MISSIONARIES ON A DIME
A Ministry of Spirit Alive Network and Jus Being Real Productions January/February 2011 Missionaries On A Dime is published 13 times a year by Jus Being Real Publications 839-B Hwy 163 Calhoun, TN 37309
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PRAYING FOR MUSLIM CONVERTS Urgent Prayer: Pray for the many muslim converts being persecuted, imprisoned and tortured in Pakistan, India and Iran.
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PRAYER TASK FORCE SUNDAY- Muslim Women Converts- Please pray for the Muslim women who have been persecuted for the gospel. Many have been imprisoned, murdered and have been left destitute. Pray that God will continue to uplift them, encourage and strengthen them in their walk. Monday-Widow of the Martyred- Many international women have suffered in poverty because their husband/pastors who have converted to christianity have been murdered for living and speaking the gospel. Pray that God will continue to strengthen them and provide for them. Tuesday-Missionaries in Unreached People Group- Many missionaries are ministering in uncharted areas in the 10-40 window where the gospel has never been preached. Let us lift up our voices in prayer that God will assist them as they plant the seed of the gospel to those who have never heard the name of Jesus. Wednesday-Orphanages around the Globe- So many missionaries are traveling to orphanages around the globe where children have been abandoned or have been left alone because of the lost of parents, family and tribe. Lift up the orphans as they learn God's Word. Thursday- Missionaries- Let us pray for more missionaries. There is a strong need for African American Missionaries especially in areas such as Haiti, Ghana, Somalia, and many other areas in these colonies. Pray that God will call more African American Churches to helm of Missions. Friday- Worship Services for Missionaries- Let us pray that churches will begin to have a time that focuses on a Mission Focused Service that will give more opportunities for many to understand the call and purpose of missions within the church. Saturday-Healing- Let us pray for healing for the many who have suffered under torture for the sake of the gospel. There is also a call for healing for those injured greatly by the impact of war in countries such as Africa, Iran, Afghanistan and Columbia.
MISSIONARIES ON THE BATTLEFIELD WILLING TO DIE FOR JESUS
Photo by Dan Wooding Assist Ministries
Asia Bibi- 37 year old woman and mother of 4 was imprisoned in her native Pakistan village of Ittanwali. For allegedly blaspheming the Muslim Faith. She has served over 18 months in prison. She was jailed and sentenced to the death penalty for sharing the gospel with other women in the field as they attempted to convert her to Islam. She was scheduled to die by hanging. As of November 2010 Asia Bibi has been released after many months inside of a prison since then she has gone into hiding in fear of her life.
Asia Bibi was born in a country where religion is the center of the universe. For many in this country
hidden away in silence are the women who dare to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Pakistan, there are many Christians who have either gone into hiding or have been persecuted for sharing and standing on the belief of the bible. When we as Christian take our faith so lightly, converts such as Asia Bibi are willing to die for the name of Jesus. They have a sincere heart for the Lord. Although many of them cannot quote scripture or have theological discussions on the meaning of denominations. However, they have stood on the heart of the Great Commission risking their lives and the lives of those closest to them. This young woman remained steadfast in her faith throughout this trial. Today, a free woman in her spirit still must remain hidden in underground churches, missionary camps and other hidden venues in order to continue to share the gospel. This woman never waivered in her faith yet she has continued to praise the Lord in spite of her condition. How many U.S. Americans would so much as sacrifice a cup of coffee to spare her life. In God We Trust, yet we are not willing to stand for God when the time draws so near. Asia took a bold step in the fields to plant a seed that will soon be harvested in the Kingdom of God. Her unshakeable faith has changed many in her village as her story unfolded. To really gain a deeper understanding of the risk she and other take we must have an accurate profile of her country. Pakistan is a predominately muslim nation. If we know anything about Islam is this they are sold-out for their faith. In countries such as Pakistan to speak against Islam or to convert to Christianity is a death sentence for that individual as well as their families. They have gone so far as to murder islamic converts in the center of town or even in their homes. They terrorize anyone who is inclined to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christian converts must continue in a secret society of underground churches led by missionaries from every background and some from the Pakistan villages throughout the country. They carry their scripures in secret places, some memorizing as many as 200 verses to share with others as they work, travel and meet in various locations throughout the country. This is a dangerous mission that they are willing to embark pon wholeheartedly. They fear not the sword of man but that of Jesus. So many have lost their lives willingly in obedience to their faith. What a faith. As Christians we are called to pray for one another, encourage and yes even unto death spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, so many of us spend most of our days in luxury within our homes, communities neither sharing the gospel or daring to go abroad to support missionaries, converts and ministries that have been hidden within the cradle of God's bossom. How far are you willing to go for the gospel. Let Asia story encourage many to stand for the Gospel with our lives.....
10-40 WINDOW â€“ WHAT IS IT?
PHOTO PROVIDED BY WIKIPEDIA
The 10-40 window is a section that has not been saturated with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Eastern hemisphere nations with a majority of their land area located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. (wikmedia). This is an area that has not been completely given the Word. The 10-40 window covers areas in Africa to Asia. Some of these areas have remote villages that have still been untouched by missionaries. The 10/40 Window encompasses , Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, China, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Afghanistan, Nepal, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Western Sahara, and Yemen. These are all "Old World" nations (mostly in the eastern hemisphere) with at least 50 percent of their land mass falling within 10 to 40 degrees latitude. When we look at the 10-40 window it doesn't seem as though there are many countries unreached. However, when you consider the amount of villages, tribes and remote areas within these countries they can run into the thousands. This is an area that needs much dedicated prayer in order to open the hearts of the people in those countries. Today, there are still millions that have never heard the gospel. In places within the 10-40 Latitude many more are murdered for their conversion to Christianity. This month we want to focus on Churches taking action in missions. We have not fulfilled the command of God when we have not taken an active role in ensuring that the gospel reaches the most remote places of the earth. As a Mission-Focused church we can seek to pray, send and assist missionaries in various manners.
FAITH BEHIND BARS AND BEYOND The John Helt Story In July 2009, John Helt found himself back in prison at the Charles Bass Reception center in Nashville, TN. At the age of 41 years of age he had been in and out of prison since he was nineteen years old. It was as though he had a VIP pass into the prison system. His prison passport was stampen in prison in New York, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida and in the “Thunderdome” of Northwest Tennessee Prison in Tiptonville. Since his first arrest he had only been out of prison a solid 18 months . The last time had been only eight weeks.... During this time, John Helt continued to live irresponsibly. He had become the father of three beautiful children a daughter and two sons. “While I was locked up my family would send me money as long as I stayed away”, stated John Helt. After several months at the the Charles Bass Psion he became concerned about his condition before God. At that time he began seeking God through prayer. “I was Jewish, we are the descendants of Benjamin, the great grandson of Abraham.” responded John as if that would get him in better shape with God. John remembers as a child that his family had attended the Jewish Synagogue. There he learned the Hebrew Alphabet, the Torah, and how to keep the Jewish laws. John heldfast to his Jewish tradition until at the age of nine tragedy struck, his father died. Unable to control his emotions, and the confusion of the loss of his father, John ranaway from home. When they found him he was laying on the floor at the carnival booth. After his Bar Mitzvah, an event for Jewish boys that commit themselves to the Jewish traditions. Later, his mother remarried and was unable to be at home. She traveled with his step-father who was a trucker. John had began his destructive cycle at the age of seventeen he was arrested. However, the judge had given him a break by allowing him to join the Army. This would wipe his record clean. He was discharged two years later. As he sat in the Charles Bass Prison, he reflected upon the 23 years of his wasted life. He had received a revelation based upon his Jewish traditions. I must repent to God and ask forgiveness from all those whom he had wronged. Finally, he would have to sit and meditate upon certain scriptures. However, there was a problem there was no Chapel at Charles Bass. As the jewish New Year began John had followed the tradition as the Rabbi had instructed. However, just as it is stated in Hebrews 10;1 He never experienced a sense of forgiveness. The Chaplain had called me down to his office and ask me for a list of things I needed to observe Passover. As he left the office the sense of victory quickly left. I went to sleep that night as usual. He was awakened by a tap on his foot. His cellmate was asleep. They had me celled up with a Christian man. This man never spoke a word, but I watch him get down on his knees and pray each morning (story continued on next page)
FAITH BEHIND BARS AND BEYOND The John Helt Story He watched Christian programs on Tv. At time he would sing worship songs while playing his guitar. He was always ready when they made church call. John had looked over at his cellmate's shelf. He could see his Bible lying there under some papers. I had never looked into a Bible before but, for some strange reason, I felt compelled to look into his Bible, John stated. It was if this was my chance. But he was afraid that if I removed the paper it would wake my cellie, so to cover up the sound I flushed the toilet and quickly grabbed the Bible. When John opened the Bible, not knowing how it was set up. He found himself looking at chapter eight in the book of Acts. Shortly thereafter, I saw the name o Candace, who was queen of Ethiopia. It really grabbed my attention John remembers because that is the name of my daughter. I knew this was a sign. I had jus received a birthday card that I had sent to her that had been returned to me. God used one of the most precious things in my life to open my heart. The eunuch in the story was reading from the book of Isaiah in which he was familiar with because of his Jewish heritage. I began to focus on the text as it read “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;” John continued reading the text. Well, I John Helt, a Jew had found myself on my knees praying and asking Jesus into my heart. I believe I was saved immediately because I felt my burdents leave me. Early the next morning, John cellmate had asked if he was going to breakfast. John explained in great detail what had happened. John and his cellie never made it to breakfast instead they remained in the cells talking about Jesus. One Door Closes; Another Opens... John was scheduled to be paroled to his mother's home however, due to much conflict about his conversion to Christianity she had changed her mind. That is when he met Jack Bryan of Miracle Lake where he was released into the program. The Test... John was waiting at the bus station in Jackson, Tennessee where he was approached three times by three different people. The frst asked if he wanted some pills, the second if he wanted booze and finally the third was did he need a girl friend. He stood upon the Word of God in 2Corinthians :14 “Now therefore, thanks be unto God, which always caused us to triumph in Christ and maketh manifest the savior of his knowledge by us in every place.” A black woman say him reject three propositions and watched him open his bible. John, began ministering to her. I strongly believe if my cellmate had not shown Jesus to me by his walk and the work of Jesus filling his life with peace. I probably would never have found Jesus. “Do you see Jesus in Me?”
SPIRIT ALIVE MINISTRIES Our ministry is dedicated to providing resources, support services, mentoring and assistance to women from all backgrounds. Spirit Alive is dedicated to assisting women struggling with drug addiction, depression, abortion, suicide, emotional stress, homelessness, marital issues, abuse, prison prostitution and hopelessness. Our program is a biblically based program that works with others to help them gain their lives back through Jesus Christ.
NEED HELP? WE ARE HERE Every 3rd Saturday of each month we will be at Cooke Ministries in Athens, TN we will have free soup and bible study along with ministers available to assist individuals through Christ. For more information or to schedule an appointment on an alternative day please feel free to contact Minister Lila Robinson at 423-336-9940 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: 3rd Saturday-Soup, Sermon and Support 12:oopm- 2:00pm 1st Saturday 12:00pm-2:00pm â€“ Free Clothing Distribution TRUST GOD AND HE WILL ANSWER YOU WHEN YOU NEED HIM....
EVERY MAN STANDING IN HIS PLACE
As we gointo the month of February- a month we celebrate Black History Month. I as an African American, Black, Negro (however we want to phrase it). We are very selfish, prideful, and stubborn men. We have forgotten over the years where God has brought us from. In the respect we are no different from the Israelites of the Moses and Joshua era. God has continued to bless the Israelites however, they continued in their stubborned ways. The Israelites were enslaved for over 400 years and then God had freed them from bondage. Just as we as African American/Negreos/Blacks have forgotten that we were once enslaved, kept in bondage. When God had freed the Israelites the one thing He kept reminding them to do that would reflect His Mighty hand and His blessing was to pass it on to the next generation. However, instead they choose to worship golden calves, idols and found themselves back in bondage. As I look at the African American men I have found us repeating the same patterns that the Israelites had once done before us. For instance, 95% of African American are not their for the ministries but are there for the paycheck. Most black men look for jobs as an income instead allowing God to supply all of our needs. We have found ourselves putting 50,000 in car and $20,000 on the rims instead of worshipping God. This has become our idols- it is the golden calves that we wear around our neck. Yet we ask why 80% of black males are in prison, why? We ponder the reasons why are children have no gifts. Then we go further to ponder the reasoning of our young men comitting suicide, or have found comfort in drugs and the streets. The real question is did you pass it on to the next generation. Meditation Scripture:1Samuel Chapter 2
I Know GOD can! Do You believe He WILL Pastors, Members and Friends
Mission-Focused Mission Study Guide Do You See Christ In Me? If we could really feel the tone of this months E-Magazine and had to sum it all up this would be it; Do You See Christ In Me? This is the heart of mission work at its basic form. As we work in the fields whether domestically or abroad this should be our overall image in which other see in us. When we are serving the people in any manner the reflection of Jesus should be evident by our actions, emotions and reactions. Each of the stories in the e-magazine tells a story of redemption, love, persecution and sacrifice. If we were to look at the life of Jesus Christ we could see each of these stories played out in His life. As we go about our Father's business working, laboring, sharing, serving it should be with a heart of Christ. How we react to worldly situations will ultimately, send a message of who we serve. In the cases of the persecuted christians, imprisioned for their faith. Others, finding Jesus in difficult times. It was not so much what they said, but in everything they did. It was their actions that spoke of their motives. It was their actions that resonated in the hearts of those who silently watched. When we are about our daily activities there is always someone watching us to see if they can find truth, spirit and love. They are seeking redemption. Let's face it no one wants to be homeless, or an addict, abused, raped, torn down, depressed, ill or rejected and abandoned. So they lurk about watching, seeking for something or someone to lead them to hope. They are searching for a peace that surpasses all understanding. They will go the distance. They will sacrifice their lives. If for only a glimpse of hope that they can only find by watching true believers not talking, but walking. Not complaining but Praising. They are looking for Christ in You! When we decide not to attend church, bible studies, or even support others. When we decide that no one is watching so it is okay if I drink, smoke, or live any kind of way until Sunday. Believe it when I say, someone is looking at you. They can either find hope or hopelessness. I have always believed that if God could save a wretch like me, He can save anyone. So it is my reasonable service to act on what God has given me â€œsalvation.â€? Every moment should be spent on asking ourselves Can They See Christ In Me? If not, then I need to repent. Because sometimes the only Bible they will ever see is YOU! Article written by: Lila Robinson
HAITI- ONE YEAR AFTER A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE" Psalm 71:23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered. It's time for all Haitian earthquake victims to be smart after this powerful earthquake, the street violence and about the cholera epidemic that has struck Haiti. These tragedies affected all of us especially all the NGO's and other people working as volunteer-Aid-workers on the ground. These events occurred and automatically gave us a vision and this is our time to move forward and do something better for our communities and for people around us. God maps out the life where we are living, one year ago I was in Haiti, lost, confused and very sick from the beginning of 2010 until January the 11th at 5:00 pm exactly 24 hours before the earthquake, God moved me out of Haiti to a safe ground to tell the world today that "This House "(Haiti ) is in a stage of transition" and God is good and We all need to continue to pray for Haiti especially for Port-au-Prince who is now the nervous system of Haiti. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the earthquake victims especially to all the parents of all the university students and professors from the Kortrelle-Marigot community who died in school during the earthquake. We also lost a good friend who was also the sister of our Administrative Assistant and Program Coordinator in Haiti Mrs. Manoucheka Pierre. Her body was crushed under falling concrete wall from head to toe. Mrs. Antoine left behind two young boys who are now living under the care of Mrs. Pierre, our Administrative Assistant in Delmas. We must hold the local Law Enforcement, International Rescuers and the Local Fire Fighter agencies the Highest respect for the rescue effort and security provided during the crisis. We honor today our long time friend an outstanding Police Officer Azor Jean Maurice who lost his wife and son. She was a great mother and wife and both are always make sure that our staff have safe transportation and security when working on the ground or when traveling to other communities in Haiti Ephesians 2: 8.For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. How can I never forget Psalm 71 : 7 especially on January 12: I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge. May God richly bless everyone who's left behind families back home and to use your talents to help restore peace and social life in Haiti. William Destin/Executive Director FONDESCH, Inc.
In Memory of all the Haiti's earthquake victims
INTERNATIONAL PRAYER WATCH By Worthy News' Xavier P. William in Pakistan with Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos
KARACHI, PAKISTAN The governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was shot dead on Tuesday, January 4, in the capital Islamabad by one of his own bodyguards, who told a court he considered Taseer a blasphemer. Many muslim extremist groups support Mumtaz Qadri for his actions. They hold that the govenor opposed blasphemy law that led to riots breaking out and the eventual death of Salman Taseer. Many christians in the country fear that the assasination is only a partial attack on islamic converts in the nation.
Tunisia- the predominately islamic nation known for its open persecution of Christians erupted in violence as protestors engaged government officials. The police fired warning shots prior to firing inside the crowd. Child Slavery- Many countries in the 10-40 window have reported a rise in child slavery and trafficking. The effects of human trafficking and child slavery upon children as young as 12 years old is devastating. In countries such as Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, India, Asia and other countries this has left these children in horrific conditions and the numbers are rising. Many young girls are given to tribal or community leaders as housekeepers and assistance. They need our immediate prayers and assistance. The War in Afghanistan- As the war continues and President Obama seeks to bring our soldier home. We need to keep a watchful eye as events unfold. The U.S is still heavily present in this worn-torn countries. Hostilities from terriorist groups continue to rise. We need to keep our soldiers in our prayers and continue to support them through letter, packages and prayer. Remember Our Soldiers during services.
UPCOMING MISSION-TRIPS S. Sudan ministry, April 8-23, 2011
These are ministry, rather than vision trips. If your gifting is teaching (any grouping), evangelism, preaching, or service, among many others, weâ€™ll arrange your ministry. Do you have skills in microeconomic development? We welcome medical personnel and can set up medical clinics according to your specialty and interests. Ask the Lord if this is the time, and this is your trip. The trip fee is $2,100 plus round-trip airfare to Entebbe, Uganda, visas, immunizations and outfitting. The Team minimum is 6 persons, and the cutoff date to join is January 4, 2011. See our website for details and application.
India ministry, July 16-29, 2011
This second partnership with an excellent Indian minister will focus upon ministry to youth, seminars for Christian workers and their wives and medical service, as personnel join our team. RMNI is jointly offering this trip with SIM (Serving in Mission) and Searchlight Global Ministries. The trip fee is $2,100 plus round-trip airfare to Nagpur, India, visa, immunizations and outfitting. The Team minimum is 15 persons, and the cutoff date to join is June 11. Haiti ministry, 2011
Serving in Haiti after the quake. Fondesch Haiti has been working to re-establish the economic and educational infrastructure of Haiti.
Aunty Kims Kids Foundation-2011 Ghana, Africa Aunty Kim's Kids Foundation is now accepting application for 2011 Mission Trip to Ghana, Africa. The program is seeking carpenters, pastors, youth ministers, counselors, layperson, leaders, health care providers and teachers to help with building the orphanages in Ghana.
STORIES OF INSPIRATIONS "Rex Patrick Randell," said Mrs.Lalitha Sebastian, the seventh class teacher of Holy Mary High School in Colaba, "You are going to be the writer, director and lead actor in the skit about Mahatma Gandhi. Don't go as per the accepted norm, delve deeper into the character and come about something original. Mind you it should not be more than three minutes. President Obama will be here in the school for only fifteen minutes, and we have other items to showcase." "Yes teacher," replied the fourteen year old Rex. Holy Mary School in Colaba was selected to be a part of the President's itinerary, when he visits Mumbai, on November 7, 2010. This private school is just a two minute drive from Taj Mahal, where the President would be staying. The Taj Mahal hotel was the scene of deadly carnage when more than hundred people were killed on November 26, 2008. Rex, reaching home, waited for his mother, Mrs. Juliet George, a librarian in Bombay Teachers Training College. "Mom, as you have prayed, I've been selected to play the lead role. But Mrs. Sebastian said that the skit should be a different one." "Why don't you make a visit to Mani Bhavan at Laburnum Road? It has books, personal letters about Mahatma Gandhi. You may find something interesting. Ask dad to drop you before he goes to work." Entering the six feet twin paneled front door of the unassuming Mani Bhavan, Rex was greeted by a mix of heady scent of sandalwood and incense sticks, burning near the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. Heeding to Rex's request, one of the office bearers, led him through the front room, which were adorned with sepia tinted photos of freedom fighters, to a room filled with 50,000 books about the life of the Mahatma Gandhi. Within an hour, he completed the skit, but he was not happy about it. It has that not "Something Original" as his teacher mentioned it should have. Frustrated, he tossed the notes on the table, and suddenly became aware that he was being watched. Turning towards the corner of the room, he noticed a lone foreigner, who got up and walked towards him. "Hi," the foreigner wished in a well modulated voice, and introduced himself, "I am Ernest McAllister." "Hello," replied Rex, "I am Rex Patrick Randell." "You are reading a lot of books." "Yes," said Rex smiling, "I am doing a skit on Mahatma Gandhi." Rex showed him the notes he had prepared. Taking it, Ernest asked, "May I?" "Please, you are welcome."
"Write a skit on the theme 'Courage'. A letter written by the jailed Mahatma Gandhi to his sick wife Kasturba, on courage, i think should be your main them." Reading it, Rex was happy, and thanked him. The next day at the school, when he along with his mother walked in, he was stunned to see the transformation, as the entire school was cordoned off with police, interspersed with a few Americans, wearing black suits and goggles. After the presentation of the skit, Rex was discussing with his teacher about the contribution of Ernest, when to his stunned surprise, Ernest himself came from behind and wished him. Rex introduced his teacher and his mother to Ernest. After the introductions, Ernest excused and left. "He is from the Secret Service," said Mrs. Lalitha, "They have been visiting the school from the time the Presidents' itinerary was announced." "But I met him in Mani Bhavan also." "It's also in the Presidents' itinerary." "Mom, why did you suggest that I go to Mani Bhavan for preparing the skit?" asked Rex as they were sitting in the living room, after having dinner. "Rex, I prayed," replied Mrs. Juliet, "That you do the skit all by yourself. I would have helped you in preparing it, but you wouldn't have had the satisfaction of doing a good job." "But mom, will the President like it?" "He will. It's about courage,and President Obama is also a man of courage, because he never thought about his skin color or other aspects, he just believed in his God given abilities. We'll pray about it. Come let's pray."
(story by Victor Jasti)
Manishness”—For Men Few are the opportunities to feel “the mannishness of man” (Francis Schaeffer’s term). It possesses me rarely enough--after some sweaty hours with a chain saw or splitting maul, or after lifting weights. Then I jokingly warn my wife of my coming—“I’m feeling the mannishness of man!” It’s hard to feel manly at a keyboard. Car manufacturers are increasingly pitching big horsepower to the male ego, starved to demonstrate maleness. My focus isn’t upon ego, but upon “mannishness.” Perhaps my greatest fear in becoming a Christian was embracing a feminized, almost effeminate church culture. Perhaps being raised by my mother contributed to this fear. What I experienced was friendly religion without power and male virility. What I was asked to sing was too often Romantic 19 th century hymns. Personally I have trouble singing “I come to the garden alone, while the dew…”. I gravitated to real Christian men—Scout leaders, and Rev. Bill Hillegonds, our chaplain at Hope College--a man of godly passion and decisiveness. He didn’t see a Christ with perfect long hair and beatific countenance. Jesus was a muscular carpenter—without power tools he had to have been muscular. Over the years the denomination of which I was then a part became increasingly feminized. It began with female elders, then pastors, and finally denominational leaders, which is contrary to 1 Timothy 2:12. Churches are increasingly pastored or co-pastored by women. I don’t question their spirituality, but their role (1 Tim. 3:2, “husband of one wife”). Many Christian bookstores seem to be, in part, feminized repositories of gift-shop irrelevance that few men would consider. I love my wife and delight in her femininity. But I don’t want a church characterized by femininity. While I find no biblical evidence that women are natively the more godly gender (cf. Eccles. 7:28), could they grow to be more sensitive and obedient to God’s voice? Women may outnumber men at prayer meetings because they are married! Some women don’t work outside the home and have more leisure to pursue the means of grace. Sixty-eight percent of short-term missions trips taken through this ministry have been taken by women. Women may simply do more church work. How can a man be a manly Christian? Among the metaphors for the Christian life is that of soldier. (Of course, now we have women firing bullets for us.) Paul wrote to Timothy: You, then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 2:1-3, NIV) A Christian man’s strength comes by God’s grace. He must steer the family, if he has one, make the final decisions affecting many aspects of family life, while 2 supporting wife, children and even parents. He is to be concerned also with God’s Kingdom, discipling other men. He is to endure hardship--not embrace comfort. How many soldiers do you see who are physically out-of-shape? They
are trim and hardened. The Kingdom of God requires Spirit-control and selfcontrol. The Kingdom of Darkness is arrayed against the Kingdom of Light. The Ring Trilogy has tapped into our subliminal understanding of the world as battleground—a spiritual battle requiring brave and protecting men. Why brave and protecting men? Because of wicked and exploiting men (and women). Have you read of the rapine of Darfur1? The capture of 12,000 children of northern Uganda for soldiers and sex slaves2? There are 27 million slaves today--more than were stolen from Africa in 400 years 3. In Kenya there are 45 women with HIV aged 15-24 to every 10 men4. The rule of law and superior force is all that keeps any country from the same exploitation of the weak by stronger men. We need also men who are willing to stand against cultural forces bent upon corrupting their children and accept the flack. It’s tough to censor music and movies, if you’ve tried it. How does a Christian man of courage act? Defend the family as between a man and woman; refuse to spend what you don’t have; teach your sons what a man does and how to work, and your daughters how a man treats a lady; teach your family to love God; keep your word; admit your failures; adequately support your family; make the tough and unappreciated calls; keep yourself pure; take on the strongholds of the devil that God places upon your heart. Where are the strongholds of Satan?--the inner city, the gay community, materialism, sexual exploitation, abortion, thievery, cults and many others. Take one on. Consider enduring the hardship of the mission fields of the world—short-term and longterm-wherein are 1.75 billion who are unevangelized. There are 1.27 billion Muslims and 841 million Hindus5. Men should not expect the single women to go to the hardest places, although they go willingly6. Paul put it to Christian men: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Cor. 16:13-14). Be a man, be courageous, but show love, just as did the God-man Christ, who never flinched before sinners or Satan, and who never stopped loving. God made two genders, and wants it kept that way (cf. Dt. 22:5; Rom. 1:26-27). I want a planet where, as Donald Cole put it, “Men are men, and women are glad of it!” 7 Christ is a man’s Man. In Him, you will not be bound and your house spoiled (Mt. 12:29), and you will assault the beaches of darkness. 1“Amnesty Condemns Sudan Rapes,” http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/africa/07/19/sudan.rapes.reut/index.html accessed 7/20/04 2“Unicef Highlights ‘Forgotten’ Tragedy of Child Soldiers in Uganda” http://allafrica.com/stories/200407190895.html accessed 7/20/04 3 “21st-Century Slaves,” by Andrew Cockburn http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0309/feature1/index.html accessed 3 7/23/04 4UNAIDS 2004 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, Pt. II, Exec. Summary 5David Barrett and Todd Johnson, “Annual Statistical Table on Global Mission: 2004,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Jan. 2004, p. 25 6I’m grateful for what single ladies are doing on the mission fields—such as Earlene Voss of Christar, who has given her life to reach Muslim women. 7 Heard on an “Open Line” radio program on Moody Radio. Jim Sutherland, Ph.D.
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