Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prayer Requests for June 25

Hello to you all. It's a hot summer day here in Billings. I checked just after lunch, and it's was 97 degrees F. I'm thankful for air conditioning today.

Both Bruce and Ted are in the office today. As so often happens, they return and suddenly the phones start ringing. Since Bruce returned from Australia, he has attended 2 district conventions and traveled to another state for a visit with a congregation who
recently completed an intervention. He leaves again on Saturday for our last district convention exhibit. He's been on the phone talking to numerous groups and individuals about possible events in the future. Needless to say he's quite tired and now enduring a sinus infection. We pray he will soon be well, that his travel is blessed, and that he regains his rest. Bruce also hopes to be able to get back to his book, which has been on hold for awhile. We pray God will bless his efforts.

Ted is fielding many calls and scheduling future engagements. He will soon be traveling to Illinois for a visit with a congregation that is considering an intervention. He will also be traveling to Minnesota later in the month for a seminar with teenagers on Responding to Sexual Temptation. He is trying to get caught up on many things and many messages that
arrived while he was gone. He hopes to be able to complete some projects that need to be tended to. We pray God will bless him as he labors at many things. Ted's also been researching arrangements with other organizations and the possibilities of having our resources available through them. We pray for God's direction. In the last prayer communication, I said that Ted was going to Michigan for the district convention. I was mistaken. Bruce is the one going, so Ted is able to stay home and be in the office. It is good to have them both in Billings (for the most part). Decisions get made quickly and people get answers to inquiries. We pray for God's direction and wisdom for Ted and Bruce.

Ed is currently at the Indiana district convention. He has just returned from some time off. This Sunday he will preach at his son's ordination in Seymour. He is praying to be able to
speak clearly without getting too emotional. We praise God with the Keinath family at this wonderful celebration. We also pray for God to bless Daniel's ministry.

I am praising God this week for having sent the last box needing to be sent for the conventions. It was a big project with much careful scheduling and juggling of supplies and product. There are five or six sets of boxes still out, so I'm not completely done, but the pressure is off. I'm also very happy to add a request for praises to ascend to our gracious God for the improved financial situation AoR is experiencing. With the increase in our own products, and our busy schedule, we are very grateful. We will probably always struggle like most non-profit organizations, but right now things are pretty good.

We also praise God for a new development at Peacemaker Ministries. They announced today the addition of Dwight Schettler to the position of Director of Training. He is from Fort Collins, CO and will be moving with his wife and two children to Billings in July. Dwight is a trained reconciler, going through AoR's Church Reconciler Training in 2007, and has been very involved in his congregation's reconciliation ministry. Dwight, we praise God with you, and for you. May He bless their move and Dwight in this new position.

I invite you to add comments, and register as a follower on this blog. It helps me to see who is actually receiving these prayer requests. Thank you for your continued support for AoR.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Prayer Requests for June 11

Hello to everyone.  I hope you are beginning to get in the habit of checking this blog as a way to access the prayer concerns of AoR.  I will continue to send notices via email for a time, but will continue to use this tool to submit the prayer messages.  I hope it is easily accessible to everyone.

Well, you'll never guess who stopped in at the office this morning.  It was so good to see Bruce's smiling face come through the door.  Of course, the rest of him was there too, but the smile was pretty big.  He and Kathy thoroughly enjoyed touring the Sydney area for nine days.  They really loved the area and would go back in a heartbeat.  In fact would even consider an exchange kind of situation.  They loved the cosmopolitan feel of the city and thought the area was quite beautiful.  The thing they loved the most, was the attitude of Australians.  Well, Australia is three for three because Ted has also been bowled over by the beauty of Australia and of the people there.  We lift grateful hearts to God for the blessings He has bestowed on all of the presenters as they have shared their skills with our brothers and sisters in Australia.  I was reading from the blog on the Australian trip and Ted writes "As I reflect on the entire experience in Australia, I do not remember working with any other church body from any continent that has been so overwhelmingly positive and appreciative of reconciliation ministry. It is clear to all of us as presenters (Bruce, Kathy, Francis, and Ted) that God's timing was right for this extensive teaching experience in Australia. The LCA College of Presidents have modeled their support and leadership by all participating fully in the training, from Synodical President Mike Semmler to all the District Presidents. In addition, all the ordained staff of the seminary also attended the training. What a blessing to have such a modeling!"  As you can tell, he has been quite moved by this tour.  We pray for the Australian church as they continue to make plans and then implement them.  Ted continues, " I cannot begin to imagine what fruit this reconciliation training will bear throughout Australia and New Zealand. Never before in my experience has any church body participated in such an extensive training that included nearly all the active pastors, a number of laity and lay workers, plus educators and other ministry leaders. Lifestyles of reconciliation are being cultivated before our very eyes, as we have already heard about reconciliations that have taken place. 

Because God promises that his Word will bear fruit (we may not see it or recognize it), I believe that hundreds -- actually thousands -- of relationships will be reconciled as the leaders of LCA teach and coach their people in biblical peacemaking. Marriages, families, church leaders, co-workers, school administrators and teachers and students and parents, aged care workers and residents, and more.  What an awesome God we have!" Thank you, dear Lord, that you use your humble people to bring about Your will and direction.

In the last few days, the phone has really picked up.  We have had four different churches and schools inquiring about having AoR come.  Some of it is for conflicted groups, but also some inquiries are about training events.  So suddenly, the summer schedule is beginning to fill up.  The district conventions continue to take place and we are being represented in nine more before the end of the month.  For me that means coordinating the delivery of boxes of resources to the representative and making sure the supplies arrive in time and the rep understands how to use them.  So far, I haven't missed one, but there's plenty of time for me to mess up.  Unfortunately, I'm all too able and practiced at that. I pray that my efforts bring good results and that AoR is better known after the conventions are concluded.  It is a very good opportunity to advertise who we are and how we serve the church.

Bruce has returned and has plunged right in.  He and Kathy landed in Billings last night, and he is already tending to business in the office.  Tomorrow he leaves to return for the third visit to a congregation where an intervention took place earlier in the year.  On Monday he will attend the Montana District convention, and on Tuesday afternoon will pack up and leave for the Northwest District convention.  He is in contact with several congregations who are exploring options in conflict in their midst.  We pray that God will be with him and keep him safe in travel, give him strength of body, and wisdom of mind as he serves.

Ted will be in Australia for a few more days.  He is meeting with the College of presidents of the Australian church to debrief and make plans for their future.  We pray for their wisdom and clear understanding of God's direction.  Ted will return to Montana early next week and after a few days rest will be catching up in the office before traveling to Michigan for the district convention.  We pray for God to keep him safe in his travels as well.

Ed continues to work with numerous families and churches with some significant problems.  We pray for God to bless him with wisdom and strength.  Ed has a love for farming, and every now and again gets the opportunity to "suck diesel fumes" while driving a tractor in a field.  He loves it and gets much stress relief from it.  He had the opportunity this week to do just that, and was so thankful.  We praise God with him.  Ed has plans to take some time off for a family reunion before attending the Indiana district convention on the 25th.  After that they will celebrate as Daniel, Ed and Janeen's son will be ordained into the pastoral ministry on the 28th.  We praise God with them at this momentous celebration.

Well, that wraps up another week for me.  Friday is a day off for me.  My husband (a pastor) takes Fridays off, so I do too.  I am very thankful for 
flexibility I have to do that.  I'm also very thankful for the opportunity to work for AoR.  My thanks to our very gracious God for His many blessing.  Another blessing I praise Him for is all of you and your faithful service in prayer for AoR.  You are truly appreciated.  

Until next week, may God bless each one of you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Prayer requests for June 4

Another week almost gone.  I am forever wondering how a week can go so fast.  God is gracious in that He gives me the blessing of plenty to do to fill my time.  During times when Ted and Bruce are away, I usually have a chance to get some of the "To Do" list done.  When they are away, the phones quiet down significantly.  I'm not sure how people know that they won't be able to talk to them, but it happens every time.  So I've been tidying up the website, filing items that have been piling up, cleaning up the stock room, and generally finishing projects that were needing attention.  When the phone does ring, it's nice to hear another human voice.  It's a good thing I'm catching up, because when Ted and Bruce do get back, it will get hectic again.  

If you have been following the blog from Australia, you know that the Church Reconciler Training (5-day event) is finished and Bruce and Kathy are taking some time off in Australia.  They will sightsee and relax until coming back on June 11.  I spoke with their son, Mark, yesterday and he says they are enjoying all of the different animals, birds, trees, etc.  We pray that Bruce and Kathy will be rested before having to make the long trip home.  When they get back, it will take a few days to get over the jet lag from changing so many time zones.  We pray for God's protection and blessings for them as they return.

I spoke with Ted on Monday when he Skyped the office.  The marvels of the new technologies are very amazing.  Being able to see him through the cameras on our computers is so helpful.  I can show him things as well as see his expressions while talking.  You really can pick up the excitement.  
He is absolutely pumped about the Australian Church and expects God to greatly bless their efforts.  He says the leadership is fully behind everything AoR has been teaching, and is drawing up plans for the future which implement what they are learning.  We pray for the Australian church, that they will be wise and deliberate in cultivating lifestyles of reconciliation.  We also pray that God will bless Ted with strength as he has been suffering with a cold.  Ted and Francis are in the midst of a three-day event with the Queensland district.  We pray for them as they learn.  Ted will speak to the Queensland District Synod this weekend and we pray that God will bless his presentation.  We also ask for God's direction for the Synod as they gather in convention.  Ted, Francis and Angela (Francis' wife has joined him in Australia) then travel to Rockhampton for the last training event with the Victoria and Tasmanian districts' leadership.  He and Francis will then fly to Sydney for a meeting with the College of Presidents (District presidents and Synodical officers) to debrief the AoR training events.  We pray that God will bless their time together.  Then on June 14th, Ted, Francis and Angela all begin their journey home, for which we also ask for God's blessing.  I also thank God for the blessings of technologies that make our labors more productive.  

Ted has also been commenting on the beautiful churches they have seen.  I have uploaded a
 picture of a particularly beautiful altar from one.  If you click on it you will see it enlarged and how truly unusual it is.  Throughout the world, God's people strive to bring Him glory in every way.

We continue to pray for conflicted congregations.  Many have been in contact with us about how to bring about reconciliation.  We pray that God will guide them and bless their efforts to deal with confession and absolution issues.  We also pray for those who give guidance to conflicted groups and individuals.  May their efforts bring God glory and peace to those in conflict.

And my dear brothers and sisters, I pray also for you.  May you all be strengthened and empowered to do His will.   I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.  1 Cor.1:4.