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What’s Going On In 1998

I like January’s style. I like cold weather, short days, long nights with stars like diamonds in heaven’s vault. I like a dark room with a fireplace cradling glowing Mesquite logs, howling wind in the live oak trees, and sleet on the window panes. If I were a rich man, I’d own one of every winter coat in the L.L. Bean catalog and relish the opportunity to wear every one of them.

January is the depth of winter, the calm after the harried holidays, the inception of the new year. It’s definite, predictable, and unpretentious. Straightforward, looking you in the eye, January presents itself each year and ensures that with its introduction, April will come. I like January’s style.

While it is January outside, inside LGI it is spring in every sense of the word. It is as though the music of George and Ira Gershwin is playing in our hearts. We are planting, growing, blooming, budding, and pollinating. 1998 is full of optimism and warmth. I’ll tell you what, put on some tunes, refill your coffee cup, sit down on the hearth, and let me tell you about it.

During the fall of 1997 we began a program which we are calling Advanced Discipleship Training (ADT). It is 45 hours of teaching, discipleship, and instruction in sharing the message of our identity in Christ. It meets two days per week for six weeks. Beginning in late February, we will offer an intensive ADT program that will cover the same amount of material in three weeks. (That’s why we are calling it intensive.)

If you are interested in honing your ability to articulate the exchanged life truths, or you have been asking the Lord to increase your personal understanding of how these truths apply in your life, I encourage you to consider joining one of our ADT programs. It just might be one of the greatest experiences of your life, even if you use your vacation to attend.

If a week’s worth of "away" training is out of the question right now, you might consider hosting a video conference in your home or church. I talked with my friend Jack the other day over the telephone. He told me about the great way the Lord is using the LGI video series, The Life, in their church. Not only are lives being transformed, but Jack said their church will never be the same. He also said that during one session there was a couple visiting from out of state. They came up afterward, talking about how the Lord had spoken to them, and then they asked if they could borrow Jack’s tapes to show in their church. I love his response. "No. You can’t have my tapes, but here is $150 and the phone number for Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. Order your own set of tapes, show them in your church, and call me when you are halfway through the series to tell me what is happening." They called Jack back after the fourth video tape to say that their whole church was watching the series. "The message is sweeping through our church. You can’t believe what is happening here."

Now the critical question? Have you ever thought about hosting a video conference in your home or church? It’s not nearly as difficult as the devil might like for you to think.

I awoke the other night and sat bolt-upright. For a moment I was sure someone was in the house, but then I realized that the "bump in the night" was the dog falling off the end of the bed and landing in a heap on the hardwood floor. Hosting a video conference isn’t quite as easy as falling out of bed, but with our assistance and the materials we have prepared, I’m sure you will be amazed at how the Lord will use you to minister to people if you host a video conference in your home or church.

John and Marcy Moneypenny have been conducting conferences for LGI over two years now. Their ministry continues to flourish and is vintage LGI. They teach in practical simplicity with honesty, transparency, and passion, sharing a message that God has etched into their hearts. John and Marcy speak together in an interactive style, while using visual aids to help illustrate the scriptures and conference principles so familiar in LGI seminars. I am pleased with the teaching of this dear couple and recommend them to you as conference speakers who will share not only God’s Word, but also themselves. Marcy also does a number of conferences each year for women, and she still has a few dates open in 1998.

Bill and Anabel and I continue to teach conferences and record the material the Lord puts on our hearts. Several new audio albums were produced this last year and Bill (a.k.a. Dad) and I continue to do conferences for men that are always a tremendously rewarding and effective ministry opportunity. We would love to have the chance to come alongside you and minister in the arena God has called you to work in.

In addition to their conferences, Bill and Anabel have been busy working on new books. Around March, Anabel’s new book on strongholds will make its debut, followed in July by Bill’s book, What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity. Both will be published by Harvest House. We are all excited about these new books and believe that the Lord is going to use them throughout the body of Christ.

What yearly report would be complete without a financial review? 1997 was a good year in that income was stable, and that is a direct answer to prayer. Let me explain: The staff meets for prayer every morning at 11:30, and many mornings we pray for you, asking the Lord to bless you, encourage you, to bring LGI to your memory, motivate you to contribute to the support of this ministry; and we ask that the Lord help you to remain consistent in your giving. That is specifically what I mean when I say that God has answered our prayers.

As we embark on 1998, you can bank on the fact that we will continue to pray God’s blessings for you. In addition, please know that your financial support for LGI is very important. I don’t know of a ministry that is striking the target of discipleship more effectively than LGI. Consequently, I enthusiastically encourage you to support this ministry after you have set aside support for your local body of Believers.

I trust you know that we are committed to making your contribution minister to others as effectively as we possibly can. For example, did you realize that in 1997 $.83 out of every $1.00 went directly to ministry, touching people’s lives with the same message that has touched your life? If our planning for 1998 brings the intended results, the percentage of your gift that goes directly to ministry should rise significantly. We believe this is a statement of our commitment to stewardship.

We value your partnership with us as we look across the horizon of 1998. It is encouraging to know that you are praying for us, supporting us, and standing with us. In so many ways you are our friends and brothers and sisters. Do you remember Proverbs 17:17? It reads, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." What more could we hope or ask for than we have in you?

There it is. A glimpse through the keyhole at January 1998. And, in January fashion, it’s straightforward, unpretentious, and predictable. Last night I was out walking with Honey, our dog. I watched our breath crystallize and thought about spring: bluebonnets, daffodils, redbuds, and dogwoods. It won’t be long before January gives way to spring. And it won’t be long before the plans of January become evident in countless people.

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.