Tag Archive: society


Four words with the power to change your life.

I’m on my way back !

For those who have been wondering where I escaped to – I’ve been recovering from a few ailment.

Several years ago I came down with a heart problem by the name of “super-ventricular tacycardia.  Forthose who are unfamilar to this ailment it also referred to a racing heart. The first time it hit me was several years back – I was doing nothing ad suddenly my heart rate went to 274 bps. That was followed by three other events; one a record 324 bps.

I took a while for the cardiologist to bring my heart rhytm to a stable rate. Shortly there after I broke two toes. Ad yes it hurt (lol). On top of this I have developed COPD. Followed in Januart of 2018 a stroke followed by a series of mini-strokes.  At this point i life I was being treated for depression and anxiety. It’s been a long 4 years but, as always, God has brought me through  it. Praise be to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is my God and hopefully He’s your God as well.

I ask everyone to remember me in prayer and give to one another encouragement and Godly love. Keep everone in your prayers. There are blessings in doing so.

To all of my friends, brothers and sisters in Christ; may the peace of Christ go with you and may His face shine upon you and yours. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bestow upon you all of His blessings.

Yours in Christ;

Michael

P/S: I will soon get on your comments and questions. Please be patient.

Thank you.

Debt and God’s Plan

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Proverbs 3:1-3

Proverbs 22:7   (Enslaved by Debt)

Personal debt has skyrocketed in our Western culture. Easy credit, a desire for material goods, and an unwillingness to save and wait have led many people down the path of financial bondage. The Bible doesn’t forbid borrowing, but it clearly warns us of its negative consequences. Our verse today describes the borrower as the lender’s slave.

Every dollar you borrow costs you a measure of freedom. Your paycheck is no longer entirely yours; a part of it must be set aside to repay your creditor. As the interest adds up, the financial burden may necessitate longer working hours. For Christians, the obligation to repay debt oftentimes hinders the ability to give to the Lord’s work or help people in need. Instead of getting the first part, God gets leftovers or nothing at all.

The consequences of accumulating debt reach beyond monetary issues. The burden of mounting bills creates emotional and relational stress. In fact, financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. Even our relationship with the Lord is affected when we let our appetite for the world’s goods override our obedience to biblical principles. Although God promises to supply our needs, how often do we jump ahead of Him and provide for ourselves with “easy payment plans.”

The next time you are tempted to charge a purchase that you really can’t afford, stop! Go home and ask the Lord if He wants you to have it. If He does, ask Him to provide it. Then wait. True freedom comes to those who rely on the Lord’s promises instead of their credit cards.

Romans 13:1-8   (Dealing with Debt)

Every citizen has the responsibility to submit to governmental authority. Obeying the laws of the land which do not contradict scriptural commands is an essential part of honoring the Lord. Verse 7 of today’s passage says, “Render to all what is due them.” Just as we are obligated to pay our taxes, we’re also to repay all of our debts (v. 8).

The Lord expects anyone who borrows money to be diligent about making regular repayments. By withholding what is rightfully due, we are guilty of stealing from the lender. Not only that, but we also ruin our testimony for Christ. Since the offense of defaulting on a loan is serious, we need to be diligent about getting ourselves out of debt and staying out.

Perhaps this is hitting close to home. As daunting as the task of debt reduction may seem, you are not alone. God wants you to be financially free, and He will show you the way. However, His method is usually not a fast fix, but a slow and steady approach, which will also effectively train you to avoid future debt. Confess that you haven’t been a good steward of your resources, commit to making some sacrificial changes, and consistently work toward your goal. Then watch the Lord faithfully lead you out of debt.

Does a mountain of debt seem bigger to you than almighty God? If so, your focus is on your own inabilities instead of His faithfulness. For those who turn to the Lord in genuine repentance and surrender, He’ll supply the needed resources as well as the persistence to repay what is owed.

Malachi 3:7-18    (God’s Financial Best)

The multitude of Bible verses that speak about money prove that God is very interested in our personal finances. Because this is such an essential element of our lives, He uses money to train us in stewardship, teach us self-control, and test our obedience to Him.

Perhaps the greatest area of the Lord’s testing involves our willingness to give. Old Testament law commanded financial contributions for upkeep of the temple and support of the Levites serving there. And the New Testament tells believers to regularly set apart a portion of their income for kingdom work (1 Cor. 16:2).

However, fears and excuses sometimes keep us from faithfully carrying out this God-given responsibility. After all, giving away the money we need to pay our bills seems foolish. But the Lord promises overflowing blessings to those who obey Him in this matter. In fact, He invites us to test Him in this to see if He will prove faithful (Mal. 3:10).

By neglecting our responsibility to give to the Lord, we commit four sins. We express unbelief in His integrity and power, ingratitude for all He’s given us, and rebellion against His commands. And since the first part of our income belongs to Him, withholding it amounts to robbing God.

Don’t think that your financial situation will somehow prove too much for God and cause Him to break His promise. The trustworthiness of His Word depends on His character and omnipotence and is unaffected by your monetary challenges. Trust Him and give generously.

Agenda 21: a Documentary

As a Christian and American citizen, this should  be a difficult and troubling view not to be missed. Yet, totally enlightening. If you Love America, this is a MUST SEE film… it will, without doubt, explain what’s REALLY going on in America, and it’s take over.  Why the Administration is pushing so hard their agenda and so much more. A must view for American who love America. Please reblog this to help get the word and truth out to all!!!!!

It seems that one of the hardest things for Christians to remember is that it is not a sin to be pregnant. It’s not a sin to be pregnant out of wedlock. And it’s not a sin to be born to unmarried parents. It is a sin to have sex outside the marriage relationship—and it is just as much a sin for the man as for the woman. But an unbiblical intimate relationship is a much easier thing to hide from critical eyes than a pregnancy and, sadly, less damaging to a family’s reputation in the Christian community.
As disappointing and overwhelming it may be to learn a teenage daughter is pregnant, it’s crucial to keep a kingdom perspective. The sin is done. Whatever influences the teens have been under to lead them to sin can’t be avoided now. This new situation is not about the morality of out-of-wedlock sex or the reputation of a family. It’s about the development of a child. All children are blessings from God and He has a plan for each one (Psalm 139:13-18). Even if the circumstances in which they come may be less than ideal, that child is as precious and loved by God as any other.
The pregnant daughter is also precious to God. The role of parents is to teach and guide their children to live godly lives in whatever they face. This is a prime opportunity to do just that. The girl may be scared, ashamed, and emotional, and it is her parents’ responsibility to help her push past emotion and turn to her Heavenly Father.
Some parents fear that giving their daughter the love and support she needs will encourage the behavior that led to the pregnancy. But, again, being pregnant and giving birth to a child is not a sin, and there are so many other benefits to actively and publicly standing with a pregnant teen. It fosters an environment in which the child is valued as a blessing. It encourages the father to take responsibility without fear. And it makes abortion look like a much less desirable option.
If a family abandons their pregnant teen—even emotionally—she will be much more likely to make harmful decisions. She may think marrying the baby’s father is the only option. She may not know how to take care of her health and that of the baby. Other pregnant teens may see the volatile relationship and keep their own condition secret.
Conversely, the girl will be able to make much wiser decisions about her and her baby’s future if she can rest in her parents’ acceptance and loving guidance. Making this journey more emotionally difficult for her will not encourage clear thinking. Wise parents will help their daughter walk through the options of keeping the child or adoption. It may also be beneficial to involve the father and his family; he needs to take as much ownership as the mother. After careful prayer, parents should be clear about the level of support they can give in raising the child. Make use of Christian crisis pregnancy centers.
Our God is a powerful God who can bring joy and blessing even out of our sin. There may be incredibly tough times ahead for the pregnant teen and her family, but our God is the God who redeems.

Prior to the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973, about 500,000 illegal abortions were occurring per year. By 1975, over 1,000,000 babies were being aborted in the United States. Today, about 1,500,000 abortions occur each year. That’s over 4000 per day, and nearly three per minute!

Ninety-three percent of the abortions in America are for convenience. The mother’s health is an issue only three percent of the time, and the baby’s health is an issue only three percent of the time. Rape or incest are issues only one percent of the time. Ninety-three percent of all abortions in America are performed just because someone doesn’t want a child!

There are four basic types of abortion being performed in America today, while two more types may be added in the near future.

First, there’s the suction type abortion. This is where the unborn child is literally vacuumed from the mother’s womb during the early stages of pregnancy.

The currette-type abortion is where the child is cut from the mother’s womb with a spoon-like object.

A third type is similar to a Caesarean operation. The baby is surgically removed from the mother and allowed to suffocate, because the child’s lungs aren’t developed.

The fourth type of abortion is the Salt Brine technique. With this method, the unborn child is literally “pickled” to death by the injection of a strong salt solution. A few days after the injection the child is still born.

There is currently much debate about partial-birth abortions. This is where a child is partially delivered, then stabbed in the skull to have his or her brains sucked out.

There is also much talk about the RU-486 abortion pill from France, also called “mifepristione” in America. This pill works by inhibiting pregnancy hormones, and is normally used within seven weeks from conception. At the present time, mifepristone is illegal in the U.S., but there is much political pressure to make it legal.

Abortion Is An Act of Murder

In reference to pregnant women, the term “with child” occurs twenty-six times in the Bible. The term “with fetus” never occurs once.

In Luke chapter one, verses 36 and 41, we are told that Elisabeth conceived a “son” and that the “babe” leaped in her womb. God does not say that a “fetus” leaped in her womb! He says THE BABE leaped. This is the exact same word that God uses to describe Christ in the manger AFTER He is born (Luke 2:12, 16). In God eyes, an unborn babe and a newborn babe are the same. They are both living human beings!

Dear reader, please answer a question: What is an “infant?” Get the answer in your mind and keep it there for a moment. Do you have it? Okay, please consider Job 3:16: “Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.” Did you see that? Job referred to unborn children as INFANTS. Not fetuses! Not masses of tissue! INFANTS! In God’s eyes, an unborn child is a living human baby. God never says once that an unborn child is anything less than a human being.

David said in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” He did not say that a fetus was shapen in iniquity and conceived in iniquity. David, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said that HE was conceived. David, not a blob of tissue, was conceived.

The same is the case in Psalm 139:13-16:

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Who was in the womb? David! A literal and living person. The Bible never uses anything less than human terms to describe the unborn.

Notice that in Jeremiah 1:5 we are told that God KNEW Jeremiah:“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

To further confirm the fact that God views the unborn child as a person, please consider Exodus 21:22-23:

“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,”

If the woman has a premature birth and the child lives (“no mischief follows”), then there’s no death penalty. However, if the child dies (or the woman dies) God says the death penalty applies: “thou shalt give life for life.” Why would God require the death penalty if He didn’t consider the unborn child to be a human being?

Friend, like it or not, God says that life begins at conception, and the unborn child is a human being.

But the Bible isn’t alone in declaring this truth. Science also declares that an unborn child is just as much an independent human being as you. The original human cell consists of 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. At no point during pregnancy does the mother contribute any new cells to the child. The original cell divides itself and multiplies to provide development and growth for the child. Scientifically speaking, the child is just as independent at six months before birth as he will be six months after birth. Yes, the mother does provide nourishment to the unborn child, but she also provides nourishment to the newborn child!

At two weeks pregnancy, the “fetus” can move alone. By four weeks the child has limbs, muscle tissue, a heart and heartbeat. Ears, eyes, and small hands are visible by the fifth week. The child responds to touch sensations by the sixth or seventh week. At eight weeks, the baby sometimes tries to take a breath when removed from the mother. At twelve weeks, the child will often struggle for life two or three hours when removed from the mother.

Friend, abortion is wrong because abortion is MURDER!

Abortion Involves the Shedding of Innocent Blood

Proverbs 6:16-17 says that God HATES those who shed innocent blood! Deuteronomy 27:25 says, “Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.”

Who could possibly be more innocent than an unborn baby?! Yet, our society has become so wicked that it condones the slaying of 1.5 million innocent children every year. The Bible says that God HATES people who do this.

Abortion Is A Violation of the Golden Rule

In Matthew 7:12, the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Would it be your desire to suffer and die while someone traps you in a cage and literally tears your arms and legs from your body?

Abortion is a violation of the golden rule.

Abortion Attempts To Destroy A Work of God

“I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” (Ecc. 3:14)

God is eternal, so His work is also eternal. Abortion is an attempt to do away with unwanted people–an attempt to make a liar out of God by bringing an end to His work. However, Jesus said you can destroy a person’s BODY, but not their SOUL (Mat. 10:28). Parent, if you’ve had an abortion, your aborted child is in Heaven right now, because you only destroyed the body!

Abortion Often Brings Shame, Heartache, and Deep Regret

After his sin with Bathsheba, King David confessed these words to God: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (Psa. 51:3) David was living under constant conviction and regret for what he had done. He couldn’t get away from it!

Most women who decide to have an abortion spend the rest of their lives regretting it. Are you thinking about an abortion? I challenge you to visit with some woman who have had abortions. Ask them if they would do it again. Ask them if they have any regrets.

In the book, The Christian and Social Issues, by Tom Wallace, a reference is made to a full page Washington Post ad, dated June 13, 1983. A lady who had undergone a saline abortion six months earlier describes the mental torments that she now suffers every day. She speaks of her “…everyday hell of never hearing a baby cry without crying within myself; counting days to see how old the baby would have been; wondering what contributions my baby would have made to our desperate society; and wondering if there will ever be another chance for motherhood.”

Of the abortion itself, the lady recalls, “…sitting in a crowded waiting room studying each others fearful, anxious faces…signing death certificates for what is very much alive within you…seeing crying women given tranquilizers and sent home to recuperate and try to forget.”

Abortion is wrong because it brings shame, heartache, and deep regret.

Abortion Disannuls A Plan of God

If God allows a child to be conceived, then God obviously has a plan for that child. Mary’s parents didn’t know that she’d give birth to the Savior of the world, but she did. God has a plan for unborn children (Jer. 1:5; Lk. 1:13-17; Gen. 4:25; Jud. 13:3-5), so to abort an unborn child is to stop a plan of God.

Abortion De-values Human Life

God created man to be the highest form of life on earth (Gen. 1:26-28). Human life is very precious to God. In fact, it is so precious that God Himself instituted the Death Penalty for anyone who takes the life of another (Exo. 21:12; Num. 35). God places great value on human life!

However, abortion promotes the message that life is NOT so valuable, and that man can do as he pleases with it. How long will it be before our nation decides that the killing of elderly people and sick people is justifiable? Why stop there? How long will it be before it becomes lawful to kill Bible believers who refuse to conform to the world system? It won’t be as long as you may think (Rev. 13:16-18; Rev. 20:4). Abortion devalues human life, and it pushes our nation a step closer to that wicked day when it becomes lawful to murder innocent people.

Abortion Shows A Lack of Natural Affection

Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:3 that the last days will be characterized by people who lack “natural affection.”

I believe the pro-abortion movement is a perfect example of this. It is NATURAL to conceive a child, grow to love that child, take care of the child during pregnancy, give birth to the child, and then raise the child with the best care possible. That’s the natural process that God has ordained. It is NOT natural to kill the child! To commit such an act is to show a lack of natural affection, which is sin.

Abortion Encourages Sin

“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Ecc. 8:11)

Why will 1,500,000 women have abortions this year? Largely because it has become popular. It is no longer illegal, and it is no longer considered a shameful sin by our society. Every time a woman has an abortion she helps society to become more comfortable with it. She’s advertising it! By her example, she’s encouraging others to commit the same sin, and other sins as well. The convenience of abortion will only lead to an increase of other sins such as adultery and fornication. Friend, abortion is wrong because abortion encourages sin!

Abortion Shows A Lack of Faith

Romans 14:23 says, “…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.

To have an abortion is to take matters into your own hands, rather than to trust God to work things out. This shows a lack of faith in God, which the Bible labels as SIN.

A desperate woman says, “I can’t afford to have a child. I’m not ready for this.” Lady, you need to start trusting God and claiming His promises. You need to STOP trying to run your own life for a change and START trusting God. You don’t need an abortion, for such will only INCREASE your troubles. The devil has you thinking that abortion is the answer, that it will take care of everything, and you’re very close to giving in to his subtle temptation. If you do, you’ll regret it forever, and God will hold you accountable! Why not turn your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ right now? Why not make Him the Lord of your life and trust Him to work things out for you?

You Can Be Saved Right Now!

Jesus Christ came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU–to pay for your sins, because you couldn’t. Jesus is your only hope for salvation. Only by receiving Him as your Savior can you enter the gates of Heaven. There is no other way.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

The Lord Jesus Christ has come and PAID for your sins by shedding His own Blood on Calvary. By receiving Him as your Savior, you can be WASHED from all your sins in His precious Blood (Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19). Notice these important words from Romans 5:8-9:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Jesus PAID your way to Heaven for you! By receiving Him as your Savior, you will be receiving God’s ONLY means of Salvation for you. Are you willing to forsake YOUR righteousness and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, your ONLY HOPE for Salvation? Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Are you willing to forsake your own righteousness, and trust Jesus Christ alone? He will save you just as He promised. Why not receive Him today and trust Him to give you a better way of life?

So often when we deal with difficult  people, it’s easy to form judgments about them based on their behavior or  attitudes. But have you ever stopped to wonder what has made that person so  disagreeable or foolish? When the Bible says God “repays the iniquity of  fathers into the bosom of their children” (v. 18), it is speaking about  generational cycles of sin. Unless someone in the family line makes a deliberate  choice to change, sinful and dysfunctional behavior will be passed from parent  to child for many generations.

This is really just a confirmation of  the principle of sowing and reaping. We pass down standards for conduct and  character traits that we received from our parents. If we are unwilling to  change our sinful habits and attitudes, they will very likely find their way  into our children’s lives.

What is true for sin is also true for  wounding. When a child is emotionally bruised in the home, his behavior and  character may be negatively affected. With this in mind, think about a  difficult person that you know. What hurts do you think shaped his or her life?  A heart of compassion originates from a willingness to empathize with those who have been wounded.  This doesn’t excuse someone’s sin, but it does aid in opening our hearts toward  the individual.

What  about you? Have childhood wounds contributed to who you are today? How have  they affected your life? If you haven’t dealt with them, you’ll probably pass  similar hurts down to your children. But with God’s help, you can break this  cycle and begin a new one that will benefit future generations.

Chip Ingram’s first audio in his series asks the question – What does it take to be a “real man?” Today on Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, Chip explores this question… and reveals a refreshing perspective that you’ll want to hear. You will find Chip’s insight and perspective on subjects as Marriage, Children and more uplifting, insightful and informative from a Christian view. You can download each of his series and listen to them now, or keep for future references. Pass them along to family or friends. Each topic is well versed and simple to understand. Please  listen to Chip Ingram’s Is there a Man in the Home

the church can change the course of a generation, one relationship at a time.”

I believe  in “Mentoring .” I believe as men and women we need to intervene in fatherless children’s lives. Having a faithful and intentional relationship will change their direction and their lives. After all, faithful and intentional relationship is essentially how Jesus built the church. He didn’t feed 5000 people every day; He mentored a few disciples.  “It’s one of the things Christ modeled for us—what many call the Great Commission,” says Sowers. “In His public ministry He preached and taught and healed, but He spent most of His time gathering 12 guys around Him and pouring His life into them. So it’s an implicit challenge that we’re called to do the same: to gather a few around us and pour our lives into them. To me, mentoring a child is mirroring that Great Commission lifestyle. For us to reach this next generation, we’ve got to go to them and seek them out, just as Christ seeks us out.”  At the very bottom of this page you too can learn how:

By Erin Gieschen

One of John Sowers’ earliest memories is of hanging onto his dad’s ankles as the man tried to walk out the front door. His father’s visits were always a roller coaster: Sowers would be giddy with an attention-induced high for a few days, and then plunge right into the familiar low of rejection every time his dad left again.

For a while, Sowers was a kid living on daydreams and Polaroids of those rare weekends together. But each time his father left, hope died again. And as the silence between visits grew, hope became just too painful to hang onto. So he buried his big red album of cherished photos and decided not to care anymore.

This is the story of millions of American kids—in fact, one out of every three is growing up without a dad. But it’s also a story that Sowers believes can be rewritten. He’s now the president of a nonprofit called The Mentoring Project, whose aim is to stand in the gap for fatherless boys by equipping church communities to mentor them. “This is such a huge issue that the church needs to step into,” he says. “So much destruction happens when a father leaves.”

The statistics are staggering: between 70-85 percent of juvenile offenders and men in prison grew up with either absent or abusive dads. And that’s not all. Over 70 percent of high school dropouts, 63 percent of youth suicides, and 75 percent of adolescents at drug and alcohol abuse centers come from fatherless homes. And while society tends to simply associate gangs with crime and drug trafficking, it’s sobering to consider that the vast majority is made up of boys and young men without fathers. Most join for protection and a sense of family.

“It’s a bleak picture,” says Sowers. “But according to the Bible, God cares deeply about kids. The problem seems overwhelming, but we have an amazing opportunity to really change lives. And if we engage with it, we can redeem the story of a generation.”

The Mentoring Project really started with elephants. When author Donald Miller was writing a book about growing up without a dad (Father Fiction), it struck him that he wasn’t just writing about his own story. He knew something needed to be done for the millions of kids dealing with the same kinds of struggles.

And then he saw a documentary about 25 orphaned male elephants. Just entering their “teen” years, they’d gone into an early and abnormally prolonged musth cycle—a hormonal phase that usually lasts only a few days. The orphans had isolated themselves from the herd and were spiraling out of control, attacking each other, uprooting trees, and even killing unsuspecting rhinos to relieve their pent-up aggression.

But then scientists working with the wildlife trust intervened. They found older elephants from other herds who’d already fathered their own young, and introduced them to the wandering orphans. What happened next was fascinating: the mature bulls recognized what was wrong and came alongside each adolescent, traveling with him and showing him how to, in essence, be an elephant. And the raging musth cycles stopped.

The story felt allegorical. Having grown up without a dad, Miller found himself identifying with the aimless frustration of the orphaned elephants, as well as with the impact of older men who’d stepped in to guide him. “When I was in junior high,” he recalls, “I had a mentor named David Gentiles. He was a youth pastor who brought me into his life; we developed a great friendship. Without him, there’s no telling where I’d be. It wouldn’t be a very good place, I’m sure of that.” Later, his college Bible study leader, John MacMurray, invited him to move in for a season, and it was the first time Miller got to see up close how a healthy family actually worked. Prior to that, “Life was a confusing series of emotions rubbing against events. I wasn’t sure how to manage myself, how to talk to a woman, how to build a career, how to, well, be a man. Life was something you had to stumble through alone.”

Sitting in a Portland restaurant with Sowers and a few other like-minded people (who would become The Mentoring Project’s board), Miller told the elephant story to explain his vision for a foundation he believed they could build together, starting in their own city. His dream was to create a model of a sustainable mentoring community that could grow into a countrywide movement. The initial goal would be to give 1,000 churches the tools and support to train 10,000 men to befriend a generation of fatherless boys—and change the course of the nation.

When Miller first started the organization (as The Belmont Foundation in 2005), he tried to find existing mentoring programs in churches. “I was amazed that there just weren’t many at that time,” he says. “But I do remember one that was mentoring and recruiting the so-called brightest and best—‘tomorrow’s leaders.’ I think the church, for some reason, bought into a very worldly system. It’s really a Darwinian mindset—a sort of ‘survival of the fittest’ while you let the weak die off. But we really wanted to go to ‘the least of these’ the orphans.”

Three years since that pivotal dinner meeting, The Mentoring Project has moved toward Sowers and Miller’s dream—besides ten robust mentoring communities in Portland, they’re now partnering with about 600 churches across the country. “It takes a whole church body to get behind the vision,” says Miller. “But usually, it starts with an individual who champions the program. Then we provide training for the men they’ve recruited and help them get things off the ground.”

Recruiting mentees, however, is never an issue; even in Portland, there are still 1,000 kids on the waiting list. Miller explains, “Once a church starts a program, we see kids come out of the woodwork. There’s such an enormous deficiency—if we provided a million mentors, we’d have    several million kids needing mentors.”Willie-and-Lehzan

But stories are rewritten one at a time.  And each life that’s changing shape is, in turn, shaping the future of this country.

Lehzan and his mentor, Willie

Other than a few a few monotone, one-word replies, Lehzan barely said anything their first meeting. According to his mom, who signed him up, he didn’t interact much with anyone at school either. Willie, one of The Mentoring Project’s first volunteers, says it took a whole year of hanging out weekly before Lehzan really opened up. “Now,” says Sowers, “he’s come out of his shell and is one of the more social kids at school. It’s been really exciting to watch. And when Willie talks about Lehzan, you can just feel the affection and sense the relationship that’s developed between them.”

Last year, the foundation sent them to the White House for the National Mentoring Summit. When they came back to Portland, they went to Lehzan’s school to share their experience. Miller, now a bestselling author, remembers how much it meant to him as a kid the first time someone pulled him aside and told him he was a good writer. “It was all because David gave me a column in the youth group newsletter to write,” he says. “So I think about what it would mean for Lehzan’s entire school to sit down and listen to him talk about meeting the president with his mentor—what that does for his future is pretty awesome. We’re seeing kids’ lives radically changed by these relationships.”

Many mentors and mentees bond quickly, but for men like Willie who had to be tenacious for weeks on end without any visible response, it might be easy to wonder if their presence alone is doing any good. “Actually, the most amazing and epic thing you can do for a kid is to just show up in his life,” says Sowers. “It might seem overly simplistic, but it’s so deeply true when you look at Scripture. God promises over and over to be with us always, and then Christ came to be Emmanuel (‘God with us’). There’s something about presence—about just being with a kid who doesn’t have a dad present in his life—that makes such a difference.”

Miller still laughs about the day he met Christian, the first boy he mentored. “I was scared to death. There I was, the founder of this foundation, thinking, What do I have to teach him? But then he asked me how fast my car was—and I showed him! And after that, we bonded.”

Even if you grew up without a dad yourself or don’t have your own kids, Sowers insists that any mature mentor has something priceless to give a fatherless boy. “Some guys might feel awkward or not be sure what to do, but even if it’s just washing your car together and asking about his life, what it does for him over time is so massive when you’re faithful and intentional.”

After all, faithful and intentional relationship is essentially how Jesus built the church. He didn’t feed 5000 people every day; He mentored a few disciples.  “It’s one of the things Christ modeled for us—what many call the Great Commission,” says Sowers. “In His public ministry He preached and taught and healed, but He spent most of His time gathering 12 guys around Him and pouring His life into them. So it’s an implicit challenge that we’re called to do the same: to gather a few around us and pour our lives into them. To me, mentoring a child is mirroring that Great Commission lifestyle. For us to reach this next generation, we’ve got to go to them and seek them out, just as Christ seeks us out.” 


For more information on how you or your church can get involved in mentoring, visit www.TheMentoringProject.org.