July 24, 2012
This is taken from one of Spurgeon’s sermons
Spurgeon said: Let me give you a parable.
In the days of Nero there was great shortness of food in the city of Rome, although there was abundance of corn to be purchased at Alexandria. A certain man who owned a vessel went down to the sea coast, and there he noticed many hungry people straining their eyes toward the sea, watching for the vessels that were to come from Egypt with corn. When these vessels came to the shore, one by one, the poor people wrung their hands in bitter disappointment, for on board the galleys there was nothing but sand which the tyrant emperor had compelled them to bring for use in the arena. It was infamous cruelty, when men were dying of hunger to command trading vessels to go to and fro, and bring nothing else but sand for gladiatorial shows, when wheat was so greatly needed. Then the merchant whose vessel was moored by the quay said to his shipmaster, “Take thou good heed that thou bring nothing back with thee from Alexandria but corn; and whereas, aforetime thou hast brought in the vessel a measure or two of sand, bring thou not so much as would lie upon a penny this time. Bring thou nothing else, I say, but wheat: for these people are dying, and now we must keep our vessels for this one business of bringing food for them.”
Alas! I have seen certain mighty galleys of late loaded with nothing but mere sand of philosophy and speculation, and I have said within myself, “Nay, but I will bear nothing in my ship but the revealed truth of God, the bread of life so greatly needed by the people.” God grant us this day that our ship may have nothing on board it that may merely gratify the curiosity, or please the taste; but that there may be necessary truths for the salvation of souls. I would have each one of you say: “Well, it was just the old, old story of Jesus and his love, and nothing else.” I have no desire to be famous for anything but preaching of the gospel. There are plenty who can fiddle to you the new music; it is for me to have no music at any time but that which is heard in heaven,—
“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, to him be glory for ever and ever!”
July 20, 2012
The next day I talked with a young man who opened up his heart to me. He asked me to pray that he would find ways to build relationships with his neighbors—and share Christ.
We talked about his struggle and the various things he had tried to meet his neighbors. Although he longed to do more, I was impressed with his heart and thought one of his approaches was worth mentioning here…
My friend is a dad to young children. During the school year he takes his son to the bus stop VERY early in the morning. Other dads on his street take their children to the bus stop as well–so the bus stop has become a great place to meet neighbors–during the school year.
But it’s summer now and school is not in session. My friend realized he must look for other ways to talk with these dads and he must find ways to take the conversations to a deeper level —than what starts at the bus stop.
My friend is not pleased. But as I listened, I had to wonder: how many believers, living in the big cities of North America, go to the bus stop looking for ways to build relationships? At least he cares. At least he sees the need to meet other dads and long for them to know Christ.
Oh that God’s people would start a new kind of bus ministry!
July 20, 2012
You might need to read yesterday’s post to get the context….
Early this week in Miami I met with some church planters and heard stories of how was at work in the lives of their people. One pastor told this story:
A lady attended a Life Group with her neighbor. She was drawn to personal faith, trusted Christ, and immediately you could see the evidence of the Life of Christ. Her transformed countenance and attitude open many doors for her to share her faith and she would always have prayer requests for people who needed Christ. One night she shared how God convicted her to make an adjustment in her life.
She said, “A few weeks ago I had a change in schedule and started driving to work. But I have realized that driving my own car has robbed me of opportunities to share my faith. So, I decided to start riding the bus again so that I can meet new people and share Christ while we ride.”
What a great story of a Christ-filled life and the desire to live as His representative. Her concern for others convicted me and I think you will agree…
That’s a different kind of Bus Ministry!
July 19, 2012
In the late 1960s, and throughout the 70s, many growing churches had bus ministries. If you heard the words “Bus Ministry” – you would envision concerned and loving church members visiting on Saturday and running bus routes on Sunday. They would pick up children (whose parents were not attending church) and many of these children came to know Christ—and some of their families eventually trusted Christ. But over the years most Bus Ministries died out—for lots of reasons.
This week I heard two great stories that involved buses in the big city. I found myself chuckling and saying, “now that’s a different kind of bus ministry.”
I thought I would share these stories with my prayer network and it might give you ideas about how to pray for church planters and the cities where they serve. The methods may change because of time and location–but the Message of Christ still transforms lives.
Check back the next couple of days I’ll share these stories with you. For today—pray for one of the big cities in North America where lots of people use public transportation.
July 18, 2012
“…for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (I Cor 16.9)
Seems like everywhere I turn God is introducing me to another ministry and giving me opportunities to see Him at work. Such a wide door for effective work!
With so many opportunities it is difficult to know what to do first, what to do next, and what to not do.
Many thanks to the prayer partners who are praying for us. Sometimes with specific ministry requests…sometimes just calling our names before the Father.
Tomorrow I have a second meeting with His Bridge Builders.
This is a wide door for effective work!
July 12, 2012
I would like for you to join me in praying for Bill and Lucy Pat Curl.
The Curls* have given their lives to ministry–serving for nearly 18 years in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. In “retirement” Bill returned to the staff of FBC Orlando –where they served before they left for missionary service.
This weekend Bill and Lucy Pat leave for London. The Curls are volunteering at the Olympics and will be representing NAMB and the IMB. It’s a great partnership!
I promised Bill that I would pray for him as he serves. Actually, I promised that every time I hear the word “Olympics” –I will pray for him. I expect to be busy praying for them during the next few weeks. Want to join me?
There is something really special about the Curls. They really love people—and it shows! They have a Christ-like kindness that will open many doors for them to speak of Christ.
So, how about it? When you hear the word “Olpymics” – pray for global Gospel impact through the Curls and others who are volunteering in London.
*Liberty members may remember Phil and Miriam Curl. Bill and Lucy Pat are Phil’s parents. http://www.facebook.com/phil.curl.1
July 10, 2012
Yesterday, we met with a builder. He comes from a family that has been long time friends of the Colemans. He is easy to talk with and helped us work through the details on the addition of the garage. And, I told him:
“this garage is a test. If we can come through this in one piece—we’ll talk about the rest of the remodeling that we need to get done.”
We’ve been praying about this for months and feel like this is a clear breakthrough. So, thanks for joining us in this journey.
Miami is part of the Send City strategy to reach North America.
Yesterday a couple of the next steps started to come into focus. We are planning a special conference with the IMB—it’s called EthneCity. If we are going to reach the cities of North America, we have to recognize diversity and the different People Groups (ethne) living in the cities.
Also, we are looking to help church planters host some special events that give them ways to serve their communities and make more connections. More on this later….
I am going to Miami next week to spend some time with local leadership talking about this work and praying for God’s direction. Pray for Miami.