Thursday, January 17, 2013

Phone A Friend

Over Christmas a friend from the kid's school PTO contacted me with some neat news.  She and her family are moving to Evansville, Indiana!  She asked if we could meet for lunch and I could answer her questions and give her the low-down on everything Evansville.  I was so excited to do so!  It was going to be fun to tell her all about something I loved and something that I felt like I could educate her on - almost like I was an expert on the topic!

My kids love to be experts on topics - like every topic.  Maybe it is something we're born with.  It's fun to 'know' stuff!  And people do need experts!  I can't help but think about the Evansville mid-day news segment, "Ask The Expert" - various local people are interviewed and take phone calls about their area of expertise. 
I've been reading this month about how to share my faith.  The best approach is probably not to be a know-it-all or come across as an expert!  Maybe it should be more like 'Phone a Friend' instead of 'Ask The Expert'?  It does seem somewhat similar to my lunch date though.  I had knowledge that my friend did not have.  She needed this information and reached out to someone she knew and was comfortable with.  I felt passionate about the topic and was confident that I knew enough to educate her on it.  Everyone has a topic that he is passionate about and can talk at great lengths on.  Have you ever gotten yourself in a conversation though and you realize you are in over your head - you don't know enough to talk about it with someone.  You get nervous and either say stuff that may or may not be true so to appear as if you do know or you say nothing at all. 

When it comes to sharing my faith...I feel like I can write my thoughts clearly, but when it comes to a conversation...well, not so much.  I am nervous that I will say it wrong or not be able to explain the simplicity of the complex nature of a relationship with Jesus.  And in these sad times, what if I bring it up to someone who is completely against acknowledging a Creator exists and will ridicule those who do believe - calling me a bigot, close-minded fool?  So, how do I become as comfortable, confident, and excited in sharing about Jesus as I can about my old stomping grounds?  And ditch my fears of being called dumb names?

Learning and studying about Him!  Talking to Him and listening for Him!  The more time we spend with Him through prayer, worship, and Bible study, church services, and in relationship with other Christians - the more we will know about Him. This creates confidence when talking about who He is.  And it's relatively easy to talk about how He has impacted your own life - you are an expert on your own life!  Before I knew Jesus I was _________.  Then I accepted Jesus as my Savior and payment for all my sins.  He has done _____________ in my life!  And now I am _____________.  I am going to be sharing a brief story following this format in a leadership class at church next week.  As I've been looking over my life, it is hard to just tell one story though!  I have SO many stories to use about how God has worked in my life - and how He still is.

It just so happens that part of my 'story' is about how God has transformed me into a more confident (confidence through who HE says I am) person who does not become crippled by how others view me and what they want to say about me.  But, I still struggle every now and then!!  So, as I pray for opportunities to share Jesus to others - I will pray for reminders of how He has freed me from that fear.  I will pray for confidence and power to flow through me and for Him to give me words.  I will pray for strength to live the way He wants me to so to be a good example and not be viewed as 'just another Christian hypocrite.'

But what I really need to pray about is that He would give me 'excitement' - that I would be bubbling over, eager to share all I know about Him to others.  Those who don't know, need to know!  They are missing out on information that is life-changing!  Just like how I can tell anyone moving to Evansville what they 'need' in order to start a new life in that town - I also have valuable information for people who need Jesus and want to start his new life with Him.  Lord, I pray that I would be excited to share my 'expertise' to those in need.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.(Matthew 5:14-16)

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