Meeting: Spiritual Giants

July 23, 2015

On July 14, I (Pastor Wendy) was honored to be a part of bringing two spiritual giants together to meet each other and share in conversation. Pastor Gemechis has known of Pastor Vaagenes for several years and always wanted to meet him. Both men share an intense passion for renewal, discipleship and the need for the empowering of the Holy Spirit. These were the topics of conversation. Pastor Vaagenes has studied “revival” movements for many years and shared his own experience of revival and renewal as he pastored North Heights Lutheran Church for forty years until his retirement and as he also preached and taught around the world. Some of the common elements of revival are: repentance, passion for the Word (Holy Scriptures), intense prayer, vision (revelation of God through waiting upon Him and listening prayer), miracles and empowering of the Holy Spirit. These elements often lead to kingdom growth in Jesus’ name (increasing Jesus’ rule and reign to people, problems and places), witness, mission, evangelism, and sometimes unpredicted congregational growth.
Pastor Morris (85) was the pastor of my family’s church, the church where Joel and I met each other. My mom continues to be a member of this church, for over 40 years now. As a result of revival, we personally witnessed the explosive growth of this church from a few hundred to several thousand people in a few years, and learned about revival as a result. Pastor Vaagenes has been a leader in church renewal and preached all over the world. I love that Pastor Vaagenes has said many times (as leaders of other revivals have), that the Lord surprised him with the numerical growth that occurred in our church. It is an acknowledgement that God is the one who “adds numbers.” (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 3:6-7) I love his humility, the absence of arrogance and being stuck on one’s self as the instrument for growth or that growth can somehow be engineered by human plans, methods, initiatives, programs, the latest popular church fad or projections on paper (It is easy and shallow to project church growth/numbers on paper, as if the church is a business which it is not. Beware of anyone who thinks that they can do this!). See article below from “Sola Publishing News” on the revival of 1857, by Pastor Vaagenes: “A Call to Pray”
Pastor Gemechis (39), a very gifted and anointed evangelist, has preached and taught at our church a couple of times. Presently as Assistant to the Bishop of the North American Lutheran Church, Pastor Gemechis preaches all over the world and the last time I heard, preaches to over 18 million weekly on his television program which our church and individuals in our church have supported financially. He is the founder of Leadstar University, a business university and theological school.
We had an awesome time of prayer at the end of our time together.

Growing with Jesus: Intentionality

July 8, 2015

Growing with Jesus: Intentionality

This summer, how are you getting to know Jesus? What intentional steps will you take? What is your plan for developing your relationship with Him over the longer term? How will you be transformed and trained for His kingdom purposes through knowing, following and serving Him? How will your relationship with Him grow deeper? How will you invite the Holy Spirit’s power into your life? How will you transform the world through serving Jesus, bringing His kingdom in a greater way to people, places and problems of our broken world? What aspect of kingdom life needs to increase in your life … what training is needed?

Growth in your relationship with Jesus will not happen without intentionality. Jesus is waiting for your fellowship. What steps will you take? Who will be your partner, talking with you about the kingdom life, being in the Word with you and hold you accountable, gently asking you from time to time about your life with Jesus? Here are some questions for your consideration:

  • How will you increase the role of the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures in your life? What steps will you take?
  • How will you increase your prayer life … conversation with the living God … talking and listening? What other intentional practices are needed for the purpose of transforming who you are according to Jesus’ standards and ways?
  • How can the rule and reign of Jesus be increased in your life? What needs to happen?
  • What perks your interest on the “Equipping Tracks” (Click here for an outline with this title developed by Lutheran pastor, Rev. Peter Churness for his church, One Hope Church.)? Note: If you are not in the Holy Scriptures on an almost daily basis or don’t regularly pray about all aspects of your life, focus on these priorities first! If you choose something from the “Equipping Tracks,” make sure to partner with someone else who will challenge you to grow and gently hold you accountable for intentional steps you desire to incorporate into your life.
  • Are you interested in any of the following? Let the pastors know of your interest.
  1. Training: Anointing with Oil and Praying for People
  2. Discerning Your Kingdom Call for this season in your life


Take some time to pray, reflect and think about these questions. Intentionality is needed or nothing will happen and you will swept away into lesser things by the busyness of life. To help in exploring, reflecting and praying about these questions, read this article on our website by clicking here.