On May 21 Donna and I celebrated our 30thwedding anniversary. After three decades I still believe Donna is awesome. Donna has modeled a purity and simplicity of devotion to Jesus. She came to faith early in life and served God fervently as a child, teenager and young woman. She wanted to be a pastor’s wife starting at 9 years old. She is the most complete package of love I have ever seen. Donna excels at serving, mothering, teaching, listening, integrity, hard work and giving. Besides teaching children with special needs, she handles all of the administrative load for Grace Adventures. We’ve shared joys and weathered storms. We’ve dreamed dreams and entered the “Plan B’s.” God’s grace has always abounded.
I love the story told about Pete Flaherty, a county commissioner in Pittsburgh, and his wife, Nancy. They were standing on the sidewalk surveying a city construction project, when one of the laborers at the site called out to them. “Nancy, remember me?” he asked. “We used to date in high school.” Later Pete teased her. “Aren’t you glad you married me? Just think, if you had married him, you would be the wife of a construction worker.” Nancy looked at him and said, “No, if I would have married him, he would have been a county commissioner!”
I can relate to that story and shudder to think where I’d be without this woman. Donna is indeed my secret weapon in life and ministry.
Open Doors with Leaders
I continue to ask for prayer for open doors. If Paul had to ask for prayer for open doors … I far more (Colossians 4:2-6). I desire to be led by the Spirit and go where He leads humbly yet boldly. My message is not the therapeutic gospel, prosperity gospel, political gospel, self-salvation gospel or social gospel, but the gospel of grace in our Lord Jesus Christ. It was said of Francis of Assisi – he did not love humanity but men … he did not love Christianity but Christ … he did not fall in love with church; he fell in love with Jesus. His religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love affair. This is what I desire and want others to experience.
On May 24 I was commissioned as the Honorary Chaplain for the Day with the Louisiana House of Representatives at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge and opened the session in prayer. What an honor and open door. I spent nearly 5 hours interacting with our elected leaders. I renewed some cherished friendships and connected with numbers of new leaders. Please pray for our leaders (1Timothy 2:1-2). They work tirelessly. So many commented to me how much they desire prayer because the job is so big and complicated. I told them I would pray and encourage others to pray for them. Would you pray right now for these leaders and your leaders?
Heart for the Harvest Seminar Training
There are many people today who would like to know God in a personal way. Unfortunately few people actually know how to help their friends know God. For this reason I am currently training six different groups to relationally share their faith. This seminar teaches people, who are enjoying a relationship with God, how they can talk with their friends about having a relationship with God in a very real and relevant way.
The seminar is entitled: HEART FOR THE HARVEST or practically, “I Can Do It!” If you would like this seminar done for your group, church or location, let me know. It can be done over 1-5 hours and is complete with multimedia, workbooks, discussion and PowerPoint. Also, the 12 “BIG” QUESTIONS apologetic training is available to groups, churches, and singles, college and high school groups as well. We are to be ready to share the hope that is in us (1Peter 3:15).
Prayer for upcoming opportunities:
1. Preparation for fall Men’s Retreats
Faith Community Church, Camden, Delaware, October 12-14
Forcey Bible Church, Silver Spring, Maryland, October 19-21
Burke Community Church, Burke, Virginia, November 2-4
2. Praise for speaking opportunities with the Rotary Club, Dental group, weddings, memorial service, Urban Impact, preaching at Victory Bible Church, Louisiana Legislature, Bible studies, and six current Heart for the Harvest 5-week seminars. Pray for transformation, good contacts and follow-up. Pray for new open doors in the community particularly in uncharted, pioneering spaces.
3. Pray God’s grace and provision for the family and friends of Bruce Cucchiara and for his murderer to be found.
4. Praise God for many opportunities to encourage pastors who are on the frontlines of the battle.
5. Pray for Donna, Jonathan and Patricia for refreshment amidst busy schedules.
6. Pray that I reflect well on Isa. 31:1, 3 “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses, Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the Lord!…The Egyptians are men, and not God; And their horses are flesh, and not spirit.”
7. Praise for Urban Impact and Castle Rock Church getting into their new renovated facility in Central City. We have been working on this for years. It is a reality!!!