Thursday, October 5, 2017

Not only radio

While Reach Beyond is known for its legacy in Christian radio as the "voice" of Jesus.  We are also the "hands" of Jesus through our medical care.

I was encouraged to read about our summer medical internship in Ghana.  They went into the villages of this West African nation.

This small team saw 1,839 patients. treated 333 cases of malaria and 192 patients received a decent supply of blood pressure medications. Pain medications were given to hundreds, and reading glasses enabled reading and working for dozens.

Many villagers in the bush practice mystical spiritualties and witchcraft. One of the men the team treated had been a fetish priest—a very powerful member of the village known to cast spells and act as a witch doctor.

Through Reach Beyond's local partner (Theovision) in his village, this man heard the Bible in his own language and found Christ.

In another village, a man returned as a patient for a second time that week.  Instead of feeling better from Monday’s treatment, his breathing and heart rate got worse.

With more investigation, our doctors concluded he couldn’t remain at our clinic but had to be rushed to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, a Theovision staff person had the opportunity to share the gospel with the man.  He entered God’s kingdom that day.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership with us as we bring this message of salvation and eternal life to millions through media and healthcare.

Next month, Noonie and I will be in the same country, Ghana, where our medical interns were.  We will be doing radio training with many African broadcasters, in partnership with Moody Radio and Theovision.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

I'm not a good blogger

In the past couple years, I've realized a glaring fact:  I'm not a good blogger.  It's been MONTHS since I last posted.  Not because I've had nothing to share, but because I ... I ... I guess I'm just a little lazy.

In any case, I'm going to get charged up and begin posting again on a regular basis.  I've seen God do so much in recent months.  In my last post, I told you about the International Day for the Unreached.  It came and went on June 4, and over 20,000 people have viewed the special online broadcast we did-- on multiple platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

If you haven't seen it, the link is below.  David Platt gave a powerful, personal message that charged up my heart for the unreached.

I've also completed a project on the personal front.  On August 3, I published my book, The Athletic Scholarship Playbook.  After 15-plus years of helping families pursue an athletic scholarship, the book was born.

Spread the word to families you think might benefit from the book.  It's available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.  I'm working on the audio book, too.

Friday, May 12, 2017

70,000 people a day

Does it break your heart that 70,000 people a day die without Jesus? 

There are 2.5 billion people who have never heard the gospel. 

It's hard to get our heads around these figures.  But they are true.

There has been a growing movement in the past two years to bring these truths to the North American church.

It's called the International Day for the Unreached, and it's coming up on Pentecost Sunday, June 4.

David Platt, author of Radical, has had a profound impact on my
life.  His book awakened me to the crisis of billions never hearing
the Gospel.  In fact, that's the reason I'm serving with Reach Beyond.
He is the keynote speaker for a Facebook Live event we are planning
for June 4 on the International Day for the Unreached.

I remember walking home from the mailbox about 3 years ago, when God put in my mind, "There should be a day for the unreached."

Since then, the Lord has brought to Reach Beyond many Christian leaders who are coming together as the Alliance for the Unreached.  These leaders have brought their missions agencies with them, and this year we hope to see the church ignited and united for this cause.

What can you do?

First, visit the Day for the Unreached website and download the Great Commission Action Guide.  And use the social media tools to tell others about this cause.

Second, join the 30-day prayer movement and pray each day for a specific people group that is unreached or unengaged.  You can access that on the website, too.

Thanks for getting involved.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fill My Cup

Yesterday, we released a special episode of the Reach Beyond Podcast, featuring an interview I did with former American Idol Phil Stacey.  He's been touring this year in concert on behalf of Reach Beyond.

This was the topic:  Water.  (World Water Day is in just a few days).

Did you know...
  • Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week

  • More people in Africa have access to cell phones than to clean water; and over half of the continent does not have proper access to clean drinking water. 

  • Every 20 seconds a child dies from water-related illnesses.
Phil had just returned from Ghana, West Africa on a trip with Reach Beyond, visiting some of the same villages and radio stations I visited last year.  

Like I was, he was moved by one village situation where a bug-infested swamp (see the pic at top of this post) once provided the villages drinking water.  A couple years ago, Reach Beyond built a clean-water well.  Now the water-borne disease is wiped out.

Listen to Phil's experience in Africa on the podcast.

I'm also excited to announce an effort we've launched called Fill My Cup.  We want to build a clean water well in West Africa.  Our Advancement team has taken on the project to raise $12,000 to install a well that will provide a village with clean water for life.

Find out more and please help us reach the goal by April 30.

Friday, January 27, 2017

We're loving 2017 so far

When Noonie and I turned the calendar page into 2017, it was indeed like starting a new season.  Behind us, the cancer treatments of 2016-- chemo, surgery, radiation and all the side effects. 

As I write this, Noonie's strength has returned and she is doing so well.  She even swims a mile a couple times a week.  It has been a great joy to see her improvement.  Thank you for your prayers.

We marvel at God's goodness.  His healing.  His grace to time the end of chemo and radiation to coincide with the calendar year.  There's something special about that.

Thanks to a recent message from our pastor, God has repeatedly laid this on my heart for this year:

Wait on the Lord.  And that means obey, relax and expect.  
"But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength."  Is. 40:31

Obey, relax and expect.  That runs through my mind often.

January is almost behind us.  Can you believe it?  I want to encourage you with a podcast episode I recorded with Reach Beyond President Steve Harling:

What Will It Take in 2017?

Thanks for listening and share it with others as you seek God for his direction this year.

Life is full of surprises.  You never know
what's ahead.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Around the World

Need some inspiration this Christmas?   Maybe a bit of refocusing?

Well, this podcast episode is the answer.  Hear some incredible stories from around the world about people who are celebrating their first Christmas this year... in some of the hardest places.

I had a great time recording this episode, and had many of my Reach Beyond staff friends in the studio to tell the stories.

As you listen, I think it will renew your spirit.  We celebrate Christmas year after year, and sometimes lose sight of its significance.  After hearing these stories, you might see Christmas through the eyes of new believers.

Listen and enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee!

"Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love..."

For Noonie and me today, our hearts are full of joy.  We are downright happy!!

This morning, Noonie completed her 25 radiation treatments.  This ends another season in her treatment and she gets to return home from Houston.

You see her here ringing the bell that all radiation treatment patients get to ring after their last session at MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center.  It was an emotionally moving time as this chapter came to a close.

Noonie has not gone through this alone.  Of course, God Himself has walked with her.  It has been a long journey, and human care is not enough.

But so many people have walked with us, too.  Prayers, texts, meals, cards, emails, phone calls, being with her during treatments, and so much more.  We are grateful for you.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Noonie will continue having infusions of herceptin through June every three weeks, but this is not a chemo drug and the side effects are minimal.

Noonie is surrounded by her radiation team after her final
treatment this morning.  Joining her were me and my
niece Allison (far left).
As we sing carols this Christmas, I think ones like "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" will have special meaning to us.

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.