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October 25, 2021 2:00 am
On this program, Skip sits down for an interview with Chip Lusko, taking a look back at the start of this radio ministry and looking ahead to plans for the future.
This teaching is from the series Topical Teachings.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Connect with Skip studio where script will look back, look around at the state of this media outreach projects plan for the future. Stay with us today. You will hear Skip talk about his experience in the Jesus to give advice for young married his hopes for the next spiritual awakening) outflank God's fresh way and I think culturally societally, especially post and I think the Lord could give that I'm praying for that kind of revival.
Now let's doing Skip Heitzigs again the studio for conversation with Chip Lesko on vision to have you in video for vision week. Spent time looking back, looking around the looking forward to see with on your heart future. While I'm excited to be in studio. I'm excited to talk about what God is done.
Truly he has done an incredible work and am I'm really grateful to be sharing the studio with you as you and I go back to the early days, and not only in Calvary Chapel in California, but in the in the inception of this church Skip so we have many new friends over the past couple of years. We seem terrific growth in our contacts with the connection and connect with Skip listeners so not everybody's always is familiar with your story, which is a remarkable one me technically every testimony of coming to Christ is remarkable. Bures really has some interesting facets, would you go back to Southern California. Just bring our audience into those days were when you were coming to Christ.
I love to do that. In fact, I was just there.
The last couple of days with a childhood friend, the one who introduced me to Christ or least a relationship with Jesus on a personal level and I was raised in a traditional Catholic home in Southern California. I went to church every week. I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus that never was stressed but in 1973 during kind of the beginning and moving to the height of the Jesus movement in Southern California.
I was introduced to this crazy group of young kids call Calvary Chapel run by Chuck Smith and I was scared of them because I had never seen Christian so vocal and they were like giddy happy all the time and I thought nobody can really do that without drugs you you can't legitimately be that happy. In reality, unless sure have a mind altering substance so I got away from them. I was living with my brother in San Jose and when I was all alone in his apartment. I was turning on the television just kind of flipping through the channels.
He wasn't in the house. I was alone. I've been looking for a job I had applied to San Jose State University.
I was hoping to get accepted. So I was moving from Southern California to Northern California and then I ended up on a channel where Billy Graham was preaching my father always told me that there's a few things you should do in life, you should you should be a good public speaker, you should play golf you should go to college.
Those are the three value system. Things you have to do so. I had learned to play golf. I wanted to go to college, I signed up for and Billy Graham I knew was a good public speaker, so I thought what the heck all all listen to Billy Graham during that period of watching him on television and I went to the refrigerator.
I was underage but I was going to the refrigerator and grabbed a beer because I was alone in the apartment and I opened it up and I thought when it watch Billy Graham and have a beer while the Holy Spirit really broke through and I started feeling what I had never felt before and it was conviction was conviction of my sin and it was a desire for a real relationship with the Lord. I knew I didn't have it. I knew my friends down south in this Jesus movement thing had it but II kinda for the first time understood where they were coming from somebody like Billy was explaining it and I just remember listening and then at the end when he gave an invitation and asked people to come down and people were flooding from the grandstands onto the field praying to receive Christ. I remember thinking if I was in that stadium.
I would get up and I would probably do the same thing.
That's how I felt I knew it was right and then I had another thought, you know you're my kinda competes with itself and I grab my thought and said good thing you're not in that stadium. You know you can escape this.
I was about ready to turn off the television and Billy Graham turns right into the camera and he says if you're watching but television you can know Christ right now you might be lonely and I thought I you just read my mind he read my thoughts and I was feeling lonely. I was feeling isolated. I didn't have a lot of friends up in the area and the fact that he turned to the camera it was. It was like the Lord used him to speak directly to me and he said it just like all these people prayed to receive Christ.
I'm I'm following this whole altar call thing you can do it right now at home, so I turned the television off went into my room and I prayed a simple prayer and it wasn't really a great prayer. It was sort of like a dumb post high school like high God. I don't know why you'd want me to get in a bad deal if you get me but I'm getting a great deal if I get this unit was one of those kind of prayers but it was from the heart. I asked Jesus into my life. I knew something had changed. I didn't hear a voice didn't see bright lights.
I felt clean. I felt like the guilt was removed. I felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulder. I knew something was different. Didn't quite know what did know how to explain it did not know any of the Bible and I left there went back down to Southern California because I knew there was a church that was a growing church that I had to be a part of and was a Bible teaching church and I remember going back down south I wrote my Honda 450 double overhead cam motorcycle from San Jose straight down to Southern California in one day and a friend of mine saw me and I got to high school with them in the wanted a witness to because he knew that I needed to be saved, but he did know what had happened to me and he said skip. Have you been born again and I said what did you just say to me, he said, have you been born again.
I go where did you get that phrase were did you get that were I've never heard that before and and the reason I will wanted to explain it is because that's how I felt. I was looking for a way to describe how I felt in my salvation, and the term born again perfectly describe what happened to me, but I'd never heard the term until then. And then he explained.
Jesus said you must be born again. It's right here in the Bible and it was like wow that's a perfect way to describe the Christian experience. It's a brand-new start so in short that's what happened to me I pray by watching the television broadcast. Then I got plugged into a local church we came to the Lord in the same era under the same ministry and that time it was normal to us.
In retrospect these years later. What happened during the Jesus movement was not. It was abnormal, wouldn't you say it could happen again.
However, it could and I'm praying it does. I'm praying for an outpouring of God's spirit in a new and a fresh way and I think culturally societally, especially post-covert were right for and I think the Lord could could could give that to us. I'm praying that I kind of revival. It really was revival. It wasn't just a bandwagon effect any lives were changed that remain. The fruit remains to this day there's countless people that I know whose life had been changed, including my friend that I talked about that I was out in Southern California with who, by the way, went to that church. The reason I went to San Jose is because he had gotten saved at a Saturday night concert. His life was transformed on a Saturday. We were smoking marijuana in his home. His mom was gone. We were getting high. That night he went to the concert got saved, gave his life to Christ.
The next day he's preaching to me in that same house that I'm a sinner. I need to repent. I need to come to Christ and I got so angry with them. I grabbed him put him up against the wall and I said don't you ever talk to me like that again. You're not even a good Catholic, let alone a Christian so I didn't think anybody could change that quickly. I thought it was impossible and I I took umbrage at it so I left after that incident, and said I'm get away from these people and then got chased me got hold me. I like your thought on this. It seems to me that that generation. Our generation was actively seeking they had rejected in large part capitalism. In some ways, Americanism, and they were actively looking. I'm I'm not sure that's true now is a great dissatisfaction. I hope it turns into a spiritual hunger don't you yes I do and what reversing a troubling trend with people classify themselves as nuns and O and ES there none of the above. They're not affiliated with the church tradition and and as time goes on, you find less and less people even willing to come to anything organized listen church's ministers have gotten a bad rap for some good reasons. I mean there's a lot of hypoxia say that turns a lot of people off, but there are great pockets of authentic believers and it is really what it takes is is there is a real converted person a life change. You get to hear it and see it and when you do, it's powerful. Let's go back to the fact that you were one of the millions who responded the voice of Billy Graham when he made the old altar call. How you become personal friends with Franklin Graham, his son, and you have a significant relationship with Billy himself. Yeah. How surprised were you by that very surprise and I got to know Franklin through a mutual friend, Dennis Ike, Jamie and and Franklin came here after meeting we were both at and we just became friends. We like many of the same things motorcycle things like that and I had Franklin speak of the church.
Franklin eventually asked me on his board. We have been friends for decades. But in those early years I had the privilege of going to his childhood home, meeting his mom Ruth and his father Billy and having dinner there a few times and I speaking back there were Billy would come and listen. He was all they were always so gracious and so sweet and would reach out a brutal call and and with with with Billy with Dr. Graham just the opportunity to sit in his home and asking questions like about the Kennedy era and the presidency met and and theologians. He talked to in and what I was struck with is the humility, not fake, genuine humility that God was still using him to the point where when he did his first worldwide outreach from Puerto Rico's first time, technologically, they can reach the world simultaneously that afternoon.
He was kind of pacing out in front of his little hotel room saying I just hope people come tonight. I'm thinking your Billy Graham. Somebody needs to tell this man. He's Billy Graham.
People are going to come tonight. Of course it was an incredible success will since were the look back phase we have to note that of all the places in the world that Billy and his son could choose to preach the first time, jointly, they picked Albuquerque, New Mexico. That was cool and you know how it happened.
I invited Franklin to come and do an event here and he agreed to do it well. Dr. Graham heard about and he he was the one goes well, I'd like to come. He said that to sign what I'd like to be a part of that so Franklin said daddy because that's what he called you sure you want to.
I am so then he, goes almost like is this okay it might if my dad's so it just brought it to a whole new level and in you're right you had it right. It was historic was the first time they shared together.
So, in passing the baton of the Billy Graham evangelistic organization on the Franklin. It wasn't like I do, crusades, and eventually you will but let's do it together so it was sort of a public hand toss of the baton dutiful to watch over. Glad you worked in the Gambia will Skip you are church planter and I measure the exact ratio success, but it's not high what would you say to someone who is church planning or thinking about it maybe struggling with the whole concept these days. I've called church planting the extreme sports of the Christian world yokes or have to be a Mavericks or to be a cowboy have to be willing to take risks have to be willing to be uncomfortable take your family through the paces, getting a get a job. I remember when I wanted to be a pastor church planter. The best advice. My pastor gave me is get a job, get a life have a career do something you can do with your hands that you can go anywhere and get a job and that's why went to radiology training human body is pretty much the same worldwide.
So if you know about that, and you can apply the skills in the medical community.
You can work anywhere so that motivate note motivated me to get that education and use that as my tent making so I would recommend that the people first of all, it's fun. It's adventurous.
It is putting your faith on the edge on the line to meet if you want to kinda live an exciting life. Take a risk, do something big go go big, go daring, be daring and and try chip. You've done it so you know exactly what I'm talking about. Skip, for the sake of our new friends in the audience. Let's hit the highlights. Now you could've stayed in Southern California and had the space of a terrific career. Lots of opportunities I was there and I know could've been would've happened. You chose to get a minute I think I will. The car was was burning oil.
We know that much extra you have it in you and your new wife, Lynn, your new wife Linda Wright had just gotten married Joe dust, Albuquerque, New Mexico. That's right, you were at the wedding through and so you saw softly took a brief honeymoon at the Santa Barbara accent. Goodbye the coast and then we moved to East.
That's what I told you I moved east so for people listening in these by the United States.
I'm out West in Albuquerque.
But if you're living on the coast of California anything Z's right so I moved east came two states away to Albuquerque New Mexico and didn't know much about it other than a friend of mine was doing radio in the area I was looking for a place that there was in the church like what we have here, but that it started and I just thought I'm in a go this ghost let's take an adventure and Lenny.
Unfortunately my wife had been with youth with the mission so they were kind of she was used to that risk-taking and she was young and wanted to be involved in a can of adventure to so yeah we got married and then two weeks later we were living here now were were sitting at the other end of that now is been much success to what seems like immediate growth wasn't easy was it wasn't overnight either. And it was an immediate I mean it was yeah yeah you you you plow the ground and you come to an area and you go through marriage trials and it was difficult at first year was horrible in terms of just understanding each other relationally and get in a cutting living with another person not having any friends here at all. No family here at all, just picked up and left implanted in a whole new area so was very lonely. What was good about that and I had a good friend who was also a mentor, Chuck Mesler, who said to me, is one of the best things you could do in a marriage because you are forced to get along your force to talk things out you don't have friends you don't have family there for you to be spending a lot of time working through big issues together that ended up to be true. I mean, we became inseparable, as you know we would merit a long time, so a 40 years so yeah so as long as we been going to church just about we been married and we may live a longer nap, but yeah so it's been quite a ride into. To be frank Skip you kind of put a fleece before the Lord event of a give you so much time here. I'm headed back to the ocean us right.
I came out here and I member being struck by the passage of our Lord saying to his disciples to her fishers of men. I thought that's that's I think about the concept. So my dad was a fisherman and what one thing I remember is that you don't stay in a place that you keep throwing the line in the water and never catch anything so I'm not committed at unlocking the throw the net out or throw the line in like month after month after month after month, year after year and catch nothing so I want to see fruit. I want to see fish I want to see results. So I told the Lord I'm gonna fish in this pond for a year and if nothing develops after year, and I'll give it my all. I'm leaving I'm go somewhere else and I will never forget the time of the Twin Peaks skipper Pastor Chuck opened up.
Ephesians 4 and explain God giving of the gifts of the pastors, teachers and evangelists.
Are you one of those somewhat rare creatures with several gifts I mean is not for me to say which is primarily or both an evangelist and of course if a Bible teacher. Okay, can you tell us about some of the first times you gave an altar call, not knowing if anybody was going to respond yeah yeah that it was difficult but you know I was young in the ministry and I I was teaching to the Scriptures, but I just would see in the Scriptures, perfect tax that lend themselves to controlling the net out right it's imperfect message so when a pastor is giving a message like that of people listening if they're engaged in a desert right when he gives a natural opportunity, not a force but a natural opportunity for people to make a decision like simply like you guys read that as we read this. This would be a perfect time for you just like we read in this text to make a life-changing see forgiveness is like this man found forgiveness are just like this man found hope you can have that hope now, just like Jesus walked into his life. You could do so just something simple like that. And I remember just the iPad. People raise her hand or or or come forward in and when you see people respond and you see them respond with deep emotion. Many times tears in their eyes, sometimes shaking you know you know that there are in touch with some reality of sinfulness that they wanted break free from forgiveness.
They long for hope they're trying to grab a hold of. That's a powerful moment and when you see it you want to keep doing it.
Certainly street witnessing you know when you go out on the street. It's it's the most fearful thing to walk up to a person just without meeting them almost and getting into a conversation about spiritual things and leaving them to Christ. But I had a little bit of the background with my wife in doing that.
And anybody who has done street evangelism knows that you begin the day or the evening very much in fear, but you ended very bold because you see results and once you see the result of a person or few persons receiving Christ you want more more more. Now, Skip these years later you've given the invitation to the gospel.
Of course, here innumerable times around the country are of the world. But thing you just a few weeks ago, kneeling on the stage with people who came forward to your invitation. I sent you still get a thrill. I love it I love it I love seeing them come forward and I love in our church when people come forward.
There's an immediate applause. There's because people know they know what it's like to have changed. They know what it's like to be forgiven and they want to be part of the encouragement process for those who were making this first-time decision so at first it's scary to get a patio seat and come forward and stand the front.
I think it's important to do it. We always tell people I think it's an important thing to do it publicly. Jesus often call people publicly Billy Graham call people publicly is not the only way to be saved and and I know that some of our listeners may not be used to that. Or might even find fault with that but I love what Moody said when somebody criticizes altar call and he said well you know what I'll agree on. Might my style is in the best I would but tell me, how do you do evangelism in the guise of I don't really do evangelism in Moody said I like the way I do it better than the way you don't do it and that's how I feel. I think I want to be part of the process of of life change so I love it I that's why you know our platform.
I want to get down on my knees so I can be close to them and and and shake their hand is are coming forward and in getting together sort of in a huddle, and be able to pray with love, Bill Moody had a mic effect when drafted and will have you referred to find evangelical passages and in your Bible reading. Let's talk about your personal Bible study. Skip all right just list guesstimate how many times you've read through the Bible, dozens I make it a point every day reading to the Bible.
Recently I decided to go through the Scriptures because somebody said you can get on you version app download the Bible app which I've used for years and you can go through reading plans which we have many of our reading when I was following your lead on on that on that platform so I went on that platform and got the lead to the Bible in 90 days. I thought, what's up fast, but I'll try and I did it so it's a 15 chapters a day and I remember going through it in 90 days and what it struck me that I know the Bible. I've taught the Bible.
I I've have commentaries on these books of on every book of the Bible, but the more you read it, it impacts you in a new way in a different way so there's this nuances and emphases that you don't get until you do it again and getting it, so I did it and it was so rewarding to go through the Scriptures that fast and get the big picture.
Birdseye I decided to do it again so as soon as it was done I did it again with the Bible again in 90 days and then a friend of mine that I challenge you do with said I'm to do it in 45 so he's doing that I might do it on his own but I read through the Bible personally dozens of times since I become a Christian.
Over and over and over. That is the conversation with Chip Lusk connect with Skip this next Skip will suggest solutions when your Bible study gets to discuss his Bible study habits listeners to this program want to thank you for your support. This teaching ministry is continued growth trend escapement want to do more grow more and reach more people's fibers Bible study to help us do that your revision please consider one time dollars or more to support and expand this media, call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com you do get this week. You have a special resource package for you. Here are the details we like to send you a signed copy of Scripture latest book biography of God.
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