Finishing 2016


Well, another year has passed, and we are looking back as we look forward, in both cases praising God for His gracious work in our midst.  Here is mainly where I served in December.


The first day of December, I joined about seventy preachers in Martinsville, Indiana, for the “Bended Knee” prayer seminar for pastors, an important event to take us deeper into a life of prayer.  Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen, Jr., and I were teachers at this unusual conference, which attracted the attention of an amazing number of God’s men in Indiana.  The host church was the Martinsville Baptist Tabernacle, where Dr. David Zempel is the pastor, and word is that the Lord did some significant things in the lives of those who came.  I am very glad that I had a part.


The week of the seminar, I spent some time at the Indiana Baptist College, a good school for servants of Christ, located in the Indianapolis area.  I got to preach in two chapels and to teach in the Personal Evangelism class.  My chapel messages were both about prayer meetings, which I showed from the book of Acts are how churches get things done.  Since my visit (on December 21) college president Paul Reed has suffered a heart attack.  Let’s all pray for him as he is recovering.


On Sunday, December 4, I preached at this amazing church in Rockford, Illinois, which sponsors the worldwide Christian ministry to addicted people known as “Reformers Unanimous.”  Right now the Lord is opening doors around the world for this ministry which is pointing so many bound by drugs and sin to the liberty that is in Jesus Christ!  The government of the Philippines, for example, is directing the drug addicts to RU ministries at good churches across the land for their “treatment.”  If we all pray, I think we can expect a harvest of thousands of souls to come to Christ through this open door.  This Sunday I taught a class in Sunday school about the opportunities God is giving to His churches right now, basing my remarks on Acts 9:31 (did you read my article on “The Reprieve”?).  Then I preached in the morning service from Matthew 2 about “What Christmas Proves” (pointing to the fulfilled prophecies that prove conclusively that Jesus is the Savior, that the Bible is true, and that there is a God).  Sunday night I got to preach again, and I spoke from Romans on “Tips” for living a holy life (check the church website to hear it).  We saw many people make good decisions all day.  Thank you for praying.


The week of December 5 I taught a graduate block-class on Sanctification at this excellent school in the Milwaukee area and we all learned a lot about the power of Christ to free us from sin.


While at the church that sponsors the College, I got to preach on “fear” to the RU chapter that meets on Friday night.  I always love to attend the helpful meetings of Reformers Unanimous.


On Sunday, December 11, I preached in the morning at this revival-minded church in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin (which sponsors the Baptist College of Ministry, a virtually unique educational institution built on the principles of revival).  My sermon was from John 3, and was about the mission of Jesus Christ.  We saw several people come forward to be led to Jesus.


Sunday night, December 11 (a snowy day!), I preached at this good church, where I have labored in revival meetings in the past, and will again in 2017.  It was a message from Acts 5 about the makings of a “miracle church.” I believe the Lord gave us a vision of what He wants to do and is doing in our own church.  There was a wonderful response of the people to the truth.  I am very encouraged about what I saw here, and about the potential of this good congregation.


Back in Michigan, I preached Sunday morning, December 18, at this good church which believes in revival truth and will be involved in the revival efforts across our state in the next year.  My subjects were “Prayer and Fasting” from Matthew 17 in Sunday school, and RECEIVING GIFTS from Matthew 7:7-11 in the morning service.  May the year of 2017 be a year of receiving many gifts from the Father in answer to prayer, to His glory!

Of course, December 25 (Christmas Day), was on a Sunday, and, not surprisingly, I was not invited to preach in a church on that day.  The churches I know did have church on the Lord’s “birthday,” but their own pastor did the preaching.  I spent time with our whole immediate family, who came in from Florida, Tennessee, and Clio, Michigan: three great children, and ten wonderful grandkids!

As we move into 2017, let me ask you to be praying for and paying attention to several important things:

  1. The Revival Tour of Israel, March 24-April 4, sponsored by Baptist College of Ministry (call me about this or any other of these special events at 989.863.0784).
  2. The RevivalFocus National Symphony of Prayer, January 23-24, led by John R. Van Gelderen in Grass Lake, Michigan.
  3. The Michigan Revival Conference pastors’ meetings between now and June 18-25, when the conference will occur. The first one in 2017 will be on January 26 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Bridgeport.
  4. The Men’s Prayer Encounter in Samson, Alabama, January 5-7 (right around the corner), led by Evangelist Tom Palmer.
  5. Revival Sundays in Michigan churches: Willis Baptist Church (January 1); Parker Memorial Baptist Church in Lansing (February 5); Fundamental Baptist Church of Kinross (February 12); Fostoria Baptist Church (February 26); and Trinity Baptist Church of Flushing (March 5).
  6. The revival campaign at Bible Baptist Church in Mattoon, Illinois, beginning on January 29.
  7. The History of Revival course at the Baptist College of Ministry, beginning the week of January 9.

Your role in our lives and our work cannot be overstated, and I surely do appreciate how you help us.


Filed Under: Prayer Update


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