Month: October 2014

2014-10-25 Fall Traditions

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 25, 2014

This is a letter to our friends –

Thanksgiving

The only American Christian holiday

It has become our tradition for the “clan” to gather around the table at our son’s home. During the meal each in turn shares things for which they are thankful. Often each place is set with 5 colonels of corn and someone reads Larry Wagner’s poem, “Pilgrim Fathers”. It is outstanding.

Pilgrim Fathers

By Larry Wagner November 1984

The second harvest gathered since they crossed Atlantic waters,

A feast of thankfulness was set by grateful Pilgrim Fathers:

So great the providence of God, so blest with fruit their labors,

So sweet the bond among their band, such peace with Indian neighbors.

But most among the feasting crowd could count harsh years of toil.

Of wand’ring for their faith in God, of want on alien soil,

Of flagging hopes and faith, bad health, of chills that hell could send.

Of half their number that had died before first winter’s end.

Of hunger pangs that second year in their New Plymouth home,

Of weeks when all they ate a day was five small grains of corn.

A few remembered treasures lost, titles cast aside,

But all could measure conscience cost in tears and trampled pride.

Oh, at this feast could they foresee their blessed future years?

That nevermore would they now want, nor run from any fears!

Then after prayers of gratitude, before the feast was set,

Each plate was served five grains of corn, lest anyone forget!

A noble band in hardship born, rejected by their own,

A rock flung o’re the ocean, they were laid a corner stone.

By them God stamped His pattern for a nation on the land,

And seeds for freedom under God were planted by their hand.

Oh, pray their heirs would ever know how dear was freedom’s cost,

And know to hold their faith and freedom dear, or see them lost,

And praise the Providence that brought those Pilgrims to this shore,

And eat the grains of memory, or pay the price once more.

Christmas

Please Join Us

For: The Gilmores’ (Guy & Linda) 21st Annual Bonfire & Christmas Carol Sing-along

Where: 389 Gold Hill Rd. Newcastle Ca 95658

When: Sat Dec 6th at 7:00 P.M.

What to bring: A snack to share, chairs, a flashlight, warm clothes, and a friend or neighbor.

RSVP for directions (916) 663-4257

(916) 899-7770 or (916) 899-4535

Hope you can join us as we celebrate Jesus’ birth.

(The true meaning of Christmas)

2014-10-06 Radical Christianity

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 6, 2014

This is a mail-merge letter to our friends –

We met Floyd & Sally McClung in 1977 on our year-long trek around the world. I believe the following “radical” report will interest you. Floyd must be in or near his 70’s by now.

On Friday, October 3, 2014 11:08 AM, Floyd & Sally <floyds.assistant@all-nations.co.za> wrote:

Hello,

I am writing from the edge of the war-zone in Iraq and Syria. As a follower of Jesus I am convinced the solution to ISIS and other religious extremists is to follow the example of Jesus. He stepped into the Middle East when it was convulsed by an occupying army using torture and plunder to subdue the people. And what did He do?

Jesus went on a grace offensive, reaching out in love and offering forgiveness! What a compelling example of a radical response – more radical than terrorist radicals by far.

Paul the apostle says we are not in a political or military battle against earthly religions and despots. He says it is a spiritual battle we are in, not against people but against spiritual powers working through people (Ephesians 6:12). If that is true, and with everything in me I believe it is true, we have to respond as our supreme commander taught us to respond.

As an American, I am tempted to see the crisis here in the Middle East as a political battle to be won by bombing the ISIS troops. But what will happen if we kill all 20,000 ISIS soldiers? I think there is a good chance they will be replaced by another 30,000 fanatics. And if we kill them, others will join ISIS and Al-Queda, and fight back with even more extreme tactics. I am not against using military force to oppose evil, but I believe there is a higher way, if I can call it that.

The higher way is more extreme than the extremists! It is the way of Jesus followers going to dangerous places, putting our lives at risk, and sacrificing all we have and hold dear to bring the message of God’s love in Christ. It is the way of caring for war widows and healing suffering soldiers, of taking the gospel into the strongholds of ISIS.

Did you know that Jesus is leading the battle for ISIS? Reports are coming out now of ISIS leaders turning to Jesus. I have no verification of those reports, but I believe it is like Jesus to do that. He is on the front lines, fighting valiantly for the hearts and lives of people. Right now… He is there, among ISIS leaders in Iraq and Syria. He is appearing to them like He did to Paul on the road to Damascus, on his way to kill and imprison believers.

Jesus’ weapons are the cross, forgiveness, and the sacrificial service of His followers laying down their lives to share the good news.

I knew from my previous visits to Jordan and Lebanon that God is drawing Syrian refugees to Jesus in great numbers, but nothing in my 49 years of mission experiences compares to what I have seen in the last few days…

Yesterday I was with a young father who had been involved in the intelligence service of the Syrian army, sickened by being ordered to kill innocent people, so he fled from Syria. He has been reading the four gospels, what Muslims call the Injil. He told me yesterday, "All the descendants of Adam have turned away from God. God looked for a perfect messenger to speak to people who turned away from Him, but he could find none. So he sent His Spirit on Mary and she conceived Jesus, and then he gave Himself as a sacrifice to take our place for our sins.” Amazing!

One of our workers told me about Hara. She had a dream of Jesus last autumn, when He looked her in the eye and said, "I want what is rightfully mine." She is still having dreams, including one a few weeks ago in which God called her to convene a group of women in her home to encourage one another, grow together, and read the Bible together. God used a dream to invite her to start a simple church in her home.

And then there is the story of Omar, whose life has been saved miraculously more than once. In one case, soldiers actually pointed a loaded gun at him and pulled the trigger, more than once – but it didn’t fire. God is saving him for a great destiny! He has had many dreams from God. At the last visit, he said, "Every time you pray for us, I feel a light from heaven shining down upon us, into my heart."

None of these folks I have mentioned are supporters of ISIS. 95% of the Muslims in the Middle East hate what ISIS is doing. In fact, one hundred percent of the Syrians I have met here in Jordan are strongly against ISIS. But the fact that Jesus is fighting so sacrificially for these hearts – and winning – means He also longs for the hearts of the extremists.

Even the Apostle Paul was using terrorist tactics against Christians before Jesus encountered him! It was a Holy Spirit encounter that changed Paul. Please join me in praying fervently for Jesus to break through in the hearts of those enslaved by evil. If Ephesians 6:12 is right, our prayers may be more effective than any air strike could ever be.

It is a privilege for Sally and me to serve those who are serving on the front lines here in Jordan, in Lebanon, Iraq and Oman and throughout the Muslim world. God is drawing millions of Muslims to Jesus: in one Muslim majority country an average of one person every fifteen seconds is coming to faith in Christ!

Sally and I want to live out the rest of our lives training workers for a Jesus army of mercy and grace extremists! We are so grateful for your help in doing this. We have a faith goal we would like to ask you to help us achieve to play our part. We need 20 new ministry partners who will support us with $25 (R250) a month or more. Since I first shared this need 11 people have committed to partner with us in this way!

Will you pray about being one of the nine to say yes to partnering with us? Thank you! Just nine more to go to reach our goal of 20!

I pray the love of God will surround and comfort and strengthen you in the days to come. May He be close to you and protect you and yours. May He provide for you in great abundance, both for your soul and body.

With love,

Floyd and Sally McClung

PS While I have been here in Jordan Sally is back home in Cape Town. She had her fourth round of chemo treatment for ovarian cancer just two days before I left on this trip. I have called her each day and she is doing better than after any previous treatment. She has had no vomiting, no extreme pain, and has been slowly gaining strength each day. We are so grateful!!!

How to Partner With Us:

To donate in the USA:

Please send a check made out to All Nations, with a note attached saying it is for Floyd and Sally McClung, to:

All Nations Support

PO Box 55

Grandview, Missouri 64030

To donate in South Africa or from other nations:

Please send your gift via EFT (electronic funds transfer)

to our personal bank account, reference line, "your name" and email address to:

Standard Bank

Name of account: Floyd McClung

Fish Hoek branch code: 036009

Account Number: 072079517

Swift Number: SBZA ZA JJ (international transfer code)

OR: click on the following link, choose GIVE / PAY in the menu bar, click on Donate, click on Paypal, fill in card details, click on Review donations and continue, under All Nations click on +I prefer my donation go to support and then type Floyd & Sally McClung in the box. http://www.allnations.us

Copyright © 2014 Floyd & Sally, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this newletter to update you on Floyd and Sally McClung

Our mailing address is:

Floyd & Sally

P.O. Box 1331

Sun Valley

Cape Town, Western Cape 7985

South Africa

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2014-10-03 Choosing Godly Officials

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 3, 2014

This is a mail-merge letter to our friends –

Please enjoy the words of a long-time friend–

Choosing Godly Officials

Written by Stephen McDowell

We have the privilege in America to choose those who govern us. As Christians, it is also our duty to do so.

Civil government is a divine institution of God. It exists to protect the life, liberty, and property of citizens, enabling them to more effectively advance the Kingdom of God. Civil leaders are servants of the people and of God, and are to govern under His higher authority. Rulers are to be ministers of God for good. (See Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-14; Luke 22:25-26.)

For government to fulfill its divine mission, Christians must be involved in selecting good men and women to office. Ideally they would meet all the qualifications for Godly officials. When Moses told the Israelites to select from among them those who would govern them, he set forth a number of Biblical qualifications. He said: “You shall select out of all the people, able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain” (Ex. 18:21). “Choose wise and discerning and experienced men” (Deut. 1:13). He cited three general qualifications for governing officials: fear of God, Christian character, and Biblical worldview.

1. Fear God

The fear of God is an essential qualification for a godly official. What are such people like? Matthias Burnet explained in an election sermon in 1803 that they are, “men acting under the belief and awe of God as their inspector and judge, to whom they consider themselves accountable for their conduct and whom they fear to offend.”[1]

A man who fears God is not someone who simply professes faith, attends church, or culturally embraces Christianity, but someone who has a reverential fear of the Almighty. “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice” (Prov. 29:2). The righteous have right standing with God; they fear the true and living God.

2. Christian Character

A second qualification is morality. They should be “men truly honest and upright in their principles and views, not actuated and governed by the sordid motives of self interest and aggrandizement in their desire and execution of office, but by a sincere regard to the public good.”[2]

Corrupt and unprincipled rulers (like Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Mao Tse-tung) have brought great misery to mankind, including loss of liberty and the downfall of nations, while U.S. socialist and progressive leaders of the 20th century have done much to steal the liberty and property of many. The actions of these leaders flowed from a wrong worldview. Many displayed dishonest and immoral behavior.

Chandler Robbins, in an election sermon in 1791, said, “Nothing will so surely, so rapidly bring on the dissolution of society, and the loss of the liberties of a people, as a want of virtue and integrity in their rulers.”[3]

A vital quality for leaders is honesty. Proverbs 29:12 says, “If a ruler pays attention to falsehood [hearkens to lies], all his ministers become wicked.” If they cannot keep personal vows or oaths, we cannot expect them to keep national vows. We have witnessed the negative consequences of such conduct in recent years.

Knowledge or intelligence (as man sees it) without honesty — a good genius with a bad heart — is worse than an ignorant honest man because the evil genius could find more subtle ways to rob the people of their rights. Some have argued support for certain candidates based upon their intelligence, saying: “He’s so smart. We ought to elect him.” Yet, if such a person, no matter how smart, is reasoning from wrong presuppositions, or has bad character, he will not be a good leader.

Humility is a second great quality needed in leaders. Jesus taught that leaders are to be servants (Matt. 20:25-28).

3. Biblical Worldview

Thinking Biblically is of great importance because a leader will act and vote based upon how he thinks (Prov. 23:7). The best leaders will have a Biblical philosophy of government, understanding its purpose and limited nature.

The tendency of fallen man is to assume too much power for himself, often justified for benevolent reasons. Jesus taught we are to render to Caesar (civil government) things under his jurisdiction (which are very limited) and to God the things that are God’s (Matt. 22:15-21). As America has moved towards socialism, we have been rendering to Caesar the things that are God’s. Under all forms of statism, civil government assumes the role of God, the family, the church, and the private sector.

Socialism is the golden calf of modern America and is a great threat to liberty and prosperity. Discerning whether a candidate adheres to a Biblical or socialistic philosophy of government comes down to the question, “Who controls the property and children in the nation?” Whoever controls the property controls the present; whoever controls the children controls the future. God has given this responsibility to the family, not the state.

We must seek to choose leaders who understand the divine, but very limited, role of civil government. Without knowledgeable Christians participating in elections, America will become another Tower of Babel, with man looking to himself for all things.

Godly leaders begin with Godly citizens. Reform begins in our house, but it will eventually be reflected in the state house and the White House. America needs Godly transformation. Those who are transformed need to be eternally vigilant to have this reflected in our civil leaders.

The election of unprincipled men produces misery and tyranny, but Godly rulers bring peace, prosperity, justice, and rejoicing. If we fulfill our duty and place Godly men in office, our future will be bright.

Stephen McDowell is President and co-founder of the Providence Foundation, an organization whose purpose is to spread Christian liberty among the nations. Stephen has trained people from 100 countries to apply Biblical truth in all spheres of life, consulted with government officials, assisted in starting political parties, and aided in starting Christian schools and Biblical worldview training centers. He has authored and co-authored over 30 books and training courses including Liberating the Nations and America’s Providential History. To learn more visit ProvidenceFoundation.com

2014-09-30 Disturbing thoughts

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

September 30, 2014

This is a mail-merge letter to our friends –

Disturbing thoughts

We often hear, “These are the last days.” and “Things are going to keep getting worse, until the ‘end times events’ begin.”

That disturbs my soul. Many may decide, “There is no point in trying to save and restore America. It is like polishing the brass, as the Titanic sinks!” Why not focus upon evangelism and let everything else drift away?

My thought – If America is on the edge of failure, and the church does not care to get involved, she has tacitly consented to the consequence. After America fails, what is likely to happen to our liberty to evangelize?

Further – Where is the respect (or even memory) for what God has invested in the idea of a “Christian Constitutional Republic”? America is not “Christian” because it was formed by Christians. America is “Christian” because it has a Christian form!

The world (even today!) looks toward the horizon, expecting America to gallop over the hill and save the day. That is NOT because of our virtue! It is because of what we represent – Godly principles. [Faith & steadfastness, brotherly love & Christian care, diligence and industry, liberty of conscience].

Our betters bled and died in defense of these principles so that we may enjoy what we have. Are we to exchange it for a “mess of pottage”?

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