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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Church of God Cincinnati

Tabernacle with God by Jim OBrien


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Church of God Cincinnati

Full Sabbath Service with Jim OBrien


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Church of God Cincinnati

Letter from the Pastor of COG Cincinnati

Letter

From Jim O'Brien
November 17, 2017

Hi Friend,

Give Thanks

The irony faced by Christians when this country was founded may be the same we face today. We exist as a nation because of the sacrifices of ancestors who endured extreme deprivation. Yet the nation became the strongest and wealthiest in history.

The real irony, however, is that people so weakened by persecution and deprivation had the strength to set out on such a journey.

Almost all of those who crossed the ocean to make their home in the U.S. did so to escape persecution. In spite of that, they weren't running "away" from something as much as running "to" something.

Most were looking for a new country where they could worship in peace. The persecution and deprivation they had endured in the old country made them strong.

One could say that persecution was the catalyst for our freedom. But every citizen didn't flee from tyranny. Many were equally mistreated and remained in England in slavery to those who dictated what a man could believe and how he could worship God. Many died from being tortured.

It was the vision of a new country that offered the opportunity to worship God as they understood Him that caused our ancestors to sell their property and set out across the ocean.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews says that Abraham was old and "as good as dead" before he was given children that eventually numbered "as many as the stars of the sky in multitude-innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore." (Hebrews 11:12)

The legacy of Abraham was his faith that there was a country in his future where he could worship God even though every visible thing around him was dying, even his own body.

The Apostle Paul concludes that Abraham and all who have since shared his faith in a New Country "confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (verses 13-14)

There is that word: Pilgrims! And all pilgrims share the common characteristic of suffering for an unseen country. After all, the word pilgrim means "religious wanderer." They were wanderers because their values were at odds with those of their contemporaries, so they were eventually forced to pack up their belongings and move to a place where they could find sufficient freedom to worship God in peace.

The irony of our day may be that Christianity, which may be at its weakest point since the 1st Century Christians were persecuted by Nero, may yet find strength which has been lacking since almost as long.

The very circumstances that weaken a man actually make him stronger. One of the beautiful contemporary hymns called "Give Thanks" has a line that expresses it so well.

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"...

Let the poor say, "I am rich"

A former president once made an incredibly shallow statement when he said, "Government is the only thing we all belong to." It's hard to fathom such a superficial mentality but Cal Thomas astutely responded, "The government beast is starved when people become independent of it. That self sufficiency requires a transfer of faith in government, to faith in an Authority higher than the state and a Leader more powerful than any president."

This is a time to give thanks for the great men and women who sacrificed to give birth to a nation conceived in freedom. We can share the heart of those pilgrims by looking forward to the same country that Abraham looked to whose builder and maker is God. "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one." (Hebrews 11:16 ESV)

It's an incomprehensible blessing that the Creator of the Universe is glad to be called our God-because we are grateful for the country He has prepared for us.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien

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Church of God Cincinnati

Speaking in Tongues by Jim OBrien


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Church of God Cincinnati

Letter from the Pastor of COG Cincinnati

Letter

From Jim O'Brien
November 10, 2017

Hi Friend,

The Influence of Christianity

The contention that America is not a Christian nation will exist in some circles as long as we are a nation. But one wonders how much evidence must exist to convince even a blind skeptic.

Maybe something is so familiar a person tends to overlook it, like the color of eyes of your best friend. Or maybe some people just don't bother to look. I thought of that when I pulled a dollar out of my wallet recently and saw the statement, "In God We Trust". How many countries print that on their currency? A few come close, but none with the same force and meaning as what is printed on U.S. money.

The phrase resulted from the belief that an "unseen hand" described by Adam Smith controlled the flow of the American economy. Ours is not a government-controlled economy-we trust God. No other nation on earth has an economy based on such a concept.

If you've ever served on a jury, or been required to testify at a trial, you know the court requires an oath. In other words, the foundation of our judicial system is not man; we look UP to God as the source of justice. Even the President and most elected officials must place their hand on a Bible to take their oath of office.

Did you know that God is mentioned in all 50 state constitutions? More than that, the Declaration of Independence, considered to be the founding document of this nation, mentions God four times?

The Supreme Court opens each session verbally declaring, "God save the United States of America." And there is a frieze of Moses holding the Ten Commandments above the East entrance to the building. Why is that?

Well, six of the Ten Commandments specifically define civil law. The western concept of murder, manslaughter, theft, assault, marriage, birth, and other civil and criminal matters are defined and ascribed punishment by Mosaic law.

In fact, the very structure of our government was taken from the Bible. The Founding Fathers were inspired by Isaiah's statement, "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king." (Isaiah 33:22) Isaiah's words formed the basis for the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government.

All schools in America used to begin, and some still do, with the Pledge of Allegiance, which contains the phrase "under God". So every young person in the country began the day recognizing that God is above the nation. It is the foundation for the nation's commitment to freedom. The Founding Fathers read Paul's statement that "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Gal. 5:1 NIV)

They understood that the very existence of freedom requires that citizens see their rights as coming from a source beyond man. Otherwise they could not have rejected the rule of the English King. God is the ultimate source of justice and therefore supersedes any rule of mankind.

Christianity has influenced the western world more than any other faith or religion. May it always be.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien

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MarissaBaker.Wordpress.com

The Incredible Reasons God Gives Us For Not Being Afraid

It’s all well and good to say, “God doesn’t want you to be afraid,” like we did in last week’s post. But that doesn’t actually help much with getting rid of our fear. Even knowing He’s patient with our fearfulness doesn’t take the fear away. Thankfully, God’s doesn’t just order, “Fear not,” and leave it […]

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Church of God Cincinnati

Deception by Jim OBrien


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Church of God Cincinnati

Letter from the Pastor of COG Cincinnati

Letter

From Jim O'Brien
November 03, 2017

Hi Friend,

Lost in the Wild

It was a funeral in West Virginia and I trusted the GPS to guide us to the church, which was a bit remote. The female voice that we affectionately refer to as "Bossie" was providing directions that I diligently followed. We were moving into unfamiliar territory when she directed us to turn off of the main road onto what looked more like a residential street in a rural area.

We were still an hour from the destination so doubts came to mind about Bossie's credibility, but at this stage I reasoned that I had to rely on the GPS. It was the only map I had. This was no time to strike out on my own.

In a few miles the smooth, wide pavement narrowed to an older, rougher road. "I don't like this!" I told Bossie, but she did not respond. A few more miles and the narrow paved road became a gravel road. "What is this?" I shouted at Bossie. "Don't tell me a GPS can't tell the difference between paved roads and gravel!"

Now we were in the mountains creeping around hairpin turns on a gravel road with no place to turn around. I was committed to following whatever road lay ahead. Have I mentioned that my wife was not happy-with me?

The gravel road turned to dirt-yes, as in stuff that erodes in the rain-and of course there was light rain falling. "What if I meet a big 4-wheel drive pickup truck coming from the other direction?" I thought. No room to pass-I can't turn around and I can't back up.

As if things couldn't get worse we rounded a curve to see a bridge. I'm not sure this bridge had been constructed by the highway department-but for that matter neither had the road. There was a sign that said something like "Load Limit-3 tons". It may have been built for bicycles but we crossed it successfully and eventually found a paved road that took us to a highway-the same highway we had been on before Bossie instructed us to turn.

Eventually we arrived at the church where the funeral had already started.

After the funeral my wife related the experience to a friend who had lived in the mountains. "That's how people get killed!" she exclaimed. She explained all the disasters that could have occurred-running out of gas, no cell phone service, road closure, bridge out, etc.

Now all of this is said to illustrate that we all follow directions that are often provided by people we don't know. As a pilot I often followed directions from a voice connected to a total stranger in the control tower. I trusted him.

But there is a rule when flying. The pilot is in control of the aircraft-not the control tower. His first responsibility is to fly the airplane. Radio communication is second to flying the aircraft. When Captain "Sully" Sullenberger was flying a US Airways commercial jet, a flock of geese was sucked into the engines immediately after takeoff, disabling the aircraft. Sully chose to land in the Hudson River, a decision that was widely criticized, until a thorough investigation revealed that the plane would have crashed if he had attempted to reach an airport. Sully had to make the decision.

There is a similar rule contained in the first, and most important, commandment that applies to our relationship to God. In a nutshell, the rule is, Jesus Christ died for me, not the person who claims to be a Prophet. A couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door this afternoon. They told me I was wrong for believing the Ten Commandments. "They were changed," they told me. The lady reminded me of my GPS that told me to turn off the main road. Telling her that God wrote these words with His own finger and spoke to two and a half million people did not seem to register on her mind. I decided it was safer to believe God than a stranger who just knocked on my front door.

Sometimes, you just have to fly your own plane, regardless of what the GPS says.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien

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