Worldwide Wednesday: T Pray for Trinidad and Tobago

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago are Two islands off the coast of Venezuela.

 

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Cross-cultural vision is quite small but growing. The nation needs to move from a receiving mentality to a sending mentality. Pray for greater awareness of local and world needs, and for effective training to be given in cross-cultural outreach. A handful of Trinidadians work overseas as missionaries; pray for more. YWAM and WBT recently opened centres on Trinidad. These two groups as well as OM are active in mobilizing and sending workers abroad.

http://www.operationworld.org/trin

 

PRAYER POINTS

Pray for strong theological training in this country with many churches but few disciples.

Pray for greater utilization of the freedom to share the Gospel within the schools.

Pray for bold witness from believers with Hindu and Muslim backgrounds.

Summary

Located off the coast of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the Caribbeans most prosperous nations as a result of petroleum and natural gas production. Other exports from this industrious nation include asphalt and tobacco. Trinidad and Tobago have a high population of Africans, who were enslaved until 1834. Contract laborers from India replaced the African slaves through the early 20th Century, further diversifying the population. This diversity is celebrated to this day with the national motto: “Together we aspire, together we achieve.”

Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from Britain in 1962, and a constitution was ratified in 1976. Today, Trinidad and Tobago is governed by a parliamentary democracy, which helps to maintain unity amongst the diverse cultures. Although the nation remains 99% literate, the high unemployment rates for youth are resulting in growing violent crime, especially related to drug trafficking. Many blame North American media for penetrating the country with symbols of material wealth such as cars, homes, and fashion. Women are objectified in a culture that emphasizes physical beauty. It is also common for men to sexually harass women in public, and women risk loss of social status if they respond. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest incidences of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Around one fourth of the population is identified as Protestant, while another fourth is Roman Catholic. The rest of the population is mainly Hindu and Muslim. The variety of religions results in syncretistic beliefs within the Christian Church, including witchcraft, which is accepted within the culture. Though the number of Evangelicals is growing rapidly as a result of cross cultural missionary efforts, an unintended consequence has been the creation of a culture of dependence on visiting foreign nationals.

http://prayercast.com/trinidad-and-tobago.html

Thank you for praying for the people of Trinidad and Tobago!

Friday Favorites: Sheryl’s July 2017 News

The Freedom In Christ Discipleship Course had a strong start at the Mission at Kern County women’s program. Please pray women will be set free, healed and whole to become all God has planned for them.

Dear Friends and Family,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatains 5:1

Over the years, I’ve connected with believers around the world. I’ve sensed a frustration common to many. Believers don’t feel free. So if believers aren’t feeling it, how do we find out how to live in the freedom Christ died to give us? So glad you asked.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” I Peter 1:3 With further study, we ask God to show us how to break through to a greater level of spiritual maturity. We can trust him to uncover any areas of deception.

We can retrain and renew our minds to break free from negative thinking and destructive behavior. It’s exciting to share how vibrant freedom can be found by applying these truths and other foundational principles for abundant Christian living.

July 27 to Aug 8, Sheryl will join forces with Grace and Cor Koelewjin in Tororo, Uganda – Freedom In Christ Discipleship Course to pastors, leaders and believers.

Sheryl, Grace and Cor will partner with Josh and Mandy Shaarda (see below), Freedom in Christ missionaries in Obulle, Uganda.

Please pray: Uganda Summer 2017 team will be spiritually prepared to teach and train.  “Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word. Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things from your law.” Psalm 119:17,18. Won’t you pray for us?

If you would like to send a scholarship to support a Ugandan pastor/leader it is greatly appreciated. $150.00 each funds food, lodging, meals and conference materials. Thank you!

Please pray: Our ministry needs will be met. Sheryl’s trip expenses of $3,500.(visa/airfare/lodging) Conference fees: (books/food/travel/scholarships) $2,000. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7

I am praying for you. Love, Sheryl

Donate: www.ficm.org & note #86 – Uganda Summer Team 2017

Friday Favorites: Make Your Mark

Carol Wilcox finished well. After over three decades in ministry, she made a graceful exit into retirement, celebrating with family and friends into a new season of life. Carol’s success is largely attributed to her focus and daily decisions as she responded to Matthew 22:37: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”

Hank and wife, Carol Wilcox with Sheryl Giesbrecht and husband, Jim Turner celebrate

Carol’s retirement of over thirty years of ministry.

 

A few years ago, Dr. Robert Clinton, professor of leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary did a very thorough study of leaders in the Bible. The study is found here: Few Leaders Finish Well http://garyrohrmayer.typepad.com/files/3finishwellarticles.pdf

According to Dr. Clinton, “there are approximately 1000 leaders mentioned by name in the Bible.  Most of these leaders are mentioned by name only or are mentioned in connection with a role.  Some of the leaders receive a bit more attention but not very much information is given about their lives.  There are about 100 prominent leaders described in the Scriptures.  Of the 100 or so prominent leaders, only 49 have enough information given about them to ascertain how they finished their life and ministry.”

As he analyzed the lives of these leaders he discovered that there were four types of finishes:

1) Those cut off early:

These leaders were taken out of leadership by assassination, killed in battle, prophetically denounced, or overthrown.  Some of this activity was directly attributed to God.  Some of these were positive, some negative.

  • Examples: Abimelech, Samson, Absalom, Josiah, John the Baptist, James

2) Those that finished poorly:

These leaders were going downhill in the latter part of their lives and leadership.  This might be reflected in their personal relationship with God or in terms of their leadership competency.

  • Examples: Gideon, Samson, Eli, Saul, Solomon

3) Those that finished so-so:

These leaders did well but were limited in some areas of their leadership because of sin.  They had some negative ramifications surrounding their lives and leadership even though they personally were walking with God.

  • Examples: David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah

4) Those that finished well:

These leaders were walking with God at the end of their lives.  They contributed in God’s purposes at a high level. They fulfilled what God had for them to do.[Tweet “I wonder, will you and I fulfill what God has for us to do? ”

Examples:  Abraham, Job, Joseph, Joshua, Caleb, Samuel, Daniel, Jesus, Peter, Paul

He stayed on track with his mission by applying five key habits that countered the negative forces in His life:

  1. Solitude

  2. Prayer

  3. Knowing and applying Scripture

  4. Accepting and abiding in God’s unconditional love

  5. Maintaining supportive relationships” (Lead Like Jesus Revisited, pp 85-87)

Jesus loved God with His heart, mind, soul, strength and so did Abraham, Job, Joseph, Joshua, Caleb, Samuel and Paul.  Like the others who’ve made an eternal impact, the only way we will bear fruit that will leave a lasting mark for the kingdom is to remain in Jesus. We must abide in him. John 15:1-4 explains it best, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

My prayer each day is to remain in Jesus. I desire for God to use me to leave a mark that makes an eternal impact.

Posted online this week with Lead Like Jesus for details check it out here: http://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/make-your-mark

For more on Dr. Clinton:

http://bobbyclinton.com/store/clinton-gold/listen-up-leaders/

Worldwide Wednesday: R Pray for Romania

Pray Around the World!

Welcome to World Wide Wednesday. Today we pray for R – Romania, won’t you join us?

Romania has a special place in my heart and ministry. During the years Pastor Paul was director of the college and young adult ministry at Calvary Bible Church, we lead teams of students to visit orphanages in Bucharest, Romania. Our work there was to encourage the orphans, staff and the local church. These were the years soon after the fall of Communism in Romania. I am thankful for a vibrant Bible teaching and God believing church in Romania. Let’s check out a few more details about how we might pray for Romania. Thank you so much for your prayers!

Romania: Europe

Balkan state on the lower Danube River, a mix of mountains, hills and plains.

Official language: Romanian    Languages: 23 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 20,545,973 96.96 -0.2
Evangelicals 1,149,647 5.4 2.3

Challenges for Prayer

A legacy of brokenness endures from the days of Ceausescu’s regime, a moral vacuum being filled with every kind of social evil. Substance abuse, prostitution, pornography, human trafficking and challenges to child welfare are widespread. Romania has one of the highest abortion rates in the world,

Poverty is still common, with widespread unemployment and economic instability, caused to a large degree by rampant and entrenched corruption. Divisions in government reduce its effectiveness; major strides forward are needed in its legal, education and health care systems as well as police and local administrations. Pray for leadership that has the wisdom to chart the right path and the integrity to implement the right policies.

Christian media ministries.

  1. a) Pray for the Christian publishing houses and for the distribution networks to establish a viable, indigenously funded literature ministry. Pray that more locally written material might become available. Few pastors have a theological library. Pray that the recent inter-confessional NT will be a blessing and a useful tool for all Bible-minded Christians.

  2. b) Radio ministry continues to develop despite difficulties with permission and licences. It is a powerful tool in Romania. RMS and HCJB collaborate with the EA on the Voice of the Gospel radio network, which includes eight FM stations, all uplinked to satellite. Pray for both local commercial Christian stations and transmissions from abroad. Alfa Omega TV and Credo are interdenominational stations available on cable, satellite and the Internet with immense potential impact in evangelism, discipleship and promoting Christian values.

http://www.operationworld.org/roma

Romania

PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray for revival among nominal Orthodox Christians.
  • Pray for Christian world view to replace believers’ old Communist thought.
  • Pray for the Church of Jesus Christ to be unified in love.

SUMMARY

Even decades after the fall of communism, Romania in eastern Europe is still working to overcome the physical, economic, and emotional damages brought about by 42 years of oppressive totalitarian rule. At the north end of the Balkan Peninsula, the Carpathian Mountains and 600 miles (965 km) of the Danube River offer scenic beauty as well as provide many resources for the nation’s economy.  Rich in cultural traditions, including the folk arts of dance, music, wood-carving, weaving, and embroidery, Romania is also unique in its latin-based Romance language resulting from Roman occupation centuries ago.

Romania’s communist rule ended in 1989 with the overthrow and execution of Nicolae Ceausescu. A parliamentarian government was instituted, but much-needed economic reforms were slow to be implemented. Motivation to join the European Union (EU) accelerated many changes, and Romania was officially made part of the EU in 2007. With naval bases on its Black Sea shoreline, Romania is also a strategic asset to Europe. Corruption and economic problems persist and have left many frustrated.  An estimated 25 percent of Romania’s almost 22 million people live below the poverty line.

Even though most Romanians claim to be Christian, little evidence is seen in their lifestyles.

, and difficulties from drug abuse, prostitution, and pornography reflect the emotional state of many. The largest church influence in Romania is Eastern Orthodox, which, though it survived communism, has since replaced the government in discriminating against other Christian churches. Despite this,

An increase in materialism, devotion to tradition, and lack of unity in denominations and churches has not stopped a growing receptivity to Jesus Christ in Romania.

http://prayercast.com/romania.html

Father, we come to you on behalf of Romania. Thank you that our prayers do make a difference. Thank you for being a father to the fatherless. Thank you for putting the lonely, the orphan and the widow in families. Help us to share with our Romanian brothers and sisters. Remind us to pray for them throughout this week. We commit their triumphs and trials to you. Protect them from the evil one. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday Motivation: Remember Your Win

Have you celebrated a win lately?

It helps not only to celebrate, but to remind yourself how good it feels to complete something you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Completing a big project demands a pat on the back, a big shout-out, or a high five. Maybe you kicked a habit, finished a project, or celebrated an anniversary. Affirmations of our accomplishments should direct us to praise God since He is the one who helped us complete the task. Stepping back to praise Him reminds us we could not have finished the task without God’s help. He deserves the praise!

In the Old Testament, it was the custom to set up physical markers as reminders of victory or encounters with God. These tall stone pillars were large enough to see for a mile and could not be ignored by the passerby. One of them is found in 1 Samuel 7:7 when Samuel prayed for deliverance from the Philistines. God answered Samuel’s prayers for protection for the Israelites by confusing the enemy and re-routing them away from the people. After the victory, Samuel “took a stone and named it ‘Ebenezer’ saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”

Let me give you some modern day examples. Think about the Washington Monument – erected to remember President George Washington. Consider the Lincoln Monument — a reminder of the contributions of President Abraham Lincoln. And then there’s good old Mount Rushmore – a literal memorial of several great presidents. Why not erect a spiritual marker to help you remember a recent victory in your life? Have you paid off a debt? Overcome a nagging habit? Think about erecting a spiritual marker. You might try framing your reminder or photo, planting a tree in your backyard, setting up a few small stones, or setting aside a special place for a reminder in your home.

Or maybe none of those work for you. During the time we were dating, my-then-future-husband, Jim and I were working on a new discipline to improve our relationship. On one of our road trips, we ran across this magnificent marble vase as a reminder, we decided to buy it. The vase helped us remember our win. It remained on my kitchen table, where we dined daily, until we were married. Months later, as a wedding gift, we received a lovely wind chime to remind us of God’s presence in our marriage. Both of these items and a few more remind us “The Lord has helped me!”

But above all, praise God for what He has done. Just praise God for His victory and say with Samuel, “The Lord has helped me!”

Let’s pray: Lord, thank you for helping me complete a big project. Thank you Lord, for giving me the victory. It’s only through you it was completed. I give you the glory for power and might. Thank you for giving me strength as I rely on you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday Favorites: From Ashes To Beauty June 2017 News

Happy Friday Friends – Sheryl’s June News!

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 2 Thess. 5:16-18

June Joy! I love summer. What? Summer in Bakersfield? Yes, that’s right. It’s often over 100 degrees here. And I am thankful for my hometown. What about you? Do you dread the future? Is this is your first summer without a loved one? Maybe you are facing difficulty? Regardless of the reasons why you don’t feel joy, here’s something to consider. You might be stuck. It helps to take time to notice why you might not be healthily moving through your trial. The relaxed schedule of the summer months can offer you time to seek God’s peace instead of staying where you are. This is called recovery.

At the Mission at Kern County’s discipleship program many experienced healing and hope as the women learned how to move through their losses. Upon completing GriefShare, we participated in a memorial service remembering our losses – time, relationships, and pets and loved ones.

I am so excited to work with an amazing team to put together our Fall Fundraiser: Unquenchable Faith with keynote speaker Carol Kent. Please save the date of Monday, September 18, 2017. You won’t want to miss the evening. It will be a memorable experience and strengthen your faith.

 This is Jason and Carol Kent. Don’t miss the amazing testimony from Carol Kent whose only son, Jason is serving a life sentence in a federal prison. Carol has experienced life giving hope and a wildfire faith that is contagious. Mark your calendars, now for “Unquenchable Faith” Monday 9/18/17 in Bakersfield, CA.

Why should you join us for Unquenchable Faith? You will hear encouraging reports from those impacted by Sheryl’s teaching, training, coaching and counseling ministry. You will have the opportunity to win a cruise. You can bid on fabulous auction items. You can network with friends and other ministry partners from across the USA.

Grace and Cor Koelewjin with Sheryl. Please pray for preparation and travel to Tororo, Uganda July 27 to Aug 8 to work with Grace and Cor Koelewjn. This dynamic couple cares for orphans and trains leaders in Uganda.  The focus of this trip will be Freedom In Christ – Discipleship Course. To donate to trip expenses of $3,500, go to www.ficm.org and note #86 – Freedom for Leaders.

I hope you can take time to be restored this summer. Please plan to join us in September to revive your faith and renew your joy!

PS: It is our joy to pray for you. My husband, Jim Turner and I have ‘got you covered!’

Much love – Sheryl and Jim

 

Monday Motivation: Eyes on Him

Monday Motivation: Eyes on Him

What motivates you? As we plan for the week ahead, let’s consider what God has planned.

Here’s how it works: I remember when my kids were toddlers; I didn’t let them out of my sight. It’s a parent thing – we keep our children or grandchildren in range of sight so we can try to protect them from evil and attempt to keep them out of harm’s way.

In some ways our God’s care and concern over us, his blessed children is similar. Yet his true desire and passion is much more than we can ever comprehend. 2 Chronicles 16:9 explains God’s constant watch care over us, ”For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” In my mind’s eye, I picture the Lord’s scope of vision like a 360 degree camera, nothing and no one can escape his view. God’s eyes are on us all the time, we are never out of his sight.

Psalm 33:16-19 reminds us, “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.”

His eyes on us, but are our eyes on Him? Refuse to take your eyes off of the only One who can direct your path, keep you safe and prosper you. For those of us who are parents or grandparents, we can relate to watching over our children or grandchildren with care. However, we can learn additional lessons from the art of archery:

  1. Clearly see your target – keep your goal in mind. Make your main goal be to spend the first hour of your day with God.
  2. Notice external factors that could affect hitting the target – eliminate external barriers or distractions that could prevent you from reaching your goal. Plan ahead — the night before, make sure you have your Bible, journal, study materials and even a pen ready for your time alone with God.
  3. Be aware of your own readiness to ensure you are ready to hit the target – Eliminate distractions, set your alarm and your coffee pot to ensure success. Speak truth over yourself and your time alone with God. Plan ahead for the opportunity to walk close to God. Celebrate your victory and remind yourself of your identity in Christ. Failed in the past? You have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.

What are you aiming for? I hope you are keeping your eyes on Him. By understanding and implementing just a few things will make all the difference in how we work, play and live. You will find others will ask you how it’s done. And that brings us back to the reason for it all. That all eyes are on Him. Give Him glory. Here’s a closing prayer from Psalm 25:14,15.

Dear Lord, thank you that you “confide in those who fear you; you make your covenant known to us.” I pray that “my eyes are ever on you Lord, for only you will release my feet from the snare.” I choose to keep my focus on you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Friday Favorites: How To Regroup the Troops

How to Regroup the Troops

What battles rage on your field today? Take “time out” to regroup your troops and “stand down.” Are you disappointed in someone who has let you down? I love this quote from W. Glynn Evans,

How does this happen? We must ‘take our position, stand still and wait (watch) for God to work.’ And that is the hardest part. We are not very good at waiting. Are you disappointed in your job, suffering from financial loss, grieving a loved one, struggling with addiction? Here are four lessons from 2 Chronicles 19, the battle of King Jehosaphat:

1. One of the most difficult things to do in doing battle God’s way is to stop.  “Cease striving and know I am God,” Psalm 46:10.

2. When we are stopped, we must stand still.  “Take your position, stand still, and watch the Lord’s victory” 2 Chronicles 19:17

3. Do you think God is taking too long? God wants us to wait on his timing.  “That is why I wait expectantly, trusting God to  help, for He has promised,” Psalm 130:5

4.We must trust Him – that’s called belief.  “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm” ”2

“Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with King Jehosaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies” 2 Chronicles 19:21

Let’s pray,

“Dear Father, thank you for the opportunity to submit to your will today. We choose to “stand down.” I commit all of those who are struggling with disease and death to your plan, give them peace, comfort and hope in your plans for their future. Thank you for this chance to stop, stand still, wait and believe. Lord, protect my family and friends from everything but what will glory you the most. We praise you in advance for the opportunity to celebrate and glorify you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Worldwide Wednesday: Q Pray for Qatar

Pray Around the World!

Greetings, Friends — it’s time to pray on Worldwide Wednesday – Q –

I am reminded of the prayer our Lord Jesus prayed for his disciples and for us in John 17:15 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” Please pray these words today for yourself, your family, your church, your community and our brothers and sisters in Qatar. Here’s a bit of information to encourage and enlighten you about the people for whom you are praying.

Qatar

Official language: Arabic    Languages: 6 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Muslim

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 89,142 5.91 2.2
Evangelicals 14,552 1.0 3.3
Muslim 1,333,206 88.39

Challenges for Prayer

Expatriates are drawn from many nations by the high earnings in Qatar, but

Pray for the employment opportunities (from manual labour up to executive positions) to be filled by Christians who would be an intentional Kingdom presence in Qatar.

http://www.operationworld.org/qata

PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray for open doors for Muslims to hear and receive the Gospel.

  • Pray for a deep spiritual hunger amid such material wealth.

  • Pray for the birth of an indigenous church focused on sharing the Gospel with all Qataris.

SUMMARY

The State of Qatar, unlike many other Middle Eastern nations, has successfully avoided the unrest and violence of the Arab Spring. The peninsula nation bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia was part of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire until 1918, and then operated under British protection until 1971. The nation’s power has resided solely in the Al Thani family since the mid 1800s – from the days of pearl fishing and being one of the poorest Gulf states to the nation’s current vast oil wealth. In 2007,

http://prayercast.com/qatar.html

Let’s pray, “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the words of Jesus. We pray for jobs, for opportunities and for favor for those in need. We ask you for protection, strength and guidance for ourselves, our families, our churches, our communities and our brothers and sisters in Qatar. “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15  In Jesus name amen.”

Monday Motivation: Search For Peace Through Contentment Training

Monday Motivation: Search for Peace Through Contentment Training 

Every few months, I take a long drive in my car alone. I spend the first few hours speaking heartfelt prayers outloud to God. It is amazing therapy for my soul. God’s word says it’s good for us to be open before God Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

I used to think I had to clean up my act before I went to God with my requests.

But God wants us to bring all the messes we’ve made to him, he has already planned how he will clean it up. He wants us to trust Him to make a message out of  our mess. Phil 4:12 reminds us “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

The way it works for me is: I begin by telling God how frustrated and upset I am feeling. It really helps to pour out my heart, share my feelings and release my pent-up emotions. A good cry goes a long way.

I ask God to increase my awareness of His presence with me. I listen in the depths of my spirit for God’s response. God brings helpful scriptures to my mind, which bathe my mind and heart in them. And then I praise Him, this lifts my spirits like nothing I’ve felt before. God is up to something new. Isaiah 43:18-19

Let’s pray, “Father, thank you for arranging messes in our lives to help us to be honest with you. Thank you for caring about our soul and wiring us to need you. In Jesus’ Name Amen.”