July 30, 2009

God places us in the Body “just as He wills”  (see 1 Cor. 12:11). God’s call on my life is to preach the Gospel. The words of Paul echo in my heart–I must do it! (1 Cor 9:16)

While on vacation I’ve had the chance to re-read some of the book On Being a Pastor . This book, written by two experienced pastors, clearly reminded me of the call laid upon my life as pastor and the daily/weekly challenges I must face.

Ephesians 4:11 identifies the one office as “pastor and teacher” and by doing so presents the twin challenge of the work. Shepherding and teaching are twin tasks.  Prime and Begg say it this way:  “some have tried to separate them in that they feel their call is just to teach and not to shepherd. But the shepherding aspect of the ministry keeps us in touch with reality–with genuine issues and problems–as we teach the Word of God…some may be called more to the pastoral work, and others more to teaching. But both are priorities, and they need to be kept together.”

Last week we took a step back from the work back home and came here to Boise to visit family. During these days I have found time to pray about our church and the People of God who gather there. My heart is turned to things I must teach and direction I must give.  It is a great privilege to serve God’s People and my heart is on fire as I think about the days ahead.

I know that without Him I can do nothing.  There is no way I can lead and feed God’s People without the working of His Spirit in my life and through His Word.  The Teacher of our souls-The Great Shepherd of the sheep calls us to Himself. Psalms 25:5 is my prayer.  Why not make it yours?

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
for You I wait all the day long.

Sunday in the NW

July 26, 2009

Boise is a beautiful place… mountain views any way you turn.

Since Trademark Church (the church Josh and Erin are planting) does not have its own facility, they rent another church and have an evening service.  We are heading out now for a time of worship and then we’ll hit the streets to hand out invitations to an upcoming event.

Why not pray for this new church and pray that God will work in the hearts of the people living in downtown Boise?

These are beautiful people–living in a beautiful place.  But, we all need the Good News that Jesus came to seek us and save us.

Grande Sky and Grand Kids

July 22, 2009

We made it Boise and we’ll be spending a week with our Grandsons. 

We don’t mind seeing Josh and Erin but the real reason we came out here is…. O.K. seriously, we only get to see Mason (10) and Zeke(8) once or twice a year and it’s really fun spending time with them. Tomorrow, Josh and Erin spend most of the day with out of town guests (talking about their church plant) and we will go on an all-day outing with the boys. (I’m sure glad “Nani” is still young enough to play!)

So, if you’re willing, I’d like to ask you to take a moment and pray for church planting.  To make it easy, here’s three places that all start with a “B” –Pray for Boise, Baltimore and Bengal. 

Boise:  Josh and Erin Gilbert  (Click here for church site)

Baltimore:  Aaron and Malita Pankey (Click here for church site)

Bengal:  Mission Team from Calvary in India this week (Click here for pictures)

God teaching us…or what?

July 19, 2009

He’s the God of this city!   He has blessed us so much on the streets during  Misison: Winston-Salem!  (Check out the pictures!)

This morning was a great start to our celebration as we heard testimonies in all five of our English services.  Tonight the celebration continues…and my favorite part will be the baptisms of a couple from an Unreached People Group from South Asia.

Here’s a look at how our people loved the kids from this Unreached People Group during the week.  (click here to see celebration video )

Over 5 Million “Five Love Languages”

July 17, 2009

This week, at the ICRS in Denver, Dr. Chapman was recognized for another milestone. His book, Five Love Languages has passed the 5 million mark.

God continues to open doors for Gary and we are glad that we can walk with him and see the hand of God on his life. I know the Calvary family joins in me saying: “Way to go Gary! We are so glad God placed you in leadership at Calvary!”

Love Winston-Salem

July 14, 2009

A few years ago we sensed God calling us to new ministry opportunities. Our people were impacting their friends with the Gospel; our church was influencing other churches throughout North Carolina; we were sending teams many places outside the U.S. – but we sensed God had more for us to do in our own city.  Specifically, we sensed God calling us to impact people who would probably never attend our church but needed our love and needed our Lord.

After a lot prayer and focused research by a special intern, we launched a year-round ministry called Love  Winston-Salem.

Every year we carve out one week to mobilize our people.  We provide many ways to experience ministry as hundreds of people get involved in this special week …it’s like a Mission trip to our own city.   Every year we see the things happening this week expand the year-round ministry.

As I drive around the city and see our people pouring out their love, my heart is filled to overflowing.  John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 4)  This week, I feel like I am experiencing what he was talking about!  This pastor is saying… “I have no greater joy than watching our people serving our city in Jesus’ Name.”

What a night!

July 12, 2009

Tonight we kicked off Mission: Winston-Salem with a great crowd of Calvary folks on the ball field.  Tomorrow morning we hit the streets.

Afterwards, KK and I had the chance to drop by Truett’s house and watch our Student Ministry in action.  Almost 100 folks had gathered at Truett & Joni’s place (I’m glad they live on a corner and have good neighbors).

We walked from room to room and listened as the students were in small groups discussing our Identity in Christ!  It was so exciting to hear them searching for Bible answers and applying it to their lives!

One of the group leaders asked me:  “how do you explain Paul calling us ‘sinners’ in Romans 5:8 and then referring to us as ‘saints’ in most of his letters?”

Short answer:  before we were born from above we were sinners that sometimes did good things—but now, in Christ, we are saints (set apart ones) that sometimes sin. 

If we are truly in Christ and Christ in us, in our core, from our new nature we want to know God and we want to do His will. We are saints who sometimes sin–that’s our Identity in Christ!