Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 30

Good day to everyone. Montana is an adventure. We’ve been having some cool weather which came down from Canada for the last few days. Last night it got down into the mid 40’s. Great sleeping weather, but a bit nippy to say the least. It really does feel like Alberta.

It’s been another busy week which has flown by very quickly. A little bit quieter this week because Bruce has been out of the office for most of it. His son and family arrived Monday evening, so Grandpa is definitely not coming to work. They are all spending a few days in Yellowstone National Park. We pray for God’s blessings on their family time together. Bruce will be returning on Monday for a few days before heading out for the next event.

Ed called in this morning and has asked for prayers for two churches he is working with. They are making some major decisions about staff changes which are being fueled by financial difficulties. One church may have to terminate a DCE and another is evaluating their options for a pastor who struggles with MS. We pray for God’s guidance and direction as they deal with these difficulties. Ed will be traveling to Virginia this next week helping his son and daughter-in-law make the transition to their vicarage assignment for the next year. We pray for them throughout the trip, but also as they make their way in the new role. May God bless them. Ed asked for prayers also for the local Lutheran school as they start school on the 13th. I remarked to him that it seemed rather early to be starting for the fall and he explained that Indiana is pushing to go to year-round school and that there were several schools in the area that had already started school this week. We pray for the school and ask for God’s blessings and direction as they begin another year.

Ted has returned from Minnesota. The teen conference at Lutheran Island Camp on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High-Tech Society went very well. The age range was 14 to 17 and included some adults as well. Ted remarked on the different dynamics between the young teens and the older one, and of course the adults were another dynamic. He said the youth very quickly work through the small group discussions and the adults didn’t get through the questions in the allotted time. Perhaps another indication of the effects of frequent texting and the concise comments they are used to using. But he was very impressed with their ability to discuss delicate subjects and with their openness. He also remarked that the adults were much less informed about this topic. Ted will be teaching this seminar again to an adult audience next month on the 13th in Kansas and on the 26th in Nebraska. We pray for the seminars as Ted brings God’s Word to them on this topic.

We also ask for your prayers concerning some upcoming events. There will be a consultation and seminar over the weekend of August 7-9, and a Group Reconciliation Assistance (formerly known as an intervention) weekend on August 28-Sept.1. We pray for God’s wisdom, direction and aid for all concerned. We also pray for our Board of Directors phone meeting on August 10th. We ask for God’s direction and leadership as they discuss and make decisions. We also offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving for the soon-to-be Dr. Dick Thompson, our board chairman. Dick successfully had his oral examination for his doctoral degree from the seminary at Ft. Wayne, IN. We give thanks for all of Dick’s work with AoR, and for the future opportunities he will have as a result of this degree. Well done, Dick. We have several conflicted churches considering their options right now. We pray that God will direct them in those decisions, and that they will clearly understand Him. We pray for hearts to be prepared and for His Spirit to be victorious over the fears they have.
Once again, I thank you for your faithful service to AoR in this manner. Your prayers are very important to us.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 23

Hello to all. Thank you for checking on the blog today.

I've been spending much of today dealing with the trials of technology. Our website seems to be "on it's own" generating spam. I've been receiving up to 134 spam messages a day for the past several weeks and this week discovered the cause. Spammers are very clever. I've been working with our server company to rectify the problem, and pray we will get to the solution soon. With all the wonders and advantages we have because of modern technology, we must sometimes also deal with the negative side of it. I've been praying for patience. Oh Lord, give me patience, now.

Ted is in Minnesota and getting set up to begin the teen conference on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High-Tech Society. He was looking forward to the conference with the youth, and also to a bit of time at Lutheran Island Camp. It's a beautiful setting. We pray for God's blessings on the conference. Ted will travel home on Monday, and be in the office a few days after that. His schedule for meetings and calls is filling up for the week. He is quite a busy fellow, and we pray for his stamina and for wisdom in his many endeavors.

Bruce is in the office today and in contact with many people this week. He does the scheduling for our conferences, consultations, interventions and other events. He assigns team members to events and writes up contracts. He also coaches many people in dealing with conflict in their lives. He advises church leadership members in church conflicts, and consults with district and synodical officials. We pray for his stamina and wisdom in all his endeavors as well. He and Kathy are looking forward to next week when they will have some very important people in the house. Their grandson will be there (as well as his parents of course) and they are eager to enjoy the time with them. Little Zander is almost a year old and walking now so he will keep them running I'm sure. On August 7th, Bruce will be traveling to a seminar and consultation in a nearby district. We pray for God's blessings on it and for wisdom for Bruce as he serves in this capacity. We will also have a Board of Directors conference call on August 10, and we pray for God's direction for our board members. Bruce also asks for God's will in making some decisions for the future. He asks for God to open doors wide that He wants us to walk through, and to slam them shut tightly if He does not want us to proceed in any given direction. We pray for clarity in these matters.

Ed reports a wonderful installation for his son, Daniel in White Bear Lake, MN over the weekend. He is back in the office in Indiana and working with many groups and individuals. We pray for God's wisdom and direction for Ed as he works with them. As in our office in Montana, the staff in Indiana cover many situations and we pray for their stamina and wisdom as they serve in Christ's name.

I pray that your summer is going well and that there has been some time for relaxation and appreciation for God's creation over the summer. Thank you for the meaningful service you provide for AoR in lifting these prayers to our Lord. May He bless you always.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 16

Hello to everyone. What a glorious day in Montana! The sun is shining and it’s good ole summertime.

Everyone is in Billings this week and of course the phone is active with calls from people who are needing help with conflicts. Our schedule is filling and others are considering their options. Ted is on his way to Minnesota this weekend. He will attend the installation of Ed’s son in White Bear Lake, MN on Sunday. We pray for blessing for Daniel and his family, as well as the congregation in White Bear Lake. Monday and Tuesday Ted will be meeting with several people to renew contacts and open dialog with a couple of organizations in that area. We pray for God’s direction and blessing as these relationships grow. He and Sonja will then take a few days of relaxation in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Ted will lead a youth conference at Lutheran Island Camp July 24-26 on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High Tech Society with some great teenagers. He’s looking forward to giving this presentation to a young group and see how they respond to this delicate topic. We pray for God to bless their study and time together. Ted will return to the office on July 29th and spend some days preparing for a church intervention in South Dakota in early August. We pray for God to prepare their hearts as they contemplate reconciliation and as the leadership guides them through the process. We pray also for Ted and the team as they seek to serve them.

Bruce continues to deal with numerous cases and coaching opportunities. Both he and Ted have been meeting with different people from Peacemaker Ministries as they prepare for their Annual Conference coming up in September. It is a great joy to work with PMM; we share a wonderful relationship in the Lord with them. We continue to share ideas back and forth and find new ways to meet our individual missions. We pray for God to bless them richly. Bruce is also exploring some options for AoR as we grow. Phone systems and inventory management seem sort of mundane when compared to people issues, but in an effort to be good stewards of our resources, Bruce continues to keep current with our business affairs. We pray for God to open appropriate doors for us as we consider our needs.

Ed and his family are of course traveling to White Bear Lake this weekend to celebrate with them. We pray for traveling mercies and blessings on their gathering. He will also visit with a congregation who has made an inquiry with us. We pray for them as they consider their options.

Thank you all for your support of this ministry. God is truly blessing us and we feel quite strongly that God has indeed brought AoR into being at this time for His purposes. We pray for His strong direction as we continue to serve His people. May God bless you as you serve in His name.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Prayer Requests for July 9

Hello to all who visit. We thank you for your interest and prayer support. We welcome some new prayer warriors today. Members of the Synodical reconcilers who were trained in January have joined us. Welcome to you and a special thanks for joining us.

We are nearing the close of another week. Every week seems to fly by. Ted is presently out of state and assisting a congregation as they consider whether or not to participate in an intervention. They are one of several right now who are considering what to do about conflicts within the congregation. We pray for these congregations in their need of assistance, that they would seek His aid and follow Him in using this time to bring Him glory. We pray that the Lord will open doors for their healing, in whatever way He determines. We also pray for Ted as he travels and for wisdom as he works with this congregation. He will return on the weekend, and be in Billings until next Friday when he travels to Minnesota for numerous contacts. Over the weekend of the 24-26, he will be at Lutheran Island Camp in Henning, MN for a teen seminar on Responding to Sexual Temptation in a High Tech Society. He is looking forward to this seminar since it is with young people. It gives another opportunity to see how this study is received by this age group. We pray for the teens who will participate, that the Lord will prepare their hearts to be open to His direction.

As always, Ted has many "irons in the fire" and we pray that God will direct his decision-making and plans for the future. Ted has been in meetings with our friends in Canada. In the not to distant future Ambassadors of Reconciliation -Canada will be a reality. We praise God for this development, and ask for His direction and blessing.

Bruce is back from Michigan and glad to be able to hang his hat at home for a time. He is tending to many details on the business end of AoR. He has been researching options for growth and how to best proceed in a wise way. We give thanks for an improved financial situation and for being able to maintain stability through what we anticipated to be a difficult season. He is very please with how the convention season went. Our representatives at the different conventions were able to get our message to many and also increased their own confidence in telling others about what we do and how we can serve the kingdom. We thank God for their boldness in reaching out to their districts in our stead. Thank you again to you who agreed to serve in this way.

Bruce is also working with numerous churches who are in conflict. People call in with heartbreaking stories about how present and past conflicts affect them and their congregations. We are thankful for God's faithful loving and healing hand for these congregations. They are often skeptical of how God can change things, but God has shown He is willing and able. He calls us to trust and follow. May God grant them the wisdom and faith to do what He invites us to do.

Ed also continues to have numerous difficult cases. He is reporting a couple where the congregations take some steps forward, and then a few back as well. We pray for Ed to be able to guide them through the recommendations already given them. We had a fun time this week connecting to the CrossLife office on Skype. Learning new technology at times can be intimidating, but it's a good opportunity to stretch a bit. I especially enjoyed putting face to voice with my counterpart in Indiana, LuAnn. We continue to pray for Ed, and LuAnn as they use their gifts to serve people in the mid section of the nation.

Just today I unloaded the last boxes from district conventions. It is good to have that project completed. There is always another one in the works, and I praise God for the opportunities He brings to us. There is much catching up being done at present. Paperwork on past events and cases finished, files on completed events put into storage, and general reporting and record keeping caught up. It's not flashy or eventful, but all very necessary. Thank you Lord for the time to do it.

Our fall schedule is filling up. September will be busy with Church Reconciler training in Minnesota and the Peacemaker Ministries Annual Conference in Dallas. There are possible cases coming together for August, September, or October. Three seminars are scheduled for October. In November there is a Church Reconciler training event in the Southeastern District. I know that there will be "surprises" that also develop, so we are thankful for work to do and the opportunity to serve God's people.

We also thank the Lord for you, our faithful prayer supporters. May God bless you in all ways.