Attitude of Gratitude
Dear Friends & Prayer Partners,
God said to His people through His prophet Zephaniah, “The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17). In Christ we are now the people of God, so doesn’t this prime your pump to inspire an attitude of gratitude to spring up and flow from your heart? In Romans 1:18-21 the apostle Paul exposes ingratitude as part of the core rebellion against the knowledge of God. Such ingratitude leads men, who profess themselves to be wise, to actually become fools. On the other hand, the presence of an attitude of gratitude is an anchor to the soul in turbulent times and is one of the primary evidences of a Spirit-filled life. (See Ephesians 5:18-20). Paul’s “triangle of triumph” is “Rejoice evermore! Pray without ceasing! In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 2 Thess. 5:16-18.
In THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, Ray Comfort has some excellent comments. I want to share the following with you.
“Thanksgiving – Do the Right Thing”
THE EVIDENCE BIBLE
“For the Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving Day. We should be thankful even in the midst of problems. The apostle Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.”
(2 Corinthians 7:4). He knew that God was working all things together for his good, even his trials. (Romans 8:28).
Problems will come your way. God will see to it personally that you grow as a Christian. He will allow storms to send your roots deep into the soil of His Word. We also pray more in the midst of problems. It’s been well said that you will see more from your knees than on your tiptoes.
A man once watched a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. In an effort to help it, he took a razor blade and carefully slit the edge of the cocoon. The butterfly escaped from its
problem…but immediately died. It is God’s way to have the butterfly struggle. It is the struggle that causes its tiny heart to beat fast and send the life’s blood into its wings.
Trials have their purpose. They make us struggle in the cocoon in which we often find ourselves. It is there that the life’s blood of faith in God helps us spread our wings.
Faith and thanksgiving are close friends. If you have faith in God, you will be thankful because you know His loving hand is upon you, even though you are in a lion’s den. That will give you a deep sense of joy, which is the barometer of the depth of faith you have in God. Let me give you an example. Imagine if I said I’d give one million dollars to everyone who ripped out the last page of this book and mailed it to me. Of course, you don’t believe I would do that. But imagine if you did, and that you knew 1,000 people who had sent in the page and everyone received their million dollars – no strings attached. More than that, you actually called me, and I assured you personally that I would keep my word. If you believed me, wouldn’t you have joy? If you didn’t believe me – no joy. The amount of joy you have would be a barometer of how much you believed my promise.
We have so much for which to be thankful. God has given us ‘exceeding great and precious promises’ that are more to be desired than gold. Do yourself a big favor: believe those promises, thank God continually, and ‘let your joy be full.’”
What is Happening in America?
Now that we have the attitude of gratitude principle firmly in mind, let’s turn to urgent prayer needs. For this report I want to summarize under protest speech and censored speech.
Have you been wondering who or what is motivating the “Occupy Wall Street” protest movement? Please consider this message we received from Alan Keyes in August or early September. Alan is an astute and articulate student of history and current events, and the pictures he sent showed violent riots and the plan book which read, “US Day of Rage’s Official Occupation Plan and Tactics for Sept 17 occupywallstreet…”
“Urgent: Taxpayer funded SEIU and ACORN radicals are seeking out Marxists, appealing to anarchists, advertising and recruiting for all manner of extremists, and rounding up union thugs to join in nationwide demonstrations planned for September 17 – Constitution Day. They are calling it: ‘The US Day of Rage’”.
I didn’t hear much on the news about September 17th, but I have been hearing a lot since. Recently on “Breakpoint”, Chuck Colson was publicly urging Obama to speak out against the violence of the “occupy wall street” movement.
The following story came to us from www.JewishWorldReview.com :
“(TCSM) A federal appeals court in California has ruled that a public high school math teacher has no constitutional right to display posters in his classroom depicting the national motto and other phrases that refer to God.
A three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Tuesday that the Poway Unified School District in San Diego County did not violate the teacher’s free speech or religious expression rights when it ordered him to remove the posters.
Bradley Johnson, a 30-year teacher in the school district, had argued that other teachers at Westview High School adorn their classrooms with quasi-religious messages, including Tibetan prayer flags, a Mahatma Gandi poster, a Dalai Lama poster, and a Malcolm X poster.
He said by directing the removal of his posters but not other religious posters, school officials were conveying a government-sponsored message of hostility toward the Christian religion and the nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.”
What’s the Point?
Perhaps you are wondering, “Rick, why are you sharing such disturbing news after encouraging us to have an attitude of gratitude?” Actually, because we must be realistic and maintain our attitude of gratitude in the midst of a cursed earth and bad circumstances, and we need to fervently pray for revival in our churches and spiritual awakening in our nation. Peter wrote to believers scattered by brutal persecution about “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Our joy is in the Lord – not in our circumstances! Also, we need to get ready – and “be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks a reason for the hope that is in you” when we face hostile persecution as believers in many other nations do.
I started this section with the question, “What is happening in America?” The answer is, the same thing that was happening in Russia nearly 100 years ago – then the Marxists took over the country in 1917. It has happened in country after country, but the strategy used by the Marxists is first to infiltrate with Darwinism to destroy the foundation. When faith in God is replaced with faith in evolutionism and humanism, then the country falls like an over-ripe fruit into their hands. This is strong motivation to me for teaching Biblical worldview both in the U.S.A. and in Ukraine. Our plans and prayers for Northwest Science Museum are for this very purpose – to expose the lies of evolutionism and the truths of Biblical Christianity to our culture and individuals, one heart at a time.
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer. He stated: “We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God…we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.” President Lincoln concluded: “Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become…too proud to pray to the God that made us!” (American Minute with Bill Federer, March 30, 2003.)
Friends, it was true in Abraham Lincoln’s time, and it is true now. It’s time to pray! Let’s ask God to touch the hearts of Marxist rebels, anarchist rebels, the lonely, and the destitute. Ask Him for ideas and ways to spread the fragrance of life and hope to those who have no hope!
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, going full power, with your boots on, and wildly proclaiming WOW!! What a ride!” (Author unknown)
MAY YOU BE FILLED WITH POWER FROM GOD FOR YOUR RIDE!
From Our Mailbox
“Sharon and I think of you often and praise God for your faithfulness. May God continue to bless your labors in Him.
Our love & prayers, David & Sharon” (Stitt)
“I read your September newsletter with interest. I have some comments and responses for you as a result…..
Obama, as far as I have heard, does not attend church, or worship, or pray to God. That defies the definition of being a Christian. If Christ does not live and rule in your heart, you are not a Christian. We must also remember and understand that there are many non-Christians attending church weekly in our nation, but attendance does not make you a Christian or believer.
Yes, America needs change. But we do not need just any change. We must change back to our founding Christian principles while we still have a nation to change.
I do not believe you can support abortion and be a Christian. That would be the same to me as professing to be a Christian and getting drunk daily, or living with someone to whom you are not married, or teaching doctrine opposed to the Bible…..
And yes, we need desperately to pray for the president and for all leaders in our nation…..
We do also believe in the ownership of private property, as presented and taught in the biblical principles, but we go further than our societal practices in that we believe we are stewards of property owned by God, and what we have is His to share with others, including our house and other possessions…..
In His love,
“Regarding your question to Elena about teaching ‘Christian Evidences’ course or a course on ‘How to Build Strong, Lasting Relationships’ – we have six new full time students + some auditing. The dates are up to you…..Gogita has printed about 100 copies of your book and distributed them among church pastors all over Georgia. As soon as he gets the number of books they would like to have, he will print the rest.
Thank you for partnering with TCI!
(Note: I’m now scheduled to teach “Christian Evidences” April 23-27, 2012 at TCI near Kherson, Ukraine. Also please pray for “Ready to Give an Answer” in the Georgian language to be helpful and effective in outreach evangelism and in preparing bold witnesses. ~ Rick)
“I just read your Oct. newsletter this morning. I am blessed to be a part of your ministry as a prayer partner. Please tell Sergei, Zhenya and Natasha that I personally felt led to spend time in prayer for them specifically – for their health, travels and ministries.
I prayed for your ministry as well and the Borodins…..
We appreciate the work you do for our Lord! God bless you with health, and freedom from internal strife that makes us ineffective for His Work.
Jenn” ><> (Brown)
Thank you for sending us your newsletter. It was good to hear from you, knowing that you all are very busy! It is a joy and privilege for us to be coworkers in the Gospel. We pray God will strengthen you and fill you with His joy.
I will be very short this time since I am a little behind on my responsibilities. God has been opening many opportunities to share the Word of God with militia and prisoners. Every week I do it two times. Please pray for me to be able to prepare better for these opportunities, as they are not very easy. But God has been using me in His great ways.
Natasha has presented her PhD work to the council, and we had many good opportunities to build bridges and share the Gospel message with some afterwards.
At the moment we are regaining our strength and pray for God to answer our financial needs.
We would like to thank you for staying in touch, your newsletters, service to the Kingdom and prayers as we meet some new challenges in ministry. November will be very busy as I will undertake traveling to Kherson and Kiev. Inga recommended us to come and rest some in Crimea. But we do not have either time or finances to do so. We need to rely on God’s sufficiency as we walk in His power everyday.
In Jesus love,
“Thank you so much for your care!
Yours by the grace of Jesus
“We love to hear from you and, please, keep us on your mailing list. The October “Overseas Outreach” again touches the heart with its messages.
Love in Christ, Ludwig and Elsbeth” (Klinke)
“I’ve truly been blessed by your letters about your ministry winning souls for Jesus Christ! Trust this donation will help and bless you as you love many.
In Christ’s love, Delbert” (Pratt)
Northwest Science Museum Update
We have a small, but potent display at Calvary Chapel at 10th & Everett in Caldwell, while we continue to pray for our own building and funds to hire Stan Lutz full time as director of the museum. Some excellent volunteers have been helping, and Diego Rodriquez, owner of Power Marketing, is enthused with what we have. Diego is a dedicated creationist, author, and
bi-vocational pastor, who is donating his time to Northwest Science Museum to put information on the internet to touch and impact millions of people. Please pray! If you wish, you can check out www.northwestsciencemuseum.org now, and then we will let you know when it has been upgraded.
On August 13th, when our display was still in Nampa at Zion Christian School, some representatives of Boise State University came by and told our volunteer that Northwest Science Museum has made quite a stir at BSU. May the stir increase! Pray for God to open hearts!
Yours & His,
Note from Della
I came across this short prayer recently, and it expresses exactly how I’m feeling today!
“Hi Lord, it’s me.
We are getting older and things are getting bad here.
Gas prices are too high, no jobs, and food and heating costs too high.
I know some have taken you out of our schools, government and even Christmas, but Lord, I’m asking you to come back and re-bless America.
We really need you!”
Will you sing with me?
“God bless America –
Land that I love!
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night
With a light from above….”