Monday, April 30, 2007

Masterpiece -- Master Plan

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

I have been painting since I got back from Maine -- painted until midnight last night -- started again this morning at 6:30 -- just quit a few minutes ago. No, I am not painting a masterpiece.

But I am a masterpiece, so says the apostle Paul -- and so are you -- if you have been saved by God's special favor -- His grace! There is a big difference between my work and God's; I have been repainting and touching up. God says that you and I are unique masterpieces -- made anew in Christ.

It gets better. Not only are we God's masterpiece -- we are part of His master plan! God promises that the new life we possess means we can "do the good things he planned for us long ago." Man, I love that! God specially designs you and me to have a significant impact within His plan -- a plan He set in motion long ago.

Masterpiece -- Master Plan. That changes the way we look at the events of our lives.

Doesn't it?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I Am Home!

Our son, Justin and his bride Erika arrived at mom and dad's house a little after midnight. We talked for a bit and then all of us hit the sack. It was a short night for Justin and me. I had to be at the airport by 7 this morning, so Justin got up early and drove me to Bangor International Airport. All my flights left on schedule -- I got back to Columbus around 5 o'clock this afternoon. I am so glad to be home!

My mom sends thanks to all of you who have so faithfully prayed for our family. She is gaining strength every day -- the doctor is amazed at her progress. Tomorrow, some of the the hospital staff are going to take my mom down to the solarium, so that my family can throw a celebration party for her. Unfortunately, I had to leave today.

Tomorrow, I will post some things God has been showing me. Tonight, He said, "Get some sleep!"

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Friday, April 27, 2007

Making Plans?

I leave for Nashville on May 3 to meet with the Mission team at Brentwood Baptist. I will be presenting the vision for Bozeman. God has opened an incredibly big door that I knew nothing about! They are already committed to come to Bozeman!

Sandy and I have been desperately seeking God's desires. We want our steps to be trailing His! A friend told me to read through Proverbs 16 as we make plans for Bozeman. I did -- it was awesome! Here are the verses that really stood out to me (they also got me so energized I could not sleep).


We can gather our thoughts, but the LORD gives the right answer . . .

Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed . . .

When the ways of people please the LORD, he makes even their enemies live at peace with them . . .

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps . . .

Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be happy . . .

We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall . . .




About mom and dad . . .

We pulled up all the old carpet and painted the walls and ceiling in mom’s bedroom. We are putting the carpet down this evening. It’s been a joint effort with my nephew, sisters, and brothers-in-law. Mom’s going to come home to an extreme makeover!

Saturday morning at 8:30, I will be on my way back to Columbus! I am really looking forward to getting home. I can’t get back to my bride soon enough!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Update

Mom is doing remarkably well! She is doing some walking, her color is good, her eyes are brightening, and she is getting stronger. The pathology report came back clean -- all the margins were cancer free!

All of us thank all of you -- for all your prayers!

Yesterday I put a new photo cell in the big yard light. Tomorrow, my nephew and I begin painting my parents bedroom. On Friday, we will help my brother-in-law put down carpet in the same bedroom. Today, dad and I went to the VA clinic to have some of his blood drawn (he is on a blood thinner), and then on to the hospital to see mom.

I am at McDonald's in Old Town, Maine -- they have free wireless!

Pretty soon, I will get to talk to Sandy -- I miss her -- I am crazy about her!


Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Catch A Crocodile

Can you catch a crocodile with a hook or put a noose around its jaw? Can you tie it with a rope through the nose or pierce its jaw with a spike. Will it beg you for mercy or implore you for pity? Will it agree to work for you . . . No, it is useless to try to capture it. The hunter who attempts it will be thrown down. And since no one dares disturb the crocodile, who would dare to stand up to me? Who will confront me and remain safe? Everything under heaven is mine Job 41:1-2,9-11

A friend of mine wanted to know what alligator tail tasted like, and came up with a brilliant plan to find out. Being an avid fisherman, he decided to try his hand at catching an alligator -- on a fishing rod -- with a top water plug. Honest!

It didn't take him long to find the perfect candidate -- a young alligator -- one he could handle. With great precision he lofted a plug next to the youngster. You guessed it -- he snapped at it in an instant. The plan was working to perfection. Now, all he needed to do was reel him in!

What I am telling you is the God's honest truth. Step 2 of his plan went this way: Once he got the gator in the boat, he would take pity and show great mercy by slicing off only a chunk from the tail. Then he would release the gator!

At first, his prey lazily submitted to the pull of the line. Then, his plan went awry. All of a sudden, the gator saw the boat! He may have been little, but he was still an alligator. This guy made up his mind he was not going for a boat ride. Instinctively, he began rolling over and over spinning like a drill, and snapped the line! Still in possession of his tail, he gave it a couple of powerful twitches, and vanished!

Back to the Scriptures quoted . . . God said that people sometime view Him -- just as my friend viewed the little gator. We don't know enough about God -- to fear God. We picture a small God we can handle -- one we can put to work for us. To the world, we present a God that is to be pitied -- not revered.

God's response is always the same, then and now . . . You don't know who you are dealing with. Do you really think you can reel me in, and do with me as you please? Will you confront me and remain safe?

Our attempts to tame and manhandle God make even less sense than trying to cut the tail off an alligator!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Bozeman Trail

I have been unable to post since arriving in Maine -- I will try to catch you up. Mom's surgery went very well -- that means there were no surprises. The Whipple Procedure is a radical one. No sign of cancer compromising the pancreas or liver was found. The duidenum (spelling is incorrect), and gall bladder were removed, which led to a very complicated re-sectioning of all the ducts to the stomach, liver, and pancreas. Mom will be in the hospital for a minimum of two weeks -- followed by 8 weeks of therapy.

My siblings and I have been making daily trips to Bangor to visit mom. Some days are better than others. She is desperately tired, and by no means out of the woods. I have been staying with dad -- he has been terrific. We put a CB in his little S10 pick-up. Tomorrow will be a day outside for yard work -- weather permitting. My sisters are impressed at how clean a couple of bachelors are keeping the house!

I did get out to the cabin one day for a few hours. It was a beautiful sunny day in the sixties. The river is about 8 feet higher than normal so none of the ledges are visible. The river is a raging beauty! While at the camp, I did a lot of journaling. As usual, being there always leads to some weeping. I have yet to get to the root of "why" that occurs every time.

Sunday, I spent some time with Harvey and Diane and their family. I attended high school with Harv and Di. Also, I was their pastor for a while. They have been safe company for many years. Conversations with them always bring clarity -- they know me VERY well.

When I return to Columbus I need to finish getting our house ready to do a "For Sale By Owner." We are trying to avoid giving thousands of much needed dollars to a realty company. On May 3-5, I am going to Brentwood Church, in Nashville, TN. I am going to have an opportunity to talk to their missions team about the needs in Bozeman. After that I return home to begin meeting with potential financial partners for the new plant.

Sandy and I miss each other terribly. She is still teaching at CHS until May 18. God has blessed us to be one another's muse. We talk every day about hitting the Bozeman Trail! We are learning to work through a myriad of emotions and significant meetings with the Holy Spirit!

Also . . . A bit of trivia

Did you know that Bozeman, Montana is named after John Bozeman?

Do you know where John Bozeman is from?

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GEORGIA!


Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Apostle's Creed

This morning Sandy and I went to church at First Opelika with our friends, the Murrells. The church has three services; we went to the 9:45 one. The service was filled with nearly 700 college students and a pretty good mix of people of all ages. The man who prayed over the offering was 70 to 80 years old.

College-aged students lead all the music -- they were dressed casually. They sang a couple of songs I had never heard. Everyone else seemed to know them, because the young and old alike were enthusiastically participating. The presence of the Spirit of God was evident. When it was time for the message, I am sure that many visitors, Sandy and me included, were quite surprised that the man on stage was the pastor -- the same man that had ushered many of us to our seats.

On the front of their bulletin was a reminder of the most important truths that have united believers down through the ages. As I read it my eyes brimmed with tears . . .

THE APOSTLE'S CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.



*As used in this ancient creed, the word catholic means "universal." It refers to our belief in one worldwide church of believers, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone.

Compass Church Bozeman: The Vision

Did You Know That:

•Nine-out-of-ten people in Montana have had no church affiliation of any kind?
•Over two thousand people are moving into the Bozeman, Montana area every year?
•Bill and Sandy Shorey are moving to Bozeman to plant a church from the ground up? They are going to call it Compass Church.
•You could be a significant partner in helping this infant work to advance Christ’s kingdom in the Northwest?

Do You Know How You Can Become A Significant Partner with Compass Church in Bozeman, Montana? You Could Become:

A Praying Partner: We will enlist e-mail prayer partners. Compass Church will be counting on the prayers of many people as we pursue this adventure.
A Mission Partner: We will organize mission trips to come to Bozeman to help Compass Church
An Investment Partner: The majority of church plants that fail do so because of inadequate finances. We are seeking financial investors for 3-5 years. The goal of Compass Church is to become self-supporting at the earliest possible time.

How will we begin Compass Church?

Our target date to move to Bozeman is July of 2007. Our first step will be to spend time getting to know the people of Bozeman. We will become involved in non-church activities in order to reach non-churched people. Like Priscilla and Aquila in the book of Acts, we will look for opportunities to bring people to Christ.

We will begin multiple Bible studies in our home and mentor other couples to lead studies in their homes. Our focus will be the Great Commission. It is impossible to fulfill the Great Commission without starting churches.

We will patiently build a core group of 75-100 believers before attempting a formal launch. A formal launch will require us to find suitable space for all the home groups to meet in community to worship.

We will continue to do discipleship through home groups. The church will grow numerically larger as we gather in community and spiritually stronger by small home groups.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” . . . Jesus said to them, “I am the way . . .” Isaiah 30:21; John 14:6

Why Compass Church? In the Great Northwest, people know about a compass. Hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds know how important it is to know which direction they are headed and how to find their way back home. In our world of technology, the compass has become a GPS device that can even talk to you to let you know when to turn right, left, or continue straight ahead!

We believe God wants us to know the way to Him—the way home! When God became a man—in Christ Jesus—He reiterated that desire. Jesus said, I have a home for you and I will show you how to get there. I am the way . . . .

Compass Church will strive to be the kind of church Jesus always intended—A church that, by seeking God, provides:

Community . . .

Many people do not seek a church—but nearly everybody seeks a community of people where they are accepted and belong. In its beginning the church was serious about community. They gathered in community to share their spiritual journeys, worship God, break bread, and pray. As a community they had a unified testimony to the relevance of knowing Jesus.

Compass Church will not always be perfect, but we will seek to be an authentic community of believers.

Opportunity . . .

We believe that God engineers divine moments—moments of opportunity. As one famous Bible character put it, “God was here, and I did not know it.”

We believe God is constantly at work rescuing our world through His redeemer, Jesus Christ. But God’s work goes beyond rescue—He gives us a life of unending opportunities to enjoy the privilege of belonging to Him.

Compass Church will strive to teach people to recognize God’s work—in and around them—and know how to respond.

Mission . . .

“You have made known to me the path of life.” –David, Old Testament saint

Every person needs a purpose and a reason to get out of bed! A clear purpose helps us understand our life’s mission.

Our mission will be to help people find theirs!

Passion . . .

We can’t live without it! Jesus knew this and promised, “I am come that you might live life to the fullest.” We believe that an encounter with Christ will radically change a person.

We desire to help believers live from their God-given passions.

Adventure . . .

God’s Word is filled with the stories of adventurous people. How could walking with God be anything but an adventure? God’s Word promises, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.”

We will seek to lead others to grow confident that God invites them to experience the adventure of faith that He alone can provide.

Spontaneity . . .

Spontaneity is a normal part of following God. Planning is important, but even more important is our readiness to join God where He is at work.

We believe in planning—planning to obey God’s Spirit as He leads us—sometimes into the unexpected!

Simplicity . . .

Many people have been drawn to the simple lifestyle of the wide-open spaces in the West. “Simple is in. Complexity is out. Out of style at least . . . people are hungry for simple because the world has become much more complex . . . they long for it, seek it, pay for it, even dream of it. Simple is in. Simple works. People respond to simple.” (Simple Church by Rainer and Geiger)

We will focus on a simple –not boring—walk with God! Our purpose and our process will be simple:

Love God—In Community Worship
Love Others—Through Small Groups
Serve The World in Our Generation—By Works of Service

Financial Information:

We know there are many people who recognize the magnitude of the calling we are responding to. We are asking God to connect us with them, so that they may become Kingdom Investors for two significant financial needs:

•First, we will need to begin receiving a salary in September of 2007. Raising support is crucial.
•We have an additional challenge: Even though we will put all the equity from the sale of our home in Midland, GA., into a home in Bozeman, housing there is very expensive . . . Think of our home as the starting point for Compass Church. We have found a house that is well suited for small-group meetings. It has a fenced in back yard, finished basement, an open floor plan, adequate parking, and an ideal location in a stable area of southwest Bozeman.

Affiliations:

•Montana State Southern Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
•Our sending church is Emmanuel Baptist Church of Billings, Montana. All financial support will be accounted for and distributed, as needed, by Emmanuel Baptist Church in Billings.

If we could be of further assistance in sharing our vision for Compass Church in Bozeman, Montana, please contact us.

Enjoying the Adventure,
Bill and Sandy Shorey


I WANT TO HELP COMPASS CHURCH REACH BOZEMAN

Name: _________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________

_________________________________________

Email: _________________________________________

Phone: _________________________________________


_____ I Will Be A Praying Partner For Compass Church
_____ I Will Be A Mission Partner With Compass Church
_____ I Will Be A Financial Partner With Compass Church

Weekly $ _____________
Monthly $ _____________
One Time Gift $ _____________
As Often As I Can $ _____________

_____ Please Add Me to Your Email List

Send completed form to us at our current address:

Bill and Sandy Shorey
8073 Highlands Drive
Midland, Georgia 31820

You may also email a response to: sjshorey[at]gmail[dot]com


Make checks payable to Emmanuel Baptist Church and write “Bozeman Plant” in the memo section. Send donations to:

Emmanuel Baptist Church
328 S. Shiloh Road
Billings, Montana 59106

Friday, April 13, 2007

For My Friends

I am changing to a new email address. I am going to spell it out, so that I will not end up on every email list in cyberspace! I will continue to blog on this site.

Are you completely confused? Here it is:

bill[dot]shorey[at]gmail[dot]com

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Thursday, April 12, 2007

House Of Flying Daggers

Last night Sandy and I were watching the Boston Red Sox play the Seattle Mariners. You might not follow baseball, or in particular, the Sox or Mariners. But last night was special -- Dice-K was making his debut at Fenway! He is the phenom the Sox paid 51 million dollars to the Seibu Lions -- just for the privilege to bid for his services! In the end, Dice-K is a 103 million dollar investment!

There is more to the drama. On the opposing team was Ichiro -- the hitting machine from Japan who crossed the waters six years ago. Since then he has had over 200 hits every year, a Major League record. The two had played against each other in Japan, now they were battling for bragging rights back home -- in the Land of the Rising Sun.

All of a sudden the game was interrupted by a news flash -- we were in a tornado warning. We didn't budge -- the storm was south and east of us. Then, the Midland tornado siren began to howl. We budged -- deciding it might be prudent to move to the interior hallway in case we were hit.

And there is more . . . I recently moved my collection of swords, a spear, a Ranger throwing hatchet, a shield, and an African war club into that same hallway! As we sat there, Sandy began to laugh. "Look!" she said. "Doesn't the thought of four swords, a shield, a throwing hatchet, and a war club swirling around in this hallway make you feel safe?" My response was, "I bet our obituaries would be interesting!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sleeping Well

My child, don't lose sight of good planning and insight. Hang on to them, for they will fill you with life and bring you honor and respect. They keep you safe on your way and keep your feet from stumbling. You can lie down without fear and enjoy pleasant dreams . . . for the LORD is your security . . . Proverbs 3:21-25

I read this verse to Sandy a few days ago -- it spoke to us. Right now we are doing a lot of planning and praying for insight. Actually, we are praying for God to give us insight -- then making plans!

I remember Henry Blackaby saying,

We are always asking God for a detailed "road map." We say, "Lord, if You would just tell me where I am heading, then I will be able to set my course and go." He says, "You don't need to. What you need to do is follow Me one day at a time." We need to come to the place where the second response is ours (Experiencing God, p. 11)

There is much planning involved in going to Bozeman -- I have been going through pages of check lists. But there is also so much we cannot plan for. And if we waited for everything to fall into place we would never go.

Our awareness of dependence upon God has become magnified -- that is where insight comes into play. We are hanging on to what we know God has revealed (insight), and trusting Him to honor His word to us. We can say without question -- we are experiencing life with fresh faith.

The Proverb promises us safety -- but is this new adventure safe? What we have learned is that safety means something very different to God than it does to many of God's people. Most of the time we, God's people, cannot imagine Him calling us into an adventure that is un-safe. For Bill and Sandy, un-safe means not having all our ducks in a row (see first paragraph)! Over the years we have learned from God's Word and from experience that God nearly always calls His people to take steps of faith that are hardly safe. So, we are living on insight and making our plans accordingly.

Much that is out in front of us is completely unknown, yet we feel safe and we feel steady. The LORD is our security. With the exception of one night (Sandy and I had to deal with an oppressive fear that came from the Foul One) we are sleeping well and dreaming about a new journey of faith -- deeper into the purposes of God!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Then They Remembered

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Luke 24:2-6

If the women had arrived a day earlier they would have seen Christ's body wrapped in grave clothes. It would have been a sad and sentimental time -- little more. But it was three days before their grief carried them to the burial site. When they finally arrived, they found the stone was rolled away, but no Jesus. The tomb empty!

Then, out of nowhere, two men who gleamed like lightning appeared -- their presence heaped terror upon the already confused and grieving followers. When the heavenly messengers realized why the women were there, they were incredulous and asked, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen!"

Through the years many have done the same -- looked for Christ -- and just missed Him. True, like those ancient women, they were driven to seek Jesus, but when they got to where they thought He would be -- He was not there. The experience left them disappointed and wondering, "Where is he? Where do I find him?"

Easter locates Jesus. The heart of the gospel is confirmed: the Life-Giver passed through physical death, but only stayed for three days. He would not stay among the lifeless. And today, Jesus, the Life-Giver, passes by the spiritually dead, but he does not stay among the lifeless.

The angel's question, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" remains legitimate and timelessly relevant. True faith is re-centered beyond the death of the cross -- to the resurrected Christ. Easter becomes a reminder to Believers, and a compass for those who are seeking Him, that Christ can always be found where there are those who believe . . .

"He is Risen!"
"He is Risen, indeed!"

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Back Home

During our travels in and around Bozeman we made some great contacts. Several conversations opened doors for us to probe people's receptivity to a new church -- everyone seemed genuinely interested and positive! We may have met some of the people we will eventually minister with and to!

We spent Thursday night in Red Lodge with David and Cindy Roberts -- a couple of the most hospitable and generous people on earth. On Friday morning David drove us back to Billings for one more meeting before we headed back east. Our trip took us through Salt Lake City and then on to Atlanta -- I wrote this on the flight from the salt flats to the race tracks!

About housing . . .

Tiny condos, squished together -- row upon row -- rent anywhere from twelve to sixteen hundred dollars per month. Neither the condos nor the apartments we looked at fit our needs, and renting a house is as expensive as carrying a mortgage. We looked at renting for two reasons: first, we did not want to purchase a home outside of our target area (we want to live among those we are trying to reach), and houses are sooo expensive they seem out of reach!

The southwest part of Bozeman is the most accessible from the east and west. We found a couple of houses there with open floor plans and strategic locations. Each is perfectly suited for a gathering place. The house we desire is not extravagant but is expensive (did I mention that all housing in Bozeman is expensive?)! We are praying that God will provide some very substantial financial partners to make it possible for us to purchase a home in the area we are trying to plant. In the long run, purchasing is a much better investment of the resources God provides.

Sandy and I are trusting that God will work all of this out. We know that many who have partnered with us are watching God's call on our lives unfold. Faith begets faith -- God's faithfulness to us will encourage others to respond to a call from Him that may seem a bit radical (actually any call of God is radical). We are grateful for your prayers and look forward to continually updating you on our journey.

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill and Sandy

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Our Greatest Hindrance

Sandy and I read this last night. It really spoke to and encouraged us. I'll pass it along -- I hope it blesses you, too!

"The more you move with God-given urgency, with passion, the more God seems to bless your life. The more God blesses your life, the more you have to lose, the more you have to risk. The more you have to risk, the higher the price of following God and in some twisted way, God's blessings to us can become our greatest hindrance to seizing our divine moments. Because God has blessed us so much, how can we leave all that to accept the next thing God wants us to do?" Erwin McManus

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A Domicile

Today we have been looking for housing -- the going rate begins at two-hundred dollars a square foot! At first it was almost comical. We looked at houses similar in size to our home in Midland, only to be bowled over by sticker shock. The homes were 7 to 8 hundred thousand dollars!

After a couple of days of searching, our sights are set on the southwest side of Bozeman. That area is booming -- new homes are being constructed daily to meet the demands of the two thousand people moving into Bozeman each year. Also, from the southwest side of town it is only 40 to 45 miles to Big Sky, a resort town that has few churches. It is possible that we could start churches simultaneously there and in Bozeman. Much of the workforce in Big Sky cannot attend church on Sunday because of the tourist industry, so a church that met in the evening on a weeknight is a strong possibility.

The Montana Baptist Association is setting up a schedule for Sandy and me to meet with the North American Mission Board for church planting and strategy training. Also, we found out today that NAMB will be providing our health insurance for the first three years -- we are stoked!

Also . . .

Although the mountains are still capped with snow, green grass is peeking through the bare spots down here in the valley. We met a family from Hartville, GA. who are staying in the same hotel as us. Their little boy was decked out head to toe in his brand new cowboy gear: boots, hat, shirt, and blue jeans. I told him and his parents about the Pryors where the wild mustangs roam free. Next year when they return to Montana to ski, they will take him there. I also showed him my still gashed, bruised, and swollen shin where I was kicked by a horse three weeks ago. He stared at my wound, wide-eyed; he thought I was quite the Hombre!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Send More Shoes!

When I was a little boy I heard a preacher give an illustration -- meant to explain perspective and vision -- about two shoe salesmen. The men were sent to a third world country to expand their company's business. After the men had been out in the field for a week, one of the salesmen contacted his company and said, "This is a waste of time. Nobody even wears shoes in this country. I am returning home next week." On the same day the company received news from the other salesman. He said, "This place is a gold mine -- everybody here needs shoes! Send me all the shoes you can spare."

Today, I have felt like the second salesman. Other than China, I have never seen a place with such potential to expand God's kingdom! All my thoughts were going in one direction -- send all the church planters you can spare! Everyone needs Christ!

I met with seven pastors last night and this morning. My heart was about to explode through my chest as I listened to them explain the needs: Big Sky needs churches, Missoula needs pastors for three churches, Belgrade needs another church, White Fish is about to start a new church, Livingston has just started a church, and Three Forks has just launched a new work! We spent about five hours talking about how we can partner to start a new work in Bozeman. I spilled my heart to the guys, and they peppered me with questions. They have very little by way of financial resources, but they will help in any way they can.

Most of these guys are laboring in fledgling churches. Like the apostle Paul, I do not want to be a burden to them. Sandy and I are trusting God to provide for our needs -- we have a lot of people who share the burden for Montana. When we finished talking, they gathered around me to lay hands on me and pray (Just like our deacons at MBC did for me every Sunday). God showed up!

On a different note . . .

We arrived yesterday during a snow storm that dumped about nine inches of snow! Sandy and I followed Steve Fowler to Bozeman -- he drove seventy-five miles an hour on roads skimmed with a sloppy layer of ice and snow (Yes, I stayed right with him. I think it was supposed to be part of the interview process. And oh, by the way, Steve races stock cars). This morning it was twenty-two degrees, the big skies were a brilliant blue, and the sun lit up the snow mantled mountains that surround us -- it was glorious!

I have so much more to say, so I will try to post everyday. Please forgive me for not editing closely -- too much going on to stop!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill