A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
We are just coming off of our exciting weekend after holding our second annual Protectors' Peak Faith Conference! It was held Saturday, March 26th, at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Forest Lake, Minnesota. It began at 9:00 and ended at 3:00. Well, not really. With all the fellowship and connection taking place, we finally left the church at 4:30. Time seemed to elude us all and it's true, time really DOES fly when you're having fun!
If you were a fly on the wall, you would have witnessed powerful worship (the worship team rocked!), encouraging speakers, good food, and friendly conversations taking place between sessions. The atmosphere was electric and charged with engaging fellowship. So much so, it was nearly impossible to round people up to get back in the sanctuary for each new session! Next year, I will need a bull horn to get everyone's attention (or possibly a lasso).
I chose Proverbs 25:11 as the backdrop of this newsletter because this felt like the theme verse of the day. There is beauty, just like apples of gold in settings of silver, in a message that touches your heart at the right time and the right place. It sticks and adheres to your heart and soul like double-sided tape. That's the powerful impact a testimony can have on one who's ready to receive their healing from Jesus and humble enough to accept the fact that they need Him. We all need Jesus no matter where we are on our healing journeys and He's right there waiting and ready for us to surrender!
The messages our speakers had to share weren't over the top, preachy, or holier than thou.
Instead, they were authentic. Honest. And Real.
Jon Hedger, our token EMT and firefighter chaplain, spoke to us in detail on spiritual warfare and how we can use spiritual armor to disarm the enemy of our souls according to Ephesians 6. Nate and I shared our journey on the birth and establishment of Protectors' Peak and how to build a God-sized dream in your marriage.
We then ate a delicious lunch donated by Arden Hills Chick-fil-A followed by the movie, Break Every Chain.
This was a movie based on the life and testimony of Jonathan Hickory, our featured speaker. It was powerful and relatable to many law enforcement officers as it displayed the struggles and stress they experience with the job. We wrapped up our day with Jonathan Hickory sharing his story of redemption and hope through Jesus Christ and the God-inspired mission he carries with him currently.
We all struggle at times and in these times, we need a word of hope and encouragement to build us up. We need redemption and restoration through Jesus Christ-only He can rebuild us up from the ruins to restoration. This is the theme that was carried throughout the day and we pray that all who attended had their cup filled and their soul refreshed.
We were also joined by some friends from Cops Cities Church who are a wonderful resource for cops who have grown disillusioned or hurt by the church. Pastor Glenn and Susan are doing an amazing job shepherding and discipling those who attend. Here's their mission:
We are a church founded by cops, comprised of cops, who are for first responders & their families. Our church is a unique community that understands the challenges of life as first responders. Whether you’re a cop, firefighter, paramedic, dispatcher, or family member, all are welcome here. It doesn’t matter if you’ve attended church all your life or are new to exploring faith, we offer relevant and practical teaching for first responders to live out the calling to serve others.
For more information on Cops Cities Church, go to their website at Cities Cop Church.
Another amazing organization that joined us was Invisible Wounds Project. They have been a steady supporter and partner of Protectors' Peak since the beginning. Here is their mission:
Invisible Wounds Project is committed to raising awareness and providing services to Minnesota’s military, first responders, front-line medical staff, corrections, dispatch, and their families, relating to mental health, PTSD and suicide issues.
We provide resources and treatment without judgement, off the record, and free of charge.
If you are an active or retired LEO, EMT, LEO wife, or chaplain, we have retreats still open just for you! Just email us at email@example.com, and we will give you details on these retreats. You can also go to our website protectorspeak.com and click on retreats to check out the dates. We'd love to serve you and give you space to rest, renew, and reconnect with God!
Thank you for your support and generosity in the past month as we fundraise for a year salary. Nate and I will be diving into full-time work with Protectors' Peak this Fall. That means there are A LOT of changes coming our way, but we know that God is pulling up the tent pegs of this season and guiding us to the next one in front of us. We are so thankful that the Lord is bringing us to this very exciting phase of our God-sized dream. I heard Him say to me, "This is the introduction chapter of my plan for Protectors' Peak!" What must He have in store for this ministry? This excites me!
If you'd like to partner with us in our fundraising efforts, we'd gladly accept! We need monthly partners who will be willing to commit to a one year monthly giving partnership. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel the Lord prompting you to partner with us in this fundraising venture! If you'd like to donate to Protectors' Peak, click on this link that will take you to our donate page of our website. Donate | Protectors' Peak (protectorspeak.com)
We also covet your prayers to cover us with protection, provision, and peace. Thank you for praying for us in this new chapter!
Lastly, I'd like to close this blog with a beautiful prayer of protection I've been praying over myself and my family. It is an excerpt from "The Deer's Cry" or also known by the name, "St. Patrick's Breastplate". The name of the hymn derives from a legend when Loeguire, the High King of Tara, resolved to ambush and kill Patrick and his monks to prevent them from spreading the Christian faith in his kingdom. As Patrick and his followers approached singing this hymn, the King and his men saw only a herd of wild deer and let them pass by. It may be a coincidence, but since praying this prayer, I've seen two deer in two days. God speaks to us and confirms His presence in so many subtle, yet beautiful ways.
Christ with me, Christ before me
Christ behind me, Christ in me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ on my right, Christ on my left
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down
Christ when I arise, Christ to shield me
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me
I arise today.