The Price of Freedom
On the 4th of July I heard a stimulating and challenging message by Michael Youssef on the radio, which sparked this prayer in my heart:
O Lord, Our founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Some of them did pay with their lives, some of them saw their sons slaughtered on the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, and most of them did lose their fortunes and their property because they would not sacrifice their sacred honor. Many witnessed their houses and property burned by the enemy in spite for the stand they took – but stand they did! They stood for truth and liberty. Since that fearful time and those fateful battles, multitudes of American bodies lie buried, often on foreign fields – bodies of those who also paid the ultimate price to protect the liberty we now enjoy. Remind us often, Lord, of the price they paid that we might be free. Remind us that freedom is not free. Remind us that the price of freedom is vigilance and responsibility as we face the enemies of our freedom – both those on the outside of our borders and those, who like termites, are eating away our freedoms from inside our government, educational, scientific, and media institutions. O Lord, give us courage to stand against the enemies of truth, righteousness, and liberty with the strength and courage of our forefathers. And please protect us from another bloody revolutionary war or civil war! (What is civil about war, anyway?)
Most of all, O Lord, remind us of the ultimate price Jesus paid for our freedom from sin – its penalty, its power, and finally, its presence. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
In the Name above all names, Jesus.
This month’s Truth in Action ministry letter has some very pertinent comments we want to share with you.
“Dr. D. James Kennedy did not sit on the sidelines bemoaning the trials and tribulations of life. Christ told us there would always be troubles, but He also said He had overcome them! He understood that keeping our focus on God’s plan and purpose for our lives gives us the opportunity to soar above our problems and enjoy a glorious adventure with God:
“‘This life is filled with many rocks and treacherous shoals and stumbling places. We need to seek the guidance of God if we are going to fulfill the destiny of our lives.’
“We have been called for such a time as this. It is no accident that God placed you right where you are at this time in history. God has plans for you today. Let go of doubts and insecurities. Shake off the sin of inaction. Trust and honor Him to use you and your unique gifts to further His Kingdom in your own circle of influence!
“Dr. Kennedy once shared a prayer to encourage each of us to take hold of the outstretched hand of Christ and follow Him into whatever great adventure or holy purpose He has in mind.
“I offer a paraphrase of this prayer now, dear friend and partner, so that you can know the excitement and joy that comes to those who yield themselves completely to Him.
“’Lord Jesus Christ, I want that exciting, adventurous life. I want to begin on the great adventure, so right now I surrender myself to You. Help me search Your Word, pray for Your Spirit’s guidance, and endeavor to be usable by You.’
“I pray the Lord will call you – just as you are, just as He created you – to help us advance God’s Kingdom in every sphere of life…
“I pray He will lead you to help us equip and encourage others to connect their passions and abilities with His calling on their lives in order to transform our communities and culture for Christ.” ~ Frank Johnson, Executive Vice President and CEO of Truth in Action Ministries.
We cannot financially support all the ministries which send us requests, but we can and do pray for them, so after reading their ministry letter together, Della and I paused and prayed for Truth in Action Ministry – and other requests. We realize that not all of you who receive our prayer letters can support Overseas Outreach financially, but all of you can pray for us. Will you please pray about each request as you read it? Also, there may be some of you who do not financially support Overseas Outreach who could do so. Is God speaking to your heart about stretching your faith and giving more than you think you can (without neglecting your home church, of course)? Every one-time or monthly gift is helpful, no matter how large or small.
1. For the past two years it has not been possible for me to make a Fall Mission Trip because of lack of funds. This year I am hoping to be able to do so, and I would also like to accept the invitation from Steve Bragg to come to the Philippines to do a Creation Workshop for Filipino teachers, pastors, and church planters. We shared that request in our June letter. Please pray for wisdom and that the funds will be available if it is God’s will for me to do this. I also want to go to Ukraine first.
2. On Friday, July 5th, we had a very important meeting for Northwest Science Museum. God is bringing to our Board of Directors some ministry friends with keen business skills to help lay out a step-by-step plan about how to proceed from here to get the museum up and running to the glory of God. The next few weeks will be crucial, so please pray fervently for God to guide us and give us the courage to step out and take the necessary risks.
3. I have had some speaking appointments here in Idaho since returning from the Spring trip and have some coming up soon in western Oregon and Washington. If you live near one of these locations, I would be pleased to see you there. Please pray for safety as Della and I travel and that my messages will be inspiring and helpful to all who attend.
July 14th – River Hills Church, Gresham, Oregon – morning service
July 21st – Church of Christ, Oakland, Oregon – morning service
July 28th – Minnehaha Church of Christ, Vancouver, Washington –morning service
4. Please pray for completion and publication of “More Than Conquerors in Cultural Clashes” soon. My goal is to have the text refined for publication by mid-August and hopefully have received the necessary permissions to quote from other authors. Please pray for wisdom and balance for the use of my time, because I also have Deighton Lighting to oversee, as well as our business and mission correspondence, which we attempt to keep up with. I could not do this without Della and Sandy typing and tending to the details! I do sense an urgency to see this book in print and on our website as an inspiration and a challenge to a multitude of disheartened believers and to reach unbelievers by “casting down strongholds” through the power of the Spirit. We will share some comments from reviewers in “From Our Mailbox”.
From Our Mailbox
Sergei Golovin’s June report is so uplifting we want to share with you a big portion of it.
“The month was full of various events, meetings, discussions and projects, the most exciting among them were Novomoskovsk Christian teachers’ conference and “Tvorets” annual children camp.
“The conference was arranged by the initiative of some teachers who attended the March conference in Donetsk and wanted to extend its impact to their region as well. Though the timing was not the best (right before launching the children camp), the strategic importance of initiating, equipping and encouraging the movement among public schools teachers made us split our team into groups to be able to not give up either of the opportunities. Pretty simple conditions at the venue were greatly compensated by joy, interest and enthusiasm of the participants about the vision we discussed and the resources we offered for its implementing. Now teachers from other regions ask us to make a conference like this there as well, and we are discussing details how to include them to our schedule. Please pray for those who came to this conference, as well as for the future events like this, so the message of truth will be spread among schoolteachers – people with the greatest impact on next generation!
“The annual “Tvorets” (“Creator”) children camp was a great fun as usual. Every year we develop a new curriculum with the goal to cover a worldview gap between what children learn in public schools and in Sunday school, and field testing it at the camp prior to the final release. The topic of this year was “The World of Animals”. The kids studied the wonders of the creation and wisdom of the Creator with great joy as well as came back home safe, healthy, happy and excited. Thank you very much for you prayers and please keep praying with us for the fruit of the seeds planted there.
“Now we are incorporating all practically discovered improvements to the curricula, and soon it will become available for other camps, Sunday Schools, churches, children clubs, etc. alongside with our previously developed curricula. May the Lord be praised through these resources!
“I highly appreciate your prayers for Training Center, our dream project (http://www.scienceandapologetics.org/engl/new_challenge.htm). By God’s grace everything is going according to the plan so far. The first floor girth rails of the construction first turn are poured already and workers are watering them to settle before the next step. Please join our praises to the One who has provided the opportunity to start this great project and prayers that He will carry it on to completion for the glory of Christ Jesus!
“Please keep praying for our ministry, for all our projects, for our team, for our families, for God’s guidance in everything we do. You are in our prayers as well.
Yours by the love and grace of Christ Jesus,
Next we want to share with you some key portions of Georges Carillet’s recent newsletter:
“Update on CIU’s new home – finances”
“Debt reduction – almost have now. We now have $71,445 contributed this year to the Center’s purchase. We thank EVERYONE for their gift. The large number of gifts that came in during the first three weeks of our appeal gave us great encouragement; though the gifts tapered off rapidly after that. Now a large gift from Southeast Christian Church (Louisville) will cut about in half the debt. We still need $58,000 to be debt free. It is not too late for more of our readers to help out.
“Furnishing the Center. Not much has come in for the bunk beds. We still need almost $5,000! LaVerne and I advanced those funds so we can be ready for the Summer English School.
“Camp Time. Two of our staff will provide leadership for camps this summer. Anastasia (Nastya) is in one camp for orphans now and will be in two more in the month ahead. Natalka will serve in two French camps, one of which will focus on the teachings of the Bible.
“Please pray for
• Progress on registering the land.
• Our Summer School – to touch students’ lives and earn some income to help with faculty salaries.
• The next academic year – to attract students for our four tiers: (1) Impact students (Bible and Ministry students; (2) Bible major and minor students; (3) Christians who want to study the Bible but without the homework and not for credit; (4) Non-Christians who are interested in studying the Bible and discussing what Christians think about different things.
• Additional partners for TMI and CIU – I am seeking partners for our staff and faculty.
“Praise the Lord
Yevgeny Ustinovich (posted on FaceBook): ‘We went to the neurologist today, and she confirmed that Anton does NOT have cerebral palsy. He still has a minor cerebral dysfunction (= lots of work for the parents), but it is a small thing compared to CP. The worst time in our life is officially over.’”
“Dear Servants of God,
“Rick, it is so nice to have you back safe and sound. I’m sure no one feels that way any more than Della. There are a number of blessings connected to your recent trip: Sounded as if it was very successful and productive; Della is such a strong support and necessary help. You are blessed; many friends, family and supporters were bound together in prayer. You are the tip of the needle, Della the eye and the rest of us the thread and God is the hand-stitching – His handiwork on a torn cloth world. To God goes the glory!
“…..As always I enjoy your and Della’s reports, stories, and testimonies. Della, your missionary story with 26 guards got a lot of mileage here. I read it in a prayer group and also in a praise and prayer service of three combined churches. It is a wonderful testimony. Thank you. You both are examples and encouragement to me. Let’s keep on God’s path, in His will and for His service; His blessings are abundant.
“I love you two. Yours in Christ,
Notes from Reviewers of “More Than Conquerors in Cultural Clashes”
Concerning Chapter 1: “Passion and Purpose”
“I know I have previously sent you my thoughts on Chapter I——-but after re-reading I want to add two thoughts:
1). You mention that you fear that you are so eager to get your message across that you may come across too strong or too passionate and without enough love. Rick, dismiss this fear from your mind. After re-reading chapter 1, I can testify that I never felt more Christian love than I felt coming from your pen!!!!!!!!!
2). Reading Sandy’s Appendix brought tears to my eyes as I felt more than ever the Christian love coming through your pen and from Sandy’s heartfelt testimony.
In Christian love,
Concerning Chapter 3: “How Tolerant is the Tolerant Troop?”
“Very good once again. I agree with you completely. Get this published and I pray everyone reads it. I couldn’t improve on it at all. Couple minor comments. Page 4: I agree about ‘gay’. I hate it that the homosexual community has spoiled a good word that used to mean happy and care-free…Page 5: My pastor says, ‘What you compromise to keep, you will lose.’…..
“Hi bolder soldier!
“Wow, what a powerful exposé of the enemy’s strategy. It’s hard to imagine how far our country has moved from her ‘roots’! From the president on down, we are being pressured to actively endorse the abomination of homosexuality. Culture has turned from sinning with a tight fist to celebrating sin we ought to be ashamed of. Great reminders of who is tolerant. This chapter is on the money—what’s coming in your next chapter? Your illustrations are relevant; your comparisons are accurate, your metaphors are powerful. Chapter 3 nearly melted down my computer screen.
A fellow soldier,
Note: Gary taught me a lot about being clear and bold when I worked with him as his associate minister. I am honored to have such a friend! R.D.
Concerning Chapter 4: “Phony Matrimony vs. Merry Marriage”
“Rick: I have read Chapter 4 and agree with you and your stand for Biblical morality and against perversion. I am impressed with your knowledge of the subject and ability to state clearly the issues involved. I thank God for your willingness to stand for right and truth….I heartily endorse this excellent work.
Concerning Chapter 5: “Why Compromise the Purity Principle by Complying with Corrupt Culture?
“Rick, this is powerful print! Every youth leader and elder should be discussing these issues, and making realistic responses! Our culture is in deep darkness, and we are the light! Parents must set the example of holy living…joyful obedience. Your writing is spot on! Graphic, but not offensive. You remind me of the prophets of old…though you aren’t that old yet. Love you brother…and thanks for all the kind words you think of to describe our relationship. Your zeal is for real. The Cause demands it. You’ve got it. Keep it and pass it along.
Your friend, Gary” (Strubhar)
Continuing Book Offer
Of course we don’t have “More Than Conquerors in Cultural Clashes” ready to offer you yet, but we do have copies of “No Higher Power” – Obama’s War on Religious Freedom” by Phyllis Schlafly and George Newmayr. It is a well-documented, potent and pertinent expose’ of what is happening now in our nation. We also still have copies left of the stunning book, “The Harbinger – The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future” by Jonathan Cahn. (We ordered a second shipment of this one after the first lot was gone.) We would be happy to send you a copy of either stimulating book if you request one when you send an offering of any amount to Overseas Outreach.
Full Steam Ahead with the Task
“I expect to pass through this world but once;
Any good things therefore that I can do, or any kindness
that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now;
Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
~ Attributed to Étienne De Grellet
“Growing old, but not retiring,
For the fight ‘gainst sin goes on;
Fighting on without relenting
Until the final victory’s won.
Growing old, but not less faithful,
My two feet still ply the road
Of that path that’s straight an’ narrow
That leads me to the throne of God.
Growing old, but not less kindly
To those I meet on my way,
May I live a life more saintly,
And may I brighten up their day.
Growing old may be a blessing
To be past the pride of youth
That oft held me back from seeking
Thy Holy Word of light an’ truth.
Growing old and yet rejoicing
for the wisdom gained with age,
When the Book of Life be opened,
May my name be on every page.”
~From “Country Gospel”
By Charles K. Firmage
Anticipating the Reward – Homecoming!
Maybe you have also heard the story about the missionary couple who returned to America after 50 years of service in Africa. They “happened” to be on the same ship with Theodore Roosevelt, who had been on a hunting safari in Africa. When the ship pulled into harbor, there was a “Welcome Home!” banner, a band playing, and a welcoming committee for Theodore Roosevelt – but not one soul there to meet the missionary couple. As they walked along the boardwalk, his head was hanging low, and he muttered half under his breath, “O Lord, couldn’t you have sent someone to welcome us home?” Then his perceptive wife nudged him and whispered, “Remember, Honey, we’re not Home yet!!!”
Recently on the radio I heard again the Christian song from the 70’s: “It won’t be long – we’ll be leavin’ here; it won’t be long – we’ll be goin’ Home.” That song has been special to me for years. This time it stirred an even deeper yearning in my heart. What about you? Is the yearning stirring in your heart?
More recently I heard a song new to me that stirred up the yearning again: “I don’t feel any older – but I’m one day closer home!” I was thinking these words as I looked at the setting sun, which my Father used to splash beautiful colors on the clouds. One day closer Home – what a beautiful thought!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 (NKJV)
I will meet you again! Here – there – or in the air! Is the anticipation building in you too?
Yours & His,
Rick with Della
“Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning, When with our Savior heav’n is begun. Earth’s toiling ended, O glorious dawning, Beyond the sunset, when day is done.” ~ Virgil P. Brock