influence (5)

PTAP: The Yeast of the Kingdom

He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough."
-Matt 13:33

The kingdom of God is like yeast, moving all throughout the dough. Believers in the Arabian Peninsula are like that yeast with dough all around. May the Lord move His people by His great will through the Arabian Peninsula.

Pray, O Lord and sovereign God, send us where You will, move us as You desire, and lead the believers in the Arabian Peninsula by Your Spirit. May Your kingdom come and increase throughout this entire Arabian Peninsula as yeast does in dough. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Read more…


In this and many elections I have been a one issue voter because I feel so strongly about abortion. My stomach rolls when I think of an innocent baby being torn apart in the womb. I see our nation standing before the Lord and hearing Him say, “Whatever you did or did not do for the least of these.”

However, there is more to the problem of abortion than its legality. My first concern is our society's attitudes toward sex. I don't know how legislation could have much effect that problem. But I would like to see a president use the bully pulpit and other prominent figures in our society use their influence to appeal to Hollywood, fiction writers, and other media to help turn our thinking around. I also think we need to show compassion and give help to teenagers and women in general under the  pressure of an unwanted pregnancy.

And I would also like to see adoption publicly affirmed and promoted. I like the promotion of adoption on soft drink cups at Wendy’s. I think it is interesting that there are so few children available for adoption that couples are paying tens of thousands of dollars to adopt.

I believe abortion is a major issue in America and the world. But we will not have significant impact on it if we are only concerned about its legality. Are you praying?


Read more…

A Leadership Lesson From Super Bowl Parents

From its beginning, the Super Bowl has been filled with larger-than-life personalities. One of the most memorable for me was Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath, who famously “guaranteed” a victory for his underdog New York Jets.


Since then we’ve seen famed quarterbacks such as Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, and John Elway. And many notable coaches have spanned Super Bowl history, from Vince Lombardi to Tom Landry, Bill Walsh, and Bill Belichick.


But my vote for the most intriguing Super Bowl personalities of all time would go to two people who’ve never played one snap of Super Bowl football. In fact, they’ve never been on the payroll of an NFL team. Until recently, few people had even heard of them.


My vote would go to Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, parents of John and Jim Harbaugh, coaches in Super Bowl XLVII. It’s no easy task to raise just one Super Bowl coach—but two? That’s quite a feat.


What a reminder about what true leadership is all about. Jack and Jackie won’t be remembered as much for their individual accomplishments as for the success they instilled in others. Their children built upon their legacy and took it farther than they could have ever dreamed.


So instead of worrying so much about our own credentials or accomplishments today, let’s learn from Jack and Jackie Harbaugh’s example. Let’s raise up kids, disciples, and protégés who dream their own dreams and do great things in life—far surpassing our own achievements.


This was the spirit behind Jesus’ message to His disciples before He left the work of the Kingdom in their hands: “Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works” (John 14:12).


After all, that’s what real leadership involves: helping those around us to accomplish “even greater works.”




Read more…

If you’re frustrated today in your attempts to win lost people to Christ or lead believers into a deeper relationship with Him, remember this one indispensable key: People must want what you have. If they don’t want to be like you, you’re wasting your time in trying to get them to respond to your message. 


This principle brings up memories of Bill Green, someone I haven’t seen in over 35 years. After hearing my story about Bill, see if you think I owe him an apology.


Bill can best be described as a Bible geek. With thick glasses, unkempt hair, and woefully out-of-style clothes, you might picture him as resembling George McFly in the “Back to the Future” movies.


But Bill really knew the Bible, and I’ve never to this day met anyone as committed to one-on-one discipleship.


I had given my heart to Christ as a senior in high school, and I met Bill just a year or two later. He offered to come to my college dorm and disciple me, and at first I happily agreed. I was hungry to know more of God’s Word, and he was eager to teach anyone who would listen.


Sadly, it turned out that Bill and I only got together for our Bible studies three different times. I remember these distinctly, and I can still recite the three specific teachings. In many ways, they became a valuable part of my spiritual foundation, and I also was deeply impacted by Bill’s incredible passion for teaching the Bible to new believers like me.


So why didn’t Bill and I continue to get together? If I gained so much in only three sessions, just think what a Bible genius I could have been if I had hung in there for several years.


However, I soon decided I was “too busy” to continue being discipled by Bill Green.  


Although I’m sure I could have learned more great information from Bill, that’s not the full story. You see, discipleship is not just a matter of passing along Bible facts from one person to another. Jesus puts it in nutshell in Luke 6:40 when He says that every disciple will become like his teacher.


The bottom line was that, even though I admired Bill Green’s knowledge of the Bible, I didn’t want to become like him in his personality, demeanor, and attitudes.


I admit that some of this was simply being turned off by his geekiness and his George McFly grooming style and wardrobe. (Can you imagine how your friends would react if George McFly came to visit you regularly at your college dorm?)


But my brief experience in discipleship with Bill Green also served as a warning that Bible knowledge is only one component of the discipleship process. As the apostle Paul warned, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1 NIV). Although I was attracted by Bill’s Bible knowledge, I was very turned off by his life.


I still feel bad that I wasn’t able to overlook Bill’s social awkwardness and dorky appearance. I could have learned a lot from him.


Yet there’s a hidden leadership principle tucked away in God’s instruction about those who would serve as priests in Old Testament days (Leviticus 21:18). Those who had a mutilated or disfigured face couldn’t serve as leaders. Translating this over to the New Testament, the issue isn’t about outward appearance at all. Rather, it’s about accurately reflecting the image of Christ, which requires much more than just communicating Bible factoids.


If you pride yourself on astute communication of Bible knowledge to your would-be followers, remember this leadership key from Paul: Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did” (1 Thessalonians 2:8 MSG). People have to be attracted as much by your LIFE as they’re attracted to your message.

Read more…

Please join us as we lift up our nation and the Church at this very crucial crossroads (spiritually and otherwise) during the next few months. Starting August 1 through December 31 (one name per day, which is 153 names total), let's unite in praying that Christ will rule and reign in every person, place and situation across America. The 153 names of Christ and accompanying Scripture passages cover a wide breadth of who He is. He is vast; He is supreme; He is the Lord of all; He is worthy of all praise. God will do more than we can ask or imagine (in our individual lives and in every sphere of influence in our nation), if many thousands of Christ-followers unite (Matthew 18:19-20).

Read more…