Tribute to Roger Olsen

by Tom Flaherty

“Even if I am poured out as an offering on the altar of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.” —Philippians 2:17

Roger Olsen

Roger Olsen passed from this life Thursday morning, January 30, 2020, to be with Jesus.

He was a father to me — and really to anyone who knew him. I don’t know that I’ve ever met someone who was more concerned about the spiritual welfare of others and who thought nothing of sacrificing to help them in any way he could.

I was privileged to be with Roger and Sandra in the hospital the day before he died. I got to hear one last time from the heart of this man who has guided me through my entire ministry. He wanted to know how I was doing! He talked about his children and his grandchildren with tears in his eyes, so proud of who they are, and so concerned about everyone’s walk with Jesus.

He talked about Grace Church (where he was pastor for years in New Glarus, Wisconsin) and how happy he was with Pastor John Lewis and Don Wickstrum. He had words of encouragement for me and for City Church. I was able to assure him that even as his family was carrying on his legacy, so was I, one of his many spiritual sons.

Roger showed us how to love people. He always had a book or a CD/DVD to share and it was always a gift to me, or to the group that was meeting. Almost every time we talked he told me he was proud of me and that he loved me. Whenever I left Roger, I wanted to be a better pastor and a better Christian.

Roger modeled for us how to follow Jesus. He was always excited about the new thing God was doing and saw the grace of God wherever it appeared. In our monthly FCA meetings I would always look forward to what Roger would say because it was always insightful, yet clothed with the humility he unconsciously walked in.

I am sad for all of us but rejoice for my father and friend. He suffered for many years physically, yet stayed for us. He has now gone to his great reward; he finished his race strong. Help us, dear Lord, to do the same. Thank you, Jesus, for Roger.

Thank you, Roger, for loving me and believing in me. Thank you for pouring out your life, so that our faith would be stronger. We love you!

Tom Flaherty is pastor of City Church in Madison, Wisconsin.

Note: There will be a Celebration of Life honoring Pastor Roger Olsen, 3:30 p.m. Sunday, February 9th at City Church, 4909 East Buckeye Road, Madison, following a time of Visitation which begins at 2:00 p.m.

Online Directories

The 2020 FCA directories* are available to members only in a private (protected) area of the website.

Click the button below to go to your country’s member site. Once there, you can login using your member registration ID (username). Don’t remember your username? You can find your ID registration number on your 2020 membership card.

 

*Directories include:
US Ministers
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US Churches
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New Commentary on Revelation

Well-known Canadian FCA pastor Dr. Paul A. Vallee has recently written a book that is both inspiring and theologically enriching. Revelation Revealed is an expository commentary that pushes through many of the popular misconceptions to explain Revelation in a clear and engaging manner.

Popular Christian culture has viewed the biblical book of Revelation primarily as an exposé on the identity of the antichrist and on mysteries surrounding the end of the world. Though Revelation speaks to these issues, Vallee argues that it is more properly understood as a book about Christ — and how he addresses humanity’s enemies, including our greatest enemy, death.

The book of Revelation, layered with incredible imagery, is often viewed as confusing and difficult to understand. By contrast, Vallee shows how it brings a message of hope in times of perplexity and crisis. In his commentary, Vallee addresses the cultural background in which the ancient readers understood the text and demonstrates the relevancy of that message to readers today.

A pastor for 37 years, Vallee is adept at communicating the Bible to a live audience. The content of Revelation Revealed was originally presented to a live audience over the course of 26 weeks but was the culmination of 40 years of biblical study. It could be an excellent resource for any minister preaching or teaching through the book of Revelation.

The response from Vallee’s congregation encouraged him to put into print what the people described as a “positive message.” His commentary clarifies and removes many misunderstandings and fears often associated with end time studies. Vallee’s aim was to bring hope to a world that, like the book of Revelation itself, is often confusing and overwhelming.

In addition to his role as senior pastor at Living Stones Church in Red Deer, Alberta, Vallee has also worked on graduate and post-graduate courses, graduating from a number of theological institutions. Beyond his academic studies, Vallee has traveled to many parts of the world where the stories of the Bible transpired. His travels have provided him with additional insight into the ancient Near Eastern world, further helping him explain the implications of the Bible’s message for its first hearers and how that message applies to people today.

The book in paperback or hard cover is available for order online from Friesen Press and Amazon. Paul Vallee lives in Red Deer, Alberta, with his wife, Patty. They are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two grandchildren.

A Living Sacrifice

“Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)

By Thomas Yerman

Meditating on these two dynamic verses of Scripture caused me to reflect on Abraham  when God tested his faith and asked him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, whom he loved. This Old Testament story from Genesis 22 gives us a picture of Abraham’s faith and obedience — and to some extent, Isaac’s trust and willingness to submit to his father’s instructions.

Testing Faith

Scripture does not specifically reveal any type of resistance or struggle from either Abraham, asked to sacrifice his only son, or from Isaac, who was bound and put upon the wood on the altar. Yet the first two verses of the chapter reveal a surprising and shocking request. I believe they were meant to help us understand the inward struggle Abraham must have been fighting, despite his faith in God to provide.

Isaac carried the wood on his back while Abraham carried the fire and the knife. In the end, God intervened, interrupting the action and stopping the test. Abraham’s faith shone along with God’s faithful provision.

After reflecting on this, you cannot help but be reminded of another Father/Son sacrificial story. The New Testament tells the story of God the Father sending his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die upon the cross of Calvary. The story of Abraham and Isaac truly points us to this future event.

A Sacrificed Life

With Jesus Christ, we see the ultimate sacrifice. We see the willing sacrifice of an obedient and trusting Son who carried his stack of wood (the cross) to the place where he sacrificially gave his life for the sake of others. Jesus died to provide the forgiveness of sin to those who put their trust in him, believing that his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven made their salvation possible.

Jesus’ death paid the price of our sin. He died so we would not only escape death eternally, but he also died for us so we would live for him. In the end, God honors Christ’s intercession for our lives forever. Believers are relationally heaven-bound, but until then, we are called to be living sacrifices.

This is where Romans 12:1-2 comes in.

Uncommon Life

As Paul finished speaking doctrinally in the previous chapters of Romans, he now appeals to doctrinal application. It’s where the truth being taught is applied to life — where the rubber meets the road. Those who believe, putting their faith and trust in Jesus, are strongly encouraged to become a “living sacrifice.” Believers are to live an uncommon life. We are called to offer up a life that is alive, holy, and pleasing to God.

With Jesus conquering death, defeating Satan, and overcoming the world, believers are, however, left with a problem — basically only one problem. Living sacrifices can crawl off the altar. Because we are faced with that temptation every day, we must stay focused on keeping the proper mindset to win that battle. We are no ordinary people. We have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit helping us be transformed to become a pure spiritual offering to God, knowing and enjoying his perfect will. We are a chosen people called to worship God. Becoming a living sacrifice is both at the heart of worshiping God and obedience.

History tells of a deepening understanding of sacrifices. The Dead Sea Scrolls community believed their holy way of life was a substitution for the temple sacrifices, which they believed to have been corrupted. And in an early church document called, A Plea for the Christians, Athenagoras argued that Christians should not participate in pagan sacrifices but instead “present a bloodless sacrifice, to offer ‘spiritual worship.’”

Just as God led people in earlier centuries to be living sacrifices and to know his will, may his Spirit continue to move forward — in and through us! When believers yet to come look back at us, may they also be encouraged — and see the power of the gospel in our living sacrifice.

History is watching. Stay focused. Keep the proper mindset. You are fully equipped to win!

Tom Yerman is an FCA pastor ministering at Living Hope Church in Elk Grove Village.

Pathway Church Looking for New Pastor

Position: Lead Pastor

Overview of Church & Community

Located in Shorewood, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago, Pathway Church is a non-denominational, charismatic congregation affiliated with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. We value authentic relationships and put our trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for our eternal salvation.

We are a family-friendly community that has grown from our roots as a home church in our founding pastor’s farmhouse, to its current location, a scenic five-acre property surrounded by a forest preserve near the DuPage River.

The four pillars of Pathway Church are Follow, Connect, Discover and Serve. We value being a place where people are discovering who Jesus Christ really is by following the commands of Jesus, connecting with other believers, discovering our spiritual gifts and serving the community.

We place a strong value on the connection and empowerment that comes from healthy families and encourage this culture by offering a variety of classes and small groups, in addition to our regular church gatherings, all complete with sound Biblical teaching and worship. We are actively seeking the Lord for fresh strategies to reach younger individuals and families.

We believe in the five-fold ministry model, outlined in Ephesians 4:11-12, in which the five spiritual gifts are used to equip the saints to perform the work of the ministry.

Our Present Situation

Our current lead pastor has served Pathway Church for over fifteen years. He has now moved to part-time status as pastor as he has recently started to serve part-time as a chaplain for Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA). His time with CCA will be gradually increasing to full-time service, so we anticipate the transition period to be 6-12 months. Our prayerful path is to hire a lead pastor who will work alongside our current pastor during this transition period.

A parsonage is available on our property for the new, incoming pastor and his family, with a housing allowance possibly becoming available at a later date, as funding becomes available, that will enable the pastor to purchase his own home.

Please submit your resume, personal testimony, and personal statement of belief to apply@pathwayshorewood.com.

Pathway Church
19554 NW Frontage Rd., Shorewood, IL
www.pathwayshorewood.com