We Pray For Israel

Of course, we have been distraught over the violence and war currently in the Middle East, between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Last week, when the bombings and attacks were escalating, I was upset by what Fox News reported regarding the lack of response and support shown by our President.  According to the report,  the leaders of 5 nations, including England, Germany, and  France called Prime Minister Netanyahu to pledge their support, before our President decided to pick up the phone.  

So, I called my friend, Rabbi Martin Katz (pictured above), who is the Director of Just One Life, a non-profit social services agency in Israel.

He told me that Orthodox Jewish synagogues across our nation were holding 24 hour prayer vigils.  He assured me that they were trusting God to defend and protect Israel. I asked him how I should pray  and he told me to “say” Psalm 121 and 130 out loud every day.  Then I turned to the Bible and found these words:

“I lift up my eyes to the Hills,
From whence cometh my help
My  help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of Heaven and Earth.
 
The Lord will keep you from all harm
He will watch over your life
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore…
  
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
For with the Lord is unfailing love
And with Him is full redemption
He Himself will redeem Israel”

(Ps 121: 1,7; Ps 130:7,8 NIV)

In light of the current circumstances, these ancient words gave me chills….

Thank God for the orthodox Jewish people like Rabbi Katz in the United States.  Because of their faith and the prayers of Christians, not only is there hope for Israel, there is hope for our country too!

Just One Life provides pregnant Jewish women in Israel professional counseling and financial assistance, empowering mothers who may be considering terminating their pregnancy, to have their children.  They have helped to save over 14,000 babies in the past 25 years.  BMCFerrell has been pleased and blessed to support this wonderful work.  What greater way is there to defend Israel, than to help bring Jewish children into the world.  We encourage you to participate in this wonderful charity.  Please visit Just One Life or call 1-800-238-5513, and make a donation today.  Rabbi Katz will be so pleased that you did.

Ben Ferrell

Revealing the Greatness of the Product

“Your job is to reveal how good the product is, not how good you are”- Julian Koenig

Julian Koenig passed away this year at age 93. He was one of the great innovators of modern advertising.  He was the creative force behind some of the most effective and memorable advertising campaigns of all time. Among many others, he was widely known for creating Volkswagen’s “Think Small” campaign.

The quote is profoundly relevant to our job as ministers of the gospel.  Our “product” is the greatest of all time, the Gospel and the Person of Jesus Christ.  We are to reveal to the world how good, great, and magnificent He is, not how good we are.  Modern advertising has been criticized for “over the top” hyping of a product, even to the point of deception.  However, there is no way we can ever over sell, over describe or over-hype the goodness and virtues of our ‘product’.

At BMCFerrell, we understand this principle, even down to our client relationship.  It is our job to help our ministry partners reveal how good Jesus is, not how good we are. Thank you, Mr. Koenig, for reminding us of something we need to be aware of everyday in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.

God is so good. 

Ben Ferrell

It is a different '16' than it used to be

Last month Kelly and I were in Normandy, France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Forces’ invasion of the continent of Europe to liberate France and other countries from German occupation.  In Sainte- Mere Eglise, the first town to be liberated, there were thousands of people dancing in the streets, a parade of antique World War II Jeeps, army trucks, artillery, weapons and war equipment.

There were 100’s of mock “soldiers” dressed in full combat costume and gentlemen and ladies dressed in vintage clothing, looking like ghosts from the past on June 6th, 1944 when 14,000 paratroopers from 843 planes descended upon the town and throughout the region in the early morning hours before daylight.  I also met a legitimate Special Forces unit of Green Beret soldiers, and later in the week, a Four- Star General made an appearance with a full entourage. 

I saw the Church, where one paratrooper’s chute, John Steele, was caught on the steeple, and he hung over the doors of the church for hours before being captured by the Germans. It was a miracle that he wasn’t shot and killed.  He was only shot in the foot, as made famous by the actor Red Buttons in the movie, “The Longest Day.”

I interviewed a man named Nellis Ver Hey, 92, from Texas, who landed outside of town in the swamps, and almost drowned before he could gather himself and follow his orders to “attack”.

I also met Bill Caldwell, 86, from Denver, Colorado, who also jumped that day…he was only 16. On the second day, he said he killed his first German. He was with his best buddy, also 16, who was shot and killed.  I asked Mr. Caldwell where his buddy was when he got shot, and he said, “right next to me.”

Finally, I told Mr. Caldwell that I had a son, John, that would be 16 on September 1st of this year, and did he have any advice for him. Yes, he said, “stay in school.” I pressed him for what else he would tell John, and he said, “Tell him to love his country, and support his country.” 

What a difference 70 years makes… 

The All Powerful Why

One of my friends who is a physician always gives the patient a pamphlet on the medicine he prescribes. He tells the patient…you MUST read this, to understand the ALL POWERFUL WHY. The genius of this Dr’s advice is that he understands that the greatest motivation comes not just from knowing what medicine to take, but by knowing why one should take it, and what happens if one doesn’t take as prescribed.

We find this also when we deal with our children. Many times we focus on what we want our child to do, but fail to show them why they should do it. For instance…if I tell my son to brush his teeth regularly (what to do) and expect him to do it because I said so, that would be one thing. However, if I tell him he needs to brush his teeth, or he will develop cavities, and have to go to the dentist who will stick a needle deep into his gums, drill his teeth, and maybe even pull one…

Or, if I tell him that if he does brush his teeth, he will have a beautiful smile and more people will like him, he will be more successful, marry the prettiest girl, etc.

I have given him the ALL POWERFUL WHY, and I will be buying more tooth paste.

We find this too is critical when we make an offer or an appeal on a broadcast. If we only describe the product or the mission, and only talk about what it is and what needs to be done, we will fall short in getting the audience response we desire.

But if we give them THE ALL POWERFUL WHY, we will be amazed at the difference in response.

One of our clients does this so well, and his broadcast gets tremendous response. When offering a book or teaching series, he tells the viewer, “the reason we have produced these materials is to help you study the Bible for yourself…it is vital that you study God’s word and develop the knowledge of how to function in God’s kingdom… people perish for the lack of knowledge …we help you acquire the understanding of how to function, succeed and prosper in God’s kingdom. Without this knowledge, you will be ineffective; frustrated …this is WHY we have prepared these materials. (My paraphrase).

In other words, tell what is in the product and why one must have it. In my opinion, the fundamentals of effective direct marketing advertising have not changed...show the product, extol the benefits, and ask for the order.

Extolling the benefits is giving people the ALL POWERFUL WHY… What the product will do for the viewer if he orders it,and how he will suffer if he doesn’t.

Do you see a person or a donor?

Human Nature

Do you see a person or an object when you encounter someone new? With the needs of the Ministry and with your heavenly vision constantly on your heart, it is easy to view people as objects rather than human beings who have needs, desires, and dreams of their own.

As it has been said, objects are to be used, and people are to be loved.  Many times there is a great temptation to want to use people, and love objects.  It is human nature and true for all of us. Yet it is God’s nature to do the former.  We sometimes find ourselves torn between the two perspectives.

At BMCFerrell, we always counsel ministers to consider everything they do as ministry to people.  Oral Roberts once said,”everyone is sick in some way…it is our job to heal them.”  We believe that if we truly meet the needs of the people, it can’t help but follow, that the people will meet the needs of the Church/Ministry.

According to David Ogilvy in his classic book, Ogilvy on Advertising,  Bill Bernbach was one of the “six giants who invented modern advertising”.  In today’s communications revolution, where everything is changing at warp speed, we should remember Mr. Bernbach’s wisdom:

“Human nature hasn’t changed for a billion years.  It won’t even vary in the next billion years. Only the superficial things have changed. A communicator must be concerned with the unchangingman-what compulsions drive him, what instincts dominate his every action, even though his language too often camouflages what really motivates him.  For if you know these things about a man, you can touch him at the core of his being. One thing is unchangingly sure.  The creative man with an insight into human nature, with the artistry to touch and move people, will succeed. Without them he will fail.”

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