Tom Gilson November 1 Ministry Update

The run-up to the election has made work at The Stream incredibly intense the last weeks or months, but it’s almost over. Thank God, this whole crazy year 2020 is almost over. Our daughter, Lisa, is now living in southern Mississippi while her Army captain husband, Morgan, is on a long overseas deployment. A couple weeks ago I saw that Hurricane Zeta was aiming right toward where she lives. I texted her, “Zeta. 2020. “Nuff said?” She agreed, yes, that was plenty. The hurricane did very little damage to her home, thankfully; some nearby neighbors lost a roof to it.

I can’t just focus on the tough stuff, though. My book Too Good to be False has earned great reviews — it’s actually changing readers lives! It’s selling steadily, though not amazingly. It’s also dominated a lot of time lately, and my ministry board of advisors has supported that. It’s time to reallocate my time now, though, and re-open the Spiritual Readiness curriculum that I’d back-burnered for a while. I’m going to enjoy the change.

My heart is really bent toward the message in Habakkuk 2:14: “The knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea.” That knowledge cannot come without a life-changing response. So in Too Good to be False, I included three major parts: “Greater Than You Knew,” “Too Good to be False,” and “Jesus, No Matter What.” The first two describe Jesus’ greatness and truth, while the third is about our response to him. The point: Jesus is worth our entire lives and more — no matter what.

Jesus, No Matter What!

“No matter what” has always meant something in following Jesus, but its significance has been on the increase here in the Western world over the past two to three decades. Anti-Christian hostility has been growing. It’s strong in higher education, and it’s really powerful in entertainment media — two of our culture’s more important centers of influence. It makes following Jesus much more of a challenge than when I was young.

I’m no prophet, but the way I see these influences aligned, I expect it will get harder before it gets easier — and that this will be true no matter who wins Tuesday’s election.

We Need Equipping

It’s not all bad. Jesus never said it should be easy. “In this world you will have trouble,” He said in John 16:33, “but take heart, I have overcome the world.” We grow in relationship with Him when we see Him doing that.

Yet we dare not be naive. The harder it gets, the more equipping it calls for. Too Good to be False has been a major part of my effort to equip as many people as possible, giving them tools to understand Jesus’ extraordinary greatness and the truth of His message. It’s just one part of it, though. The next step is a return to the Spiritual Readiness curriculum I’d begun, before I had to shift attention so much toward finalizing and releasing the book.

It’s specifically focused on readiness to answer the hard questions we face as Christians, about the truth and goodness of the gospel. I’ve taught it already, but I want it widely shareable, available to all. That means putting it on the internet in multiple interlocking forms: Video teaching, student notes, teacher notes, discussion guides, and background for those who want to dig deeper.

I appreciate so much your prayers and support as I invest time and effort in this. I’ll keep you posted on what you can see happening online. I may call on you for your objective feedback on it. God is in this, I’m convinced, and I’m grateful that you are, too!

In Christ,