Church In The Now (then Word of Faith Assembly of God) had its premier service on Pentecost Sunday, 1985, which fell that year on May 26. 54 people, responding to an ad in the paper and some door to door canvassing, met in a little storefront on Royal Drive, and began a ministry based on Psalms 2:8, which in the KJV says: "Ask of Me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
Fast forward a quarter of a century, three locations, four buildings (and building programs and renovations and property expansions later), and it's 2010. The future is now! God has been good, and as the classic gospel songs says, "We've come this far by faith". This year Pentecost falls on Sunday, the 23rd*, and on that day we will celebrate CITN's Silver Jubilee!
Joining in the celebration with us will be...
...Pastors and Grammy and Dove Award winning artists,
Dony and Reba Rambo-McGuire...
...Country star and Dove Award winning artist, Ty Herndon...
...Recording artist, Daniel Kirkley...
...Stellar Award winning artist, Ted Winn...
...and many others, including Bishop Tom Smith, Senator Ronald Ramsey, and Senator Hank Johnson. There will be an afternoon of outside fun for the whole family immediately following the service, including a BBQ picnic, a concert on the lake, and moonwalks, games, and other kid stuff all over the CITN campus. The entire community is invited...
The first sermon I ever preached here was out of Acts 2, and here I am all these years later working on the Acts In The Now paraphrase...and I'm just up to Chapter 2. The timing couldn't be better! Here's what I have so far:
Acts In The Now 2:1-13
1. For well over a week this group stayed in the Upper Room, praying and communing…connecting…basically, just waiting for whatever, as Jesus had instructed them. Day after day, for hours on end, they had been in the same flow…the same mindset…the same hopeful expectation. So by the time the day of Pentecost finally rolled around, they were all together…all together in one place, physically…all together in one place, mentally…all together in one place, spiritually.
2. Then, suddenly, without warning, a thunderous, earthshaking sound like the blast of a violent windstorm burst out of the heavenly realm, and permeated the entire building where they were meeting.
3. And they began to see a manifestation of fire hovering above their heads, which eventually separated into individual flames. Each of these flames somehow resembled a human tongue, and these “tongues of fire” came to rest on each of them.
4. Every last one in the place was filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled him or her.
5. Now there were staying in Jerusalem devout Jews, pilgrims from literally every nation in the known world.
6. And when they heard this sonic boom send shock waves through the entire city, a huge crowd of them came together in excited confusion to see what was going on. They traced the sound to the Upper Room, and when they arrived there they became even more disoriented because each one heard their own language simultaneously being spoken.
7. Utterly amazed, they said "Hey…aren't all these who are speaking Galileans?!
8. How is it possible that each of us hears them fluently speaking in our native language?
9. Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10. Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome
11. (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs…we hear them declaring nothing but the wonders of God…describing His wonderful works and mercy to all…and we hear and understand what they are saying in our own tongues!"
12. Utterly perplexed, they tried to rationalize what it was that they were seeing and hearing, asking one another, "What on earth does this mean?"
13. Some, however, unable to comprehend or accept this phenomenon, simply made fun of them, attacking what they didn’t understand by saying, "Ahhh…this is nothing but a bunch of drunks acting crazy."
*CITN begins streaming all services live on the internet again this Sunday (www.churchinthenow.org)...