You Can’t Be My Friend If You Vote for…

To say that politicians are worse today than ever before is probably an indicator that we have selective memories. Politics and politicians in “the good old days” weren’t squeaky clean and didn’t always aim their blows above the belt. Moral questions go back just about as far as does the presidency, as do political scandals. The Burr-Hamilton duel; the Trail of Tears under Presidents Jackson and Van Buren; Watergate; and much more. There has been political trouble for as long as there has been politics.

But this election season seems to be more vitriolic than ever. Voters themselves seem to be reacting differently in this election. It is far from uncommon to see social media posts saying, “If you’re voting for Candidate X, you cannot be my friend.” Which is beyond disconcerting. One of the great strengths of the United States of America–arguably the great strength–is that people are entitled to their opinion. If we have not been able to agree with each other, we have historically been able to agree to disagree. It’s not simply that the first amendment protects the right to free speech. It’s that free speech flows out of free thought. One of the truly frightening things about Eastern European communism was that people could be punished on the basis of what they believed. In the United States, you are still free to say publicly that you don’t approve of a certain elected official or that you dislike the way the country is being run. But while the constitution guarantees free speech, increasing numbers of people today are tolerant only of their own point of view. Dissent might be a constitutional right, but it seems more and more people aren’t willing to extend that right to their fellow humans. And that attitude of intolerance can easily be found among people of faith. That is, even in the church.

While the media has every incentive to traffic in sensationalism and polarizing politics, the truth is that politics really isn’t that important. That is, while foreign policy, economic policy, and social policy have a direct bearing on the way society operates, the Christian stands where Jesus stood. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight… but now my kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). As much as you may or may not like Candidate X or Candidate Y, presidents come and go. Some are perhaps better than others. Some are more popular than others. But the Christian remembers that she or he is not on this planet to be primarily concerned with election results. Regardless of who is voted into public office, the believer’s mandate does not change: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Anger about the political process and vilification of those who don’t share one’s views are evidence that one’s priorities are in a mess. If Christians campaigned for Jesus as energetically as some campaign for politicians, if believers posted their views about the gospel as much as they post their views about politics, the gospel might have by now gone to the world.

It’s natural to care about the way your country is being run. Entirely appropriate. But beyond a certain point, there is nothing to be gained from investing emotional energy in politics which would better be invested in sharing Christ. Translation: Whether President Donald Trump is reelected or former Vice President Joe Biden unseats him to claim the White House, the Christian’s role is unchanged. Our job is to lift up Jesus that He might “draw all peoples to” Himself (John 12:32). We have been informed that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations” (Matthew 24:14). Followers of Jesus can’t afford to lose their focus now, election season or not. Satan hasn’t lost his focus. It is too easy to get sidetracked by good things, let alone bad. Our ability to effectively share the gospel is not enhanced by taking strident political positions. However the election result goes, things are almost certainly going to be messy. If you can’t be someone’s friend because of the way they vote, it’s time to rethink your relationship with Jesus.

As Christians, we have to be better than that. 

Answers in Prophecy: Lives Transformed

Uncertainty seems to be the new standard. No one is quite sure about what to expect tomorrow. The global COVID-19 crisis has impacted people as nothing else has in decades. Questions abound. Big questions like where is the world headed, whether God cares, and will this mess ever come to an end. Pastor John Bradshaw recently tackled these questions in a 10-part virtual series called Answers in Prophecy.  

Over 13,000 people registered to watch Answers in Prophecy, the first of six virtual series that It Is Written is conducting over the next 13 months to lead individuals to God. Since people cannot or are less likely to come in person to meeting sites, we are coming to them through the internet. Just log in, watch, and be blessed. And people have been and continue to be blessed.

Rose,* who had been diligently studying the Bible, was so excited to watch Answers in Prophecy. Just a few days after the series concluded, she was baptized.  

Pastor Bill is thankful that one of the Answers in Prophecy viewers is a person who had walked away from God many years ago. This series is giving Pastor Bill the opportunity to reconnect with her. 

A few weeks ago, Dana wanted to take her life. However, she stumbled upon Answers in Prophecy, and it totally changed her outlook on life. She’s now studying the Bible and preparing for a life with Jesus.

As a member of the Answers in Prophecy team, Betty made a courtesy phone call to June, who had registered for Answers in Prophecy, to see whether she had enjoyed the series. June did not remember ever registering. That did not deter Betty from asking if there was anything she could pray with June about. That’s when June opened up and shared about her daughter’s battle with cancer. Betty prayed and has been praying on a weekly basis with June. June told Betty, “I don’t know how I got on your list, but I’m glad I did.”

Warren was spiritually listless. He went through the motions of going to church but that was the extent of his relationship with God. Then he watched Answers in Prophecy, and it was like a light came on. He’s not been the same ever since.

Even though the Answers in Prophecy presentations were released from October 9 to 21, they can be viewed on demand at answersinprophecy.com. Discover for yourself and tell others about this life-changing series that digs deep into the Word of God for answers.

As you savor Answers in Prophecy, mark your calendar for the next virtual six-part series entitled, NO LIMITS: A Life of Power. The NO LIMITS presentations will be released from January 24 to 29. It’s the kind of series that will help you experience God’s power in your life. What a way to start the new year! More details about NO LIMITS will be released soon.

*All names have been changed.

The Last Mission Trip: Video

Just as international travel shut down in Europe, It Is Written mission volunteers arrived in Siberia. It was the middle of March, and the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning to extend its grasp around the globe. We didn’t know it then, but this was to be the last It Is Written mission trip of 2020.

Some volunteers had to leave immediately, but those who could, stayed, and God multiplied their efforts. Here are some stories from those mission volunteers.

To read more about the Siberia mission trip, check out our latest issue of Impressions.

#GivingTuesday 2020

It Is Written is pleased to participate in GivingTuesday, an annual global celebration of generosity. Your donation on #GivingTuesday enables us to continue sharing the gospel around the world through television programs, mission projects, online and in-person evangelism, and faith-sharing resources. Despite the pandemic, our ministry has been busier than ever this year! 

Donate

When you make a gift of any amount on #GivingTuesday, December 1, you will receive a FREE In the Word Volume 2 DVD as a thank you. The DVD features four uplifting sermons from Pastor John Bradshaw, perfect for you, your church, or a small group. Get your free gift by donating at the button above or mailing a check or cash donation marked “Giving Tuesday” to It Is Written, PO Box 6, Chattanooga, TN, 37401.

Here are other ways to support It Is Written throughout the year.

Shop on AmazonSmile.

Amazon has partnered with It Is Written through its AmazonSmile program. When customers select It Is Written as their designated charity while shopping on smile.amazon.com, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates a portion of every purchase to It Is Written. Add It Is Written » or Learn more about AmazonSmile »

Order an Eyes for India mission kit.

There are endless ways that you can raise funds to support It Is Written projects like Eyes for India. Whether it’s a church fundraiser, small group project, or birthday activity, you can make a big difference in the lives of others and have a great time doing it. This kit provides everything you need to make your fundraiser a success!

Learn more about the Eyes for India kit »

Set up a monthly recurring gift. 

Give a gift every month automatically through your credit or debit card or checking account. Call 423-362-5800 or visit our donate page » to get started.

Become a ministry Partner.

Partners support It Is Written with a commitment of at least $125 per month or $1,500 annually. Special events are held for Partners every year. Learn more about becoming a Partner »

Make a Planned Gift.

You can help It Is Written make an eternal difference with a planned gift, will, or trust through your financial and estate plan. Learn more about Planned Giving and Trust Services »

It Is Written Partnership Goes Online for the First Time in 45 Years

Since 1975, hundreds of It Is Written ministry Partners have gathered with the It Is Written ministry leadership team at weekend Partnership events. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, It Is Written will be conducting most of its 2020 Partnership events virtually for the first time.

“While we really love getting together with friends of the ministry, I’m excited that anyone can now attend a Partnership event,” said Pastor John Bradshaw, It Is Written president. “These events are mountaintop experiences. Many people have been attending for years, decades, even. I’m looking forward to meeting virtually and having more people join us than ever.”

The free Online Partnership will broadcast live from the It Is Written studio in Collegedale, Tennessee, on November 6-7, 2020. It may be watched on itiswritten.tv, Facebook, and anywhere It Is Written TV airs, including Roku, YouTube, FireTV, and Google Play TV. Broadcast times are as follows:

  • Friday, November 6, 2020: 7:00-10:00 p.m. EDT
  • Sabbath, November 7, 2020: 1:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-10:00 p.m. EDT

An additional broadcast will occur December 4-5 either as a livestream from the ministry’s Partnership weekend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, or as a live event filmed at the It Is Written studio. 

“We have a lot to share about what God is doing through the ministry of It Is Written,” John Bradshaw said. “While church services were canceled, evangelism was not. We have been busier than ever, and we’ll be talking about incredible things we’ve seen the Holy Spirit do.” In addition to outstanding music from Partnership musicians, the event will also feature inspiring messages from the Bible and reports of many ministry initiatives.

Business owner and It Is Written Partner shares his personal story.

Historically, It Is Written Partnership weekends are attended by those who support It Is Written financially. “In a certain sense, these events are shareholders’ meetings,” said Yves Monnier, evangelism director at It Is Written and the Partnership emcee. “We would normally be getting together in Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, or Oregon and sharing exciting reports. But this year will be especially inspiring. I’m thrilled we can have more people attend than ever before from the comfort of their own homes.”

To watch a special invitation video from John Bradshaw and register for Online Partnership, visit itiswritten.com/partnership. You may also become an It Is Written Partner and register for next year’s in-person events at the Partnership website.

Partners share their stories of why they are passionate about supporting It Is Written.

It Is Written Online Series Answers in Prophecy to Begin Oct. 9

Pastor Joseph Ikner II, left, and John Bradshaw film for Answers in Prophecy, the new virtual evangelism series from It Is Written. Answers in Prophecy begins October 9.

Answers in Prophecy is an exciting, new virtual evangelism event from It Is Written. Starting October 9, Pastor John Bradshaw, president of It Is Written, will examine what ancient Bible prophecies say about current world events. Each presentation will livestream starting at 7 p.m. EDT then will be available on demand. The 10-presentation series will conclude October 21. Attendees may register and watch the series at answersinprophecy.com

“Answers in Prophecy is a great opportunity to reach out to your community,” said John Bradshaw. “We’re looking at prophecy in a way that is very user-friendly. We’re demystifying prophecy and really showing how it points to Jesus. People will see how the Bible really makes sense of what’s happening around us. I hope you’ll invite as many people as possible to attend.”

Pastor Joseph T. Ikner II of the Central States Conference will host the event. Presentation topics include “Surviving the Election,” “Who Really Controls the World?,” and “Plagues and Promises.” 

Free promotional resources for this event are available at itiswritten.com/rtresources. Answers in Prophecy is the first event of ACTS 20:21, a one-year evangelism initiative. To get your church involved, visit ACTS2021.church.  

Eight Original It Is Written Programs Now Available as Podcasts

Updated: 5:25 p.m. July 29, 2020

From weekly episodes to daily devotionals to shows in Spanish, eight original It Is Written programs are now available as podcasts on Apple and Google Podcasts. It Is Written, Sabbath School, Every Word, Line Upon Line, Conversations, Escrito Está, and Una Mejor Manera de Vivir join In the Word to provide uplifting content on the go. 

The new podcasts allow It Is Written to spread the gospel even further. “Podcasts are extremely popular, so it is important for It Is Written to utilize podcasting as another effective way of sharing life-changing messages,” said John Bradshaw, It Is Written president. “The new podcasts extend the scope of It Is Written and give us a greater opportunity to reach people for Christ. In a short time, our podcast audience has grown significantly, so I’m encouraged that God is powerfully using this.”

A new episode of It Is Written is posted every Saturday morning. It Is Written, the flagship program of the ministry, is presented by John Bradshaw and takes viewers to locations around the world while presenting the transforming teachings of the Bible. Listen on Apple, Google, or Stitcher.

Sabbath School is an in-depth study of the Bible featuring the author of the current adult Bible study guide, international evangelist Pastor Mark Finley. The weekly lesson study is posted Friday morning. Beginning August 1, a short review of the daily lesson study will also be released. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Every Word is a one-minute, Bible-based daily devotional. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, or Stitcher.

A new Line Upon Line episode is posted weekly on Mondays. Hosted by Pastors John Bradshaw and Eric Flickinger, Line Upon Line answers Bible questions submitted by listeners. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Released every Monday, Conversations takes you into the heart of inspirational experiences and unforgettable testimonies that will encourage you in your own walk with God. Listen on Apple, Google, or Spotify.

Presented by Pastor Robert Costa, Escrito Está is a Spanish-language program that discusses a variety of biblical topics, pointing people to Jesus as the only hope for our world. The weekly program is published on Saturdays. Listen on Apple or Google Podcasts.

Una Mejor Manera de Vivir is a brief daily devotional presentation in Spanish by Pastor Robert Costa. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Taking you deep inside the Bible, In the Word presents inspirational preaching by Pastor John Bradshaw on a wide range of biblical subjects. A new episode is posted every Friday. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or Castbox.

In addition to podcasts, these programs and more may be viewed at itiswritten.tv

Eyes For India COVID-19 Impact and Response

Eyes for India is the long-running It Is Written project restoring sight to the blind through cataract surgeries in India.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Jacob Prabhakar, Eyes for India ophthalmologist and medical director of Ruby Nelson Memorial Hospital in northern India, had to postpone planned Eyes for India surgeries and hospital services. We recently received a report from Dr. Prabhakar about the scope of the COVID-19 impact in his area and his team’s response to it.

Response to the Pandemic

“Eyes For India was progressing very well until March 21 when the pandemic set in, bringing all planned surgical activities to a standstill,” Dr. Prabhakar reports. “About 5,000 blind people who were scheduled and awaiting their turn for cataract surgery in various remote locations within India were disappointed that their dreams of getting their sight back through Eyes For India were delayed. We assured them that our services would resume once the pandemic settled down.”

Community response

Despite curtailed hospital services, the ministry of Eyes for India continued. Many migrant laborers in local villages were left without food and essential supplies during the lockdown. The Eyes For India team visited these villages and provided free food and essential items to about 50 families. It was such a joy to share the love of Jesus in this simple way.

Base hospital services re-opened 

Dr. Prabhakar and his hospital team worked diligently to reopen hospital services. He reports, “After ensuring all protocols for the safety of staff and patients were in place, the base hospital outpatient services began again on June 1 and surgical services started on June 14. The flow of patients at the base hospital has been steadily increasing.”

Screening centers

Due to safety protocols and staffing, the high-volume remote surgical eye camps of the past will not be possible for a few more months. Despite that setback, Dr. Prabhakar and his team have not stopped services altogether. 

Eyes For India has been operating satellite clinics and vision centers to conduct screening activities for future patients in seven strategic locations throughout the country. Services have been able to continue in three centers each week. It is expected that by September all seven of these satellite clinics will again become operational. Patients needing cataract surgeries will be registered in these clinics and will be given appointments for surgery. 

Surgeries resuming

Once surgeries recommence, Eyes for India will transfer about 10 to 15 of these registered patients each day to the base hospital for surgery. This will translate to about 75 surgeries performed per week and about 300 surgeries per month. This strategy will continue until regulations and infection rates allow for the resumption of our high-volume, on-location surgical camps. We are implementing the best practices to ensure the full safety of the staff, their families, and patients while attending to community needs. 

Even though the situation is unpredictable, we have scheduled our weekly surgical camps from September 13 onwards, hoping that the pandemic may settle down to a certain degree, allowing us to carry on our regular yearly schedule. It is our prayer that our services will resume full strength soon. 

Thank You 

While the current pandemic has changed things, Eyes for India is still moving forward. Dr. Prabhakar wants to personally share the following message to those of you who faithfully support this project: 

Thank you, dear donors, for your kindness and generosity that has literally transformed thousands of lives. Eyes For India is committed and strategies have been put in place to continue to serve people across needy communities amidst this changing scenario. The need for restoring sight to the masses continues to be great. 

I thank God for each of you. And with your kind help and support, we look forward to helping thousands who are desperately waiting for their sight to be restored. We are honored to share the precious gift of sight and share personally with them the love of Jesus. 

I remain truly grateful on behalf of thousands of blind who now see!

Jacob Prabhakar

You Inspired Me: Take Charge of Your Health Report

A man recently ran into one of his neighbors and said to him, “Look at me! I’ve changed my lifestyle, lost weight, and never have felt better. Do you know why? YOU inspired me.” He went on to explain that his friend’s health journey is what had motivated him to get his health in order. That very kind of “you inspired” exclamation is what motivated It Is Written to do a seven-part health series called Take Charge of Your Health.

From June 22 to 28, John Bradshaw, It Is Written president, and a team of highly-qualified health professionals tackled some of the biggest health issues affecting people today. More than 20 physicians–including cardiologists, otolaryngologists (ENTs), general practitioners, surgeons, oncologists, and others–shared insights and advice on heart health, diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health, stress, and addictions. Special guests spoke of how they had lost weight, reversed diabetes, survived cancer, overcome depression, and seen a dramatic improvement in their heart health. Take Charge of Your Health also featured segments on diet, exercise, and cooking. The informative, scientifically-based nightly presentations focused on how simple lifestyle changes can have profoundly positive effects.

Thousands of people watched each night, with viewers joining from all around the world. Feedback was positive, with people saying they were on the way to defeating diabetes, losing weight, making changes to their diet, and committing to turning back illness and disease. “It was extremely encouraging,” said John Bradshaw, president of It Is Written. “We knew as we planned Take Charge of Your Health that there was the potential to see dramatic results. Knowing that people got together in groups, came out to churches to watch–church members and non-members–encouraged us. And what’s great is that the programs will age well. They’re going to be watched for years to come.”

The It Is Written Media Production department produced Take Charge of Your Health. “It was an entire team effort,” said Michael Bell, director of media production at It Is Written. “Our production team produced around 40 separate segments featuring almost 40 different people. There were a lot of moving parts. We set out to honor God, and I think we achieved that goal.”

And each presentation featured a strong focus on spiritual health. “And that’s the most important thing of all,” said Yves Monnier, director of evangelism at It Is Written. “We featured the CREATION Life study guides each night. They were produced in association with Advent Health, and they’re powerful. So each presentation pointed people to faith in God, which of course is what brings ultimate health and healing.”

Take Charge of Your Health was made possible by generous donations. “It’s hard to put into words what this means,” commented Ellen Hostetler, It Is Written Development Director. “It Is Written is donor-funded, meaning that what we do relies entirely on the kindness and the vision of others. It’s humbling to know that people had such a burden to see this happen that they donated to make it possible.”

At a time when people are still concerned about serious health issues, when people realize maybe more than ever how important their health is owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, It Is Written is pointing people to the Great Physician and showing people how they can take charge of their health.

Take Charge of Your Health can be viewed at takecharge.life. The Take Charge of Your Health DVD set can be purchased for home, office, church, or small group use at a special introductory price. The CREATION Life Study Guides are also available for purchase from the It Is Written shop or free online at creationlife.study

It Is Written Launches Sermon Series Podcast with John Bradshaw

The It Is Written In the Word sermon series is now available as a podcast, making it easy to listen to the Word of God wherever you are! Taking you deep inside the Bible, In the Word presents inspirational preaching on a wide range of biblical subjects. A new episode is posted every Friday.

John Bradshaw, It Is Written president, presents each sermon. “We have so many programs that we want to share as podcasts,” he said. “In fact, people have been podcasting our programs before podcasts were a thing. They’d download them and listen while walking or driving. We have a full-time channel and our website and app, but podcasts are one more way we can share our life-changing programming with a huge global audience. I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do.”

A screenshot of In the Word on Apple Podcasts.

The first podcast episode, “For Us,” examines the book of Hebrews and what Jesus is doing now. “Forgiveness,” the most recent episode, discusses forgiveness and its power to mend and restore a broken heart. Other titles include “Dog Food,” “Gracious,” “The Temple of God,” “Lightened with His Glory,” and “The Unsung.”

The uplifting sermons are perfect for listening on your next trip or commute to work. They are also ideal for your church or small group. In addition to a podcast, In the Word is available as a TV program on It Is Written TV or on DVD for purchase.

Listen to In the Word on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, and Castbox.