Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together....

Hello Everyone,

We are just starting off the second semester of the MWSB Venture Program 2010-2011. We are welcoming back the Venture students and the First year students at the beginning of this new year. During this first week we will be doing a re-orientation session with the Venture students, refreshing their duty training, talking about break and catching up. This first week they will be in class with Pastor Bryan Hughs of Grace Bible Church in Bozeman, MT. They will be studying the book of Colossian. This book is fitting for the return and beginning of the 2nd semester as it is centered around the theme of Christ. "He is before all things and in Him, all things hold together"..... As we have focused much attention on the message of the gospel this past semester, we will continue to emphasis the centalilty of Christ in ministry and life. He goes before us in this Venture program, and He alone holds it together. Pray during this first week as they are jumping back in and catching up with their fellow students. Pray for their hearts and minds as they go into studying the book of Colossian as well. Parents, we would like to thank you for you participation in the lives of your sons and daughters over the break. We hope and have been praying that their presence would leave a blessing in your homes and that they would draw much encouragement from you as parents.
During these next few weeks they will be making schedules for memorizing 3 chapters of scripture this semester, they will be reading and doing pre-course assignments for Spiritual Warfare class, and going on a Winter Camping/ Ice Climbing class for a week. They are in for an awesome time and we are glad to be with them. Pray for us as we lead, that we would show them examples of godly, Christ-centered leadership, and we would know which direction to lead them.
Thanks for joining us in this journey! Blessings to you all. In Christ,

Adam and Brooke Jordan

"15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Colossians 1:15-20

Monday, November 15, 2010

To sum it up....

How do we sum up this first semester? It is hard to put into words, but I’ve asked a couple of Venture students to try……

If I were to describe this first semester with two words it would be “Gospel Centered” or if I could use 6 words it would be “Life changing because of the gospel.”-Logan Wynne

“Overwhelmingly Deep”- Maddy Yohn

Luke 9:24 “ If you really want to find your life you must lose it.”

True leadership exacts a toll. The higher the accomplishment the higher the price paid. Any worthwhile accomplishment has a price tag. It comes down to one basic question” How much hard work, sacrifice, and endurance are you willing to pay to obtain the worthwhile goal.” We talked about this earlier in the year during Spiritual Disciplines class. Philippians 3:8 “More than that I could all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ…..” The Venture students have been challenged by these thoughts. How much will I give up? What has had the place of value in my life above Jesus Christ? What has become a counterfeit god for me? Adam and I would say, that though we are all still in this daily process of losing our life so that we may find it in Christ, we have seen tremendous growth in each of these students. The Lord began this work very quickly this semester and we are so delighted to have seen your sons and daughters respond quickly and obediently. We want you to hear from them what they have learned and what they are expecting from next semester.

“This semester has been nuts- backpacking in the snow and rain, exploring caves with Nasher, exposing idols with the help of Tim Keller, cliff-jumping at crooked tree, rock climbing in Helena, praying together as a dorm, spontaneous trips to Missoula, tea time with C.S. Lewis, soccer and ultimate Frisbee on the filed, 48 hours in the woods by myself, medaling in the special Olympics, fall break in Bozeman, remember our WAFA time with Charles, memorizing scripture, coffee, mullets, and pig roasts, conquering steamboat (again), getting our praise on, crazy ball, the strange joys of detention, late-night conversations, and realizing more fully that our Jesus is at the center of the Gospel.

I’ve seen so much growth in my life and in the lives of other Ventures that it’s hard to know where to start. Everything for me this semester has gone back to the gospel. I’ve learned so much about the disciplines, and the freedom they afford. At the root of praying, bible reading, memorizing, fasting, etc is the gospel and a better understanding of who Jesus is. All our actions (no matter how “spiritual” they seem) are valuable only as they serve the purpose of loving God more. Going through the book “Counterfeit Gods” in bible study, has opened us up to the fact that even if we profess the Lordship of Christ with our lips, we often still live our lives with something else functioning as savior. Yet again I was brought back to the gospel and the understanding that Jesus is the only one who can truly uproot and supplant the idols of the heart. Recently, we had the privilege of taking “Gospel-Centered Ministry” from John Erickson, a pastor of a church in Minneapolis. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the class deepened my understanding of my sinfulness and my desperate need for reconciliation through the gospel. We learned that ministry cannot be effective unless it is centered around the cross of Christ and the word of God.

Along with spiritual growth, I have benefitted greatly from the experience of learning to lead. One of the biggest aspects in the learning process has been seeing leadership modeled for me. The staff has done a great job of displaying spiritual leadership, and I am grateful for their examples, especially Adam and Brooke. Not only have they been thoughtful about encouraging and teaching, but also their transparency has been huge. It has been humbling to learn what makes a successful Christian leader and to see it firsthand thought the staff. The first 11 verses in John 15 have been instrumental in the way I lead. Jesus is the one who brings for the fruit and so I’m reminded that in order to effective I must abide in Christ. Not only That, I am starting to see how friendships rooted in Christ have a much deeper bond. As Paul said to the Philippians, “I thank my God in all remembrance of you….in view of your participation in the gospel.” You don’t need to be perfect to have relationships. I’ve learned that being real and open in the best way to enjoy meaningful relationships. The idea is to bear on another’s burdens and to build each other up. So it comes full circle: abiding in Christ and the gospel is the only way to have meaningful Christian fellowship and to lead effectively. “ – Brady Bowman

As you can see, the Lord has done much! Elizabeth Kupferschmid talks about what she is looking forward to in the next semester:

“I don’t know what to expect next semester, but based on this first semester my hopes are high. For me, this semester has been so much about self-control, & discipline, living consistently, steadily, and daily for Christ….Next semester I expect, will be filled with lots of challenges, as this semester has already had a few, but I pray that God will help me to grow into Him as I go through more. I think the fellowship will be deeper since we have already laid the foundation for our friendships. I am excited about the classes next semester as well. There have been several classes this semester that God has used to really hit home in my heart, challenge me ad reveal to me a little bit more of Himself. What awesome possibilities await in the next few months! I am excited for it, and I know it will fly by. I pray that every moment will be used to glorify God.”

Parents, we thank you for the prayers and encouragements you have sent this way. As you can see, the students are greatly benefiting from their studies and experiences here. We are finishing this semester with a smile. We praise the Lord for the good works He is doing. Thank you for partnering with us in His work. We pray that you will continue to partner in this ministry over the Christmas break by praying for your sons and daughters and asking them the specific questions they would like you to.

We wish you all wonderful fellowship over the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. We’ll talk again next year!

In Christ,

Adam and Brooke Jordan

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MWSB 2010 "Special Olympics"

(Yes "special" they were! Students had great time participating in the Olympics. Thanks Ventures and planning committee for putting it on.)

These past few weeks have been so good. Thank you all for your prayers. Just a brief update on what the Ventures have been up to. Classes that they have been doing are Biblical Geography, Absolute Purity, and this week is the Church Body. We have continued to see the Lord moving in each of their lives. We have finished going through the book "Counterfeit Gods" for our bible study times and are winding down the year. Only 3 1/2 more weeks and students will be out on Christmas break. You can be praying for all of the students as there is often mixed emotions about leaving. The 6 week break is a long time, but it is often revealing to them where they have truly grown, and where they have conformed to this place. Pray that they would be strong and prepared to face the challenges at home. We will be updating the blog one more time this semester to wrap it up until the next semester. Thank you again for all your support and prayers. Please be praying for the Ventures in the next few weeks of class. God has often used the upcoming weeks of class to do a lot of "heart" work in them. Pray that they would be sensitive to Him and would not quench the spirit.
"He saved us, not on the basis of the deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. " Titus 3:5-6

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Facing Fear

Thank you everyone for your prayers. I have to say God has been doing an awesome work in these Ventures. Starting with the week of Spiritual Disciplines God was revealing some truth and challenging the depth of their relationship with Him. As we asked for prayer that they would “count all things loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus…” I believe He is really doing that. “Discipline without direction is drudgery” is the first line in their textbook and was an essential point they needed to get. I would describe Spiritual Disciplines class as a road map. Each discipline points out a direction to walk in order to get closer to the Lord. If you parents and friends are interested in that for your own life we recommend the textbook from this class, “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life”, by Donald Whitney. I would encourage you as you talk with these students to continue to challenge them in asking how they are growing in spiritual discipline.

Once the week of Disciplines was over we headed into our 48-hour Solo class. That time with the Lord is irreplaceable. We headed out Monday after lunch and camped up the Dearborn canyon. We spent the evening at a central campsite sitting around the fire discussing what was to come. There was excitement, anticipation, fear, and curiosity in the faces of these students. Each of them was wondering what was to come in the next two days alone. As the evening began to close we began discussing the issue of fear that comes out of being alone. One student was bold enough to share her immense struggle with the whole idea of being alone in the woods for 48 hours. As we talked through the evening God began to reveal truth to all of us about what his word says concerning fear. We are commanded not to fear, but to only have a fear of the Lord. His perfect love cast out fear. We discussed how fear is a controlling emotion that captivates our hearts to believe its lies above God’s truth. Have you been there? Paralyzed by fear and not know the way out? Praise be to God that there is freedom and truth. He has come that we might have life and have it abundantly. Romans 6 says that you are a slave only to the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness. When dealing with fear the most important part of claiming freedom is to replace the fear with TRUTH. God’s word is divinely powerful, able to defeat strongholds (2 Cor 10).

Let’s hear first hand from our Venture student Lori Halldorson:

“Fear. It is the secret monster that controls the way you live without even realizing it is taking effect. Fear has been clouding my vision and leaving me victim to my own imagination for years. This struggle in my life has come to the surface just last week during our class, 48 Hour Solo. The reason for the Solo was to practice the spiritual discipline we were taught in a previous class by spending two days I the wilderness alone. This experience was a challenge and a stepping-stone for me in my fight against fear. I had to ask myself, “Do I really trust God? ”Along the way I kept a journal of my experiences. Here are two of my entries that will hopefully give you a glimpse into the process of trusting the Lord:

I had no idea even how to fight the battle I was about to face. The Lord wanted to give me the spirit of courage, but first I had to give up the spirit of fear I was clinging to. I had two choices before me, either to believe what God’s word says is truth, or to disregard it and be overcome by fear. I wanted badly to believe the Lord, but again I was fearful to leave the very comfort of having fear because that would require me to actively practice trusting God with everything.

The process was truly life altering because of the choice to place my trust in the Lord instead of myself. During the solo, not once did the spirit of fear overcome me. The Lord carried me through and I realized that in order to trust the Lord I must allow Him to be my full confidence. I encourage you to read psalm 91 out loud when battling fear. Allow me to leave you with this challenge, “What can you do today to actively test your trust in the Lord?”

We thank Lori for being willing to share this with you all. It’s just a neat insight in to the work God is doing in their hearts. Keep calling and writing your children letters of encouragement and challenge. They have expressed excitement about the recent care packages and letters they have received. Thank you for taking the time!

Trust in the Lord and do good,

Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him, and He will do it!” Psalm 37:3-5

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All things loss in view of Christ...

Venture students took first year students rock climbing this weekend.
CPR with Charles
(Please note that the wounds in this picture are not real. This is a picture of a simulation.)

Trauma, Trauma, Trauma. Those words have been floating around the heads of these busy Ventures these past few weeks! Wilderness Advanced First Aid is completed and each of them are now certified! Parents need not fear with these Ventures here! The Students enjoyed this intense class taught by Charles Kirkland III. Charles is a deep field medic in Antarctica and teaches wilderness medicine all around the country. He has been coming here for 7 years now teaching WAFA to our staff and Venture students. We sure enjoy having him here. Thank you Charles! They shared many good laughs during this week! Each of them had a quote that they could not live down as they had made silly mistakes. Even through a hands on course such as this the Lord has been working in the hearts of the Venture students. I've asked several of the students what things they have been learning in these first few weeks and they had some neat things to say.

Elizabeth Kupfershcmid- "I learned through the WAFA course that I can do my best and I don't have to be afraid of failing. I know nothing good is coming directly from me, it is coming from God. I can be confident in God and not in myself."

Scott Frasier- "During Backpacking I learned the importance of meditating on scripture, memorizing, and putting time into it."

Maddy Yohn-"I love this year 10 times more than last year. My attitude is the core of that. I noticed how big a difference my attitude makes and how much more I can get out of it."

We praise the Lord for His work in these student's lives. Currently they are sitting in class studying Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian life with Kaj Balintyne. Be praying for them as they are learning about avenues of drawing closer to the Lord through the disciplines. This week really digs into the heart! We are praying Philippians 3:8 for them, "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ...." We are praying that they would count all things to be loss, in view of knowing Christ better. That means sacrifice, which can be difficult and without the right heart behind it, it can be empty. So we are very excited for them to be learning these things this week and begin to put them into practice.
Next week is a short week of class. We will be taking them on a 48 hr solo trip. This time will be used to put to practice many of disciplines they will have just learned about. True solitude, silence, prayer, meditation, fasting, journaling, and bible intake are what we are having them do. Pray earnestly for their hearts during this time. God never fails to meet them while they are all alone for 48 hrs and bring to light many hidden things in their hearts. We know that some of them will be battling fear during this time also, so pray that they will respond with "Power, Love, and a Sound Mind". We want to praise the Lord for the work He is already doing and the work He is going to do!
Blessings to you all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rock Climbing/Backpacking

WEEKS 2 & 3- Introduction to Rock Climbing and Backpacking.

This is just a quick post of some pictures to let you guys see a little bit of the Rock Climbing and Backpacking classes. We had awesome weather for the week of Rock climbing. We spent time in Helena and right here by the school. Everyone did a great job and we are proud of their accomplishments. Rock climbing is a challenging sport in many ways.By the end of the week the Venture students we certified to Belay, competent in basic rock climbing technique and able to draw ministry applications out of the sport.

Backpacking through the Bob Marshall Wilderness proved to be beautiful and wet!! Mud, mud, mud, was all over our feet every day. Although the weather did not co-operate with our plans, each trip was safe and had a wonderful time. Students talked about the things they learned about the Lord, themselves, and each other through this experience. More than once it was said how big God is and how small we are, yet He care for us most out of all creation. We praise the Lord for the fun and safe time that 70 people traveling over 260 miles combined got to share with each other.
Currently the Venture students are in class with Charles Kirkland studying Wilderness Advanced First Aid. Pray for their minds to take in all the information clearly! They will be in class from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm with multiple tests each day and life like emergency simulations. Already they have said how they are enjoying it!
"For Behold, He who forms the mountains and creates
the wind and declares to man what are His Thoughts,
He who makes dawn into darkness and treads the high places of the earth,
The Lord God of hosts is His name." Amos 4:13

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Venture Students 2011

We would like to welcome the Venture Class of 2010-2011! From left to right starting at the top is Adam Jordan, Brooke Jordan (Venture Directors), Logan Wynne, Brady Bowman, Lori Halldorson, Madelyn Yohn, Elizabeth Kupferschmid, and Scott Frasier.
We are excited to have them for this second year. Already they have been a delight to us all. This photo was taken on the Orientation trip to Glacier National Park. We hiked the peak of Mt. Oberland, and spent some time enjoying swimming and other trails. During this trip we talked about our expectations of them during the school year and the responsibilities of a Venture student. We enjoy prayer time around the camp fire with a lot of fellowship. It is evident to us that their hearts are eager to learn leadership and serve the first years. One of our prayers for the staff and Venture students is that we would serve and lead humbly. Isaiah 66:2 says "This is the one to whom I will look, he who is humble and contrite in spirit." Apart from Jesus Christ we cannot produce fruit. We know that these students are eager to be used in the lives of their peers, and we pray that they "Abide" in Christ as John 15 talks about.
During the first week of school the Venture students are spending the mornings in class with the first years and also the afternoons in their own class. They have over 50 verses to memorize throughout the first semester and are required to spend time exercising for 30 mn. a day, 5 days a week. We ask them to be very disciplined in their days here as an avenue to spiritual growth as well as for being an example to the first year students. In our first weeks of bible study we will be sharing testimonies together so that we can become more transparent and to know each other better. Upcoming classes they will be taking are "Introduction to Rock Climbing", Backpacking II, and "Wilderness Advanced First Aid". These classes will be a lot of fun for them as well as stretching for some of them. We are look forward to using moments to teach through life experiences about fear, trust, and group unity. The Lord is always so good to be the ultimate teacher in this place.
What a delight these Venture students have been. Keep them in your prayers as they learn and serve the first year students. We'll be updating you all periodically throughout the semester.
In Him,
Adam and Brooke Jordan