How are you wrapping (no pun intended!) up the week before Christmas Sunday? I’m guessing that it’s been hurried and hectic, at least to some degree, a bit more than usual. What a wonderful time of year. I trust today finds you with plans for warm and memorable celebrations with closest of friends and family. My mind stirs as I write and recalls those in relationship with CAC who’ve passed away since the beginning of 2011 year. You who’ve survived them are in our thoughts and prayers, since this season tends to accentuate the losses of those who’ve customarily been nearby for festivities. Let us lift up our eyes with a special sensitivity on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year and look upon those with us who we hold so dear. Hold them dearer. Cherish the moments. As I advance in my own age, I see how time and circumstance change the family setting more drastically than I’d yet imagined.
Here at my in-laws home in Greenville, MS, we’ve been watching home movies from the early 1990’s. My, have things changed! My little boys are no longer so. Addresses have changed. Dark-haired adults are now white-headed. Siblings mysteriously absent have been born and are themselves progressing from childhood to post-adolescence.
Here’s a great little story, speaking of change: Lately, my 17-year-old son, Don III, has coined a phrase “I almost died.” He humorously makes that his exclamation whenever we have a “close-call” in traffic. (Not seriously, just at abrupt and unexpected stops, starts, and swerves.) When we slip a bit on icy roads, he’ll comically exclaim, “I almost died!” to humor everyone in the vehicle. On one of the old videos, Don is a 3-year-old little swimmer, fresh out of the water, sitting in his wet trunks. Without being asked, big blue eyes wide and chubby cheeks rosy he soberly says, “When I was swimming, I died.” We all cracked up. He’s still saying it, but at an entirely different age and stage! I’m so thrilled we have that memory captured on tape. Let me encourage you to take lots of photos and video recordings during this season to be sure you capture fleeting moments of blessings and humor; kids and adults; home and hearth.
Along with this brief Christmas greeting, I wanted to be sure you are once again reminded that that there will be *no church service* on both Sunday mornings, December 25th and January 1st. For both days, we’ll have services at 6:30 PM.
This Sunday, for Christmas, we’re hosting a “Candlelight Service” in which we’ll distribute candles to every responsible person in the sanctuary. (Parents are expected to help decide which of their family members are capable of carefully holding a lit candle.)
Here’s a quick preview: We plan to center the service around the following theme the Lord dealt to my heart a few weeks ago: “Why curse the darkness when you can light a candle?” Ponder those words. The following scripture relates:
Matthew 4:16 (KJV) “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”
Almighty God has provided the light-energy initiated in the incarnation that lights our world today. It’s a soul-light that emanates from inside the reborn heart. This Light is too precious to keep to ourselves. We’ll once again experience the symbolic luminescent beauty of the way a single candle’s flame–touched off on others–can spread to light an entire dwelling space with hundreds of candle flames! This Candlelight Service is a great opportunity to bring your friends and family to yet another holiday-oriented event. Pray with us that it will be especially anointed.
I look forward to seeing you all then. In the meantime, have a very safe, merry, and blessed Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. D. E. Haymon II
Calvary Apostolic Church of Denver
5900 E. Yale Ave.
Denver, CO 80222
The single most important Christmas verse in the Bible is …?
What would your answer be? I’m aware that the backgrounds and settings for the answer to this question are many and varied.
Naturally, we can turn to a few popular verses such as:
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7 KJV)
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:13, 14 KJV)
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1, 2 KJV)
These are powerful and meaningful verses with regard to Christmas. However, allow me to take you beyond the actual night of Jesus’ birth and share a thought from a different perspective.
Let’s change the question: What passages provide the greatest measure of personal accessibility to the Christmas story? My personal conviction is that the most powerful and meaningful Bible Christmas passage are those which indeed grant each of us, right now in 2011, access to the birth of Jesus at a refreshing level of simplicity and personal experience. They are as follows:
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 KJV)
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12 KJV)
Jesus was the Word (defined as “communication whereby the mind finds expression”), and the Word became flesh. “Became flesh” carries a meaning which encompasses and defines the word “incarnation.” The text continues by telling us that the Word “dwelt among us.” One translator says, “he became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”
Only because He became flesh, we now have the amazing and unparalleled opportunity to become the direct decedents of God’s lineage! The “power to become the sons of God” is the gift which actually allows receptive humans to become fathered by God, hence becoming intimately and directly related to God Himself. In a very real sense, Jesus Christ as the incarnate God, was the first to be “fathered” or “begotten” by God, but not the last! Mortal humans can enter into this relationship and become bonded in a family way that defies explanation.
Romans 8:16–17 says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…”
In the same sense that the Word became flesh, mere mortal humans are offered the high and eternal blessing of becoming “enfleshed”
themselves by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. Those who receive the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:38) take on His divine nature, as they enjoy “sonship of God.” Just as Jesus was begotten by God and put on display as the very essence of God, believers receive into their being the very essence of God by His Spirit. By speaking in heavenly tongues, worshiping in spirit and in truth, and producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we put God on display to the world around us! We know who Jesus Christ is by becoming His intimate, closest relatives!
This is indeed the most meaningful and personal “reason for the season.”
We at CAC wish you a Merry Christmas, with the very “Christ” of the familiar greeting dwelling in your heart!
Pastor D. E. Haymon II
Please download the Evangelism Styles questionnaire via the link below. It contains the entire handout from last week’s Bible study: Contagious Christianity, part one.
Please print and complete the survey. This will bring to light your personal style of relational evangelism. Have this completed form in-hand and your results in mind at Tuesday’s Grateful Praise (11/22/11, 7:30 PM) service.
Friends and family, if you’re in the market for such, I wholeheartedly recommend you consider Steve Lloyd for some excellent interior (carpet, upholstery, drapery) deep cleaning. Click on the link and please take a look at the attached letter. –Pastor Don Haymon
Referral for Steve Lloyd
Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma!
It’s Thursday, exactly one week after the roof project began and the catastrophic flood occurred. A week ago, Brother Sam Kelly ran through the sanctuary praying that his heroic efforts to save the lives of countless musical instruments weren’t in vain. While he carried the lifeless bodies of water-logged keyboards to safety, water poured from the suspended speaker cluster and projection equipment. An epic downpour flooded the church and school within minutes. A challenging, but much anticipated, roofing project had instantly become an unimaginable loss that could threaten the Mile High Conference. The extent of the damage became more apparent over the next day.
Many times during an emergency, people panic and fear is overwhelming. I’ve always known that fear was contagious in these events, but I never knew the same could be said of faith and courage. I had the joy of seeing the church body feed off the strength of one another. Under a devastating attack, everyone helped as if we were one. When one failed and couldn’t go forward, two were quickly with him. It clearly wasn’t just us helping each other. As hard as it was to see at the time, God has been comforting and encouraging us this entire time.
I know how liability claims work in these situations. Help is hard to come by and the only source of money is reluctant and painfully slow in taking responsibility. Typically, more time is spent blaming and pointing fingers than in moving forward. There is a long road ahead of repairs, decisions and tedious work. But there’s one amazing, indisputable fact. We should not be where we are today. We should not look like we do. I looked at a church this evening that looks brand new (at least on the outside, see attached finished roof). The list of repairs before the conference is down to five items and they will be complete in plenty of time. Everything will be in place for a wonderful revival and the future looks brighter than it ever has at CAC. We’ve made new friends that we never would have known otherwise. We’ve had our knowledge strengthened yet again that God is always working for our good. With Him we will always prevail, make it through the storm and somehow be better for it. Once again, everything really is going to be alright. Let’s celebrate, keep our eyes on the Lord and see what He’s got planned next!
Bro. Tom signs off by saying:
…….That’s an update, Sir! I hope some of us give you something you can use or at least help inspire you! So looking forward to your return! (look at that photo…..you have to see it in person…..that color and material is more beautiful than any roof I’ve ever seen!) Thanks – Bro Tom
The enemy planned evil against us but God used those same plans for our good. (Genesis 50:20)
My precious, Godly grandmother, Sis. Pearl Haymon, speaking at our 1973 sanctuary dedication service, wisely said, “God has A Way, A Time, and a People.”
His ways are higher than ours; He has an acceptable time; and He has a peculiar people.
Yesterday, we may have sustained the worst natural disaster in our 55-year existence. During sanctuary roof replacement, an uncommonly flooding downpour hit our neighborhood. Where the roofing material had been removed, (about 50% was exposed), rainwater poured into the sanctuary. One restoration specialist estimated that the damage, repairs, and replacements may all tally higher than $50,000. Aren’t we thankful for insurance? The roofing contractor has excellent liability insurance, as does the general contractor, to say nothing of our own church coverage. From this vantage point, replacement for all of our equipment, fixtures, and instruments (those beyond repair) is fully assured! As I type this message, a crew of over 20 restoration professionals are working around the clock to make the rain water extraction as immediate as possible.
When I arrived on the scene, shortly after the storm, we already had a faithful crew of saints working feverishly to begin the salvaging process.
At our initial meeting with the restoration contractor, we had the following CAC lineup of leadership in the room: Tom Schirmer, Safety Coordinator; Dominick Porquis, Facility Director; Sam Kelly, Music Director; Chad Monteith, Communications Director; Ray Cuellar, Pastor’s Administrative Leader; and Lucas Guth, Security Coordinator. Our restoration contractor verbally marveled at our orderly emergency response. Just a few minutes ago, I met the night foreman, Todd, a nice gentleman from Dallas, TX, who told my wife and I, “As a restoration company, we NEVER arrive on the scene of a crisis to find such calm, organized people, each taking their share of the work; kids laughing, and everyone working as a team!”
May I share the scripture that immediately flashed through my mind? It goes like this (Jesus praying for believers):
That they may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me….I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou has sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:21,23)
Think about it: We have crews of strangers walking the halls of prayer, working in the place where we worship, and passing our tract rack–prime candidates for receiving the message of salvation that is clearly displayed, and sensing the Holy Spirit of God in His dedicated house!
Dear saint of CAC, the enemy has a plan to kill, steal, and destroy; but I declare, God used those same plans for our good!
Please pray for our witness to be all that it should be! “The church that prays together, connects everything to a soul.” (An upcoming church Bible lesson, Lord willing!)
We’ll not only survive, but we’ll come out on top, in Jesus’ Name!
I hope you enjoy the photos I’m sharing along with this message. They are somewhat self-explanatory. (Thanks, Jen Monteith, for sharing the cartoon captioned photo!)
A great big THANKS to everyone who showed up, in rapid response to our initial call for help. We must’ve had 30 – 40 CAC members gathered at one point!
A few announcements:
Tonight’s 8:00 PM church-wide prayer meeting has been changed in location, to your place of residence. 🙂
Music practices are cancelled for this Saturday.
Location of Sunday services is pending restoration progress. Stay tuned. (If you are not receiving the CAC announcements via text message on your cell phone, please email your name and number to Chad Monteith at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Quick report on Terry McClimans: He’s been moved to a private room at Craig hospital and his progressing very nicely! For now, NO VISITORS PLEASE. Let’s allow him ample time to transition into his new quarters and rehab program.
Last but not least, Congratulations to Shawn and Maria Robertson on their new son-in-law! (Their eldest daughter, Danielle, was married last night!)
May our Lord and Savior bless and comfort you as you remain in His hands.
Your loving shepherd under the Great Shepherd,
Rev. D. E. Haymon II
Calvary Apostolic Church of Denver
5900 E. Yale Ave, Denver, CO 80222
“Denver’s Apostolic Holiness Witness Since 1956”
|Matthew 26:23 He answered, “He … will betray me.”|
|Observation: Judas was only 51 days from having his name in the foundation of that City not made with hands. If he could have held on for just 1,224 more hours, what a different end there would be to his story. Instead, he ended up in a potter’s field-despite Jesus’ giving him one last chance. Jesus said, “Whoever dips with Me…” (see Mt. 26:23). What if he hadn’t done it? What if, at that point, he had yielded? His whole life’s ending would have been different and God would have counted only the surrender, not the struggle. Instead, the enemy entered his heart and the power in the unsurrendered clay became death and destruction.Application: Tragic endings are worsened (is that really possible?) by just-missed opportunities that could have been avoided by simple faith in God. Every personal initiative should always stand the test of approval by those in authority and should consistent with God’s agenda. “I have spoken it, I have purposed it,” says the Lord!Prayer: Jesus, my dear Lord God Almighty: Help me keep my heart guarded from fits and starts, false impressions, and prideful dissolusionment! I want always to be tender to your correction and guidance.|
|Matthew 27:25 And all the people answered …”let his blood be…on our children!”|
|Observation: Talk about “play now, pay later!” The Jews were victims of short-sightedness. Peter diagnosed it as a malady in which people “are blind, and cannot see afar off.” Living only for the moment, defering the penalties to our own children smacks of serious character flaws. The list of flaws is long, but it includes selflishness, impatience, pride, and a lack of love for our own offspring.Application: We’ll stand out when we determine to take responsibility in the present. Pay now, play later! In patience we certainly possess our souls.Prayer: Heavenly Father, I need your vision. Please let me see that my actions today will have consequences in future generations. My own children may be lost because of my foolishness! I pray for Your wisdom to make decisions in the light of eternity.|
|Matthew 28:20 “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”|
|Observation: The book of Matthew ends with a promise. Jesus’ presence is not confined to the pages of the gospels and the history they contain. He promised to be WITH. Naturally, Matthew was aware of the “rest of the story.” Interestingly, his book whets the appetite of the earnest reader by leaving them on a high note, with so much to look forward to as the Bible continues. The best is yet to come! Not long after this moment in time, Jesus returned in the rushing mighty wind of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost!Application: Take God’s promises seriously. They may seem like “cliff-hangers,” unfinished and unfulfilled. There’s more! Matthew 28:20 is not THE END.Prayer: Thank you Jesus, for testing our patience and our earnestess to press on in the unfolding saga of our lives lived for You! This may seem like a Matthew 28:20 moment, with so much promised, but so much yet to be fulfilled. Lord, find us praying and tarrying until You blow in and turn our world upside down!|
|Mark 1:25 “But Jesus rebuked him, saying … come out of him!”|
|Observation: Jesus rebuked him. Who? The man with the unclean spirit? He was the only visible presence to the human eye. No, Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit. He looked straight at the man, spoke in his direction, but commanded obedience and departure from the spirit within him. Put yourself in the place of the observer. It took a strong measure of “other-world,” spiritual discernment. Jesus walked, slept, spoke, ate, and existed in the physical world, but he was ever aware of the unseen spiritual dimension that most humans miss entirely.Application: There’s more. See that wall? See that book? See that window? See that person? There’s more. Jesus Christ dwelling inside the believer, by His Spirit, yearns for us to be aware of the unseen, yet profoundly real world of the spirits.Prayer: Lord, impress upon me that “this is not all there is.” So much awaits the vision of the prayer warrior, the Bible student, the soul-winner, the Spirit-filled. Open my eyes and let me respond in keeping with your perfect will. Work miracles, cast out devils, heal the sick, speak to the lost, love the sinner; Lord do it through me, your willing, surrendered, and spiritually discerning disciple.|
|Mark 2:12 “We never saw anything like this!”|
|Observation: Just because it’s never been done doesn’t mean it CAN’T BE. The amazed crowd were baffled to the point of giving God glory, because their sense of sight had been challenged with a miracle! Something new! Something fresh! Something never seen before!Application: It’s easy to settle in for the journey after receiving the Holy Spirit. It’s so comfortable to simply find a predictable spot, out of sight, away from the action, excusing ourselves because “we’re the Spirit-filled, Jesus-name baptized.” Don’t waste your life, and please don’t hide your gift in the dirt. What if you could be a part of something that Denver has never seen before? You can! You will, if you join CAC in earnest prayer for continuing revival, and engage in the battle.Prayer: Lord, get me unsettled and tired of the same ol’ same ol’! If I’ve grown accustomed to the comfort zone with my talent safely hidden in the ground, WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU TAKE IT AWAY! I’m wide-eyed and ready to see your glory manifest like never before!|
Sharing a timely and important message from a great saint of God at CAC, Jay Liew:
When I was growing up as a boy, there were many memories of me watching European soccer with dad. I always remembered the stylish way the French played and the dirty way the Italians played. I always remembered dad telling me that, and I loved the French teams. The French had the one of the best teams in the world from the early 80’s until 2006. On July 9th 2006, something inexplicable happened. The French had the best team in the World Cup held in Germany. They had the best player in the world, Zinadine Zidane. It was the final game and the venue was Berlin, the opponent was those nasty Italians. On the 110th minute of the game, Zidane head-butted the Italian Materazzi and, Zidane was promptly dismissed from the game. Materazzi had verbally insulted Zidane (who has Algerian heritage) for 110 minutes. They were 10 minutes away from the end of the game and a penalty shoot-out. The French ended up losing the game on the penalty shoot-out without their best player.
I woke up this morning stirred to the core of my soul with a series dreams. I cannot help but recalling the vivid images of the prior night’s service when the pastor called out families of the church to the front. We have been in the middle of a mighty move of the Spirit of God for some time. At the same time, our church has gone thru some trials with very untimely deaths of beloved saints of God and other issues that I do not personally know and have no need to know. All I know when I woke up this morning is, my adversary, Satan is out to devour me and my family. If I were Satan, that is what I would be doing. This church is arguably the best church in the region. I was making a comment to Brother Anthony just last week, telling him that this is unbelievable how many first time faces I am seeing. For months now, we have come into our services with brand new faces. Even our highly esteemed visiting preachers have noticed the phenomenon. With all of that in mind, Satan is doubling his efforts against the foundation of our church and our families. He is and will be working on us.
If I were Satan, I would not care if a church dresses holy. I would not care if families do not have Hollywood in their houses. I would not care if they ran through the brick wall on their worship services. I would not care if they are at church on Superbowl Sunday, but if they are making a difference in lives of sinners, that is when I have to intervene. This church is doing just that. We are making differences in lives of people around us, and we are in the crosshairs of Satan’s scope.
I cannot help but to compare the state of Israel during David’s era and Solomon’s era. In Solomon’s era of peace, the nation of Israel fell into a state of disrepair. The kingdom was divided, and those states dabbled in idolatry until they finally succumbed to the captivity of Assyria in the North and to Babylon in the South. Peace was supposed to be a blessing, but it turned into a curse. In David’s era of blood and war, when he was going things right he had more opposition and enemies than I would care to know. Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. All throughout these sacred songs, there were many about his enemies. And in these times, Israel has never seen more prosperity and blessings.
The worship was different. David worshipped in the tent of David while Solomon worshipped in his grand temple. The grand temple which had the Spirit of God in its inaugural service was nothing more than a shell when it was destroyed by the Babylonians. They built another temple, Zerubbabel’s temple. Again, the Spirit of the Lord was initially there but again a mere shell when this time, the Romans destroyed it. The worship of David was entirely different. It is very interesting that in this tent, there was absolute liberty in worship. The ark was not obscured by veils. The king which was not Levite, was offering up burnt offerings and wearing priestly garments and dancing before the ark of covenant. When David died, the tent went with him along with all the liberty in worship. After the death of David, the Lord longed for this tent more than the temple. He longed for true worship and was not happy with the worship in those temples. In fact, it was a stench to his nostrils. As a result, the Babylonians and Romans did not destroy those temples. The Lord did it. He will not restore those temples but he will restore the tent of David. (Amos Chapter 9).
This is where our church comes in. This is the restored tabernacle of David. We are not manufacturing the move of the Spirit, and the Spirit of the Lord is just overwhelming us like a tsunami. This is why Satan is after me and my family just like he was after David. This is the last thing that Satan wants to see. Because of this, we have had our shares of trials. The watchman was on the tower last night and he was sounding the alarm. He was calling families to the front. If you were not called, think again! I often hear the analogy of saints as sheep and that a sheep is dumb. We are in the middle of an all out war now, and there is no room to be dumb. We have to be wise as a serpent and not be ignorant to Satan’s devices. If you are in this church, you are in a war zone! There is no neutral zone and there will be no peace with the devil. There are other churches that are at peace right now but CAC is not one of them. I was talking to my wife yesterday night as we passed a mega church in Parker. She was mentioning that her friends go to church there and it was so convenient because they can choose any of 3 services during the weekend and they are all the same. That reminds me of those grand temples that were built.
The infraction of Zidane, cost his team a possible title. That was just a game. My friends, this is more than a game. When I was single, the scripture that said; what does a man gain, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul… applied to myself. Now, I have to look at it in a new perspective. What does a man gain, if he gains the whole world and loses his family’s soul. The events that happed last night should not be taken lightly.
As I was pondering in my bed over all the trials that our church has gone thru, the Lord gave me a vision. In the vision, I saw Sis. Sandy Ortel in her chariot of fire. I saw Bro. Sam Kelly in his chariot of fire. I saw Sis. Mary Parsons in her chariot of fire. I saw Bro. Hardy in his chariot of fire. It may seem like trials to me, but when I saw those chariots, everything took on a whole different meaning. No matter what the devil throws at me, I will always be reminded of Psalm 3.
Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.