May of 2016 was a fast month up here on The Hill. I'll get right into it!
We welcomed the arrival of Bernie and said farewell to Jay. Jay has been growing steadily in his discipleship and moved forward just a few days ago. Bernie has been experiencing the good conflict of discovering who Christ is, what the Gospel is, and his identity in Christ made possible through the power of the Gospel! We have also witnessed continued growth in Joel and John as they continue in their discipleship journeys serving the men in ministry leadership. Stephen has continued to sharpen his leadership roles within both DISCOVER LIFE and Huntersfield Christian Training Center. Please pray for the men as they continue on their individual journeys. Please pray for their protection, but also for the intrusion of the Holy Spirit; that darkness would be confronted with light and that lies would be confronted with the truth.
We were also privileged to enjoy the ministry gifts of Bob Hudson, leader of the Cross Ministry Group. We are excited to see the men of DISCOVER LIFE develop their ability to effectively communicate and express themselves, discovering for themselves their own ability to both be honest in their approach to others and receptive of the approaches of others. The most dangerous lies we believe are the ones we tell ourselves. One of the core beliefs of DISCOVER LIFE is that “people do what they do because they believe what they believe.” Therefore, if we want to see our actions truly change, we must change our beliefs. We must discover where we have believed lies and change our minds about them accepting the truth. Then we will know the freedom that Christ so richly purchased. The Cross Ministry Group approaches that directly. For more information, CLICK HERE.
We look with great anticipation to June of 2016!!!
We will be celebrating the marriage of Stephen Conti to Naomi Gockel on June 11th! This has been a wonderful relationship to see come together. The marriage union is one of the only institutions of God and seeing a couple obey Him in the process is truly a blessing.
We will be enjoying the teaching ministry of Larry Poston, a professor from Nyack College. Larry is extremely gifted in communicating important Biblical truths in a manner that is very relevant without diluting the message or the mission. For more information, CLICK HERE! For a previous teaching seminar of Larry Poston, CLICK HERE!
The week following the wedding will be our big construction week! Carpenters For Christ has offered to come and take on the task of framing our new residence for the men: Our Father’s House. We have been working diligently in demolition and debris removal to prepare the house for this week. This residency is going to free up room for 12 more beds and provide a more adequate residential option for the men who come here for ministry to find rest for their souls. The men of DISCOVER LIFE have outgrown their current residence, the Hope House. This is a much-needed improvement. Our total budget for the renovation is $96,800.00 and we need your help in raising it. For more information for this project, please take a minute to look at our PROPOSAL. We encourage you to share it with you church, ministry, and friends. Please consider helping us as we help others!!
If you would be so inclined, please consider our NEEDS LIST and pray as you spend time remembering us before the Lord.
LESSON FROM THE SAWMILL: The Evidence Makes It Obvious
One of the unique advantages of DISCOVER LIFE being housed at the HCTC is the ability for the men to learn life-lessons working the grounds, farm and sawmill in real time through immediate consequences for decisions made, whether bad or good. If we don’t feed the cows, they will find food to our detriment. If we hide from preparatory work, we are overwhelmed with consequential repairs. If we use equipment correctly, we are efficient in our labors. If we use it incorrectly, we waste much needed time in both repeating and repairing was well as replacing prematurely warn parts. We even experience avoidable injury. The consequences here are real and they are great substance for revealing deeply masked truths in the lives of the men.
A few days ago, we were in the barn feeding the cows when one of the men said “uh oh, that’s not supposed to be there.” I came over to see what he was looking at and said, “Looks like the cows are out.” He responded with a short “yep.”
What’s the point??
We didn’t have to see the cows out. We only had to see the fresh manure on the ground. We didn’t have to start a huge discussion on the merits of who would decide whether the cows were out or any such thing. The evidence made it obvious. You see, the cows cannot get into that area of the barn unless they have broken through the fence. It’s that simple, and the same is with us!
Remember Samuel’s question to Saul after Saul disobeyed God concerning His directives in handling the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15). Saul moves very quickly to assure Samuel of his obedience and victory as an obvious smokescreen to mask his disobedience. Samuel doesn’t allow himself to be engaged in a debate with Saul concerning the merits of his victory because the evidence made it obvious. As Saul begins to brag, Samuel asks a simple question:
1Samuel 15:14 But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"
Samuel needed nothing else to know Saul had disobeyed … and Saul’s obvious attempt to patronize him fell terribly short. Saul was caught … and this is us in a nut.
We spend so much energy trying to both cover our mistakes and prove our successes forgetting that God has promised us that both will show themselves clearly.
Matthew 12:33,35 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
So what do we do then? Well it’s simple. If we are attempting to cover our sin then just stop. The initial step to getting out of the hole we are digging ourselves in is to STOP DIGGING. If we have the sense to recognize that we are doing wrong, then the Holy Spirit is at work so we need to respond properly because the evidence makes it obvious! We need to confess and repent!
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted …
On the other hand, if we are busy trying to prove our successes, then we need relax and just enjoy our relationship with Him and let the natural process of being in His presence produce the fruit. The evidence makes it obvious.
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
We have nothing to say that our fruit does not make clear! We just need to be focused on being properly planted.
That’s my take anyways, thanks for reading!!!