Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Here’s Gene Howard! John Wayne?

No, not the graphic – that’s sermon notes Gene Howard took while in a service. You can see Gene Howard as John Wayne on his website. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of seeing him in person at our church and of being a Friend on Facebook.

Hearing him preach is a blessing. Watching his work grow is, too. Knowing his background is awesome. Here’s what he wrote about taking such notes in college:
… that is how I got through college. I was taking 12-14 hours as a student, and because of my art education, taught 4 hours as a professor, and was going to churches on weekends with my Visual Communication Seminar, so I had little time to study. So I took my notes into simple drawings, and just before the test I would review the pictures and pass the test. … Any way that is what I teach people in churches to do. … Anyone that can write their name can learn to draw with my course. I have my complete drawing course available on a 2 hour video DVD.
Obviously, Gene’s just as busy today as he was then. Watch his FB page in the spring, though, when he’s gardening, too!!

But – right now take time to look at this one page of his notes. A small illustration (that does take talent!) along with the scripture citation. Doesn’t it make you want to look up those verses to see if they say what he’s drawn? An excellent way to present the gospel. He stated the cliché, but it’s true – a picture is worth a thousand words. Yet, 5,000 people did respond to words:

Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. (Acts 4:4 KJV)

Don’t you want to know what was said that convinced 5,000 people to change their minds and follow Christ? This was a brand new message within a religion that was as old as time itself. Their supposed leader had been crucified by Rome along with thieves. What was the message that changed so many lives – and why is it changing lives today?

Politicians have run ‘Hope!’ into the ground with their lack of fulfillment, but a Christian’s hope is in vain without one specific reality:

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. (1 Corinthians 15:13-15 KJV)

Paul knew Jesus died on the cross. Paul watched Stephen die for that belief. He held the clothes of those who stoned:

And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. (Acts 8:1 KJV)

Seeing the risen Christ, Paul was changed. That’s the message Gene Howard draws, and people are changed now, too. If they'll hear His word.

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