Sunday, October 2, 2011

Away in Canada but still taking away from NEXT

I can't believe we have been away for 4 months already. I grieve the home and family I came to know in Oregon but I have to say that God sure did move and work in that place and continues to in my life even while we are 4600km away. For those who don't know how far that is, it's the distance from California to New York.

Every day I use the things I learned at NEXT. And what's next for us? I don't really know but it looks like whatever and wherever we are, we will constantly be using the knowledge taken from Oregon from the NEXT program, to Household of Faith, to our friends Tim and Katie, to the work at the ranch Pacifica. I could go on and on. I have not learned as much in my life, about life as I did in Oregon and I pray that God keeps doing that in my life even while away.

We miss you Oregon people :D God bless you this year.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting to Know the Community


I just wanted to share a bit about some of the ministry we've been doing from this big gorgeous house. I should start off by telling you about how it all started...

For the first few months feelings for me had been up in the air. Having just moved away from everything I knew for the first time in my life, I didn't really know where I was to fit in; as a mother, a wife and as someone wanting to serve God and reach out to other people too. Then I reached breaking point. I didn't know what in the world God had me here for. He was clearly telling Dan what he was supposed to be doing but as for me, I just had no idea. I started reading James one night and stopped at James 1:26. Then, as most peoples brains do when they're tired, mine started wandering away and I was thinking about the community again and how to get involved. I thought, "Maybe I'll write to the community and see if anyone would like to come over for dinner. Maybe somehow I could find the hungry people and the lonely people and have them over for dinner." I realized my mind had gone off on a tangent and this is what James 1:27 reads: "Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world." Isn't that just crazy! So right away I put out a message on our local email list opening up our house to dinner for the people in the community.

It has been fruitful. Some nights are not as full as others but each week we are able to minister to a great group of people. Dinner's usually start at 6 or 630. Well, I had gotten many RSVP's for dinner yet no one was there by 630. Dan asked me to pray for dinner and I actually said no the first time...then he asked me again and I got the point; he wasn't asking. So I prayed, thanked God for the food and asked Him to please do with Thursday dinners as He wishes. I was discouraged as you can tell by the prayer. Well, within 5 minutes, our guests arrived. They were wonderful. All three of them piled out of the car with open arms and as I greeted them, they embraced me as if they were hugging a friend they hadn't seen in years. It was a wonderful evening. Our neighbors on our property also came up later and we had a great conversation.

This ministry has meant a lot to me. Wednesdays (Chapel) and Thursday nights are my favorite nights of the week. I guess it's because this house is being used for it's purpose. To reach out to people here and that is really what it has become. Thank you to all who are helping to make this happen here. It means the world to me!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Official Podcast Launch

Enjoy our Official Podcast Launch. We had a great week and look forward to keeping you updated.

Feel free to leave comments below. It's good to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is the Gospel?

By Dan Willis and Tim Thompson

The Gospel is lost in America. This is a bold way to being our first Newsletter, but it is the simplest conviction we share as missionaries in America. The once powerful and life changing good news, that proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, spoke of the resurrection, released us from sin and gave new breath to our life, has been manipulated, devalued and misused to a point that those who hear the gospel are confused or disinterested in the significance.

The Church Works began as a missions group looking to rediscover the message of the gospel. Inspired by Lesslie Newbigin and other great writers, we want to do the work to contextualize the gospel in our culture. And then share the burden with others who have like understanding and concern about the message of Christ.

America associates the Gospel to actions, causes and political ideals. But by defining the Gospel through worldly things we confine it to worldly things. Is the Gospel truly something so weak? Is it merely a catch phrase? Is this the good news that so many die for?

Mark 16:15-17 has this to say about the Gospel:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

As we are out in the world preaching the Gospel, we are searching for the words to grasp this immense idea. We need words that have the power, love, and wisdom to display it. The challenge to us all to find the words that the world will understand.

So we began with some simple questions:

· What is the Gospel?

· What is it about the life we live in America that removes us from the conviction and effectiveness of the Gospel?

· How to we share with others a message of Christ that sounds like “Good News”?

If you are interested in being part of the conversation, join us. As an exercise we take passages of the New Testament and discern the words and ideas that accompany the Gospel message. In our NEXT program, we begin with Colossians Chapter 3 and make a list of the words and we’ve began the same conversation in Facebook.

Then, this month go to through the NT and find the Gospel, every book contains it somewhere. Seek it out. Find that power and grasp it. Then Live it, love it and most importantly share it! Find the words that share the power of the Gospel but can be understood by the world around you.

Don't stop there become an M.I.A. and share the good news you find with everyone you know. Be open to the spirit and live as a free people.