Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Who were your heroes as a kid? If you have been reading this column for some time now, you know that some of my heroes from childhood were, of course, the great John Wayne, the fearless Evel Knievel, and the “man in black” Johnny Cash. I used to love to shoot the bad guys with my cap gun, just like John Wayne and you all know by now the story of how I tried to emulate Evel Knievel by jumping my purple bike over a defective ramp. But I don’t think I have ever told you about my love for Johnny Cash.

When I was very young, perhaps two or three years of age, I would put on shows at my house. We had a fireplace that was about 18 inches high. The opening for the logs had a screen on it that you could open and close with a chain. This chain had a decorative end on it. That was my microphone. I would get on the fireplace and sing “I hear the train a comin’/ Comin’ round the bend/ I ain’t seen the sunshine, since I don’t know when…” I entertained many family members that way.

As you get older, your heroes tend to change. John Wayne died in 1979, Evel Knievel got too old to jump anymore, and Johnny Cash went out of style for about twenty years or so. I had to find more heroes. Where do you go to look for heroes?

Heroes tend to be what we are not, but wish to be. We always put those people on a pedestal who we most want to be like. If you want to be invincible for example, you might pick Superman. If you want to be rich you might pick Bill Gates. We typically make heroes out of people who are doing whatever the thing is that we dream about being or doing.

While there are many who we and our young people might call heroes, most are really just fallible humans like ourselves. You can look to Hollywood for heroes, but will find that underneath the makeup, smoke and mirrors, there is much brokenness. We can turn to sports for our heroes, but there we find many who crack under the pressure to be the best and turn to drugs and the allure of unheard of wealth. What about our parents? Some of us were fortunate enough to have parents that we could look up to as role models in our lives. But, unfortunately, many have grown up in homes that are not at all conducive to establishing healthy role models.

We are getting ready to launch Vacation Bible School next week. The theme of VBS this year is Heroes and the scripture is Hebrews 12:1-2.
Run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the source and perfecter of our faith.
We will study those who are truly heroes in our world. We will talk about Mary and Joseph, John the Baptist, The early Christians, Aquila, Priscila, Apollos, and the ultimate hero, Jesus.

The Bible is full of heroes who really lived and achieved great things. They are worthy to look up to, not because they were near perfect in themselves, but because they allowed God to use them in a mighty way. These men and women stood with God on their side and looked fear and even Satan himself in the face and never backed down. They ran their race with dignity, because they did not run the race alone. They kept their eyes on Christ and paid no attention to the whispers of those who said, “you’ll never make it”.

Whether you are going to be a part of our VBS this year or not, please pray for these young people who will be attending. Pray that they will find their hero in Jesus Christ, who will never get old, and will never fail them. In fact, my prayer is that all of us will hear the call of Christ to follow Him wherever he leads. Is Jesus Christ your hero? If not, learn more about Him and what he did for you, and I think you’ll find no better role model and hero for your life.

Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart. (Psalm 119:34 HCSB)

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