At this time of year, our thoughts turn to matters of the heart. It’s bonanza time for folks selling flowers, candy, and greeting cards. Romantic love is a wonderful thing, and it’s fun to find ways to express it in your partner’s “language of love.” The Bible says the heart is the center of our affections and the revealer of who we really are. Our heart determines what we do and why we do it. I hope you’ll watch this video and reflect with me on matters of the heart.
Your financial support is helping Living on the Edge encourage thousands of African leaders who are participating in training conferences. Kenyan Pastor Sam was one of them. “I know God sent you to me. Your teachings were simple, but I was cut into pieces. I was a desperate man…but I returned home strong,” he said. Keep reading below to get a glimpse of ways your gifts are changing lives.
Hope and Transformation Around the World
The worldwide pandemic is not only causing devastating physical results. It’s also ravaging people spiritually and emotionally. Pastors are carrying a heavy load--many are leaving the ministry. “I know God sent you to me,” says Kenyan Pastor Sam, who attended a Living on the Edge conference recently. “Your teachings were simple, but I was cut into pieces. I was a desperate man…but I returned home strong,” he said. Keep reading below to get a glimpse of ways your gifts are fueling this ministry to transmit God’s light in powerful ways.Read More
Delivering Encouragement to 1,000 Pastors in Kenya
God used the timely message of The A.R.T. of Survival, by Chip Ingram, to provide much-needed encouragement to almost 1,000 pastors in Kenya* in early December, 2021.
Dave Holden, our new Global Training Director, unpacked Chip’s teaching on James chapter 1. This includes an Attitude to embrace, a Resource to ask for, and a Theology to understand.
For these pastors, worn down by the pandemic, “this content proved to be ‘right on time,’” Dave reports. “In each of our ten seminars, many had traveled long distances to get there. I think they were shocked by the quality and the intensity of the materials. Nearly all of the pastors committed to follow through and use these resources in their churches.”
Following every session, Dave reflects, “there was always someone who came to tell me he had been ready to quit the ministry because of burnout and discouragement. But every single one of them shared that they’d made a private commitment to the Lord during the seminar—to stay in ministry and continue to serve faithfully in their local church.” “Can you imagine what that means to the nation of Kenya?” Dave asks. “When one of these pastors recommits to their church, it means that roughly a hundred people have godly leadership to see them through any crisis.”
Dave believes that for these discouraged pastors, the fact that Living on the Edge would show up and freely provide these materials became a source of strength and hope that kept them from abandoning their posts. A text message from Kenyan Pastor Sam captures the emotional responses Dave received from hundreds: “My brother, I know God sent you to me. Your teachings were simple, but I was cut into pieces. I was a desperate man when I came to Nairobi, but I returned home strong.”
*The pastors were all from the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, the national umbrella organization for evangelical churches in Kenya. The Alliance has a membership of 52 denominations spread across the country. The total membership is estimated at 10 million people in 38,000 congregations, representing 32 percent of Kenya’s population.
Women Embrace Daily Discipleship at Retreats
from Leslie in Maryland
When Leslie’s sister called her one evening and pitched an idea to her, she had no way of knowing the effect it would have on her life— and many others.
Francis, her sister, had heard about the new Daily Discipleship with Chip and thought it might be fun to sign up for Discovering Your True Self and do it together. Since Francis and Leslie live in different states, they would do the study each day and compare notes by phone or email.
Within the first few days, Leslie says, she was hooked. “I’ve been a Christ follower for many decades, but this was different. Chip actually taught me how to study the Bible for myself, and I loved it!”
“Next,” she says, “I took the challenge and spent time reflecting on each day’s Scripture passage and asked the Lord how He wanted me to apply it to my life. I’m actually learning how to meet with God, connect with Him, and invite Him to connect with me. That’s powerful.”
“I found myself dissecting verses and getting a deeper, richer understanding than I was used to,” Leslie says. “This process really helped me cultivate a relationship with God, to know Him better and to love Him more. And when the study was over, I adopted this approach for my daily Bible reading, and I’m still finding it life-changing. I truly see the Word differently. I get so much more out of it!”
Leslie had agreed to organize and facilitate a women’s retreat for her church in January 2021, and she’d been asking God to guide her to the right content. “One of my goals was to teach the women a solid process for studying the Bible,” she says, “so I got really excited about using Chip’s fifteen day, Daily Discipleship: Growing Deeper with God, at the retreat.” She formatted the content into six sessions for the weekend, and the women felt spiritually nourished and encouraged by Chip’s ten-minute teachings and the rich discussions that followed. Leslie was excited to see the way the ladies bonded quickly as they worked through the passage together. After the retreat, several thanked Leslie for introducing them to this simple yet profound Bible-study approach.
Leslie was so pleased with the January women’s retreat that she decided to use the same material at a second retreat. The twenty women who attended expressed their deep appreciation for the Growing Deeper with God teaching.
“These women really enjoyed the format, the short videos from Chip, and the guided Bible study,” Leslie says. “Our discussion times were rich, and so many of the ladies told me how
grateful they were to learn this new way to digest and apply God’s Word!”
In an email Leslie sent to Chip recently, she said, “I cannot thank you enough for listening to the Lord’s leading in the creation of these videos. Your honesty and openness is such a blessing. Even though we did it in a group setting, it still felt like we were one-on-one with you. The way you share your feelings and your life make it all the more real and friendly. I pray that God will continue to bless you and this ministry.”
Finding Hope Through the Daily Broadcast
from Mark in Indiana
Mark, a hardworking dad and husband in Fort Wayne, Indiana, finds hope and encouragement listening to the Living on the Edge broadcast at 5 a.m. on his way to work 12-hour shifts.
His wife, Kristi, shares, “Mark is an emergency veterinarian at a hospital that has been short-staffed and unbelievably busy over the past year. He’s often mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. In his most difficult times, Chip’s teachings on 100.1 FM have consistently been a source of truth, light, and encouragement to Mark. He absolutely loves sharing what he learns from Chip with our boys, and we are so grateful!”
“I really look forward to listening to the program as I drive to work,” Mark says. “I’m not the greatest at daily God time, but God has really used Chip’s messages to teach me in some amazing ways.”
Mark says that his wife and two boys (in third grade and sixth grade) tease him about the way he loves to take little nuggets of Chip’s teaching and pass them along.
“I remember when Chip was talking about the way we’re prone to charging after something newer, bigger, and faster—and how that usually leaves us disappointed. His words really hit a nerve with me, so I conveyed the lesson to the boys. In fact, I found the broadcast online and shared it with them.”
“I really appreciate how relatable Chip is. He’s so authentic and down to earth. And he makes some lofty ideas in the Bible easy to understand,” Mark says.
“Listening to Chip on the radio and also experiencing Daily Discipleship have taught me how to cultivate and build a relationship with the Lord. And I really feel like it’s made me a better father and husband.”
Have a story to share? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Hide
A Personal Message from Chip
When it comes right down to it, the heart of the matter is your heart. It’s what drives you, what gets you up in the morning, and, in essence, who you really are. The Bible says a great deal about the heart, usually in terms of your relationship with God. Is your heart fully His, or is it far from Him? Jesus taught that our hearts could be hard, shallow, crowded, or open and receptive to His truth. How can you truly understand the condition of your heart?Read More
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life.”
PROVERBS 4:23 NASB
Dear Ministry Partner,
If there’s one emoji that captures the spirit of February it has to be the (HEART). Retailers, candy makers, jewelers, and florists have begun their full-court press in harmony with greeting cards and movies to encourage us to “listen to our hearts” and “follow our hearts” to find or rekindle that ever-elusive romantic love.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good movie, a wonderful date with my wife. I think flowers are great, and dark chocolate is a real winner at our home. But what I want to talk to you about is something far more important that involves your HEART.
Someone has wisely observed that the heart of the matter is your HEART. Everything revolves around and flows from it. The Bible says it’s the center of your affections and the revealer of who you really are. It’s not just your emotions or feelings or intuition. Your HEART is a combination of your mind, will, emotions, and passions—it’s what directs your life. Your HEART determines what you do and why you do it. It determines where you spend your time, energy, and money.
Your HEART is what drives you, what gets you up in the morning, and, in essence, WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
That’s why the Bible says:
- We are to love God with all our HEARTS. (Matthew 22:37-39)
- God is looking for those whose HEART is fully His, that He might strongly support them. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
- We can actually honor God with our lips, but our HEART can be far from Him. (Matthew 15:8)
- Jesus taught the ultimate reason for divorce was the hardness of HEARTS. (Matthew 19:8)
- Apart from God’s renewing work, our HEARTS are deceitful and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9)
- The new covenant promise was that God would remove our HEART of stone and give us a HEART of flesh so we might have intimate fellowship with Him. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
- Jesus taught that our HEARTS could be hard, shallow, crowded, or good in response to His truth. A good HEART is one that is open and receptive and applies God’s Word to one’s life, resulting in 30, 60, 100 measures of fruitfulness. (Luke 8:4-15)
- It is essential to hide God’s Word in our HEART that we might not sin against Him. (Psalm 119:9-11)
- Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, says, “Watch over your HEART with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
How can you possibly know the real condition of your HEART?
In a world that has idealized romantic love and told us to follow the inclinations of our HEART, this can be very difficult. We live in a Christian culture that has subconsciously communicated that if we “feel close to God,” then we must love Him with all our HEART.
By contrast, Jesus thought that the true condition of our HEART would be revealed in the words that come out of our mouths (Luke 6:45) and by where we spend HEART invest our money (Matthew 6:21).
By Jesus’s estimation, you and the Living on the Edge family have loved God with a passion and a commitment like never before. Your generosity and sacrifice to help others has been phenomenal. Your letters, emails, and phone calls recount thousands of stories of lives changed, neighbors helped, ministries started, and resources shared with those you love.
Your words and actions have indicated that your HEART is fully His, that you want to make a difference, that you refuse to sit on the sidelines and complain about the state of our country and the world. You, like me and our team, long to be DIFFERENCE MAKERS!
You remind me of one of my favorite characters in the Bible: Nehemiah. Although his world was one of comfort and luxury as a senior advisor to the most powerful king at the time, he had a Dislocated HEART.
God granted Nehemiah an unusual position of influence and affluence for a very special purpose. His physical body was in the capital city of Persia, but his HEART was dramatically moved when he heard the news of God’s agenda in Jerusalem faltering badly. He didn’t whine, complain, or resign himself with the attitude of “I guess this is just the way it is.”
Nehemiah took action! He had what I call a Dislocated HEART. It’s what Difference Makers have. A Dislocated HEART is a God-given concern that propels us out of our comfort zone. It is a passionate concern for God’s people and God’s agenda that supersedes our own personal comfort and prosperity.
Every great movement of God and every project that has brought relief to people’s needs and the fulfillment of His will has started with one man or one woman who cared deeply enough to hear God’s voice and step out and do something.
As we launch into 2022 together, will you ask God to give you a Dislocated HEART?
At Living on the Edge, we are committed to not just teaching the Bible or providing excellent resources. We are committed to raising Difference Makers who Jesus uses to change their families, their neighborhoods, their small groups, their churches, and our world.
Thank you for your HEART of compassion, generosity, and commitment to our Lord.
Committed to making a difference together,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Praise and Prayer
Every month, we'll share with you the top three prayer requests and praises from our team at Living on the Edge. This update is one of our favorite, as it's so clear the many ways that God is at work in our ministry. Chip and our entire team encourage you to celebrate and pray alongside us.Read More
We Thank God For…
- Continuing to keep our staff and partners healthy.
- Bringing together the new Daily Discipleship: The A.R.T. of Survival, which is ready to launch next month.
- Kyle Idleman’s series “Gods at War,” which brought a fresh perspective on modern idolatry to the broadcast.
We ask God to…
- Change lives through the new Daily Discipleship: The A.R.T. of Survival series, which launches March 7.
- Continue His work in Kenya with the training of 3,000 more pastors and leaders this month.
- Guide our team as they complete the development of “The Real You” personal and spiritual assessment tool.