Saturday, December 29, 2012

Comment on Hidden in Plain View

Thank you for your book, "Hidden in Plain View" (Unlocking the Mystery of Tongues) in pointing out the value of the power of the Holy Spirit expressing Himself through the gift of tongues and how practicing speaking in tongues releases the power of the Holy Spirit in the earth.
Your book both taught me new things and confirmed that which I already knew. I know that it will help me articulate to those who do not believe in the moving of the Holy Spirit through gifts, the sense and value of "earnestly desiring" those gifts.
I especially enjoyed the linking of the Old Testament prophetic truth with the New Testament. Great Read! I would enthusiastically recommend the book to new believers, as well as, old believers like me. I pray that it would receive widespread distribution and the acclaim that it deserves. -Larry, New York

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Check out this excerpt from the preface of my new book: Hidden In Plain View, Unlocking the Mystery of Tongues. Order your copy today at my website

In the work of Christianity it is easy to forget that ours is a spiritual business. So much emphasis is placed on form and function we tend to look through our western lens for the immediate, measurable payoff of any spiritual investment. If we don’t see fast profit in terms of our own needs and desires, we quickly sell the asset and look for something more lucrative. We expect spiritual payoffs to be something akin to Wall Street day-traders or even lottery winnings!

I remember the story of a young guy who, for a time, trained hard spiritually. He memorized lots of Scripture and made a pact with his buddies to spend his life as a warrior for Christ only to become deeply disillusioned when he found out how hard it is to be a full-out Christian. It was like he had passed basic training in the military, then was surprised on the battlefield when the enemy returned fire with real bullets. When this man fell down a couple times he concluded, “It doesn’t work.” He abandoned hearty, passionate Christianity for a half-hearted imitation of “Telly Monster” from Sesame Street. A melancholy Christianity where folks wring their hands and the pure fire of the Holy Spirit is undermined by fear, indecision, frustration, and cynicism has become in vogue.

On the other side is the brand of Christianity offering positive mental attitude where a relationship with God is defined by the splendor of the arts, use of technology, the natural charisma of the preacher, and hearing a litany of thought-provoking, well-crafted messages. Polished packaging replaces spiritual weapons to fight the devil with. This kind of experience builds self-esteem without offering Holy Spirit-empowered relief from destructive demons and familial, cultural, and personal sin. Worship in some cases becomes more a sensual theatrical experience rather than an encounter with the living Jesus.

WWJS – What Would Jesus Say?

Jesus was crystal clear in His teaching of the Kingdom of God as a mustard seed. He promises that although it begins small—crusty and unassuming—it will grow over time to be the greatest tree in the garden. So then, like all of God’s living creation, the Kingdom of God is organic: farm work not factory work. One does not change during a summer of memorizing Bible verses or sitting through a thousand great messages, but throughout a lifetime of pushing up through the dirt, challenging sin, reaching always toward the Son, enduring long seasons of hot, cold, rain and drought, and submitting one’s self to the Father. The Holy Spirit is central to this process and the gift of tongues is a critical tool. Christianity is spiritual business requiring supernatural power, sustained faith, hope, and love. None of these ingredients can ever be neglected if God’s people are to overcome.

What is Your Name?

Have you heard the story of Chris McCandless who, after graduating college, gave his money away, changed his name, abandoned his family, and took up the life of a tramp? He died in the wilderness of Alaska at twenty-four years old. Rising to the ranks of a folk hero, much has been written about him and a movie has been produced about his life. Most insightful for our purpose is his name change. Having been heavily influenced by Jack London, Leo Tolstoy, W. H. Davies and Henry David Thoreau, Chris McCandless hated materialism and traditional social order adopting the moniker Alexander Supertramp in his travels. (Super-tramp is from the title of a work by Davies.)

He graduated from Emory University in 1990. From the moment of his departure after graduation until his death in August, 1992, he abandoned his family and traveled throughout the western U.S. where he met many people, always introducing himself as Alexander or Alex Supertramp. The people he met along the way liked him almost universally, with his intelligent mind and his well-bred way, but he never spoke of his past or revealed his real name. For the swan song of his odyssey, he decided to fulfill his dream of spending a summer in the wilderness of Alaska, living off the land far from the maddening crowds. He hitched a ride from Fairbanks to a place in the region of Denali National Park and entered the Alaskan bush on April 28, 1992. In early September of that same year a hunter discovered his body weighing just 67 lbs. He had been dead approximately two weeks, apparently from starvation.

Close to death, he left a note attached to the abandoned bus he had been using for shelter. It said,
"S.O.S. I need your help. I am injured, near death, and too weak to hike out. I am all alone, this is no joke. In the name of God, please remain to save me. I am out collecting berries close by and shall return this evening. Thank you, Chris McCandless. August?”

Notice the name. After over two years of denying his given name, when he was finally stripped of all the false idealism and his invented super-self failed, he was just plain old Chris McCandless. At the point of desperation and willing to beg to be saved, he finally came to terms with his name.

The same thing happened to the biblical character, Jacob. This trickster had to be stuck between a rock and a hard place before he would finally admit his name. Only after coming to terms with his most unlovely nature—supplanter, trickster, and usurper, could he become “Prince of God.”

On one side we have believers who are resolved to their name, Jacob the imperfect—disillusioned and unwilling to fight to become Prince of God. On the other side are those who, like Alexander Supertramp, call themselves Prince of God, but do not limp because they have simply hung a new name tag on an old person and are frankly powerless to change themselves on the inside. These have crafted their Christianity like the Titanic, living in the comfort of popularity and technology but surprisingly vulnerable to the veritable icebergs of life.

We must embrace the true transformational power of God’s Kingdom: The Holy Spirit. Specifically, we’ll consider the place of the Holy Spirit’s “gift of tongues” as a devotional tool for bringing the Holy Spirit to bear on our own lives, in our churches, and in the world at large. The intentional investment of quality time in spiritual prayer as a core practice is the missing power of the Church. I pray you are provoked.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mid-Summer News

Hi Church Family,
Happy August!!! This is the month each year when we 'power down' here at CMCC and cancel many of our regularly scheduled activities (obviously, this does NOT affect Sunday services). Enjoy the break!!!!! Our church performs many good works but we must remember, even God took a scheduled break from His work (see Genesis chapter one) and established the same for His people in the Ten Commandments (see Exodus chapter twenty). Enjoy your time off and remember: Christians who fail to pace themselves never make the long haul. Our Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. 
***We had an amazing week hosting Apostle John Kelly. Apostle Kelly from Dallas, TX is the head of ICA, International Coalition of Apostles ( ). He preached at a CMCC men's meeting, women's meeting and at our Sunday morning main service. Rev. Kelly asked me to share with you all, the members of CMCC, how impressed he is with you and the work we are doing for Jesus here in the mountains. Great job gang! He lovingly calls CMCC the 'Mega-church in the Mountains!' The seal of approval by Apostle Kelly is an important endorsement because he is one of the foremost church experts of our day.
***Our Wednesday evening bluegrass concert series is going really well! Meeting on the CMCC front lawn each week at 7:00 PM we've been having great crowds which include our youth group selling refreshments and a large number of non-CMCC members attending. It is our hope to encourage the heart of our community by offering an evening summer music series and we decided on bluegrass because it uniquely connects with both locals, second homeowners and area visitors. Fun music!!! Every band brings a slightly different flavor and mix of music and almost all of them have a gospel song or two in their repertoire. Fiddles, banjos, mandolins, stand-up bass, guitars, from-the-heart lyrics and down-home harmonies... Come on out! Check our website for details and schedules:
***Our church planting arm, FAITH-CONNECT, is doing very well as you can see from the following: 
From Chenengo Christian Center, Pastor Brad Keator reports: We are currently meeting in the ballroom at Howard Johnson's Sunday mornings but the exciting news is that we are very close to closing a deal on a permanent storefront space in one of the plazas in Norwich! 36 CCC members are going to the Kingdom Bound Christian music event at Darien Lake including six sponsored underprivileged youth. Every Friday night in July CCC hosted "Fresh Air Flicks" which included yard games and a family friendly movie complete with pop corn machine, cotton candy machine, hot dogs & burgers on the grill, drinks etc..... We have been hearing talk about "the church that shows movies on Silver street" all over town......been a big hit! 

Pastor Dean and Jeanne Malaxos are doing a wonderful job leading Word of Jesus Church in Holbrook, Long Island. The church recently held a set-in service and installed new deacons into office. This is an important part of growing and maintaining a New Testament church because the biblical call to ministry includes everyone. In fact, the church that the original founding apostles planted in the Bible was an 'all-hands-on-deck' organization! That means that everyone gets to participate, in some capacity, in the work of the ministry. The Bible says,  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up... Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV) Therefore healthy churches are always in the business of developing leaders to oversee and carry out ministry and good works. Congrats, to our recently installed Word of Jesus deacons! 

From our Costa Rica church plant: Ron and Julie Odato have been holding the only English language weekly services in their entire area. In fact, there are many English-only speaking Americans who have transplanted to their region in Costa Rica but have no English speaking church to go to. Ron reports: I spend my days fishing. Our bait is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This morning a businessman said, "I am an agnostic.... but my wife is a believer. She and my son travel very far to church on Sundays and she asked me if it would be OK to try your service right here. I told her it would save a lot of money on gas. She wants to make sure you believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. Perhaps I could attend with her because her English is not quite good yet....." Word is getting around that this Jesus' Food is Good!

Kudos to CMCC's own Pastor Keven Beutel who has been traveling for the past several months as needed to cover Sunday services at the Conesville Chapel Church.
***FaithConnect/CMCC  women's conference coming up October 12th. The title is 'Walking in the Garden in the Cool of the Day' and will be held in Long Island this year. 
***Ladies watch for details on the upcoming cultural outing to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown on August 26.
***CMCC church picnic after Sunday church on August 19. Details to come.
***We are re-starting weekly intercessory prayer meeting on Thursday evenings from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Anyone able to make a three month long weekly commitment please contact Michelle Beutel to sign up @ 586-4848. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel..." Ephesians 6:18-19 (NIV)
***Nancy Engelhardt is a leader for the upcoming 'America for Jesus 2012' event to be held in Philadelphia this September 28 & 29. Take some time and look over the website. We'll be bringing you more information soon.
***Eddie Rivera and Warren Johnson are two CMCC members who belong to the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) regional chapter, The Righteous Riders. This is a great organization conducting many activities and joint rides in the summer. Whether you're a Wild Hog or Mild Frog (Renard Barto line) it is good to share interests and Christian fellowship with others. Website:
***If you haven't seen it closely, stop by and check out our beautiful 20 year memorial stone fountain along side the chapel. Ron Odato constructed this masterpiece made up of stones gathered from CMCC member's lands throughout the region. The stones were anointed in a ceremony one year ago and represent Margaretville, Dunraven, Andes, Delhi, Downsville, Arkville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge, Gilboa, Fleischmanns, Pine Hill, Shandaken and other neighborhoods throughout our region! 20 years of God's Miracles! Thank you, Jesus!
***Sheila Spaulding recently hosted an overnight slumber party for our Precious Pearls, young girls' group. Little sleep. Lotta snacks. Lotta fun. Thank you, Sheila for pouring the love of Jesus and God's Word into these little ones!
***Did you ever notice how nice CMCC looks, inside and out? This is only because of the efforts of many CMCC unsung heroes. Marie Spaulding, Ryder Spaulding, Joshua Spaulding, Courtney Spaulding, Sheila Spaulding, Diana Engelhardt, Georgie Piskacek, Coby Piskacek, Brett Piskacek, Jenna Piskacek, Jeff Surgent, Noah Beutel, Cam Beutel, Paul Engelhardt, Athena Gill and many others... thanks!!!!
***New Believers and CMCC new members class coming soon... watch for details.
*** CMCC 'Art for Life' has had a successful summer season with recent drawing classes and now looking forward to an outing to visit the Hudson River School artist, Frederic Church's magnificent nineteen century Persian style home, Olana, in September.
***My new book, 'Hidden in Plain View' (working title) is being considered by at least two national publishers right now. Please pray for wisdom for all involved that this work might reach many people for the benefit of God's Kingdom and Jesus' wonderful Church!
***:(( cryingSad news, kids, but our Catskill Mountain Christian Academy staff is already busy at work preparing for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. Enjoy the rest of your summer but come back in September ready to work hard!
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See you Sunday in church!BlessingsPastor Bob Engelhardt

"After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it." Mark 16:19-20 (NIV)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2011: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Dear Friend of CMCC,

With deep appreciation I thank you for your financial support of Catskill Mountain Christian Center during 2011. What a year! In trying to capture the essence of the overall experience of 2011, I cannot help but think of the famous opening line of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” On the upside, 2011 was an amazing year filled with blessings, productivity, service and life. On the down side, August 28th, 2011 saw our little village of Margaretville and the surrounding region smashed to pieces by devastating flooding driving many people from their homes, businesses and further damaging our already struggling local economy. 

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

But God…

As amazing as it seems, however, the aftermath of the flood brought out the best of people and God used the crisis to perform miracle after miracle through CMCC as we cared for our neighbors in need! Through His grace and the help of many caring friends like you, funds came in to support the army of CMCC members and out-of-town volunteers as we outfitted our facility as headquarters to serve workers and displaced neighbors. We cooked thousand of hot meals, provided a hundred thousand dollars of food, water and household supplies to hundreds of families and sent out teams to clean out homes and businesses, logging thousands of man-hours of service. Again I say, thank you for your financial support of CMCC. Neighbors have been comforted and Jesus Christ has been lifted up through your gifts.

The rest of the year at CMCC reads like a continuation of the Acts of the Apostles. At the core is a thriving church community with all of the bells and whistles: Sunday and mid-week services, Sunday school, Power Kids, Bible studies, men’s and women’s ministry, youth groups, boys and girls groups, home groups, Bible college, nursing home ministry, music ministries, prayer meetings, conferences, radio ministry, church planting, social media, web site, pastoral counseling, leadership preparation, mission support and short term missions trips (Kenya and the Dominican Republic in 2011). We also host many visiting ministers who provide enrichment on a wide range of subjects from marriage to music concerts.

It is our ongoing mission at CMCC to broadcast the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ through all of our services, activities and programs, and by doing so, represent a living expression of His love in action. Through your donations, Jesus’ instructions to love God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves have been accomplished through our work. Some of the extra events & activities in 2010 were: January fasting and prayer, prayer vigil, Game night, Devoted teen girls event, movie night, Rev. Jim Jorgensen, Apologetics simulcast, Alight pancake breakfasts, teen movie night, Dr. Larry Keefauver, Rev. Paul Costa, Kenya mission, Re. Jimmy and Terrie Mas, strawberry social, Art for Life, Keith Johnson, Dominican Republic mission, CMCC 20th Anniversary Ball, FaithConnect women’s event, Apostle John Kelly, Margaretville Street Fair, Rev. Dion Boffo, car wash, bake sale, John Osborne, Rev. Tim Byler and leadership Christmas banquet.

Apart from specifically church activities, CMCC includes a number of ongoing services which demonstrate our faith in a tangible way. The book of James says, “But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18) Besides the normal work of caring for the needs of others done through our church, CMCC operates several ongoing ‘faith in action’ programs:

Catskill Mountain Christian Academy – This is a full pre-k through twelfth grade school offering an excellent academic training experienced within the context of a Christian worldview. Our school strives to develop Christian faith and character qualities for the lives of our students as well empowering academic preparedness and accomplishment. Founded in 1995, CMCA continues to serve the children of Christian parents who value the integration of faith with academics. 

Family Table Community Assistance Program – The Family Table ( is a food program offered to low-income families in our region. Serving over a thousand local families in 2011 as well as providing food and training to other outreach centers, The Family Table dispersed a well over a half-million dollars in food to the needy in 2011. Since opening its doors in 2004 The Family Table has distributed food valued in excess of two million dollars!

Senior Citizen’s Dinner – For eleven years CMCC has opened our doors each Wednesday evening to offer a no-cost hot meal to senior citizens. Consistently drawing dozens of  attendees each week, since the beginning our teams have served more than fifteen thousand meals to our elderly neighbors. 

Alight Care Center – Alight Care Center (  serves individuals and families in Delaware County and surrounding communities by providing educational and support services including: Pregnancy resource center, free & confidential pregnancy tests, peer counsel for pregnancy-related topics, 24/7 crisis pregnancy hotline, educational services, infant care classes, parenting classes and anger management classes.

On Fire Radio – CMCC’s half hour Sunday morning radio broadcast. Aired on four commercial stations, On Fire Radio is a spiritual lifeline to Delaware County, New York. We receive consistent reports that many are encouraged in their faith, and others are introduced for the first time to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through this invaluable outreach. Broadcasting for over fifteen years now, On Fire Radio has helped CMCC to be established as perhaps the most popular and influential voice of Christianity in the entire region.

FaithConnect – FaithConnect is a networking vehicle created to provide ministry covering and resources to local church pastors, especially those ministers produced by CMCC. 

At CMCC we have a slogan: Serving our neighbors with our hands and proclaiming God’s kingdom with our voices. Through your donations, 2011 was another banner year of doing both! From the bottom of my heart I thank you for entrusting CMCC with your financial gifts without which, none of the above would have been possible. It has been the highest privilege and the greatest joy of my life to be associated with such a fine group of believers who share the common vision of representing Jesus Christ with excellence in this generation.

Pastor Bob Engelhardt