3 Pleas for Political Involvement

22 07 2019

I have grown disgusted by the political state in America. This disgust isn’t just with the world but with the way Christians have been dealing with politics. They have dealt with it largely in the same manner as those in the world.

Politics is based on division. Our side vs. their side. Our side is always right and their side is always wrong. This is not what Christians are called to be.

There is so much hypocrisy and vitriol coming from Christians. We act as though the Republican party is God’s party and the Democratic party is Satan’s party. We pretend our leaders are God’s servants while the other side is basically the Antichrist. This is not a Biblical view of politics.

We need to stop demonizing the other side and we need to stop deifying our side. We have to acknowledge when our side is wrong and praise the other side when they are right. I’m not proposing we pretend to agree but we need to talk like Christians.

I wanted to see if we can approach politics with a Biblical worldview and not a conservative or liberal worldview. How does the Bible say Christians should act? Let’s look at a passage of Scripture and draw a few conclusions.

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:1-5)

This passage really convicted me about the way I was acting as a follower of Christ when it came to my politics. Let’s go through it and see how we should behave as Christians.

1. Be subject to those in authority. (Vs. 1)

Of course when the law of man violates the law of God we are bound to obey the higher authority (Acts 5:29). We have a habit today however of only believing in submission to authority when “our guy” is in power. Christians regularly looked for reasons to disobey President Obama yet when President Trump took office they completely changed.

Obama was a tyrant and they called his administration a regime in order to liken him to an evil dictator. Once Trump took office all I heard were things like God ordained Trump and God appointed Trump. I agree with that statement, but God ordained and appointed Obama as well.

As a believer I’m not called to obey and submit myself only to Presidents I voted for but to all who are in authority (13:1). In fact by doing this we put our enemies to silence.

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (1 Peter 2:13-15)

2. Don’t trash talk the other side. (Vs. 2)

It’s okay to disagree and to make a case for those disagreements. What’s not okay is to demean, insult and name call the other side. I knew Christians who called President Obama “Emperor Obama.” I knew others ho called him “Obummer.”

Let me say that these are some of Trump’s staunchest supporters and now demand respect for the President. This is hypocrisy. The Bible allows us to disagree but not to malign other people.

We need to treat our political opponents as the image bearers of God, which they are. There is a level of human dignity that we need to uphold. Let’s face it, as Christians we are called to a higher standard.

Let’s also keep in mind that even our opponents who support evil laws (such as the murder of children through abortion) are deceived themselves. We should have some compassion for them. They are not the enemy, there are unseen spiritual forces at work behind the scenes and that is the true enemy (Ephesians 6:12).

3. Remember who you were before Christ. (Vs. 3)

The verse starts out with “For” another way to say it is “because.” So Paul is saying don’t malign these people because you were once like them. You and I were once deceived and serving the god of this world.

Why tear them down as though we were better than them? We aren’t and the reason we are different today is completely outside of us. It’s the kindness of God (vs. 4), given totally outside of anything we have done (vs. 5).

So when you approach politics, don’t run with the crowd. You and I are held to a higher standard, the Word of God. Behave like a child of God and put others to silence. We are not bound to the Republican party but to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Prayer Letter (May-June 2019)

10 07 2019

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. We were blessed with a cool start to the summer this year. It usually reaches the 90’s by May and the 100’s by June but we had rain and cold through most of May and the month of June was pretty moderate with only a few hot days. This is a blessing because the temperature in the chapels can reach 105 to 110 with very little air circulation when it’s hot outside.

Street Ministry:
We are getting involved with some outreach at our local abortion clinic. I was able to be out there a few times over the last 2 months. The Lord allowed us to give out 92 tracts as well as preach to several good listening crowds.

Prison Ministry:
The Lord has been stirring the hearts of men in both prisons. The men in Lancaster are seeing tremendous answers to prayer and the men in North Kern are being stirred with a particular desire for holiness and nearness to the Lord. I find this so encouraging.

North Kern has been plagued by lock downs the warm weather tends to have more violent outbursts and problems between inmates. Pray that this subsides for the rest of the summer. I gave away 20 Bibles, 20 John/Romans, and 140 tracts. I have been able to preach to 70 men with 3 calling on the Lord for salvation. I was able to minister by letter with 8 men.

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers as we desire to serve the Lord full time in the Gospel ministry. There are so many people who need to hear the Gospel and so little time to labor and serve the Lord in this life.

You can give a tax deductible donation online by clicking the tab above or to give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





Prayer Letter March/April 2019

17 05 2019

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. I mentioned in our last letter that our foster son needed surgery. We made it all the way to prep when they realized there was an error on the court paperwork. We had to postpone and are still waiting for another date.

We have seen major improvements in our foster son and even though both kids are dealing with a lot of trauma we have been able to phase him out of therapy which is a blessing. We have our yearly home inspection in a few weeks for our foster care license so please be in prayer. We have a new social worker so we don’t know what to expect.

They changed some rules which forced us to erect a fence around our above ground pool. It was about $350 we really couldn’t afford but the blessing is that it could have been $300 more. The Lord allowed us to save money by buying a used one and the seller delivered, painted and installed it. Keep praying that we can adopt the kids in the coming months.

Street Ministry:
We have been blessed with cooler weather which is a great blessing when ministering on the streets. We are getting involved with some outreach at our local abortion clinic. I am praying a door opens to do that on a regular basis. Over the last 2 months the Lord allowed us to give out 112 tracts on the streets as well as have several good conversations with people about the Gospel.

We are going to Fresno (about 2 hours away) quarterly to reach out to the large homeless population there. We were there March and gave away 40 Bibles as well as provided a meal for 111 people. We were able to engage some about their souls as well.

Prison Ministry:
I was contacted about a man in our county jail on attempted murder charges. I was able to visit and share the Gospel with him as well as send him some books to help him. Pray for Luis and I will try and keep contact with him to keep sharing the Gospel. In Lancaster we are seeing great answers to prayer among the men and a great desire among the men to share the Gospel. One yard has even arranged a weekly outreach time.

North Kern has been plagued by lock downs but in those times they have been open God has worked in the men’s hearts. I gave away 43 Bibles, 40 John/Romans, and 431 tracts. I have been able to preach to 158 men with 7 calling on the Lord for salvation. I have sent 4 Christian books to men requesting Christian materials.

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers as we desire to serve the Lord full time in the Gospel ministry. There are so many people who need to hear the Gospel and so little time to labor and serve the Lord in this life.

You can give a tax deductible donation by clicking the “donate” tab above or to give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





Garland Family Prayer Letter (Jan-Feb 2019)

5 04 2019

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. Our year started off very busy which is something we are grateful for. Our family is doing well and the kids have been keeping us busy. Our foster son has a need for minor surgery which we hope to have done in late April. We are waiting for court approval.

We have had complications in the adoption process. It seems a family member has come forward for the kids. But it doesn’t seem to be good environment for them nor to our knowledge have they ever met this person. We are worried they may lose all of the progress and stability they have had over the last 6 months in our home.

Pray with us that the judge will allow us to adopt them. We have the support of the social worker and a therapist but the Lord ultimately decides these matters. It may be God’s will for us to never adopt and to only be a sort of orphanage to care for many children temporarily. If that is His will we are certainly pray for it but we love these kids and would like to make them a part of our family forever.

Street Ministry:
The year started with outreach at the College Football Championship weekend in San Jose, California. It was a great weekend with a few other evangelists. We stayed in a beautiful home in Oakland that has been around for over 100 years. We were rained out one day but the others were very fruitful. Hundreds of tracts were given out and the Word was preached.

In February I attended my 7th straight Super Bowl Outreach in Atlanta, Georgia. The crowds seemed larger than in most previous years. Good conversations were had, the Lord brought many across our path who were ready to hear and receive the Word. Our local street ministry continues. Over the last 2 months we gave out 62 tracts as well as 3 Bibles and 1 John/Romans

Prison Ministry:
In January I was able to renew my clearance at both prisons. The new system allows my clearance now to only expire every 5 years. This is a huge blessing. The men in reception at North Kern have been ready to hear the Word. I had 3 men call on the Lord and 3 others who confessed they were concerned about their souls. 20 Bibles and 20 Johns/Romans were given away and 100 tracts went to the men.

My first time back in Lancaster was also a blessing. Many of the men were sharing stories of answers to prayer. The new prison laws are allowing many of them early release and they are all finding good churches. We had another man released in February so we all laid hands on him and prayed after issuing a charge to walk in God’s path on the outside like he has on the inside.

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers as we desire to serve the Lord full time in the Gospel ministry. There are so many people who need to hear the Gospel and so little time to labor and serve the Lord in this life.

You can give a tax deductible donation online by clicking the tab at the top or to give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





Blood on Their Hands

11 02 2019

I know many Christians got excited during the Presidents State of the Union speech this year. Unfortunately most Christians support “their party” regardless of what they say or do. There is so much bias on both sides in politics. We tend to support our party when in power then criticize the other party when they do the same thing that we did. This is one of many reasons why Christians should think twice about political involvement.

For me, I am not a Republican or a Democrat, I am a Christian. I must judge all things by the standard of the Scriptures whether that goes in favor or against my “assigned” political party. Too many Christians support President Trump without question because he is a Republican and they have been made to think that they need to support “their guy.” I am not one of those people. I feel the need to judge him according to the Scriptures.

I keep hearing people say that Trump is the most pro-life President in history. If this is true then it’s a sad truth because his pro-life stance very rarely goes beyond words. The State of the Union speech highlights that for me. He campaigned that he would defund Planned Parenthood and Christians (even those who claimed to not like Trump) said we have to vote for him to fight abortion. I didn’t believe it and I didn’t vote for him. I’m still proud of that.

In his first 2 years in office he didn’t defund Planned Parenthood. In fact he signed every spending bill that included PP funding. He was so dedicated to building his wall that he shut down the government to try and get the money for it yet he refused to close the government to save the lives of children. The Republican Party controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency for 2 whole years and failed to stop funding PP which receives around 40 percent of their funds from taxpayers.

This is the same party that passed several defunding bills under President Obama which he vetoed. Why did they defund it several times under a Democratic president but couldn’t defund it one under a Republican? The truth is that they don’t want to defund PP. When they knew it would be vetoed they gladly passed the bill but if there was a chance it would get signed into law they didn’t. Christians need to get this in their heads the Republican Party is every bit as much for abortion as the Democrats. They only pay lip service to get your votes. These last 2 years are clear evidence of this truth.

At his State of the Union speech President Trump railed against the late term abortion laws in New York and Virginia. He said he wants to “…prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.” Of course this devalues all children who don’t meet this criteria. All children are human beings and all from the moment of conception are distinct persons deserving of human rights.

The President also said that children are made in the image of God. I saw my Christian friends posting this quote with their own words saying things like “thank you Mr. President.” I found nothing to be thankful for in that statement. If he believes that why has he continued to fund the murder of these image bearers of God? Why not shut down the government to save them rather than build your wall? If he really believes that statement of course he is more accountable before God for allowing them to be killed, but I don’t think he believes that as much as he believes it will rally the pro-life community to keep supporting him which it did.

This president and this Republican party have no principled stand against the murder of babies. Don’t be fooled into believing such nonsense. A vote for them will be a vote for the continued murder of babies. The blood of the children cries out against this president and these in Congress. It will cry out against those who vote for them as well I believe. It’s time for action not words, and we as Christians need to realize that we are being used as political pawns. Over 60 million children have been murdered legally in America and in my lifetime Republicans have controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency for 8 years with no attempt to end the bloodshed. The only attempts being made when they know it can’t possibly pass. Enough is enough.





2018 Year in Review

23 01 2019

Greetings:
This was my 2nd full year in ministry and the Lord gave many wonderful opportunities for personal growth as well as ministry opportunity. Ministry is more than numbers and although I do want to share some numbers reflecting the work God is doing through us I want to share what has happened to us as a family this year.

We had the opportunity to minister on the streets of Bakersfield and in 2 California institutions. I was blessed to share the Gospel at the NBA All Star weekend in Los Angeles, and the PAC 12 Championship game in Santa Clara, California. We had the opportunity to minister in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the Superbowl and I was even blessed to meet John Piper a personal hero of the faith on that visit.

We shared the Gospel at the Bakersfield Christmas parade while also preaching and tracting weekly downtown. We were able to share clothes with the needy of Bakersfield and help feed the homeless in both Bakersfield and Fresno. I visited 2 of our supporting churches and filled the pulpit at our home church several times.

My wife served as my mom’s full time caregiver for most of the year and served faithfully during that time. The Lord took mom home in September. As hard as it was I have learned that in all of His decisions God is good. In that same month the Lord added sweetness to our lives by bringing us 2 foster kids. A 2 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. We are praying for a chance to adopt these two.

They have added so much to our family and we hope to live out a picture of the Gospel with them. We recall that God the Father has adopted us and called us by His own name. We were without family or plea and were made partakers and given an inheritance in the family of God. We want to add them to our family and call them by our name as well.

I’ll end with a few of the numbers the Lord allowed us to achieve for His glory.
Bibles distributed: 201
John/Romans: 340
Called on the Lord for salvation: 14
Men who were burdened about their souls: 28
Men who attended services: 1,164
Clothes distributed: 1,150
Food distributed: 309
Tracts distributed: 4,472
Christian books to inmates: 55
Correspondence with inmates: 6

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers as we desire to serve the Lord full time in the Gospel ministry. There are so many people who need to hear the Gospel and so little time to labor and serve the Lord in this life.

You can give a tax deductible donation online by clicking on the “Donate” tab or to give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





Garland Family Prayer Letter (September-October 2018)

2 11 2018

Greetings:
We hope you are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Street Ministry:
I feel like we have had more people listening to the preaching at the bus station in Downtown Bakersfield. So many of the people there are in the grips of drugs. My heart is so burdened for the hold these sins have in their lives. We gave out 154 tracts as part of our street ministry in September and October. We were also able to provide clothes to 300 needy people and provide food to 59 homeless folks.

Prison Ministry:
Lancaster: I have not been able to go into Lancaster for the moment because my clearance expired. The Christian chaplain is on medical leave which slows down the process. Please pray that I can get that clearance again by the end of the year or January of next year.

I sure miss my brothers at the Church of Emmanuel there in Lancaster. One blessing I heard was that on a recent cell to cell search on A yard all of the Christians were clean of any contraband. Since the guards are skeptical of “prison conversion” it was a blessing to hear that the Sgt. in charge commended the church leaders for the faithfulness of the men.

North Kern: My Friday night Bible study has gone well as we are still working our way through Colossians verse by verse. 1 new man joined us recently so it’s a blessing to see new growth to the group. Most of the time when I arrive the men are outside singing together which is a blessing to see. We go verse by verse and they seem to be learning and growing from it. Pray that more men will arrive on the yard and join our group.

The yards have been on lock down a lot the last 2 months which limited my access. I was able to preach to 39 men and we sent a Spanish Bible to an inmate who requested one. The yards are open now so pray as I spend a lot of time with the men in the various yards.

Other news: As most of you know my mom moved in with us in August of 2017. She had lost the ability to speak and became bedridden. My wife faithfully served as her full time caregiver and loved her like her own mother. With a sad heart I wanted to report that mom passed into glory September 30th. We were with her when she passed and I was able to preach her memorial service.

In that same month the Lord opened to us a ministry to orphans that we have long prayed for and we took 2 foster children into our home. They have been a joy and although they may leave us one day we are thankful for this new ministry. The children are 2 and 3 years old. Pray for us as we try and show the love of Christ to these children who have been through much suffering in their few short years.

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers as we desire to serve the Lord full time in the Gospel ministry. There are so many people who need to hear the Gospel and so little time to labor and serve the Lord in this life.

You can give a tax deductible donation online by clicking on the “Donate” tab at the top or to give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon








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