Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Update

   Hey Everyone, I know for some we have not been in touch for awhile and I apologize. I decided to take the summer off from updating prayer request and our lives in general. I want to thank each of you who continue to lift our family up in prayer, it means more than you could imagine. God has done so much it is hard to know where to start. 

   On the home front Aurora turned 10 and I turned 33; Stacy is about to have a birthday, but her age is not for me to tell...LOL. We continue to work slowly on our house and yard dreaming of what it can become and how God might use it for Kingdom purposes. However, since I am pretty new to gardening and construction the progress is slow. I have no doubt that Jesus gave us this house though and believe he wants to turn it into a tool for the Kingdom, one step at a time, in His time. Please continue to pray for this dream that God has given us. Besides a the house, a prayer request on the family front is we continue to struggle with Aurora in many areas and ask for your prayers as we try to parent and love her well. 

   On the job frontier things at Arby's were deteriorating seemingly day to day. I did not much care for my job, it's location, or my boss. I continued to work faithfully, but the truth was I was miserable where I worked. I longed for the season to end, but determined in my heart that I would not throw in the towel before God provided a way out. Through a friend, I found out that Starbucks was looking for store managers and was hired on officially August 18. Starbucks is a company that I have history with and I really enjoyed working for from 06-09 and I am so grateful for this opportunity. It has been an answer to prayer and a huge burden lifted. It is truly a miracle for our family.

   We have also seen God do some other miracles this summer. Through both preaching and counseling ministry we have seen four people give their lives to Christ. To God be the glory. We are also seeing chains of addiction broken, marriages strengthened, restoration of relationships, and so much more. It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus works and I believe this is just the beginning of what Jesus is going to do here in Oshkosh and beyond. This summer we also saw a relationship healed that I did not think had any hope of reconciliation. I do not want to go into details, but a relationship with a man who was very key in our family coming to WI was broken and it was very hard for me. This man, who has a significant position of authority amongst churches in our state, came to me and asked for restored relationship as a brother in Christ and we rejoice in the healing that Jesus brought to my heart and his. Jesus loves the unity of his Church so much that he spent his final prayers praying for it. I know it made Him very glad to see peace made.
   
   As most of you know all of our ministry has been done under the umbrella of New City Church as we continue to be very involved in the planting of New City. We our so grateful for all that God has allowed for us to be a part of there as they have ministered to us as much as we have to them. I continue to preach there on a regular basis and God is bringing me men to mentor and invest in through the church. He has also been bringing me people to love through counseling, which is both rewarding, yet a heavy load to carry, but I know He will sustain me. Recently, I was asked if I would become the director of connections at New City and Stacy and I have prayfully decided to take over this vital ministry. Most people will decide whether or not they will visit a church again before the sermon even starts, within their first interactions and minutes of a service they are making their decision. Please pray that we can recruit people to help us transform this ministry and take ownership of this part of the Church. There is some great stuff on this truth here... http://joshuareich.org/2013/06/19/the-most-important-minutes-to-a-guest-on-a-sunday-morning/?utm_content=bufferd5dab&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
The truth is, "saved people serve people" and this is the vision that we are casting. I dream so much for New City I could go on and on, but the Spirit is moving in a special way and I ask your continued prayers for New City and the transformation of Oshkosh.

   There is more that could be said but I want to end this letter by saying thank you to those who have given to us both financially and through prayer. The truth is that without you we would have never made it to WI. Without you we would not have had a roof over our heads those first few weeks and months we lived here. Without you four people mostly likely would still be heading towards an eternity separated from Christ. Without you those who are finding freedom from addiction might still be suffering. Jesus has honored and multiplied your prayers and gifts. Although we deeply appreciate everyone for all you have invested into us, we want to especially thank Hopewell Presbyterian Church. Your prayers, love, and support have been such Godsends to us. All that you have invested is seeing return in the Kingdom and we love you so very much. From the very bottom of our hearts we give you our deepest love and gratitude. We pray God would bless you for being a blessing. Know that we love and miss you all.
   
   As I come to a close, I am reminded of how this church planting journey has not been what any of us thought it would be, but Jesus is at work and I have learned His ways our so much better than mine. Although I dream of what could be next in this Church planting journey, I am also so humbled to be where I am now, Still amazed of all that Jesus has redeemed in me. I know Jesus has placed us right where we are, in these very times. Even though some circumstances don't seem to make sense, like our assessment with Acts 29 has been delayed yet again, I know that Jesus is at work in even this and I take so much comfort in knowing that he is in control. Thank you again for all of your prayers and I look forward to updating you again soon, Jeremiah McDuffie
   




   

   

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Newest Message - Why We Are Generous

Hey all, Here is my most recent message from New City Church, three people made the decision to follow Jesus, that's reason to celebrate! I hope the Spirit speaks to you through it...it is called "Why We are Generous"

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Most Recent Message at New City Church

Here is the link to my latest message at New City Church...if you see two passages for Colossians 3:12-17, mine is the second one...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Update

Dear Prayer Team, Thank you so much for continuing to lift us up in your prayers. This journey has been nothing like we had pictured, but we would not change anything as Jesus is powerfully at work within us and around us.  This past month God gave us many things so I will get right to it. 

First, as many of you know, we had a terrible scare with our daughter Elora. She has been sick, but it has been very manigible. Then just over two weeks ago she seemed to be getting better as she woke up chipper and without a fever. Stacy called me in the mid day concerned about her color and thinking she looked a little blue, she called me five minutes later even more concerned and while on the phone she yelled "she is turning blue and she is having a seizure, I'm calling 911." As you can imagine these words sent many thoughts racing through my brain. As I rushed home I made a few calls and it was in this time I thought my little baby girl might be dying. By the time I got home the ambulance had left and said she was stable, but that we needed to get her to a doctor. Of course we left immediately and on our way she had another seizure and then basically went catatonic. It was a few of the scariest hours of my life. In this time Jesus showed us so much love through the Church we are helping to launch, New City Church, as so many were praying as soon as they heard of our need. Many also wrote to ask if they could do anything, to let us know that they were there...the love was so wonderfully overwhelming. By the time the doctor got to Elora she was back to her normal self and we were told that this is all fairly normal when a fever spikes very suddenly to a high degree in a child, but after all the emotions we felt in this short time it was anything but normal for us. We felt we had been given a gift, a realization of how much we love our girls and what a precious gift they are from God. When I went out into the lobby two of my good friends who are also our pastors were there waiting for me, they tracked us down even though no one new what hospital we were at, and suddenly I realized we were not alone. Jesus has provided a family that has stood with us from the second we arrived and we are so greatful for them. They could have seen us as a threat, but instead Jesus has called us to love each other and join together in seeking to transformthe city of Oshkosh. It has shown me so clearly what the church can be when we put ourselves out of the way and put Jesus first.

God has also been stirring us in our priorities and what we need to make margin for in our lives. There are things that Jesus has called us too, and because our time is very full we have to be very intentional to be part of the work that Jesus is having us take part in. Within this vein Jesus has been teaching us more about who he has created us to be and how we are to function best that we might live in his joy. This is stretching us both in different ways, but mainly it is stretching us to both take action and to be patient and wait on God's timing. 

One of the things that God has given me a passion for, and that he has affirmed through many people I greatly respect that he has gifted me in, is counseling people in their brokenness and helping them to find healing in Jesus. Recently God has placed several people in my life who I have been able to counsel in different areas and it is so exciting to see Jesus setting people free from the lies that satan would bind them with. It's crazy because before moving to WI. I was seeking out people to counsel and offering my services freely and could find almost no one. Now I am just seeking Jesus and loving people and he is sending me the broken. We are praying that Jesus would grow this ministry and that many would find freedom in Christ. 

There are other areas where Jesus is at work, but for now, know that your prayers and support are so appreciated. Jesus is doing things in and through us so much greater than we can accomplish on our own. We find ourselves clinging tight to him because we know we can't do it on our own. 

As you pray for us please continue to pray over our home and that we can make it into a Gospel centered home where It can be used for many kingdom purposes. It needs work, and slow but sure we are seeing improvement. Please also pray as we are seeking Jesus will in my work and being more present in the city of Oshkosh and in the work he has called us too. Please pray for Elora's full healing has she is still sick on and off seemingly every few days. Pray for those God has me counseling and mentoring that the truth of the Gospel would take deep root in their lives and that they would live in  the freedom Christ has provided. Please also pray for wisdom in parenting our daughter, pray the Gospel would make deeper inroads into her heart and that she would be set free from a judgemental religious heart she can have at times. We also still have the heart to foster and adopt, but we are not there yet in our house, but we know in Jesus' timing he will grow our family more. We love you all and thank you for your prayers, Jeremiah McDuffie