Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Monday, February 23, 2009

Recent Trip to Shorewood, IL

I got back home from Shorewood yesterday after driving on wind swept & snowy roads. Glad I made it back in one piece.

The Epoch class I had hoped to attend was canceled on Saturday due to the lead teacher, Sean Benesh’s son getting sick. Glad to hear he’s not too serious.

Anyway, my friend, Shane, was able to see the area for the first time. He is strongly considering moving his family up to Shorewood with us in order to plant this church. He and I got to see a couple of things.

First, Shane was able to walk into a fitness gym and get offered a job. He’s got personal training certification and several styles of martial arts at his disposal. So in an exercise crazed area, he’s got in demand skills—wish I could say that! He also plays the drums. I took him into a Guitar Center and watched him play and drool over the drums.

The other good thing he was able to see came as we went to dinner. Before dinner we were at the Joliet mall looking around. In the bookstore, he bought a copy of The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel. As we were getting out of the car to go into Steak & Shake, I had the impression that I needed to take the book in with us. I ignored it and got out of the car. After about 3 steps, I stopped and went back for the book. After getting it, I told Shane, “I’m bringing this in, hopefully as a conversation starter. I’ll take a book in with a good title like this or Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey and put it out and hope for a conversation.”

He thought that was a good idea. The cooler thing was less than 10 seconds after sitting down, our server showed up, noticed the book and asked, “Is that a good book?” She proceeded to write down the title and we talked a bit about her life and faith. I asked if there was anything we could pray for her about. She said she’s pretty stressed, her family is strained and/or separated and she only gets to go to church with her father when she’s with him. She’s a junior in high school and is working to 10 or later at night and too tired to do homework. Please be praying for her, her name starts with a G. I wrote her a note and thanked her for being a blessing to us. I also told her to watch out for The Pursuit to open up in the next year or so.

Shane really needed to see those two things happen: the job and the book. He has only been a Christian for a year and needs a lot of intentional discipleship. Right now, he is eager to serve. But he was able to see that he does have skills to offer and that God can move and work right before our eyes. Shane is both thrilled and terrified of moving up to Shorewood. It’s going to uproot his family, it’s away from his life-long home town. He needed that confidence boost from God and he got it. It was great to see and be a part of. Please be praying for Shane and his family as they consider this radical move with Vicky and I.

As we’re moving forward with The Pursuit, please be praying for us. The hard work is coming: finding a place to meet—establishing an identity for the church, finding a core of people and securing funding. But I know our God is faithful and that all the resources and things we need are already in place or being placed for us.

Lord Jesus, it is a joy to see Your Hand at work. Thank you for this demonstration of Your faithfulness.

Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life,


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