Catching Up With Francis Chan, now in Hong Kong (3/25/20)

Challenging Interview with Francis Chan from his new home – Hong Kong

Hey TD!

Through the decades of speaking at colleges, high schools, retreats, etc., I’ve been told by people that when I speak, I remind them of so-and-so; or so-and-so (one person said when I speak, I really reminded her of Obama! And that was a half a year before he was elected as the POTUS!).  I’m not surprised when I hear that I remind some people of some theologian or apologist because some of the people they have mentioned have indeed had a strong impact on me, both personally and through their ministries of teaching, writing, and personal conversation.

One person that has come up a few times is Francis Chan. Even Joni Eareckson Tada told me during one conversation that when I speak, I remind her of Francis, whom she knows and loves personally, and vice versa.  While I’ve had a few conversations with him, we don’t really know each other outside the occasional run-in at a conference.

And though I do have a great admiration for his work, I have an even greater admiration for his life.  One of Ravi Zacharias’s favorite authors, F.W. Boreham, once wrote:

“It puts iron into the blood to spend time with one for whom the claim of conscience is supreme and who loves the truth of God with so deathless an affection.”

I must admit that whenever I read Chan, listen to a message or him interviewed, it puts serious iron into my blood and leaves me yearning to love Christ better.  His trust in the Lord and His courage to follow Him truly humbles me and sends me to God praying for Him to have His way with me.

When you watch this interview that was done just a few days ago, I know it will do something similar for you too!

– Arthur

Throwback Thursday – The Original Speakers!

The original Speakers story featured on the TD Commotion (with surprise anchors and cameos!) Produced by TD alum, Jenny, over a decade ago, it’s still a great piece.

Hey TD!

As we begin a new season of training youth speakers for the 2018 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST), I thought you’d enjoy a blast from the past! Back when we had the “Total Devotion Commotion” video program, we did a feature on the very first YST we entered in 2006.

About a week before the Los Angeles Association Drill, I had somewhat of an epiphany and saw a vision to begin training TD’ers to be able to communicate God’s Word effectively.  I pitched the idea to four seniors, asking them to be the guinea pigs and to take the first steps to open the doors for future TD’ers to walk through.  Even though all the other churches had already been preparing months in advance, I just wanted them to open the doors.  There was no way we were going to win or anything, but even entering would start the ball rolling for us.

I thought the four accepted the challenge, but one of them said she never did, so when she received my email thanking all of them for buying into the vision and being willing to do something crazy like enter YST with only a week to prepare, she went to the bathroom and cried.  Who could blame her? Public speaking is America’s greatest fear. Who was it? I’ll let you watch the video above to find out.

We spent nearly everyday at my home the following week preparing.  One speaker dropped out early, and then another had a scheduling conflict, leaving only two speakers left.  But God led us here and God’s hand was all over this (and clearly has been ever since).  The rest, as they say, is history.

Though we have had 13 tournament champions and 8 runners-up since then, we have had many, many more true winners – in the most important ways – before God. Through fierce struggle, perseverance, tears, and the mercy and grace of God, we have had speakers who thought they were Christians coming in, actually become Christians during Speakers.  We’ve had life re-dedications, victory over fear, personal “dragons” slain, and many tears of joy and triumph.

All I can say about the Speakers process is that it is … magic.  Enjoy the video! – Arthur

 

TD Fri. – Using Your Gifts in TD

TD Orientation Prezi

Hey TD!

As shared earlier this year, TD’s infrastructure is built upon the four prongs that I believe should be the grounding of every Christian’s life and our ministry here at TD – Upward, Outward, Downward, and Inward.

This Friday, you will join one of the ministry groups – Upward, Outward, Downward, Inward, ArtReach, and Cinematic – and help plan TD’s ministry for the rest of the year.

Before coming into this Friday, we’d like to ask you to review the Prezi that Judy put together for the TD Orientation that describes the prongs and ministry groups: TD Infrastructure Prezi.

In addition, here’s Friday’s message and Table of Contents that should be understood before we head into Part 2 this Friday:

“Using Our Christ-mas Gifts,” Pt. 1 Rom. 12:6-8 (mp3) – Arthur

“Using Our Christ-mas Gifts,” Pt. 1 Rom. 12:6-8 (mp3) Table of Contents

Why pray on our knees – 0:00

1st part of Francis Chan’s CMC ’17 message – being in “the cage”  – 7:15

Arthur’s history at MBCLA, TD, and “the cage” – 19:15

Arthur’s vision for TD’ers, Chinese Christians, and having a “seat at the table” – 27:25

A history of Harvard and the university – 36:00

What “keeping His Word” really means – 38:25

Our personal Christ-mas and our different gifts – physical and spiritual – 47:30

How God made us & the part we play in His story – 58:00

Many gifts, one core – what is our core understanding of life? 3 core convictions – 1:02:25

The amazing gospel that can bring you salvation – 1:13:15