Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

During our Worship at the River last month, I came surrendered and empty. Our 24 year old son, Matthew had left just that afternoon for his 12 week Marine boot camp training. Earlier, we had breakfast with family, went to church with his friends, and played frisbee golf at Dabney Park. It was a great day...but filled with the dreaded anticipation of his leaving. When the hour came....well....I was a mess. As we arrived Sunday afternoon at the Troutdale Community Park building to set up, I invited the Holy Spirit to lead out of personal depletion. I felt "drained" of all emotions. Actually, "emptied-ness" was a wonderful starting point. Over the next few hours, the wonderful corporate "voice" of the Lord brought strength and encouragement to many, including Carlene and I.

The Church's current challenge is to increase our sensitivity, listening and obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit. When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church....(1 Cor 14)

Another way in which the Lord encourages us is through a review of the promises and prayers He has spoken over our lives. Bill Johnson, an influential leader and pastor at Bethel Church in Redding California, keeps these promises on 3x5 cards and daily reviews them. For some 25 years, I have kept a journal where I have carefully crafted prayers for myself and my family. The Holy Spirit's recent ministry to us came as I reviewed the prophetic promises recorded for Matthew in these journals. A sampling:

June 13, 1989 Lord, I speak a blessing over Matthew... Lord would you establish your identity in him and may he serve you and sense your presence and guidance all day... I pray against a spirit of fear.
January 1, 1990 ...this is an important decade... the 90s. . .. may Matthew grow in knowledge and ability to discover your design in all things... to learn to read... to confront the world... actually school, and not be afraid... and to learn to drive. Continue to release him into his destiny with all of his curiosity and questions.
May 10, 1992 Last week we visited Yosemite National Park. One of the highlights was visiting the oldest living tree... called the Grisly Giant, estimated to be 2700 years old. Other trees may be taller or certainly prettier, but none so majestic, so powerful, it is the grandfather of trees. Walking hand-in-hand with Matthew down the path to the car, he asked a profound question: "Dad, how can my name last forever?" I knew he was, perhaps for the first time, confronting his own mortality. We talked about how he could invent things, write a book, be a president, or a missionary. I said I know for sure a way. If Jesus created the Grisly Giant, and everything else, and you know him and he knows you, that would be a way for your name to live forever.

I believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are incredibly practical. The Lord revealed a thread of Matthew's purpose and destiny for 2007 revealed in these prayers prayed years earlier. He is willing and able to do the same for you and your family.

I encourage you to carve out time to listen to the Lord for His word to you and your family. Write these words down. Review them. Pray them. And join other folks who are hungry to hear Him. That's what we want to do this Sunday, October 14th, at 6pm at Worship at the River.

Darrell and Carlene


I invite you to pray for our upcoming schedule over the next few weeks.

Oct 17-19
Pacificministries Council Meeting

Oct 24-Nov 2
Korea Ministry in Seoul, Suwon City, and Teajeon
Carlene will minister to Calvin, our 6 month old grandson while I am in Korea. (I'm jealous)

Calvin holding on to his Grandpa's hand...(no need for further analogy)

Nov 8-9
Northwest Leaders Worship Retreat
Vantage WA

PO Box 1351
Fairview, OR 97024