Monday, August 26, 2013

Nelson Newsletter August 2013

“We are fit for the work of God only when we have wept over it, prayed about it, and then we are enabled by Him to tackle the job that needs to be done.” Alan Redpath (1907-1989)

Dear Ministry Partners, ­­­­­­­­­­­

House Church Outreach Our outreach last month to people in a local apartment complex was very productive. Thank you for praying! Timmy Powers and our daughter Grace met a family that invited them back to their home to read the Bible. They have gone a few times to share the good news with them. The first person that Danelle and I met was a Mexican lady named Rocio. We told her we were out speaking with people about spiritual things like God and the Bible. We asked her if she thought about these things very much. She said, “All the time!” We then said we were telling people how to know God personally. She said, “I want to know God, but I need someone to show me the way.” We discovered that Rocio’s boyfriend, the father of her two daughters, was going to leave her for another woman. She was hurting and afraid. God had prepared her heart through these terrible circumstances to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. She prayed with us that morning and God brought her peace, hope, and forgiveness through her spiritual birth! Jesus promised, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29) Celebrate Rocio’s salvation with us and the angels of God! We are meeting with her several times a week to discuss God’s word and pray. She is reading the Bible daily, and sharing her testimony with others. We have never seen anyone so eager to know God!

House Church Retreat Five members of our house church are going this weekend to join Christians from Columbia, SC for a retreat. Believers from the house churches in Columbia are having a retreat for the purpose of seeking God together, fellowship, and relaxation. They will discuss what the Bible says about the family and how to rest in, and rely on, God. Please pray for a life-transforming weekend.

“We need, men so possessed by the Spirit of God that God can think His thoughts through our minds, that He can plan His will through our actions, that He can direct His strategy of world evangelization through His Church.” Alan Redpath

Prayer Requests

1. New Contacts. Pray for Rocio’s growth, and for all those we have met in the local apartments.                        

2. House Church Retreat. Pray for Ward, Grace, Merry, Robert, Tershel & all to grow this weekend!

3. Secure In An Insecure World. Pray for the editing & printing in Spanish and English to be excellent.

4. FSU Conference. (September 27-29) Pray for Danelle and I as we teach these Florida State students.

5. Clemson vs. Georgia Pray for us to avoid any family conflict over the big college football game this weekend. Five of our children graduated from UGA! Smile GO TIGERS!

Thank you for your prayers and gifts!

Steve and Danelle

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Having Difficulty Providing?

Are you currently faced with a difficulty meeting your needs? If not now, you will be. It is simply a matter of time. Here is a story that contains some principles which can give you hope and courage.
“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has lead you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:2,3
The Jewish people were between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.” There were several million hungry people in the middle of the desert. There wasn’t a Kroger for hundreds of miles! The responsibility for the life or death of all these Jews was completely God’s. The Jews had no control. If God did not provide they would die! What can we learn?
First, remember that God has been faithful to you in the past (forty years).
Second, God lets us get hungry. He allows trials. They are part of His plan.
The third lesson is that God does not always do the expected. He will feed you with manna, which you do not know. He needs you to give Him the freedom to provide in His way.
Last of all we need to trust His word (promises) and provision. It may seem like it is completely up to you to provide for your needs, and everything is under your control. It is not! God wants you and I to be responsible, work hard, spend wisely and give cheerfully to the work of the gospel, but He wants you to know it all comes from Him!

Christianity is like a Marathon- Part 2

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1
We must lay aside all the things that slow us down to run for Christ. If you have ever run in a race, you are know that the lighter you are, the greater your chance for success. If you have to carry extra weight, like the soldier running with the full backpack, it will take longer to get to the finish line. If you are overweight, it will take you longer to get to your destination and you may even quit. A few extra pounds carried for the 26 miles of a marathon feels like a few tons by the end of race! This is why God says to “lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us.” He knows we run well without the weights of sin. Sin slows us down and makes us want to stop running.
What sins are slowing you down today? Greed, apathy, fear, worry, lust, anger, pride, bitterness, slander and materialism are some common weights that entangle us. Is there something God has pointed out to you that you need to repent of, surrender to Him and experience His forgiveness for? Do not ignore Him. You may need a “teammate” to help you become free of these weights. Ask a trusted friend to help you with the weights, pray for you and hold you accountable. Just like someone who is “in shape” feels better (stronger and more confident), so will you if you lay aside the sin that is entangling you

What Do You Want For Lunch?

But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." John 4:32
God is working everywhere, and if we look, we will see it! When we see it, then we can join Him in transforming lives for eternity.
Once Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman whom He transformed, and then she left to tell her city about Jesus. The disciples had gone to get lunch, and when they returned, they were amazed that Jesus was speaking to a woman, and a Samaritan one at that! "Then Jesus said to them, 'Do you not say, "There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest"? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest'" (John 4:35). What harvest? The Samaritan woman! Why did Jesus tell the disciples to "lift up your eyes?" Because they missed the harvest right there in front of them! God was working, but they had failed to see it.
Jesus informed His disciples as to the source of His energy: "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work." The work, in the context, was leading the Samarian woman to salvation. Jesus was energized by showing her respect, speaking the truth in love, and meeting her deepest need.
Lift up your eyes and look on the harvest of thirsty souls around you, and join God in His work. Get your eyes off yourself, your problems, and your needs by trusting God with them. Then look and notice the lives around you-prayerfully enter their world, listen to their anxious thoughts, and point them to the Living Water, who alone can satisfy their thirsty soul.