Archive for the ‘Willow Creek’ Category

I wrote to as many of you as read this site about an invitation to our Men’s Breakfast this Saturday. Well, there has been a change of place. We will NOT meet at Daystar School this month as I previously said. Instead we will meet at The Willow Creek Chicago Ministry Center located at 418 South Wabash, directly across the street from the Auditorium Theater. The time remains 8 am to 10 am. We will begin with some discussion about violence in Chicago. I hope this change does not create an inconvenience for anyone who wants to attend. Hope to see you there!

Ron

A Willow Creek Jail and Prison Ministry:

                                     Hebrews 13:3

“Don’t forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.”

http://prisonandjailministryconnection.blogspot.com/.v

There is this kid I’ve become friends with up in Rodgers Park. His name is Nicholas. He’s 16 and already been involved in the gang life for several years. Each day he seems to be getting deeper into the street life, just a step away from real trouble. Last Saturday I went up there to find him, so I had the opportunity to drive up and down Devon Avenue several times while looking for Nick. I was struck by the multitudes of people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds and became almost  despondent thinking about all those people going into eternity without Christ. The need was so overwhelming that my paltry efforts on behalf of this single young man seemed inconsequential, bordering on absurd, when balanced against this unsaved mass of humanity. Then, in the midst of that near-depression, God spoke to me saying, “Leave them to me. I’ve put one person on your plate right now, so deal with what I’ve asked YOU to deal with. You have one task right now, Nicholas. I’ve given you responsibility for Nicholas’ life so don’t worry about what I haven’t asked you to do. Be responsible for the one  person I’ve asked you to love.”

I’ve been mulling over that conversation with the LORD all week. Then, this morning, I attended the monthly Willow Creek Prison and Incarceration Ministry meeting where the Holy Spirit affirmed the LORD’s word to me when Anne Rand read a devotional about one, one, one… by Mother Teresa. In it the words of Mother Teresa came through loud and clear:

“I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look only at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one, one, one.  As Jesus said “Whatever you do for the least of my brethern, you do it to me.” So you begin…I begin. I picked up one person…The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if we don’t put the drops in, the ocean would be one drop less. Same thing for you. Same thing in your family. Same thing in the church where you go. Just begin One. One. One.

At the end of our lives we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in (Matthew 25:34-36, 40). Hungry not only for bread but for love…naked not only for clothing but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of bricks, but homeless because of rejection.”

                                                                                                     Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

Please help me to be faithful to my calling of one by praying with me for Nicholas.

Prayer: LORD, I am often overwhelmed by the needs of the world around me, by the immense size of the need. Thank you that you are responsible for the world and that I am not. Help me see the individual today – the one, the one, the one – that the words and actions that flow from my life reflect your love. In Jesus name, amen.

A Gangster’s Prayer (adapted from Gangstyle)

If you have come to the point where you want to make a change in your life you may feel it’s time say the prayer below. Having said this prayer you are committing yourself to change and to live a life in line with the Bible.

Three things you must do to become a Christian and inherit eternal life.

1. You must recognize that you have sinned and ask God to forgive you. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

2. You must repent of your sin. To repent means to turn away, to change your direction. The Bible tells us, “Repent and be converted that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

3. You must believe in and receive Jesus Christ into you heart. The Bible promises, “For as many as received Him, He gave the power to become son of God.” Even as you read this Jesus is standing at the door of your life and asking you to let Him in. Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door I will come in.”

One way to open the door is a simple prayer like this:

“Jesus, come into my heart. I know that I am a sinner, but I thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. I ask you to forgive me and cleanse my sin. Be my personal Lord and Savior. Help me now, from this day forward, to follow you.”

If you prayed that prayer sincerely, Jesus Christ will come into your life and begin to change you from the inside out.

Take a moment to let us know of your decision so we can encourage others. We’re also willing to talk with every one of you that has decided to follow Jesus, as well any of those of you who have questions or need to talk. Would you like someone from our team to contact you?

Here are a couple of useful web sites to help you in your walk:

If you do not have a bible you can go to www.crosswalk.com and access their bible study program. Chap D recommends getting started by reading the book of John and also reading from the book of proverbs. You can also go to the top of this page and look under “Studies”  for  the One 2 Won Crosstraining Studies put online by Men at the Cross. These are basic studies about what it means to follow Jesus.

To find a church near you www.american-churches.com they carry a directory of churches nationwide. Choose carefully, find a Bible believing church that you feel comfortable with and preaches the Word.

A message from a pastor who cares:

Dear friend: Please know that there is a God in heaven that loves you and is offering you a better way. He alone has the power to take the anger away from you. Jesus Christ is the person who came from heaven to make all the wrongs right in this world. It will not happen over night, it will take life times and more. But, Jesus Christ will come through for people like you and me. We may be in different places in life, but Jesus is the one that is able to make the difference and He is with you now. Invite Him into your life and He will come in. Go to a pastor near your home and ask one how you can live, don’t be afraid, He will tell you how to connect up with God and show you that He will protect you. I want you to know that only God can tell the future, no man has the power to do that. Listen my new friend, if you believe that Jesus died on a cross for you and rose up from the dead and you want to follow Him the Bible says that you will be saved.

Life is hard and we go through many things that we don’t understand. Begin to trust Jesus Christ to help you and He will. He is in the business of changing futures.
Pastor Marc P.

Gangster Quotes’

“If I could take it all back, I would. I would have died a hundred times over to let my brothers and sisters live… but i cant. All I can do now is promote an anti-gang message…drop your flag. Start your life over… it’s neva too late.'”

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Hey Gs. This is just a reminder. Tomorrow is Gsus Day or, as other’s call it, Easter. This is the day we celebrate how Gsus rose from the dead and conquered death for you and me. That conquest of death means that every G can have a new life of freedom, hope, love, joy, and peace, not to mention the best thing ever, eternal life with God. If you want to talk more, I’ll be at Willow Creek Chicago for the 9 am Gsus day service (there is also a 11 am service if you sleep in). That’s at the corner of Wabash and Congress in the Auditorium Theater. A great place for church! If anyone wants to join me there, I’d be happy to talk and show you around.  Ask for Ron Gorny if you come. There will be coffee and donuts when you get there. I’m usually in the right balcony of seats. If you let me know, I’ll save you a seat! If we don’t connect, let me know you came and I’ll come talk with you wherever you are.

Happy Gsus Day