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Report on Africa Trip

11/28/2015 1 comment

In early November AJ Baisch and I were privileged to speak at three seminars in Kenya. When we returned I had only two “work days” before I was scheduled to go to West Boylston, MA for a weekend ministry, then Thanksgiving came with a visit from our oldest son, LeRon, from Norway. I say all this as an “apology” for being so long to report on the Africa trip.

Harvest Preparation International Ministries (HPIM) sent AJ and me as a team to Kenya. They had arranged and promoted the seminars so that all we had to do was show up and teach. Our assigned topic was “Sent as Pure Light into Darkness.” Each of our three seminars attracted pastors and bishops from several different denominations. Without knowing the diversity of the groups, we spoke of the need for unity of the Spirit before our light would have any effect.

Our teaching and preaching dovetailed into one another with a great impact on the leaders present. It was like AJ’s preaching prepared the ground for my teaching and my teaching prepared the ground for his next message. All this was without any plan on our part. AJ is more like a motivator and I am more like an encourager. His messages motivated people to move “as one” and mine encouraged people to go forward in the unity of the kingdom.

At times, in all three seminars, we could almost feel the atmosphere vibrating with energy from what our Father was doing among the church leaders. We learned afterward that there had been some disunity and lack of cooperation hovering among them when the meetings were being planned. According to the reports of the bishops in charge of arranging the meetings, that disunity was healed completely by the time the sessions were over.

There were pastors and bishops from Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. I overheard a mention of one from The Congo, but I’m not certain. At any rate, the impact of our messages will make a difference in several of the nations in Africa.

Thanks to all of you who provided finances and prayed for us on this trip. We could not do what we do without your support and encouragement. Our “in country expenses” exceeded what we planned for. If we go again, we will be prepared.

On December 7 I will be going to Kenya again with N2NCU to participate in the graduation of about 1,000 students with an Associate’s Degree and some with a Bachelor’s Degree. If you would like to partner with us on this trip, send your check to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588 or go online and send it through our website: www. http://onword.org/donate.htm

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, President and Founder of On Word Ministries
http://www.onword.org

Reaching Pastors in Kenya

Our outreach to Africa was very fruitful last year. We were blessed to find a man from the Congo who had translated French/English for the United Nations. He agreed to translate our N2NCU curriculum into French for less than one third of what it would normally cost. Since many African nations, including the Congo, are French speaking, this is a door of opportunity to influence thousands of pastors in Africa who we would not be able to reach otherwise. We are already in contact with a bishop in the Congo who oversees 8,000 churches.

We have already established several schools in Kenya with the 3,300 PEFA churches. AJ Baisch and I will be going to Kenya in November to do several seminars with another group of churches. We have 8 seminars scheduled over a two week period.

Our focus is training and encouraging leaders. When we touch the lives of the leaders we also touch the lives of those who are under their care. This is more efficient than spending time with only one pastor and one group. This trip will cost about $2,100.00. That will cover airfare and in country expenses. We need to purchase tickets by the end of September.

If you like to get the most “bang” for your mission’s giving, this is the time and the place. You will be helping us build up hundreds of pastors in Kenya. Their churches will benefit from the impartation they receive while we are there. Make checks payable to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct. Myrtle Beach, SC 29588 or contribute online at http://onword.org/donate.htm

Please be in prayer for the trip – especially for divine appointments and connections. Thank you for your prayers and your gifts. Your offerings make this ministry possible.

Fount Shults

On Word Ministries http://www.onword.org

Categories: Uncategorized

The Spiritual Marketplace

01/01/2015 4 comments

Several people very close to me have said, “You sell yourself short. You make too many things available for free.” I’ve heard that many times through the years, and I heard it again last month.

My response is on several levels. First, Jesus’ said, “Freely you have received; freely give.” He also said it’s more blessed to gives than to receive. Jesus never asked for money, yet all his needs were met by those (mostly women) who followed his ministry. He actually believed what he taught about his Father who provides for sparrows being faithful to take care of men and women who are of much more value than sparrows. I also believe.

My second response is that my concern isn’t how much I can receive from the spiritual marketplace, but how much value I can bring to the table. I really believe my Father will take care of my financial needs simply because he loves me. His care for us isn’t tied to the value we bring to the marketplace. Yet, at the same time, I know he has given me much and I love sharing the insights he gives me without cost. For many years I have done short term mission work at my own expense.

My third response is that viewing life in this world in terms of the marketplace, judging everything by the “bottom line,” is like using the Temple as a place to buy and sell. Buying and selling as such is not the problem, but measuring everything by the “bottom line” is defiling the Temple and using those who come to the Temple to increase your own “bottom line.” This doesn’t reflect the glory of the God who gave his Son.

I seldom asked for finances up till now. For several years I sold audio teachings when I ministered in various churches. It definitely helped financially, and people were blessed to have them to listen to slowly and take notes. But I felt the Lord calling me to make the audio teachings available for free on my website. I began posting the teachings for a free download, or to listen online. You can go there now and listen online or download to your MP3 player.

Our understanding of life changes as we grow. I have a new understanding of finances now. Like every other missionary, I need finances to do what I do. Jesus needed finances to do what he did, but income was never his focus. He even allowed a thief to handle the offerings to his ministry. I refuse to make money my focus. Last year Father reminded me of a text, “You have not because you ask not.” So I began to ask for finances for travel expenses. The money for our trip to Africa came in within less than four weeks. Last summer all the finances for our trip to the Dominican Republic came in within about two weeks.

My focus in life is to the glorify our Father and to the honor those who value what he has given me to give to others. Now that our ministry is reaching out to many parts of the world, our financial need has increased while our availability to travel and minister in the States (where honorariums are available) has decreased. This puts us in a position where we simply must ask for finances to cover travel expenses as well as the cost of living.

The purpose of this blog is not to ask for finances, but to let you know why we will be requesting donations more often in the future than we have in the past. We request that you ask Father if he wants you to partner with us in the vision of touching the world with insights from his Word.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, Academic Dean, N2NCU http://www.n2ncu.org
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

Visiting N2N schools in Africa

Our team was able to visit several N2NCU schools in the Mt. Kenya region while they were in session. One of the schools was watching the DVD of my class on Basic Themes of the Old Testament. They asked me to greet the students and share a short word. I challenged them to take seriously the education they were receiving, but to remain humble seekers of truth. “When you graduate,” I said, “you will have a piece of paper that has value, but the greater value is in learning how to approach the Bible with the right kind of questions.”

At another school the students were watching DVD of Brick Cliff teaching. He challenged them to take their leadership roles seriously, not only for the churches they oversee but also for the communities where they live. Our Community Development program is an excellent tool for evangelism because it improves the lives of the people. When the lives of the people are improved, they are open to the gospel. Many are receiving Christ.

The bishop over a third school was building a medical clinic to minister to the health needs of his community. Brick offered to purchase several microscopes and other equipment they will need to operate. Those are small items the team can bring with them in their luggage when we make our next trip. This project will touch people who would never come into a Christian church. What a joy to work with people who have a vision beyond Sunday worship and preaching.

I was invited to preach in one of the Nairobi churches Sunday morning. After my message, the congregation broke into the cultural singing that is so typical in Africa, with someone singing a phrase in Swahili and the congregation responding. They continued for well over an hour. It was a very moving experience for me personally. I assumed that was the traditional practice of that church. But the Pastor told me later that they had never done that before. Our Father had used the message to stir something deep in the people. I’m hoping to hear some testimonies later.

The following week we took a bus south to Tanzania. It was about a six hour ride to Arusha where we met a man named Godsave. He is a Maasai who got saved and has a ministry to orphans. He was sick when he was born, and the Maasai expose sick and deformed babies to the elements to die. His father sent his mother out to leave the boy in the wilderness, but she had compassion and took him to a clinic. A Lutheran pastor prayed, “God, save this child.” That’s where he got his name.

We also met “Mamma Anna” who has a ministry to Maasai and Moslem widows. She is showing them the videos of the N2NCU training. The Moslem women wanted to take the classes to learn what the Bible was all about. Many of them have accepted Christ, and others are interested. She is a serious student herself and spoke very highly of the courses we offer.

Our teaching and training is having an effect in Tanzania as well as Kenya. More details will follow in our next blog.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, Academic Dean, N2NCU http://www.n2ncu.org
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

PS. Please remember us in your prayers and in your giving. Thank you.

Categories: Uncategorized

Elder vs. Elderly: Wisdom vs. Learning

11/01/2014 1 comment

The young Hebrew professor responded to my quote from another scholar, “He used to be a good scholar, but he has become senile.”

During my postgraduate studies in the Hebrew language at The University of Texas at Austin, I was reading some of the insights of W. F. Albright. Albright had at least four Doctorate degrees and had moved from being a liberal Bible scholar to understanding the bigger picture of biblical history. In his later years he had come to conclusions that agreed with several conservative scholars. He wasn’t addicted to the conclusions of his early years.

When I quoted one of Albright’s insights in a Hebrew History class, the young professor said, “W. F. Albright is senile. He has lost his edge in scholarship.” It’s typical of young scholars to disregard seasoned scholars just like teens often disregard adults. “After all,” they seem to think, “How could they know anything about what I’m learning today? They’re just behind the times.” Young people are usually addicted to their own point of view. I know I was.

It becomes clear why the biblical tradition sees elders as the ones we should look to for wisdom. But, at the same time we must realize that there’s a difference between being an elder and being elderly. Many elderly people have spent their lives resisting new ideas and remaining loyal to what they were taught as children. They are in fact behind the times. It’s amazing how quickly we dismiss any idea that contradicts what we already believe.

It’s like my friend who said, “If I believe you, I’ll have to admit I’ve been wrong all these years.” That was his response when I spoke to him about the Holy Spirit. I wondered if he really heard what he just said. It’s like he was addicted to his belief system and couldn’t break free to consider a new idea even when it looked right. But he’s not alone. I’ve also caught myself holding on to a belief system long after evidence pointed another direction.

This puts us all in a position of needing discernment. How can I tell whether a new idea is worth considering or not? How can I know I’m not just holding on to my childhood training? Apart from discernment, I can’t know. The problem is that addictions, anxiety and prejudice block discernment. If a new idea looks like it might be worth considering, I know I might be rejected by my peers if I consider it. This anxiety is the motor that runs prejudice.

My respect for the elderly men who were appointed elders in my church was shattered when I heard one of them say, “I will stake my eternal salvation on this interpretation of that verse.” It was a verse that had four different interpretations offered by leaders in our denomination. I knew I could never stake my eternal salvation on a particular interpretation of any verse. There’s too much room for human error. Eternal life is secured by Jesus alone.

I remember walking home from the meeting that night, weeping over the heart condition of the one who’d made that statement. It was painful to embrace the fact that an elder, whom I respected and loved, would make a statement like that. He was addicted to a belief system based on a human understanding of one verse. I knew I could no longer be a part of that camp. I had to move on in face of the rejection I knew was coming.

The journey to wisdom doesn’t end when you graduate from high school or college. It doesn’t end when you become a Christian or when you have a new experience of the goodness of God. There’s always more about life than what you’ve already experienced, and each new experience has the potential to teach me something I didn’t know. It might even cause you to see the trivial nature of something you believed to be ultimate truth. When we stop learning, we die.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, President, On Word Ministries http://www.onword.org

PS. If you enjoy reading what we share here and on our Facebook page, you may help us keep these insights coming by contributing. Go to http://www.onword.org/donate.htm or make checks payable to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct. Myrtle Beach, SC 29588.

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Demons, Lies and Manifestations

10/18/2014 5 comments

“You’re not looking at me,” she said with obvious disapproval.

I was ministering to this young college girl with epilepsy about 1976. After commanding the demon of epilepsy to leave, I was ignoring her. The seizures had begun in a situation where the girl’s father was ignoring her. I sensed the possibility that she only wanted attention from a father figure. I was actually taunting the demon of epilepsy by ignoring her, but I was also testing to see if attention was the real issue.

I don’t believe every case of epilepsy is necessarily demonic. There are other causes medical science has discovered, like injuries to the brain. But this one seemed to be a demon. One thing I know for sure, and I minister with this understanding, “if it’s not a demon, it won’t leave when I command it.” So I had given the command in a soft, authoritative voice and was only waiting to see what would happen.

When she said, “You’re not looking at me,” I knew it was a demon that simply wanted attention from me as a father figure. I calmly responded, “I know; I’m ignoring you on purpose. You only want attention, and you’ll get no more from me.” I reminded her that I’d already spoken the command in the name of Jesus, and she had no choice but to leave.

I suspect there would’ve been some manifestations if I’d responded to her challenge. The demon would want to argue and fight with me to get more attention. I remained calm and simply waited, still looking away with my feet propped up on my desk. Soon the demon realized I wasn’t going to engage in a battle so she left and the girl was free.

I told her not to go off her medication until her doctor told her to. A couple of months later, she wasn’t feeling right and went for a checkup. Her doctor reduced her medication. Later she went again, and her doctor reduced the medication again. The third time she returned, the doctor said, “I don’t know why you’re on this medication anyway,” and gave her permission to stop completely.

One thing we can learn from this incident is that we can actually invite a demon to help us get what we want. A demon of anger is sometimes there because the person wants power over others in order to get his or her way. In other words, the demon isn’t there against the person’s will. But, in order to get rid of the demon, we must be willing to lay down our need to have everything the way we want it.

We also see that many demonic manifestations occur because the person ministering deliverance has the impression that a fight is inevitable and it’s up to them to win the battle. This idea comes from thinking the demon actually has power. The only power a demon has is the power we give them by believing his lies.

If we believe the demon’s lie, we give him permission to walk with us. If we need to wrestle, it’s because there’s something in us that needs adjustment. We’ve believed the lie that Jesus hasn’t really won the victory and it’s up to us to fight. That causes us to use our own energy to defeat an enemy who’s already defeated. The result: we experience exhaustion and burnout.

Here’s another example. I was preaching in the Northeast and a young lady in the back slithered out of her chair and began to hiss like a snake. The deacons took her to another room and I finished my sermon. After greeting a few people, I ask where they took the girl. I went to the room and found four men trying to hold her down on the floor and two others at the top of their lungs commanding the demon to leave.

I asked for permission to take charge, and they agreed. I told the men to get off of the girl and take their seats. I ask the girl if she wanted to be free. The demon hissed and growled something. I said, “I’m not talking to you; I’m talking to the girl.” Soon the girl said she did want to be free. So I asked her to get off the floor and take her seat. She did. It’s much easier that way; you don’t have to fight when the person cooperates.

After a few questions I discovered she had been abused by her father in a satanic ritual when she was very young. I had her forgive her father and renounce her connection to the satanic covenant. In a few moments she was free. There were no manifestations and no need to hold her down simply because I didn’t believe the lie that there had to be a fight.

Categories: Uncategorized

See For Yourself

09/27/2014 2 comments

While teaching on the college campus, I often began the semester with an announcement: “I’m not here to teach you what to think; I’m here to teach you how to think.” Many religious leaders want to tell you what to know rather than how to know. They want to tell you what to see when you read Scripture rather than how to look and see for yourself. This way has produced leaders who have borrowed doctrines with no personal experience.

Someone might object, “But what if the students don’t come to the right interpretations? Aren’t you taking a risk here?” That line of questioning comes from the same platform as those who tell you what to think rather than training you how to think. The basic assumption here is that I am right. What if the student sees something I haven’t yet seen? I would be closed to learning anything new myself.

Here are a couple of principles I learned in the process of teaching and relating to students since I began my academic career seriously in 1959. I had been an Art Student in the University of New Mexico in 1955-56, but that was before the Lord encountered me in 1957 while I was in Japan as an airman in the United States Air Force.

First: The most important thing I learned is that love precedes all true knowing.

It’s not by accident that in both the biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek, the words translated into English as “to know” actually refer to an intimate relationship, like a man knowing his wife. It’s altogether possible to learn facts about a matter without intimacy with the thing itself, but that’s not learning in the biblical sense. Learning facts about your wife will never impregnate her.

This is what Jesus had in mind when he said to the Pharisees, “Go learn what this means; I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” We’ve mentioned this in another blog, but it’s very appropriate here. You may be able to spout off the dictionary definition of the word mercy and quote what theologians have said about it. The only way to know mercy is to extend mercy to another who needs mercy. Then you have the experience of mercy.

Generally speaking, those who’ve never received mercy will not show mercy. The reason they’ve not received mercy is that they actually believe they don’t need mercy. They think being right in their doctrine puts them in a place of superiority. To admit they need mercy they’d have to get off the pedestal they’re perched on. God offers them mercy, but they prefer to make all the right sacrifices (study time, tithing, etc.). Jesus came to those who need healing, not to the healthy.

Second: Words often become substitutes for reality, or a way of avoiding reality.

Proclaiming the reality of the Holy Spirit, for example, becomes a substitute for being led by the Spirit. It’s as though teaching on being led by the Holy Spirit exempts me from being led. How often have you been in a meeting where the message of healing was proclaimed but no one has been healed there for many years? We don’t need more words; we need reality.

To know the word is not to know the thing itself. Words are only pointers, or signs. They indicate which direction to look or what to do to experience the thing they refer to. On another level, words don’t actually mean anything. People use words to mean something. Any particular word can be used to refer to several different things or experiences. Words are tools. A shovel can be used to dig a hole or to fill in a hole; it can even be used to kill someone. Words are like that.

This simply means that, if you really want to know what a text means, you must ask the author. This brings us back to intimacy. I must be intimate with the Author to have the meaning of any biblical text uncovered to me. One reason I don’t expect students to come to any particular understanding of the text is that the text has meanings on several different levels. We must learn to listen to the Author to hear what he is presently saying to us. We must also be open for him to speak something different tomorrow.

“But that leaves us vulnerable to be deceived,” you say. Yes, you’re right. But you’ve probably already believed some things that aren’t true anyway. I’m willing to live with the fact that I’m human and fallible. Being a student of the Word requires this humility.

There are other things I’ve learned, but that’s it for this blog. If you appreciate what we offer, share with your friends.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, President, On Word Ministries