To hear more from Dr. Leon Stutzman, click above.
The Theory of Everything
Have you ever said, “I wish I knew then what I know now?”
I have and that’s why I wrote “The Theory of Everything” and developed the website www.docstutzman.com. Because I know now what I didn’t know then and I want to help you to maximize your potential in life and ministry.
If you don’t know me you may be asking, “How qualified is this guy?” The short answer—“Very”.
I’ve had almost fifty years of ministry—the last forty-two have been extremely successful. I’ve build two significant church, planted others, preaching in some of the largest churches in America (and some of the smallest too!). I’ve seen the supernatural, made some great connections, earned a few degrees, and even been certified as a life coach.
Speaking of that—I wanted the certification for validations so I had a friend reach out to a well know, well respected, Christian behavioral company with my requests and they responded by saying, “We don’t normally do that but we know of Dr. Stutzman so we will.” The certificate hangs on my wall.
Read the book. Visit the website. Every week I blog and vlog insights and exercises that will help you to succeed in life and ministry. And did I mention that the book is free to U.S. pastors?
The great question for Christians is this: “How should we live?”
* some say: confident, aggressive, in full control of every event
* others say: passive, fatalistic, meekly enduring whatever comes
Both views are wrong! We cannot reign over life: for many things happen to us that we can neither avoid nor control (1 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 6:4,5; 11:23-28; etc). But neither should we fall under life – as though we are nothing better than helpless victims of fate, which would indeed be contrary to scripture.
Paul had a better perspective, expressed in his remarkable phrase, “We reign IN life by Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:15-17)
He means that the man or woman of genuine faith should be able to –
* complete all that lies in the will of God
* grasp every promise that is available
* make every event work for our good and God’s glory
But this requires us to fulfill certain powerful principles –
CONFRONT YOUR HIDDEN FEARS
The great enemy of this royal life is fear, which is the remorseless preventer of faith. You cannot find victory, good health, prosperity, or gain mastery over Satan, while fear lurks within. Every fear must be confronted and ruthlessly cast out!
“Fear is nothing but surrender of the helps that come from reason.” (Wisdom 17:12)
So discard all dread (except the fear of God) and let faith fill your heart as you live in expectation only of the good things that come from the Father’s hand.
CONFIRM YOUR ROYAL PRIVILEGE
Notice the contrasts Paul draws in our text between Adam and Christ – Adam gave us his “trespass” (mentioned 6 times); but Christ gave us his “grace” (mentioned 6 times). And in that grace we are able to assume the mantle of royalty, for are we not God’s royal priests in Christ? (1 Peter 2:9)
Think about that for a moment. There is something awesome about a monarch who knows who he (or she) is, and knows that he has a divine right to the throne. Like true kings then, we should seize our royal title and stand in the knowledge that the blood of the King of kings is in our veins!
People fail to do this because they feel like usurpers; their reaction to the good news is like Saul’s (1 Samuel 9:21; 10:1,20-22). But contrast that with David, whose origins were much more humble than Saul’s, yet he embraced the word of God, boldly embraced his new royal title and went from strength to strength.
CLAIM YOUR PRIESTLY ACCESS
Israel’s ancient Tabernacle had three parts ‒ the outer court, the holy place, and the holy of holies (where the glory of God hovered over the golden lid of the Ark of the Covenant). Using the Tabernacle as a symbol of Christian life, the idea is often promulgated that most Christians dwell in the “outer court” and never managed to advance into the most holy place. Indeed, it is said that we must stir ourselves and “break through” into the “holy of holies,” so that we can live in the presence of God.
But that is heresy!
Under the law of God no one could enter the holiest except by divine right. If anyone tried to force his/her way into the sacred place, one of two things happened –
* either they met with instant death (by God’s hand or by the temple guards);
* or else they found nothing!
We are God’s royal priests! We don’t have to “break through” to God because we have already been invited to step right up to his throne in Christ. The way into the holiest is already wide open for everyone who believes! So set yourself firmly against any teaching that denies your right of instant access to the throne of God simply by the precious blood (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:19-23). Just speak the name of Jesus and step joyfully up to the very footstool of the Almighty!
CLASP YOUR PROPER AUTHORITY
No monarch has authority until he/she has actually ascended the throne. Does that disqualify us? No! For two reasons – first: we are already enthroned with Christ, who is, as it were, our proxy; and second, an ancient monarch was expected to be absent from the throne, out on the battlefield, whenever the kingdom was under attack – but with no loss of authority!
Remember too that a naked monarch, or even one dressed in rags, cannot behave regally. Satan uses the same principle! He either strips our royal garment from us, or persuades us to cast it aside. But refuse to be robbed of the royal robe of righteousness that was woven for you by Christ at Calvary, and given to you freely by his grace. Clothed with his righteousness, seated upon his throne (Ephesians 2:6), you can act and speak with the authority of Christ against every depredation of the kingdom of darkness! (Mark 11:22-24)
* take mastery over all that we can change, knowing that we don’t have to be slaves to sin, living in fear of death, a victim of disease, at the mercy of every gust of wind in life.
* take mastery in all that you cannot change, for those who know the blood-royal should always, in one way or another, be more than conquerors!
Dr. Chant is author of many books including the book, Royal Priesthood is available for purchase at http://www.booksbyvision.org/product/royal-priesthood/. Please visit our bookstore at www.booksbyvision.org for a thorough list of all the books written by our own Dr. Ken Chant.
Dear Friend of Vision:
Vision Happenings: Egypt and Israel
As I write this brief letter for the Vision Update, I have returned from my trip to Egypt and then Israel, coordinated by Dr. Gail Stathis and Dr. Brian van Deventer. The reason for my excursion was for strategic meetings and teaching on Leadership for our Graduate program in Cairo. I also had the wonderful opportunity of meeting with the President of Bethlehem Bible College in Israel, the President of the University of the Holy Land, and hanging out for a day with Dr. Kim Sam Seong and family at the Dead Sea and their ministry headquarters in Jerusalem. Dr. Kim is our Central World Zone leader, who lives in Jerusalem. Alot is happening in that part of the world (even President Trump was there). There are multiple interpretations for our call to Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, American, Arabic, Jewish and others, and I won’t get into that quagmire here, but suffice it to say that it is a most interesting region of the world, and God is certainly up to some great things, and we get to be a part of it. Thus, I hope you will take some time to watch the video to follow, featuring Dr. Brian and Dr. Gail (and me) as they discuss the region, and also the importance of our preparation for accreditation of our graduate programs..
Also to follow in this update are some wonderful articles from our Director, Dr. Eric Riem in Austria, challenging us on European outreach, and from our dear friend Dr Harold Eberle and his partner and wife Linda, as they share a bit about their ministry and also their incredible book, Victorious Eschatology.
Again, I want to thank you for your faithful assistance in helping us fulfill the Vision of Vision. God is good. Your gifts, prayers and encouragement to me and the staff help sustain us…and bring Glory to the Lord. Blessings, and enjoy the update.
Yours in Christ,
Now it has been a while since we saw each other and so we would like to give a brief insight into our lives. In July 2016, my mother, 95 years old, went to Jesus. At the grave I was able to be glad for her passing happily over the finish line, but on the other hand I miss my parents. It is also startling to think that now we are the next generation to say goodbye to this earth. Yes, I have my parents in soothing memory. I am also happy when I look at the fruits of their devotion to Jesus. Together they have led hundreds, if not more than a thousand people (mostly indirectly) to Jesus. My mother had started with her husband. Pastors and missionaries came forth from 9 children, 34 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren. For example, in 1992, I led a young man to Christ. Today, he is serving in prison ministry. Beside many others one of his converts was a South American. He has been deported and now leads a church of over 200 souls in his country. The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, when it reaches good soil, it will bring forth fruits and become great. I am proud of great people like my parents, may our children experience the same with us. I would like to tell you about our life in the family and the church. Our Lord Jesus is very good to us and we can be grateful to him with all our heart.
As with you, not only are we getting older, but also our children. Nathanja lives with her family in Hagenbrunn and expects our third grandchild. In the picture on the right you can see Samuel and Hanni. Emanuel lives with his Ramona in Wichtrach and is studying in Bern International Studies – he wants to become a diplomat. Gabriel is a social worker in Schwäbisch Hall D and is also a member of “Passion” in Gailenkirchen. Yes, he is in love with a pretty German lady, Janina.
Well, our David is a faithful soul and helps us as youth and worship leader valiantly in the CGWN. In Vienna he is a part-time kindergartener. In addition, he studies for a bachelor’s degree in music production.
Now, to our two boys remaining at home: Robbie has grown eleven years old on 11.12, a tough guy – and still wild, but has a loving heart. At school he shows, according to the teacher, a pronounced social competence. He is a Son of God! In the autumn, he will probably go to the middle school in Strasshof. He does not like to study, but he plays nicely the clarinet and piano. His best friends are our two chickens. Eric has become a friendly boy, nice and smart. The teacher loves him, he too is a child of God, a great joy. He loves to play with perseverance his flute. We are very grateful to God for his physical and cognitive development. From his origins, he carries only a certain disorder of sight.
To our church life. After the evangelical congregation in Strasshof (the city we live) closed down in 2013, now in October 2016 we started the association Christengemeinde Marchfeld. As long as there was a church here, I did not feel compelled to be spiritually active. I was fully covered with my job, the churches and family life, and I did not want to add anything else. However, I had no peace to live in an area with 50’000 people without the possibility to attend a local evangelical church. Now I am very happy that we worship the Lord every Friday in our living room with folks of all the neighboring towns. This is a great beginning of church planting. In these suburbs of Vienna we have mostly families with children. Brigitte’s heart is moved seeing the suffering that often occur in these families, because the parents no longer know how to deal with their children, or divorces cause major catastrophes. Now we are planning for the first time a children’s camp in July 2017. The CGM is supposed to grow and I ask God for a couple to take over the leadership of this community.
Our mission continues to bear fruit in Vienna. The CGWN has become a fairly stable community. Our membership grew to about 50 people. The Bulgarian BCGWN with about 120 members has emerged from it. Because of the Bulgarians, we are currently intensively looking for a bigger building. For about a year they had church services like the “sardines.” But they are “beautifully oiled from heaven.” This work makes a lot of fun.
On Sunday afternoon the Turkish TCGWN meets. Vienna has about 200,000 inhabitants of Turkish descent and I would like to reach them. God loves the Turks! We are currently experiencing a headwind in this group, as an American missionary couple, who has accompanied, has to return to the US in June for seven months because of the visa. Mustafa, the leader died last week because of stomach cancer. There is no church offered in Vienna in Turkish language and with a commitment to reach the Turks. Dear God help us with another leader and give us a breakthrough in reaching Turk Muslim.
Our youngest child is the Kurdish KCGWN, which meets on Saturday afternoon. When a Turkish conflict against Kurds took place in Vienna, my thoughts came to my heart: “Dear Jesus, the Kurds need a church.” This people always comes under the wheels of history. A great nation without land, always strangers in a foreign country. I moved these thoughts further before God. One day a Jordanian from Graz called me and said, “I know Nashat Smo, he is a Kurd and wants to start a church.” We met the family and got to know their precious hearts. They have already built up a community in Syria. They told us a very moving story of how they were saved by Jesus and came to Austria. Here they have now obtained asylum. He told me that to his knowledge this was the first Kurdish community in Europe. The first Kurdish meeting took place two months ago. Praise to the Lord. Nashat the pastor was a book keeper in Syria, now he is making Pizzas, mostly over the weekends, – Lord God he need another job.
There are also changes personally. I felt last year that I was cut up too much with diverse tasks and that I would need more of Jesus. In order to meet the requirements, I absolutely need a new intimacy with God. Our marriage must have its priority, Robbie and Eric, the grandchildren and our older children need my attention, I really love the work at the Salvation Army, but it needs a lot of psychic strength and in addition the care for the churches gets me to the edge of my capacities. For all of us it is always a challenge balancing between the activeness and the resting at His feet. In addition, our physical resources seem to decrease as well. After careful consideration and prayer, I decided to end my work as a social worker at the Salvation Army on February 1, 2017 after 27 years. This was a big step for us, because we never drew money from the churches we founded and this job meant our existence. I continue just as a pastoral counselor in this men’s home for eight hours a week.
I am already looking forward to realize some projects – maybe writing a book. But above all, we want to use time for more communion in worship before God. Our dream is still that we do less and God more, – I think that would be more successful and also healthier.
Be hugged from us and His presence
Erich und Brigitte
(this article was translated from German.)
Dr. Harold and Linda Eberle from Worldcast Ministries sharing from the heart. Click above to hear more.
A biblically-based optimistic view of the future. Along with a historical perspective, Harold R. Eberle and Martin Trench present a clear understanding of Matthew 24, the book of Revelation, and other key passages about the events to precede the return of Jesus Christ. Satan is not going to take over this world. Jesus Christ is Lord and He will reign until every enemy is put under His feet! (See how you can get a discount off this book below.)
Worldcast Ministries & Publishing was founded by Harold and Linda Eberle in 2000. They began their ministry by pastoring a church for six years in the Northwest US, beginning in 1980. After a fruitful season pastoring, Harold felt a call to travel and minister to the larger Body of Christ. Since that time, Harold has become known in churches around the world. He is a popular conference speaker and visiting instructor at numerous Bible Colleges. In 2015, Linda joined Harold on the road full-time, after she retired from 15 years of teaching second and third graders.
About 1/3 of Harold’s energies are invested in foreign nations, while the rest is invested in the USA. He has ministered in dozens of countries, with special focus on three regions. In 1990, he began working in the Philippines helping Pastor Eddie Deita establish a Bible College, facilitating strong leaders on the island of Mindanao. Then in 1996, Harold began spending extensive time in central Africa, where he worked with Dr. Weston Gitonga to establish 11 Bible Colleges in seven countries.
Since 2010, Harold has focused his ministry in the Middle East, where he is working and investing time ministering in the Muslim-dominated areas of the world. Harold and Linda helped build two Bible Schools in the Middle East and have a third one planned to open this year. They are involved with several other projects in other nations as well.
Since 2013, Harold has been recording a 30-minute television program for Isaac TV and Eternal Life Ministries. Linda has been his co-host since 2015. They are having the time of their lives, reading and teaching through the New Testament together.
For more information about the upcoming Worldcast Ministries July 19-22, 2017 in Yakima, WA click here.
Harold and Linda Eberle in Pakistan 2016
Harold has authored over 30 books, dealing with many issues: Church leadership, life-centered Christianity, Kingdom finances, Church history, victorious Christian living, and various areas of theology. His latest book is Father Son Theology-A Systematic Theology for 21st Century Believers. Several of his books are used as textbooks in Bible Colleges and seminaries throughout the world. Harold and Linda have been married for 39+ years and live in Yakima, Washington, US. They raised three children who are grown and living happily on their own.
Our biggest claim to fame though is that we are friends of Dr. Stan’s.
We have a GREAT deal for you!
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Great.. as a Vision Publishing fan you can get a $3.95 discount off the book. But hurry this special is for a limited time only. Click here and use the coupon code VISION.
A Pastors Plight
I was reading an article the other day based upon research done by David Kinnamon of The Barna Group. He provided some interesting statistics on the state of modern pastoring. They include:
*1/3 of Pastors were at moderate to high risk of total burnout (and a lot of my friends have also stated they were worn to a frazzle).
*Happy Pastors see themselves as Leaders and entrepreneurs, not managers and administrators. In fact, most pastors will state that the two things they feel least equipped to do is counseling and administration, and they feel woefully inadequate in terms of leadership and creative project development.
*Only 10% prefer leadership over-preaching/teaching. Perhaps to add insult to injury, when surveyed the reason someone attends a church, preaching was far down the list after worship or music, the children’s or youth ministry, and convenience of service times.
*The average age of a pastor is now in his mid-50’s.
In many ways, the church world in the West is in the midst of a massive transition. Present leadership needs resilience, that is, the ability to withstand the pressures of ministry (real or perceived) and recover quickly from difficult conditions.
Along with resilience (which is not entrenchment), Pastors need to be realistic in regards to the present and future. On the one hand, though our physical strengthen and endurance may wane as we advance in age, we are still vital, often preaching as well or better than ever, certainly more patient, gracious…or at least the potential is there (along with becoming crotchety control freaks!). On the other hand, as spiritual leaders we should have a continuous goal of preparing leaders for the next generation. Thus, when dealing with millennials, this sometimes feels like herding cats, but again we must persevere…keep fighting the good fight of faith, trusting the Lord that he certainly knows what he is doing, and using wisdom as we choose and work with the next generation of leaders.
Of course, Pastors are but (at best) 1/5 of the team members required to equip God’s people for mature Christian living, and probably more than the 5-fold are needed to impart the requisite skills for the next generation of leaders/pastors. So, just food for thought. May God continue to give us grace as we persevere!
In this month’s, update….” High Hopes” by Dr. Ken Chant, Special Report from Dr. Steve Mills, and book of the month from Vision Publishing… “Effective Pastoral Care Ministry In the Local Church”…
When John F. Kennedy began campaigning for the USA presidency in 1959, he adapted the lyrics of a popular song and made it his campaign theme. He rode to victory in 1960 on the wings of that song and became the youngest person and the first Roman Catholic to be elected president. That song was High Hopes, which first appeared in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head.
In the film, it was sung by Frank Sinatra with a group of children, and it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Its key phrase was, “He’s got high hopes!”
The second most beautiful word in scripture, after “love”, is “hope”.
As Paul said, there are three things that will endure forever, “faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). But the second greatest is “hope”, and like the characters in the song, we are a people with
There is a kind of uncertain “low” hope that is fixed upon material things – a better job, swankier car, overseas holiday, more luxurious home, fashionable clothing, and the like.
Such secular hopes have their proper place, but they are never more than a shadow of the real hope that should enthrall our hearts in Christ.
Christian hope is fixed upon sure goals, things that we are certain to attain – victory, wholeness, triumph over death, heaven, the glory of God.
But note: we “hope” for those promised riches only in the sense that they are not yet fully ours ─ although undeniably they will be ours in Christ!
Thus, there is a vast hiatus between secular hope and Christian hope.
The former is threaded with uncertainty; the latter is anchored in the unbreakable promise of God.
Furthermore, this high hope is the very reason for our salvation – “for hope you have been saved” (Romans 8:24).
Most translations are uncomfortable with that rendering, and prefer either “in hope” or “by hope”. But Paul clearly wrote, “for hope.”
We cannot be saved “by” hope, for scripture strongly affirms that we are saved rather by “faith”. Nor can we be saved “in” hope, for this implies some doubt about our salvation, which in fact is utterly secure in Christ.
But we CAN be saved “for” hope ─ that is, God has saved us so that we might become a people filled with hope, high hope, the very highest of hopes, replete with unquenchable optimism!
WE HOPE IN CHRIST
“Hope” is “an expectation that something good will happen”. In our case, that expectation is based upon the irrefragable promise of God.
Hope arises also from our union with Christ and our knowledge that “Christ is in us, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) − and who can tear Christ out of our hearts?
Christian hopes are rooted in many of the hopes given to ancient Israel, yet strangely, although the ancient Jews were indeed rich in hope, based upon their expectation of the Messiah, their language lacked any exact word for it.
By contrast, the New Testament has more than 80 occurrences of “elpis” – for it is only in the gospel that we have any true hope.
Indeed, as we contemplate the Cross, we realize that even our own sins cannot disappoint us of this hope! So, we live “in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised us before the world began” (Titus 1:2).
WE HOPE IN HEAVEN
All true Christians can be described as “looking for that blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
We cannot doubt that Christ will come again, and that every promise associated with his glorious return will be fully ours!
Our assurance of that is bound up with the church, which is his Bride, destined to be raptured spotless and beautiful forever. We not only wait for that prize, but we wait in hope; that is, never doubting that it will indeed be ours on that day!
Nor even in heaven will hope vanish. For in Paradise there will be unlimited opportunities for growth and achievement. And at each level of attainment the next will be confidently anticipated through hope.
WE HOPE IN THE THRONE
“When God wanted to prove for certain that his promise to his people could not be broken, he made a vow. Now we know that God cannot tell lies, so … those promises should greatly encourage us to take hold of the hope that is right in front of us. This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls. In fact, hope reaches behind the curtain and into the most holy place, where Jesus has gone ahead of us.” (Hebrews 6:17-20)
Scripture says that we are already God’s new creation and already enthroned with Christ in the heavenlies at the Father’s right hand.
This is one of those promises that are both wholly true and not yet realized.
Our task is twofold ─ believe fiercely in the truth; and yet never stop reaching out for its actualization in our daily lives (cp. Exodus 23:29-30; Deuteronomy 7:22).
We should never lose hope that we will keep on grasping more and more the reality of who, and what, and where we are in Christ in the heavenlies!
Let us fall a thousand times, still we will cry, “Rejoice not against me my enemy, for though I fall I will stand up again!” (Micah 7:8)
And if at the end of life, we are still face down in the dust, then the resurrection will carry us out of death and defeat and into the perfection of God!
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Newsletter of Lighthouse Outreaches, Inc. Steve and Kath Mills
Life In Kuwait
Kath and I have now been living in Kuwait for a little over 18 months and it feels like home. Recently we moved into a nice quiet neighborhood, so we are no longer bothered by all the construction that surrounded our old place. The church is continuing in a slow steady growth. For our Easter Sunday service we had 132 in attendance. Please be praying for continued growth.
From the 1st through the 4th of May I will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Missional International Church Network (MICN) conference. This will be a great time to interact with leaders of international churches from around the world. It will be good to see some good friends that I have not seen in over a year.
On the 17th of June I will be heading to India to work with Pastor Baskaran who is doing church planting in villages in the Alangulam area of Tamil Nadu. I will also have the privilege of attending their daughter’s wedding. This trip will cost about $900.
Construction continues on the Bible School and Vocational School in Saclepea, Liberia. Please be in prayer with us as we still need about $5,000 to complete this phase of the project. This school is strategically placed between the border of Guinea and Ivory Coast in Northeast Liberia.
Please stand with us in prayer for:
* Continued good health
* Open hearts to the gospel message
* Stability in the Arabian Gulf region
* Safe travel for my upcoming trips.
* An increase in monthly support.
We are in the process of helping one of our church planters in Uganda to
start a pig project that will help support his family and produce income for
future church plants. The project will cost $1000. Stand with us in prayer
for his need to be met.
We are only able to do what we do because of your faithful financial support. Please ask God how you can help us continue to share the gospel across Africa, the Arabia Gulf and beyond. Let me thank you in advance for your generous help. Our offering address is at the bottom of this newsletter.
Be blessed and keep your eyes on Jesus.
Great Commission Fellowship
3600 Manhattan Blvd
Harvey, LA 70085