Speak up!

In 7th grade, I struck up a conversation with a friend of mine in math class. She wanted to talk about faith and the differences between my faith and her faith. 

She was not Protestant or even Catholic–I’m not going to say what group she’s in because that’s not what’s important to this story.

“Tell me what you believe, Audra.”

So I gave her the gospel in a nutshell: 

Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfectly righteous life that fulfilled every requirement of the Old Testament law, was crucified by the Romans because of the Jewish leaders lies, died, and rose 3 days later. Accepting His free gift of salvation takes away our sins and credits us with His righteousness. There’s nothing at all we can do to earn this gift.

It was the simplest way I knew of to tell her about Jesus. (This summation is much, much better than the bumbling version I presented back then.)

Now it was her turn…

I said, “Okay, friend, tell me what you believe.” 

“Well,” she said, “I can’t tell you.”

By this point, I was confused. 

“You can’t tell me because you don’t know?” I asked.

“No, I can’t tell you because it’s hard to explain, but if you call so-and-so he can explain it to you” she handed me a piece of paper with the name and number of a church leader.

I’m pretty sure my response could’ve been better, but I simply told her the truth.

“I don’t want to call him. I want you tell me. I’m friends with you and not him. Besides, how can you believe in something that’s so complicated you can’t explain it to others?”

Every Christian must be able to share the gospel. 

It’s not enough to bring people to church.

It’s not enough to give people a book.

It’s not enough to show people a video.

YOU must be able to share with your friends and family the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Is there anything wrong with church or books or videos?

Absolutely not! 

But evangelistic tools can never replace our Christ given mandate to OPEN OUR MOUTHS and share the gospel. 

 

 

 

Angels and Demons

 

I’ve never dabbled in witchcraft or anything involving the occult. 

However, the things I’ve read and watched, the testimonies I’ve heard from men and women who have escaped that lifestyle, are enough for me to know that it’s not good.

This term I am taking Angels and Demons. In the class we will be learning about the spiritual realm. Mr. Kirk Dubois is my teacher and I am excited to dive into the topic. 

Here are some basic truths to consider:

  1. If there is good, there must be evil
  2. If there is right, there must be wrong
  3. If there is light, there must be darkness

Skeptics embrace these facts when it comes to other religions, but not when it comes to Christianity (even though the Bible clearly addresses every one of these areas).

 

Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism–and every other religion in between–have an after life, good and evil, as part of their beliefs.

Whenever someone is ignorant about the spiritual realm, Satan has a  field day because that means there’s lots of room for him to deceive. 

Every person I’ve ever heard speak about escaping the occult or coming out of witchcraft starts off their story the same way:

I didn’t know what I was getting in to.

Normally, all he or she wanted was something to connect with, something to give their lives meaning and purpose. What they found was darkness beyond compare.

Guess what?

As Christians we can share with those individuals–and those who are stuck in dead religions–the source of all strength and power:

Jesus Christ! 

In Him is the hope of a bright future!

In Him is power over all darkness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 seconds or less

I just watched The Golden Globes for the first time. There were so many movies that I had never even heard of!

I’m not one to follow celebrities, but it was interesting to see the fashion and winners and the general hoopla surrounding the whole affair. 

I’m surprised at how little time they give the winners to say thank you. 

Only 30 seconds to express gratitude for projects that took a year or more to make?

I can’t even imagine what I would say or do under those circumstances, though, as a Christian, I’m often under the same pressure when asked questions about my faith. 

Short answers are hard to give, yet that is what many people demand. 

Explain God in 30 seconds or less…go!

Wow. 

How can I explain the love of the Father, the sacrifice of the Son, and the job of the Holy Spirit in that time frame?

We are instructed to have an answer ready for any occasion. 

We are also told that the Holy Spirit will tell us what to say. 

And most conversations about faith ebb and flow nicely between those to paradigms.

 The difficulty level, for me, comes in trying to express the fullness of joy I have found in my relationship with God. 

It’s rich and deep and intimate and fun and challenging and intentional (and I could keep going). 

I usually get really worked up in my explanations because there’s just so much I can say, which is why I can relate to all of the Golden Globe winners. 

Sometimes I can wrap up my thankfulness in 30 seconds or less, sometimes I can’t and I keep talking until the commercial break. 

Getting real

You don’t have to say everything that’s on your mind. 

In fact, I highly encourage you not to say everything. The amount of trouble I’ve gotten myself into by sharing my opinion too openly is ridiculous. 

Much of my heartache could’ve been avoided–if only I’d shut my mouth!

But there’s a flip side to this topic as well. 

I also tend to not tell people how I really feel or think. The natural peacekeeper in me hates conflict of any kind. 

And, no, I don’t have multiple personalities. 

It’s just that I over talk about the trivial things and not say enough when it matters. 

Can anyone else relate?

This is a real struggle for me

I’ve bitten my tongue so hard it’s drawn blood when I needed to speak and then blabbed about something trivial–like a movie or a singer’s latest album–for several minutes. 

Staying surface would be so much easier because there’s absolutely no risk. Funny, though, how you can’t talk about faith in Christ without going deep. 

I’m not saying to shove religion down someone’s throat or to act like a weirdo with no social skills either. 

The sincerity I’m referring to comes from being intimately seen and known:

  • Your strengths and weaknesses are out in the open. 
  • You have nothing to hide and nothing to lose. 

I’m not going to lie. This kind of intimacy frightens me. God and I continue to talk about this aspect of faith. 

The Bible gives us clear instructions, which trumps any apprehensive emotions I experience. 

We are called to live vulnerably. 

At work. 

At home. 

At church. 

Paul told the believers at Corinth to imitate me as I imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). 

His life was an open book–on purpose. 

I’m all about boundaries and I’m not promoting keeping toxic relationships on life support. However, our need for comfort and control is keeping us from being open. 

We all talk about “being real” but do we really understand what this means?