“Raise Up & Release – Not Catch & Cook”
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Eph. 4:16 NLT)
Dear family of friends,
Back in the day, in a real small section of southwest Minnesota, my older cousin Richard Shultz and I “went fishin’.” Well, I tagged along at least. I was about 12.
We hiked along the cold spring stream, poles and gear in hand. The former “Catch & Keep” fish pond, that had been stocked with bullheads (and some good fish) for nearby state park campers, was just a mile from his house. It had been shut down for years. We didn’t cut the barbed wire to get in. That would have been wrong. So we just pulled it apart. With a town of less than 200, no one cared about this forgotten hole anymore.
I had never caught so much fish before in my life. It had always been too boring back at the golf course pond in Cedar Falls, IA. But here was a different fish story! It was great! Toss the line. Reel it back in. Pull the bullhead off the hook and do it again. After 32 of them (no, I don’t exaggerate, but I did count them!) we had our work cut out for us in getting them back to his house and preparing them to fry. (Now you know my good wife would never allow these “unkoshered” fish in our house this current day!)
Remembering that story brings me to this one. Laurie and I, on our earlier prophesied “labyrinth journey” these past 33 years together (labyrinth – “an intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one's way; a maze”) has taken us to many locations and experiences (*see below.) Many of you have gone on this journey also. (Maybe still are!) Along the way, we had good, and needed, training times.
The places we tremendously appreciated over these past years were the organizations with leadership who had hearts to “raise up and release” those the Lord had entrusted into their hands for a certain period. Those places with the “catch and cook” mentality were more of a challenge. Though some members were indeed called to stand alongside and serve with the appointed leadership for many years, many others were brought into their care for the purpose of training, supporting, releasing and walking together in unity, even more so, as each moved onward.
If you are a member of a church family that treasures each and every part of the Body, you are indeed blessed. If you need to be in one that is truly seeking to raise up and release people for God-given callings, and you are not experiencing that, then my prayer is that the Lord will direct your steps to another place. If that may mean a move for you, then seek the Lord for His response. Then hear and obey.
It is going to be very vital and important, even right now, that you and your family are in the right place. Each member of the Body of Christ needs to know their place and part, and be it. We are going to need each other, even more so in these coming days and years of trial.
As for my final thought, I don’t think we are getting “raputured out of here” before a lot more happens. That keeps my perspective in line, to raise up and release, not catch and cook.
Ahava to you my family of friends,
Love For His People, Inc.
P.S. Our 2nd annual “Ahava Adventures” service trip to Israel is set, with flights, hotels, and ground transportation in place. On the date of Oct. 29, 2011, only ten will depart from Charlotte (or join us in Philadelphia) to spend six days/nights in Jerusalem and two days/nights on the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias (only $2495 for the entire trip!) Our Israeli friends will meet us there, as we further connect with the believers in The Land.
This isn’t your “basic tour” time. We go where not many can, or would go, for we want to be more adventurous, more supportive, and experience even more what Israel’s people and land is about in this day and age. We do see spiritually and historically important locations, but our primary focus is to bless the ones living the day to day life there. Curious enough to find out further? Contact info is below.
Can’t go yourself? Please consider sponsoring a friend, family member, or person in your church, especially of “the next generation” age group. Trust the Lord to highly impact their lives for life, to impart to them a heart for His people that will never leave them, and give them an adventure they will never forget. (Heh, it is tax-deductable for you too. In part or full, it doesn’t matter.)
One special note: When we are there in The Promised Land, we will spend time with three local organizations that serve the youth and so many more of Israel, each in their special ways. One of these will be with us at the Beit Tikvah meeting on March 25, 2011. Friday night, 7 pm, Antioch International Church, in Fort Mill, SC. After meeting him, you may want to come and see what they do first hand with the youth in Jerusalem!
We also will be having a Passover Seder on Good Friday, April 18, 2011. We can only hold 200, so please get your $10 registration tickets ASAP at Antioch International Church, home of Beit Tikvah.
*Our Labyrinth Connections
A. Victory Community Church – LaSalle/Peru, IL 1977-1980
B. Shiloh Fellowship/New Covenant Christian Church - East Lansing, MI 1980-1987
C. Good News Church – Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 1987-1992
D. Cornerstone Church – Davie, FL 1992-1994
E. All Nations Church (part of the founding members of five couples) – Ft. Lauderdale, Fl & Charlotte, NC 1994-2001
F. Cornerstone Church – Pineville, NC 2001-2004
G. St. Giles Presbyterian – Charlotte, NC 2004-2007
H. MorningStar Fellowship – Fort Mill, SC 2007-2010
I. Antioch International Church – Fort Mill, SC 2010 to present (on the pastoral team)
A. Derek Prince Ministries (1987-1990, 2001-2005
B. Mahesh Chavda Ministries (1987-2000)
C. Vision for Israel (2005-2010)
A. Christian Friends of Israel (USA) 1994-2009
B. Christians for Messiah Ministries 2008-present
C. Love For His People 2010 to present (Founders/President & VP)
Love For His People, Inc. truly appreciates your generous support. Please consider donating now on-line by clicking here http://www.loveforhispeople.com/ for our website’s “Giving Opportunities” tab, or by sending checks to the address below. Todah rabah! (Hebrew - Thank you very much.)
©2011 Steve Martin Love For His People, Inc. P.O. Box 470035 Charlotte, NC 28247-0035
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Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858. Tax deductible contributions sent by mail or given on-line will receive an e-receipt for each donation, for you to print out. (Saves the ministry on postage!)
On the Sea of Galilee heading towards Capernaum.
Photo by Steve Martin
Ahava Love Letter #19 Date: March 22, in the year of our Lord 2011