Archive

Archive for the ‘Witnessing’ Category

Just A Little Nudge

November 7, 2019 2 comments

Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge. I’m especially susceptible to nudges. I probably wouldn’t have started writing my Titus Ray Thrillers, if someone hadn’t casually mentioned to me I should try writing a spy novel. Every day I enjoy a few minutes of mind-stimulating fun playing a word game on my iPad called Word with Friends, but if a very good friend hadn’t given me a little push to put the app on my iPhone, I wouldn’t have done so.

And, sometimes, a little nudge may be all a person needs to come to Christ, or to renew their commitment to Him, or to read their Bible or to . . .

Last week, I heard about a style of evangelism that’s become popular after a book was written about it five years ago. The book is called Nudge by Leonard Sweet. In it, Sweet says that “sharing the gospel should be a matter of awakening each other to the God who’s already there.”

Sweet writes, “Nudge evangelism is based on a simple premise: in everyone you meet, leave an impression–a Jesus impression, a Jesus dent. The nudge can be as simple as a smile, as profound as a prayer, as complex as a meal, as subtle as a story, as venturous as a witness, as ambitious as an altar call.”

To nudge someone toward Christ is vastly different from shoving them toward Christ. The gospels give a clear picture of how Jesus offered Himself to unbelievers. “Come unto me,” He said. If someone rejected the offer, Jesus was saddened by such a response, but He didn’t call them out, pronounce curses on them, or show animosity of any kind toward them. And yet, more than any other being in existence, He would have been justified in doing so.

Nudging people toward Christ can happen all the time in hundreds of different ways, and the form it takes is totally dependent on a person’s personality type. Extroverts will be more aggressive in calling attention to how Jesus is working in their lives but the quiet, thoughtful attitude of an introvert can be equally as effective.

As long as I keep one thing in mind, it’s easy for me to practice this kind of nudge evangelism. I remind myself that every person I encounter in my life—from grocery clerk to business man, from stranger to friend—is someone God has placed there, is someone God has prepared for me to nudge toward Him, is someone He loves.

Give someone a little nudge toward Jesus today. It may be all they need to discover the hidden treasure of Christ Himself.

1 Peter 2: 15-16 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”

What Story Will You Tell?

May 22, 2019 Leave a comment

Everyone Has a StoryAll of us have a story. It may be  your parenting story, your pregnancy story, your career story or the story of your life. A story I’ve always enjoyed hearing is the story of someone’s salvation—all the details surrounding how a person came to faith in Christ.

When we lived in Indiana back in the late 1980’s, the editor of our denomination’s weekly state paper, The Indiana Baptist, asked me to do a weekly column on a different individual each week and emphasize the details of their conversion experience. I decided to call the column “A Story To Tell.”

My husband’s job at that time was in Baptist missions, and we traveled to a different church in Indiana every week. We usually arrived at the church at least an hour before he was to preach, so I had time to seek out a friendly man or woman, get their permission to record our conversation, and then ask them to tell me their salvation experience. After the interview, I would write down our conversation in a story format.

While all the stories culminated when the person became a born-again Christian, each convert’s circumstances were unique. However, after several months of writing salvation stories,  the common thread I saw in each person’s experience was the way God used a friend, a neighbor, a relative, or even a stranger to draw the unsaved person to Christ.

An example of this was the young man who had not been brought up in the church, knew nothing of the Lord and was planning on becoming  a professional golfer. One evening, when he was about to enter a nightclub to enjoy several hours of partying, he noticed a group of people carrying picket signs. They were protesting what was going on inside the establishment.  One of the signs read “The wages of sin is death.”

For weeks the young man was haunted by these words, but he had no idea what they meant. However,  after he followed his girlfriend’s suggestion to talk to a pastor, he was led to the Lord, and his life was forever transformed.

I’m sure the man who had picketed the nightclub that night carrying a sign with the words from Romans 6:23 written on it, never realized his small gesture eventually made an eternal difference in someone’s life.

What difference will you make in someone’s salvation story?

What You Are NOT

January 8, 2016 2 comments

 During a recent interview about Titus Ray, the main character in my Christian fiction series, I was asked to describe some of his personality traits. By doing so, I came up with some attributes, which point out what Titus is not: He is not an extrovert. He is not a scholar. He is not a family man.

By pinpointing what a person is NOT, a picture emerges about what a person is. The apostle John does this in the Gospel of John. He says, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.” John 1:6-8.

Perhaps the most important attribute about John the Baptist was what he was NOT. He wasn’t the Messiah; He wasn’t the Light; He wasn’t our Savior. He had to reiterate this several times during his ministry. Every time he did so, he was able to tell people who he really was. He was a witness sent to point people to the real Savior, Jesus Christ.

There are other examples in Scripture of what people were NOT: Joseph was not an adulterous slave boy. David was not an intimidated shepherd. Daniel was not a cowered exile. Paul was not a timid follower of Christ.

How would you answer this question, “What are you NOT?”

How you answer that question will enable you to see what you are. The NOT realization of what he was helped John to know his role. He wasn’t the Light, but he was to tell about the Light. Perhaps you’re NOT a Sunday School teacher, but you can be a Sunday School member. Perhaps you’re NOT a teacher of the Bible, but you can read the Bible. Perhaps you’re NOT a prayer warrior, but you can pray.

John was sent by God. “There was a man sent from God.” John 1:6.

John was sent by God to be who he was;  not someone he was NOT. Discover who you are NOT, and you’ll discover who you are.

 

 

Give A Nudge, Not A Shove

September 5, 2015 2 comments

Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge. I’m especially susceptible to nudges. I probably wouldn’t have started writing my Titus Ray Thrillers, if someone hadn’t casually mentioned to me I should try writing a spy novel. Every day I enjoy a few minutes of mind-stimulating fun playing a word game on my iPad called Word with Friends, but if a very good friend hadn’t given me a little push to put the app on my iPhone, I wouldn’t have done so.

And, sometimes, a little nudge may be all a person needs to come to Christ, or to renew their commitment to Him, or to read their Bible or to . . .

Last week, I heard about a style of evangelism that’s become popular after a book was written about it five years ago. The book is called Nudge by Leonard Sweet. In it, Sweet says that “sharing the gospel should be a matter of awakening each other to the God who’s already there.”

Sweet writes, “Nudge evangelism is based on a simple premise: in everyone you meet, leave an impression–a Jesus impression, a Jesus dent. The nudge can be as simple as a smile, as profound as a prayer, as complex as a meal, as subtle as a story, as venturous as a witness, as ambitious as an altar call.”

To nudge someone toward Christ is vastly different from shoving them toward Christ. The gospels give a clear picture of how Jesus offered Himself to unbelievers. “Come unto me,” He said. If someone rejected the offer, Jesus was saddened by such a response, but He didn’t call them out, pronounce curses on them, or show animosity of any kind toward them. And yet, more than any other being in existence, He would have been justified in doing so.

Nudging people toward Christ can happen all the time in hundreds of different ways, and the form it takes is totally dependent on a person’s personality type. Extroverts will be more aggressive in calling attention to how Jesus is working in their lives but the quiet, thoughtful attitude of an introvert can be equally as effective.

As long as I keep one thing in mind, it’s easy for me to practice this kind of nudge evangelism. I remind myself that every person I encounter in my life—from grocery clerk to business man, from stranger to friend—is someone God has placed there, is someone God has prepared for me to nudge toward Him, is someone He loves.

Give someone a little nudge toward Jesus today. It may be all they need to discover the hidden treasure of Christ Himself.

1 Peter 2: 15-16 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”

Everyone Should Get One Of These For Christmas

December 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Gift 3I want everyone on my Christmas list to have the same gift under the tree every year. Well, not exactly the same gift, but at least the same kind of gift every year.

I call it my “Reason for the Season” gift.

It’s a present that I hope will remind each recipient of why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. My “Reason for the Season” gifts aren’t elaborate. In fact, most of them cost very little, and, sometimes, they’re simply stocking stuffers.

These gifts have been as simple as a bookmark with a Scripture on it or a keychain with a Christian symbol swinging from it. At other times, I’ve given someone a Bible, but, more often than not, I’ve given calendars or devotional books. For children, I’ve put Veggie Tale toys and DVD’s of Bible stories under the tree. I’ve also given mugs and ornamental plaques with Scriptures on them.

I started this practice several years ago when my daughter was a teenager, and I suddenly realized the true meaning of God’s “gifting” us with His Son was being lost in the hustle and bustle of checking things off her Christmas list. Now, purchasing these items from a Christian bookstore a few weeks before the big holiday seems to take the edge off the “Christmas rush,” and serves as a reminder of the purpose of this celebration.

This holiday also offers an incredible opportunity to share a gospel witness. That’s because a Christmas card is the perfect means of putting God’s Word in the hands of colleagues, friends, and relatives who aren’t open to hearing a verbal witness. While many Christian practices seem to be offensive to unbelievers today, a Christmas card depicting the nativity scene and a verse of Scripture still appears to be acceptable.

The “Reason for the Season” is a tiny helpless baby sent by a powerful, holy God to rescue a hopeless fallen sinner. This is indeed something to celebrate!

2 Corinthians 2:15: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”

What’s Your Story?

April 16, 2013 Leave a comment

my storyAll of us have a story. It may be  your parenting story, your pregnancy story, your career story or the story of your life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed hearing someone’s salvation story–the details surrounding how a person came to faith in Christ.

When we lived in Indiana back in the late 1980’s, the editor of our denomination’s weekly state paper, The Indiana Baptist, asked me to do a weekly column on a different individual each week, emphasizing the details of their conversion experience. I decided to call the column “A Story To Tell.”

My husband’s job at that time was in Baptist missions, and we travelled to a different church in Indiana every week. Since we usually arrived at the church at least an hour before he was to preach, I had time to seek out a friendly man or woman, get their permission to record our conversation, and then ask them to tell me their salvation experience. After the interview, I would write down our conversation in a story format.

While all the stories culminated in the person becoming a born-again Christian, each convert’s circumstances were unique. However, after several months of writing salvation stories,  I sensed a common thread in each experience. It was the way God used a friend, a neighbor, a relative or even a stranger to draw the unsaved person to Christ.

An example of this was a young man who had not been brought up in the church, knew nothing of the Lord and was planning on becoming  a professional golfer. One evening, when he was about to enter a nightclub to enjoy several hours of partying, he noticed a group of people carrying picket signs. They were protesting what was going on inside the establishment.  One of the signs read “The wages of sin is death.”

For weeks the young man was haunted by these words, but he had no idea what they meant. However,  after he followed his girlfriend’s suggestion to talk to a pastor, he was led to the Lord, and his life was forever transformed. I’m sure the man who picketed the nightclub that night, carrying a sign with the words from Romans 6:23 written on it, never realized his small gesture eventually made an eternal difference in someone’s life.

I’ve been asked to write these kinds of salvation stories once again. This time I’m writing them for Baptist Press, a daily news wire service.  You can visit their website here. The most recent story I wrote demonstrates the importance of inviting someone to church. You can read it  here: The K. J. Williams story.

What’s your story?

If you came to faith in Christ within the last three years, or you know of someone who did, please contact me. I’d love to hear the details and share your story with others. You never know how God might use your story to open the heart of an unbeliever to faith in Christ. Your story could become a part of someone else’s story.

 

 

 

Keep Asking That Question!

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

James received a phone call about three weeks ago and the voice on the other end of the line said, “This is a voice from your past.”  But unlike some old classmates or relatives that might make a guessing game out of “who do you think this is?” this man quickly explained that he, Tom, and his wife, Debra, had lived down the street from us when we lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  But because they had moved to Colorado before we left Santa Fe and moved to Norman, it had been at least twenty years since we had last spoken to them. Tom had actually located us through the internet. 

Tom was calling to make an unusual request of James, but before he did so, he explained the journey he had been on which had brought him to this phone call.  When we moved to Santa Fe twenty-three years ago, Tom’s wife Debra was a member of First Baptist Church of Santa Fe, where James had just become the senior pastor.  She had welcomed us to the neighborhood one day by bringing us some cookies, and not long after that initial encounter, James and I walked down to her house to meet her husband Tom and their two beautiful young daughters.

Tom was standing on the front porch, and we introduced ourselves.  As I went on into the house, James remained outside to visit with Tom.  Tom said, as he told the story to James over the phone, “You turned to me and asked me if I was a believer in Christ.  I remember replying, ‘Of course I am.’”

While Tom was not a member of our church, he did attend the worship services with his family, and he explained how the nagging question, “Are you a believer in Christ?” along with being under the preaching of God’s Word every Sunday, caused him to “devour everything I could find on the Bible and its teachings.”  After studying for several years, Tom confessed, “I realized that believing in Christ was not enough.  I needed a personal relationship.”

Since Tom and his family moved from Santa Fe, we never knew of his conversion to Christ.  He said he went on to become a member of a church and began to teach a Bible study class.  He had such a heart for God’s Word that he eventually earned a Master of Arts in Religion and later one in Religious Education from Liberty University.

However, (and this is where he made his request of James) he had never been baptized in believer’s baptism.  He was calling to ask if he and Debra came to Norman, would James be able to baptize him?  He felt the question James asked him on his front porch that day was his first step on this long journey of faith, and this portion of the journey would be complete if James was the one who baptized him.  Of course, James assured him he would be happy to make the arrangements, and we would look forward to renewing our acquaintance.

While so many lessons could be drawn from this encounter, I have felt a renewed burden to ask the question to friend and stranger alike, “Are you a believer in Christ?”  Ask the question, the Lord will do the rest.

 

%d bloggers like this: