After a three-month hiatus from the blogosphere, today marks my return. Lord willing, I hope to write Monday mornings and then post. So if you are interested in tuning into a weekly column with this shepherd's perspective on life, I hope to meet you here.
My absence from blogging was semi-intentional. I rambled around the countryside a bit last fall to speak at several churches and a college retreat . Ministry with young people, from a growing academy to a budding college ministry, with some coaching for my sons' basketball teams thrown in, has taken a great deal more time. Yet far and away the most time consuming activity (that caused me to set blogging aside for a while) has been planning for what we are calling Hope for Eternity.
On April 25-27 & 29th of this year, Irish pastor and author Ted Donnelly will be here at the Sycamore RPC sanctuary in Kokomo for a series of evangelistic meetings we are calling Hope for Eternity. Ted will speak three times on the subject of hell Wednesday-Friday, then on Sunday the 29th twice preach regarding the topic of heaven. God has blessed Ted with a wonderful ability to communicate eternal truth and we want many to hear him. So we have been spending the past year, and especially this fall, getting ready. How?
Well, first by praying people will come and think upon where they will spend eternity. Too often portrayals and comments about heaven and hell are cartoonish and glib, and people do not seriously consider their eternal destiny. To ask God to bring His knowledge and fear upon the people in this area, we have and will continue to host a series of prayer events leading up to this outreach.
Next, by making people feel welcome here. Our deacons and youth have been working on the building these past months to ready it for more people, with a new boiler a major, necessary project. Also, thanks to the help of Susan Spiegel, please notice we have spruced up our website to help make this event known. The Lord answered some long-standing prayers and an exciting new tutoring ministry by our own youth to the needy in the neighborhood of the building began this fall in order to serve them and build relationships. Several neighborhood events, such as a block party and game night, were held to do the same. We are developing a deeper love for the people around us and we hope the Lord will bring them to us and, more importantly, to Himself.
Finally, we are simply inviting people to this event. Again through Susan's artistry, we developed a newsletter called Hope for Today that features articles, testimonies and pictures of our congregation. We are distributing them to 2000 households every two months and they contain an invitation to the outreach. Word-of-mouth, billboards, invitation cards, and other media will be used, as we believe our whole community needs to hear these messages.
So please know our invitation is sincere and deliberate. Please come April 25-27 at 7:00 p.m. and April 29th at 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to hear these life-changing messages.