Why another church?


       I wanted to share some info with you today and hopefully move forward some more with what God has called me to do in Mobile. Since some of you are new to the ministry that has been in my heart and some have known me as far back as the 60’s and 70’s, so  bear with me as I share this info which may be new to some and old news to others.
       As early as I can remember (and since I haven’t been diligent in writing down dates in the past) I have always felt God wanted me to Pastor. EVERY decision I have made since that moment has been made with that in mind. I’ve “stepped out” numerous times trying to see if I was in line with what God wanted me to do. Sometimes successful other times not so . I however do not regret any of those decisions.
       In 1982 after graduating form Mobile College aka University of Mobile I felt led of the Lord to attend ORU Seminary though I had no desire at all to go to seminary, but through much prayer and discussion with God it was confirmed to me by friends and others I counseled with that I was on the right path. Upon arrival nothing changed about the way I was feeling about the seminary process. I prayed and asked God if I could leave and he graciously answered my request almost immediately which at the time surprised me. A few weeks later I met my wife (at the time to be) of 27 years Merle Bland (now Pendleton ). I came to the conclusion that this is and was the only reason I was in cemetery uh Seminary .
       After God confirmed strongly that we were to be married and I was living in Tulsa to get to know my bride to be, a somewhat strange thing happened. God spoke to me to move back to Mobile which at the time was the last thing I wanted to hear. I however obeyed and worked under a Pastor during that time that I learned a lot about ministry. I know this is getting long but hang with me. Merle and I were married a short time after that and it seemed a pattern began that I can only explain as restlessness. We moved from Mobile to Tulsa to Fuquay Varina NC back to Mobile to Miami Fl back to FV NC and eventually back to Mobile. I have come to the conclusion that God really wants me in Mobile. Now listen we prayed about all these moves and we believe we heard from God on each one of them no matter how flighty it may appear .
         Our last move to Mobile in 2003 was hard and continues to be a struggle but there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel .When we came back we were a part of a church in this area for a while when we believe God led us to start a church. This was in 2005 and the Church held it’s first service on May 5, 2005 (5-5-05).The name of the church was Resurrection Life Mobile. At the time I continually found myself asking God why does Mobile need another church? There are plenty of good churches and I’m not really saying anything any different. However with the call to Pastor and seemingly no other opportunities to do so I continue for  awhile until I became discouraged with low attendance and seemingly indifference form the Mobile area. So when it came down to just me and my family in attendance I closed down the meetings and began to pray again about what to do.
       My grandfather who lived to be a hundred years old passed away and when that happened we connected with the denomination I  grew up in the AME church and I felt at the time that God had called be back into it and declared I would never start a church again. Been there done that I said. Actually in 1994 I had made an attempt to be a part of the denomination but it didn’t work out ( another story for another day).
    So for the last 7 years I have been on track to continue my quest to Pastor full-time and fulfill the call of God on my life. I won’t even attempt to tell how many jobs I have had trying to keep myself available to the church and ministry and not letting them interfere with what I really wanted to do. But about a year ago God began to deal with me again about resurrecting Resurrection Life Church. I of course did not want to hear that. But God keep gently and patiently speaking to me and showing me in his word that it was to be. So in the meantime things began to move in a different direction that was not pleasing to me in my current church situation. It made me consider more seriously what God wanted me to do. So the last few weeks I have been holding services on Sunday night at Courts of Praise Christian Center graciously opened up to me by Pastor Joseph Lett. This also brought about the need to go ahead and separate from my current position in the AME church and pursue the rebirth (if you will) of Resurrection Life church.
    Which brings me to my point…thanks for you patience…. I do need some help in getting this started. As with any adventure of this type the natural thing to do is to go to friends and family. However I do not want to be burdensome to you if you are not feeling the same way or think maybe this is another one of Deryl’s “attempts” to find God’s will. So if you are interested in journeying with me through prayer and other ways I am asking that you join the emailing list for the church. You can sign in at http://www.waypaid.org on the partner page. That is what I will use to send out all updates and info on the church. We do need help immediately financially and in prayer. So if you feel led to do so you can on the same page on the website.
Oh I almost forgot…Why another church? I really believe I have a clearer understanding of the Gospel like never before. I’m not the only one by no means, but few are sharing the truths that God is showing me and others. Please receive this in the spirit it is intended. I by no means have all the answers but I do have some.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and know that I love you dearly. Please keep us in prayer even if you do not sign up to receive updates.

Have you died yet?

Have you died yet?

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit.

I find this scripture to be intriging and yet simple. The translations bring out different emphasis but still the one truth remains. Let’s look at the amplified version and then the Literal translation of the Holy Bible version ( which translates it just as the Hebrew reads)

Joh 12:24 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.

Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, If the grain of wheat that falls into the earth does not die, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.

The first thing I want to look at is the value of “one”. It is only one grain that is being emphasized by Jesus. This helps us to look at this as individuals and not a group. Jesus knew in his dying that he would in return bring forth much fruit or many disciples. He had to die. So how does this affect us. Do we have to die? Yes and our first death is in being born again. We have to die and be born again to enter the Kindgom of heaven.

Second in the literal translation it says if the grain falls and does not die, it remains alone. Can it fall and not die? Is that possible? certainly if Jesus said it it must be possible but I believe this is an analogy so let’s see what he is really saying. If you fall in life and you feel like your life is over and yet you don’t turn to the one who can give you life you will remain alone. You’ll be lonely ,afraid , unhappy and without encouragement. But if you die you will become part of something greater than yourself…the body of Christ.

Third If it dies it bears much fruit! Because we are connected to Jesus in death and relate to His death we are fruit bearers, just like He became a bearer of fruit. The kingdom of God is not like this earthly government or kingdom . When we die we live, when we try and live our own way it ends in death. I like to say if you live once you die twice ( born in sin and eath and then die in your body) But if you die twice you live three times ( Born, born again and live in eternity). So I ask you? Have you died yet?




Why Grace works

Why Grace works

Eph 2:8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

When we look at this scripture we find a marvelous truth…Salvation is a free gift! We are saved not because of our own goodness or any good works we do but because of God’s free grace. That is why the song writer described it as Amazing Grace. We are then delivered from judgement and guilt and condemnation and made partakers of Jesus salvation. No one can earn it by works and thereby no one can boast. Sometimes when people experience this reality in the fullness of this statement, some would say wow then I can do what I want and it doesn’t matter. Nothing can be further from the truth. Paul experienced this in the book of Romans and this is what he said:
Rom 6:2 Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?
If you feel that way you didn’t read far enough. Verse 10 of Ephesians tells us thatwe are saved to do good works. God also planned them out for us to do! That why it is a relationship. You gotta spend time with Father God and Jesus so you can find out what you need to be doing. But now we are working not to be saved, that is guaranteed but to grow in him and actually be rewarded by him. So first of all Grace works so we don’t have to for salvation and because grace worked and offered us the free gift we have to receive it by faith. It is not automatic but available to all who believe…Hallelujah!So grace works first and then we work because of grace. Again that is why it is called amazing!