Every time I return to Hebrews 11, I am encouraged in my journey with Jesus. Why? Because it reminds me that God regularly calls me to live in what I can't see nor control. He calls us to live by faith. "By faith Noah... By faith Abraham..., By faith Sarah."and so on the list in the Hall of Faith in God continues. To live by faith means something. In a world that dismisses truth and values, the believer stands in faith that God is pleased and pours out favor on those who obey Him. (See Dueteronomy 30:16- it's powerful!).. By faith we serve a Christ we cannot see but "know in our knower" that He lives and loves tenderly. By faith we seek Jesus and believe in deep places that we will be with Him forever. By faith we stay married to a spouse we know inside and out because faith's path flows through true love and faithfulness to our life's partner. In all the ways God calls us to live not by sight, but by faith, we learn to take the next steps of His leading with the confidence that He has our backs and will bless our way forward. Isn't it cool that you can place your name right alongside those in the list of faith in Hebrews 11? You can! Daily you choose to follow an unseen King into an uncertain future. Yet you stay close to Jesus, llsten to His Voice, seek to please Him and you daily worship at His feet. That is what it means to live by faith! God sees this and smiles on your faith. You are in the Hall of Faith too!
And so am I. For 30 years I have pastored in the local church context and have sought to follow Jesus by faith. I've done it imperfectly (just ask my critics!), but serving the church has been the joy and satisfaction of my life thus far. Be encouraged that when you live by faith, God blesses your way tremendously. He loves to call us into places and situations which demand our faith in Him to succeed. And this paradigm of faith has been my foundation all these 30 plus years. And it's been a blast!
Now, in these days, Jesus has asked Lisa and me to re-up and begin again...by faith. Jesus has given me a deep message of calling orphan hearts to return to a wonderful, awesome, provisionary Father and it is my intention to live out this call, by faith, for the rest of my ministry life. By faith Lisa and I resigned as pastors of Vineyard Cleveland. By faith we have begun a brand new ministry called Orphan Heart Ministries. By faith we largely self-fund this initial phase of new beginnings. And by fiath I ask for your help. I believe the message of the orphan heart will be going to the four corners of the world. I believe there are millions of parents around us who worry that their children will walk out the brokeness they have had to endure. People are searching for answers to the pain they feel inside and yet do not know how to break free from it. Whole cultures live like orphans. That's why my next book, Healing An Orphan Heart is being translated into Hindi (India's national language) right now. Part of my vision is to get a copy of this book into the hands of millions of Indians so that they might run to the Father just as the prodigal did so long ago. By faith I am believing that we will have the finances to publish and distribute this book into their hands. By faith I am asking you to help make this happen. By faith we are identifying at-risk children in India, Mozambique, South Africa, Costa Rica and here at home- that we can minister to orphan hearted kids that they might run to their True Father. We wan to help children around the world have enough to eat and have supplies that they can become educated and get out of poverty. By faith we seek to help countless children who are orphaned or otherwise pretty much on their own. By faith I ask for your financial help to fuel answers to a broken world.
God has given to me an extensive message and it's going to take 7 years (that's my best guess) to write and develop all that He's shown me so far. For this content to make it's way into hurting people's hands, Orphan Heart Ministries needs an army of faithful, monthly givers. By fiath I am asking you to be part of what God is doing. By faith I ask that you pray for this ministry regularly. By faith I am asking you to purchase resource materials from our online shop so that the money will help fuel our vision forward. And by faith I ask you to rise up, see the vision God is giving to Lisa and me and be one of those who will help get this incredible message into people's lives throughout the U.S. and around the world. I can't do it without your gererosity, but with it, by faith, God is going to do amazing things.
Lisa and I thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for considering to partner alongside us.