Monday, April 21, 2008

The Truth Project

Well, we've just completed the Truth Project series put out by Focus on the Family. We've led about 80 people through it for this first time and there are many impacted souls. I can't say enough good things about it. It is an incredibly impacting, life changing, life transforming worldview study. I am very excited to see what God is going to do with this. I have written quite a lot about the Truth Project in a section a few scrolls down - with a trailer and the website address for you to view. Feel free to scroll down and read that also. Their website is

How can I begin to share how it has transformed my soul and touched my inner being so deeply. Each session spoke to the core and I learned so much. Never having attended Bible school, I was completely enthralled with each one. Were there things I wasn't sure about or was it 100% perfect in every way, no, but when I kept my mind and heart open, it taught me so very much. I am hungry and thirsty for God and for His Word. At times I just can't get enough but then there are other times where I go much to long without even looking at His Word or just taking a brief 5 minutes a day for a real quick devotional. If I don't give myself enough time in the morning by awakening early and spending time reading and praying, my day just goes by with soooo much to do that I barely have time to have devotions with my family. That's not enough. God wants more of us and He wants to spend time with me each day - undisturbed time. For me, that's first thing in the morning before anyone has awakened. Going through this study has shown me how very very important it is to stay in God's Word and continue learning and growing each day.

It has changed how I view people. God forgive me cause way too many times I've put myself above others and seen others as not as important. Hearing Flash's testimony and the others in the videos sharing their hearts has really convicted me as to how in my mind, I've viewed others in the wrong way when they "look" or "act" different than I. My heart went out to Flash and I want to hug him, no matter how many tatoos he has. God help me to love others and see others through Your eyes, not mine. I need to see others who are not following the Lord, as captives being held by lies that they have been led and engrained to believe. I need to pray for them rather than pointing out what's wrong.

Watching each video 4 times in a week has a huge impact. I pray I will never forget what I've been taught and how God has touched my spirit. I pray that others that have gone through it will not forget how God has spoken to them and that this will not stop, that others will in turn, turn around and touch those around them with what God has done in their lives. Oh that we will love others the way God wants us to love. As I typed what others have given me to share, tears ran down my face. Thank you God for giving me this privilege of walking through this study with so many dear people who love you and want to learn more of you. I love you all and can't wait to see what God has in store for us from this point on. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart and what God has taught you.

In His Service, Lisa Braun

In this section, I wanted to share with you how others felt about the study and how it impacted them. So here they are:

I have truly enjoyed my participation in The Truth Project. I appreciate the approach Del Tackett uses -- a very calm, rational, reasoned, academic approach, backed up by scientific, historic, and empirical evidence and the veracity of scripture. While dramatic and emotional approaches have their place, their impact seldom lasts. The balance of Dr. Tackett's approach and presentations, academic and reasoned but not without enthusiasm and emotion, is what is generally lasting, I believe, and is an approach effective with me. Dr. Tackett has ably demonstrated throughout the study that we do not have to "separate head from heart" to be intelligent thinking 21st century Christians.

Absolute truth is hard to get at these days. North American and European world views are almost universally accepted and adopted in North America, and many Christians (evangelical included) are included in that mix. It is great to be stopped short in our tracks and forced, mentally, to take restock of our basic and fundamental beliefs. Topics like the cosmos, the natural state of man, evolution, the science and math of design verses randomness, Darwin's impact on scientific and social thought, and God's social order (for home, church, government) are so important for the thinking Christian today. With little thought or question, I had taken for granted the validity of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I had long recognized Darwin's impact on scientific thought, but had not recognized his impact on social thought and design. These were important revelations to me. The need to apply, with compassion and generosity, the truths of scripture and reach out to others and form relationships was a great conclusion to the study. As Christians, it is our responsibility to be the neighbour God wants us to be, and demonstrate His love and care.

Thank you, Roger and Lisa, for your sacrifice, time, energy, and enthusiasm in bringing this project to our church and community. I believe I have truly grown as a Christian through this program and your leading. The written resources will be an excellent source for examination, refection, and study for many years to come. God bless and thanks again.

Dennis Ens

Dear Roger and Lisa: Thank-you so much for being leaders for the Truth Project! It's a big commitment to lead study groups. You have a gentle way of allowing people to pray or share without making anyone feel pressured. I wonder if you sometimes felt frustrated, and wished that there was more participation during sharing time. I found that there was so much to take in and often felt too overwhelmed for words. I wonder if others didn't feel the same way.

I'm glad that Bill and I took part in this Truth Project study. Just when I think I'm beginning to understand how awesome God is, how much He loves me, or think that I'm filled to overflowing with love for Him... He blows me away!, fills me with more wonder and awe, gives me deeper truths and challenges me to new depths and new boldness.

It's not okay for me to quietly live my faith and hope that others notice I'm a Christian by the things I do or don't do. God has given each of us a responsibility. I think it's time as Christians to speak up. Not in a confrontational way, but to offer a comment or ask a question that might challenge others to rethink some things. So many people think they have it all figured out, but they're so lost! They have no idea that there is TRUTH to be found.

There were so many things from this 12 week study that challenged me and gave me new understanding, or helped me to see something I already knew from a different perspective.

-----It was encouraging to be reminded that there are so many that have gone before us "such a great cloud of witnesses"

-----I know that we are to love and live in a certain manner, to strive to be like "Him", but I never thought of God as "humble". Knowing that, seeing God as a humble God, humbles me.

-----I loved the question at the end "what do I do?", and the answer "I have no clue, but I know the One who knows". That God gives each of us our own personal stirrings, passions and abilities, and as Christians if we would only use them as God glorify Him and be a good neighbor. As Dr. Tacket said "we would turn the world upside down". Or maybe right side up!

Thank-you again for your leadership. Love Kim

“The Truth Project” was an excellent reminder for me that in teaching and equipping students we must always come back to the foundation—who and what is truth? Without a foundation and an understanding of the character and nature of God, our faith begins to pull apart at the seems, and can be partitioned off into tidy little compartments that don’t have to interact with each other, rather a faith that flows, touches, and impacts every corner of our soul.

Stephen Thiessen - Youth Pastor

One of the things that I enjoyed most about this project is how the design of God for mankind was emphasized over and over again. We seem to get so caught up in the influences that the world has upon us that we miss the beauty and simplicity of God’s design. By simplicity, I mean simple for us to grasp and yet immensely complex as God is complex. He has ordained everything in the universe to operate in a certain order, and man has distorted so much of it to make himself king. I have enjoyed all the teaching and as a youth pastor I saw the need in each session to bring it to my youth group. I have already incorporated it to some extent in my Bible studies and I hope to teach it fully to all of my young people. Personally I see the need for God’s truth in my life, my family, and my church. Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” The second part of that verse struck me the other day. There are no conditions to that statement. The Lord is near, now what are we going to do about that.

The first time through the videos seemed really fast and I am excited to watch them again and again to further implant the truth of God in my mind. Thank you for this blessing in my life.

Ron Doerksen

I have looked forward to attending "The Truth Project" every week. It has given me and my husband a lot to talk about every week, and it has challenged me to think differently about people. No one is a mere mortal. The section on art in church particularly resonated with me.

Janet Gieck

What has this series meant to me!

I am so very thankful to God for this series. It is an affirmation of the truths that I believe. Each week, I just could hardly wait to go bible study in anticipation of what would be taught that day. It was like being a kid in a candy store.

My journey in faith has been touched dramatically because I am beginning to really know the true nature of our God and as I open my heart to him, I can feel him healing me and also changing my heart. Week by week God has introduced ways of serving the needy and as I follow him in obedience I find him speaking to my heart in a very compassionate loving way. I'm finding the giving till it hurts a blessing to me because as soon as I'm finished the task and do this, God brings something better. He blesses me ten fold. Each task gets harder, but I'm finding that if I keep my eyes on him and his face, each blessing gets greater. I am so touched by this because ultimately man in his sinful nature deserves nothing. But I have discovered that man following God and loving him with their whole spirit, soul and mind is truly redeemed and forgiven on a daily basis.

There simply is no other way in life to succeed without God as number one in all areas and this series teaches us how to do it. God can do anything. Throughout this series each week he brought me new things, even viewing the story of William Wilberton before it is even discussed in the video. Mr. Wilberton fights the good fight for 46 years. This is such an encouragement for Christians around the world fighting for loved ones. I speak especially for our husbands. I have been praying for mine for almost 27 years, it gives me the courage to fight the good fight and not ever to give up.

I don't know what the future has in hold for us but I know with absolute certainty, that with God involved, in the end everything will be wonderful. My prayer for all of us and myself would be that God would put us through a metamorphosis, a complete change, and then he would use all of us to bless mankind. This to me would be the greatest role and calling. A life of service and supplication to the greatest God that I have had the privilege to know. I am truly thankful.

Rita Schmid

What is truth? Truth is that which is really real. Our actions reflect what we believe to be really real. Why did Jesus come into the world? To save us, the world, to set the captives free, this testifies to the truth. In this world we distort the truth, lies, sin deceives, truth sets us free. Faith is to have hope and trust. Truth is what God is.
These truth lessons have really brought out the reality of how great and awesome God is, he is everywhere, he is All in All.
This has brought out a new urgency in my life, to love God with all my heart soul and mind, to love my neighbors as myself and to pass it on.


The Truth Project series of videos and discussion were a good medium to help us to be reminded as to the necessity of studying our Bibles. The content of the series was much the same as the first semester of Biblical Theology in a Seminary. I found it helpful in just updating some of the present day studies in Biblical Theology. I was pleased in the approach it took to "work". It gave work or labor a positive spin rather than the negative spin that our society has given to it. My one negative to the series was the one Tour concerning the Nature of God. I have no idea why he chose "God is a jealous God" as his premise for the nature of God. Aside from the high probability, in my opinion, of the concept being misunderstood and misinterpreted, there are much better premises to use. 1 John 4:16 lends itself as a good starting point that encompasses so much of the Gospel message. Or use God's own words when Moses asked God what to say when asked about who sent him "say I AM has sent you" Exodus 3:14. Other that one tour, I was very impressed with how much he was able to put into a fairly short time.
I want to thank Roger and Lisa for their faithfulness and excitement that they have put into providing this series for us.

In Christian love, Wayne McLaren

I really enjoyed the Truth Project. It showed me the real foundation of the truth and what the original plan of God was in creating the earth and us as human beings and how we should live. It has helped me to understand and reafirmed why I believe what I believe. I hope that I can remember and use what I learned to further the truth in our lost generation that has come so far from the truth. Martin Luther King, Jr., said it well, when he said " Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth; and God will be at your side forever.'
Rita Wiebe

The Truth Project has made me think more on if what is being said is the truth. I'm checking on what is said if it is from the Bible. Learned how easily we can be deceived. Each session made me excited about God's Word. The discussions after were very uplifting. I enjoyed the whole study. May the Lord bless you always Lisa. Thank you for leading us.

Mary Hildebrandt

I would have never guessed the height, the length or depth of God's overarching love and plan for the human race. It was like a startled response that I, almost, for the first time, understood Jesus' mission to come to us and tell us the truth about all things.

I never knew how hard an adversary works to destroy us because we are of God's image, how slippery his tongue and his penetration into all facets of human society, governments, regions and ethnic groups. "So great the con of man" has been our adversary's work.

The project assembled a new way to hear and feel the heartbeat of God. Over these many tours, I would not have guessed how God has surpassed the warnings and commands of the old testament--dietary laws, laws about land and title, about dealing with the poor---With Jesus breaking in to our history as he did, and through the apostles, the organization of my personal life, the family, my family, my fellow believers, worldwide and society has been designed to flourish only when He is present in the picture.

Although the Truth Project is not an evangelical tract--as it speaks primarily to believers, it gives me greater confidence to open my mouth and tell my story, my testimony to those whom God wants me to speak to.

Tony Kesler

I learned the "new age" lingo from this series and how to listen with a 2nd ear to what people say. My knowledge was increased on how to practically defend my faith and challenge others with the TRUTH of Jesus Christ. I can now discern "false doctrine" so much better than before. My goal is to share this series at two Bible study groups in September/October 2008.

Susan Kesler

It seems to me like a long time that we attended a potluck at Cornerstone and first heard about the Truth Project. Although there was not room on my calendar to commit to another study, I signed up. I am very glad that I did!

I have been blessed every single "tour" by the wisdom shared by Del Tackett. His insights have made me laugh, moved me to tears, and caused me to reevaluate the way I think. I enjoyed hearing the stories shared by the people who were often interviewed--many of whom looked very different from me. Their candidness allowed me to see their humanity and their need for the touch of a loving God in their lives. I will not forget Flash, the female minister who talks with her hands, or the 13-year old "handicapped" boy who understands more than many people will learn in a lifetime. Although I have been a Christian for many years, I am seeing the world and the Bible in a new and fresh way, which makes me both excited and nervous. I do not believe that God has provided me these insights without also expecting something from me in return. With His help, I am going to find ways to bless the people whose paths cross mine with His love. May they glimpse--perhaps even through me--a look at the face of God, the source of all Truth. And may I be His ambassador in a world that is being held captive and needs Him more than ever.

For me, the Truth Project was a reminder that we need to use the Bible as the only real source of Truth. Often we hear ideas and concepts, and if we hear them often enough, we begin to accept them as truth. Instead of doing so, we need to go to God's word and look at these ideas through what He has written there to guide us.

The Truth Project has been an interesting and in-depth look at the world through the lens of the Bible. It has allowed me to see truths that I have known all my life from a different viewpoint and it has brought to light some new truths that I had never thought. From the very beginning, this study has sought to transform or morph us into men and women who are willing to live by the truth and for the Truth, Jesus Christ. Through the process of looking at every aspect of our culture and then comparing this to the Bible and the very nature of God, I have had my mind renewed to be inline with what I now know to be true. Having said this, I am still finding it hard to be transformed completely, both heart and mind, to live out what I know in my head to be true. Being challenged with the different spheres of our society and how God has arranged them to point back to Himself, I see how far short our society has fallen in having sphere sovereignty being violated all the time. With the government paying out welfare instead of having the sphere of labor provide jobs for the poor or social assistance programs replacing the church roles in reaching the inner needs of people through bringing people to Christ, I find it hard to know where to start any change when the task seems enormous and I do not know what I can do. I have seen some change within myself over the past weeks though. After studying the sphere of labor, I find myself being reminded to be the best worker that I can possibly be in the workplace and I know that people around me have noticed. I also find that I am more passionate about issues now than ever before. I believe this to be due to the fact that I have seen truth and am beginning to be willing to fight for it and live it out. Although we all want to be great Christians such as William Wilberforce or any great man or woman from scripture, I think that if we would just allow God to effect a change within ourselves, we would begin to see not only ourselves transformed, but also the world. And to effect this change we must ask ourselves one simple questions, "Do I really believe that what I believe is really real?"

I found that through my involvement with the Truth Project my outlook on God, life, myself and others has changed into something a lot deeper. I saw in old and new ways who God is and how He has created this world to be. I see God as more involved in all aspects of our lives than I did before. All of the lessons taught me something new and thought provoking, however the last one is the one that got me really upset. It made me upset at the church and how we don't care of each other, much less anybody new coming into the church. Everyone says that they give, but do we really? Do we obey God and give or do, even when it hurts? I don't think so. I know I don't. so, I want to remember what I've learned, repent and return to what God has called me to do. I want to be a sacrifice and to give sacrificially whenever God asks it of me, which is always.

Friday, April 11, 2008

God's Calling

This morning in my devotions, I read about Paul in Acts 16:6-10 "Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia,[a] but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.

9 That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we[b] decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there."

Paul and Silas listened to the Holy Spirit's promptings, they obeyed. And because they were obedient, they played a very significant part in starting a new faith community in Macedonia. The had their own route they wanted to take, but the Holy Spirit stopped them from going that way and He showed them His way to go.

As a believer, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, all believers are, and our utmost desire should be to please Him. Ephesians 2:22 says this "Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit." But then further on in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 30 it says "And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,[a] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption." When I don't listen, if I ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to His still small voice, I grieve Him and I stop the blessing that God wants to shed upon me for being obedient to Him. When I obey, God will use me in mighty ways, and He will bless me in ways I could never imagine. May we hear the inner promptings of that still small voice so that we may make God's will our choice -- even if it takes us out of our comfort zone -- God does mighty work when we're out of our comfort zone, that's when we're relying on Him and not on what we know and are comfortable with.

Then after this, I read John 20:19-23 "That Sunday evening[a] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” I had never noticed this before. Here Jesus breathed on his disciples the Holy Spirit the first time he appeared to them after his resurrection and before he descended into Heaven. But the words, "as the Father sent me, so I send you." - this spoke volumes to me! And then He said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." WOW! Jesus didn't want his disciples doing anything on their own - he was giving them the power to do it - the same power that was in him! This speaks to us here as followers today too. Whatever God has asked us to do, our authority comes from Him and Jesus demonstrated by words and actions how to accomplish what God has called us to do - as the Father sent Jesus, now Jesus was sending his disciples - sending us. In order to do this work, this calling, I need the guidance and the power of the Holy Spirit - I cannot and am not able to do it in my own strength because my weaknesses, failure and human nature come into play and I mess up big time. If you remember in Genesis 2:7 where God breathed into man, Adam, the breath of life "Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person." WOW! Each day previous to this, God spoke, HE SPOKE, and the flowers, trees, water, living animals, light and darkness, sun, moon and stars, mountains, all came into being just by speaking it - whooogh, and there it was. Can you imagine the angels?? What a show it must have been, how glorious! But then, God didn't speak man into being, He got down on His hands and knees and formed him specifically - with the Hands of God! Then He leaned over and breathed into Him the breath of life. WOW! Amazing God we serve. So, God breathed life into man at the very beginning, but now over here in the New Testament, in the book of John, we see Jesus breathing on the disciples the breath of the Holy Spirit. God's first breath made man different from all other forms of creation. Now, through the breath of Jesus, God imparted eternal, spiritual life in His followers - this breath gave believers the power to do God's will here on earth. God has breathed His Holy Spirit into my life to do His will. Oh God, how thankful I am for what You have done for me.

I then read Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Do you see how this all works together?? It excites me to no end having read all these verses today in my devotion time. God has such wonderful plans for me, not to harm me but to give me a future and a hope. It's gonna be so exciting to find out what all those plans are! It has been such an exciting journey already - He has done amazing things in my life. He knew how much my spirit needed to read these words today and to have these devotions that spoke so clearly into what is happening in my life right now.

To tie this all in with what has been happening in my life. :-) I've gone through some health issues and have been recommended to stay away from wheat, sugar and dairy. Well, that has been a lot of my diet so it was not easy to give up. But, have I ever been feeling much much better and also losing weight - big bonus. :-) My blood is being cleansed and so is my soul. I've been on a cleanse for the past couple of weeks - 4 days of which I was unable to eat any food, just drink a certain drink to flush out my system 4 times a day for 4 days. That hasn't been easy but it sure has felt good. Well, I've just completed those 4 days this morning. It's been interesting to me that during this time that I've had to fully rely on God for strength to do this, He has also been having me walk through a journey with a friend whose desire is to be baptized. For the last couple of weeks, we've been meeting one on one and studying God's Word together and what it means to be a believer in Jesus Christ, to accept God's gift of salvation, to be baptized and to follow God's calling in living our lives as a Christian, as a believer. What a blessed journey we've been on together and oh how much I have learned from this time of study in the Word of God. Lydia has been in the "Believing God" study with us and is now in "The Truth Project" study with us. We have walked through a lot together and have both grown immensely in the Lord. When I told my pastor that her desire was to get baptized, he said to me, "So, when are you going to baptize her?" Well, that sent me on a journey like no other. My first reaction was, "me? why me? it's your job, isn't it? your the pastor of our church?" God was calling me, through my leader, through my Pastor, to baptize this woman who I have been journeying together with through these studies this past year. I felt very unworthy, incapable and I guess fearful because I didn't want to mess up or cause anyone to stumble. Lord, how can I do this when I am so imperfect? I have no qualifications, no Bible school teachings, no experience in this area. But through verses in His Word, God has shown me that it is not only Pastors that are to baptize. Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus says "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He was telling all His disciples to go tell everyone about Him, to go to all the nations, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Those are the qualifications. But my strict traditional upbringing still nagged on me that this was not my job. God has shown me that this time, He is calling me to do this for Him. Father, send me, I'll go, I'll go for You, to bring You honor and glory.

God is so good! He prepares us so completely when He calls on us to do His Will, not ours, but His. He has been equipping me these past couple of weeks, through this body cleansing, through meeting with Lydia and studying His Word together and through spending time alone with Him in prayer and reading the Bible. God is faithful, ever so faithful! So as all these toxins and impurities have been cleansed out of my system during this time, so God has also been cleansing and filling my soul with His promises, His desires for my life and His Word, the Bible. I am ever so grateful that I am never called to carry through with something that He will not give me the power and the strength to do. He is at work in my life, in the lives around me and sister/brother, He is at work in YOUR life right now too. Trust Him, cause He is gonna do great and mighty things in your life.

How Great is Our God, sing to me, how great is our God, for all will see how great, how great is our God! Worthy is His name, worthy to be praised, His Majesty, how great is our God! Amen?? Amen.