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July 2013

A Great Breakfast

I helped plan a Kenya team breakfast last Saturday to promote what we are doing in Kenya, and it was a 2013-06-29 11.20.51great time!  About 50 people showed up, and the team of ladies did a great job decorating the room and planning the menu. I introduced those who have gone to Kenya, those who plan to go next year, and then had those who have gone share what they do year-round to support the work there. In between that, I showed some videos and slides of past trips. Then we took an offering and the people gave generously!  Then Pastor Glenn Hannah, ACAC missions pastor, closed out the event with comments and prayer. The picture at right is Cheryl Bradury giving a report to those present.

The money that came in is so timely (isn't God always on time?) because we have had 15 laptops donated recently, with the possibility of four more. These will all need software and some refurbishing, so this will enable us to take care of that.

If you missed the breakfast but would like to give, there is still time. You can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.  Thank you and thanks again to all who helped make Saturday's event a good one.


The Bus is Ready

A few weeks ago, I sent money over to Pastor Peter to repair his wrecked bus.  This will enable Peter to stop 1 WAPIS Bus being on the road 7 hours every Sunday to get to his new parish assignment and allow him to rent the bus out to earn revenue for the ministry. Here is the report he sent with some pictures:

Dear Dr. John,

Today we can confidently report on the progress of WAPIS van. Due to you donation of 1500$ the WAPIS van has been repaired from its serious destructive accident into a well-conditioned van. The mechanics have been working around the cloak to see it operating very soon. So far we have completed the body work 1 WAPIS Bus 2and next week they shall finish on the lighting and we shall be good to operate. The funds you donated have enabled us to bring the van back to life! The funds will also enable us to get third-party insurance for one month, which will cost us 200$, and we are hoping to raise the rest in order to pay for the annual insurance. We give God all the glory for the support you have accorded us. May almighty God bless you according to his riches in heaven.

He is the reason for our living.

Pastor Peter

I pass these updates along every week because I want you to know that what you give is being sent to those  1 WAPIS Bus 3 in need and that I am honoring any specific requests as to where the money goes. Today I am sending $500 to Pastor Francis and I hope to have feedback from him next week.  In the meantime, the needs continue in Kenya and your generous and timely contributions help us meet those needs. Please give generously this week either through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you and God bless you for your generosity toward widows and orphans in Kenya.


Pearl 181: Your Assignment

TOPIC: Purpose and Effectiveness

"I [Jesus] have brought you glory on earth
by finishing the work you gave me to do" - John 17:4.

Jesus brought glory to the Father on earth by finishing the work He was assigned to do. In other words, He glorified God by fulfilling His purpose. Paul said the same thing except he termed it 'running the race.' You won't glorify God only by singing, or preaching, or holiness, but by righteous acts of purpose that only you can do because it is God's assignment for you to do them. How do you bring God glory in this lifetime? What is it that is uniquely yours to do? How will you know when you have finished that work? (Hint on the last question: you will probably go home to be with Jesus!)

Lord, I want to bring You glory and I see today that I will do so by and through my life purpose. I have a work to do that no one else can perform like me, so I need to be busy doing that. Help me to focus on my assignment and then produce the work that will glorify Your name before men.


Pearl 180: The Essence

TOPIC: Purpose and Results

" . . . [Barnabas] sold a field he owned and brought the money
and put it at the apostles’ feet" - Acts 4:37.

Barnabas was the 'son of encouragement' and everything he did seemed to encourage others - that's how he got his nickname. Here he was giving away a field he owned to others. You may be involved in many activities but those are not your purpose; they are how you express your purpose, which is the essence of who you are, the main effect produced from what you do. Are you distinguishing between what you do and the essence of who you are? What is the main effect produced from what you do - joy, peace, order, strength? Can you see that effect as being your purpose?

Lord, I can do many things but I want to know my purpose in all thoe things I can do and the gifts that I have. Make my purpose clear in the midst of all those things so I can know who I am, and be true to that as often as possible. Help me distinguish between what I do and who I am!


Pearl 179: Nickname

TOPIC: Purpose and Focus

"Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus,
whom the apostles called Barnabas
(which means 'son of encouragement') . . ." - Acts 4:36.

Most don't know Barnabas' real name, which was Joseph. Instead, they know him by his nickname, the one the apostles gave him and, of course, that name has stuck forever. You don't get this nickname by encouraging every once in a while. He got it because he was consumed with his purpose, which was to encourage anyone within earshot. That is how your purpose should be - not a hobby or part-time activity, but an all-consuming passion that others notice. What is your all-consuming passion?  What would people nickname you in response to what they see you purposefully doing?

Lord, I thank You for Barnabas' example of being totally devoted to purpose. That is the life I want to live as well. Help me to move beyond dabbling in purpose and allow me to be so clear and focused that others will recognize and know my purpose as well.


Pearl 178: Your Verse

TOPIC: Purpose and Clarity

"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up,
and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue,
as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll
of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it,
he found the place where it is written:

'The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor'" - Luke 4:16-19.

Jesus had a passage of Scripture that defined His purpose and mission. You may say "Well, that was Jesus," but in all probability, you have one too. This verse or passage describes who you are and what you were created to do and, once you find it, can help serve to guide your life decisions and time management. Have you identified a passage that speaks to who you are? If you haven't found it yet, then can you list some of your favorite verses to see what if anything they have in common? Are you fulfilling what your passage identifies as your purpose?

Lord, I want my purpose to be grounded in and directed by Your word.  Open my eyes to see where my passage is, and then more importantly give me the power to be and do what it describes. I want to be faithful to what the Spirit of the Lord is upon me to do! 


Pearl 177: Strength

TOPIC: Purpose and Possibilities

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength" - Philippians 4:13.

Purpose is so essential to your life because it releases God's strength in your life. This is so because your purpose is doing what you love, what brings you joy, and Nehemiah told the people, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).  So this verse does not mean you can do anything within the universe of possibilities, but rather you can do anything with supernatural strength that God created you to do. Are you operating in that supernatural strength on a daily basis? Is joy the fuel in your tank that allows you to drive fast and far? Is the joy flowing in your life, or are you cut off from that which would release the power of your potential?

Lord, I desperately want the strength that only you can provide, but I know that cannot come unless I am doing Your will in Your way. One way to know that I am in Your wil is to follow the joy in my heart and not try to figure it out. Instead I should flow in joy and let the joy lead and strengthen me. So be it!


Pearl 176: Cop Out

TOPIC: Purpose and Possibilities

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength" - Philippians 4:13.

This oft-quoted verse is applied to many situations, but can actually be used as a cop-out! Just because you can do something doesn't mean you will do it. It just means you have the capability or the potential to do it. So if you can do all this, then it begs the question: "What are you doing?" What acts or deeds are you performing right now with supernatural strength from God? What obstacles are you overcoming as you pursue your goals and fulfill purpose? What more can you be doing in the strength that God provides?  In other words, you must put yourself into situations where you trust that this strength will sustain you. It may not show up before you need it.

Lord, I don't want to use Your Word to cop-out of my responsibilities and possibilities, but to help me accept and fulfill them. I have quoted this verse many times, and now I see that it should be my motto and not my escape. Show me where I can do more and I will rely on this truth to see me through.


Pearl 175: Anointing

TOPIC: Purpose and Results

"You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy" - Hebrews 1:9.

The number one indicator of purpose is joy. God gives you joy in what He wants You to do and be, so you will know His will in any given moment. It doesn't make sense that God would create you to enjoy something and then not let you do it! From today's verse, you can see that this joy is part of your 'anointing,' for it brings with it the supernatural ability to perform beyond your natural capabilities. Where in life is your greatest joy? Do you see it as an anointing of sorts that empowers you to work with effectiveness, garnering results for God's glory? Are you fighting or ignoring this joy?

Lord, there are times I have felt this anointed joy, but haven't always known what to do with it. Today, I understand not to fight it but to surrender to it, for by doing so, I am embracing my purpose. I thank You for making plain to me what I am to do, and I vow to make the most of the opportunities You give me.


Can I Buy You Breakfast Next Saturday?

I am hosting an informational breakfast next Saturday, June 29, at ACAC on the North Side of Pittsburgh from 1 WAPIS Jeans 1 10 AM to 11:30.  You are invited to come here about and see the work there, and also meet the team who has been there and the team that hopes to go next year. Send me an email at johnstanko@gmail.com to let me know you are coming, and feel free to bring family and friends. If you can come at the last minute and didn't respond, please come on down! An offering will be received.

Also, don't forget about the fundraiser at PNC Park on Monday, July 29.  Tickets in a private box are going for $1,000, all for the benefit of Kenya orphans and widows, such as in the picture to the right (you can read more about it here; last year, we raised $9,000).  I have sold three tickets already, so there are 12 left. If you can't do it, can your company?  Can a few of your friends go in to send one person?