Where Was God on 9/11?
Today, as I write this, it is September 11, 2019 – 18 years since the terrible attacks by suicide terrorists that killed nearly 3,000 people. I still vividly remember receiving an email note of empathy from Vlad Devakov expressing his sorrow over this tragedy and telling us that his tears were dropping onto his keyboard as he typed the message. Vlad was my first interpreter for the “Man and the Christian Worldview” Symposiums in May 2001. Today, tears will be flowing from millions of eyes for those who were murdered that day, for the first responders who sacrificed their lives or their health to rescue people trapped in the towers, the Pentagon or the plane, plus those grieving over the recent Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, the fatalities and injuries from mass shootings, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, accidents, etc.
On 9/11, many people were asking Christian leaders, “Why?” or “Where is God now?” Some had no answer, but some had good answers based on a Biblical Christian Worldview. Why? Because we are living on a cursed earth, that’s why! Why are we on a cursed earth? Because of sin, that’s why! Human rebellion against the rule of Almighty God, the loving Father who created them in His own image as male and female and put them on a perfect earth in a beautiful garden with an abundance of everything they needed. There was only one restriction, which gave Adam and Eve the power of choice. (This was part of being created in His own image). Instead of obeying their Father, they chose to fall for Satan’s deception, thereby bringing the curse of suffering and death upon earth. Every one of us has made the same kind of foolish, ungodly choices in our own lives.
Where was God on 9/11? The same place He was when corrupted and deluded human beings rejected His only begotten Son, mocked Him, cursed Him, spit on Him, and nailed Him to an old rugged cross! That is where He shed His precious blood to rescue you from your sin – and me from mine. He made forgiveness possible for us. He was the first responder and the only responder who could rescue us – because He had no sin! What are we doing with Jesus? Are we sharing His truth and love so others can be rescued? Please pray! Remember that thousands of those corrupted and deluded human beings were converted in Jerusalem by the proclamation of the gospel – starting only 50 days later at the feast of Pentecost!
- Please pray for a massive spiritual awakening in America and in Ukraine.
- Please pray for the future of our Overseas Outreach mission – and God’s clear guidance.
- Please pray for expanded outreach and impact for Northwest Science Museum (NWSM) as we prepare and move to the Gateway Center of Nampa. Please pray for the volunteers and funds to move and expand (NWSM) to promote the Biblical Christian Worldview and show that Genesis lays the foundation for the gospel.
- Our missionary friend, Steve Bycroft, lost his wife, Shanthi, to cancer on August 14 after a hard battle lasting 5 ½ years. Steve is at his home in Joplin, Missouri, with some of their adopted kids, but two of them are still in Sri Lanka waiting for their visas. Steve oversees four church plants in Sri Lanka. Please pray for this family.
- Della fell in our kitchen over seven weeks ago, and she has experienced pain in her only kidney, as well as pain in her back and legs, because of the jarring. Please pray.
- Our son-in-law, David Smith, is scheduled for crucial surgery on September 19 to correct a problem with his esophagus. Please pray that the surgery is totally successful and that he has a quick recovery.
- Please keep praying for both Edward and Paul as we described before. Edward has applied for the $12,000 per year scholarship for international students who come to Ozark Christian College, but this does not cover travel or living expenses. Pray for Paul as a Ukrainian soldier.
- Please pray for the new church plant – ECC West Valley – and what God would have us to do.
- David Davolt is Director of Development for Boise Bible College and a good friend, who serves on our prayer team for Overseas Outreach. He shared a serious prayer request with us: “Please be praying for my niece’s son, 5-year old Gauge in Ohio. He fell off a riding mower and has lost his foot. He is in the hospital having more surgery today (Sept. 4). They have been concerned about infection. Many challenges in the situation:
– My niece had just moved from Idaho to Ohio with five kids. (They had been attending Ten Mile Church before the move.)
– Her husband stayed in Idaho to finish some construction contracts he had.
– The father flew back over the weekend.
– My sister, (Grandma) is flying back today to help with the other kids as long as necessary.
A friend started a “Go Fund Me” account and they have been able to raise some money to help meet all the unexpected expenses. “
Note from Rick: And as we consider the tragic situation for Gauge and his family, let’s also praise God for the fact that He gives “beauty for ashes.” Somehow He, in His mysterious and wonderful ways, is going to multiply blessings to many people from this tragic mishap, as He has done with Joni Eareckson Tada after she broke her neck in a diving accident at age 17. Multitudes of people world-wide have been marvelously blessed by her life and insights over the past 50 years.
Trip to Oregon
In August Della and I made a ten-day trip to western Oregon and Washington for rich fellowship with wonderful friends and one of Della’s cousins, Sylvia Christopherson, plus my three speaking appointments. On Sunday, August 11 in Vancouver, WA, I had opportunity to share a combined mission report and message during class time, and we had opportunity to hear our long-time friend and mentor, Jim Weldon, preach a heart-touching message. On Sunday, August 18 in Oakland, OR, I was given opportunity to share a combined mission report for Overseas Outreach and Northwest Science Museum during class time and preach the message, “How Do We Know that the Biblical Christian Worldview Is True?” during church service. That same Sunday in Eugene, OR, God gave me the opportunity at Garden Way Church to share, “How We Can Know God Answers Prayer” with the unique congregation that meets there on Sunday evenings. Our long-time friend and seasoned personal evangelist, David Mulkey, is the prime mover for the evening congregation and the man who invited me to speak. Another long-time friend, Norm Fox, editor of The Times and the Scriptures, did an outstanding job of leading music acappela style (apparently no musicians were available that evening).
If you would like me to share a mission report or a stimulating message for your congregation, class, small group, etc., please let us know.
“I Thought Our Lifestyle Was Going to Slow Down!”
Recently Della made this comment to me in view of the fact that we sold our business last year. (I signed the paperwork with Tim Dunlop on May 1, 2018, but he agreed to have his electricians do the installations for the bids we had in process, so it took several months to complete the transfer.) I reminded Della that we are still very much involved in several ministries and that Hebrews 4 holds the promise of our rest (sabbath) in our forever Home! However, her question sparked a review in my mind of some of the significant opportunities and events in our lives over the past fifteen months.
- We accepted Betty Thomas’ invitation to join her in attending the OCC conference in Branson, MO., “Your Mission Matters.” This was late May and early June 2018. We flew into Tulsa, where Betty met us and took us first to Joplin, where we had the privilege to meet and pray with Boyce Mouton, Reggie & Esther Thomas, and Ziden Nutt at the Don DeWelt Prayer Center on the property of Good News Production International. (That’s where Victor Knowles has his office, but he and Evelyn were gone that day.) Also, Joe Garman gave me the opportunity to speak that Saturday afternoon for their ARM picnic in the park, and Reggie Thomas opened the opportunity for me to share a lesson at their home congregation the next day. After the conference we also had opportunity to visit Victor and Evelyn’s home congregation and share a meal with them in their home. During our time at the conference, we got to meet John Watson, who lost his wife, Fern, to cancer. Fern and Betty were very good friends while in college at Ozark Bible College, and Betty started getting reacquainted with John. A grieving widow and widower could relate and began sharing their thoughts and hurts with each other.
- In July of 2018, we went to western Oregon for a speaking trip to connect with supporting churches and friends.
- In August we returned to Oakland, Oregon for the memorial service for Jan Baimbridge, one of Della’s favorite cousins. Special memories!
- For three weeks in September and the first week of October, I was on a mission trip to Ukraine and Germany.
- Back in May and June, we had talked with Betty about going together to see the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky, but we decided not to try cramming all of that into one trip. In the providence of our wonderful Father, He arranged for the International Conference on Missions (ICOM) to be held in Cincinnati, OH, and to begin on Wednesday, November 14. We flew into Cincinnati on Sunday evening, November 11. Betty and John met us at the airport and took us to the house John rented for all of us to stay for a few days. (By this time Betty and John were almost engaged – and by the time the conference was over it was official, and we were invited to their wedding.) On Monday morning we went to see the Creation Museum; on Tuesday the Ark Encounter; Wednesday – Saturday a.m. we enjoyed great input and rich fellowship at ICOM; Saturday we traveled to visit Della’s Uncle Del and Aunt Su; Sunday, November 18, I had opportunity to share “The Creator is Calling” at their home congregation, Ft. Knox Chapel. We left northern Kentucky and Cincinnati with some golden memories!
- In January 2019, we flew to Texas for John and Betty’s wedding, and we also had the opportunity to visit some other very special friends and speak for two congregations.
- This past Spring (March 28-April 29) was my most recent mission trip to Ukraine, and I have golden memories also from the opportunities, experiences, and fellowship there!
- After returning from weeks away on a mission trip, I always have stacks of mail and correspondence to try to catch up on, plus follow-up speaking appointments locally.
- May 13-16 was Boise Bible College Conference, where we once again had our display table and board; we enjoyed great input and rich fellowship.
- On August 9, three Russian-speaking creation evangelists, along with one American creation evangelist from western Oregon, came to see our Vision Center for NWSM and visit with Stan, Brent and me. They were really pleased with the replica of the Ica Stone that we gave Andrei to take back to Ukraine for Planet Earth Creation Center. (See the picture on at the end).
West Valley Campus for Eagle Christian Church
To further enhance your understanding of what we are now doing with all our “spare time” since we sold Deighton Lighting last year, I’m sharing with you most of a letter I wrote to the designated leaders for West Valley Campus:
“Hey Dan and Chris,
Will you please do me a favor and pick up 10 copies each of the CDs of Steve’s messages for the past two Sundays – and please bring them on Saturday? I have a speaking appointment on Sunday, Sept. 8, but plan to see you on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.
I plan to share the CDs with people I invite to ECC West Valley if they show enough interest. Steve always has good messages, but those last two are especially good. Also, they stress the priorities that the apostles emphasized in Acts 6 – the Word of God and Prayer! “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.” Acts 6:4
This ECC church plant has great potential – but I assure you that we will be praying earnestly for both of you, as well as for the elders and all the ECC staff. Spiritual warfare is real and raging! Thank you for the reminder on Sunday.
I’m not sure to what extent we will be involved because of prior commitments, but we do want to have a part in this spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of people in West Valley. When I speak of prior commitments, I mean:
- My involvement in Northwest Science Museum on the Board of Directors. We are now positioned to launch into the Gateway Center of Nampa for great impact and extensive growth.
- Speaking appointments for our Overseas Outreach mission and NWSM.
- Extensive mission correspondence with ministry partners in Ukraine, Germany, Latvia, etc.
- Revision of our book, “More than Conquerors in Cultural Clashes,” to be re-published as a trilogy, so each book will be in a smaller bite size.
So how can we help? Della is limited because of her health issues, but perhaps we can help together on the prayer team for West Valley. I told Chris that I love to teach teens, but I’m thinking that I also want to volunteer for teaching elementary kids when possible (so I can teach them before they know it all!).
Maybe we can also be involved in a small group, but Della’s poor health prevents her from hosting one. I’m willing to distribute more flyers/door hangers for special events.
Please pray for us to be discerning about what our Lord would have us do. Excited about being a part of ECC West Valley!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
From Our Mailbox
This first message is from the author of the book, “Ole Slewfoot,” Molly McCoy. The front of her card says: “PRAYING FOR YOU – God is the STRENGTH of my heart and my PORTION forever.” Psalm 73:26. On the inside, we found:
“Dear Rick & Della, May God give you strength when yours is gone, may His grace and mercy carry you on, may the unending love that He has for you revive your heart and see you through. Thank you for your nice letter and all the good reading material. I just got it, and it took a ‘Miracle’ of God to get it to me. You sent it to my old address, and those people had no idea where I was. But God!! The Lord made sure I ordered an item but forgot to update my mailing address. So, it went to my old address, and when I went there to get it, they had your letter! What a surprise!… I will be praying with you for your book and many ministries. The Lord will lead you in the way you should go. We are all praying for the Lord to use us to bring many souls to salvation. The corrected copies of ‘Ole Slewfoot’ are being printed, and you will get some when I receive them. In the service of The King! Molly”
The second is from Shannon Haynie, who worked in Crimea with Pioneer Bible Translators for 12 years, even for a year after Russia took over Crimea. Now she shares Christ with international students in Michigan through “His House” campus ministry. It has been a joy to share cases of our books with other ministries, and Shannon is an effective personal evangelist, so it was a special joy for us to share a case of our books with her. (My name is on the cover, but I say “our” because these books would not exist without Della and Sandy.) Shannon’s card says:
“Dear Rick & Della,
Thank you so much for the box of books – ‘Is the Bible without Any Errors?’ I immediately gave copies to our Executive Director and recent former Executive Director, which they both appreciated. Gary Hawes, who was Executive Director for 50 years approximately, told me he is really enjoying the book. Every year I give a Christmas gift to my supporters, and this year it will be this book.
May God continue to bless your dedicated work for Him!
Shannon Haynie, His House Christian Fellowship”
Here is my reply:
“Dear Shannon – You are so welcome for the case of ‘Is the Bible Without any Errors?’ It’s always a pleasure for me to remember how it was an answer to Della’s prayer when I first met you on the train from Odessa to Crimea, and how God has used you to touch so many lives for Jesus. God has given you such a pleasant manner and a compassionate heart for the lost no matter what background and ethnic group they come from! “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
What Green New Deal?
Recently while waiting for good friends at a Shari’s restaurant in Eugene, Oregon, I heard the hauntingly beautiful melody of the sad, sad song, “The Green, Green Grass of Home.” The song is about the dream of a prisoner visiting his home once again, then waking up to the reality of the four grey walls of his prison home on death row for his crime. The only green, green grass of home that he could then anticipate would be the sod on his grave – where he would be laid beneath the green, green grass of home.
As I reflected on the message of that song, I was reminded of the fact that some of our politicians have proposed a “green new deal” that will put America many trillions of dollars deeper in debt – which leaves the major burden to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Why? I confess that I believe the so-called “benefits” of this “green new deal” would be similar to the criminal’s dream of seeing and experiencing the green, green grass of home, then waking up to the reality of his crime, his punishment and the green sod of his own grave. The reality of the “green new deal” is the fact that there can be no actual benefits of reducing “greenhouse gases” unless China, India and multitudes of other nations choose to cooperate. Add to this the fact that the sun would have to cooperate with the wild plan of socialist politicians because sunspots and explosions on the sun have far more effect on climate change than anything puny human beings are doing (or not doing). The reality is that our children and grandchildren will be buried under the fraud of this socialist scam like millions of other poor people have been for over 100 years in socialist nations around the globe.
The Reality About Climate Change
I serve on the Board of Directors for Northwest Science Museum. Our field paleontologist and executive director, Stan Lutz, told me that for as long as humans have recorded climate change (about 150 years) there has been fluctuation between global warming and global cooling. Some of us still remember back when the scare tactics were about another ice age coming upon us. (If you want to verify fluctuating climate change, you can contact Stan at firstname.lastname@example.org and 208-972-6288.)
I am not a government employee, but I did write my original thoughts with a green pen – on my own time. This was not done at government expense, and I didn’t charge the government $1,000,000 for a green pen!
My hope of the green, green grass of Home is not the beautiful green grass of Eugene, where Della and I lived for four years, where Randy was born and where we adopted Sandy, nor the green grass of my hometown, Longmont, Colorado, nor of Boise, where Della and I met, married and began our home together. No! My hope is in Jesus Christ and His righteousness. He is trustworthy! He fulfills His promises! My green, green grass of Home will be my eternal Home – on the New Earth in my new body (resurrection style)! Want to join me? Put your trust in Jesus – He will not disappoint you!
Are you familiar with the insight that all truths are equally true, but not all truths are equally important? For example, if your doctor tells you that your scratchy throat is a slight inflammation and gargling with warm salt and soda water should resolve it, wouldn’t that be much better than to hear that you have throat cancer?
For many Americans, the genealogy records in 1 Chronicles are not very interesting or important, but for Israelites the truths contained in those genealogies were vitally important. Americans can also discover sparkling gems of powerful truth tucked into those ancient genealogies – such as the prayer of Jabez found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. When I came across that gem in my personal Bible study, it sparked my interest in re-reading Bruce Wilkinson’s little book, The Prayer of Jabez. It’s inspiring! Terrific! I can highly recommend it to open new and exciting opportunities for you in our service for our master! (And we have a few copies left in our book stock.)
In 1 Chronicles 29:9-18, I discovered another potent package of precious gems – I call this the Appreciation Station! Here it is: “Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord; and King David also rejoiced greatly. Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: ‘Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people, and fix their heart toward You.’” (NKJV)
Della and I (with Sandy) thank God for you – and often find ourselves in Appreciation Station, sometimes almost awestruck with the generosity of your prayers and financial gifts for this Overseas Outreach mission. Here are some of the ways that God has used and is using your prayers and gifts.
- Mission trips for teaching, preaching, mentoring, delivering needed funds, encouraging, etc.
- Even when I’m not delivering needed funds personally on mission trips, we can still transfer funds to several of our ministry partners who have an address in USA. However, we do need your prayers for God to open a way to transfer funds for those who do not have a USA address.
- Books for outreach and for mentoring believers to be bold witnesses are now available in English, Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian and Turkish. German and Arabic are still in process.
- Donating cases of books to help and enhance other ministries – for example: Boise Rescue Mission, ARM Prison Ministry, Spirit of Martyrdom, Love Packages, Love, Inc., Love Cradle, International and now also His House campus ministry in Michigan for Shannon Haynie. Praise God!
WE APPRECIATE YOU! You are making this international outreach possible! Please pray with us for God to use these books to reach souls for Christ and turn them into bold witnesses for Jesus! 2 Chronicles 5:14 says, “the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” Now the temple of God is not a beautiful building in Jerusalem, but is made of living stones, converted souls called out of darkness into Light. Let’s shine for Him with His truth and love by applying 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:17: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. … 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.” (NKJV).
This is concerning the group that we mentioned under, “I Thought Our Lifestyle Was Going to Slow Down!” – #10.
Excerpts from Stas Atanov’s Report of their group’s visit to NWSM
(Just for clarification: Stas uses “Stan” as his American name, as in the first paragraph below).
“The studying group members included: Andrew Kuzhelev representing Ukrainian Creation Center Planet Earth; Elijah Bundin representing the Creation Worldview Ministries in Ukraine, Russia, and now in United States since he recently moved to Florida; and Stan Atanov representing the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics in a role of introducing both DSA and Creation Encounter programs to Russian speaking communities in the USA and Ukraine.”
“The group reached Northwest Science Museum in Boise on August 9th. The displays are beautiful. The Board of directors showed their interest in cooperation and museum samples exchange by a gift: a replica Ica Stone. Ukraine is grateful and welcomes this very first copy of an Ica Stone in their country.”
Back Row – Left to Right: Rick Deighton, Stan Lutz, Stas Atanov, Elijah Bundin, Dan Simpson
Seated in Front – Left to Right: Andrew Kuzhelev, Brent Carter