Friday, August 28, 2015

Musing About City Reach

The first part of this post is some Musing About City Reach. Near the bottom you will find directions and particulars about City Reach Wichita that starts in a few days!

In the last few weeks I have had opportunity to spend a few days in three of the cities where we are planning and praying for City Reach this year and next. The third week of June we spent a week in Wichita, Kansas, two weeks ago we spent a week in Tulsa, Oklahoma and last week we were in Dayton, Ohio.

We are hoping to be in Dayton next year the second week in July and in Tulsa the second week of June. City Reach Wichita begins in just over one week. In fact, we plan to roll into Wichita one week from yesterday and the tent goes up in eight days on Saturday September 5th!

On these recent visits I spent several hours in each of the cities driving around and visiting potential tent sites. I have wept over Wichita, Tulsa and Dayton and the great responsibility God has placed on my shoulders for the people there. I am under no grand delusion that thousands are going to flock to the Blue and White Gospel tent. If they come I will preach to them. However I am absolutely confident that God is going to have us in the right place, at the right time, speaking the right Word, in order to make a difference in the right lives!

As I drove through Wichita, Tulsa and Dayton I was overwhelmed with the logistics of City Reach in each of these cities. I really need to spend a month or so on the ground in advance planning. There is too much to bring together, too much that must go right and way too much that could go wrong.

I was also overwhelmed with the actual burden for souls. I drove through neighborhoods with people on their porch, pedestrians walking about, kids riding bikes, families enjoying the parks, the determined blowing their horns to get through and the aimless with no where particular to go. I could not contain the tears. I could not hold back the floodgate of emotion. I was sincerely overwhelmed. 

I can not handle the load of responsibility. I can not do this. The vision of City Reach is way too big for me and my family. I am in over my head and I know it. I knew it almost from the very beginning.

Davy, do you "get" how unprepared, unskilled, weak, shaky, powerless, small and vulnerable you are? Do you have any idea how preposterous and outrageous this is? You are so frangible. Davy, do you even know what frangible is? Yes, I am frail and I break up into fragments when I am under pressure. I crumble like a cookie. Yep, I get it. I get it good. I have no confidence at all in my ability to pull this off in one city much less in several cities across the USA. 

Yet, I do have the utmost confidence in the power of the Gospel message to reach and transform lives! My faith is in God! I know that needy people are in these cities. I know there are people there that want to change. They are sick of the status quo even though they see no way to jump off the merry-go-round. I know that the preached Word of God can radically change lives!

I know that God loves them. I know the Gospel message is in my heart and in my mouth. I know that I am going to get to speak that message and I know God will put folks in my path to hear. I know that God is going to break addictions. He is going preach the gospel to the poor. He is going to heal the brokenhearted. He is going to preach deliverance to the captives. He is going to give sight to the blind. He is going to set at liberty them that are bruised, I know that God is going to change lives!

That is one of the things I wept over as I drove the neighborhoods in Wichtia, Tulsa and Dayton. I am weeping about it right now! God is going to work in lives like only He can and God is going to receive the glory. All the glory and honor and praise belongs to God. God is going to do it and God is going to be praised.

That does not lift the load of responsibility from my shoulders. I will be and I am entirely responsible to do my part in all of this. I have duties that I must complete. But it does lift the burden of success from my shoulders. God is ultimately responsible for what is done in lives and He is well able to do His part. That is awesome. I can not do God's part but He can!

I know when I write of the "load of responsibility" that some of you naturally think of the financial responsibility. Look, money is part of City Reach. It is taking a pile of money to pull this off. But money is such a small part of the puzzle in the grand scheme of things. It just is. It seems like a huge hurdle at times but it is really only a small part. The real responsibility is to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right Word, for the right person. Remember, God will help me do my part and God will always do His part!

The money is going to be there. It is coming in from churches, Sunday school classes, penny marchers, families and we are saving every dime we can squeeze out of our regular budget. We are going to need more but no doubt God is speaking to some one about that need right now and it may be someone I do not know or have access too. All of that is out of my hands and honestly out of my thoughts most of the time except to Praise God for His provision and to have a heart full of gratitude toward those that give.

Truthfully and even ironically every offering that is sent, every dollar that is given fills me with thankfulness and a little anxiety. Anxiety? How does that work? Every offering puts the squeeze on me to be an excellent steward and use the money wisely to reach even more folks in City Reach. I guess I am saying I want to have something in my hands at the end of the day to show people that give, that they have not given in vain. Does that make sense?

Sense? Maybe. Spiritual? I am not so sure. I do know this. God will give the ultimate increase. This is His thing, His work, His money, His people and for His glory. I will do my best to be a good steward but here is the kicker, God is a good steward too. God will not waste our resources!

I sent some of this to some friends for feedback and one dear friend sent this:
It is a sobering thought to ask God and then see your prayers answered abundantly and hear the flesh and its counselor whisper "You asked for this but you know you can not do it now that you have everyone's confidence and money." The accuser of the brethren, the subtil serpent, the consummate deceiver tries to shift all responsibility to your weak shoulders instead of God's almighty ones. But the truth is in Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it...  
Wow! That sums it up perfectly and it is absolutely what I needed to hear.

This is now my prayer concerning City Reach.

God, help me to do the very best I can, to do all you have ask me to do. But when all the human effort is completed, I put all the labor performed, all the prayers prayed, all the finance given, all the effort expended into your hand. You give the increase, God! You save the souls. You change the lives! You break the chains. You put families back together again. You deliver. You set free. You heal. You give the increase, God! Praise God!


As I write this there is much work going on specifically in Wichita right now. Pastor John DiZazzo, Pastor Don Crowley, Pastor Jay Lewis and Pastor Terry White and their churches are doing their level best to be prepared for City Reach Wichita. There is no telling how many hours that have been put into preparation and will be given in the next week. They are passing out thousands of flyers, knocking on doors and petitioning God for His help in addition to all the things that must be done that nobody sees.

God is going to reward that effort. God is going to compensate them for their labor of love. God is going to give the increase in Wichita! Thank you for praying! Thank you for standing with us emotionally, spiritually and physically. May God bless you for your assistance and encouragement.

If you can come be with us in Wichita September 6-13 we would love it. We will begin service at 7:30 PM Sunday through Sunday. There will be no Sunday morning service under the tent. We do have the promise of some families that are traveling to be with us in Wichita and we are excited about that. One family is coming from Ohio in order to try to get some of their Wichita family to attend. That is awesome! 

The tent goes up at 8:00 AM on the 5th and you are welcome there as well. City Reach Wichita will be on the corner of Lincoln and Hydraulic just west of I-135 off exit 5A. When you turn west off the interstate you will see the Blue and White Gospel tent right across from Quick Trip.

If you are coming in from the south you will probably approach Wichita on I-35 out of Oklahoma. As you near the city you will exit I-35 and pull onto I-135 toward the heart of the city. About 5 miles later you will leave I-135 at Exit 5A. You will turn left/West and see the tent site as you cross over the interstate.

You will turn left/South onto Hydaulic and enter the parking area from there.

Well, as you can see we are very excited about City Reach and particularly about City Reach Wichita right now. We appreciate your continued prayer.

God bless you for reading.


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