John Gooding “The Regions Beyond”

John Gooding wrote a book about our fellowship that is well worth the read. The title is “The Regions Beyond” and the subtitle is “Impacting the World from a Small Church in a Small Town”. The book is an outgrowth from a dissertation. The fact that John is one of only a handful among our 2500 preachers who has higher education in religious or biblical studies just reinforces the uniqueness of the book: the Holy Spirit can take broken people, heal them and set them on course to touch the world if they will surrender to the will of God for their lives.

John’s introduction concluded with this statement: “The research for this book was to find core elements that led a broken church out of brokenness to spiritual health and world impact. This is not a history, formula, or step-by-step guide for revival. It is an example of what God can do with a common people who seek to faithfully obey God.”

The beginning of the book is heavily footnoted (his dissertation) but becomes more freewheeling as the book progresses. My incomplete understanding of footnoting is that you can’t just say what you think is true; you must find someone else who says its true and use him as your footnote to validate your statement. Whether it was his sources or his thinking; it came together in the first chapter to galvanize my thinking about salvation and what it means to be a Christian.

The first chapter was entitled “If Truly Christian”. It centered on Romans 12:1-2 as the measuring stick of the Christian experience. Rom 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV His thoughts on these verses permeated my preaching for a couple of weeks and I still refer to those revelations that we all share together now in current preaching.

Here are some quotes:

“For Paul in Romans 12:2 transform carries the meaning of an invisible process in a Christian already begun in this present life. It is a process that leads to a new moral life in Christ by the Spirit.”

“Paul with a beseeching urgency warns believers not to follow the pattern of thinking that is found in unbelievers. This requires a living sacrifice to the reasonableness of the call and will of God. The life of the world is unreasonable. The old mind boasts of knowing God but the renewed mind does the will of God. Its decisions recognize what is good, acceptable and perfect. These are moral criteria for evaluating life.”

“The transformation and renewal are set in the larger context of ministry in the body of Christ. To think ‘soberly (Rom. 12:3)’ is to think with a sound or right mind. The transformation of a believer is, therefore, a work that also transforms the culture of the church. Change that is merely outward in form is inadequate for salvation. It is simply becoming more religious.”

“It means knowing the will or wants of God (Rom 2:18) on a daily or ongoing basis and living accordingly.”

“The terminology of renewal is unique to Christian literature. Renewal of the mind involves the ability to discern or test the will of God. The process is: first the Word of God and the Spirit of God renew the mind, then one is able to discern and desire the will of God and is then increasingly transformed by it.”

“This is the challenge for every beleaguered church. There must be renewal individually and therefore corporately.”

The second chapter highlights the words “make disciples” in the great commission given in Mt. 28:16-20. He ties “making disciples” to our transformations that create a church that becomes a “distinctive people” that evangelizes, plants churches and goes into “Regions Beyond” starting churches that are indigenous. This takes us through his remaining chapters to his final question: “Will it Last?”.

Here are some quotes:

“’Only when we emphasize evangelism above all else will it receive its due.’ We cannot simply put evangelism on a longer to do list and hope that the Christian community (believers) will carry it out with the appropriate passion.”

“The proclamation of the gospel is often seen as an end in itself. Proclamation either alone or proclamation with a decision are seen as a completed process…The Great Commission, however, does not imply that proclamation is the end of the task. It does not imply that church growth is the end of the task. Yet both of these viewpoints are common and both circumvent the true issue of the Great Commission—making disciples.”

“The product of the church is a disciple…It is about making disciples for the multiplying of the work by adding committed laborers.”

“There is, according to Graham Duncan, a clear link between the command to make disciples in Mt. 28 and the command in Rom. 12 to be transformed. Transformation and the disciplines demanded by discipleship are linked. Discipline releases rather than hampers true growth.”

“It was a faith he said was ‘verified empirically, as the Bible becomes validated in everyday life.’”

“The task of the church is to make disciples. This implies evangelism and conversion. Transformation requires a relationship between the disciple and the disciple maker. The relationship is a unique and vitally important one. Without it there can be no spiritual transformation or impartation of spiritual life into the disciple. Discipleship is meant to be a long-term, stable relationship that allows for spiritual growth and maturity—transformation.”

“…one cannot be transformed without a corresponding change or transformation in the person and circumstances of their life.”

“For Hievert the more Hebrew and biblical view of transformation is both a point and process. That is, it has simple beginning of turning from wherever or whatever one is but it produces radical and lifelong consequences. Turning perhaps involves a minimal commitment to follow him in a lifelong series of decisions after an initial turning.”

“The confession ‘Jesus is Lord’ must make sense in daily living.”

“In this New Testament language we have something far more important than a casual relationship, common acquaintance, teacher-student relationship, or a master-slave relationship. There is uniqueness to the disciple maker-disciple relationship. The father-son language in contrast to pedagogue-student language tells us something akin to a genetic transfer of life occurs. It is not simply transferring of the pedagogue’s notes onto the notebooks of the students.”

“’For the little band of Christians at Philippi, constantly in danger of seduction by the majority pagan culture, there was no better textbook than the lives of those who bore the burden of leadership. Discipleship still depends on identifying examples, saints, people worthy of imitation.’”

“Indeed the making of disciples is a different matter than gathering a crowd or getting people to be followers or imitators. There must be inward transformation that matches the outward conformity.”

“The local church possesses the incredible reality of the Christian experience. Christianity is about relationships. It is not some cloud of theological jargon but a group of people who know each other, meet regularly to hear from God, and enjoy Jesus and each other’s presence.”

“There is something more than obedience or keeping the rules in discipline. Children, soldiers, students and disciples are all to come under discipline. There is more to be gained from discipline than obedience. ‘The aim of child discipline, or military, or academic, or religious, is a disciplined character which goes beyond the minimum demands of these specific disciplines and permeates the whole life. Imposed discipline…must lead to self-discipline.’ The ability to make decisions and order life by subjugating self is crucial for church building.”

Pastor Gooding has been using the Jesus Movement of the 60’s and 70’s as a comparison to the fellowship established by the Prescott Foursquare Church of Pastor Mitchell in the 70’s. It was the Jesus Movement that brought young people into the church and then it was the dynamics of transformed lives, discipleship and church planting that brought the Church to its current place of leadership church over 2500 other churches around the world.

The question was asked about the Jesus Movement: “Would it last?” He asks the same question about the Christian Fellowship Ministry that sprang from that broken down Foursquare church in Prescott Arizona.

In answering this question he takes some thoughts from the English preacher G. Campbell Morgan about the Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit”. Not by might (an amassing of an army with resources) nor by power (the vigorous use of amassed army and resources). He also has to take a look at the man Pastor Wayman Mitchell. I like how he addresses this here: “Another issue that requires greater mention is that of leadership. During the course of writing the dissertation there were a number of times the author was asked for more information about Waymna Mitchell. He was an intriguing figure to the author’s committee and peers.”

Here are a few quotes from his last chapter that help us see his conclusions:

Quoting Morgan: “Not by anything man can do, can man do anything for God. We are very far from believing that.”

“Of course, G. Campbell Morgan was not negating that we need to amass our resources and be relentless in the call of Christ. The point he was making is simply that without the presence of the Holy Spirit, our efforts are not enough.”

“The question to be asked, after nearly fifty years as a Fellowship, is the same one asked by Enroth, Ericson and Peter’s in 1972. Their book The Jesus People: Old Time Religion in the Age of Aquarius was the first substantial look at the Jesus people. Their question was, is it a stirring or is it a real movement?”

“The sustainability of the CFM largely rests on the ability to maintain its core evangelism for conversions, empowered discipleship of converts and a focus on church planting.”

“The conclusion of this project is that principles of evangelism, discipleship and church planting brought about a transformation in the Prescott congregation and a ministry that brought them out of brokenness to a place of dignity and influence throughout the world.”

“Two things are necessary. One, is a disciple willing to allow a pastor to speak into his life. And two, a pastor with enough courage to speak into his life. In the CFM, conversion of sinners and empowered discipleship led to church planting. It led to the multiplication of disciples and churches.”

Here are my own thoughts on ‘will it last?’. Here is a quote from a previous blog entry:

“While doing the series on “Stewardship” I came across this description of the end of John Wesley’s life from Wikipedia: “Because of his charitable nature he died poor, leaving as the result of his life’s work 135,000 members and 541 itinerant preachers under the name “Methodist”. It has been said that “when John Wesley was carried to his grave, he left behind him a good library of books, a well-worn clergyman’s gown” and the Methodist Church.”

From Newsmax’ article: Pastor Mitchell: “Wayman Mitchell is the founder of Christian Fellowship Ministries, a Pentecostal Bible-based fellowship of 2,100 churches in 112 nations. Personal evangelism and church planting are basic foundations of his organization, which grew out of early concert ministries he used to convert former hippies in the 1970s.”

Pastor Mitchell will be leaving behind, given more years of life, 2500 to 3500 itinerant preachers doing battle with the forces of darkness as we watch the unfolding prophetic calendar.”

I think the comparison could portend to the future of the fellowship. I would like to add this thought. Pastor Gooding does such a good job as describing the fellowship as a group of people who are each in themselves seeking to do the will of God. What sustains us is not our successes, which at times can seem inconsequential, but our understanding of positioning and standing to fight in the place God has us. Our measurement ceases to be the measurement of the world but an internal measurement of doing the will of God.





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Darwin’s Creation Myth

In September I read two books about evolution. One was “Undeniable” by Douglas Axe. I had taken notes and was preparing a review when life turned upside down for me. It is almost like the “Intelligent Design” crowd have gotten tired of showing how impossible macro evolution through mutation and natural selection is. In Axe’s case, and I really enjoyed this, he did the proving and then said we do not really need this evidence to know that evolution just makes no sense. He compared common sense to common science. We just know that the odds of spilling your alphabet soup and it spilling out to spell a Shakespeare sonnet is not going to happen even if you do it a number so high that it loses all sense of meaning.

Well I will go on with that another time. I really enjoyed Tom Wolfe’s inside baseball look at Darwin and Wallace in “The Kingdom of Speech” which was the other book I was reading in September. Wolfe is describing the different cosmogony stories starting with Genesis, the Apache, Michabo the Great Hare of the Algonquin,  Yhleh the Raven of the Tlingit,  the Cherokee’s water beetle, Inktomi the spider of the Assiniboine Indians, the dung beetle of the Egyptians, and Cagn the praying mantis of the Khosian. He then moves to the Navajo where I will give you the quote:

The Navajo Indians’ creator was an insect that seems to have been identical to what is known today as the biting midge (colloquially, the no-see-um bug). Biting midges are so small you can’t see them. But you can’t mistake them when they bite your ankle. For all practical purposes they are invisible. But the Navajo biting-midge creator was smaller than small and invisible than invisible, because it came into this world without its two wings. yet it is the creator in probably the most sophisticated cosmogony ever believed in, a story of full-scale, gradual evolution from next to nothing to modern man. In the beginning, the biting midges lived in the First World, down deep deep deep beneath the earth’s surface. As evolution began, they grew back their missing wings, and one species evolved all the way into a full blown insect, a locust. Locust led the hives up into the Second World, where they began to evolve into animals of every species. Then Locust led the whole burgeoning menagerie up into the Third World, where the most advanced species evolved into men. Then Locust led all the men and all the animals up into the Fourth World, which was right below the crust of the earth. In an Inktomi like show of energy and dedication, the menagerie’s spiders built rope ladders out of their webbing so that everybody could climb up onto the earth’s surface.

A later cosmogony was a dead ringer for the Navajos’, dead and unfortunately duller, except for one thing. The creator in this cosmogony was a creature even smaller, even less visible to the naked eye, than a biting midge, namely, a single, undifferentiated cell–or “four or five” of them. “Undifferentiated” means it could evolve into any living thing, vegetable or animal. This cosmogony was the only one recent enough for people to know the chief storyteller by name: Charles Darwin. “Four or five” is from a scrap of conversation he had with a group of students not long after he told the story publicly. The students had the sort of naïve, unbridled, free-floating curiosity most youths unfortunately rein in far too early in life. They wanted to know some small but fundamental details about the moment Evolution got under way and how exactly, physically, it started up–and from what?

Darwin had apparently never thought of it quite that way before. Long pause…and finally, “ohhh,” he said, “probably from four or five cells floating in a warm pool somewhere.” One student pressed him further. He wanted to know where the cells came from. Who or what put them in the pool? An exasperated Darwin said, in effect, “Well, I don’t know…look, isn’t it enough that I’ve brought you man and all the animals and plants in the world?”

In this respect, Darwinism was typical of the more primitive cosmogonies. They avoided the question of how the world developed ex nihilo. Darwin often thought about it, but it made his head hurt. The world was just…here. All cosmogonies, whether the Apaches’ or Charles Darwin’s, faced the same problem. They were histories or, better said, stories of things that had occurred in a primordial past, long before there existed anyone capable of recording them. The Apaches’ scorpion and Darwin’s cells in that warm pool somewhere were by definition educated guesses. Darwin, a Cambridge man, after all, was highly educated by the standards of his time, but so, no doubt, was the Apache medicine man who came up with the little old man with the long beard in the disk. The difference in Darwin’s case was that he put together his story in an increasingly rational age. It wouldn’t have occurred to him to present his cosmogony as anything other than a scientific hypotheses. In the Navajo cosmogony the agent of change (as distinct from the creator) was alive. It was Locust. In Darwin’s cosmogony it had to be scientifically inanimate. Locust was renamed Evolution.

There were five standard tests for a scientific hypotheses. Had anyone observed the phenomenon–in this case, Evolution–as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” test)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution…well…no…no…no…no…and no.

In other words there was no scientific way to test it. Like every other cosmogony, it was a serious and sincere story meant to satisfy man’s endless curiosity about where he came from and how he came to be so different from the animals around him. But it was still a story. It was not evidence. In short, it was sincere, but sheer, literature.

It really is a fun read for anyone who realizes that the world’s emperors do not have any clothes on.




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Call to Africa

I am reading “Dan Crawford of Central Africa” published in 1929. Here are a few quotes:

In the first months of 1889, all this was still future; but it explains to some extent what was the atmosphere of missionary interest which Dan entered when he was invited to the home in George Street, there to meet Miss Grace Tilsley, at that time in her twentieth year and the possessor of a personality scarcely less vivid and of a vitality no less active than his own. Almost at once he realized that he had met the one woman for him; but at that time not only was he about to embark on a most hazardous mission, but his friends were shaking their heads over him and pessimistically predicting, that, if not savage kings, then his cough, more prosaic but not less deadly, would kill him off within his first year in Africa. Accordingly he held his peace. It was not until after Africa, in place of slaying him, had kissed him with healing lips, and not until after heroic journeyings had matured his plans for the occupation of the land and not until Luanza was in the course of building, that he broached in a letter the subject that had been burning like a secret fire in his heart during the intervening years. And then she, being George Tilsley’s daughter, dared the unthinkable; she went out, a lone woman, to join he who, five years before, during a few youthful days, had flashed into and out of the missionary-hearted life in George Street, Bath.

I loved the “…Africa, in place of slaying him, had kissed him with healing lips…”. He consistently coughed up blood before Africa.

It was not until 18 months later, on the 11th November, 1890, that meeting in Excter Hall in March, 1889, had farewelled a party of fourteen. Of them all only three reached the Interior.

There were already American Missionaries along the coast.

The first white ladies that Dan Crawford greeted in Africa were a widow in the first days of her loneliness and a mother mourning the loss of her first-born babe. Nor were they themselves without their troubles. No sooner had they landed than three of the party promptly succumbed to attacks of malaria. Mrs. Arnot and Mr. Munnock wre about again within a few day, but Crawford was obliged to keep his bed for ten days, and for quite a long time after remained very tottery.

The sickest I have ever been was the first time I caught malaria. I felt it coming on during the morning service on Sunday and barely made it through the evening service. That was followed by 3 days of losing every ounce of moisture in my body. A nurse from the church took me to the market, I bought 3 pills, and began to get better the next day. After that our entire family was familiar with the beginning pains of malaria and at first got a blood test to see if the parasite was there and eventually just skipped it since the parasite seemed to always be there.

Was it a presage of worse to follow that round the camp fire one evening Mr. Morris having affirmed (by interpretation) that in Christ Jesus we have eternal life, and one burly porter having, in the free-speech manner of their own courts, objected that this could not be true (“Did not all die?”). Mr. Morris pinched up the flesh of his arm and explained that the body was but the “hut” of himself, his soul; it certainly would die, and decay, but the soul would live on in Christ its Redeemer. Such the sermon; alas that within a few days he himself became the illustration.

Could this book be entitled “Mr. Morris of Central Africa” if malaria had taken Dan Crawford? Sometimes the “why’s” of life are too much to understand. Yes, “all things to work together for good…”. Only heaven can make any sense of it all despite our little glimpses of understanding along the way.

And so on 1th July, 1889, with just those six men, Dan Crawford made his start for the Interior. He took with him some of Mrs. Arnot’s goods, so that he actually left the coast with only one bundle of personal necessities, which included his bedding, one spare coat, an ulster, two or three pieces of underclothing, a pair of slippers, a cake of soap, a cheap rifle, and as much tea as one could hold in two hands. How many others, one asks oneself, ever deliberately turned their backs on ample stores to trudge away with so little on a thousand mile trek through the midst of warring barbarians? Not even a second pair of boots did he have. What he did have, however, was a heavenly Father. He tramped along bubbling over with joy. He sang aloud as he climbed the range out of Catumbella. Two hours of curving rad amongst foothills on that day of the start brought them by five o’clock in the afternoon to emerge on to a plateau. Dan stood for a few minutes gazing back on the rolling Atlantic. Would he ever see it again, he, the blood-spitter? He turned away; goodbye–goodbye! Veering N.N.E., he sang his way into the unknown future, certain of this one thing: that his God was calling him, calling him, as he wrote at that time, “for an especial purpose.”

Should we ever and always seek to adventure out with God!





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Flags of our Grandfather’s

Strategy Page has been posting photos from the battle of the Bulge. My grandfather had fought in that battle. I have inherited a box of things from my father and my grandfather. Here are some flags that were in the box. The US flag can’t be from the battle because of its 50 stars but I wonder about the other 3.


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Sermon: Why Practice?

Why Practice?

I came to work one day to find one of my fellow workers reading his bible. This naturally led to a conversation about God, church and the Word. He asked for some verses; I suggested just keep reading and let God speak to you specifically about some verses.

That phase passed and the other day he was reading “The Invisible Man”. I asked what happened to his bible reading and he explained how it seemed that when he tried to get closer to God all these things started happening in his life and he would back off, as he has done this time. I began to encourage him to go to church faithfully and fight through those moments. He is a football coach so I compared going to church like football practice. Without practice you won’t be able to handle the tough moments in the actual game.

The day progressed and this idea stuck in my head and I realized it would be my Sunday morning sermon. It was a strange day at school as we had to escort too many students from their classrooms to the detention hall. You usually do a little counseling along the way with the student. At one point I am watching his desk as he comes back with a student he is gently encouraging. The comment I overheard from the student was: “I just want to do nothing”. Depressed.

By the end of the day Deandre asks me how it is he can try and help someone else who is depressed but when his turn comes he can’t help himself. I now again explained the importance of church comparing it to the importance of practice. I let him know I was going to preach it Sunday morning. He asked me if I could record it. He told me he would let me know how church went for him Sunday.

1 Cor 9:24-10:1 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

I. Practice, Practice, Practice

Life is a race, run it to win. Salvation is a race, run it to win. Marriage is a race, run it to win. Work is a race, run it to win.

How can I win? Practice.

Epicetus wrote this about the games: “Do you wish to gain the prize at the Olympic games?-Consider the requisite preparations and the consequences: you must observe a strict regimen; must live on food which you dislike; you must abstain from all delicacies; must exercise yourself at the necessary and prescribed times both in heat and in cold; you must drink nothing cooling; take no wine as formerly; in a word, you must put yourself under the directions of a pugilist, as you would under those of a physician, and afterward enter the lists. Here you may get your arm broken, your foot put out of joint, be obliged to swallow mouthfuls of dust, to receive many stripes, and after all be conquered.”

The church service is the practice field for the church.

Heb 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

This has been the pattern of the church since the day of Pentecost which this verse refers to. God gave the law and 3000 died. God started the church and 3000 were saved.

The best advice you can give any Christian is “go to church”. Should we be surprised then that Satan does all he can to keep us from church as well as do his most to diminish the church and narrow its access into society.

II. The Crown

There is opposition to your receiving the crown. John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

He is a liar with his counterfeit church always available with bright lights shining.

 2 Cor 11:14-15 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Be careful when the message is sin is OK. It is not: the wages of sin is death. The wages of Christian sin is death.

Practice by: learning to run the race to receive the crown.

Jesus said: John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

John 10:9-10 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Practice by: being temperate in all things.

Gal 5:19-26 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Practice by: disciplining my body.

Rom 8:13-14 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

Why? To receive a crown that lasts for eternity in Christ.

III. The Warning

Heb 2:1-3 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation,

Be careful when you hear people tell you it doesn’t matter what you do as a Christian. Paul, seems concerned.

1 Cor 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

The Living Bible: 1 Cor 9:27 Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside.

So you skip practice, you don’t do what you need to do to be a contributing part of the team and the big moment comes, and you are not ready.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;


Mark Brunell and Billy Joe Hobert

Mark Brunell: takes the Huskies to the Rose Bowl and victory as a Sophomore. Injured, sat out with limited time playing as Junior. Back up as senior, only because of suspension of Billy Joe Hobert, he leads the team to victory in his last Rose Bowl. He is drafted in 5th round without much of a pro future. He gets picked up by Jacksonville expansion team and leads them into playoffs 3 of their first 4 years. He even got a super bowl ring as backup quarterback and place holder for the Saints in 2009.

Billy Joe Hobert: Gets his chance to take team to National Championship with Brunell’s injury. He would lead the team the next year until he was suspended for getting undisclosed loans from Huskie boosters. He would be drafted into the NFL in the 3rd round way ahead of his teammate Brunell. He failed to shine and when called upon to go into a game for Buffalo he admitted he had not taken the time to learn the plays. That was the end of his pro career.

Mark Brunell the college Christian speaker, even testifying at Seattle’s Billy Graham Crusade goes on to overcome diversity and rejection to have a career in football.

Billy Joe Hobert with all of his talent, destroys the Washington Huskie football program and fails to produce in the pros with drinking and divorce being his mode of operation.

The end of the story: Mark Brunell chases money and gets slaughtered in the 2008 meltdown and has to declare bankruptcy; Billy Joe Hobert finds Christ and living a stable married life.




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Merry Christmas

Last Spring we were visiting Laura Michelle in San Diego. At church one of the young men greeted me with a “Merry Christmas”. I responded and enjoyed the experience. I asked the girls he was with what that was all about. They let me know that he greets everyone that way all through the year so that he can do it during Christmas without being expelled from school.

One of the early clues that something different was happening with President Elect Trump was an column by Mark Steyn. He described his son’s reaction to a Trump rally early on in the primaries. It wasn’t like a normal political speech. In the middle of the speech he paused and said: “Why can’t we say Merry Christmas?” He was on to something.

I see now that Bernie Sanders is telling us that Trump won because of America has had enough of this political correctness. He is right!

Saying Merry Christmas will just feel better this year! Thanks Mr. Trump.


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Tebow’s John 3:16 Stats

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Tim Tebow is recapping the stats around his team’s victory over Pittsburg so many years ago in the playoffs. Worth the view here!

It starts with his wearing Jn 3:16 under his eyes in the collegiate national championship game which he won. Three years later they are playing the Steelers.

He throws for 316 yards. Average catch 31.6. Average run 3.16. Time of possession 31.6 minutes. Viewers 31.6 million.

What he seems most impressed with is the 95 million google hits on Jn 3:16 that day.

And well he should be. God is big, don’t even try to understand how big.


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