Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Praying Through Transition

God's leading in Halverstadt family to transition from 30 years of pastoral ministry to academics/administration at Barclay College and church planting with Evangelical Friends in Brazil requires us to sell our home and relocate in Kansas. God has graciously identified a beautiful home for us to rent in Haviland and now I request your prayers for the sale of our Eastlake home. It was listed today on the MLS with Keller Williams.

Heavenly Father,
Lisa and I have fully consecrated our lives to You and celebrate this time of transition. We thank you for the gracious opportunity you have bestowed upon us to pastor such a fine church these past 12 years and ask for You to extend grace to her in this time of change. We have made dear friends who will forever remain in our hearts and mind.

We look forward to Your work at both Barclay College and Kingdom building with Evangelical Friends in Brazil. Please extend to us Your grace in this time of transition. May You be glorified through our lives and in the sale of our home (and Yours).

In Jesus' name,

Brazil Mission

I want to thank each of you who offered to pray for the Brazil church planting project for the next 40 days. My goal was to have 40 people praying for my March trip and at this point I have 42! PTL!

I will be submitting "prayer action items" each week. Today I want to include an informational letter for you to read from Frank Penna. Frank will be traveling with me to Brazil and assisting us in planting 400 new churches. Enjoy his words and thank you again for joining the prayer team.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010,

Thanks to all who have agreed to pray with us over the next few weeks. You are joining (at least) 40 others, some from the World Renewal Family, some from the Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region family, and those of you in my extended family and friends. I am thrilled with the fact that we are beginning this process by bathing it in prayer and intercession. God will be faithful to hear and answer our prayers!!

I aim to keep this simple, but effective and effectiveness will have a lot to do with consistency. Just a few minutes of prayer every day by so many people over this period of time will make for great results.

To begin, I suggest you take one of more pieces of paper that you can place in strategic spots (as a bookmark in your Bible, on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror, car dash), anywhere that will serve as a reminder to pray. Write on the paper 40/400. That means we are praying for 40 days for 400 communities within a days drive of Carpina, Brazil that do not have a gospel preaching church. The Lord has opened a door for Evangelical Friends churches to be planted in those places. We need His power, His anointing, His wisdom, and more to follow His lead in that effort. Sometime soon you will receive some of the names of those communities, but for now, here are a few of the requests on my heart over the next few days. Please join me as the Lord reminds you (especially when you see 40/400!).

Please Pray:

1) That the Lord Jesus Christ will be the focus of all we say do as we proceed. In the myriad of details and decisions to be made, we want to lift Him up in order that Brazilian men, women and children will be drawn to Him and Him alone.

2) That Brazilian leaders will be raised up, called and anointed as needed for this task.

3) That the Holy Spirit will give us direction and prepare the communities where we can be most effective.

4) For Steve Turner, Adrian Halverstadt, Frank Penna and Tele Moraes as they prepare to meet for two weeks in March for planning sessions.

God bless you all. 40/400 prayers are already making a difference!

Monday, February 15, 2010

God is on the move at my church!

Yep that's right! God is on the move at my church. My church currently is Willoughby Hills Friends. I've been on staff here for 12 years and recently announced that God is calling Lisa and I into another field of ministry. Starting July 1 we will be supporting God's kingdom building as a vice president at Barclay College and planting churches in Brazil with Evangelical Friends. I can't wait to see what new adventure God unfolds for the Halverstadts in the years ahead but for now I am pumped over what God is doing in my local church!

You ask, "How do you know God is working at WHFC" and "What are the signs of His activity?" Great questions! First John 4 lays the foundation for such discernment in the body of Christ. In fact, John commissions his readers to "test the spirits at work" in the following ways to see if God is in it.

One, Is Jesus Christ being exalted? (1 John 4:2) When the Spirit of God is present Jesus Christ is exalted. When the Spirit is moving Jesus will be exalted as God who came to earth in the flesh, died for the sin(s) of mankind, rose from the grave and lives victoriously today in the lives of those who seek Him. Jesus is "center stage" in the "life production" of WHFC ... God is on the move here!

Two, The work of Satan is being thwarted (1 John 4:4). The Bible says that "God is love"(4:8), and that Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy the manifestation of God's love in humanity. WHFC is a loving church. She is unified in Christ, cares for her own, and is extending the heart of Christ to the world through local and global missions. She is actively engaged in the process of pulling down the strongholds of Satan and reclaiming the turf that rightfully belongs to the King of Glory. God is on the move in my church!

Three, People are walking in holiness (1 John 4:6). To walk in holiness means to walk with Jesus "for He is the Spirit of Truth." WHFC has a renewed interest in following Jesus and not man, in reading the Bible and submitting to its authority. Her faith and trust is in the CEO, -JESUS- and she's not going crazy during this time of change in church leadership. Such peace in a church only manifests through relationship with Jesus Christ. The evidence of God control in the life of a consecrated Christian is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. These qualities cannot be manufactured by man ... they can only be imparted into a surrendered heart through a divine act of Christ.

Atta Boy Willoughby Hills Friends ... according to John 1 you have all the signs of a church that God is blessings! It is going to be exciting to see what miracles God unfolds in your midst. I am proud to say, "That's my church!" How about you?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Heart talk

The story is told that the gods of Olympus gathered together one day to answer a perplexing question: "Where should they hide the powers of the gods so humans can't find them?"

One god said, "At the bottom of the sea."

Another said "No, they will surely find them there. Let's put them on top of the highest mountain instead."

"No", another said. "They will be up there before you know it."

After much discussion, the gods finally agreed on where to hide their powers. They agreed on a place they're certain that humans would never look - inside their own hearts.

(taken from "Thinking for a Living" by Joey Reiman. pg 35)