If you were part of the Multiply Gathering in Austin last month, you may remember an analogy that Francis used to illustrate what happens when we add to the gospel. What he ended up with was the drink pictured blow.

It’s an ugly concoction that’s hard to look at and even harder to drink. It used to be juice, made solely of fruits and vegetables. But simply by adding stuff that we find appealing – whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and Skittles – what began as healthy and refreshing quickly became unappetizing and impure. The juice in the picture to the left is now unrecognizable, if it even qualifies as juice at all.

This is what becomes of the gospel when we try to spice it up with our own “words of eloquent wisdom.” 1 Corinthians 1:17 tells us that when we do this, we can actually empty the cross of its power. That’s why, in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul resolved to preach nothing but the simple gospel: Jesus’ death on the cross.

The death of Jesus hardly seems appealing to fleshly eyes. In fact, reading 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 makes it clear that, like a child who hates healthy vegetable juice, the lost will naturally see our gospel message as foolishness. So it’s okay if preaching it makes us feel uncomfortable. But we must preach it. And though people may like Skittles, throwing some in a glass of vegetable juice actually ruins the once healthy and refreshing drink. Likewise, adding to the gospel in an attempt to make the cross more appealing actually serves to empty the cross of its inherent power. For we know that this gospel, and this gospel alone, is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rm 1:16).

To watch this illustration from the November Gathering, begin listening here at time marker 1:14:33.

Ladies, if you are looking for a good additional resource to help you has you make disciples, check out Lisa Chan’s True Beauty, a series of films in which biblical teaching is woven together with the personal testimonies of women. In Not of This World,” as you hear about having an eternal perspective on things, you’ll get a glimpse of how Shawn’s wife, Carolyn, learned to do this through her struggles as a wife and mother. You may remember Shawn from the most recent Multiply Gathering (the man Francis discipled).

The first video below gives you a look behind the scenes of the short film and includes Shawn telling his side of the story. The second is a short “Not of This World” trailer.

In addition to Multiply resources, videos, and updates, you may have noticed that the free Multiply app (as well as the new website) has a prayer request feature. Many of you have already taken advantage of this by posting prayer requests and by indicating that you are praying for others.

Our goal with the prayer request feature is to provide an avenue to connect with others for prayer and encouragement as you seek to make disciples. All prayer requests are important because they represent real hurts, concerns, and anxieties (as well as praises). However, our vision for this particular feature is for followers of Christ to lift one another up in prayer as we engage others with the gospel of Christ. All you have to do is set up an account, and it’s free!iPhone: Photo of an iPhone just waiting for your app to be imposed into it. Perfect for iPhone App ads or for presentation purposes.

To interact, post questions, or leave comments, follow Multiply on Facebook, the blog, or contact us at

We’re grateful that so many of you have already begun praying for one another in this sometimes difficult, yet glorious task of bearing witness to Christ and His Word.

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The Multiply App is now available, and it’s free! Get it here on iTunes.

This app is designed to be a helpful tool as you seek to make disciples. Get easy access to Multiply resources, post and respond to prayer requests related to making disciples, and stay updated on Multiply announcements.

We hope the Multiply app will be a useful for you and those you know. Tell a friend about this free resource.

0 Grams Trans FatRecently I saw a bag of potato chips with a bold declaration splashed across the front: “Zero grams of trans fat.” I was glad to know that I wouldn’t be consuming any trans fat, which research has shown is detrimental to my health. But then I flipped the bag over and read the ingredients list, which included things like “yellow #6″ and other artificial colors, and partially hydrogenated oil (which is trans fat, just a small enough amount that they can legally call it “0 grams”). I thought it was incredibly ironic that these chips were being advertised in a way that makes me think they are not harmful yet were really full of empty calories, weird chemicals, and, ironically, trans fat.

It struck me that many Christians flash around their “no trans fat” label, trying to convince everyone they are healthy and good. Yet they have no substantive or healthful elements to their faith. It’s like the Laodiceans, who thought they had everything until Christ told them they were poor and wretched. They were all about declaring, “Look, we have no trans fat. We are wealthy, or we have good families, or we go to church every week.” Obviously, it’s not what you advertise that counts; it’s what you are really made of.

But Paul writes that even if “I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2-3 ESV). Wow. Those are strong and unmistakable words. According to God, we are here to love. Not much else really matters.

From Crazy Love, pp. 93-94

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_V1A3097For those of you who have registered for the Multiply live stream this Friday, you may be wondering what exactly that evening will look like. We’ll see if we can enlighten you a little bit.

This Week
Let’s assume you’ve already registered (if not, don’t wait anymore!). Between now and Friday, if you haven’t already tested your internet connection to make sure you have enough bandwidth, you should go ahead and do so. Also before Friday, you may want to print off a program for each person that will be participating with you.

Then on Friday, we’d encourage you to log in to watch at 5pm Central or shortly thereafter. At that time, we’ll have some videos and announcements up and running so you can make sure your connection is working well and all your technical bases are covered. The program will start at 6pm. The schedule, according to the Central time zone, is as follows:

6:00pm – Welcome
6:05pm – Call to Prayer
6:35pm – Session 1
7:40pm – Break
7:50pm – Session 2
8:45pm – Call to Action
9:00pm – Gathering Concludes

This breakdown is tentative and subject to change, but it does give you a good feel for how the night will look. Keep your eye on our Twitter account, our Facebook page, and this blog for important updates and information leading up to Friday and then throughout the live stream that evening.

Time Zones

Live on the West Coast? Mountain time? Who cares?

Well, we do. But for the Multiply live stream this Friday, it doesn’t matter what time zone you’re in. With our delayed streaming option, you can postpone the start of the simulcast until your crew gets off work, done with practice, and dinner in their bellies.

As you know, the live stream will begin on Friday at 6pm CENTRAL time and is set to go until about 9pm. As long as you log in before 9pm central, you can pause and rewind the live stream just like you would a DVR. So if you live in California and watching “live” would mean getting off work early, no sweat! You can start watching it when you get home. (If you’re really bad a figuring out time differences, don’t despair! Here’s a handy time zone calculator.)

More details on this and a host of other technical information related to the live stream can be found in our Technical FAQs page. Make sure you check it out if you have a question about the technical side of things. And make sure you register for the live stream ahead of time. See you Friday!

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