Hands to the plow - Fall 2000
A Note From The Pastor...
Choice greetings in the name of our most precious Savior, Jesus Christ! As always, we pray that each of you are walking in truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart before the Lord God. First, allow me to apologize for the temporary recess in the tape ministry. We were certainly delighted with the phone calls and emails from some of you asking why you had not been receiving tapes. Due to different circumstances in our local church, we were unable to operate this ministry for a season. It is our earnest desire to again consistently mail a monthly/or bi-monthly taped message to those of you on our mailing list. You now can expect to receive a tape in the mail at least bi-monthly, and if the Lord provides, perhaps monthly. Thank you for your patience.
Next, I sincerely want to thank each one of you for your prayers, phone calls, and emails concerning Brother Sonny Keaton. For those of you who have not heard, Brother Sonny went home to be with the Lord on July 3rd. Although our understanding is limited, we are unmoved from the hope of the gospel, sure of the faithfulness of the Father, confident in the Word of God, and rejoicing in Christ Jesus. Please remember to pray for the Keaton family by remembering Brenda and the children. This year has brought several major changes to our local fellowship. Since the last time we wrote, we have had two families leave to serve on the foreign field. It is with great joy that we sent these people out to accomplish the will of God in the earth, nevertheless it was a sad time as well. I guess you could say a bittersweet experience. This newsletter consist of the testimonies of these dear saints and how God brought them to this place in their lives. They are both supported financially through this ministry and we consider them to be very profitable ground to sow into. Again, we are so grateful to all of you that have continued to support this ministry through prayer and financial giving. We trust that God will reward you in your faithfulness. Thank you!
The taped message this month is entitled, Walking in the Spirit. We know that Scripture tells us that if we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Contrary to the popular theology of our day, the Apostle Paul clearly shows that we cannot simultaneously walk in the Spirit and walk in the flesh. It is one or the other and it is a matter of choice. We pray this message will both provoke and encourage you to pursue the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“A TIME TO CAST AWAY” – My Testimony
` Sis. Hilary Rouse
It is with much emotion that I seek to write of my last 3 years at CFF. On February 1, 1997, the Lord Jesus Christ opened the door for me to move to Mississippi to be a part of His work at Consuming Fire Fellowship. It is three years since then, and once again, the season is changing. On January 15, 2000, I was married to Stephen Cartwright. We moved to Madras, South India on the 29th of January to establish the School of Christ in this desperately needy land. Praise the name of Jesus, who truly leads and guides in His wonderful way!
Upon arriving in Mississippi, the Lord impressed upon my heart the importance of being planted in the local work he had brought me to. So often men and women consider church an extracurricular activity. This was not so with me. It was clearly in the heart of God for me to do whatever I could to serve in this local fellowship. It’s amazing how He reveals Himself when we take the time to search His heart. How beautifully Jesus revealed Himself to me during this season with CFF.
Perhaps one of the most significant lessons the Holy Ghost taught me during this time was in the area of ministry. As a young Christian, the desire to do a work for God can often be defiled and ultimately perverted by ambition, if not kept subject to the Word of God. I thank God for His true leadership evidenced through men at Consuming Fire. In His own perfect way, the Lord Jesus used everything in my life to bring me to the end of myself, and fulfill the ministry He had for me. I found the wilderness He had led me into to be the very thing necessary to break me. When I was 18 years old, I answered the call of God to do something for Him with my life. I didn’t (and still don’t) have a particular label for it, i.e. evangelist, teacher, etc. Over the past three years, the Holy Ghost has revealed the wonderful truth of abiding in Christ. This is true ministry; ministry to God through His Son. This is the purpose of Calvary. Hallelujah!
When my eyes were truly opened to this, a wonderful change took place in my life. It wasn’t overnight, but by and by I began to see Christ in everything. Rather than enduring my life until my “real” ministry came along, I really began to see Christ Jesus as my reward. I still had a desire to go on the mission field and do a work for God, that hadn’t changed, but I had. I became genuinely content to stay and pray and give so that others may go. At first it was so hard to watch others go and do all that their heart’s desired. The envy and pride of my own heart was thus exposed by the precious Light of the Holy Ghost. Upon repentance, He worked a deep peace in my heart and a rest in the Person of Christ to meet every need. It was at this time I received a phone call that would forever change my life. I was reading Ephesians 2:10—”For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” when the phone rang. Brother Stephen Cartwright asked me to pray about marrying him. He had already talked with Bro. Britt and Bro. Charlie and had felt since we met two years ago, that I was the one he was to marry. I, on the other hand, had been kept by the mercy of God, sweetly sleeping in this area. I had no idea Stephen was at all interested in me. He was to leave for India in two weeks for an indefinite time of service with the School Of Christ International. After three days of prayerful consideration, I answered that I did believe this was the will of God. So our courtship began. We agreed to pray and write letters while he was away, not knowing, when or if he would return.
To make a long story shorter, the Lord supernaturally opened the door to bring Stephen back to the USA in December. We set the wedding date for and watched as the Lord provided exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think. Bless His Holy Name!
As we are now married and in India, my thoughts are ever on the wonderful faithfulness of our Resurrected Lord. I thank Him for the time He has given me on His Potter’s Wheel, and trust it to be only the foundation for what lies ahead. May the Lord Jesus Christ truly receive the reward for His sufferings through this little vessel. May the blessing of Christ rest upon each heart of those in covenant with Himself. I’ll close with a poem the Lord gave me:
Content to go unseen, unheard,
Before the eyes of men,
To travel in this Way so sure,
Where my Lord has been.
Yielding now to every touch
Of the Master’s hand
Spinning, Breaking, Fashioning, In His perfect plan.
Content am I here in Thy care,
O Potter Divine.
Make me all that You see fit;
All that You’ve designed.
That one day when the time is right,
And you have need of me,
I’ll be ready for the fight,
Useful to Thee.
Editors Note: Stephen and Hilary are expecting the arrival of the first Cartwright blessing in March of next year. Please pray for them, as they do plan to have their baby in India. They have now moved to the Southern tip of India to introduce the SOC.
The Dealings of God
`Bob & Jackie Brumfield
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
Our pastor, Bro. Britt, asked me to share with you a brief testimony of how God called my wife and I to the mission field. It is my earnest desire and prayer that this testimony be a blessing to all, especially to those called to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the first day of my new birth, I knew that God had called me to preach the gospel. I did not know how, when or where, but only that I had been called of God. The call of God has probably been the most frustrating thing in my Christian life. I did not want to move ahead of God or lag behind, but rather walk in His perfect timing. For the last six years, there has been a constant drive to go, but never the peace or direction I needed from God.
In January 1999, the Holy Ghost dealt with me about my love for Jesus and for my fellow man. During the next three months the heavens were opened as I preached on the streets. Sinners and backsliders were soberly confronted in their sin against a Holy God. The liberty of the Holy Ghost was
with me each time I opened my mouth; The gospel came pouring forth with great authority. But just as swift as it began, it suddenly stopped. It seemed as if I was dead and everything I uttered was dead also. I then entered into a great trial about the call of God on my life. For the next five months nothing but death seemed to be working in me. It was during this time that God showed me that every promise in Him has to die before it can be resurrected.
In September, I listened to a tape by Pastor B.H. Clendennon. He was telling the story of how God used him and his wife to bring Pentecost to Vietnam for the first time. I spent the whole day crying out to Cod, knowing that this is what he had put in my heart.
In October, the call was resurrected. The Spirit of God began to deal with me about very specific things to pray about. As I walked in the light He had given me, I began to receive direction and equipping from God to do the work of the Lord. During this time it seemed as if God had a very specific method in preparing us. We have witnessed God answer these prayers one by one.
We will be working with Pastor Clendennon and the School Of Christ International in Brazil. On May 1, we will leave for Sao Paulo, Brazil. The tentative plan is to start the first school in June and the second one eleven weeks later, having two this year. My wife seems to be excited, but I am overcome by the sense of responsibility placed upon us.
It is our belief that one of the responsibilities of the local church is to make disciples. The church is to train and equip those called into the ministry and send them into all the world to proclaim the gospel. We have prayed this many times here at CFF and now we are seeing the answer to God’s inspired prayer.
There are several things that God worked deeply in our hearts during our time at CFF—purity, brokenness, holiness, the order of the family, the fear and love of God, contentment, a desire to be a blessing and servant to all, and submission to authority. If we had not been in a local church where the life of God is manifested, these things would have not been wrought in us. A person that will not allow the Holy Ghost to conform him to the image of Christ at the carpenter’ bench, will never possess what it takes to make it on the mission field.
My wife and I truly desire your prayers. Please pray for this gospel to be preached, Jesus to be glorified, and that mankind in Brazil will truly know and manifest Jesus Christ.
Editors Note: The Brumfields have completed their first term in Brazil and are tentatively scheduled to go back around the first of next year.