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The 700 Club

Are You a Friend of Sinners?

VALUING FRIENDSHIP
Rich and DawnChere were the focus of Oxygen Network’s Rich in Faith reality TV show in 2015.  The show followed Rich and DawnChere as they faced the joys and challenges in the life of pastors.  The year prior, Rich performed the wedding of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.  Kanye designed the cover of Rich’s first book, Sandcastle Kings.  Rich, who is also close friends with Justin Bieber and numerous professional athletes, says he received a lot of questions as to why he maintained friendships and spent time with celebrities after he wrote his first book.  Those questions became talking points and the inspiration for his latest book, Friend of Sinners.  “I wanted to write a book about God’s heart for people,” says Rich.  “We should have a heart for people when we fall in love with Jesus.” The more Rich read stories about Jesus, the more he was convinced that Jesus didn’t come to establish a religious club or for behavior modification (act better, speak better, be better).  He believes many people today have missed the message about who Jesus is and why He came.  

A few years ago, DawnChere bought tickets to one of Rich’s favorite bands for his birthday.  Inside the box was a piece of paper DawnChere designed and printed saying: In two weeks, I’m taking you to the Kings of Leon concert at the Bank Atlantic Center!  Rich was excited. When that day finally arrived, Rich and DawnChere arrived at the Bank Atlantic Center, and the parking lot was empty!  When they looked at the tickets, they said Bank United Center in Coral Gables, an hour away! DawnChere started to cry.  Rich assured her that it was still a memorable night despite the fact they missed the concert.  To this day, it’s one of their favorite stories to tell other couples.  Rich says overlooking the main message that the concert was at the Bank United Center, not the Bank Atlantic Center, was critical.  “They sound so similar, yet they are so different,” he says.  The same thing with the message Jesus came with.  Rich reminds us His teachings, miracles, death and resurrection all communicate one thing.  “We miss the message and end up at a place we never wanted to go,” says Rich.  “Jesus came to save us.”

FRIEND OF SINNERS
Rich says that the greatest lopsided relationship is the one God has with all of mankind.  “Jesus’ message, His heart and His passion are to restore humanity to God through Himself,” says Rich.  “We don’t deserve it and we never will.”  So why is Jesus friends with sinners?  His value system is not based on works.  “God’s value system is based on relationships,” says Rich.  No matter what we’ve done or who we are, Rich reminds us that Jesus is ready to embrace us.  “Jesus is the friend of all.”  

Once when Rich was flying, there was a massive thud, the lights went out and smoke filled the plane.  People panicked and screamed.  The plane made an emergency landing.  It was evidently serious, but Rich says no one explained anything to them.  He and the other passengers were booked into nearby hotels which offered free continental breakfasts.  Rich thought, Great, I almost died and I get a bagel?  He says two days later the airline emailed an apology and offered to credit him with 10,000 bonus miles.  Rich thought, You’re saying my life is worth no more than a bagel and a one-way ticket?  “Obviously the airline doesn’t define my worth,” says Rich.  “Don’t let the world dictate your value. You are who God says you are and He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” 

For ten years, Rich and DawnChere battled infertility.  They had no idea if they would ever have children but were determined to change their perspective.  They came to terms with the fact that a baby would not complete them nor would a baby make them more fulfilled.  “We have everything we need in Jesus,” says Rich.  “A waiting season doesn’t have to be wasted.” They celebrated others who were having babies.  The put their faith in action.  “We were intentional about celebrating other people and enjoyed the season we were in.”  In January, 2018, DawnChere gave birth to their first born son, Wyatt Wesley.

Mentioned in the Video

 

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Guest Info

Credits

Founder, Vous (“voo”) Church

Reality TV star, Rich in Faith, which ran on Oxygen Network in 2015

Author, his latest: Friend of Sinners, Thomas Nelson 2018

Married: DawnChere (dawn share-ee)

Infant son: Wyatt Wesley

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