Archives For Holy Spirit

From what you have…

April 2, 2015 — 1 Comment
Image Courtesy:
Image Courtesy:

As the people of Israel make their journey out of Egypt toward the land God promised their forefathers, there’s a moment in the book of Exodus when Moses receives instruction on building the sacred space of the Tabernacle. The furnishings are to be ornate and the finishes opulent. Where will these things come from?

This is what the LORD commanded: from what you have, take an offering for the LORD… (Exodus 35:4b-5a; emphasis mine)

The people give so much precious metal, stone, fabric, and other expensive gifts that they actually have to be told to stop giving because their gifts are too much! Amazing!

But think about this for a moment: how could a group of wandering, refugee slaves be in possession of such great wealth?

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My family and I are enjoying some quality time over staycation. During this time, I’m re-posting some of my favorite old posts.

image: image*after

image: image*after

“Holiness” is a funny word: it can bring to mind strange rules and fiery preachers… and sometimes things are done in the name of ‘holiness’ that make it appear the antithesis of love.  So, please don’t let the topic of this post keep you from going any further.  I freely admit that some of our definitions of holiness are misguided and potentially hurtful; I also admit we’ve been distracted by conversations related to but not central to holiness. Discussion about the Wesleyan stance on alcohol is best left to another post (or ginormous tome).  No, we’re not perfect in how we approach the outward look of holiness… neither am I perfect in how I live, believe, or do life.

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I came across this note, originally posted in October of 2010, and found the reminders encouraging to me even a few years later. Hopefully the same is true for you:

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Favor: Post 5 (of 5)

January 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

image: Bob Croft

In March of 2010, we hosted a Prayer Walk(athon) in Pittsburgh (the above image is of most of the participants).  Rick (Lead Planter) designed a couple of these as significant fundraisers allowing The Bridge to have the ministry dollars needed to carry us through the year.  He would later share that he sincerely, genuinely sensed $30,000 would be raised for ministry purposes.  It was also a tremendous way to build interest and momentum for church planting in Pittsburgh.

The people who participated in the Pittsburgh Prayer Walk(athon) contributed in a big way.  But by the time all of the fundraising was calculated, less than $7,000 had come in.  This was enough to cover ministry during the summer and provide a number of opportunities to connect with the community.  But it wasn’t $30,000.  And we still had the biggest event of the summer to be cared for as well as making sure a facility could be rented for preview, launch, and post-launch gatherings.

But we were amazed as series of incredible points of supply came our way, some more breathtaking than others, while we ‘prayed in’ daily provision:

  • Other churches provided recreation/games at no cost to The Bridge for our Family Fun Day
  • Other churches supplied nearly all of the food (for over 400 people!) for Family Fun Day
  • Area businesses freely gave merchandise & giftcards to give away to Family Fun Day participants
  • Other churches have creatively raised funds to help cover portions of meeting-place rent
  • The Bridge received free use of new sound equipment from a recently-closed church
  • Another church supplied for many of The Bridge’s printing needs
  • Area businesses helped provide for an Autumn Trunk-or-Treat event
  • 3 Lakes Golf Course invited The Bridge to meet weekly in their facility at a very affordable rate

And do you know what all of this provision amounted to?

At latest tally, just about $30,000.

We know that the work we’re doing is much more about heart and life transformation than money; we know that financial provision is not a ‘goal’ but is a necessity.  For us, it’s just one more way we have seen God’s favor and answer to prayer; it’s one more evidence of being where God is working.  It makes me excited: if the Holy Spirit has been so faithful in bringing us to launch, what will he do as The Bridge continues to develop?!

This post is the last in a series of five celebrating God’s favor as we have moved toward the launch of The Bridge this Sunday.  Here are links to the earlier posts: One, Two, Three, Four.

Favor: Post 2 (of 5)

January 25, 2011 — Leave a comment

This post is part of a series celebrating some of the incredible ways God has shown his favor in planting The Bridge.  You can read the first post here.

image: Sarah Gomez

“Family Fun Day” was the high-water mark of our summer ministry season in 2010.  If you read yesterday’s post, you saw some of the cool ways God made a way where there was no way in securing a location at the right time.

But one of the most exciting aspects of the day was seeing how churches from across our district partnered together to see incredible things take place.  Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote earlier about the day:

…during The Bridge’s summer outreach event, a free “Family Fun Day,” held at the end of August when ten of the District’s 28 churches helped provide over 100 volunteers, funding, food, and other supplies which made the day a great success.  The Bridge had 425 present at the event, providing open doors of opportunity to develop significant relationships with many in the community; had it not been for the deep partnership of these district churches, the day would not have been possible.

We may never fully know the impact of the selfless giving of people, time, and finances the churches of the WPA District lavished on Pittsburgh, but as the nature of this partnership grows, one thing is for sure: greater things are already here and will continue to be seen in the eternal difference being made in homes, families, and communities.

image: Sarah Gomez

Our partner churches were selfless: they gave financially, gifted material, brought supplies, and invested energy.  Their people prayed, provided, and participated in an unprecedented way.  Through this army of volunteers, hundreds of people were impacted in a way The Bridge could not have effected by herself.  God moved in hearts, individuals, and churches as an incredible expression of his favor on Pittsburgh!