Praise and Proclaim launches outreach initiative in Riverside CA
With extreme snowy conditions blanketing much of the northern half of the U.S., arriving to warm, sunny California is not a bad place to be in February. With temperatures in the 60’s all week, it was a lovely time to go outside and proclaim the message of salvation.
Praise and Proclaim Ministries received an invitation to come to Crown of Life Lutheran Church to launch an outreach initiative. This multi-church ministry has four campuses in Riverside, Corona, Victorville, and Yucaipa. This initiative was being held in conjunction with the semi-annual western region board of home missions meeting held in Riverside.
Starting spiritual conversations by dealing with disappointment
Not just an everyday disappointment – but ones that hit you in the gut when you least expect it.
The kind of pain that takes you to your knees – and keeps you there.
A best friend betrays you.
An adult child makes terrible life choices.
A spouse breaks their promise.
The loss of a job.
The pain of disappointment is at its sharpest when trust is violated or aspirations come to a screeching halt.
And that can have a major effect on our relationship with God.
Praise and Proclaim launches outreach initiative in Escondido CA
When palm trees are part of the landscape in February, you know that the prospects of warm weather are high. For those visiting from the north, it can be a welcome respite to shed winter jackets and mufflers for light jackets and sunscreen.
This was the setting in Escondido, CA to launch an outreach initiative at Ascension Lutheran Church on February 8-10, 2019.
Pain can be an entry point to start spiritual conversations
Redeemed souls who believe in Jesus Christ are not immune to pain.
Doctors can prescribe medication and counselors can provide emotional healing.
But pain doesn’t go away easily.
Chronic discomfort or emotional turmoil can cause any person to desperately seek answers and solutions.
Believing in Christ means trusting that God knows our pain. Our greater good is his greatest desire. Faith accepts unanswered questions and patiently endures in Christ’s enduring love until that time when all pain dissipates forever at Jesus’ feet.
Trusting in God’s promises helps manage pain.
Here are three ways that all believers can use pain as an entry point to begin talking about Christ and his promises:
Starting spiritual conversations with prayer
Be still and know that God is God and I am not.
Be quiet and listen to his promises.
Stillness and quiet are adequate descriptions of contemplative prayer. It’s more about what we receive from God rather than what we give him. It’s more about his voice that resonates in our hearts rather than giving him our voice.
Start spiritual conversations by sticking to the basics
“It’s best to remain silent and be thought of a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs 17:28)
If silence is golden and a silver tongue commands respect, then why do I tend to open my mouth and remove all doubt about being a fool?
Perhaps that is why evangelism is so dangerous.
Making new year resolutions that are lasting
I listened to a podcast recently about why people complain so much.
In the big picture, many of our complaints can appear inconsequential. It’s an outward cry of an inward focus on thoughts and attitudes.
Let’s confess that our human nature is drawn to look at what the world has to offer to solve what we believe is essential in our lives.