At the first Christmas 2000 plus years ago, Jesus stepped into a world filled with terror, turmoil and hopelessness. There were no parades, parties or grandiose proclamations. Rather Jesus was humbly laid in a cattle trough, animal urine scented the air, a teenage mom recovered and undoubtedly a shell-shocked stepdad tried to make sense of this crazy turn of events. Three decades later Jesus would launch a Kingdom movement in a world consisting of a rigid religious establishment, a pagan empire and political parties of all stripes. These groups, normally at odds with each other, conspired to take Jesus out. They perceived this Jesus-threat great to their power base.
I love Jesus’ approach to all of this. He had no power base. No army. No money. No voting bloc. No motorcades or Secret Service. No spin. No swords. His only weapons were a serving towel, a blood-stained cross, an empty tomb, a bunch of scars and a few ragamuffin disciples who didn’t start out too hot but ended up out-praying, out-thinking, out-serving and out-living everyone else, and turned the world upside down.
Jesus befuddled everyone. He didn’t get bent out of shape every election cycle. He didn’t fight, but chose to give his life. He read God’s Word more than the newspaper. He prayed more than He talked about praying. He built bridges rather than throw rocks. He loved more than He hated and blessed more than He cursed. He was radically inclusive, inviting all to follow him. Love Jesus or hate Jesus … the truth is that no one who encounters the real Jesus ever stays the same. He was and still is the hope of the world, the sin-substitute and the Savior of mankind. Wise men still seek Him.
Our ministry with Grace Adventures and the Capitol Commission stays focused on Jesus. God’s grace is available to everyone, but we sense a great calling to reach out to leaders, especially elected leaders. We pray and yearn for a revolution of hearts and minds in our Capitol communities through the Person of Jesus Christ and the Power of the Word of God. The harvest is plentiful. The opportunities are everywhere. By God’s grace our best days are ahead. Wherever there is Jesus…there is HOPE!!
The Kingdom is bursting forth in 2015
· Served as the Louisiana State Chaplain with the Capitol Commission. It is an honor to serve with this National Ministry that has ministers in over half of the state capitols in the United States with new opportunities all over the country.
· Finished my third year leading a House of Representatives Bible Study during the Session in Baton Rouge. It is thrilling to see influential leaders learn Scripture and yearn to walk as followers of Jesus. Lead two Lobbyist Bible studies at the Capitol as well.
· Spoke at the Louisiana Municipal Convention at the Ragin’ Cajun Dome in Lafayette, LA to over 500 leaders at their Prayer Breakfast. Over 100 leaders wanted follow-up and many expressed written comments of hope, encouragement and decision for Jesus.
· Helped lead and teach the Regional Leader Faith Forums that invite elected leaders to gather monthly for Bible Study, prayer and sharing. Several additional areas in the state are considering launching new Leader Faith Forums.
· Divine appointments continue with leaders in Washington D.C., including Senate, House and The Fellowship. It is always a joy to help co-lead the Louisiana delegation to the National Prayer Breakfast annually.
· Open doors to share the person of Jesus with skeptics, atheists, agnostics, seekers, religious and non-religious. I never get tired of sharing the Gospel.
· Many new one-on-one appointments with leaders have turned into friendships.
· Taught ongoing Bible studies every day of the week but Saturday. It is a joy to see men walk with Jesus.
· Finished up this year serving almost 10 years on the Board of Urban Impact in Central City, New Orleans.
· Started speaking in churches and community organizations on the topic of, “Is There Hope for America?” Many are discouraged by the condition of our nation. I remind people that God is on the throne and these are significant days for Kingdom work and prayer for revitalization and renewal.
Community Speaking Opportunities in 2015
Christian Legal Society Convention
Chris Fabry Live!
First Baptist Church Covington
St. Timothy’s Luncheon
New Orleans Leader Forum
Northshore Leader Forum
Leadership St. Tammany
Christian Legal Society
House of Representatives Study
Southern Christian Writers Guild
Louisiana Dental Center
Victory Bible Church
Officer’s Christian Fellowship
Capitol Commission Gathering
Grace Harbor Family
Legislator’s Town Hall
Bottom Line Luncheon
LA Municipal Association Prayer Breakfast
I have not mentioned finances since last December. For a man who has been called “pathetic” at fundraising, God gave us enough to get started. The core of the ministry has been supported by people making monthly commitments to GRACE ADVENTURES, and this has been supplemented by one-time gifts. I am grateful. As a faith-based ministry, I am responsible to raise all of my monthly support.
Please pray for:
· Our grandson is scheduled to be born around Christmas time. Please PRAY for the family. This will be an extra special Christmas for all of the Sprague family. We are expectant and excited!!
· New monthly commitments to join the team.
· End-of-the-year special gifts for projects.
· No emotional appeals. No fundraising tactics. If you are looking for a Kingdom place to invest, if our work registers in deep ways, c’mon and jump in and move Grace Adventures forward.
Donna and I would not be able to strategically focus this way without friends who partner with us in prayer, encouragement and support. We are most grateful. YOU play a huge role in every business person who finds faith … every lonely leader who is encouraged … every person who is reminded not to quit … every seed sown … every political leader who discovers Jesus is worth following … every revitalized soul who discovers their purpose. Paul put it this way in Philippians 4:17, “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.”
Michael and Donna
2015 Highlights in Pictures
|Christian Legal Society National Conference|
|LA State Capitol|
|Forcey Bible Church Retreat|