Sunday, May 23, 2010

PENTECOST SUNDAY/CHURCH IN THE NOW 25th ANNIVERSARY/ACTS IN THE NOW, CHAPTER 2, VERSES 1-13


Church In The Now (then Word of Faith Assembly of God) had its premier service on Pentecost Sunday, 1985, which fell that year on May 26. 54 people, responding to an ad in the paper and some door to door canvassing, met in a little storefront on Royal Drive, and began a ministry based on Psalms 2:8, which in the KJV says: "Ask of Me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."

Fast forward a quarter of a century, three locations, four buildings (and building programs and renovations and property expansions later), and it's 2010. The future is now! God has been good, and as the classic gospel songs says, "We've come this far by faith". This year Pentecost falls on Sunday, the 23rd*, and on that day we will celebrate CITN's Silver Jubilee!

Joining in the celebration with us will be...















...Pastors and Grammy and Dove Award winning artists,
Dony and Reba Rambo-McGuire...
















...Country star and Dove Award winning artist, Ty Herndon...


















...Recording artist, Daniel Kirkley...





















...Stellar Award winning artist, Ted Winn...

...and many others, including Bishop Tom Smith, Senator Ronald Ramsey, and Senator Hank Johnson. There will be an afternoon of outside fun for the whole family immediately following the service, including a BBQ picnic, a concert on the lake, and moonwalks, games, and other kid stuff all over the CITN campus. The entire community is invited...

The first sermon I ever preached here was out of Acts 2, and here I am all these years later working on the Acts In The Now paraphrase...and I'm just up to Chapter 2. The timing couldn't be better! Here's what I have so far:
























Acts In The Now 2:1-13

1. For well over a week this group stayed in the Upper Room, praying and communing…connecting…basically, just waiting for whatever, as Jesus had instructed them. Day after day, for hours on end, they had been in the same flow…the same mindset…the same hopeful expectation. So by the time the day of Pentecost finally rolled around, they were all together…all together in one place, physically…all together in one place, mentally…all together in one place, spiritually.

2. Then, suddenly, without warning, a thunderous, earthshaking sound like the blast of a violent windstorm burst out of the heavenly realm, and permeated the entire building where they were meeting.

3. And they began to see a manifestation of fire hovering above their heads, which eventually separated into individual flames. Each of these flames somehow resembled a human tongue, and these “tongues of fire” came to rest on each of them.

4. Every last one in the place was filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled him or her.

5. Now there were staying in Jerusalem devout Jews, pilgrims from literally every nation in the known world.

6. And when they heard this sonic boom send shock waves through the entire city, a huge crowd of them came together in excited confusion to see what was going on. They traced the sound to the Upper Room, and when they arrived there they became even more disoriented because each one heard their own language simultaneously being spoken.

7. Utterly amazed, they said "Hey…aren't all these who are speaking Galileans?!

8. How is it possible that each of us hears them fluently speaking in our native language?

9. Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

10. Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome

11. (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs…we hear them declaring nothing but the wonders of God…describing His wonderful works and mercy to all…and we hear and understand what they are saying in our own tongues!"

12. Utterly perplexed, they tried to rationalize what it was that they were seeing and hearing, asking one another, "What on earth does this mean?"

13. Some, however, unable to comprehend or accept this phenomenon, simply made fun of them, attacking what they didn’t understand by saying, "Ahhh…this is nothing but a bunch of drunks acting crazy."




*CITN begins streaming all services live on the internet again this Sunday (www.churchinthenow.org)...

28 comments:

Teezy313 said...

LOVE IT!!

Anonymous said...

Then suddenly!!! Love the synenergy. Acts in the now.

Something big will happen this day. I feel it coming.

SCRIBE said...

And let the people say HALLELUJAH !!!! All praises to God, receiving blessing, glory, honor, and power FOREVER. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Loving the paraphrase, Bish! (lots to do before tomorrow's celebration - hey beloved Universe!) so, I just want to laugh out loud about v.12.

"What on earth does this mean?"

What if... everyone in attendance really got hold of the Lord's prayer?

... on earth, as it is in heaven...

Anonymous said...

Okay then Bishop, That Song finds it part in CITN, "you said", "Ask and you will recieve". The first time i heard it while attending service at CITN, i could not stop shedding tears of Joy. I am Glad that you've love the song.

My prayer is that you sing that song again tomorrow, it has memories associated with you and CITN.

God bless you all making it to happen.

Ben Nadiope.

River said...

Ya Buddy Ready For One GREAT Experience.

Anonymous said...

Jet Pastolero said...

HAPpY 25th AnNiversary CITN !!!
GOD BLESS....

Anonymous said...

John W. Brumlow said...

You have come a long way friend. These past fifteen years have been the best of my spiritual journey. It will be my joy to see this ministry of the good news continue forward.

Anonymous said...

Linda Luke said...

HAPPY 25th CITN Anniversary Bish!!! Blessings

Anonymous said...

Brent Young said...

happy anniversary. love you bro.

Anonymous said...

Elijah Valley said...

Happy 25th Anniversary Bishop!

Anonymous said...

LeBronn Carter said...

Proverbs 25:25 As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country... Happy 25th... Love you Bishop

Anonymous said...

Christina Danielle Swilley-Hickel said...

Wish we were there-really do, we'll be streaming...

Erik said...

from the post --

11. (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs…we hear them declaring nothing but the wonders of God…describing His wonderful works and mercy to all…and we hear and understand what they are saying in our own tongues!"

12. Utterly perplexed, they tried to rationalize what it was that they were seeing and hearing, asking one another, "What on earth does this mean?"

-----

hearing the wonders of God declared and God's wonderful works and mercy to ALL, in each their own understanding. 'What does this mean?".

- It means CITN, each understands and hears in their own spiritual paradigm the wonders and love of God, the beauty of existence, and the ever present Spirit in each face we see.

25 years of declaring the wonders of God and God's Love for ALL. Well done.

The last 10 years here has been part of the gift God told me of years ago. It is one of my most favorite.

This is part of what the Universe has called out, and many of us have echoed. Thank you Bishop, Pastor Debye, and CITN staff for hearing this and manifesting it.

I thank God all the time for the favor to be here.

The King's Cup said...

Happy Anniversary!!! So good to see you will be streaming the services once more!! You have been sorely MISSED!!!

Avatar said...

Celebration Day is here...Happy Anniversary, Bishop and CITN!(Just 25 more to gold (smile)...

Anon 5-22@10:24...amen...what if, indeed...and even better to see it in our time on earth...

...which leads me to V.1... Each time I’ve read these verses I’ve wondered at the miracle that it must have been to maintain unity for over a week, especially with a group that could have been clueless...until I stopped on "the same hopeful expectation". What a cool key to understanding long-lasting unity.

I’m enjoying the help imagining what it was like for the participants at Pentecost, too. Till now, I haven’t had a coherent picture (much less satisfying one) of how this might have looked...and the “sonic boom”! Well, of course a huge crowd would have come running to see that. I've been near the boom of a lightning strike and its almost impossible to keep from going to look for the source.

Amen, Erik...thanking God for the favor to be here...for such a time as this.

Anonymous said...

Debra Mota said...

YAY!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tommy Smith said...

Bishop it is an honor to be a son in the Lord and to be a part of the CITN family... the greatest Church in the world. I've had the opportunity to minister in many Churches over the years and I know there are many great ministries doing great things for God but there is no place like Church In the Now.CITN is truly a REAL CHURCH with REALL PEOPLE with a REAL LOVE for the world.

I have been connected with CITN for 14 of the 25 Years and have seen the seeds sown. Church In the Now continues to feed the hungry here in the U.S and abroad, has dug fresh water wells around the world, sent so many Children to School to get an education, provided medical assistance, built homes for those in need. CITN has helped to build Churches in the Philippines, Peru, Africa and so many other places. For the last Eight the CITN family has invested so much into the people of the Philippines Islands.

Thank you for helping us to build a great school, Church and Bible Institute in the Philippines- Thanks CITN for 25 years of making the world a better place. We believe the best is yet to come for CITN. WE LOVE YOU!

Bishop Tommy and The Sanctuary Family - Ozamiz City Philippines

Not1Lost said...

Just wanted to say I am looking forward to S@@ing you all tomorrow!
Peace,
Dennis

Avatar said...

Yes, Bishop Tom!

And the day of celebration was equally excellent...so many memories to savor. One maybe not noticed: the families, resting in the shade...some napping, some playing, some clapping, some tapping feet or standing to cheer and dance...but all there for the sound...peaceful...we are who we are.

Waiting now to know when to buy air tickets for the Broadway opening of "The Story"...and to see what God has in store in the waiting.

Amen, Bishop Tom...CITN is the greatest Church in the world!

Izumi/JOY said...

Good morning beloved Universe,

Great weekend! Again, happy 25th anniversary, Bish, P. Deb & CITN.

Avatar, what I liked about v. 1 - "just waiting for whatever", is how it reminds me of the Philippians 4 whatevers. (true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy)

Love how, "...the day of Pentecost finally rolled around, they were all together..." reminds me of Mark 16:4's great stone, and John 17:23,24

V.2 reminds me of how faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. V. 3, faith has substance. Are there myriad manifestations? Flames resembling human tongues reminds me of 2 Ti.4:3; fire is symbolic of sacredness, and refining.

V.13 - one of my fav aspects of this verse is how people saw, and heard faith. Sure, they rationalized it away - "wonderful works of God, and mercy!" tcch... public intoxication.

Whatever! How could they deny the flames of fire resting on the Upper Roomians?

Izumi/JOY said...

Kinda laughing to myself. The, "suddenly, without warning" part caused me to scroll back to Chapter 1:11.

Just wondering if, at any time, an attendee nudged another with, "Hey... wait a minute... those two guys dressed in Light said He'd be back..."

Glad you mentioned the "sonic boom" in v.2, Avatar. Reminds me of the lion's shout, and voices of seven thunders in Rev. 10:3.

Karl said...

Wow...lots of good stuff here, has stirred me up and mind is whirring how to write. I've just got 5-10 min. so here goes the brainstorm of what I'm getting so far...

Acts 2:13 - ...full of new wine? well, actually yes! (the NEW WINE, the Spiritual Wine!) that was poured out into "new wineskins" now being "uncorked" as it were...being released into the earth for ALL to drink. The buildup and anticipation for its' release. You hear the "sound" or the "pop" of the air/wind.

Again, the "BEST WINE" saved for the last...the end...the last days! All the wine we've drunk before had it's importance but were also preludes to this one great quality vintage!..ahh, now that's good (look at it, smell it, taste it!)

ok, gotta go but let me throw this in the mix...
In the beginning the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters then "let there be and bam!"-life in the waters .
...compare Holy Spirit at Pentecost also hovering over the waters (peoples), and "whoosh!, again let there be", and all nations teeming with life and unity in one sea"...I have to look at Genesis for the order but I think the water was there then God said "let there be light!" At Pentecost a wonderful light that permeated the darkness came upon the waters (nations)...interesting that that which was created in the waters and flew in the heavens happened on the 5th day...and doesn't "penta" have to do with 5?

...and God saw of course what happened at Pentacost and said, I'm thinking..."it was good", that the message that you are good, or considered "righteous" is what brings life to the waters (peoples) and which is to be fruitful and multiply.

Hmm...like there was a point where the Spirit of God was all "pent" up in a way and had to "get out of the bottle (house)" in a sense and move about freely to ALL.

Cheers!

Karl said...

I think that Pentacost was supposed to read PentEcost above, with an E. oh well, think you know.

Hope everyone here has a terrific day...enjoy it fully, it will never come again...except in your memories. Make your future memories good ones...TODAY.

Avatar said...

J-oy o-ut l-oud, Izumi/JOY -- public intoxication, upper roomians...and man, your 5-25@11:16 has some points to ponder...I especially want to invest some time in "faith has substance. Are there myriad manifestations?"

Your post [tying in to Karl's] speaks in ways I cannot articulate...

Izumi/JOY said...

Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism; Cretans and Arabs -

Wow... how is that possible? That so many could fit in one Accord. Ever try hauling teenagers to the mall?

Where'd everybody go? Is this quiet time? OK... sssh... (hi Avatar, Karl, Erik...) No, that's not a mighty, rushing wind. Just need a snack. OK, for real, now. Ssh...

Northern Light said...

I've got a feeling that there will not be a better 25th Anniversary Celebration for a Church family than what was had by our CITN family !!

It was awesome !! (Yes, that word AND exclamations....I know you agree, Bish~ )

See ya at the next BIG one.....and many in between. I'm coming home as soon as HE orders ALL the steps.

Peace ~
Northern Light

Izumi/JOY said...

Tired of me posting, yet? Fine. (then, I won't ask anybody if they saw this, too. What if Acts 2, v.1 is the restoration of Genesis 11:1-9?) There, in v.2, one interpretation for the word, Shinar = "watch of him that sleeps") I love how that corresponds to v.2, here!