Thursday, April 23, 2009


Lauren is in concert tonight at Oklahoma State University, just in time for her newly recorded cd of all original music. If you are interested in a copy, you can email her at lbhigglywig@msn.com


My schedule for the upcoming week:

4/26/09 FBC Bristow, Oklahoma, preaching
4/29/09 Oakhills Church, San Antonio, Texas, preaching
4/30/09 Perspectives (Missions Training Course), San Antonio, Texas, teaching


A growing concern of my heart (and Deanna's) stems from many of the BJ's Hope Mission Scholarship applications that we receive.

There is a troubling and consistent theme that emerges from students around the country who take the time to fill out their applications to request support. First, we are thankful that they do and thrilled to help.

What is troubling is how few of them can articulate what is important to share with unbelievers, when conveying the Gospel message.

Some of the answers we receive don't even dance with the Truth. They're not even close. I cannot believe that this information is not taught to them.

This does not become a reason to expel their app's, but it is indicative of where the American church culture is in terms of understanding Salvation.

I do realize that for many of them it is their first time to try to share the Gospel, as many of them have never attempted it before (just like most adults).

However, filling out our application is like an open book test without time constraints. No one is looking over their shoulder. They can reference the Word or whoever they need to.

The reality that so few have a clue what to say reveals a deep disconnect with the Truth.

I am glad that students who don't know this still want to come, because we can teach them what they need to know (and share).

What troubles me more is the thought that if these are the ones God is calling, and they are responding, yet ignorant of the key tenets of their faith, then what about the people who fill the buildings every Sunday who never respond to this need?

I don't think we have to look beyond this to understand why the church of our country is impotent (clearly, this does not apply to every church).

We are far more focused on the American Dream than God's vision. Our goals reflect vacation destinations and large ticket purchases to pad our material storehouses... you know, the ones Jesus told us not to have. He taught that our treasures needed to be in heaven. Somehow, that always seems to apply to someone else, but not us.

I am not indicting vacations, I am simply saying that the same family who goes on extravagant vacations will in the next breath say they cannot afford to send their child or themselves on a trip to serve Christ.

Are we really foolish enough to believe we will not have to give an account for this?

The fact that we have lived long full lives and never told anyone about Jesus should be a foreign concept. Instead it is our dirty little domestic secret...except somebody has been telling.

I fear that many of us are about to be spat out of our Savior's mouth. We are vile and materially driven. We cannot articulate what we have never taken the time to learn or teach our children.

If we don't begin to take seriously the call of Christ on our lives, and the plan of the Father in Heaven for us to take His Salvation and discipleship to every ethnicity around the globe (and at home), then what expectation should we have to be a soothing drink in our Savior's mouth?

Body of Christ, it is time to move. It is never too late to turn over a new leaf and finally walk in obedience! What will it take to get us off of the bench and into the game?

It's our call.


dad

2 Comments:

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments prompted me to write the story about what happened to me this week. Just as a reference to tie into what you were talking about, Brent, that the spread of the gospel is every Christian's responsibility. Our work, the spread of His word can start right here at home. Yes, some our called to other countries, but, many here are also lost and suffering...

As I drove up to a drug store on Tuesday morning I was listening to Chris Tomlin's song, I Will Rise. I was not planning on going this way or really to this particular store it just seemed to happen that way. Sitting on the bench outside was a woman (mid 50's) she had a sign. It read that her husband had died and that she was looking for help as she was now homeless and living in a tent. I knew intuitively that I was supposed to go talk to this woman. So, I did. Thinking that, by the way she looked, that I would be "evangelizing" to her. That she probably didn't know about Jesus. Well, of course, that was very presumptuous of me, and in the end she ended up evangelizing to me! As you and many of your readers know, we can often gain more of a blessing from these encounters than we give. Anyway, I started asking her about what had happened, where was she living, what she was hoping to do in the future. She told me some about her life, and the struggles she has had. I sat and listened knowing that just being able to talk about it would be healing for her. Unfortunately, it would take far too long to write her story out, but, what struck me the most was her implicit trust in God! She was not a "church going" person, at least she didn't claim any connection to any church, but, she had this amazing relationship with God. She started talking with Him as a young child even though nobody told her about Jesus, she would pray to Him about the children she saw on the milk boxes. Thinking He could "help" them. More recently while unconscious after and a biking accident He talked to her told her she would not only live but would walk again. She believed and trusted in that and after a lot of work was able to walk again. God told her after her husband got sick that he "wasn't going to make it". She said she was frightened by that but, that God told her that He would take care of her. She without question believes it! Things seems desperate, but, she TRUSTS Him. Oh, that we all had that same trust. She has gone through some things that she is not proud of and has been working with our Lord's help to stay sober. She says people tell her she talks about Jesus too much, but, she says she can't help it that He has done too much for her not to tell people about it. We prayed together. I prayed for her and silently prayed the Lord would guide me as to what He wanted me to do. She told me she has tried every shelter in the area, but, that they are all full (I believe her). She gets help from friends and local churches and the kindness of strangers like me. I followed through and did what God asked me to do (doesn't seem like much). But, I do know that she was genuinely grateful that I stopped to talk to her and help. Praise the Lord that I listened (by the way, I learned a lot about obedience from the book about BJ) Her name is Joy. She was taken aback when I told her my name was Lisa. That is the name of her daughter.

I know God led me to that encounter and I'd like to ask that everyone reading this if they can offer a special prayer for her that she will be able to get back to being self-supporting again. This is her goal. Our job as we wait for the soon coming of our Lord is to relieve suffering and save the lost. That is our "present duty" while we live here on earth.

Lisa
Santa Cruz, CA

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Marti said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Lisa. God blesses and uses our obedience in ways that go beyond anything we ask or think. By the way, if you haven't read "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, you might want to pick up a copy. You'll see why once you open it!

Lord, I love you and praise Your Name. Thank You for this divine encounter and for Lisa's willingness to share it. I ask you to bless her and her new friend Joy right now. May this time together remain in their hearts as a reflection of Your deep love for them both.

Father, continue to work in Joy and meet her needs. Provide her with many ways of escape from the temptation she faces. Give her a place to live and meaningful work to do. Please keep the enemy from silencing her voice; allow her to continue telling as many as she can about You. Give her audience ears to hear and hearts that open to Your love. Direct and unite their hearts to fear and honor Your Name.

I lift up Lauren tonight, too, my Jesus. Thank You for her heart of worship and her love for people. Thank You for the incredible musical gifts with which You've blessed her. Thank You for opening up this opportunity on the campus. By Your Spirit, use her voice to draw many toward You.

I lift up Brent, Deanna and the opportunities You are giving them as well. Thank You for continuing to extend BJ's message and for using him to extend Your kingdom. I pray these things in the mighty name of Jesus, our Savior and LORD! AMEN.

praying in pink
with tender love,

Marti

 

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