Guest Authors

Writings from various sources occasionally invited/gathered to share their devotional/commentary material.
One of my heroes is someone I've never met. Perhaps you've heard of her--Gladys Aylward. Her story has been told in a popular biography, a film starring Ingrid Bergman, and a BBC "This Is Your Life" feature.

If you'd met Gladys in her younger days, you would have wondered what all of today's fuss was about. Born into a working-class family, Gladys did poorly in school and began working as a maid at the age of 14. She would have remained a maid--but she had an overwhelming passion to leave her beloved London and travel to China.

The odds couldn't have been more against Gladys. In fact, the organization to which she applied was less than enthusiastic about sending this single, unlearned maid to the mysterious land of the Orient.
Is it time to re-evangelize America?

In a Time magazine cover story on "Kids, Sex & Values," a high school teacher in New York City said teenagers' lives are "empty, and their view of the future fatalistic." One 19-year- old said, "I believe in God. If he wants something bad to happen to me, it will happen. Anyway, by the time I get AIDS I think they'll have a cure."

Lakewood, California, was shaken by a teen sex scandal of the "Spur Posse," whose boastful members tallied their conquests of adolescent girls. As alarming as this depraved behavior, however, was the "boys will be boys" condonation of some parents. The director of research at the University of Minnesota's adolescent-health-training program told Newsweek magazine, "What we see is what's in the society at large."
Probably no concept has more currency in our politically correct culture than the notion of tolerance. Unfortunately, one of America's noblest virtues has been so distorted it's become a vice.

There is a modern myth that holds that true tolerance consists of neutrality. It is one of the most entrenched assumptions of a society committed to relativism.

The tolerant person occupies neutral ground, a place of complete impartiality where each person is permitted to decide for himself. No judgments allowed. No "forcing" personal views. Each takes a neutral posture towards another's convictions.

This approach is very popular with post-modernists, that breed of radical skeptics whose ideas command unwarranted respect in the university today. Their rallying cry, "There is no truth," is often followed by an appeal for tolerance.

A 10-year-old girl made the following observation: "Heaven is a nice place to go, but nobody's in a hurry to get there." And, you know, she's almost right.

Why is it that many Christians aren't excited about going to heaven and seeing the Lord? Maybe it's because unless their lives change, when all is said and done they will have little or nothing to show for their lives.

Christians in our society have opted for the "good life." They go to church, read their Bibles, serve on church committees, tithe and don't do a single thing that will count for eternity. Why? Because they refuse to do the one thing that God has called them to do, and that is to love Him with all their heart and soul and strength.

Throughout the television program, as I counseled people who called in search of spiritual help and prayed on the air with those who wanted to open their hearts to Jesus Christ, the station manager standing in the studio listened intently.

"I don't understand it," he said to me as the program signed off. "I attend church every Sunday. I partake of holy communion. I do confession at the stated times. And yet I have no assurance of eternal life."

Unfortunately, millions of Americans share this man's uncertainty, because they are trusting their own efforts to get them into paradise. This kind of thinking permeates all religions, including traditional Christianity.

From the moment Adam disobeyed God in the Garden, man has sought his own way to cover his sin and cleanse his conscience. We desire to do. We ask the same question the crowd asked Jesus: "What must we do to do the works God requires?" (John 6:28).

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