Author Archive

The Christian “Bubble”

August 30, 2013

Hey everyone,

I thought I’d kick-off my return to T4E with a post that means a lot to me personally. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it though, so hopefully someone finds this helpful.

Many of us have heard the term “the Christian bubble.” Sometimes it’s used more specifically to refer to our churches, Christian schools, primarily Christian neighborhoods, etc. Basically, it means a sphere of friends or a place of interaction that is pretty isolated from the secular world.

I am a student at a small-ish Christian college called Cedarville University that is 20 minutes away from the nearest civilization. I definitely live in what we here like to call the “Cedarville bubble.” I don’t interact with unbelievers on anything close to a regular basis. Sure, it’s great to be surrounded by fellow believers with whom I can worship daily. But how am I supposed to be a light for Christ in this place full of other lights?

This is a question that many have struggled with–especially those whose normal interaction is limited to (Christian) school/church friends. I too have struggled to find out what God would have me do during my time in the Cedarville bubble.

Just a note: I don’t intend any of the following thoughts to make anyone feel guilty. I’m simply saying what I’ve learned from my (admittedly limited) experience and what I feel God is laying on my heart.

The Great Commission never goes away, despite our circumstances. This might seem obvious, but if you think about it, many of us tend to use our bubbles as an excuse not to evangelize. I’ve been guilty of this time and time again. I’ve thought many time, “Well, I really don’t interact with non-Christians on a daily basis. I’m sure God will bring some into my life eventually. For now I’ll just prepare myself for that.” This, however, is entirely the wrong attitude to have. God wants us to be always fulfilling the Great Commission! We don’t get a break because of our life situation! So we need to find out the best way to live out God’s command from within the bubble–or find a way to get out of the bubble altogether.

I don’t want to leave you on that note, so I do have a few ideas on how we can make this work. First of all, we all know at least one person who does not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It might be someone whom you recognize as being only a nominal Christian. Jesus tells us that we will know people by their fruit, so, while we cannot judge a person’s heart, it is often quite apparent when someone is only pretending to be a Christian. However, it is more than likely that you also know at least one person who doesn’t even claim the name of Jesus. Think about it for a bit. I’m sure someone will come to mind. Even if you don’t spend much time with them, they need Jesus too, and you do have a connection to that person.

Secondly, you are not trapped in whatever bubble you inhabit. For example, while I live at Cedarville, I can leave campus. I have a car. I have friends with cars. There are a bunch of different ministries with vans. You all may not have quite that level of opportunity available to you, but I’m sure you have at least one. Don’t wait for God to bring unbelievers to you. Sometimes He does, and it’s awesome, but most of the time we have our own responsibility in the matter. Be intentional about finding opportunities to get to know non-Christians! Talk to people in your neighborhood. Find a ministry you can join. Trust me, there is a way in pretty much any bubble to find a way to get out.

Lastly, though it may have sounded like I was deriding “preparation” as an excuse for inaction before, that’s now what I intended. The fact is, we always need to be preparing. We need to preach the gospel to ourselves so that we become changed by it. We need to be praying for God’s strength. We need to be fellowshipping with other Christians who can pour into our lives and build us up. Opportunities sometimes take time to find. Prepare yourself to

I hope this is an encouragement to someone. Just remember, God always provides a way to accomplish his work!

To God be the glory forever and ever!

I’m back!

August 29, 2013

Hey everyone,

Matt here. Anyone who has paid any attention to this blog (or noticed the dates of the most recent posts) will have noticed that this blog has been… well… pretty dead lately. I haven’t talked to the others who helped me run it in quite some time (read: since before the last post was published). It’s quite sad. For a while I wasn’t even sure we were doing any good. I wasn’t sure that this blog had any eternal value. But as I’ve gone back over some of the comments that have been left–comments of encouragement, comments of challenge, comments of gratitude–I’ve come to realize that we have affected at least a few. And those few are worth it. So, if I can help a few more by restarting this old blog (by myself, though, unless God works it out so that the others return as well) then I’ll do it.

Obviously, over the period of time that this blog has been dormant, a few things will have changed. For one thing, I’m older now. I’m still technically a teenager, but not for long. I don’t intend to just quit when I turn 20, but my thoughts and insights will be significantly different. Second, I’m in college now. That means I have a lot of things going on that will probably take me away form this blog. I could forget that it even exists. But I’ll do my best to post at least once or twice a month as the inspiration comes upon me.

Maybe this is a foolish venture. Maybe I’m wasting my time. But maybe God’s gonna do something pretty awesome through this humble blog. I think it’s worth taking that chance.

To God be the glory forever and ever, amen!

Freedom from Busyness

April 27, 2011
It seems like everyone today lives extremely busy lives.  I once read a quote that 
said, “Many of us are so busy that if God wanted to speak to us, He would have to 
leave a message on our answering machine.”  As Christians, we often talk about 
“running our race,” but I do not think that God meant for us to run our race at 100 
miles an hour.  We get so caught up and become entangled in all of the things we 
feel like we need to do that we tend to become overly busy.

It would be unwise to think that we are best serving God by “constant activity at the 
cost of headaches and broken rest.”  The main focus of our labor should be to maintain 
unbroken communication with our Lord and Savior; then we will have entire rest, God 
abiding in us, and everything we do will not be ours, but His.

Most of us today run in the fast lane of life.  Our days are filled with school , work, or 
any number of other events and activities that keep us busy. When we try to run our 
Christian race consumed with so much busyness, it is like trying to run a marathon at 
full speed with heavy weights strapped all over our bodies.  We need to examine the 
bulky weight of constant busyness, otherwise we will have difficulty finishing our 
race.  The weights we carry are not always sin, they are just things that hinder us 
from our relationship with God - even to the point of taking place of Him. 

Our ultimate goal needs to be to run our race in a way that will win the prize God 
already has picked out for us.  Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal to 
win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Paul, an 
apostle of Jesus Christ who is arguably the most influential Christian of the early 
Church and wrote no less than thirteen books of the Biblical New Testament, says 
nothing here about finishing first or accomplishing more than everyone else.  In this 
passage, Paul is keeping his “eyes on the prize.”  Everything he is doing is for God.  
Paul also says in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of 
God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not 
be a servant of Christ.”  It is human nature to want to please men - to be a 
“people-pleaser.”  By doing that, we often become overly busy and are unable to be 
a servant of Christ because we simply do not have time.  Our ultimate goal needs to 
be to please our perfect Lord, not the sinful people we live around; even if what we 
are doing to please those people is a “good thing.”

In the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), Jesus said that Mary had chosen 
what was “better.”  Mary chose to sit, listen, and rest at Jesus’ feet while Martha let 
the busyness of all that she felt she needed to get done overrun her and cause her 
to not spend time with her Lord.

In order to keep our priorities straight, we need to identify what things are in our lives 
that we “treasure.”  Matthew 6:21 says,  “For where your treasure is, there your 
heart will be also.”  If our hearts and our priorities lay with material things or earthly 
relationships, we are putting those things before God and it is slowing us down in the 
race we are running for Christ.  We are reminded of this in Colossians 3:1-3.  “Since, 
then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ 
is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly 
things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”  Are our hearts set 
on things above?  A youth pastor from northern Utah once spoke at a summer camp I 
was attending and said something that really challenged me.  He said to ask ourselves 
these questions: “What is stopping me from allowing God to be first in my life?”  And, 
“Am I willing to let go of it?”  These simple questions have stuck with me and continue 
to challenge me today.  Things that stop or hinder us from putting God first can be 
anything that takes up our time.  Work, school, sports; or something less obvious like 
bitterness towards someone, worrying, or being anxious.  We can discipline our busy lives 
by making our time with God the top priority.  We need to learn that it is okay to say “no” 
in order to not become overly busy.  A really important skill for us all to remember is to pray 
for God to give us wisdom to help balance our lives.  In Colossians 1:9-12, Paul’s guidance 
for living in dependence upon the Lord is to grow in the knowledge of God and be 
strengthened with God’s power.  Doing this will produce great endurance, patience, and 
giving joyful thanks to our Father.  We need to be sensitive and walk with the Spirit so 
we can recognize the weights in our lives.  When we recognize them, we have to be 
willing to throw those other “important priorities” overboard.

1 Corinthians 3:10-13 tells us that our foundation, Jesus Christ, is already laid.  Our job 
is to build on that foundation.  Will we choose to build using gold, silver, and costly 
stones - which represent the things we do that have outcomes that stand the test of 
time last for eternity?  Or will we use wood, hay, and straw - things that are easily 
broken, damaged, rotted, or blown away?  Is what we are doing now going to matter for 
eternity?  The Bible promises that our work will be shown for what it is, because the Day 
(with a capitol “D”) will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test 
the quality of each person’s work.  The Bible clearly tells us what we should be putting 
our efforts into.  1 Corinthians 15:58.  "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let 
nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you 
know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Someone observed that Jesus was never in a hurry.  His life emphasizes the importance 
of taking time to be with His Father.  Jesus often went to places by himself to pray and 
spend time with God (Luke 5:15-16).  I think that the reason He did this was to set an 
example for us.  If Jesus, who is God Himself, places so much importance on time spent 
alone with God, then we should most definitely make that a priority in our lives as well.  
God tells us to rest in Him.  How can we rest if we are always running to keep up the 
pace of our busy schedules?  We need not only physical rest, which is important, but we 
also need inner rest - the peace and refreshment that only comes from the Lord.  God’s 
rest can be ours if we will abide in Him and stay active in His business and not our 
busyness.  The main goal of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we 
maintain with our Lord.

Author Charles E. Hummel said, “When we stop to evaluate, we realize that our dilemma 
goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically the problem of priorities. … We sense 
uneasily that we may have failed to do the important. The winds of other people’s 
demands have driven us onto a reef of frustration.  We confess, quite apart from our 
sins, ‘We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done 
those things which we ought not to have done.’”

A big “red flag” that we are too busy is when we are not spending enough time, or we are 
too tired to spend real, personal time with our Savior.  Quality time with Christ does not 
happen when we half-heartedly skim through a chapter of God’s Word at  the end of our 
day after realizing that we haven’t had a chance to read our Bible yet.  Reading God’s Word 
just so we can simply say that we have done our devotions for the day is not what we 
need for having true peace in our sometimes overly-hectic lives.

God tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and 
I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble 
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  
God WANTS to give us rest in Him, all we have to do is come.  If we are too busy to come 
to Him, then we are not making God our number one priority and we are going to be running 
ragged - guaranteed.

God is very clear in telling us that it is better to have a little of His rest than a whole lot of 
all the busyness that the world has to offer.  Ecclesiastes 4:6 simply states, “Better one 
handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.”  Freedom 
from busyness comes from making Jesus Christ not only a priority, but the priority of our 
entire life.  When we spend time with Him every day, we will find rest in Him and grow closer 
to Him.  When we seek His guidance in our lives, we will be less busy with the things in our 
life that do not matter for eternity.  We will find that when we put Him first, we still have time 
for everything else.  There is an object lesson that I have seen done many times that perfectly 
illustrates this:

A clear glass that represents our individual lives.  Filling up about three-quarters of the glass 
with sand represents all of the stuff that we do that make us busy; family, friends, work, 
school, sports, music, obligations, volunteer work, other things you have committed to doing, 
and so on - all “good” things to do, but all take up time.  We tend to put these things first in 
our day and in our lives, leaving only a little room to spend time with our Lord.  There is also 
an identical glass filled with rocks that you also try to squeeze in to your “life.”  These rocks 
represent the Rock - Jesus Christ.  Every rock you put in represents the time you spend with 
your Maker - prayer time, reading your Bible, going to church, and so on.  As you try to 
squeeze all of the rocks into the glass that represents your life, you quickly realize that there 
is no way to get all the rocks in on top of the sand.  Our life is going to overflow and become 
a mess.  The sand - our busyness - has taken up too much room in our lives and we no longer 
have time for Jesus because we put our other priorities first.  The amazing part of this object 
lesson comes next.  You empty your “life” and fill it first to the very top with the rocks, 
putting Jesus first, and then put in the sand, the things that fill our daily schedules, in.  
Miraculously, everything fits!  Even though it is the same amount of sand and rocks that you 
tried to fit into the glass the first time, when you switch the order and put the rocks in before 
the sand, everything fits perfectly.  This beautifully illustrates the way our lives work as well.  
When we put our time with God first and fill up on Him, everything else that we still need to 
get done during the day still gets accomplished.  In my own experience, when I fill up on God 
first, I often get even more done than I normally would otherwise.  It is impossible for us to get 
everything done and then have time for God.  But when we put God first and then do everything 
else that we know we have to get done in the day, we get the time we need with God that 
allows us to be at rest from our busyness in Him.  Everything else still gets done, and there is 
often even a little room left over.  We are not “spilling over” in busyness because God was first 
on our priority list over all the other earthly things.  God will take care of our time needs when we 
put Him ahead of our own schedules and agendas.  Our time with God should be number one, and 
even after that, all the other things we do should be for God and with God in mind.  Colossians 
3:17, 23.  “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as 
working for the Lord, not for men.”

Once we identify what it is that is keeping us from making God our first priority, we can let go of 
it…as long as we are willing.  In Christ alone, we can be freed from busyness and have rest in Him.  
We can run our race without all the weight of our worldly priorities that so often get in our way.  
What is it that is keeping you from making God first in your life - as He should be?  Are you willing 
to let go of it in order to get your priorities straight and have Jesus Christ first in your life and have 
God’s freedom from busyness?   

Hugs and Prayers,
Kendra Allison

Ten Shekels and a Shirt

June 15, 2010

If you’ve never heard the powerful and very relevant message “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” by Paris Reidhead, you don’t realize how much your missing. It could literally bring about a major transformation in the way you and most Christian’s you know think. He preached it about 30 years ago, and you can tell it in the recording, but it is one of the most applicable sermons you will ever hear.

I’m going to attempt to give a summary by quoting him and filling in what’s needed to shorten the 51 minute sermon. If you really want to get the full effect of an impassioned man crying out against this unchristian philosophy, click here.

Judges 17-18

A story is told in Judges of a young Levite who left the city where he lived and ended up traveling to Ephraim to the house of a man Micah. Micah offered the young priest ten shekels and a shirt per year to perform his priestly rites in Micah’s self-made temple.

Later, people from another Israelite tribe, Dan, came to get land for inheritance. When they came to steal the molten-images and instruments from Micah’s temple, the young Levite asked them what they were doing. The Danites told him to “Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel?

So the Levite gladly left with the Danites to serve for them.

How does it apply to us?

We see from this story how easy it was for the young Levite to leave his hired position in favor of the more prominent position. He really wasn’t interested in what he should be doing, but rather what made his life better. He was using his priestly status as a means to get him something better in life. “And by what are we going to judge our lives and our ministries? And the question that you are going to ask yourself is: Is God an end or is he a means? And you have to decide very early in your Christian life whether you are viewing God as an end or a means.” Are you going to see God as the goal or the way to get to the goal? The young Levite used God as a means to get him a better position.

To understand how we do the same thing, we need to look at our era’s leading philosophy.  “The philosophy of the day became humanism. And you can define humanism this way. Humanism is a philosophical statement that declares the end of all being is the happiness of man, that the reason for existence is man’s happiness.” The secular thought says that since we’re all just evolved animals with no God, there’s nothing better to do than to find what makes us most happy. “Children shouldn’t be brought to any particular standard, that the end of education was simply to allow the child to express himself and expand on what he is and find his happiness in being what he wants to be.”

This humanism has invaded the world of Christian thinking both in liberal and fundamental teaching. Very basically, liberal Christians try to make the world brighter by helping the poor and  hurt and bringing about social reform; while fundamental Christians try to get people to heaven by having them accept the right doctrine. ” The liberal says the end of religion is to make man happy while he is alive. And the fundamentalist says the end of religion is to make man happy when he dies.”

We hear something like this, “Accept Jesus so you can go to heaven. You don’t want to go to that old, filthy, nasty, burning hell when there is a beautiful heaven up there. Now come to Jesus so that you can go to heaven.”

What should our philosophy of evangelism be?

“If you will ask me why I went to Africa, I will tell you I went primarily to improve on the justice of God. I didn’t think it was right for anybody to go to hell without a chance to be saved. And so I went to give poor sinners a chance to go to heaven.

“Do you know what it is? It is humanism, that I was simply using the provisions of Jesus Christ as a means to improve upon human conditions of suffering and misery. And when I got to Africa I discovered that they weren’t poor ignorant little heathen running around in the woods waiting for…looking for someone to tell them how to go to heaven, that they were monsters of iniquity that were living in utter and total defiance of far more knowledge of God than I ever dreamed they had.

“And there, alone in my bedroom as I faced God honestly with what my heart felt it seemed to me I heard him say, “Yes, will not the judge of all the earth do right? The heathen are lost and they are going to go to hell not because they haven’t heard the gospel. They are going to go to hell because they are sinners who love their sin and because they deserve hell. But I didn’t send them out there for them. I didn’t send you out there for their sakes.”

” “I didn’t send you to Africa for the sake of the heathen. I sent you to Africa for my sake. They deserved hell, but I love them. And I endured the agonies of hell for them. I didn’t send you out there for them. I sent you out there for me. Do I not deserve the reward of my sufferings? Don’t I deserve those for whom I died?”

“And it reversed it all and changed it all and righted it all. And I wasn’t any longer working for Micah and 10 shekels and a shirt, but I was serving the living God. And I was there not for the sake of the heathen, but I was there for the Savior that had endured the agonies of hell for the heathen who didn’t deserve it. But he deserved them because he died for them. Are you saved?

“Let me epitomize. Let me summarize. Christianity says, “The end of all being is the glory of God.”


Passion Fuel

May 28, 2010

Hey everyone!

When you read the title of this post, you probably wondered what “passion fuel” is. Passion fuel is what drives you to share the gospel. It’s your reason for evangelism. Different people have different motivations for witnessing. In his book Dare to Share: A Field Guide to Sharing Your Faith Greg Stier lists three reasons to share your faith:

1. God told you to! (this is my personal motivation).

Obviously, if God tells you to do something, you need to do it. And Jesus (who is, of course, God) told us in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.” If Jesus told you to do make disciples of all nations, including the one you live in, you’d better do it.

2. People need Jesus now!

Everyone is born into this world with a Jesus-shaped hole in their lives. They try to fill it with temporary things, but in the end only Jesus can fill it. Without Jesus, people’s lives will remain unfulfilled. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” He didn’t just mean in heaven some time in the future. He means now! We as Christians have experienced this. As Johnny Diaz said , “How selfish am I if I don’t go tell the world?”

3. People need Jesus later!

We all know what happens if you die without Jesus. The only way to avoid eternal death is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Hell is a real place where the worst of the punishment is complete separation from God, not to mention the lake of fire that only burns and does not consume. Do you really want your friends to end up there? Of course not! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy! So why don’t we warn people?

So now you have three great reasons to tell people about Jesus. Now you just need to pick one and go for it!

In Christ,


Prasan’s trust

May 28, 2010

Four months of nothing

When Prasan Pinak first arrived in the big city seven years ago, he knew he’d have a lot to learn. The small tribal village he’d grown up in hundreds of miles away was a far cry from the noise, pollution, and crowds that now surrounded him. He knew the language these people were speaking, but the dialect was so different that it might as well have been a foreign tongue.

“I was struggling to understand these people, their thoughts, their language, their words,” he explains. “That was a tough time for me.”

But Prasan decided to get to know his new community as best he could. He walked to homes and businesses, visiting neighbors and sharing the love of Jesus. At first, all he encountered were resistance and anti-Christian sentiment.

“They were just insulting me,” he remembers, “or they were not talking to me at all. They did not accept me.”

He invited people to join him on Sunday mornings for worship, but no one ever showed up.

This went on for four months— silence, rudeness, nothing to show for his daily labors and outreach and no interest in the Gospel whatsoever.

He chose to trust

Then one Sunday morning, Prasan got up before the sun rose and walked through his darkened neighborhood.

“Lord, what is going on?” he prayed as he walked. “I don’t understand why these people hate me; they are not accepting me.”

God reminded Prasan that day of a truth that would become the foundations of his ministry.

“Nothing is impossible in prayer,” Prasan recalls. “When we pray to the Lord, He will answer.”

So Prasan chose to trust, even in the face of circumstances that told him otherwise. And he continued praying for his mission field during his early morning walks.

Within a very short time, 25 people chose to follow Jesus and began attending his church. As the weeks passed, his new congregation steadily grew.

As I read this story about Prasan Pinak in send! the Gospel for Asia News Magazine, it really struck home. Earlier in the article it explains how Prasan gets up around 3:00 or 4:00 every morning, walks miles through the silent city streets, and prays and weeps for the need of the lost and his congregation. With his congregation reaching five hundred believers, rich and poor alike, meeting in different places at different times, he has a lot to bring to God.

So, how does this relate to you and me? Three ways: Prayer, trust, and doing.

God really works in prayer. I imagine it’s His favorite thing to do, answering prayer. And how often I forget it! You and I should— need to be— have to be praying more if we wish to see results. What’s an hour of lost sleep matter if it’s spent praying to the Living God, Creator of man and universe? I believe Prasan’s spiritual success was built on prayer.

In God we trust. It’s written on our coins. It’s written on our bills. Is it soundly written in our hearts? We so much like to be self-sufficient. Don’t have money? Get a job. Not doing well in school? Study harder. Don’t know how to do something? Look it up on the internet and figure it out. Not having victory over sin? Try harder. Don’t see results in evangelism? Learn more and do better.  It seems that in a world where “do it yourself” and self-sufficiency are glorified, we forget that God is responsible. We must learn to put our faith and trust in God. He’s the only one that can make a difference in people’s hearts, we must trust in Him to do it. Give up on trusting in ourselves for results.

Doing. Notice that Prasan didn’t simply sit in his room praying and trusting for God to take action. He spent much of the day meeting people, sharing God’s love, and inviting. Don’t wait for someone else to bring the gospel into the conversation; do it yourself. Then, talk to God (this means a two-sided conversation, wait for Him to answer) and trust in Him to change people’s hearts.

Written by Levi.

I Have A Confession

May 27, 2010

Today I’d like to make a confession.

I used to witness.

That’s right. I used to.

I would go out and hand out tracks just about every day. This went on for some time. God blessed my spirit with joy and I was content with life and myself. For some strange reason, I stopped. Oh, it’s been a few years since that period of my life. I’ve started ad stopped again here and there: I’ve even led a few people to the Lord since then. But I’ve not been able to say, with Paul, “This one thing I do…”.

I regret falling out of a good habit. But God has been merciful, even when I’ve flat out told him, “NO!”. I joined this blog hoping to be a blessing to others. And I sincerely hope that I am.

But I have another agenda.

Perhaps, writing here about witnessing, I’ll actually have to witness! What hypocrite would write about evangelism and then not go out and do it, right?

The only problem is, I’m a wimp. I mean, who actually has the guts to go out and tell completely random strangers about Jesus? That’s got to be the most offensive name of the Age. People look down at their feet and awkwardly kick the dust when you bring up that name. People will do that little breathing-out-their-nose thing and shake their heads when you mention Him. They’ll roll their eyes and look at you like some sort of idiot when you talk about the Lord.

Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

Oh, yeah… The book of Jeremiah says we shouldn’t fear man’s face: that we shouldn’t be afraid of rejection. After all, they’re not really rejecting us, are they? They’re really rejecting Christ. That’s what He says.

So, there: I said it. I need to be a witness for Christ more than I am now. I hope you’ll help me with this.


Witness While You Can

May 24, 2010

I’ve often read or heard that we need to witness now, because we don’t know when Jesus will return. Much can, and has, been said on the topic, and it is true; our time on earth is short. This is often tied to Matthew 24:42:

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

Watch therefore could be changed to any other word. For example, you could put, “Praise the Lord: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come”, or specifically, “Share the Gospel: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come”. These are all true statements.

However, this post is about another topic entirely, but the title still remains: Witness While You Can. Last summer God blessed me with the passion and opportunity to go witnessing many times. This was largely because of one thing: good weather. The days were long, sunny and bright. Once autumn hit, however, the days grew short, the leaves fell, and it became much colder outside. It soon turned difficult to walk to my local mall, or anywhere else for that matter.
All winter long I yearned for the time and opportunity to go witnessing. It, however, was very discouraging to do in Michigan’s harsh and snowy weather. Now that spring, and soon summer, has come around, I’m far more able to find people who need the Good News. The question is, will I seize the chance to do so, or will I let other things creep in its place? With most schools letting out and the nice weather ahead, what will you do with the season? Make it count, because the time is short – both for the current year, and for eternity.

God bless,
J.J. Biddinger

Make your own gospel tract

May 19, 2010

Gospel tracts are terrific. I really mean that, they’re terrific. They can be used when you don’t have enough time to start a conversation. They can be used to start a conversation. I’ve heard several stories of people that read a gospel tract which prompted them to trust in Jesus. I even heard of a friend of a friend who was hitchhiking, saw a dirty tract laying beside the road, read it, and believed in the saving power of Jesus.

There’s always a struggle for me to find a gospel tract that I really like. It either has good looks with a watered down gospel, or it’s got a bold gospel message with horrible looks. Some work really well, like the million dollar bill tract, but for older people, they don’t really cut it. With super tiny print and a silly design of fake moneys, they don’t work for seniors. But if you do get ones that older people would accept, you feel really funny about handing some teenager a glossy print picture of a rose with the words “You are special”.

Thats when another idea came to me: make my own personalized tract! People had talked about it and we had made one long ago as a family. So over the past year I’ve made four or so tracts all differing in subject and introductions but all having the essential points of the gospel that I knew it needed.

And here’s the cool thing, people seem to take them a lot easier. When you can smile, walk up to someone, and say, “Here, this is for you. I wrote it.” They seem to be a lot more able to accept the tract. I recently took a trip to California to see my grandpa and I took about fifty of the tracts along (the one in the picture above). I ended up only giving away about half as I walked through the airport, plane, and in town, but it was enjoyable. Pretty much the only people that didn’t accept the tract were people that didn’t even look at it; they just immediately rejected contact from a stranger.

So, it’d be a good idea for you to make your own gospel tract. A really good idea. What I did was find a computer program that easily makes quarter-fold cards. The first tracts I made had simple designs, you know, just large text on the front, and words on the inside and back. But I like graphics and pictures, so the more recent ones have more of that type stuff; the one in the picture can even be unfolded for more on the inside. After I make several revisions and had a few people read it, I printed several, folded them, and gave them away. Also, pray before writing, that’s really important. Oh, and use verses.

I think you get the basic idea. Go for it!

P.S. Don’t let tracts take the place of actually witnessing. That’s invaluable.

(Levi) Ask if you want to know more.

Bill Jack’s Four Killer Questions

May 17, 2010

Hey everyone!

When you talk to someone about Jesus, what is the most effective method of showing them the faults of their belief? Should you bash them over the head with your Bible to show them their sinful ways? Should you spit evidence in their face to rip apart their beliefs? The answer is a resounding no. Though the Bible and evidence are both important evangelistic tools, you just won’t argue someone to heaven. The best way to guide them to the truth is to get the to come to their own conclusions. Bill Jack, a speaker at Worldview Academy and author of several books on worldview analysis, has devised a series of questions designed to help you determine what a person really believes and show them why Christianity must be true. The questions are:

1. What do you mean by _____?

This is a good way to find out what people are really saying. For example, when some says, “I am a Christian,” you want to know what they mean by Christian, because there are people who call themselves Christians but don’t believe in the basic pillars of the Christian faith. Other terms can have similar differences when used by different people. Use this question to make sure you aren’t using the same word but meaning two completely different things.

2. How do you know that you are right?

This is a great way to make people think about what they believe, but don’t overuse it. A good way to avoid sounding like a broken record is to vary the wording on the same question. People will think that you are obnoxious if you just keep asking this question over and over. And being obnoxious will definitely turn people off.

Remember also that this is an important question for you to be able to answer as well. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” If someone turns this question on you, be sure you can show them why you are confident in Christianity. There is solid evidence for the validity of Scripture, the resurrection of Jesus. Find it and use it. A good thing to be sure of is that the other person will accept the evidence you present. Add this question to the list as well: “What will you accept as evidence?” That way you can give the most persuasive evidence to them because you’ll know what it takes.

3. What if you are wrong and you die?

This is a powerful question to those who are willing to listen– though many are not– but once again do not overuse it. And do not let people avoid this question either. Some may simply respond and say, “It doesn’t matter because I’m not wrong.” But that doesn’t answer the question. Make sure you stress the IF so it doesn’t sound like you are saying flat out “You’re beliefs are stupid.”

This will also be another question that people will be likely to turn on you. Do not avoid it. Obviously, if you’re talking to an atheist and you are wrong, there are no eternal consequences, and you end up feeling complete here on earth. But if you’re talking to a Muslim, you will need to accept and admit the fact that if you’re wrong you will go to hell. However, after admitting this, you can move on to explain why you are sure that you aren’t wrong and why the Bible is the most trustworthy source of information.

4. What difference does that make in your life?

This one confused me for the longest time. But here’s what it really means: What are the logical actions that stem from your beliefs? For a Christian, it would be to love God, love our neighbors, and spread the truth of Jesus. For an (honest) atheist it would be to live for themselves, because nothing will matter after this life anyway. For a Jew, it would be to do everything possible to follow God’s Law as defined by the Torah and the Talmud. Every belief system has logical actions that follow it. Many people don’t see the implications their beliefs have (for example, many evolutionists will condemn euthanasia, but if we’re working towards a stronger race as evolution implies, why should we let the weak ones live? Many evolutionists will refuse to accept this notion, but it’s only logical. But don’t be surprised by the bold person who admits and accepts this, as horrible as that sounds).

So now you have a toolbox that you can use to get people to see the faults in their belief system. They are not fail-proof, but they definitely help. Also, don’t just spit out these questions and make people feel stupid. As Bill Jack put it, “Use them as a crowbar, not a sledgehammer.” Pry their minds open to the possibility that Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life. Don’t bash them over the head and watch them explode from your vast wisdom.

Hope this helps as you follow the Great Commission!

In Christ,