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The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. – Psalm 19:1-4
The scientific community calls it space …
The supernatural cosmos cries out the heavens.
Prior to the cinematic silver-screen, our ancestors looked to the skies to interpret the story of their soul sung by silent stars. Long before the sextant, compass and GPS, ancient mariners sailed their ships and navigated the nameless nebula of strange seas by known stars.
Now we can’t go anywhere without Google maps.
The stars seemed to disappear as the skies were lit with 4th of July fireworks this week. But when the fireworks fade, the smoke clears and the crowds disperse, the stars still shine; undaunted, undefiled, as if they were mined and threaded on a silver necklace by the fiery fingers of God like immortal diamonds across the black velvet dress of night.
Our Board of Directors and Advisory Team have contemplated the cosmos as it were to find our Shining Star – a compelling new mission statement to guide fugitive soldiers and sailors home to God as favored sons:
Grace Explorations initiates
the Hearts of Men
into the Heroic Journey of God.
– Proverbs 25:2
Our 25-YEAR LEGACY PLAN drawn from OUR VALUES & DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE, clearly communicates Grace Explorations will not be spiritual fireworks or a temporary ministry fad that fizzles. We are a transcendent fraternity of men, connected like a constellation of stars; a luminous Imago Dei; a special creation created in the image of God.
With those thoughts in mind, I close with this fascinating character study:
John Wesley and George Whitefield were the leading evangelical leaders of the 18th Century. Their ministries began in England and impacted America. They married widows, experienced troubled marriages, and had no natural children of their own except the millions of spiritual children God birthed through them. They preached in the open air after the pulpits were closed to them just like the stories we tell in breweries that will not be told in pulpits today.
Whitefield was an unusually gifted speaker. He was the first internationally famous itinerant preacher and the first modern transatlantic celebrity of any kind. He preached at least 18,000 times to perhaps 10 million hearers and led America’s First Great Awakening.
Wesley was also a gifted speaker. He rode over 250,000 miles on horseback, a distance equal to ten circuits of the globe along the equator. He preached over 40,000 sermons!
George Whitefield was a great orator. He sensationalized huge crowds, lived in isolation, died wealthy and left behind money.
John Wesley was a great organizer. He started “Holy Clubs”, lived in community, died poor and left behind a movement: 135,000 British & American members and 541 itinerant preachers under the name “Methodist.” Today Methodists number about 30 million worldwide. Numerous schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions are also named after Wesley.
Although Whitefield and Wesley were both highly effective evangelists, only one left behind a movement. Why?
Orators are like fireworks. They create fans.
Organizers are like stars. They create followers.
If you give fruit from your tree, you’ll feed fans for a day.
If you grow fruit on other peoples trees, you’ll feed followers forever.
As I turned 50 this past February and with my 80 year old dad in the hospital recently for three weeks, I’m thinking less about making a living and more about leaving a legacy. Less about public speaking and more about planning a society. I don’t want to be famous. I want to be faithful. Forever. Like a star.
How is God encouraging you today?