On The Edge
On The Edge Interview with Rev. Matthew Crebbin of Healing The Healers

On The Edge Interview with Rev. Matthew Crebbin of Healing The Healers

July 29, 2019

 

Rev. Matthew Crebbin has been Senior Minister at the Newtown Congregational Church, UCC since 2007. He has served faith communities in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A sought after preacher and lecturer, his ministry has focused upon a variety of areas including: theological dialogue, ecumenical and interfaith partnerships, grief and trauma ministry—as well as justice and peace advocacy. He currently serves as the Coordinator of the Newtown Interfaith Council.

Healing the Healers is a new media resource intended to support clergy, laity, social workers, first responders and other faith leaders facing community-level trauma. In the first five parts of an ongoing video series, Rev. Matthew Crebbin begins an important conversation with colleagues in which they acknowledge the unique stress they face in the aftermath of community trauma.

Rev. Crebbin is the Senior Minister of the Newtown Congregational Church in Newtown, CT. On December 14, 2012, his life, along with those of his family, his congregation, and everyone in the town, was changed by the horrifying shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. His mission in this series has a dual focus: both to learn about and better understand the mid-to-long term effects of such traumas on faith leaders who, like him, have gone through such an experience, and to help educate and prepare other faith and community leaders who may be faced with such events in the future.

www.healingthehealers.org

Here’s The Deal with Larry Tomczak “A Heartfelt Appeal to My Friend Josh Harris”

Here’s The Deal with Larry Tomczak “A Heartfelt Appeal to My Friend Josh Harris”

July 29, 2019

Dear Josh,

The last time we were together, we were strolling the grounds of an amusement park and encouraging one another. Your father had steered us into homeschooling which paid off incredibly.


I previously gathered friends in my apartment to launch Covenant Life Church with CJ Mahaney which later was entrusted to you. There and nationwide you reinforced for many grateful parents foundational biblical principles of purity and the permanency of covenant marriage.

You married your beautiful Shannon, and began raising your three wonderful children. God gave you great favor in the eyes of multitudes, especially young people, who looked to you as an inspiring example: "If he can do it, so can I!"


In your conferences, books and pastoral ministry you were faithful to scripture, instructing on the true meaning of agape love versus erotic sexual attraction; cooperating with God in character development for stability in marriage; and, honoring parents and God’s design for marriage and family by resisting the seduction of cultural influences on living together (fornication), homosexuality, and unscriptural divorce. 

Along the way, God gave you insights for a more balanced approach to singles relating without compromising biblical commands. I honor you for later acknowledging some mistakes in practicing biblical principles along with an element of some legalism. Like all of us, you’re on a journey and you wanted to set the record straight and I commend you for your humility.

 

Discouragement, Deception and Derailment

 

Josh, you’re very familiar with the importance of maintaining a biblical worldview amidst the avalanche of ungodly pressures causing discouragement, deception and many Christians to be derailed today.  Your relocation to Canada exposed you to an even more liberal culture which I experienced firsthand in ministering there last year.

 

"Take head to yourself and the doctrine" (1Tim. 4:16) is critical for you and I to "finish well" and avoid being one of the casualties prophesied in 1 Tim. 4:1, "Now the Spirit clearly says that in the last days some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits..."

I’ve got to be honest with you, my friend, you stunned me this week when you announced that after almost 20 years of marriage you and Shannon were ending your marriage and that you no longer consider yourself a Christian. 

You also stated that you were reevaluating your views on the LGBTQ agenda and apologizing to them for not supporting same-sex marriage and affirming their place in the church. 

 

If God convicted you of un-Christlike attitudes towards homosexuals that’s good. If you’re wandering into unscriptural acceptance of sexual activity that God calls “shameful, unnatural, degrading, impure, indecent and perversion” (Rom. 1:21-32), I beseech you to "stop and turn back to unchanging Biblical truth." You know I’m not talking about people struggling with same-sex attraction but those who “not only do them but also give hearty approval to those who practice them (Rom. 1:32).

 

My brother, here in Nashville the entire Christian community watched the sad story of a thriving megachurch collapse as the pastor, to whom I personally appealed, decided to become "gay affirming and inclusive." Local and national media celebrated the development but soon he announced the breakup of his marriage as he drifted into heresy, eventually leaving Nashville with multitudes left heartbroken, confused and devastated.

Time for a Wake Up Call?

Josh, you’re in your 40s. Billy Graham once said, when asked what one thing he learned as he aged, "How quickly it all goes by."

Remember the compelling question you posed readers in I Kissed Dating Goodbye? Chapter 14: "What Matters at 50?"

Doris and I have faced incredible pressures, conflicts and challenges in our 43 years of marriage and ministry but by the grace of God we continue to honor what we vowed before God, each other and many witnesses on April 10, 1976. Along with our brides, we know there are only two kinds of marital couples: those who admit their problems and those who don’t. All couples have problems.

What about Billy and Ruth Graham?

Ruth was once asked in an interview if she ever thought about divorce in her marriage to Billy? She responded without hesitation, yet jokingly, "Divorce? No. Murder, yes!"

A Tragic Tale

Years ago I sat in my dining room with one of the premier preachers in America. I devoured his teachings and once I was married Doris and I both continued listening to his outstanding messages.

At the height of his ministry, he began compromising his biblically informed convictions and wandered into more comfortable and convenient doctrinal positions. Sitting across from me he said he reached the point where he wanted "personal peace" rather than problems with his wife. 

He separated from her and their six or seven children. He got involved with another woman. His reputation disintegrated and his ministry and church came apart. Someone shared with me the effect it had on the children especially one son who spun off into drugs. The last time I spoke with the man he was doing some work on a dock if I recall correctly. 

 

  • What if he’d humbled himself and sought counseling? I’m not talking about psycho-babble and therapeutic victimhood but godly counsel over a period of time with a seasoned biblical counselor?

  • What if he led the way with his wife in coming to a place where they put everything on the table in strictest confidentiality and dealt with generational issues, destructive habit patterns, unwise "friendships", pornography, flirtation with the opposite sex, parenting disagreements, anger issues, undisciplined spending, sexual problems and the like?

 

  • What if he and his wife made the difficult decision to reject the lies of the enemy, repent, forgive and persevere no matter what the cost, while believing God's authoritative Word that redemptive grace would bring them to victory? "No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, and He will not permit you to be tempted above what you can endure, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1Cor.10:13).

 

  • What if he and his wife quietly enlisted the support of trusted friends to engage in intercessory prayer on their behalf during their season of adversity and testing?
       

 

A Defining Moment 

 

Josh, and Shannon, I want to assure you that this is truly a defining moment for both of you as you well know. There are multitudes of people all over this nation and abroad who love you and are praying for you right now. I am in that caring company available to you so don’t hesitate to call me for encouragement, counsel or prayer.

More importantly, Jesus is praying right now as the One Who gave His life for you, committed to save you from a path that undermines the abundant life he desires for you and your family. "Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, because He at all times lives to make intercession for them" (Heb.7:25).

"Then the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to have you to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have repented, strengthen your brothers" (Lk.22:31).

Here's the deal: Joshua, my friend, on the cover of your best selling book the image appearing to be you has his face downcast, covered by a hat. Your spiritual family throughout America encourages you to look up confidently knowing that "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (Jam.4:6). 

Please don’t kiss your marriage goodbye!

 

Your Friend 'till the End

 

Larry Tomczak

 

Time For A Word with Pastor Matthew Long  “Prodigal: The Lesson of a Loving Father

Time For A Word with Pastor Matthew Long “Prodigal: The Lesson of a Loving Father

July 29, 2019

Join us for the next three installments focusing on the most beloved of Jesus parables: The Prodigal Son. In this edition, we will look at what the father does for the wayward son, which is a portrait of the perfect love of our Heavenly Father! Listen and be blessed!

On The Edge Interview with John Atak of South Sudan

On The Edge Interview with John Atak of South Sudan

July 27, 2019
  James Lual Atak, Indigenous Director from South Sudan for Lift Up The Vulnerable 

James Lual Atak with children at Make Way Partners

James Lual Atak Congratualtes a Highschool Student | Credit MWP

Bombs blasted, machine guns bulleted, grass-roofed homes blazed with intentionally set fires, and nine-year-old James Lual Atak ran for his life. The civil war that ravaged Sudan in 1987 separated many children from their families in just this way. The young boys who walked – and survived – unfathomable distances and terrain, and made it to the nearby lands of Ethiopia and Kenya became known as the “Lost Boys”. Left behind by society, they rank among the world’s forgotten orphans of war.

James experienced both sides of war, and then discovered a new way to live. First, he was conscripted as a child soldier, forced to run through the bush carrying his machine gun like a baby, and sent to the frontline as bait to shoot down the enemy, so the older “real soldiers” would live to fight to the end. Unlike many others, a general eventually set him free, and James made the long journey, along with thousands of other Lost Boys, to Kenya.

As one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, James watched other children die, even as he struggled to become one of the survivors.[i] He eventually made his way to Nairobi, Kenya, where a man named George William helped James receive an education and learn about Christianity.[ii] While in Kenya, James and his girlfriend each applied for visas as they dreamed of marrying and relocating together, if one of them was granted the coveted opportunity to escape.[iii] Despite the hope of a new life with his beloved, James felt burdened – so many children were still suffering what he had once endured, and few or none were receiving help.[iv] As James prayed earnestly for guidance, his name appeared on the list for an American Visa, his girlfriend’s on the list for an Australian one. However, instead of accepting his visa and pursuing the life he had planned, James bravely decided to follow the plan God placed in his heart — to return to his country and alleviate the suffering he could.[v] His girlfriend went to Australia, and James returned to Sudan by himself without funds, resources, or a plan for where these would come from. He trusted God’s plan and started to gather orphans and teach them with the one textbook he had in order to make a difference in his country.

A young girl named Kristina had lain across her father’s grave in despair. A few men had helped her bury her father, but did nothing more. “There are simply too many orphans to worry about this one,” she heard them say before leaving her behind. Days passed. Having nowhere to go, Kristina stayed at the gravesite. Hungry. Alone. Then a man walked up. He asked her what her name was, where her parents were: “I told him they were dead and I was alone.” The man offered his name, James Lual Atak, and then said the words that would change her life. “Come follow me. I will take you to New Life Ministry (NLM), and if you will follow the way I teach you, you will grow strong and you will not be alone anymore.”[vi] Kristina would learn, unlike the other men she encountered, James Lual Atak does worry about the orphans.

Kristina was not the first orphan to be rescued by James Lual Atak. When Kimberly Smith Highland, President of Make Way Partners, first met him in 2005, James had 153 orphans under his protection in what was at the time considered the Sudan; he was caring for them as best he could — while teaching them to read and write from one textbook.[vii] Together, James and Kimberly committed to do whatever it took to keep those children safe, and Make Way Partners became James’ and New Life Ministry’s sole funding partner. Thirteen years later, NLM is now home to 750 children, has a ministry for widows and former sex-slaves, and operates the region’s only high school.[viii] James also led Make Way Partners to build two other orphanages, schools, and clinics throughout Sudan and South Sudan, using the same successful model of indigenous leadership.

Today, New Life Ministry (NLM) is home to Darfur Muslim orphans and Southern Sudanese Christian and Animist orphans.[ix] James does not discriminate among those who need his help, and his compassion does not end with children. When they first met, James asked Kimberly if she’d go with him to where he knew Darfuris were hiding from the Janjaweed, and dying in the bush. [x] Fearing his motives, Kimberly asked why.[xi] “Because they’re dying out there, we have to take them some of [our] food and water and medicine.… The only real peace for my people is the love of Jesus. We have to be Jesus to the Darfurees, and take them food and medicine and help.”[xii]

Some would look at the accomplishments of caring for so many children in the face of war and inhumanity and say, ‘good enough.’ Yet, James still works tirelessly to create new ways to help his people. In addition to establishing NLM’s high school, James dreams of founding a training college to launch the next generation of leaders.[xiii]

Because he followed his faith and deep convictions, James was able to provide not just a home and education, but also hope, inspiration, and purpose for a little girl named Kristina — and for many others. And now, she explains, “[My favorite thing about being at NLM is] James Lual Atak, because he is teaching me how I can help more orphans like me.” [xiv]

You can follow James on Facebook or Twitter.

www.liftupthevulnerable.com

Here’s The Deal with Larry Tomczak “3 Ways to Deal With People Who Put Down America”

Here’s The Deal with Larry Tomczak “3 Ways to Deal With People Who Put Down America”

July 25, 2019

Go on Amazon and you won't find anything on how to be an effective complainer. Why? Criticizing comes naturally because of our fallen nature.

Christians are directed differently, "Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may be blameless and harmless, sons of God, without fault, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:14-15).

Disregarding the directive has consequences. God reminds us "because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things ... you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you" (Deut. 28:47-48a).

This is increasingly important in this critical time. The self-righteous tendency is to "find a flaw—flip 'em in the trash" unless you're Hillary, Che Guevara or a Planned Parenthood operative. The pressure is ever-present to be "politically correct" and embrace their "progressive" anti-American assault perfected by Obama who regularly referred to what's wrong with America.

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A Culture of Complaining

Franklin Graham tells us we are in the battle for the soul of our nation.

The further we drift from our Judeo-Christian foundations, the more people unconsciously conform to a culture of complaining that permeates the atmosphere today. They either take for granted or are simply ignorant of how good we've got it in the USA!

The Democratic presidential candidates breathlessly compete in tearing down our nation and our president. Listen to them bloviate their utopian plans between non-stop pricking holes in the balloons of prosperity we enjoy here in America.

Almost daily some celebrity, commentator or sports figure is in the news or on The View blasting our president, past historical figures and our nation. The brilliant architect of our founding documents, Thomas Jefferson, is now persona non grata; Betsy Ross is wiped off Nike shoes because Colin Kaepernick complained; celebration of the Women's World Cup victory was terribly tarnished because a lesbian leader seized the spotlight to sour the world on Trump and America.

Engaging with people to persuade them to a different viewpoint requires sensitivity and skill. "A soft answer turns away wrath" (Prov. 15:1). Obviously being a good listener, not interrupting and being well-informed are essential.

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “Speaks with Mark Lee Dickerson of Right To Life of East Texas”

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “Speaks with Mark Lee Dickerson of Right To Life of East Texas”

July 25, 2019

http://www.righttolifeofeasttexas.org/

Tom interviews East Texas Right To Life Advocate Mark Lee Dickerson and his vision and outcome of a Sanctuary City for the unborn babies of our land.

Texas border city with a population of about 2,200 has declared itself a sanctuary for the unborn and has banned abortion.

Waskom, Texas, which borders Louisiana 20 miles west of Shreveport, claims to be the first city in the nation to become a "Sanctuary City for the Unborn" by way of a resolution and ordinance unanimously passed by five members of the city council.

Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas, presented the idea to the city council, frustrated that elected officials in Austin weren't passing any "meaningful legislation that protects unborn life."

"This is why we had to take things into our own hands and take it to the grassroots level," Dickson told Fox News. "Due to the recent pro-life legislation in Louisiana being so strong and due to the risk of an abortion clinic one day moving to Waskom, Texas, we decided to do something to protect the city, which was passing an ordinance outlawing abortion in Waskom, Texas."

Dickson added that in the past an abortion clinic was looking to move to Waskom, which would have served a 200-mile radius, making it an abortion destination.

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “Kyle Williamson”

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “Kyle Williamson”

July 25, 2019

Kyle Williamson is the owner and founder of DoveTel Communications, LLC., DBA SyncGlobal Telecom, and serves as the company’s CEO. In 2000 Kyle began marshaling support from municipal organizations and the local business community to improve West Georgia’s communications infrastructure. This local support, coupled with his experience in the telecommunications industry, culminated in the establishment of SyncGlobal (DoveTel Communications, LLC.) as a registered CLEC in 2003. 

Kyle has founded other successful ventures including SyncGlobal’s parent company, SynchroNet, Inc., a telecommunications EF&I (engineering, furnishing, and installation) company for which he also serves as CEO. Prior to his entrepreneurial successes, Kyle was fast-tracked to the position of Senior Systems Engineer in Northern Telecommunications’ Broadband Network Engineering division and was on the front lines of the telecom industry during the chaotic boom years that followed the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

As an engineer and chief executive, Kyle’s telecommunications expertise is wide-ranging. From designing some of the first CLEC transmission and access networks, to working with OEM’s on next-generation technology development, to tackling the regulatory issues that affect providers and consumers alike, Kyle’s deep understanding of the industry makes him uniquely qualified to anticipate trends and position SyncGlobal for long-term, sustainable growth. 

Kyle received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

http://www.syncglobal.net/company/leadership.html

 

 
Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “David Shibley and Jesus Movement 2.0″

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “David Shibley and Jesus Movement 2.0″

July 25, 2019

David Shibley is the founder and international representative of Global Advance, a ministry that equips tens of thousands of church and business leaders every year in many of the world’s neediest areas. Called to a preaching ministry as a teenager in 1966, David has ministered throughout America and in 55 nations. He has pastored churches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. He is the speaker for the syndicated broadcast, WorldWatch with David Shibley. David is the author of numerous articles and 22 books including the missions classics, A Force in the Earth and The Missions Addiction. He is a graduate of John Brown University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and holds an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University.

David and Naomi have been married since 1972. They have two married sons and four grandchildren.

Global Advance was founded in 1990 by Dr. David Shibley. In the 1980s, God put a vision and burden in his heart to provide encouragement, resources, and training for frontline pastors in destitute nations of the world. Global Advance became a friend and advocate for indigenous pastors and church planters worldwide, challenging them to be catalysts for fulfilling the Great Commission.

Since 1990, Global Advance has provided indigenous training and ministry encouragement for more than 800,000 frontline leaders in 101 nations. Two training centers have been built and numerous strategic partnerships developed with hundreds of churches and ministries. 

https://www.globaladvance.org/jesusmovement2

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “Unite Mississippi Interviews”

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips “Unite Mississippi Interviews”

July 20, 2019

UNITE MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION IS HOSTING A “NIGHT OF UNITY” EVENT IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI WITH THE HOPE AND PURPOSE OF BRINGING TOGETHER ALL DENOMINATIONS, ALL RACES, ALL PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE. WE HAVE CHOSEN VETERANS MEMORIAL STADIUM IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI AS THE LOCATION FOR WHAT WE PRAY WILL BE A MOVE OF GOD IN OUR STATE. THIS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY, APRIL 27TH, 2019.

 

 

 

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips ” Interview with Jordan Whitmer”

Sparks of Revival with Tom Phillips ” Interview with Jordan Whitmer”

July 18, 2019

Tom speaks with Jordan about what God is doing in this powerful Spark of Revival. A heritage of ministry through his family.

At 20 years old, Jordan's love for Christ is shining forth around the nation.

Jordan Whitmer, Founder / Executive Director, HowToLife Movement ®

     As a member of Generation “Z”, Jordan is uniquely positioned to impact his Generation with the Gospel.  Jordan has grown up in a multi-generational ministry family. He is a graduate of Liberty University, with a Bachelor’s in Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies, and is an ordained reverend.

     As a frequent speaker at churches and conferences, Whitmer challenges both young people and adults to join Jesus in fulfilling His Great Commission.  He has been the subject of numerous local and national media appearances for radio, television, and print.

     Jordan is passionate about mobilizing student leaders around the world to impact their generation for Christ.  He travels frequently, and can often be seen at Starbucks mentoring and encouraging young people to boldly lead for Jesus.

 

From Northern Arkansas, Jordan formed a prayer team in his high school and has seen great things in the youth of his area.

Forming The How To Life Movement as God has lead the way from 61 How to Life outreaches in the nation and around the world in 4 years time and in 19 states and 5 countries.

HowToLife is a fast-growing global youth movement of students mobilized together to lead their peers to stand and live for Jesus.

Your heart will break over a new study from George Barna, where he reports, “Generation Z is the Least Christian Generation in American History.”

 

  Here are some sobering conclusions --

  • 35% of Generation Z teens consider themselves to be atheist, agnostic, or not affiliated with any religion.

  • Only one out of three agree with the statement, “Lying is morally wrong.”

  • Only 4% of today’s teenagers hold a biblical worldview.

 

  These aren’t just statistics.  These represent lives of our generation.  I invite you to feel the brokenness of today’s youth.  The hurt. The pain. The lostness.

  So, how can we fix this?  How can we reverse these trends?  What we need is a spiritual awakening in today’s young people.  Our generation desperately needs Jesus.

        If a spiritual awakening DOESN’T HAPPEN, the future for this generation, this nation, and our world, is unthinkable.  We are one generation away from becoming a world that completely “forgot God.”

  Thank God He is raising up a movement!  HowToLife is a proven strategy that works.  The right message, the Gospel, is delivered through the right messengers – high school student leaders.  And God is transforming hearts.

Time For A Word with Pastor Matthew Long ” Red Light, Green Light”

Time For A Word with Pastor Matthew Long ” Red Light, Green Light”

July 18, 2019

Waiting, the thing that no one likes to do! On this podcast Pastor Matthew will take the example of King David in Psalm 25 to discover three powerful things that happen to us when we wait on the Lord’s direction during critical moments of of our lives.

Here’s the Deal with Larry Tomczak ” The Tragic Self-Destruction of Miley Cyrus “

Here’s the Deal with Larry Tomczak ” The Tragic Self-Destruction of Miley Cyrus “

July 16, 2019

"But he who hears and does not obey is like a man who built a
house on the ground without a foundation, against which the
stream beat vehemently. Immediately it fell, and the ruin of that
house was great Luke 6:49

My heart aches watching the death-spiral of celebrities, especially those
influencing millions of impressionable young people. Lisa Marie Presley
and Miley Cyrus are two examples of many young women on this
perilous path.

Pop starlet, Miley Cyrus, has now gone from purity ring to rabid pro-
abortionist and purveyor of perversion. Her latest music video that I'll
review shortly is beyond the pale. It's disgusting and defiant of the God
Who gave her the abundant talent she squanders for shallow adulation
and short-lived riches. 

When the home she shared with her “lover” burned down not long
ago, Miley was jolted but just momentarily shaken to the core. Scores
of us prayed she’d be sobered by the traumatic experience and return
to her once vibrant relationship with God.

Time For A Word with Pastor Matthew Long “God Honors Persistence”

Time For A Word with Pastor Matthew Long “God Honors Persistence”

July 15, 2019

The parable of the crooked judge and persistent widow in Luke 18 is a reminder for us why we should always pray. There are two important questions Pastor Matthew will tackle in this week’s show. 
1. Is God like the crooked judge?
2. Are we like the persistent widow?
The answers just might surprise you!

Time For A Word With Pastor Matthew Long “Why Should I Stick With Jesus”

Time For A Word With Pastor Matthew Long “Why Should I Stick With Jesus”

July 7, 2019

Have you ever felt like giving up? Have you ever felt that walking with the Lord was much harder than you had anticipated? On today’s podcast, Pastor Matthew gives three reasons why you need to stick with the Lord Jesus Christ!