Video – What Is GCM?

As I mentioned a few months back, we’ve had some major changes, from pastoring a church in Bellingham to joining the staff of Great Commandments Ministries (or GCM) in Tieton (just west of Yakima). We are over-the-moon excited to be a part of this great ministry and can’t wait to get started this fall with the next sessions of the ACTS Essentials program (we still have a lot of open spots for this, so if you know of anyone who might be interested, please contact me). In the meantime, we are fully engaged in building up our support team. If you are interested in regularly praying for us and/or would like to support us financially, please let me know.

To give you an idea of what GCM is about, I’m including the following introductory video featuring the director – Jeff Sutton – as well as a few alumni. It’s a little dated – we are not currently running the Missions Intensive part of the program – but this will give you a good overview of the vision and work that we’re involved in.

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Sermon – “The God of All Comfort”

Had the privilege of preaching at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Soldotna, AK back on the 5th of May. Their founding pastor – Andrew Allen – had recently gone home to be with the Lord after a two-year fight against lung cancer.

In light of his passing, I chose the following text for my sermon:

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. 

– 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Click here for the sermon audio.

Poets Corner – Amy Carmichael

And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father?
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.
I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire:
See in my quiet places wishes thronging,
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.
And work in me to will and do Thy pleasure,
Let all within me, peaceful, reconciled,
Tarry content my Well-beloved’s leisure,
At last, at last, even as a weaned child.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

The time has come to share a few things with you all. These past couple months have seen some pretty significant changes come our way. The first has to do with our church. On October 3rd, I handed in my resignation to the elders at Oikos and a few weeks later, on the 21st, the members voted to close the church’s doors for good, thus bringing to end a 15-year labor of love. Two months have since passed and it’s still hard to believe that it’s over. As we look back over the years, there’s no question whatsoever that God blessed this work and used us in many ways here in Bellingham, the Pacific Northwest, and amazingly even around the world. So we are sad, but very grateful, and believe that this whole turn of events was from the Lord.

So what’s next? This past week, on December 3rd, we were approved as missionaries Great Commandments Ministries (www.gcmacts.com or www.acts.training), which is located in Tieton, WA to the west of Yakima. GCM is primarily focused on discipling post high school and college-age kids through two four-month-long schools (ACTS Essentials in the fall; ACTS Ascent in the winter-spring) with a heavy emphasis on mission, and a college ministry called Pneuma. Over the past four years, I’ve taught at both schools, Pneuma, and in Romania (where they have a church in the city of Iasi called Eclesia International). Through this time, I’ve become very close to the staff and the work that they’re doing. We love GCM’s vision and have been very impressed by the fruit we’ve seen from their ministry and are super excited to have the privilege of being a part of the team.

As a result, we will be putting our house up for sale this coming January and hopefully moving to Yakima soon after. We would very much appreciate your prayers for us through this time of transition – that we would be able to find a buyer here as well as a house to buy there. We would also appreciate your prayer for us as we now will need to raise our own support. If you would like to be a part of our support team, please message me or email me at (willys.gig@gmail.com).

Poets Corner – Afraid? Of What?

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour’s face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash – a crash – a pierced heart;
Brief darkness – Light – O Heaven’s art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven’s rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not –
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?

– E. H. Hamilton

Sermon Text for October 21st – Philippians 4:8-9

Had the privilege to preach at Seed Church this past Sunday. Here’s my text:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 

Click here for the sermon audio.

Sermon Text for September 30th – Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” 

27 So God created man in his own image; 
he created him in the image of God; 
he created them male and female. 

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” 29 God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This will be food for you, 30 for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth—everything having the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day. 

Click here for the sermon audio.