1 John 4:4 “but you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
I prayed this verse over a neighbor friend who was celebrating her 50th year on earth. The previous day, I had helped her and some friends with some transportation issues and we had begun talking about demonic experiences. She was curious to know how demons enter people and how to get rid of them. We talked for a good while about walking in the Light of Jesus, and how compromising with what we know God wants is called ‘sin.’ Sin when it’s full grown leads to death and this is the ultimate goal of our enemy: to steal, kill and destroy us. But, God is Light and through Jesus He was won for us the victory over darkness. We finished that conversation with prayer and asked God to help us walk in Light and lead us in to repentance and confession: acknowledging the wrong things we are doing, not trying to hide them, and asking God to take over our lives and change us by the power of His Holy Spirit.
The following day, I stopped in to check on how things were going since our prayer. I did not realize it was her birthday and she had several friends over to help her celebrate. There was about nine of us sitting around on a couple couches. They were passing the vodka bottle around, telling stories, and a few were confused why they kept calling me “Pastor Tim.” From what they understood, pastors wear suits and don’t sit around people who are drinking.
At one point, my friend says “well, it’s my birthday and for my birthday I want Pastor Tim to say a prayer for us!” She forced us all to grab hands and gather in a circle. As we began, the sweet Presence of Jesus gently rolled into the room. She began to weep. As I finished, one of the men who was talking about ‘religion’ earlier shouted out “I want to pray!” As he finished, another says the same, then another. As all the prayers finished up, one of the men exclaimed: “I feel like I could run 10 miles!”
This is what the Presence of God does. In a moment, all pre-conceived ideas about religion, sin, and churches are undone in the presence of the Holy Spirit. When people meet God, all of our excuses run short and our focus become clear. His Presence brings Light and makes us want to live for Him.
It’s been over a week since this encounter and to be honest, none of these people have made it back to Bible study or church as they promised. This doesn’t surprise me or deter me. I am confident that the more encounters they have with the Living God, whether by me visiting them or them making it to me, change will come in the form of lasting fruit.
Will you continue to pray with me for these nine and the many others we encounter on a weekly basis? I am convinced that the earnest prayer of the righteous avails much. Our prayers have lasting effect. If you would like to join our intercessory team, send us a note!
Valentine Day Outreach
This was our 4th annual Valentines Outreach. Each year has been different, and the coolest thing this year was to see the youth we’ve been working with for the past 3+ years lead the way. It was such a joy to see our children witnessing to their peers and adults. There is more of the story online, but we were able to distribute 80-100 Valentine packets, including roses, candy, and love letters from Jesus. Several of our neighbors joined in and many neighbors throughout the Northside were blessed, heard the gospel and received prayer. Thank you to those who helped!!!
We continue to meet with youth 2x week. We believe this is foundational to the lasting change we are praying for. As Frederick Douglas says: “it’s easier to train up a child than repair a broken man.” We’re seeing some fruit of our efforts as a few of these kids are beginning to lead out in prayer, outreach and service efforts. Our ultimate prayer is that these kids would lead their whole families to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Would you continue to pray with us for the salvation of families in North Minneapolis?
We continue to meet with several men and women throughout the neighborhood. We also have specific times of Bible study together in partnership with BSF. Would you continue to pray for roots to go deep in the love of Christ with these men and women. I’ve got a few young and old men who are on the fringe of a deep commitment. Pray that the Holy Spirit would bring deep conviction and a purposeful commitment to growing in their relationship with Christ.
Miah has finished school and begun teaching full time at the kids school. Praise God! It’s been a long journey and it’s pretty awesome to see her walking in her calling.
Hannah has qualified for several event in state and regional meets with her swimming club. She’s been working really hard and it’s fun to see that hard work pay off. Guine had her last basketball game last week and Sam is gearing up for track season.
All in all, life is busy but good. Warmer weather should be coming this month, and that generally brings more hardship out into the open with our neighbors. There’s been several shootings already this year and we’re asking God for strategies to reach the lost and end the violence.
You all continue to bless and encourage us so much with your prayers and random encouraging letters. Thank you!