We’re going into the entertainment industry. That’s what my friend Link Neal said to me on the phone in late summer/early fall of 2006. During the call, we were supposed to talk about our previous time together in the spring of ‘06, and how that was going to be a launching point for me to work intentionally with Rhett and Link the next year at a spring break evangelism conference Cru puts on called Big Break. I was (and still am) a full-time missionary with Cru, and so were they at the time.
Rhett and Link on Good Mythical Morning
But during my call with Link, all of the plans changed.
Rhett and Link left Cru staff that year and went on to become YouTube’s most famous comedy duo on the internet. They created a daily show called Good Mythical Morning that currently boasts 16.2 million subscribers. If you haven’t heard of them, chances are someone you know probably watches their show online multiple times per week.
The purpose of a flashlight is to reveal the true facts of the physical world around us when we are unable to see it because of darkness.
The light reveals what is actually there—it’s a truth revealer.
Did you know that death is not at all natural? Even though every person dies, death itself was not a part of God’s original plan—death entered the world as a consequence of sin.
There is a reason we instinctively abhor death and the fact that it eventually swallows everyone we know and love. We as human beings are made in the image of God, and God is the Author of life.
Have you ever walked into someone’s house and immediately realized they were cooking or baking something delicious?
The wonderful smells of chocolate chip cookies, bacon, fresh bread, homemade pasta sauce, or cinnamon rolls all have the ability to saturate the entirety of a home, and fill it with the mouth-watering aroma of tasty food.
Have you ever thought about someone you consider to be beyond the reach of God and said, “That person will never become a Christian”? Well, God’s life-changing love isn’t just for the people you happen to think are “somewhat good.”
The Bible gives us a vivid example of someone who considered himself the least qualified and most undeserving recipient of God’s mercy and love—the Apostle Paul. The book of Acts tells us that Paul (formerly called Saul) was at one point an enemy of Jesus Christ, and devout persecutor of the Christian faith. He was known for ravaging the church, entering house after house and dragging off believing men and women and throwing them in prison (Acts 8:3).
This is a sentence I’ve heard uttered to me many times in my adult life. And early on as a young single man in my twenties, I’d often retort with, “I’m five-foot-six when I’m wearing shoes—I am not intimidating!”
But after getting married and continually being told that I’m intimidating by the people in my circle of influence, along with my actual wife admitting the same, I started to wonder, “Maybe I am intimidating to other people…but why?”
Let’s start with the Mike Pence rule, an interesting approach married men have taken to prevent the workplace affair. Basically, these men and their wives have decided that the husband isn’t allowed to spend one-on-one time with another woman. Even in the office. Other popular names who have ascribed to this rule in the past were Christian giant Billy Graham and Bill Bright, founder of Cru.
This strict boundary avoids the appearance of evil and nips any kind of temptation in the bud before it has an opportunity to wreak havoc in a marriage. But it brings to light an interesting dialogue that has been circulating lately about the topic of purity and the workplace affair.
A quick glimpse of the news or your social media feed shows why our culture is deemed a hate culture. From the small issues in a hometown all the way up to the political scene in Washington, D.C., most of America seems angry for one reason or another.
And to an even more complex degree, Christians are often characterized and stereotyped as the most hateful of all. The culture says Christians are close-minded, unaccepting, and judgmental toward anyone who doesn’t share our standard of biblical morality. Many in our society are comfortable pointing the finger at Christians. They label us as the most hateful people of all in a world fighting for love to win.
This is obviously problematic. This accusation requires Christians to navigate our culture with great sensitivity and shrewdness. We have to figure out a way to live in the world but not ascribe to its anti-biblical ways.
Showing love and care for others while standing up for biblical principles isn’t easy. Christians often fail by leaning too far in one direction or the other. Turning them into people of worldly acceptance or religious legalism. To be in the world but not of it can be difficult indeed.
In many ways, when conflict arises in our lives, we can be bent toward winning the argument instead of reconciling the relationship. What if, however, our main goal in the face of conflict was to unify with the opposing side rather than destroy it?
In Acts 15, the Apostle Peter gives us a good example of using the truth of the gospel to unify a group of Jewish believers and Gentile believers. A “sharp dispute and debate had arisen” between the two camps (v. 2), with Paul and Barnabas on one side and certain believers on the other. These believers insisted that the non-Jewish Christians had to adhere to the custom of Moses (the Law), or they could not be saved (v. 1).
Every single May, my wife and I pack up our family to move to Ocean City, Maryland for the summer. We move into our spot on the coast for six weeks in order to run one of the most influential, life-changing events Cru has to offer a college student.
Photo by Unsplash
We host 35 students and 15 staff for a Summer Mission. The best part is that my two young kids get to be a part of it too.
Summer Mission is a lot like spiritual boot camp for college students who want to grow in their faith and learn how to more effectively share the gospel. At the beginning of the Mission, I often tell the students that we have five weeks to prepare them for the next 50 years. We take that responsibility very seriously.
We ask the students to step out in faith. To be willing to grow in ways that may feel quite uncomfortable, because while they’re in Ocean City, we’re not going to do life “business as usual.” Practically, this breaks down into weekly prayer times, Bible study, large group meetings, corporate worship, ministry activities, organized evangelism, men’s/women’s times, and social events, along with a few surprises thrown in for their development.