Let Your Light Shine!

“It’s gonna be a long day. I’ve got a ton to do today. I have to feed the chickens, slop the hogs, throw out hay and water the horses, pick the beans, wash the clothes and churn the butter. That’s not to mention my daily chores of cooking and cleaning

A cowboy’s wife’s job is never done. Living in the west is no picnic. Work is hard but I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The air is clean, there are wide-open spaces for the cattle to graze, the water is pure, the neighbors are mighty friendly and at night you can see millions of stars because the sky is so clear. Only complaint is there never seems to be enough time to get everything done.

Oh no, the hens are out again. They get out almost every day and I need to gather them up and put them back in the hen house.”

That’s how the evening started out at this year’s Stars Retreat as I portrayed the wife of a cowboy. As the evening progressed the girls participated and discovered how quickly tasks are completed when you have people that are kind enough to help. What can be a boring and not so enjoyable task can become fun. When we all take an active part, we can do amazing things. Through our kindness we show good deeds to others. We are like lights that shine, we become STARS of EXCELLENCE that give praise to our father in heaven.

Focusing on the scripture, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:16,

I challenged the girls to let their light shine in such a way that people would see their lives and wonder what made them different and special. It is through their good deeds that people would see that they are different and discover that it is because of their relationship with Jesus.

Jesus changes our lives and gives us joy and hope. There were ~200 girls there that weekend, 10 made first time decisions to follow Jesus and 35 renewed their commitment to let their light shine for Him.

It is God’s desire that all come to know Him personally. We read in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” It is my desire that each of the girls that attended this weekend will be a light that shines for Jesus so that others may come to know Jesus personally.

 

Fall Fest brings in Harvest

The crisp morning air ushered in the day as the sun rose over the mountain. Leaves of gold, crimson red, and orange colored the trees that lined the road. As I traveled I looked across the fields of pumpkins, gourds, soybean and corn. I passed through orchards filled with yellow and red apples hanging thick on the trees. The harvest is plentiful and there’s much work to be done before the weather turns cold.

That Saturday, Calvary’s annual Community Fall Festival, as I looked over the arriving crowd I saw a different type of harvest that consisted of mothers, fathers, children, friends and neighbors. It was the harvest that Jesus spoke of when He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus knew that the work was bigger than any one of us could handle. Similarly, when Jesus sent out the seventy-two to go before Him, He is also sending us. Jesus is sending us to actively bring in the harvest by telling others about Him. He also knows that we need help so Jesus is telling us to pray for others that would come along side and help. The Calvary church family made a conscious decision to do their part that day to bring in the harvest. When I was asked to deliver the salvation message to the children that day I was humbled yet excited to be part of those that Jesus had sent out. I knew that this was my opportunity to reach not only the children, but entire families with the message of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. And yes, we did see a harvest of over 30 decisions to follow Christ.

My prayer is that you will see the harvest today and make a decision to actively help bring that harvest into the presence of Jesus; keeping in mind what Jesus said later in that same chapter of Luke 10, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

New Life

If the reason for Easter could be summed up in a text message this is how it would read,

“Thanks so much for all you guys do.  I just wanted to let you know that my nephew Eric accepted Jesus Christ as his savior today in kids church.  He was able to tell us the whole story of Easter.  The day before we had asked Eric what happened 3 days after Jesus died on the cross and he said they had a funeral.  He now knows that after three days Jesus rose from the grave and that he now lives in his heart.”

This was received after Pastor TJ and I shared an Easter service with the kids at Warwick AG. That morning nine children gave their hearts to the Lord. Knowing that these children now have the love and hope that only comes from knowing Jesus truly touches my heart and reminds me of the importance of taking every opportunity to tell people about Jesus’s life, death and resurrection offering forgiveness to everyone.

We celebrate Easter in many different ways; egg hunts, candy, family dinners, football, new outfits, and yet there will never be a better way to celebrate than to hear that a child has asked Jesus into their heart.

Preparation for the day takes on many forms, hours of drama rehearsals, shopping, decorating, spring planting, cleaning and a flurry of activity but no amount of preparation should exceed the amount that we put into the spiritual preparation that could lead someone into a personal relationship with Jesus.

Why can’t every day be like Easter? Why can’t we spiritually prepare for every Sunday like we prepare for Easter? Jesus didn’t raise from the dead for us to celebrate one Sunday in the year, he rose from the dead so that we can celebrate every day. Make a commitment today to treat every day like Easter.

Eternal Differences? You Can Help!

Six straight weeks of kids camp, two United States missions trips and 126 souls later I’m humbled how God chose to use me this summer. As I sit down to share what God did in the lives of children over the past four months I continue to think, ‘what more can I do to reach the children that have yet to know Jesus?’ God opened the doors for me to minister to children throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. In the 3,700 miles I traveled, I led 126 children in first time decisions to follow Jesus.
clownsThe summer started in Appalachia where I partnered with Pastor TJ Wolfe from Warwick AG. We trained and prepared a team to go into Oak Hill West Virginia where we did street ministry and then held a three day evangelistic outreach for the children in that area. Over 26 children invited Jesus into their lives that week.
COHNext I headed to Dallas Pennsylvania where I spent a week at Camp Orchard Hill as the guest speaker. Using “Deeply Rooted” as the theme, I challenged the campers to evaluate their personal relationship with Jesus and to grow deeper in their faith. 76 children gave their hearts to Jesus and many others fell deeper in love with Him. When testimonies were shared one girl stood up and said, “Before coming to camp I really didn’t know Jesus and didn’t care but today I want everyone to know that I know Him and want to live for Him forever.” One of the boys stood and shared, “Now I know that Jesus will provide for me and I don‚Äôt need to worry about things.” The most touching was a girl that said, “I’ve learned that I can still have happiness even though my dad just died.” There are children here in the United States that are hurting and need the hope and love that only Jesus gives.
KeyserThe summer was rounded off with five more weeks of kids camp and then I headed to Keyser WV with a team from 1st AG in Harrisonburg VA led by Trevor Whetzel. We had been invited to participate in a city wide outreach and minister to the children. All of our efforts were rewarded with 24 children making decisions to follow Jesus.
There are many more children to be reached. I want to continue to prepare people, train teams and minister to these children but we need your help. We’ve raised 28% of our budget. To remain on the mission field we’re asking you to invest in our ministry through a monthly Faith Promise. We are making an eternal difference in the lives of children, now you can help.
Click on our Donate page for instructions how you can partner with us. Please prayerfully consider investing in the lives of children through our ministry!