· Where is everyone and why did they leave? Is anyone coming back?
· Why doesn’t everyone see the value, obedience, and faith factor of sacrificial giving?
· Why is there so much division and discord in our world today?
· Why does it seem we just can’t get ahead?
“My wife can’t stop talking about how much she loves the prayer shawl you all made for her. As she battles this aggressive breast cancer, you all have given her something to be excited about and she tells all of her friends how beautiful it is and how special it is to her. I can’t thank you enough for providing her with a little ray of sunshine and prayers from your sewing group. This sewing group at He’s Alive Church is making a difference in lives.”
“I know it’s easy to get discouraged that more people don’t show up to pray once a month at the Prayer Service. But something cool that came out of this little midweek prayer service is that the group I was in was a mix of people, most who I just talk to in passing on Sunday mornings. Since that Prayer Service where we split into groups to pray, we have been emailing in a group back and forth our praise reports and requests. This would’ve never happened without that service, so thank you for your obedience.”
“I’ve seen our Life Groups grow to over twenty groups in just the last two years. Recently a group of Life Group Leaders gathered to share stories of redemption about how God is impacting their group and how He is changing lives in their group. Friendships are being made, relationships are being built. But most importantly, faith is growing…deep.”
“I wanted to send you this email and tell you what I observed from this year’s Youth Fall Retreat. 1) God is doing some great things in each of your student’s lives. During the sessions, each student was locked in and engaged! Dozens of students made decisions, including 6 who indicated surrendering their life to Christ for the first time! 2. These kids are talented! From sports to the arts - these are some incredibly gifted teenagers. 3. Time flew by because we were having so much fun. There’s a powerful community that exists at He’s Alive and the bond between the students is contagious. 4. The He’s Alive Student Ministry has the best leaders. Our volunteers truly love your students and desire to see them connect with God and each other. Thank you to all the adult leaders who helped make Fall Retreat possible! 5. Your Lead Pastor is special. I’ve never seen a Lead Pastor give up the whole weekend to spend with students. Sometimes a Pastor will pop in for a few hours but rarely willing to give up the whole weekend. Mark is awesome. And yes, I know he had 3 kids on the trip (which would have been a perfect weekend to stay at home with Lori).”
“At this year’s Men’s Retreat I watched a group of men fellowship, share their struggles, and pray for each other. They prayed for the people in our church. Some of them have wives who are battling cancer. They may not be a perfect bunch, but they are vulnerable, transparent, and they are challenging each other to grow in the Lord.”
“As people continue to do battle with COVID, I watch the people of your church continue to provide them with meals, care, prayer, and encouragement. Knowing you are not alone in the struggle is half the battle. Praise God!”
“In the midst of two men in our church fulfilling their dreams of writing a book that would leave a lasting legacy, I watched the people of the church rally around them, support them, and make much of the fulfillment of their dream. They set them up to succeed, and when they did, they celebrated with them! How many people get that in life? That one divine moment of a dream fulfilled and all the people who matter most to you, supporting and rallying around you in the effort. What great value!”
“Each week I get a text asking for prayer requests from our Pre-teen class. They are learning to pray for our Pastors, for our families, and for each other. See how the Gospel is at work!”
I could go on, but I will stop there for the sake of length and space. When life seems to press in the most, the adversity screams for the most devotion and attention. The adversity wants to make you think it’s the loudest voice in the room. It is not. I could have detailed the former up above at greater length. I instead chose to detail the latter. That is because I have found that no matter how loud the trouble may try to make itself in life, the blessings are always louder. Sometimes we’ll need to re-posture ourselves to see it, or it may take someone else outside of our situation to show us. But make no mistake, no matter how much seems to be wrong, there is always more that is right. Adjust your focus.