Big Lie #2: Secular Humanists Have All The Resources!

This is the second Big Lie of the enemy that we are considering in our current series.  You can reference Big Lie #1 and our overview earlier posts.  The second great lie is all about money and other resources needed for ministry.

This lie is insidious – and ridiculous!  The LORD owns ALL the resources, even the ones the secular people think are theirs!  This lie is meant to strip us of confidence in God’s power and alignment with His obvious desire for our partnership in mercy and love.

Christians, like others in America, spend money for things we value.  Jesus said that we can look at where our “treasure” lies and we’ll find what matters to our “heart.”

There’s money all over the place!  Christians have literally tons of money!  We have simply forgotten, or never really understood, that it is all the Lord’s money. 

Two masters illustration

The affluence of believers is no guarantee that the Lord’s funding priorities are our priorities.  Confining our discussion to evangelical churches and para-church ministries in North America, consider these quotes:

“Eighty percent of the world’s evangelical wealth is in North America—and the total represents way more than enough to fund the fulfillment of the Great Commission.”  Bill Bright (Reference 1)

“If members of Christian churches in the United States had raised their giving to the Old Testament’s minimum standard of giving (10 percent of income) in 2000, an additional $139,000,000,000 a year would become available. (Reference 2)

That’s $139 BILLION!   Both of the quotes above come from the extensive stewardship resource http://biblicalstewardship.net/statistical-research-on-stewardship/, accessed online on September 27, 2014.

Have we improved our giving track record since 2,000?  We have not.  Between 2010 and 2011, church donations declined across all reporting entities by $87 million, according to “The State of Church Giving through 2011: The Kingdom of God, Church. Leaders and Institutions.  Global Triage Needs, and the Promises of Jesus.” (Reference 3)

Our inability to fund causes of evangelism, justice, life of the innocent unborn and the aged, and family rescue, has little to do with the availability of resources!  It has to do with priorities of the heart.

To Jesus, obedience to God, mercy, and love were the context for giving.  No amount was too small, if the giver’s heart was focused on God.  Also, it is in that context that the gospel is most readily understood and most genuinely presented!

If Christians’ hearts opened to the causes the Lord loves, and millions Christians released just $50.00 or $100 to Jesus each and every year for life causes, what do you think would happen?

We could propel the Life movement from womb to tomb!  We would save unborn babies, and fatherless infants, frightened foster children, teens with no home, families drenched in poverty, and the aged who have no hope!

For that same amount of money, many millions could hear the gospel in the context of helping ministries all over the world!  Many families facing homelessness would be spared that heartbreak and danger.  Many wanting to adopt could get a “scholarship” for adoption!  Oh, what we could do that would glorify the name of Jesus!

“The spiritual battle that the apostle Paul described in Ephesians 6 is being waged no less in the U.S. than in other countries. However, as Juvenal remarked as he watched the decline of the Roman Empire, ‘Luxury is more deadly than war … .’ ”  (Reference 3: The State of Church Giving 2011.)

Our Lord deserves better from His people!  I challenge you who serve Him in Life ministries to smash Big Lie #2 with your prayer and actions:

  • Craft the story of pregnancy centers as the family rescue outposts of the Body of Christ that they are! Help the Church understand that we are there to assist the Church to meet Christ’s objectives of loving our neighbors in the world!
  • Ask parents in the churches of your town to unlock $10 of the Lord’s money in honor of each child or grandchild the Lord has given them, whether on earth or in Heaven. Use it to “let the little children come unto Me (Jesus).”  Some can do that every month!
  • Give that amount yourself to your center for each of your own children and grandchildren.

Ask Christian parents to rescue the children who could be born next year if their moms receive honest information, make an informed choice for life, and get some love and practical help they need from the Church!  Let’s see what The Lord does with this challenge!  Let’s support it with a year of serious prayer!

References:

  1. Bill Bright, quoted in Ron Blue with Jodie Berndt, Generous Living: Finding Contentment through Giving (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 201 and Larry Eskridge, Defining Evangelicalism (Wheaton, Ill.: Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, n.d.)” http://biblicalstewardship.net/statistical-research-on-stewardship/
  2. John L. Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle, The State of Church Giving through 2000 Champaign, Ill.: Empty Tomb Inc., 2002, 40. http://biblicalstewardship.net/statistical-research-on-stewardship/,
  3. The State of Church Giving through 2011: The Kingdom of God, Church. Leaders and Institutions. Global Triage Needs, and the Promises of Jesus.     John and Sylvia Ronsvalle.  Published by empty tomb, inc. First printing, September 2013.  Available on Amazon.com, and probably interlibrary loan.

Unwrapping the Gift of Prayer

We are so grateful to Jim and Kaye Johns of PrayerPower for creating the unique resource, Unwrapping the Gift of Prayer, for SMSC Centers to use in deepening their prayer life.  Refer to the earlier blog post by Jim and Kaye to see some of the materials that will be used in Unwrapping the Gift of Prayer.

Here are two documents you can download and review!  If you want more information, please complete the Sign-Up Sheet, scan and email it to unwrapprayer@att.net.  You will be contacted.

Unwrapping the Gift of Prayer Step by Step

Unwrapping the Gift of Prayer SIGN UP SHEET, FINAL copy 9-4

A Joyful Post! Meet Your New Partners!

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Kaye and Jim web
Guest Blog:  Jim and Kay Johns
Prayer Power Ministries

Jim and Kaye Johns have joined the group of unique ministries that serve Save the Mother, Save her Child trained pregnancy centers, by helping you complete your mission of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and saving babies lives!  Join us in welcoming them to your partner network!  Each partner is #1 in their category!  Each is dedicated to helping to build a strong foundation for your centers.

A Joyful Entry
A heart-felt, personal message from Jim and Kaye Johns

What a privilege we have in this month of July, 2014. We have been invited to become a working part of the great faith-based Pregnancy Center movement and to participate in the awesome life-saving work to which you are so dedicated.

In 1994 we founded PrayerPower Ministries – so we look back on 20 years of sharing God’s purposes for us all through prayer:  His desire for intimate fellowship with His own, and His willingness to provide what we need to carry out our assignments. Our delight today springs from an intensive desire to help people learn to pray. The disciples asked Jesus, in Luke 11:1 – “Lord, teach us to pray…”

So prayer, being something that can be taught, is also something that must be learned.

The understanding of prayer does not come automatically when we become Christians. We must be taught, and Jesus is our teacher.

Building a personal life of prayer, and expanding that life to include effective praying for others, individually and in group settings, is a matter of desire to better know and serve God and His purposes in the world we live in. More about this as we begin to work together!

 How important is prayer in the work of a Pregnancy Center?

How and where will we get the wisdom we need for this difficult task?  What will enable us to stand up to the rigors of dealing every day with people deeply troubled by the realities of life? How can we be prepared, and then be effective? Time spent in prayer will yield amazing results.

Oswald Chambers said,“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”  Prayer opens the door for God to do His work in us and through us.  In prayer, we secure the presence and power of God to go with us.  God alone can bring solutions for the complexities and difficulties we encounter in the Pregnancy Center ministry.

 Here to Help

As we offer an expanded focus on prayer for SMSC-trained centers, let’s be specific about some of the “how” elements as well as the “what.”

Resources to Deepen Our Prayer Life

Resources to Deepen Our Prayer Life

  • First, check out our website, www.prayerpowerministries.com. You’ll find many tested and proven prayer helps for yourself and those under your care.
  • Watch the videos and hear Kaye give explanations of the nature and uses of the various materials.
  •  On the home page, click on Free Downloads and see the variety of helpful materials available for you and your clients at no cost. Just download and print in whatever quantities prove helpful.

PPM Product Cover 5Most helpful, perhaps, is our special Prayer Guide, Prayers for the Mother-to-Be and Her Baby.  First produced as a help for the Pregnancy Center at our home church, this Guide was widely distributed by Focus on the Family and is in demand at Pregnancy Centers accustomed to depending on it as a gift to their clients.  On our website, click on the special page devoted to this Guide, and experience Kaye’s helpful video explanation. You’ll also find several sample pages from the Guide, to examine the content for yourself.

Resources for Counselors

Resources for Counselors

A Joy and a Privilege

We are thrilled to join SMSC to bring these resources more forcefully into the life-enhancing work of every Pregnancy Center. We look forward to the opportunities waiting for us, along with you – to provide help in prayer-training for staff and volunteers, as well as a growing list of Prayer Guides, Prayer Journals, and other materials designed to aid you in giving wise counsel to your clients and their families.

Big Lie #1: The Cross of Christ is Powerless

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“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”     1Corinthians 1:18  (NKJV)

small cross on background

Sometimes the best way to understand the value of something is to evaluate what would happen if it did not exist.  For example, there is much controversy over using certain types of energy because of issues of price, pollution, or international trade.  But, only when the world is imagined without a form of energy can we really see the impact.  For example, the day that gasoline is not available, or costs too much, for you to to drive a car, or coal or oil is not there to heat your  home — that’s when we know what energy is really worth!  It’s worth jobs, and staying warm, and traveling for work or pleasure. Suddenly necessity and life factor into the evaluation, and answers become much more personal! That’s the way it is with the Cross of Christ.  Imagine life without it!  If you know someone who has not trusted Christ – they have life without the Cross.  They have:

  • No evidence of the depth to which God will go to love us.  They may think they just don’t belong…
  • No understanding of their intrinsic value to God, even if we are hated or devalued by people.  They may think they must please everyone…or try…no matter how it hurts them.
  • No way to reconcile their relationship with God and know Him.
  • No way to be forgiven for sins that they have committed, hate to commit, and will commit over their life time.
  • No peace in their heart that frees them to live for Him the best they can, knowing they will fail, but that they cannot be separated from His love by any means known to man, even death.
  • No Holy Spirit to guide and correct and grow them into spiritual maturity.  No “greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.”
  • No Heaven! Since there is no way to earn their way there, they are doomed.

Big Lie #1 Is False and We Can Demonstrate It!

We fight Big Lie #1 with our TESTIMONY, with the WORD of God,  with the rich knowledge of our “before Christ” and “after Christ”  and what wonder He has worked in us.  Every person needs to be able to share their testimony with the gospel embedded in it!  You fight Big Lie #1 with your life every time you share your “3-Word Testimony.”

Big Lie #1 is False and We Can Explain It!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the explanation of the ways in which the lie distorts what God has done through His Son.  You fight Big Lie #1 with the Word of Truth: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, and Acts 2, where the truth is explained to thousands by Peter when the Holy Spirit made a fisher of fish into a fisher of men!   With the story of a man, a stone cold killer, who became a missionary to the world.  With the story of a businesswoman who provided a home for the church — a home that became a hub of ministry.

The enemies of Christ and the Cross race about in a frenzy, doing all they can to eliminate Christian crosses (even ones in the middle of the desert) from the public landscape —   because they are afraid.  

They are afraid of changed people, like you, who have trusted Christ for salvation, who have living in them the Holy Spirit, who are unafraid of whatever the world can throw at you.

They are afraid of our prayers and of our impact on their culture of meanness, death, and greed.  They are afraid that they will lose their power!   And they do lose their power because they have believed the Lie.  We have realized that God loves us and we are more able, more powerful, and more confident than we have ever dreamed!

We  know that the God of everything loves us, and listens to us, and is making a place for us in Heaven.  We can go on being His forever – and we know how to tell everyone else how to get there, too!

Fighting the 3 Big Lies! Part 1

When the enemies of eternal life and mortal life fight for abortion/death, there are three BIG LIES that they use to convince people of their position!  Young people are particularly vulnerable to these lies.  They have little personal power and immature cognitive long-term evaluation capacity. They hear and see the deceptions of the world with few spiritual resources.  Here are the 3 Big Lies:

3 Big Lies

This is the first of three blog posts about how to fight the 3 BIG LIES that affect the life movement today. As we seek to bring Truth in the culture to which God has called us, we need to think very clearly about these three lies.  We need to help our staff and volunteers think through them, first for themselves, and then for our clients.  In this post, we’ll look at the lies.  If you have comments or take issue with these, let’s dialogue here about it!

The Cross of Christ

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”     1Corinthians 1:18  (NKJV)

While contending that Christianity is a “has been” or is now “irrelevant” to modern life, why do the enemies of Christ and the cross race about in a frenzy, doing all they can to eliminate Christian crosses (even ones in the middle of the desert) from the public landscape?

As moral decay and deception build in western culture, the symbol of the Cross becomes ever more offensive to those who hate what it symbolizes – the relationship of God to man restored through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – the Truth that sets a person free!  The cross is a dangerous thing!

In 2011, Michael Youssef, PhD, wrote a book entitled “When the Crosses Are Gone,” highlighting this issue (Kindle edition).  Many are not just suspicious of the cross.  They hate and fear this symbol of eternal life, freedom, and spiritual strength.

After all, if the Someone of the Cross and His claims are true, then the religion of Secular Humanism (SH) is not true.  If the promised unique, positive, spiritual change actually happens for every person who trusts Christ alone for salvation – and such changed people are empowered by the Word and Spirit of God — then deceiving them with the lies of the world is harder and harder to accomplish!  Indeed, we empowered people have the joyful assurance that we can rely on God to protect and defend us from all attempts to enslave us to the secular gods of Sex, Money, and Power.  So the Cross is a serious threat.

When this kind of fear is applied to the life movement in which we serve, and to pregnancy centers, it helps us to understand why some people want to see our doors close.  We know, and can share, the Truth that sets people free from the gods of this world that enslave them.  We’ll give tips for overcoming this lie in Post #2.

Secular Humanism

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”  1 Timothy 6:17 (NLT)

Paul Kurtz, PhD, who died in 2012, was a great champion of Secular Humanism (SH), and wrote the Humanist Manifesto 2000, which focuses on a “planetary nonreligious approach” to life here and now (no supernatural stuff allowed).  SH holds that only the power of human beings is needed to solve the problems of mankind.  Indeed, according to SH believers, we would be much better off without Divine help or support.

SH is a social and political philosophy that more-or-less says, “We’re on our own, guys!  So let’s use science, ethics (with no basis in spiritual truth), and education (with only a variable human moral framework) to set our course!”  We’ll discuss how to work with this belief in Post #2.

Life is expendable

“…neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39

This Big Lie can be summed up this way, “Your life is only valuable if another person says it is.  In fact, if the right person or group says you are not valuable, you may be eliminated (killed), shunned, or humiliated.”

Many people have bought into this lie.  In fact, many girls believe that if a certain person (boyfriend, husband, mother, father) does not love her that she is worthless and must do whatever is requested by the person to prove her worth.  Old people who are no longer productive are considered worthless by some.  Then there are the people eliminated because they believe differently than the guy in power (Name-a-Tyrant), the  baby in the womb of her mother, the people of a race different from the one condemning them (Hitler/Sanger), or people with somewhat lower mental capacity than average (Sanger redux).

Since this lie is epidemic among those who come to our centers, we will spend an entire blog post (#3) discussing how to overcome it.

There is Truth that sets us free from these lies and, once we have integrated Truth, and commit our centers to it, we can help others discover and live in Truth, too.

Making the God Connection: Taking a Chance on Jesus

Who DO You Trust!

Adult members of the Millennial Generation have the lowest level of trust among all generations in America.  Only 19% of them felt that people generally could be trusted.  In their recent review of social trends, Pew Research offered this chart, Millennials Less Trusting of Others, which has implications for us as we try to Make the God Connection with anyone.

 SDT-next-america-03-07-2014-0-05

Source:  http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/  accessed 4/1/2014.

When we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone in the millennial age group, we have to face the fact that they are a pretty wary bunch, even when they are not confronting life-changing challenges.  As you share the gospel with them you might consider these three things:

  1. Remember Who’s in Charge!  This is not always easy.  Just pray for an opportunity to share the gospel.  Honor the Lord by learning to share the gospel clearly and simply with Biblical accuracy.  Then do the best you can to declare the gospel, with personal authenticity, in the context of a person’s current situation that they have revealed to you.  The Holy Spirit is in charge of whether or not the person trusts Christ.  So that’s good news.  Relax.
  2. Recognize that trusting may be really tough.  Your clients often have had a rough life and people around them may not be trustworthy at all!  This is why your demeanor of grace and the center’s integrity and care for a person may be so novel that she will later say to you, “You were so nice.  You guys really cared about me!  That’s why I came back.”  If she can trust you, that’s a good start!  Be ready for questions and, if you don’t know an answer, say so, and tell her you’ll get back to her.
  3. Gospel conversations are not abrupt!  You just can’t leap into the gospel from a conversation about unplanned pregnancy without first touching on some spiritual topic.  Sometimes, I ask a person, “Who or what do you rely on when times are hard?”  Maybe they know more about trust than you think!  Their answer often tells something about whether they have any spiritual beliefs.
    1. If the conversation is progressing, take the opportunity to share your testimony about how trusting in Christ for your salvation has changed your condition and your hope.  If you use the “Create Your Three-Word Testimony Worksheet” it will help you write your testimony with the gospel embedded in it.  You’ll be sharing how you decided to “Take a Chance on Jesus” and trust Him for your salvation.  Learn to create your testimony here:  http://evantell.org/Tools/Article-Detail/Article/11/How-to-Develop-Your-3-Word-Testimony#sthash.ukcpUSqo.dpbs
    2. Use a single verse, John 3:16, to share the gospel.  Grab the instructions here: http://evantell.org/Tools/Article-Detail/Article/67/How-to-Share-the-Gospel-with-One-Verse#sthash.1JEvDgxG.dpbs
    3. If you have a smart phone or iPad, you can link to EvanTell’s mobile site on which there is a video of the gospel presentation that you and she can view together! Just get on your mobile device and key in http://www.evantell.org and the mobile site will come up with the gospel presentation on it!

If a person trusts Christ alone for her salvation, there’s wonderful opportunity to help her know what to do next to grow in her faith.  We will be posting on “3 Crucial Steps for New Believers” next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heartbeat Conference Special Pricing: 2 Devotionals for Moms

Heilands devos

You’ll all be excited to know that Melissa Heiland’s excellent devotional books for Moms will have special pricing for the Heartbeat Conference only!  March 24 – 27, 2014 — Go to www.christianbook.com/mothersjourney or www.christianbook.com/motherscomfort to purchase!  Don’t miss this deal!  MM