Sunday, November 18, 2007


Earlier in the week, my friend Mark told me that Kent, a teacher at ACU and good friend of Mark's (my friend, too), asked if I wanted to be part of what the missions class he teaches was doing on Friday. They had been talking about prayer walking, and I had told Kent about some of my experiences doing that, so I assumed he wanted me to share a little with the class or something. A couple days later, Mark informed me that Kent would be out of own, and in fact, we would be teaching the class... the graduate-level missions class. I thought this was pretty funny considering I not only don't have an undergraduate Bible degree, but I'm not in grad school either. All I've got is that little 'ol business degree. Our duties for the class were to facilitate discussion and to send the students out to prayer walk. Thankfully, I didn't have to prepare a lecture.

We met the class at Monk's (local coffee shop), grabbed drinks and prepared to head out into "downtown" Abilene. We went out in 2's and 3's and, being that Mark and I were the "teachers", we ended up together for the hour of prayer walking. Nothing totally amazing happened, but I could definitely see God joining us (or rather us joining God) in our meanderings. After walking a couple minutes, I felt like we should go up on the roof of the Wooten, an old hotel that has recently been converted into apartments. I told Mark and he informed me you had to have a card to get in. We went for it anyways. As we were approaching the front door, a resident walked out and held the door for us. We went for the elevators where a sign informed us we had to have a card to operate them. So we headed up the stairs, passing by the maintenance guy who told us we couldn't get onto any of the floors, because of locked doors, and eventually ended up looking out a 16th floor window in the stairwell. We gave up getting to the roof and had some sweet prayer time for the city while looking at the rooftops. On the way back down, the maintenance guy asked how far we went up and then without us saying anything about the roof, offered to personally take us up on the roof. He took us up the elevator, through a maintenance closet, up a rickety spiral staircase and through a 3x3 door onto the roof. It was awesome to see and pray for the entire city from 18 stories up.

On the way down, we "coincidentally" ran into Mark's friend, who I vaguely knew, who lives on the 17th floor of the Wooten. She took us to see her business, In Focus, which is located on the bottom floor of the same building. After that, time was up and we headed back to Monk's to debrief with the class. Each group shared what they had experienced and then we had a great discussion about how we can authentically express the hope we have to a dying world. To finish things off, I shared one of my experiences prayer walking which had been absolutely miraculous. All in all, I'd say my first shot at teaching a graduate-level missions class was a success.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What a Studd

"Christ's call is to feed the hungry, not the full; to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; not to call the scoffers, but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers and artistic musical performances, but to raise living churches of souls among the destitute, to capture men from the devil's clutches and snatch them from the very jaws of hell, to enlist and train them for Jesus, and make them into an Almighty Army of God. But this can only be accomplished by red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion, where neither Church nor State, neither man nor traditions are worshiped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified. Not to confess Christ by fancy collars, clothes, silver croziers or gold watch-chain crosses, church steeples or richly embroidered altar-cloths, but by reckless sacrifice and heroism in the foremost trenches.

"When in hand-to-hand conflict with the world and the devil, neat little biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter; one needs a man who will let himself go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, trusting in the Holy Ghost. It's experience, not preaching, that hurts the devil and confounds the world, because unanswerable; the training is not that of the schools, but of the market; it's the hot, free heart and no the balanced head that knocks the devil out. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count. A lost reputation is the best degree for Christ's service.

"I am more than determined that no ring nor limit shall be placed around us, other than that of our Lord Himself, 'to the uttermost parts,' 'To every creature.' I belong and will ever belong to 'The Great God' party. I will have nought to do with 'The Little God' party.

"The difficulty is to believe that he can deign to use such scallywags as us, but of course He wants Faith and Fools rather than talents and culture. All God wants is a heart, any old turnip will do for a head; so long as we are empty, all is well, for then He fills with the Holy Ghost.

"The fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost will change soft, sleek Christians into hot, lively heroes for Christ, who will advance and fight and die, but not mark time. Let us race to heaven; an accident means dashing into the arms of Jesus- such accidents are God's choicest blessings. Don't be a luggage train.

"Fools would 'cut' the devil, pretending they do not see him; others erect a tablet over his supposed grave. Be wise; don't cut nor bury him; kill him with the bayonet of evangelism.

"Hugh Latimer was an inextinguishable candle; the devil lit him, and ever since has been kicking himself for his folly. Won't someone else tempt the devil to make a fool of himself again?

"Nail the colours to the mast! That is the right thing to do, and, therefore, that is what we must do, and do it now. What colours? The colours of Christ, the work He has given us to do- evangelization of all the unevangelized. Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible, by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity and wisdom of the Almighty Saviour who gave the command. Is there a wall in our path? By our God we will leap over it! Are there lions and scorpions in our way? We will trample them under our feet! Does a mountain bar progress? Saying, 'Be thou removed and cast into the sea,' we will march on. Soldiers of Jesus, never surrender! Nail the colours to the mast!

"Such who look to Jesus are grasshoppers in their own sight, but giants in the estimation of the devil.

"'Follow Me,' says Jesus. 'I will,' we reply, yet somehow forget that Christ pleased not Himself, deliberately made Himself poor to save others and became the first foreign missionary. We all pray to be like Jesus, yet refuse to pay the price. How can Dives be like Jesus?

"The crumbs of Dives are not a dainty dish to set before King Jesus. Try 'cake' for a change, and don't forget to put all you've got into it.

"'What if C.T. dies?' This frequent and foolish question must have its answer. Here it is from C.T. himself, 'We will all shout Hallelujah. The world will have lost its biggest fool, and with one fool less to handicap Him, God will do greater wonders still. There shall be no funeral, no wreaths, crape, nor tears, not even the Death March. Congratulations all round will take place. "And I, if I be offered up, rejoice and congratulate you; do ye also rejoice and congratulate me." Phil. 2:17 and 18 (Lightfoot's Translation). The Wedding March, by special request. Our God will still be alive and nothing else matters. The first Heart of Africa Mission funeral will take place when God dies, but as that will not be till after eternity, cheer up all. Forward! Every man straight before him. Hallelujah! "To die is gain."

"Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell,
I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell."

~C.T. Studd (November 2, 1915)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Women Folk

I'd be lying if I said that I didn't notice there were a generous number of attractive women in Abilene. I'd also be lying if I said I haven't given any thought to potentially dating/wifing any of them. Likewise, it wouldn't be the truth if I were to say that I've been employing an abundance of discernment on which girls I give priority in my thoughts.

In the midst of spending a lot of time with married/engaged couples, who all want to hook me up, and singles, many of whom are looking for a significant other, I finally received some wisdom and direction on the subject. A sister in Christ sent me a book called C.T. Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer. It's a biography, written in the 1930's, about some rich English dude who dominated in cricket and then found life in Christ and ended up becoming a sweet missionary to China and... well, I haven't finished the book yet. BUT, I read a few more chapters yesterday which focused on C.T. meeting and wifing this feisty Irish lass who was in the Salvation Army, also in China. She was quite a catch, let me tell ya. The thing that was so cool about their getting engaged/married was how it was just a natural step in what they were already doing as they followed God. They were both just toodling around China, being persecuted as "foreign devils" and bringing tons of Chinese people to Christ, neither of them wanting to get married. All of the sudden, they ran into each other and realized they'd make a killer team, since they were called to do the same thing for the rest of their lives. The best part is that after they got married, they didn't slow down a bit. There wasn't a doctor around when the wife got pregnant, and they didn't want to take months off from spreading the Gospel while traveling, so they just decided to have the baby right there in the house. They ended up repeating that 3 times with all their daughters. That's so cool.

Needless to say, reading that account gave me a little clarity on what potentially dating/marrying a girl can and must look like if I'm going to do it. I'm not sure if I'm even going to get married, but if I do, it has to be to a girl who's truckin along with God and is placed on the same path I am. I don't know for sure, because I've never been married, but I would guess that all Christ-following couples dream of working together for the advancement of God's kingdom in complimentary roles which God made them for. If you're called to marriage, what could be better?