Category Archives: Inspiration

The Power of “No”

IMG_0680.JPG
I’ve been using this story in sermons and inspirational talks for years. It’s sorta my “go-to” illustration, especially with young people.

It’s from long ago, yes, but every time I share it, there’s a palpable resonance and it usually strikes home with more than a few. It always gets to me.

William Whiting Borden was born into affluence in Chicago, Illinois in 1887, the third child of William Borden and Mary Degama Whiting. The Bordens made their millions producing milk and dairy products and in real estate.

After Will’s mother converted to Christianity in 1894, she began taking him to Chicago Avenue Church (now The Moody Church). He soon responded to the gospel preaching of Dr. R. A. Torrey, turned to Christ and was baptized.

From then on, prayer and Bible study became hallmarks of his life. After graduating from the Hill School in Pottstown, PA, at age 16, he traveled to Europe, Africa, and Asia – a graduation gift from his wealthy folks. This, we can rightly assume, awakened his heart to missions.

IMG_0681.JPG

Sensing the call of God, Will matriculated at Yale University in 1905, graduated four years later, then entered Princeton Theological Seminary. The calling to foreign fields never subsided, but consumed his heart and, while in Princeton, Will was stirred to go back to the Muslims of Northern China, and focused all his efforts and energies there.

Here’s where the story turns and gives rise to being given Hebrews 11 status.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

A Book, A Review and a Giveaway

20140727-184136-67296903.jpgRead on for a chance to have Matt’s book shipped to you FREE!

Matt Knisely asks to be “the voice that cuts through the noise in your head” and invites us to lie down in peaceful scapes and hear the gentle whispers of God to our road-weary souls. Sound inviting? Thought it might.

Matt sent me (and dozens of bloggers) an advance copy of his book “Framing Faith” that I might blog about it and offer a review here on my website. The back jacket sold me on the book before I even cracked it open. The author is an Emmy-award-winning photojournalist, has numerous honors, including Edward R. Murrow (2), for his unique photography and is recognized nationally for his compelling visual storytelling. Fittingly, Matt serves as the creative director for Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Which all makes the book even that more appealing.

Aside from the eminent accolades and accomplishments, the book stands auspiciously on its own. In truth, I sat down and read it through in a single sitting, which I almost never do. I’m an ADD reader, losing focus after a few pages, plagued by sensory overload and needing to “step” away and process. Not this one. One of my favorite bookstore baristas even commented the day I (nearly) read it entirely through (save the final ten pages) that she would have greeted me but saw I was fully engrossed. Good for Matt for holding my attention.

He’s a very deep, scholarly thinker without being snooty or boring. Definitely not that. I told a buddy that I would’ve given the book five stars on Amazon simply for the ingenious quotes he deftly includes at the opening of each chapter. Not the same, overused, tired quotes you find in many popular Christian books, either. Ones you’ve never seen before. Matt, did you make them up?

My favorite was an Einstein quote which, for me, saddles the gist of the book’s purpose. Purportedly, the eminent genius was quoth to say,

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

Einstein said that? The dude with unruly hair and caterpillar eyebrows? A romantic? Imagine that.

Knisely very craftily handles the lyric by reminding us that this world, with its entrapments of social media, calendar demands, tyranny of urgency and even trappings of religion all serve to deflect us from the Beauty that is with us and all around us. The magnificence of Christ and His creation.

Framing Faith is a call to authentically live out the faith instilled in our DNA, to tell our stories with care and contemplation and to take the time to listen for the heart story in others, disregarding our culturally-imposed 140-character or quick-status-on-the-fly limitations.

Photography, Matt reasons, is a medium that tells an authentic story, subject to interpretation, yes, but demands an interpretation nonetheless. Framing Faith encourages us to each find our unique story and give it voice, craft, color or composition. It reinforces the truism that we each matter. Matt’s thoughtful prose bequeaths us not to purloin the art of our organic selves from the gallery of God, hung in the full eye view of humanity.

I loved this book. It spoke in soothing rhyme to my at-times discordant tendencies and aided me to imagine for myself a frameworthy faith. Thank you, Matt, for being a seer and helping your readers to see more fully.

Nicely done.

My apologies. Couldn’t resist. 😎

______________________________

Matt has graciously offered some giveaways of Framing Faith and the first five readers to email me your address at scott@revonwheels.com will receive a free copy.

Glorious Assignment

Not to put too fine a point to it, this is the grand sum of all I want my life to broadcast.*

Jesus, it’s my joy. Whatever the price, whatever the burden.

You are worth anything…and everything.

To the praise of Your infinitely glorious Grace. Amen

*It’s probably already clear enough from previous testimony, but the only “me” I want others to recognize is Jesus in and through me. Anything other falls prodigiously short.

image