James Anderson, the President of the New Canaan Society, shares the importance of telling our stories–transparently and authentically. He starts by telling the unpleasant but sacred story of how God brought him from empty “success” (from Hollywood to a wildly successful real estate career selling homes to celebrities) to fulfilling “significance” through Focus on the Family and now NCS. With great humility, Anderson talks about the seeds and depth of his fall and the tremendous grace (both from God and a loving wife) that lifted him back up. He also reflects on how sharing “our story” leads to friendship, friendship lead us to a “better story” and friendship with Jesus draws us into God’s “bigger story”.
Biggs Burke shares his incredible journey from poverty in Harlem, to the top of the music business, to prison and then to life as a follower of Jesus. With great transparency and humility, Biggs reflects on how his life was being derailed even as he thought he had it all under control. He also explains how he came to follow Jesus and get back on track through an unlikely prison friendship, the love shown to his family by NCS brudders and miraculous answers to prayer.
Nick Medley shares the remarkable journey that took him from a young man raised by a mother and grandmother to working at a large investment bank on Wall Street to profoundly and personally impacting the lives of THOUSANDS of people every week at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Nick’s grandmother taught him to have gratitude for God’s provision regardless of his circumstances. She also saw a special gift in him to give people hope. Nick’s attitude of gratitude and gift of compassion allows him to make a difference in many people’s lives; helping cancer patients and their families who are facing difficult, painful and frightening situations. His daily guidance, and encouraging spiritual support makes their lives a bit easier, and his compassionate care has aided many on their path to healing.
Fresh from the first gala benefit (just the night before) for his new ministry, Life Line Chaplaincy, John Revell shares the numerous “coincidences” that occurred in the development of the ministry and the unfolding of the fundraising event. As one NCS brudder used to say, “You just can’t make this stuff up”. Revell’s modern day story puts flesh on the theological skeleton of the story of Esther, as described in our most recent meeting by Deryck van Rensburg. Hearing how the mosaic of God’s plan came together helps us look back on our life with perspective and look forward with hope, trust and faith.
9/11 is a day to remember those heroes who risk, and sometimes lose, their lives caring for us, but it is also a time to reflect on how to care for others. John “Rev” Revell shares what he has learned about compassion while serving as Chaplain for the Stamford, CT Police Department and as founder of Life Line Chaplaincy, which is dedicated to serving first-responders. Being an NCS brudder means “showing up” when a spouse, child or friend is going through a difficult time. Rev helps us understand the importance of compassion and HOW to “show up”.