Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why Chris Norman said No to the NFL

A fantastic video that I came across recently.  Chris Norman talks about coming to know Jesus Christ and taking the road less traveled for the Glory of God.

I love this story for a lot of reasons!  But one thing that is pretty cool is the way that Chris doesn't demean others who have actually chosen to go pro.  He keeps the person and power of Jesus Christ front and center.

Drafted: Why Chris Norman Said No to the NFL from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Raising Funds

Campus minister Tim Casteel hosts a fantastic blog on Leading in Ministry.  
I've benefitted from a number of his posts, especially the one titled Money To Fund the Mission.  In it Tim points out how critical finances are to the mission of moving the Gospel forward.  
During the spring of 2012, every single Cru staff member in the northeast region had to take 5 whole weeks off of campus to work on raising financial support.  The sad reality is that almost all of us are under-supported and struggling at some level.        Both our personal support accounts and our campus accounts are low. And without adequate finances to live, eat and minister staff must pull back from time on campus, meeting up with people  and spend time looking for new financial partners.   
In Tim's article, he references a Mark Driscoll video where he describes THE game changer in the history of Mars Hill (Seattle).  
He says there was " a single thing that took them from 40 people to 800. A turning point that made the difference between their church shutting down and being the global influence that it is today through the Acts29 Network and Mark Driscoll’s teaching.
It wasn’t hiring a key staff. Putting on a big outreach. Giving a great sermon. Getting a new website. Him yelling at a bunch of men (that was a different video).
It was money.
A gift from a generous couple – a $200,000 gift that was 100x greater than any gift they’d ever received."
I recommend reading Tim's article where he includes insights from both Bill Hybels and R.C. Sproul.  
He concludes: 
"As ministry leaders we spend countless hours thinking through how to reach more people with the gospel. We plan ways to raise up new leaders. Get excited about new books/ideas that could be gamechangers. Dream of new websites that will singlehandedly reach the campus with the gospel. But we rarely think of money. 
I just wonder what would change if our ministries and staff were abundantly funded. Imagine what God could do."
That's our goal!  Stephanie and I are in a place where we actually need to raise $1300 in new monthly support.  Even as we take seminary classes in Colorado this summer, we are working to raise money.  God has raised up three fantastic interns for next fall; Will Poon, Mercy Gbenjo, and Kelsey Karys.  But if we don't get adequate support, they'll be ministering on campus without us! 
We want to see the Cru ministry at Cornell truly taking the gospel to every student.  We can no longer afford to be barely making it as staff or running on financial fumes as a ministry.  
If you are reading this, and you are a financial supporter of our ministry, I want to thank You!  If you aren't, and you would like to be, please be in touch, or check out this link.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Praying with desperate faith....

Over the past several weeks there have been many things that I've prayed about, and many more things that I really should be praying about.

Tonight, as Stephanie and I reflected upon a whole slew of things that are going on in our lives, we felt compelled to pray.  And yet as I prayed, I began to feel convicted about my lack of faith in prayer...which is fundamentally a lack of faith in God.   Of course I believe "prayer works" that is that God works in us and through us when we pray.  But, I felt like in a lot of ways, I haven't really been believing that.  We feel overwhelmed by so much right now, and although there is a sense in which we are "giving it all up to God", we are also quite stressed and exhausted and discouraged because we aren't thoroughly "giving it up to God."  

The Lord met me tonight, reminding me of his power and might, and provoking me to pray more faithfully.  In Joshua chapter 2, Rahab the Canaanite prostitute understands God's strength accurately and recognizes her own weakness and inability.  I need to do both of those things more.  I need to faith like she had.

This past fall, I was talking to some of our students about prayer and I had them watch a clip from the movie Act of Valor.  (It's on Youtube if you care to look for it. It's the boat rescue scene, and there is some profane language depending on how long the clip is.)  Basically the Navy Seals are getting picked up by these two boats after rescuing a woman from some hostiles.  The Swift Rescue boat comes to get them has these incredible machine guns (called a mini-gun) and they are unleashing this absolutely incredible amount of fire power upon the enemy.  They are spraying so many bullets so thoroughly that the enemy literally has no choice but to keep their head down and hide....or be killed!   And while the enemy is ducking for cover, the SEALs are able to load up in the boat and drive away safe.

The whole scene is pretty awe inspiring, but what I appreciate most about it is the way that the SEALS speeding down the road to the extraction point are communicating with the boat guys on the radio.  In his sermon "Prayer the Work of Missions", John Piper likens prayer to a "war time walkie-talkie."  He points out the way that we pray so passively because we fail to recognize that life is a spiritual battle.  Prayer is our direct line of communication with God in this messy missional adventure called life, yet we regard it so lightly.  We treat it like a luxury intercom system that we can use to page the butler to ask him to bring more pillows down to the family room, when it is actually our extremely vital communication life line!

May we pray with more faith this summer.  Without it...we're dying!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To End Homelessness in Ithaca

Local Ithacan's are familiar with a tucked away piece of land out behind Wegman's grocery store known as "The Jungle".  It's essentially a campsite wasteland where the homeless set up primitive shelters and tents to live year round.  Depression and drugs are rampant but food is scarce.  Last year there were 4 homeless deaths in Ithaca.   Efforts have been made in the past to help "clean up" the jungle -people volunteer and go pick up trash and try and make it all somewhat less dumpy.  Over the years, those who care for the poor would also visit this tent slum to provide clothing, blankets, food and encouragement.  But the Lord inspired a few passionate people to imagine an Ithaca without the jungle -an Ithaca with no homeless!  
Nic Brenner and I were walking thru Lowe’s Home Improvement checking out palm sanders when we bumped into Barry Segal.

(Barry is Ithaca ‘old guard’ –legend purports that he used to paddle a kayak across Cayuga lake every morning to get to work.)   He’s a character for sure; hard to miss with his pants tucked into his cowboy boots, sporting a bright blue and white Johnny Rocket leather jacket.  He’s pushin’ 60 years old but he still runs errands on a 750 Suzuki GSR.  (he doesn't normally wear a tuxedo though!)  We both bought sanders as Barry filled us in on the latest details of his homeless mission idea.
Some years ago, Barry decided to read and re-read Isaiah chapter 58 for a whole year.  Through that meditation God burdened him for the poor and he’s been brainstorming ways to serve the needful ever since.  Joining arms with other concerned and committed Christ followers the idea to provide housing for a couple of guys has morphed into the audacious dream to completely end Homelessness in Tompkins county.
God provided and Barry mobilized hundreds of volunteers
Last year there were 4 homeless related deaths in Ithaca.  In the fall of this year, Barry purchased two houses on Court street in downtown Ithaca.   The Syracuse Rescue mission entered into partnership with him and in December we joined together with other volunteers to begin remodeling the houses and getting them ready for occupants.  At the end of the Christmas break, I took Sophomore Sam Rabkin over to help and he got thoroughly pumped up about the endeavor.  He was a huge part of mobilizing our ministry to continuously serve.  Starting during the Christmas break and exinto the spring semester there were times when Cornell Cru students were serving a couple nights a week as well as Saturdays.  We did everything from demolition to flooring, from painting to cabinet installation.  Students were learning a ton.
Austin and Tom rip up old carpet
Here I am with Intervarsity staff Charles Fick
Moving old stuff, making room for new stuff.
The home is not the type of shelter where people  stop over and spend a single night. It’s much more of a transition house.  A place where men can live indefinitely, in fellowship, paying reduced rent while working to get back on their feet.  It was Barry’s desire to make the places look as nice as possible.  Even though we were utilizing primarily volunteer effort, there was a commitment to excellence and quality as we completely remodeled each and every room.  Barry’s hope was that the quality would help the men to rightly understand God’s  love and that the aesthetics would help inspire hope for a brighter future.   Barry intends to provide some vocational training for the residents and to facilitate a Christ-centered community.  


AFTER (different angle)
Residents are living in the house right now.  In late February, Stephanie and I got to attend a reception celebrating all the work that's been done in the past year to end homeless.  It was a glorious time to gather with Christ followers from across the city who are committed to serving the poor and making a difference.   Ithaca's Community Faith Partners are a big part of making it all happen along with key individuals like Barry Segal, Carmen Guidi, and others.  Right now, there is no one living in The Jungle.   Certainly this is just the beginning, but as a ministry we feel so blessed to be a part.  You can keep up with the work at:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tenacious Spirituality

This Ivy League Rookie of the year is intense –not just about wrestling, and academics but about Jesus.   Nahshon Garrett has been making news all season long -including this past weekend at the NCAA finals, but I want to talk about his faith.  If you run into Nahshon on campus, you will be blessed, you’ll probably have some sort of spiritual conversation, and you’ll typically end up praying together! 

I’ll be honest; I’ve seen countless athletes living luke-warm lives,  sort of ‘naming the name’ and only talking about being a Christian when they come to church on Sundays.  So I wasn’t too sure when I met Nahshon this past fall if his passion was gonna last.   He had recently given his life to Jesus, and although I was certainly hopeful that he would remain gung-ho,  I wouldn’t have been too surprised if he faded out once the season got going.  

But by God’s grace he’s even more pumped up right now!  It has been unbelievably encouraging to me and to everyone in our ministry to see the ways that God is working in and thru Nahshon!  This guy is berserk!  So many Cornellians (and others!) can be  driven, diligent and intentional in almost every area of their lives except their spiritual lives –but not so with Nahshon.   His faith is authentic and his zeal is contagious.   This guy is sold out thru and thru; there isn’t that disconnect that you see so often.   

Cornell’s wrestling program is absolutely top notch.  Hometown sensation and Cornell senior Kyle Dake just won his 4th NCAA championship –each of them in a different weight class –without even taking a redshirt year.  What he’s accomplished is unprecedented in every way! 

Like Dake, Nahshon is triumphant on the mat. But like Epaphras in Colossians 4:12, he is also one who wrestles in prayer.  He cleaned out a small basement boiler room to make a quiet time space for himself in “The Wrestling House” –the home he shares with over 30 of the guys.  Every day he’s spending time down there reading his Bible and praying for his team mates and friends.  

Nahshon is constantly talking about the Bible and repenting of pride, dying to self and yielding our lives to the Holy Spirit.  Only then can we experience God fully and be used by him powerfully.  He’s always on the lookout for an opportunity to share the good news of Christ, encourage others and speak blessing into people’s lives.  

Nahshon at the Cru Fall Retreat
More than once, I’ve been talking to a student in our ministry and when I mention Nahshon, they immediately recount to me some incredible and unusual story.   The other day the Cornell baseball team was practicing indoors because of the weather.  While running laps, a junior player named Zach who’s involved in Cru saw Nahshon walk into the gym.  (Zach is also a passionate Christ follower on campus) They waved at each other.  When Zach came around again, it appeared Nahshon was kind of gesturing for him to come over.  Even though, they were practicing, Zach jogged over to see what was up.  Nahshon greeted him and said –“hey man, you want to pray together real quick?”  Not sure exactly how the coaches would feel about him skipping a couple of laps, Zach somewhat uncertainly said “Yeah, let’s do it!”  And so the two of them proceeded to pray for each other right there in the gym. 

Right when they were done, Zach got back to jogging, and he told me he was thinking:  “What just happened?.....That was awesome!!!”  His spirit was tremendously encouraged and his mind was focused on the Lord! 

Nahshon has a real way of doing that for people! 

A couple of weeks ago he was talking to a guy on campus.  Friendly and engaging as always, he was just getting to know him a bit.  The guys wife came along to meet him for lunch and so they said “goodbye, nice to meet you” etc.   But, the Holy Spirit had more in mind, and Nahshon was struck with a burden to pray for the guy.  So, while the couple walks away, he jogs back over to them and asks him if he can pray over them.  They guy’s wife is kind of thinking “uh….did I miss something?”   But they bow their heads together and Nahshon just prays for their lives in Jesus’ name.   Such a blessing! 

When they finish, they part ways, and as Nahshon is walking away, he sees a couple of Asian students –who he has never met before-sitting there praying together at a table.  Fired up and always ready to pray, Nahshon walks right over to them, puts his arm around one of the guys and joins them in prayer right there.  One of the guy’s kind of opens his eyes and is no doubt thinking “uh…did I miss something here?”  They wrap up their prayer time and afterwards they spent some time talking about life and the Lord on campus.  I can pretty much guarantee as Nahshon walked away the guys were encouraged and even more focused on the Lord. 

I have other stories, that I don’t want to write because they involve many different people.  But, I just love Nahshon’s tenacious spirituality.  God has already and is now redeeming him from a life spent striving after satisfaction in alcohol, promiscuity or even fame and success.   Nahshon’s compassion for those separated from Jesus compels him to engage others lovingly.  He’s always trying to find ways to help others know the incomparable love of our savior.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Boaz Gets Crazy with Ruth

With a story line straight out of a country song, the Book of Ruth chapter 3 finds Naomi devising a way for her daughter in law to get a husband!   It’s a farm town Friday night at the end of harvest season and she’s determined not to let a quality cowboy like Boaz get away.   Convinced that every guy is keen for a moonlight romp in the hay –or barley as it happened to be in this case, she’s certain she knows how to take this relationship to the next level!  

I made my first visit to Tabernacle Baptist Church this past week.  Numerous Cru students are members there and they are very supportive of college ministry all the way around.  Pastor Paris has been teaching thru the book of Ruth –and yesterdays sermon aligned nicely with the stuff we’ve been talking about at Real Life the last couple of weeks; Marriage, sex, and dating.

The book of Ruth’s three main characters are:
Naomi –a Hebrew widow who is wounded, bitter and broken by the hardships of life.
Ruth – a Moabite, one of Naomi’s daughter–in-laws.  She is also a widow.
Boaz – an upstanding Hebrew man, prosperous, hardworking and Godly.

In Chapter 1, Naomi leaves Moab in hopes of finding life and food back in her native land of Judah.  Ruth was determined to stay with her, and famously declares “your people will be my people, and your God, my God.”  (Ruth 1:16)

In Chapter 2, Ruth meets Boaz while gleaning grain in his field.   (According to the Mosaic law, farmers/landowners  were to refrain from harvesting their whole field and the poor were allowed to pick whatever they could along the edges. Leviticus 19:9-10) He treats her with kindness, blesses her with food and instructs his workers to make sure she “finds” plenty of grain.   He invites her to keep close to his guys in his field so that she’ll be safe.  He doesn’t even really know her, but he’s immediately looking for ways to tangibly bless her life. 

Boaz is a stud all the way around, and as a distant relative of Naomi he’s a potential “kinsman redeemer” for Ruth –basically he could buy her out of widowhood and marry her.  That would be fantastic!  Boaz is a man of character, he’s generous, he looks out for others.   His workers respect him, he cares for the poor –this guy is the kind of guy anyone would want their daughter to marry –and Naomi becomes set on making that happen. 

In Chapter 3, it’s the end of the harvest season.  It’s kind of like “county fair” time, and Naomi contrives this plan to “catch a catch” as pastor Paris put it.   Here’s the plan in verses 3 and 4. 

Ruth 3:3-4
Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”

“Sounds like seduction” said Pastor Paris!  I agree!  I’ve heard numerous sermons trying to make this whole interaction seem less funky, but I’ve always thought it seemed sketchy–especially given the norms of the day!  Pastor Paris refused to shy away from the shadiness and unpacked this section with tremendous contemporary application.

Naomi  basically tells Ruth to put on some perfume, get dressed up, wait for Boaz to finish eating and drinking wine and then go “lie with him” out in the barn.   Really wanting Boaz and Ruth to hook up –she makes a plan for them to actually hook up!  

Ruth’s supposed to go out and “uncover his feet?”  Paris explained that in Hebrew, it could certainly insinuate an uncovering of much more!   “Lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”   So she’s supposed to find him in the night, when no one else is around, crawl up to him wearing perfume, uncover at least his feet, and make herself available for whatever he says to do?!  Were the ladies in fact counting on the uncommon virtue of Boaz to make this turn out differently than one would expect?  Ruth told her mother-in-law “All that you say I will do” –some say she was just being a respectful daughter?   Was she acquiescing to a shady plan because she was trusting and na├»ve?  I can’t believe it!  I think both of these ladies, were defaulting to “Moabite methods!”*  Sleeping with a guy isn’t the best way to get a husband –but it has worked for billions of people!

At midnight, with his “feet” exposed, Boaz awakes with incredible fright to hear Ruth’s proposition.  Things definitely get crazy –but not like you might think!

Rather than engaging inappropriately with a woman who is not his wife, Boaz makes a declaration of NO COMPROMISE!  First of all, check out the way he starts talking about the Lord.  He then promises that he will follow the legitimate procedures for making Ruth his lawful wife.  He will not take what is not his.  Instead, he gives.  He sends Ruth home with grain for Naomi.  He’s a man of integrity, and rather than taking any short-cuts, Boaz is determined to do things God’s way!   Taking the responsibility upon himself, he proceeds to expend himself to arrange the marriage.

Here’s what’s crazy –on that day, and on this day –BOAZ HONORS RUTH!  He loves her, he cares for her, protects her and cherishes her.  In short, he loves her in the same crazy way that Jesus loves! 

*Moabite Methods:  What i'm calling Moabite, are certainly common enough.  People making up their own sexual ethic, trying to make marriage happen however they can etc.  But, it is interesting to see where the Moabites started.  We're talking about a whole culture of people who were literally spawned into existence thru an act of devastating sexual brokenness.  Check out Genesis 19:30-29

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What is attractive?

Is it important for a husband to be "attracted" to his wife?  And for a wife to be attracted to her husband?   I say definitely YES!  But what's attractive?   I counsel single college students and married people alike to allow God's word, and the truth of the gospel to inform their "attraction."  Now certainly, at some level, beauty is something we respond to intuitively.  It's not something we can totally figure out like a math equation.  For sure.  But I do believe it is possible and critical to let the scriptures shape our thinking rightly in this area.

One huge truth that I think men and women really need to take hold of is the glaring fact that God made people.  Yes! (Genesis 1:27) And people -by his design are tall and short, skinny and fat, dark and light in tone.  The creation testifies loudly through and through that God loves diversity!  A lot.  He created it!  And among humans there are all different eye colors, nose shapes, leg lengths, hip widths, foot sizes, and everything else.  Cosmo, Maxim and the P90X infomercial proclaim that there are only certain body sizes and shapes that are beautiful, but apparently God disagrees!  He is the one who made you fearfully, wonderfully!  He knit you together in your mothers womb, so if you are short and pale -it's because that's how he wants you to be!   You're "big boned" are you?  God made you that way -truly your "frame" was not hidden from him.  You can feel bad about that -but only if you regard Jillian Michaels' opinion over God's and only if you crave the world's fickle approval over Jesus'.  

In heaven, we'll have glorified bodies.  That's clear enough in the scriptures.  But I can find no indication that all of our bodies will look the same!  I sincerely believe that when we get to heaven -and when we have new and perfected bodies, I'll still be skinny, my wife will still be short and Tim Tebow will still be a brick house!  Will  Edgar still be Asian?  I believe so...

Go ahead and work out!  Be healthy, move around, jog a little!  But seriously, start hating sin, and quit worrying about that butt God made you!

In 1 Peter 3:1-7, Peter informs the women that their "beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."  He commends to them the "Holy Women of the Past" who were truly beautiful because they had Hope in God, contentment of spirit, Godly submissiveness and true fearlessness.  I pray that I can raise my daughter(s) to exemplify such character!  

At our meeting on Friday night, I asked the ladies to strive after that kind of beauty, and I challenged to guys to evaluate whether their standards of beauty have been informed more by the Bible or by pornography?  

Have your standards of beauty been shaped more by what God regards as beautiful or what contemporary porn affirms as beautiful?  

Should a guy be attracted to his wife and regard her as beautiful?  YES.  But where does he get his standard of beauty from? 
Gospel Coalition blog contributor Barry Cooper writes: 
"The pornography epidemic, raises (or rather, lowers) the bar on what we expect of a prospective spouse because of its unremitting insistence on physical performance and cosmetic beauty, over and against mental and moral qualities...[Christian men] may pray unctuously for the Lord to provide a wife of noble character (Proverbs 31:10-31), but [their] hearts are being continually conditioned to lust after the wife of maximal hotness. "Charm is deceitful," God protests, "and beauty is vain!" But we dismiss him like one of those impertinent pop-ups that gets in the way of what we really want to see.
How different would the world be if dudes were spending as much time in their Bibles as on the computer?

Christ-ones are called to be different in every way!   Reflecting on the way that the  Gospel changes everything, Tim Keller pointed out:
In the world, "Women tend to be attracted to men with good incomes, and men tend to be attracted to women with 'good looks.'  Is the Christian community behaving in exactly the same way?  Or have we been transformed by the gospel."

Is the word of God re-calibrating every area of our lives?  Including what we regard as attractive and fundamentally beautiful?   Or are Christian men and women just letting the magazine rack define things for us? 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dating Insights?

This Friday at our Large Group meeting on Campus, I will be talking about God's designs in Marriage, sex and the modern mode of pairing off commonly known as dating....

Barrett Keene is one of our good friends and so is Bethany Nichols. They are currently dating.   Barrett is still a PhD student, and Bethany graduated last spring and is currently working with Teach For America in NYC.

This past weekend, we were hanging out at our house and since the topic was relevant, we turned on the iphone and captured some relationship "insights" from the Betts Brothers.  Ruby chimes in with some girly perspective at the end.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is Triumphant

No disrespect to any parents who sent their kids to school today with Avengers, Dora, or Batman "Flashy foil" valentines day cards, but the Betts family has always been more into the homegrown, construction paper ones.    And, while I'm not sure what I even think of this over-marketed, fairy tale exalting American holiday, I do know this:

Love is Triumphant! 

And, that's really what we were going for when we made these heart's with flaming wings valentines cards for Jack to take to his 2nd grade classmates.
We didn't really write anything on them.  We thought of a few phrases, but while cutesie quotes may have their place on heart-shaped candies, balloons and teddy-bear t-shirts, we wanted to communicate something more meaningful...more real....more true!  So we stuck a glow stick on the front -because everyone wants a glow stick!  And we hoped the colors, the artistry and the FLAMING WINGS!!! would be adequately provocative.  

And, if given the chance, maybe Jack can explain that  there is One who lights hearts on fire and his name is Jesus Christ!  He takes cold, hard hearts of stone and powerfully brings new life!   Because he so loved the world -and not because we loved him first -he conquered sin, sacrificed his very life to bring us back to God.  He rose and he's alive.  He is Triumphant! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Invention of the "Double Loco"

It's no secret that we really love Taco Bell.  It's our favorite's a part of our life.

5 years ago we moved to Ithaca.  We were tired and weary from an arduous winter road trip across the country.  We were actually not certain that Ithaca had a Taco Bell location -though in fact we had prayed that it did!  Driving thru the city on our first night, we decided to grab dinner at the Bell.  I still clearly remember Jack saying "Jesus loves us huh dad!?" when we saw the sign!

A few months back, we filmed our 'creation' of the "double loco."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Radical Summary

"We need HIM!"
"We come to Jesus to get Jesus!"  

A few months back, I talked about David Platt's book Radical.  It's a worthy read -but you can get the gyst of it all by watching this 30 minute message.

Platt spoke at the Urbana mission's conference in December. 

Provoking and inciteful, Platt asks: "Have we twisted Jesus into a God we are more comfortable with?  A Jesus who is o.k. with nominal devotion?  Are we molding Jesus into our image?"

1.  Jesus is worthy of all our trust. 
Speaking of some worshipers gathered overseas, Platt proclaims "Jesus is enough for them!  Is he enough for us?"  

"What happens when followers of Christ begin to say that 'he is enough for us'?

2.  Jesus is worthy of all our plans and dreams.  
"when you follow him you have an obligation, a responsibility, a plan, a dream, an ambition that supercedes every other obligation, responsibility, plan, dream, or ambition in this world...go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

Speaking mostly to students Platt reminded them that the reason you are going to be a teacher, engineer, doctor isn't so you can make it big and be rich, but so that you can proclaim the kingdom of God and declare the glory of God to the ends of the earth!!

"What happens when every single student in this room makes it their primary ambition, their primary plan and dream the proclamation of the gospel to the nations?  What plan or dream can you give your life to that is more worthy?"

3. Jesus is infinitely worthy of all our affections.  

"Does Jesus have your heart?
Is he the center of your affections?"

"We preach the gospel on college campuses because Jesus is worthy of the worship of every single college student on this continent!"

"This is why we go to the toughest places on earth."