Why I Live

The film project Ted and team have been working on is finally released! We hope you’ll click below and watch the film, and then share it with your friends and networks. We believe this is a powerful story that could change many lives. It’s already having an impact.

click here to watch

We believe that God brought us this story to bring hope and share his love with many people. Help us get the word out!

1) Click these links to share the film with your networks on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. And feel free to share the film on any other social media networks with which you’re connected.

2) Like us on Vimeo! This is really simple, but does require an account. Making one is pretty simple, especially if you have a facebook.

A. Click “Join” on the bar at the top of the vimeo page
1. you will be asked to enter your email and a password twice
2. or just beneath that there’s a small print “join using facebook.”

Filling in the form, or clicking “join using facebook” will create a new account. There is an offer to join vimeo plus or vimeo pro. You can ignore it and just click “no thanks.” Once you’re logged in, go to our film and click the heart on the upper right side. You can also leave a comment or ask a question on our page, if you’d like. The goal here is to get enough attention that vimeo will feature the film for a few days.

3) Finally, if you have a blog or a website, or if you have a friend with a blog or a website… We’d love to have you write about and/or post about our film.

Good News from Greece

Britt sipping teaHello Saints 🙂

A plethora of excitingness has been happening the past four months- and it’s high time for a written report. I was introduced to the Greek Bible College opportunity kind of in the same way an assassin’s target finds out about a planted time bomb minutes from detonation. The amount of time given to consider the situation is so small and pressurized, the tendency toward self preservation has less time to kick in, and a braver course of action is usually taken…God knew if I had too much time to think, I would have stayed home and implemented my home-school-college-for-a-year-via-online-courses-plan. It would have been the worst decision of my life.

Since being here, so many blessings have followed. The opportunities here are so many, together they weigh more than a couple universes. The staff are primarily responsible for that. All of my professors (colloquially) are “beasts” for God. They’re a group of delightful, intentional, and wise people who’ve earnestly been studying the Lord and His word for most their lives (many of them with the bible’s original languages under their belts- how cool is that?!). Accordingly, I’ve been hoarding up vast amounts of…information doesn’t seem to be quite the right word, since the majority of what I’ve been learning doesn’t feel academic. To say it better, I’ve relished and cherished the lessons of Evangelism, Old Testament Survey, Inductive Bible Studies, Corinthian Correspondence, and Theology courses (I admit I may have been a less than excited student of Ancient Greek, but we get on tolerably. 😉 ) . I’ve never loved school more or rather, school has never felt less like school before.

And those are just the academic blessings! I’ve shared the joys of experiencing a new country/culture with classmates who were hand-picked for this year by God. Within the first week, we were treating each other as sincere life-long friends. Together we’ve seen the ruins of Corinth and some of the Athenian wonders- for example the Acropolis and Mars Hill. I confess, we’ve even tested and approved a few picturesque Aegean Sea beaches. Through hands-on projects for the Evangelism course, and projects of our own, I’ve been witness the Holy Spirit stirring people’s hearts for Christ. Every Monday night, I take part in a ministry that serves dinner to over 200 refugees for free. It’s easily the best night of my week- seeing so many hungry, broken people filled up with good food and a message about humanity’s Savior…

Yes, the opportunity for the Greek Bible College was a time bomb- it’s exploded into a radical, life changing, mind blowing, heart shaping, fun oozing time. If this doesn’t teach me that God knows best and that being a Christ follower is the most incredible thing I could ever do in life, I don’t know what would…

…The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you,

~2 Timothy 4:22

Brittany

The Still Small Voice Speaks Bulgarian

Ted filming in a Bulgarian vinyard

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Jesus, Acts 1:8

Thus begins the evangelization of the nations. The Apostles would spread the word throughout the ancient world, poor fisherman became great orators, the lame were healed, and even the dead were raised. We’re in Germany today because Christ told his followers to be “witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” But how often do I expect the Holy Spirit to really act with power in my life?

Last month, God sent a colleague and I to Bulgaria. We heard many people were coming to Christ around a little town just north of the Greek border. We went because we felt called, but had no idea what we were in for.

Over the next eight days we tried to capture the life of a man, who met Jesus in a dramatic vision like the Apostle Paul, left behind his successful secular career to become an evangelist, lives modestly on the income from selling his paintings, and has visions from God guiding him nearly every day. We’re not talking about generic dreams that could be interpreted a variety of ways, these are specific directions from God to be performed immediately in most cases.  At one point, while we were with him, God shared the names and in one case the personal story of some Turkish laborers on the side of the road that he was then able to use as an avenue for sharing the Gospel.  At another point (not while we were there), Jesus appeared physically to this man and gave him instructions.  To me, even as I write this, it brings to mind the televangelist charlatans we are all too familiar with and yet this was the furthest thing from that.  We saw how time and time again, the directions he was receiving from the Holy Spirit led specifically to a specific individual who was open.  Through this man, many Bulgarians are coming to know Christ. It was a fascinating, and challenging week. When we asked him why so few believers hear from God, he said he thinks they’re not listening, because it is impossible that God should be silent.  As i considered how difficult it often is for me to hear from the Lord on major decisions, I was stuck by the simple faith of a man who listens to God for direction on every tiny step.  Could it be that it’s so hard to hear from the Lord simply because I don’t wait for Him to make every decision, but only let Him make the big ones?  Is the struggle simply that I don’t practice being a good listener?

We’re now working on taking the material we shot and creating a documentary sharing a little piece of this man’s story.  We hope you’ll join us in prayer that his story will lead many people to more fully commit themselves to living for Jesus, and listening to the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to know someone?

A number of years ago, I was editing a video.  In it a man shared his life story.  He was relatively old, and there was a whole lot of footage.  A personal conflict had prevented me from being able to do the recording, so I’d never met him.  For several weeks, I poured my every free moment into editing his life.  He had experienced some incredible hardships, but the twinkle in his eye, friendly demeanor, and the sense of who he was won me over.  As I watched the story of his life again and again trimming and tightening his story, I felt I’d come to know him.

A few weeks later, I ran into him at an event.  Warmly I hailed him from across the room, one friend to another, only to be greeted with a cold stare and his retreating back.  I didn’t really know him.  I only knew about him.  I had confused knowledge with relationship.

This story came to me this week as I was thinking about Jesus.  In this part of Germany, you can barely go ten steps without seeing a “Jesus.”  He’s been carved from wood and stone, cast in plaster, painted, and cut from tiny shards of glass.  You can find him on the sides of buildings, in any one of thousands of churches, or even on the side of the road.  Almost no matter where you look there is a cold lifeless figure of Jesus.  In general I attribute the best of intentions to the people that scattered Jesus’ image all over the world, but I wonder, does it really help?

Do you know Jesus?  Or do you just know about him?  Do you have a relationship with him or just knowledge about him?  Please don’t confuse the two.  Relationship with Jesus will change your life.  If you don’t see the evidence of that, the little changes day by day that are radically impacting you and your choices, I would challenge you to get to know him better.  It won’t necessarily make you healthy, wealthy, or wise.  In fact, I think in many cases it will lead to struggle, possibly even suffering.  At the same time, neither wealth nor getting our way all of the time can bring us happiness, just look at our Hollywood icons.  (More people we know all about, without really knowing.)  A life of virtually endless money, surrounded by sycophants who indulge their every whim, yet very few of them seem happy.  What knowing Jesus can give you is better than money, better even than happiness.  There is a Joy in Jesus Christ, a hope that life in the future will be better, a contentment in living where he places you that doesn’t exist anywhere else in life.  Living in relationship with Jesus isn’t easy, but it is incredible!

This past week I got a chain email.  I really don’t like chain letters, and determined a long time ago that no matter what the letter contained, if it pressured me in any way to send it on, I wouldn’t.  As they so often are, this email was a “forward this on if you really love Jesus” email.  I struggled a bit with guilty feelings about not forwarding it on.  However, a question struck me and I read it through again.  There was nothing in this email, nothing at all, that would reveal the character of Jesus to someone who didn’t already know him.  That’s what inspired this message.  I want you to know that if you reach out to Jesus he will not glare coldly and walk away.  He loves you and desperately desires relationship with you.  He gave up being God to come down to earth and live with all the same conflicting wants, unmet needs, passions and sufferings you experience today, and then he was brutally beaten, murdered, and he overcame death.  He did this, not because he needed to, but so that he could have a relationship with you.  No one else in your life will ever go to these lengths to try to know you.  Don’t stare coldly and turn away.  Take the opportunity of a life time.  Jesus loves you.

If you want to forward this on to your friends, feel free.  However, please do not include any guilt trip inducing language as though somehow punching the forward button on your email is living out the great commission.  🙂

Learn more about Jesus here.

Everything and Agent Cox is on a mission…

Our March newsletter is out.  It contains a special assignment briefing from Agent Brittany Cox sure to be fun for the entire family, and also a story about one of the ways God is working in our lives, and hopefully the lives of others here in Germany.  Here’s a quick preview…

EVERYTHING

What if God gave us freewill solely so that we can freely decide to give it back?

One of the harder moments in our long run up to the field involved a change in ministry. For a long time, I believed I was going to train European believers in video production. This was a really exciting idea to me, because I believe media is such a crucial battlefield. That’s no longer a part of the our ministry vision and that loss was very difficult for me. I fought against the change, because in my heart I firmly believed that was a critical part of God’s plan for me. It’s been several years, and God has done a lot to teach me about trusting Him, serving where He places me, and accepting the authorities He places over me. All hard, but important lessons for the work ahead.

Recently, I had an incredible opportunity. Many of you may be familiar with Erwin McManus and the Mosiac Church in Los Angeles. In a nutshell, Mosiac has decided to throw off their traditional structures and ideas, while holding fast to scripture, and truly focus on the salvation of the lost. At the invitation of our German church, a team from Mosaic came out to share what they’re learning from this process. The result was a conference called Origins.

I found the conference to be tremendously challenging. They challenged my assumptions about all sorts of issues from discipleship to what church should look like. I was particularly struck by one story: One of the speakers, Eric Bryant, was talking about his conversation with a lesbian woman who attends their church. She asked him, “[if I accept Jesus,] do I need to give up my lifestyle?” At this point I was riveted. There are few questions more bitterly defining the struggle of the church in the 21st Century.

Read the rest.

AGENT COX HAS A MISSION

During Spring break March 28- April 4, 2009, small groups of scheming and calculating BFA (Black Forest Academy) students will be dispersed to various and strategic places all over the world- each group has a top priority mission to carry to completion. Each mission is tailored to that particular group’s highly unique and most valuable capabilities. Brittany Cox is an agent assigned to one of these posses, the one destined for Suceava, Romania. The Mission: to spread word that her Employer, the Boss, the one with the power, power big enough to knock people dead with his pinky finger, is now at large. Yeah, that guy, his name is rumored to be “Jesus,” but he’s got other ones. It’ll be this group’s mission to warn the kids at Filadelphia Christian School (FCS), this guy is presently on the lose and… loving people? Wait, what?

Read the rest.

UPDATE: I have to apologize.  Someone just let me know the “Read the rest” links on both articles was broken.  It should be fixed now.