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Evangelism strategy- The top 10 list

Create a top 10 list of friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers that God has put on your heart.  Pray for them.  Keep in touch in simple ways, such as a quick text when you think of them.

Seek to better understand what makes them tick.

Love them.

Look for opportunity to go deeper and give them the gospel.

 

My top 10 list reminds me the eternal work that really matters, the great commission.  Often just looking over those names awakens me to be less selfish, pray for people i love and seek the God who wants nobody to perish but all come to Him and be saved.

 

Evangelism strategy session

Thinking of ways to break out the crusty Christian mold.  The one i created for myself where i’m made to be a light to the world but all my friends and the people i spend my time with are already Christian.

 

That won’t work.

 

So i know i need to intentionally seek out relationships w/ people not in the Church.

 

One way is to re purpose Facebook.

 

Going to try to focus more of my efforts at Facebook on reaching out to people i know who are not Christian already.  When i do speak about my life and faith, i want to speak in the vernacular not christianeze.  When i share about life, i want to include my pain and doubts not just my happy days.

 

Praying God use facebook as one tool to help me connect with more people He wants me to know.

Jesus, Oscar Schindler and Me

 

I identify with the frailty of Oscar Schindler

This is the most moving scene in any movie i know.  In fact, IMBD named Schindlers List the best movie ever made.

It crushes me every time i watch it.  I so identify with Schindler, if i let myself think about it.  Do i dare consider how many opportunities to love and help others, i have certainly wasted?

 

Yet in some ways, Schindler is, or at least becomes, an exemplary man.  As his friend in the scene says, “generations will exist because of what you have done Oscar”.   In one sense, i would love to identify with Oscar Schindler and become a person who gave up so much to save the lives of others.

 

Truth is I identify both with his regret and his desire to do right.  I identify with the frail yet powerful tension of his humanity.

 

Jesus is NO Oscar Schindler

On the other hand, it can be way harder to identify with Jesus.  Jesus says in John 18, I told you that I am He,” Jesus replied. “So if you are looking for Me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word He had spoken: I have not lost one of those You have given Me.”

While, Schindler looked with awful regret at his car and saw 10 lives he could have saved instead, Jesus felt none of Schindler’s regret.  That is stunning.

 

It is so human, so normal for me to have regret.  Especially when i look deeply at the suffering in the world, and compare how i spend my time to the depth of need all around me.  While Jesus was certainly fully human with deep emotions, he felt no such regret.  He didn’t lose one of those God gave him.

 

In this sense, i identify far more with Schindler than Jesus.

 

Jesus identifies with me.

 

So as i reflect on my role in serving the needs of the world, i feel so much more like Schindler than Jesus.  In fact, i feel far less than Schindler, i certainly haven’t accomplished nearly what he did for needy people.  Where does that leave me?  Full of regret?

 

It should, if i’m brutally honest.  But as so many times before, Jesus steps in and rescues me.  Also in John he prays of all who believe in him…

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

 

So a movie like Schindlers List, breaks me down, forces me to face the fact that have so much to regret.  I might try to count up my good deeds and ignore the regret so i feel “OK”.  But that ok feeling is just a feeling, it comes and goes.

 

Instead, Jesus, the only man who ever lived without regret, shows up with the amazing love that rescues me from this struggle.  He, with the full confidence of God the Father, calls me into friendship with Him.  Takes my soiled, regret filled record and replaces it with a new identity.

His one time cross love, makes me clean before God forever.  His enduring, patient love forgives me 70×7 times along the way till i actually become a man with more love and less regret.

Thanks to Steven Spielberg for taking me on this emotional roller-coaster.    Thanks to God for Jesus making a way to face regret and strive for better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to an article to help us feel more comfortable doing evangelism

Just a quick post today.  I’m always looking for insight and encouragement to do evangelism.  This article, and video, are great insights from two of the best teachers on engaging the world, Rebecca Pippert and Tim Keller.  They really do inspire and equip me to engage with the world for Christ sake.

 

Here’s the resource:

 

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/is-your-church-ready-for-the-future

Why i must translate the gospel into at least 3 foreign languages in 2017

No i’m not talking about Chinese or Spanish or French.


In 2017 im challenged by God to translate the gospel into the 3 “foreign languages” of my heart, my family and my non-christian friends.


Why do i say these are foreign languages?  Because sadly enough, i rarely think or speak in terms of the gospel with these 3 peoples.  And when i do, it’s so muddled up with “Christianese” that it doesn’t speak to my normal life and normal experience.


I’m tired of saying i’m a Christian but living so oblivious to the wonder of the gospel.  God is calling me to translate the gospel from its dusty, comfortable place in my heart, into the precious pearl it really is and out into my real world life.


I think he wants me to do so by translating it into fresh, relevant language for my heart, my family and my non-christian friends.  Let me give a quick explaination:

  1. My heart-  I can so easily breeze through my devotional time and 10 minutes later i forget what i just read.  Instead, when i read a verse and try to translate the language into a more common way of talking, i’m engaged and hold on to it longer- sometimes even think about it all day.
  2. My family-  This one makes me so mad at me.  I can go weeks, no exageration, weeks without telling my wife and kids the good news of Jesus love for us.  Rather i get caught up in “parenting” them with lots of do’s and don’t and go to bed at night wondering why they don’t see christian faith as something real and special and meaningful.
  3. My non-christian friends-  Saved the worst for last!  Do i even keep in touch with many non-christian friends, or have they fell aside as i became more and more dug into the Christian world.  And when i do interact w/ them, am i comfortable chatting easily about the most important thing in the world, the gospel, heck no i’m scared to bring it up.  Why because the way i’d say it is to Christiany, the words that make sense to me and my christian friends are just jibberish to them.  If the gospel is really the best news for all mankind, i need to be able to say it in plain language.

So thats my challenge for 2017, 3 foriegn languages.  My fear is that it’s like my 2 years of Spanish in highschool.  I took the class but nowadays about all i can do is count to 10 and say a few colors, could’t actually talk to someone in Spanish.


My prayer is the simple, pure beautiful gospel of the crazy, sacrificing love of Jesus for the me, my family and my non-christian friends become fluent to me and good news to them.  Help me God!

Devotional Exercise: Peter’s Core Purpose and Yours

Photo courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/drgbb/2227885657/

To live your calling you must know your core purpose. It will be insight from God that speaks to your heart.  Over time, it will sustain you in good times and bad ones.


The apostle Peter knew his core purpose.  In fact, Jesus told him it 3 times for emphasis, “Peter, Feed my sheep”.


For this week’s devotional exercise, read, pray and study how Peter’s core purpose guided him the rest of his life.  Acts 1-14 tells many stories about him.  Also, read his letters,  1 & 2 Peter with that core purpose in mind.


In your journaling consider:

1. How did Peter knowing his core purpose guide him the rest of his life?

2. What does this teach you about knowing and doing your core purpose?


This devotional is part of an 8 week devotional series I have developed for my coaching clients to help them seek God during the coaching process.  If you would like a copy of the entire devotional  send me an e-mail request to growingoakscoach@gmail.com

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