Wow! It’s been awhile so I have a lot to fill you in on. I simply cannot believe how quickly time flies.
Our ministry has really taken a lot of waxing and waning periods. Sometimes we are really busy, and other times we are not so busy. The last time I wrote to you we had two things on our schedule: our home church’s Christian School Revival, and a chapel service in Corunna, MI. Now, I am writing to you and I have one thing on our schedule: our home church’s teen girl camping trip. However, I know that it is the Lord who provides us with meetings and opportunities to preach. The last time I wrote you I only had two things on our schedule but as time progressed we saw the Lord bring in more meetings that we believe were a result of your prayers.
In addition to Bible studies I was conducting in my home, I also had a number of opportunities (8) to preach from the pulpit in my home church over the last few months. We just wrapped up our Christian School Revival, and I believe the Lord really meant with our young ones. I was able to preach to the young ones in Corunna, MI on getting serious about the things of the Lord. In answer to your prayer for more meetings, the Lord had me preach a “Revival Now” service in Melvin, MI, which included a number of pastors and members from multiple local churches in the area, and I believe the Lord meant with us and spoke into a number of lives. I was also glad to take on the opportunity to fill in for a couple pastors in our area who were traveling out of town: Lickley’s Corner Baptist Church and Manitou Road Baptist Church. I was delighted to see the folks of these country churches so open and receptive to the Word.
I want to ask you to continue to pray for us that we would not be discouraged. I am in this ministry because this is what the Lord has called us to. At times it grows perplexing how there is such a great need out there for revival, and God wants revival, yet evangelists – God’s instruments for the cause of revival and the gospel – are not being used to the extent that it seems they could or ought to be used. My issue of needing meetings is not an unusual one for evangelists. I know of a well-known evangelist who has gaps in his schedule, and I know of another evangelist who used to have his schedule full but is now needing to work a job and pastor a church in addition to being in this ministry for revival. Why is it that in a time where the cause is the greatest – where America is on the brink of being turned into hell – God-called evangelists are not able to find enough invitations to preach? I simply do not know. I can speculate, and so can you, but I really don’t know. I don’t know why the evidence for the need of revival is so great, yet churches are having less meetings for the cause of revival. I do not know why our fundamental baptist churches have entered an age where many obviously prefer to use pastors friends for revival meetings rather than a calling that has it’s form dating at least back to the days of Noah – a calling for the cause of revival, like the modern-day evangelist. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m an independent Baptist, so I believe a pastor should use another pastor for revival meetings if that’s what the Lord is leading him to do. But I’m really perplexed about this norm that has been established in our fundamental Baptist circles. The fact is that if our modern-day usage of evangelist is the biblical usage of it, then we simply will never see souls saved and churches revived to the extent that we could if God-called evangelists are not being included in revival meetings to the extent that they could. I’m not trying to be controversial. I’m not trying to be offensive. I’m not petitioning for meetings. That’s a God-thing. I’m simply sharing with you some thoughts that I believe the Lord would have me share with you.
Though our lack of meetings has gotten me into the sin of discouragement in the recent past, I’m happy to have learned some things from it. It’s amazing that I was able to be genuinely thankful for my brain tumor, surgery, and all that went with it, but it never occurred to me to be thankful for my lack of meetings. When I was asked by my pastor whether or not I thanked the Lord for my lack of meetings the Lord convicted me greatly and this was the key for deliverance from my discouragement. Once I confessed this sin, and genuinely thanked the Lord in simple trust that He truly provides the meetings, peace and joy flooded my soul: “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”. I have also learned in a little deeper way what the Bible means when it says “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thess. 5:18). Thus, I am thankful for my lack of meetings as I am happy to be fashioned and molded however my Master sees fit. With this I can trust the Lord that He is good, omnipotent, all-wise, and will thus provide the meetings that are best for His pleasure. With this I can also call to mind the recognition that He desires revival infinitely more than I could ever have the capacity to desire anything.
I beg your petitions in asking the Lord to bound Satan and His demons, and guard my own wicked heart from going into the sin of discouragement again. This is a much bigger and more important thing than my being used in revival meetings; for despondency in discouragement is a detriment to any meeting I would be afforded the opportunity to preach in.
I beg your petitions on the behalf of my family and our ministry. I ask that you would pray to the Lord that He would prepare the way to use us as little or as much as is His will. Just as like what happened before, I believe the Lord will hear and answer your prayers to give us more unexpected meetings that I will get the privilege to write to you about in our next prayer letter.
Finally, I have some really exciting news – many of you already know this. We are expecting additions to our family in late October. Yes, that’s right, additionS. We are expecting twins! By the end of October we will have 5 children 4 and under. I think prayer for this matter is something that goes without saying. PLEASE PRAY FOR US!
In relation to this, we ask that you would join us in petitioning our heavenly Father that owns a cattle on a thousand hills to provide for us another living place. The place we are living is a place we could make work, but the burden would be much lighter for my wife and I, particularly my wife, if the Lord provided us another place to live.
In addition, our current vehicle will fit 5 car seats and that’s how much room we will need. However, if the Lord does provide us meetings that require longer travel, I simply will not be able to take my family with me in our current vehicle because my wife will not be able to tend to our children with our current vehicle. We are content with our current vehicle, but are praying for a replacement, and will patiently wait for the one that He will provide in His timing.
God is doing so much in our lives. He has done so much, continues to do so much day-to-day, and will do so much in the days ahead. I cannot wait for the day where I will have the freedom to share with you the the goodness of the Almighty. One day, on this side of heaven or the other, I will get to brag with you about what a wonderful God we have.
God is good – so good – and all the time God is good!
“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD”