IPA teaching prayer at San Marcos Academy

We’re Going In! Deep Calls to Deep- Psalm 42:7

Share Post:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

IGNITE January 2024

Dear Shamwari, (The Shona word in Zimbabwe for “Friend.”)

As I write IGNITE today, it is 16° F outside— which is pretty low for Texas! And to be very transparent with you once again, I’ve hit some pretty heavy “Potholes” of depression these past six weeks. I waited until after Christmas to share this with my beautiful bride; then I shared with our pastor, Chris, who is also our second son— having already made an appointment to see our counselor in San Antonio.

My Sweetheart, as she so often does, had a bright idea to take advantage of our free night stay at the beautiful Marriott Riverwalk Hotel the day before our appointment. Because we live in what we like to call the “Permanent Honeymoon and Free Upgrade Anointing,” we celebrated our 37th anniversary… AGAIN! And God gifted us with a large king suite on the 30th floor, overlooking the whole city!

IPA view of RiverWalk San Antonio   Happy Anniversary Millars of IPA

“For it is You who blesses the righteous man; O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” Psalms 5:12

We enjoyably walked three miles around the enchanting River Walk with NO PAIN and NO CANE. This stroll was a great testimony and victory for Nancy after recovering from having hip replacement surgery just last October! We laughed and praised God with open-eye prayer while sharing many old memories and making new memories on the riverboat ride in perfect weather. It truly was a wonderful “honeymoon” time!

Little did I know, God was about to take me deeper and prepare my heart!

After a lovely morning, we stopped at our counseling appointment with dear Jeremy the next day. My Sweetheart joined me for the first time. One of the deep, heart-penetrating questions he asked was, “Colin, do you think you could live for two days without having an impact on a single person’s life? Mediate deeply about this question and answer as truthfully as you can!”

WOW! There was a long silence in which I sensed the Holy Spirit painfully plowing the soil of my heart. [I weep right now as I’m tapping the keys on my laptop to write, reviewing some of the experiences I shared with Jeremy before his probing question.]

At The Well’s young married retreat, just before Nancy’s surgery, Chris had asked us to share a need that we may have that our spouse may not be meeting. My Sweetheart is a very strong and often independent woman. So, when she would say something like, ‘I’ll take the trash out after dinner.’ Of course, I’d say, ‘I’ll take it out, Sweetheart,’ because she didn’t like to ask me directly to do something for her.

Yet, after her surgery, she was forced into a position of having to ask me to do even the tiniest of routine things. And I absolutely loved those 5-6 weeks where, at her direct bidding, I was able to serve the most beautiful bride in the world with everything she needed and a lot of little things she didn’t really need!

Now, back to Jeremy…

He said, ‘You were having your need for life impact met.’ And THEN, my darling wife began to regain her strength, maneuverability, and independence, asking me less and less to do things for her.

At the same time, and in a much bigger picture, a significant transition was slowly in process. In fact, it was the genesis of what I had bared my heart out about in last April’s IGNITE.

I realized that God is using these potholes of depression, my daily time of slowly reading and meditating from Waiting on God, and my often vain attempts to wait on God in  peace-filled silence to perform slow and sometimes painful spiritual surgery on my heart.

In this life-transforming season of IPA, God has and is transitioning us pretty radically!

From Global

With IPA, we’ve been blessed to serve through 19 years of praying, engaging, training, and traveling with many globally impacting business and prayer leaders. And all of this took place while I lived in a city that became known worldwide— HOUSTON, Texas! It was on April 13, 1970, that those famous words came from Apollo 13: “Houston, we have a problem.”

To Local

Today, in the midst of writing this letter, we live in the small and largely unknown Texas town of San Marcos. Instead of a flight halfway round the world I simply drove the mile to join my first “Apologetics Foundations in Prayer” class with four seniors and our instructor, Dr. Brian Guenther. As I drove through the gates into The San Marcos Academy, I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit saying: “Colin. We’ve had a problem… It’s a hidden part of your heart.”

As those words came, it was as if He was allowing me to look into a mirror of my heart and see Him use the scalpel of His Holy Spirit to pare back the tissue inside my heart and revealed a hard, black stone of spiritual PRIDE! For the second time in two hours, I began to weep, repenting out loud before our God. Then, to underscore God’s seriousness in speaking to me, when I got into the class, we read the very one chapter out of 33 chapters in C.S Lewis’s Mere Christianity entitled, “The Great Sin,” which we know is PRIDE.

So, it was true! Although I’d been hugely relieved from the release of global ministry, as Jeremy had said, I realized that I still craved and desired to be recognized in the inside psyche of my mind. And that craving was feeding this hidden, glutinous demon of spiritual pride. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free. Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I am free indeed, yet remain watchful and alert, praying at all times and in all places.

As the Lord continues to call us deeper, there have been other radical transitions, including the following:

From a Floodlight To a Spotlight

In the floodlight of IPA, we were blessed to be a blessing and minister across 8 nations. And now in the spotlight, I’m honored to serve in The San Marcos Academy (SMA) and with our church family, The Well Community Church. In truth, transitioning into the spotlight has come with those times when Pastor Chris has said, “Dad, I need to put my pastor’s hat on to talk to you!” Yet, they’re getting less frequent; Ha-Ha!

Transitioning From An Older To a Younger Generation

San Marcos Academy Kids with IGNITE

 

Beautiful Children in Our First Series of Classes in The School of Prayer

God launched me into a teaching adventure in the SMA School of Prayer in November and December last year. Our PIT Crew and some of you prayed that God would connect my heart to each child’s heart as I spent an hour each in 9 separate classrooms. I was blessed to bring my Zakanaka Bear and present the prayer ball in different ways to:

Pray | Wait | Listen | Give Thanks

I also began teaching them the shrill-trill call of joy in Jesus—  “Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrrrr,” from the Woodland Kingfisher bird of Zimbabwe!

We are beginning our second round of prayer classes across the elementary school.

And God is growing a special friendship with their principal, Michael Hannum, as we pray by phone at 5:45 AM on Thursdays.

In one class, the children were silent and learning to listen for God‘s voice. One boy asked, “Poppa Prayer Bear, how do you know when God is talking to you?(Poppa Prayer Bear is the name I’m fondly known as.)

I responded, “God can talk to us in lots of different ways— through songs, people, and most often directly from the Bible. He speaks to me by giving me a scripture by the time I wake up. So, today He woke me up at 3:33 AM. I rolled out of bed onto my knees and went immediately to Jeremiah 33:3 where God‘s word says…”

As I began to say, “Call to Me…” I suddenly heard a little girl’s voice right next to me continue quoting the scripture! “…and I will answer you, and tell you great and mighty things which you do not know!”

 I stepped back in utter amazement and asked her, “What is your name? And she said, “Tegan.”  That name also happens to be the same unusual name of our daughter-in-love!  So, I turned back to the boy who had asked the original question and declared with exuberance, “This is how you know when God‘s talking to you!”

God knew the exact time He was going to wake me up (3:33 AM). He also knew the scripture He would give me.

He also knew that Tegan‘s dad had been teaching her the very same scripture over the last two months. I told them, “And He arranged all these details so you could see how He can talk to us, Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”

I encourage each of you to be prayer-igniters with your children and grandchildren. Ask to teach in the children’s ministry of your local church. Children are so eager to pray if you’d just ask them.

I’ll share just one more story.

We’d been “still” with a class of second graders for a full 60 seconds, and then I said, “Did anyone hear God speak to them?” So, this precious girl shot her hand up and said clearly and confidently, “God told me to “BE CALM.” So, I asked if she was worried about a situation. She said, “Yes, I was, but God told me just to be calm, and now I am.”  And she said this with a big smile on her peace-filled face.

An Online Giving Opportunity

“Oh Lord, we thank You for leading our friends to make a gift contribution to IPA. Please bless their generosity and obedience to give, in Jesus’ name we pray; amen!”

Now, Be Still…

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10 NKJV

Give Here—Thank You!

The Lord Bless You!

– Colin

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Ignite Newsletter Posts

Sue Baumgarten and Hubby- February IGNITE

Invited To Wait on God

This month, I’ve sensed the Lord’s very simple and focused call inviting us to ”Wait on God,” using a very powerful testimony from Sue Baumgarten!

Read More

Register to receive our monthly
Ignite Newsletter

Email me the monthly Igniting Prayer Action newsletter