This is the sermon Bishop James Swanson preached at the 2010 Holston Evangelism Conference. Be sure to register for the 2011 Conference coming up April 1st and 2nd at Cokesbury Center in Knoxville Tennessee. God is at work in Holston!
April 1, 2011 – April 2, 2011
The Rev. Charles Kyker will be the speaker for the 2011 Holston Evangelism Conference. Kyker, who also appeared at the 2010 Holston Annual Conference, is lead pastor for the four campuses of Christ United Methodist Church in Hickory, N.C.
The conference will again be held at Cokesbury Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
Here is the schedule of events:
Friday, April 1
4:00 Workshops (optional, no extra cost, please preregister)
5:00 – 7:00 Registration (dinner on your own)
7:00 Session I – Charles Kyker
Saturday, April 2
9:00 Session II with Charles Kyker
10:30 Session III “Rethink Church”
12:00 Lunch (on-site for all who preregistered)
12:45 Round Table discussions
1:30 Closing worship with Bishop James Swanson
Mail-in Registration Form
Friday, February 25 – Online registration begins.
Monday, March 28, 5:00 p.m. – Deadline to register
If you have any questions about your registration, please feel free to call, toll-free, (866)690-4080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you there.
Harry Denman was a layman who had the gift of making people want to listen whether he was speaking with one person or to a multitude. He was a person who never accepted “no” as final. He sought to try that which others thought could not be done, and he succeeded.
Love for the Lord and his fellow human beings was the keynote of his life. He stood for many things that are today coming to pass, but were not popular causes in his own day: the equality of persons regardless of sex, nationality, or race; simplicity of life-style, disregard of false values of materialism; and a search for the true values of life taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
Harry Denman was truly a “fisher of all persons.” He sought to lead the Board of Evangelism into wide presentations of the Gospel to reach people. His personal dedication forced him to follow Christ totally, and he sought to lead others to have what he had: total commitment to a life of faith. He told it like it was as best as he understood it. He did not hesitate to give answers to the tough questions of personal faith, nor did he fail to admit his own personal weakness and frequently asked another person to “pray for me.”
To meet Harry Denman was to feel the force of his personality and to be challenged by it. The impact of his spiritual and physical presence is not easily forgotten. He moved tirelessly, confidently, dedicated to one objective: to witness for the Lord, Jesus Christ. When he was part of a group, whether with colleagues or strangers, businessmen or politicians, the conversation was shifted by Harry to the Bible, prayer, and the Risen Lord whom he sought continually to serve. He commanded attention by his dedication and singleness of purpose.
For these reasons, each year Holston Conference seeks to honor one clergy person, one lay person, and one youth whose lives exemplify the spirit and dedication of Harry Denman with the Denman Evangelism Award. If you know persons who reflect the singleness of purpose in reaching persons for Jesus Christ that was exemplified by Harry Denman, please submit a nomination (clergy, laity, youth) for those persons.
Denman Evangelism Award nominations are due each year by April30 for persons to be recognized in the following Holston Annual Conference session. These awards are sponsored each year by theFoundation for Evangelismand the Witness Ministry Team.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact the Connectional Ministries office.
John Wesley made it a lifelong habit to fast and the following is referred to as “The John Wesley Fast” in Elmer Towns book “The Daniel Fast.”
[Prior to the Methodist Conference where the ministers gathered for retreat, revival and preparation for continual ministry. Wesley and the other leaders fasted 10 days prior to the conferences with only bread and water to prepare themselves spiritually so they could teach the pastors.]
Jeremiah 17: 5-10
5 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land. 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
It breaks my heart to see what happens in Christianity so often. We read God’s Word and we make a commitment toi follow Him and then we start to dig into His Word in an attempt to follow Him. As we go along, so often we begin to think this is just impossible, could this possibly be what God really meant?
Jesus says “when you Fast” our heart says “that was for another time” a person has to eat.
Jesus says “you should tithe” our heart says “I need that 10%” I will give a few dollars after I have all I want.
Jesus says “there is a place of eternal punishment called hell” our heart says “a loving God would never allow anyone to go to hell”.
Jesus says “if you lust over a person in your heart you are guilty of sexual sin” our heart says “it’s not the same”.
Jesus says “forgive and you will be forgiven” our heart says “but I have been hurt really bad, Jesus didn’t really mean what He said”
Jesus says “if you hate someone you are guilty of murder” our heart says “no way Jesus meant that, that sucker did me wrong and I hate them, I hope they rot in hell, but wait a minute, there is no hell”
We must come to the place where Scripture changes us, changes the way we think, and changes the way we behave. We must come to the place where we stop attempting to change scripture to make it better fit our wicked hearts. Either we trust God or we do not.
I say often “If I had written the Bible, I would have written it different”. The fact is, I didn’t write it and God didn’t ask my opinion about its contents. I am not God but I am one of His children. I want to know who God is and How God operates, and to do that I have to dig into His Word, see what it says and change when needed. Not based on what I feel in my heart but rather on what His Word says.
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