Christian Online Outreach

Christian Online Outreach

by Guest Blogger Glen Bowman

Last year, I started a nonprofit organization called Christian Online Outreach. I had been working as a professor at a Christian college and in February I put in my “5-month notice” that I planned to move on. I did not have specific plans for what to do, but felt strongly that God wanted me to move on and that He would provide direction for what I should do next. In April, my family and I were in a major car accident, but I took the brunt of the force, being T-boned on the driver’s side. I laid in hot baths every night for weeks in an effort to recover from my back pain.

               Finally one night, I was praying desperately to God, knowing that only He could heal me and give me perfect direction for what to do next in life. It then hit me . . . that I should use the wisdom that God was giving me through my dissertation research to help churches, especially at this time of social distancing. My dissertation described the influence that college students experience from Christian faith sharing through social media. I wanted to know if it was effective and if so, what should Christians be doing or not doing online. This ministry seemed like a natural step to start providing this material (and other wisdom) to help churches become more effective and less offensive online!

               For those who would like to read more about the findings in my dissertation, a full copy can be downloaded through this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.11233.53602. I have tried to model some of the outreach practices that college students said positively influenced their thoughts and behaviors here: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianOnlineOutreach. Our company website and a blog giving insights from my dissertation and other ideas can be viewed through this link: http://www.christianonlineoutreach.com/. Below is a summary of our ministry at Christian Online Outreach and an emphasis for why this focus seems necessary in 2021. Feel free to reach out to me through the linked Facebook page or the contact page on our website!

We live in a world today where many people leave their homes less and engage the world through the Internet more. Due to this dramatic shift in culture, Christians should also shift their focus to greater Internet use and more active outreach online for God’s glory and purpose (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Christian Online Outreach’s mission is to help churches and nonprofits improve their online presence, setting up outreach methods accessible to people locally and globally. These low-cost and no-cost solutions can help reach people that they would never contact without using online technology.

In a recent survey, 60% of churched adults responded that they hope even post-COVID churches will keep finding digital means of bringing people together. Christian Online Outreach provides practical online solutions for this purpose without needing a local technology expert to put them into practice. Jesus has called Christians to make disciples, baptize them, and then continue to teach them (Matthew 28:18-20). While baptism requires in-person contact, we can make disciples and continue to teach them through a myriad of means online. Christian Online Outreach helps churches and nonprofits to elevate their outreach and effectiveness using proven methods. Below are the three major categories of means that we seek to serve in this ministry:

Online consulting

No matter where you are located, Christian Online Outreach can help you with your Internet needs.  We can assess your current online presence with a free consultation and offer tips and assistance for improving your online ministry.

In-person presentations

We can come to your congregation and speak to your members about methods for more effective online outreach. We can also speak to your ministry staff, elders, or any other group as needed for assisting with your outreach goals.

Customized assistance

Our ministry is not limited to a confined set of services. We desire to help churches and nonprofits in any way possible to fulfill God’s work for them through the Internet. Feel free to express your needs and vision so that we can assist you.


More about Glen Bowman:

Glen Bowman was born in Mission Hills, CA, in 1979 and grew up in Orange County. As an undergraduate, he attended UC Berkeley and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He became a Christian in 2002 and worked as a psychology researcher on campus at UC Berkeley and for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Afterwards, he attended Harding School of Theology and obtained a master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Overall, he served in ministry in the South for six years before moving back to California. For another six years, he preached at a church of Christ in Los Banos, CA, about two hours from San Francisco. After that, he worked at as an assistant professor of psychology at York College, a Christian college in York, Nebraska. Last year, he stepped down from that position to work as the Executive Director at Christian Online Outreach to equip churches for more effective ministry on the Internet.

Looking Back to Move Forward

Looking Back to Move Forward

Guest blogger: Pastor Terry Nightingale

Imagine listening to a long speech in a hot, dry, dusty wilderness in a place where you may not feel entirely safe.  That sets the scene for the beginning of Deuteronomy, and it is where God wanted the children of Israel to look back and recall some painful memories and some home truths.

It was not their comfort zone.

The wonderful stories of God’s salvation, provision and faithfulness are about to be recounted, but they will be mixed with the hard realities of their parents’ sins, their leaders’ shortcomings, and their own failures. The grown-up children will need to face these if they are to enter into God’s promises. And they will face them in the place where they are most dependent on God for his provision and protection: the open wilderness – where an enemy might attack at any moment.

God sometimes chooses the wilderness to do his greatest work in us.

And sometimes the desert of dependence is the only place on the planet where we find the courage to truly face our disappointments and failures.

In Deut 1: 2 – 3, we read:

‘Normally, it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses addressed the people of Israel, telling them everything the Lord had commanded him to say’ (NLT).

The hardest truth that the Israelites must face is distilled and focused into these two verses. What should have taken days ended up costing many years. The failure by some to be faithful to God and obedient to his Word resulted in a long and difficult journey for all.

Interestingly, Moses’ speech comes shortly after an unusual period of success described in verse four. Moses and the Israelite soldiers had just won two battles and defeated two kings.

In my own life, I have found that the biggest temptation in life is the one to believe that any success I might experience is due directly to my own cleverness, wisdom or righteousness. In those times, I need a reminder of the grace of God. I need to walk back out of the comfort zone and return to the place of dependence – the very place where Moses led the Israelites to hear his confronting message.

God is in charge and he calls the shots. Our modern world often tells us to forget the past and simply move on. The past is the past it declares; you can’t change it, so it’s onwards and upwards. But God has a habit of calling his people to stop and remember. He wants us to remember his Word and his faithfulness, but he may also want us to revisit a dark place with new eyes before moving on.

It may be the place of our own failure, or we may feel we are victims on the raw end of the failures of others. It may be that life has not granted us the success we dreamed of. As the Israelites stood ready to hear Moses’ first sermon, they were about to hear of their parents’ sins, their leaders’ disastrous choices and their own lack of faith. But there is hope – a lot of it. Sometimes looking back, with the Holy Spirit’s help, can provide the very key we need to move forward with God.”

This is an excerpt from the Introduction of Looking Back to Move Forward: embracing setbacks for greater fruitfulness, my first book with Kharis Publishing.

The book can be found at: https://www.amazon.com.au/Looking-Back-Move-Forward-Fruitfulness/dp/194627772X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=looking+back+to+move+forward&qid=1608534939&sr=8-1

Or: https://www.kharispublishing.com/


About guest blogger Terry Nightingale:

Terry is a pastor serving in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, having previously worked in education both in the UK and Perth. Terry has been involved in Christian ministry in a variety of ways over the years from teaching to evangelism, from music ministry to pastoral care.

Terry and Sue moved to Australia in 2003 from the UK. Today they have two grown-up children both married, and two grandchildren. They enjoy walking and watching Science Fiction movies.

Find Christian Jobs

Find Christian Jobs

I just updated the Christian job opportunity page on Find Christian Links. Lots of helpful links if you . . .

  • Are a ministry or a church looking for a new pastor or staff member
  • Are searching for a Christian career
  • Are searching for a job in a church or other Christian organization
  • Are a pastor looking for a new church

I hope you will take a few minutes to visit the page and explore the countless possibilities! 

Multiethnic Group People Holding Letter Opportunity

A Parent’s Guide to Safe Video Game Fun

A Parent’s Guide to Safe Video Game Fun

by Guest Blogger Alyssa Strickland

Video games can be a great form of entertainment for kids and parents of all ages. Not only is gaming an excellent way to pass the time on those rainy days, but it’s also a valuable bonding experience to share with your little ones. Of course, many parents worry about the health and safety of their children while playing video games. Although there are some risks involved when it comes to in-game content and interacting with strangers online, you can take several steps to ensure your family gaming experience is both safe and fun!

Choosing Equipment and Devices

First off, make sure you do your research before buying video game equipment. Choosing a console can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re trying to please several members of your household with differing opinions. The best console for your family will also depend on the age of your kids. For example, Common Sense Media suggests a Nintendo Switch for families with young children. Keep in mind that you can also use a basic computer to play video games as long as your specs are up to par.

If you’re buying a new computer for gaming, remember to budget for a new monitor as well! With a little research, you should be able to find a great monitor in nearly any price range. For example, CNET recommends several affordable monitors that include gaming-friendly features like a widescreen IPS display, zero-frame design, and high refresh rate.

Is Your Internet Up to Speed?

You may also want to consider upgrading your home internet plan. Online gaming can use a lot of data, so you’ll want to evaluate your internet speed and connection strength to ensure your family enjoys a smooth and frustration-free gaming experience. There are also some easy tricks you can try to improve your Wi-Fi connection and get a better signal for gaming. For example, placing your router somewhere off the floor in your gaming room could improve the signal strength.

Family-Friendly Video Games

When it comes to picking video games, you have even more research to do. Pay attention to the age rating on the games you’re considering to ensure the content is okay for your kids. On top of this, do some research to determine if the games are appropriate for your children’s ability levels. You may also want to consider whether or not the game is primarily meant for online play, since you may or may not want your kids interacting with people on the internet.

Parental Control and Internet Safety

No matter how old your kids are, it’s important that they understand basic internet safety before playing games online. Make sure you and your kids are aware of the most common online gaming dangers, including cyberbullying, privacy concerns, and personal information vulnerabilities. In addition to good internet safety education, make use of the parental controls on your gaming console. Parental controls allow you to manage what games your children play, whether or not they can play online, and even how much time they spend staring at the screen!

Screen time limits are important for the health of your children. Too much screen time can interfere with your children’s sleep and prevent them from getting the daily exercise they need to stay happy and healthy. Fortunately, it’s easy to get your kids away from their screens. Whether it’s exercising together, signing them up for sports, or finding family-friendly entertainment and games, there are many options available.

Don’t let your concerns about video game safety stop you and your kids from enjoying all of the fun that gaming has to offer. With a little research and precautionary planning, you can ensure your family’s gaming experience is safe for kids of all ages. You might just discover a fun new hobby yourself!


Guest Blogger Alyssa Strickland created millennial-parents.com for all the new parents on the block. Alyssa believes the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, but she also thinks it takes a village to raise a parent! Millennial-Parents is that village. Today’s parents can be more connected than ever and she hopes her site will enrich those connections. On Millennial-Parents, she shares tips and advice she learns through experience and from other young parents in three key areas — Education, Relationships, and Community.

Global Upheaval

Global Upheaval

I received Hal Lindsey’s newsletter each week. If you are not already getting it, I encourage you to do so. Here is last week’s message. Please visit his website and sign up! He is a man of God and scholar of end times prophecy.

By Hal Lindsey

The world changes. Sometimes it changes quickly. The two world wars of the 20th century created massive upheavals, as did the Black Death pestilence of the 14th century. Some upheavals are caused by new technologies, such as the printing press, the internal combustion engine, the telephone, or gunpowder. Sometimes political revolutions cause fast and massive change, and sometimes big changes come from simple ideas, including bad ones.

Today, several of those things are happening at once. With Covid-19 as a trigger, we see revolutions all around us. Technical revolutions that should have been for our good have been subverted. Ideas that history has repeatedly proven wrong and dangerous, are rising with a new sense of inevitability.

One of the unique things about this year is that these massive societal upheavals are global. Most of history’s revolutions have been localized, but the changes going on now are going on everywhere. And they are all moving in a specific direction – the direction laid out in the Bible thousands of years ago.

For decades now, government and corporate surveillance of citizens has been growing, but mostly hidden. The pandemic has made the invasion of privacy suddenly seem laudable. To keep the virus in check, the world is rapidly building the infrastructure of the Antichrist. That means building a surveillance infrastructure that will allow governments to watch every move their citizens make, and be able to use Artificial Intelligence to interpret those moves.

Covid’s economic destruction is wreaking havoc on capitalism everywhere, making citizens of all nations increasingly dependent on government. That’s what antichrist will need – a population full of people depending on government rather than their own hard work and creativity.

To bring new benefits and more relief to the public, governments are printing money hand over fist. This can only go on so long before it brings its own disaster. The mark of the beast as described in Revelation 13:16-18 means that, in the future, world leaders will give control of the entire global economy to the Antichrist and his cohort, the False Prophet. They will do that either because of a global economic collapse or their fear of one. (But it won’t work for long because the Bible describes at least two more economic disasters after Antichrist comes to power.)

Bible prophecies also say that near the time of Christ’s return, there will be increased levels of anti-Semitism and of the persecution of Christians. Back in the 1960s and 70s, ideas like free speech and inclusiveness were primary tenets of campus liberalism. Not anymore. Today we have something popularly known as “cancel culture.”

And if you want to be canceled fast, just quote one of the Bible’s less popular passages – Old Testament or New. Another way to do it is to identify with Israel, or tell the real story of Israel’s formation. People are losing their jobs because of Sunday School lessons taught 20 years ago.

How should we respond to these things? Like Christians. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” But you will not respond in love if you are hysterical with fear. So, follow an instruction given in the Bible hundreds of times – “Fear not.” In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Live in His peace. Love your neighbor. Pray with expectation. He’s coming soon!

God Bless,
Hal Lindsey


Hal Lindsey

mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147
email: comments@hallindsey.comweb: http://www.hallindsey.com

Walking in Reverse

Walking in Reverse

by guest blogger Pastor Terry Nightingale

I was talking with a friend the other day.

He had been offered a role in an organisation where his unique abilities and connections would be vital for the next phase of their vision.

He was flattered with the offer but extremely reluctant to accept it. The trouble was, he had worked for the company several years previously and, although under different management back then, he had not found them willing to embrace his ideas. In fact, the feelings of rejection were still quite raw.

The organisation had moved on since that time with the new leadership team taking it in an exciting new direction, but my friend could only see the pain he felt eight years ago.

While we were talking, I found my self thinking of Moses.

Moses had left Egypt out of favour and under a cloud. After a misguided attempt to win justice for a fellow Israelite, he not only felt the rejection of his own people but the sentence of death from his adoptive father – the Pharaoh. Moses had no choice but to close that chapter of his life and move on.

Years later, and now with a wife and family, God called him back, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt… the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ (Ex 3: 7 – 10)

I wonder what went through Moses’s mind.

The first question he asks God is, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ In other words, ‘Lord, I burned that bridge decades ago, they didn’t want my help then; I’m sure as heck they don’t need it now.’ God had to reassure Moses that things were different now: there’s a different Pharaoh on the throne and the elders of Israel will listen to him.

A lengthy conversation ensued between the Lord and Moses and the reluctant prophet finally agreed to do the job.

The end of the story is worth noting: Moses led his people out of slavery, away from the threat of the Egyptian army, to the mountain of God where the community was effectively re-born as people of the living God.

History as we know it flowed from that moment.

Moses submitted to the pain of revisiting the past and a nation was established amidst miracles and wonders. For God’s purposes to move forward, one man had to step back into a place he thought he had walked away from. For Moses, returning to Egypt would have felt like going backwards, opening old wounds, but in God’s master plan it was the key to a significant advance of His purposes.

I wonder if God is calling you to return to something or someone. Life may have moved on, but God is a God of history as well as the future and the two are more than linked. In order for God to bear his fruit in and through you in the future, maybe he is calling you to walk through an old familiar door – even if just for a season.

God bless – Terry

If you found this encouraging you can find more short devotions like this one at https://pastorterry4.wixsite.com/website


About guest blogger Terry Nightingale:

Terry-Nightingale
Pastor Terry Nightingale

Terry is a pastor serving in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, having previously worked in education both in the UK and Perth. Terry has been involved in Christian ministry in a variety of ways over the years from teaching to evangelism, from music ministry to pastoral care.

Terry and Sue moved to Australia in 2003 from the UK. Today they have two grown-up children both married, and two grandchildren. They enjoy walking and watching Science Fiction movies.

Bible Bingo: A Great Game for the Whole Family

Bible Bingo: A Great Game for the Whole Family

by Guest Blogger Alvin Gan

Most of us have, at one time or other, played a game of Bingo. This classic game with numbered cards and balls is a simple yet entertaining game that’s great for bringing people together.

Bible Games Central has designed a game that combines the fun and interaction of Bingo with learning about the books and sections of the Bible – Bible Bingo.

While usual Bingo cards contain numbers, the specially designed Bible Bingo cards feature the books of the Bible. Each card is organized into sections of the Bible, such as Old Testament Law, Old Testament History, New Testament Letters from Paul, amongst others. Each section has a unique border color that corresponds to the Bible Bingo Calling Cards. With repeated play using different Bible Bingo cards, players become familiar with the books and sections of the Bible.

Preparation

Download, print and cut up the Bible Bingo Cards. (Each sheet contains 2 unique cards.)

This printable contains 12 unique Bible Bingo Cards. You do not need to print all the cards. Just print as many as you need. (If you have more than 12 players, you will need to print multiple copies.)

alvin_7-18-20_5_Bible Bingo Cards

Download, print and cut up the Bible Bingo Calling Cards. There are 66 unique calling cards, corresponding to the 66 Books of the Bible. Place all 66 Bible Bingo Calling Cards in a stack. Give the Calling Cards a good shuffle to mix them up.

alvin_7-18-20_3_Bible Bingo Calling Cards

You may also like to download and print the following optional resources for your reference during the game or for your discussion thereafter.

Books of the Bible Chart

alvin_7-18-10_2_Books of the Bible Chart

Sections of the Bible Overview

alvin_7-18-20_Sections of the Bible Overview

 How to Play Bible Bingo

Give each player 1 Bible Bingo Card. (You can also give each player 2 or more cards.)

Have everyone cross out the “Free Space” square in the middle of their Bible Bingo Cards.

The game leader picks 1 Bible Bingo Calling Card at a time from the stack and calls out the book of the Bible and the section which it falls under.

Players with that book on their Bible Bingo Card can cross out that square.

The first player to cross out 5 squares in a row (in any direction) and shouts “Bible Bingo!” wins.

For those who enjoy Bingo may also be interested in Thanksgiving Bingo and Christmas Bingo.


Alvin Gan

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com  specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.

 

 

 

Bible Trivia for Everyone

Bible Trivia for Everyone

by Guest Blogger Alvin Gan

Even though it has been more than four decades since the iconic “Trivia Pursuit” board game was launched in the 1980s, trivia games have continued to be extremely popular. Trivia game shows such as “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” had huge followings and “Jeopardy” is still going strong after an incredible 36 seasons.

With the trivia games being so popular,  it’s not surprising that Bible trivia games are widely played in the Christian community. Bible Trivia games are great entertainment. You can have fun with friends while challenging each other’s knowledge of the Bible, and you can learn more about the Bible at the same time.

But there are some downsides to playing Bible trivia games. Not everyone is equally familiar with the Bible, and pitting one player against another may be embarrassing and discouraging for some. There is also the danger of more knowledgeable players dominating the game. This is not to say that we should stop playing Bible trivia altogether.

Bible Games Central has designed a unique version of Bible Trivia that overcomes these pitfalls. In this version of Bible Trivia, everyone has a chance to score points. For each question, there is one Answerer and one Asker, while the remaining players are Guessers who can score points by guessing if the answer given is right or wrong.

A downloadable Bible Trivia Board and Bible Trivia Cards are provided. (Questions are divided into 5 categories: (1) Easy, (2) People & Places, (3) How Many, (4) Old Testament, and (5) New Testament.)

The game works like this:

  1. The Answerer rolls the dice to determine the question’s category:

(1) Easy

(2) People & Places

(3) How Many

(4) Old Testament

(5) New Testament

(6) Answerer gets to choose

  1. The Asker (player on the left of the Answerer) draws the top card of that pile and reads the question aloud. If there are no remaining cards in that pile, the Answerer gets to choose any of the remaining categories.
  1. After the question is read, the Answerer indicates his/her answer by placing their token on either A, B, C or D on the Bible Trivia Board. Once the token is placed, Answerers cannot change their answer.

    alvin-gan_6-13-20

  1. The question then becomes open to all the Guessers. Guessers will indicate whether they agree or disagree with the Answerer by placing their tokens on either Agree or Disagree on the Bible Trivia Board. (To avoid confusion, each player should have a unique token.)
  1. The Asker reveals the correct answer after all Guessers have placed their tokens.

Since points are awarded to all who answered or guessed correctly, the difference between the scores of the strongest and weakest players is narrowed, making it more fun for everyone.

Playing Bible Trivia is a fun, interactive way to improve players’ knowledge of the Bible and may even motivate everyone to read the Bible more. Whether at home or church, Bible Trivia is a great game to play on a regular basis. So there is really no losers in a game of Bible Trivia.


Alvin Gan

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com  specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.

 

 

 

Godly Fire Rekindled

Godly Fire Rekindled

by Guest Blogger Maria Nagel

Have you ever wondered what is written in God’s book about you? If you’ve answered yes, the following is for you. I gave my life to Christ seven years ago and would consider myself a devout Christian. However, when the Covid-19 crisis hit worldwide, I asked myself three crucial questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ?
  2. What exactly does God expect of me in this end time?
  3. How can I fulfil what I was created for?

The answers came gradually through additional questions and facts.

  • Jesus speaks to his sheep ===> Whose voice is dictating my actions and influencing my life? Is it the voice of my spouse, my friends, my ego, the enemy . . . or the voice of my Shepherd, Jesus Christ?
  • Jesus is the light of the world and instructs us to be lights as well ===> How’s my light? Is it dim, off, or shining bright?
  • We were all given talents ====> What are my talents? Am I using them in a way that pleases God?
  • Jesus overcame the world ===> Am I an overcomer when facing problems, trials, and temptations?
  • Sin separates me from God ===> Is my garment still spotless and clean? Do I truly know and do what pleases and displeases God?
  • Before praying I am supposed to settle all disputes ===> Could it be that my prayers are not reaching God when I have unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, or other sins in my life?
  • Being a follower of Jesus Christ means being a soul winner ===> How am I contributing in spreading the Gospel?
  • The Holy Spirit is on earth. The Father appointed him to be my helper, comforter and teacher ===> How well do I know him? Do my thoughts, words, and actions draw him close to me or chase him away?
  • The Bible is the living word of God. It’s a super food. In these dark times I must not be only physically but also spiritually strong ===> Is my soul man being fed or starving?
  • The blood of Jesus is powerful ===> Do I invoke and apply it?
  • Jesus fasted and prayed ===> Do I follow his example? It’s time to extend my prayer list and also fast and pray for the needy, lost, depressed, sick, suicidal, and those who hurt me.
  • They shall know us by our love ====> As a Christian I am called to be a reflection of God who is love. I must learn to love my neighbour as myself. May all my actions be rooted in selfless love.

This train of thought birthed in me the decision to make the children’s books I’ve written and illustrated available as free downloads in over 15 languages.

Beloved, God needs you. The harvest is ripe and this dark world needs one more light: yours. Turn on your light. Rekindle your godly fire and fulfil what God has written in his heavenly book about you for this time. Cooperate with the Father on his terms. Time is short.

______________________________________

Maria T. Nagel is a wife, mother, inventor, author, and Illustrator. She is originally from Cameroon and currently lives with her family in Vienna, Austria. Maria went on mission by herself to the Philippines, China, and the Bahamas to share the gospel. Her eBooks for children are available free of charge in over 15 languages on her website.

After the Virus

After the Virus

by Guest Blogger Dr. Howard Morgan

Howard-Morgan_logo

I believe the Lord wants to use this season of “sheltering in place” to give us all an opportunity to reassess where we are in our walk with the Lord, and what He has really called us to do. When we exit “Coronaville,” I believe that we are all to enter into new places of fruitful service for the Kingdom of God.

I find it interesting and significant that we have recently experienced the Passover season. This is the Biblical New Year, so it is a time for “new beginnings.” I believe that this is the time to get ready to leave your personal Egypt.

The Hebrew word for Egypt is “Mitzrayim” which means “constrain” or “bind” (as in shackle or imprison), or bondage, or slavery. I believe that the Lord wants to deliver us all from any bondage to the “gods of Egypt.”

That is, those influences, natural, human and demonic, which inspire thoughts, and the feelings those thoughts generate, which are in fact lies that constrain, bind, imprison and enslave you.

This is the season for freshly hearing the voice of God call you into new levels of freedom as you embark on your own personal Exodus from wherever and however “Egypt” still operates in your life. As you make the choice to “leave Egypt,” you can reaffirm and renew your faith in the New Covenant realities the death and resurrection of the Messiah offers you.

We are all called to bear “much fruit” (John 15:8; Colossians 1:10), as we overcome the many enemies we encounter, as we enter into the spiritual battle of conquering our own spiritual “Promised Land” which flows with “Milk and Honey” (Genesis 26:2-5; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 14:8). This “Promised Land” is your personal inheritance, calling, and destiny in the Lord. The “Milk and Honey” promised to us is the “much fruit”
you bear and the great reward you will receive, as you faithfully steward your gifts, talents, and all that has been entrusted to you (Matthew 24:45-47, 25:19-23; Luke 12:42-44, 19:11-19; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 3:23; 1 Peter 4:10).

QUESTIONS

We are all aware that we are now living in serious and transformative times. The Lord does not want His people to return to the “old normal” but to enter into new realms of fruitfulness for His Kingdom. To help us pursue that goal as we “shelter in place,” I am asking a series of questions that I pray will help you probe the depths of what the Lord is speaking in your spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-12).
What has the Lord called you to do?
What has God truly spoken to you?
What Scriptures has the Lord given you concerning His will for your life?
What prophetic words given to you are challenging, confirming, and encouraging you?
Do you want to fulfill God’s plans and purposes for your life?
What are the gifts He has given to you?
Are there gifts and talents that you are burying?
Why are you burying them?
Is there anything that stops you? What is it? Why do you allow it to determine your destiny?
What can you do about it? What is the first step you can take?
What and whose “words” are you believing?
Are they words of life or death? Of faith or unbelief? Are they words that encourage and help you?
Or words that discourage or even stop you?
Is there anyone who stops you? How do they do it? Why do they do it? What is their motive?
Why do you let them influence you?
Why are their beliefs about you more significant than your own beliefs about yourself?
Why are their words and actions more valuable to you than your own?
Are their words more important to you than the Word of the Lord? Why?

LIES

Are there “thorns” (lies) that are strangling your potential fruit for the Kingdom? (Luke 8:14)
Are there lies that have defined you in the past?
Are there lies that you still believe about yourself? your future? your gifts and callings?

What defines you? Who defines you? How is your Identity defined?
If I ask you to fill in this blank, what things would you say about yourself: “I am a ______.”

When lies define us, they create a false “self-image.” When we believe lies about ourselves, we don’t live in honesty with ourselves, with others, or with the Lord. When we live in a false self-image, we believe that “I am this kind of a person,” when you are actually not. Or, you believe, “I am not that kind of a person,” when in your heart of hearts, you know you are.

As the Lord deals with us about His plans for our life, we can sense this conflict and dishonesty in the depths of our spirit. If we don’t overcome the lies that create that dishonesty, we eventually surrender to them, and believe that is just who we are. We end up living very superficial mediocre spiritual lives with minimal fruit, and justify our life choices by believing, “Well that is just who I am.”
When we learn how to “cast down those lying thoughts” (2 Corinthians 10:5), and take off the “old self” which is built on those lies, and put on the “new self” – which is being renewed after the image of the Lord (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10), then the truths of God’s Word to us, His gifts and callings, will create in us a solid supernatural identity of who we are “in the Messiah” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Building upon that identity, “no
weapon formed against us can succeed,” (Isaiah 54:17). No one’s words or behavior, no wrong thoughts or bad feelings, no false human or supernatural authorities, nothing and no one can stop us from fulfilling all the Lord has called us to do (Romans 8.31-39).

WORDS FROM OTHERS

Not only are we entering a season where we must make new internal choices, but we are moving into a season where we must not allow other people’s words or actions determine our destiny. You will not let anyone exercise an authority over you that is not from the Lord. All godly authority is motivated to “build you up” (2 Corinthians 10:8, 13:10) to “teach and train you” (Ephesians 4:11-13) to find and fulfill your gifts, calling, and destiny in the Messiah!

FORGIVENESS

This is also where the life transforming power of forgiveness can come alive in your life. As you forgive everyone for everything, you set yourself free from them, and anything they have said or done. Holding onto unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment, is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person (or persons) to die. As it has been truly said, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself! Give yourself that gift. Forgive so you
can forget and move on without those negative influences in your life. I know this is not easy to do, and I do not write it as if it is. When you come to the place where you find you just cannot forgive, turn to the Lord (which is exactly what repentance is) and ask Him, the Great Forgiver, to rise up within you and exercise His forgiving grace to flow into you and then through you. As you receive His forgiveness for yourself, you will find it
enabling you to forgive others.

FAILURE

Don’t let past failures or the fear of failure stop you. So many people stop in their walk of faith because they have a fear of failure. Some because they are afraid of success. However fear operates in your life; do not let it determine your future or your destiny. God has not given us a “spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7). Fear never comes from the Lord; it is always built on lies we believe. When we expose the lies, the fear will die. I have personally experienced the life transforming power of this truth.

Even if you fail, so what? Failure is not an issue for the Lord. Obedience and Faithfulness are. The Scriptures teach us that the Lord will say “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” not “my successful servant,” because God’s measure of success is our faithfulness and obedience.

God’s measuring systems is not like ours. In fact, Jesus taught us that the things people esteem are an abomination to God (Luke 16:15). We look on externals, God looks on the condition of our heart and at the fruit of our lives (1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10; Matthew 13:23; John 15:1-6 ). We are called to obey and leave the results to the one who “gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

It is better by far to stand before the Lord on the Great Day of Accountability and say, “I obeyed and launched out in faith, although things didn’t work out – it ‘failed,’” than to tell Him that you “buried” what was entrusted to you, for whatever reason. The Lord will not be smiling at you!

When the Lord first called me into leadership in the Body of Christ, I was so aware of what I considered my own inabilities, weaknesses, and lack of qualifications, that I was very reluctant, resistant, and I discovered, rebellious to His calling. After many attempts to convince the Lord that He was making a mistake, and that He was only asking me because He actually wanted someone else, He said to me, “How dare you insult me!! If I
wanted someone else, they would be here.” That still did not convince me to accept His call. What finally did, was when He said these words to me; “It will be better for you on the Day of Judgment to become an Elder and fail, than not to become an Elder at all.” That put the fear of God into me, and I became an Elder, and that started me on my journey into ministry.

We are all wise to follow the last recorded words of Miriam (Mary), the mother of Yeshua (Jesus), who at the wedding at Cana told the wine stewards, “Whatever He tells you, do it!” (John 2:5).

APPROVAL OF OTHERS

Don’t seek for the approval of people, only for the approval of God (1 Corinthians 4:5; Romans 2:29). What ever you launch out to do, remember it is always primarily to please the Lord, and it is His approval, and only His approval we must seek. When you live in this place, you are truly free, and the words of Jesus become a reality in your life. “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” (John 8:36) .

When the approval of anyone else is more important to you than the approval of the Lord, that person is now “Lord” of your life because you do what pleases them. So just put the word “lord” in front of their name and bow down to them. Because that is exactly what you are doing!

If you want anything more than the will of God, then that thing similarly becomes the “Lord” of your life. Put the word “lord” in front of the name of whatever it is and see how you bow down to it. It is the false god, the idol, that you truly worship and serve, because you do everything to get it, whatever it is.

MENTORS

Who in your life do you trust and respect? Invite them to mentor you into your next level of faithful and fruitful obedience.

If you don’t have anyone in your life you trust and respect, ask the Lord to give you such people. Seek them out, they are out there. There are lots of true shepherds in the Body of Christ. There is an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Remember “If you seek, you will find. If you knock, the door will open” (Matthew 7:7; James 4:2).

The Lord may even use the internet to help you find the mentors, guides, pastors, or shepherds you are seeking. As you search, be wise and cautious. Godly mentors and shepherds are motivated to help you find and fulfill God’s will. As they pour into your life, they are worthy of your support. The “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15) are only interested in how they can use you or what they can take from you. They are experts at intimidation, manipulation, and control. God’s servants will always endeavor to express “the wisdom which comes from above” (James 3:13-18). They will never intimidate, manipulate, or control you.

Perhaps you are being called to open your life and begin to mentor others, and that is the new season for new fruit for you. Is God calling you to open your home for prayer, or worship, or Bible study? You don’t have to proclaim yourself as some great teacher; just as a fellow student, wanting to learn, change and grow and help others do the same. Is He calling you into other forms of service? The call to serve is as diverse as the needs we
see all around us.

NEW SEASON

This is the season of making a determination, that come what may, you will be found faithful on that day. You will be one of those to whom the Lord says, “well done.” Not because you never failed, but because you always were a “good and faithful” steward of that which has been entrusted to you (Matthew 25:20-23; Luke 19:16-19).

So beloved, what is the Lord telling you to do? What has He told you in the past? What stops you? Who stops you? Decide that it, or they, or both, will not determine your destiny anymore!! When we all leave “Coronaville” let us go on into new realms of faithful obedience and increasing fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God.

Wisely use this time to deal with those “gods of Egypt” that desire to keep you enslaved, and hear the Passover call to rise up and leave. Go where you have never gone before! Do what you have never done before! Become who you have never been before!
Remember Jesus taught us that “Everyone who is born of the Spirit is like the wind. You don’t know where the wind came from or where it is going” (John 3:8). When God called Abraham, in whose spiritual footsteps we are following (Romans 4:16), to leave his home, he left “not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews11:8).

Several years ago, we received this prophetic word in Minnesota. The Lord said, “You are going into uncharted waters where no one has gone before.” Of course, when you hear something like that, you just keep it in your heart and test it. About six months later, I was ministering in the UK, and at the end of a meeting a sister had a prophetic word for us. The Lord said, “I have the charts, and where you are going, I have already been.” Janet and I were amazed and knew exactly what this word meant, as it confirmed and completed what was said to us months earlier in another part of the world.

I believe the Lord is now saying to the whole Body of Christ, that “You are going into uncharted waters, where you have never been before, but I have the charts, and where you are going, I have already been.” This is the time for each of us to reset the sails of our life of faith and move into those “uncharted waters.” If you don’t do it now, when will you ever do it? Live your life with no regrets, no buried gifts, talents, or callings.

FREE FROM THE SPIRIT OF RELIGION

Some years ago, the Lord told me that He was “going to deliver the Body of Christ from the Spirit of the Christian Religion.” When He spoke that to me, I saw a picture in my spirit of a small country church with a pitched roof and a tall steeple. As I watched, the church was split in half by a huge tree emerging from the base of the building and breaking the building in two.

I believe the Lord is calling His people to get free from anything, or anyone, that seeks to intimidate, manipulate, and control them. Do not let any beliefs or people stop you from launching out into your personal deep waters, into your own “uncharted waters, where you have never gone before!”

Use this time at home to go before the Lord in prayer, worship and study of the Scriptures. You can freshly hear His voice, so that when the virus is defeated and life returns to “normal,” you don’t return to your “old normal”!

Launch out and take the risk of faith! As you do, you will learn, change, grow, and bear new fruit. You will go where you have never gone before! You will do what you have never done before! You will become who you have never been before! You will bear new fruit for the Kingdom of God and will stand before a smiling Jesus hearing Him say to you, “Well done….” (Matthew 25:20-23; Luke 19:16-19).

My offer to mentor you toward this goal……If, as you read this, something in your spirit is connecting with me and you think that I can be a mentor to you in your pursuit of God’s purposes for your life, email me, and we can begin to discuss how that process can
unfold.

Shalom and Blessings
Dr. Howard & Janet Morgan


howard-morganDr. Howard Morgan is a Messianic Jewish prophetic teacher whose anointed, insightful, and humorous ministry is inspiring, empowering and equipping believers around the world. He is a gifted communicator who is able to present Scriptural truths clearly and precisely, so that the principles of the Kingdom of God are plainly understood and easily applied. He and his wife Janet have over 40 years of ministry experience. They were pastors in New York City for eleven years and have been in full time travelling prophetic and teaching ministry since 1987. In addition to their teaching and writing ministry they are actively mentoring leaders and discipling believers at all stages of spiritual growth. They have an intense passion to see the entire Body of Christ come to spiritual maturity and fruitfulness, as well as a vision to see the Church restored to her Hebraic Roots, and to her Biblical relationship and responsibility to the Jewish people. For more about Dr. Morgan and his ministry, please visit his website, www.HMMin.com You may contact him at Drm@Hmmin.com