Big Announcement

9 05 2016

I want to start by thanking you for taking the time to read this. If you stumbled across this and are not a subscriber to our blog I hope you will take the time to subscribe. For those who are subscribers thank you so much.

I don’t feel entitled to your interest in our ministry and I definitely feel blessed that anyone would take the time to read what I post. You may not agree with everything but you take the time and I appreciate it. Some of you have even followed me since I started the blog around 7 years ago. Thank you again.

I haven’t written much on how we began our ministry. In 2004 I was attending a little church in Caruthers, California called Gospel Light Baptist Chapel. Caruthers is s small town of around 2,000 people in Fresno County. This church plant was a ministry of Gospel Light Baptist Church in Selma which is a larger town a few miles away.

I had been teamed up with Eric Thompson in ministry and through this we have become like brothers. I was working a night job at the time and had a lot of free time during work. To fill the time I began consuming christian biographies.

I would talk about these books to Eric and in time he began reading them as well. This led to long talks about what we were learning through these books and eventually led us to the Scriptures where many of the traditions we practiced received heavy scrutiny. This led to an overhaul of our entire belief system.

We were especially impacted by the lives of William Booth of the Salvation Army, and George Mueller of Bristol. We felt compelled to involve ourselves in evangelism. We began distributing Gospel tracts door to door, in fact we reached every door in Caruthers.

We began handing out tracts in store parking lots and along busy streets. We made trips to Los Angeles for Eric’s business and we would go to Hollywood Blvd. and pass out tracts there. In time we became burdened for the poor and needy.

Being affected by William Booth’s life and the clear command in Scripture concerning the poor we began passing out sack lunches to the many homeless in Fresno. We also collected clothes and gave them to homeless people on the streets as well as to shelters who gave away the items. We made it a rule never to give to a shelter that sold the clothes.

People always asked us what we called ourselves which led to the need of starting a ministry. We discussed names and having settled on the Scripture passage about the rich man and Lazarus we called ourselves Project Lazarus. We modeled much of our founding principles after those developed by George Mueller in his Scriptural Knowledge Institution.

In 2009 I desired to share things the Lord was teaching me with others. I was just getting into the whole online thing and felt a blog was a good platform to teach from. I began The March of Truth at this time. The name was derived from a radio program Ed McCulley and Jim Elliot had while they did home missionary work in Chester, Illinois.

A dream of ours was always to focus on street ministry and work among prisoners. We began watching The Way of the Master with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron in 2004 and even went out with missionary Jason Hines that same year to watch him preach. We just never found an open door to begin this work.

This all changed in 2012 when the Lord opened the door and we began regular weekly street evangelism. In 2014 an opportunity opened up to go into the California prison system and preach on a regular basis. In that same year my wife and I prayed about going into full time ministry.

The very next morning after praying I woke up to a text offering me the opportunity to pursue full time ministry. The text was from Bill Adams who is a friend and mentor to me. He offered the chance to use his ministry Revival USA as an umbrella for our ministry.

We kept thinking about it and several other things happened suggesting this might be the right course. I decided it was time to merge Project Lazarus and The March of Truth and re-brand them under one new ministry name. The new name would be Lighthouse Gospel Ministries.

The name is a reflection of our mission which is to be a lighthouse to the world. We are keeping our original motto which is “Ministering to the Whole Person.” This reflects our desire to minister in spiritual things as well as to remember the poor. Our ministry verse is found in 2 Corinthians 4:5-6.

We are now a non profit under Revival USA and receive financial oversight from ………… All giving to our ministry is now tax deductible. Our goal in going full time is to focus a lot of attention to the prison ministry.

Once we have the monthly support to transition out of my full time security job I will be going in 5 days a week to a local state prison. I will be training under another missionary for a while. I will be holding multiple chapel services with a chance to preach to a few hundred prisoners a day. I will also engage in cell to cell visitation and counsel prisoners concerning their souls.

We will also continue our street evangelism both locally as well as at selected events throughout the year. In June we are going to be sharing the Gospel at the Pismo Beach car show, in July at the MLB All Star game in San Diego, and Lord willing in London in October.

Please visit our website at www.gospelbeacon.org to check out all that we are doing. Now the big question of how you can help us out. There are several ways.

1. Pray for us daily. That the Lord will graciously provide for us and that souls will come to faith through our witness.

2. Tell others about our ministry.

3. Recommend us to your church and we will come and present our ministry.

4. Give to support us. You can make single or monthly tax deductible donations to support us. Just visit our website to give online or instructions on how to give by check.

We do not consider ourselves a “para-church” organization. We are missionaries sent out of our local church, under our pastors authority and we are subject to his leadership.





Comfort In Suffering: By Lars Gren

2 10 2011

It was on a trip to Quito that we met the young lady who had been on the mission field for a year and was going through a hard period in her life. She told us that her very best friend and fellow missionary had died and she was returning to the States, for what she said was a year of counseling. “But why are you going back for that and for a year?” Her answer was that it was the mission’s policy to do so. Elisabeth was not against counseling per se but rather the amount of time. I was not surprised at Elisabeth’s question considering that she had lost her very best friend who also happened to be her husband. Elisabeth and Jim had been married for twenty seven months when he was killed. During that time they had been working with the Quichua Indians in reducing their language to writing. Jim had also been teaching new believers who would become the leaders in the formation of a church. With Jim’s death Elisabeth did the natural thing for her of continuing the work at their station in Shandia. She was pretty much alone except for the Indians and Valerie. There was no thought in her mind of returning to the States for counseling even though Jim’s parents and hers had suggested a return, at least for a season. They were also skeptical of Elisabeth taking Valerie in to the Aucas if the opportunity presented itself.

What did she do about the suffering and grief over losing Jim? It was not as though the Indians would commiserate with her in her loss, although when an Indian met someone on the trail, whom he had not seen during the first year of mourning, he would “wail” voicing his grief to the one who had suffered loss. However there were no “sit-down” and tell me how you feel sessions. Life went on.

Elisabeth, speaking of that experience, mentions how the Lord brought her hope, peace and strength from the Scriptures such as Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” It was her conviction that the Lord had called her as a missionary before she was married and that she did not have a sense that that call ended when Jim and the others were killed. There was language work to be done—she had the ability to do so—so why not stay on until a new call was given. There was loss, pain, and sorrow with the unexpected turn of events but what would she have gained had she returned home for a season?

What would be our reaction to a catastrophe? I have been wondering about that in the light of the turmoil in the Arab countries or the tribal wars in Africa. For two years we had a Seminary student living with us who came to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Rwanda. He had lost 4 brothers in that horrible conflict. I asked which tribe he was from and he said, “My problem was that both tribes were after us for my father was a Tutsi while my mother came from the Hutu tribe.”

In an issue of Worldmagazine published this year there was a photo of a young African girl lying in a dry grass field. She was in a fetal position on what I think was a section of cardboard for a mat. Her skin wrinkled beyond that of a very old woman. The only skin that was tight was over her ribs which formed a bow as it were. Looking at the photo I caught a sense of the horror of seeing a suffering person die alone without a comforter. The report said that she died later that day. That scene has come to mind many times. Why? I think that one can grasp somewhat the suffering of an individual and have a sense of empathy while in large scale disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis or tornadoes we become spectators of the drama that come to us in endless videos courtesies of the media that race from place to place to show the “best” of what is happening with constant dialogue. Listening to some of these reports brought to mind a recording of the Hindenburg disaster in New Jersey. It was big news and the “approach and landing” was sent across the country by radio. The broadcaster’s voice broke as he described the first sparks, flames and then the collapsing blimp beginning its plunge to the ground. It was Herbert Morrison who was the announcer and the following is a transcription of what he said. If you want to add more reality go to Wikipedia and there is an audio portion that clearly transmits his feelings of anguish.

“It’s practically standing still now. They’ve dropped ropes out of the nose of the ship, and they’ve been taken a hold of down on the field by a number of men. It’s starting to rain again; it’s—the rain had slacked up a little bit. The back motors of the ship are just holding it just, just enough to keep it from — It burst into flames! It burst into flames, and it’s falling, it’s crashing! Watch it! Watch it, folks! Get out of the way! Get out of the way! Get this, Charlie! Get this, Charlie! It’s fire—and it’s crashing! It’s crashing terrible! Oh, my, get out of the way, please! It’s burning and bursting into flames, and the—and it’s falling on the mooring-mast and all the folks agree that this is terrible; this is the worst of the worst catastrophes in the world. [Indeciperable word(s)] It’s–it’s–it’s the flames, [indecipherable, possibly the word “climbing”] oh, four- or five-hundred feet into the sky and it … it’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It’s smoke, and it’s flames now … and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring-mast. Oh, the humanity and all the passengers screaming around here. I told you, I can’t even talk to people whose friends are on there. Ah! It’s–it’s–it’s–it’s … o–ohhh! I–I can’t talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest, it’s just laying there, a mass of smoking wreckage. Ah! And everybody can hardly breathe and talk, and the screaming. Lady, I–I’m sorry. Honest: I–I can hardly breathe. I–I’m going to step inside where I cannot see it. Charlie, that’s terrible. Ah, ah—I can’t. I, listen, folks, I–I’m gonna have to stop for a minute because I’ve lost my voice. This is the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed.”

How different from the TV world with its many reporters who it seem to vie for the best location to view whatever is going on and if there is not much then it is, “over to you David” who is announcing from such and such location. It was so in Japan during the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. There were videos after videos showing different aspects of the disaster. In one rather lengthy one I saw a group of people on top of a business building looking out to sea. In front of them and lower was a highway that people had gathered on, all peering seaward watching the cascading water driving boats, cars, and a bus along with other debris towards the land. Everything was being funneled under the highway overpass into an opening between two buildings. As the pressure built up one object or another suddenly moved and the a sea of debris would be forced as through a sluice gate, forming what appeared to be a tidal undertow released from its bonds. The tumbling mass seemed to slow as it spread again over the flatter land while continuing its march inland. It was surreal to see and I wondered if we as watchers of a video thought much at that instant of those who were experiencing their last moments trapped in the terror of that flow. Did I have Morrison’s sense of despair—of course in this case it was days old news. Even so did I sense the suffering or was it watching tangled debris tossed about in the raging surf with no further thoughts and on to the next clip.

Not long ago we had a rash of tornados that crisscrossed many of the southern and middle States. To see a photo of a town nearly completely destroyed is too much to get our “emotions” around but watching an old person rummaging through the wreckage of their house searching for something from the past brings forth empathy and a desire to help. It was so in seeing that photo of the solitary girl silently waiting for help or the end. Perhaps the thought of that photo will come to mind as I sit down to a party table amply set with food and I might say,”Why?” Perhaps better for me would be to quote a line from a song by Johnny Cash, “Why me Lord? What have I ever done? To deserve even one of the blessings I’ve known.”

What brought these thoughts of suffering to me were not the natural disasters of late but the singularly suffering in the family of one person. Lisa had been a Gateway to Joy listener and had written to Elisabeth telling of her own suffering and the course that brought ”beauty out of ashes.” She gave Elisabeth permission to print the letter in her Gateway newsletter which some of you may have read. The 2nd letter below is from ’09 and it was the impetus to meet Lisa and over tea get a bit more of her story.

Dear Elisabeth,
I am a new listener to Gateway To Joy. I really enjoyed today’s program, “The Necessity of Pruning.” Let me explain why. My 15 yr. old son, Eric, committed suicide back in February. I’ve never been more crushed and devastated. I’m no stranger to loss. My older sister was killed by a drunk driver in 1972, and my younger brother killed himself in 1973, and in 1985 my father killed my mother and then himself. Through my faith in Christ, I handled my siblings’ deaths well, but I could never quite accept the deaths of my parents—I had no peace, although I could quote all the right verses and sought desperately to believe in God’s purposes through tragedy. When my parents died, Eric was 2 years old. I felt that God had given him to me to help me continue on after that loss. And suddenly, on February 10, he was gone too. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t pray. I thought God had totally forsaken me. The waters had come into my soul (Ps. 69:1). I was so crushed. I thought my heart would stop beating; secretly, I wished it would. One day a friend from work came over and brought her Bible. She read many verses to me; my focus began to change. I began to believe Romans 8:18 and 28. I claimed 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. I memorized Psalms 27, 40, and 116 in order and I quote them every day. God has totally renewed my mind through His Word. I have His peace, even as I cope with all these sudden, violent deaths, especially that of my son. I am reading books by Amy Carmichael and Oswald Chamber. I know that God is giving me beauty for ashes as I become “broken bread and poured-out wine.” I now realize that suffering and glory are connected, by God’s design, and that Christ is my example as I walk in His steps. So that is why I enjoyed your program today and will continue to listen.

Dear Mrs. Gren,
I am sorry to hear you broke your hip, but it prompted me to write to you and tell you how much God used your ministry in my life. I have written to you twice before to update you on my life. My son committed suicide almost 11 years ago. Through your ministry, God enabled me to see the Heavenly, eternal perspective of suffering. I began to memorize Scripture and have now memorized 75 of the Psalms! My beloved Psalms have given me courage and strength that I would never have had without them. God, through His word has put a new song of praise in my mouth. Thank you for yielding yourself to Him to speak through your and your life. I will be praying for you.
(Sent 2009) With joy, Lisa.
Psalm 71:8
(sent 2009)

Even though Lisa suffered multiple losses her story is singular as it was with the African young girl. Her solace came from the reading of the Psalms. Was there anyone there to comfort and offer hope to the young girl as the photo was taken? If so, it was not mentioned. Perhaps a bit of water was given. As to the young missionary, we had no further contact but trust that in the year of counseling that she found peace and acceptance in her loss. Such individual stories one can in a way relate to for we all have had a share of suffering or if not we know that in the course of life there will be some. But when it comes to major catastrophes that, of late, seem to occur with some regularity we become spectators without the ability to enter in as we can with an individual. It leaves us in incredulity and perhaps we can only sigh and utter, “Lord have mercy.”

And that’s it from The Cove.

God bless y’all,

Lars





Feeding Of The 5,000: A Sermon By Jim Elliot

9 07 2011

     This is part 1 of a sermon by Jim Elliot. Jim was a missioanry that was killed taking the Gospel to the Waodoni Indians of Ecuador. This sermon is on the Feeding of the 5,000 and was recorded in 1951 just 5 years before his death. More about Jim can be found in the books written by his widow Elizabeth. Her books are on my recommended reading page of this blog. I hope you find this sermon a blessing.








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