2 cor 2 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
Forgive me for the long intro this month, but July was full of tragedy both locally and nationally. In 1 week, two national stories of police involved death were followed by a 2 year old losing his life to gun violence very close to our home. Two days later, another mother lost her life 2 blocks from where the infant died. It seemed like we were in a tornado of grief as friends, family, and neighbors experienced open wounds of racism and loss from so many angles. Life and ministry continues, but it has been important for us this month to take time out and grieve with those who are grieving.
My hope is that as you read our journey, you will see God’s redemptive story being written on our hearts and the hearts of our neighbors. God is at work and all He does is good. His work doesn’t always look the way we would like it to, but He is at work accomplishing His purpose. This is our hope of glory.
Part of our mission is to “bind up the broken hearted” and “weep with those who weep.” Miah and I understand that for God to reconcile us to Him, there was the tremendous cost of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus surrendered all of His rights to redeem me and reconcile me to the Father, who loves me. Greater love has no one than this, than he lay down his life for his friends. Jesus laid down his life for mine, and I didn’t deserve it. My attitude and actions were opposed to Him, yet He loved me and pursued me anyway.
Our family is in awe of the great love of God, who purchased for himself a people from every tribe, tongue and nation. Not only has He purchased our freedom, but He has committed to us a ministry of reconciliation. We believe that reconciliation with our neighbor is also costly. We have chosen to lay down our rights and opinions to sit with those who are hurting. It has been hard. These events have opened the eyes of our understanding in new ways to a great divide in our culture. We pray that the blood of Jesus will continue to prove stronger than our differences. We pray along with Jesus in John 17 that we would be one. Ephesians reminds us that: ‘There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
God is at work. There is healing and reconciliation happening within His church and in our society. We trust that this work will be done by His Spirit of Love that unites us. As a dear friend just reminded me: without love our words, gifts, and ministry are merely a clanging gong or resounding cymbal. The Love of Christ compels us towards discomfort and pain. These conversations have been difficult but they are necessary. As ambassadors of Christ, we plead with all men to be reconciled to God. In our pursuit of God’s heart of love and peace, we’ve found it necessary to weep with those who weep and to mourn with those who mourn. Not for pain sake, but to reconcile all men to God who is the source of our love and healing. His love unites us as we all seek to become more like Him.
In response to all the tragedy going on locally and nationally, we hosted a day of fasting a prayer this past month. It was a beautiful day of repentance and forgiveness praying for each other, our Church, and Nation. The battle is won on our knees. I believe this throughout the core of my being. Prayer is where God aligns our hearts with His. Prayer is not only about submitting our requests to Him, but allowing Him to search our heart and see where we are out of alignment with His Word.
This leads us to repentance, forgiveness and peace. This is the ministry of reconciliation.
I was especially proud of my daughter Hannah and niece who were very humble and bold in their prayers and preaching at local rallies. It’s beautiful to see the next generation take charge in directing our healing in Christ.
810 construction completed!!!
I am overwhelmed with the generosity of all of you. Construction is now completed inside the 810 house! As Jesus would have it, the week after I nailed in the last piece of trim, a friend from high school led her youth group down from up north and fully furnished the 810 house! Thank you Jenn, pastor Mike and the team from Stephen/Argyle. Bless you!
As I look around the house, everything from the floors, to wall, to windows I can see God’s generous provision. This is truly a house that the Lord has built. I have faith that there is more to this story than just the gutting and construction of a home. This is about revival and renewal in my own heart and in our community.
We long to see a community of like-minded believers, who love Jesus more than their own life and are committed to sharing His message to the world around us. As a covenant community, we are committed to a lifestyle of learning in grace, exalting Jesus above everything through fasting, prayer, worship, intercession, evangelism, studying the word, and manifesting the Kingdom of Christ in every area of our lives.
Keep your eyes open for your invitation to our upcoming open house early next month. We’d love for you to see 1st hand what God has accomplished.
Salt and Light
We’ve also been developing local partnerships this summer with our Salt and Light Campaign (www.thelightofnorth.com). It’s our temptation to do the ‘big event’ with big publicity and big numbers. What I’ve found in reading the scriptures is Jesus’ most fruitful ministry was with the little and the small. Certainly crowds followed, but from a small core of committed followers a revival spread through obedience to the Spirit of God. From 12 came 3000. We are seeking fruit that remains, and the pathway do to this is in obedience and abiding in the Love of Christ. We are so blessed to be in partnership with several other ministries throughout North Minneapolis who share the same vision and value relationship to Christ and each other above all else. We’ve gained supernatural relationships with other committed followers of Christ and have also seen the Power of the Gospel manifest in our community.
A quick example: I just got back from a kickball game with neighborhood kids in partnership with Antioch ministries. In gathering the kids, I began a simple conversation with Brian. He’s been hanging out at our place a lot this summer, so the conversation was pretty natural. However, at one point our talk turned to church and the Gospel. We spent 45 minutes discussing God, Satan, the Bible, faith, other religions, and much more. “Mr. Tim, do you have a Bible I could read?,” was the summation of our conversation. I was able to give him a book of John and a full Bible, pray with him, and explain how to read God’s book. This all happened because God has allowed Miah and I to spend time with him organically throughout the summer. God’s word does not return void, and I am fully confident that the Holy Spirit will continue to pull on Brian’s heart until they become 1, just as Jesus and the Father were 1.
Miah and I invite you to partner with us in the Great Commission. We don’t always get to see the fruit, but there are many ways you can be involved in reconciliation and the expansion of God’s Kingdom of mercy:
1. Backpack parties: we need volunteers to help at several of our upcoming backpack events. We will have one going on the 11th, 18th, and 24th. We need help with set up, games, food and prayer.
I need additional help on the 18th, as we have 1 backpack party going on at the house, while I will also be packing other backpacks at another location. I need an extra 1-3 volunteers to come with me, and another 2-3 to stay here and help out.
If you can’t give time, could you help out our partners at Antioch with resources for these events? (http://antiochnorth.com/give/) Just $25 gives 1 backpack to a family in need in our neighborhood.
If you can help out on the 24th, please email me ASAP, as I’m assembling a different team for this location.
2. Ministry Partners: Miah and I are continuing to raise support for our family. If you would consider inviting us to your church or introduce us to your mission board, we would greatly appreciate it! We are missionaries under the umbrella of Transform MN and Damascus Way (www.damascusway.com) Giving can be made online and is tax dedcutible. Simply choose ‘the 810 project’ from the dropdown menu. Recurring monthly gifts or even 1 time gifts are much appreciated!
3. Prayer partners: we are continually looking for prayer partners as we are in a spiritual battle and the war is won on our knees. If you are willing to commit to pray for us on a regular basis, please let us know. We could use your encouragement! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. Come be a part! If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about urban ministry in a committed lifestyle of fasting and prayer, please pass this letter on to them.
Monday 6:30pm Community Prayer
Thursday: 10-noon Intercession
Thursday: 12:30-3pm Outreach
Thursday: 5:30-8 youth programming
Sunday: 10:30 am Community House Church
We are also planning an additional youth night for the Fall. We need 3-5 more committed volunteers before we can put it all together, but we are currently looking at a Wednesday evening schedule. Let us know if you’d like to work with area teens and be involved in this.
As always, we covet your prayers and encouragement. God bless you!