"Now in our 24th year of standing for truth!"
Eric & Melanie Barger
Ministry Update - April 26, 2007
Update from the Road
As I write I am pulled over at a Starbucks just off of I-70 east of Columbus, Ohio. This is day 16 of 19 on the road. I have wanted to communicate and update those on our list for several days but my schedule has kept me from sleeping enough let alone taking the time needed to put together an email newsletter. Since January, I have been as busy as I ever remember in all of our years of ministry...but its all good. The single exception in our lives right now continues to be the health of Melanie's parents. (I know I've asked before but please remember to pray for them and for her as she cares for them during these days.) On a really positive note, I'm glad to have spent some time with my Dad and step Mom between ministry stops here in the eastern U.S. and have found them in great health and good spirits.
As I have been driving through West Virginia and Ohio this afternoon, I have had several things on my mind to share with you. So, this became the time and place to pull over and jot some of my thoughts down.
I've got another 300 miles to go today but with the Lord Jesus, travel by car (in my case by minivan) has become a worship experience that I treasure and actually look forward to. He is so good to me as I go on my way and as it is for so many of God's servants who travel in ministry, I've found sweet communion with God at 70 MPH, alongside highways, in parking lots and even in the corner of a coffee shop. By the way this trip isn't near being complete quite yet. My destinations for the next few days are Missouri on Thursday and Friday, S. Arkansas on Saturday and Sunday, Dallas on Monday, Seattle on Tuesday and then a quick journey to Los Angeles next Friday through Sunday. Of course, I need your intercession every time you think of me.
God bless you and thanks for your care and support to meet the financial needs of ministry!
STUDENTS STAND FOR CHRIST
First, last Friday when I gave my testimony at a Christian school in Syracuse, NY, God drew at least FOURTEEN students to make public stands for Jesus and invite Him to be Lord and Savior of their lives! What a tremendous blessing! Also, God had clearly shown me a week earlier that He had already been speaking directly to some of the kids who would be present in that service about surrendering their lives to enter full time Christian ministry. Please pray for the students, teachers and parents who God touched during all five of the sessions at the school in Syracuse, especially those in that dynamic chapel service on Friday. It is ministry times such as this that makes all of the travel and long hours worthwhile. (We are dedicated to go - it's our mission - but please remember that it is your prayers for us and your continual financial support that allows us be in the right place at the right time and see lives changed in Jesus' name!)
EVEL KNIEVEL CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY!
Next, everyone of you should take a few moments and watch the testimony and baptism of world famous stunt motorcyclist, Evel Knievel. Besides the awesome news and apparent authentic conversion of Knievel, I was completely taken aback by the outwardly evangelical approach of Dr. Robert Schuller as Knievel gave his testimony to the congregation at the Crystal Cathedral. Though the discussion was lacking in depth it was inspirational and indeed EVANGELISTIC. The "Hour of Power" broadcast marked a blessed and refreshing change from the liberalized self-help teaching that has been the trademark of Dr. Schuller's ministry in recent years. As critical as I have been when privately asked for my synopsis of Schuller's ministry in times past, I need to commend what I witnessed during this broadcast. I believe many of you will agree that the entire tone of the presentation - including the mention of sin and salvation several times - is reason to rejoice. We need to pray that it continues in the ministries of those at the Crystal Cathedral. Praise the Lord!
Access the video of Evel Knievel at: http://www.hourofpower.org/video/video.cfm
CHURCHES OMIT "LORD" FROM VOCABULARY
On a completely opposite note, the end-time apostasy continues to accelerate at breakneck speed.
The Arizona Daily Star ran an article on April 22 that illustrates the depths which those who claim to be Christians have fallen.
Ignoring history, tradition, or even a basic understanding of Greek and Hebrew and showing zero fear of God, liberal church leaders are proudly omitting the word "Lord" from their sermons. It would be one thing if those doing so were ignorant or had little access to materials to understand the fallacies of what they are saying but these are seminarians! The claim is that the use of the word "Lord" elevates Jesus to an unworthy position; that Jesus never intended for anyone to worship Him and that He is merely a wonderful sage and mentor - instead of King of Kings. Many liberals are on a mission to avoid any terms that would equate Jesus and power. This is because they are being subtly directed by their father, the Devil, who has for eons wanted to usurp the rightful position of God Almighty. Tragically, the majority who hold to these absolutely false and outrageous ideas learned them in an alleged Bible school classrooms where the Bible was not believed and where Jesus is not revered as Savior and Deity. Now, and for several decades they have been spreading their poison from pulpits and calling it "Christianity."
As I have been chronicling for years, these are surely NOT Christians regardless of their claims. They are apostates, heretics, deceivers and also they are quite frankly, liars. As you read the article which is entitled "Lord is Fading in Some Churches" I suggest that you reflect on a couple of passages from Luke 19 and II Timothy 3 and 4. (I seem to find myself quoting these last two passages from the Apostles Paul a great deal in these days.)
"...and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."
- Luke 19:35-40
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
- II Timothy 3:1-7
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
- II Timothy 4:3-4
Read the Arizona Daily Star article at: http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/printDS/179570
YU-GI-OH DRAWS YOUNG MINDS INTO MYSTICISM
The following is from the 2006 addendum of my book (co-authored with David Benoit) "Entertaining Spirits Unaware: The End-Time Occult Invasion."
Back in 2000, when David and I finished the manuscript that eventually became Entertaining Spirits Unaware, the Japanese cartoon invasion was in full swing. Fueled by fast action storylines of mystery, monsters, dragons, spells and incantations its popularity among boys five to ten had helped the industry grow to multi-billion dollar strength. Leading the way was the Pokémon cartoon and assorted card sets, games and other merchandise. But now things have changed.
Though having been the one time runaway leader of the genre and responsible for much of the astounding popularity, by 2005 the yearly income from the Pokémon trademark had dropped to a mere $450 million dollars worldwide. Industry journals referred to this as “fading” though it is hard to imagine a $450,000,000 revenue stream as in some way insignificant. Still, sales attributed to Pokémon are indeed down from a four-year peak in the late 1990s which raked in over $15 billion dollars worldwide. This void was partially created and then conveniently filled by a new comer in kid town which has captured the minds and hearts of young fantasy and gaming enthusiasts around the globe. Fueled by funding from their parents, the Yu-Gi-Oh! phenomenon has now infiltrated the spiritual lives of millions of unsuspecting kids with overt occult acts, imagery, terms and symbolism. In less than 50 years, our children’s entertainment has evolved from Lassie, Buck Rogers and Mighty Mouse to a steady stream of gratuitous violence and witchcraft.
Based on the success the company experienced with Pokémon, Japanese anime cartoon creator Konami issued the master distribution license for Yu-Gi-Oh! to the marketing firm 4Kids Entertainment and Yami Yugi and his friends began to capture a large and loyal viewing audience in North America in fall of 2002 when the cartoon debuted on the now defunct WB network. In 2001, 4Kids had already awarded Mattel, Inc. (the world’s largest toymaker) the master toy license for Yu-Gi-Oh and as the cartoon began airing five days a week Pokémon audiences were ready for something more substantial to titillate and hold their interests. Moving millions of kids into the next satanic realm of conditioning, Yu-Gi-Oh! has taken the cartoon, gaming and card collecting worlds by storm. (Read entire chapter here)
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