An Opportunity To Share Your Faith

Posted in Evangelism, Events, witnessing by PCraig on February 28, 2013

I would like to make you aware of an opportunity to start a spiritual conversation with friends, family or co-workers.  The Bible, an epic miniseries by Emmy-winning producer Mark Burnett and his wife, Touched by an Angel’s Roma Downey, will retell Scripture from the story of Noah to the resurrection of Jesus.  It will air in five segments beginning this weekend, March 3 through Easter Sunday on the History Channel.

How can this help you share your faith?  Ask people to watch it at your home.  Make them aware that it’s coming and they can record it and even watch it later.  Bring it up when discussing what’s on TV and ask what they thought of it.  Record it yourself and then talk about it, offer to give a copy of it or show it in your home later to those who missed it.

Who knows, it just might be the open door you’ve been hoping for to reach that person for Christ.  I’m anxious to watch it for myself and leverage it in any way I can to draw people to Him.

Remember:  It’s The Bible miniseries on History Channel, five segments begin this weekend March 3 through Easter Sunday, March 31.

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Nehemiah Impact

I’ve had incredible feedback from the Nehemiah series that just concluded this past weekend.  God is stirring up a wave of commitment to get involved in making a difference in the world.

Since the series has had such an impact, I thought I would take some time to recap the principles from each week.

Week 1 we learned to express passion, seek God, and take action toward our cause by:

  • Ask what breaks your heart?  (human trafficking, poverty, other…)
  • Pray and ask God to speak, grant favor, and empower you
  • Activate your sense of personal responsibility rather than excuses

Week 2 we saw that we are a leader whether we think are or not.  God specializes in using ordinary people who:

  • Have clarity.  If you can’t define it you can’t do it.
  • Make a plan.  Define your next step and then take it (repeat this process).
  • Communicate passionately.  Get lit up about your cause and others will too.

Week 3 we learned that whenever you move forward for God, your enemy wants to stop you.  To defeat discouragement you must:

  • Overcome attacks from the outside by taking criticism to God and get back to work.
  • Overcome attacks from the inside by remembering the Lord is with you, and keep fighting for your cause.

Week 4 we discovered that our enemy distract us and discredit us.  To avoid this we must:

  • Not allow the good to keep us from the great work God has for us to accomplish.  We must declare: “I’m doing a great work and I’m not coming down!”
  • Not allow any compromise that would blow our testimony.  We must declare: “I’m not giving up…on my good name, my integrity, or my cause!”

Nehemiah stood the test and completed the project as an ordinary cupbearer.  Without any grand miracles, he just put these principles into practice and with God working with him a great work was done.  The same can happen for you.  What great work does God have in mind for you?  What distractions, discouragements and excuses have kept from making progress?

God specializes in using ordinary people, so why not you and me?  Let’s get busy on the wall today and do something great for God, what do you say?

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Lent & Valentines Day

Posted in Fasting, holiday, Love, Love for God by PCraig on February 14, 2013

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the 40-day period of Lent that culminates with Easter Sunday.  I’ve never followed the church calendar very closely, but I think it can be a useful tool for a time of spring-cleaning for the soul.   Lent is not simply about giving something up. I like to think of it more as a time for creating space, just like we did with our 21 Day Fast to start off 2013.

My life is cluttered with secondary things that constantly vie for my attention and threaten to overtake God’s rightful place in my life. Lent can be a time of deliberately clearing that clutter, identifying with Christ’s sufferings (Rom. 8:17), and remembering who it is we truly serve.

It’s also Valentines Day and we can leverage it to show love to those around us.  You don’t have to be romantically involved with someone to participate!

Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God (Matt. 22:37-40).  But, He didn’t really separate loving others right after that as well.  In other words, we should get crazy in love with God, let His crazy love fill us, then take some of it and pour it on others.

What kind of Easter season could we have if we would clear clutter from our lives and get filled up with God’s love and show it to others?  Let’s give it a try!

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Make A Difference

Posted in Dreams, Hearing God, Impact, Involvement, Prayer, Purpose, Used of God, Vision by PCraig on February 7, 2013

Over the past two weeks we’ve been looking at the story of Nehemiah to learn how to make a difference.  The reason is, there’s something inside of each of us that wants to make a difference.

One of the first things we learned is you start with a burden.  What breaks your heart that also breaks the heart of God?  For some it might be human trafficking, or child poverty, and for others illiteracy.  There are countless other causes of course.  But, to change the world it has to be YOUR burden, YOUR cause, YOUR sense of calling.

Next, you pray about it and seek the face of God asking what He would have you to do.  You look around for Him to point out others in your life that can help you in your dream after they see your passion.

Then, you must get clarity on what it is that you will do to make a difference.  What exactly is it you feel you must do?  If you can’t define it, you can’t do it.  Take it from something broad “I want to help poor people” to “I want to help these poor people that live here.”

Get your plan put together.  This is where the homework comes in.  You have to talk to people, read, listen to lectures, and go tour locations to come up with a strategy.  You don’t have to have the whole thing figured out, but what is your next step?  Don’t let yourself freeze up.  Get up and take the next step no matter how small it is today, then tomorrow take the next step, then the next, then the next and keep going.

John Wesley said, “Light yourself on fire and people will come from miles around to watch you burn.”  What can you get lit up about?  What passion do you have that stirs your soul?  Does it involve kids, youth, seniors, disabled, poor, ethnic, near or far away?  My challenge to you is find out what it is and get so on fire about it that it spreads and makes a difference.

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