We just finished Valentine’s Day (or, as some prefer to call it, “Singles Awareness Day”). Whether you celebrated with a significant other or with family, chances are good that you gave at least a card or gift to someone else and that they shared the same with you.
Chances are also good that most people in our country did the same. The National Retail Federation (NRF) studies holidays like this to try to project earnings. For 2020, those who planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day said they expected to spend an average of $196.31, up a significant 21% from last year’s previous record of $161.96.
But the NRF had an even more surprising statistic to share this year. According to its website, “Twenty-seven percent say they will buy Valentine’s gifts for their pets, the highest figure in the history of the survey and up from 17% in 2010 for a total $1.7 billion.” The average spending per pet was projected at $12.21.
At Awe Star, we’re not anti-Valentine’s Day. We bought candy and other gifts for our families and friends, too. But there’s something wrong with a world where we can’t reach out to help people in need, but we can spend $1.7 billion on Valentines for our pets.
Of course, we already know what’s wrong with the world. When your life doesn’t center on Christ, your priorities easily spin in wrong directions. You value the things of the world more than the things of God. Sending a $7 Valentine card or a $75 flower arrangement matters more to you than meeting the needs of the family who can’t afford school lunches or monthly rent.
The real problem comes when we claim to follow Christ, but our priorities look more like the world’s. No wonder both Old and New Testaments place so much emphasis on following only the one true God. In the Old Testament, God’s people struggled with worshiping the idols of the surrounding nations. These were made of wood, stone or even precious metal (remember Aaron and the golden calf?).
In the New Testament, the idols looked different. Jesus clearly showed the rich young ruler that his wealth was an idol (Matt. 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31, Luke 18:18-30). Even the praise of men can become an idol (John 12:43). In other words, the New Testament takes the concept of idolatry from a physical object to anything other than God upon which we set our mind’s attention and heart’s affection, or worship.
Whether you’re on the going or giving side of missions—or both—we encourage you to consider your priorities. Maybe you didn’t spend hundreds on Valentine’s Day or give your pet an expensive treat. But do you have extra time or resources that disappear each month just because they can? Are there causes or opportunities the Lord has laid on your heart that you’ve chosen to ignore? Are you, in effect, worshiping an idol because your affections are set on things other than Jesus and the people He died to save?
You can show your love by giving Valentines, sure. But you can also show your love by declaring God’s message of love across the globe (see our trip offerings here). And you can help others share this love (make a one-time or continuing gift here). What does Jesus want? When you surrender your heart to Him, He directs your priorities. Do yours reflect Him?
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).
Student, youth pastor or leader, what if there were a conference where you could bring ALL the students connected to your youth group? The lost. The saved. The outsiders. The insiders. The sold-out. The fringe. The know-it-alls. The know-nothings. ALL.
What if there were a conference that offered worship, teaching, workshops and prayer for all these along with parents and youth leaders, too?
What if the cost was affordable?
What if the time was designed so that you could be back in your own church for Sunday-morning service?
What if all in attendance had the opportunity to learn from passionate followers of Christ with expertise in areas ranging from the basics of the faith to cross-cultural ministry to gender issues to evangelism to prayer to missions to apologetics and beyond?
What if they had the opportunity to go hard in worship?
What if they had the opportunity to hear from not big names, but passionate followers of Christ skilled at connecting with today’s students and youth leaders?
What if there were a conference where a team was praying for everyone present and available for personal prayer as needed?
What if there were a conference that offered FREE on-site lodging?
What if there were a conference where everyone in attendance could experience the awe of God in tangible ways?
This is AWE 2020: A conference bathed in prayer and anointed to reach this generation.
AWE 2020 will take place at Evergreen Baptist Church, Bixby, Oklahoma, from 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.
We’re giving you advance notice so you can begin to pray for the conference and about whether God would have you take part. You can also take advantage of our early bird pricing.
For more information, click here.
We hope to see you there and to experience the awe of God—together.
Imagine a place where you can bring students that is affordable, but not cheap; spiritually challenging, but not over their heads.
A place for the 'unsaved' friend, but deep enough for the kid who is ready to take the next step of obedience.
This is AWE 2020.
A conference bathed in prayer and anointed to reach this generation.
No big names and no gimmicks, just but a big vision and a big God to back it.
AWE 2020 is the launch of a student conference that is designed with the lost and saved in mind.
From Gospel presentation to rekindling of passion to radical obedience- this conference will change your youth and, our prayer is, it will change you.
When: Nov 13, 2020 - Friday 7pm - Nov 14, 2020 Saturday 7am-7pm
Where: Evergreen Baptist Church Bixby, OK
24 hours of prayer will be lifted up by a special prayer team, as students are being challenged, equipped, and commissioned to tackle the darknesss by the power of the Holy Spirit.
24 hours of prayer will be available for Youth Pastors to come receive and experience rest for their souls and refreshment for their call.
24 hours of AWAKENING a generation to the gospel.
24 hours of teaching students to WITHSTAND the schemes of the Enemy and hold onto timeless Truths.
24 hours of experiencing a generation ERUPT into the God-size purposes written over their lives.
NEED MORE Info: https://www.awestar.org/awe-student-conference.html#/
People who are wise with their finances will perform what we’ve come to call “due diligence” before they invest their money. They study the company, its P & L, past performance and future outlook. Christian investors would almost certainly add prayer to this formula, but it all falls under the same category: due diligence.
For many years, Awe Star has operated as a faith-based ministry, never directly asking for funds although receiving from many. But this is a new season for us, and we believe God wants us to invite you into the glorious privilege that is Awe Star through your financial gifts. Let us help you with that “due diligence.”
You’ve read on this site and elsewhere that we’re more than a mission-sending organization. We’re a discipleship ministry, and the natural consequence of real discipleship is (among other fruit) the passion and compulsion to reach the nations with the gospel.
Many of you share this passion. Many of you have gone with us or have sent children/grandchildren to serve alongside us. Many of you wish you had gone. Some of you can no longer go, or cannot go right now.
But all of you can pray. And all of you can give. When you join with us in these ways, you’re joining us in the partnership of the gospel. You’re participating in God’s work. You’re advancing the kingdom and (as Awe Star President Peggy Nunley loves to say) “pushing back the darkness" and making way for His glorious light.
Our staff members don’t make big salaries. Some even raise their own support. We don’t have a hidden slush fund, lavish office or padded expense accounts. We operate as a 501(c)3, which means we carry an extra layer of financial accountability (and also means all gifts are tax-deductible).
You can tithe to your local church (and we hope you do). You can support individual Awe Star missionaries (and we hope you do that, too). But we also want to ask you to pray about joining our “25 Challenge.” Each day when we meet as a staff, we’re asking God to move mountains, raise up workers in His harvest and provide the funds we need to do the impossible in fulfilling the Great Commission. As a part of that, we’re asking Him for true partners in the gospel who will join our 25 Challenge and commit to give at least $25/month to Awe Star.
Joining this challenge might mean you give up a few lattes or bring your lunch from home a few times per month instead of eating out. It might mean you set aside that $25 right after you give your tithe, before the rest of your money finds other places to go.
Joining this challenge might also mean we’re able to buy medical supplies for a clinic in a remote village that has no doctor or other regular medical care. It might mean we can replace or repair some essential sound equipment or make essential repairs to our vehicles. It might mean we can help provide Bibles to pastors in areas where we work or meet real needs in areas devastated by natural disasters.
t might mean a soul hears the gospel and comes to Christ who would never otherwise have had the opportunity to receive the Good News.
Awe Star has long taught that “Where God guides, He provides.” Is he guiding you to join our 25 Challenge? Consider. Pray. And check out this link for more information!
Have you ever felt something was missing in your relationship with God?
We don’t mean more time in prayer or Bible reading or Scripture memory, although if you know the Lord, you also know if He is urging you to devote more time to those spiritual disciplines. You know if you need to make a recommitment to church or small group attendance or keep that promise you made to your pastor or youth minister. But no, we don’t mean anything that involves checking a box, even a spiritual one.
What we’re talking about is what’s often missing in our churches and in our personal faith-walks today: a sense of awe. It’s the quality that gave Awe Star Missions its name, and it comes from a passage in the book of Acts: “Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles” (Acts 2:43, NASB). The ESV puts it this way: “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.”
What is this sense of awe? It’s nothing we can produce. We may at times try to create it via modern technology, but awe doesn’t come from a smoke machine or a passionate guitar solo. It doesn’t come from any human element but from the presence and power of our Lord God Almighty, who sends His Spirit upon us and gives us the holy expression of a sense of awe.
Despite the fervency of our prayers and the faithfulness of our service, we noticed we were often missing that sense of awe too. So we decided to offer an Awe Night, not to seek an emotional experience, but to seek the Lord and His powerful presence in our midst.
The true sense of awe God brought us that night blessed those who attended and encouraged us so much that we’ve decided to repeat it one day next month (and again in future months).
If your faith has become more rote than real, if you long for a touch of His presence, if you want to join us in seeing the unseen, we invite you to join us on Friday night, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. at the Awe Star office, 7621 E. 46th Place, Tulsa. We’ll spend time in worship, prayer, Scripture reading and true fellowship. Join us in prayer before that day as we prepare to seek Him—and once again, experience the awe.
New year. New you?
At the start of the year, we tend to focus on priorities: Exercising more. Losing weight. Joining a gym. Spending more time with friends. Spending less time online.
As believers, we also tend to focus on spiritual priorities: Having a regular quiet time. Reading the Bible through in a year. Memorizing Scripture. Spending more time in prayer. Giving at least a tithe.
But will these spiritual priorities fade away as quickly as the resolutions that cover our physical/emotional needs? Come springtime, will we spend as little time in God’s Word as we do at the gym?
This year, Awe Star has plenty of areas where we’d love to see growth. But our 2020 urgency has less to do with self-improvement and much more to do with the urgency of getting out the gospel message. As our culture spins further and further away from the Word, and time moves closer and closer to Christ’s return, we are praying daily for more workers in the fields He says are “white unto harvest.”
Yes, we need those who will go—who will commit to a week or 10 days or 28 days of active missionary service. But we also need those who will give–who will partner with us in the gospel-spreading, church-planting, disciple-making ministry that is Awe Star Missions.
Most of all, we need those who will join us in prayer that the Lord will call out those workers in His harvest, will supply the needs for those workers, will plow and prepare the fields, and will prepare the way in every way for each team, each leader, each missionary.
If you’re reading this blog, it’s more than likely that God is calling you to join us in one or more of these areas—going, giving, praying–for the year ahead. He doesn’t ask for a quick resolution that you’ll leave behind in a few weeks. When He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19) He was looking for a full-time, sold-out commitment.
Are you ready for more? Are you ready to move beyond New Year's resolutions to, in the words of Awe Star missionary martyr B.J. Higgins, “raise a revolution”? Are you ready to see the unseen?
Follow His lead and partner with Awe Star Missions in 2020. As we work together with our King, He will empower us for each facet of His ministry and bring the results that honor Him and enlarge His kingdom.
God has been doing so many incredible things with every team. But we would like to highlight one team that had an incredible God-moment at a rehab facility.
#TeamTres had the privilege of visiting a rehab facility called Christo Vive (Spanish for "Christ is Alive"). As they shared the gospel, the men in the facility responded with confidence. They all raised their hands with shouts of complete adoration when asked if they knew Jesus! They were all believers. The team could see the passion for Jesus in their eyes and actions. It was in amazing to see the freedom God has given men who have overcome so much addiction and bondage. The Awe Star team took that opportunity just to pray over the men, encourage them in their freedom and speak life over them. What happened next inspired and strengthened the entire team.
In response, the men asked the Awe Star team to worship with them. Together, as one body, they were able to worship and shout out songs of praise to God. There was shouting, singing, dancing, laughing, smiling--so much excitement for their Savior. Everyone felt a sense of AWE at all God was doing. Two languages, neither understood by the speakers of the other, but in perfect unity in praise to God. It was amazing for everyone present.
Even though the Awe Star team didn’t know what the men were saying, they could feel the presence of God as the men shouted out praise to Him. The men in the rehab were sharing their testimonies, followed by lifted voices praising Jesus about how He saved them and had forgiven them. Just being in the room was overwhelming. Before the Awe Star team left, the men in the rehab asked if they could pray for them. They gathered around the team, laid hands on the students and cried out to God for His Spirit to empower them for the work of God’s kingdom. It was powerful! Everyone was so thankful for God allowing them to be a part of what God is doing!
For His glory,
Each day, students are being challenged to go deeper in the Word and then to go put that Word to practice in evangelism. Awe Star Missions is not a mission organization but a discipleship ministry. As we teach students how to walk out what it means to be in the Word, pray, worship, and talk about the things of God on a daily basis, they see God move in extraordinary ways.
Today, one team had the privilege to go into a women’s state prison. The atmosphere was thick when we arrived. You could literally smell the stench of the prison and feel the darkness that covered the facility. The air outside was cold, but as the students waited to enter, the warmth of anticipation grew.
“We just knew God was going to do something big in our midst.”
At Awe Star, one of our teachings is about being a Willing Witness, and each day, we pray that God would direct us toward Seeking Souls so they can experience a Divine Encounter (WW + SS = DE).
Our schedule had shifted earlier in the week, and a refugee center we were supposed to be going to cancelled. On the same day, we were asked if we would like to come to the women’s side of the prison. We knew this was not happenstance but that God was ordering our steps. So even though it was so cold and dark, we just knew God was going to move.
We began by singing "Reckless Love" in English and Spanish. Halfway through the song, our translator slowed the words down and explained to the women that this was God’s love for them. Women began weeping. But it didn’t stop there. We had three students get up and share heartfelt testimonies about how the gospel had changed their lives. Even more women began watching intently, and more and more began weeping. The Awe Star team then presented the "Freedom" drama (18-minute pantomime performed to a track in the local language that is a chronological story from creation to the resurrection). When the drama finished, a team member shared the gospel and gave an invitation for women to come to Christ.
Women covered in tattoos with calloused skin and hopeless eyes flooded the front to give their lives to Christ. The weeping began from the first song and continued until a time of rejoicing when 25-30 women accepted Christ.
Even more came forward to be prayed over, asking for prayers for their marriages, children, and addictions.
It was a powerful moment.
A God moment.
A moment we and those women will never forget.
Thank you for praying with us. For covering our teams in prayers. For being a part of the mighty works God is doing here in Piedras Negras, Mexico.
At Awe Star, we do a teaching based on Acts 2:41-43 (ESV), “So those who received his word were baptized, and they were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers. And AWE came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.”
If we devote ourselves to the Word of God, talking about the things of God, worship, and prayer, we will experience AWE. What is AWE? AWE is when you see God move in such a way that you are amazed, excited and left speechless.
#TeamMexico has been experiencing the AWE of God.
While #TeamDos was at church this morning during worship, you could feel the Spirit of God in the place. During the service, the team prayed over the people of the church, and God broke hearts and changed lives. Soon, the people of the church prayed for our team. God continued to break our team. He answered prayer. He reminded us of truth and reminded us that He is enough. When we walked out of the church service, we looked at each other and said, "That's the AWE!"
The teams presented the drama in the streets today. This evening, #TeamUNO was worshipping, #TeamDOS happened to walk up and join, and then #TeamTRES came along too. As we worshipped together, God drew people to the team. Someone began to share the gospel with them. One group of people were believers, but there was a man in his sixties who repented and accepted Christ to be the Lord of His life. He immediately said, "Where is a church? I want to go!" We asked him if he had a Bible. He responded, "No, can I have one?"
This is the AWE!
Would you join us in praying for the transformation that is happening in each life on the teams and those we are encountering? God is raising this generation as an army to usher in His return. We are seeing it. We are experiencing it. We believe we will witness it!
For ministry tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 30), will you pray for us:
DAY 5 Ministry /Discipleship.
Begin by praying for Strength and Perseverance
Missionaries can often feel as though they’ve sown much with a little harvest. Pray for their strength and endurance to run the race—that the Lord would remind them He is working deep in hearts even when it seems like nothing is happening.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will
walk and not be faint" (Isa. 40:31, NIV).
• Translators would be provided (Phil. 4:19).
• Barriers would be broken; strongholds would be exposed and crushed (2 Cor. 10:4).
• Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17).
• Vulnerability in discipleship groups (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
• Stand firm against the opposition of the enemy (Eph. 6:11).
• Darkness would be pushed back.
Missionaries walk boldly into some of the darkest areas of the earth. They confront spiritual and physical oppression that we can’t imagine. Pray that the light of God would shine through them, pushing back darkness and oppression as they share the gospel.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners" (Isa. 61:1).
For His glory,
The Bible states clearly that "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Today, our teams witnessed freedom from inside prison walls. One inmate came and began sharing how he had been sentenced to 60 years, but today, he felt freedom for the first time. He shared how he could feel the presence of God and hope, that many people had been to the prison and given physical things to meet their needs but none of those things met their needs the way they experienced today. Today they felt true freedom. This man felt free.
After an extended time of bilingual worship in Spanish and English, the teams offered testimonies of hope and then presented the "Freedom" drama. When the drama was over, a team member preached the gospel and extended an invitation for salvation. Over 50 men, weeping and broken, came forward to give their lives to Jesus. The Awe Star team surrounded the men, laying hands on them and praying over each of them freedom, hope, and for the shame of their sins to be broken. It was a powerful moment, and even students began weeping in the presence of God.
Each team left the prison changed. Not because they had been with criminals, but because they saw firsthand the God who redeems criminals, murderers, rapists, thieves, and the students themselves. The gospel is shameless in the presence of darkness. It triumphs over the worst of sinners and conquers the hardest of hearts. Today, each team not only saw prison walls fall, but they also saw the passionate pursuit of a God who is relentless in saving the lost.
Would you continue to pray for teams as they share the gospel in markets, parks, children's homes, and many other places? Would you pray for darkness to be exposed by the light and for the power of the gospel to lift the veil of darkness over hearts? Would you pray for the Lord to order our steps and for any distraction of the enemy to be stopped? We are grateful for all these prayers and for your partnership with us in the furtherance of the gospel!
For His Glory,
Team Mexico Leadership