High Chair Food: ME, MY, & MINE

High-Chair-Food--ME,-MY,-&-MINEHas your family ever had get-togethers when they bring out the ancient family pictures and films? My mom was the typical mother who took lots of photos of her two boys. Some photos were of my brother and I as babies propped up in our high chairs being spoon-fed Gerber’s baby food. And, of course, most of the food ended up on our faces, heads, ears, etc. Can you imagine how absurdly strange it would be to see me now, at age 50, sitting in a high chair being spoon-fed?

Comfortable beds and couches. Ever-running air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. Constant and immediate access to high-definition TVs, satellite movies, and smart phone calls and texts…all at the touch of a button to meet every whim that flashes through our minds and emotions. In other words…has the Christian church in the United States of America (and in all developed countries) become the most “spoon-fed” country in the history of the world? If we are painfully honest, it is safe to say that the bulk of most Christians’ lives consist of ME, MY, & MINE—MY family, MY children, MY home, MY job, MY church, MY retirement account, MY bank account, MY vacation, MY schedule…MY SECURITY! These “things” should be, and are, important to you and I, but just how “important” to us are they? Here is an easy way to test this: on a piece of paper (I already did this and it was eye-opening) make categories and—honestly—put the number of daily hours we spend for work, family, kids, friends, entertainment, sleep, exercise, Bible study, prayer, etc. Then, put the numbers for the hours (or minutes) each day we directly spend: 1) doing, or planning, to share our Christian faith verbally with someone; and 2) doing, or planning, how to help Christians grow in their faith; and 3) doing, or planning, how we can use food, water, shelter, etc, as a platform for evangelism and discipleship, not just “good” Christian humanitarian things we do as a replacement for actually sharing the Gospel verbally with other people. Then, multiply these numbers out over 365 days, which is one year. Now, what percentage of our time is honestly used for building God’s Kingdom worldwide via personal evangelism, and personal discipleship, and mission’s involvement? What percentage of our time is truly used in the Great Commission?

A danger of being an American is our American lifestyle! We are born into this lifestyle “system,” and this system conditions us. We WILL easily become inoculated by the American culture if we are not intentional in allowing God to somehow “disturb” our comfort and reveal to us not if, but how, our American culture has, and is, affecting and effecting and infecting us. Some of the most “hardened” and “logical” and “theoretical” and “spoon-fed” Christians we may know are active in church, they are “nice” Christians. They have access to more material resources and finances than many Christians, yet they squeeze out a 10% tithe feeling they are doing God a favor when they should be giving much more than just the “minimum” tithe. Me, My, & Mine Christians have allowed the “willful blindness” surrounding our American culture as their choice to NEVER share their faith, and to NEVER personally go every year or two on short-term mission trips? In other words, how many Christians in America, and all around the world, have a Christian ministry commitment equivalent to the photo at the top of this blog…adults in high chairs being spoon-fed a diet of “self-absorbed narcissistic Christianity”…adults propped up in their high chairs, dangling their feet, living an “easy & safe & comfortable” Christian life, while stuffing themselves with the 3 most popular Gerber baby food flavors found in the jars labeled, ME, MY, & MINE. From their high-chairs Me, My, & Mine Christians use every “excuse” imaginable to not, for example, go on a short-term international mission trip. Here are some of the most popular excuses, some of satan’s favorites: “I can’t go on missions ‘til I have more money saved,” (as if God is not able to cover our mission trip expense through our Christian friends, family, and church). Or, “I can’t go on missions ‘til my kids are grown,” (as if family or friends are not able to watch the kids for a week as their parents set a Godly example for their kids by going to the nations for Christ). Or, “I can’t take time off work,” (as if they can’t use their vacation, or part of it, for a mission trip instead of spending their entire vacation on another Me, My, & Mine trip). Or, “The Lord has called me to serve just in my city & area.” Jesus Christ said in Acts 1:8, “You WILL be my witnesses in Jerusalem [local], and in all Judea [region/state] and Samaria [state/national], and to the ends of the earth [international].” I wonder what it will be like for such Christians who NEVER share their faith with anyone and who NEVER go on mission trips…I really wonder what Jesus will say to them? Perhaps Jesus will simply quote Himself using His verse in the paragraph below…

At times, in an attempt to shake, and agitate, and discipline us as Christians, Jesus Christ said some unusual and “offensive” things that cut through all of our fluff and “manure.” To separate the “men from the boys,” so to speak, and to find out who was dead serious about following and serving Him, Jesus said the following as a litmus test in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” Perhaps a reason Jesus said this “harsh” statement was because He knew Christians, in various ways and levels, will use their family—even their own children—as an “excuse” to not be fully committed to GOING to the world with His message. The word “hate” here in Greek means “to renounce one choice in favor of another” and “to love less.” Are you and I “hating” our father and mother? Are we “hating” our wives and husbands (those who are married)? Are we “hating” our children (those who have children)? Are we “hating” our brothers and sisters? Are we “hating” ourselves? In other words, who do we really love most…family, spouse, children, ourselves, or Jesus? The answers to these questions, which are proven by our actions and choices, will be plastered in eternity as the evidence of our lives on earth!

Before finishing this blog I took a long and deep dissection of my life in every area…not to be legalistic or mean or harsh, but just out of intentional curiosity. If I am totally honest with you I must say…I do enjoy the comforts I have in being an American. Chances are I have much less “stuff” than most Americans do because I am single with no kids, and I am used to not having much in the area of material things. But, I do very much enjoy my one-bedroom carpeted apartment that has non-stop air and heat and warm shower water. I also like my 2001 Ford Escape SUV. I confess I spend too much time watching the 32-inch high-def TV some of our donors bought me seven years ago after an apartment fire ruined the few hand-me-downs I had for years (moving 13 times in 16 years meant traveling light; after the fire my “stuff” increased thanks to God’s gracious people who helped). I am also grateful for my bank accounts, and for the retirement account our ministry started for me 2 years ago. I do enjoy the food and milk and soda (I definitely drink too much soda!) in my fridge. I really enjoy watching endless baseball games on ESPN and the reruns of Friends and Seinfeld as I lay on my soft couch while flipping the channels—with tremendous speed—on my remote. And, without any doubt whatsoever, I adore my memory foam bed! Why I am not even sure I could, or would, survive without air conditioning, and heat, and clean drinking and showering water. What I would do without a vehicle, or TV, or internet, is unimaginable…these things are fused into my very being as an American! The comforts of America are so deeply “engraved” in me that whenever they are removed, if even for a few days, I am so uncomfortable I feel stressed! During the frequent international outreach trips I take several times each year, my comfort zone gets mad at me and at Jesus and at everyone…my cozy American flesh gets cranky on every evangelistic trip I take when I inevitably get jet lag, and when I get traveler’s diarrhea, and when I can’t find out the baseball scores due to no internet access, etc, etc, etc! But…I am 100% confident I would much rather be “uncomfortable” serving out in God’s Great Commission than to remain “comfortable” in my high chair eating my Gerber’s.

So, the goal of this blog is not necessarily to make us squirm and feel “guilty” (at least not too much) because we as Americans (or other developed countries) live in the wealthiest and most luxurious country in the history of the world. Rather, my motive is to ask all of us—for the sake of our own temporal and eternal fulfillment & fruit—what number totals did we come up with from the sheet of paper from earlier in this blog? When we hold that paper in the mirror and look at ourselves, what do we see: OPTION 1) honest Christians who are conditioned by, and appreciative of, the comforts God has allowed us to have in the USA (and other developed countries)…in the mirror do we see Christians who, in spite of our American comforts, are still truly fulfilling our individual roles in the Great Commission? Or, OPTION 2) in the mirror do we see Christians who have become so “spoiled” and “theoretical” and “cozy” in our Christian life that we (I) sit in our (MY) high chair, munching on and slurping down our (MY) Gerber’s, and reading our (MY) Bible and going to our (MY) church, while having no intention whatsoever of…EVER getting involved in local and international missions, and no intention of EVER verbally sharing our faith with lost people, and no intention of EVER somehow helping Christians around the world—those millions of Christians who basically have nothing compared to what we have, those Christians who are being hurt, persecuted, and even killed, just because they love Jesus and they are willing to risk their lives to live for, and to tell about, Him? So, which one are we, which one are you…OPTION 1 or 2?

For shaking, agitating, and emptying, the high chairs,

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Scott Nute

Scott Nute June 20, 2017 Filed in Blog 1 Response

Island Buses to Heaven

Siargao-01Very soon—May 11th-12th—our ministry has the opportunity to conduct the most unique event that we have ever done! We are having an Island-Wide Crusade on Siargao Island of the Philippines! God has already been working throughout the island…let me tell you more:

Located over 8,000 miles from America in the Philippine Sea, Siargao Island (map on left) is inhabited by 100,000 people on 169 square miles of land. The main beach on the island, Cloud 9 in General Luna, is listed as one of the top surfing locations in the world and hosts international surfing contests. This is the beach our ministry has rented where the crusade is being held!

Siargao-02There are 112 churches (basically all tiny churches) united together for this special event, the first event of this kind they have ever done! Our Asia Event Coordinator stated that pastors said the unity and fellowship their churches have experienced in preparing for this event has been overwhelming! So much so that something has happened on the island and, for the first time in my ministry, local churches involved in one of our crusades are going to help us pay to rent buses to bring people to the crusade! Please know, basically every island church (like the one in the photo above), and every islander, is poverty stricken, with some pastors getting paid with fish and vegetables. Some islanders will be working overtime so they can donate to the crusade bus rentals to bring their family and friends to the crusade! So, this is a HUGE thing for the churches to do!

At $29,000, the transport budget for this crusade is the largest our ministry has ever had! The pastors, on their own initiative, came up with the idea that their churches would raise 1/2 of this amount ($14,500) to rent buses. I was stunned at this, and I realized that God is doing something special through these churches on Siargao Island!

Siargao-03Notice the photos on the right: the top one is a bus called a “Jeepney,” which is the main public transport on the island (each Jeepney holds around 60 people). We are going to rent as many Jeepneys as we possibly can, and also boat ferries from other islands (bottom photo), that will bring as many people as possible to hear the message of The Cross! It will only cost $1.66 per person ($100 per bus) per night for two nights to bring people to the crusade. Will you please help the island churches & our ministry to bring as many people as possible–by land and sea—to hear about Jesus Christ?

Siargao-04If you feel led to join with us in renting buses, you can give a designated donation (give online with no credit card fees) to “Philippines Island Crusade Transport May 2017.” Our ministry needs to raise 1/2 of the transport budget ($14,500). Every dollar you give will go to rent as many buses as possible! Your gift sent today will allow us the “more than normal” time needed to prepare the island transport system. Thank you for helping us reach an island of precious lives with Jesus Christ!

For the island of Siargao,

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Scott Nute

SNGM Admin April 17, 2017 Filed in Newsletter No Responses

Multi-Cultural Message – 4 Countries in 2 Months

scottnute002The past 2 months God has spread His Message through our ministry in a multi-cultured way! Our various teams conducted evangelistic & training events in these 4 countries: El Salvador, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan. Here is an overview:

In El Salvador February 15th-20th, our team conducted Community Crusades in 4 regions of El Salvador (photo on top right)! And, we spoke in public schools reaching a few thousand students with the Gospel! 334 people committed to Christ!

In the Philippines February 20th-24th, another phase of advance mobilization was completed for our upcoming Island-Wide Crusade, May 11-12. Our Philippine Event Director, Lourdman Cabuenos, taught our personal evangelism & follow-up system (churches are seeing people come to Christ before the crusade as a result of applying the Operation Andrew strategy)! Plus, Lourdman shared the Gospel in public schools on Siargao Island…over 500 students said YES to Jesus (photo left)!

Last month on March 12th in India (middle photo), and on March 24th in Pakistan, in the area of the world called the 10/40 Window, our ministry conducted our first E-Events (electronic evangelism events)! We partnered with churches in these countries and gave them a custom-made video of one of my messages—THE CROSS! This video was designed to be interpreted specifically for these electronic events in other nations. In the photo on the right, our video is being shown in Pakistan on a TV that we rented. As I share The Cross message through the video, the Pakistani pastor is translating the message into Urdu. To protect their identities, we cannot share the pastors’ names. But, we can tell you that in India 61 people attended the event with 21 people repenting and trusting Jesus Christ; and, in Pakistan 63 people (16 children) attended the event, and 12 people made public decisions for Jesus Christ!

For countries in the 10/40 Window it could mean persecution for people who turn to Christ. Please, pray for these new believers and for these churches in India and Pakistan! Our ministry is also providing Bible study resources and ministry tools to these churches to assist in the discipleship of the new believers. As God provides, we plan to continue using technology to impact the nations for Christ, especially the nations that are closed or almost closed to the Gospel.

Here is the eternal fruit from our last 2 months of ministry in El Salvador, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan:

  • More than 867 people made public decisions of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!
  • Over 4,100 church leaders and Christians were trained in our personal evangelism & follow-up system (the same system created by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that we were given permission to duplicate and use)!
  • 42,000 Salvation tracts were distributed to church leaders and to Christians for their ministries and personal use! And, every person who committed to Christ was given a tract to share with their family and friends!

We thank and praise God for allowing our team & our partners to have a part in what He is doing throughout His world!

Because HE said “Go,”

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Scott Nute

SNGM Admin March 27, 2017 Filed in Newsletter No Responses

Which Way, God???

which-way-god

Around 27 years ago I found myself at a major life crossroads. This humongous decision had to be made soon…is it the will of God for me to go to Seminary after graduating from college, or not? It may be different circumstances, but I know that you too have made difficult life direction choices. So, you can relate to this crossroads I was at.

In the USA, when a man is called to preach, it is pretty much a no-brainer that he goes to Seminary, especially given the particular denomination I started ministry in. So, I set my plan, which was a good and Biblical plan, that when I graduated from college I would go to Seminary. I even had a school picked out. This was in the fall of 1990. About 2 years later, in the summer before my last semester of college, “something” began to “whisper” to me on my insides. In strange ways I began to sense God revealing to me that it was NOT His will for me to attend Seminary. For weeks I deflected this as satan messing with me, or that it was my flesh, or that the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. This whisper then began to evolve into a “direct force” that began to annoy me. Again, I deflected it. Over the next few weeks this direct force began to evolve into a “pressure” that “felt” like “something” was “squeezing” me from my insides. I began to be miserable, and the thought of moving forward in my plan to attend Seminary began to “feel” like it was the last thing in the world I was supposed to do. Again, I deflected all of this and fought it. This “squeezing” was now keeping me up at night, and stressing me out, and interrupting my appetite. Then, it finally hit me, “Could this ACTUALLY be God Himself speaking to me and saying to me it was NOT His will for me to go to Seminary?”   

To make this story more condensed, I will say the summer when all of this took place (1992) was not a pleasant summer at all! After several weeks of prayer, fasting, and falling on my face before God, I knew, that I knew, that I knew, that God had revealed His will to me…I was to leave school, not go to Seminary, and enter full-time evangelism. My mentors, and friends, and my mom, were very concerned about this decision (and rightfully so), but at this point all they could do was pray for me and wish me the best.

Well…if you are expecting me to say that after I made this decision final and public that huge doors opened for my evangelistic ministry, and that I never had doubts about this decision again, you would be incorrect. After this decision I still had doubts, and satan conducted target practice on me for the next couple of years about this decision. However, as the days and the weeks and the months and the years went by, and I followed Jesus one day at a time, it became clear not just to me, but to everyone else, that it actually was God who spoke to me back then. Now, 27 years later, without a doubt, it was the right decision for me personally! Today, as I write, I am 100% confident I heard from God way back then and that I obeyed Him and made the right choice!

Now, by sharing this story, I am in no way saying to anyone, “Don’t go to Seminary!” Actually what I am saying, and what I have suggested to dozens of young preachers over the years, is to plan on attending Seminary or a Bible School and if God doesn’t want you to go, He will make it clear…perhaps even “painfully” clear. I encourage every person to get as much education as the Lord reveals they are to get…plan to go, and let God open or close the door!

We all encounter important crossroads in our walk with Jesus Christ that require hard decisions. The following are some practical Biblical principles I have learned (and am still learning) that we can use when making decisions about God’s will for our lives:

  • Intimate Direction: a former mentor once told me, “God is more concerned with us as human beings than as human doings.” God’s will and direction for us is revealed as a byproduct of our “being” in an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best…” (Philippians 1:9-10).
  • Mysterious Call: It may be vague at first, and somewhat “quiet” and intangible, but it is not uncommon for God to be a bit mysterious when He first begins to “call” us to serve Him. Now, by “call” I am not necessarily referring to a preacher or vocational ministry, but rather to every Christian. Each of us has an area of service, and how are we to know where and when God wants us to serve Him if He doesn’t somehow tell us or “call” us. “For it is God who works [calls] in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
  • Desires: The Lord uses our desires to guide us. Now, not every “desire” we have equates with the will of God. We need to lay our desires at the cross, and if our desires are not aligned with God’s will, He will adjust our desires, if we let Him. God can use our desires as motivation to do His will. What do you desire to do for the Lord that will bring glory to Him, and will impact others for Christ, and will bring satisfaction to you? “I will run in the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart [desires]” (Psalm 119:32). 
  • Gift Match: Each Christian has at least one spiritual gift. Many Christians have several gifts mixed together, and one or more of these gifts will be the dominant gifts, supplemented by the others. What are your spiritual gifts? If you don’t know, I suggest you take a spiritual gifts test, which you should be able to locate through your church. Your spiritual gifts will fit and match with numbers 2 & 3 above…your call to ministry service and your desires will fit with your spiritual gifts. “He…gave gifts to men [Christians]” (Ephesians 4:8).
  • Confirmation: In various ways, God will surely confirm what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go. Through the Bible, and through trusted Christian friends, and through preachers, and through circumstances, and through unlimited ways (even through a donkey), God is able to speak to us and to confirm to us the direction He wants us to go in, and what He wants us to do. “Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam…” (Numbers 22:28). 
  • Open Door: By open door I am not saying we should just to sit back, and wait, and expect God to open a door right in front of us. Sometimes, a door opens after we take the initiative to “knock” and pursue and explore. And, yes, God most definitely can open doors and “throw” opportunities right in front of us. It can be a combination of both. “What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open” (Isaiah 22:22b). “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
  • Faith: At some point we have to step out in faith! It may be a logical step, or an illogical step, but ultimately faith is an absolute must! God has done His part by speaking to us and revealing His will to us. Now it is time for us to do our part and act…take the next step of faith! “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

Seeking Him, His will, & His direction,

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Scott Nute

Scott Nute March 2, 2017 Filed in Blog 1 Response

Off to El Salvador, February 15-20

elsalvador-stadiumFor the second time in our ministry, we have the privilege of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in the nation of El Salvador! Please join us in prayer for many lives to turn to Christ, and for the local churches to be strengthened and better equipped for ministry through our training system.

Guillermo-GrandeFebruary 15th-20th our team will conduct Community Crusades in 3 regions of El Salvador! Our Latin Coordinator, Pastor Guillermo Grande (top right) has worked with the involved churches for several months preparing them in how to share their Christian faith, and how to bring their non-Christian and unchurched family and friends to these special events to hear the Gospel!

el-salvadorIn connection to these events we have the opportunity to present the claims of Christ in several public schools! After encouraging the students to avoid harmful choices such as drugs and alcohol, we will share how Jesus is the only way for them to experience a fulfilling life! Then we’ll invite all the students, and the school faculty, to attend the outreach events and bring their families and friends.

Joining me on this project is bilingual Pastor Mike McGuire from Hobbs, NM! Mike will be speaking and sharing his testimony in both the crusades and the schools, and he will be interpreting for me in all of the events. Pray for God to use Pastor Mike in a mighty way!

Last year, through the first project we did in El Salvador, we conducted a stadium crusade with over 7,000 people attending (top left photo)…and 240 individuals came to Christ (like the people in the photos to the right)! God willing, we hope and pray to see many more lives transformed in El Salvador through these upcoming crusades and school programs. Your prayers would be appreciated!

For every $15.65 that is contributed to our ministry, we see ONE PERSON make a public commitment to Jesus Christ! If you would like to help Reach, Win, & Train people in El Salvador with the Good News of Jesus Christ, you can contribute a designated donation to “El Salvador Mission 2017.” Thank you for your help!

For El Salvador,
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Scott Nute

SNGM Admin February 2, 2017 Filed in Newsletter No Responses