Thus Far….

February 5, 2017

John Newton reportedly unveiled his famous hymn (Amazing Grace) on Jan 1, 1773.  Verse three ends:

Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,  And grace will lead me home.

By God’s grace, I was among almost 4,000 people challenged in Southern California (Send Conference 2017)
By God’s grace, I will make it to Seattle tonight. By His grace, KK will meet me there tomorrow. 

By faith, we will board a plane to Southern Asia to share a week with Christian workers- totally dependent on His grace.

Will you pray with us? Will you pray for us? Will you pray for the workers we will serve? 

Grace has brought me safe thus far…..

Prayer Partner Update-overseas trip

February 2, 2017

In Southern California for a “Send Conference” then we leave for South Asia on Sunday.  

We are thankful for our adult children (Josh & Carmen) who are taking shifts with KK’s dad while we are gone. 

Pray for our travel and pray for God to use us to encourage workers and the work in South Asia. I will be teaching 2 Timothy in the worship sessions.  Why don’t you read it as you pray for us… I know God will use His Word in their lives and ours.  

Prayer Partner Update

January 18, 2017

We have a couple of special requests and we know you will join us in prayer.  

Woodstock Church/Shallowford:  A few months ago we stepped into leadership at a campus of FBC Woodstock.  This is a “bi-vocational” role (I continue my full-time ministry position at the North American Mission Board).   We are in a season of Re-Booting a struggling congregation of about 50 people.  Seeking a fresh start, we are praying that the Lord of the Harvest will send out laborers into this harvest field.  We need a core team of leaders to help with new vision.  Will you join us in praying for leaders?  

Trip to South Asia:  Next month KK and I will travel to Asia and serve a group of field workers. We will spend a week encouraging them and I will lead a study of 2 Timothy.  Pray that God will provide the finances, give us wisdom in lining up care for KK’s dad, and give us grace to walk through the spiritual warfare that goes with the territory. 

Thanks for joining us in prayer.  


Reflection and Anticipation

December 30, 2016

Yesterday I received a text– totally unexpected.  A friend sent a picture from long ago with a simple question:  “Remember this?”

When I showed the picture to KK she said: “Wow!  He must be in deep reflection if he’s looking at pictures taken that long ago.”

This is the time of year when a lot of us take some time to reflect and anticipate.  I am using these days to prepare for teaching 2 Timothy at a Leadership Retreat in February. In the quiet moments, I’m reflecting on the years of ministry and anticipating new ministries in the New Year. 

Time to reflect can remind us of God’s faithfulness and stir up gratitude for those who invested in us.  Paul reminded Timothy how others had invested in him  (see 2 Tim 1 ).   

These words from 2 Tim. 1:6 keep poking at my heart:  “Fan into flame”  (Keep ablaze, Kindle afresh, etc.)  Clear imagery of how a fire often needs stirring, how logs need turning, and how embers can burst into a new fresh flame. 

Looking forward to the ministry that lies ahead, I can’t afford to take a half-hearted, lukewarm approach.  I must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work in me and fan into flame the things God has entrusted to me.  

What about you?  

After you take some time to reflect, ask one simple question:  Is my heart on fire?  


When They Call Me “Pastor”

August 13, 2016

When I was kid, we usually called him “preacher.”   “Preacher Waterhouse” led me to Christ and baptized me. “Preacher Folsom” let me preach my first sermon as a teenager– and God used it to call me to preach. “Preacher McCullough” let me serve on his staff while I was in college…. sometimes I called him “Bro. Lavay.” Then in seminary I called my mentor “Bro. Paul.”  

Then, a small group of believers near Washington, D.C. contacted us.  We soon went to Northern Virginia to help them start a church –they called me “Pastor.”  When we were moving, I never thought what they would call me.  But, they are the ones who changed my name. And, now, for all of these years, my name is Pastor Al…. or Pastor Gilbert.

Tomorrow I am preaching at a friend’s church in Memphis and the title of the message is Pastor and People (1 People 5).  While preparing the sermon, I have been reminded how God has taught me through the people He has allowed me to serve. Every time I hear someone call me “pastor” I am reminded of the relationship and the responsibility. 

KK and I have been blessed to serve God’s People during these brief years on earth.  We stand on our tiptoes longing for the soon return of the Great Shepherd (Pastor) of our souls.  


Opportunity to Train Leaders

March 19, 2016

Next month I will have the opportunity to train leaders overseas. These Christian leaders have very little access to resources or training. 

Prayer Support
I am asking our Prayer Team to join us by interceding – praying for anointing and clarity.

Scholarship Fund
We have received some support related to this need.  We still need an additional $3,000 to provide travel & lodging scholarships for these leaders.

If you would like more information leave a reply below.   It will not be posted publicly.  A private email will be sent to us and we can follow up off line.  

As you can imagine, this kind of trip has built-in spiritual warfare.  Thanks for joining me in prayer. 

Prayer Partner Update

March 19, 2016

We continue to see God’s faithfulness as we walk down new roads.  It’s time again to thank you for your prayer support. 

KK’s Health

KK continues to improve.  Her last (reconstruction) surgery is scheduled for April 11th.  As usual, she has a great attitude.  She has a good group of ladies in her weekly Bible study and she is helping me serve the people in our new weekend assignment–interim pastor.

Interim Pastorate

Last month we began as interim pastor for a struggling church.  This church (about 20 minutes from our house) has experienced dramatic decline and must make some drastic decisions–soon.  Pray for us to have wisdom.  

Opportunity to Train Leaders Overseas

Next month I will be traveling overseas to train Christian Leaders.  I will share more about that in a future update.


Thanks for your friendship and prayer support. Knowing you are joining us gives us great strength for the journey.