June, 2018

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Monthly Archives: June 2018

8 Questions That Help Me Know If I’m Growing Spiritually

newtonbookcoverIt seems like I should be able to determine relatively easily if I’m personally growing spiritually but it isn’t as easy as you think it should be. What exactly should I be looking for in my life? For so many people the indicators of spiritual growth are only focused on behavior. Now of course our behavior is incredibly important to God but when that is the only consideration, we neglect our heart which is where our motives and loves spring from.

I recently finished Tony Reinke’s book Newton on the Christian Life; a book that will almost certainly be on the short list of best books that I read in 2015. Even if you’re not familiar with Newton, you are definitely familiar with his most famous hymn: Amazing Grace. After leaving the slave trade, Newton became a pastor in Olney and later London. While his sermons are rather ordinary, the hundreds of personal letters he wrote are exceptional. They are quite literally treasure troves of spiritual wisdom, pastoral care, and pictures of grace.

Reinke does a great job of surfacing some of Newton’s treasures and helping the reader personally benefit from it. In one section he shares Newton’s marks of a maturing Christian. While this list is hardly exhaustive, it does a good job of probing our heart and helping us see areas of our life that we might need to grow in. After each mark, I included a question(s) to further help me discern where I am spiritually.

Will God Ever Give Up On Me?

We’ve all been there. You give in to a temptation you’ve struggled against for years. Maybe it’s lust, or an eating disorder, or greed, or anger. After a flood of guilt and self-loathing you find yourself wondering: Will God ever give up on me? Is this the final straw? Am I really a Christian? When we start wondering

What Does Wrestling with God Actually Mean??

I hope I’m not the only one who’s asked this question. I hear people throw around “wrestle with God” in about every imaginable context: doubt, unbelief, sin, suffering, pain. We say, “I’m wrestling with…” “You need to wrestle with God on…” “I’m just wrestling with God through…”And when I hear it (perhaps because ambiguity discomforts

Rob & Tündi Futo in Hungary

While attending Mizzou, Robert Futo came to know Christ alongside Shay Roush and Keith Simon through Campus Crusade. Now, Rob and his wife, Tündi, lead Cornerstone, a church plant in Budapest, Hungary. As pastor for Cornerstone, Rob is involved in the two year training program with City to City, the church-planting ministry of Tim Keller’s

Rob & Tündi Futo from Hungary: Meet & Greet

Sunday, June 10, In the Foyer, between services:

Stop by and meet missionaries Rob & Tündi Futo. They lead Cornerstone, a church plant in Budapest, Hungary. As pastor for Cornerstone, Rob is involved in the two year training program with City to City, the church-planting ministry of Tim Keller’s Redeemer church in New York. Tündi is completing a two year counseling degree through Westminster seminary online. Born in STL to Hungarian immigrants, Rob became a Christian through Cru at Mizzou. He met his wife, Tündi, while serving with Cru in Hungary. After Rob’s graduation from Covenant Seminary, he was ordained & they returned to Hungary where they have served for 18 years as full-time missionaries. They have two teenage girls, Haini & Csenge.

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Missions Prayer Needs:

  • Pray for Rob & Tündi Futo and their girls as they visit family, connect to their sending agency, and to their US supporters. They need travel mercies and restoration during their US stay. Pray for them to be sustained and strengthened through their time of travels.
  • Pray for The Wallace family from Kenya. They just spent a week at The Crossing volunteering with Kids Club and are also traveling much this summer. They could also use travel mercies on their journeys. Pray for their visits with supporting churches, for their needed support to be met, for their family to be refreshed and their strength restored.
  • Pray for kids and families who may have heard the gospel for the first time through attending Kids Club this week. Pray for God to draw their hearts to himself, for him to open them to the truth of the gospel, for him to grant them grace to believe, and grow them into sons and daughters who walk with him in faith.
  • Pray for the Jamaica Student-Parent Mission Team 2018. The team leaves Sunday to serve with Won by One in Harmons, Jamaica. Pray for God to work in many hearts, for relationships to be strengthened, for eyes to be opened to the gospel of Jesus, for much good to be done among the people of Harmons, for compassion and encouragement to be poured out to those who suffer.
  • Pray for Ron & Sally Widbin in Antigua Guatemala & other ministry partners including ASELSI . They are safe, so far, and actively responding to the aftermath and continued impact of the Volcano del Fuego eruptions. Pray for endurance and courage, hope and resilience as they strive to help in the midst of such terrible devastation.
  • Pray for the Summer Guatemala Team 2018 as they prepare to travel to Chichicastenango, Guatemala. They will be working with ASELSI several hours travel away from the area of the volcano. However, the eruptions have disrupted Guatemala in many ways including air travel. The evolving situation may impact their trip.

Related posts from the ESI Missions Archive:

Wallaces: Serving in Kenya

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Shawn & Heather Wallace and their kids will be visiting The Crossing this week and serving at Kids Club. If you run into them, give them a warm Crossing welcome!! This post from the ESI archive tells more about their work in Nairobi, Kenya:

Shawn and Heather Wallace serve in Nairobi, Kenya at New City Fellowship (NCF), a partner church of The Crossing–where Christine Simon and Windy Shull just spent almost 2 weeks. New City Fellowship’s mission is to share the love of Christ and seek racial reconciliation through the power of the gospel in a diverse and challenging city where people are divided not just by race but also by culture, economics and spiritual background. Shawn and Heather are in the trenches—on the front lines—taking the gospel to a hurting, dying, conflict-ridden city. A video about their work can be seen here: video overview.

Join us for a Meet & Greet with The Wallaces this Sunday between all services in Rm. 225.

Donate to The Wallaces’ work in Nairobi, Kenya.1511603_10208958499219017_1300314820328088032_oShawn co-pastors at New City Fellowship with Joe Muutuki. He also works in outreach to the Hindu Community in Nairobi by building relationships and having caring meaningful interactions over time. He mentors Christian men and church leaders with a vision for equipping them to more effectively reach those around them. Shawn has been taking on a new role teaching chronological bible storytelling to Kenyan pastors who use this technique to communicate the gospel in rural areas to semi-literate people groups. By taking on this new role, Shawn is helping free up other team members for greater leadership and administration responsibilities.

100_5332-150x150Heather co-leads the Sunday School program at New City Fellowship where many believers from various backgrounds seek to train their children in biblical education across the cultural divides listed above. She also mentors women through NCF and administers the summer interns program for their team. She does all this while sharing their one vehicle with Shawn, keeping their household running (no small task in Nairobi), and juggling the schedules of their three kids who remain at home—ages 16, 14 and 11. (Their oldest son is in college at their alma mater in New York.)

Diversity, Conflict and Reconciliation in Nairobi:
Nairobi has many different people groups who have all converged to create a truly international city. Many nations have their embassies in Nairobi and even more relief agencies use Nairobi as a jumping-off location and home for their East Africa offices. This means many thousands of expatriates from the US and other parts of the West call Nairobi home and need a congregation to meet their spiritual needs. Read more via the link below…

The Wallaces Serving in Nairobi, Kenya