Trust in Transition – A Challenge, Exhortation and Encouragement

Trust in Transition

A Challenge, Exhortation and Encouragement

Important Truths to Remember – Continued from our May Prayer Letter

  1. Tests and trials are an essential part of training!
  2. Satan will use these tests as temptations to wonder, worry and waver. He will even, perhaps, especially use them to get us to nitpick and blame each other (or ourselves) for each blunder (or perceived mistake).  His method is always divide and conquer!
  3. Remember that a divided mind is his victory. Why?  Because, as James candidly pointed out (by inspiration of the Holy Spirit): “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8.
  4. Remember that just before these verses, God already told us how to handle trials: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4.
  5. Remember that Northwest Science Museum is a God-sized project – all our own pushing, prodding, and pleading with people will not accomplish it. That will only frustrate us, and them!
  6. Remember that this is not only a God-sized project – it is a God-initiated and a God-led project. It started as an answer to prayer – and it will proceed in answer to prayer – and it will succeed in answer to prayer!  God deserves all the glory, and He will receive the glory.  This is a good time for self evaluation.  If I’m in this project for personal glory, or if you are, it’s time to admit it, confess it and repent!  Or it’s time to bow out now.  Seeking personal glory will divide us, split the team, and ruin the project.  Satan will be the only winner if personal glory is the goal!
  7. Remember that our goal is to turn souls from sin to the Savior; from corruption to the Creator, and our corrupted culture from destruction and damnation to delighting in the Lord!
  8. Remember that, “we ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” when it comes to opposition and attacks. God has to prepare us for the onslaught of angry antagonists Satan will send our way when we move into a wider sphere of influence and impact on this extremely warped culture.  Remember that when the angels came to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family – the Sodomites came knocking on their door!  Remember, Aaron and Melissa Kline, Jack Phillips and Baronelle Stutzman did not go looking for trouble – trouble came to them!
  9. Remember that: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew theirstrength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
  10. Remember that it may be wise for us to choose a verse (or verses) as our motto. Here are 3 suggestions:

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” 1 Peter 3:15

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you  from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.  Amen.” Jude 24-25.

  1. Remember that we are to speak the truth in love, but we are never to waver from speaking the truth. If we waver from speaking truth – we lose!  Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life!”  Without the truth there is no way – and no life!  There are too many compromising churches and “Christian” organizations out there already, so we don’t need to supply another one!
  2. Remember that we don’t need to become “obnoxious” when speaking truth. We can be bold and clear, yet kind at the same time (like a loving parent).
  3. Remember that there is power in praise! “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.   Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:1-3.
  4. Remember there is power in focus – “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.” We can look around at our circumstances and become desperate and bitter, or look up to Jesus and become decisive and better.
  5. Remember that we are “more than conquerors” through Him who loves us!
  6. Remember God’s pattern indicates that He often waits to the last moment to intervene and show His awesome power. Moses and Israel at the Red Sea: Gideon and the Midianites.  Why?  “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
  7. Remember the apostle Peter’s admonition to believers under intense pressure. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle   To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:8-11.

The Other Letters

Perhaps it has occurred to you that so far in my letter about the acrostic on TRUST I have concentrated on the first two letters: T for Testing/Training and R for Remembering.  Therefore it is time to mention the other letters.

U = Unite!  Unite!  Unite!  Why?  Satan is our ultimate adversary – and we can be certain that he will go all out to bring us doubt, discouragement, and division.  Oh, yes, he is the great divider.  He will foster division in our marriage relationships, in our family relationships, and in our team relationships for NWSM.

This is definitely different than Jesus as the Great divider in families.  Jesus Himself said, “For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 10:35-39.  The difference between Jesus and Satan as great dividers is that Jesus divides believers from unbelievers, and the unbelievers who choose to believe Satan’s lies and reject Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life will spread Satan’s agenda of hatred for truth and righteousness by persecuting believers.  Satan, on the other hand, is diligent to divide believers from believers over opinions and trivial matters.  Jesus prayed for us about this in His high priestly prayer the night before He was crucified: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. John 17:20-23.

Also, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote: “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-4.

And, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3.

S = Steadfast!  Steadfast!  Steadfast!  Let’s look again at James 1:1-3 this time in the ESV: “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

Now look at 1 Corinthians 15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

T = Triumph!  Triumph!  Triumph!  What I call the Triangle of Triumph is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Now consider 2 Corinthians 2:14: “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

Also, as we anticipate the joy of triumph, we must remember that after every mountaintop experience comes the valley on the other side.  Elijah seems to have forgotten that fact after the terrific triumph over the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah when he ran and ran and ran from the threat of one godless woman – then hid in a cave for a monumental pity party.  Why?  Apparently because Jezebel became more powerful than El Shaddi in his own weary, weak brain.  Our weakest moments often come:

  1. After a great victory
  2. When we are exhausted

Wasn’t it a famous general who said, “Exhaustion makes cowards of us all!”?

From Our Mailbox

“Dear Rick,

We praise the Lord for you and for the heart you give for serving the Kingdom in our part of the world!  This is great encouragement and the model for us here.  I will be so glad to see you again.  How can I serve you while you are serving us?…..

Thank you very much for the invitation to the retreat in Slovenia on November 5-8.  On the one hand these dates are open in my schedule, on the other hand I am not travelling alone anymore due to several reasons, including health issues, Olga is going with me everywhere.  Also, I’m afraid our budget may not afford the travel cost in view of the upcoming expenses….

Yours by the grace of Jesus,

Sergei” (Golovin)

Note:  If you want to designate a gift to help with travel expenses for Sergei and Olga to the mission retreat, we will honor your designation and see that they get it.

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“Dear Rick and Della,

It was wonderful to see you again, to have a nice visit, and to hear you teach the Sunday School Class.  Your message was very good and inspiring.  Your closing illustration when you were an atheist was very, very touching.  Esther and I especially appreciated your message, and we have heard many favorable comments.

We have been so thrilled through the years to be partners with you in the Lord’s work, and we look forward to the future, praying for many more souls to be won to Christ.

Our love,

Reggie & Esther” (Thomas)

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“Dear Rick,

Thank you very much for your e-mail! You know I am always happy to see you and I am always glad when you teach my students the most important things in life as well as they are.  So, of course, we are grateful to you for your desire to come and are looking forward to meeting you in October (or any other time which is convenient for you). I am not sure about the University’s guest room, but we will anyway decide something about your accommodation…..

May God richly bless you and your family,

Natalia” (Kalinina)

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“Well, brother, it looks like the idea for Saturday, September 22 comes up by itself! I had a meeting with a young national couple, Igor and Lena Lavrichev, who run the School of Christian Worldview, training both national and international missionaries in former Soviet Union countries. They are desperately keen on developing new formats for training and equipping national leaders for the work of the Kingdom.

After the discussion we came up with the idea of the new project, “Foundations for Faith”, one day open Lectorium / Lyceum. The guest speakers are going to provide a day of seminars on Saturdays once or twice a month at the University of Nations campus. That would be really great if you could join us in launching this strategically important project! Would you be interested to do a day of seminars on September 22nd? If yes, what would be the overall title for them? (So we could start promoting them.)

Yours by the grace of Jesus,  Sergei” G.

Note:  In response to this request, I will be teaching an all-day seminar on Christian Worldview.  The lessons will be:  1. Wisely Choose Your Worldview  2. Why I Believe in God  3. Learning to Discern (Developing the Art of Critical Thinking  4. Monstrous Problems – Awesome God!  (An overview of the Book of Job).

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“Dear Rick,

We are so happy, that you are coming this fall. We were wondering about that and were going to ask you about this. It will be our privilege to have you at our house.  We would like to ask you to spend at least couple of days with us, so we could introduce our church to you and tell about our ministry and amazing God’s work. We would consider it a blessing, if you are able to teach us or to share about your life and ministry.

As for the missionary retreat, we would gladly go there, but unfortunately, we can’t afford to pay for the tickets. Vova is not supported by the church, since it’s very small. We get some support, but it’s not regular. I work with translation, but it’s not enough. Thank you so much for thinking about us. We would definitely go, if we had money.

We will be praying for your visit, that God would use you for His glory.

With Christ’s love, Volodya and Maryana”

Note:  “Vova” is the nickname for Volodya, and he is a bi-vocational missionary, doing an outstanding job of reaching addicts with the transforming power of the gospel and spirit of Christ.  His own testimony is riveting – and available on You Tube.  The missionary retreat is all expense paid except for travel to and from the retreat site in Slovania November 5-8.  Please pray!  (You may want to ask God if He would have you contribute a designated offering for Volodya and Maryana to make the trip.)

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“Dear Rick:

Thank you for getting in touch with us again. It was good to hear from you.

We appreciate you sending your May 2018 newsletter.  It appears that you are in significant transition (would that be an understatement? :)).  In addition, we were pleased to receive your suggestion to feature Judge Roy Moore as a broadcast guest (along with a copy of the letters his wife and his campaign scheduler wrote).  Your idea has been forwarded to the Broadcast team for their consideration.

Again, thanks for writing.  We have joined with you in praying for the requests you included in your update.  If we can assist you in any other way, please let us know.  Unfathomable blessings to you and your wife as you invest more of your time and energy in greater ministry involvement!

Sincerely,

David Harleyson

Office of the President” (Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk)

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“Dear brother Deighton,

Once again I want to express my appreciation for your publication, Overseas Outreach Serving our Awesome God.

In these days of abounding infidelity, it is encouraging to know of those who are defending the grand old faith and the dear old Book.  Ravi Zacharias, whom I heard once again this morning, is my favorite radio speaker.  His replies are extremely compelling.  Then a couple from Scottsdale – she a faithful believer for many years, he still resisting the gospel – recently visited the replica of the Ark just south of Cincinnati in Kentucky and found it to be a faith-building experience.  (Nellie and I went through their museum a few years ago before the Ark was constructed.)  On our local Christian television station, they have a gripping series entitled, ‘Origins’.  It is getting harder all the time – with the mounting evidence – to continue to be an unbeliever.  It becomes increasingly evident that faith is a choice.  People do not believe because they do not want to believe.  In spite of the numerous miracles Jesus performed during the time He was with us in the flesh, His own flesh-and-blood brothers did not believe He was the promised Messiah until after His resurrection!  ‘There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.’…..

Your piece about your granddaughter, ‘The Truth about Trinity’, stated truth we often don’t want to accept.  I recently listened to a sermon I preached a few years ago, ‘You Have a Dirty Little Mean Streak’, based on Romans 7, in which I showed that we are bad…children are born with rebellion in their psyche.  Poor, misled counselors, who think that ‘SELF ESTEEM’ will solve all problems – promiscuity, drug addiction, etc. – are so sadly mistaken.  Now the government is going to throw bundles of money at drug addiction, but if they, as most of them do, approach this problem with the ‘self-esteem gospel’, the problem will only get worse…..

I am afraid that many of us in the Restoration Movement in our reaction to the doctrine of ‘original sin’ have gone to the other extreme and, as I heard one of our good faithful brothers say, ‘babies come into this world as pure as the God who gave them.’…..The reason infants who die go to heaven is not because they are so pure and sweet and good, ‘BUT BECAUSE JESUS DIED FOR THE ONLY THING THAT COULD HAVE KEPT THEM OUT.  Romans 5:18-19.  That teaches that there is ‘original grace’ that takes care of ‘original sin.’  Those who die in infancy, and the mentally challenged will sing and shout the praises of Jesus in heaven with the rest of us, because they, like us, will know the only reason they are there is because of HIM!…

Thank you so much for your paper!

In His Happy Service, Bob Chambers”

Note:  The fact that I shared “The Truth About Trinity” with you has not harmed my relationship with her one bit (even though she is reading pretty well at a first grade level!)  She still loves to have special person-to person time with her granddad, especially when I take her to feed the ducks on Wilson Creek Trail or to the playground at the park!  There is actually no substitute for person-to-person time!  Sharing truth with your own kids and grandkids when they are young, and teachable is vitally important.  Remember – no matter how cute they are when smiling, sweet they are when sleeping, witty they are when teasing – they are still, under the surface, selfish, sinful rebels who desperately need our Savior!  Share Him with them!  Speak the truth in love!  Show them their need for forgiveness – and lead them to the One and Only Who can forgive and save them.  Be open and transparent about your own need for the Savior – and they will love you for it. 

Here is the primary passage that the Israelites memorized and repeated:  “Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your hearts.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (ESV).

Parents and grandparents, it is our primary responsibility to teach our kids and grandkids to love God, love His Word, obey His Word – and come Home to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.

Now Consider This New Testament Passage:

“Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’  And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’  And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.  And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.  Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them.  And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.”  Acts 16:30-34 (ESV).  Note:  This text has sometimes been used as a proof text for infant baptism based on the assumption that one or more infants were part of his household.  However, the text does not support this speculation because all in the household were believers who rejoiced with the jailer.  The NKJV in verse 34 reads: “he rejoicing, having believed in God with all his household.” 

Prayer Requests

  1. Sergei and Olga Golovin need to replace their current vehicle with a new car that will hold up for many thousands of miles of constant travel on Ukrainian roads. They could get about $16,000 trade in for their car – but would much rather donate it to Andrey and Anya Goryainov for their orphan and creation ministries. Andrey has the mechanical skills to get many more miles out of this vehicle.   A matching challenge gift would be great!  If God puts it on your heart to offer a matching challenge – or an offering of any amount – please notify us as soon as possible.  Please pray!
  2. Please pray also for 50 new creation evangelists to emerge equipped and ready to serve after the five day intensive training camp in New Mexico this August. This is another training experience offered by Mike Riddle through his ministry, Creation Training Initiative. C.T.I. and Foundations in Genesis of Idaho are partner ministries to our Northwest Science Museum.
  3. Praise God! He is answering our prayers for Northwest Science Museum in some amazing ways. If you want a more complete report, please contact me at 208-284-RICK or call Stan at 208-972-6288. You can also go to: info@northwestsciencemuseum.com.
  4. My fall mission trip is now planned and confirmed for my itinerary from September 10 through the first week of October – but I’m praying and waiting for clarity about the second week of October. Please pray with me for God’s wisdom and clarity. Will I be teaching Christian Evidences again at Tavrisky Christian Institute near Kherson?  Will I be going to help with outreach at Mariupol and Mangush near the war zone in Southeast Ukraine?  Should I go to Germany on my way home and help with outreach in Berlin and Tübingen?  I don’t know – but Father knows best.  Let’s talk with Him about this.
  5. Two younger men have expressed an interest in accompanying me on the fall mission trip, but neither has made a clear commitment. Please pray for clarity for them and for me which one (if either) should come for a week or two. Again, Father knows best!
  6. June 30 is the date for “Going for the Win” Youth Pastor/Leader Conference. Please pray. Please pass on this information to any and all potential candidates for this uplifting, challenging conference led by Mike Riddle.
  7. Please praise God with us for the safe and inspiring trip Della and I had to Joplin and Branson, Missouri. Our longtime friend and former co-worker in Germany, Betty Thomas, invited us to come to Branson for the “Your Mission Matters” Conference sponsored by Ozark Christian College. Betty’s husband, Lloyd, had reserved a condo with three rooms for this conference before God took him Home on October 30, 2017, and Betty discovered the reservation with their time share while going through his papers.  Mark and Paula Berrier had accepted her offer for one of the rooms, and we accepted her offer for the other, and Betty had the third room.

The speakers for the conference shared excellent expositions and applications from Colossians (Gerald Griffin)  and 1 Peter (Randy Gariss), and Phil Mehrens led us in soul-inspiring music.

In and around Joplin we got to pray with some giants in the faith (Reggie Thomas, Ziden Nutt, and Boyce and Betty Mouton), and I had opportunity for four speaking appointments on the weekends before and after the conference.  We also got to visit the Creation Experience Museum near Branson and take in several outstanding presentations in Branson.  It was a wonderful, uplifting time!

 Creation Moment

Did you ever wonder how perching birds can sleep on branches without falling off?  God has given them a special toe-locking device!  In each leg is a tendon that is attached to the underside of the toes, stretching up the leg to the back of the “ankle,” and attaching to the leg muscle.  When the bird relaxes, it bends its “ankle” which pulls on the tendon and causes the toes to curl more tightly.  The more the bird relaxes, the more it bends, and the more it curls its toes.  The tendon even has hundreds of ratchet-like projections that mesh with the grooves in the tendon sheath.  It is virtually impossible for a bird to fall off a perch while sleeping.  As the bird stands up, the tendon is relaxed, and the feet are released.

Evolutionists would have us believe that this special toe-locking device happened by accidental changes over millions of years.  If the tendon was present without the ratchet-like projections, how would the tendon stay taut?  And what about the ratchet-like projections; they require a complimentary groove for them to function properly?  These parts had to be present from the beginning.  Our Creator cares even for the way a bird perches.

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.                                           ~ Matthew 13:31-32

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From “HAVE YOU CONSIDERED”

“Evidence Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”

by Julie Von Vett and Bruce Malone

(Used by permission).

 

Some Interesting Quotes

“A coincidence is when God performs a miracle, and decides to remain anonymous.” 

“Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked.”

Don’t worry when you are criticized by others.

Remember –  “We are performing for the audience of One!” 

“When the power of love exceeds the love of power, the world will know peace.”

“It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions.”  – John R. Mott

“Some of us are senders and some are goers.  Neither is more important than the other. 

Neither is possible without the other.”  – David Sills

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