Garland Family Prayer Letter (July-August 2018)

16 09 2018

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

Street Ministry:
We have seen good crowds at the Courthouse and the bus station. It seems we have one-to-one conversations at the Courthouse every week. We gave out 424 tracts as part of our street ministry in July and August. We were also able to provide clothes to 250 needy people.

Prison Ministry:
Lancaster: I have had a little trouble getting into two of the yards. The officers keep finding reasons to cancel services but the other two yards have been going well. I have seen a few new faces and a few of the men have been sharing stories of opportunities they have had to witness on the yard. It has also been a blessing to see a few of the men released and find good churches to get involved with.

North Kern: My Friday night Bible study has gone down in attendance since the prison transferred most of my regulars, but the group that remains has been very faithful which is a blessing. 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.

Reception yards have been amazing this summer. It feels as though every time I preach one of the men tell of how they were dealing with the topic I preached or they had read the passage I preached recently. It not only confirms to me that I am preaching according to the Spirit but that God is working in the hearts of these men by preparing them for the preaching.

I faced several times that the yards were closed for various reasons but Praise the Lord it didn’t last long. The Lord allowed me to preach to 208 men and give away 40 Johns/Romans, 80 Bibles and 165 tracts. I saw 5 men call on the Lord for salvation and 9 men were stirred about their souls but had yet to come to Christ.

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

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June 2018 Prayer Letter

1 07 2018

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

Street Ministry:
We have seen good crowds at the Courthouse and the bus station this past month. While preaching at the bus station we have see many people gather to hear the preaching after we start. Some pretend not to care but we notice them move closer to hear. We gave out 370 tracts and 2 Bibles as part of our street ministry in June. We were also able to provide clothes to 150 needy people.

Prison Ministry:
Lancaster: I am seeing amazing spiritual growth among the men as well as a hunger for the Word. I have seen first time visitors in each service this month and more of the men take up the challenge to pray better. Several men have had life sentences lowered in answer to prayer and others have been fighting sins and have seen victory over those in response to their prayers. We were also able to send 4 books to inmates seeking help with spiritual growth.

North Kern: I have seen God prepare hearts in certain men before they came into chapel. My Associate Pastor got to start coming in with me and he has been blessed by being among the men there. I have seen men stand up in services and confess their sins. A great moving of God is going on. I was able to preach to 144 men this month.

One former pastor felt he could never be forgiven but we went into Romans 8 and he was greatly comforted that God is willing to forgive. Another man was worried God wouldn’t forgive a murderer so we went into the many murderers in Scripture who found forgiveness in Christ. 5 men confessed they were not ready to give up their sins but they felt convicted about them so pray God moves them to repentance and faith. I gave away 22 Bibles and 174 tracts to the men in the prison this month.

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 donate tab at the top of this page 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





Was Judas Saved?

14 06 2018

A question I have heard many times is whether or not Judas who betrayed Jesus was saved. He was chosen to be an apostle, and preached along with the other apostles. When they performed miracles Judas performed them right along with them. Does this mean he was saved? The answer is clear from Scripture and that answer is no. The Bible says that it would have been better for him to have never been born.

The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.” (Matthew 26:24-25)

We are also told that Judas was possessed by Satan which I believe is not a possibility for a believer.

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” (John 13:26-27)

Jesus called Judas a devil.

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (John 6:70-71)

Jesus Himself said Judas did not believe.

“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” (John 6:64)

We are not told that he went to heaven in fact the Scriptures seem to hint otherwise.

“That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” (Acts 1:25)

We don’t see the fruits of repentance in his life. Judas kept the money for the ministry of Jesus and was a thief.

“This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” (John 12:6)

Why would Jesus appoint an apostle who wasn’t a believer? The answer is to fulfill prophecy.

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)

Some would say Judas repented so he must have been saved. The word repent in the New Testament means a change of mind. When Judas returned the money he changed his mind but it wasn’t Godly repentance. Godly repentance works life but worldly repentance works death which is exactly what happened to Judas.

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)





March-May 2018 Prayer Letter

7 06 2018

Greetings:
We hope you are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This update will cover March through May because we got a little busy and haven’t had a chance to update.

Street Ministry:
We were blessed to join some friends in Fresno for an outreach among the needy. We fed 250 people and we were able to provide clothing for 300 people. We gave out 636 tracts, and 13 Bibles.

Prison Ministry:
In Lancaster I am seeing amazing spiritual growth among the men as well as a hunger for the Word. I am holding 4 services a month currently and wish I had time for more. Some of the men have begun witnessing to their loved ones while others have taken up my challenge to pray better and are experiencing answers to prayer.

One man bore testimony before a State committee testifying that it was his salvation that turned him from a constant offender to a man of honor. He pointed out that before he was saved he had constant behavior issues but since his salvation in 2011 he hasn’t had one mark against. He told them it’s the power of the Holy Spirit not education that will change men.

At North Kern I continued my discipleship class teaching through the book of Colossians. We started in February and we are still in Colossians 1 so it’s a pretty in depth study. We are seeing amazing growth in their lives as well. One man was struggling with a false doctrine and was able to settle it on his own through prayer and study of the Word. It was a blessing to see him stand on his own that way.

1 man trusted Christ and I was able to give out 300 Johns/Romans as well. I was able to preach to 239 inmates. God has blessed me with a fellow laborer named Gerry. We have done street evangelism together for years and now he is preaching in the prison as well. It’s a blessing to see the Lord burden others for this needy field.

Other News:
In May I was able to attend the Master’s Men conference in Fresno, California. It’s a blessing every year to come together with other men for singing, preaching and fellowship.

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 “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





February 2018 Prayer Letter

5 03 2018

Greetings:
We hope you are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. February was a very busy month but we definitely felt the joy of serving the Lord.

Street Ministry:
We gave out 341 tracts this month. In addition to our ministry in Downtown Bakersfield we attended several other outreaches. We took part in the Super Bowl Outreach in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was cold but we bundled up and had a good time. The warmest I think it got was 14 degrees and the coldest I believe was -7.

It was my 6th Super Bowl Outreach and probably my favorite. We preached and had many good conversations. One benefit to the cold was that those who stopped to talk seemed more interested then at other times. I watched one young man go from proud to very humble as he came face to face with the Word of God and the reality of his sin.

About 2 weeks later I joined a few others to preach and tract at the NBA All Star weekend in Downtown Los Angeles. We split our time between the Santa Monica pier and the Staples Center. Many good seeds were planted and several asked very good questions and took tracts.

Prison Ministry:
I began my monthly rotation at Lancaster prison. The men were hungry for the Word and several had to be turned away due to the chapel being overcrowded. In the other yard the church had a split and many stopped attending. It was a blessing to have 6 men at my first service for that yard.

At North Kern I continued my discipleship class teaching through the book of Colossians. This is a new series as I just finished teaching through Titus. The class has grown with several new men joining in. My ministry partner Gerry had his first opportunity to preach to the men. I’m praying that this will spark a new ministry from his church.

The reception yards are in so much need of Gospel preaching. I met a man who had been waiting nearly 3 months to be called for chapel. Each service there was full with several being turned away and told to come to the next service due to lack of room. 85 men heard the Gospel, 20 took Bibles and 3 men made professions of faith with 3 others expressing concern for their souls.

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 “donate” tab at the top of the page 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





Biblical Authority

1 03 2018

The Bible has put into place within the local church definite authority. The authority is vested into a position the Bible calls Elder, Bishop, or Pastor. One thing we don’t take serious today is the authority of the local church. I probably take local church authority further than most in the modern church. I’m saddened at how uninvolved the church is in the lives of the people.

The Bible speaks of definite authority vested in church leadership.

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” (Hebrews 13:7)

The rule here is authority, they have authority because they are watching for your soul. Don’t buy into the hype that a pastor can’t tell you how to live your life or raise your kids. They are vested with the responsibility to instruct from the Word of God in these issues.

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)

Here Peter says the elders are to take oversight. They are not to do it forcefully but by being an example. Pastoral authority shouldn’t be authoritarian in nature but by demonstrating through their own lives Christ-likeness.

When I grew up I learned of two incidents my grandma had with two different pastors. She felt they had done wrong and she confronted them about it. After she spoke her peace that was it.

We never heard about it, at least not until we grew up. She didn’t leave the church and she didn’t talk about it in front of the family or bad mouth the pastor. I have no doubt she didn’t even hold onto it herself. She spoke her disagreement and let it go.

Today people get upset about something and they leave the church. This is because they are not truly submitted to the authority of the church. If they were they would have a sense of commitment and work through their problems.

This is also why people sit and bad mouth their church leadership in front of their families. They bad mouth the pastor then wonder why their kids doubt what the pastor preaches. This is also why people leave churches after a new pastor comes in.

It’s common for people to vote in a pastor then decide a few weeks later they don’t like him and they leave. In my opinion this is sin. If you want to leave a church then leave before a new pastor comes in but once he is there you need to submit to his leadership unless he violates the Word. We need a new dedication to the authority of the local church. We need to stay and work out our problems. It’s no wonder our kids don’t learn commitment when we teach them to leave at the first sign of trouble.





School Shootings: Questions and Answers

26 02 2018

Much of the world was caught off guard by the deadly shooting at a Florida public school. Unfortunately much of the talk since the shooting has not been very helpful. Let me place a few disclaimers on here. I am not a pro-gun conservative nor am I an anti-gun liberal. I don’t buy into the our side vs. their side politics. I believe all political issues need to be examined in the light of Scripture not party rhetoric.

I’m not especially for guns nor am I especially against them. So my perspective is as neutral as I believe it possibly can be. I often joke that Republicans gave away my 4th Amendment after 9/11 so I don’t feel especially bound to protect their 2nd Amendment.

The liberal argument of more gun laws is not the answer since guns are not the problem. These guns have always been accessible and yet the shootings are a recent development. We need to figure out why in the last 20 years school shootings have become common but the last 200 years they were not. What has changed? When we figure out the problem we can figure out the answer.

Another problem with more laws is that laws don’t change anything. The same logic would say to end drug abuse just outlaw drugs. Yeah, they are outlawed and yet drugs are still a problem. If we outlaw rape perhaps rape will stop. Oh yeah, rape is illegal and yet they happen. It’s illogical to say that if we ban guns then gun violence will stop.

We also cannot lose sight of the problem of big government. The FBI knew of the threat and failed. We need to dismantle this oversize government that fails time and time again to actually protect us. We give up our rights for safety and end up less safe. Both sides of the political spectrum need to let go of this proven falsehood that government is the answer.

Conservative talking points are just as off base. The President and many others would have us believe that giving everyone guns would solve the problem. Many honest gun owners will admit that it is very difficult hitting a target. This is true on a shooting range with ear coverings and focus. Imagine how difficult with adrenaline pumping with panic and fear in the air?

I believe you would create more casualties. There is also the issue of licensing these teachers and maintaining their practice and their guns. If its required the guns would have to be provided for them and there is the issue of forcing teachers to carry. I believe in the Constitutional right to carry and the right not to carry.

The problem is found in the human heart. I’m not sure why the liberal even thinks school shootings are wrong. They have to borrow from the Christian worldview to arrive at that conclusion. If we are all animals then killing each other isn’t wrong. By having an issue they are admitting there is intrinsic worth in human life that does not exist elsewhere in creation.

If evolution is true then survival of the fittest would have to be considered. Their opposition to school shootings lies in direct opposition to the very foundational principles they claim to hold dear. The secular worldview is a maze of contradiction.

The cause of school shootings is not too many or too few guns so both sides are wrong. It is found in our teaching our children that they are just animals, life has no purpose or meaning and there is no judgment after this life. The secular worldview is the cause of this problem.

Why didn’t it surface until now? The answer is that over the last 50 years we have grown more and more humanistic that now the fruit is beginning to be harvested. We have taught them that they are animals so they act like animals. We taught them that there is no judgment so they act as though there is no judgment.

The answer is the Gospel. To teach our young people that they are created in the image of God which gives them worth. That they were created to glorify Him and that He will call them into account one day for their lives. That life doesn’t end at death but that eternity goes on without end. The answer is the Gospel and the solution will never be found in Washington or Sacramento. The pulpits of America and the God fearing parents are the solution. This can end if we get back to the truth and not the lies of secular humanism.








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