We have had beautiful spring weather, which I have been enjoying. We have also had some beautiful things happening at Living Streams in the past few weeks. My friend James Jankoviak, the leader of Verbo Ministries, stayed with Kristina and me for four days last week. Living Streams has given Verbo support through our missions for over twenty years. James was one of six men who moved to Guatemala in 1977 after an earthquake devastated the country and killed over 30,000 people. They built homes for poor people and established a church that grew and multiplied in incredible ways.

The initial Verbo (Word) Church grew to over a thousand people and then into over a dozen congregations with schools, orphanages and ministries in Guatemala. They sent a team to Nicaragua, which planted a church, which eventually multiplied and now ministers to thousands of people. They sent a team to Ecuador which grew into many Verbo churches, schools, a medical clinic and a radio ministry. Verbo now has churches from Canada in the north to Brazil and Peru in the south. They are a network of ministries which has brought glory to God by bringing the gospel to many nations and salvation to many people.

Verbo grew out of the ministry of a dozen men and woman who love Jesus and made a covenant to serve him together. They are an example of what the Lord can do through the lives of those who commit themselves to Christ and to one another. They inspire me, because I have known this ministry from its humble beginning. We too have an assignment from the Lord that is unique and is just as important, with just as much potential for kingdom impact as Verbo’s ministry.

James spoke in our 11:00 am service last Sunday and said Living Streams is called to be an Antioch. Antioch became a missions center for the early church. It is where the apostles Paul and Barnabus along with other teachers and prophets had their home base. They traveled out from Antioch to plant and strengthen other churches. We have a family focus for our Sunday services right now. In the months to come we are planning to have a missions focus which will give you opportunities and support to fulfill your ministry.

I hope you will prepare yourself by praying and digging into the word of God in the days to come. Let’s ask the Lord to unite our hearts and open doors of ministry so that the fruit of our lives will bring great glory to God.

My message this Sunday is called, “The Mysteries of a Great Marriage” from Ephesians 5:21-33. Marriage has the potential to enrich our lives or break our hearts. A good marriage can bring love and fruitfulness and a broken marriage can leave someone feeling isolated and rejected. God has designed most of us so that a man needs a woman and a woman needs a man, in order for us to grow and experience the fullness of life.

Everything the Bible teaches us about love, service, and humility must be lived out for a couple to have a rewarding marriage. Marriage forces us to see our weaknesses and face our faults. We bring each other laughter—and bring each other to tears—as we live out our lives together.

I’m going to focus on one aspect of marriage this week that is truly cloaked in mystery. If I told you exactly what it is, I’m afraid you wouldn’t want to show up. Yet if you can understand this truth, it will help to set you free, not only in marriage, but in every area of your life.

I hope this series will provide some keys that will allow the couples of Living Streams to unlock the potential God has mysteriously hidden in the covenant of marriage.

I hope you are doing well. My sermon this Sunday is titled “You are Destined for Greatness” from chapters 2-4 of the book of Ruth. Ruth was an obscure woman who became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Each of the ancestors of Christ in the Old Testament manifests some of the special qualities of Jesus. We have these same qualities in us, through Christ. An understanding of these qualities can give us wisdom and help us to prosper.
This Sunday I will speak about the way Ruth took initiative to find food, because we too must take initiative. Ruth also used her femininity without compromising her morality to woo her future husband. She allowed Naomi to mentor her at a critical time in her life. Ruth ultimately gave an incredible gift to Naomi. She gave her son to the woman she loved.
Ruth helped bring Jesus into the world and we are called to bring the grace and truth of Jesus to our generation. We have been given the Spirit of Christ and a great destiny through him. Let’s pray together that the Lord will give wisdom and purpose to everyone who comes to worship with us this weekend.

Today is the National Day of Prayer. I’ll be praying for our nation today with my men’s group and with pastors from across the Valley. Let’s all take time today to ask the Lord to show mercy to our state and nation. Let’s pray for our leaders to have wisdom and courage to handle the challenges we face. Every time I hear about another attempted terrorist attack that fails because the bomb doesn’t go off, I thank God for the faithful people praying for our nation.

My sermon this Sunday is titled “How an Obscure Woman Became Great,” from the book of Ruth. I hope you will read this Old Testament story this week. Mothers have a profound impact on our lives. The story of Ruth shows how the choices a person makes at key times in life can shape their destiny. Ruth not only survived tragedy, but her legacy still impacts the world. Through God’s grace, tragedy can actually propel us into our destiny.

In a time when trials are shaking the nations, it is important for us to understand the power and faithfulness of God. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, I’m hoping that each of us will be inspired by a woman who followed the Lord into a destiny beyond anything she ever dreamed.