Category Archives: Ministry News

Spring with the Moodys

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Cute dog? Well, it has more meaning than just that. Last Friday, that picture and four others were mailed off to the artist to begin sketching for Spring with the Moodys. This picture of “Maple” (actually Lady in real life) will be used by the artist for her drawings. For each chapter of a Moodys book, we decide what we want for the illustration. Then we need to get a photograph of what it should look like so the artist knows what to draw.

The basic text is in, and I am working on revising and editing before the book goes to the proofreader. I’m hoping by the middle of next year that Spring will be out. Your prayers are greatly appreciated, as I’ve found this book to be the most challenging of all four thus far.

Joyfully His,
Sarah

Courage in Action

This email is shared with permission from the courageous dad who threw out the beast from his home as pictured previously. He is already starting to see the good fruit such a decision produces.

What we’ve done:

Removed the TV from the Living Room and placed it in the garage. It’s rather large (as you could see from the picture) so it’s not something the trash people will take without prior arrangements. It sat in our living room until Thursday night, when I had a friend over who could help me move it. It felt like a weight was lifted. Since the TV weighs 220 lbs, a weight was lifted down 2 flights of stairs, much easier than UP I can tell you. It was a constant source of temptation in the house (I can fix a cut cord easily, and I can remove/replace a simple plexiglass clear screen that was written on as well). Now that it’s in the garage, we get no more questions from the kids about wanting to watch TV.

Started daily devotions. We’re starting in John and finished Chapter 3 tonight (8th day of devotions). I’ve also started reading a Psalm at the end of the devotions. Some have been very difficult as we’ve been on the go a lot lately due to pre-existing commitments and we were doing them without naps on occasion, but they have been done each day without exception.

Removed all video games (ouch €¦ from someone who has been playing them for 30 years) from the house except the Game Boy because it was given to me by a friend and he may want it back. It hasn’t been touched however except to move it out of the way. Cancelled Cable, ESPN Insider, Blockbuster online, File Planet (Video Game demo and patch download service), GameTap and XM radio. Rough cost savings per month = $150.00.

Started removing non-edifying media. Edifying is defined as Christian media and secular non-fiction (biographies, textbooks, etc). More to do here, but it’s happening in time.

Dismantled the entertainment center and reconfigured for stereo/cd use only.

Started Bible memorization with the boys. My three year old son has memorized 3 scripture verses and my two year old son has memorized one. Joshua 24:15 (both), Deut. 6:4 and Matt. 22:39
 
Challenges

It’s tough not even paying attention to things you did before. I am finding it difficult to not check football scores on Sunday (and failing today) and not to get caught up in things that had my attention before.

It is a lot tougher to supervise a 2 and 3.5 year old when you have no other help and no TV to pawn them off on. We have started integrating them into getting some chores done, but that has its own set of challenges. Right now, trying to clean up the mess we’ve made has prevented getting a new schedule really worked on (nights and such are spent cleaning up all the stuff that was around before) and the chore pack definitely comes after the schedule.

Effects

For the first time since our oldest was 3 months old (or thereabouts) we were able to sit through a singing worship service at our church AND ENJOY IT! Praise the Lord. We took our boys out for pizza as a reward.

Devotions are rough, but getting better.

I’m actually trying to put God first in what I do. We have a morning schedule where we both get a half hour with the Lord before breakfast each day. We have not faltered from this since the conference.
 
To Do’s

Work on the vision statement and goals. The vision statement is pretty much done but I’m scrapping my work with goals so far as I don’t like it. Praying for some insight as I feel stalled. I might resort to using your goals list in Keeping Our Children’s Hearts as a template and customizing it for our family.

Hammer out a schedule. My wife is handling this and we have a temporary one in place but it needs more refining. Finish clearing out the trash and reconfiguring the house. The garage is packed as well and needs to be cleared out.
 
Thanks for listening and holding parents everywhere accountable for their actions!

To Him be the Glory!
 
What a guy! I hope that encourages you as well.

Steve

One Courageous Dad

Uriah is one of my favorite men of the Bible. He lived in such faithful service to his king. He was willing to for-go the pleasures others thought were acceptable because he was called to serve. That is the desire of my heart. Oh Lord Jesus, may I be busy about Your work. Those God has given us are our first responsibility to disciple. As this month’s Dad’s Corner encouraged, being entertained by the TV will win out over feeding our families the Word of God EVERY night. Dads will occasionally write, sharing, that they are taking that responsibility seriously and taking bold action.

This brother was willing to throw out $10,000 worth of “trash” to put his family on the right course. The Lord will pour out blessings into the lives of his children such that even if what he discarded had been valued at $100,000, it would still be worth it. When we eliminated TV, I didn’t throw out that much “trash” but the dividends in my children’s lives are priceless to me. I praise God for this brother, and I’m confident his wife does also.

One

One “beast” bites the dust

As Arrows…

Our family hosted our first, “Unless the Lord Build the House” marriage retreat this past weekend, and it was a tremendous blessing for our family. We had room for twenty seven couples, and even with last minute cancellations, we still had twenty seven couples attend. We were humbled by the honor of encouraging families from 13 states to include as far away as Hawaii. Many drove long distances, and our prayer is that God blesses their families with lasting fruit for their investment of time and effort.

It began months ago when God put the idea on our hearts. The children immediately were thrilled, and it became a vision that they owned.

Teri and I are often greatly distressed over families where the dad and mom are not united in heart in pursuing Jesus. The primary goal of this retreat was to help Dad and Mom have a common vision for the future of their family. I saw a secondary benefit of hosting a retreat like this to be the opportunity to teach our children what it was like to successfully organize an event.

The children excitedly discussed and planned for weeks because they were responsible for all of the logistics concerning hosting the retreat. Teri and I worked on the material for the sessions and critiqued their plans. Finally, the weekend arrived and is now gone. We are all feeling quite spent, but what a good feeling that is.

We also invited any couples, who had the time, to worship with us on Sunday. In addition to four families from the retreat to our church, there was another family that visited from Texas. It was a blessing indeed.

Steve for the family

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Sarah took this picture as several of the children were unloading. Notice the walkie talkie? The children enjoyed communicating with each other during the weekend.

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Jesse was our “chief soda conference servant.” He did a great job at keeping the sodas cold! Here he and Mary are pushing the big cooler out of our hotel room and down to the meeting room!

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Saturday evening, I felt prompted for the children to sing/play “I Feel Like Traveling On.” The guys had just played/sang this song for the men at the homeless shelter that morning. Sarah took this picture.

Sweet Road Fruit

We have just completed a couple of trips where we spoke at a total of fourteen cities. What a blessing it was for our family. My heart is encouraged and discouraged at the same time during these trips. One of my greatest joys in all the world is encouraging dads who have a heart to follow Jesus. At the same time my heart is broken as I see dads who are cold and hard-hearted. It is obvious that the world has their heart and as a result their family is suffering.

As in other trips though, to talk to dads that want to grow in Jesus and lead their family in following Christ thrills me to no end. What a joy to speak to a dad who has a clear hunger for and commitment to following Jesus down whatever path He leads. One thing is clear, He will always lead down a path that is away from the world and towards holiness.

We have received many emails following these trips confirming fruit in homes. The Lord led me to ask this dad if I could change the names and include it in the blog. He agreed and with the names changed here is what he wrote.

_______________
Steve,
Just wanted to give you an update on how our family devotions have been going.  We met at your Family Conference.  I had stayed after the conference to talk to you regarding my younger children not getting much out of devotion time.  The names and ages of the children are girl (10), boy (6), girl (4), boy (2), and baby girl.  We took the suggestions that you made to me, mixed them with some tips we picked up from the conference and from your books, bathed them in prayer and ended up with the following:

  1. Devotions start at 7:45pm in the living room. Everyone has an assigned seat. I hold the 2 year old and my wife has the newborn. The 10 and 6 year old sit together and the 4 year old sits next to my wife. This allows those that don’t read or don’t read well to sit next to someone who can.
  2. I open with a short prayer asking for blessing upon the devotion time.
  3. We started reading from Matthew (skipping the genealogies) and everyone reads two verses until we get to a good stopping point. If they can’t read then I will read part of the verse while the person next to them points to the words and then they repeat it.
  4. If the wording was hard for them to understand then I’ll explain the passage. If it is something they are familiar with or simple enough for them to understand then I’ll ask some questions and try to get them to draw application from it. Then I’ll draw some application from it.
  5. If we have any updates from missionary families that we keep up with then we will share them.
  6. New prayer requests.
  7. For prayer time my wife and I came up with a list of people/things that we need to pray for.  We organized the list into 3 categories (Spiritual/General/Health). Prayer order is from youngest to oldest.  I give the person who is about to pray two or more things from the list to pray for and then they pray. We encourage the person praying to pray for whatever they are led to but they have to at least pray for what I give them from the list. After that person finishes then I’ll give the next one their prayer items and they pray and so on until I pray last.

We will soon be finishing our first month using the new format and so far my wife and I have definitely seen improvement. Our ten year old daughter has always done pretty well with paying attention but seems to be getting more out of it now. Our six year old son had always been a struggle in the past but is now paying better attention and getting more involved. Our four year old daughter and two year old son still need some work but with more prayer, time, and consistency they will start to catch on.
Thank you again for sharing your time with us.
A Brother
________________

After one month he is seeing encouraging growth in his children. Can you imagine what he will see in one, two, five or ten years? May we all be busy about following Jesus. If we love Him we will feed the sheep. It’s dads like these that make it all worth while.

In Christ Jesus,
Steve

Grown Men: Rejoicing with the gift of a bicycle

Here in Kansas, despite the cold temperatures that usually accompany Christmastime, it isn’t uncommon to see a young boy outside riding a brand new bicycle on Christmas Day – and I always enjoy seeing the smile on his face at he tries out his new bicycle.

This week, although it would seem odd, we were able to see smiles on the faces of adult men who received the gift of a bicycle. It wasn’t at Christmas time, and, although we are in Kansas, the men weren’t.

Earlier this year, we received a Gospelink newsletter (Gospelink is an organization in the States which allows families to sponsor native missionary pastors in a foreign country; many of whom can be fully supported for $110 a month; you can often choose the pastor you would like to support; and you may write letters back and forth to your pastor – more information below). Many of the native missionary pastors that are sponsored through Gospelink have no form of transportation, and will often walk many miles to minister and share the gospel in villages near (or far) from their homes. In fact, at one point, when we asked a pastor that we support what his means of transportation was to the villages that he ministers to, he wrote back that his means of transportation was his feet.

The Gospelink newsletter mentioned that they had received a “matching donation offer” of several thousand dollars towards bicycles for pastors that had no transportation: for every dollar given towards bicycles during a set period of time, this other donor would match with another dollar (up to several thousand dollars of matching funds). Each bicycle cost $75 (US funds). As it was an incredible opportunity to help poor pastors advance the gospel, and at the same time was a great way to increase one’s financial gift, some in the family were excited to contribute towards the project.

Just this past week we received a thank you letter from the Gospelink National Director in the particular African country where the bicycles were purchased and then distributed. Accompanying the hand-written (and then photocopied) letter were photos of the pastors receiving and trying out their new bicycles. The joy that was on the faces of these pastors was a thrill to our hearts – and we hope it encourages you as well.

If you, your family, your church, or possibly your home church, is interested in fully or partially sponsoring a native missionary pastor, please visit or contact Gospelink.org.

Receiving the bicycles

Line of bicycles being recieved

Riding a bicycle for the first time

Posted in: Ministry News