Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thank You, God!

"Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that the LORD is God. He made us, and we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations."! Psalm 100

Autumn is in the air! All week I have heard people say, "Wow, I love this cooler weather after a very hot summer!" Everywhere we go we see the signs of our season of thankfulness called Autumn: Pumpkins, Pine Cones, Changing Leaves, Bales of Hay, Scarecrows, Candy Corn, Earth-tone Colors, and most of all signs of Thankfulness to God!

The psalmist teaches us how to thank God as we enter our daily attitudes with thankfulness and praise. As we walk in an attitude of gratefulness we have many opportunities to share the one and only author of blessings, JESUS, with others!

People, especially people that need the Lord, have voids in their lives that they are trying to fill with earthy worldly things. What are some of the voids in the lives of people that need the Lord? As a first-generation Christian that didn't hear about and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior until I was in my 20's, let me share with you some of the things that were missing in my life as someone that needed The Lord; I was missing - peace, belonging, gratefulness, purpose, direction, joy, and much more!

As Christ's disciples and witnesses when we share simple things that we Thank God for, He can use our attitudes of gratitude to draw people to Jesus! What are 2 ways that we can do this?
  • Worship God For Who He Is! Share With Others The Reason God is First In Your Life! (Always Present~Always Providing~Always Personal, etc.)
  • Thank God For What He Does! Share With Others The Ways God Has Blessed Your Life! (Salvation~Forgiveness~Hope, etc.)

As blessings come into our lives, give thanks to God. Simply say, "Thank You, God!" When someone compliments you on anything that you know was from God's Grace working in or through you, give thanks to God. Simply say, "Thank You, God!" And be willing to share times in your life that you were not walking with Him or were not thankful so that those that we are sharing with can relate!

When we regularly thank and praise God for the good and difficult events in our lives, God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3), an atmosphere of thankfulness which conversations about Jesus are more likely to take place.

As a new season of Autumn, let's ask God (pray) for an attitude of gratitude. Let's also ask God (pray) to help us count our many blessings daily. Let's ask God (pray) to remind us to be quick to acknowledge the One who is the Provider in our lives, the Provider of all our inspiration and creativity = Jesus!

God's Word promises that if we will openly acknowledge Him before others now, He will openly acknowledge us before God!! (Matt.10:32)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Faithful Looks Like

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth" Deuteronomy 28:1, ESV).

I think I'm on a tangent again. I keep running into people who want it all now. You know what I mean. They want something without paying the price for it. I might as well stop talking about what it means to be faithful with small and start writing it down. To be faithful with small means that we are faithful (loyal, obedient, trustworthy) to do the small things. For instance, let's say that someone wants speaking engagements and yet has not been faithful to have her time alone with God every day...that is not being faithful in the small things. I talked to a lady who was frustrated that she didn't have any good witnessing stories to tell and was sounding off about it. Hmm. I asked her how often she'd shared her faith. She said she had really never seen the big moment to do so. Hmm. That's what I'm talking about. If God can't trust us in the little things, why would He trust us in the big things? Why would one turn down a speaking engagement because it wasn't "big" enough and tell them to call her when they had more people? Really? Yes, really. I could go on and on.

I love this verse in Deut 28:1. IF we are FAITHFUL to do what God says to do (and gives us opportunity to do) TODAY, then He will allow us to bring honor to Him in even greater ways. It is incredible about how simple the Scriptures can be. What does faithful look like? It looks like you and me doing what we have committed to do - the big things and the little things. Faithful living is doing what He calls us to do...and doing it will excellence. It is going beyond the call of duty. We are to be loyal and trustworthy in all we say and do.
I didn't say it would always be fun, but it is what we are called to do. And trust me, I have a list of a few things that I need to be faithful in too. None of us are immune.

Lord, make me be faithful. Let me be faithful to bring glory to you...and not to bring glory to me. Make me into a faithful leader who is willing to out serve everyone else. May You get the glory!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Heart of a Servant Leader

“Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.” Ephesians 6:6 (The Message)

The heart is the very seat of our soul, our emotions, and our passions. It is the very essence of our being and that which drives our thoughts and our motives. No wonder God tells us to guard our hearts! “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV).

The heart of a leader is the very foundation of her life. It is what drives her passion for the Lord and her passion for service in the kingdom. There is no doubt that most of us feel called to lead in a very deep way from the bottom of our hearts.

And yet, with seemingly little notice, out of our hearts can spew some of the most ungodly thoughts and attitudes…even in the midst of ministry. It was only a few weeks ago that something happened that totally unnerved me. Surely you know the feeling. I was less than thrilled with a situation (and in particular with one of my many bosses) and was just about to share from the seat of my emotions the most spirit-filled reaction to what was happening when God intervened. The person was not there for me to share with! And now I thank God for that. My spirit-filling was not coming from God; it was coming from the enemy. Even though I felt righteous in my motive, it certainly was not the best way to handle things. As leaders, we must be constantly aware that the enemy will do everything he can to render us ineffective in service to our Lord.

I had to come before the Lord and pray to Him, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10 (NIV). “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” Psalm 86:11 (NIV). “Refresh my heart in Christ” Philemon 1:20b (NIV). God gave me His promise in response, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV).

To be a servant leader, sometimes we just need to keep in mind that we are servants first and leaders second. We must learn to model Christ-like servanthood in every situation. God has chosen us to lead. Not only must we be strong and do the work, we must be strong in our wholehearted devotion to Him and remember Who we are working for! He is in control of every situation. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV).

“’And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.’” 1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (NIV)

Note: written several years ago for Christianity Today's Gifted for Leadership website.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:10)

The world is watching everything we (as believers) do and say--our neighbors, co-workers, visitors to our churches, fellow students, etc. Are we modeling a life of service and sacrifice? Are we putting ourselves before others? Are we willing to serve even when it is not "convenient"? Are we willing when nobody is noticing? Let us all examine ourselves and look for opportunities TODAY to "do good the family of believers." Then, let us also be sure to use serving to open doors to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Lord, we know we are sinful and selfish human beings. Help us be like you and lay down our lives for others.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

thanks for expensive internet access

"For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness,
but one of power, love, and sound judgment"
(1 Timothy 1:7, HCSB).

This weekend, while I was sitting by a window in the baggage claim of an airport, a man asked me if my laptop had found free internet access.  I felt about half-awake as I glanced at the access, and then we decided that the cost for it was unattractive.  He started making casual conversation, as I prayed for patience, since I had first sat to read or take a nap.

He was a friendly one, and I liked hearing about his wife and kids who were about to pick him up.  He had just returned from visiting his parents in Hawaii, and as we talked, he asked me why I had moved away from Texas.  As I explained how I admire the school I am attending, we started talking about the Bible as absolute truth. 

When he started talking about other religions, I am covinced that the Holy Spirit guided our conversation, since I often do not feel like an expert.  God gave me peace as I just tried to thoughtfully and genuinely answer questions.  The man received my questions, as well, and I realized God was helping me see past my initial fear so that I could share my faith that He is the only way. 

Later, I realized that three people had prayed for me to be able to share my faith that weekend.  Even though the man did not pray to follow Jesus that day, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit helped me share more about who He is.  Hopefully, that man will want to learn more about Jesus in the future.

How can we praise God and share His story today?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Today is See You At The Pole, a day set aside to PRAY for Students of all ages, Teachers, Administrators, Leaders and Parents!

Please stop right now and PRAY as The Lord leads you! Please include PRAYING for SALVATION for those that NEED JESUS!!

Please share any way that we can PRAY for YOU!!

God Answers Prayer!!

Matthew 6:9-13 "Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lift up Jesus

"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (John 12:32, NASV).

What a great weekend we had! Marshall and Tracy Jones came to Houston to stay with Dana and me. We went to see the Astros both nights (since they are all three crazy about sports). On Friday night, it was Houston's First Baptist Church night, our Pastor Gregg threw out the first pitch, and the game ended with beautiful fireworks. The display over the city was beautiful. It was a great night and a great weekend!

As I watched the fireworks, I couldn't help but let my mind wander. How much money was all this costing? I cannot even imagine. How many times do we spend money on things that have no eternal value. Why do we spend so much on things like fireworks that we there one moment, and gone the next? Even as I tried to take a few photos, the scene would change before I could capture the moment.

Are we faithful in the moment? Do we spend our time and energy on things that will pass away quickly or on things that have lasting value? Our lives are but a vapor.

Lord, help me to be the light for someone. Help me to use each passing moment spending time on what matters. May I lift Jesus up so that You will be glorified!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Simple Truth

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14

As leaders of women we are to serve as living examples of Christ Jesus and His love. This commandment is simple but at times proves difficult for us to do. Beth Moore once said and I paraphrase, "God measures maturity in how we love." If our maturity is reflected in how we love our neighbor, in how we share the Gospel, in how we serve the widow, in how we take care of the poor, what do the women in our church see? Are they being shown the way to imitate our Lord Jesus all the more, or are they missing a most key component of our faith, love?

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. John 14:21

Let's love our Lord better today and in doing so love people.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

the challenge of truth

How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation" (Daniel 4:3, NIV).

Last week, I heard a sermon that had nearly eleven points.  It inspired me to see how much this pastor was drawing from God's Word.  If we stay connected with quiet time in the Word, I believe that God will help us see His plan.

Sometimes, the truth can feel like a cut.  An example of such a cut, I think, is in Daniel, when Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that haunted him.  In Daniel 4, he called Daniel, to interpret one he had about a tree being ordered to be cut down by a holy one.  When Daniel, who we know believed in and spent time praying to God, interpreted the dream, he was, "greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him" (verse 19).  When he interpreted the dream to the king, though, he made sure to include that if the king followed God, then he may not suffer (verse 27).  The king did not turn from his selfish rule, but after he suffered (his authority was taken from him and he went mad).

This story in Daniel turns, as King Nebuchadnezzar declares that God rules over all:  "His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation" (verse 34b).  His sanity and kingdom were restored, and he said, "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble" (verse 37).   I admire Daniel, because he communicated the truth both accurately to, and in concern for, Nebuchadnezzar.

When we communicate God's truth through His Word, I think it is important to realize how powerful it is.  Are we communicating the truth in love?  His message can feel like a cut, but He can use it to heal us.  We are sinners, but Christ died for us so that we can know Him and live.  I pray that we continue to pray and seek His lead in living for Him.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stay Connected!

"SPEAK to one another with..." Ephesians 5:19

I was just sharing and praying with someone about the powerful tool of SPEAKING words to one another and I must share these thoughts with you!

As I listen and pray with women of all ages, my heart is being stirred and burdened with a message about some of the communication traps we are facing through the new high tech tools at our fingertips: Just in the last few years we have seen the rise in communicating through the use of texting, e-mailing, posting, and tweeting. These new communication tools have many positive benefits, but along with these benefits it is important to be wise about the negative traps that may arise. "for we are not ignorant of of [Satan's] intentions" 2 Corinthians 2:11 (HCSB)
What are some of the possible negative relationship results that could happen with the over use of written communications? Here are just a few results that could lead to unhealthy communication: misunderstandings, superficiality, and the absence of accountability. The enemy is trying to use these great new communication tools as post modern traps that could lead into isolation and disconnect in The Body of Christ (and in relationships in general!)
Women tend to feel distant from one another through the trend of written communication instead of verbal communication. The popular trend of "talking" by "texting", "postings", and "tweeting" instead of speaking verbal words. The enemy would love for women to be defeated in anyway. Could this be a form of 21st Century spiritual warfare!
Wow, we sure need to know the enemy and his new schemes that could cause The Body of Christ to be ineffective and isolated so that we will not connect like we could with God and with Others!! God's Word clearly states that "we need one another" (1 Corinthians 12:21...), so it should not surprise us that the enemy will try to attack the "need" to belong, and stay connected through verbal communication with others in our lives. God's Word describes verbal communication best. Just one example is in the book of Ephesians where God describes ways to "speak" to one another. Ephesians 5:19 is a powerful verse to hide in our hearts about ways to "speak" to each other! "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs...." Eph. 5:19
We must all be wise about the new schemes of the enemy Christians face today. Let's make a point of keeping the healthy habit in our lives of verbally connecting voice to voice and face to face with others as we also enjoy the new high tech trends of texting, e-mailing, posting, and tweeting. Balance is the key to healthy communication and healthy connections for God's Glory!

As the Body of Christ, we are all Gifted2Go by God to talk/share with others just like it is described in Ephesians 3:14-21!! What are some specific actions or activities we can be sure and schedule to help keep verbal connection and communication in our lives? Please share your simple ideas, it will encourage someone today!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Live the Word

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace  and truth" (John 1:14, ESV).      

This weekend, I was blessed to bring a message to the ladies at the North Carolina state convention Women's Prayer Evangelism Conference. Their theme was Stepping Out from Romans 10:13-15 (how beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news). When we look at John's gospel, we can see how the gospel spread as Jesus walked though life.
Here are the main points, one taken from every chapter in John:
Live the Word: 21 Ways to Step Out for Jesus!

1. Be inviting - Andrew, Philip, Nathanael were invited to come to Jesus and we are to do the same, 1:37-51

2. Be involved - Jesus took time to go to wedding and be with people so we need to take time to be in the community, 2:1-11

3. Be available - Nicodemus came to Jesus at night and Jesus took time for him so we are to be available for others, 3:1-22

4. Be missional - Jesus crossed cultural boundaries with Samaritan woman so we are to try to get to know others who are not like us, 4:1-45

5. Be expecting - Jesus healed the man at the pool and we must remember to expect miracles, 5:1-17

6. Be giving - the boy brought his five loves and two fish to give and Jesus multiplied it so we are to give what we have for use in His kingdom 6:1-15

7. Be intentional - Jesus is intentional about where He goes, what He says, and who He spends time with so we are to intentionally develop relationships with those who do not know Him  (reference 7:35)

8. Be forgiving - Jesus forgives woman caught in adultery and we are to forgive others, 8:1-11

9. Be looking - Jesus healed a blind man and now he can see. We can look for opportunities to share about Christ.

10. Be shepherding - Jesus is the good shepherd and we are to model being a shepherd by feeding people spiritually and caring for their needs, 10:1-21

11. Be Life - Jesus is Life and we are to represent life and hope to others, 11:1-27

12. Be sacrificial - Mary anointed Jesus with expensive perfume and we are to give sacrificially for the work of the Lord, 12:1-8

13. Be serving - Jesus washes the feet of the disciples and we are to out-serve those we work with, 13:1-20

14. Be Truth - Jesus was Truth and we are the speak Truth and stand for Truth, 14:1-14

15. Be fruitful - Jesus is vine and we are branches. We are to stay connected to Him and reproduce fruit in our lives, 15:1-17

16. Be loving - Jesus tells of the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who convicts of sin. We share the love of the Lord through all we say and do.

17. Be prayerful - Jesus prays for the world and we are to pray for people to come to know Him.

18. Be open - Jesus was open to what He was teaching. We are to be open to questions and not be in secret about what we believe,18:19-24

19. Be real - The crucifixion shows that life is not easy. We don't have to hide our struggles or our imperfections or try to be perfect. Let people see how Jesus helps us through tough times.

20. Be sharing - The women saw that the tomb was empty and went to share the good news with others. We need to share the gospel story, 20:18

21. Be testimonial - John has testified to the gospel, we are to testify and share our stories of what Jesus is doing in our lives, 21:24
Let's look for ways we can Live the Word this week! You are gifted2go!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Converts Vs. Disciples

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:29-10)

These words are probably very familiar to us. But I wonder how intentional we are about the "go" AND the "make disciples." We have to get out of our comfort zone to "go" rather than sit and wait for people to come to us. Our churches often give the message of "Come and hear." rather than "Go and tell." We may not have to go further than our next door neighbor's house or down the street, but we must challenge each other to be intentional about sharing the gospel.

Besides "going," we are also told to make disciples. I wonder if we sometimes get excited when we have someone that admits that she is a sinner, believes that Jesus died for her sins, and prays a prayer. We SHOULD get excited about that--but it must not stop there. We are commanded to make disciples, not just converts. I will share some tips on following up a new believer in some future blogs. But in the meantime, let's GO because we are all Gifted2Go!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real!

"Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you...For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment."

2 Timothy 1:6-7 (HCSB)

As we prepare to share Jesus with others, the enemy uses one of his tricks to cause us to NOT witness...FEAR=False Evidence Appearing Real! God is not the author of FEAR, and through His Spirit He causes us to "FEAR NOT"!

I would like to share with you three FEARS that the enemy uses to put out the fire of Godly courage in our gifted2go lives:

  1. FEAR of Rejection! Truth that will set us free from fear=we WILL be rejected by people as a witness for Jesus...BUT we will NEVER be rejected by God! "I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not!" Romans 11:1 (HCSB)

  2. FEAR of Failure! Truth that will set us free from fear=we WILL fall short as a witness for Jesus...BUT we will NEVER be forsaken by God! "...I will never leave you or forsake you..." Hebrews 13:5 (HCSB)

  3. FEAR of the Future! Truth that will set us free from fear=we WILL not be in control of the results as a witness...BUT we can leave the future up to our Faithful God that is Always in Control! "So, what is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth." 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 (HCSB)
A "Gifted2Go" Word of Testimony: As a first-generation Christian, from the age of 22 when I first heard the name of Jesus, God called me to share Him with others from the day that I accepted Him as my Savior. I will never forget my first pastor sharing with me the very day that I became a Christ Follower for me to "Go, and Share with Everyone What Had Just Happened In My Life"...that is what I did, because FEAR was not something that I was feeling in my new LIFE in Christ, it was a moment full of FAITH! My first day as a believer I went door to door on my street as I shared with my neighbors how I had just given my life to Jesus; the responses from my neighbors were mixed from words of affirmation & joy as I learned that some of my neighbors said to me "that they had been praying for me and my husband (it was clear that we needed the Lord-Lost people look like Lost people!), but there were also some negative reactions from some of my neighbors and extended family that were not believers yet. With each negative reaction the enemy tried over and over to discourage me from being God's witness through the rejection that turned into the fears that I listed above...that is where the importance of discipleship and evangelism training came into my life (PTL!)...with every TRUTH that I learned and lived out from God & His Word, The Holy Spirit turned my FEAR into FAITH not just once but over and over again even up to this day 26 years later since the very time that I first heard the name of JESUS and ran to HIM with ALL MY HEART and made the sold-out commitment to follow Him and Share Him as His "Evangelistic Concerned for Others: Gifted2Go" Witness!!

What specific FEAR is stopping you from being God's Witness? Will you join me in giving God all of our FEAR as we exchange FEAR for FAITH? YES, LORD!! "...Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness, access, and confidence through faith in Him"!! Ephesians 3:12 (HCSB)

Enjoy these 2 songs that remind us that God has set us FREE from the chains of all FEAR!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gifted2go Puzzle

Take the Gifted2go Puzzle. Choose the color or black & while (formatted for a notebook) version. Print both pages. Take the challenge and see where you fit in! Share with others and go! You are gifted2go!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What Would it Take?

John 4:34Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

I love Sharon's post from yesterday; don't miss it. It led me to this question.

What would it take for Jesus' words to compel us?

Sovereign God of the universe became man to take on the sins of the world. He told us through the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:14"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ."

What would it take for us to live this out every day?

He told us through Luke in Luke 17:20Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."

So what would it take to cause to live for His Kingdom & proclaim it, as He did, everywhere we go?!

Does this truth compel us enough to obey?

Romans 5:7"For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God." I pray that it does.

What would it take for you to take the Gospel everywhere? Is Jesus reason enough?

Friday, September 3, 2010

The World Needs More "Lerts"

"Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35b)

I am going through the book Radical by David Platt with over fifty high school students and some teachers He challenges us with the statement: "The cost of nondiscipleship is great. The cost of believers not taking Jesus seriously is vast for those who don't know Christ and devastating for those who are starving and suffering around the world.....It is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship." (Platt, David. Radical, p. 16)

As leaders, we MUST emphasize the urgency of evangelism--it is part of being a true disciple of Christ and the results of not sharing our faith can be tragic for some. We must pray that our eyes are open to "look at the fields." Platt continues in his first chapter of Radical to say: "For the sake of more than a billion people today who have yet to even hear the gospel, I want to risk it all. " (Platt, p. 19) We ourselves need to have this mindset before we can lead others. Let us challenge ourselves and each other to ACT on the urgency of evangelism, be alert to any opportunities to share, and to be willing to "risk it all."
So - as a bumper sticker I saw said: "Be ALERT - the world needs more "LERTS!"

Quotes from Platt, David. Radical. Multnomah Books: Colorado Springs, 2010.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

a memorable surprise

"I [Jesus speaking] am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep"  (John 10:14-15). 

Monday, I think I saw a good representation of a shepherd.  Around lunchtime in the office, some employees seemed to tiptoe in and out of the front lobby, peering both into the main conference room and to the door by the elevators.  It was a senior partner's 50th birthday, and the group was trying to surprise him with cake and lunch.  His wife phoned in, explaining that she was with him and was trying to convince him to come back to the office before they "left for lunch."

What drew my attention was another senior partner, who actually started the firm.  He made sure that other employees knew to come to the front area for the surprise, and he stood by the front.  When the man whose birthday it was exited the elevators with his wife, he smiled hugely as the office clapped and wished him a happy one.  The founding senior partner stepped towards him, stopping him before he said thanks, to explain his gratitude for his friendship and for being a part of the team.

The way this founding partner behaves in showing care to each person in the office came to mind when I read this verse about Jesus being the good shepherd.  God truly cares about us; He sent His Son Jesus to suffer for what we've done wrong so that we can know Him today and celebrate one day with Him in heaven.  God has a plan for us, so we don't need to fret.  When we trust in Him, He is right there to walk with us, just like a good shepherd is there to save his sheep. 

How can we share this with others?

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen" (Hebrews 13:20-21).