Prayer Letter


Sept - Oct 2017

God is a generational God.  He declares Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex 3:15).  And we see examples of the Patriarch’s blessing their sons and setting the trajectory for the next generation (Gen 49).  There is an expectation that, as men, we have a 100 year 3 generation vision (Ps 78:5-8) for our families and our culture. In other words, serving the purpose of God in our own generation (Acts 13:36) includes paving the way for those who come after us.  God is impressing on us, after 25 years in existence as a ministry, to pay more careful attention to the next generation.  It’s always been our heart, but now that the leadership of Focused Living is made up of men in their 50’s and 60’s, it’s become much more poignant.

At the end of 2016 a friend of Focused Living made a donation in the form of a “dream grant.” The heart behind these funds was to free us up to dream: What has been in your heart to accomplish for God’s Kingdom but you haven’t pursued because you felt you didn’t have the means?  Well, after a couple of really fun “dreaming meetings,” our Core determined that outreach to the 25-40 year old demographic needs to be a front-burner priority.  We started the process of praying and looking for an apprentice to partner with our staff for a couple of years.  Our desire in this is not to build Focused Living as an organization, but to bless the next generation of Christian leaders and in the process be blessed by them.  After a couple of months, it was as if God said, “If you’re going to trust Me with one apprentice…why not trust Me with two?”  How this has fleshed out is very exciting.

This fall we have begun a partnership with two young men who will be working as apprentices under Focused Living @ 20 hours/week.  Our heart is to pour into these two men and expose them to the DNA that God has birthed in us over these 25 years, freeing them up to maximize their relational ministry.  Here’s a brief introduction to each of these gifts from God.

Karl Reed (35) and his wife, Jessica, and their 4 children recently moved back to the Columbia area from their home state of Michigan.  What drew them back to Columbia was their desire to do life with the gospel community they had previously experienced at Columbia Crossroads Church.  The Andes know the Reeds from their years at Crossroads, where Karl ministered to Austin and Cameron through the youth group. 

“As I partner with Focused Living over this next season of my life, I am looking forward to building deeper relationships with men that are centered around Jesus, having the margin to specifically focus on intentional discipleship, and being surrounded by a team of men that I can learn from, and grow with, as we pursue Jesus and His Kingdom.”

Phil Stice (27) and his wife, Sarah, were married this past May!  Phil came to our attention because one of our Focused Living men was discipled in college in the early 80’s by Phil’s dad! While Phil pursues his MDiv at CIU over the next few years, he desires to be in the trenches engaging men and helping them take next steps toward Christ.

“I am most looking forward to seeing Jesus transform the lives of men in front of my very own eyes! What a privilege it is to witness men fall in love with Christ, and see their lives re-oriented around God and His mission in the world. I am equally looking forward to falling more in love with Christ myself, as I step out in faith to bring the Gospel to people who don’t know Him.”

Join us in celebrating how God is moving Focused Living toward the 25-40 year old demographic.  Pray that these men would be richly blessed by the set of tracks Focused Living provides.  And that we would listen and learn from them as they teach us about their generation.


Ministry Prayer Requests:

FORUMS
The Men's Forum are up and running with great kick offs. There seems to be a real hunger and thirst for this year's theme, which is "Spiritual Warfare!" Pray that the Lord would bring many men to Christ whose marriages and families are getting eaten alive by the enemy (I Peter 5:8) and transform many men from inactive on the sidelines to warriors in the battle. Pray that they would understand and embrace the victory Christ has already won for them at the cross (Col 2:13-15).

DISCIPLESHIP

GRIP discipleship is under way and the 51 men who are participating are stoked and ready to grow strong in the Lord and the strength of His might (Eph 6:10). Pray this month especially as each man will be fasting, praying and listening to the Lord during a half day personal retreat as they define their Action Points of obedience to the Lord, their families and their church families.


FINANCES
Our monthly donations YTD through July  have trailed our expenses by about 21%.  Pray with us for our wise stewardship of what God has and is providing.  The finances related to our two new apprentices came from a separate “donor grant” and do not impact our published monthly numbers.

CORE
Praise for two new Core Brothers in Chris Mercer and Tyler Priester who not only embrace the vision and ministry of FLM but are living it.  They both have a passionate heart for modeling Christ in their homes, a desperate desire to disciple other men, and are readily sharing the Gospel with their friends and family members.  You’ll hear more of their remarkable testimonies in an upcoming prayer letter of how God put them in desperate situations and how they chose to trust fully in Him.

CALENDAR
Sundays - German Wright preaches at Daily Living Ministries (DLM).
Sept 18th - GRIP Discipleship
Oct 1 - Two Grip guys are hosting a Wired Outreach Father's Forum event. Pray that many dads who do not know Christ would attend and hear the gospel.
Oct 16 GRIP Discipleship
Late Oct 
- Perry preaches at Columbia’s Chinese church with Kunming Su




Personal Praises and Requests

BOWERS FAMILY

Perry - healing from his biking accident on August 1st leaving him with 8 busted ribs, a collapsed lung, dislocated shoulder and deeply wounded pride! Pray that he can lovingly encourage Janet to sign up on Sept 13th for another 42 years of walking together in a Christ centered marriage! That he would pace himself. BUSY = Being Under Satan’s Yoke.

Janet - Clarity in prioritizing my time and relationships this fall/winter.  Some things need to be switched up & I need to hear from God on them.   Thankful He is patient with me as I age, learn to set new goals and grow in thankfulness.
Joy & Eddie - Thanking God for the gift of a family trip to Paraguay for 10 days. Travel mercies with kids who have never flown before. Bonding with the Centurion extended family. Consistency in parenting.  

Megan & Marc - Safety and good family time in summer travels. Marcs research starts for his dissertation which is due May 2018. In new parenting stage with kids. Thankful for Megan job transition next fall.

aNDES  FAMILY

David and Katherine – It has been a long summer of multi-tasking and extraordinary stressors.  We are looking to pull back from non-essential activities and responsibilities and find a new rhythm for this season of our family life.  We continue to pray this prayer:

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your heart...May the Lord direct your heart into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.   And may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. (2Thes 2:16,17; 3:5,16)

Austin(18) Austin had another setback in late July.  He acts as if he is tormented and is aware that he is not himself.  God gave David and Austin this word from Psalm 85 that we invite you to pray on Austin’s behalf: “Restore me.  Revive me.  Speak Your peace to my heart.”  We are asking for a breakthrough.  He also just broke his hand boxing a body bag so he is in a soft cast.

Cameron(14) - Cameron is a freshman in High School.  We continue to pray that he would come to value meaningful and positive friendships as he navigates the High School years.

WRIGHT  FAMILY

Strength, Focus and Discernment to push, press and birth out the next level of ministry in our lives – house (personal lives), household (family life and sphere of influence), and temple (church and community). 

rEED FAMILY

Please pray for our family during this time of transition as we adjust to new rhythms and a new "normal." And please pray that we continue to stay focused on Jesus as we learn what it looks like to live as a family on mission. 

sTICE FAMILY

  • Prayer for discernment on upcoming employment changes/opportunities for my wife and I
  • Prayer for a job with health benefits for me or my spouse
  • Prayer for continued boldness in evangelism
  • Prayer for finding a local church family/growing relationships within the body of Christ

Current Prayer Letter as PDF

Sept - Oct 2017

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