Tim Bowden in his book “One Crowded Hour” tells of an incident that took place in Borneo in 1964. Napalese soldiers preparing for combat were asked if they would be willing to jump from airplanes flying over Cambodia. They had never done this before and didn’t completely understand the implications of the request. Bravely, however, they stated their willingness asking only that the airplane they were to jump from would fly slowly over a swampy area at an altitude of 100 feet. The puzzled officer making the request told them this was not possible. Their parachutes would not have time to open at this low altitude. The Napalese soldiers answered in surprise. “You didn’t mention parachutes before.”
This amusing story illustrates the type of dedication that is demonstrated by those who serve the Lord. Strengthened by Him they face challenges they would otherwise avoid. David Livingstone, is a good example. He over 29,000 miles through Africa in order to minister to the people. During this time his wife died and he faced strong opposition from his Scottish supporters. In spite of these problems and the added burden of being half blind he continued his work. An entry in his diary states his resolve: “Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever me from any tie but the tie that binds me to Your service and to Your heart.” (http://kaarre.wordpress.com/tag/god-go-with-me/)
by Dr. Gayle Woods
Two teens enthusiastically talk about their French classes. Both have several years in the language study and tell of the rigor of learning to speak the language fluently. Another is consumed with his love of music. He spends hours with his guitar perfecting his method with dreams of entertaining grandeur. A third is engrossed in his computer. He is a “gamer.” For hours he concentrates on besting his internet opponents. A fourth lies down on the weight bench determined to press more weight than before. He flexes his muscles. He is determined to “bulk up.” Zeal. It is something we respect and even admire at times in those who have an inner dream, a drive, a determination to accomplish some goal in life.
A zealous person sees one thing, lives for one thing, and is swallowed up in one thing. The one who is zealous for God is no less consumed with a driving purpose than those who have secular interests. He has an inner burning desire to do the will of the Father. His central focus in life is to please God in all that he says or does.
by Dr. Gayle Woods
Ministers’ Conference as we know it today had it’s beginnings many years ago as the“preachers’ prayer retreat” which was held at different locations such as Mt. Zion Bible School and Kansas City College and Bible School. In more recent years, under the direction of Home Missions, it became apparent there was a need for a “minister and spouse get away.” According to many pastors it has become one of the highlights of the calendar year. Usually held in the month of September, it has been at Windermere Christian Conference Center near Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, for a number of years. Last year, 2015, we are moved to Lake Williamson Christian Conference Center north of St. Louis, MO about 70 miles. This will be our location for the 2016 Conference as well.
Ministers’ Conference is an opportunity for the minister and spouse to renew and recharge for ministry. Guest speakers usually include church leaders from outside our Constituency, in addition to our men and women leading workshops. Typically there are break-out sessions for the men and women. Delicious meals and comfortable lodging are provided with time between sessions for fellowship among colleagues and alone time for couples. The Home Mission Department encourages churches to provide this opportunity to their pastors with no out of pocket expenses, completely underwritten by the local church. Churches believe it is one of the greatest investments they can make in the ongoing of their ministries. Pastors receive encouragement, inspiration, and tools to take back with them to help them minister to their people and reach their communities for Christ.
~~~ The dates for Ministers’ Conference are September 13-15. The evangelist this year will be Dr. James Keaton. Plan now to come! ~~~