Our Audio Prep Review for Lesson 13 is now available for study in our Short Courses Series. This from our series on Moses: A Walk Through The Wilderness And More. We focus in on Faith and Moving Forward In God's Word in this lesson. I pray you will be encouraged by the Word of the Lord.
I wanted to share this message I preached in both services today. I pray it will be of encouragement to our faculty, students and friends.
To all you mothers out there in the FBC family. We thank you for all you have done, and the Christian homes you have help build for the glory of God.
In His Grace,
Dr. Patrick Vossen
A new promotional flyer to encourage students to become a part of FBC has been finalized, and is being prepared
for public presentation. We hope it will serve us well in the coming months, and that FBC continues to grow in the years to come.
Our alumni, ministers and friends continue to be our best advertising out in the public domain. You folks have led many prospective students to consider FBC, we truly have appreciated that so very much.
I have attached the new FBC Promo Flyer to this posting.
God bless you all richly,
Dr. Patrick Vossen
There's a book I recently added to my library, that once again makes a powerful presentation for the need for Spirit anointed preaching ( Spirit-Led Preaching, by Greg Heisler ). You know that type of preaching. The kind where you can't get by on talent, methodology, style or nice public speaking skills. Much of that type of preaching is predominant in mainstream churches, or even some of the Pentecostal churches we have today. However, it is not the way God intends to feed His sheep and direct their spiritual journey.
Nothing can compare with a prayerful pastor or teacher who listens to the Holy Spirit and obeys His direction in the Word.
For out it will come rivers of living water, that will give life to all that hear it. I don't care if your teaching a series of lessons, or a one time sermon. The God anointed Word breaks yokes of bondage and sets the captive free. There is substitute!
A week or two ago I preached in two churches ( which I do quite often ). The message I presented I preached for both churches, and truly was trusting God. For it was not a pretty outlined sermon or anything. However, I knew God wanted the Word I had to be preached. After the first service at an Episcopal church a lady came up to me and said " Thank you for that Word. " So I said, " Your welcome. " Then she asked, " Do you minister here often? " I informed her that I did and then she remarked, " You are some crazy preacher, but I know that was God. I better come to this church for I want to hear from Jesus. " LOL. I then let her know a bit about the church there and our fellowship at CGMF. She already is going to both. Isn't God good?
I have said all of that to say this. Remember in all you do to never leave Jesus out of the equation when it comes to your ministry. Also, understand that the Holy Spirit can operate in an extraordinary fashion and can illuminate things you would never otherwise be able to convey or teach. Take time in His presence and avoid all the shortcuts modern preaching employs with so many tools and outlines. Use them to make you better, do not to use them to fill in gaps when you just " don't feel like praying ". God wants to use you for His Glory, trust Him to give you understanding so you can see His Word come alive through you.
To make my point I want to share with you one of introductory portions of Mr. Heisler's book. I think it will encourage you soul. After you read it think about it and meditate on it awhile. You might not be Superman, but you are God's Man and Woman who He can transform into someone's super hero. That saves their life, and sets them on course toward powerful Kingdom living. Amen.
( From the Book )
Everybody needs a hero. My childhood hero of choice was Superman—faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s ——! I think the transformation of mild-mannered Clark Kent into the bold and courageous Superman was something everyone could identify with. Judging from outward appearances, Clark Kent wasn’t much to contend with. But we all knew what was underneath that shirt and tie. The “S” on his chest stood for the true power inside him.
Do preachers have a hidden S underneath their ministerial garb—not an S pointing to their superhuman strength but an S pointing to the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit still empower preachers today? If so, how? Do we pray and study throughout our week like a Clark Kent, only to change into blue lights and a red cape on Sunday morning in hopeful expectation of something supernatural happening? Or do we begin our sermons as the mild-mannered Clark Kent, waiting expectantly for the Spirit to miraculously transform us at some point of the message into Superman, so we can fly out of the pulpit at high noon every week?
“Nonsense,” you may be saying to yourself, “preachers are just human beings like everybody else.” Yet in a 2004 Knight Rider news article on the Holy Spirit, one evangelical pastor had this to say about the role of the Holy Spirit in Christian’s life: “We are Clark Kent, but with the Holy Spirit, we become Superman.”
When I read a statement like that, immediately my childhood images of Superman come to mind: able to bend steel bars with his bare hands, able to see through walls with X-ray vision, able to lift massive objects with superhuman strength, able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive. It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s … a Spirit-filled Christian? Talk of Christians turning into Superman via the power of the Holy Spirit may fit well with a culture obsessed with extreme makeovers, but it certainly has no foundation in Scripture. In fact, Paul’s self-assessment as a God-called, Spirit-filled preacher of the gospel stands in stark contrast to any Superman mentality: “I came to you in weakness and in fear, and with much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3).
Paul doesn’t sound like Superman, does he? Yet in the next verse Paul affirms that underneath all his trembling and weakness, his preaching donned the S—not of Superman but of the Holy Spirit: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom [not even Superman’s!], but on God’s power” (1 Cor. 2:4). Paul acknowledges that his powerful preaching is not from anything within himself; he plainly tells the Corinthians there is nothing special about him: “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants” (1 Cor. 3:5). It seems the Holy Spirit turned Paul into a servant rather than a Superman, and a weak one at that.
Furthermore, I cannot recall Superman boasting about his inherent weakness to kryptonite. To do so would lessen his superhero image. In contrast Paul not only admits his weaknesses; he boasts in them! “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9).
Judging from the verses quoted above, Paul doesn’t sound like a superhero at all. Yet no honest reader of the New Testament would deny the power of God that accompanied Paul’s ministry of the Word. As pastors today, we live in a church culture filled with large egos, supersized pride, and superhero expectations—pressures the man of steel himself could not handle! Yet we must reject any notion that we are Superman called to be a superhero. The hero of our preaching is Jesus Christ, and our goal as preachers is to be Spirit filled and Spirit empowered so that our audience knows the difference between supernatural preaching and superhero preaching! Preaching is not an exhibition of the Superman skills you may have learned in seminary or at a seminar; rather, as Paul says, it is a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. If we know we want to end up with preaching that is Spirit-empowered, the question remains, “What path do we take to get there?”
As preachers we are quick to confess the need for the Spirit’s power in our preaching, but we fall short when it comes to explaining how to involve the Holy Spirit in our preaching. The fruit of evangelical publishing and scholarship over the last two decades demonstrates that as evangelicals we are far more able to tell what the Spirit does not do in preaching as opposed to what the Spirit must do if powerful proclamation is to take place. My conviction is that we have failed to connect the discipline of homiletics with the doctrine of pneumatology, and as a result we find ourselves “surprised by the Spirit” when he does move. Spirit-Led Preaching seeks to establish a positive theology of the Spirit’s role in preaching by building upon the theological fusion of Word and Spirit.
I love the contrasts being painted here of former life, and new life in Christ. Then explaining how this new life can only be feasible because of the rich mercy of God's Love. What an awesome picture of God's desire to save and help us to conquer those things in life that can keep us down. For it is His desire this passage says, to raise us to a " heavenly level " of understanding. Whereby, we are not led around by our desires or passions of the flesh, but by His Holy Spirit in the freedom where Christ has set you free. Amen.
2 At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. 2 You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. 3 At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.
4–5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! 6 And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. 7 God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
8 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. 9 It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.
Common English Bible. (2011). (Eph 2:1–10). Nashville, TN: Common English Bible.
Dr. Patrick Vossen
Friends, Faculty and Students,
We have been working hard at preparing some excellent newly designed promotional literature for the school. One is a promotional brochure we hope to present to churches and potential students. The other a video introduction with multimedia design here on the website. A rough draft with audio has been produced, but will be shortly replaced with a video as soon as your President figures out how to place it appropriately in the new software I am using.
I posted today our newest addition to our Short Courses series on Moses, and when we finish that course a new one is in production. We thank you all for your participation in the Short Courses series. Your feedback has been noted, and some adjustments will be made in the next series of lessons.
Chancellor Boer and I are in communication weekly to discuss progress with the school. I am challenged and excited by the ideas we both have come to consider for FBC. I trust the future will see Dr. Tice's faith in the school and our fellowship progress in a wonderful way.
In His Grace,
Dr. Patrick Vossen
After discussions with Chancellor Boer, and with the folks at ACI. I can inform you that we have renewed our national accreditation with ACI for one more year. We look forward to our continued partnership with ACI, and pray that this covering will be of benefit to our students at FBC for years to come.
I ask for every friend or former student at FBC to continue to pray for the college, support it financially, and to encourage others to study with us at FBC. The school is dedicated to the full gospel message, and is working diligently to train and equip men and women everywhere for the work of the ministry.
God bless you and may you have a great new year in 2017.
In His Grace,
Dr. Patrick Vossen
President, Focus Bible College
News And Notes At FBC.
December, 5th, 2016
To all our faculty, students and friends of FBC.
We have some changes and alterations that are going to take place on the website in the next three to four weeks. Which will eradicate clutter and make it simpler to navigate the website. In addition, we are going to be focusing a bit differently in some ways. With a simplification of the FBC short courses, as well as adding courses from some of our other ministries in Full Gospel Restoration to it.
After discussion with my Chancellor and our General Bishop, we are going to be suspending degrees overseas. Courses will still be available for nationals to train with, and a certificate program will be in the works. However, all degreed programs will be suspended. A variety of factors went into this decision as a whole.
We need your prayers considering our accreditation process. Currently we have state certification to grant degrees of various nature from the State of Florida as a bible college. That will continue without any doubt whatsoever, but the process and expenditure of national accreditation could be suspended after the first of the year. It costs us over $1500 for the processing and paperwork, and with so many of our students being on scholarship, and many who in the past year started, but have not proceeded in their studies. Resources and reality deem that our national accreditation could be something we might have to retreat from. For many years FBC in the past has operated with just the State's permission to function as a bible college ( a lot of bible colleges do so, even my bible college did back in the 70's did ). The only problem our students would have is trying to transfer credits to out of state institutions. However, like in my case Catholic Distance University took a majority of my credits years ago, and I trust it would be the same today. This is not etched in stone, but currently we are reavaluating the national accreditation status. Keep us in prayer as we want the wisdom of God.
Here are some additional considerations for the future of FBC that are being discussed. Please consider them and give me any thoughtful insights you might have. Amen.
1. Interaction, simplicity, and further development of our courses is a major focus right now.
2. Promotion of the college as a whole and resources to do so.
3. Involvement with churches and ministries with onsite bible college satellite schooling.
4. Once or twice a year Spirit-Filled Bible Conferences in different locals. For intensive training, promotion and encouragement of the
In closing God bless you all. It is always a privilege to serve you in the capacity of service I have as your President. I pray we all might see God's best in the days ahead for FBC.
In His Grace,
Dr. Patrick Vossen
President, Focus Bible College
As I was going through my devotional today and its readings. I truly was struck by how God looks at our character, and those who influence us around us. Then I was led to a devotion that considered the ministry of healing, and our ministering to others in a way to pray and give counsel to heal those lost or hurting in life.
In one way God wants us to avoid and be careful about the swindler or whoever influencing our life unfavorably, but he also wants us to reach out and be a listening ear that can constructively point them to a better life. Amen.
Listening is an art that must be developed.… It needs the full and real presence of people to each other. It is indeed one of the highest forms of hospitality. Why is listening to know through and through such a healing service? Because it makes strangers familiar with the terrain they are travelling through and helps them to discover the way they want to go.… Healers are hosts who patiently and carefully listen to the story of the suffering strangers.
Henri Nouwen, 1932–96
Wilkinson, A., & Cocksworth, C. (Eds.). (2001). An Anglican Companion: Words from the Heart of Faith (p. 87). London: SPCK; Church House Publishing.
I pray your enjoying your fall season, and the cooler weather. It is a wonderful time of the year, but not near long enough to truly enjoy the season. Especially with all its beauty in some parts of the country. It is this time of year I miss being in Connecticut in the fall, but I know it is a short season for us all. However, the vibrant colors on the trees were so wondrous on a sunny fall day back in New England, that I miss it at various times during the season.
Two items of interest for prospective college students, former students and friends of the ministry of Focus Bible College.
One, I am beginning to work on some design changes to make the website easier to navigate, and will be eliminating some items that we brought over from the old site, which are not necessary any longer. Two, I am preparing for our second short courses offering for our ministers and students with us here at FBC. It is on " The Top Ten Mistakes Of Leadership ". The textbook for this series has the same title, and is written by Hans Finzel. I am working on additional materials that will compliment the textbook, and we will be having " guests " whom we will have recorded conference calls with. Whom will answer your questions and those I pose considering leadership. Some of the ministers you will know, some will be new to you. However, I believe the course will be lively and introspective. I pray I will start having the introductory lessons ready for you in the days to come. It will be 50.00 for those studying for college credit, but as before we will make it open to all to enjoy.
God bless you and have a great day in the Lord.
Dr. Vossen and Dr. Boer, along with the entire FBC Staff welcome you to the FBC Blog