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September 8, 1999






Denison draws comparison between Texas student audience and Day of Pentecost
___By Dan Martin
___Texas Baptist Communications
___DALLAS--The number of students gathered in the ballroom of a Dallas hotel was about equal to the number of people who responded to the gospel on the Day of Pentecost, studentlogoJim Denison noted during the Saturday night session of Focus '99.
___"My prayer is that the Spirit will speak to all of us here, and the word will be just as real as it was then, that it will touch all of us, and through us, we will touch people all over the state," said Denison, pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.
___"God is creating the fifth great awakening of our American history, and he is doing it on the college campuses right now," Denison told the crowd of 3,200 Baptist college students.
___Denison was one of three speakers who presented worship services during the three-day meeting sponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The others were Voddie Baucham, a Houston evangelist, and Tom Westbrook, pastor of First Baptist Church of Stillwater, Okla., and a former campus minister in Austin.
___Music for the general sessions was provided by the group Watermark and musicians Jeff Berry and Michael Armstrong.
___Denison had a simple, three-point sermon for the students: "See the need. Trust the name. Touch the hurt."
___After showing a film clip of an Indiana Jones movie in which the hero discovered a rock bridge across a chasm--but only after he had stepped out, believing the bridge was there--Denison told the students that "it takes the same kind of faith to tell people about Jesus as to come to Jesus. You have to step out in faith; you cannot see the bridge until you have stepped on it."
___Using the Scripture from Acts 3 where Peter and John see the lame man at the gate called Beautiful, Denison noted the story began as the disciples saw the needs.
___ "That is where missions begins, where ministry begins, where evangelism begins: When we see beyond the circumstances and really see the need.
___"If you ask him to show you the need ... to help you see it, ... then he will do that. He will break your heart with what breaks his heart."
___Denison said the disciples "trusted the name of Jesus. The name is still good, and we can still trust Jesus" to give the power to change lives and circumstances.
___After seeing the need and trusting the name, Christians should reach out to touch the hurt, he concluded.
___Denison interspersed his sermon with testimonies from four former student summer missionaries, one of whom went abroad, another who went to the inner city, a third who worked on the Gulf Coast and a fourth who did recreation ministries.
___Each told of his or her own experience of seeing needs, trusting God and touching needs.
___From his own experience as a summer missionary to Southeast Asia two decades ago, Denison told the story of a teenage girl who was baptized in an old claw-foot bathtub.
___Inquiring why there was luggage nearby, he was informed that the girl had been told by her family if she ever became a Christian she couldn't come home.
___"But she accepted Jesus, prepared to give up everything for the Lord of the world," he said.
___Denison asked the students if they had "brought their luggage" and were prepared to give up everything for Jesus.
___If they were, he said, this meeting could be the start of another Pentecost.

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