“Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit,” Is my directive to each one who has an idea regarding prayer for Pastor Fay.
The Spirit’s leading is vast and diverse. We have completed 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer. We have prayed through the night. Some are praying the night through in the hospital parking lot. Others are prayer walking around the hospital. Others are fasting and praying in groups. Others are fasting and praying alone.
We encourage you to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. He is faithful and true.
Be sensitive in your comments and conversations, remembering Pastor Fay’s family is walking life’s most challenging journey. The faith/fact experience is at the core of our Christian experience. Faith never goes against reason, but faith often goes far beyond reason.
Always remember that the often quiet and behind-the-scenes Pastor Chuck Niemann, their daughter Nicole and her husband, Trevor, Chuck’s sister, Fay’s father (Doug), and Fay’s sister and brothers (and their families) are all people of GREAT faith. You can imagine their experience of the faith/fact dilemma.
Consider the words of the Apostle Paul regarding another man of tremendous faith, Abraham.
“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact…”Romans 4:19
Our Christian faith and the facts of life are held in simultaneous tension. The Niemann/Riley/Sheneman/MCA Church faith is strong. Our faith, however, does not turn a blind eye to the extremely difficult facts regarding Pastor Fay’s challenging physical battles. The Apostle Paul, a man of grand faith, had this same conversation in his day.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.Philippians 1:21-26
- Notice the Apostle’s faith – I will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body.
- Notice the Apostle’s facts – Whether by life or by death.
- Notice the Apostle’s faith – To live is Christ!
- Notice the Apostle’s facts – To die is gain!
- Notice the Apostle’s faith – If I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.
- Notice the Apostle’s facts – I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.
Many pastors have walked the faith/fact journey with people they dearly love. It is a humbling privilege to be invited into the faith/fact dilemmas of life. Chuck Niemann is boldly facing the faith/fact experience of his bride in a heroic fashion. Chuck is living out his bride’s favorite Bible passage:
5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.Joshua 1:5-9
Pastor Chuck Niemann is a Christian role model. His faith/fact discipline is on display for all to see. Chuck, none have navigated this type of tumultuous water better than you. I am proud of you, my friend.
We are ready, all of us, for Pastor Fay to sit up, eat, and head home to work in her Anchorage garden.
We are also ready, all of us, for Pastor Fay to sit up, eat, and take her first walk in the Garden of the Lord with the one who “takes me by the hand and leads me to the promised land.”
So, how do you pray? As the Holy Spirit leads you.
Together, we are “Faithing the Facts.”