speaking in public…

microphoneI have always been what most people would consider an outgoing guy.  I can go in and talk to people and joke and have fun.  The truth is though that while I can do those things, it’s not really me.  Going into a group of people and having to mingle petrifies me with anxiety and then take it another step further an have to speak to everyone and I get even more anxious.  The biggest anxiety of all though is when I am charged with sharing a devotion or preaching a sermon.  The pressure of making sure that not only am I communicating well, but also handling the truth of God’s Word properly very much overwhelms me.

Yet, I am in full time ministry where I have to do all those things that cause my anxiety.  From 2005-middle of 2016 I was in a ministry where I may only have to speak in front of a group a handful of times a year.  That all changed last year when I went full time with FCA.  Since that time I have had to share in churches, civic organizations, schools, and lots of other places.  In just a little over a year I have had more opportunities to speak than I have had in the 11 years prior.

All this is to say, I am so thankful that I have a God who encourages me and gives me strength to over come, or at least ignore the anxieties that attack me about speaking.  Where once I had a sense of dread when someone asked me to speak, now I am open to it and sometime find myself excited for the opportunity.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared and worried, but too many times has God showed himself faithful for me to be held back by those feelings.

This Sunday, I will be speaking at a church that I have never spoken at before. I am blessed to have the opportunity to not only share about our ministry with FCA but to also share a message from God’s Word.  The nerves and fears will come, but I have a great God who will give me strength and allow me to do all things through Him!

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pray for our family this week…

This week I am going to be a bit out of commission when it comes to keeping up with my blog.  The good news is that nothing is wrong it’s just that Erin and I are busy sharing about what God is doing here with Kentucky Mountain Mission.  Please pray for us this week that God will give us wisdom in what to say and also that through this time of sharing we will be able to recruit some much needed seasonal and full time staff!  Thanks so much and I look forward to updating everyone next week!

who are you praying for?

praying hands 2Last night, at my church’s midweek Bible study my pastor challenged us to think about what role prayer plays in our theology of evangelism.  One thing that he shared that really stuck out to me was a challenge to be more specific and pray for people by name.  He shared about how when we pray specifically it creates a desire to get actively involved in sharing and witnessing to that person, and even though God doesn’t have to use us, it’s almost a way of us asking to be a partner in some way to see that person come to a saving faith in Christ.

As I thought about this, I really became convicted in thinking about the way that I pray for lost family and friends.  Unfortunately, especially family, I tend to pray for people in groups like uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, etc.  It was a good punch to the gut to remember that I need to specifically pray for these people that I care so much about that the would find Christ or come back to Him.  That I would pray that God would use me to share His love and help me to see whatever obstacles are keeping me from doing so and remove those.

Too many friends of mine are lost and in need of Christ. I know I must get specific, get bold, and get busy sharing Christ.  How about you?  Are you praying specifically!  Time’s running out and lives are on the line…

John 9:4 (ESV), “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.”

2013 FCA Leadership Camp Update – Final 2 Days…

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The Lee County FCA Leadership Team

It’s hard to believe that we are already back from another year of FCA Leadership Camp.  God truly blessed us this year as we saw Him work in the lives of many students.

The biggest highlight of the weekend once again came on Saturday afternoon as our students were sent out on a Faith Trip.  On the faith trip the students are sent out in small groups of five or six with a leader to go through the neighborhoods of Campbellsville, KY.  They went door to door taking the tools that they had been given during Leadership Camp, and shared the Gospel with complete strangers.  The exciting thing is seeing the nerves and fears that build up in our students before they go out, transform into excitement and joy when they return telling about their experiences.  Almost all of them came back saying that the Faith Trip was either their favorite part of camp or one of their favorite parts.  Myself and our teacher sponsor, Jessica Napier, debriefed the students about their experiences and encouraged them to pray that the seeds of the Gospel they planted will come to fruition.  And to pray for each individual they spoke to, even pray for those who were Christians that they would have impacted them so that they will be bold and share their faith too!

IMG_1161Maeven and Judah both enjoyed the kids camp that was held for the children of the FCA Staff, coaches, teachers, chaperones, and other camp volunteers.  Judah was too young to really attend, but loved when Erin and I would take him into the gym where the other kids met and he could run around and play on the big soft gymnastic mats.  Maeven, truly enjoyed the company of the other kids and loved going to her “classroom”.  Before we left camp she even went all around hugging her little friends that she had made over the week.  The biggest highlight for her and for us though came on Sunday morning.  Maeven’s “Classroom” got up in front of over 500 people and sang.  We didn’t think she would get up in that crowd, but there she was clapping her hands, singing, and wearing her cute little sunglasses!

Before the students left on Sunday, they had one last chapel service, where the speaker once again challenged them to be “Relentless.”  This time not only did he challenge them to be “Relentless” for Christ, but also to be “Relentless” in their hatred of sin, not just their hatred of other peoples sin, but all the sin issues in our own lives. He told the students how can we love the one who died for our sins, but still love those sins if we are to be “Relentless” for Christ!  It was a challenge that really resonated with the teens.

As we return home now, please keep praying for our students that they will take the teaching, challenges, fellowship, and everything else they learned to be bold in sharing their faith with family, friends, and anyone else they have an opportunity to share the love of Christ with.  Pray that they will truly become the leaders for Christ that we know they can be.  God is going to do some great things and we can’t wait to see how he works!

 

FCA Leadership Camp 2012 – Day’s 3 & 4

*I wrote this blog last night but our power went out so I was unable to finish posting it!

Well, I am now back home and in a little bit of a fog after FCA Leadership Camp.   Yet, even though tired and exhausted I am so thrilled about how God has worked in the lives of our students this week that I wanted to share about it ASAP!

On Saturday, our students were up and at ’em bright and early for devotions and a run.   After breakfast we all gathered in the chapel where we spent a lot of time worshipping int song and prayer.   The morning speaker challenged the students to be bold in their faith once again and not take the short and easy road that life offers.   To develop the fruits of the spirit in their lives and not try to rush for the quick and easy things this life has to offer.

After the speaker finished there was a session on being able to share your testimony with your classmates.  I loved how the speaker broke it down simply for our students.  So often I have seen students struggle to be able to communicate their relationship with Christ and try to make it way to hard of a thing to share.   Hopefully now the students will be able to more clearly and concisely share their testimony.

After lunch the students were divided into groups and sent all over Campbellsville, KY where they went door to door to share their faith with complete strangers.  While I know from doing this in the past how nervous it can make you, I was so proud of how our students all went out and shared.  Some got to share Christ in great detail and others had doors closed in their faces yet still went to the next house to share.  Hopefully, now they will be able to take that boldness and plug it in here at home!  When the students returned from their afternoon of evangelism, we all gathered back in the chapel where various students share about their experiences and we all praised God for the lives that were touched yesterday.  Both those lives that heard the Gospel and for the change it made in those who shared.

Friday night worship service…

Last night, Erin joined the students for chapel while I stayed in with the kids and put them to bed.  While keeping up with Maeven and Judah she hasn’t had the chance to attend the sessions so we wanted to make sure she had that opportunity.   The speaker again challenged the students to develop as Leaders.

This morning after breakfast we loaded up all the students gear in the van which did seem to have multiplied since Thursday morning.   After that we went to chapel where the speaker did an parable using the Wizard of Oz to compare how we stray from studying God’s Word.  While this may sound a little out there, it was excellent and really got the attention of the students.

Following this service the students had a short break where they met with their huddle groups one last time to discuss all they had learned at camp and also spend some time praying together.   At the end of the day it was awesome to see how God had brought our students so close to their huddle partners and leaders.   The fact that they could be involved with so many awesome young people doing things for Christ is a huge thing for our students.

The last thing of the camp was a final chapel service where the students heard a final message on leadership from the main camp speaker.   He used the story of David and Goliath to share with the students about taking the leadership role when others don’t.  He used each of the 5 smooth stones as illustrations for characteristics of a leader.  There is no doubt that our students have heard in these services what a true leader for Christ is!

On the way home tonight Erin and I enjoyed listening to the kids talk about what they learned, friends they met, favorite parts of camp, and much more.  We decided to stop for food at Cracker Barrel where we talked with our students about these details in greater and also set up a time to get together for a planning meeting for how we want to take what the students learned and ideas they gathered and implement them this school year.   I really think after this week that we are moving in the right direction for more student leadership in our LCHS huddle.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported our students financially to go to camp and for everyone who has been praying for them.  Please keep praying for our students as now the hard part has arrived where they are on fire about their relationship with Christ and Satan wants to quench that fire by throwing all kinds of things at them.  Our students want to be leaders for Christ and I have no doubt that He can use them as such!  Keep praying!

Maeven cooling off in the sprinklers at Campbellsville University