Evangel March, 2012
There once was a boy who suffered from terrible depression throughout most of his early life. Although born into a rich family, he was virtually neglected by his parents and was raised by a nanny. He was teased and ridiculed by his peers for being clumsy. He failed the 6th grade, and at 16 years of age he was expelled from a prestigious boarding school with a report that said, “This young man shows a conspicuous lack of success.” His name? Winston Churchill, the man who would become one of England’s greatest leaders during the dark days of World War II.
A young German university student of Jewish descent finished his Ph.D. dissertation and submitted it to a university. It came back with these words scrawled across it by his professor: “This thesis is irrelevant and fanciful.” But, rather than being devastated, he took his dissertation to another university, where it was accepted. From there he became one of the world’s greatest scientists. His name? Albert Einstein.
A mother in Ohio once received a visit from the local schoolmaster of the village school. He told her that her son really had no great mental ability and suggested that she put him to work on the farm — he would never benefit from his intellect. The mother rejected the negative evaluation of her son and decided to home-schooled him. Later in adulthood he would write: “When everyone else is quitting on a problem, that is the time to begin.” And true to this perspective, he would invent the telephone, the incandescent lamp, and the electric train. Society also owes its gratitude to this man because he established over 1,300 patented inventions. His name? Thomas Edison.
Many years ago, a young man in Scotland felt God calling him to pastoral ministry so he enrolled in seminary. He was assigned to preach his very first sermon in a small country church near the seminary. However, when he stood up to deliver his sermon, he promptly forgot his Bible text. In great humiliation he fled from the pulpit crying out, “I am a total failure. I will never preach again.” And it’s true; he never did become a pastor. Instead, he became one of history’s most celebrated missionaries. His name? David Livingston.
But in all of history, we can think of no one else whose background gave absolutely no hint of eventual greatness other than Jesus. He was born to peasant parents in a borrowed manger located in an unfamiliar town (Luke 2:4). He was completely rejected by those in the town of his upbringing (John 1:46). He was thought to be mentally unstable by members of his own family (Mark 3:21). He was accused of immoral behavior (Matthew 9:11). It was said that He was possessed by the devil (John 8:48). He suffered the humiliation of being betrayed with a kiss (Mark 14:45). And though interrogated with accusations He
could have easily rebuked, He remained silent (Matthew 26:63). He was scourged nearly to death (Mark 15:15). He was
stripped of His clothing, which soldiers gambled over (Matthew 27:35). He suffered the indignity of having a crown of thorns thrust onto His head (John 19:2). He suffered the searing pain of spikes driven through His hands and feet (Luke 24:20).
Finally, He died . . . alone (John 19:30).
Hundreds of years earlier, Isaiah described the pitiful situation: “There was nothing attractive about Him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at Him and people turned away. We looked down on Him, thought He was scum.” (Isaiah 53:2-3)
However, what seemed pitiful actually produced something powerful! Isaiah continued: “But the fact is, it was our pains he carried — our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing Him for His own failures. But it was our sins that did that to Him, that ripped and tore and crushed Him — our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through His bruises we get healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, be reminded that what may seem weak and inconsequential in the beginning does not have to stay that way. History is filled with people who overcame great challenges, but none as powerfully as Jesus. Invite His Spirit to empower you to live far beyond every limitation, for “greater is He who is in us.” (1 John 4:4) ~ Pastor Doug
Sunshine, by definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is something (as a person, condition, or influence) that radiates warmth, cheer, or happiness. That is exactly what All Stars Kid’s Ministry’s newest ministry has been striving to do since its launch in January. Sunshine Pals is a part of Kid’s Ministry that focuses solely on ministering to children with special needs and ministering to their families. In this ministry, kids with special needs are given a pal that is there to help them with whatever needs they may have during the services they are attending. Along with adult pals, we also have pals who are under the age of 17 that help assist the adult pals. These volunteers are called junior pals. The adult pals and junior pals are there to give their child love, guidance, and someone they can look up to as they grow in
their relationships with Christ. They are consistent each week and the kids enjoy knowing exactly what friendly face they
will be seeing.
Our Sunshine Pals volunteer team is the best! It includes an experienced coordinator, Suzanne Reed; an experienced pal trainer, Lisa Loven; and a team of pals and junior pals. Week after week, we hear about how excited the kids are to see them. Ironically, many of the pals were timid to be a part of the program because of their lack of experience with special need. But after just a Sunday or two, they realized that it’s not about how much you know, it’s about the relationship you build with each child and the time you invest in them.
God has truly used this ministry to bless many kids at Evangel. One little boy in the program loves his pals and the time he spends with them so much that his mother uses going to church as an incentive to be good during school each day. Another little boy was not so sure he wanted to have a pal with him all the time, but after only a week, he started asking which day was the day he gets to be with his pal. What great testimonies, and that’s only two examples!
Our goal for this year is to be able to reach ten more kids through Sunshine Pals. Since starting the program in January, we have already had two more families interested in the program; now we need the pals! All it takes is a heart to bless families in our community and a love for people. So if you haven’t found your place to serve at Evangel, we know where you would fit right in and where you can radiate the love of Jesus! ~ Amy Strawn
Discovering, developing, and deploying is what Fine Arts in all about. We hope through this program at The Element that students will discover the gifts that God has placed inside of them, develop them though practice times, and deploy them through ministering to our community and church. In January students start practicing with their groups in Human Videos, Drama, Music, Dance, Writing, and Sermons for 11 weeks of practice.
On April 20-21, 60 students and 10 coaches will travel to Minot for the state Fine Arts Festival and will compete in the categories they have been working on. When the students return on Sunday, April 22, they will present their entries to the congregation at our annual Fine Arts Dessert Theater at The Element.
This summer The Element is taking a missions trip to Jamaica and rural North Dakota towns where they will use their talents to minister. We are excited to see our students grow and multiply the talents that God has placed inside them. ~ Christina Parkman, FA Coordinator
Inside of each of us is the desire to know God on a deeper level than a conventional church experience. We realize that
our spiritual roots need to grow deeper into the soil of God’s Word and into the unfathomable depths of His Presence.
Welcome to The Underground. The Underground is a monthly experience created to help you encounter God in a deeper way. Our focus is to guide you into that encounter through passionate worship, empowering experience, and deep teaching from God’s Word.
It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, or where you are in life: God wants to connect with you! Underground Worship is just a building with some deep music where you have the opportunity to spend time worshiping God.
Underground Worship is April 27 from 8:00-10:30 PM at The Element Student Center. Doors open at 7:30 PM.
If you are new to Evangel and have completed Starting Point, we want you to continue the journey of discovery by attending S.H.A.P.E. Finding and fulfilling your unique purpose for life is what S.H.A.P.E. is designed to do. God has shaped you in specific ways, and until you discover your uniqueness, it is hard to find and fulfill your God given purpose.
S.H.A.P.E. will begin on Sunday, April 22, at 11:30 AM in the North Room. S.H.A.P.E. is six weeks of discovery that will help you find your:
Spiritual Gifts: A set of special abilities that God has given you to share His love and serve others.
Heart: The special passions God has given you so that you can glorify Him on earth.
Abilities: The set of talents God gave you when you were born that He desires you to use to make an impact for Him.Personality: The special way God wired you to navigate life and fulfill your unique Kingdom purpose.
Experiences: Those parts of your past, both positive and painful, that God intends to use in great ways.
Project Romanian Rescue (PRR) is a ministry that Dan Mercado, from Evangel, established in 1997. PRR ministers to homeless people of all ages, particularly homeless children and teens, referred to as “street children.” These street children endure cold nights, hungry stomachs on a regular basis, and often use drugs to self-medicate. Project Romanian Rescue has several group homes with family type settings, and they are working to share the love of Jesus through meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the homeless in Romania.
Throughout the month of April, you can donate
towards the following needs.
Gently used jeans and sport/tennis shoes are needed in all sizes for infants, children, teens, women, and men. Donations can be placed in the container marked Project Romanian Rescue in the south foyer entrance.
The cost is $2 per pound to ship items to Romania.
Place your donations in an offering envelope and mark it PRR. Donations for shipping can be placed in the Tithes/Offering box located directly above the marked container in the south foyer entrance.
Please pray for Project Romanian Rescue and that many people will come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.
“Thank you, we are extremely grateful for your support
and prayers!” ~ Dan Mercado
Pastor Josh Skjoldal applies the Old Testament to our lives today.
Pastor Terry Parkman with a message on the life of David.
Pastor Doug Graham gives an intellectual message on the Old Testament.
Pastor Doug Graham – Story of Us Message 4/4