Friday, June 26, 2020

Please Pray for Dougg and LeAnne Custer


Here are some ways that you can be praying for Dougg and LeAnne Custer as they serve the Lord during the COVID-19 situation:
1) Praise God for providing an experienced recruiter that will begin mid-July. Please continue to pray for someone to handle our online Learning Management System.
   
 2) Praise God for a couple who was appointed to Black Forest Academy to help with the residence program. July 6th we will be interviewing - via Zoom - a couple who is interested in a central Asian country and would appreciate your prayers for all to go well.
    
3) There were 5 other candidates who decided they want to wait until November, when we hope to do our interviews in person. Pray that they will follow through on their desire to serve cross-culturally.
   
 4) Dougg's training team has been busy discussing what sessions of the first pre-field training are vital and how to best to teach them via Zoom July 13-16. They hope to have the new appointees come to headquarters later in the summer or early fall for the remainder of the training, which gives them the opportunity to bond with each other and our trainers. Please pray there won't be any snags as this is a new endeavor due to the Corona virus pandemic and everyone is a little concerned how it will go.
   
 5) Dougg and I, along with two other Mobilization staff members, attended an on-line Cultural Intelligence course a couple weeks ago. This material is presented to appointees during the Cultural and Ministry Preparation training before they leave for the field. It was extremely interesting and we are thankful for the generosity of our partners so that we could participate. Please pray for guidance as we prepare how best to pass on the valuable tools we learned.
   
 6) WorldVenture, like most churches and ministries, is dependent on generous giving, which has decreased during this pandemic, leading unfortunately to a few office staff being released. Pray that God will provide through whatever means He desires to use, to keep WorldVenture able to fulfill its mandate of sending global workers to the billions who don't know Jesus. Praise God with us that the giving to our ministry has remained constant so far.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Please Pray for Dave and Carol Beakley


Here are some ways that you can be praying for Dave and Carol Beakley as they server the Lord during COVID-19:
  1. Pray for wisdom as we strive to ensure that all of our students have enough data to "zoom" classes coming up in mid-July. Our next semester begins at that time.
  2. Pray for patience as we await our government's new restrictions and instructions on whether churches are allowed to meet. Currently, we can only meet with the conditions that 50 people or less meet at once, all with masks, 1.5m apart, no singing at all, no fellowship. Pretty tough conditions as this include whether you are inside or outside.
  3. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with the lost. With church at such limitations, and people afraid to go out and speak with one another, the truth is being stifled.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Please Pray for Sam and Jamie Hornbrook



Here are some ways that you can be praying for Sam and Jamie Hornbrook as they serve the Lord during this fragile time:

1. This past week, David Worrel, the son of dear friends of ours in Lafayette, IN died. He was 25 years old. He died due to complications of his severe handicaps. He was born at 1.6 lbs and in the 24th week of the pregnancy. He and his twin brother, Kyle, survived being born so early but David had more severe developmental problems. He was confined to a wheelchair all his life and could never talk, but he could communicate through sign language. He became a very sweet boy, taught us a great deal about having joy and being grateful even with multiple surgeries, chronic pain, and limitations. We will miss him. He and his siblings are like nephews and nieces to us. In fact, they call us Uncle Sam and Aunt Jamie. We couldn't go back for the funeral because of the restrictions on travel right now. In fact, we were scheduled to be there so I could take a master's class and we would have been there, but the class was done on-line also, because of the virus and travel restrictions.

We would appreciate your prayers for our good friends Scott and Cynday Worrell, David's parents who are especially feeling the loss right now. Today was the funeral. We watched it on-line and it was very God honoring. We're thankful for that. 

This is a very long prayer request, so if you need to make it short or not include it we will just appreciate your's and Ben praying with us for the Worrells.


2. Our church here in Mexico City seems to be doing well through the quarantine. Two of our members lost their jobs, but none have had the virus yet. Our church helps 7 families, every month, by buying food for them to help with their needs. During the pandemic this has been an even more vital ministry. Pray for special provision for all of them. We gave them all fiancial gifts this month.


3. Mexico reported the highest number of new cases as well as deaths 3 days ago. We are certain that there are two or three times the number of deaths than reported because of the lack of tests. Mexico City is the worst hot spot for the virus as you might expect.


4. We continue to do our services on facebook live. We have improved our equipment to make better transmissions and recordings. These services have been very succesful in reaching new people with as many as 1000 views on one of our recordings. We know some of the ones watching are from connections we had in the past that did not stay with the church as we moved from location to location. Some are not believers yet, so pray for our internet ministry to be used to bring people to Christ.

We pray you're transition back to doing church together will go well. We praise God with you for the way you new auditorium is coming along!!!

Thanks so much for your partnership with us and for praying for us!!!
Sam and Jamie

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Please Pray for Mark and Charity Borisuk

   

Here are some ways that you can be praying for Mark and Charity during the COVID pandemic.

  1. Pray that believers will have opportunities to speak the truth and show a peace that can only be found in Christ.
  2. We praise the Lord for an opportunity to spend time together with our older children. Pray for fruitful time with our older children during our time in the US.
  3. Pray for fruitful dialogue with several publishers regarding more difficult book licenses. 
  4. Praise the Lord for signed contracts in April with Baker Publishing House for the rights of “Towards an Exegetical Theology” and permission from a Taiwan publisher to purchase and use their translation.
  5. Please pray for continued safety for our staff and that we will bring encouragement to them in weekly meetings and praying together.
  6. Pray that the material and correspondence that goes out from IRC would bless users with the knowledge of God’s Word and bring dependence on their Creator. 
  7. We praise the Lord for technology that allows us to continue to minister.
  8. Pray for the pastors/church leaders as we study together via Zoom and as we continue to do weekly readings in "The Knowledge of the Holy." Pray that they would more fully understand the attributes of God, apply them to their own lives, and have the opportunity to share with others.
  9. Pray for each of these pastors/church leaders as they shepherd their families and their flocks. 
  10. Pray specifically for Brother Song and Brother Zheng as they are in difficult situations with unsaved wives. 
  11. Pray for Brother Wang as he continues to pastor and lead amidst health issues.

Psalm 22: A Cry of Lament



"The Psalms of lament don’t just give us permission to be human and to admit our emotions, but they also show us what to do with these emotions, which is to pray them out loud in the presence of God.” Pastor Brad Bigney

The following thoughts are based on the following authors:

John Henderson, “Abused: Finding Hope in Christ”, P&R Publishing

William S. Plummer’s commentary, “Psalms”

W. Graham Scroggie’s commentary, “The Psalms”

J. Vernon McGee’s commentary, “Psalms, Vol. 1”


PSALM 22 - The Psalm of the Cross (McGee)

Since this Psalm is written to give us a first-hand audience to the mind of Christ during his final moments on the Cross, we can conclude that Psalm 22 describes, "Holy thoughts on how to suffer well when, humanly speaking, our circumstances don’t make sense and our experience seems beyond hope and help."

It can be divided cleanly into two parts, the first part (the Sob) turns inwardly and describes the pain, the second part (the Song) turns heavenward in trust that generates hope and praise.

The Sob and the Song (Scroggie)

I. The Sob (vs. 1-21)

Face God don't run from him (vs. 1-2)

1. vs. 1 MY God (El-Almighty, All-Sufficient One)
Express your confusion that your experience doesn’t seem consistent with His Nature and character.
He fails to do what His Nature demands that He does
He is NOT what His Nature claims he is…namely, “near”.
He does not seem to be near, in spite of His Nature being a "the Seeing God who sees”; the God who is not far from anyone

2. vs. 2 O, MY God (Elohim-Supreme)
Continue to cry out unceasingly, even though God does not answer
Even though there is no help received, no rest or comfort
Trust God, not yourself or your feelings (vs. 3-5)

1. In spite of your circumstances, in spite of emotions, in spite of physical suffering, God is unchanged

2. In spite of your circumstances, in spite of emotions, in spite of physical suffering, God is holy

3. In spite of your circumstances, in spite of emotions, in spite of physical suffering, God is still ruling, enthroned in His sanctuary, immersed in receiving the due worship of His own creatures

4. Since God is ruling, from His Holy Habitation, even this unspeakable suffering will end with blessing, glory, and good.

Describe Your Experience (vs. 6-8; 12-18)
Face the harsh realities of your circumstances frankly and honestly

a. Refuse to minimize, downplay, or re-package” the facts.

b. Describe what you've been through with accurate, honest, vivid terms, e.g. David’s/Christ's reputation had been ruined.

c. Others hold the deepest scorn and contempt for him (vs. 7)

d. David/Christ is mocked for his best efforts (vs. 8)

e. David/Christ’s enemies are the strongest, meanest, most dangerous, prideful, strong, fierce, cruel enemies (vs. 12-13)

f. Physical suffering

“All my bones are out of joint”, this is clearly looking forward to Christ’s crucifixion. Physically, the suffering is beyond description. This sounds like

Isaiah’s experience in chapter 6, “I am undone”.

“My tongue sticks to my jaws, you lay me in the dust of death.”, physically near death. (vs. 15)

“Dogs have compassed me…”, people of the worst character are mistreating David/Christ (vs.16)

“…they have pierced my hands and feet-I can count all my bones…”, great physical suffering (vs.16-17)

“Affliction” (vs. 24)

Complete powerlessness, helplessness, exhaustion

2. Don't downplay or minimize your thoughts, speak to God frankly, but without reckless abandon.

“I am a worm”, (vs. 6), David describes his self-assessment, feely less than human; “they stare and gloat” (v.17)

“…I find no rest”. (vs. 2)

“I am poured out like water” (vs. 14a), at the end of his rope, at it were.

“My heart is like wax” (vs. 14b), another vivid expression of the intensity of mental/emotional suffering.

3. Don’t downplay your emotions,

Freely describe your emotion and passion.

He experiences confusion from God’s silence (vs. 1-2)

He groans in sorrow, grief, pain, stress, etc. (vs. 1b)

He experiences shame from the mocking (vs. 8, 17-18)

Express how those emotions are affecting you. (vs. 6)

The psalmist's emotions and self-assessments couldn’t be darker and intensely painful.

“I am poured out like water” (vs. 14a), emotionally exhausted, rung out.

4. Honestly describe the actions of your will

How have you been responding to what has happened?

“I am poured out like water” (vs.14)

“My strength is dried up like a potsherd” (vs. 15a)

Remember God’s Faithfulness

1. Remember God’s care when you were most vulnerable. (vs. 9-10)

My God made me, brought me into this world and provided when I was most helpless

I trusted him then, I will trust him now, at this darkest hour, to deliver me and receive me, as he received me from my mother’s womb.

c. Reflect on God’s faithfulness from birth until today (vs. 10)

2. Cry out to God

When he feels far away, plead for this nearness

When you are in trouble, tell him what those troubles are

Acknowledge that you are alone, that there is no one to help



II. The Song (vs. 23-31) of King David and of The King of Kings:

Both lift their eyes from their circumstances to the One who orchestrated them.

Both shift their thoughts from internal perspectives and experiences to the One who orchestrated their pain.

Both lift their emotional focus away from their internal pain, toward the One who is worthy of worship and praise.

Both lift their decisions of the will to dwell on the One who rules and therefore find hope, joy, and thanksgiving, looking forward to deliverance.

Both “ascribe to the Lord, the glory due unto His Name”, (Psalm 29:2).


Truths to Remember:
You are loved with an everlasting love Jer. 31:3

God's mercy is new every morning and his compassion never fails Lam. 3:20-22He promises never to leave you (Her.13:5) and to complete the work he has begun in you (Phil.1:6).

Kent Kloter

Friday, May 15, 2020

Please Pray for Dave and Carol Beakley



Here are some ways that you can be praying for Dave and Carol Beakley during this uncertain time:

  1. Pray for us as we try to minister to our son Jason, who is married and has one child and one on the way. He lost his job due to COVID-19 a week ago. They are clinging to the Lord and sending out lots of resumes.
  2. Pray for stamina for us as we record 30-minute devotions every day and continue to record music/preaching every Sunday.
  3. Pray for the Seminary to finish its classes on Zoom this semester. Many students don't have the data that is needed for zoom classes, but up to so far, the Lord has provided. We can record our classes and put them on the cloud for future downloads and viewing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A SUMMARY OF ACBC’S WEBINAR: ANXIETY AND LONELINESS





A couple of weeks ago, several of the counselors at BCC watched a webinar on “Anxiety and Loneliness” from the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Here is a summary of Heather Leman’s notes from the talk. Contact Heather at heather@bethanycommunitychurch.org if you would like a link to the webinar.

If what you most value can be taken away or destroyed then you set yourself up for anxiety. 


Proverbs 9:10, 1:7
Write down this verse “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Then put a blank where “the Lord” would go.

The fear of ______________ is the beginning of wisdom. Whatever it is that we fear is the beginning of our wisdom. 

Psalm 115 - whatever we fear is what our life is rotating around. vs 8 - we become conformed into.
As they feel those things slipping away that they don’t have control of they begin to fear those things rather than fear the Lord. Fear is intended to be healthy and directed at one particular place - the Lord. The largest command repeated in scripture - fear not.

Genesis 15:1- I am your shield, I will be with you

Matthew 10:26 - we are called not to fear anything here on this earth.
Deut. 6:1-2 - God has given us himself and revelation of who he is so we would not because of sin fear the things of the earth.

Joshua 24:14 - choose this day who we will serve and fear the Lord appropriately

How do we correct our fear?
Peace is the result, not the way in which we go about doing it.

By the fear of him and submitting to His spirit and he will provide to us as fruit of the spirit - peace.

Natural fear and sinful fear

Exodus 20: more than commandments but he was giving us himself vs 18 - when we fear God appropriately - he will reveal himself and does this for our God. Don’t fear what can destroy your body but what can destroy body and soul.

Means of this are in Galatians 5:16. When we submit to God he produces fruit - peace is not a feeling but in a person. 
Philippians 4:6-7

Not to simply seek peace because we will just find comfort in worldly things.

Matthew 6:19

If you want to know where someone’s heart is - go on our treasure hunt. When we begin to treasure things of this world when it is taken away we will be anxious.

The way we see the world is darkened when we fear and love other things besides God. We can calm those fears by trusting in God (later part of chapter 6).

Don’t run and hide in shame as Adam and Eve did but take these cares to one another. Scripture assumes we will have cares and lots of moments to be anxious - the key is where we turn.
Do we really have future hope?

Psalm 46:10 - being alone can actually be good and healthy. Loneliness is a feeling, positive is we can be in solitude, to slow life down in calm and stillness before the father. To know who the Lord is.
How does aloneness become negative - when we have feelings of loneliness: sinful disposition. Moses to Egypt - God voiced “I am with you" as a primary point of comfort. Loneliness is an issue of unbelief in trusting our feelings more than what God has said to be true about us.

2 Corin 1:3
God intends to utilize our loneliness to 1) increase our intimacy with him. 2) retreat in prayer 3) to keep us from superficial comforts

Sinful fears - you weren’t built to find solace in comfort in the things of the world so it’s out of the Lords’ kindness to strip those from us. He is recalibrating our hearts. 

Matthew 11

When we fear God and obey is commands the spirit conforms us to the spirit of Christ.


Need for adult conversation - and make sure you are still doing disciplines. 

Ephesians 4 - where we should find value worth and meaning in all that God has given us.

Heather Leman