EDITOR’S LETTER—For the Love of God

By on April 1, 2016
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By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C.S. Lewis

The sneezing epidemic has begun. It seems that overnight azaleas bloomed and there is a thick layer of yellow powder on my car. I just learned that our print deadline is tomorrow instead of two days from now. Last month, I had Double Pneumonia. This month it is an “oops” deadline. Life is hard. What a Monday.

It was just yesterday that we celebrated Easter, the most tangible picture of love ever flung across the pages of history. I cannot stop thinking about it. It’s one thing to believe in the concept of love and the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is another thing altogether to come face to face and heart to heart with the personal implications of the cross. It changes us. I think that is a very good thing that it does. The whole thing is really under my skin at the moment.

Tim Keller, the renowned minister at Redeemer Church in New York City, makes the point that we can hold in our hands a map of any city in the world. We can study the streets and highways and can even memorize it. However, studying the map is not the same as experiencing the place in person. I get it—don’t you? I finally got to see Paris, but I had seen the Eiffel Tower my entire life. It wasn’t until stood beside it that I realized how magnificent it really is.

Knowing about Jesus is not at all the same as knowing Him. In our relationships, it is not always easy to tell who knows the story and who lives the experience. But there are times when we meet someone who lives so authentically with God and with others, that we yearn for exactly the same thing to be evident in our lives.

Luther Ott is one of those very real people. He came to an understanding of the gospel and into a relationship with the Savior that became the foundation of everything else he embraced. He chose to build his life around his faith rather than the other way around. It mattered how he showed love and compassion for his fellow man—it mattered how he went about doing his part in representing the love of Christ in his community. And it mattered whether or not he was willing to get out of his comfort zone and work on something as controversial at that time as “racial reconciliation.” When somebody takes a risk because of their belief, you just know they are real.

But oh, what difference he has made in building bridges and lovingly confronting the opposition. Who doesn’t love Luther Ott? So far, I can’t find anybody.

I love what I do on a daily basis. My small part in telling the faith stories of others is almost an energy elixir for me. In turn, I see again and again how doing the thing God calls you to do, is not a chore at all. It is a from start to finish a “God thing.”

Do not miss “Living My Call” this month. DeSean Dyson and the school at Redeemer Church is a must read. After you read Nancy Flower’s wonderful story, go take a look at this video at bit.ly/MCLRedeemer. You just might want to become involved.

Martin Willoughby, as always, will give you cause to think past the frantic pace of making it through a harried day of juggling the urgent and finding room for the eternal. A great read.

Josh Haycraft is a new writer at Summit Counseling, but if you are feeling down, his article on hope gives practical points on breaking out of the rut.

Please take a look at our pics from our recent Christian Leaders of the Future event. Last month you got to read about our finalists. This month we show you pictures of maybe the best and most fun event we ever had with our high school seniors, our stellar speakers, and our time together. Please take a look.

There’s a lot more to take in in this issue. I can guarantee you will find something that inspires or at the very least, piques your interest to know more. Enjoy. We loved putting it together and our goal is that you enjoy every minute of reading.

Happy Spring from MCL to you!