Hands to the plow - Spring 2001
A Note From The Pastor...
Greetings in the mighty and holy name of Jesus. We trust this newsletter finds you abiding completely in the Lord Jesus Christ. Since our last newsletter in the Fall, our church has been very busy laboring in the kingdom of God. In November, Charlie, Bob, James and I went to minister at Auburn University with campus missionaries, John and Ellen Duncan. We had a wonderful time preaching the gospel open-air on the Auburn campus. To our surprise, we found many students rational, open, and sincerely acknowledging the truth presented to them. We also had very edifying fellowship with the Duncans and Bourgaults (another full-time campus missionary family who joined us).
In January, CFF went through the School Of Christ together as a local body. For 23 days we met 6 days a week from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm for prayer and intensive teaching from God’s Word. God worked in a marvelous way and granted each of us a spiritual refreshing. It was a marvelous way to begin the new year.
Again, in February the Duncans and Bourgaults met us here and we spent two weeks ministering open-air on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. We had very effective meetings with many sincere inquirers. This provoked us to consider ministering on the campus on a more consistent basis. At this time, we intend on visiting LSU twice a month for a day of preaching and evangelism. Those of you who live within driving distance from Baton Rouge may be interested in meeting us there in the future. We plan on making four more visits to campus this spring, however, we will not go during the summer break. Beginning in the fall semester, we will again schedule at least two visits to LSU per month. We invite each of you to contact us if you are interested in joining us for campus evangelism. Finally, we have a new website that should inspire, invigorate, or incite! Please visit us at www.consumingfirefellowship.org.
Preaching the Gospel At Louisiana State University
~Brother Charlie Kennon
What better place to preach the gospel than to America’s college students? Here we can influence the next generation of this country’s leaders…the educators, businessmen, lawyers, doctors, and politicians of the future...and the foreign students that will lead the nations of the world. The bible says,“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words… Prov. 1:20-21 This is exactly what we have been doing at LSU and what a glorious time we have had utilizing God’s method of evangelism. Many of the students have said that our biblical method is not working, but as the great apostolic evangel has said, "Let God be true and every man a liar." In holding to God's heavenly pattern for evangelism, "the foolishness of preaching", we have had the privilege to see the Word of God penetrate the hearts of brazen scoffers and mockers as their proud countenance is melted away by the truth spoken in love. We have placed the mirror of God's holy law before these students and watched as they are confronted with the horror of their true condition. We have seen jeering mobs of students arrested as the presence of God has gloriously descended, making Christ undeniably manifest. We have witnessed others broken and brought to tears. We have also watched many reject Christ and despise His goodness and mercy as the Bible foretells. But no matter the response of the world or the professing church, one thing alone validates true evangelism and that is what we seek above all else; To unashamedly present Christ in His fullness. We must remember that in our assessment of 'success' it makes no difference whether every sinner present is converted or the preacher is hung from a light pole to die. There is only one eternal concern and question which God will ask, "Was my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased presented in His fullness and glory?" And if we can say yes then we have been successful as heralds of God. The mighty Scotch evangelist William Burns was once asked, "I suppose you are going to China to convert the Chinese?" And to this statement Burns replied, "No, I am going to China to glorify God.'' And so it must be with us if we are to be steadfast and true to our primary and secondary callings, worshippers of God and witnesses unto men, never perverting this divine order. We are only commanded to go and declare, seeking to be a savor of Christ unto the Father as we fulfill our highest calling as Christians...MINISTRY UNTO GOD. And if we set our faces like flint to please God then we will by virtue of this motivating aim love men. But if we seek to please men and escape the rejection and hatred of this wicked and adulterous generation then we will be found guilty of misrepresenting God. The way of the cross has always appeared as failure to the carnal mind but to those who see it, it is precious, glorious, and most effective as well. Oh that God would give us a vision, a burden and grace to be faithful to Him and may the Lord of the harvest send forth LABORERS into the ripened fields of our nations college campuses.
Testimonials from the School of Christ in Woodville, Mississippi
I am so thankful to have had the privilege of actually going through the School of Christ. I had heard that it was truly a blessing, but now I know first hand. It was a glorious time of prayer, and the ministry of the Word of God coming forth so powerfully through Brother Clendennon. My favorite part about the school was the prayer meetings before, after and during the school. Especially, the spontaneous meetings that broke forth right after certain lessons. The Spirit of God was very evident among us. There were times of great conviction of any and all sin! Several times I sensed the dread of God upon me. I saw how awful I truly was apart from Jesus. God's presence was so intense at times that all I could do was shutter at my own awfulness. Oh how God broke me afresh during the school! Things are so clear in the light of his presence. I know that there is a famine in the land of the hearing of the Word of the Lord, and this makes me all the more thankful to be so blessed to hear such a pure, powerful, penetrating, searching, exposing Word come forth through His anointed vessel. One last thing that stands out in my mind concerning the school is the reality of my place in the body. How important it is for me to be who God called me to be, and to realize that I have a special place and function that no one else can fulfill. I must seek to know God and His specific will for me in His Body. There could be no higher calling than to simply do the will of God for my life.
~Bro. James Van Valkenburg
I am so appreciative that our pastor made the SOC available to our church. It was a tremendous experience for our entire corporate body. There was great expectancy among us.
Personally, it was wonderful to set aside time to lock in with God and to sit under sound teaching. Much of the teaching was a confirmation of things the Holy Ghost was already doing in my heart. A brief summary of what I gleaned would be that I need to pray more, I need to be more broken, I need to be more burdened for the lost, and I absolutely need to be led of the Holy Ghost. The first point really takes care of everything else. Prayer is the key to everything, and I never want to lose sight of that. The School has also added to my growing desire to see and experience true Pentecost. I don't want to just be labeled Pentecostal--I want to "be" Pentecostal! To God be the glory!
~Sis. Brenda Keaton
The School of Christ was presented to me at a perfect time in my life. I believe it was God’s providential hand at work for me. I desperately needed an understanding of the foundational principles of Christianity. Although I was blessed with a Christian upbringing, somewhere along the line the devil stole the light from me and I didn’t even know. My life was in utter turmoil! I called myself a born-again Christian and truly believed it, yet I didn’t have that daily relationship, that true, real relationship with God. I was deceived. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
Circumstances were coming up in my life and I was unable to discern the will of God. I thought God was in control of my life, but my life was on a downhill road to chaos and I had no peace of mind. God brought me to a place where I could either turn to Him or the world. Praise God, I chose Jesus and He led me to the help I needed. Shortly after I recommitted my heart to God, the School of Christ was offered. I have to say other than the great foundational truths it presented, and the knowledge of how the Holy Ghost wants to live and work through us as vessels, the most important thing it stressed to me was the fact that true Christians can not be true until they have and keep that daily communion with God through prayer and reading of God’s Word. Without that it’s impossible to live the life of a true Christian believer!
~Sis. Becky Gaharan
A Testimony from Campus Evangelist John Duncan
two weeks my wife and I had the privilege to labor with the saints at CFF.
We took turns preaching at LSU and working the crowd. We found this a very
profitable week. We believe many students were deeply impacted and will always
remember the conversations and the preaching
they heard. I sensed the Holy presence of God in the midst of the heat of the battle several times as the brothers from CFF answered questions from students.
The meetings seemed to build up. All of a sudden there was a day filled with intense religious opposition. This was followed by what I believe to have been the best day of the two weeks. Through my observation of the saints at CFF, I came away from this time with a greater desire to demonstrate a spirit of long-suffering and patience in the face of stubborn, impatient college students. I was greatly challenged and blessed with how they showed such a great spirit in light of being treated with unreasonable objections. This has been a constant prayer request of mine, that I could manifest the same spirit Jesus and the apostles would if they were on campus. I believe through their example I am growing in this area of my life.
Thanks to all at CFF for the great week as I have so many great memories: getting shoved at the bars, seeing students weep on campus, watching Bro. Britt and Bro. Charlie take and answer questions from the crowds, Brother Bob dealing with one open individual for hours and James getting the feminists all stirred up for God's great Glory! But my favorite memory has to be preaching with my new Holy Ghost filled young friend - Micah. The fellowship, prayer and food were just wonderful. We can't wait to come back and be with our fellow laborers in Christ again. Thanks for everything!!