As we look back on another year, the faithfulness of the Lord’s hand at work, is once again made clear. No arm will ever sustain like His. Several words make obvious the benefits of leaning on the arm of the Almighty:
Time. – We’ve learned to count time by the months. God has provided a growing C&L! family with life and sustenance, through a variety of creative provisional means. December marks our 23rd month….and counting.
Risk. – The responsibility of placing faith into action regardless of the potential for failure. The greatest risk is that of disobedience to Christ. He is teaching us to maintain a commitment to Him glorified and the hearts of men drawn to His Father. This has been a hard lesson, especially on those days where financial provision doesn’t seem likely or when the obstacles mount up against us. God has consistently reminded us that He is in control.
Debt. – From the very first bank deposit beginning with a humble 340 Dollars, operating a non-profit has been a learning process with a huge, and often times painful, curve. None of us had previous 501(c)(3) experience. God has been incredibly kind to allow all our bills to be paid and to operate entirely in the black. We have never acquired debt, please pray that we never will.
Team. – We’ve shared many fond memories over this past year. We can all attest to the ways in which God has grown our faith and matured our spiritual walks. What a joy to experience hundreds, and some-times thousands, entering God’s presence through song. What an honor to have a single coversation, where Christ births abundant life-everlasting in a desperate heart.
Generosity. – In 2009 you helped us gift 124,000 songs.
We have just surpassed 2 Million Songs delivered as gifts to countries like Singapore, Russia, Chile, Israel, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Cyprus, Zimbabwe and 82 others – with our site being visited over 1 Million times. We now gift a daily average of 10,000 songs. To date, we have spent less than $5,000 in marketing efforts. God has used your single voice to reach countless voices.
Friends. – You represent some of the new friends we’ve made since trusting God with this dream. Of all the friends we’ve met, one of the sweetest is Maria. She sells the homeless newspaper faithfully near Chad’s home. She is a constant reminder of God’s love for the poor. She brings tears to Chad’s eyes when he considers how a smile, a hug, stopping to remind her that she is loved, or giving her an occassional gift, are all reminders of how we are to live more like Jesus.
Gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:1 says; “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” We’re learning to pursue love and the gifts God gives us. We could tell of the many people we’ve seen instantly (and at times gradually) healed, or the joy we feel when encouraging those who are struggling to get through life. We could share of those special encounters birthed only by the Holy Spirit that have resulted in great fruit. Our pursuit is love. His gifts, when Biblically practiced, help us express God’s love to the body and the lost.
Salvation. – There is nothing we consider nearly as rewarding as receiving a text, phone call or email from an artist letting us know that someone was once lost but has now been found. To hear someone say, as we have; “I’ve gone to church my whole life but I want to know Jesus the way I hear you talking about Him”, may be the compliment of a life-time. Talking about Christ is wonderful, but even better is to express Jesus by the way we live like Him. God isn’t looking for more talkers, He’s after hearts committed to living for Him!
Future. – This is just the beginning and what a great reminder that God knows the plans He has toward us. And towards you. They are plans for peace and not evil. Plans for a future and a hope. Only He is fully aware of what comes next, considering we only know in part. He has swung wide the doors leading to New Zealand, to many wonderful events, and Lord-willing to a National and International Come&Live! tour before 2011 is over. We know that He is drawing our hearts to know Him and His Word, even more than we do now. There are nearly 2 Billion global youth, most of whom have never heard or seen the Gospel. Jesus called us to reach them. Going is not an option, it’s the commandment.
Again, thank you for being you and for your obedience in following Jesus. Our prayer for you is that God would allow His Kingdom and His will to be accomplished in every area of your life. That He would provide you with daily bread, with strength to overcome every temptation, forgiveness as you forgive others. Deliverance from the evil one. That the kingdom, power and glory would be radiated from your life and received fully unto Christ.
Desiring to burn brightly,