Archive for August, 2012

Remembering William Wilberforce

Posted: August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Friday August 24, marked the 253rd anniversary of William Wilberforce‘s birth. Do you know who he was? Take a few minutes and download John Piper’s FREE book on his life. He was the primary member of British Parliament that led them to bring an end to slavery in Great Britain. This book will tell you more about God’s “Amazing Grace” in his life and see the influence of John Newton the author of that great hymn.  It will encourage you (I hope) to prayer for our government leaders; especially during this election season. It should challenge you to live courageously and persevere as Wilberforce gives us an example of long-term courage in his life.

To whet your appetite you can read this quote from a letter the well known Methodist, John Wesley,
gave him:

…encouragement came from John Wesley in the last letter he ever wrote before he died. When Wesley was eighty-seven years old (in 1790) he wrote to Wilberforce and said, “Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of man and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you”(Robert Isaac Wilberforce and Samuel Wilberforce, The Life of William Wilberforce, abridged edition [London,  1843], p.116)

Thinking on Wilberforce’s life and legacy makes me cry out to God that His grace would enable me and His Spirit empower me to live with such courage, faith, & endurance.

A CITY TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT IN SPARTANBURG

Uniting believers for the purpose of loving our city to life in Christ

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 Come Closer is a network of partnering churches, marketplace ministries, and Kingdom-minded individuals who are committed to coming closer to the Lord, closer to each other, and closer to our city, all for the purpose of loving our city to life in Christ.

We desire to see four things occur as the body of Christ joins together to meet the needs of hurting people in Spartanburg:

An increase in the number of Christians living life on mission.

An increase in the number of Christ-followers in our city.

An increase in caring for the needs of the poor among us.

An increase in Kingdom influence in all spheres of our city.

It has been so exciting to see what God is doing through our community and in our churches through Come Closer. As we gathered and were scattered across the city of Spartanburg for a week of focused ministry impact and worship during July we had the privilege to be a part of some incredible ministry. We are excited that this is growing from just ministry activities and projects to a genuine City Transformation movement.

WHY CITY TRANSFORMATION?

 * Up to 75% of those who live in Spartanburg do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

North American Mission Board Community Survey Statistics

* 43% of children under age 18 in the city of Spartanburg are living in poverty.

American Community Survey performed in 2007 listed in the City of Spartanburg’s current 5 year plan,

* Up to 1,700 children in District 7 schools are not eating regularly when not at school.

Reported by Shepherd’s Door Ministries

 * Spartanburg has been identified as one of the most dangerous cities to live in the United States.

Neighborhood Scout – 100 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

 If you desire to be part of a network of churches, marketplace ministries, and Kingdom-minded individuals working together to love our city to life in Christ, simply email us at:

 lovethecitytolife@gmail.com

Please pray for our city and participate in City Transformation. You are  invited to join us for two very special gatherings:

City Transformation Vision-Casting                           City Transformation Training Session

Saturday, August 18th   9:00am – 11:00am                  Saturday, September 29th  9:00am – 4:00pm

                         at The Journey Church                                                    Location to be determined

    150 S. Forest St. Spartanburg, SC 29306                          Specifics will be made available by email

The unofficial end to the summer is about a month away. While many kids are going back to school in the next couple of weeks we traditionally have said goodbye to the summer in America during Labor Day weekend (yes, I know the last day of summer is “officially” September 21).  That is one month away. How has your summer been thus far? I hope you have had time to get refreshed, do some unique ministry; but most of all I hope you are striving to grow as a follower of Christ has not went on vacation.

At our church we have been walking through Psalms this summer both in our worship gatherings and personal devotional times calling the focus: “A Summer in the Psalms“. Wherever you are in your life or on your pilgrimage to grow in Christ the Psalms are a huge help.If you haven’t followed with us in the challenge to read through the Psalms this summer why not start today and you will have them finished by Labor Day. It is an easy commitment to read through the Psalms in a month (about 15 minutes a day) and this month I want to challenge you to read through it chronologically (we read through different places each day last month). Here is the plan to read through the Psalms in the next month:

Day 1 — Psalm 1-5
Day 2 — Psalm 6-10
Day 3 — Psalm 11-16
Day 4 — Psalm 17-20
Day 5 — Psalm 21-25
Day 6 — Psalm 26-30
Day 7 — Psalm 31-35
Day 8 — Psalm 36-41
Day 9 — Psalm 42-46
Day 10 — Psalm 47-51
Day 11 — Psalm 52-56
Day 12 — Psalm 57-61
Day 13 — Psalm 62-67
Day 14 — Psalm 68-72
Day 15 — Psalm 73-77
Day 16 — Psalm 78-82
Day 17 — Psalm 83-87
Day 18 — Psalm 88-92
Day 19 — Psalm 93-97
Day 20 — Psalm 98-102
Day 21 — Psalm 103-107
Day 22 — Psalm 108-112
Day 23 — Psalm 113-118                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Day 24 — Psalm 119
Day 25 — Psalm 120-125
Day 26 — Psalm 126-130
Day 27 — Psalm 131-136
Day 28 — Psalm 137-140
Day 29 — Psalm 141-144
Day 30 — Psalm 145-147
Day 31 — Psalm 148-150

I posted earlier this summer on how helpful the Psalms are to our souls. So take a few minutes to read that if you haven’t.  Preaching last month in Psalm 16   verse 7 stuck out to me : ” I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
        in the night also my heart instructs me.” (Psalm 16:7 ESV).  The Lord counsels us through His Word, what a blessing! How incredible if we were getting some of the same instruction and counsel together. Is your “delight is in the law of the LORD” (His Word) ~Psalm 1:2 ?

Then let us be counseled in and delight in God’s Word for us together and finish this last month of the summer in the Psalms!