What makes this so exciting for Los Angeles is that this city lacks "community" among believers. People go to church to get something for themselves and then leave. But what most of us who have ministered in this city for awhile have found is that "community" is exactly the thing that most people here long for. What if the church became that place where individuals found community -- all through the love, forgiveness, and grace of Jesus Christ? What if we became like the Church in the book of Acts and actually took care of one another's physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual needs? I am thankful that God is not only putting these very things on me and my wife's heart, but also upon the hearts of others in our area. May God guide us as we work His will out for His Body....
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Last Thursday was a very encouraging prayer gathering with the Hollywood pastors! More and more churches here in LA are hearing the voice of God calling them to restructure their entire system to focus upon small group communities. These groups go beyond just having another Bible study to actually working on living out the gospel in the community in which you are planted. We as Christians have heard so many sermons over our lifetime, and many of them are simply forgotten once we walk out the church doors. But what if we taught people with not only an emphasis on putting what they've learned into practice, but also an opportunity to do it? As one pastor recently revealed to me, "We as small group leaders don't move on to our next lesson until all of us in the group are putting the previous lesson into practice in our everyday lives."
Posted by Pastor Mike at 11:02 AM
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
It was a blessing in many different ways this past weekend at Jon Lindsay's Border States bodybuilding competition. Having all of the Stronghold team members there was so encouraging to me. We had an incredible team meeting while we were there, discussing the future of Stronghold and what God wants us to accomplish. I love and respect everyone on this team and pray that God continues to use us in this industry in an increasing manner for His honor and glory.
Fred Krause (one of our team members) competed in the competition and received a 2nd place in his class. He represented the Lord well, performing his routine to a song that revealed his love for Jesus. Way to go Fred!!
It was also a growing time for me as a leader of this ministry. I feel that at the Olympia and this show, God allowed me to learn so much and overcome some obstacles at the events. Please pray that God gives me the wisdom to do HIS will with Stronghold Ministries. I know I have alot to learn, but I also know that God will be faithful to teach me everything I need to know. Praise God!
Posted by Pastor Mike at 1:56 PM
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This coming weekend, the entire Stronghold team will be ministering at the Border States bodybuilding show in San Diego promoted by Jon Lindsay (www.musclecontest.com). Jon is not only one of the top bodybuilding show promoters in the country but also has been very supportive of all that we do at Stronghold. A big thanks to Jon for his kindness...
We are also blessed to be supporting one of our team-members Fred Krause as he actually competes in the contest. It should be a great weekend! Please pray for God to move in people's hearts and guide our steps as we minister. Also pray for God to give Fred the strength he needs to compete.
Then on the Sunday morning after the contest, we will be having a bodybuilding team meeting to strategize and pray for the 2010 bodybuilding season. Please pray that God gives us His heart concerning the needs for this industry. Thank you!!
Posted by Pastor Mike at 10:53 AM
Monday, October 5, 2009
What an amazing Olympia this year! Not only were the competitions the closest they had ever been, but more importantly, God moved in mighty ways! It was an exciting year for Stronghold because we had all six of our team members ministering for the entire weekend, which challenged me to grow in my leadership and administration skills with them team. I desire to use each individual in the greatest way possible, allowing them to use the gifts that God has uniquely given them to reach people. Yet when the team is that large, not everyone can go to the same hotel room and pray for an athlete. I had to learn to delegate responsibilities evenly, and hopefully I did!
It was also interesting in terms of spiritual warfare. I thought for some reason that this year, more so than years past, had some intense times of attack. I'm not sure why this was the case, but regardless, we had to really rely on the Lord the first couple of days because we couldn't afford to be discouraged. But then after two days of struggle, the doors seemed to open and people's hearts were really open to Jesus. I think Galatians 6:9 was really important to me over the weekend: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." God was faithful to His promise!
Please continue to pray for Holly and the baby that is coming in March of 2010! Pray also for me, that I would be a good and supporting husband throughout the duration of this pregnancy.
Thanks for all your prayers and support!
Posted by Pastor Mike at 3:36 PM