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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Greetings to Our Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church Family

We miss you so much and can hardly wait until two months from now when we'll be together again serving the purposes of Christ in Stroudsburg. At this point all of my coursework is finished, except for a 20 page leadership paper that's due on April 1 (unfortunately this assignment is not an April Fool's joke). The first 3 chapters of my dissertation proposal are finished (over 90 pages in all) and I will be defending this proposal before my dissertation committee sometime during the first two weeks of May. I'll keep you posted on the date so that you can pray for me. Our final trip of the year will be to Seoul, Korea on April 8-16. I will be collecting prayer requests from you, the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church, to take with me before the Lord to prayer mountain in Korea. Please email your requests directly to me at so that I can take them with me on my trip.

Thanks so much for your prayers on behalf of me, Amy and our three children. We could not have done it without your prayerful support. Thank you also for so graciously allowing us to enjoy the Beeson Program with an invitation for us to return to SWC after the year of study is complete. I hope to come back more in love with God, more in love with people, and with greater skills for ministry. This Asbury Seminary Beeson Program has provided enough resources and experiences for this "hope" to become a reality. I also hope and believe that I'm coming back to a church family that is more in love with God, more in love with people and with greater skills for ministry.

So many of you have stepped up in significant ways this year. Many of you are volunteers who, despite the demands of work, family and other commitments, continually sacrifice time, energy and other resources to serve Christ through the local church. I especially want to thank the ministry leaders, board members, and staff who have remained prayerfully wise in faithfully following Christ throughout the year.

You are loved and appreciated!

Pastor Lenny, Amy, Zach, Lia and Sam

Enjoy the Easter pics below! If you would like to see a video greeting from the Luchetti family click on this link

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Walk to Emmaus Spiritual Retreat

I have just returned from 3 intense days of retreat called Walk to Emmaus. The "Walk" is an international ministry that is designed to give men and women a time for renewal and reflection in the Christian life. During the 3 days the 40 men who were with me heard 15 talks about Christian life and ministry, met in small groups to consider the application of the talks to our lives, celebrated the sacrament of Communion daily, and prayed with and for each other. It was an intense time with several suprise blessings that I don't want to spoil by revealing, just in case you may go on one of these Walk to Emmaus adventures.

There were a couple of ways that God refreshed my soul through this retreat. One of my prayers for the retreat is that I would come away with the same passion for Christ that burned in my soul during the earliest days of my Christian walk. When I came to Christ at age 18, I had nothing to hang my hat on but His love for me and my love for Him. I had no job, not even a high school diploma, few friends, no money, not much going for me at all except Christ. Therefore, I pursued Him with passionate zeal. However, after 18 years of following Christ I have, to be honest, not been quite as consistent in my zealous love for Him as I was in those early days. I wanted to experience the joy and zeal of those early days again.

God answered my prayer in two ways. First, many of the songs we sang that weekend were from the earliest days of my walk with Christ, songs I have not sung since those days. These songs included, "As the Deer," "Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord," and "Give Thanks" to name a few. This was one of the means God used to bring me back to those early days of following Him. Second, on the 3rd night of the retreat I had a wonderful encounter with the Lord as He reminded me of how much He has done for me. In my mind's eye, I recalled the first 18 years of my life and remembered how lifeless I had become. Then, God brought before me all the miraculous ways that He has filled my life with good things. The zeal of my early days was renewed in that moment.

During the Walk to Emmaus retreat, God also renewed my loving optimism in the "body of Christ" called the Church. There were so many people who served me during the retreat. They provided meals, prayed for me around the clock, and gave me special gifts. One of the highlights came at the close of the weekend when I received a ton of letters from Christ followers who love me as if I were blood-related and expressed their appreciation for my life. I cried like a baby with an overly full diaper as I read those letters. There were other surprises along the way, which I won't reveal, that renewed my joy in being part of God's family, the Church.

Thanks to any of you who prayed for me or wrote letters. I realize that many of you, especially the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church family, didn't even know that I was on a retreat and that they could write letters to me. Don't worry, I had plenty of letters. "My God has supplied all my needs."

De Colores