Friday, June 18, 2010


Austine Vimba was an older, quiet, unassuming man. Or so I thought…

I met Austine my first day at IBC (now Heritage Christian University). We had two classes together. I came to discover that Austine was from Zimbabwe and was formerly a Zulu warrior. It didn’t seem possible. This man was one of the most soft-spoken and calm men I had ever met. Or so I thought…

Every semester, students were (and still are) required to go on an evangelistic campaign. Regina and I were scheduled to go to Vidalia, Georgia: home of the sweet onion. Austine was also scheduled to go on this campaign.

Each morning, we had a devotional period and one of the students would share a short sermon to prepare us for the day. Monday morning, our speaker was Austine. As he got up to speak, he was very quiet. I was sleepy that morning and thought it was going to be tough to stay awake with that soft of a voice speaking. Or so I thought…

About 5 minutes into his talk, after softly reading some scriptures, he said “so you can see from these readings that we are to GO TELL IT!!!!” Those three words came out of nowhere! I think some of the popcorn ceiling came loose in the little class room we were in. I have been to rock concerts with lesser volume! Regina literally jumped out of her seat, and she wasn’t the only one. The remainder of his talk was given at a similar volume. We were all kind of in shock.

And the end of his talk about the importance of sharing the message of Jesus, he quieted back down. He said, “Before I was a Christian, I was a warrior. And when we went into battle, we would sound out the battle cry. We would sound it out with passion and conviction. I would encourage us to do the same thing. Because the battle we are in ‘is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Eph. 6:12-13).’ So let us arm ourselves, and with passion, sound out our battle cry. Let us GO TELL IT!!!!”

I still remember that like it was yesterday. It was nearly 17 years ago. It was my first campaign. It was the first morning devotional of the week and it gave each and everyone of us the motivation we needed. We baptized 10 people that week! On Friday night when we were preparing to drive back home, Austine, in his quiet voice said “well men, we went and told it. And God brought the increase. Aren’t you glad we serve a God who keeps his promises?” Amen Brother Austine! Amen!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Most Hypocritical Thing I have Ever Written

I have something on my mind I want to say, but I have to be a hypocrite to say it.

I was listening to John Lauterbach speak on Wednesday night, and he said "sometimes we are so busy talking, we forget to listen." The fact is, we love to talk. We talk at work, we talk on our cell phones, we text, we get on Facebook and talk, we tweet so everybody can know what we had for dinner, and then we sit sown and write a blog so everyone can know our thoughts.

I sometimes get frustrated when teaching a Bible class when people have too many comments. I think, "Why do you want to talk so much? This is my turn to talk!!! Listen to me."

Many of you have probably seen the movie I Am Legend with Will Smith. The movie is about a terrible virus that wipes out 99% of the population and turns the rest into zombies. Will's character, Robert Neville, thinks he is all alone until he meets Anna. Anna tells him about a survivor's colony in Connecticut. When he asks her how she knows about it she says that God told her. She says, "Now that the world is quiet, if you will listen, you can hear God."

We are noisy aren't we? I mean, I'm being noisy right now! I'm using all these words to tell us that we need to take time in our lives to "disconnect" so we can connect to God. If we are doing all the talking, how can we ever hope to hear what God might be trying to tell us?

After you read this, turn off your computer and your cell phone and any other noise making device near you. Open your Bible to the psalms and pick one. Read it. Sit back and close your eyes for 10 minutes and listen. Just try it!

I'm gonna practice what I am preaching and shut up now...