Over the past three months my teams and I have been able to be part of a lot of ministry moments. Earlier in June we hosted our first ever Awake and Alive summer session for young professionals and college age people in SE Wisconsin. It was an awesome event seeing about 20 doorholders (a better term for volunteers ) and about 45 young people be a part of this encouraging, inspiring community. With the prayer "Lord make me awake to who I am in you; Lord make me alive to your purposes in and through my life today", it was a fantastic reminder of who we are in Christ (Ephesians 1-2). You can see more here - the next two are July 13th and August 10th
A couple weeks ago, we shared God's encouragement with about 160 people at The Bridge worship service, which is part of my home church at St. Paul's Muskego. The topic was called "Family Fued" part of our Modern Family sermon series and Pastor John Backus took us deep into God's word and real life. On the back end of his message and before the sermon prayers we shared a song that Casting Crowns recently wrote called "House of Their Dreams". Such a touching song and prayer that it was hard for me to get through the last part of it. Even guys came up after that service and mentioned how powerful God was speaking in the whole of that worship service (guys don't cry in church so this was cool). Yes, church matters and God's church makes a difference in the world today! I'm blessed to be part of it!
And just last week we shared a concert at the Camp Phillip Family fest weekend. Great day, always is with the folks up at camp, but toward the end of the concert we were met with one of the more trying ministry moments of my life when a gentleman suffered a medical condition that led to his heart stopping. While volunteers and EMT's worked determinedly to save his life, we continued the concert with the encouragement of the staff, staying focused on prayer and praise while God worked through the EMT's, staff and volunteers who were able to get him to a hospital. It was as if death had walked into the middle of the camp reminding us what the "wages of sin" is all about, while the larger presence of God in prayer, in song and in word stared death down and reminded us that by faith, the "gift of God" is greater! We found out this past weekend that Lloyd is out of ICU and they have hopes for a significant recovery!!!
As we strive to do worship, outreach and encouragement ministries with excellence, I realize that I don't work alone and that I can't be effective by myself. It takes my family, my church, my friends, my bandmates, my prayer partners and most important, my God who gives me the strength (and sometimes lets me run into a wall when I'm too thick headed). I'm writing today because I'm not good at asking for help and support and because I need to be better at that. Too often, on my own, burnout and loss of focus are on the horizon. Together, God can use me the way he needs to. If you are interested and able, here are a few ways you can support what God is doing in and through the work of this ministry.
Prayer - Would you be willing to just take a quick moment to pray for what God is doing in this ministry and ask him to guide and direct it. Join me in asking God to steer the ship and to give me peace about letting go of expectations and saying no to good things so that I can focus on a few great things. Please ask him to continue to grow my faith of my family and to guide and protect my family as it is the easiest and best way for Satan to derail a ministry. Lastly, please ask God to help give me clear direction and curbs so that I don't try to do so much. Honestly, I see opportunity everywhere, but that sometimes leaves me to be scattered and tired and less effective. Strength for the journey, peace in the moment.
New Music - YOU DID IT!! The Kickstarter was fully funded and we can now get moving on to recording vocals as we push to get this completed in October. THANK YOU for so many of you who supported it!
Concerts - I often lead worship somewhere just about every Sunday of the year. One of the things that has slowed down is the requests to play concerts. I would love to bring the Awake and Alive concert to other churches around the Milwaukee area and the country to share the heartbeat of that ministry, but also just some good old, laid back acoustic concerts to just get together behind the songs and the stories and enjoy each others company. If you know of people who'd be interested, let me know. I'd love to get back to doing a few of these a month.
Donation to Awake and Alive - If you would like to help us reach the 18-25 generation, check's can be made out to "Climb the Mountain Ministries" with the designation "Awake and Alive" in the memo section and mailed to my address at 3521 N 80th, Milwaukee, WI 53222. While we are not yet tax deductible, your contributions will help us with awareness, invitation, food and program expenses to make this an awesome event that is consistently done with excellence. To learn more about this go to awakeandalive2014.com.
Thank you for your prayers and for the opportunities to serve with you for Jesus sake!
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19