THE FIRST TWO LIVES
Last month, I wrote that I lead three lives. The first life is as a husband, father, and grandfather. This past week, I was able to connect with five of our six children and several of our grandchildren, including a birthday party for four-year-old Roman (left) and a phone conversation with 30 + year old Colin. I am scheduled to meet with 20 year old grandson Branson this next week, and also just received a sweet note from our granddaughter Sydney and her husband Jordan who are expecting their first baby:
“We love you so much and we are so thankful for the legacy you have left in leading others to Christ. We are praying that our child does the same.”
It doesn’t get any better than that!
I also did a better job in the cooking department as Sharon recovers. My high school friend Bill Sperling send me a list of Trader Joe’s prepared items and told me to up my cooking game. We just had a killer chicken pot pie (It would have literally been a killer had I tried to make it from scratch :-).
The second life I lead is as a staff member of Global Training Network (GTN). We are equipping leaders in the Majority World to reach people for Christ, make disciples, develop leaders, and multiply and strengthen even more churches. Because of the Coronavirus, we are working on delivering and multiplying our training through the internet.
After 8 years of countless trips to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Central America (also some ministry trips to Europe), we now have 5 international teams of trainers, as well as a website! Brazilians Tony, our Int’l Director of Training, and Neto, our graphic designer, have done a fantastic job designing the website. They are in the process of loading the content that our National Director’s and their teams of trainers are providing. Here’s that website again:
|Divine Expedition Website|
AND THE THIRD LIFE?
The third life is as the leader of a weekly Bible Study called the NO BS BS. My friend Scott Watt and I started this in 1979 over a cup of coffee and bowl of All Bran, as we shared Scripture and prayed together. The next year Sharon, our six children, and I moved to France to help start the Crossroads Church in the greater Geneva, Switzerland area. Scott and his family joined us the next year to help us. For the next two years, we resumed getting together each week with a group of men at the downtown Geneva McDonalds, including the owner Jack Lowe.
After our return to the US in 1984, Scott and I began meeting once more, and were joined by Hagop Sargesian…then Joe Peterson…then others. Sharon and I moved to Europe a second time in 1987 to start the Crossroads International Church in the greater Amsterdam area so our NO BS BS was put on hold. We returned to the US in 1992 and started the NO BS BS yet again, and have continued ever since.
In July of 2017 we launched a study entitled, “Big Issues that We Face Today.” Since then, we have covered over 100 topics. Here are the main themes in this ongoing study:
- “Does God really exist, or are we just making this up?”
- “What kind of a God is it that exists?”
- “Isn’t chance wonderful? We are creatures of chance aren’t we?”
- “Where did the Western World turn off from a Judeo-Christian theistic worldview?”
- “The decline of Christendom.”
- “19 century Sledgehammers to the faith.”
- “Where was the church during the 18th century Enlightenment and 19th century Sledgehammers?”
- “20th Century Acids of Modernity.”
We are only part way through this latest series. I’ll list some of the specific “Acids of Modernity” subjects in an upcoming letter. Needless to say, the study has been challenging, requiring lots of research and writing, as well as compressing it into the time frame allotted on the Fridays when I am not traveling.
WHY THIS THIRD LIFE?
The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5,
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Part of our spiritual battle is to contend for the hearts and minds of those around us. This includes demolishing arguments and pretensions that set themselves up against God (and our Lord Jesus Christ), ideologies like Marxism, Anarchism, Deism, Naturalism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Scientism (not science but Scientism), Humanism (not humanity or being human, but Humanism), Secularism, and many more.
The spiritual battle we fight includes taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. It includes, as Peter says, setting apart Christ as Lord and always being prepared to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). This is why we have undertaken such a challenging NO BS BS. This is the reason I lead three lives. We want to be able to present Christ in a compelling yet compassionate way to those who are caught in the riptide of modern secular culture, sweeping people farther and farther away from God and His design for us.
Pray that God’s divine power will continue to be manifested in each of the three lives I (we) lead, and thank you for partnering with us for His glory and honor.
With much gratitude in Christ,
Linus and Sharon