“And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made and do as you promised.” 2 Samuel 7:25
The Lord keeps His promises—He never has and He never will break a promise. He promises to forgive, so He forgives liberally. He promises to give grace in time of need, so He gives abundantly. He promises to love, so He loves lavishly. He promises Satan’s defeat, pain and joy in childbirth, laborious labor, safety, danger, His presence, heaven, hell, judgment, rewards, wisdom, foolishness for fools, and a Savior, Jesus Christ.
God’s promises concerning Christ are profound: born to a virgin woman, from the line of Jacob, inherits David’s throne, Spirit-filled, and the righteous King with a forerunner. He will be rejected, bear our sins and die like a criminal. He will be born in Bethlehem, be appointed to preach, and be full of unfailing love and faithfulness. He is God’s good news, bringing resurrection, new life and the fulfillment of all God’s promises.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
Because the Lord keeps His promises you can rest in His righteous word. The word of a man or woman can be uncertain, but Christ brings you calm with His certainty. Since His character is consistent, He is dependable. Therefore, study diligently the pages of Scripture and harvest the fresh and delicious produce of the Lord’s promises. His truths are a treasure you can count on during down times and guard you in up times.
Above all, latch onto God’s promise of a Savior in His son Jesus. He came to save the world yes, but remarkably He came to save you. He saves you from the penalty of sin and He saves you from yourself. He saves you from unwise decisions, unhealthy relationships and unrestricted areas of bad influence. He saves you from financial fiascoes, an unfaithful fiancé and an unforgiving attitude. Salvation begins at conversion and continues in Christ. Jesus saves you for His glory and for His purposes. He promises you, so trust in His word.
“From the descendants of David, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus.” Acts 13:23 (NASB)
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for your precious and unfailing promises to me!
Boys and girls who are legal U.S. residents and between the ages of 6 and 15 during the audition period.
How to audition
1. DOWNLOAD THE SCRIPTS
The audition will work as a dialogue between the child who is auditioning and an assisting partner. Click here to download the two scripts you'll need called, "Tithing" and "Gum." You'll want to print 2 copies of each.
2. LEARN FROM THE PROFESSIONALS
Some of your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters have put together their best acting tips. Click here to watch the videos.
3. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
On July 7th or 14th grab your recording device and head to a Family Christian location near you to film your audition in front of our special Get in the Show! set. (You provide the camera, we'll provide the backdrop and a special gift!) Every child who auditions at a Family Christian location will take home a FREE Adventures in Odyssey audio sample! (while supplies last)
4. SEND IT IN
Click here to upload your audition video. For even more fun, upload the audition to YouTube too! Submissions will be received until August 22, 2012.
How will the winner be chosen?
Well, you get to help pick a winner! Come right back here on October 1st when we announce the top 12 finalists and cast your vote. Voting will go through October 8th and the top 3 finalists will be announced on October 9th.
Those top 3 finalists and one guardian each will be brought to Colorado Springs, Colorado to audition live in front of a global web audience. The event will be held on November 3rd and viewers from around the world will vote online for the winner!
What will they win?
The answer is "a lot!"
A speaking part in an upcoming album
Be a spokesperson for AIO throughout 2013
Be featured on the March 2013 cover of Focus on the Family's Clubhouse Magazine and be a contributor in Clubhouse Magazine's popular "Look up" section accompanied by their very own caricature portrait during 2013
The winner may also be part of Facebook postings and behind-the-scenes interviews
“Blessed is the man who listens to me [wisdom], watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 8:34–35).
God’s favor is the fruit of friends who find wisdom. They seek wisdom by first watching at the doors of heaven, waiting patiently at the feet of their Savior Jesus. It is humbling to think each day Almighty God is available to commission our cause for Christ. The wisdom of Jesus is what we pursue, because His is pure and profound.
Like Able, the Almighty looks for the best offering for blessing. Therefore, honor God by offering Him the first fruits of your day. Just as He deserves first dibs on your money, so He expects the beginning of your day. Get up and go to God first. There you discover a wealth of wisdom, under the shadow of your Savior Jesus Christ you receive His favor.
“Then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being” (Job 33:26).
Happiness happens to those who wait for wisdom. His blessing cannot be rushed; so rest in Him. The favor of God is well worth the wait; like a newborn, the joy is unspeakable. How many times have we rushed ahead, outside the canopy of Christ’s blessing? The Israelites learned to stay under the cloud of God and be led by faith. Indeed, there is no spiritual oxygen to sustain those in an out-of-favor environment. It is lifeless and lonely. However, for those on whom their heavenly Father’s favor rests, there is rest.
His blessing provides strength for the journey and perseverance to stay on the trail of trust. Jesus experienced the favor of His heavenly Father when He submitted to public baptism—His confession of faith, His commitment to public service, and His commission to ministry. On what issue of obedience do you need wisdom to continually experience the favor of your heavenly Father? Your life is alive and vibrant because the Lord favors you. You are a favorite of your heavenly Father because you are learning to wait on Him and walk humbly with the wise.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NASB).
Prayer: How can I make sure I stay in a position to receive God’s favor and blessing?
Everyone loves saving money. Especially when it comes to family entertainment in DVD. Recently we at Family Christian launched our new Family Values DVD Sale Event. This is where select DVDs are listed at 50% off. We thought it would be fun to post some of those titles here for you.
Teenager Michael Oher is surviving on his own, virtually homeless, when he is spotted on the street by Leigh Anne Tuohy. Learning that the young man is one of her daughter's classmates, Leigh Anne insists that Michael - wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the rain - come out of the cold. Without a moment's hesitation, she invites him to stay at the Touhy home for the night. What starts out as a gesture of kindness turns into something more as Michael becomes part of the Touhy family despite the differences in their backgrounds.
Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. And as a family helps Michael fulfill his potential, both on and off the football field, Michael's presence in the Touhy's lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own.
From the creators of Fireproof and Courageous - Flywheel
Smooth-talking used car salesman Jay Austin hasn't done much with his life---except sell a lot of lemons! Now that his conscience has caught up with him, this lifetime con artist is trying to make amends. But how can he convince his wife, son, and community that he's "for real"? Flywheel shows that every man can have a turning point in his life. Inspiring, funny, and ideal for evangelism.
Stranded in the middle of nowhere, five strangers take refuge in a deserted roadside diner. An arrogant businessman, a lonely woman, an estranged couple, and a teen runaway, they appear to have nothing in common. But the Christlike proprietor seems strangely all-knowing and offers more than temporal nourishment.
Starring: Steve Sting Borden, Bruce Marchiano and Jaci Velasquez
David, a widower, is working himself to death. Late nights doing paperwork and running on fumes is normal. Bills are piling up by the week, and foreclosure looms on the horizon. Blaming God for his wife's death, he ends his relationship with the church.
Steven, the remaining Christian of the household, has been watching his father’s unhealthy lifestyle with great concern. With help from his grandpa and best friend Maggie, Steven reaches out to his father in any way he can.
Despite his grieving and worsening financial problems, David begins seeking an answer to the question haunting him since his wife's death...WHY?
Set in a small Northern Michigan town, four high school sophomore boys are living on top of the world. Best friends, classmates, and peers, T.J., Jed, and Brent are all starting players for an undefeated varsity basketball team joined by Jackson, their loudmouthed hyper-enthusiastic friend. All four share a history of companionship, a notable nickname, and all the confidence and exuberance of youth.
Their basketball season is shattered when Brent's older brother, Mike, attracts an Irish gang leader named Sean O'Sullivan. Sean is intent on setting up a rural meth lab and supply operation in the peaceful community. Despite plenty of cash to fund the start-up, Sean isn't sure that he can pull together a team of locals to do the dirty work.
Since Mike is the one who invited Sean to town, he naturally sees himself in a key leadership role in the gang. Both Mike and Sean see the need and benefit of having a high-school aged member to infiltrate the school system from within. Mike entices his younger brother Brent to check out an opportunity to make some serious money. Against his better judgment, Brent agrees and ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Years after his wife Kate died, Ned Stevens still cringes at the thought of dating other women. How can he find the emotional energy to start dating again when he still has to look out for his college age daughter Liz? But when Liz comes home for a visit from school, she brings a surprise guest who throws Ned for a loop. Can Ned ever accept that his little girl has fallen in love with David, a practically perfect know-it-all who drives Ned crazy? With Ned trying to sabotage the relationship, Liz tries to divert his attention to Carol - the charming single woman Ned sees jogging every morning. Together, Liz and David will teach Ned that with love, there is always a chance for a new start. From director Michael Flynn comes Heaven is Waiting, a lighthearted, faith-based, romantic comedy that will lift your spirits and bring joy to your heart.
A talented but troubled high-school rugby star gets a second shot at redemption after being sentenced to serve time in a Salt Lake City boys' home and landing a coveted spot on the famed Highland High School rugby team in this inspirational sports drama. Little Rick Penning was the star player on his Arizona rugby team until his life took a turn for the worse. Now, after a fateful brush with the law, Rick finds himself out of the spotlight and forced to ponder the consequences of his actions in a Salt Lake City juvenile detention center.
As fate would have it, however, Salt Lake's famed Highland High rugby team could use a player like Rick. With a little help from coach Larry Gelwix, Rick may even be able to lead the Highland High team to the national championships. When Rick discovers that the team they will be competing against is none other than his old team from Arizona, which is coached by his father, Richard Penning, the deciding game takes on a newfound sense of gravity in the eyes of the ambitious young athlete.
For the whole list of 50% off DVDs, click here. There is sure to be something for every member of your family.
“Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD.” 1 Samuel 2:12
Prodigal children produce heartache and humility in the hearts of their parents. They also break the heart of God. Some, who have had the best of parents, have been the worst of sons or daughters. How can an ungrateful child grow up in a home full of grace and loving discipline? One reason is found in a heart that listens to unwise voices and is drawn by emotional duplicity. Satan’s foolish ploys easily sway kids into reckless living.
Even homes where Jesus is loved and worshiped as God may see their little ones grow up with no regard for the Lord. It doesn’t make sense to us that one sibling serves the Lord gladly, while the other has contempt for Christ. However, this is the laboratory of free will where the Holy Spirit allows us all of us to linger. We all have a choice for good or evil. In fact, even more disturbingly, some put on a façade of faith that is later exposed in adulthood.
“If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.” 1 Samuel 2:25
There is a death that takes place in those who are repeat offenders of God. It may be the death of relationship between a mom and a daughter, or a father and a son. Rebellion kills the blessing of Christ and His sweet fellowship, as enmity against God leads to exclusion from God. In some cases a pattern of poor choices leads to death. Thus, we pray for our prodigal children to be stirred by the Spirit and to come to their senses.
If you are away from the Lord and the love of your mom and dad, come home before you reap regret for a squandered life. The hope of heaven may be your last hope, but it is your best hope. Jesus and your parents love you unconditionally and authentically. Spurn Satan’s schemes, get professional help, and cry out to God for mercy, grace and forgiveness. Come home to the sweet acceptance of Jesus and your mother and father.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.” Luke 15:17-20
Prayer: Dear Lord, I repent of my rebellion against You and my parents. Heal my heart.
“The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-4, The Message
Our marital duty is neither to demand sex nor to endure sex, but to see it as an expression of love and respect. We have the unique privilege to connect with our spouses at a spiritual, emotional and physical level in ways no one else can. Physical intimacy is a privilege reserved for marriage. Done well, it takes time and planning. Yes, there are those spontaneous intimate rendezvous’, but we all need to be intentional in learning to understand our spouse’s needs and desires. When we emotionally connect and communicate throughout the day it often leads to physical intimacy at night.
The richest and most fulfilling physical intimacy flows out of emotional intimacy. When a husband and wife connect emotionally with their feelings they are better primed to connect physically. Indeed, physical intimacy is more than a transaction; it is a relational process that often finds its highest expression in the event of two becoming one. Women who deny their husbands for an unreasonable time can unwittingly signal disinterest and disrespect. Men who rush past the emotional needs of their wives, miss engaging their need for security, attention and respect. See how Solomon expressed passion to his bride:
“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant [lush].” Songs of Solomon 1:15-16
On a practical level reserve the marriage bed for both sleep and physical intimacy. It is a sanctuary for sleep and an enclave for physical intimacy. Avoid competing with children and activities in the bedroom: television, eating, computers, sleeping kids and dogs are for another time and place. Craft a haven for physical intimacy and you will experience physical intimacy. Throughout the day be intentional to create emotional chemistry with notes, phone calls, caring words, empathetic listening, gifts and kind acts of service.
As followers of Jesus—because of your spiritual synergy and emotional engagement—you and your spouse have the opportunity for the most fulfilling physical intimacy. Ask the Lord for creative ways to love your lover like they love to be loved. Your marriage relationship illustrates the relationship between Christ (the groom) and His church (the bride). Indeed, physical affection flows from spiritual and emotional intimacy. Thus, be prayerfully intentional and watch your relationship go from good to great for God’s glory.
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.” Song of Songs 2:3-4
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace and wisdom to connect with my spouse spiritually, emotionally and physically.
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
Am I an affectionate father? Like the geyser “Old Faithful,” do I spontaneously spew out love and affection on my children? Am I faithful to fill my daughter or son’s emotional tank with a warm embrace or a kiss on the head? Or, am I so caught up in my own career and needs that I have no emotional capacity to show affection? Affection must be displayed.
An affectionate father reflects his heavenly Father’s affection for him. It is out of an overflow of being comforted and loved by Christ that redeemed fathers show affection to their children. When the Holy Spirit gives us a warm and secure hug, we can’t help but hug our children and grandchildren. Eternal affection translates into earthly affection.
“Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today” (Deuteronomy 10:15).
Perhaps you have a routine of kissing and hugging your children each time you leave home and when you arrive home. There is no rushing out the door until you have made emotional deposits in your most valued relational account. Your child is your lockbox of love, waiting with a tender heart to be touched by his/her daddy. Initiate hugs and kisses.
When a child’s heart hurts from fear, rejection, or physical harm, move closer with care and compassion. Listen with empathetic ears and outstretched arms. Affectionate fathers are up close and personal, distant fathers are unsympathetic and impersonal. Your seeds of affection reap a harvest of healthy adult children who want to come back home.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20b).
Since He sets His affections on you, you set your affections on Almighty God. A father who is first loved by his heavenly Father then has the capacity to love his children appropriately and fully. Adult children who have experienced their father’s affection show affection more easily. So seek affection above and then apply it below.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8).
Do I regularly receive affection from my heavenly Father? How can I intentionally be more affectionate with my children?
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15
What does it mean to be the spiritual leader of my home? Do I have to reach a certain level of spiritual maturity before I qualify? What if my wife is more spiritual than I am? Shouldn’t she be the spiritual leader? Spiritual leadership is determined by position, not knowledge. God places a man in the role of spiritual leader to lead his wife and children in faith.
Our wives and children may know more of the Bible, but the Lord still holds us responsible for their spiritual well being. So as husbands and fathers, we have to ask ourselves, “What are we doing to lead our family spiritually?” This non-optional assignment from Almighty God forces us into a faith-based behavior. We want to model daily time in Bible reading and prayer. Spiritual leaders show the way in knowing God.
“The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family” (Acts 16:34).
Spiritual leadership does not require a graduate degree in theology, but it does require a degree of planning and preparation. Spiritual leaders create a prayerful plan of intentional action that exposes their families to faith opportunities. You spend time looking for houses of worship that meet the needs of your wife and child, much as you would seek out the right home or school that also meets their needs. Spiritual leadership seeks out a church.
"Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool“ (Psalm 132:7).
Men who make it a big deal to lead their family spiritually make the most difference at home and in the community. Your investment in family Bible study, your example of faith under fire, and your Christ like character are living testaments to the truth of God.
Talk about the Lord when you linger in traffic with your children, pray with them when they are fearful and upset, hold your wife’s hand and listen to her heart, sign up for the next marriage retreat, and serve others unselfishly. You can’t control the culture, but you and your house can serve the Lord. Spiritual leaders lead their family to love God.
“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:23-24).
How can I take responsibility to lead my family spiritually? How can I leave a legacy for the Lord?
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
Men, it is not enough to just live a right life in front of your child, you must explain to them why it’s right. They need to know the why and the how behind what you do. Your words work wonders in their tender and teachable hearts. Your instruction means you care to coach and train them in truth. It’s Dad’s tutoring of his tribe that empowers his little ones for life. They may not act as if they’re listening, but they are. Teaching truth transforms.
Truth leaves your lips and lodges in their hearts. When you take the time to transfer truth to your child you are setting them up for success. Truth is transformational and freeing. It gives confidence, direction, and discernment. As they move into maturity you won’t always be there, but truth will see them through. “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Instruct them how to balance a check book, change a flat tire, mow the lawn, shoot a gun, dress appropriately, carry on a conversation, swim, fly a kite, book a plane ticket online, memorize poetry, journal, pray, study the Bible, grill burgers, and make homemade ice cream. Children crave being with their dad and learning his lessons from life. Tell them when you messed up, what you learned, and what you did right. Explain that their best motivations are love of God, and love for people. Teach lovingly and patiently.
Above all, teach them to know, understand, love, and fear Jesus. He is the truth. “I am the way and the truth and the life…” (John 14:6a). The more they go to Jesus, the more they will be educated in what matters most. He will reveal to them wisdom and understanding. Instruct your child in intimacy with the Almighty, and they will be inspired with a heart of humility, and they will aspire to know the mind of Christ. Lead them to sit at the feet of their Savior and learn from Him.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…” (Matthew 11:29a).
How can I best instruct my child? What is their unique learning style?
The son of an international evangelist, Andrew was born with the blood of a soul-winner in his veins. But as his recent book The Secret Life of a Fool reveals, a different energy motivated him for much of his life – rebellion. Andrew’s life is a testament to the saving grace of Jesus – how His blood can put a man on a journey from shame to grace…
Family Christian: So, is this your first book?
Andrew Palau: Yes. I came to the Lord 19 years ago and I’ve had it on my heart to share this story in printed form, but I’ve always felt a check in my spirit because it’s a little humbling. I understand why God didn’t really open the door until now… With greater life experience and maturity it’s been a much more effective tool than it would have been before.
FC: So your dad is Luis Palau, an evangelist who is known all over the world. If you grew up with what we imagine was a stable background, what happened to make you turn away from the Lord?
Andrew: That’s a good question. It wasn’t a moment in time where I just ejected from whatever faith I claimed to believe. I would describe it more this way: I was raised in a Christian home and my parents are regular folks, but they were faithful. With my mom and dad, what you see is what you get, and that is a good thing. So I never really changed my mind about the Lord, I think I just never really received the truth for myself. I heard the truth, I was compelled, I saw the value [of faith], but there was another thing at work in me… rebellion. I loved to party and I liked to impress my friends, so I turned primarily to that. And once that hook is in you, you’re hook, line and sinker. It’s hard to explain sometimes [why I didn’t accept Christ] because I was without a human excuse. I didn’t have a deep dark secret – just my own foolish, rebellious self-seeking heart.
FC: So your struggle wasn’t that you were super-rebellious toward Christianity, it was more an enticement to the things of this world…?
Andrew: Yes, but of course they go hand and hand. That “if you’re not for me, you’re against me” thing… So [when you’re in rebellion] you’re simultaneously against the Lord. For me, it wasn’t a sense that this [way of living] was foolishness toward God; it was a desire to impress friends. It’s embarrassing to say, but it was basic fundamental selfishness, looking for a high, constantly looking for relationships with women that I could take advantage of. The world says “That’s living, go for it,” and in your heart you say “Yeah, I’m going for it.” Then 27 years later, I’m trapped and all of the results that I was warned about are starting to surface.
FC: So did you realize you were making selfish choices along the way or did you kinda grow into it and one day just discover, Wow, I’m in bad shape?
Andrew: I grew into it. I was very duplicitous because I didn’t want to cause trouble. For me it was the weaselly, wormy way to follow the path of lease resistance. I was happy to just work my way through my stages of selfishness. I didn’t care who I hurt, I only cared about accomplishing the things I wanted for myself.
FC: So what finally changed?
The Secret Life of a Fool
Andrew: I think some things began to shift and change; some of the things that had become the foundation of my life. Like, what had been fun started to become a trap. Eventually it began to evidence itself for what it really was... the foundation began to crumble. And well, the results: shame and guilt just started to build up. The world says guilt is bad but the fact of the matter is you’re guilty because you’ve done wrong and there’s a penalty to be paid. No matter what the world says, that’s a burden [to live with]. I couldn’t really slough it off. I mean, I could in seasons and become callous to it. But if I was awake in bed at night, sober and away from the people who said everything was fine, my mind would just flood with all of the garbage in my life, the people I had hurt and the lying, cheating, stealing and arrogance. It was out of control and I hated that feeling. So to rid myself of facing those anxieties, I would party or drink by myself. Abusing alcohol – that’s a way we mask. I don’t recall overtly looking out to say “maybe this God thing is the thing.” It really was the efforts of others in my life, interceding, sharing an alternative and possibility. I’m so grateful that people didn’t give up on me.
FC: So where were you living during this time?
Andrew: I was in LA for awhile. I went to the University of Oregon in Eugene and then went to Boston, worked my way up the corporate ladder, putting a good face on. I was working in retail so I slowed down my partying because I had to get up and go to work. I’d had dark days. The drugs in particular were haunting me, not just the Lord and people engaging me, but the darkness that comes along with drugs and alcohol. [They] confuse, confound, discourage – that was happening in Boston. I did put a mask on, I was good at going through the motions… and that was up until 1993.
FC: So, in your book you share an experience that happened in a bar…
Andrew: It should have shaken me up more, but I never did forget it. It didn’t change me initially. [In the book] I described a couple of incidents where the enemy was revealing his desire to have me. So the music was pounding and out of the blue, this guy approaches me and says “You’re a believer. You’re a believer, right?” So I thought someone in the bar knew who I was. To get him off my back, I said “yes,” overtly hypocritical, and when I did he said, I knew it, “I’m a follower of Satan too.” I really don’t know how to identify that thing. It was a spiritual encounter and it really did shake me up. Without a loving but bold, clear intervention of God’s people listening to His Spirit, the Gospel and the power of God unto salvation, I don’t know where I would have ended up. My parents in particular kept close relationship [with me] so when my time came; they were able to be used by God in that work. What I desire for myself is what I saw in my parents’ life. And not just for me, but as an evangelist, watching God work in their lives is powerful, very exciting.
FC: So looking back, can you identify what some of the hurdles were that kept you in that cycle of sin?
Andrew: You know, the multiplicity of lies that we buy-into are just beyond me to capture, but… I’d say, a desire to soften our stupidity and foolishness. I try to be so honest in this book. I could find a million ways to blame [other people for my unbelief], but what good is it? The Bible says we are without excuse; the evidence is all around us. God is calling us and we’re without excuse! The biggest challenge [I see] is we want to blame the Church or hypocrisy we saw, or [Christianity seems] obtuse and doesn’t keep up with the times. But no one is going to stand with us in that Day of Judgment. We’re going to face the Maker and we will be solely responsible for our actions. Being confused about that is deadly.
FC: What do you think about the Church in America?
Andrew: We have our weaknesses and we should identify them, but there’s nothing new under the sun. We can look back at history going in cycles, but right now I’m excited about the young people. I’m 45. We’re young and our peers are leading the church in America. We have a good legacy and I love the heart of our people. The young people love their cities and the people around them. [People] are engaging their communities, taking a relational approach to sharing the Gospel. It’s exciting! I was so far away at their age; I’m excited to see fired-up, committed, young people in service to the Kingdom. It’s a good day in America. We need to dedicate ourselves to the power of the Gospel with massive strides in our festivals and outreaches, a heavier emphasis on really leading the way. We need to be champions of the least and the lost. We can’t lose sight of building a foundation for the Good News to be delivered. Keep pressing on to be champions of good deeds and loving people. There’s nothing kinder than giving the invitation to the banquet saying “c’mon you gotta come!” I hear these ideas, “if necessary use words,” I can see how that can be a huge wakeup call, but then again, you can’t share the Gospel if you don’t use words. The younger generation can go in a big pendulum unnecessarily, it’s important to stay in the center [of that balance].
FC: (teasing) It’s a shame you can’t be a little more bold, Andrew…
Andrew preaching at a Palau Association event
Andrew: (laughs) So I was out of that old life 19 years before I wrote the book, but I’ve been sharing my testimony from right out of the gate. You know that passage, “those who have been forgiven much, love much”? I think those of us who have been more radically rescued are equally humbled, and maybe less confused about what is necessary. A rescue operation [for unbelievers] is what’s necessary – for all that God has done for us, what is keeping us from joyfully enthusiastically sharing the Gospel?! We have to rescue those who are staggering toward slaughter! Proverbs 24, right? I read this and I was broken. Verse 11-12 says “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?” I was so convicted, it has a little bit of a negative spin, but the Good News resonates so deeply. I know the eminence of that in my life. But [think of] that idea that God would repay us for what we’ve done… the soul-winners crown, a beautiful unnecessary gift. The master said go, so I go... I have these motivations and encouragement. The other [verse] I love but don’t understand is Daniel 12:3 “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, like the stars forever and ever…” What does that even mean? Who is that for? Those who lead many to righteousness? I guess the jokes’ on me – it’s no less true for a baker, attorney, barista, student, pastor or evangelist, our work is to prepare others for works of service; to mobilize the body to action… preparing them to receive the crowns of righteousness that we’ll just throw back at His feet anyway. Like you said, I get excited.
FC: (laughs) So what do you and your family do to relax?
Andrew: A lot of my family members are in the ministry, so we’re traveling all of the time. When we can all get together, it’s few and far between. With small kids at this age, I just revel at being home, getting them off to school, being involved in their sports, life and life in abundance. I don’t think about relaxing too often, but when I do, I do it in abundance! My wife is Jamaican, so we go [to Jamaica] whenever we can. My wife’s side of the family loves the Lord too, [so we understand the meaning of] “to whom much is given, much is required.” When I look at what God rescued me from, and what my life is in this free nation that I live in – there’s a lot required of us. The more we engage, the more we can have that in abundance.
FC: What music artists do you like to listen to?
Andrew: Well you know I listen to tobyMac! We’re brothers-in-law. When I came to the Lord at 27 it was at a Luis Palau crusade, I met the woman I later married and her sister was dating tobyMac. I knew nothing about Christian music, and he’s a Christian rapper, so I thought, are you crazy? But he’s incredible… Once I grew in my faith, I thought man, I’d been to a lot of Grateful Dead shows and enjoyed live shows, but I had never seen anything like Toby’s show.
FC: Did he pay you to say that?
Andrew: (laughs) I’m gotta face him again soon, so I might as well get the word out now.
Needless to say, Andrew has moved from one rebellion to another. This time, it’s a rebellion against the stuff of earth, a rebellion against a casual, status-quo Christianity. Today, Andrew is not just recognized as a son of an evangelist, but he is an evangelist in his own right. He helps to bring organization and creativity to the outreach events of the Palau Association, regularly sharing the Gospel with tens of thousands worldwide.
Andrew can also be heard on a daily program titled Reaching Your World which airs in over 25 countries on more than 850 radio stations.