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THE FMI REPORT – OCTOBER 2003
In This Month's
It came without warning. My friend, whom I had been assisting for future ministry, suddenly felt faint at a wedding reception a couple of Sundays ago. He collapsed into the arms of his wife and within a few seconds had left this earth and touched God's face.
James Chaney (see below) was the Chief of Police in Seaside Heights, a very popular vacation spot at the Jersey Shore. He was just 49 years old and, after a long and distinguished career, was about to retire next month from the police force and was planning on going into full-time ministry. Part of those plans included spending time with me and learning the ropes of the traveling ministry. Jamie and I had met regularly for about four years and it was a pleasure to interact with him both from a ministry and police perspective.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Prior scheduling commitments allowed me to only be at the first viewing a few days later. Over 1200 came to the funeral home to pay their respects. The lines of people waiting to greet the family were way out the door and to the end of the expansive parking lot, and stayed that way the entire time as folks continued to come and go. At the end of the viewing, I was asked to say a few words and pray. The room was jam packed with a 'who's who' of Ocean County and beyond. Politicians, police and the whole spectrum of the local community were present. I couldn't resist it! I knew I had a rare opportunity to reach many influential people at one time, which may not come again. I also knew that is exactly what Jamie would have me do.
THE SHARP STING
I stood up and said that the man in the casket could no longer speak to us in this world, but because I knew his heart, I was going to speak for him. I told them about the unshakable assurance that he had. The knowledge that as long as he lived he would be used to extend God's Kingdom on Earth, and if he died, he would instantly be in the presence of the Lord. This enables the Christian who has this hope to live a life of victory. The greatest fear that afflicts the heart of man is the fear of death. For those who don't know Christ, death is a great unknown and the fear of the unknown is what satan uses to keep the sting sharp! But a man like Jamie, as he liked to be called, couldn't lose for winning. His relationship with Christ put him in a win/win situation.
EYES WIDE OPEN
Knowing that most present would know about God but not necessarily know Him personally, I asked everyone to close their eyes and examine their hearts. "What would happen to you if you never made it to the next heartbeat?" I asked. "I can't guarantee the next heartbeat for you, for anyone else or even myself, but this much I do know - If I don't make it to the next one, I know where I will instantly be, looking into the face of Jesus. But how about you?" I then said, "If you want to get this unshakable assurance I have been telling you about before you leave this place, then just look up at me now!" Eyes began to meet mine right across the room until nearly two thirds were looking at me. I challenged them all to get alone with God before that night was out and make their peace with Him.
I will miss my friend Jamie, but even in this loss, hundreds of others have had an opportunity to live with the same hope that he enjoyed. And the unshakable assurance we have is that our separation is only temporary. We will see him again, but not yet!
"Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)
James Chaney 1954-2003 - Acting Police Chief of the Seaside Heights Police Department, James Chaney, 49, was attending a wedding in Galloway Township, NJ, Sunday, October 12th, when he collapsed into the arms of his wife, as the newly married couple was being introduced at the reception. Officers from the Galloway Township Police Department arrived at the reception and performed CPR, but Chief Chaney was dead as soon as he collapsed. He was due to retire Dec. 1st. 'Jamie' was well known in the community for organizing and taking part in charities such as Toys for Tots. He was also a founding member of the Christian Police Officers Bible Study Group and was preparing for a career in the ministry at King of Kings Ministerial School in Manahawkin. Incoming Police Chief, Thomas Boyd said that the officers on the force recognized the leader they had in Chaney. "He was really loved," he said. "They not only loved him, they respected him." James is survived by his wife Ellen, son Bill (22) and daughter Rebecca (21). (Source: The Observer)
"Jeff - Just a point on your estimation of time to travel with 2/3 million people (comprised of all-age family members + livestock, etc.) from Egypt to Israel [see editorial FMI Report Sept 03] - From Suez to Jordan seems to be about 250 miles (400 kms) and such would take at least 2 weeks (not 4 days) - but your point is valid. I always say it took 1000 times longer through faithlessness than was necessary.... I like your prophetic perspective on the US and the church - keep up the good work. I just got my Masters and my thesis was "A discussion on the roots, development and significance of Pauline prophetism" - it stimulated me to look at everything prophetically (plus a lot more!). Blessings, Richard F. Warner, Senior Minister and President, Lighthouse Christian Centre and College, Springvale, Australia."
"Hi, Jeff! It was a real blessing to see you again this morning.... Your newsletters are always a blessing. I love reading your articles, and appreciate that you share news about other ministries than your own. Not many do that.... I'm praying for you, brother. I appreciate you and your ministry! In Christ, Steve Losee, Mansfield, PA"
Apostolic Conference - Pastor Ron
Johnson of Hampton, Virginia was one of the conveners of this
conference. He reports, "It is apparent that something quite
supernatural has been occurring in the relationships that have formed
between a number of US A/G leaders in the year since the Dallas 'Blueprint
For Change' event. Many of these leaders have met up to five times in the
past year and have agreed that the emerging relationships are for a
purpose. There is a strong sense that the Lord is motivating them to focus
their combined energies for the cause of restoration and expansion of the
church in North America. The very clear prophetic word that has emerged in
meetings of this group during the year and from noted prophets that were
not present, underscores the necessity of response to an emerging agenda
of the Lord for those who have sensed they have a part in the restoration
of apostolic and prophetic ministries in the Body of Christ. The emerging
relationships have been visibly blessed and are now considered both
valuable and essential to the way future ministry will occur. Going into
the Appleton Conference there was a great sense of expectancy that God
would give us clear direction."
month we were at the following churches and events:
"Dear Jeff, I write to
thank you for your ministry here at Metrowest Christian Life Center October
19th. As in times past, our congregation was very receptive to you and many
expressed their appreciation from a number of perspectives. A sense of
'value added' would describe the collective tone of the comments. The day
after the service, as I walked through the worship auditorium, I found a
sheet of notes taken from your message. The notetaker was a nine year old
girl. I was impressed and blessed as I read the thoughts she had understood
and penned from your presentation. First, she noted that she thinks you are
a good preacher and likes to listen to you because you are interesting and
funny. Further, she wrote how God loves us, how we are to love others, that
we are to 'give God all we've got', 'you might hear God and don't know Him,'
etc. This nine year old made sixteen notations, covering the front and back
of a sheet of paper. I share this because I believe it is a compliment when
a powerful message to adults is communicated so clearly that an attentive
nine year old can understand. You left a rich deposit in our entire
congregation, again, and again we are very grateful. May God continue to
bless you and your ministry. In Christ, Don Braswell, Senior Pastor"
Understanding the Post-Modern Culture
- Here are resources to help Christians understand how to listen to and
analyze modern culture, such as:
HOW TO KNOW GOD'S WILL (FOR YOUR LIFE)
Have you ever wondered if the change you are feeling is from God or not? How do you know if it is God, your own spirit or demonic influences? This message will help you decide once and for all.
The center of God's will for your life is the 'Promised Land' of the soul! It flows with the milk of ease and the honey of accomplishment. But to get there (and it is more an attitude than a place), first of all the 'Jordan' of disobedience must be crossed and the 'Canaanites' of self will utterly dispossessed from the land.
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GOD THOUGHTS: "The 'world' we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." - Albert Einstein
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