Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jesus Sightings in the NCC

He lives, He lives
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, he lives, Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know he lives?
He lives within my heart!

Christian, many excellent apologetic arguments, solid reasons and historical evidences demonstrate that 2000 years ago Jesus died on the cross and resurrected to life. Yet, no more powerful argument exists for the Resurrection than the Living Christ bursting through with love and redemption in your heart and the heart of His mystical “body” – the church. 

We envision our collection of churches in the upper Midwest as “Bringing Jesus to the North Central United States through planting and growing healthy congregations advanced by boldly apostolic leaders working synergistically together.”  Bringing Jesus! When Christ LIVES in you, everywhere you go, you are bringing Jesus. Is this evident to your family, friends, peers, coworkers and Christian family? 

Here are some ways we see our peers in the North Central Conference Bringing Jesus lately. Nearly 1000 people trusted in Jesus for their eternal salvation in North Central Conference churches over the year. Shout hallelujah! 

Just last month 21 people became members of our churches, 14 people committed their lives to Jesus, 79 people made significant discipleship decisions.  Churches where people were born again this month include Iglesia Emanuel Pentecostal in Albert Lea, MN (Federico Rivera),Beloit FMC in Beloit, WI (Rich Whippler), Our Redeemer in Elgin, IL (Randy Stateler & Ernesto Ortega), Freeport FMC in Freeport, IL (Don Jamerson), Motley FMC in Motley, MN (Jim Johnson), New Hope in Oskaloosa, IA (Daryl Martin), Penn Street Church in Ottumwa, IA (Tim Ward), LifePointe Church in Tiffin, IA (Tommy Roberts), Toddville FMC in Toddville IA (Mark Lofquist), the Chapel in Chicago, IL (David Bates and Joel Smith) and Common Ground in Sioux Falls, SD (Mark Taylor and Pat an Marge McClanahan).

Men stood up to commit their lives to being patterned after Jesus rather than Oprah or the Spike TV ideals at Resolution Church in Oswego, IL (Erick & Bekki Ewaskowitz).  Thousands were fed through the Food Pantry in Evanston, IL (Pat Coakley and Maiya Lueptow) and Good in the Hood ministries at Cedarcrest Church in Bloomington, MN (Shawn and Jamie Morrison). A new community day care center – Noah’s Ark – was opened in Waterloo, IA (Al Taylor). Nearly 100 people attended a Valentines outreach in the small town of Wataga IL (Darren Anderson). Girls Night Out and Senior Citizens Breakfast are meeting community needs in Tiffin, IA (Tommy Roberts).  The Richland Center FMC is reaching people in their community using a Guitars for God program (Jim Berlin). Hilltop Church in Peoria, IL is launching the “Make a Friend” program (Paul Lee).  Ottumwa IA Free Methodists serve meals at the local homeless shelter (Tim Ward). Pine Grove FMC in Rockford, IL is distributing free batteries to their community in conjunction with the fire departments reminders to check life saving devices (Paul Bundschuh).  Emmanuel Church in Janesville WI is launching a Hot Rod Club and offering Line Dancing creating good community buzz (Dan Grimes). Several convicts give their life to Christ as New Hope in Fairfield IA launches a new jail ministry (Jim & Linda McGaffey). All over the conference sermons were preached, resources provided, concerts held, funds raised to set free the slaves in the world via Freedom Sunday activities.

Four new churches are in various stages of birth and launch! Common Ground, Sioux Falls (SD) launched with 200 in March. Clearview in Monroe WI, Mainstreet Ministries in Pella IA, Connect Church in DeKalb are building core groups and launching strategic ministries.

The sick are being healed, the hungry are being fed, the homeless are finding shelter, the lost are finding salvation.  YOU, North Central Conference Churches, are Bringing Jesus!  You have tasted and experienced the grace of God, grow more deeply in the knowledge of Christ and share God’s love broadly. Proclaim fearlessly the good news of the gospel over this Easter Season. 

He lives, He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, he lives, Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart!

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