www.countycorrectionsgospelmission.org

The Contender

"It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3 

June 2017

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The Contender - A Cry From Jack's Heart

“They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs: there is no more prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?...Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.”

Psalms 74:8-10,18

Blasphemy

Most faithful of friends and praying loved ones, please bear with me as I share a few thoughts that seem so rarely spoken in our day. In fact, I wrestled long to write to you.

This is no full study on the word: ‘blaspheme’. This is a missionary’s letter, a brief update on an overwhelming mission and a further revealing of my present perspectives concerning the present darkness we all must be experiencing in some very real way.

In Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) ‘blasphemy’ is a noun. An indignity offered to God by words or writing; reproachful, contemptuous or irreverent words uttered impiously against Jehovah. Blasphemy is an injury offered to God, by denying that which is due and belonging to him, or attributing to him that which is not agreeable to his nature.” If he were writing today, he would surely include every form of ‘media’ that heralds this irreverence. Need I elaborate? I hope not!

Speech and behaviors that reflect contempt for God and for the sacred, consume our media and every form of communication. Does not our heart ache within us when hearing and seeing such contempt for God? Jesus addresses it in Mark 7:20-23: "that which cometh out of man, that defileth the man. From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Perhaps we ought to reintroduce this word into our everyday language, and awaken our hearts to the increased railings against God that are now consuming our entire culture. Though perhaps a different dispensation, Leviticus 24:16 reveals how serious this really is: “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death.”

Perhaps most sobering is the lesson of King David and his own sin of adultery and murder which God clearly addresses to our awakening: “Because of this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child born unto thee shall surely die.”  In the prior verse, David confessed: “I have sinned against the LORD.” You might ask: “Jack, what does all of this have to do with us, today?” Oh, dear ones, 45+ years in this work and how can I fail to observe as noted in Psalm 74:20b: “the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty”.

It is in such ‘dark places’ that we must faithfully hold forth the word-of-life! “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”  2 Corinthians 4:3,4

Such musings have been my constant experience and I thank God for each of you who embrace these sobering concerns with me!  Oh, that we glorify His Name!

Finally

Please pray for us daily; we count on it!  Thank You!  (Ephesians 4:17-24)

Jack Crans (for the Board of Directors, our missionary staff and hundreds of volunteers)

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Joshua Crans

As per addressing ‘darkness’; Joshua and Jordan are continuing forward, with fervent prayers, to launch the new, church plant: Providence Church: Coatesville using the facility of the Bridge Academy Community Center each Sunday evening at 6:00 PM. I know of few who has spent themselves more for Jesus Christ in-the-market-place than Joshua and Jordan. The cost is real in their family and I beg your prayerful support in every way possible. This will be a powerful link to so much work already going forward in Coatesville, no less, in the lives of returning men, women and youth from our county’s prison and youth center.

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Heinrich Botes

Heinrich Botes will be attending and participating in the Fusion Conference at the Billy Graham Center in Asheville, NC. County Corrections Gospel Mission is a formal sponsor of this Heart Cry for Revival initiative. The dates are April 23 - 27 and the costs for attendance, including our sponsor’s fee, will be approximately $1500.00. One thing is certain, one doesn’t work in the realms we labor in, without drawing from the refreshing wellsprings that encourage and seek both repentance and a hoped-for-revival in the nation!

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Jason Jarvis

Jason Jarvis, with assistance from Grant Wise, is coordinating several Work Projects at the Camp at Old Mill including:

(1) a new cooking station for picnic grills; (2) a deck adjoining the newly built ‘snack shack’ and ‘prayer room’; (3) the installation of large windows in the historic barn’s south wall; and (4) the purchase of a new stove in the camp’s kitchen. 

These are all "faith" items. Contact Jason if you need more information or want to offer assistance.

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Chester County Prison

We are so blessed to serve alongside of the administration, staff and residents of the Chester County Prison. Initiatives are underway that will seek a moving of God upon local churches to provide mentors for many of our men and women. Study books are costly and we are asking God for the generosity of new caring friends which might embrace some of the financial load. There are so many wasted hours in prison that could be well spent in ‘independent study’ of God’s Word. I’d gladly discuss the specific literature with anyone who is interested. (Note our contact details below)

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Outreach to Police

I thank God for our increasing, strategic partnerships with police around the world and I am very blessed to share with you that our wonderful partnerships in Arlington, Virginia will graciously be hosting a team of ‘police evangelists’ who will be serving Christ amidst 35,000 police officers who gather in Washington, DC from May 12 - 16.

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Important Dates for Prayer

The following dates are of particular importance, especially for your prayers on our behalf:

• April 23 – 27, 2017: "Fusion" - a Heart Cry for Revival conference at The Cove, Asheville, North Carolina.

• June 19 - 30: Summer Camp at Camp at Old Mill. We need counselors and volunteers to serve in the kitchen. Contact Jason with questions and offers to assist.

• June 25: "Fourth Sunday Night In Summer Months" Sermon Series. 6pm at Camp at Old Mill. Rain or Shine.

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