August 14, 2007
"And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it]." (1 Thessalonians 2: 13)
The summer of 2005 found me in a strange and unfamiliar place. After being so busy, for so long, being the director of an outreach ministry in Detroit, I suddenly found myself with a whole lot of time on my hands. My life had been all about ministry for years and due to a host of circumstances, the Lord was telling me that it was time to move on. The writing had been on the wall for a long time. There was something else out there for me. I struggled with thoughts that it was the devil trying to get me out of ministry. Or was it God? Or was it me? I just didn't know. I stayed cautious and so prayerful and eventually it was clear that the journey of my life was about to take another turn.
So began "Tuesday's with Jesus". As the Lord continued His work in me, I began to pray about what I could do to encourage people that I knew, as well as what I could teach the folks that I did Bible Study with at my church's food pantry. God revealed to me that I was becoming like the Dead Sea. So much impartation from Him going in, and not much coming out. He settled in my spirit that I had to share...be a willing vessel for Him to fill and pour out again to others. I also became so tender to the hurting hearts of those around me. Christian and non-Christian alike. So many people were falling apart at the seams. From hurt, loss, rejection, financial pressures and all of the issues of everyday life. On July 5, 2005, I sent out my first weekly devotional, "Tuesday's with Jesus". (Thanks again, Chuck for the name! ) I wanted to share God's Word and wisdom with some folks that I knew each week. I prayed that it would be encouraging, uplifting, sometimes convicting (from the Holy Spirit, not me) and that it would be a blessing to those who received it.
It is the absolute truth that "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are." (1 Corinthians 1:27-28) I would have never believed that over two years and 108 "Tuesday's" later, the journey would still be going on. And what a journey it's been! "Tuesday's" have found themselves in churches, prisons, rehab centers, and are used in men's and women's Bible study classes. They can be found in many states, Central America and Japan. The original mailing list has tripled in size since the onset. The Lord has opened doors for me to preach, teach and share the Gospel. I'll tell you, if you had told me two years ago, that I'd be preaching, well, I would have laughed out loud! I have been lowly and despised in some human eyes. Treated as a thing that is not more than once, and considered foolish and weak in the world's eyes. But God is such an awesome God!
The encouraging words and testimonies that I have received from many of you have been such a blessing to me. Those words are my oxygen. They fill me with the spark to keep on keeping on. I never want to do anything for God that doesn't bear any fruit. That's just a waste of time. But when I hear the amazing stories, testimonies and the many thank you's, my spirit swells on the inside of me. And my spirit swells for you when I hear that you've had a breakthrough, an answer to prayer or just received a little more strength to go on for another day. I rejoice with you in your victories and weep with you in your struggles.
All that being said, it is time for me to let you in on the new leg of the journey. To whisper a little secret we've been keeping in your ear. We serve a big God and He has given us a big vision. Sometime in September, my new assignment from God, "Living the Word Ministries" will be born. "Living the Word Ministries" exists only because of God's mercy and grace to do the impossible through the most unlikely people. Our goal is to glorify Him in everything that we say and do. We will let you know when our beautiful, new web site is up, in just a few short weeks. This will be a place to read the weekly "Tuesday's with Jesus", as well as all of the archived materials. There will be information on my speaking engagements and how I can be booked for your conference, church or group meeting. We invite you to sign the guest book and please leave us your prayer requests so that we can go to the throne of grace on your behalf. We pray that it will be a place that you can check back often and find helpful material and encouragement in your walk with the Lord.
You will still be receiving "Tuesday's" in your mail box each week if you are on the weekly "Tuesday's" mailing list. Please be sure that your email filter will allow mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
I cannot even begin to express to you my excitement about the doors that God is opening for me to serve Him. I have been the recipient of so much forgiveness, grace and deliverance from my Heavenly Father and it's just not enough for me to keep it for myself. I want to glorify His name among people. Using His Word alone, I want to show people how to seek God's face and how to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give all of us. I want to see Him do great and mighty things. I want to see captives set free, broken hearts mended and chains of bondage loosed in Jesus' name. Won't you believe with me that this will be exactly what God does through "Living the Word Ministries"?
Would you please pray for me and all of those involved in this new ministry? Pray that I will be able to labor and pay the price, to see the vision come to pass, that God has put in my spirit. I can see it...and I heard someone say that if you can see it, you can receive it! I am willing to pay the price and live up to that vision. I am so humbled and grateful for the privilege to serve you.
In Christ's name,
Check it out! www.livingthewordministries.org
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