We hope your October is going great. Here is some encouragement to finish the month strong! These mid-month emails include links and creative content that caused us to think, ponder, wonder and brought some fresh wind into our sails.
We pray it does the same for you!
Kristene Demarco singing “Mighty”:
These lyrics especially stood out to us as meaningful:
When faith is a fight,
When mountains are real
You lift us up,
in Your light we will heal
SHARING GOD IN UNEXPECTED PLACES
You may have heard some of the music by Oliver Anthony recently as he hit #1 on the charts and his song “Rich men north of Richmond” became a cultural milestone for many. Well, Oliver did a podcast interview with Jordan Peterson and spoke about his faith in the interview.
We find it quite encouraging that he was willing to go out on a limb and share like this, and that the clip has been seen by over 1 million people!
Can you imagine saying something like this in a public place where you know there could be more fame and success on the line if you “play your cards right?”
The Obedience of Sister Chang
“The reason I wrote to you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.” – 2 Corinthians 2:9
When God spoke to Sister Chang, a house church leader from Henan, he told her to do something that made no earthly sense at all. He told her to go and preach the gospel on the steps outside the local police station. Such an action may lead to arrest even in Western nations, and in Communist China it is a sure way to invite severe punishment. But the more Sister Chang prayed about it, the more clearly the inner voice of God continued to tell her to do it. Finally, she saw no option but to obey God.
Standing on the top step outside the police station, she boldly proclaimed the gospel to astonished onlookers. Within a few minutes, several officers dragged her inside and placed her under arrest. To the human eye her obedience looked foolish, but God can see things that we can’t.
Sister Chang was sentenced without a trial and sent to the local women’s prison, where she was placed alongside thousands of spiritually lost souls. She boldly and lovingly proclaimed the gospel to her fellow prisoners. The light of the gospel spread like wildfire. Within just three months, 800 women believed in Jesus! The entire atmosphere of the prison changed, and new sounds of praise and worship were heard echoing down the prison hallways and in the courtyard.
The prison director was greatly impressed at the change in the atmosphere and was able to trace it to the preaching of Sister Chang. He brought her into his office and said, “You have made my job easy! There is no more fighting between the prisoners and the women have become gentle and obedient. We need more people like you working here. From today, we have decided to let you go free. We want to give you a full-time job here in the prison, and we will pay you 3,000 Yuan per month” (about US$ 375, a fortune in rural Henan). He continued, “We will also give you a car and your own driver, and will find you comfortable housing.”
Sister Chang briefly considered the offer, and then replied, “Twenty years ago I became a disciple of Jesus Christ and he has been wonderful to me. I don’t believe your offer of a car, driver and salary is in line with what Jesus wants to do with my life, and I belong to him. All I want to do is preach the good news.”
Despite her rejection of his offer, the director released her from prison that day, and she continued her ministry for the Lord.
It always pays to do what the Lord tells us to do. Don’t argue, don’t fight it, and don’t try to work out all the details with your mind. Just do it. That is one mark of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
Above is an excerpt from one of the wonderful books by Paul Hattaway (with Asia Harvest), documenting the historical spread of the Gospel throughout Asia over the past few hundred years.
For Ministry Leaders & Artists:
Tim Keller – Why do we need artists?
A filmmaker found a very early clip of Tim Keller preaching, but preaching at NYU’s film school. Fascinating talk, encouraging for creatives. The actual talk starts just after 3 minutes into the video. Have a listen, or share with a creative you know.
For Ministry Leaders & Artists:
Do you know what a benediction is? It is like a combination prayer request for God to
bless His people and declaration that He delights to do so. It is like a really tasty dessert that comes at the end of a delicious meal.
So in closing –
Benediction based on Ephesians 3:17-19:
May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith –
that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.