Storytelling

Who doesn’t like a good story?  I don’t know of many people who do not like to hear one tell a good gripping story.  I have had the privilege of sitting at the feet of some good storytelling people.  Some were relatives that just brighten up the times together with a good story.  Some were friends who would tell about past adventures.

A good story is priceless.

For some people, storytelling is indeed priceless.  For some people in our world, storytelling might be the only way that they get to encounter the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Last night, my wife did a great job of sharing with our church family about mission work done in the Ivory Coast through some of our IMB missionaries.  One of the major ways that the Gospel is shared in the Ivory Coast is through storytelling the Bible.  This is done primarily because the literacy rate is sadly very low.  A great video that tells a little about the work in the Ivory Coast can be seen here.

This got me to thinking…

If we had to share the truths of the Bible with another person in the form of storying, could we?

In our country, it is not uncommon for there to be a copy of the Bible in the home, workplace, hotel rooms, library, or other places we find ourselves frequently.  You can even find the Bible at Walmart!  Even though we have an abundance of Bibles at our fingertips, I am concerned that we don’t know what the story of the Bible really is.

I would encourage you to take that number one best-seller that may be on a shelf close by and take time to learn the story of the Bible.  Don’t just read and listen to the many stories, but take time to see the overall story that goes throughout Scripture.  Then let’s take the time to share that story with others around us.

Advertisements

One Great Day

As a parent, there are some days that you look forward to with great expectation. There is the seeing the child for the first time. There is hearing them say your name for the first time. As they take those first steps, you are there with the camera (or smartphone) going.

As a parent who is a Christian, there are a whole other set of things that we look forward to seeing in our children. At the top of the list has to be when your child places their faith into Jesus for themselves. This is a point that you pray for from their first day.

This past week was a great week for our family. Our oldest son, Drew, came to us and said that he was ready to trust Jesus. He had been asking questions for a while. This past week, he nailed that decision down. Yesterday, he shared with our church family the great news.

I took a couple of things away from this experience:

1. Be praying for your children. This may seem like one of those “needless to say” statements, but the truth is that the best thing that we can do for our children and grandchildren is to pray for them. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their future spouse. Pray for them to be used for God’s glory.

2. Remember that salvation is a personal decision. One of the hardest things with my oldest son was allowing him the room, freedom, and time to make the ultimate decision to follow Jesus. I wanted so bad to see him saved from the moment he was born. I realized quickly that it wasn’t my decision. Give your children that room to make a decision on their own.

3. Rejoice when one is saved. It doesn’t have to be a family member coming to Christ for us to get all excited. We should rejoice anytime that one comes to Christ. If it is our children, celebrate all the more. Watching my son accept Christ reminded me just how amazing that moment is in a person’s life.

Are you awaiting the day when your child or loved one comes to Christ? Keep praying for them. Keep an open door to them for questions. Let Jesus show them the difference He can make in their life.

False Witness

I am taking a Biblical Ethics class at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary this semester.  We are in the middle of a discussion on the 10 Commandments.  I was a part of a group that dealt with what is commonly known as the 9th Commandment: “Do not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Deuteronomy 5:20 HCSB).

This has commonly been brought across as the commandment that says: “Don’t lie.”  While the thought is definitely there, the original context was dealing with how one speaks about another person especially in the context of legal matters.  The issue of telling the truth can be found at the heart of this commandment.  For Christians, truth-telling is important because we are those that are followers of the Truth.

In preparing for class discussion on this commandment, I read Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles by David Gill.  When Gill addressed this commandment, he grouped some modern-day areas together that seem to break this commandment. These areas are advertising, politics and evangelism. While advertising and politics are easy to see where people “stretch the truth” if not outright lie about things, the area of evangelism took me by surprise.

How do we as Christians do evangelism?  Do we “stretch the truth”?  Do we share the whole story?  Are we as willing to tell people about the cost of coming to Christ (Luke 14:25-27) or just the “good parts” (forgiveness of sin, heaven, etc)?

Something to think about… What’s your thoughts?

Radio Interview

20120817-121056.jpg
Recently, I was contacted by Moody Radio South and asked to do an interview. They are going to run a series on “the ripple effect” that people can have in our world today. I was honored by the opportunity to share thoughts and answer questions on this topic.

The interview is going to air on Wednesday, August 22 around 7am. You can click on the link below to see if there is a broadcast in your area or just listen online.

Moody Radio South

Rock the Block Recap

It is times like these that I realize that while I’m not old, I’m definitely not as young as I used to be.  I am in recoup mode from our church’s “Rock the Block” this past weekend.  It was amazing time as our fellowship partnered with another one to reach out to this community with the Gospel of Jesus.  This was the first time our fellowship had done an event like this (similar to VBS or a backyard Bible club).  I believe that things went really well and many children (and their parents) heard the Gospel.

We had around 25 children of various ages on our campus Friday – Sunday.  We had music, Bible stories, crafts, games, and more.  The theme of the weekend was “Our Great B.I.G. God” based off of Ephesians 5:1.  Four main points were covered…

  • A great big God who created a great big universe.
  • There was a great big problem.
  • In spite of our great big problem, God showed a great big love.
  • God has a great big plan for our lives.

I was so encouraged as our people from New Life Fellowship, though they had not done an event like this, stepped up to serve and love on the families that God sent our way.  I can honestly say that I am honored to be the pastor at such a loving and serving fellowship.  We closed the weekend with our worship services on Sunday morning letting the children help in leading worship.  You can hear the message from that service by clicking here.

A big thanks to the crew from The Church at Brook Hills who gave up a weekend to serve alongside of us.  Three families came down and helped us pull this event off.

Now comes the hard part of the event: the follow-up.  We all are tired. We all are dragging.  God has sent these children and families our way to love on them and continue the process of sharing Jesus and discipling them.  I ask for your prayers as we continue to do the good work that God has called us to do in our community.