The Hunger Is So Evident and Tangible – Russia #3

Russia is a beautiful country and all over the nation you will see Orthodox churches dotting the landscape. They are the dominate religion. The other buildings that are appearing everywhere – even in the smaller cities and town are Muslim mosques. Two major religions fighting for the hearts of the people of Russia. Add to this the fact the government uses the Orthodox Church in its control of the people and you have a real mixing of politics and religion. A bad mix.

However, all over the nation you will find groups of born again believers who are gathering together in homes and rented facilities to worship the living God. They are vibrant and alive believers who, in many cases, have sacrificed a great deal to worship the Lord and be witnesses for Jesus in their families and neighborhoods. Many have suffered persecution for their faith and some still do today. But, when they gather to worship and to hear God’s Word taught they know it has all been worth it. They have truly paid the price and they know the value of their faith and their personal relationship with the Lord. They are wonderfully dynamic believers and their worship is heartfelt – from the botom of their hearts. And it goes on and on and on…

And, when I teach them God’s Word they literally suck the anointing out of me. It is almost effortless and a serious preacher’s delight. And, when you preach for 40 minutes (80 to 90 with the interpretation) they still want more. Often that will mean a second teaching immediatelyafter the first or following a short coffee break. They are seriously hungry for more of God’s Word. They never seem to be able to get enough. The hunger is apparently endless. And, they are doing more than receiving head knowledge – they actually allow God’s Word to touch their hearts. They do more than receive information – they expect transformation as the seed is planted and begins to do its work. They are doers of the Word and not just listeners (hearers). They apply, obey, and walk in what they are learning and do so with enthusiam and without argument or doubt. Have I died and gone to Heaven?

The true Church of Jesus Christ may not be as visible as the mosques and Orthodox “temples” as they are called – but it is alive and powerful and growing. It is deeply in love with Jesus and sharing Him with everyone and anyone who will stop long enough to hear. God is truly at work and He has given this ministry the honor of playing a small but important role in what He is doing.

I would appreciate your prayers for my preparation times and for the actual trip from September 20 to October 4th, 2010.

Each One – Reach One and Then Another and…

Something is wrong with the fact that 2,000 years after Jesus gave the Great Commission to “go into all the world…” 40% of the world’s population remains unevangelized and 80% unconverted. That’s 80% of an estimated 6.8 billion people. Sad!

Even sadder when you consider that we have overwhelmingly helpful technology, finances resources, portions of the Bible in more languages than ever before, ease of travel never experienced before in human history and relative world peace. Yet, in many parts of the world they have never heard the name of Jesus by which “…all men must be saved.”

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Building Churches Apostolically

Apostles are about to be mobilized to go into areas where the Gospel has never been preached before. In general, until now, they have been working with established churches training and equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry. This will continue – but there is an apostolic “itch” that has begun among many to go into virgin Gospel territory and begin afresh to proclaim Christ crucified where the message has never been heard and begin a new work for the Lord.

At times they will go in alone and begin to evangelize. Like Paul they will hold down secular employment to earn a living until the number of followers grows and allows them to go full time into evangelizing, discipling, training, and equipping along with the general work of teaching and preaching.

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In Word and Deed

Open Your Mouth – Evangelism is living the Christian message in the presence of non-believers. Evangelism is living by Christian values and ethics and doing it so well that others will see that your values are different and, in time, ask you why. Evangelism is the embodiment of the “Good News” of Jesus and proclaiming that in INTENTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS.

Today there is a growing tendency to become involved in “social justice” issues as we try to Christianize the culture or society in which we live. This passes as various forms of ‘Kingdom theology.” Jesus never asked us to change the culture and He didn’t try to do that either. In fact He did not even address the social issues of His day – like slavery. Our calling is to simply tell others the good news by word and deed and change the world one person at a time.

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The Doctrine of Judgement and Hell

Many people today are ready to embrace the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. However, they usually have a number of very theological issues to overcome first. One such issue is the existence of Hell and the fact that a loving God would allow people to go to Hell.

That can be an insurmountable objection unless we, as preachers and disciples of the Lord know how to explain the existence of Hell in a biblical way. This will involve helping the person with the objection to understand the goodness and grace of God as well as the justice and judgment of the same God. And, in the process, show that God is very loving and desires that all people be saved.

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The 3 Things Needed for Reaching the Lost

The Scriptures: Luke 15:1-10 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.  This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such despicable people – even eating with them!  So Jesus used this illustration:  “If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it?  And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders.  When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found.  In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!  “Or suppose a woman has ten valuable silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and look in every corner of the house and sweep every nook and cranny until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her because she has found her lost coin.  In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
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Gerry Roy

As I sit and send you this short message I am reminded that God is good all the time and his grace is always sufficient for me! Ralph this letter does not surprise me as I took the original word that was spoken over me and considerer the many things said with great expectation of the manifestations that surely would come in the near future !And come they did, I am in awe of Gods ways as they certainly swept me up to a greater reality in Christ and as a result there is a peace about my life today that I don’t know how to explain to anyone …{ It`s simply not English !! LOL }You stated that the Lord would reveal himself to me and that I would know without a doubt that it was alllllll Hiiiimmmm !!!Well brother how God did that was one morning at the mines approx six months ago I was reading first Peter and God said he wanted me to write all that was said in a notebook , so I did that Brother and after six months of two to four hours a day i have written the entire new testament and I am humbled at how God has instructed me, He has revealed himself to me by allowing me to Know his truth and it has set me Free for the first time in my life, I’m excited, and filled with the gospel of the kingdom, I feel that a great step has been achieved within my vessel and Honor lives in me …I’m so pleased !!Oh how Good is the Lord , we need only seek him out, Ralph many pages could not explain what all has happened but I wanted to encourage you to keep on prophesying to the world its working brother…In Jesus..Gerry Roy


Pastor’s Work Hours, TV Watching, and Prayer Times

Study: Pastors Work Longer Hours

According to a new study by LifeWay Research, full-time senior pastors tend to work 55 hours or more per week.

Anyone still think pastors only work one day per week? According to a new study by LifeWay Research, full-time senior pastors tend to work 55 hours or more per week, and 42% work 60 or more hours. When including bi-vocational pastors, part-time senior pastors and volunteer pastors, 35% work at least 60 hours a week, and 30% work 50-59 hours. Half spend as much as 14 hours a week preparing sermons, while 9% spend 25 hours or more, with just 7% spending less than five hours per week on their sermons. 30% of evangelical pastors spend 20 or more hours a week in sermon preparation vs. 20% of mainline pastors. Other time-consuming activities include meetings, handling e-mail or e-correspondence, counseling others, or in hospital, home or witnessing visits. More than 70% of pastors spend up to 5 hours a week in meetings with 15% doing so 10 hours or more a week. 30% spend 20-29 hours a week with their families, and 16% report spending 40 or more hours with them. 52% spend 1-6 hours in prayer each week, and the same percentage spend 2-5 hours in personal devotions unrelated to sermon prep. 14% spend an hour or less in personal devotions. 24% watch TV 10-14 hours each week.

Five Reasons People Quit

Every church leader I’ve chatted with has done serious battle with discouragement

#1 – Burnout

I once heard someone say, “I would rather burn out than rust out.”  Uh…BOTH are bad because NEITHER of them finish well.  Too many people in the ministry work themselves into a frenzy, never take time to disconnect and refresh and do absolutely nothing for fun–this always goes bad!

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A Great People and a Wonderful God- Russia #2

Today I am working on the normal things that go along with an active and expanding ministry. I have a number of appointments to go to, paperwork and emails, passport and tourist visa to pick up as it has just arrived in the city early this morning from the Russian Embassy. I am stil lthinking through Sunday’s teaching as I teach at two different churches – so two teachings needed.

However, I am also in full gear and getting ready spiritually, emotionally and physically for a trip to Russia that begins at 4:00a (arrival at the airport) next Monday morning. I am also still working on preparation of the many teachings and topics they have asked me to speak on. Great people (see picture) and a lot of fun to work for and work with. God gave us great favor with the people of Russia during our last apostolic trip to that nation. And, this trip we are expecting great things and know that the Holy Spirit will bless their hunger after the Lord and thirst to know and be involved in what He is doing today in their nation and throughout the world.

This is the key isn’t it? To hunger after the Lord and the things of the Lord. God moves whenever and wherever He can find at least one heart totally loyal and hungry for the things of the Lord. And this is the case in Russia and other nations of the former Soviet Union. The people coming to our sessions in eight different cities will travel long distances just to hear God’s Word taught. They rejoice when others receive a prophetic word even if they don’t. They simply want to sit under God’s Word and learn all they can about what He is saying and doing today. As well, they are hungry for a deeper understanding of God’s written word – the Bible. No sacrifice is too great for them – including losing a day or two of work and salary. They are committed and sold out to knowing the heart of God and following Jesus – and not from a distance. Never!

Because of this we make these apostolic trips frequently. We have three or four more already planned to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan with several others in the initial planning stages. By being there I lose the opportunity to be earning money here (and I have to raise my own support here by teaching as I do not take any money out of the donations to Ralph Howe Ministries). As well, each trip costs an estimated $3,500.00 for expenses, travel and interpreter. At the beginning, when no one knew who we were or what we had to offer, we covered all costs and so did not expect to be reimbursed. Recently, now that they are coming to know us better, we are asking that they try to raise the cost of the expenses and so the trips would not cost the ministry anything and I would simply be out of pocket the money I would have earned whould I have stayed here. They have yet to raise all of the expenses but it does get better and closer to the total with each trip as they learn to give.

If you are led by the Holy Spirit there are two things that you could be doing to support this apostolic outreach and mission to two districts of Russia and hundreds of leaders of the Russian Church that we will minister to…

1> Pray every day for the ministry times ( September 21 to October 3) and the travel on September 20 and 21 as well as October 4th as I return. International flights and connections can be troublesome.

2> Donate to this project and help us to be able to bless those who live with so much less and, at times, are persecuted for their faith and their public stand for Jesus.