Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Time for the church to stand!

            In the mist of Chaos is when God work’s best! And believe America is in the mist of chaos. From a pandemic that has killed thousands, to finical struggles that is crippling the America, to riots throughout the country.

            Nobody in his or her right mind believes that these events are not real, and action needs to be taken. However, the only solution is an Old Fashion Holy Ghost God shaking revival.  We are not going to change these events by changing Congress, the President, Governors, or Mayors. We are not going to change these events with investigations, new laws, or name calling. They will only change when the Church stands up and does what it was called to do. 

            God is not interested in the name on your church building, your denominational affiliation, your cultural back, if we are Urban or Rural, the amount in you’re a bank account, the number of people you feed last week, or if you preached in your building this week or from home on Facebook. I believe that God is only interested in one thing … Are you talking about Him and his Love!

            Preachers across the country have gotten to the point they are more worried about preaching on finical security, being successful, and being liked by the community than on what Christ did at the Cross. Let’s be clear what happen in Minneapolis with the Cop and George Floyd was wrong and is SIN condemned in the 10 commandments by God. However, burning down someone’s business, school, church or home is SIN as well, pulling someone from their car and beating them is SIN.

            Honestly pastors I’m scared to death, because I believe judgment is not just coming on America, I believe it coming on us as Pastors and preachers as well …   When Paul wrote that famous quoted words in Romans 1: 16 (NKJV) “For, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, the Jew first and also the Greek”

You ask what makes me scared is my belief that today? The feeling that 90% (this my number from my observation) of the Pastors, Preachers, Evangelist, and missionaries in America can’t say this verse and mean it with a straight face.

            I believed three things most happen ASAP if not we will never see America survive. As a 60-year-old white male that has been preaching and teaching for over 40 years, and someone that call his best friend brother and my children call him uncle (who is an African American Pastor) I have been privileged to preach churches that go across the racial divide throughout my 40 years of ministry. No matter the make up of the church, all white, all black, all Latino, or culturally diversity, it is time for the church and most importantly their Pastors to have one voice of GOD! We must do 3 things!

1.     Pastors, preachers, evangelist, and missionaries must stand up and preach the Gospel of Christ love to every individual.

2.     Pastors, preachers, evangelist, and missionaries must stand up and preach that SIN is SIN, and quite justifying sin because is done by a certain group of people.

3.     It is time for the Pastors, preachers, evangelist, and missionaries to take our place in the mist of this chaos, pandemic, social unrest, hate, and destructive behavior and stand of and declare Christ is the Answer!

The only way this happens is when we as Pastors, preachers, evangelist, and missionaries, quite allowing the politicians, rioters, and news media to dictate the message. We have the message and it has not changed in 2000 years of hope, love, and healing.  Then and only then will we see a Real Revival, Healing of Racism and Social Justice and a Holy Ghost Move of God!

           


Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Amazing Prayer:
         Over the past 40 years of ministry I have read the Prayer of Jabez found in I Chronicles 4: 9 & 10 dozens if not hundreds of times. I have read countless articles, sermons, and even a book on this prayer. However, with all that is happening in the world the Lord has drawn me to this prayer daily for the past two weeks.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 in NKJV reads:
9 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”  10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So, God granted him what he requested.

As I read this short prayer, I realized that Jabez was a man of passion and also felt a personal close relationship to God, which allowed him to come into his presence and ask.  

As I have read and meditated on this prayer God showed me a couple of things, that I feel are relevant for each of us today.

1.     We must be Honorable (a right relationship with God) every moment of our life.
2.    As we pray ask (personalize it) for the desires of your hearts. Notice Jabez prayed!
a.    If only you will bless me!
· Throughout all the battles we face in life physical, emotional, financial, relationships, etc.  We understand the reality is clear that what we really need is God blessing today and every day.  
b.    Extend my boarder!
· God expand my business, ministry, sphere of influences so all that you do glorifies God.
c.    Let your hand be with me!
· God I can’t accomplish anything with out you, so please take my hand and lead me where you want me, and stay with me throughout all of life’s challenges.
d.   Keep me from harm!
· In the midst of danger, pandemics, and troubles keep me safe, so that I will be able to rejoice in the glory of your safety.
e.    So that, I will not cause any pain!
· So that I will not cause pain to others, especially so that I do not lead other’s astray in the relationship with you, or make other’s miss knowing you by my actions. Or cause pain to those that I love in my actions, or words.
f.     God grant this request!
· Amen! Amen!



Thursday, March 26, 2020

What do I need to know to help preach the scripture?


When I was a young minister, my pastor Dr. James Lougheed at the Flint Baptist Temple (Burton, Michigan) would remind me all the time that 90% of the time you spend studying, reading and preparing the message, and the other 10% you spend in the pulpit having fun.  

As Pastors, Associate, Youth Pastors, Bible teachers, and college professors it is important that we dig deep (become scholars/students of the word) into the word of God personally, before going into the pulpit or classroom to preach or teach!

Pastors, I found an outline in some old notes in my office, I have no idea who shared them originally, so I took the liberty to use them and added a few thoughts of my own.

What? So What? And Now What?

What do I need to know personally to understand a book or passage of the Bible?

1)    Who wrote the book?
2)    To whom was it written? (was it an individual?  or was it to a church?)
3)    When was it written?
4)    Why did the author write the letter or book, what was his purpose or intention?
5)    What tools or literary devises did the author employ? (did the author use a parable, miracle, or etc.?)
6)    What kind of literature is the book/passage? (i.e. prophecy, poetic, etc.)
7)    Who is speaking in this passage?
8)    What are the key ideas, words, concepts, or issues that are addressed?
a.     How has meaning of the words used in this passaged changed over time?
b.     What current terms would evoke similar images or thoughts?
c.     What are similar issues in our culture?
9)    If the passage is a narrative, what are the characters like? It is important we try to see the story from their point of view.

So What? Now that I have a sense of the passage/book, how shall I use the information?

1)    How does the passage speak to me personally?
a.     What does it mean?
b.     What does it move me to do/not do?
c.     Is there discomfort/conviction created by this passage?
2)    Does my church feel, think, or believe the same way I do?
a.     If not, why not?
b.     What is my role at this point in the church?
3)    How can I recreate the discomfort/conviction by this passage for the church members?
a.     Do the literary forms suggest anything?
b.     How can I recreate the movement of the passage?
4)    What shall we do as a result of the text?
a.     Is it a matter of belief, values, or action?
b.     Is immediate response called for, or longer-term transformation?

Now What?

1)    Begin to prepare the message itself.
2)    It is important to take the first century concepts and culture and make it relevant today?
3)    Develop images, stories, or illustrations that you want to share
4)    Make the abstract concrete and general specific (Make it understandable)
5)    What is the purpose of this message?

Suggestions:

1)    Do not run to commentaries or other external resources too quickly, live with the passage yourself for a time.
2)    Do not begin writing the message too quickly, let the ideas from your study brew for a while.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COVID-19


The COVID-19 has swept across the globe causing fear like I have not seen in my lifetime. I understand that much of the fear is a result of constant updates from the government, medical professionals, and the opinions of the news reporters.

As I spoke to the patients at the psychiatric hospitals in chapel this past weekend I shared simply that God is not about the Fear Factor, God is about challenging us to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

We have gotten good at taking care of ourselves physically we are able to self-quarantine if needed, wash our hands a hundred times a day, stay six feet from other people, don’t shake hands, and use gallons of hand sanitizer. However, the reality is that we are not as good with the other two.

When it comes the Emotional part, I always go to Philippians 4:6 in the Christian Standard Version that reads “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything  through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your request be made know to God.”  Worry is an emotion the dictionary defines as a Verb (an action) “give way to anxiety or unease; allows one's mind to dwell on difficulties or troubles” it is time as Christians we stand on the Promise of God. God states clearly, I will supply all your needs. However, remember he doesn’t promise all you’re wants. The first NEED we must believe that he is going to provide is “PEACE of Mind” and live in the knowledge that God is still God and in control even when we are dealing with the COVID-19 virus, that is causing havoc around the world, and yes even in my own city.

The other place that things like the COVID-19 creates fear and doubt is in my spiritual walk. As I shared with the patients Sunday, if I’m not careful I will allow the uncertainty of the world cause me to struggle in my faith.  Hebrew’s 11:1 state in the New King James version  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I must have faith God is handling the situation even when I can’t see him doing it.

I shared three relevant prayers with them, and I believe they are relevant for everyone of us today. I think that God wants us to keep things simple, especially in times like this.

1)    I prayed (encouraged them to pray) for God’s hand of protection around the individual’s life spiritually, emotionally, and physically through times of uncertainty.

2)     I prayed (encouraged them to pray) for God’s hand of protection around the individual’s family and friends that they would also be touched spiritually, emotionally, and physically through this time of uncertainty.

3)    I prayed (encouraged them to pray) for our government (leadership) that they would deal in facts and through God’s grace find solutions that will bring an end to this uncertainty quickly.

It is time for the church universal (worldwide) to slow down, focus on God, pray and seek his healing and solution throughout this time. We have the power to bring peace, healing, and understanding through this time of uncertainty if we just do it Biblically and not in the worlds panic mode.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

The loss, the grief, the pain!


              I was recently asked for excerpt from my book Greif: Helping Christians Coping with the STORM of Loss by the website www.Grieving.com, that provides resources to individuals dealing with the loss of a loved one.  I shared the following with them from my book:

"Grief is a reality that each of us will cope with more than once in our lifetime. The loss of a loved one, a friend, a pet, our home, our job, or maybe divorce. However, understanding how grief affects us will help us cope with the devastation to our emotional and even physical lives. Understanding the stages of grief is essential to developing healthy coping skills for living a successful life."

              With recent events surrounding the death of Kobe Bryant, and other high-profile individuals such as Jim Lehrer who many of us grew up watching on the news, local Cincinnati politician Todd Portune, and actor Stan Kirsch grief has once again moved to the forefront of the America thinking.  However, the reality is that with these famous people having public funerals and major new coverage we will often over look those around us who are suffering from the loss of a family member to cancer or heart attack, loss of mobility due to a surgery, or the devastation of the death of a pet. Understand I’m not saying we do this intentional, we are simply overwhelmed by the coverage on television. and social media.

              As I watch the television, social media such as Facebook and others.  There is a great deal of coverage of the famous quotes, actions, and yes even family engagement of the famous people that have died. However, there is very limited information being provided on how to cope with the loss.
              I would challenge my friends, pastors, and yes even fellow chaplains to use these events to help people understand the resources that are available and develop the tools to face Grief when it arises in their life.

The great writer C. S. Lewis wrote after the death of wife, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” It is imperative that we help those we come in contact that maybe struggling the loss of these famous individuals, or more importantly those that are struggling with their own personal loss to understand we care and are here to help.

There are several things we can do to help individual to cope with loss when it comes, weather it a national hero, or personal loss:
·       Acknowledge the loss.
·       Help individuals to understand the stages they will go through and provide tools as they go through each of them.
·       Listen to them, and allow them to share feeling and thoughts
·       Encourage them to focus on the future even when they don’t see one.

If you would like more information on coping with grief, please check out my book @  https://www.revdonallenjr.com/p/books.html

Friday, January 3, 2020

Reflecting on the Past and Future …

2019 was an amazing year!

                As I reflect on the past year it has been amazing to see how God has blessed our family.  We have seen God move in every aspect of our lives physically, financially, careers, and yes even most importantly spiritually.  It is true we have also seen heart arche, physical pain, and disappointments. However, the reality is that throughout 2019 we have seen God be faithful.

                We was blessed in the expansion of Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry International outreach, as well as the publishing of my second book.

2020 is going to be even more amazing!

                As we move into this New Year it is amazing to already see God moving from dinner last night with our children to celebrate their mother’s birthday to hearing their stories of what their schedules look like.  It is easy to see God’s hand moving in each of their lives. It is just as easy to see God preparing my wife and I for some amazing opportunities throughout the coming year.

                We see some financial blessings coming our way and believing God for even greater physical healing throughout the year. We also see ministry opportunities, from preaching for friends throughout the Greater Cincinnati area, to attending and participating in local and national conferences.

                Then there is the West Africa trip and honestly, I can’t wait to see what God has planned for this amazing adventure.  He has already supplied over half the funds for the trip. I will be traveling with my dear friend Dr. Charles Travis, preaching, teaching pastors, and doing radio interviews are on the agenda for the last part of March or early April.  There is also a possibility that I may be given the opportunity to teach at a local university on “God’s place in helping with Addiction” 

                If you would like to help with this amazing opportunity the need is Two-fold, (1) We need your prayers that all required plans come together as we move forward, (2) help in covering the cost to go and minister. The total budget for this very extensive trip is only $4500.00, all inclusive. We are asking you to pray about what God would have you to do in helping make this trip possible.

Friends, we have made arrangements with Grace Church of the Valley so that your donation can be tax deductible. If you go to  https://gcotv.com/give/ and go to Mission, then make a note in the memo line for Don Allen’s trip, and the funds will be applied to the account. Or you can mail a check or money order to GCOTV @ 1709 Nowlin Ave. Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 with the same designation.

 

Time for the church to stand!

             In the mist of Chaos is when God work’s best! And believe America is in the mist of chaos. From a pandemic that has killed thou...