Friday, February 29, 2008

Thanks for Praying

Thanks for praying for us. The Lord was so good to us yesterday, as he always is. In the morning, a couple of fellow church planters talked to us about sharpening our evangelistic and networking skills. Kevin and I have both been feeling a great inward urge to get out into the community more than we are, and so this was like pouring fuel on a fire. It was a very sweet and fruitful time for me.

Then in the afternoon we had 5 1/2 hours to ourselves. We grabbed a bite to eat and then decided that we'd actually just like to go to the room and rest and read for the afternoon, and that's just what we did. I can't remember the last time I had so many hours in the middle of the day just to rest in the Lord, and I was very grateful for it.

Around 5:00 p.m. we headed back to the church and enjoyed another Chicago style dinner--beefs, for those of you who are in the know. The worship last night was particularly sweet for me, and the testimonies of what God is doing in church plants around the upper midwest were sweet as well. Then a good friend of mine, Steve Treichler, got up and gave a great message from 2 Corinthians 4, 5, and 11. The thrust of it was, life is short don't waste it. Squeeze everything out of it that you possibly can for the glory of God and the good of others.

Kevin has a college buddy who lives in the area, so he and Vinny spent the evening together while I came back to the room, spent some time with the Lord, and crashed. I didn't even hear him come in, so he could have been out until 3:00 for all I know!

Well, one more session this morning and then back to the Twins. Please continue to hold us up in prayer, that we will redeem all the time that the Lord has given us. I won't be seeing my beautiful wife this evening because about 1:00 p.m. she'll be heading to Ham Lake for our women's retreat. Kevin's wife will be leaving for the retreat when we get home. All to say, please pray for the women of Glory of Christ as they're seeking to draw near to the Lord this weekend.

And again, thanks so much for holding us up in prayer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We Made It!

Well, we made it to Chicago about 4:00 or so today. All this traffic is making me flash back to my days in the big city! I don't miss it.

Kevin and I had a great series of conversations on the way here. We did our best to redeem the time and I think the Lord blessed that. Soon after we arrived in Chicago we checked into our room, and then we went over to The Church in West Ridge where the retreat meetings are being held. They treated us to a great Chicago-style pizza dinner--which believe me was no chore to eat--and then we gathered for worship, fellowship, and some time in the Word.

The word from the Word came from Isaiah 64, the whole chapter. The speaker, Gary Rohrmayer, encouraged us in the life of prayer. One sentence in particular really struck me:

"We, the church, must advance on our knees."

Oh how my soul says "amen" to that. We must have the supernatural power of God pulsing through our lives and ministries or we bear no lasting fruit, we gain no glory for God.

Gary told us that in recent days anywhere from 30-50 thousand people are coming to Christ every week in India. Then he told us that many of the Indian churches devote Friday nights to praye, and once per month they devote a full 24 hours to prayer together. No wonder God is moving so mightily in their land!

I've not been able to find the source of this quote, but I've heard it said many a time: "When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works." Oh how my soul cries out to God: may Glory of Christ Baptist Church be a praying church! May we lean hard on the everlasting arms! May we trust not in our own strength and strategies but on the infinite power of Almighty God! May we advance on our knees!

Thanks for praying for us. Please continue. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Please Pray for us Again!

Sorry to have dropped off the face of the blogging earth here lately. Kevin and I are traveling to Chicago for a church planter's retreat tomorrow and we'll be there until Friday. Please pray for us as we're there. I'm sure we'll have internet access in our motel room, so I'll try to blog and let you know how things are going.

Until then, may the Lord greatly increase your desire to behold him and adore him and imitate him, as a beloved child (Eph. 5:1).

Monday, February 04, 2008

Please Pray for Kevin & Me

Today through Wednesday my fellow pastor, Kevin Feder, and I will be attending the Desiring God Conference for Pastors in Minneapolis. The theme for this year is "Pastor as Father and Son." You can find details about the conference here.

I'll try to blog from time to time to let you know how things are going. Thanks for your partnership in Christ!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Where your Treasure is...

A couple of weeks ago our church decided to begin supporting a missionary couple who serve in Senegal, West Africa. Our level of support is pretty minimal, but we played a part in giving them that last push that allowed them to return to the place where they've served for many years now.

Even though our level of support is minimal, I'll tell you, I think a lot more about west Africa and the Wolof people and the Manica people than I used to. Jesus was so wise when he said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21).

And there our joy will be also. I can't tell you how it thrilled my heart this morning to realize that for the first time in many months Dave and Mary Decker were able to worship Jesus in Senegal rather than in the U.S., in part because of our small pledge.

Oh how I pray that we won't fall for the lie of the American dream--to use all of our resources to feed our own passions and desires--but rather that we will be captured by God's vision for the world and put our treasure where our heart is.