I Have Moved

GO HERE:  www.joegormong.com

Thanks to Frank my web guy who knows more than I will ever forget for helping me move this am. Check out anyone of his over 75 websites or see him if you need any online services.

Drop by and leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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Kate McRae’s Story

I have been following the STORY of little Kate McRae. Her parents are Wesleyan Pastors in Arizona.

If you would like to get the latest update on Kate and her journey with Cancer click HERE.
While reading the update this am, God spoke to me in a powerful way!  Let me share the quote from Aaron & Holly.

“And somehow despite the horrors of thinking of what could be ahead, God continues to remind us of His deep love for Kate, and that nothing will not first pass through His hands. There is comfort knowing His great love for her.”

EVERYTHING that happens, my life or yours passes through HIS (God’s) hands FIRST! I got comfort as well knowing HIS (God’s) love for me is more than a worldly love, but a love that is from EVERLASTING to EVERLASTING! Blessed be the Lord our God of Israel.

Please take some time today and pray with me for Aaron, Holly, Kate, Olivia & will McRae!

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Ever Been Misunderstood?

The beginning of this week, the district of the denomination I belong to, The Wesleyan Church had a Ministerial Convention for pastors and spouses.  Two pastoral couples from our church attended with us and we spent some built in free time on Tuesday afternoon in the Lobby of the Fairfield playing kings in the corner. For lunch that day we ate at O’Charley’s and I had broccoli as a part of my meal and while we were playing cards, my wife leaned over and whispered in my ear that I had broccoli in my teeth. After 2 or 3 self cleanings it was still stuck in my teeth. I excused myself and went to the bathroom in the lobby and returned to find that it was my turn. As I sat down I announced to the table that I was broccoli free!  (meaning that i had removed the lodged food from my teeth) One of the individuals responded to me, that that was too much information.  I didn’t know that removing broccoli from my teeth was too much information until I realized that the rest of the table didn’t know why I went to the bathroom. (it appeared that I did my duty and felt better and then announced to the room of my completed task) Let me say, we ALL got a good laugh at my expense of my being broccoli free

So have you ever been misunderstood? One thing I am thankful for is that when God speaks to me he speaks very clearly and not in a misunderstanding way. THANKS Heavenly Father for speaking words of wisdom into my life.

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The blame game

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Driving down the road the other day I ran across the sign. I found the humor in the statement and chuckled a bit and then later that day it began to sink in. I remember the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis and their decision to disobey God. When God called for them they hid and covered their naked bodies up with fig leaves. Then the conversation between them and God and it ended up being someone else’s fault.

February 16th, 2011….well it seems as if things haven’t changed since Genesis 2. Today we don’t so much hide and clothe our naked body, but we do EVERYTHING possible to find the fault in someone else than where it really is, ourselves!  I notice this has creeped into student ministry and runs rampant in the public school system. I see teachers doing the best they can to educate students while fighting the uphill battle. They have to be careful how they respond, disciple or correct students. When I was in school the rule from my father was what I got at school, I got double at home. Now I was never paddled but had I been I would have gotten double at home. Now I did get a detention and was grounded for 2 days etc. My dad NEVER jumped to my defense and said, “Not my little Joe Joe, he would never do something like that.” He apologized to the principle/teacher and I did as well the next day and I promise you that it didn’t happen again.

Today I see so many parents jumping into “Mamma/Pappa bear mode”. They rush to the school and have words with the teacher/principle about the action taken against their son/daughter and quickly come to their defense and in a way scold the teacher/principle. I am seeing that creep its way into student ministries as well. It’s a rare occasion parents take responsibility for their student and that you year, “Sorry for the actions of my son or daughter, it will be taken care of at home and shouldn’t be an issue next time.” It’s usually, “well what did student “X” do to provoke my son or daughter?”  The students response is usually pretty close the parents response. Always someone else’s fault.

So back to the church sign, REMEMBER it wasn’t the apple that was the problem, it was the pair “Adam and Eve” who CHOSE to disobey. Because they played the blame game sin entered the perfect world God had created.

So how about you…….blame game or responsibility?

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Live Different 2011 (Purity Ceremony)

Saturday evening at 6 pm 26 students, 35 parents, and approximately 71 others attended our first ever 2011 Live Different Purity Ceremony. The musicians began to play “I Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” and the back doors opened and the students and parents began to walk down the center when they had all made it in, we had one huge circle of 61 people  around the outside walls of the sanctuary.

I reminded students of the Purity Code from Jim Burns.

1.) Honoring God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) Flee from sexual immorality. All sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

2.) Renewing your mind for the good. (Romans 12:1-2) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer you bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THen you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3.) Turning your eyes from worthless things. (Matthew 6:22-23) “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

4.) Guarding your heart above all else (Proverbs 4:23) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

After three powerful worship songs and prayer:

“Take My Life & Let It Be”

“Holiness”

“I Give You My Heart”

I had the students say these vows:

Believing that true love waits…….I make a commitment to God…….myself…….my family…….my friends…….my future mate…….and my future children…….to a lifetime of purity…….and sexual abstinence…….tonight I commit to…….honoring God with my body…….renewing my mind for the good…….turning my eyes from worthless things…….guarding my heart above all else…….from this day…….until the day I enter…….a biblical marriage relationship.

The parents followed them with these vows:

Believing that true love is pure…….I join these students…….in committing to a lifetime of purity…….I make a commitment to God…….myself…….my family…….and my community of faith…….to abstain from pornography…….impure touching and conversations…….and sex outside of a biblical marriage relationship…….from this day forward.

I asked the parents to place the students symbol of commitment in their  hand. (Each student choose different symbols some of the choices were rings, necklaces, dog chains, metal book marks, and various other items)

I reminded the students of their symbol of commitment as a reminder of their commitment to purity. It was given to them by their parents whom love, pray and support them. I asked them to cherish it with the knowledge that their purity is for God’s glory. On their wedding night they are to give their symbol of commitment to their spouse as a celebration of promises given and promises kept.

As parents placed the symbol on their finger, around their neck or placed it in their hands and as they shared this special moment together Melinda sang the song “I Promise” by Jaci Velazquez.

Lord, You know my heart
And all my desires
And the secret things I’ll never tell
Lord, You know them well

Though I may be young
I see and understand
That at times like sheep we go astray
And things get out of hand

Chorus:
So I promise to be true to You
To live my life in purity
As unto You
Waiting for the day
When I hear You say
Here is the one I have created
Just for you

Until then, O Lord
I will be content
Knowing that true love
Will come someday
It will only come from You

Cause I have seen the suffering
That loneliness can cause
When we choose to give our love away
Without a righteous cause

I prayed 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 from the Message paraphrase by Eugene H. Peterson to end the service.

Father your word say’s Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, 5 Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 6 Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 7 Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 8 Love never dies.
Father may the LOVE these students have for you never die! AMEN.

The congregation stood and helped me celebrate with the students the commitment they had just made. We followed the ceremony with a reception in the fellowship hall.

Celebrate with me for the 26 students that made the commitment to remain pure from this day forward until in a committed marriage relationship!

 

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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

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Same Blog New Address

http://www.pastorjoe2.wordpress.com will be changed to http://www.joegormong.com

Changes should be made sometime today at the earliest and no later than this week.

***Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. http://bible.us/Prov17.9.NLT***

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