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  #1  
Old 12-27-2008, 11:59 AM
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OneAccord OneAccord is offline
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State of the Forum, 09

This year (2008), on Feb. 21st, I started a thread I titled "The State of the Forum". It was well received and has been "stickied" in the Welcome Mat ever since. Quite an honor, if you ask me, to have a post "stickied" for nearly a year. So, while I don't think this one will reach that status, I have written a new State of the Forum for the coming year:


The State of the Forum 2009

"....thou shalt see greater things than these. " John 1:50

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished Admin, esteemed brothers and sisters, guests and lurkers:

This year, 2008, from my perspective, there seems to have been a turning point for this forum we call "The Apostolic Friends Forum". I say "turning point" because, it seems a consensus of a sort has been reached as to what this forum is really all about. Its called "Apostolic" because, we all, in some way or another are branches that stem from Apostolic roots. It was suggested at some point that "Apostolic" be stricken from the name of this forum. Some feel this forum has "drifted" so far from the Apostolic Faith that it no longer bears any resemblance to anything even remotely "Apostolic". I beg to differ. At the very heart of the Apostolic Faith is the Christian principle of love. Love transcends the Testaments. The very Law of God rests squarely on love. There is no greater commandment than love. Jesus said it is by love that all men know we are His disciples. Paul lists love first in importance among the Fruit of the Spirit. Of faith, hope, and charity, Paul says charity (love in action) is the greatest.

So, while we differ on the tenets of the Apostolic Faith, we who know Christ stand on common ground when we love one another. The Love of God, shed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, is the very essence of what this forum is about. We, in our own way, speak what we believe to be truth. But...as Christians, we speak the truth in love, just as God's Word commands us. We differ over the one step and three step views. Some are cons, some mods, others are libs. Some are preterists, and, in and amongst all of that there is everything else in between. Yet, contrary to all that is humanly logical, there is a bond between us. We differ, may even argue from time to time, yet, in spite of it all, there is a bond between us that keeps us coming back to the Apostolic Friends Forum.

That bond is the second word: FRIENDS. We are friends. We may have never met, and, we may never meet. But somehow, we are friends, even when our discussions become heated. How is it possible? I think its because we have all read in Ephesians that it is our duty to try to keep the unity of the Spirit. How? In the bond of peace. Bond. We are bonded together, not so much by our life styles, or our doctrinal views. But we are bonded together by another of the Fruit of the Spirit which is "PEACE". Our duty to God is to "Follow...holiness" But we must never neglect our duty to each other which is "Follow PEACE with all men..."

Like every year before, AFF was marked with division, disagreements and contention. Such is human nature. But, over this past year, AFF came together in a most remarkable way. Early this past year, tragedy befell one AFF member and for a brief period, AFF members laid down their arms and came to the aid of a hurting brother. That brother owes this forum and its members a debt of gratitude he can never repay. The year progressed and, at the close of the year, there was another coming together. Someone, I believe it was Tina, suggested an AFF Christmas gift exchange. And, once again, the bonds of love and of friendship reached across the miles and brought people together in a remarkable way. I don't know why this forum is. I don't know what the owners intent is. But... God's intent for this forum is that we come together. And, I see that happening more at this time than I ever have in previous years.

So, the State of the Forum is strong. We still disagree, we still fuss and argue. But, when its all said and done, we still come together in an hour of need. That is the strength of this forum. That is what makes it strong. As I look ahead, into 2009, I see AFF fulfilling its vital role of bringing people together. I see greater things ahead. That statement is not based on this forum, but upon the words of Jesus "....thou shalt see greater things than these". I believe, I know for a fact, that long held dreams for many members of this forum will be realized in the coming months. Milestones will be reached... the mouths of naysayers who say AFF is a detriment to the Apostolic Movement will realize their error, and will recognize AFF for what it is...a coming together of Christians from all across America and other parts of the world. Lofty sights? Grandiose vision? Perhaps. But Jesus promised greater things, and I, for one, have faith that He is able to do "...exceeding, abundantly what we are able to ask and think". I believe this because I am going to do all within my power to help this forum reach its goals. I will post that which is edifying. I will speak to my brother and sister in love. I will help to build rather than tear down. I will encourage, lift up and seek to inspire all of us to go on for Christ.

We've rejoiced when a birth announcement was posted. We stood at the altar with a brother and sister who exchanged their wedding vows. We stood and wept with a sister who lost her husband. We prayed for the Alvears as they labored tirelessly in the sweltering South American jungles. We prayed for a brother who assumed the pastorate of a new church. We laughed, we cried, we studied, we discussed. And through it all, we moved just a little closer together. We are AFF. And we are strong thru the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

I'm not Admin. I'm just a member, but, AFF is my family. And, as I have said so many times, I appreciate each of you. I went through some bad times this year, and, there were times that if I didn't have your prayers and support, well...I don't think I'd be writing this right now. You helped me be strong. And, if I do nothing else for this forum, I will repay that favor by adding to, and not taking away from, the strength of this forum I have come to love. So, God bless you, and may God bless AFF and may His favor be upon every nation represented by the members of the Apostolic Friends Forum!
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2008, 12:21 PM
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

Perfectly stated!
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2008, 01:04 PM
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

You write so eloquently what most of us cannot OneAccord. And you reach the heart of the matter. I can only say, Amen!
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He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8 KJV

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Old 12-27-2008, 03:27 PM
HeavenlyOne HeavenlyOne is offline
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

OA, you have a wonderful spirit that isn't possible to possess except that God is with you, in spite of all you have been through.

Wonderful post, and I hope I can also be a part of those who will post to edify and not tear down.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2008, 03:33 PM
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Margies3 Margies3 is offline
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenlyOne View Post
OA, you have a wonderful spirit that isn't possible to possess except that God is with you, in spite of all you have been through.

Wonderful post, and I hope I can also be a part of those who will post to edify and not tear down.
AMEN
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:53 PM
meBNme meBNme is offline
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

Great job, and I must agree 100% that AFF has greatly improved.

I was here sometime back and got completely disgusted with the forum and left.

I came back months and months later to a DIFFERENT FORUM!

Whoever is responible for the changes, THANK YOU!!!

You have done a great thing!

AFF is great now, I can truly say I appreciate all who post here.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:55 PM
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Esther Esther is offline
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

OA I am again proud of your fine writing. You have been a blessing to this forum and it was great to meet you in person this year and discover you are the same in real life.
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:47 PM
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

Well said, OA! Thanks!!!
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2008, 06:33 PM
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

Thanks for the great words!
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2008, 07:05 PM
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Re: State of the Forum, 09

OA- you always hit just the right note! I am so glad that I can enjoy my friends on AFF- share the good times with them and pray with them in the bad times. The AFF family has challenged me to search the Bible, to think through what I have been taught, and has created some interesting discussions between my husband and I. AFF has been a blessing to me! I hope I can be a blessing to others.
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