Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm voting for Jimmy Faircloth

Hello friends,
Saturday is election day, the day we select a new justice for the Louisiana Supreme Court from the 4th Supreme Court District. There are two candidates in the race and I wanted to let you know why I and my family are voting for Jimmy Faircloth.
I've known Jimmy since we attended Pineville High School together. Jimmy's a little older than me and was quite the "big man on campus" - quarterback, pitcher, all around athlete and a very popular guy.
Yet none of that went to his head. He was a friend to everyone and even befriended a younger, insecure band-geek who was new to the community. I'll always appreciate that.
After graduation Jimmy went to Louisiana Tech up in Ruston and then followed his high-school sweetheart, Kelly, to Georgia State University where he received his law degree and then he got his Masters of Law at Emery University School of Law. With such a high level of training, Jimmy could have easily accepted a job at any of the many high-powered law firms that recruited him from major cities, but his heart was in Pineville and he and Kelly returned to put down their roots and raise their family here.
My next encounters with Jimmy were in his role as City Attorney for Pineville, a position he held on two different occasions. There I witnessed Jimmy's expertise in the law in a whole new light. I found him to be incredibly articulate and knowledgeable about matters of municipal law, on top of his broad legal practice that covered many areas of law. Jimmy loves to read and we swapped book recommendations. I still treasure the copy of 1776 by David McCullough that he gave me and insisted I read.
Jimmy is always reading, always stretching, always growing intellectually. He's the kind of guy who reads the Federalist Papers to remind himself of the intent of the framers of the Constitution. His insights into the way politics works, as the "best outcome of opposing forces", have challenged many religious leaders to step into the fray and not let the non-faith voices have a monopoly on matters of public policy. He was a strong finalist for a US Federal judgeship and was Governor Bobby's Jindal's first choice for his Executive Counsel.
Beyond all these things, I've found Jimmy to be a man of exceptional integrity and deep faith. There have been times when something other than the truth would have served his cause or his client's cause but he refused to do so, even if it cost him something. And when faced with life-changing decisions, he always seeks the Lord for guidance. I've been privileged to have him call me to meet him somewhere to pray with him on several occasions as he sought God's will for his life.
There are many, many more reasons why I believe Jimmy should be our next Supreme Court justice, reasons that speak to his exceptional education and accomplishments in the practice of law, his community ties, his family values, his investment into the lives of young people through years of volunteerism, his unquestioned integrity, etc. But ultimately I'm voting for Jimmy because I believe in him and I believe in the depths of my heart that he is the right man for the job.
I urge every one of you to pray about who to vote for in this election. And act on that. Please vote - no matter what, please vote. I just wanted you to know who I am voting for.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Mexico Leadership Conference, Day 2

Whew, what a day!!! Joel and I just got back to the hotel from a wonderful day of ministry at Day 2. Over 400 pastors and leaders attended the conference, representing more than 60 churches from the southern part of Mexico. What an honor to have their trust to come to Agua Viva and receive leadership training. I thank God for the relationships and connections He's brought to us.

I want to share a couple of stories with you. Recently I shared a message at Christian Challenge about the persecuted church in Nepal, Pakistan and other parts of the world. But the persecution is also much closer to home than many of us realize. Many pastors in Latin America have received death threats from the narco-traffickers and some have been kidnapped or murdered. The couple pictured at the right received death threats this week and his uncle (who is also a pastor) was kidnapped and is being held for ransom. Please pray for Manuel and Susana as they walk through this difficult time. Even though they have received death threats, they are not backing down from preaching the gospel.

The dear sister at the left, standing with the conference organizer, Mario Tagle, was co-pastor with her husband for many years. He attended the first leadership conference that Joel taught at back in March but he passed away two days ago. Yesterday she buried her husband and today she came to the leadership training. Mario led us in prayer for her and their church. I admire her service and dedication.

We had over 400 leaders from 60+ churches at the conference (the numbers are still being finalized). It amazes and humbles me that Joel and I could be used of the Lord to touch so many lives down here. Something so small that began in 1988 has now flourished into not only several Agua Viva churches, but the ability to influence hundreds of leaders in so many churches. It's truly an honor to be a part of this, extending the Kingdom of God in southern Mexico by joining hands.

I've uploaded some pictures to my Flickr account that tell the story, perhaps a little better than these words. Check it out here.

Tomorrow's our final day. Joel will preach in the morning service at Agua Viva then we'll head for the airport after lunch. We'll arrive in Dallas tomorrow night and then home on Monday. Thanks again for your prayers and support. I'm a blessed man to have you in my life.

Nathan <><

Mexico Leadership Conference, Day 1

Howdy folks!
Our first day in Mexico arrived after a good night's sleep, although we didn't get to bed until after 1:00AM. Having traveled all day yesterday, we were whooped! So it was great to get to sleep in til after 8:00AM. We had a leisurely breakfast at a nearby restaurant and came back to the hotel to finish getting ready for today's sessions.
We were told there were over 400 pastors and leaders signed up for the conference, but that many would not arrive until the Saturday sessions. So when we started our first sessions there were only 200-300, but by the end of the day over 400 were in attendance. I'm not sure how many churches are represented - I'm hoping to find out tomorrow. Many of the local churches have sent several of their leaders, which is good. What's really neat is to see the churches in Coatza cooperating together.
When Joel and I came to Coatza in 1988 there were only a handful of evangelical churches, perhaps a few dozen. Now there are over 300 evangelical churches spread all over this city of half a million and there are good relationships between many of them. What a testimony for the body of Christ! And how wonderful to see so many gathered in Agua Viva for leadership training and development.

The conference started out with some awesome praise and worship and then Joel taught the first lesson on "The Leadership Test" which dealt with different kinds of tests that leaders face and how God uses them to form character in our lives. I then taught on the subject of "Security or Sabotage" which dealt with the issue of insecurity in the life of a leader. I really enjoyed studying for this session and picked up a few tidbits for my own life.
Joel had been scheduled to preach at one of the local churches so he had to slip out while I was still teaching the second session and I joined him later. He was well into his message and the folks were really touched by it. There was a wonderful time of surrender at the end of the message as most of the church came forward for a time of reflection and recommittal. What was amazing to me about this was this was the first time either of us has ever been invited to preach in any other church in Coatza besides Agua Viva. How wonderful the Lord is to allow us to see fruit of our labors and extend our ministry reach. All the glory to Him!!!
Tomorrow we have four more sessions starting around 9:30. Here are the sessions:
  • Delegating Tasks and Developing People - Moving from Addition to Multiplication (Nathan)
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work - The Characteristics of a Great Team (Joel)
  • The Wisest Investment You'll Ever Make -Mentoring Future Leaders (Nathan)
  • Measuring Your Leadership Growth - An Evaluation for Growing Leaders (Joel)
These lessons are from book 2 of a 6-book series on leadership developed by John Maxwell and being taught to millions of Christian leaders around the world. Pray for us as we attempt to empower these leaders to reach even more souls with the Gospel and equip their churches to grow in Christ.
That's it for now. I'll update more tomorrow. Until then,

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Safe in Mexico!!!

Hello everyone,

It's pretty late but I wanted to put out a quick blog entry. Joel and I arrived safely in Coatzacoalcos a little after 8:00 this evening after leaving Louisiana on flights around 7:00AM this morning. So it's been a long day of travel, but we're glad to be here.

It hasn't been without some difficulty. I overslept this morning, sleeping right through my radio alarm clock and finally woke up about 20 minutes after I had planned to leave. Needless to say there was a lot of rushing going on - I'm so glad Lori packed my stuff the night before. However, just as we were about to get to the airport, I realized I had left my passport at home! I hurriedly called Faith and Hope at home and asked them to get the passport from the safe and head towards the airport. Lori dropped me off and headed to meet them about half-way. She got it back to me JUST IN TIME for me to board. Praise the Lord!

We had a nice layover in Dallas - Joel and I got to visit and fine-tune our plans for the different sessions we would be teaching. However, as our flight was getting into Mexico City, I put my conference notebook in the pocket of the seat in front of me when the plane was about to land. AND I FORGOT IT THERE! I didn't realize I had left it until I got to immigration and had to pull out my laptop, and noticed it wasn't in my bag. So I'm sharing Joel's copy of the teachers' materials until we can get another copy printed out.

In spite of those little snafus things are going very well! We got to eat tacos in Mexico City and some more authentic Mexican food at one of our favorite street-side cafes once we got to Coatza. And we've been informed that they're now expecting over 400 pastors and leaders at the conference, which begins tomorrow. Praise the Lord.

Well, I'm about to turn in. Just wanted to give you a quick update. Hopefully I'll be able to keep updating the blog each day. Thanks for your prayers and support!

Nathan <><

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mexico Bound

Hello everyone!

Lots of water under the bridge since my last update. I've got some information about the persecuted church, including an update from Nepal, but I'll save that for another entry. Just rest assured God IS hearing your prayers.

The purpose of this entry is to let you know that I'm leaving tomorrow morning with my best friend, Joel Dyke, to minister at a pastors' leadership conference hosted by Agua Viva church in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico (the church Joel and I started 20 years ago). I'm incredibly honored to be a part of this 3 year project in which pastors from southern Mexico will gather twice a year, six times, to go through the leadership material developed by John Maxwell's Million Leaders Mandate.

Joel went down back at the end of March for the first installment We had discussed alternating trips, but he found that it's too intense for one person to teach the entire session so I'm excited to get to tag-team with him. Over 350 pastors attended back in March and it's my understanding that over 400 have signed up for the 2nd session.

Needless to say, it's a great honor to get to be a part of the leadership development of these men and women of God in southern Mexico. Little did we know 20 years ago that God would increase our reach so significantly. It's definitely a "God-thing" and HE gets all the credit. We're like the pipe-wrench in the hands of a plumber - just glad to be used! :)

We're traveling Thursday and the leadership conference is Friday and Saturday. We'll be sharing in local church services on Sunday and fly back home Sunday evening/Monday morning. Please keep us in your prayers. I'll try to update the blog or my Facebook page as I'm able. And I'm excited that my dad will be filling in for me in the pulpit on Sunday. You CCI folks will certainly be blessed!

BTW, here's some information from Joel's blog about the training and his previous trip:
Thanks in advance for your prayers. And a big thank you to those who gave to make this trip possible!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another update on the Persecuted Church

Hello everyone,

I received an email from the brother in Nepal that I wrote to you about previously. I had sent him a link to the two blog entries and let him know that there were MANY people praying for him and for the persecuted church in those areas. He is VERY appreciative. However, he requested that I remove his name and any identifying information from the blog as that could pose a higher security risk for him. So I've gone back to the past two posts and removed his name and other information that could be used to identify him. It's ok to talk about these things among ourselves, but the Internet is accessible around the world and I definitely don't want to jeopardize them. So I'm calling him "Pastor T" in the posts.

Please continue to pray for them. If you'd like a higher quality version of the bookmark on the left, just let me know and I'll get one to you (with their full names). Thank you for your interest, your concern and your prayers.

Nathan <><

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Update on Persecution

UPDATE: This message was edited on 8/29/09 to remove identifying information for security reasons.

Hello friends,

DSC00331I've been asked by several people if I've heard any updates from Pastor T who I wrote about in my last blog entry. Below is an email I just received from him:

Dear Respected Pastor Nathan Martin,
How are you? Thank you very much for your email to me. We are praying for you and for your ministries. Thank you very much for your kind prayer and great encouragements to us in this situation. We are still getting persecutions from the Hindu Defence Army people. Want to make only Hindu Religious Kingdom. But God is with us. They could not do nothing. We are still safe from the evil persons and evil one. You are so great man of God in this earth who loves us in the Lord. Yes, He is living God with us who protect every on of us.
Yes, we are trying to live carefully in the Lord. Every church members are careful in this situation. The government security force people (policemen) visit us during the church service times and other times also. And ask us to be careful and wise for protections. But sometimes we inform them and ask them to come our church. The police office is near by our church. The asked us if any persons comes and trying us to threaten. Any one of have to go to police station to inform about them.
Last week, some one called to pastor of Jawa Jiwan Church informing to Pastor during the praise and worship service time on Saturday Service that there is a bomb in your church. He informed to his church congragation, then most of them ran away from the hall. Police came and check there but nothing there in hall. Later policemen caught the man who informed about the bomb to the Pastor of Nawa Jiwan Church. Like this some people are trying to frightening and disturbing to the Christians of Nepal. Policemen care most of churches during the services times of Kathmandu.
I will keep writing all the informations of situations of Nepal. Thank you very brother! You may pray for us continue in the Lord.
Yours Faithfully,
T [named removed to preserve identity]
Kathmandu, Nepal

DSC00542As you can tell, the difficulties continue and the strain is very great. After writing my last blog entry I was very impressed to share this story with our church. I had also received an email from my friend Babar in Pakistan with very similar concerns. These two emails had a profound impact on me. No longer was persecution some far away concept happening to some nameless faces. These were my friends. I had eaten supper in Pastor T's house. I had held Babar's baby in my arms. And the persecution was real.

As a result, I shared a message this past Sunday entitled "Remember My Chains" - based on Paul's admonition to the Colossian Christians in Col 4:18 and based on the words of Hebrews 13:3 "Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body." We are called upon to remember those who are persecuted for the cause of Christ because we are all part of the same body.

For those who may not have seen it, you can view the sermon on our website until next Sunday, when it will be replaced with the current week's sermon. Just go to and look for the "View Sermon Archives" section at the bottom of the page. Here's a list of the videos I used in the sermon:

There are so many other good videos put out by Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs. I would recommend some time checking out their Youtube channels:

We had several guests in service with us this weekend and one of them shared how the message impacted her on her blog at: - She really captured the essence of the message. (Thanks for sharing that, Becky.)

At the end of the service we gave out a bookmark with pictures of Pastor T & family and Babar & family as a reminder to "remember their chains" and to pray for the persecuted church. On the back of each bookmark was taped a small piece of chain that I suggested each one put on their keychain as a daily reminder to pray for the persecuted church. If you'd like one of the bookmarks, send me an email. I'm not going to put my email address on here but my name is Nathan and I'm at - does that help you figure it out? :)

Anyhow, thanks for the inquiries about Pastor T and Babar. I'll keep the blog posted with updates as I get them. Keep praying!

Nathan <><

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pray for the Believers in Nepal

UPDATE: This message was edited on 8/29/09 to remove identifying information for security reasons.

Dear blog friends,

Today I received an email from a pastor in Kathmandu, Nepal, who I met in 2007 when I traveled with Patrick Calhoun to establish Christians Sharing Christ film teams in the Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan and India. I blogged about the trip back in 2007, starting with this entry: Off to Asia! (July 1, 1007). I posted about my visit with the pastor here and shared part of his testimony on that blog post.

Today I received an email from my pastor friend requesting prayer for the persecuted Christians of Nepal. He outlines some of the struggles they're having and shares that the persecution is real. I'm asking that you read his letter prayerfully and pray as the Lord directs. Please excuse his English as that is his second language. However, I think he heart comes through loud and clear. Thank you for reading. And praying.


Dear Respected Pastor Nathan in the Lord,

Warm Greetings in the name of Lord!

How are you? We pray for you and hope that you are fine in the Lord. We have not communicated each other. We would like to communicate continue with you and share some news and situations of Nepal and Nepali Christians. We are glad in the Lord and protect us from evil ones. God is with us and living and walking in the Lord by the Holy Spirit. We pray and hope that God is with us and protecting us from the evil ones and from evil persons of Nepal. Please pray for us we are in risky situations now again.

Present Situations of Nepal:-

Satan is using the Hindu people strongly now in Nepal:- Nepal is full with the temple of hindu gods and goddesses in every house and places of Nepal. Christians are only 3% in Nepal. Hindu are 90% in Nepal. Most of Hindu people want Nepal as Hindu Nation. We Christians are facing going to attacks again in Nepal. We are living and serving the Lord in risky situations here again now. Christians in Nepal are facing worrying times amid threats against them by Hindu extremists who recently carried out a bomb attack on a church. There are many many Hindu people are against the Christianity now. They have some religious toreros groups as Shiva Sena (armies of Shiv god), Nepal Defense Army (NDA), a Hindu fundamentalist group and World Hindu Association etc. All Hindu people support to them and their activities in Nepal. They have already targeted to attack the Churches and want to attack again to Christians with bombs and guns in Church. They have already threatened to many pastors and leaders in Kathmandu and other places time to time on phones and by mails. Also they came to churches during the church service time with big group people to many churches in and gave warning papers and asked the churches to stop church activities in Nepal and live the country. They asked the big money as millions rupees from each church if the Christians want to run the churches in Nepal. Some pastors are already hidden underground to be protected from them as I heard. Some leaders of churches are already regined from their leader’s positions of church with fear of attack. I think this situation came to be filtering times in the Lord. Any how Satan is working strongly in Nepal now. He is using the Hindu people to do that. We can see that most of Hindu are not kind, no compassion, no love at Christians. They are increasing their cruelness in their hearts against the Christianity. They love Hindu cultures and the Christian people.

Last time there were three people died and 13 others were injured when an improvised explosive device detonated at a catholic church in Dhobighat in Lalitpur district. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Nepal Defense Army (NDA), a Hindu fundamentalist group. Worryingly, the NDA issued new threats, saying it was planning to explode ten further bombs at the homes of Nepali Christians. In a statement, the group said the action was in response ‘to the open rape of Hindu culture through open religious conversion’.

The NDA has pointed the finger at Christian aid groups and given `unholy elements’ until tomorrow to leave Nepal. Ominously the statement goes on: `if this warning is ignored they will have to bear a punishment beyond human imagination.’

We have political and religious freedom in Nepal. This came at a critical time for Nepal which is currently working on a new constitution that will shape the outlook of the nation and importantly the position of Christians within it. The political groups are still fighting for the power and for chair of Nepal. There are still dangerous situations in Nepal. The Nepal Communist Party (UML) is leading the government of Nepal. But they are weaker than the Maoists Party. They are trying to do well but lot of opposites people in parliament. The Maoists Leaders want to run government of Nepal themselves.

Rainy Season, flood and landslide and cholera disease in Nepal. We are rainy season in Nepal. Everyday is raining here. It is happy to rain in Nepal but now we can see and hear there are flood and landslide everywhere. People are loosing their life in flood and landslide now. Also people are losing their lives, lands, house, animals and crops too. We can not hear good news in Nepal. People are suffering and facing many critical situations. Also we can see and hear that there are spreading the cholera disease in west of Nepal and other places. We can see all these suffering are here because of people are sinning against the God. I have remembered one verse from The Bible: Rom. 8:22 “Fro we know that the whole creation groaned and travailed in pain together until now.”

Pastor! Please pray for us for protection and please request to pray for all of your church brothers and sisters. We are living in end of times in this world. Our Lord Jesus is coming soon. We have to suffer and be patience in the Lord. We have to be faithful until death. I would like to request all of you please remember us in your daily prayer. We need your kind prayer support and encouragements in the Lord.

Thank you very much for your kind prayer support to us. God is with us. We trust and live in Him. He is the almighty God. He will take cares all of us. God bless you richly in this matter. I am waiting to hear from you.

Yours truly,
Pastor T [name removed to protect identity]
Kathmandu, Nepal

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Half My Life!

Twenty-two years ago today I woke up in a cheap motel in a sleepy Mexican town somewhere around Tampico. I had driven all day the day before from south Mexico, stopping every half hour or so to add oil - the engine my truck was in desperate need of some serious mechanical attention. I was on my way to the states to overhaul the engine ... and to get married (although I didn't know it at the time)! By the end of the day I had tied the knot with the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth - Lori Marie Chapman!

You can read the story of how we got married on my of my websites at: Yes, it's a crazy story, one I probably wouldn't believe if someone told me it happened to them. But that is what happened 22 years ago today!

Lori left a comfortable life in the United States to join me as a missionary to Mexico. We lived in a tiny one-room (not one-BEDroom, one ROOM) apartment and she was a real trooper! (We did eventually move to something bigger!) Over the next 3 1/2 years we helped establish and oversee churches in the state of Oaxaca and later helped plant a large congregation in the city of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz with Joel and Angel Dyke. Lori learned Spanish the hard way - going to the market, sitting through church services, conversing with neighbors. She jumped in with both feet and truly made us a home in the heat of those southern jungles, an oasis of love on foreign land.

As I think back over the last 22 years of our life together, there have been a lot of changes, a lot of laughter, a few tears and a lot of growth. We have grown in our love and respect for one another. We have learned to give each other space and be gracious with each others' flaws and shortcomings. (She's had to be more gracious than me! ) I can truly say that our marriage is stronger and more fulfilling now than its ever been.

Both of us are 44 now, which means we've now been married for half of our lives. In looking back, I have to admire that young lady who left a life of ease and comfort to join me in the unknown world of missions and life in general. It's been quite an adventure! And she has loved me, believed in me, encouraged me ... every step of the way. Thank you, Lori, for spending half your life with me. I look forward to spending the rest of our lives together. I love you!

I love serving Jesus with YOU, Lori Marie Chapman Martin!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Too long!

Whew! It's been way too long since I updated this blog! Since I've written last I've led a youth missions trip to the Casa Hogar Benito Juarez children's home in Reynosa, Mexico and I've also joined with 7 other guys on a 2400+ mile motorcycle trip to Tennessee to ride "The Tail of the Dragon". Right now we're just over halfway through our High Power Soccer Camp, so I'm really at a loss for time. But I told someone to check out my blog for contact information and then when I looked at it, realized it was in desperate need of an update. So .... let these be the down payment of a forthcoming update ... I promise!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Yellow Motorcycle

Thursday is my "study day" to prepare for Sunday. Often I'll kick off the day by bringing a book to breakfast at some local watering hole and lingering over a low-carb breakfast while reading a bit. Back on April 30 I was reading Bill Hybel's "Axioms" and in that day's reading he was talking about the importance of a leader having and communicating vision.
I put the book down and began to quietly pray about that topic. I told the Lord I wanted to clearly understand His vision for my life and ministry. I shared that the lives of the 200+ people He's entrusted to my spiritual care are too important for me to just "wing it." I told Him I needed Him to lead me like He led Moses, very clearly. Moses had a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of cloud by night to lead him. For Moses there was no mistaking God's guidance.

About that time I glanced out the window of the restaurant (Huddle House, for the record - I had the Western Omelet) and saw a yellow Goldwing motorcycle in the parking lot. Just earlier in that week I had commented to someone that I'd love to have a yellow Goldwing because they're easier for others to see. (Many motorcycle accidents happen because other drivers just don't see the motorcycles. Please watch out for my two-wheeled fellow-bikers out there!)

As I looked at that yellow Goldwing I said to the Lord, "I need something easy to see, something clear to follow, like that yellow motorcycle. I need you to lead me as you led Moses because the lives of these people are too precious for me to make a mistake." I'll confess to a sense of melancholy as my eyes misted and I thought of the enormous responsibility of caring for the spiritual well-being of others.

I don't know how long I sat there but before long my phone vibrated, informing me I had received a text message. I glanced down and saw it was a "tweet" from my best friend, Joel Dyke who pastors Life Church West Monroe. (A "tweet" is a message sent out via the service to all your friends who subscribe to your "twitter feed". Mine is Joel had sent the following tweet to all his friends:

Message from JoelDyke via Twitter

I was definitely moved as I saw the message, "You are not alone!" I thanked the Lord for the timeliness of this message and for assuring me that I was not alone in leading His people. At least that's how I took it. Then I decided to read the scriptures Joel had sent. Imagine my surprise when the first scripture I read said:

"No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you."(Josh 1:5 NASB emphasis mine.)

Tears began flowing down my face as I realized God had directly answered my prayer from a buddy 100 miles away who had no idea what I was asking the Lord in that moment. God had prompted him to write that to all his friends and send it out randomly, but it was the exact answer I needed. I was asking God to lead me as He had led Moses and the answer came, "Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you." Wow!!

That same day I made my way to a motorcycle accessories shop and purchased a yellow Goldwing patch, which I keep on my desk, right under my computer monitor, to remind me of this experience and God's promise to clearly lead me ... like a yellow motorcycle!

I wrote the date on the back of the patch (4/30/09) and the scriptures that were in Joel's tweet-message. I don't know that I'll ever own a yellow Goldwing. (The second verse said to "make sure your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have" so I'm very happy with my 1986 burgundy Goldwing! ) But the promise was not that God would give me a yellow motorcycle, but that He would lead me clearly. And that's a promise He makes to all His children. He said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27 NASB). That's a promise I take very seriously and I believe you should too.


P.S. I shared this story the following Sunday in my sermon and have shared it with a few folks in conversation as a way of encouraging them to trust God for His clear leading and to listen for His voice and it's been very encouraging to many. Once couple shared with me that they had prayed and made a decision about purchasing a house and right after that making that decision they saw a yellow motorcycle and remembered the story. Last week my van was giving me problems. I had taken it to a mechanic and was following his advice to get a specific part replaced. I was on my way back talking on the phone to a friend, explaining the hoping that the problem was fixed, hoping the mechanic was right. I made the statement, "I need a yellow motorcycle" and right then a yellow chopper flew by me on the expressway! I'm not telling you to go make decisions based on seeing yellow motorcycles! I just want you to trust God that He will guide you as you listen to His voice! :)[GRIN]

Friday, March 27, 2009


Hello friends!

I'm excited about Christian Challenge's 33rd Jubilee Homecoming Anniversary taking place this weekend, March 28-29! Thirty-three years ago this month Christian Challenge first opened its doors as a School for Christian Workers in Boyce. We later moved to two different temporary locations in Pineville before moving into our permanent facilities on Pearce Road in 1990.

Buddy and Betty Martin, founders of Christian Challenge InternationalThe 33rd year is special because it speaks of a certain level of completeness. History tells us Jesus fulfilled His mission on earth in His 33rd year. With the idea of "completeness" in mind, it's fitting that Sunday's special speaker for this Jubilee will be the founder of Christian Challenge, my dad, Buddy Martin. He has prepared a special video that walks you through the early years and he'll be sharing some special memories of the early days of CCI. I know you'll enjoy that. (BTW, he posted an entry on his blog about the weekend that you'd probably enjoy.)

Christian Challenge wouldn't exist if it weren't for the vision and sacrifice of my dad and mom, Buddy and Betty Martin. They nurtured this stewardship from nothing but a seed, pouring their life, their energy, their resources into creating a place where disciples could be made, servants could be prepared and broken lives could be restored. So it's perfectly fitting that he should be our speaker on Sunday morning. If your live has been touched by Christian Challenge, you won't want to miss this!

But before we get to Sunday we'll have Maxim Ammosov, the director of the Jews for Jesus ministry in Moscow, Russia, on hand Saturday night to lead us through a special "tasting Passover". You'll get to sample parts of the Passover meal as he presents "Christ in the Passover". The words Jesus spoke in the Upper Room will come alive as each Hebraic item is carefully explained. This will take place Saturday at 6:30 PM. There is no admission fee, although we will receive a love offering for the ministry of Jews for Jesus.

I hope you'll plan on being with us this weekend. There will be special music, drama, dance and dinner on the grounds! We'll also have a special commemorative gift for everyone in attendance. And if you can't join us in person, we'll be webcasting both Saturday night and Sunday morning on our webpage. Thanks for helping us celebrate 33 years of ministry!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tale of Two Funeral Homes

Hello friends,

It's been awhile since my last post on January 31. Sorry 'bout that - I quickly got swept back into the routines of life and got out of the habit of blogging. Part of the reason was I got talked into creating a Facebook account, which is fun. I've also set up a Twitter account, so I've been using some other ways of staying in touch with people. But I've missed my blog! So here's a quick story to get me back into the swing of things.

Today I had the difficult task of preaching the funeral for a man I never met. Some of his family members had heard me preach another funeral some time back and as neither he or they were members of any church, when he passed away, they called to see if I would preach his funeral.

I met with the family yesterday afternoon and it was a little awkward. They explained that though they weren't "religious" and that he didn't believe in "organized religion," they felt like they needed some sort of religious ceremony to mark his passing. I asked about his faith and they said he believed in a "higher power" and had a couple of Bibles. I asked for, and received, one of the Bibles, a beautifully bound Doré Bible, full of beautiful illustrations. In the front he had meticulously written out his family tree and recorded the births, deaths and marriages of his family. We continued visiting for awhile, but it was difficult. There weren't many pleasant memories to be shared. I prayed with the family and returned to my office.

Later in the evening I went to another funeral home to visit with the family of another man I had never met. I wasn't asked to minister at the funeral, but was there to pay my respects and support a dear friend. This scene was entirely different. This man had been a believer and his family had the full assurance that he was with Jesus. Less than 24 hours before he died he had gathered his family together to say his goodbyes, to individually tell each one of them how much he loved them, instructing them to watch out for one another and telling them not to worry about him, that he was going to be with Jesus. While his passing was mourned, the family and friends had such a hope, such an assurance, such a comfort.

I was stricken by the drastic contrast between these two funeral homes. And the difference was a life lived for Jesus! The second family surely mourned for their loss, but their hearts were incredibly comforted by the firm assurance that their loved one had called on the name of Jesus and that they would see him again. I left there with both a sense of joy for this family and a sense of sadness for the other.

I ministered this morning at the funeral and it was sobering. I shared that the engravings in the Bible were famous the world over but the artist was relatively unknown because he drew long before the days of copyrights. I compared this to the majesty of God's creation who has left us magnificent portraits of His love, and yet we don't know Him. I spoke from Ecclesiastes about the yearning of eternity in our heart for meaning and purpose - that God has placed eternity in our hearts. And that nothing on this vast earth can fill that eternal void except for a relationship with an eternal God, as Solomon said:
"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person." (Ecc 12:13 NASB)
I shared that God had explained Himself through the person of His Son, Jesus (see Heb 1:1-3) and that a relationship with Him would fill that void of eternity in our hearts where nothing else would. I then closed with the story of John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace," which they had picked out as the closing song. His story is one of redemption and hope for everyone, no matter what a "wretch" you've made of your life. God's grace is still amazing to this day.

I wish I could say there was a dramatic transformation or that someone professed faith in Jesus but that didn't happen ... yet. My role was to plant the seed, share the Gospel as plainly as I could and invite them to taste of the eternal fulfillment that we have in Jesus. I pray the Lord will water the seed and cause it to grow and bear fruit.

There you have the tale of two funeral homes. One filled with sorrow and emptiness. In the other was mourning, but with hope. And that hope makes all the difference.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 21, John 21 - The Journey Continues

As this day approached I sensed a little sadness, almost like nearing the last day of vacation. It's been a wonderful journey, a tremendous experience, but what will happen next? Will things go back to their regular routine when we get back to "real life?" I don't want this to end.

And then I opened my Bible. That sentence tells you all you need to know - for just about every situation in life. As I read the final chapter on the final day of our 21 Days of Consecration, I was captivated by the familiar stories. I saw the tenderness of Jesus calling the disciples "Children" - such a term of endearment. I could hear the grunt of the fishermen as they tried to pull in the net that was miraculously full of fish. I stepped back to avoid being splashed on by Peter as he hurled himself into the water to greet Jesus with such gusto, and yet without his familiar bravado, unsure of his current standing with Jesus, his recent denials still ringing in his own ears.

I sniffed the smell of a charcoal fire with the aroma broiling fish wafting through the morning sun. Oh how thoughtful Jesus was to have prepared a meal for them. Sure they could have cleaned a few of the fish, started a fire, waited for the coals to get just right and tossed them on. But Jesus knew the antidote to their sleepless night was a hot breakfast and cool conversation.

After they finished and were licking their fingers clean, Jesus turns to Peter and asked him, "Do you still think you love me more than these other guys do?" Peter, ashamed that the question even had to be asked, cautiously replied, "Lord, You know how much I care for you." No more bravado. No more boasting. No more comparing himself to others, holding himself out as the example of a leader. Just "You know."

Expecting a harsh reply, perhaps a quick correction, instead he heard Jesus remind him of why He had called him in the first place. "OK, Peter. Remember to feed my little lambs that are so precious to Me."

What? That wasn't the answer he was expecting. Where was the stern rebuke? Where was the harsh reply? Where was the public humiliation in front of his peers? "I don't deserve this kindness," he thought. "I deserve to be put down, laughed at, thought poorly of by those who know my betrayal so well."

Another question interrupted the tangle of thoughts racing through his mind. This time not a comparison to the others, just a simple question: "Peter, do you love Me?" Unable to use the same word, "love," that Jesus had used, and not sure where He was going with this - still expecting the other shoe to drop, Peter haltingly responded, "Yes, Lord. You know that I really care for you."

A pause. A hesitation. "Does He doubt what I'm saying? How can I say I care for Him when I abandoned Him so quickly?" But before the thoughts could untangle Jesus' voice cut through like a spear, "You've got to take care of my sheep."

"How can He trust ME to take care of His sheep? I don't understand. I failed Him! I abandoned Him! I denied Him! I cursed Him! HOW CAN THIS BE?"

As the echoes of condemnation faded he heard the clear voice of Jesus softly and slowly rise through the mist of his tortured mind, "Peter, do you care for Me?" He could stand it no longer, a torrent of shame and guilt rushed from His mouth. All his hopes and fears, expectations and disappointments came tumbling together. There was nothing left. He was bare. He was empty. It all came out at once.

"OH LORD! You know everything! There's nothing you don't know. You know the deepest places of my heart. You know my failures and my self-loathing. And through all this you know that I truly do care for You!"

There. It was out. No hiding. No shifting blame. He hated himself for failing. ... But he still loved Jesus. He couldn't bring himself to use the same word Jesus had used, but Jesus had brought it down to his level. And he told Him everything. Nothing was hidden. It was all out in the open for all to see.

The next words rocked His world. "Peter. I want you to feed my sheep." With each question Peter had remembered his personal failure. And with each answer Peter had relived the horror of it. Yet with each response from Jesus Peter had slowly been restored. Back to his original calling. Back to his original love. Restored. Restored. Restored.

Jesus went on to talk about his future, to tell him that his journey wasn't over, that no matter how big the failure, there was much journey left to be had. There was an ending point to the journey, but this wasn't it. And in the meantime, he didn't have to worry about others, what God was doing in their lives or how God wanted to use them. He just had to follow Jesus. If God wanted to do greater things in the lives of others, that was ok. He was going to follow Jesus. Because the journey continues!

This chapter ends with this statement:
Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25 NLT)
There are many more chapters to be written, many more miles to travel. This journey that we've been on has not come to a close, only one leg of it. I don't know what tomorrow holds. But I know the journey continues. Will you travel with me?


Friday, January 30, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 20, John 20 -

On the morning of the resurrection there were lots of emotions and confusion. Some awoke that morning not knowing where to go next, what to do. They had invested 3 years of their lives in what now looked like a pipe dream. It had all vanished when Jesus died.

Some, however, knew exactly what to do. They didn't have time to figure out the secrets of the universe or to try to understand the whys. They just needed to be at the tomb, to find a way to demonstrate their love. Mary Magdalene was one of those.

Early in the morning, just as the sun began to glow in the east, she made her way through the dawny darkness to the unfamiliar place where Jesus' body had been hurriedly placed. When she arrived she looked around, unsure if this was the right place. The big stone that had blocked the entrance wasn't where she saw it last. A million thoughts rushed through her head as she tried to put the pieces together. Instantly it came to her - someone moved His body!

She rushed back to the only person she could think of who would do something - Peter! He might not know WHAT to do, but he would do SOMETHING! Peter called to John and together they dashed toward the tomb, arranging their clothing as they went. The younger John rushed ahead of Peter but his youthful zeal evaporated at the edge of the darkened cavern. He wouldn't go in there alone, but Peter barged right in, hoping the catch whoever it was in the act.

Amazingly what they saw was not the signs of a grave robbery. There wasn't a heap of disheveled burial cloths, but instead everything was neatly in place - except there was no body. The face-cloth was folded neatly and gently placed aside, almost as if someone had caressed His face ... and then ... what?

They didn't know. Confused, dazed, bewildered, each disciple went back to his house. John believed that Jesus had risen from the dead. Peter just wasn't so sure. He just didn't know.

Mary couldn't leave. She just couldn't. It was fine for others to leave, but this place was the last connection she had with Jesus and even if His body wasn't there any more, she had to stay there to weep. To mourn. Her love formed droplets of tears as they ran down her cheeks and dissolved into her clothing.

She ventured another look into the tomb and this time she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus had been lying. They asked her why she was crying and in her grief she was too upset to question why angels would be there. She poured out her heart - "they've taken my Lord and I don't know where!"

As she spoke these words she heard a rustle behind her and saw the angels' eyes look past her, as if someone had come in. She turned and in the darkness of the tomb looking into the bright opening she saw the outline of a man, perhaps the gardener. He said, "Ma'am, what's the matter? Who are you looking for?"

Angry that perhaps this was the one who had disturbed her Lord's resting place she blurted out, "If YOU have taken Him somewhere, just tell me. I'LL go get Him and take Him off your hands. It won't be a bother, just tell me!"

Just then the Gardener opened His mouth and with the tender love that she had first heard from His voice so long ago He simply said, "Mary!" She knew! She knew!!! It was Him! It WAS Him!

Emotions flooded her soul, her mournful sobbing deepened into sobs of relief and joy and she lost all decorum, flinging herself at Him, clutching at Him, holding His head in her hands in disbelief and then clinging to Him so tightly she could barely breathe. It was Him!

He had been there. She just hadn't seen Him. She just hadn't recognized Him. But He had been there.

He gave her a message, told her of things to come, made her the first evangelist of His resurrection and sent her to tell the others. He called her name.

As I read this familiar story I was brought into the complex web of emotions and truly sensed the wonder of the morning. I also was captivated by the fact that Jesus stood there but she didn't know it was Him. How many times in our lives have we felt all alone, completely bewildered and confused - and He was there all the time? And when He calls our name - oh what joy, oh what peace, oh what comfort!

Today I hope you're encouraged that no matter what's going on in your life, He is there. You may not recognize Him. Your darkness may obscure His form. Your grief may prevent you from recognizing Him. But His is there. And all you need is to hear Him call your name. So pour out your heart. Don't hold back. Tell Him why you're crying and Who you're looking for. And listen for Him to call your name. He's there.

This YouTube video might bless you:
(If you can't see it, go to:


Thursday, January 29, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 19, John 19 - "It Is Finished!"

I'll admit to a little apprehension about reading today's chapter. I have thoroughly enjoyed our 21 Days of Consecration but as we approached the Cross I felt less than enthusiastic. I wasn't looking forward to reading the details of the One I loved being led as a Sheep to the shearers to be brutalized and victimized for my sins. I had enjoyed reading His teachings, His dialogues with the disciples and His prayers to the Father. I had fallen in love with Him all over again. And I didn't want to see Him go to the cross. (Maybe that's how Peter and the disciples felt when they said, "May it never be!")

But when I opened the pages and began to read, a sense of calm came over me. This was necessary. And it was good. Here are several things that really jumped out to me:
  • Jesus' innocence was repeatedly proclaimed (18:34; 19:4,6) demonstrating His purity. He was thoroughly examined and proclaim perfectly pure, the unblemished sacrifice.
  • Jesus was shown to be the King of the Jews on multiple occasions (19:3,11,14,15,19-22) though not in the sense of a political king that they expected. But He came to rule the hearts of men.
  • All of this happened to fulfill Scriptures (19:24,36,37). This was not fate, nor happenstance. There was a specific purpose for all of this.
  • Jesus was in complete control the entire time (19:11,26-27,30). He willingly laid down His life to set the captives free.
When I finished the chapter, even though we haven't gotten to the resurrection, I knew the work had been accomplished. When I heard Jesus proclaim, "It is finished!" I saw that Jesus died as a Victor and had completed what He came to do. And if you recall, He came to set the captives free!

This past Sunday we dealt with the topic, setting the captives free. Those who were here will remember we distributed half-sheets of paper with prison bars on them. As I ministered, I encouraged everyone to write the names down in the open prison door on their paper, as a reminder to pray for them. We also gave those who wanted to do so the opportunity to bring a copy and place them in the "bars" up on the platform. We assembled those names and yesterday sent them out to the Prayer Team. I also had Jenni take the papers back out to take a picture of them in the "bars", which you can see at the left.

On the 48 sheets that were turned in were over 270 names (not counting the ones that said "and family"). Truly there are many captives, who we love so much, that we want to see set free. And this is possible because of what we read in John 19. "It is finished!" That's the cry from heaven. That's the response when anyone falls to their knees and asks for forgiveness for sins. The work has been done. Now they must walk it out and walk in it.

Let's continue to pray for the captives in our lives, that they will truly be set free. We love them. That's why their name is on the list! And God loves them - that's why He had us put their name on the list! So let's do our part: Pray Unceasingly, Love Unconditionally, Share Appropriately. And God WILL do the rest!


P.S. This Sunday is going to be a Consecration Celebration! You'll have the opportunity to share what God has done in your life during these 21 Days of Consecration. And we'll close with communion - it's going to be "off the hook!!!" I can't wait! Let's finish strong!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 18, John 18 - Favorite Meeting Place

Do you have a favorite hangout? A favorite place you like to meet with your friends or family? I have several. For many years my family (Dad, Mom, brother, sister, etc) has had "Family Lunch" together. It used to be on Fridays but then moved to Thursdays and we meet at same place every week - PoBoy Express! (Yeah, we're big spenders! [G]) A couple of years ago I started having regular lunch with a friend and now its grown to include several men. We meet every Friday at Logan Farms - "Lunch with the Guys" is a standing thing for us. They know we're coming and usually reserve the same tables for us.

Jesus had a place like that with His friends too. In the story of Judas betraying Jesus we get a glimpse of it:
"When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples." (John 18:1-2 NASB) (See picture of Garden of Gethsemane at right, courtesy of
Did you catch that last part? Jesus often met there with His disciples. There's a certain intimacy and familiarity about the verse that speaks comfort to my soul. Jesus had a favorite hangout with His friends. And in those moments when He wanted to get away, to just be with His friends, that's where He went. So He could talk with them, be real with them, let down His hair around them. (OK, I doubt He ever wore His hair up, but you get the point! :-) )

As I think back over these 18 days I realize we've developed a new "favorite meeting place" with Him. Each day we've met with Him in the garden of His Word. And each day He has shared some new intimacy, some new peek into the corner of His heart for us and our loved ones. We've also met with him in the garden of our soul and together we have weeded and pruned and lovingly cared for what He sees as a beautiful place.

Even though our 21 Days of Consecration journey is drawing to its destination (I'm a little sad about that), our favorite meeting place doesn't end on Saturday. I believe He still longs to meet with us in the garden, to share heart intimacies with us, to experience life exchange. We've got three days left - but let's make it just the beginning of regular "gardening time" in our new favorite places: the garden of His word and the garden of our soul.


P.S. I've been given 25 tickets to the Louisiana College basketball game Thursday night. Women play at 5:30, men at 7:30. I've got Community Group that night but I'd love for these tickets not to go to waste. Just give me a shout if you'd like some!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 17, John 17 - For Their Sakes

Sometimes when you come to a familiar passage it's good to look at it from another perspective so that you don't just pass over precious truths. This morning I decided to listen to John 17 over at, one of my favorite Bible sites on the 'net. (Near the top is a button to listen to it being read to you.) To hear the words of Jesus and let them soak over me through my ear-gate was refreshing. Try it sometime!

As I was listening something really jumped out at me from near the end of the chapter:
"For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:19-21 NASB)
Obviously I was deeply touched by the fact that in Jesus' prayer for His disciples He included you and me ... "for those also who believe in Me through their word". That's a powerful truth that we need to remember. Jesus is praying for me!

The the thing that really jumped out to me was the phrase "For their sakes I sanctify Myself...". Instantly I thought of where we are in our 21 Days of Consecration, that here in week 3 on the 17th day we are consecrating ourselves for the sake of others, to set them free from the prisons that have held them captive. It's like an encouraging word from Jesus to us to say, "I did it for you. You can do it for others."

PLEASE don't misunderstand. We can't save ANYONE! Our lives are not poured out in sacrifice for others. Jesus is the ONLY atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. But the issue of sanctification, or consecration, or setting yourself aside for the Father's purpose, has precedence in what Jesus did for us. It makes us available to Him, ready to be used.

So keep on! God WILL set the captives free. And He will use US to help achieve that, as we pray, love and share under His leadership. By consecrating ourselves to Him, we are in better position than ever to be used by Him. I'm ready! How about you?!


Monday, January 26, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 16, John 16 - Don't Stumble!

One of the most important things about racing is "don't fall down!" It doesn't matter how fast you are, it's hard to recover from a fall. Even in a marathon when speed isn't as important, it's important to stay on your feet. And what about just being out for a leisurely stroll - stumbling is no fun.

We are into the last week of our 21 Days of Consecration. The finish line is just around the bend. You can hear the distant chant of those gathered around the checkered flag. You can smell the fresh-baked bread of champions. (OK, maybe I've been fasting too long!!! [Grin]) But we're almost there. Don't stumble now! Listen to Jesus:
"These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling." (John 16:1 NASB)
While this is talking about stumbling in our overall walk with the Lord, let me apply it to our 21 Days of Consecration. You've come so far and made such great strides in your personal consecration. Whether you've been fasting, giving up some pleasure/leisure to replace it with spiritual intimacy or reading through John one chapter at a time, don't give up now! Kick it up! Pick up the pace! Press on to through the week to the finish line! Finish strong! And if you haven't joined in, start today! There's still time to finish strong!

As a reminder, this week we are focusing on the loved ones in our lives who are in captivity in some area of their lives. We are "standing in the gap" for them, praying, loving and sharing (when appropriate). Later today we'll be compiling the list of all the names that were turned in for prayer and will be sharing them with our prayer team. If you'd like a copy of that list, just let me know and we'll get it to you.

Thank you for joining me on this journey of 21 Days. It's been a powerful time. Let's encourage each other to finish strong!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 15, John 15 - Abide

Today is Day 15 and the beginning of our final week of the 21 Days of Consecration. What a tremendous time it's been of personal alignment and breaking yokes in our lives that keep us back from serving God fully. As I read John 15 this morning, here's what jumped out to me:
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7 NASB)
Today our focus shifts off of us to those loved ones in our lives who are in captivity, whether they know it or not. We love them so much and want to see them set free. In this morning's service we'll be talking about this subject and they will be the subject of some intense prayers in the days and weeks to come.

What captivated me about this verse is the promise that God would answer our prayers if we abide in Him and His word abides in us. We've spent two weeks of intense abiding, feasting on His word, setting new habits in our lives, delighting in Him. And now He invites us to "ask whatever we wish" - and because we've been abiding in Him, we want what He wants! And He wants the captives free!

This week as you pray, the Lord will put the specific people on your heart to pray for. He'll show you how to love them unconditionally and how to position yourself through love to share the truth at the right time. All because you've been abiding in Him! And His words are abiding in you!

So keep on! Don't get discouraged! Don't let up! In whatever area of consecration you've begun, don't give up - keep pressing on, whether it's fasting or some other area of consecration. This is the week that will make a difference! And if you haven't joined with us yet, start today! Read John 15 today and commit to read a chapter a day with us for the rest of this week. Commit to abide in Him and let His words abide in you! As the old saying goes, "You'll be glad you did!"


Saturday, January 24, 2009

21 Days of Consecration - Day 14, John 14 - Do Not Let Your Heart Be Troubled!

The disciples had just received disturbing news - Jesus was leaving them, His death was imminent. On top of that, Peter had just found out he was going to deny Jesus three times in the face of the impending danger. How do you react to this kind of information?

Jesus' very next words tells how He wants us to respond:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." (John 14:1 NASB)
During these past two weeks of spiritual alignment and breaking yokes you may have discovered some things about your life that troubled you. You may have discovered some ways you've failed the Lord or let Him down. Or, you may have received some news that was discouraging. Jesus' answer is still the same - Don't LET your heart be troubled...believe!

Belief is the antidote for a troubled heart. Jesus had never let the apostles down. Not one time. So He goes on to talk about the future He has planned for them. No matter how difficult the situation now, or how many times we've failed Him, He still loves us and has prepared a place for us so that we might be with Him. That's how much He loves us! That's good news!

Today is the 14th day of our 21 Days of Consecration. We've been focusing on our lives getting in line with God and breaking the yokes that keep us back from serving Him fully. Tomorrow we start our last week where we will focus on the people in our lives who are captives. We want to see the captives set free! Spend some time asking the Lord who He wants you to focus your prayers on and let's believe together. God's going to do it!