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Ministry Update
June-July 2016


Dear Supporting Churches and Friends,

Every morning I thank God for allowing me the absolute honor and privilege of being His servant - to have the joy of serving others in the ministry that He has given to me. I am humbled that He would use me at all, the old sinner saved by grace that I am. As I think of this, I am reminded of a quote from H.A. Ironside on being a servant of the King of kings.

"John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." The Apostle Paul expressed exactly the same thing when, in the first chapter of the epistle to the Philippians, he said that his joy was that “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it by life, or by death.  For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  I wonder if we, as children of God, today can enter into this?  Are we content to serve without personal recognition, or are we ambitious to be counted somebody or something in a world that has rejected our Lord Jesus Christ?  Are we seeking places of power and authority, or recognition even in the Church of God itself?  That is to deny the spirit that was seen in John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul.  Their one earnest desire was to make much of Christ, and they themselves were willing to be lost sight of. That comes out so beautifully in the second chapter of the epistle to the Philippians, where  . . . Paul, writing to these dear saints in that church, says, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.”

Warren Wiersbe said:

". . . . God is glorified when people see the Lord and not the servant: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).  You have to decide whether to be a servant or a celebrity, whether you will magnify Christ of promote yourself (Philippians 1:20-21). 

It is indeed good to be a servant for the One Who bled and died for me on Calvary’s tree.

We were home for just a very short time from the Midwest and Mid-South meetings before we took to the road once again for another month of meetings in central and northern California, and then in the Pacific Northwest. All told, we have logged almost 10,000 road miles since mid-May. Above is a photo of Auberry First Baptist Church where I had the honor of preaching for their annual summer revival meeting. I have done so for 18 years in a row now, and always count this as one of the highlights of the year for us. Pastor Larry Gibson and I have known one another now for almost 40 years and have become close friends. His wife, Donna, was one of the teenaged young people in the youth group at Fundamental Baptist Church in Escondido, California, when I served as youth director. It is such a blessing for us to minister at AFBC every summer. God sent a powerful revival to the church during the 2006 meetings, and this year we saw much the same spirit as God’s people gathered together every service to hear from the Word of God. Many responded in the invitation season, for which we praise the Lord. Only eternity will reveal what was accomplished in hearts as a result. As previously reported, this church is located on the Mono Indian Reservation, a very dark place where the glorious light of the Gospel has shined for over 100 years.

For the past few years I have had the joy of preaching revival meetings here at Mountain View Baptist Church in Modesto, California, where Brother John Simmons is the pastor. I have been conducting two revival meetings at MVBC a year, mostly Sunday to Sunday endeavors, something that is quite rare in this day and age of shorter meetings. This is always a “revival ready” church and a literal joy to preach in. Last year we were witness to one of the most amazing conversions I have personally seen in my entire preaching ministry. I hope to write an article in the near future that will include the background behind this dear brother’s story and how he came to Christ.

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Once again we enjoyed a wonderful time with Pastor Richard Peil and the dear folks at Victory Baptist Church in Bend, Oregon. This is a young, vibrant, growing church located in the high desert of central Oregon. VBC is the only independent Baptist church in the city of Bend and the contiguous communities. The church had been meeting in rented facilities, but a couple of years ago the Lord provided the opportunity for the congrgation to purchase a wonderful 16,000 square foot church facility located on the main highway through the city for an extremely low price. The church has wonderfully grown through its great outreach programs. Many have come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through the various ministries of the church. This is the second year I have been invited to come and preach for the special Independence Day weekend. On July 4th, the city stages its fireworks display in close proximity to the church property, so Pastor Peil opens up the church parking lot for folks to come and watch the fireworks, as well as providing free hotdogs, cotton candy, and popcorn. In addition to this they have a Gospel presentation booth set up, and the church members mix with the visitors in order to get acquainted with them and share the Gospel as the occasion presents itself. I preached several times during the week and had the honor of speaking to the church staff for their Tuesday morning training session. One of the events that the church sponsors is a quarterly men’s dinner whereby the men of the church invite their friends and neighbors for a tri-tip steak dinner with all of the fixings. After a good time of fellowship around the table, we then retired to the church auditorium where I preached the Word of God. We had a very robust crowd of men out for this event, and it was such a joy to see lost men come to hear the saving Gospel message, many for the first time. As a result, it is our prayer that the men who did not respond at the invitation season will soon come to repentance and faith in the finished work of the cross and be saved.

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While we were in the Fresno-Clovis, California, area, Pastor James Woodley invited Linda to speak at a ladies brunch at our old home church, Central Baptist Church of Clovis. My bride always thoroughly enjoys ministering to ladies and has been in demand as a speaker for various women’s endeavors in recent years. I know that speaking to the CBC ladies was a blessing for her and we trust to them as well.

I failed to include this photo in our last ministry update. This picture was taken when we were in Rochester, Minnesota, back in the spring when we were in the Midwest for meetings. We took a few days out of our schedule to visit with these dear friends that have meant so much to us over the years. I am reminded of the precious bond that exists between those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him. One of the blessings of our ministry is that we have the privilege of meeting wonderful people all over the country, and these folks are indeed very special to us.

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I know that I have made this request known to you before, but just as a reminder I am having two procedures this coming Friday (July 15) that will include biopsies of my prostate and bladder. In a routine MRI with contrast, the radiologist reported two suspicious spots, one on the bladder, that has given the urologist pause for concern. So out of an abundance of caution, I will have to undergo one biopsy procedure at the Kaiser clinic near our home, then the second in San Diego, all on the same morning. We are praying that cancer will not be found, but if it is, especially in the bladder, it will be easily and quickly treatable. By the way, please do not hesitate to share your prayer requests with us for inclusion on our daily morning devotions prayer list.

Let us Hear from You!

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Communication is essential to strong relationships, whether it be in the marriage relationship, the business world, and especially when it comes to the Household of Faith. We love to hear from our friends and supporting churches from time-to-time, so let us hear from you when you think of us. We are always thankful for those dear friends who stay in touch.

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As always, Linda and I just want to express our heartfelt appreciation for your gracious support of our ministry and for your loving-kindness. We are so very grateful for your prayers, your love, and your partnership in the work of the Lord. We never take this for granted. You have a big part in every soul that is reached with the Gospel, every child of God who experiences revival, every pastor who is encouraged, every church that is stirred, and all that God does for His glory as we serve Him. We love you each and every one, and thank God for you!

 

 

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