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Monday
Oct062014

Seeds of Destiny

Tommy and Kleist Rhodes, Charis extension school directors, Raleigh-Durham (Click to enlarge)Does God have a specific plan for my life? How do I know I’m following His will and not my own? What’s my part in fulfilling His plan?

Like many of us, Tommy and Kleist Rhodes of North Carolina faced those same questions. Prior to attending Charis Bible College, the Rhodes witnessed an entire generation of believers drown themselves in their negligence of the Word of God as the foundation.

But one day, while listening to Andrew on the Gospel Truth program, Kleist heard him say, “If the church was doing its job, I wouldn’t have to have a Bible school.” Something sparked within her, and a seed of destiny planted itself in her heart. Continuing to listen, Kleist gleaned additional truths about grace, righteousness, and discovering God’s plan for her life.

At fifty-three years old, Kleist told her husband, “Tommy, I’ve finally found someone who is telling the truth. I’m going to Colorado.”

“Okay,” Tommy responded, “but would you cook dinner first?”

Witnessing God's provision in the newly remodeled lobby of Charis Bible College, Raleigh-Durham
(Click to enlarge)
Five years later, after God had planted and watered the seeds of His Word in the Rhodes’ hearts, Tommy and Kleist began the application process to attend CharisColorado’s two-year program. They graduated in 2010 and enrolled in the third-year training program with a desire to be extension school directors and disciple others in the foundations of the Word.

When they returned to North Carolina, they witnessed the fulfillment of what was prophesied over them—“People will rise up and come alongside you…everything is ready for the school. You’ll be surprised how things just materialize.” Unexpectedly, a master carpenter called and offered his services. “I’m going to be one of your students,” he said. “If you need anything built or fixed or moved, I’ll do it. I’ve also been collecting stuff out of dumpsters and from old projects. I have desks, chairs, filing cabinets, bulletin boards, and even a nice countertop. Could you use them?”

The growing classes of Charis Bible College, Raleigh-Durham (Click to enlarge)“Everything we needed literally walked in the door,” Kleist recalled. As excitement for the new school grew, other students found projection screens, mail cubbies, decorations, a refrigerator, and tables for what would become their breakroom. “It was amazing to watch God work out the details. When I approached our resident master carpenter to discuss building modifications, he said, ‘I know exactly what to do; the Lord has already shown me.’ The accuracy of his sketch compared to my vision was surreal.”

All it took for the Rhodes to begin walking out God’s plan for their lives was an initial step of faith. God planted and watered the seeds of destiny in their hearts, but Tommy and Kleist had to be willing to follow Him for the seeds to grow.

If you’ve lost your sense of destiny, I encourage you to read Andrew’s book How to Find, Follow, and Fulfill God’s Will. It will really bless your life and get you going in the right direction!

Monday
Sep292014

A Balanced Christian Life—Revealed!

Howard Condor of Revelation TV interviews Andrew Wommack, August 4, 2014 (Click to enlarge)Is the church guilty of abusing the grace of God? Can our response to His grace effect how others view Him? How do we live out the grace of God yet do what is necessary to keep a good conscience and testimony before the world? During a recent interview in the United Kingdom with Howard Condor of Revelation TV, Andrew addressed these concerns.

As the message of grace gains popularity, more and more people seem to be taking extreme sides. One side says that God is good and His saving grace extends to all, regardless of whether they receive it by faith. This extreme leads people to ask, “What’s the point of doing anything? Everyone is already saved.” The other side emphasizes living by faith, but they rule out grace, which is what gives the ability to live the life of faith. This teaching tends toward legalism and the notion that one can “make God move.” Both views are dangerous.

Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith, is key to receiving from God (Click to enlarge)Biblical truth is actually a combination of grace and faith. Romans 5:2 says that we enter into God’s grace—redemption, healing, prosperity, and all the other things Christ provided—by faith. In his interview, Andrew said, “Grace is what God does for us—independent of us. But faith is our response to God’s grace.” It takes a balance of both ingredients to truly free us from sin and give us victory in life.

Andrew explained how he lives in the balance of grace and faith, a popular teaching of his. “I study the Word. I pray. I live a very strict holy life, but not in order to make me accepted by God. I’m accepted because of His grace, but I discipline myself to keep a good conscience before God—to keep my attitude toward God healthy.”

Traditionally, the church has preached “Go to church, pay your tithes, study the Word” and do the things necessary to “please God” and conqueror sin. But keeping the Law doesn’t break the dominion of sin or empower you to live holy (Gal. 2:21).

Grace destroys the bonds of sin (Click to enlarge)Romans 6:14 says—

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

It’s only recognizing the grace of God that breaks the power of sin in our lives and frees us to live in relationship with Him. Andrew said, “When we truly understand the message of grace, it sparks holiness in us—not as something we do to get God to bless us but out of thanksgiving for what He’s already done.”

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

-Titus 2:11-12

According to Andrew, “Holiness is a fruit, not the root, of salvation.” It is a byproduct of our relationship with God. It’s a matter of staying in the balance of grace and faith.

 

Monday
Sep222014

Charis's 20th Birthday Celebration

Wendell Parr (left) and Andrew Wommack recount stories from the past as new students listen on in amazement (Click to enlarge) Anticipation and excitement filled every seat as 1,300 students, teachers—former and current, and visitors gathered in The Barn for the 20th anniversary celebration of Charis Bible College. Wow, what a great time of remembrance! The excitement in the room was contagious as we came together in a building that was once only seen through faith. I usually have to tell people when I’m excited, but I was very excited to be standing in a room full of so many world changers. The fruit that we’ve seen from this school is incredible, and I am overjoyed that the Lord has used Charis to transform the lives of so many through His love and grace.

It was such an honor to have some of the original instructors—including Linus and Kay LeFever, Don Krow, Wendell Parr, and Leon Matheney—share stories and recount the journey that has made possible all we are accomplishing today. It was wonderful to have old friends be able to come to our new facility and witness for themselves what God has done. Linus and Kay LeFever stand together as they relate their journey with CBC to the massive crowd before them
(Click to enlarge)
The looks on their faces as they surveyed a campus that accommodates over 600 students, was absolutely priceless. They were really blessed, knowing that they were the ones who helped make this possible. They saw the school in its humble beginnings, and their trailblazing has paid off. The reach of Charis, with its correspondence program, online courses, and over forty international and stateside extension schools is ever growing!

Throughout the celebration, roars of laughter were met by moments of awe-inspired silence as the former instructors went up and shared how this had impacted them. New students listened intently to stories of the faithful men and women who made it possible for them to be sitting in the room that day.

Kay LeFever related how she struggled to leave their dream home after being on the mission field in Russia for many years and coming to start a fledgling school with no guarantee of success. Their first grandbaby was on the way, and they left it all. Her husband, Linus, rehearsed memories of those early days and some of the challenges we faced preparing our first world changers. It gave a perspective of Charis that our current students would not have gotten without these eye-witness accounts.

Don Krow telling the hilarious tales of their fearless leader, Andrew Wommack (Click to enlarge)Wendell Parr, who started the journey with me, shared about how his family left a secure and growing church to be a part of this mission. He continues with me today as one of our venerable instructors. Don Krow, a former instructor, took a different approach, amusing the crowd with stories of me falling off the stage in one of our previous facilities. They’ll probably be laughing about that for weeks.

However, no one captured the hearts of everyone there like Leon Matheney. As he spoke, every eye and every ear tuned in as this seasoned minister of over eighty years old opened up his heart with words of love and encouragement. Trying to hold back tears and remembering the days when he spoke in front of a class of thirty, Leon imparted powerful and memorable words to what was now a sea of students. You can view the whole morning's events online here and here.

Several of our international directors Leon Matheney addressing the largest student body he's ever seen before at Charis (Click to enlarge)came to the celebration with their own news of growth and expansion from all over the world. One was Carrie Pickett, the director of our school in St. Petersburg, Russia: “I graduated with the fourth class in 1999,” she remarks, “so seeing how much it’s grown and the fruit that’s happening is truly an inspiration. It’s been so exciting to see all of my old teachers and the people they’ve ministered to, now ministering to other people. The excitement in the room is overwhelming, and I feel encouraged to go back to Russia and let what’s happening here in Colorado be the inspiration for what we do overseas.”

I am confident that this celebration was more than just a special event. People’s lives were being touched as we took time to remember the things God has done. But the best is still yet to come! If the celebration taught us anything, it’s that the future of Charis is so bright, you have to squint to look at it.

New students capture the moments as they listen to the stories of CBC, most for the first time
(Click to enlarge)
The first twenty years have been amazing, to say the least, but the job of Charis is far from over. We are just getting started on our God-given mandate to make disciples of all nations. If the Lord is speaking to you about Bible college, I encourage you to request an information packet today by emailing info@charisbiblecollege.org. Or, to apply, simply visit www.charisbiblecollege.org. You won’t regret it!