Dear Friends of the Ministry,
I try to keep myself from asking the question, but when seemingly senseless things happen, it is hard not to ask “why?”.
For fourteen years, I gave my life in exactly the way I dreamed. I was the Pastor and preacher of a local church. Every week was a personal pursuit of a word from God’s Word for God’s people. There were no blue Mondays for this pastor. Monday’s were the start of another week of ministry.
But, it all came to an unexpected and undesired end almost exactly fourteen years after it started. My resignation, which I thought would be only a temporary interruption to the ministry I loved, lead to years of disappointment when door after door closed. The passing of the years did not bring the much-prayed for return to ministry but instead bouncing from this to that and not seeming to land anywhere. If you can bear to “watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop to build ‘em up with worn out tools”. Those words of Kipling became all to personal.
But while the circumstances of life changed, the purposes of God held fast. The vision to change the next generation for Christ was not quenched, nor did it diminish. In fact, it grew. The hope and prayer that God would use the Cavanaugh family to pass on a Gospel vision to the next generation did not just linger. It lived, grew, and flourished.
Ten years ago the years of prayer began to come to fruition as Vision4Living Ministries began. The prayer that we would touch the nations saw fruit as Daniel and Micah travelled the world to make Christ known. The prayer that we would encourage pastors in the work of the ministry has witnessed opportunities such as the annual ministers’ picnic and ongoing opportunities for fellowship and encouragement. The prayer to challenge the next generation of Christians has borne fruit through Vision4Living’s blog and CrossTalk, our weekly podcast.
The surprising thing to us has been how God has developed the ministry in ways we did not expect. The thing we thought would be the centerpiece of our efforts to change the next generation (Family Leadership Conference) fell by the wayside, while God has chosen to use Passion4Christ Summit to touch about 550 lives directly in the past ten years. Millennials have, in some cases, been introduced to strong Biblical teaching and challenged to see Biblical doctrine as life-changing and life-strengthening. They have also found P4C to be a source of encouragement in their Christian walk. One quiet young man thanked Daniel and me as we were packing up this year. Then he said; “I consider this the start of my year spiritually.” This was one of many encouraging comments which cannot all be shared here. But here is a sampling.
“Thank you for being passionate about encouraging young adults in their journey to serve Christ.”
“Thank you so much for everything you do to make this weekend happen! It is such a true and deep blessing.”
“P4C has been a blessing and encouragement and challenge to me in so many ways . . .”
And this one was directed specifically towards the mens’ breakout.
“Micah I also greatly remember your talk to the men Thursday morning and how our relationship with God is like keeping our bedroom clean and how it is so easy to say ‘Oh I’ll let it go this time’, but then you keep saying that and all the sudden your relationship is a wreck.”
These gracious comments represent what Vision4Living and Passion4Christ have meant and now mean to others. We say with the Psalmist; “This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Ps. 118:23). We trust that the work of the Gospel in our lives over the past thirty-eight years is now bearing fruit, and our prayer is that it will bear fruit in the generations to come. If it is so, it will be because the God of all grace is ministering His grace to us and through us. This is the vision of Vision4Living.
Will you prayerfully consider these “Reasons to Give” and share with us financially in the work of God’s grace in the coming year? It is as you stand with us that we can continue the work of touching the next generation for Christ. This last comment expresses our heart so well.
“Dear P4C Staff and Volunteers,
. . . I am so encouraged by the legacy of faithfulness this retreat represents ~ thank you for actively and passionately pursuing Christ and for intentionally challenging others to do the same.
May the Lord continue to strengthen you to fulfill what He has called you to do. Run the race with perseverance to win the prize, so that you may lay it at the feet of our King. He is being glorified by your lives, and may you finish strong and full of joy. ~ all for Him.”
May the Lord be pleased to make it so!
Serving with you,
Every fall brings its beauty. It’s colorful trees and cool temps bring relief from the heat and pleasant enjoyable days. In the words of Lucy Montgomery; “I’m glad I live where there are Octobers.” Recent falls have brought another delightful element to our lives and to the lives of many young Christian adults, a time that seems appropriate for the delights of fall: Passion4Christ Summit. This fall brought the tenth annual P4C, and it proved to be as enjoyable as the nine before. While this Summit marked our tenth anniversary, there was a much more significant anniversary being celebrated at the same time. It was the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The Summit was an opportunity to relive the major doctrinal victories that the Reformation brought and to pursue a life of Biblical resolve like that of the reformers.
The question before us was: “Does the Reformation still matter today?” Do the five “solas” still need to be preached and defended with the same vigor and vision as they did 500 years ago. And if they matter, what difference do they make? Are they in danger of being watered down and their importance diminished? With the help of our guest Matt Shackleford and P4C regular Dewey Novotny, we focused on the Biblical importance and imperative of faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, Scripture alone, and God’s glory alone. Two of the messages challenged us not only to believe these great truths but to live with the Biblical resolve that marked the lives of the reformers. We were further challenged in the breakout sessions to keep our spiritual house in order and to stay true to Christ in our everyday lives. In addition to guest Matt Shackleford of Columbus, OH and Dewey Novotny, our regular speakers were Daniel and Charles Cavanaugh with Micah and Pam Cavanaugh ministering in the breakouts. The Summit was not all study and preaching. It was our usual opportunity for recreation, relaxation, and renewal as well as fellowship with likeminded believers and worship that honored God and lifted the spirits of those who came.
The meal times are particularly enjoyable as old friendships are renewed and new friendships are begun. It is always a blessing for our attendees to spend time with likeminded young adults and to have genuine fellowship around the Biblical messages they hear. It doesn’t hurt to have good food to go with it. Late nights of volleyball lead to an all day tournament on Saturday, a bond fire with funny stories, and, the coup de gras, the volleyball championship. It all makes for a sleepy final session on Sunday morning followed by long goodbyes, hugs, and the trip home with hopes of returning next year. P4C Summit is not just a retreat or a conference. It is an experience: an experience of grace and growth which over 550 individual young adults(many multiple times) have shared in the past ten years. Some may wonder why they should go to the expense and take the time for P4C. I cannot answer that for someone else. I do know that each year brings the same joy and sense of God’s blessing that leaves few, if any disappointed.
In light of recent events, does the Bible have anything to say to Christians when it comes to gun rights and “random” acts violence? Can we bring the Gospel to bear on these issues? Charles, Daniel, and special guest Micah Cavanaugh talk about it on this week’s episode of CrossTalk.
Modern culture has painted a picture of what they think the women and the home should look like, and it is safe to say we as believers may have allowed that portrait to influence how we think. Charles and Daniel talk about it on CrossTalk.