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WHAT'S NEW?

COMING SOON!

REVISITING NATIVE AMERICAN MINISTRY & KEYS TO PARTNER MORE EFFECTIVELY

by Stuart Simpson

This insightful new book revisits ministry among Native Americans and highlights 5 keys that not only address the errors of the past, but as Native Americans rise up to fulfil their God-given destiny, will also facilitate more effective partnering with the non-native Church in order that God's Kingdom purposes might be realized.


TAKE COURAGE (a series of 4 books!)

- FINDING COURAGE IN GOD FOR LIFE

by Michelle J. Simpson

Full of stories and anecdotes, along with biblical truth, this book will be a great source of help and encouragement to many.

 

THE SECOND ACT

- THE REMARKABLE STORY OF MISSIONARY JAMES O. FRASER'S SUCCESSOR

by Stuart Simpson

This is the story about Stuart's close association with one of the most successful missionaries in the modern era, along with 20 key principles and lessons we can learn from Fraser's life and ministry, still applicable today.

FINDING GOD IN CHINESE CHARACTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 by Stuart M. Simpson

A unique pack of 25 Chinese characters with bi-lingual explanatory guide.

A great tool for anyone with Chinese friends and in ministry to Chinese!

Keith Green

Musician and Songwriter

Keith Green is probably best remembered as an extremely talented musician who sadly lost his life in a tragic plane crash aged 28, along with two of his children. However, he was much more than just a genius on the piano. He was prophetic in his writings, mainly through song but also through other publishings, mainly since his death in 1982. Much of what he wrote was controversial as he challenged areas within western Christianity that he believed were out of alignment with the true gospel of Jesus Christ, or what he saw was complacent or compromised Christianity. At the very least it caused a reaction! In addition, he was also towards the end of his life, a catalyst for world missions.

From a very early age, Keith Green was a gifted musician, playing the ukulele at 3, the guitar at 5, and the piano at 7. At the age of 8, his musical talents were noted by a major newspaper and this led to appearances in TV commercials and in the theatre. By the time Keith was 11, he had written forty original songs and had signed a contract with Decca Records. He also became the youngest person ever to sign with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Decca Records planned to make Keith a teen-idol, regularly getting the young pre-teenager featured in fanzines like Teen Scene and on popular TV shows. Dreams of stardom were shattered, however, when Donny Osmond stole his short-lived spotlight and Keith was quickly forgotten.

Radical Transformation
By his mid-teens, Keith became heavily involved in drug use (which came to an end after experiencing a horrifying "bad trip"), eastern religion, astrology, and mysticism. Although he had a Jewish background, he had also grown up reading the New Testament but he was left confused and skeptical. When Keith was 19 he met a fellow seeker and musician named Melody Steiner and they were married the following year on Christmas Day. Just when Keith had almost given up hope,God's love "broke through his calloused heart", and having finally found the truth that he had been searching for he never looked back.

Keith's life tooked a radical turn. He no longer sought stardom but began to write songs about his new life with Jesus, many of which were birthed during his own spiritual struggles as he sought to become a true disciple of Christ. With his wife, Melody, they became involved with the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Southern California (where they were introduced to Bob Dylan), and they opened up their home to help anyone with a need. Soon they were accommodating homeless people and those who wanted to get off drugs or leave prostitution. In time, this outreach within their home grew to become Last Days Ministries, a ministry where they were personally discipling some 70 believers who had become "staff", along with the production of the Last Days Ministries newsletter/magazine. In 1979, the ministry relocated to Garden Valley, Texas, where it was based on 140 acres before the property was sold to Teen Mania Ministries in 1996.

In the seven short years of knowing Jesus, the Lord took Keith from concert crowds of 20 or less - to stadiums of 12,000 people who came to hear only him. His several album recordings were all chart topping and often they were given away for whatever people could afford. Keith only wanted people to focus on Jesus.

"I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus!"

Changed by God's heart for the Nations
A year before the accident that was to end his life, Keith became acquainted with John Dawson, who at the time was directing the work of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Los Angeles, California. In early 1982, Keith and Melody, his wife, visited a number of YWAM training bases in Europe. During the trip, Keith and Melody were moved by the YWAM volunteers who had dedicated their lives to serve the Lord through the different projects, such as the ministry in Amsterdam amongst the prostitutes and drug users, to the Mercy Ships Ministry - a very practical expression of Christianity to the needy, feeding, clothing and giving medical aid from the ship hospital. They were also overwhelmed by seeing so many lost people, with so few workers to help them.

Keith was stirred with new excitement and vision. America had a destiny to bless the nations and YWAM was a way that would enable many Christians who were called to go to reach the lost. During a final stop-over in England, on their way back to America, Melody began to write down some words of a song that would capture what God had put in their hearts during the European trip:

"Jesus commands us to go!
It should be an exception if we stay..."

Back in the States, Keith was excited to begin to share about the new things God had put into his heart and he did so in a very direct way, shocked by the statistics he had heard during the European trip that highlighted the shortage of missionaries and the numbers of people groups who had yet to hear the gospel.

"...There's a little command found in the Bible that says, 'Go ye into all the nations and preach the gospel unto every creature, and make disciples of men.' And we like to think that was for the disciples. That's for old ladies that can't find husbands and need to bury their troubles on the mission field. That's for humanitarians. Or that's for real Christians who are so spiritual they can't stay in society, so they gotta go overseas and bury themselves in some tribe somewhere down in the Amazon!

I'll tell you what, folks, the world isn't being won today because we're not doing it! It's our fault! This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth. Nowhere in the world is the gospel so plentiful as in the United States. Nowhere! And I don't want to see us stand before God on that day and say, 'But God, I didn't hear you call me!' Here's something for all of you to chew on - you don't need to hear a call. You're already called!

It's either God's will that the world's going to hell or it's the Church's fault because they're not being obedient to what the Bible says about going into all nations and preaching the gospel. If you stay home from going into all the nations, you'd better be able to say to God, 'You called me to stay home. I know that as a fact'!...There's a rule in the armed forces: Always obey the last order you got, until you get new orders from command headquarters. The last order I got in my Bible was 'Go'!"

Keith and Melody had time to share their hearts and vision with the founders of YWAM, Loren and Darlene Cunningham. Their hearts were quickly knitted together in friendship and for ministry. Keith had ministered together with Loren a few times and Keith thought they made a great team. Keith wanted the two of them to go across America together to stir and challenge people into world missions. Loren suggested they have a faith goal of seeing 100,000 people raised up for world missions. This figure was identical to what Keith and Melody had agreed in prayer with the leaders of YWAM Mercy Ships during their recent European trip.

Not long after this significant time with the Cunninghams a family with six children from the Vineyard Fellowship who were on their way to Connecticut to start a new church, visited Keith and Melody's home. Keith decided they should all go on a quick sightseeing flight in the ministry's leased Cessna 414 flown by their pilot who had experience in flying in the military. It was to be a tragic mistake as crash investigators later confirmed that the aircraft was nearly 202kg (450lbs) overweight with twelve passengers (Keith, two of his children aged 3 and 2, the family of eight, plus the pilot) and only seven seats.

A Continuing Legacy
When Loren Cunningham heard news about Keith's death, a Scripture immediately leapt into his mind, "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit." (John 12:24). Keith's life was going to continue to bear fruit. Following his death memorial concerts were held in 110 cities around the world, attended by over 300,000 people, prompting Loren Cunningham to say that he didn't know of a time in history when more young people were presented with a missionary challenge. YWAM training schools were flooded with students and the missionary organisation, Operation Mobilisation, also reported that large numbers of young people had come to serve with them as a result.

Keith Green had only been a Christian for seven brief years before his sudden departure. His prophetic message to his own generation still speaks to generations today through his music and books that live on. Although music styles and preferences change with time, the message remains just as powerful and hardhitting as ever.


Sources and further reading:
No Compromise -The Life Story of Keith Green,by Melody Green and David Hazard, published by Harvest House, 2000 (originally published by Word Books, 1989)
Last Days Ministries
Wikipedia encyclopedia