Common Faith Network

Common Faith Network

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2017 Feast of Tabernacles


DATE: Mark your calendars and start making preparations to join us. We will be observing the Feast beginning with food and fellowship as we welcome the Holy Day on Wednesday evening October 4th and running through Thursday, October 12. The opening session of the Feast 2017 will begin at sunset on Wednesday, October 4th. There will be food & fellowship followed by opening night services to kick off a wonderful time of spiritual reunion of God's family. More details coming.
LOCATION:We are happy to announce that CFN will be meeting on beautiful Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach Florida. The Fort Walton Beach/Destin area is a family favorite feast destination, and it is easy to see why. With sugar-white sand beaches, abundant family friendly leisure and recreational activities, and a veritable smorgasbord of dining options to please every palette, there is no end to the possibilities for family fun.
Venue:CFN is excited to announce that we will be hosting the Feast of Tabernacles at the wonderful Emerald Coast Convention Center again in 2017. The ECCC is located at 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 on beautiful Okaloosa Island. The ECCC is situated on the main highway connecting Fort Walton to Destin. It sits just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, and backs up to a state park on the inland waterway of Choctawhatchee Bay. This modern facility has spacious public areas, meetings rooms for all the many feast functions, and a grand ballroom that serves as the worship center for the feast.
Luxurious Housing: Members have varied housing needs and interests and the beautiful Emerald Coast is the best place we've found to provide the ideal home for each family. You will find a wide range of restaurants, shopping and activities. Many members will be staying at:
    Azure
    Waterscape
    Summerplace
    Many others within one mile of the Emerald Coast Convention Center
HOUSING DISCOUNTS: Are available to attendees of the Common Faith Network Feast of Tabernacles. Resort Quest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is offering 15-20% discounts for their properties in Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, and Destin (including Azure, Waterscape, Destin West, Bella Riva, and many others). To claim the discount you MUST BOOK BY PHONE by calling ResortQuest Reservations Department at 1-800-380-4808 to make individual reservations. Guests should identify themselves as part of the Common Faith Network, customer code S1117, when they call. Guests will be asked for a credit card for their advance payment at the time of booking their reservation. The advance payment will be 20% of the total rent. Remember, the discounted reservations are NOT available ONLINE with the group booking code, only by phone.
We understand that some have experienced problems finding housing due to several local schools being on Fall break during the same time, many of the rental agencies are requiring Saturday to Saturday only rental. We suggest you try Airbnb and VRBO. The good news is that many are having success finding beautiful, affordable units available for the specific Feast days.
WORKSHOPS:CFN is on the cutting edge of feast developments, and CFN feast attendees LOVE seminars and workshops. We are making plans for a week full of helpful, informative, and entertaining workshops from the family of faith.
YOUTH CLASSES:CFN is dedicated to making the feast experience special for our young people and has plans for another great Vacation Bible School adventure with classes for ages 4-9, 10-12, and 13-18. Additionally, the young adults (ages 19 and up) will be challenged and encouraged in the INFUSE program with life application learning that extends outside of the classroom and encourages community service.
SPEAKERS:CFN will once again provide a variety of speakers from across organizational lines to inspire and instruct God's people during the feast.
MUSICCFN has something for just about everyone when it comes to music. We enjoy a variety of musical styles and lift the sound of our instruments and our voices in praise with standard hymns, old time gospel, contemporary gospel, and praise & worship music.
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Morning Companion

Behold the Servant of the Lord

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." (Jesus of Nazareth, quoted in Luke 9:23-24 ESV)
Jesus once told a parable about a pearl of great price. It was a parable of a few words, but packed with a mighty lesson: "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it." (Matthew 13:45-46 ESV)

If you found such a pearl, would you not sacrifice everything to attain that prize? It would take some faith to do it, but if you keep the end in mind, you would certainly be foolish not to go after it.

But what if you didn't know what the end was? All you had was a promise that everything would work out in the end. You are not told how it would work out, but only that it would. In that case would you be able to take up your cross daily and follow? Would you be willing to lose your life in order to save it?

Such a step of trusting faith has been required of God's people throughout the ages, from Noah to Moses to David to the prophets and straight through to the Apostles and those of us who have followed them. 

It was also required of Jesus' mother, Mary.

Imagine a young Jewish girl, about to be married and embark on a her future with her new husband and one day a family, all of which was put at risk by an out-of-the-ordinary visit from a messenger of God. Imagine the thoughts Mary must have had when told of what was to happen, that she would be with child, and the child would not be Joseph's. She knew she would be subject to ridicule and ostracized by her small-town neighbors. Rumors would fly, and snide remarks would follow her and her son for the rest of their lives.

She could not have known at the time of Gabriel's appearing that Joseph would also receive word directly from God and that he would still marry her and accept the child as his own. She could expect that Joseph would abandon her, and likely no good man would want her. She would  have nothing to look forward to except single motherhood and all the poverty and misery that would come with it.

Yet, in spite of all of the uncertainty, in spite of all the upheaval this would cause, Mary says, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).

How many of us would be willing to forgo all our hopes and dreams for the the pearl of great price, for the call of God in our lives? I don't know what God's call is for you, but whatever it is you are bought with a price. You are a pearl of great price. Jesus sacrificed all for you, and he calls us to do the same for him.





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Church of God Cincinnati

Three More Witnesses by Dan Allen


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Morning Companion

E Pluribus Unum





These thoughts grow out of a recent exchange I had with a Facebook friend who grew up in a neighborhood similar to mine in a city not far from my own hometown. This is what my friend Mary said:
I do remember many households in my very ethnically diverse neighborhood. ... Many of my friends were either immigrants or first generation American born. For several English was their second language- Polish, German, Italian, Spanish, French (Canadian) were more frequently heard in their homes among the family members. It was a great way to learn about "different" people who were all just people when every thing was said and done.
At the risk of violating Solomon's exhortation against saying that the prior days were better than these (Ecclesiastes 7:10), let me tell you a bit about the neighborhood of my childhood.

I grew up in an environment similar to Mary's except in my neighborhood many parents were the children of immigrants, many of whom were World War II veterans. Their primary language was English. But we did have that diversity of ethnic groups with slightly different ways of doing things, reflective of our various backgrounds. But on the Fourth of July we all flew the same flag and were smart enough to give each other the space to be different, except for the occasional ethnic slur that we barbed at each other as kids in a fun sort of way.

I suppose our fathers learned a thing or two in World War II that they either consciously or unconsciously passed on to us. The guys in the foxhole with you might be an Italian from New York, a Pole from Pittsburgh, and a coal miner from Tennessee, but you learned to trust each other regardless of accent or whether you preferred grits to linguine. 

So our dads' kids went to school together (important!), went to church together (sometimes!), and played baseball together (very important!). All that other stuff didn't amount to much in the great scheme of things except that it enriched our lives and taught us to accept our differences.

All this got me thinking on this Fourth of July weekend. In those days and in that neighborhood (and clearly in Mary's neighborhood too) we achieved that perfect balance between melting pot and diversity. There is something to be said for that.

Idealistic? Maybe, but it was real. And when I think about it today, on this Independence Day weekend, it encompasses the dream I have for my country and all that it can and should be if done the right way.  

E pluribus unum.

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Church of God Cincinnati

Consistency of Change by Jim OBrien


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Church of God Cincinnati

Letter from the Pastor of COG Cincinnati

Letter

From Jim O'Brien
June 30, 2017

Hi Friend,

Culture of Disrespect

Laura Ingalls Wilder is famous for her series of books, "Little House on the Prairie," depicting her childhood in pioneer America. One of the memorable experiences of life is being snuggled between our kids-and later grandkids-reading bedtime stories of Laura's adventures as the tiny tots hung on each colorful word.

She described moving to Missouri in a covered wagon to homestead their new land. Alone on the prairie they were running low on food so Pa had to leave Ma and the kids alone for a couple of days to forage for meat. Laura described living in the covered wagon away from any other humans. One morning Ma took their freshly washed petticoats and put them on the step of the wagon to be ironed.

There was no other explanation, but I was left wondering why little girls on the prairie needed to dress in petticoats and I could only imagine what it must take to iron them when there was no electricity.

The kids asked, "Why would they iron their clothes when no one else was around?" Donna, always the font of wisdom, responded, "They were not trying to impress anyone, respect is the culture of civilized people."

An often-overlooked act of Jesus occurred during the minutes after He was resurrected. When the stone was rolled away the Gospel account records that the blanket was neatly folded. It's remarkable that Jesus would take the time to fold the blanket during such a momentous event.

At times I wonder what God thinks of the way some Christians dress when coming to worship Him.

In ancient Israel when the Ark of the Covenant was returned after having been lost to the gentiles for a period of time a tragic event took place. When the Ark arrived men allowed curiosity to overcome respect for the sacred. "But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. (1 Samuel 6:19) These were Israelites who knew that the Ark was holy to God. You don't open the doors of the Ark anymore than you allow a man to walk into the women's restroom-but then America has forgotten that the body is sacred.

Later when the Ark was being transferred to Jerusalem, "Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6-7)

How can a person read these accounts without concluding that respect for sacred things is a core part of Christianity?

Compare that with the recent news story of a comedienne holding an image of the severed head of the President of the United States. Is tolerance for such barbaric antics the mark of a civilized people?

Nothing has done more to civilize mankind than the values of the Bible. Few things have done more to undermine civilization than the disrespect encouraged by the popular media.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien

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Church of God Cincinnati

Tim and Ann Back Wedding - Drones Eye View


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House by Mike Wiesman


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Sermon by Rick Pratt


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