Hey guys. I just wanted to thank everyone for all of their help with the missions conference last week. So many people helped out with either food preparation, passing out bulletins, setting up chairs, making signs, picking up our guests from the airport, housing our guests, and the list can go on and on. I especially wanted to thank all of you who committed that day to prayer. The Lord honored those prayers, and He once again proved faithful to glorify the name of Jesus, and pour out His Spirit on those who gathered together that day. *Please note that all of the sessions including the workshops will be available for free on our website in the next couple of days. Log on to www.ccphilly.org to listen to them.
Immediately following the conference, myself and the rest of the pastors at CC Philly enjoyed three days down at Sandy Cove Conference Center in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay for our annual East Coast Pastors Conference. Joining us were pastors and leaders from Calvary’s up and down the East Coast (some 900 of them). After three days of worship, and study of the Word, I finished the week trying to catch up on emails, while continuing to prepare for a Sr. High missions trip to Brazil – we leave in 2 weeks (I will be talking about that in my next update) .
I must say that in the light of the Missions Conference and the East Coast Pastors Conference, and in finishing “To the Golden Shore”, the biography of Adoniram Judson (yes I did finish it) the Lord has impressed upon my heart with renewed fervor both the frailty of this life we live, but also the sweetest call that we could ever desire – to know Him, and to make Him known. I’m not yet 30, but I can look back on my life and see how much time has been wasted on selfish, self gratifying, temporal delights. Many of those things were not bad in and of themselves, but they were just more things that led to a distraction from the best things that the Lord had for me.
I was watching a little of “The War” last night on PBS, and as I watched and heard the stories about D-Day and Iwa Jima, I couldn’t help but to make the analogy of how missions in the mid 1800’s was seen in almost the same light. In the mid 1800’s men and women from America, and Britain were basically throwing themselves to the foreign fields with the desire that the “nations” would come to know the Risen Savior, and would enjoy a relationship with the King of Kings. With the vigor of a “D-Day” confrontation scores of missionaries arrived at foreign shores knowing that the probability of them surviving even a couple of years would be 50-70% in some places! William Carrey, Hudson Taylor, David Livingston, Adoniram Judson are just a few of the more popular names during this time who survived long enough for us to know about how the Lord used them in awesome ways. With the calling of our Savior, and a “Great Commission” to obey, they trusted in the sovereignty of God, and the battle they were heading towards was for His worth being known and embraced by the those who were trapped in darkness. As I finished Adoniram’s biography, the words of our Lord, and the truth behind them became very clear to me. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for Mysake shall find it”, or “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. ” As I read about these saints that have died to this world in so many ways, I am overwhelmed at the fruit that has been borne, and how even 150 years later I am benefiting from their lives. Lord, please keep our eyes focused on the eternal, and our hearts aligned with Yours. There is so much more I can write about the life of Adoniram, but I woud rather just encourage you to pick up a copy somehow, somewhere (it’s out of print, but you can still get a copy if you search hard), and read it for yourself. I’ll update in a couple of days about our trip coming up to Brazil on June 12th. Please remember to be lifting that up in prayer as well.