Looking Back at 2017
At the end of each year, we reflect on the things that have taken place at Lighthouse Trails throughout that year, remembering the accomplishments and blessings as well as the challenges and heartaches.
In May of 2017, Lighthouse Trails author Warren Smith suffered a heart attack after a tumultuous 2016 where a house fire left four of his family pets dead and he and his wife without a home for over a year while the house was being renovated. One might think that with all those things happening, it would not be a very productive time, ministry-wise, but on the contrary, it was during these last two years that Warren Smith wrote his Through It All booklet series culminating in the book release in the fall of 2017 of Pressing On Through It All. Written under the weight (and blessing) of suffering and trials, this is perhaps Warren’s most valuable work as it brings readers right to the foot of the Word of God reminding us of Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” As of this month, December 2017, Warren’s house has been fully renovated, he has recovered from the heart attack, and he is devoting his time to researching, writing, and ministering to people, especially those coming out of the New Age. Warren’s exposes in 2017 on Shack author William Paul Young and how TBN allowed Young to share his universalist views with millions are invaluable in their contribution to contending for the biblical faith.
There are two outstanding words that describe the danger that children in America (and really throughout the world) are in: transgenderism and mindfulness. Lighthouse Trails author Lois Putnam capsulated the transgender issue well in her article “A Public School Transgender Agenda Alert: A Wake-Up Call for Christians.” It is truly unbelievable to fathom this level of child abuse that children are being subjected from the homosexual/transgender movement. To top it off, thousands of public schools in America are now teaching children mindfulness meditation. So between sexual and gender deviance from God’s plan and occultic practices, how can children in America ever have a chance?! Also tragic is how so many modern-day proclaiming Christians are falling into step with the world by embracing these two dangers and trying to make it look like God sanctions both.
2017 marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and with it came a slew of ecumenical, anti-Israel, emergent, unity-at-all-costs, road-to-Rome activities instigated by some of Christianity’s most followed leaders today. Two of the main stories we covered on this are:
1. George Wood (who was General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God until this year) was the subject of a 4-part report by Cedric Fisher and LT editors regarding the AoG Resolution 3 that was to be voted on at this year’s General Conference and was shown by Fisher to be an anti-Israel resolution disguised as a peacemaking, justice proposal. After Fisher exposed the truth behind the resolution and the AoG’s move away from Israel and the Jews, Resolution 3 was dropped and George Wood shocked his comrades by stepping down from his long-held position as General Superintendent.
2. In recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, in September of 2017, hundreds of Christian leaders, professors, and pastors signed a document called the “Reforming Catholic Confession.” In our report on this, we stated:
“It stands to reason, based on evidence, that the “Reforming Catholic Confession” is just an extension of the Manhattan Declaration’s goal to “build a movement” of Catholics, Evangelical and Orthodox Christians “who will stand together.” It seems naïve at best, deceiving at worst, to come out with this new document and claim that it is an effort to renew the Christian church, when in fact it has all the earmarks of helping to bring the “lost brethren” back into the fold of the “Mother Church,” whether the drafters or signatories realize it or not.”
You can read our Year in Review top-ten posts to read these and other issues we covered in 2017.
In 2017, Lighthouse Trails published several booklets covering topics such as Teresa of Avila, Shack theology, Freemasonry, how to help your kids keep their faith, the Reformation, The Circle Maker, and even a booklet titled The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf. We also published six books: Roger Oakland’s book, The Good Shepherd Calls; Ray Yungen’s book, Simple Answers: Understanding the Catholic Faith; Tony Pearce’s The Messiah Factor (a new LT edition of a formerly published book); Moscow Express and Other Stories From Russia by Georgi Vins (a prisoner of Communist prisons); Chris Lawson’s book, Taizé: A Community and Worship – An Ecumenical Reconciliation or An Interfaith Delusion?; and Mike Oppenheimer’s book The Trinity. We also began carrying three new books by Bill Randles (God Remembers, Beware the New Prophets, and A Sword on the Land). Pastor Randles’ research and writings on the nation of Israel and the connection to biblical prophecy and current events are essential. Titles from other publishers that we added to our book collection in 2017 for our readers included Dave Hunt’s What Love Is This?, Warren B. Smith’s Pressing On Through It All, and Rachmiel Frydland’s When Being Jewish Was a Crime.
The Lighthouse Trails headquarters, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, is off the “beaten track,” so to speak. So we were blessed and delighted when Gospel singer and songwriter Trevor Baker (with his lovely wife Jenny) took the time to veer off his tour path to come meet us face to face this past year. It meant a lot to us. If you have never heard this dear gifted man in concert or listened to any of his music, you are missing out on something very special.
2017 ended on a sad note with the sudden passing on December 29th of Larry DeBruyn. As one colleague stated to us, “Larry was a pillar in the discernment community.” Larry’s death brought to the forefront of our minds the loss of Ray Yungen and Caryl Matrisciana just one year earlier. While we rejoice for those who have gone ahead of us (“to be with Christ; which is far better”), we mourn the loss of fellow-laborers in the Gospel (” to abide in the flesh is more needful”).
Many things took place in 2017 from the small offices of Lighthouse Trails. Countless people called, e-mailed, and wrote letters looking for information or just for some encouragement. We shipped out books, booklets, and DVDs to several countries throughout the world, while thousands of people visited our websites to obtain, print, and/or distribute free articles, reports, and book excerpts. It is always our prayer that God is glorified and honored through the materials at Lighthouse Trails and that the only name by which man can be saved is lifted up and that many would come to salvation through the hearing of His Word. We called our ministry Lighthouse Trails because we wanted to be a trail that pointed to THE LIGHTHOUSE, Jesus Christ. We hope we have accomplished that in 2017.
Pressing On Into 2018
In 2018, Lord willing, Lighthouse Trails will:
- Continue on for the third year in a row mailing booklets and short letters to Christian leaders throughout the U.S. Currently, the list has over 160 names, and our goal is to send three mailings in 2018. While we have only heard back from a few of these leaders (such as Pat Boone and Ben Kinchlow), our expectations have never been to hear from many of them but rather it has been to do our part in warning them.
- In January 2013, we launched the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal (a subscription-based publication mailed to people’s homes, offices, and churches) and the topical booklets (currently with 122 different booklet titles). We will continue the journal and booklets in 2018. Some of the booklet topics we hope to cover this year include: Holiness (the false and the true) by Harry Ironside, mindfulness, transgenderism, A Course in Miracles, fearing God, a booklet called New Wine or Old Deception (on the hyper-charismatic movement) by Roger Oakland, and others.
- While our projections of book releases are sometimes postponed for editorial reasons, we do our best to meet our yearly goals. This year we are planning to release several books: Changed by Beholding by Harry Ironside; Calvinism: None Dare Call it Heresy by Bob Kirkland; Father ten Boom: God’s Man by Corrie ten Boom; Cedric Fisher’s biography; Messiah, Israel, and the End Times by Tony Pearce; Witness for This Generation by Roger Oakland; and Trojan Church by Greg Reid.
- In 2018, we plan to launch the first Lighthouse Trails Gospel tracts. We have had numerous requests over the years for such a tool, and while those in the emerging church have stated that tracts are no longer a useful way in reaching the lost, we do not agree. We believe there will always be a place for the written printed word, and small easy-to-hand-out tracts can reach many in a non-threatening yet effective manner.
As we soon begin our 17th year of ministry, Lighthouse Trails will press on in 2018 as the Lord provides the strength, guidance, resources, and help that is needed. We know we cannot (nor do we desire to) continue without His hand in our lives and in the work we do. We do not lean on our own frailties and weaknesses but rather on His strength and His faithfulness. Our hearts go out to the countless Bible-believing Christians who are on the front lines trying to warn their churches, families, and believing friends of the spiritual deception that has woven its way so deeply into the church today and who are trying to share the message of salvation to a lost world where hearts are growing harder and more deceived all the time. If you are one of these believers doing what you can to reach others, be encouraged—the Lord is with you and will not forsake you no matter how dark this world gets. Great is His faithfulness.
(Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.)