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Wings in the setting sun.Christian Concourse
Newsletter of the Month

April 2010

    

Dear Friends,

If you remember, in January we included a list of seven special prayer requests. These prayer concerns reflect what we feel to be the Lord's expressed will for this ministry. We have included these seven items for prayer on the back of this letter. Please help us in seeking the Lord's blessings and guidance in each of these areas of our labor for Him.

In this newsletter over the next several months, we intend on continuing our explanation of each of these requests. This is the second:

We humbly pray to God the Father for an anointed, solid Word of encouragement to His dear children who are struggling in their faith and their hope in the Eternal Promises of Christ.

Let us explain what we have on our hearts as we hold this request before the Throne of God. Every believer, every born-again child of God has struggles -- real, graphic, dramatic hardships. We all have lists of tribulations in circumstances, tribulations in relationships, tribulations in finances, tribulations in health.

Some handle these difficulties with great spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness. You probably have a few people whom you have known in your lifetime who are examples of this Christian strength and faithfulness and grace. Their testimony is consistently validated by their performance.

Most of us tend to think of ourselves as doing better in some of these areas and not so good in others. Most of us may feel we do better on some occasions and not so good in the same areas on other occasions. In fact, most of us would probably say we have our greatest tests in relationships with the folks that God has placed in our lives. This is because we are commanded by our Master to love each other – to be kind and patient to one another - no matter what, no matter who.

Though our love for each other is of the greatest importance, there is something else of equal priority in our Christian walk: our love for God Almighty -- our kindness and patience toward Him! In this light, all who have a sincere relationship with our Heavenly Father are challenged by ALL the facets of pain, frustration, anxiety and suffering in our lives [not just in the area of relationships].

The Biblical focus for these thoughts is on the Great Commandment given us by our Lord Jesus:

Matthew 22:35-40 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Loving God means being kind to Him. It means being patient with Him. It means being faithful to Him. [See 1 Corinthians 13] Some of our brothers and sisters are being pressed on this issue with an intensity most of us can hardly relate to: they live in long-term care facilities not far from any of us here in America. Their bodies are failing them. Their minds are failing them.

Often, from their point of view, their friends and family are failing them! They live with scores of strangers who sometimes scare them and many times annoy them. They have lost control over the most basic decisions in life, decisions that we take for granted every day; like when and what to eat; when to take a shower and how hot to make the water; when to get up and when to go to bed. Just a short time ago, it would have never crossed their minds that they would be living in an LTC setting. Many of these people are sincere Christians......not raptured saints, but human beings who have put their trust in Jesus, human beings who feel pain and loneliness and disappointment and depression just like we do when unpleasant things get on top of us. Often, their love for others and, more importantly, their love for God has been shaken. THEY NEED ENCOURAGEMENT. They need a credible message of hope. They need to draw on the strength of strong, mature Christians who understand them, who see the weaknesses in their character, who see them in their struggles to believe and still love them and care for them.

This is the background of our second prayer request. Some of you support us with finances -- certainly this is a blessing from Heaven. Some of you help us by volunteering your time and talents -- we deeply appreciate each one of you. We would ask all of you to help us pray -- and we thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your prayers.

Love In Christ,

Jerry and Dar Johnson

    

    

We invite you to join with us in our appeal to the Master of the Universe to aid us this year in the following areas:

We ask God Almighty to bless this work with a mighty and effective proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ to the lost...and to confirm His Word with miracles, signs and wonders.

We humbly pray to God the Father for an anointed, solid Word of encouragement to His dear children who are struggling in their faith and their hope in the Eternal Promises of Christ.

We cry out to our Loving Savior for a fresh endowment of His compassion for the hurting, the forgotten, the struggling in long-term care settings all over the world.

We appeal to God for His empowerment and His favor in calling together His soldiers in long-term care volunteerism in our region and in our nation.

We pray that God give us a reliable means of extending a helping hand to fellow long-term care laborers throughout the Earth, and especially in third world countries.

We call on the Great Creative Writer to guide us and inspire us as we pursue production of the seventh edition of "A Handbook for Long-Term Care Ministry."

We ask the Perfect Teacher to lead us to realize our efforts to put the true-inductive, true-seminar-style Bible study, "Chapter & Verse," on the world-wide web for the edification and the unity of the Body of Christ all over this planet.

In obedience and submission to Your leading in this, Your ministry, we lay these petitions before You, Father and yield to Your wisdom, Your timing and the proportion of Your provision - for Your Eternal Glory - in the wonderful, precious Name of Your Dear Son, Jesus Christ.

 

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