A Special Welcome from Dan

Dear Friends,

I am deeply grateful for your willingness to walk into your story. Your story is precious to God. Few have the tools to read and interpret their story, and we are even less prepared to understand and engage the stories of others. Our story is not a mere sequence or compendium of events--it is a dramatic portrayal of the life of Jesus. Our story reveals something about his death, resurrection, and ascension.

Every good story is about the gospel, and whether you believe this or not, your life is a profound picture of the gospel. It is our desire for you to enter the heartache of your story that reveals the death of Jesus. We want you to engage the wonder of what it means to know a rescue, which offers a taste of the resurrection. As well, you have gifts and talents that are yours because Jesus ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, and he gave you those gifts for his kingdom.

You are an amazing revelation of the story of Jesus Christ. But how can that be understood and used if you are unaware, or far worse, highly defended not to see, grieve, reveal, and use your story for good? We skim over our losses, and we run from our shame. We are uncomfortable with our remarkable gifts, and we tend to deny how gifted we are.

This online course invites you to walk through your story with a guide that will enable you to see the complex contours that easily get ignored, and ponder both the brokenness and beauty of the world that formed you to become who you are. The greater the sight, the deeper the capacity to make choices that honor and bless your story while participating with God in using your story for God’s glory.

The assumption we make is the better able you are to read and engage your story, the more proficient you will become at reading and joining the stories of others. Our story is not ours alone--it is a gift to reveal something about Jesus for others. Your story is written for the sake of your family, friends, and strangers yet to be known. This course will enable you to understand how to enter the salient parts of another person’s story and how to speak in a way that invites authentic and fruitful interaction.

We often assume those skills are either learned just by living or not worth much effort to learn. Neither is true. There is nothing more important than knowing how to walk wisely and tenderly into the heart of a son, daughter, spouse, parent, friend, or stranger. It requires knowledge, wisdom, and courage. We can help you gain expertise, grow in understanding, and free your heart to love.

I wish there were a way to help you see today how your story will echo on into eternity. We desire to help you see a glimpse of the wonder ahead. Thank you for the privilege of allowing us to become a part of your story.

Let me pray for you:

Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Power, glory, and honor are due to you. We are your servants, and you are our creator, author, redeemer, and sustainer. We are your children, and we love you. We consecrate this course and all that we do as we listen, reflect, and write.

We long for you to make yourself known and for our story to be more deeply known by you and by us. We want change—deep, abiding, pervasive transformation. We ask in your name that we might enter far more your son’s life, death, and resurrection so that our story links with yours. Work in us and through us to accomplish a redemption that we can barely imagine. We pray this all in the name of Jesus. Amen.

In God's Kindness

Dan Allender

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