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JL's Journal

June 24, 2011

CEDS REPORT

"And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

(II Tim. 2:2)

 

Dear Partners in Ministry,

For over 4 decades, the primary thrust of my life and ministry has been preaching, teaching and mentoring people in the Word of God.  I believe it is the most eternal investment you can make in people.  It is God's method of "encouraging, equipping and empowering" leaders for His Kingdom through His Church.  Therefore, the challenge is to identify and focus in on the "faithful men and women" who will in turn "...teach others also."  That's the multiplication principle in the Body of Christ.  Those strategic and faithful leaders are the "abiding fruit" that Jesus promised would be the result of our investment of love, prayers, time, energy and resources.

As you know, the first decades of our ministry was primarily focused on ministering to teenagers and young people who had a sensitive and faithful heart toward the things of the Spirit and the Word.  Most of those "spiritual children" that God sovereignly entrusted to Patt and me are now in their 50s and early 60s.   Like us, some are now even grandparents!  Thankfully, the vast majority not only have physical children, they too have scores of "spiritual children" they have birthed, discipled and mentored in the faith.  These are our "spiritual grandchildren" that we will only get to meet one day in heaven!  

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June 17, 2011

THE HIGH CALLING OF FATHERHOOD

“We dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, urging you to live lives worthy of God.”

(I Thess. 2:11-12)

Father’s Day is always a day to honor our fathers, the men who provided for us, loved us, and protected us.  I was very fortunate to have a father that loved the Lord and lived his whole adult life in dedicated service to Him as a local pastor.  He did remarkably well in that role even though he struggled with some masculine deficiencies.  His natural father died when he was a young boy and his stepfather was an abusive alcoholic. 

Dad and I shared a lot of common interests, like a love for animals, exploring the great outdoors, travel, camping and hunting.   We were both “collectors” and “fixers” who never threw anything away that we thought we should save, repair and use later! 

We both shared a love for adventure and travel.  While I was a young teenager, we even drifted down the Yadkin River for a week in a homemade raft I had made from six 50 gallon oil drums – Tom Sawyer style! 

I also remember how intently he listened to me as I explained why I had been expelled from school for fighting in the ninth grade!  His major concern was the reason for the fight…whether I had initiated it…if I had fought fairly – and whether I won or lost!  His own background growing up on the “wrong side of the tracks” made him sensitive to my situation – in spite of the fact that he was the local preacher!

Thankfully, my Dad had a Christian worldview even before the term was popular.  Because of his own year-long-around-the-world trip after marrying my mother, he kept foreign missions a top priority in our family values.   He and mother reared us as “Great Commission Christians,” rather than as parochial ones. For that I am eternally thankful.

 

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