I read recently that initial sales of Band-Aid were so bad that the product was almost canceled. But it isn't odd how sometimes we reject the things that are intended for our greatest good?

Family Discussions:

  1. In just small Band-Aid ways, how has Jesus been healing you lately?
  2. How can you be a Band-Aid to others?
  3. How can you give the healing touch of Christ to others with a smile, with a hug, with a word of encouragement?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Hey, have you ever wondered who invented the little Band-Aids we put her fingers and toes, and have you've ever wondered how many of these things have been on people's fingers and toes over the years? Well, today I'm going to tell you, but first we're going to look at Luke 13, verses 10 through 13, and it says this, "And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath and there was a woman who for 18 years had a sickness caused by a spirit, and she was bent over double and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her over, and he said to her, 'Woman, you are freed from your sickness.' And he laid his hands on her, and, immediately, she was made erect again, and she began glorifying God."

00:58 It's just one of, I guess, hundreds of miracles of healing that Jesus performed. But today I want to ask you, you know, where this thing came from? Well, believe it or not, it happened back in 1921. And the man's name was Earl Dixon. And he came up with the first Band Aid. And since that day, the population of planet earth has patched itself over a hundred billion times with that familiar product. So why is it that like 80-something years later, I'm still amazed by Dixon's invention?

01:35 Well, I tell you what as this little flesh-colored adhesive kind of stares at me from my index finger, and I don't even know really any more what it's doing here. But, but I'm reminded how tragically we take healing for granted. You know, how many of these tiny little dressings have I fastened to my children and my grandchildren's wounds throughout the years? You know, how many times have they dried their tears on my shirt and my collar and my shoulder thanking me when I should've been thinking old Earl Dixon? You know, how am I embarrassed by this bandage?

02:10 You know, I read recently that initial sales of Band-Aid were so bad that the product was almost canceled. But it isn't odd how sometimes we reject the things that are intended for our greatest good? You know what? Jesus understood such rejection, kind of like the Band-Aid. His brand of healing was sometimes severely criticized by those who should have been the most compassionate, but somehow the story will change. Men and women will reach for the Savior just as they reach for Dixon's Band-Aid. Humanity will bring their booboos to the Lord, and at last, Jesus will bind up every wound. At last, he will dry every tear, and all of heaven will say "thank you" to the great and glorious healer of all. I love Philippians chapter two at the very end when it says, "At the end, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father."

03:08 And here's my questions today. Um, you know what? He may not have taken your blindness and made you 20/20 vision. He may not have taken. you know, and put a new arm on your shoulder. He may not have taken you out of the pallet of paralysis and given you the legs to walk again as you're reading scripture, but I believe he's doing it all over the world, and I believe in the small ways, he's doing it to you today. So in just small Band-Aid ways, how has Jesus been healing you lately? And then take it home. How can you be a Band-Aid to others? How can you give the healing touch of Christ to others with a smile, with a hug, with a word of encouragement? Think of a way that you can be old Dixon and give a Band-Aid to somebody else.

I could still remember a little 10-year-old boy out there waiting by the driveway, that little circular gravel driveway in front of my childhood home. The Little 10-year-old boy, the boy was me waiting for daddy to come home.

Family Discussions:

  1. When daddy comes home, what are you going to be doing?
  2. What are you going to be watching?
  3. What are you going to be thinking about?
  4. What kind of a poster are you going to make for him?
  5. Are going to make a poster with a sad face? Are you going to make a poster with a happy face?

Episode Transcription:

00:13 I've seen signs in my life. I've seen billboards. I've seen posters, but today I want to tell you about the greatest sign I ever saw in my life. We're looking at Luke chapter 12, verse 35 and on, and it says this, "Be dressed and in readiness and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns for the wedding feast so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes in and knocks. Blessed are those slaves who the master will find on the alert when he comes because truly I say to you, he will gird himself to serve and have them recline at the table and will come up in wait on the. Whether he comes in the second watch or even in the third and finds them, so blessed is those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect."

01:17 I could still remember a little 10-year-old boy out there waiting by the driveway, that little circular gravel driveway in front of my childhood home. The Little 10-year-old boy, the boy was me waiting for daddy to come home. My dad traveled a lot. He was a wonderful man, and one time after had been gone for two or three weeks. I could not wait for my daddy to come home, and I'll still remember his old station wagon turning that corner of Thomas Street where we lived, and, man, I jumped into his arms, and I threw my arms around his neck and it was so great when daddy would come home. And then me, like my daddy, I traveled a lot too, especially in the early years when my kids were young. But you know what, man? When I would come home, man, often times the kids would put this great big sign on the front door. "Welcome home, Daddy!," and if they were awake, they'd come running up to me. They'd jump in my arms, and sometimes there'd be, you know, signs and cards all over my room. It was awesome when daddy would come home. And if they weren't awake, sometimes I'd go down to their room. It'd be like three in the morning. Sometimes I'd drive halfway through the night just to get to see my kids laying there asleep in bed. You know what? Daddy's home. It's always been a great thing. It's always been at least meant to be a great thing. And you know what? Jesus is saying in scripture, "Man, daddy's coming home. Daddy's coming home."

02:47 You know he was resurrected and went to be with the father 2000 years ago, but daddy's coming home. And if you love him, you know what? If you love him, it'll be the greatest day of your life. And my challenge for you today is this. When daddy comes home, what are you going to be doing, and if he came home this second, what are you going to be doing? What are you going to be watching? What are you going to be thinking about, and what kind of a poster are you going to make for him? Are going to make a poster with a sad face? Are you going to make a poster with a happy face? Well, I encourage you today to go make a poster and go make a poster and write it on your heart. "Daddy's home!" I can't wait for my daddy to come home to me.

 

If we had just even an inkling of the respect for our eyes, we would be the happiest people on this earth, and our families would just be just super happy and blessed everyday.

Family Discussions:

  1. Why does Jesus say the eye is important?
  2. How is your eye connected to your heart and your mind?
  3. How can you "darken" your eyes?
  4. How can you protect your eyes?
  5. What are your eyes going to be full of today?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Man, it's unbelievable isn't it when you drink a drink of purified water, one, how good it is, how it satisfies your thirst, but also have valuable it is. Man, this stuff's more valuable than diesel fuel that goes in your pickup truck. At least you pay more for it than you do. It's more valuable than you know high octane gasoline that goes into your BMW. You know what the scripture today will tell you how to have something that's a whole lot more valuable in purity than this, and it's talking about the purity of your mind and the purity of your heart. Hear what Jesus says in Luke Chapter Eleven, verses 34 through 36. It says, "The eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is clear, your whole body's full of light, but when your eye is bad, your whole body is full of darkness." He says, "Watch out that the light that is in you is not darkness." He said, "If, therefore, your whole body's full of light with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illuminated as when the lamp illuminates you with it's rays."

01:20 I think if we had just even an inkling of the respect for our eyes, we would be the happiest people on this earth, and our families would just be just super happy and blessed everyday. You know that your eye in the retina of your eye there are 10 million cells, and every single cell in your eye, according to the computer magazine, the Byte magazine, the Computer Byte magazine, it says that every thousandth of a second, every cell in your retina performs 500 nonlinear differential equations 100 times each and far exceeds the power of the entire Cray supercomputer.

02:01 That's why Jesus says, your eye is the thing that illuminates your whole body, and here's how you can take it home today. You know your eye defines your heart. What comes into your eyes defines your mind. When you look up, you fill your body with light when you see God is forgiver. You see God is grace. You see God as your loving father instead of seeing God as one who is out to get you, who's out to condemn you, who's out to, you know, to take your joy and freedom away from you.

02:49 When you look up, see the God of scripture. See the God of mercy, and then when you look out and you see people, you can either see people as people who get in your way and people who are trying to, you know, to take away your joy, or you see people who you get to love and you get to serve it. And then when you look in, you know what, you can see how pitiful you are. You can see what a failure you are, or you can look inside and you can see someone who's forgiven. You can see someone that Jesus stretched his arms out and died for.

03:38 You can see someone who as it says in scripture, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they'll be as white as wool.

03:45 Um, you know what? When I get to, when I get to baptize kids in our camp, and I get to see people walk down the beach and down to that lake, and I get to see miracles happen. I get to see people who once had at lives that were impure. As they gave their hearts to Christ, I get to see people live lives of purity, and they look up, and they see a God who loves them, and they look out and they see people who need him, and they look inside and they see people who have forgiven them. So today you got a choice. You're eyes could be full of light or your eyes can be full of darkness. What are your eyes going to be full of today?

January 28, 2019

Our Father - Luke 11:1-4

You ever seen a locker room of grown men cry? You ever seen a team walk off a football field and take a knee on the 50-yard line after, after a tough August practice and watched a team's eyes filled with tears? Well, I have. In fact, I've seen it many, many times across this nation in NFL locker rooms and college football fields where I get to share that one thing, just a two word phrase, "our Father".

Family Discussions:

  1. Those disciples had probably prayed all their lives, why do you think all of a sudden they come to Jesus asking him to teach them?
  2. Some say the Lord's prayer is a kind of a how-to pattern, but what does this mean when you practice the Lord's prayer?
  3. Why does the Lord's prayer never get old? And what is it today about the Lord's prayer that touches your heart the most?

Episode Transcription:

00:13 You know, there's something written on this stone that I'm holding today that has probably changed more lives than anything that's ever been written. It comes from Luke chapter 11, verse one through four, and it says this, "It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples to pray.' And when he had said this to them, Jesus said, 'When you pray, pray like this. Our Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us, and lead us not into temptation.'"

01:03 You ever seen a locker room of grown men cry? You ever seen a team walk off a football field and take a knee on the 50-yard line after, after a tough August practice and watched a team's eyes filled with tears? Well, I have. In fact, I've seen it many, many times across this nation in NFL locker rooms and college football fields where I get to share that one thing, just a two word phrase, "our Father". And guys on those teams realize that they've got a dad, and that they've got a dad who's in heaven, a dad who's worth saying, "hallowed be thy name," a dad who you believe his kingdom will come and his will will be done on earth as it is in heaven, a dad that will give you your daily bread each day, a dad who will forgive your trespasses, a dad who's worth reflecting that to forgive others, a dad who will lead you not into temptation, a dad who will deliver you from evil.

02:04 You know what? When guys on these college teams realize that they've got a dad like that, and when they fall tenderly and love with a dad like that, yeah, I've seen it more times than I can count. I've seen grown men cry. And you know what the most fun part of all is? It's at the end of those devotionals when so many of those men, I mean on teams that you watch play on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon and Monday night football when those guys, weeping, come up for a hug. And you know what? They don't come up and we have a little paddle in the back. I mean, they come up and those great big 300-pound guys will throw their arms around an old dude like me because I hug them like a dad. I hug them like the dad that they never had, and every time when I hug one of these fatherless players after they've received Christ in their heart, and they have realized that they too have a dad that now they've got a dad sitting in those stands cheering for the every play they play, whether they score or whether they fumble the football. As I put my cheek into their neck and I hug them with a big daddy hug, I say to them, I'll say, "You know what, Justin, I'm not your daddy, but if I was your daddy, I would be so proud to have a boy just like you. "

03:27 I've heard people converted to Christ with two words of that prayer. When they read the words "our Father," and they said, "That's all I need to know. If he's our Father, he's worthy of my life."

03:42 And so my question to you is this today: you know, those disciples had probably prayed all their lives, why do you think all of a sudden they come to Jesus asking him to teach them? And then second question is this, some say the Lord's prayer is a kind of a how-to pattern, but what does this mean when you practice the Lord's prayer, and why does the Lord's prayer never get old? And what is it today about the Lord's prayer that touches your heart the most? I think the greatest gift as far as a lifeline for the day goes that I get to have at night is I get to take Debbie-Jo's hand before we go to bed each night, and I get to pray for her. Today then take time to hold hands with the people in your family and pray together. It's the greatest time of the day.

To little Jordan, everybody was her neighbor. She came to our camp, and the kids still talk about the girl with the big smile, the girl who showed mercy on everyone, the girl who would always put the other person's needs before her needs.

Family Discussions:

  1. Why did the holy men in this passage pass up the person who was a beat up on the side of the road?
  2. What compelled the Samaritan guy to help the guy? A
  3. Can you identify a few common good Samaritan opportunities in your life?
  4. How can you take these opportunities to serve?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Not only is this story today, this parable, one of the most told parables in all of the Bible, but the story I want to tell you today will be one that probably you'll remember for a lifetime. Man, this story makes me grin. In Luke chapter 10, starting in verse 30, it says this, "Jesus replied and said, 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among the robbers, and they stripped him, and they beat him, and they went away leaving him half dead on the side of the road. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and he saw the man, and he passed him on the other side. Likewise, a Levite also when he came to the place and he saw the man, uh, on the side of the road, he passed him on the other side, but a Samaritan, by the way, in those days, a half breed as they were thought of in the land of Israel, a Samaritan who was on a journey came upon him.

01:13 And when he saw him, he felt compassion, and he came to him, and he bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, and he put him on his beast, and he brought him to the inn, and he took care of him. On the next day, he took out two denari and gave it to the keeper of the inn. And he said to him, 'Whatever more you spend on him, when I return, I'll repay you.'' Jesus said, 'Which of these do you think proved to be the neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?' And he said, 'The one who showed mercy toward him.' Jesus said, 'Go and do the same.'"

01:49 You know, when little Jordan grew up, um, you know, she didn't grow up in a perfect home. She didn't grow up with, you know, the perfect body, you know, the perfect little five six, you know, 120 pound body or whatever the perfect body is supposed to be. In fact, she didn't grow up with the perfect anything, but she grew up with a near perfect heart, and she grew up with a near perfect smile. And everywhere she went, she gave that smile. To little Jordan, everybody was her neighbor. Uh, she came to our camp, and the kids still talk about the girl with the big smile, the girl who showed mercy on everyone, the girl who would always put the other person's needs before her needs. I mean, if you needed another pillow, she'd give you hers. If you needed a blanket, you could use Jordan's. Jordan also had a pretty nice voice, and one day someone said, 'Hey, why don't you try out for this, uh, this little TV, you know, thing called American idol. And she lined up with 100,000 kids in some stadium somewhere. and she was overlooked. You know, they didn't pick her, but she thought, "You know what? I'm going to try it again." And somebody saw that perfect little heart. Somebody saw that great big, beautiful Jordan smile. And, and, and you know what? She won the hearts of America, and the next thing you knew little Jordan Sparks became the next American Idol.

03:12 And, and, and, you know what's cool about that, we're still telling the story of the Samaritan today, 2000 years later, and 2000 years from now, they'll be talking about Jordan Sparks, not because she's got the greatest voice in the world, but because she's got the greatest heart of any teenage kid I've ever met.

03:34 So my questions for you today are this, uh, you know, why did the holy men in this passage, you know, why did they pass up the person who was a beat up on the side of the road, and what compelled the Samaritan guy to help the guy. And then, man, this is the one that takes it home right now. Can you identify a few common good Samaritan opportunities in your life? And how can you take these opportunities to serve? Here's the lifeline for today. Just take five minutes of your life today to help someone who's beat up on the side of the road. They'll talk about you for a lifetime.

January 25, 2019

A Great Gift - Luke 10:25-29

Johnny was an "I'm Third" guy, and he gave that gift of unselfishness and love. He put God first. He put the other person second. He served. He cared. He gave. He gave that gift to people every day.

Family Discussions:

  1. Who's your neighbor?
  2. Who's the person that needs the gift today?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 You know in the office where you work or in your high school or college or better still in your home, have you ever wondered, "What is, what's the best gift I can give somebody? You don't have much money to give, but you want to give that person something, I mean, really something, really super significant they'll never forget. Well, I got a great one for you to give today, and the scripture reference today is Luke Chapter 10, verse 25 through 29, and it says this, "And the lawyer stood up and put him, Jesus, to a test saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' And Jesus said to him, 'What is written in the law, and how does it read to you?' And he answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' And he said to him, 'You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.' But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?'"

01:19 You know what, if you've been around our Kamp very long, you've heard it a thousand times, and every time you hear it, you're like, that is the coolest gift of all. And even if you've watched these devotionals for very long, you may have heard it from me, but at Kamp, we simply call it a gift, and the gift is called "I'm Third." And the little "I'm Third" Motto says, "Put God first. Put the other person second. Put yourself third. Uh, the gift comes from a true story about one of our Kampers who became one of our counselors. And then he became a great navy pilot. His name was Johnny Ferrier.

01:56 Johnny was an "I'm Third" guy, and he gave that gift of unselfishness and love. He put God first. He put the other person second. He served. He cared. He gave. He gave that gift to people every day. And then one day Johnny was flying his plane in a little air show. The little air show was huge. 100,000 people actually came to the national air races in Dayton, Ohio. With three other planes in this great air show, The Minute Men that Johnny flew in. And one plane went right and one left and two planes, went straight up into the sky with blue smoke coming out of the back of their planes. And there at 7,000 feet as this beautiful blue cross was being formed in the sky called the fleur de lis, as the Denver post who wrote the article about this event to be remembered said, |All of a sudden the morning of beauty turned into a morning of horror because one of the planes was in trouble.

02:49 One of the planes was out of control, and it was the plane of Johnny Ferrier. As that plane spun to the ground in tragedy, the commander commanded Johnny to bale out to bale out of the plane. All Johnny had to do is push a button and his seat would eject, and the parachute would jettison, and Johnny would float down to safety. But he said to the captain with a little blip of smoke on the control stick that he was tugging at, that he wasn't going to let this plane fly into those houses below. He wouldn't get to kill innocent people, and so he would give a blip of smoke and he'd say, "Captain, I hear you, but I'm not going to bale out. There's no way I'm going to save my life and take the lives of others." And he pulled that plane right over house and stuck in a garden behind the house in that little neighborhood below. No one was killed in the accident except of course Johnny Ferrier, and he was killed instantly.

03:40 And you know what? Johnny wasn't defined as much that day when he gave us life for that lady in that house and her little boy, but Johnny was defined everyday when he gave that gift to his wife, Tulie, and his sons, Zach and Scott, and his daughters. Because you know what? You don't have to be in a plane to give your life for somebody else. Actually, you can give your life for somebody else today as simply as the dirty dishes in the sink. Whose are they? As simply as the dirty laundry on the floor. Whose is it? As simply as the trash that's in the trash can. Whose is it? As simply as taking time when somebody's hurting in your life to sit down and say, "How can I pray for you?" You know what the gift, well the gift is called honor. The gift is called unselfishness. And you know what? It's the greatest gift of all because you can give it hundreds of times a day. God first, others second, and I'm third. Thank you Johnny Ferrier for the example. My question you today is who's your neighbor? Who's the person that needs the gift today?

Adam was a basketball player. In fact, at five nine, he could dunk the basketball. He walked on on a D1 college campus and started for two years because Adam had a big, big heart. People might've said he's the least. He's kind of an orphan in a lot of ways. But uh, but man that guy served a big, big, big God. Well, Adam gave his life to working with kids.

Family Discussions:

  1. Who in your work, your family, or your school is viewed as the least?
  2. How can you become the Adam to that person?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 And today I want to share with you what I think is the greatest story in all the history of the game of basketball, and I also want to share with you one of the greatest passages of scripture that sticks me right square in the heart, and hopefully it will be the same for you. We're in Luke 9, verse 46 through 48. This scripture is great. It says, "And an argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest, but Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by his side and said to them, 'Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For the one who is the least among you, he shall be the greatest of all.'"

01:06 My friend is only five feet nine. His name is Adam Donyes. He's one of the biggest men I've ever met. Adam, even though he didn't get to grow up with a mom and a dad and his grandparents who raised him are now in heaven, somebody taught Adam some things that I'll admired forever, and I'm sure it was God who Adam loves with his whole heart. But Adam was a basketball player. In fact, at five nine, he could dunk the basketball. He walked-on on a D1 college campus and started for two years because Adam had a big, big heart. People might've said he's the least. He's kind of an orphan in a lot of ways. But uh, but man that guy served a big, big, big God. Well, Adam gave his life to working with kids, and one day as Adam was walking down the hallway of a high school that he was doing ministry in, he saw the most overlooked kid in the school. His name was Dave. Dave was in Special Ed. You might've said that Dave was the most insignificant person in the high school, but not to Adam. And Adam talked Dave into going out for basketball, even though David was 345 pounds. He was overweight, out of shape, couldn't play basketball to save his life. But Adam began to train that boy because Adam knew that the smallest things in life can become the greatest. The more insignificant people in life can become the most significant people on earth. They just need somebody to believe in them. And Adam believed in Dave.

02:27 Dave became the homecoming king of his basketball town. I watched him the night he started for his Varsity. I watched him a night that he scored over 20 points for is JV. I watched him when he went to college, even though everybody said, "He'll never graduate. He'll never make it to college." He played in the college pep band. He was student of the month. And today? They're making a film about David and Adam. You know what?

02:54 It's the least among you who will be the greatest. It's the last in line who become the first in line. It's the one who serves, who will become the leader of all. And my discussion questions for you today are this: there's somebody where you work. There's somebody in your family. There's somebody in your school that's an Adam. And guess what? How can you become the Adam to that person, and how can you make a movie with him, or how can you make a movie with her? Guess what? You've got movies in your future. Go out and make them, and be the greatest of all.

Those little things, you know, I was just talking to a wonderful dad friend of mine who talked about just the smallest thing, how he just would write a little Bible verse on the lunch bag of his kids' lunches. And you know what? Someday those kids will tell the story about the dad who took time to do the little things.

Family Discussions:

  1. What are the little yellow stickies in your life?
  2. How can you use them to touch Jesus' garment and to help somebody touch Jesus' garment so that by your faith that relationship that your in would be healed and will become one of the greatest relationships on earth?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 This scripture today is awesome, and how you can apply this scripture today is unbelievable. You can't believe what you can do with just a yellow piece of paper with a little bitty glue on the back of it just like this. It's unbelievable what you can accomplish with the littlest things. Check this out. In Luke 8, Jesus is with a large crowd, and it says this, "But as he went, the crowds were pressing against him, and a woman who had a hemorrhage for 12 years and could not be healed by anyone came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, and, immediately," it says, "her hemorrhage stopped, and Jesus said, 'Who is the one who touched me?' And while they were all denying it, Peter said, 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing in all about you,' but Jesus said, 'Someone did touch me because I know that power has gone out of me.' When the woman saw that she had escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before him in the presence of all the people, the reason why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed."

01:21 Oh, those little things, you know, I was just talking to a wonderful dad friend of mine who talked about just the smallest thing, how he just would write a little Bible verse on the lunch bag of his kids' lunches. And you know what? Someday those kids will tell the story about the dad who took time to do the little things. Um, I watched my daddy for years write my mom love notes on little yellow stickies just like this. Day after day. Year after year. He'd just write a little note, "Hey Baby, God was sure good when he let a fox like you marry an old goat like me."

01:59 I mean he would write mom the cutest love notes. And they had the best marriage in the world. Um, I remember a 15-year-old girl named Brooke, and her daddy was struggling through life. But she set a goal that every day she was going to tell her daddy she loved him, and, every day, she was going to tape a Bible verse on his car. After six months, that man's life was changed forever.

02:22 But my favorite one of all was little Dixie Fraley. On the day that Payne Stewart's plane crashed, and Payne Stewart went crashing into his death and his eternal life to live in heaven with Jesus forever, Robert Fraley, his business partner, went down with him. I went to Orlando to see Tracey, Payne's wife, because we had become such good friends over the years with that family. But I met Dixie, and Dixie talked about Robert, and she talked about this awesome husband and the great man that he was, and she said that every night Robert would lay in bed beside her, and he would read to her from scripture or he would read to her from a Christian book they were going through every single night, and then he'd take her hand and he'd pray for her.

03:07 You know what? You may not have piles of silver and piles of gold, and you may not be Billy Graham, and you may not know scripture from one end to the other. But you know what? There's little yellow stickies all around your house, and I think the joy that you're going to have today and the rest of your life is finding the little yellow stickies because, with Christ, just the way that woman just touched the fringe of his garment; with Christ, you get his power in the smallest things and those small things can change someone's life forever. So my question for you today, and you've got to take it on, is what are the little yellow stickies in your life, and how can you use them to touch Jesus' garment and to help somebody touch Jesus' garment so that by your faith that relationship that your in would be healed and will become one of the greatest relationships on earth?

We get to cultivate the soil for those around us. You know, we get to be the ones to put fertilizer in the soil and to put water on the ground so that the seeds of the faith can grow in the people in your family. Isn't that awesome?

Family Discussions:

  1. Oftentimes the seed is planted, but God's word doesn't take fruit in our lives, why is that?
  2. What does it mean to have no firm root?
  3. What are some common worries in life that choke out God's word?
  4. What can you do today to cultivate the soil in the lives of the people in your family around you?
  5. How can this family cultivate a more fertile environment for God's word in our home?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 You know, what's so fantastic about this little book? Well there's a lot that's fantastic about this little book, but I think what's fascinating about this book is when a little piece of scripture that you've maybe read 100 times all of a sudden it just comes alive to you. I hope today that this familiar passage from Luke chapter eight comes alive to you today. In verse four we read this, "When a large crowd was coming together and those from various cities were journeying to him, he spoke by way of a parable. 'The sower went out to sow his seed,' he said, 'and as he sowed, some of the seed fell beside the road and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky soil and as soon as it grew up, it withered away because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns and the thorns grew up and choked out the growth. Other seed fell onto the good soil and it grew up and it produced a crop a 100 times as great.' He said these things, and as did, he would call out, 'He who has ears, let him hear.' See his disciples began questioning him as to what his parable meant, and he said to them, 'To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest it is by parables so that seeing they may not see and by hearing, they may not understand."

01:40 But today he wants you to understand this, and this to me is awesome. The parable to me is as much about the soil as it is about the seed, and if you're in a family like I am, and if you're there with just one or two or three or four other family members, this is what the home is all about. We as a family member, as a husband, as a wife, as a child, you know what we get to cultivate the soil for those around us. You know, we get to be the ones to put fertilizer in the soil and to put water on the ground so that the seeds of the faith can grow in the people in your family. Isn't that awesome? You know when I give the gift of encouragement to somebody in my family, you know what? I'm fertilizing the soil. When I have a thankful heart towards people in my family, you know what? I'm tilling the soil. What's true for the family, is true in the workplace that you work in. It's true in the school that you go to. You know what? When I give somebody a hug or meaningful touch, you know what? I'm tilling the soil. When I tell someone how much I appreciate them and how proud I am to be their son or their father or their husband or their wife, you know what? I'm tilling the soil.

03:06 I've got to tell you the coolest story. At one of our men's conferences, this man came in at the conference, and he was challenged to go out and cultivate the soil for somebody else. And he began to look for men that he could be a Paul to, that he could disciple, and the Lord spoke to his heart and he said, "Go out and cultivate the soil of your dad." Well his Dad, was 83 years old. He was an old World War two veteran, and he had lost his faith and the life of almost all of his friends on one of the beaches in the Pacific and one of the most awful battles of all time.

03:38 And there on that battlefield, his heart hardened, but when his son came to him and he said, "Hey Dad, I was wondering if I could have conversations with you on a regular basis about Jesus?" Well he began to study this little discipleship book, "One-to- One" and in the first study about grace, his Daddy gave his heart to Christ. And he looked at his son through tear-filled eyes and he said, "Son, I've been to church for years and years and years, but this is the first time somebodies ever cared enough to ask me one-on-one, how I was doing and about my life in Jesus Christ."

04:15 You know what? There's somebody in your home. There's somebody in your market place. There's somebody in your school that needs somebody to look them in the eye and to care about their heart for Jesus and in so doing you'll till the soil and in so doing the seed will sprout. You'll watch it grow before your eyes.

04:31 Is there any better gardening you can do in this life? Here's the question: man, oftentimes the seed is planted, but God's word doesn't take fruit in our lives, why is that? And what does it mean when it says, "It has no firm root," and then on the second part of the parable, what does it mean to have no firm root? And what are some common worries in life that choke out God's word? And the biggest question of all is what can you do today to cultivate the soil in the lives of the people in your family around you? Here's the lifeline for the day: how can this family cultivate a more fertile environment for God's word in our home?

The little miracle I saw, you may not have called it a miracle. Her name was Lorianne. Lorianne was 14 when I first met her.

Family Discussions:

  1. Are you looking for a miracle?
  2. What have you seen lately as Christ has changed the life of somebody around you that you would say, "You know what? He's a miracle worker to me. It must be Jesus. It must be the son of God."

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Have you seen a miracle lately? I mean really a miracle of God like the Red Sea parting. Well, um, you know what? I get to see miracles every day, and I'm going to tell you about one of them that I'll never forget as long as I live. Luke Chapter Seven, verse 18 through 23, uh, Luke says this, "The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. So summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord saying, 'Are you the expected one or do we look for someone else?' When the men came to Jesus, they said, 'John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, are you the expected one or do we look for someone else?' At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases and afflictions and evil spirits, and he gave sight to many who were blind, and he answered and said to them, 'Go and report to John, which you have seen and heard.

01:09 The blind receive sight. The lame walk. The lepers are cleansed. The deaf hear and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Blessed is the man who does not take offense at me.'"

01:25 The little miracle I saw, you may not have called it a miracle. Her name was Lorianne. Lorianne was 14 when I first met her. She had come to our little YoungLife club that my wife and I lead. She had a little patch over her eye. I found out after the club that Lori had cancer and the doctors had taken her eye away. Lori had prayed for a miracle going into surgery. She said, "Lord, please don't take both my eyes away because I want to continue to be able to read the Word of God."

01:51 Well, the next couple of years that little girl became very close to the Savior. She received Christ into her heart, and her faith was miraculous. It changed the lives of many, including five doctors who began to care for her. And as the cancer took over her face the last week of her life, those five brilliant doctors and MD Anderson Clinic in Houston, Texas, uh, sat down with Laurianne, and they said, "Lorianne, we've done everything we can. The medicine's not working. We need you to know that your life is just about to end."

02:23 And with one beautiful blue eye, Lorianne looked at those doctors, and she said, "Don't worry. Don't fear because I'm not going to die when my medicine runs out." She said, "I'm going to die when my Jesus takes me home."

02:36 The last moment of her life, Lori prayed for a miracle. She called her mom down to her little whispering voice, and she said, "Mom, someday I want you to know Jesus the way I do."

02:49 Two years later, through tears in her eyes, her mom gave me a call, and she said, "Joe," she said, "The last thing Lori said was, 'Mom, I want you to know Jesus the way I do,'" and she said, "You know what? Now I can say through her life that I do,."

03:02 Can I count the number of people that came to Christ because of Lorianne? No way, but this old man, after 20 years since that little girl went to heaven is not forgetting the miracle of the life of Lorianne. And all over this country, night after night, I get to take that miracle to colleges around the country, and I see thousands of miracles happen at the cross. My favorite was the other night at Virginia Tech when one of the students wrote me a note and she said, "I've been an atheist my whole life, but God told me" she wrote "to come to this conference. And tonight, I saw Jesus. I gave my life to him."

03:44 It's the greatest miracle of all, and my questions for you today are this: Are you looking for a miracle? What have you seen lately as Christ has changed the life of somebody around you that you would say, "You know what? He's a miracle worker to me. It must be Jesus. It must be the son of God."

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