Dear CCW Family,
When I was ten, I wore the proud uniform of the Bethany Tigers, representing Bethany Baptist Church on Kansas City’s church league . . . black top, white shorts, white legs, skinny hairless arms. We contested in pseudo-basketball at the Bales Avenue Baptist Church gym. I saw the photo the other day. Deacon Jay Jones was the coach, a sign-painter not known as an athlete anytime during his life. I wasn’t the best of the players either, but likely wasn’t the worst—or was I?
I got the ball once while scurrying around in a bevy of sweaty bodies. All was noise and frenetic energy. People were cheering, or so I thought. I shot. Missed. Shot again. Missed again. Shot again.
I did it! Yes!
Then I looked around only to discover that I was alone on my side of the court. Both teams were on the other side just standing there. To this day I still picture them all with both hands on their hips, staring. All the loud calls from the stands and the team weren’t what I had imagined. I wasn’t a star. I was a moron. I had shamefully scored two points for the other side!
If sincerity means anything, I had it in spades. I was the Michael Jordan of sincerity.
Despite the fact that this basketball experience ruined my basketball career forever, I still seek, more than you will ever know, to be sincere. And, if I’m reading our CCW team right, they are the most sincere set of men you could possibly know. In a world of religious image-makers, this is something I’m very thankful for.
I know that sincerity doesn’t always rank high. When I was a college student, if we said a girl was sincere we usually were indicating she was not our pick for a date. What a foolish thought. Now I see things so differently. Sincerity really is important. The last thing we want is pretense, deceitfulness or hypocrisy.
Please pray for us that we will not turn from sincerity to craftily seeking notoriety, or money. We don’t need to be anything special in anyone’s eyes. We just need to sincerely seek first Christ’s kingdom, with all our affections, and for all of our days. I often pray that I will die as a man of integrity.
Well, what is ahead for us? Answer: a full ministry-filled fall and winter. Selamab and Steve will be spending two weeks ministering in Ethiopia. I’ll stay in the country in the Fall after having taken four out-of-country trips in the Spring. I’ll be leading at least seven Bible Intensive Retreats and speaking in several other conferences and churches. Our other speakers will be doing the same. Also, our first trimester for the Muller Center begins on August 21st.
Bryan and Joey Elliff are returning to the KC area from Israel on August 20th. Bryan, a CCW communicator, will be ready to speak in various places if you would enjoy inviting him. All of our speakers are ready to serve you in this way: Steve Burchett, Kole Farney, Bryan Elliff, Selamab Assefa, and me. Please let us know if we can help.
Thanks for participating with us in the gospel work we do, and in all that we attempt for the growth of believers. It’s going so well. Your prayers are being answered. Please keep it up.