It happened in a nondescript field somewhere just beyond Juno Beach. With more than 150,000 troops landing on the Normandy coastline, it would have been easy to miss a few men here and there. Soldiers stumbled over their fallen brothers as they made their way into the occupied zone. One foot at a time, they took back control from the entrenched Germans. Soldiers made their way into the open fields to fight the occupied forces. A few of them, barely past their 19th birthday, breathed their last breath as they were caught in a sudden crossfire. They fought briefly, but they fought. The liberation of the world was said to rest on that overcast day of June 6th. It was the principal aim of the Allied forces, but it came at the greatest costs. Freedom always comes with a cost.

We are living in the blessing of a “post” era. While our educational institutions routinely abandon historical facts, it should be noted that the sacrifices of our military men and women have allowed us the freedom we enjoy. Every protest, sit-in, and march is made possible by those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The irony of kneeling or burning the Flag is protected by construct of the Flag itself. Free speech, which is under attack, has been afforded to us, not by Congress or convention, but by those who fought and died.

It should be noted that fighting for ourselves is very different than defending the freedom of another. Personal prayer and intercession follow suit. It is far easier to seek for our own need. In like fashion, protecting the homeland and defending another is rarely seen in the same way. The greater challenge is to stand up for people who are unable to stand up for themselves. We pause today to honor those who gave themselves for the cause of humanity, not just for the homeland.

For those who denounce such burden, perhaps we should consider the words of Martin Niemöller. Though born in Germany, Niemöller challenged the actions of his own country. He eventually emerged as a critic of Hitler which resulted in living out his life in a prison camp.

He said: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionists. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

That field beyond Juno’s beach may be silent today, but those who died there still speak. The echo can be heard if we seek to hear.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

… come in the wait …

The Construct of Impulsivity may seem like a lofty word, but the reality of it is quite basic. Behavioral science has spent years researching impulsive natures in regards to motor functions and rash responses. The advertisement/product world has relied upon this research in the study of consumer spending habits. In a broader view, emotional decisions are being made everyday in relationships, jobs, and church affiliation that often lead to regret. Marriages are taking place with almost no forethought. Large purchases are made without considering the ongoing cost. Movements are taking place with the promise of something better, many of which never materialize. The impulsive nature of mankind has been an affliction since the beginning.

Our problem is that we spend too little time inquiring of the Lord. Constraint is not a popular subject and prayerful consideration is a lost art. Many listen to friends’ advice, but never hear the Voice of the Lord. They rely upon their need instead of God’s direction. To seek God seems like a foreign subject to the modern believer. I grieve to think of how many times such choices are made: Tables filled with sympathetic counsel while prayer rooms remain empty.

Jehoshaphat showcased the need for a Word from the Lord. He could have joined the battle with his well-equipped army, but he knew that human ability could never supplant spiritual counsel. His question was profound: 1 Kings 22:7 “Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?”

The nation of Israel had already established the need for the Voice of God. 1 Samuel 9:9 Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet…” Even David, when he pondered the highest priorities of life, sought to inquire in the Lord’s temple (Psalms 27:4). He said, “One thing have I desired…”

The answers that come from God do not always come in a single moment of time. Sometimes they come in the wait. Sometimes they come in the seeking. Instead of our impulsive natures ruling our lives, we should be seeking the Voice of God which comes through contemplation, prayer, and time. Life decisions should never be made without prayer and fasting.

And for those who do pray, let it be known that prayer is not a one way street. We speak and then we wait for God to answer. Prayer is not a tool to get what we want. Rather it is a petition to be offered and then an open-ended offering for God to reply when He so chooses, any way He chooses. I submit the Scripture as the benchmark for our lives:

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Whispers and shadows … the sum of our lives

I was young the first time I heard a choir sing, “Only What You Do For Christ Will Last.” The song invaded my ambitions; most of which did not include preaching. The prevailing thought among my peers was to make our mark. Tangible success was the goal. The lyric became a roadblock to those ambitious ideas. Being a part of the Kingdom was all that mattered. Not notoriety or position.

Justus did not win the casted lot in Acts chapter 1. Matthias won and it was he who took the seat of Judas Iscariot. History records Justus as a disciple long after the first chapter. Jonathan was credited with defeating a garrison of Philistines, but his unarmed and critical armor bearer was never mentioned by name. The identity of most of the disciples are lost in the annals of time; we do not know their stories or their exploits. Their lives were about the Call and the Kingdom.

There is a picture taken in the mid-1900’s of men in White Way Tabernacle. They were Apostolic intellectual giants. They were young, many still in their mid 30’s and 40’s. Their names are unfamiliar to most of us. I only know a few of them. Their stories are profound and their faith and work still ripple through time. Whispers and shadows is all that is left. Those men established the Apostolic structure used today. So much of our directives have come from them. One hundred years from now we will all be hidden in the same frame. Our names will fade – only what we do for Christ will last.

People spend their lives building homes, careers, businesses, and experiences. We are often consumed with the things of this life. I do not fault us for being temporal; it is the common human flaw. However, I write in pursuit of something beyond inheritances and personal achievements. I write with the Kingdom in mind. Maybe our names will be forgotten; our faces a blur to those who come after us, but I pray that we will leave a sure foundation that the next generation of believers can stand upon. I pray that we would make Kingdom work; Kingdom giving; teaching the Gospel; and prayer our main priorities. And in the end, if the sum of our lives fade into oblivion, so be it… just let Kingdom prevail.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Giving Mom

The prevailing thought of motherhood has taken some odd turns in the last few decades. While the traditional definition still holds true, current culture has included a host of other descriptions that are far from the original, biblical model. These distorted views have caused a disruption regarding the call of God in the lives of many would-be ministers.

In some circles, the Giving Mom has been limited to the work, time, and energy given on behalf of her children. We see her as the selfless one cooking, cleaning, and working long hours without complaint. This description is the common view of the Giving Mom.

The Bible will offer us a deeper view of the Giving Mom which deviates from the modern thought. The Book of Samuel describes such a mother. Hannah was not known for what she gave to her son or what she did for him, but more so because she gave him to the work of the Temple. This “giving mother” gave her son away for the sake of the Kingdom.

I submit that our society’s concept of a giving mother entails the aforementioned tangibles without any consideration of the call of God. Perhaps many parents are more concerned with keeping their children rather than offering them. Our Apostolic founders trained their sons and daughters to pursue the work of the ministry. They thought of the Kingdom first and family second. It was always about The Call of God. While there was geographical separation and sacrifices, the work of the Kingdom came first.

The more modern pentecostal parent often seeks to keep their family; the giving of them is rarely mentioned. The result is a lack of missionaries, pastors, and evangelists. The result is an empty harvest. Had Hannah thought this way, Samuel would have never entered the Temple and the kings would have never heard his guiding voice or felt his anointing oil. Hannah was the ultimate Giving Mom. Her gift allowed the nation of Israel to find their spiritual footing.

The example of Hannah aught not be unique, but because so many have shifted away from the Biblical model, her actions are now profound. If we return to the scriptural path we must note that the spiritually-minded Giving Mom thinks Kingdom first. While this word might be foreign to some, it is critical to the ongoing effort of the Great Commission and the final days of time. To this end, Giving Moms are still in high demand.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Disciplines of a Godly Home

It happened in a season when kings would go off to war. Perhaps the trophies and treasures of past victories had spoiled David’s desire to lead his army into yet another battle. Instead, David remained in Jerusalem while his faithful men journeyed to confront the enemy.

A series of missteps and broken roadblocks led this passionate king to move outside of his God-appointment. David wandered aimlessly atop his palace where temptation took the lead. The tragedy of his undisciplined life resulted in adultery, murder, the death of a son, a fractured kingdom, and a pointing prophet. Like the falling of dominoes, we do not know where the boundary-less life might lead. The disciplines of a godly life have not changed since that day. It has always featured limitations that even kings must obey.

I present these godly disciplines which entail the elements of routine, conversation, order, and adherence to a law higher than the individual. A godly home and a disciplined life can be achieved, but as we have discovered, a purging must occur.

The infiltration of worldliness has been an infection in many Apostolic homes. It has turned comfort into chaos. The unstructured home has a difficult time instituting Biblical principles because the Scripture has little room to take root and grow.

Daily duties, howbeit mundane, lead us to a peaceful environment. When home-life is erratic or unstructured, temptation takes the lead. We become bound by the limitless life which in turn leads us away from contentment in the Holy Ghost.

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Perhaps a predictable life that features daily Bible time; daily prayer; and a host of other orderly customs is the way to develop a strong family and a clear conscious. I am calling for us to return to the Simple Life. I submit that God time, Corporate worship, and Family structure are the necessary elements found in the Disciplines of a Godly Home.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole