I vividly remember as a kid when school let out that it meant just one thing to me, summer camp was just around the corner. Remember the energy you received from the group experience? The attention you received from a caring counselor? The adventures, achievements and activities you still reflect back on today? In my late teens I became a camp counselor and eventually ended up serving full-time in Christian Camping. Now after forty summers of camp, would you like to know why I am still motivated to do what I do?
About 25 years ago when I was planting a church in St. George, UT, Wayne Hoag came through on something called "The Great American Race." I was facing a discouraging point in ministry there, and he took me to breakfast, spoke words of life and prayed for me.
I have never forgotten that moment and how much it meant to me. Wayne has gone on to touch countless lives with his presence, and also with a book, "The One Another Project." He continues to serve our church in Truckee, although not as Lead Pastor, having made an excellent transition to Jesse Richardson who now serves in that role.
- Ray Van Gilst
Outside of his love for God and his family, Wayne Hoag's greatest love is for the Body of Christ. For forty-one years he has been a shepherd of God's flock. From June, 1991 until June, 2017 he served as the Senior Pastor of Sierra Bible Church in the mountain town of Truckee, California. As he continues to serve Sierra Bible Church as one of its teaching pastors, it is also Wayne’s desire to further develop and expand his writing and speaking ministry in regards to The One Another Project.
Recently we celebrated the Fourth of July, Independence Day, a day to celebrate our freedoms. Specifically, the freedom from tyranny, the imposition of government mandates without the input from the governed. The failure to recognize one’s God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Something so profound happened at church that I have to tell you about it!
I was praying for a man at the altar. Two smaller children were with him, politely staying occupied at his feet. The prayer time was emotional, and I could sense the Spirit moving in this man’s life, comforting him and encouraging him. When we were finished, the little girl who was with him looked up at me. She had a trail of tears running down her face. I was shocked! I didn’t realize she was even paying attention.
The following post is written by Chris Braun, a former C&MA missionary who now serves at The Stirring in Redding with his wife Marcia, who is part of the Board of Directors for The Alliance.
Written by: Pastor Mike Schill Psy.D
Recently, I read an excellent article by Michael Gerson who suffers terribly from depression. I would like to combine this article with another article by Dr. Peter Kinderman on, “Why we need to abandon the disease model of mental health care.”
In the first article, Mr. Gerson called his depression “an illness.” Undoubtedly, because this is what his mental health practioners told him. And everything in his journey as he explained so well is very similar with the experiences of many others I have counseled.
At the beginning of the year, I was blessed with the gift of several days to retreat and spend time with God. During these days I felt the compelling invitation to jump back into the Gospel of John, to read again the great story of Jesus. I must confess that after only a few verses, I got stuck.
I was asked to give a talk recently on forgiveness. There was nothing new or special about it, as I have taught on the spiritual necessity of forgiveness many times!
Towards the end of a home remodel project, I was leaving a furniture store with a new table destined for the house Janet and I had been updating with my sister and brother-in-law. While driving out of the parking lot, I unexpectedly found some deep happiness coming forth, but not for any reason I would have previously thought.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
I read this today and it hit me. The last thing Jesus says in the book of Matthew is one of the most important things we need to recall to thrive in ministry today: “I am with you.”