What an amazing weekend and we honor Dr. Clyde Rivers in our weekly blog. We are thankful for the I CHANGE NATIONS team, the GOLDEN RULE AMBASSADORS and the LATIN UNIVERSITY OF THEOLOGY of which Dr. Rivers continues to have a powerful impact in every part of his organization.
There are times when someone comes into your life that changes you. They can happen through mentorship, through spiritual guidance, through a great coach, through an amazing teacher, an incredible relationship, a spouse, a pastor with deep insight and beyond. However, when you meet an individual from another world, who comes from another culture and gives you "insight" from a different worldview which makes you better, you need to write about it.
It was the Apostle Paul who really got engaged early in his revolutionary ministry touching and heartfelt relationship to a younger apostle he was ministering to, Timothy. They were brothers from another mother, but they had a commonality in faith which bonded them strongly in changing the world. Paul focused on helping Timothy, he gave him instruction, offered guidance and they "team taught" working to bring impact to the world using the gospel. The President of Burundi and Dr. Rivers have this relationship and its powerful.
Dr. Clyde Rivers is this man for me personally and at this time in my life, he has changed my heart and focused my life into seeing how God's message of hope is more timely and a "now thing". Clyde is presently the Ambassador at Large of Burundi, Africa and a true diplomat in every sense. His relationship with the President of Burundi is almost impossible to really explain the exciting platform this has given him. He is also co-chair of the International Prayer Movement in Washington DC for the United Nations.
We also have a wonderful relationship with Clyde and it reminds us of Paul and Timothy's type bond in sharing to the world, a powerful message of hope through faith using the sports and entertainment world. Their impossible dream we all share, is to change the world through the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
In this strategic diplomatic position, Dr. Rivers is changing nations with his powerful message of truth, of hope and beyond. He is raising an army of over 800 ambassadors worldwide for the drive of teaching, maintaining and living a life filled with the Golden Rule and he is doing it one person at a time, one nation at a time. He is creating a massive global peace initiative combined with economic development in a culminating ceremony I attended in Washington DC this week.
Yes, I was honored to receive an honorary doctorate from Latin University of Theology, where he is the Chief Operating Officer for the school for Hispanic online distance learning. Thank you Dr. Rivers and the school for this honorable position and I am humbled. I found out more about the origination of this college, which was created to help Hispanic speaking nations around the world who were impoverished, who had difficulty paying for an expensive college and who had a dream to use "faith" through Biblical teaching. Your vision blows us all away. What a beautiful spirit from this school which I will now carry the rest of my life to the nations of the world. This Hispanic positioning from this honor gives Dr. Rivers and I a voice to speak to South America, Latin based nations and African countries around the world. Dr. Rivers, this would not have happened, if it was not for you.
However, this ceremony which had between thirty and forty nations assembling together under the I CHANGE NATIONS Washington DC Summit focused on peace and development in nations all over the world. What an amazing platform to see and experience the heart of these world leaders who gathered. The quality of the people in the room from Haiti, Columbia, Peru, Nigeria, Burundi, Brazil, Uganda, the Carribean, Granada, El Salvador, Panama, Mexico and the list just kept going.
One of the highlights was having news anchor Kelly Wright cap off the entire ceremony with an inspiration talk and song. Dr. Rivers closed the evening by saying, "Can you imagine if the world would just implement the golden rule as a lifestyle, how politicians would be toward each other, how corporate would change and how peace would begin to grow. Let's make these global ambassadors, educators and leaders adopt this into future legislation and change the nations of the world, together".
For this inspiring reason, I want to recognize DR CLYDE RIVERS a man of courage, of hope and a man on a mission to share hope, peace and the Golden Rule with the entire world. He is not only a mentor, he is a friend, he is a man of God. He is a coach with me teaching character. He has embraced GOLDEN RULE SPORTS and we are now beginning to partner together in a meaningful forward plight. He is an author for DESTINY IMAGE and he and Don Nori have written an amazing book together. He is a man I love and admire and will work closely alongside for the rest of my days.
Thank you Dr. Rivers for the international appointment from Burundi, as your Special Advisor to Burundi. Thank you for working out details for us in the sports arena in going to Granada. The exciting news in El Salvador and Peru have our entire team excited. Thank you for recruiting such amazing staff for I CHANGE NATIONS and for the Young Ambassadors being recognized. Thank you for honoring Mercer University Men's Basketball and for coming to Oklahoma in January to honor more!
May the Lord continue to bless you in every way possible. May your family be blessed, you be blessed personally in every way. We are praying for you and are honored to be in "your team" of world changers. Thank you for making GOLDEN RULE SPORTS a huge part of the future.
January 1, 2016 our film company is going to make a HUGE announcement for VERITAS as we dream about impacting our world using the visual language of film. We promise to make all of our films and sports projects based on the principal of the golden rule. We close by honoring you and having an attitude of gratitude in all you have, are doing and will do for our team. You have our prayers, our loyalty and heart of thankfulness.
Dr. Kevin McAfee
This week has been the annual retreat for Mercer University Men's Basketball and it's important for our team on so many levels, because it is a determinate of life and death, of a spiritual future and so much more. Sure, we all want to win when we are on a team, especially basketball. It's natural, we all have a dream of championship, wearing a ring, winning a tournament and more. However, with all of these wonderful goals, there is something way more important in life, it's the "main thing" we may be missing looking for victory and not seeing the ultimate goal.
In the movie CITY SLICKERS the two main characters in the movie were the old cowboy played by Jack Palance and he asked the young man from the city, Billy Crystal the "biggest question of all". The cowboy felt this was the most important question of life. During a pivotal moment in the film, the cowboy said there was just "One thing that was the most important thing in life, and it was his job to find out what it was". The problem with that question and the solution is that there are many answers. I just don't see it that way at all as a matter of fact.
What is the main thing in life really, and what is so important about the "main thing" being such a top priority in all of our lives? What IS the real question we should be asking ourselves anyway? It's not found in a movie and it's sure not about being a part of birthing a calf, roping a steer, riding a horse or even just being a good person and helping others. The reality is that good works don't fill the bucket. You can't be good enough and all of us have fallen so short of where we need to be. We are a "fallen people" on every level.
God knew this and only in perfect wisdom was a solution completely resolved. A solution which came from a child born over two thousand years ago. His name was Jesus and He lived on this earth, sixty six books were written about Him and He solved the problem of man's most important question.
Here is the bottom line.
All year long, I wait for one single chance to ask the most important question ever asked in this team retreat with Mercer Bears Men's Basketball... Head Coach Bob Hoffman has given us this honor, to talk to these men who play basketball about the most important question of life. It is perhaps the greatest moment I have every single year and it is humbling to even have the chance to ask it.
One question which I believe is so germane to the future of everyone in the room's eternity, I can't imagine life without knowing and believing in this single answer. All year long, I pray about how and when I will ask this question. With so many forces, so many roads and so many choices one can make in life, ...my only request, is that these men give me their full attention, for just a few moments. Each and every year, they do and it is the most solemn moment I have to experience with them.
This IS the question I ask....
If you came to the end of your life and you were facing death, would you know in your heart that when you died, you would go to heaven?
Wherever you are in life reading this blog, I am asking you this question right now. It's not an accident, and so please take this question so very seriously. I believe this IS the most important question you will ever be asked because God's word actually says, "These things are written so you may KNOW that you have eternal life." It's really a huge promise to all of us and we can either believe it or not.
This is not a church question, in fact the word CHRISTIANITY is never even mentioned in the Bible. This is about your eternal future and it's why this is the most important question for eternal life. This question is answered in John 19, but if you are not familiar, it is the very place Christ gave Himself for you, for your life and for your eternal future.
God created us for real community and He wants fellowship with us. This is the powerful part of His promise. So all we have to do, is to understand this is the final question for our eternal destiny. It's your question where life and death are in the balance. This is the question I asked the team and men who are on this team had the courage to look up into my eyes and say, I want to KNOW for sure and when they did, it was the first step toward a new future and a new eternity. Men are now going to heaven, because they found the answer, believed and prayed.
Here is what they prayed, "Dear Lord I ask you to come into my life. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I transfer all of my faults and wrongdoings into the love found in Jesus Christ alone. I ask you to come into my heart, make me new and give me a new life in you. Thank you for saving me and help me as I follow you the rest of my life. It's in your name I pray, Amen".
When you pray this prayer out loud, you answer the most important question....ever. You give God permission to come in, to save you and change you forever. It doesn't mean you are perfect, it means you are forgiven. It's not about your success or failure, how good or bad you are, or even what "religion" you have lived. This is about a new relationship with a savior named Jesus who can radically change your world.
As I prayed about what to write today, I wanted to leave you with this important question, explanation and process just like I had shared with Mercer. You need to know God loves you. know you and He loved you so much He gave His son Jesus to die on a cruel cross, be raised for a new life and begin a new journey for your eternal future. Following the Lord in spiritual baptism isn't a thing, it's a part of obeying Him and its the first thing you need to do in following Christ as your Savior.
No matter where you have come from, no matter what team you have been on or where you are going, don't go without God. Don't make the mistake to think it's just an option, it can be the BEST mandate of your life, if you will listen to the Spirit in your heart beckoning you for fellowship and a new promise for an even greater tomorrow.
Thank you for asking God in your life. Please let us know if this is your first time you have ever done this before. Christ said, "If you will confess me before men, I will confess you before my Father which is in Heaven". I truly believe this and there is a local church and community just waiting for you, will help you and more. We are praying for you and believing God's best.
What is your answer...
Make it happen and change the direction of your life today.
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.