9/22/2013

Good News from my brother!

I talked to my Texas brother, Brian, last night.  He was so excited!  God has led him to plant churches among cowboys, hunters, and fishermen.  He has started a number of churches among these people groups, and their goal is for each church plant to start a new church each year.  He just ordained 4 new pastors in the past two weeks!  The Texas Baptist Association has gotten on board with what he is doing and is assisting. (God led him to do this on his own after he was laid off from a church when the economy tanked)

His church model is unique in that he plants churches among people with common interests and holds services and Bible studies based on their time schedules.  For example, services are held for hunters in a room at a sporting goods store on a Wednesday or Thursday night.

He says he is learning what it means to "abide in Christ" and to pray without ceasing.  God is constantly leading people to him that need Jesus or prayer or who are interested in starting churches.  He says that now God is leading him to work with the black community--inner city where people are afraid to go.  He has been counseling one family, and God sent a black woman to him who wanted prayer.  Last year, he started a church in the Hispanic community after God led him in a similar way.

He said that the other night, God told him to stop at a fire station and go to the back, so he obeyed.  He didn't know why.  The captain came out and asked if he needed help, so Brian asked if they needed a chaplain.  The captain said maybe, but I think God sent you to me because my wife just found out that she has pancreatic cancer, and I need someone to pray with me.

Brian says that God is leading him to counsel people who have committed great sin to forgive themselves and forget the past.  They don't have to live in the past, but can now move forward with Christ.  He also challenges people who want to blame and condemn others to encourage and build up each other instead.

These were the exact same things a friend and I had been learning in a Beth Moore Bible study--about forgiveness of ourselves and others, and also knowing the grace of God which leads to forgiveness, love, freedom and hope for ourselves and others.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!