2017 Defend 17 Sponsor Session – Looking for Answers in All the Wrong Places

Here are the handouts, speaker notes, and links to various books mentioned at the http://www.tncelink.com/ conference.

Speaker Notes, Handouts.

http://amzn.to/2zy9prVWho Made God

http://amzn.to/2yqYzkeMore than a Carpenter

http://amzn.to/2yrjzrb — Answers Books for Kids (8)

http://amzn.to/2zwmemOKnow Why You Believe

http://amzn.to/2zxrgzfKnow What You Believe

http://amzn.to/2ysR2RY — What does the Bible really teach about sexuality?

http://amzn.to/2yRjX6s — Is Jesus the only way?

http://amzn.to/2zyBeAl — Can I trust the Bible?

http://amzn.to/2hviY4l — Why do bad things happen to good people?

http://amzn.to/2Azqq38Case for Christ

What about the Olympics is so Different…

What about the Olympics is so Different…

Have you considered the raging contagion sweeping the globe and particularly in the Western world? Business men, bag boys, hairdressers, and haberdashers all equally afflicted and enjoined. TV networks are putting up half-hearted programming as they realize the juggernaut just cannot be stopped.

Of course, we are talking about the 2016 Olympics held in mosquito free Rio! Between internet updates, late night replays, made for television moments, and the Twitterverse/Facebook reaction, we are experiencing an increasingly rare shared event.

Growing up in the 70’s, our television was occupied by the major 3 networks and the occasional PBS (when we could pick it up.) Everyone saw the same things, experienced much of the same information — nationally and regionally. The advent of cable television followed by the individualizing factor of the Internet has almost ensured that majorities of peoples will have demonstrably few of those shared experiences and emotions so common 40+ years ago.

These facts have been illustrated and debated at length by others and I do not wish to further add to that analysis. If possible, could we learn something vital as we have this wonderfully rare moment of shared experience?

What is it about the Olympics that brings so many together with so much passion?

Nationalistic fervor? Sure. Sports fans? Of course. Non-sports fans? Yes. To be honest, for each noun or adjective one could list, an antonym would fit just as easily. So, the Olympics are not just a unique shared event, they are an anomaly in that those who follow the triumphs and tragedies do not neatly fit any of the typical demographic boxes.

My explanation and the teachable moment for those of us called to leadership roles — one-word “marriage.”

The Olympics is the perfect marriage of head and heart.

It is the back story of overcoming incredible hardships, the abundant statistics for the number lover, the drama of last-second or split second finishes, the what and the why! It is not just an event or a sport, it is the perfect marriage of all that coupled with intense emotion. We feel it. We want it to happen… We are upset to the point of tears for those who lose and jumping around in our pajamas for winners who names we cannot pronounce! We know the schedules, how many medals, who is the underdog, favored, long shot, last time competing — we are overwhelmed with data but the data only furthers our fervor.

Simply put, we must always understand that we are communicating words and data constantly. To be sure, our presentations need polish and our graphics can always be sharper. We may need to take a page from the Olympics and go for the gold in communication by aiming for the head and the heart. Let’s help our volunteers and congregations feel the importance of what they are doing and be motivated by the passion that they belong to something bigger than themselves.

 

My Baccalaureate Address To the Class of 2015

My Baccalaureate Address To the Class of 2015

1. Education does not always equal learning.
2. Passion, Practice, and Gratitude will make you stand out more than any degree or badge on your clothing.
3. There are no shortcuts to good character.
4. To find, fulfill, and finish God’s plan for your life is The great adventure.
5. To know Christ experientially and to love Him passionately is life’s greatest privilege.

The Supernatural Afflatus is Not There

A.W. TozerThis was just too good not to share from my reading today.

It would be less than accurate to say that the power of God is always experienced in a direct and unmediated form, for when He so wills the Spirit may use other means as Christ used spittle to heal a blind man. But always the power is above and beyond the means. While the Spirit may use appropriate means to bless a believing man, He never need do so, for they are at best but temporary concessions made to our ignorance and unbelief. Where adequate power is present almost any means will suffice, but where the power is absent not all the means in the world can secure the desired end. The Spirit of God may use a song, a sermon, a good deed, a text or the mystery and majesty of nature, but always the final work will be done by the pressure of the inliving Spirit upon the human heart.

 
In the light of this it will be seen how empty and meaningless is the average church service today. All the means are in evidence; the one ominous weakness is the absence of the Spirit’s power. The form of godliness is there, and often the form is perfected till it is an aesthetic triumph. Music and poetry, art and oratory, symbolic vesture and solemn tones combine to charm the mind of the worshiper, but too often the supernatural afflatus* is not there. The power from on high is neither known nor desired by pastor or people. This is nothing less than tragic, and all the more so because it falls within the field of religion where the eternal destinies of men are involved.

 
To the absence of the Spirit may be traced that vague sense of unreality which almost everywhere invests religion in our times. In the average church service the most real thing is the shadowy unreality of everything. The worshiper sits in a state of suspended thought; a kind of dreamy numbness creeps upon him; he hears words but they do not register; he cannot relate them to anything on his own life-level. He is conscious of having entered a kind of half-world; his mind surrenders itself to a more or less pleasant mood which passes with the benediction, leaving no trace behind. It does not affect anything in his everyday life. He is aware of no power, no presence, no spiritual reality. There is simply nothing in his experience corresponding to the things which he heard from the pulpit or sang in the hymns.

Aiden Wilson Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007). 90-92.

* afflatus /əˈfleɪtəs/ noun formal a divine creative impulse or inspiration. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Labor Day is for … a Birthday!

Chasing Bubbles Looks like Fun

Today instead of commenting on Labor Day, I just want to recognize a very special young lady. Her sweet spirit and enormous creative talent are just a few of her wonderful character traits. From piano playing to drawing and sketching to crazily driving her (shared) golf cart, her enthusiasm is only matched by her love for her family. She always has a kiss for her Aunt and Uncle (favorite Uncle I might add) and a hug as an added bonus.

So, today we ask the Lord for you to continue to grow in His grace and joy. We pray that you will live for Him and love Him throughout all of your birthdays. Happy Birthday sweet Carissa Ann!