Creation Camp in Rich Land
(The camp location was the beautiful city park on the west edge of Richland, Oregon)
I had the privilege to teach eight classes at Creation Camp for Eagle Valley and Pine Valley churches in Eastern Oregon, June 21-23. Both the weather and the setting were beautiful. My focus for the lessons was on Who Jesus is as Creator, Redeemer, and Resurrected Lord of All contrasted with man-centered worldview philosophies epitomized by Charles Darwin’s most famous book, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. (Yes, that is the actual title of the book of lies and twisted worldview concepts that Satan has used to deceive multiple millions of souls, create more atheists and agnostics than any other philosophy, and lay the groundwork for Marxism, evolutionism, communism, socialism, abortion, and transgenderism.) The music, activities, crafts, and harmony of staff and students blended perfectly with the lessons to make a wonderful, memorable experience! Praise God! Thank you for your prayers – and please pray for God to raise up effective witnesses for Jesus from the students and the staff! Many of the students were from home schooling families, and two of the boys (Hayden and Peter) could answer almost every question I asked. Besides the teaching sessions, the staff and students received lots of books and printed material to use in learning and growing in understanding.
On Wednesday, June 22, Pastor Roy Gotzman announced at lunch time that it was Adrianne’s 10th birthday and invited us to sing “Happy Birthday” to her – which we were very glad to do. Adrianne is a sensitive soul and an attentive student. I saw her in tears a couple of times (the first time, Assistant Director McKenna was comforting her and the second time, Director Sharon was comforting her). One of those times, Adrianne was in tears because she had accidently hurt one of the other campers. Later, I looked up and saw her throwing a partial cup of water on a younger camper, Peyton. So, I called her over closer and asked, “Adrianne, are you forgetting that we are to treat others as we want to be treated?” At that, Peyton sheepishly confessed, “I threw water on her first!” I commended her for confessing and then asked, “Oh, so you were trying to start another water fight?” She nodded yes! – so I dropped the subject. Before camp was over, Adrianne rewarded me with a hug and some of her artwork decorated at the top with the words “God Is Love.” Precious memories! I plan to keep it with the artwork of our granddaughters.
Years ago in Oregon, I mentioned to a preacher that according to Scripture there was no death before Adam and Eve sinned. I was surprised when he asked, “You mean Adam couldn’t even swat a mosquito?” I didn’t have a reply, but I’ve thought about it many times since then. It is clear that in the original “very good” creation, there were no carnivorous beasts. Genesis 1:28-31 specifies that God gave plants to humans and animals for food. Malicious mosquitoes came with the curse after sin – along with thorns and thistles. There are lots of insects that have equipment like mosquitoes that suck nectar from plants – I mentioned this “problem” at Creation Camp, and Hayden shot up his hand and said: “Mosquitoes weren’t bloodsuckers then!”
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
Della and I stayed at the Shold ranch seven miles from Richland, and our friend, Nancy Shold Schmier, rode with us up to the ranch to take a break and enjoy a few days with family at the ranch where she grew up. On Tuesday, she crossed the highway and the bridge over the Powder River, then went downstream to pick asparagus – where she got a shocking break that she hadn’t counted on. It was slick from so much rain and she slipped and fell on her face in the mud. After struggling to get up, she slipped again, fell backward, and broke her right leg. NOT THE BREAK SHE WANTED! Her family members were helping at camp and Della was the only one at the ranch house – but Nancy’s location down by the river was not visible from the house and barely visible from the highway because of the bushes and trees. She just laid there briefly contemplating what to do because she had left her phone at the house and couldn’t yell loud enough to be heard. She didn’t think that she could walk – but God had provided her with another motivation to get up and get moving – she had landed on an anthill! So, with God’s enabling and lots of true grit, she hobbled back toward the bridge. Eventually Della saw her and came to help with two canes (Della had not gone with Nancy because of her own very sharp neuropathy pains). So, two canes made them able! They made it back to the house where they could call for help! I have teased Nancy for years about her stubborn streak. This time I told her that the flip side of stubbornness is persistence – and commended her for the persistence to keep moving in spite of agonizing pain. Please pray for her complete recovery!
Let’s Take our Responsibility Seriously!
Some of you may remember that I’ve pointed out more than once that according to our USA Constitution, we who are citizens are the government. Our elected officials are supposed to be ministers (servants) elected and appointed to act and vote as our representatives. Therefore, we should not shirk or neglect our responsibility as governors! The elected “governor” of our state, as well as other officials are to answer to us. How are we to exercise our responsibility? Vote! Call them! Write to them! For example, here is a copy of a letter I wrote this past spring: Hello Senator Jeff Agenbroad,
“I carefully read your letter dated March 23 – which only arrived to us recently. I noticed that you wrote: ‘I appreciate hearing from you and encourage you to contact me at JAgenbroad@Senate.Idaho.Gov whenever you have an idea or concern about the State’s legislation.’ This is why I am writing to you – and the fact that I care about our state and our nation.
On the back side of your letter, you listed four areas of concern with a paragraph about each. What I’m writing to you now concerns the first three of these: Budget, Education, and Property Taxes. Actually, my focus is on education, but what our state (and nation) does about education powerfully affects the other two areas of concern. Here are my questions:
- Have you studied the history of education in America? Are you aware of the excellent research about this in the writings and recording of David Barton and William Federson (who are both historians with expertise on the writings of our founding fathers)?
- Are you aware of the fact that our founding fathers were intent on limiting the powers of government rather than expanding them?
- Where in our Constitution or Bill of Rights did our founding fathers delegate education to a branch of government?
- Are you aware of the well-documented writings of Samuel Blumenfeld that explain and clarify the negative influence of Horace Mann and John Dewey? (Are you aware that John Dewey was one of the signers of The Humanist Manifesto of 1933?) I have copies of two of Samuel Blumenfeld’s books that I’m willing to loan you if you are interested.
- Are you interested in helping return our state and our nation to the original plan and purpose of our founding fathers? That will not happen without dealing with the corruption of education.
- Are you aware of the Marxist/Humanist-style agenda of the NEA (and, as a carry-over, the IEA)?
- Are you interested in talking about these concerns – and would you like to see the books by Samuel Blumenfeld?
- By sending our kids to Nampa Christian Schools, we ended up paying for their education by our own choice, but also paying for other peoples’ kids by our taxes – for them to be indoctrinated with the humanist agenda.
- Now our kids are also paying twice for our grandkids to be educated and their property taxes (and ours) keep going up. Plus, it seems that every year we are being hounded to vote for levies to pay for more education.
- Many other families are facing the same situation because they choose not to let the IEA and NEA educate and indoctrinate their children.
Are these matters a concern to you – and are you willing to talk with me about it? Please RSVP. (He chose not to reply – I choose not to vote for him again!)
I’m asking Sandy (Sandy is our daughter – and our office manager) to send you information about my book, More than Conquerors in Cultural Clashes, and I’m willing to donate a copy to you on two conditions:
- That you read it.
- If you like it – that you share it.
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”
Were the Apostles Extraordinary Men?
The apostle Paul wrote: “Imitate me – as I imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) It is definitely a good idea to follow good examples! I recently took on the project of learning what I could about the apostles, so I read five books on the lives and traditions concerning the apostles of Christ. I did learn more about those who were willing to leave all to follow our Lord Jesus, but the best thing I learned is that the apostles were not extraordinary men – they were ordinary men following the leading of the most extraordinary Man who ever walked the earth (or on water!) – our Lord Jesus Christ! He left the love, joy, peace, and glory of heaven to walk the path of hatred, rejection, cruelty, and death on an old rugged cross to pay my sin debt – and yours. The apostle Paul also wrote; “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV)
Looking Unto Jesus!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, ‘My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.’… Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal… Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire… Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’ Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever… Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” Hebrews 12:1-6, 14-16, 28-29; 13:4-8, 15-16 (NLT)
Downhearted or Determined?
God is the only One Who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope! ~ Catherine Marshall
Do not allow Satan to convince you that you are permanently defined by the worst mistake you have ever made. Almighty God Himself is devoted to transforming cowards into champions and despicable derelicts into devoted disciples. Consider these potent passages that He inspired to be written for us: “I beseechyou therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2; “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NKJV)
Mind & Matter
Recently on a replay program of Renewing Your Mind, I heard R.C. Sproul tell how his professor Gerstner answered a student who asked: “What is the difference between mind and matter? What is mind?” Professor Gertner replied, “No matter!” So the student asked, “What is matter?” Professor Gertner replied, “Never mind!” This reminds me of an admonition I’ve heard from Chuck Swindoll: “Don’t try to unscrew the inscrutable!”
Are we living in a post truth culture? Have you heard that all truth is relative? Is that statement absolutely true? It is an absolute statement! If it is only relatively true, then it is not true at all! Have you heard – There are no absolutes? What kind of statement is that? It breaks the law of non-contradiction! It is self-contradicting. How can we recognize truth? Truth is logically consistent! Verifiable! Practical!
From Our Mailbox
Thank you once again for sending your newsletter. It was a pleasure to hear from you. ‘The Need for Good Input’ – isn’t it the truth?! From the list of books and articles you have been reading, broadcast listening, videos watching, Bible studying, and devotional and prayer times, it’s a good thing you’re no longer involved with the lighting business! A 24-hour clock could not accommodate it all. 😊 Most encouraging, though, was reading that you and Della are able to enjoy more time together. That is a testimony to the sweetness of your marriage.
While it is disheartening to hear some of the reports coming out of Ukraine, we cling to the truth that our sovereign God is in control of the affairs of mankind and that all of what is going on in the world somehow fits as pieces in the outworking of His overall plan. In conjunction with what He is doing, we were pleased to learn of the donations that have been raised for the purpose of helping the Ukrainian people. As a ministry staff, and as individuals, we have been praying for God’s work in their lives to be evident in ways that will strengthen the faith of His people and draw to faith those who have not yet come to know Him.
Again, thanks for staying in touch. May our gracious Heavenly Father bless you, Della, and the rest of your family, and may He continue to use you as conduits of blessing in the lives of others in the days ahead!
David Harleyson (Office of the President for Dr. James Dobson Family Institute)”
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I would like to describe more in detail our plans. After so much praying, traveling and experiencing the deepest feelings of sadness, uncertainty, losing dreams, etc. and trust God’s leading we walk in impossible way. This is something absolutely that we can’t do by ourselves. My aging parents are coming by train after being bombed in Kharkiv. Our Christian friends put them on the train and I will be meeting them tomorrow, I pray and hope. They are still on an 18 hours ride train. I will be able to take care of them, I hope, and serve in the church in Carpathian mountains. They have some quite serious physical disabilities but mentally and spiritually are good. Natasha and Jacob will travel to Hungary and my friends there will take them to Austria. God has already arranged to have an apartment for them to stay there for three months. Natasha plans to find a job as a teacher of English and she can speak some German. It looks like there are opportunities for her. Older kids plan to study German and it is hard now. But without good German they will not be able to study. They need to take a German language test.
We are in a refugee camp now getting ready for tomorrow. Very happy with hot meal and a real shower and cup of hot tea. It is absolutely amazing how God is leading us. Please pray. Pray for Natasha to cross the border successfully to Hungary. The other driver will be driving her and Jacob to the border. I will be driving tomorrow morning to see my parents. Pray for my driving and my parents to have strength.
Blessings and thanks for all your care,
Zhenya and family”
Della’s reply: Dear Zhenya,
I cried my way through the reading of your message, as you wrote about your parents needing to come to you for care, of Natasha and Jacob having to leave for Austria, and for all that you are dealing with and have already been through. Yet, you are still expressing your gratitude for God’s leading and even for things like a hot meal, a real shower, and a hot cup of tea (things we take for granted).
We’re asking God to shower His blessing upon you and your family and reward your faith and commitment to be true to all He asks of you! Please share our thoughts with Natasha too – and let her know that we honor her faithfulness as well, in doing whatever needs to be done. Rick said to tell you that his heart is aching for you too. Please know that we are praying for all of you.
We love you all and are trusting our Father to care for you!
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Thank you for your letter and prayers. We need them. My parents are doing better healthwise and gaining strength. They want to be with grandkids in Austria and want to go since the situation is not getting any better. That’s how they think. We think God has prepared for us a way to be in Europe and hope they will let us out from the country. Yes, that might be a real leading of God to share Christ with European countries. We can pray about that. However there are so many Ukrainians who were traumatized by war and they can find help and Jesus abroad!
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Thank you for your words of encouragement and inspiration. And thank you so much for your prayers for us. You have always been an example of a Christian who is dedicated to prayer! May our Lord and Savior bless you!
With love in Jesus Christ,
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Several of our graduates are involved in relief and rebuilding work. I sent funds designated for Ukrainian assistance to six different people who also do small scale deliveries to the otherwise neglected, passed up by the larger organizations. I probably have 12 groups on my list that I can send aid to directly. Glad you too have avenues that aid people in a personal way and in the name of Christ. May God bring relief to Ukraine, relief from Russia’s claws, and may the resurrected Ukraine better deal with rampant corruption than it did before the war. Amen. (Georges Carillet)”
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Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! It’s been more than 3 months since the Russians invaded Ukraine. Kharkiv is one of the cities which were heavily shelled but stayed unoccupied by Russians. Praise the Lord. All this time we were helping people bringing food and other necessities to Kharkiv from other cities.
Many people have lost their homes, since the 24th of February. Some people still live in the bomb shelters, because have nowhere to go. We ask our friends abroad to help financially, buy food, pack bags and deliver them to the needy. Mostly they are pensioners, mothers with kids, handicaps. It’s a great opportunity to share Gospel with people alongside helping with food. If you want to be a part of it, we appreciate every dollar. The gasoline is hard to get and very expensive in Ukraine.
May God bless you and your family.
In Christ, Vova and Maryana”
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Still situation is not good in Ukraine. The number of shellings in the eastern part of Ukraine has increased.
We pray for peace and every day we have special dedicated service for that in the church here. It’s really hard to live amidst such situation although we are far away from major fights. We thank you for your care and prayers.
Today we had very special communion service and I preached on chapter 10 of Romans. I do hope the Lord will help me finish 6 other chapters by the middle of July. We hope our international passports will be ready by that time and we will begin heading to Austria. Meanwhile I am trying to help my parents with treatment of medical issues and get the car repaired. I am attaching a few pictures of today’s worship service. Please, continue to pray for me, my parents, and my family in Austria. Recently my son Jacob had some problems with his stomach. I do hope it’s just temporary and he should be fine in a few days.
Blessings and greetings from my family,
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“The Better Place”
By David Black
“Life here on earth is much like a vapor,
From God’s magnificent master design.
Yes – this is where we get our start;
Born here to live by His hand divine.
Many memories remain here when we linger;
Though each person receives his allotment of time,
That lies in the hand of the Master;
Until taken to eternal life so sublime.
Acknowledging Christ Jesus as Savior,
Assures that our way to Heaven is clear;
And the longing for loved ones is over,
When we rest in the arms of our Savior Dear.
From His Holy Word we’ve read about a place,
That He has prepared for all who do see.
We must remain faithful to our Heavenly Creator;
Then will we see how beautiful Heaven must be.”
Old friends, like snow peaked mountains,
They dwindle. Like the snow,
The further down life’s path, we go.
The fewer friends, we find, it so.
Old friends, like the sturdy oak,
Are always standing near.
When your dreams are shattered,
And your heart is full of fear,
Old friends are always standing near.
Have Faith in God
Doubt sees the obstacles;
Faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night;
Faith sees the day.
Doubt dreads to take a step;
Faith soars on high.
Doubt questions, ‘Who believes?’
Faith answers, “I”.
(The Voice of Evangelism – June 16, 1962)
- Please pray that the Creation Campers all become confident, bold witnesses for our Lord Jesus!
- Please pray for complete recovery for Nancy.
- Please pray for provision for multitudes of devastated people in Ukraine.
- For safety, guidance, and wisdom for Zhenya & Natasha, Stephen & Iryna, Sergei & Olga, Volodia & Maryana, and other believers helping the devastated and displaced people of Ukraine.
- Here in America – protection for conservative Justices, crisis pregnancy centers, and pro-life ministries. Also, for God to spare us from another bloody “civil war”!
- Please pray for the perpetrators of violence to deeply, truly repent and be converted!
- Please pray for massive spiritual awakening in Ukraine, Russia, and America!
God Bless America – Land That I Love!
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”
Psalm 33:12 (NAS)
In the past God has greatly blessed America, but as we see the downslide in our country, our hearts ache. Below is a poem written by our friend, Shasta Hutton, that is worth your time to read. You will be encouraged to remember Who is still in charge and remind you to continue to pray about a renewal in our beloved land.
‘Things are changing,’ people say.
‘Evil times have come our way.
Things are worse than e’er before.
Troubled times are at our door.
It’s not certain what will be,
In a month or two or three.’
They seem to think that what’s begun,
Is something new under the sun,
That all was blissful in the past,
But truth be told that’s just not true,
Evil times are nothing new.
We’ve never known what things will be,
In a month or two or three.
But there’s no need for fear nor woe.
Of all these things our God does know.
He never leaves when things get bad,
Although they surely make Him sad.
He’ll keep His Word – you can depend,
On Christ the Lord, our faithful friend.”
“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”