Friday, March 19, 2010

92% of Jesus’ conversations

Darrell Davis points out how many conversations that Jesus had.

"Out of 132 contacts that Jesus had with people recorded in the New Testament, 6 were in the temple, 4 were in the synagogue, and 122 were out in the mainstream of life."

As evangelists, we need to make sure that we are regularly engaging people outside of the church.

Most of us freely admit that after being a Christian for a few years, we find our social circles have changed to mostly Christians.

In fact, Jeffrey Johnson Got Style?: Personality-Based Evangelism shows research that confirms that most do so within two years of becoming a Christian. He cites a 1998 study by Charles Arn that shows that most Christians may only have on average, friendships with less than 4 people outside the church.

What can we do to fix that this week?

Found this post at my new favorite blog: Evangelism Coach International

Monday, March 15, 2010

What I Can't Live Without

I speak to you as a Christian. Jesus Christ is my Lord and God and Savior and Song day and night. I can live without food, without drink, without sleep, without air, but I cannot live without Jesus. Without him I would have perished long ago. Without him and his church reconciling men to God, the world would have perished long ago. I live in and on the Bible for long hours every day. The Bible is the source of every good thought and impulse I have. In the Bible God himself, the Creator of everything from nothing, speaks to me and to the world directly, about himself, about ourselves, and about his will for the course of events and for the consummation of history. And believe me, not a day passes without my crying from the bottom of my heart, ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’

Charles Malik (1906-1987), Lebanon's ambassador to the USA (1945-55), President of the UN General Assembly (1958-59), professor of philosophy at the American University of Beirut (1962-76).

Thanks to Desiring God Blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why Are You Keeping It A Secret?

“God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

– Matthew 5:14-16, The Message

The Newsboys "God Is Not A Secret"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Carl and the Cross

God knows me inside and out. He knows that every once in awhile I need to see that He actually exists. He usually does it through a homeless person.

I met Carl two years ago. He has a crippled arm and hand. Not long after I met Carl he walked up to me on a Sunday morning and said, "Mike, God asked me to tell you that He loves you." He then took off a cross that was hanging around his neck and gave it to me. Later that day, I hung the cross on the rear view mirror of my truck. Just a few weeks later Carl vanished. He was gone. Whenever I got in my truck I would see the cross and remember Carl the homeless guy.

Last Friday night we opened the homeless cold weather shelter at First United Methodist Church in Port Orange, FL. Guess who got off the bus and walked into the shelter? It was Carl. He walked in and gave me a big hug. He told me over and over again how great it was to see me. Carl sat down and ate dinner with the rest of our homeless guests.

While our homeless guests are eating dinner I typically walk around the tables and ask if anyone needs anything. A homeless man I had never seen before stopped me and asked a question. "Sir, do you have a cross? I'd really like to wear a cross." I said, "Let me check on that." All I could think about was the cross hanging from the rear view mirror of my truck. I walked over to Carl and said, "A man just asked me for a cross. The only cross I have is the one you gave me almost two years ago. It's in my truck. Would it be okay with you if I gave it to him?" Carl looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I can't believe you still have that cross. Yes, it would be okay if you gave it to someone else."

I went out to the truck, grabbed the cross and walked back into the shelter. Before I gave away the cross I handed it to Carl. With tears in his eyes, he held it and bowed his head. Before I gave it away I asked Carl to hold the cross while I took his picture (see photo above). Carl gave the cross to me and I handed it to the man who asked for it.

Why did a man who gave me a cross almost two years earlier show up at a shelter the same night when someone else asked for a cross? It gave me an opportunity to share something amazing about God with Carl the homeless guy as I was leaving the shelter.

I held Carl's crippled hand and looked into his eyes. I said, "Carl did you see what God did tonight? In living color, He showed you and I that He is real. God also showed us that no matter who we are, where we live or where we don't live, He can use us to pass his love along to others." Carl didn't say anything thing. He just hugged me and then he hugged me some more. Then he hugged me again.

I'll never forget Carl and the cross.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

The post below came from the blog of Kevin Martineau

A man in great despair shared this poem with me. It is called "Men With Broken Hearts". It brought tears to my eyes as he read it.

You'll meet many just like me upon life's busy street

With shoulders stooped and heads bowed low and eyes that stare in defeat

Or souls that live within the past where sorrow plays all parts

Where a living death is all that's left for men with broken hearts

You have no right to be the judge to criticize and condemn

Just think but for the grace of God it would be you instead of him

One careless step a thoughtless deed and then the misery starts

And to those who weep death comes cheap these men with broken hearts

Oh so humble you should be when they come passing by

For it's written that the greatest men never get too big to cry

Some lose faith in love and life when sorrow shoots her darts

And with hope all gone they walk alone these men with broken hearts

You've never walked in that man's shoes or saw things through his eyes

Or stood and watched with helpless hands while the heart inside you dies

Some were paupers some were kings and some were masters of the arts

But in their shame they're all the same these men with broken hearts

Life sometimes can be so cruel that a heart will pray for death

God why must these living dead know pain with every breath

So help your brother along the road no matter where he starts

For the God that made you made them too these men with broken hearts

I can't find out any information on the author of that poem but Joe South wrote a song based on it called "Walk a Mile in My Shoes." See Elvis perform it live below. Let the words sink in as you listen to it.

Thank you Kevin.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Even If I Die of Cancer, To God Be The Glory

Take just a few minutes and watch this powerful video. It tells the story of a man who is giving glory to God even if he loses his battle with cancer.

The Story of Zac Smith from NewSpring Production on Vimeo.

Thanks to Pastor Perry Noble and his blog for this video.