God Rescued This Woman and Child from the Evils of Abortion

July 23, 2019By Ken HarrisonCulture, News, Rise of the Servant Kings, Values
This article appeared in Lifezette.

As a person grows in Christ, he or she becomes a prayer warrior. I can’t think of a better example of a person who serves others through prayer than my own wife, Elliette.

She prays with women constantly. She prays late at night when someone needs help; she prays early in the morning with women who need her guidance; she prays in the hospital for people who are suffering.

Elliette prayed one day for a heroin and meth addict whom I’ll call Andrea. Elliette had prayed with Andrea’s grandmother for a year that her granddaughter would come to Christ. Finally Andrea consented to meet Elliette.

When she did, Andrea showed off the “daughter of Satan” tattoo on her neck, along with satanic symbols tattooed on her arms and chest. Unimpressed, Elliette explained that God defeated Satan and was waiting with open arms for her to turn from the defeated master of this world — and run to Him.

Elliette soon had Andrea and her boyfriend praying to receive Christ as their Savior. Only a few days later, Andrea learned she was pregnant. She was terrified because of all the drugs she had done and the damage that would have been done to the growing life inside her. She called Elliette and begged for money for an abortion.

Elliette didn’t give her the money.

Instead, she gathered several women and they prayed for Andrea and for her baby’s life.

I asked my men’s prayer group to do the same.

Elliette asked Andrea to meet her, and she showed up with another addict, a friend from high school who was not the father. This young man insisted Andrea must have the abortion. He explained that of their eight-person group of friends from high school, he and Andrea were the only two still living four years later. All were dead from suicide or overdoses.

He didn’t want to lose his last living friend.

Andrea and her friend raised the money for her abortion. Then Andrea called my wife and apologized for what she was about to do — as she was walking into a Planned Parenthood clinic.

We prayed. Inexplicably, Planned Parenthood turned her away. Our suspicion was that Andrea was too high on drugs at the time.

Andrea made another appointment the next week and called Elliette again as she walked into her appointment. “How could I not have an abortion?” she asked.

She hadn’t been able to stop her drug use, she said. The baby was loaded with heroin and meth and would likely be disfigured and sickly, she felt.

We prayed.

Her next appointment for an abortion would require more money because she was now nearing the 26-week legal limit for terminating the life within her.

While we were praying, the nurse gave Andrea an ultrasound. When the nurse left to go get the doctor, Andrea wept. The nurse never returned.

No one came.

After a very long time, Andrea got up from the table and walked out — only to make another appointment for another day.

Andrea’s next appointment for an abortion would require more money because she was now nearing the 26-week legal limit for terminating the life within her. She struggled to save enough money, but a few days before the deadline, she had saved enough.

On the day of her appointment, she headed to Planned Parenthood again. True to her pattern, on her way there Andrea called Elliette.

We prayed.

And that’s when God met her.

Suddenly Andrea had an overwhelming love for the life growing inside her. She panicked at what she had almost done — and cried out to God that He would protect her baby from all the abuse she had heaped on him.

She called Elliette again and told her the news.

We prayed.

We prayed for Andrea’s battle with addiction, for the health of her little baby, for self-control for her during the rest of her pregnancy.

A few months later, Andrea gave birth to a completely healthy baby boy.

The child is now being raised by Andrea’s aunt, who is overjoyed. Andrea visits her son three times a week. That’s the legal limit set by the state of Colorado while she tries to finish getting herself completely off drugs.

And we pray.

When Men Mess Up, Women and Children Suffer

July 10, 2019By Ken HarrisonCulture, News, Rise of the Servant Kings, Values
This article appeared in Lifezette.

I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately in conjunction with my new book and the launch of a new era of Promise Keepers.

She prays with women constantly. She prays late at night when someone needs help; she prays early in the morning with women who need her guidance; she prays in the hospital for people who are suffering.

A lot of the questions are the same — but every now and then a question takes me by surprise, as one did the other day. And that’s when I answer from my heart more than my head.

This was the question I was asked recently: “Why is it that you have such a heart for men’s issues that you’re bringing Promise Keepers back?”

It was a fair question. And my answer was immediate: “I don’t really have a heart for men’s issues. I have a heart for women and children.”

The answer welled up within me. I couldn’t respond any other way.

Women and children are the ones who suffer when men are messed up. If it’s true that 70 percent of men in the church look at pornography twice a week or more, then who are our daughters supposed to marry?

How are we supposed to expect men to treat women with respect as their partners — unless we change the hearts of men?

What I saw in my days as a Los Angeles Police Department street cop in South Central is that almost all the problems in this world come from the pride and the greed of men.

Calling men to be men isn’t chauvinistic or somehow against women, although it is countercultural and controversial. But it is a fact that when men check out of their families, women suffer the most.

Single mothers are:

  • more likely to be poor.
  • less likely to be employed full-time, if at all.
  • more likely to be food insecure.
  • more likely to receive government assistance.
  • more likely to lack health insurance.

Children raised without their fathers are:

  • nine times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • two times likely to end up in jail.
  • four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems.

Look at all the ministries that are fighting sex trafficking in the world. They’re all very, very, very important.

But every one of them is fighting a war that cannot be won by only attacking the supply side of the issue.

And for every girl rescued from the horrific world of slavery, traffickers will enslave 100 more.

But if we can change the hearts of men, we change the demand side. When we attack supply and demand — then we defeat this evil.

That’s why Promise Keepers is so necessary. It’s not that we’re aiming for men; it’s that we’re aiming for the whole world. We owe that much to our kids.

There’s a desperation in America, as I see it. Too many men are becoming too passive. Many of them are obsessed with video games, sports, and pornography — and it’s women and children who are suffering.

But when a man is a man and keeps his promises, those around him are cared for and provided for, as I see it.

Real men never do anything solely for their own benefit. But they’ll swim shark-infested waters for those who count on them.

That’s what a man is — being a leader, being courageous and stepping into the fight, cherishing our wives and families, and being unshakable in our commitment to making the world a better place.

It’s urgent today for men to come back to the basics of what it takes to be a man and what it means to be a man of God. That’s what Promise Keepers is about. That’s our mission, to help men understand who they’re called to be.

And when men understand that — it will change the world.

July 4 Thoughts: It’s Not Too Late to Save Our Country

July 4, 2019By Ken HarrisonCulture, News, Rise of the Servant Kings, Values
This article appeared in Lifezette.

Independence Day reminds us that when powerful ideas capture the hearts of purposeful men, the very course of history can be changed. Those men — our Founding Fathers — faced fearsome odds in standing up against the might of the British Empire.

And they relied on the “protection of Divine Providence” and each other, “mutually [pledging] to each other [their] lives, [their] fortunes, and [their] sacred honor.” It was no idle pledge.

Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, “Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.”

But they ignited a spark that couldn’t be extinguished.

When people ask me what the goal is for Promise Keepers in the new era, I tell them with a smile, “We’ve got our sights set low: All we want to do is change the entire foundation of America.” Men can absolutely do that — again — but we must get out of the stands and onto the field.

When men get saved — and not just saved but when they become disciples and give their lives to Christ — their families change, and their kids learn what it is to be men and women of God.

Men need action. And the problem today is that most Christian men are only expected to sit down, shut up, listen, and lather, rise, and repeat next week. That is not how men operate.

That is not how Jesus said the church is supposed to be. We’ve got to get involved in the lives of the people around us.

Dr. Howard Hendricks, a former board member of Promise Keepers, was fond of quoting this definition of football by legendary coach Bud Wilkinson: “I define football as 22 men on the field who desperately need rest and 50,000 people in the stands who desperately need exercise.”

Gallup found that 41 percent of Americans identify themselves as “born again” or evangelical. That’s over 134 million people. Imagine if every one of us got out of the stands and took responsibility for five houses on our street, prayed for those people, served those people, helped them out when they needed something — and witnessed to them. That would cover pretty much the whole country.

Imagine the impact if we just did that.

That’s why Promise Keepers in this new era is not only going to gather men from across the country and around the world in annual massive stadium events to remind them they’re not alone, we’re also going to connect men to each other in change-making teams in their local communities for discipleship and service.

And we’re going to teach the most dangerous, revolutionary book that’s ever been written: the Bible.

I was talking with a man recently who was complaining about how many millennials today aren’t clear about what the Bible says about being a man and sharing the faith. I told him plainly, “That’s because their dads didn’t teach them God’s word.” He didn’t like my answer, but that’s absolutely the problem.

When you look at Scripture, God gives the parents and specifically the dad the job of teaching his children. Unfortunately, we’ve outsourced the education of our children to others — but it’s our responsibility as dads to teach our children the things of God.

We need to be understanding, humble and loving with our kids — teaching them the Bible to be sure, but modeling righteousness and integrity as well.

The Christian men of our country want to know the Bible. They’re looking for someone to get hold of them and teach them, train them, and show them how to train their kids.

I recently spent time with a bunch of well-known musicians, youngsters in their mid-20s. We started talking about Scripture, and they were enthralled. So for the next three nights, I just taught them the Word.

Much was new to them — as was the process of an older man teaching a younger man. They said to me, “We need older men to teach us like you’re doing.”

And I said, “Absolutely. The Bible commands older women to teach the younger women and older men to teach younger men.”

I believe that through Promise Keepers, we can get hold of the hearts of men through proper discipleship and follow-up. The Christian men of our country want to know the Bible. They’re looking for someone to get hold of them and teach them, train them, and show them how to train their kids.

This is the way to change our country — and it’s not too late.

Men, America is counting on us. We must not fail.

One-on-One with Ken Harrison on ‘Rise of the Servant Kings’ and Promise Keepers

July 3, 2019By Ken HarrisonCulture, News, Rise of the Servant Kings, Values
This article appeared in ChristianityToday.

Today I am glad to welcome Ken Harrison to The Exchange. Ken is the author of Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man, and chairman of Promise Keepers, whose national event is coming to AT&T Stadium in Dallas July 31 through August 1, 2020.

Ed: In your new book you write that, “Satan has been attacking gender, gender roles, and especially masculinity with a vengeance over the last few years, and even Christians have been deceived.” Where exactly have Christian men been deceived?

Ken: Satan has been playing the long game on separating Christians from the love and unity we have in Christ. God says in Genesis 1-3 that male and female are the image of God, meaning that a fully masculine man and fully feminine woman coming together as “one flesh” in marriage is the best image of God that we have in this broken world. By attacking our understanding of what a man is, Satan is re-writing our understanding of who God is.

We must understand that God defines what a man is, not society. Men are called to stand up for justice, care for the poor and oppressed, and be jealous for God’s name. This is why I often say that humility is the mark of a person who is in love with Jesus and the outward expression of humility in a man is courage and generosity.

Courage, because when you don’t see yourself as any more important than anyone else, you will always stand up for the truth and for others. Generosity, because a humble heart gives possessions, time, and spirit with abandon because humility trusts in God to fill our cup back up to overflowing.

Ed: We live in a culture that attacks the very idea of masculinity, that wants men to be silent and soft. How are men supposed to act today—especially Christian men? What does it mean to be a “true man?”

Ken: A man is one of action, not reaction. He understands that he is accountable for solving problems and making the world a better place for everyone in his charge. He is constantly looking for areas where those he loves are struggling or in need and he fills those needs.

A man is designed by God to initiate, a woman is designed to respond to a man who initiates in humility and love. Too many men today are waiting for someone else to initiate.

When we see a problem in our lives, we first examine what we may have done to cause it, then we look for ways to solve it. We don’t blame others, we lift them up.

Lastly, a Christian man understands that his life must be one that points to Christ in every way. We are responsible for the spiritual state of our wives and kids. This means that knowing and understanding God’s Word so that we can teach our families and give them perspective to counter the lies of the world is one of the most masculine things we can do.

Ed: What do you mean when you say, “a hallmark of being a man is accountability?”

Ken: One of the most important aspects of masculinity is accountability. And the beginning of accountability is self-control. A man takes responsibility. A passive man looks to take from his relationships. He looks to be served rather than to serve. A real man comes to his relationships with an offer to serve and he evaluates his relationships based on how well he keeps his promises and commitments within those relationships.

Ed: You write about a time when God broke you when he brought you completely to the end of yourself. Why is the experience of brokenness so essential?

Ken: Pride is an insidious disease from which we all suffer. It must be destroyed before we can really walk hand in hand with our Savior. If you look at your spiritual failures, even the fleshly failures like slandering others, sexual sin, or greed, you will see that pride is usually at the core, spurring on your flesh. Not serving and lifting up others stirs up so many sins. It is a lack of following God’s words: “In humility, consider others as more important than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).

“Walking with God is a long process of going from the sinful nature’s pride to a place of complete faith. We’re all on that journey, and God wants to bring us each closer to him.

Sometimes it is through his gentle nudging as we read the Bible and pray. Sometimes, though, it takes a time of great pain because God must break us in some area so that we can really grow. I have found that real, life-changing growth always come through pain and sometimes, pain that results in utter brokenness before we’ll come to God in desperation where He can then truly work in our hearts.

Ed: Last year you became the new chairman of Promise Keepers and your team is in the midst of preparing for a huge stadium event next summer in Dallas. Why is this a good time for a new era of Promise Keepers?

Ken: God’s timing on this is so perfect because the church is finally nearing the state of desperation that I described previously. Women and children are suffering under the yoke of emasculated men, and men themselves are tired of living lives without meaning.

Promise Keepers will remind men of who God says they are and what he called them to be. Our lives matter greatly and our families are counting on us to rise up and be counted. Promise Keepers is not only calling men back to their identity in Christ but we, as an organization, are returning to our identity, which is an NFL stadium full of men praising our Lord.