Great News And An Important Message For Believers

It’s a privilege to share with you some wonderful events that happened during April.  Of course Easter was the opening highlight.  At Water Of Life Churchin Fontana it looks like between 1500 and 2000 people came forward to ask the Lord into their lives. Pastor Danny did an amazing job and God moved powerfully.

 On the 13thCindy and I flew to Chicago to spend a week with our kids in St Charles and minister the following weekend in Champaign and Rantoul IL, a couple of hours south.  On that Saturday around 500 men gathered in Champaign for another IronSharpens Iron conferenceI had the privilege of bringing a seminar titled, The Differences Between Men And Women.  In a world dead-set on blurring those differences, it was a refreshing reminder to these men of how precious we are in God’s eyes and how our unique differences can be used to minister to each other in powerful ways.

On Sunday I had a very special honor of ministering at Christian Life Churchin Rantoul.  Cindy and I have had the privilege of ministering there a number of times over the years.  The people are so precious and prayed so diligently for Cindy when she was going through her life-threatening experience back in 2010.  The former Pastor, John Bonacorsi, who passed away a couple of years ago, was such a dear friend.

I remember so well how John talked about the new pastor he was grooming to take his place, Barry Hinkle.  Today Barry and his team are doing an incredible job.  The series he had been teaching on for several weeks was titled Climate Change,and deals directly with some of the challenges we are facing in our culture today.  He asked me to shape my message around this topic.

We titled the message Cold Front.  I dealt with the awkwardness that many Christians feel in approaching our world today—so much intimidation—so much anxiety.  The three main takeaways were, Adopting Behavior That Lights Up, Developing A Healthy Attitude Toward Others and Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone.  At the end we had the worship team learn a new song from Kathy Troccoli titled, Go Light Your World.  It was a moving time as so many rededicated their lives and around 20 precious people asked Jesus into their heart after the services.

After returning home, on the 26thof the month Cindy and I drove to the San Fernando Valley to meet for lunch with our very special Pastor, Mentor and friend, Jack Hayford.  This was such a special occasion for us as we have not been with him since his precious wife Anna passed away a couple of years ago.  No one has shaped our lives, marriage and ministry more than this incredible man of God.

We spent over two hours visiting and reminiscing.  At one point I told him I had a very important question I needed to ask.  I asked what he thought about how fast our culture is changing and becoming more anti Christian and what advice he would give to those of us who are pastors and leaders trying to advance God’s kingdom in this environment?  He was quiet for a moment and then said in his view it was not going to change and in fact, will soon be a lot worse.  Not withstanding a revival, especially among our young people, Christians can expect rising persecution.

I sensed both the difficulty of having to say that in his voice as well as a sense of urgency to prepare God’s people.  It was a confirmation to me of a Word I was given back in 2008 just before the financial crisis hit…I heard the Lord say, My people are not prepared.  I did not know what it meant at the time but since then I have seen first hand how true this is.  My friends, we are spoiled and have become complacent.  There remains an awkwardness in our response to our culture that needs to be addressed.

 I do not feel that this time calls for an all out call to radical and aggressive reactions nor do I believe it is appropriate to sit back with a wait-to-see-what-God-will-do mentality.  Rather, I believe with all my heart that God is calling us to a deeper level of relationship with Him.  A depth of intimacy that will at the same time give us the faith to stand no matter what and also display the life and love of His Son Jesus in an authentic way.

 I mentioned to Pastor Jack another Word God gave me a few years ago…Vince, you will never have a greater understanding of My perspective until you first experience a greater awareness of My Presence.  Pastor immediately became animated—snapped his fingers—and said that is it Vince.  He went on to say do not be surprised if that word appears in my next book.  A great validation but even more important, it was an encouragement that I need to be devoting myself to this message for men moving forward.

 As I close I want to ask you to consider where you are given this conversation.  Are you wrapped up in the endless daily news cycles with all their drama, maybe yelling at the TV while not having a firm understanding on how to do your part?  Do you have the kind of intimate relationship with our Lord that produces the kind of faith needed to stand firm—even die?

 Hard questions? Yes, but necessary for us to ponder and take seriously at this time.  I cannot tell you what to do but I can tell you the only thing that works for me—more intense, reading the Word, prayer and praise filled quality time with God.  I need to continue to seek His presence and allow the peace of Jesus to flood my life.  If I can do that—I am convinced others will be affected.  If enough of us do that—who knows—perhaps another much needed revival.

 I encourage you to take your eyes off of the world and our current circumstances, focus on your relationship with Jesus and ask Him to reveal what He wants you to do as we move forward together to advance His kingdom.

Cindy and I want you to know how much we love you and appreciate all of your faithful prayers and financial support

 

Becoming The Man God Intended,

A Special Announcement and More Great News

Before I get into the great news from March I need to make a special announcement: On Target Ministries is looking for one or two men to volunteer in helping promote our new products and ministry strategies throughout North America. At first we are looking for men who want to apprentice with an eye toward a more formal compensation package to follow.

Areas of need, special focus and experience would be:

  • Marketing our newly developed curriculum throughout North America by networking with church leadership and developing regional representation. Most of this work can be done via phone and social media contacts.
  • Maintaining and enhancing all current social media technology including, Active Campaign mailings, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts as well as developing new campaigns.
  • Work with our web master to oversee and maintain OTM’s website with regular updates, rotating content, embedding videos and other tweaks as needed.
  • For more information please call me directly at 719-649-1000 or email vince@otm.co to schedule a conference call.

Now for news about another wonderful month of ministry: March was amazing. It started in Colorado Springs where my Pastor and friend, Steve Holt asked me to minister to his men at a Saturday breakfast and also speak at the church on Sunday. The Road at Chapel Hill is our home church in Colorado where I am honored to serve as an overseer.

At the men’s breakfast I shared a powerful message titled, For Such A Time As This. Based upon Paul’s last words to Timothy found in 2 Tim. 4:1-5, it encourages all of us with the importance of discharging the ministry God has given us. As we find ourselves in a culture increasingly more hostile to our message it also serves as a powerful reminder not only of the fervent need to communicate the message of Jesus, but also better equips us on how to engage people more effectively.

The church service was the highlight for me.   This was the first occasion to publically share Cindy’s miraculous story of supernatural healing with so many local friends who were so diligent to visit and pray for her and our family back in 2010. As I looked over the audience there were probably 40-50 guests who came to be with us and celebrate all that God did during that time. The message I shared was, Armed…Ready For Battle. This teaching unpacks the six major principles God taught me during that trial and ministers in a profound way to those facing struggles today. Hundreds were blessed and many came to our table to visit with Cindy and me at the end of the service.

Around the middle of the month I traveled to Springfield, IL to deliver two seminars at the Iron Sharpens Iron conference for my good friend, Tom Cheshire of RPM Ministries. Close to 800 men were in attendance and God was very much present. The worship times were so special. I also had the privilege of praying with the worship team before the event. My talks dealt with The Four Pillars Of Leadership and The Differences Between Men And Women.

Here is an excerpt from an email I received from one of the attendees:

I learned more about marriage in that 30 or 40 minute session than I had learned in 35 years. The way men withdraw and women attack. How sometimes we try to manipulate to get what we want. Everything you said made so much sense.  Then you said men, we have a manual for this. You held up the Bible and told us everything we need to know is right here. You quoted endlessly scripture that covered all these areas and more. You taught me about fear and how fear can eat us up. Let God in our heart and He will take that fear. So many life lessons I learned that day. I left wore out but full of hope.  You have been a big part of my change and I will always remember your teachings. I watch your videos on you tube from time to time for inspiration. Thank you so much. Didn’t mean to ramble on but this has been life changing. –Bob

It is such a blessing to receive these kinds of testimonies. God is so good.

To close out the weekend I was invited to speak at one of my favorite places, Koke Mill Christian Church. Pastor Stan Summers is a dear friend and often asks me to speak there when I am in town. He and his lovely wife are precious.

This was one of the most Holy Spirit inspired mornings I have experienced in a long time. I had a message all prepared but as we were driving from the hotel to the church in dense fog, Pastor Stan missed the turn. During the extended conversation that ensued the Lord prompted both of us to change the message—Stan encouraged me to share my personal testimony. I title my story, Overwhelmed By The Grace Of God. For those of you have heard it—you understand why.

Between the two services more than 25 people gave their hearts to the Lord—two couples acknowledged together their desire to ask Jesus into their heart. At the end of the second service with all heads bowed, I requested that those who would like to ask Jesus into their hearts look up at me. As I looked into their faces I was overwhelmed with emotion. It hit me just how much God is in love with each and every one of us—no matter where we’ve been or what we have done. The fact that He knows every detail of every story represented in these lives is amazing. It was such a moving experience.

As I close I want you to know that Cindy and I are becoming very eager about what we believe God is beginning to open up concerning our future and the pathway for On Target Ministries. We are so grateful for your continued support for all that He is doing.

Cindy and I want you to know how much we love you and appreciate all of your faithful prayers and financial support

Becoming The Man God Intended,

One Of Our Most Powerful Months Of Ministry (February 2018)

February was one of the most powerful ministry months we have experienced in many years. It all began in O’Fallon, IL where over 600 men showed up for an Iron Sharpens Iron conference. I was asked to conduct two powerful seminars, one on Leadership 101 and the other on The Differences Between Men And Women. The response I received from both of these was overwhelming. A couple of men told me they had never heard anything like this before and ranked it as one of the best messages they ever heard. Needless to say, I was greatly humbled and blessed by the response.

A week later I was invited to tour Rivers Edge Ranch in Lucerne Valley, CA with my friend Joe Annunziato. Joe has been providing some Elder oversight to this incredible operation for some time now and what they do here is nothing short of amazing.

Located in the beautiful California High Desert, shadowed by the northern side of Big Bear Mountain and canopied by the clear blue skies of Lucerne Valley, sits twenty acres birthed into a vision of transformation. The property once used to rehabilitate ailing and injured horses is now a place of healing for spiritually ailing and broken men.

These men, many struggling with serious addiction issues, commit to a program of restoration that has proven very successful. This is a working ranch with cows, horses, chickens, pigs, exotic birds—you name it—its pretty much there. The men live there and perform all the duties required to work the ranch. The night before we arrived the cutest litter of little piglets were born. It was awesome to see.

I had the privilege of bringing a message of hope and sharing my life experiences moving from brokenness to wholeness in Jesus. I challenged the men to understand that God is crazy about every one of them and does not want them to let their past failures dictate the future trajectory of their life—a life filled with the promises of God. Eight precious men asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior at the conclusion of my message. It was an emotional time for me.

Last weekend I traveled to Terre Haute, IN for another Iron Sharpens Iron conference. I had the privilege of conducting another Seminar on Leadership 101 and bringing the final message of the afternoon on Discovering God’s Plan For Your Life to hundreds of men who were hungry for God.

It was such a joy to be partnering with my dear friend, Dr. Rod Cooper and conference host, Tom Cheshire.  Rod opened by talking about the characteristics of a man with a mission mindset. I closed with a message helping men discern how to discover what their mission is. It was an incredible and deeply powerful ministry event. There were about 25 men who made a decision to ask Jesus to become their Lord and Savior after my sessions.

Finally, this coming weekend Cindy and I will be in Colorado Springs for a special Saturday men’s breakfast and Sunday service at our home church there, The Road @ Chapel Hill. On Sunday we have invited all of our precious Colorado friends and prayer partners to a special service where I will be publically thanking all who stood in prayer so faithfully for Cindy during her life threatening struggle in 2010. My message will focus upon what God taught us in the midst of this great struggle and I will conclude by sharing what we have discovered is The Secret To Life.

For those who cannot be there and would like to join our Sunday service you can do so by connecting to their LiveStream on the top of their home page at theroad.org. The service begins at 10:15 this Sunday March 11th.

As we enter March we are looking at another great month of ministry opportunity. Please continue to pray for us as we seek God for wisdom and direction for the incredible ministry He has still before us.

Cindy and I want you to know how much we love and appreciate all of your prayers and financial support

Becoming The Man God Intended,

Presence…Perspective

My first book, Wired To Work, Huntington House Publishers, was written and published in 1993. It dealt with Purpose Driven, before Rick Warren rolled out his very successful extended work around that subject. Wired to Work is still available on Amazon and other social retail outlets for those interested. The idea is not new really. People have been in search of meaning, purpose and destiny dating back to the creation of man.

Wired To Work was built around some key ideas. First, it suggests the notion that if you do not know where you are going…any road will take you there. Unfortunately this is where a lot of people are these days. Chasing visions and dreams about a better tomorrow and all too often looking in all the wrong places. When I wrote the book I wanted the reader to take away how they could answer what I called, the two most important questions in life.

Within the context of understanding that God is real—and acknowledging that His vision for our life is what we truly desire—then the two questions are, how and why? Lord how did You make me uniquely…and then why? The underlying premise of this book was based upon our ministry’s three unalterable facts:

            God knows you and created you for a special purpose
            God has given you special gifts toward the satisfaction of His purpose
            God wants you to discover what that purpose is.

The BIG takeaway for this work suggests that people need to know God intimately in order to discover His purpose and ultimately live out that purpose. I spent a lot of time unpacking these ideas. However, what I did not realize at the time was the real secret to all of this, and it has taken me 25 years to understand.

This all brings me to today. You see many people are urging me to rewrite that first book—bring it up to date. I have made several attempts at that but hitting road blocks that I have a hard time comprehending. Now, I think I know what the Lord is trying to impress on me and this is where I need your help. I want to outline another direction for my next book and need to know your thoughts. I will leave you with some questions at the end I hope you can answer for me.

Many years ago as I was seeking God’s perspective during a dry time He spoke these words into my heart that have profoundly impacted me. He said, Vince, you will never have a greater understanding of My perspective until you first experience a greater awareness of My presence.

Now, after almost 45 years of walking with Jesus, as I meditate upon those words I believe I am truly discovering the secret to life. It is kind of like the 90/10 rule. What is the 10% activity I can enter into that will bring the 90% result? What is the rubber-meets-the-road principle I need to be communicating? In Wired To Work I share a formula—Intimacy with God = Strength of Vision. It’s kind of a nice roll-off-your-tongue formula but little did I realize how profound it truly is. I am now persuaded that most of our Christian teaching these days, while good and worthwhile, misses that foundational action necessary to understand and live out in order to truly discover what we all desire—God’s perspective.

I am equally convinced that when people truly do experience God’s presence everything else takes care of itself. Why, because you are then living out John 15:1-5: 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. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

So here is what I am thinking. While much of my work in Wired is still relevant, my new book needs to focus on this important secret to life concept, experiencing His presence. I am not sure of a title yet—maybe simply, The Secret To Life, or Presence. I would welcome your ideas. The book would be laser focused on HOW we can experience God’s presence and the idea that putting Him between us and our circumstances is the secret to life.

This book will focus on practical ways you can experience God’s presence. In a world filled with unprecedented distractions, how can I find God—how do I know it is Him speaking to me? It will focus heavily upon the concept of humility. I have discovered that the further I get away from Vince, the closer I get to God.

While I do not have a chapter outline fully in place I do need some input and I am asking you to please respond to some of my questions below. Thank you so much for your help here. I am also looking for volunteers who may wish to receive draft chapters to read and edit along the way.

Questions:

Do you believe this is a topic that is important for people today?

Would you be someone who might read a book like this?

Are there other books out there that deal specifically with this idea?

What ideas do you have for specific chapter topics we should cover?

You can email me your responses at vince@otm.co

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experiencing The Presence Of God (February 2018)

We have so many exciting things to share with you—fasten your seat belt. I want to begin with a special invitation to our Colorado friends. Cindy and I will be in Colorado Springs from March 9-12. There are two special events I want you to note on your calendar. On Saturday, March 9th I will be speaking at the men’s breakfast for The Road Church. The following day I will also be bringing the message to the Sunday service at 10 AM. That Sunday will be my first time to publically thank all our Colorado friends who were praying for us in 2010 when Cindy was fighting for her life.

Most of you know the miracle story that unfolded. I will be sharing all that God did and what He taught us through that trying time. This message is especially important for anyone who may be struggling. Please try to come and let Cindy and I greet you. The Road Church @ Chapel Hill is our home church when we are in town. Pastor Steve Holt has become a dear friend and we are so grateful for this gracious opportunity. The address is 2025 Parliament Dr. Colorado Springs 80920. http://theroad.org

Our new year began with my taking the first part of January preparing for our upcoming ministry trips and closing out some important year-end administrative responsibilities. About mid month I felt the Lord calling me to get away for a time of prayer and fasting in order to get a fresh sense of His perspective for our future and finish writing my next book. A special couple, and close dear friends, offered to let me use their beautiful ranch home in Big Bear. I am writing this letter to you from this beautiful location with just a couple of days left. In all I will be here 7 full days and I am so excited to share what God is revealing. Here is a link to a Facebook Live video I posted today that you are going to want to watch. https://www.facebook.com/vince.dacchioli/videos/10215846835868226/

On my first day I had an intense time crying out to the Lord in prayer and then went right into working on ideas for the new book. I was thinking of rewriting my first book, Wired To Work, and bringing it up to date with a lot of new stuff. So, I just started working on some low hanging fruit like updating dates and times—putting in new info and even inserting a new foreword I received from Jack Hayford. The next morning in my emotional time again crying out to Him, He gave me a powerful word.

I did not want to meet you here for you to write your book…I wanted to MEET you here. This is about you and me and NOT your book. If you want to go to TASK and write, go ahead but it will only be as good as you can do it. I want you to do business with ME first.

That hit me like a ton of bricks. I am so stubborn—so prone to going right to task—sound familiar? I think most of us men are like that. This reminded me of another profound word He shared with me many years ago as I was seeking His perspective during a dry time. He said, Vince, you will never have a greater understanding of My perspective until you first experience a greater awareness of My presence.

I know this—I speak on it—why is it so hard to do? Well, it’s the noise. The overactive mind, the never-ending twenty-four hour tabloid news cycles. Another devotional I read that day was talking about how dew cannot form unless there is absolute stillness. The dew is like the Holy Spirit. It comes to bring nourishment. But if you are not perfectly still He cannot do His work.

Needless to say, the Lord is giving me some important insights and I am so grateful He is being patient with me. I know that for this next season of my life that this is going to be critical. I know that I cannot do it without Him—we can do nothing apart from Him.

This morning Pastor Steve called me with something the Lord put on his heart to share. He said I need to pray Colossians 1:9-12 over myself understanding it in the context of John 15:1-5. In Colossians Paul is praying, For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

After reading that—this is now my prayer:
I ask you Lord to fill me with the knowledge of Your will through all the wisdom and understanding the spirit gives…
So that I might live a life worthy of You and please You in every way…
That I may bear fruit in every good work, growing in The knowledge of You…
That I may be strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might…
That I might receive great endurance and patience and give joyful thanks to You who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of your holy people…

I want to close by sharing with you now the context found in John 15:1-5:
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. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

There it was again—APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING!

My dear friends I hope these words have helped and blessed you. For me I am taking them as a new breakthrough and launch point for the wonderful new things God is going to do in us personally and through On Target Ministries in the months and year before us. Thank you so much for being part of this incredible journey.

Cindy and I want you to know how much we love and appreciate all of your prayers and financial support

            Becoming all God intended,

2018…A Year For Breakthrough

Cindy and I want to wish all of you a very blessed and joy-filled new year. We believe that this is going to be a year of great breakthrough for many. No matter our past challenges or struggles—God is good and as we seek Him let us believe and expect breakthrough.

Here is one of our favorite Oswald Chambers devotional nuggets—Hope it blesses you:

You shall not go out with haste, … for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isa 52:12

As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.
Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.
 -Oswald Chambers

2017 was an exciting year for On Target Ministries and the D’Acchioli family personally. On the personal side, with our transition to Temecula concluded I am weighing numerous opportunities to work with Churches and ministry organizations to do some side consulting and coaching. Cindy and I are also preparing to launch a midweek home group to learn and grow together.

On the ministry front things are progressing. We are very close to funding the last piece of our Men On Target Curriculum by producing a high quality workbook for participants. The 60 programs now completed are already getting wonderful reviews.

Here is just one of many testimonies from our TV broadcast last year on the NRB Network:

Your ministry has been a Godsend. I am recently unemployed and your ministry has given me great encouragement during this time. The insights God has gifted you with are life changing and I want to encourage you that your testimony is inspiring, so keep sharing.

I watch the show with my wife and though it is geared to men she gets a lot too. I look forward to sharing these videos with the Men’s ministry in Philly. Thanks for the work you do, and please pray I find employment soon. Be blessed and feel free to contact me. I praise God the NRB has you on!

It should be clear to everyone that 2017 was an important year for our nation and the body of Christ as well. With the ushering in of a new President and numerous important political appointments that will determine the trajectory of our nation for many years, perhaps decades to come, now is not the time for complacency. As Christians entering this important time we MUST have the proper perspective—God’s perspective. We must take our responsibility to live our lives in an exemplary way in order to present a positive witness and increase the intensity of our prayers.

Remember that our battle is not with people, no matter their political positions or worldviews—rather—it is with the devil himself and the plans he has to steal, kill and destroy.

With that in mind I want to close with the same important challenge for all of us that I gave last year. Make a determined effort—not resolution—to become the person you know that God is calling you to be. Friends, this is not rocket science. Most of us know full well what God wants us to do but our own stubbornness and the temptations of the world are standing in the way. We MUST NOT allow that to happen—the stakes are too high.

In closing let me say how much Cindy and I appreciate your generous donations to our ministry. We have just signed up for Amazon Smile, which allows all of our supporters to continue giving every time you make an Amazon purchase. All you have to do is click here to be taken to a page that allows you to designate our ministry as your “ministry of choice” to receive a small percentage of everything you purchase. It costs you nothing and if enough people sign up, it could really benefit OTM. Thanks so much for considering this option.

Cindy and I want you to know how much we love and appreciate all you do for our ministry.

Helping men become Fully Alive—the man God intended,


Vince

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him


Cindy D’Acchioli

O come let us adore Him. These words continue to resound in my heart this Christmas season. 

One of my earliest childhood memories that come to mind is the familiar Bible story of the three wise men making their long journey to Bethlehem to find the infant King that first Christmas long ago.

They were Magi, descendants of the Chaldeans spoken of by the prophet Daniel.  They were the astrologers and astronomers of their day; unbelievers at best, committed to searching the heavens for signs foretelling the destiny of nations.  Regarded with awe and fear, these men were paid handsomely to know when something important was about to happen, to discern the present or supervise at the coronation of a king. 

They were Magi, descendants of the 
Chaldeans spoken of by the prophet Daniel

For God to get their attention would be no easy task. But He did.  And whether the bright light they saw at helical rise was a miracle appearance or a natural conjunction of stars or planets is of little consequence.  For it was God, who had created the vault of heaven and all its stars that had provided the revelation that was to drive these men to Israel in search of a newborn king.

This star was mentioned in Numbers 24:17 when a traveling soothsayer named Balaam prophesied “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob, a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult”. Genesis 49:10 also reference a “Scepter”. Balaam more than likely was an ancestor to the Babylonian wise men of Daniel’s time.

These wise men would have known of this prophecy and many others from the Old Testament by hearing them from Daniel in Babylon during the time they consulted with the kings.

Few or many, these powerful men left their ease and traveled to Jerusalem to find the one born “King of the Jews”.  It just made sense to head to Israel’s crown city in search of a king. It is obvious they did not know of the prophecy in Micah 5:2 or they would have known the exact location of His birth was to be in Bethlehem. They wouldn’t have had to receive these prophecies from the chief priests and scribes in Jerusalem. Their natural inclination would be to talk to King Herod.  But instead of getting excited, Herod sent them to find the baby as he began to hatch a plot to kill hundreds of male infants in hopes of safeguarding his own position.

Yet, the Magi would not be deterred.  How long it took for them to find Jesus is hard to say, but it is a good guess that from the time they left their homes until the time they stood before the young King could easily have been two to three years.

Now the scriptures tell us they brought three notable gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. These three precious offerings were the tools of their trade. They were the most valuable items they possessed. But even with all their knowledge and worldly acclaim they could have hardly known that these gifts would play a greater role in the Savior’s life and death.

Gold was a gift reserved for royalty.  Frankincense was a costly & rare commodity, used on the Altar of Incense that when burned gave off a sweet smelling white smoke.  The Myrrh, oh the myrrh, seemingly the oddest of gifts would be the very fragrant and valuable oil that would be used at his burial.

But there is yet one more gift we often miss.  It is the utmost gift of all.  It is the gift of worship. The scriptures tell us the wise men knelt and worshipped Him!  Whether they did this on their own initiative, or the majesty of being in the presence of the King of Kings gave them no choice, they bowed and worshipped.  These wise men from afar came not just to court His favor and to proclaim Him King of the Jews, but they would be proclaiming Him “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords”

With much love we wish you a most blessed and Merry Christmas,

Remembering Joy In A Hospital Room Christmas

It was December 2009—many of you I am sure remember. Cindy was in rehab in Denver, Colorado still struggling with her life threatening illness. In fact, it would just be another 6 weeks when the doctors told us she had no chance of survival. Needless to say, we are so grateful for what God has done and the miracle healing process continues to this day.

As I was preparing to write this letter I was reflecting back upon all the wonderful Christmas seasons my family has enjoyed together. All of them, yes, including that memorable hospital room experience, were filled with joy. In fact, joy inexpressible. The reason is simple really—it is because we know what this season is all about and we are so filled with love and appreciation for our glorious Savior. Only this kind of joy can overcome fear and anxiety.

In a few short days I will be flying back to Colorado Springs from our home here in Temecula to be with Cindy and Kristen’s family for Christmas. We are looking forward to another season filled with joy as we celebrate with Mark, Kristen, and our three grandchildren, Hunter, Colton and Kyleigh. We are also looking forward to connecting via FaceTime with Jason, Kim, Parker, Hayden and Brook who will be celebrating in St Charles, IL.

Today, it has been seven years since the Lord brought us through those serious and life-changing experiences with Cindy’s illness. As I look back I can honestly say that the depth of ministry that has happened since then has been amazing. These past seven years have seen countless thousands of people impacted. Many men’s lives transformed, marriages saved and leaders developed.

Cindy and I want you to know two things as we bring this incredible year to a close. First, we are so grateful for your prayers, financial support and belief in our ministry. Without you none of this would have been possible and of course we know that our Lord is at the center of it all.

Next, we want to encourage you to look at this Christmas season with joy no matter your circumstances. I’ll be honest—it took some effort on our family’s part to find joy during our trying time in 2010. But, with God’s help, we found it by pressing into Him. Perhaps this season finds you in a trying situation. Please know that our Lord will never forsake you—He has your back no matter the difficulty.

Set your sites on the promise—the promise that says God always takes the trials in life and turns them around to use them for His good. Dear one please hear me, the depth of ministry we have experienced since our trial is no coincidence—God used that time to break, mold and conform us into new people. People who better understand that we do not control much of anything. He does. I don’t know about you, but for me that is where true peace, and yes, joy, comes from. The knowledge that He is in control—not me.

During this season we pray that the peace and joy of the Lord attend to you and your family in ways you have never experienced.

Finally, a reminder that this is our last letter to you for 2017. As you know, ministries like ours depend very much on strong year-end giving to get through this lean time. As you are considering your final gifts for this year would you please pray about helping On Target Ministry to continue what God has been doing?

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For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…(and JOY)

Isa 9:6-7

May you experience a blessed and Merry Christmas,

Vince & Cindy

A THANKSGIVING REMINDER FROM VINCE & CINDY

It was one of those unforgettable moments in early 2010. I was driving to the hospital on my way to visit Cindy ( now there for over three months mostly in a coma). Although I had been processing the whole idea of believing and expecting, I never-the-less went into a period of intense whining at the thought of losing my wife. I am a good whiner—some might say even a professional. It was during a particularly dark time in this lenghty ordeal with my beautiful wife’s life-threatening illness. In the midst of my complaining He spoke. It was a tender voice that I knew immediately was my precious Lord. He said, Vince do you have anything in your life for which you are thankful?

Talk about a change of thought process and direction. I knew this was from our wonderful Savior—the very Person who holds all of our circumstances in the palm of His hand. I immediately went into a chorus of things I was thankful for—here is a partial list as best as I can remember:

I thank you Lord for:

  • The special relationship Cindy and I along with our extended family have with each other and with you
  • For two of the best daughters any dad could ever have
  • Son-in-laws that love you and extend that love to our daughters and five very special grandchildren
  • How you are watching over us and extending a supernatural sense of peace through this process
  • The myriad of friends who have, are, and will continue praying for Cindy through this difficulty
  • The unusual sacrificial giving we have experienced and that our future in this area is truly in your hands
  • The special future you have already planned for us
  • Your incredible outpouring through the ministry you have given Cindy and me and the tens of thousands of lives that have been impacted
  • Who you are—the GREAT I AM

I am pursuaded that one of the very special and pleasing things our Lord experiences happens when we thank Him in the midst of our greatest struggles.

It is a powerful demonstration of taking our focus off of our own pain and letting Him know how much we love Him. It is not always easy, however. The flesh is very powerful and the enemy of our soul is always right there telling us what a victim we are and how God really isn’t around to help.

Perhaps the most powerful and often mentioned ideas in the Bible have to do with this attitude of thankfullness. Everything from numerous thank offerings to expressions of thanks as the people went out praising at the head of the army and gained the benefit of victory. The Bible says that our Lord literally inhabits the praises of His people. I believe He is never closer than when we seek Him in a spirit of thankgsgiving.

May I suggest what could be a powerful take-away for you from this TargetPoint? Sit down and write out your list of things you are thankful for. Then, find a quiet spot and bring them before the Lord in in a posture of thanksgiving. Tell Him how much you love Him for the all the positive stuff. I promise you it is the best medicine for our tendency to whine. It will also give you a more encouraging perspective and engender hope into your circumstance like nothing else you do.

Another Miracle For Cindy…Amazing Ministry Month

October was one of the most incredible months in our ministry’s history. We had four powerful ministry opportunities and experienced another incredible miracle for my wife, Cindy.

It all began on October 7th. Just back from visiting our kids in the Chicago area I had the pleasure of speaking to the men’s breakfast for Impact Church in Menifee, CA. There were close to 70 men in attendance and I talked about having an intimate relationship with God. Three of the men asked Jesus into their hearts and God moved in an awesome way.

On the 13th Cindy and I, along with our Golden Retriever Beau, drove to Colorado to spend time with our daughter Kristen and her family. This is where the miracle happened. As you may know, we moved from Colorado because Cindy was requiring oxygen assistance at that elevation. Every time we are there she needs to be hooked up to a concentrator. On this trip—the entire time, encompassing three weeks, she has not needed any oxygen. In fact, her oxygen numbers are higher than mine. Her doctor told her that there is no medical reason why she should not be requiring oxygen. The healing of her scarred lungs is another miracle from God that we have been praying for.

On the 22nd I drove to Fort Collins, CO to speak at Clearwater Church. My friend Pastor Randy Kroening asked me to fill in for him at this newly merged congregation. We have had a long history with Randy’s Mountain Life Church going back about 14 years. I was so blessed to speak on Armed…Ready For Battle. It is the story regarding Cindy’s illness back in 2010 and the miracle healing that took place then. It was also very special as many of these precious people were praying for her during that time. An incredible 20 people asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.

The big event of the month happened on the 26th when Cindy and I flew to Edmonton, Canada for a three-day marriage conference. NAME Canada, an annual event we have now spoken at three times, hosted the conference and we had five wonderful sessions. My friends, this is the most anointed I’ve seen Cindy in all our years of ministry together. I know that is a bold statement but so true. It’s such a joy and so amazing to sit back and watch the Holy Spirit literally flow through her.

As 20 precious people were ushered into the Kingdom, two couples acknowledged accepting the Lord together. Just before I brought the closing session a woman came to my table in tears. She said her husband was there with her but has never come to a place where he accepted the Lord. She was so frustrated. At the end of my talk I asked again if anyone wanted to ask Jesus into their life. As I looked around, the first man I saw look up at me showed real determination in his eyes—he was saying yes—now is the time. When I saw his wife next to him—her eyes closed—I was filled with joy. It was the woman who came to my table earlier.

It is so special to be able to see God work like this. Sometimes you don’t know that everything you are doing may be for this one special couple—God knows. I am so overwhelmed that he would use us for such special and joyous occasions as this.

Back to Colorado Springs, on the 31st I had the privilege of speaking to about 75 men gathered for an early morning weekly prayer gathering at The Road Church. This awesome ministry, a merger between The Road and Chapel Hills Baptist, has become very special to me. Pastor Steve Holt is a dear friend and this was a great honor and privilege for me. I am seeing great things ahead for him and this growing new congregation.

That same day I flew back to Temecula for some catching up on admin and ministry needs. I will be home for about a week while Cindy is remaining with our daughter Kristen and family in Colorado Springs. I will fly back to Colorado around the 9th of November to drive Cindy home. So, that is it—what an incredible month.

In closing I need to change gears and ask a special favor. Between now and the end of the year we have very little ministry scheduled. I have a couple of important meetings, one with the San Diego Rescue Mission, which could really be important for our future ministry here. Financially however, we are going to be challenged. End of year support is always important for ministries like ours, and this year even more so.

We are thankful that 2018 is already shaping up for our ministry. The first quarter is looking good and we have a big trip to New Zealand for two Promise Keeper events there in August. That is good news indeed but right now we would really appreciate your help.

PLEASE consider a special gift this month to help us. Also, please pray about a generous year-end donation for On Target Ministries.

Cindy and I remain so grateful for you and want you to know that we could never do this without your prayer and financial support.

May God richly bless you,

Vince