On the move with the BlackPack

This is our view for the week in Millington, Tennessee.  The children and the dogs are enjoying the extra freedom to run.    The travel day afforded us with a blow out on the trailer but no accidents.  We are looking forward to what God will be doing in the hearts of our team, this church and the surrounding community.
God gave me the opportunity to share His great name with the ladies of First Baptist at Millington and I was thoroughly blessed by all the encouraging words and life changes that God worked in                                                                                                                                  and through these amazing ladies.

 

                                                       Shane and I celebrated 22 years of marriage while we were in Millington and we were able to sneak off the Memphis and enjoy dinner at PF Changs, something we used to do each year but have not been able to in the last few years.  He had my favorite flowers delivered to our table.

Currently under construction by His Grace, Leigh

 


                   Shane and Joshua enjoying a day of kite flying.

On Wednesday I asked the Lord to give me patience and gentleness.  I am not new to this prayer, it is one I have asked for quite frequently over the years raising six small children so close in age.  I chose Colossians 3:12 to meditate on throughout the day and then by 3:00 pm had gotten so overwhelmed by the schedule of the day I promptly forgot my lofty desires of the early morning.  As the day came to a close I determined in my heart that I had chosen the wrong prayer for the day.  Not the most encouraging self talk I have to admit and I went to sleep with the thought of trying again tomorrow.  As Thursday dawned I cried out to God before my feet hit the floor, desperate for His being Lord over my all and asking Him to live through me and consume me with His Holy Spirit.  As I opened my Devotional Thursday morning I smiled to see 2 Corinthians 12:9 as the scripture of the day.  I mean ‘really?!’   It never ceases to amaze me how much He loves me.  Because you see, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.     I can never exceed His grace, when I am weak He is strong and when I am empty, He is full.  He can and will be this for you as well.

And just in case you do not have time to look up Colossians 3:12, here it is.   So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.    And for the ones who think praying for patience is a bad idea, I would like to remind you that some things worth having are not always easy to come by. I read the other day that God hides His most precious treasures for His saints in their most difficult and painful experiences.

Currently under construction by His grace,  Leigh

Short Family Update

We began our new travel year in a new trailer (provided by the ministry) in a new state with new expectations.  We are feeling a little more experienced and a little more comfortable with where God has called our family.  We are growing increasingly dependent and desperate for Him to move, sustain, train, educate, change us, mold us, make us in His image and generally mess up any preconceived notion of what we think we need.  The first church on Red Team’s schedule is Union Baptist in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. A beautiful area, different from the south we are accustomed to but we still feel very much at home here with this wonderful group of people we are blessed to do life with if only for a week.  IMG_3137IMG_3138

 

 

 

 

 

On the trip over, our family had the amazing opportunity to experience Niagra Falls on both the US and Canadian sides.  We spent the day exploring, riding the boat, eating lunch and marveling in this small part of God’s beautiful creation.

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The BlackPack in Niagra FallsIMG_2779

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During our off days in Vermont Pastor Paul was gracious to loan us some fishing poles to use at the river behind the church..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                IMG_3160

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The children were also blessed to be able to spend a                                 few days learning self defense from a member of the church.

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We are already hearing great things from this group of God’s people about how He is working in their lives and families and in their work places.  To hear more of the ministry side of things look for our newsletter and updates on the blog listed as Ministry Updates.  For the lighter side and (mostly for the grandparents :’-)  we will have our Family Updates on the blog as well.  Watch for us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Until next time, we love and appreciate all of you for the part you play in our journey with God for revival in our personal lives, our churches, communities, families and nation.  Love the BlackPack

Black Family Update

The Black Family

Serving God with Life Action Ministries

 

Blessings from the Blackpack.   We are in awe of how God is changing families around the country and you are a big part of that!  To that we say THANK YOU! Wow! 2015 has started with a schedule of five 4-day Thirst Conferences.  Our team reunited after Christmas break the first week of January in Picayune MS. From there we traveled to our hometown of Dothan, AL and then on to Fayetteville, GA, Augusta, GA and Keystone Heights, FL.  These churches were very gracious in their giving and attendance was good for most conferences.  God moved in significant ways in the lives of many and we are amazed at the lives changed in the four short days we were with each of these church families.  Our prayer is that lives will continue to change long after we are gone and communities will be changed for the glory of our great God.  We are so excited to share some of the stories with you…

My daughter and I were battling each other like WWIII.  We were hurtful, negative and could not get along. Tuesday night of the conference God spoke to me about getting it right. I followed through at asking her to forgive me and told her I loved her. She did the same. Wednesday was a total different day. PTL

I had been harboring so much anger towards myself but God has allowed me to release that and give my burdens to Him. I know that He is with me now and won’t let me go.  -Victoria  Fayetteville, GA

God has especially revealed to me that I have been harboring bitterness and resentment toward a person from a past relationship. I no longer hold this resentment because God has shown me how this affects other relationships and how I should be reflecting His image.  -Andrew  Fayetteville, GA

I find myself “leaking” and get upset and irritable towards my family, friends, and coworkers. God has shown me the importance of filling myself with His spirit and love so that He spills out when my cup is shaken.  -Karen  Augusta, GA

I have learned this week that I need to be a more Christ like mom. Yes we attend our church for almost all events and have been here all week, however, when we get home we are far from Christ Like. Yelling, arguing, disobedience and much frustration. I need to pour more of God’s word into my heart so that it overflows to my children.  -Danielle  Augusta, GA

 

Coming into February we have an exciting month ahead. This month we will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. Please pray that God will continue to strengthen our marriage during this season of ministry on the road and that we will be a testimony to the glory of the Lord.  Lindsey will be turning 13 on the 28th and our team members must decide by the end of February whether they will continue to travel into the 2015/2016 travel season.  We would also ask that you continue to be in prayer for the sell of our house in Dothan Alabama as well as continued safety for our family as we travel.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We love and appreciate each of you and are blessed continually by your faithfulness in giving and praying for our family.  Our family would consider it an honor to pray for you and your family.  We encourage you  to  submit  any prayer requests  you may  have  or  you  can  email  them to   lblack@lifeaction.org.  Have a blessed day and we look forward to hearing from you!

Much love. The Black Family

sblack@lifeaction.org                    lblack@lifeaction.org

 

P.S. We have begun sending our newsletter by email.  Please help us cut cost and more effectively serve God with our funds by sending your email address to lblack@lifeaction.org or text it to 334-791-1487.  We would like to send our ministry updates via email but if you do not have or use email we will happily send these via snail-mail. Please let us know if you prefer postal delivery so that we will not ask for this information again.

This post is a copy of our January/February Newsletter.   If we do not have your email address and you would like to have the newsletter emailed to you in the future, please send your email address to lblack@lifeaction.org

Bend us, sometimes even break us…

 

While in Kansas City, Missouri the Lord blessed us with a little snow.  I say blessed because our family has never experienced snow and because it was not enough to stop normal activity.  Many of you are chuckling now because you do experience snow on a regular basis and it does bring everything to a stop.  The picture included here is a small snapshot of what we were amazed by.  The little snow we have seen has always been wet snow in a very humid part of the country and melts almost as soon as it lands.  This snow, however, stayed in perfect little shapes like you sprinkle on cupcakes or sugar cookies.  It was amazing to see the design and creativity in each little flake.  I had heard stories of each snowflake being its own design and no two snowflakes being the same but I had never actually experienced it.  I was so amazed that I ran around snapping pictures of little areas of flakes and this one shot you have here is one of my favorites.

 

 

I am reminded of the name Yatsar (yaw-TSAR) a name for God which means The Potter.  Mary Southerland says it best when she says that if we try to shape ourselves we fail miserably and often settle for so much less than what God has in mind.  The Potter wants to create something eternally beautiful He wants to make us more like His Son, Jesus.  Complete surrender means we yield to Him with no ifs, ands or buts, allowing Him to bend us, sometimes even break us, and change us.  He works with a specific vision in mind, a one-of-a-kind design for you and for me.  Shane and I learned this when we surrendered to Life Action Ministries in November 2010, we both had a heart for the Road Team Ministry, we wanted to minister together as a family on a full time basis.  We were told this would be impossible, so after tears, prayers and many months God changed our hearts and our prayers to “Lord, we want to live for Your glory alone, wherever You decide to put us.”  God took us through those months molding and shaping us to be more dependent on Him, to live in utter dependence on God is to trust Him with our plans, desires, families, homes, lives, everything.  He is preeminent and our lives should be prioritized around Him.

November 2013, three years after we joined Life Action Ministries, God placed us physically where He had placed our hearts in 2010, in Road Team Ministry.  We are still amazed at how He works, grateful that He is in control, sees all things, knows all things and has the perfect plan for each and every one of us.  Blessings to you and may you seek Him with all your heart and be known by His love.  Leigh

“Go down a deserted camp road for one lady” in Winfield Pennsylvania

Our first summit found us in Winfield Pennsylvania where we were expectantly awaiting God to show us something new and exciting about Himself.  I spent most of the time with pneumonia and Shane and the others diligently filled in where necessary. A precious couple  Bill and Sue,  joined us on the ‘camp out’ and ministered to our families and the team by fixing broken parts, emptying black water tanks, building propane tank carriers, building sound board platforms, running errands, filling in for our truck to back up the trailer, being Joshua’s constant companion and babysitting while Shane and I were at the hospital.  Bill and Sue were servant hearted and tireless as  they worked alongside our team.

Grace and Ema Kate celebrated their 14th and 9th birthdays in Winfield, our family visited the Hershey Factory and Shane and Grace were able to spend an afternoon at a shooting range with all sorts of new toys.  Grace is a very good shot and she is now learning archery.

Our favorite part of Winfield is the last day, the day we pulled out to leave.  We were scheduled to leave before 7 am, we had a long travel day ahead of us.  Because we were unable to empty our black water on church grounds (a service truck had been coming to empty us for two weeks)  we had scheduled to empty at a local campground, we even prepaid because we would be dumping before 7am that morning when everyone would be asleep. Well, we overslept, the  semi got stuck in the grass and could not be hooked to the trailer to back it out so we could move to the next church.  Bill hooked his Chevrolet truck to the trailer and moved it where it needed to be,  but as we hooked up something jammed and we were unable to lock the trailer in place for a secure fit and lock.  As I watched the men trying to get the hookups just right I began to pray for direction and favor and it was then that God prompted me that He wanted to reroute our schedule.  I assumed we would have to cancel our hotel reservations for that evening and stay  somewhere closer.  I asked God to make it clear who He wanted us to minister to or share with and was fully prepared to rearrange our carefully planned travel schedule. A deacon in the church rushed over and fixed the hook up problem.  Finally! we were on our way to the campground to empty our tank. The suburban’s battery died, Bill thought it was the alternator and promised to fix it before the team drove it to Tennessee.   Shane had driven through the tiny campground several times but that morning, caught between the camp office and a large tree, we began to pray to keep from crying.  After a little mathematics and lots of prayer and sweating we wiggled through without tearing anything down.  At this point in time it was well past 10 am and everyone was awake.   We had drawn a few spectators and in that crowd was Susie.  As our family climbed out of the truck to pray a prayer of thanksgiving Susie walked up and heard our prayer.  She asked if we thought God was real and ‘up there somewhere’  as I talked with her she shared with me that her husband had recently died and she did not want to go home to Virginia because she was afraid to face a house full of memories. She wanted to know how to live alone and was there any hope.  I couldn’t believe it! God had delayed us over 3 hours to go 1/2 mile for this one person that He wanted to show His love.  I was able to share with Susie how much God loves us and that Jesus is her hope and comfort, how He has been so faithful to me and our family and He can be for her as well.  Several days later I felt led to send Susie a letter detailing the many crazy events of that morning, some of which I did not even include in this post… just to let her know the lengths to which our precious Father in heaven will go to show us He loves us.  Of course Jesus is the ultimate picture of how He loves us, but isn’t it amazing how He continues to show us in little day to day things.  Sometimes I still cannot believe that we were chosen for this crazy, funny, maddening, lovely, daunting, beautiful, frightening adventure.  Pray that we will bring Him great glory, as He is the only One who deserves it. And pray that Susie will know the saving grace of Jesus and the freedom in surrender to the Lordship of Christ.  Thanks for stopping by. Leigh

 

….SECURELY FASTENED!

….SECURELY FASTENED!

 “A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

John Steinbeck

Wow, what a journey! Since January of this year we have been to 12 churches, 12 cities, and 7 states. Shane has preached almost 100 sermons, Leigh has ministered to countless ladies, and Grace and Lindsey spoke to students at a school assembly (which God used, partly, to spark a revival in the school). Needless to say, it has been a wild ride! But, our Lord has been faithful as He has held us securely fastened in His right hand! Praise be to our great and mighty King!

We began our travels not really knowing what to expect….boy is that an understatement. Our first Summit began with trailer problems and trailer problems pretty much followed us for the rest of our journey through May (overflowing toilets, broken toilets, leaking dishwasher, leaking ceiling, molded carpet, bent trailer jacks, frozen pipes, frozen black water tank, busted and leaking black water tank, clogged black water lines, broken air conditioner, ruptured hydraulic line, open propane gas line, no heat in 0 degree weather, melted electrical plug, and hub failure to name a few). God was merciful through our trailer problems as all of the problems, except for one (which was on the side of the interstate), were at the churches. So, we were able to call someone in to fix the problems. Thank you God! Leigh adds that riding behind Shane, as he drove the semi pulling the trailer, really gave a new meaning to earnestly praying! Now that we are on the other side of the wild ride, we say, “It was well worth it.” We were honored to be able to see God transform us and the lives of many others. Here are just a few of the testimonies we have gathered:

 
God has worked in me in such painful, beautiful, almost indescribable ways during the revival. I have had healing from scars of being touched by a step-dad in a sexual way as a 2nd-3rd grader. I have understood forgiveness in a whole new way. My husband and I have greater intimacy. I’ve found anger, pride, idolatry that was hidden deep and wrapped up in pretty wrapping paper. I have been completely broken, completely restored. I am amazed at my God. Tonya, Pikeville, KY
 
At the beginning of the week God found me not excited about revival or Life Action. I came the first Sunday merely to show my husband how much better I am than him. We have some very difficult times in our marriage. Once the Lord got done touching my husband’s life and the dust settled, I became a bitter and angry person who was beginning to question God’s motives and how he was handling my life. Like I said, the first night I was here to humble my husband. The second night was the same. Much to my chagrin, my husband kept showing up every night too! The third night, God showed me that I needed to get out of the way and let him work on my husband. I obeyed and the end of the week has found us closer than ever as a couple. Closer than ever to God. I am so thankful Life Action came to our church and so thankful that God has shown his wonder to my family. Carrie, St Marys, GA
 
All I had to show was what a mess I had made of my life, trying to fix it all on my own. My marriage was falling apart, my kids were scared of “mommy getting mad” and I lived a life collecting possessions that meant nothing and eating to comfort myself. I didn’t come to the summit at all for fear of being revealed for who I really was. I came the second Sunday morning (last day of the revival) and gritted my teeth the whole service trying not to be compelled by the Spirit. God grabbed me and showed me my immediate need for salvation. I was able to surrender my life, my heart, my whole self to Christ and as I did the hurt and anger of a life of sin melted away. I am filled with joy and excitement. Sarah, St Marys, GA
 
I have been struggling for some time now with anger and bitterness toward my husband for past sins. I have been the lonely woman you told us about on Sunday, and still am, but with God’s help I am giving it all to him. I am taking bold steps, but it is a start and I am starting to feel His presence again. Karen, Leesville, SC
 
I have been impressed to have devotions with my wife. She was unable to come because she was recuperating from an operation. There are other areas of my life that need improvements and I will be working on that. Thomasville, GA
 
God met me at my lack of prayer and devotion time to Him. I have both, just not enough or the quality it should have been at. My wife and I have started praying together again. We did until we had kids, our oldest is ten. But now we have started back. It was a great experience this week meeting God every night. We had a great time. Jason, Thomasville, GA
 
There are many ways the summit has ministered to me. I love the emphasis on practical application of Biblical principles, especially at Home Life Café. The teachings each evening challenged me to think of forgiveness and pride as the breakers of unity in the church. I have many wonderful resources now in your literature such as the Put off/Put on pamphlet. I have begun working through each one daily and will be able to share with others. I especially love the children and youth programs as I have 8 grandchildren participating! They have not wanted to miss a single night!! They have memorized verses and worked through the take home questions regularly. Thank you for pursuing the next generation through truth and love. The most moving evening was watching my three sons-in-law, each in a huddle with their wives and children, praying for them. Then to see our church sanctuary lined around completely with our men is a sight that is forever etched in my mind. I feel compelled to pray daily for them all as a result of that incredible picture. Thank you for the teaching on Gatekeepers. Priscilla, Rocky Mount, NC
 
I have been blessed by our times together this week. The worship, fellowship, and encouragement are always tremendously important to me. I was most convicted in [family revivalist’s] message on Sunday morning in looking at a couple of areas in my life that indicate spiritual dryness. There were things I was already bothered by, but I was encouraged during that time. First Baptist Vidalia, GA
 
God opened my eyes to everything I thought I was doing right with my family. I learned how to love my wife and daughter the way Christ wants me to. I have also been having a hard time with anger. I was blaming it on other people and not that it was ME not walking with God wholly and fully. These things are going to have to be a day by day step, but with the Lord I can do it all. Thank you all for the love, prayers, and excitement the team brought to me and my family. Brian W, Mineral Wells, TX
 

This is just a small portion of what God has allowed us (our family and your family) to be a part of over the last five months. You have made it possible for us to travel this journey because of your faithful prayers and support. You have allowed our family to see Christ in you as you have remained at home and stood in the gap! Oh, how grateful we are to you! We desperately need you on our team. All of you are a vital part to our ministry efforts. Again, God is making it possible through you! To Him, alone, be the praise!!!

 

We are looking forward to our upcoming travel season beginning in September. We would ask you to begin praying for Leigh as she will start doing Ladies Luncheons. This will give her an opportunity to share her story with other ladies. You can keep up with our schedule at www.lifeaction.org under the ‘Happening Now’ tab (We are the Red Team).

 

Also if you would like to become a part of our ministry financial support team you can go to www.lifeaction.org/sblack to set up your giving. We are currently at about 90% of our support budget. Be sure to follow us on Facebook (Shane-Leigh Black and ourfamilyHisglory) and on Twitter (@DrAShaneBlack).

 

Come join us as we begin another leg of ‘The Wild Ride”! Look for pictures to come in our next newsletter! As wild as the ride has been we are glad to just get this newsletter out while on furlough! 😉

 

Awaiting His Fire to fall,

‘The Black Pack’

Shane, Leigh, Grace, Lindsey, Margaret, Ema, Anna Claire, and Joshua

 
 

ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’

In 2006 we built our dream house.  We built it with our growing family in mind…..plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms, a playroom, a school room, a pool, a pool house, and most importantly full of a lot of love!  You see, we were planning to retire here and have a place our children and grandchildren could come back to for years to come.  Again, we were building our dream home.

Well, the Lord was in the process of pouring the footings (or lack there of) for our new home!  It is a good thing the Lord did not invite me in on this building project because I would not have been an easy sub-contractor to deal with!  “Lord, are You sure this is enough square footage.  Lord, this thing has wheels.  Lord, the walls are like two inches thick.  Lord, really, where are we going to put everything?  Uh…You are joking right!?”  I mean, this is not what my family had in mind when we were thinking of a home to live in.  And we were definitely not thinking about living from church parking lot to church parking lot!  God, You cannot be serious!  Or, Could He?

Serious indeed!  Last week I flew to Buchanan, MI and picked up our ‘new ride’.  Wait a minute….I meant our ‘new home’.  Or is it a ‘ride’?  Oh yeh, it is both!  Come on Lord!  Seriously!  YEP!  So here we go on our new journey with our new ‘home/ride’ in tow.  We will be traveling from church parking lot to church parking lot preaching the revival message to families.  We are serving with Life Action Ministries.  It is amazing how our Lord has taken us from the desire to live in a large house for our ‘large family’ to living in a house on wheels.  We are in awe at His molding our hearts to follow Him for His glory.  Now hear me out!  We are not beginning this journey with naivety.  We are very aware that this journey will be tiring and difficult.  We know that we will face great trials.  We know that our family will be under attack.  It has already begun.  However, we are also learning that our God is bigger than all of this.  We are learning that this new journey is all about Him and we want to be right where he has us.  No where else!

So, “Ho Ho…Ho Ho, on the road we go!”  But, we will not go unless the Lord goes with us!  And He has promised us just that!  Family, hang on! Cuz the Lord has a ride (home?…whatever!) in store for us!

You can see our schedule on our ministry page!

Shane Black

WE HAVE DISCOVERED FULL-TIME MINISTRY IS NOT FOR OUR FAMILY!

Our family originally surrendered to full time ministry in October of 2010.  We were attending a Life Action Summit in our home town when the Lord revealed to us that He wanted our family to begin full time ministry serving with Life Action Ministries.  We felt like that within a few months we would be on the road to Michigan serving full time.  Well…..the Lord had something else, entirely, in mind.

A lot of time has gone by since that original moment of surrender.  We have been on a long and seemingly slow journey.  We have spent many days and nights wondering what was going on.  Our thoughts and concerns have been as follows…….”I mean come on, we surrendered ‘our all’ Lord.  Why haven’t You seen to it that everything falls into place on our time schedule?  You called us, right?  We have a vision of what everything should look like and when everything should take place!  Can’t You see it too, Lord?  What is the issue here Lord?”

Well, as the Lord took us on this ‘long and seemingly slow journey’ He had a lot that he desired to show us.  I would ask you to go back and re-read our thoughts and concerns again.  Do you see any problems?  Did you notice the pronouns?  We…..our…..us……we……!  All of our concerns appear on the surface to be about the Lord’s involvement in this process.  However, below the surface you will see hearts that were only concerned about ourselves…..our surrender, our time schedule, our vision, our issues!

You see, we felt like we had it all figured out.  And we did in our feeble, finite little minds!  But, God wanted us, mostly me, to see a very important truth.  Are you ready?  Here it is!  Ministry is not for us…..ministry is for the glory of our Great, Wonder Working God!  God needed us to see that…. yes, He does have everything worked out….yes, He does know the time schedule (He made it for crying out loud)….yes, He does know what we surrendered and what we did not surrender….yes, He did call us….yes, He does have a vision…..and yes, He sees everything…..and most importantly it is not about us!  Rather it is about HIM and the advancement of HIS Kingdom.  Which means it is about you as well!  All of you!  Everyone reading this blog!  And everyone that will never read this blog!  God’s ministry in our lives is about you!

What an honor!  Our Lord has invited us to go on His journey with Him!  We have an opportunity to see our God do things that are far greater than anything we could ever imagine!  Things that we cannot explain away with our abilities and giftedness!  Things that will leave us saying, “But GOD!”  Things that will impact His Kingdom for eternity!  Do you get it guys?!  We get to be a part of something that is much, much, much bigger than our little family and our comfort and our wants and our conveniences!  We get to be a part of history making!  We get the opportunity to see God leave a blazing fire burning in our path for the HIS glory!

As I close, I would say one more thing…..”Look out across the horizon and watch for the ‘Fire of our Lord” burning brightly, and then come join Him.”  You see, He may want you to be a part of something that is all about Him!

 

Shane Black