Chuck Norris: 'Walker, Texas Churchgoer'

Chuck Norris. Star of the CBS "Walker, Texas Ranger" series, now in its fourth season. Actor in 20 feature films. Six-time world karate champion. Regular at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. Yes, Prestonwood. Norris, who now lives in Dallas and films his TV series there, noted his church of choice in an American Airlines' "American Way" magazine feature. What's more, Prestonwood's pastor, Jack Graham, is "an excellent speaker and he really keeps you engrossed in his sermons," Norris said. "That's the thing. A pastor that can keep you really riveted to what he's talking about, that's what's important."

Vols care for kids & give testimony

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (BP)--Doug Lincoln, an ultrasonographer, was moved by the immediate, appreciative feedback he received from Belarussian children in medical exams at a children's camp sponsored through a partnership between Belarussian and Missouri Baptists. "Many know they are being scanned for thyroid cancer," Lincoln said, referring to ongoing medical concerns from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The children "are visibly relieved when you tell them everything is OK," said Lincoln, of Cape Girardeau. Another volunteer physician, Dick Bowles, of Liberty, Mo., said medical workers who travel to Belarus get opportunities to share their faith in local churches "in perhaps a way that no other segment of (a missions team) can provide. Even though we're not educated ministers of the gospel, we can still give testimony from the heart that means a great deal to the people there."

9th-grader stunned by her influence

FLORENCE, Miss. (BP)--Brandi, a ninth-grader in Florence, Miss., the oldest of seven children, named her mother when her Sunday school teacher asked the class about people who had influenced them for Christ. "Some people said other names. Two of my friends said me," Brandi, 15, recounted in the teen magazine "essential encounter" published by the Baptist Sunday School Board. "I was so surprised I almost cried. Of all the people they are around all week, they said me. If I had that much influence on people I only saw about three times a week, then I couldn't imagine how much I must have on people I am around every day. Like my sisters and brothers." Although "I don't have a story about a miraculous change from drug addict to preacher or anything like that," Brandi said she realized, "If you know God and really have a relationship with him, then you have a testimony. ... If you are God's child, then you have a story to tell."

It may take a year ... or more than a year

MONTICELLO, Ark. (BP)--"To say Craig Harper was a nontraditional student is an understatement," said Jeff Noble, director of the Baptist Student Union at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. "He has a ponytail and is a member of a fraternity. He was very popular with students. I said, 'Craig, tell me about your relationship with the Lord.' He said, 'I'm not really interested in that right now.' This year when I asked him ... he said, 'I'm still not ready for it.' At our annual student retreat ... he got both barrels with 'Experiencing God.' At the end of the retreat, I asked if anyone was ready (for salvation), but there was no hand from Craig. The next Tuesday, as I walked into the BSU, a student said, 'Jeff, Craig's ready.' I didn't have to ask what he was ready for. It was so exciting to be the first people to pray with him after he accepted Christ. The message that God laid on my heart is sometimes it takes a year, sometimes it takes more than a year. But there are many, many more Craig Harpers out there."

Just look out the window ...

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--Developing a love for the Japanese people during his two years as a missionary journeyman in Nagasaki, Mark Busby felt seminary "was the next logical step ... to be obedient to God" in preparing to return to Japan as a career missionary. Arriving in the men's dorm at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, his venture to Fort Worth, Texas, was quickly affirmed. "The second person I met was Jean Irvine, a Japanese cleaning lady at the seminary. I asked her where was the nearest Japanese church, expecting her to tell me it was clear across the Metroplex. Instead, she pointed out the window to the Gambrell Street Japanese mission church." Busby, appointed by the Foreign Mission Board to Japan in January, recounted, "God really provided for me. He put me where I could be immersed in the Japanese culture and he prepared Japanese people to be here who could surround me." Once a month, Busby and roommate Akira Niwa led a "gakusei shukai" (student meeting) for Japanese attending Texas Christian and Dallas Baptist universities. The gatherings grew from 10 to more than 50 students. "The last few weeks I was there, we had two students from TCU accept Christ," Busby said. "What is so great is that they were led to the Lord by two other Japanese students who themselves haven't been Christians for too long."


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