Never Shrink Back

(the story of Keir Tayler)

by Maria Erokhina

Keir Tayler is modern-day apostle who exemplifies absolute commitment to the cause of Christ and calls others to a greater courage in the Gospel.

Here is his story.

Acts 9 Experience

Keir was born and raised in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He qualified in Medical and Veterinary Technology (Histopathology and Bacteriology) and dedicated 14 years of his life to serving in the military, as a part of a Special Forces unit.

During one significant offensive operation, when their group of 70 fought against 5,000 terrorists, Keir was wounded in both legs. In agony, he cried out loud, “God if you want my life, You can have it.” The Lord answered his prayer with an Acts 9 experience—suddenly, Keir was surrounded by bright light and Jesus appeared to him, just as He appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus. God’s presence became more real to him than his pain and the terror of what he’d seen, and his bleeding stopped.

Keir (bottom row, second from right) and his fellow soldiers of a Special Forces unit

Since then, Keir’s greatest desire was to know Jesus Who came to his rescue on that battlefield. Later, someone asked him, “You cried out to God, offering to give Him your life, but He didn’t take it from you, He gave it back to you. So what are you going to do with it?” Keir’s answer was simple, “I will serve Him for the rest of my life, doing whatever He asks me.” Today, Keir has been serving the Lord for 38 years.

The Taylers Come To CFNI

In 1980, after the war in Zimbabwe was over, Keir, his wife Callie and their two small children relocated to Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., where they enrolled in Christ For The Nations Institute. Talking about his CFNI experience, Keir says, “For the first six months at CFNI, I cried every day. The worship, led by Mike Massa and Dutch Sheets, was phenomenal. For two years, I worshipped together with 1,400 students every morning, and the presence of God during those moments washed away the torment, the pain, the aguish and the memories of the war. I had a tremendous hunger for the Word of God; I took every course where His Word was taught. And the love that was there was just incredible.”

The Keirs graduated from CFNI in 1982. During their time in America, they had an opportunity to minister in many churches and were ordained by the Beverly Hills Church. Then they went back to Africa to fulfill the call of God on their lives.

Where The Streets Have No Name

Upon returning to their homeland, Keir became the children’s pastor in a local church. Later, he started taking mission trips to South Africa, Mozambique and other places. This ministry started to increase rapidly, and soon embraced other churches and ministries. That led Keir to found Hand In Hand International.  When talking about the mission of this ministry, Keir says, “My hand is in Jesus’ hand, and your hand is in mine. He trains us to raise up others. Is not about one person, but we’re a family, a church doing the Lord’s work together.” Hand In Hand International has reached 40 different nations, equipping churches and conducting over 100 open-air Gospel crusades.

This photo was taken during an open-air crusade in Mozambique

The skills that Keir had obtained while he served in the Special Forces were a perfect fit for the kind of evangelism his teams are doing. They often go to places “where the streets have no names,” and pioneer churches in areas where no one wants to go. Sometimes they have to walk for three days to get to those places, but it’s so worth it in the end. “We’ve seen amazing miracles and healings, and a countless number of churches have been planted,” Keir says, adding, “I don’t want to stop until I see the revival. CFN’s co-founder Freda Lindsay prophesized over me, saying, ‘You’ll be sent to awaken churches.’ I’ve held on to that commission, and I live to see people awaken to who God really is, to see His Kingdom manifest, to see barriers and limitations removed and signs, wonders and miracles break forth. That’s why we bring revival to the local Church—so that the Church can take it into the world.”

Longing For Revival

Keir and Callie Tayler

This passion fuels Keir to go forward. He says, “Jesus is the best encourager and friend. You can go through anything when you know that He’s close to you, that He approves and loves you. There’s nothing better in this whole world than to be a son and a daughter of the King, completing the mission He’s given you.”

Keir encourages people to press on toward the mark—to fulfill the calling and mandate of God. He says, “Never shrink back from it; give yourself to this cause completely. We’re living in the greatest times. Paul the Apostle is seriously jealous as he is looking at us—and this is just the start! I strongly believe that the best is yet to come. Keep pushing forward!”

Keir and Callie have been married for over 40 years, serving the Lord with their three children and nine grandchildren. To learn more about their ministry, visit keirtayler.com.

If you would like to connect with Keir and Callie, email them at keir@handinhand.co.za

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The Pursuit of Purity

By Ashley Barnett

As a little girl, I dreamt of being loved and belonging to someone. However, I also dreamed of adventure. I loved discovering treasures in hidden places. Sometimes it worked in my favor, and other times it did not. You see, I was the child that could find the Christmas presents and memorize numbers, pass codes and pins with just one try. Needless to say, my parents became quite clever in their methods to keep things a surprise.

As I grew older, my search for adventure and love was increasing rapidly, especially as I entered middle school, where I saw young girls and boys begin to form interests in each other. Of course, I wanted in on the experience, but no one seemed to like me. As I began to look around, I realized why—I didn’t look like my blonde haired or blue-eyed classmates. I represented something that made some individuals uncomfortable. I represented another side of America. I was African-American. Everything about me was quite the opposite of them.

Several students voiced their discountenance in some of the most detrimental ways. From rape threats over the phone, death threats at school, to being asked to perform sexual acts within the classroom. One friend, during that time, was forbidden to even claim friendship with me by her parents. We kept our friendship a secret from her parents until after high school. As a result, my self-image was skewed. I learned to hide my hurt because it made me feel safe and somewhat in control. I learned to smile when I really wanted to scream.

Fast forward—I am entering my freshman year in high school and everything is super new, especially the guys. They came in all shapes and sizes, but they shared the same race. My hopes were that this time, perhaps someone would like me or find me pretty. It was also during my high school days that I began to get curious about the forbidden word … sex.

Growing up in a small town and a strict home, this was definitely not the topic of conversation at the table. The only person who would address my curiosity was my recently born-again brother. He had been a part of this small Bible study group with some of my cousins, and he was amazing. He taught me the real gift of love, and sex between a husband and wife. He sat and shared with me words that I live by up to this very day. It was as if, the Lord, Himself, spoke through my brother into my heart. My brother shared how God would honor my marriage if I abstained from sexual intercourse, and that my husband would cherish me.

After that day I purposed in my heart to give my husband, myself. One of the main reasons was that I grew up poor and had nothing of monetary value to share with him. I didn’t think of myself as smart, so I wanted him to have the most valuable gift I had … my virginity.

I did not realize the promise I made in my heart that day and the pressures that would soon follow. Thankfully, during high school, I did not face as many temptation as I did in college.

College opened my eyes to a whole new world and built even more curiosity in my mind. The first prayer in my heart was, “Lord, the covenant I made with you at 14—I am not strong enough to keep. You will have to keep it for me.” He did just that.

While a freshman at NC A&T SU, I was exposed to lifestyles and ideals that were different from my own. It was a beautiful experience, but it also pulled on the promise that was in my heart. I started to expose myself to what “college-life” was about or so I thought. I placed myself in some of the most compromising situations, only to have God block and shield me from myself.

He protected me, and during my sophomore year, He introduced me to a young lady named Sophia. She was a neighbor in my dorm. Sophia would constantly explain to me that there was a different life that God had for me, a deeper life with Him. You see, I thought I was okay with God. I had no idea there was more.

For months, Sophia asked me to attend the campus Bible-study, but I would always refuse. Eventually, one night, to get her to stop asking, I agreed to go. I walked in to see so many people, who were also my age, crying out to God in prayer. I had never seen that before and from that moment on I had to keep going.

After a year of attending, the campus leader posed a question, “Who has never been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues?” So, my best friend and I walked up to where the leaders were. They prayed, and then the most powerful exchange occurred. God took my weaknesses and gave me His strength. He then introduced me to people who walked with me and prayed for me to stay committed to the promises I had made years ago.

It is HIS Grace and HIS Mercy that kept me. Not ANY goodness of my own, but the Divine assistance of the Holy Spirit. It is for HIM and HIM ALONE that I can say, HE IS WORTHY!!

2 Timothy 2:13 states, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself.” (AMP)

There is a love that runs so deep, sex can’t even touch it. When you encounter the lover of your soul, all else is meaningless. That’s the love I have grown to learn about and to love. There is a peace that comes in the pursuit of purity.

Song of Solomon 2:4 “He has brought me to his banqueting place, and his banner over me is love [waving overhead to protect and comfort me].

I have experienced the beauty and strength of waiting. Can I tell you it’s worth it? As mentioned in the Song of Solomon 8:4 “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.”

I have learned to surround myself with one or two strong friends who I can confide in, who will always help to lead me back to the Lord, who believe the destiny that God has spoken over my life. You should do the same. Look at them like Aaron and Hur from the Old Testament. These men held up Moses’ arms when he grew tired from the battle. As I mentioned before, there have been many instances where I have placed myself in awkward situations, but by God’s grace He would always provide a way of escape. He will do the same for you—Only ask Him!

Also, I learned the value of staying active in my church or local community and beyond. Learn a new language. Expose yourself to people and cultures that are different from your own—travel and try something new, as often as you can! Trust me, the “sky is NOT the limit.” There’s more—far beyond what your eyes can see. So, dream big and pursue great things!!

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A DAUGHTER OF THE KING

By Maria Erokhina (with Lydia Bryce)

On January 3, 2017, heaven gained Anna Jeanne Price, a woman whose dedication to God, love for people and incredible talent will long be remembered by all who knew her. Anna Jeanne was a beloved friend of the Lindsay family and an integral part of CFNI’s history.

After her passing, Anna Jeanne’s daughter, Lydia, shared a story. As the wedding party of her parents was entering St Margaret’s, Westminster Abbey, on June 28, 1952, someone in the crowd asked about the identity of the bride, convinced she must be a very important person to be married in such a prestigious chapel. In response, Gordon Lindsay said: “She’s a daughter of the King.” That statement caused a stir, since people weren’t aware what “king” he was referring to, but Anna Jeanne always knew Who her King was.

Anna Jeanne was born in Shreveport, Louisiana to Jack and Mildred Moore, pastors of Life Tabernacle church. From an early age, Anna Jeanne was much more than “just another preacher’s kid,” but an anointed vessel of the Most High God. As a child, Anna Jeanne longed to play the piano, and she was blessed to receive piano lessons from the mother of the legendary pianist Van Cliburn, fostering her talent and love for music.

While visiting and ministering at Life Tabernacle church in 1947, Gordon Lindsay shared with Jack Moore his vision to document the healing miracles that were taking place across the nation. Jack told Gordon that he not only had the equipment needed to support this vision, but a gifted daughter, Anna Jeanne, who, among her other talents, was an accomplished writer. Anna Jeanne became the first paid employee and editor of The Voice of Healing magazine, traveling with Gordon Lindsay, William Branham, Oral Roberts, her father and others on the “healing campaigns.” As part of her job, she interviewed those healed in the meetings, contacted doctors for “proof” and wrote their stories for the magazine.

In 1952, Anna Jeanne married Donald (Don) Blair Price, a handsome, talented and anointed man of God. Together, Don and Anna Jeanne faithfully served the Lord, ministering in many countries, primarily Thailand, where Don later became ill with cancer in 1966. Their family of seven came back to Dallas, where Don went to be with Jesus. After Don’s passing, Anna Jeanne returned to Shreveport to raise her children and assist her father as music minister in his church.

In 1980, as Freda Lindsay and Anna Jeanne were traveling together in Israel, Freda invited her to help further the music and arts program at CFNI. The Lord confirmed that this was her next assignment, and Anna Jeanne served CFNI tirelessly for 35 years, quickly becoming a favorite among students as a teacher in the classroom and on stage, ministering from the piano.

Though Anna Jeanne was a virtuoso with the ability to WOW the masses from the piano, this elegant and beautiful lady found her greatest joy in serving others. She loved people and was a fantastic networker. She used to say, “Find a need and fill it,” and her friendship with Freda Lindsay allowed her to use her talents to support and help Christ For The Nations for many years, including serving on the Advisory Council and then the Board of Directors. Her last project was preparing the foundation for what is now the Heritage Museum. She once commented about that work, “I find that looking backward here turns out to be a faith builder, instead of a sentimental journey. By reviewing all that has been done — it encourages us that by faith, we will also continue to move forward with purpose.”

The life celebration service for Anna Jeanne was held on January 8, 2017, at her father’s church in Shreveport, Louisiana. Today, she is not only with Don, but also with Jesus, the Lover of her soul.

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A Rescue Operation

At Christ For The Nations we strongly believe that caring for orphans is a God-given priority that must be intentionally focused upon. Started by Freda Lindsay, the Orphanage Support program assists orphaned children in different countries. Most of these children have experienced terrible afflictions – neglect, abuse, slavery and the horrors of war.

The humanitarian ministry of Pastor Vasyl Dekhtyarenko, a longtime friend of CFN, helps children who have been orphaned by the recent war in Ukraine. Since 2014, the ministry has been serving refugees and the families of the fallen soldiers. Currently, they are helping 32 families, including 27 orphans. They provide them with food, clothes, vitamins, Christian literature, free legal consultation and professional counseling.

They do their best to care for “the least of these,” but the resources are very limited in the country torn by war, governmental corruption and economic upheavals. Currently there are 183 orphans on their waiting list who need help.

Pastor Vasyl says, “We want to be a touch of joy for these little ones during their toughest season. Many of the children we minister to have asked me if they would see their daddies soon. In nearly 30 years of ministry, this is one of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer.”

Unfortunately, orphaned and abandoned children can be found in every country, but in Pakistan, they are especially at risk. Taliban organizations target these children in order to train them to become suicide bombers.

CFNI alumni Solomon and Tina Manzoor got to “kidnap” several such children from the terrorists. The ministry of this brave couple is nothing less than a rescue operation. They say, “Our vision is to raise a new generation in Pakistan that is strong in the Lord. The children at Manzoor Orphan House go to a school run by the Salvation Army, they have daily devotions, and attend church meetings and Christian summer camps. Our staff members serve as a family to them, but we think it is imperative to lay a solid foundation of knowing God as their ever-present Father.”

Manzoor Orphan House, built with the help of CFNI’s partners, currently accommodates 40 children. As the number of children continues to increase, the orphanage desperately needs to expand. By the grace of God, the ministry was able to purchase a property and lay the foundation for an eight-story building that will house 200 children. Solomon and Tina believe that the Lord, who started this good work, will help them complete this project.

You can make a difference in the lives of the orphaned children in Ukraine and Pakistan. You donation to the CFN Orphanage Support program will help more children encounter the love of the Heavenly Father. We invite you to be a part of this rescue operation. When you invest in these children, you sow into the future of their countries.

Donate to the CFN Orphanage Support program today: cfni.org/orphans.

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CFNI Live Recording 42: Melody of Love

On February 10, hundreds of CFNI students, alumni, staff and Campus Days guests gathered in the Institute Building to be a part of the 42nd annual live worship recording. Our live recordings are always a highly anticipated event at Christ For The Nations, as worship is one of the foundational pillars of our ministry.

The dream of CFN’s founders, Gordon and Freda Lindsay, was to reach every tribe and nation with the message and power of the Gospel. One of the ways this vision has come to pass is through the worship music that comes out of Christ For The Nations. Over the years, songs from CFN have been translated in many different languages and have been sung all around the globe, touching thousands of lives.

Worship songs have a unique ability to capture the atmosphere of God’s presence and recreate it in homes, churches, cities and even countries. Phil King, one of the worship leaders featured on the album, gave voice to this: “This live recording was an extension of what we experience every day in chapel. The whole reason we hit ‘record’ was to capture it and send it out.”

Our 42nd live album, Melody of Love, is focused on two major themes: Songs like, There Is No One Like You, Melody of Love, There Is No Striving, Take Us In, and Incredible Love, talk about our passionate pursuit of God and knowing the depths of His love for us. The second part of the album features songs such as Every Tribe-Every Nation, I Give It All, Burn Spirit of God, and Let The Nations Rise, which encourage us to share this love with the world and to lift the name of Jesus in every nation.

What makes this live recording truly special is that most of the songs were written by CFNI students and alumni. Phil King, Jordan Stewart, Maddy Hunt, Kiplin Batchelor and others, in cooperation with a featured guest, Leeland Mooring, brought this project to life. Every song is a part of their lives and has a special story behind it. “We wanted to give songwriting back to the students,” said Robert Quintana, CFNI’s Creative Director.

Those gathered in the CFNI Institute Building the night of the recording experienced the powerful and gentle touch of God. One of the attendees, CFNI alumna, Celeste Ramirez, said, “CFNI does it again, making history and creating a beautiful sound of worship! One of the best albums yet! CFNI is a unique place where God’s presence is experienced daily in such a beautiful and humble way. This place holds so many memories and life-changing moments for me in times of worship … The Presence last night was just incredible!”

We pray that this recording will help you hear the Melody Of Love coming from the Father’s heart.

Mark your calendar for the album release on May 5!

Preorder Melody of Love today at cfnmusic.com/42.

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CFNI – My Spiritual “Boot Camp”

By Peter Tsukahira

In the summer of 1974, I hitchhiked from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the campus of Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, to attend a session that was taught by the well-known Bible teacher, Derek Prince. I had heard that his teachings were powerful, but arrived there not knowing what to expect. The meeting hall was packed with hundreds of people, and Brother Derek, as he was called, was speaking with passion about “deliverance”—identifying demonic forces and casting them out.

Spring 1975 – Peter celebrating Passover with a seder (festive meal) with his fellow students

Clearly an Englishman, Derek Prince spoke with unusual conviction and authority. As a new believer, I had never heard anything like this before.  Soon I realized that I needed deliverance.  Some young people from the staff began to pray for me. Then I was taken into a carpeted room that was already full of people who were praying out loud. There was a sense of urgency and authority, as well as love and acceptance in the room.  The staff members put their hands on my head and prayed in bold voices, rebuking evil spirits and bondages that had formed in the years when I was immersed in the world of drugs and darkness. Soon, a deep sense of peace came over me.

After that experience, I knew I was supposed to attend CFNI. My wife and I said goodbye to our friends in Santa Fe and drove an old 1956 Volkswagen “Beetle” as far as Wichita Falls, Texas, where it died by the side of the road. We continued in a rented car that took the last of our cash. Friends had blessed us with a going away gift—a money order worth $250. However, soon after arriving to the school, it was accidentally put in the washing machine and destroyed. My two years at CFNI were not off to a good start!

The classes at the school were stimulating; I devoured the Bible-related studies and read chapters of the Bible every day. I knew that I was growing in faith, but it was a surprisingly difficult path. The main problem was inside of me. I felt like I was on a spiritual and emotional rollercoaster. Some of the time, I felt strong and capable of obeying the Lord. The rest of the time, I was failing. Although I was free of demonic control, my thoughts, will and emotions were still not yielded completely to God.

In addition to dealing with impure thoughts and ungodly cravings, I realized that the deeper, underlying motives of my heart were corrupt. I tried fasting to gain control over my inner life, but soon I found that even if I forced myself to stop eating, later I would sneak into the snack area and gorge myself on junk food. Things were going from bad to worse, and I wondered how long it would be before I gave up. I knew that leaving the school meant leaving the life God had for me. I was trapped and sinking.

Spring 1976 – CFNI graduation

At this very low point, two things helped me to persevere and survive spiritually. One was having believing friends and mentors, and the other was finding useful work. Dennis Lindsay, the son of CFNI’s founders, was one such friend. In spite of our hugely different backgrounds, he and his wife Ginger reached out to me. Their lives of faith, though not easy, seemed natural and unforced. They enjoyed doing fun activities in addition to their ministry work. Just being with them was an encouragement and a much needed “reality check.” I couldn’t understand how in my rough, unpolished state someone like Dennis could see anything valuable in me. One day, he told me that he let God choose his friends for him. I didn’t fully realize it then, but through our friendship, Dennis was passing on to me valuable truths about God’s Kingdom.

Another friend, a fellow student also named Dennis, helped me in quite another way. Since I had so little money, I was always looking for work. I tried selling Amway products from door to door, but quickly realized that I couldn’t succeed as a salesman. At that time Dennis came to me and said, “God told me to give you my job.” He was a commercial teller at the Guarantee Bank across from CFNI, and I was hired on the strength of his recommendation. I went to my classes in the morning and worked every afternoon. That work raised my self-esteem and helped me become more disciplined in my daily life.

John Garlock, who was CFNI’s Director at that time, heard that I had taught Japanese classes for beginners at my university and gave me an opportunity to teach Japanese to anyone interested at CFNI. A handful of students showed up, but one of them, a nineteen-year-old student named Bill Wood, showed unusual zeal. Later, he moved to Japan, married a Japanese woman, and today he is a respected teacher who has written numerous books in Japanese.

Peter with some of the African refugees that the ministry shelters

While teaching Japanese at CFNI, I began to experience a special kind of joy from the Lord. My spiritual gift of teaching was beginning to unfold; that gift continued to emerge in the years that followed. I realized that this is what I am called to do in Israel and many other nations around the world.

My two years at CFNI began the process of shaping me into the person I was created to be. It was like a spiritual “boot camp,” where I was not only learning the Bible, but also discipline and other difficult but valuable lessons in life. By the end of my time there, I felt that I was strong enough to walk out a lifestyle of faith on my own and help others in their journeys with the Lord.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

Responding to God’s call, Peter moved to Israel with his family in 1987. There he co-founded Kehilat HaCarmel, an Israeli Messianic congregation, and became the director of the Or HaCarmel Ministry Center, located on Mt. Carmel in northern Israel. The vision of this ministry is to build the local, indigenous believing community by reaching out to Jews and Arabs, serving the poor, giving refuge to women and children and helping to transform the lives of those with addictions.

Peter’s international teaching ministry has impacted many around the world with an understanding of God’s heart and purposes for Israel. He is the author of God’s Tsunami: Understanding Israel and End-time Prophecy, My Father’s Business: Guidelines for Ministry in the Marketplace and Culture of the Kingdom.

Peter overlooking the Jezreel Valley where Megiddo (Armageddon) is located

He says, “Be ready to do whatever the Lord says to you. Launch out when you are young and trust Him. If you are married, pray together about every major decision, and do not make your move until you both are in agreement with God. Your gift from God will make a way for you, and He will cause all things to work together for good when you love Him and respond in faith to His call and purpose.”

To learn more about Peter and his ministry, visit

carmelcongregation.org.il,

mountcarmelsom.com,

godstsunami.com

cultureofthekingdom.com.

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CFN Foundational Pillars: Integrity

By Dennis Lindsay and Missy Lindsay

WHAT IS YOUR RULER FOR MEASURING A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

MOM—HOW CRAZY CAN YOU BE?

I remember one weekend before Christmas, when I was about 12, I went shopping with Mom at a large department store, where she purchased a number of presents. The following week, Mom read in the Dallas newspaper that a robbery had taken place where we had been shopping. The manager made an appeal to customers, who had made purchases on the day of the robbery, to write another check to cover their purchases.

Mom looked at her checkbook and the receipts, realizing that her purchases were made on the day of the robbery. She wrote another check and mailed it to the department store. I thought, “Why would Mom do such a foolish thing because there was no way she would ever be accused.” However, I eventually learned that integrity is the same in the dark as it is in the light.

Much later in life, the IRS personally audited Mom, questioning her annual tax return because she had virtually given away her entire year ’s salary to charitable causes, living only on her Social Security. After several months of government scrutiny, Mom was exonerated from all suspicion of misrepresentation.

MY DAUGHTER MISSY’S MEMORY

“One of the great memories I have of Grandmother was when she called me over to her apartment to pray a blessing of impartation over me—she spoke of integrity. She said, ‘We pray, Lord, that you will set an example through her of her keeping her word. Let her word be her bond, so when she makes appointments, Lord, help her to steadfastly keep them.’ Since then I have always sought to keep my word, sometimes to a fault. I love what King David says about integrity. ’He who swears to his own hurt and does not change it.’ Integrity never changes. Grandmother wrote, on a yellow piece of lined paper, the very last words my father would ever hear from her, “Son, leave a legacy that no man can contest.” In other words, live your life above reproach. ‘For a good name is to be more desired than great wealth. Favor is better than silver or gold’” (Proverbs 22:1).

HOW DO YOU MEASURE A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

Is greatness based on a miracle ministry, with signs and wonders following, or is it dependent on those who lead large, prosperous Christian organizations, or those who have worldwide TV networks?

When we witness one who is anointed with power, authority and the gifts of the supernatural in operation, we tend to think that is all it takes. Jesus reminds us, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48). The bottom line is greatness in God’s eyes is not just based on being one who performs miracles.

JESUS PROVIDES THE RULER FOR GREATNESS

In Matthew 7:20, Christ winds up His Sermon on the Mount by warning individuals about being caught up in the “glory” of the miracle workers, calling them false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing. He then gives us the “RULER” for discerning who is great and who is phony — “. . . by their fruits you shall know them.” He didn’t say, “Look for great signs, wonders, miracles or the spectacular.” He simply said that men are to be judged by who they are, not what they do. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign . . . ” (Matthew 12:39).

This does not diminish the miracles of God or the gifts of the Spirit. However, the Bible never says we are to gauge a man’s spirituality, his greatness or sincerity by these power gifts. Miracles can be mimicked; gifts can be imitated. History is filled with these cases. Integrity and the fruit of the Spirit can never be imitated. The fruit crowds out all selfish ambition. Gifts are external, but fruit is internal. The basic test for any ministry is not the gifts that are in operation, but the character of the individual and the fruit in their life.

BE FRUITFUL

Five times God tells us to be fruitful in John l5:2, 4, 5, 8 and 16, with the last verse saying, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” Fruitfulness here means character; furthermore, the seed comes from the fruit—not the breadth of the ministry, but the depth of the ministry.

HOW TO BE FRUITFUL

There are two basic principles for growing fruit in one’s life that are outlined in John 15. First, abiding in the vine — staying in the Word. There has to be a reciprocal relationship. The vine is dependent on the fruit, and the fruit is dependent upon the vine. Second, there must be pruning. This develops good fruit and is accomplished by obeying the Word of God. Discipline is better known as pruning. If we do not prune or discipline ourselves, then God will help us (Psalm 119:67, 71).

WHAT KIND OF A LEADER IS GOD SEEKING?

God seeks leaders with godly character. There must not be compromise. I’ve learned that there are three essential elements for becoming a great spiritual leader: Intelligence, Energy and Integrity. If you don’t have integrity, the other two will strangle you. Success is based solely on God’s assignment for you.

Gifts of the supernatural are not given because of one’s character, maturity or experience. Gifts are given because of one’s faith. There must be a balance between integrity and the gifts — without integrity it’s just a matter of time before you sink. “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall” (Proverbs 10:9).

A CFNI PILLAR:  INTEGRITY

Dad and Mom taught us many lessons about integrity from the Word of God. My dad founded the ministry of Christ For The Nations on the principles of integrity. Dad’s integrity was that of promoting other ministries, rather than his own. He gave the platform to others, becoming the megaphone of their messages and miracles in the monthly magazine he published, The Voice of Healing, now The Voice.

As one secular author, David Edwin Harrell, Jr., in his book All Things Are Possible, describes,

“Lindsay was particularly wary of those evangelists who seemed to have an inordinate ambition to magnify themselves and those who seemed to hope to amass money for personal comfort. Lindsay clearly saw and certainly expressed more openly than any other man the destructive and divisive excesses in the movement.”

Integrity was the key factor in Dad’s influence on my life — not wealth, fame or power, but the Word of God and obedience to His will. He treated others with dignity and respect, no matter their gender, color or culture. His life was a life of integrity and fruit of the Spirit. This is the legacy he left to his family, to the Christ For The Nations ministry and to the world.

 

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We’re Responsible For Killing Our Own Giants

By Randy Bozarth

This article was originally published in the July 1998 issue of Christ For The Nations magazine.

There is a popular saying: “Wherever you go … there you are!” It means that wherever you go, you still have to face yourself. There is a subtle disease in the body of Christ today—a victim mentality which says, “I can’t do this because something stands in my way. I can’t do this because this person is in my way. I could do better if this person would help me. I could be more of a conqueror if I could just get over this mountain or get over this situation in my life.” The victim mentality has slipped into the Church. We blame everybody else for our discomfort or our lack of happiness. But we’re responsible for killing our own giants.

When we have faith in God, we have faith for the impossible; no mountain will be too big for us. And faith is not something we can catch; it’s something we have to realize in our own lives. How was it that David became a giant killer? David’s own words were, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37).

There’s a restlessness in the Body of Christ today – a restlessness which is built upon people looking to man. But faith comes through a personal experience and a relationship with God. We have a fast-food mentality in the body of Christ. If someone can’t provide it quickly enough, then we become disappointed. No pastor or Bible teacher can give us faith. We have to wrestle with faith in our own lives. We have to come to grips with what we believe. No three-point message, no tape or book can impart faith either.

When Martha thought that Jesus was late in His attendance to Lazarus, “Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?’” (John 11:40). Faith will cause you to cheer on others. “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.” Man is always working with God. “Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you’” (verse 41). Jesus was full of thanksgiving. We’ve lost our thankfulness in the body of Christ.

“Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!”‘ (verse 43). There is authority when we have faith—a belief that when we pray, we will hear from God and see Him respond. There’s an authority when we speak. “And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. And Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go”‘ (verse 44). Even though we’re saved and filled with the Spirit, we are not productive until we are loosed! There’s a loosening of our spirit that happens when we begin to embrace faith as a way of life.

Jesus commanded and called Lazarus forward, but when he came forth, he was still bound. There has to be a freeing in our spirits, and only faith can do that. There’s a responsibility on our part. Because we live in a victim culture, we can easily develop a victim mentality. We too often look to others to help us get free. The world gives no hope, but the believer who believes that Jesus is still able to restore and resurrect that which is dead will see the glory of God. “Jesus said…‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes’” (Mark 9:23).

It is imperative that you and I believe God to overcome the giants hindering our walk of faith or keeping us from knowing God. There are several giants that rob us of our faith.

CYNICISM

The first giant is cynicism. This is faultfinding or a sneering disbelief in sincerity. Ours is a generation of cynics. People have a doubtful and disrespectful view of things in general. Even Christians are cynical. Listen to what you say, and listen to what others say. We can never walk in faith and do what God has called us to if we have a cynical spirit. It becomes a giant if we allow it to control us. If we are going to step out with boldness and take advantage of the opportunities that are before us, we have to slay the giant of cynicism.

DOUBT

The second giant that we must slay if we’re going to step into a life of victory is doubt. We have to embrace the implanted Word, which is able to save our souls (James 1:21). We have to decide to grow up. Being born again by the Spirit of God is a gift (Ephesians 2:8, 9), but to grow and mature is a choice. Doubt means to waver – to be undecided. The spirit of doubt is birthed in constant criticism of decisions that others make. Doubt is not a one-time event; it’s a stronghold!

SKEPTICISM

The third giant is skepticism. There have been so many hucksters and rip-off artists in the last few years that believers have grown weary of even trying to believe that anything could be good or right or real. The enemy wants to steal our faith through skepticism. But we have to protect our faith. We must guard our hearts, or we’ll become cynical, doubtful or skeptical.

UNCERTAINTY

The fourth giant is uncertainty – the inability to find something secure on which to place our faith. We are easily defeated and find uneasiness when God doesn’t answer prayer. Soon legitimate questions turn to confusion, and we are no longer certain whether God wants to bless or judge us, love or discipline us, help or deal with us. It’s our faith that will carry us into our God-given future.

DISCOURAGEMENT

The fifth giant is discouragement. Discouragement comes when the mountains we are seeking to move won’t budge. We ask the Lord to help us with a difficult habit, but it is still there. Disappointment is real. There will always be people in our lives who disappoint us. That’s not a negative confession; that’s the truth. But faith overcomes disappointment.

Faith is the only thing that God has given us that will help us to be overcomers—the only thing that can deal with discouragement, doubt and cynicism. In 1 Samuel, the Amorites had invaded Ziklag. They burned it and took the women and children captive. David and his men wept until they could weep no more. “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). Faith – something that was already there – rose up on the inside of David, and he strengthened himself in the Lord. There’s a time to allow faith to grow in our lives, where we learn to strengthen ourselves in the Lord. We move beyond our feelings, beyond our situation into faith.

APATHY

The sixth giant is apathy. Believers are often unwilling to get involved. Apathy sets in when we begin to be cynical and skeptical, full of disbelief and doubt. There’s no desire to go out of our way or suffer personal expense to see the Kingdom advanced. That’s what is happening in the Body of Christ today. Christians complain, “I’m not getting fed.” It’s primarily our responsibility to feed ourselves. If we want to be overcomers, we need to get alone with God and build our faith in God! Otherwise, we will go back around the mountain and face the same giant, the same issue, over again.

Begin to slay the giants of cynicism, doubt, skepticism, uncertainty, discouragement and apathy one by one, and watch as Lazarus comes forth. Those things that have been choking and holding us back will begin to be unwrapped. We’ll find the joy we’ve been looking for, and we’ll have a personal revival. Faith is the answer…and it is already inside all of us.

Randy Bozarth, June 17, 1949 – March 11, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       

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BIBLE SMUGGLER + RADICAL FOLLOWER OF JESUS

By Michelle Ofori-Ansah

When we think of a “minister of the Gospel,” we typically think of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. It’s unlikely we would think of the word smuggler, let alone a Bible smuggler. However, for CFNI alumnus Patrick Klein that is a large part of his calling, and he is anointed for it. For over 20 years, Patrick Klein has helped deliver over 1 million Bibles around the world through some of the tightest security on earth.

But why would a young man, full of vitality and promise, choose such a dangerous career path? Why would he reject his comfortable American life and even risk his life to bring Bibles into closed and dangerous countries? Patrick Klein describes his motivation this way: “When you see pain and suffering up close and personal, how can you walk away from it? How can I live a supposedly normal life, the American dream, knowing girls are being sold into sex trafficking, pastors need Bibles desperately, and there are children living in the sewers? If I really had the Spirit of God in me, things that break God’s heart are going to break my heart.”

By following his heart, Patrick Klein’s clandestine ministry activities have led him to rescue sex trafficking victims over the years in countries most people are afraid to even visit (the names of the specific countries are withheld because of the danger to Patrick and his contacts). For Patrick, darkness is a quest for light, and need is a call to action. He does not shy away from danger when the souls of people are at stake.

Patrick’s passion for the lost and hurting was sparked while on a CFNI summer mission trip. He was a CFNI student, and it was his first time intentionally breaking international law. Patrick had heard about the need in one Asian country for Bibles (there was only one Bible for every 300 Christians in this unfriendly-to-the-Gospel nation), and he and his team were going to do something to help meet that need. Patrick had Bibles hidden in his checked and carry-on luggage, plus the ones he had hidden on his body under his clothes. He didn’t realize it, but his career as a Bible smuggler was about to begin.

81-year-old man receiving a Bible for the first time after decades of praying for one.

Walking through customs, trying not to appear nervous, Patrick experienced almost immediate failure. Customs officials found the Bibles in his carry-on and checked bags, but they didn’t find the ones hidden on his body. They confiscated the discovered Bibles, but cleared Patrick to enter the country. Officially a Bible smuggler, Patrick now had to repack and hide these precious Bibles again. In a rough bathroom with a “squatty potty” (just a hole in the floor), Patrick struggled to keep his bag off the wet floor and his passport from falling into the hole as he transferred the Bibles from his body to the bag. It was an extremely humid 90 degrees, and sweat dripped off his body. His only thought was, “Lord, this is what I am created to do! I love this!”

Years later, Patrick regularly smuggles Bibles into that same country and others, trusting God to bring more and more Bibles through hostile borders. On one occasion, he and his team successfully stayed below the radar of customs inspection while carrying 2 duffel bags, each with 70 pounds of Bibles, through the airport. Ten people with 140 pounds of Bibles each somehow walked right past the customs inspectors.

They weren’t even stopped and questioned. Patrick’s team was invisible! He has seen God’s protection and intervention in similar ways for over two decades. “You know, I hear some people say, ‘I just want to win one person to Jesus in my life.’  Not me, I want to win millions, tens of millions. I want to do all I can to bring Him much glory in this earth.

Tribal believer holding a Bible in her own language.

Patrick doesn’t think this is all that spectacular. He just hears a call for help and moves to answer it. “We do some dangerous stuff in our ministry, but people put their lives on the line for the Gospel all the time. Why are we, as American Christians, exempt from that?”

Patrick tells a story of one of his regular visits to an orphanage in an Asian country that houses children of sex trafficking victims. One little boy contracted HIV from his mother, who has died of AIDS. “When he came up to me, my first thought was, ‘Oh, be careful, he’s got HIV.’ And I thought, ‘Wait a minute, Jesus wasn’t afraid of the lepers, so I don’t need to be afraid of HIV.’  So I scooped him up and spent time with him. I visit as often as I can; I’m like a father figure to him. My faith has got to be bigger than any disease.

Whether he is smuggling Bibles or rescuing women from sex trafficking, Patrick isn’t afraid to wrestle with the moral implications of this radical Christianity. One American pastor refused to have Patrick in his church because Bible smuggling breaks the law. This pastor said, “If God wants the people in closed countries to have a Bible, He will change their governments.” Patrick shares, “I thought, that’s easy for you to say when your office is full of Bibles and study materials. What about the Hebrew midwives who kept the Hebrew baby boys alive when Pharaoh decreed they be killed in Egypt? Or Corrie ten Boom who hid Jews in her house against the laws enacted by the Nazi government during World War II? We’re called to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, the weak and defenseless. I believe if Jesus were walking the Earth today, He’d be rescuing girls out of sex trafficking. If He had to turn over a few tables and brothels, then He might just do it.”

For Patrick Klein, Bible smuggling is an act of worship, obedience to his calling. Patrick lives by a simple creed: “My life is not mine; I was bought with a price, the cross. I can’t just do whatever I want to do. I belong to Jesus now, and my question is, ‘What do You want me to do Jesus?’” Not everyone can or should smuggle Bibles or rescue sex trafficking victims, and Patrick is not advocating breaking international law. But everyone has a role to play in the Kingdom. It may be traditional, unconventional or perhaps even radical, but whatever it is, it’s time to answer that call.

Patrick Klein ministering to children in Southeast Asia.

See Patrick Klein’s video here

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If We Remember Zion

By Maria Erokhina

One of the most remarkable things about the recent inauguration of the 45th American President, Donald Trump, was the prayer of Rabbi Marvin Hier. It was the first time since 1985 that a rabbi invoked a blessing at such an important historic event. “Eternal God, bless President Donald J. Trump and America, our great nation,” Rabbi Hier started his benediction. Among other declarations, he also cited Psalm 137: “By the rivers of Babylon, we wept as we remembered Zion. If I forget thee, Oh, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.” What a powerful statement that was!

Throughout the Bible we find God lovingly call the nation of Israel “Zion.” The name Zion refers to a hill in Jerusalem. When God speaks about Zion, He is describing the very heart of His nation.

“Zion!” I can only imagine the tone of God’s voice when He pronounces this name. Waves of love, passion, mercy and jealousy are mingled in it. The truth is, God has never removed the nation of Israel from His front burner, as shown in Isaiah 49:14-16. “But Zion said, ‘…My Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”

Unfortunately, the nation of Israel has been forgotten by  many countries, including America. Even the Body of Christ is guilty! It’s scary to ponder the years that Israel has been neglected, despised, persecuted, suffered pogroms and the Holocaust. Its very existence has been questioned since its inception. The world has overlooked the fact that the land that lawfully belongs to Israel (historically and according to God’s ordinance) has been inhabited by hostile strangers. We condemned Israel for claiming her rights. We introduced sanctions; we gathered troops; we threatened and manipulated; we ignored her interests. Under the mask of guarding peace, we took upon ourselves the right to decide what is right or wrong for Israel, while God had already spoken about it in His Word.

Zechariah 2:8 makes a strong statement: “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.’” We can see that God is not passive when it pertains to His people. His wrath rages against those who rob and devastate Israel; everyone who harms it, pokes God in the eye!

With America’s new President, there’s hope that Israel will be remembered again. Let us pray that the hearts of our government officials will be aligned with God’s heart toward  His  nation. Let us pray that after so many years of neglect, America will finally remember Zion, not only in words, but in action. Let us pray that America will be a nation that stands with Israel, defends her interests and protects her! Because if we bless Israel, we will truly be blessed.

CFNI travels to Israel every year. To be part of this powerful trip and learn more about the biblical history of Israel, go to cfni.org/israeltour.

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