My son Bryan was invited to share his story at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He was one of two featured speakers on a night when almost every participant in the room shared some kind of disability. Disabilities included Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), asthma, depression, cancer, arthritis, etc. Each person was asked to write a poem about their challenges and to highlight what was bad as well as what was good. Then, throughout the evening, volunteers could come to the front of the room and share what they wrote.
Stan* came over to my house. Earlier he sent me an email stating that he and his wife would not be attending our small group. But I wanted at least a chance to get to know him so I invited him over to chat. During the course of our conversation Stan said he and his wife were having a difficult time finding a church to attend in Colorado Springs because of theological differences. When I asked him what that meant Stan said that they did not believe Jesus was God. Therefore, church leaders were not comfortable putting them in a leadership position. He further elaborated that 95% of Christians mistakenly are taught and believe in Jesus’ deity. No wonder they were having trouble finding a church home!
Like most Christians, we went to church this Easter Sunday. The pastor gave a message from John 20. His sermon was thoughtful and true to the Word but I left feeling something profound was missing.
Eight months into his tour of duty in Vietnam, Navy gunner Dave Roever burned horrifically when a phosphorous grenade exploded in his hand. This mild mannered Texan spent fourteen months in a hospital undergoing several major surgeries. By God’s grace, he lived. Yet, what he does with his survival is truly heroic.
Sergeant Major Cedric Moore shared with me his story as we sat in his car at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Raised in a black community in Huntsville, Alabama, he often attended church and had uncles who were pastors. But what these men preached was not what they lived. Watching “spiritual” men engage in adultery, robbery, lying and other sinful behavior caused Cedric to conclude that God must not be real.
Andre flew from Benin to join our First Cause team in Kenya. He is wonderful man who served for many years as a pastor before obeying God’s call to venture out in evangelism and a more open-ended ministry. Andre serves as the spiritual advisor to his nation’s president, a God-fearing leader. As such, God is using him to influence many important officials in his country. We were very blessed by Andre’s humility, contagious love for God, and the enthusiasm with which he embraced our disciple maker training.
Typically, on Saturday evenings, The Road Home, a fellowship less than a year old, meets in a school in Newberg, Oregon. Aside from our primary desire to worship the Lord we want to reach our surrounding community with the gospel and raise up disciple makers. Like most churches, we sing, share, pray and teach God’s Word. Currently we are working our way through Luke’s gospel.
At least twelve times seventeen-year old Bryan shared his testimony in India. His story of God miraculously healing his inoperable, incurable brain tumor was a mighty testament to God’s power. His dedication to serve God was an encouragement to all who heard him. Bryan reinforced what I have always believed—the most effective means of evangelism is often sharing our story.
When I wake up each morning, my first task is to let out the dogs and retrieve the newspaper. Before I read the headlines I wonder what new tragedy has rocked people from their illusive peace. In Israel, yet another Palestinian has blown himself up and taken the lives of bystanders. What propels these martyrs to so willingly die?
Isaiah 35:3,4--Strengthen the weak hands, steady the shaking knees! Say to the cowardly: “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God; vengeance is coming. God’s retribution is coming; He will save you.”
Ephesians 5:8-10--For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth—discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.
Luke 2:13,14--Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, an agnostic is “One who believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God but does not deny the possibility that God exists.” There are two kinds of agnostics—those who have no interest in God and see no compelling evidence to change their minds, and those who have not found Him and consequently have no reason to suggest He exists.
This morning a woman climbed into her car. She stopped by a Starbucks to get her caffeine jolt for the morning. Later she pulled into the parking lot at work and said “hi” to a few other employees who also just arrived. Once inside the building she encountered many people who work there—some of whom she engaged in conversation while others she passed by because they were busy. During the course of her day she will lead or serve many different people. She may talk on the phone, send and pick up email messages, and converse with her boss, those who work for her, and others nearby. After work she will drive home, have dinner, possibly call someone special, relax in front of the television or read a book before going to bed.