I'm a Worship Pastor and Communications Director at Grace Church in Overland Park, KS. I also co-host the All About Worship Podcast found at www.AllAboutWorship.com
This blog is a compilation of life lessons involving ministry, life, family and pretty much anything I feel like sharing.
Life's best lessons are learned from the trials and errors of yourself...and those around you. Hope you can learn from mine!
We have had a great time with the folks. They arrived here in KC last Thursday night and we reunited with them after a long year apart. We feasted on some good Kansas City BBQ while the kids got a little wild being back with their Grandma and Grandpa. I wonder what my first meal would be coming back to Kansas City if I was on the mission field for a year. I think I'd go for a nice big steak. One of my Dad's first meals was a few Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Probably aren't many doughnut places over there.
This weekend my Dad will be sharing a little during our weekend services about their experiences in Gaza and the ministry they are doing there. Thanks to all of you for praying for my folks. They've got a whirlwind time here in the states for a couple months and will be heading back in June. The kids are LOVING spending time with them. Here's a pic of Dad, me and the crew.
It's been some time since I've posted on how my folks are doing. They are well, however they have requested some urgent prayer. There are some significant things going on there that I cannot talk about on this site as google is a powerful tool for both innocent bloggers and those who would do harm to others. But my folks know the power of the praying body of Christ and would covet your prayers this week. If you'd like to learn more, feel free to email me.
Our major way of communicating instantly with my folks has been through Instant Messaging. We got a note from Mom today saying that our conversation will be modified as we're probably being "watched".
Unfortunately this does mean that I will be unable to post as much detail as I have in the past about what's going on over there and how they feel about it. I've left out details on previous posts about the specific work they are doing - that stuff you can find on their password protected blog. I'll continue to post as much as I can, but I may have to scale back a little more until the tensions over there begin to dissipate.
Prayer request: Please pray for protection against spiritual attacks. They've had some people doing some stuff against them recently that has been spiritual in nature. As my mom said in the email "The Battle is ON."
Thanks so much for your prayers. For those of you who know their blog and the password, please note that this Friday that password will be changed. If you would like the new one, please send an email to me and I'll get it to you. If you would like to learn more, please email me and I'll send the link and password. -Ben
My blogging buddy/Fellow MK friend Dan Ohlerking posted about this prayer opportunity over the past few weeks. Check out ChildrensCup.org and join the many other bloggers out there praying for children around the world. Here's the blog.
Rich Kirkpatrick, a blogging friend of mine, has been posting recently about the uncertainty of some tests he's gone through for cancer. Swing over there and have a look at his story as he daily updates what he's going through. Add him to your prayer list too please!
Thanks to all of you for praying for my folks and the situation in Gaza and Israel. Here's a note from my parents that was sent to all of their supporters:
Precious Prayer Partners,
asking you to pray urgently and fervently for the situation in the Gaza Strip.
Tass and I are in Israel. It was surely God’s providence that we came out a few
days before all of this took place and that we decided not to go back in last
Saturday, as scheduled, but rather to complete our work in Israel before we move
completely. The situation is very serious. The following excerpt of information
is a good, concise timeline of events from our friends, ______ and ______, Jewish
believers who live here in Ashdod, and their prayer request sent out earlier
By a daring operation of
digging a long tunnel from the Gaza Strip to directly under an Israeli military
unit guarding the southern border, a terrorist Palestinian group succeeded
Sunday to attack the Israeli soldiers, killing two, wounding five and kidnapping
one, who is being held by the Hamas's military wing. The whole country is
following the event with much prayer for the safe return of the kidnapped
solder. Meanwhile it was reported by the Palestinians that they have kidnapped
another youth from the settlers in the west bank. There is the danger that the
solder will be moved out of Gaza into Sinai where, according to a spokesman for
the Popular Resistance the "Zionist enemy cannot reach."
PM Olmert has promised
today to focus all effort in bringing the kidnapped soldier back and to fight
terror without negotiations, promising a "broad and ongoing" military offensive
in the Gaza Strip. "Our efforts are not intended to punish the Palestinian
people, but to bring kidnapped IDF soldier Shalit home. We don't want to harm
innocent people, but we won't let the Palestinians harm us." The IDF (Israeli
Defense Force) completed massive forces mobilization along the Gaza border
overnight Monday, to put pressure on the Hamas's armed faction, which was
believed to be holding Shalit. Nevertheless, IDF officials said they were still
pursuing a diplomatic solution to avoid, if possible a broad attack that could
threaten the soldier's life.
Spokesmen for Hamas and
Fattah militiamen said they had deployed thousands of their men in the streets
to repel any Israeli attack, vowing to turn the Gaza Strip into a "graveyard for
the Israeli army." Many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began preparing for the
coming Israeli military operation by planting roadside bombs and car bombs along
major routes. Gunmen belonging to various groups took strategic positions and
others barricaded themselves behind sandbags and concrete
Other nations, including
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are urging PL authorities to exert heavy
pressure on Hamas and other armed groups to release the soldier to avoid an
Israeli military response, which in his words "would complicate matters and
endanger the soldier's life". The Hamas government blames Israel for the latest
escalation, noting that several civilians had been killed in recent weeks by
Israel, but ignoring the constant barrage of Kassam missiles on Israeli towns
close to Gaza.
We are asking you to pray
for the SAFE RETURN OF THE TWO KIDNAPPED ISRAELIS, WISDOM FOR THE ISRAELI
GOVERNMENT AND ARMY AS TO THE OPERATION IN GAZA TO AVOID ESCALATION AND MANY
There is much going on very
near the area where we have taken a house and, of course our friend S. and
Pastor ________ and his family are there as well. Please pray for the new
believers in Gaza and that this will only strengthen them and not discourage
them. Pray that through this God will cause the church in Gaza to be
strengthened and that they will not be discouraged.
Hey everybody. I just wanted to drop a quick update on my folks. With recent events in Israel and Gaza, things are a little tense there. Mom and Dad happen to be in Israel this week and won't be able to get back into Gaza for awhile. Their house in Gaza is almost ready for them, however, with the rising tensions, their new home and the work will be delayed until they can cross the border.
Thanks to all for praying for my Dad. He is now in Israel. He's witnessed some terrible things at a very close range this week in Gaza. The news never tells the full story. He attempted to cross back into Israel Tuesday and they told him to try the next day. This was a bit worrisome, but they let him cross over yesterday. It's really sad to see innocent Palestinians caught in the middle of this war. They are nothing but pawns to those who hate freedom.
I have several pictures that he's taken, but he's asked me to not post any right now. I'll post whatever I can sometime soon. There are some amazing pictures. Thanks again to all for your prayers!