TD Fri. – “A TD Thanksgiving feat. Offerings 8”!

Hey TD!

This Friday is “A TD Thanksgiving feat. Offerings 8”! Woohoo! It’s going to be great time of giving thanks to our ever-so-gracious God through food, fun, fellowship, and Offerings 8! We’ll meet at the Hsiehs’ home at 6:30 p.m. to begin the festivities.

Potluck

Each small group member will bring primarily main dishes and sides, while one person in each group will bring drinks and one person will bring dessert. Let your small group leaders know what you’ll be bringing.

Offerings 8

The theme is “Engage!” and is an invitation for us to engage with God and one another creatively and artistically by giving Him an offering of music, art, writing, reading, recitation, whatever.  You may be hesitant or nervous about giving Him a public offering, but we encourage you take a risk and go for it.  It will not only be a blessing to others, but to yourself as well.  If you haven’t signed up yet, sign up with your small group leaders today!

I posted this interview last with the one and only Jill Carattini month, but it’s a great reminder as to why the arts are an important component to the Christian life and the Christian community.  I’d encourage you to watch it again and respond:

 

See you Friday! – Arthur

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TD Vlog – “How the Arts Can Deepen Your Faith” w/Jill Carattini

Hey Masterpieces of God!

This summer, while at ReFresh with in Atlanta with some TD’ers, I had a chance to spend some time with dear friend, Jill Carattini, writer extraordinaire on the deeper spiritual life, managing editor of Ravi Zacharias Int’l Ministries’ (RZIM) Slice of Infinity, and curator of RZIM’s formal art gallery, Stillpoint.

Jill agreed to come on camera with me and share with you TD’ers how the arts can deepen and energize your faith, and help you to get a greater apprehension of who we are. It’s spiritually insightful and very personal and vulnerable, reflecting her journey, my journey, … and for many of you … your journey. Where she was is where many of you are at. It will be a worthwhile viewing.

With Offerings 8 coming up on November 16, I thought this would be a great time to give you some inspiration and perspective, so you can prepare to give a meaningful offering to the Lord. Enjoy! – Arthur

Ravi @ “Refresh ’18” – “Building Your Private Life”

Michelle with RaviAnabell with Ravi

Ravi with Michelle and praying with Anabell

Ravi’s recap of Refresh (look who made it in the video!)

Hey TD!

Many students responded in faith and commitment at Refresh ’18, including some of our own TD’ers. Ravi’s message at Refresh ’18 brought conviction and perspective to all of us present. Even though it’s not the same as being there, you can still watch the videos above and glean from one of God’s choice servants. In our day and age, where the private life has not only gone so public, but has gone so wrong, this is a timely message calling for integrity and transparency before God. Please watch, pray, and obey. God bless you. – Arthur

TD Vlog – Michelle & Anabell from Refresh ’18

 

Ravi - Refresh Benson, Evan, Jason, Arthur, Ravi, Anabell, Michelle, Eunice @ Refresh ’18

Greetings from Refresh ’18!

It was a powerful evening with Ravi last night. Hearts were convicted, tears flowed (as maybe you can tell), consciences were seared, and lives were surrendered to our  gracious Lord. In today’s vlog, Michelle and Anabell share a short recap!

TD Vlog – Vince Vitale Speaks to TD from Refresh ’18!

Vince Vitale speaking to TD

Ebenezer Baptist Church

Jason, Benson, Evan, Anabell, Michelle, Eunice in front of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Ebenezer Baptist Church

Greetings from Atlanta!

We’re here at RZIM’s Refresh Conference and have had a powerful first day of going under the hood of understanding and sharing the gospel we thought we knew so well. It’s been a challenging and refreshing (yes, it has!) first day.

We have a treat for you today – author and speaker, Dr. Vince Vitale, speaks to you TD’ers about the importance of grounding your faith in Christ before heading to college! Even in this short clip, you can see the heart and power of God. You’ll also see some TD’ers in the background playing Jenga (and, yes, it crashes down!).

“The answer to any question is something true and all truth is grounded in God.”

– Vince Vitale, Refresh ’18

In Critical Care

Carattini

Hey TD!

Here’s an insightful piece from our friend, RZIM’s Jill Carattini, managing editor of A Slice of Infinity. In classic Jill fashion, she shows us the eternal in our everyday lives. Enjoy! – Arthur

In Critical Care

by Jill Carattini

The “doorknob phenomenon” is an occurrence many physicians know well. Doctors can proceed meticulously through complete examinations and medical histories, taking care to hear a patient’s questions and concerns, but it is often in the last thirty seconds of the appointment that the most helpful information is revealed. When a doctor’s hand is on the doorknob, body halfway out the door, vital inquiries are often made; when a patient is nearly outside the office, crucial information is shared almost in passing. Many have speculated as to the reasons behind the doorknob phenomenon (which is perhaps not limited to the field of medicine), though a cure seems unlikely. Until then, words uttered on the threshold remain a valuable entity to the physician.

If I can speak on behalf of patients (perhaps I’ve been a perpetrator of the phenomenon myself), I would note that the doorway marks our last chance to be heard. Whatever the reason for not speaking up until that point—fear, discomfort, shame, denial—we know the criticalness of that moment. In thirty seconds, we will no longer be in the presence of one who might offer healing or hope or change. At the threshold between doctor’s office and daily life, the right words are imperative; time is of the essence.

One of the many names for God used by the writers of the Bible is the Great Physician. It is curious to think of how the doorknob phenomenon might apply. Perhaps there are times in prayer when the prayer feels as if we are moving down sterile lists of conditions and information. Work. Finances. Mom. Jack. Future. Of course, while bringing to God in prayer a laundry list of concerns with repeated perseverance is at times both necessary and helpful, perhaps there are also times when we have silenced the greater diagnosis with the words we have chosen to leave unspoken. Can a physician heal wounds we will not show, symptoms we will not mention?

Rembrandt, Beggars on the Doorstep of a House, 1648.

Thankfully, yes. The Great Physician can heal wounds one cannot even articulate. Scripture writers speak of a God who hears even our groanings too deep for words. On the other hand, choosing to leave out certain details is hardly helpful before any doctor. Can God begin the work that needs to be done if we won’t really come near as a patient? Is there a cure for those who do not seek it? Mercifully, there is a physician who seeks us.

The ancient prophet Jeremiah once cried, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? No healing for the wound of my people?” Jeremiah lived during one of the most troublesome periods of Hebrew history. He stood on the threshold between a people sick with rebellion and despair and the great Physician to whom they refused to cry out in honesty.

“I have listened attentively,” the LORD declared, “but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle.”(1) His words describe behavior a doctor likely recognizes. A patient who complains of a cough while a fatal wound is bleeding will neither find respite for the cough nor her unspoken pain, and of course, a good physician would not treat the cough until the bleeding has been stopped.

In Jeremiah’s day, as in our own, the promise of a quick and effortless remedy was cunningly presented in many ways. Of these “prophets of deceit” God declared, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”(2) There are some promises that are quite easy to stand beside but crumble under the weight of us. To stand in honesty before a physician is more difficult. To stand in honesty with the greatest of Physicians is to submit to a kindness that may undo us. It is to ask to be made well, to be made new, to be made truly human by the Son with human hands, knowing that the way to my remedy rests in his own wounded hands.

The great Christmas hymn places before us this powerful resolution:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessing flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found.(3)

The woundedness of humanity is serious: cries of injustice, the wounds of racism, despair and lament at cancers around us, the devastating marks of our own failings left shamefully upon others and ourselves. This cannot be bandaged as anything less than a mortal wound. But the threshold is now. Christ comes near. He weeps with us, ready to address the indications of our illness, imparting healing and kindness. In the coming of Christ, God offers a cure extending as far as the wound can ever fester.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Jeremiah 8:6.
(2) Jeremiah 8:11.
(3) Isaac Watts, Joy to the World, 1719.

Arthur at the EAP – “Christianity is so exclusivistic … believe in it or go to hell. That’s not right nor fair”

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Hey TD!

I just got back from spending an amazing week in Atlanta with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) as a participant in their Emerging Apologists Program (EAP).  What a phenomenal time it was of nurturing my heart, soul, mind, and strength in the Lord and in my ministry in this world. I hope to pass on to you things I’ve learned in the future.

Part of our program was to address a pressing argument against the Christian faith, as well as to participate in an open forum-style Q&A session. The issue I addressed was “Christianity is so exclusivistic. You either believe in Christianity or go to hell. That’s neither right nor fair.” I thought you might be interested in my answer, in case you come across the same question yourself

“Why is Christianity  So Exclusivistic?” (mp3) – Arthur