While in Uganda, my brother-in-law J. P. Wornock and I were able to spend a day with Andrew Taylor, missionary to East Africa sent by the church we are both members of here in Searcy. This is an update I put together for our church and for Andrew to share with his family and other supporters. - Ken
Click the pic below to read an amazing article about the growth of the Gospel in Algeria.
Aaron Leong and his family have big news! They are heading to Maine. For the past year, Aaron has been working hard to raise support in order to come on board with us at Lumenations. (we can’t wait!!)
This will get them to an area with a lower cost of living which will enable him to come on board full-time much sooner. This is a HUGE transition and a big leap of faith, so please lift them up in prayer!
CLICK HERE to see their full update.
NOTE FROM KEN: I highly recommend reading Francis Chan’s book Letters to the Church. I hope every minister, missionary and church leader reads it (and everyone else for that matter). It has instantly made it to my top ten books. What are my top ten? (not counting the Bible, of course, which is in it’s own category altogether)
1) Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
2) A Tale of Three Kings - Gene Edwards
3) The Jesus Style - Gayle Erwin
4) The Screwtape Letters - C. S. Lewis
5) The Divine Conspiracy - Dallas Willard
6) Follow - Floyd McClung
7) Spirit of the Rainforest - Mark Andrew Ritchie
8) Three Battlegrounds - Francis Frangipane
9) The Bait of Satan - John Bevere
10) Letters to the Church - Francis Chan
HONORABLE MENTION (my two favorite reference books): 1) The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare - Dr. Ed Murphy and 2) Systematic Theology - Wayne Grudem
I did an update of an old video sketch that my friend Roy Moran shared with me - not sure where he got the original. It looks at Jesus followers in people groups around the world and compares them with those in North Africa.
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.” - John Keith Falconer
BE SURE TO TURN THE SOUND ON!
One of the ways we are doing ministry at Lumenations is to help out the global work of local churches. My daughter Shelby and I are working hard to get the Perspectives course to our area for the first time ever by Spring of next year. I am also partnering with a local church, Downtown Church of Christ, to help them better communicate to their body what is happening with the global missions that they are involved with. One way I am doing that is by creating “Missions Minutes” videos that they are showing the congregations on Sunday mornings, here are a couple that we presented recently during a special day focused on missions.
A sampling of our video footage from "Kumva 2018" in Rwanda - Africa Transformation Network's 10th Anniversary Celebration - Xtra Mile - Peace House - Virunga Valley Academy and more…
“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
Ten years ago, when our son Robbie was in the hospital hanging on to life by a thread and enduring terrible suffering, I thought about that statement above. It was one I had heard many times and had probably even said. After Robbie’s hospital experience, I never said it again. It is, at its core, untruth.
I takes the apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthians out of context. Here is what he said:
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~ 1 Cor. 10:12-13
Clearly, temptation is what Paul is talking about. God always provides a way out of doing wrong and, as Peter says, His divine power has given us everything we need for living right. (2 Peter 1:3a). This in no way says that we aren’t given more than WE can handle. Robbie’s time in the hospital was far more than we could handle. Many other circumstances in our life have been more than we could handle as well. These are opportunities I believe God uses to help us learn just how utterly dependent upon Him we truly are.
The vision God has given me for Lumenations is far more than anything I could accomplish in my own strength, abilities, resources and knowledge. While it clearly meets a need I have seen in the Kingdom all around the world, it is certainly “more than I can handle”. I know that it is not too much for God, though, and I know that I can do all things through the One who strengthens me. As it says above, that’s why we need prayer! If you are reading this and are NOT on our prayer team, would you consider joining? Just click “PRAY” above and fill out the form to join the team.
Do you ever remember putting your hands together and saying, “This is the church and this is the steeple, open the door’s and here’s all the people.” I thought about that a few weeks ago as I was preparing to teach Lesson 3 of the Perspectives course, YOUR KINGDOM COME. At the same time, I was preparing for our house church gathering and had planned to focus on the question, “What is Church?” What does it mean for us to BE the church together. I realized while that old children’s poem, with the fun hand motions, while cute and fun, was disturbingly UN-Biblical. So, I wrote an alternative version and shared it with the Perspectives classes in Branson and Harrison and also with our house church gathering. A bunch of people asked me if I had a video link of it - I didn’t. But I do now! Here it is (and the poem is below the video).
This is a building, it may have a steeple, but it’s not the church, the church is God's people.
A people redeemed who take up their cross, who follow their Savior no matter the cost.
And live with God’s love for the wounded and lost.
They’ll gather in huts or under a tree, in underground caves down on bended knee
You’ll find them in prison and orphanages and out on a mission in far away places,
They gather in homes where families enter, or out on the streets, or big shopping centers
In conference rooms, coffee bars, even cathedrals,
and sometimes… even… in buildings with steeples.
the church is certainly not what you meet in, but the people who Jesus set free from their sin.
We put a BIG emphasis on our prayer ministry at Lumenations. We all know that the ONLY way the vision and mission of Lumenations will be accomplished is to be completely dependent upon the Spirit’s provision, direction and strength - and the key connection to that is through the power of prayer. So we have a prayer team and we want to do everything we can to make sure our prayer team is active and knows our prayers needs. (want to join? CLICK HERE and sign up)
Every member of our prayer team has signed up to pray on a certain day of the week and, each week on that day, the receive a reminder e-mail from us. That e-mail includes a picture with a scripture or relevant quote. This coming week, they’ll receive this picture - read below it for the idea behind the picture.
Each day, I try to read a bit of O.T., a bit of Wisdom lit., more than “a bit" of the Gospels and then a bit of the N.T. letters. My New Testament readings brought me to a couple of passages that I had never thought of in relation to each other.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. - Jesus' message to Nicodemas in John 3:8
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. - God’s message to Paul in 2 Cor. 12:9b
Around the time I read this I also received an e-mail from my favorite royalty-free stock photo site, unsplash.com (see pic above).
It got me thinking about the idea of God’s “power working best in weakness” in relation to a windmill. A windmill is created specifically to work with wind - no wind, no power. It has NO strength, no power on it’s own. It does not have the ability to produce it’s own power, but it CAN keep the wind from producing power through it by getting “stuck”, locked up and not moving. We are created to be vessels of power in the Spirit of Christ alone. We can’t offer anything worthwhile in our own strength but when we release ourselves and allow the “wind” to move through us, then the lights turn on! …power!
I pray that we can operate on “wind power”. May the Spirit of Lord blow through us and through every aspect of our Lumenations ministry.
I had a great day this past Sunday speaking at The Rock Campus Church in Columbia, Missouri. Mizzou has a beautiful campus and I got to see a lot of beautiful people in love with Jesus and connected to His heart for the Nations!
Note from Ken:
I will be speaking at The Rock Campus Church in Columbia, Missouri on the campus of Mizzou this Sunday morning. As I was doing some final preparations for my lesson, I came across this great quote from one of my heroes, C. T. Studd, that I had not seen before:
“The “romance” of a missionary is often made up of monotony and drudgery; there often is no glamour in it; it doesn’t stir a man’s spirit or blood. So don’t come out to be a missionary as an experiment; it is useless and dangerous. Only come if you feel you would rather die than not come. Don’t come if you want to make a great name or want to live long. Come if you feel there is no greater honor, after living for Christ, than to die for Him.”
C.T. Studd left a life of luxury and fame to serve his Lord and inspire many others to do so. He spent 10 years in China, 8 years in India and 20 years in Africa. He obviously felt he would rather die than not join Jesus in this great commissioning. He died in the Belgian Congo, a missionary to the end.