Month: March 2016

2016-03-25 Easter thoughts

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

March 25, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

“Christos vass ressen”

“Christ is risen” An eastern orthodox greeting. The customary response, “Indeed He has!”

As I contemplate Sunday’s Easter activities, I am prompted to share a true story. The year and number of participants is fogged in my memory, but the mental movie is indelible.

During the mid 70’s a multinational team of college-age YWAM’ers were prompted to plan a “Jesus Rally” on Moscow’s Red Square, during Russia’s national May Day parade. I believe there were 18 of them (6 each in 3 VW vans). They left from Finland on a three-day drive cross country to Moscow. A book was published about the adventure. I believe the author was Nick Savoka. The title, something like, “Russia with Love”.

In those days, such a team on tourist visas was sure to attract official attention. The happy young people took full advantage. They noted the undercover “police” all dressed in trench coats with the collar turned up. The kids would pretend to take pictures with rolls of lifesavers. They were tracked all the way across country to the outskirts of Moscow the day before the big parade.

There, they were detained and ordered to return to Finland. Three VW vans with three to five escort vehicles made quite a parade in itself! The kids pasted “Christos vass ressen” signs in all the van windows and waved as they passed through the many small towns.

At one point the vans were led by a sound truck, “Don’t look at these people!” Naturally, very one turned out to see what not to look at.

Another time, as Van #1 climbed up on the rear bumper of the lead escort (so he could not see behind him), van #3 drew way, way behind. The lead escort and van #1 passed through a village. Van #2 pulled over, the happy kids piled out and distributed Christian, tracks until the rear escort officers hustled them back into their van and on their way. During the “cold war” this sort of YWAM activity was common. They were called, “God’s guerillas.”

Indeed, George Otis Jr. did make it to that May Day parade. He and a friend had a “Christos vass ressen” banner rolled up in their umbrella. It was unfurled for about a minute before they were arrested.

Carloads of Bibles were smuggled through the “Iron Curtain”. We participated in that on our world trip in ’77.

All that to say this – Christ is risen indeed – Happy Easter.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”

2016-03-13 Remembering

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

March 13, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Remembering

The political situation has been on my mind. I am anxious to share my thoughts. However,

the Lord seems to want this column to be about remembering a story. The events took place in the ‘70’s in Sebastopol, a small town west of Santa Rosa, California.

I believe two groups, Agape Force and YWAM, had teamed up for a summer-long evangelical outreach there. My friends, Tony Salerno and Winkie Pratney, were leading the activities. I was not there. The story is important because of the message it sends.

The young people had been sharing Christ in street ministry, public meetings and local churches. One day, as the story goes, the leader of the tough local motorcycle crowd stopped Tony Salerno on the sidewalk. “Dude – Every time I turn a corner, one of your Jesus freaks is waving a Bible in my face. I want you to tell them to back off.”

Tony replied, “All right, dude – I will do that – and – I will pray that God uses you as an example of what happens when someone refuses to accept His lordship.”

A few days later, a bedraggled biker-leader found Tony on the sidewalk again. “Dude, what have you been doing to me? Have you been sticking pins in a voodoo doll or something? I haven’t been able to sleep in days.”

Tony smiled, “I have just been praying as I promised.” The biker responded, “OK then, you have my attention. Talk to me.” Tony escorted him to the small storefront they rented for the summer. He went to his desk and seated the biker. Winkie was over by the door reading.

Tony began explaining God’s plan of salvation. The biker interrupted, “OK, I understand. Can we pray now?” Tony replied, “Not yet, I want to be sure you understand.” He went over it again and yet again. Finally, Tony asked, have you any more questions?

The Biker paused, “Does this mean I’ll have to give up my Harley (motorcycle)?” “No” replied Tony, “not necessarily.” — — “How about my girlfriend?” Tony repeated his answer.

Winkie interrupted, “Excuse me. Because you had to ask. – Yes, you will have to give up your bike and girlfriend!” The biker stood, “Forget it – The cost is too high!” and walked out.

Tony looked over at Winkie, “You aren’t going to have many converts!”

Winkie replied, “Neither did Jesus!”

The message for today – We should not invite Christ into our life to “share” it.

Unless He is Lord of all He is not Lord at all!

Is this an accurate second-hand account? I don’t know, by now, it has become a legend. Perhaps someone reading this was in Sebastopol for that outreach and can confirm it.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”

2016-03-02 Who or what is in control

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

March 2, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

Who or what is in control?

Unless we make a conscious effort to look beyond what “the world” wants us to focus upon, we will be deceived and misled. It is easy to relax and go with the flow. Others are in the same stream and it is reassuring to be with those who agree with us.

On the other hand that stream is filled with deception and lies. A strategically planted story about Dr. Ben Carson withdrawing just before the Iowa caucus caught the Ted Cruz staff in its net. Cruz had nothing to do with it. He was blamed for a “dirty trick” and the rest is history.

The enemy often attacks the strong point. In the case of Ted Cruz, his good name. The other candidates piled on. Many church folks who should have known better, appear to have dropped their support of the strongest, most proven candidate in the race – Ted Cruz.

I say, “should have known better,” because it appears to me the American church as a whole has chosen to be ignorant of American history and the Biblical principles involved. God’s hand and His will are in charge! God is not a fatalist. The Bible is full of examples of God changing His mind! With His omniscience and omnipotence God can fulfill any prophesy whenever He chooses! Let us pray that God will choose mercy for America rather than the justice we deserve!

I almost lost hope for Ted Cruz. It appeared to me that the attack on his character had taken him out of the race. Then I saw an accounting of the delegate count. Trump has 300 and change. Cruz is only 90 delegates behind with a long way to go.

The annual CPAC conference in Washington, D.C. offers a platform for conservative speakers. Glen Beck of “The Blaze TV” network (channel #212 if you have Dish) is to be keynote speaker. Today, he put forth a proposal that rings true to me – I’ll share it with you:

Suppose Ted Cruz were to go to Marco Rubio, who has little hope of winning the nomination, and ask him to run with him NOW as Vice President. They could combine their strengths as a team. Further, suppose they could persuade Dr. Ben Carson to run for Marco’s vacant Senate seat in Florida.

I believe the whole tempo of American society would be improved dramatically. Is this just wishful thinking? Perhaps – But many of us have prayed 2nd Chronicles 7:14, asking for God to pour out healing goodness once more upon our nation. All things are possible with God.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

See www.ACHStudyGroups.com

“Ben’s Blog”

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