Spring Conference Recaps 2016

Thank you to all who joined us at our 56th Annual Spring Missions Conference in Lexington, KY! “Every disciple…a disciple-maker!” Matthew 28.19

We had a great time of fellowship and were challenged by 10 speakers over 3 days. You can read some excerpts from each sermon by visiting our Facebook page and searching for #BFMspring2016.

2016 Spring ConferenceMay the effects of this conference be long-lasting and life-changing to the glory of God.

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2014 Spring Conference [Wednesday Evening]

BFMSpringConference2014_squareThe Spring Conference came to a close tonight with a renewed sense that today is still indeed the day of salvation.

The final session opened with two congregationals: O Worship the King and Come Thou Fount followed by two specials: Compassion Hymn and I’m Feeling Fine, and one more congregational: Sweet By & By.

Director Dave Parks reminded us that the real test of whether a conference has been good is what we do when we go back home. He then offered thanks to and for all those who had helped with the conference and to all those who came. [And if she may interject, Phoebe here would like to extend a ginormous special thanks to Bro. Parks for all he gives and does to keep everything running so smoothly and for always doing every single task with such zeal. How blessed we are to have you serve.]

The Keyes also blessed us again in song as the offering was given.

Dr. Jim Scott Orrick, Professor of Literature and Culture at Boyce College, brought the final message from 1 Corinthians 15:12-28 about the necessity of believing in Christ’s Resurrection. If you take the resurrection of Christ out of Christianity, you no longer have Christianity.

Dr. Orrick said he often asks his students “What is the bare minimum we must believe in order to be a Christian?” He said that it is possible to believe all orthodox doctrines and still be lost. Salvation does not come by believing the right stuff, it comes to those who receive the living Christ. There is one doctrine you must believe: the Resurrection. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

If Jesus was not raised from the dead, all we have left is a doctrinal system and ethical system with a smoky smell of Christianity.

I. What if Jesus was not raised? (vs. 14)
A. Then our preaching is in vain. (vs. 15-16)
If Christ hasn’t been raised from the dead, then you’ve got nothing to talk about.
B. Then our faith is in vain.
1. You are still in your sins.
Christ not being raised indicates that God was not pleased with His sacrifice.
2. All that was needed to happen for your salvation was not taken care of with His suffering alone. Your salvation requires the ongoing intercession for you. “Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea, A great high Priest whose Name is Love Who ever lives and pleads for me.” We are forgiven because before the throne of God, there is a living Man.

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (vs. 19) But do we really feel that way? We often love the world too much. We live as if we are creatures of this world when we should be living as sons and daughters of the King who have been reconciled to God! (Matthew 13:45-47; Psalm 73)

Christ is representing. He is the firstfruits, which means more will be raised. (vs. 20)

Since this whole mess was started by a man, this whole mess will be corrected by a Man. His resurrection guarantees your resurrection. (vs. 21-23)

He’s not only representing, He is also reigning. He’s putting down all rule, authority and power. He’s already dealt a death blow to death. Christians still fail physically–they die–but, your spirit will never see death. He is going to destroy the last whimpering remnants of death!

With His resurrection ringing in your ear, hear Him say the following:
“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

And with these truths, commands, and promises ringing fresh in our ears and taking lodging in our hearts, the 54th Annual Spring Conference came to a close as we sang “Hear the Call of the Kingdom.”

May we be swift to remember that today is the day of salvation and never fail to introduce anyone to our wonderful Savior.

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2014 Spring Conference [Wednesday Morning]

BFMSpringConference2014_squareThe final day of the Spring Conference began in an overcast, chilly Lexington at 9:30 Wednesday morning.

John Hatcher, missionary to Brazil, opened the morning session by sharing some of his experiences in ministry and how the Lord has blessed them and then shared some Scripture. “Through many dangers, toils, and snares…’tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.” 

John 1:1-5, 14; 14:1-2, 36; 1 John 3:1-2-Oh how God loves us.

God will provide and He is still providing.
Romans 12:1-2

Darrell Messer, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Bellbrook, Ohio, brought the second message from 1 Peter 3, mainly focusing on verse 15.

This is the problem: how involved are we in the day of salvation?
1) Sanctification: “But” goes back to vs. 13-14 which is why we are to set Him apart.
2) Preparation: Be ready. Spend time with God. Know how to answer.
3) Presentation: To give an answer. Get in the Word.
4) Anticipation: A hope that transcends this life. Speak with meekness and fear, not with arrogance.

We don’t witness because of fear of men or because our life doesn’t match our witness. (vs. 16)

Larry Fisher, Pastor of Rosedale Baptist Church in Rosedale, West Virginia delivered the final message before another delicious lunch from 2 Corinthians 6.

“Then” working together with Him. All is nothing without Him. “Without Me you can do nothing.” We are not working to win the battle, the battle is one.

“Succoured” in verse 2 means to go to the aid or lift up. He helps us. He has said “do not receive the grace of God in vain.” This must mean we can receive the grace of God in vain. He has given us the time to work. Now is the accepted time, behold now is the time of salvation. Blind Bartimaeus knew the time was now for him to receive his sight.

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2014 Spring Conference [Tuesday Evening]


The 54th Annual Spring Conference continued this evening at Thompson Road Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. We were all thankful to be worshipping inside as it was raining and starting to get a bit chilly outside!

♪ Bro. Donnie Hamilton led the congregation in “Love Lifted Me” and in a new song by the Gettys called “Hear the Call of the Kingdom”. [You can listen here.

♪ Shirley Messer and Heather Messer Carrus sang “The Power of the Cross” just before the message. ♪ Took the blame, bore the wrath, we stand forgiven at the cross! 

Bro. Jim Orrick, Director of BFM, gave a history of the beginnings of BFM. Bro. Orrick has been at every Spring Conference since they started in 1961 (except for one when he had fallen off a ladder and broken his hip, but he still received a phone call from the pulpit so his perfect attendance would stay in tact!).

You can’t read the Bible without seeing that God has a heart for missions. In fact, God was a missionary. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son…” –Galatians 4:4 // John 3:17


BFM has been in existence for 72 years. Hundreds of churches have been established and are still functioning all over the world. 

It all began in the land of Brazil. Before BFM came along, at the end of the Civil War, some in the South decided to move to Brazil. A Confederate officer who had moved there with his family ended up returning to the States and wrote an article about the need for missionaries in Brazil. A man named William Bagley read the article and heeded the call, arriving in Brazil in 1881. He also wrote articles about the need for missionaries in Brazil, which were read by E.A. Nelson in Kansas. Nelson went to Brazil in 1891. With the help of Solomon Ginsberg, a saved Jewish man who was a missionary, they organized a church in 1897 and the first Baptist converts were baptized in the Amazon River. In 1900, Nelson organized the First Baptist Church of Manaus.

Meanwhile, in western Kentucky, a very mission-minded pastor, Boyce Taylor, had founded the Western Kentucky Bible Institute. His brother, WC Taylor, shared with him about “poor old Nelson” who was all alone down in the Amazon Valley. In 1922, WC went to Brazil and upon his return, the First Baptist Church of Murray, Kentucky, organized the Amazon Valley Baptist Faith Mission with the purpose to raise support for E.A. Nelson and any other preacher called to the Amazon. They raised $3,000 to buy a boat they called “The Buffalo”–it was the first oil-burning oil boat on the Amazon River.

In 1936, LM Bratcher (Harold’s uncle) went on a river trip with Nelson where Nelson became very ill and had to return to Manaus. He died in 1939 and all the stores in Manaus closed for his funeral.

The Amazon Valley BFM had sent out 8 missionary couples, but only 2 of them had stayed on the field any length of time. The first was Joseph Brandon who went to Brazil in 1923. He organized the first Baptist Church in all of the Acre Territory, where Bro. Mike Creiglow is now.

Brandon changed sponsoring churches often and ended up losing his support. He met with HH Overbey and ZE Clark and they agreed if Brandon would go back to Brazil, they would raise support for him. HH Overbey promised to print monthly mission letters. This was the beginning of BFM.

There were 30 copies printed of the first Mission Sheet in which the offerings were recorded (a grand total of $14.50 for the first month).

The second missionary was RP Hallum who went to Peru with his family in 1935. They were supported by leftover funds in the Amazon Valley BFM at First Baptist in Murray. In 1937, they organized the First Baptist Church of Iquitos with 11 members, the oldest Baptist Church in Peru.

There have been many missionaries who have served in different countries over the years, including a native missionary in Columbia, a family in Honduras, the Carvers in Korea, 3 families in the Philippines, in addition to our current missionaries who are serving in Brazil, France, Kenya, and Peru.

Our missionary family has not been large, but their service has been long and their faithfulness has been great. 

In closing, Bro. Orrick mentioned four things churches can do to help BFM.
1) Invite the missionaries into your churches when they’re home so you can get to know them.
2) Encourage people to read the Mission Sheets.
3) Promote offerings, special offerings, and projects
4) Give Memorial Offerings when people pass away

 ♪ Following the first message, we sang “Send the Light” and then the conference offering was given as Bro. Stanley & Sis. Emily Keyes from Illinois ministered in song through trombone, piano, and voice.  ♪ O What Love  ♪ (Lyrics)

There was a record number of BFM-associated families who were present and we recognized their years of sacrifice and faithful service. Missionary families represented included the Turners, Lauermans, Bratchers, Hatchers, Creiglows, Adams, Drapers, and Radfords.

Wanda Hatcher, missionary to Brazil, sang a beautiful version of ‘Tis So Sweet, part of which was in Portuguese.

Paul Hatcher, missionary to Brazil, brought the second message from John 17. He started by reminding us that it’s all about sowing and plowing, and sowing and plowing, and sowing and plowing, and eventually, there will be a harvest.

The Gospel has to be put out there and sown day after day. Even in all of our goof-ups and mess-ups, God has taken all of these things and has made it work. The Gospel has been sown and God makes it produce. From Christ to our day, people have been sowing and reaping and sowing and reaping. So here we are, sowing and reaping. And since we are sowing and reaping, there will be another generation who will sow and reap. The work doesn’t depend on us though–our Heavenly Father makes it all grow.

No one will come to salvation without knowing the Son. People have to hear about and be introduced to this wonderful Jesus.

How marvelous that He would choose to dwell in earthly vessels like you and me.

God loves sinners who don’t have anything to return. Our world is reciprocal and the love of the world is reciprocal. Give to them and they give to you. But that is not God’s love. His love is love because He loves. It is His nature to love. 

Our unity, which is a product of our love, is what will convince the world that Christ has come. “I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved Me.” -John 17:21

What do you have that is different? God became a man and lives inside of you!

The day of salvation has arrived because you have arrived. But it’s not because of anything you have–but because HE dwells within you. 

We ended the evening by singing, “Jesus, I am Resting”.

♪ Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

We hope you can join us tomorrow! [Schedule]

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2014 Spring Conference [Tuesday Morning]


The second day of the 54th annual BFM Spring Missions Conference began at 9:30 a.m.

John Divito from the Midwest Center for the Theological Studies shared about why MCTS exists (2 Timothy 2:2), what MCTS is, what MCTS offers, and how God is using MCTS. You can find out more about MCTS at www.mctsowensboro.org.

Christopher Young then shared his burden for the mission field in Cancun, Mexico.

Nathan Radford, missionary to Kenya, concluded the morning session with Psalm 116:2 and Matthew 9:36-38. He shared about the benefits he was thankful for, their ministries, and also the challenges of the mission field (loneliness, homesickness, cultural fatigue, slander lies, and discouragement).

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Spring Conference 2014 [Monday Evening]


Our 54th Annual Spring Conference began this evening at Thompson Road Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

Bro. Jim Orrick led the congregation in a mission hymn he learned from Bro. Harold Bratcher, “Go Ye Into All the World”.
♪ Far, far away, in death and darkness dwelling,
Millions of souls forever may be lost;
Who, who will go, salvation’s story telling,
Looking to Jesus, heeding not the cost? 
♪. After which, we sang “All Hail the Power”.
♪ “Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe, on this terrestrial ball to Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all. ” ♪

Pastor David Mitchell, who is the teaching pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Hurricane, West Virginia, was the first speaker. His text was from 1 Corinthians 9.

What our churches do at home is vitally important to the effect of missions abroad.

Missionary William Carey told his supporters, “I will go down into the well if you hold the rope.” If we’re not doing missions in our community, we won’t be able to hold the ropes much longer for our foreign missionaries.

Is your church inward focused or outward focused? Does it exist to serve the members or reach the lost?

There are four hindrances to being an externally focused, mission-minded church.
1) Spiritual Hindrances
We must be beholding the face of Jesus for that is where transformation takes place. Our ministry is to be image-bearers of Jesus and to let the world see Jesus in us. (2 Corinthians 3:17-4:1)

2) Personal Prejudices (Acts 10)
Peter was to reach the Gentiles…and it was time to do something different.

3) Cultural & Historical Preferences (1 Chronicles 12:32)
Jesus never told the world to go to church. He told the church to go to the world. Know what’s going on in the world around you and know how to relate to the culture. Paul knew what people were reading and the happenings at Mars Hill. (Acts 17)

4) Generational Gap
Learn to adapt your approach to how people process things.

Can our kind of church reach our kind of world? What are we willing to become to reach coming generations for Christ?

You and I are believers because of foreign missions. 

BFMmondaysong ♪ Following the first message, we sang “At Calvary” and then the conference offering was given as Bro. Stanley & Sis. Emily Keyes from Illinois ministered in song through trombone, piano, and voice.  ♪ He died for me!  ♪ This couple has been so faithful to come and play at the Spring Conference for the past 19 years–and what a blessing they are!

All the Pastors and ministers in attendance stood up to represent their churches, representing churches from Florida, Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Kenya, Brazil, and elsewhere.

Lydia & Sarah Wainright played a piano and flute duet of “Just Over in Gloryland” right before the second message.

Pastor Jonathan Turner, who pastors Richland Baptist Church in Livermore, Kentucky, brought the second message, from Luke 4:16-30.

It was here that Jesus would publicly declare who He was and define the purpose of His ministry. If this describes the ministry of Christ, does this then describe our ministry? It should.

Who is the audience?
1) The poor. The physically poor, but especially the spiritually poor. This world has nothing to offer but scraps in comparison to the offerings of eternity!

2) The brokenhearted. Those who are crushed under burdens. People are under great burdens just by living in this world, but they’re also under great spiritual burdens without Christ.

3) The captives. Those who have been captured and forced to go with their captors. People are held in bondage by Satan and their sin, but often don’t realize they are in bondage. (2 Timothy 2:26; Ephesians 2:1-3; John 8:3-4)

4) Blind. Those who are spiritually blind, whose eyes have been darkened. (Psalm 82:5; 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 12:37-40)

5) Bruised. Every single human–our very humanity–has been marred by Satan and Christ alone can recreate our image to what it needs to be.

So our audience is made up of everybody, but sometimes we pick and choose. Our message is for everyone. My audience is everyone I come into contact with. My audience is the world.

What kind of message do we have for our audience? Our message is proclaiming the Good News of Christ. Jesus drew people to Himself; likewise, we point people to Jesus Christ. Point people to the cross and the Risen Savior. That’s when their burdens fall away. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

We have a big task, but we have Someone bigger than the task. We aren’t the liberator, deliverer, or healer, but we know Who is!

Tell them about Jesus. Our message is Christ!

We ended the evening by singing, “Just As I Am”.

♪ Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come. I come. 

We hope you can join us tomorrow! [Schedule]

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Spring Conference 2013 [Wednesday Evening]

The Spring Conference came to a close tonight with hearts stirred for the work of the Lord to be revived. 

The final session opened with two congregationals: Blessed Assurance and And Can It Be? followed by three specials: Be Thou My Vision, His Eye Is On the Sparrow, and I’m Feeling Fine.

Pastor Richard Westfall from Hardman Fork Baptist Church in Normantown, West Virginia, brought the final message from Nehemiah 4:1-6. Before he got into the text, he shared how the Lord has taken him to school over the past few years by facing some health problems of his own and also by waiting by his son’s bedside 29 days in ICU after an auto accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. “Sometimes in this life all you have is your faith–and that’s enough.” God answered the many prayers of his children to restore Bro. Westfall’s son! 

Sometimes in little churches, preachers feel almost like Hospice workers instead of pastors. It may be that the Lord has paused, but He’s not quit working. It’s not His fault if things aren’t getting done. 

“For the people had a mind to work.” –Nehemiah 4:1-6 
When we wonder why the work is slow, could it be because we’ve become weary in well-doing? We must guard against becoming weary. Sometimes we don’t feel like we’re making a difference. But we ARE making a difference. His Word won’t return void. The problem is, we have become so obsessed with the results we think we ought to get. The Lord has not called you into the work to have results. His work will ALWAYS have results if we faithfully do what He has told us. His work will always accomplish something. 

We must deal with wrong thinking. You’ve got to get your mind right! 

Ways to get your mind right so you can continue in the work: 

  • Renewed Mind (Romans 12:1-2) Have we let our devotions become rote, routine, and dull? If you want your mind renewed, you must cleanse it continually with the Word of God. The garbage thrown at you by NBC, CBS, ABC, and and FOX will taint it. When we get in the muck and mire of this world, it becomes hard to keep our feet shod with the Gospel of peace (Like stepping in muck in a bog–you can’t keep your shoes on.)
    Pastors: Is the only reason you spend time in the Word to prepare your message? Read the Word for the pleasure of your soul. Read God’s Word recreationally as well as devotionally.
    As the Lord gives light, we can walk in the light. Don’t let the devil rob you of joy by trying to exist on the garbage of the world.  
  • Willing Mind (1 Chronicles 29:5) Who’s willing? “I just need a little ME time.” No, you must take up your cross daily and follow Him. We rush and tear through our days and then wonder why the Lord isn’t working. The eternal souls around us depend on us being willing to take the Word to them. Ezekiel sat in the midst of the bones. We must compel them. It’s not compelling to have the lights on and the doors unlocked. We must be willing for Him to use us to accomplish His work. He’ll do what it takes to get you to the point where He’ll use you–or He’ll take you out.
  • Seeking Mind (Luke 15:4-10) Maybe your wallet is important to you, but it’s not nearly as precious and valuable as the souls around you.
  • Humble Mind (Romans 12:3) Don’t think you’re some big thing. (Philippians 2)
    This is not about you. This is about Jesus. And if it’s not about Jesus, then it’s a waste of time. 
    Am I serving the Lord out of a pure heart for His glory or am I cutting deals with God? This is worshiping the Lord, not Storage Wars. The best deal ever is that He calls you to serve maybe 80 or so years and then takes you to live with Him for eternity. It’s not about what you can get out of it, but what you can do out of appreciation for the One who’s done everything for you. 
  • Focused Mind (Colossians 3:1) We allow our minds to stray from the important things to the temporal things. What do you think about? What do you occupy your mind with? Don’t we spend a majority of our time thinking about earthly things that won’t matter in the long run? Then we get aggravated when something eternal comes along. We must look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He’ll lead us straight as we look to Him! (Like plowing a field…)
  • Above all else, we must have a Compassionate Mind (Acts 16:9). Has our hearing become so dull that we don’t hear the lost all around us crying “Come and help?” Are we so busy in our little lives that we’ve lost our ability to hear them? 
Pray for God to rekindle our zeal. May God help us all to revive His work in us. 
After singing Rescue the Perishing, Pastor Dave Parks reminded us that the real effect of the conference is what we do tomorrow. We expect our missionaries to write and report what they’re doing–what if it were reversed?

Oh may God revive His work! 

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Spring Conference 2013 [Wednesday Morning]

The final day of the Spring Conference has begun in rainy, stormy Lexington.

After singing a special, Pastor Carl Morton from Berry Baptist Church in Berry, Kentucky, brought the first message from Jeremiah 38:6–What to Do When Sinking in the Mire. 

“Fear not” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible–one for every day of the week.

Things Satan did to sink Jeremiah: 
1) Turned people against him
2) Tormented his mind with depression (Jeremiah 20:14-18)
He was ready to quit ministry (Jeremiah 20:7-9)

Things the Lord used to pull him out the mire: 
1) He used the brethren (Jeremiah 38:7-9)
Jeremiah has a friend he didn’t know was working on his behalf. 
2) There is help in the Book. (Jeremiah 20:9)
3) There is healing in the balm. (Jeremiah 8:18-22)
There is only one place to get the balm in Gilead (exalted ground). The balm comes from the balsam tree which has to be wounded. Anyone can come to that tree for healing. 

He closed his message by singing “The Old Rugged Cross.”

Pastor Jeff Hurst from Calvary Baptist Church in Hurricane, West Virginia, preached at 10:30 a.m. We also might add that he was wearing a suit–he never wears a suit except to hitch and ditch. 😉

He opened by showing a picture of “Starry Night” by VanGogh. How many stars are in the sky?

“And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” (Genesis 15:5)

Was God lying to Abraham? Did Abraham receive this promise in his lifetime? (Hebrews 11:12-13; Galatians 3:26-29)

God’s redemptive plan is massive!

We look at the valley of dry bones. (Ezekiel 37:1-2) If anything is lasting, it must be by the hand of the Lord. It starts with the hand of the Lord. We want the bones to come to us, but He takes Ezekiel to the bones. You have got to be led out by the hand of the Lord. We are more concerned about our reputation with the righteous than reaching out to dry bones. “I am a recovering Pharisee,” Hurst admitted.

“Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) “And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest.” Can the community around you live? The bones responded to the Word of the Lord. (Ezekiel 37:4-8)

Don’t be satisfied with cleaning the outside, for inside are dead men’s bones. To make a believer takes a short time. To make a disciple takes a long time. Don’t stop short. (Ezekiel 37:9-12)

There are people in this community whose graves are ready to be opened. 

The purpose? “And you shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:13)

Can these bones live?

Pastor Dave Parks remarked after his sermon, “There are bones all around here.”

Pastor Mark Campbell from Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church in Salyersville, Kentucky, delivered the final message before lunch from Habakkuk 3:2.

This was a prayer and he is pouring his heart out to God. Lord, Your work needs to be revived! God’s work never suffers. He is sovereign and His will will be accomplished. We need to be faithful. We need a revival of doing His work.

“In wrath, remember mercy.” We are products of the mercy of God. If you are going to do the Lord’s work, you must have a heart of mercy.

In Acts 18:1-11, Paul is simply doing the Lord’s work. He was simply being faithful and thus doing the Lord’s will. Paul waited to be moved by the Spirit to do the Lord’s work. The Lord directs our steps–sometimes specifically and sometimes not.

In Acts 18:9, we don’t read that Paul was afraid, but he was told not to be afraid. God gives us courage to do His work.

He has much people and He protects us also. (vs. 10) Paul persevered. The conclusion is that the Lord’s work is going to be done–it’s just who’s going to get the reward. (vs. 11) “Thank You for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed.” (view lyrics)

May the Lord revive His work in your heart and in my heart.

The conference ends tonight with the final service beginning at 7:00. We hope you can join us! [Schedule]

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