He is a quiet young man, but not too serious to flash a smile at friendly banter. I met him on my recent trip to Haiti, and he reminded me of the significance of one’s worldview.

The morning we met him, he responded to a personal invitation to place his faith in Jesus. The faithful evangelist on our team led him in a prayer of surrender. The young man stayed around, so later in the day I chatted with him again. I asked him if he was still afraid of evil spirits. “Yes,” he said, as he dropped his head and averted his eyes.

Western culture would scoff at such a mystical view of reality, and even declare itself free of such nonsense. But everyone has a worldview whether you realize it or not. James Sire, in his book “Naming the Elephant,” defines worldview as “a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions which we hold about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live.” My young friend’s story is that evil prowls the earth and would devour anyone who defies it. Jesus counters that with, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul” (Mat. 10:28).

The secular, naturalist story is an uncaused big bang, the appearance of the cosmos, the random (statistically impossible) evolution of life, and the eventual demise of the universe as it runs down. Per Carl Sagan, “The cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.” The faith that it takes to believe there is no transcendent being, no First Cause, itself rises to the level of a religious worldview.

The pluralist story is that despite their mutually exclusive claims, all religions lead to the same truth and all moral choices are relative. The popular religion story is that God’s bookkeeping requires life’s balance sheet to have more good than bad. Neither of these require a Savior.

The danger is if your worldview prevents your seeing the world and your place in it as they really are, and if you are unwilling to accept evidence to the contrary. My challenge to you is to consider your idea of the big story, and how you came to that orientation of the heart. Does it provide answers that are coherent and satisfying? The Christian worldview does.

William Henley declares in his poem “Invictus,” that “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” That is quite a contrast with the ancient worldview, “My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psa. 62:1-2).


TITANYEN, Haiti, May 11, 2017 –

The beginning of the rainy season didn’t stop the powdery dust from settling on everything. The 25 mobile medical team members braced ourselves in the back of the covered trucks lurching along the uneven, rocky road. The sultry air only reinforced our determination to minister the love of Jesus to the underserved people.

We set up the clinic in a little church building made smaller by the 50 uniformed school children attending classes in the same quarters. Pastor Anderson shared the gospel and prayed with those who had been waiting since before sun up for the primary care.

We unloaded (and dusted) the boxes of supplies and pharmaceuticals, furniture and equipment. The sign-in process brought some order to the chaos, and the work began. I assisted Anderson in greeting people, and Thomas, the team evangelist, in probing individual spiritual needs. The medical staff worked efficiently.

I chatted with those who weren’t too sick to enjoy speaking with a foreigner. The eventual question was, “Have you accepted Jesus yet?” to move the talk heavenward. And so it was that I met Dezilme, who at 86 has outlived his life expectancy by 25 years. He limped with a stick for a cane, but walked unassisted. His face was deformed around his nose and mouth but he could still make himself understood.

“Oh!” he exclaimed with feigned shock at the question. “Of course I have accepted Jesus and I have believed in Him for a very long time.”  So, he endured the pushback from voodoo for a long time too. “I live right across the road here by the church and I am here every Sunday to worship God.”

His joviality, boldness, and sincerity struck me. I intended to pray for him, but didn’t. Instead I asked, “Would you pray for me?”

“Of course I will remember you when I pray!”

“No, my papa, would you pray for me right now?”

“Of course!” and as his neighbors watched, he eagerly and firmly held my hand and loudly plunged into a conversation with Someone he knew well. “Thank you for those who came to our village to help the sick.  For this man I pray you would protect him and give him the force to live and do what you ask him to do. I pray this for my brother in Jesus’ name.”

This old saint was not poor. He generously shared from the treasure of his heart.  Thomas offered, “That was like the blessing of Jacob.” My vision was blurry. I think the dust got in my eyes.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).



Stunned when confronted with his own arrogance, Charles Dickens’ character Ebenezer Scrooge received his comeuppance. He had suggested that the poor should die as “surplus population.” The sarcastic ghost implied ailing Tiny Tim was surplus to Scrooge, then hit him with, “It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child.” Pride is ugly.

“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal. 6:4). The extent to which self-deceit corrupts whatever it touches cannot be gainsaid. This sin is part and parcel of every other sin. Thank God that Christ offers forgiveness for even this, something we can boast about.

C. S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” explains, “Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” Pride wants more than, and looks down on others because it is competitive. It claims that my (ideas, connections, job, church, kids, etc.) are better than yours. I have more (money, intelligence, attractiveness, spirituality, etc.) than you do. Pride says that I am more important, yet the Christian ethic is, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important that yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).

The results of pride are harsh. It cannot truly love, since love is selfless (1 Cor 13:4). It is likely the cause of most of the misery in the world. Ultimately, it separates from God by thinking oneself wise, while being a fool. For ages, people have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,” a predictable outcome of pride (Rom. 1).

Chuck Colson tells of his visit with Tom Phillips who had become a Christian, and was changed. Phillips read Lewis’ words to Colson. “As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” As Colson left his friend’s house, he wept, and cried out to God. He knew he needed Jesus. Pride no longer stood between him and God.

The antidote for pride is not to try harder to be humble. It’s faith in Christ, which informs you of your true identity. When you admit that you are not all that, and you cannot fix yourself, then you are on that narrow way to the small gate that leads to life. And you will finally have something to boast about: Jesus and what He has done. “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:31).

Changed Boy

A mother’s love can transcend what she can express or demonstrate. We do well to appreciate her yearning for what’s best for her child. In the case of one mother, her deepest desire was for her son to trust Jesus. From her autobiography “They Call Me Mother Graham” (1977), here are the words of Morrow Coffey Graham about the son she called Billy Frank.

The year 1934 stands out significantly for our family. It was to prove to be particularly meaningful for Billy Frank. The complacent churchgoers of Charlotte needed a fire kindled in their hearts. Who better could do this than the well-known, fiery Southern evangelist Mordecai Ham? The men, including my husband, met together in one of our pastures to pray. While the men met, I had an all-day prayer meeting and Bible study in our home.

The invitation went out to the evangelist. Before long these same businessmen were erecting a large tabernacle of raw pine. For eleven weeks, beginning in September 1934, the meetings were each night.

Billy was now sixteen and just beginning his senior year in high school. Two of the first verses I ever had Billy commit to memory were, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6, KJV). Now those verses were to become meaningful in his young heart.

Vernon Patterson, one of the men who led the meeting in our pasture, had prayed very pointedly that “out of Charlotte the Lord would raise up someone to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.” God answered that prayer and chose to do so by putting Billy under conviction and sending him forward to walk that sawdust aisle and trust in the Lord with all his heart.

Billy actually went to the meeting out of some curiosity. But God was working out His plan for Billy Frank’s life. Yes, I saw him go forward, and my mother heart was beating very fast. I was just rejoicing. I felt it was a wonderful thing to do, but my emotional experience was yet to come.

When we arrived home that night from the meeting, Billy was already home. When I came in he threw his arms around me and said, “Mother, I’m a changed boy!”

I wept tears of joy into my pillow that night. Billy’s words were to prove true. One of the verses that Billy had learned was, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV). Whether or not Billy as a sixteen-year-old fully understood all the implications of that, I do not know, but I do know that he was, as he so graphically described it, “a changed boy.”