May 2019 Monthly Letter

April 30th, 2019

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

I got a short message from my Jewish friend, Jerry who heard about three churches being burned in Opelousas, Louisiana. He said, “Seems like every day I hear about increases of violence, racism and anti-Semitism. Such a terrible thing that churches would be burned. I thought we were moving past this kind of thing. How awful!” Awful indeed. I whole-heartedly agree with Jerry.

Another friend of mine said, “I believe that racism and anti-Semitism seem to be on the rise in our country. Racism is not new in the United States. Part of the population feels that race, heritage, and culture are either superior or inferior.”

But we see just the opposite when we look into the word of God! In Ephesians 2:11-13 we read: “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ’uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (which is done in the body by human hands) — remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Furthermore, Ephesians 2:19-21 states: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” We are being built together to become a dwelling place where God lives by his Spirit!

In Ephesians 4:1-8 the Apostle Paul encourages us to be peacemakers: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: ‘When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.’”

Yes, this world is filled with violence and hate. But thank God that He has given us the Ministry of Reconciliation so that we carry the torch of love, peace, hope, thankfulness, and righteousness to all people. We represent God the Father and Jesus Christ every day to the world around us. I encouraged my friend Jerry with this message and I want to share it with you.

May God continue to bless and keep you in His word as you share the Gospel with others, setting an example of Godliness. The world around us desperately needs it.

Love and peace!


April 2019 Monthly Letter

April 1st, 2019

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

Do you have peace in your life? Are you a man or woman of peace?

Do you sometimes have feelings of anxiety, concerns about paying the bills, health issues, and a number of other things that trouble you? Do you sometimes feel that God is not hearing your prayers? Or that your prayers are not good enough? Or maybe you’re not good enough?

That’s what the enemy wants us to think. But I have good news for you. The God we serve loves us so much that He had His only begotten Son come to earth and even die for us! This goes way beyond caring enough to listen to our prayers. He even became one of us so that he would experience what we experience here on earth and to show us a better way.

He wants us to experience joy, hope, peace and tranquility. He wants us to be happy and not drab. We see so much sorrow in this world because it is Satan’s world. He wants to continue wreaking havoc on the planet as long as God allows him to.

The word peace is listed 132 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Satan is not pleased when we’re on our knees. Here are a few passages that talk about prayer:

Hebrews 4:14-16 – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let up hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peace makers for they will be called sons of God.”

James 3:18 – “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”

I would like to thank all of you for your harvest of righteousness. You mean so much to the Ministry of Reconciliation as you serve in this ministry. Reconciliation and peace go hand and hand.

May God continue to bless and keep you in His loving care, and fill you with His peace.


February 2019 Monthly Letter

January 30th, 2019

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January is the month we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy. I like to reflect on his life each year and listen to the different stories that describe how he went about building bridges between people of all creeds and colors.

The following are a few of my favorite quotes from Dr. King:

The time is always right to do what is right.

Life’s more persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing to help others?

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness. 

Over the past few weeks, I was very touched to see how many people came together to help others by setting up food banks, opening up restaurants, paying for peoples’ mortgages, providing gas to get to work, and in some cases, paying for medicine. Many people recognized that the time was right to do something right.

Reconciliation is not hard to do; we just need to decide where and when the opportunity is available to do it. Hebrews 13:1-2 (ESV Version) says: “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

I appreciate Dr. King’s work, and also the great work that all of you are doing. Thank you for your prayers, your comments, and kind donations. They help to keep us going as we continue to do the work of Jesus our Savior.

I would like to end by sharing one of my favorite songs that we always sing at our workshops.

O let us be the generation of reconciliation and peace. And let us be a holy nation where pride and prejudice shall cease. Let us speak the truth in love to the lost and least of these. Let us serve the Lord in unity so others will believe. Let us be the generation of reconciliation and peace.

I love that song and what it means. I look forward to singing it with you all before the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

May God Bless and keep you throughout the new year!

Blessings,


January 2019 Monthly Letter

January 3rd, 2019

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

I wish you a Happy New Year and a bountiful, wonderful year filled with joy, peace and harmony!

It’s hard to believe that we’re in another year, 2019! Many people will ring in the New Year by attending parties, celebrations, and activities that may include traveling to other destinations. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating; it’s the kind of celebration that makes the difference.

When the party is over and we look ahead to the future and at the world around us, we see more of the same evils that we saw the previous year. The world has not gotten any better. Actually, it may have gotten worse related to crime, hate, and every evil that one can imagine. It can be discouraging to look at this world that has strayed so far from God, but we’re not bound by the years, weeks, or days. Thank God!

As I consider this topic, I am reminded of a message I heard about the New Year. Everything about the future is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: God has already planned our tomorrows; we just have to trust Him today.

As we look into the Bible, we see messages from God that are applicable to every day, whether it’s a holiday or not. Let’s notice what He says about how we as his servants ought to live.

1 Thessalonians 5 says: “Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” Let’s trust God for whatever happens in the coming year.

As we enter the new year, I am praying that God will open new doors for the ORM Ministry so we can continue making a difference in many more lives. Please join us in that prayer.

Let’s keep serving God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and their servants with the true Word of God. We at ORM appreciate your kind support and prayers as we work through this new year together.

Blessings and love to you all.


December 2018 Monthly Letter

November 30th, 2018

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

My wife shared an article with me that was sent to her by a friend, titled “A Body of Many Parts: On Diversity and Unity – In Courage,” by Alia Joy. The article has a lot to do with reconciliation and I’d like to share some parts of it with you because I believe it is well written. The beginning of the article states, “Our skin color, our race, our ethnicity, our language, our history matters to God.”

“We often fail to see that diversity often means disparity, a large gap between how one is seen and how one is treated. But diversity was God’s initiative, His creative manifesto to paint humanity with vibrancy, color, and timbre. To make each freckle and speck of color in the iris. To coil hair in wiry locks, or lay them smooth like strawberry grain, to soak our skins in a thousand colors and draw them over the bodies of his men and women. The created ones who hold infinite value and the cost of the cross in their souls.”

Alia goes on to use the metaphor of a priest reading and performing a wedding. The Pastor, when officiating at a wedding, shows that marriage is a spiritual union, representing Christ and the Church. These are the hands or the Sacrament of Matrimony. These four hands are our shield against the toil of the world. These four hands are God’s plan for renewing His church. These hands can reach out to the lonely and discouraged, bringing hope to the destitute in mind and body, healing the abused and hurting children of the world, and teaching your friends the wonder of married love.

Jesus Christ is our Bride Groom. He loves us so much that He died for us. He took away our sins, and the sins of all who will accept His Great Sacrifice. One of my favorite passages in the Bible, and maybe yours as well, is John 3:15: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life!” John went on to say, “God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him!”

I love passages such as this because they show that we have salvation and we don’t have to say to ourselves, “Hope I’ll make it into the Kingdom,” or wonder if we’re spiritual enough or qualified enough. My answer is: nobody is qualified. If we have to be qualified, nobody would make it. So don’t worry, just keep on loving God and your fellowman.

This Christmas, let us be reminded of what a great and awesome gift we’ve been given – Jesus!

Let me end this letter by thanking you for your kind support in helping to keep this ministry going through your prayers and financial support. We couldn’t do it without you.

Blessings to you all. And thanks be to God and the Diversity He’s given us.


November 2018 Monthly Letter

October 26th, 2018

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

Grace Communion International Headquarters

On October 12, Jannice and I flew to Charlotte, N.C. We were there for a denomination Board Meeting and to view the new headquarters. On Sunday morning, we attended a worship service where we witnessed the passing of the baton from our outgoing President Joseph Tkach to our new President Greg Williams. It was a wonderful service and I’d like to share some of the information that was presented with you.

We heard a testimony about Joe Sardler, a man who had been blind for six years. His blindness was caused by atrophy of the optical nerve. One night Joe tripped over his dog’s dish, which had been left on a step, and fell down the basement stairs. As he fell, his head slammed against a wall—and suddenly, miracle of miracles—his vison was restored. All of a sudden Joe could see things he hadn’t seen in years, including the face of his five-year-old daughter.

Try to imagine such an incident and how it made him feel. People kept asking him, “How did it happen, Joe?” Joe told them God did it. It was Joe’s firm belief that God used the dog dish, the basement stairs, and the wall to affect His miraculous healing. He gave God complete credit. What an amazing story!

Jannice and I enjoy asking our grandchildren about God‘s love. We sometimes ask them who made the trees, flowers, and other parts of God’s great creation.

We owe God complete credit for all that we are and everything that we have received, including salvation.

John tells us in chapter 3, verses 16 through 18: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Verse 21: But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

As we continue to be reconcilers, let’s remember that Jesus has reconciled us to the Father and to each other. May God keep and bless you. Love and peace. And let us continue to give God the credit.

I want to thank you all again for your support for ORM, helping us to spread the message of oneness.


October 2018 Monthly Letter

September 30th, 2018

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

The other day, my wife, Jannice and I were watching the end of a very tight football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. In fact, the Bears were near a victory when the Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers got injured, just when they needed him most! But to the amazement of the Packers, after a time out was called, out came Aaron Rodgers with a bandage on his arm, asking for the ball! To make a long story short, the Packers beat the Bears 24 to 23! They had a real leader – Aaron Rodgers.

Jannice and I cheered at such a powerful victory! She instantly suggested that this game would serve as a great introduction in a Reconciliation letter. There are numerous examples of valor in the Bible, with men of God fighting against the enemies of ancient Israel. Israel won when they looked to God for help!

Instantly, I think of David, the king of Israel and a man after God’s own heart. Reflecting upon his incredible defeat over Goliath, David was a masterful leader!

How do you handle your Goliaths and other giants? Giants such as illness or lacking the finances to pay the bills? What about noisy, rowdy neighbors, or a host of other things that aggravate us? Do you have that instinct as a leader?

We are told in the scriptures in Psalm 46:1-3,7:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever- present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
The Lord our God is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ, isn’t it great to know that we are in the hands of God our Father and Jesus, our Lord and Savior? And, like Israel, when we look to God the Father and Jesus our Savior who gave His life for ours, we need not live in fear of anything! Because of this, we, as God’s servants, can be Great Leaders.

Therefore, we have all we need to get us through any circumstance that we may encounter. Nothing is too hard or difficult because Jesus and the Father are delighted to hear our prayers. God understands all of the circumstances in our lives because we are His dear children!

Love and Peace,

 

 

 

 


September 2018 Monthly Letter

September 3rd, 2018

Dear ORM Reconcilers,

On August 11, 2018, my wife, Jannice and I attended our third Mid-Summer Night’s Concert, produced by Nat Nehdar. The weather was perfect for such an event and sitting under the stars made it extra special! We arrived to find empty chairs on the lawn, but by the time the concert began, the stars were out in full force lighting up the sky, and the chairs were full!

Nat Nadar

This year, while Nat was opening the event and welcoming us all back again to the concert, he explained how this event would benefit the community. Then he mentioned the importance of getting to know our communities and the people in the communities. “How can we help one another if we don’t know each another?” Then he said, “Considering the times in which we are living, we need to know each other.”

The following paragraph was sent to me by Nat: “If everyone thought of the community as a member of the family, then our communities would become safe for all of us, and especially for our children. A family is: unity, support, love, trust, caring, honesty, integrity, and helping each other in time of need. Therefore, if each neighbor within the community feels the same way toward his or her neighbors, like a family, then with God’s blessings, that is when a good, healthy community will thrive and exist.”

This concert has been going on for 9 years! Not only has the music been great, featuring world class artists who share their talents without getting paid because they believe in what Nat is doing; these concerts bring people of all colors together every year to eat together and listen to great music under the stars.

We may not have the ability to perform in concerts, but we all have our own gifts and talents which we can use to encourage others. Thank you, again, for your kind support, your prayers, and donations for the Ministry of Reconciliation.

As Jesus said in Luke 2:49: “Why were you searching for me? Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” I think we all can relate to Jesus as we are about His business.

May God bless us all.


August 2018 Monthly Letter

July 31st, 2018

Dear Reconcilers,

I hope you are having a good summer and not getting too hot. I’ve been reading the updates from some of our chapter leaders and want to express my gratitude for the wonderful job they are doing. May God bless them for their labor of love! I am very thankful for the great job that you are doing. We couldn’t do this ministry without you.

In Mid-July Jannice and I visited family members in Atlanta, Georgia. We have our annual family reunion at this time. We had over 60 children, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and at least one great-great-grandparent!  It was wonderful to see my two sisters, Yvonne and Annette, who live there.

On the same trip, we were able to visit Montgomery, Alabama and visited the National Memorial for Peace and Justice that just opened. I hope many of you get the opportunity to visit the center. It shows the history of slavery in the past, and advances made by people of all colors.

As we see divisions widening in our country, as God’s servants, our aim is to seek to do right at all times.  That means that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This is the “golden rule.” It may not be specifically stated in the Bible, but it works.

In closing, I would like to share a passage from scripture that I love. It’s called “A Prayer for the Ephesians” by the Apostle Paul: “For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and how deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

God bless you all,


July 2018 Monthly Letter

June 29th, 2018

Pastor Karl Reinagel and his wife, Carla have been serving as ORM leaders for several years. I asked him to share some of the things he’s been doing to promote reconciliation in his area, Furguson, Missouri.

Dear Family of Reconcilers,

Jesus Christ has been equipping New Creation in Christ for racial reconciliation since Curtis and Jannice May held a racial reconciliation workshop here in St. Louis in 2003. Our small, diverse congregation reached out to Ferguson in the wake of the tragic death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, and the destructive aftermath. We began meeting there for worship in November 2015.

This January we began a workshop series, “Overcoming the Victim Spirit,” to equip members and residents of Ferguson to walk in greater freedom. This training is led by Ivan Doxtator (MSW), founder, President and Director of First Nations Restoration Ministries (FNRM) (www.firstnationsrestoration.org) and his wife Linda (PhD, LPC, LCPC). FNRM is dedicated to bringing wholeness to the body of Christ. They state their “ultimate purpose is to see individuals, families and communities achieve their God-given potential.” The Doxtators are partnering with us to bring hope, healing and transformation to Ferguson.

The workshops address the Biblical Basis for the Victim Spirit, discerning when the Victim Spirit is operating, how to move from bondage to victory, the abuse and trauma associated with the Victim Spirit and much more. They are held Saturday mornings, followed by a potluck meal. Participants say the information is helpful and relevant in equipping them to walk more in the freedom of Christ and to help others to do the same.

During Black History Month, we asked Ivan and Linda to offer a Native American blessing to members and guests who gathered Sunday, February 18. Ivan quoted Acts 17:26, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (NKJV). He explained that he and Linda, as Native Americans, are part of the host peoples appointed to steward this land prior to the immigration that began from Europe. Ivan’s roots come from here in the heartland.

As divinely-ordained host people (Acts 17:26 and Deut. 32:8), they then invited participants to the front of the sanctuary. Everyone eagerly accepted the invitation. We then took a “prophetic step” forward as if stepping onto North American soil for the first time. Ivan spoke words of blessing to the group while Linda anointed and prayed over each individual. It was a very moving time in the Lord’s presence.

We thank God for this partnership with FNRM and the healing that is coming here in Ferguson as a result. All glory to Him!

Grace and peace!

Karl Reinagel

Pastor, New Creation in Christ


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