Prayer Request for Al Barr

UPDATE: It is with a heavy heart, we pass on to you the death of Al Barr. He died on Thursday evening, March 21. We will post a celebration of life article in the next issue, once more details come in. Please pray for peace and comfort for Edna and the Barr family.

Prayers are requested for retired Pastor and District Superintendent Al Barr. Al was intubated and placed in an induced unconscious state last Monday, March 11. This was a good thing to help him stabilize and for the doctors to figure out what is going on. They have diagnosed him with a fungal infection that is aggressively attacking his nervous system. It is reversable but the doctors must act soon. Please pray for complete healing for Al and for rest and peace for Edna.

Cards may be sent to:

Al & Edna Barr
782 Britt Road SW
Mableton, GA 30126

We Are GCI Series – Al Talison

The “We Are GCI Series” is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted. In this episode, GCI Pastor, Al Talison, shares a little about himself like, why he likes to serve in GCI and in what ways he connects the most with God.

Devotional – On Things Above

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 2:2-4)

It wasn’t until 1969 that human beings had ever seen a picture of the earth from space. Once our astronauts captured the image, and we saw the sparkling jewel we call home against the blackness of night, the wars, problems, and struggles on earth were able to be reframed from a heavenly perspective.

Sometimes we can have our eyes so fixed on the personal problems and challenges in our day-to-day existence that we begin to get discouraged and lose hope. But Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled by the cares of this life. Because he has reconciled all things to the Father in his body, we can “set our minds on things above,” and get a true picture of our lives and situations from a heavenly vantage point.

Father, open the eyes of our hearts to see our circumstances through the redemptive love of Jesus. May we embrace the beauty you have bestowed on us, and may we share the heavenly point of view with others.

Jeff Broadnax

 

By Jeff Broadnax – Columbus, Ohio

Prayer Request for Al Barr

Prayers are requested for retired Pastor and District Superintendent Al Barr. Al has been hospitalized since last Thursday, February 28th. The doctors have diagnosed dehydration. He is on IV fluids and is improving noticeably. Your prayers for Al and his wife, Edna, are much appreciated.

 

Cards may be sent to:

Al & Edna Barr
752 Britt Road SW
Mableton, GA 30126

Devotional – Let There Be

26  Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

In the earlier verses of Genesis chapter one, God said, “Let there be…,” and it was. When we get to verse 26 the scene changes and now God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Now God leaves no doubt in our minds that the triune God is going to be involved in making man not just one of the persons. The verse states that God (the triune God) took the dust of the earth and formed the man. He could have said let there be man and there would have been man just like was done for the plants and animals; man would have been a living, breathing being. But, the word indicates that like a sculptor molds a statue, God molded a man. When he was done molding the man, the word says he breathed into him the breath of life and then man became a living soul. From this we learn that each human being, no matter how the egg was fertilized, is special. As it says in the Psalms, God shapes our inner parts in the womb. That is how special we are to God. He takes interest in the smallest details of our lives and is with us every moment of every day, breathing his breath of life into us.

Nathania McKinney

By Nathania Mckinney

 

Israel Reflection

Visiting Israel is Like Reading a Fifth Gospel

Visiting Israel is like reading a Fifth Gospel – so much comes to life. We saw where Jonah ran from God, and where Paul was held prisoner. We saw where Elijah battled with the false prophets of Baal, and we walked the route the mob took Jesus to throw him off the “brow of the hill.”

We walked through the city gates and into the area where Solomon had his stables, where Ahab built a tunnel to get water in times of siege, and we overlooked Armageddon. We visited the town of Mary Magdalene and stepped on the threshold of a synagogue Jesus preached in. We saw a 2,000 year old boat and then took a boat across the Sea of Galilee.

We visited the Mount of Beatitudes and the shore where Jesus preached. We saw the ruins of Jericho and rededicated ourselves at the baptismal site on the Jordan river. Then we spent three days in Jerusalem and walked where Jesus walked. We prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and took communion at one of the proposed sites of the Garden Tomb.

All with a group of people whom I love dearly. A trip that changed my life. If you have the opportunity – go without hesitation. Maybe I’ll go with you.

 

– Rick Shallenberger

GCIgnite Retrospective

January is one of my favorite times of the year because of GCIgnite! I look forward to it every year because I get to visit with friends from across the globe and anticipate meeting new ones. An integral part of GCIgnite is its welcoming atmosphere. There is great significance in being able to come just as we are: to come with our questions, burdens, and brokenness. Throughout the gathering, we learn that we are not alone and others seek answers too.

What’s amazing about this four-day summit is that we as a community learn and find answers from the Word, God’s voice, and from one another. It’s impossible to leave without having gained a new perspective of something, especially of our Triune God. The Spirit shows up and somehow reveals himself to each of us personally and reminds us of our calling, gently convicts us to do it, and reassures us that he is with us all the way. As the curious group is reminded of who God is, the answers are clear with the how’s and why’s. A safe and loving place where we are pushed and equipped to lead and serve others as we go back to our local contexts is what GCIgnite is all about.

The theme for 2019 was Renew: renewing our self, worth, rhythms, and our love for our neighbors. The gist of the theme is renewing all parts of our lives to be transformed by the living God who is constantly shaping us as he works through us. Our God is inviting us every single day to participate in this adventure with him and with others. There is beauty in knowing that through renewing our hearts and minds before God, our everyday life which can seem mundane, is turned into something wonderful as it becomes worship and as our response becomes an active choice of saying yes to him and trusting him completely.

Workshop sessions are where we dive into the details of Ignite’s theme. We were given the opportunity to step out of our comfort zones as we share and discuss such important topics as leading with doubt, sexuality, processing social media and current events, conflict resolution, and holistic love. Some of the workshops challenge us to shift our lenses and see things in a clearer, more meaningful way, like Rediscovering the Bible, Renewing Prayer Life, Church Worth, Financial Rhythms, and Rhythms of Self-Care. In these workshops, we are able to learn, share, and equip one another through the Spirit.

Pouring our hearts out through singing, worshipping God through art and journaling, playing board games, ping pong, and basketball, fellowshipping with one another under the snow, sharing a meal, praying with someone, dancing, lip sync competitions, taking photos together, and staying up to continue conversations that are honest and life-giving are some of the activities that happen at GCIgnite. There is so much joy in doing these little things because we get to do it with one another and Christ’s presence is pervasive through every single activity.

One of my highlights was taking the 5 Voices assessment and learning the gifts God has revealed in me. Through this, we were able to know ourselves more and what God has called us to do. It is so reassuring to think that he has designed each of us so intentionally and uniquely that we are invited to participate in the Kingdom work here on Earth, helping the body of Christ reach its full potential. Another highlight for me was when we walked around the room encouraging others and being encouraged. This time set to affirm someone of their gifts and be affirmed allowed us to feel seen, heard, needed, and loved by our GCI families.

We also gathered to share and pray for our local churches. This conference really is important for intergenerational ministries as the young adults are being empowered by each other and by people with more experience and wisdom to be the next leaders of GCI churches. Through this conference, we are reminded that when we go back to our local contexts, we should also start to pray for eyes to see who the next leaders of GCI are from our youth and children’s ministries. I am so grateful to be part of this church in which we are continually being filled up by others and being able to fill up others.

 

– Hazel Tabin

Devotional – The Good Shepherd

Sheep with ShepherdI am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me (John 10:14).

Shepherds and their sheep have deeply intimate relationships. Jesus our good shepherd knows us by name and guides us through life’s valleys and mountaintops. When we run the other way, he goes in search of us! His relentless love pursues us. Our good shepherd laid down his life for us, knowing the details of all we would think and do.  He didn’t redeem our ideal lives – he sacrificed himself to redeem the actual life we are living today.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” With these words, Jesus is not only revealing a truth about who he is, but how he feels about us. He knows and loves our whole story. Sheep are utterly dependent animals. They physically cannot rest until all their needs are met. In the comforting presence of Jesus we can relax and let go of our fears.

Prayer: Jesus, we thank you that you are faithful to supply all my needs. Help me to see how you providing for me today, and make me aware of how I can share your love and provision with those around me.

 

By Michelle Fleming