Sunday, August 7, 2016

Your "Ticket To Heaven"

The Ticket

In my fathers book, “Life’s Not Fair but God is Good,” he tells the following story:
I shall never forget the airplane ride when I occupied a seat next to Bear Bryant. He was a great football coach. He approached me on the plane and introduced himself. I invited him to sit down. I said, “It’s always nice to meet another good Christian”
He responded, “Well, I don’t know if I’m a good Christian.” I smoke and I drink.”
I said, “Any other reason why you’re not a Christian?”
Well,” he said, I’m not sure I believe everything in the Bible.”
I said, “Oh? Any other reasons?”
Yes. I’ve never had the feeling. I understand if you become a Christian, you’re supposed to have a big feeling; I’ve never had the feeling.”
I said, “I don’t know if there’s a heaven; I don’t know if there’s a hell; I don’t know what’s beyond this life, except one thing: a lot of people are gone ahead of me. They know a lot more about it than I do. And number one is Jesus,” I said, “If you died tonight, would you be afraid of the darkness out there? Would you be afraid to die?”
He said, “Yes, I think so.”
I looked him in the eye. He looked as though he desperately wanted something and Someone he could believe in. I said, “Well, let me give you your ticket to heaven, whatever heaven is and wherever it is. Jesus believed in it, and I think He knew something I don’t know. Let me give you a ticket to heaven.”
He said, “Can you do that?”
Sure.” Then I wrote a Bible verse, the words of Jesus, “And the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). Then I printed the words: “I accept that today.” I drew a line, and said, “Sign your name.”
He said in his gravelly voice, “I don’t know if I should sign that.”
I said, “I don’t know if I can be sure this plane is gonna land, either! Coach, that’s what you call faith.”
He looked at me and said, “I’ll sign it!”
I’ll never forget watching him fold up that piece of paper. Then he reached into his pocket and he got out his worn leather billfold, held together with rubber bands. He took the rubber bands off and he put the Bible verse with his signature in the billfold. And he said, “O.K., this will be my ticket to heaven.”
I told the story one Sunday, many months later. It aired on a Sunday morning across America. The next day, Coach Bear Bryant died suddenly. I was very happy to know that he had his ticket to heaven”  (pp. 270, 271)
This story inspired me to print “Tickets to Heaven” and start passing them out. I started this campaign back in 2000. For the next 8 years I distributed nearly a million “tickets.” 

People would ask for 1000 at a time and we would give them away. When I left the Cathedral in 2008 I assumed that they would continue to offer this beautiful simple evangelistic tool. I was wrong. 
As time went by I forgot about it. Then, a few weeks ago, I ran across an old stack of “Tickets to Heaven.” Wow!! I was so excited to see these that I decided that I needed to resurrect this great campaign. 
So I had a new design created and have printed 1000 of them. I wish I could do more but that is all I can afford right now. 

Click the image above to see front and back (reduced from actual size)

If you would like some just let me know. I’ll send them to you. If you can include a gift of any size, it will allow me to print and ship more in the future to keep the campaign alive. 

I hope that God uses this tool to bring millions more to the simplicity of his gospel and love. 

God Loves you and I do too. 

Pastor Robert

Monday, July 18, 2016

Weekend of Prayer for National Healing

Our nation is going through a race crisis like I have never seen before. The solution is not found in the government or court rooms. It is not found in The White House or on Capitol Hill. It is found in our houses of worship.  If we will pray God will heal our land.

I am calling for a national weekend of prayer starting September 16. I am asking people of all faiths to join together in their respective houses of worship and pray for peace, justice, protection, security and national unity.

Since the Church is the most segregated institution in our nation, I am asking them to volunteer to participate in integration on Sunday September 18. On that day I want White churches to invite Black pastors to participate in their worship and I want Black churches to invite White pastors to participate in their worship. This may be a time to swap pulpits or interview each other or simply offer prayers or read scripture; do something that will show respect and honor for your brothers and sisters of another race in your worship.

When you visit each others churches, I want you to bring 4 to 6 leaders with you to participate in a dialogue following the service. In the dialogue would be 4-6 leaders of each respective church. I want off duty police officers from your community to volunteer to show up in the worship and participate in this dialogue. I want Black officers to go to White churches and White officers to go to Black churches.

On this weekend I ask that all those involved in Black Lives Matter not to gather in the streets but join us in our houses of worship. Not to make a scene, but to respectfully follow the spiritual leadership of the prayer service and dialogue.

To help facilitate this voluntary church integration and prayer time, I will have a website where your church can notify the nation when and where you will be having your service and dialogue. If you need help connecting with a Black or White church your registration will be an invitation for church leaders to connect. On the site will be tools to assist in the dialogue along with prayers, and litanies.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Lives matter.

Lives matter period. That should be the beginning and the end of the sentence but unfortunately that is not the case. Race should not matter. But it does. I grew up singing “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” The truth is that Jesus loves all children in the world the same: little and big, young and old, rich or poor. No one ever stops being one of God’s children and God loves us all the same regardless of race, age, or social standing.

The tragedy which took place in Dallas is yet another reminder that we live in a world that is filled with hurting people, filled with anger and hostility towards their fellow man. The brutal, senseless act of gunning down five policemen, those who had dedicated their lives to try and protect others, is horrible and goes against everything Jesus teaches us about “loving others.” The preliminary findings that these killings were race related makes it even worse.

Unfortunately people have a hard time believing and remembering that we are all loved by God and that we are all His children. The roots of evil are planted when we forget these things. We were bought by Him, and not by any man. And God gave us the freedom to choose between loving our brother or sister and not loving them. As long as there is the freedom to choose, tragically, some will not choose love.

When Moses freed the enslaved Hebrews out of Egypt, they still suffered from slave mentality even though their shackles were traded for gold and silver. That is why God kept them in the wilderness for 40 years. Not until they broke the chains that bound their thinking and beliefs could they enter into the promised land.

Even though slavery is still very much alive in parts of the world today, we can only be imprisoned or shackled physically. No one can enslave our minds. The only true slavery takes place in our thinking.

Slave thinking is a soul cancer. When his brothers enslaved the Biblical Joseph, he never lost sight of his dream. Although he was enslaved physically, mentally he was free. Through this “real” freedom he became one of the most powerful men in the world.

The apostle Paul was imprisoned when he wrote; “through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12) When we break our mental slavery “through faith” and approach God with freedom and confidence, our lives will matter. It doesn’t matter whether we are a priest or a penitent, a businessman or a bum, a Cop or a criminal. Wherever we are in life, we can find freedom through faith in Jesus.

Black lives, blue lives, white lives, yellow lives and brown lives, red lives, they all matter. That is why Jesus came to this world. He died an unjust death that we might live. Put your faith in Him. Lives matter.

Let's each pray for comfort and healing of all families, especially the children, that are affected by violence from either fear or hate, both that are from evil. Let us also seek from Him, healing for our land and the world.

Pastor Robert Schuller
July 8, 2016

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." + 2 Chronicles 7:14