Sunday, January 18, 2009

Brad Bright's book- God is the Issue

God is the Issue


I was recently reviewing a book that I read a few months ago, compiling some quotes and I thought I would share some of them with you. It really had an impact on me.


Pg.11 Morality is a symptom, God is the issue. Do we wish to cure the symptom or the disease. How we answer this question has major implications how we spend out time, energies and resources.

Pg.13 God is the answer to every dysfunction I face

Pg 14 The church in America generally communicates with the culture in one of two ways. Either we preached the straight gospel without regard to the cultural and personal context, or we simply react defensively to the symptomatic cultural ills: such as homosexual behavior, abortion, racism and pornography.


Page 20.  The current strategy of promoting morality without reestablishing a source of morality is not working

Pg 21 Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Pg 24 Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, articulated the difference between cause and effect: birth-control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches.  I look forward to seeing humanity free someday from the tyranny of Christianity.


Pg 26 We must begin rebuilding the foundation by making the God of the Bible the central issue of life in the minds of those around us

Pg 30 only 9% of all born-again teens believe in absolute moral truth

Pg32 Dr. Christopher Bader: you learn more about people’s moral and political behavior if you know their image of God than almost any other measure

Pg. 37 no amount of marriage counseling would do any good until he decided to put God first in his life

Pg. When God gives me the privilege of mentoring believers I make it very clear that they will hear very little about behavior but a lot about having a heart for God.  Because behavior is an indicator of where the heart is at.

Pg. If we are to win, we must reframe the entire issue in a manner that allows us to move back onto the offense, stay on message.  Therefore, if our rhetorical response is merely to condemn a symptomatic issues such as homosexual behavior, abortion, racism as morally reprehensible we will lose: the behavior will continue or other symptomatic behavior will replace it each time we defensively react to their issue they are able to further marginalize us in the eyes of the broad culture and worse gets us off message because in much of our culture condemning a moral behavior is deemed intolerant.


Pg.61 Dr. Martin Luther King – hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that

Pg. do not answer the question asked; rather view the question as an opportunity to talk about our issue -- -- the God of the Bible.  For example – that’s a good question but I think the real issue is….  Move immediately to the critical question of the existence and identity of God.

Pg. 81 we start from their felt need and show how it relates to their real everyday need for God. for example – I would go in and talk about leadership and then transition to the greatest leader who ever lived – Jesus Christ.  Jesus consistently did this. He almost always began with stories to which his audience could relate. He then gave them something they can readily understand and then rhetorically moved them to he wanted them to go.  He not only knew his message – he knew his audience.

Pg.  90 speaking to a homosexual – you start with your behavior and try to conform God to what you want. I start with God and try to conform my behavior to who God is.

Pg.91 never, never, never feel obligated to answer the question (reframe it)


Reframing- Chapter 5

Pg.112 perception constitutes reality for most people.

Pg.112 we must learn to aggressively reframe the rhetoric of the opposition, just as Jesus did.  We redefine it. Redefining does two things, first, it broadens the meaning of the opposition’s rhetoric or to carry our message, while simultaneously diluting their original intent.  For example – such as what happened to the term family values under Bill Clinton -- he redefined family to be something other than the traditional nuclear family.  One of the key components in the communication process is creating linkage. E.G. - Visualize world peace – visualize whirled peas.

Pg. 115 violence is a symptom of a person’s beliefs, ultimately one’s view of God, not a symptom of owning a gun.

Pg 116 when the opposition talks about hate crimes we should talk about hate crimes against people of faith.

Pg.124 President Theodore Roosevelt – the thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming.  The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining.

Pg. 125 a fuzzy view of God will eventually lead to a fuzzy view of truth.

Pg 150 The next time you face something you truly believe is a problem, ask yourself the following question, “What attribute of God do I not really believe is true in this situation?” (By the way, this is a great question to ask as well when you’re worried, feeling hopeless or angry at someone).  Never forget, life is not about you, rather it is all about who God is.  Until you truly learn that lesson you are destined always to have “problems”. 


Friday, January 16, 2009

Intervarsity- Stacy Gaskins update

I had the privilege of meeting with Stacy Gaskins, the regional director for Intervarsity the other day and I was so encouraged to hear how the staff and students of IV were stepping out in faith and reaching their campuses.  At USF Tampa this past semester, in two days of campaigning to invite students to their Bible Studies, over 300 students signed up to attend an IV Bible study.  Simply because someone asked! 


From 2005-2008, 106 small groups started and 562 students were discipled

163 Student Leaders were trained and 170 students went on a domestic or international mission trip.

1540 were impacted by the gospel and 43 solid responses of faith were made!


Why Intervarsity, you might ask?  Well, simply because the 16.5 million university students in the USA are the ones who will largely shape the world.  We need to be reaching this group.  Secondly, only 20% of high school students who grow up in the churches will still actively be involved with Christianity at the age of 30!  But, if we are influencing them with the gospel message, we can change those stats! 


Please pray for IV Tampa Bay as they broaden their vision to triple their staff, disciple 500+ students a year and start 65+ on-campus small group Bible studies by 2011. 


Florida Cold- Homeless Need

This just came in through email from a friend of someone working at the homeless shelter at St. Vincent de Paul. 


“I need a blanket.”

We were serving food to the homeless at the Sophie Sampson center last night and this simple request from a homeless man could not be answered. It is going to get colder over the next several days. Anything you can donate is appreciated. Please forward this email to anyone who may want to help.

We are collecting blankets and adult sized warm clothing (jackets, sweatshirts, winter hats) for the homeless and will be distributing them at the Sophie Sampson Center of Vincent DePaul tonight after the homeless feeding. If you have anything, it would be greatly appreciated.

There are approximately 200-250 people who come to the Sophie Sampson center every night for a meal. Serving meals at the center has made me realize that the stereotypes we have of our homeless population do not apply to the majority. Many of the homeless are our elderly, our veterans, our retirees who have no other option. The majority of them are so grateful for the food that is provided. Serving at the center given us a new appreciation for food, shelter, and warm clothing.

Call Stacey & Dave to arrange drop off
(727) 612-1163

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

DIRT Training

The DIRT (Disaster International Relief Team) was developed to help out with disaster internationally. Unlike domestic disasters, international disasters bring their own challenges but also opportunities.  It is absolutely critical to be prepared if we are dealing with disaster situations outside the comfort and safety of the United States. As a result, DIRT has an emphasis on training and equipping.  Interestingly enough, 3 of the original DIRT members are now EMT’s because of their involvement.  A fantastic way of getting prepared is by going through the CERT training provided by Lealman Fire Department.


The CERT course offers basic training to members of the community to prepare them to react

safely when a disaster strikes. This 2-day course was designed and is supported by the United

States Department of Homeland Security.

Where: Lealman Fire District Station #18

4360 55th Avenue North

Saint Petersburg, Florida 33714

Dates: Friday, January 16th 2009 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday, January 17th 2009 2009 from 8:30am – 6pm

Topics include:

Disaster Preparedness Fire Safety

Disaster Medical Operations Light Search and Rescue Operations

CERT Organization Disaster Psychology

Terrorism and CERT

To sign up for the CERT course or for more information,

contact the Lealman Fire District at (727) 526-5650

or email at


Russia Short Term Team

The Russia team is back safe and sound after a long detour through Newfoundland, Canada (an unruly passenger caused them to stop there).  I just wanted to share the report back from Pastor Bart from CC St. Petersburg, Russia:


Our family and the church were blessed so abundantly with the team that we are without words.

Yes, we are exhausted - but in a very good sense. Tired, but very satisfied. To be able to see how the Lord has lead and protected the team, how He has used them to encourage our church and the people of Russia, how the 

Lord has used CCSTP to bless our church with crafts and other materials for the generations to come :)

The fellowship and the spiritual oneness were very encouraging. Please thank everyone who has been praying for the team and for our church. We are greatly blessed with you all! Also thank the "Missions minded" group. Monika's favorite word of the 

month without a doubt is "gift/present" - and she received a whole bunch of neat stuff from you guys.

The toys for the Sunday school / nursery came very timely and are just awesome.


In short our cup is running over with joy and thankfulness. We praise Jesus for his providence and care and for the friends we have in you. May the Lord continue to bless you all,