God has been doing some amazing things through Eternity Bible College. As we look back on 2015, God’s faithfulness is clear. In this short video, Spencer MacCuish, our president, explains some of the milestones we crossed in 2015 and looks forward to some of our prayers for 2016. Please watch this video and prayerfully consider how you might partner with us in this.
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Rarely is training glamorous; rarely is it exciting. Training is usually incredibly difficult and labor intensive. Seasons of training are hardly desirable but almost always necessary. The most compelling part of robust training is often seeing what is being produced. Here is an example of what is being produced from Eternity Bible College.
Lucas Everett is part of an amazing legacy. Over forty years ago his grandparents started the first school for deaf children in the entire country of Mexico, Rancho Sordo Mudo. As a result of this ministry, the deaf of Mexico had an opportunity for education. They now had access to vocational training. But even more importantly, this meant that the deaf people of Mexico could learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the very first time.
Lucas’ father, Luke, continued the Everett legacy of faithfully serving God at Rancho Sordo Mudo. God has given Luke an incredible story, and an amazing ability tocommunicate that story. As a result, awareness of the ranch has grown substantially and now has hundreds of graduates and over 40 fully residential students annually.
In 2009, Luke and Lucas visited Eternity Bible College; soon after, Lucas enrolled and began his training. Four years later, Lucas went back to the Ranch, degree in hand.
Lucas now serves alongside his father in caring for the deaf children. Lucas has served as a teacher, dorm parent, and spiritual mentor to many at the ranch. In addition to serving the students and staff at the ranch, Luke and Lucas are actively engaged in opening other schools for the deaf across Mexico and into Central America. Consistent with the original vision for Rancho Sordo Mudo, this is all being done so that the deaf community can learn about Jesus and be equipped to engage society.
In order for Lucas to be able to actively engage in advancing the Gospel within the deaf community, he needed to be trained. He needed to be equipped to know the Bible well. Eternity Bible College provided that training so that Lucas could think and respond biblically as he leads aspects of this important ministry. As significant as the training itself has proven in Lucas’ life, it’s also true that Lucas could not be doing the work he does if he had accumulated college debt.
Reflecting on his son’s leadership at the ranch, Luke says:
“It has been a beautiful blessing to see Lucas transformed into the Godly man he is because of God and Eternity Bible College. I was really sick and incapacitated during our first week of school at the ranch, and Lucas stepped right in, picked up the mantel, and ran with it. I’m not just saying this because he is my son (many have affirmed this), but Lucas is an amazing Bible teacher. I love hearing him ‘bring it’ to our staff every Sunday. He has such enthusiasm and joy when he is preaching/teaching, and his appetite to continue learning encourages me. Lucas has taught me a lot.”
It is exciting to see the role that Eternity Bible College gets to play in helping equip people for lives of Gospel service. The desire at Eternity has always been to provide biblical training without student debt. Will you consider an end of year gift or a recurring monthly gift to help further the mission of Eternity Bible College?
We talk about wanting the Gospel to transform every aspect of our lives. However, as I consider my own life and observe the lives of others, I am forced to conclude that we have many spheres left untouched by the transforming work of the Gospel.
It is of critical importance to first establish preliminary assumptions regarding a believer’s orientation, identity and subsequent purpose:
- I am assuming that believers are living in light of the story of God, and not the story of the world. Included in that assumption is a rejection of syncretism, which means that a Christian is living according to a worldly system, but hiding it underneath a biblical veneer.
- Based upon #1, a life lived in submission to the story of God will result in an individual whose primary identity is in Christ, expressed uniquely through the local church.
- Based upon #1 and #2, the purpose of a believer’s life is to make God look good, in every circumstance, and endeavor to move the Kingdom of God forward in every possible circumstance.
Also, because believers are living lives in submission to God and his word, the following points are non-negotiable. Believers are called to:
- Consider others greater than themselves.
- Love one another, including their enemies.
- Serve one another.
- Encourage one another.
So how does all of this play out in the world of sports?
First, let’s ask what the purpose of athletic competition is. Most people would hastily assume that winning is the goal. To the contrary, I contend that winning is rarely the goal of athletics. If simply winning were the goal, we would do nothing more than schedule a game with horribly inferior opponents and let the onslaught ensue. But very few would find this appealing, because winning is rarely the ultimate goal.
Taking this a bit deeper, many would argue that the true goal of athletics is the opportunity to compete at the highest level possible (and there is an ingrained hope that this competition will result in victory). This can be evidenced by those who have competed well, have lost the event, but have still experienced a degree of fulfillment. Likewise, we see this played out amongst those who have been victorious against a clearly inferior team and left the competition unsatisfied.
But what about the Christ follower: is it enough to simply compete at a high level? Or maybe compete at the highest level possible and express some biblical platitudes? Or should our approach and involvement in an athletic endeavor be the same as the rest of our life, which would mean God known and advancing His Kingdom by living in submission to what God has called us to?
So what does it look like to live in submission to what God has called us to in the world of athletics?
How do you love your opponents? Certainly by playing hard and forcing them to compete at a high level. But is that all? What if you see an opponent doing something fundamentally wrong? Would it be more loving to offer correction so that they may compete at a higher level or continue to allow them to practice flawed behavior? What would it look like to consider your opponent greater than yourself?
What does submission to authority look like in the midst of competition? Is the official recognized as the authority that God has appointed for that moment?
- A close play at the plate, where the runner violently crushes the catcher.
- A safety absolutely crushing a receiver who is crossing the middle of the field.
- An open ice check in hockey where the offensive player is not looking.
While these plays may technically be legal, do they fit within our Christian responsibility to love and serve? In essence, do these plays make Jesus happy? If so how?
The Gospel should indeed transform every part of life, and this includes the athletic arena. We should never be satisfied with a bowed knee or a point heavenward before, after, or during a game. The Gospel should direct our conduct on and off the field.
A few weeks ago my oldest daughter was going through the annual standardized testing. This lead to an interesting conversation between a fourth grader & her dad. It went something like this:
Daughter: Dad, can you make me a good breakfast? I have to eat properly so I can do well on my test.
Dad: Why do you have to do well on your test?
Daughter: So I can get into the right programs…so I can go to a good college.
Dad: Why do you have to go to a good college?
Daughter: So I can get a good job.
Dad: Why do you need a good job?
Daughter: Dad, you don’t want me to live on the streets do you?
That interaction is loaded with all sorts of things that need to be addressed, but for today let us just focus on one simple question.
Is the purpose of education to simply get a good job? Or is the purpose of education to actually learn?
Have at it…