We need prayer. I cannot believe the headwinds and obstacles we’ve been facing.
I’m leading a team to develop the Spiritual Readiness Project, a high-level, long-term plan to equip pastors and lay people for the new challenges of the day. If that website loads for you, you’ll see more of what the project is and why it matters. If it doesn’t, see below. You’ve just gotten a taste of why we need prayer.
Right Purpose, Right Team…
We’re focused on the right purpose, we’re convinced in the Lord. It’s because your world and mine is changing at light speed — except “dark speed” would be a more fitting term, if there was such a thing. Christians need to gear up spiritually for challenges we never dreamt of before: family challenges, belief challenges, ethical challenges, even job challenges — you name it, and it’s barreling down on us. If we show up ready and equipped for it, our light can shine bright in the darkness. If not, God help us.
We have the right core team. We’re vocationally and professionally trained in the tools this project will need. We’re well networked among American Christian leadership, yet we’re also highly focused on the needs of the local church. We know how to connect with pastors, and we were closely involved with all the major equipping resources. We’ve even got specific training in how to help the equippers to connect more effectively with churches, and vice versa.
Our newest team member wrote me last week,
I just want to strongly affirm you and this project. … I firmly believe God has brought us together “for such a time as this.” I have been praying for 3 years that God would help me find others, in this region, with a passion for apologetics, who care deeply about people, believe in truth and see knowledge as important.
Our vision is for more than just this region of the country (Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan), but it’s a great place to begin.
… But Unbelievable Barriers
But things keep interfering.I’m convinced it’s spiritual warfare.
A few weeks ago it was my computer. It took 15 minutes to open a Word file one day. I backed it up, erased it, and re-loaded everything from scratch. That was disruptive, to say the least.
Then it was the project website. Not only was it showing the dreaded “White Screen of Death,” the backups I’d saved wouldn’t load. I back up everything. I even back up my backups. But I couldn’t find anyone who could solve the error it kept throwing. The site was down more than two weeks before I prayed — intensely — and God gave me a solution no one had thought of.
Meanwhile I’ve been brought in on helping friends work through differences. It wasn’t really optional; I was the only one anyone knew of who was in the right place and the right relationships to help.
Amidst all that it’s been one appointment after another, mostly medical. A few weeks ago I had my routine annual eye visit. I’d developed some painful crusting in the corner of the eye just before that. The doctor said I needed to see a plastic surgeon: My eyebrows are drooping, so my eyelids are folding over too far, and that causes irritation. Surgery is scheduled for August 30.
Obstacles Gone Ridiculous
That’s a lot, but it wasn’t ridiculous until today. Today for the first time in weeks my schedule was wide open. I mean, I looked at my calendar and I thought, “Finally! A clear day! Glorious! Just think what I’ll get done!”
Then last night a wheel bearing broke on our lawn mower. (We have a large lawn — it was the only home we could find here at the time that worked — one story, because of my foot, and with room for the four of us plus my home office.)
I was almost done mowing yesterday when it happened. Today I finished the job. Some of you have never seen a human-powered push mower before. It’s great for the sloping edges our riding mower can’t reach.
But this? This is ridiculous.
At least I got the job done. Thankfully there wasn’t much left when the wheel broke.
I have to look at it with a sense of humor. Did I mention that just after I finished that job, I got an email telling me the website was down again? This time I knew what to do with it. It should be live when you see it. If not, let me know. Soon I’ll rebuild it on a more bulletproof framework.
Trusting God, Needing Prayer
We’re trusting God through it all. I’m praying like never before. In some ways we’re seeing him work like we haven’t seen since we left Virginia 6 years ago. Sara and I are co-leading a church-based Bible study that just finished eight weeks on Christian apologetics — one of the the main things I’m working on equipping Christians with around the country.
But it’s time we enlisted prayer support. The obstacles have got to end. I need freedom to work on this crucial project.
So please, please pray spiritual warfare prayers. Pray that God would open the way for us to move forward in ministry. Pray that He would show us what order to do things in, as I feel an impulse to want to get everything done at once. Pray that we could grow the core team by one or two more members, too. But mostly, please pray for the obstacles to clear.
Upcoming: FamilyLife Radio and More
As God allows:
My conversation with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine of FamilyLife Todayradio is scheduled for broadcast July 5 and 6. Check local radio station listings.
I’ll be speaking at an apologetics conference in Columbus, Ohio in about a month. The topic is my original case for the historicity of Christ — combined with a strong worship element, too. It’s a version of this Touchstone magazine article.
I’ll be featured in an online Christian Parenting summit beginning late this summer. I’ll let you know more about that soon.
Then on September 21 and 22 I’ll be speaking at the Deeper Roots Apologetics Conference in Kalamazoo. That conference website will go live soon, and I’ll let you know about that, too. If you’re anywhere nearby you’ll definitely want to come!
Thank you for praying! And thank you for all your support.
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