The Other Side Of The Sanctuary


On my missions trip this past summer I had some crazy experiences sharing the Gospel with those of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim cultures. My team and I would be divided up into smaller groups, usually two or three if the long term members were with us, and we would go on the streets and ask people it we could pray for them, share the Gospel with them, or even just love them in a tangible way. This was completely new to me.

One day, we were going to a Muslim temple to evangelize. My short term team was divided up with the long term team members. I specifically was placed with two ladies that were on the long term team that new the language. Before heading out, my group thought it would be a good idea to pray and ask the Lord to show us specific people to pray for and share with.  After we finished praying, we shared what the Lord spoke to us. I saw an image of a Hindu woman wearing a red shirt and someone else heard the word “green”. We moved forward and kept our eyes peeled.

As we were walking, a little boy with a paper (his birth rights), came up to us and asked for money. Instead of giving him money, we took him to get food. We sat at the table in the open shop and fed him. We took this moment to get to know him and ask if he knew about Jesus. Before leaving, he let us pray with him and then he shared his food with his friends. As we were leaving, I saw across the street a Hindu woman with a red shirt with a woman in a green shirt.

We scurried across the street to catch these ladies before they left. We came to see that they were at a shoe repairman’s booth getting shoes sewn back together. As they each finished up with the shoe repairman, we realized they were together and so we started talking with them. I, unfortunately, did not understand the language and relied on the other lady’s translation for me. We asked if they each needed prayer. The woman in the green shirt said “yes”, let us pray for her, and then left. The woman in the red shirt said “yes” and then invited us back to her home.

I was really confused at whether this was a good idea or not, but the two long term workers followed her when she started walking to her home. When we got there, it was one room, smaller than my dorm room with a bed, a couch, and a small stove and sink. There was another room with a small bathroom in it and a really tiny storage room, but we did not go back there because of her dog. She let us sit on her bed while beginning to make chia tea for us.

While she did this, the long term workers started to get to know her more. She said that her and her brother lived in the small room together. She also pulled out an old binder that had all of her resumes and cover letters in it. We learned that she was a chef and knew how to cook American and French cuisine, as well as her native Asian cuisine. We were astounded at her ability of cooking. Some of the things she had made are things in America that I have never made myself, but bought frozen and heated up in the oven… lasagna.

As we sat there getting to know her and watching her make tea, I looked around a bit. There were a lot of spiders and cob webs on the walls. There was a ton of dust; not the cleanest environment I had been in. I watched her make the tea; she took a pot that was sitting on a high shelf and dumped it in the pot on the small stove; it was milk. When she handed us the tea, I was very hesitant to drink it. I felt unclean. I felt like I was going to get sick because of how unclean it was. But then I realized she lived there each day. She drank this same tea and she was still going strong. I manned up and drank it. It was the best tea I had ever had.

We learned about her family and her life. Then, she asked us to pray for her legs. The long term workers let me pray because I couldn’t actually participate in the conversation because of language barriers. I prayed and she looked so happy that someone cared about her enough to come and enjoy tea with her and pray for her. My heart was overwhelmed with love for this complete stranger that had invited us into her home. The long term members exchanged contact information with her to keep in touch and invite her to church.

Countless times these things happened. We would ask someone if we could pray for them and they bought us tea, asked if we could meet up with them again, invited their friends over to have us pray over them as well. The list goes on and on. Why? Why were these people being so kind to foreigners that wanted to share something completely against what they believed their entire life? It was such a God thing, such a moving of the Holy Spirit.

If there’s one thing I learned, it was to be relational with people, especially when sharing the Gospel with them. I learned that it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone and drink a cup of tea that you think you might die from because of the uncleanliness in the environment. Why? Because God! Because God is good enough! He is so worthy. Because that’s what Jesus did.

There were no barriers that stopped Jesus from doing ministry no matter where He went. So why do we put up barriers? Why do we put up restrictions on where we can do ministry at? We are involved in ministries, but they most likely reside in the church. Jesus hardly ever stayed in the church to do ministry.

Why do you think this is? Personally, I believe it is because in church, the Gospel is constantly being shared. The name Jesus is said. God is worshiped. A message of the truth is shared. Communion is partaken of. What about on the other side of the sanctuary? That is, where these things aren’t taking place regularly. What about in the streets, at the mall, at the coffee shop you go to everyday to get that Americano that gets you through the day?

Church, I am preaching to myself when I say this. We cannot limit ourselves to being in the church to do ministry. We need to step up our game, put on the armor of God, and jump onto the mission field in our own backyard. There are so many that are lost and broken that we pass every day. Why don’t we stop and pray for them like we do with our church friend when we pass them between Sunday school classes? Why don’t we ask them to get coffee with us so we can get to know them like we do to the first-time visitors on Sunday mornings to make them feel more welcome?

Paul says this:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10.14-15

How can those outside the Church hear about Jesus if we stay contained in our own church bubble? Church, join me in accepting the challenge to step out of your comfort zone. Let’s be relational. Let’s get to know people like Jesus did. Let’s love them like Jesus did.

Pastor Aaron shares exactly how Jesus did this in His sermon: “Life On Mission – CONNECT”. Check out the podcast here and discover how Jesus encountered Matthew for the first time and how Paul got to know the jailer of a prison and lead his whole household to Christ!  This is how we are supposed to go about ministry, inviting other’s towards relationship.

Church, we are all missionaries in our own daily lives. The lost are all around and waiting to be told of the most beautiful love story of all, Jesus dying for us and giving us life everlasting! LIFE ON MISSION starts by connecting with people. Join me on the other side of the sanctuary for a life of mission…

Jenny Bushnell,
Writer, Blogger, College Student

October 11, 1953… The Birth of Something Great


“Never mind, it will soon blow over.” These skeptical words greeted the enthusiasm of Christ’s Ambassadors (CA) Director Ralph Harris when he recounted that Assemblies of God young people had given over $100,000 in 1945 to the new missions fund, “Speed the Light.” Not many adults believed that the youth of their churches could sustain their excitement for providing missionary transportation vehicles in far-off countries.

The idea for the fund had come to Harris only a month after taking his new post as national youth director. It was 1944 and young people were beginning to come to grips with the changes in their world following World War II. Vehicles had been hard to come by as many automobile manufacturers stopped producing civilian vehicles in favor of military vehicles.

Harris knew the youth of America could identify with those who were without transportation. Harris also knew that the war had exhibited to young people the power of vehicles being used for destructive purposes. They had watched news reels of airplanes, jeeps, and boats destroy and be destroyed. Was there a way to show the world that the same vehicles that had been used to bring desolation to a nation could also be used to bring the good news of the hope of the gospel? Could the young people of the Assemblies of God lead the way in this effort?

General Superintendent E.S. Williams offered a less-than-positive response to Harris’s idea of using offerings from CA groups to purchase airplanes and motorcycles for missions. Williams later reported that his first thoughts were, “Jesus didn’t use a motorcycle. And Paul didn’t fly a plane.”

However, while Williams was very conservative in his approach to money, he was also a man in touch with God. While Harris was still trying to sell his idea, Williams felt the Holy Spirit reminding him that Jesus and Paul might not have used those vehicles, but they likely would have if they had been available. Within an hour of approaching his boss, Harris had the approval to begin promoting his new idea.

The program needed a name so Harris offered a prize to the young person that submitted the best name. Ernestine Houston of Arizona sent in the moniker “Speed-the-Light” (STL) and was awarded $15 in Gospel Publishing House materials for coining the new name, which is still used 72 years later.

Harris set the astronomical goal of $100,000 for their first year, 1945. CA members were told that if they each gave $1 their goal could be meet. It was greeted with skepticism on the part of some leadership but the Assemblies of God youth came through with $113,375.39. Their first major purchase was a small amphibian plane for the work in Liberia. It was the first non-military plane to ever fly into that country and caused quite a stir. The Liberians were so excited to see the plane that for many years they charged no duty fees on any STL equipment brought into the country.

Appeals soon began to pour in from all over the world. Boats were needed in the Bahamas, a jeep in Costa Rica, mules were requested in Nigeria, and bicycles in Upper Volta. The Assemblies of God discovered that one missionary, properly equipped, could do the work of 10 who lacked resources. Missionaries were going farther, faster, and easier than they ever had before.

Harris knew he had to keep the challenge fresh so he proclaimed the third Sunday of October “Dollar Day” when a special offering would be sent in from each CA group totaling $1 for each young person who attended the church. The Pentecostal Evangel lent its support to the project, running articles highlighting STL on that Sunday.

One young man, Loren, was 17 when STL was born. He later testified that STL built a bridge for him to different parts of the world as he read the updates in the Evangel articles and had the opportunity to contribute to something that was larger than himself. He was learning that he could impact an entire world for the good. He later became a pastor in Nebraska who supported STL in his local church until God called him to spend 12 years in Nicaragua, using his own STL vehicle. He later served as the field director for Latin America and, in 1997, Loren Triplett retired as executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions. It started with giving $1 to Speed the Light’s Dollar Day.

Since that first year in 1945, the youth of the Assemblies of God have given $294,632,533.46 to STL, including $8,285,525.77 in 2015. The third Sunday of October is still STL Day in the Assemblies of God. J. Philip Hogan, referring to the skeptic who told Harris that this excitement in the youth would “soon blow over,” wrote on STL’s 40th anniversary in 1984, “He was right! It has blown all over the world!”

*Taken from The Pentecostal Evangel
by  RUTHIE EDGERLY OBERG on October 13, 2016

As you may or may not know, Painesville Assembly of God is partnering with the Assemblies of God Ohio Ministry Network during the month of October to provide vehicles for 9 Missionaries in waiting. To date, we have raised $2,322.00 towards our $10k goal. With just a couple weeks away from closing out our campaign, we need your help in getting us to our committed goal. Would you consider giving to Speed the Light? Would you consider giving so that those who have not yet heard the Name JESUS will have that opportunity?

You can give by texting “PAG” to 77977 or by visiting our website at: and clicking “Online Giving”. When you give, please be sure to put “STL” in the memo so all funds go to our missionaries.


Why Speed The Light?


The concept is simple: we give so others can speed the light of the gospel to a world in darkness. This is accomplished by providing the “essential transportation and creative communication” equipment for missionary evangelism. Through modern transportation, radio, television, the printed word, and equipment for mass evangelism, our missionaries can better fulfill the Great Commission.

Speed the Light (STL) provides much-needed equipment to missionaries across the nation and in over 180 countries around the world. Since its beginning, STL has raised over $253 million for missionary equipment around the world.

Speed the Light began in 1944 after Ralph Harris, then head of the National Youth Ministries department, prayed for a way to give A/G students the opportunity to help missionaries in their work. Now, by providing ministry equipment to our missionaries, STL is training the young people of America to develop individual ownership of the Great Commission as they help our missionaries spread the gospel message to the lost.

Today, Speed the Light is one of the most effective youth missions ministries in the church world. Assemblies of God students have accepted a great responsibility to voluntarily sacrifice and raise funds to purchase the equipment. STL operates with one guiding principle: All assistance must go to purchase equipment directly related to evangelism (“evangelism” is defined as propagating the gospel and instructing converts). STL equipment has not been nor is presently given for promotion, solicitation, or normal administrative functions.

If our missionaries are going to get to where the lost live, it will be because of Speed the Light. Every missionary in the Assemblies of God will at some point fly, drive, or float to their destination in transportation that has been provided to them by our churches and students through Speed the Light. Airplanes, cars, vans, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, buses, boats, horses, camels, donkeys, wheel barrows, etc., if it has wheels or hooves and can carry a missionary to a country, city, town, village, or under a card board box where someone is waiting to hear about Jesus, Speed the Light has provided it.

We give so our missionaries can travel faster, preach clearer, and be heard louder, in order that Heaven might be a bigger place…filled with people from every nationality, color, and tribe who have accepted Him as their Savior.

Partner with us as we raise $10,000 during the month of October for Speed the Light! Text “PAG” to 77977 or give online at and write “STL” in the memo for each.

The world is waiting… What will you give?

The Lord Shall Provide


This week I am excited to share about the Lord’s provision in my personal life through trusting the Lord. We all come to those times in our lives where things just seem good. We can go through our daily lives without having to worry about something other than the tasks put before us. However, the problem with things being “good” is that we forget to rely on God. We “forget” to do our daily Bible readings. We “forget” to pray.  Sometimes we even “forget” to go to church. I say “forget” in quotes because maybe we aren’t forgetting as much as we just aren’t “doing”. There’s no problem in my life so why do I need to pray, read my Bible, and go to church? Unfortunately this is a pit I fell into this past summer, but in a different way.

As many of you know, this past summer I had the opportunity to go on a mission’s trip to Nepal for three weeks. While I was there we did four hours of prayer and worship every day and God was good! Sure, I felt the awful spiritual oppression of the unreached country, but man, the Lord spoke to me in ways like never before. My spiritual high had begun!

Directly after coming home from Nepal, my team flew to Colorado for a mission’s conference.  Again, the Lord was good! I could feel His presence at all the worship services and through the messages. It was good. Life was good. I had nothing to worry about because the Lord was so good!

In the midst of this, I had received a call from my mom telling me that I had a tuition bill to pay that was $3,000 more than what I had paid the previous semester. I didn’t know what to do. I had just taken a month off of work and didn’t have the money to pay for it. I was really shaken. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.

My friend and I had this spontaneous idea of treating all of those from our area in Ohio to lunch. So we took everyone to this awesome burger joint and then just split the bill. This wasn’t a huge deal for me. I was excited to just bless the people that had poured into me. But, I had offered to pick up the tip too because I had cash. The bill came to $100.65.  I paid $50 and my friend put the rest on his card. Originally, I was going to leave $5 for a tip, but then noticing how large our bill was, I decided $20 would be better. As I pulled out the leftover cash I had from my adventurous month, I started to count how much I had left. I had about $80 left. After counting it all, I felt the Spirit telling me to leave the whole $80. I was like, what? NO. I cannot do that! Lord, you know the bill that I have to pay. I prayed that if this is what He wanted me to do that He would give me a confirmation. As you can imagine, He certainly did. So, after everyone got up, I left the tip.

We got back to where we were staying and I had a meltdown. I grabbed my tablet and found a quiet place to sit and started looking up classes and tuition rates. I planned when to take certain classes, but it just wasn’t working to where I would be able to afford tuition each semester because of the amount of credit hours I would have to take. I called my mom and vented to her and she said, “well, if you have to stay another semester to finish then so be it, but we have to do what we have to do to make it affordable”.

This was hard to hear. My plan was to graduate during a certain time frame, get my degree, work for a summer, and then find an organization to do missions with… it would be perfect. Well, I went for a walk and thought about it. I realized that my problem was that it was MY plan, not God’s plan. Maybe God wants me to stay an extra semester. After my walk, I had come to the conclusion that God was in control of the situation. That God would make a way and provide for me, just like he had done the previous semesters, and just like he had done for the whole summer.

We went back to the conference and got into small groups. In my group we were sharing about prayer requests and I asked for my new friends to pray about God’s provision for tuition. At the next session, one of the guys in my group got on stage. Once the crowd quieted down he asked where I was sitting. I waved at him and he asked if he could share what I had told our group. I wasn’t exactly sure what he was talking about because I had told my group a lot of things. But he decided that he was just going to share it anyway. He told the rest of the students (as in college students from all across America) that I was struggling to pay tuition. He then asked them to not just pray for God to provide, but to be an answer to their own prayers. He then set a hat in the back of the room and students fled to the back to put donations in the hat.

I sobbed. I couldn’t believe what was happening. At the end of the night my friend that shared came up to me and handed me an envelope. He said: “there’s about $800 in here”.  I wasn’t sure how to respond but just kept saying thank you, and thanked the Lord. I felt so blessed.

However, I knew this wasn’t enough and that I had to talk to financial aid and other various people at college. So, the next day instead of hiking, I stayed back and made some phone calls and talked to basically everyone I needed to in order to find out what to do next.

I had pretty much come to grips with the fact that I would have to take out another loan. While I was on the phone with financial aid the advisor asked me what my major was. I told her Social Work and Missions. She then asked what I wanted to do after I graduated. I told her I wanted to sell everything and buy the field. I told her I wanted to go to the 10/40 window and share the Gospel with the unreached. She then paused, and said, “I have a scholarship just for you.”  I again did not know how to respond to this. She told me I was a perfect candidate and then asked me to immediately fill out the application that she had just emailed me. The next day, I got an email with the update of my financial aid reward.

Friends, I am not telling you this story to brag about how the Lord provided for me. I am telling you so you can see my mistakes. I did not rely on the Lord when I first received the amount of my bill. I completely took matters into my own hands, knowing that God is the God that provides and has done it in my life since the day I was born. How could I have been so selfish and blind to what the Lord wanted to give me? Because I was so caught up in how good my life was to the point where I forgot about the promises of the Lord. I forgot that trusting in Him comes with the goodness I had encountered.

God had provided in the past, and He was eager to do it again! I only needed to take that step of faith and continue to believe and trust that He is the God who will provide for me! We all need to do this. We all need to recognize that we simply cannot take matters into our own hands, or we will all end up like me, in distress over an issue that’s smaller than a grain of sand to the Lord.

Church, take the next hour or so to listen to Pastor Aaron’s sermon about King Asa and how he tried to take matters into his own hands when the enemy attacked.  Don’t let the enemy have a grip on you anymore with stress, anxiety, bitterness, fear, etc. Take that step of faith and remember the Lord’s promises. Don’t fall into that pit of  “forgetting” in trusting the Lord.

Jenny Bushnell,
Writer, Blogger, College Student

Growing Pains

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I’m sure that we have all realized that life is like a roller coaster that never ends. It’s filled with loop-de-loops, twists and turns, hills to climb, and mountains to ride down. Sometimes it even feels like we are going backwards. We should know by now that, just because we are Christians, our lives are not going to be easy. Actually, let me be the first to admit that it is going to be quite difficult. But don’t let that scare you away from the love of Christ! It’s a bearable kind of difficult because Christ is our burden-bearer! It’s a difficult that only the Lord of Hosts can help us through. We are going to have our ups and we are certainly going to have our downs, but we’re not alone.

Today, we are going to focus on those downs; those times of suffering and pain, that seem to be the longest part of the roller coaster of life. Pastor Aaron has been leading us through a series in the book of 1 Peter. So far, we have learned that we are exiles in this world. We don’t belong here; this is our temporary home. We also learned that we are called to holy living. We are called to consecrate ourselves before the Lord. We are called to not let ourselves be of “the things of this world”, but to be embedded in Jesus and only Jesus. Next, which makes sense, we are going to experience suffering. Actually, we are called to suffering! Isn’t that wonderful?!? (No sarcasm is meant to be implied to the previous statement). Isn’t it just a beautiful thing to be exiles, called out to live holy lives in an unholy world, and to suffer for the glory of Jesus, the one and only who saved us?

I know you’re probably thinking: “well, that’s really not my cup of tea…” Don’t worry, it’s not mine either. No one wants to endure pain. No one wants to go through suffering. We prefer that our lives be simple, easy, and fun. How in the world does pain and suffering fit into that?!

Friends, in this world, because we are called out to live holy lives, we aren’t going to be accepted in all places. We aren’t going to be welcomed in like Jesus welcomes us into His kingdom. It’s actually going to be very hard, whether we are at work, school, sometimes home, the grocery store, or let’s just be blunt here, sometimes even church. We might be mocked, discriminated against, or persecuted for our belief in the one true God. I think of the missionaries that accept the call to take the Gospel to the darkest and hardest regions of the world, sometimes where the Gospel is illegal. Think of the suffering they endure.

But there is something significant about this suffering. It is for the name of Jesus. We don’t just allow someone to mock us for our faith “just because”, we do it for Jesus. Peter even tells us that Christ suffered for us as an example. We are told to follow in His footsteps and embrace the suffering of the cross (1 Peter 2.21). Even though Jesus was beaten, whipped, and then crucified, He still continued to trust in God and understand that it was His will.

With that being said Church, we are called to suffering just like Jesus was. We have to embrace that whatever we are going through is a part of the will of the Lord for our lives. If we suffer and endure things for the name of Jesus, He will reward us.

Maybe you go to work every day and there’s that one person that always has to make a comment about your religious beliefs because they like to get you fired up. Maybe you go to a secular school and the other students make fun of you because you chose to write your papers based on Biblical truths. Maybe you realized the relationship you were in was not of the Lord because you weren’t equally yoked and, as a result, you’re now suffering the heartache of a breakup… but it’s for the Lord. Maybe you are being challenged to die to yourself more and more every day… To pick up your Bible and actually drink in the scriptures you read each morning instead of rushing through them. Maybe you are struggling to give up buying Starbucks coffee three times a week in order to give donations to missionaries that need support.

Friends, these are growing pains! These are sufferings that we endure for the name of Jesus. Sometimes we ask ourselves, why is this so hard, why am I not getting any further, why am I suffering? It’s okay. Take a deep breath and look to the Lord. He will guide our steps through the suffering. We endure these things so that our relationship with Jesus grows further and further and deeper and deeper.

I have a friend who has been my best friend since fourth grade. As of this past August, we celebrated 10 years of friendship. Can you imagine the things we went through together? We experienced being on a worship team for the first time together, we went on our first missions trip together, we went through middle school and high school together, and we’re still friends even though we’re now at different colleges. We went through break ups and other friendships together. We went through a shooting at our high school together. We went through fights and times of trials in our friendship. But let me tell you, because we have gone through so much together, our relationship is deeper and better than I ever could have imagined.

Jesus wants to be that for each of us. He is with us every step of the way. He is with us in the growing pains. He is pushing us, with love, to strive for greatness in the midst of our suffering for Him. He’s not just sending us out in the ocean to learn how to swim and find our way back to shore. NO. He is right there beside us, coaching us, and teaching us how to do this life.

Find out more about what Peter has to say about suffering for the Lord. Pastor Aaron goes more in depth of how our suffering for the Lord is a calling on each of our lives. You can find it in the sermon series “Exiles in Hope” by clicking on this link:  Take the next hour out of your schedule to listen to this podcast and learn how you can really embrace the suffering of the cross and follow in Jesus’ footsteps.

Remember Church, Jesus is with us as we endure these growing pains, and it’s going to be worth it when it’s all said and done! Have a Blessed weekend!

Jenny Bushnell,
Writer/Blogger/College Student

Huh? You Want Me To What?!

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This past week has been a busy week for me. I moved back into my college dorm a week early to help the new freshman class move in and feel welcome. On the last night of freshman orientation, the night before classes started, our student-led worship service was held. Student-led meaning “all the band members are students and both of the speakers are students”.

After the service opened with worship, the first speaker came up. She talked about Psalm 139 and how God knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb. She put emphasis on the fact that we are all here for a reason. Psalm 139.16 says: “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them”. God wrote our days before we were even formed in our mother’s womb.

The next student speaker came up.  He spoke about Jeremiah 29.11 that states: “For I know that plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”. He talked about how God has a plan for each one of our lives. He knows that plan and it’s not going to harm us. His plan doesn’t set us up for failure, rather the complete opposite. The Lord declares that He knows the plans, even when it feels like He may not be listening or even around. The Lord wants to prosper us, not destroy us.

The speaker then said something that really stuck with me. We have heard both of these passages of scripture more than most. We have heard countless messages on them, been to VBS programs based on them, and could recite them back to anyone. We know the words that were written on the pages by the Psalmist David and the prophet Jeremiah. But are we really being obedient and walking in these truths? Do we really live as though we believe there is a higher being (God) in control of our entire lives? Amidst the memorization and countless messages of these two passages of scripture, are we submitting to God, who has written our days in His book and knows the plans He has for our lives?

This is something I believe every human being struggles with. No one wants to submit to someone else leading their lives. No one wants to admit that there may be someone who knows what’s best for you, besides yourself. Look at a baby for example. Babies just want to put everything in their mouths and play with everything. So, picture a baby that is just Cordlearning to crawl and comes across an electrical cord. Having no idea what this object is, the baby takes the cord and tries to put it in his mouth. Immediately, the baby’s mom grabs the cord out of the baby’s hand. The baby isn’t too happy about that and begins wailing because he wants the dangerous electrical cord back. He thinks that putting it in his mouth will satisfy him, but mom knows best in that he cannot play with such a thing, even if it means her son has to suffer as a result.

We are just like the baby. We are afraid to submit to the authority of God (and those God has placed in authority over us) because we are scared they may mess up our plan. We are scared that they may take away that one thing that we think is best for us to have, when in all actuality it is very dangerous.

When people are placed in authority over us (by God), we sometimes doubt their leadership. We sometimes think, “how can they be any better at that position than us?” or “there’s no way I’m going to listen to them, they have no idea what they are doing let alone knowing what’s best for me”. We let our own selfish ambitions, the jealousy of a co-worker getting a raise and promotion, take over. We lose complete respect for them, and in turn, we lose our reverence and fear for the Lord because He is the one that put them in authority over us in the first place. We are too busy reacting, rather than responding appropriately, to see that the Lord has a plan for our lives too! Just like He has a plan for the person He promoted and put in authority over us. All too often, we are so wrapped up in ourselves that we can’t recognize that it was GOD who placed them in authority over us. As a result, when we decide we’re not going to obey them because of jealousy, we are in actuality disobeying the Lord. When we disrespect our authority figure(s), we are disrespecting the Lord. We are saying: “God, you really have no idea what you are doing putting them in such an authoritative position! I can’t believe you would do this!”

Church, as we are called to higher standards and holy living while here on the Earth, we are also called to respect and obey those that God has placed in authority over us. 1 Peter 2.13-14 states: “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good”. We are commanded to obey those God has placed over us. It is a hard thing to do sometimes because of our human nature, but with the strength of the Lord, all things are possible.

Pastor Aaron shared a powerful message about Peter’s words in 1 Peter 2 just this past Sunday! You definitely want to check out what he had to say about submission to authority.

Do you need to learn to submit to those God has placed over you? Listen to the podcast for our current series at PAG, “Exiles in Hope,” to hear a more in depth teaching about submitting to the authorities God has placed over you. Friends, join me in honoring those over us. Next time you hear someone bashing an authoritative figure, skip out on joining in the conversation and instead set the example by helping them recognize that God has placed them there for a reason.

Jenny Bushnell
Writer, Blogger, College Student

The Glory of God

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These past few weeks we have talked about living a Holy life and what that looks like as we apply it to our lives. As Pastor Aaron continues through the book of 1 Peter in our series, “Exiles in Hope,” we are presented with the two greatest issues of the Bible. Two BIG points that we may have missed in Sunday school as a child. Two important pieces of the “bigger picture-puzzle” Jesus was putting together before our very eyes. Without these two key elements, we basically miss the whole point of the Gospel.

First, is the salvation of the soul. You may be thinking, “well, I was saved years ago and have been obediently going to church ever since, doing my share of serving in the church and giving to the church, so I’ve got this one down.”  But hear me out on this. Are we all really living in that Salvation we received years ago? Or are we letting the enemy get to us over and over again with sin creeping at our doors?  We spend so much time thinking about our behaviors and how we are going to make ourselves look like the Christian we ought to be, that we forget about dealing with the issues of our heart; our soul health.

We let our hearts get jealous, bitter, angry, and thus fall into sin, but on the outside we look presentable.  We look like we have our whole life planned out and like we have it all together.  No one can see what’s fighting you on the inside, and as far as you are concerned, they don’t need to see it… let alone “know” about it.  So, the best way to hide it is to hide it from yourself too and continue to focus on your outward actions so that it simply cannot be possible for anyone to know a single hint of what is going on inside.

Friends, let me tell you something, drop what you are doing and look at these problems for what they are!  Take a moment and ask the Lord to reveal your true soul to yourself.  Ask Him to allow you to see your heart as He sees your heart.  The enemy is creeping in because you are too focused on the outside, but the Lord works from the inside out!  While you are focusing on making yourself look as good as that “always-put-together mom,” there is a war going on and it’s waging for your soul!

The second issue of the Bible is the glory of God.  Why is this an issue?  Because Jesus is simply not getting His glory!  How is this so?  As ones who are called to Holy Living, ones who are consecrated for the Lord, we need to keep our behavior so excellent that we glorify God through it.  Jesus isn’t getting His glory because our behavior is not glorifying to the Lord.  I’m not just talking about us as a church here, I am talking about people all around the world.  I am talking about those that are Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.  I am talking about anyone who worships anyone/anything other than our God, the Great I Am.  I am talking about anyone who gives their time, energy, and life to something other than Jesus, our Great Savior.

Did you know that there is a portion of the world that has no idea what the Gospel is? A part of the world that has no idea that there is a God who loves them?  …So much so that He sent His one and only Son to die on the cross to wash away our sins, cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and return for us in the very near future!?  It is called the 10\40 window. The unreached people groups in this region (including America), have no idea that they can receive eternal life and love.  While we are here, jealous and letting the enemy creep in with sin in our lives, there are people who have never heard of Jesus.  Talk about Jesus not getting the gory He deserves!  He died for these people, and they have no idea who He even is!

When we allow our behavior to be transformed by the death Jesus bore on the cross and His resurrection life, we become His light.  We become the lamp in the darkest of places. Through this behavior, it opens doors to talk about the beauty of the Gospel.  How?  Because when you have the Holy Spirit within you, you are different than those who are not saved.  They will see a difference in your behavior, even if it’s something as simple as leaving a bigger tip at your favorite restaurant, saying hello to a stranger, or helping a family member.  People need to know about the salvation of their souls …and God needs the glory He deserves.

Friends, I challenge you to change your behavior.  Allow the Spirit to work through you, shaping you into the person that He has called you to be.  Stop letting ungodly behaviors rule over your life and step into the light, out of the darkness, and be the light!  Join me in this new step of faith so that Jesus may finally receive the Glory He deserves!

It’s not about being better than one another.  It’s not about being a better Christian, holding your life together, or even just having everything you desire.  It’s about God being glorified in all that we do.  Church, I tell you, let that other mom be better than you, let the world come at you with all it has, and give your desires to Jesus because like we just talked about last week, Jesus is the rock on which we stand and we will not fail when we trust in the Rock!

I encourage you to listen to this past week’s sermon from “Exiles in Hope.”  Learn more about the two greatest issues of the Bible, as well as the battle for your desires and behavior.  Ask the Spirit to show you a certain area in your heart, behavior, or desire that you need to give over to God completely.  Church, let’s be a Church that walks in out salvation with fear and trembling.  Let’s be a light in our community; letting Jesus work through us and glorified like He deserves!

Jenny Bushnell,
Writer, Blogger, College Student