Who we are Saturday, Nov 25 2006 

We aren’t judges, we’re witnesses. We’re just as guilty as the next guy. We’re not trying to tell you that we’ve solved all our own problems and that we’re staying out of trouble. We’re here to tell you that we’re all in trouble and we believe there’s only one way out of it. We know where you’re coming from, because a lot of us have come from far worse places. We’re not knocking on your door on a Saturday morning because there’s a free kitchen appliance in it for us. We are just asking you to have a real interaction with a stranger, a conversation about something other than what you did this weekend or how you got ripped off at the dry cleaners. We know you think we’re silly and ignorant. We think you should know that not everyone thinks that of us. We know you don’t want your life to change. We didn’t want ours to change either, but we wouldn’t take it back for the world. We’re not here to tell you about hell, we want you to be with us in paradise. This is not just our mission, but also our passion. We see the hatred in the world and we know you see it too. We’re not asking you to open your wallet, but to open up your mind and your heart. We’re not selling bibles, we most likely have an extra one we’d be more than happy to give you. We’re not trying to fill church pews, because we know that it’s not about what you do or who you are but what you believe. We would rather share one earnest moment with you than see you sitting like a zombie in every Sunday morning service for the rest of your life. We’re asking you to have faith not in us, but in the one truth that stands out in the midst of a confused world. We are here on behalf of a man who died to save us all. We aren’t judges, we’re witnesses. We are Christians taking the stand to testify about Jesus. We hope that you are listening.

The Exclusivity of Jesus Tuesday, Nov 14 2006 

When Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” in John 14:6 he wasn’t trying to amuse people. He was serious and that is why when people like Spencer Burke and other members of the emergent church movement encourage people to read books like Thich Nhat Hanh: Living Buddha, Living Christ it is both saddening and maddening. Spencer describes this book saying, “This book will give you new insights from a fresh view – I especially enjoyed thoughts about Christ as “The Way” and the comparison of the Tao.” Comparing Jesus with the Tao?
In the church we need people to preach the pure, unadulterated gospel of Jesus. The Gospel of Jesus which is exclusive, not one that says Jesus is a way or even the best way, but the only way. We want pastors who preach that Jesus is THE WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE.

God of all Sunday, Nov 12 2006 

I recently was reading something that said today the most known, most revered or favorite verse among American Christians is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” For the Puritans the verse they focused on and quoted was Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” specifically focusing on, “In the beginning God.” What many Christians today are lacking is a proper view of God. Our God is not just someone we abstractly think about but He really is King, Judge, the Beginning and the End, Lord, Mighty One, Majesty, Glory, Redeemer, Refuge, Rock, Savior, Righteous and Almighty. We need to have a proper view of God as the greatest, the one who holds time in his hand and is Sovereign over all. Out of this view of God will come a proper theology that always seeks to exalt his name and glorify him for who he is because of who he is.

Humanity of Jesus Friday, Nov 10 2006 

As humans, so many times we feel that God doesn’t know what we are going through. This is so far from the truth and exactly what the enemy wants us to believe. God DOES know what we are going through. He knows our weaknesses, our broken heartedness, our temptations, our sinful nature. He knows this not only because He is the lover of our souls, but because He, too, has experienced that which is common to man. God himself came down from Heaven and lived as man, Jesus. He left his place at the right hand of God to live life on Earth as a human being. He had the body of a human, he got tired, he felt hunger, he cried, he bled, he felt pain. Jesus grew physically and aged until his death at 33. Jesus had earthly ancestors, according to the genealogy. Jesus even had an earthly mother, siblings, and a stepfather. Jesus had friends, some of whom betrayed him or denied that they even knew him. Jesus studied the Scriptures, memorizing them, and quoting them. Jesus prayed to his Heavenly father. Jesus had a job as a carpenter. Jesus was tempted to sin: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be temped by the devil,” Matthew 4:1. Jesus did experience all of these things, yet was without sin, therefore he was the ultimate, perfect sacrifice for our sin.
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. (1 John 2:1-3)
-Amanda

Last Chance Thursday, Nov 9 2006 

Today I was thinking about the brevity of life. Time goes by so quickly and it seems to be to be speeding up. Each week I look back and think about how it seems like just the other day that I was working at IXIS, standing at my cousins wedding, or wakeboarding on the lake. Now it is November and not only is Thanksgiving less than two weeks away but all of the stores are already decorated with Christmas decorations! In this short time here I was thinking about how this short life is our last opportunity to do so many things.
– Give Grace to others
– Show others Christ
– Get Saved
– Follow God’s Call
– Evangelize
– Be active in spiritual warfare
– Put on the Armor of God

What other things can you think of that this is our last chance to do?

Divine Appointments Tuesday, Nov 7 2006 

We spent the afternoon in our favorite Boston stomping grounds today. We had the rare opportunity to see both ends of the spiritual spectrum. We’ve had an “outreach” going in Boston for almost a year now, and we’ve encountered very few Christians from the area. In fact, in this past year we have only met one Christian from the Boston area. We’ve talked to countless people, but those who actually profess Christianity almost invariably have an accent to accompany their beliefs. Very often the few Christians we do meet are either international students/travelers, or they are coming from other parts of the US. The spiritual drought in Boston and the Northeast in general is what has given us such a heart for the city; just knowing that we are in “enemy territory” is simultaneously inspiring and terrifying. Meeting Christians from the area has been a rare but edifying experience that keeps us going even as the weather gets colder. It is these brothers and sisters in Christ like those that we met today that remind us that God’s hand is in all that we do.
We met Todd and Tara outside of our favorite Starbucks on the corner of Berkeley and Boylston. They spotted the Bible in Mark’s hand and were brave enough to strike up a conversation. Keeping in line with our history of there being no Christians from Boston we quickly found that Todd was from Tennessee and Tara was from Florida. They are both attending Babson College and are leaders in Campus Crusade for Christ. We had a great time getting to know our new friends and even ended up going to church with them the next day. We are really excited about seeing their heart for the city of Boston. They, too, have a yearning to preach the Gospel and see people come to Jesus. It is our hope and prayer that we will together be missionaries and that we will see many people grow in their relationship with Christ along with many others who will come to know him for the first time.
After talking with Todd and Tara we went to Copley Square where we spend close to an hour talking with Shawn. Shawn is a skateboarder who was hanging out watching his friends while he took a break. We spoke to him about his faith and he shared with us that he wanted to believe in God, a heaven and hell, but couldn’t bring himself to. Shawn wanted more to live for. This testified to the truth that God has written eternity on the hearts of man and we long to see our Creator. Shawn wanted a God to believe in but could not find enough reason to believe it. We asked him who Jesus was and he said that he believed Jesus was just another leader who happened to have a larger following than most. He was someone special but certainly not God. Shawn typified a post-modern mindset. He sought a faith that took many different elements and combined them into something that worked for him. He wanted to compose his own subjective truth from other truths that were partially relative to him. The idea of objective truth seemed almost foreign to Shawn. He had read a little of the Bible but found it boring and stopped. He wasn’t looking for life but for entertainment. Shawn thought Jesus was a good person but was more concerned about us trying to “convert” him. He enjoyed talking but certainly did not see how Jesus could be God. We are praying for him, that God would reveal himself to Shawn and that we will see Shawn again in the future.
This night was a rare night. On one hand we had the privilege of meeting some great new friends who are seeking after God and want to see people come to know him. On the other hand we saw how others see God as distant and foreign, if even real, and beyond our reach. Our hearts go out to both tonight. For those who know the Lord we pray for them to be held up and encouraged to grow in their faith. For those whose eyes are blinded and cannot see the saving grace of Jesus we pray for salvation. Amen.

Muslim Faith Friday, Nov 3 2006 

Twenty percent of the world is Muslim. 1.5 Billion people. They are the majority of the population in 52 countries. Their faith has been growing especially in post-Christian nations like much of western Europe. They are also a growing force in the United States and have grown to nearly 5% of the population of Boston. This is compared to nearly the same percentage who claim to be born again Christians. It is because of the size, influence, and growing population of Muslims what we need to, more than ever, be able to reach them with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus. We know where we stand, let’s learn where they stand and why.

Who we are -Nate. Thursday, Nov 2 2006 

We aren’t judges, we’re witnesses.  We’re just as guilty as the next guy. We’re not trying to tell you that we’ve solved all our own problems and that we’re staying out of trouble.  We’re here to tell you that we’re all in trouble and we believe there’s only one way out of it.  We know where you’re coming from, because a lot of us have come from far worse places. We’re not knocking on your door on a Saturday morning because there’s a free kitchen appliance in it for us.  We are just asking you to have a real interaction with a stranger, a conversation about something other than what you did this weekend or how you got ripped off at the dry cleaners. We know you think we’re silly and ignorant.  We think you should know that not everyone thinks that of us.  We know you don’t want your life to change. We didn’t want ours to change either, but we wouldn’t take it back for the world.  We’re not here to tell you about hell, we want you to be with us in paradise.  This is not just our mission, but also our passion.  We see the hatred in the world and we know you see it too.  We’re not asking you to open your wallet, but to open up your mind and your heart.  We’re not selling bibles, we most likely have an extra one we’d be more than happy to give you.  We’re not trying to fill church pews, because we know that it’s not about what you do or who you are but what you believe.  We would rather share one earnest moment with you than see you sitting like a zombie in every Sunday morning service for the rest of your life.  We’re asking you to have faith not in us, but in the one truth that stands out in the midst of a confused world.  We are here on behalf of a man who died to save us all. We aren’t judges, we’re witnesses.  We are Christians taking the stand to testify about Jesus.  We hope that you are listening.

Salem, part 1 Wednesday, Nov 1 2006 

Last night Amanda and I went into Salem to pray for the city. We were prepared for deep spiritual warfare and spent the drive to the train stop praying. When we got on the train to take the short ride into Salem it was empty but for the next three stops crowds of people poured onto the train. Everyone was all dressed up and most of the people were young, between early teens to mid-twenties. As we set there it seemed as if we were removed from the trip. We just watched. And prayed.
As we neared Salem we were anticipating a demonic spirit to overwhelm us. We got off the train and started walking with the crowds of people towards downtown Salem. Masses of people were coming and going from all directions and it looked crazy from the outside. Then as we stepped off the stairs into the town and stood in the midst of the Halloween celebration of Salem we were not hit with a demonic spirit but instead, we felt overwhelmed by an atmosphere of death. Not death in the sense of killing but death in the sense of there being a void of life, people were not living, just walking – going through the motions.