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Pastor’s Pen: Dance Team

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

I am delighted to have the opportunity to share with you, my Tabernacle Family, the Ministry I have the pleasure of leading. The Dance Team here at The Tabernacle is an avenue for those with a passion for worship and creative/prophetic movement; for those who desire to participate in a visual demonstration of what God is doing in the midst of us throughout worship.

I love how dance, in so many ways, mimics our lives of faith! A dancer is taught musicality and rhythm from a very young age so that this cadence, much like the beating of our hearts, is the undercurrent of everything they do. From that foundation you begin to breathe in the sounds you hear, the words spoken until your movement mimics that which is all around you. A dancer uses every piece of music from the individual beats to every moment in between… every breath is an opportunity to move; to express how amazing God is! When we function from the cadence of His heart we are better equipped to take every moment of our lives, both good and bad with eyes that see the space and time between them. We are equipped to see HIS perspective so to not be rushed or make rash decisions, but be at perfect peace knowing we can trust Him from the beginning of the dance until the end!

Movement is amazing and life-giving and the Dance Team at The Tabernacle has a heart to worship with the gifts and talents He has placed in us. If you have a gifting in the areas of dance (ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop), flags, and even sewing and wish to use them to Glorify God then I would greatly encourage you to come visit us! We meet every Thursday evening from 6:00 – 9:00pm and have a variety of ways you can participate! Each week the focus is on learning new techniques, reviewing group dances, participating in devotions with the rest of the worship team, and preparing for upcoming times in ministry. Opportunities to dance in ministry include bi-monthly participation in Sunday morning worship, Special Services throughout the year, and more! I am excited to announce that this year we will be introducing a series of workshops that pertain to Dance/Movement to deepen our understanding of our role as worshipers and focus on becoming the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to His guests for their blessing! (2 Timothy 2:21 MSG).

Please contact me at: lvdnc79@yahoo.com to learn more about The Tabernacle Dance Team and to get connected!

Be Blessed!

Danielle Reid-Cofta

Pastor’s Pen: Engage

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Are you ready to ENGAGE? This week hundreds of people will come onto our Campus to take part in the Eagles’ Wings East Coast Conference. Many will have traveled from different States to be part of what is certain to be a destiny-shaping time in the Presence of The LORD! I’m sure you agree that we are privileged to host such a significant gathering and to play such an important role in welcoming the Holy Spirit to fill His Tabernacle. As your Pastor, I’m inviting and encouraging you to do everything possible to ensure that you are part of both the daytime and evening sessions. I’m confident God will respond to your grace-filled effort and meet you during these life-transforming meetings.

With the theme of the Conference being “ENGAGE,” I found several definitions of that word to be revealing. Consider a few of them with me and see if you too can hear something from The Spirit.

Engage (Definitions)

1: to offer something as backing for a cause or aim;
– He engaged his all in the king’s cause.
2: to come together and interlock;
– It is important to engage the gears.
3: to do or take part in something;
– We should engage in healthy activity.
4: to bind someone to do something;
– She is engaged to be married!
6: to hold the attention of;
– He is fully engaged in his work.
7: to enter a contest or battle;
– It’s time to engage the enemy.

As I review the various meanings of the word ENGAGE, my expectancy rises concerning these days we have set aside to be with The LORD. We will gather this week: Bringing our all for the cause of the King; Interlocking our hearts to one another and Binding them to the will of God; We’ll Take Part and Give our full attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing in this hour; and Stand against the powers of darkness in order to see men and women set free from the work of the enemy and fully enter the Kingdom of God!

Well, there you have it! Every reason to determine today that you will ENGAGE your heart and be part of these set days in God’s House. I’m confident The LORD will honor our faith-filled hunger by meeting us personally and powerfully in each of these meetings. Let’s ENGAGE!

Looking forward to being with you,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: Wind of the Spirit

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

The wind of the Spirit is blowing among us! The Bible uses images to communicate various aspects of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, including a dove, oil, fire, and not least, wind. None of these symbols alone can express the fullness of the person of the Spirit or His works among men. Likewise, all of them together still fall short of adequately describing the ways of the third person of the Trinity. Yet, there are certain truths God desires to communicate through the use of these earthly pictures.

When we speak of the wind, we refer to something that is totally out of man’s control. The wind cannot be directed by man’s devices nor does it consider man’s pleasure. The Spirit of God is sovereign in His action and cannot be administrated, regulated, or manipulated. The Spirit moves where He will! Jesus taught, “The wind blows wherever it pleases.” (John 3:8). The wind is unpredictable. We plan our outings, trips, or tours, and whisper a prayer, yet the wind may or may not cooperate.

Furthermore, the wind can come with great variation, growing from a gentle breeze to a torrential gale. Once again, the parallels to the Holy Spirit are clear. Sometimes God’s Spirit moves quietly, gently bringing assurance or peace. “The south wind brings calm to the earth” (Job 37:17 NLT). On other occasions, however, the Spirit might sweep through with a strong and overpowering gust of His power. “The north wind produces rain” (Prov. 25:23). So, whether it is gentle or forceful, both expressions are legitimate moves of the Holy Spirit. While each of us has the tendency to favor one expression over the other, we probably need most the one we care for the least.

When the Scriptures uses the emblem of wind, it is usually highlighting the mission of the Spirit as the originator and giver of life. When Nicodemus questioned Jesus as to how a person could be born again, the Lord, in essence, replied, “The wind must blow!” “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). A person cannot be saved without the quickening power of the Holy Spirit, for there is no spiritual life apart from the blowing of the wind. Beloved, let’s determine to be people of the Wind!

Revived,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: Free to Worship

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

This week we will celebrate the founding fathers signing of the Declaration of Independence and the creation of this Nation. While the ideal of freedom is facing monumental challenges in our day, one freedom we continue to enjoy as followers of Jesus is to practice our faith without oppression or persecution. This is clearly not the case in far too many countries in our world where Christians are being arrested, beaten and even murdered because of their allegiance to Christ.

In a recent message, Aaron Derstine of Eagles’ Wings noted, “More Christians have been martyred in this century than all the past centuries combined.” Another ministry, Open Doors, recently concluded that of the past 25 years since they have been chronicling and ranking the political and societal restrictions on religious freedom, the persecution experienced by Christians worldwide in 2016 has been the, “worst year yet.”

Here are a sampling of findings and trends noted by Open Doors:
• Approximately 215 million Christians experience high, very high, or extreme persecution.
• North Korea remains the most dangerous place to be a Christian.
• Islamic extremism remains the global dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict.
• Ethnic nationalism, leading to ethnic cleansing, is fast becoming a major driver of persecution.
• The killings of Christians in Nigeria saw an increase of more than 62 percent.
• Pakistan, the most violent nation, exceeded even northern Nigeria.
• Hitting closer to home, 23 Christian leaders in Mexico and four in Colombia were killed specifically for their faith.
• Asia is a new center of concern, with persecution rising sharply in Bangladesh, Laos, and Bhutan, and Sri Lanka joining the list for the first time.
See https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list

As we celebrate our freedoms this Tuesday, especially our freedom of religion, let us remember our brothers and sisters around the world who are paying the ultimate price for their faith. In particular, please join me in praying for the Church in the Philippines, where in Marawi, approximately 300 miles from Cebu where Bishop Joe and Doreen DiSarno lead a thriving work for God, Islamic militants have killed upwards of 1,000, and more than 300,000 have been displaced. We look forward to hearing a firsthand account of this from Bishop DiSarno when he ministers in each of our morning services on July 16th. Until then, brothers and sisters, PRAY!

Free to worship,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

Pastor’s Pen: Congratulations Graduates

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To our 2017 Graduates and our Church Family.

These past few weeks have been full of many versions of “pomp and circumstance” and backyard celebrations. We are so proud of our graduates. Eighth Graders becoming “Highschoolers” – Seniors transitioning to University, College, and the work force – College Grads now on to Jobs and Internships. You are growing up and that means owning new levels of responsibility. Adulthood is knocking on your door. How you answer will shape the trajectory of your life. Here are three comments I have for you.

Own your Faith – If you’ve grown up in a Christian home or at The Tab, you’ve had tremendous privilege. Having a supportive family, a church community, standards that shape you, and protection to guard you is special. The world will not be so kind. Testing awaits and it won’t be enough to ride on your parent’s faith. Many young people forsake their faith in these times of their lives. I pray you don’t.

Own your Relationships – The relationships you form at these times of life will have a deep influence on your developing character and value system. Psalms 1 encourages you with this, “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord…” Choose your friends wisely, and stay in the Word.

Own your Decisions – Romans 12 says, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.” Responsibility can have a way of making us indecisive. Don’t be afraid to make decisions. Make them with conviction. Make them to please God. Learn, grow, and repeat!

As you step into the next stage of life, God Himself goes before you into your next season of life! Deuteronomy 31:8 – The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES!

Pastor Mark & Gabi Passarella

Mark Passarella
Internship & Summer Camp Director – Eagles’ Wings Ministries
Youth Pastor – The Tabernacle of Orchard Park