Saturday, December 18, 2010

Past Performance – Future Results

Virtually every advertisement for mutual funds, stocks, and other financial investments include the fine print statement, “Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results.” Today, as I was reflecting on Psalm 18, I realized how genuine faith flies in the face of that statement. In fact, faith’s promise is the exact opposite.

David said, I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:3) His statement pointed to a confident anticipation of deliverance in the face of conflict, based upon his remembering the faithfulness of God in previous situations. It is as good as done!

Our unchanging God can be trusted to perform tomorrow just as He has done in the past. With Him, Past Performance is a Perfect Guarantee of Future Results. This is why it is vital that we review His works told about in the Bible. It is the reason we must discern His activity in our own experiences, connecting our story in His story. And it is the reason that we must tell that story again and again among our family, friends, neighbors and nations.

When we rehearse His caring and miraculous works, we tell of His greatness and instill or rekindle hope and confidence in His power and His will to deliver again. All our present sorrows or joys pale in light of the great and eternal promises of our God. He is faithful. He shows unfailing kindness to those who are His. This truth motivates us to respond like David, “I will praise you among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to your name.”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ivory Coast on the Brink-- a Call to Prayer

When I read the following article, I was compelled to share this story with friends who care about the nations and would join me in praying for Ivory Coast. We continue to encourage the Western Church to be informed and involved in the activity of God around the world. Our compassion must not stop at our boundaries of personal concern and comfort. Milfred Minatrea

The article is provided by ASSIST News Service and written by Elizabeth Kendal (Religious iberty Prayer Bulletin (RLPB) 085).

AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Like Sudan and Nigeria, Ivory Coast sits atop a volatile ethnic-religious fault-line. Whilst the less-developed North has long been predominantly Muslim, the South -- Ivory Coast's economic and political engine -- has historically been predominantly Christian and African Traditional Religion (ATR). Decades of mass immigration (1960-1993) from the neighbouring Muslim states of Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea might have been great for the economy, but they have tipped the demographic balance so that Ivory Coast -- officially about one-third Muslim -- is actually majority Muslim.

The civil war that erupted in September 2002 was portrayed by the international media as a crisis of democracy and human rights caused by Southern xenophobia and Islamophobia. In reality, Ivory Coast's crisis is the consequence of decades of mass Muslim immigration coupled with political ambition and an internationally-sponsored Islamic agenda. The civil war was fought essentially between those who want all Ivory Coast's Muslim immigrants naturalised -- giving Ivory Coast a Muslim majority overnight -- and those who do not. Though he denies it, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, a Northern Muslim, was doubtless behind the September 2002 failed coup that triggered the war. Ouattara and his party, the Rally of the Republicans (RDR), have been playing the race and religion cards for political gain. Ouattara's intent has been to have all the Muslim immigrants naturalised (over 4 million: estimated to comprise between 30 and 40 percent of the total population) so that he (their champion) can dragnet the Muslim vote. Ouattara has long had his eye on the presidency.

AP Photo

The civil war left Ivory Coast totally polarised, split between a virtually ethnic-religiously cleansed, rebel-controlled Muslim North and a government-controlled predominantly Christian, non-Muslim South. Since the war the North has been in serious decline with AIDS, poverty and lawlessness increasing exponentially. In November 2004 Ivory Coast's Christian president, Laurent Gbagbo, launched surprise airstrikes against rebel positions in the North in an attempt to reunify the country. However, former colonial power France (which backs the rebels for economic gain) intervened, razing all IC's airforce planes, destroying runways and sending tanks against the Presidential Palace, around which loyalists formed a human shield.

The West had insisted that Ivory Coast could be reconciled, reunified and essentially saved by means of democratic elections, such is their faith in 'democracy' and the inherent goodness of man. In reality, the divisions are so profound and the stakes are so high that, unless genuine reconciliation occurred first, elections could only trigger conflict. Elections were held on 28 November 2010, with both Gbagbo and Ouattara claiming victory. The US, European Union and African Union have recognised Ouattara as the winner and called for Gbagbo to respect democracy and step down. Russia meanwhile is blocking a UN statement that would recognise Ouatarra, saying that this is not the UN's role. Ivory Coast's non-Muslims are traumatised, fearing that their homeland -- once the most prosperous 'Christian' nation in West Africa, home to the region's largest cathedral, home-base to most of West Africa's regional Christian ministries -- is about to come under Muslim political domination.

(COMMENT: Ivory Coast's crisis -- the consequence of decades of Muslim mass immigration -- is a foretaste of what several states in democratic Europe may be facing in a generation or two.)


  • give Ivory Coast's Christian leaders -- pas tors and politicians -- great spiritual wisdom and authority.

  • bring revival to the Church in Ivory Coast so believers will be compelled to go out with the gospel in boldness, empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that Ivory Coast might be spiritually transformed. For only then will the peoples 'beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks . . .' (Isaiah 2:4 ESV)

  • intervene in the tense climate by interposing a spirit of restraint, compelling the people to seek a negotiated solution as a means of averting another destructive civil war -- a war that would certainly attract international jihadists.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Share in the Sufferings: Pakistan Flooding

In Pakistan, many are suffering as result of massive flooding. There we have brothers and sisters in Christ who endure persecution and hardship on a daily basis. Current conditions mandate our intercession and intervention. Join me in praying and seeking equitable distribution of emergency aid among those who are most vulnerable.

The UN Secretary-General, following a visit to Pakistan, has called for stepped up international aid to help cope with a crisis described as the worst in the world today.

It is estimated that up to six million flood-affected people are in need of food assistance over the next three months, though this number may yet rise, as the situation in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan continues to deteriorate.

Khair Muhammad Kalhoro, director of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority in Sindh, said, "We need all the help we can get to help people."

Daniel Toole, regional director for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), warned at a news conference in Islamabad on August 17, that "up to 3.5 million children could be in danger of contracting deadly diseases carried through contaminated water and insects as a result of floods. In a country which has endemic watery diarrhoea, endemic cholera, endemic upper respiratory infections we now have the conditions for expanded problems."

From IRIN reports. IRIN is the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Washing the Car - All Things New

I got the bucket, sponge, spray nozzle and soap and invested some time washing the car today. Pam and I leave tomorrow for a road trip in our Toyota Camry with 221,200 miles on it! So I wanted it clean.

I also had the oil changed, transmission flushed, and new brake pads installed. The old Midas guarantee (You’ll never pay for brake pads again as long as you own your car!) has served me well. Since we were going on a road trip, I wanted the car in the best mechanical condition possible.

Some folks wonder at my spending so much money on an older car with lots of miles. In fact, the service tech at Toyota said, “Wow, I’ve not written up a service order on any other car with that many miles.”

We live in a disposable culture. Most people do not anticipate driving a car 221,200 miles. I reflected on this today. I can work to keep the external appearance up and I can pay for maintenance to keep the internal mechanical systems functioning. But I cannot make my Toyota new again.

That is exactly what God does. He takes us in our broken, battered, abused condition and works a miracle that doesn’t just maintain us. He remakes us. He makes all things new again!

That is the gift He offers to the world, the Kingdom hope of every generation, “all things new.”

Friday, August 6, 2010

It’s Time to Use Our Time Wisely

Introduction by Milfred Minatrea

Ed Jordan knows what it feels like to minister in a difficult environment. I became acquainted with Ed and his wife EnikÅ‘, when Pam and I were privileged to provide leadership for their congregation’s annual retreat at Old Faithful Retreat Center. The center is a rustic camp within driving distance of Pocatello, Idaho, where Ed serves as Senior Pastor.

In a predominantly Mormon environment, the Jordan’s have become part of the community using creative ministries to establish relationships. Among those is Ed’s weekly contribution published in the Idaho State Journal. Ed was recently awarded The Amy Writing Awards “2009 Award of Outstanding Merit” for one of his columns.

Ed and Enikő were among the first missionaries appointed to serve in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. They served in Hungary in Church Development, Leadership Development, and Decentralized Theological Education for eleven years.

I hope that you will enjoy periodic posts from my friend, Ed Jordan.

It’s Time to Use Our Time Wisely

The rock group “Chicago” sang: “Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?” My questions to you today are the same as theirs. Do you know what time it is? Do you really care? The discussion of time is both a timeless theme, and a timely one.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1 in “The Message,” we read: “There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth…” There are two major concepts of time in the Bible. Most commonly time is used as chronological time (kronos in the Greek language), which is time depicted by sequential points along a linear line (or circle, as in a sundial or typical watch). Chronological time is measured with minutes, hours, days, months and years. But there is also another kind of time used in the Bible, indicated by the Greek word “kairos,” which is conceptualized as the “perfect” or “ideal” time for something to happen. It is a time concept that measures what of significance occurred in an event.

Both of these concepts are used in the Septuagint translation of Ecclesiastes 3:1. There is a chronological time to accomplish every thing that needs to get done during this lifetime, and there is an “ideal” time and way for each of those things to be accomplished. This is why Martin Luther King said: “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” (cf. Coretta Scott King). It is always time to do right, but within that time there is also the ideal moment and way to accomplish that right action.

Many people complain that they don’t have time to go to church, or to read their Bible, or to spend time with their loved ones, or to accomplish their lifetime dreams. In reality, we all have the same amount of time each day to accomplish what needs to be done. The difficulty is not in a shortage of time; it is rather a shortage of motivation, desire, and discipline to use our time wisely. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said: “The day is of infinite length for him who knows how to appreciate and use it.” (in “Ludwig Curtius, Wisdom and Experience”)

Our lives are not just measured by how long we live. In reality, every life will be measured by what we filled our time doing. Time in life is measured by the relationships established, the love given, and the impact made for God, good, and eternity. The way we use the time God gives us clearly reveals our values, our creativity, our focus, our maturity (or the lack thereof), and our self-discipline to prioritize and to fulfill those priorities.

Sir John Lubbock, in “The Pleasures of Life,” stated: “Life must be measured rather by depth than by length, by thought and action rather than by time.” I like that. Using that measurement, how is your life measuring up? Are you making lasting, deep, constructive impacts on the lives of others on behalf of God? Or are you just filling time with fleeting busyness?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in “Hyperion,” commented: “What is Time? The shadow on the dial, the striking of the clock, the running of the sand, day and night, summer and winter, months, years, centuries - these are but arbitrary and outward signs, the measure of Time, not Time itself. Time is the Life of the soul. If not this, then tell me, what is Time?”

If time is the “Life of the soul,” how is your soul? Is it shriveling or enlarging? Is it being denied or nurtured? Is it hidden away, or shared with others? Chronological time is slipping away from each of us. Today is the ideal time to reestablish God as first place in your soul, time and life.

Dr. Ed Jordan is an award winning writer, and pastor of Gate City Baptist Church, 500 W. Maple Street in Pocatello. He can be reached at

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Family Reunion

It is that time of year when families gather for the annual reunion: aunts, uncles and cousins, some twice removed, and, to complicate things, some twice or thrice married. Reunions are a mixed bag. Some experience the thrill of familiar faces that frame the memories of their youth, and plunge into the pleasure of telling stories passed down through the years, embellished with each cycle of telling. “Do you remember when …?” The stories don’t even require a complete telling. Laughter fills the circle before the story can be told because everyone who is listening has either heard it or told it countless times.

Others hang back along the fringe, looking puzzled, trying to figure out who these people are and how they might be remotely related to them. The young and the newly added “in-laws” are usually in this number. Sometimes they seek each other and have their own make-shift reunion, sharing the common bond of amnesia regarding the inside jokes and familiar references to names not present, faceless people everyone else seems to know whose absence makes their presence even more pronounced.

The reunion has a strange mix of sorrow and laughter. Significant people are absent. Voices that once echoed at the tables of past reunions now lie silent beneath the earth. The same people who gather for the reunion gathered and wept at the funerals for those who no longer come. Their memories are like the deep colors that form the background for vivid paintings or the rich bass tones of the oboe and the French horn that enrich the orchestra. At the same time, these sorrows are offset by giggling children who appear like bright colors that dance on the canvass and whose laughter picks up future melodies like the flute.

We somehow have confidence that Heaven is about reunions. We all look forward to seeing people who loved us, those we loved, when we get to Heaven. And, somehow, this earthly reunion helps us look forward to that day. We don’t know exactly how it will happen or how God could manage all the intertwined family relationships when we get to Heaven, but, somehow, family reunions portend the Heavenly event. When I was a child we sang, “Will the circle be unbroken?” It was a way to ask the question together and look forward to something more, something more perfect that God has planned for us.

Jesus did not shy away from using this image to help us look forward to a more perfect day. He said, “In my Father’s House are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go and prepare a place for you that where I am, there you may be also.” The book of Hebrews uses this metaphor to spur us on to better living: “Seeing that we are surrounded by so great a host of witnesses, let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the originator and the finisher of the race.” It seems to me that God takes pleasure in our reunions, just as He takes pleasure in reuniting Himself with us through His Son.

Bill Tinsley “reflects” on current evens and life experience from a faith perspective. Reflections appears in multiple newspapers an is available weekly via email by writing

Monday, August 2, 2010

Next Generation Leaders

Investing in next generation leaders is a rewarding experience for me. Today, I began a peer learning community with six servants of God who are in the beginning stages of ministry. After that, I visited with dear friends who have faithfully served Christ and His church for more than 50 years. Both bless me. From the latter I encounter practical wisdom gained throughout the years. With the other, I share the sunrise of potential Kingdom impact.

Both sunrise and sunset are beautiful. But, I find great hope in investing in those who are just beginning their vocational ministry roles. One of my desires is to help each group appreciate the other. To the young leaders, I am an older guy. To those who have retired, I am still among the young.

But as I was influenced and mentored by others, now I want to pour my life into those who follow. Let me be clear, it is not that I have great knowledge, rather I engage as a fellow learner in our mutual service of the King. Together, we can hear His voice, celebrate our individual calling into intimacy with Him, and share the joys and sorrows we experience in the tasks to which we are sent in His mission.

We are each called to into intimacy with Him and sent to live His mission. In that young and old have much in common.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gone Fishing...

Where have you been? Some have been asking me this question. On March 13, my best friend in ministry died. Dr. Jerry McKinney was more than a friend. He was a pastor who grasped the significance of the missional church and had become the most encouraging supporter of our work through Missional Church Center. Further, Jerry was old enough and wise enough to have become a father figure to me. When we visited, whether in person or more frequently by phone, our conversations were lengthy, deep, and transparent.

Jerry was an avid reader; in fact we became acquainted after he had read and resonated with the content of Shaped by God’s Heart: the Passion and Practices of Missional Churches. From the pastor’s study at Putnam City Baptist Church he called me to enquire about meeting. I will never forget the morning he drove from Oklahoma City to meet me at my Dallas office. I knew shortly after we met that I was in the presence of a critical thinker whose greatest hunger was to know God intimately and lead disciples to follow Him faithfully.

It was my privilege to share the message at Jerry’s memorial service there in the sanctuary where he had stood to teach God’s message. Only two months before, on January 21, Jerry had invited a group of men together to consider the development of an Advisory and Support team for our Missional Church Center ministry. It was in Jerry’s words, “to help take the ministry to the next level.”

I never saw him again after that meeting. My schedule carried me over the next six weeks to various states. I did not know that his cancer, multiple-myeloma, had grown resistant to the experimental medications that had worked to abate symptoms and spread of the horrible disease. Then, he was hospitalized and not able to have visitors. His family created a blog so that those who loved Jerry and the family could be aware of the daily, sometimes hourly, changes in his condition.

I did not know that the final hug we shared on January 21 would be our last. That our prayers together that day would be the last time we would speak to our Father together.

Where have I been? One answer to that question, an accurate one, would be, “I have been fulfilling the commitments to ministry that I had made prior to Jerry’s death.” I have continued to research and prepare to speak to the best of my ability. I have prepared proposals for churches that are in “critical condition” and who desperately need to find a vision pathway toward the future. I have worked on creation of tools to help the staff of an association of churches to more effectively identify churches with common issues, so that they can more effectively assist those churches toward health in God’s mission.

Where have I been? “On the back porch with Jesus,” would be another correct response. I had determined at the beginning of this year that in my personal time with God I would delve into the Gospels, spending a year listening to the words of Jesus. That is what I have been doing. Just today, I read each of the synoptic Gospels account of the Transfiguration of Christ. I watched Peter go from the confessing “rock” to the restricting “stumbling-block.” I keep hearing Jesus say, “He who has ears to hear, let Him hear.” Today, I heard the Father say, “This is My Son. Listen to Him.”

Where have I been? I might answer, “Away from the pen and keyboard.” My capacity to write has been stifled. I have not posted on Facebook or Twitter. I have been unable to complete the proposal for the book on which I am working. While I continue to compile research, I have failed to make progress in the body of writing. There is a gap in my personal journal, even though I was reading and being enriched in the Word, I found no way to record what I was hearing and observing.

Where have I been? I have been in a fog of grief. At first I was totally oblivious to what was going on in my soul. There was an emptiness for which I found no resolve. Over a period of months, I realized that I was “in a funk.” Now, the fog of that experience has begun to lift. Please don’t misunderstand; I never sensed that Jesus abandoned me. I still connected with friends and family. I still laughed. But after the laughter, my soul still felt empty.

You can say, “Buck up man…you are a child of God. You shouldn’t go through such experiences.” “You should have greater maturity in Christ than that!” You can say what you wish. I simply know where I have been. And even if it seemed to the entire world a most unproductive place, I would beg to differ. Something in side of me is different; different in a good way. I do not know where I may be tomorrow. But on this side of the experience, I know that where I have been has been a good place.

After Jesus death, Peter said, I am going fishing. Across the years, I have read that as an abdication of his responsibility as a disciple following Jesus’ death and resurrection. I perceived Peter negatively, running away when the tough times came. Now I think that in the absence of his best friend, he needed a comfortable place where he could heal. For one who was raised as a fisherman, the sea was that place.

All of us have times when we need to get away; times when little is demanded of us. Times when we can retreat to a place that is comfortable. I guess that is where I have been…fishing. Not literally; but figuratively. I have withdrawn for a period of time until the pain began to recede and the way forward began to appear.

Where I am is a good place.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of the Coming Generation


"How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings...You will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” – Matthew 23:37, 39

That many who are now small children would soon become passionate followers of Christ; that during their lifetimes they will finish evangelizing the world; that they will endure suffering to overcome evil and bring forth the promised blessing of God upon all peoples; that they will give Christ the finest whole-life worship of all history.

PRAYERWALK: Walk your city consciously thinking of the people who will live and work there in years to come, should the Lord tarry. Pray for the generation that will be dwelling in your city when Jesus returns.

Pray for God’s peace and glory to be upon Jerusalem.

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Elderly People


They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; He is my Rock...” – Psalm 92:14-15 (NIV)

That God’s strength and peace will be poured out on everyone who is advanced in years. Pray that they may be honored, that they may be cared for; that loneliness be banished through lasting friendships and family bonds; that sickness be lifted; that they may live to see their prayers answered; that their latter years will be significant, reflecting the glory of God.

PRAYERWALK: Pray at a retirement community or an extended care facility.

United Arab Emirates, Yemen

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Friday, March 26, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Children


Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. – Mark 10:14 (NIV)

That children will hear the gospel and encounter Christ early in life; that God’s great fatherly heart will be revealed with healing power to kids who have been wounded or disappointed by their parents; for lasting family stability; for excellence in education; for wisdom to be formed in their early days; for safety from violence and perversion; for laughter and joy.

PRAYERWALK: Pray for kids in your neighborhood or in nearby schools and playgrounds. Pray for the entire family that surrounds each of the children as you pass by their homes.

Syria, Tunisia, Turkey

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of the Military


A centurion came to Him, asking for help...When Jesus heard this, He was astonished and said...“I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” – Matthew 8:5, 10 (NIV)

For the gospel to spread through the special relationships of military life; for courage and protection in the danger of battle; for wisdom and the fear of the Lord as military personnel are sometimes called upon to do the work of governing and enforcing law; for grace upon chaplains and other spiritual leaders; that God will fortify families stretched by numerous moves and separations.

PRAYERWALK: Pray near a military base or establishment.

Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seek God on behalf of Gangs


“Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.” – Psalm 12:5

That God will satisfy their deep desires for significance and belonging; for God to break spiritual and social powers holding them; for caring Christians to embrace them in the authentic love of God’s family; for blessing upon the neighborhoods they claim.

PRAYERWALK: Pray at a place affected by gang activity. Speak God’s Word as you walk to spiritually “tag” the territories with unseen but real declarations of His Lordship and love.

Lebanon, Libya, Morocco

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Day Laborers


Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. - Psalm 128:1-2 (NIV)

Pray that God will reveal the dignity and honor of doing work as unto Christ; that workplaces would be a setting of safety, joy and friendship for workers to be treated with justice and dignity; for continued employment in the changing global economy; for many to follow Christ and serve Him openly in the workplace with co-laborers.

PRAYERWALK: Almost every community has factories, construction sites or other places of industry. Pray for the laborers in these places.

Israel, Jordan, Kuwait

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Monday, March 22, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Broken Families


The LORD...supports the fatherless and the widow. – Psalm 146:9

Pray for healing of broken or embittered relationships; for comfort when a family member has passed away. Pray especially for children; that the Father heart of God will overshadow each to bring wholeness and that they would know the joy of being part of God’s family; that God will meet financial needs, bring supportive friends and grant hope to many who come to follow Christ.

PRAYERWALK: Apartment buildings often house fragmented families. Pray around an apartment complex, focusing prayers on those who have been bereaved or divorced.

Egypt, Iran, Iraq

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Ethnic Communities


All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him. – Psalm 22:27 (NIV)

That God will bring racial harmony; that longstanding offenses may be healed by the forgiveness which begins in Jesus; that Christians show honor and act in Christ’s reconciling power; that the beauty of distinctive languages and cultures would be on display in local churches.

PRAYERWALK: Pray blessings near a neighborhood known for an ethnic identity different than your own; or pray blessings upon a business which is owned by people of another ethnicity than yours.

Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Arts and Entertainment


He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts... to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. – Exodus 35:31, 33 (NIV)

That God will inspire artists and those in the entertainment industry with creativity and wisdom that reflects God’s beauty; that they will seek God themselves and come to follow Christ with courage; that their work will bring strength, goodness and hope to our communities.

PRAYERWALK: Visit a theater, art museum or place of entertainment for the purpose of praying for the artists and those working in support capacities.

Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Yugoslavia

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Friday, March 19, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Judges and Law Enforcement


Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what 
is right. – Psalm 106:3 (NIV)

Pray for righteous wisdom, principled patience and gentle authority; for physical and emotional protection; strength and blessing for their families; that they will become agents of God’s hand to resist evil and preserve an environment in which heaven’s justice can increase.

PRAYERWALK: Pray outside the nearest police station or court. Leave a short personal note for judges or police leaders letting them know how Christians are praying for them today.

Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Svalbard Islands, Sweden

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Unemployed


That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil — this is the gift of God. – Ecclesiastes 3:13 (NIV)

That God will meet the needs of those without work in a way that they can clearly thank God for His provision; that they will soon find meaningful employment and glorify God for it; that God will open the way for righteous trade so that the entire city prospers 
in God’s provision.

PRAYERWALK: Pray for those in your neighborhood who have recently lost their job or are struggling to find one.

Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pruning, Productivity & Olympic Success

A Word of Hope
Jamie Work
March 17, 2010

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit" (John 15:2)
Twenty-nine-year-old Olympian Erin Pac was a heptathlon athlete at Springfield College in Massachusetts. The heptathlon is a track and field event which includes seven events - javelin throw, hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, sprint, and an 800-meter race. It is definitely NOT an athletic event for the faint of heart.

Neither is bobsledding. Like any athlete, Pac dreamed of one day competing in the track and field, or maybe even gymnastics. One thing she did not expect to compete in was bobsledding. But in 2002, she was invited to the Olympic Training Center at Lake Placid, New York to push a bobsled. Erin said, "I never watched a bobsled run in my life before I tried out for it." But she soon found that she not only enjoyed the challenge, but that she is pretty good at it.

She just missed making the 2006 Olympic Team when she was competing as a brakeman, but she was the favorite this year as a bobsled driver hurtling downhill at 90 miles per hour in what looks like a fiberglass missile, in the two-woman sled, USA II. She and her bobsledding partner, earned the Bronze Medal with a a time of 3 minutes, 33:13 seconds in four runs down Whistler Mountain.

Both Erin and her teammate Elana are Christians. But the life lesson all of us can learn from Erin's perseverance and success in the winter sport of bobsledding is that when we make ourselves available, fruit can be borne in our lives in unexpected places. Erin earned an Olympic medal in a sport she did not know until after her 21st birthday... but she wasn't afraid to try.

Jesus said that the spiritual fruit you and I will bear will be a result of His pruning our lives. In other words, new growth, and heartier fruit, will come in places where we have learned some difficult, and sometimes painful, lessons (pruning isn't for the faint of heart). Are you willing to go to that new place the Lord is challenging you toward? There's no telling what fruit awaits you there.

Seek God on Behalf of Depressed People


But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us. – 2 Corinthians 7:6 (NIV)

That God’s healing presence will reach them; that the light of truth will dispel lies and the oppressive power of Satan; for helpful counsel; for the healing of long-standing wounds of mind and soul; that they would know the comfort and joy of the Holy Spirit; for the renewing of their minds in Christ.

PRAYERWALK: Pray for people you see today who may be downcast, even though they appear to be cheerful and strong.

Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Substance Abusers


On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage. –Isaiah 14:3 (NIV)

That God will break every form of bondage, including alcoholism and drug addiction. Pray for wise counselors to bring intervention and help; that God will heal their bodies; that they will turn from self-centered lives to living their lives for Christ.

PRAYERWALK: Walk your neighborhood, considering those who may be bound in alcoholism or drug addiction, calling on God to free them.

France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of the Unborn


For He will deliver...the afflicted who have no one to help. He the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in His sight. – Psalm 72:12-14 (NIV)

That these precious children will be acknowledged and honored by all; for each of them to find sheltering homes; that the awful waste of their lives would cease; that they would come to Christ at an early age; for the parents of unborn babies, that God would turn their hearts 
toward their children.

PRAYERWALK: As you pray for your neighbors or co-workers, pray that God will break the power of self-centered lifestyles that disregard children, and that He will forgive and heal those who have harmed their children in any way.

Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Don't cry?

As Jesus was approaching the city of Nain in southwest Galilee, a funeral procession approached from the opposite direction. The deceased was a young man, the only son of a widow. One can imagine the depth of sorrow emitting from the grieving mother and the large crowd with her.

Jesus first words to her were those that I counsel others not to say to a person in grief. In fact, the words may be among the most detrimental that we can speak, “Don’t cry.” Yesterday one of my closest friends in ministry died, Dr. Jerry McKinney, pastor of Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. Even as his son was speaking with me on the phone yesterday, tears streamed down my face. They do again this morning as I write. They doubtless will again Tuesday when we share in the memorial service.

Would I dare to say to Jerry’s family, “Don’t cry? Why would I try to stop their tears? The word “cry” in the New Testament is akin to the word “to break.” That is the image that we often use isn’t it? She broke down crying. When our heart is breaking, tears flow from the brokenness. And somehow those tears are therapeutic. Over time, they wash over us until the grief becomes tolerable. I am not saying the hurt goes away. I am not saying that we “get over it.”

That is another sad statement that I sometimes hear spoken of persons in grief. “He just needs to get over it now.” Reality is that we do learn to live beyond the sorrow, but we do so with a new normal. That new normal includes an empty place, a part of us that is missing. Often the metaphor is used of a stone wheel that suddenly has a section broken out from its circumference. It can still roll, but every time it passes the place where the broken piece used to be there will be a rough bump. Continue rolling long enough and the friction will ultimately begin to smooth out the rough place. Then the jolt becomes less pronounced. But, the wheel will never again be the same as it was before the pain, because something dear will always be missing.

So was Jesus wrong to say, “Don’t cry?” Oh no, he was not wrong, because He gave the broken piece back alive again. His touch restored life. His heart went out to a grieving widowed mother, and “Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Her grief turned to joy in that moment.

For us, we know that Jerry McKinney is more alive today than He has ever been. He is with the Father whose love He experienced and whose Words he proclaimed. But we are separated from Jerry for a season. And so we cry. We cannot see him, touch him, sit and talk, laugh together at his stories. His family cannot sit with him watching the ocean, feeling its breeze blow across their faces. Grandchildren cannot sit in their grandfather’s lap. There is an empty place that cannot be filled by another. The grief is real. But, so is the confidence that our friend still lives and that one day we will celebrate life together again. Then, and only then, there will be no more tears.

Seek God on Behalf of Fathers


Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)

That fathers will look to God as the ultimate spiritual head of their household, serving and caring for their families; that God will instill a vision for wholesome, supportive fatherhood among the fathers of the city; that absentee fathers would change their lifestyles to nurture their wives and children; that children will see the character of the heavenly Father in the lives of their dads.

PRAYERWALK: Pray for the fathers near your workplace or home.

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

God’s Presence in Tough Times

(I wrote these words just minutes before the death of one of my closest friends in ministry, Dr. Jerry McKinney. Jerry went home to be with the Father at 11:57 AM today after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma.)

A dear friend is suffering through cancer, I want to believe that God will heal him, may heal him. I struggle with even choosing the words to use. Do I believe that God can heal? Absolutely. Do I have confidence that He will heal in this instance? Honestly, no. And that makes me feel like a man of such tenuous faith. I read promises about “asking” with faith. I read “is anyone sick among you, let him call for the elders…” I read of anointing with oil and effectual fervent prayer. And then I still hope that some combination of medical prescriptive and divine fiat will become the miracle today.

I am a man of faith. I am one who teaches others things concerning God. How then can I be so uncertain when the shadow of death begins to fall over my friend? Years ago, it seems, I had many more answers than I do today. I spoke with such assurance of things that I knew so little about. I had read some of the things of God and how He works among us. Although I had faced few soul shaking challenges, I had a head filled with information. I had answers.

Now, as I walk further into the days of my own journey, I have more questions; less hard and fast, easy answers. Does that mean that I have less faith? No. Somehow the faith has only grown as the questions have multiplied. God is in control, and one day I will understand much more than I do today. For now, it is enough to know His presence in the midst of unanswered questions.

Seek God on Behalf of Agricultural Workers


For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15 (NIV)

That God will abundantly bless families who farm, ranch or support agricultural industries; that they would follow Christ and find ways to be part of life-giving churches. Pray especially for migrant workers who sometimes face injustice and great difficulties.

PRAYERWALK: Pray in a rural area for God’s blessing on the land and the families He has placed there.

Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finding a Way Forward in Difficult Situations

Below are brief accounts of three of this week’s global stories. Easy answers to difficult situations are seldom found. As Jesus followers, we long to see aid brought to those in need and the safety of those working to provide resources to meet those needs. I share the following to allow more informed intercession. Our Father who cares about “the least of these” is at work and we seek to join Him in His activity.

Afghanistan: Will Taliban Protect Humanitarian Aid Workers

Insurgents in Afghanistan have shown interest in negotiating with the UN and aid agencies on humanitarian access and aid distributions, according to a purported Taliban spokesman. "If aid agencies contact our local Mujahedin and reach an agreement we would vouch for the safety of their workers and convoys," Qari Yosuf Ahmadi told International Relief leaders on the phone from an undisclosed location. "Whether it's a vaccination campaign or food aid distribution they [aid agencies] can do their activities in consultation and agreement with us" he said.

Niger: Food prices up, incomes down

A severe food and malnutrition crisis is looming in Niger, according to aid agencies. More than 20,000 under-five children are being treated for malnutrition nationwide and at least another 200,000 are at risk of severe malnutrition.

Selling prized cattle, cutting meals, eating food intended for animals and scrounging for anything to sell as firewood or animal feed have become increasingly common, according to officials. Access to food, rather than its availability, is turning out to be the main problem in 2010, according to a US famine monitoring group. 

Food and fodder prices in parts of the south are up around 30 percent from 2009. But March incomes have dropped to half of what they were last September due to more agriculture workers competing for dwindling jobs. 

"We need to ensure people have access to food. We are not even in the hungry season yet," Aboubacar Mahamadou, said the Health Ministry's deputy director of nutrition services.

UGANDA: One doctor for 16,200 refugees

Inadequate healthcare is just one of many challenges facing the 16,200 refugees in a sprawling refugee camp in western Uganda, which is served by a single doctor. 

Among those waiting in one of the camp's two health centers was Mirian, 30, whose child was shivering with fever, most likely caused by malaria. "I walked two hours to reach the clinic this morning and have been sitting here for three. I hope the doctor can help my child - he is getting worse and worse every minute," she said. 

"We are very stretched in terms of resources to meet all our needs," said Juliet Muhumunza, project manager with the German development agency, the UN Refugee Agency's implementing health partner. "Lack of medical staff is only the tip of the iceberg of our humanitarian assistance gaps."

Seek God on Behalf of University Students


Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. – 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Pray for evangelization of entire campuses; for many to follow Christ; for the truth to radiate in a setting often hostile and cynical toward matters of faith; for students to make wise decisions, to form godly lifestyles and to shape their careers and ambitions to fulfill God’s global purposes. Pray for leadership to be strong among Christian groups on campuses; for the advance of movements of prayer and mission mobilization; for the ministries that focus on students.

PRAYERWALK: Pray for students at a place of higher education.

Rwanda, Saint Helena, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seek God on Behalf of Native Peoples


I will set My justice for a light of the peoples. – Isaiah 51:4

For God’s fullest blessing upon Native Americans; that those who live in or near your city would be honored for who they are and for all God intends them to be; that God would heal the wounds to our nation that have resulted from broken treaties and mistreatment; that the tribes will be treated justly and find their destiny and highest dignity; that churches will flourish among them and that God’s praise will resound in first nation languages.

PRAYERWALK: As you prayerwalk your neighborhood or place of business, consider the native peoples who were the first to dwell in the area that became your city. Pray for their descendents.

Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Reunion

This is an excerpt from Seek God for the City 2010, published by WayMakers. Used with permission. Hear more at