Happy first thanksgiving

Modern history books are not clear on the subject of the first American Thanksgiving. So I pulled together this brief note to share the truth of early America.

The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621. They were fleeing England due to religious persecution, and they came to the new world on a ship called the Mayflower.

It was their hope to establish a place of religious freedom where they could worship God according to their own convictions and not the government or king.

The Pilgrims were also known as Puritans because they practiced a form of Christian faith that wanted to purify Christianity from the rule of the Pope and the King. They felt only Jesus could be their King, and that the Bible should be available to everyone in their own language.

This was not a new idea for the Pilgrims, as it was a growing movement across Europe known as the Reformation by Martin Luther. However, this became the basis for much of the persecution of the Pilgrims by the Church of England.

The initial objective of the Pilgrims was to sail to Virginia where flourishing English settlements had already been formed. But northern winds forced them off course and they had to winter on the undeveloped shore of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Following a dreadful first winter during which over half of the 121 Pilgrims died, the remaining settlers were able to secure the help of a local Indian tribe, the Wampanoag’s, who sent them Squanto to teach them how to plant crops, farm, and fish. Squanto had previously been taken captive and transported back to Europe where he learned to speak English. His kindness and language skill made it possible for the Pilgrims to survive.

The Wampanoag leader Massasoit also gave food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient.

The next year at their first Summer harvest time, the Pilgrims called for a special time to thank God for His blessings and celebrate with their Indian benefactors a special feast of thanksgiving. This feast lasted three days, and was attended by 90 Indians and 53 Pilgrims. This feast was made official two years later when Governor Bradford issued the following proclamation.

“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the daytime, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
William Bradford
Ye Governor of Ye Colony”

For the following 168 years, the tradition of a harvest Thanksgiving to give thanks to God for His blessings was typically a local or regional event in various locations, as a nation had not yet been formed. But the ripples from Plymouth Plantation continued until George Washington issued the first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789. Abraham Lincoln issued Thanksgiving Proclamations in the spring of 1862, also making it a Federal Holiday.

Several important events occurred as a result of the Pilgrims coming to America in 1620:

1. Before leaving the Mayflower, a representative form of government was organized and put into writing, known as the Mayflower Compact. This became the first such document of both American independence and democracy in American History.

2. Unlike some other settlements, the Pilgrims lived in peace with the neighboring Indians, showing a more Christian attitude of common respect than had been offered by the Spanish that came before them.

3. Governor William Bradford wrote a book, “Of Plymouth Plantation” in which he chronicled the first thirty years of the Pilgrims colony that eventually grew to about 7,000 members. This first hand account became a roadmap for many that followed, and left an invisible footprint in the history of America that cannot be denied.

4. Because of this, in small, almost undetectable ways today, we have all inherited some of the ideals and practices of those first pilgrims, including our desire for independence, our belief in religious freedom, our concern for others with whom we share this country, and even to the keeping of the tradition of an annual Thanksgiving tradition.

5. May we, like those first Pilgrims, take time to humble ourselves and give thanks to Almighty God for all of His many blessings today.

God bless, George Black

Leadership Principle #37 – Write The Vision


Leadership Principle #37: People can’t do their job if they don’t know what their job is.

Leaders must “write the vision.”

Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV “Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.””

Seems simple enough, but pastors and church leaders are sometimes weak when it come to recruiting for a ministry with very little guidance. The “training” is usually a sit-down discussion with no written guidelines, objectives, accountability, etc.

It is imperative that every person in your church or ministry that has been asked to serve, knows what is expected of them. If we think we can just soft-ball it to them, we are sadly mistaken. They are hearing something different than you are saying because they have different filters. Write the vision. If you don’t, they will “write” their own, and it usually will not look like what you have asked for.

The leader must cast the vision AND the process. You can’t have one without the other, or else you will promote frustration. Clear and simple instructions on how the ministry or department works is necessary. This provides the tools for a person to measure themselves as to whether or not they are accomplishing what is intended. And if you don’t know, then you are not the leader.

In the past I used to insist on lengthy job descriptions (I call them ministry descriptions) that covered way too much detail, and became counter productive. Now I strive to have an overview of everything on one page. If additional detail is needed, then fine. But they can know what is being asked by looking at just one page. The nuts and bolts are sometimes more involved.

There is a reason it is called “the work of the ministry.” Ministry requires work, preparation, planning, organizing, etc. Once you have done this, then you can enjoy the fruit of your labor.

God bless, George W. Black

Rest Is Non-Optional – Are You Listening?

Cathy and I hope you had time during the summer months to take a break for rest and re-creation. One of the greatest challenges for me has been to follow the example of Christ and His disciples. Jesus always observed the Sabbath, and He took time for His ministry team to rest on other occasions.

I once heard a preacher say, “Jesus had the disciples come apart, before they came apart.” Ministry burnout is avoidable. I have been there before, and I can tell you it is a work of the flesh. Jesus leads us into abundant life, and He never drives us to exhaustion.

Rhythms of grace is a message Apostle Fred Bennett continues to share with us, and one I have had to learn the hard way. We will always do our best ministry planning, and leading after a season of rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 MES ““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

As a younger minister I thought I was indispensable, or that rest was selfish, or even wasted time. More caffeine please. But looking back over the years I realize I could have saved myself, and my family, and my church, a lot of wear and tear if I had taken time to tarry.

Biblical rest is about finding a rhythm. It is a rhythm of God’s grace. A rhythm is intensity followed by relaxation, and we can find in everywhere in God’s creation.

Your heart beats, and then it rests in-between the beats…a rhythm. This is why blood pressure has an upper and lower number. Otherwise your circulatory system would be constantly stressed at the upper limit…not a good thing.

Exercise, such as weight lifting, is about exertion followed by a resting moment so oxygen and glucose can feed the muscles that just lifted the weight, and lactic acid, the by-product of exercise, can be released.

Breathing is a rhythm of inhaling and exhaling, and in-between an interval of rest. When you inhale there is oxygen being off-loaded to the bloodstream to provide life to the cells. There is also a reverse process whereby carbon dioxide is transported from the blood and exhaled by the lungs.

A lot is going on during the interval of “resting” by the lungs. You see, rest is not about just resting. It is about a rhythm that is necessary to process things and keep us healthy.

This is what Jesus meant about the Sabbath being made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. In other words, we all need a pause in our week to recharge for the next week. Six days we work, but the seventh we rest. The failure to do so means vital processes don’t occur that are meant for our spiritual renewal and well being.

I have also learned that we not only need daily rest and weekly rest, but we also need seasonal rest. Vacations are good. Three day weekends are good. But if you don’t put them on a calendar and protect them, they just don’t happen.

Calendaring is an essential discipline for those needing to find balance and health. No condemnation if you are finding it hard to find a stopping place.

The Fall is a good time to try again. God has put it in my heart to help ministers succeed where I have failed, and this is one area I have failed miserably, and still struggle from time to time.

My appeal to you is to please take care of yourself. Please take care of your marriage. Please take care of your family. Time passes so quickly that the “round-tuit” you kept promising can slip away from you.

We can’t go back and change yesterday, but we can begin today to plan a better tomorrow. Are you listening?

I am praying for you. Call me if I can help mentor you in this vital area.

All for Jesus,

George Black

Moses & Miracle of quail, Numbers 11


 © by George W. Black

Has your faith been stretched lately? Even Moses had his moments.

In Numbers 11, Moses is surrounded by 600,000 men unhappy with God’s provision of Manna after they were delivered from Egyptian bondage. Reluctantly God promises them meat.

Moses seems to cop an attitude when he tells God, “So where’s it coming from? Even if all the flocks and herds were butchered, would that be enough? Even if all the fish in the sea were caught, would that be enough?”

Have you ever heard yourself talk to God like that? Nothing but doubt and unbelief pouring out? It definitely wasn’t Moses brightest moment. 

And then God asks the question that drills down to Moses soul and uncovers the real root of the problem. “God answered Moses, “So, do you think I can’t take care of you?”” 

It wasn’t just the magnitude of the thing needed that was messing with Moses. It was much simpler than that. It was really about trusting God to take care of him. 

As it turns out, God was more than able to deliver on His promise, even if Moses couldn’t work out how it would happen. After all, how did the leper work out the process by which Jesus cleansed his leprosy, or the blind man who regained his eyesight? How did the disciples work out how Jesus fed 5,000 with five small Barley loaves and two small fish? 

The answer is never about how a thing can be done when we pray, but only do we trust Him to take care of us.

As for God answering Moses prayer? “A wind set in motion by God swept quails in from the sea. They piled up to a depth of about three feet in the camp and as far out as a day’s walk in every direction.”

A trained walker can cover 20 to 30 miles in a day.  But even half that distance is a massive amount of quail, three feet high. Is this the exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can think or imagine? I think God was letting Moses and the people know He is in control of the “how”, we just have to trust that He is able and will.

I love that the Bible shows us Moses’ human frailty, and not just perfection. This should give us hope that even when we don’t have perfect faith, God still does.

But He wants us to learn from these moments, and trust Him more and more. Your faith may be small today, but it can become great faith, and this brings Him great delight.

Are you facing what seems to be an impossible situation? My encouragement to you today is to find God’s promise in His Word, and then pray it out in faith. Don’t worry about how God is going to do it. That’s His job. If He tells you to do something, do it. He knows what it takes to get the miracle.

God is a good, good Father. Trust and obey Him no matter what, knowing that His tender mercies and loving kindness are always at work to care for you.

All for Jesus,  George W. Black

NIGERIA 2018 CONFERENCES EXPLOSIVE

By Dr. Emmanuel Jack, National Director for Rejoice International Network in Nigeria Africa

The RI conferences in Nigeria this year 2018, which were titled “Season Of Acceleration ” were very successful.

The conferences  started  in Lagos and ended  in Owerri, Imo State. Prophet  Scot,  Evang Reed and Bishop Timothy  Ifediorama  brought  forth  the Word with an unusual  anointing and revelations. The pastors   who attended the  meetings  were so impacted that many testified  to divine restoration and divine  healing.

The participants  were also happy to  listen to  Our International  Director, Apostle  George  Black,  whose  message  was relaid to us through  Projector. The vision of  RI was thoroughly recast  to all the  participants in all the centers.

In Lagos we had over 300 participants each day of the three days .

In Abuja  we had about 150 each day of the two  days.

In Owerri  Imo State  we had about 110 Each day of the  twp days.

The total members of RI in Nigeria now is about 340 committed churches. This year over 150 members  have  joined  us. By God’s  grace  in 2019 our  conferences  will  be even more explosive.

Dr. Emmanuel Jack

Special ri nigeria conference report

BY PROPHET SCOTT TRANDEL, FORERUNNER MINISTRIES

Scott Trandel was the coordinator and team leader for the US Delegation to Nigeria in Nov 2018 for three powerful RI Conferences. Scott serves on the US Board of Advisers for RI.

I was blessed to return to Nigeria for the third time. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I didn’t arrive until Tuesday missing all of the Lagos conference except for the last night. I arrived with the last meeting already in progress and having only an hour, I ministered two messages merged into one and prayed over the congregation.

The anointing and grace of God was strongly present. There were 400 or so in attendance, mostly ministers. After service, we stayed awhile greeting everyone and taking many pictures. It was disheartening to arrive late, but God prevailed. My co-laborer Evangelist Chris Reed arrived on Saturday so he ministered every service in my absence. He was quite a powerful preaching machine. His stamina and tenacity were amazing and commendable.

We traveled from Lagos to Abuja on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the flight was late so we missed the morning meetings. Such is air travel in a foreign land. At night, Chris shared an encouragement and I ministered the Rejoice International vision from Ezekiel 37. We didn’t expect the crowd of 200 with 90% being ministers. It was a great breakthrough for our first RI conference in the capital city.

The last day of this conference was a morning session followed by the inauguration of the new RI chapter in Abuja. It was tag team preaching with Bishop E. Jeremiah, Evangelist Chris Reed, Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma, me and Dr Emmanuel Jack. The Spirit flowed connecting all the messages and launching them into their season of acceleration! We prayed for the new leaders and I released a word over the directors. I was told 130 new applications were received to join Rejoice International Nigeria!!

We then traveled from Abuja to Owerri for the final conference. This conference combined both the Owerri and Aba chapters for Imo and Abia states. There were about 120 ministers present along with members of the host church.

Both Chris and I preached in the morning on Friday. The evening meeting was amazing! The presence of God and manifestation of the Spirit was quite evident. Chris preached a strong message. I had the congregation sing a simple song refrain I heard in my spirit, “Holy Spirit I reverence you”. As they continued to repeat it, the Shekinah glory enveloped us! I’m sure angels were there!!

I released a prophetic word over the conference and the directors of the two Nigeria states, then prayed for the 3 directors present. I followed with a message on acceleration. It was truly an awesome night!

The conference ended Saturday morning. We both preached again. Chris preached a revelatory message on giving. I preached on releasing the glory within. A few prophetic words flowed. Most importantly 12 people responded to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They were so precious as they knelt on the hard floor in the presence of God. As we prayed and laid hands on them, they all spoke with tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance!

We finished the meeting by laying hands on every person and anointing them with oil. We encouraged them to come and receive whatever they were believing for while we agreed with them in prayer for healing, deliverance, signs, wonders, miracles, etc. The church in these two states were edified and encouraged.

The Nigerians are so receptive. All of them taking notes with their Bibles open. The youth are attentive. The Nigerian Church is a far closer example to the real church I envision in Acts and what I believe will be the Great and Glorious Remnant Church. There is real revival fire burning in the saints’ hearts.

The Nigerians think we are blessing them but we are only two. We receive the blessing of their love, care, respect and welcome by the hundreds and thousands. We are the ones who are abundantly blessed!!!

My week ended at Pastor Jeff’s Church, Christ Allied Worship Center. He did a combined service at the Iba location and bused in members from the Orile church. I support them monthly and brought Pastors Jeff and Joy Nike shoes and released a word that this was prophetically symbolic in 3 ways: running to keep up with the expansion and acceleration of God in their ministries, travel to other nations including the US and a greater emphasis on winning the lost – how beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news! I then took up an offering as a first seed for expanding the Iba building and buying land and a building in Orile. I had the people come and lay it at Pastor Jeff’s feet.

I preached, laid hands on every person – maybe 250, prayed for the leaders and those who sacrificed financially to rent the bus to come from Orile. We finished where I met Rev Chris Reed who preached at both Dr Jack’s church and Bible School convocation. Since I arrived late, I was given the opportunity to pray a blessing over the graduates.


A special thank you to Apostle George Black for entrusting me to represent Rejoice International on his behalf. Thanks also to Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma who invited us and gave us the freedom to bless the people of Nigeria and continue to expand the Kingdom of God.

Scott Trandel

“Yes, Lord – I’ll Go Way Out Yonder”

BY EVANGELIST CHRISTOPHER A. REED, VICTORY IN THE WORD EVANGELISTIC MINISTRIES, A PARTNER OF REJOICE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK

I received a prophetic word from the Lord earlier this year “Go way out yonder; time now, people are waiting to receive what I have inside of you; time now!”

Obedient to the abovementioned utterance of God and a desire to grow to another level in trusting and serving the Lord, I was inspired to participate in the Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference in the states of Lagos, Abuja and Owerri (November 4th – 11th) under the leadership of Apostle George Black, Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma and Prophet Scott Trandel.

It is one thing to say “Yes, Lord!” in the comfortable and familiar surroundings of normalcy in the United States; but it is quite another thing to drive over 200 miles from Clinton, Mississippi to your birth place of Memphis, Tennessee, and then board an airplane and travel approximately 7,800 miles from Memphis, Tennessee to Chicago, Illinois across the Atlantic Ocean to Frankfurt, Germany to Lagos, Nigeria.

It’s absolutely another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” to travel from the Home-Land of the Western Hemisphere to crossing Atlantic Ocean, passing through Europe to the continent of Africa, the Mother-Land; through six-time zone changes; and listening to different languages and observing cultural diversities converge continually for 34 hours.

It’s certainly another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” to travel from a nation so blessed with immediate and convenient comforts of living well and secure to having your spirit (the inner-man) crushed & broken with tears as you observe the need for more equitable government intervention; an infusion of sustainable venture capital, an enhanced power grid & infrastructure; and adequate living accommodations and educational facilities to keep pace with the ever-increasing population migration to the state of Lagos, Nigeria.

It’s positively another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” when you are ministering in half-empty sanctuaries once or twice a week in a community setting to being thrusted into an exceptional and dynamic move of God, a three-state conference in West Africa covering approximately 1,000 miles in eight days – ministering to pastors and lay members of every age that sacrificed immensely, just to attend the conference, and are thankful for the move of God, and hungry & thirsty for His Word in each chapter. Abuja – the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, a new Rejoice International chapter with 120 pastors).

It’s undeniably another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” when you receive charity from a nest of abundance to observing acts of unconditional love emanating from the hearts of a people with far less materially that have been changed genuinely by the love God through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

As such a time as this, God propelled me across the Atlantic Ocean to Nigeria via Rejoice International to freely share with the people of God what I freely received to the glory of God. I will never be the same. If you are desiring to connect with an outstanding organization demonstrating a global perspective of the Kingdom of God, I prayerfully recommend “Going Global with Rejoice International in 2019!”

Christopher A. Reed

THE FOLLOWING IS A DETAILED REPORT OF CHRISTOPHER REED’S TIME IN NIGERIA.

Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference Highlights from Lagos, Nigeria @ Rita Lori Event (Sunday, November 4th – Tuesday, November 6th)

Day 1 – November 4th: Before the conference began in Lagos, early Sunday morning, Evangelist Christopher Reed was invited to minister at The King’s House – The Chosen Generation Ministries Int’l (to approximately 150 in attendance, mostly enthusiastic & energetic young adults and teenagers), pastored by Chukwuma “Felix” Chukwujekwu. The Spirit of Lord moved through words of exaltation and closing prayer at the altar followed by Holy Communion. Before departing, Evangelist Christopher Reed ministered through the laying on hands and the word of knowledge with a few young people and took pictures with the pastor and members.  

On Sunday evening, the Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Conference commenced with singing by youth & children, joyful praise and dance to the Lord by all that was moved by the Holy Spirit. Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma, RI Nigeria Director, followed with salutations and thanking the excited, moderately attended conference registrants for persevering difficult traffic conditions. Afterward, Bishop Ifedioranma introduced Apostle George Black, the founder of Rejoice International, via of video presentation, which the conference audience received enthusiastically with a standing applause. Apostle Black greeted & connected the Rejoice Church family from Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA, to the audience in Lagos, Nigeria, plus introduced the Rejoice International officials, conference guests and leaders individually from USA and Nigeria, respectively.

Due to latest of the evening, Evangelist Christopher Reed encouraged the pastors and conferees from the Conference Theme: “Season of Acceleration” via Hebrews 12:2; Mark 11:24; Acts 16:25-34; and Acts 4:23-31 with personal testimonies of acceleration and concluded with an invitation to Christ and a closing prayer.

Day 2 – November 5th: On Monday morning, the spirit of enthusiasm emanated from conference audience as Dr. Emmanuel Jack, the Rejoice International Nigeria National Coordinator, and Bishop E. Jeremiah, the dance Rejoice International Lagos Chapter President, concluded there presentations. The spirit of love and expressive praises and to the Lord made it easy for Evangelist Christopher Reed to teach and preach to the conference delegates from the Conference Theme: Season of Acceleration – Prayer 1 Kings 18:41-45, James 5:17-18, 1 Kings 17:1 with personal testimonies of acceleration and concluded with an invitation to Christ and a closing prayer.

On Monday evening, Again, the spirit of love and expressive praises and to the Lord made it easy for Evangelist Christopher Reed to minister to the moderately conference audience from the Conference Theme: Season of Acceleration – Giving To God via John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 9:6-12; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; and Act 20:35 with personal testimonies of acceleration and concluded with an invitation to Christ and a closing prayer.

Day 3 – November 6th: On Tuesday morning, the praise and singing of young teenagers and young adults unto God with much merriment. Evangelist Christopher Reed ministered to a noticeably larger conference audience since the previous day from the Conference Theme: Season of Acceleration – “In Due Time, God Shoots Us Forth” via 1 Samuel 16:5-13, Ezekiel 37:1, and Jeremiah 29:11 with a couple of demonstrations with audience participation on how God use adverse circumstances to catapult us into a season of acceleration. Afterward, Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma, RI Nigeria Director, certified and/or licensed nine leaders in the Lagos Chapter, and Evangelist Christopher Reed participated by praying for each ordain leader. Immediately following the ordination proceeding, Bishop Ifedioranma called Evangelist Chris Reed forth and led the delegates in a heart-felt, spirit of prayer for him, his family and ministry. At the close of the morning session, Evangelist Christopher Reed was given the opportunity to make a special presentation of $400 on behalf of Victory In The Word Evangelistic Ministries in support of the RI Lagos Chapter. RI Lagos appears to be an excited and vibrant chapter, solidly behind Bishop E. Jeremiah and its leaders, working together in the spirit of love and encouraging other pastors throughout the state to get involved in this end-time movement of God.

On Tuesday evening, following praise and worship section of the service, Reverend (Dr.) Emmanuel Jack introduced Evangelist Christopher Reed and he ministered a word of exaltation, just as Prophet Scott Trandel was making his first appearance during the Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference due to traveling delays. A few moments later, Bishop Ifedioranma replayed Apostle George Black’s, opening Rejoice International video presentation to the audience; and then proceeded to introduce the conference speaker for the evening – Prophet Scott Trandel. Prophet Trandel ministered for a half hour from Conference Theme: Season of Acceleration – “The Process via Psalm 105:17-19, John 5:30, etc.” and prayed a closing prayer over every delegate in the auditorium. Pictures were taken and fellowship with all RI officials, affiliated and friends ensued at the closing of the RI Lagos.

Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference Highlights from Abuja, Nigeria @ Royal Springs Church International, hosted by founder, Bishop – Elect Alfred & Stella Omuta (Wednesday, November 7th –  

Thursday, November 8th)

Day 1 – November 7th: Due to delayed traveling accommodations from Lagos to Abuja, Bishop Ifedioranma, Dr. Jack and Bishop E. Jeremiah, Prophet Scott Trandel and Evangelist Christopher Reed were unable to attend any of the Wednesday morning session. On Wednesday evening, the Conference @ Abuja, Nigeria, commenced with singing by youth & children, praised and danced to the Lord. Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma, RI Nigeria Director, followed with apologies, salutations and thanking the joyful and expectant registrants for traveling so far to participate in the inaugural Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference.

Afterward, Bishop Ifedioranma introduced Apostle George Black, the founder of Rejoice International, via of video presentation, which the conference audience received gladly with much joy with sounds of blowing horns and whistles. Apostle Black greeted & connected the Rejoice Church family from Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA, to the audience in Abuja, Nigeria, plus introduced the Rejoice International officials, conference guests and leaders individually from USA and Nigeria, respectively.

Moments later, Bishop Ifedioranma introduced Evangelist Christopher Reed to the platform with a tremendous spirit of joy and anticipation. In keeping with the Conference Theme: Season of Acceleration, Evangelist Christopher Reed continued to follow the Lord’s leading to exalt His people. He ministered from a message titled, “Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Joy – Serve the Lord with Gladness” via Psalm 100:1-5. Followed by Prophet Scott Trandel, who ministered on the participation (the Church) in the end-time prophecy and closed with a prayer over the conference audience.

Day 2 – November 8th: On Wednesday morning session began with praise dance unto the Lord by youth with much merriment. The conference audience of approximately 150-170 (of which 120 pastors) were filled with expectation. In keeping with the Conference Theme: Season of Acceleration, Evangelist Christopher Reed ministered from a message titled, “I May Be Down But I’m Not Out” – Psalm 34: 1-3, 8; 2 Corinthians 4: 8-10; and Psalm 34:19, 22, etc. Immediately, the Spirit of God also quickened Bishop Ifedioranma with an inspired word of exaltation for the pastors from Job 29. “If you get knocked down by circumstances of Satan, get right back up and knock the Devil out. One does not drown because they fell into the water, but drowns because they remained down in the water. Get back up and knock the devil out,” says Bishop Timothy. Prophet Scott Trandel followed Bishop Ifedioranma and combined two messages about “The Process – Following the Voice of the Spirit of God” via Psalm 105:17-19 & Theme: Season of Acceleration – “The Territory of the Prophet” via 1 Kings 18. Joseph, Elisha, David and Elijah were noted as anointed men that were accelerated by the Spirit of God. Prophet Scott charged the pastors to challenge everything by the Word of God and stay out of tradition and religion. Prophet Scott further encouraged the pastors and the audience to understand the various offices of the five-fold ministry.

Next, Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma, RI Nigeria Director, commenced with an inaugural ceremony establishing the Rejoice International Abuja Chapter; Prophet Scott and Evangelist Christopher Reed prayed and participated as directed. At the close of the morning session, Evangelist Christopher Reed was given the opportunity to make a special presentation of $500 from Victory In The Word Evangelistic Ministries in support of the new RI Abuja Chapter. Pictures were taken and fellowship with all RI officials, affiliated and friends ensued as the conference closed.

Organizationally, RI Abuja, under the auspices of Bishop-elect Alfred Omuta, appears to be very excited, enthusiastic and poised to convey the vision and mission of Rejoice International throughout the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference Highlights from Owerri, Nigeria @ Jesus Power Proven Center, hosted by Prophet Dr. Pathway Asagwara & Pastor (Mrs.) Florence Asagwara, RI Regional Director Imo State (Friday, November 9th –   Saturday, November 10th)

Day 1 – November 9th: On Friday morning, the Conference commenced with joyful singing by youth & children to the Lord. Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma, RI Nigeria Director, bestowed salutations and greetings to the conferees for traveling so far to attend the Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference in Owerri.

As repeated in Lagos and Abuja, Ifedioranma, RI Nigeria Director, introduced Apostle George Black, the founder of Rejoice International, via of video presentation, which the audience received gladly with plenty of cheers and clapping.  Apostle Black greeted & connected the Rejoice Church family from Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA, to the audience in Owerri, Nigeria, plus introduced the Rejoice International officials, conference guests and leaders individually from USA and Nigeria, respectively.

Moments later, Reverend (Dr.) Emmanuel Jack, RI Nigeria Coordinator, introduced Prophet Scott Trandel, who ministered from Genesis 32:28 & Psalm 105:17-19. Evangelist Christopher Reed ministered from Psalm 34:8; Isaiah 55:8 with personal testimonies of aseason of acceleration.

Day 2 – November 10th: On Friday morning session began with praise and worship. The conference audience was approximately 200. Evangelist Christopher Reed ministered about “Giving to God: Reasons Christians Should Give,” John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 9: 6-12; Acts 2:44-45; 2 Corinthian 8:1-2; Acts 20:35; Matthews 16:20-21. Prophet Scott Trandel ministered from Acts 15:12; Acts 10: 38; Isaiah 40:7; Isaiah 61:1; and Revelations 3:18; and a result, he led approximately 6 or 7 conferees to receive the Holy Spirit.

Immediately following the ministry of the Word, Bishop Ifedioranma led the RI Owerri/Abia Chapters into an award session, recognition and prayer for abovementioned chapter officials, plus an ordination service ensued administered by Prophet (Dr.) Asagwara. Prophet Scott Trandel and Evangelist Christopher Reed ministered through prayer and participated as directed.

At the close of the morning session, Evangelist Christopher Reed was given the opportunity to make a special presentation of $600 from Victory In The Word Evangelistic Ministries in the sum of $300 in support of the RI Owerri and Abia Chapters. Pictures were taken and fellowship with all RI officials, affiliated and friends ensued as the conference came to a close.   

Ministry Opportunities @ Covenant Word Assembly of Lagos, Nigeria, with host Reverend (Dr.) Emmanuel Jack & Pastor Mercy Jack (Sunday, November 11th):

On Sunday morning, after moments of praise and worship songs, Reverend (Dr.) Emmanuel introduced Evangelist Chris Reed to the platform. He ministered from the Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference Theme: Season of Acceleration – “Praise, Prayer & the Word of God” via Psalm 28:1-2; Acts 16:25-34 through the power of personal testimonies of seasons of accelerations to approximately 170 in attendance. As a result, five separate invitations for prayer to those that desired or dreamed of being lawyers and engineers; those that desired to be better parents, husbands and wives; and those that desired to be entrepreneurs and business owners.

On Sunday afternoon, Dr. Emmanuel Jack, the president of New Stars International Bible College (NESIBIC), invited Evangelist Christopher Reed to be the International Guest Speaker representing Rejoice International USA during the Twenty-Second Convocation Ceremonies 2017/2018 (approximately 275-300 in attendance); and later, upon his arrival, Prophet Scott Trandel uttered a prophetic prayer over all the classes of graduates. At the conclusion of Archbishop Moses Grandeur, the Father of the Day (Guest Speaker) address to be graduates, he gave an appeal for a consecrated offering to NESIBIC. Evangelist Christopher Reed responded by faith to the appeal and offered $300 on behalf of Victory In The Word Evangelistic Ministries via Rejoice International USA in support of NESIBIC.

I received a prophetic word from the Lord earlier this year “Go way out yonder; time now, people are waiting to receive what I have inside of you; time now!”

Obedient to the above mentioned utterance of God and a desire to grow to another level in trusting and serving the Lord, I was inspired to participate in the Dominion 2018 Rejoice International Nigeria Conference in the states of Lagos, Abuja and Owerri (November 4th – 11th) under the leader of Apostle George Black, Bishop Timothy Ifedioranma and Prophet Scott Trandel.

It is one thing to say “Yes, Lord!” in the comfortable and familiar surroundings of normalcy in the United States; but it is quite another thing to drive over 200 miles from Clinton, Mississippi to your birth place of Memphis, Tennessee, and then board an airplane and travel approximately 7,800 miles from Memphis, Tennessee to Chicago, Illinois across the Atlantic Ocean to Frankfurt, Germany to Lagos, Nigeria.

It’s absolutely another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” to travel from the Home-Land of the Western Hemisphere to crossing Atlantic Ocean, passing through Europe to the continent of Africa, the Mother-Land; through six-time zone changes; and listening to different languages and observing cultural diversities converge continually for 34 hours.

It’s certainly another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” to travel from a nation so blessed with immediate and convenient comforts of living well and secure to having your spirit (the inner-man) crushed & broken with tears as you observe the need for more equitable government intervention; an infusion of sustainable venture capital, an enhanced power grid & infrastructure; and adequate living accommodations and educational facilities to keep pace with the ever-increasing population migration to the state of Lagos, Nigeria.

It’s positively another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” when you are ministering in half-empty sanctuaries once or twice a week in a community setting to being thrusted into an exceptional and dynamic move of God, a three-state conference in West Africa covering approximately 1,000 miles in eight days – ministering to pastors and lay members of every age that sacrificed immensely, just to attend the conference, and are thankful for the move of God, and hungry & thirsty for His Word in each chapter (especially in Abuja – the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, a new Rejoice International chapter with 120 pastors).

It’s undeniably another thing to say, “Yes, Lord!” when you receive charity out from a nest of abundance to observing acts of unconditional love emanating from the hearts of a people with far less materially that have been changed genuinely by the love God through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

As such a time as this, God propelled me across the Atlantic Ocean to Nigeria via Rejoice International to freely share with the people of God what I freely received to the glory of God. I will never be the same. If you are desiring to connect with an outstanding organization demonstrating a global perspective of the Kingdom of God, I prayerful recommend “Going Global with Rejoice International in 2019!”

LET GOD MAKE THE “FINAL CUT”




Gideon's 300

LET GOD MAKE THE “FINAL CUT”

by George W. Black

“God said to Gideon: “There are still too many. Take them down to the stream and I’ll make a final cut. When I say, ‘This one goes with you,’ he’ll go. When I say, ‘This one doesn’t go,’ he won’t go.” So Gideon took the troops down to the stream.” Judges 7:4-5 MSG

If you are a leader in the body of Christ, you must let God pick your team. Whether you are serving as a pastor, or a ministry leader, don’t commit the sin of presumption.

If there is one “besetting sin” I have witnessed in the local church, it is rushing promotion out of need or desperation. In some cases, these unproven leaders or workers can cause more damage than good.

You may have too many people serving in vital positions. Don’t fill a position just because it is vacant. Wait on God. The wrong person is worse than no person.

Out of insecurities we often pick those that are most like us, and that we like, and that appear strong and gifted. But God will pick those whose hearts are right, and that are able and faithful.

Jesus spent all night in prayer before He selected the twelve.

Be sensitive to the “gut check.” Even if all the outward signs are right, the “gut check” is the Holy Spirit saying “no”, or “not now.” Don’t quench the Holy Spirit when He is directing you otherwise. He is trying to protect you, and preserve God’s kingdom work. Only God knows the heart of any person.

Let God make the “final cut.” After all, it’s His church, right?


WHAT HAPPENED AFTER EASTER?




WHAT HAPPENED AFTER EASTER?

Pastor George Black, 4-23-17

Opening Scripture: Acts 2:1-4 NKJV  “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. {2} And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. {4} And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Introduction: The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ accomplished more than just our redemption…it set in motion a new dispensation of Grace and the Church. Easter opened the door for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to empower the Church to finish the work that Jesus started.

 

  1. Easter changed everything because of the resurrection of Christ. He then appeared to his disciples for forty days discussing the Kingdom.

Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that Jesus spent forty days of intensive instruction with His disciples on the Kingdom of God. We could call this a spiritual boot-camp to prepare them for the incredible journey they were about to take. What an amazing time this must have been. And even though we have no direct record of what Jesus taught them during this time, we can assume that the disciples transmitted His teaching in their preaching and epistles, some of which is found in their New Testament writings. However, the most significant take-away we know of is the command by Christ to wait for the empowering of the Holy Spirit before attempting to build the Kingdom of God.

Acts 1:1-5 NKJV  “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, {2} until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, {3} to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. {4} And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; {5} “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

 

  1. Jesus taught the disciples of the coming of the Holy Spirit, that He was coming to help them after His departure.

Jesus was WITH the disciples, but the Holy Spirit was IN the disciples. This is the glorious transition that occurred following Easter. Jesus told the disciples He was returning to the Father, but that He would not leave them without His help. As a matter of fact, Paul the apostle said “without Him I can do nothing.” So how were these new apostles going to continuing building the Kingdom of God? Jesus promised them a “Helper.” He was referring to the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, who is also referred to as the “Spirit of Christ.” In other words, the Heavenly baton was passed to the Holy Spirit when Jesus returned to Heaven, and He came to finish IN the disciples what Christ had started WITH the disciples. Jesus Christ was now IN the disciples by the Spirit of God, not just with them. This is the very reason He taught them that they would do the same works He did, even greater works. Greater? How can you do greater miracles than opening blind eyes, raising the dead, or curing the disease of leprosy? Jesus meant greater in number. Why? Because He went to the Father and sent back the Holy Spirit to indwell His followers. Instead of just one person doing miracles and building the Kingdom, there would be many, because now Jesus can fill every believer by the Holy Spirit and do the same things through the believer that He did. These signs shall follow them that believe…

A. John 7:37-39 NKJV “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. {38} “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” {39} But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

B. John 14:26 NKJV “”But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

C. John 16:7-16 NKJV “”Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. {8} “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {9} “of sin, because they do not believe in Me; {10} “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; {11} “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. {12} “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. {13} “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. {14} “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. {15} “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. {16} “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”

D. Luke 3:16 NKJV “John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After we memorize John 3:16, we need to memorize Luke 3:16. Jesus has promised to save us in John 3:16, but He also promised to baptize us in the Holy Spirit in Luke 3:16.

 

  1. Jesus ascended to the Father 40 days after His resurrection, and sent back the promised Holy Spirit 10 days later on the Jewish Festival Day of Pentecost.

A. Pentecost means “fiftieth day”, and occurs 49 days after Easter Sunday, but 50 days including Easter Sunday.

B. Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again during the Jewish festival of Passover.

C. Passover began when the Death Angel visited Egypt and killed all the first-born sons. The only ones spared were those who had marked their doors with the blood of a lamb.

D. As a result of this last judgment on Egypt, Pharaoh let the Israelites go into the wilderness to worship God.

E. Forty-nine days after the Exodus, while in the wilderness, God gives them the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. This day later becomes the day of Pentecost. On the same day God gave the Israelites the Law of Moses, Jesus now sends them the Holy Spirit, the only One who can empower us to keep the Law.

F. Pentecost is also known as the Festival of Weeks, or Festival of Reaping, or Festival of First Fruits. In other words, it was the Festival commemorating the early harvest, in anticipation of the later harvest. This reminds us that the glory of the later house will be greater than the former.

During this festival it was customary to wave sheaves of grain from the early harvest before the Lord. This reminds us that because Jesus was raised from the dead as the first-fruits of those who died, but the rest of the harvest is on the way. There is a glorious resurrection awaiting every believer who has died in Christ.

 

Conclusion: What happened after Easter set in motion the most incredible journey of faith that has swept around the globe, with over 2 billion and 200 million people confessing to be Christian in our world today. But our job is not over. As long as there are lost people in world, nation, state, city, neighborhood, we must continue the work of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus died and rose again for our redemption, but He sent the Holy Spirit back to empower us to take this redemption to every man, woman, teenager, boy and girl. You are not alone. Jesus is no longer WITH us. But we actually have something even better. He is now IN us. Greater is He that is IN us than he that is in the world. Remember: I can do all things through Christ!

 

Invitation: You can receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit today.


#44, HOLIDAYS




cindy-43

HOLIDAYS

by Cindy Bice

Aloha!

The song goes, “Happy Holidays, the merry bells are ringing, happy holidays to you!”

While the holidays can be the happiest time for some, it is also the saddest time of year for many.  I encourage you to be mindful of others during the holidays.  You may feel awkward at first, but let God’s love win in reaching out to others!

It’s easy to focus on us 4 and no more especially with how busy our lives can be.  Be different this year.  Include some way of helping others in your Christmas Season this year!

I have friends and family who purposefully reach out to others during Christmas in different ways.  One shares a Christmas dinner party and gifts with orphans.  Another joins with others in feeding the homeless.  Another bakes bread and festive goodies to share with neighbors and elderly folks.  There’s also Church outreaches you can be involved with in sharing Christmas with others in many ways.  

There are many who could use a helping hand, a generous heart, and a warm meal.  If you know someone who is alone for Christmas, you can give them a call, invite them over for a meal, or include them with your festivities.

One Christmas was very memorable for our family.   We knew a precious family who was in need so our family went Christmas shopping for them.  We bought gifts we thought they each would enjoy.  After wrapping them, we wrote a note and told them that God was thinking of them and Jesus loved them very much.  It was a joy to our children to share Christmas with others without expecting anything in return.  We did this privately and in secret.  

Christ is the reason for the Season!  Share Jesus love with all you see!

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, what whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal live.”

PICTURE: Kauai Marriott Resort

SONG: Joy To The World, Celtic Women https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDmIddF7DfQ

Mahalo,

Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:

www.facebook.com/cindy.b.bice


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