Sunday, March 23, 2008


Just like a lightning rod attracts the fury of the storm and grounds it, Jesus took all the evil discharge of hell on the cross and grounded it the tomb--then He got up and left.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Oh, Time, you mocker of me,
When e'er I'd hold you
How fast you flee.

But, yet, when waiting a day
To see my lovely one,
You just delay.

Oh, Hour, you measure of Time,
You're a mysterious
Riddle sublime.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


“Crucify Him!”

“Let His Blood be on us and our children.”

It startled me when I thought, “That’s the same prayer I pray. Cover me and cover my family with Thy blood.”

So different the intent, their words and mine, yet so alike in ultimate meaning.

They did not know their words carried such prophetic importance. The words have now, to me, become one of the most poignant descriptions of the plan of salvation.

What they snarled out as a curse, in fact, became the only thing that could redeem them and their children from sin’s curse. The very Blood their hatred spilled and cursed could atone for their grizzly deeds that caused it to flow.

All they—and we—have to do is ask.



Did some of them avail of that forgiving Blood? I can’t know but I think so. I do know about the thousands that were added to the church at Pentecost and daily thereafter.

I do know that countless martyrs mingled their blood with His in Rome’s Coliseum and Circus.

I do know that more martyrs have mingled their blood with His in my lifetime than the combined totals of all 2000 years since Christ’s death until my birth.

Brutal slayers still curse their victims’ blood and the Blood they preached about. Yet Calvary’s Blood will still cover their sins—if they but ask.

With a thankful heart I say, “Let His Blood be on me and on my children.”


Fifty-five years ago today I was shot in the back of my head. The doctor thought I died. The bullet blinded me.

BUT, God intervened and 11 days later I walked out of the hospital able to see.

Today, March 20, 2008, I look back over an awesome journey that has seen 109 countries, fed as many as 500,000 hungry people a day, led thousands in the sinners' prayer, and saved countless lives.

I know not why God has allowed me such privelege and joy.

Awesome God!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


What a night this is.

I read your Book, Jesus, and I know what happens in a few hours. You do too. This night is the last checkpoint before the awesome plan of salvation crafted in Heaven unfolds.

It is the Eve of Redemption.

You chose a garden, familiar place, a quiet place you had been to many times. Two thousand years later I visited this place and saw olive trees so ancient they had known your presence. Of all the historical holy sites, Gethsemane remains the most emotional to me.

I know you told your disciples what was coming. What did you feel as you walked into this garden with them for this last time?

You could tell they didn’t really sense the urgency and finality of the moment. Did you wonder if you could really trust them with your mission? Would they rise to the occasion and carry your message into all the world?

I know you knew the end from the beginning, but you are also God and have the power to alter events however you wish.

When you slipped away deeper into the garden you asked them to pray with you. You knew their weak flesh would drowse them into sleep.

Maybe I understand this. You knew what they would do based on your foreknowledge, but you still gave them the option—even though they’d disappoint you.

How many times have you done that very same thing for all of us. You always let it be our choice even though you knew what choice we’d make. And because you didn’t intervene and override our choice it can be said you ordained it to happen the way it did.

How alone you must feel just now as you walk on to your praying place.

This is it.

The plan of all ages past and for all ages to come has come to this very moment.

It’s decision time.

Is your mind reeling with the myriad of alternatives that you as God could ordain?
I remember when the religious leaders brought before you the harlot they had caught in the act. You were teaching in the temple. They interrupted your teaching and presented you with what they thought was a brilliant trap. Jewish law required one thing, Roman law another and they asked you what should be done to her.

You are bigger than any logical box man could put you in. You surprised them with a third option. Faced with their own sin-guilt they just walked away and abandoned their charges.

Surely right now you can think of another way to redeem my soul.
You know Judas’ kiss is coming tonight. His name and action will evermore be the symbol of betrayal.

But you could stop it.

Vain little men with puffed up egos are going to stand in mocking judgment over you. One word and legions—ten thousands of angels would come to your defense.

You could rise up in your God-ness and thunder out, “I am God!” and destroy every human imagination against you. But, if you do, man will know you as God, but we won’t know you as our Redeemer who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.

The body you are in is just as human as mine. You know the beatings by whips and sticks, the nails the thirst are coming. Don’t you already feel the pain?
Beads of sweat on your face tell me of the inner battle you now fight.

The crown. What a cruel device. You know the acute sting of a thorn stab.

This night marks the border between time and eternity for your begotten body.

Did those great drops of blood on your brow escape into the present from the thorn wounds that will come later on tonight across this blurring edge of time?

Right now you are totally aware of the unmeasurable weight and pain of evil and sin. It’s no wonder you groan. In a few hours you’ll be carrying it to the cross.

No wonder you will stumble under its load.

“O my Father!” Your cry shatters the garden silence and pierces my soul. I’ve never seen such pain. “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me:” You say “if.” If there is another way…

But, surely, even as you say it you know there will be no other way. Every offered sacrifice—all the way back to the first atoning sacrifice in another garden called Eden—depends on your decision tonight for its meaning and efficacy. Your death, your blood, will be the atoning empowerment of your peoples’ sacrifice and prayers.

Every sinner’s appeal to your blood from now on depends on this night.

You know you must.

“Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

There. It’s done!

Even as you said it I could sense the immediate calm in you—and in me. That cleansed feeling of every new believer was born with the one word, “Nevertheless.”
This night’s drama will unfold rapidly.

Within hours it will be over.
Confessed sins will forever be forgiven.
Broken bodies will be healed.
And Lie’s head will be crushed.

You will say, “It is finished!”


When the sinner brought the lamb to be sacrificed to atone for his sins, the priest did not examine the sinner--he examined the lamb to be sure the sacrifice was perfect.

Jesus is that spotless sacrifice for our sins.

When we as sinners come to the Father for forgiveness He examines the Lamb and knows it is perfect.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I started to take this picture in Wad Kowli, Sudan, but put my camera down as I thought, "This is this mother's darkest moment and I just about intruded into it with a camera."

Her eyes locked with mine. She pulled the baby from her breast and held it up toward the camera.

I knew she wanted me to take the photo. Her eyes seemed to be saying,"Show the world what is happening--make my baby's death mean something."

I'll never forget the moment. It's one of the events that led to our founding Children's Cup International Relief

Monday, March 17, 2008


“Come sit on my lap,” the missionary called.
He was Victor Plymire who criss-crossed hostile Tibet by foot telling people about Jesus.

I was thrilled to have him staying in our home while he spoke at our church in Wayne, Michigan. I was four years old but the memory is still vivid.

“What’s your name, Sonny?”
“I have a son named David, too. I did have a son named John but he and his mother died in Tibet helping me tell the people about Jesus.” He paused and I’m sure now he had tears in his eyes.

He cupped my chubby cheeks in his hands and said, “Will you grow up and take my son John’s place and be a missionary?”

“I will, Brother Plymire, I will!”

I knew something important had just happened, and I really meant my answer.

And God did, too.


War would drop a bomb on her or shoot her daddy.
Love would tell her about Jesus.


Children's Cup replaced this single mother's leaky old boat with a new houseboat ($600). It changed life for her and her two children. The houseboat is her home, her transportation, and her business.


Sunday, March 16, 2008


There’s yet another way of seeing Time’s river.

Humanity is like a river—the unborn flowing into the dying. If we span a natural river with a dam, we influence every drop of water that flows from that point on.

Catch with me please the exciting thought of spanning the cascading generations with the Word—the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Every soul born from that moment on would be influenced by the Word.

Spanning humanity with the news of Jesus is achievable—the Word Himself said, “Every nation shall hear…”

We have awesome communication tools. It takes a very short time to communicate a given fact to the world.

Jesus is the Ultimate Fact. Let’s do it!


There is a river of the future flowing into the past.

Each new moment starts fresh and clean and sparkling, but as it flows the stream picks up debris and pollutants.

What had begun as a life-giving freshness becomes a death-laden current. To drift on Time’s current is to dwell in the sewage of the past, but to press forward into the clean, new day is sweet and stimulating.

In another sense, man is drowning in that swiftly speeding flow. Like all other drowning ones, he grasps wildly for something—anything—to lift him from the drowning current.

One portrayal of the third world is a mass of people with their arms reaching up and eyes pleading for something to help them—for a lifeline to pull them out.

One fact is evident. Whatever would save them must not be itself subject to that same current. It cannot be captive to Time.

It must be eternal.

Such a saver—make that Savior—does exist! Jesus the Word.

He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall never pass away.” His Word is that eternal something to rescue drowning humanity.

Even human references can confirm the eternality of God’s Word. Consider: the greatest deed would die in the memory of those who experienced it if there were no words to capture and convey the story.

“And the Word was made Flesh…” God was reduced to a form man could grasp and cling to and be lifted out of the murky eddies of destruction.

View now another aspect. If in the natural we take a device called a dam, anchor it outside the river’s flow, and force the flow through the channels in the dam, the river’s force will turn dynamos and generate enough power to light cities.

Please grasp the next thought.

What would happen if we, being anchored in Jesus, would span Time—stand abreast of each new moment—and channel the flow through us?

We’d be able to speed the light of the Gospel to this darkened earth.

Would not rivers of living water flow from our innermost being?

Let’s carefully, anxiously embrace each new moment with arms wide open.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


“In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.”

These words were said by the One Who is no respecter of persons. What did He mean by ”least”?

Certainly He did not mean the least valuable—He died for everyone.

“Least” is a position man assigns to others. God was addressing our own values—our viewpoint—not His.

When we say “least” about another we are really calling ourselves better than they are.

My thoughts go to the forgotten, discarded children Children's Cup reaches to around the world. THEY ARE NOT THE LEAST VALUABLE.

They may be the least loved, the least loveable, the least beautiful, the least educated, least sophisticated, least talented, and the least cared for--but not the least valuable.

Yet their most crushing need—they are often the least aware of Who Jesus is.

We can, we must change this.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


He swaggered into my office to conduct some business. It was evident that he was very drunk and I politely asked him to return when the alcohol had worn off.

Immediately, fists clenched, he jumped up and lunged toward my desk to strike me. He was shouting a verbal flood of profanity.

“What’s that?” he demanded as he pointed to my pocket Bible on the desk.

Before I could answer he snatched the precious Word from my desk. With his mind and words aflame with hatred he snarled, “I think I’ll tear this to…”

He did not finish the sentence for as he opened the Word to destroy it, his fingers touched the pages. His eyes softened as is mind slammed back to sobriety by the sudden awareness that in his hands was the warmth of God’s love—His Word—His Son Jesus Christ. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit had penetrated the gray fog in his brain.

A softened voice and sober eyes said, “You know, the Bible never hurt anyone, did it?”

He gently placed the Bible back on my desk, turned abruptly, and walked out of my office.

As I picked up the Bible the realization that this was not just a book of leather, paper and ink swept my soul. In my hands was the love, the power, the Word of God. Moments before that Word had met and conquered the challenge of hate.

Jesus Christ is the Word according to John 1:1. Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” We are holding Life in our hands.

When the Word is transplanted from those pages into our minds and hearts it becomes the very source of our life.

Oh, let’s say with the Psalmist, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee!”

Friday, March 07, 2008


Lepers were called “untouchables.”

People feared their sickness, and what humans fear they often come to hate.

“Go away. Don’t come near me,” the lepers always heard.

But then one day Jesus came—and He touched them. And healed them.

I think of that scene when we hug our precious AIDS orphans in Africa. They have never known a loving touch. They only time anybody touched them was in cruel lust to hurt them. Their pain stabs our hearts.

Come with us to a Children’s Cup CarePoint. Some new orphans have just come for help. Watch them cringe as you reach toward them to touch them. “Are you going to hurt me, too?” is what their eyes say.

Press in gently and sense them relax and respond when they are sure you won’t hurt them.

Now, remember the scene of Jesus with the lepers. His loving touch changed everything.

In the same way your loving touch will change their lives.

The loving, healing touch is really the same. God touched them with the nearest member of His Body--you.