May 30, 2008
We just finished our 4 week study in our Bible Study Group about sharing your faith with those around you. Although our study was just a month long, I am reminded daily how important this endeavor is and that we need to be looking for ways to share our faith everyday. Visitation and sharing our faith is not something that happens every Thursday night at 7:00 pm but should be something we are looking to do 24/7 with whomever God places in our lives. We need to be alert for this because it could be at Sheetz getting gas; at the credit union with a teller; or with one of our neighbors that just happens to be walking down the sidewalk. I Peter 3:15 says "always be ready with an answer for those who ask you to give an account for the hope that is in you..." May this be our constant goal in life, so we can help do what Jesus our Master came to earth to do and that is "to seek and to save that which was lost." Who does God want you or me to talk to today?
May 24, 2008
With all the good things the Lord blesses us with it's certainly no reason to ever have reason to not be thankful and happy in the Lord. Yet I know that all of us have days that we struggle and don't necesesarily want to smile about what is going on in our life. I can imagine that today is such a day for the Steven Curtis Chapman family. While this man has certainly been a blessing to me over the years with his uplifting and God honoring music that has both made me have tears of joy as well as tears of tenderness, I just cannot imagine what it must be like for him and the rest of this Godly family to lay to rest their youngest member, Maria today. At the tender age of 5 years old, how could this family say goodbye to someone who has captured their hearts in such a short time on this earth? Saying goodbye is never really something we look forward to but can you imagine what this family must feel today? Pray then for the Chapman family who must endure a funeral today for someone who just celebrated her 5th birthday a few days ago. With one son, Caleb, graduating from high school and the oldest daughter Emily announcing her engagement to be married and now for the family to have the difficult task to make funeral arragements, could a family have any more emotional pulls than this family has had in the past week? My heart breaks even though I don't know this family personally, although I have had the joy of shaking hands with Steven Curtis on a few occasions and thanks to his music feel like I do know him. But I even wonder myself, why am I so touched and effected when I don't really know these guys? It's amazing that God gives us a heart for our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, especially in times of sorrow when they need our prayers so much. So we do as the word says and rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and are reminded that we have not a high priest who has not been effected with hurt and sorrow of His own. And above all, we are not a people without hope. So let's pray, especiallly today for the comfort and healing of the Steven Curtis Chapman family. I'm sure they would appreciate us doing that.
May 22, 2008
In the past few days I am reminded that there are always details to work out as we plan events or activities for the church and that's to be expected so that's ok. (A little tiring sometimes but still ok!) And the minute you figure out one thing, then it seems there are a couple of other things to consider and finalize, but with all that said, and with a couple of meetings with different folks to help sort things out, it appears that our community wide BLOCK PARTY on September 20th is definitely an all GO! So on September 20, 2008 (a Saturday) we will conduct our community wide BLOCK PARTY to help folks have a fun day with the whole family and to invite them to be a part of Life Pointe Church. And more importantly that day, we hope to expose folks to the love and saving grace of Jesus and introduce them to the only person who is able to forgive their sins, provide eternal hope, and give purpose and peace to their lives. So whether folks become a part of the church or not, please pray that Jesus will be honored by our efforts and become the Savior of many of the folks who choose to attend the BLOCK PARTY that day. Things are exciting and God is working, and that alone is reason to praise the Lord! But I'm glad there are so many other things to praise Him for too, aren't you? I will be putting the details of the BLOCK PARTY on the blog page soon, but do keep the event in prayer, because God loves it when we pray!
May 16, 2008
'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word.......I'm again filled with joy and song as I think today of how much God blesses us and loves us! Max Lucado said in one of his books that "your picture is the one held on with a magnet on God's refridgerator." The mere thought of when I speak to God that I have His undivided attention and complete focus is just incredible and overwhelming. "Oh, how He loves you and me" as another song says! And I again am amazed at just how Great and awesome God worked yesterday as I met with a person who can help us acquire a building to use for our church. She was just so encouraging! I could have said so much more in yesterday's post but I thought it was probably long enough as it was but I just have to mention the fact that I think yesterday God gave us our "gateway" person. A gateway person is someone who can be instrumental in helping the church acquire things they need and sort of "pave" the road as we establish the church. I ask after I posted yesterday to make sure if I could mention her name and she said "sure", so I want to thank God for allowing me to meet Gloria Williams yesterday. She was so encouraging with her faith and her enthusiasm for Jesus! The fact that I walked in not knowing exactly how my meeting might go and instead walked out feeling I had been to a praise and worship service is simply amazing. Gloria's love and strong stand for the Lord is great and her concern for her family and others is also quite evident, so I thank the Lord for Him not just allowing me to work towards getting a building to worship Him in, but to let me meet a fellow servant of His who greatly blessed my heart and encouraged me! May God bless us all by letting our paths cross with those who love Jesus and desire to praise Him and lift Him up as much as we do. It was wonderful to have a kindred spirit especially with someone who was a total stranger an hour ago! Only a great, wonderful, and loving God can do such things, so the praise is His!
May 15, 2008
Praise the Lord, oh my soul! And all that is within me, praise His Holy Name! God is so good; God is so good; God is so good, He's so good to me! I'm astounded, I'm astonished and amazed.......I am speechless! I thought I would start off this post with some singing since God has indeed blessed me today in a very special way! This morning I decided to go (again after God seemed to place it on my heart) and speak with the person who is in charge of renting school buildings and allowing groups to use a school for a certain reason. I think it's even neat that on the application and information page they refer to it as a school plant. Since we say the words "church plant", it sounds like we are on the same page even before we start. Anyway, as I got ready to leave my car before I went into the office of the person that I needed to talk to, I again prayed and said "Lord, be with me and bless me today as I meet with this person; I know I haven't bathed this matter in prayer as much as I would like to, but since I just found out who I needed to talk to on Tuesday, I want to follow it up and find out what I need to do to further nail down the details of acquiring the school that I believe You want us to use for our church. Be with me as I meet with this person." God could not have answered my prayer and blessed me and the meeting anymore that He did! After hunting for the office a few mintues and actually seeing a couple of people I knew, I finally made my way downstairs to the office of the person I needed to talk to. As I walked into the office, I noticed a Bible sitting on the corner of the person's desk. As I begin to tell my story there was an instant connection and I found myself both listening and telling about families, needs, faith, and living for Jesus. By the time I left, we had both been blessed by the Lord, shed some tears of joy, and even prayed together! How could God have blessed our meeting any more than He did?! I was greatly encouraged and am looking forward to how God will further open doors to hearts as well as buildings to help us acquire just what we need so we can point lives to Him and see folks saved and changed. I felt like I had been to a prayer meeting when I left the person's office. God gave us a spirit of not only cooperation and fellowship but a reminder of the spirit that comes only from Him, the Holy Spirit, which just seemed to prevail as we met. Isn't God amazing? Instead of a meeting, two believers enjoyed fellowship! Hallelujah!
May 14, 2008
Although it's nothing definite because I know there is still much work to be done, never-the-less, I was encouraged yesterday when I paid a visit to the main office of Roanoke City Schools to talk to someone about obtaining the building that I have been praying about ever since we have even thought about planting a church. I had wrote a letter about 3 weeks ago and after not hearing back from anyone I decided to go and check out what the situation was. It seemed when I got up on Tuesday morning that the Lord brought the building to mind and it just seemed like it was a good time to go and see what was going on with the process of obtaining it. I must admit I was a little scared to go because I didn't want to hear NO for an answer. But God reminded me that He is in charge so I made the visit and then learned that who I had previously wrote the letter to wasn't even the person who was in charge of renting the buildings. So, I was given another name to contact along with instructions on how to obtain forms, etc. to send with my request. At least I felt like I was now getting somewhere. When I was later able to check out the forms and prices on line, I again was a little hesitant to look at the price list but to my delightful surprise, the rental prices weren't as high as someone had mentioned to me before and I again was reminded that God will indeed take care of us and provide for us, especially when we are going about the business of winning folks to Him. As I mentioned at the first, I still have to fill out some forms and meet with some people, but the goal is clearer and nearer than I feel it use to be, so God is working! Praise His Name!
May 12, 2008
I dropped Andy off at the airport early this morning at about 5:07 am so he could catch his flight to Cleveland, Ohio. He is going to a Christian Leadership-Pastor's Conference at Parkside Church where Alistair Begg is the pastor. Andy loves to hear Alistair speak and has many of his sermons recorded, and Alistair's words have influenced Andy very positively to study more and dig deeper in the scriptures, so as a Dad I am thrilled Andy gets to go hear him in person! God has provided Andy a host family to stay with and with transportation to and from the conference so it's an exciting time to watch God work even before the conference begins! Pray that Andy is blessed richly while in Ohio and attending all the seminars and hearing the different speakers, and pray that Andy will be a blessing to all those he comes in contact with too. As I watched Andy go through the line this morning and then through the restricted area where I could no longer go with him, I was sort of sad as I waved goodbye and then found myself looking forward to seeing him again. I was then reminded of another Son that is coming back and how we need to have a sense of urgency about us to tell everyone about Him before He does. And just as I look forward to seeing Andy when he returns, we all need to be looking forward to seeing Jesus when He returns to catch us up to Himself. As we wait, may we that know and love Jesus be actively telling and sharing with others about the love that Jesus has so richly given and shared with us.
May 10, 2008
I am reminded today (again!) of just how good the Lord is to us! Of course we all know He's good and that He takes good care of us and provides us with blessings that we just don't deserve but today, as I glance back over this past week, I am filled with thankfulness. On Thursday, May 8th, we got to celebrate our son Andy's 25th birthday! He's such a blessing to us and many others. And then today we got the next blessing to be part of our daughter-in-law Ashley's graduation from the University of Mary Washington. Despite the fact it rained most of the graduation ceremony, we still were glad to be a part of it and very proud of Ashley's accomplishments. So not only did I (and others) enjoy Andy's birthday and Ashley's graduation this week, but just the fact that both of them are growing in the Lord and continue to be a big, BIG, blessing to me as I work to plant the church is just enough to fill my heart with joy. God is indeed good!
May 6, 2008
Tonight is the first night in our Bible Study series about "Sharing Your Faith". It is such a vital part of what I want our church to be. The Lord Himself said He came to seek and to save that which was lost so if it was the major reason for His coming to the earth it certainly ought to be something we hold dear to our hearts as well. Pray that we all "catch" the vision and do what God would be pleased with.
May 2, 2008
Prayer walking continues to be a blessing to me. For those who don't know or remember what I'm talking about, several few weeks ago I simply started praying for those people who live right on the same street as I do. Since I had been walking Tory our cat on a leash for years, it wasn't really too much difference to add in a prayer as I walked. Now as Tory and I stroll along, I sort of pause as I pass the different houses and ask God to bless those who live in the house; bring them to a relationship to Himself; and provide me a way to share what the Lord as done in my own life. As I was walking up and down the street last night, I thought it would be so good to share with someone or simply to meet someone that God may just later use to become part of our church and be a blessing to others. As I was wondering which house or person God might use, a dog started barking and ran across the street to me. As I reached down to pet him, the person who owned the dog came across the street to retrieve him. We spoke only briefly but long enough to exchange names so that now I have a name to pray for. As I continued walking down the street back to my house, I couldn't help but ask.."Lord was that the person I was praying for?" Who knows, but it sure seemed like God gave me a quick answer to prayer if it indeed was. I was also reminded as I thanked the Lord for the opportunity He gave me to say hello, that as we pray for souls to come to Him, what could be more closer to His heart than the prayer for someone to be saved. After all, Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.