Jan 28 2010

Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad

There's been a lot in the news about the upcoming Super Bowl commercial featuring Florida Gator quaterback Tim Tebow and his mom Pam.  The ad is being produced by Focus on the Family and promotes life and family.  We had a chance to chat with Jim Daily, CEO & President of Focus on the Family, about the ad. To hear that conversation (which also included Jim sharing about his unlikely path to where he is today) check out the links below

Jim shares how the idea for the Super Bowl ad was born

Jim talks about Tim Tebow and what the ad is about

Jim shares about his childhood and how God brought him to his current position

The commercial is scheduled to run 5 times on Super Bowl Sunday - four times during the pre-game show and once during the game (scheduled during the first quarter).

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Jan 27 2010

My One Word

Every New Year we hope this will finally be the year that things will change. We make promises about the new person we're going to become, pledging to get a grip on our finances, get in shape, become a better parent, spouse, even a nicer human being! But there’s one problem: our resolutions seldom work. The busy pace of life gets the better of us, and suddenly, the year is over with little to no personal growth having occurred in our lives.

“My One Word” is an experiment designed to move you beyond the past and look ahead. The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD. This process provides clarity by taking all of your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single thing. One word focuses on your character and creates a vision for your future. So, we invite you to join us and pick one word in 2010.  Click here to learn how to pick your word.

 

 

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Jan 27 2010

Love Dare - Day 22

Love is Faithful

 

I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.  Then you will know the Lord. – Hosea 2:20

 

As Christians, love is the basis of our whole identity.  Our spiritual rebirth came about because “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

 

When asked to clarify what the greatest commandments of all were, Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart … your soul … your strength … your mind … and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

 

Our love for each other is supposed to be how people distinguish us as Christ’s disciples (John 13:35).  It is the root and ground of our existence (Ephesians 3:17), meant to be expressed with passion and fervency (1 Peter 4:8).  It is a quality that we are to “abound” in more and more (1 Thessalonians 3:12), always getting better at it, becoming increasingly defined by it.

 

So if love is what we were created to share, what do you do when your love is rejected?  How do you handle it when the one to whom you’ve pledged your life stops accepting the love you’re called to give?

 

The account of prophet Hosea is one of the most remarkable in the Bible.  Against all logic and propriety, God instructed him to marry a prostitute.  He wanted Hosea’s marriage to show what Heaven’s unconditional love looks like towards us.  Hosea’s union with Gomer produced three children but, as expected, this woman who had long made her living in immorality was not content to stay faithful to one man.  So Hosea was left to deal with a broken heart and the shame of abandonment.

 

He had loved her, but she had spurned his love.  They had grown close, but now she had been disloyal and adulterous, rejecting him for the lust of total strangers.

 

Time passed, and God spoke to Hosea again.  God told him to go and reaffirm his love for this woman who had been repeatedly unfaithful.  This time she had reached a new low and had to be bought off the slave block, but Hosea paid the price for her redemption and bought her home.  Yes, she had treated his love with contempt.  She had dealt treacherously with his heart.  But he welcomed her back into his life, expressing an unconditional love.

 

This is a true story, but it was used as a picture of God’s love for us.  He showers His favor on us without measure, though in return we often don’t pay attention.  At times we have acted shamefully and deemed His love an intrusion, as if it’s keeping us from what we really want.  We have rejected Him in many ways – even after receiving His gift of eternal salvation – and yet He still loves us.  He still remains faithful.

 

Even so, His love doesn’t keep Him from calling us to account for our mistreatment of Him.  We pay more of a price for our rejection than we often realize.  Yet He still chooses to respond with grace and mercy.  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).  In Him we have the model of what rejected love does.  It stays faithful.

 

Jesus called us to this kind of love in the passage known as the Sermon on the Mount.  He said to “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

 

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same"  (Luke 6:32-33).

 

"Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men" (Luke 6:35).

 

From the vantage point of the wedding altar, you would never have dreamed that the person you married might later become to you a kind of "enemy," one you would need to love as an act of almost total sacrifice.  And yet far too often in marriage, the relationship does indeed dwindle down to that level.  Even to the point of betrayal or, sadly, to  unfaithfulness.

 

For many, this is the beginning of the end.  Some respond by rapidly moving toward a tragic divorce.  Others, more protective of their reputation than even their own happiness, decide to keep the charade going.  But they have no intention of liking it--much less of loving each other again.

 

This is not the model, however for the follower of Christ.  If love is to be like His, it must love even when its overtures are returned unwanted.  And for your love to be like that, it must be His love to begin with.

 

You can give undeserved love to your spouse because God gave undeserved love to you--repeatedly, enduringly.  Love is often expressed the most to those who deserve it the least.

 

Ask Him to fill you with the kind of love only He can provide, then purpose to give it to your mate in a way that reflects your gratefulness to God for loving you.  That's the beauty of redeeming love.  That's the power of faithfulness.

 

  

Today's Dare

Love is a choice, not a feeling.  It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction.  Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it.  Say to them today in words similar to these, "I love you.  Period.  I choose to love you even if you don't love me in return."

 

I have chosen the faithful way. (Psalm 119:30)

 

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

 

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

Jan 26 2010

Love Dare - Day 21

Love is Satisfied in God

 

The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire. – Isaiah 58:11

 

Day 20 was a vitally important day in the Love Dare – and in your life.  You came face-to-face with the glaring need of every human heart.  And perhaps for the very first time, you became aware of how personal this need really is.  You may have realized that nothing in your toolbox of talents and resources could repair the damage that sin leaves, and that Jesus is the only One who can supply what you’ve been missing.  If you’ve received Him by faith and have turned your life over to Him to manage and lead, then His Holy Spirit is renewing your heart.  His wisdom, grace, and power can now be released into everything you do.  Including, not the least, your marriage.

 

But whether this is new territory for you or if you’ve been a follower of Jesus for quite a while, now is the time for you to firm up one thing in your mind: you need God every single day.  This is not a part-time proposition.  He alone can satisfy, even when all else fails you.

 

Your husband may be late coming home.  Again.  But God will always be right on time.

 

Your wife may let you down.  Again.  But God can always be trusted to deliver on His promises.

 

Every day you place expectations on your spouse.  Sometimes they meet them.  Sometimes they don’t.  But never will they be able to totally satisfy all the demands you ask of them – partly because some of your demands are unreasonable, partly because your mate is human.

 

God, however, is not.  And those who approach Him in utter dependence each day for the real needs in their life are the ones who find out just how dependable He is.

 

Can your spouse give you an inner peace?  No.  But God can.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

 

Can your spouse enable you to be content no matter what life throws at you?  No.  But God can.  “In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled … I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12-13).

 

There are needs in your life only God can fully satisfy.  Though your husband or wife is able to complete some of these requirements – at least now and then – only God is able to do it all.  Your need for love.  Your need for acceptance.  Your need for joy.  It’s time to stop expecting somebody or something to keep your functioning and fulfilled on a non-stop basis.  Only God can do that as you learn to depend on Him.  But He wants to do it His way.  “My God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

 

The needs of love, peace, and adequacy are real.  No one is saying you shouldn’t have them.  But rather than plugging into things that are unstable at best and are subject to change – your health, your money, even the affections and best intentions of your mate – plug into God instead.  He’s the only One in your life that can never change.  His faithfulness, His truth, and His promises to His children will always remain. That’s why you need to seek Him every day.

 

Our only reason for not doing this is because we really don’t trust God to supply what we need.  And yet the Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).  When we are seeking Him first, loving Him first, making our relationship with Him top priority, He promises to supply us with what we really need – which, actually, is all it really takes to satisfy us.

 

Jesus once spoke to a woman at a Samaritan well, a woman who had tried getting her needs met through a string of failed relationships.  With both her life and water bucket empty, she had come to this place broken and hardened yet still desperately in need.  But in Christ she found what He called “living water” (John 4:10) – a supply that wasn’t just for quenching temporary thirst.  What He offered her was a drink of soul satisfaction that never quits giving and refreshing.  And that is what’s available to you each morning at sunrise and each night before bed, no matter who your spouse is what they’ve done to you.

 

God is your everyday supply.  Of everything you need.

 

Today’s Dare

 

Be intentional today about making time to pray and read your Bible.  Try reading a chapter out of Proverbs each day (there are thirty-one – a full month’s supply), or reading a chapter in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).  As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you.  This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.

 

 

You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.  (Psalm 145:16)

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.   Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.