Saturday, March 22, 2008


The following is an excerpt from Derek Tidball's 'The Message of the Cross' appropriate for Easter week. Enjoy!

Jeremiah Wright tells about a group of tourists who visit a London gallery and view a painting entitled 'Checkmate.' In it, Faust's king is held in checkmate by Mephistopheles. The group continue their tour of the gallery without noticing that they left one of their number behind. This man paces back and forth in front of the picture. Two corridors later the peace of the gallery is shattered as they hear their forgotten companion cry, 'It's a lie! It's a lie! The king has another move!' The masn was a Russian international chess champion and could see the move others had failed to notice. Wright comments, 'And the same thing is true when it comes to the King of kings. The King always has another move.'
That was certainly true when the King of kings died on the cross. His next move, his resurrection, vindicated him; and a further move will follow when one day he comes on the clouds of heaven so that all may see his final vindication.[1]

Our King has checkmated sin, death and Satan and won the game for all his people!

Happy Resurrection Day!

[1] Derek Tidball, “The Message of the Cross”, Inter-Varsity Press, 2001, p. 144

Friday, March 07, 2008

Here is a great resource for growing in loving the lost and proclaiming Christ boldly!

We will be starting this course in our small groups this month!

Thanks Proclaim Course friends!!

A Plea to Be Bold

Thom Rainer's book, "The Unchurched Next Door" addresses our need to be unashamed of the gospel and to build bridges of genuine friendship. Check out this plea to be unashamed from a recent convert.(see my previous post to understand the U4 designation.)

Hey Thom, I just finished reading the material on the U4’s. Boy, could I identify with those people. I was probably aU4 just about five years ago. I never was antagonistic toward the church and Christians, but I was resistant to anyone trying to convert me.

I look back on those years, and the best way I can describe it was that it was a time of fog. I didn’t think or see much clearly in those days. Most of the time religious matters were not at the top of my agenda, but they were kind of hanging in my conscience. I guess the Holy Spirit was trying to get my attention.

The most amazing thing about that period is that I can’t recall one person over several years who ever said anything to me about Jesus or even the church. I had Christian neighbors who never opened their mouths. I had Christian coworkers just two offices down from mine. Never a word from them.

Looking back now, I think I would have welcomed a word from a Christian. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was hurting deep inside. And I probably would have put on some act of bravado to let people know I didn’t need God as a crutch. But I still would have loved to have heard something from a Christian.

I guess I moved to a more neutral position, what you call a U3, after watching a Billy Graham crusade on television. I bet if someone invited me to church then I would have gone. You know the rest of the story. I finally visited a dynamic church in town and became even more receptive to the gospel. Finally someone from the church asked me to lunch. Mike, who is now my best friend, shared with me how to accept Christ. A few months later I did pray to receive Christ.

But do hear what I am saying. I had to go to a church before someone talked to me one-on-one! For the first 42 years of my life, on one witnessed to me or invited me to church. I pray that I will never make that mistake. You know, the mistake of keeping my mouth shut. No, it’s more than a mistake, it’s a sin.

Thom, I pray that your next book will be used of god to open some mouths that are sinfully shut. If I had to depend on most Christians in America for hearing the good news, I guess I would still be hell bound. Please let your readers know that most of the unchurched people out there would welcome a word from a Christian. Please tell them before it’s too late.

May God fill us with love for Christ and others that overcomes our fear! God grant us your boldness and wisdom to share!

Afraid of the Unchurched?

Thom Rainer has written a number of very helpful and encouraging books. One that is impacting my life is "The Unchurched Next Door". In this book Thom categorizes unchurched folks in five categories, U1-U5, depending on their receptivity to things of Christ. They conducted 306 interviews with folks from diverse backgrounds. Here is the breakdown:


Attitude Towards Christianity















"Very Friendly"


One key result was that of all the folks interviewed 82% said they would visit church if a friend invited them. Wow! I often see it the other way around, thinking 82% of folks would refuse to be my friend anymore if I invited them to church. Have you ever thought that way? I think we need help!