Pray BFF Letter #236
Saturday, December 16, 2013
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The Heritage of the Lord’s Servants
Dear Prayer Partners,
“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord. No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:1, 17 ESV)
God so graciously uses His Word to bring our thoughts more in line with Him and His ways. I have spoken of a few challenges that BFF has faced recently and over the past several years. Reading “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed” opened my eyes to better understand what BFF has encountered.
There will be attacks. “Weapons” implies that people, powers and programs will purposely target God’s people, including BFF and God’s purposes for it. However, God’s plans are not frustrated–“you shall succeed.”
BFF encountered the on going battle to reapply for IRS nonprofit status. Would we, could we survive? Yes, praise God for His faithfulness to work through these past years. God has provided for BFF. God cleverly exposed (in the media) the weapon fashioned against us (and countless others) and almost instantly released us. Praise the Lord that the BFF’s tax exempt status has been restored! But still, we live by faith, trusting God to bring in what we need.
Another attack was on the website itself. Until 2010 our website was growing steadily. But then, Google changed its search mechanism, and as a result, the BFF website and many others, suffered greatly with a 60% reduction in pages read. (This is one reason I am skeptical of consistent web use for conservative Christian organizations and why I have been ‘led’ to get BFF resources out to the world via a variety of means.)
Here is some good news that I am not sure I fully understand. The week before the BFF Board meeting, BFF’s page views jumped back up to previous highs. For the past 3 weeks, the rate has kept up, about 180% what it had been. You can see the graph below (notice the two orange lines).
I am thankful for two things from this verse about weapons: (1) Never be discouraged to the point that it deflates your motive to do your best, even though things look bad, and (2) God can use the tougher times to direct and shape our work. In this case, we determined not to trust the website alone for distribution. Since then, we have worked hard on the store as well as the free distribution through The Seed Project, which is beyond the search engine’s grasp. Even without a favorable web search, BFF can grow throughout the world – without us even knowing it.
God awesomely began this mission in 2000 and continues to provide for us (an unbelievable 13 years), though sometimes the way He ‘provides’ is mysterious and certainly not instant. Meanwhile, in faith, we persist, and see that He has abundantly provided further powerful resources during this same time. We do face the fierce weapons used against us, but on the other hand, we see the wonderful grace of God found in the heritage of those who faithfully seek Him.
Thank the Lord my back is better. I need to be cautious but have been fixing chimney cages, replacing kitchen faucets, scraping and painting, etc. (Doesn’t that sound like my back is better?)
BFF Board had a good meeting. Paul got all the prep work done.
Been able to accomplish many of the designated year-end projects!
God gave extra wisdom to further consolidate the Sunday Training resources for next year. The co-teachers are encouraged to join in teaching.
Praise that 12 short videos introducing the BFF resources have been finished; only a few more to complete theta project. This has been delayed for several years - One of those “I need to but...” projects.
God blessed the 1 John 4:7-12 message on loving God. (2 slides below). https://vimeo.com/79693400
Paul is preaching this Sunday, Dec 8th: Mary’s Response to God’s Gift from Luke 1:46-50.
Lots of babies being born in our congregation. This Sunday we will have a special get together with parents of newborns.
Need extra grace to finish the few but extensive projects by the year’s end.
The BFF Board voted for a sizable increase in the budget for 2014.
Pray that this will be met (and the remaining sum for this year too, of course!).
Still need wisdom for adult Sunday Training classes and especially for next semester as the teachers meet this coming week.
Thanks so much for your prayers!
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell, President and Instructor
Biblical Foundations for Freedom
Phone: (+1) 412-398-4559 (Mobile)
3276 Bainton St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA
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