Ministers of Jesus Christ
Church of The Lord Jesus Christ
Assemblies of The Apostolic Faith
Atlanta, Georgia - USA
Apostle Dennis G. Smith, Pastor and Spiritual Overseer

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Date: May 10, 2020
To all the Saints of God,
Grace and peace be unto all the Saints of God around the World.  As this Coronavirus Pandemic continues, we are continually reminding the Saints of God that we are obeying the magistrates and following the guideline of the health and governmental authorities for the safety of all people. 
 In many places the “Stay – At – Home” executive orders are ending in phases and public gathering are limited to control or prevent the spreading of this virus.  All individuals subject to this policy must observe the social distancing and personal protective equipment policies in your local public places.
Religious institutions and businesses
"In accordance with Georgia Governor executive orders, businesses across the Peach State must continue to operate with strict social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe through May 13, 2020. Those rules vary by business type for a measured, health-driven approach.
Religious leaders are encouraged under safety protocols to limit and control in-person gatherings to avoid endangering their congregants as the restrictions for gathering are lifted. To accommodate all Saints, we are planning to implement these services when the entire order is lifted in Georgia on June 12, 2020:  1st week Sisters Department, 2nd week Brothers Department, 3rd week Youth Department, 4th week all Department officials for Executive Board meetings. All services will take place on Sundays only from 11am until 2pm to allow for proper cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces. No night services during the week due disinfection procedures. Baptism, pray and tarrying service, will continue each Sunday following all safety protocols including the use of personal protective equipment.  
In Georgia, Governor Kemp has extended our public health state of emergency through June 12, 2020 and is now recommending that all Georgians get tested with or without symptoms. "To protect vulnerable populations, the executive order is requiring the medically fragile and elderly Georgians to continue to shelter in place through June 12, 2020. Our recommendation is for all to seek testing for personal and family contagion to help prevent spreading this virus.
As we obey the Magistrates, we have complete faith that God will continue to hear our prayers and provide a way for us through these uncertain times.
Romans 13:2-4 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
TITUS 3:1-2 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.      
This week’s encouraging words of growth focuses on:
Mother’s Day and Vain worship
We sincerely hope that you all enjoy your planned occasions with your Mother today but let it be done according to the word of God sincerely from your heart.  Learn how to guard your tongue, emotions and feelings when dealing daily with your mother whether they are respectful, or uncaring.  Learn to do good and overcome evil with good in all things.
Just as using good sounding repetition of words in pray or to worship God, or using special songs, decorations, carnations etc.… to worship God without loving him with all your heart and obeying his commandments is vain and useless worship, so are carnations and special events without truth care from the heart vain celebration. This does not mean allowing people to take advantage of you by demanding money to prove love, it always means genuine respect and caring not just during special occasions.  Celebrations, decorations, gifts, flowers, poems all have their place when done from the heart and not for show or to be seen of men.  When done in the budget that you can afford and not to emulate or impress worldly people, they bring smiles and happiness to most people.

JOHN 14:20 - 27 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?   Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
To celebrate means to mark a special day, event, or holiday to commemorate, acknowledge with a social gathering or enjoyable activity to honor, salute, recognize,  remember, and memorialize publicly, your father and your mother which can be and should be a joyous and serious moment in your life.  Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Parent’s Day are now national holidays in the United States and many other countries around the World.  These are the Days that nations and perhaps most religions can agree on and celebrate.  It is reported that churchgoing is also popular on Mother's Day, yielding the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter. Many worshippers celebrate the day with carnations, colored if the mother is living and white if she is dead. Mother's Day continues to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. Mothering Sunday, which falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent  has its roots in the church and was originally unrelated to this American holiday.  Mothering Sunday transformed into the tradition of showing appreciation to one's mother and is still recognized in the original historical sense by many churches, with attention paid to Mary the mother of Jesus Christ and the concept of the Mother Church.

MARK 7: 5 - 23 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?   He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.   And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:   But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.  And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.  And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:   There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.  If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.  And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.  And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?  And he said, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

My mother, Lady Mother Mary Ocie Smith prayed for me when I was sick or injured.  She is the one who always saved for me the Whole Truth Magazines which my father sold for the Church to read the sermons.  She passed to me the Sisters writings on the Apostolic Standard of Dress.  Taught us how to pray and say our grace over our food. Taught us to sing choir songs and to play musical instruments.  Sent us to piano lessons, Band lessons, Chorus singing, played for the Church praise services, choir and band as we first started up for approximately 20 years until the young people learned to carry the Church music and multiple sclerosis illness took the use of her hands on the piano.   Endured multiple sclerosis illness continuing to pray and ask God for healing which he revealed to me would come on the other side.  My Grandmother prayed and sung Traveling Shoes Lord over me when I lay sick and weak and my body began to gain strength and I experienced instantaneous healing.  These are just a few of the testimonies that I can deliver unto you about the work of a Mother. There are many examples in the scripture, but for now let us review one Sermon from Apostle Shelton on Mother’s Day that was circulated during my adolescent years before he fell asleep.  His emphasis was on enjoying the day but avoiding hypocrisy and vain worship. In other words, do not engage in a public show for one day of the year and then forget about your Mother the rest of the year but honor, respect, and care about her every day of your life. Honor the mothering figure in your life whomever they are daily.  Some women who were not our biological Mothers became the Mother and caretaker of our life.
By Bishop S. McDowell Shelton
This is a day that was set aside by people in various parts of the United States to honor Mothers. It does seem to me a shame that a day had to be set aside to honor mothers when this is required of us every day. This should be something that should be done spontaneously and not because of some special celebration.  It is a rather pathetic situation because of the attitudes; particularly of today's youth in their feelings about parents.   It has become a carnation wearing situation —nothing more!   It is a time when, perhaps, some people will come to Church who have not been.  They have been drunk the night. before and they began thinking about Mother. They want to come and hear a hymn.  I do not care what hymn the choir sings: that liar sits up there (still half juiced) and says, "That was my mother's favorite song."  Is this all that the love of one's Mother means: a flower that fades? a flower that blooms. and is pretty and is no more?   Is this all she receives because of the nine months of carrying you within her: of the pain, the labor, and the danger of death at the time of birth?  
     So, you put a flower in your lapel. You put a carnation on your dress to indicate that you have a Mother and that you love her.  So, everyone has a Mother! There been' experimentations with test tubes. There have been experimentations with artificial insemination.  I think in some parts of Germany and Europe, it has been successful, but they had to have a Mother! The Father was somewhere even though it was not direct contact, but they had to have a Mother.
      It is red or pink if she is alive. Things are "pink" when Mother is alive. Because you take for granted that your socks are sewn, your shirts are clean, your bed is changed. When you are broke and do not have carfare in the middle of the week to go to work, she always manages to find a quarter somewhere.  You wear a pink carnation. (for which I do not approve.)   Only man can judge the outward appearance, but God must judge the heart. God knows that in most cases, the flower is hypocritical.   The flower is outward symbolism. The flower is popular consensus to let people feel that one loves one's mother: most of this generation does not. 
    The Mother becomes the upstairs' maid who, picks up the dirty socks. She becomes the cook who tries to plan meals to satisfy, and noses are turned up at the table.  Really the only time they ever eat at home, after they get grown or become of age and start working, is when they are broke.   
     So, this is what you have become a Mother for.   I am not talking about a woman who has children like a dog has a litter of puppies. There is a distinctive difference. There are women who have motherly instincts and have never had a child.   In some women this is innately contained.  You can see the way the little girl cuddles the doll at an early age. Or how she is so sympathetic at little kittens that seem to have lost their way. There is this kind of sympathy in the family relationship. That is why one has Fathers and Mothers.  If it is a normal situation, the Father is, most of the time, some excess furniture who brings home his paycheck, and hides behind a paper, or goes upstairs and sleeps after dinner. He is some nuisance who happens to be around to buy the clothes when the children are young, and to hear the complaints of the Mother.  When he comes in, he is too tired to do any whipping (corporeal discipline); and if he does, he almost kills them.   Therefore, he says to the Mother, "You take care of them," and he goes to bed. Most people do not like their father. Sometimes girls do, but very, very seldom boys do.  You pin a carnation on your lapel.   You put a rose—a red one, or a pink one on your dress. People look; they smile and say, "0h, his mother is still living; her mother is still alive.  Aren't they fortunate Perhaps, they are fortunate; but, is that poor Mother fortunate?  If she could actually speak the way that she really feels… because Paul in his writing to Timothy is saying, '… in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Traitors heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures …. (2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 4)
    One (the Mother in most cases) teaches them morals: they try to teach them the right path. They try to make them look nice and be nice in mind, in heart, on the outside and inside.  But despite the values taught by the Mother, the sons grow up to be either gangsters, pimps, or hoodlums. The daughters grow up arrogant or rebelling.   You send them to college and who do they want for their company?  Someone of their equal. NO!  They do not want to be around a moral and holy person like the Saints of God.

Mother's Day, someone says. It has become almost a crime to give birth in such a wicked world. One would rather see snakes, and I mean rattlesnakes come from their eggs than to see a baby fall from the crevices of his mother's womb.  Oh yes! There is a hidden kind of rapport that the son might make in gentlemanliness: he smiles outside the home.  He looks so fine, and he looks so polished.
The girl looks so intelligent—but go home with them.  The first person to whom they lie, if they have a Mother, is the Mother.  The first person from whom they steal—is the Mother. The first person to whom they rebel—is the Mother. One can try to educate the mind, but you cannot educate an ignorant low-base moron.   A corrupt attitude that persists in the hearts of a large portion of the generation of children today. 
I know statistics say that the majority of the young people of our day are wonderful, upright citizens—it is solely a two percent that is the bad, rebellious children.   But by what basis are they measuring? Worldly measurements have such a long longitude. The Biblical word, patience, understanding, and love is a joke.  So, it was the grandmother, and it was the mother of our brother Timothy who seems to have set the religious tone.  It is most frequently the mother who spends her time with the children.   If ever you see a man (that is saved), usually there has been some woman or some Mother somewhere that has influenced him.  Sure, the preacher preaches. The preacher says the words, but little children actually do not take it all in. It is the Mother at home which sends or expounds it in. She does not preach, but she explains, because the little children ask questions of her. 
"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first n thy grandmother Lois, and thy Mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that is in thee also."  It was first in thy Grandmother Lois, and thy mother.  (II Timothy 1:5)  
I had the wonderful fortune of being born in an Apostolic family. The faith first being in my grandmother, and once in my mother. Sure, Bishop Johnson preached, but I slept in service when I was a little boy. Before I could read, they explained the Bible to me.   Messages, before you are six years old are long, burdensome, and cumbersome. One likes to see the people; one likes to get dressed up; but the message does not go through.  Even though the promise is unto you and unto your children, they have to come to an age of accountability and understand.  When I was a child, I thought as a child. When you become a man, you should learn how not to be a bum or a tramp and not love the company of tramps!   So, you are a mother.  I feel sorry for you. Some children are disloyal, unfaithful, liars and makers of lies.   Have you ever noticed how friendly children are with the neighbors in the block who hate you the most?   They will actually take your food out of the house and give it to people who hate you the most.   It is a kind of rebellion. They want to make you suffer.   Sure!   It is a battle of wits, of psychological kicks.  This is a sadistical generation.  One that enjoys inflicting emotional and psychological pain and embarrassment upon their parents. They go out; if they are saved, they go out with either backsliders or people who have never been in the Church and they pick the worse tramps!
 "After this opened Job his mouth and cursed his day." (Job 3:1) And so will you, my dear mother. They will make you curse your day. You give them their way in their earlier years and when you try to stop it after they are older, it is a hopeless and helpless situation. Because if you do not give them their way after they are older. the first thing they will do is threaten you with leaving or they may even murder you—it happens every day.  They are hypocriting with you today because it is the fashion. But enjoy it, my dear. Try to forget your tears. Try to forget all your hardships. Try to forget the days you had stand on the corner in the ice and snow for that little wretched worm: when your ears were frostbitten, and your hair froze. When you did a days' work for a dollar and a quarter and sometimes a dollar to bring home the food; yet they did not have enough gumption to have the fire made. They had a game to play—snowballs. And that is what they are like: a snowball rolling to hell!  I mean what I am saying today.  Anyone is unfortunate to have to live with this wicked and perverse generation. Anyone who does not have children, do not pray for any.  Be barren.  Job spake and said, "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, there is a man child conceived." (Job 3:3)
During this sermon, Apostle Shelton shows the pains of Motherhood, her under appreciated labors and the hypocritical behavior of ungrateful children.  Nevertheless, we must have children, or the continuation of life would cease. This is why Lord Jesus Christ lifted up the woman above the way some men began to see her as an item of possession like property to one who should be cherished.  In honoring our Mother every day, we can get a full understanding of why the woman should never be used as a pleasure doll or as simply the property of a man. While it is difficult for some to come to terms with bad Mothers who abandon and even kill their children for nothing more than the practice of birth control and whoredom, we must remember that forgiveness is for all people and appreciate and concentrate on her God given purpose to be, a companion, help mate, and  the Mother of all living.

GENESIS 2:20-25 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;   And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
 GENESIS 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You in the center of his will. Peace be unto you all.
With perfect love,
Apostle Dennis G. Smith
Guide to opening small Church Meetings after June 12, 2020
Please be aware that if someone with coronavirus comes into the Church building it may contain infection for 72 hours afterwards unless cleaning is carried out.  Remember that the Church building is being accessed by other people undertaking essential work such as construction contractors, cleaning and maintenance personnel so that the proper safety protocols must be followed such as social distancing, and the use of personal protective equipment such as mask, gloves, and possibly face shields.  Because of the risk of infection, it is best that you get tested for the virus to protect yourself and others before attending a small meeting of 10 or less people as the restrictions are lifted.
     If multiple people are entering the building, even one at a time they must  maintain  the six feet apart  social distancing recommendations.
All individuals entering the building must be warned of the risks to their lives should someone enter not following safety protocols calling reckless endangerment to others as faith in God which is absolute foolishness.   A record of who goes in the building and when will be kept with proper regard for the risk of transmission. A supply of hand sanitizer, mask, and gloves will be kept with the record near the main entrance to the church. It is best for people to bring their own pens to use or wear gloves when touching all surfaces including Bibles.  A record of who is in the building and when will be maintained so that if there is an incident at the Church it will be clear who was the last person known to have been in the building.  Do not listen to those who call safety guidelines lack of faith or who have a poor understanding of the doctrine on fear. Fear is only detrimental to your soul when you are afraid to live a holy life because of what people will say or do to you, or you have no reverence and love for the Lord Jesus Christ who is God Almighty.

What Is Social Distancing?
Social distancing means staying away from close contact in public spaces. It includes actions like staying out of places where lots of people gather and maintaining distance — approximately 6 feet — from others.
Social distancing also includes minimizing contact with people by avoiding public transportation when possible, limiting nonessential travel, working from home, and skipping social gatherings.
All people should practice social distancing — not just those who are seriously ill or at high risk.
Social distancing is a proven way to slow the spread of pandemics.
When to Wear a Mask?
Those who are staying home and have no close contacts who are infected with COIVID-19 do not need a mask most of the time. However, wearing a nonmedical or homemade mask may be helpful in certain situations or for certain populations.
•          Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies.
•          While visiting your health care provider.
•          Traveling on public transportation.
•          Interacting with customers/clients at essential businesses.
•          When feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing.
Because homemade masks protect everyone else from the droplets created by the wearer, it is important that as many people as possible wear these masks when leaving their homes.
This helps prevent those who may be infectious but are only mildly symptomatic or not symptomatic from spreading the virus to others in the community.
Everyone should remember the phrase: “My mask protects you; your mask protects me.” By increasing the overall number of people who are containing their coughs, sneezes, and other droplets, it will help us control the overall spread of the virus.