"One of the many reasons I just admire my wife and every cell in her body is the witness that she has to her family. Her family were not believers but one by one because of the life of that girl that grew up in a home that just didn't know God."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why was it the most difficult for Jesus to be effective right there in his own hometown?
  2. Why is it the most difficult for you to be a true witness for Christ in your home?
  3. How can your family support you and how can you support your family as you try to be an effective witness in your home?

Transcription:

00:13          You know, the reason I love this book so much is because it's Word of God obviously. And because the new Testament of course is a whole lot about Jesus. In fact, it's all about Jesus. And the Old Testament points toward the coming of Jesus. And the New Testament, points back at the life of Jesus. But he was just so incredibly wise. And the things that he says, man, they hit you right in the heart. This is this a great statement to anybody who is in any member of a family. This is about being a Christian at home. We're in Mark chapter six and we're in verse one and it says this. "Jesus went out from there and came in to his hometown and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, it goes on. He began to teach in the synagogue there in his hometown. And many listeners were astonished saying, where did this man get his wisdom? It's been given to him. And the miracles performed by his hands. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters with him here with us? And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, a prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household."
 
01:32          Hey, it's easy to be a witness out there, he's saying. But what about in your home? Man, I opened my heart and let Jesus come in when I was 17. I was a high school kid. My world was football. There were a lot of inconsistencies in my life. And you know what my greatest desire was to witness to my brother. My big brother, Bill, has always been my hero. But I wanted to share Christ with him. He wasn't a believer. He might've believed here, but didn't believe here. I don't think any of us knew that you could open your heart, let Jesus literally come into your heart. But I just did the best I could to be a friend to Bill. And you know what? I will never forget the night, probably five years later that I got to pray with bill and I saw my brother except Christ into his heart. It was definitely one of the greatest years of my life. You know, home may be the most difficult place in the world to witness, but it is always, and it will always be the best place on earth to let your light shine for God.
 
02:49          One of the many reasons I just admire my wife and every cell in her body is the witness that she has to her family. Her family were not believers but one by one because of the life of that girl that grew up in a home that just didn't know God. With a home without a dad. It was just a mess in a lot of ways. But Debbie Jo was a witness and she still remains a witness and we see her family members, like several of those folks in her family come to Christ. And live completely different lives. So, it happens everywhere and I know it can happen in your home.
 
03:28          So let me ask you these questions. Why was it the most difficult for Jesus to be effective right there in his own hometown? That was Jesus. And then secondly, why is it the most difficult for you to be a true witness for Christ in your home? And then thirdly, how can your family support you and how can you support your family as you try to be an effective witness in your home? And here's the thought for the day. You know, a family that is quick to forgive, a family that is quick to forgive and slow to judge is the home where witnessing is easy.

"I have a little friend, her name is Jenna and she's a hero. This precious girl for decades has suffered from deteriorating sinuses. She has probably not had a healthy day in her life for 20 years. In fact, on a regular basis maybe annually they have to come in and peel her skin down off her face and go into her sinuses and do work on her sinus cavities. And then to make matters worse, she has a horrible two year battle with hepatitis. And then she had a terrible personal, but terrible tragedy happened in her life. It was so hideous and so wrong. But every time I talked to Jenna, she's filled with joy."

Family Discussions:

  1. Can you recall a recent storm in your life and how do you normally act to the wind and the waves?
  2. Call attention to a fellow family member or to a friend who was faithful to God in a recent stormy period and compliment that family member or that friend for how they handled it.
  3. Why is faith in the storm so important for us to live and to learn?

Transcription:

00:13          Hey, this is an awesome devotional today from an awesome passage in scripture. This is just fantastic. This is a day when Jesus took his 12 followers, his disciples, on a little boat ride that they'll never ever forget. And as my friend and my mentor, Dr. Howard Hendrick says, "it's one thing to have the boat in the water, but it's something else to have water in the boat.' This was the day the boat was filled with water. We're looking at Mark chapter four verse 35. On the memorable date. He said, "when evening came, Jesus said to them, his disciples let us go over to the other side of the lake. So leaving the crowd, they took him along with them in the boat just as he was, and other boats were with him. And there arose a fierce Gale of wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus himself was in the stern asleep on the cushion, and they woke him and said to him, teacher, do you not care that we're perishing? And he got up and he did something amazing. He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, hush, be still. And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And Jesus said to them, why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
 
01:37          You know, I have a little friend, her name is Jenna and she's a hero. This precious girl for decades has suffered from deteriorating sinuses. She has probably not had a healthy day in her life for 20 years. In fact, on a regular basis maybe annually they have to come in and peel her skin down off her face and go into her sinuses and do work on her sinus cavities. And then to make matters worse, she has a horrible two year battle with hepatitis. And then she had a terrible personal, but terrible tragedy happened in her life. It was so hideous and so wrong. But every time I talked to Jenna, she's filled with joy. She's filled with peace. She's filled with happiness. I mean, what a blessing that girl is. And she's gone through more pain and more suffering than I think almost anybody that I know.
 
02:34          And so I called Jenna, said, Jenna, you know, how can you stay? How does your faith stay so strong? Why aren't you complaining? And she said this to me. She said, I have reckon my life is a fight. I can either fight God or I can fight to make good out of it. She said, I have chosen the latter. I consider the pain I face very small in comparison to the great things God is doing with my life. She says, my emotions make me mad or sad or depressed, but I've got to override my emotions and stop and think what is true. The truth is that my life is his and he is a faithful father no matter what. And I can always say every day, I love God. You know what? Jenna had one step up on the disciples the day they stepped into the boat with Jesus. You know, storms don't destroy a Christian's faith. They test it. They strengthen it. Thank you Jenna, for passing the test and showing us that no matter how big the storm is, that we find ourselves in, Jesus is always in the boat.
 
03:49          And here's the questions for today. Can you recall a recent storm in your life and how do you normally act to the wind and the waves? And the second question is this. Everyone, if you're in a family right now or your business location, wherever you are, call attention to a fellow family member or to a friend. If you're studying this together, a friend who was faithful to God in a recent stormy period and compliment that family member or that friend for how they handled it. And then here's the third one. Why is faith in the storm so important for us to live and to learn? And the thought for today is this. The family, the home is the place that if it's done, like Jenna, can calm the mini storms on this earth.

"I met an interesting guy one time named Larry and Larry is a helicopter mechanic for the Ohio state highway patrol. You know, Larry's been a Christian for many years and he has walked with God with a peace in his heart that only a true Christian understands. The helicopter pilot that Larry serves is a pretty high breasts highway patrolman that spiritually is paralyzed."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why does so relatively few friends bring their friends to Jesus?
  2. Who's the Larry in your life that needs to know Jesus today?
  3. How can you lower your friends through the roof to see Jesus?

Transcription:

00:13          This morning we're in one of my favorite passages of scripture. I love watching friends who bring friends to Christ. This is one of the great accounts of what real friends do for their friends. Chapter two verses two through five. Look at Mark and here it says, "and many were gathered together so that there was no longer any room, not even near the door. And he was speaking the word to them and they came bringing to him a paralytic." If you can picture this scene carried by four men "being unable to get in because of the crowd. They removed the roof above him and when they had dug an opening in the roof, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying and Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, son, your sins are forgiven. I say to you, pick up your pallet and go home."
 
01:07          You know, I met an interesting guy one time named Larry and Larry is a helicopter mechanic for the Ohio state highway patrol. You know, Larry's been a Christian for many years and he has walked with God with a peace in his heart that only a true Christian understands. The helicopter pilot that Larry serves is a pretty high breasts highway patrolman that spiritually is paralyzed. That is until Larry came along and the highway patrolman did not know Jesus Christ in the least, but Larry prayed for him and he invited him to church for over a year. But a last to Larry's dismay, the highway patrolman was elusive and rebuffed the mechanic over and over again. Finally, one day, Larry invited the officer to an event that I was speaking at in Three Rivers Stadium. There were 55,000 men in Three Rivers Stadium in the old Pittsburgh Steelers day when they played at Three Rivers.
 
02:02          But during the event that day, the highway patrolman actually gave his heart to Christ along with thousands of other men. It was a crazy, amazing day in Pittsburgh. But you know what? That day, that highway patrol name has never been the same. His spiritual paralysis is gone. His sins are forgiven and he is a happy man today. So watch out! If you're driving down the road and you hear a helicopter overhead, it might be Larry and he probably will still give you a ticket. But you know what? Across America and around the world, friends are still bringing their paralyzed friends to Jesus. The same way those guys in Capernaum brought their friend, dug a hole in the roof and lowered their friend so that Jesus could heal that man and forgive his sins. You know what? Jesus is visiting your town today. Who do you know that needs a ride to see him?
 
02:59          And here's some questions for you today after this great passage. Friends, take friends to the movies. We know that. Friends take friends to sporting events. Why does so relatively few friends bring their friends to Jesus? And the second question is this. Who do you know? Who's the Larry in your life that needs to know Jesus today? Third question is this, over the next year, how can you lower your friends through the roof to see Jesus? And here's a thought for the day. When a family member is hurting, let him see or let her see Jesus in you.

"My first girlfriend left me for my best junior high guy friend. You know, that was puppy love, but the puppy sure thought it was love. It also was a pain in my gut. I'll never forget that day. A whole lot more painful than that was when my first wife, my college bride, left me from my best friend. She had fallen in love with him."

Family Discussions:

  1. How do trials build character when God is in charge?
  2. What has been the greatest time of brokenness for you?
  3. What are you going through now and how has God building character in you through that experience of pain?
  4. Describe how he gave you hope and how he gave you hope through the pain.

Transcription:

00:14          Today's Bible study is a painful for me to give, but it's a good one and we all need it. It's in Romans chapter five verses three through five and it says this, "And not only this, but we also exalt in our tribulations knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance brings about proven character and proven character hope. And hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts, through the Holy spirit who was given to us." Pain and promise.
 
00:48          You know what? My first girlfriend left me for my best junior high guy friend. You know, that was puppy love, but the puppy sure thought it was love. It also was a pain in my gut. I'll never forget that day. A whole lot more painful than that was when my first wife, my college bride, left me from my best friend. She had fallen in love with him. And you know what? That was true love back then and it was a pain in my heart that lasted for months. I felt months. I felt like I was going to die. It almost killed me. You know what my first wife was and is a wonderful person. As was my friend. They became infatuated with. You know what? There's no doubt that initiating divorce is wrong. It's wrong. It's wrong. But I've never blamed her. And I've never been bitter. I'm sure if I would've been the man that she needed, that would've never happened. I just bet. But I just cried my eyes out for months.
 
01:46          But in that valley, I fell completely in love with God. From that valley, you know, I've given my, today's. I'll give him my tomorrows. Because somewhere in that valley, God accepted my broken heart. And not only did he heal it but somehow in his miraculous care, he brought Debbie Jo to me. She's the greatest woman alive. And she's the mom of my four kids. And I've been married to her for almost four decades. But she has given me love and more importantly, God has given me a passion. Down in that passion, I mean that Valley of pain, God's given me a passion for people who like me, find themselves at the bottom of the Canyon with no apparent way to get out. You know what, man? I have learned a lot in my brokenness before God and I'm sure that there's more ahead, but God is at his best when we are at our worst. He'll never be closer than the day you fall on your face.
 
02:56          You know what? Pain gives us a choice. When we run to God, we get better. When we run to ourselves, we get bitter. Pain is like a golf tee to me. It could cause you to be teed up or teed off. It either makes me mad and useless or it makes my ball go a whole lot further off the tee. You see, God has this spirit who is never more ready to fill our hearts than when we're not down. And the Holy Spirit's great skill is to give us bravery, to get us out of the Canyon and to give us more deep, solid character and to give us great hope. Pain is the greatest teacher of all.
 
03:37          And here's the questions for today. How do trials build character when God is in charge? And then secondly, what has been the greatest time of brokenness for you? Or maybe what are you going through now and how has God building character in you through that experience of pain? And then the last question. Describe how he gave you hope and how he gave you hope through the pain. You know what? This is not heaven down here. Pain happens here, but how can you prepare yourself for the, during trials that lay ahead. And here's the lifeline for today. Bitter or better. It's your choice when the cruel ball of failure is hit into your court.
 

"Counselors that'll meet each other at Kamp and then they'll marry each other. But one of my favorites of all of our marriages is this couple that are married. They're raising kids together. But three years ago, they were ready to kill each other." 

Family Discussion:

  1. Who is it in your life that you need to love like that?
  2. Who is it that that may be the hardest to love, but that you need to watch God do a big miracle as you begin to love that person like Jesus would?

Transcription:

00:13          You know, here at Kanakuk at the sports Kamps and Kids Across America, I get to see some of the greatest relationships. Counselors that'll meet each other at Kamp and then they'll marry each other. But one of my favorites of all of our marriages is this couple that are married. They're raising kids together. But three years ago, they were ready to kill each other. I mean, three years ago, there was so much strife in their marriage. I mean they had already thrown in the towel, but then they went to counseling and God showed up as they begin to replace the insults with kindness and they replaced the anger with forgiveness. And now they're walking hand in hand and loving each other socks off. Listen to what first Peter Three, eight and nine said, if you've got a dad in your life or a brother or an employer, employee or spouse and you just, you know, you feel like they're just ridiculing you or they're like your enemy.
 
01:09          This should it encourage you? It sure does. Me Listen to what first Peter says, chapter three, verse eight and nine. "To sum it up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, humble in spirit, not returning, not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead. For you were called for this very purpose that you might inherit a blessing." One of my favorite things in sports, you know, as I get to share with teams around the country and college and pros is after the game. You know, before the game, they're getting fired up to smash each other. And during the game they're doing that. They're trying to take each other out. But after the game, the Christian guys will get together and they'll get in circles. It happens all over the league and in NFL. The cameras don't show it.
 
02:03          You know, the TV producers, they're uncomfortable with prayer for some strange reason, but these teams, after they play each other, the Christian guys, and sometimes you'll see 20 or 30, 40 players out on the field. As Christian brothers holding hands and praying together after the game because that's what scripture says to do. It says to love your enemies, to pray for those who persecute you. I used to admire my dad so much, but one of the most admirable things about him was the way he forgave my brother. He was going through some awful times as a teenager. And he ran away. And my daddy was so mad when he left home, but when he came back, I remember he walked in my house and he had this big, beautiful smile on his face. And the first thing my daddy said to him, even though he had been, you know, evil or battered, you know, when he left. But the first thing my daddy said to him, he said, I wouldn't, I wouldn't trade $1 million for that smile. And when my daddy died, my brother was sitting at his grave and he said, my daddy was my best friend.
 
03:08          So my question for you today is this. Who is it in your life that you need to love like that? Who is it that that may be the hardest to love, but that you need to watch God do a big miracle as you begin to love that person like Jesus would? Go, hug somebody today.

"I learned so much from my daddy. The encyclopedia couldn't contain everything I'll learn from that man. And you know what? 99% of what I learned from him is what he did. Like most kids, I didn't appreciate it all. I didn't appreciate nearly enough that I learned from him until I had my own kids."

Family Discussions:

  1. How do we tend to push aside the less fortunate in our lives?
  2. Why is it a sin to show partiality?
  3. What is our responsibility as representatives of Christ toward the less fortunate?
  4. What are ways that we can show our love and care for the less fortunate around us every day? 

Transcription:

00:13 I will never look at a sweet roll and a cup of coffee the same way again. When I see a sweet roll and a cup of coffee, I see a man that I can't wait to tell you about today. We're in James Chapter two verse one. Listen to this. James says, "my brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with the gold ring and dressed in fine clothes. And there also comes a man who's poor and he's in dirty clothes and you pay special attention to the one in nice clothes saying you sit here at a good place and you say to the poor man, you stand over there. Have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil motives."

00:57 I learned so much from my daddy. The encyclopedia couldn't contain everything I'll learn from that man. And you know what? 99% of what I learned from him is what he did. Like most kids, I didn't appreciate it all. I didn't appreciate nearly enough that I learned from him until I had my own kids. Now wish I had listened more. You know what that men, he's been in heaven for probably five years now, but he's still my hero. I'm still learning from him. My Daddy never told me to love the underdog or to love the less fortunate, but I will never forget watching my daddy meet the men who came to our backdoor to clip the garbage twice a week. Every single time humbly with a cup of hot coffee in a sweet roll for each dear man with a huge smile on his face and with words of encouragement. Sometimes my daddy would come home from work without his coat or without shoes or money because he'd met a janitor, someone less fortunate who needed what he had. In church or at a social gathering, he automatically would find his way to the lowest man on the totem pole.

02:07 And you know what, those humble, poor people are always my daddy's best friends. Funny thing about it all, my daddy was the happiest man I knew. The discussion questions today are this: How do we tend to push aside the less fortunate in our lives? And secondly, why is it a sin to show partiality? And the third discussion question is this, what is our responsibility as representatives of Christ toward the less fortunate? And specifically what are ways that we can show our love and care for the less fortunate around us every day? And the thought for the day is this. Can each of us name someone less fortunate that we come into contact with? And can we show that person Christ's love? Hey, how about a sweet roll and a cup of hot coffee for somebody.

"I got to coach football at Texas A and M. One of my heroes, Gene Stallings. I ask him one time, I said, coach, when he was with the cowboys, he said, coach, what is the best football season of your life? He said, well, it had to be the cowboys in 1975. And looking back that far back over his shoulder, I said, coach, what was so special about that team?"

Family Discussion:

  1. What is it about encouragement that enhances our lives?
  2. How does encouragement, especially to somebody in your family, show that person or family to face of Jesus and how can encourage them literally transform this home that you're in today?

Transcription:

00:13 Hey if you ever been amazed as I have every day by the power of a hug, the power of a sincere handshake by the power of a little birthday card or just a little love note dropped in a lunchbox before one of our children goes off to school. This verse, if I have a favorite, this is certainly one of them. It's Hebrews chapter three, verse 13 and 14. I think it's the most powerful verse on Relationship Building in a business, in a family, in a home, that I've ever seen. Hebrews three, 13 and 14, and it says this, "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called today so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance and hold it firm unto the end." You know, I got to coach football.

01:12 at Texas A and M. As I've probably shared before and one of my heroes, Gene Stallings was telling me after all of his years in coaching of coaching the National Championship, Alabama Crimson Tides. Coaching the Dallas cowboys, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Texas Aggies. I ask him one time, I said, coach, when he was with the cowboys, he said, coach, what is the best football season of your life? He said, well, it had to be the cowboys in 1975. And looking back that far back over his shoulder, I said, coach, what was so special about that team? He said, well, 12 rookies made the team and, and we took them to the playoffs. And I said, how'd you do it? And he said, "our goal that year was to encourage every player socks off. Our goal that year was to make every player feel good about themselves."

01:59 And you know, what, if it works with 300 pound defensive tackles, how much more will it work with 12 year old boys going through the pains of junior high? You know if it works with guys who get bored by counting money by the thousands of dollars, how much more with a mom who works her heart out all day, every day as a household executive or a dad, who pours it out at the office all day long, or a mom sometimes who are having to do both to bring home the Bacon and keep the bank account from going barren. How much more to a daughter who's going through the pains of adolescents? Man, y'all encouragement puts you on your tippy toes. Encouragement makes you smile. Encouragement is the powerful wrench that pulls you out of the quicksand of the doldrums of depression or the stages of perceived insignificance. "That a boy! I'm proud of you, son! Way to go, dad! Super job, Young Lady! Wow, that was amazing! You're awesome! I love you! You make me so happy when you're around. I'm so lucky to have someone like you in my life. Hey, hold that pose for a minute while I called sports illustrated to take a picture of that.

03:16 There's a million ways to encourage somebody. You can write it, you can say it or you can just smile it. It's the greatest gift you can give. Let me ask you this. What is it about encouragement that enhances our lives? And how does encouragement, especially to somebody in your family, show that person or family to face of Jesus and how can encourage them literally transform this home that you're in today?

"A father with a lot of kids, that's who God is."

Family Discussion:

  • How does this Bible verse motivate you to tell others about Jesus Christ?
  • How does this passage of scripture changed your perspective about God's heart?
  • Where would you and I be if God wasn't so generous with his invitation to come to him and be in his family?

Transcription:

00:06 Today I want to tell you about the biggest basketball player that ever came to our sports camps and the biggest family that I've ever heard of, and they were one in the same. But first I want to read from First Timothy Chapter Two verses three through six. This verse is awesome and it shows you the heart of God. Check this out. In verse three it says this: "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." And then verse five says this: "There is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time."

00:58 We called him Tomahawk Tom Hun. He was six feet 11 inches tall when he played basketball for Kansas State. He was a counselor at our sports camp here and he had a tremendous love for kids. His huge Kansas smile and his warm gentle ways, gave him personality that was more contagious than the chicken box. Everybody at Camp loved this guy. Crazy as it sounds, there was one more thing that was more remarkable about Tom than his size. He had 22 brothers and sisters. That's right. There were 23 kids in his family. That's one less than two dozen. One more than a complete offense and a complete defense in football combined. Four basketball teams plus three managers. Tom said as many as 20 of he and his siblings lived in the home at one time. He said they would sleep four to a bed. That was the rule in their small Kansas farmhouse, but this 23-some would wake up early every day, do the farm chores and then they, they would pile on their own school bus and they would whisk off to school. Man, I love big families and some of the best families I know are big families. But what's cool about God is that God wants a big family too. He wants a big family so bad that he sent his son to the earth to pass out adoption papers and to pass out invitations. Look man, he wants you in that family and he wants the girl who sits next to you in geometry class and he wants to the kid who plays third clarinet in your band, and he wants the biggest defensive end on your football team. In fact, he wants the whole school. He wants the guy who's sitting next to you in the cubicle, in your business office. He wants the woman who you work with in the marketplace that you work in. He wants a big, gigantic family. In fact, he desires that all men and women are in that family, and all they've got to do is to hear the call, to lay down their pride and to receive Christ as their personal lord and Savior. A father with a lot of kids, that's who God is. A father with a lot of kids. He won't be satisfied till he gets them all, and you and I get to be the messenger of that invitation.

03:27 Here's the questions for today. How does this Bible verse motivate you to tell others about Jesus Christ? And then secondly: How does this passage of scripture changed your perspective about God's heart? Where would you and I be if God wasn't so generous with his invitation to come to him and be in his family? And then here's the lifeline. Oh, remember this verse. God is patient and slow to anger, not wanting any to perish, but for all to be saved and to come to repentance.

"Seasoned with salt, speak always with grace."

Family Discussion:

  • Why do so many Christians dread witnessing? Do you think it's possible that you go about it in the wrong way?
  • What are some ways that we can salt a conversation spiritually?
  • How can you entertain thoughts that are "salty" with that person?

Transcription:

00:04 Man, I love to cook. I really love cooking when I'm out there on the grill. But the most important part and the most fun part is marinating and preparing, especially when I'm cooking wild game on the grill and salting it up and peppering it up. Paul's got a lot to say about salt, and I'll tell you why in a minute. In Colossians 4:5-6, if there's somebody in your life that you've got a problem with or if there's somebody you'd love to see change, check this out. He says: "conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders, always making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt so that you'll know how to respond to each person." And you've probably heard this before, but in that little verse in Matthew Chapter 5, it says: "You're the salt. You're the salt of the world, you're the light of the world." And I think the reason scripture uses salt a lot because salt makes it tasty and also salt makes you thirsty. Let your speech be with salt. What's he talking about? Seasoned with salt, speech always with grace.

01:24 It was just a week ago, I got a phone call from a neighbor and that neighbor was so mad, just mad about my dog and was just threatening to take the dog off so that I'd never see the dog again. I kind of got a little bit hurt, especially when you know how cool my dog is. So what we did was we just cooked a Turkey and got a pumpkin pie and a couple of dozen cookies and took them over there and just left them on his front porch and we didn't even sign it. Well, I called him a couple of days later. My dog had gotten away again and we had one of the greatest, most friendly conversations in the world. He knew who brought him that turkey. He knew, he brought him that pie without even saying anything, and salted our friendship. We're going to be friends for life. And he was, he was cool about my dog. It's amazing when you season your speech with salt.

02:18 I like to play golf and there's this golf pro, and he had nothing in his background about Christ. But I started praying for the guy. For three years, I started just seasoning it with salt and just loving on the guy and just finding ways behind his back just to kind of serve him and to befriend him. And then one day I went to him and here's the greatest salts you can use on somebody who needs to know Christ. I just went to him and said, "how can I begin to pray for you?" And you know what, he gave me some things to pray for. Later, he wanted to get married and so he wanted me to do the wedding. And I actually, in the counseling before the wedding, I got to lead not only him to Christ, but I got to lead his wife back into a relationship with Christ.

03:02 My daddy would literally almost every morning would write little love notes to my mom on a little yellow sticky pad and he would place them on the kitchen counter where when she would go out to work and she'd have her first cup of coffee, that little love note from my dad who had already left, would be on the counter for her. I mean, no wonder they stayed married 66 years. No wonder I'm getting to disciple, this golf pro now. No wonder this neighbor over here and I are going to become friends. Let your speech be with salt. Who in your life are you having problems with? You know, what kind of conflicts are you having or is there somebody in your life that you'd love to see change? Is there somebody in your life that you would love it if they could come to know Christ? And they may even be an agnostic. They may be even picking on you because of your faith. Well, you think of ways to put the salts shaker on them, and watch God change that relationship.

04:04 Here's some questions for today. Why do so many Christians dread witnessing? Do you think it's possible that you go about it in the wrong way? What are some ways that we can salt a conversation spiritually, and even in entertainment stuff, what a great opportunity to witness. Oh, you know, what are some kind of conversational opportunities you can have in witnessing entertainment, sports talk, politics, economics, hobbies instead of seasoning with crashing our opinions. How can you entertain and entertain thoughts that are salty with that person? And here's the thought for the day. If a friend asks you to go to some R-rated slash-em-up nudity movie, write a little paragraph that you would share with that friend and, and how you might, witness to him your faith in Christ, even over something as difficult as that, and then discuss it with someone in your home and watch what happens with you in that frame in that relationship.

"Forgiveness is God's greatest gift to you."

Family Discussion:

  • Why does God demand that we forgive others, just as he forgives us?
  • If there's any speck of bitterness hidden in your heart, what do you need to do to deal with that bitterness today?

Transcription:

00:06 You ever wake up in the morning with a great big suitcase, tied to your back that's full of barbells and you just can't seem to get through your day? Man, I've got a Bible verse for you today that I think is going to help immensely and helping get the backpack off your back. You'll feel just as free as the spring wind when you get the backpack off your back. Listen to this. Second Corinthians chapter 2, verse 9-10. It says this, "the reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven, if there was anything to forgive, I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake."

01:03 I'll never forget the chairlift ride in Park Cities, Utah with a counselor from our summer camp. Her name was Emily. She was a beautiful, bright eyed athlete from West Virginia. But beneath those beautiful bright eyes and that beautiful smile that just made the Utah Rocky mountains glow like a sunrise, was this heart of bitterness, this heart of just hatred and anger. And, but I'm so glad it was a long chairlift because something happened on that chairlift that I'm sure will change Emily's life forever. You see, Emily's mom had taken off with the choir leader from the school and it left Emily and her dad broken and in shambles. Emily was so bitter at her mom and the backpack she carried on her back was heavy because bitterness is probably the greatest burden that anybody can ever carry in their life. But, somewhere on that chairlift, Emily forgave her mom. And you know what, when she went skiing off that chairlift and I went snowboarding with my kids in the other direction, that little girl was finally free; free of a backpack of weights that she'd been carrying for years.

02:23 I remember another young man who came to our campus, his name was JD, and he was so bitter. He was so mad. His mom had died of cancer and he was bitter at God. He was doing just all kinds of drugs. But, somewhere during the term of that camp, he and I became friends and JD forgave. JD cleaned his backpack. JD looked at the God that he was mad and bitter at, and he saw the love of God who had come to this earth to die for his mom so his mom could go to heaven. You know, today JD is the most happily married man you've ever seen your life. He's actually living in the slums of Cairo, Egypt, intentionally giving his life to lead people in the Muslim world to Christ.

03:15 Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give, not just to somebody that you're bitter at, but it's the greatest gift you can give to yourself. Here's the questions for today. You know, Emily's sparkling eyes and contagious smile was the result of an unbridled, bitter-free heart. Why was her trip up the mountain, forgiveness, the most important trip up the mountain in her life? And then, here's a great question. Why does God demand that we forgive others, just as he forgives us? And then, men, get honest with this question. If there's any speck of bitterness hidden in your heart, what do you need to do to deal with that bitterness today? And the thought for the day is this. Forgiveness is God's greatest gift to you and it's your greatest gift to him and your greatest gift to your family.

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