Friday, April 25, 2008

must see movie!

I rarely suggest movies. The last time I did, our dear friends George and Laurel Lynch sat down with their young children for family time and found themselves explaining the finer facts of life earlier than they had planned. However, I must highly recommend a film I just finished viewing with my family. Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" is a top-notch expose on the scientific community regarding its suppression of academic freedom among scientists who affirm the idea of Intelligent Design [for more information, see Philip Johnson and his landmark book, Darwin on Trial]. Stein thoroughly investigates the claims of those who promote Darwinism and the theory of evolution and explores why the compelling evidence of Intelligent Design is rejected and proponents blacklisted among their colleagues. Let me strongly encourage you to see it, take your teenage children, discuss it afterwards....and see it again.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I should have never quit

I took piano for one year...5th grade. May God bless poor Mrs. Meggison who endured my feeble fingering. Unfortunately, I didn't persevere. I recently met a young man who did. You must check Kyle Orth out at His CD is a collection of his own compilations. I've been listening to his music all day and highly recommend it to you!

evangelism through envy

In a few weeks, I will be preaching on Proverbs 14:30 regarding the danger of jealousy. Usually, envy destroys our life; It "rots our bones."

Lately, I have been thinking about an envy that is life-giving instead. In Romans 11:11, Paul writes that salvation escaped the Jews and was offered to the Gentiles "to make Israel envious." the King James version translates the phrase more forcefully: "provoke them to jealousy." God shifted salvation to non-Jews with the intent of stirring the souls of His chosen people to reconsider the way of salvation offered by Christ.

Last week, I asked Messianic Jew [see previous post], what this envy means. How does a Gentile's salvation make Israel envious? His answer was beautiful: When Christians live out of an overflow of the Spirit at work in them, the Jew remembers the privilege of God's presence among His people generations ago and longs for that presence to descend into their life today. Simply put, the Spirit of God manifested in the people of God makes others want what we have. In 1 Peter 3:15, the Apostle writes, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Peter's statement assumes that Believers are living in such a hope-abundant way that other people would have reason to stop them and ask the question, "Why?"

My friend's answer is good for me to remember, not only among my Jewish friends, but among all people. The most compelling evangelism is the envy the results from God-centered and God-contented living.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


"In my Father's house are many rooms" [John 14:2].

telling your story

I recently saw a friend talking with someone else who had recently professed faith in Christ. When I say "recently," I mean 10 minutes prior. It was quite a sight to see a seasoned journeyman speaking to an apprentice about to begin the adventure of a lifetime.

As they stood there, I wondered, "What story will she tell?" A decade from now, when this new convert reflects on the work of God that swept her into the Kingdom, what will she say? The Apostle Peter urges Christians to "always be ready" when it comes to talking about spiritual matters [Peter 3:15]. Our personal testimony is one of the greatest, most persuasive tools in helping others catch a glimpse of the living God.

Our staff recently reflected on the basic movements in a spiritual testimony. Three parts include a) Before, b) How and c) After. First, my story begins with BEFORE I came to know Christ personally. As you think of your story, think of who you were, how you lived, where you were going. All of us were separated from God prior to conversion and, one way or another, our lives proved it. Second, my story includes HOW I entered into new life with Christ. I tell about my conversation with my best friend, Robert Wehr. I reflect on our conversation in the parking lot of Six Flags Mall. I recall the Gospel: sin, death, the cross and faith. While my (or your) way into the Kingdom is unique, the fundamental door of "grace through faith" is the same for everyone. Finally, I love to tell how my life has been different AFTER that initial step. I am not completely changed, but God has been effecting a transformational work in me--and many people I know. The most compelling evidence of the Gospel is that God changes lives.

A personal testimony doesn't have to be long [8-10 sentences]. But, well-crafted and prepared, it can be used by God, not only to retell the story of His marvelous grace, but also to lead others toward Him.