Saturday, December 16, 2017

Be the Joy!

Christmas is a season of joy.  Bring that joy to others and let them see that for Christian's its a foundational year round life-style.
Joy.  We glitter wooden ornaments with the word.  We see it inscribed on Christmas cards.  We proclaim it in song: “Joy to the world.”  

It is the Christian’s claim.  We are people of joy.  

Joy is powerfully attractive.  Not the smug happiness of having everything but the basic foundational attitude that there is in fact much to rejoice about in this world.  That despite today's natural disaster, the world God made is good.  Despite Satan’s depredations, the people God called are declared righteous and holy.  Despite all of our short term sorrows, despite death, sin, and terror, Jesus has triumphed and will continue to reign until His Father has put all things under His footstool. 

This is how and why Christians are people of joy. 

Not pie in the sky fools but people grounded in the solid anchor of hope in the face of every ugly storm Satan sends.

This attitude is entirely refreshing to a world bathed in anger, cynicism, hatred, and disgust.  To a jailer in Phillipi considering suicide, the sweet song of joyful prisoners was the sound of hope. Our joy in troubles echoes that ancient hymn. Peter instructs us to stand ready to give an answer for that hope. 

This Christmas season, let me encourage you to do something joyful.  Wish every Scrooge a merry Christmas.  Got the extra mile to bring delight to someone with less reason to rejoice than you.  (Say a dozen Christmas cookies to an elderly neighbor?)  Share your Christian long-view that when our Lord returns He will set this old world to right, rebirthed in a new heavens and new earth, a world fulfilling today’s little joys with the great joys of eternity!  And smile, friend.  Smile. And let the world know that God has given us something to smile about. 


PS: There will be another video to share soon!  Keep an eye out for in your email or the Facebook page.  (What?  You are not on the email?  Subscribe here and get the PDF: 21 days to Evangelism!)

PSS: If you were looking to buy one of my books to give for a Christmas present, time is almost up! 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas In the Middle of a Mess

Have you ever been in the middle of a mess?

I don’t mean a polite middle class mess where you roll your eyes and complain with the other moms about decorations that aren’t up or a Pinterest masterpiece turned into burnt offering.  I mean the sort of mess that buries you in shame.  

Christmas is a time for evangelism, a time to include those who are suffering from divorce, grief, financial messes and addiction.  Jesus came in the middle of a mess to help us!  Let's reach out to help others.In the middle of a mess like that we feel entirely unloveable.  We are convinced that if someone knew the truth we would be a pariah.  We hide.  We lie.  We try frantically to clean up our chaos hoping against hope that somehow no one will notice.  We tell ourselves all kinds of stories that start with "bad luck" and end with "never again" and some of them are even true. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

7 Ways to NOT Reach the Lost this Christmas

How NOT to Reach the Lost this Christmas! Tips and simple actionable Evangelism ideas this Christmas.
The Top 7 Ways to NOT reach the Lost this Christmas

7. At least once a day post something on Facebook that includes, “Like the Baby Jesus and receive a blessing today!”
6. Shout “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” at everyone who dares to wish you, "Happy Holidays."
5. Give complex explanations about the historical/mythical syncretism that connect Christmas and Saturnalia.
4. Every time some one says, “Elf on a Shelf” mutter “Tool of Satan” under your breath.
3. Insist that political correctness is ruining Christmas.  Lecture everyone who will listen on how President Trump will save us from this travesty.
2. Give out tracts instead of Christmas presents.

And...last but not least!

1. Focus on your family, your presents, your shopping, your music, your decorations and your traditions.  Just let the season slip away without seeing those around you who are lost and longing for Jesus.

Of course I say all that tongue in cheek.  And if you really think that the Elf on the Shelf is a tool of Satan, we can talk about it.  I think that little guy is super creepy myself.  But here is the point: vaunting our (however sincere) thoughts on Christmas, doesn't necessarily help people see Christ.

Every Christian nods her heads when I say "we should reach out to anyone and everyone who is willing to talk about Jesus!" And yet Christmas rolls around and we aren't effectively talking to the lost about Jesus at one of the few times of a year He is on their minds.  Sometimes that is because we are entangled in our own “issues," and sometimes that is because we are embroiled in our own pain and sorrow. But frequently it is because while are enjoying our holiday, the days slip by. 

How NOT to Reach the Lost this Christmas! Tips and simple actionable Evangelism ideas this Christmas.For the last couple of years I have posted Christmas meditations--short thoughts about our lives and their relation to the Christmas story.  (I've gathered them into an ebook!  Check out our Holiday Bundles).  But this year, for the sake of the lost and for the sake of those who should be searching for them, I am going to be posting some connections we can make between the people we are reaching out for and the Christ who came reaching down for them.

Join me this month for posts to help you help the people you care about and for videos that can be shared on Facebook or via email directly with lost folks. (Ready to get started today?  Subscribe today and receive a PDF: 21 days to Effective Evangelism.)