Christmas time again? Wow, another year seems to have just flown by. This means its time to give my end-of-the-year update to our friends and supporters so here goes!
First, Melanie and I want to thank you for praying for us and for the financial support you’ve shared. With direction and power from God and with your prayers and gifts, we’ll touch more lives in 2008 than ever before. The crux of who we are and what we do is found in our mission statement.
“We exist to (1) see the lost saved and (2) see the Church changed by the power of God!”
We continue helping to care for her aging parents. Many of you understand the stress and responsibility involved and I ask that you particularly remember Melanie in prayer. Hardly a day goes by that she doesn’t spend several hours working on her parent’s concerns.
Papa, Grandchildren and Maggie!
As all of you who are grandparents know, it is hard to effectively express the joy of watching your children’s children grow and mature. We have been especially blessed to have lived in close proximity to our grandkids all of their lives and have forged a strong bond with them. What a blessing it is to watch them develop into healthy and happy young people. The biggest joy is the mutual love that they share with us for the Lord Jesus.
LIVE “TAKE A STAND!” SEMINARS
The seminars continue to be the main thrust of our ministry. In 2007, I ministered over 200 times in local churches and conferences nationwide.
In 2008, I am already scheduled to address several conferences and Sunday School conventions including those in the San Francisco Bay Area, Charlotte, NC, Peoria, IL and Los Angeles.
There is not space here to relate to you the events that touched my heart out on the road this year. Right now, I am thinking of a beautiful 14 year-old girl who gave her heart to Jesus after I ministered in a service not long ago. Little did I know that as I prayed with her to receive Christ that just hours before, buckling under the pain of past abuse, she had severely slashed her own legs with a knife and had begun writing a suicide note. As I preached on the overcoming victory available to the Christian that morning, I stopped repeatedly reiterating that the Holy Spirit was “speaking directly to someone to completely surrender to God.” She did just that and though Satan hasn’t given up, she is now surrounded by caring, praying Christians who have stepped up to disciple her. I’m told that she is making remarkable progress as the Lord continues to heal her wounded heart and take control. Praise God!
INTERNET – NEWSLETTERS - MATERIALS
Our website (www.ericbarger.com) continues to serve thousands of “hits” or page views monthly. We know of people from at least 20 countries who are now utilizing the hundreds of pages of documentation, research and articles online there.
Besides wanting to re-shoot and update a couple of our older titles, I am planning several new DVD videos.
The tentative titles include:
“The Dangers of the Emergent Church”
“Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses at Your Door”
“How to Know You Are Called by God”
Our Email Updates and printed Take a Stand! Reports go out to around 8,000 now too. Virtually every day I personally dialog with Mormons, Masons, Muslims, New Agers, Harry Potter fans, witches and other Christians - all seeking answers (I Peter 3:15). Many who email us are from third world nations and tell us how valuable our website and email updates are to them.
Recently several websites and email lists have picked up and broadcast my articles. They include The Christian Worldview Network/Worldview Weekend, The Revelation Files and Wiki-Bible.com.
As you can imagine, not everyone who reads what I write likes what they see. If people are looking for milk toast religion without strong biblically based opinion, then this ministry is not for them. But just as in the past, when I have written about Spiritual Warfare, Cults, Liberalism, Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive, Harry Potter, etc., I promise to continue in 2008 with more of the same as God places particular issues on my heart.
WHERE WILL YOU PLANT YOUR
As I close, I am reminded of an email sent by one of several hundred of people that we personally corresponded with this year. Here is the transcript. Please note what I have underlined in it.
“Hello, I just saw your web page and thought I'd write to you and expose your errors about Harry Potter. I've read them all and loved them. The books even got me thinking to use a Ouija board to contact Christ, which I did several times. How can this be bad? My older brother thinks you are "old school" and just don't get it. The occult is just another way for us to connect with God. Who are you to tell God what he can and can't do? I think Harry Potter gives kids something to aspire to. He teaches us to think for ourselves, not always trust parents or adults. Harry is sort of like Jesus too. A lot actually. Harry made mistakes just like Jesus did but then always becomes a better person for it. So, I hope you're now able to see that Harry Potter isn't something we Christians should hate. They are great books and you should read them! - Damian”
Like Damian, so many kids are seeking spiritual experiences in very dangerous places. I have communicated with Damian twice now and when I receive letters like this it makes me wonder how many more Damians are reading at our website and how many more we need to reach for Jesus’ sake? The great thing is that Damian and others are reading at our website, coming to our seminars, being challenged by my books and DVDs and hearing the words of eternal life! The critical part is that Melanie and I cannot do it alone.
I don’t think I need to tell you how needed a ministry like ours is in these days. With the year ending, I am asking two things of you. (1) Make as substantial a gift as possible to our ministry right now and (2) consider supporting our work on a monthly basis.
Some who will receive this have benefited from and supported Take A Stand! Ministries for some time. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP AS WELL! We’re accomplishing an important mission for the Kingdom of God and we invite you to play an ongoing part with us in 2008 and until the Lord returns for His Bride.
Merry Christmas and thanks so much. May the coming year be bountiful as together we bare fruit for Him!
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