Winter in Montana is beautiful. Each day here all you have to do is step outside to be reminded that we serve an AWESOME God!
|Overlooking Bozeman from the "M" trail|
A week ago, Kirkwood hosted Family Promise, a homeless ministry here in Bozeman that helps families come up with individualized plans to help them take the steps towards lasting independence. We had a family staying at the church for the week and we were able to share evening meals with them, and some people served as overnight hosts as well.
This week we have a mission team here from Dalton, GA and Clarksville, TN helping with Marriage Emphasis Week. They have been a HUGE blessing and breath of fresh air as they have made meals for the conference each evening, worked with the children, and have also been helping with some painting around the church during the day. Pastor James and Misty have been doing the teaching out of the study "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and it has been a great week for the married couples to refocus and also for those of us who are single to gain much wisdom on what a biblical marriage should look like. I also had the privilege this week of taking the team for a winter trip up Hyalite Canyon. Absolutely incredible! Check out the pictures...
|We found the hats at Walmart and just couldn't resist|
|Grotto Falls trail|
|The team :)|
|Enjoying God's creation|
|On the way to Grotto Falls|
|Waterfall... uh in the summer :)|
|Icicles near Grotto Falls|
|The lake at Hyalite :)|
Another praise is that our Sunday Evening Prayer Group has grown to the point that next Sunday (the 3rd) we will split into two groups. It has been amazing to reflect and see the prayers God has answered through that time of meeting and praying together.
We have also been doing a great Bible Study on Proverbs. It tells us in His Word that, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7)." As I seek God's wisdom, it is humbling each day to realize I know less than I think I did. My prayer lately has been for the Lord to give me a humble, teachable and repentant spirit, because I have seen that the minute we become "wise" in our own eyes, we are finished. I have also been reminded why it is so important to choose friends wisely and spend time with those who point me to Him, encourage genuinely, pray faithfully, who are willing to share what they have learned from their experiences, who mentor and instruct, who rebuke me in love, share His wisdom, seek His word, who hold me accountable and don't enable me, who are consistent, who forgive and who are on fire for Him.
Through those who God has so graciously put in my life, I have been reminded of late that we all have influence. How are we using the influence God has given each of us? We all have a platform and whether or not we feel the responsibility we have a direct impact for better or for worse on those He has placed around us. Only when we are seeking Him daily and relying on His power can we truly go forth in His name. Pat Williams, senior vice president of the Orlando Magic wrote a book called The Difference You Make. In it he poses this question: "If your life were a silent movie, if the only way people could learn about your character, your beliefs, and your values was through the actions of your everyday life, what would they learn? (p. 95)" Very convicting. Being aware of the influence we have on others is one of the first steps to making a difference. In other words, you might be the only Bible some people read... What are they seeing?
It makes me think of some of the lyrics to the song "LIVE LIKE THAT" by Sidewalk Prophets
"Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You
I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You
If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Never holding back
I want to live like that
I want to live like that"
Please pray for:
- Leadership at Kirkwood (Pastor James, our youth pastor Andrew and myself) and unity among the body of Christ. Praise for those I have the privilege of serving alongside.
- A worship leader for Kirkwood.
- Opportunities for discipleship.
- March 7-8th Pastor James, Andrew and their families along with myself will travel to Great Falls, MT for the M-Pact Ministry Conference. Pray for a time of learning and also renewal.
- Personal: Another upcoming brief trip down to Utah to take care of more stuff at the place that was my dad's. And upcoming mission trip to Honduras in April - that God would prepare the hearts of those the team will be ministering to and that the team will be diligent in preparation.