With power comes responsibility

 

Another election has come and gone and now it is time to go back to work, and use the rights and resources God has given us to change the world. And what we have is considerable! We are able to bring the gift of eternal life to a lost world! Do you not believe this is a big deal? Do you really believe some government benefit or tax break is more important than this??

If you want to save the world, you need to start early…at childhood. Save the kids, and the grown-ups are different in the future. Yes, I know, this requires faith and patience. But that is how we inherit the promises of God.

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
 Hebrews 6:12 NIV

The desire for instant gratification is the cause of our downfall, and that of the whole world because we do no do our job: preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. We want answers NOW. We want results NOW. We want satisfaction NOW. This leads to many grievous errors. It’s why we worship at the altars of our political movements, our comforts, and having our own way.  Let us not forget that it is to THE CHURCH that the Bible is written when it gives rebuke.

Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:5 NIV

Good News Club meeting…

Friday afternoon, February 10th, there will be an informational meeting at Millhopper Public Library. At this meeting you will get the answers to questions like:

  • What is a Good News Club?
  • What does it look like?
  • What do you mean by “evangelism”?
  • Will my child be called a sinner?
  • Who teaches the children?
  • What qualifies them?
  • What does it cost?

This meeting is held at this time because this is the time when a Good News Club is usually being held, so a person who could not come to this meeting could not volunteer in a club, either.

Please join our Meetup group if you are interested in reaching children for Christ!

The past two years in review

In August of 2014 Cindi and I moved to Homosassa. We knew a handful of people in the area, and we had come by faith, with no guarantee of an income. There was no chapter, and no local organizing body. We were tasked with forming one, and we had much favor with God as we found many hidden treasures who took up the cause with us; the cause of reaching this generation of children with the Gospel.

We were never really on our own, though, as we came with a fresh education from Children’s Ministries Institute. We also had a copy of “The Plan,” a CD with a vast digital resource of knowledge and documents from Child Evangelism Fellowship, as we followed the instructions for how to start Good News Clubs®. We had never done it before, but we could read and we could pray, and before long we discovered that many other people were praying and believing that we could get this ministry into the public schools in Citrus and Hernando counties.

The next two years truly tried our souls. I have never before been more aware of the malevolent power of Satan as I have since we moved to Homosassa and had essentially called him out by pursuing the souls of children. So much has been accomplished in spite of the opposition we received that it could only be by the power of God that we have had such success. We do have an enemy, but the Bible reminds us that, “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds,” 2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV. Yes, we have weapons, but they do not wield themselves. We must take them up and use them, and we ignore that at our peril.

I learned a great deal about prayer, but even more about how important it is to have others praying for you. Because I am a frail human being, there are times when I need you to pray because I am weary. And I thank you, whoever you are, for taking up the fight on our behalf when we were not able. Great will be your reward.

I know what you were expecting here was a litany of facts: 9 new Good News Clubs started in public schools, total ministry enrollment going from 300 to over 900 the first year, and this year is still counting; and about 60 trained volunteers to 182. But those things happened because of the spiritual battles that were won, and it has to be spiritual. How else can we explain the blindness that adults must overcome to realize these children are in peril? When the light comes on, it changes their lives and gives them divine purpose: obedience to Christ’s commission to His people to bring the Gospel to the lost.

We are coming back home, and we will face the same enemy. The same apathy and blindness that afflicts the comfortable, who watch the young perish without lifting a finger, is a stronghold that must be torn down. I will continue to need your prayers to help us achieve the goals God has given us…all of us. Jesus said, “So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish,” Matthew 18:14 ESV. How many are we willing to let perish? What do we seek first, instead of the Kingdom of God?

It is my hope that you have heard my plea for your prayers. Hear this also: this ministry needs the financial resources of faithful people to reach the lost sheep who have nothing to give. Please pray about what you can do to help relieve this burden. Monthly support keeps us at work in the field instead of organizing fundraising events. A gift of $25 per month is less than a dollar a day to train and equip volunteers who evangelize and disciple the children who are tomorrow’s teenagers and adults. Please use the donation link on the sidebar, or send your checks to the address between the donation buttons.

Thank you again for all you have already done,

Don Marsh

The Battle for Nine-year-olds

avery-nat-geoWhen I first saw the cover of National Geographic, featuring a nine-year-old transgender activist, my knee-jerk reaction was to post it on Facebook and talk about how our culture-makers are luring children into  gender confusion. But, then I thought I should do something radical and read the article first. I have done so, and I must admit that my knee had it right the first time.

I have worked  as a volunteer in church children’s ministries since the 80’s, and now work in an evangelistic children’s ministry by vocation, so my snap judgments are formed by experience, training, and research. I am not merely informed by the latest kerfuffle on the Internet. So, the sight of a nine-year-old being given a forum on the cover of a magazine like National Geographic (as opposed to the National Enquirer) causes me to wonder what the agenda is here. Stay with me. This may require some critical thinking.

First, the article informs us that, “National Geographic photographer Robin Hammond interviewed nine-year-olds in four continents. From China to Brazil, Hammond met with kids in their very different homes to talk about their very different expectations for the future and what it means to be a boy or a girl today.” This is pretty tame, straightforward stuff. It should produce fairly predictable information, which it does. One example follows another, how boys get some preferential treatment:

If they were boys, Pooja Pawara from outside Mumbai would ride a scooter, while Yan Zhu from China’s Yaqueshui village would swim in a river that her grandmother insists is too cold for girls. Because she’s not a boy, Luandra Montovani isn’t allowed to play in her Rio favela’s streets, where she says the dangers include “violence and stray bullets.”

I have to admit that I thought it strange that there was an upside to dodging stray bullets. But that is a part of their culture, which is really the point of the article. Culture informs your experience. It gives you norms of behavior. Parents have understood this as long as anyone remembers. It’s the reason you were not allowed to play with certain children because it was deemed as not safe, with no mitigating racial or socioeconomic factors. Even television networks knew there was a time for “family television.”

To cut to the chase, this article was not about transgender children or transgenderism in general. Avery, the nine-year-old transgender (no description of where he/she is in the process), gets two paragraphs and a two quotes and exits the stage, but not without getting on the cover of the magazine. It is as if this ordinary story, telling common knowledge as if it were sage wisdom, was merely an excuse to use the photo that is worth a thousand words. Another quote from the article begs a question of my own:

What is something that makes you sad?
For Tomee War Bonnet, an Oglala Lakota, it’s “seeing people kill themselves.” What plants such thoughts in a nine-year-old’s head? Her reservation’s history of suicides, by kids as young as 12.

Yes, what plants thoughts of gender identity in the heads of attention-seeking nine-year-olds? Being transgender is the new shiny object. It once got you ostracized, but now it gets you something entirely different. You can get a lot of attention, a lot of strokes. A magazine cover is a pretty big prize. There are sex education videos being used to reach out to ten-year-olds that celebrate how special you are, and how happy your parents will be that you are happy with your sparkly new gender identity! I have seen the videos. I will not link them here.

There is a great deal of indoctrination that goes on in our culture, and it reaches down further and further in its age range before our eyes. And it does plant ideas in the heads of children. They are very receptive to these ideas, which is why it is important to know which ideas we should expose them to.

I believe the evangelical church in America has been dropping the ball for years. It is not enough to teach children rote verses and Bible stories about Noah’s Ark and King David and the Lord Jesus without life applications. And some of those applications pertain to living in a culture that is openly hostile to Biblical values like moral excellence and faith in a God you cannot see. There are many forces at work that beat us to the minds of children that have been uninformed about the Bible and what it teaches, as well as those who are actively undermining  those who have been taught. Do we recognize them? Do we know how to deal with changing cultural norms that demand your child’s participation or agreement?

It is no longer good enough to try to shield our children from aberrant information. Like good anti-virus software, you also have to know how to quarantine and disinfect the bugs that get in. And they will get in. To think they won’t is self-deceiving and lazy. It also insures that you will not be changing the world you live in for the better.

There was a time when most Americans had a Biblical worldview. Even the wicked needed the Bible to effectively twist the truth. But today we live in an America that has seen very little evangelistic effort. We are paying for it by losing ground to a worldview that is very evangelistic. The humanistic worldview that eliminates God from its equations and its social mores is on offense. We cannot continue to backpedal and hide in our sanctuaries. We must take back the opportunities God has given us. And every new generation of children is an opportunity for us to get it right. And we are obligated by the Great Commission to do so.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 ESV