The Power of Focus
Last month we launched our prayer letter with the heading, “Faithfully Fine-Tuning Our Focus.” This month we are building on the theme of focus, especially looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, Who gives us freedom from the penalty of sin by His precious blood, freedom from the power of sin by His Spirit, and ultimately freedom from the presence of sin by His new heaven and new earth. The apostle Paul wrote: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)
Now let’s focus with great gratitude on the freedoms we still enjoy in America. I’ve asked Della to share her pertinent perspective pointedly promoting precious privileges we can ponder.
Thinking about Freedom!
By Della Deighton
If you have ever lived in a foreign country (even temporarily) you will have a much deeper appreciation for America than most. It still stirs my heart and causes the tears to flow when I hear the music and the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
In the midst of all the turmoil in our country right now, listen to the words of the seldom-heard fourth verse of our national anthem:
“Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with victory and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!”
“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just;
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust!’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”
Does it stir your heart? Will you stand for the flag and kneel for the cross?
Fine-Tuning our Focus on the Word of Truth
“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” Psalm 73:21-28 (NIV)
“Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shineson the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.” Psalm 97:10-12 (NIV)
Fine-Tuning our Focus on George Washington’s Potent Perspectives
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.”
“It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being.”
(Could statements like these be the real reason rioters in Portland pulled down a statue of George Washington?)
Fine-Tuning our Focus on Contrasting Worldviews
Babies Lives Matter!
Biblical Christian Worldview
Babies lives matter – this I know
For the Bible tells me so!
Red and yellow, black and white –
They are precious in His sight!
Jesus loves the little children of the world!
No Lives Matter!
Humanistic Evolutionist Worldview
No lives matter, this I know
Because Charles Darwin taught me so!
If you don’t believe this is true,
Your brain is soft, and your mind is Code Blue!
Fine-Tuning our Focus on Stewardship
On one of my favorite broadcasts I heard a pertinent definition of stewardship: “Stewardship is simply the process of wisely managing your life and finances so that God can spend you according to His plan and will.” Wow! That is clear and compelling! What do I have that did not come from the Creator? I easily recognize my own deficiencies, and perhaps you do too. But as James also clarified: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” James 1:17-18 (NKJV) I can look around at multi-talented individuals and be tempted to sin by envying them because God has gifted them with technical skills, or musical skills that I don’t have – but that is stupid! Foolish, actually! Why? Because the Holy Spirit gives gifts according to His own will! Am I so proud that I think I know better than God what He should have given to me? The reality is that our genius Creator has uniquely designed each of us for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)
The reality is that whether God gave me five talents or one talent – He is 100% wiser than I am. My part is to diligently use to His glory and the expanding of His Kingdom whatever He has committed to my trust. My life, my family, my ability, my finances are only mine in my imagination! I belong to Him – and everything I think I own actually belongs to Him! At my ordination to Christian ministry I pledged my life to the proclamation of His Word of Truth. I take that commitment seriously – and I want to finish well. Della and I deeply appreciate each of you who pray for us and support Overseas Outreach as part of your stewardship. May our Father (Who is Love) multiply blessings abundantly back into your laps! ?
Fine-Tuning our Focus on Education
The Western Journal
Advocates Say COVID Letting Parents See All the Benefits of Home Schooling
By Randy DeSoto
Published April 19, 2020
“Home school advocates say the forced shutdown of nearly the nation’s entire public school system has cleared a unique opportunity for parents to weigh the benefits of joining the millions of American students already doing their learning at home. Further, proponents say this unprecedented occurrence offers a window for parents into some of the pitfalls of public schooling, including weak academic standards, ideologically driven curricula and the over-sexualization of the nation’s youth from an early age.
“‘The number one hardest decision to make has been made for 55 million children,’ longtime homeschool advocate and founding board member of Public-School Exit, Ray Moore, told The Western Journal regarding parents making the switch. ‘That’s always the barrier that’s been hardest for us to break, but now [the kids are] home,’ he added. The former U.S. Army chaplain, (Lt.Col.) Ret, along with his wife, Gail, became a home-schooling movement pioneer when in 1977 the couple decided to pull their son from public school. (www.exodusmandate.org)….
“Alex Newman, the group’s spokesman, said, ‘This coronavirus crisis is a really good time for parents to figure out what their children are being exposed to in government schools and to take back their rightful authority as parents and try home schooling.’ Newman said one of the top reasons families should make the move is the poor academic outcomes of public education. He argued the government-run system ‘is deliberating dumbing down America’s children’ and is getting worse every year. Newman pointed to the latest data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showing that over two-thirds of eight-graders haven’t reached proficiency in any subject, including reading, writing, history and math….
“The Los Angeles Times reported in May 2019 that California was adopting a ‘controversial sex education framework’ that provides guidance for instructing students from kindergarten through 12th grade. ‘It’s just scary what they are going to be teaching. It’s pornography,’ Orange County resident Patricia Reyes told CBS News. ‘If this continues, I’m not sending them to school’ …. Newman, who is a private school teacher, lecturer and journalist, believes many parents are seeing for the first time what their children are being taught, and it is causing them to rethink whether to keep them in public schools.
He said he spoke to a mother recently who told him that after learning of her son’s sex education curriculum, she ‘decided right then and there, we’re done.’ ‘They literally that day sent a letter to the superintendent, unenrolled the child from public school and officially started home schooling now,’ Newman recounted. ‘And I think that is going to happen a lot all over the country.’
‘We’re hoping that millions of new families will be coming into the home-school movement,’ he added….”
Time to Home School #1672
Issues in Education
“With the coronavirus closing schools, parents are forced to home school. This is a great opportunity for children to learn a love for learning and develop a Biblical worldview. 17-year-old Eddie Zhong, who started his own successful business, says schools can stunt creative thinking. Israel Wayne, author of Homeschooling From A Biblical Worldview, says public schools don’t train young minds to think critically and debate both sides of issues. But homeschool can do that. What is a good education if it leaves God out? Secular schools make secular students. Education is more than just academics. It’s Biblical discipleship.
The public schools are the Left’s strongholds, and they routinely train children to become enemies of the gospel. It’s no accident that nearly 90% of Christian children reject the Christian faith after years of atheist propaganda. Christian teachers must teach from the humanist curriculum, or they’ll be fired. The Left completely controls the curriculum. Completely! There is nothing Godly or Biblical about it.”
Love of Learning #1682
Issues in Education
“How can you develop a genuine love for learning in your child? Carole Seid, an educational consultant said, ‘The single most effective tool in shaping a child’s character is great literature.’ The right book at the right time can change a child’s destiny. How can parents build genius in their children? Dr. Raymond Moore, the grandfather of homeschooling, says statistical research of geniuses throughout the ages shows there are three common elements to producing genius. Jesus said, ‘The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your …MIND.’ A secular education can’t do that, but home schooling can.
Children are made by God to be insatiable learners, until that desire is quenched.
Schools can stunt creative thinking. Secular schools make secular students. Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples and TEACH them! What does this scripture mean to the 90% of Christian parents who put their kids in pagan public schools? How do American pastors miss this? How can they obey this Command from God? Home education means learning as they explore the museums, art galleries, concerts. There’s less peer pressure to do drugs and promiscuity. They are spared from indoctrination into socialism. Homeschooling parents demonstrate a profound love for their child!”
(I heard on a radio broadcast that now in the wake of the Covid 19 scare, between 40 to 45% of parents are considering homeschooling, or perhaps private schools! Wow!)
Refocusing on John Murphy
You may recall that last month on the last page of our prayer letter we introduced our co-workers, John & Ira Murphy. It occurred to me later that I forgot to tell you that another of John’s specialties in outreach is creation evangelism. While John was serving as a missionary to the Crimean Tatar unreached people group, he also taught apologetics/Christian evidences at Crimean American College (which was designed to not only train interpreters and translators, but also to expose them to the Bible as the Word of God). One of John’s students was Lena Osipchuk, who was an atheist and communist youth when she came to college. By the time I met her in May of 2001, she was an active Christian who was serving on the worship team of Simferopol Christian Church, and the next spring she served as my interpreter for “Man and the Christian Worldview Symposium.” John Murphy, Georges Carillet, and the other Christians touched her life, and the Holy Spirit used John to have a very significant influence in her conversion. Now she is married to a church planter who trains church planters in southern USA. ?
Focusing on Our Mailbox
“Thank you very much for encouraging words. That’s a blessing to know that you pray for us this way!… How are you doing?
Sergei Yurevich” (Eway)
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“Good morning Rick and Della…thank you so much for your letter and encouragement/prayer. We have been active in proclaiming the Gospel and in doing so we have lived in evidence of being in the midst of the battle. The Christian life! Rick you would be happy to know that we have handed/given out many copies of your books (continue to do so)… great for evangelism and people are open to receive…
‘Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’
And thank you so much for praying for our children, their salvation and love of Jesus Christ.
In His Grace, Stephen Yagilnicky” (Love Cradle International)
“Couldn’t help but read your newsletter today, so very uplifting. Rick, that was spot-on about our focus. Thank you! Also, I did not know Ravi was called home. So very sad to hear, and also so good to hear. A little confusing emotionally. Love you guys!
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“Thank you, Rick. We are blessed to have such prayer warriors in our team as you and Della. We will change your email for the one you provided.
Blessings, Valentin Siniy” (Tavrisky Christian Institute)
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“Dear Brother Rick, dear Sister Della,
Thanks once again for your kind and very encouraging May 2020 Prayer Letter! I’ve just finished reading it and being quite encouraged by it! It was very interesting also to hear the perspective of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters as they deal with the Corona virus crisis just as we are…
Thankfully, we’ve remained healthy here and the number of new cases here in Tuebingen, Germany, has either been very low or we’ve had some days with no more new cases of Co-Vid 19. Thanks be to the Lord! The parents and brother of a young lady Master’s student from Barcelona, Spain got Corona, but thanks be to the Lord, they are all better now, though they’d all been in the hospital. Through this crisis, we’ve heard from a number of our former students here at the church who’ve moved on to other places, both here in Germany as well as back to their home countries around the world. We are praying that the Lord will continue opening hearts to listen and respond to His gospel through this crisis…
Warmly yours in the love of Christ from cooler and cloudy Tubingen Germany, Jim & Naomi Kautt”
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“Thank you for contacting Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). We are so grateful for your prayerful support and your willingness to stand with us as we advocate for the right of people to freely live out their faith. Please know that we have forwarded your request to the appropriate department for their information and consideration.
It is a privilege and honor to pray for the requests and needs of our ministry friends like you. Please know that I have added your request to our Ministry Friend Prayer List for the upcoming week.
Thank you for standing with ADF as we advocate for religious freedom to uphold justice and preserve the right of people to freely live out their faith.
Yours for religious freedom,
The Alliance Defending Freedom Team
‘Without Christ, we can do nothing.’ – John 15:5”
Introducing Molodchy Ministries
I first met Zhenya Molodchy in May of 2001 when I came to Crimea for the first time as a presenter for the “Man and the Christian Worldview Symposium”. He was serving there as an interpreter. Although not my interpreter, we did have opportunity to get to know each other, and he asked for my help.
Zhenya is a multi-talented individual, since he had already trained to be an engineer at the polytechnical university in Kharkiv – plus one teacher had noticed his aptitude with English and had encouraged him to develop that ability as well. The reason he asked me to mentor him was that he had answered God’s call to ministry and had recently been appointed as both evangelist and pastor/teacher for the Russian-speaking element of Agape Christian Church in Kharkiv. Zhenya was feeling the burden of responsibility for this task and was reaching out for guidance from an older brother.
Following the conference, I had opportunity to also meet Zhenya’s bride, Natasha, who is also multi-talented and a graduate of Crimean American College (where she was trained in language studies and Biblical Christian Worldview.) Together now for over 19 years, Zhenya and Natasha have served as effective personal evangelists while functioning as bi-vocational missionaries doing church planting in both villages and the city of Kharkiv. I’ve observed them reaching out to children, youth, the handicapped, the elderly, the rehab centers, the poor and lonely, the intellectually elite and their Muslim neighbors. Oh yes, also reaching out to police stations, as well as a broad spectrum of individuals through You Tube presentations.
Natasha continued her education to become a professor of English, and now Zhenya has also continued his education to receive his master’s degree in ministry from TCM – and now serves as both an interpreter and distant education assistant for TCM International at Haus Edelweiss near Vienna, Austria.
Zhenya and Natasha have faced rejection and bitter heartache in their ministries without submitting to the temptation of bitterness and revenge. Twice I’ve seen them go through the refining fires of harsh rejection – and come through as gold refined by fire. Their faith and love for God have been tested and proven genuine! They forgive and move forward, rather than to sit, soak and sour!
Zhenya is also a networker who can connect well with many other people – and as such has opened many more doors of ministry for me. Perhaps you will understand why I consider him an emotionally adopted son! With Zhenya, Natasha and their children, I can easily say: “To know them is to love them!” (Zhenya and Natasha are loving, conscientious parents, who are also training their children to love and reach others!)
Following is what Zhenya sent for us to share with you:
“Our internet ministry during these days takes lots of efforts and follow up. We experience God’s leading, His joy and inspiration through touching souls in such unique way.
Here is my summary on my call to be an evangelist. In 1997, after I was baptized, I was working for American missionaries, driving for them in my father’s car and serving as translator. I remember the place where I had to stop and wait for my turn on the road when for some reason, Dean Huffman said to me that I would be a preacher one day. I was rather young at that time and was looking for answers about the future. I answered – “Never!” I just wanted to have a normal family, good income, and a good life.
I believe it was a turning point in my life when God began using me and changed my perspective forever. He even sent me to America in 1998 to confirm my call and see churches and country of the U.S., which I had hated because I was raised during the Soviet time and was a very devoted follower of communism.
God helped me to find answers to the key questions which crashed my mind when I got to know Jesus. With time I just realized that Jesus is the answer to all my questions about worldview, family, and life. God introduced me to many devoted Christians like Georges Carillet, David Dowd, and Rick Deighton, who became my mentors, since I needed an older male figure in my life for my answers. Now I am a father of three children and a mentor to many people through my 20 years of ministry. And I am even more passionate about preaching the Word because it is Life. And I want people I come across daily to have life and abundant life with Jesus. There is still a lot of work, and I pray God will lead our family more to bring people to the Kingdom.”
- Over the past few months, we have shared with you some information and a profile of the most significant people who are involved with us in both the founding and functioning of our Overseas Outreach mission. Reggie and Esther Thomas, Sergei and Olga Golovin, Georges and LaVerne Carillet were all part of laying the foundations – and now Stephen and Iryna Yagilnicky, Sergey and Vera Yurevich, John and Ira Murphy, and Zhenya and Natasha Molodchy are official representatives for Overseas Outreach – so they are vital to the continuation and functioning of Overseas Outreach. Please pray for all of them! (Especially for comfort for Esther Thomas, who is now a widow. Her daughter, Lori, and son-in-law, Zane Darnell, are carrying on the functioning of our parent ministry, White Fields Overseas Evangelism.
- Please continue to pray for Edward Pintya and Paul Sudhakar. God is putting together an amazing team. Praise and prayer!
- God is opening the hearts and minds of multitudes of people world-wide through the Covid-19 pandemic, so please pray for wisdom and guidance for Christians to walk through the open doors with truth and compassion.
- On a recent radio broadcast, I heard that now over 40% of parents are open to consider home schooling or private Christian schools. Praise and prayer!
- On Saturday, July 11th, I am scheduled to leave for Texas for speaking appointments and participation in the fossil dig at the Paluxy River. Please pray for a safe and productive trip to the glory of God.
- In the wake of the bloodiest 4th of July weekend in recent history, let’s pray for the Spirit of God to strike conviction to the hearts of the perpetrators, both the raging rioters and the raging driver, who used his car as a weapon in Portland to kill and maim protestors.
- Almighty Father, please infuse your children with the wisdom and courage to speak the truth in love in the midst of this uncivil war being thrust upon us! “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” Matthew 5:9