Saturday, March 29, 2008

What is the Truth?

I just recently found this video on YouTube. It has been seen well over 178,000 times. WOW!! Be encouraged!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Are You unChristian?

U2 lead singer Bono has interesting take on Christianity. In an interview in the summer of 2006, Bono had this to say, "I never had any problems with Christ. But, uh, Christians were a real problem for me." WOW!! What do you take from that statement? For me, it's a punch in the gut! What does this say about the Church and the mission God has given us?

I've been in the process of reading the book unChristian by Dave Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons and it has been one of the most difficult reads I've had so far this year. Dave, president of the Barna Group, was enlisted by Gabe Lyons, former vice president of Injoy and currently leading the Fermi Project, to gauge how people view Christianity. After studying 16 to 29-year-olds, Kinnaman found a generation extremely skeptical of and resistant to Christianity than the same age group ten years prior.

The study explored twenty specific images related to Christianity, including ten favorable and ten unfavorable perceptions. Among young non-Christians, nine out of the top 12 perceptions were negative. The more common negative perceptions of todays Christians are:
  • Judgmental (87%)
  • Hypocritical (85%)
  • Old fashioned (78%)
  • Too involved in politics (75%)
Now, how does that make you feel? Friend, the church has an image problem. Bono's quote and the research done by Barna indicate this. We cannot share the love of Christ and tell the great story of the Gospel when those whom we want to reach cannot see that love in us. More on this in coming posts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Need to Do Better

Thinking back on my last post I was wondering how I could, in a more creative way, share the importance of doing better when it comes to sharing our faith. On one of the blogs that I read normally I found this clip from Pastor Mark Beeson of Granger Community Church and I think he has done a better job of sharing why it's so important to do better.

The Power of Story

Stories... we've all grown up with them. Those of us with children have read or told hundreds of them. In previous posts I've told you how much I love to watch movies and get drawn in to the story of the movie. Can the Church learn anything from Hollywood and today's best story-tellers about telling stories?

Christianity has the greatest story ever told (if I can borrow from an epic movie from the '60's) but our problem is that we don't know how to tell it in a compelling way. In a recent post on Phil Cooke's blog, Phil asked if we could learn anything from Hollywood. I believe he did this in response to a press release sent out just after the conclusion of this year's NRB convention. The writer asked if it was necessary to ask a Disney executive how to tell the greatest story? My answer to that is, "YES!!"

If it gets to the point that we cannot learn from others, especially those who have honed the craft to excellence, we need to stop ask for forgiveness for not being humble. My friends, we don't have it together - we have not arrived. Not only have Christians taken ideas and technologies to forward the Gospel, but we have improved on those areas and presented the Gospel in compelling ways. Now it's time to do the same with Story-Telling. People are desiring to hear a compelling story that will give them a reason to believe, a reason to accept the gift of Salvation.

I hope to continue this discussion by looking at a generation that doesn't see Christianity as something to accept and make a part of their lives. The Millennial Generation is a generation that demands creativity and compelling stories.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Upcoming Movies

I don't know about you but I'm a big movie buff. I love the power of stories and how the movies just bring you right into the story. This Spring and Summer seasons holds a number of new releases that I can't wait to see. The following are my picks and their release dates:
  1. Leatherheads - April 4
  2. Iron Man - May 2
  3. Speed Racer - May 9
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - May 16
  5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - May 23
  6. Kung Fu Panda - June 6
  7. The Incredible Hulk - June 13
  8. Get Smart - June 20
  9. Wall-E - June 27
  10. The Dark Knight - July18
  11. Untitled X-Files - July 25
  12. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - August
Summer time blockbuster type movies are what I patiently wait for each year. Now that I have kids it's like being a kid all over again. Visit the sites and maybe they will make your list of must see movies as well.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Call it "Good" Friday?

Why is the Friday before Easter called "Good"? Isn't it the day Christ was crucified? Don't really think it was a good day for him? His friends and family didn't think it was such a good day either. So why do we call it good today?

Whenever I'm asked that question I wish I belonged to a church that had answers for everything that made sense to everyone. After doing some research I've found a number of explanations that range from where we get the word "good" to how we use the word in today's language. But the explanation I liked the best as to do with the reason why Christ died to begin with.

Christians throughout the world are commemorating this day as the day Christ began his redemptive work on the cross. It was at this point that the sin of the world was finally paid for, but the redemption work had not yet been completed.

Christ's death on the cross is not the end. You see, if Christ had not risen from the dead three days later we would not have the everlasting hope of eternal life. Christ had to conquer death and hell in order for us to be completely free from the chains of sin. The best part of all of this is that we no longer need to pay the price with our lives all we need to do is accept the gift of salvation Christ extends to us.

Today is a Good day - a day the price of death had been paid and the gift of eternal life is given to us as long as we accept it from him. Don't wait another minute to accept his gift so deeply paid. If you have accepted this gift today please let me know by emailing me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What is Maundy Thursday?

As you travel throughout your community you may have noticed some of the churches holding a "Maundy Thursday" service. What exactly is Maundy Thursday - I'm glad you asked. Maundy Thursday, on the liturgical calendar, is the Thursday before Easter and commemorates the Last Supper of Christ.

During this time three events are remembered: the washing of the disciples feet, the Last Supper, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas. Churches from many denominations and religious orders celebrate this day differently. If you have never been to a Maundy Thursday service why not go to one today. It might bring the Easter celebration into a more relevant light.

Why is Easter so Early?

Why is Easter so early this year? Well, blame it on the moon. Easter always falls on the Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox. That full moon is Friday, March 21 and the first day of Spring is today.

Spring Has Sprung!

Say goodbye to winter because spring is here! At 1:48 Thursday morning the sun passed directly over the equator giving us a day of equal day and night. The "Vernal Equinox" (equinox means equal night) occurs each year on March 20 or 21.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Break!!

It's Spring Break time!! I remember when I was a student how much I looked forward to this time of the Spring semester. Going down to Florida (which was home for me as well - saved some coin!!) and spending the entire week on the beach. Now that I'm out of school I don't have a Spring Break anymore. Even as a college professor I still worked during that week.

As I think back on my college days, I ask myself how could I have used the time differently. According to a survey from the National Association of College Stores, here is what today's college plans to do during break this year:
  • 37% plan to just relax at home
  • 28% will work
  • 24% plan to take a special trip
  • 5% are volunteering
  • 6% plan to do nothing
I wish the numbers of those who plan on either working or volunteering were higher. There is nothing better than giving of yourself instead of thinking of yourself.

Monday, March 17, 2008


How important are the relationships we choose to have? We have seen in the past few days among those running for office or are currently in office the importance of discernment when choosing who we spend time with. We are judged in light of those that we associate with.

I've read two articles just today that point out the importance of associations. According to the Barna Research Group, the most important relationship in the lives of Americans is not God but family. Overall, 7 out of 10 adults, according to Barna, mentioned family as their most important relationship. One out of 5 adults mention God (or any other type of deity) as an important relationship. I found this quite intriguing.

Another article by Phil Cooke on his blog, mentions that the perceptions others have about our associations can make or break us. He mentions those running for President of the United States and how endorsements, friendships and other associations have had an effect on them. It reminds me of the saying, "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"

I think about those that I spend time with and am I helping my witness? Do those that see me see Christ in the those that I am associated with. During his three-year ministry, Christ spent time with those that religious leaders had already condemned (prostitutes, cheaters, etc.) but we don't see them negatively affecting the life of Christ. Where do we draw the line on those we spend time with?

I believe it goes back to our character. Our character determines how others perceive us and our character, if it is strong enough, is not affected by those that we come into contact with. Christ's character remained unchanged even though he was surrounded by those that may have had questionable lifestyles. If you are the type that can be easily brought down to a lower level just by those who you "hang" with, you may want to rethink your relationships.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What is the NRB?

I've been talking a lot about the NRB and realized that you may not know exactly what NRB stands for what it is all about. Here's a short video to introduce you to NRB.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Need for Sleep

If you are like me you crave a good night's sleep. Sometimes though it's not quite that easy. Here some tips to help you get the sleep and keep you from watching the shopping channels (btw - these tips will also save you some money):
  1. Go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning
  2. Avoid late afternoon cat naps
  3. No power, energy, caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon or in the evening
  4. Get your daily exercise
  5. Eat dinner 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed
  6. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool
  7. Follow a routine to relax before you go to bed (read, listen to music, etc.)
  8. If you are having trouble falling asleep repeat #7
  9. If worry a lot while in bed, make a to-do list
  10. Use your bed for sleeping - don't use it as a work space
Hopefully, if you follow these simple suggestions you will be sawing logs in no time. Sweet dreams!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Joni and Friends

Here's some video from the Joni and Friends reception

A Special Message

A special message from Haven Today host Charles Morris

NRB Video

Can you find me in this video? Look hard

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NRB Day 4

Well, NRB 2008 is in the books and this last day was one filled with inspiration. It began with a special address by President Bush and ended with an inspirational message from Dr. James Dobson. The President reminded us that this country was based on freedoms like freedom of speech and of religion and any type of legislation that would inhibit these freedoms would be vetoed immediately. The President also expressed the importance the United States plays in the war on terror and how important it is to continue working in countries to aid in installing democracy.

Dr. Dobson, during the closing banquet, expressed how important it is for the future generation to take up the call of spreading the gospel. He expressed thoughts he shared during the memorial service of Dr. D. James Kennedy last September. He expressed thoughts from his own life and that it will be up to the next generation to ensure that the Gospel continue to be preached throughout the world.

I have a special place in my heart for NRB and the mission it has to assist radio, TV, internet and church media producers in their missions to spread the Gospel and impact culture for Christ. NRB will meet again in February of 2009 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday Night Madness

Monday evening of NRB this year was marked with a night of music and praise. Here are some pictures of artists that can be heard on WRAF Toccoa Falls Radio

Phillips, Craig and Dean

Ronnie Freeman

Me and Laura Story

and Michael English

What a awesome night of praise and worship. I wish I could have recorded the evening but I will settle for the CDs that I was given and go with that. More to come tomorrow - President Bush will be speaking to the attendees of the convention which should make for an interesting day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

NRB Day 3 part deux

Me and Precept Ministries co-founder Kay Arthur

NRB Day 3

Me and Bryan Race with Lee Ann Jackson of Ambassador Advertising.

NRB Day 2

The second day of NRB has come and gone. It was definitely a filled day - non stop until just now. Here's a brief recap of the days events. We began with a breakfast hosted by Haven Today and Ambassador Advertising. What an inspirational morning! Charles Morris, host of Haven, brought the attendees words of hope and encouragement. I talked with Charles a little during breakfast and gave him a copy of Dam Break in Georgia, the book about 1977 tragedy at Toccoa Falls College. Charles is considering using this story has part of a future broadcast of Haven. If you would like a copy of this inspirational book of God's faithfulness please email me.

With it being Sunday morning, Bryan Race and I attended the morning worship service. Music was provided by Stephen Michael Newby Band from Seattle Pacific University and the message was delivered by Woodrow Kroll, senior Bible teacher of Back to the Bible. His message was on the 6 synonyms for the Bible found in Psalm 19.

While Bryan was at an event with Ambassador Advertising, I spent the afternoon exploring the exhibit hall and meeting with a few friends from various ministries. I spent a lot of time walking and tonight I definitely feel the day.

This evening was the best part. Walt Disney Studios presented a program entitled "The Power of Stories." It was presented by Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, and Glen Kean, animator/director, Walt Disney Animation Studios. What a fantastic night of hearing what God is doing among fellow believers like these gentlemen in the world of movies. We were treated to a sneak peak of the new movie Prince Caspian and Wall - E. We were also given the treat of the music of Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel of The Little Mermaid. Each one giving their testimony of how God entered their lives and changed them from the inside out.

As I continue to search for what God is doing, again the words story and prayer have played an all too important part of this convention. More tomorrow.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

NRB Day 1

Well I just finished day one of the National Religious Broadcasters convention here in cold Nashville, TN. It was a packed first day and it started with the annual business meeting that was opened by Shirley Dobson of The National Day of Prayer. This year's event looks to be a very important one especially with the national elections right around the corner. I will be giving you more information as we get closer to the date.

A number of education sessions were planned that were truly informative and I hope to use some of the information on WRAF. What marked the afternoon for me was the meeting we had with The Bible League. Scot Thunder, host of Word and Worship Weekly (see picture), was very encouraging to Bryan and myself. Plus it was good to see Scot again - I had the pleasure of working with Scot a few years ago while living in Nashville.

This evening was marked with the opening session that featured Michael W. Smith, Dennis Rainey and Steve Brown. Smitty opened the evening with songs of worship and ended by giving a beautiful blessing to those in attendance.

Dennis Rainey and Steve Brown gave words of encouragement and challenged the audience to plug in to what God's doing. It was a perfect ending to a great day. I'm pretty tired and am looking forward to what God will do tomorrow.

There were two ideas that I heard a lot of throughout the day and because they were in contexts unrelated to each other I know it must be a God-thing - prayer and story. I'm not quite sure what God is trying to say to me but as I continue to search Him out on this I will be sure to bring you along for the ride.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Change, Change, Change

Change is a buzz word in our culture today. A few candidates in the Presidential race are claiming that if you vote for them they will bring about change that our country needs. A former politician, whom I have great respect for, has a new book out entitled "Real Change." So what is change anyway? Change is a process that moves us out of out comfort system. Change can be uncomfortable at times and can have a ripping effect on those who fight against it. Change is needed when what has always been done doesn't work anymore. Since change is no respecter of persons it will happen whether we like it or not.

Think of change like a muscle in your body. When working out muscles can fight the change and resist but once the work out is accepted muscles grow and strengthen Change can be awkward at first but it pushes us to do our best - it isn't for chickens. If you resist you will be a victim and changes is won by the victors.

Change begins in the heart and is measured by its impact on all who are connected to it (whether they are for the change or not). If you can change before you have to change there will be less pain and resistance. Change is like fog - you can't see very well but you still can drive and reach your destination.

Like the old saying goes, "The only constant in the universe is change."

Monday, March 3, 2008


How do you define commitment? For some it's defined as until something better comes along. Just look at the divorce rate in U-S-America. I'm committed to you until something better comes along. I just saw a story of commitment that caused me to stop and evaluate how I define commitment.

Sgt. Wayne Leyde, a member of the Washington National Guard, won $1 million off a scratch-and-win lotto ticket. However, he is still going back to Iraq for a third time. He said that he made the commitment 3 months ago and is sticking to that commitment. Now that is how I define commitment!