Anchored Through Prayer and Trust in God
I have mentioned before that Della and I are serving on the Eagle Christian Church prayer team. Here is a copy of the message we received on 8-31-20: “Dear Prayer Warriors, I don’t know about you, but to me life feels like a constant storm as of late. As we wrap up our study in Acts, Paul finds himself in a literal storm. One that’s gone on so long and is so tumultuous that even the most seasoned seamen are seasick, weary, and on the verge of giving up all hope. Paul reminds them that though God doesn’t promise smooth sailing, He is faithful to keep His promises. Acts 27:1-44
Throughout all of life’s storms, we must be:
Anchored by faith in God’s word.
Anchored by understanding God’s ownership of us.
Anchored through service to God.
Anchored by God’s presence.
“At my first defense, no one came to my support. But everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 2 Timothy 4:16-18
Thank you for praying alongside us. Grace and Peace,
Dan Starks, Campus Pastor, Eagle Christian Church West Valley
Potent, Pertinent Passages from Proverbs
Recently, I’ve been carefully, prayerfully considering the wisdom of God recorded in Proverbs. Here are a few powerful portions from chapters 28, 29 and 30: “Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them. Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully… If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance… When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding… Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble… Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe… When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.” Proverbs 28:4-5, 9-10, 12, 14, 26, 28; “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end… Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:11, 25; “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6 (NIV)
What About the Future of Overseas Outreach?
In thinking about and praying over the future of the ministry that God has entrusted to our care, I decided to write to some godly brothers that I trust to ask their counsel. Here is what I wrote:
I am writing to each of you to ask a huge favor.
- What is it? I ask if you will consider being a coach/mentor to me in further developing leadership skills for the good of the Kingdom.
- Why do I ask you this?
- A. Because I trust you and believe that you have a heart for the Kingdom of God.
- B. Because I am at a critical time for helping develop future leaders – and I would appreciate your insights. Here is my situation: I am now 76 years old and in good health as far as I know, but Della has multiple health issues. Our Overseas Outreach ministry is hanging in the balance, and I don’t know if I will be able to continue making the overseas trips because caring for and providing for Della is my first responsibility. I could not do what I’m doing without her and without our daughter, Sandy, who is also our office manager.
For the past few years, I’ve been building a team to transfer on my leadership for Overseas Outreach. As a result, we now have four dedicated couples in Ukraine who have agreed to be representatives for our Overseas Outreach mission – and each couple has their own functioning ministry. Three of the four couples are church planters, and one couple, Steven & Iryna Yagilnicky, have an outreach to orphanages.
Also, we have two young, single men who are interested in working with us: Edward Pintya, a Ukrainian student who would love to become a missionary pilot, and Paul Sudhakar, who is an astrophysicist engineer living in Australia (but originally from India) – who would love to become a creation scientist and evangelist (and he is already demonstrating his aptitude for this type of outreach). Both of them would like to come to BBC, and we hope to see Edward here by the spring semester of 2021. Paul estimates that it will be three years before he can come, because he wants to help his father get out of debt. (His father went into debt financing Paul’s education.)
On another track, I am considering the possibility of launching a radio program with the purpose of clarifying and promoting a Biblical Christian Worldview – and I hope to become more effective as Northwest representative for Peace on Earth Ministries.
Can you help me develop greater leadership skills to accomplish these goals? We have a donor base of wonderful people who support and pray for Overseas Outreach – but that donor base will need to be expanded considerably to accomplish much further outreach.
- What am I doing now for Heaven’s sake?
- A. I’m restudying through the Word of God using the Concordia Self Study Bible that a friend gave me. It is rich, refreshing, and re-motivating!
- B. I’m also enjoying daily devotional studies and prayer time with Della (after her own quiet time).
- C. Della and I are both serving on the Eagle Christian Church prayer team – and we are receiving 10 to 18 pages of prayer requests per week. So many broken hearts, broken families, broken lives – and so many serious illnesses and accidents! The devastation of sin and death brought on by human rebellion and its consequences is constant reconfirmation of the truth of God’s Word! We try to send encouraging notes to some of those we read about and pray for.
- D. I am continuing and intensifying my love of reading on a fairly broad spectrum of topics, but especially concerning creationism/evolutionism, Christian evidences, apologetics and cultural clashes. I realize that only God Himself has all the answers, but continual reading does help answer many questions. It should be helpful for a “call-in” radio program.
- E. I’m trying to keep in touch with our overseas co-workers by email and with our donor base by email, U.S. mail, and phone calls. Since I’m definitely not gifted with computer savvy and ability, I rely heavily on Della and Sandy for the email contacts (Della is my wife and Sandy is our daughter and our office manager).
- F. I’m attempting to refine my focus with the obvious realization that I’m not “superman.” For too many years I’ve tried to play superman by being a bi-vocational minister/missionary, as well as having two side-line ministries. We sold our business (Rick Deighton Lighting) in May of 2018, and in November of last year I resigned from the Board of Directors for Northwest Science Museum. Now I am hoping to stay focused on building our team for carrying on and expanding the influence of Overseas Outreach. I view my role as Northwest representative for Peace on Earth Ministries as a function of that primary goal. Why? Because Jesus prayed: “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.” John 17:21 (NKJV)
- G. Creation evangelism is an essential part of our Overseas Outreach mission. Besides overseas trips to Germany, Ukraine, and other FSU nations, I also travel and speak for churches and groups here in the USA – mostly in the northwest. However, last month I traveled to Texas to participate in the fossil dig at Glen Rose, visit and help friends, and speak twice for Oak Street Church in Graham, Texas.
- H. In fulfilling our goal of Overseas Outreach, we are helping to get our books and booklets available in other languages – Russian, Ukrainian, German, Georgian, Turkish and Arabic. (I say “our” because even though my name appears on the cover, they would not exist without Della and Sandy.)
- I. In 2008, Della and I hired Sandy to be our secretary for our RDL business – and she enabled us to quickly expand both our potential and our income. Soon, we were also using her skills to expand our O.O. potential and outreach. After we sold our business, Sandy started her own secretarial business because she and David need her supplemental income to keep our grandkids going to Nampa Christian Schools. We still definitely need Sandy’s skills, so we now pay her for her services from our O.O. account. Also, since our Social Security income is not sufficient for all our expenses, I take a small salary from our O.O. income. (However, we often donate part or all of it back into O.O.)
- J. Why am I considering launching a radio program focused on clarifying and promoting a Biblical Christian worldview?
- 1) Because radio is still one of the most effective means of outreach, and it is an area where I’ve had some experience.
- 2) Promoting a Biblical Christian worldview would necessarily involve sharing the gospel, showing the evidences for the solid truth that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, exposing the lies of evolutionism and the truths of creationism – as well as the consequences of the lies of Darwinism, Marxism and Freudian psychology in our cultural clashes and suicides.
- K. Do you realize that when our Lord called Saul (Paul) to become the apostle to the Gentiles, He also called him to be a witness to his own nation, Israel! (See Acts9:15-16.) Likewise, our Lord has not only given me a passion for overseas outreach, but also for reaching as many Americans as possible. The English copies of our books, booklets and tracts are for my own nation – as well as for many other nations where English is used.
- What am I suggesting? That you read John Maxwell’s book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, then share with me your observations and suggestions for improvement in my leadership skills (or lack of such). Some of you know me very well, and others only remotely – but I promise to give serious consideration and prayer to every suggestion.
If you do not have a copy or access to that John Maxwell book, I have three copies and two workbooks for it that I’m willing to loan. Also, I’m willing to buy a copy for you in appreciation for your service.
I’ve been restudying the book of Proverbs, and Proverbs 15:22 says: “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (ESV)
I realize that this is a big favor to ask, and many of you are already loaded with responsibilities – so I’m fine with “no” as an answer. Why did I ask? I remember a wise word: “If you want to get something done, ask a busy man!”
May the resurrected Lord Jesus be always your joy, your hope, your comfort, your strength and victory! May you come to know Him deeper, love Him dearer and follow Him nearer!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all peace and joy as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Respectfully yours & His,
Following the “Dear Brother” letter, I’ve also sent this letter to our Ukrainian team, then our prayer team and consultants (which I now also want to share with all the rest of you who read these letters and pray for us):
Dear Team Members,
We are living in turbulent times! Violent times! Times like the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to describe for us in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. What shall we do? Shall we try to take our families, run away, and hide? Or shall we run toward the blazes like firefighters heeding their calling? To answer these questions, let’s consider these Biblical truths:
- Over and over God has told us in His Word, “Fear not!” (I have read that there are 365 such admonitions in Scripture – one for every day of the year).
- The almighty King of kings told Joshua as he was facing a daunting and dangerous mission: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:5-9 (NKJV)
- Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “’All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
- The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write: “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37 (NLT)
Is there any question which way we should be running? It has been over a couple years since I asked you and you agreed to become representatives for Overseas Outreach, as well as continuing with your own ministries. Therefore, it is certainly high time I give you an update. What does it mean to be a partner/team member for Overseas Outreach?
- First, and foremost, it means that each of us is to be faithful to the clear calling of God on our own lives. Consider what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:12-16 (NKJV)
- Next, also consider what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
- A. “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT) A few days ago an ugly scandal was made public with the leadership of Liberty University, one of the biggest Christian Universities in the world. Should we have the illusion that this will have no effect on the image of Christianity worldwide? The scandals with TV evangelists in the 1980’s have had terrible consequences and helped promote the false image that all Christians are hypocrites. Let us take heed unto ourselves to be certain we are not deceiving ourselves with any form of “hidden sin.” Achan’s “hidden sin” cost the lives of 36 Israeli soldiers, his own life and the lives of his family members.
- B. “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
- We can accomplish much more together for the outreach and growth of the Kingdom of God than we can separately.
I welcome your input with your questions or suggestions on any or all of these. May Almighty God guide our cooperative efforts to the reaching of souls for Christ and glory to His Name.
Respectfully yours & His,
1. Please pray for our special friend, Anatoly Schalbyetski, and his family as they cope with the loss of his wife Larisa, his co-worker in compassion ministry, and mother of their children. Following her long battle with cancer, our Lord took her Home on August 20. For many years Anatoly and Larisa have expanded their family by taking in foster children, loving them as their own, and adopting the ones that were available for adoption. Their own two biological daughters became their co-workers in the family expansion project.
2. Anatoly and Larisa’s older daughter, Lena, was present and caring for her mother at the moment when she slipped away into eternity. She is having a rough time – please pray God’s comfort especially for her too. Our special friend (and emotionally adopted daughter) Inga, wrote: “I emailed your letter to Lena right away and briefly talked with her. She said that she was struggling with accepting the fact. Still couldn’t comprehend that it had happened. She understands it rationally but feels the inexpressible emptiness and sadness. Everything around her reminds her of mom. Lena said that when Larisa fell in coma, the family took turns to be by her side and to attend to her needs.”
3. Please pray also for Inga because not only did her friend, Larisa, die recently – so did her own father. She wrote: “Now about me. The last 12 months, after I returned from Austria, were very exhausting. But my heart is at peace because I know that my dad reconciled with the Lord and had several really deep moments of genuine repentance and change of mind and heart. I know that he lived according to that minimal faith he had, especially the last 10 days of his life. In his final days he suffered greatly, but the Lord heard our prayers and the prayers of other Christians on our behalf and called him into eternity. I did what I could. I have no regrets about this period of my life.
To my great surprise I had a really short grieving period. Maybe because I spent so much time by his side during the last months of his life and I had to take on many responsibilities for him and mom while he was still alive. Maybe because he prepared me and himself for his death. He talked a lot about what I need to do when he would die. It helped both of us to reconcile with the fact and to accept it. The first time we talked I cried through the whole conversation but then no one watching us would suspect that we talk about something so tragic as his death. Maybe I’m still grieving without realizing it. I’m not sure whether I have completely adjusted to the new life, which has spun at a furious pace.”
4. Now concerning another Lena – Sergei Golovin’s coordinator of operations for Christian Center for Science and Apologetics, Lena Lu (my nickname for her) has been seriously ill with Covid 19. She is home from the hospital now, but still very weak and struggling with her chronic asthma and lung problems. Please pray for total recovery.
5. Stephen Yagilnicky reported to us that the borders of Ukraine are now open, but with very strong restrictions. However, he also has a “Help Wanted!” notification for individuals and/or groups to come to the devastated country of Ukraine with compassion in your heart for orphans. Is our Lord tugging on your heart?
6. Please earnestly pray for Edward Pintya concerning his continuing education. We are hoping and praying he can become a student at Boise Bible College by spring semester, but we still have some hurdles to get over. One of them is funding. One generous, compassionate brother in Christ is willing to donate $1,000 for Edward’s travel expense from Ukraine, and Edward is willing to work on campus for his room and board (he is a very conscientious and diligent student). Is God tugging on your heart to help Edward become a trained missionary? This most recent email from Edward will give you perspective about his heart! “Praise His holy Name! I am nothing without God. I want to thank you for your kind heart! For we live by faith, not by sight, – 2 Corinthians 5:7. Sincerely, Edward”
7. The Russian translation of Is the Bible Without Any Errors? (complete book form) is now available. (You may recall that Inga did the expert translation, and two other good friends did the proofreading.) Sergei Golovin wrote: “The PDF version of the book is available for download by the readers at https://scienceandapologetics.com/biblioteka/knigi/1323-deyton-rik-est-li-oshibki-v-biblii.html. It is promoted already at the Eurasian Apologetics Society Telegram channel https://t.me/FidDef/2028 and Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups.apolsoc/permalink/968039250300175/. I have forwarded the files to the Equalibra online Christian library for placing it there and converting to ePub format. I will provide the links as soon as they will be available.”
8. Issues in Education is one of my most favorite radio broadcasts because it is both bold and insightful concerning the pertinent issues of our time. The originators and broadcasters for this program are Bob and Geri Boyd, who have become personal friends of ours by email and phone calls. Please pray for total healing of cancer for Geri – with no relapse for her!
Their 8/22/20- broadcast was entitled “Electing Righteous Leaders” – powerful! I ordered 20 CDs as soon as possible – and some went quickly at my speaking appointment on Sunday. If you would like a free copy, please contact us ASAP – or contact Bob & Geri at email@example.com or P.O. Box 12555, Prescott, AZ 86304 to order one.
Here is what Robert Curtis wrote to them:
“Dear Bob & Geri – You two are the most loving, high energy, Christian ministry on radio today – bar none!…You two are simply…FEARLESS! You proclaim with BOLDNESS and CONVICTION, blessing your listeners with pointed Scripture that they need to digest…and incorporate into their lives.
Your respective love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is so pronounced and comes through the radio speaker with such genuine love for Jesus Christ and His Words and declarations. The imagination that the two of you exhibit…is so exhilarating…in bringing the mind of God – His Holy Words – to light and life – and truly convey genuine acts of love by NOT ‘watering-down’ His Holy requirements and expectations. May you both – and your loved ones – stay blessed…and appreciated, most likely by more people than are letting you know how much that they look forward to your Christ-centered ministry…a real powerhouse of conveying His total love and costs!
God Bless You Each and Your Loved Ones, Robert Curtis, 6/17/2020”
My Reference Letter for Edward Pintya
Edward is not only a good student, but also open and willing to use his gift of helps to be teacher’s helper in several ways. Also, when I invited my students to consider helping with John Murphy’s downtown outreach to non-Christians on Saturday afternoon, Edward was the only one who volunteered. (John Murphy is an American missionary, church planter, and founder of Odessa Mission.) After John’s English lesson outreach, I treated Edward to lunch so I could get better acquainted with him. I learned that he would love to become a pilot, but he considered that to be just a pipe-dream, because pilot training is so expensive. I also learned that he is serious about his faith, loves apologetics, and would also love to become an evangelist or pastor/teacher. When I asked him, “How would you like to become a mission pilot, his face lit up like a sun-break on a cloudy day. I told him that MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) is based in Nampa, Idaho, where we live, and Boise Bible College is just over 20 miles away. Edward is a diligent student, dedicated Christian, and a polite, respectful young man. It is an honor for me to recommend him to you as a potential student.
From Our Mailbox
“Rick, the most recent monthly newsletter was excellent – thank you – especially the words from the song, ‘So will I.’ And as I have been reading your book, Is the Bible without Any Errors, I so very much appreciate your firm, strong stance on the inerrancy and total accuracy and truthfulness of the Word of God. May that Word always be declared in the power of His Spirit. Thank you for sending the books. May my Dear Lord Jesus bless you and your wife as you serve Him.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“God loves a cheerful giver, and that has more to do than just our money. It can be the same with our time, or our willingness to be a worker for the Lord. Be of good cheer and know that I am your God.
Let us remember in this time of separation to cheer up those who are alone. When we extend our love and concern, we are doing it to one of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Christ said when you show concern to the least of one of His believers, we are doing it unto Him. Cheer up and pray for one another in this time. God will be there to comfort and cheer you. Being cheerful not only helps you, but it is as contagious as this virus, and will be used by God to uplift His Kingdom.
Bless you all, Ed Saunders”