Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ripple Affects...

Hey all,

I've been coming into Campus Crusade for Christ's HQ, called "Lake Hart", for the last week or so, beginning to get situated for my job for the next 6 to 7 months. Today I was sitting in the National Campus Office area doing some work when the director of the Campus Ministry's Research and Development department, Keith Davy approached me.

He asked me if I had been hearing any of the stories related to the image survey, Soularium, that were filtering back from its use on campuses in the US? I told him "no", but I would love to hear them. These two stories turned into the highlight of my day.

I'll post them in the words of the people who related them.
The first one was at Michigan State:
One of the best experiences happened to Rana and Paul, two people on our staff team who are focusing on the Greek system. One day they were walking and praying for the fraternities and sororities and decided to knock on the door of the Alpha Chi Omega house. A girl answered and invited them in. (This does not happen, mind you!) Several girls gathered around to talk. The group kept growing, until close to 13 were huddled around the cards, choosing the ones that best represented their experiences, openly sharing their opinions, emotions, and questions. Paul was able to transition into the Gospel and seven of the girls prayed to receive Christ! One of the girls said, “We were just talking about this stuff yesterday and how we should start a Bible Study. And then you showed up!” Rana has been helping to get a Bible Study started from them—more than the original 13 girls have expressed interest. Please pray that it would get off the ground…the sorority girls are very busy, with many things demanding their time.
The other from Southwest Illinois College located east of St Louis in Illinois:
Last week, JB was sharing his faith at SWIC using an evangelistic tool called Soularium. Soularium is a collection of 50 artistic photographs that we use to help people express where they are spiritually through pictures. We ask students to pick three photos to describe where they are spiritually.

Jason, a SWIC student, chose a photo of a path, a photo of a barbed-wire fence, and a photo of a sunset to describe his spiritual state. He said, “I feel like I’m searching for God, like I’m on a path and I want to find Him. But…” Holding up the photo of the barbed-wire, he said, “I feel like something is standing in the way of me knowing God—something is holding me back, and blocking me.” Finally, holding up the picture of the sunset, he said, “Once I’m able to get through this barrier, the place I’ll be is a place of peace.”

Wow. How easy it was to share the Gospel with Jason after that! JB was able to explain to Jason that God loved him, and did have a wonderful plan for his life, but that he was right—there was something blocking him from knowing God. JB was able to explain that sin separates us from God, but that Jesus has removed the barrier! We can now have a relationship with God through faith in Christ. There at a picnic table outside SWIC’s main building, Jason placed his faith in Jesus.

As Jason was getting ready to go, he said, “I know so many people that need to hear this message. I’ve got so many people that I need to tell about this.”
It is sooooo encouraging to hear that people are using a creative tool that we had a hand in developing in NYC. A tool that is leading them into deeper conversations with people, even conversatons that are leading people to the Nazarene.

Kirk and Sarah

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Inkling...

Hey all,

Most people, when thinking about The Inklings, think of its more famous individuals Lewis and Tolkien. Few think of one of its more shadowed members, Charles Williams. For years, I would give glancing thought to Williams and his writings leaving most of my energies for the bounding Aslan, and Frodo's four fingers. This left little desire to explore Williams.

But recently a friend, Luke Allsbrook, mentioned I should read some Williams, as he had many times before. But this instance I listened a little more closely and am a better man for it.
I tend to want to read an authors works in chronological order because I think it gives you a better sense of the writers growth over they develop as a story teller. War in Heaven is Williams' first novel written in 1930. His theme surrounds the mythic Holy Graal and the selfishness and selflessness it engenders. Williams opening line grabbed me:

The telephone bell was ringing wildly, but without result, since there was no-one in the room but the corpse.
One of the best opening lines of a novel I've read in a long time. No need to persuade me any more, I'm hooked. From the corpse the mystery deepens into what Williams' novels came to be known as "supernatural thrillers". Williams is spiritual even "christian" without being uncomfortable. The characters seem natural in how they think about life and the's a part of their lives as it is for everyone.

Williams writing reminded me another "Brit" who is also a favorite of mine, John Buchan, considered by some to be the father of the modern spy novel. Both carry tempos that don't leave you down for long but keep you wanting to see what's around the corner.

If this was his first novel I look forward to the rest.

From Mouse-town,
Kirk and Sarah