Author: John Page 2 of 141

A Real Transformational Movement

Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Exodus 18:21 “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens”

During my recent time in Asia, I was hugely blessed to learn about a program now called My Brother’s Keeper. I had the opportunity to speak to senior audiences of members of the Philippines National Police (PNP) as a part of this program that has been carefully designed to prompt national transformation and renewal through intentional elevation of Biblical Christianity.

This program of transformation began as a secular endeavor, to promote integrity, accountability, and a bond between the police and their communities. Yet, after years of marginal gains and a spirit of stagnation, leaders like Cesar Hawthorne Binag infused a spiritual component into the program and it came alive. As Binag rose through the ranks, eventually retiring as a Police Lieutenant General, he fostered the Christian focus of this program and it birthed My Brother’s Keeper (Binag also wrote a great devotional: “44 Days of Faith and Valor”). It now has the lofty mission of creating “a transformation movement for righteous leadership in all sectors of the government and the community, whose goal is to have a God-centered service-oriented, and family-based life.” It is officially supported and sanctioned by the Filipino government as it merges elements of the police, the community, and the local church. This triad demonstrates the importance of a multitude of counselors and the criticality of wearing of the whole armor of God.

There is an important lesson here for all of us. Secular programs of transformation are largely shallow, unsustainable, and ineffective. Corporations throw around the core values of excellence, integrity, and selfless service – three of the four of the characteristics that Jethro recommends Moses use to select his subordinate leaders. But without the fourth characteristic – fearing God – the rest ring hollow. That is the truth learned through trial-and-error by the PNP.  Real transformation starts from looking upwards and inward, and it begins from the inside out.


The Front Lines

II Timothy 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 6:13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, nether be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”

As World War II in Europe was coming to a close in the spring of 1945, British leaders at RAE Farnborough realized that they needed to mobilize in order to acquire notable German aviation technology for subsequent Allied use and to prevent the Russians from doing the same. British Royal Navy test pilot Lieutenant Eric “Winkle” Brown was named the commanding officer of the Enemy Aircraft Flight and was tasked with leading the British contingent on their mission into Germany. Winkle’s team entered the rubble of post-war Germany in the spring of 1945 to collect the Luftwaffe’s best technology as Allied ground forces gained German territory. In this chaotic environment, Winkle would fly all types of German aircraft, mostly flown with little documentation or training.

Lieutenant Brown’s experiences as the war was ending were extremely unique in an unpredictable environment. During this period, Winkle and his team flew to Denmark to exploit Germany’s jet reconnaissance bomber, the Arado 234B. Based on Army intelligence, he expected Allied occupation of Grove Airfield where the Arados were based. Unbeknownst to him, the Allies were slow in their advance and Winkle’s landing at Grove was instead at an active German airfield. Fortunately, the German commanding officer surrendered to him upon arrival and Winkle controlled the airfield and its 2,000 men until Allied ground troops arrived the next day.

Brown’s experience seems to be the opposite of many of today’s Christians. Instead of pushing the boundaries on the front lines of the conflict that is swirling all around us, we prefer to stay safely and passively in the rear. We are comfortable and content in letting others engage in the fight while we are relatively secure away from any attacks. As we sit in the comforts of disengagement, we wonder why we are collectively losing ground and are somehow surprised that the battle lines are quickly closing in on us.

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO WILLINGLY FIND OUR WAY TO THE FRONT LINES OF THE CONFLICT IN WHICH WE ARE ENGAGED IN TODAY’S SOCIETY. If we do so, we may be pleasantly surprised to see an adversary who is willing to surrender.

Committed to Committing

Matthew 9:37-38 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

John 4:35 “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

II Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

I met a young lady a few weeks ago at Spiritual Leadership Conference Asia who had a compelling story. She was a Haitian orphan who was led to Christ by a missionary couple to Haiti from the Philippines. They adopted her, and invested in her life and her growth. This young lady is now on deputation, raising support to go to Quebec, Canada as a missionary herself. Her native French-language skills will be helpful to this calling, but ultimately her preparation was fundamentally shaped by her adopted parents who spent time loving her and intentionally developing her.

The cycle of growth is powerful and poignant. In the case of this young lady, it went from the United States (a missionary who ultimately developed the sending Filipino Pastor) to the Philippines to Haiti to Canada. It is especially important for Christians, because it is the way we meet the needs of a field that is white already to harvest and a situation where labourers are in short supply. The demand is not being met, in part because the Christian community is not intentionally developing its own to carry on the calling of Christ.

Replication does not happen by accident, nor does growth or productive development. We need to be committed to committing the things we know to others. Additionally, we need to remind them as we do so, through our model and our methods, that it will ultimately be their responsibility to do the same for others. It that way, we can better produce a supply that will meet the demand of a growing harvest field.

PLEASE PRAY THAT CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA AND ALL AROUND THE WORLD, WOULD INTENTIONALLY DEVELOP ONE ANOTHER FOR SERVICE TO THE LORD. We need to be committed to deliberately committing our knowledge and our passion to others.

Perpetual Vanity

Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Proverbs 22:1-6 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Ecclesiastes 5:10 “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”

Recently, the Wall Street Journal and the University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center published the results of their 2023 survey on American values, beliefs, and priorities. The results were saddening if not shocking:

The survey finds that the prioritization of the essential and foundational elements of our society have plummeted in the last 25 years. Patriotism is considered very important by only 38% of the population, down from 70% in 1998. Religion is considered very important by only 39% of the population, down from 62% in 1998. The results were worst among those under 30 years old, with patriotism considered very important by only 23% of that population group and religion considered very important by only 31% of that same demographic. The statistics for the prioritization of having children and community involvement have followed these same dismal trends.

Money, however, increased in its prioritization among our American population, rising sharply from 31% in 1998 to 43% today. Especially for the under 30 age group, money is considered more important than patriotism, religion, community involvement, and having children.

As we pray for our nation and share our faith with others, we must realize that our population is seeking after those things that will never satisfy. We, however, do have the answer for them, and it isn’t religion, but a relationship with Christ. And, we also offer an order of prioritization that provides permanent fulfillment instead of perpetual vanity – a love of God and a love of others.

As we consider the statistics of this survey, we must also realize the preeminent importance of properly training up the children of our land. We must start by carefully doing so within our families and within our churches. Yet, it must not end there, because the pathway for our future will be determined by the values, beliefs, and priorities of the next generation.


Repairing and Restoring

Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

Isaiah 1:9 “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”

Isaiah 58:12 “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”

Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

At times it is easy to lament the state of our society. We are quick to bemoan our situation and condemn our culture. In many ways, we are right to do so. Yet, sometimes our pessimism and fatalism are so strong that they drown out our hope and dampen our faith.

Let me provide a brief counter-narrative that has given me a boost for the last decade every time I tend towards doubt and dismay.

In March 2013, Pastor Mike Creed and Chuck Harding started a ministry known as Capitol Connection, bringing Christians together at an annual conference in Washington, D.C. to connect the people of God to the people of government. They distribute Bibles, they pray with legislators, and they encourage leaders. Over time, thanks to the help of Brad Cranston, this national activity has spun off analogs at the state level.

Also in March 2013, while serving on the mission field in Papua New Guinea, Pastor Brad Wells heard a sermon from his protegee out of Jonah 1:2 – “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.” As a result, he was convicted that he and his family were to leave their mission field for another one in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill.

Also in March 2013, I was led to start the PLUS ministry, with a firm conviction from Esther 4:14b – “and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

God’s masterful plan started three ministries in this great city at one time. While I don’t know His purpose for doing so, I can reasonably conclude that He was looking for faithful people to make up a hedge and stand in the gap. He was providing a very small remnant. He was making a down payment to repair the breach and restore the paths. He was providing a spark of light in the prevailing darkness. And I suspect He wouldn’t do so if there was not a powerful reason for hope and optimism for our country while God remains ultimately in control!

PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE THREE MINISTRIES IN THE GREAT CITY OF WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THAT THEIR IMPACT WOULD SHAPE OUR NATION AND BRING US BACK TO A FOUNDATION OF FAITH. God may be setting the stage for a repairing and a restoring at the national level that would be miraculous.

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