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  • Birthday Prayer for Luke Kendall

    Today is my youngest son, Luke Kendall's, birthday. He was born the year that we planted Indian Creek Community Church in 1985. Luke has always been a lion on John Trent's personality profile. I think he was made for great things and for years I've prayed Ephesians 3:20 for him, Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare or ask to hope.

    I chose that scripture out of a time of prayer where I asked God to give me a scripture to pray for Luke. I didn't hear from God right away so I prayed often until I did. There was a point in time where I heard Eph. 3:20 very clearly. Since it took awhile to hear, I asked God several times if I heard right. I believe I did so that has become my payer for Luke.

    In this scripture the focus is clearly on God and all the glory goes to Him. But if we will place our lives at His disposal then He can use us to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask to hope. That is a great promise because we can dare a lot and ask a lot but God can and will do even more if we stay within His will. I believe Luke is going to do great things for God--but here's the deal. God gets to decide what is great.

    Essentially greatness in the eyes of God is obedience. It is being faithful to His call not our plans. It is a heart that pursues God and as a result finds success as a by product. It doesn't mean the person is always out in front, is the primary leader, gets the credit he believes he deserves, is known by the masses, is universally popular, eloquently skilled in speaking ability, etc, etc God decides on the definition of greatness. 

    God says interesting things about greatness like, the last shall be first; it is in our weakness that God can be seen strong; the meek will inherit the earth; you have to die to self to truly live and there is more but that is enough for now. Anyone can be great with God. There is a level playing field at the foot of the cross--thank God!

    The thing is sometimes He blows our minds with how much He gives--it isn't always about making due with little! He's in the big things too.

    Yep, it's Luke's birthday, and I'm praying Ephesians 3:20 for him--believing it is in progress too.

  • We Need to Gather as the People of God

    For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20 NLT

    One night, when I was tucking my youngest son Luke into bed, he asked me a question about this verse out-of-the-blue. Dad, he asked, Didn’t Jesus tell us that He would be with us always? Yes, He did, I replied. That Scripture is the last verse in the book of Matthew, chapter 28, verse 20, at the end of the Great Commission. Luke went right on like he had been thinking about this, Then why did Jesus say ‘when two or three gather in His name He is there’? I thought He was always there! If that is true, what does this verse mean?”

    What a great question especially from such a young boy. It stumped me for a moment. I think the answer has a lot to do with why we need to make gathering as a community of faith a priority both in small groups and large. When we gather in His name there is something different that happens from the communion that takes place between just you and the Holy Spirit. There is a manifest sense of God’s presence because His body has assembled. Let me say that again so you get the full impact. When we gather, the literal Person of Jesus is present because we’ve come together.

    How is this so? When we come together we bring our various gifts, passions, and callings into one. The combination isn’t just addition it is divine, exponential multiplication. No wonder the verse just before the key verse, Matthew 18:19 NLT says, I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.


    How could God make such a powerful promise? When the Body of Christ (those who follow Jesus) gathers there is a greater level of discernment, there are a variety of gifts active, and there is a greater sense of God among us. That is a rich faith climate! We need to gather in His name in large groups and small. There is a dynamic difference. It is good for you, and it is essential to accomplish the mission of Christ.

    No wonder the writer of Hebrews 10:25 NLT put it like this, And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another. A great rhythm for fellowship with God and man is to meet daily with God privately, meet weekly in a small group, and meet weekly in a large group. You think more clearly, worship comes easier, the exercise of the gifts flows, and you’ll sense God is there in your midst. It doesn’t get any better than that on this side of eternity! And He is with us--always and especially when we gather!


  • Gift Mart Mission Church

    Mission Church, where our son Luke Kendall, is on staff does what they call Holiday Gift Mart for their local grade schools. The Church is 14 months old. They are making a memorable impact on the community and winning the confidence of its leaders. This is opening hearts for the true message of Christmas. Holiday Gift Mart




  • Loving God by loving people


    Jesus said, A second [commandment] is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. Matthew 22:39-40 NLT

    Jesus makes it plain that it is not enough just to love God. We must love others.

    If anyone boasts, I love God, and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 1 John 4:20 MSG

    It can be easy for us to love inanimate objects. We love our houses. We love our cars. We love food. It can be easy for us to direct our love toward a God who loves us and never fails us, but what about His children? Can we love them as we love God?

    I’m learning more about this now that I’m a grandmother. My children, and especially my grandchildren, don’t have to do anything to deserve or win my love. I love them because they are my children. I believe that God desires us to have the same love for one another as He has for us, simply because we are His. This might, and usually does, require some sacrifice on our part.

    Our youngest son, Luke, loves the city! I don’t mean a small town like Kansas City—I mean the CITY like Chicago! He lives there with his wife Rachel and they are a part of the Leadership Team with We are Mission Church.

    Luke asked me one day, “Mom, why is it that I love the cities?” To me the answer was obvious, “Luke, it’s where the people are.” They are dedicating their lives to reaching the city and their new communities with the love of Christ. This was no small choice for them; it required much prayer and sacrifice on their part. They’ve left everything comfortable and familiar to them to follow a prompting they believe is from God. Because they’ve chosen to love God by loving people.

    In the months to come, they will talk with many people who are far from God, and they will have an opportunity to love God by loving people. They will truly be able to love their neighbors as themselves. What about you?

    Think and Act
    Can you commit to reaching those around you—your neighbors, coworkers, family, friends—with the same love that you have for God?

    Belinda Kendall

    www.livingsent/devotionals

  • Day 28 Lost

    Lost

    Devo 28

    For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.  Luke 19:10 NLT

    One summer day Belinda took our only vehicle, our van, and left me at home with all three of our kids. She had her doubts, but I convinced her I could take care of them. I even felt confident about it, imagine that! Our three children: Kristen, Jeremy, and Luke, were grade school age at that time.

    I was doing my best when I realized that Luke, our youngest, who was about five years of age, was not around. He liked to hide from us, so I assumed this was a game. I looked in all thenormal places and called for him until I was no longer amused. I went outside and noticed the gate to our fenced backyard in our suburban neighborhood stood wide open! Our Dalmatian, named Princess, was gone, too!

    Oh great, I thought, I’ve lost a kid and the dog. Lord, please don’t let Belinda come home now!

    The minutes crawled by as I searched desperately for Luke. I called his name from every corner of our yard all the while aware I had two other children to watch inside. Every minute lost meant that the chances of finding him decreased. What if he was in trouble? What if someone had kidnapped him? What if he was in pain?

    I don’t have words to describe the lump in my throat and the knot in my stomach but I bet you can imagine. I had flashbacks of when our daughter, Megan, had died, several years prior. I felt paralyzed and frantic at the same time.
    It didn’t matter to me at that moment that I still had two kids who were safe. One was lost! That was what mattered!

    I stood in the front yard and created a plan with a mental checklist. I would need to farm the kids out to the neighbors, call the police, and start a search. At that moment, Luke appeared at the end of the block, hot and exhausted, dragging an unwilling dog behind him. The story is that Princess had escaped from our backyard and Luke had followed her all the way to the neighborhood park. She had been headed for the nearby creek.

    He had caught her by the chain and brought her back. My knees went weak from relief. I wanted to shout but what came out was more like a cry. My son was alive and he was coming home!

    That day I had a new awareness of the urgent concern God feels for each of His children who are presently outside of relationship with Him. I must join Jesus in living SENT to help His children find their way home!

    Gary Kendall

    www.livingsent.net/devotionals

    Week 6, SENT, Day 3 Devo 28