International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is Sunday, November 5. In addition to praying, we also will be showing a film entitled Faithkeepers at 7:00pm in the Worship Center. The film will be followed by a panel discussion. I encourage you to come. Every day I pray for the persecuted church and for ministries that serve them like Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors USA, and Samaritan’s Purse. I read recently about one of the 21 martyrs who was beheaded by ISIS on February 15, 2015. His name was Matthew Ayairga. When he was captured he was not a Christian, but when he saw the bravery of the other 20 Christian men, he gave his life to Christ. When asked by one of the terrorists if he would reject Christ, he simply responded, “Their God is my God.” What a brave and heroic act. Thank You, Jesus, for his witness unto death.
On Sunday morning I am preaching a message entitled “Grace Giving” based on 2 Corinthians 8:1-7. I look forward to studying this great text with you and showing how GHBC is following the example of the churches in Macedonia. Pray for me as I share this sermon and seek to prepare us for our annual Harvest Offering on November 19. On that day we will come to the altar as a church in an act of worship and bring our gifts to the Lord. Each year at this time we are behind in our giving to expenses. Some call it being overspent and others call it “undergiven,” but either way, the fact remains we need to catch up! Ask God what He would have you do as we seek to help our church in this very practical and tangible way.
I met with many church leaders in Austin this week about the next steps in serving the people in Port Arthur who were so devastated by Hurricane Harvey. I serve as chairman of the board of Christ Together Greater Austin, and we are working directly with two other excellent ministries in Austin–Austin Bridge Builders Association (ABBA) and Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN). Please be in prayer for those in Port Arthur and for ways the churches in Austin can continue to help them in their time of great need. I will be sharing more information once I receive it.
Ashley and I hope to see many of you tomorrow at Family Fun Day at Crowe’s Nest Farm. Dave and Lola Williams are graciously opening up their farm for GHBC from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Be sure to come out for some or all of the festivities. It is a really fun and family-friendly event.
We love our church and are grateful to God for all He is doing in and through us. Honestly, I am burdened about our large deficit in 2017. But I hold to a word God gave me a few weeks ago to be at peace with what He is doing at GHBC and how He is doing it. Join me in praying and also in giving, as we allow God to use us to be the answer to the current financial need.