Tebow Is Not My Hero

I like Tim Tebow as an athlete. I appreciate his willingness and heart to work with children in the Philippines and to proclaim Jesus as His Lord and Savior on the public stage. However, he is not my hero…and I do not think he desires to be anyone’s hero; but, he would have to answer that part.

I came from a life of athletics and was certainly one who worshipped sports and athletes. Sports had my heart; football was my idol. The smell of a well manicured field, the thrill of collisions and the cheering of the crowd was an extremely addictive high. And, this seems to be true for pro athletes also, as we see their difficulty in adjusting to real life after sports.

But back to Tebow. While he’s certainly a different kind of athlete, and one which holds to a moral example in the midst of a very immoral sporting culture, he is still not my hero and wasn’t a person I lifted before my boys to be their hero. Why? Well, to be honest with you, I look higher up the spiritual ladder for heroes. I’ve never seen much spiritual depth in the hollywood celebrities and athletes who carry on about ‘Jesus.’ Their shallow use of religious phraseology never offered an example of walking ‘in the Spirit’ that I desired to set before my boys. My wife, Susanne, and I have always directed our three boys to look higher. (They are all grown now.) We wanted them to look above the lower limbs in the small trees and find a hero among the eagles perched in the top of the largest trees. So, where did we point them? Glad you asked! Continue reading “Tebow Is Not My Hero”

Get Dirt Under Our Fingernails

Church planting isn’t for the faint of heart. Neither is evangelism and outreach. Both require men and women who are willing to place their life, substance, families, careers and talents on the line for the sake of the kingdom of God. We can learn a lot more about church planting and outreach from a group of farmers than we can from a group of businessmen. The similarities of a farmer and a church planter, or one given to outreach, are enlightening to say the least.

Church planting is messy – The gospel is not made for the ivory and glass towers of social comfort. Men are dying without Christ and need to be rescued. However, getting into their lives can be messy and complicated. But, let us remember that we have the answer, and we must not shrink back from the call. After all, Jesus is our example and our messy lives did not keep Him from entering our world of sin and shame.

Church planting is a challenge – Farming requires the challenge to break up hard ground in preparation of the seed. Likewise, people can be hard and afraid to trust others, and for good reason. Let us be genuine friends to sinners, and let us have pure motives. Men will open up the issues of their life if they feel we are honest, respectful and caring. Continue reading “Get Dirt Under Our Fingernails”

Famine in the Land

There are more religious networks and programs on television than ever before. Likewise, there are more churches than ever. However, upon closer examination there is another observation which saddens the heart of every genuine believer–there has never been as much false teaching, false doctrine and perverse representations of Christianity as we see today. There is a famine in the Land!

“…not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:” (Amos 8:11)

In the midst of an explosion of technology, we see a lot of lateral movements with showmanship and youth culture idolatry, but few genuine conversions. This famine is from the loss of the clear and biblical presentation of God’s Word and it produces several problems which now confront us.

Prosperity Pimps – We see the ‘get rich’ false prophets rob the widows and gullible so they can maintain their lavish lifestyles. They are worse than the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. These charlatans twist the meaning of passages in an attempt to manipulate the ignorant into believing they are giving to God, when in fact, they are financially supporting the fleshly lusts of the preachers. These are modern day ‘money changers.’ Continue reading “Famine in the Land”

Restoring Prayer

There are many instances of prayer in the Bible, but many times we see them only as examples of devotion by those whom we consider saints. Prayer, after all, is little more than a crying out in times of desperation for most. However, there is one event in the life of Jesus which reveals the priority He placed upon prayer–when He cleansed the Temple.

The world and those who love it are continually attempting to fill our life with junk…. that is, unnecessary and unimportant stuff which robs our time alone with our resurrected King. The very joy, peace and strength we long for is replaced by stuff, stuff and more stuff. And we wonder why we get stressed out, fatigued, depressed and frustrated. We fall from the sustaining power of God’s Grace when we attempt to live the life of a believer apart from the abiding presence of Christ. And we forfeit the abiding presence of Christ when we place our own ‘doings’ ahead of getting alone with the Lord in prayer. We become spiritually defeated Christians. Continue reading “Restoring Prayer”

Persecution and the Power of the Gospel

Sometimes, it is in the midst of persecution when Jesus reveals Himself as the Great Shepherd…protecting his sheep with His faithful hands. That is certainly true in this story. Through PROJECT INDIA we have planted 19 churches in the three months of December ’11 through February ’12, with well over 500 new souls brought to Christ and added to these fellowships. We knew it was only a matter of time before the enemy would show his colors and begin to bring persecution. Several events have taken place, but I want to share a special story which is still unfolding. (Names are changed for security reasons!)

In one of the villages Bro. Anand, our PROJECT INDIA church planter, led Mary to Christ. Her salvation, like many others in the villages we are reaching, is from a life of idolatry in the religious practice of Hinduism. However, Mary’s story goes beyond that…as her father is the Brahma Priest who leads worship in one of the local Hindu Temples. Therefore, her family is from the highest caste in Indian culture and has little to do with the lower castes. Continue reading “Persecution and the Power of the Gospel”