March 15, 2016

Well friends, the weather has been warm here in Idaho Falls (in the low 50’s) and dormant plants have started to grow. Green growing things remind me of our young church plant. Our church has continued to experience slow and steady growth since beginning Sunday services in September.

Recently, I was a guest speaker at a men’s retreat with men from several other churches around the area from Idaho Falls, to Montana and Wyoming. The retreat was a good time of fellowship, encouragement, challenge, worship and prayer. Some of the men from the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission (IFRM) came on the retreat along with two members of the IFRM staff and myself, a part-time fill-in at the mission. I learned a lot from these men over the course of the weekend, and I am very appreciative to have had the opportunity to preach the gospel from the Old Testament story of David’s sin with Bathsheba and his repentance before God.

I know that the retreat touched each man from the mission in a unique way, but several of the men from the mission, who are regular attenders at Emmuas Road Church, were deeply impacted. One young man expressed a desire to give His life to Christ, and to be baptized. Please continue to pray for this young man named Jeremiah. Please pray also for the other men from the mission who attended the retreat, pray that the Lord would continue to work in their lives and teach them more everyday how to walk with Jesus.

Our church has been meeting in downtown Idaho Falls for almost two months. We are so thankful that the Lord has not only provided us a place to meet downtown, but also that He is steadily providing the funds we need to afford rent. Praise the Lord with us that He has provided everything we have needed to be the church that He wants us to be in downtown Idaho Falls.

In the coming weeks and months, we are planning to reach out to our neighbors downtown in several ways. Last week, I asked the church to begin to pray for our downtown neighbors by going on prayer walks in thedowntown area. Next, we will begin to invite downtown business owners to a luncheon that we plan to host. Our goal for this luncheon is to introduce ourselves to downtown business owners as their neighbors, and to ask them specifically to share with us ways that they envision that a church might be neighborly in the downtown area. First and foremost, we hope that this luncheon event will help us get to know some of the downtown business owners, and that this luncheon would be a first step in the direction of our church being a presence of the gospel and of blessing in the downtown area.

In the last few weeks, we have studied Moses’ exhortations for the Israelites to worship the Lord with all their hearts (Dt. 10:12), and to consider the ways that He instructs His people (11:2-6). The word “to discipline,” in v. 2 (ESV) might just as easily be translated “to instruct.” The Lord uses a variety of ways of instructing or disciplining His people. I asked our church to begin to pray for the business owners and their businesses in downtown Idaho Falls as a spiritual discipline. I believe that the Lord wants us to care about our downtown neighbors, and I pray that through our activity of walking the blocks of downtown and praying, that we will grow in our love and compassion for our neighbors, and thus be instructed or disciplined by our Lord.

May you join us in loving and caring for your neighbors, wherever in the Lord’s world that you are. Please pray for us, that the Lord would teach us how to love our neighbors well, and that we might Learn from Him how to be ambassadors of reconciliation, ambassadors of the gospel of Jesus Christ here in our city. I pray the same for all of you.

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