Persecution and the Power of the Gospel

Sometimes, it is in the midst of persecution when Jesus reveals Himself as the Great Shepherd…protecting his sheep with His faithful hands. That is certainly true in this story. Through PROJECT INDIA we have planted 19 churches in the three months of December ’11 through February ’12, with well over 500 new souls brought to Christ and added to these fellowships. We knew it was only a matter of time before the enemy would show his colors and begin to bring persecution. Several events have taken place, but I want to share a special story which is still unfolding. (Names are changed for security reasons!)

In one of the villages Bro. Anand, our PROJECT INDIA church planter, led Mary to Christ. Her salvation, like many others in the villages we are reaching, is from a life of idolatry in the religious practice of Hinduism. However, Mary’s story goes beyond that…as her father is the Brahma Priest who leads worship in one of the local Hindu Temples. Therefore, her family is from the highest caste in Indian culture and has little to do with the lower castes. Continue reading “Persecution and the Power of the Gospel”

Suffer the Little Children

A casual read through the gospels will reveal our Lord’s special love for children and His desire for us to have their disposition. There is a tender innocence toward faith and teachability which Jesus recognized in the children of his culture, and He pointed this out in several of His teachings to the disciples. When our Lord walked the shores of Galilee, one thing was for sure… children were dear to His heart and were given free access into His presence.

We read about God’s love for them from “their angels always see the face the Father” (Mt. 18:2,10) and “except you be converted and become as little children” (Mt. 18:3), to “suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 19:13-15) We read the passages and discover how the Lord used them as examples of what we should be. Also, James instructs us that pure religion and undefiled before our heavenly Father is to visit the “widows and the orphans in their affliction.” (James 1:27)

With that in mind, several have asked how Susanne and I began the orphanage in India. Here is the brief story behind the PROJECT INDIA Orphanage. Continue reading “Suffer the Little Children”

Faith Is Not A Ride In A Cadillac

The Lord has called us to take up our cross and follow Him. Our Father offers a part, a ministry, to each of His children…we just need to pray and seek His leading and step into our place. The Americanized version of Christianity is foreign to the Scriptures and to the heart of every genuinely born again believer. Faith does not involve trusting Christ to give us a cadillac or plush house to live in ease. It calls us to come and die to our ways, and to embrace with joy a willingness to suffer for a greater good.

When God calls us into the place He has prepared for us, initially our hearts will be fearful and the task will seem impossible. That is why it is a call to faith. It requires a supply and a power outside of ourselves to accomplish. It calls us afresh to Christ crucified and resurrected. He wants to reveal His glory through these earthen vessels. (2Cor. 4:7)

Let us embrace the Cross of Jesus…the one with nails! Our version usually is overlaid with gold and has no sharp points…it doesn’t hurt. His cross bids us to surrender our will, die to our ways, suffer for His sake and love the unlovable. Continue reading “Faith Is Not A Ride In A Cadillac”

Letter From A Prostitute

Recently, through Project India, I was given the honor of speaking to a church in Eastern India via telephone and through an interpreter. This church is in a rural area which had recently experienced grave tragedy through the flooding of a local river. During this speaking engagement a lady, who had never attended church before, came into the service and experienced the simplicity and power of the gospel. Here is her testimony in her own words. (translated to English from Telugu, therefore a little rough, but I will leave it as she wrote it.)

“I am an prostitute…very bad women, never come to church before, today I came because I was suffering with back pain, I have heard that Jesus is healer. As I was entering in to church some preaching in English, Pastor J___ is translating in Telugu. I was trying to find  the person who is preaching, but I could not see him. Afterwards I was asking a lady who is nearby me, she said, Pastor Terry is preaching word, through phone. As I was  Continue reading “Letter From A Prostitute”

A River Runs Through It

A week ago, a small village in Eastern India was flooded by torrential rains. The rains caused the nearby river to flood and destroyed 24 homes. Some of these homes, which are nothing more than thatched huts, belonged to members of a small congregation I am working with. Eight members of this congregation of 45 were killed by the flooding river. The scene described to me was extremely sad.

I received another email early Saturday morning, September 17, concerning the situation. Brother John, the church planter I work with, asked me if I would speak to the church at their service on Sunday, September 18, via telephone. John, who is native Indian, would translate my message into their native language of Telugu. Of course I agreed. After working out the logistics and time, I spent the day in prayer. John called me around one in the morning central time to begin the service as they are 10 1/2 hours ahead of us.
Continue reading “A River Runs Through It”

When Jesus is Silent

She cried out in desperate need. Her life was dangling on the precipice of hopelessness and despair. This world could offer her neither relief or help…Jesus was her last hope. And yet we read, “…he did not answer her a word.” (Mt.15:23)

How could this be? How could the one who loves us so deeply remain so quiet during our greatest trial and affliction? These questions have been asked by many, including myself, who have gone through great suffering and found only silence from the Lord. I went for months crying out to the Lord in prayer concerning my condition…which eventually led to the diagnosis of cancer and the treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. Time and time again I cried out in desperate prayer and anguish of soul, and the Lord answered not a word. Heartbreak brings us to Jesus with our eyes and knees weeping for His grace. Continue reading “When Jesus is Silent”

Cancer Didn’t Change The World – It Changed Me!

Three years ago today, I received the phone call which any person would cringe to hear. The call came from my family doctor, and he said, “Terry, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but we have the pathology back from the incisional biopsy; you have cancer.” The moment was surreal and time seemed to stand still. The pain I saw in the face of my wife and three boys was beyond description…though I understood it because I felt it myself. Questions immediately began flooding my heart as I struggled to understand the purpose of this. I had surrendered to Christ when I was 18 and entered full time ministry when I was 22. Here I was one week removed from my 46th birthday and I am facing this huge valley. Why, Lord, why???

My story is not uncommon. Many have walked down the well trodden path of affliction and asked the same questions. In fact, I found a plethora of the similar questions asked by the writers of Scriptures, from Job to David, from Jeremiah and Habakkuk to the Apostle Paul. I was among friends!   Continue reading “Cancer Didn’t Change The World – It Changed Me!”

Cancer Never Wins!

Cancer-the sound of the word will cause your life to flip upside down if the doctor uses it! In 2008, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and at present I am a post treatment cancer survivor. In 2003, I lost my older brother to Melanoma. As tragic as this sounds for one family, there is good news! We both have won! He is in heaven serving and loving the Lord in ways which are beyond description. On February 11, 2003, at 4:40 a.m., he entered the presence of God while family and friends sang “Amazing Grace” around his bed. He realized more in those next few seconds about God’s love and grace than anyone on earth can imagine. I am still serving Christ through this vale of tears by reaching out to others with the good news of the gospel, and the faithfulness of God through suffering. I do not know how long I will live, but I do know that Continue reading “Cancer Never Wins!”

Six Sources of Suffering

If we listen to the teaching of the popular ‘Word of Faith’ preachers, we would conclude that every person, if they have enough faith, will be healed. Of course these same teachers never give a thorough teaching on the subject, but only pick and choose verses which seem to prop up their faulty theology concerning Divine Healing. Also, they never pursue a reason why many whom they pray for do not get healed, or why they do not always get healing from their own afflictions. At best they are immature ministers who have never thoroughly studied the subject. At worse they are ‘snake oil’ salesmen pitching a get rich scheme which targets the biblical illiterate.

Let me say on the front end, the Lord still heals! Jesus is the same “yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8) I have seen many believers healed as a direct result of praying for Continue reading “Six Sources of Suffering”

Jacob’s Limp

Jacob, whose name means supplanter or deceiver, met and wrestled with the Lord one night. (Gen. 32:22-32) Fear of his brother Esau had driven him to be alone. In this aloneness, God came and engaged Jacob…a battle of supremacy ensued. The Lord, after an all night wrestling match, touched the hip socket of Jacob, causing it to shrink and come out of place. Jacob would be a man who limped the rest of his life. It was a constant reminder of this night of wrestling and the change wrought by it. He had met God, and God had won. Jacob looked weaker, but now, he was actually stronger.

We need men in leadership who have Jacob’s Limp! That is, men changed by intense and faithful wrestling with God in prayer. Men changed from their old ways of manipulating circumstances to a new way–God’s way. We need marked men…men with a limp. Continue reading “Jacob’s Limp”