I hope you are doing well. I just returned from a sermon 
illustration fact finding expedition to Talon Lodge in Sitka, Alaska. I’m 
happy to report we discovered an abundance of king salmon and halibut as
 well as several illustrations which I’m planning on sprinkling into my 
messages in the days to come.

This Sunday my sermon is called “The Race of Faith” from Hebrews
 12:1-5. This will be the first of a two part series dealing with the
 vision and discipline of the Lord. We all need a vision of where we are
 going and what God is doing or we wander aimlessly in life. In Hebrews 11
, the apostle tells the story of men and women of faith. Their lives 
testify that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. In
 Hebrews 12, we are told to cast off every sin and hindrance as we run the 
race marked out for us. I’m hoping this message will give us clarity so
 that we will focus on the things that will enable us to run the race of
 faith with joy and perseverance. The Lord has an awesome reward for
 everyone who finishes this race well.

Last week I was contemplating the oil spill, the European economic turmoil, and North Korea and Iran acting irrationally. In light of those sorry realities, I read Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’” I got a wonderful sense of God’s purpose and plan when I read that beautiful promise.

Even while many people act foolishly, the Lord is pouring out the Holy Spirit on all who call on Jesus. I have been blessed and refreshed by the Lord when I have taken time recently to get alone and call on His name. We don’t have to let the sinful acts of others rob us of joy. The Lord wants to bless and refresh each of us so we can be a light to people in darkness.

This Sunday I plan to speak on “The Plans and Purpose of God” from Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:15-25. God created man in His image, blessed man and told man to be fruitful and multiply. We will look at the gospel woven into the creation story. I will look forward to our time together this weekend. I hope you will come ready to worship and expecting to meet with the Lord.

On Tuesday I went to San Francisco to attend the memorial service for my friend Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus. Hundreds of pastors, rabbis and leaders from around the country gathered to honor Moishe, who had established the largest messianic ministry in the world. We came, not because of the size of his ministry, nor because he was a great speaker or singer, because he was neither. We came because of the great encouragement he gave to us over the years.

Moishe wrote letters to me many times, encouraging me to use my gifts to glorify God. At the banquet held in his honor, many others talked about his friendship that helped them believe in the gifts God had given to them. As I thought about the impact of Moishe’s life, I realized that his outstanding characteristic was the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God is available to all of us through his word, if we simply live by it.

I’ll be speaking this weekend in our Saturday night and Sunday services on “The Wisdom of God for a Husband” from Ephesians 5:21-33. It doesn’t take the mind of a rocket scientist or great wealth to establish a strong marriage and a healthy family. It does take wisdom to bring the glory of God into our marriages. I want this blessing for each couple in our church.