A truly great American died today.
Louis Zamperini has gone to be with the Lord.
It was my privilege to get to know Louis and to interview him on a number of occasions. He truly was one of a kind. How many people do you know who shook hands with Adolph Hitler and also punched a shark in the nose? Louis did that and more.
This all happened in his remarkable life, recorded in the outstanding book Unbroken, written by Laura Hillenbrand. This book is now being made into a film that will be out by the end of the year.
I once told Louis it was as though he had lived four separate lives:
- Louis the juvenile delinquent who developed an ability for running (which he perfected running from the police!) that carried him to the Olympics of 1936. He put in such an impressive performance that Adolf Hitler, who was in power at that point, wanted to shake his hand.
- Louis the patriot, who joined the military to serve his country in World War 2. He became a bombardier and was shot down over the Pacific and was adrift at sea for a staggering 47 days.
- Then there was Louis the survivor, who was captured by the Japanese and held as a prisoner of war for two years. It was during this time Louis was treated especially cruelly by a Japanese commandant that had it out for him, known as “the bird.”
- Finally, there was Louis the follower of Jesus Christ. After returning from war, he was hailed as a hero for all he endured. He spiraled downward into alcoholism, dealing with PTSD. His wife invited him to hear a young preacher from North Carolina that was just beginning his ministry named Billy Graham. Louis went forward to accept Christ that night and spent the rest of his 97 years on earth telling others about his faith.
That faith also prompted Louis to go back to Japan and share the gospel with the very guards who had treated him so cruelly. Truly, this was an amazing life.
I am confident Jesus has already said to Louis Zamperini, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter in the joy of your Lord!”
Here is a video of an interview I did with Louis a short while ago:
Recently at the Harvest Orange County Car Meet, I had a talk with Barry Meguiar of Car Crazy TV. Barry loves to share his faith and gives a few tips about how he does that with fellow car enthusiasts.
Check out our conversation, as well as some really cool cars, in this video:
It’s the most well-known religious symbol in all of the world. You see it on churches. You see it in jewelry. You see it as a fashion accessory. Some love it. Some hate it. Many have no idea what it even means.
I heard about a woman in a jewelry store who was looking at crosses. She asked the salesman, “Do you have any crosses without this little man on them?”
That’s what some people want: a cross without Christ.
By the way, the cross was not always a popular symbol. During the days of Jesus, the cross was a symbol of shame, warning, and terror. The Romans crucified thousands of people and hung them on crosses.
The early church did not wear crosses. It would be like wearing an electric chair or hangman’s noose around your neck. That’s because the cross was a symbol of death, and a cruel death at that.
We need to know how important the cross is.
When you get down to it, from the moment we get up in the morning, to the moment we lie down to sleep at night, the cross affects us.
• It compels us to study the Word each day to know God more.
• It inspires us to resist temptation’s strong pull.
• It influences the friends we choose and the things we do.
The story is told of a little boy who was lost, sitting on a curb. A policemen saw him and asked, “Son, where are your parents?” The little boy responded, “I don’t know. I’m lost. Could you take me home?”
The officer began naming streets, trying to help the boy remember where he lived. He named shops, hotels, anything that might be close to his house.
Then the officer remembered that in the center of town was a well-known church with a huge white cross towering above it. The officer pointed to it and asked, “Do you live anywhere near that?”
The boy’s face brightened. “Yes, take me to the cross. I can find my way home from there.”
Indeed you can.
Here are a letter and video I recently received. I love it!
Recalling back in 2007, deployed to Iraq for the second time, when I really started to come out of the world and live my life for our Lord Jesus Christ, I started to listen to Greg Laurie, as it was something I could download and listen to on the roads of Iraq from my Ipod. My fellow soldier and I would listen to his preaching before every mission and often I would lead our convoy in prayer before going out into danger on the roads of Iraq. My nick name was reverend Turner, it was given to me and I had no choice but to take it. I look back, smile and laugh thinking about those moments with my fellow soldiers. We were family, we watched out for each other, didn’t always like each other but we did love each other to the point of giving our life for each other if necessary.
I think that we, as believers in Christ, should have that same love for one another. God wants us to have that kind of love for our brothers (believers in Christ). Why is it so hard? It’s not, if we are in Christ and we love Jesus Christ, we will love those who are in Christ with us. It’s a tell tale sign of being saved.
One night before a mission we were sitting in our truck listening to Greg Laurie, I told my buddy we should record ourselves singing the song that’s always played before Greg starts teaching. He agreed but when I started to sing I guess he changed his mind because it was only me singing in the video. Well I’m attaching this video for your enjoyment. God bless you and keep you and shine His face upon you in Christ Jesus!
A plain-spoken follower of Jesus is now “in trouble” for speaking his mind, and more specifically, for holding to a position that is taught in Scripture.
What Phil said has been described as “hateful,” “anti-gay,” etc. A&E has pulled him off the hugely popular show Duck Dynasty as a result.
I don’t know how stressed Phil is about this. He’s probably out duck hunting.
It seems to me that some people who talk the most about tolerance are the most intolerant toward anyone who dares to disagree with their views.
As Christians, we are not wanting to force our views on anyone. The fact is, we are, as a whole, tolerant of other people’s choices, even if we don’t agree with them. But what is being asked of us is not tolerance, but acceptance and endorsement of sin.
We cannot do that.
We believe in God, the Creator and Designer of the world and all of its creatures. We believe He has provided, as the Bible teaches, an intended design for sex and marriage. We choose to hold to that, while being tolerant of those who choose to disregard it.
We stand with Scripture on the topic of homosexuality and every other sin the Bible speaks of.
And we will continue to tolerate and even love those that disagree with us.
It would be nice if that were a two-way street.
Here is an interview I did with Phil Robertson at the SoCal Harvest this year.
Here is more “behind the scenes” footage:
Finally, here is Phil sharing his favorite squirrel recipe with me.