Paying a High Cost

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

An old friend stopped returning my phone calls. My intuition, which is accurate 3/4 of the time, tells me that my clumsy attempts to represent Christ to my old friend finally put him off. Perhaps had I been more straight-forward — a known quantity, things would be different. Perhaps had I been more sensitive — not forcing the conversation, we’d …

Tongue Unleashed

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My life-long friends Kathe and Dave led me in a very specific prayer recently as we cruised in my 2004 Ford Explorer along a country road: Lord, use us. Yes, I’m an evangelist/apologist. I’m trained, skilled, etc. YET, it’s shocking to me how often my fragile ego puts a gag order on my tongue, insisting that Now’s not the time …

Coming and Going

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An impressionable college student from the Midwest attended the 1979 Urbana Mission Convention, and that student was me. I was fortunate to have a talk at the convention with the Rev. Billy Graham in which he looked directly at me and uttered these words, and I paraphrase:  The scriptural pattern for God’s servants has two directions–coming and going. First we …

Psalm 130 to the Rescue

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As mentioned last week, I’ve been setting the stopwatch on my cell phone most mornings for thirty minutes of worship and intercession. I wish I could say this comes easily for me, being in the ministry and all, but I can’t. Jim Sire has helped me. With instruction from his fine book, Learning to Pray through the Psalms, I’ve committed …

30 Holy Minutes

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 5 Comments

One of my friends spends 30 minutes/day in intercessory prayer. Through his example I’ve been challenged to do the same. That was two months ago. How’s it going so far? I’m inconsistent, and when I do sit down before the Lord my mind easily wanders. Yet, I’m beginning to WANT to be there… Would you care to join me on …

The Acid Test

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Here’s why I think “midreach” (speaking to Christians and nonChristians at the same time—see my last three posts below) is so profound: It revives the idea that public speaking (or interactive presentation) is a true art form—carefully crafted, thoroughly prayed over. It is audience-centered. It takes account of who’s listening as the speech act is designed. It tends to avoid …

Teaching an early Creed

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Apologists often point to 1 Cor 15:3-4 as an early creed that was in use among Christians shortly after the resurrection of Jesus (within 2-5 years). You may remember that the text speaks of Christ’s atoning death, his resurrection and appearances to the twelve. If the creed goes back as far as we think, it works AGAINST the argument of …

Midreach part 2

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Here is an example of what I call “midreach” (see last week’s post for more context): The gospel writer Mark presents Jesus to his audience in a way that hardly distinguishes between believers and non-believers. Believers can find comfort in a series of healings and exorcisms in the first few chapters: Ch 1: Simon’s mother-in-law and a leper are healed. …

Midreach

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 6 Comments

“Inreach” is fairly well defined in my mind as ministry that seeks to bring believers to spiritual maturity. “Outreach” is also fixed in my thinking as ministry that extends the gospel to the surrounding community and nations. What I’m trying to figure out, however, is “midreach.” Thus far, I’ve come up with this: Midreach is both. It’s communicating Biblical ideas …