Tag Archive | JESUS Film Project

A Grand Hotel Desire On A Motel 6 Budget

David and I have the opportunity several times a year to work at a JESUS Film Executive Briefing. These are large, fundraising events for our ministry always held at very swanky places. The hours are long, but the benefits of hearing how God is working in people’s hearts all over the world are amazing. And, on my Motel 6 budget, I’d never get to places like this on my own.

Image 1Our most recent trip was just two weeks ago to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan. I’d never been to Michigan. The Grand was the site of the 1980s film “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The hotel is incredible–126 years old. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island, so everyone travels by horse or bicycle. It’s idyllic, quiet, peaceful–and cold. It virtually shuts down in the winter when Lake Huron freezes and the only mode of transportation is snowmobile.

Even with a Starbuck’s on the island, I felt as if I had stepped back in time, like Richard Collier in the movie. Oh, there are all the modern conveniences–running water, indoor plumbing, cell phone service–but the quaint Image 2atmosphere devoid of all engine noise (well, there is a small airport) created a sense of peace that I so long for back home. I think if I could, I would live in a place like this–only it would be 75 degrees year round. I’m not really a cold-weather person.

We’ve stayed in other fancy hotels before, but none with the history of the Grand. Apparently, the hotel is owned by a single family rather than a corporation. In fact, one of our JESUS Film Project staff members had a chance encounter with the owner and chairman, Dan Musser, and his children at Sadie’s, the ice cream shop in the hotel, the night before we were to leave. Mr. Musser asked Gabe and Rachel’s young son if he had had some ice cream and, impressed by his enthusiastic answer about the strawberry cone he had consumed, Mr. Musser then gave him a gift card in the shape of a dog bone, good for a free scoop.

Image 3Oh, to sit each night on the porch of the Grand and reflect on God’s goodness while gazing at the water of the lake. In my ordinary world, I would never be able to spend time at such places. But God has blessed us immeasurably to be a part of this ministry and a part of this briefing team that serves at these events. I don’t take it for granted. And when such privileges help bring people into the kingdom of God, it’s incomparable. During this event, and others like it in other locations, our guests pledged to fund new language translations of the JESUS film, projects such as the JESUS Film Media app and tools like motorcycles for film team workers in hard-to-reach countries. Praise God that He has blessed so many people with the income and the hearts to help reach the world for Christ. And praise God that I get to be a part of seeing that happen.

Even if it means having to hang out at places like the Grand.

It’s Off To Work We Go

We hear a lot these days about the evils of human trafficking, slave labor, abortion, sexual abuse, murder, rape and an endless list of other ways humans devise to hate one another. And frankly, I get overwhelmed. I’m just one person; I can’t solve the world’s problems. I don’t have unlimited financial resources. I have to pick and choose those agencies to which I give my money.

Walk for Life? Sure, I lost a mom and a grandmother to cancer. I have at least half a dozen friends who are cancer survivors. I know at least that many more who lost a loved one to the hated disease. Can I give to every group raising money for cancer research? No.

Abortion? I detest the thought, but I have known people who have succumbed to that choice. Can I support every politician who wants to ban it forever? Every organization who fights against it? No. And, in fact, I firmly believe that you can’t legislate morality.

So how do I make a difference? This week, I am in Asheville, N.C., working at a JESUS Film Project (click here to learn more) fundraising event. Here, people who have a large capacity to give, and a heart to see people changed from the inside out, will be presented with the opportunity to fund film translations, electronic media projects and other things that will take the gospel to the far corners of the earth.

I have spent the last 26+ years of my life raising my own personal support and working for a community of believers dedicated to connecting people to God. That is the only way true change is going to happen. (Click here to learn more.)

In 2nd Corinthians 8:5, Paul says, “And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”

In John 12, we read about an encounter Jesus had with Mary where she took a pint of pure nard, “an expensive perfume,” and poured it on Jesus’ feet. Judas Iscariot complained: “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” John tells us, “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

Jesus rebuked Judas. “‘Leaver her alone. It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me'” (John 12:1-8).

I’m not a Bible scholar, but it seems to me that Jesus isn’t telling us to ignore the poor, but rather to honor Him in whatever way we can. Earlier, He had told the parable of the sheep and the goats, when some would be sent away into the lake of fire because He never knew them. But He tells those who were involved in good works that they were welcomed into the kingdom. They replied, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

Jesus says, “‘The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”‘” Matthew 25.

Ignore the poor and the needy at your own risk, but compartmentalize God’s Word at an even greater risk. If we’re not right with God at a soul level, whatever we do, even with right motives, risks being burned up as wood, hay and straw. (See 1 Cor. 3:10-15: “. . .his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work” v. 13.)

Sitting and doing nothing is not an option; pray, discern God’s will, then get to work.

Thankful today for:

182. lots and lots of trees

183. the beauty of the blooming dogwood trees

184. that I didn’t throw up on the bumpy descent into Asheville

185. not having to cook or make my bed for the next 5 days

186. my mother in law

187. a late start to my assignment for the day