Jesus Movement Pioneer Still Strong in the Faith at 90

Don Finto (Don Finto Facebook page)

A couple of weeks ago, world-famous actor Sean Connery died at the age of 90. Journalist Bill O'Reilly paid tribute to the Scotsman by saying that when he shared an evening with him a few years ago, O'Reilly said Connery was sharp as a tack!

Near the end, his wife revealed he did have some struggles with dementia.

Sean was most famous for playing James Bond in seven 007 movies but he won his Academy Award when he was closing in on 60 as the best supporting actor in the prohibition era film, The Untouchables.

All of us long to learn secrets of longevity and maximum health. Someone once told me, "Satan has no happy old people."

Multitudes draw inspiration from the words of Caleb when he was in his 80s and declared, "Now the Lord has kept me alive, just as He said, for forty-five years, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. I am still just as strong today as I was on the day that Moses sent me. My strength now is just like my strength then, both for battle and for going out and returning. So now, give me this hill country that the Lord spoke about on that day!" (Josh.14:10-12a).

Who Is Don Finto?

For 15 years in the Nashville area, I have watched a senior leader nicknamed "Papa Don" exude enthusiasm for Jesus and advance His kingdom every day. Weeks ago, I had time with my wonderful friend and tapped into his treasure chest to glean insights for this article and the podcasts I trust will be a blessing to us all.

Scores of people in America and abroad know of Don Finto and honor him as a true patriarch in the faith.

In the 1970s during the Jesus Movement, Don was a dedicated pastor at Belmont church, which was a launch pad for musicians, artists and leaders. He was a pioneer, innovative and catalytic in the life of Pat Boone, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant and others who have had a major impact on Christians everywhere.

In 1996, God directed him to transition and birth a ministry known as Caleb Company. The primary focus of this excellent initiative is that of an outreach to Middle Eastern countries. In what might be viewed as the fourth quarter of his spiritual journey, Don continues to mentor the next generation and lead ministry trips into Middle Eastern localities as a modern- day apostle Paul.

When you sit with Don, his passion for God is infectious. He'll tell you not to live by the evening news but by the Spirit of God and His purpose in our generation. He reminds me of another colossus in the faith: Arthur Wallis, who has gone on to his heavenly reward but challenged me early on in ministry with these words: "If you would do the best with your life, find out what God is doing in your generation and fling yourself into it!"

Encouragement From the Front Line

Don will tell anyone that as we grow older, we may not be able to stay young, but we can stay youthful! We don't want to retire but rather refire and engage with the activity of God in the earth today.

In a recent conversation, he energized my spirit by sharing about recent Zoom calls with believers in Iran and other places where we don't often hear what God is doing. He shared how 500 home groups are functioning in Iran and 5000 people are serving God fervently amidst persecution.

As you listen to the podcasts contained within this article, let your heart overflow with gratitude to God for what's happening in Egypt, Turkey, Assyria and Israel. He reminds listeners from Scripture that God has a special purpose for Israel, and if we will bless the people God uniquely chose, we will be blessed!

"Israel is the only nation who has a title deed from God Himself!" Don shares with the effervescence of a child at Christmas. Like a master craftsman, he'll unpack the Scriptures about God's unique plan for the Jewish people and the historic opportunity we have in our generation to align with what He's doing in the Middle East.

Papa Don encourages people to travel to the Middle East for tours and see the historic sites, but he'll tell you what their teams are doing goes beyond sightseeing. He is so excited about more than 20,000 Messianic Jews in the Holy Land today and how his passionate end-time disciples relish the challenge of equipping people to share their faith in a sensitive but Spirit-led way to bring Jewish people out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Tips at 90 for Longevity and Health

I encourage everyone to benefit from the inspirational example of Don Finto. Lean into the podcasts to draw insights regarding physical fitness and what Don does; find purpose for living to keep you motivated and spiritually engaged; be intentional in staying connected with young people to mentor and derive fresh zeal; practice perseverance amidst life's challenges, imitating the example of Caleb who had a "different spirit" to possess his land of promises (Num.14:24).

Don Finto will tell you it is imperative we stay focused on God's Word and use the "sword of the Spirit" to slice through setbacks, sickness and spiritual opposition that are part and parcel of our Christian life.

We must train ourselves in godliness to walk by faith and turn our trials into triumphs, our stumbling blocks into steppingstones and our vicissitudes into victories for the glory of God!

Cleanse your mind of clutter and demonic depression at the end of every day. Say with David, "I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You, Lord, make me dwell safely and securely" (Ps.4:8).

Here's the Deal: Rather than merely reading this commentary to encourage you, benefit from the impartation of infectious enthusiasm and additional insights coming through the podcasts with Don Finto, a choice servant of God today.

"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be filled with vitality and foliage, to show that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him" (Ps.92:12-15).

Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.

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