Guest Post: Prayer Letter, Alan A. Lutz

 

Dear Friends,

 

Blessings to you in Christ Jesus, the King and Head of the Church! I pray this letter finds you well and enjoying the advent of spring. I am grateful to the Lord for all of you who remembered me and my family this month. My dear mother passed away four weeks ago today, and I am so thankful that I was able to be with her at the end of her earthly life. We held her funeral on the 21st. It was God’s leading to postpone my March 2-8 trip to Haiti so I could go to Indiana. He gave me strength to speak about the testimony of her Christian faith and life. The impact of them on my life and ministry has been huge. Abraham Lincoln once said that “No man is poor who has had a godly mother.” My siblings and I have been very rich indeed.

 

I attended the annual MINTS board meeting March 9-11 in Miami. It was a wonderful time listening to and sharing about the growth and deepening of works around the world. Just a sampling of them includes: 31 groups in 27 cities in Venezuela, and 15 center in Mexico – the country director emphasized the best way to start a church-planting movement is to begin with theological education. The goal of the founding international dean of MINTS is to have national coordinators in every country. There are 160 students in South Africa, and 220 in Brazil – the national coordinator said that 70% of the pastors there have no training. 8 groups are meeting in the Dominican Republic In Santo Domingo and Santiago, with other cities being targeted. We praised the Lord for what He is doing through MINTS in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the U.S. A.! I stayed with a family in Miami whose father directs a MINTS study center in his church!

 

Please pray earnestly for my upcoming April 18-25 trip to Bohoc, Haiti:

  • purchasing French and Creole Bibles and supplies in Port au Prince
  • teaching our first course: Introduction to the Scriptures April 21-23 (15 class hours)
  • meeting with the Haitian pastors who have organized El-Elyon Seminary
  • setting up a new laptop and tablet to be used by the seminary committee

 

In addition, upon my return to Florida, a dear Puerto Rican pastor friend and I are starting a new MINTS study center in Spring Hill (Hernando County) for Hispanic pastors and church leaders. It is amazing how God brought us together at our apartment complex! We hope to have a dozen or more students begin classes in September.

 

The first part of my Doctor of Ministry program with MINTS is writing a commentary on the book of Titus. I shared the glorious passage in chapter 2:11-14 at my mother’s funeral, and I am dedicating the commentary to her. Please pray that I will have this completed by the end of May.

 

May the Lord bless you for your participation in this Gospel ministry! All for Jesus, Alan

 

 

Book Review

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“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and again the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Arm Yourself

Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God, by Michelle Moore

In her book, Michelle takes you through Ephesians 6 on an exploration of the armor of God. She includes personal stories and Scripture as she looks at each piece of protection the Lord has given to His children.

I appreciated her sharing the wise advice from her grandmother on exploring our hearts and situation when undergoing spiritual warfare. She used the acronym H.A.L.T. When feeling attacked, ask yourself if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. As she explains, these are all key moments of weakness for all of us.

I likewise appreciated her adding the “Robe of Love” to our arsenal. She uses Colossians 3:14 “…And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” She explains that if you look at pictures of Roman soldiers, you will also see a robe underneath the pieces of their armor. She wisely declares that like our witness, our armor is useless without love.

She uses 1 Corinthians 13 from “The Message” to illustrate this point.

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t have love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up…Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompleteness will be canceled…But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

Arm Yourself is available now from WestBow Press http://www.westbowpress.com

He Lifts My Head: by Cheryl Lutz

“But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”
(Psalm 3:3)

 

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The oppression has been thick and heavy, making it hard to breathe. This journey of “walking by faith and not by sight” has been harder than I ever imagined. I have walked alongside and prayed for others as the darkness seemed to close in around them, but somehow depression has never been my thing. One of my spiritual gifts is faith, so this “losing hope” is new territory. I’ve had to ask others to pray for me when I couldn’t seem to pray for myself. I’ve had to ask others to believe for me when my belief seemed elusive. I’ve had to practice what I preach and fall on my face in prayer. I’ve had to stay in the Word when I just plain don’t feel like it. I’ve had to let the tears flow, and know He is “catching them in His bottle.” When the enemy’s lies have continually assaulted my mind, I’ve turned on worship music to drown him out. Sometimes my heart cries have been simple but profound, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The beautiful thing is that Jesus’ mercy does rain down. He shows me His glory, and He lifts my head.

How about you? What do you do when depression strikes, or when the enemy of our soul attacks?

The old hymn writer William Cooper sure seemed to get it!

“Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing in His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.”

Dear One, read Psalm 3. Know that the Lord is your shield and glory. He WILL lift your head!

Ministry Report: Guest Post by Pastor Alan A. Lutz

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Greetings, Dear Support Team!

     Here are some pictures from our seminar on Christology last Fri/ Sat, and our Committee of the newly formed El-Elyon Study Center in Bohoc, Haiti.  Note those cool certificates we took for the students!  It was a full week of travel, meetings, study, and fellowship.  I just got home late last night, so these pictures and notes are hot off the press.

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     I flew from Tampa to Miami and Cap Haitiene on Mon., Nov. 30.  After arriving mid-afternoon, we had a 3-hour motorcycle ride through the mountains to reach Pastor Georges’ town of Bohoc.  The road was really rough in places and it was a little rainy, but we arrived safely, thank the Lord.  I needed to see a chiropractor after occupying the passenger seat for that long!

     Tuesday and Wednesday our Committee met from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.  We had delicious Haitian coffee to get the day started and provided lunch for the brothers.  They chose the name El-Elyon for the school.  It means “God Most High” in Hebrew (remember singing those words in Michael Card’s classic El Shaddai?).  To Him be the glory!  The school is set to hold its first class in February or March, depending on when I can travel.

     Thursday was a study day for me to finalize prep for the seminar, then on Fri./Sat. 40 pastors, elders, and church leaders came from about 10 churches.  Most of them came from within an hour’s walk.  We were sad that the group coming the farthest earlier in the week suffered a motorcycle wreck.  Stefan, the leader of the church, had a serious leg injury and had to be hospitalized.  He is to have surgery this week. 

     The pastors who make up the Committee shared personal testimonies of their involvement with the school and encouraged their friends and associates to consider enrolling.  There was a high level of interest in coming for training, and I believe the Lord will use the seminary to bring many pastors and leaders together for needed fellowship and support.

      We drove Stefan to the hospital in Cap Haitiene on Sunday.  We were able to visit Pastor Fred’s younger brother Benn who attends college nearby.  He is there for 7 years of training to be a doctor, and already planning to go back to his and Fred’s home town of Mombin Crochu to run the town’s medical clinic and care for the large number of orphans.  I love all these adopted sons!

     

     I am so thankful for your prayers for me this past week!  I witnessed God move powerfully in our Committee meetings and 10-hour seminar.  By God’s grace the impact of El-Elyon Seminary is going to be huge in northern Haiti.  We hope to have 25 or more students in our first class offered next spring.  Until then we have a lot of work to do completing applications and course prep.

     What a joy it is to partner in ministry with such committed young men of God!  Their life is unbelievably difficult, but they are facing their challenges with strong faith in our mighty Savior.  You are a part of their lives too!  They love you and pray for you even though they don’t know you personally.  Thank-you for sharing the hope that Christ Jesus has brought to the world!        In His grace, Alan.

 

Prayer Letter: Guest Post by Pastor Alan A. Lutz

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Alan & Cheryl Lutz
11835 Cassandra Street, #304
New Port Richey, FL  34654
 
“I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, from his devotional for January 1st)
Dear Faithful Intercessors and Supporters:
     Oswald Chambers’ biography by David McCasland is titled Abandoned to God.  What a perfect summary of the great man’s life.  The quote above speaks to the very same theme.  One of the greatest blessings of 2015 in my life has been reading every single one of Chambers’ entries year to date. Reference today’s devotional based on Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20, “The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me”:
     “We have to battle through our moods into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus,  to get out of the hole-and-corner business of our experience into abandoned devotion to Him…  Our faith must be in the One from Whom our experience springs.  Jesus Christ wants our absolute abandon of devotion to Himself…”
     This is what I want the ministry in Haiti that we’re engaged in to be, “absolutely and entirely for Him, and for Him alone.”  Jesus is our Savior, and this motivation springs from His glorious salvation “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone!”  Please pray for me weekly to this end.
Thanksgiving:
  • for God’s calling in my life to serve Him through MINTS and teaching me more about being Abandoned to God
  • for Haitian pastors Georges, Fred, Chery, Joscelyn, Odison, and Alexandre who form the Study Center Committee in the city of Bohoc in Northern Haiti
  • for Dan English of Westminster Chapel in Ball Ground, Georgia, who is helping to establish a chicken farm in Pastor Fred’s community of Mombin Crochu – this will be able to feed the 100 children that Fred cares for and generate income for his family and ministry
Supplication:
  • for my upcoming November 30December 7 trip to Haiti – I will fly into Cap Haitiene on the northern coast for the first time – to bear much and lasting fruit
  • for the Committee’s meetings to finish up the organizational phase of the Study Center and make all necessary preparations to launch classes early in 2016
  • for God’s provision of a laptop (new or used) for Pastor George who is the coordinator of the Study Center Committee and needs it badly for all the administrative work – please contact me immediately if you can provide one!
A Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  There always is in Christ Jesus.