Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ministry Update - March 2012

A SONG IN DISGUISE

My knees hit the floor as I scooped up Esther's seemingly lifeless body into my arms. She had just had another seizure and was going in and out of consciousness before my eyes. Tears seemed to hit the floor as hard and fast as my weary body. This had been her third seizure in four days and with each occurrence, our little Esther seemed to grow weaker. I felt as the Israelites did when gazing at the endless body of water blocking their passage. They could not move forward and yet they could not go back because the Egyptians were right behind them. They were forced to stop.

While sitting at Children's Hospital in St. Paul, after her fourth seizure, I made a choice - a choice to be still. A choice my little eleven-month-old made without any hesitation. For to remain still, is to acknowledge that you have full confidence that God will do exactly what He has said He will do. That He does not need my help but rather my worship.

I saw my little baby, the day she had her EEG, not crying but worshipping. She wasn't angry with her God that she now had epilepsy. To her, God had not changed. So if she was now going to have to worship him with epilepsy, well then she would because that's just what lovers of God do. They don't let anything stop them.

My last tear may not have fallen that day, but one thing I do know. When I "stood still," I gazed upon a God whose eyes were so fixed on my baby that it caused light to pierce the jet-black sheet of night. A love I'd so quickly forgotten because I had allowed this struggle to overshadow my heart with doubt and fear. God parted my "Red Sea" to remind me that afflictions are often songs in disguise - melodies that can draw us closer to a lovesick God. Esther taught us to dance again to our "Love's" song, no matter where He may lead. As long as the Lord is with us, we really shouldn't care.

BEAUTY IN SUFFERING

A couple of months ago our newsletter contained an audio segment from Molly. Many listened and were blessed by that important message. I recently asked Molly to do another audio clip on the subject of suffering.

Many today are dealing with heartache and disappointment. It is during these times, that we have an opportunity to go much deeper with God. He has given us the ability to experience a level of His grace that is only reserved for those who are suffering. Please be encouraged as you listen to Molly's short message:

http://ardormedia.podbean.com/mf/web/qjnfi/Beautyinsuffering4.mp3

The readiest way to escape from our suffering is, to be willing they should endure as long as God pleases. - John Wesley

TIMES OF REFREASHING

This past month, we were blessed to have David Ravenhill come and minister to a coalition of local churches. Every night the crowds grew with over seven hundred the final evening. Some older saints commented that they had not heard such holiness preaching in years. Many came down to the altar seeking God for revival in their lives and in our community. It was so encouraging to see Charismatic and Evangelical churches working together to fulfill God's will.

All the pastors involved felt something strategic had happened. We sensed a significant spiritual breakthrough had occurred. We are now looking forward, with anticipation, to the joint Good Friday service on April 6th. Last year nearly 3,000 attended. This year, Pastor Rich Scherber, the Executive Director of Minnesota Teen Challenge, will be the keynote speaker.

Oh God, continue to transform our communities so that the Lamb that was slain may receive the reward of His suffering!