We Have Been Given a Spirit of Power, Love and a Sound Mind – In God We Trust
Today I would like to begin with one of my favorite areas of Scripture, and then share an amazing story. This Scripture has, in fact, become my “life verse,” if there is such a thing. Proverbs 3: 5 & 6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” That really is some of the best advice ever written, and it has served me well to remember it, and strive to follow this wisdom, all my life.
Of course there are those times when trusting is difficult. When you THINK you’ve heard from the Lord, but circumstances in this natural world make the task before you seem impossible…. at least, “in our “own understanding.” But God DOES, indeed direct our paths when we TRUST in Him with all our hearts.
Many of you have heard the beginning of my story before — of how, in the 1990s, God called me out of a career in business to begin full time ministry work, starting a Christian newspaper from scratch. But really, HE did it; HE created this ministry, out of nothing. You’ve heard me tell before of the many challenges and obstacles we faced back in the year 2000, when I finally relented, stepped out in faith, gave up the security of a profitable business, and obediently followed God’s call.
To say it was not easy would be a gross understatement. Because, “in my own understanding,” with all the opposition I faced, I feared I may have made the biggest mistake of my life. But now, in our 18th year of publication, though we still struggle nearly every day to keep the ministry operating, I can look back and see all the many times God brought us through the deep, dark, hopeless valleys of despair, how He has blessed the work of my hands, and how that work has impacted literally thousands of people — not just here in Wisconsin, as was my original vision — but LITERALLY around the world. I stand amazed.
Yes, we are now in our 18th year of publication. Wisconsin Christian News is distributed in nearly every area throughout our state, but we also have subscribers who receive the paper by mail in almost ALL 50 states, and even Puerto Rico. And through the technology of the internet, we receive amazing testimonies from those who view our website all over the world. Not to mention my radio commentaries, which are broadcast nationwide. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought such things would come from that one, first step of faith all those years ago.
Our mission is to provide Godly, Biblical — Information, Education and Inspiration — not within the four walls of a church building, but OUTSIDE — out there in the public square…. and as a result, we have been able to bless God’s faithful, remnant believers, but ALSO reach those who have never heard the truth, who may never have set foot in a church, and those who have no Christian education or background at all. Because our newspaper is freely distributed on news racks IN PUBLIC PLACES, outside of churches, we are able to introduce a Christian worldview, and minister and witness to literally thousands of people who otherwise would never be exposed to these truths. The testimonies we have received from our newspaper outreach are truly incredible…and too many to even begin telling you about here.
Many of you are also aware that each spring, we host our annual Ministry Expo and Conference. This is an opportunity for people to meet and learn about MANY different Christian ministries that have exhibit booths there. We also host a conference in conjunction with the Expo, with speakers addressing the most important issues of our day from a solid, CHRISTIAN perspective. Note once again — this all takes place OUTSIDE the four walls of a church, in a PUBLIC shopping mall! This year’s theme was “Reviving the Remnant by Revealing the Truth,” and speakers addressed the issues of Islam, The Homosexual Agenda, Courageous Christianity, the Foundation of the Family, Abolishing Abortion, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
My greatest desire is to educate and inform as many as possible about these most important issues, and motivate them to action. At this year’s event, our conference room was packed all day long. We had people come to hear our speakers from all throughout Wisconsin, as well as 9 other states, and even a group from Ontario, Canada! It was an incredible day. Our conference room could only hold 250 people, and for most of our speakers, it was “standing room only.” But we video taped each speaker, and posted those presentations on our website. As of last count, we had more than 32,000 people watch the videos from this year’s conference. ONCE AGAIN: I stand amazed at what God has done!
But now, as my story continues, let me take you back to the fall of last year. I was in the midst of planning for this year’s Expo and Conference: choosing a theme for the event, selecting the best possible speakers, making accommodations for staging, sound systems, scheduling, seating arrangments, exhibit booths, etc.
But as I was working on all this, the Lord ALSO gave me the vision of starting a Ministry Center here in our town. It would be a place where we could do teaching similar to that which I was planning to provide at our upcoming Conference — but on an ONGOING basis. I would move my office and radio recording studio there, but ALSO this Ministry Center would be large enough to accommodate large meetings. A place where we could hold Bible studies, do TRUE discipleship training, counseling, mentoring, and educate Christians on the things they are hungering and thirsting to learn about, but which their pastors will rarely, if ever, speak of. AND a place from which we could minister to the lost and seeking out there on the Main Street of our own town. Discipling and teaching God’s people how to actually DO the Great Commission, and then putting our faith into action by actually GOING to the streets and mustering the courage to BE the salt and light we talk so much about.
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