Archive for July, 2008

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Earning the Right to be Heard

A husband and wife, volunteer firefighters with me, made it abundantly clear that they do not agree with what I believe, nor do they care for “religion,” but because God is working on them, they asked if they could attend a service just so they can hear me preach. It is great to see that as we “love the people,” God opens the door for us to “preach the Word.”  I can hardly wait for next Sunday!

~ Chris & Tammy Immer


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

God Answers Prayer

God answered a specific request that I had made two weeks before. It had been awhile since I had the privilege, joy, and excitement of leading someone to the Lord. God allowed me to cross paths with some roofers I had encounterd earlier in the week.  

 

Mark approached me and we started talking. He wanted to apologize for using “contractor language” on the top of a roof that we worked on together (I had just showed up at Shawn’s house to haul off the debris but stayed and worked for about 5 hours). He did not know that I was a “man of God.” He felt he had been set up by the other guys because they both knew but did not tell him (Not that their native tongue changed). Mark wanted me to know he meant no disrespect. Next thing I know, after affirming that I was not “disrespected,” Mark made it clear that he wanted to be a “man of God.” So, I was happy to tell him!  If it could only be this easy every time!!  

 

Oh wait…maybe it is. On Sunday a guy name Rick that I have been praying for showed up to the service with his 3rd-grade daughter. Rick and I later that day did a snow run (In a 4×4) up a local mountain. The hour drive home provided another answer to my prayers! Both Mark and Rick now know the way. May God by His great mercy and grace continue to work in these guys, conforming them to the image of His wonderful Son. Praise be to our awesome God!   

 

~ Chris & Tammy Immer


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Blessed by Serving

An adult Sunday school class from Grand Rapids came and painted the entire basement, purchased and hung new curtains, and installed a fence & handicap parking signs. What an unusual thing to have several of the workers tell us, “THANK YOU!” It was a little awkward to say, “You are welcome.”

We thank God for these faithful friends who were blessed by being a blessing. 

~ Larry & Kathy Shetenhelm


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

True Seekers

The Lord is so good in sending those who need to “connect” with Him. One Sunday morning we noticed two men I’d met in jail and another 29-year-old father who was just released from prison. It is so good to see a congregation welcome those who come, no matter the circumstances!

Attendance continues to amaze us. We are seeing new people every Sunday. One week nearly 70 filled our little sanctuary, with ½ of them 30 years old and younger. While we are not “Seeker-Friendly” as some church growth experts might suggest, we are people-friendly. One of the strengths of this fellowship is an ability to welcome any and all. When the Lord chooses to work in the hearts and lives of young people, we are learning, it does not require the newest music or the latest method. We are earnestly praying that those coming are true seekers and will be saved!

 

~ Larry & Kathy Shetenhelm


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Choosing to Serve in the Country

A group of campers attended a morning worship service. As they left, one commented on how we seem to have chosen to serve a small rural church. They wanted to compliment us on our willingness to serve here.

Their questions were about why we would choose to serve the Lord in Jennings, so we had the opportunity to tell them about Village Missions and our purpose of serving the rural church. These folks were from a small church in a nearby community; we gave them some information about VM and are praying for them.

~ Larry & Kathy Shetenhelm


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Teaching Teens about Purity

Seven teens are coming to the Tuesday Good News Club. I challenged them to consider purity as a choice they can make that will provide a better life. Six of them indicated they wanted to make that choice. Three stood before the congregation and made a public commitment to be pure for their future spouse.

 

Purity is a teaching they have never heard and we pray for God’s protection.

 

~ Larry & Kathy Shetenhelm


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Jail Ministry in Jennings

The jail ministry is both frustrating and rewarding. It is a bittersweet ministry as most of the inmates return within a year. Commitments are often shallow and the pressures of life are constantly taking away the Good Seed of God’s Word.

 

One sweet part came as I led a Bible study in jail, and a young woman began to cry. My jail partner saw her tears and asked, “Would you like to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior?” With a quivering voice and tears streaming down, she said, “Yes!” I opened the Word of God and led her through the salvation Scriptures. Then I asked, “Do you understand what the Bible is saying to you?” “Yes!” she responded. What pure joy to hear the voice of one praying to trust in Jesus Christ as Savior! We pray she will grow in her new faith. During a follow-up visit she said she called her husband and told him she’d made a decision to ask Jesus Christ to save her and come in her life.

 

~ Larry & Kathy Shetenhelm


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

A Church Dies

A small church in our community closed down on Easter Sunday. We helped the pastor and his family load up their moving trailer the second week of June.  It was sad to see him leave – he was a good friend.  We are thankful for the times we see good attendance at Sunday school & worship service. We’re never sure exactly who is going to attend from week to week, but we’re thankful for the opportunities our Lord provides. 

~ Jim & Lynette Karg


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Kids Liven Up Harlan Church

We have been blessed with many children in church services lately, a blessing which brings its own set of challenges. There are a few young children who have trouble sitting through the service and we have found ourselves doing an impromptu nursery some weeks during the message. We are so grateful to have to work through this challenge – not too many years ago there were few, if any, children in this church.

 

 

We still need to find an appropriate way to address this need on a regular basis. The board gave their approval to go ahead with plans to begin a Wednesday pm. children’s ministry starting in the fall. We will be starting a “Kids 4 Truth Club.”

 

~ Jim & Lynette Karg


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

His Word Does Not Return Void

The Sunday before VBS last summer, we visited with a couple who grew up going to VBS at the Chapel as kids. They didn’t grow up to walk with the Lord, but years later, after the hard knocks of life, they returned to the little white church they grew up going to. Now they are a key part of our church – nearly 50 years later! So you never know what God is doing in the lives of kids.

~ Chad & Sarah Johnson

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11


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