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This Will Preach — Being married leads to relationship satisfaction!

Married adults have higher levels of relationship satisfaction and trust than those living with a partner. This is the headline one would hope would make the news as opposed to the more clickbait-ish drop in marriage and rise in cohabitation. Anyone in support of marriage should certainly trumpet it loud and clear. When you ask cohabiting couples about satisfaction and trust, specifically if things are going well, only 41% answer in the affirmative. But when you ask those who are married if things are going well, 58% answer in the affirmative. That’s quite a swing.

“I’ll be a preacher, I’ll be a teacher, a helper of mankind. I’ll be a walker, I’ll be a talker, I’ll keep the mountain people on my mind.” ~Rufus Morgan (via Chelle Rose)

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46 years ago I had the privilege to learn how to hike from Rufus Morgan. He is known as the Modern Moses. As the song says, may I also  “be a preacher, I’ll be a teacher, a helper of mankind. I’ll be a walker, I’ll be a talker, I’ll keep the mountain people on my mind.”

I started going to the Inn of the Last Resort in 1973. The exact date I arrived for the first time was July 8, 1973. I owe my life to the program. I would return for two more summers to be on staff. Eventually I would be able to serve on the Board of Directors. Now I am on the staff. What an honor and privilege it is.

One of our highlights at the time was to hike up Mt. LeConte. High atop Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is LeConte Lodge. After our hike up, we would stay there. It is the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States. It is situated on an open glade just below the summit of Mt. LeConte at an elevation of about 6400 feet. The Lodge serves as a grandstand for the entire Park and commands spectacular views of the Smokies.

Why give a week of your time to work in the kitchen? How does it make a difference?

Work is a vital part of family life. Working in the kitchen to prepare and clean up from 3 meals a day takes effort.

This is an amazing story of a family who gave up a week of their vacation to come to the Christian Training Center to work in the kitchen.

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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.

Skills you learn at the Christian Training Center are applicable in so many areas of life. Learn how they are.

Skills you learn at the Christian Training Center are applicable in life. Learn how they are.

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Apologetics Conference – The relevance of Genesis with Tim Chaffey

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is the foundation of all Christian doctrine. In it, we learn about the triune God, the origin of all matter, the nature of man, why suffering and death exists, and the reason Jesus came to sacrifice His life for us. Genesis also contains accounts of the creation, the Global Flood, and the Tower of Babel – accounts that many Christians don’t see the importance of taking literally. 

But if Genesis is not true, how can we trust the rest of the Bible?  Join us as Tim Chaffey of Answers in Genesis gives compelling arguments for the first 11 chapters of the Bible and their importance to our modern world.

Learn more here.

Family is written in our bodies and brains

Here is a great summary on the importance of family!

While the loudest voices in our culture continue to insist that men and women are interchangeable, science is offering more evidence than ever that the two sexes are anything but interchangeable. Nowhere is this uniqueness more apparent than in the distinct and very real transformations that both men and women undergo on becoming parents.

Of course, having children changes a woman—both body and mind—but it turns out men experience changes, too. They may not be as outwardly obvious as those in women, but they are dramatic and life-altering.

Writing at The New York Times, Oxford anthropologist Anna Machin cites a decade of findings on how men are designed to respond physically, emotionally, and neurologically to the arrival of a baby. And those changes, she observes, aren’t the same as those seen in women.

For example, a five-year study of over 600 men in the Philippines found that those who became fathers experienced a significant drop in testosterone—the hormone associated with male aggression, strength, and sex drive.

Read more here: Family is written in our bodies and brains – The Christian Post



We are honored that Cal Huge is selling his photos to exclusively benefit the Christian Training Center International.

Take a visit to his Etsy store. A portion of the proceeds of each sale goes to the Christian Training Center International. The listings are only a small portion of the photos available and more will be added each week. If you have a specific request for scripture on any print or a particular subject that isn’t shown, email Cal through Etsy.

Learn more here.

Who Were the Women Who Followed Jesus? 

Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. Having dealt with chronic anxiety for five years, she understands the struggle of anxious thoughts. More than 350 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids.

It may seem odd to spend an article discussing the women who followed Jesus during his ministry. However, readers must keep in mind ancient texts seldom spent a great deal of time mentioning females. When they did, they often did so in derogatory terms:

    • The Greek poet Hesiod warned against women, claiming a flattering woman just wants a man simply for his possessions (Theogony of Work and Days).
    • Aristotle viewed women as inferior to men when it came to leadership (Politics).
    • Statesman and orator Pericles said, “A woman’s reputation is highest when men say little about her, whether it be good or evil.” (Hipponax).

Readers can find a sampling of other statements said about women in ancient times here.

In a court of law, a women’s testimony would not have held up back then, and so the women first witnessing the resurrection would have made the story far less credible to the contemporary of that time.

Ancient views of women aside, the Gospels appear to spend a great deal of time on women, opposed to their textual counterparts. Who were these women who followed Jesus? What can we know about them individually? And what can we learn from them?

Read more here:

Who Were the Women Who Followed Jesus? – Topical Studies



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

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! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Synchronized Swimming – Our Talent Show Winners 

Our fun family talent show. This is a short clip of the winners.

Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack.

Throughout the year, we welcome individuals, couples, and families from around the world who are seeking to strengthen their relationships – with God, within their own families, and with their fellow believers.

Every session, individuals, couples, and families from around the world are transformed, healed, and renewed. Barriers to forgiveness, personal growth, and hope are overcome in a supportive and intimate environment. Join us in this safe and holy place where painful and complex situations can be worked through – a place of hope and healing.

Learn more and register

​Teaching topics include:

  • The Plan of God for Family
  • Duty vs Intimacy
  • Fatherhood
  • Communication
  • Covering
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Defeating Parenting Fears
  • Discipline
  • …and more!

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

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

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

 

 

How innovative ministries are bringing millennials back to church  

Here is a great article about faith among young adults. For many teens and young adults,  they only have a limited amount of experience in their walk with Jesus. The article points out that young adults are in need of mentorship from those in their congregation who have decades of experience as devout Christians.

The Christian Training Center’s young adult 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. Learn More and Register.

Despite belonging to a church-attending family, 24-year-old Danielle De Guzman is among the many American millennials who struggled throughout adolescence to find relevance and trust in the church or Christianity.

After high school, she would at times still attend her parents’ large church in Collin County, Texas, but admits that she would just sit in the lobby and wait for the service to end because she just didn’t see the point of going into the service.

Although she spent years going to the church, she struggled to get plugged in or even develop personal relationships with others in her congregation.

Eventually, she began telling her parents that she had to work on Sundays so she could get out of going to church. Her parents respected her freedom and De Guzman stopped going to church for a period of time. Going to college locally, she spent a lot of time — like many other college students — partying.

The experience had by De Guzman is not unique among millennial adults who grew up in the church.

Read More Here:

How innovative ministries are bringing millennials back to church   – The Christian Post



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

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

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

What Does the Bible Say about Abortion? 

Here is a great article from Tamela Turbeville. She has a desire for every woman with a difficult past to know God loves them. She is wife to Richard, and mother to three grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law. When doing what she loves most – studying God’s Word, reading and writing – she is surrounded by her six rescue dogs in her small office in south Arkansas.

There is no question the subject of abortion is a controversial topic. Nearly every day, news reports cover the fast-changing laws and the heated clashes between pro-life and pro-choice proponents. Both sides of the issue stand firm on their beliefs and rights.

Often if you are not on the side of the loudest advocates, you may feel as if you are under attack by both the world and the enemy. The world calls the choice of abortion a right, but what is the position of Christ-followers on the subject?

As followers of Jesus, our stance should align with God’s. Now, more than ever, our voice should speak truth against the enemy, and the best defense against the world and the enemy is knowing the truth found in the Word of God.

The Bible is clear that God is the Creator of life and all life is precious, born and unborn. So, what does the Bible say about abortion?

Read more here:

What Does the Bible Say about Abortion? – Topical Studies

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

 

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

The Ancient Enemies of Israel Have Entered Our Land

Image result for enemies of israelites

Thank you for joining us as we seek to better understand some of the things going on in our lives and nation today. This is an in-depth study written by Susan Pons. As you read, please ask the Holy Spirit to give you ears to truly hear and understand this important message.

“Behold, I will send you Eli′jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6 RSV)

This is the perfect Scripture to begin with in order for each of us to perhaps face the happening that a curse has been released across our land and the reasons for its release.As a culture, the hearts of the fathers are not being turned toward their children.This makes it almost impossible for the hearts of the children to be turned to their fathers. Malachi declares the consequence of the sinful divide between fathers and children… ‘lest I come and smite the land with a curse’. Amazing as it is, this is the final warning of the Old Testament.

When a curse comes upon a nation, it covers the nation except for those people who recognize its debilitating force.

What happens when enemies enter our land?

Exodus 34:10 (The Message) says“And God said, As of right now, I’m making a covenant with you: In full sight of your people I will work wonders that have never been created in all the Earth, in any nation. Then all the people with whom you’re living will see how tremendous God’s work is, the work I’ll do for you. Take careful note of all I command you today. I’m clearing your way by driving out Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Stay vigilant. Don’t let down your guard lest you make covenant with the people who live in the land that you are entering and they trip you up”.

Who were these enemies that had entered the land of Israel? Let’s define them and compare them to our America in today’s world.

  1. Hittites – literally translated means, sons of terror”; and as we know the word terror refers to an extreme manifestation of fear. The Hittite spirit will bring intimidation and fear and discouragement. In Numbers 21:1-4, King Arad heard that Israel was coming. He fought against Israel and took captives. Israel made a vow to God and asked for His help. God accepted the vow, and Israel with God’s help, won the battle… but the Hittite spirit did its damage.

“And the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way” (Num 21:4 KJV).

The Hittite spirit had done its job causing Israel to become fearful.

In America today, it may do us well to recognize the Hittite spirit operating in our nation to bring fear to those who disagree with their agenda that goes against the peace and safety of our nation and citizens. School, church, and synagogue shootings; violent shows over our television and movie screens; violent video games; in Chicago 75% of Black homes are fatherless…thus the Hittite spirit is free to operate.

2.  Ammorite – the word for Ammonite in Hebrew comes from another Hebrew word, amor,which means to utter, to say (gossip, slander, and evil speaking). This implies that people with Ammonite spirits are people who want their name uttered or mentioned. Ammonites are haughty fame-seekers; seekers of human glory and greatness. Practically all dictators in history are Ammorites. These are people like Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Adolph Hitler, and Joseph Stalin, who like to dominate and control others. Ammorites are again mentioned as people who followed false gods. Cherish was the name of a god they worshipped whose whose name means “destroyer”. The aim of the Ammonite spirit is to stir up discord and division in our mind as it beats us down in spirit.It is aimed at the Christian faith that preaches liberty to the human soul.

Perhaps we can place much of the media into the tribe of the Ammorites.

3. Canaanite – the name Canaanite means trafficker. This is the exact same description given to Satan in Ezekiel 28:13-18. This spirit is behind addictions and sexual impurity. This is why in the Scriptures, Sodom and Gomorrah were said to be Canaanite cities (Genesis 10:19). Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal king of Sidon, which means she was Phoenician, who were Canaanites. The Canaanite spirit uses wealth and material gain to bring God’s people into compromise and backsliding.

Sexual trafficking, labor trafficking, and drug trafficking, are all start examples of the Canaanite spirit that has invaded our land.

4. Philistine – The name Philistine means strangers, emigrants, foreigners, forces foreign to the Spirit of God.

A person who is guided by a Philistine agenda is usually disdainful of intellectual or artistic values. Philistine also means a people who are contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes. They are called Allophyli, (foreigners in the Septuagint). They are spoken of as uncircumcised in the Books of Samuel. Philistines are a people who are lacking in, or hostile, or smugly indifferent to cultural values such as art work, theatre, manners, respect, homes in God’s order, etc. Christian and Godly cultural values are taught and learned in the home. Uncleanness can enter our homes in what we view, read, and the way we speak to each other.

The giant Philistine spirit operating in our nation today is tolerance of the Muslim faith but persecution of the Christian faith.

5. Hivite – Hivite means dwellers in the land.The first time they play an active roll in the Bible is when Shechem the Hivite raped Dinah. The Hivite spirit’s goal is to lure us using illusions, delusions, and sensual pleasures that place the mind and imaginations into a snare.

The word Hivite can mean tent dweller, living a lifestyle that is lived out in the confines of the systems of the world and in conflict with the Kingdom of God. The Hives speak of our conflict with the world and its lifestyles. The prodigal son operated under the Hivite spirit.

Movies, television, the internet, pornography, and sexual abuse (especially with children) are ensconced with the Hivite spirit.

6. Jebusites – Jebusite means thresher. From this we can infer that Jebusite spirits, being threshers, are spirits that tread or stomp on others. People whose hearts are infected by Jebusite spirits tend to be people who do not hesitate to put down and humiliate others. By stomping on people, Jebusites make a concerted effort to prevent them from growing taller. They like to make people feel small, and deliberately put them down anytime they see them trying to establish spiritual authority.

Here again, arrogant politicians, media, Hollywood, and government systems are rampant with the Jebusite spirit.

In our homes we need to make certain that we are not bullies and our children are not growing up to become bullies. We need to learn how to confront this arrogant spirit.

7. Perizzite – Perizzite means unwalled town, city, or village. Ezekiel 38:10-11 says, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You [the evil army] will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people – all of them living without walls and without gates and bars’.”

A nation without borders loses its identity. A home without boundaries is a home without an identity. Illegal immigrants and foreign enemies easily enter into our unwalled cities and towns. Many cause violence, harm, and aid in the cultural collapse of America. This is the Perizzite spirit invading our unwalled nation, cities, and our citizens.

This Perizzite spirit can operate in our homes that have become unwalled…homes without fathers…homes that do not give their marriages or children a holy identity to carry with them throughout life.

“Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you”. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon” (Joshua 10:7-8).

Perhaps each of us should embrace the challenge that we are included in the fight for our nation. Some examples of ways we can make a difference are calling our representatives, writing letters, posting facts and articles, teaching our children truths about the history of our country, sending funds to those organizations that stand for true American values, or writing editorials to our local newspapers, etc…

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!”(Ephesians 5:14).

There are so many ways that we can truly get involved in the way our nation is run. Even a small effort (which may seem insignificant) will be blessed by our Father who is always looking for righteous people that honor Him. These people are a blessing to Him.

Here at CTCI, we pray for our nation and government daily, weekly and sometimes more often. It’s that important! We believe Godly character is taught and begins in the family. We offer “Train to Reign” programs throughout the year to guide and teach (and many times restore) families, experientially, to know how to honor God and fulfill their God-given role in the family – with love. Everything we teach is based on God’s Truth found in His Holy Word.

If you would like information about our Train to Reign program, or other programs and events we offer throughout the year, please click  here, or fill out the form below and we will get back to you promptly. We thank you for your interest in this ministry for our Lord Jesus.

 

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

Fun at family night with wholesome dancing! We train families to reign!

We know how to have some fun at our family oriented Train to Reign program.

Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack.

Throughout the year, we welcome individuals, couples, and families from around the world who are seeking to strengthen their relationships – with God, within their own families, and with their fellow believers.

Every session, individuals, couples, and families from around the world are transformed, healed, and renewed. Barriers to forgiveness, personal growth, and hope are overcome in a supportive and intimate environment. Join us in this safe and holy place where painful and complex situations can be worked through – a place of hope and healing.

Learn more and register

Teaching topics include:

  • The Plan of God for Family
  • Duty vs Intimacy
  • Fatherhood
  • Communication
  • Covering
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Defeating Parenting Fears
  • Discipline
  • …and more!


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

 

 

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

Why is freedom so important to the Christian life?

Susan Pons talks about why freedom is so very important to the Christian life and to families. Susan 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 eight, 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.

 

“Whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 Corinthians 3:16 — Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack.

Throughout the year, we welcome individuals, couples, and families from around the world who are seeking to strengthen their relationships – with God, within their own families, and with their fellow believers. Every session, individuals, couples, and families from around the world are transformed, healed, and renewed.

Barriers to forgiveness, personal growth, and hope are overcome in a supportive and intimate environment. Join us in this safe and holy place where painful and complex situations can be worked through – a place of hope and healing.

Learn more and register

Teaching topics include:

  • The Plan of God for Family
  • Duty vs Intimacy
  • Fatherhood
  • Communication
  • Covering
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Defeating Parenting Fears
  • Discipline
  • …and more!


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

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

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Good morning from all of us here at the Christian Training Center International. This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us as we wrap up this three part teaching by Jay Fesperman about authority. Today we see how our entire culture is affected by WHO is actually in authority.

All the members have been given gifts, a call, and authority to exercise those gifts. But they must be under someone’s control; otherwise there will be chaos. Thus, as the Church, the Body of Christ, is growing up and maturing into what she has been called to be and do, all the functions of ministry must be under the rule, the government which the Lord has set in place. Sometimes, there are restraints prematurely put upon the flow of ministry. But we have to remember that everyone in the church was a rebel, and that characteristic has not been totally removed. We still want things “our way”, to “do our own thing”. We haven’t put way childish things. But both forms of authority are given, that we might all come to maturity. So Paul tells Timothy that a man must manage or RULE his own household well and get obedience and respect from his own children. At home or in the church, ministry and rulership both must be established. A very simple principle evolves within this distribution of authority: The more effective the MINISTRY is exercised, the less GOVERNMENT is needed. So, top priority should be given in ministry.

The Lord is Molding This Guy

Welcome from all of us at Christian Training Center International. Today we would like to share a testimony from one of the students who attended our spring 10-week Heroes Semester Program. Actually, he came 6 months early to volunteer here at the ministry, then he stayed on after the program to continue volunteering and helping us out here through the busy summer. We are so very thankful and grateful to the Lord for sending Ian to us! You can hear his take on it by clicking on the video below.

 

Father God, it is only by Your grace, mercy and favor that we even exist. We thank You so much for Ian, he is such a blessing. We also thank You for the opportunity to share Your gospel and Your love with families and young people here at CTCI. As You send people to us, we pray that all of our efforts, teaching, and work, would be for Your glory and honor only, amen.

If you would like information about how we may be able to help you and your family or details regarding our ministry or any of the programs we offer, please go to our website at www.lifeisrelationships.com or fill out the contact box below and we will get back with you promptly.

If you would like to donate to CTCI please click here.

 

 

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Good morning from all of us at the Christian Training Center International! What a glorious day that our Lord has given us today, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us today as we continue in the second part of Jay Fesperman’s teaching about authority and let’s see how it flows down from the HEAD (Father God, Jesus Who has been give all authority) to our earthly authority in the church as “ELDERS”. What a responsibility, may we recognize and respect all authority as God has created and allowed it!

. . . in the closing words of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus told His disciples, “ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to me!” (emphasis mine). In His prayer to the Father in John 17:2, Jesus said, “For you granted [me] authority over all people”.

Paul says in Colossians 2:10, “. . . you [we] have been given fullness in Christ who is the Head over every power and AUTHORITY”. So all authority comes to man from God, the Father, through Jesus Christ His Son. Thus, Jesus Christ has AUTHORITY over ALL authority. For example, in Matthew 10:1, “He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them AUTHORITY to drive out evil spirits, and to cure every kind of disease and sickness”.

The Ancient Enemies of Israel Have Entered Our Land 1 of 7

Welcome, from all of us at CTCI. Please join us today and the next six Mondays as we study, one at a time, the ancient enemies of Israel and how these spirits are still relevant to our world today. This is extremely valuable information to raise our awareness of the battles we fight daily. We know these battles are not of flesh and blood, but of spirits and principalities.

Part 1 – Who are the Hittites? ~~ by Susan Pons

“Behold, I will send you Eli’jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse (Malachi 4:5-6).

How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Good morning from all of us here at the Christian Training Center International! This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us as we begin to look at what it means to submit to authority, namely our Father God to start! This will be the first of three Wednesday teachings by Jay Fesperman on this topic. May God bless us all as we seek to live a disciplined life in Christ!

It seems that the Lord wants us to share about something that we have been sharing [on] for several years. We have reached a stage where the Lord wants us to dig and probe deeper into this subject (as well as other subjects). This is so important a matter, in the face of what God is doing in the church throughout the world. Lately, within this contemporary renewal in the work of the Holy Spirit, great emphasis has been put on things we had forgotten or laid aside as not being all that important. The subject: HOW TO HANDLE AUTHORITY: YOURS AND OTHERS.

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

Good morning from all of us at the Christian Training Center International! This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

We all want to hear God more and more! Here are a few things to consider when we struggle to hear our Lord. We should often consider if we are in the right heart and mind, and if we are not let’s take the time to get right! Please join us as we read the 3rd of Jay Fesperman’s series on Hearing God. May you be blessed by the insight!

Wisdom vs. Lawlessness in Our Homes

Greetings from all of us at Christian Training Center International. Please join us this morning as we read a teaching by Susan Pons and discover God’s wisdom and order for the family and how we can have it in our homes!          

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Good morning from all of us at the Christian Training Center International! This is another day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Please join us today as we see how important exercise is! Exercising our faith that is! If we want to master anything, then we have to practice that thing many many times. It is the same truth with our faith. In this part 2 of Jay Fesperman’s series, we will learn the importance of training and consistency in building our faith strong.

That verse – Ephesians 2: 8 – goes on to say of faith, “It is a gift of God.” Now, just as the parental “gift” of milk to the baby is gradually replaced with solid food, so the basic gift of FAITH becomes “solid food”. But your FAITH, that solid food, being for the mature, requires constant use, and, as we use it, “We are trained by it.” (Hebrews 5: 14).

So God lays back so that we can be exercised by the use of our GIFTS in order to “distinguish good from evil” – making correct decisions for ourself. And, as we constantly exercise the GIFT of FAITH, we find that we have come to trust God! Almost as much as He trusts us!

What does it mean to be “Set Apart for the Lord”?

Good morning from all of us here at the Christian Training Center International! We invite you to join us as we study, through God’s Word, what it means to be set apart for the Lord. We will see what we can do (and not do) to be obedient to this holy calling.

Be Holy. If you have chosen Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then be holy. He says to do this, and He provides the ability to do this. The Lord has, even from the beginning, been telling His people to be holy because He is holy.

Growing Up to Hear God | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

Good morning from all of us at CTCI! This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us today, and the next two Wednesday’s, as we study a teaching from our founder here at CTCI, Jay Fesperman.

Have you ever been discouraged by what seems to be the disappearance of God from your horizon, the inability to hear His voice? I believe one of the most wide-spread problems that young Christians face is that they seem to lose touch with the Lord. That intimate fellowship with Him fades away, and “I just cannot hear the voice of God for my life anymore.” As they move along the path of maturity, many young Christian men and women come into times when confusion creeps in, and it becomes really difficult to know what choice to make or who to listen to.

Wives, Why Should We Submit to Our Husbands?

Good morning and welcome to another beautiful day that the Lord has made! We invite you to join us as we share another valuable pearl of wisdom! Women, please know that submission as God intends is beautiful in a marriage! Husbands have a command from the Lord in this matter also. We are considered equal with our husbands yet different in nature. The two complete each other and become one.

Here is another small clip from Susan Pons’ message “Leave and Cleave” from the Train to Reign family program here at CTCI. When we break down Scripture and make practical sense of it, then we can begin to apply it to our lives and in this case our marriages.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as unto to the Lord. Women are equal in every way to men because we are also created in the image of God, but women’s roles are meant to be different from his. Then the Lord God said. It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him. (Genesis 2:18)

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. The words of a husband are to have a cleansing effect. This does not mean he should condemn, belittle, or behave condescendingly, but, he should show love in what he says and how he says it. What an incredible challenge for husbands to face and what a wonderful blessing for wives to receive! Christ speaks to us in the same way through his Word to his people.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. What an incredible example of love is this is! For a husband to love his wife as his own body…tenderly nourishing, pleasing it! What wife could ask for more? When a husband loves his wife as much as himself, it helps to make submission from his wife an easier passage. Christ loved the Church more than His own body. As a part of His Body, we are to submit to His love.

Therefore, a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is very great, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband. As husbands make their wives his priority, he becomes the earthly example of Christ’s intense love for His Bride. Wives perhaps should realize that respecting…responding in respectful tones…builds up a man’s role as a husband.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8)

So, why not begin the conversation with your husband or wife and examine the place your marriage is in concerning leaving and cleaving? You just might find answers to questions that used to seem impossible to solve. Look forward to this wonderful experience called marriage. It is meant to be good!”

It’s never too late, while we are still here, to begin restoring relationships. If you would like to know more about our family program here at CTCI called Train to Reign, and how we may be able to help you, then please fill out this quick contact form and submit. We will contact you quickly!

 

 

Marriage…Why it is a mystery

Greetings to each of you from all of us here at CTCI, we hope you enjoy this clip from our teaching today! 

Marriage, according to God’s Word is meant to be an earthly reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5:22) What an incredibly high calling! The Lord has given us the first two steps in creating this new identity once we say “I do”.

Mr. Webster gave us excellent definitions for these two words:

Leave: to go away from; to abandon; to exit; withdraw from; to forsake. 

Cleave: to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly.

Step #1 – Leave our old life behind. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:7) Many of us have not done this. We brought our “single life” into our marriage and thought we would continue in our previous lifestyles.

Step #2 – Cleave, or cling to our spouse and God’s instructions for a successful marriage. It does not matter what kind of past you may have come from (stable or dis-functional) the Good Lord requires a new oneness and obedience together in Him.

Let’s take a peek at this small piece of a teaching here at CTCI called “Leave and Cleave” written by Susan Pons. She and her husband learned by experience how to do this God’s way.

This is one of a series of three posts from this teaching that we will be sharing.

“Between uncovering God’s plan for the Christian household and reading Mr. Webster’s definitions, Larry and I were confronted with the stark realization that we had failed to leave behind many of our former self-seeking attitudes and independent ways in order to become one. This included our distinctly male and female thought patterns, which were reasons enough to cause major rifts between us. It was up to us to change. This was challenging… yet oh so rewarding!

But, the Lord had an answer that was designed for each couple from the very beginning of time. Actually, leave and cleave is the first command God gives to man and woman following their creations. (Genesis 2:24) So, these two action verbs must be very important in His sight. This mystery is very great; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5: 31-32)”

So, we see in God’s Word that we are commanded to leave our old life before marriage and cleave to our spouse as a new family is created. What steps can you, even now with your spouse, “leave” from your lives before marriage?

Why not come to our Train to Reign program this June and learn how to practically walk this out. It will be a precious time of healing, training and restoration. Train to Reign is the name of our family program here at CTCI and it is designed to help heal and restore family relationships based on Biblical truths. Would you like to know more about how we may be able to help you?

Our Family in Africa

Good morning from all of us here at Christian Training Center International! This is another beautiful day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Ezekiel is an example of how BIG our God is! Please take a few moments and view the videos below, miracles are happening! Ezekiel has been to our program and has carried the teachings back to Africa, to his mission field. The teachings and Biblical lessons are spreading and making a huge impact on their area! He wants to come back for more, our God is the God of more and abundance! God is working mightily and we get to be a small part of it for HIS glory! Won’t you join us and help us get Ezekiel and his wife Joy back over here for the MORE that the Lord wants to share?

Please pray about whether the Lord wants you to be a part of this mighty work HE is doing!

Please make a donation today to help Ezekiel and Joy Udoh!
EZEKIEL & JOY UDOH
Ezekiel and Joy Udoh are very special to CTCI. They are ministers in Port Hartcourt, Nigeria and run an orphanage for street children…most whose families have been victimized by the terrorist activity of Boko Haram.
Ezekiel was able to attend our Train to Reign program in 2017. What he learned impacted his ministry and he sees the desperate need for biblical family values in his country. Ezekiel and Joy feel the Lord is leading both of them to attend our summer Train to Reign Program . The flights alone will cost $4,000.00 (round trip) and the Train to Reign Program fees will be $920.00 for the 10 day program. Will you prayerfully consider helping them be able to return to CTCI this summer?
Would you like to invest in an orphanage in Nigeria?
Please watch this short video of CTCI’s director, Larry Pons as he shares why we feel it is important for the Udoh’s to join us this summer.
Please help CTCI raise funds for the Udoh family to attend our Train to Reign program!
Enjoy this short clip taken from Ezekiel in Port Hartcourt, Nigeria asking for your help. Due to the location of the video in Africa, the video may be difficult to understand.
Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to help bless this precious family!

Why do Opposites Attract?

Good morning from all of us here at the Christian Training Center International! Today we would like to share with you a very small clip from one of the teachings at CTCI’s Train To Reign program for families.

We each have a specially designed place and order in our marriage and in our family. God created it that way from the very beginning. And, God’s design in marriage is for us to complete and compliment each other! We are to be different, on purpose. How very profound and perfect! Here is the clip:

“Eve was not designed to be exactly like Adam. Eve was not only designed to become one flesh with him, but also, to be his complimentary opposite, possessing the other half of the qualities, responsibilities, and attributes which he was not given in the creation process.”

God meant it to be this way in order to deepen the understanding of the union between Christ and His Church. 

For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Christ is head of man. Man is the head of woman. God is the head of Christ. In His divine wisdom, God established this order…

-teaching written by Susan Pons

When we want or lack something we are instinctively attracted to it! For example, without realizing it my sister ended up with a husband that loves to cook. You guessed it, she doesn’t love to cook! We smile about how God knew and arranged the whole thing. What about a friend of ours that own their business, he, an introvert for the most part, is out doing the physical job while she is dealing with the customers and building longterm relationships. It works, they compliment each other and make a great team. One is no better than the other just endowed with different gifts, as intended! It’s when we criticize differences or expect people to think and be be just like us that problems arise.

What if in our marriage, today, we purposefully choose instead of complaining about what we think something should be, (because we know we are right) allow it for that time to be their way. After all we have only told them our opinion how many hundred times? Let the Lord reveal the truth in His time. Meanwhile, instead of the argument, what if we choose to accept our spouse as the complement that he/she really is… and accept them this way with gratitude?

It’s beyond amazing to watch as families come to CTCI and see miracles occur! The Lord God meets them as they seek Him and His righteousness in their family relationships. The Lord guides and directs the healing process through group teachings and individual sessions during our family Train to Reign program and families are restored!

If you would like to donate to our ministry please click here.

Would you like more information about our ministry? Please complete this form. 

Article comments can be made below.

Miracles happened here this spring!

We recently finished a two week family program here at CTCI and the Lord worked miracles! He is faithful, always! Here is a brief overview written by Susan Pons:

“Spring  Train To Reign was a most meaningful experience for all involved.  Families from New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala were introduced to Biblical and experiential training from the staff here at Christian Training Center.

We witnessed one couple placing their wedding rings on their fingers once again after a long period of almost discarding them.  Another couple recognized their need to renew their marriage covenant and place each other in priority over the business and “out of order” circumstances, according to God’s Word, in their lives.  One other family came to the Center longing to help their child stand against the  temptations facing him daily at school.  A young couple, with their family made a decision to return to ministry after embracing the necessity of cherishing their marriage and their role as parents above all else.

So, in closing, the Good Lord was in our midst, healing, restoring, repairing and completing God’s call for family…the first Church!”

Would you like to know more about our Train to Reign program?

Our Family Vision

What a blessing to create a GODLY vision for your family for all to see and know! Please join us this morning in our devotion by Susan Pons and use your time with the Lord to begin your family vision statement!

Habakkuk 2:2  Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.  For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.

1)Write on your tablet the vision you have for your family. If you have not had one, begin it now.

2)If you are not married, write the vision God has given you for your life.

Testimony from an intern here at CTCI

Once in a while we like to share about how people considered their time here at the INN! Here is a testimony from one of the interns that spent some time with us and had something to say about it!
When I came to CTCI several summers ago, I came not knowing why God had led me there. All I knew was that He wanted me to go and, once I understood…the idea was from Him, I immediately signed up.
Upon arrival, I sensed that the Lord would use those 3 months to shape me on the inside. I carried a lot of hurt and insecurity with me to “The Inn”. Without hesitation, [God instantly confronted those obstacles]. He surrounded me with loving relationships that challenged and grew me. As a result, my faith increased as a consistent inpouring of truth addressed my fears.

Obeying God cost me in many ways, but it was not without reward. During my time as an intern, I experienced a peace and clarity that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I heard God’s voice. My spirit knew that what was placed in my heart that summer was something worth protecting. I wouldn’t change my decision to go to [CTCI]. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made since becoming an adult. Now, I understand that life is relationships. I hold a richer perspective on the importance of community, the need for discipleship, and the urgency of evangelism.

I’d go back to CTCI without question if God led me back there. I also encourage anyone who has trouble hearing God’s voice to spend some time at “The Inn”. I promise…that if you consecrate yourself to Him, if you are sincerely desperate like I was, you will find Him again. Rather, He’ll find you.

What kind of Ark is He asking you to build?

Please join us in this mornings devotion by Susan Pons regarding healing in our homes and families.

Genesis 6:9,11-12 (NASB) These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

1 Peter 3:20-21 (NASB) When the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1. Why do you think Noah and his family were the only humans saved during the flood?

2. Do you believe the Lord looks down from heaven in today’s world on our individual household?   What kind of ark is he asking us to build?

3. What changes will it take for you and your wife to obey God in your ark?

4. Discuss this with your spouse:    “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

      

Healing for your spirit

Are you checking your spiritual health regularly? Like our body we need to keep our spirit healthy too! Please join us in this mornings devotion by Susan Pons and let’s each check our current state.

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away (Hebrews 2:1). Staying the path with God requires a discipline to take the time to hear Him speak: Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:25-27) There are seasons in this life when we can drift away from our “first love.” Similar to an earthly marriage that needs careful attention to keep the flame burning, so it is in our union with the Lord. How do we keep these two most important relationships alive? (1) inclining our ears towards the Lord and our spouse; (2) seeking both relationships with all of our hearts (3) cutting off those things that keep us from nourishing these two highest unions. So, today, let’s make the effort not to drift away from our relationships with the Lord and in our marriage. The rewards are great!

1.What is it in your personal life that can cause you to drift away?

2.What kind of discipline does this require of you?

3.How does our not drifting away affect the Body of Christ of which you are a

part?

We would love to hear your answers in the comments section!

Does your family/relationship need restoration?

Here at the Christian Training Center International we are all about HEALING and TRAINING! We work with families and individuals, young people and older!
Here is what one of our past participants has to say about the family program called Train to Reign that they attended:
 
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”
Isaiah 11:1
We’ve been meditating on this scripture this week as we observe the advent season. It has meant more to me this year than ever before.
Our family found ourselves in the midst of great difficulty. We were weak, displaced, disillusioned, and floundering halfway across the world from family, familiarity, and anything resembling security. We had just arrived in Africa after two years of preparation when we were hit with seven bouts of malaria as a family in the first eight weeks. We went and stayed on a farm with some kind folks in Zimbabwe while seeking medical care and rest. During that time Tyson was became ill and couldn’t get out of bed, and our 16 month old had diarrhea for 21 days straight. To say it felt as though the stump was firmly in place with no signs of anything shooting out would be an understatement.
In the depths of my soul, I knew the shoot was there. I did. It had to be. It is out of the stumps of life that the shoot springs forth. When life is unraveling and looking really hopeless is when it’s just getting good. The backdrop is forming to reflect something worth beholding.
CTCI in Franklin, NC is where we found ourselves by mid-February after returning from Africa weary, broken, and longing for a glimpse of hope for our situation. We needed a shoot to spring forth and it did! The soil of our hearts were so fertile for the planting of His truth. Difficulty plows up the hard places, shakes things up, and prepares us for roots to grow down deep. The timing of our arrival for The InnVision (now called Train to Reign) was nothing short of a miracle.
As we were on our way to Franklin, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was desperate for encouragement and hope, but a little fearful of making myself any more vulnerable than we already were. It was the fear of the unknown, but I’m so glad I chose to take the risk.
From the moment we drove up, we were greeted so warmly right at our vehicle with staff and young people who were sincerely happy to have us and immediately started unpacking our luggage for us and helping us to get settled. The atmosphere and culture of love, humility, servanthood, and honor at The Inn was a soothing balm for our broken and hurting hearts, and I began to feel it immediately.
I find it difficult to articulate what the Lord did in me, in our marriage, and in our family during those two weeks, but I’ll do my best. The way I picture it is that we were limping along doing the best we could with what we had on one plane, and the Lord reached down and lifted us up onto an entirely different plane and level of operating that has been unbelievable. For the first time in our almost seven years of marriage I feel the covering and protection of my husband which frees me to be who God’s made me to be as Tyson walks in and embraces His God given role in our relationship. We now see our marriage as our highest calling, and are for the first time are experiencing the fruit of walking in agreement. This was revolutionary for us, and it makes our relationship exponentially more effective in His Kingdom. We now see that our own vision had to die, so that His vision for our lives could come into view. So many scales were removed from our eyes during those two weeks, and such clarity came.
The teaching and guidance on parenting was just as life changing. Our kids were loved on and poured into the entire time. Not to mention, both of our kids were sick with colds, and Miss Melissa and others still loved and nurtured them so we could get the most out of our time there! Tyson and I spent more one on one time together than we ever have since we’ve had children. That was a gift in and of itself, and made it possible for us to get to the heart of matters. Everything about the entire two
weeks was intentional and done with purpose for us to receive all that God had for us.
Before we went to Africa, God impressed Matthew 13:44 on our hearts. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When the man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” We wanted to go after the treasure of the Kingdom with all of our hearts. Just when we thought “our calling” had crumbled and were feeling lost and confused as to what God was doing, we realized that our marriage and our family was the in fact the treasure in the field that we had given everything to possess.
We can’t recommend The Inn highly enough. It is more than worth the investment of time and money. There’s no vacation in the world that will satisfy your soul like opening yourself up to The Lord and what he has for you and your family for a solid week or two and receiving the gifts that flow through Larry, Susan, and all the wonderful folks there (in the amazing mountains of western North Carolina no less)!
Thankful for His goodness
Train to Reign Participants

the building blocks of maturity | jay fesperman (3/3)

Please join us as we finish strong with this series by Jay Fesperman!

As we continue to work with young men and women out of today’s society, we are constantly made aware of the out-of-balance condition of so many young lives. “God put the solitary in families” for the maturing of each one into a well-balanced person who can stand and serve Him, however He may call us. And the Lord doesn’t make mistakes! His ORDER is that we mature in five main areas of growth: RELATIONAL, SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, PHYSICAL. This is God’s PLAN!!

the building blocks of maturity | jay fesperman (2/3)

Please join us in part two of our series as we learn from the teachings of Jay Fesperman!

This is the same Son of God of whom Isaiah spoke in his prophecy when he said, “On His shoulders would rest the GOVERNMENT of the universe.” Jesus said in Matthew, “ ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to ME”. Now, this is the same authority God gave to Adam when He made the first man, and said, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and RULE over it” (emphasis mine). God had made man in His own image – male and female – and then He commanded Adam to fulfill “husbandship” ([see] Jeremiah 31:31). “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.” Out of his husbandship, Adam was called into fatherhood. Then he was told to RULE – to establish order; to take authority.

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

This is the 3rd part of our series about boundaries. Please let us know how this truth can help you by commenting below?

Paul told both Titus and Timothy not to appoint leaders in the church whose house was not in order. A man who has established clear boundaries for himself will most likely make a good father. A man whose family is not living within the boundaries he has set is very likely to be a poor leader.

The writer of Proverbs says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT.” Peer pressure among teens is powerful. If disciplinary patterns have not been set before children go out to school, they will find it virtually impossible to stand against this pressure. One teenager recently said in a letter, “The inescapable pressure exerted by peers are often too hard to handle. The only answer,” he continued, “is to have a source from which to draw strength. This strength can only come from the home. A weak home produces weak kids, unable to defend themselves.” Setting the boundaries AND supervising the results is what good training methods consist of – at home, in business, IN CHURCH.

The Building Blocks of Maturity | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

We are so blessed to have these words of wisdom spoken in past years by Jay Fesperman through years of his study and heavenly anointing, available to us for our continued growth in our Lord! So, please join us for this three part series the next few Wednesday’s!

Often I get “hooked” on a word that I see used but rarely in the Scriptures, and I enjoy looking through concordances and commentaries to determine the full meaning of this word. Recently, I noticed such a word was underlined in my Bible in Colossians 2:5. That word in English is “ORDERLY”. I had written in the margin the word “discipline”. To quote the full verse, Paul says to the Colossian Church, “I delight to see how ORDERLY you are and how firm is your faith in Christ”. (emphasis mine)

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

Here is part 2 of the three part series. We encourage you to comment below and interact regarding this important topic! We would love to hear from you!

As children of God we are given God-ordained boundaries. The Ten Commandments, the behavioral laws, the way to relate to others in the Body of Christ, or the way to relate to those “of the world” with whom we cross paths. If we didn’t get good training at home under clearly defined boundaries set by our parents, we’re likely to have some difficulty in getting established in the Church, and ultimately, in God’s Kingdom. Some of these difficulties show up in many ways. Let me share with you a few that I have observed.

Established Boundaries | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

This is the first of a 3 part series by Jay Fesperman. It is a valuable group of letters to us all!

David, a 16 year-old, sells sex to men and women on the streets of New York. He ran away from home at an early age. David tells kids, “Stay at home and be a child for as long as you can. Don’t grow up too quick.”. . .an article on the cover of a well-known women’s magazine: “The High Cost of Growing up TOO FAST.”

An expert in child-rearing, on staff at a famous medical center, says, “We have come to the realization that a parent’s role is to show youngsters discipline. At the point a child gets proactive, the parent should know that the child is looking for a LIMIT – a BOUNDARY. And the parent had better provide that limit. The child will be reassured for having limits set. They need limits clearly spelled out; it’s the only way to learn.”

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (3/3)

The Lord told Solomon to ask for whatever his heart desired and He would grant it. Solomon asked for wisdom and God gave him great wisdom, but He also gave him all the wealth and riches for which he had not asked. God proved to be faithful to Solomon, and He proved to be faithful to me. Jesus said to His disciples, “Ask anything of the Father in My name, and He will grant it.” So, in the FAITH that is ours “in Christ”, we can ask the Lord God for anything “in the name of Jesus” and then we can expect the Lord to give it. But what is the KEY? It is the FAITH that we have, but we must be sure that we have it “IN CHRIST”. You see, as we have said, everybody has “faith”, because it is built into the system which makes us tick in every way. But to exercise that faith for the things of God, our FAITH must be “in Christ”.

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (2/3)

But HEAR THIS! It’s very important. I heard a lot about Jesus Christ, and I read a lot about Jesus Christ before I came to know God. What was there within me that kept me from knowing God in those days when I was hearing so much about God and Jesus? My carnal mind – that is, the mind of my “nature” – was reading and hearing all this. It did not suit or please my “nature”, because my “nature” knew that a major change would take place and that the “natural man” would not have the last word. That element of faith within me was doing nothing but looking out for my safety in the natural, and it totally ignored the spiritual me. My “nature” was on the throne, and it didn’t need or want a God. My “nature” was god, and I was in subjection to it.

Monday Morning Devotions

This morning as we read and meditate on this Scripture verse, and the accompanying devotion by Susan Pons, we can know with confidence that as children of God we have HOPE!

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. (Psalm 33:11-12)

What an incredible scripture for our lives and our nation!

His plans for your life, for your children and grandchildren stand firm!

We can go boldly to His throne room of grace on behalf of our families and our nation and acknowledge that we are chosen to be a part of the blessings of His inheritance!

Jeremiah, in the midst of war and national depravity cries out… “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

So, today, no matter what overwhelming events face you, turn to Him as a Father, one who desires to leave an overflowing inheritance for you personally and for our beloved America.


1.What do you believe are the purposes of God’s heart for you today?


2.When the enemy comes in like a flood, does his voice give you a future and a
hope? How must we recognize his voice?


3.According to this scripture, what can you and I do to lift up His name and His
ways in our nation so that we can be blessed?

 

We graciously encourage you to interact here and let us know your thoughts on this mornings study!

The Substance of Things Hoped For | Jay Fesperman (1/3)

On many occasions I have been thrown together with a person whose language was completely foreign to me, and mine to him. Trying to convey a thought to another under these circumstances is most frustrating. The ability to understand one another demands a commonly understood language. My conversation sounds like so much gibberish to someone who only speaks and understands only German or French or the Lunda tongue of southern Africa. And theirs to me. It’s wild babbling!

We talk about hearing the Word of God. What language does God speak? Before you try to answer that, with what kind of mouth does God speak? Do His words have some kind of physical effect on my ear drums and I hear WORDS? Just what IS the Word of God?

“In Word or Deed”

It’s easy to remember to be thankful for things or events that stand out in our lives; but we are called to also be thankful in the little things that may sometimes annoy or frustrate us! God’s word tells us:

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”                                                        Colossians 3:17 (NASB)

“Whatever you do” is quite clear, isn’t it? However, do we daily consider being thankful for the sink full of dishes, or the mess in our home, or the car window stuck open in the winter, or even our children when they misbehave?

Today please join us in thanking the Lord for the small things, pleasant or unpleasant, that we may otherwise take for granted.

There is a song that tells us to count our blessings and name them them one by one!

Here’s a link if you would like to listen to this beautiful hymn today.

Let’s pray through our blessings today! Here are a few of ours:

Father God, we give thanks to You today for the daily blessings!

We say Thank You for fresh, crisp winter air!

We say Thank You for the cars we drive,

and Thank You for our children that make a mess!

Would you share a few of your blessings with us in the comment section today?

Let’s see how long our giving thanks list can become today!

 

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!

CTCI Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Yesterday was a day set apart to give thanks. Let us not leave it there!

Please join us in this very special proclamation of continued thanksgiving!

 

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

Written by Melissa Lee Pressley

 

We come before Your presence with THANKSGIVING, and shout joyfully to You with psalms…

We will give THANKS to You Lord with all our hearts;

We will tell of all Your wonders and magnify You with THANKSGIVING

We give thanks to You, for you are good; Your lovingkindness is everlasting…

We will sing to You, overflowing with many THANKSGIVINGS

We will give THANKS to You according to Your righteousness and sing praise to Your name, Lord Most High…

We will give THANKS to You forever. To all generations we will tell of Your praise…

We will give THANKS to You, for You have answered us, and You have become our salvation…

We will give THANKS to You, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, our souls know it very well…

Being righteous we will surely give THANKS to Your Name…

THANKS be to You God for Your indescribable gift!

THANKS be to You God, You always lead us in triumph in Christ, and manifest through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of You in every place…

We will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING, let our requests be made known to You…

Continually offering up a sacrifice of praise to You God, that is, the fruit of lips that give THANKS to Your name…

Psalm 95:2, 9:1, 69:2, 118:, 147:7, 2 Corinthians 9:12, Ps 7:17, 30:12, 79:13,139:14,140:13, 2 Corinthians 9:15,1 Corinthians 15:57, Philippians 4:6, Hebrews 13:15 (NAS)

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

Family — Is it the foundation of relationships in God’s Kingdom?

Family is extremely important in the Bible, both in a physical sense and in a spiritual sense. The foundation of family was introduced in the very beginning, as we see in Genesis 1:28.

God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’

God’s plan for creation was for men and women to marry and have children. A man and a woman would form a “one-flesh” union through marriage (Genesis 2:24), and they with their children become a family, the essential building block of human society.

 

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