Donald Easterbrooks made the trip with me to St Louis for the conference this year. Donald and his wife, Jen, are helping us plant Grace Church Spokane along with their three kids. It was great to be able to already be traveling with team members from the church plant.
Here's a brief summary from EFM: It was so good to be reminded by John Lanferman that "Everything I really need I already possess and his name is Jesus!" Terry Virgo reminded us of the importance of building together shaped by the truth of Scripture and enjoying the benefits of life in Christ with the Holy Spirit! He also reminded us that "Working and waiting belong together, keeping us from the presumption that we can do everything, and from the pessimism that we can do nothing." David Devenish challenged us toward the grand vision of making mature disciples in every people group around the world, and to embrace the teaching, suffering, and hard work that mission will inevitably require. Bryan Mowrey addressed the importance of hearing from God in the initial stages of ministry so that we can stand firm through the high points of life and ministry (where we can confuse success with God's will) and the low points (where we can confuse hardship with missing God's will).
|St Louis Rams Vs Arizona Cardinals Pregame|
On my flight home, I had a 3-hour conversation with a woman who described herself as ascribing to a combination of Taoism (also called Daoism) and Eastern mysticism. She asked all kinds of great questions about Jesus and I was happy to share the gospel with her! She remained skeptical, but I know some great seeds were planted. "One plants, another waters, but God brings the increase!"
I have to be completely honest: I loved the trip, but I also missed being able to meet with our Grace Church Spokane team while we were gone! It's a great sign that God is joining our hearts together for His purpose when missing a Friday training meeting with these great guys and gals to attend a fantastic conference has me torn!
I arrived home Saturday evening and prepared to continue our Gospel of Grace series on Sunday morning. (I'm teaching through Galatians and discussing core values along the way!) After the meeting Sunday, three of the young ladies in the church were going through Terry Virgo's book "Start" together and discussing water baptism. One of them has just recently received Christ and is now being challenged toward baptism, so it looks like it's time to schedule a party! It's good to be home and seeing God moving in the lives of young people through our GCS team. In the words of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home!"