Men's Conference on Pursuing Genuine Biblical Revival

May 5 & 6, 2017

Theme: "Capture Our Hearts Again!"

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ray Ortlund
Pastor of Immanuel Church (Acts 29 plant in Nashville, TN)
President of Renewal Ministries
Regional Director of Acts 29 Network
Formerly Assoc. Prof. of OT & Semitic Languages @ Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL)
Council Member & regular blogger at The Gospel Coalition
Author of commentaries and many books including Isaiah: God Saves Sinners in the Preaching the Word Series Commentary Series, When God Comes to Church: A Biblical Model for Revival Today, The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ in the 9 Marks Building Healthy Churches Series and most recently Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel.

Pre-Conference Workshop - 2 Sessions (Content to be released soon)

Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Tom Schreiner
James Buchanan Harrison Prof of New Testament Interpretation, Professor of Biblical Theology and Associate Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY)
Author of many commentaries and books including The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law, The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance; The King in His Beauty, and Romans in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament Series.

Registration opens soon at

Hosted by:
Union Lake Baptist Church
8390 Commerce Road
Commerce, MI 48382

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Evangelistic Musings in Light of "Christianity Explored"

Rico Tice co-authored Christianity Explored which is a 10-week evangelistic Bible study through Mark's gospel. Rico is the keynote speaker at Fellowship in the Gospel 2011 this May.

Cliff at our church has led it 3 or4 different times. Tonight was the 2nd week of the study that I am leading (for the 1st time). The format is not ingenious. The "marketing" of it is not slick. However, it is honest. Everyone knows what they are going to get: a Bible study in order to examine some basic questions about Jesus, a Bible study that will include reading the Bible themselves and being prepared to talk about questions concerning that reading. When I first learned of this study I thought: Could sharing the gospel really be this easy? Inviting people to a non-threatening "discussion" to explore Christianity? Would anyone be interested? Would anyone come?

Experience alone is telling me that it does "work" in the sense that some people do in fact come when they are invited. Will anyone be saved through this course? I can't say that for sure. What I can say is that it is providing a venue to share the gospel with people. This caused me to think about my own involvement in evangelism. I've always thought I wasn't very gifted at it. Despite my ease of talking to people, I've never felt very artful at leading conversations to spiritual issues.

As this study continues, so does my introspection. Convicting questions are arising. Maybe the problem with my involvement in evangelism has little to do with not having the right program or promotions. Maybe the problem all along has been my lack of faith or perhaps even being ashamed of the gospel.

God's plan includes saving people from all tribes and nations. What if it really is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation? What if I need to simply engage people to see if anyone is willing to hear it? My recent experience is telling me that these things are true. Ands, as it turns out, they bear out what I read in the Scriptures. God's man goes and tells men God's message of salvation. Sometimes they reject him. Sometimes God uses that message to transform them.

As I ponder, I am led to this: I'm thankful for the fact that the very good news with which I've been entrusted, tells me that there is no penalty I will ever face for my failures to carry it. This gives me freedom. It empowers me to change course. It give me hope that God can indeed use me in evangelism...despite what I have failed to do up to this point.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fellowship in the Gospel International 2011 (Mexico City) BONUS DAY 8

Well, God specifically gave us two desires of our hearts by delaying our flight by one day. One thing we were a little sad about was the fact that we missed getting to know the Hornbrooks at the beginning of the trip because of their attendance at Sam's Mom's funeral. The other thing was some of the guys had wished we did more physical work for them.

God heard us. We had a full day of reglazing their windows (about half done) and painting the exterior of their home. It was a great day of work and fun. It was also an extra day of being with our dear friends. We were able to solidify our friendship with our partners in the gospel. We love this family. It was sad to leave them. We prayed around them in the courtyard of their home and then finally headed off to the airport.

It was a great trip. God is good. Pray for the effects of the trip to be long-lasting and transformational: for Chelangos and Gringos alike.

Fellowship in the Gospel International 2011 (Mexico City) Day 7 - Part 2

In the Metropolitan Cathedral across the square (Zocalo) from the City Government Building there is an item of particular note. The first is the large crucifix with Jesus having dark skin and knees bent to the right (as you're looking at it). The legend goes like this: the priest's habit every morning was to kiss the feet of the crucifix. One morning he noticed that Jesus' knees were bent to one side which caused him to think something was strange and so he did not kiss it, this so-called "miracle" was to warn the priest as someone had put poison on its feet to try and kill the priest, thereafter the skin turned "miraculously" dark.

After the market, Justyn took my place on the back of the motorcycle and we went over to Joel's house for an awesome dinner (our 7th in a much for the diet). Thankfully Gary didn't die from trying to breathe water on the ride over because of my mascot joke (sorry Gary, but it's true...zebras do get their sides torn out by lions). We dined and laughed, got a tour of the 3-story home, went out on the rooftop and got a great view of the volcanoes and mountains...all while the motorcycle cop stood watch by our vans. Joel and his wife were so hospitable and fun. We really had a wonderful time. Two beautiful Christian friends.

Now it was Von's turn on the motorcycle. We headed over to the Basilica. There's actually two basilicas: the original and a new one built in the70's. Sam pointed out the most striking visual of a statue of Pope John Paul II next to the old basilica which is severely sinking. It was difficult to walk through the old basilica as it is sloping to the front left corner so badly. The architecture and artwork of the arched ceilings and small side chapels to the various saints were stunning as you would probably expect.

A legend regarding the Basilica (that the former Abbot of the Basilica along with many others question due to apparently forged documentary evidence which was produced after the fact to try to "verify" the miracle) goes like this: Mary appeared to Juan Diego, who was an Aztec convert to Christianity in December of 1531. She requested that a shrine to her be built on the spot where she appeared, Tepeyac Hill. Diego had been tending the gardens at the time and brought a gift of flowers collected in his cloak to give to the bishop when he reported Mary visit. When he opened his cloak to present the roses it revealed the image of Mary imprinted on the inside of the cloak—this cloak is now worshiped as a relic in the new Basilica.

As we entered the new Basilica we saw a few people walking on their knees as penance for their sin. It was one of the saddest things we had seen. People worshiping idols instead of the living God and trying in vain to atone for their sins instead of trusting in the perfect life and sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fellowship in the Gospel International 2011 (Mexico City) Day 7 - Part 1

Since the beginning, Monday has been slotted as the sightseeing day, but we got the most unexpected blessing. Joel is a member at Iglesia Nueva Vida and is "Director for America" ("America"= North, Middle & South Americas) in the Mexico City Government. His office is in charge of "General Coordination of International Relations," and his boss reports directly to the Mayor. Of course, the mayor of the 3rd largest city in the world (1-Tokyo, 2-Seoul) is a pretty big deal. Anyways, we planned on visiting El Zocalo which is the square in downtown Mexico City (2nd in size only to Red Square in Moscow) and the Mexico City Cathedral, the market for souvenirs and if there were time...the Basilica.

Traffic and parking is pretty difficult, but Joel had us park the two mini-vans right in front of City Goverment Building facing the square and the cathedral. Policemen took the vans away to park somewhere. We were escorted into the building past scores of scowling policemen. We were taken right up to the 3rd floor to a conference room for coffee and light refreshments, were given some tourist gifts, and saw photos of the mayor with other famous mayors: Bloomberg in New York, Daly in Chicago as well as with the president of Spain. Next we were led through Joel's boss' office up a few wooden steps and out the window facing the square onto a terrace with probably the best view in the city of the square, cathedral and presidential palace. We truly felt like VIP's...but just wait.

Joel's assistant then escorted us to the famous stairwell that the mayor takes pictures on with VIPs. We got a couple of pictures of the whole team on this stairwell. Onlookers were trying to figure out who these slovenly dressed Gringos were. As we walked outside, the vans pulled up and everyone piled into the vans...that is except me. I rode on the back of the motorcycle that a uniformed policeman who would be our escort for the day. It was a great ride to the market. I was really enjoying soaking in the city...that is until the flatbed truck turned in front of us and clipped the left handlebar. The officer calmly straightened out and kept us from being knocked over. We arrived safely at the marketplace which was very large with an open air central area. After Tom & Chris marveled at the Pittsburgh Steelers poncho, we all scattered to do our souvenir hunting.

Well, it looks like we might actually be leaving today. So I'll finish off Monday's report from the airport. Pray we make it out soon.