A few years ago, some members from a Lincoln church decided to host a 5-Day Club in their back-yard, which also happened to be joined with the yard of that same church. For quite some time VBS numbers were few and volunteers were scarce. 5-Day Club just made sense. And boy was it ever! Nearly three times the number of children attended than had ever before enrolled in VBS.
Of those 30 plus children was a young gal who gave her heart to the Lord. Later that fall she and her younger sister, Taylor*, began attending the Good News Club the church then adopted. It was there when her younger sister also made a profession of faith.
A short while ago, the teachers at GNC, had an opportunity to guide two other souls to know Jesus in a personal way, but it would leave the club without supervision. These teachers instantly went from disappointment to excitement when they tasted some sweet fruit they hadn’t expected to taste. Taylor said; “Teachers, I’ll pass out the verse tokens and watch the club while you go and talk and share about Jesus because that is what is most important!”
If you partner with us in finances, prayer, or service, you are a part of hundreds of other stories like this. Clubs this year have all experienced children eager and hungry for God’s Word. It is the Lincoln Chapter’s goal to grow in the number of children reached in 2016. Pray about how God will use you in a greater way for the Kingdom. It is a sweet taste!
Going Out - Doesn't mean you stop!
One of the most important, if not the most important moment in all of history was when Jesus cried out; “It is finished,” the Temple curtain was torn in half, and the ground shook! I imagine every trembled as they witnessed the evidence of God’s victorious reign.
There are many moments today which are much less dramatic, yet in our human view point we make them as dramatic. Especially when faced with an uncertain future. When life is out of our control, we seek to control it tighter. Since creation, we as humans have worked tirelessly at also being creators and sustainers of our own lives, our own things and instead, submitting to the Lord who reigns.
As you may have learned by now, our family has chosen to submit to the Lord and follow a new path He has made clear to us over the course of more than a year now.
Soon, we will transition out of the local coordinator position with CEF of Lincoln, and I, Jed, will re-enter into the “secular” work force. I believe it is where the Lord will use me as He has purposed in a greater and more effective way. According to the specific gifts He has given me personally.
For some, this may cause trembling or others, uncertainty of the future. Yet, for more, as is for our family, excitement! Why? Because we know the Lord reigns. The Lord is great in Zion, and all creation. Our family chooses to exalt Him, and we will praise His great and awesome name! Will you?
"God brought our family to America, then to Lincoln, NE and also to this elementary school because of 'Good News Club'"
A parent from Korea spoke these words to a Good News Club teacher a short time ago as a way to thank this teacher and her helpers for their obedience to the Lord in sacrificing their time to conduct an After-School Bible-club.
As the 2013-14 ministry year and Good News Club season was rapidly approaching, an aggressive effort was released to see as many individuals equipped for acts of service as God would allow for the furtherance of His Kingdom. With a new training seminar scheduled prior to the start of the season, and a revamping of the quarterly Cycle Training designed and implemented, it was time to start the year.
An [OPEN DOOR] became realized for THREE new After-School club locations, with a FOURTH nearing the end of the school year and God raised up additional laborers to accomplish His work.
God's Sovereignty continues with the month of May closing the Good News Club season. The Lord allowed for TWO regular clubs meeting in a church or a home and EIGHT clubs meeting in a public elementary school, with 234 children in attendance and 17 of those we know of, making a profession of faith.
More so, because of God's Sovereignty, we are aware of families now attending church at the request of their children. Word of public elementary school principals wanting their entire school enrollment to consider attending a Good News Club has come our way also. And too, churches wanting to supplement their mid-week program with a Good News Club setting.
The Lord's ministry of CEF means more than flannel-graph and fun Bible-stories. It is about 'Building Bridges' between the church and the community, to engage those [Open Door]s, in front of each of us, for the purpose of developing 'Lasting Fruit' for the Kingdom.
God brings you to where He wants you to be. The challenge is, do you have your eyes open to His leading?
A GNC Basics Seminar is scheduled for August 8th and 9th.
Click Here for more information or to contact us.
This article taken from our Summer News Letter. Please Click Here to read the full edition.
I challenge you to consider increasing your monthly gift to your church or another organization you have supported through prayer. I challenge you also to continue reading this article.
If you are like 76% percent of Americans you are living Pay-Check to Pay-Check. One of the reasons for this by some experts is that the majority of us are paying the bills of others. Either our children who are away at college or our elderly parents who can no longer care for themselves as they once did.
There are some too who are like myself, the average joe. We live a very busy lifestyle and, therefore, are likely to pay a little extra for those convenience items. You know what I am talking about; the fast food stop, bagging and loading of groceries, an oil change at a local quick-lube place, and on and on.
What if you looked back over the last few months and identified where you spent every penny (no seriously, look at every penny you spent). Could I propose to you, that you likely spent an extra $30 or more each month that you otherwise could have saved or given back to the Lord's church?
Luke 12:34 is often taken and used out of context, or else made to fit a point a pastor wants to get across to encourage a people to give more to the offering. There is, however, some truth aspects to this verse in that; your heart is focused on or where you spend your money. In other words, if your pocket book is not hurting, then you likely are not contemplating where your money is or has gone.
So let me challenge you to again, prayerfully consider the disposable income you likely have in your pay-check to pay-check budget. Could it be, you have an extra $30 a month? Would you be interested in making an investment that would have eternal value? Give the extra back to the Kingdom today.
You can make a significant impact today simply with $30. Sign Up to have a SAFE and SECURE automatic transfer come out of your account monthly, on behalf of the children in Lancaster County, NE through Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Lincoln Chapter. Click Here or the campaign picture today!
A week ago an amazing pastor friend of mine shared a piece of HUGE encouragement with me about going through difficult times. He reminded me of King Hezekiah facing a very difficult situation. Hezekiah though, took his challenge to the LORD in prayer.
Prayer doesn't come difficult for me, but to be quite honest and I know most will relate, it is often an after thought. Instead prayer should be, and really NEEDS to be a before thought. Prayer needs to be part of the plan, not an assistant that comes along after the project has been started.
Finances have been, and are continuing to seem to be at a less than expected level but are confident we doing the Will of the Father! We have seen God do some pretty remarkable things and we expect God will continue to display His glory, even now during this period of difficult financial shortfall. If the Holy Spirit prompts you to do so, you can click here and make a tax-deductible on-line donation on our behalf - designate 'Lincoln Chapter', however more-so we simply want to be of encouragement to you as a reader.
What we are going to do here is similar to what Hezekiah did in 2 Kings 19:14b. We are going to "lay out" in front of the LORD all of the finances or bills we have that are needing to be paid. They will be listed here below in bullet point by order of due date and as God provides the money to pay each one, we will write in RED color font to the right, the date God provides the exact amount.
When the term “Christian” is used in secular circles, what is the first thing that comes to their minds? Here are a few I’ve heard, read or even personally experienced:
What did Jesus himself say was the greatest of all the commandments? I’ll give you a hint if you are not sure or maybe you have been told falsely before now.
English Standard Version (ESV)
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Now, why would approximately only 97% of non-Christians have such a negative view of Christians? May I suggest to you it is because Christians are disobedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ?
Christians spend so much of their time and money on the issues the world has no clue (nor do many Christians) how a Christian is supposed to live their life like.
I know many will argue; “yea but… the Bible says we are to stand up for the truth and what is right and honorable to God…” Sure! I would say they would be 100% correct. However, I would remind them what Jesus said was more important than the issues!
Imagine, what the world would be like today if Christians valued this commandment MORE than the issues. All of a sudden, the issues wouldn’t be.
Who are the unlovable in your life today? Is it that friend who you’re mad at? Maybe it is your in-laws who you are dreading to see this holiday season. Or possibly it is your siblings who are unsupportive of your faith in Christ. Do they see Christ’s love in you?
Will you take a moment right now and ask yourself; “when people find out that I am a Christian, do they think of me as one of those six points above?” If you feel the answer is yes, will you decide right now to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind?
Heartland Bible Church Neighborhood Outreach with 5-Day Club® – Summer 2012
The Bug During the spring of 2012; Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®) presented to us and the church this ministry opportunity. It has always been on our hearts as a whole and as we prayed specifically about 5DC, we knew what The Lord wanted us to do.
The Neighborhood At that time, there were few children from the neighborhood attending any Heartland Bible Church program. After praying, the date was set and invites were received, we prayed some more and Phyllis and I began to canvas the neighborhood. After visiting dozens of homes and hearing many different responses the week of club finally came!
Hottest Week on Record and yet the response was well beyond all we could have imagined, with 15 children the first night and seeing an increase each night. Not to mention several parents who sat and listened and watched. Each night the gospel was clearly spoken and although the temps were in the 100’s, the kids sat, listened, and learned about Jesus Christ.
Mixed Emotions we had as it was sad to see the week end. No more children running around, sitting, or just having a ball in our back yard. However, this was just the beginning!. Using 5DC as a "springboard", in the fall when the children's ministries resumed, we were excited to see what God continued. In our pre-K group of 11, five are from our church and six others are neighborhood and the next age group up has an even larger percentage of neighborhood children.
What’s better… The greatest joy we had was a few weeks ago when one of the boys from the neighborhood who came to 5DC asked Jesus Christ into his life as Savior. Several parents too have expressed interest in coming now to church which would double our class size, Lord willing!
Can’t Wait - We are excited about Summer ’13 and 5DC and what The Lord will do for our Neighborhood!
(Free Advent eBook) See link enclosure.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)
Jesus became man because what was needed was the death of a man who was more than man. The incarnation was God’s locking himself into death row.
Christ did not risk death. He embraced it. That is precisely why he came: not to be served but to serve and give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
No wonder Satan tried to turn Jesus from the cross! The cross was Satan’s destruction. How did Jesus destroy him?
The “power of death” is the ability to make death fearful. The “power of death” is the power that holds men in bondage through fear of death. It is the power to keep men in sin so that death comes as a horrid thing.
But Jesus stripped Satan of this power. He disarmed him. He molded a breastplate of righteousness for us that makes us immune to the devil’s condemnation.
By his death, Jesus wiped away all our sins. And a person without sin puts Satan out of business. His treason is aborted. His cosmic treachery is foiled. “His rage we can endure, for, lo, his doom is sure.” The cross has run him through. And he will gasp his last before long.
Christmas is for freedom. Freedom from the fear of death.
Jesus took our nature in Bethlehem, to die our death in Jerusalem, that we might be fearless in our city. Yes, fearless. Because if the biggest threat to my joy is gone, then why should I fret over the little ones? How can you say (really!), “Well, I’m not afraid to die but I’m afraid to lose my job”? No. No. Think!
If death (I said, death!—no pulse, cold, gone!)—if death is no longer a fear, we’re free, really free. Free to take any risk under the sun for Christ and for love. No more bondage to anxiety.
If the Son has set you free, you shall be free, indeed!
“Freed by Christmas and Calvary”
This time of year everyone is asking for money! “Year-End giving” or “Give before Dec. 31st to receive 2012 tax deductions” and on and on.
You have likely even read or have seen posts from CEF about year-end giving opportunities also. Sometimes however folks want to donate to a specific campaign and we have one for you! One of the fantastic things that we like to make available to our students who are enrolled in a Good News Club is a T-Shirt that they can wear on club day.
What a fantastic way for them to advertise for Jesus, but also for the GNC. Would you be interested in helping us with this? Youth and Adult sizes are available for this very good quality T-Shirt. Order one today for yourself or send your contributions to CEF of Lincoln!
Contact us today for details. Orders will be placed on December 28th.
It was such an awesome pleasure to be back in Ensenada Mexico once again this past October 24th thru the 29th.
The driving point for us as we worshiped together with the children's parents that we ministered to at the end of the day Saturday is the 'Value' God has for us each, but as the family unit together! And this is not a new concept but an easily forgotten or overlooked thought I feel; even in our Christian homes and churches sometimes also.
Just to catch everyone reading this up to speed, my wife and I along with our two oldest daughters joyfully partnered with the First Free church as they sought out to do ministry with 35 married couples in Ensenada, using the 'Art of Marriage' Spanish materials. Our responsibilities were to the children of many of these couples and it was our strong desire to provide for these children more than just an entertaining time while there away from their parents overnight Friday and all day Saturday.
Utilizing CEF materials and producing some along the way, we came up with a program for the children we felt God could use to teach them their value in Christ. The theme was based on Matthew 6:26 which says; "(ESV) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" We had them build bird houses as a craft project and then paint them. Oh and yes of course, the colors they chose for painting were all the colors from the Wordless Book!
Our main teaching to the children was because of our 'Value', God has prepared works for us to do. The memory verse most of them learned by the end of the day on Saturday and shared with their parents during worship was Ephesians 2:10; (ESV) "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." We were told that many of these children came from 'churched' homes however our teaching had to be clear none the less in that we are saved ONLY by grace and not by works, but because of that grace we work to glorify the Lord.
It was so fun to watch these children grow even just a little bit in the time we were with them and they didn't get bored! That was God for sure as I can plan for 2 hours of children's programing but was concerned about a full 8 hours. :)
All the children received a Wonder Devotional book from us at the close of the day Saturday and the remaining we left with the school that meets there at the Ranch we stay at. The school has requested more of them and in the entire 6 book series that is available so there may be a trip back to Ensenada in our future... We hope!
-Thank You and we're praying for you all!Sorensen Family