Payh Blog
KenVaughn
Jun 27, 2019

PAYH Announces New Chief Operating Officer

Paul Anderson Youth Home is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Colonel Ken Vaughn as its new Chief Operating Officer. Ken served 32 years in the army and has extensive experience in planning, operations, and training. He also commanded in combat as a Lieutenant Colonel in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2005. Ken worked and lived for a year and a half in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, developing the military history curriculum for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of the National Guard Command and General Staff College.
With degrees in history from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Capella University, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with the leadership skills developed in the Army, Ken brings a unique skillset to PAYH.
“I have prayed for some time for God to give me a new mission that I might be his instrument and I absolutely believe that His providential hand has led me to PAYH. I am humbled and blessed to be working with such fine people together to help set the conditions for miraculous transformation to happen in the lives of the young men who reside here at our home.
Ken has life-long experience volunteering with young people, including church groups, mission trips, scout groups, and Big Brothers, and has also taught mountaineering and rappelling, map reading and land navigation, and sailing. After retiring from the Army in 2012, he became a marriage and family therapist to help military families, having seen what the effects of combat and coming home afterwards can do to them.
Ken and his wife Holly come to us from the Isle of Hope in Savannah and enjoy traveling together both in the US and abroad. Ken enjoys all sports, especially Georgia Bulldog Football, playing roller hockey, sailing, and riding his Indian Springfield motorcycle.
Ken attends Christ Church Anglican in Savannah and directs the Sheepdog Ministry there. He also has his own personal ministry called “Riding for the Nazarene which is an annual, long-distance motorcycle ride benefitting Voice of the Martyrs, a charity which works to provide direct relief to oppressed Christians worldwide.
In 1961, Olympic gold medalist and World Champion weightlifter Paul Anderson and his wife Glenda founded the residential home as an alternative to incarceration for young men struggling to find the God-given purpose in their lives. Paul believed that for young men to become productive citizens in their communities, they must have a firm Biblical foundation and a good education. Over the last 58 years PAYH has had an impact on the lives of countless troubled teens and has provided numerous resources to hurting parents and families. Glenda Anderson, with a mother’s heart for the young men, continues to give leadership to the home.


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A girl watching spectacular storm in Italy
Jun 26, 2019

He Knows the Way That I Take

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I will come out as gold. -Job 23:10


She died in the womb from a knotted cord around her neck as she was thrust into the birth canal by contractions. My third daughter, Samantha, never saw the light of day, but her first sight was the light of heaven. And it was bright!
My wife was taken from this earthly life somewhat later by ovarian cancer, still a “young woman of 49. It was a ravaging disease, but she is perfectly healthy now as she celebrates with her Samantha in heaven – a real place of real people and a real God!
I began young adulthood in horrific battle in the jungles of Vietnam, seeing firsthand very violent deaths and the terrible maiming of teenage soldiers immediately next to me, their lifeblood flowing into the jungle dirt. I suffer today with those memories and the bad health impacts of Agent Orange.
My next to youngest daughter was in a near-fatal accident at the age of 15 while riding in a car driven by a young friend of 16. The results of her injuries have remained with her to the present day, 28 years after.
“He knows the way that I take, but it is a blessing that He does not tell us in advance of the turns our pathway encompasses. My road is not unlike many of you who have experienced
great hurdles and griefs in your pilgrimage. Why?
What is life truly about when the road is so fraught with utter danger and pain? God is good? God protects? God takes care of His children? Can you really believe this?
The rest of the verse in Job says, “…when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold. God sovereignly lays out the path you take. The whole Bible teaches that He designs all the hurdles and tests you will face in this life. They are not random; they have a divine purpose. But why? Because you and I are born sinners.
If you remain in your fallen state, with no righteousness to show which can and will transform you, you are on a path to destruction. The Bible says all of your own righteousness, all of your personal attempts to do anything good, everything you do to save yourself “is as filthy rags. In other words, it’s all worthless.
Your salvation, your sanctification is a process. The heart of it is Christ coming into your person by His Holy Spirit, indwelling you with His righteousness instead of yours. But there are those tests which make you first willing to trust Him initially and those tests afterwards which make you holy, just as He is holy.
It is the only way you can make sense out of the things which befall you. In one sense, you can look at all this and say, “This is crazy, but in the end, you come by faith to realize this is the very truth, just as Jesus claims Himself to be “the way, the truth, and the life.
Satan is a constant threat to your right thinking. He is the one who whispers to you that such thinking is absolutely crazy. Your faith is the only way to refute his deceit. Your faith denies Satan and trusts in God. His Word is the way of truth. It never fails!
So, the trials and tests that make you come out as gold are not needless pains and experiences happening to you randomly. They are not harassments, thorns and thistles, to make your life needlessly miserable. They are steps toward infinite healing, toward your healthy wholeness; they are just you coming out like gold! Hallelujah! Your God omnipotent reigns, and you reign with Him!


“Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
(Third verse of Charlotte Elliott’s hymn, “Just as I Am, Without One Plea, 1836)
 


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Young African American man waving a USA flag on beach
Jun 19, 2019

His Banner over Me Was Love

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love. -Song of Solomon 2:4


From time immemorial warriors have marched into battle being led by a banner or flag held above them so they could view the identifying marker declaring who they are and to whom they belong. This same imagery is used by Solomon to indicate the flag or banner Christ raises above His beloved. His flag says to them, “I love you.
As every other nation, America has its flag to mark her identity as a distinctive country, a banner which marks her citizens as belonging to the United States of America. It is our flag! It declares we are Americans.
This flag has come under attack recently. For many it speaks to a grand and brave history. It speaks of freedom and liberty, not just for her citizens, but for the countrymen of other nations under different flags, for America has come to the aid of many others suffering under the weight of oppression from power-hungry despots and mean-spirited dictators. The history of this is incontrovertible.
Yet revisionists of history have attempted to overthrow the clarity of historical fact for an opposite narrative with no backing of any substantial truth. They sense if they tell their lies over and over it will become believable in the eyes of the ignorant. Thus, the flag becomes downtrodden as they cheer those who drop to one knee before the flag with a great history rather than honor her by standing at attention.
June 14 was Flag Day in America – at least for those who still honor her as the banner of freedom and liberty, of liberation from oppression, of strength over evil, of right over wrong.
America is like every other country in that it is a nation of sinners. Not everything that it has stood for is without sin. It represents today in its citizenry, as well as millions of illegal immigrants it allows to stay, numerous areas of heinous sin: abortion, rampant pornography, trafficking of vulnerable people, corruption of politicians, everyday gun violence by criminals, and more. But overall it is a nation marked by a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution whose framers acknowledge the existence of Almighty God and our utter dependence upon Him.
Her luster is growing dimmer, but America is still “a city set on a hill which the nations of the world still look to for doing the right thing, coming to the aid of the oppressed, the people ravaged by natural disasters and famine, people in need of resources and assistance. No other nation of the world so readily comes to the aid of those in trouble.
As citizens of heaven, believers march to the beat of a different drummer, the very One who raises a banner over us of His magnificent love for us. But, as citizens of earth, we have a flag which “still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away! As both citizens of heaven and Americans, we can still sing, “I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today ‘cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA!


“Thy love divine hath led us in the past; in this free land by Thee our lot is cast. Be Thou our ruler, guardian, guide, and stay. Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
(Second verse of Daniel Roberts’ hymn, “God of Our Fathers, 1876)
 


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Funny Little Boy With His Father Playing With Garden Hose
Jun 12, 2019

Fathers and the Father

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. -2 Corinthians 1:3-4


Fathers are as old as the history of man. There have been human fathers ever since Adam, the first man and the first father. But the name “Father goes back long before that, for God who has no beginning and no end is known as “God the Father, one of the persons of the Triune God. He is first in priority, since He is the One of the Trinity who sends forth the other two, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You may not quite comprehend this, for we do not have infinite minds, but the source of all knowledge, God’s Word, declares this to us, and it is by your faith that you accept and believe it.
The genealogies of Scripture state “so and so begat “so and so, and on and on, describing one generation after another. It is fathers who are named in these lists, except for the few mothers the Holy Spirit desires to point out for particular reasons; but such is rare. It is through fathers that God records and lists the generations of mankind. Additionally, it is fathers to whom the weight has been given to be accountable to God for how they perform their God-given task of father.
Fathers are necessary for continuing life, as are mothers. It takes two to procreate. However, fathers were given tasks from the beginning, patterned after the Father in Heaven, the Creator of all fathers. They impregnate, they protect mother and child, they provide, they discipline, they instruct, they love. Mothers do part of these tasks, but the mother is free to be a mother because there is a father. A woman cannot be a mother apart from a father. A mother’s life is enhanced and blessed by a faithful, godly father and husband.
The genealogies give evidence of a continuing story of human life on the earth; otherwise life becomes extinct. The quality of character in a father will make life more enjoyable, while the lack of such character will cause life to be onerous. There are fathers of both stripes. The father of honorable character deserves the honor and respect of his wife and children. In our time, Father’s Day is a small means of celebrating the existence of and gratefulness for fathers, especially those of righteous, compassionate character in imitation of God our Father.
Fathers are to look to God as the example of perfect fathering. Imitating Him is the mark by which they are judged or find success. Sin always mars a father’s work, but God Himself provides through Jesus for sin’s defeat and redeeming sin’s ill effects. A father cannot fully succeed without knowing God. He must be a father who studies God assiduously in a lifelong pursuit and thereby establishes the work of his hands in being a father. You can never get enough of such study.
You may look to other admirable fathers for encouragement, but your personal study and knowledge of God is an essential characteristic of being a good and loving father. God presents Himself as a Father worthy of your imitation from Genesis to Revelation. It behooves you, therefore, to be in all of Scripture, learning how He fathers.
God, in being a Father to all of His children, sets forth examples of how He handles numerous specific situations with fairness, rightness, compassion, and love. I doubt you can contrive of any issues He has not dealt with in one form or another. He is all-encompassing, but you will not always immediately see Him in all those matters without your study, prayer, and the Holy Spirit guiding your thoughts.
Why not use this Father’s Day to act as a catalyst to study the Fatherhood of God, both to make you a more Christ-like individual and a more God-like father? He is the example of compassion and comfort; no one loves so well as God loves you! Be reminded that a good number of eternal beings will be greatly impacted by your choices and actions arising directly from your love of God the Father – your wife, your children, your grandchildren, and your friends.


“His love is like a father’s to His children, tender and kind to all who fear His name; for well He knows our weakness and our frailty, He knows that we are dust, He knows our frame. Bless Him forever, wondrous in might. Bless Him, His servants that in His will delight.
(Third verse of Psalm 103 from The Psalter, 1912)
 


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Tait Baptism
Jun 10, 2019

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, June 2019

Planting God's Word in the Hearts of Young Men

We have numerous hopes and priorities for the young men in our care. We want to provide them with a second chance and the opportunity to get their lives back on track. We want to help them break the chains of addiction, and see them repair family relationships that have often been severely damaged.
These priorities are good and desirable, but none of them represent our primary objective. A changed life on Earth is only a temporary improvement, but the impact of a soul redeemed for eternity never diminishes. First and foremost, we want to see each of our young men come to know Jesus Christ as their savior. Only through His grace and mercy can a life be truly changed forever. By planting God’s Word in the hearts of our young men, we seek to provide every opportunity for a young man to come to know the Lord.
God tells us in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word shall not return to Him void, but will accomplish the purpose for which He sent it. This month He gave us a poignant reminder of this promise when 4 of our young men received Christ and were baptized here on campus. Through His transformative power, their lives will never be the same.
A changed life is PRICELESS!

Stories from the Home

Travis

Travis

We are proud to announce that Travis finished the program and has entered the next phase of God’s plan for his life. Travis is preparing to start college in the fall studying airframe and powerplant mechanics, and in the meantime is working 3 part-time jobs to stay busy. His favorite one involves getting paid to fish! He’s also taken up hiking, is continuing the workout program he started at PAYH, and is active in his local church.

 

Unexpected Blessings

Unexpected Blessings

Sometimes God sees fit to bless us in unexpected ways. The Scriptures record numerous examples of this, such as when he provided mana for the Israelites in the wilderness. Recently, PAYH was the recipient of a similar blessing when Jason Varn of Koppers Utility & Industrial Products stopped by with an unsolicited $3,000 check. The local branch, which is about half a mile down the road from PAYH, held a fundraiser and chose to donate a portion of the proceeds to our ministry

Athens Y Camp

Athens Y Camp

Twice a year our young men spend a week at the Athens Y Camp, where they help do various tasks around the campus such as trimming hedges, cleaning up limbs, and other seasonal tasks to prepare the campus for its busy season. They also had the opportunity to enjoy numerous outdoor activities, including ziplining, fishing, tubing, canoeing, swimming, and paintball.

Upcoming Event

Upcoming Event
When Paul first had a vision to open the home in 1961, he undertook a bike ride from Vidalia, GA to Omaha, NE in order to raise funds to begin operation. To commemorate his historic ride, each year we select a group of young men to ride 500 miles, raising funds and awareness to continue Paul’s vision. This year our route will take us from Flagler Beach, FL up the coast to Savannah and then to Augusta before turning for home. To learn more about the ride and the young men riding in it, or to sponsor one of our young men on his journey, visit payhbikeride.com.

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Closeup Portrait Young Serious Businessman Placing Finger On Lip
Jun 05, 2019

Boldness in a Gospel-Harassing Culture

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. -Acts 4:29-30


How dare you even mention the name “Jesus? Not only is He definitely not considered the only path to salvation by your culture, His name is not even to be mentioned in public in any positive manner. Regrettably, “Jesus Christ is particularly one of the most common swear words in many languages, and such is very acceptable by the thought-guardians of the age. This is the world in which you live: a definitely non-Christian culture harassing those who live life Christianly and seek to speak openly about Jesus.
The culture is presently dominated by what is known as “politically correct (PC) thinking. One could say PC’s definition is all over the map depending on who you are talking to, but, nevertheless, core PC thinking is quite antithetical to what the Bible teaches and God commands concerning life, values, and personal behavior.
Such PC thinking dominates public institutions and continually threatens private, especially Christian, institutions through regulation, “acceptable curriculum, withdrawing licenses and accreditation, and otherwise restricting the ability to operate according to personal Christian standards and beliefs which are supposedly protected by the Freedom of Religion clause found in the US Constitution.
Speaking boldly into the maelstrom of such a world brings retribution, harassment, and punishment. Did the followers of Jesus experience anything different in the culture of the first century? Not at all! Nor any of the centuries down to the present day.
Why? Because Satan as the prince of this world promulgates all the many false religions while also saturating the world with secular non-Christian thought. The culture faithfully does his bidding though somewhat blind to his real presence and power; but, he is the one behind all harassers, and he is the arch-enemy of Jesus and His kingdom. This is why Christianity and Jesus are attacked and vilified, and interestingly, “Jesus, not “Mohammed or “Buddha, is the swear word of choice. Or something He has created for you as a gift, sacred and pure.
Christians become reticent to boldness in their walk and talk in such an adverse culture. But the Word of God gives you one example after another in encouraging and commanding boldness in both life example and verbal witness. By remaining in His Word, you are encouraged to greater and wiser boldness by many biblical examples from His servants as well as your observation of heroes of the faith in the church age.
PC, if you will, is the “Bible of this current culture. It drives all trains, lifts all boats, and defines the standard of acceptable life and words in the secular world. PC rules, however, are much the opposite of the message of the Bible.
PC rails vehemently against any mention of the exclusive claims of the Gospel: that Jesus is the one path to God the Father and that salvation comes to you alone through Jesus Christ. Life has biblical boundaries given you by God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. By those boundaries you direct the everyday course of your life. As Jesus clearly says, “If you love Me, you will obey My commands (John 14:15).
The opposite of His words, however, prevail predominantly in the flow of the culture. It is most difficult to remain winsome and loving in your witness while not succumbing to anti-Christian thinking in both philosophy and practice. It is impossible for you to just “fit in.
So, Jesus asks you for boldness, not silence, and not weak, compromising behavior. You must remember this is for a season only. The battle is fierce, but it is soon over. Lives of 70-80 years seem quite long to you now, but it is a drop in the ocean of eternity. Such perspective of the brevity of the battle is difficult to attain and live out, but nurturing this understanding is a must for every serious believer. Cultivate this biblical perspective in your heart and mind, make it a discipline, and be bold today for Christ!


“Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb, and shall I fear to own His cause or blush to speak His name?
(First verse of Isaac Watts’ hymn, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross, 1724)
 


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