Well, this is another crazy hectic week on the calendar, but one that will definitely be spiritually encouraging. Yesterday's services lifted my spirit in many peculiar ways. We saw the breakthrough of Will Nott confessing his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior after a long 16 year run from God. He was previously on staff here, but a sin disqualified him from serving...and that began a long, tough journey away from God. But yesterday....triumph, renewal, victory in Jesus! Really cool stuff and so blessed by Mark Warren's tears in this moving time...then Will baptized his daughter in our sr. high service! Take that Satan!
Last week I as you read, I spoke at a preaching conference in Indianapolis...some have asked if there are recordings of those sessions....there are...you can find them at catapes.com if interested. But today we begin our fourth annual "Power of the Word" preaching conference here, with guest preacher Gene Appel sharing with us. We have around 100 preachers (and fans of preaching) registered representing at least 38 churches. We have intentionally subsidized this conference to make the cost affordable for preachers to attend (least expensive conference in the country!) Why? Because we believe in preaching and encouraging preaching. This is what we are trying to accomplish...encouraging preachers to keep preaching and getting better at it. It will bless my preacher's heart.
This Friday and Saturday (all day) I will be in the final class of the Spiritual Formation degree program we offer here at ECC. It is about prayer and J.K. Jones will lead (and I will help some) us in several prayer passages from the Bible (Matt 6:9-13, Psalm 148, Psalm 51, Psalm 107, Genesis 18:23-33, John 17) and then we will have opportunity to practice several times of prayer. I will literally spend 15-16 hours studying and practicing prayer. That can't be bad.
I was thinking today during my time with the Lord that these two things are the things I want to mark my ministry. Prayer and preaching will mark my week and hopefully my life. Not everyone who reads this blog are preachers, but we are all prayers and I pray that you will spend some time talking with God this week and time in His Word. These two long standing disciplines will be a stable foundation for your week.