Radio Interview: Chad Robichaux - StL Prayer Breakfast

The CBMC St. Louis prayer breakfast this year features Chad Robichaux. He has a very powerful testimony of how his life was transformed through the grace of Jesus Christ. If you don’t know anything about this man - a former Force Recon Marine and MMA fighter - who was literally on the verge of divorce and suicide, you will be blessed to hear his testimony as shared on Bott Radio Network. You will also want to learn more about how he is continuing to serve veterans and their families through Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs . Click below to hear his testimony and make plans to be at the Breakfast on Wednesday, April 17th.

Bott Radio Network https://stlouis.cbmc.com/…/prayer-breakfast-greater-st-louis

This interview aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on March 15, 2019.

Chad  .jpg

Radio Interview: Pilgrim's Progress movie - Steve Cleary

Based on John Bunyan's epic masterpiece, THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS is one of the most popular books of all time, and one of the most important stories of our faith! Second to the Bible in total copies and translations, the story was written by John Bunyan a pastor, imprisoned for sharing his faith. This powerful allegory helps families understand the spiritual journey is the most important journey in life, as well as the importance of sticking to the path, even when the journey gets difficult.*

Steve Cleary, one of the producer’s of the movie, joined us to discuss a bit behind this amazing project that brings the classic work to life again. Click on the link below to hear the conversation!

This interview aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on March 15, 2019.

*From: https://www.pilgrims.movie/about

The Hill of Salvation is a place of freedom! Where burdens are released and Christian's journey take a turn. https://www.pilgrims.movie/videos-photos

The Hill of Salvation is a place of freedom! Where burdens are released and Christian's journey take a turn. https://www.pilgrims.movie/videos-photos

Radio Interview: Christie Purifoy - Placemaker

Comfort. Beauty. Peace. Does that sound like something that you might like a bit more of in your life?

In her most recent book, Placemaker, Christie Purifoy invites you to develop a lifestyle of cultivating those places where you can walk hand-in-hand with your Savior. Christie was recently a guest on Bott Radio Network to share her thoughts on faith deeply rooted in God’s Word. Click on the link below to listen to the conversation!

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on March 8, 2019.

Placemaker-533x800.jpg



Radio Interview: Rob and Stephanie Green - Tying Their Shoes

We were recently joined on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV by Rob and Stephanie Green. Rob was a guest with us when his first book, Tying the Knot released from www.NewGrowthPress.com and now he, and his wife of 25 years, joined us to share Tying Their Shoes. It's a book to help parents (and grandparents, counselors, pastors, etc.) to bring a Christ-centered approach to preparing for parenting. Click on the link to listen to the LRM Encounter interview that aired on Bott Radio Network.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on March 8, 2019.

Tying Shoes.jpg

A 17-mile distance of 343 miles...

What if I told you that two churches were 17 miles apart? If we held a meeting between those two churches, it would take roughly 15-20 minutes to go from one to the other, right?

Nope.

If you drove, it would take 343 miles to make the commute. These two churches, located in Alaska, are best traveled to by water or air.

For me, that is a pretty solid illustration of a dilemma we often see in churches. Two people, sitting only a few pews apart, are radically separated by other obstacles. One of those may be a pain from years past. Another might be a perceived slight from only a week ago. Yet one more is due only to a passing glance – received as something greater. And then they both wonder why the church is stuck and their own spiritual growth is lacking…

How often is a “God-movement” RIGHT THERE and yet so far away?

The LRM team has been working to expand our connections with churches, pastors, and leaders around the country. We’ve begun to work cooperatively with an organization in Colorado that assists churches with communication and outreach. Our goal is simple: TO SERVE MORE CHURCHES! But there is a problem…

--- Complacency ---

I get it. I really do. I think a good (but not perfect) synonym for complacency is comfort. If it is hot, we seek to cool off. If it is cold, we seek warmth. If we are hungry, we seek food. If we are sad, we seek happiness. On and on it goes as we seek to move away from the negative to the positive. But…

The problem comes up when we seek to LIVE in the “comfort”. The problem comes up when we seek to exist where things are simple, and nice, and peaceful, and don’t cause any disturbance to our bubble. And that’s where comfort takes a horribly wretched turn into complacency.

Take my first example of the churches in Alaska. Imagine you love your car and it is your favorite way to travel. You like the seat warmer and the stereo system. It’s so nice to be in the familiar. (Because I drive more than 20,000 miles per year, I absolutely know what that is like!) However, if I want to go back and forth in one day, it wouldn’t make any sense to insist on driving, would it?

Does it make any sense to sit in anger and stare at the back of someone else’s head?

Does it make any sense to let a disagreement from years past to continue to choke out growth?

Does it make any sense to lose a Biblically-solid and compassionate pastor because you like your pew?

So, here’s my point. For 65 years, LRM has been serving churches in the Process of Renewal. We have been seeking to partner in ministry as men and women are renewed through the Power of the Holy Spirit to not only receive the gift of grace but to then go forward and serve as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We’re not stopping!

As I was in Oklahoma last month, I spoke with pastors and leaders to encourage them to truly seek renewal. As I went to North Carolina next, I did the same thing with a local church family. We had team members – faithful responding servants from CA, NJ, NC, OH, PA, SC, and GA – likewise making that challenge to seek more of the Abundant Life Jesus offers.

--- Complacency is NOT an option! ---

The reality of walking with Christ is simple. Believe in faith. Live in faith. Don’t let the little (or seemingly big) things distract. Just press forward and let the Holy Spirit work through you.

Yours in Christ,

Marty



Radio Interview: Samuel Parker - Border Son

In an interesting novel inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal, Samuel Parker brings us a tale of a father pursuing his son across the Mexican border. Filled with both tension and compassion, "Border Son" delves into some of the reality of the drug trade and its impact on society. Even with that drama, it also tackles just how far a father will pursue restoration and healing in an act of love for his son.

Click on the link below to hear the Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV 95.9 / 1320 during which we discussed his life, writing, and the book! Bott Radio Network

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV StL on March 1, 2019.

border son.jpg

Radio Interview: Nate Pyle - More Than You Can Handle

Pain meets grace. Overwhelming pain meets overwhelming grace.

When life seems to be more that you can handle, what does that mean for a believer? How do you walk forward? Nate Pyle, pastor of Christ's Community Church in Fishers, Indiana, has written a new book, More Than You Can Handle, that addresses one of the most common AND least helpful reassurances that exists within the Christian community. Nate spent a few minutes with us on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV 95.9 / 1320 StL to share encouragement and guidance from the Word and his book. Bott Radio Network

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on March 1, 2019.

nate  .jpg

Radio Interview: Jason Wilson - Cry Like a Man

Our past influences our present, but it does not determine our future.

Jason Wilson.jpg

Cry Like a Man

From the lynching of his grandfather in the Deep South to the murders of his two older brothers, Jason Wilson is seeking to be a man who changes the course of the future. He is the director of The Cave of Adullam Transformational Academy (CATTA) which seeks to train and develop young men. His new book, Cry Like A Man, tackles the question of "what does it mean to be a man" in a world where things like emotions are often taboo.

Jason joined us on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV to share from his life and the book. Click on the link below to listen to the 12-minute conversation.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9 / 1320 on February 22, 2019.
www.CryLikeAMan.com

Radio Interview: Liena Apsukrapsa - God's Love Affair

While not found in Scripture, the time period many churches recognize as "Lent" is one in which we can prepare our hearts and minds for the Gift of Grace given through the cross as well as the blessed Easter morning. Liena Apsukrapsa has written "God's Love Affair", a beautiful book that invites you to take a journey on a path of loving God with all or your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Drawing from her experiences of faith that began during a time of Soviet Union oppression and persecution in her home country of Latvia, Eastern Europe, Liena invites you to enter Scripture and prayerfully mediate on Christ. She was a guest on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV and shared a bit of her journey. Please click on the link below to hear the discussion!

This interview originally aired on KSIV StL Bott Radio Network 95.9 / 1320 on Feb. 22, 2019.

god-s-love-affair-the-heart-of-lent.jpg

Radio Interview: Erin Bartels - We Hope for Better Things

There are times when a debut novel makes your jaw drop with the beautiful story that it contains. And, when a debut novel contains not one story but THREE that are so beautifully connected and interwoven that it flows seamlessly, you have to wonder why this is only the first! Erin Bartels wrote "We Hope For Better Things" and it tells the story of three women. One story takes place in the 1860s during the Civil War. Another unfolds during the tumultuous 1960s. And the last bursts out during the present day - with connections to both of the others. Erin joined us for a conversation on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV to discuss her new book and more of the story behind the story. Click on the link below to hear as she shares. KSIV 95.9/1320 StL Baker Books Revell www.ErinBartels.com Bott Radio Network

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on Feb. 15, 2019.

Radio Interview: Lynette Eason - Code of Valor (#BlueJustice series)

A vacation. A scream. A fast-paced adventure with confused victim running for her life. That barely scratches the surface of the latest novel in the Blue Justice series - Code of Valor. For several years, Lynette Eason has been writing novels that delve into law enforcement and bring aspects of faith on the job to light. She joined us on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV to share a bit behind the scenes of her faith and her writing. Click on the link below to hear how about the process this author of some 50 novels uses to draw readers in and keep them hooked! www.LynetteEason.com Baker Books Revell Bott Radio Network

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on Feb. 15, 2019.

Radio Interview: Cathryn Shaw - All Among Us

CathrynShaw.jpg

Some people seem to walk around, looking for situations to use to complain about this and that. Other people choose to see doors that God is opening so that they can step through them and serve. All Among Us, Inc. Executive Director, Cathryn Shaw, is one very unique woman who not only took the first step to serve when God called her but she has followed up in a multitude of ways to allow God to work through her.

She joined us on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV to share stories about the ministry and what God is doing. There are also some wonderful ways for you to get connected and serve. Listen to the conversation by clicking on the link below and consider what God might have YOU do when you walk in faith! www.AllAmong.Us

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on Feb. 8, 2019.

Radio Interview: Trudy Cathy White - Climb Every Mountain

On another edition of Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV, we welcomed Trudy Cathy White, the daughter of Chick-fil-A founder, Truett Cathy. Trudy wrote "Climb Every Mountain", a book that is a beautiful blend of memoir and inspirational faith. As we spoke, she shared with us her wisdom gained on the mission field as well as in the restaurant ministry. You can climb every mountain - IF you do it WITH the Lord!

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 StL on Feb. 8, 2019.

Radio Interview: Ron Bracy - Walk On

When you think of the books of the Bible that offer the most answers to the questions of life, how often does the Book of Habakkuk spring to mind? If you answered “never”, then listen to the interview with Dr. Ron Bracy that we recorded on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV. Dr Bracy has penned a very special book that captures the dialogue between the prophet and God. With it, he also blends his own stories (and those of others) to help solicit a response from the reader's mind and heart. You will quickly hear how this precious Book in God’s Word gives clarity that God is ALWAYS at work - even when we don’t realize it! www.WalkOnBook.com

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on Feb. 1, 2019.

From a Silent Beginning to a VERY Loud Call to Respond

Imagine for a moment that you had to write a recommendation letter for your child. Or your spouse. Or your best friend. To be clear, I don’t mean imagine writing it just so they can get the job (or whatever). That’s easy to write something that is both true and “well-spun”.

1998 baby boy

Way, way back when

Only imagining the future…

I had to write one recently for my son as he was applying for a college scholarship. Honestly, I’d never heard of this and I wasn’t sure where to begin. But, after a lot of thought and prayer, I did my best to present an honest and clear representation of the love, respect, and admiration I have for my son. (Yes, I should do one for my daughter too. Another day!)

But I was thinking of this as I was studying John the Baptist. His father, Zachariah, had to compose something for his son. If you’ve read the account in Luke 1, you know that when Zachariah was told of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, he laughed and doubted the angel. He was then struck mute as a consequence of doubting God.

For months, he was unable to speak. For months, he communicated only through gestures and a tablet. (Not the kind you think. “Apple” was a fruit back then – not a tech giant!) And when his son was born, he wrote, “His name shall be John”. He was then able to speak. Instead of launching into all of the stuff he’d kept pent up for so long, he burst out in a song of praise! His words included a bit of future-highlights of the life of his newborn son:

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1: 76-79

I know most parents hold pretty high expectations for their children, but WOW!

So, what was John like?

We don’t know about his childhood years. When we meet him, he seems like a bit of a crazy-man. He’s wearing clothing made out of camel hair and has a leather belt. His regular diet consists of locusts and honey. He doesn’t hang out in the Temple area. Instead, he preaches by the Jordan River and baptizes people who repent.

(If you flip on the television on a Sunday morning and watch one of the preachers, can you imagine any of them doing that?)

Now, if you read my last post, you probably can guess that I’m going to say that there was a point to this. And you are correct.

If we rewind (which gives us both culture and context), we need to head back to around 175 BC in Greece. The king, Antiochus IV, wanted to conquer Egypt. To do so, he wanted to calm things down and bring people together. But, in bringing people together, he wanted to erase who they were. The process was called “Hellenization”, meaning to make people Greek.

A key target of this was the Jewish people. As we know, the Diaspora, or the Scattering, was done when the Jewish people were taken captive by Babylon. That resulted in God’s people being all over the place – including Egypt. Regardless, the center of Judaism was Jerusalem. It’s kind of like the fact that there are baseball fans all over the globe, but Baseball Heaven is right here in St. Louis.

Antiochus’ plan was to replace the high priest in Jerusalem with someone who was loyal to him. Even though this may not sound like a big deal, from Scripture, it’s easy to see why this might be a problem. God had given very clear instructions on who could be the high priest. While the first step in the lineage was to be from the tribe of Levi, God had then given different roles for the family. High priests could only come from the line of Zadok. He was a son of Eleazer, who was a son of Aaron, the brother of Moses.

Antiochus put a man named Joshua in place as the high priest. If you want to know whether or not Joshua followed Antiochus or not, it’s worth noting that the first thing Joshua did was change his name to Jason, a Greek name.

Lots of things happened in the years that followed, including a shift of power from Greece to Rome, but to jump to the time of Jesus, the high priest was appointed by Herod. [He was from the line of Esau, the brother of Jacob. Jacob’s line was the one from whom the twelve tribes came – included the tribe of Levi (priests) and Judah (the prophesied line of the Messiah)].

OK – Seriously. Why does any of that matter?

I’m glad you asked. Clothing can communicate a message. For example, last year, First Lady, Melania Trump wore a jacket that said, “I really don’t care. Do you?” Immediately, the press went crazy. What does it mean? What is she saying? And, regardless of whether or not they were right, answers were flying around.

Matthew’s Gospel has a very specific reason for mentioning clothing:

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4

John the Baptist was making a clear statement with what he wore and what he ate. [If you want to, check out 2nd Kings 1. The king of Israel, Ahaziah, fell and was injured. He sent some of his men to visit the prophets of Baal. As they were traveling, they met Elijah, the true prophet of God, who was wearing (insert drum roll) a garment of hair with a leather belt.]

Do you see? It’s not just a strange sense of fashion. John had a purpose. Elijah had spoken to a very corrupt nation and king. Turn around and follow God. Repent and stop sinning. John’s message was the same. I’m here, just like Elijah, to call you to repent. Knock off the sin and turn back to God. And guess what? The Messiah is coming!

And don’t forget the food. Elijah trusted in God to supply his food. John did the same. While John could have indulged in food from the Temple, he knew that corruption abounded there. From the priesthood to the junk happening in John 2, the food was NOT proper to eat. As unappealing as it might be, Leviticus 11: 20-23 tells us that locusts are considered ok to eat.

John came for a clear and specific reason. Remember? Even his dad realized this and sang a song about it! ;)

Matthew, writing this Gospel under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wants to let his Jewish readers know all of the prophecies that had been fulfilled at the time of Christ. We read in the Gospel:

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” Matthew 3: 1-3

Let’s hit a quick summary review.

·      The current church leadership and the Temple had been corrupted.

·      John came to call people to repent. He physically demonstrated repentance and following God.

·      The call to response was then up to the hearers.

So…

What are you going to do?

I realize we live 2,000 years later, but the Message hasn’t changed.

Follow God.

He loves you. He knows you won’t do it perfectly. And He still loves you.

The plain and simple truth is this: Sin has consequences. If you don’t like the word “sin”, then let me say it this way: Doing stupid things will have consequences. [If I speed in front of a police officer, I shouldn’t be shocked if I get a ticket.]

God is omniscient (all-knowing, all-seeing). He knows the stupid things you do. He knows you deserve the consequences.

And yet…

He loves you.

Jesus, God the Son, loves you. He gave His life for you. He took care of the punishment that we justly deserved.

That’s pretty cool.

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, loves you. He lives in you now – to offer comfort, support, encouragement, and strength. 

So, rewind back to the beginning. What if you asked someone to write a letter of recommendation for you? Don’t think about what it would say. Think about what you would WANT it to say.

What can you do today so that, when that letter is written, it truly reflects who you want to be?

Yours in Christ,

Marty

Radio Interview: John Bell - The Micah Project

The word "effusive" may seem a bit odd, but I can't think of a better one to describe the type of praise that bubbles up when I think of The Micah Project and the work they are doing on the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. For more than 20 years, Michael Stephen Miller has been serving Christ to reach into lives broken by drugs, neglect, and pain. Two of the Micah graduates, Hector and Miguel, will be coming to St Louis February 9-11, 2019. There will be several opportunities for you to meet these young men and hear stories from the missionaries. Be sure to meet some of them at: Central Presbyterian Church, St Louis MO, Greentree Community Church, and Redeemer Evangelical Church!
A schedule is posted at www.MicahProjectHonduras.org but you can also hear a few details from John Bell in the interview below that was recorded on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on Jan. 25, 2019.

Micah.png

Radio Interview: Tosca Lee - The Line Between

She’s back! We were joined again on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV by the one and only Tosca Lee. Tosca's new book, The Line Between, is a powerful novel blended with facts from current headlines. You'll be drawn into the narrative as you walk with Wynter Roth - expelled from a cult and into a world rapidly descending into chaos. You'll be blessed at the power of story as it comes alive with faith and adventure!

Tosca also shared a bit of news. Her books in the Progeny series have been picked up for a television series! Super cool stuff happening INCLUDING this newest book, The Line Between, ALSO being optioned! God is good!!!

The interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network on January 25, 2019 on KSIV 95.9/1320.

tosca  .jpg

Help me not lose hope... Please...

WP_20190124_15_38_09_Pro (2).jpg

Hope is a fragile thing

What can you do?

If I asked you to tell me a few significant events that happened in the 1860s, I imagine you might start with the Civil War. You might mention a few other things as well, but I doubt something like the Boshin War would spring to mind. Like me, your response would be: “What is the Boshin War?” (For the record, it was the time when the shoguns in Japan lost power and the Samurai class almost disappeared.)

The difference between the two is perspective.

If you are Japanese and living in Japan, you study “your own” history. That time period was extremely significant for the Japanese culture – as was the Civil War for our own Nation.

I mention these things because, to be honest, I’m starting to lose a little hope.

The United States has been in a partial government shut down for far too long. Rather than seeking to meet and find a solution, it’s turned into a “nah nah” type of battle with BOTH sides thumbing their noses.

Then, during this time, a photo surfaced of a young man “smirking” in the face of a Native American. Rather than seeking to know what happened, it became an extremely false narrative of distortion and twisted reality.

A video was shared with me that presented a bigger picture of the incident. When I saw others continuing to put forward the picture and false narrative, I attempted to engage in three conversations about it – asking people to use caution because of the potential of far reaching ramifications impacting so many.

The first person watched the other information and removed the post. The second person said they would explore it more. The last person (and others who chimed in) said no. I was a bit shocked by responses in the last group who went so far as to accuse of racism because of the hat worn by the young man and even tell me that everyone needs to learn something about interacting. (NOTE: Irony define: refuse to discuss something and then say that people need to learn how to interact…)

While I am smart enough to solve all of the world’s problems, I know my solutions would never be accepted. So, in that light, I’m going to ask us all to consider something completely different.

What’s up with Herod, Cleopatra, and a toddler?

Two thousand years ago, Herod, the leader of Judea, and Cleopatra, the co-regent of Egypt, got along. Then they didn’t. Then they sort-of did. But in that back-and-forth, the bottom-line was that they would have their own areas. Herod controlled what we call Israel and Cleopatra had Egypt. (Yes, I’m jumping over a LOT of detail.)

In light of that, there existed a “safe-zone” in Egypt if someone, say a father, mother, and toddle, needed to get out of danger. Say some evil guy (Herod) wanted to kill any boy two or under, and say some not-so-evil guy (Joseph) was told in a dream to take his wife and Child (Mary and Jesus) to safety, well, they would go to the safe zone.

And then, say the evil guy (Herod) died, and say the not-so-evil guy didn’t quite feel safe enough to go back to one place (Bethlehem) but instead chose to go to another place (Nazareth), well, would that mean anything?

I’d encourage you to read through Matthew 2:13-23 for the full narrative, but I would like to invite you to consider a few simple things that I think will help us all.

First and foremost, God is sovereign. Now, what does that mean?

Simply put, God is the King. He is the ultimate authority over time and space. He is in control.

To be clear, God, in His sovereignty and love, has chosen to give us free will. What does that mean?

HE LETS US SCREW THINGS UP!

If that is a bit too blunt for you, I’m sorry. But it’s true. He has chosen to allow us to sin, to make mistakes, to do the wrong thing.

That said, He also has chosen to bring good out of our free will.

Take the example of Herod. This guy was evil. He was twisted and sick and demented. He was also intelligent and powerful. As all of those things mixed together, he killed his mom, wife, three oldest sons, etc. This guy had serious issues. Come on! He ordered the slaughter of all the boys two and under in an entire area because he was afraid of a toddler!

And yet, God had known before the creation of time what Herod would do.

·        Hosea 11:1 told us that the Messiah would return from Egypt.

·        Jeremiah 31:15 told us that there would be a cause for great weeping in the region Herod ordered the slaughter.

·        Isaiah 11:1 told us that the Messiah would come out of Nazareth (branch).

Why didn’t God stop him? Why didn’t God stop Herod from being born?

That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works…

We should be grateful.

Are you shocked by that? Do you think I’m wrong? Do you think I’m crazy?

Let’s do what some call the “Flip Test”.

If you sin, if you make a mistake, if you do something wrong, then what should God do? Should God eliminate you? Or should God have never let you be born?

Before you counter with “well, I’m not as bad as Herod”, stop. Sin is sin is sin. Wrong is wrong is wrong.

Some applauded when a certain legislature approved abortions in the third trimester. For decades, the reality is clear. In the third trimester, a baby could be born prematurely and survive. There has been NO doubt that he or she is alive.

But now it’s okay to murder that living child…

And people applauded.

This is why I’m starting to lose a little hope.

It’s considered acceptable to take one photo and use it to ruin a teenager’s life, the family’s life, the school’s reputation…

It’s considered acceptable to call someone a racist because we don’t like the hat they are wearing.

It’s considered acceptable to murder an innocent, helpless, undeniable life.

But I still think we should be grateful that God allows us to have free will. In His amazing love and deep, deep compassion, He allows us to have the ability to be stupid. We can screw things up and the world doesn’t end.

He can then take our “wrongness” and bring good out of it.

This is why I keep reminding myself I CANNOT lose hope.

God knew the depths of my sin. He knew the depths of despair that my sin – and the sins of everyone one else – would cause. And so, God (that’s the Triune God) decided to allow silly humans to give it a shot. We could try to follow the Law (Pentateuch) perfectly. If (WHEN!) we failed, we could offer a sacrifice. And another. And another. And another…

And then, we have Jesus.

Jesus came to live the life we could not live and give the sacrifice we could not give. In so doing, he restored our relationship that was broken by sin. He reconciled us to God the Father as we were now washed whiter than snow.

We now have the Holy Spirit – present in us each and every moment of every day. We have a Comforter, and Encourager, a Guide.

I’ll be honest.

I don’t care what your hat says. I don’t care where you stand, how you smile, how you talk.

I care about you.

I want to know that you know Jesus. I want to know that you are living a life that is different. Not perfectly! Just different. Just one that is seeking to honor God with what you say and do. When you fall down (and you will), allow the Spirit to pick you back up.

So, let’s talk. Over coffee. Over the internet. Over the phone. Wherever. Whenever.

Life is precious. Let’s try to make it matter for good.

Yours in Christ,

Marty

Radio Interview: Michelle DeRusha - True You

A recent return guest on Encounter was Michelle DeRusha. Michelle's new book from Baker Books is titled "True You: Letting Go of your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created". Her gift of beautifully shaping and crafting words so that they connect with both the mind and heart is a precious gift. Click on the link below to hear from her as she weaves a gardening metaphor with stories that call us to let go so that God can reveal what He is doing. Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV www.MichelleDeRusha.com
(PS - If you are a police officer, please do not follow Marty around to write him a ticket.)

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on Friday, January 18 2019.

Radio Interview: Shauna Pilgreen - Love Where You Live

We had a wonderful Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV last week! One of our guests was Shauna Pilgreen who shared "Love Where you Live". It's a compelling challenge to "Live Sent" with your faith wherever God has you. It was very powerful to hear how she and her husband and family were called to pack up and move to plant a church in the heart of San Francisco.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9/1320 on Friday, January 118 2019.