Four Ways To Share Your Faith

Knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.   Philippians 1:17

Paul uses four different words in Philippians to describe the communication of the gospel.  He says we are to “speak” (Gk. lalelo) the gospel in our everyday conversation (v. 14).  We are to “herald” (Gk. kerussa) the gospel as a public crier would in the open air (v. 15).  We are to “preach” (Gk. kataggello) the gospel through formal preaching (v. 16).  Finally we are to verbally defend (Gk. apologia) the gospel through the use of apologetics (v. 17).  Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, let us not be ashamed of the gospel.  It alone can bring lasting change to a darkened mind.    -Sid Halsband

Lead me to some soul today, O teach me, Lord, just what to say; Melt my heart, and fill my life, give me one soul today.  -Will Houghton

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Few American Churchgoers Familiar With ‘Great Commission’

 

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Few American Churchgoers Familiar With ‘Great Commission’
By PNW Staff April 05, 2018
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A new study conducted by Barna, in conjunction with Seed Company, on various aspects related to the spread of the Gospel is raising alarm bells.

The new report titled Translating the Great Commission makes the case that many Christians have forgotten one of the great exhortations of Jesus when He commanded all Christians to “go and make disciples of all nations”.

Every religion has a unique character whether it be for domination of the earthly realm, preservation of a nation or salvation of souls, and Christianity is distinctly the latter with Matthew 28:18-20 representing the clearest example of what is commonly referred to as the Great Commission.

Barna surveyed 1,004 church-going Christians from across the nation to arrive at their conclusions about the state of Gospel preaching, and while what they found leaves some room for interpretation, it also gives one pause to stop and consider the state of Christianity in America.

They found that 51% of respondents had never heard the term “the Great Commission” while another 25% claimed to have heard it but did not know its meaning. Another 6% of Christians thought they knew what it meant, but were not sure.

Only 17% of church-going Christians said that they both recognized and understood the concept of the Great Commission.

When framed as a matching exercise in which survey takers were asked to connect the term with corresponding Bible passages, 94% of the 17% of Christians who recognized the term were able to match it with the correct Biblical passage (Matthew 28:18-20), which leaves roughly 160 Christians out of every 1,000 who understand one of the central tenants of faith: to spread the Gospel to all nations.

The survey found that older church-goers were more likely to respond positively to questions regarding knowledge of the Great Commission (29% elders, 26% baby boomers, 17% generation X, and 10% millennials) but the Barna study authors were also forced to conclude that the use of the term itself could have been a key factor.

The authors speculate that some of the younger Christians may very well know that Jesus commanded all Christians to make disciples of all nations, baptize them and teach them to obey the commandments of the Lord, even though they might not use the term Great Commission.

The element of linguistic doubt across generations is the one major caveat of the study but, even correcting for that, there are significant percentages of Christians in every generation that neither recognize the term nor can match it to its Biblical passage—numbers that leave us to ponder the consequences for Christianity.

So, what can be done?

First, the term itself has become perhaps misunderstood due to linguistic drift. We seldom use the term “commission” today outside the military and I would venture to guess that a majority of young adults would struggle precisely to define the term by itself, even outside a Biblical context.

Many people need to be re-educated with what this term actually means to see this great mission as the cause of all Christian good in the world. Christians aren’t made for simply sitting in Church pews, they are made for creating disciples and bringing the kingdom of God to Earth. Care about social justice? Worried about racism, mass incarceration or a drug crisis? Want to help desperate immigrants or the destitute living on the streets?

The answer is the Great Commission. Just as the tax collector Zacchaeus in the Book of Luke who gave up half his wealth, when the Word is truly received transformative change is possible. Imagine how entire systems of injustice would fall away if we truly made new disciples who obeyed God’s Word to the letter? God’s Word is the most powerful tool for social justice and societal change the world has ever known, and this change of perspective is key.

Finally, we need to take the cause to heart. Yes, our personal relationship with the Lord is a fundamental aspect of faith. Yes, the Church is a central component of our lives. But at the forefront of it all should be the Great Commission to build the Kingdom of God one life at a time, creating thousands of new disciples everyday who can themselves keep the commandments and spread the love of Jesus further.

But this requires real action. It requires donating our resources, sacrificing our time and living bold lives of true Christian conviction in which we evangelize in both word and deed.

Matthew 28 is no vision of a lonely monastery. This active, outward-looking faith is truly the great mission of Christians here on Earth.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2140#UWXkSt5yU07m4Zid.99

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 9

Day #9

We enjoyed another beautiful sunrise over New Jerusalem while eating breakfast at the Shalom Hotel.  We observed the Jewish people around us during breakfast.  As one observes the Jewish people in Israel, we share Paul’s burden of loving a people with such a great zeal, yet such stubbornness, unbelief, hardness of heart, and in a lost and unsaved state.

We entered Jerusalem today through the Jaffa Gate, just to browse.  We passed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  This church, as far as the Catholics are concerned, is where Jesus was crucified.

One proprieter in a shop was surprised I had only one wife – he had four wives.  Wives are still bought for camels.

We went into a memorial for the Jewish independence in 1948, called the “War of Independence Memorial.”  Then we entered the old synagogue of the Jews, the Hurva Synagogue.

Once again we passed the Byzantine Cardo (ancient Roman shop area).  Pictures were taken of the folks in our group at this locale.  (Pastor Grimes, James Taylor, Dawn Presti, and Jo Anne Abbott).  We went back to our hotel early in order to rest, and to pack for our long journey home.

Day #10

Today, Lord willing, we will proceed over the Israeli/Jordan border, catch our Royal Jordanian flight from Amman, Jordan to New York, and drive home to Stafford, Virginia.

We rode along “the old Roman road” to the border.  This was the most beautiful ride of the trip, and naturally, my camera is packed away.  We stopped above a Greek Orthodox Church, surrounded by DEEP canyons.  Wooden crosses were seen everywhere.  There was an aqueduct, and a cement path, and dirt paths.  We passed another of Herod’s palaces, his winter palace in Jericho.  Our road was narrow as we drove along the canyon called the Wadi Kelt.  If we veered off the road just a little bit, we would have plunged to our certain death.  We came to Jericho and saw a very rare occurrence indeed – rain!  We crossed the Allenby Bridge into Jordan under the usual intense scrutiny.  On the flight home, I sat next to a Lebanese American who was a Christian and we had a good conversation.  We had a refueling stop once again in Amsterdam, Holland.  On our stop in Amsterdam it was dark and stormy.  Once above the clouds though, we found daylight.  And likewise in our spiritual lives.  To the lost, life is dark and stormy and full of uncertainty after death.  But once we come to terms with Jesus Christ, we live in the sunshine, above our circumstances, with no fear of death – we even look forward to it.  Our journey came to an end.  It was like “a little taste of heaven.”  Until we really arrive in heaven though, all good things must come to an end.

Shalom, Pastor Steve

Billy Graham Passes On From Our Presence

Psalm 116:15 King James Version (KJV)Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Back in the 1930’s, a group of farmers in North Carolina prayed for the Lord to raise a vessel to take the Gospel around the world.  Among the farmers were the parents of Billy Franklin Graham, and little did they realize that the Lord would answer their prayer through their son.  At that time, Billy was a gangly youth, more interested in girls and becoming a professional baseball player like Babe Ruth.  While Billy was sowing his wild oats, he became saved at a tent revival with Mordecai Ham preaching.  He surrendered to the ministry while attending Wheaton College.  In his early years, he went into the woods and preached to the trees and to the wildlife around him.  He was called the human windmill because his arms were continually flailing in all directions while he spoke.  Billy started as a hellfire and brimstone preacher, warning people about the wrath of God.  Since then, Billy has preached the Gospel to more people than anyone else in history.  Over two hundred and fifteen million people have heard him preach, and he has spoken in one hundred and fifty countries.  He has counseled every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.

Like countless Christians, I have been to the Cove Training Center, and to the Billy Graham School of Evangelism.  Billy himself showed up one evening at his school for evangelism straight from Moscow!  I have also seen him preach at the Washington D. C. Convention Center in the early 1980’s.  He had a special anointing.  He said the three reasons his ministry was successful were prayer, prayer and prayer.  He was thrust into the public eye and into American conscience during his 1949 Tent Revival in Los Angeles, California.  The Los Angeles Times encouraged newspapers all over the country to “Puff Billy.”  The rest is history…  Two things happened prior to this watershed tent crusade.  1)Billy ran into Henrietta Mears, who straightened out his theology.  Billy was already influenced by the “all inclusive” message that said Jesus was only one of many ways.  Henrietta taught him how to trust the Word of God and all that it said.  2)Along with his famous mission/crusade team with George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows, they adopted what has been called the “Modesto Manifesto.”  They agreed that while on the road, they would never dine with a woman alone, they would walk circumspectly with a Christian decorum, and that they would handle their finances with integrity.  (Billy received a salary equivalent to that of a pastor of a Baptist Church in a large city).  Another thing Billy is noted for, is breaking down racial barriers in the 1950’s and 1960’s, as he had ropes removed from buildings where his crusades were held.

Billy’s theology stumbled in his latter days, as he made appearances on the Larry King show and Larry baited him, trying to remove him from the belief that Christ alone saves.  I wrote the Billy Graham Evangelic Association (BGEA) about this and much to my amazement, one of their public relations (PR) personnel responded to me.  He said I was right, and that Parkinson’s Disease was affecting his thinking, and that Billy did not really believe all that he said.  To this day I believe his response.  I responded that his family and friends should keep him away from those who desire for him to water down his message of the Gospel.

Billy’s effectiveness was due to his living an exemplary life of Jesus Christ, and his unbelievable humility.  99% of preachers/pastors could not handle the ministry that Billy had without falling into the sin of pride, lust and coveting.  Praise the Lord that his son Franklin sounds just like his dad, and every time I hear Franklin, I hear his father also.  Billy left this planet at daybreak, Wednesday, February 21, 2018.  He is now at the place that he always preached about.  The first thing Billy said he would ask God is:  “Why did you pick me to preach to so many people all around the globe?”  May I close with Billy’s signature words that he shared with everyone:  “God loves you.”  Amen and amen.  I am happy for Billy’s legacy, his faithfulness, and the continuation of his ministry.  Yet I miss his presence already.  Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain.  Billy faithfully preached the message of “salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” and is a prophet without tarnish.  Now Billy is hearing the Words:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.”    All Because Of Him, Pastor Steve  <><

Billy Franklin Graham 1918-2018

Pray For Revival In America!

 

Prophecy In The News

Billy Graham, Influential Evangelist and Friend to U.S. Presidents, Dies at 99
February 21 2018

The Rev. Billy Graham, one of the most influential religious figures in U.S. history and a trusted adviser to decades of U.S. presidents, has died, according to the Associated Press. He was 99.
Graham was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease since 1992.
For decades starting with Harry Truman, Graham would be seen at the side of U.S. presidents as he served as a valued counselor, during both their brightest days and their sleepless nights. “People in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to,” the evangelist said in 2011.
As a religious figure, Graham extended his influence beyond the Southern Baptist community to become a respected figure around the world. “Billy Graham stood in the glare of public scrutiny with U.S. presidents and other heads of state more than any other Christian leader,” wrote Stephen Rankin of the “Confessor-in-Chief” in 2014.
Noting that technology had made it possible for an evangelist to preach to everyone and anyone, he said, “It has literally become possible to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world.” And, that the evangelist did: On his website, it was claimed that Graham had “preached the Gospel message to more than 215 million people in over 185 countries.”
William Franklin Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 7, 1918. As a youth, he dreamed of playing baseball, but after studying at Bob Jones University, the Florida Bible Institute and Wheaton College, he began his career as a pastor in the Chicago suburbs. He was soon preaching about Christ to eager servicemen returning from the carnage of World War II.
In July 1945, he became a preacher for Youth for Christ International, a crusade that combined traditional values, patriotism and some modern razzle-dazzle.
Emphatically patriotic and disdainful of communism and other “isms,” Graham proved to be the right person for an unsettled age, drawing large crowds. In 1949, he drew national attention with an eight-week crusade in Los Angeles.
“Billy Graham seemed fated to reign as the unifying figure behind evangelical Christianity,” wrote Barbara Cady in “Icons of the 20th Century.” “No one was more energetic and wholesome, no one more staggeringly handsome and charismatic.”

For Graham, the Bible was universal truth, and Christ represented the path to salvation. “Choose this day the road to travel into eternity,” he preached. “Don’t think there are three choices — yes, no and wait — for you may never have another opportunity.”
The idea that a high-tech modern world could undermine these truths was repellent to him. “The great all-prevailing Truth stands for time and eternity,” he preached.
Even if there was nothing particularly new about his message, it resonated with many.
“What Billy Graham may have revived in modern times, above all,” wrote Paul A. Carter in 1974’s “Encyclopedia of American Biography,” “is revivalism itself.”
“When he appeared on the national scene at the end of World War II,” Carter continued, ‘Graham’s style of evangelism — fervent, vivid, Biblical — was widely believed to be a quaint survival of folk religion soon destined to disappear. Graham has quite clearly shown otherwise.”
Television expanded his reach, as did the more than 30 books he wrote. His preaching would take him around the globe, even behind the Iron Curtain amid the Cold War. He visited American troops during wartime. And his evangelism would take him to Washington, where Graham was a counselor to American leaders.
“Graham’s meetings with every President since Harry Truman were no accident: Both the preacher and the presidents had their reasons — sometimes spiritual, sometimes political, usually both — for getting together,” wrote Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy in Time magazine in 2010, after President Barack Obama paid a visit to Graham.
In 1952, Graham became the first to hold formal religious service on the Capitol steps. That was part of a five-week crusade in Washington and a heady time for Graham and other modern evangelists.
“If I could run for president of the United States today, on a platform of calling the people back to God, back to Christ, back to the Bible, I’d be elected,” he said, according to William Martin in “With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America.” “There is a hunger for God today.”
Though Truman was the first to welcome Graham to the Oval Office, Eisenhower was the first president to get close to him, seeking Graham’s help with an inaugural prayer. In turn, Graham helped persuade Eisenhower of the merits of holding a National Prayer Breakfast, which began in 1953. Graham would counsel Eisenhower after a heart attack and, years later, as he was dying.
Different presidents had different reasons for connecting with Graham. Ronald Reagan, for instance, was a friend, dating back years before he became president.
“My father has never sought really to be the friend of presidents,” the Rev. Franklin Graham, his son and successor, said in 2004. “It has just happened to come his direction.”
Graham offered guidance during tough times. President Gerald Ford discussed his plans to pardon Richard M. Nixon, President George H.W. Bush invited him to the White House at the start of the first Gulf War, and President Bill Clinton sought Graham’s counsel during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Perhaps most dramatically, Graham counseled President Lyndon Johnson soon after the assassination of President John Kennedy. “In their first visit, scheduled for 15 minutes but stretched to five hours, the two farm boys who had ridden their talent, ambition and energy to the pinnacle of their respective professions found they had more to offer each other than either had ever imagined,” according to “With God On Our Side.”
Graham frequently visited Johnson at the White House and his ranch in Texas. “Johnson struggled with doubts about his salvation,” Rankin wrote. “On one of many car rides around the ranch, he parked the car and asked Graham to share the gospel with him once again. ”
In 1965, Johnson asked Graham to go to Selma, Alabama, to help calm racial tensions there. Graham would officiate at LBJ’s funeral in 1973.
President George W. Bush credited Graham’s guidance for leading him to faith in Christ, and Graham would serve as a witness to his character. “I believe in the integrity of this man,” Graham said late in the 2000 campaign. “I’ve known him as a boy. I’ve known him as a young man. And we’re very proud of him.”
In 2010, Obama visited Graham at his home in Montreat, North Carolina. Obama later recalled the visit: “91 years old at the time, facing various health challenges, he welcomed me as he would welcome a family member or a close friend. This man who had prayed great prayers that inspired a nation, this man who seemed larger than life, greeted me and was as kind and as gentle as could be.”
Because of his reputation, Graham was someone who connected the dots in Washington. When GOP presidential nominee Nixon wanted to convey a message to President Johnson in 1968, it was Graham who did so. When a newly elected Georgia governor went to Washington, it was Graham who introduced Jimmy Carter to President Nixon.
Carter had met the evangelist when he was working in 1955 as a Graham volunteer on behalf of integration in Georgia. Early in his public life, Graham had become a supporter of civil rights, holding integrated crusades in otherwise segregated places.
“In 1953, after the sponsoring committee of his Chattanooga crusade balked at his demand that seating be open to all, he went to the crusade tabernacle and personally removed the ropes marking the section section removed for blacks,” according to “With God On Our Side.”
In 1957, Graham encouraged Eisenhower to send troops to Arkansas to compel the admission of black students to Little Rock Central High School. Graham also preached with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., though Graham’s abhorrence for the disorder of public protest would keep him from attending events such as the March on Washington.
Graham consistently professed neutrality in political matters, though there were times that didn’t seem to hold true.
In 1960, for instance, Graham was clearly supportive of Nixon, his longtime friend. He was troubled by Kennedy’s liberalism and wary of having a Catholic president.
Nixon lost, but Graham remained close to him and after Nixon was elected in 1968, Graham was a strong presence in Nixon’s presidency. The two frequently discussed political and theological matters, and Graham clearly backed Nixon during his 1972 reelection campaign. “You know how I love you,” Graham told the president in a 1973 phone call after a Nixon speech.
Watergate tainted Graham’s legacy a bit. For one thing, Graham was overheard making anti-Semitic remarks on one of Nixon’s Oval Office tapes. (Graham apologized when the tape surfaced.) For another, he remained a steadfast supporter of Nixon deep into the scandal. “When the worst came out, it was nearly unbearable for me,” he later said of Nixon’s deceptions.
Graham did have his critics. Some progressives objected to his conservatism on social issues and found his viewpoint tainted by his relentless anti-communism. He would also find himself criticized by fundamentalists who thought his outlook too generous to those of other faiths. “To this day,” wrote Bruce Bawer in the 1997 book “Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity,” “fundamentalists despise Graham as a sellout because he affirms the value of Catholic and Jewish faith.”
Regardless, there was no doubt that he had done much to shape spiritual life in America. His many honors included a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded in 1983 by Reagan. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
In 1955, Graham placed in the top 10 of the Gallup Poll’s most admired men in America. In 2017, he was still on the list, tied for fourth with Sen. John McCain and Elon Musk. It was Graham’s 61st time on the list, by far the most ever.
“He has reached out to all people — black or white, American or foreign, man or woman — for opportunities to serve God,” Jimmy Carter said in 2007. “My testimony is that I am just one of tens of millions of people whose spiritual lives have been shaped by Billy Graham.”
The evangelist’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June 2007.
“As I look back,” Graham wrote in 2012, “I see how God’s hand guided me. I sense His Spirit with me today, and most comforting is the knowledge that He will not forsake me during this last stretch as I am nearing home. If that doesn’t give me a sense of hope, nothing else will.”
Reported by: David Cohen – Politico
By Prophecy in the News| February 21st, 2018|Tags: Christian News, Dies at 99, Evangelist, Friend to U.S. Presidents, Prophecy News, Rev. Billy Graham

Memoirs From A Missionary Who Ministers To Victims Of Human Sex Trafficking In South Asia


The following articles are edited in order for the serve of this missionary to remain secure.  Her name, the city she comes from, and the country and city she serves in, are all changed.  The area she serves in, South Asia, is mentioned.

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Fwd: Testimonies from trip to South Asia
Missionary Journal

Susan Howard   12/14/17
2:41 AM (5 hours ago)

Sahiba hugging Kajal (Miriam’s Daughter) after receiving Christ! Her Mom is behind her
Wednesday, December 14, 2017
Dear Friends and Family,
Wow! I’m blown away! This was, by far, my favorite mission trip ever!!! Honestly, when God first asked me to go on this mission trip, I was a little bit reluctant. I did not have PTO at work, I have many other priorities in my life right now, it was inconvenient and it did not make a lot of practical sense for me to go. But, God … I will tell you this: On my last day, I sat watching the sunrise awaken the dawn with tears of gratitude at God’s lavish love poured out on me and the people of South Asia.
So, where to start … It all begins with a wedding. One of my good friends, Sahiba invited us to join her bridal party and we were honored to celebrate with her and share God’s love to the many lost people who attended. We felt the Lord tell us that Sahiba’s marriage to Askash was a picture of Psalms 45 and how Jesus is pursuing His bride in this nation: “Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty, honor him, for he is your lord.” Vs 9-11.
Everyday Sahiba asked us to worship and pray over and with her. In her nation, only 2% of people follow God. And Our presence was such an encouragement and blessing for her. On the day of her wedding, her friends arrived and she asked me to share a word from the Bible with them as they are unbelievers. I shared how the love Akash has is a glimpse of the deep love Jesus Christ has for His bride and many of the guests were moved as I continued with the gospel message. Praise God that four people became believers at the wedding. And through a divine appointment, I was able to share the Good News with Akash’s father, who is not a Christian. We had an intense conversation … and honestly, I was a little bit intimidated. He was wealthy and intelligent and he had just lavished us with kindness and love. And I know I have Good News, but it’s not easy to tell someone that their faith is wrong and that they are going to hell. Slowly, slowly God gave me grace and the words to share. And he listened intently to the full gospel and at the end, he thanked me for the conversation and actually gave me a Bible. LOL!
Sahiba has a call of government on her life and an Esther anointing. She plans to run for a political office, so I am praying that God will raise her up for a such a time as this to move and shake her nation.
From the wedding, we continued to the Animal Fair where they traffick children. We were amazed to hear that God began to answer our prayers to shut down this horrible event! This Fair has been going on for over 500 years. But, I truly believe, this year will be the last! The event started 6 days late as the police refused to give permission to the human traffickers. Then, as we met up with some of the traffickers, they told us that business was horrible and that many of the girls had returned home as they weren’t making any money. The police put up security cameras in every trafficking venue and they prohibited alcohol. Additionally, the event was scheduled to close down the day I left! So, what should have lasted a month was whittled down to 10 days and they weren’t getting any customers!!! All through the power of PRAYER!
When we went behind the theaters where they hold the girls, the traffickers gave us favor and permission to minister openly. Many gathered around as we gave small gifts and shared the Good News and it was amazing to see traffickers praying genuine prayers of repentance alongside of the girls they traffick! Truly the name of Jesus is the most powerful name on earth and His blood can cover any sin! Almost 50 people received Christ as we shared His love in the theatres. God gave us words of knowledge for many of the girls and they found freedom from depression and shame. Many of the girls want to leave this lifestyle and Miriam, our national partner, wants to visit at least once a month to neighboring Red Light Districts and help young girls escape. Please be praying for a team and resources for this new ministry God is launching.
We met one girl, Sahiba, and she is engaged to a police officer who is going to rescue her and her mom from this Red-Light life. I love that she shares the same name as my friend who got married. It’s such a beautiful confirmation of the picture I had that Jesus is going to save His South Asian Bride – mind, body, soul and spirit! Sahiba and her mother received Christ. And her mother was amazed, “I just feel so light and so amazing! I feel like a new person!” Their countenances were transformed by the light and love of Christ.
Later, I travelled to another village that also had a small Red-Light District, where Miriam and I had invested a lot of love and time when I lived nearby 3 years ago. I was amazed that on the same exact day that I visited, the believers had their very first meeting for a new fellowship plant and I was honored to pray over the congregation and the believers that we had helped lead to the Lord. I was so happy to hear that some of the girls who were trafficked had been rescued and were now married and living far from this place. We supplied this fellowship planter with a projector and a generator and he has 30 villages ready to see the film about God’s Son! Can’t wait to hear stories of revival in this region.
Towards the end of the trip, we showed the Jesus film in the village where Miriam was born. There is a lot of trafficking in this village as well. Miriam and I had been praying and serving in this town when I lived there. On the night of the film, over 40 people were saved and Miriam is going to continue to visit this place to start a fellowship. Additionally, many of the woman who were trafficked in the past came up to me for healing prayer and counseling. It was amazing to see the Holy Spirit move powerfully in their lives.
Lastly, I’m really excited because Paul and Julie have a call from God to serve long-term in the nations. So, I’m looking forward to see God launch them from this short-term trip into their destiny. As for me, I feel called to keep taking those who have a calling on their lives and training them up and propelling them to the nations. I know that we will continue to visit this mission station and I’m looking forward to see how God will move in and through these beginnings. But, 2 new churches, almost 100 people saved and a Red-Light Animal Fair practically shut down after 500 years!?! Really, you out-prayed yourselves! Glory to God! Life with Him is ALWAYS an adventure!

In Christ and with many thanks from a grateful heart,
Love, Susan

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Lily of the Valley Spring Edition
Missionary Journal

Susan Howard
3/19/15

 

Dear Friends and Family!

I love you! Thanks for all your prayers and support. I’m enjoying my time back in the states. My training with my mission’s agency, YWAM, was rescheduled from April to October. So, I guess God wants me to rest, reflect, minister, worship, encourage, bless and be blessed in USA for a little longer than expected. God’s new plan of rest makes sense since to me since this is the Sabbath year on the Jewish calendar, so I’m just along for the ride as usual and trusting Him to lead me and guide me. However, it’s kind of hard for me to think about being in USA for 6 months, because I’m just wired to be out where the action is and where people have never heard the name of Jesus. But, as I was kind of complaining to God about the delay, I sensed Him asking me, “Can you just hang out with me for 6 months?” Soooo, yeah … I can. He’s enough!

If you want me to share testimonies about God’s miracles and our work to stop human trafficking and ministry in South Asia with you over lunch or coffee, Bible Study group or church, then please let me know. It would be my honor to share what God has been up to at the end of the earth. Just email or call me … and I’ll do my best to meet up with you or your church! Along those lines, I do need a car if you happen to know someone that has an extra one I can borrow until June. I also am looking for a temporary job if you know of any positions available in Dallas, TX. My mission’s agency, YWAM (Youth with a Mission) training is 3 months long and starts in October, it is followed by 2 months of international team outreach. The cost of the program is $8000. So, please be in prayer for God’s provision in this.

I really enjoyed time with my family in Florida! Dad and Mom were super supportive and helpful with my ministry and raising awareness about stopping human trafficking and furthering God’s kingdom. We enjoyed sharing on the radio, newspaper, rotary and churches about God’s work in South Asia. I definitely look forward to partnering together with my parent’s church, the First Baptist Church of Bradenton in the future as well! I was also really grateful to spend time with my oldest brother, who I haven’t really had relationship with for 20 years (that’s a longggg story). But, I just praise God for happy endings! Ned and his wife Beverly and children are AMAZING and I’m enjoying getting to know them! From fishing to evangelizing outreaches to late nights of spades and Rumikub to throwback Thursdays of dancing to Footloose, we just had a really, really good time. I cried many tears when it was time to leave and I look forward to seeing them again soon! I’m sooo blessed to have such a loving, kind family.

One of my favorite American testimonies so far is a day when I decided to go for a walk in our small fishing village in Bradenton, Florida. The sun was setting as I felt compelled to talk to a young woman, Tiffany, who was fishing on the pier. My back has been hurting due to driving on really bad village roads in South Asia on my scooter. I’ve been praying for a chiropractor. And as I talked with Tiffany, I found out she just happened to work for one! She arranged to get me free chiropractic service! I was so grateful. She asked me about my story. I told her how I used to turn to men, power, money, alcohol, work and more to make me happy. But, all the things of the world only made me sad, empty and angry. Only when I reached rock bottom and really surrendered my life to Jesus did I become happy. He changed my life and gave me joy and His presence and love and everything I ever wanted in my soul! Tiffany started crying. She said, “are you kidding me? I was just googling last night, ‘how to be happy?!’” She cried as I prayed over her. I love divine appointments and how we were able to mutually bless each other!

There are many people who are so hungry for love and for Jesus. All we need to do is share the reason for the hope that is within us! The harvest is truly ready! Also, I think it’s a season to press in for breakthrough and healing in relationships! I’ve seen a lot of healing among my friends and family. It’s a time to forgive and be forgiven. In the Jewish culture, the Sabbath year is time a time to release people from debts and rest from hard labors. Next year is the year of Jubilee. In Biblical Israel, this was a time when land was restored to people who sold it and slaves were set free from bondage – a season of joyous celebration! So, I think it’s good to press in for the blessings that God has for us in the spirit of this season.
The work in South Asia continues to blossom. Miriam continues to start new Bible Studies and minister to the lost and unreached and love on her 4 orphaned nephews and children. She needs more financial support as she registers the children in school if you feel called to help scholarship their education then contact me for details. Miriam prayed for one child that couldn’t walk in their whole life and Jesus did a miracle and now that child can walk!

Thanks for praying for our sewing center in the village red light. We needed a new instructor. There was one young woman, Reema, who is a strong believer and we wanted her on our team. However, she was not a talented seamstress. Well! God just decided to do a miracle and give her some downloads from heaven and in 3 months, she acquired more sewing talent than a local teacher with 6 years of experience!? So praise God for Reema. Please pray for her as she transitions into this new post!

Love and prayers to you,

Susan

Championship Winning Football Players And Coaches Give Glory To God For Their Success

What a breath of fresh air after a season involving NFL players who refused to stand and salute the flag for the National Anthem.  Players and coaches on both the Collegiate Champion Alabama Crimson Tide, and the NFL Superbowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, gave thanks to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, giving all glory to God.  That was truly encouraging news as well as a great witness!  Blessings, Pastor Steve

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Super Bowl Winners: Philadelphia Eagles Give Glory to God
February 05 2018

As President Donald Trump tweeted…”Congratulations to the Super Bowl Winners: Philadelphia Eagles Give Glory to God
February 05 2018  Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!”
Stand-Up Team: No Philadelphia Eagles Players Knelt For National Anthem in 2017
Not a single Eagles player sat or knelt during the national anthem, one of just seven teams with perfect non-kneeling records, in a season that saw 684 such incidents, according to a study released Thursday by Sports Pundit.

Franklin Graham posted on Facebook:
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on their #SuperBowl 2018 win last night! After the game, it was great to hear so many Christians on the team publicly thanking God. Tight End Zach Ertz said, “Glory to God first and foremost. We wouldn’t be here without Him.” Quarterback and MVP Nick Foles gave glory to God, and Head Coach Doug Pederson said, “I can only give the praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity…” This is sure good to hear in the media.
We may not be playing a championship game today, but the Bible tells us, “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
By Prophecy in the News| February 5th, 2018|Tags: Christian News, Eagles Win Super Bowl, Glory to God, National Anthem, Philadelphia Eagles, Prophecy News, Super Bowl

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CBN.com

CBNNews.com

All the Glory Belongs to God’: The Faith of the Super Bowl-Winning Philadelphia Eagles
02-04-2018
Mark Martin,
Benjamin Gill

Photo Credit: philadelphiaeagles via Instagram
Do faith and football go together? For players on the Philadelphia Eagles, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
The Eagles won their first Super Bowl 41-33 over the New England Patriots in a hard-fought game Sunday night in Minneapolis.
“All glory to God,” MVP Quarterback Nick Foles said right after the win.

Eagles Praying

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Foles, Eagles Outshoot Patriots for 1st Super Bowl Win, 41-33

Eagles QB Has a Dream Bigger Than the Super Bowl: ‘I Want to Be a Pastor’

“I felt calm. We have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff,” Foles said. “We’re very blessed.”
Just nine years ago, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was coaching high school. Now he’s a Super Bowl champion.
“I can only give the praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity,” Pederson said Sunday night.
Touchdown-scoring Wide Receiver Zach Ertz echoed the same sentiment.
“Glory to God first and foremost,” Ertz said.
And despite being sidelined by a season-ending injury, Eagles franchise QB Carson Wentz threw all his support to Foles, and all the glory to God.

NFC Conference Champions
On January 21st, the Eagles clinched the NFC Conference Championship, earning the right to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
“First and foremost, all glory belongs to God. I wouldn’t be here without Him and this is just very humbling and unbelievable,” QB Nick Foles said immediately after that Eagles’ win over the Minnesota Vikings. “I’m blessed to have amazing teammates, amazing coaches.”
Foles, who has turned in a multiple amazing performances to lead the Eagles to victory, is bold about professing his born-again faith, describing himself on Twitter as a: “Believer in Jesus Christ, husband, father, son, brother.”
A number of his teammates share that faith in Christ, and you can bet many on the team were as “prayed up” for the Super Bowl as they were throughout the season.
At the start of the season, Foles and teammates Zach Ertz, Trey Burton, Carson Wentz, and Chris Maragos released a Bible study on humility and surrender through the YouVersion Bible app.

And back in November, the Eagles team released a video on its Facebook page entitled, “The Locker Room’s Binding Force.” It’s a look at the Christian faith of three players and how Christianity is a big part of the team’s unity.

Starting quarterback Carson Wentz, wide receiver Torrey Smith, and safety/special teams player Chris Maragos shared their testimonies in the video.
“I was kind of on this downward spiral because the things I was trying to place in my life to give me satisfaction would last for a little bit and then they’d fade away,” Maragos said in the video. “And that was my sophomore year in high school.”
“I was really at a crossroads at that point and had to make a decision on where I was going,” he continued. “And that’s when I gave my life to Christ, and really he supplied that satisfaction and that joy for me.”
Players have the opportunity to attend chapel among other things.
“On every Monday night, we have a couple’s Bible study. We have a Thursday night team Bible study,” Wentz explained in the video. “And then Saturday nights, we actually get together the night before the game and just kind of pray; talk through the Word; what guy’s have been reading, what they’re struggling with, and just kind of keep it real with each other.”
“To have that here in an NFL facility like this, it’s really special,” he added.
“As men, you tend to be very sheltered. If I’m going through some things, I may not express that to the next man,” Smith shared. “Only you can kind of expose your weaknesses and things you want to work on, whether it’s in your relationship or your marriage or your family, whatever it may be.”
“When you’re able to talk about it amongst your brothers, amongst your family, it helps you grow,” he continued. “And when you realize that you can apply Biblical principles to it, it helps us all grow.”
“I think the biggest thing that we’re always challenging each other with is just to not lose sight of the bigger picture,” Wentz said. “I think wins, losses, highs, lows, everything that comes with this game, it’s so easy to take your mind and your eyes off of the ultimate prize, and that’s living for the Lord.”
“And we want to be united,” Maragos said. “We want to support each other; we want to support each other in our lives through the difficulties off the field as well as on the field.”
“And so I think it’s really kind of something to where we’re all just kind of binding together to kind of keep each other sharpened and keep pushing forward,” he continued.
That unity helped propel them to the NFC Championship game and now a 41-33 win over the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

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Alabama QB After Championship Game: ‘I’d Just Like to Thank My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’

By Michael Morris | January 9, 2018 | 8:54 AM EST

Alabama true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa gives all the glory to God in CFP National Championship post-game interview.  (Screenshot)


Upon winning the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship 26-23 over SEC rival Georgia in overtime last night, Alabama true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa took a page out of former NFL quarterback and college Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow’s book in his post-game interview, thanking his “Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” and saying: “All glory goes to God.”

“Excuse me,” Tua Tagovailoa said as he was interviewed by ESPN. “First and foremost, I’d just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That’s what happened tonight.”

“All glory goes to God,” Tagovailoa said later in the interview. “I can’t describe what He’s done for me and my family. Who would have ever thought I would have been here, right now in this moment. So, you know, thank God for that, and I’d just like to thank my teammates and coach Saban for giving me the opportunity.”

Tua Tagovailoa’s comments came after he led the Crimson Tide to victory upon entering the game to start the second half in place of a struggling Jalen Hurts.

 Tagovailoa threw three touchdown passes on his way to leading a come-from-behind win over the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, giving the Alabama Crimson Tide their fifth national championship under coach Nick Saban.

According to ESPN, Tagovailoa threw for 166 yards, completing 14 of 24 passes (58.3%) and averaging 6.9 yards through the air, while only throwing one interception on the night. He finished with a QBR of 71.3, the highest of the three quarterbacks who saw action in last night’s CFP National Championship game.

Share Your Faith Daily

Acts 14:6-7 King James Version (KJV)
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.

The real mission field is just outside our front door.  It isn’t always overseas or on the other side of the equator.  We have neighbors, friends, colleagues, even family members, who need the Saviour and need Him now.  I pray that I will find the courage today to speak to one of them; to humbly remind them that they need to be saved, that they can be saved, and how to obtain God’s salvation through repentance and faith.   -Rick Morse

When He has found you, tell others the story; That my loving Saviour is your Saviour too.  -S. O’Malley Clough

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Acts 16:30-31 King James Version (KJV)
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 

Pray For Revival In America!

Three Ways Lottie Moon’s Calling Was Centered in Christ

Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Is Collected Throughout December.  The Following Article Reveals Lottie’s Great Heart For Christ:

Three Ways Lottie Moon’s Calling Was Centered in Christ
Daniel Slott | December 13, 2017
Given what I know about Lottie Moon from reading her missionary letters and seeing her through the eyes of historians, it’s safe to say she wouldn’t like being the focus of this article, but I think she would agree with what it says. Hopefully . . .
Lottie Moon is most famously associated with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® (LMCO), an offering that she helped start by sending letters from China to her constituents in the States. Her challenging words and inspiring message paved the way for a special offering collected in December that funded the appointment of new missionaries.
But it was not just her words that affected change; it was that coupled with her example—a life fully devoted to Christ. As I study the life and ministry of Moon, I see three primary motivations that drove her with Christ-centered passion.

Calling to Christ, Not Self
Lottie was raised in a life of privilege. She was well educated, excelled in academia, and was acutely aware of the challenges women faced, especially on the mission field. When she received her call to foreign missions at the age of thirty-one, she knew the difficulties she would encounter as a single woman on the field.
She was not opposed to marriage, but she also would not let her singleness stop her from faithfully following her calling. Her relationship with a former Baptist professor, Crawford Toy, is well documented, but there were two things about a relationship with Toy that caused conflict: calling and theology. It’s rumored that Toy sought appointment as a missionary to Japan at one point. Moon, discerning God’s clear focus for her to serve in China, did not oblige.
Furthermore, and more importantly, was Toy’s leaning towards liberal theology. Moon, the strong-willed, conviction-led woman that she was, could not reconcile Toy’s stance on evolution with the veracity of Scripture. She chose faithfulness to God’s Word over matrimony. When asked if she had ever experienced romance, Moon replied, “Yes, but God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result.”
“She trusted God’s sovereignty, knowing the God who calls men and women to the mission field is the same God who brings a husband and wife together.”
Moon didn’t see singleness as a detriment to the work. She trusted God’s sovereignty, knowing the God who calls men and women to the mission field is the same God who brings a husband and wife together. Instead of forcing something she desired, she trusted God and sought to be used by him where she was. On July 7, 1873, Moon was appointed as a single missionary to China at the age of thirty-three.

A Calling to Christ, Not Comfort
Moon’s first few years in China were rough, but nothing compared to the hardship that would come. Even during the first Sino-Japanese War (1895), Moon would make regular trips to rural areas to share the gospel, learning that evangelism was the work she came to love. Believing she could have a greater impact to share Christ, she gave up access to Western comforts in urban China to move inland, where she was likely the first foreigner with whom the locals had ever interacted. There, she engaged in pioneer evangelism—sharing the gospel with people who have never heard it before. It was a bold move for a single woman at that time.
She took on the living habits of the local culture—another revolutionary move—by wearing Chinese robes and leading a simple life. After a while, the insults of “foreign devil woman” began to fade, and she was accepted as the “Heavenly Book Visitor” who “loved us.”
“She was driven by the joy of knowing she was fulfilling God’s purpose on her life.”
She had every opportunity to eradicate hardship by withdrawing from the field and returning home, but that was not God’s call on her life. Instead, she doubled-down, by God’s grace, and gave away all she had to tend to the physical and spiritual needs of the people. She was driven by the joy of knowing she was fulfilling God’s purpose on her life, saying “Surely there can be no deeper joy than that of saving souls.”

A Calling to Christ, Not Fame
Lottie was laser focused on the spiritual needs of the people, not on the circulation of her name. If she would have had a Twitter handle, her constituents in the States would have woken every morning to a feed lit up by requests on behalf of the people she served. Her focus was on others, not herself.
Her goal was action, not popularity, unless it meant the renown of Christ. This type of sacrificial giving was lived out daily in a context that most of us will never understand. She faced poverty and hardship at every turn, and it was Christ who sustained her.
She was motivated by a God-centered, God-given, and God-inflamed passion to name Christ where he had not been named. Her charge to the church was not “come and be like me,” it was a charge to remember the sacrifice of Christ who “paid it all.”
Lottie knew she had been saved by the grace of God and that her life was not her own. Her calling and motivation was centered in Christ. She was driven by her love for Christ and a passion to see his name known. For thirty-nine years, laboring in China, Lottie embodied the spirit of LMCO—Christ-centered sacrifice that fuels the work of missions.

Daniel Slott is an IMB training strategist in East Asia where he serves on the student strategies team developing training for student and young adult missionaries. He is the author of The Christ-Centered Life: 31 Discipleship Letters Explaining How the Gospel Shapes Foundational Christian Practices, Values, and Beliefs to Be Centered in Christ. You can find him on Twitter @DanielSlott and the East Asia student team @eastudent.

Who Was Lottie Moon? / Who Was Annie Armstrong?

Why the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Is Collected at Christmas

David Brady | December 6 2017

For Southern Baptists, Lottie Moon and Christmas go together as naturally as presents and wrapping paper. But many of us have not considered the reasons we connect Lottie Moon and our Christmas offering to international missions.
Lottie’s earthly life both began and ended in December. She was born on December 12, 1840, and she died seventy-two years later on December 24, 1912. Those dates strengthened her connection to the annual offering for missions, but they are not the reason the offering is received at Christmas.

Quite simply, the reason we have a Christmas offering for missions is because it was Lottie’s idea. She advocated for it thirty-five years before her death. Lottie wrote many letters from China, some of which were published in the Foreign Mission Board’s journal.
Lottie was a woman with numerous gifts, but none was greater than her ability to write with clarity and conviction. Many a spark from Lottie’s pen in northern China lit a fire in the United States. The spiritual power of her words motivated countless women and men to greater involvement in getting the good news of Jesus Christ to the unreached.
“The spiritual power of her words motivated countless women and men to greater involvement in getting the good news of Jesus Christ to the unreached.”
One particular letter, written on September 15, 1887, had a profound impact that resonates even today, 130 years later. Lottie had been reading the minutes of the Southern Methodist Woman’s Missionary Board. She was deeply impressed that those women gave six thousand dollars to missions during the course of the previous year.
This substantial sum was significantly greater than anything Baptist women were giving. She noted their efficient organization, but the secret of their financial generosity lay in their spiritual commitment to prayer and self-denial.

Rational Reasons for a Christmas Offering
These Methodist women set aside the week before Christmas to pray for missions and practice self-denial in the spending of money on personal wants and needs. The prayers increased their desire for Christ’s kingdom, and their self-denial increased their funds for generous giving to the spread of Christ’s gospel.

Lottie, who was never above using guilt trips for the right reason, looked at the Methodist plan and giving and wrote, “Doesn’t this put us Baptist women to shame?” She then gave us the clear rationale for scheduling the proposed missions offering at Christmas, writing:
Need it be said, why the week before Christmas is chosen?
Is not “the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?”
Her letter was published in America in December of 1887. Lottie’s idea might never have gotten off the ground, however, had it not been for Annie Armstrong. Annie, who lived in Baltimore, Maryland, was a leader of the new Woman’s Missionary Union.
She took Lottie’s suggestion and gave it legs. In the following year of 1888, the first Christmas offering for missions was scheduled. Annie wrote—by hand—one thousand letters to promote the offering. She also sent out thirty thousand offering envelopes and thousands of other supporting materials. Everyone was thrilled with the result: $3,313.25!

The Christmas Offering Broadens
Initially, the proceeds were focused on funding “helpers” for Miss Moon, but the scope of the offering grew. For decades it was known as “The Christmas Offering for China.” Gradually, its proceeds began to be used beyond China in other mission fields.
Lottie’s death on Christmas Eve of 1912 further solidified her connection to the offering. The year after Lottie Moon’s death, her memory was called forth to stimulate greater missions giving. Finally, in 1918 the Christmas offering received another lasting link to Lottie.
In that year, the venerable Annie Armstrong spoke from her retirement, “It was Miss Moon who suggested the Christmas offering for foreign missions. She showed us the way in so many things. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to name the offering in her memory?” Southern Baptist women loved the idea, and Lottie Moon’s name was permanently affixed to our Christmas offering for foreign missions.

Through the years Lottie’s life and words have continued to inspire Southern Baptists to greater giving of our lives and money to the cause of Christ. She wrote:
I wonder how many of us really believe that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” A woman who accepts that statement of our Lord Jesus Christ as a fact, and not as “impractical idealism,” will make giving a principle of her life. . . . How many there are among our women (and I would include men), alas! alas! who imagine that because “Jesus paid it all,” they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God . . .
So this Christmas, in response to God’s great gift of his son Jesus to save sinners like us, may we fervently pray and generously give in order for others to be introduced to him.

David J. Brady is the pastor of Christ Community Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Mount Airy, North Carolina. He was born in Guyana and raised in Belize, where his parents served as Southern Baptist missionaries. David is the author of an evangelistic book entitled, The Gospel for Pet Lovers. He is currently working on a book of short historical biographies of missionaries who have served with the Foreign Mission Each time one lands, the city of more than 28 million opens its arms to a little more diversity, and each time, for Todd’s team of 12 IMB missionaries who have served with the Foreign Mission Board (today known as IMB).

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