Not long ago I came across this video by Todd Phillips where he talks about sharing your faith at work. You’ll find in here 4 practical tips. I especially like the first one about open eyes and ears. Check it out.
I came across the following post on Facebook, and thought I’d share it with you. If you are facing a “darkest day” right now, I pray it encourages you where you are.
Today I find myself contemplating “Holy Saturday”, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I think about what it must have been like for the disciples to pass life’s darkest day … between the Cross and the Empty Tomb, between death and life, between hope lost and joy restored. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. It didn’t make sense. Had God failed somehow? Fast forward two thousand years, and we often find ourselves in a similar place. Our dreams and plans, even ones dedicated to God, don’t always go as we expected. Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are pleasant. We live in a bent world, one that only God can restore. Sadly, until Jesus returns, most of us will endure times like these. But, take heart. Easter is coming. God is faithful to the faith-filled. Where are you facing dark times right now? Is it with your work? Your family? Your past? Your future? Be encouraged by Jesus’ words, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When things are darkest, remember that the Empty Tomb was not the end, it was a new beginning. And, best of all, Jesus offers that new life to each of us. Happy Easter.
As part of a new approach to discipleship my church is embracing, we’ve been reading through a book by Dan Grider called “Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap”. On the back cover, the author explains how this book gives you the tools to bridge the awkward chasm and initiate conversations crucial to helping people take an initial step of faith. Jesus initiated vibrant, crucial conversations with a broad range of people who thought differently than He did. (In the book) we study how He did it to help you engage in honest, open, crucial conversations without awkwardness. The Father will use these new skills you master to transform the relationships in your life (and the world around you).
I am enjoying the blend of theory (rethinking traditional church paradigms and ideas of “evangelism”) and practical help (through the use of simple illustrations, tips and sample questions) which leads to deeper dialogue with people God has placed in your life. If you ever struggle with how to get beyond superficial chitchat without turning the conversation into a sermon, you should give this one a read.
This Christmas, I wanted to share with you a video from The Skit Guys that explores different perspectives on Christmas. Sit back, grab your hot cocoa, and enjoy. You might even see yourself in one of these characters.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Some days I find myself wondering, “How can God use a regular person like me?” This past week I heard a “regular guy” named Lee Wood share his God-story. Lee, a former street dude with lots of energy and “self-diagnosed ADD … squirrel”, is a riot to listen to. God has worked through Lee and his team to launch a disciple making movement in the heart of Tampa, Florida. (click here to read Lee’s story). As Lee shared with us, it struck me how often God uses unlikely instruments to accomplish His work. It made me think of Samuel anointing David as the next king (1Samuel 16:7) … man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. So, take heart. However God has wired you, He wants to use your unique gifting, talents and passions to help fulfill the Great Commission. Ask Him to show you, and He will.
During a recent sermon on the role we can all play for the Gospel, my pastor asked, “how many of us don’t share our faith because we are afraid we won’t be able to answer the questions people ask?” Hands went up everywhere. Sound familiar? It’s a common fear, to be sure. But is it necessary? One way around that fear is to simply learn to tell your story, and how it intersects God’s story. But to be honest, sometimes we need some help. My pastor’s solution was to point us to the free video answers to life’s questions found at truelife.org. It might not be your style, but for many it helps people engage in spiritual conversations and get over the hump to sharing the Gospel. There’s a wide variety of topics covered. Check it out sometime.
Many North American Christians use inviting people to their church as their primary tool for evangelism, and even that is a stretch for some. It’s as if we see our role as a Christ-follower to simply get people in the door and then let the “professionals” get the job done. But, what if we told our members to stop inviting people to church? In the video below, Joe Solomon proposes doing just that. Think it will work? Check it out.
What if God gave you a platform from which millions might listen to you? What would you say? How would you talk about God? In the video below, actor and comedian Tim Allen talks to ABC’s 20/20, about his past and about his relationship with “The Builder”? What would you say if you were in his shoes? ( …. what you’d really say, not what you think you should or might say, but what you’d really say.)
Sometimes you come across a song that really expresses what you are thinking even better than words alone. The video below, by Big Daddy Weave, blends the telling of our story and God’s story in a powerful way. May you be encouraged by it, and moved to tell your story to someone today.
Someone recently forwarded me an item from Christianity Today titled “Meet the Rio Olympians Who Put God Before Gold”. The article covered interviews with 2016 Olympic Team USA Christian athletes. I was struck by the variety of people and stories they had, as well as the perspective many of them held even though they were the very best of the best in their professions. As they speak, let God speak to you too.
Shawn Johnson (gymnast) – even if I won “12 more Olympic gold medals…it’s not my purpose in life, and He will always be my greatest reward.”
Madeline (Maya) DiRado (swimmer) – “I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing his love and mercy into the world. Can I be a loving, supportive teammate, and can I bless others around me in the same way God has been so generous with me?”
Michelle Carter (track and field) – “People notice how I am living out my faith. Sometimes it takes me by surprise how much they notice. Even when no one is looking, the way I act is important because it is a reflection of how I walk with Christ.”
Gwen Jorgensen (triathlon) – “I really think you just have to keep God as your focal point and know that he is always number one. When you do that, it will help you to gain perspective on everything in life—not just endurance sports.”
Jordan Burroughs (wrestling) – “I’ve been blessed with tremendous gifts, and it’s my job to use those gifts to inspire others. As a man of faith, I take great responsibility in being a good steward of my talent. God has created unique … avenues to allow me to glorify him.”
David Smith (volleyball) – “It’s been a big thing for me to understand that my joy and my peace do not revolve around my performance or how I do compared to other people. My joy comes from the fact that I am playing a game I love and that He created me to play.”
As you reflect on these quotes, check out more from Shawn Johnson in the video below.