Stephen Olford Center for Expository Preaching, Christian Life Convention, April 7-9

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The Stephen Olford Center in Memphis, Tennessee will host a (Keswick) Christian Life Convention on April 7-9.  The event begins on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. and concludes on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Speakers include:
Dr. Ted Rendall, speaking three times. Dr. Rendall’s topics include: Union With Christ; Pursuing Holiness and Victorious Living;and The Spirit-Filled Life.

Dr. David Olford, speaking three times as well as leading the convention. Dr. Olford’s topics include: Opening message; Submission to the Lordship of Christ;and Closing message.

Dr. Roger Willmore, speaking three times. Roger’s topics include: Forgiveness and Cleansing from Sin; The Spirit-Filled Life; and A Call to Service and Mission.

There will be times of worship and cooperate prayer. There will be opportunities for fellowship with fellow Believers.

The Christian Life Convention will be held in the Bethany Chapel at the Stephen Olford Center, 4000 Riverdale Road, Memphis, TN. There is no registration fee, but the staff do need to know if you are coming. Email Betty Peppenhorst at bpeppenhorst@gmfonline.org or call 901-453-6422 or 901-453-6455.

“It is Time to Seek the Lord” Christian Life Convention!

Port of Spain, Trinidad, Keswick Convention

 

I have just returned from Port of Spain, Trinidad, W.I., where I had the privilege of preaching twice a day in the North Keswick Christian Life Convention. The Lord wonderfully blessed these meetings.  The noon day session was held at St. John’s Baptist Church right in the heart of the city.  This meeting targets the business folk and those who work in the city.  The meeting was well attended each day and I enjoyed teaching the word of God in what the Keswick tradition calls “Bible Readings.”  The evening sessions were held in the Agape Bible Ministries Church in Curepe.  These meetings were also well attended and were blessed by the time in worship which was led by folk from various churches. The sermons focused on different aspects of the Christian life with the aim of encouraging Christians to walk in holiness and Christ-likeness.

My first time to minister in Trinidad was in 1994. I have returned many times. At my first visit there were Keswick Conventions in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Point Fortin and in Scarborough, Tobago. I have preached in all of these conventions. However, today only the Port of Spain (North Keswick) and San Fernando (South Keswick) remain. The Keswick Christian Life Convention has been in Trinidad and Tobago for 50 years and has been used greatly by the Lord to bring blessing to His people.

When I look back over the Keswick’s in Trinidad I am blessed by the list of men who have ministered there. To name a few, Stephen Olford, Stuart Briscoe who has been there twice in the last four years, Woodrow Kroll, Ian Barclay, Don Graham, Richard Owen Roberts, Henry Blackaby, Eric Crichton, Charles Price, Ted Rendall and more.

I have many friends in Trinidad now, pastors and laymen alike. These men and women love the Lord and serve Him faithfully. Please pray for the Lord’s servants in Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.

Enjoy the pictures.

Roger

Japan Keswick Conventions in Pictures

I often said in Japan, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  I said this because I was preaching a series of Bible Character sermons to illustrate the various aspects of the Christian life.

In a previous article I attempted to give a brief overview of my month of ministry in Japan. I became aware that words cannot fully describe the travels, the places, the people and the ministry.  Here I am going to post pictures from the travels and ministry and hopefully you can get an idea of the Keswick Ministry in Japan is like.

I want to take a moment and commend the Christians in Japan.  The Japanese hospitality is second to none…even our well known “Southern Hospitality.”  A guest in Japan is treated with great respect and honor.  Every provision is made for his safety, comfort and enjoyment.

Japan Keswick Conventions

I was in Japan January 28- February 29, speaking in Keswick Christian Life Conventions. Japan has been holding these historic Christian Life Conventions for fifty years.  Each year in February there is a series of conventions across the country.  Always there are guest speakers, mostly from England, in each of the conventions.  Some conventions in the larger venues will have two guest speakers.  All of the conventions are blessed by the preaching ministry of Japanese speakers.  Guest speakers always speak through a translator.  I have been to Japan seven times.  Four of the visits were for Keswick Conventions.

The 2016 ministry began in Tokyo with my friend Timothy Konishi. I ministered in Timothy’s church and with house groups. I also had the opportunity to speak in the Wesleyan Holiness Seminary. This was a delightful experience.

From Tokyo I flew to Okinawa where I spoke in the first of a series of Keswick Conventions. From Okinawa I went the Kyushu Convention, then by bullet train to Osaka and Kyoto. The two additional conventions included Hakone and Tokyo. In Osaka, Hakone and Tokyo I was teamed with I was teamed with Ian Coffey from Moorsland College in England. I had a delightful time with Ian and his wife Ruth.

Dr. Stephen Olford was a regular speaker at Japan Keswick Conventions. He loved to go to Japan. During the years of my friendship with Dr. Olford he often spoke to me of Japan and mentored me regarding ministry in the Japan Keswick Conventions. The day finally came that I was invited to speak at the Japan Keswick and I have enjoyed each time I have been.

This historic Christian Life Convention holds an important place among Christians in Japan. The accumulative number of people ministered to by these conventions is very significant. The “Keswick Message” as I call it, is a message of holiness and Christ-likeness. The message flows from the exposition of God’s word. Countless lives are touched, changed and enriched. Christians from different denominations gather under the banner, “All One in Christ Jesus.” It is a time of great celebration and worship. I have not seen more authentic worship of God anywhere, nor have I heard such beautiful music and singing.

Pray for the Christian leaders in Japan. They labor with love to reach their country for Christ.

Christmas and Jesus

For some reason the Christmas season this year is stirring my heart more than usual to think about the real meaning of Christmas globally and personally.

On the global scene I have watched, in my 64 years of living, the gradual and sometimes not so gradual demise of the recognition of the  meaning of Christmas.  For many the loss of conscience thought regarding what Christmas is all about is innocent.  And by innocent I mean not intentional or malicious.  People just get lost in the rush and fuss of life. The frantic panic of Christmas shopping and Christmas parties and social events and family time can certainly crowd Jesus out of His rightful place in our hearts and in our “Christmas” activities.  I find it alarming that we can put on the grandest celebrations of Christmas (Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ) and completely lose sight of the very One whose birth and life we celebrate.  How can such a thing happen?

But then there is the intentional rejection of Jesus Christ…and the intentional rejection of the Real Reason for the Season.  No public displays of the Nativity.  No more saying “Merry Christmas.”  No more talk about the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the One and Only way of Salvation.  There has been a concentrated effort to marginalize Jesus and Christians in 21st century culture.  And the tragedy is that we Christians have been like the proverbial “frog in the kettle.”  We have become so accustomed to the politically correct requirements of a secular culture that we have contributed to the removal of the nativities and the Merry Christmas greetings and more.

This year I am at a place that the scales of my conscience are weighing what is truly important and eternal.  Living life…living life in the real world …has a way of sobering a person and challenging priorities and perspective.  This can a painful process…but it is a process that can produce wonderful results to the person who responds correctly to the process.  It is like the weeding of the garden, the pruning of the tree, the removing of the rocks from the new ground.  (Yes, I grew up in the country.)  Sometimes it takes circumstances to help us be honest with ourselves.  Circumstances can be like a mirror or like a true friend.  This honesty will enable a person to know what is really and truly important in life.

Well, none of us ever get to the end of the process.  We will be perpetual students in life.  But we can grow and we can learn.  And we should grow and we should learn.  We should become better persons…and better Christians….growing, maturing and transforming into the very likeness of Christ who indwells every true believer.

What is important?  First and foremost…our relationship with Jesus Christ.  If this part of life is wrong then nothing else can be right.  Stuart Briscoe once said, “God meets man on the level of his desire, man can have as much of God as he wants.”  I love this statement.  Do you have as much of God as you want?  Going deeper with Him requires a hunger and a thirst for Him.

What is important?  Family!  My dear friends don’t pursue a life that leaves your family behind.  Give your family the place God has designated in your life.  Family are the ones who love you unconditionally and stand by you in the good and the bad times.  You want your family at your side when you come to the finish line.  Don’t leave them behind.

What is important?  Friends!   Wow!  You are talking about life teaching you some hard lessons.  Life has a way of sorting out lots of things.  When life reveals to you who you true friends are you can say that you have made a marvelous discovery.  A friend is someone who walks into your life when the rest of the world is walking out of your life.  A friend loves, forgives, accepts, encourages …a friend will tell you the truth…a friend will love you unconditionally…a friend is treasure.

You have friend.  His name is Jesus.  He came to earth just over 2000 years ago.  Born of a virgin in Bethlehem.  He is the Son of God…the Savior of the world.  John said: “For God so love the world (me)that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Christmas is about the greatest gift ever given!  The gift of Jesus is available to all who will come to Him and receive.  I pray that you have received this marvelous Gift.

Roger Willmore

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Selwyn Hughes, “Everyday With Jesus”

MEET A MAN WHO RICH BLESSES MY LIFE:

SELWYN HUGHES

Selwyn Hughes is a man whose ministry I missed in the early years of my Christian life.  I really don’t know how I did not connect with his writings many years ago.  Sadly, I did not.  A few years ago I served for a time on the LifeWay Christian Resources Board of Trustees.  During my tenure of service LifeWay, B&H publishers, was publishing the writings of Selwyn Hughes.  His devotional books were beautifully bound and contain comments and art by Thomas Kinkade.  I availed myself to the books at that time, but it was not until I put them into my wife’s hands and she began to read them that I was really introduced to Hughes.  My wife began to read the daily devotions and “every day”(a Hughes title) she shared with me nuggets of truth and insights she had gained in her quiet time.  I was so taken by what Selwyn Hughes writings were in her life I began to read for myself and what I found was pure gold.  My only regret in writing this testimonial is that B&H no longer publishes Selwyn Hughes writings.  I think they are missing out on providing a great resource to hungry Christians. 

Selwyn Hughes, a Welshman, was born on April 27, 1928.  He became known for his devotional writings under the title “Every Day With Jesus.”  How this all came about in his life is a fascinating story in and of itself. He founded  Christian ministry Crusade for World Revival. George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, described Hughes as a “giant in the faith.”

Selwyn Hughes died on January 9, 2006.  However, He being dead…still speaks.

At the moment I am reading Everyday Light, Water for the Soul.  I am in the section on the Fruit of the Spirit.  I am reading this section because daily my wife is reminding me of truths she is gleaning.  Again, I discovered a gold mine.  No fluff…no cotton candy…nothing of the kind.  Every word is “meat.”  Every word is relevant and personal and biblical and TRUE.

Here are a few excerpts:

Day 244:  The fruit of the Spirit is just one aspect of the Spirit-filled life.  It is an over-simplification, but the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian moves in tow important directions- to produce purity and to produce power.  The power aspect can be in seen in the study of the gifts of the Spirit and the purity aspect can be seen in a study of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Both are of equal importance.

Day 247:  Here Hughes describes some of the first characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit: LOVE.  He says, The love which flows in our hearts  when we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit is not a general love but a specific one-the love of Christ.  This love dulls the edge of disappointment and enables us to be invulnerable to many things, not least a lack of appreciation. 

Day 248:  How can we ensure that the love which surges in the Heart of God surges also in us?  We must not strain to love, but allow the love of God to flow within us.  Dr. W.E. Sangster, the famous Methodist preacher, said that those who best manifest God’s love are those who have had a blinding realization of the love of God and whose own love flames in response.  (wow!  what an insight…so simple, yet so profound!  RDW)

Day 249:;  When we perceive how much God loves us, an amazing affect is produced in our personalities- we begin to love like Him.  We cannot help it.  Love- agape love- is not the fruit of labor; it is a response.  When we stand at the foot of Calvary, the place where the love of God is fully focused and caught up, the scales drop from our eyes and our own love flames in response.  We love Him because He first loved us.  ….Don’t try to manufacture love.  Linger in the shadow of the cross.  The love of God finds its most burning expression there.  Meditate on it.  Contemplate it. 

Have you read to this point?  I gave only a few nuggets…but oh how rich!!!