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Category Archives: Ministry

Back from Texas, Glad to be Home

Texas LogoWell, God may have “blessed Texas with His own hands” as the song goes, but I sure am glad to be back home in Michigan.  For those of you who didn’t know, I was in Frisco, Texas these past few days at a conference for my new church job in Kalamazoo.  I was blessed that the leadership team decided to send me down at the last moment.  I learned a lot that I believe will really help me to do the job of assimilation with excellence.

As having to go out of town goes, it was a pretty nice setup.  The conference was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center of Frisco.  We stayed in the hotel as well, and if you have never stayed in an Embassy Suites then you need to try it at least once before you die!  It was also good to get to know some of my fellow laborers in the ministry on a more casual level.  I walked away from the weekend with a renewed understanding of how much the Lord has blessed Amy and I by putting these kinds of people into our lives.  I can already see how the Lord is going to use events like this to mold and grow us into the people he wants us to be.

Well, I sure did miss my family and my friends.  I am glad to be home, and Pat, we’ll definitely catch up this week.

be blessed…
-pastorj

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Posted by on May 20, 2007 in General, Ministry, Personal Life

 

So Where Have I Been?

Sick MouseI know that I haven’t been very good at getting my devotional thoughts up for the past few days.  This been, primarily, because I have not been feeling very good.  I have had some form of a cold for almost 5 weeks now.  I thought that I was over it and then 2 days ago, it snuck up and punched me in the stomach again.  Last night I laid down after dinner and ended up falling asleep.  I pretty much slept until 7:30 this morning.  Ugghhh…  I am going to the doctor’s office in about an hour – I have put it off long enough!

 On the up side, I had my first meeting @ KVFC yesterday.  It was very encouraging.  I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but I could tell that I am going to enjoy serving with this group of people.  It was nice to be with a group of people that were ready to actually hit the road running and serve the Lord in whatever way that He is calling us to.  My first official day on the job is today, but I am unsure if my health will permit me to go or not.  Please pray that I would get better fast!

CathedralOh yeah!  There is some other exciting news from the church front right now too…  If you haven’t heard, KVFC recently purchased the Cathedral of Christ the King property which includes this magnificent building and 28 acres in Portage off I-94 and Oakland Drive.  The plan is to build a brand new 80,000 square foot facility next to the Cathedral.  It is very exciting to be involved in this ministry during such a time of growth and God’s blessing!  You can read more about the purchase by clicking here to read the Kalamazoo Gazette article
Be Blessed My Friends!!!
-pastorj

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2007 in General, Ministry, Personal Life

 

The End of One Crazy Week or The Beginning of Another…

I feel that I have so much to say, but feel unable to say much of it.  Some parts of this week have been downright unpleasant, while other parts have been pretty good.  Amy and I are in this weird state of limbo right now.  We believe that our next step is to move to the Portage/Kalamazoo area and serve there, but so much is left undone that we can’t just pick up and go.  For one, our house hasn’t sold yet.  Today, we are lowering the price another $15,000 and having a big open house with advertising from Battle Creek to Jackson.  At the same time, we feel really torn about selling the house.  We are ready to get out of Marshall, but not ready to leave Amy’s parents here.  Our relationship with them has grown so much in the past months that we really enjoy living next door and having the relationships with them that we do.  The thought of us leaving is hard on them as well.  BUT, I am no quite sure how long I can drive to Kalamazoo every day before I go insane, so the time will come to move -it’s just a matter of when.

I also feel in a weird state of ministry limbo.  I am more at peace about leaving FWCF than I ever thought I would be, but I am a little anxious to see exactly what the Lord is doing with us next.  At first, it seemed clear that the Lord was opening a door for us to start a new ministry job in Portage in short order.  Now it appears that although that there will be some sort of ministry job in Portage, it may not start in such short order.  Which is really quite okay with me, because I have really enjoyed working for my father in the interim.  He really needs the help and I need the job, but more than that I think the Lord is drawing us closer and taking our relationship to a new level.

At the same time, the Lord is working in a mighty way in and through my family.  Now that more people have come to know Jesus as Lord, it is becoming like a spiderweb of God’s love moving through my family.   We have had some tough times (with my Aunt near death at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo), but the Lord is moving even through those events.  This week I had the opportunity to spend time with one of my uncles that is really going after God hard and wanted some direction.  Without getting into the details, this in and of itself is an amazing work that the Lord is doing.

Well, I didn’t really talk about the part of the week that I called “downright unpleasant” earlier in this post.  I don’t want to say too much, but the situation that caused this unpleasantness was a reminder to me that the attempted manipulation of the spiritual realm to support ones personal assertions is one of the most ugly things that we as Christians can do to the church and to one another.  I don’t want to dwell on this stuff, but I also don’t want to miss how the Lord would grow me in and through these sorts of conflicts.  As I did my devotions this morning, the Lord used 1 Corinthians 11:17-19 to remind me of this.  Check it out…

Thank you for your continued prayers…

be blessed
-pastorj

 

Big News and a Busy Week

By now many of you have already heard that I have resigned my position as pastor of Four Winds Christian Fellowship in Marshall, MI.  For some time now, Amy and I have felt the Lord leading us elsewhere but did not know where or what the timing would be.  After much prayer and seeking the Lord we believed that we found the right time to move on.  We resigned last Monday and are now earnestly seeking the Lord on our future direction.  There seems to be the possibility of a ministry job opening up in Portage for me, but we are still seeking the face of the Lord on that matter.  Amy and I both are so excited to see what the Lord has planned for our future.  As the song says, “our future is wide open”.  Wherever he leads us, we will go!

 On top of all this happening, it has been a busy week.  Yesterday I met with one of the leaders at the church in Portage to see whether the Lord was opening that door.  I am hoping to hear back from them today or tomorrow.  In the mean time, Amy and I are preparing to lead worship on a missions trip in Gulfport, Mississippi.  I am excited for the opportunity we have to work together on this trip.  After the trip, we are planning on taking a brief retreat of our own in Georgia.  Please pray that the Lord will guide us in some of the big decisions we have to make in the coming weeks.

be blessed
-pastorj

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2007 in General, Ministry, Personal Life

 

Being a part of the Fiercly Loyal Minority…

In Romans 11:2-7 (click to read), Paul is helping us to understand exactly where Israel falls into the new covenant.  As I read about that “fierce loyal minority” that existed in the time of Elijah, I couldn’t help but question my own loyalty to the Lord.  Paul describes this loyal minority as “holding on, not because of what they think they’re going to get out of it, but because they’re convinced of God’s grace and purpose in choosing them. If they were only thinking of their own immediate self-interest, they would have left long ago.” 

So the question is this, what do we do when the going gets tough?  Ready for some honesty with yourself?  I think sometimes it becomes so easy to think that the Christian life is going to be a bed of freshly picked wildflowers just waiting for us to frolic in.  But do you remember Jesus always challenging people to “count the cost”?  He challenged people in this way because he truly understood the cost of really following after God.  If we walk where Christ leads us, we WILL walk into hardship – there is no way around that.  But I have found that one can easily manufacture a “Christian walk” that is without hardship.  This is done by ignoring the calls of God on ones life and pursuing your own way.  Don’t believe me?  Listen to what Paul says about the Jews who tried to do the same thing in the time of Elijiah: “When Israel tried to be right with God on her own, pursuing her own self-interest, she didn’t succeed. The chosen ones of God were those who let God pursue his interest in them, and as a result received his stamp of legitimacy. The “self-interest Israel” became thick-skinned toward God.

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Posted by on March 2, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts, Ministry

 

A Must Read Book…

The Emotionally Health ChurchOkay, now I rarely ever recommed books, but there is a book that I am reading right now that every christian should read.  It is called, “The Emotionally Healthy Church” by Peter Scazzero.  Peter Scazzero is the pastor of a somewhat large multi-national, multi-racial church in Queens, New York.  Through some difficult personal, ministry and interpersonal ordeals the Lord did some amazing business with him in regards to his emotional world.  In this book, Pastor Scazerro illuminates how the church seems to continually supress the emotional side of our life while subsequently trying to “go deeper” in the spiritual realm.  As a result we end up with a faux spirituality that serves as thin veneer over our fragil and sometimes explosive emotional worlds.  He reminds us that God made us “human beings” not “human doings”.  This book has really come into my life during time of intense adjustment from the Lord into all areas my emotional world.  He is using it to remind me that it is okay to have emotions…  That means that is okay to be happy, sad, frustrated, etc.  But if we don’t address those emotions in a way that really incorporates the whole of who we are, we will eventually fall prey to those very same emotions – They will eventually cave in on you, and along with them your entire spiritual AND emotional world.  Our entire leadership @ FWCF is reading this book right now.  I believe that every Christian would benefit tremendously by reading this book.  If you click the book cover (above right), it will take you to the Amazon website where you can read an excerpt from the book and buy it if you choose.  Be blessed…

-pastorj

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2007 in Ministry