HEART LETTERS: A GRANDSON, FRIENDS, AND DIVINE EXPEDITION IN GUATEMALA AND BRAZIL
The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-5,
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
What better letters than those written on our hearts by those we have been privileged to play a role in pointing to Christ, in our years of student ministry, discipleship, basketball evangelism, church planting, and most recently training leaders around the world with Global Training Network (GTN).
I am grateful for the many heart letters in each of these seasons but most of all for those being crafted by the Spirit of God in our children and grandchildren. One of them is our grandson Branson Graf who is about to join team-members Stan Gerlach, Dr. Sharo Raissi, Mike Davis, Herbert Diaz, and me, as we launch the GTN Divine Expedition training in Guatemala. Branson has always avoided my attempts to take photos of him but I searched my archives and found one of the two of us.
I won’t take the time here to tell of the training our Divine Expedition team just concluded in Cuba, and other trainings coming up in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Armenia, and Ethiopia, but please pray for God to use Branson and our team and our Phase 1 training in the Guatemala’s second largest city, Quetzaltenango.
Pray too for Mike Davis and me as we continue on to Brazil to meet and speak with leaders we have trained there.
MORE HEART LETTERS: A FRIEND, OUR SON, AND ADVENTURES OF THE HEART
I am also thanking God for heart letters being written because of the “Adventures of the Heart” ministry started by my pastor-friend Reese Bricken in 2000. Linus Jr and I attended and were impacted by an Adventures of the Heart retreat Reese led in Tennessee in 2005 and Linus Jr began to work with Reese in 2007.
Adventures of the Heart is about helping men and women live from God-given desires and passions. So many in our culture have become resigned to living out of a sense of duty, “have-to’s,” “oughts” and “shoulds.” The result is that they are left feeling bored, tired, and burned out relationally and spiritually.
In contrast, the Adventure of the Heart expedition and follow up ministry encourages men and women to live from their true identity in Jesus Christ, experience God’s lavish love in Christ, and embrace a God-given longing for purposeful adventure in their lives.
Adventures of the Heart is about discovering God’s invitation to us to ally with Him in His larger adventure of setting us free in His son Jesus Christ, discover Christ’s unique call on our lives, and engage together in the battle and adventure of reaching people with the message of grace and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.
EVEN MORE HEART LETTERS: THREE DAUGHTERS (MAYBE A FOURTH), FRIENDS, AND “HEARTS ALIVE”
While grandson Branson, Divine Expedition team, and I are in Guatemala, Adventures of the Heart will conduct a women’s retreat at Horse Ranch in Somerville, Texas from November 10-13. I am excited that our daughters Kristin (Swick), Stephanie (Morris), Leslie (Colgin), and maybe Laina (Graf,), as well as some of their friends will attend. Their brother (Linus Jr) will assist lead the retreat along with Reese, Reese’s wife Sandy, and Reese and Sandy’s daughter Lauren.
Here’s a bit about the upcoming “Feminine Hearts Alive” Encounter:
“it is a 3 day retreat designed to discover how to live alive to God and your true self so that you experience the life and freedom Jesus has for you. 80% of the feedback we get from women who have attended say that the Encounter is 3 of the most freeing and life changing days of their lives. So we invite you to join us and bring those women in your life that God has put on your heart.”
KEEP PRAYING FOR HEART LETTERS
So God’s letters of grace and forgiveness through Christ are being written on my heart through what He is doing in the hearts and lives of our family members. I know Sharon prayed for this every day and her prayers are still radiating out and bearing fruit.
Our journey of prayer and hope for God to work in our children, grandchildren, and other family members has gone through ups and downs over the years. There have been seasons when we didn’t see what we were praying for…and we still have family members whose heart letters are in the early stages with things remaining to be erased and replaced from what has been written so far…but we I/we keep praying.
I know you are praying for friends and family members too. Keep praying. Here are a couple of verses that encourage us to do so:
Rom. 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
Rom. 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Phil. 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
1Th. 5:17 “…pray continually”, or as it says in the King James Version, “Pray without ceasing,”
Thank you for praying for and supporting us in this journey to see heart letters written by Christ in our family and around the world.
In the words of the apostle Paul, here is my prayer for you:
2Th. 1:11-12 “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you [and in those you are praying for], and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”