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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 

August 2017

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Charles H. Spurgeon Insight

2 Samuel 23:1-5 “Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, And the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: For this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”    

Spurgeon comments:

“I think we must read this verse again; perhaps there is some father here who is growing old, or some mother upon whom years are multiplying. May these last words of David be such as your last words may be! ‘Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure for this is my salvation, and all my desire.’

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”                                                            

Martin Luther’s Psalm

Spurgeon writes that Psalm 46 is often called Martin Luther’s Psalm. Whenever there was any great trouble, Luther used to say, “Let us sing the forty-sixth Psalm together, and then let the devil do his worst.”

Martin Luther writes in stanzas 3 and 4 of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God:

“And tho’ this world with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us; We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thro’ us. The Prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, For lo! His doom is sure, One little word shall fell him. That word above all earthly pow’rs, No thanks to them abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours, Thro’ Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindreds go, This mortal life also: The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever. Amen.”

Heart Attack

On Tuesday, May 2 I was working hard to cultivate my humble gardens around the house when I realized that I was suddenly becoming weak, dizzy and experiencing pain in the back of the arms and chest. My legs felt as though they were going to give out of me, so, I proceeded to find my wife across from our home, cleaning in the Director’s House. I called her name and laid down on a sofa where she found me. She immediately called for Joshua who was weed-wacking nearby and in moments he drove me quickly to the Brandywine Hospital. Within a few short minutes, I was rushed into surgery for life-saving procedures to my heart.

Though not detailed, this is a ‘nutshell’ of my reality, since the opening of May. Within three days, I was back home in my own bed; and now, already having experienced several weeks of recovery, work and reflection, I enter the continuing challenge of our callings-in-Christ Jesus. 

I realize that I took lots of space to share vital truths from God’s sacred word. For me, this is the best thing I can do for you, and for my own joy! I constantly dwell in every hopeful line of every scripture and I know that there is a river that flows from my God that makes me glad and causes me great refuge and peace of heart! I, as you, am witness to the sobering local, national and world news! My life is immersed in daily ‘griefs to bear’ and yet, I rejoice and truly rest myself in the God of Jacob!

Do I really need to tell you all of our burdens and challenges? By now, you either embrace us in our heart-cries or you have chosen not to come alongside. We face the overwhelming cries of prisoners, law enforcement leaders, destroyed families, costs of operating a camp and supporting a staff, and we labor to be good stewards of every blessing God has given to us. I weep over our nation’s horrific divisions, and find myself wondering ‘what is really the fake news.’ I’m not untouched by ISIS, North Korea, Iran, or Israel; nor, am I untouched by the increase of drug-related-deaths, spiritual indifference of many and the compromises of the household of faith. Our Fourth Sunday Night Sermon Series addresses such concerns and cries-of-the-heart.

If you would ask me what would make me most happy...I would answer: That we survive another overwhelming summer of ministry to children and youth at the Camp at Old Mill and that churches respond to our needs for ‘meal sponsors’ and exciting support of our Fourth Sunday Night Meetings! I seek willing workers...use the contact details below.

If you are a pastor and reading this and you have no Sunday Night Meetings in summer, would you please post the 6pm Solemn Assemblies that will gather at the Camp at Old Mill? We’d be greatly encouraged by your support! I can assure you; our preachers come with urgency and a timely message from God’s Word!

Please contact me to discuss our real needs and your concerns!

Rejoicing in Those Who Share in Our Labors!

Jack Crans

2 Timothy 4:1,2

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Fourth Sunday Night Sermon Series

I am rejoicing to share with you the upcoming Fourth Sunday Night Meetings at Camp at Old Mill at 6:00 pm on June 25, July 23 and August 27

Our speakers include (in order):

• Chaplain Kevin WilliamsBilly Graham Emergency Response Logistics Manager

• Dr. Chris Gnanakan, Executive Director of Outreach to Asian Nationals/Professor of Global Studies/Theology at Liberty University

• Dr. Charles Ware, President, Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis

• Dr. Jim O’Neill, President, Next Generations Leaders Conference (formerly, Executive Director of Association of Baptists for World Evangelization (ABWE).

What a joy it would be if many of our supporting churches and friends would plan now to make these evenings a special focus and fellowship night for the summer of 2017!

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Pray For...

• Costs of Upgrades and Summer Programs for marginalized children, youth and families. (A $20,000 challenge!)

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Mark Your Calendar

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

• 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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