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Archive for February, 2015

Change

For most of us, the older we get, the less we tend to like change.  We get used to things the way they are, we get comfortable, and then–“Boom!”–change.  Change can come in all shapes and in all sizes.  Sometimes we see it coming on the horizon and sometimes it sneaks up from behind.  Change can happen in every area of our lives.  There can be changes in our health, our financial status, our job, and in our relationships.  Sometimes there are changes in the way that God calls us to serve Him.  Sometimes these changes in life even involve moving to a different house, or town, or state, or even a different country.

One reason why the subject of change is on my mind is because I am writing this post in a house that is filling up with boxes, ready to be moved to another town in just a few more days.  Also, there have been several people who have recently talked with me about changes in life they are now facing.  Change can be intimidating.  Change can be overwhelming.  Change can be awesome and exciting!

When we know the Lord, we do not have to face the changes of life alone.  In thinking about change, I cannot help but remember the conversation Jesus had with His disciples in John 14-16.  For three years, Jesus had been the very center of the disciples’ lives.  He had become their everything.  Now, He tells them that He is about to leave them. Hearing about this change shakes them to the core.

I want to encourage you to read John 14-16 again, this time, in the context of change.  Look at all that Jesus promised His disciples and remember that He makes these same precious and powerful promises to you.  He promised that even in the midst of change we can know His peace, His comfort, His presence now within us (the Holy Spirit), His purpose for us (to bear much fruit), His love, His joy, His truth, His power, His victory, and so much more!

God loves us too much to leave us in a comfort zone for too long.  That comfort zone can become a rut and as Vance Havner use to say, “A rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.”  That’s no place for a child of God to remain.

There are three more truths I want us to remember before I wrap this up and get back to packing.  The first truth is this, whenever we face change or we are trying to discern God’s leading in our lives, remember, we are not following a plan, we are following a Person, the Lord Jesus.  Don’t be so caught up in trying to figure out the plan or sticking to your plan that you take your eyes off the Person we are supposed to be following.  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, The Author and Finisher of our faith.  If you stay more focused on the plan instead of the Person, you may miss where Jesus is wanting to lead you.  Secondly, even when the changes of life first appear in a negative way, the Jesus of John 16:33 is also the Jesus of Romans 8:28.  God can take every situation of life and when we are fully surrendered to Him and His purposes; He can use it for our good and for His glory.

Finally, the Bible tells us that, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.”(1 Cor. 15:51-52)  I don’t know about you, but that is one change that I am definitely looking forward to!  Maranatha!

In Christ’s service

Allen

 

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The Call

Three years ago, the Lord led Lisa and I to step out on faith and go full-time with the work of the AMEN Ministry.  I have absolutely loved these three years.  God has blessed, He has kept all of His promises, and I also feel like I have been in His seminary.  He has taught us much about Himself and the work of His Kingdom.

During these three years, I have had several churches talk to me about the possibility of being their pastor.  I basically told them all the same thing, “I am honored that you would consider me, but we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.”  In January of 2014, a pastor search committee contacted me and we did not feel led to talk with them.  From time to time, they would contact me again to see if there was any interest.  A few weeks before our November trip to Romania, they called again.  At this time I told them that I would meet with them after our mission trip.

When we met I shared with them that I still wanted to do the work of the AMEN Ministry.  What they said next got my attention.  They told me that one of the reasons they contacted us was because of the AMEN Ministry.  After two months of praying and seeking the Lord, He confirmed to us that this was His call.

On February 8, we were invited to The Fellowship, a Southern Baptist church in Albertville, Alabama.  The Sunday morning service was one of the most Spirit-filled times of worship we have ever experienced.  The church voted unanimously to call us and we accepted.  We begin serving there on March 15.

One of the reasons that this was a year-long journey was because, in my heart and mind, we were going to serve the Lord full-time with the AMEN Ministry for the rest of our lives.  The good news is, we still are!  We are still going to do the work of evangelism, missions, and spiritual awakening, but now we will do it in the context of our ministry at The Fellowship.  I have two overseas trips already planned for this year.  We are still supporting pastors overseas, encouraging them, and also helping with the Houses of Hope Children’s Home in Romania.  We need your prayers and your financial partnership as much as ever before.   We are praying that our friends and partners will understand this and continue to stand with us.  The work of the AMEN Ministry goes on by the grace of God.

When we pray for God’s will and seek His leading, we must remember, we are not following a plan, we are following a Person.  If I keep my eyes on a plan, I may miss where the Person, the Lord, wants to lead me.  That’s one reason why we must stay close to Him and keep our eyes on Him.  His call is to serve Him however He chooses.  It is His call and His Kingdom, not ours.

We ask for your prayers as we begin this time of transition.  God is good and His will, His plans for us, and His call on our lives is perfect.  We love you all and we thank God for you as you continue to love us, pray for us, and stand with us for His glory.

In Christ’s service,

Allen & Lisa

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