Every month, more than a million people visit Plugged In Online to hear honest insights into new releases in the entertainment industry. The voice and insights found on Plugged In Online belong to Bob Waliszewski. For the past 20 years, Bob has faithfully served on the staff of Focus on the Family, providing tools to enhance the spiritual nurture and strength of families around the world. Bob’s vision and ministry for Plugged In reach far beyond the scope of movie reviews and album insights.
Realizing the rebellious nature that would eventually have him expelled from school, Bob grew to an understanding he needed help. At age 15, he came to know Christ, and would spend nearly the decade after investing into students in ministry. Serving as a youth pastor, Bob became very aware of the deep influence that entertainment was having on his students. Not that entertainment was bad, but what his students were listening to and watching caused them to be desensitized to sin. Read more
In July of 1874, a Baptist preacher and his wife gave birth to a boy in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. Oswald Chambers would grow up to fear the Lord, but had a masterful calling on his life to represent God through the arts. As he grew older, he grew quite fond of the preaching of Charles H. Spurgeon while studying art in London. It would be under Spurgeon’s preaching that the college student would give his life to Christ.
Wrestling deeply with his goal of representing Christ in the arts, the young man surrendered his life to full time vocational ministry. Traveling to America at the start of the 1900’s, he would teach in Christian colleges, bible studies, and local churches. His teaching of the Scriptures would cut deep to the heart while drawing the ear of his audiences. Teaching God’s Word had become his art.
In 1910, he would marry his “Biddy” (Gertrude Hobbs), and they would travel across America, Japan, and Egypt preaching the Gospel. Biddy would attend classes that her husband taught and carefully record every word. This would be an important part of their ministry, as her husband was not very well known. The three books he wrote were only in a small circulation and the circles he taught in were great opportunities, but his 43-years on earth would be overshadowed by the popularity of more than 30 books his wife put together from his teachings. Read more
In the wake of the Civil War (1861–1865) and the great Chicago Fire (1871), a fatherless, businessmen was changing the great cities of the world. From Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, and to the streets of London, Dwight L. Moody was filling classrooms and coliseums. For the famous evangelist who had a fifth grade education, watched his father die and spent most of his childhood away from his poverty-stricken mother, this was quite a feat. At age 17, Moody had been rejected from dozens of jobs when his uncle reluctantly hired him to work in the family shoe store. His uncle, Samuel Holton, had one requirement for Dwight to work at the Holton Shoe Store and that was for him to attend the local congregational church in Boston.
Weeks after working at the store, Moody joined the Sunday School class of Edward Kimball. While visiting Moody at work, Kimball expressed to the teen the deep love of Christ. In the coming weeks, Moody would profess Christ as his Savior. Moody was not comfortable with just knowledge of his faith and pursued to live it out. Read more
In the city of Mobile, Alabama, rests a small Christian University that is producing the great leaders of tomorrow. Behind the walls of that school, stands a man, who for the past decade, has guided the university to not only supply students with an education but also develop them as world-class leaders. Leading one of the finest Christian Universities has not always been Mark Foley’s desire. After graduating college, Foley set out to make his name as a Texas businessman. As he was making a name for himself and experiencing the success of owning a business, God was doing something else in his heart.
God was calling Foley to leave his business and begin preparing for full-time vocational ministry. Foley packed up his young family and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to begin his studies at seminary. As he studied, God opened great opportunities for him to preach and pour his faith into the men and women of New Orleans. Soon, he would join the administrative staff of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he would eventually serve as the Executive Vice President. Read more
At the dawning of the civil war and Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, another Charles, age 19, stepped into the pulpit of New Park Street Chapel for the first time as their pastor. It was a church built for twelve hundred, but only a scrawny 280 were in attendance that Sunday in 1853. It would only be a few weeks before thousands would gather to hear the gospel preached at New Park Street Chapel. Within three years, ten thousand would gather in Exeter Hall to hear the preaching of this young pastor. Unable to find seats in the hall, men would stand in the streets and sit by the windows to hear the sermon. For the next 38 years, Charles Haddon Spurgeon would give his life to the preaching of the gospel and the well being of the city.
Born to Puritan parents in the city of Essex, Spurgeon was taught as a young boy to fear the Lord. Both his father and grandfather were pastors in local congregations, which had an incredible influence on Spurgeon’s life. Not because they were pastors, but because they taught Charles and his siblings to study the Scriptures and to know God. It was watching both men study to preach that Spurgeon developed a love for reading and personal study. Read more
In the early 1970’s, a high school student in central Florida, hung over and high from the daily party he lived, was overwhelmed by the thought of his future. He lived through six broken homes, drug and alcohol addiction, multiple arrests, sexual and physical abuse and was scarred by a childhood most would rather not talk about. No one wanted to give this boy a chance. But today, Dr. Jay Strack has spoken to over 15 million people, most of which heard his story of God redeeming his life to make it count. With his background, Strack began to focus his life on reaching and equipping students to change the world and passionately pursue Christ.
His senior year of high school, stuck under the weight of what seemed to be a wasted life, Strack put his faith in Christ. He would then spend the last months of high school sharing his faith to anyone who stepped foot on his high school campus. Upon graduation, 13 colleges and Uncle Sam turned him down. But God opened a door at a small Christian university that took a chance on Strack. In less than three years, he would graduate and pursue both a master’s and doctorate degree. All the while, Strack began to preach to anyone and everyone who would listen. He would travel to different cities, speaking in five high schools a day and citywide rallies at night. Strack was living out God’s call on his life as an evangelist.