Life Community……… in Birmingham, Alabama!

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Shantel and I are in Birmingham, AL this week at Shades Mountain Baptist Church. Every year they have something called the Global Impact Celebration. They invite missionaries from all over the world to share about each ministry and for the church to celebrate missions. The term missionary fits me about as well as a XS t-shirt- (its a stretch to say the least) but the vision of the church is to reach people for Christ across the street and around the world. While we are more “across the state”, we are truly happy to be a part of the Shades Mountain missions community.

On Wednesday night they celebrated each missionary (or missionary couple) by bringing them into the sanctuary and announcing their names as if they were NBA players! (Some of my former students had spray painted T-shirts with my name on it)- it was crazy!!!! Cowbells, posters, and lots of screaming!

I’ll post some more updates throughout the week, but there was one thing I wanted to write about. During one of the devotions for the missionaries, The pastor of the church spoke on Philippians 1:19 (ESV) 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,

I’ve been pondering this passage, and talking with Shantel, and I wanted to write on something, that I believe to be true. I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but things have been going very well at Life Community. Not that numbers are sole indication of health, (but if things are moving towards health- numbers typically grow) but we’ve been averaging almost 130 total people on Sunday mornings. Two weeks ago, we had 152, and last week we had 167! As great as that is, we had Doxa weekend, and there were a few students who became Christians and accepted Christ as Savior!

All of this over the last few weeks. The question that has been coming to my mind: “Why?” Why now? I haven’t had a real good answer, and have just chalked it up to God’s faithfulness and our desire to build a church for His glory. While there is no doubt that is the case, and with God’s hand on our church I believe we will continue to reach people for Christ, I’ve still been wondering, why the great things happening so quickly and lately… it’s seemed “unique.”

Listening to Danny Wood’s message to missionaries and his preaching on Philippians reminded me of the power of prayer. Then, it reminded me of the night before when we were standing at the Life Community booth talking about all the great things God is doing. While visiting with folks, I had two special ladies come up to me, hug me like I was their grandchild, and I leaned down to hear them talk. One sweet lady said, “I’ve been praying for you and your church.” Then I had another, then another, and they gave this cut out that is in the picture below.

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There is no doubt that when God’s people pray, He moves in power. This is a great reminder to us that God is in control of everything. His power is umatched, and the prayers of His people are well heard. God answers prayers. In every part of our lives. This is a strong reminder to us, that we should be praying faithfully for God to move in our church in everything we do. I talk a lot more about prayer than I actually do pray. Let’s reverse that statement and pray a lot more than we talk about it.

Grace and Peace,

JW

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