Anchor

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  • Make a Difference

    A compilation

    Audio length: 9:14
    Download Audio (8.4MB)

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.—Margaret Mead

    This world is not our permanent home

    Paul taught us that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”1 “Citizenship” (politeuma) is derived from polis, the Greek city-state. The territory of Greece is so mountainous that such population centers evolved, each independent and distinct from all others.

    Paul’s assertion shows that our home, the place and people where we belong, is “in heaven.” His statement also means that our salvation is not from earth, since “we await a Savior” from heaven.

    As a result, “this world is not our permanent home.”2 Why, then, does our Lord leave us here? He sent his Son to die so we could live with him in paradise.3 Why would he pay such a price for us to be in heaven and then leave us on earth?

    The answer I learned during my first years as a Christian was simple: he wants me to win as many people to Jesus as I can. I was told that God may ask me in heaven, “Who did you bring with you?” He saves us and leaves us on earth so he can use us to save others.

    This is true, of course. But there’s even more to the story.

    If God cares only about our souls, his Son would not have healed so many bodies. … He would not command us to care so personally for the hungry, the impoverished, the sick, and the imprisoned.4

    We are to engage in the issues of our culture because God cares about every dimension of our culture. We can save babies through pro-life ministries. We can feed the hungry and care for the sick and serve the imprisoned. We can make a difference on earth that is celebrated in heaven.—From the Denison Forum

    *

    Be the change that you wish to see in the world.—Mahatma Gandhi

    Change your part of the world

    If sometimes you’re discouraged with the world and the way it is, don’t give up! We read that usually governments, armies, wars, and great powers, great empires, change history and the face of the earth. So sometimes we’re discouraged and think, “Well, who am I? What can I do?” It all seems so hopeless and impossible! It looks like there’s nothing that one person can do to change things for the better, so what’s the use of trying; what’s the use of doing anything? And we’re tempted to just give up.

    We may not be able to change the whole country—maybe we’ll not even be able to change our town, and certainly not all its citizens—but I know one thing: Day after day and year after year we have been planting the seeds of truth and God’s love in the hearts of others, and some of it is bound to spring forth into new lives.

    We may not have changed the whole city or the whole country, much less the whole world, but we’ve changed a part of it. If you have changed one life, you have changed a part of the world, and you have proven that there is hope that it all can be changed! If one life can be changed, it shows that there’s a possibility that more lives can be changed and many lives can be changed and whole areas can be redeemed and the world can be changed, starting even with one person, just one person—maybe you!

    You say you can’t change the world? Well, why don’t you try changing your part of the world. Change your world, the world of your own life—your family, your home, your neighbors, your town—and let’s just see what might happen.

    You say, “What’s the use? I can’t do anything; I’m just one person. Who am I?”

    Let me tell you, you can begin today to change the world! Some of you already have. Some of you have already changed a great deal of the world, the world of your own life, your own family, your own home, the lives and families and homes of others around you, your community, your town, and the countries to which you have gone.

    You can’t change the world? Oh yes you can! And if you’re faithful, God is going to reward you one of these days when you finally come to your reward. He’s going to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of the Lord!”5

    “Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap if ye faint not.”6

    Start today! Change your own life, change your home, change your town, change your country! Change the world!—David Brandt Berg

    *

    I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world—into the black places in the hearts of men—and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.—Alexander Papaderous

    Published on Anchor February 2020. Read by Reuben Ruchevsky.
    Music by Michael Dooley.


    1 Philippians 3:20.

    2 Hebrews 13:14 NLT.

    3 John 3:16.

    4 Matthew 25:35–40.

    5 Matthew 25:21.

    6 Galatians 6:9.

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Directors’ Corner

News, writings and thoughts from TFI Directors

  • The Fire and the Wind!

    Unless you have personally faced a catastrophic event, it can be difficult to grasp the intensity of these experiences and how small and powerless man becomes in the face of them. Witnessing such events firsthand can be a terrifying experience, because for many of the people directly involved, other than through a God-given miracle, there is little chance of escape.

    Along with the accounts of the devastation caused by such events also come many tremendous accounts of supernatural protection, guidance, and the hand of God shielding His children in miraculous ways.

    During such times of dire events, many experience an immediate need to cry out to God or Jesus, because they come to the realization that there is nothing that they themselves can do. As a result, many who have experienced God’s intervention to protect them in the midst of such desperate situations have found their lives changed in a moment.

    With the fires that have been raging in Australia for months now, many have found themselves trapped in situations where, but for the grace of God, they would not have survived.

    Throughout the parts of Australia where these recent fires have raged for months, there are a scattering of towns and small cities surrounded by hundreds or thousands of square miles of forest. Many of the trees are various types of eucalyptus, or what they call gum trees. Their sap is so flammable that in a fire a tree can literally explode like a bomb, sending flaming shards of wood for some distance and spreading the fire rapidly.

    They burn so hot that such fires can sweep through large areas at high speeds, leaving little more than ashes in their wake. Yet, in spite of such terrifying power, God is still with His children, keeping them in the hollow of His hands. Nothing can stand against the limitless power of our loving God to save and protect.

    Someone sent me an account of one such situation that a man found himself in. The town where he was located had been cut off from escape by land as the fires came toward them from three directions. The people of this town found themselves trapped by fire on three sides, and on the other side lay the ocean. They faced near inevitable death from the massive walls of fire approaching. The rescue teams were trying to reach many such places by water, but they were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation.

    Here is this man’s firsthand account, told in the midst of the inferno.

    * * *

    Well, conditions are a hell of a lot better than they were. It doesn’t look like midnight like it was just before. There’s actually some light coming through the smoke. There’s obviously the danger of spot fires, and the fires are running up in a northerly direction back towards the Prince’s Highway. I know that much.

    But before, it was... It was... Mate, you just don’t want to go through something like this. It was terrifying!

    And I’m pretty... I’m a bit emotional still but I’m grateful that our animals are alive and that our guests that were with us are safe. We’ve stayed together. And, yeah, it was horrendous!

    I want to give God the glory because, mate, I have a good friend, ex-firie [firefighter], well, former head of the fire department here in Mallacoota, Graham Clarke. He’s been giving me the heads-up.

    He’s in Canberra, but is totally surrounded by fire where he was, and he was good enough to ring me and he said, “David, it’s at the airport.” So, I knew where the fire was. The airport in Mallacoota is five or seven minutes away in the car. I knew it was hitting town because the sirens started up.

    You could actually hear it roaring towards town. You could actually hear it. I had been told that by Graham, the fire chief. He told me, “You’ll hear it, David. You’ll hear the sound.” We heard gas cylinders exploding, which means it’s people’s homes being destroyed.

    At that point, I started praying. I was an atheist, but I was praying to God, praying to Jesus, “Turn the wind!”

    You wouldn’t believe it, but I’m going to tell you the honest-to-God truth. It pushed this thing back against itself. Literally, we felt the wind come from off the beach; it shouldn’t have, but it did. It was unbelievable. It stopped after five minutes, and then probably 20 minutes after that, the breeze was blowing up to a gale and then the sky went red.

    We thought it was a fire front about to run over the top of us, but it was, I believe, God’s intervention, absolutely, through prayer, because the redness was the sun coming through the smoke, not the fire about to destroy, you know, obliterate all of us down here. Because there’s nothing [the firefighters] could have done if that had happened. It doesn’t matter how many fire trucks you have.

    Basically, there’s a rock wall [at the evacuation point on the beach]. So, it’s the only thing to protect you from the radiant heat. They wanted us to get into the water against that wall. It’s got oysters and stuff that can cut you, not the greatest thing to do, but it will save you from radiant heat, it’s a barrier. So, we were ready to jump into the water. And everyone was all along the edge, ready to go, when that sky went red. It looked like what we’d been looking at when we saw the fire coming, but it was God stopping it! Yeah, we’re just grateful to be alive.

    * * *

    The husband of the woman who sent this account to me managed to find this man’s phone number and called him to let him know that they were praying for him. He didn’t have much time to talk because he was still hard at work helping in the rescue operations.

    He explained that a wall of flames 60 feet high was coming at him and the other people who’d fled to the beach. He started praying quietly but then started praying bolder and bolder, until he was shouting out his prayer.

    That’s when an east wind began and blew the fire away. People around him could hear him praying, and he didn’t care. The bolder he got, the stronger came the answer. “Come boldly before the throne of grace.”

    He’s been on BBC World Service, Jerusalem Times, all over the world.

    * * *

    David often quoted, “It takes an impossible situation for God to do a miracle.” God is able to work in answer to our prayers beyond anything we can do.

    What’s so wonderful is that even when we actually get to personally experience His miracles or hear about them, those physical manifestations are often dwarfed by the spiritual victories that take place, as in the case of this man who was an atheist before this experience.

    Something even greater than the physical events happened to him, something life-changing that will last forever. Through his brush with death, he discovered the One who could transform his life for eternity. What greater miracle could you ask for than that?! I believe it was due to many people, not only in Australia but around the world, who were praying for those miracles!

    “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”—Psalm 46:2–3

    “And Jesus looking upon them saith, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.’”—Mark 10:27

    “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”—Psalm 32:7

     

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