Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 End of Year Letter from Bob Mumford

Below is the End of Year Letter from Bob Mumford with Lifechangers ( to the people that have a relationship with them.  I thought this letter was extremely relevant to what is going on in our culture today.  The things that Bob addresses are some of the things that I have been talking about with some of my closest friends and in the men's meetings that I attend every 2 weeks with some of the men at the church that I go to.  Please read and especially pay attention to points a,b and c in the section "We Can Make a Difference".  Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

For those that don't know, I (Eric Starr) am on the board of Lifechangers.  I have emailed Bob thanking him for the letter and letting him know how much it meant to me.  Please let me know what you think.

Bob's letter begins below:

Merry Christmas to our dear friends!
         <snipped some personal info in the letter...>

In this letter I want to address some things that have been essentially lost to the coming generation, identify three kinds of money, and present the hope and reality that we are being given the opportunity to live out the biblical and Kingdom principles of freedom, compassion, and kindness when all around us seems to be increasing darkness, corruption, and tyranny. Finally, I want to state that in the midst of a tightening economy, we can make a difference.
Lost to the Coming Generation
In order for each of us to gain proper perspective, I would like to enumerate seven things that I have seen violently damaged and essentially lost to the coming generation. This I have been able to observe in my short 80+ years. They are:
  1. Emergence of a culture of corruption. There has been and is now increasing a form of corruption and deception at all levels and in every sphere of our society. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian filing for divorce after 72 days of marriage. Advertising is becoming more false and deceptive. We are getting less and less for our money; even our cereal boxes are shrinking. Insider trading, money laundering, and fraudulent use of political campaign funds are rampant. Religious leaders are preaching one thing and doing another. This corruption is deeply affecting all five of the governing forces of our life. This culture of corruption includes a multiplicity of deception in the governing forces in our society including the ones we were taught to trust such as doctors, teachers,
    and mayors. Deception has become semantic warfare with the loss of meaning and confusion in every word that is spoken. Someone said, “my words mean what I choose for them to mean.”
  2. Our government is not going to break down; it has already broken down. We are inexorably moving toward what has been identified as “godvernment," which is the federal and state government acting as if they are God in the earth.
  1. Our national distinctive of wealth creation is rapidly being displaced by a degenerate form of socialism, which is wealth distribution. The constitution created a certain climate of freedom that encouraged and released men and women to risk and create. This is exemplified by the college drop- outs creating what we now know as the Apple computer in their garage! Sadly, in my life-time and with increased velocity in our present day, the laws and rules are designed to punish, if not out-right discourage wealth creation. Governmental agencies of all kinds intervene, harass, and create an atmosphere of confusion and doubt that cripples or paralyzes new and profitable ideas and inventions. Now, the legal demand of dishonest entitlement, parasitic laws, and lawyers who are encouraged by a corrupt court system are transforming this climate of wealth creation into envy and class warfare. Our capitalistic system (not the free market) is now departing from its Creator’s mandate and will increasingly do so in the future. Only when capitalism is linked with God and His intention does it function as it should. Capitalism without God does not contain compassion and care. Our own system is becoming rapacious and demanding in the same manner that socialism has gone crazy. This concept alone will guarantee upheaval and confusion in our nation.
  2. Our debt load has now passed the Gross National Product. Please take the time to understand the meaning and significance of this. As a nation, we are now bankrupt. The judge looks for this single factor in ruling on bankruptcy: does the person owe more than they make? By the way, GNP is, in itself, a false prophet. It no longer tells us what it was designed to reveal. Figures do not lie, but liars do figure. We are now borrowing money to pay the interest on the money we already owe. This is an exponential death trap. There simply cannot be a viable solution or any workable answer. This is the stunning fact in Europe and in our own nation. The interest on this debt is required to start climbing in the very near future, and we will have denied our children their economic future. As a nation, we are moving in some inexorable manner toward penury and uncertainty.
  3. Loss or disappearance of one of the most basic of our peaceful and productive life-styles: innocent until proven guilty. This has happened unnoticed. The politics of envy is bearing its death-producing fruit. Any brush with the law or the IRS and you are guilty until you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are innocent. Even then, the suspicion continues. Returning something to a store for a refund or changing a plane ticket has become a major ordeal. As an older and hopefully wiser man, I am observing this at every level. We are discovering ourselves in a form of bondage that does not seem possible to have occurred in our nation.
  4. Relational disregard. When we lose the ability to care, we cease functioning in a Kingdom manner. Some have called it cocooning. Our neighbor comes home, the garage door opens and he or she enters, the door closes, and you never see them. Individualism in its raw and degenerate form means we are deceived into thinking that we are sufficient unto ourselves. Because the Kingdom is relational, we must, by sheer necessity, get to know our neighbors.
    The Apostle Paul said, “I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you...”(2 Cor. 12:14). Carefully considered, this becomes a very critical statement as to how society and the body of Christ have been designed to function. The moment we disregard someone, our relationship becomes some form of encroachment. We are then seeking to get something from them as compared to a valid relational and mutual encounter. When we are intentionally and consciously seeking to know someone, a climate of trust and mutuality begins to appear. With trust comes the amazing phenomenon of all that we are and all that we have being made available to others. Neighborly trust is then cultivated, and with that trust comes a comfort level that has essentially disappeared in most of the more populous geographical arenas.
  5. Decreasing civility and increasing animal-like behavior. Everyone who has participated in the Lifechangers themes knows that this is one we have sought to make clear and applicable. My
teaching entitled “Half-Formed” dealt with degeneration that moves us toward animal behavior and regeneration that moves us toward the image of God. Half formed is theory without life, a mixture of some gold and some brass. To a most religious people Paul identified this as, “You bite and devour one another” (Gal. 5:15). What could that be but out-right animal-like conduct? Failure to be fully human means that we are, to whatever degree, acting out in animal-like conduct. We must consider that secular and intentional departure from God and Scripture will, without hesitation, lead our society into an increasing release of animal-like behavior as contrasted to Father’s intent and design for the human personality. Men and women who are beastly will raise up more beasts, but as Believers we are not allowed to live by the behavior of animal instinct. We are to restore civility and show regard for not only our family but our neighbors.
Three Kinds of Money
The whole world has been talking about money. Our entire nation is beginning to say to our leaders: “Wise up! It is about the economy!” Other than Christ Jesus and His Eternal Kingdom, the present economic pressures are quite centered in all of our thinking. However, all the talk is about only one kind of money.
There are three kinds of money. It is most important to know the difference between the three because much is determined by which one is in focus. The first kind is my money; the second is your money and the third is other people’s money. It takes discipline to deal with my money and relational integrity to handle your money, but it takes character and godly honesty to be able to deal with other people’s money.
It does not take long to discover that we are most concerned and seek to get the best return with my money. There is another almost equally strong concern for the manner in which your money is spent because I know you and want your best. However, when it comes to other people’s money, it can and has been spent almost without care or concern. It is a fact that our government has seriously abused and misused other people’s money.
Hopefully, you are discerning enough to see through my parable to the reality of three kinds of money. In the end, all that affects other people’s money eventually affects your money and my money.
Hope & Reality
It is wrong to diagnose what is wrong without the additional responsibility to state with equal clarity that which is right. What can be done to correct the very particulars with which we have engaged? Our own Kingdom insight and philosophy of the Agape life-style really does speak to the deep and confusing issues of our present predicament. In my opinion, we are going to be called upon to identify the issues and address the present culture in some manner that is included in our commission given by Jesus to us and the Church: Disciple the nations!
Part of the answer may lie in our discovering that we are increasingly strangers in a strange land. Like the people in Scripture, we are being given the opportunity to live out the biblical and Kingdom principles of freedom, compassion, and kindness when all around us seems to be increasing darkness, corruption, and tyranny. If we examine the early church that not only thrived but prospered in the degenerate and oppressive Roman society, we will be able to comprehend some of the present climate and begin to embrace Kingdom reality.
The fact is that we are going to be faced with the unpleasant task of choosing to be one with all that is now going on (see Rom. 12:2) or discover/re-discover the Kingdom governing principles that will enable and facilitate our capacity to abide in relational strength and corporate freedom. Paul told us, “Do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). Jesus was tempted in the wilderness with exchanging the journey He was on to please His Father with embracing the agenda of the world’s system that was offered. That offer was in direct opposition to His Father’s Kingdom, which did not originate from this world’s system!
Eric and I have emphasized the idea of hope and reality because false hope in a false system is what may be described as a “nothing sandwich.” It moves us toward a reality that is severe and brutal. My heart-cry when I wrote the Plumbline, “A Gang of Ugly Facts” was that ultimate reality forces itself into our life and murders our beautiful theories. We didn’t ask for them, we didn’t even know they were there, but suddenly they are on
us. Our national financial reality has become a gang of ugly facts. In addition, our religious, philosophical, and mythical ideas of what life and walking with Christ were going to be like are suddenly under attack. We must know how to keep ourselves in reality.
Biblical hope is our stabilizing factor designed to disallow our being emotional yo-yo’s. Instability, says James, causes our prayer not to be answered(see James 1:7). Biblical hope demands that we live in existential reality. Most often, acquiring biblical hope will require emotional maturity, spiritual growth, and the Kingdom principle of acting against ourselves. Knowing how and why we need to act against ourselves is so important that I am currently writing a Plumbline on the subject.
We Can Make a Difference
Begin to examine and discover all that your government cannot do for you. We have been taught an illegal and near total dependence upon governmental agencies. The time has come when they cannot and will not be able to keep their promises. Finances are limiting their ability to be there for the people. This includes schools, police, and firemen. Begin to think and plan as to what you may do to re-establish your own ability to function and keep your family together. Make a family plan. Seek to re-gain your independence.
The King and the Kingdom to whom we have given our allegiance requires that we always center ourselves on Father’s Agape, ceasing to be centered upon ourselves. Three words that have been given to me in the past months are important:
  1. Seek to be and remain credible. Live and walk in reality.
  2. Speak to be believable. Speak less and guard your words.
  3. Make yourself available to family and neighbors. See yourself as part of the answer.
We must engage the future together with relational integrity. I would encourage you to share this letter with anyone you care about. It may speak to them in ways that you are not able to determine. We are centered on the Kingdom and the Kingdom cannot be shaken.
With all of our love,
Bob and Judith Mumford Eric and Suzanne Mumford
As a voice and, hopefully some form of guidance to many of you since 1972, we fully intend to be there for you and for those who can hear our voice. Along with you, we are under financial pressure. We have, in line with all of our friends, begun to “squeeze the buffalo” by cutting costs, slashing salaries, and tightening our belts. If we have been a source of strength to you, may we ask for your financial integrity? In turn, we will commit to treat your money in the same manner that we spend and allocate our money. Along with meeting our daily ministry costs, a few specific needs are new audio equipment, resources for travel as Eric continues to fulfill Father's call for Proclamation in 2012, and a newer but used fuel efficient vehicle in Uganda for the Father's House family.
Together, as we celebrate this season of the birth of Jesus, our Redeemer, we bless you with an increasing awareness of the immeasurable Agape found in the fusion oneness of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
December 2011 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Open Windows by Eric Mumford

To order this plumbline click here! You may have to order this by phone until it becomes available on the website.