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Chicago Road Trip Stop

 

Two of my favorite men are Gary Powers, (Elder at Geneva Lakes Christian Church) and Steve Gruitzus, (Elder at Christian Heritage Church) – the sponsors of our Chicago Road Trip Stop. These courageous brothers, who have walked with the Lord for many many years, and who have always loved the Church of Jesus Christ, are always seeking how they might please the Lord and are constantly moving forward in the faith.  Progressive sanctification is something they desire and the Lord has been leading them progressively to establish church and family life according to scripture. This is not a new thing for them, for it has always been their desire and they have not stood still.

 

 

Both are leaders of churches who desire to govern all family, church, and business life according to the Scripture. Both are bi-vocational elders who have very successful businesses and who are leading age integrated churches.

Gary and Patty, and Steve and Sandi hold very dear and precious places in my wife’s and my hearts. It is always such a joy for us to sit in their presence and labor in ministry together for the glory of God in church and family life. We long to be with them again.

 

Camping out at Gary Powers house

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Thomas Mayhew and the Indians

While we were spending time with the Gilbert Miller family in Farmington Maine, we learned that Gilbert’s wife Kimberly is a direct descendant of Thomas Mayhew, a minister who had a colorful testimony in the 17th century for his work with the Indians in the colonies. He started preaching to the Indians at Martha’s Vineyard at age 70, and preached for 23 years to age 93. He witnessed the awakening in Martha’s Vineyard and other places that included the building of “praying towns”. These praying towns were places of unusual spiritual activity and were established by the Indians. At one point, he became the governor of Martha’s Vineyard. After Thomas Mayhew died, there were eight generations of Mayhew’s who were pastors in succession at Martha’s Vineyard.

At one point he left the island for a trip to England, but the Indians loved him so much that they wept as he left.

The revival among the Indians was characterized by their adopting biblical practices for every area of life. One such area of life was the way they wanted to be buried.

His last and dying words were, ‘I have lived by faith, and have found God in His Son, and there I find Him now, therefore, if you would find God, look for Him in His Son, there He is to be found and nowhere else.”

Gilbert and Kim showed us a family tree revealing how the family grew from the earliest days. In this genealogical family tree, there are fascinating childrens names like Experience, Reliance, Prudence, Fear, Thankful, as well as Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Jerusha, and Bathsheba.

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Looking Back – Farmington, ME

Looking back on our Farmington, ME conference, it seems something is shaking in Maine as the signups for this meeting were strong and there was some controversy brewing about our coming.

Many Hands

We have special gratitude for Gilbert and Kimberly Miller and his family who have been working tirelessly for months organizing the event and inviting people in the area. But they have not been alone in the effort as the Scott Harding, Dave Adams and Kevin Dostie families have also been making preparations with the Millers.

Six Generations and a mighty awakening

Gilbert’s family has been in Farmington area for six generations. His wife Kimberly is a descendant of Thomas Mayhew who was a missionary and elder to the Indians on Martha’s Vineyard. There was a mighty work of converting salvation among the Indians and Kimberlys descendants were used of the Lord to preach the gospel there.

Gilbert has also been in the cabinet making business, “Maine Custom Kitchens,” involving his family in the everyday life of the company, and has used the business to apprentice young men.

A new church plant

This family has been a constant encouragement to the Brown family in many ways. Gilbert has been a faithful church member in Farmington for the past 22 years and is now part of a group involved in early stages of planting a new church in the area.

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Toronto

The NCFIC Road Trip Team goes to Canada…

The Toronto Road Trip conference was hosted at the beautiful Crossroads Centre, a wonderful facility in Burlington, Ontario.

The conference was well attended with Canadians from many different backgrounds, from those that were completely new to the doctrines we teach to those who fully and endorse and support our vision.

Here are Deborah and I, Jason Dohm, and Rick Muse with the hosts of the Toronto Road Trip: Gordon and Paula Maretzki and their children, Jesse Davy, Jude, Sydney, Sawyer, and Jinger as well as Sephanie and Cairn.

Here is Jake Zwart, Executive Director of OCHEC, (Ontario Christian Home Educators Connection) who offered their skills for recording and duplicating the messages of the Toronto conference. He is pictured with his wife, Heather and his sons.

My wife and I listening to a message at the Toronto Road Trip Conference.

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Startling Statistics About Internet Pornography

Here are some startling statistics about internet pornography.

25% of all search engine search requests are pornography related

35% of all internet downloads are pornographic

The average age of boys seeing internet pornography is age 11

12% of the web sites on the internet are pornographic – 24,644,172

The most popular day of the week for viewing porn is Sunday

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A Testimony of Reformation

The Toronto Road Trip Conference is in full swing. This morning, Rick Muse, a deacon at Hope Baptist Church in North Carolina, gave his personal testimony of family reformation.

He spoke of the key elements of orthodoxy that the Lord used to bring about reformation as well as specific areas in which God brought about reformation in his family.

You can read his talk here.

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Listen on Sermonaudio.com

 

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Sermon Audio from NCFIC on Vimeo.

We love sermonaudio.com – a wonderful resource for FREE sermons. The quantity of sermons and the breadth of subject matter available is simply MONSTROUS (in a good sense). Many of my favorite preachers and some of my best friends feature their messages there. Now check this: there are currently 333,570 sermons online and growing every day.

We will be posting various reports and video clips on SermonAudio during the Road Trip.

Steven Lee, the President of sermonaudio.com is a dear brother who has been a blessing to me in many ways. I believe the Lord is using Steven Lee to play an important role in fueling a global reformation. The downloads in countries “closed” to the gospel are significant and are being used of the Lord to evangelize and equip the saints. Steven is using his energies to “Preach the Word” and it is emboldening and sweetening the Church of Jesus Christ all over the world. I use SermonAudio as a research tool to help me think through thorny issues I am dealing with in our local church, in our family, and in the NCFIC.

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Farmington, Maine – Road Trip Stop Number 5

Upon arrival in Farmington, Maine, we were greeted with much joy and enthusiasm by many families from the local church community. We enjoyed a wonderful barbecue dinner on the back lawn of the Gilbert Miller home, overlooking the beautiful mountains of Maine. It was a sweet time to share in fellowship with these brothers and sisters in Christ.

The meeting was hosted at Merrill Hall in historic Farmington and quickly filled with many attendees who gathered to hear the messages on reformation of the family and church. We were expecting a smaller gathering, but to our surprise we were blessed with more than 150.

It has been a delight to minister to families whose eyes are just being opened to these life-changing truths of Scripture. God is so merciful in continuing to refine and transform our thinking to align with His ways. This is the exciting awaking that is taking place in the families who gathered for this meeting.

For our early departure the following morning, the Miller family prepared a wonderful breakfast feast for us before we hit the road again. The Lord has kindly blessed us with many wonderful hosts that have willingly offered their time, resources and homes to serve our team.

We’re eager to see how the Lord will continue to use these times to help bring the message of biblical reformation across our land.
 

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A Defining Mark of True Reformation

It’s been a joy to witness the amazing hand of God in bringing families together across America to expound upon the true meaning of Biblical reformation. Having already travelled from Wake Forest to Taunton, MA, it’s been very encouraging to witness the hunger that many have for the reformation of the church and family. In speaking about the many evidences of true Biblical reformation, I addressed one element that I believe we’re already witnessing across America: a hunger for God. A true awakening is propelled, or at least manifested by an unusual hunger for God.

Within the last week, we’ve been in the midst of people that have come with desire to hear the truths of God’s Word. We pray that their hunger will serve as a great beacon of light to encourage and strengthen the rising number of people devoted to restoring the ways of God to all areas of life.

“Wash yourselves: make yourselves clean: remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good…” – Isaiah 1:16, 17a

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Share a Testimony of the Work of Reformation Within Your Family and Church

What is Biblical reformation? This is one of the most critical questions that stands before us in the twenty-first century. As we continue to speak to this matter during the Road Trip, it’s our desire to hear how the Lord is at work within individual families and churches. At each stop, we’ve been interviewing various people asking these two questions: First, how is the Lord reforming your family? Secondly, in what way is the Lord awakening your church? Join us by sharing a personal testimony of the visible fruits of reformation within your family and church. Please post all testimonies in the new comment section of the website.

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Spurgeon on the many ministries in the world – Making Much of Christ

Spurgeon says,

“There are many ministries in the world, and they are very different from one another, but this truth this truth will enable you to judge which are right out of them all. The ministries that discredit Him, ignore Him, or put Him in the background in any degree are not of the Spirit of God.

Any doctrine that magnifies man, but not man’s Redeemer, any doctrine that denies the depth of the Fall, and consequently detracts from the greatness of salvation, any doctrine that makes man sinless, and therefore makes Christ’s work less – away with it, away with it! This will be the infallible test as to whether it is of the Holy Spirit or not, for Jesus says, “He shall glorify me.”

 

-C. H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit, p. 55-56

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Taunton Massachusetts

 

 

A Large Crowd

We were surprised at the large size of the crowd in Taunton, MA that consisted of elders, youth pastors, and worship leaders in local churches as well as many families. Following the conference, we held a worship service at the hotel where there was standing room only.

Heritage Christian Church

Heritage Christian Church sponsored our visit to Taunton by providing advertising, the venue, and by shouldering the financial burden for the meetings. Dave Eckerson, Mark Thomas, Brian Fournier, as well as the Flynn family and many others from Heritage provided an outpouring of preparations and hospitality for the attendees – and especially for the Road Trip Team.

Significant Capacity for Hospitality

We were so blessed by this church and by these families. What amazed us was the sheer capacity they had for blessing those who came and for the meals they prepared for us. Both the Thomas family and the Eckerson family were obviously very experienced in hospitality with instant readiness for large numbers of people staying in their homes. They had long tables, lots of places to sleep and the ability to host a horde at the drop of the hat.

A Historical Marker

Here is a historical factoid. Both Mark Thomas and Dave Eckerson were at our first Uniting Church and Family conference in St. Louis, Mo. This was a historic conference where the atmosphere was absolutely electric. I will never forget that conference for its momentous impact. Many, many of the 700 men in attendance had a passionate desire to be faithful to God in church and family life. The crowd was composed of almost exclusively men (now our conferences are composed not of men only but whole families). These same men were used of the Lord as catalysts to plant hundreds of churches across the United States.

Sweet fellowship

It seemed to be a great victory to us. One thing that really stuck out to us was that the fellowship was very warm and full of lovingkindness. We were met with such mercies from these people.

On making corrections in the church without losing love for her

Here is a significant quotation from Dan Horn’s message “Members of One Another” on how the family needs the church, which was based on an exposition of 1 Cor. 12. He said,

We must make corrections in church life without losing our love for Her. When Christ left heaven was the church perfect? No, she was in rebellion. When Christ saw the problems in the church He left heaven to live and die for her. We need to do what Christ did. He loved the church in spite of her problems. But he also worked to remove her spots and wrinkles. He knew her problems but he loved her nonetheless.

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Interview with Mark Thomas – Host of the Taunton Road Trip Stop

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Interview with Mark Thomas from NCFIC on Vimeo.

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“Christ Needs No New Inventions” – Spurgeon

 

“First of all, Christ needs no new inventions to glorify Him. “We have invented a new line of things,” says one. Have you? “We have discovered something very wonderful.” I daresay you have, but Christ, “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8 NKJV), needs none of your inventions, discoveries, or additions to His truth. A plain Christ is forever the loveliest Christ. Dress Him up, and you have defamed Him. Bring Him out just as He is, the Christ of God, nothing else but Christ, unless you bring in His Cross, for “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23); indeed, you cannot have Christ without the Cross; but preach Christ crucified, and you have given him all the glory that He desires. The Holy Spirit does not reveal in these last times any fresh laws or any novel doctrines or any new evolutions. He simply brings to mind the things that Christ Himself spoke. He brings Christ’s own things to us, and in that way glorifies Him.”

 

-C. H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit, p. 60-61

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An Update on the Road

 

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An Update on the Road from NCFIC on Vimeo.

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