Category Archives: Witnessing

Are You a Door For the King of Glory?

Candle

Are you a door for the King of Glory? I’ve asked you stranger questions before… but, seriously, this has got to rank up there with one of the strangest questions– Are you a door for the King of Glory? So let me tell you a story before you answer my question. He had failed once, […]

The Lesson I Learned at the Wedding Reception

I’m always learning…but honestly the lesson I learned at the wedding reception surprised me. But, let me show you instead of tell you. Come walk with me and let’s take a closer look at the wedding reception at Cana in John 2. You can hear the laughter and the voices trying to talk over the […]

Please Let Me Run!

run your race with purpose

You will never hear me say, “Please, let me run”. But that’s what  I read in the story of Absalom’s coup in Scripture. And I’ve heard my daughter-in-law, Jenny, say it in response to my wanting to give her a break away from the children. I suggested shopping. She suggested running. Maybe, I noticed the two […]

Sweet Apples. Sweet Peaches. Sweet Fruit.

The fruit must remain on the tree to become sweet fruit.

Labor Day weekend is Apple Festival time in North Carolina. We wanted to beat the crowds so we headed to Hendersonville before the weekend. Our first stop took us to Lake Lure, no apples, just lots of beauty to enjoy. I love  to walk along the lake flanked by gorgeous mountains. The Knock-out Roses and […]

See. Seize. Sizzle. Expanding Your Influence

Legos were scattered all over the den floor. Paper and crayons were strewn on the hearth which had become their drawing table. I washed dishes and Wayne cooked a fabulous southern breakfast, which by the way, he is famous for! After breakfast Wayne and I, each with a cup of steaming, black coffee moved into […]

Walk Like Nik Wallenda?

devotion Jesus walking on water and Nik Wallenda walks across gorge

It is old news, but if you saw it you will never forget it? Did you see it? I couldn’t watch it until the event was completely finished–too nerve racking for me. 1400 feet isn’t a record breaking distance. But when you consider the 1400 feet is crossing a gorge in the Grand Canyon and the bottom […]

You Caught What? Where? Fishing?

You Caught What? Where?

 

Ashlyn and Brayden live in a crowded suburban neighborhood filled with dogs and cats; bikes and kids. Regular kids, some that love to fish. One little guy fashioned a fishing pole from a stick, borrowed fishing line and a small plastic worm with a hook. Brayden borrowed the pole and dropped the line in the storm drain at the end of his street. That’s right! The storm drain, but even more amazing was the fact that he actually caught a fish. 
 
 
Once Brayden got a fish on his line he wasn’t sure what to do with it. But Ashlyn wasn’t going to be out-done by a fish. She picked up the pole and started home with it, that’s right, with the fish dragging behind her. Sorry animal lovers, she was just three.  She didn’t know what to do, but she knew her daddy would. When Kimberly looked out the front door she saw a parade of kids heading toward her front garage door. There in the middle of the parade was Ashlyn and the fish dragging behind her. Kimberly was horrified, but Ashlyn was just taking her prize catch to her dad.
 
 
As with all my stories, you know I’m headed somewhere besides the obvious. I have two points to make.
 
  1. Their desire to fish took them to an unusual place.
  2. They didn’t know what to do with the fish when they got it.
child-holding-fish-on-a-pier
 
I understand a storm drain is an unusual place to catch a fish. In all my years, I’ve never fished there, but they did. Amazingly, although they  fished in an unusual place AND although they didn’t have fancy equipment, they still caught a fish. 
 
 
We need to get creative in our fishing locations- I mean spiritual fishing-where we fish for souls. Fishing locations are everywhere-shopping malls, hallelujah! PTA meetings, do they still call them that? Walking trails through a park, ball games, wherever you find people, that’s a good place to witness. You don’t need fancy words or methods, just a heart that loves God. You’ve got a story–what God has done for you. Your story needs to shared and they need to hear it. 
 
 
What’s next?
But the next part of this illustration is equally important. We don’t seem to know what to do with people once we catch them. Ashlyn knew enough to connect that fish with her daddy. How successful are you (and your church for that matter) at connecting people with your Heavenly Father?  I hope it’s less painful than Ashlyn’s dragging process! Don’t push or prod, but don’t miss an opportunity either. Do you know how to pray with someone to be born again? Learn how if you don’t.  A good fisherman knows how to pull in a fish and land it. A believer should be able to do the same–spiritually speaking of course. Still, don’t forget you are not responsible to pull in every fish–doing your best is all you can do.
 
 
But then what? Church and discipleship is a natural progress for a believer. If new believers are going to thrive, they need to get back into a spiritual environment that is conducive to growth. Invite them to church.
 
 
 
When people walk through the doors of your church what happens to that person?
  •  Are they ignored as if they were invisible?
  •  Is there a discipleship program? 
 
 
What should happen? Greeters are supposed to be friendly. Pastors are expected to be warm and gracious to visitors, but a church is NOT a friendly church if the people stay in their little clique and don’t reach out to new people. Make it your job to make the first move to welcome someone into your circle of influence. And even if the other people aren’t doing it, be friendly. You may create a new culture in your church–a culture of inclusion.u
 
Let me encourage you to do the following:
  • Be friendly. 
  • Introduce yourself. 
  • Ask their name. 
  • Repeat their name. 
  • Ask them disarming questions that show you are really interested.Questions like what is your profession? Do you live in this area? How many children do you have? Now don’t rattle questions off like a machine gun, but ask them warmly with genuinely interest.
  • Then write down their names in your  notes or iPhone.
 
 
Friendliness should start in the parking lot and continue into the sanctuary. So start your friendliness in the parking lot and don’t forget the bathroom. I hate it when there’s several women washing their hands in the bathroom and they just ignore me. Most of the time, even if I’m visiting there I’ll be the first to speak. Just remember to treat people like you would an honored guest in your home. That attitude will serve you well. 
 
 
Reach out to people you don’t recognize even if they aren’t a first time visitor. While I’ve been burned enough times that I don’t always ask a standard, “Are you new here?” question. I do try to introduce myself and ask their name. Again repeating the introductory questions that I would ask a visitor.
 
 
Pray for the people you meet when you get back to your seat and everyday the next week. If you do, two things will happen:
  1. You’ll remember their name.
  2. You’ll enrich their lives with your prayer.
 
Never forget the fish you catch aren’t for eating. (Boy, could I go off on that subject, but I won’t!) You put them in a happy pond, watch them mature. It all begins with warm, welcoming, loving people reaching out to someone they don’t know. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. It’s everyone’s responsibility, but since you are the only person you can control, let it start with you.

Olympic 2012 Flame Went Out

Olympic 2012 Flame Went Out

  The 2012 Olympics are history. The US Team once again ranked highest medal count with 104 medals- 46 of which were gold. Their successes fed our national pride. Our glimpses of the powerful swimmer, here Michael Phelps, the amazing and adorable Gabby Douglas and the incredible perservance of Manteo Mitchell, running his portion of the relay with […]

Unclaimed

Unclaimed!

       I first heard about it on one of those morning news shows. I was working on the website, doing boring repetitive tasks, so I flipped on the TV. It was just a brief mention, grouped with a hodge podge of money saving ideas. But, it grabbed my attention–so I grabbed a pen and wrote down […]