Church Offices Closed  —  

The church offices will be closed Wednesday June 19 in celebration of the Juneteenth holiday.


Beyond the Birth

The baby's coming!" Since time immemorial those three words have sounded a universal red alert for families.

Take Jimmy and Laura Baker in Raleigh, North Carolina. Laura was great with child, but she's been that way it seems for weeks. Until late Saturday afternoon when Laura groans, "The baby's coming." Red alert! Bundling her into his arms and the family van, husband Jimmy floorboards the engine, screeching out the driveway toward the hospital.

That's when, according to WRAL-TV, State Highway Patrol Sgt. Brian Maynard happened to clock the speeding van on his radar—85 mph. Maynard goes on red alert, his blue lights blazing.

But in the van nobody is looking for blue lights, because while the young mother is gasping the baby arrives. Well not quite—there are a few centimeters left to go. Husband Jimmy stomps on the accelerator. That's when he sees the blue lights of the state trooper. Panicky but obedient, he pulls the van with mother and almost-here baby to the side of the road.

Trooper Maynard walks cautiously up to the car. The young husband yells out the same three words, "The baby's coming!" And with that Brian Maynard becomes an unintended midwife, bringing that tiny little life form fully into the world.

To a reporter, Maynard later described the experience as both "scary" and "rewarding." Last reports indicate mother Laura and newborn Halyn are both doing well (

When a birthing takes place, life heretofore may have perambulated along—but no more! Priorities radically change, values dramatically realign.

Last Sabbath we were blessed to have our guest preacher Pavel Goia (editor, Ministry magazine) cast a new vision for collective prayer. And at the end of his fourth presentation (to a nearly full house at Pioneer in the afternoon), we knew something had been birthed in our midst. And I realized, as did the rest of us, that we must respond. You can't just listen to those stirring appeals, those dramatic stories and do nothing! (All three Pioneer presentations are at

Pavel's powerfully reiterated point—persistent, prevailing prayer ("don't quit praying so soon!") is the path not only to a deepening relationship with God but a door as well to His supernatural interventions in response to such praying. If you do nothing else, listen to the stories Pavel tells in all three online presentations (we have yet to upload his 10:30 AM sermon at the Spanish church). Whatever you do, don't miss the story he told in his first service sermon about Cuba and a team of American doctors who went there to conduct evangelistic series. That one story makes Pavel's reiterated point powerfully.

But we in this campus parish need to respond further. And so, as announced Sabbath afternoon, Pioneer members are invited to join the Village Church in their 10 Days of Prayer that begins 6:30 this evening (January 9)—the first 30 minutes will be for prayer and Bible reading, the last 30 minutes will be a health presentation. But the Pioneer pastors believe there is a further response to this new birthing that we at Pioneer need. And so beginning today (January 9) at our House of Prayer (7AM/7PM) services, we are organizing our "prayer force" into prayer units that will band together for specific deep needs we have. (HOP will begin at 7:10 PM today and next week to accommodate being at the Village for their 30 minute prayer time.)

Gary Burns once shared with me this acrostic—D-U-E—the 3 keys to transformational revival: D-esperation; U-rgency; E-xpectancy. Every story Pavel told modeled these three realities—the people were desperate for God to intervene, their need was urgent, and they fully expected that God could do whatever He wanted. (Don't miss that Cuba story in Pavel's first service sermon!)

What are you desperate for God to do in your life this New Year? What are we desperate for God to do in our lives, in our congregation, in our nation, in our world? Are we desperate enough to prevail in prayer, to persist in praying until God does respond? Are we urgent enough? Do we really believe and expect God to act?

Join us at our winter House of Prayer (every Wednesday at 7:00 AM/PM) here at Pioneer. God has birthed a new vision of persistent, prevailing prayer for us. Now that the baby has arrived, see how quickly and radically this Family acts to accommodate God's vital life changes!