The Florida School Shooting And Billy Graham

Billy-Graham-With-Obama-Reagan

I never heard this said about school shootings before and it really made me think. Continue reading

Chapter 4: Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, And A Sinking Man–From the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)

Man sinking into a quicksand whirlpool

Today’s post is from my new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus).

Last Saturday we posted Chapter 3: How Not To Become A Christian Doormat.

Love Like Jesus is due to be published later this year. If you’re interested in serving as a beta reader send me an email at kurt@kurtbennettbooks.com.

Chapter 4 — Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, And A Sinking Man

I Hated Jim Bakker Continue reading

10 Attributes Of Jesus’ Relationship With His Father (And what we can learn from them)

10 wikipedia commonsThe passage we’re about to look at is amazing. It’s amazing because it’s a revelation of the most important relationship to ever exist: the relationship between Jesus and his Father. We see here, plainly stated by Jesus himself, ten attributes of the perfect relationship between Father and Son.

We’ll look at those ten attributes of Jesus’ relationship with his Father from John 5:17-37 (I encourage you to read the passage first), then we’ll look at Jesus’ relationship with his disciples, and, finally, we’ll take a look at Jesus’ relationship with you.

10 Attributes of Jesus’ relationship with his Father Continue reading

The Cross with Billy Graham, LeCrae, and Lacey Sturm

I’m always on the lookout for great videos and sadly, so many of them are yawners. Which is why I was surprised at the impact and quality of this one. Especially after the 5 minute mark where we hear two great stories about 34 year old LeCrae and 32 year old Lacey Sturm. You’ll want to check it out.

The Cross, with Billy Graham, LeCrae, and Lacey Sturm.

This could be the last significant communication we see from Billy Graham.

Billy Graham Writes Letter to Iran’s President

billy graham letter to iran president

American Pastor Saeed Abedini and his family.

Billy Graham wrote a letter to the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. He’s asking him to release American Pastor Saeed Abedini from prison. As Billy Graham put it, Abedini “…was in Iran working to build an orphanage when he was arrested and later sentenced to eight years in prison. His situation has been receiving an increasingly high level of attention in the United States. Unfortunately this publicity has been entirely negative for Iran, with the belief that the primary reason for Pastor Abedini’s imprisonment was because of his Christian faith.” (Graham, Letter to Iran’s PresidentBilly Graham Evangelistic Association)

According to his wife, Abedini has been tortured Continue reading

Love Like Jesus: Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, and a Sinking Man

Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, Sinkiing Man

This article is from the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus). For more articles included in the book go to Love Like Jesus Book.

I Hated Jim Bakker

I hated Jim Bakker. You know, the guy who was married to Tammy Faye. Jim was a televangelist to millions. Jim was a man who created a four square mile Christian theme park. Jim was also a man who sunk down to incredible lows. Jim Bakker was the man who admitted to having sex with his young secretary, and whose life hit bottom when he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 45 years in prison. From my perspective, Jim Bakker had a love for money more than a love of Christ. He lacked honesty and integrity. And he had a sex scandal–thrown in for good measure. He was everything Jesus Christ is not. He misrepresented our Lord to millions.

Yeah, Jim Bakker: I hated that guy.

Jim Bakker and Billy Graham Continue reading

Luke 10:38-42 — You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one

Time Well Spent

We’ve all heard it before:

“Spend time with the Lord.”

“Seek Him in a quiet place.”

“Pray.”

“Be a prayer warrior.”

“Spend time alone in God’s word.”

It’s all time well spent — right?

We hear it from our pastors at church. We read it in books. We hear it from each other.

Has anyone out there actually tried to put it these things into practice? You might find the response of those around you to be interesting.

In a culture that values activity, you might find that in the eyes of many, being a prayer warrior doesn’t count for much. Time in God’s word may be perceived by some as time wasted. When you’re praying, when you’re reading God’s word, you’re not physically doing. You’re not producing, at least in the world’s eyes.

It’s been said that the United States runs on coffee. Santa Fe Springs, California alone has 560 Starbucks stores within 25 miles. And in the last five or ten years we’ve moved beyond coffee. We have a plethora of energy drinks available to us that give us wings, right? Monster Energy, 5 Hour Energy, Red Bull…

“Go, go, go.”

“Do, do, do.”

“But I’m praying,” you say.

“But I’m reading God’s word,” you explain.

“Hey,” enough of that. “Get it in gear!” If not said outright, the expression on the faces of some say it clearly enough.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m a believer in work. A number of years ago I read an article about geniuses and they all had one thing in common: they were prolific. They produced. They produced more great works than their contemporaries, and they even produced more mediocre work than their contemporaries. More recently Malcolm Gladwell writes of how he can’t find anyone at the top of their field who hasn’t put in at least 10,000 hours of work before they became successful. That’s 20 hours per week, for ten years. (Gladwell, Outliers)

Work is important. Work is essential. Getting things done is important. God can’t direct you if you’re not moving. You can’t navigate a boat if you leave it sitting at the dock.

So I’m not talking about using prayer and reading scripture as an excuse to be lazy or slothful. In a study by the Catholic church based on confessions, slothfulness was the third most common sin confessed, among men. (see article from the UK Telegraph) So laziness or slothfulness is definitely something to watch out for.

What I am saying is, although time spent working is of course essential, all those things you’ve heard about concerning how good it is to spend time with the Lord — they are absolutely true! Time with the Lord is time well spent! Whether in prayer, or in His word, or in church, or in worship. It’s time well invested. Ideally your time spent with Him will result in your activity being directed by the Holy Spirit. My hope and prayer is that your time and my time spent with Him will result in our work being born of God, coming from the Lord instead of from ourselves.

Billy Graham was asked recently,

If you could, would you go back and do anything differently?

Yes, of course. I’d spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less. I wouldn’t have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn’t really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything.

I also would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now.

Spending time with Him is good. I hope what I’m sharing today will encourage you to carve out time with Him. But because our culture so values activity for activity’s sake, if you’ve just decided to embark on a new quest to spend quality time with Christ, if you’ve purposed in your heart to devote significant time each day to be with Him, brace yourself, steel yourself, prepare yourself. Some of the people around you may not recognize the value in what you’re attempting to do. You may even be surprised by who some of those people are. But be strong and of a good courage. (Joshua 1:9) Continue to seek Him.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

References:

Bible Gateway

Photo: DesiringGod.org