What Do We Choose to Celebrate?
Spiritual Warfare/Cultural Warfare
The American tradition for many decades has been to celebrate weddings in June – because June has been the most popular month for weddings. And what is a wedding? Because now as a corrupted culture where we have “educated ourselves into imbecility,” and because of an outrageous decision by a narrow majority of one of our U.S. Supreme Court two years ago, “weddings” have become a controversy instead of a joyous celebration of the union of one man with one woman for life, according to the ordinance of Almighty God. Let’s remember – and never forget, never compromise with our corrupted culture and egotistical Supreme Court – that ONE DAY every Supreme Court justice will stand before THE SUPREME COURT of the universe to answer before Almighty God! Our awesome God inspired to be written: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV). Isn’t the Word of God more important than the opinions of men and the decisions of any human court? Consider these awe-inspiring passages:
“ For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (NKJV)
“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; …” 2 Corinthians 5:9-11a (NKJV)
Marriage is God’s ordinance, which is both immutable and irrefutable, in spite of the convoluted consciences of corrupted culture and the elevated arrogance of “supreme court” justices who believe their opinion is superior to the ordinance of the King Almighty.
Marriage and family are the basic building blocks of society, based upon God’s design. Therefore, those in rebellion against His plan and His authority are intent on demolishing His divine pattern and reconstructing all the world’s civilizations according to their convoluted communist concoctions. Since America is a nation that was founded upon a reverence toward God and based upon Biblical principles (and declared to be a Christian nation by a former U.S. Supreme Court back in 1892), perhaps you can better understand now what is meant by the malicious mantra of “fundamentally transforming this nation.” Now do you see why Barack Hussein Obama refused to participate in the National Day of Prayer, but instead vigorously promoted the LGBT agenda and declared June, “Gay Pride Month”? Do you realize that what is paraded in America’s city streets under the “rainbow flag” are both abominations according to the Word of God – sodomy and pride? (See Leviticus 20:18; Proverbs 6:16-19.) Also, do you realize that the strategists for the homosexual “rights” agenda have stolen God’s symbol of his promise to never again destroy the entire world with a flood – the rainbow? (See Genesis 9:11-17)
Children of God, let’s celebrate the rainbow as the certainty of God’s promise we will not again have a world-wide flood – no matter how close you live to the rivers in Idaho, and no matter what the global warming alarmists say! However, remember also His promise that judgment is coming again. “since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12(NKJV)
Children of God, let’s celebrate weddings that are according to God’s pattern! He is the One who created us male and female and ordained marriage. Hooray! Alleluia! Let’s celebrate the refining process that God established through marriage and family! No matter how much we love each other, we will sometimes irritate each other and rub each other the wrong way. Why? Different perspectives, different convictions and opinions, and different preferences of males and females, etc. Sometimes the rubbing the wrong way produces so much heat and irritation that one or both partners want out. I once heard the comparison of how marriage is like flies on a screen door. How? Because those on the outside want in, and those on the inside want out! One wag was reported to have commented, ‘I was married by a judge – now I wish that I had asked for a jury!” If you identify with that feeling, hold on, trust God, and submit to His Spirit and His commands. The greatest peace, joy and fulfillment on earth may be awaiting you as you submit to God’s plan for marriage as His refinery to burn out selfishness and develop character. The qualities of patience, forgiveness, graciousness, and kindness grow in the furnace of affliction much better than in the green pastures. The Master Potter transforms dysfunctional families (cracked pots) into trophies of His grace.
On June 14 Della and I celebrated fifty-four and a half years as husband and wife, and in July I can celebrate my first glimpse of her when I was still seventeen years old – fifty-six years ago. I grew to the ripe old age of nineteen before making the second most important/wonderful commitment of my life – when I said, “I do,” to our minister, Kenneth Beckman, and before family and friends. Della and I are total opposites in temperament types and male/female perspectives, so we often clash. (Surprise! Surprise!) Actually, every successful marriage is made up of two good forgivers! Also, every functional, happy family and congregation of Christians is made up of multiple gracious forgivers. Why do you think the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write this to the Colossians: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17 (NKJV)
More to Celebrate!
Besides celebrating weddings, Biblical marriage and family, let’s also keep on celebrating the amazingly verified truth of the resurrection and appearances of our Lord Jesus Christ, who showed Himself alive after His resurrection, “by many infallible proofs”! (Acts 1:3) He is risen! He is risen indeed! “You ask me how I know He lives – He lives within my heart”. This is true, but it is the subjective part of my testimony. The objective part of my testimony is historical verification of the absolute truth that He is alive! The tomb is empty! It was empty in Jerusalem three days after they buried Him! If it were not empty, His enemies would have proven that He had not risen by gathering his followers before the tomb and producing His dead body to prove that He did not rise from the dead. Why didn’t they do that? Because they could not! Lenin’s dead body is on display in Red Square with the lie printed on the casket, “the greatest leader of all time!” Really? Lenin is dead! Mohammed is dead! Buddha is dead! Jesus is alive! The living, risen Lord Jesus has transformed my life, and the lives of multiple millions of others who gather to worship in His name every Sunday. Jesus conquered sin, death and hell, so we gather each first day of the week to celebrate resurrection Sunday every week! If Jesus had not risen from the dead, His church – His Bride – would not exist! Someday soon we will celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb in glory! That is our blessed hope! Hallelujah! Hosanna!
Twenty Year Anniversary
This year we will also celebrate our twentieth year since God opened the door to us for our Overseas Outreach mission, so in the next few prayer letters we will be sharing portions of that story. It all began with prayer (sometimes fasting and prayer) in the summer of 1997 when we were working with a congregation in Gresham, Oregon. Both Della and I were sensing that God was preparing us for a change, but we didn’t know what it would be, so we began praying often and earnestly for His leading, wisdom, and clear direction. In September of ’97, when we went to Joplin, Missouri, for the Convocation of POEM celebrating five years of full-time ministry for Victor and Evelyn Knowles with POEM. God used Reggie Thomas to open that new door to us. We will share more about that later, but since Reggie Thomas’ ministry, White Fields Overseas Evangelism, is the parent mission to our Overseas Outreach, we will share their current prayer requests we just received in this issue. By the way, I am planning another mission trip to Ukraine and Germany starting September 25.
“Dear Rick & Della, June 6, 2017
Thank you so much for your love gift $100 we received from you today to be used for the Liberian Preachers.
‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you. I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this that He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ Phil. 1:3-6
Please pray for the world-wide ministry of WHITE FIELDS. First of all I ask you to pray for the church in the nations where persecution of Christians is so terrible –North Korea, India, Syria, Iran, Libya, China, etc. etc.
Secondly, pray for more fruit that is being constantly harvested in Liberia. White Fields began starting churches in Liberia during the worst part of the civil war that claimed 250,000 victims. From one church started in 1997 to 55 churches today. Praise God. Every preacher that we have taught in Liberia is a soul winner and please pray they will keep the harvest coming.
Thirdly, pray for the harvest fields in India. Even though the government of India is persecuting Christians, and even though the Hindu (idol-worshiping majority) persecute Christians, our faithful White Fields Indian Preachers are reaping souls for Christ daily.
Fourthly, pray for Dr. Don Ott and Dr. Mark who are teaching the Bible at the Cuba Bible Institute sponsored by White Fields in Havana, Cuba. The people of Cuba are ripe fruit for the preaching of the gospel.
Fifthly, pray for the necessary funds to build the church building in Pignon, Haiti. One dear couple in Indiana are giving all the money to build the orphanage in Pignon, but White fields must raise the funds to build the church building. We thank Edwin Thomas and his team of World Church Builders for the manpower to construct the buildings. Please help if possible with the finances for the church building.
Finally pray for all of the 311 White Fields Evangelists who are preaching the gospel around the world. We are attempting to supply financial support for all these evangelists. We have been “hard hit” financially. Several of our faithful supporting churches here in America have had to cut their support of White Fields due to declining membership. On top of this several faithful supporters have died over the past 12 months. We urgently need to find more friends and more congregations who would be willing to provide support for the native evangelists.
In Christian love,
Reggie & Esther
Now a word about the orphanages from Lori: Please be in prayer for the Haitian people, especially the children. Pink eye is spreading like crazy, but measles has also entered the picture. AND there is still very little health care available. I talked to a doctor who was in Haiti on a medical mission. He said the children are starving therefore their immune systems are very weak and cannot fight any infections. We are so thankful for your support, not only in Haiti but also in Liberia, India and Bulgaria. You help us keep our children healthy and safe. We are so thankful for you! The children appreciate you more than words can express and always pray for you!
In Christian love,
Director Orphanage Ministries
Timely Treasured Truth from Trinity
Recently when Trinity Hope (our now 6-year-old granddaughter) heard a family discussion that included comments about Hillary Clinton, she piped up with: “She needs to read the Bible! I’m going to go tell Hillary Clinton about Jesus!” All right! Go, Trinity, Go! Give her heaven!
Insights from Issues in Education
by Bob & Geri Boyd
“Freedom is not free but purchased at great cost. Memorial Day is a day to remember the sacrifices that paid for our freedoms. Gary Horton, a motivational school assembly speaker, was an Army Ranger who fought for our freedoms, yet he’s not given the freedom to speak about his Christian faith in public schools. Schools have re-written our history, banned the flag, and banned the motto and the pledge. Christians have accepted the lie that we must deny our faith in public and deny the basis of where our freedoms came from – Biblical Christianity. Without this understanding, our freedoms are in grave jeopardy.”
“Eagles Soar Above the Storms”
“The eagle is a symbol of strength and freedom. The majestic eagle is fearless as he flies into the face of a storm. Eagles love a storm. They get excited! Eagles look forward to using the strong winds to push them up high above the storm. So adversity strengthens godly people. So when adversity comes, don’t let it get you down, let it push you up as you draw closer to God. Just as momma eagle stirs up her nest to get her baby eaglet to take the first flight, so God develops us through circumstances to strengthen our faith and character. God is more interested in our character than our comfort. Just as papa eagle, a symbol of God, can be trusted to catch his falling/screaming baby eaglet on his majestic wings, so God will hold us by His Righteous Right Hand. Trusting God in the storms of life produces godly character. Avery Willis, author of Learning to Soar – How to Grow Through Transitions and Trials, says adversity causes us to develop greater faith and maturity.”
“I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!” Isa. 40:10.
1. “I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds. People move out of the way much faster now!”
2. “I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row.”
3. “I changed from calling the bathroom the John to the Jim, so I could say I went to the Jim this morning.”
4. “Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet…”
5. “I don’t need anger management. I need people to stop irritating me!”
6. “I’m going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I’ll do the second week.”
7. “Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.”
“We have witnessed a modern day political miracle with the election of Donald Trump. This election has literally changed the course of our nation. Most people don’t realize it, but God is giving this nation another chance. Just as in ancient Israel in the Bible, even when they were at war with God and everything that was right as they headed for destruction, God graciously extended His mercy and gave them another chance.”
“Prayer can do anything God can do.” E.M. Bounds
“We need to be fervent in prayers for our leaders in the Church, in government, in the media and in education. We can change the laws, and build a Southern wall as Nehemiah did in ancient Israel, but if we don’t change the hearts of the people, especially the younger generation, the nation will degenerate to the point of no return and receive the harshest judgments of God. If you can’t imagine what it would be like to have God as your enemy, instead of your guardian, read Deuteronomy chapter 28. And that was to His chosen people!”
“So we must use this time to pray fervently and explicitly, begging God to lead people to repentance, and return to Him for another great revival. We must boldly proclaim the gospel and its application to social issues. As God told Solomon three thousand years ago, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways (apathy/ignorance) then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“That’s a promise from God! He will heal our land and He will bless you for doing your part.”
Note: The Memorial Day message entitled “Courage” by former Army Ranger Gary Horton is one of the most moving, powerful messages we have ever heard. I ordered 30 copies of the CD from Bob Boyd. Please let us know if you would like to have one. – Rick
From Our Mailbox
“My older brother, Gene Edleman, in Casper, Wyo. is dying. He lost 40 lbs, was very weak, got pneumonia, fell and hit his head. Ex-rays showed that he has a tumor or something in his stomach that is blocking the food. A little passes through, but the rest of the food is poisoning his system. Also his bones are deteriorating. There’s nothing more the doctors can do. He is now on comfort measures and morphine.
He is one week away from his 88th birthday, June 18th. I really wish he could make it. He told his daughter, Kathy, that he wouldn’t reach his birthday. That is probably a premonition. I’m praying though that he can reach that goal.
We are all getting older now, so Joyce won’t travel to the service or our other brother, Keith, who has heart disease. The high altitude and stress of traveling would make it impossible for him to go – besides his wife can’t walk after knee surgery. They live in Arizona. Ben and family will take me in the van to Wyoming. At age 80, I tire easily now. Please pray for all concerned. Thank you, dear friends.”
Mary’s reply after we told her we would be praying for all of their family:
“Thank you for your prayers. I forgot to mention that Gene is a believer. He gave his heart to Jesus at age 17 at the little country church in South Dakota. He has liked to go to church. Even in the Army when he wrote home, he would insert the church bulletin in the letter. A highlight for him at Christmas was always the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. He looked forward to that. He and his wife took their children to church when they were little. When he was widowed eight years ago he went to church by himself. I think that is commendable for a man to do that.
At first when I received the news of his condition, I was upset. We’re close and in contact a lot. He’s never sick and very, very active for his age. So I wasn’t ready for it yet. It occurred to me that he has no debilitating disease. He’s just dying of old age. That is common in our family. God gives us very long lives and we die of old age. God whispered to me, ‘He’s almost Home, He’s almost Home’. Hallelujah! The last illness is the hardest. After that, it’s ‘Glory for me.’ The song ‘I’ll Fly Away’ runs through my mind.
‘Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away.
To a land where joys will never end, I’ll fly away.
I’ll fly away to glory, I’ll fly away. in the morning.
Just a few more days, Hallelujah! I’ll fly away’
What victory in Jesus! This is where the rubber meets the road. This is what Christianity is about. Where we will spend eternity!
‘It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Him.'” – Mary
“Dear Brother Rick, dear Sister Della,
Thanks so much for your kind message and for your generous gift of support for our work among international students here in Tuebingen! You are a real blessing and constant encouragement to us! We always enjoy reading your Overseas newsletters and hearing about your work there and in the Ukraine. The newsletters are also quite instructional for us and for others!
May our Lord continue to bless you in every way as you are a blessing to many others!
Warmly yours in Christ from warm and sunny Tuebingen,
Jim and Naomi Kautt, International Student Mission (ISM), Tuebingen, Germany”
A little later:
“Dear Rick and Della,
I just forgot to ask you to pray with us and for us! Please pray for Naomi’s health as she’s been plagued by a chronic cough for about two months now after a cold. We’d like to also ask you to pray for some of our students this semester who are new, that may desire to learn more of God’s Word and to follow Jesus in the second half of the semester, which goes until mid-July. Some of them are: L, an “ethnic Muslim” Chinese student of English literature, Madar, an English literature student from Nepal, Omar, a medical student from Sicily, and Guang, who is doing his final oral exam in German philosophy tomorrow for his Ph.D., that he may desire to follow and know Jesus..
Please pray for me (Jim), that I can finish my project of correcting my doctoral dissertation for my professor, who will be coming to Tuebingen soon, expecting to read the polished copy so that I can submit it for publication. I’ve still got quite a lot to do and little time! Thanks for your prayers!
Warmly yours in Christ,
Jim and Naomi Kautt, International Student Mission (ISM), Tuebingen, Germany