Yes, I Am Excited!

Dear Friends,

mike-P1020072-txt-300Many of you know that for some time I have been writing a new book titled: “Before You Get Here.” It’s about all that baggage that God wants us to deal with before we get to heaven. All the editing has been completed and we just received the final cover a couple of days ago so we are almost ready to go to press. I am hoping this book will be out before the end of the year.

The other thing that has been happening that you don’t know about is a complete overhaul and redesign of our website. Jimmy, the designer, has been diligently working on this for some weeks now and it is coming together beautifully. It’s simple, readable, easy to navigate and showcases the heart of this ministry. We are hoping to launch by the first of November so that by the time you receive this newsletter we may be online with a completely new look. In the whirlwind cyber world that we live in it’s important to be able to look fresh and current with a site that quickly catches people’s attention as they surf the web. I believe we at Wholeness Ministries have a lot to offer people, so check it out!

The other night Jane and I were attending a mid-week service at Bakersfield New Life Center. Jim Ranger (the oldest son of James & Lydia), was speaking that evening from Psalm 89. In this psalm he talked about God’s creation and how all that God created belongs to Him. But then he said something that really caught my attention. We get to choose! We get to choose whether we want to belong to God or not! Think about that. Out of everything He created we are the only ones that have a choice whether we want to belong to God or not! That’s stunning.

In the nineteenth century, the atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche reproached a group of Christians. “You make me sick!” When their spokesman asked why, Nietzsche replied, “Because you redeemed don’t look like you’re redeemed!”

That’s a curious response isn’t it? And yet, must we not stop and examine how the unbelieving view us as we live out our life of faith? Countless times I have been around believers whose countenance is such that though they may be happy and joyful inside, they haven’t notified their face because they look as if they have been sucking on lemons.

I have heard people say, “If that’s what being a Christian is like I don’t want to be one!”

Perhaps part of the problem lies in our understanding of who we are and what we possess. Consider this, “Are you spiritually rich or spiritually poor?” Brennan Manning makes the statement that if we consider ourselves spiritually rich we begin to make demands on God for things that we think we deserve, often leading to anger and frustration. If we presume that life owes us the best and nothing but the best, then reality rarely lives up to our expectations. What logically follows is that we take for granted everything that comes our way and bear ourselves with the swagger of the executive who knows what is up and has all under control.

To be spiritually poor is to realize that everything is a gift. Salvation, mercy, grace, provision, protection, all that comes from the hand of God is a gift. That He would love us is, in itself, irrational and unreasonable. The spiritually poor experience genuine gratitude and appreciate the slightest gift. The rich in spirit devote considerable time to thinking about what they don’t have; the poor get right down to enjoying and celebrating what they do have.

As we stand before God with open hands, not clinging to anything, our life becomes a life of humble, joyful thanksgiving. When we begin to let go of our self-sufficiency and realize what it means to be the Beloved and that He is more than sufficient, we disappear into what Thomas Merton calls, “the tremendous poverty that is the adoration of God.”

I suspect that then the redeemed will look like they’re redeemed.

Eduard-and-Ibi-Rudolf-600Wholeness Ministries supports two missionary families in Eastern Europe. One of these couples is Eduard and Ibi Rudolf who live in Cluj, Romania. Eduard and his wife Ibi work with orphans, gypsies and children in the various villages around Romania. They have four children of their own. In addition to the outreach to the gypsies in many villages, they have established a significant work at the orphanage in Cluj and a children’s ministry in over 10 villages that reaches hundreds of children each week. Not only are they bringing them the Good News but also they are giving them hope and love and providing in tangible ways exactly what Jesus would do if he were there among them. Keep Eduard and his family in your prayers.

Thank you for your prayers and support of Wholeness Ministries. Without your help we could not do the things we are able to do. Keep us in your prayers as we try to faithfully listen to the Father and do what we believe He is calling us to do.

God bless, Mike

Thought For Today: I created you to be you. If you are not going to be you, who is going to be you?

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