HOLIDAY 2012 UPDATE!
Be Encouraged! This was the title of the conference Tammy & I just had the blessing & privilege to attend at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. At the end of a very draining year of ministry in many ways, being allowed to sit under the teaching & preaching of the Holy Spirit through Pastor Jim Cymbala, Ravi Zacharias & Tony Evans was like a fresh drink of water, a warm blanket…and a steroid shot! We joined around 500 other pastors and leaders from across the world to be given this word…Unity. We were reminded that the church doesn’t exist for the church, but for the Kingdom. We must be reminded of this in our day over and over; especially the leaders. When Christ told the disciples, “upon this Rock I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”, He was speaking not only to Peter, but to ALL the disciples. Upon this rock of many stones or pebbles coming together as the church, that is what the gates of hell will not prevail against – not one stone here or one pebble there, but when they come together as one solid rock. And this was the first time in scripture the word “church” was introduced. It was good to be reminded as well that this word means “called out” as a legislative body known as Ecclesia. Hmmm…a legislative body, the church.
We were called out to be representatives of Heaven on earth. So, God set to determine all His actions on earth through His Ecclesia. He would do nothing on earth that was not done through us, His legislative Body. So if His Body is not operating as He designed, He cannot flow through Her. And there lies the answer to our current state of powerless chaos in and out of the church. Henry Blackaby’s statement of “as the church goes, so goes the nation”… well hello!
We left that conference after being prayed over on Tuesday night not only by the prayer band and all pastors and deacons of the church, but the crowd of over 4000 people that had gathered together to pray. We are not members of that church, we don’t serve on their staff nor do we tithe to them, but yet they take the time to pray for us and our ministry and personally lay hands on our shoulders with prayers of passion and some even with tears as they lift us up to send us back into the running of the race and the battleground. That alone would have been worth the trip! It was incredibly refreshing for this Body of Christ, not worried about denominations, blessing us and investing in our ministries.
So we were blessed to be home after a very full season of travel for Thanksgiving with all our bunch & Tammy’s mother & her chauffer! Then we just concluded our last revival of 2012 at Jan Lee in Burkburnett, Texas (near Wichita Falls) where we experienced one of the most refreshing times this year. The pastor warned me before the meeting began that his congregation liked to STAND during ALL the congregational worship! I knew I misheard him….I thought. That was the spirit of the week and God saved 10 new souls during the services. People actually made “revival” a priority during the week, cancelling hunting trips, etc… They had prayed for 40 days & fasted the day prior. God obviously heard them.
I won’t forget one of their members, a medical doctor who took us to breakfast one morning & shared with us the analogy of what we do, to a colonic! Not really breakfast conversation, but he was comparing the experience of a revival spiritually to what he does physically to his patients. Just a thought, but those were his words & we agreed. Most people don’t want to even go there & that is probably why we have less & less churches scheduling “colonics” these days! They are just too painful, too embarrassing & just uncomfortable. But more than likely, you will need one…….either by choice or necessity.
We are very thankful for the work God is still allowing us to do at a time when revivals are becoming fewer and fewer. Still He is providing and some churches are returning to what they thought didn’t work. We have seen that if a church prepares and PRAYS and expects God to move during the time they set aside for “revival” God always honors it. The lost do get saved, old and young & believers are strengthened and changed. We see that without fail. And we see it especially when a church uses the gift of the Evangelist.
2013 will start off with an emphasis on marriages & families as we prepare for our annual Three2one Marriage Conference here in Granbury with some regional retreats in west Texas & New Mexico. Then we are praying about 2 foreign mission events in Pakistan & Venezuela. God is really working in spiritual awakening around the world. Thank you for helping us to continue to join Him where we see Him at work!
Happy Holidays from the Aten Family!
P.S. We thought we would add a little postscript about our time at home, which is always cherished. We were putting up Thanksgiving, getting out Christmas & my little petite wife fell through the ceiling in the garage! Thankfully she didn’t hit the floor, she was caught in wires,
cable & electric that kept her hanging until I got her down………nothing broken–unbelievable!
P.S.S. And for those of you who are Facebookers, you can catch some of Brooke’s Legacy Christmas concert at DBU where she sang a duet called Winter Snow; on her page or ours!
Download Flyer: click here
Take a look at our pictures and some of the stories on our visit to Pakistan. Visit our blog to see more.
You may now contribute to Aten Ministries through PayPal by clicking on the DONATE button below. Aten Ministries operates 100% on love gifts from churches & individuals. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit religious corporation and all gifts are considered tax-deductible.
Season’s Greetings 2011!
Wow…it is already Holiday time. Thank you God for the change of seasons, cool air & some rain…finally! Our daughter, Brooke, has just made it through her mid-terms at Dallas Baptist and we have somehow made it through 7 revival weeks as a duet…back to the original Aten Ministries. When God called us into this travelling ministry in 1990, we were only 28 & 30; our son Josh was 2. We had no idea, really what faith was; and today, what we do know is how faithful God has been. For those of you who remember Experiencing God and Henry Blackaby; this was the instrument God used to lead us to begin praying & looking to see where He was working - and then that was His invitation to join Him. He showed us & showed us so clearly, that it seemed like we had no other choice but to say Yes. I realize we could have said no, but that didn’t even enter our minds. I mean, we didn’t know where we would live, how we would eat, or what vehicle we would travel in. It wasn’t until after I resigned from my full-time staff position as minister of worship at one of the best churches in New Mexico that doors started flying open. I sometimes wonder where we would be today if we had said no.
Before we sent Brooke off to college, we 3 attended the National Worship Leader’s Conference in Kansas City. Few times in our ministry do we get to go & be ministered to & refreshed, so this was our second time to be blessed by so many who do what we do. Of course Brooke’s heart is to continue her music to wherever God would lead her someday, so she made every opportunity to speak with some of today’s leading worship songwriters. You may recognize a few faces as well if you keep up with modern worship artists.
Brooke with the group LEELAND
… with GUNGOR
… with Nicole C. Mullin
Worshiping with Kari Jobe
What our God has done! But what He is about to do is even greater. This past month Tammy & I were able to attend the Brooklyn Tabernacle Music Conference where Jim Cymbala is pastor. We had the privilege of singing with their choir for Billy Graham’s 93rd birthday. That could have been the highlight, but what we came away with was something deeper in our spirits. In a day where so many are discouraged in ministry in churches here in America, and where there are only small numbers still doing what we do, we heard the Lord speak to us that He likes to save the best for last. So after having ministered in over 1000 churches, 10 foreign countries, we see God still calling us to Go. He is changing us as we go to keep us fresh & relevant to His work today. Thank you to those of you praying…….it is still the only way we do what we do. This summer I had a surprise reunion with my best high school buddy, Guy Penrod, when he showed up at my church for a concert; not really sure how that got scheduled, but it did and we were actually home. One of the last songs we sang together right before he began travelling with the Gaithers was none other than Friends, by Michael W. and we hadn’t sung that since…until this concert! Nothing like last minute; the link is posted below the photo if you have an interest.
Now, we have just spent 3 weeks in churches in Oklahoma, a week in Arkansas, north Texas, east Texas, and now a couple weeks in west Texas & we see our God still working to bring the lost to Himself. Next we are preparing to return to South America the end of this month for a marriage event and minister to a pastor & his family we have adopted as our Venezuelan family. Thank you for being a part of that work. We also continue our marriage ministry here at home as we plan for a city-wide Three2One marriage event in Granbury this coming February 2012. Sixty percent of newly married couples will divorce this year. The basis on which our church, the family & even our government was built is being quickly shoved aside. What is going to happen?
There are some special international trips planned for this next year & we personally invite those interested to join us! In June, we will return for our 3rd pilgrimage to the Holy Land & this tour promises to be incredible. Our now former pastor, Glenn Ward is heading up the trip & we are encouraging all we know to go. It will change your life & walk for the better. You may click here to download a brochure about the trip that leaves June 7-22, 2012.
The other trips are ministry based to Peru & the Philippines. If you have not travelled out of the U.S. borders as a believer, what better opportunity to see God’s work around the world. And the “revival” seems to be in those places and their churches. And we guarantee you that the minute you say “yes” to going…….God has already taken care of every provision.
Thank you all again for your words of encouragement, prayers & gifts of support for us; all eternal investments in the Kingdom, as we continue now in our 21st year of faith ministry. We do appreciate you remembering our kids in their pursuits as well. Thank you for praying for Josh as he continues to mature & seek God’s direction. He is working here in Granbury & singing with a group called Re-solution. Brooke is thriving at DBU, her choir just sang with the Gatlins for a host of Texas leaders including Rick Perry; we know God has great plans. And my voice is much better- thanks to people praying & some trips to a voice therapist! Tammy is continuing to gain strength day by day & our prayer is to glorify Him more this year than last.
If God has saved the best for last, we want to be obedient just as before. We thank you for your faithfulness…it is one of the ways He has kept His promise to carry us.
The Aten Family
Sherman, Tammy, Josh & Brooke
Download Flyer: click here
Visit Tammy's CaringBridge Website