When the World Stopped for Jack

This is a touching story of a little boy’s tragic accident, a parent’s worst nightmare, the church worldwide uniting, and God’s mercy and grace to answer the prayers of His people. This is the story of Jack Budensiek’s last four weeks in the word’s of his aunt and uncle, Jon and Jessica Duren:

Sometimes, something happens that is too wonderful to keep quiet.  While I usually do not share personal stories, I feel this one is appropriate to share with you, my newsletter readers.   I asked my wife, Jessica to share with you this story of my sister’s son, my nephew, who is currently at St. Mary’s Intensive Care Unit.  This traumatic event has blessed my life and helped me to better focus on what is most important.   I trust it will encourage you to do the same.  Here is my wife, Jessica, telling you the story that I title: “When the World Stopped for Jack.”  

Continue reading

Advertisements

Speaking the Truth, A Pastor’s Challenge

The temptation to keep silent about important matters that I’m convinced are true to avoid offending or losing a friend is real. I’m not talking about matters which are of secondary importance to a person. I’m referring to topics of first importance, like those that concern one’s soul.

As a pastor, you should have a desire to be friends with people and be kind to them. But, If you choose to remain silent about something that concerns a person’s soul simply for fear of losing their friendship, or even their church membership, would be shameful. However, I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that it still causes conflict in me every time. That’s why when I read the following in a message by Charles H. Spurgeon while he was about to discuss a difficult topic with his church, God used it to encourage me:

Continue reading

Update on ‘lil Jack; Please Continue Praying

Jack Budensiek

Many of you have said you are praying for ‘lil Jack Budensiek. We have prayed for him as a family and with the people of Providence Church. I want to update you from my last update a couple of weeks ago. Little Jack is fighting. I weep as I pray for God to spare his life and strengthen his parents. Will you join me in praying?

Here is the latest report from a relative of the family:

11:00 am update 6/14. Jack Budensiek:

 Right now there is a lot of pain and fear at the hospital. John, Ada, and the family fear the roller coaster ride of emotions they’ve already faced, could happen again. It’s almost hard to say things are looking up, when the fear of facing that same horrible incident all over again is still looming in the back of their minds.

Continue reading

Gospel vs. Religion, part 3

Christianity without the compassion of Jesus is just empty religion. Mark 2:5-12 reveals that Jesus was concerned for people. This is one reason he healed. His compassion for others is a pillar of what real Christianity should be about. The gospel requires that we be concerned about helping people.

This passage says Jesus was home. I don’t know about you, but if someone busted a whole in my roof, I’m not sure I’d remain calm and help the. Even if you could tell me that the houses in 1st century Capernaum had roof access, like a sun roof or something, they still interrupted his sermon. The compassion Jesus had for others is striking. Without it, your religion is empty.

Continue reading

Gospel vs. Religion, part 2

Christianity without faith alone in Jesus is just empty religion. In Mark 2, four men came to Jesus bringing to him a paralytic (3). That’s all we know. This man could not walk and his friend carried him on his bed to find Jesus. “And when they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and…they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay” (v4). And Jesus saw something in these men…faith. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (v5).

Continue reading

Answered Prayer; Update on ‘lil Jack

Last week my brother contacted me asking to pray for a good friend and his 4-yr-old son, who had a 150-175 lbs. piece of furniture fall on him and crush his head. Immediately I requested prayer on Twitter and Facebook. I rec’d numerous replies from people praying, even people who I’ve never met (but were praying because the request circulated on Twitter.) It was a powerful demonstration of body of Christ.

It was also a powerful example of prayer. Immediately, I began to hear positive reports about little John. I found his uncle’s Facebook page to read the hour-by-hour updates. Little John’s family are Christians and they have a strong prayer network around them. As a father of a 5-yr-old, the thought of the accident anguished me. Within days, ‘lil John’s uncle posted a moving picture of John responding to his mother for the first time. The sight was awesome, though his injuries were painfully visible.

Tuesday, ‘lil John’s father sent out this note to his colleagues & friends, and it is a great report of God answering prayers:

Continue reading

Gospel vs. Religion, part 1

Christianity without a desperation for God is just empty religion. Look at Capernaum for example. In Mark 2, Jesus returned to Capernaum a short time after making His purpose on earth known. Jesus “lived in Capernaum by the sea” during His adult life (Mt 4:13). During this time, “many were gathered together” in a house, “and he was preaching the word to them.” “The Word” that Jesus was preaching was the gospel.

There can be gospel ministry, and no gospel transformation. Capernaum had the true gospel being preached to them (v1-2). In fact, they had the best gospel preaching there has ever been. And they also had real healing occurring (v11-12). No one could argue that Capernaum was not seeing and hearing wonderful gospel ministry in their city. Yet they were none the better for it. You can’t just use the Gospel like a fairy wand.

Continue reading