Christian Training Center InternationalArticles by: CTCI

Posts by CTCI

“Son of Man” Meaning – Why Jesus Used This Name

What does the Son of Man mean? This article is part of the Names of God Series featuring the most used names and titles of God found in the Bible.

We read that Jesus was called many names throughout the Bible, but Son of Man stands apart for several reasons. The number of times we see this name alone separates it from some of the others. Just as with a name like Lamb of God, this name has a distinct meaning that is easily defined and tied back to Scripture.

What is the significance and the implications of Christ being the Son of Man? Just like other names of God, this name has rich meaning. Let’s explore this powerful name.

Read the article here: “Son of Man” Meaning – Why Jesus Used This Name

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About the Christian Training Center

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The Christian Training Center International was founded in the early 1970’s as The Inn of the Last Resort. It is now known throughout the world for its outreach to families, Christian leaders, and young people. Our focus is to enable individuals – especially young men and women – to face and overcome the mounting issues and pressures in their daily lives. Learn more here.

The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new language in a sequential and cumulative format. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training process at CTCI.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more here.

Quick Shot Responses to “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence”

Check this out from J. Warner Wallace. Great apologetic overview.

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence.” How can we possibly make an affirmative case for the existence of God? Can we use an evidential approach, and if so, how would we approach this task?

These Quick Shot responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.

Read the article here: Quick Shot Responses to “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E23) | | Cold Case Christianity

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

How to Pray for Your Daily Bread

Jesus teaches us how to pray. Here is a great article on praying for our daily bread.

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:9-11).

As we read this prayer our Lord gave, remember it is the model prayer. The Lord did not say “Pray this prayer,” but “Pray in this manner.” He taught us something wonderful about prayer: it’s not the length of our prayer, the logic of our prayer, or the language of our prayer, but the faith, the focus, and the force of our prayer that causes it to be heard in heaven.

“Bread” in this prayer is really symbolic of any need you have. Do you have a need today? God delights to meet your need.

Here are four important steps to follow when praying for “daily bread.”

Read the article here: How to Pray for Your Daily Bread – Topical Studies

What does “Yahweh” really mean?

What does YHWH mean? Here is some insight from Jenna Martin. She is a youth ministry worker and freelance writer who specializes in Bible, health, and tourism topics. In her free time you’ll probably find her writing, lifting, or doting on her handsome cat. For more info, you can check out her blog here.

God has no shortage of names–He is called by almost 1,000 different ones in the Bible.

But one of these names stands alone, and that name is Yahweh.

Before we get into what the name “Yahweh” actually means, let’s go back to its origin story in Exodus 3. In this story, God is speaking to Moses through the burning bush and giving him the mission to end all missions: freeing the Israelite people from Egyptian captivity.

Understandably, Moses has some concerns, the main one being how he will convince his fellow Israelites that this really is a mission from (and blessed by) God.

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”  God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” – Exodus 3:13-15

Read the article here: What “Yahweh” Really Means – God’s Name in the Bible

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Susan Pons Book – “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning…”

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Have you read Susan Corbett Pons book “And There was Evening and There was Morning”? It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. Check out Susan’s book here.

Susan Pons grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of six, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Check out Susan’s book here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more here.

Who is the Holy Spirit? Most misunderstood member of the Trinity

Here is a very insightful article on the Holy Spirit. Jim Denison, Ph.D., is a cultural apologist, building a bridge between faith and culture by engaging contemporary issues with biblical truth. He founded the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture in February 2009 and is the author of seven books, including “Radical Islam: What You Need to Know.” For more information on the Denison Forum, visit www.denisonforum.org.

The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood member of the Trinity. Who is he? What does he do? Why does he matter so much in our lives today?

I spent years in Baptist churches with no real introduction to the Holy Spirit. I don’t remember ever hearing a sermon on the subject. We knew to trust in Jesus and worship his Father, but I had no idea how to relate to the Spirit. Or even if I should. I suspect that many of us have a similar story.

Read the article here: Who is the Holy Spirit? Most misunderstood member of the Trinity – The Christian Post

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Monthly Giving

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Monthly giving is an important way to support our mission. The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new language in a sequential and cumulative format. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training process at the Christian Training Center. Make your gift here.

How will your monthly gift make an impact?

  • Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Your gift will help bring healing and restoration to families all around the world.
  • Your gift will help impact college students during Heroes Semester is a 10-week semester program. This program is focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, you will be renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.
  • Your gift will help impact teens through Heroes of Today Week long summer program Teens learn new life skills and they will discover more about their identity in Christ and what it means to live as one of God’s Heroes of today.
  • Your gift will give a college age student (summer) a residential position. It is open to Christian candidates who want to deepen and develop their faith while experiencing the demands of day-to-day ministry. These individuals help serve and mentor during our summer programs.

Make your gift here.

Screens Are Changing the Way We Read Scripture

Here is a great insight from Karen Swallow Prior. Karen teaches English at Liberty University and is the author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books (Brazos, 2018).

Christianity is a religion of the Word. Christians are a “People of the Book.” These distinctives have defined the Christian faith from the beginning, even before the age of print that brought us books. As we enter what many are calling a post-literate age, pastors can help remind people that the essence of the Christian faith centers on the Word (and words).

From the carving of the Ten Commandments to the writing of the Torah to the copying and distribution of letters in the early church, God’s plan was for his people to read. However, as the way we read in this digital age changes, so too the character of the church will change. How will those reading habits affect the way we interact with the Bible? How will the way people read the Bible alter the church body?

Read the article here: Screens Are Changing the Way We Read Scripture | CT Pastors | Christianity Today

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Heroes Semester

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

CTCI’s Heroes Semester is a 10-week semester program focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, you will be renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way. Learn more here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

CTCI’s Heroes Semester is a residential, “family style” living experience like no other! Emphasizing the biblical truths of relationships, family, servanthood, and personal discipline, young men and women are challenged to live a faith that reaches beyond the four walls of the church and affects everyday life.

“The Heroes Semester is taking place, and all that I can say is that the Lord is showing me Himself! Christ is mesmerizing me; He’s opening my heart to fall more in love with Him!”

CB -Tennessee (Participant)

Participants ages 18-26 come from all walks of life with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord and seek Him for their lives and future. Each semester is filled with teaching, activities, and experiences designed to take you on the mountaintops with the Lord as well as train you to live a disciplined life in Christ in the plains and valleys.

Participants spend their days in study sessions, work duties, or on the unpredictable outdoor adventure. The evenings have a natural rhythm of group Bible studies, prayer & intercession, and recreational activities. Everyone pitches in with the usual chores that come with living life together. Electronics take a back seat in daily life, unplugging from usual habits helps to make space for new ones. Each day ends with a note of gratitude and lessons learned.

If you are ready to go deeper in relationships, devotion, and surrender to the Lord, then CTCI’s Heroes Semester could be the most purposeful 10 weeks of your life!

Learn more here.

What is imperishable beauty? Why is it important? How do we get it?

Larry Pons opens up 1 Peter 3:1-7 and helps us see the imperishable beauty of a family in line with his word.

1 Peter 3:1-7 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Wives and Husbands

In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives. Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes, but rather what is inside the heart the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also adorned themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and do not fear any intimidation.

Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — The 2020 date will be announced soon. | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

12 Days of Christmas // God Will Direct

“If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him!”
– Matthew Simpson –

“I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:11-12;18

God Directs From the Dark
Sometimes God brings a change or a challenge to shake us loose from our independence and turn us back to dependence on him. We are closest to finding his will, our happiness, and our usefulness, when we are completely in the dark waiting for that first gleam of dawn, depending entirely on him to cause the sun to rise.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Hindsight

“Life has to be lived forwards but it can only be understood backwards.”
– Søren Kierkegaard –

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Moments of Trusting
If we could walk through life in reverse order, many times of doubt and questions would be erased from our path. But sadly, we would have missed those desperate moments of trusting in the Lord and clinging to him for guidance.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Forgiveness Focuses Forward

Look not back on yesterday
So full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God’s way–
All sin confessed you must forget.
– Dennis DeHaan –

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Focus on Pleasing Christ
As we come to the end of the year, we often look back with regret on things we did not accomplish or resolutions long forgotten. But sin is one thing we should never look back on with feelings of failure. If we have confessed our sins and asked God’s forgiveness, we only need to focus forward on the goal of pleasing Christ.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Eternal Glory

“There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.”
– Catherine Booth –

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Unseen But Eternal
If our present situation disturbs us, perhaps something beyond our natural sight is in the works. The trouble we face today may be achieving an eternal purpose much better than we can imagine. Remember, what we see right now is only temporary. What is most important, although we may not see it yet, is eternal.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Pleasing in Your Sight

So remember while December
Brings the only Christmas day,
In the year let there be Christmas
In the things you do and say.
– Anonymous –

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

From Words to Thoughts to Actions
The words we speak are reflections of our thoughts. These God-pleasing thoughts become pleasing in his sight because they motivate us to Christ-like actions that are seen and not just heard.
Are your thoughts and words pleasing to the Lord every day and not just at Christmastime or on Sunday mornings?

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // A Christmas Candle

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.
– Eva K. Logue –

John the Baptist said of Jesus: “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” John 3:30

More of Him, Less of Me
We are like a candle that holds a flame, burning bright with the light of Christ. We softly give ourselves away, worshiping him and serving him, that we might become less and less, and he might become greater and brighter through us.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Come As A Child

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”
– Erma Bombeck –

“… And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 18:2-4

Come to the Father as a Child
Is there anything more exciting than being a child on Christmas morning? And yet this is what God asks of us each day, to change and become like little children. Each day approach God the Father as a child, with excited anticipation of his goodness. Humbly trust that your every need will be met and every care will be under his control.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Not Alone At All

“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.”
– Taylor Caldwell –

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  … No … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

God Is With You, Closer Than Ever
When you feel most alone, it may be the very moment when you are truly least alone. God is there in your darkest night and coldest wind. He may be so close you cannot see him, but he is there. And perhaps he has chosen this moment to pull you closer to him than you’ve ever been before.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Make Room for More

Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing,
Returns to you glad.
– John Greenleaf Whittier –

“If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving — large or small — it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:38

Give More
We have heard people say, “You can’t out-give God.” Well, you can’t out-give yourself either. You don’t need to be wealthy to possess a giving heart. Give a smile, lend an ear, extend a hand. However you give, God’s promise is tried and tested, and you’ll see the blessings multiplied and returned back to you.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Wonderful Possibilities

“When God intends to make something wonderful he begins with a difficulty. When he intends to make something very wonderful, he begins with an impossibility.”
– Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan –

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

God Can Do the Impossible for You
The birth of Jesus was not just a difficulty; it was an impossibility. Mary was a virgin. Only God could breathe life into her womb. And just as God caused her to conceive the perfect, sinless Savior — fully God, fully human — he can accomplish through you, those things that seem impossible in your life.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // Laugh With Immanuel

“The implications of the name ‘Immanuel’ are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know.”
– Michael Card –

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.'” Matthew 1:22-23 NIV

Immanuel Is God With Us
Why do we turn to God so quickly in times of sorrow and struggle, in danger and fear, and forget him in the times of joy and rejoicing? If God is the giver of joy and he is “God with us,” then he must want to share in those moments of great joy, and even in those times of silly laughter and fun.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

12 Days of Christmas // The Greatest Christmas Gift

“This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ.”
– Frank McKibben –

“But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ … For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s gift leads to our being made right with God … for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:15-17 NLT

Jesus Christ Is the Greatest Gift
Each year we are reminded that Christmas isn’t just about giving and receiving presents. Yet, if we honestly consider the heart of Christmas, it is, indeed, all about gift giving. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift-giver of all, our wonderful God and Father.

Devotional series from ThoughtCo.

Looking Back & Looking Forward: Reviewing the Ending Year & Planning for the New Year

This article appeared in 2018 Christmas newsletter and was written by our board member Bill Eubank

One of the things I have learned as I look back is the importance of taking time to review what has happened in my life-to write down the important things and plan for the future. I find it helpful to do this on an annual basis, usually at the end of the year between Christmas and the New Year.  Charles E. Hummel wrote a book entitled The Tyranny of the Urgent that speaks to this issue of life and time. I recommend you read it (and re-read it) annually. It always makes me think about what is most important.

As I end one year and start a new one, I have found it helpful to ponder these questions:

  1. What has God said to you about your calling?This might include any prophetic words that you have received, or it may be a deep sense in your heart of what God has told you.
  2. What are the important things that you did during the past year? What important lessons did you learn during this year?
  3. As you consider the New Year, what are the 3-5 achievable goals that you feel are important for you to complete in the coming year?

The Lord once asked me, “Bill, what is the best time of your day?” After thinking about this for a few minutes I said, “Mornings” because I enjoy mornings more than evenings, when I am usually tired and do not want to tackle important issues. He simply said to me, “Would you give Me some of that time?” I said, “Yes.” Over 35 years ago I started to plan every day to get up in time to:

  1. Read my Bible (All kinds of annual reading plans are on the internet like the one below.)
  2. Pray and tell God what is on my mind (He knows already but He wants me to have the opportunity to share with Him so that I know that He knows-it’s called relationship.)
  3. Get quiet and listen to what He might say to me. This is really important, but most of us either haven’t really tried it or don’t believe He will speak to us. I promise, if you will get quiet and really seek Him as it says in Hebrews 11:6, He will speak to you.
  4. Journal about this time with God. This includes my thoughts, scriptures that I have found meaningful, and of course, what God said to me. Because I have the past year’s journal, I can review what I have written during that time. I also pray and ask God what He wants to tell me about the coming year.

This time of reflection, review and thinking about what the next year holds is very important for each of us. We live in an active, fast paced world with a lot of people trying to get our attention. Many of us have young children, jobs, daily responsibilities and other things that pull us to deal with the urgency of ‘NOW!’ But I have learned that I always get more done and more accomplished IF I will start my day with the One who created me, the One who loves me, and the One who has amazing things that HE wants me to see, to do, and to BE. I just need to make the time to talk with Him about it– about my life, about His call, about the opportunities that He sees, and about what His Word says about all that is going on around me.

May God continue to bless you and draw you close to Himself.

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Bible Reading plan

Tyranny of the Urgent

 

Giving Tuesday

Dear Friends,

As a great reminder to all year-end contributions, Giving Tuesday was designed to ease the strain of last minute donations during the Christmas season. What is exciting for CTCI is your donation this year will be twice the value. That’s right! Every dollar we receive will be matched up to $100,000.00.

Now is the time to give. Not only are you helping to restore families from around the globe, but hundreds of young people are also being transformed through our Heroes of Today challenge programs.

This is the season of Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for the many faithful donors who help enable us to continue this work.

Would you prayerfully consider donating to the ministry of CTCI? Every dollar counts, and this year, twice as much!

God bless you and your family during this time of thanking our Lord for His many blessings.

Most Sincerely,

Larry F. Pons, CTCI Executive Director

To donate now and find more information about the lives affected by your giving at CTCI click here. God Bless!

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Faith Morton

Faith Morton’s family moved to Franklin from Port St. Lucie in 2017 after her sister’s family, Madison and Dustin Ortiz, joined our staff. She shares about the importance of duty vs intimacy, obedience vs sacrifice, seeing the monuments of the Lord’s goodness in our lives, and how much her Heavenly Father truly loves her.

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester you can go to:

Summer Internship – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

Spring Semester – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroessemmester

CTCI Proclamations of Thankfulness

One of Merriam Webster’s definitions of the word thankfulness is to be “conscious of the benefit received.”

We as believers are called to be wonderfully conscious of the great gift of salvation – that is eternal life with Christ, and also the benefits we receive in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture gives us everything we need and confirms our direction! Here are just a few verses confirming our call to be thankful!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Ephesians 5:20

“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Colossians 3:15-17

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Join us in this proclamation of thankfulness to the Lord!

Father we are conscious of the benefit of Your salvation and we are so very THANKFUL!

We choose to be THANKFUL today as we know it is Your will for us to find gratefulness in all circumstances!

Father, we are THANKFUL for Your peace in our hearts and for Your Word!

With THANKFULNESS we sing praises to You Lord and with that praise, the enemy must flee!

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Daniel Ricks

Daniel Ricks came to join the 2018 Summer Internship in order to serve and strengthen his relationship with the Lord prior to leaving for Army Basic Training in September. During his time here his relationship with the Lord was made even more personal with the revelation that he always “has his Father’s ear.”

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester you can go to:

Summer Internship – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

Spring Semester – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroessemmester

100 Years

Most people think of Veterans Day as a time to have a three day weekend, give high fives, and say “Thank you for your service” to someone they may know that has served or is currently serving in one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces.

Be it Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard (yes, my brother puddle jumpers still count) they join together and make up what is undoubtedly the greatest military force this country has ever known. During my time in the Air Force, I am proud to say that I have trained with and served alongside members of all five military branches and it was an absolute honor.

What most people don’t recognize is that November 11th hasn’t always been known as Veterans Day. It was originally known as Armistice Day as stated by President Wilson during a Presidential Proclamation in November 1919:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with

solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service

and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it

has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to

show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils

of the nations…”

 

Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, also known as “The Great War.” It was a very different world then, but we shouldn’t have any change in the pride or gratitude that we have for those who have served and died for this country. Let’s be sure to not let this year go by without a sincere thought and prayer for all of those within our veteran community and armed forces and everything they’ve done for us. We never truly know what they have lost in the process of maintaining our freedom.

Veterans, thank you all for the sacrifice of yourself and the sacrifices of your families. May God bless you all.

AJ Selby

12Nov2018

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Sydney Giaquinto

Sydney has been a part of the church fellowship at CTCI since she was young but stepping into the roll of an intern this summer was a completely new world for her. Throughout her time here she was able to find a release from fears and anxieties and experience life with a new confidence as a daughter of the One True King.

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester you can go to:

Summer Internship – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

Spring Semester – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroessemmester

Pray In Unity: Day40 // Election Day!

Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.(Matthew 6:10; NHEB)
Voting is a spiritual act! It is the most practical act of stewarding the government sphere of God’s creation that we can make. God looked upon his creation, said that it was good, and assigned Adam the responsibility to steward His creation. The problem with the typical American Christian is that we have been convinced that government/politics is secular and we are not supposed to discuss these issues in church.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” is how Jesus taught the disciples to pray, showing them we should seek God’s will, His values, His government, here on earth, just like it is in heaven. A common phrase in our culture is, “you can’t legislate morality,” yet our government makes decisions that affect life and death, give the ability to express our religious preferences, punish criminals, guide the treatment of the foreigner, and many other similar matters. All are moral decisions that could be affected by our spiritual act of voting for candidates that best reflect God’s values.
We don’t always have the choice of a Christian candidate, but we should always understand the positions of the candidates and the parties they represent.
The Church will have the government it deserves. If the Church stays home on Election Day and allows evil people to vote in evil candidates, then we will have an evil government. Voting is a spiritual act of stewardship. Understand your candidates, pray, and then VOTE!
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray that the Church would understand and steward its spiritual obligations to vote.
  • Pray that the Church would vote in ways to elect quality candidates that reflect God’s values.
  • Pray that God’s kingdom would come on earth today, just as it is in heaven.
By Dave Kubal
President, Intercessors for America

Pray In Unity: Day 39 // The Era of Jesus the Evangelist

Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.’
(2 Samuel 9:9-10; NIV)
For many years we have been praying, “I plead Your blood over my sins and over the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America.” I actually believe that these things are possibly converging – the ending abortion and sending of revival – with what’s happening at the Supreme Court. We can’t afford to be asleep on the Supreme Court issue.
God has shown me that an “Esther movement” is coming. I sensed that there would be a strong battle at the Court because the enemy can’t afford to lose Roe v. Wade. We witnessed the battle in the Senate to confirm a conservative justice and the war over Kavanaugh about whether he can fulfill his purpose and not bend under the demonic pressure to keep Roe in place. We only want him confirmed if he is the one who can do this. We cannot leave things to chance. We can’t allow anything to stop the ending of Roe v. Wade and the saving of the nation.
We called a three-day Esther Fast beginning at sundown on 8/18 and continuing through sundown 8/21. It started immediately after Will Ford’s conference, 818: The Sign, which was a call to intercession to end racism and abortion in America. The Lord is awakening us now to receive decrees and commands. We’re on the verge of a third Great Awakening.
God has told me He is going to show mercy to the youth of America; they are the Mephibosheth generation (see 2 Samuel 9), who will sit at the table of Jesus. I believe we are about to send multitudes into the harvest fields of America and we’re in an incredible moment. This is the season of the Billy Graham mantle falling. We are entering the era of Jesus the Evangelist. It will be a season of mass awakening in America. We are calling 200,000 laborers into the harvest. We are asking for a harvest of the generation that has suffered the most losses from abortion.
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray this prayer: “I plead Your blood over my sins and over the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America.”
  • Identificationally repent for the sin of abortion in America. (See Daniel 9:3-19 for an example of identificational repentance.)
  • Weep and mourn for over 60 million babies have been lost to abortion since Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.1
  • Call forth the mantle of Jesus the Evangelist upon this generation.
  • Intercede for the harvest of souls from the generations touched so deeply by abortion in America.
By Lou Engle
Founder, The Call and Lou Engle Ministries
1 Ertelt, Stephen, ” 60,069,971 Abortions in America Since 1973.” Lifesitenews.com, January 18, 2018. Accessed 8/21/18.

Pray In Unity: Day 38 // A Season of Breakthrough

God will stand up and break through in their presence. Then they will pass through the gate, going out by it. Their king will pass in front of them with the Lord at their head. (Micah 2:13; ISV)
Someone had a dream In August 2018 in which the Lord said, “By March 2019, it will be ‘all hands on deck’ in the United States because of the harvest that was beginning.”
I think we are in an incredibly strategic window where we have to pray like we haven’t prayed in quite some time. We have started well, but we need to finish well. I think that God is saying, “All hands on deck!” Good things are happening, but we can’t just assume they will continue. We have to press in until it’s finished. Lord, we thank You for all of these facets of what You are doing for this nation. We thank You for the many people and leaders and efforts that are underway to pray. Everyone has a strategic part.
As we move into this season leading up to the midterms, which we know are so significant, show us how to pray. The deep state is still in place in every branch of government. We are asking You to give us the strategy, the wisdom, the understanding, the participation, and everything we need to turn the tide. Let this be the season of breakthrough that is so significant that it cannot be reversed. Let the fulfillment of all the promises come. Let the great breakthrough for this nation that You have already begun come to a crescendo. We pray for President Trump, our Congressional leaders, and our spiritual leaders. Let there be a synergy that takes place where the civil and spiritual leaders would be in agreement in ways that push this nation through, until it returns completely to God’s purposes. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Points for Prayer:
  • Thank the Lord for everything He is doing and causing to come together for such a time as this – many streams, many prayer efforts, every race working together, old and young.
  • Ask Him to provide everything the Church needs to work with Him to turn the tide in America.
  • Ask Him to expose, uproot, and wash away the “deep state” and all of its effects on our nation. Declare, “Purify our government, Lord!”
  • Call for the promises He has made to reseat our Supreme Court to be fulfilled.
  • Intercede for the President, Senators, Congressmen, and spiritual leaders. Call for an agreement between them where heaven and civil government align, so God’s purposes can quickly come to pass.
By Dutch Sheets
Founder, Dutch Sheets Ministries

Pray In Unity: Day 37 // The Advancing Prayer Movement

Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. (Joel 2:16; NIV)
Many are not aware that America was birthed in prayer. From the Pilgrims’ prayers as they landed at Plymouth to Benjamin Franklin’s call to prayer for divine assistance in the writing of the U. S. Constitution, prayer was a cornerstone of the nation’s founding. Men and women relied on God and sought Him as a part of the course of their daily events.
Prayer has surged in popularity off and on throughout our history, most notably in difficult seasons of time and just before the Great Awakenings and other major moves of God, such as the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s/early 1970s. The prayer movement most recently enjoyed a surge in the 1990s when prayer activities, such as the formation of numerous prayer groups in churches, prayer walking, prayer driving, prayer journeys, houses of prayer, and prayer-saturated churches, became the norm. However, the tide was moving out again in this decade. Long-time prayer warriors were growing weary, and the next generation did not seem to have the fire of their parents and grandparents.
Prior to the 2016 elections, God gave me a vision for an Appeal to Heaven Movement that would sweep a nation into prayer once again. We began to do Appeal to Heaven conferences across the nation, with an intent to go to all 50 states if need be, to ignite passion for prayer for national revival. Many prayer groups and prayer ministries were renewed. Prayer has continued to gain momentum, and a new unity across prayer ministries has come into being. God loves unity, and we have begun to see the effects of our unified prayer! Also, the Appeal to Heaven flag started to show up everywhere, including in government offices. It was even positioned behind President Trump when he gave one of his first speeches in office!
We must keep the fire of prayer going. We have made a shift, but America is not out of the woods yet! Government leaders are counting on us to keep praying! They have told me they can feel the difference when the church is praying and when it is not! Pray, Church, pray!
Points for Prayer:
  • Thank the Lord that America was founded in prayer and that Christ-honoring prayer is in the fabric of who we are as a nation.
  • Ask the Lord to stir passion for prayer up in you at a greater level.
  • Pray for the nation and its leaders today. You can go to whitehouse.govsenate.govhouse.govsupremecourt.gov, or many other government websites at the federal, state, and local level to get information for prayer.
  • Worship the Lord over America. Worship and intercession go hand in hand.
  • Ask the Lord how to better connect with prayer groups at the local and national level. Start a group if there are none in your church and/or community.
  • Use Joel 2:16 and call for the intercessors in the United States to rise up!
By Dutch Sheets
President, Dutch Sheets Ministries

Pray In Unity: Day 36 // Compassion That Compels Our Intercession

Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same
as that of Christ Jesus.
 (Philippians 2:4-5 BSB)
We were never created to live as snarling wolves, destroying others in our path. We were created in the image of the God of the universe who gave His only begotten Son even for those who would despise and reject Him.
Considering the needs and interests of others before ourselves does not come naturally. This attitude is only birthed through prayer and a Spirit-empowered, unconditional love of Christ, developed through a consistent relationship with Him.
Paul addressed this issue when writing to the church in Galatia. These words would also apply to political parties, governmental leaders, media, and anyone who struggles with showing compassion and kindness toward others:
The entire Law is fulfilled in a single decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out, or you will be consumed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh . . .
(Galatians 5:14-16 BSB)
With a conviction based upon the Word of God, let us unite in prayer together.
Points for Prayer:
  • Sovereign God, break the cycles of resentment, revenge, and racism so that relationships are restored in homes/families, churches, communities, and the nation as a whole. (Matthew 6:9-14)
  • Christ the Anointed One, release a reconciling power in the midst of national conflict, revealing God’s desire to make us one and use His people to be agents of healing and change, social justice, and peace. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
  • Holy Spirit, enable us to break patterns of poverty in our communities, fulfilling Christ’s call to act with compassion and persistence to eradicate deficiency and disease through meeting the basic needs of food, shelter, and health care, for the disenfranchised, whether immigrant, refugee, or citizen. (Matthew 25:34-40)
  • Praise God for open doors to be His hands extended beyond the prayer closet or church walls; then move forward with action that puts feet to our faith. (James 2:14-17)
By Kay Horner
Awakening America Alliance

Appeal to Heaven Conference: Session 1 – The Mordecai Mandate

 

The Mordecai Mandate: moving from the sword to the scepter. In this session, Dave Kubal, president of Intercessors for America, speaks out of the book of Esther and talks about the important shift taking place in how we are to pray and interceed for our nation – we are in a season of moving from defensive prayer (the sword) into praying with favor extended (the scepter).

Watch the full video HERE.

Christian Training Center International
lifeisrelationships.com

Intercessors for America
ifapray.org

Pray In Unity: Day 35 // Awakening His Beautiful Bride

I know your reputation as a live and active church, but you are dead.
Now wake up! Strengthen what little remains-for even what is left is
at the point of death. Your deeds are far from right in the sight of God.
Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly
and turn to me again.
(Revelation 3:1b-3a; TLB)
George Barna has given us some shocking statistics on the church in America. Due to a number of factors, Barna considers 48% of American adults to be in a “post-Christian” state and 45% to be completely unchurched.1
There is a greater concern: 55% of Americans believe that you can get to heaven by doing good works.2 This ideology leaves Christ completely out of the picture. Where is the need for a Savior if we can get to heaven without Him? Is living forever the goal or is an eternal relationship with our loving Father the goal? What does it mean to be a Christian? All of these questions are raised by that one response alone.
If the Church is God’s representative on the earth and if that representation is to love and reflect Him, enforcing and expanding God’s Kingdom on the earth, then we are in trouble. The American Church is generally anemic, weak, and uneducated in God’s ways.
Yes, there is a remnant! It is small, but it is noteworthy! These largely evangelical and charismatic Believers “get it.” They prayed. They voted. They shifted a nation. They are praying some more! Some are planning to run for government offices from the local to the national level. They are impacting the realms of influence God has placed them in–family, education, business, religion, government, media, and arts and entertainment.
We must pray for the rest to awaken to God’s Truth and their purpose in the earth!
Points for Prayer:
  • Thank the Lord for His beautiful Bride!
  • Call for God to shake the Church awake! Cry out over her, “Wake up, Church! Wake up!”
  • Intercede that Believers would fully recognize their ability to greatly impact culture if we all pray and work together in obedience to God and His Word.
  • Pray a blessing over those Christians who are already out there making a difference. Pray that nothing would be able to hinder them.
By Dutch Sheets
President, Dutch Sheets Ministries
1 Barna, George. The State of the Church 2016. Barna.com, 9/15/16.
2 Ibid.

Pray In Unity: Day 34 // What is our Responsibility?

And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Revelation 12:11; NASB)
As opposition to all things of God increases around us, what are we to do?
As the church, you and I have several acute active responsibilities.
John 17:23 gives a clear call to become perfectly one so that the world may know the Father sent Jesus and loved them even as Jesus is loved.
Furthermore, we must speak up, stand up, and show up – not in a militant or self-righteous way. His abundant love and grace towards one another must be our constant manner and our consistent language. Speak the truth but always in love-the greatest motive (see 1 Corinthians 13:13).
Silence in the face of evil is Evil itself; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak and not to act is to act. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Points for prayer:
  • To become perfectly one: be a witness to the world. (John 17:23)
  • To show up: do not become weary or give up. (Galatians 6:9)
  • To stand up: perfect love drives out fear. (I John 4:18)
  • To speak up in culture: they overcame by blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. (Revelation 12:11)
By Lisa Crump
National Day of Prayer Task Force

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Micah Whitehouse

Micah joined us as a 2018 Summer Intern and came all the way from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Micah shares about the biggest area of change in his life was his ability to communicate as he opened up throughout his time here. As the Lord worked in him and increased Micah’s communication skills He also increased Micah’s desire to share the Gospel and to evangelize.

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester you can go to:

Summer Internship – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

Spring Semester – www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroessemmester

Pray In Unity: Day 33 // Will We Trust?

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
 (Psalm 56:3-4a; ESV)
Do you ever feel anxiety at the swirling issues in our nation, threats of wars and political conflict in the world, and personal lives around us in peril? It may seem that evil has the last word of the day. This year, I have been reminded of the final outcome from the end of the book of Job. After all the utter loss he endured, followed by restoration that was above and beyond, Job responded to the Lord. In chapter 42:2, Job says, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
As the Father lays our nation, leaders, and individuals on our hearts and minds for intercession, we must pray, then simply be still-trust and know. The firmness of Psalm 46:10 always instructs, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Selah!
Points for Prayer:
  • Remember, the Lord cannot be thwarted by anything or anyone.
  • Remember, the Lord will be exalted regardless of anything or anyone in our nation.
  • Remember, the Lord will be victorious despite anything or anyone in all of the earth.

By Lisa Crump
National Day of Prayer Task Force

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Pray In Unity: Day 32 // Refreshing Our Focus

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.  (Hebrews 12:2; GNT)
In any given day, there can be moments when all the constant noise in the battle for good and evil can seem overwhelming. In the desire to be informed even for prayer and intercession, I sometimes find my focus doesn’t engage properly. I allow my attention to begin on the problem rather than the Lord Himself, the Problem Solver. I picture myself backing up and starting anew where there is great peace and power as I remember to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). This refocused entry of praise and thankfulness before the great I Am prevents despair, as I later pray the petitions and deep needs. The Lord is never surprised by the happenings in our days. For focus, I like to spend time with passages of Isaiah in the chapters of the 40s – there are so many references to the supremacy of the Lord. One example is Isaiah 45:6b, “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
Points for prayer:
  • Enter the Lord’s presence with thanksgiving!
  • Linger in praise to the Lord.
  • Meditate on who the Lord really is.
By Lisa Crump
National Day of Prayer Task Force

Pray In Unity: Day 31 // Where is the LOVE?

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35; NIV)
When I was 18 and in college, I became part of the LOA Club. LOA stood for “Love One Another.” We were a diverse group, and the beauty was we were all believers and committed to one another. The newbie freshman relished the support from the seniors on campus. John 13:34-35, our Biblical mandate, was put to practice and memory.
Friends, in the battles we face in our appointed times, the Lord knew we would continually need love from others. He knew we need to frequently be the givers of love too.
Every day, we must choose His commandment. We must choose a genuine posture of love-to one another, to those not at all like us, and even to those in complete opposition to us.
Points for Prayer:
  • LOVE – the LORD your GOD with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind.
  • LOVE – your neighbor as yourself.
  • LOVE – your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
By Lisa Crump
National Day of Prayer Task Force

Pray In Unity: Day 30 // The Fear of the Lord

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7; NIV)
Where is America headed? How my soul mourns the absence of honor and respect for our Lord Jesus Christ and His values in our culture. The public arena has rapidly descended as the disappearance of the fear of the Lordhas vaporized from the heart and mind of many, especially the highly visible and vocal. The lack of civility, loss of decorum, ill-regard for authority are signs of a society in peril, one which desires to serve self.
The need for God’s wisdom is infinite. Our nation can improve with a holy fear and reverence of God. Then – and only then –  His wisdom can begin.
According to Romans 14:12, one day every soul will give an account of our lives to God, their Creator.
Points for Prayer:
  • Repent and ask the Holy Spirit to convict the populace that we may all know the existence of the Lord.
  • Repent and ask Holy Spirit’s conviction on the populace to revere/honor/fear the Lord.
  • Repent and ask Holy Spirit’s conviction on the populace to seek the Lord.
By Lisa Crump
National Day of Prayer Task Force

Pray In Unity: Day 29 // Pray for Truth in Media

Life and death are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruit. 
(Proverbs 18:21; HCSB)
Has secular media become such a part of our mental and spiritual landscape that we do not recognize the impact it is having on our nation? Are we afraid its powerful influence is too big to overcome? In 1 Samuel 17, we read how David was not afraid to confront giants when those giants were opposed to God and His people. Goliath’s greatest weapon was not so much his size or strength. In fact, King Saul and the Israelite army hadn’t gone near enough to test the giant’s military prowess. They were sitting on the hillside frightened, discouraged, and on the verge of defeat, simply because of Goliath’s big mouth! David had little, if any, experience on the battlefield, but he had developed some faith-filled strategies in the school of prayer and worship. He didn’t know much about Goliath, but he had become well acquainted with the Lord of Hosts.
God’s servant confronted the taunting Philistine in the name of the Lord Almighty and with a declaration of truth. Then the shepherd boy slung a stone, striking Goliath in the forehead and causing him to fall face down on the ground. It’s pretty difficult to shout lies with a mouth full of sandy dirt! By the way, the frontal lobe of the brain just happens to be the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate. Although we are told the stone killed the Philistine, David didn’t stop halfway. He used the opposition’s own sword to cut off his head, showing God’s authority over the mind. This was a giant faith builder! Goliath would never taunt God’s people or defy the Holy One of Israel ever again! What are some effective prayer strategies that we can use against the giants of media?
Points for Prayer:
  • Ask God to position His servants in media and empower them to faithfully walk in integrity and humility. Pray they will be filled with knowledge, wisdom and understanding that comes from God. Pray they will not use their words carelessly, but their tongues will bring forth life (Proverbs 11; 18:21; Romans 10:14,15).
  • Pray that deception and ungodly philosophies in our media will be exposed and not allowed to infiltrate and infect the church. Decree and declare that the light of Truth will dispel the darkness
    (Luke 8:17).
  • Thank God for placing His Spirit upon the leaders He has placed in the media and that He has placed His Word on their tongue
    (2 Samuel 23:2-4).
  • Ask and believe that God-called media leaders will be bold, fearless, and unafraid to expose the truth about terrorist and jihadist threats to our government. Pray they will be willing to refute every evil word spoken against Jesus followers and will be unashamed of the gospel (Jeremiah 1:9-10; Isaiah 54:17; Romans 1:16).
  • Pray that God will strategically position heralds of peace who will bring good news and proclaim salvation to the nations (Isaiah 52:7).
  • Wait before the Lord for further direction from the Holy Spirit and remember to thank God for hearing and answering our prayers. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him”
    (1 John 5:14,15).
By Kay Horner
Awakening America Alliance

Pray In Unity: Day 28 // An Ongoing Call to Pray for America’s National Security: Maintaining Border Security

Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction
within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation,
and thy gates Praise.
 (Isaiah 60:18; KJV)
The atrocities of human trafficking, drug trafficking, and terrorism – especially connected to ISIS – entering via the U.S southern border are the most prevalent issues affecting our national and border security. These issues present a distinct set of circumstances for our government beyond the crisis of undocumented people entering the U.S. illegally to escape difficulties in their own country-a challenge that underscores the need for immigration reform.
Legislation that would allow for an effective response in counteracting these evils has been “on the table” for too many years. It is time for the U.S. to remedy its broken immigration system and address legislative policies that will allow immigrants and refugees who have the intention to thrive in America and give America their Pledge of Allegiance to enter legally and safely. Likewise, we need laws addressing those who would enter to harm our country; they should be detained and sent back to their country of origin. It’s time for our government to move forward on this issue with the resolve of a fair and compassionate immigration reform that will allow America to flourish in the way which it was founded and God intended.
The U.S. State Department estimates that around 14,500-17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year, with other estimates reaching as high as 19,000.1
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray that God will keep our borders safe from those who would desire to harm America while our government works on immigration reform.
  • Pray that God will expose the enemy’s agenda to infiltrate our borders. Pray that terrorists who enter through the southern border would be caught.
  • Pray against the human tragedy behind immigration and that God will give President Trump His plan and vision for immigration reform.
  • Pray for the children lured to cross the border looking for a better life because of the lack of education and opportunities in their own countries.
  • Pray for those affected by human trafficking and drug trafficking – that God would protect and heal them – and that God would expose the perpetrators and the drug cartels and eliminate them.
  • Pray for the hearts of those who would desire to bring harm to God’s people and harm to America-that they would have an encounter with the living Savior.
By Mark Gonzales, Founder, Hispanic Action Network
Herman Martir, Founder, Asian Action Network
1 U.S. Department of State, 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report,
State.gov. Accessed 9/12/18.

Pray In Unity: Day 27 // An Ongoing Call to Pray for America’s National Security: Danger of Cyber Attacks and Electromagnetic Pulse

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16; NIV)
Increasing attacks on the U.S. power grid are one serious threat that often goes unnoticed by the American public. Hackers are trying to penetrate our critical systems in order to insert malicious software that could compromise our electrical power, resulting in a nationwide crisis. Another potentially grave danger is that an electromagnetic pulse, a sudden burst of energy from a high altitude nuclear explosion, could fry the electrical power grid, causing mass blackouts across the country. As an enemy’s first strike weapon, it could also take out our command and control capability that would be necessary to our national defense.
Points for Prayer:
  • Let’s pray for the protection of our power grid and computer systems that keep critical infrastructure, such as electrical and water systems, running to serve the government and citizens of this nation.
  • Pray for those who are watching over the power grid and other crucial infrastructural systems to be vigilant and able to counteract and neutralize any such attacks by hackers or through an EMP assault.
  • Pray for the development of new technologies that help to harden and protect our critical infrastructure and military command and control systems from external assaults.
  • May those hackers or enemy nationals who are launching these attacks be discovered, apprehended, and brought to justice by the U.S. or other governments.
By John Robb
Co-Convener, National Prayer Assembly
Chairman, International Prayer Council

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Emma Listro

Emma Listro joined us this summer as a CTCI Summer Intern for 2018. She shares about her release from shame and the freedom to be found in a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the revelation of God’s forgiveness for her.

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester, please follow the links below.

Summer Internship – https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

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Pray In Unity: Day 26 // An Ongoing Call to Pray for America’s National Security: North Korea under Kim Jong Un and Iran under the Mullahs

Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
with your sword rescue me from the wicked. 
(Psalm 17:13; NIV)
North Korea has an estimated 20 to 30 nukes and has been developing its ballistic missile capabilities in order to threaten America’s allies in the Northeast, as well as our homeland. In spite of the recent summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim, the North Koreans have not proceeded to implement denuclearization as they agreed they would. Military action could still be on the table. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs are still dangerous to the U.S. and the security environment in East Asia. North Korea also has exported ballistic missiles and related material to several countries, including Iran and Syria, which increase the danger of nuclear proliferation.
In the Middle East, Iran, led by its fanatical Islamic mullahs, has been called “the most destabilizing element” in the region and “clearly a malign influence” by General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Iran has supported the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as deepened its involvement and influence in Syria and Iraq. Iran wants to improve its nuclear and missile capabilities and has made progress in some areas, leading to the conclusion that it has the capacity to produce nuclear weapons. To Iran, the U.S. is the “great Satan,” and they have not disguised their long- term desire to destroy our nation if they can, as they often chant “Death to America.”
Points for Prayer:
  • Let’s pray for a peaceful solution to the North Korean threat to regional and world peace and that the North Korean regime will now implement the agreement to denuclearize the nation quickly and in a verifiable manner.
  • Pray that China will continue to play a moderating influence on Kim Jong Un and his government and that they will cooperate with the rest of the world in maintaining economic sanctions until North Korea gives up its nukes and missile programs.
  • Pray for reform and regime change in both North Korea and Iran, so war can be averted with both of these nations.
  • Pray for Iran to quit meddling in other nations in the Middle East region and to give up its role as the world’s most significant state sponsor and exporter of terrorism.
  • Pray that religious and political freedom will be established in both of these extremely repressive nations, so their citizens may be liberated and blessed, even becoming friends of our country.
By John Robb
Co-Convener, National Prayer Assembly
Chairman, International Prayer Council

Pray In Unity: Day 25 // An Ongoing Call to Pray for America’s National Security: Nuclear Expansion in Russia and China

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. (Psalm 46:9; NIV)
“Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security,” General Joseph Dunford affirmed in his congressional hearing to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, our highest military officer. With its large nuclear arsenal, destabilizing role in Ukraine, threat to NATO nations on its borders, and involvement in the Syrian civil war, Russia presents a significant challenge. “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I would have to point to Russia,” Dunford said. “And if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”
Dunford said China falls right behind Russia because of their growing military might and aggressive behavior throughout the Asia-Pacific area. They are investing in a massive military build-up to challenge U.S. dominance in the region, erecting artificial islands for possible military use, and demanding territorial rights disputed by their neighbors, most of whom are our allies.
Threats to U.S. space services will increase as potential adversaries pursue destructive counter-space capabilities. Both Chinese and Russian military leaders are developing the ability to disrupt U.S. use of space in a conflict by damaging and destroying those satellites upon which the U.S. is so dependent for its reconnaissance and communication systems. They also now have a lead in developing hypersonic missiles that go at five times the speed of sound and could threaten our ability to respond to attack.
Some Russian agents interfered with the last election, though not enough to affect the outcome. Also the Chinese have stolen large amounts of American military and other kinds of technology which they can now use against us.
Points for Prayer:
  • Let’s pray for a better, closer relationship with these two great powers and that our government and diplomats will have wisdom to pursue greater trust and world peace.
  • Pray for our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, as well as our Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, in close cooperation with President Trump and his team, so that this potential threat can be turned around into a mutually beneficial friendship among our three nations.
  • Ask the Lord for the development of more advanced military technologies and war-readiness that will keep Russia and China from wanting to try and take advantage of the U.S. by provoking a military conflict of any kind.
  • Be mindful of the strong movements of Christians in both Russia and China; let us pray that they will rise to positions of favor and influence in their governments, so our international relations will be increasingly shaped by Christian values, not dictatorial (Russia) or communist ones (China).

By John Robb
Co-Convener, National Prayer Assembly
Chairman, International Prayer Council

Pray In Unity: Day 24 // An Ongoing Call to Pray for America’s National Security: Watchfulness Against Deception

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. (Psalm 127:1; NIV)
I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest…
(Isaiah 62:6; NIV)
When the ancient city of Troy was besieged by the Greek army in 1200 BC, the Trojans thought that their defenses, especially their high walls, could never be breached. They were right. However, the Greeks did not mount a frontal attack on their walls, but instead cunningly deceived their enemy by leaving a large wooden statue of a horse. The idea was to feign defeat and honor the Trojans for their victory. Meanwhile, a band of Greek soldiers was hiding inside the horse’s belly as the Trojans unwittingly admitted the “prize of war” into the heart of their city. Later that night, as the residents of Troy slept, the hidden Greek commandos emerged to open the gates to the rest of the Greek army who savagely massacred the residents and destroyed their once proud city by fire.
In the same way, the greatest threat to America’s national security is our openness to deception and lack of watchfulness. The Trojans thought they were invincible behind their vast, high, seemingly impenetrable walls and defenses. We dare not become complacent, thinking that because we are the world’s “super power,” we are safe from attack. That is not the case at all. Even great empires have fallen when their enemies succeeded in deceiving them and conquering them from the inside.
We must pray for our current and future administrations to be able and willing to boldly identify and confront threats to the nation. We also need to pray our leaders will have the willingness to look within at policies previously created or underway that might undermine and endanger our national security.
Points for Prayer:
  • Thank God for His deliverance and protection over the U.S. until now and for His mercy in the “divine turnaround” we experienced during the 2016 election.
  • Pray for President Trump and his administration and for our Department of Defense to have great wisdom as they seek to upgrade and modernize our military forces, both conventional and nuclear.
  • Pray for our various intelligence agencies and for the Director of National Intelligence, that they will work together in unity and careful coordination, being ever watchful to discover security threats.
  • Pray for any remaining cells of terrorists to be uncovered and plots foiled before any harm can be done. Pray that these dangerous people will be arrested and deported from our country immediately.
  • Pray for the removal of the corrupt and wicked from positions of influence in the government, including the CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies, as well as other governmental bureaucracies in D.C. and throughout the nation. The Lord is answering this prayer, but we need to see this process go further to ferret out and prosecute all “deep state” actors.
  • Pray that the moral and spiritual decline of America will be reversed. Identify in repentance for our national sins and ask for God’s mercy upon our wayward nation.
By John Robb
Co-Convener, National Prayer Assembly
Chairman, International Prayer Council

Pray In Unity: Day 23 // Securing the Vineyard of Prophetic Destiny (Pt. 2)

But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” (1 Kings 21:3 NIV)
Yesterday, we shared on God’s desire for you to secure Washington D.C., as well as your own spheres, for His harvest. We identified a “Jezebel spirit” as a primary opposing force. Today I’d like to speak into this more specifically.
The story of Naboth’s vineyard, as chronicled in 1 Kings 21, conveys how Jezebel targets the vineyards of our prophetic destiny. Note that Naboth had a vineyard next to Jezebel’s palace in the Jezreel Valley. The name “Naboth” comes from the same root word as “nabi” or “prophet.” In fact, “Naboth” means “prophetic words.” It was literally the vineyard of prophetic destiny!
And the harvest of prophetic words was incredible. Perhaps this is why the “deep state” leaders of Naboth’s day wanted to overtake his vineyard for their purposes.
Ahab sought to purchase the vineyard from Naboth. When Naboth refused the transaction, Jezebel arose to overthrow him from stewarding this inheritance in three specific ways. Let’s look at them briefly.
First, as the “chief witch of Israel,” Jezebel targeted Naboth with occult power. She invoked demonic forces to target him and take him down.
Second, Jezebel wrote letters and sent them to influential people, portraying him as disqualified from owning the vineyard. In other words she used the media of the day to generate fake news.
Third, Jezebel recruited despicable men to give fake news or false testimony in the court of law. “You have cursed God and king!” they intoned.
And by this, the court was persuaded to render a lethal verdict.
Let’s review. Jezebel used three means of power to take Naboth down. First, by occult targeting. Second, by fake news in the court of public opinion. Third, by fake news in the court of law.
This sounds hauntingly familiar, doesn’t it? In fact it explains the challenges affecting both your world and Washington, D.C. I submit to you we must continue in resolute prayer for our leaders, including President Trump!
When Ahab asked for the vineyard, Naboth’s reply was telling: God forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers! That is what was at stake then, and that is what is at stake even as we approach the November elections. Let’s all gain Naboth’s resolve! Let’s ask the Lord to restrain Jezebel from overtaking the fields of our prophetic destiny.
Let’s remember Naboth’s resolve. God forbid that we should give Jezebel and Ahab the inheritance of our forefathers. No king but Jesus!
Points for Prayer:
  • Your sphere must be secured by covenant with Jesus Christ alone. Remember how David restored the Ark of the Covenant to his land. Pray and ask God to annul all previous covenants with death and hell in your land and generational line. Pledge everything you are and everything you have to God alone.
  • Ask the Lord to shield you and the nation from any witchcraft or occult targeting and accusation. Repent for any way in which you have aligned with the Accuser. You must understand how your unredeemed words may actually be empowering witchcraft instead of restraining it. Pray like Isaiah, “Cleanse me, Lord! I’m a person of unclean lips, and I dwell amidst a people of unclean lips. Forgive me!”
  • Invoke God’s covenant with you personally and over your sphere. II Kings 17:38-39 makes an incredible promise: “This covenant I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. But the Lord your God you shall fear, and He shall deliver you from the hand of every adversary.”
  • Approach the Bench. Present your case before the Court of Heaven. Remind the Lord of His covenant promises. Pray Daniel 7:22, which we have come to call “the turnaround verdict.” Remind him of suffered injustices. Ask the Lord to render judgment on your behalf to restrain Jezebel and secure your harvest-the vineyard of your prophetic destiny!
By Jon and Jolene Hamill
Co-founders of Lamplighters Ministries

Pray In Unity: Day 22 // Securing the Field of Prophetic Destiny (Pt. 1)

In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord-“I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel.[a] I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.[b] I will say to those called ‘Not my people,[c]’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.‘” (Hosea 2:21-23; NIV)
We are in such a pivotal time for our nation. The good news is that God is forging a new way forward for us all – a freedom movement! And as long as we do our part, we can see our covenantal destiny secured.
During Passover 2017, I had an extraordinary dream. Washington, D.C. was superimposed on Israel. Jolene, myself, and a group of leaders were commissioned like Joshua and Caleb to scope out the land and possess our inheritance.
My vantage point was Tel Megiddo. Armageddon! The Jezreel Valley was below. Jezreel actually means “God sows.” Not coincidentally, the Jezreel Valley was once swamp land that had to be drained in order for biblical prophecy to be fulfilled that the valley would become a harvest field. Our rallying cry became, “Drain the swamp to secure the harvest!”
That’s how you are called to take your land in this hour.
In the dream, I could focus on an area and, with telescopic ability, view every detail with precision. I diligently searched for opposing forces. I saw none. The field was clear.
Except, that is, for a clear representation of a Jezebel spirit. I immediately turned to Jolene, pointed at her, and said, “That is witchcraft!”
In retrospect, this dream proved amazingly prophetic. For instance, it conveyed an unusual covenantal alliance between Israel and America. We had no way of knowing that President Trump would soon defy global diplomacy and, for Israel’s 70th anniversary, honor Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
We have also seen how many of the challenges faced by this administration have been sourced by a Jezebel spirit. We’ll share more on this tomorrow. God is giving vital keys to overcome!
Points for Prayer:
  • What “land” or sphere is God calling you to secure for His Kingdom this year? What are the obstacles? What is your covenant promise?
  • Do you perceive a Jezebel influence is resisting you? Your family? Your sphere of authority? Washington, DC?
  • Ask the Lord to show us how to “drain the swamp”-those things holding back our spheres of authority from their full potential. Remember the precious seeds sown even in former generations. We resound the Lord’s cry, “Drain the swamp and secure the harvest!”
By Jon and Jolene Hamill
Co-founders, Lamplighter Ministries