Holy Obedience

Holy Obedience

Eight Months.   Ten Plagues.  Why?  Because the journey to freedom for enslaved people starts with two heart-based decisions.  The decision to be made holy, and the decision to become and remain obedient.  Had Father just rushed through the Deliverance, His people would have never been able to grasp what deliverance costs or what it necessarily calls us to—a radically new life.

Delivering Israel out of bondage and slavery took about 8 months, as God released plague after plague on the nation of Egypt.  The first three plagues, as you recall, impacted both the Egyptians and the Israelites.  It was important for Israel to understand the reality of the plagues…

But soon, God was protecting the land of Goshen and the People Israel from the plagues as they became more intense and devastating.  In doing so, He was purposely picturing for us what Holiness really is…

To be “Holy” is to be “set apart.”  Abba was setting His people apart and helping them see and feel the reality of Holiness.  The slavery they had been trapped in… The pagan deities that surrounded them… The sense of shame and guilt and worthlessness that defined them…  These all had to be set aside as He set Israel apart.

Holiness is not optional for Father’s Children.  A decision—or many decisions—must be made in our deepest being to consciously choose a new way of life and living that rejects the idols, the bondage, and the guilt/shame/worthlessness that we are in enslaved to as long as we live in and draw our sense of value and meaning from “Egypt.”

At the same time, God was teaching Israel of the necessity of Obedience.  Pharaoh’s disobedience was displayed as an eternal warning to all who resist God.  The Plagues were an eternal picture to those who attempt to live in two places—”Egypt” and the “Promise Land.”  You can’t live in bondage and freedom at the same time…!

Israel also learned that obedience to the Father was the only way to escape the bondage.  Obedience to God’s instructions—particularly in the Passover, (a Plague to Egypt; a Promise to Israel…!) was the key to freedom!

It is interesting to me that Israel’s salvation—as graphically pictured in the Passover—came AFTER 8 months and 10 plagues worth of exposure to Holiness and Obedience—to prepare the people for Salvation…

We call that preparation “Prevenient Grace.”  I wonder, if in our rush to get people saved we forget that the Holy Spirit needs to prepare hearts—to lay a foundation so that a Blood-washed soul can successfully exit their “Egypt” and enter into a lifestyle of Holiness and Obedience?!

Perhaps the great weaknesses of the American Church is the short-circuiting of the Spirit’s preparation.  Holiness and Obedience are rare commodities in the American Church scene.  We seem to hope that people will choose holiness and obedience without the Holy Spirit’s preparation…  We seem to think that holiness and obedience will just arise in a person because the Blood has been applied to the door-frame of their lives…

If only it were that easy or automatic!  But Papa does not force obedience or holiness on His Children.  These we must choose for ourselves.  The Holy Spirit prepares…  The Blood of Jesus causes death to Passover us even as His Presence passes into us.  Meanwhile, Father awaits our response.  Will we choose to be set apart for His purposes?  Will we choose to be obedient to His will for our lives?

This New Covenant we are under allows the Spirit to work in us and the Lord to fashion us in ways the ancient Israelites couldn’t fathom.  Yet the picture remains.  Holiness of heart of life is not optional.  Obedience to the Will of the Father is not optional.   Without both, we will soon return to Egypt…


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Obeying Heavenly Vision

Obeying Heavenly Vision

And so, King Agrippa, I obeyed that vision from heaven.  (Acts 26:19 NLT)

As a congregation, the Lord is refining our vision and reminding us that we must be obedient to His vision.  It is not enough that we have a refined vison; it is imperative that we obey it and move forward in decisions based on that vison, though we understand they come at a cost…

As individual Christians, having both a heavenly vision and an expectation of our obedience to it are not exceptions, but the absolute standard.  Spend adequate time with the Father, and He will release His vison for this season of your life.  Spend adequate time with the Father, and the comfort of obeying Him—even though it costs—will comfort us more than the status quo-comfortable our flesh longs for…!

Obedience is not optional, yet obedience to God will bring persecution!  Obedience to God will also often bring suffering, and God often uses suffering to help His children grow up to the place of being obedient to the Gospel, though it leads to persecution…!

Paul’s bold words to King Agrippa and Governor Festus were not the result of human arrogance or pride on Pauls’ part; they were the Spirit-empowered words of a man who knew both suffering and persecution and chose obedience—like His Lord—even if it led to death!  Death IN obedience to God is infinitely better than a short extension of life here on earth by disobeying Father.  We either choose to die now and live forever, or to live now and die forever…!

Over the next several weeks, using the Nick Ripken book, The Insanity of Obedience, I hope to lay the groundwork in sermons and blogs for this, The Year of Obedience.  (Of course, just as with every other “Year” we have celebrated together, Obedience, like reading the Word, Praying, Loving, Testifying, and so on are lifestyles of faith, not year-long programs or goals…

  • Paul suffered from a “thorn in the flesh” that Father chose not to heal, allowing instead a suffering that took Paul out of self-reliance and into the Father’s sufficiency.
  • Paul was persecuted repeatedly and mercilessly because he dared to share the Love of Jesus in a hate-filled world.  He spoke to Festus and Agrippa during a completely bogus imprisonment and literally lost his head a few years later as a Roman prisoner.

IN BOTH CASES, PAUL WOULD SHOUT TO YOU AND ME:  IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!

Here me clearly:  Paul did NOTHING outside of normal Christianity…!  He simply obeyed Heaven’s vision (the Great Commission!) and shared the Gospel.  YOU AND I ARE NO LESS CALLED TO THE SAME COMMISSION, THE SAME OBEDIENCE!

When Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations…baptize them…teach them to obey…” (see Matthew 28:18-20) He was talking to you and me!  Although the Heavenly Vision Father imparts to each one of us may vary a bit between us, the overriding Call to Share the Good News is a matter of obedience for ALL of us!  And it ALWAYS comes at a cost…


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Antioch Obedience

Antioch Obedience

The Lord downloaded some profound truths about the Church in Antioch, Syria—the congregation that is so often mentioned in the Book of Acts.  That Antioch was central to God’s plan of releasing the Gospel to the nations is clear.  Yet Antioch’s importance is often missed as we talk about other First Church congregations in places like Jerusalem, Ephesus, or Rome…

As I shared in last Sunday’s sermon, Antioch was a key congregation for several reasons:

  • Antioch was the first congregation where the wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles actually came down.
  • Antioch was the First Congregation where believers were called “Christian,” a prophetic term denoting the Holy Spirit-breathed unity, humility, and authority that defines true Christianity.
  • Antioch was the first congregation to take up an offering for another (Jerusalem) congregation in their time of need.
  • Antioch, with Spirit-filled leaders who prayed and fasted—called, ordained, and sent out Paul and Barnabas as the first missionary team of the early church.
  • Antioch was the home church of Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and many other early Church leaders—including Peter for a season.  These leaders were both sent out by the Antioch Congregation, and reported back to the Congregation.
  • Antioch was the prototype of the True Gospel/Full Gospel Church, with a beautiful mix of Jew/Gentile, rich/poor, male/female, from multiple races, nations, and backgrounds—and a boldness to defend the Gospel against religiosity at every turn.
  • Antioch’s faithfulness precipitated the first Church Council, where it was determined that the restoration of David’s Tent meant that the church would be Word and Worship based, not law-bound—that Gentiles need not become Jewish to become Christian.

Antioch was an OBEDIENT Congregation—and God was therefore able to use Her mightily in laying the foundation of what the Church of Jesus Christ should always be.

Antioch was a GATEWAY Church—in fact, the Eastern Gate Church from which and to which flowed Rivers of Living Water in terms of leaders empowered and sent, received back, refreshed, and sent forth again.  She fought for the truth even when pressured by sincere but misguided members of the “Mother Church” in Jerusalem.  She was generous to a fault, yet bold and fearless and unmovable when it came to the Heart of the Gospel.

God says that we are a Modern-day Antioch!  We have been chosen to call, empower, send, and receive today’s missionary leaders as they minister in villages around the corner and all over the world.  We have been designated an Eastern Gate Church by our Father, with a mission that may not make the headlines, yet is absolutely foundational to the Last Church being like the First Church—and ready for Her Groom’s return!

OBEDIENCE IS KEY!  It was then, and it is now.  As a congregation, unity in the Spirit, fervent prayer, fasting, discernment, generosity, boldness, and holiness are not optional.  We have been called to a different place than much of the American Church—although we are certainly not alone in this call.  We have been called to an Obedience that will shake the “Mother Church,” that will call forth leaders, that will reach the neighborhood and invade the world with the True and Full Gospel of Jesus Christ.  What an amazing God!  What a privilege to be an Antioch Congregation in these last days…!


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2018 – The Year of Obedience

2018 – The Year of Obedience

I have often preached on the Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13) who came to Jesus pleading for the healing of his servant.  The man understood authority.  He knew that to be in authority, one must also be under authority.  In that place under the authority of his superior, the Centurion had complete authority to command his solders.  With that understanding, he knew that Jesus, under the Father’s authority, had complete authority to speak healing to the servant from wherever He was…

Jesus was amazed by the man’s grasp on authority—but also on his grasp of OBEDIENCE.  Because the centurion was obedient to his superior, his superior entrusted him with great authority.  Because the Centurion expected obedience from his solders, they, too, enjoyed a sense of security and authority…

God has given you and me authority. But that authority flows from and to and through obedience.  Rebellion on our part cripple’s Godly authority on and through our life.  Disobedience to our Commander not only blocks His authority from flowing to us; it confuses and damages those God entrusted to us to lead with Godly authority…

Jesus was amazed—and disheartened—that Israel lacked such an understanding of Obedience and Authority.  I suspect He is equally dismayed by the American Church’s lack of faith…

I am sure of this:  While Obedience is the only right response to our King and Lord and Savior, obedience is costly.  The centurion no doubt had stories of solders who disobeyed him, or of communities who resented him simply for carrying out his responsibilities…

Jesus—more than anyone in history—knows the cost of Obedience.  He also knows better than any the ultimate reward.  We are wise when we both count the costs and look forward to the eternal “well done!”

The Cost of Obedience—up close and personal 

Let me tell you a bit about Don and Jackie Ragland’s embrace of obedience as they head toward Mexico.  About 15 years ago, Don shared with me that he and Jackie were called to foreign missions.  Over the years, I saw the Lord clarify and refine that vision through amazing twists and turns of life.   Last May I saw first hand how they have grown in authority as they have walked in obedience.  While we were in Honduras, I saw the Lord use them in ways that were startling—even to me, their close friend and Pastor—as authority and obedience flowed together.  Don and Jackie are right where they are supposed to be!  But my, how it has cost them…

Though they are well respected by those currently in this congregation, they have paid a great price.  They are misunderstood—often by church folks—who can’t understand trading financial and emotional security here in the USA for the very real uncertainties of where they are now.  Their embrace of real Biblical Christianity has offended more than a few souls over the years who have bought into the “American Church Dream” of light and easy and comfortable “faith.”  They have chosen to live modestly in order give their all for the Kingdom.  They are willing to “pray the price,” even if it costs them their lives…

Obedience will cost you and me everything.  That isn’t a possibility; it is a Biblical promise.  It is also the only real way to be a Christian.  If we are truly under authority, then we must embrace obeying the One who is perfectly and eternally our King, knowing that our obedience will confuse and infuriate the fallen world around us…!


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2017 – The Year of Love

2017—The Year of Love

A year ago, I felt like the Lord was calling us to focus on Love—real Biblical love—as the theme for the year.  So, 2017 became for us “The Year of Love.”  Isn’t it amazing to have the perspective of hindsight?  I really think the Lord has taught us a great deal about His Love this past year!

In trying to summarize how the Father has matured me in understanding His love, I want to quote a passage of Scripture we read a few days ago.  This is from First Peter chapter 4:12-14.

Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.  Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced.  This is the spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.  If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate.  It’s the Spirit of God and His glory in you that brought you to the notice of others.  (The Message) 

This past year has been difficult at times, but the Lord has definitely been on the job!  Loving people even when you don’t understand exactly why they are doing what they are doing or going the way they are going is the heart of Christian love.  To love people regardless…  That is the beginning of loving people with the Love of the Lord!

This past year has been a refining year for me personally and certainly for us as a Church Family.  Refining—Wilderness Seasons—are often not our most favorite memories—but they are usually our most defining times.  The Father has clearly refined our hearts and focus as we enter 2018 with a clarity that never could have come if things just stayed easy.

Out of the refining has come a clarity of love—for the least and the lost around the world and around the corner—that has never been so clear as it is now.  As we connect tightly with villages around the world and right in our own county, we will be part of the Father’s Love for people who are so often forgotten by the institutional church.  Jesus was never interested in public approval, financial “success,” or impressing the proud and powerful.  Jesus intentionally did most of His ministry in the neglected villages of Galilee.  He has called us to love likewise.

The heart of God-love is Obedience.  Jesus was perfectly obedient to the Father—the perfect expression of perfect love.  Walking in obedience, as the passage above makes clear, is almost always costly… painful… and misunderstood.  Yet, it is the necessary heart of Christian Love.

So I am asking you to prayerfully consider with me the possibility that God is calling us to designate 2018 as “The Year of Obedience.”  I wonder now what this will all mean in a year.  But even now, I think the Lord will define and refine us in ways that will make Love even more powerfully love—and obedience…, well maybe a little less scary a word…!


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Loving the Christmas SOUL

Loving the Christmas SOUL!

We are spiritual beings, we are physical beings.  In Jesus, our SPIRIT has been reborn and is in full communion with the Risen Savior!  Our BODY, on the other hand, is fallen beyond repair (like Humpty Dumpty…!) and is slowly—or rapidly—deteriorating…

Caught in the middle is our mind, will, and emotions—our SOUL.  Our souls are being transformed from dull and dirty into mirror-likenesses of Jesus as… we… spend… time… with… Him!  A transformed soul is the most beautiful and eternal gift of Christmas—it is the proof that we both know personally and spend time with the One born in a manger!

Christmas should therefore be the season of the year most marked by soul transformation as we spend time with the One who is Immanuel—the God who came to dwell with us!  Funny, it doesn’t seem to work out that way often…

We were at Sam’s the other day, and a woman on a scooter cut in front of me on the way to the cash register.  I said, “excuse me,” though she had cut me off, because that is what I was taught to do.   I overheard her begin complaining to everyone within ear shot about how rude people are and how they keep getting in her way.  Five minutes later, I walked back by that part of the store, and she was still grouching to the register clerk.  That precious woman may be suffering from a little too much Sam’s time and not enough Soul time in the Lord’s presence…

Here is the problem:  Our fallen nature compels us to seek for a satisfaction in the physical realm that can only be found in the Spiritual realm.  Our spirit longs for the things of Jesus.  Our body lusts for the things of instant gratification.  Our soul goes along with whichever part it allows to be in charge…

It is our Soul—the seat of our Free Will—that decides whether spirit-love or body-lust rules the roost.  Irony of all ironies, Christmas time seems to bring out the worst of carnal desires and lusts and gluttonies and covet-ness as we overeat and overspend and over-focus on self—even as we celebrate the ultimate gift of selflessness…

Christmas, as much or more than any other time of year, should call us to that “secret place” of prayer and worship in the Father’s presence where our souls are transformed from glory to glory until we reflect Jesus perfectly.

Yet cultural Christmas demands so much of us in terms of time and focus that there is precious little time for Jesus.  Our spirit starves, our body grows fat and sassy, and our soul reflects poorly at best the Glory of the King…

So should we fast all Christmas, refuse to decorate, and not buy any gifts?  Should we claim that Christmas is a “pagan” holiday and give ourselves permission to judge others in the name of our supposed “holiness?”  Nope.  But let ALL our physical joys—all the great food and all the beautiful decorations and all the well-chosen gifts REFLECT the joy our spirit knows in Jesus as our soul decides to make time for HIM in the midst of it all…!


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Kingdom Love, Christmas Love

Kingdom Love, Christmas Love
As I write this, a whole team of folks are preparing the building for Saturday’s Christmas Store. As you know, the store will be twice as large this year as ever before, and will actually be two stores running simultaneously as we utilize the Family Life Center for the first time as the site for both stores. Prayer and relationship building are key as parents come to choose three gifts per child—at a greatly reduced price. A food box will also be given to each family.
As you may well know, all this happened NOT because we were trying to “outdo” previous years; it happened as the Lord opened the floodgates—much to our surprise and not without a little fear that it would be too big to pull off!
Now with hundreds of gifts purchased, dozens of folks signed up to serve, and the building being prepared, it is clear that the Lord wanted us to see that He is truly “able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that ask or think, according to the power that works in us!”
According to the power that works in us… There is a new sense of purpose and a clarity in our Church Family that did not exist a year ago—or even just a few months ago. God is focusing the power of His Presence and Purpose in us in exciting ways!
Kingdom Love
I preached earlier this year for several months about King David and his wilderness years. David went through a time of extended testing (5-10 years!) until his heart and character were able to handle the purpose for which God had called him—to be the King of Israel.
As a church family, we endured—and grew from—a wilderness season. Like David, we discovered that the wilderness is often very uncomfortable and painful, yet it is also necessary preparation for God’s greater vision.
It seems to me that the Lord is rapidly and powerfully releasing His vision for us upon us! With clarity and conformation, we feel the Lord leading us into a place in His Kingdom that honors and connects what He is doing around the world with a passion to see the same Kingdom planting and harvest taking place in some of the poorest and most rural places here in the USA.
We are ideally suited for this by both our geographical location and by the 25 years of Holy Spirit sifting and maturing that has gone on here. The Father has brought and raised up leaders in this church connected to the best mission movements in the world. He has opened our hearts to a greater vision. He is providing opportunities, like Thanksgiving on the Mountain and the Christmas Store to remind us that HE does exceedingly and abundantly more…
As we walk from one miracle into another, we can celebrate not only the clarity of where we are going but also the wilderness struggles it took to clarify and prepare us for the King’s Vision.


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Thanksgiving Love

Thanksgiving Love

Thanksgiving is a decidedly Christian Holiday – and one that has lost much of its meaning as our fallen human culture has shaped the day to focus mainly on self-satisfaction and indulgence, and as the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.

Isn’t it cool that we as a Church family had the opportunity to experience something deeper and more authentic this year?  Thanks to Jake and Susan Asberry, we were invited to be part of the planning team for the enormous H.A.R.K. Foundation Thanksgiving meal outreach.  5000 meals (sounds Biblical, doesn’t it?!) were prepared and distributed in Overton and Pickett Counties of Tennessee and in Clinton County, Kentucky.  Melissa Talent and the good folks at Fitzgerald Industries planned and underwrote this amazing effort.  They deserve our thanks!

As you know, the Lord opened the door for our Church Family to coordinate the Wilson School location in Overton County—in fact, the Lord used us to establish a Wilson School location in the first place.  I really think Father is pushing us to establish connections and relationships with our neighbors in eastern Overton County for Divine purposes!

A LARGE group of us met yesterday (Thanksgiving Day) morning at Wilson.  An undertaking as enormous as this is bound to have some glitches.  It soon became apparent that we had 400 meals to deliver—without any addresses to guide us!

Of course, it wasn’t a glitch at all.  Nine or ten teams quickly formed to cover all the communities up on the mountain.  Prayer opportunities were abundant.  Doors were open and greetings warm and sincere.  Miracles of various sorts occurred, including the Lord healing a woman with a crippled hand.  Hundreds of lives were touched through the deliveries.

In addition, a hundred or so folks came to the school to eat or to pick up plates of food.  The building was left clean and in order by the team, and the leftovers will feed around 100 folks through Meals on Wheels next week, as we partner with Mineral Springs Baptist Church.

IN ADDITION, our church family provided well over 100 desserts, and we had folks who served long hours at the Livingston Academy location.  We donated thousands of Styrofoam plates and hundreds of drinks.  And we had a team including Bruce Elder, John West, Jason Thomas, and Derek Houser that worked until 2 am Thursday morning smoking 1122 pounds of turkey!

That the Lord set this up for us to be in on the planning (Thank you Jake!) and located right in the middle of an area where His Spirit is stirring is just amazing.  That this all came together in less than three weeks is unbelievable.

On a personal level, I feel like I experienced a bit deeper the meaning of Thanksgiving this year.  I pray you did as well.  As Don Ragland pointed out last Sunday, it is easier to offer genuine Thanksgiving to God when things are difficult… chaotic… out of our control.  (In fact, “our control” and “Thanksgiving” don’t belong together in the same sentence…!)   Genuine Thanksgiving is being offered, dear Family!

THANK YOU, LORD JESUS!!!


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Loving the Fight

Loving the Fight

With the gigantic Thanksgiving Day “Love on the Mountain” experience coming up in just a few days and the equally gigantic Christmas Store on December 2nd, the Lord has given us an amazing gift—the gift of walking into His Vison for us as a congregation—the vision of ministry in rural America AND the rural Third World—as a GATEWAY Church where Jesus’ heart of reaching those most open to the gospel—who tend to be those most rejected by the culture—intersect…

It is also a great gift from God to be involved in ministries that help us focus on the heart of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But I believe that we–especially men–need more to help us battle through the jungle of life…

Men were wired by God to fight—to fight for what is holy and righteous, to fight for their spouses and families and friends, and to fight against evil and our real enemy…

Graceis the supernatural power of God that captures and empowers us; Holinessis our decision to FIGHT for the things of God and against the culture—and our own flesh; Righteousness is the gift God gives to those who choose Holiness—who choose to Fight the Good Fight of faith!   And it is a FIGHT, easily missed by those who settle for shallow faith; easily lost by those who are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices…

                                                                                FIGHT CLUB

I am inviting all the men in our congregation to join me in becoming part of the Fight Club, which will kick off January 5th at Midnight.  We are joining forces with the I AM Worship Center and several other local churches and pastors in this 10-week-long process of becoming battle-ready Spirit-strong Men of God.

For ten weeks, we will face daily challenges—and daily accountability—in areas of physical, spiritual, and relational growth—to become an Army of Men who not only survive but also thrive in this hostile world.

I know what it feels like to be frustrated with life—with not having what I want when I want it—and by being tempted constantly to just give up and give in to the temptations that surround us.  Almost daily, I pray with men who are at the end of their rope—disillusioned by the grind of life and often discouraged by their (real or perceived) failures as husbands and fathers and friends.  When we feel like we’re failing everyone including God, it really seems pointless to go on trying…

If I had not learned how to fight the good fight of faith, I would have lost this fight a long time ago.  You would not be reading this, because I would not have written it… Only God knows to what depth I may have fallen had He not put men in my life who taught me how to fight, and helped me grow as a Man of God…

I long for the men of this church and community to rise and fight and take this area away from the Enemy—which is not our wives or kids or jobs or frustrations.  But make no mistake—if we don’t fight the good fight, we will lose.  We are fighting an ancient and well-equipped enemy who understands our weaknesses.

On the other hand, Satan is fighting Men of God dressed in the Armor of God—an Army equipped by God with every weapon necessary to destroy his schemes, as we walk in integrity and protect each other’s backs…!

I hope to see you at the giant bonfire kick-off to FIGHT CLUB on January 5th 2018!


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Love on the Mountain

Love on the Mountain

You never know when a God-opportunity is going to arise.  But what we do know is this:  When they do, it is best to be quickly obedient to the Lord’s will and enter in the opportunity—and the blessings surrounding it!

Monday afternoon, a God-opportunity arose. I was at a planning meeting with Dave Bliss and Dino and Catherine Cates along with various County leaders and officials discussing the massive 5000 meal Thanksgiving outreach that is about to take place.

In case you haven’t heard, Melissa Talent and the folks at Fitzgerald Industries are teaming up with our School System and L.A. principle Jake Asbury (with some help from you and me, hopefully!) to prepare 5000 meals at Livingston Academy beginning on Tuesday the 21st for distribution on Thanksgiving Day.  1500 of the meals will be transported—hot and ready to eat—to Clinton County, Ky., and 1000 of the meals will go to Pickett County, TN.  The other 2500 meals are for us right here in Overton County.

In all three Counties, first responders, emergency service workers, and hospital and nursing home employees will receive meals.  In addition, meals will be served at L.A. from 11:00 to 1:00, and delivered to the homes of those who request the meals.

As we were discussing logistics for Overton County, it became painfully obvious that no one wanted to serve the eastern part of the County—the Wilder/Hanging Limb/Crawford area in terms of deliveries or distribution.

Here is where the God Opportunity—the Divine Doorway—opened and arose.  As we listened to the discussion, the four of us from First Church felt the same call—that Wilson School needed to be opened just as Livingston Academy will be, and that delivery to folks in the Eastern part of the County can happen best out of that home base—with FIRST CHURCH in charge of the Wilson location!

The committee gratefully accepted our offer.  Somewhere between 500 and 1000 hot meals will be delivered to Wilson School and WE will oversee the Thanksgiving Day lunch gathering at the School from 11:00 to 1:00 and assist with home deliveries in the Crawford/Hanging Limb/Wilder area—all the while praying with folks and building relationships with our neighbors.

This is an amazing confirmation to a larger vision the Lord has been speaking to our Body—a call to plant His Kingdom beginning with Life Groups/Home Churches in the most out-of-the-way and neglected “villages” in the U.S., in the same way His Church is being planted in villages around the world.

The American Church model is to go where the money is.  God’s Church model is to go where the need is…  His Spirit is already preparing places of peace (see Luke 10) in villages all over the world—including our backyard—where the Good News finds a peaceful home and harvesters are welcomed to the ripe fields.

I am asking you to prayerfully consider giving up a few hours on Thanksgiving Day to be part of something that is big and important and truly from the Lord—right in our own neighborhood, up on the Mountain—to Love on the Mountain…!


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