You Need to Taste This


Buckling under the pressure of those who repeatedly implore me to “get a hobby,” I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen these days. And on those rare occasions when I whip up something remotely palatable, I beseech my wife to take a taste. I’m not looking for her kudos. I’m just wanting her to share in the experience.

Whether a savory dish, scenic location, classic film, or inspired sermon, we long for others to share in the things that mesmerize our senses, inscribe our memories, and enflame our souls.

This was Alliance Council 2017. As the Holy Spirit’s undeniable presence moved over the crowd in the Grand Battelle Ballroom that week, I often found myself reflecting, I wish the whole Alliance family could see what I’m seeing, hear what I’m hearing, and feel what I’m feeling. Despite this being the second best attended Council in C&MA history, only about a quarter of U.S. Alliance churches were represented in Columbus, Ohio.

President John Stumbo, re-elected for another four-year term, reminded us that “the Holy Spirit only gave [the apostles] power to do what He directed them to do. It’s His mission.” Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) professor Stanley John described the Alliance family as “Spirit-guided, Spirit-sanctified, and Spirit-empowered.” And C&MA Canada’s President David Hearn brazenly argued that, as our mission converges with the Spirit’s “holy fire,” The Alliance is ripe for revolution. Are you noticing a pattern here?

Later in the week, Alliance pastors Mark Ashton and Jonathan Schaeffer challenged the Alliance family to greater levels of ownership and involvement so that the gospel will be driven deeper into broken U.S. communities and to the remaining parts of the world where Jesus’ Name has not yet been made known.

On Saturday morning, we watched as a young Margaret Simpson posed a pointed question to her husband, Albert, who would later go on to launch  the C&MA: “Bertie, where will all of this lead?” Over the next 20 minutes, John Stumbo answered that question by taking us on a “Fruits of Faithfulness” world tour, highlighting the monumental impact God has brought about through the worldwide Alliance family.

Saturday night, ATS leaders Ron and Wanda Walborn encouraged us that our prodigal loved ones still bear His mark. And at the closing Pentecost Sunday morning service, Pastor Kelvin Walker reminded us that because of the Holy Spirit’s promised presence, “we don’t have to settle for powerless living.”

If you weren’t able to join the Alliance family in Columbus, you can still experience it online. And PLEASE PLAN NOW to attend Council 2019 in Orlando, Florida, May 28–June 2, 2019. Because even though you’ll likely be able to get a taste of it online, there’s nothing like being at the table.

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