Our Dream Comes True

Ethan Anderson became lead pastor of the Church of the Living Water on August 9, 2020.

This fulfills Kari’s and my hopes and dreams for Ethan and the church.

This process has been going on for at least 20 years. Probably before—since his birth. At times we were not aware of God’s plan. At other times we lost sight of God’s plan. But in recent years it became most evident to us and to the congregation that Ethan was the man to take leadership in the church.

Ethan has served as youth leader, “intern,” missionary, and most recently as associate pastor. God called him into ministry at a young age. This calling was confirmed by prophecy in Goshen, Indiana at a ministers’ conference in about 2000.

He was ordained into Christian ministry at the Church of the Living Water on July 19, 2020.

At the time of his ordination, Ray Oehme (Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Muscatine, Iowa) informally representing pastors and churches of our city, gave a stirring accolade to Ethan, his character, and ministry.

Ethan will become the senior pastor of the church, but more than senior pastor. He will become point man of a team that will continue to lead the church forward. I will continue as a teaching pastor on the team. Current and future elders, deacons, interns, in fact, all the congregation will serve as members of the team to reach the community and bring the Kingdom of God.

A Leadership Team ministry carries several advantages over the single leader model. It avoids a “one man show.” It blends the strengths of several leaders. It brings diversity. It allows for leaders to travel and minister in a wider circle. It fulfills the New Testament vision for multiple leadership.

As such we are submitting to the Holy Spirit and building His vision to become a New Testament Church.

I encourage you all to pray for Ethan, Bethany and their family. Let’s all encourage Ethan and support him as he enters a new leadership role.

Do You Want to Beat Cancer with Gentle, Non-toxic Healing?

Do you want to beat cancer with gentle, non-toxic treatments?

I’m healed of stage 4, inoperable cancer and am now helping people beat their own cancer–no matter what kind.

Here’s why I’m beginning a cancer coaching ministry.

The overall 5 year survival rate for those treated with chemotherapy is 2.1% according to a study by Australian oncologists (Clinical oncology 16:549e560;doi 10.1016/j.clon.2004.06.07).

Permanent cancer healing almost always requires a lifestyle change. Otherwise, cancer has a nasty habit of coming back. People don’t realize this. Cancer came back for me also–within 30 days. I share what I learned of how to keep cancer away.

I can help most people beat cancer permanently with gentle, non-toxic methods.

Gerald F. from Missouri read my book, Answer for Cancer: 9 Keys and became cancer free in about 3 months. (For someone who has been treated with chemotherapy, it takes longer.)

I can help most people beat cancer without chemo, radiation, or surgery.

Bill henderson, my mentor, watched his wife suffer horribly and die from cancer and cancer treatments. Bill reasoned, “There’s got to be a better way!” Subsequently, he has helped thousands of cancer sufferers overcome through gentle, non-toxic methods.

I credit God and Bill Henderson with my own cancer healing. Now I stand on his shoulders and have improved his methods.

Who do you know who has cancer? If you or anyone you know wants to beat cancer and help others, contact me in the form below.

Photo of the enlightened hand by Elia Pellegrini on Unsplash

What Can an Apostle Do for Your Church?

Fred Herzog, an experienced modern day apostle, gives an answer that may surprise you. I have know Fred for about 50 years. He’s got the goods and is worth listening to in this 42 second video.

What is Ordination?

Ethan Anderson
Ethan Anderson

Ethan Anderson’s Ordination July 19, 2020 10:15 AM at the Church of the Living Water

Hooray! Ethan will be ordained into the ministry at the Church of the Living Water, 3120 Park Avenue West, Muscatine, Iowa On July 19, 2020.

You are invited to come and participate in this celebration of Ethan’s life.

Define Ordination

Various churches or denominations view ordination in slightly different ways. The basic concept among all, however, is “approval for service.” It means “recognition by human authority of God’s calling on an individual’s life.”

More specifically, ordination is to “set into a specific church office, such as pastor or deacon of a congregation.”


Are There Legal Ramifications to Ordination?

Yes, in certain limited cases some ordained clergy can opt out of the social security system for conscience reasons.

What Benefits May Result from Ordination?

Ordination confers confidence upon an individual that he has met the standards or requirements of his church or denomination to serve. It also assures members of that same denomination or group that the individual has met the standard for ordination if he applies for a position with another church in that denomination.

Who Can be Ordained?

Each group sets its own standards or qualifications for ordination. For example, some groups ordain women for certain offices, others deny ordination for women.

At the Church of the Living Water we have a stringent set of standards and procedures for ordination. These were set into our by-laws and adopted on January 25, 1981.

IX. Ordination into the Five-Fold Ministry Offices

A. Application shall be made with the pastor of the church.

B. Testimony shall be given of the purpose and intent of the ministry to which the applicant believes he is being called.

C. Any applicant must have the qualities listed in I Timothy 3 and a proven ministry as recognized by the local church in order to enter one of the five-fold ministries of Ephesians 4:11.

D. Any applicant who does not have the background or experiences which the Board of Directors believes to be a part of the ministry must take training for that purpose.

E Prayer and fasting shall he entered into by applicant(s) and the Board of Directors as a final confirmation before the ordination is granted.

F. All requirements must be met and the Board of Directors shall have a consensus that the applicant is called of God for his ministry.

G. A time shall be designated for the purpose of laying on of hands by the pastor and elders of the church during the ordination. And the applicant will at that time be duly ordained as a minister of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 H. Every applicant who has been duly ordained shall receive certification of ordination in the name of the Church of the Living Water.

 I. Any person duly ordained and operating in the ministry of clergy within the local church shall consider his house as a church parsonage. Upon request the Board of Directors shall specify at the beginning of each year that portion of salary to be designated as parsonage allowance for each minister not to exceed the fair rental value of each said property.

Our by-laws also contain a section on licensing of ministers and certification of missionaries and those in general Christian service.

Why is Ordination Important?

Every believer is called to serve and be a servant to others.

A problem arises, however, when an individual believes he is called by God to be a minister, but his life is so messed up or filled with sin that he is a bad example. Ordination is a safeguard in that it shows 1) God has called and 2) human authorities have confirmed that the individual has met certain life standards.

Again, you are invited to come and celebrate with Ethan, Bethany and the Church of the Living Water family.

Changed by Love: The Untold Stories

Publisher’s note: On June 15th the US Supreme Court Defied God and Damaged Our Nation

The article below is timely in light of the fateful court ruling. Read the testimonies of LGBT people who have changed by the power of God and love of the church.

They call themselves “formers.” And Wednesday, they were on Capitol Hill telling a story the Left doesn’t want you to hear. “We exist,” Elizabeth Woning told NBC News. Surrounded by men and women who’ve walked out of the LGBT lifestyle, her message to Congress is: stop pretending change isn’t possible. Because this group knows better than anyone—it is.

So many of the House’s bills, Elizabeth pointed out, “are based on the premise that LGBTQ people only have one option, and that there are no other ways forward—when we know from our own lives that this is not true.” Wearing shirts that say “CHANGED,” the group hoped to persuade Congress that their Equality Act and therapy bans may actually be doing more harm to the community than good.

On Wednesday’s “Washington Watch,” Janet Boynes tried to explain why the Left is trying so hard to keep testimonies like theirs quiet. “We’re being silenced,” she insisted, “because we can debunk what they’re saying. They will not sit down and debate any of us that have come out of the life of homosexuality, because we can challenge their ideology. I am in the living example that change is possible through the power of God… We came here to tell our stories [believing that] they’ll impact many men and women and family members who have loved ones dealing with that issue of homosexuality, transgenderism…”

Boynes, who had a traumatic childhood, watched her dad abuse her mom—then became a victim of sexual assault herself. She says that’s when she started to associate men with “rape and abuse.” Despite knowing God, she says she met a woman who she felt safe with and started to have a sexual relationship with her. “I walked away from my faith,” she admits. “After that four or five years, I was empty.” She tried to fill the void with food, drugs, other women. “These are the things that I started medicating my pain with outside of God… I never dealt with the issues that propelled me to go into that life…”

Janet says, “There are Christians that walk away from their faith to go into the homosexual life. But the Bible says, ‘When I leave 100 sheep,’ God said, ‘I’ll leave that 99, and I’ll come after you. And God came after me.” She met a woman at the grocery store in the middle of the night who told her she was a Christian. “I told her I was a lesbian. She invited me to church. Two weeks later, I went to church and I have rededicated my heart to the Lord.” She wants people to know, “it was the church, the body of Christ, that assisted me in my journey of walking out of that life.”

She hopes Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) takes that to heart after their chance meeting outside the Capitol yesterday. Janet saw her across the grounds and stopped to talk to her. She handed Pelosi a book full of testimonies like hers. “I hope she takes the time to read it, because these bills they’re coming up with [are] to silence us… And as long as [we’re silenced], they’ll continue to make inroads…” And the next target, she warns, are kids.

Christians, she says, can’t afford to sit back. But in a world where they’re called “homophobes” or “haters,” some are shrinking back. “What would you say to them?” I asked her. “What should they do?” Love them, she said simply. “God never called them by their shame. He always called them by their name.” Let them know, “God is there for them. God loves them. And I believe that what He has done for me, He will continue to do for them and their families as well.”

Understanding “Brokenness” and “Surrender”

Apostle and pastor Sonny Misar offers keys to maturity int his 18 minute video. Every minute offers insight for those who yearn for God to use them.

The Iowa Blessing

I enjoy publishing stories of God’s blessings. At the Church of the Living Water we pray each Sunday morning for our leaders. Watch this music video for a few minutes. You will be inspired.

The Iowa Blessing: Worship Leaders from churches all over the state of Iowa came together to create a music video to show unity and share a message of hope. 

The Day I Cried

Our daughter Sarah Kirsten put together this short video about one of the dramatic events in the lives of the Anderson family. I think you will enjoy it and resonate with the hope it brings. God bless you.

You are Such a Good Listener

You are such a good listener

My daughter surprised me last week. “You are such a god listener!” she exclaimed.” Yes, a surprise. If she had said, “You never listen,” I may not have been so surprised.

Her accolade, of course, made me happy and want to become a better listener. I was all ears.

Our daughter continued, “People are troubled these days. They need someone to talk to.” Our daughter is sensitive and aware of people and their feelings. She suggested I give a “gift of presence” to people in the community by announcing that I will be available to listen to anyone who comes to the church sanctuary or calls during certain hours. (From my perspective, I’m already available. But then, not everybody knows this.)

So I kept listening. Our daughter explained her rational to me and to her brother Ethan, who serves as associate pastor in our church:

“I think this addresses a) that you’re offering a listening ear, which I think is what will most speak to people, and b) that you’re not offering answers, just your presence. These two things, presence and listening, are two of the most humanity-restoring things we can offer, and what you both are so good at giving to me.”

Here’s the blurb she wrote as we announced this to the world:

We’re here to listen, if you’d like to talk. In these uncertain times, we’re all under a tremendous amount of stress. You’re handling it very well! We’d like to come alongside you and listen to what’s on your heart. We don’t have all the answers, but we can offer a listening ear, and just be there with you for a moment in your day.

If you’d like to talk with Pastor Mark, he’ll be standing by his phone on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the month of May. Here’s his number: 563-554-1401.

Do you think anyone would call?

Yes! A fellow named L called and talked almost 40 minutes, He asked for prayer for someone close to him and even sent a picture.

Later, I got to thinking, “Am I a good listener?”

I remembered a Pastor S who came earlier into my office and poured out his heart for nearly an hour.

I remembered R who sometimes calls or comes two or more times a week. He says he doesn’t have anyone else to talk to.

I thought of a woman with severe cancer who needs to talk and ask questions. She wants me to be her “cancer coach.”

Why Listen?

One time, years ago, I was planning to resign. An elder, Tom said, “Not now!” I’m so glad I listened.

Joab, an Israeli military general in the Bible, won an important battle because he listened to a wise woman (2 Samuel 20:17f).

Love listens. When we love people, we listen to them.

Many people are lonely and feel isolated. Nearly everyone wants someone to listen to them with empathy.

Part of the ordination ritual for priests in the Old Testament included sprinkling blood on the ear. It was called a “filling” or consecration and equipped the priest for service (Leviticus 8:22f). If we want to serve people, we need to hear them.

God has given us two ears and one mouth. This ought to be a clue about God’s will for our lives!

Two Caveats for Great Listeners

One, our chief concern is that folks learn to pour out their hearts into the “ears” of the Almighty. He’s the One Who cares the most. He’s the One Who gives results.

We always want to direct people to God. Yet, sometimes people just need to talk with someone with flesh and blood.

Second, a good listener need not listen to gossip and evil. Sometimes we need to cut people off or redirect a conversation.

Who is the Best Listener?

No doubt–God Himself! Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication (Psalm 55:1). The book of Psalms could be summarised as one great plea for God to listen.

So again, we want to direct people to God, to pour out their hearts to Him. And if we love people, we will listen to them.

Are you a good listener?

All Authority is from God

When I served as an intern at a Lutheran Church in Le Center, Minnesota, I did not get along well with the pastor. He looked askance at me for starting a jail ministry. Most of the people, however, liked me. One even compared me to Billy Graham!

Toward the end of my term in Le Center I started a community-wide youth group—without telling the pastor. We called it “Inter-team” and met around a campfire at night. It was exciting! When summer arrived, I left Le Center and went back to Luther Seminary.

But God started convicting me. The problems I created with the pastor were at least partially my fault. I was rebellious, doing the “right thing” with the wrong attitude. As hard as it was, I had to call Pastor Bill, confess my fault, and ask his forgiveness. He graciously forgave.

Immediately, God increased my ministry. Folks from another church called that same week, asking for advice. I was able to give wise counsel.

Because I had worked out my relationship with an authority figure, I became able to solve many church problems.

In the days of coronavirus-19, many are considering the role of civil government in society. Are the various lockdowns violating the constitution? Should churches follow state guidelines?

This article purposes to help us think biblically about authority.  Where does authority come from? What are the realms of authority that God has established? How does one realm of authority relate to another? How do church and state relate to each other?

Confusion exists unless we understand some basic foundational truths.

Foundational Truth Number One: All Authority Comes from God

All authority comes from the Creator. Christians with a biblical worldview can agree on this.

For by Him [Christ Jesus] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him (Col 1:16 NASB).

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me [Jesus] (Mat 28:18).

Foundational Truth Number 2: God Has Established 4 Realms of Authority—Family, Church, State, Business

Family—Gen 2-3; My son, observe the commandment of your father, And do not forsake the teaching of your mother (Prov 6:20).

Church–Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you (Heb 13:17).

Business–Servants, obey in all things them that are your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord (Col 3:22 ASV)

State–Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right (1 Pet 2:13,14).

Foundational Truth Number 3: God Has Delegated Some of His Authority to Each of These Realms

These spheres are complementary, not hierarchical. In other words, one is not “over” another. Neither is the list in order of importance. Each is significant in itself.

Ideally, each realm should support and strengthen the others for the purpose of peace in society (1 Tim 2:1ff).

Foundational Truth Number Four: When One Realm Usurps Power Over Another, the Others are Mandated to Rise Up and Restore God’s Intended Balance

Here are a couple of examples from the Bible.

  1. When the Senate (the ruling council among Jews at the time) over extended their authority and said, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name; Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us responsible for this man’s blood.” But Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’
  2. But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live (Ex 1:17). Then God backed up the midwives and honored them by giving them families of their own (Ex 1:21).

Foundational Truth Number Five: God Honors His Realms of Authority

This principle is succinctly stated in Psalm 75:7 But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.

When Realms of Authorities that God has established disagree, what do we do?

First, we need to check our attitude. During my life, I’ve had many conflicts with authority in family, church, business, and civil government. Often, I have had to realize my own attitude was wrong. I’ve had to repent. And sometimes apologize. (Fortunately, I’m not as bad as I once was!)

Foundational Truth Number Six: God Uses Conflicts with Authority to Purify Us

God has ordained these types of conflicts to humble us and cause us to seek Him. God uses conflicts with authority to transform us. As we submit our attitude to Him, we find grace to become more Christ-like.

So What Do We Do?

Let me suggest a sequence. Prayer, check attitude, Holy Spirit guidance, Godly appeal, and perhaps–pay the consequences.

Sometimes prayer and a changed attitude will resolve a conflict. If that doesn’t work, perhaps God will lead us to make an appeal to an authority figure or group. (How to make a God-pleasing appeal is vitally important; however, that is a topic for another time.)

When authority groups engage in conflict, the Holy Spirit is our guide. God has promised the Spirit will guide us into all truth.

Ultimately, however, we may have to suffer the consequences. Think of Jeremiah in the cistern or David fleeing from King Saul. Some of the greatest heroes of the faith are honored today because of their faith and courage to take a stand for God.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash