Update from Pastor Virgil 11/16/22

Moving Christians from the pew to the harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38

November 16, 2022

God is doing fine, my friends, no worries!

Greetings from Arizona, where the weather’s great but our election officials can’t count. I know for many of you, the recent elections may have been upsetting. Me, too. We are in a mess. I do believe, however, that God is unbothered. I have enjoyed the mental image of the 2nd Psalm where the Psalmist writes:

“The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision.” (Psalms 2:2-4 NKJV)

For the last couple of months I have been on the theme of “What’s God Doing?” He’s always doing something. Most of what I hear from Christians these days is an opinion on what the Devil is doing. I’m more interested in what my Father is up to. The activity in the realm of the spirit is trending up! We can and should be seeking insight from Heaven concerning what’s going on and how we can best cooperate with the Lord.

There are several things that seem plain enough to me. Maybe they will help you:

  • God has His hand in what’s happening. We have all been praying, and He is answering. He said He would lift up one and bring down another. In Psalm 75:6-10, He warns the boastful and the stubborn (even the ones on our team) that He will deal with them. He makes it clear that promotion comes from Him, as does downfall. He has a plan. It will come to pass.
  • God has prepared a fish. That’s what it says in Jonah 1:17. When a rebellious prophet got pitched overboard, God had already prepared the way of escape. Our deliverance and His purposes are being prepared. He’s got you covered!
  • God does not want our trust to be in politicians. When we allow ourselves to be seduced into human planning and dependence on political power, He is obligated to pull down our golden calves. Who do you trust?
  • We have one clear command: “Love one another as I have loved you.” That tells me that bitterness over losses, and hatred over political differences are not what God has in mind. Bite your tongue!
  • The world is rough. Tough times make people more receptive to the Gospel. People are scared, tired, and hopeless. You are courageous, empowered, and full of hope! Be alert to the opportunities that are all around you. Rejoice!
  • Circumstances change, the mission doesn’t. We are strangers and pilgrims in this earth. We are on a rescue mission from Heaven. We are light invading darkness, looking for survivors. Focus!

Brother Hagin said that one mark of spiritual maturity is the ability to recognize the hand of God at work. Maybe it’s time we grow up. If I pause for a minute and pay attention, I can see His fingerprints all over things.

A faith refresher: On Wednesday nights, our local church has been teaching the Faith Ministry Training Institute class called “Biblical Faith.” It deals with the basic nuts and bolts of walking by faith to see the promises of God manifest in our lives. I have had the privilege of teaching a couple of the classes, and I have also made it a point to attend the others when I am free. I have been learning new things and been refreshed and stirred up about others that I had let slip. These are classes that I wrote and have taught many times, yet I still benefit from them. Here’s the point:

  • Those of us who have been “faith people” for years tend to forget the new guys who haven’t heard the foundations of the message. This is life-changing stuff!
  • We all need to be reminded of what we think we know. We leak badly as life pounds on us.
  • None of us got it all right the first time. We learn new stuff every time we go through it.

If you’ve never taken this class or you would like to teach it in your church or Bible study, check it out. It’s inexpensive, simple, and worth the trouble.

Mountaintop CC Spanish songs

A New York State of mind. In October I spent nearly 2 weeks in the Susquehanna Valley/Capitol Region of New York. I visited 5 churches. We lived in Oneonta, NY for nearly 10 years, and I am so grateful for the relationships that were formed. It strengthens my heart to see how God is using our friends in that region. I am committed to being in the area twice a year since there are more places than I can work in on just one trip.

One highlight was at Mountaintop Christian Church in Bloomville.  They invited Hispanic migrant workers from the farms in the area and we had a service with an interpreter from Costa Rica right in the middle of the Catskill Mountains.  One precious couple from Puebla brought a cooler filled with fresh tamales.  They were awesome.  I felt right at home.  Thank God for Pastora Anne and her church as they work to touch every life in their area.

I could ramble on, but the point is that God has given us many great connections, some of which have endured for decades. It’s a privilege to be able to serve them still. “Thank you” to the pastors and all their leadership who allow me to speak into their lives and who treat me with such love and respect:

Living Water Faith Fellowship

Pastors Dan and Donna Runcorn, Living Water Faith Fellowship, Oneonta, NY

Pastor Anne Bethany, Mountaintop Christian Church, Bloomville, NY

Pastors David and Norma Bowley, Faith, Hope and Love Christian Church, Canajoharie, NY.

Pastors Phil and Connie Carey, Believer’s Family Church, Johnstown, NY

Pastor Dianne Elston, Believer’s Church @Glenville, Glenville, NY

Upcoming Events:

  • November 20. 10:00 AM Faith Family Church Chandler, AZ
  • December 1-2. IEMFe 2. Victory over Addictions 2, Hermosillo, Sonora
  • January 10-14. Panama
  • January 26-28 Hermosillo. Sonora. Congreso 2023

Help Wanted: God has been good. We have new helpers in many areas. I’m still looking for some help with getting our written material ready for publication. That includes our books that I want to get ready to be in eBook format. I also need someone to sort through old “Out of the Abundance of the Heart” emails and help me find 365 of the best to put together in the form of a devotional. Any volunteers?

Thank you for your prayers and support. I run out of words to express how wonderful it is to have friends who stick with us. On those days when I don’t feel what I believe, your support and confidence in us helps me shake it off and get going. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Financial support can be sent to Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson at the address below or given online at www.fcftucson.org. Make checks payable to FCFT, you can designate for missions or pastorvirgil and it will get where it needs to go. We pray consistently that God bless you as you obey Him in giving. He is faithful.

Visit us at www.pastorvirgil.com. There’s new stuff every week. You don’t want to miss it. Share it with your friends. You can help by looking at the Pastorvirgil.com Facebook page and hitting “Follow.” Whenever you see a post, share it. This will help us reach more people. We also maintain a Facebook page in Spanish @IEMFeonline.

We are yours in His service,

Virgil and Judy Stokes

3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.

Tucson AZ, 85745


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s