Fun Way to Bring Hope to Bring Me Hope! (and see Calvin & Daniel in action!)

Where Love Found Me Movie Support.jpg

“Where Love Found Me” movie link

Hey TD!

As is the case with many small businesses and small non-profits, our friends at Bring Me Hope (BMH) are trying to find ways to pay their bills.  They have already begun to make budget cuts (including salaries) and are already donating extra time to the ministry.  As you know, they do great work and have been instrumental in helping us at TD work towards defending the fatherless.

Please get the word out and make the most of the opportunity that is before us to still help vulnerable children in Jesus’ Name, even in the midst of being quarantined!

Here’s a fun way to help them out.  Remember the moving movie we watched on V4V Saturday? Well, it’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime, and BMH will get PAID for every minute that is watched.

So, if each of us hosts a movie night for our families, we will be helping BMH keep its doors open to help orphaned children in China.  And if we ask all of our friends and family to watch the movie, we can be an even bigger help!  Pop some popcorn and enjoy!

Here’s the link:

WHERE LOVE FOUND ME (BMH movie)

Please get the word out and make the most of the opportunity that is before us to still help vulnerable children in Jesus’ Name, even in the midst of being quarantined!

Here are some fun Instagram features of Calvin and Daniel, two of The Men of BMH Camp!

View this post on Instagram

Meet Calvin Tong!⁣ ⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐩𝐞?⁣ ⁣ I first considered orphan care when my youth group leader started preaching on the importance of reaching the least of these. As one adopted into the family of God by the blood of Christ, I could not deny the reality that God cared for the voiceless and the defenseless. If my Heavenly Father’s heart was so fixed on the misplaced, the lost, and the helpless, how could I not love them? I saw orphan care as an opportunity for me to extend the hand of Christ to one that was looking for hope and peace in this world. Thankfully, around that time, we became acquainted with Bring Me Hope and eagerly went out to their summer camp in Zhengzhou.⁣ ⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐩/𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞?⁣ ⁣ Having been to camp for the past 3 years, I can say that the need for positive male role models is huge for these kids. They are crucial in discovering one’s identity and avoiding unhealthy/ delinquent behavior. For you to be there is big for some of these kids because sometimes the only male relationships they have are with fellow peers who can be terrible models for them. ⁣ ⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐩?⁣ ⁣ A great memory that I have a camp was 3 years ago when I met these two brothers from a private orphanage. They were aged out and no longer able to be adopted. Though their situation was undoubtedly depressing, it became apparent to me that the brothers held tight to the faith communicated to them by their caretakers. One night, by God’s providence, we were able to sing a worship song together. Reflecting on the lyrics, I realized that though these brothers were deprived of the love of earthly parents, they had experienced the comforting love of their Heavenly Father. Though they had little to lean on this world, they were confident that they were in the powerful hands of Christ. That moment reminded me of the power of the gospel and it’s ability to heal even the most broken hearts. We were able to connect so deep

A post shared by Bring Me Hope Foundation (@bringmehope) on

View this post on Instagram

Meet Daniel Hsieh ⁣⁣⁣⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐩𝐞?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Some friends from my church went to BMH one summer, and when they came back and shared about it, I remember thinking, I gotta go to camp. I knew they experienced something special. Sure, they talked about the challenges and messiness that sometimes accompanies caring for orphaned children and children in general. Sure, there was a language barrier. Sure, it was expensive. But there was an unmistakable smile, a "but it was so worth it" look in their eyes that was bursting from them. Their sharing changed the very energy of the room. I remember feeling chills of excitement just hearing about their time at camp. I was experiencing second-hand joy, and I knew that I wanted to taste it for myself. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐩/𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ So much of life is "caught not taught." Our mirror neurons do a lot of the heavy lifting in our development. For young boys especially, a living role model, an older bro who can affirm them and tell them, "You're a cool kid. I believe in you." — these figures can make deeper impressions than we imagine. They can help tip the scales of self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness. They can be an antidote to messages of shame. If the Chinese saying is true that "a picture is worth a thousand words," imagine the influence exerted on a child by the presence of a positive male figure embodying tangible care and trust.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐩?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Hector and I were having a lot of fun at the water park in the kids' pool, but I thought it was time he try something more challenging. I pointed to the water slide some fifty feet away and asked him if he wanted to try it. He turned away and said "scary" — fair enough, considering that, compared to him, the slide was huge, and Hector does not have use of his legs. CONTINUED IN COMMENTS

A post shared by Bring Me Hope Foundation (@bringmehope) on

Easter Reflection from Ravi – “No More or Not Here?”

Hey TD!

The Apostle Paul said that if Christ has not risen from the dead, we (Christ followers) are to be most pitied.  He’s absolutely right.  Jesus’ bodily resurrection makes all the difference in this world and the next. That’s Easter hope.

World renowned apologist Ravi Zacharias shares some reflections on Easter hope, a hope I hope you’ll have soon.  Enjoy. – Arthur

 

No More or Not Here?

An Easter Reflection from Ravi Zacharias

There is a hotel where I have stayed frequently over the last thirty years. I know many of the staff and every time I return, they give me the best and kindest hospitality. I have found that when you talk to people, you learn so much about life at different economic levels, but all with the same challenges.

One of my favorite people was a bellman called Raj. He took particular care to make sure I never violated my doctor’s orders to not lift heavy suitcases. Whenever I checked in, he would bring my bags and set them up in my room. We often talked politics and spiritual issues. He was a very intelligent gentleman and a great conversationalist. I’ll never forget his statement on politics in his country. “They are not political parties, Sir. They are cartels scheming and manipulating. We pay the price for our foolishness,” he said. Fascinating take.

This time when I stayed there, I didn’t see him the first day so I assumed it was his day off. When I didn’t see him the second day, I asked one of the other bellman if Raj was on vacation.

“Oh no, Sir. He is no more,” came the reply.

Quite surprised at the phrase, I asked if he didn’t work there anymore. The reply came repeating the phrase: “No Sir. He is no more. He died last month.” I was shocked because the man was in his fifties. Evidently he had gone home one night after work, told his wife that he was not feeling well, and went to bed after a very light snack. When she tried to wake him up for breakfast, he had already breathed his last.

“He is no more.”

That phrase is pretty defining, isn’t it? The famed writer Nikos Kazantzakis, who had his run-ins with the church over his very controversial “The Last Temptation of Christ,” asked that the following words be put on his gravestone:

Den elpizo tipota.
Den fovumai tipota.
Elmai eleftheros.

I hope for nothing.
I fear nothing.
I am free.

Very cavalier statements, except that he is not there to defend those propositions. So it is much more meant to impress the reader than tell you anything about the departed one, whether he was justified in what he said or not. And as to his state of mind after death, all of those sentiments are an ultimate category mistake. If he doesn’t exist, attributing those sentiments brings to mind what Aristotle would have said in defining “nothing”: That which rocks dream about. A rock never hopes, fears, or seeks freedom. That is for the living.

The whole message of Easter defines this longing to be. After Jesus rose from the dead, the women went to visit where they had placed the body. The angel they met did not say, “He is no more!” He said, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here: He is risen” (Luke 24:5-6).

That statement defines everything about who we are. For the one who has given his or her life to Jesus, we will never ever “Not be!” We are meant to be in his presence eternally. The very phrase “goodbye” is a contraction of “God be with you.” It is the same with “adios”: “Go with God.”

Our hearts long for intimacy. Heaven is the consummate intimacy of the spirit. That is not a category mistake; rather, it defines the ultimate expression of life in its essence. Our spirit in communion with his. The closest thing to a touch felt by the Spirit.

The time will come when we also will have to say goodbye or adios for the last time. When that happens, how wonderful to know that those who speak for us do not have to say, “He is no more.” They can victoriously say, “He is not here; he is risen.”

The gospel message from beginning to end is dependent on this promise of Jesus that he would rise again. That unsealed tomb is the seal of his promise as the giver of eternal life. Over the centuries, skeptics have gone to ludicrous lengths to try and explain why his enemies could not present his body. That would have been all they needed to quash this rumor of his resurrection. But it wasn’t a rumor. It was a fulfilled promise seen by vast numbers, and it changed the course of history.

Luke was a physician. He knew what happened to a body when it died. He writes of the resurrection and the work of the early church. The resurrection was seen and lived out. It was the event that told the world that ultimately history is His Story of what life was meant to be.

The noted writer and atheist turned follower of Jesus A.N. Wilson said that he was at an Easter service when he saw the sham and the hollowness of his life without God. He described his conversion to atheism as “a Damascus road experience” and his return to Jesus as a slow arduous process through doubt and struggle. Part of that struggle made him see the difference of the logic that drove Hitler to his mission and Bonhoeffer to his. The belief and its consequences were worlds apart. He clearly saw the value of life in keeping with the message of Jesus and the hope and the joy of the Christian message. The faith that he once attacked, he now embraced. It all happened in a small church as he heard the message and listened to the hymns. Death was no longer to be feared, not because we are brilliant or daring or write prize-winning books as Kazantzakis did, but because Jesus lives to give us life everlasting. Even the atheist Anthony Flew granted that this was the litmus test of the Christian faith, and if true would define life.

Billy Graham tells the story of German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer looking at the ruins of war and saying to Mr. Graham, “Outside of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I know of no other hope for mankind.”

The conversion of Saul to Paul and the skeptic Thomas showed how two of the finest thinkers of their time were willing to pay with their lives after seeing the risen Jesus. One went east and the other went west. Today, more bend their knees to Jesus than to any other name.

This same trip that began in one country for me ended in Bangkok, Thailand, two weeks later. Every day as I looked outside my window, I would look scrutinizingly across the Chao Phraya River, because it looked to me like a cemetery on the other side. So I inquired of the bellman if indeed there was a cemetery on the other side of the river. He said he thought so. I hailed a ride and went over there. The main reason was to see perchance if my dear friend Koos Fietje, who was murdered in Thailand in 1981 at the age of 38, could be buried there. Bangkok is a massive city. But I was sure the Christian burial sites would not be many. As I entered, I noticed there were gravestones going back to the 1800s. I walked through the cemetery looking in every direction. Suddenly I came upon the stone you see here in the United States. I was shocked. Koos and I were very close in our undergraduate days. He paid with his life for the gospel. The last time we met was in Bangkok in 1974. He died in 1981. This was 2019. He died at the age of 38. I was standing by his grave 38 years later. Koos served as a missionary with Overseas Missionary Fellowship.

I placed some flowers at his grave and thought back on what a powerful life he had lived. Yes, there were tears.  When I went back, the bellman asked me if I found it. I showed him the picture. He looked at it and said, “What this means?” He was pointing to the verse on the stone, “For me to live is Christ but to die is gain.” I did my best to explain it to him. I saw a tear in his eye.

Two bellmen. Two weeks apart, two countries apart. Both had a tear. One because of a loss. The other because of a gain. The resurrection of Jesus makes the difference.

The hymn writer said it triumphantly:

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

That is why the Easter greeting is not, “He is no more.” Rather it is, “He is risen!”

And the joyful reply, “He is risen indeed.”

Happy Easter!

Ravi, on behalf of all of us at RZIM

Passion Week Podcasts: Easter Sunday Finale

Well, today marks our final Passion Week podcast.  It’s the one Daniel saved for the culmination of this series.  It’s a life-altering piece of teaching that should leave you in a good and healthy place.

It would be appropriate this Easter Sunday to surrender your soul, your life, your ALL to the Lord in heart-rending surrender, obedience, and worship.

What a great day to begin a new pattern and direction for the rest of your life.  Perhaps you can take protracted times of Bible study, prayer, singing, learning, podcast listening :), and serving Him.  Whatever it takes to get your soul set on Him, do it … and enjoy! – Arthur

(link for those who can’t listen directly on the blog)

“The Cross: An Excruciating Glory” link

A Sign of Hope For Our Country

Hey TD,

If you keep up with the news, there is much to get discouraged about, from the decline of public moral standards, to increasing evil both abroad and locally, to news from our government, to … war.  It has been said that no one really wins in war, because there is just so much loss, devastation, carnage, and … pain.

No matter your stance on geo-political affairs, you have to give a certain amount of respect and appreciation for our soldiers, who, every time they are deployed for duty, never know if they will be returning to their families.  Every mission could be their last.

That’s why my eyes watered and my heart swelled with solemnity and hope when I watched the following video last week of some of our Marines worshipping our God with vigor.  Maybe yours will too.  Please say a prayer for our troops and their families after watching. – Arthur

“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6