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During fortieth anniversary celebration pastor tells congregation 'to shift'

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Sunday, Aug. 10 was the fortieth anniversary of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia. Rev. Larry L. Branch, pastor of Love Center of Unity Full Gospel Church also in Richmond, Virginia was the guest preacher.

After congratulating the congregation for having being a local assembly for forty years, Pastor Branch preached from 2 Timothy 2:19-21 KJV. He chose to exhort the people by telling them that a shift is needed in order to succeed and prosper not only as a church but also as individuals.

He prophesied that a shift is coming to New Canaan because God has more for the church; however, in order for a shift to come to the church, individuals must shift.

Giving the church a grammar lesson, the pastor said the word "shift" is a verb which means "to move." It means "to change locations" or to "change directions." In other words, you can't shift without moving. You can't shift and stay in the same position. There must be action of some kind. You have to do something physically, mentally, and spiritually if a shift is to take place.

Continuing with the grammar lesson, the word "shift" is also a noun. The move you make is a shift. The direction you take is a shift. A shift can be a move from one part of the city or state or region to another. A shift can be something as simple as a U-turn.

There can be a shift in public opinion. Even on the keyboard, there is a shift key. A shift is also a loose fitting dress. On the job, there are one or more occurring periods such as the day shift or the night shift.

When you add the suffix "less" to shift, the word becomes shiftless which is a lazy good for nothing attitude. If you add a "y" to the word "shift" you get "shifty" which means tricky, deceptive, deceitful, dishonest and can't be trusted.

According to the text, Paul is telling Timothy regardless of what others are saying, trust in the word of God because the truth of God is the truth of God because the foundation of God stands sure. When Paul tells Timothy to "depart from iniquity" he was telling him in essence to make a shift.

The pastor told the congregation and in keeping with the text, we must cleanse ourselves for proper use; to be vessels of honor to be used by God.

In conclusion, Pastor Branch told the congregation to shift from the immaturity to the maturity; to shift from being weak to being strong; to shift from being helpless to being helpful. You can make a difference in someone's life when you shift; when you move from where you are to where God wants you to be. If you want to be used by the Master, you have to move.

Jesus Himself made a shift in His thinking when He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed that God would remove the cup from Him, but then He said, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 12:42) That was a shift in Jesus' thinking which caused Him to go to the cross knowing it was God's will.

Members of the congregation promised Pastor Branch that they would shift.

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