Monday, November 28, 2011

CHURCHES GIVES PLAYHOUSES TO NEEDY CHILDREN

By JOE VANHOOSE  - joe.vanhoose@onlineathens.com


Avery Whitfield, 5, shows off her new playhouse. New Life Apostolic Church members are building playhouses for children battling illnesses every month this year.
Avery Whitfield, 5, shows off her new playhouse. New Life Apostolic Church members are building playhouses for children battling illnesses every month this year.


WATKINSVILLE — The New Life Apostolic Church congregation still misses Madison Young, the 15-year-old Monroe girl who died in a four-wheeler accident two months ago. The wound still is fresh, but the Watkinsville church has found a way to heal while honoring a fallen member.
In October, New Life started the M.Y. Playhouse Project, which is named after Young. For the next year, the church will present one custom-built playhouse to a child battling a serious health condition.
Earlier this month, 5-year-old Avery Whitfield held on to her father’s neck as the family stood in between a crowd of about 100 and a large blue tarp. Her shyness turned to a wide smile as the tarp came off she saw her dream playhouse. Before long, she and other children were playing inside, spinning pinwheels and peeking out the windows.
“I won’t be able to get her out of this,” said Laurie Whitfield, Avery’s mother. “Today is a dream come true for her.”
Scott and Misty Clack, who own Clack Construction Co., started the project as a new church outreach initiative. The Clacks and their employees build the playhouses with materials donated from different business and hardware stores.
The finished building then gets a trip to a donated warehouse off Georgia Highway 316 where New Life student ministry members paint and decorate it however the receiving child wants it. A few days before, the child actually colors in a picture of the playhouse, and the decorating team works off of it.
“We put it on a truck and deliver it,” Scott Clack said. “We were going to do 12, but we’re already talking about doing three for December. As long as people keep donating the materials, we’re going to keep building them.”
The first playhouse went to Timothy McCannon of Greensboro, who is battling B-lymphoblastic lymphoma. Avery just had a liver transplant, and she is recovering well, her mother said.
Dr. David Sprayberry in Watkinsville is Avery’s pediatrician, and a few of his employees go to church at New Life. They have Avery’s name to the selection committee and nominated her for a playhouse.
The final step was for the volunteers to see just what Avery wanted.
She used almost every crayon in the box when she colored her playhouse picture. Out front, there was what looked like a pot of gold.
As it turned out, it was filled with giraffe feed.
“We’ve kept track of Avery and we’re praying for her,” said the Rev. Tim Hammond, the pastor at New Life. “She wanted a rainbow and a giraffe. We’re waiting for that giraffe.”
Avery didn’t have to wait for long. Her playhouse came with a pot of giraffe food and a wooden giraffe.
With a pink flower in her brown hair, she patted the giraffe and then looked up along the side of her new play home.
She pointed and read the letters that ran downward.
“A-V-E-R-Y!” she shouted, still smiling.
Everyone around her was smiling, too. The M.Y. Playhouse Project may continue for a long time.
“We all miss Madison terribly around here,” Hammond said. “This will keep Madison’s memory alive.”
To nominate a child for the project, call 706-769-6824 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            706-769-6824      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Watkinsville teen wins gospel contest

Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011
Lauren Strawn has a shy, rather humble demeanor about her, at least until she gets a microphone in her hand.
Special
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The 18-year-old freshman at Athens Tech started trying to sing and play the piano in her grandma's lap when she was 3. Soon, she was soloing in the youth choir and then singing in the adult choir when she still was in grade school.
She helps lead the youth worship at New Life Apostolic Church in Watkinsville and, while she is studying business administration, she wants to sing to a larger audience. Earlier this month, she took a giant leap toward that goal.
Strawn won a 104.7 The Fish FM contest to serve as the opening act at the annual Celebrate Freedom concert in Atlanta. Strawn opened for the Newsboys in front of a crowd of about 50,000.
"There were so many people packed in, I didn't know how I was going to sing in front of all of them," she said. "I remembered it was all about worship and just had my eyes closed. It was a God thing."
Strawn was surprised to be in the position. When the radio station announced the contest, a dozen friends emailed her the details and implored her to enter. She filmed herself playing the piano and singing "Blessings" by Laura Story. The video has thousands of views on YouTube.
Strawn played the song for one of the first times for the video, but she picks up music quickly. Strawn's music IQ has helped her write and understand music using just her ears, said her mother, Pam.
"Lauren knows how to listen to a song and make chord sheets based off of what she hears," Pam Strawn said. "I think it runs on her dad's side of the family."
Weeks after submitting the video, the station called her to tell her she was one of five finalists. The five sang their songs on stage in front of a panel of judges.
"I was so nervous, and they were all so sweet and good," Strawn said. "My voice cracked once, and I figured that was it."
Instead, the judges selected her as the winner. She sang at the Celebrate Freedom concert and already has a second gig at Faith Fest in Winder on Oct. 1.
In addition to the concert, she also earned $10,000 for herself and her church. She plans to use the money to pay off her car and invest, not just in stocks, but also in her own music career.
Strawn will get a head start later this fall with a recording session, which also was included in the grand prize. She plans on making an EP out of it.
She has written several songs that could show up on the EP and, later, a full-length album.
Her 35 or so compositions range from worship music to choir pieces to deeply-written rock songs.
"There is a lot of variety and not really a set style," she said. "They're all influenced by my love of God, but I think that a lot of people can relate."
Her songs all have uniqueness about them as well, a little stamp of Strawn's own authenticity. She doesn't just want people to listen to her music.
She wants them to be touched.
"I'm trying to relay a simple message," she said. "And that message is Christ."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Culturally Relevant: To Be or Not to Be?

by Kenny Chessor    July 2,  2011


The mere mention of the phrase is sure to get a rise out of most people involved in ministry. More than likely, you’ve formed an opinion on the subject after seeing it done right, or perhaps seeing it done completely wrong. Whichever side you’re on in this debate, the question is being asked and will continue to be with each generation to come.

Can the church hold onto its values, while still being relevant to a world that is constantly moving away from them?

In no way do I claim to be an expert on this subject, but my years in youth ministry (or student ministry depending on how relevant you’re trying to be) have afforded me some insight. I only ask that I may humbly submit my opinion for your consideration.

Now to answer the question…don’t you hate it when someone asks a question, only to run from it the entire article? In short, I feel the answer is yes. The church can hold to its values, while still being relevant to a world that is constantly moving away from them. I’ll attempt to approach the subject from both ends of the spectrum.


TOO RELEVANT: We’ve all seen it done. They try so hard to connect with this generation; they’ll seemingly stop at nothing to appear “cool” and “hip”. For the record, using the words cool and hip immediately disqualifies you from being either. You know that guy who keeps trying to work Lady Gaga and Lil’ Wayne lyrics into their sermons to gain street cred. They’ll usually start their youth services off with a popular YouTube video that all their students have seen a year ago when it was actually new.

Last year I was at a youth event put on by an organization who for years has preached against television and cinema. To my surprise, the service started with a video presentation of how special effects have changed through the years in film. Which, I must say, was extremely cool, but what significance did it have to the service?

The danger in trying too hard to be relevant is more than likely the message you’re sending to your kids is this: The world is cool….really really cool. Let me ask you this: if your youth service was one of your students, how would you try to help them? We’ve all had to counsel with a teen who was was trying to mimic the world in every aspect of their life. They seem to want to be as close to the world as they can be, while still maintaining a spiritual walk with God. How does your youth service differ from this? Are you trying to pattern your music, media, and subject matter after what is cool by this world’s standard, but still hope to have something spiritual happen in the end? Maybe if we can look through this with this lens, we can see our folly to be “cool” for the sake of being cool. It’s been said a million times: “The message doesn’t change, but the method needs to.” And while I agree with this, I must warn that we be careful not to let the method become the message. I fear we can get so carried away with the latest method, that the message of Christ gets watered down or completely drowned out. Then, our students leave thinking saying , “WOW! That was really cool!” but when asked, struggle to give an idea about what the point was.


NOT RELEVANT AT ALL: Possibly without meaning to, this group projects that the world is so evil, that a good Christian must completely disengage from it to be holy. If you find yourself in this group, I’d like to start off by saying, I believe your intentions are well meaning. I believe as much as anyone that we should come out from among them and be ye separate. This is not the debate.

It’s been well said that the problem isn’t the ship being in the sea, but the sea being in the ship. This is definitely true, but I feel most people use this as an argument to dismiss any cultural ventures to reach the lost. Let’s keep with this ship in the sea analogy. Obviously, the church is the ship and the world is the sea. So what is the ship’s purpose, I ask? If it is to sail on safely to the other side, with no other objective, then by all means, sail on. However, we find that the ship has a very special purpose for being in the sea altogether. You see, there’s fish in the sea. Jesus declared to his first disciples, that he would make them fishers of men. How effective can a fisher be if he has no knowledge of the fish or the water it lives in? The best anglers not only pinpoint the lure that is most attractive to the fish, but also learn how to present it. Should I use a top water jig? Maybe I should drag a worm across the bottom. The fact is, we’re all trying to catch fish…but some of us are using different bait and presenting it in a way that ensures a catch.

The fact is, most churches are already engaged in culturally relevant evangelism. However, hopefully it’s relevant to the culture that the church is in. Understanding this, we know we’ll only win certain types of men if we only evangelize with one method. So maybe we should rethink what is relevant the next time we knock another churches style. If I’m expected to win lost teens, then I must be a student of youth culture. The same is given to the man trying to reach the farmers and oil riggers of our world.

We understand that God’s Word is timeless. It never changes. Nevertheless, culture is fluid. It’s always changing. Not only that, there is not one culture that is widely accepted in this generation. We live in a fractured culture. It will also change by geography. What works for downtown church in the major city will not work for the country church in the rural location.

Paul said, “I am made all things to all [men] that I might by all means save some.” Paul was a man of study. He had a seemingly endless knowledge of the scriptures. But everywhere he went, he found ways to present the message to different cultures. Even to a group of polytheistic pagans. I think we should follow this biblical example. First, by becoming students of the Word of God. Then, by becoming students of our surrounding culture. By doing this, I believe, we’ll insure our student ministry will always be relevant.



Rev. Kenny Chessor serves as Louisiana District Youth President and is also the Student Pastor at Voice of Pentecost in Baton Rouge, LA


www.chessorministries.com



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WORD AFLAME TABERNACLE VISITS PARKWOOD HOMES

NLAC was delighted to invite the outreach team under the direction of Rev. Nathan Johnson to come to our May 28th service at Parkwood Homes in Snellville.  We are so excited to be able to turn this monthly ministry over to them starting in June of 2011. We have been privileged to work with Parkwood over the last three years with a monthly service as we have seen people filled with the Holy Ghost as well as healings take place.
                                                                             
The new outreach team, consisting of six individuals, comes from Word Aflame Tabernacle pastored by Rev.  Alan James. They are located in the Snellville, Georgia area. The website to their church is:

















Word Aflame is a revival church and outreach minded. I was impressed by Bro. Nathan and his team as we transitioned our ministry over to them this past Saturday. The music that was brought forth in this service was modern and contemporary coupled with hymns from the past. The youth team was full of boldness as they went forth to greet the patients…..There was great interaction as we introduced the new team and backed out of the way allowing their church to take the reins and continue on with a great move of God! 

Bro. Nathan also gave his testimony as he spoke to the onlookers of staff and patients (32 in attendance) about the love of God and the many times God had healed him….Great faith was shown to those who listened intently and some raised their hands for prayer at the end of the service….

We are so excited to have Word Aflame take over the Parkwood ministry with enthusiasm, excitement, and boldness.  As Susan Bruce and I backed into the shadows to allow Word Aflame’s outreach team take the floor, I remarked that it was great that those who follow the Acts church in doctrine and deed can work together even if hailing from different churches. We concluded the meeting by introducing the new team to Bro. Wallace so they could meet his needs on a regular basis going forward. This was overall, a very successful day.

God Bless,

Scott Strawn, Outreach Director


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPINESS by Kristen Clack (from her blog)


I awake every morning and get myself ready. It is not a struggle like it used to be. My hair is getting longer and hard to manage at times. I wear it spiked up most days. Sometimes I place a small ribbon in my hair to match what I am wearing that day.
My teachers at my high school are really helpful and are accommodating my needs each day. I am currently in British Literature and Physics. Oh yes… Physics. I will need to pass these 2 classes to graduate with my class this May. Before my accident, I didn’t have to study to make A’s and B’s. If I just listened in class, I could maintain my grades. Now I have to study every night and I struggle with vocabulary. Memory at times come very difficult for me. I get frustrated when I know the answer and I can’t find the words to explain it. My teachers are exceptional. They have gone above and beyond.
I’ve just taken my ACT a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t gotten my results back yet, but very anxious to see them. I had prepared and prepared myself to take this  and actually was scheduled to take it this past August and the SAT in September, but with the accident, I didn’t get to take them.  I am going to take the SAT next month. Most of the colleges that I was looking into prior to the accident has deadlines for submission of these results last month.  I am working hard to take these and do the best I can to make a high score to be accepted into college this year or next.
I have been working on scholarships to help with the financial end of college. I have to do a lot of writing and critical thinking, it’s hard! I am determined to be the best I can be and to be back on top of my academics and my athletic ability.
My friends and my fellow students at my high school has been so supportive. Every one has been great. Every “Hello” and for every positive smile I get, makes me feel like I am back where I was before. The students at Apalachee, will never know how much each of them mean to me. I thank them so much for praying for me and being there smiling and laughing with me. I love my high school and respect what it means to me. The ones that fill it up makes my school what it is today. Go Wildcats!
I can’t leave out the Bulldogs….. AWESOME. When it comes to community, there is no other town than Winder. The students at the high school across town will also never know how much they mean to me. Every single one! The students, parents, athletic programs, staff and administration…. I am so thankful.
God is restoring me every day. He has touched my life in so many ways……. He has given me my life. I haven’t missed a Church service since I have been back home from my accident.  New Life in Watkinsville is not far away. It’s just a town away. I learn a lot and I learn the Truth. Pastor Tim always preaches the Absolute Truth. God is real and I am living abundantly just like God said. I am going to a Women’s conference on March 5 at the Apostolic Church in Winder, behind Akins Ford at 10:30 – 3pm. I will be talking briefly, but a great speaker will be there to give her testimony and what God is doing in her life. I am so blessed and I know that God will continue to work in my life and will use me to his benefit.

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Posted by: Scott Strawn, NLAC Outreach Director



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NLAC YOUTH UPDATE - THE DASH - Youth in Revolt


New Life Apostolic had its bi-monthly evening service on April 17th.  Lead by the youth department, known as The Dash, the service was, once again, inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit.  While the night seemed exceptional to our guests and those new to New Life, this Sunday evening, was just a typical service hosted by an exceptional group of young people willing to yield to the Holy Spirit and allow themselves to be used in their worship.  Our youth consistently create an atmosphere of worship and anointing.  

A couple months ago, The Dash leaders asked our young people to step forward and give their testimonies regarding holiness.  Handfuls of youngsters were asked to take the podium and share their experiences and insight on living a holy life for God.  What does holiness mean to each one of them?  One would expect an average teenager to be nervous or fearful and maybe just spout off a few generic and uninspired sentences. Unlike the average teenager, our youth stepped up boldly.  Battles, both lost and won, trials and tribulations, both passed and failed, were shared.  With their hearts poured out and tears streaming down their faces, they laid out their lives for each other in plain view.  It was then that a realization came upon me.  This was a youth dedicated in its service to God above the service of this world.  This was a youth willing to sacrifice itself for the glorification of Jesus Christ.  They may bend at the hard hits this life has to offer, but they would not break.  You can tease them and torture them, but their vengeance would be in their smile of forgiveness.  This is The Dash.

So it comes as no surprise, that when given the opportunity to lead service, The Dash has no hesitation in tapping into the great and wonderful power that is Jesus Christ.   From pre-service prayer to dismissal, they give their all to Christ and He is there to respond according to His will.  Sunday, April 17 was no exception. Their preparation for the platform begins in their daily life and ends with pre-service prayer.  When the countdown begins, anticipation is high.  As The Dash takes the stage, the youth are electrifying and contagious.  When the first note hits, you can feel the precious anointing gently rest upon their lips.  As those lips sing praises unto God, that anointing makes its way into the congregation.  It isn’t long before the Spirit takes over.  One by one, the choir trickled down to the altar with joy on their lips and tears streaming down their cheeks.  By the third song, the altar was filled and the platform was near empty.  The congregation had responded and the anointing had completely filled the room.    You couldn’t describe the rest if you tried, for the overwhelming power of the anointing is only explicable with tongues ablaze with fire.  

The Dash is filled with youth in revolt.  But where many have revolted against proper doctrine and good teaching, these youth are in the middle of a revolution against this world and its desire to take all that is pure from them.  Where you find some teenagers focusing on themselves, you will find The Dash serving their communities, their church, and those in need.  You will find them giving their time.  You will find them giving their money.  You will find them praying for the lost.  You will find them at the altars of God pouring out their hearts to him.  You will find them with their arms wrapped around each other in love for one another. Where you seek God, you will find The Dash.
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Written by Bro. Chris Greenwood
NLAC Outreach Team
Homeless Ministries Coordinator









Tuesday, April 12, 2011

UPDATE ON TIMOTHY McCANNON - by Talmadge McCannon - April 12, 2011



As me and Timothy sat on the couch this morning and listened to the song this morning about the Blood I looked over at Timothy to tell him how I really liked that song and to my surprise he said to me with this serious look, Yep we are nothing without the covering of his Blood. I'm so thankful for the teachings at our church. As Pastor Tim preached in his message about the Blood this morning it made me think about the sign on our refrigirator that Timothy and Deanne made before his treatments ever started. 


Also an update on him is that he continues to gain strength and his doctors are amazed at him although they say he keeps them on their toes, he is an amazing child and I only hope to have as much faith as he does one day. Thanks for everyones prayers and we ask for everyone to continue with them.


Talmadge McCannon (pictured below with wife Deanne)
Uniion Point, Georgia


Friday, March 25, 2011

NLAC - WATKINSVILLE VISITS HOMELESS MINISTRY - MARCH 24, 2011



We honor Pastor Perry and Walk on Water Ministries for allowing us to host a New Life Apostolic service at their facility.  Walk on Water is a wonderful outreach center for those in need and having the opportunity to participate was an awesome blessing.  

The night began with an overwhelming anticipation.  Walking in to the center, you could not help but notice the friendly and generous countenance of the Walk on Water staff and the New Lifers.  We had all come expecting a move of God.  A move is what we expected and a move is what we received.  You could feel the Holy Ghost immediately fall when we began our pre-service prayer in the family room. Tongues echoed as the wonderful spirit of the Lord settled in the midst of the people.  This was but the first of what God had planned for the evening. 

 After an inspiring performance by the Creative Worship Team, the New Life Praise Team, followed by Brother Mercer Cox, took the stage and shared a glimpse of the Lord through worship and song.  It was great to see young and old people alike, in a strange setting, worshiping Jesus Christ without shame or fear.  You could gradual see smiles appear upon faces that, only moments ago, had none.  

The people were ready for a word from God.  Bishop B.G. Miller then took the platform and introduced the Holy Ghost.  With fiery words from his lips and a humble and sincere heart, he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The precious anointing kept filling the room as the excitement of the Holy Spirit filled the hearts and minds of those in attendance.  Pastor Perry’s heartfelt testimony after only proved further that the Holy Ghost was in the place.  As a handful of people made their way to the front for altar call, it was a blessing to see the awesome response by New Life and Walk on Water staff.  Strangers coming together with strangers to pray under the power and anointing of Jesus Christ is a precious precious thing.  At least one received the gift of the Holy Spirit, others were refilled, and even more were ministered to and touched by God.  There was a true outpouring of His anointing.

It was an immense blessing being able to participate.  Pastor Perry Burgess does an amazing job managing the facility and providing a place for those in need.  It was truly an honor for him to be able to open up his doors to us and allow us the chance to worship with his members.  God truly blesses those who bless his people. 



__________________________________________________________

Bro. Chris Greenwood
NLAC Homeless Ministries Coordinator
NLAC Outreach Dept.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

OUR PRAYER REVIVAL ( January 30th – February 5th)

On Sunday, January the 30th at 7:00 p.m., our church body had the privilege of gathering together to pray and seek the face of God. This was the beginning of our prayer revival, which lasted for seven nights.


During this awesome time of prayer, our Pastor gave us a specific topic to pray for and he read scriptures each night that coincided with a specific them. We also were given the opportunity to bring written requests to the altar, claiming help, healing, and deliverance for ourselves, families and friends.

 Through our prayer revival we saw two baptized in the precious name of Jesus; one received the Holy Ghost immediately upon coming up out of the water!!  We have seen many drawn to God, and many renewed through our prayer revival!!

 We are blessed above and beyond the richest person on this earth to know the power that comes through prayer in the name of Jesus!!  Thank you God for the privilege and honor we have to come before you in prayer!!

 When we come into the church, "the house of sacrifice" (2 Chronicles 7:12), and humble ourselves (2 Chronicles 7:14), it will change the mind of God and his eyes and ears will be open (2 Chronicles 7:15-16).

We are continuing to reap the benefits of this prayer revival and believe that we will for days and weeks to come!!

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 Written and submitted by Sis. Brenda Garner, a member of NLAC along with her husband Jeff. They also serve in several capacities including the outreach team.