Friday, May 30, 2014


"...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (from James 5:16)


The word "epilogue" means "the last word" or "in addition". I wanted to just share a few "wrap up" thoughts about last night's "United Prayer Service" which was held at Philadelphia Baptist Church in downtown Framingham:

Overall, it was very good.

I will say the attendance was the lowest we've had for any of these "United Prayer Services" and I think this was the 4th (or maybe the 5th) one we've had. I think if the attendance had been so low for the first or the second time I would have been very discouraged. Ironically, I was not discouraged at all about the attendance; nor was Bob Gill who is the Director of this ministry of getting the MetroWest area churches together for prayer. We never had better weather for one of these services and the temperature inside Philadelphia Baptist was not too hot and not too cold but JUST RIGHT!

Due to some logistical issues, this prayer service had to be held on a Thursday night. I think that may have been an issue. All of the previous prayer services were on Friday nights and I think Fridays works better for most people.


A few weeks ago as I was thinking and praying about exactly WHAT format to use for the May 29 service, the Lord reminded me of a format we used several times when I was pastoring (and I originally learned about this format from my friend Pastor Phil in Mendon.) I printed up 12 areas of prayer focus (with supporting Scriptures) on a sheet of paper and photocopied it. We passed those out last night. We spent about 3-7 minutes on each area, with various ones praying aloud for each area of prayer focus and all of us agreeing in prayer... we focused on "EVANGELISM", "REVIVAL", "DELIVERANCE", "YOUTH", and eight other areas.

That format has worked well for me in the past, but I was concerned that it COULD "fall flat" and even become boring. I spent much time praying about this ahead of time and I believe the Lord gave me lots of specific direction about how to LEAD this prayer meeting. I give God the Glory: IT WENT VERY WELL and was not at all boring! We really had the sense that we were "doing business for God" in the unseen realms, and I believe WE WERE!!

Bob Gill opened this service by playing some great worship music on CD over the church's sound system, and he closed with a really "cranked up" song over the sound system!

I started the service at 7:05 and we totally wrapped it up at 9:10. Honestly, I left physically tired BUT emotionally and spiritually refreshed, and knowing God had really "come through" for us!

Now, I called this an "EPILOGUE" but it is NOT a "last word" on the "United Prayer Services" (only on LAST NIGHT'S service)!!
The next one of these "United Prayer Services" will be on Friday evening, June 27; starting at 7. At this point, the location is "TO BE ANNOUNCED". Please mark that date and time on your calendar and please plan to attend. You'll be hearing more about it soon.

I am not sure what the format will be on June 27- honestly, I will be sincerely seeking the Lord for direction about this.

God bless you,
(You're welcome to pass on this information to others!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."  (Matthew 10:32-33)

About a week ago, I read a short but powerful article about Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a recent issue of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's "Decision" magazine.  It would take paragraphs and paragraphs to write adequately about Dietrich  Bonhoeffer and who he was, but in a nutshell, he was a very dedicated evangelical Christian theologian and professor who lived during the time of Hitler's Third Reich in Germany.  For a time, he was safe- teaching at a seminary in New York.  He felt, however, that it was so important for him to take a stand against the evils of the Nazis, that he went back to Germany at a time that would be very dangerous for him.  Ultimately, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was arrested and later executed.  He was a true martyr for the faith!  I had read a very powerful biography about Bonhoeffer a couple of years ago, so I knew the story.  But a quote in that article shook me to the core of my being.  It's a quote attributed to Adolph Hitler, from the 1930s.  Honestly, I have checked the quote on-line and its authenticity is disputed.  Some believe Hitler said it and some believe Hitler absolutely did not say it.   I will add that if you have done any serious reading about the philosophical and religious views of Adolph Hitler, the quote does accurately reflect what he believed, whether he actually said it or not.  Here is the quote that (frankly) shook me:

"The Protestants haven't the faintest conception of a church . . . You can do anything you like to them—they will submit. . . . They are insignificant little people, submissive as dogs, and they sweat with embarrassment when you talk to them. They have neither a religion that they can take seriously nor a great position to defend like Rome."

You may not know that Adolph Hitler was (in name) a lifelong Roman Catholic.  He was originally from Austria, a very heavily Catholic country.  In fact, he was certainly not a "religious" nor "orthodox" Catholic!  Hitler believed Jesus Christ was a true Aryan murdered by what he considered the evil Jews.  Hitler found the whole Christian doctrine of Jesus dying for the sins of humanity at best very uncomfortable and at worst weak and totally ridiculous. 

I recently posted something on Facebook stating I am tired of the incivility of people of all political persuasions who speak and write disdainfully about George W. Bush or Barack Obama- depending on which side of the aisle they represent.  Both are decried as totally stupid and incompetent and worthy of no respect.  I don't agree with that sort of disrespectful behavior.  I do believe the President and the leaders of the country should be treated with respect and honor.   The New Testament (Romans chapter thirteen among other places) teaches the governmental authorities should be honored and respected and the Apostle Paul was including the Roman Emperor here!   We should be respectful, yes, but there are times we must disobey!  Was Martin Luther King, Jr. (for instance) correct in holding all those freedom marches, sit-ins, etc.?  Absolutely, yes!

It's something to think about.  Hitler saw Protestant Christians as "submissive as dogs"..."sweating with embarrassment".   Many times pastors are mild-mannered people- trying to comfort the sick and needy- trying to live for God- trying to be quiet and decent and respectable.  They want their churches to be free of harassment and major problems.  Is it surprising that a Godly pastor, confronted by the Nazi SS would be "submissive as a dog" or "sweating with embarrassment"?  No.  Remember that the Apostle Peter boasted that he was ready to die for Jesus and just a short time later was cursing and swearing that he didn't even know Jesus.

I wonder- if I had pastored in Germany in 1939- how would I have behaved toward the Nazis?  What would I have said?  What would I have done?  Would I have capitulated? 

We evangelical Christians in the United States of America have had things so easy, although the heat is starting to be turned up now.  It's not quite as easy to be a committed evangelical Christian today as it was thirty years ago, but it's still a "cakewalk" compared to Nazi Germany in 1939!   If we were suddenly not allowed to assemble for worship services or classes, what would we do?  If we suddenly had to officially change our beliefs to conform to the government, what would we do?

Interestingly enough, my friend Mary Agrusa writes about the theme of how much God dislikes cowardice in her "The Thought Just Occurred to Me" blog this week.  It makes me wonder if the Holy Spirit is trying to get our attention about this.

Think about it:  If real persecution comes- the kind of persecution that Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced- what will you do?

Monday, May 12, 2014


"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)

Today, May 12, 2014, is my daughter Amy Baril Julian's birthday.  Interestingly enough, the year she was born, May 12 was Mothers' Day- so Amy was a Mothers' Day baby.   I remember that Sunday well.  At the time, I was one of two Associate Pastors at Christian Life Center church in Walpole, Massachusetts.  The Senior Pastor was away and I had been scheduled to preach for Sunday morning, May 12.  My wife said she really felt the baby might arrive "at any time", so I encouraged Denny Seler, the other Associate Pastor, to have a sermon prepared, and he ended up preaching in my place.  In the Assemblies of God, ministers are first "Licensed to Preach" for several years before they are formally "Ordained".  I was Ordained at "District Council" in Brookfield, Connecticut on May 7, 1985, just five days before Amy's birth, so I also think of her birthday in terms of my Ordination, as well as that Mothers' Day birth.  

Each of our kids has a unique personality- the three of them are all different.  Jon, the oldest, looks a lot like me, and especially looked like me as a little kid.  He's got a temperament and interests very much like mine.  Rachel, the youngest, is a gifted artist in the fine arts (painting, drawing, sculpture) as well as a gifted person in theater.  It's no accident that she holds a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and a Bachelor's degree in Theater Arts- and she works at an insurance company to pay the bills!  Amy, the middle child, was possibly the least like me in many respects.  She's a very good singer and she's also been into drama.   I think Amy's greatest gift, however, is that she's tremendously compassionate and in so many ways a real humanitarian.  It's no accident that Amy is a pediatric nurse at Cox South Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri; nor that she's ministered in several medical missions trip to Haiti.  She's one of those people who was born to be a nurse.  

Incidentally, I know the title of this piece may have raised a few eyebrows, but I assure you, it's not about drugs, it's about an actual ceramic pot! 

Each of our kids attended Holliston Christian Nursery School (now Holliston Christian Preschool).   Every year, the four-year-old class at the nursery school put on a "fathers' night" event.  The Dads all came to school with their children and had a spaghetti supper.  Then, Mrs. Knowles would lead them in singing some old favorite songs including, "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly", and "Three Green Speckled Frogs".   I went to "fathers' night" for each of my children.  I will never forget Amy's "fathers' night".  Each child had made their father a small ceramic pot.  The children painted the pots, and as I recall, the kid's name was written on the pot.  I don't remember those ceramic pots with Jon or Rachel's "fathers' nights" at all.  I think Amy's was the only one.   The kids were so proud of the little ceramic pots they had made!   Mrs. Knowles, true to form, gave a little talk about being careful with the pots so no one would drop theirs.

On the way through the door from the building to the parking lot, I was trying to hold Amy's hand, the little pot, and a pile of papers.  The door swung open, I walked through, and you guessed it:  SMASH!  In a split second, the pot flew out of my hand and onto the ground smashing into several pieces!  Little Amy burst into tears!

"Didn't you hear Mrs. Knowles say to be careful?!"  Amy sobbed.

What a horrible moment!   I don't have the words to express how that evening felt.  There was nothing I could say or do that could turn that evening around.  It was supposed to be a big father/daughter bonding night, and I felt like instead, it was a disaster.

Now, fast-forward nineteen years.  Amy's wedding was March 15, 2008.  I was privileged to perform that wedding ceremony at Oak Grove Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri.  One of the church's Associate Pastors officiated for the very beginning of the ceremony so I could walk Amy down the aisle; then I took over from there.  In the weeks leading up to that wedding, I thought about something special and unique that I could do at the service that would be a very wonderful and memorable moment between father and daughter.  It didn't take long for me to come up with the perfect idea.  I'm no artist, but with a little help from Rachel, I made a little clay pot, exactly like Amy had made me in 1989.  I fashioned the pot and "baked" it in the oven.  I painted it red, just like Amy's original pot.  I wrote a little inscription on it.  At Amy's wedding, the pot was in a little plastic sandwich bag, and hidden in my suit.  At an appropriate point during the ceremony, I pulled the plastic bag and pot out of my pocket, told the story of "fathers' night" and presented the little red replacement pot to Amy.  The pot was a highlight for people to photograph at her reception!

I have been privileged to see all of my kids grow up into adulthood and to see them all following the Lord.  (A lot of kids who grow up in pastor's homes walk away form God.)   I was not a perfect father.  I made a lot of mistakes; a lot of mistakes!  That smashed little pot made me feel like a failure as a Dad.   Yet, God in His infinite wisdom and grace takes each smashed mess we hand Him, and gives it back as a beautiful work of art!

Happy birthday to Amy, and Happy Mother's Day (one day late)!


Monday, May 5, 2014


"So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work."  (Nehemiah 4:6)

"Miracle on 34th Street" is an enjoyable Christmas fantasy film- but it is a fantasy- it's not real.   There has been a "Miracle on South Street", however, that is quite real!  Specifically, it has taken place at 32 South Street in Framingham, Massachusetts.  I tend to be a very verbal and a very descriptive person, yet even I feel at a loss for words as I write this piece.  No matter what words I write, they will not truly do justice to the miracle that has taken place at that location.  And, I must admit that my speech and writing can be sensational at time.  For better or for worse, I learned that tendency from my old boss and mentor, David C. Milley.  He was quite a promoter of Christian activities!  Dave was one of those gifted salesmen who (I supposed) could have sold the proverbial "refrigerator to an Eskimo"!  Yes, I'm sensational, but I assure you that I'm not exaggerating in this piece, and if anything this piece will understate what has happened and what is happening at 32 South Street in Framingham.

This past Saturday night, a friend and I attended the Dedication service and celebration of the Spanish-speaking Iglesia Celebracion Internacional ("Celebration International Church") there at 32 South Street.  The church was "planted" by the (English-speaking) Celebration International Church (an Assemblies of God church) of Wayland, Massachusetts.  It was a wonderful evening.  The congregation was very gracious to the English-speaking guests.  Virtually all speaking was translated so each person could understand what was going on; and there were songs sung in Spanish and songs sung in English.  Now, you may be thinking, "Well, that sounds nice, but that in itself is not a miracle, is it?"  No, that in itself is not necessarily a miracle, but there indeed has been a miracle here!

The building at 32 South Street in Framingham was originally the United Auto Workers union hall.  Some readers may remember that from 1948 to 1989, there was a General Motors assembly plant in Framingham.  (That property is now Adessa Auto Auction.)   Every worker was a Member of the U.A.W. and they paid their union dues and accessed the Union's "credit union" at that facility.  In addition, a number of political events were held there.  The church I pastored from 1987 to 2010 (First Assembly of God of Framingham) purchased that building in 1994.   I could write paragraph after paragraph about why we sold our previous building in 1991, or about the rental locations where we held services, or about the many buildings for sale that we looked at and seriously considered buying.  The "bottom line" was that we looked at a lot of great buildings we just could not afford.  The union hall building was affordable; it was in Framingham, and it could be used for services, a small Sunday School, and offices.  I could also write paragraph after paragraph about the problems and legal entanglements we encountered with that building.  That building nearly caused me a nervous breakdown around 1995, but ultimately things settled down a bit.  I was accused of "loving" that building.  I actually never "loved" it, but I really did believe we were supposed to be there.   One of my long term goals was to build a new building (possibly a modern metal building) elsewhere on the property and tear that one down.  The problem was:  money.  Frankly, we never had enough money and we never had enough people.  The church did  sort of "perk up" numerically and financially around 1998-1999, but we just did not sustain that.  People got tired of all the hard work with seemingly few results.  In late 2000, people including some of the key people in the congregation began leaving the small church, and our average Sunday morning attendance went from fifty-five to fifteen over the next nine years.  Our monetary income declined by about forty percent.  Those were "gut wrenching" times, honestly.

Nevertheless, in the midst of all that, God stirred my heart to believe for the impossible, and I did!  I believed we would not only keep that property (and eventually build a new building) but that we'd acquire other nearby and adjoining properties.  For several years, each day I would walk around the 32 South Street property and the property next door, stretch out my hand, and declare out loud  that in the Name of Jesus "only the Word of God, and the Will of God, and the Plan of God, and the Glory of God" would be done on and in and through those properties!  I must have looked pretty foolish!  Readers who know me personally are aware that I have a very loud voice, and I would declare that stuff in the Name of Jesus using my very loud voice.

In early 2010, the Assemblies of God officials made the decision for our church to disband.  They allowed me to live in the parsonage for up to another year, and I did that.  They put the 32 South Street property on the real estate market.  (Since that time, I've not pastored.  I work a secular job, although I am still an Assemblies of God minister.)  I went through tremendous anguish in those days.  In retrospect, I accept that the leadership intended the very best for me and for the work of God when they made this very tough decision.  I don't hold them responsible for the personal crisis I went through for months.  One of my biggest battles was the fact that the 32 South Street property could have been sold to anyone (a business, a developer, an atheist)- really anyone who made an offer and went through with the Purchase and Sale Agreement.   Would that property continue to be used as an evangelical church?   Would that property continue to be used for God's ministry purposes?  It seemed unlikely.  I went through many mental battles,  I "heard" deep inside myself such thoughts as, "God didn't answer your prayers and your declarations.  OH, what a FOOL you are!  You wasted fifteen years owning and maintaining that property.  You were a terrible pastor.  You have no faith.  You are not a man of God at all.   You are deluded.  God doesn't car a lick about you or about what you prayed and declared!"

I was quite surprised and frankly elated to learn after a number of months that Celebration International Church of Wayland was purchasing that property to use it for Spanish ministry.  I began to realize that maybe my prayers and declarations were not foolish or worthless.  Even so, I knew there were major problems with that building.  Would they really be able to turn it into an attractive and desirable building for church services?  We had tried but mostly failed.  I wished them the best, but knew they had a daunting task ahead of them.  At the Dedication service on Saturday night, Pastor Jesus ("HAY-zeus") Munoz, the leader of the Spanish-speaking congregation said that when they began holding services at that location, they had nine people in attendance.  A few months later, there were six in attendance.  Yet, he was convinced that the church needed to move the sanctuary from the downstairs meeting hall to the upstairs.  The layout of that building was indeed not ideal, but if you'd have seen the upstairs of that building, which included several small rooms, a couple of medium-sized rooms, and a hallway- and a number of challenges (including lighting and electrical) you'd probably have said, "I don't think it can be done!"  Pastor Joe Sapienza of the Wayland church believed God along with Pastor Jesus Munoz that they could totally remodel the facility and move the sanctuary upstairs!

The work was not quick or easy.  They hired a structural engineer to help them, because turning the upstairs into a sanctuary would mean removing a supporting wall!  They had to bring in a metal beam.  They had to rewire and insulate the place.  Anyone who ever was part of First Assembly of God of Framingham and anyone who was ever part of the U.A.W. there knows what a difficult  ( or impossible ) task they faced.  They did hire a very competent contractor, but the Wayland and Framingham churches also put in a tremendous amount of their own sweat equity.  That's why I quoted from Nehemiah above.  "The people had a mind to work".   Incidentally, after attending the Dedication activities, I remembered a prophesy a guest preacher gave about the 32 South Street building well over ten years ago.  The man was The Rev. Spence Decker.  Spence is an old-fashioned southern Pentecostal preacher and a personal friend.  Spence spoke at a special Sunday evening service we had, and he declared that the church would grow greatly and would knock down a wall to accommodate the growth.   I also thought of that prophecy a few times after the church closed and concluded he was wrong.  No, I was wrong!  Spence was "in the Spirit"- he saw great growth and ministry going on in that place, and he was correct!

I felt a little sad as I walked through the 32 South Street building on Saturday evening, but the key phrase is:  a little.   There was a flood of memories of how hard some of us had worked to try and make First Assembly of God of Framingham succeed and how tough it was to see it closed down.  But, I felt mostly very happy on Saturday evening!  The downstairs is now an attractive fellowship hall.  The upstairs is a beautiful sanctuary!  It's got modern amenities including projection and power point.  Readers many know I'm not a big "power point person".  I think it's way overused.  However, that doesn't mean that I'm totally against that technology.  I'm not.  When used correctly, slides and video clips, as well as  projection of words to worship choruses can greatly enhance a church service.  In fact, Pastor Jesus Munoz showed a moving "slide show" of the work being done to the building.  All I could think about was Nehemiah, and what did Pastor Joe Sapienza speak about?  You guessed it:  Nehemiah!  (If you don't know the story of Nehemiah in the Old Testament, he led the people in a very difficult building project during a time of great discouragement and opposition, but the job got done in amazingly fast time, and was a huge success.)

I liked a number of things that Pastor Sapienza said.  One was that this is not an end but a beginning.  Joe believes they'll eventually have to add on to that building.  I think that's very possible.  I also still think they may build an additional building on the site and may acquire other properties in that area to use for ministry purposes.  It is only a beginning!  If you drive by 32 South Street, you may think,  "Well, this is just a small sixty-year-old yellow brick building.  It's really nothing special."  Oh, that's where you would be wrong!  A little over a hundred years ago, God poured out His Spirit at the Azuza Street Mission in Los Angeles.  It was a ramshackle old building- a former stable.  Yet, one of the greatest revivals that's ever happened in the Church Age happened there in a period of just a few years.  Will there be a move of God on South Street in Framingham as great as that of Azuza Street of old?  Well, only God knows, but I wouldn't rule it out!

Incidentally the Sunday services at Iglesia Celebracion Internacional are from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.  Most of it's in Spanish, but I'm sure someone would help with translation if you really wanted to visit a service.  And, I want to add that a new English-speaking Assemblies of God church is functioning in Framingham.  It's called "Meeting Place Church" and they're currently meeting at Foodie Cafe on Fountain Street.  God's doing some great things- including that miracle on South Street!

Friday, May 2, 2014


"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25 New King James Version)

I drive approximately sixty-five miles (each way) to Sunday morning worship right now.  I know- that probably sounds insane to many people!  The fact is that in most of the United States of America of 2014, church attendance is down considerably compared to thirty or forty years ago.  In certain pockets of the country such as the Pacific Northwest, and especially in New England and the northeastern states, statistics indicate that very few people attend weekly religious services on a regular basis.  I want to tell you why I drive approximately sixty-five miles (each way) to Sunday morning worship.  It's ironic, because for the twenty-three years that I served as the pastor of First Assembly of God of Framingham, MA, I lived one and a half miles from the church building.  The drive to church was very quick and easy.  During the time I served as an assistant pastor in Walpole, MA in the 1980s, I lived a whole three and a half miles from the church facility!  I was not a pastor who tended to encourage "long distance church"!  I believed it was important to be involved in the church you regularly attend and also important to help bring the ministry of your local church to your local community.  It's really difficult to do that if the church you attend is located much more than ten miles from your residence.  At one time I would have said that I'd "never" drive sixty-five miles each way on Sundays to go to church.  Well, I'm a living example of "never say never"!   In March 2010 when our small church was closed, I had a few ideas about churches that might be good to attend, but my wife suggested Bread of Life Church in Westminster.  It was forty miles from where we lived at the time (in Framingham) but I had been to special events at Bread of Life Church and I liked Pastor Gary Collette and his wife Associate Pastor Janis Collette.  In my heart, I knew that was the correct decision.

We later lived for a year in Webster, MA (forty miles directly south of the Westminster/Fitchburg area) and now it's been a couple years in the immediate Boston southwest suburbs.  When the trip became sixty-five miles instead of forty, I must confess I did ponder the wisdom of the drive, but I still know in my heart that it's the right place to be!  There's a window company which advertises on Boston's WBZ-AM radio- their ad draws on the children's story of The Three Bears; and promotes their replacement window company and its products as "just right!".  Well, it's the same thing with Bread of Life Church in Westminster: it's truly
"just right!".   On our first Sunday there over four years ago, I was so pleased with the ushering staff.  In some churches, the ushers and church leaders will practically bombard and smother visitors, leaving them anxious to leave as quickly as possible.  Still other churches (including ushers and greeters) totally ignore visitors and very much act as though their presence is an unwanted intrusion.  That also leaves visitors wanting to leave as soon as possible.  Bread of Life's ushers and greeters are warm and friendly (but not in an excessive or phony way- it's  "just right!").  I'd say the church typically has about two hundred people in attendance on a Sunday morning- more on special occasions.  It's not a "mega church" but it's not teeny-tiny either.  It's a good number.  (Now, the church is wanting to grow beyond it's present numbers, and that's just fine with me.)  Another "problem" with many of today's "evangelical" churches is the music.  It's typically very contemporary worship stuff (which I like) but usually it's so loud that your ears will hurt and pound for twenty-four hours after you leave the church service!  Other churches are very conservative and sing a few hymns out of the hymnals as though it were 1963.  Once again, Bread of Life Church is 
"just right!".  We do sing some really old traditional hymns on occasion, but ninety-five percent of the music is very up-to-date contemporary stuff; and it's absolutely never too loud!  The praise and worship time is great!  The singers and musicians do a great job.  No kidding, it's one of the best praise and worship offerings of any church in New England- it's "just right!".  As far as the sermons, I have never heard a bad sermon at Bread of Life Church.  I have done a lot of preaching and public speaking in my ministry, and admittedly I can be a bit critical of certain sermons and speakers.  Pastor Gary amazes me as he always gives very powerful and very interesting sermons which contain a lot of "spiritual meat". 

Listen, when I say,
"just right!", I absolutely do not mean "mediocre".  I mean "just right!".  And, I want to make an important point.  A church could have great music, great speakers, and friendly people and be spiritually dead and very displeasing to God!  (Check out what the Lord's message was to the Church at  Ephesus in the Book of Revelation, for instance!)  The most important thing in a church is that God's anointing is upon it; that there's a move of God that happens every time the church gathers for worship; that people go there to get in touch with God and it happens; and that lives are transformed.  That  stuff regularly happens at Bread of Life Church.  I'm sorry to say that in quite a few evangelical, Pentecostal, charismatic, and even so called "cutting edge" churches of the 2010s, that does not frequently happen, but it does happen at Bread of Life Church.  Incidentally, I'm also not saying Bread of Life Church is the only really good church in New England.  Oh, no!  I know there are probably at least twelve other such churches in the New England region, but I'm telling you here why I'm driving sixty-five miles each way to get there on Sundays.

I know that one of my frustrations when I was pastoring was that I'd served as an assistant pastor in the 1980s at a similarly very good church.  I would try to get across to the Framingham church what a really good church is like.  We had a couple in the Framingham church who also were active in the church in Walpole in the '80s and one time the husband told me he felt frustrated, saying, "Many people here think the kind of church we are describing is just theoretical, but we were part of it and saw it happen.
And, we were.  Listen, the last thing I'd ever want to do is steal anyone away from a church, but if you've never experienced anything like I'm describing in a church service, come and visit Bread of Life Church some Sunday and ask God to give you a vision of what He wants to do in your church and believe Him to do it!   And, listen, I'm not saying Bread of Life Church is a perfect church, because it is not.  There is no perfect church.  All churches have problems.  All churches are full of imperfect people.  It's not a perfect church, but it is a very good church.   No one told me to write this piece.  In fact, there may be people in leadership at Bread of Life Church who will be uncomfortable with this piece.  There's no way a pastor, associate pastor, or church board member could ever "get away with" writing a piece like this about their church. Although I'm a Member of the church, I'm none of those things, and I do have an extensive ministry background so I just thought I would write it.

Particularly if you live in Northern Worcester County, feel spiritually frustrated; like you're not right with God, but you want to be- you especially need to visit Bread of Life Church in the very near future.   Bread of Life Church is located on Rte. 2A  "22 State Street East" in Westminster right off Route 2.  It's on the Fitchburg end of Westminster (as opposed to the Gardner end) and if you're familiar with the Old Mill Restaurant, Bread of Life Church is just a short distance from there.   I hope to see you at Bread of Life Church some Sunday soon.