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Category Archives: Prayer

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

 

Time to Head Back to Reality… Bummer eh?

Southern PinesThe time has come to leave our plush temporary vacation home in North Carolina basking in the mid-70’s temps and head back to mid 30’s temps of Michigan (or as Amy’s mom calls it – Popsicle land).  I do love living in Michigan, but coming back to that kind of weather is always kind of tough.  The last few days here have been absolutely enjoyable.  We have spent a bunch of time just relaxing, some shopping and a little sight seeing as well.  Yesterday we drove to Raleigh.  There we visited the North Carolina Museum of Science.  They have an extraordinary whale exhibit with several amazingly large whale skeletons.  It was a huge museum with a lot of interesting things to see.  Best of all, it was free!  We found a little dinner and then went to the I-MAX theatre and saw an amazing 3-D movie about Sharks.  It was so cool; it re-ignited my passion for scuba diving and snorkeling…

Well, I am happy to be heading back home, but there are some not so pleasant things awaiting my return.  Some of it is just the messiness of change.  Amy and I have so much change in front of us in the next couple months and there is always a bit of uneasiness during these seasons as many of you know.  For those that aren’t up to speed, I resigned my position at Four Winds after sensing the Lord leading us to serve at a church in Portage.  The next couple of months will be filled with the selling of our house, moving, wrapping up loose ends at one church and getting settled, connected and plugged into the new things the Lord is calling us to.  So, your continued prayers for peace during this exciting time would be much appreciated.

be blessed…
-pastorj

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2007 in Personal Life, Prayer

 

Vacation update and a BIG Prayer Request

After a couple days of enjoyable driving, Amy and I have arrived at the ministry retreat home called “Renewal House” in Southern Pines, NC.  The name of the city says it all.  Southern Pines is a beautiful city with about 15 golf courses within 5 square miles totally surrounded by beautiful pine trees.  The house we are staying in is absolutely huge and very beautiful.  It is quite a blessing to be able to stay here.  We will decompress here for about a week and then head back home.  There is a lot of change on our plates when we return, so this week will be a welcome retreat.

Pray For…Now I would like to covet your prayers for a major thing that is playing out in my extended family right now.  My aunt Rose (my dad’s brother Brad’s wife) has been in critical condition in Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo for over a week now.  She has some sort of major infection all through her body.  They are basically keeping her alive with machines and can’t seem to get her to turn a corner for the better.  They tried to operate on her last week to remove something that is appearing in her lungs, but she flat lined and the had to resuscitate her.  They canceled the surgery and she is basically in limbo.  PLEASE PRAY that Lord would move in and through this.  I am not sure if she really knows the Lord, nor much of her family.  I am asking God that he would totally heal her and glorify himself through this.  Thank you for your prayers…

 -justin

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2007 in Personal Life, Prayer

 

Good Morning from Mississippi!

Pray For…Yesterday was yet another good day down here in Mississippi.  The only bummer since we have been down here is that Amy hasn’t been feeling well.  She seems to have some sort of cold.  So please pray for her, that she would be totally healed and able to participate in everything that is going on.

So I woke up this morning, groggily tried to get some breakfast shoveled into my mouth and headed  back to our room to do my morning devotions.  The thing that caught my eye today was in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.  The main reason I put the text for the day as a link is because I do my devotions from Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation of the bible.

I really like how Peterson translated this passage.  It says, “…I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view”   Even in the early church, there was this tendency of wanting to build impenetrable walls between the church and the world.  And while Paul did value walking as “called out ones” he realized that part of the vary nature of our call as Christians is to GO!  Somehow this has become so contrary to how the church operates today.  Somehow we have become all about getting the unsaved to enter our world.  Paul was saying, we need to alter our attitudes and personalities in such a way that we can enter into the worlds of the non-believers and actually make an impact.

I heard a song on Christian radio today that said something along the lines that you and I may be the only Jesus that some people ever get to see.  The point was to make the most of the relationships and opportunities that the Lord gives to us.  I must confess that these domestic mission trips are difficult for me.  For whatever reason it is difficult for me to empathize with the plight of the average American.  But this scripture reminded me that every opportunity that we have is a blessing from the Lord.  My prayer for all of us today is that we would make the most of every opportunity, but also, as Paul did, that we would enter into new worlds asking the Lord for even more opportunities to be Jesus to this world…

be blessed
-pastorj

 
 

A Quick Saga… But Arrived Safe and Blessed

Okay, first I have to start by telling you of my interesting car saga.  I so wanted to be able to take the Cadillac on our trip down to Mississippi.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  It is big, comfortable, rides nice and believe it or not, not too bad on the gas.  But, alas, there have been a couple issues with the car of late that would make it a pain in the rear to take on the trip.  There was this weird thumping coming out of the front end and the power driver’s seat kept blowing a fuse (so it would be stuck in Amy’s position OR my position).  So I took it in before I headed down to Mexico a couple weeks back.  They fixed the thumping (some bad stabilizing rods – yeah, I don’t know what they are either) and they said that they fixed the seat (some corrosion on the connectors), but that they noticed some problems with the front breaks and we should think about re-doing the entire front end breaks.  I though, no problem, I have done that before.  So, I went ahead and re-did the breaks.  New rotors, new pads – went perfectly.  Only one problem, the shaking didn’t go away.  So I took it in to have the tires balanced and rotated.  This is when I found out that the tires were bad – at first I was sure I was getting hosed, but upon inspection they did need to be replaced.  I won’t even dare to keep a running total of how much this is all costing me.  Okay, now I have new tires, new brakes – the world is right.  Wrong.  So I replaced the front rotors, AGAIN, but alas, the shaking is still there.  Granted it is only like 10% of what it used to be so I am just dealing with it until I return.  But that isn’t the real saga…

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Posted by on March 30, 2007 in Missions, Prayer

 

Ugghh… In Matamoros

Late last night I started feeling pretty sick.  I think it was a little food poisoning.  So the short of it is this, I still feel pretty poopy.  I slept most of today and just tried to get up.  I had to drive someone to their house to get something and that about took it out of me.  I really wanted to head over to Reynosa tomorrow to see some friends.  Pray that I will feel better.

-justin

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2007 in Missions, Prayer

 

Prayer Concerns for the Coming Week

Pray For…Happy Monday to you all! Many of you know that I will be heading off to Mexico this week to lead worship on a missions trip. As I prepare to leave, there are several issues that could use some prayer covering. I would very much appreciate your prayers in the following areas:

1. Amy – For her safety and peace while I am away.

2. FWCF Youth Group – Pray especially for Paula and Tim as they lead the discussions while I am gone. Also pray for all the young people in the YG, as we are in a transitory phase – that they would be hungry for God!!

3. FWCF Technical Teams – That everything would go well, especially with the NEW systems, in my absence.

4. Mexico Missions Team – Please pray that every participant would hear from the Lord and be willing to go where HE leads. Pray that worship bonds us together in the spirit and that we would enter into HIS presence…

Thank you so much for your prayers. Please leave a comment or email me if you get anything from the Lord in these matters.

be blessed
-pastorj

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2007 in Prayer