Posts Tagged ‘gospel’

Over the weekend, a small group of guys and a staff member had gone to Guymon, OK to do a couple of storefronts for fund raising purposes. While they were there they met up with a gentleman that had come through the Teen Challenge center that I work at. Jack (not his real name) didn’t graduate as he decided to leave early.

Jack invited them to go out to dinner. While there, he told them some of the things that had happened to him after he left the program. Jack told them that he had to go jail for 30 days for not completing the program. While he was there, he had the opportunity to witness to a gentleman. This gentleman that he was witnessing to had come to the Lord. They both read the Bible everyday.

Jack was also able to go to his mother’s grave and forgive her for what she had done to him. Jack was also for the first time in a long time, able to call her MOM. That is the power of God in Jack’s life.

I don’t often hear stories like this. It is good to hear that while a student leaves early it doesn’t mean that they didn’t get anything. Sometimes, God puts a person only for short time and not for the full time that they agreed with when they enter the program. The successes are less if they don’t go through the whole program. But every once in a while stories like this do happen.

When I was at Cape Girardeau, MO a similar thing happened. During the apple picking season the police showed up to pick up one of the other guys. Before I go on let me relate to you how this came about.

The students that come into Teen Challenge are usually here for one of three things. Bear in mind that it is not a program for just teenagers. Men and Women also need help. Anyway, the students come in for one of three different reasons. They are family ordered, court ordered (which is not our program), or they are wife ordered.

This guy had come in due to court related issues. So to make sure that his PO knew where he was at, he wrote him a letter saying that he was in the Misssouri Teen Challenge. Which, then meant that his PO sent the police for violation of his parole by leaving the state he was supposed to be in.

Anyway, Dave (not real name) was picked up by the police while he was out picking apples. The whole time he had a peace about having to go to jail. While he was there, Dave witnessed to every person that they put in the cell with him.

He had a “revolving door” for the cell that he was in. Every day he had a cell mate. Every day that person was gotten and another person was brought in. The last guy that was brought to that cell, came to the saving knowledge of Christ.  Dave had to go to jail in order to witness to this guy. God had tested him to make sure that he would do so with others that came in before the “main event”.

Dave was brought back after that. He said that the whole time he was feeling peaceful about where he was at. He also knew when he was going to return to the center. He knew that he had to go jail for a week for just that one moment.

What is the moral of both of these incidents. It doesn’t matter what happens. If you are in God’s will, He will cause good things to happen when it seems that things are going south.

Both of these men followed this command of Jesus:

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

It is amazing how some things work, especially in the ministry that I work for. So many times we try to do things because we know that no one will find out. We tend to put one of these up in our minds and believe that this will be enough to keep what we do private.

Sorry, this is for me and me alone

 But God has some things to say about things done in secret. He says that He will blast out the news of the hidden things when we do them in secret. He will bring them to light. (Mark 4:22 “For everthing that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

All too often we think that we can do things in secret when we are alone and it is okay.  At least to a degree. I say to a degree because technically, we are never alone. We have someone looking over our shoulder all the time. It doesn’t matter if we feel like we are doing anything wrong. But, if we are in ministry, that ministry after a time will suffer. If we help out in church, eventually we won’t want to do that. Why? When we do something that we know that God does not want us to do, He will step in if we continue on with it.

I have seen this before. I have said that I work for a ministry called Teen Challenge. I saw the effects of what one staff member was doing when he was by himself. Though no one knew what he was doing, it was still affecting the shifts that we worked. Things were becoming chaotic. When he admitted to what he was doing and was released from his part in the ministry, things seemed to calm down almost immediately.

Strange as this might sound, what is done in the physical world affects the spiritual and vice versa. When you work in ministry it can be felt and seen in a way that is hard to ignore. What we do will affect us in all areas of our lives no matter how good we hide what we are doing. Be careful what you do when you think you are alone. The Holy Spirit is looking over your shoulder. God will not let things go for too long before he steps in to deal with it.

We all have those areas that we want to hold on to and God will let us. But He will also bring these things to light if we don’t deal with them. Trust me when I say, it is easier to deal with them ourselves. It is much harder when God has to step in and deal with it Himself. It may be difficult either way, but why would we want to carry around baggage when we don’t have to.

Last night, I had a pretty good time at a fund raising event. It was the first actual one that I did not have to work through. Which is amazing enoughing. But to see the people there that wanted to help out the two centers that I am associated with for Teen Challenge took that to a different level.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working at events as well. We had a silent auction, live auction, a video of a missions trip that we had done and dinner. There was such an outpouring of support that I was on the verge of being choked up. It was just such an awesome thing to see.

For those that don’t know what Teen Challenge is, let me explain. Teen Challenge is a faith based “cure” for the drug epidemic. I say cure, but we don’t cure anybody. We allow God to work in those that have come to us for help.

Though drugs are not the only problem we deal with. We deal with anger, pornography, alcohol, etc. In other words life controlling problems that are overcoming people who can’t seem to shake them or are unwilling. Teen Challenge is also not subsidised by the government which means we work off of donations. Click here to go to the Teen Challenge USA website to find out more about us.

But I digress. Just to see the people there to do one thing, to have a hand in what God is doing, is something you don’t see everyday. At least I never did. But now that I work for one of these programs, I see it all the time. I see the change in young mens lives while they are with us. But the men and women that were there at the dinner were there in support and believe that God changes lives.

We have also started up another way of getting the support that we need. We have been doing storefronts. That is we have been taking items that we have made (crosses and checker boards) and selling them in front of Walmart for the past couple of months. Recently we have started up another way of getting support.

We now have a store that sells cross items and the checkerboards mentioned above. But we also sell items that have been donated to us. To check out our items click here. We also take donations at here as well.

Don’t take this as a bid for money. We also can use prayer, supplies or what ever. We covet the prayers more. But as with anything that is worthwhile we can’t just work on prayer. If you can help in anyway, it will be greatly appreciated. If you need help and nothing else has worked, we come to the Teen Challenge website.

 
What do some of the greatest Bible teachers that we know, have in common? A heresy known as the faith movement. Or as it is sometimes known as the name it/claim it theology. Hank Hanegraaff points out that some of our greatest biblical teachers (Osteen, Meyers, TD Jakes, etc.) preach this error. He cites many examples in their teaching and uses scripture to back up his message. Many of these preachers teach a prosperity type of message. I will admit that I like(d) many of these teachers and preachers.

One of the first things that Hank does is take the many different forms of this type of teaching and uses a story to show the heresy. These teachings say that God has his hands tied and that we have to give Him permission to do anything on earth. He even sites a vision that one of these teachers had where Satan came to interrupt the meeting between them and Jesus. They had to “chase” the devil off because Jesus couldn’t have done it himself. Or so this “Jesus” claimed to them.

These same teachers have added to the heresy started by Kenneth Hagin. They say that man could have done what only God could do. Namely redeem mankind to Himself. They make God out to be less, at on the same level as man and that man is more. That faith is a force that can be manipulated. That God is nothing more than a cosmic butler to do our bidding.

Hanegraaff’s book is filled to overflowing with information on this movement that is eroding away the very foundation that we need to stand. There is so much more that one small review cannot contain it all. Get the book and prepare yourself for the truth.