Seeing and Celebrating God’s Glory

This morning I spent some time looking at the verse on my Christmas stationery:

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. (Isaiah 60:1, NIV84)

As is my habit, I looked at the paragraphs before and after the verse to get a bigger picture of what’s being said in the passage. In chapter 59, God promises that He Himself will come down to redeem His people and establish an eternal covenant with them. If that’s not a description of what Jesus did for us, I don’t know what is! Chapter 60 tells the result: the light of God’s glory will shine so brightly on us that people in darkness will be drawn to that light and will come to Him through us.

One “takeaway” for me is this: Jesus made it possible for me to have a permanent relationship with God. As I walk closely with Him, He will display Himself in my life in many ways—through my character, my actions, my interactions with others, and in (or in spite of) my circumstances. Others will see Him in me and be drawn to Him.

One BIG way I have seen God’s glory in my life is through His provision of financial support for my ministry. Over the last couple of years He has provided roughly $1900 in new monthly commitments—and that’s in the midst of a bad economy! As I write this now, I need just $700 per month more to be fully funded! I’m so grateful for what the Lord has done and I’m confident that He will provide that within the next month or two.

Now that my monthly needs are close to being met, I’m also trusting God for another need. The 1998 Dodge Stratus I inherited from my dad 12 years ago has almost 120,000 miles on it. It’s still running fairly well, but I know it won’t be long until I need to replace it with something newer. As a staff member of Cru, I am allowed to raise additional salary to help cover the cost of a vehicle. My desire is to raise at least $5000 for a down payment so my monthly payment will fall within my budget.

Would you please pray regularly for these financial needs? “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5: 16, NLT) Thank you for reflecting the Lord’s glory to me through your prayers! Without you and others by praying for me, I would not be able to continue in this vital ministry of reaching those in the darkness with the light of the gospel.

Join me in celebrating His light this Christmas!

From Quietness to Confidence

They were quiet—very quiet. Six college students looked at me with varying degrees of discomfort as I explained what they would be doing in their ten Comm Drills. Only the seventh student (a returnee from last year) looked eager to start practicing public speaking in front of his peers.This was the Film Team—easily the most introverted of the five teams on our Summer Project. Unlike the performers on the other teams, they had no aspirations to go in front of an audience. But each one bravely got up to speak when it was their turn.

The 2012 Summer Project Film Team
The 2012 Summer Project Film Team

Each day’s drill introduced a new skill for the students to learn. And each day’s drill brought new improvements as my fellow comm coach and I encouraged the students to step out of their comfort zones. As they learned how to make eye contact, express emotions in their faces, and use descriptive gestures, something else began to happen. Something beyond the mechanics of public speaking.

Students Jon and Megan emcee a film outreach
Students Jon and Megan emcee a film outreach

Stevie showed a surprisingly lighthearted side instead of his usual serious intensity. Jess dropped her nervous mannerisms and became animated and engaging. Soft-spoken Stephen narrated part of a children’s story with the passion of a stage actor. Day by day they took small faith-risks to reveal their true selves, gradually moving from quietness to confidence.

Of course it wasn’t just the comm drills; they also learned together, studied the Bible together, played together, produced a film together, and did evangelism together. God used all of these aspects of the Summer Project to transform the Film Team students and prepare them to bring the good news of Jesus to others.

Megan chats with the audience after a show
Megan chats with the audience after a show

And bring it they did. They showed their finished short film with several others during a week’s worth of

outreach events. Two of them, Jon and Megan, emceed these mini film festivals where they led audience discussions and Jon explained the gospel. Then the whole team spoke with audience members after the show.

Thank you for partnering with me to help students grow from quietness to confidence in proclaiming Christ!

You are Invited to a Film Premiere

The students of the 2012 Keynote Summer Project Film Track are putting the finishing touches on their new short film “Overboard”. I’ve seen it at different stages in the production process, and I’m very excited about seeing the finished product! Friday’s premiere will also include a dress rehearsal of the short film outreach program that the students will take on the road. I hope to see you there!

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