My dear son,
I realize you will be serving Christ in a world far different than the one where I was trained and first released into ministry. Your methods, your dress, your vocabulary, the technologies you use and even the problems you face may have little in common with the world I knew, or even the world in which we both minister today. You will be a faithful servant of Christ not because you mimic my words or imitate my ministry style, but because you live out the timeless values we share – values that come to us from the Word of God and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
So while I still have the opportunity, I want to take a few minutes to summarize in writing the values and life lessons I have attempted to live out before you and most want to pass on to you…
We have placed so much value on the written Word and have forgotten the Jesus is still alive. Never close your eyes and ears to the Written WORD. In the end…it is all about Jesus. He is the seed we plant deeply into the soil.
Please maintain the integrity of the gospel and the written word. Do you due diligence to be in the presence of Jesus every day. As you work hard to understand the full essence of Jesus, make sure you excel at both studying the WORD and the Culture that God has allowed you to live within.
Never allow the Good News of Jesus Christ to become diminished. The Gospel should not be reduced to a ‘golden’ ticket to heaven. The Gospel is REVOLUTIONARY. It is causal. It is worth living and dying for. If you give your life to something that will outlast it you will have succeeded. If you have nothing worth dying for than you have nothing worth living for. This calling is more of a MOVEMENT than it is a MISSION.
Invest your life in the two things that will last forever. The Word of God and People. The return of our dear Savior is imminent. Go hard after the lost. Go hard after the young. Passion for God matters, but Passion without Compassion for people is an inconsistency that will not hold its weight on Judgment Day.
Injustice is Wrong. Engagement in caring for physical and spiritual needs is not an option. The prophet Isaiah said, STOP DOING WRONG! Learn to do right. Seek Justice, encourage the oppressed. When you SPEND yourself on behalf of the poor your light will become like the noonday.
Do not pursue a worthless religion. Care for the widow and the orphan. Defend the Poor. Keep yourself pure in an ever increasing and perverse world. Be in it…but don’t be of it. My son….that will become more and more difficult. Surround yourself with people to live in Biblical and Missional Community. You were not meant to be a part of my MOVEMENT alone. I believe in you. I have entrusted you with my greatest treasure…the GOSPEL. #STOPdoingWRONG
Remember, Values are caught not taught. Remember we are to be DOERS of the WORD.
-your dad…. Dan O’Deens