Starting the Advent Season Right – 2 Advent Devotions (video)

Amy Orr-Ewing – “Jesus is the Holy One” (Advent video)

Max Jeganathan, RZIM – First Sunday of Advent: “Hope Came Down” (video)

Hey TD!

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a focused time to meditate upon and anticipate the coming of the Hope of the World. Of course, we have always been in dire need of that Hope that God provides, and 2020 has made that need all the more clear.

We hope that you will make special efforts this Advent season to spend with the Lord in anticipating and appreciating the Hope of the World. We’ll try to help you along by posting Advent resources like these two videos provided by our friends at RZIM! they are not long, but they are poignant and will give you something solid to consider in the week ahead.

TD, there IS hope! And that true and abiding HOPE can be yours! Reach out to a TD leader if you want to find out how to grow in that hope.

Blessings!

“God & Govt.” Recap (video)

Video: “God and Government” recap (Arthur)

Hey TD!

One of our country’s most consequential elections is upon us. Courtesy of Mike, here’s a quick recap video to remind us of the most important factor to remember in this year’s election!

May God lead each of us as He leads our nation.

“Why We Do What We Do” Recap/”Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 2″ (videos)

Video: “Why We Do What We Do” – TD Wk. 3 Recap

Video: “Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 2” (What’s Wrong w/Dedication to God)

Hey TD!

Here’s a recap video on why we suffer from performance anxiety, the trap we fall into caused by insecurity, and what to do about it. Video courtesy of Michael Chan

To review the fuller treatment of it, as well as what living for God actually looks like, and how Is it possible to be too dedicated to God and His will, watch the video, “Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 2” (What’s Wrong w/Dedication to God). Here Arthur explores these issues as part of TD’s Christ For Real series.

“Know the Real Score” – TD Week 2 Recap, feat. Coach John Wooden (video)

Video: “Know the Real Score” – TD Week 2 Recap, feat. Coach John Wooden

Hey TD!

Here’s an inspiring video Michael Chan from the Media Team created to the “know the real score” section of Arthur’s teaching on “Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 1” (God & Performance).

If you’re going to grow to become the Christian you’ve become, it all starts with knowing the real score, and knowing how God actually scores things. What is the role of performance in our lives, and why do we misunderstand it so much?

For a fuller discussion, see the “Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 1” (God & Performance) videos.

“Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 1” videos (God and performance)

Intro video – “Becoming the Coach I’ve Become” (incl. CIF-SS Championship video)

Video – “Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 1” (God and performance)

Hey TD!

We kicked off our year’s theme, Christ For Real, with an opening session called, “Becoming the Christian You’ve Become, Pt. 1” and focused on thinking through our performance mindset through biblical lenses. What is the role of our performance in our lives in God’s eyes? Does it enhance our worth and standing before God? Does it not really matter one way or another since we’re saved?

We also explored the area of our motivation in performing, as well as the pressure of expectations, both from within and without.

This Friday, we’ll head into Part 2 by looking at how our desire to do God’s will can sometimes go wrong. We’ll spend time in small groups hearing from one another and start working out how to follow God’s lead.

Be sure to review last week’s session beforehand to be able to ramp up to this week’s session, as we march towards becoming the Christians we’ve become!

See you Friday!

“Heart-Healthy Habits” mp3

“Heart-Healthy Habits” mp3 (Kathy & Abigail)

If you cannot directly access the podcast via the embedded icon above, please click the link below:

“Heart-Healthy Habits” mp3 – Kathy & Abigail

Hey TD!

We had a wonderful time of fellowship and learning how to develop “heart-healthy habits” for our spiritual lives.  Kathy and Abigail did a tremendous job leading our study – lots of really good stuff to take away and implement.  Listen to the mp3 above to review, take notes, or refresh yourself on the importance of strengthening your spiritual heart.

Congrats also to Caleb, the Chans, and Rebecca for winning the Crazy Hat contest and Amazon gift cards!

 

[REFRESH] Day 2/Allison Recaps Day 1! (videos)

[REFRESH] Ready for College? Day 2 (video)

Allison recaps [REFRESH] Ready for College? Day 1 (video)

Hey TD!

To quote Robert at our post-[REFRESH] meeting today, of all the things he’s seen or produced since being quarantined, [REFRESH] has been the best.  He’s been … REFRESHED … and is so excited for the rest of the week!  I couldn’t agree more!

Here you have … “Minister Robert” … and … 53-year old, head TD leader, Arthur … and we’re like kids in a candy store! And this is a high school conference! It reminds me of when I would bring Robert to events when he was in high school and college and we’d just eat it up and discuss what we’ve just experienced with joy and giddyness.

Anyway, [REFRESH] has been some of the best time spent this summer.  And we’ve enjoyed meeting up with TD’ers and leaders for 30 minutes afterwards.  I’d encourage you to register and join us!  Just let your small group leader know you’ve registered and you’ll get the link.

Day 2 topics include: Don’t You Know Me?, I Just Miss Jesus, Evangelism Tips, Is Truth Dead?, an interview with Lisa Fields, Why Isn’t God More Obvious?, Vitale Dating Tips, Xandra Carroll’s testimony, and a Q&A that proves “no question is off limits.” Check it out!

If you would like to watch Day 1 and would like to take The Boba Challenge, just click here!

Hope to see you at the post-session meeting on Day 3!

– Arthur

God and Gaming: Is It Wrong To Play Video Games? (RZIM podcast)

14 Years Later – China Fully Lifts Video Game Console Ban - China ...

“God and Gaming: Is It Wrong To Play Video Games?”

Ask Away Podcast with Vince and Jo Vitale

Hey TD!

I always tell my clients that time is the most valuable commodity we have – you only have a limited amount of it, and unlike other commodities, you never have the possibility of getting any of it back.  Once spent, it’s gone.

So, does that mean playing video games is wasting this precious commodity of time?  Not necessarily.  Does that mean that video gaming could possibly even be a good use of time? Possibly.

In this Ask Away podcast with two of the world’s leading Christian apologists, Dr. Vince and Dr. Jo Vitale of RZIM will share their thoughts and perspectives on the subject.  Their responses will likely surprise you and enlighten your thought processes, not only about video games, but about everything else we use our time doing.  Enjoy. – Arthur

Dr. Jo Vitale

Jo is Dean of Studies at the Zacharias Institute and an itinerant speaker for RZIM. Interested in the questions surrounding sexism and the Bible, Jo wrote her doctoral dissertation on the topic of how female beauty is depicted in the Old Testament.

 

Dr. Vince Vitale

Regional Director for the Americas and Director of the Zacharias Institute, Dr. Vince Vitale is a speaker and author who journeyed from skeptic to evangelist while studying at Princeton and Oxford. He and his wife, Dr. Jo Vitale, host the Ask Away podcast.

 

In Joy Podcast #4 – “True Freedom” (Sandra)

In Joy Podcast #4 – “True Freedom” (Sandra)

If you cannot directly access the podcast via the embedded icon above, please click the link below:

In Joy Podcast #4 – “True Freedom” (Sandra)

Hey TD!

In the midst of such historic times of social unrest, people of all colors have been protesting for the equality and freedom of those in black communities across the nation.  I sometimes wonder if everyone really knows the true nature and quality of that freedom that they are protesting for. It not only comes at a significant cost, but with a significant responsibility.

In this fourth installment of our In Joy podcasts, Sandra brings us to some of the history of this conflict through the lens of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, who was wrought with heaviness over a nation torn with racial strife over slavery.  It’s a timely podcast on the aspects of true freedom that aren’t often thought of … but need to be.

Listen, consider, and enjoy!

If you missed any of the other podcasts in the In Joy series, you can hear them by clicking below:

In Joy Podcast #1 – “Joy in the Un-Enjoyable” (Rebecca)

In Joy Podcast #2 – “Enjoying the Presence of God” (Robert)

In  Joy Podcast #3 – “Finding Rhythms of Enjoyment” (Angela)

– Arthur

Ravi Zacharias: A Personal Conversation, Pt. 2

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Pic: Ravi and his son, Nathan, at our home

Once again, we have the privilege to hear from Ravi Zacharias via an interview I did with him.  Though done years ago, his answers are timeless, interesting, and applicable for us.  This time, we take personal and insightful look into his life and ministry.

For those of you who missed Part 1, Click Here .  Ravi was a precious friend and hero who has had an immeasurable impact in my life as well as thousands of others.  He was widely considered as the finest and most impactful Christian apologist/evangelist in the world before his passing on May 19, 2020.

We have used the last two weeks to honor his life and legacy and to help inspire you to have a greater perspective on life and your calling in Christ:

Ravi: A Poetical Sketch – A Tribute to Ravi Zacharias by Daniel Hsieh

Ravi Zacharias: A Personal Conversation, Pt. 1

Ravi Zacharias: A Singular Life (1946 – 2020)

Ravi Zacharias Buried in Casket Built by Prisoners

A MUST WATCH! – Ravi’s Memorial

Enjoy and glean from this titan of the faith! – Arthur

Arthur:  You said at Founders Weekend (an annual weekend retreat for close friends of the ministry), with respect to the ministry, that God gave you a vision without giving you omniscience.  I knew what you were saying because if you really knew what lay ahead, in your human mind, you would have been overwhelmed and felled before you even started.  But what was it that you did see?  I’m sure you never envisioned the grandness of the impact that RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) would have.  What was it that you were looking to do when you started the ministry?

Ravi:  The need.  I saw the need .  That’s about all I could see . . . that the need was incredibly vast to reach the mind and that we were going to be committed.  What I did see in my mind were university open forums, businessmen’s luncheons, international conferences where we are reaching the thinker;  and so I very clearly envisioned these audiences coming in large numbers to listen to a defense of the Christian faith but I did not envision, say, the growth of the radio ministry, the growth of our team, . . . the marvelous opportunities that have come are extraordinary.  I mean we have a full time staff of 18 here (Atlanta), 14 or 15 in Madras (India), and now with Oxford (England), and Canada . . . we have contained growth in our planning.  We have made every effort to limit growth.

[Note: It was in 1984 that Zacharias founded RZIM, which today has 16 offices throughout the world in the United States, Canada, Peru, Kenya, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Romania, Macedonia, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and the Middle East. Through its global team of more than 90 full-time speakers and nearly 300 employees worldwide, RZIM seeks to impact the heart and intellect of society’s thinkers and influencers through evangelism, apologetics, spiritual disciplines, training, and humanitarian support.]

Arthur:  That’s a new approach!  Everyone else seems to strive to do it the other way (i.e. strive for growth rather than limit it).

Ravi:  (chuckling) This is the truth.  People sort of chuckle at it in our meetings but I think one of the most difficult decisions in life is to know when you are at your maximum and not to go wider but to go deeper.

Arthur:  That’s something I came away with at Founders.  Let me tell you that that has been so profound in my life.  Not only the messages but the people I was around . . . talking to different people and listening to the testimonies, I was there humbled . . .  It was kind of scary for me because I had never thought in such grand and deep terms.  It seemed that everyone I was meeting had that kind of deeper vision for ministry.  I was kind of scared because I think, as you would say, Aslan is on the move;  something was going on in my heart, like I was approaching a next step [in my spiritual life] or something.  That was so enriching.  We appreciate that (being included) very much.

Ravi:  I appreciate that, Arthur.  That was a special weekend, no doubt.

Arthur:  Back to the ministry, how did it come about that the vision came to mind.  [Weren’t] you in the business world before you were in ministry?  How did God bring you to this point?

Ravi:  When I came to Canada (from his homeland, India), I worked in the hotel industry.  I trained in catering technology and hotel management.  My whole goal was to be in the hospitality and hotel industry.  I enjoyed that very much and still miss it a lot because I like the hospitality industry, my focus mainly being food and beverage management;  but after working in it for two years, there was no doubt in my mind, that as each day was going by, God’s voice was getting clearer and clearer.  By that I don’t mean an audible voice but a tug at the heart to get myself into theological training and into ministry because that was where I was most fulfilled – in sharing my testimony or speaking to audiences.  It was very obvious to me where it was going but I just did not know what form it would take.  I knew it was going to be ministry but I didn’t know whether it would be as a missionary or an evangelist.  I just did not understand those terms very well, coming from India. . . .  I finished my undergrad and then worked full time for the Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) for one year.  I then felt I needed graduate level education in philosophy if I was to truly wrestle with the questions people were asking.  I did my graduate level work at Trinity and after that became a professor for the Alliance . . . When I finally left the professorship to form RZIM, it was with the goal of reaching the thinker and training men and women to be able to think again for the glory of God.

Arthur:  Going back to [your early life], you were converted in India.  You said you were very sick or something?

Ravi:  Well, I was on a bed of suicide when I was 17.

Arthur:  Oh, that’s right. Was it really that meaningless or seemingly so at that point?

Ravi:  I think so because of the kind of culture in which I lived.  There’s a lot of pressure to do well in your studies and if you’re not going to do well, there’s no hope.

Arthur:  The Chinese kids that I work with have a strong feeling of that.

Ravi:  Exactly.  I talk to them here at Georgia Tech.  I’ve had them come to the office.  A Chinese youngster understands that very well [and] an Indian youngster understands it very well.  There’s a great similarity because of the size of our nations and the emphasis that is placed on scholarship, and then limited opportunities . . . it’s not good enough to do well, you have to be at the top of your class.  That’s the pressure.  If you don’t make it, there’s a lot of shame.

Arthur:  That’s right. So, you said your mother brought the Word in to you?

Ravi:  Yes, somebody brought a Bible into the hospital room –  a friend of mine whom I didn’t know that well – and he gave her John 14 to read to me.  In the hospital room, when she read it, that’s when [I made my commitment].  I had heard the gospel before but I didn’t have full understanding of the terms.

Arthur:  When she was reading the words, did something happen?

Ravi:  When she came to the verse when Jesus said, “Because I live, you shall live also” I said, “Lord, I don’t know exactly what this means but if this means that You’re the giver of life, then I want it, and I want Your life because the life I have I do not want.  I will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of truth if You will just change my life for me.

Arthur:  Afterward, then, was there an immediate difference?

Ravi:  Yes, an incredible difference.  I left the hospital room a brand new man.  I got involved in Bible studies with Youth for Christ and they became my nurturing agent really.

Arthur:  You told me in your letter to me last year that you thought the Chinese people had a special role in God’s plan in the next century.  What did you mean by that?

Ravi:  Well, I think they are a very, very uniquely gifted people.  If you look at the Chinese culture, there’s almost nothing, in terms of human capacity, that they as a culture do not possess.  [They are] incredible artists, very competitive in athletics, very gifted musically.  They know the diligence of thinking [and] scholarship – the Chinese scholar and so on.  They’re very, very gifted in business acumen and learning to make the best out of difficult situations.  They have an incredible survival instinct . . . through thick and thin, somehow they have managed to keep the home fires burning.  There’s a lot of courage in Chinese culture . . . If the gospel takes hold in China, I have no doubt that they will be the agents of change in the twenty first century . . . the key is going to be how the gospel takes root.

Arthur:  Are there any plans for RZIM to (minister in China)?

Ravi:  I think so, Arthur, I think so.  We generally wait for things to come about naturally;  we seldom construct a specific plan but the way God has opened up doors for us in the past, I think something will happen because of the impact we had in Hong Kong and in Singapore.

Arthur:  In your last statement here, what is your life’s passion or purpose?

Ravi:  Oh, to receive the divine accolade, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”;  I think to win the applause of God rather than anything else;  that God would be pleased with my life, that is my goal without a doubt.

Arthur:  Ravi, this has been a great time for me.  Thank you so much!

Ravi:  Oh, I appreciate that, Arthur.  We appreciate you, too, very much.  Give our love to Sandra . . . and thank you for taking the time.  It’s good to talk to you again.

Arthur:  You and your family have a great Christmas.

Ravi:  You too, my brother.  The Lord bless you.