“E.A.C.H.” [v147]

MAY 2011

“E.A.C.H.”

Do you remember those billboards, about 10 years ago, that had a ‘saying’ on them that were signed “God”? They appeared on over 10,000 billboards nationwide in 200 cities—all free of charge! (Eller Media and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America donated them—at a value of over $15M!). The OAAA called the campaign “a gift to the community,” saying, “It is a positive way to get people thinking about spirituality and increase the numbers of those who are going to church. It makes you believe in divine intervention.”

They were simply intended to get people thinking about God—and if they should take some ‘action’ to get to ‘know’ Him any better. Here are some of the ‘sayings’:

– Let’s meet at My house Sunday before the game.
– C’mon over and bring the kids.
– What part of “Thou Shalt Not…” didn’t you understand?
– We need to talk.
– Keep using my name in vain, I’ll make rush hour longer.
– Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage.
– That “Love Thy Neighbor” thing… I meant it.
– I love you…and you…and you…and…
– Will the road you’re on get you to My place?
– Follow me.
– Need directions?
– You think it’s hot here?
– Tell the kids I love them.
– Need a marriage counselor? I’m available.
– Have you read my #1 best seller? (There will be a test.)
– Do you have any idea where you’re going?
– Big bang theory. You’ve got to be kidding.
– My way is the highway.
– As My apprentice, you’re never fired.
– One nation under Me.
– All I know…is everything.
– If you must curse, use your own name!
– Life is short, Eternity isn’t.
– The real Supreme court meets up here.
– Feeling lost? My Book is your map.
– Don’t make me come down there.

http://www.godspeaks.com/aboutGodSpeaks.asp?Campaign=1
http://www.godspeaks.com/aboutGodSpeaks.asp?Campaign=2

Well, those in Detroit, Michigan will be seeing some billboards that are a bit unique for the next few months—and they are just two words (i.e. “Loved? Loved!”; Forgiven? Forgiven!”; “Renewed? Renewed!”; “Grateful? Grateful!”; etc.)

They are a part of an initiative called, “E.A.C.H.” or “Everyone A Chance to Hear.” It’s a collaboration of over 500 churches and ‘ministries’ in the greater Detroit Metro area that started on Easter day, and will last for (at least) 40 days. The intent is to give everyone in the region (over 3.5M people) a chance to hear the “Good News and good deeds” ‘message’ of Jesus Christ, and to encourage them to take the ‘next step’ in their spiritual journey.

[Take a look at some examples: http://www.2WordStory.com ].

Anyone living here in Detroit knows full well that the past decade has been ‘horrendous’ here—for many reasons—and the world is ‘watching’ us to see if we can ‘RESURRECT’ ourselves.

In Time Magazine’s 2010 Annual Edition, the opening sentence to one of the articles was: “Detroit has become an icon of the failed American city.” The closing sentence was: “The world is now watching Detroit with interest—and waiting to see if it finds a way to rise from the ashes.”

[Time also spent the entire 2010 year in Detroit focusing on “America’s most challenged large city.” Here are their findings:http://www.time.com/time/detroit ]

With a more ‘positive’ viewpoint, the E.A.C.H. Steering Committee stated, “The time is now to show a watching world that Metro-Detroit has found a way to rise from the ashes…and that ‘way’ is more than inner-city green spaces and smarter cars. That ‘way’ has something to do with the Lordship of Jesus in this region. And the only way the Lordship of Jesus is going to be felt in our region is if the church rises up to its mandate to boldly tell the world its message and give everyone a chance to hear it and respond to it.”

http://www.EACHtoday.com/home/

So, as the E.A.C.H. web site mentions, each of us has a ‘story’—where we ‘came from’ (life experiences), and ‘where’ we want to ‘end up’ (“Heaven”?). For a Christian, this means what our life was about BEFORE we ‘met’ Jesus, and what has been happening AFTER we accepted His FREE gift of salvation, and the experiences we’ve had of His life-changing love.

Therefore, I’ll give it a try for myself (and hopefully encourage other Christians to do the same). My “2 Word Story”—in about 2 minutes (+/-):

“DRIVEN? DRIVEN!”
– I went to a parochial school for the first five years of my education, and felt that God was a ‘task master’.

– This may have also been because of my father’s tendency for ‘perfectionism’ and being very critical. This was primarily because of his job—he was a wood “model maker” at Ford Motor Company, and this required him to produce ‘near-perfection’ tolerances for car body parts (before the advent of computers!).

– So, I grew up being compulsively ‘driven’ to achieve perfection—and failure to do so simply was not an option!

– In addition to that, I became very defensive when criticized, ‘blowing up’ at even a minor criticism.

– However, for whatever reason, this made me even more ‘driven’ to win people’s affection (Oh…and to ‘prove’ that I was right!).

– ‘Things’ seem to go ‘my way’ for a few years, having a meteoric rise in my career ‘jumping’ from company to company.

– Financially well off for my age, I had the distinct pleasure of designing and building a brand new home in an affluent neighborhood (I’m an Architect by education).

– Then ‘it’ began.

– After years of intense hardship, a divorce, and overwhelming financial issues with my business, I was ‘driven’ back to reconsidering my ‘foundational beliefs’—and wondered if my years of ‘dissing’ God might have something to do with it all.

– My business partner, Bob, was a strong and understanding Christian that was always there for me, available to talk about my troubles, and ‘caringly’ putting forth that God would love me no matter what I accomplished. That didn’t seem ‘reasonable’ to me, but out of respect for Bob, I finally thought I would get some ‘proofs’.

– As a very logical person, I was then ‘driven’ to prove this Christian ‘thing’ true or false, once and for all—and Bob ‘hung in there’ with me for over 10 years while I was tying to prove him wrong. I couldn’t!

– All this culminated in many powerful and indescribable feelings that God was ‘talking’ to me, and wanted to help me if I would just ‘allow’ Him to do so. These feelings became so strong, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that this is what I needed to do to get my life back ‘on track’.

– My life since becoming a Christian in 1998 has not been a ‘bowl of cherries’, but I have experienced a peace that defies my understanding even when I’ve gone thru ‘tribulations’.

– Many of these circumstance would have sent me ‘over the edge’ previously, but now I do truly feel Jesus ‘by my side’ being an understanding and trusted ‘advisor’.

My motivation has changed to an emphasis on building relationships, and a ‘burning’ desire to do God’s will.

– I am now ‘driven’ to use my knowledge and abilities to tell others about the “Good News” of Jesus, and how Christianity is much different than many religions. Instead of requiring us to “DO” things to get to Heaven—and in some religions you never are ‘sure’—Jesus has “DONE” it all for us, and has offered us the free ‘gift’ of being “RIGHT” with God and be assured that we will live in Heaven with Him forever!

As I mentioned, I put myself ‘out there’ to encourage fellow Christians to develop their own “2 Word Story.” Realizing that not everyone has the ‘natural’ abilities to do this, the E.A.C.H. web site has some helpful hints:

1. As you think about your life before you knew Jesus and your life after you came to know His life-changing love, is there a word that might best describe that?
Here are some words to help you get started:

Loved? Loved.
Satisfied? Satisfied.
Accepted? Accepted.
Free? Free.
Secure? Secure.
Accepted? Accepted.
Purpose? Purpose.
Peace? Peace.
Forgiven? Forgiven.
Empowered? Empowered.
Hope? Hope.
Confident? Confident.
Significant? Significant.
Joy? Joy.
Fulfilled? Fulfilled.
Valued? Valued.
Strong? Strong.
Rescued? Rescued.
Alive? Alive.

2. Keep it short: State the facts, use details, but quickly explain how you used to be, how you met Christ, how He changed you. Be able to tell it in three minutes or less.

3. Avoid “Christianese”: Don’t use words like “testimony.” Instead, say “story.” People don’t understand or might be negatively confused or turned-off by expressions like “saved” or “born again.” Instead, explain how you “became a Christian” or “became a Christ-follower.” Remember, your hope is to engage non-believers who don’t know all those Christian buzz words.

It will be exciting to hear about all the opportunities God gives you to share your story which is really HIS STORY!

LIFE REMODELED:
So, in looking to take my ‘story’ to heart, to tell others about the “Good News” of Jesus, and to show others the love of Christ that is ‘in’ me through “good deeds,” I became involved with a project in Westland, Michigan called “Life Remodeled”—the ‘brain-child’ of “Ekklesia Church (“Ek-LAY-see-uh”), which just started a few years ago in 2008 [http://www.ekklesiadetroit.com/ ].

They termed this a “new kind of Reality TV show”—though it’s far more than just a show—they say it’s a “MOVEMENT.”

Starting the day after Easter (April 25th) thru the end of the week (May 1st), they will complete the building of a brand new house in Westland, Michigan. [Note: As of today, demolition is complete, all the ‘utilities’ are installed, and the slab is cured—all ready for walls!]. After it is finished, they will give this house away to a struggling family (the “Strongs”—a single mother with 4 girls) currently living in the “Shack Town” area of Westland (an area that was built just after WWII of “temporary” housing—that are still there today!).

However, they are doing a lot more than just building a house. They are ‘remodeling’ all of their lives: They are going to teach this family important financial principles, provide all family members free counseling, and equip them with other life skills.

This is intended to be the first of many ‘episodes’ in this “reality” TV show. [They are currently in discussions with a few major cable networks to have this broadcast sometime later this summer—so, if you know anyone in the TV biz, I’m sure they would appreciate any help you can give them].

I will be helping out with the project by being one of the on-site videographers, and one of the video editors to create a ‘show’ that will be ready for broadcast.

So, let me encourage you NON-CHRISTIANS to seek out people associated with this “E.A.C.H.” initiative, and give them a chance to tell you their “2 Word Story.” Then, consider what they presented, and truly investigate for yourself what Jesus said about HOW to live your life the ‘best way’ here on earth, and WHAT it takes to be able to live with Him in Heaven for ETERNITY.

Let me encourage CHRISTIANS to develop your “2 Word Story,” and be a bit more ‘sensitive’ of opportunities to share how ‘His story’ became ‘your story’—it just might happen that you may be ‘that’ person who helps someone else finally ACCEPT Jesus’ free ‘gift’ of reconciliation, and the assurance of eternal life with Him!

[Again, there are many ‘tools’ available for you at:
http://www.eachtoday.com/home/2wordstory/ ].

So…I pray for the receptiveness of ‘seekers’ to the God of the Bible, and that they would allow Him to open their ‘hearts’ wide and cause them to turn and repent from their ways, and live the rest of their lives as ‘RESURRECTED’ people of Jesus Christ!

[Excerpts from: EachToday.com; GodSpeaks.com; LifeRemodeled.com]

[Note: There will be a TBD metro-wide celebration ‘event’ planned for “Pentecost Sunday, June 12th, to commemorate all of what God did during the 40 days of the initiative—so stay ‘tuned’ or revisit the E.A.C.H. web site the first week of June].

[FYI: “Life Remodeled” is registered Nonprofit corporation, and all donations are tax-deductible. Volunteers are still being accepted for all kinds of help: http://liferemodeled.com/ ].

[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about if Jesus is the ONLY WAY to God, visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q6_d1_1of10.html

Blessings…
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v147) for MAY 2011
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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SPEAKING LOUDER THAN BEFORE
Hear now this declaration
From out across the nations
We need to wake up and understand

Many hurting hearts are crying
But our voices seem to be dying
Can you see the battle raging on?

We are the light to reach this world
We are the salt preserving these souls
Let’s show them the love that we’ve received now

We are, we are in desperation
We need to reach this generation
We are speaking louder than before

We are the hope that’s been forgotten
We have the love that will be brought and
We are speaking louder than before

Take every chance that you can
Move together taking a stand
Never losing heart, we’ll speak as one

We need to be the image of Christ
Show love and serve at all times
We can make a difference in these lands

We are the light to reach this world
We are the salt preserving these souls
Let’s show them the love that we’ve received now

We are, we are in desperation
We need to reach this generation
We are speaking louder than before

We are the hope that’s been forgotten
We have the love that will be brought and
We are speaking louder than before

Every thing’s so surreal
But this urgency I feel
We should be reaching out to
All these desperate pleas

Oh, the meet is real, can’t you feel
Let’s call it revolution
My beating heart is breaking for them
That’s why I’m speaking now
That’s why I’m speaking now

We are, we are in desperation
We need to reach this generation
We are speaking louder than before

We are the hope that’s been forgotten
We are the love that will be brought and
We are speaking louder than before

We are, we are, we are, we’re speaking louder
We are, we are, we are, we’re speaking louder
We are, we are, we are, louder than before
We are speaking louder than before, oh yeah

[Jeremy Camp]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6_rXSHbhlA

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VOICE OF TRUTH
Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
“Boy, you’ll never win,
You you’ll never win

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
“Boy you’ll never win,
you’ll never win.”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
and the Voice of truth says “this is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don’t seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
The Voice of truth says “do not be afraid!”
And the Voice of truth says “this is for my glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth

I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the Voice of truth
I will listen and believe
‘Cause Jesus you are the Voice of truth
And I will listen to you…oh you are the Voice of truth

[Casting Crowns]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUtCV2tvmeA

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MY HEART GOES OUT
She sat a table away
Staring into space
In her own little world
And I saw a tear in her eye
Like a window to the mind
Of a frightened little girl
She never said a word
But I know I clearly heard
A cry for help
And I wanted to answer
I wanted to tell her

CHORUS:
My heart goes out to you
You don’t even know me
You don’t even know
Oh my heart goes out to you
And I don’t know what else to do
To reach you now
My heart goes out

But I’m still glued to my chair
She’s unaware
There’s little time
And though my intentions are good
If I’m misunderstood
The price could be high
I can’t fix whatever’s wrong
But if I fail to pass along
Someone cares
The price could be greater
This can’t wait til later

BRIDGE:
For God has loved the world so much
He send His only Son
From Heaven to earth
Well there’s a distance love covered
She’s just a table over
All she needs is a shoulder

CHORUS:
My heart goes out to you
You don’t even know me
You don’t even know
Oh, my heart goes out

Lord, help me do what I can do
To reach her, to reach her

Oh my heart goes out to you
You don’t even know me
You don’t even know
Oh, my heart goes out to you

Let me do what I can do to reach you now
My heart goes out

[Warren Barfield]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eZsysXFDIU

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SOME OF THE BEST “EASTER” RESOURCES I KNOW OF FOR YOU TO CONSIDER:

FREE PDF’s (RBC Ministries):
“Who Is This Man Who Says He’s God?”
http://www.rbc.org/uploadedfiles/Bible_Study/Discovery_Series/PDF/Who_Is_This_Man_Who_Says_He_Is_God.pdf

“Did Christ Really Rise From The Dead?”
http://www.rbc.org/uploadedfiles/Bible_Study/Discovery_Series/PDF/Did_Christ_Really_Rise_From_The_Dead.pdf

SHORT ‘OVERVIEW’ ARTICLE (Josh McDowell):
http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html

FREE BOOKS/AUDIO/NOTES/VIDEO (Josh McDowell):
“Evidence For The Resurrection”:
http://www.josh.org/site/c.ddKDIMNtEqG/b.4172665/k.4AD0/Evidence_for_the_Resurrection.htm

VIDEO ‘SUMMARY’ (Josh McDowell) [10 Minutes]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3try5woSZcA

BOOK (Lee Strobel):
“The Case For Easter” A Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection”
http://www.amazon.com/Case-Easter-Journalist-Investigates-Resurrection/dp/0310254752

VIDEOS (Lee Strobel) [varies 1-6 Minutes]:
“The Case For Easter”
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1017
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1016
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1078
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1079
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1080
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1081

VIDEO (Dr. William Lane Craig) [7 Minutes]
http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1184

“Proof for the Historical Jesus”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_dEzpIT_Ks

“Secular Sources for Jesus Christ”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hF5uxjBulA

“Case for the Resurrection of Jesus”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYdzUYyIKMM

CD (Bob Dutko):
“Top Ten Proofs for the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ”
http://toptenproofs.com/product_res.php

WEB SITE (Search Ministries):
“The Search for Meaning”:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.com/

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DEEP THOUGHT:
Why isn’t there a synonym for “synonym”?

[Mark Besh]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” [Matthew 28:18-20].

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” [Acts 1:8].

“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” [Acts 2:38].

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” [Acts 3:19].

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” [Acts 4:12].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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