Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Please pray for the Hornbrooks

Here are some ways you can pray for Sam and Jamie Hornbrook as they serve in Mexico:

1. For the birth of our first grand daughter. She will be born to our daughter Natalie. She is due any day and is considered underweight. Its thought that the baby may have low sugar.
2. That our assistant pastor, Pepe, will continue to grow into becoming our head pastor at New Life in Christ Church. He is doing well.
3. That the city will install drain pipes across the street from our church so that a small park might be built for the community. Our church plans to maintain it as a service to the community when its put in.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Please pray for the Custers

Here are some ways you can pray for the Custers as they help in planting new churches:

  1. Oct 30th & Nov. 6th:  LeAnn will be speaking at a ladies bible study at a supporting church in Honolulu while there to babysit her grandkids. 
  2. Oct. 29  - Nov 1: Dougg will be in Phoenix helping plan for a February WorldVenture golf fundraiser as well as meeting with pastors about missions.
  3. November  4:  7  couples/singles will be interviewed to be appointed with WorldVenture for  career service. Pray for God's will to be clear to all involved. Dougg will be leading one of  the two interviewing committees.
  4. Nov. 5-8: Dougg and another Mobilizer will be speaking at and participating in the Montana Bible College Missions Conference. Pray for good  follow-up conversations to their visit a year ago and  that new students would be encouraged to think about their role in missions.
  5. Dougg's Director of Recruiting ,and right-hand man, has resigned to take a job that will help him become a tent-maker in Japan.  Pray with us about Nate's replacement; Dougg has someone in mind who is praying about it and the leadership team also has to sign off on them.
  6. The number one and two requests are always for more harvest workers to go out with WorldVenture and for those workers to find financial and prayer partners who will stand with them.

Ways to Pray for the Borisuks

Here are some ways to pray for the Borisuks as they serve in China:
  1. Praise the Lord for a new class of fifteen students who are excited about learning how to teach and preach God's Word. Pray for Mark as he teaches them each Thursday.
  2. Pray for the pastors/church leaders whom Mark teaches each month and has daily accountability with Bible reading.
  3. Pray for the three couples Mark and Charity are discipling and our monthly meeting. We talked about parenting from the book of Proverbs in September. Each day we read and share a verse from a chapter in Proverbs.
  4. Praise the Lord that we are close to finalizing the mobile version of the Chinese Bible Study Toolbox. Pray that it will bring understanding and application of the Word of God to its users, and pray for us as we prepare to launch, promote and train.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ways to Pray For Jill Hostetler

Here are some ways that you can pray for Jill Hostetler as she serves through Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in Central Illinois.

1. Please pray for a Good News Club training I am conducting in Springfield, November 1 & 2.

2. Please pray for our fall fundraising event "Open doors, Open Hearts" on November 14.

3. Please pray for me as I oversee two staff people. Pray that I would lead them in a God-honoring way.

4. Pray for the Good News Clubs that I oversee in the Peoria area. May they proclaim the truth of God's Word with clarity and with boldness.

Ways to pray for the Beakleys

Here are some ways to pray for the Beakleys as they serve in South Africa.
  1. Please pray for our application to have Christ Seminary begin a new site in Durban (about 9 hours away and on the coast of the Indian Ocean). This will be a great opportunity to train men on the Eastern side of South Africa.
  2. Please pray for the new intake of students for January 2020. We have interviews coming up at the end of October.
  3. Please pray for training overall in Southern Africa. I am involved with a training center in Malawi, and conditions there are quite difficult, but the Lord is working. Untrained pastors are one of the biggest problems in the church in southern Africa.

Unchanging Seasons

We’ve all been there … those times when the season we are in doesn’t seem to be changing. Those times when we question how long we can operate in “survival mode.” Times that bring the challenge: “If this doesn’t change, am I okay with that?” 

Have you ever found yourself in unexpected survival mode? Thinking it is just a season, survival mode seems doable for that time. When it becomes apparent that the season is going to be longer than expected, we realize we aren’t going to be able to function in survival mode long-term. In these times I’ve found myself asking, How do I live like God has called me to live while navigating a season that has become a way of life? More importantly, how do I proclaim Him as Lord through this?

As I began to think through this in a practical sense of what this looks like at work, I also realized how quickly I fall back on, and stay in, “survival mode” in my spiritual walk as well.

In those seasons when I wonder how long it will last and how will I ever adjust or survive, I want each moment to be led by the statement, “I can trust God with this.” I can also challenge myself with Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven,” as Solomon addressed different times of life the Lord may take us through.

I love David’s honesty in Psalm 13. When you read it, it seems David is feeling pretty “over” the season of life he is in. But look how the chapter ends: David recognizes how steady and sure Christ’s love and faithfulness are, and how good God has been to him! 

Psalm 13
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

What changed in Psalm 13? In verses 1–2 we find David crying out to the Lord in desperation, asking almost complaining of his circumstances. In verses 3–4 David is asking—pleading—with the Lord for deliverance. The last two verses show David’s complete shift of perspective as David declares his trust in the “hessed”—the covenant faithfulness (CSB)—of our Lord. It wasn’t David’s circumstance that changed, it was his perspective, his response to the Lord. And that is what anchors our hearts when seasons don’t change.

When our perspectives and purposes are fixed on Christ and His glory, hard things will still come, yes, but the covenant faithfulness of the Lord will sustain us. Seasons don’t always change like we think they should, but we can trust God in the new normal, knowing that He does not change. He has always been and always will be faithful.

“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 117:2)

Heather Leman

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Teen Rebellion

I’m always happy to have my wife post to the church blog. It is a good and challenging read.
Pastor Ben Sometimes when your teen is rebelling, church is the last place you feel like going. Being at church can be difficult because of all the wonderful Christian families in one place! Sometimes church attendance is a more vivid reminder of the loss of a good teen relationship that you are hoping and praying for. Often we as moms can feel a deeper sense of failure as we observe other teens who are living a life of faith. I would encourage you that church is exactly the place you need to be when going through teen troubles. The most important reason to attend is found in Hebrews 10:23-25. We are commanded to not forsake the assembling of the saints. Obeying this command is not based on our feelings. If God commands us to gather with our church family, then that is the best place for us to be. Another reason to attend church is that the hearing of God’s Word renews our minds and gives us good meat to chew on as we consider the Gospel promises and how they relate to our sufferings (Romans 8:31-32 and 12:2 ). In addition, as we interact with our church family, we realize that we are not the only one suffering or going through trials. Talking and reaching out to others helps us not to focus on ourselves. Being around the people of God helps us fulfill the command in Phillipians 2:3-4 as we consider how we can serve, pray for, or counsel others who are also hurting.  If you are a mom of a struggling teen, please be encouraged that your church attendance will help lift your eyes to your Savior. If you know of a mom who is hurting, please take a minute this Sunday to let her know you are praying for their family.
Also, you may not be the parent of a struggling teen, but you may be avoiding church for similar reasons. This is for you as well!  Casey Davidson

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

What is a False Worshipper?

If you’re a believer, this may sound like an irrelevant question, however, I want to challenge you to think about your thinking in this area for a moment. My thoughts today are stirred by William Barclay’s commentary on Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well as recorded in chapter 4 of The Gospel of John. Consider what he refers to the three defects in false worship.

I. “A false worship is a selective worship. It chooses what it wishes to know about God and omits the rest.”
If you’re like the average Samaritan, you may unknowingly over-emphasis one truth from Scripture at the expense of others. This certainly is the seed-bed for all legalism. 
If you expect God to extend His mercy to you while holding grudges, harboring ill-will, seeking vengeance, nurturing bitterness or unforgiveness, you might be a false worshipper.
If you expect God to love you in spite of your daily sins against his holiness, while failing to be patient, long-suffering and overlooking offenses, you might be a false worshipper.
If you expect God to extend honor his promises to you while refusing to honor your promises to your spouse “for better or for worse”, you might be a false worshipper.

II.  “A false worship is an ignorant worship”
Sadly, many true followers of Christ are unfamiliar with much of biblical teaching. Jesus warned the Samaritan woman of ignorant worship, “…You worship what you do not know”, (Jn.4:22). We do well to be searching “the whole counsel of God”, (Acts 20:27). Jesus confronts temptation with “Every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4-10).
Christians are called to use our minds and to think deeply about what God has revealed about himself and about how to live our lives. Peter bases the essence of Christian living on faith and knowledge about who God is (2Pet. 1:3-11).

“A man has a mind and he has a duty to exercise it.  … To fail to think things out is in itself a sin. In the last analysis, religion is never safe until a man can tell, not only what he believes, but why he believes it. Religion is hope, but it is hope with reason behind it.” William Barclay

I encourage you to join the psalmist in his pursuit of learning and knowing God. Consider the passion for knowledge and learning as depicted in Psalm 119.

Knowing God is vital for your life.  “…the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” (Dan.11:32b)

III. “A false worship is a superstitious worship”
Barclay warns, 
“There are many people whose religion is founded on a kind of vague fear of what might happen if they leave God out of the reckoning. But real religion is founded not on fear but on the love of God and gratitude for what God has done. Too much religion is a kind of superstitious ritual to avert the possible wrath of the unpredictable gods.” William Barclay

If you seek to avoid something unpleasant from God, if you’re living in an attempt to appease God, you might be a superstitious worshipper.

Barclay offers a helpful description of true worship: “If God is spirit, he is not confined to things…[or] places. If God is spirit, a man’s gifts to God must be gifts of the spirit [of the heart]. The only gifts that befit the nature of God are the gifts of the spirit - love, loyalty, obedience, devotion. The true worship is when man, through his spirit, attains to friendship and intimacy with God. Genuine worship does not consist in coming to a certain place nor in going through a certain ritual or liturgy nor even in bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal an invisible parts of man, speaks and meets with God, himself immortal and invisible.”

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)

Kent Kloter

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Please Pray for the Esther House

Emergency relief services are offered to women and their dependent children at the Esther House. Boys up to the age of 12 may stay with their mothers. In a clean and comfortable atmosphere, women and their children are welcome to find relief and hope.  Spiritual, emotional, and physical care are provided. Here are some ways that you can pray for this organization:

Esther House Emergency Shelter:
  1. Pray for the women who are coming in to be open to receiving help and open hearts to know their need for Jesus. 
  2. Pray for our staff and volunteers who love and care for these women and children. It can be exhausting and difficult.
  3. Pray for ALL of us to love and care with God’s strength and not our own

Esther House Renewal Program:
  1. Pray for protection from the enemy for the ladies that God is working beautiful transformations in their lives!
  2. Pray for the Renewal staff as they continue to love, care, and do life with these women God has entrusted to our care. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Please Pray for Empower Life Center

Since its opening in 1987, the Empower Life Center has provided information and care to women and men from pregnancy through parenthood.  All services are free of charge and confidential. In 2018, the name of the Center was changed from the Women's Pregnancy Center to better reflect the Center's purpose and services. Here are some ways you can pray for this organization:

  1. Please pray a volunteer who found out she has lung cancer….for Dr’s wisdom for treatment and for her to lean on the Lord.
  1. Please pray for a new Center Coordinator
  1. Please pray for abortion minded ladies who have come to Empower in the last couple of weeks. Families are encouraging them to get abortion.
  1. Please pray for others to come into their lives to encourage life.
  1. Please pray for Fatherhood classes whose attendance is growing. 

Please Pray for the Southside Mission Thrift Store

Southside Mission’s vision is to minister to our community in Christ loving ways that provide opportunity for positive change. Their mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ, in His name love our neighbors and provide hope to the community through life transforming ministries. Here are some ways that you can pray for the South Side Mission Thrift Store:

  1. Please pray for the presenters to Mission at Prayer and our Lighthouse Diner clients that our coordinated teaching efforts will bear lasting fruit.
  2. Please pray for the staff as they pursue ministry ideas that bridge the gap between conversion and life transformation.