “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Bishop Leon O. Stewart, former General Superintendent of the IPHC, Is Recovering from Emergency Abdominal Surgery
On Sunday, March 13, I suffered severe stomach pain. Donna got me to the ER at the Atmore Community Hospital where I was admitted. In the next two or three days tests were run and two doctors were consulted about what to do. They discovered the small intestine had been twisted and caused an obstruction of the bowel. The doctors were concerned about how an 86-year-old man could tolerate surgery. Late Tuesday afternoon they decided there was no other option but surgery. I later learned from the doctors that it was a life or death situation. One doctor said that if they had not operated I would have died a slow, painful death. The other gave me one to two days to live. They did the surgery and I came out okay.
In the experience I felt that I waded down to the Jordan River. I expected to cross over and hear Andre Crouch sing, "To God Be The Glory."
But God in His providence decided I was not ready to cross Jordan. Therefore, I traveled back to the land of the living and now I can listen to Wiley Clark sing, "When He Was On The Cross, I was On His Mind."
I am involved in several weeks of recovery. I would appreciate it if you would mention me in your prayers.
I love you a lot.
Hugh: Hope you are doing well with your pacemaker.
[Editor's Comment: Just a soon as I got this email, dictated to Miss Donna, and composed on the computer keyboard, I called their home in Atmore, Alabama. I talked with Miss Donna, Bishop Stewart's wife. Bishop Stewart is not taking phone calls at present. He is very weak and Miss Donna is his spokesman or should I say, Spokeswoman?
I ask you to join me and a multitude of IPHC folks and friends of our denomination to lift up our former Bishop Leon O. Stewart in prayer for his complete and full healing.
We believe that all healing is of God. The Church’s healing ministry in no way detracts from the gifts God gives through medicine and surgery. It is no substitute for either medicine or the proper care of one’s health. Rather, it adds to our total resources for wholeness.
Let me share one Scripture verse on healing from the Bible: 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24, “May God Himself, the God Who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One Who called you is completely dependable. If He said it. He will do it! (The Message, Eugene H. Peterson).
You may wish to send a card or letter of encouragement to Bishop Stewart. Miss Donna needs our prayers as well. We all face crises in our lives with accompanying anxiety and stress. Therefore, we need to pray one for another.
Here is the mailing address:
Bishop and Mrs. Leon O. Stewart
1112 Fridge Drive
Atmore, AL 36502
Let us show our love for our former leaders who have served us well.]
"The Eyes of Jesus"
By IPHC Missionary Russell Board
Continental Director, Asia/Pacific Region
Where turn the eyes of Jesus as He hangs upon the cross?
They turn to me as if to implicate me in His loss.
He stares into my eyes, then deeper still into my soul;
Voracious selfishness has made it into a black hole.
He knows full well the turbulent iniquity within;
He bears the burden of my guilt, He slumps beneath my sin.
My eyes recoil at Jesus there impaled upon the tree;
But how can I not look at Him Whose eyes are turned to me?
The ugliness of sin disfigures Jesus head to toe;
Excruciating pain extorts a labored gasp of woe.
Disgrace and shame and brutal wounds provoke my tears to fall;
Yet beauty indescribable somehow adorns it all.
His eyes do not accuse, in fact they shine with holy grace,
Not wrath but deep compassion is displayed upon His face.
I take the blame, His eyes convey, and this will be enough
For you and me forever to live in the bonds of love.
My death is swallowed up in His, His life flows into mine,
As I partake of broken bread and sip the sacred wine.
Easter Message, "Go and Tell," by the Rev. Mr. John Parker, a retired Missionary and a Senior Statesman of the IPHC
This message, "Go and Tell," was written by John Parker when he and Edna resided in Dunn, NC. It has been published in Hugh's News in previous Easter editions. I wanted you to be able to read it again as we celebrate Easter Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the dead that glorious morning according to the Scriptures.
This command, given by Jesus on the morning of His resurrection, is recorded in both Matthew 28:7 and Mark 16:7. The command includes both an activity and a reason for that activity. In Matthew 28:28-30, the command is reinforced while in Mark 16:15, it is emphasized again. Thus we have not only the activity but also the message that accompanies it. The followers of Jesus are to spread themselves abroad upon the earth and proclaim the message that God has raised Jesus, His Son, from the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus as a single event, however, has little value in itself. To have value and meaning, it must appear in conjunction with its divine antecedents, that is, the laying down of Jesus’ life on the cross for the making of atonement, the satisfaction of God’s judgment against sin, and the fulfilling of God’s redemptive purpose for mankind.
It was the perfect work of Christ on the Cross that made possible His rising again from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection was the glorious affirmation and the divine authentication that God was fully satisfied with the work of His Son. On the day of Pentecost, Peter declared that “God raised Him up again putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24, NAS). Jesus had to rise again because of (1) the perfection of His life in holy obedience to the Father, (2) the surrender of Himself as a full-payment sacrifice for sin, and (3) the perfection of His victory over Satan and the kingdom of darkness.
The Scriptures are replete in their assertion that only on the Cross did Jesus suffer for our sins. The classic chapter in Isaiah 53 is a dark and awesome portrayal of what happened on the Cross—the grief, the sorrow, the striking, the smiting, the afflicting, the piercing, the crushing, as well as God’s abandonment of His Son. Wave after wave of God’s divine wrath swept over Him as He accepted with no resistance all the punishment and torture that man’s sin and rebellion has accrued through all time. Genesis 3:15 declares that in the midst of the agony, the Serpent’s head would be crushed, as indeed it was. The disarming of “rulers and authorities,” and “making a public display of them . . . “ was done on the Cross (Colossians 2:15). Beyond the Cross, there was no further conflict or suffering on the part of God’s chosen Lamb. When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” the struggle was over and the victory was assured. All the spiritual beings of the world of light as well as those of the world of darkness knew the issue was settled once and for all. Most of all, Satan knew it was over. His crushed head left him in no disposition to celebrate high carnival with his stunned followers because the Son of God had died. On the contrary, Satan understood all too well the implications of that dying. In total defeat, he retreated deeper still into the shrouds of darkness that inevitably surround him. On the other hand, Christ, the Triumphant Victor, commended His spirit into the loving hands of an adoring Father, and descended into Paradise where the spirits of the righteous dead were retained. For three days, all of this glory, triumph, and victory were hidden from the eyes of mortal man. Even the closest followers of Jesus went into mourning, losing temporarily their faith, but not their love for Jesus.
On the third day God raised Jesus from the dead, an act that was stamped with marvelous majesty and overwhelming power. Paul described it in Ephesians 1:19 as being “. . . in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.” G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “Simply to read this is to feel the irresistible throb of omnipotence.” In raising Jesus from the dead, God rejected every man-made system of salvation and every false culture of cynicism and indifference, as well as every political force of arrogance and assumed authority. He has “seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named . . .” (Ephesians 1:20-21, NAS).
In light of these verities, where are we to go and what are we to tell? For go we must and tell we must. Jesus made it clear in Acts 1:8 that we are to go to all peoples, even to the remotest parts of the earth. There will be no ocean too wide, no mountain too steep, no jungle too dense, no city too big, no desert too dry, no climate too cold or hot, and no circumstance too difficult or unpleasant.
On the day of Pentecost, God forged an army of intrepid soldiers, filled with the fire and power of the Holy Spirit, and set them in motion. They are still on the move.
What are we to tell? In Mark 1:15, it is the gospel. In Luke 24:47, it is that repentance and the forgiveness of sins, be preached to all nations. In Matthew 28:18-19, it is the making of disciples of all nations. In Acts 4:10, it is the Name of Jesus Who was crucified, but Whom God raised from the dead. In Acts 16:31, it is to believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved. The crucified, resurrected, and ascended Christ is our message, the center of the center. It is He Who brings salvation, deliverance from the power of sin, and the bright hope of living forever in His glorious presence. May His joy and peace also be ours.
[Editor's Note: John Parker is a retired seasoned missionary of the IPHC, as well as a senior statesman of the church. He is a world-class traveler and has been to 50 countries, and ministered in 35 countries. He has landed and taken off in 197 airports around the world. He says that God has used him to be a church planter, and he has been blessed to go back years later and see the harvest God has given through other missionaries. He and Edna served in Costa Rica for 23 years. They have served in Chili, Europe and the Middle East, as well as in Hong Kong and Asia as an overseas missionary coordinator and supervisor of missionaries. In addition, John served for four years as the director of Christian Ministries at Southwestern College in Oklahoma City. In June, John will turn 89 years of age. He taught an adult Sunday school class at Northwood Temple in Fayetteville, NC, for a number of years.
John and Edna, the love of his life, have moved from Dunn, NC, to Oklahoma City to be near their son, David and his wife, Irvina. If you so desire, you may write them at:
John and Edna Parker
7613 NW 113 Place
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73162
Let us pray for John and Edna as they grow older together.]