Author:Ian Peters

Citylights Global October 2019 Update

Time, life and ministry continue to move at a hectic pace. With the exception of Sept 29th, we have been out ministering every weekend since August began. Grand Rapids, St Cloud, Bovey, Duluth, St Joseph, Ball Club, Ramsey and Clear Lake – all in MN and within a few minutes to about 3 hours from home. Being close to home has given us a good run at getting some practical projects done around the house as well as some much needed administrative work for CityLights and Omega Team.

But I’m itching to get back on the road. This week (Oct 16) we leave for Georgia to minister for a weekend. Then on to Destin Florida to attend a conference – it’s been a long time since I attended a conference at which I was not speaking. Then back to minister for the weekend in Georgia before heading home for ONE day. Long enough to do laundry and head to the airport for a 2 week trip to India. Your prayers for safety, impact and provision are appreciated.

Late November I will be ministering locally in a couple of churches, hosting our annual Omega Team gathering for 5 fold ministers . Then it’s back to the airport for ministry in Singapore and a couple pastors conferences in the Philippines.


2020
While we have not made any firm commitments at this point, we have solid contacts and requests to travel and minister in: Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, India, Belgium, France… We are also checking further into solid opportunities in Spain, Cambodia, Myanmar…plus a few more.  We are looking to combine some of these invitations by region and maximize our time and costs.

Because we have been so busy during the Summer and Fall, I have decided (with some sadness) to postpone the release of my daily devotional book till early next year. Meanwhile, you can read a sample entitled The Generous Soul here.

Financial Testimony
God has been good to see that out needs are met month to month. In September we needed a miracle to meet our needs by a certain date. While, seemingly impossible in the natural, a miracle gift came in at the last minute and we met ALL our commitments for September with $1.36 left in the account!

October was another “squeaker” and while it can be a nerve racking way to live sometimes, it is also a testimony of God’s goodness and His power to provide for our every need.

We are still in need of covering our ground costs for the trip to India in 2 weeks. If you would like to partner with us, please go to our website and make a one time or recurring donation here. Don’t forget to designate where you would like the funds to go – General, Missions, Shanti Nivas. You may also send a check to:

Citylights Global
PO Box 654
Big Lake, MN 55309

Thank you again for your continued prayers and support of this ministry. Follow us on social media:Facebook andInstagram

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The Generous Soul

Proverbs 11:25 a generous soul will be made rich

Prosperity is not the opposite of poverty. It is the result of victory OVER poverty. The poverty-stricken soul feels that what it has is never enough so it holds on, desperate to gain even more. Generosity says, I am blessed to bless others. It affects every area of life not just the bank balance.

Jesus was in the temple watching people put their gifts into the temple treasury. Many gave their sacks of gold and silver but it was the little widow who gave two mites – all she had – that caught his attention. He called his disciples over and made a big deal about it. We never find out her name or anything else about her but 2000 years later, we are still talking about what she did that day.

God does not measure generosity by the size of the donation but by the attitude of the giver. As far as He is concerned it is not the amount you give away, it is the heart with which it is given.

There are two types of giving in the word of God. You can give to sow a seed expecting a harvest in return or you can give to meet a need – a need that is manifest before you or that is dictated by God’s word. Either way God looks at the generosity of the heart not just the legality of the action.

Generosity comes from within. It is a condition of the soul. Poverty is a sickness of the soul. Let us be in health and prosper even as our soul prospers. A healthy soul is a generous soul.

Prayer Points
1. Help me to know the difference between being content with what I have and being challenged to extend my faith.
2. Show me where Your heart is moved by a need and let my heart be moved like Yours.
3. Help me to open my heart and respond generously and compassionately to the needs around me.

Additional Scriptures
Old Testament: Isaiah 32:8

New Testament: 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Wisdom: Proverbs 3:9, 10

Example: 2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Personal Challenge
Take a good look at the following aspects of your life: time, talents, gifts, finances, personal example and relationships. What can you do to better manage what you have and how can you be more generous in these areas.

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Coming Through the Wilderness Sept 2019 News Update

In SE Asia through June, back in July, August was a blur and just like that, summer is over, and we are gearing up for the Fall. Plans for the Fall are moving just as fast (maybe even faster) than the passing of the summer!

DEVOTIONAL

I am still working on the first devotional book.  Here is an excerpt – Coming Through the Wilderness – complete with Prayer Points, Additional Scriptures and a Personal Challenge based on the passage.

Wilderness experiences are not a “nothing” time.  They should be likened to a pregnancy – a time of formation of something within you that has been conceived in the mind of God for you from before the foundations of the world!  Read more here

ITINERARY

I have just completed the latest additions to our itinerary to the end of November. Check it out here.  As you can see, there are just 3 weekends open for local (USA) ministry.  Please contact us if you would like us to come and minister in your area/church.

PRAYER

  • Provision and wisdom for 2020 schedule – I have plenty of opportunities but need to work through them.
  • Time and clarity to complete my daily devotional book.
  • A vehicle for our refuge.  This is a desperate need as the old vehicle died and it is costly to rent a vehicle. Public transport for the various appointments takes many hours!

THANK YOU

Once again, thanks to all our friends and supporters. Your selflessness is so appreciated.  For those in the Minneapolis area (and those willing to travel) we are looking at hosting a gathering simply to say Thank You for your friendship and faithfulness.  We will let you know as plans come together. We would love to hear what God is doing in your situation and how we can pray for you. Send us an email or drop us a line at:

Citylights Global

PO Box 654

Big Lake, MN 55309

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Coming Through the Wilderness

Job 42:10 “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” NKJV

Testing’s, trials, “wilderness experiences” are common to all people. Job is the most classic example of how someone who faced trials and testing came through. These experiences are not about how good or bad, righteous or unrighteous you are or have been. They are about proving something. God already knows. He wants YOU to know. Through the situation, Job learned and grew in his revelation of the greatness of God. Eventually, he was able to say, “I have heard of You with my ears but now my eyes see You!”

Many times you hear people talk about their wilderness experiences. Maybe we need to understand these times more fully from Gods perspective to appreciate and value them. They are a proving ground!

Moses and the children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness. This was not just to wait for the end of an unbelieving generation, it was to give birth to a new generation of believers.

The problem with traditional understanding of wilderness experience is that it is a “nothing” time. But it is more like being pregnant – it is not wasted time – it is forming something with in you. That something has been conceived in the mind of God since before time began and He needs you to carry that to full-term and to bring it to birth at the right time!

Jesus submitted to the wilderness experience and he came out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul had a God encounter on the road to Damascus and he heard God speak to him then went out to the desert for 13 years. He came out and wrote over half the New Testament. Deal with weaknesses and failures in the wilderness then come out and live the life for which you were saved.

Prayer Points

  1. Help me to understand God‘s provision in the trials.
  2. Give me endurance through the time of testing.
  3. Give me a renewed mind and revelation of his presence and power to bring me into victory.

Additional Scriptures

Old Testament New Testament Wisdom Example
Job 5:18-20 Hebrews 10:35, 36 Psalm 126:4 Joshua 3:14-17

Personal Challenge

If you are going through – or have been through – a trial or wilderness experience, what are you learning or what did you learn? Are you missing Gods plan because you are looking for something by yourself?

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Generosity in Deeds

Romans 12:10-13. “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

Too often Christians feel that generosity and service to the body of Christ is fulfilled by placing our 10% in the offering plate. Indeed, many give more but giving is about more than money. The way we interact with or respond to others shows much more about how generous we really are.

There is ample precedent in Scripture for having a generous demeanor which most often results in generous deeds. Showing your affection for others without the thought of getting some reward; honor to all people regardless of their status in life, age, race or deservedness.

Preferring one another – leading by example is the thought expressed by this Greek word – involves a level of humility and selflessness on our part. This is more than a religious duty. It is meant to show genuine honor toward others – sometimes even if they may not deserve it.

I spend a lot of time in airports. Recently, I was waiting in a particularly slow line to clear security when I noticed a group of six elderly, obviously inexperienced travelers, behind me that were anxious about missing a very tight connection. I decided to let them skip in front of me so they could make their flight. It was worth it to see the look of relief on their faces as they thanked me in broken English and hurried to their gate.

Take time to be kind. In many cases, being kind is better than being right! It is one of the best ways to be generous in our deeds,

Prayer Points
Help me to see others through your eyes.
Today, lead me to someone who I can show generosity in deed
Help me not to think of my own lack but how I can help others instead

Additional Scriptures
Old Testament: Proverbs 11:25

New Testament: Hebrews 13:16

Wisdom: Psalms 37:21

Example: Acts 2:42-47

Personal Challenge
Practice random acts of kindness till it becomes a lifestyle. Let people in line in front of you in the grocery store. Mow your neighbors front yard when you do yours. Even when people are not kind bless them anyway.

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By My Spirit

Zechariah 4:6-7 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’ ”

Zerubbabel was concerned that he will not be able to finish the work the Lord had called him to do. The obstacles before him seemed like a mountain that had to be moved. There were political enemies, threats of physical violence, and the people who were doing the work had their own concerns for family and safety. Then the angel of the LORD conveyed a message from the LORD to Zerubbabel. It is not by might or power, but by the Spirit of the LORD that things are accomplished.

The message went on to say that the mountain of obstacles would become level ground. He would bring out the final finishing stone while the people shout blessings on the finished Temple.

You probably can see a mountain that must be moved in your life and have asked many times how it can be removed. Man often intervenes with his power and might and ends up making a bigger mountain. It is not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the LORD. Ask the LORD to do it by His Spirit. Act only at His leading.

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Keys to Restoration–Repentance

Jeremiah 15:19

Spiritual change implies a return to God. The term repent, signifies “to have another mind,” to change the opinion or purpose with regard to sin and set a right course.  Religion has presented grief over sin rather than abandonment of sin as the primary idea of New Testament repentance. The change wrought by Biblical repentance is so deep and radical that is has an effect on the whole spiritual nature and involves the entire personality.

The story of the prodigal son is a classic example of the process of repentance and the restoration it brings.  Instead of using his portion of the inheritance to prepare for his bride, the son went to a far distant country (as opposed to the closeness of a portion of his Fathers property) and wasted it. When hard times came – as they inevitably do – he was all alone.

Greek philosophy equated redemption with the concept of coming to senses – which is what he did –  but Biblical repentance takes it further.  It requires a response:

  1. Recognition of the condition or need
  2. Decision to make a change
  3. Action that “puts feet” to the decision
  4. Confession of the failure/sin and need for salvation/redemption/restoration

When he had done this, not only did he find the father waiting for him but he found forgiveness and complete restoration.  It is a sloppy, false gospel that promises salvation and restoration without repentance and confession.

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14 Things NOT to Say to Your Pastor

The following article was received through an email list I am on. It was written by Thom S. Rainer who is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com)

I have added my (sarcastic) responses (or how I wish I could respond) in italics.

Remember people, this is meant to be lighthearted!

I bet almost every pastor has heard all of these in the course of a ministry.  Enjoy. But do not repeat (at least to your pastor).

1. I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week.  I wish I had a job like that too!

2. What do you do with all the free time you have?  Listen to inane comments about how little I work and how much free time I have.

3. Can I have a couple of minutes before you preach? Sure, if you will give me a couple of minutes WHILE I’m preaching!

4. I love you pastor, but _______________________________ (fill in the blank).  I love you, but… too!

5. I like your preaching, pastor, but I really like _______________ (fill in the blank with television or podcast preacher).  I’m sure you could get ______________ to come visit you in the hospital or counsel you when you need it.  After all, we only work one day a week and have so much spare time!

6. Can your wife play piano? My wife can’t even play the radio! Can you learn how to play piano on Pinterest?

7. Your kids shouldn’t behave that way. After all, they are pastor’s kids.  They were simply trying to follow the examples of your kids.

8. Your low salary is good for you. It keeps you humble and dependent on the Lord.  You are so right and my deep, deep, deep humility keeps me from telling you what a great impact the low salary has had on my character development.

9. I bet you don’t spend any time preparing your sermons.  Of course not – that would cut into my free time.  Besides, I am getting so much material just from talking to you!

10. Pastor __________ (predecessor pastor) didn’t do it that way.  And how did that work out for him?

11. You don’t have a real degree. You went to seminary.  Actually, I didnt even go to seminary, I wrote into an ad I saw in the back of a Christian magazine!

12. How much longer do you think you’ll be at our church?  If there are many more like you, about 30 seconds.

13. Did I wake you up pastor? It’s only 1:00 am.  No, I had to get up to answer the phone anyway.

14. Did you hear what they are saying about you?  I’m sure I am about to!

Do you have any statements or questions to add to this list?

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Counting the Cost

1 Chronicles 21:24 Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”

David wanted to purchase the ground upon which to build the altar and later the Temple. Ornan offered to give it to him. You might say he was generous, but remember that he was standing in the shadow of an angel with a sword (see vs 16, 20). David insisted on paying full price because it was his sin that brought this situation on his people and therefore his responsibility. Even though it was offered to Davis as a gift it would have still been Ornan’s sacrifice!

It’s very easy to start to claim something as our entitlement from the Lord because we heard some preacher mention it, read it in a book or even for ourselves in the Word. Often this comes from taking something out of context or not seeing that there may be a condition attached to the promise.

How often have we held back from doing or giving something to the Lord because we felt it would cost us too much?  Everything comes at a price.  Offerings cost. Our salvation came because Jesus paid the ultimate price on our behalf.

We live in a culture where more and more people claim rights but very few accept responsibility.  The idea of spiritual things coming at a cost is considered ridiculous. The concept of sacrifice is virtually forgotten.

What are you offering to the Lord?  Is it what is left over of your life or time when everything and everyone else has been done?  Or is there an understanding that we need to bring Him our best – even (or maybe especially) that which costs us something.

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A complete work

 1 Peter 2:24  He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.  By his wounds you are healed.  (NLT)

As we have already seen, Jesus sacrifice and death on the cross was more than just symbolic. i.e. He was not just the symbol of the necessary sacrifice, He WAS the sacrifice.  He took our sins, sorrow, and diseases on HIMSELF.  He did not send an animal as a substitution this time.  The blood of bulls and goats had to be offered each year because the shedding of their blood would NEVER completely satisfy the penalty for our sin!

A perfect sacrifice was needed to accomplish a complete work! There could be no other than the Son of God Himself – the spotless Lamb. In fact, so complete is the work that Jesus did on the cross, that the concept conveyed in the Greek literally means to be separated from our sin so that it no longer influences our standing with God.  Where once sin was our master, now we are to be ruled by righteousness because of what Jesus suffered on our behalf.

Healing is inherent in the finished work of Calvary! The phrase, “by His stripes we are healed” is a very graphic picture in the original language.  Peter was there when Jesus was scourged and he saw the welts came up and the skin break and bleed as the whip came down across His back.   The effects of sickness and disease would be reversed because of what He took on Himself that day.

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

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