June 2009 LifeLine
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  • 1. bcf 2009: A Year of Opportunity Bethel Christian Fellowship - St. Paul Campus: 1466 Portland Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104 (651-645-1534) Minneapolis Campus: 1429 Madison St NE Minneapolis, MN 55413 www.bcfnations.org June 09; Vol. 7, Issue 6 MONTHLY THEME: 2006: A Year of Bounty [A continuation of our review of past BCF annual themes] Bounty, Indeed! regular paycheck. So, while I was viewing I remember the unveiling of the 2006 theme, “A Year of Bounty,” very bounty as the security of a steady paycheck, well. David and I were going through a period of personal upheaval, God was providing for us even in the primarily related to what appeared to be a very unfair (forced) job absence of what I thought was necessary. transition. “Finally!” I thought to myself. “No more of this scrimping by. And three years later, He still provides. I have a lot less personal anxiety about our This theme message must mean that Dave is going to get a job soon.” financial situation now than I did at the So I waited for that. And by the end of the year, it didn’t happen at all as onset. I had planned. David was moving toward an unpaid position with SALT Second, self-sufficiency is an illusion. This (Somali Adult Literacy Training) through World Relief, and none of the lesson was driven home for me that year as vindication I had expected came through. In fact, we had more opportunities well. I was trying to create security through to trust God. my own talents. However, because of the As I think about the lessons I learned during that time and since, a couple grace of God, He gives to us even when things stand out. First and foremost is my attitude toward money. I have we don’t deserve it. And our gifts and talents The 2005 bulletin cover was always been a saver—extremely careful to save money for a rainy day and are part of His grace and goodness anyway. designed by Greta Sandquist. to evaluate each purchase. And God has been very faithful to provide. I’ve When I didn’t have the opportunity to control been a giver, too. I grew up in a home where we had “Jars for Jesus” things, it became clearer to me that I had to rely on God. Since it was all His money, and my parents taught me to tithe. God has always been faithful to anyway, He could allocate to us what we needed. He did this through raises throw open the storehouses, just as He promises, sometimes through odd and bonuses I hadn’t expected, payment for odd jobs, an inheritance, and little things like making a car last longer than it should have or winning things renters for our home. in drawings. We wrapped up our 2006 Christmas letter like this: “Although we haven’t But even though God had a great track record, the loss of Dave’s job had a free ride this past year, we have been bountifully blessed with love, caused great financial panic and stress for me. One night, I sat down with life, and God’s provision, and that is bounty enough.” In 2006 and beyond, our accounts, sure that we were losing money hand over fist. But you know I learned that God is about far more than financial bounty. what? Even without a normal, steady income, God had provided for us. We have always had enough to pay our mortgage, and we got money from The bounty He has for us is Himself. The King of the universe considers us unexpected places. Two years after Dave lost his job, we actually had about a treasure. He calls us to Himself, eager to pour into us what we need. And the same amount of money in the bank as we did while he was earning a that is bounty, indeed! --Keturah Pestel And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times, MONTHLY having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 9:8 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: CONTINUED: Historical LIFE: “Bounty Indeed” Page 1 Community LIFE: “Take me out to the Ballgame” Page 11 International LIFE: “News from Katie Iacarella” Pastor’s Page: “2006, A Year of Bounty” Pages 2-3 Ministry LIFE: “YAMS: A Community Built by God” Prayer LIFE: “Walking with Jesus in Lifestreams Prayer” Page 12 Worship LIFE: “Praise for God’s Bounty,” “Psalm 65” Page 4 Men’s LIFE: “The Impact of Godly Mentors” Page 13 Growing LIFE: “Journey with Jesus” Page 5 Fisherman’s LIFE: “The Grace and Goodness of God” Page 14 Community LIFE: “2009 High School Graduates” Page 6 Financial LIFE: “God’s Level is Abundance” Page 15 Poetic LIFE: “The Alpha and the Omega” June Calendar of Events/Family LIFE Calendar Pages 7-8 Ken’s Korner: “A Life-Changing June Evening” Page 16 Fun Page for Fun Kids Pages 9-10
  • 2. yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of pastor’sPAGE 2006: A Year of Bounty the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy. In the spring of 2005, A Year of Destiny, we spent forty Our hope, trust, and confidence is in the One who formed, days fasting and praying for Overflow. As is typically the created, and established the mountains. It is in the One case with those seasons, the seeds that are planted who stilled the roaring and raging waters and brings us through fasting and prayer sprout up and bear fruit six to a place of awe and wonder at His amazing power. months to a year later. The seeds that were planted in that Recently in our study of the Gospel of Mark, we looked season sprang up quickly with our Overflow of Blessing at the account of Jesus calming the storm, as recorded and came into full fruition in 2006: A Year of Bounty. for us in Mark 4:35-41: The foundational scripture for the Year of Bounty was That day when evening came, he said to his Psalm 65. This psalm captured my heart, imagination, disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." and spirit for months before I ever delivered the theme Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, message on January 8, 2006. It begins in verse one with just as he was, in the boat. There were also other the simple and beautiful declaration, “Praise awaits you, O boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.” The picture waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly is that praise suddenly erupts out of a place of silence and swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a stillness. cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" This silence is pregnant with deep submission and trust, with waiting for God to act, knowing that He will, and He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the responding with praise and obedience when He does. And waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died God does act by releasing His bounty to His people. This down and it was completely calm. bounty is rooted in His grace; it is sustained by His power; and it thrives in His goodness. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Rooted in His Grace They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come. this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you Sometime storms suddenly burst into our lives. The wind choose and bring near to live in your courts! We blows, the waves crash at us from every direction, and are filled with the good things of your house, of we feel like we are drowning. At these times, we must your holy temple. remember that Jesus is with us, and He alone has the power to calm the storm within and without. His bounty We were powerless and utterly dependent, overwhelmed is not dependent on our circumstances, but on His power by our sins until we came to God. But when we came to and authority. Him, He forgave us and brought us close to Himself. And now we are happy and blessed. As the apostle Paul wrote Thriving in His Goodness in Romans 5:6-8: You care for the land and water it; you enrich it You see, at just the right time, when we were still abundantly. The streams of God are filled with powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely water to provide the people with grain, for so you will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level good man someone might possibly dare to die. But its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and we were still sinners, Christ died for us. your carts overflow with abundance. The grass- lands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed This is the essence of His grace and the taproot of the with gladness. The meadows are covered with Year of Bounty. flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. Sustained by His Power What an incredible picture of God’s goodness! It’s almost You answer us with awesome deeds of righteous- more than we can get our mind and heart around. In fact, ness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends I believe we can only fully capture it in our spirit and then of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed let it spill over into our souls. In America we are given the the mountains by your power, having armed freedom to pursue happiness. However, happiness is
  • 3. dependent on our happenstance, our circumstances. supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will In difficult times like we as a nation are now facing, our also supply and increase your store of seed and circumstances don’t always make us happy. However, in will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You the kingdom of God, we are given the freedom to pursue will be made rich in every way so that you can be joy—a joy that is not dependent on our circumstances, but generous on every occasion, and through us your on His goodness. And God is good ALL THE TIME! That generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. is why the apostle Paul instructs us: As God fills us with His goodness, it spills out of our lives Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also to others around us. That is the nature of bounty; it is more reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will than we can contain! And that is God’s heart for us, not also reap generously. Each man should give what just back in 2006, but as an ongoing reality for this House he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly of Prayer for All Nations. or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to --Pastor Jim Olson you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: Would you like to hear more about The Year of Bounty? Please go to our website at www.bcfnations.org to hear the original message in its entirety. "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." Now he who ministryLIFE L YAMS: A Community Built by God In addition to meeting as a LIFE Group, YAMS has had several great social events, including apple picking, game Over the past few months, Hui Min Wong and my wife nights, bowling, and a progressive dinner. Also, we recently Christina and I have had the privilege of leading the YAMS had a bake sale to raise money for Ronny Watkins, who (Young Adults Married and Single) group at BCF. The three will be traveling to Ghana to work with Wycliffe Bible of us had some big shoes to fill as the former leaders, Julie translators this summer. We raised a big amount of Bodurtha and Candace Unger moved on to new stages of financial help for Ronny and were an equally big blessing life. Yet, God continues to bless this ministry even as we to Ronny. Thank you to all, both the bakers and the eaters, have been learning on the go. who helped make the event a success. When Pastor Jim asked us if we would be willing to take While we know that God will continue to bless YAMS, our the reins last fall, we started praying and sharing our vision friend and co-leader, Hui Min, is leaving us to begin her for the ministry. We felt the need to continue pursuing graduate studies in New Mexico. (I tried to convince her things such as a Bible study and regular events, which that she could stay in Minnesota and go to school, but I were already in place. We also prayed for God to bring was unsuccessful. It probably had something to do with the new young adults into the group and to continue to fact that it never reaches 30 below zero in New Mexico!) develop the sense of community with those who were We are going to miss Hui Min immensely, as she added so already a part of YAMS. much to our group and had great leadership qualities that helped make YAMS what it is today. Please pray that God After a period of prayer and preparation, we kicked off will bless her in her future endeavors and help us cope with YAMS again in January. Since then, YAMS has been the loss of such a great friend. meeting as a LIFE Group once a week for fellowship and a video study on many popular biblical parables. These While the LIFE Group portion of YAMS is taking a break times have greatly blessed all who have been involved. this summer, we are planning a few events in the upcoming months and hope that we can continue to be a blessing to Over the past several months a consistent group has all who are involved. We are also asking God to continue to formed, and we have been able to see God build us into a increase not only the size of our group, but also the impact community. At first, as we were getting to know each other, it has on those directly involved: the BCF congregation and some of our discussions didn’t dig that deep. As time has our entire community. We are excited to see what God has passed, though, our conversations have become more in store for us! open and honest. Our meetings have become a time not only to laugh and develop friendships, but also to study Please pray that God will continue guide this great ministry God’s Word in depth and to truly share what is on our and that He will use YAMS as a catalyst for enriching and hearts and minds. blessing many lives. Thank you! --Casey Dzieweczynski Page 3
  • 4. worship LIFE Praise for God’s Bounty Israelites, a hailstorm at harvest time meant famine. They needed no persuasion that their lives depended on God’s (Editor’s note: The following article, by Norm Anderson, blessing and favor. For them, bounty was not just a nice- introduces the theme song for 2006, BCF’s Year of Bounty. sounding concept, but a miraculous assurance of life. We trust that the following words will call forth more bountiful worship of God in your life.) Kara Tupy’s beautiful adaptation of Psalm 65 was written, and chosen, as the theme song for 2006, Bethel’s Year of Praise awaits You, O God, in Zion; to You our vows will Bounty, and its opening lines perfectly illustrate the heart of be fulfilled. O You who hear prayer, to You all men will believing faith: “From the place of quiet and trust, praise come. Psalm 65:1, 2 awaits You, O God…” The heart that trusts God and is able to rest in His character and His promises is the heart that is In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Psalms is known as The able to praise Him. This truth is also echoed in the Lord’s Book of Praises. As the “hymnbook” of ancient Israel, its call for repentance, given through the prophet Isaiah: “In verses express the entire range of worship and prayer, repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and from thanksgiving for God’s power and favor to prayers trust is your strength…” (Isaiah 30:15). for His mercy, to adoration of His majesty and beauty, to pleas for the vindication of His righteousness. But physical blessings, and material bounty, are only shadowy illustrations of the real bounty the Lord wants to Psalm 65 is a psalm of gratitude and trust for God’s pour on His children. The apostle Paul, writing to the goodness and bounty, as seen in His lavish care for the believers at Ephesus, offers this prayer of thanks: earth and His provision of sustenance for His people. This psalm is all the more remarkable when you consider Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus that the Israelites lived a much more precarious existence Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms than we do. with every spiritual blessing in Christ… In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness For example, a hailstorm today would barely rate a mention of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s on the evening news, and, except for the distress to local grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and farmers (whose crops are likely insured, anyway), such understanding. --Ephesians 2:3, 7-8 an event would be forgotten the next day. But for the --Norm Anderson From Psalm 65 by Kara Tupy From the place of quiet and trust, praise awaits You, O God, For when we were powerless, You forgave all our sin. Blessed are those You choose, and bring near to live with You— We are filled with the good things, all the good things of Your house. O God, our Savior, the hope of all the earth— You who formed the mountains by Your power and Your strength— You stilled the roaring seas, and the turmoil of the nations; Those living far away fear Your wonders and Your name. So we’re calling forth the songs of joy, calling forth songs of joy, songs of joy. You dwell in the earth, You care for the land. Your streams are filled, filled with water and life. For so You have ordained the riches of Your grace— Drenching the furrows, leveling the ridges, You soften the ground with rain. You have crowned the year with Your bounty, O God, Making in the desert a place of overflow. All of the earth, rejoice in the goodness of God! Break forth in songs of joy, come and sing to Him! So we’re calling forth the songs of joy, calling forth songs of joy, songs of joy… How great, how great, how great is my God, is my God! How great, how great, how great His provision for me, for me… Page 4
  • 5. growingLIFE L Nursery, Growing Church, & Kingdom Kids It was in Caesarea Philippi that Jesus first asked His disciples, “Who do men say that Journey with Jesus I am?” and then continued, “Who do you At the beginning of this year, Pastor Carol asked say that I am?” When me if I would consider teaching the spring session Simon responded, “You of the Kids Club on Sunday nights. I’m glad that I are the Christ, the Son pressed through the fog of my first response: “Are you kidding? When of the living God!” he would I prepare? What would I teach? How many weeks?” was given a new name. In the place I originally consented to cover either three or five weeks of the designated where the names of time frame. But when I went searching for a curriculum and settled on so many false gods Journey with Jesus, I started to get excited. The material was comprised had been honored, of twelve lessons intended to teach kids where Jesus went, what He Simon made his bold taught, and how it is relevant today. I found that I was disappointed to declaration and was have to decide which four lessons NOT to cover, since the planned given the new name instruction time was only eight weeks. I reluctantly decided to cut out the Peter. In a place built beginning (Bethlehem and Cana) and the end (Jerusalem and the Mount into the side of Mount Hermon, the birthplace of the Jordan River, Simon of Olives). stepped into his destiny as “the Rock.” The last two months, I have been on a journey with about twenty Did you know that Jericho, the hometown of the taxman, Zacchaeus, elementary students, and we have had a wonderful time together. We was also known as “the city of palm trees”? It was a beautiful oasis, have learned so many interesting things about the terrain and topography surrounded by lots of wilderness and desert. That’s a bit like Zacchaeus’ of Israel. For example, did you know that the Jordan River is about heart until he met Jesus, for the beauty couldn’t be expressed until all seventy miles long as the crow flies between the Sea of Galilee and the the dry, dusty surrounding was removed. Don’t you wish the Bible had Dead Sea? Yet, if you were to stretch it out straight, it has over two recorded the conversation between Jesus and Zacchaeus when they hundred miles of shoreline. had lunch together at Zacchaeus’ house? Jesus lived in the village of Nazareth for many years before beginning We all know that Jesus didn’t own His own home, or even rent an His ministry. His neighbors watched Him grow from a little boy to a apartment with a roommate. But He did have some very good friends teenager and then to a full-grown adult, and they were quite taken aback who lived in the town of Bethany. Whenever He was passing through that He would claim to be the fulfillment of a well-known scripture from the the area, He loved to spend time at the home of Mary, Martha, and Book of Isaiah. They were so angry that they wanted to throw Him off a Lazarus. But when Lazarus became very ill, Jesus purposely stayed cliff, but God knew that His ministry was just beginning. Nazareth was not away. What kind of a way is that for someone to treat his friends? the place, and this was not the time for Jesus to die for the sins of the world. When Jesus finally did arrive, He performed one of His most powerful and exciting miracles ever. He raised Lazarus from the dead! Jesus’ timing Near the Sea of Galilee are the twin towns of Capernaum and is not always our timing. His methods are not always our methods. Bethsaida, which were a little bit like St. Paul and Minneapolis and But everything Jesus did then and everything He does now has a had lots of water nearby. Jesus did many miracles in Capernaum, but purpose. That purpose is to restore us to relationship with His Father. the people of Bethsaida had their priorities all mixed up. They were only interested in Jesus because of the things He could do for them. Many of We had a wonderful journey with Jesus as part of the Kids Club this them were probably present when Jesus fed the five thousand. spring. And even though Kids Club ended in May, the most exciting thing is…our journey is not over! When Jesus came to Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Him --Liz Kimmel and begged Him to heal the man. However, Jesus was not interested in satisfying their thirst for excitement, and He drew the man aside and Each traveler created his/her own passport, stamped with the privately made paste and anointed his eyes. When the man could see, week’s date. Several children chose to write notes in the pages of possibly for the first time in his whole life, Jesus sent him home, not back their passport to remind themselves of the things we learned in each into town to celebrate with everyone. location. We looked at photographs of each town as well as satellite pictures Later Jesus identified Bethsaida as a town that had not repented or of the region. One of the boys (his dad happens to be a pilot) even heeded his words. He said that if such miracles had been done in the correctly identified an airport north of the Sea of Galilee from a pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon, those people would have repented in vantage point of twenty-two miles above the earth’s surface. sackcloth and ashes. The people wanted His miracles but not His Whenever travelers had to miss a leg of the journey, they insisted message. on “catching up” with the rest of the tour group. We became traders along the busy trade route in Capernaum, Did you know that Caesarea Philippi is a town that has had twenty exchanging tools and food items with our fellow travelers. different names over the course of its existence? It was not a Jewish We made money pouches during our week in Jericho and filled community, but rather was home to Greeks and Romans who paid them with yummy chocolate coins. homage to many false gods, including Pan—as in panic—the god of We learned lots of great Bible verses using worksheets, the fright. Can you imagine worshipping the god of fright!? overhead projector, the white board, and some really fun games. Page 5
  • 6. communityLIFE L CONGRATULATIONS! Class of 2009 High School Graduates: Marianna Ernst Wayzata High School Plans for the fall: Hillsdale College, Michigan Michaela David Beyer Englund White Bear Lake Area H.S. Armstrong High School Plans for the fall: Plans for the fall: Bethel University U of M Institute/Technology Engineering Rachel Ellie Oestreich Petschl Henry Sibley St. Paul Central High School High School Plans for the fall: Plans for the fall: St. Cloud State Univ. Bethel University Special Ed Major Leton Sam-Viko This is what the LORD says: Park Center "Stand at the crossroads and look; High School ask for the ancient paths, Plans for the fall: ask where the good way is, University of Minnesota Jonathan and walk in it, International Marketing Underwood and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16 St. Paul Central Alberto High School Plans for the fall: Alakija Hope College, Michigan or Seattle Pacific University No photo avaialble Music Performance Page 6
  • 7. contact Jill Attwood.) It will be a game you won’t want to communityLIFE L miss . . . although you might find yourself a little distracted by all the other activities happening off the field and between innings! ♫ Take Me Out to the Ballgame . . . ♫ All you need to bring is a picnic blanket or lawn chairs and As I considered the theme of this LIFEline issue, “Crown plenty of cold drinks. Bethel will provide stadium-style food the Year with Bounty,” it was easy to see how this year’s (including veggie burgers!). So come one, come all, and picnic fit in. Children are a clear picture of the Lord’s bounty PLAY BALL! to us—and Bethel is bountiful! This year, in addition to --Jill Attwood having another Bethel Saints Softball Game, we are going to honor the children in our midst. We even have a theme ALL CHURCH PICNIC/ verse to guide the picnic: “Unless you become like a BETHEL SAINTS SOFTBALLGAME little child, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mark 10:15). Date: Sunday, June 14, 2009 Time: After church until 4pm So, grown-ups, get ready to join our children in fun and Location: North Dale Recreation Center: 2 miles play! There will be many surprises and activities to bring north of I-94 on Dale Street and Arlington out the child in you during the game and between innings. What to bring: Picnic blanket or lawn chairs and If you don’t have young children of your own, remember plenty of cold drinks that God “sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6), and Activities include: many children in your Bethel family would cherish another Little League warm-up innings aunt, uncle, or grandparent to love them! If you know of Marrieds vs. Singles softball game children who don’t attend Bethel but would like to come, Concessions provided by Bethel you are welcome to bring them. Mini-Triathlon FUN for the kids: Playground, moon- Last year’s Older Men vs. Younger Men softball game was walk, fair hair, and more! such a big “HIT” that we decided to play another game this Drawing for Bethel original creations year. This year’s game will have a different twist, featuring Lots of great fellowship and many surprises! Marrieds vs. Singles on the field. Ladies and gentlemen, get out your spikes! (If you haven’t signed up yet, please internationalLIFE L News from Katie Iacarella [Katie’s newsletter included an elephant (Editor’s note: In January, BCF’s Katie Iacarella went to Southeast story that was told at her Asia on a sixteen-month internship with Bethany College of church.] One day a baby Missions. The following excerpts are from Katie’s April newsletter, elephant was captured in which she reports on what God is doing in her life.) and tied to a tree. It tried to run and break the rope, Hey friends and family! but the rope was too strong. As the elephant grew bigger and bigger and Wow! How fast my time here is going! I cannot even stronger and stronger, it tried everyday to break away from believe that another month has passed. I am still working the tree. But no matter how hard the elephant tried, it could on the language…I spend a lot of time out speaking with not get away from the tree… It was ignorant of its strength. the people… [Although] I have learned a lot, I still have a We are like that sometimes. We do not realize the strength limited vocabulary and at some point or another, we run we have in our God! out of things to talk about… In the next three weeks, we will start ministry. I would like When we arrived here on the island, there were eight to ask you to join me in prayer as I ask the Lord what He senior interns. They had already been living here for one wants me to do. We have many options, and I want to walk year. Our first four months were their last four months. in the plan the Lord has for me here. There are a lot of Within those few months, we junior interns were able to get things I could do. I just want to do what I am meant to do. to know them. We also were able to ask for their advice And I know that the Lord is faithful to show me what He has and hear their stories. All eight of these interns loved the called me to do. Lord and wanted to serve Him… They encouraged me more times than I can count. With the love of the coming King, Katie Iacarella Page 11
  • 8. prayerLIFE L evolved into my love of cardiology and taking care of sick hearts. I was good at it, for it was my special place in all of nursing. Toward the end of my career, I worked in an ambulatory surgery center and was known for sitting with Walking with Jesus in LifeStreams Prayer those who were going into surgery and having intimate conversations with them. My love for hearts was focused I have been asked to write about my vision for LifeStreams on the “heart” of the whole person, and so many hearts Prayer Ministry, and I must start with a simple story of a were sick. young girl who grew up in a small Wyoming town. This girl always wanted to be a nurse and, at the age of twelve, Finally, it was time to retire. This Christian nurse was joined Candy Stripers, a group of girls who volunteered at finished with her occupation, but her love for the broken- the local hospital once a week and were allowed to sit and hearted still revved at full throttle. God took that love talk to patients, accompany them on walks, and do small and raised up the LifeStreams Prayer Ministry from the tasks such as filling water glasses. grassroots birth I told about on this page a few months ago in the March LIFEline. As she served in the small-town hospital, this young girl was allowed to be present when people went through hard And now, here we stand eight years into our prayer life experiences. She was there when a lady died from ministry, and the future—God’s future—is before us. Do I cancer, and she was able to comfort her family. She even have a vision for what’s ahead? Not really, but I do have stood outside the door and watched the birth of a baby God’s promises and prophetic proclamations in my heart. born with Down’s syndrome. She had sat with the mother Speaking to me through strangers, He has said that my while she was in labor, and after the birth, comforted her influence would spread out to the east, west, north, and when no one else was with her. At the mother’s request, south and to the nations of the earth. Therefore, the she informed the father, who was not present, that greatest vision of my heart is to keep training and forming something was wrong with the baby. the ones who will take our prayer ministry there. I was this young girl. My parents were very poor and I Many have come and walked with LifeStreams Prayer decided at fourteen that I would be a secretary because Ministry for a season and have then gone on to be they would never be able to afford sending me to nursing missionaries or to be married and move to new places. school. Yet, in the back of my mind, the longing for nursing Some have entered other ministries and are working there. clung like a forgotten dream. Learning to do what Jesus did is an incredible thing. He preached, healed, showed His authority over everything, At sixteen years old, I went to Senior High Camp for a and loosed the bonds of injustice and sin. When we give week, up in the Bighorn Mountains. On Friday, we finished ourselves to these things, powerful meetings with God the week with a bonfire, and, seated on logs around it, we happen on behalf of the brokenhearted. stood one by one to tell what we thought God was calling us to be. From a fagot, a pile of small, cut branches I always wait for God to take us higher, never working from provided to keep the fire going, each of us took a branch my own ambition. I will never allow us to charge anyone for and threw it on the fire as we spoke. this service. We have freely received, and we will freely give. This policy alone advertises for us. The word goes out My turn came, and the inner excitement of God’s presence to other churches and in the workplaces because it is free. came upon me. I rose, threw my little piece of wood on the fire, and said I thought God was calling me to be a God has given us opportunities to teach other congrega- Christian nurse. There! It was out in the open in the tions and train people from other churches. We went to presence of witnesses. My dream had arisen into words. Germany via Sharon Willson, to Kenya through Tiffany I knew it was true! Good, and to Tanzania through Brenda Sund and Tiffany. We will go to the Romania this summer through Alina Right here I wish to insert a comment to the youth: When Weidell. In May we went to Haiti through Pastor Lidovick. you go to God-events and say things in front of people, those times and words are recorded in God’s book, and He There is so much more! Within our group of less than is activated to move upon them. Do not doubt that they are twenty people are those who speak nine different true. They are held secure in His mighty hands! languages. There are at least three missionaries in preparation—Heidi and Tim Chase, Tiffany Good, Sam I worked and saved from the time I was twelve years old. Holmgren—and more who don’t know it yet. We go My graduation from high school secured scholarships, and vicariously to the nations and receive the nations through after help from an aunt in St. Paul, I was registered and on those who impact them directly. The Latino community is my way to nursing school at Minneapolis General Hospital. being reached by Naomi Ryman, and the Somali God had secured my way, and I was incredibly happy. community by Karen Underwood. I became a Christian nurse. We go to technological businesses through Dave From the beginning I preferred one-on-one assignments Sandquist and Ching Wang, to the emotionally disturbed and enjoyed the hardest, most critical care best of all. This community through Marie Wang. We are sent to the Page 12
  • 9. laborers through Stan Burlager, to the bank through Matt God has shown me that He holds my dream, and He tells Sund, to homecare nursing through Vicki Ellis-Myhrom, to me that I can do the things that Jesus did as I care for the Metro Transit through James Underwood, to colleges brokenhearted. Those who work with me hold dreams too, through Gene VanVeldhuisen, Marian Williams and Joan and He shows them how to do “Jesus stuff” wherever their Krey, to Teen Challenge through Ken Holmgren, to the dreams take them. socially needy through Anne Ferguson, to offices with Jennifer Lint, and to those with learning disabilities in public This seems to be a very long answer for the question schools through Peg Gaitan. “What is your vision for LifeStreams Prayer Ministry?” doesn’t it? Succinctly, God takes my dream and gives us This listing of prayer ministers does not mention those who the vision piece by piece, letting it evolve naturally. You will function in other churches or in other ministries at BCF. not find a planner in my hand, nor a calendar. Following Each of them is incredibly significant to God and strategi- God into every workplace and to the nations is so much cally placed by Him. God’s ways are mysterious and lovely. better. The capacity found in our little group that ministers Monday nights is profoundly large. Only God can manage I am trying to help you understand this: Our vision begins the increasing capacity. with a dream in our hearts. The passion of the dream energizes the vision. God takes the vision through many Doing what Jesus did means walking with Him moment by transitions, but the dream remains the same. Within the moment. When He opens an opportunity, we step into it dream, He brings us out into a wide and spacious place with Him and are awed by what He does. LifeStreams that is pleasant to us. Just as that young girl had a dream Prayer Ministry may change or transition into something of taking care of others in the field of nursing, God changed else, but what we learn walking with Him will be with us the focus into caring for damaged hearts, both through her always. That is the only vision I have. May it bring life to vocation and avocation. your dream. --Jean Ramphal The Impact of Godly Mentors men’sLIFE Let me introduce myself. I’m Dale Brady, my wife is I’ve had a passion for climbing ever since I can remember, Melinda, and we have three wonderful daughters, Erin (7), and a man named Dan taught me how to rock climb and Kristen (6), and Kaitlyn (4). We’ve been at BCF for almost ice climb through Christian ministry programs for young four years now. About a year ago, Ken Holmgren asked if men and boys. Because of this, I have been able to take I’d be interested in taking the boys of the youth group rock many kids climbing and use it as a tool to teach the love of climbing. I love to climb, and I love to teach it as well, so I Jesus. Dan’s mentorship was one of the keys that created accepted the offer. in me a desire to touch the lives of others with God’s love. I went with the boys (along with BCF’s youth director, While I was working as a junior counselor at Camp Andrew Gross, and leaders Jake Reis, Josh Oestreich, Nathaniel, a CSB camp in Hinckley, Minnesota, I met a and Seth Anderson) on an overnight climbing trip last man named Mark, who was my Christian Service Brigade September, and we had a great time. A few months later, (CSB) leader. CSB is like a Christ-centered Boy Scouts I volunteered to take them cross-country (X-C) skiing, program that trains boys to be godly men and leaders, and and Andrew asked if I’d be willing to help lead the boys’ I love its motto: “We don’t separate the men from the ministry at BCF. boys.” Mark and Camp Nathaniel had a profound impact on my life by providing activities that I loved to do with godly After prayer and discussions with Melinda, I said I would. men. Time does not allow for all that I could write about Boys’ ministry is close to my heart, and it has impacted my this, but I still frequently apply the godly principles and life for several reasons. First and foremost, I believe that spiritual lessons I learned from it. God uses men as mentors to boys in powerful ways. I have seen the impact of godly mentors on my life. This is a very brief glimpse of some of the mentoring relationships that have impacted me. I believe in this During my junior high and high school years, a man named ministry because I know how strongly God has used it in Kenny took me on many trips to the boundary waters. my life. He has placed within me a love for the outdoors Kenny loved to fish, but he loved God even more. On and activities such as rock climbing, camping, X-C skiing, those trips, we did a lot of fishing, but we also experienced and canoeing, things that often complement the boys’ a lot of godly love and bold proclamations of Jesus Christ. ministry. Using my gifts and talents in these capacities is Kenny was not shy about proclaiming the gospel to anyone one of the ways that I believe God uses me to bless and everyone, and he especially took advantage of his others. I’m thankful that BCF is allowing me to use my captive audience of boys around the campfire! Kenny gifts to minister to the youth, especially to the boys. instilled in me a love for the BWCA, fishing, and, most importantly, a relationship with Jesus. --Dale Brady Page 13
  • 10. fisherman’sLIFE L Increasing Influence in Evangelism The Grace and Goodness of God The first Bible verse I memorized after I became a Christian was You see, God didn’t overlook our sins; Jesus paid for our sins by His 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus died that we might live, and He did creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have it BEFORE we knew about, while we were still sinners. become new” (New King James Version). I was not only saved from eternal damnation; I was a new creation! I had been born again! Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, “But God demonstrates his own If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you too love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” are a totally new creation through the creative act of God! (Romans 5:8, NKJV). And he also said, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Funny thing with scripture memorization is that we tend to pick and choose individual verses in a Bible passage and leave the rest; some- All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and put their complete faith and times we miss the whole point of the total passage. For example, it took trust in Him and His complete work on the cross are brought into right me a few years to read the next verses in 2 Corinthians 5. relationship with God. This righteousness is unattainable by simply try- ing to completely obey the law, by a person’s own merit, or by any con- In verses 18-19, the apostle Paul wrote that we are not only new dition other than faith in Jesus Christ. creations but we have been given “the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not The person who trusts in Jesus Christ becomes “the righteousness of imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word God in Him”; this person becomes in Jesus Christ all that God requires a of reconciliation” (NKJV). We are now God’s ambassadors to this man to be, all that he could never be in himself. That is the grace and world, “as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on goodness of God! Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God”. (verse 20, NKJV). In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul told us to not take this grace Sadly, it took me many years, perhaps decades, to come to the next for granted because TODAY is the day of salvation: verse in 2 Corinthians 5. Verse 21 is perhaps one of the greatest Bible verses that talks about the grace and goodness of God: We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I might become the righteousness of God in Him (NKJV). have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. —2 Corinthians 6:1-2, NKJV The Amplified Bible puts it this way: Paul is saying that you can become a new creation like I did. If you For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin who accept Jesus Christ as your Savior (accept His payment for your sin) knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might and Lord (submit to His will for your life), you, too, will become a totally become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples new creation through the creative act of God! You too will be brought of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, into right relationship with God! approved and acceptable and in right relationship with him, by His goodness]. Today is the day of salvation. Don’t put it off for one more moment. In my own words, verse 21 says: “For He (the Heavenly Father) made But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin (to miss the mark) to be sin for and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): us (to miss the mark and so not share in the prize, that is, (figuratively) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe to err, especially (morally) to sin: for your faults, offend, sin, trespass) in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will that we might become the righteousness (innocent, holy; absolutely be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, or relatively; just, meeting the some total requirements) of God in Him and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the (Jesus Christ).” Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:8-11, NKJV In reading this verse, my first question is: “Did the Father make Jesus take on the sins of the world?” The answer is yes, when He died on the New King James Version © 1984 Thomas Nelson cross for us. Amplified Version © 1987 The Zondervan Corporation My second question is: “If that is true, then what does that make us?” --Tom Oestreich The answer is that we are declared righteous in the eyes of this Holy © 2009 River of Hope Ministries God—in Jesus Christ. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, All Rights Reserved the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NKJV). Say out loud, “I am the righteousness of God IN Christ!” Do you believe that? You should! Glory to God! Page 14
  • 11. Notice in 2 Corinthians 9:8 that the purpose of abundance is financialLIFE L “every good work.” It is not selfish indulgence; it is being able to do good works. God’s Level is Abundance Why does God want His children to have abundance? His specific, practical reason is given in Acts, where Paul From its Latin origin, the word abundance speaks of “a quoted Jesus in Acts 20:35: “The Lord Jesus himself said: wave that overflows.” For instance, a swimming pool has “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” abundance when it overflows. Your sink has abundance when it spills over. Something that holds or contains another Receiving has a blessing, but giving has a greater blessing. substance has no abundance until it overflows. Jesus said, God makes His abundance available to us so that we may not “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” be limited to the blessing of receiving, but may also be in a (Matthew 12:34). When your heart overflows, it overflows position to enjoy the greater blessing of giving. through your mouth. If you want this kind of abundance--which comes by grace, The level of God’s provision for His people is abundance. not by law--you must act in faith. This means you must give One of the most powerful verses in the New Testament states first. The words of Jesus in Luke 6:38 express this idea: this truth: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, And God is able to make all grace abound to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 be measured to you." Notice that it is by grace, not by law. The principle of grace is If you want a “good measure” to be given to you, you must stated in 2 Corinthians 8:9: give first. This is faith. If you aren’t willing to act in faith, you will not set in motion the processes that will bring God’s For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that abundance into your life. though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. A time interval generally occurs between sowing and reap- ing. The farmer does not sow one day and reap the next. He Second Corinthians 8:9 speaks about the grace of our Lord first has to let the seed fall into the ground and apparently Jesus Christ, that on the cross He became poor with our die. Then, after it has fallen into the ground and died, the poverty so that we might, by faith, share His riches. In 2 harvest comes up. This important lesson was expressed Corinthians 9:8 Paul described the level of the grace that is by Paul: “Let us not become weary in doing good [and that released to us through the cross. Two key words appear in includes doing good with our money], for at the proper time this verse: the word abound is used twice, and the word all we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9) or every five times. (In the Greek, the word every is the same word as all.) If you have all you need in all things at all times Paul was saying that we must wait for God’s appointed time to abound to every good work, there is absolutely no room for for the harvest. It will come if we do not give up. We must live unsupplied need anywhere in your life. and act in faith in every area of our lives, including our money. -- Pastor Carol Warner When Eden was young Satan’s victory was great. poetic The children of God became reprobate. At the end of this age, as every saint knows, Satan’s reign on the earth will come to a close. The Alpha and the Omega When sin entered in there was much to spoil – Everything has a beginning. With the curse came pain and unending toil. Everything has an end. There will come a day when the curse is no more And in between there are many things And the blessing of God flows from shore to shore. With which we have to contend. When Eden was lost and our fellowship dead In the beginning God made the sun; There was sorrow so deep and many tears shed. It gives heat and light to everyone. But someday we know that our Lord will appear. In the end we’ll need it no more, He’ll soothe every sorrow and dry every tear. For the light of God’s glory will shine evermore. Everything has a beginning. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree Everything has an end. They hid from the Lord so He wouldn’t see. And on Jesus, the Alpha-Omega When time is no more He’ll invite us to stay We know we can always depend. In His presence forever, and never to stray. --Liz Kimmel Page 15
  • 12. ken’ KORNER walked through the steps of turning from sin and trusting Jesus A Life-Changing June Evening to forgive him. When Henry asked him to pray, either audibly or It was a Tuesday night in June 1959, the second meeting of a silently, and invite Jesus into his life, the boy chose to pray to two-week evangelistic tent crusade in a northwestern Iowa farm God silently. community. As the evangelist concluded the meeting, he asked everyone present to stand and invited anyone who did not Only God heard the boy’s prayer that Tuesday night in June, but personally know Jesus to come forward and receive Him by faith. that was enough. When he went home from the tent meeting, he was no longer struggling with the conflict that had troubled him just Among the people at the meeting were a nine-year-old boy and his a short while before. Instead, he now had a precious sense of father. As the boy stood beside his father, a thump-thump-thump God’s peace. He knew that he was in right relationship with God. pounded heavily within in his chest. He recognized it as the same convicting call of the Holy Spirit that had come to him the night The next night, the boy looked forward to going to the tent meeting before when the evangelist had also given an invitation to come to with his father. And when he heard an announcement about a Jesus. The boy had resisted the gentle, persistent voice of God Bible study that was held each morning of the tent crusade, he the previous evening because he did not want to step out and expressed an interest in going. He had a hunger and desire to publicly acknowledge his need of Christ. learn more of God through His Word, and his first Bible showed the fruit of it in the wear he gave the pages in Revelation, chapters In the preceding year, God had been speaking to the boy about 2 and 3, the section of Scripture that was studied in the morning his need to be saved from sin. Indeed, he had become fully meetings. aware that he needed to receive forgiveness of sin and the saving presence of Jesus. The practice of his church was that everybody I was this nine-year-old boy, and I am so thankful to God because knelt and prayed after the Sunday night sermon, and in these He saved me that June night fifty years ago. Have you given your times, the boy, at age eight, had cried out to God, “Save me! Save life to Jesus? Won’t you do it today? Then you can join me in the me!” However, he just had not understood how to take the simple words of Fanny Crosby’s hymn “Blessed Assurance,” which I often step of faith in Christ. sang when I was growing up: But now, on this second night of the tent meetings, the boy did --Ken Holmgren know how to turn his life over to God so he could be saved. And while he could have chosen to once again, with a proud heart, resist God’s call to salvation, he made the wise decision to humble himself before God. Stepping out from his seat, he walked to the front, where the evangelist was standing. As the boy went forward, the heavy thumping within his chest Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! subsided. He began to feel the relief that came from knowing he O what a foretaste of glory divine! had begun to do what God wanted him to do. But as he stood at Heir of salvation, purchase of God, the front, waiting for the evangelist to conclude the altar call, he Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. wondered what would happen next. What would happen to him in the next few moments? This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; After the evangelist prayed briefly with the five or six people who This is my story, this is my song, had come to receive Christ that night, the boy went through a Praising my Savior all the day long. curtain to a side room of the tent to talk further with a young man named Henry, the husband of his older cousin Lillian. There he There is an easy way to raise money for BCF Missions just by searching the You can also see how much has been raised by clicking the “amount raised” Internet with GoodSearch.com. It's simple. You use GoodSearch.com like any button on the main page. An average of 1 penny is donated for every search other search engine — the site is powered by Yahoo! — but each time you do, we do. Every bit helps! money is generated for BCF. The more people who use this, the more money will go to the missions program here at Bethel. You cay also do a good portion of your shopping online and earn varying It’s easy to get started. Just go to www.goodsearch.com and enter Bethel percentages of your purchase price for missions. Check it out at the following Christian Fellowship Missions as your non-profit of choice. Make address: http://www.goodsearch.com/goodshop.aspx goodsearch.com your home page or add it to your toolbar….then search away! (Please note that image searches do not count toward fundraising AND, your search must be legitimate. You may not search for google.com on goodsearch. That is considered a fraudulent search and will not be counted toward our goal.)