With the closing of Andre Kole’s ministry I’m transitioning to another Cru ministry – one that I’m now just as excited about – working with international students at Arizona State University. I have made a lateral move to the Bridges International ministry. Bridges seeks to reach out to the future leaders of other nations while they are right here in our own backyard. ASU had over 12,000 international students last year – a highly strategic mission field, wouldn’t you agree?Continue reading
Cru15 Staff Conference and The Maze
In July we had a good time leaving the Arizona heat behind and going to our bi-annual gathering in Ft. Collins, Colorado. We had seven days of great speakers both from within Cru and from without. You can go to cru15.cru.org/archive to watch almost all of the speakers’ presentations.
While we were there we went white-water rafting. That was a blast.
Vacation Bible School 2015
Sheila was the Director again this year and I helped out with the tech. We had 400 kids attending this year – seven of which made decisions for Christ and many others wanted to talk more with someone about their relationship with God.
The Curtain Closes
After more than 50 years of highly effective evangelistic ministry, the curtain closed on the Andre Kole Ministry as of the first of this year. I can not help but feel a great sense of personal loss after being a part of that ministry for 33 years. I knew this day would come, but I was still not emotionally prepared. Even though Andre had not been doing outreach programs himself for several years, ministry was still happening. I was still heavily involved in projects which were extending his ministry for several years to come, without the traveling show. But, due to practical reasons, the national leadership of Cru felt it was time to sunset this branch of the organization.
And we might say Sheila graduated as well, now that she has no more home school students. Josh is pursuing further education at Mesa Community College for the time being.
Here is an animated slideshow I put together commemorating his first 17 years.
Convicting Thought for the Day
“If we don’t think about God, pray to God, listen for God’s voice, and consciously serve God, by definition we live an ungodly life. We usually think of “ungodly” as being against God, but ungodly can also be a life that simply ignores God or – out of busyness, indifference, religiosity, or apathy – simply doesn’t tap into God. In this sense, it is possible to give an ungodly sermon that may be theologically accurate. It is possible to lead ungodly family devotions that nevertheless focus on spiritual truth. Christianity doesn’t address only the ends; it has a lively interest in the means. That’s why every healthy, growing believer should experience God every day – his presence, his power, his wisdom.” [Holy Available by Gary Thomas]
Superbowl Breakfast 2015
January 31 was a very early morning for Sheila and I, since we needed to be 45 minutes away from home at the JW Marriott in Phoenix at 5am. We were there to help set up for the NFL sanctioned breakfast which is hosted by Athletes In Action, one of Cru’s ministries. We thought it would be a novel experience to be around sports figures we didn’t recognize or know about, at an event about which sports fans would envy us. Another motivating factor was the opportunity to help with an event that has the potential to help change people’s lives for eternity – and to get free breakfast. We helped distribute programs and follow-up materials to the tables and then manned the doors to take tickets and keep out would-be crashers.
You have probably already heard that Peyton Manning was awarded the Bart Starr Award at the breakfast this year. The other speakers included Tony Dungy, Bart Starr, Jr., Drew Brees, Benjamin Watson, Steve Largent, Brent Jones, and Troy Vincent. Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints has a gift for speaking/preaching, and he gave an excellent gospel message. In fact, 39 people indicated decisions that morning, 76 wanted more information about a personal relationship with God, and 56 indicated interest in being in a small group Bible study.
Here are a few of the comments afterwards:
“What an outstanding job you and the whole team did with this program. It was my first experience with the Super Bowl Breakfast, and I was blown away! I thought the gospel presentation by Benjamin Watson was one of the best I had ever heard – is he a pastor? If not, he should be – and I’m not easily impressed. I’ve been a believer in Jesus for 40 years and heard thousands of gospel presentations – his testimony was truly inspirational.”
“I accepted Jesus when I was in High School but have needed something to pull me back to Him. I now fully understand why I was randomly offered this opportunity to come today.”
Andre Kole’s Squeeze Box video
I just uploaded a new video to YouTube. This is of Andre and Tim performing Andre’s Squeeze Box Illusion.
This was one of the first real popular illusions that Andre created. It was done by Siegfried and Roy, and has long been a mainstay in David Copperfield’s shows.
You may have seen after I originally uploaded it in 2010, but I just improved the sound mix and re-uploaded it.
2014 Brief Review
Our year-end newsletter is here, and following are some additional photos to supplement that letter.
Sheila’s trip to Guatemala in early November.
And here is Craig somewhere in these photos.
Evidence for our fascination with the supernatural can be found in the media which a large part of the population seems to be drawn to. I read through the TV Guide listings for the 7:00 to 10:00 time slots last week and found 12 shows which deal with paranormal powers or involve spirits or otherworldly entities. An examination of the movies released this year revealed 13 which would be classified likewise.
Here are the findings:
|TV 7pm-10pm||Movies released in 2014|
It is this interest in these themes which we are hoping to tap into with the Supernatural Project Documentary movie we are working on.