Archive for June, 2008

“Lou” The Blogger

About a month ago we had an incredible baptism service during our Sunday services.  We baptized 60 people that day between the 2 services.  It was absolutely amazing!  I am still in awe of the stories that people shared as they prepared to enter the waters of baptism.  Collin Locker was one of those who was baptized.  Rather than give a regular, run-of-the-mill testimony her shared a poem that he wrote out the inspiration of his life.  Below is the poem that he wrote.

 

A New Beginning 

And now I begin anew,

the blood of both of us has been spilt,

and his has cleansed me with grace.

No matter what I’ve done,

No matter what I’ve said,

No matter what I’ve felt,

Freedom is finally mine. 

My jail breaker has stormed the prison of which I was enclosed.

  As tears of confusion and sorrow fall,

I ask this of you: 

Do not pity my suffering,

for it is gone now.

Do not fret for my old way,

for they have been diminished.

Do not worry for my safety,

for now I am protected.

Do not hide from me,

for I will never hurt you again.

Do not remember the pains I’ve caused,

for I regret them more than you could know.

Do not allow my past to fool you,

for I am no longer plagued by its memory.

Do not recall my lies,

for now I want to speak the truth.

Do not remember me,

for what I was is no longer living. 

Like a phoenix from the ash,

I am reborn.

Many people have asked about this poem and wanted to know how a kid could have such depth in his writing.  This is nothing!  Collin has begun blogging.  Check him out here.  I truly feel that the Lord is raising up a prophetic voice from this younger generation.  Check it out often and please comment on his blog – encourage his gift of writing and spur him on in this calling.

 

Anticipation…

…not that I am getting ready to eat fish or anything.  But I am hungry.  Hungry for what is about to come.  For the past few weeks we have been praying with such fervency and hope for God to move in the lives of the students at Impact.  We have been running to the throne room of God boldly asking that He bring about lasting, true change in the lives of so many.  

We are seeing the fruit of those prayers.  Last night at Impact the atmosphere was electric.  There was such a sense that God was about to do the miraculous – and He did!  Lives were changed, relationships were reconciled, hope was found by many.  Thank you God!

But I am still hungry.  With youth camp fast approaching us I am so excited for what it “yet to come”.  I know and fully expect that there will be physical, emotional, and spiritual healings that take place next week.  Our theme for this years camp is AWAKE and I am believing for many to be awakened to the call that God has for them.  There has been a word spoken about this young generation.  That no longer will they be called the “whatever” generation – but that they will be the “Whenever, wherever” generation.  That they would be eager to follow God wherever He leads them and to be ready whenever He calls them.

My prayer is that we see that happen more and more today, tomorrow, and throughout the coming years.  Please join me in this prayer!

As I will be speaking at youth camp this coming week I would covet your prayers.  Please cover the youth of the Northern New England Foursquare District as well as me throughout the coming week – we begin camp on Monday, June 30 and finish up on Friday, July 4.  Please pray during this time that there would be an honest openness for the work of the Holy Spirit to be done in each of our lives.

I’ll be updating the blog each day with specific prayer requests so please check back often and if you feel   that the Lord is giving you a word to share with us please leave a comment here.

Free WiFi at Starbucks

I’ve had a Starbucks card for my coffee purchases for about two years now.  Starbucks has just kicked rewards into high gear for having one!  Now with a registered Starbucks card you get free refills on coffee while you are in the store, up to 2 hours of free WiFi from AT&T, free syrup, and more! If you have a card swing by Starbucks.com to register.

This will be the beginning of a sweet new mobile office…

Next Generation of Leaders

Last night Collin Locker spoke at Impact.  It’s truly amazing to see how much he has grown in just a short period of time.  May 1, 2008 Collin gave his life to the Lord.  Before that time he was all mixed up with depression, cutting, and thoughts of doing harm to himself.  He shared all this last night and then brought home the importance of being real with people.  He shared about how he was finally able to open up to a few people and how bringing the pain in his life to light brought about freedom.  Of the 82 youth that were at Impact last night all but a handful stood at the end of his message signifying that they too wanted to find true freedom in their lives.  Some of the deep conversations that took place throughout that evening were absolutely amazing.  Transparency leads to transparency and Collin led by example last night.

My desire with Impact is that we would have youth lead in every way possible – including speaking.  I truly believe that there are many new pastors and leaders that we have yet to identify in our midst.  Lord, give us the eyes to see and the boldness to release!  May we open the floodgates of a new generation of leaders and equip them with what they need to fulfill their calling.

1 Year Blogging Anniversary

Today marks the one year mark for my blog.  Over the past year I have celebrated many events, been to Israel, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Maine.  I have enjoyed laughing with friends, sharing the hardships of a family that has lost their son, rejoiced with so many that were baptized at GCC, and shared my thoughts on youth ministry.  I’m still amazed that over the course of a year I have been visited almost 20,000 times.

As I look over the last year I come full circle.  This blog began sharing prayer requests to parents for last years summer camp.  We begin again this year doing the same thing.  We are just 1 week away from this years youth camp and I am in prep mode for what I will be sharing this year.  Please pray that the words I speak are not mine but those that the Holy Spirit is able to speak through me.  In past years I have been the camp director.  This year I am passing the torch to Chris & Mindy Mazzola as I will be speaking.  I know that Chris & Mindy will do a great job but please pray for them as well.  Pray also for the youth that will be attending this years camp.  Pray that they will have their hearts ready to receive all that God wants to pour into them.

Here’s to another great year!

To Twit or Not To Twit?

I’m just not sure…  I’m hearing a lot about twitter and seeing lots of twitter updates.  This week while I am on staycation I am experimenting with Twitter.  I’ve had an account for a few months – just never got started really…

If any of you are on Twitter send me a comment about what you think of it.  Help me in my undecidedness.  

If you are looking to check it out for the first time you can start by following me.  https://twitter.com/revkevgcc

The Sacred Echo

Margaret Feinberg has done it again.  The Sacred Echo reads easily – as if you were speaking together in a cafe over a warm cup of coffee.  As Margaret writes, she shares with us stories of her friends and how she has been praying for them over the years.  This book serves as a great reminder to never give up on God and to persevere in prayer for the long haul.  I was refreshed after reading the examples she gave about the many people she has been praying for over the years but was also challenged by her thoughts on what to do when it feels like there are no answers.

The Sacred Echo reminds us that God wants to be known and the best way He can be known by us is through repetition.  God wants us to get it and sometimes listening for His voice isn’t enough for us.  Being a thick-headed as I am some days I know that through His “echo” or repeating messages His desire for me and others will eventually sink in.  The Sacred Echo reminds us to listen for the recurring themes in our conversations, prayers, and emails that all tend to send us in a single direction.

When God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once.  He echoes.

Pick up a copy of The Sacred Echo when it becomes available and enjoy.

Rwanda Wells

I’ve had a few of these pictures in my sidebar for about a week now.  This is the first well that the youth of NNE4 & Impact have raised money to drill.  I am still amazed at the passion with which the youth have in making wells happen.  Week after week we have seen young people give sacrificially in order to provide clean, safe drinking water for the people of Rwanda.

I had the opportunity to sit with Pastor Augustine on Friday.  Augustine is in the states for a month on rest.  As he sat in my office he asked about the well project and how it all came about.  As I shared with him that I had not raised the $10,000.00 needed to drill the first well (our goal is 200 wells throughout Rwanda) but that it was the youth he saw pictured on my office wall he was moved to tears.  I can’t even begin to share how much he was blessed to hear of young people from New Hampshire who have never met him or the people from the village of Nyarukurazo giving so much so that they could have water that would no longer lead to sickness and death.

Our relationship with Pastor Augustine goes back about 7 years when he came to New Hampshire and met with several area pastors.  While he was here he needed a place to stay.  Enter the Smyth family.  Richard and Robin Smyth and their four children opened their home to Pastor Augustine and fell in love with him.  As their relationship grew the Smyth’s made plans to visit Augustine in Rwanda.  After spending some time in Rwanda the Smyth’s could not escape the burden they felt for the people of Rwanda.  For the past 3 years the Smyth’s have been full time missionaries to the people of Rwanda.  

It is encouraging to hear month after month from Richard as he shares stories in his newsletter about their adventures in serving the street boys, helping in the orphanages, and reaching the people of Rwanda with the love of Jesus.  As I sat with Augustine I was reminded that we began our quest to drill wells last summer when we had the chance to talk with the Smyth kid’s at our summer camp.  What began as a conversation has now turned into a movement that is engaging more and more students.  It all began with the Smyth’s opening their home to Augustine while he needed a place to stay.  Now they are living in his country serving his people and we have found a way to continue blessing the people of Rwanda out of the blessing that we have.

May this serve as a reminder that God can work through anyone and every situation.  When you open your home to someone in need it may lead to a life changing move across the world.  When you share a conversation and hear of a dramatic need you may end up doing whatever you can to drill wells in a foreign land.  May you make the most of every opportunity!

Violent Man Prayer

We began something new last night with the youth of Impact.  It was birthed through the Scripture of Matthew 11:12

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent men take it by force.

and also from being fed up with the phone calls, conversations, and results of so many people being torn down by lust, greed, selfishness, and hate.  We went on the offensive last night at 5:30pm.  Last week I cast the vision for this time of prayer.  We would gather in the sanctuary – just the guys – and play loud music and pray.  This wasn’t a time where we stood in a circle holding hands, quietly praying and asking for requests.  This was just as the name describes the group – Violent Man Prayer.

There were 17 guys that came in through our time and joined together in the room.  Some of us paced, some of us lay flat on the floor, others were kneeling.  At times we did all of the above.  This was a group of guys that were hungry for God to do something in the lives of our friends.  Through our time there were words that were shared to the group, cries yelled out to God on behalf of family and friends, repentance for things that have not been pleasing to God, and unity.  It was amazing to see the young men at Impact begin to truly seek God’s face during this time of prayer.

We began this last night.  It will continue for as long as we feel the Holy Spirit leading us to do so.  Join us if you so feel led – Wednesdays at 5:30pm.

And yes, not to exclude the ladies – they meet in the Prayer Center at the same time.  It was great to hear that there were about 7 that came for that as well.

God is stirring up a generation that will boldly proclaim His name to their friends and family – those who will live an uncompromising life for His glory.  Thank you Lord!

Faith of a Child

This is Emma – she learned a while back through all that we have been talking about, that there were people in our world that did not have access to clean water.  Emma, an 8 year old thought that she could do something about that.  She pitched the idea to her parents to have a yard sale and sell some of the toys that she no longer played with to raise money to help drill clean water wells in Rwanda.

After hearing her idea Emma’s parents joined in to help her make the yard sale a reality.  They connected with others that they knew and collected some items to sell in the yard sale.  The finished project – Emma raised $194.00 to help drill a well.  8 Years old.  Never think that someone is too young to make a difference.  Never.

Keep growing in your faith Emma – you are an inspiration…