free hit counters

They Go Where There Are Few

finding-dan-dan-grinwis-396674-unsplash.jpg

The mission field life is not easy and it's certainly not convenient. Sarah Powers, our new missionary working alongside our church plant, experienced this first-hand today when she couldn't get her children new Bibles without ordering them online.

We're making the switch from the ESV translation of the Bible to the CSB. It's been a lengthy process but we finally made the decision and announced it to our faith-family. Sarah and Adam decided they wanted to get their children new Bibles, but Utah is not Nebraska. You don't just run down to the Christian bookstore and browse through the options they have in stock. Because not only is there no stock, there's no they. That's right, in a state of 3 million people, there's no Christian bookstore. There are not enough Christians to keep a Christian bookstore open and nobody has been creative enough to figure out how to combine a store and a coffee shop or something that will turn a profit.

Sarah is resilient and hard to stop (the right stuff for a Utah missionary). So Sarah thought she go look through the Bibles at Barns & Noble. Nope. The selection is extremely limited and they don't carry the CSB yet. WalMart was a no-go, too.

Her only choice is to forgo looking at the Bibles, feeling them, and examining the quality and font size. That's just not an option for the few believers who call Utah home. And it's one more reminder of the limited Christian resources, structure, and community available where only 2% of the population profess faith in the Biblical Jesus.

But then again, missionaries don't go where there are lots of believers. They go where there are few. Often, that means giving up the comfort and luxuries of large Christian communities. Today, that means the Powers family doesn't get to look at Bibles before they buy. That might not sound like much, but that’s just today. It will mean much more and be even more significant tomorrow. Today was an inconvenience. Tomorrow could be a sacrifice. The day after that another sacrifice. And still another after that. It’s a grind. It’s like lots of little paper cuts. It eventually wears missionaries down. Many come for a while and leave. But both the inconveniences and the sacrifices are light and momentary for the missionaries who willingly give them up for the sake of seeing a place redeemed by the power of the gospel. This is why Sarah Powers is here: To see Salt Lake Redeemed by the Power of the Gospel.

For the Kingdom!

*Sarah Powers needs your prayers, support, and partnership. Follow this link to learn more about how you can support her and her mission.

"Joy Through Repentance" (2 Cor. 7:2-16)

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that he was afflicted. He discussed being comforted by the one who comforts the downcast. Elsewhere in the Bible we find places when Paul seems down or even depressed. He was not alone. Many giants of the faith experienced depression or dark seasons. Yet Paul also wrote to the Corinthians that he was filled with comfort and joy. He said, “I am overflowing with joy.” How could he be both afflicted and overflowing with joy? How did he find this kind of joy? How can we find this kind of joy?

Pastor Bryan Catherman addresses this question from 2 Corinthians 7:2-16, but with great focus on 2 Corinthians 7:10, which says, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, worldly grief produces death.”

Listen to Pastor Bryan’s sermon, "Joy Through Repentance” by clicking on the hyperlink or with the player below.

Listen to the entire current series or find sermons from past series sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle Music, SpotifyTuneIn, or on the RSS feed and never miss a sermon! 

3 Prayer Requests and a Big 2019 Mission Vision

We planned an extra-aggressive mission goal for 2019. With two full-time fundraising guys excited about planting thousands of gospel seeds on the west side of Salt Lake, we recruited a large bunch of great mission teams to come help us. Then Brett moved to Iowa. So the mission just got much more challenging. We need to pray more now than ever, but we still believe the vision God gave us is what we need to shoot for in 2019.

In this video, Pastor Bryan shares the goals for our mission in 2019 and asks us to pray about three specific things:

Here are three ways to pray:

1. Please pray that we are able to raise support for Sarah Powers to have more time doing field work. She’s a missionary working along side us to help us get the gospel out to our community.

2. Please pray for our mission teams. Thank God for the churches who are partnering with us for the sake of the gospel in Utah. Some offer monthly support to help us year round, which is an amazing gift of God through these churches. All of these teams are bringing groups ready to labor for the gospel. They are praying to see God do great things here. Please keep these teams in your prayers, even now as they are preparing for their mission trips to help us in Utah.

3. Please continue to pray for your own opportunities. Pray God opens up opportunities in your neighborhoods and workplaces for you to share the gospel many times in 2019. Pray people you know get saved and you are able to start discipling with them this year. What a great way to join the mission of God!

"Not In Vain" (2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1)

We grow when we are close to God and follow his design for our life. We mature. God has blessing and peace and guidance and so much more for us, but we are warned not the receive God’s grace in vain. In his sermon, “Not In Vain,” Pastor Bryan Catherman opened to 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1 to examine what it might mean to receive the grace of God in vain and why is is so much better to heed the charge not to receive the gospel for nothing. Listen to Pastor Bryan’s sermon here or with the player below. This is the seventh sermon in our series through 2 Corinthians called, “Down But Not Out.'“

Listen to the entire current series or find sermons from past series sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle Music, SpotifyTuneIn, or on the RSS feed and never miss a sermon! 

Be Reconciled! (2 Corinthians 5)

We are a new creation in Christ and because we are new creations we have a ministry of reconciliation. We are ambassadors for Christ. But this text is not about guilting people into sharing the gospel. It is about being reconciled to God. God does a work in us before he does a work through us, so it’s vital that we are reconciled to God.

Listen to Pastor Bryan Catherman’s sermon, “Be Reconciled!” here or with the provided player below.

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle Music, SpotifyTuneIn, or on the RSS feed and never miss a sermon! 

Pastor Bryan used a whiteboard to demonstrate one of his points. While this is not the exact same, it’s a video that shows the Three Circles evangelism tool and then shows us how Christians can use the same tool daily. How do we preach the gospel to ourselves every day? This video may help answer that question.

Down But Not Out: "Do Not Lose Heart" (2 Cor. 4:1-18)

boxing-984174_1920.jpg

“Christians do not lose heart by what we see in the world because we know this momentary affliction is producing an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” — Pastor Bryan

As we continue in our series, DOWN BUT NOT OUT, Pastor Bryan opened to 2 Corinthians 4 and looked at verses 1-18. If you weren’t able to join us for worship, you can listen to his sermon here below. Also, if you are in the Salt Lake area and not connected with a local Christian faith-family, we’d love to have you as your guest. Please consider worshipping Jesus with us. We meet at 9:45 AM on Sundays for Bible study and prayer and then at 11 AM for worship together.

“Do Not Lose Heart” (2 Cor. 4:1-18)

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle Music, SpotifyTuneIn, or on the RSS feed and never miss a sermon! 

Q&A: What's the Best Bible Reading Plan?

Like a gym, our Bibles often get a little more attention in January. We set goals to read the Bible. That’s a great goal. But some plans are not the right plans and we give up. That’s not good. We need to use the right plan that drives us into the Word of God well.

In this session of Redeeming Life: Q&A Pastor Bryan addresses the questions, “What’s the best Bible reading plan?” and “Is there an easier Bible reading plan?”

Hear the answer here:

You can ask questions and see additional videos at our Redeeming Life Q&A page. Also, subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with more answers to more of your questions.

"Letters from the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:1-18)

We’re continuing through Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, 2 Corinthians 3:1-18. Our series is called, “Down But Not Out.” This week, Pastor Bryan opened to the 3rd Chapter of 2 Corinthians. Paul is talking about letters. People are letters of recommendation for Paul’s ministry. People are letters from Jesus. The Old Testament and the New Testament become letters from God. This chapters is all about letters. Listen to Pastor Bryan’s sermon here:

“Letters from the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:1-18)

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle Music, SpotifyTuneIn, or on the RSS feed and never miss a sermon! 

Fieldcraft: Using What We Have to Get the Mission Done

SSG Catherman. OIF I, 2003. Somewhere in Iraq.

SSG Catherman. OIF I, 2003. Somewhere in Iraq.

Fieldcraft. Technically, this military term refers to surviving life in the field, undetected. It's camouflage. It's movement and observation. But my Army buddies and I used this term much more loosely.

I was in OIF I (the first year of the Iraq War). For us, fieldcraft included unique ways to get supplies, often by bartering with the local economy. It included ways to get things done when there were no resources available. It was stretching things beyond their life expectancy. Fieldcraft was finding ways to use things beyond their intended use to make it happen. It was mission first, no matter what.

When we found a way to install a sit-down toilet in the hootch and we found a sit-down toilet in Iraq . . . fieldcraft. The water heater we wired up and the poncho curtain we use to get in a warm shower, that was fieldcraft too. The cast-iron plates we made to hang on the ragtop HMMWV doors fit the bill. So did daisy-chaining rat traps. So did an RC car "IED disrupter." Using whatever we had to the extent of ingenuity and creativity required to get the mission done we lumped into the term, "fieldcraft."

Here's an example.

I had a color printer/scanner. I needed it for missional operations. Color photos were very helpful for specific missions. However, in the winter, mice would nest inside it, probably cuddled up close to the power supply trying to stay warm. When I fired up the printer, it became a $300 mousetrap. The printhead ran across the track and crushed a mouse in the gears until it ground to a halt. The printer was shot. So was the mouse.

Considering where we were, supply lines, and the significant combat operations still happening at the time, I figured it would take weeks to get a new printer and that was weeks too long. The mission had to continue and we needed the printer. What to do?

Fieldcraft.

Using nothing by my Gerber utility tool and two 16-penny nails, I disassembled the printer part by part. Once I had access to the troublesome mouse pieces, I removed the problem. Then I put the mousetrap. . . I mean printer back together. I did this twice. (The first operation is pictured above.)

I thought it was a fluke the first time. When it happened again, we had to devise a way to keep the mice out but still allow the printer to open and allow it to feed paper. We ended up with an elaborate trap door, made with things we could scrounge up. Would it have just been easier to cut the power when the printer was not in use? Yes. But was that as awesome? Not at all.

Fieldcraft during OIF I was not always this silly. My entire battle rattle utilized fieldcraft to ensure I was the best equipped I could be when things lit up. We ran 550 cord in our vehicles in such a way to be able to slide the radio to speak but let it go without losing it or having to rehook it. It was faster and sometimes 'faster' was a matter of life and death. We put antennas on every vehicle in a convoy and stuck tent poles out every window. Our guys got ambushed far less than those who didn't use this kind of fieldcraft, and we were outside the wire just as much, if not more. Why? Fieldcraft.

I wouldn't have imagined how valuable this skill would be in ministry.

As a missionary planting a church in an unreached mission field, I have to use fieldcraft all the time. It looks a little different but the principle is the same. Our resources are very limited. The mission is great. We need to put everything we've got into the very best we can do in order to move the mission forward. This is what it looks like when God says, "Plant a church in Utah."

Brett, a co-laborer in this ministry, figured out ministry fieldcraft rather quickly. He's moving away, so now I'm trying to train Sarah and Zak in the ways of missionary fieldcraft. I think they both get it and Sarah has already had opportunities to demonstrate her fantastic fieldcraft skills. They too are going to make a great staff team of missionaries.

Sometimes our church gets a little tired of fieldcraft. I don't blame them. They ask why we can't do something the same way a big church in the South might. Or like the way church plants do in Christian contexts, where there are lots of Christians. I get it. Sometimes I get tired of it, too. But then we are reminded of the lostness in this place. 98% of our community does not have a saving relationship with Jesus--the Jesus of the Bible. And we don't have the resources. We're scraping, scratching, and scrounging for every resource to make the mission go. It's not ideal, but the mission is too important. It’s getting the gospel to people who need to hear. Eternity is at stake. So we use fieldcraft. Lots and lots of fieldcraft. Mission fieldcraft. Until the mission is done.

For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan

2018 End of Year Statements

rawpixel-670711-unsplash.jpg

It's that time of year again. . . tax time. End of Year Statements for 2018 are ready. If you've given $0.01 or more to any deductible or non-deductible fund at Redeeming Life Church, there's a statement ready for you.

Realm--our online communication system--has already emailed statements to every person on Realm with an email address.

In the next couple days, we will stuff, stamp and mail envelopes containing your statement to the address on your checks or your address listed in Realm on January 14, 2019.

If you have a Realm account with Redeeming Life and would like to run a report of your giving or print your statement, you may do so on the giving page of Realm.

To print your statement, go to "Giving." On the giving page, you should see some filter options. (It likely says, "Year to Date.") Select that option and set the filter to "Last Year." Then hit the blue Filter button. You should see the total amount you gave in 2018. Then click the button that looks like a printer. When the box opens, hit "Print." It will pull up your statement and from there you can download it as a .pdf file or print a hard copy.

We have a statement or two that does not have an address. We'll likely hand deliver it to you at our morning worship gathering on Sunday.

Thank you for your faithful giving. It's the Spirit of God working inside of you and that's a wonderful thing.

For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan