Category Archives: conference

Midwest 26 Below

Shortly after getting home from South Carolina, the siblings headed out to Iowa for a conference. We picked up a few friends along the way…including two who flew in from New Mexico.

Brady Collier spoke on the theme of “God’s Path for You.” The message topics included salvation, commitment to total obedience to Christ, marriage, work, the church, the Great Commission, and intimacy with Christ. Here are some thoughts from the notes I took.

In whatever place you are, God is calling you to be His missionary today. Will you obey? It’s hard but always worth it.

Part of God’s path for you is to serve the church, other Christians. You never graduate out of the local church. The assembling of ourselves together is a safety net.

Your life is going to be the average of your top five acquaintances. Find passionate believers and get close to them.

What does “Go and make disciples of all nations” look like for you? Jesus Christ started where He was with making disciples, and went out from there. Personal discipleship along with the local church is God’s means for changing the world.

Little bitty people like us can accomplish great things when we do it in the power of God.

missions Q&A panel, where someone said, “You are called to a Person, not a place.” You follow that Person to the places He leads.

If you are dedicated without an intimate relationship with Christ you will become a Pharisee, just going through the motions. Be a person consumed with knowing God.

You need to learn to think like God through His Word. The more you spend time in His Word the more you will think like Him.

Redirect your thirst [for whatever it is] to the Object of your thirst for which it was created.

Abide in Me. God’s heart is to have a relationship with me.

Even if you’re not feeling it, abide—wrestle until you prevail (like Jacob).

Don’t forget the main thing—your relationship with Christ.

sunday morning worship

There were also a few breakout sessions taught by different people that included the topics of discipleship, dealing with fear and anxiety, and world missions.

During our last meal, when the conference was over, Micah Tuttle stood up on a chair and got everyone’s attention, and then preached to us a passionate message to live obedient lives in such a way that we could gladly say like the Apostle John, “Come, Lord Jesus!”He also gave a challenge in the discipleship session I went to that I want to end this with…

“One man wakes, awakens another. Second one wakes his next door brother. Three awake can rouse a town and turn the whole place upside down. Many awake will cause such a fuss, it will awake all of us. One man wakes with dawn in his eyes, surely then it multiplies.” (Lawrence Tribble)

Be that one person to wake someone else up. Discipleship is the most effective way of multiplication.

 

Summer Update

It’s about time! Our summer has been fairly full, so here’s a quick review of the events we have pictures for.

Our home church from Illinois came and we partnered for VBS on the Red Lake Reservation.

VBS was in the afternoon…

…then we headed to a church in Bemidji to help with their evening VBS

it was a good week…and by the end we were ready for dairy queen

Next was Bible camp for Redby/Red Lake kids! A church from NY came to run it…here we are with some of the counselors after camp.

The end of July was the United in Christ conference in Bemidji, bringing together hundreds of Christians from all over North America, including people from many different Native American tribes/First Nations. It was a beautiful thing to see so many believers coming together for the glory of Christ.

our family kept busy behind the scenes

people from all over shared music in the evenings, including the Shugaks from Alaska

even locals got to join in the music

Paul Straubel and Huron Claus, the men who had a vision for this conference

so many people praying for Native North America

August brought the Lake Itasca Family Music Festival. It was another great year of music and fellowship. Mark your calendars for next year!

mountain faith

And we spent time with friends who stayed with us.

being outdoorsy

The week after that was the county fair, where we have a gospel booth. Last year we started using a Bible quiz as a way to get talking with people, and it went so well we did it again this year. We also sang on the outdoor stage…a great place to share the gospel.So that pretty much brings us up to date. Thank you to everyone who prayed for the different ministry opportunities we had.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Conference Recaps

This year the young people in our family have been able to take in a couple of encouraging conferences. So here are the highlights!

Midwest 26 Below

This was the first time we went to this conference which was in Iowa. We traveled down with a bunch of fellow Minnesotans, braving bad weather and icy roads, and I guess each of the three vehicles had their own creative ways of passing the time (i.e., making up songs about the possibility of ending up in the ditch, etc.).

The speaker for the conference was Micah Tuttle, a missionary to Peru. His message to us over the weekend was “Don’t waste your life.”Each of his messages looked at characters from the Bible who either wasted their life, or didn’t. Here’s a few thoughts from the notes I took.

Jonah–How much more would God have used him if he had yielded. What am I doing with the opportunities God gives me?

Daniel and his three friends–They were taken captive and even their names were changed to change their identity. Don’t let yourself get brainwashed—Babylon will suck you in…and it will destroy. We have to get serious about living holy lives and running from sin. Remember, “I live in Babylon, but I’m not from there.”

Esau, Adam and Eve, Lot, Achan, Samson, Judas–people who got what they wanted, but lost what they had. In their own ways they preferred to gratify the flesh rather than inherit the blessing of God. Sin will render you useless. Do I want God or what God can give me?Jacob–We serve a God of second chances. Sometimes God has to touch you where it hurts most in order for you to not waste your life. Sometimes He has to break you first. Sometimes He has to pry our hands, our heart, away from everything else so we grab onto Him. God touched Jacob’s hip…and gave him a new walk.

Peter–He took some small steps that set him up for failure. He had pride and self-confidence; he was sleeping when he should have been praying; he used the wrong sword for the wrong reason and got one little ear–at Pentecost he quoted Scripture and 3,000 souls were saved (6,000 ears!); he followed the Lord at a distance; he was sitting with the world, looking to be comfortable while Jesus was suffering. Who are you sitting with? Peter could have easily gone like Judas. But he was repentant and was restored.

most of our minnesota crew

A breakout session taught by someone else focused on having a missions focus even while living “here” (wherever that may be). Some notes from that…

If you want to go to the foreign mission field, until you get there God has you here. Where you are right now is your mission field. Different ways to be involved in missions right now include: pray for other people–think outside your own little world; email missionaries–they need encouragement…consider becoming a prayer partner; give and watch God give the increase–don’t worry about how much you give (over-giving); invest in internationals and the least of these in your community–the mission field really starts right where we are.

And a few more odds and ends from the weekend…

Risk is right in God. Don’t waste your life to be safe. — Prayer is wrestling. Where are the men and women who will wrestle with God? — “Stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” (Jonathan Edwards)

And this would not be complete without a picture of the major snowball fight that broke out which one of the Minnesotans may or may not have been responsible for.And an afterthought is—don’t waste your life Martha-style. Don’t be so busy serving that you lose sight of what is most important, your relationship with Jesus.

For our trip home we had good roads and sunny weather!

And a couple months later…

Vessels of Honor

…for which we are generally lacking pictures.

While 26 Below is focused more toward missions, Vessels of Honor has a different theme each year and has quite a variety of topics for both the main seminars and breakout sessions. This year so many of the sessions kept coming back to our personal relationship with Christ. It’s the most important thing!

Jesus is not halfway about us. He is deeply committed to a personal relationship with us. There is a link between walking with Him and seeing the demonstration of His power. We should ache to be loyal to Jesus.

And, as we were reminded, it’s so easy to replace intimacy with activity/ministry. But busyness (for the Lord) is not godliness. Godliness is walking with Him.

We were also challenged with the fact that often the church is like a mannequin…it looks good with no power. Intimacy comes before power. So start now, and get in the quiet place, seeking Him. The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint—you have to continue doing things even when you don’t feel like it. Walking with God isn’t an accident.

There were so many good things that we heard over the weekend, what I shared here is just scratching the surface! We also had good conversations and enjoyed some fun games together.

We are so thankful for encouraging conferences like this, and the freedom to have them!

sharing a meal before hitting the road for home

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22