Monday, July 20, 2015

Where's The Ledge By Wes Willett

WHERE'S THE LEDGE?
Written By Wes Willett


1 Cor 13:1
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.


So there we were, on the mission field in Albania. God was moving in one of the most powerful displays of His gospel I'd ever seen. Six people had already come to know Christ earlier in the week; we had our eyes on a seventh, though! Her name was Yasha. She was a beautiful young girl that lived a few hours from where we were holding our meetings. One of the striking things about Yasha's situation, was that her Mother and sister were two of the first folks to receive Christ earlier that week, so of course our hearts and hopes were set high for Yasha to know the same Savior that her mother and sister now did. 

As the week drug on, something interesting began to dawn on me. A gospel that seemed almost irresistible to Yasha's mother and sister, for some reason, lay out of reach for Yasha herself. She simply would not respond. She didn't respond to the first call, the second call or third and so on.
We were there for ten days and the gospel was given all week long.

As our team geared up for the last evenings small-group, our hearts were excited about the work God had done, but there was also a sense of urgency, knowing that 15 year old, Yasha, had resisted every attempt to reach her. It was the last night of the last meeting. Pastor Eric was speaking privately to our little group when Gracie(my daughter) interrupted him and blurted out, "I'm sorry for interrupting, but would you all pray for me? I believe God is telling me to talk to Yasha! I'm nervous," she said, with tears rimming her eyes.

Well, the part of the story that I've neglected to mention, is that Gracie and Yasha had become fast friends over the week we had spent in Albania. Wherever Gracie was, Yasha was...
This should have been a clue to me(but it wasn't). The ground work had been laid right in front of me, I just didn't see it yet. The ground work had been laid, but not by pastors and their acumen. The ground work had been laid by friendship; the simplicity of two young girls, an ocean apart, who found a friend in each other.

Wow...did I ever miss this one. There was an earnestness in Gracie's plea that was a jolt for me. Suddenly, all of my training, all of my theology began to melt right in front of my eyes, and left standing in its place, was the love my daughter felt for another girl, just like herself...her friend. While I had been busy that week, pouring over apologetics, trying my best to persuade Yasha, to explain to her the difference between our God(Jehovah) and all of the other Gods of the world, Gracie was making a friend. The irony of this story is almost humorous if it didn't cut so deep. I was actually worried about Gracie. It was my daughter's first international missions trip and I was a dad trying to protect her. I was afraid that she would come across someone of the Muslim religion that would tangle her up in her young faith. I was afraid that she would not be ready to handle a theological debate.

You see the difference? I was busy trying to "persuade" Yasha to God, while Gracie was loving a new friend right into the arms of the Savior. Do you see the cut now?



John 3:16 says:
For God so "loved" the world. 
He didn't persuade the world. He didn't win them with a 5 point summery on soteriology. He won them by loving them. I was the sounding brass. God help me. The tinkling symbol...was me.


So, there we stood, a hand full of missionaries at the precipice of faith, and my own daughter walks up to the edge with obedience in her eyes. What's a dad to do? I prayed, and as I prayed for her, God revealed what was lacking in me. He showed me that I cannot walk out my daughter's calling for her. Lord knows I tried. Some callings are just not ours to walk. Gracie had to own obedience just like we all do. Frankly, He showed me that I was in the way, that I needed to step aside, and let His daughter step up to that ledge and leap with everything she's got, so she can know the joy of a never failing embrace, an embrace stronger than my own, and the strength that can only come on the other side of a faith that has been tested. 

We both grew a little that day. But me probably the most.


O yeah, do you know what Gracie said to, Yasha? She told Yasha that she would see her mom and sister again someday in heaven, but she didn't know if she would get to see her again. She told Yasha that she wanted to see her again, just like her family. 

Yasha excepted Christ that night.


Where is the flaw in a Gospel like that? That's right, there isn't one. Gracie might not be a pastor, but through her, God reached one little girl that 3 pastors could not. We tried...

Where is the ledge of faith in your life? Who has God placed close to you that a pastor cannot reach?
If you need a clue, start where fear meets love, walk up to the edge, and jump like Gracie!
Wes

Monday, June 29, 2015

SEND North American Conference August 3th & 4th

Ministry Focus Of The Week

This year NAMB has partnered with the IMB for the Send North America Conference  and promises to be one of the largest missions conference gathering in North American history. This two day event is a gathering and movement for the people within the church to live out a life of missions. This conference isn't just for Pastors and Lay persons, this conference is for business men and women, grandmothers and grandfathers, contractors, ect.  A list of speakers includes Platt, Matt Carter, Louie Giglio, Al Mohler and Eric Mason, among others. Worship sessions will be led by Passion Band, Casting Crowns, David Crowder and Shane and Shane.
 SPEAKERS:WORSHIP: 
 David Platt
Matt Carter
Louie Giglio
Al Mohler
Eric Mason
Passion Band
Casting Crowns
David Crowder
Shane and Shane
 
If you would like to know a little  more about the leaders of the conference, just click on their names above. We hope that you will join us in a God given opportunity to have two huge organizations come to Nashville to talk about the church and missions. You can register FREE with TSC if you are interested in going to this two day event. If you have any questions please feel free to email Pastor Reagan. This is a free opportunity, don't miss out. See you at the event!!!
Contact: reagan@tsclife.org
Read More at: sendconference.com

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ministry Focus of the Week "Unchained Movement"

Ministry Focus Of The Week
Unchained Movement


By Mikayla Lewis

Nearly 100 mid-state teens become sex trafficking victims each month, according to Unchained Movement. The non-profit is trying to close in on the number, by opening up a residential program for survivors. Unchained Movement’s first transitional home is set to open this Wednesday. Kakeisha Brown is a survivor. She was lured into the dark world at 12-years-old and finally got out at age 33. Brown says," The shame and the guilt…it's a lot of work and I don't think a lot of people understand." She says a residential program helped her get her life on track. Brown says, " I didn't have real job or things to put on a resume. The structure of the program was like the main thing and the best thing because that was the foundation."

Brown is now the program coordinator for Unchained Movement. She is working with the founder, Rachel Irby to open the home for female survivors between the ages of 18-24. Irby says,"They tend to fall through the cracks because you have an 18- year-old in a program with a 40-year-old . We are looking to do a program that's more high energy, it's going to get them out more in the community. We're trying to work slowly on changing someone's mind and the way they view things. " The program will serve up to six young women at a time, typically for about a year. The clients will attend therapeutic and educational services, addiction recovery, case management and learn life and job skills. With the help of volunteers renovating, the home is complete with furniture and d├ęcor donations from the community. Irby says, "It really feels like a home now. It really does meet with the vision that we had to provide a safe and therapeutic place for girls."

Brown says, " I get to share my experience, strength and hope with these women and let them know that the program does work. Women can get out of the life and live a successful life." Unchained Movement is looking for a variety of volunteers.

To learn more about Unchained and how you can be involved, contact:
Rachel Irby, UNCHAINED Executive Director (480) 258-2777
or
visit: UnchainedMovement.org

Read More at: fox17.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Restored Church Has A New HOME!!!!





In 2014, Restored Church received a $100,000 grant from The Luzerne Foundation. The donors said they have seen Restored remain faithful in small things, and they believe that our church can be entrusted with greater things! We couldn't be more thankful for their generosity.

On Friday, we closed on an existing church property about a mile from our current Gathering location. Click Here to see the pictures of their New Church. The final purchase price was $98,400 for a church building, parking lot, and 7 bedroom house! Our re-grand opening will be September 13th!

This means we will have no mortgage payments, but we will need to fundraise for minor renovations. We have 6 interns this summer; 4 of them (all guys) will live in the house as part of their internship program. We'll stay at the current Downtown Arts location for Sunday Gatherings through the summer.
On Facebook this morning a guy from our area wrote this:

 "Although I have never attended services at Restored, I talk to people everyday who are coming to know Jesus through your ministry. The Spirit is really working through all of you."
God IS faithful, and he continues to confirm our vision to give every man, woman, & child in Wilkes-Barre repeated opportunities to hear, see, and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ!

~ Dan & Joy Nichols


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nepal Earthquake, Baptist Relief Efforts Aid Survival




Despite advanced planning for such an event, the people of Nepal are reeling from damage in the aftermath of a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Kathmandu Valley April 25. As the death toll rises, aftershocks hinder rescue efforts and cause more uncertainty. IMB can confirm that all personnel in South Asia are safe, and some are now involved in relief efforts in Nepal.
Baptist Global Response, the Southern Baptist humanitarian organization with which IMB partners, released $50,000 for initial relief efforts in the aftermath of Nepal’s massive earthquake. This quick response provides hurting people with basic survival needs like water, shelter, food and healthcare. Your donations to BGR’s Nepal Earthquake Response Fund will provide continued emergency response as needs rise in the disaster area.


Pray for the people of Nepal and those who are providing relief.