June was a wonderful month here in Temecula. It began with our incredible trip to Eureka, California that we shared with you in our last letter. We are so grateful for all that God continues to do in and through our ministry. So many lives, marriages and leaders are being impacted.
On Fathers Day I had the privilege of speaking at our home church, Sunridge Community, here in Temecula. Our pastor, Britt Sipe, asked me to speak and also communicate the launch of our On Target Institute here in the Fall. This was my second opportunity to speak to this congregation of very special people.
My challenge on this special day was to minister some powerful nuggets of truth while at the same time advertising our OTI launch and getting some men to sign up. I was able to share all the wonderful things God had done through OTI in Colorado Springs over the years. Literally thousands of men and marriages impacted and many first time commitments to surrender to Jesus have resulted from this effort.
I was also able to minister two important nuggets, or takeaways. First, the importance of establishing a daily habit of being in God’s Word. I told them how God has been dealing with me in this area and used a number of personal illustrations that I believe encouraged many. A number of people came up to our table later and shared how meaningful the message was to them.
I concluded by talking about the importance of committing to a relational environment in order to truly grow. We unpacked how OTI works, not because of the teachers or even the curriculum as much as the small group dynamic. I shared how critical it is to discover truth—but also the idea that truth must be understood in the context of life-implication and the life-application. Life-application must be processed in a healthy small group setting with other men if there is going to be any long-term benefit.
When I finished I prayed for them and then asked if anyone would like to make a commitment to begin a new daily devotional habit of reading God’s word. I also asked if any would like to use the occasion of this special Fathers Day to ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. What happened next was overwhelming—so many responses that we could not count them.
As I surveyed the auditorium I was so blessed to see the hands raised to acknowledge surrender to Jesus. I remember one couple who made this important decision together. There were literally dozens. I never get tired of seeing how powerfully the Holy Spirit works in setting like this. I am also reminded of the importance of prayer for these precious souls to protect them from the enemy’s efforts to thwart all that God did.
Finally, we had about 60 men sign up for our OTI startup. This truly exceeded our expectations. Now, over the next two months, we will be looking for a dozen or so men who will become our discussion leaders and go through our leadership training series. I anticipate our training in the month of August and the weekly gatherings to start sometime in September. We are also looking into rebooting our LiveStream efforts to make this available over the Internet around the world.
On a personal note we want you to know where we are regarding our move. This week we are literally helping our daughter and her family pack up for their move out to Illinois around the 15th. They move out of their house on the 10th and we move in our furniture in rout from Colorado Springs on the 11th. Needless to say—we need a lot of help and prayer support—a very hectic time as any of you who have moved would know.
On July 3rd Cindy and I along with Jason and Kim celebrated our anniversaries. Number 52 for us and 24 for our kids. We enjoyed a very special dinner on the beach in Carlsbad with some friends and took in a beautiful sunset. A fitting and relaxing time just before the fireworks began.
Please pray for us through this transition and settling in time. We have to navigate all of this and still manage the ongoing needs of On Target Ministries. It is also summer—and most of you know that finances during this time can be tight as ministry events typically start up again in September. Please also pray for special gifts to come in during this season.
Cindy and I want you to know how much we love and appreciate all you do for us—you are the best.
May God richly bless you as we continue to partner together for the souls of men,