living on mission
sharing life together
growing in truth
It was glorious for the Tuesday night Restore family to share our monthly meal together last week! JJ’s burgers were great and the fellowship was hearty & high spirited.
It was glorious to have Julie Smith back with us. Maybe not yet at 100% but we prayed, laying on our hands, believing He would raise her from this lung condition soon. Pray also for the pulmonologist she will see this week.
Brad still sees Lynnda nearly daily. He has shared some concerns that her good care would continue though Villagio was sold to new management. We join our hearts in prayer for both of them.
Lee led a good discussion of the week’s sermon and we planned to meet on the alternate weeks of Family Fellowship throughout the summer at Suite 100. We are looking forward to more frequent meetings with “the extended family” and will perhaps offer some alternative snacks to pizza. We all love it, but not all should!
The Tuesday night restore family is moving into summer-scattered-flock syndrome. But it always interests me how the different members interact.
Following Sunday’s extraordinary sermon we had plenty of fodder for discussion!
Our great Savior so humbly asking for His own to watch and pray with Him even for one hour, impacted us all in a powerful way. Feeling no condemnation, but sickness for our weakness, when we would do what He would have us do, but the flesh is weak. We were struck by the definition of the cup. Many of us had never associated it with anything other than our sins, with only a vague understanding of all the sins of the world and its immediate repercussions for the Son. I am sure many of us were moved to tears by the idea of the rupture it required in his fellowship to Abba. I found that a most
satisfying reason for His question.
That the disciples were ill prepared for the battle ahead of them in their “imminent defection” was good motivation for us to reevaluate our prayer lives and devotion to such a loving, selfless Savior. Admittedly we have no hope apart from His indwelling Holy Spirit urging, reminding, strengthening us to watch and pray. It is our prayer for all of South Church and the Church universal.
Please keep Julie Smith in your prayers. She is struggling with bronchitis and possible pneumonia.
We remember Elyse and Chuck to be faithfully lead through this spell of vertigo and be brought to full health and safe travels.
Please join with us in prayer for the Henke’s daughter and her seven children and husband. Have mercy, Jesus, and minister deliverance through healing.
We continue to lift up our wayward children, that they not have to suffer the wrath of God that Christ so kindly took on Himself in our stead.
God have mercy on us all as we press on to endure until He comes.
Though we were small we are strong in His might! The Tuesday Restore family has been happily installed at McAfee's for a few weeks now. Whether we eat or not, we are content to strive together to know the Lord and serve where He leads.
How great a celebration was our Easter walk through the Word of His wonders??!! Thank you, pastor, for bathing us in the Word of truth! We love you!
Remember our infirm sisters and raise them to health again, Abba. Seasonal allergies and common tests at this age are par for the course. Still we mourn for our sister Lynnda and pray for her peace and that of her families. We know “You will not abandon her soul to destruction.”
Pray for Nancy as she recovers from a painful procedure.
I, Bobbi, hope for your prayers for this intractable cough, so that I may sing the Mozart. My great joy is singing! All the more for His glory! Remember brother and deacon Lee as well for his persistent back strains with strenuous work. Lord have mercy on us all!
We are all grateful for the return of Susan Stephens and the new addition of Louise Murphy. God grow us according to your mercy and plan.
We are grateful for any small glimpses of hope in our wayward children and continue to seek Him on their behalf, “til Christ be formed in them.”
Brothers, let us love one another as He has loved us.
The Tuesday night restore group enjoyed great fellowship and meaningful encouragement from the Lord that our prayers are being heard and answered. Those of you who have labored in prayer for these children, THANK YOU! We pray for our children as you know who have been estranged from the Lord. The Chiles are rejoicing in the return of their prodigal daughter and we all share in the joy and the hope it gives us that our wayward children will come home as well. There was Great rejoicing in heaven that night over one lost sinner who is returned to the fold. The Book says, “to train up a child in the way that he should go and when they are old they will not depart from it!” :-) We see how true our God is to his Word. Hallelujah!!
We continue to hope for Andrew Stevens, Sarah Mitchell Grimmer and Kate Culpepper.
It was our joy to spend our first official restore meeting in the McAfee’s home. We were pleased and blessed to honor Brad & Lynnda for nearly 10 years of faithful, loving service to Restore. Please be in prayer for him as he takes a six month sabbatical to get all his ducks In a row. We pray God’s richest blessing on the continued success of his B&B, his devoted vigil with his missed bride, Lynnda and the weaning of a lifetime of diligent employment. We say “well done good and faithful servant”; an echo of Christ in the days to come.
We are limiting our meals to the second Tuesday in the month to give ourselves over more fully to prayer and Bible study.
Lord bless us as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. He who calls us is faithful to complete the work He began in us.
Hallowed be His matchless name.
My son Isaac sent the photo from Ireland!
It seems at every meeting we encounter the challenge of children living contrary to the Word, even as were all of us before He saved us. So it is easier to show compassion when viewed through our own conversion experiences. We can own how blind, stubborn and foolish we were, really just dead in our trespasses and sins. Awareness of this truth enables our effectual prayers for them. We understand that "unless the Father draws them, they cannot come." And so we are importunate--like the widow who "wore out the unjust judge"--with our petitions to the Father that He would send His Holy Spirit to quicken His Word concerning Christ to their hearts and minds, especially in the case of children raised to know his Word, even if they do not yet honor it. We ask for their souls to be saved.
Please be in prayer for Andrew, Hank and Nancy's son, who was the victim of a hit and run accident in LA. He is alive and now returned home. Please pray for Truth to prevail and see him to healing: body, mind and soul. I cannot help but see God at work here. We have hoped in Him for so long. His will be done for Andrew's good and God's glory.
We have need for wisdom where potential surgeries may be necessary, work, strengthening of weak bodies and right priorities in this new year.
We are thankful for God’s presence and power to strengthen Lynnda following her fall. Her lungs are clear but the possibility of developing pneumonia still exists in her weakened condition. Please help us to pray for her complete restoration to health.
Lee Chiles is standing in the need of prayer as well, following a fall and fractured spine. Pray for adequate management of pain without any lingering effects, and for a swift return to work. The Lord knows his need and will give daily bread. And heaven grant patience and compassion to Mary and to Brad as they care for their suffering loves ones.
I, Bobbi, am thankful, as well, for God’s help in meeting my financial needs as a Lyft driver. He did exceedingly abundant above what I asked or thought!
God help us, in Christ, to show mercy, love justice and walk humbly with Him as we lift each other up in prayer and minister the Word to the unbelieving and "especially the household of faith." To God be the glory for these answered prayers. Amen
It's almost the New Year again and as usual we try to measure gains and losses and evaluate how we can improve, slow down, just keep moving! The latter is our real challenge as age forces us to recognise our limitations. As Churchill said, "When the body fails, let wisdom suffice."
We continue to labor in prayer for our children, our neighbors and friends, and to encourage one another in the fellowship. A Brighter Day is coming! Granted, we may see it darken more before He comes, just as our reading in Revelation right now encourages us... "this calls for the perseverance of the Saints."
We do not know the day or time He will come, but we do know there are many yet to come into the Kingdom. God, cause us to make sharing the Gospel a priority rather than gathering goods that will burn; loving the souls of men, as the Bridegroom is at the door. Are we making ready? Are our wicks trimmed and lamps filled with oil? Do we love Him more than this life, family, lands? God, by Your infinite wisdom and grace, prepare Your people for Your return. For the sake of the elect, kindle Holy fire in all of us who love You and are called according to Your purposes. Desire of Ages, fill us with power, that we be found faithful when You come. Until then, help us to love one another well, with sincerity and humility, forgiving and bearing with one another for the sake of the unity You desire for Your Church. For apart from You we can do nothing! As they see our love, You have promised that they will know we are Yours. Cause us to be faithful in the little, that Your Son might be exalted in the much.
We wish you all a joyous Christmas, in the Lamb slain for our good.
Praise God for making us family! Like any relations, we grow as we patiently interact: we celebrate our triumphs together, encourage one another through our failures, and strive alongside in prayer even when relations are strained. As we humble ourselves and confess with love, our Lord enables strengthening reconciliation, making our fellowship all the sweeter!
We were thankful Susan Stephens was able to join us this past Tuesday night. Her metamorphosis is visible and beautiful. We are hopeful for her in these new beginnings. God is faithful to complete the good work He has begun in her, in all of us.
We had such a huge group, even with a few out on vacation! Soon we won't fit anywhere but "Sweet 100"!!! Praise the Lord!
We continue praying for wisdom and patience with our wayward children, resting our cares on Him who cares for us, for the saving grace they need and we need. Please remember them in prayer: for the Holy Spirit's conviction of Truth in their inner man, for confession of sin, and for faith in Jesus; the only name whereby we must be saved. He is on the move! He is showing us all the wonderful things He has done and is doing, building strong foundations, by His Word faithfully taught, for our hope in His/our future Glory! How blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
Pray with us, as well, for the defeat of the devil's wiles to deceive in our world. Lord raise up teachers determined and committed to lift up the God of the Bible and no seeker-friendly imposters. Thank you that we are guarded by your Spirit through the Word of Truth. Cause us to cling to Christ and rightly represent the Son to others in need of Him. God do so in all our Restore families and Your Church universal. Thank You for our faithful pastor, deacons and elders.
Tuesday night Restore family has good news and bad news... but it's "all good, for those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purposes." I keep preaching that to myself in the midst of health concerns that I face: possible kidney failure. He is Lord and has numbered the hairs on our heads. If we live, we live as unto the Lord, and if we die, it is as unto the Lord. Pray with me for relief of anxiety, for alternative means to healing or at least avoiding dialysis, if it be His will. Perhaps He needs witnesses in the long hours sitting hooked up to a machine. Let whatever comes be for His glory and our good.
Les’ surgery went well. The doctor says he has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The short of it is, his bladder isn’t working as it should. Proper diet & staying hydrated should help moving forward.
Brad had wonderful news about Lynnda. He reports that she is so perked up lately and though still in her own world, she is engaging and seems much more content. My guess is the protein drinks are subsidizing what she forgets to eat and are strengthening her internally. He hopes to be able to get her in a private room soon and his B&B is picking up interest. God will enable his heart's desire as he delights himself in the Him. He promised!
Hank and Nancy have had the joy of welcoming another healthy grandchild, Reese, into the family. We all feel like favorite aunts and uncles already. Pray for their safe return and that their car can be repaired from a recent collision with a curb on a bridge. Praise God neither of them were injured! As ever, continue to pray for Andrew, that the Lord, in His kindness, would open his eyes through repentance and so save him.
Im pretty sure I mentioned our outreach to the United Softball league that Paige has begun after the heart of his Father. Pray many will be won to love and honor the Lord through this ministry to young people and their coaches and parents.
Rolf was blessed to outlive a charging rhinoceros in his recent hunting trip to Africa! Not your every day scare! We are happy he lived to tell. Praise the Lord!
As always, brothers and sisters, it is our joy to be in eternal family with you and pray for God's best for you and from you for His blessed Name's sake. See ya Sunday, Lord willing and the cric don't rise!
I was blessed to be off this past Tues. and in no need to rush home early from Restore as has been my habit for nearly a year now working at Serenity House. I had forgotten how much it means to me to join in the discussion of the Sunday sermon and share what God has taught me over these many years. What a joy to hear of the many prayer requests, answered prayers and needs of our fellowship. How else are we to minister to one another if we are not aware of the many events that mark our lives and the movement of God in them? It was like being reconnected.
We are joyful in the news that the Stevens are expecting their third grandchild and still looking to Christ for the reclamation of their son Andrew. Pray the Lord will break through his denial of the Truth he was taught and stir up the Word within him to bring him to repentance and faith. For all our wayward son's and daughters we lift up the same prayer of faith.
Our beloved Jaycee Bivens has found love again in the revealed will of God for her life and is engaged to be married to John Creech. Ironically he has a close association, and a great back story, to the Murphys and McDonalds of South Church. If you noticed, a couple of Sundays ago, that tall, dark stranger sitting with her in worship, that's him. So technically he is already family and Louise's nephew. Our joy is bubbling over for the end of a long road of suffering and loss for her and grateful for God's surprising grace and timing. Best of all they are like minded in their committment to Christ and we feel sure He will greatly use them throughout the course of their marriage.
Our dear Elder and friend Brad experienced a heart attack early Sunday morning and was ambulanced to Austin Heart Hospital where he underwent the placement of a stent in one of the major arteries of his heart. He has some other blockage that they will try to control with medication. Please join us, as I'm sure you have already, in praying for his swift recovery and return to ministering to his wife Lynnda, South Church and his work.
Les' son Brandon has joined the Navy, following after his dad, and will be starting boot camp soon. Pray for him and also for the resolution of some health issues Les has been dealing with.
Hank and John Culpepper have kept all of us in peaches and plums in this bumper year for fruit. What a fine array of peach pies and cobblers and crisps we have seen and enjoyed.
God's bountiful provision for our needs has filled us with confidence that He loves as He has said and will soon bring us, His waiting Bride, to Himself and lead us in victory over everything contrary to His Truth and authority, until all is put under His footstool. For that Day we long and persevere, by His grace alone. Soli Deo Gloria!
Tuesday night restore rejoices in the faithfulness of God as we pray and work and wait for His will.
First, God has led Mary through the travail of sickness, bruises and tears that has been this final year of her teaching in Special Ed. She would have surrendered to despair had He not taken her hand and encouraged her through. PRAISE HIS WONDERFUL NAME...JESUS, NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES! The devil would have swindled her out of her retirement year...but the wolf is subject to the Good Shepherd!
Jacee MacAfee has settled In a loft in Tennessee to begin her business. We are grateful to the Lord for bringing her through her grief and loss to a good land and pray He will make her fruitful where He has planted her.
And though we may lose Lee and Mary temporarily to Dallas, He has opened up the door for Lee to be closer to his dad and minister grace to him and a job much more suited to his age with excellent benefits! He has struggled as well as Mary to survive the B&B cleaning trade and its physical demands. Our faithful God sees and knows all and makes provision for His own. Pray they find the house God has provided and sell theirs here.
Brad has made great headway readying the house to lease as a B&B that he may afford to see Lynnda into a private room. How God has sustained him to work full time, keep up his visits with Lynnda, encourage his grandkids on the baseball field and finish his humble barn-do-minium! Thank you, Hank for your beautiful, masterful wood working skill!
We have so many reasons to praise the Lord!
Our Tuesday night Restore family has been blessed with some new faces! God has sent the Culpeppers, John and Andrea and, most recently, Vicki Brown who now occupies Carlton's home across the street from Brad.
The emphasis on SING! has opened some happy times of sharing meaningful worship songs together. There is a strong tradition of Baptist influence among our members as well as Lutheran and Presbyterian favorites. We had a blast working on our Restore song offering for April's Fellowship Meal. I brought a Baptist hymnal one Tuesday night and we picked three favorites from among a host of fine hymns. Finding a pitch that suits everyone's ranges well is always a challenge, but, working patiently together with lots of laughs, we settled on "Great is thy Faithfulness", a song so representative of the attributes of our great God and Savior. "All I have needed Thy hand hath provided," a new place for Rolf and Julie to live in town, a job for Bob :), a fine place for Brad to entrust his wife of fifty years, in her need, women in love with the Word who encourage one another to grow in grace and knowledge, men who walk in love and integrity and service to our fellowship and community, relative good health for our ages, answered prayer for our children, continuous daily mercy to keep us persevering in Christ, and strong, faithful leadership from the pulpit for the assurance of our hope in Christ. "How do we love Thee, let us count the ways!"
Next on our "top three" was "Trust and Obey" because we understand there is NO other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. "For we never can prove the delights of His love until all on the altar we lay". We offer up our differences, our preferences, submitting to one another in love and out of reverence for Christ. How He deepens our affections for each other as we do.
Lastly, "When we all get to heaven", while not a strong doctrinal song, still a hopeful, joyful hymn of our future glory. Whether mansions or rooms, we are content to be His beloved adopted children, "heirs and fellow heirs with Christ". "Sing the wondrous love of Jesus! Sing His mercy and His grace!" "Onward to the prize before us, soon His beauty we'll behold..." "Idou!" All our hearts long for that day as, by grace alone, we fight the good fight and keep the faith no matter what may come. He is Lord and there is no other name by which we must be saved. As each bears their own cross and part, our harmony is made sweet by the Spirit of Christ's faithfulness to help us trust and obey until He takes us into glory, our bright hope and greatest treasure, eternal life with the Lamb who has taken away our sin. Hallelujah!
After a break for the month of December, the Tuesday night Restore family is happy to be "Back in the saddle again!"
Our emphasis in the new year has been "Sing!" We are exploring all the blessed aspects of music in worship and in our private devotions. Ways God the Father has made us to sing and gifted us with His creative Spirit to write and construct songs for our enhanced learning and adoration to be expressed. We sing His divine attributes and His great mercy, we sing for our assurance and hope. We sing for joy for His great salvation in Christ. We sing the Scriptures, the Truth, like holy water, cleansing and restoring our lives. We rejoice in singing His praises and infinite worth even as He in Zephaniah 3:17, "exults over us with loud singing!" "Oh, how He loves you and me!" "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing our great Redeemer's praise!"
We sing prayers for heavenly comfort for our suffering brothers, and sight for the blind, and the bringing of many sons to glory. We sing the deep magic of redemption in "Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded." We even sing our answer to the accuser of the brethren in "Now I belong to Jesus!" There is no need in man that music was not ordained to salve us, convict us, encourage and change us into the image of His dear Son. We join the angel chorus in singing "Holy, Holy, Holy, worthy is the Lamb who was slain" and "He shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!"
The Tuesday night Restore Family is leaning into our Father for Grace in the Son as He continually shepherd's His own by His wise and Holy Spirit. As parents & spouses just like you, we are beset with worrisome health challenges and behavioral issues with our children. We are strongly opposed to compromising righteousness for the sake of "love" or "peace". But our faithful pastor leads us weekly to find hope in trusting God's Word. That it is an incomparable treasure of wisdom when we lack it and grace and mercy when we cry out for it, a compass when we're lost & clueless, and a "very present help in time of trouble." In short, when we avail ourselves of His peace, we need not carry these burdens alone, rather we find great hope and solace as we know Him in the yoke beside us. What comfort, what joy, what peace in these storms!!! Thankfulness abounds!
Our news is good. The Smith's are so enjoying their new home and are busy planting their dedicated "Matthew (grandson) orchard". They are taking literally the mandate to "bear much fruit"! :)
JJ and Dawna McAfee have just welcomed a new grandson from Bryson and Marley in Pheonix. PTL! They are prospering in ministry at the college and Camel Back Church, as well.
Hank and Nancy are still back and forth encouraging and helping their daughter and son-in-law in Dallas. Continue to pray for their son Andrew who is struggling. We know God is near to him and striving to bring him through victorious because of our many prayers and "His faithfulness to a thousand generations who love Him!"
Keep Lee and especially Mary--working with Special Ed students at the primary school--in your prayers. Pray for Mary's stamina to resist illness and be able to complete her final year before retirement, for wisdom to know her (His) way and for grace to endure a difficult situation. For Lee, pray for strength and patience to care for and encourage her as he juggles B&B's and a busy deacon ministry.
Les covets prayer for his balanced relationship with his sons: that he would be helpful in leading them to obey and trust Christ, while holding them accountable in righteousness, without enabling them.
Brad visits Lynnda nearly daily and is thankful she has adapted well, as if God has led her to a kind of acceptance she may not even be conscious of. He has not forsaken or abandoned her, but treasures her all the more in her weakness. Glory to God!
I have begun a new job that requires night shifts and am trying to adjust my sleep patterns and pray that I can make good use of a lot of down time through prayer and be found faithful in the rare instance that I encounter the residents who are sleeping during my shift. Their need is great for God to come along side them and, by His Grace, free them from the bonds of addiction.
Lord, our prayer is to be found faithful in the little and the large events of our lives, both in working and in trusting You. As you intercede for us from the throne, even as you did for Peter--"that our faith would not fail"--we are assured of Your victory. For You and You alone have overcome the world and so we too, who are in Christ. Soli Deo Gloria! "Of those given to Him, He has loved them to the end." Amen
We find, in our Tuesday night Restore group, that as we treasure the GOD of heaven , all His promises and one another, we grow in our faith and trust. We grieve together and rejoice together, we hope and groan for the coming Kingdom where we will "shine like the Sun." Where neither our sin nor the sin of others will encroach on our fellowship with the Holy One, as we are transformed from mortal to immortal by the sovereign plan of the Most High and the blood of the Lamb.
Many of our members are experiencing the same discouragement with rebel children. We pray fervently for them to listen to Christ and testify to his unique place as prophet, priest and King to be realised and feared. We believe that his kindness will lead them to repentance. We adjust our hopeful eyes up to Christ, seated at the right hand of our Abba, "who ever lives to interceed for us" and "are kept in perfect peace as they are stayed on Him."
Rolf and Julie have moved and found a honey of a house on a hill just out Goehmann Lane and so much closer to us. It has been a difficult move but they soon will be settled in and able breathe a sigh of relief.
Brad has returned to work and visits Lynnda nearly every day. Continue to pray for his burdened heart and her peace.
Pray for Mary as she adjusts to more difficult and taxing conditions in primary special ed. Pray GOD would help her rest, heal and trust him for strength and compassion to faithfully serve out her final year before retiring.
Lord Jesus have mercy on us as we await your coming and Grant us opportunities to win souls.
Moving seems be a recurrent theme in the Tuesday night Restore group. Whether simply moving to a different apartment within the ones I've been in for ten years or making the giant step that Rolf and Julie Smith are making to buy other property and uproot completely.
Then there is our precious Lynnda who, has gone to Villagio Memory Care Center in Kerrville. She is adjusting well to her new home and anyone may call on her throughout the day. She will, as always, know you, greet you warmly and... keep moving. :) Please keep the whole family in your prayers as they adjust to this abrupt and difficult change. He is still good, on His throne, and at work through this trial. May He gain great glory from our patient endurance and trust.
Even the McAfee's are building a home and are anxious to have it finished so they can move.
It has been a busy summer with many absences but close connections throughout for prayer and loving support.
God is changing our face, moving us into position for greater effectual ministry to each other and the community as the new school year begins.
May God cover each mom and dad, grandparent and teacher as they reflect the love and grace of Christ and entrust their children, in some cases, to strangers at public or private schools. God help home schoolers and single parents to lean into Christ for direction and strength. He is faithful to complete the work He is doing in you and also your children. He will not forsake you!
"Trust in the lord and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." -Proverbs 3:4-5
Lord use us according to your wise counsel and bright promises to bring the light of the Gospel... by the Power at work in us, through the Spirit of Christ. Amen
God is taking the measure of our fellowship. Our prayer is to be found faithful. For mercy sake and lightening the load on Findley's, we have spread out to other homes on Tues nights. And what a blessing! JJ and Dawna McAfee were first to share, then Rolf and Julie Smith, at Alamo Springs, then Lee and Mary Chiles hosted us. We are blessed to have so many homes large enough for our group and hearts determined to serve.
Please pray with us for Brad and Lynnda, for wisdom and direction and overcoming love. Christ is sufficient for all our need.
We are also blessed to have Bryson and Marlee, McAfee's children, as part of our church family now. Please join us in prayer for their continued growth and godly influence on campus in Pheonix. What a joy and blessing to hear him preach!
We have needs for healing and deliverance.
God has opened the door for Mary to work on another of the FISD campuses with special needs kids. Praise His gracious Name forever!
Les and other men have led worthily in our review of sermons and we always have good discussion. He is growing and stretching us to better fit His Kingdom and love each other sacrificially. Grace to grow and encourage one another even more, In holiness, "as we see the days approaching". Maranatha!
"We are pressed on every side"... pretty well sums it up for our Restore family.
Our trials, as yours, are many, forcing us to cling to Christ for strength, power to love where we don't naturally, and reminders that He is on His way: this is not our Home. These glimpses in the Scripture rejuvenate and kindle new hope that does not disappoint. We do not win all of our skirmishes, but--hallelujah!--the War is already won by Christ!!!
Please keep us in your prayers as we serve and hope to love each other better and better, by grace.
Pray for the Findleys, pray for the Chiles, pray for the McAfees, and the Smiths, pray for Les and the Keuers, pray for Bobbi. Pray for our wisdom, direction and zeal to keep on persevering in the Lord's service despite many emotional and physical obstacles.
It was our joy to participate in the fellowship & campout for families with middle & high schoolers this past weekend. We supplied lots of coffee, breakfast tacos, lunches and drinks before they headed off to float the river after devotion! :)
The Stephens have a new grand-baby boy and are rotating time here managing a monster garden and going to Dallas to be with kids. Pray for their road safety as well as Brad's.
Sunday's sermon summed up where the Tuesday night Restore family is better than I could: "Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself." WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE!
The men have rotated bringing the lessons, always with good discussion of the Scripture, prayerful effort to understand the intent of the Lord, and a purposeful eye to making application to our walk of faith. God is so faithful! His Love endures Forever!
Many are the heart, body and soul needs of our increasingly aged group. Our tents have holes and are readying for the final shift into Glory. Our love deepens and widens for each other through our suffering. The suffering of our younger brothers & sisters is not less, just of a different sort. All of us grieve wayward children, even as some of us used to be. But we do not grieve without hope, remembering from where the Lord has brought us.
Please join us in prayer for faltering minds and back injuries. Pray for continued healing of eyes relieved of cataracts. Job difficulties and pressures from unbelievers have made life miserable for some. Wisdom for other opportunities is sought. Some have been hurt on the job physically and need grace for healing and medical care. Some need wisdom for parenting, to love without enabling, and hope for the their child's acceptance of responsibility, with repentance, and the intervention of the Lord. Some are caretakers, weary and worn, in need of respite and much prayer. All are assaulted by the enemy, whether by their own weariness in failures to please the Lord, the intentional snares of the enemy, or the constant bombardment of the world to distract from living on mission.
We are needy people, in love with the Lord. "In all these things we are more than conquerers through Christ who loves us and gave His life for us." He leads us with tender mercy and gentleness so as not to extinguish even the faintest flicker of hope. How strong in the yoke we find His gracious presence to be, in helping us to walk and sometimes simply carrying us to safety and rest. He is building our trust daily as we are satisfied in Him, and He is training us that His Word is ever true and faithful. We are the losers when we cut ourselves off from grace, through failure to seek Him first. We covet your prayers and extend ours to you, beloved brothers & sisters, that we all lean into Christ for this last little while until He finally takes us to Himself.
SOUND THE AMEN!!!
The Tues. night Restore group has weathered a few more storms, by the grace of God. Right on the heels of losing dear Lucille, Brad's mom, Scott, Lynnda's brother, went to be with the Lord in San Angelo. Her one desire was met providentially to be able to be with him at the end. Abba graciously allowed him enough lucidity to say "I love You" to her moments before they left. He was not far behind. How kind and merciful our Father to grant our hearts desires. Oh, How He loves you and me.
Rolf Smith has kept us appraised of Julie's progress since her second knee surgery. It is a slow and painful process. Please keep her in your prayers for mercy and healing as she leans on the Lord for the strength and endurance to go through a difficult rehab, with as little need for pain meds as possible. Pray for Rolf, as her primary caretaker, that as he leans on the Lord for patience and the fruit of the Spirit, he would "be able to do exceeding above what he asks or thinks!", by grace alone. We really have missed them in Proclaim & Restore!
We surprised the new Mrs. Brown with a new Russian/English Bible. We lifted up prayers and well wishes for God to bless and bring their marriage under the authority of Christ so that they might love one another and glorify Him. Eugenia graciously translated for us and we were blessed to see how big little Stephan has become and bright as a button under Anastasia's good motherly care.
We have enjoyed the return to reviewing the Proclaim sermons and continue to be amazed at our Lord and His Messiahship. I am personally so grateful for God's marvelous plan to refute the wisdom of the wise and blind, to open a way through Isreal's hardening for the Gentiles to see and receive the Savior. That means us! Glory to God. Our pastor has led us to see Jesus' majesty even in His hardest sayings. Abba, grant us mercy to persevere and to speak with boldness the Gospel which alone can save use from ourselves and His wrath to come. All hail King Jesus! All hail Emmanuel!
The Tuesday night Restore family ended the year in a flurry of activity including ministering at the hospital. Most were out of town on Christmas Eve, but the Findleys and Chileses delivered trays of food and drink to the shoestring crew who would otherwise have had none as the hospital kitchen was closed. They were very appreciative and God was glorified in loving service. See y'all next year!
We wrapped up our "Dust to Glory" study with the bright, glorious bow of Revelation, and are happy to return to reviewing our Sunday sermons in Matthew. Minimalist Matthew reminds us regularly of his mission to reveal Jesus the Messiah, as well as the risk & glory in following Christ. We are greatful for our pastor's faithful, uncompromising exposition of the hard sayings of Christ.
Little sister Jacee Bevins has been home with us for a few weeks. Join us in prayer for her peace and direction as she trusts Christ through her loss & grieving. We are blessed to see her smile and encouraged by her walk of faith.
Carlton's wife, Valentina, has come from Russia and is a welcomed addition to our Restore family. She is loving, enthusiastic, and eager to acclamate. With lots of hugs, sign language and patience, we hope to overcome the language barrier and maybe even learn some Russian in the process. She prayed a bold prayer, in Russian, two weeks ago, and Rolf offered one in German this past week.
How exciting to echo every tongue, tribe and nation of heaven giving glory to God for His marvelous salvation in Christ alone.
To Him be glory both now and forevermore. Amen
Wow, can you believe it is the end of another year?!!! Amazingly true!
I thought it would be good to review the year's Recaps and so I went back and read them again.
It has been a year of mixed blessing, but Abba has been faithful through it all. We have seen HIM spare life and take life; bring helpful healing to some, while others wait; provide jobs, remove jobs; open doors for ministry, and close others. Some have come to faith, while others resist. His gracious presence, attentive ear, and powerful hand of peace & provision abide. He has built real fellowship and interdependence in us as we have prayed, trusted and waited on His will. We are not ashamed to trust Him "as He makes all things beautiful in His time." We continue to ask for the salvation of our children who are gone astray and are exceedingly grateful for those He has brought near again by His Sovereign Love.
We are especially grateful for his provision of a faithful pastor, elders and deacons. We are well cared for and well satisfied by His Word.
Abba, grant our greater faithfulness to You and to others in the new year!
A very Merry Christmas to you, and praise God for the great joy we have to know and make Christ known!
Our family, as yours, has waited on God for years now for Jayde Bivens' life. God has spoken in a myriad of ways to grow our faith and "to know Him, the One true God and Jesus whom He has sent." THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE! Only Love is present here to raise him up and to display His glory in ways we would have never seen apart from this suffering. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Let the testimonies of His sustaining love continue in these grieving/praising families; and our prayers be the wind beneath their wings for healing.
Brad Findley has had his shoulder surgery with our brother surgeon Clint Beiker. Though extensive, it was as God willed, and he is recovering nicely.
Thanks to Hank and Nancy Stephens for hosting our Restore meeting in his convalescence. It was a great discussion of the "lost" parables of Jesus, (the coin, sheep, and the son). We are so grateful to be sought after by the Spirit of God through repentance and turning, and to see the Father run to receive us in the rich mercy of the cross of Christ.
Lee Chiles has joined his wife Mary in the ministry to special ed. students in the public school. There is no greater challenge than to love where it is hard to see results right away. They need our prayers for the Spirit to sustain and keep them manifesting the fruit of Christ's righteousness to these needy children.
Grace to you and peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Abba's economy our Tuesday family is undergoing some intense renovation. Personal testings and trials are hot on the heels of the Sermon on the Mount.
In Restore last week we studied Jesus' baptism and temptation in the wilderness by Satan. We saw and heard the manifestation of the Holy Trinity, as the Spirit bodily descended like a dove on the Son, and Abba's voice was heard owning him as his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. What confirmation for Christ--and for us--to be owned by our Father! And immediately, the Scripture says, 'He was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.'
We noticed that satan came to him on the 40th day of his fast when his weakness, no doubt, was at its peak. His point of attack then was the same as it was in the garden for the first Adam, "Did God say?" And Jesus, the faithful, second Adam, undoing what was done at the first, answered him faithfully from the Word of God and left for us an indelible example of how we triumph over the enemy of our souls!
It was a timely word for those of us being tempted to doubt God's Word or one another in situations where we are to walk righteously and entrust our lives to God--who judges rightly--and do what is right. The real question is, are we going to walk what we have just learned, believing God's Word, or not? Will we fall on the rock for mercy, or will we be broken in our pride by The Rock. Praise God He has given us one another to be tenderhearted, forgiving and encouraging by prayer, devotion to Christ and obedience to the Word.
Our hearts are crushed but not destroyed by the doctor's latest prognosis for Jayde Bivens: despite all possible medical efforts, his leukemia has returned. As I see it, God is now free to heal and there will be no doubt who has done it. His will be done for temporary or eternal healing. Pray for Dawna, JJ and their family as they pass through these waters. May Isaiah 43 keep them.
Brad will have shoulder surgery on the 30th of this month. Please keep him in your prayers for that, as well as his back pain.
Les suggested a possible ministry helping complete the restoration of the African Methodist church on 290. So he brought Gary Hunter and his wife Tammy to give a presentation on the history and progress of the work on the Church. Wonderous providence! As always, we are seeking other opportunities for ministry. God will answer.
It has occurred to me as I have meditated and prayed about the state of our Restore family and how to make a report, that Internally there is much to say because we elderly are being challenged by the Beatitudes. We have experienced personal and corporate changes by the renewal of our minds, and thus our behavior by the Word of God. I believe God has us in a huddle, not indifferent but not sure of a united mission. I dont believe we are inactive by choice. We are pleased and thankful to be able to support the Good Samaritan Clinic and the Bevins and Hill Country Memorial Hospital. We simply do not have a unified vision... yet. Huddles are necessary for regrouping and communicating strategy. At our age it is easy to be convinced we have earned our kickback time but our hearts are being knit for greater acts of devotion and service to one another and to those we hope to win to Christ. A thousand projects would not prove our love for Christ more than our sincere love for one another. This is the Holy Ground on which we stand currently. I believe He is making us the best "We" we can be for the task He has ahead for us. Pray for us as we pray for direction and faithful obedience to the Word and our families, many of whom are without Christ, and to the "Saints who are all our delight." -Ps16.2
Being led by our study of the Body of Christ and the marks of a healthy Church, the Tuesday night Restore family is entering a significant bond and new appreciation of whose & who we are and what we are called to be for one another & for those outside our family of Christ. The further we are knit together in Truth, the more we pray and look to the Way, Truth & Life for what He would accomplish in & through us and our prayers.
God has been sending us into situations of brokenness and unbelief where we, convinced of our own inadequacy, are forced to lean on the One whose Word brings true change and everlasting life. We are hoping and praying for family members to see Truth, for the Holy Spirit to grant hearing, sight & new birth. By grace, we are trusting and seeking to make a difference through the ministry of His Word. Brothers & sisters, please pray for us... for the "effectual fervant prayer of the righteous availeth much." We pray not for boasting, but for the shared joy and building up of our faith in the God who hears and answers, and has not spared even his own Son to redeem His people. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!"
Please pray for Hank & Nancy as they minister in New Mexico, for Ed & Chris as they minister in Chicago, for JJ & Dawna as they minister to pastors, to women, and to their suffering children, the Bevins. Pray for wisdom for the Bivens to know whether or not to seek further treatment in their fight against this cancer. God has been so gracious to enable them to be home for a few weeks. Abba, show further mercy to them, that they might know your mind and be at peace.
'Buddy' is a new comer to our Restore family and certainly the youngest at just 5 months old. He's a Boston Terrier pup whose predecessor (beloved 'Sugar') has gone to be with the Lord. 'Buddy' is helping ease the pain of losing the long time friend of Brad & Lynnda Findley.
I have named only a tip of the iceberg of all the needs and efforts expended by our family in furthering the Gospel and spreading the fame of Jesus our Beloved. We add our prayers to yours that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and that He might speedily come!
The Tuesday Restore group is thankful for the scriptures as we learn the value of each other in fellowship and in the impact we can make on our community as we reflect the love of Christ to one another and with One heart we witness to the Glory of Christ in His death and resurrection. To know yourself loved and forgiven is the greatest motivation to share that Good News, as we are transformed daily by the renewing of our minds to that of Christ's, by the power of His Word.
Jayde and Jaycee are hoping for freedom from the hospital to return home soon. As JJ said...we are cautiously optimistic that his healing is progressing. May the Lord's will be done, for He is perfect in all His ways.
Our recent scare about Lynnda's dog was only vertigo, an unpleasant benign malady, but not a summons to God! To her great relief!
I was thankful to present a mission opportunity from Chelsea Thompson, who works at a crisis pregnancy center in Kerrville, to support a new project called "Save the storks." You can google it for more information but basically they are providing vans to go into the communtity, to women who are at risk of choosing abortion as their only option. They provide free testing and sonograms in an affort to encourage these women and have seen wonderful results with more than half of all women who take advantage of this service choosing to either adopt or see tangible hope for keeping their babies. God help us to stop ignoring the elephant In the room and be a part of crippling the industry and bringing it to an end. They are a Gospel based company and share Christ with every woman. We encourage the other Restore families to help with their support and prayers as well.
Lord Jesus, prevail in your Church and for life for those who will believe because of our testimony and Your intercession from the throne. Maranatha!
What a blessing to see Spring roll around with rains and earthly beauty at every corner... most especially, the beauty of Christ: "up from the grave!" Not just a space and time thing, as pastor Paige said, but His resurrection is the reality of His overcoming power in the hearts of those who have believed on the Son, filled with the life of His Holy Spirit! Romans 8.12-17
What another joy and privilege it was to participate in the Community Bible reading. If you have never taken the time, it will bless your socks off to proclaim the Word aloud with hope in God's promise that it "will not return to Him void." Thank you, Sheila, for putting this together, and for the opportunity to savor so much of the Word in a single sitting!
All are steady in God's care. Faithful and true has our Lord been in bringing gradual improvement to Chris Keuer's eyes. At least six months are required to see a full recovery. Pray God would be her patience, sufficiency and safety while she waits upon the Lord.
Jayde Bivens is holding his own after the "trained" T-cell transplant. By God's grace, he hopes to feel good enough to get some alone time with Jacee soon... away from the hospital! We trust the Lord for His mercy, healing and their best.
Our Father has faithfully provided work for Bobbi Grimmer. She will be caring for the girls we have loved having in our Sunday morning worship service this last year. They are from the Advantage Care group home. Bobbi believes this opportunity is taylor made for her! Please pray that the Lord will use her to make a difference in their lives. She is confident these girls will make a difference in hers!
Lord, grant us more opportunities to serve others while loving and encouraging others to trust Him. -1Thessalonians 5.23-25
The Tuesday Restore family is learning a lot from Dr. RC Sproul, thankful for his teaching series Dust to Glory. We are in the Old Testament for an overview of the sacrificial system and how, in great detail, it foreshadows the life and work of Jesus. Lots of food for discussion and a deeper understanding of redemption.
We've had ministry opportunities to pray corporately for our church, for The Church universal, and for those whom God has called to the mission field. We even laid hands on Les Shoots as he went to Haiti for a short-term mission adventure with his son, Trey, and a local businessman. If you missed Les' testimony, ask to see his pictures and listen to him tell how the Haitians received from them and from our Lord. Keep Les & our Haitian siblings in your prayers.
God has faithfully seen Dawna and Julie through recent out-patient surgery. They are mending well. Chris Keuer is scheduled for surgery on her eye today to remove a tumor on her retina that is obstructing her vision. Please for God's mercy on the physician and that He would bless his skill and work to restore her healthy vision. Pray for Ed and Chris's peace as well.
Our hearts and prayers are with Jayde & Jacee Bivens as they face yet another setback in his healing. Their faith and confidence in the will of God is strengthening them through these troubled waters, while God refines them for His Kingdom. Jayde has said he won't give up, and is willing to try all possible avenues for healing. God has opened a door for them to live with a pastor while Jayde receives treatment. This pastor has already proven to be a great encouragement, both physically & spiritually.
God grant their desire as it is rooted and grounded in Your glory.
Tuesday night Restore family was back with zeal, after the long holiday, with new friends, old friends, eternal friends! :) Great is His faithfulness. Our study was on the significance of the Passover and it's link to all that Christ accomplished on the cross, how it is impossible to understand the New Covenant apart from the Old, and how every detail was fulfilled in Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world that we might escape the coming wrath and be delivered from our sin to new life in Him. 2 Peter 1.3-4
We came together to pray for our common concerns for Jayde & Jacee, who have finally seen clearance of the spinal fluids of any cancer cells, surely an answer to our prayers for the T-cell therapy to be effective. Jehovah Raphe at work! Praise Him!
We are grateful for a good visit and some reconciliation between Hank and Nancy's children over Christmas. God is also at work in drawing Andrew, our most fervant hope, to seek Him in his need through circumstances he cannot control. Pray God will stir up His Holy Word in our prodigal children to bring them Home to Christ.
Carlton Brown's new grandson Levi is in need of many corrective surgeries for internal organ malformations. Medical professionals didn't think Levi's mother would be able to have children. But God blessed this family with Levi, so please pray He will continue providing for little Levi and family.
We are grateful for another year to build each other up in this most Holy faith and "encourage each other all the more as we see the Day approaching."
We are grateful beyond words for faithful leadership and the careful handling of God's Word whereby we are challenged weekly to be conformed into the image of Christ, for our joy and His Glory!
The Tuesday night Restore family enjoyed a bitter-sweet time of fellowship & prayer last week as we learned of the recurrance of Jayde Bevin's cancer. Our hope is in Him whom we have asked to allow this next, new cell-specific treatment to work healing for His glory and their good. This news has been difficult for all concerned. Please remember JJ & Dawna, Jayde & Jacee and Jayde's parents as we wait upon the Lord.
The Keuer's are learning to lean heavily on the Lord as they adapt to the ranching life... you never quite know what to expect until you get your feet wet! Please pray for their daughter Joy (well named) who has sensed the strong call of God on her life to go to China to minister to women rescued from the sex trade. Pray for her safety, wisdom and discernment, and that God would provide a sheltering canopy for her as she is obedient to go. May the Lord make her a fruitful vine as a single laborer in His vineyard. Pray also that Chris & Ed can confidently entrust her into the hands of Him who never slumbers nor sleeps as He watches over her life.
Ideally there will be enough of us in town for Christmas Eve to minister our usual snacks, food gifts and prayers, at the hospital, for the shoestring crew that attend the sick over the holiday. We thank God for them!
As ever, we are strengthened by Christ through His Word as we listen each week to our faithful pastor and to RC Sproul in the "Dust to Glory" series we are studying.
Our hope and prayer is that Christ will be the centerpiece of your holidays with family & friends, bearing gifts of great joy & peace. Merry Christmas! "God has come to dwell with us!" Hallelujah! :)
Tuesday night Restore has evolved some changes. Being the "elderly" group of South Church we can be slower than most, but we catch up eventually. We are still trying on fits for our next study in the Scripture. Praying also that God will make it clear what He would have us focus on now that Mere Christianity is behind us.
The McAfees have a new grand baby, born to their daughter last week! Marlee and baby are doing well, by the grace of God. Her siblings got to be in attendance, too. We are grateful to God for bringing Jayde to such a renewed state of health that Jacee was even able to leave his side to share in this exciting family event!
We enjoyed the change in our fellowship night to help with the Good Samaritan mailout. Ed Keuer was "batching it" while his wife Chris was in Chicago ministering to her family during the passing of her Father. Please continue to pray for the family in their loss, that Christ would be glorified through their lives yielded to Him.
We were happy to support Wounded Warrior families this month with breakfast tacos, our first opportunity since the beginning of the school year and the resumption of WW at Nebo.
Our annual Headstart Thanksgiving Meal--serving the needy & unchurched in our community--is just around the corner. May the love of the Father and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be evident to all who serve and attend for the sake of the Gospel and the salvation of the elect yet to be revealed. "His Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Amen
Due to a change in meeting nights, the Thursday night Restore family is now the Tuesday night Restore family!
Bobbi's son, Seth Grimmer, is recuperating better than expected, to the glory of God his Father and keeper, and thanks to your prayers! Bobbi is still looking for work but making good use of time being available to family for child care, chauffeuring & prayer support. She has also begun a Bible study in her apartments. Very exciting!
The news about Jayde and Jaycee is very good! He has completed his 109 days of treatment, his platelet counts are back up and he has been released to go home! Praise the Lord with us!
Rolf & Julie's daughter and grandson's are happily installed on their place and have visited Proclaim and Restore.
We are also grateful for some improvements Lynnda has experienced with her new medication!
As ever, we are looking to Christ, our Head, desiring to love & follow Him, by His grace, through whatever may come in the difficult days ahead. We know we share the same concerns as you for our government, our nation, and those suffering in other countries for the name of Christ, and agree with you that His will be done. He continually shows Himself faithful and we are grateful for His love and watchful care over us, looking ahead with trust, pressing on to future glory!
As we head into the "dog days" of Texas summer, the Thursday night Restore family is full of praise for numerous answers to prayers and His abundant provision for us.
First, the blood sample taken from Jayde Bevins, following his bone marrow transplant, was 100% new donor cells!!! In English that means they are proliferating and are not being rejected. He is beginning to feel considerably better. "Is anything too hard for our Mighty God?" Jayde is not out of the woods yet, however, and still remains "quarantined", for his own protection, while his immune system reboots. Keep on praying for them both, that God's glory continue to be displayed in these faithful children.
Hank is moved by God's abundant blessing flowing from his big garden, a blessing for them to put up food for winter and a blessing for them to give out of the overflow to much of the South Church family and neighbors. Thank you Jesus for home grown tomatos!:) And Hank and Nancy's hard work!
The Smiths testify to the faithful timing of God for their daughter Amy, and her children, to move onto their place, in the B&B, out at Alamo Springs. If you remember, Amy lost her husband not too long ago, in an accident. They see it as a great blessing to be closer to them now. God is good to us.
We have answered prayer for reconciliations between family members, restoration of health, provision of meaningful family visits and faithful encouragement from Lewis and our pastor. Are we not, of all people, most blessed and "happy" to be ministered to by our loving Father, by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, through the Word and gifted to minister to others by the same Spirit. Surely He does all things well!!!
The thursday night Restore family is thriving under the nurture and admonition of the Lord and Mr. Lewis by the eternal Word of Truth.
His unique perspective blesses and challenges us to give first place to the Lord in all of our lives.
Abba has shown himself faithful again in the second cataract surgery that Lynnda Findley had. She reports "that she is no longer old" because she can see so much better! Blind but now I see? :)
Jayde & Jacee are also the recipients of much heavenly grace, through a successful bone marrow transplant. Pray with us this week also for the test he will undergo to determine if the stem cells have become viable bone marrow. What a marvel of new science God has opened up to us! "He will be found if we seek Him with ALL our heart."
South Church, we are so grateful for your effectual outreach of God's love to these and others in our community & beyond.
Pray for us, as we pray for you, our pastor & elders, that we would be given even more to give through the transforming reminders of the Beatitudes of Christ. Blessed are we as we trust in Him and His good purposes for us. Until He comes!
As you are, we are meeting together faithfully with the exception of the fine Memorial service for our sweet, sister Linda. The rain pre-empted the plan to have it in lieu of Restore at Findley's place... always faithful to share their home and splendid grounds. We are trying to catch up with C.S. and being challenged as ever to keep up with his train of thought. Pray for us.
We have safely, but not without incident, received the Smith's back from Germany. They describe it as a dissappoining trip at best. Family members they hoped to enjoy were so infirmed there was little chance for real interaction. Things continued down hill as scam artists were successful In lifting Rolfs two computers (+ pictures of the trip) and Julie's precious jewelry. Then there was the upsetting news about Linda that reached them while they were so far away. We are grateful they are home.
Lynnda Findley had a sucessful cataract surgery last Thursday and was thrilled that the first rattle out of the box was that her Dr. wanted to pray for the surgery! Glory to God!
A bone marrow doner has been chosen for Jayde Bivens scheduled for surgery, we think, the first week in June. Thank you for your prayers.
Next week we will again cover breakfast and possibly an evening meal for Wounded Warriors.
Our faithful Father continues to amaze and bless His children as we trust every aspect of our lives into His hands. May we, by our devotion to Christ, reflect his love to Fredericksburg and the world. By His grace alone.
Like many, the Thursday night Restore family is persevering through Mere Christianity, mining for gold out of Lewis' defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God help us all to be blessed and edified by these thoughts and reasonings, to be better equipped to minister to those unfamiliar with the Word of God and the basic doctrines of our faith. In addition, we carry on Sustaining, Restoring and Proclaiming our secure hope in the Lamb who was slain for us all.
This week we will feed breakfast to 27 Wounded Warriors and their children, and help serve them supper Friday night at the Methodist Church.
Many evidences of God's grace in answered prayer have brought relief from sickness, strength to the oppressed by disease, and continued power to overcome the enemy in family struggles, to name only a few. Please help us lift up the Bevins for strength to persevere, and for the healing that Jayd needs. In addition, we're praying for the restoration, reconciliation and healing of a particular marriage within our Restore family . "When I am weak, then am I strong."
Please remember the Findleys as they open their home to 60+ chums for Lynnda's class reunion this weekend. Pray for a Spirit-soaked encounter.
As ever, join us in our praise for the Holy One of Glory, for His sufficient grace, perfect and tender mercies and faithful, sovereign love for His own. Also, we rejoice at what a singular blessing it is to be gifted with a courageous and loving pastor who leads through the blessings and difficulties with integrity toward the Word and an eye to faithfully, CAREfully shepherding this flock. To God be the Glory. Amen!
This month we carried out a lot of individual ministry plus our corporate ministry to feed the Wounded Warriors breakfast.
Brad and Lynda have been busy ministering to Barbara and Scott Herweck (their brother) who has been moved a couple of times in an effort to secure good care for him. He now resides in a home in San Angelo and appears to be improving some. Please join us in prayer for his wife Peggy, who has been his caretaker and employed full-time up until this last move. Pray God will bring His great power and sovereign mercy to bear on this situation. We are glad to have Barbara back with us as well.
God has, as usual, seen us through various winter maladies and all have returned better, including helping Julie Smith stick to a restricted diet for her Fibro Myalgia. She's has lost a whopping 30lbs!!!! Glory to God.
We have had new visitors (Browns) Shirley and Bruce, a former pastor, adding greatly to our understanding and discussion of "Mere Christianity."
As ever we are building stronger relationships through fellowship, study and prayer. We are still believing God for His best for Jayde and Jacee Bivens (follow his progress on Facebook). Please continue to pray with us for his added strength and healing. I think we can all attest to His faithfulness to grow them spiritually through this experience! Jacee's comments and reports never fail to astonish us at how near the Lord is walking (carrying?) them through this trial. His will be done.. for "He does all things well!"
Thursday night Restore was blessed after the long holidays to start back strong with an opportunity to serve the Wounded Warriors... a bit more up close & personal this time. A few of us--Lee & Mary Chiles and Bobbi Grimmer--got to fellowship with 11 other couples at the Fredericksburg Inn & Suites over some lunch & homemade vanilla ice cream! That gave us a great opportunity to get to know some of these soldiers and their wives, and to invite them to South Church since they will spend the whole weekend here involved in various activities. We are looking forward to more time together to share the love of Christ.
Our Restore family has been spending a lot of time praying for the many health concerns involving our families and church family. Please join us in prayer for Jayde & Jacee Bivens and for the sustenance of their faith as they battle yet another life-threatening illness: leukemia. Is it any wonder why God is leading us through the book of Job right now? Coincidence? I don't think so!
We give glory to our God and Father for Jesus Christ, for purchasing our way into a Kingdom without end, sin, sickness or death: His Kingdom! Thank You Father for Your patience as You pry our fingers off this world and build our trust in Your unfailing Word. You remain our only hope!
Thursday Restore group has been rockin' along and have lots of exciting answers to prayer.
Our Christmas eve offering to HCMH went off without a hitch. We had many happy faces and thank yous for thinking about them, especially without an open kitchen for their provisions that night. We took Lynnda's hot chocolate mix, chips, sandwiches, cookies and fruit. We prayed for a quiet, uneventful night for the staff.
Mary Chiles went through a successful surgery to remove her wrist plate and a cyst under a fingernail. She's recovering nicely: Thank You, Lord!
Julie Smith is adjusting to her new diet and having better results healthwise. The Smiths had a Christmas day celebration on their ranch, that I understand was loads of fun!
We had a wonderful answer to prayer for Jay Marsico. Jay has just had a destiny flip and now has custody of his two children. He got a job in the oil field working outside of San Antonio and has a met a godly woman. We are blessed and grateful that brighter days are ahead for this family.
We are still praying for Lynnda's brother, Paige's uncle Scott. He is having serious health issues and she spent nearly a week with him in Mission, just prior to Christmas, ministering to them.
On the flipside for the Findleys though, they have a 13th grandchild: A BOY, PtL! Jethro Makarios was born to Paige and Lisa just in time for Christmas: they've got a whole ball team now! Pray for mom :)
We have a good report from Jayde and Jacee, that the recurring back pain he was experiencing was actually caused by new regenerating cell activity at the site of most of the radiation! HALLELUJAH! Dont stop praying for this godly young couple.
We are still delivering breakfast every month to Wounded Warriors and hoping for more chances to minister to them.
God has been so faithful to us. We love and bless His name! Our prayer is to know and love Him more through Bible study and make Him known through faithful witnessing In His name. We are praying and believing God for great things in 2015!
Happy New Year, South Church!! So proud to be a part of You. GOD IS GOOD! :)
This report is long over due but God has been faithful all along to help us through the Scriptures, through answered prayers, to sustain us through the bumps and bruises of this world. We have lost jobs, spouses and had many dehabilitating health issues, but we are healed, mended, employed and have seen countless answers to prayer. The most extraordinary one was complete healing for Jayd who was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer a year ago, two months after he married Jaycee McAfee. Faithful God and friend! Another answered prayer was for Lynda's elbow to heal and function to be restored to her hand and it has! Carlton's son Howard sucessfully completed Air Force Basic and is stationed in Arizona. PTL!
We have had many new folks and great cooks join us! Zoe'Anna Thies, JJ & Dawna McAfee, Peggy Metzger and Doris Armes!
In June, Hank and Nancy's first grandaughter was born, Reagan Elizabeth! Hank says he is remodeling their house but we know he just wants to hang out with that new baby!:)
We are still active to a degree with the Wounded Warriors, though they broke for the summer. We provide breakfast for the families that come to Fredericksburg.The fellows were doing the lawn for the retreat house but they are now selling it. Our last chance to minister outside our fellowship was to aid a fellow SC member in a financial tight. It was a blessing to minister to them. The Thanksgiving meal for Headstart proved a great opportunity to minister to the community and we hope the Gospel was as well received as the food.
God is knitting a tighter bond every year in our group as we cling to Christ for hope and grace to grow more in His likeness as we wait on Him. Pray for us!
Last month we had many opportunities to help our Wounded Warriors @ NEMO. We provided breakfast for as many as 14 through this ministry started by Sharon Massey. One weekend our breakfast tacos and extra fixin's were distributed to 5 different locations! They say the best way to a "warrior's heart is through the stomach"!
Our answered prayers for rain brought on quite a bit more weed-eating, mowing, sweeping, and repairing of a few items to spruce up the yard around the Massey's home where they host Wounded Warriors each weekend. Brad, Lee and Carlton have done there best to stay on top of it.
One weekend, some in our restore family took several soldiers to a private fishing lake near Albert. A good time was had by all and the good Lord attended His fishers of men!
We are grateful to God for all of His provisions!
We were invited this month to discuss and design new ways of becoming more actively involved with Sharon Massey's Wounded Warrior Group. We will be doubling our breakfast service & providing visitation, and eating breakfast together. We will also handle their lawn care and some handyman services.
We are really excited about spending more time and becoming closer friends with our wounded warriors. Sharon and her assistants have a wonderful place for this activity. It is such a pleasure to help the men and women who can never be thanked enough for all they do for us and our country.
Our Restore family has had several answered prayers this last month. Some of our members have gone to Mexico, Africa, and one service project required a medical assistant from our group. We praise God for enabling & equipping us to minister in people's lives. PtL!
We've had a wonderful couple of months of ministry and fellowship. The Lord has added John & Anna Mendeke as well as Lee & Mary Chiles to our Thursday night Restore family. Both couples bring a love for the Lord and a desire to see the Kingdom of Christ spread throughout our community.
At the beginning of the month we were honored to host "Brother Ebby" from Serve India Ministries. South Church has been supporting indigenous missions in India through SIM for the last three years. It was a blessing to hear about the work the Lord is doing through SIM as they seek to reach 100,000 Indian villages. More information about their ministry is available at http://www.serveindiaministries.org.
The Lord answered our prayers for Bobbi to land a job. This one will allow her to remain a part of the South Church family, too! She's going to be serving as a caretaker for a retired dentist on the <a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tKsokqTP48'>Rocky Mountaineer</a> for 8 days! It's short term employment, but one we're praying will provide more opportunity in the future, should this trip go well.
Rolf & Julie returned safely from their trip to Germany just in time for Rolf's knee surgery. Praise the Lord that all went well and he is on the fast-track of rehab recovery!
Are you living on mission locally or globally? Are you sharing life together with God's family? Are you growing in the Truth of God's Word, learning your place in His Story? We're growing, but the Lord will always make room for more. Join us Thursday evening and bring a friend.
Our Restore family has been involved in several ministries within our church, community, and even internationally! Locally, the Lord provided us with another opportunity to provide breakfast for the Wounded Warriors. In addition, He also added some folks to our Restore family!
In the last month some have reached across state & national lines to spread God's love. One went to Mexico with a medical ministry performing screening tests and educational lessons on better hygiene & proper dental care. A couple from our famlily went to Crooked Creek Ranch near Winterpark, Colorado to serve at a Young Life workshop, readying the campgrounds for this summer's 600 weekly participants. They will be learning God's word, and about "How Now Shall We Live?" Exciting!
EVERYWHERE we look, He's providing opportunities to know & make Him known, to love our Lord and our neighbors. Join us this Thursday night for more!
God is so good all the time! ALL the time, GOD is SO good!!! It is so easy to get caught up in this crazy world right now and overlook or not recognize HIS whispers reminding us that HE IS STILL IN CONTROL. Carlton Brown's hand is healing so well. He has quite a bit more therapy, but it is a blessing to watch the GREAT PHYSICIAN at work.
We got to"break bread"with our group of wounded warriors again this month. We had 6 warriors and 2 daughters attend. One of their wives had just had one breast removed and finished a round of Chemo only to find out that she has an new lump in the other breast. We ate and asked if we could pray for them. They were more than willing to allow us to pray. God was obviously there with all of us and lovingly increasing our relationship with them. They were grateful. Sharon asked that we select someone to serve on the WW committee. A couple of our men are considering being part of their committee. During one of our restore meetings, we got to celebrate a birthday AND treat Paige's baseball team to a Hamburger supper. Paige says he is sure that is why the team won their next game 11-1. All that good protein, chips, beans and good fellowship made the difference. PtL!
Serving one another has including our Wounded Warriors. We beaded jewelry & shared about our children & families. A family with no insurance needed help with medical funds and we were able to help them.Then we broke "tortillas" together for breakfast. Fixing lunch for Boyd Chisum's Relentless Band on Sunday after church was real blessing! We always enjoy Food distribution. We also stuffed all the envelopes for the Good Samaritan Clinic. One of the Young Lives girls so sincerely told us what a difference we make in her life!
We have a brand new member of our restore family: Tolan Mac Traugott. Praise the Lord! Meanwhile, the women have been helping the wounded worriers with crafts the last couple of weekends of the month and this past Saturday we were able to provide breakfast for them. We hope to get our men going soon by helping with the grounds-keeping. Some of our crew helped YoungLives serve lunch to the high school and junior high teachers last week. A new couple visited last week and we're looking forward to seeing them again soon.
Thursday night restore is blessed with a new exciting opportunity to serve some of our wounded warriors out of San Antonio. Our ladies have been able to do some hands-on craft work with them here. We will be providing a Friday night meal along with caring for the lawn at their meeting place once a month. This is part of a new program started from the heart of a local lady by the name of Sharon Massey. If this sounds like something you would like to do, come and join us on Thursday night as we worship the Lord together.
Our Thursday night restore family is excited about a new ministry we're involved with. Sharon Massey has organized a group for Wounded Warriors here in Fredericksburg. We'll help with meals, yard work & various other jobs. Some have already been involved by creating greeting cards. We have a wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord by serving those who have paid a huge price for our freedom to worship as we do.
We're looking forward to serving with the Wounded Warriors, preparing meals and cleaning up. Jean has been in and out of hospital with severe allergies, but His grace is proving sufficient. Hank and Nancy have safely returned from preparing YoungLife camp in Colorado for summer students. And the Lord has opened avenues for the Gospel with neighbors and near-ones for Jim and the Findleys at work and home. Praise God for Bobbi's ministry to several of her students recently. Looking for love in all the right places? Thursday?
God is so good: He's growing our restore family! Praise the Lord! We're grateful for the additions of Jim & Jean Price, as well as Gary & Paula Sanders.
Our ministry with YoungLives appears to be coming to a close as few young moms have been participating as of late. However, we're trusting the Lord for another potential opportunity to minister with YoungLife on club nights.
Join us in prayer and ministry on Thursday nights!
We're excited to be serving YoungLives! We have had a couple of months off and it's great to get back to actively loving these young people in the Lord. In addition, our restore family has enjoyed some good fellowship over some great meals, sharing our life experiences every Thursday night. It has been very encouraging to hear how Jesus has worked in our lives these last weeks and how we've worked together in the lives of others ... all because Jesus is alive within us.
We had a wonderful Christmas with many blessings from all our folks. Our restore family is looking forward to YoungLives starting up again in February so we can provide the meal at their third thursday fellowship. We've had opportunities to share and pray with some in our restore family who've met with some trying times over the last month. Jesus is always faithful to provide our needs. We've been blessed to have Larry & Patsy Hauptrief visit us recently. We've got room for you!
What a Mighty God we have and how fulfilling it is to serve HIM! The season celebrating the birth of Christ brought us another chance to serve some of those who serve us at our Hill Country Memorial Hospital. We delivered plates containing cookies, sandwiches, hot chocolate, grapes, chips & snacks for the shifts to enjoy throughout Christmas eve. God provided a way for us to proclaim His love by filling their tummies and hearts with our appreciation! Join us this week!
Our Thursday night restore family participated in two enjoyable ministries this past month. We helped one woman in our restore family move into her new apartment. Then, on Thursday, November 17th, we fed the YoungLives ladies a full Thanksgiving meal with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings! It was a blessing for some very special young ladies, their beautiful children, and all of us, too. Join us Thursday night for God's Word, great food and fun fellowship.
Our Restore group served the young ladies at YoungLives for the first time this year on October 17: pot roast dinner! We enjoyed a great message in song and word by acclaimed Gospel artist Boyd Chisum. YoungLives meets the first and third Thursday of each month. Our ministry is to prepare and serve dinner each third Thursday. We continue to praise God for great meals and helpful discussion on the Gospel as we dig into the Sustain 101 booklets. Need good friends? Join us Thursday!
We've had a great time of fellowship and some excellent table fare in our Thursday night Restore meetings. Three weeks ago we were able to go and spend some special prayer time with Fritz and Peggy Metzger. What a special blessing this was for all of us. October 20 will be our first night to host YoungLives this year. We will be serving the meal and providing the program. Boyd Chisolmâ€”an old friend and professional gospel singerâ€”will be giving his testimony and singing some good ol' gospel music. Join us for a real treat!
Our fellowship in Jesus continues to strengthen. Despite summer vacations, etc. we've had good attendance and now look forward to opportunities to minister again this fall with YoungLives and Hill Country Evangelical Free Church.
Some in our Restore family served at this year's first meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at FHS. 35+ football players and coaches enjoyed breakfast and a Christ-centered message from Paige. Pray for the coaches and players.
Grow, share, and live this Thursday with us!
We've had a bit of a break in ministry to YoungLives as they're on summer break. However, we continue to minister in each other's lives and have especially enjoyed our time in God's Word together. Great food provided by our "restore chefs" never hurts a fellowship either. I challenge you to find better anywhere! We're learning to glorify the Lord in the little & the big and welcome you to join us!
This month has been a little hectic with vacations and such. In spite of that we have enjoyed some great times eating grilled chicken, Hank's wonderful cookies, Carlton's stew, and spending time studying the Lord's Word. Our group enjoys just being together and digging into the passages. We are still dedicated to ministering through Young Lives, though they have dismissed for the summer.
Meals together are a given each week as Carlton uses his cooking gift to serve the body! The ministry has also been good as the group serves the YoungLives ministry, which helps teenage mothers learn what it means to live faithfully for Christ in their new role. Pray for continued ways in how to serve these women and impart upon them Godly life skills and lessons.