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2019 Light for the Lost Tour-Vision, Faith, and Generosity

October 17, 2019 @ Cordell New Beginnings

Continuing on this journey called the Light for the Lost tour, an annual fundraising tour of the state, we enjoyed a fantastic night at Cordell. I am so blessed by the many volunteers who willingly give up a weeknight to come and serve. These volunteers are some of the cream of the crop!!

This tour consists of 12 banquets that we host across the state of Oklahoma. Each one has basically the same menu…steak, potato, salad, side, and desert. Each steak team that comes in, brings a large cooker and they grill them right outside the doors of the church. There is nothing better than the smell of the steaks grilling to make you want to support LFTL!! 😂

Starting a diet before tour has really tested my resolve especially when there is chocolate cake involved! Last night was a real test of will power as the cake grew larger and larger as the night went on!!

Vision

During this tour, I have been sharing my vision for Oklahoma Light for the Lost and giving thanks to the churches and supporters. I have been so grateful for the many who have caught the vision of LFTL and generously give. Our missionaries are certainly blessed, those who receive the gospel are transformed, and I get to watch it happen!

It is always amazing to see people get behind the vision of the projects that we are presenting. People moved with compassion for the need, responded in a big way. It’s as if God begins to open eyes and hearts and they see the opportunity that He is presenting.

I am thankful to be a part of facilitating this step in the process!

Faith

Each banquet ends with a call for a faith promise. It is the culmination of the work of the Holy Spirit to guide each person and for them to step out in faith to follow. Much of the time, I am so blessed to see people being used by God to fulfill a faith-filled promise.

In reality, it isn’t a leap in the darkness to ask the Holy Spirit for direction and follow His leadership. I have full assurance that what He says for us to do, He will provide for it’s fulfillment. Besides, He has already proven himself many times over in our lives as one who keeps His promises to us!

Generosity

A mark of any believer who serves the Lord, is their willingness to be generous to others. It’s a part of our Kingdom mandate and the DNA of our relationship with Christ.

Because we are to be kingdom minded, then everything we do in this life must be geared toward the Kingdom. In other words, our treasure is given to us as a stewardship for Kingdom purposes!

Where we get ourselves into trouble is when we tie up all of our treasure on things that do not serve the Kingdom, thereby forfeiting our ability to give. This tragedy happens more often than not.

However, positioning ourselves to be generous to the Kingdom and to others requires us to take a look at what we spend our wealth on.

As believers we must ask the question, “What is it that God wants to do and how can I make sure that happens.” Click To Tweet

It may be scary at times and certainly goes against the norm. Yet God says that he will provide shelter, clothing, and food as we follow his will! Be generous!

Thanks

Special thanks to Mike Southerland (Men’s Rep and Host) and Arlis Moon (Presbyter) for doing such a great job in Section 12. I appreciate their heart for LFTL and for the pastors, churches, and people of southwest Oklahoma. What a blessing!

Chad

To read more updates from the LFTL Tour:

  • For more of my blog posts: 
  • Video update from the road:

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2019 Light for the Lost Tour– Storms, Surprises, and Illustrations

I’ve always looked forward to Oklahoma Light for the Lost Banquets for several reasons. Meeting with missions minded pastors and congregations, watching incredible volunteers serve, getting to know missionaries who travel along with us, watching people extend their faith in giving, and the many unexpected surprises that happens all along this journey. 

Great Coffee, Tea, Atmosphere!

Tuesday October 15th, 2020 we had an incredible but interesting night for our second stop on this year’s Light for the Lost tour. We stayed the night in Durant and spent the day working remotely from Hot Shots Coffee shop. Great coffee, tea, atmosphere and wonderful employees made it a great afternoon!

And nearly 5 o’clock our phones alerted us that there was a significant weather warning for a storm that developed north west of Durant. When it blew through, heavy rains lightning, strong winds accompanied the  storm. Strangely enough only part of the electricity in the coffee shop went out and it would stay that way until we left!

We had a short break between storms, so we decided to make a run for the church to get unloaded and ready for the banquet. However, by the time we got to the church it was raining again. We unloaded the vehicles, and found out that part of the lights were out in the fellowship hall where we were meeting due to the storm. We joked that it would be a romantic missions banquet!

It was our hope that the storms would not keep our churches from attending. However, the room filled up fairly quickly! So thankful that so many of our pastors and churches were able to attend!

Lights Out!

We had a great night and as I was finishing up my presentation, we were showing our last video before receiving faith promises. All of a sudden, all of the electricity went off! Except for a emergency light behind me and a couple cell phone flashlights, we were pretty much in the dark.

Working on regaining the room and moving forward with receiving faith promises, I brought everything to a close fairly quickly. When it was time for people to fill out their promise cards, cell phones came to life to light up each card. It was a great illustration of people living in darkness and now finding the light of Jesus! Thank you God for the great illustration of what Light for the Lost does!

Thanks to:

Special thanks to Gary Dotson (Men’s Rep), Jimmy Keith (Presbyter), Michael Bradley (host Pastor) and the incredible volunteers at Believers Church for putting on such a great banquet. I couldn’t do it without you!

For more information on Light for the Lost: Oklahoma Light for the Lost

Follow the journey from the beginning of 2019: Light for the Lost Tour-The beginning 2019

For more of my blog posts: Chad’s Blog

2019 Light for the Lost Tour-The beginning

Light for the Lost provides evangelistic resources for missionaries and missionary partners through five platforms: Print, Audio, Video, Internet, and Technologies.

Each year, Nyree and I begin a journey, traveling the state of Oklahoma to raise funds for Light for the Lost. It’s a journey that takes us to every corner of the state hosting steak dinners and asking churches to make a faith promise toward the projects that we have planned in the coming year.

This is an exciting journey that we take because we not only connect with missions minded pastors and leaders, but we also get to meet great people. They come because of their love for Light for the Lost, as well as the mission of reaching people around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Last night was the first of 12 banquets that we will make over the course of the next several weeks. Hugo First Assembly with Pastor Brown hosted the event for Section 3 in the south eastern part of the state. With over 170 people in attendance, raising over $18,000 in faith promises, it was an encouraging start to our 2019 tour.

I was so grateful for the many volunteers who setup, cooked, served and cleaned up for the banquet. Their hospitality was over the top!! Nyree and I could not do these events without incredible people with servants hearts partnering together with us. They truly are a blessing!

Our youngest volunteer was a little boy who was one of the first to our vehicle to help us unload. I knew that he was going to be a great helper when he picked a box that was half his size to carry inside. Almost immediately he was back for another. When the banquet ended he helped me close boxes and haul them back to the car. When I said my final thanks and goodbye to him, I asked him how old he was, his response “Oh, I don’t know….around 5 I think!”

“Church volunteers readily reflect the love of God through acts of compassion, serving, unselfish caring, patience, and an undeniable love for one another.”

I’m so thankful for the pastors who came and brought their leaders and congregants to be a part of this event. I am also thankful for Lyn Gaskey (Men’s Rep) for working diligently to contact pastors and churches to encourage them to come and gathering numbers of attenders.

My only disappointment is that I did not get any pictures of the great crowd, volunteers, and the wonderful setup of the banquet. It truly was a great sight. I will try to do better at gathering pictures at future banquets as we continue this journey.

Tonight we are looking forward to being in Durant at Believers Church. Not only are we praying for a great turnout, but that God will move upon hearts to partner with us to make evangelism around the world a priority.

Pastor, I would encourage you to come and join us for one of these banquets and invite your congregation, especially your key leaders, who will help you champion Light for the Lost in your local church. Not only will it be a blessing to our missionaries and missions partners, but it will also give someone the opportunity to have a brand new life through Jesus.

Oklahoma LFTL missional priorities for 2020

  • Tools for Oklahoma Missionaries to communicate the gospel
  • Reaching and rescuing women and girls from sex trafficking
  • Ministering to active duty military, veterans, and their families
  • Resourcing our Oklahoma Prison Chaplains

Come and hear how you can be a part of this important mission field!!

For the 2019 schedule and to register online go to: Oklahoma Light for the Lost

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. John 4:35 (ESV)

Partnering together for the Kingdom,

Chad

Blessed Beyond Measure

This week we have made our annual pilgrimage to Branson for our end of the year vacation.  It is always a great week for us because typically we come after Christmas and stay through the New Year.  But with the way our schedule worked out we have been here during Christmas day. This week has always reminded me I have a blessed life.

For the most part, people have been leaving Branson to go home for the holidays. This means that we have had the roads and activities to ourselves.  We love it, not for the shows (although we did go to Sight and Sound Theater this year) but for the peace and quiet. There are frequent naps, reading, and lots of eating.  It is our time to unwind.  

This year, Christmas has been different for all of the family.  We are learning a new normal.  With all the changes that have happened in the family over the past couple of years, it is inevitable that change will come to our holidays as well.  Some changes we have celebrated, such as Anna and Vincent’s new marriage.  Other changes have been extremely difficult.

Reflections…

Each year during this vacation, I have always taken time to internally reflect on the past and begin preparations for a new year.  Focusing on those things that are a part of my own personal journey that I can direct and leaving the rest to the Lord.  My personal spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, and a host of other areas that I know I can make the decisions that will impact each aspect of my life.

One of those areas of my life that I have been determined to work on for some time is having a right perspective.  A right perspective on life, relationships, work, money, and spiritual priorities is key to health in many areas of my life.  A right perspective can impact my personal journey as well as my interactions and relationships with everyone around me.  

Blessed Past

Thinking back on my life, I must say that I have been blessed.  I cherish the relationships of those who have invested into my life and given me grace beyond measure.  I appreciate their love for me and how it has positively impacted my life.  

My dad, mom, sister, grandparents, and extended family who have shared their life with me are memories that I cherish.   Nyree, Anna, and Miriam who have brought so much love and joy into my life have blessed me beyond measure.  Then there is Nyree’s family, Anna’s husband and family, who have taken me in and considered me one of their own.  This has meant the world to me!

I also consider all the opportunities, relationships, and experiences that have shaped who I am today.  These blessings have not always been easy, but have been a necessity in molding me into who I am today.  I am grateful for all that God has done to sovereignly guide and direct my journey through this life.  

Blessed Present

I have come to discover that a joyful life is not based on the things that you acquire, but the relationships and experiences that you enjoy each day.  As long as I maintain a proper perspective on life and how it plays out in the overall scope of eternity, then my relationships and experiences become far more important than my things.  

Considering all the blessings that God has graciously given me, I must say that I am overwhelmed with his goodness.  While there are times that I lose sight of his blessings when trials and difficulties come my way, I have to constantly remind myself to stay focused.  His love and grace toward me is the foundation that I stand upon each and every day.

Blessed Future

Looking over the totality of my life, I must say that God has been very good to me.  With that in mind, I can rest assured that what God does in my life in the future with also be for my good. The fact that he is constantly molding, guiding, and strengthening me shows that he loves and cares for me.  As he continues to do so in the future, I remind myself that he is always looking for what is yet to come.  

What God has planned for me goes beyond this life and encompasses my eternity.  It is this eternal perspective that he keeps in mind when looking at my life.  It is also the perspective I must keep at the forefront of my mind and life.  I can find his plan at work in my life everywhere I look. The key is to look.

The Bible says…

Ephesians 1 Paul reminds us of the incredible blessings we have been given through Jesus.  These blessings are for all who will believe and come with some incredible key ingredients to a fulfilled life.  Paul says: 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:3–6 (ESV)

Paul tells believers that God has blessed us in the Beloved (Jesus) and that those blessings have everything to do with our relationship with Him.  Often believers get into the habit of simply talking about their material blessings that God has granted. While these are great, we must prioritize the most important blessings He has given.  In this passage we learn that God has granted grace, care, purpose and hope for all who would believe.

Consequently, these are the keys that each one of us needs to live a fulfilled and blessed life.  Knowing his grace is sufficient, his care is all-encompassing, his purpose is everlasting, and his hope is fulfilling is the foundation for a full and blessed life.  We must not lose sight of what is most important.

My Prayer

My prayer for each of you is that God would allow us to reset our perspective on the most important things in life.  As we realize his true blessings are eternal qualities and not temporary luxuries we will lean toward a happier and fulfilled life.  May God grant each of us the opportunity to open our eyes and hearts to the many things he is doing every day to show us how much he loves and cares for us.  

Blessings,

Chad

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Quote of the Day~ Ed Stetzer

“When we become primarily identified with any tribe outside the body of Christ, especially when we are identified to the point where others are repelled by us, we’ve traded our Kingdom-based identity for a world-based identity. It’s burning a bridge. It’s building a wall. The most damaging example of Christians at their worst is when someone claims a Kingdom-based identity but pursues some world-based end. Trying to use Christianity to achieve political, economic, or social objectives only increases the outrage directed toward us.”

Stetzer, Ed. Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst (p. 15). Tyndale Momentum. Kindle Edition.

Are we alienating a lost world around us by allowing our political tribes to become more important than our Kingdom priorities?  

By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God. Hebrews 11:8–10 (The Message) 

Click on the link below to purchase the book!

Check out my blog post: Healthy Churches are Missional Churches

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Quote of the Day~

“What we are saying—actually, what the Bible is saying—is that it is possible to get rid of our bitterness, rage, and anger. The grace that flows to us through Jesus can flow from us to others. We can be set free from the prison of unforgiveness.” (From the book Grace is Greater by Kyle Idleman)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. 

Colossians 3:12 (The Message)

A Hope Like Nothing Else

Hope.  One of the most precious commodities that we have as believers is our hope, which has a foundation much greater than what this world can offer.  We have a hope that is not based on our own emotion or circumstance, but upon an eternal promise that has been made to those who believe! This kind of hope produces a resolve, persistence, joy, and peace in the midst of trial and difficulty.  

The Psalmist tells us where we find this kind of hope.

God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. Psalm 62:5–6 (The Message)

The concept of hope and the characteristics of a life of hope points toward the idea of a better tomorrow.  Yet it goes beyond just desire or wishing for something greater or better, it is the deep assurance and a firm confidence that the future of every aspect of our lives is in God’s hands.  The promises that we have been given through his word, provides for us the assurance that there is hope for the future.  His past performance in our lives is a reminder that he does look out for us and answers prayer.  

Reminder #1: Biblical hope is directly linked to establishing a firm faith in God.

Oh! May the God of great hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! Romans 15:13 (The Message)

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. Hebrews 11:1 (The Message) 

Reminder #2: Biblical hope is directly linked to a complete trust in God.

What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got— that’s what we’re depending on. Psalm 33:21–22 (The Message)

The sure hope that believers have is one that does not put us to shame, but provides the strength we need to press on.  May we put our faith and hope in a God who has proven himself faithful in the past and will do so throughout eternity.  Because hope is an anchor that will keep us steady through all the circumstances of life.

Quote of the day:

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.~ Mother Teresa 

Quote of the Day~

…it is easier to be angry and pithy than to be Christlike and on mission. Such outraged approaches are self-destructive. Some of them are even contrary to what God calls us to as leaders of his church. We need to be constructive, offering Christians a vision for how to navigate outrage and be more effective in showing and sharing the love of Christ.

Stetzer, Ed. Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst (p. 2). Tyndale Momentum. Kindle Edition. 

Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! (Ephesians 2:4–9 The Message)

Titles and links to a few essential Ed Stetzer books:

Quote of the Day~

“The poorest of all men is not the one without a nickel to his name. He is the fellow without a dream…[He is like] a great ship made for the mighty ocean but trying to navigate in a mill-pond.  He has no far port to reach, no lifting horizon nor precious cargo to carry.  His hours are absorbed in routine and petty tyrannies.  Small wonder if he gets dissatisfied, quarrelsome, and “fed up.” One of life’s greatest tragedies is a person with a 10-by-12 capacity and a two-by-four soul.” ~Kenneth Hildebrand 

(Quoted in Doug Clay, Dreaming in 3D: Finding and Following God’s Amazing Plan for Your Life (Springfield Mo: Influence Resources, 2011))

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No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (Ephesians 2:10- The Message)

Titles and links to books by Doug Clay:

With a Grateful Heart

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As we come to a close of a busy season in the Church Ministries Department, Nyree and I want to share our gratitude, for you! Looking back over the past several months of traveling across our state and holding several events, we want to say thank you to the many who have come and shown your support. Nyree and I do not take it for granted!

October began with the start of multiple locations for the Oklahoma School of Ministry. We were blessed with so many students returning to continue their courses and a great number coming in to start the first level. These students are tremendous assets to the Kingdom of God and will deepen the bench of many of our churches across the state!

Oklahoma Credentialed Women held their Fall Seminar at Tulsa Christian Chapel in October. Dr. Deborah Gill challenged the women with her anointed teaching and a plea to remember the Dream they were given when they were called. The ladies finished the day with a dynamic prayer time. Looking ahead, the OCW will be at Edmond Spring Creek February 16th, for the Spring Seminar with Crystal Martin, the National Women in Ministry Network Leader.

Light for the Lost began it’s annual tour, challenging churches to come alongside our missionary efforts around the world. As LFTL provides the evangelistic tools our missionaries need to effectively reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is still much to be accomplished. Thank you to each pastor and church for your continued support of LFTL and we look forward to great days of harvest in the days to come!

In December, our Senior Heritage Christmas event will be held at Bethesda OKC on December 1st. Beginning at 11:00 am, we will have a great lunch together with a concert by Russell Davis on the saxophone, followed by the Williamson Quartet! You can find more information online at okag.org/senior about how to register as well as additional poster downloads. It promises to be a fantastic day so plan to join us!

Our prayer for you during the month of November is that you will be blessed as you connect with family and friends over Thanksgiving. May we all be grateful for the relationships that God has gifted us with and cherish them with gracious hearts. From our family to yours, we love and appreciate you!