Well, the summer has brought about hot weather above 100 degrees many times. This makes canvassing in the morning a necessity. Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. I head out the door to go canvass a neighborhood for about an hour. It is amazing how many houses you can get done when you work at it. So far, from April – August we have canvassed 5,338 homes with the gospel. This is not personal door-to-door work, as most churches have, but more like spreading a blanket across the city.
The church will have certain days throughout the year to put together the packets (Jn. & Rm./Tract/Info card), which brings out 20 to 30 people each time. Even though the ground work is done by few, the reward will be reaped by many. Since I go out in the morning before the sun gets unbearably hot, there is not much opportunity for the working man or woman to help out. God has blessed me with another man in the church, Robert Richards, who is faithful to this ministry. Bro. Richards fell 18 feet last year making himself disabled, but not so disabled that he can’t walk with his pastor and canvass. On his own he has canvassed 1000 or more of the houses this year. He heads out with his sons and daughter to hit the neighborhoods next to his home and beyond. This has sped up my goal of canvassing all of Lewiston by the end of 2015. Clarkston and Asotin will follow in 2016.
A few months ago a man in our church started a veteran’s home ministry out of the church. It was short lived as the veteran’s home fired their director in charge of religious services, thus ending our short ministry there…for now. The first service we had there was very profitable to the church though. Charlene Lewis, who has a 90+ year old father in the home, was attending the service that Sunday. She had been looking for a church like ours and said she would visit soon. She did and eventually joined the church. Her background was southern and she said that I reminded her of the preaching she heard then.
In June we had our first Communion service since arriving in October 2012. God led me to use the whole Sunday morning service to do Communion. I preached a little bit, sang a song on that point, did part of the communion service, and repeated the process till Communion was taken. It was different for me to break it up that way. I have always seen it done in 15-30 minutes at the end of a service (this may be what I will be instructed to do next time), but taking the time the first time to do it was essential to explaining it and bring to heart the seriousness of Communion. There was much positive feedback regarding the service.
In Other News
Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Normally, conversations in the Gipp home are based loosely on fact. We love to laugh and joke with each other, so when Ezra knocked on my bedroom door and stated, “There are men with guns outside”, for a split second I thought it funny, then I thought, during the other half of that split second, “when is the last time he used that line as a conversation starter?” After I realized that he had a sober look to his face, away to the window I flew like a flash to see what was the matter. Sure enough three police officers had a man down on the ground at gun point in the carport between my Suburban and gas grill (a space of about four feet). Five minutes before that, Rose had been cutting my hair in that exact spot. This is also a highly trafficked area for the kids to go play in the back yard of the church property. As a family we knelt at the couch/family altar and thanked God for His protection.
It has been on my mind recently to amplify my guitar. The only negative thing to amplifying my guitar was the hindrance a cord makes to sliding across the platform. You can only go so far before you are ripped back by reality like a dog on a chain! Seriously though, I have to use a microphone and stand in order for it to be heard. A number of young men came up from Treasure Valley Baptist Church and one of them gave me $100 to amplify the guitar. Now people hear how truly bad I am at playing. Thanks Ashton.
1Co 9:26, 27 …I therefore so run…I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: …
In March I decided that the extra 10lbs I had acquired over the winter hibernation was not worth keeping around so I started to run a few times a week. The hot weather has slowed that down severely, but I have started back up as the weather has cooled down again. Something happened one evening as I was running. Normally while running I feel as though I am two steps from death and wrestle with thoughts of positive obesity, but something happened as I came to the end of a 4 mile run. I can’t explain it, but those who run call it a “runner’s high”. Maybe it was adrenaline or some endomorph release, but a feeling that I could run until my legs fell off swept over me like a wave. I ran for another mile ending, at that point, the longest run in my life! If I could bottle up what I felt and sell it, I would be set for life. I guess…only those who run have the opportunity to feel a runner’s high. As a Christian I have experienced the same feelings. The feelings you get when leading your children to the Lord and then being able to baptize them. The feelings you get when people walk up to you after a message with tears in their eyes praising God for what you just preached. The feelings you get when a 40+ year old husband and father who has been prayed over for years gets saved and he walks into your office with teary eyes to let you know. This is a Christian runner’s high! I guess…only those who run have the opportunity to feel this!
I Cor.9:24 …So run, …
Thank you to all those who pray and give to keep us running in Idaho.