[forthright] Encouraged by the Power of God in You

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Apr 2007 14:53:18 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Final Phase

Encouraged by the Power of God in You
by J. Randal Matheny, editor

I always mark the Friday and Saturday before
Easter Sunday as reserved in my agenda.

Every year this time is held the National
Christian Men's Encounter at the Mt. of Olives
Christian Camp, near Sao Paulo.

Some 400-500 men come together from across the
country for study and fellowship.

The messages, from both missionaries and national
brothers, often stir and inspire.

But I come away even more encouraged by the
conversations shared during the two days.

This year I forewent setting up my stand for the
magazine and books in order to spend more time
with people.

I was glad of it.

Because I heard stories like these.

. Everaldo, after helping to start a new church in
the Northeast, is now here in Sao Paulo. A new
church began in his home in Itatiba on the second
Sunday in January. They've already had one
baptism.

. The Jundiai church has grown to over 160 saints,
many of them from extreme situations, like the
rock band member, or the homeless man. Soon, a
religious priest who is now cutting his ties with
his former church will be baptized. The three
elders rotate Sunday preaching.

. Jason, as we'll call him, continues to struggle
quietly with an addiction. His conscience torments
him, and though he has asked to be removed from
leading in worship, still is faithful and hangs on
to hope.

. Daniel, 20, after suffering a troubled
adolescence and the separation of his parents, is
now preaching in a small congregation and teaching
in another's evangelistic outreach. He pumped me
for an hour about materials to use and how to
speak.

Hearing stories like these reminds me that the
power of God is still at work in his people.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly
than all that we ask or think, ACCORDING TO THE
POWER AT WORK WITHIN US, to him be glory in the
church and in Christ Jesus throughout all
generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians
3:19-21, ESV).

"May you be strengthened with all power, according
to his glorious might, for all endurance and
patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance
of the saints in light" (Colossians 1:11,12).

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