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TAB Blog: Let There Be Light this Resurrection Day

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Happy Resurrection Day!

Today, in the Season of Passover, we celebrate Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the dead, the beginning of the New Creation, and the assurance of the believer’s future bodily resurrection! This is truly a day to rejoice in the breaking forth of The Light of the world!

In the beginning, God spoke into darkness and chaos, issuing His powerful command, “Let there be light!” (Gen. 1:3). In a similar way, in Jesus’ resurrection, God has again declared, “Let there be light!” In that moment there burst forth a tremendous eruption of light, as before the Risen One, the tomb was thrown open and Death itself was conquered. Since that first resurrection morning, God’s Light has continued to spread throughout the world, moving onward toward that perfect Day when, “the dead in Christ will rise” (1 Thess. 4:16). Beloved, we have a future and a hope!

Proverbs 4:18 tells us, “The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” In a very real sense Jesus’ resurrection was “like the first gleam of dawn.” Now, His Light is continuing to shine “ever brighter” until that day when all chaos will have been transformed into cosmos – an orderly, harmonious, systematic universe!

As you study the Old Testament, you see that God’s Word (The Torah) was understood to be like light coming from God, intending to illuminate all humanity. Psalm 19 compares God’s Word to the sun (v4-6), rising to separate light from darkness, truth from error, and good from evil (v7-14). This is the reason The Torah is so deeply cherished by the Jewish People and should be by Christians as well. We recognize that the Word of God is present in a Person – Jesus! He is The Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14). He is the True Light that all humanity needs: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men!” (Jn. 1:4); “That was the true Light which, coming into the world, gives light to every man!” (Jn. 1:9).

Surely, in His resurrection from the dead, Jesus has emerged as The Light of the world. His radiance will never dim, and in fact, will shine “ever brighter” until all mankind witnesses the glory of God from one end of the earth to the other. What began as “the first gleam of dawn” will ultimately culminate in “the full light of day,” with the earth having been saturated with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD! (Hab. 2:14).

Let there be Light!

Bishop Robert Stearns

TAB Blog: Shining His Light

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Because of your generous, sacrificial giving, we are well on our way to achieving the goals of our “Let There Be Light” initiative. By God’s grace, we will also fulfill our individual roles of being shining lights of God’s love to our region, nation and the nations of the world. As a way of encouraging us toward this end, Jesus instructed His first disciples, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

I’m sure you would agree that it is impossible to exaggerate the depths of darkness that engulf our present world. Sadly, but as God surely foresaw, the sin of man runs rampant in the earth, bringing multiplied heartaches and heartbreaks to every home, family and life. No one stands outside the shadow that sin has brought upon God’s creation.

Yet, it is into this world that God sends us as His luminaries. We are sent to proclaim God’s light to a world engulfed in darkness. Believers in Jesus are not called to hide from this darkened culture or cower in our church buildings and shine our lights in each other’s eyes. Instead, Jesus commissioned us to, “go into all the world” (Mark 15:15-16), and commanded us to let our, “light so shine before men.”

Yes, we are to let our light shine, but the truth is, we have no light in and of ourselves. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), so think of it this way: He is the Son, and we are His moons! We know the moon has no light of its own. It is simply a piece of dead rock that reflects the light of the sun upon the earth. So too, as “God’s moons” His light is reflected through our lives upon a darkened world. You and I have only one light – the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is no darkness so thick that His powerful light cannot penetrate and prevail! In fact, the blacker the darkness, the brighter our light will shine.

The ultimate purpose in shining our light is not to bring attention to ourselves. Instead, our light, which Jesus describes as the good works we do, are to magnify the grace and power of God by pointing people to Him. This is our goal in advancing our “Let There Be Light” initiative; so, thank you for all you are doing to see this come to pass.

Shining forth,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

TAB Blog: Truth of God’s Salvation

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Thank you for your sacrificial investment in our “Let There Be Light” initiative. Together, we are becoming a shining light of revelation to our region, nation and the nations of the world.

In his Gospel, Matthew tells us, “And leaving Nazareth, Jesus came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Mt. 4:13-16)

The Tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali occupied the most northern lands allotted to the people of Israel when they conquered Canaan during the time of Joshua. Through the years, because of their distance from Jerusalem, they had a more difficult time maintaining their connection to the rest of the people and were exposed to a myriad of foreigners who passed through their borders. “The way of the sea” was the Roman Road that connected Damascus, Syria with Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast; a branch of which went along the west bank of Galilee through Bethsaida and Capernaum.

The lands of Zebulon and Naphtali were humbled in that they were the first to fall to the Assyria armies when they invaded Israel during Isaiah’s time. Many of the inhabitants were deported and intermingled / intermarried with those from pagan cultures; and by the time of Jesus, Galilee was geographically and politically cut off from Jerusalem and had a predominately Gentile population. In fact, the Galileans were regarded by Judeans as uncultured and irreligious, and there is plenty of evidence to show the strained relations that existed between the two provinces (See John 7:40-43, 52).

Yet, it is this region and this people that God chooses to visit with the dawning of the age of redemption through the coming of His Son. In despised Galilee; a place where the people lived in darkness, without the religious advantages of Jerusalem and Judah; far removed from the center-of-power of the Jewish-religious-machine; in the land where death’s shadow and darkness were most dense; the light of God’s King and God’s Kingdom began to break forth.

Today, we joyfully affirm that the Light of the World which dawned upon Galilee of the Gentiles has reached to us, and is now shining through us, illuminating the truth of God’s salvation for all who believe.

Let it shine!

Pastor Jim Ruddy

TAB Blog: The Face Of Jesus Christ

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Thank you for your generous commitment to our “Let there Be Light” initiative. We continue to believe the Lord for His abundant blessing as we walk together to Easter.

In Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle celebrates the freeing power of the Gospel he is privileged to declare. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). What is Paul referring to here? He’s quoting from Genesis, Chapter 1, where there was darkness and chaos and confusion; and the Spirit of God brooding over the water like a mother hen ready to bring something to life. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen. 1:3) – and Creation began to spring forth! Paul quotes Genesis 1 and says, “The God who spoke into the darkness of the original creation and called forth light…; that same God has spoken into the darkness of our hearts, by the light of who He really is, revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. And when He spoke that into our darkness, a New Creation sprang forth!”

What is this light that we have received? It’s the light of revelation! It’s the light of truth! It is the light that dispels all darkness and delusion; the light that erases the errors, the falsehoods, the half-truths and the untruths we had believed concerning the person of God and imparts to us illumination concerning the true knowledge of the LORD!

Where is this light of the knowledge of the glory of God found? It’s found “in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). “In the face…” is a Hebrew expression. “The face” is representative of all that a person is; the totality of their being. So, we meet God, the real God, “in the face,” – in the person – of Jesus Christ! It is in the unveiled face of Jesus Christ that we see the glory of God. The glory of God is all that He is! It is the fullness of His essence; the composite of His nature and attributes; the full representation, expression and manifestation of God!

Beloved, whatever faulted ideas we may have had about God are corrected when we meet God in the person of Jesus Christ. Whatever distorted images of God we had arrived at are corrected when we receive the light of revelation that shines through the face of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Let There Be Light!

Pastor Jim Ruddy

TAB Blog: Let There Be Light!

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Many of us walked together during our “Journey Capital Stewardship Campaign” (May 2015 – May 2017) which helped raise the funding to address some pressing needs of our buildings and grounds. While we were able to complete a fair amount of improvement and upgrades, a major area that was left untouched was that of technological advancement. In order to address this most important focus, it is my joy to introduce our “Let There Be Light!” initiative.

This theme, “Let There Be Light!” addresses two critical areas in need of development. First, in a physical sense, there is a great need to enhance our Worship Center platform lighting. Improving this area, along with several other important advancements, will provide a more engaging experience for those who attend our services, as well as that of our ever-growing local, national and international online audience.

“Let There Be Light!” also speaks to the powerful revelation of God’s Word emanating from this House, going to the region, nation, and nations of the world. Through this initiative, the Reid Leadership Center will be fitted with the physical and technological upgrades enabling us to properly record teachings, seminars and equipping sessions that will be shared with others who hunger for the truths coming from this ministry.

Beginning today and continuing through Easter Sunday, April 21st, we invite you to partner financially with us in this important advancement. Join us in believing for gifts totaling $45,000 that will go a long way in providing these necessary upgrades. In order to achieve this goal, we are asking everyone who looks to The Tabernacle for ministry and inspiration, as members, adherents or friends, to make the “Let There Be Light!” initiative a matter of focused, sacrificial giving, over and above your regular tithes and offerings.

To assist us, beginning today, and continuing through Easter, our Project Offerings will be designated for our “Let There Be Light!” initiative. However, please know that you can give toward this advancement in any of our regular offerings or through any of our online giving portals. Simple choose the “Let There Be Light!” online giving option or write “Let There Be Light!” on your offering envelope.

Thank you in advance for your faithful response and partnership in this important initiative. We look forward to seeing these areas of ministry enhanced and the testimony of this Church advanced through the generous gifts of God’s people.

In the Light of His Love,

Bishop Robert Stearns

TAB Blog: Catch the Momentum to Glory

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Recently, God has been moving and speaking to our Youth and Young Adults in such a specific way. We have been seeing students radically transformed through coming to faith, receiving the Holy Spirit, releasing the things of the world, etc. He is tugging on hearts to continue to lay down and surrender everything to Him. There’s an invitation being sent to live a life completely sold out to Him.

As I’ve seen the Lord take us into this season, I’ve felt an underlying theme and challenge for myself. “Am I willing to lay down my life and take the steps to get caught up in the fierce currents of His living waters? Will I crucify my flesh because of the way Jesus was crucified for me? What is it that is holding me back from my first love, from running alongside the Father hand in hand?”

All of the earth is groaning with expectancy for Jesus to return. Time is continuing to advance and nothing can stop the Lord’s kingdom from coming. The Lord is preparing hearts for the approaching times and aligning things the way they need to be aligned. I’m continually challenged as I ask myself, “Am I willing to get completely caught up in this Holy momentum?” “Do I believe that nothing else will satisfy my heart, the way that obedience to the call of God will?”

There’s no formula to this call; and it’s by far nothing close to an easy, one and done decision. My prayer for our house, for our ministries, and for each person today is that we can begin to enter into His Holy momentum to glory. May we be able to make the decision each day to lay down our priorities, our emotions, our preferences, and lay them at the Father’s feet.

There’s a Holy momentum to glory that is happening all around us. It’s our choice to acknowledge it and it’s our choice on how deep we want to go into it.

With many blessings,

Andrew Thiel
Young Adults Director

TAB Blog: Your Tabernacle Family

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

I am passionate about my Tab family. I love to be together as we seek the Lord; worshiping, praying, laughing, crying, encouraging and living-out our friendships. When I am away, I look forward to coming back. I have felt the very pulse, the breathing in and out of The Tab. The souls who have gone before us are exhaled in a gust of breath. While the new people enter in with the inhale. Holy Spirit leads us forward along pathways that intersect through each life. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Ps. 37: 23). As the new and the old are exchanged, Holy Spirit is intricately performing, conducting and directing our steps. As if we were in a majestic orchestra, each of our sounds are melodically spaced and timed. Our heart cries are tuned together. Holy Spirit searches the heart, so intimately. In this house, “what affects me directly, will affect us all indirectly” (MLKing Jr).

Our Kairos Bookstore continues to be an exciting place of Holy Spirit movement. Someone is always stepping in and blessing us. They reach for me, right over the counter, to speak kind words over me. They stop me in my path to tell me how blessed they feel when they are there. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bring good tidings” (Is. 52:7).

I have grown so much through worship and prayer. My attitude and understanding have changed. I remember going up for altar calls and I would be drawn into the arms of Pastor Wanda. I just couldn’t understand why each time I saw her she would say, “I love you, I love you.” At first, I would think, Oh, how kind; how sweet she is to me. The same thing kept happening to me each time as she would repeat how she loved me, whispering in my ear. I would think, “She just doesn’t know me or the sins I have committed in my past. If she knew she wouldn’t think this way about me.” More time went by at the altar and I found myself believing that she really did love me. I have learned about the love God gave to her for me. It’s agape love. It is a wonderful, cleansing, life-filling love. I am so grateful to know: “I am the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 5:21). I am worthy of God’s love. I am valued by God.

In Ladies Bible Study, we have been listening to Pastor Wanda interpret bible verses intermixed with her life experiences. Her words are a voice of wisdom to us as if the wisdom were seeds attached to a dandelion in its seed-stage, soft and white, and ready to fly off. Holy Spirit breathes on it and POOF the wisdom floats all around the room to each one of us.

We are so blessed to experience God’s love within the breath and pulse of this house. “You are all over; You are all around; You are inside; This is life; This is life.” (Song: This Love) Take time to experience and dwell in the life-flow of our house here at The Tab.

Ann Crinzi, Kairos Bookstore Manager

TAB Blog: Our Covenant God – The Covenant and The Kingdom

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The Bible reveals the Covenant bond between God and His people to be the most powerful personal relationship we could ever experience. In ancient times, Covenants were solemn binding agreements, honored above all other contracts. Making a Covenant represented the total commitment of one person to another unconditionally and eternally. As you follow the thread of God’s Covenant woven throughout the Bible, you’ll discover everything God does in your life is based on His Covenant Word and His Covenant promises to you.

Alongside this theology of Covenant God also offers to us the theology of the Kingdom. While covenant is the promise of God, Kingdom is the rule of God over all of His creation. The elements of kingdom theology are: there is a King, God Himself and while He has the authority to act, He expresses His authority through people who choose to follow His Son and through the anointing of the Holy Spirit carry the responsibility of representing Him. It is a “Servant Kingdom” that does not come within the realm of natural understanding, but it is spiritually discerned. For us, access to the Kingdom comes through being in Covenant relationship with God and being responsible representatives of God in the earth through the authority given to us by Jesus. So, the specific purpose of Covenant promises, made between God and man, is for them to be vehicles that carry the express purposes and desires of God for mankind individually and corporately.

When you understand how thoroughly the dynamic concept of Covenant permeates everything God says and does in your life, you’ll come to experience one of the most stabilizing relationships you will ever have with Him, because God is a Covenant-making, Covenant-keeping, Covenant-revealing God. When you understand the concept of the Kingdom of God being righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, you will understand the words of Jesus “The Kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21.

May we always be a people of Covenant and Kingdom,

Pastor Jo Ann Angelo

TAB Blog: Be a People Person

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

If I were to ask you to describe the Apostle Paul, what words would you use? You might respond with, serious, brilliant, logical, reverent, studious, thoughtful, dedicated, driven, committed, or determined, for certainly, each of these words fit the usual picture we have of the man from Tarsus. As you read his letters, Paul doesn’t seem to be the kind of man you would invite to your home for dinner. If you did, you’d probably brush up on your theology beforehand.

Speaking of theology, most of us think of Paul’s letter to the Romans to be his definitive thesis on the matter of salvation and the unfolding of other major doctrines. But surprisingly, the final chapter of Romans, Chapter 16, reveals a very different side of this great apostle. Here, we are given a personal glimpse into Paul’s heart and we discover he had an overwhelming love for people. Paul was a people-person! In fact, in 16 verses Paul mentions 27 different individuals and makes 19 references to greeting or commending these friends. He doesn’t write anything impressive or earthshattering, but it’s fully authentic, as Paul expresses his affection and admiration for others.

Furthermore, the terms Paul uses reflects the fundamental unity of the Church; words like, brother, sister, kinsman, beloved, and fellow-worker. He speaks of being “in Christ,” and “unto Christ,” and “in the Lord,” affirming that the basis of our relationship with one another is found in our union with God through the Messiah’s atoning work. In other words, our ability to properly relate to each other comes because of and through the life that we share in Jesus.

Taken as a whole, this Chapter displays the breadth of the Church. The church at Rome included men and women, Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slaves and freedmen, and those from every level of society. The body-life principles of the New Testament call for a unity that is discovered in the midst of great diversity; one that spans the human barriers of race, wealth, social class and ethnic background.

What we learn from Romans 16, even as Paul is helping us to understand the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, is that each of us matter to God and have an essential place in His Kingdom. Paul was a people-person, as we should be. Perhaps the reason Paul could readily call forth so many names was because he frequently mentioned them in his prayers. I hope that we will do the same for one another.

I have you in my heart,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

TAB Blog: Daily Decisions

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

This is the month we celebrate the birthdays of two of the great Presidents of our country, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These men were deeply committed to performing the duties of the office of president. One was establishing what this new country was to be and how it would function; the other, some 50+ years later, was committed to preserving the union and abolishing a great injustice in our land. They saw beyond their own comfort and pleasure to the generations that would come behind them. They worked to create a nation that would be a blessing.

Over the last few Sundays, we were privileged to hear messages that have spoken to our conduct in the day we are living. Those of us who have a few more miles on their odometers look at the events with amazement as we consider the changes we have seen in our lifetime and the acceleration that they have occurred. In this ever-changing world, our challenge is to be “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).

In Isaiah 39, the prophet is speaking with Hezekiah concerning his entertainment of an envoy representing the King of Babylon. It is recorded that Hezekiah was “pleased with him” and he gave the envoy a tour of all his treasures, which was described as everything that he had. This act and admission opened the way for the prophet to bring a strong word of rebuke. He pronounced that all the treasure in the house and all that the fathers had accumulated would be carried into Babylon. Furthermore, some of the sons would be made eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon.

Instead of humbling himself in repentance, Hezekiah had an amazing response. “The word of The Lord which you have spoken is good! At least there will be peace and truth in my days.” His response reflected his “broken values.” He cared only for himself and his generation but had no eye toward the future. It may be difficult to understand why a King of Judah would be engaged in this behavior and, when confronted about his behavior, how he could be comforted by the deferred consequences of his behavior. It would seem to me that his confrontation with Isaiah would somehow prompt him to repent and seek God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Daily decisions have tremendous impact on our lives and on the lives of our families, church and communities. There are times when we say things or make decisions out of ignorance, foolishness or other motivation without considering the consequences. How can we guard against having “broken values,” that will lead to a mindset that is only focused on our comfort, entertainment or ease?

As believers, as citizens of His Kingdom, we are to always be mindful of the thoughts we entertain and guard our hearts so as not to compromise what God has placed there or the calling that is upon our lives. As ambassadors, we are to represent the country of our citizenship and our King. His response is to be my response. His perspective is to be my perspective, which can only be accomplished by continuous relationship with the King.

It is easy to think our service probably won’t make a difference in the great scheme of things, but I would encourage you to do whatever you can to represent our King to our families, church, community, and beyond. If we are faithful, we can trust God for the results.

Pastor Allen Baun