“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”—Mark 8.36Since we began in the spring of 2007, we are quickly coming to the end of the first full year of Renewed Heart Ministries (RHM). And with this milestone, looking back at birth pains and now at the inevitable growing pains of every ministry, I am personally soliciting prayers for wisdom as we face 2009. I must confess that I am away from home too much. I have spent too many days, weeks and months on the road this past year. And although I long to have as many as possible see God for who He really is, I cannot continue to do this at the cost of my family. Both of my daughters recently called me while I was on the road. I will spare them the embarrassment of revealing the details of our conversation, but it is evident that they miss their Papa.
Recently, I heard the story of a father who was in a position much like mine. He decided to pull away from his ministry as a traveling preacher and dedicate himself to a local congregation where he could get to know his family once again. Time does not permit here to express the difference this made in this traveling preacher’s son’s life. From that day forward this preacher’s family became his first priority. And that preacher’s son grew up to be none other than Billy Graham.
Does this mean that I will pull away entirely from traveling and speaking? No. But it does mean I will be pulling back some. As I look at 2009, I am currently scheduled to be away almost every weekend until the spring of 2010. I cannot—and will not—do this any longer to my kids and my wife. I am praying that the public will understand. I’m also praying that the support we have received as a ministry will continue while we seek as a ministry to put our priorities in a better order. What will this mean? Although I will continue to do meetings every month, I am actively praying for wisdom to know how to limit the amount of time I am away. Inevitably, this means some churches must be cancelled or rescheduled. I know this is not going to be pleasant. We currently have openings starting in the summer of 2010. Please understand, of course this does not mean that all travel will be suspended. However, in 2009, some meetings will have to wait. I cannot spend another year watching my children grow up without a father.
We are also going to be dedicating more time to the projects that enable the gospel to be shared without as much travel. My speaking schedule has not permitted me to spend half the time I desire this year on many of the projects we as a ministry were supposed to have out by now. The DVD’s alone of Life Unlimited were supposed to be ready by June; instead, they are just now being released. The book we were scheduled to release by January is now scheduled for 2010 from the Review and Herald. The first three Bible Studies we wanted to finish are edited; however, my speaking schedule has prevented our team from continuing this project with any efficiency. Please understand, we at RHM seek not just balance, but effectiveness. And although we have been incredibly busy, we have not been as effective as we desire in providing resources for others to use as well. Thus for the sake of family, and for Renewed Heart Ministries as a whole, please pray for us as we seek wisdom in 2009.
I wish you God’s best this week!