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Here and There Church Seminars
In recent times we have provided Marriage Seminars for churches. One was there (Huntingdon, England) and one here (Jacksonville, Florida).
Strengthening The Church: Marriage Seminar – We recently had the privilege of providing a Marriage Seminar for Christ Church Huntingdon in England. This church is an Anglican Church-plant originating from Cambridge. It is less than a year old and growing! Pastor Charlie Newcombe along with his wife Emma, recognize that the spiritual health of a church is directly related to the spiritual health of the family. We were excited to provide a seminar with a focus of keeping marriages not only healthy but vibrant, exciting and growing! We addressed topics including; the transformation of the heart, expectations, “hearing” the real message!, going deeper and much more! We were more than pleased with the response and the feedback. In fact Pastor Charlie made incredibly detailed notes during the seminar and sent them to every member of the church! We feel a heart connection with Charlie, Emma and the church and look forward to future times together
RiverTown Church – Beginning in mid-January and finishing early February we had the privilege of providing a 4 part seminar on strengthening marriages. It was great to get to know Pastor Dan Adams, his lovely wife Amber and the fine people that attended the seminar. Rivertown is a church on the move! It was great to spend time with a group of people who are strengthening their community as well as reaching out to the world around them!
Republic of Georgia Part 2 – Missionaries in Training
While I was in the Republic of Georgia (See below) I was invited to teach a group of missionary interns from Bethany University. These young and amazing students were spending 16 months in the Field in preparation for completing their college degrees. After graduation many will launch into careers in ministry and a number will become full time missionaries. My topic was “Longevity in the Mission Field”. My true focus of the teaching was “maintaining passion in the midst of ministry”. It was a joy for me to engage with these students who carried zealous hearts and bright eyes! My goal was to plant seeds that the Holy Spirit will water and nurture until one day, many years from now, they will be able to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course and I have kept the faith”. (2 Timothy 4:7)
A Grief Observed – After we had our community gathering where I spoke on grief and opened up space for grieving one of the young interns penned these words:
I am in mourning and I am in grieving. It’s not a place that I necessarily want to be in but this is where I am. This world is not easy but I have HOPE. Jesus died on Friday. There was despair. On Sunday He rose! But no one talks about Saturday. Why?
Does this day have any significance?
We talk about the hard days.
We talk about the joys of life.
But rarely do we talk about the struggle.
As a follower of Christ I know that hard times will come but rest assured I also know that hope will come.
But what must I do in the waiting? I’ve got to tell you that I wrestle with God. I pray and am real with him. I tell him how hurt, angry and confused I am. And I wait. And I cry. And somewhere along the way He answers me.
And the hope that I was waiting for and longing for and searching for meets me in my distress.
He will never leave me abandoned. He will never leave me fending for myself. He will never leave me lacking because he will provide my every need because…He is God. There is no one like him.
He’s my father and my friend. He’s all I need…but for some reason he provides so much more than all I could ever ask.
If you are reading this I want to encourage you to seek him. He welcomes you, me and all of his children with open arms. He wants to be with you in the struggle just as much as he wants to be near you in times of victory. He wants to help you. Don’t push him away when he just wants to be with you.
This is my life right now. It’s a struggle but it’s so worth living when my God answers. It’s so worth it when I hear from Him and he speaks to me! I have a purpose and a reason to wake up every day. I have assured hope and not only do I have the rest of my life with God to look forward to but the rest of eternity.
The Republic of Georgia – Grief Counseling – October 2018
I flew to the Republic of Georgia on September 29th. I was there to provide grief counseling in the wake of the tragic and violent deaths of the Smith family, Americans serving there as missionaries. My time was spent between gathering together in groups as well as meeting with individuals. I spent time with missionaries and with immigrants of Azerbaijan (a Muslim nation) known as the Azeris people. We prayed, we wept, we looked at the reality of grief expressed in the Psalms, we talked about personal loss – and we prayed again. The missionaries were happily amazed at how many Azeris people attended our gathering. They were also amazed at how many Azeris people met with me one-on-one and one family even inviting me into their home. It was a difficult time for those who knew and loved the Smith family but I believe the Lord met each one in a special and unique way and brought a measure of much needed heart-comfort.