Welcome to the July 11, 2007 Newsletter
Mini-devotional - Don't be afraid.
"Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid," (Mark 6:50). The context of this verse is when Jesus was walking on the Sea of Galilee and the disciples saw him approaching and were frightened. He said "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid." These words can be taken from their context and applied in different situations and I suspect most of them would be appropriate. But context is always the most important part of understanding Scripture. As I've said, Jesus was walking to the disciples on the water. Now think about that. The disciples were in the boat fishing about three o'clock in the morning. The wind was against them and the situation was getting dangerous. Ten out of the darkness, a figure comes walking to them.
But this is impossible. No man can walk on water. This cannot happen and so the disciples were afraid because they understood what was and was not possible. What they were seeing made no sense. This is why they were afraid. But the problem is their fear could only become real because of their ignorance of Christ really was. They did not understand that he was the creator, the sovereign of the universe who could command wind and water. And though the situation was dark and dangerous Jesus performed a miracle and came right to where they were -- doing that which was impossible.
When he got into the boat the wind stopped. In other words, in his presence they were safe. In fact, you never find any place in the four Gospels where anyone dies in the presence of Christ. Why? Because with Christ there is safety.
Life can become quite dark and dangerous. But Christ is always aware of your situation, of where you are in life. And though things around you may look bleak, the impossible can occur because Jesus is God in flesh and he promised us that he would always be with us (Matt. 28:20). Therefore, we must trust him and believe that when things are difficult, they are such because he has allowed it in our lives and since he loves us so deeply, what he allows must be for our good even though we sometimes fail to see the light.
As the disciples went about their work in darkness, and though they could see no light because of the storm, the True Light came to them in the midst of their danger -- but not right away. They were delivered, but only after the situation was bad enough that the miraculous could be seen.
Keep your eyes open for the miraculous.
I do not like requesting support. It is one of the least favorite things I do in this Ministry. But, the summer months are very lean and I'm asking that CARM not be forgotten. There are people supporting, and we are able to pay the bills, but just barely. We have no buffer at all. Only half of what we need for the radio show is coming in and the support is been steadily dwindling these summer months.
Recently, on the discussion boards, someone asked where the money for CARM goes. I thought I would reproduce the answer here.
- $950 monthly in taxes to Feds
- $500 month radio costs
- Printing costs for material, about $500 monthly.
- Postage, about $150 monthly
- DVD costs from supplier, about $300 monthly
- Hardware, software, office supplies, $200 monthly...lately, much more due to video stuff.
- $300 premium due in 2 weeks and about $50 monthly for worker's compensation
- Office phone, $50 monthly
- Cell phone, $60 monthly
- Internet Merchant fees, $150 monthly.
- Internet about $40 monthly, high speed.
- Occasional trips (Seattle, Calif.) for research, so plane fair, hotel, etc. Don't do it much, but averages about $100 month I think.
- Books used in research, about $75 monthly.
- Gas for car $75 monthly - I do a lot of driving for CARM.
- $400 monthly for two workers who help out at CARM.
- My tax guy bailed on me, so I'm way behind and have to find another tax guy, approx. $600 to do the taxes, due in about a month.
- Webhosting is free, by God's grace and a friend's help...but, CARM's hosting would be about $300 monthly... no kidding!
- That is just CARM stuff...
- My salary, about 50K yearly - we teeter on being broke all the time. Wife has no medical insurance but requires $250 meds monthly (Marfan Syndrome), 3 daughters (gymnastics, piano lessons, home-schools supplies), their and my medical insurance, mortgage, food, etc., car bills and insurance, ...expensive. We don't go out to living it up, either.
- I have no savings and no retirement account except for one 401K with < $4000 in it.
- Every week I pray that God blesses us so we can make my salary.
So, please remember CARM.
Going to North Carolina
I am still planning on attending the 2007 national conference on Christian apologetics Friday and Saturday November 9th-10th, 2007 at Calvary Church Charlotte, NC, I. I won't be speaking. So, if there are any CARM-ites out there who would like to get together for dinner or something, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that I am collecting emails from people and will mass email people about getting together. Thanks.
CARM now has a blog. It's an experiment. If you would like to check it out please go to www.carm.org/blog/
We are still working on the stickam.com chat system at www.carm.org/boards/chat.htm. We're still experimenting and learning. Remember, Stickam is not a godly place. But, that's where unbelievers hang out by the droves. So, that's one of the places we Christians need to be so we can preach and teach the truth.
Check out http://www.logos.com/carm for a great Bible program. I use it all the time. If you purchase software through the CARM link, you can get a discount and it helps to support CARM as well.
Love and Hate Mail
CARM is constantly getting e-mails of thanks and praise and condemnation. Here are a few...in the raw. (At the suggestion of a reader, the hate mail is first so that the last taste in your mouth, is the love mail).