Steve Reutschle is the senior pastor of the Union Church of Manila. I invited him to speak to us during our last day of prayer and fasting. The day we designated for personal breakthroughs.
On June 17, 2010 Steve had a motorcycle accident while vacationing in the United States. He fractured his c6 and c7 neck vertebrae. The doctors said he had a 10% chance that he’ll ever walk again. He and his wife Michelle were stepping into the deepest waters of their faith journey.
Last year while visiting Larry Osborne a pastor friend from San Diego, he told me that a friend of mine was visiting with him the next day Saturday – his name was Steve Reutschle. Then he said the unthinkable, Steve’s walking again and is on his way back to Manila. The next day there was Steve healed from head to foot. God is still big on the business of healing and miracles.
The picture above was taken when I first met Steve at a conference. Eager to learn about ministry in the Philippines Steve and I hung out during the breaks. This photo was taken during one of the team game sessions. Steve had many questions and it was storming – we all ended up shacked in an outdoor multi-purpose hall. One of the guys in the group took this picture as we sat and chatted and people played games. Its the same picture I kept on my desktop during the months that Steve fought his faith battle. Just to remind me to pray for him. Thank You Lord for healing my friend.
“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.” Luke 17:15
Every year Every Nation churches worldwide start the year with seven days of prayer and fasting. For more than a decade now the Lord has graced my family to enjoy this long lost spiritual discipline – interestingly over the years the practice has become something we look forward to. That’s not to say that we have become experts at it but it is to say that there is something far more beautiful and beneficial that we receive every time we do it. And this year is no different.
For seven days Victory Fort had prayer meetings at noon and in the evening, except on the Sunday of that week. Prayer meetings were focused on the youth, families, nation, missions, victory and the Body of Christ. The picture above shows pastors from various denominations and independent churches from our city of Taguig whom we invited to pray with us. The turn-out was encouraging, the outcome even more.
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn,and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” Isaiah 58:8-9
Day four of the fast was spent praying for the nation of the Philippines. Picture above shows former congressman Ruffy Biazon, who recently became the Director of the Bureau of Customs, a seriously tough post. Ruffy is a long time member of Victory, long before he went into politics. The other person in the picture praying with me is councilor Julian Coseteng of Quezon City.
Lord, help these men whom you have called to be leaders of civil society. Grant them Your wonderful counsel, Your power and might, Your peace and help them realize that they have You to lean on as their heavenly Father.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6-7a
No I am not in London. I’m starting the year reading Tim Keller’s book but wanted a more colorful reminder and not just post a book cover – title of the book is “King’s Cross.”
I’ve had a hard time puttting the book down since I started reading it. Over the next four day-off’s I will be posting some of the best gleanings I have from the book.
“A self-centered life is a stationary life; it’s static, not dynamic. A self-centered person wants to be the center around which everything orbits. I might help people; I might have friends; I might fall in love as long as there’s no compromise of my individual interests or whatever meets my needs. I might even give to the poor – as long as it makes me feel good about myself and it does not hinder my lifestyle too much. Self-centeredness makes everything else a means to an end. And at the end the non-negotiable, is whatever I want and whatever I like, my interests over theirs. I’ll have fun with people, I’ll talk with people but in the end everything orbits around me.
The Trinity is different. Instead of self-centeredness, the Father, the Son and the Spirit are characterized in their very essence by mutually self-giving love. No person in the Trinity insists that the others revolve around him; rather each of them voluntarily circles and orbits around others.
If this is the ultimate reality, if this is what the God who made the universe is like, then this truth bristles and explodes with life-shaping implications for us. If this world was made by a triune God, relationships of love are what life is really all about.”
Lord, give me a sensitive heart knowing full well that my heart is deceitful above all else. That’s why I pray -like a needle on a compass that points true north – teach my heart always gravitate towards You as the center. Forgive me when I forget and let me draw near again and again.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
Dead or AlivePosted: January 8th, 2012 | Filed under: Podcasts | 1 Comment »
Duration: 00:32:49 | File size: 27.62 MB | Download MP3
In our “Thrive” series, we’ll know more about the lasting effects of what Jesus did on the cross: a life of victory over our sin and living a full life according to God’s ways.
Day one of the annual seven days of prayer and fasting. Every Nation’s annual gathering of churches worldwide. It is a moment to consecrate oneself before the Lord and to seek Him. It is also a moment to acknowledge that God is at the center of our lives and that apart from Him life does not work.
To be honest this annual practice has been a blessing to me physically as it allows my body to rest from all of Christmas’ indulgence.
The picture above is of a packed congregation mostly of young people. Seeing young people fast and pray and seek God is very encouraging. Considering that our nation is a young one with 70% being under age 30 and the 50% below 20. Unless church is full of young people we don’t have the stats right.
Lord thank You again for bringing us together to fast, pray and to seek you.
“But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them;a in those days they will fast.” Luke 5:35
Marie celebrates her birthday with the girls again. Happy birthday Sweetie. Almost every year Marie’s birthday coincides with our annual prayer and fast, this year we had one more big meal and ice cream. Here’s the old video of your surprise party last January 4, 2009.
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:29
On December 17, 2011 the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Mindanao (Southern tip of the Philippines) was hit by a terrible typhoon that killed dozens of people and knocked down power lines and displaced tens of thousands of people.
Every Nation Asia’s churches responded immediately with relief funds for food and much needed medicine. The picture above is at the Victory Center in Cagayan de Oro where our lay leaders and volunteers gathered to discuss plans on how to serve the city of Iligan which was getting less assistance than CDO. It was also a much needed moment to encourage leaders to go and be an encouragement to their own families and friends many of whom were affected by the calamity.
Interestingly our campus and youth leaders were the first to come and be counted. Apart from just giving physical relief our LifeBox staff from Manila and elsewhere did what they do best – engage culture and community with the intent of one day making disciples. We need to be conscious of the young people in our midst – they are the most available, most zealous, most energetic, creative and greatest in numbers.
Below is a video of the efforts done by LifeBox in Cagayan de Oro’s neighboring city of Iligan. LifeBox is Every Nation’s youth and campus ministry in Asia.
“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families—all those twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army of Israel.” Numbers 26:2
The Christmas season in the Philippines starts in November and lazily ends in January. Filipinos love to eat and have fun. Part of the reason for the never ending season is the number of Filipinos who live overseas and come home to the familiar easy going holiday season – there’s nothing quite like it in the world.
As it is is with every family our resident comedian is my youngest son Joshua. He is funny only because he is not trying to be funny. The picture above was caught by my niece Acie who was in town visiting with her husband Loyd from Geneva. Loyd is a Swiss citizen and the two decided to move there some years back. Picture below was with the family together with my eighty year old mother – extreme right.
“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great thing for them.’” Psalm 126:2