Monday, June 17, 2019

Amazing Day!



              Yesterday was Father’s Day, for our family it wasn’t a typical Father’s Day.  Yes, it started out with me sharing a message on what it is to be a Biblical Father in chapel at the hospital. Then heading to church to hear a message by our guess speaker.

              However, that was the end of similarity to previous Father’s Day. Understand that this is not a complaint, in fact it is the opposite, it is a tribute to my amazing wife, and my son, daughter-in-law, and my daughter. Because they didn’t make it about me, they made it about family!

See one year ago yesterday (June 16, 2018) an amazing lady passed away, my mother-in-law took her final breather here on earth.  Our relationship was unique we didn’t always see eye to eye, and we both had our moments of being stubborn. However, there was one thing we both agreed on is we loved the same people. So, at 3:00 p.m. on Father’s Day we stood at the Graveside of this amazing lady with all her children, daughter and son in-law’s, grandchildren (all but one, who lives out of the area), and great-grandson.

              For me is was bitter sweet, because as we stood at Mom’s (yes that is what I called her) graveside my mind went back 10 years ago in 2009 when in May of that year my mother passed away, and 45 days later my father passed away (Ironically, we would bury my father on his birthday June 17, 2009) so for me as I prayed with the family, I heard my own voice crack, and the tears start to run down my cheeks as I reflected on the greatest lesson these three people taught me (my mother and father, as well as my mother-in-law.

Here it is …. Love your family despite what they do, because it is the only one you have.

              I realized a long time ago; Father’s Day is not about all that the kids can do for me. It is about my Family and how I’m able to encourage them to stay close to one another and God. Three things I pray every day for my family.

1)      That they know Christ as Savior, and I will see them in Heaven!
2)      That God has and continues to wrap a hedge of protection around them and keeps them safe.
3)      That God blesses them spiritually, physically, and financially.



Friday, May 24, 2019

The challenge of education!

            I recently have been talking with individuals about their personal educational goal and objectives. What do you want to learn? Also focusing on how are you going to accomplish this?

            It is amazing to me how many people don’t have an educational goal or the desire to achieve beyond where they are currently in their life. Now understand I’m not talking about necessarily going back and doing another degree. However, I’m talking about learning something new that is going to move you forward in your career or within the church structure, or in your personal Christian walk.

            Most people know that I have multiplied doctorates (yes, I know all that and $5.00 will get me a cup of coffee at Starbuck, maybe). However, what most folks don’t realize how disorganize my thinking is when I’m attempting to study on my own. So, I have used my college education, as well as the studying for Certificates, and my Licensures to help me focus on learning things that will benefit my career which for me happens to be Preaching/Teaching about Christ and being a Christian Counselor, and Chaplain. Over the past 40 years of ministry and within my professional work as a Counselor I have learned three essential of learning.

1)     Focus on your passion, and then move from there!

a.       What is it your passion about and want to relate to others, then begun to study the topic and consume everything you can on that topic. When I became Director of a Drug Treatment program, I went back to school to complete my Bachelors, and changed my major from Pastoral Ministries to Christian Counseling and would go to consume everything I could read on the topic to the conclusion of receiving a PhD in Psychology and Christian Counseling.

 

2)    Find people of like to passion to challenge you to learn!

a.       I will never be able to thank men like Dr. Jeff Baker, Brack Strong, and Gary Sweeten that challenged me to learn about Christian Counseling and helped me become the counselor I am today, as well as the presenter that I am within the professional community. What ever you desire to be, surround yourself with people that are doing it right, asked them to direct you in your learning process.

 

3)    Finish what you start!

a.       Like many of you I have a real struggle finishing what I start, I get sidetracked easily with family, friends, and ministry opportunities. It takes people such as my wonderful wife of 33 years to keep me on task and moving forward. I didn’t quite even through there was times it seemed impossible to complete the degrees or achieve the licensure for various programs. As a result, we have seen wonderful opportunity for ministry and professional achievements.

 

If you can do these three things you will be able impact your world around, you. The foundation to learning is simple “Get Started, Keeping Going until finished, and then find a New Challenge, and do it again” As I sit here and write this blog post I’m contemplating what the next learning challenge is in my own personal life, and honestly the future looks bright.

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Amazing Graduation ....


Yesterday, May 19th, 2019 was an amazing day at:



I was given the privilege to share in the Graduation of Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry, preach the message in the morning service, and share the State of the School and it was an amazing time of celebration and reflection.

Let me share some of the highlights …

We celebrated our 2nd graduation class (completing our 3rd year of study) four ladies received their “Certificate of Christian Studies”
 
 
and six individuals from Ethiopia received the “Certificate of Completion in the Basic Study of the Life of Christ and the Gospels.”
 

We currently have students working on the “Basic Study in the Life of Christ and the Gospels” in 19 countries, representing 40 ministries/schools, with over 300 students working on the course. We truly are having a global impact. 

The 2019/2020 School year kicks off September 11, 2019 with our Wednesday Night classes, and at we are excited that we will have several individuals that will be working on completing their “Diploma in Christian Studies” this year, along with a new group of students completing their “Certificate in Christian Studies.”  We are also excited that Dr. Roger Webb (Chancellor of GCOTV School of Ministry) will be offering a 15-credit hour “Certificate of Excellence in Leadership” this course will meet on five Saturdays (five hours each) throughout the school year and will include reading and homework assignments.

In addition to these awesome reports, this coming June (2019) Dr. Webb will be ministering and providing training for pastors and community leaders leading to a “Certificate of Completion in Excellence in Leadership” in Kenya, and I will be traveling with our dear friend Dr. Charles Travis of Aidan University to Uganda & South Sudan (April 2020) and providing training and  a “Certificate of Completion in the Studies in Pastoral Ministry” to pastors and ministers there.

Please pray for God continue wisdom and blessing on this ministry as we attempt to train leaders within our own church, community, and around the world.

 

Friday, April 19, 2019


What is your ministry challenge?

          Please understand I feel that there is a difference between ministry challenge and ministry desires. I have come to believe over the past 40 years that my ministry challenges (what God had me doing at that moment in time for him) was not always my desire. However, it was my calling for that moment.

          The Apostle Paul puts it best in Acts 16 where Paul desire to go certain places an preach, and the Holy Spirit said No. Was the desire wrong, I don’t personally believe so. A statement that is used around our church is “Is it Good or God” there can be some Good ministry opportunities, but it is not in God’s plan for you.

          Within the first 10 years of ministry I attempted to pastor 4 churches. Honestly none of them were what any of us would call successes. However, also within that time I served as Associate Pastor of some churches with what many would call successful. Now having been in ministry for 40 years I have realized that Pastoring is not my calling. However, excepting the Ministry Challenge of serving as 2nd man is.  

          Ephesians 4: 1 I have come to believe this verse should be the foundation of our Ministry Challenge … Do I walk worthy of my vocation? It is ironic that the Greek word for vocation is also translated “Calling” … Paul had a vocation or calling to minister where God lead within the opportunities and talents God gave him. Paul was a Greek trained, Jewish Pharisee that God prepared to minister to the Gentiles throughout the region. Paul could have stood in the same rooms as Aristotle, Socrates and challenged them to think differently.

          Forty years ago, I took my first Associate pastor position at just 19 years old, since then I have thrived within this position always having a sense of purpose and joy. Within that position of Associate, I have been involved in the educational process of believers whether serving as a youth pastor, children’s pastor, men’s leader, or president of a local church school of ministry with a world-wide impact.
          
Ladies and Gentlemen, I go back to my original question: What is your 
ministry challenge? God has a ministry challenge for you personally, and he will reveal it and use you personally in great ways as you walk worthy of your vocation (calling) …

However, we need three things to be successful in the vocation (calling).

1)     We need a personal relationship with God the father, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Be willing to listen to them speak and move us in the calling they have, not the calling of my parents, pastors, friends, or well-meaning individuals. As Pastors used to say when I was in Bible college “We have enough Momma called Daddy sent preachers and if you are one of them go home and don’t waste our time

2)    We need a group of individuals that you trust (Mature Christians … This should include pastors and lay-people) that can speak honestly about what God is saying to you and pray with you to hear the voice of God and not of men.

3)    We need to become a Student of the Word of God, and by doing this we see how God moved in the past lives of his saints and we will see how he can and will move and lead in your personal vocation (calling).

Friends, today I have embraced my vocation (calling) with all my education and experience I still serve as the 2nd man to an awesome pastor. Yes, by title I’m the President of a School of Ministry a title I resisted for several years. However, if you ask me personally “what is your ministry challenge” it is simple “Help Dr. Roger Webb reach a world for Christ through the Ministry of Grace Church of the Valley. Yes, it is true that God has seen fit to give me the additional Ministry Challenge of impacting lives within a Mental Health Hospital as a Chaplain, ironically, I view that as a great teaching opportunity.

Ladies and Gentlemen, find and accept your ministry challenge and move forward with what God has for you to accomplish.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Time fly's


Wow how time fly’s when you are having fun doing what you love. It is also very hard to believe that it was 35 years ago today on (April 17th) that I was Ordained by the Pastors and my home Church at the Flint Baptist Temple (Burton, Michigan) into the ministry. Ironically, I was ordained on my parent’s anniversary who would have be celebrating their 60th today (they both passed away in 2009).  I would not be where I am in ministry today without their encouragement and support, of my parents and some awesome Men of God that he used to train me to be the minister, teacher, and preacher I am today. Thank you all I miss you!

Friday, April 12, 2019

To excited


Too excited ….

              The past year has been an amazing time in my life, as I have just turned 59 years old and pushing that BIG 6-0, and have just celebrated 33 years of marriage to my Best Friend.  I’m seeing God move in my life like no other time.  Now don’t get me wrong we have seen God move and had lots of great ministry opportunities over the years.

              However, now just seems like that TIME of Great Opportunities …
              In June of 2018 I was given the privilege to become the Chaplain at Summit Behavioral Healthcare (State of Ohio Dept of Mental Health Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio) a full-time position ministering to both the patients and staff.

              Four years ago, the Lord directed my wife Lee and I to Grace Church of the Valley an awesome church with some of the most amazing people. Shortly, after starting at GCOTV Pastor Roger Webb asked me to be President of GCOTV School of Ministry (https://gcotv.com/connect/school-of-ministry/) . We are now coming up on completing our third year and having our 2nd Graduation with a told of 7 graduates (with last years graduation and this years). We have also gone global …

              Wow never thought we would see this opportunity to impact the world … Just two months ago (February 2019) we published “The Study in the Life of Christ & the Gospels” and made it FREE to pastors, churches, colleges, and other ministries through out Africa. We simply contacted many of the folks I have on my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and asked them if they wanted it. The response was amazing; within two months we have students completing the course in Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Eritreans. With at least 70 students working on the course and that number could be higher.  We have recently reached out to individuals with connections in India, Haiti, Nepal, Pakistani, Argentine, and other countries. We can’t wait to see what God does.  When the individual completes the course of study either individuality or as a group, they receive a “Certificate of Completion” from GCOTV School of Ministry.

              Another great opportunity for us at GCOTV School of Ministry our Pastor/Chancellor Dr. Roger Webb will be in Kenya this summer ministering to a group of pastors and upon completion of the program we will grant them a Certificate of Completion in Excellence of Christian Leadership.  We have also received invitations (not yet accepted) to minister in Uganda. I’m sure there will be other invitations over time.

              Friends, we do have a Prayer Request, over the years the Lord has continued to lay on my heart the pastors and ministers of the Appalachian Region of America, in providing educational opportunities to individuals that are seeking help in better communicating God’s word. We are currently seeking to partner with churches or ministries to accomplish this vision.  Please pray God open’s the perfect connection.

              Of course, I continue to serve on the Faculty and Board of Aidan University in Jacksonville, FL and as an Adjunct Faculty of New Life Temple Bible College (Cincinnati, Ohio) … Wow I sound busy! But it is about the fun of serving Christ and impacting lives with the Gospel ….

Do me a HUGE Favor …
Pray that God gives us opportunities to impact the World even more!
Rev. Don Allen, Jr. PhD

If you know of someone that would like to partner with us on the “Study in the Life of Christ and the Gospels” please have them contact me @


Monday, March 11, 2019

Reflecting on God’s calling!

As I was reading my devotional "Time with God" this morning I was intrigued by the call of Matthew/Levi the Tax Collector. The story plays out in three separate passages of scriptures (Matthew 9:9 and Mark 2:14; and Luke 5:27) in two of the verses the name is Levi in the other it is Matthew, so why the difference? The answer is simple Matthew the name Greek form with the meaning "gift of Jehovah" and Levi is Hebrew with the meaning "Gift of Yahweh."

So, what makes this individual unique in his calling? We must understand the term Tax Collector, this is a Jew that works for the Roman government collecting taxes for the Roman’s to finance their wars and lavish lifestyles, basically it was believed that he was stealing from the poor to finance the rich. Matthew/Levi lifestyle was funded by any additional money he could extort from people beyond what they owed and what the government paid him as a salary. We know for fact he was an employee of the Roman’s, as well as a tax collector who was educated and had a good business sense.
I love the simple but direct wording of Jesus to Matthew! Follow (Strong’s Concordance states it means "to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him :") ME! (Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Teacher/Rabbi, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the guy that in just a few years will die on the Cross for you and the entire world.


I’m convinced that Christ is simply stating the obvious "Follow Me." Focusing on the event just shortly after Matthew’s calling, we see the impact that Matthew has on his friends, he invited the other Tax collectors (the cities outcast into one room) to dinner and introduced them to Jesus. I’m often amazed at the excitement and simplicity of new Christians and their desire to introduce their friends to Jesus. They don’t care about the critics, the people judging them, people questioning their motives, they simply want their friends to know Jesus.

As I reflect on this story (passage) I must ask myself and you three questions.
Have I (you) met Jesus, the savior of the world? However, more importantly is He the savior of your personal soul?
Have you chosen to FOLLOW HIM as he has called you to? And, as you follow him have you become a disciple (student) of Christ?
Have you invited any of your friends recently to meet your Savior and Friend Jesus Christ?

As we reflect on these three questions, it is imperative that we Know HIM (Christ) as Savior, we are Following HIM to be His disciple (student) and sharing our faith with others is the foundation of Christ’s calling today for us.

Like Levi/Matthew are you Following HIM?