Mudslide!

The following is a missionary article delivered to my inbox yesterday, written by Bro. Lambeth. I hope you enjoy…

Mudslide in Rio
Mudslide in Rio

The headlines blared the news: almost fifty souls perished in mudslides in the “eternal” city of Rio de Janeiro. Could those deaths have been avoided? Yes! Most, if not all of those deaths could have been avoided had they followed the guidelines of average good sense.

Like so many of this wayward generation, they sought for the cheap, easy, “smart” choice on their fast-track highway to quick-fix success! Not unlike the lotto fever that bites so many millions dreamers, believe me, there is really no quick fix to life’s destination to perdition!

Rio de Janeiro, the famous nightlife city of fun and folly is built midst a series of slippery hills… the very characteristic that gives the city its fame of beauty. The jet-set fly in and out on weekends…everyone arrives looking for sun and fun. Then, over time, the rough crowd and the thrill seeker also began moving in. With dire consequences!

Unlike the jet set, those that cover a sinful life with plenty of money to smooth the ripples of conscience… the other crowd moved in without money… and wanted access to the same sun (free!) and fun (sometimes paid with drugs).

So, the other crowd built cute houses on fragile stilts across the hills of Rio. The view was breathtaking from atop those hills. And, since it hardly EVER rains in Rio… the houses looked stable and secure for a lifetime of sand, sun and samba (the Brazilian musical rhythm).

Just as in the Bible, however, the rains DID COME! The rain poured on foolish men that thought some things just did not matter all that much. After all, why worry about the foundation if it NEVER storms on my life of prosperity and positive preaching (“god heals everything, always”)?

Why worry about laying a foundation of doctrinal stability? When tomorrow’s sun arises, we will, once again, be basking on the warm beaches of charismatic praise… never needing to bow a knee nor shed a tear of repentance and consecration. Why invest in “anti-mudslide” equipment when the ONLY Bible verse quoted is “… he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Ph. 1:6)!?! The hill-builders do not realize that BETWEEN today and the referred final performance of promise THERE WILL BE A STORM! Don’t forget, the Bible has more than one promise. Holy Writ ALSO promises storms! Those storms are the structural testers of your foundations!

The glee felt from cute prophecies does not SOLIDIFY the foundation! Seeing devils sent packing into pigs will NOT stabilize your own lifeline! According to the parable in Mathew, it is NOT ENOUGH just to prophesy or cast out devils. The STORM PROTECTOR is a fruitful life developed from solid rock preaching!

Believe me, the “let’s just praise the Lord” crowd has built their houses of worship on the slippery hills of sound and sight, carnal praise singers and soft preachers.

Meanwhile, solid rock preaching concerning sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8) is the ONLY thing that can establish our soul house on THE ROCK! Don’t cut corners while building your foundation! Lay it solid!

According to the news reporter the survivors said the sound of sliding mud was disconcerting and eerily haunting. Much too late to do anything about the foundation… the house was already sliding downhill.

I hear the rumbling of a mudslide is in the air… RUN TO THE ROCK!

~ Missionary John Bradley Lambeth

Eye See Faith: What the Locust Didn’t Eat

The following is one of the most recent articles from Missionary Lambeth. Enjoy…

Most Brazilians are very religious. Few, if any, have difficulties believing in a miracle. And that is the very thing that makes Brazil such an exciting place to work for the Lord: you often see the impossible in action! Among many other cultural differences, there is a small detail that stands out significantly to me—many Brazilians have a “habit” of bringing pictures of their loved ones to be “prayed over.” That loved one may be sick unto death at their home far away, but the family intercessor will bring the photograph along to help the one who is praying get a grip on the need.

Interestingly enough, they do not bring pictures of the loved one in their “fallen” state. No, the photos always reflect the original, previous, much-improved state—before the disaster, before the cancer, before the pain. In reality, the pictures reflect the size of the faith that the intercessor has for the needy loved one or friend. Their faith is big enough to believe that God can restore them to the original state!

What the Locust Ate
Stepping aside, briefly—how big is your faith? Can God, in your eyes, restore what the locust ate? Or is your eye dimmed into grim forgetfulness of what the original state looked like? If we have become so blinded that our own minds blank out what the original looked like, how can we believe enough to see through the eyes of faith up to the creative (i.e. brand new) work that God wants to do in our lives. Not only does God want to restore to the original state, He wants to improve what centuries of sin have done to our generation.

As a missionary on the cutting edge of miracles, I am fascinated with the story of the blind man that got “spit” stuck in his eyes. After the first part of the miracle, he saw “men as trees, walking.” What a tremendous miracle for a man that was blind; at least now he would never again fall blindly into unseen holes. It was an Eye See (I see) moment. However, the second part of the miracle was an improvement on the first miracle! He saw “every man clearly” (Mark 8:23-25).

What’s in Your Picture?
We must break out of our faithless world. We ought to at least have enough faith to go back to the original piquancy that existed before our present necessity, to go back to the original Eye See faith. That is the bare minimum faith level for these days that we live in. We must at least be able to believe in restoration of what the locust ate (Joel 2:25).

Yet for the truly bold, there is another level of faith, one beyond Eye See faith. It’s the faith that makes spiritual heroes out of ordinary men. It is that special faith you read about in Hebrews 11. Each of those extraordinary men looked beyond the Eye See (i.e. what their eyes actually saw); they saw beyond! In reality, they ventured into a progression of faith. Perhaps that is our problem: we stop at a low level of faith and cannot seem to reach up, beyond Eye See.

“. . . having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them . . . for they . . . declare plainly that they seek a country . . . if they had been mindful from whence they came out (i.e. Eye See), they might have had opportunity to have returned (the original state) . . . but now they desire a better country, that is heavenly (i.e. seeing through God’s eyes) . . .” (Hebrews 11:13-16)

We all must learn new lessons of faith. We need to look up and beyond this limited world where we live in order to see creative faith in action, pulling the Apostolic Church above Eye See faith into the realm of a heavenly!

I want to see beyond Eye See!

Please Pray for the Lambeth’s

The following is an email sent out by Bro. Lambeth this morning regarding the passing of his mom, Missionary Louise Lambeth.

Dear Friends and missionary partners:

This morning at 08:30 AM, Brazilian time, Missionary Emerita Wanda Louise Lambeth passed on to her eternal reward after 51 years of pioneer missionary service on the foreign fields of Brazil and Uruguay.

Suffice to say she will be sorely missed, especially her prayers and soulwinning determination as she bravely marched into uncharted waters to plant churches across this vast mission field.

In the name of the whole Lambeth family I write to express our appreciation of the supportive love and prayers offered to us during her degenerative illness.

While we feel very lonely today, we are also so proud and happy: our matriarch Lady adds one more name to the list of Lambeths that now grace the Streets of Gold.

Rev. John Bradley Lambeth

Missionary Wanda Louis Lambeth
Missionary Wanda Louis Lambeth

Bro. Lambeth’s Website

Just a note to direct your attention to Bro. Lambeth’s website, www.jblambeth.com. His heartbeat for the country of Brazil is unmistakeable and there is a lot of interesting stories and presentations there for your perusal. Also, you will be reminded of the desperate need that missionaries have for our prayers on a daily basis.

I will be placing a permanent link here on the blog. Visit often to receive his blog and newsletter updates.

Tell Jesus I Love Him

The following article was written by Missionary Brad Lambeth in 2005.

It was my mistake. I left the front gate open (a big no-no in Brazil) and he walked in. He wore only a pair of Bermuda shorts. Nothing else. His torso was covered with colorful tattoos. They belied his sad countenance. His eyes were distant and glazed. He was wired high on drugs.

He was trying to sell trinkets (for more drugs?). I offered a quick tip just to get him out of the yard and on his journey. He refused. He insisted on selling his nonsense merchandise.

Then suddenly conversation went into another completely different direction. “Hey, I know you!” he said. “You’re the pastor of that big green church.”

His eyes misted with tears. With slurred words he told me of the only time he had ever walked into the sanctuary. It was a wedding night, apparently, but he felt God so strongly that he had never forgotten the experience, in spite of the many years that had passed. I asked him his name.

“Fabricio,” he mumbled. Then Fabricio turned to me and said, “Do me a favor. Tell Jesus that I love Him.”

The words came out quietly, but very clearly. Because of the incredible sincerity of his words, I implored him go to church and tell Jesus himself.

“No,” he responded. “I am not worthy.” Sadly he turned and walked away without answering my call to return.

With the words “tell Jesus that I love Him” echoing in my ears, I went to church that night and told Jesus what Fabricio had said. He loved Jesus so much that (in his fogged mind) Fabricio felt totally unworthy of entering into His sanctuary.

My mind wandered in the Bible and was drawn to Job. He rose up “…early in the morning and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5).

Surely there is prayer, a different prayer to be prayed for the Fabricios. All of us have loved ones, spouses, precious friends that are unsaved and tremendously bound by the fetters of sin. We need to pray intercessory prayers. The strong kind that crushes Satan’s shackles.

We need to pray the prayers that the sinners would want to pray. But they can’t. They don’t know how! They don’t have the strength. Or, like Fabricio, they feel unworthy to utter the precious name of Jesus. These types of sinners are bound in their sincere ignorance, incredulous of the fact that God loves to hear the cry of a sinner pleading for help. So they die, daily in their silence. Drowning in the shame of their sins.

The true church needs intercessors that are willing to pray the surrogate prayer—to pray in the stead of a sincere, helpless sinner.

We are often so caught up in our own (vain) world that we forget how we, too, were helped by someone’s prayers. While I was praying at an altar of forgiveness (before the Holy Ghost fell into my soul with fire), my precious mother cried the prayer of faith over my life, pushing away the boundaries of sin by her commanding prayer!

A perfect example of this concept is found in the Gospels. First, it is striking to note that the centurion soldier felt the same sense of unworthiness that Fabricio manifested when he says, “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof…”. As a Roman centurion, he felt disqualified to be one of the chosen saved. He was unworthy of Jesus’ attention. Yet, he was willing to intercede in favor of a soul that he felt had a need worse than his! That is what prompted Jesus to declare: “… I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Matthew 8:10). And the servant was healed without Jesus’ coming into the house, according to the faith of another man—proxy prayer, proxy faith, positive results.

I am certainly aware that salvation is an individual matter and each man must have a personal experience with Christ and His salvation plan. We cannot be baptized for another person nor can we receive the Holy Ghost as a substitute stand-in. Yet, there is no denying that our prayers have a greater effect than we can ever imagine. The power of pleading prayer reaches beyond our four walls and demonstrates a faith which offers liberty for the operation of the Holy Ghost.

The bottom line is that others are depending on your prayers. It may be your son, sister, father-in-law, or boss. They are hoping that you will pray the surrogate prayer and tell Jesus that they love Him. After they get untied, freed from their shackles, surely they will say it for themselves, “Jesus, I love You.”

Don’t forget—he said Fabricio was his name.