Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about Jesus?

Today I am honored to share a story with you about a sweet friend of mine. My beautiful friend’s countenance is full of joy, and her smile radiates Jesus! We were together the other day, and as we sat across from one another and shared our hearts for the Lord and all that He is doing in our lives, tears streamed down her face. She said how can people know the joy of the Lord and not share it with others? Then she said, “why didn’t anyone ever tell me about Jesus?” My heart sank. What stops us from telling others about Jesus?

Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about Jesus?

That was the cry of my friend’s heart. She wondered why no one had ever shared the beautiful gospel message of hope in Jesus Christ with her before. She didn’t understand how someone could have this gift of faith and not share it. She didn’t become a Christian until adulthood and had come from a broken home marked by pain and suffering.

My friend was a corporate professional facing a difficult time in her life. She was searching for something but was coming up empty.

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[ctt template=”2″ link=”012cG” via=”yes” ]We have a God-shaped hole in our heart that only Jesus can fill![/ctt]

Just then a young lady who worked for her approached her about attending a Bible Study. She anxiously drove across town to attend Bible Study. She didn’t even know what Bible Study was, but it was there while attending Bible Study that she gave her heart to the Lord and became a Christian.

My friend’s husband was hostile to the gospel. He did not want her to go to Bible Study. He thought she was joining a cult. When she returned home from Bible Study that evening, he had locked her out of her house! After many tears and crying out to the Lord eventually her husband surrendered his life to the call of Jesus too. This couple is now on fire for the Lord and raising their children in a Christian home.

How often do we fail to share our faith with others?

My friend had a valid point. Why and how did she walk around on this planet for over 30 years and never know about the saving redeeming love of Jesus Christ? Shame on us as Christians if we don’t tell others about Jesus. We have been given the greatest gift that has ever been given! How can we keep it for ourselves, and not share?

[ctt template=”2″ link=”skAcY” via=”yes” ]Sometimes I think we don’t share because we are afraid, or we are not sure what to say.[/ctt]

However, Jesus tells us not to fear and reassures us that the Holy Spirit will give us words to share when we don’t know what to say or how to pray. We are all called to share the love of Christ with the world and should always be prepared to share the hope with us.

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect – 1 Peter 3:15

There are hurting and lost people all around us who need the hope of the gospel. I love what Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church,

” we are not waiting on a move of God, we are a move of God”!

My Pastor David Fleming of Champion Forest Baptist Church says,”know, grow, go”.  Once we know the love and saving the grace of Christ, and we grow in wisdom and maturity through reading and studying the word, and through prayer, then we need to go tell others. We are called to Move Toward the Mess.

What are we waiting for?

Like my friend, Debi Chapman said at the Refresh Gathering, what we do matters. Christian friend, we need to be busy about our Father’s work. The church needs us to move and share the love of Christ with others now. It is time for us to go. What are we waiting for?

This week I challenge you to invite a friend, a neighbor, or even a stranger to a church service or Bible Study, or better yet tell them about the hope that lies within you. Find a way to share how Jesus has changed your life and in doing so you could change someone’s eternity.

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I would love to hear about how you are sharing your Faith with others.

Linking up with the following.

 

 

 

Refresh Gathering

Are you weary? Does your soul need to be refreshed?

As women and especially as wives and mothers, our hearts can become so weary from caring for the needs of others that we tend to overlook taking care of ourselves. Recently, I listened to a message from my friend Lisa Allen, Executive Director of Ministry Training at Proverbs 31 entitled, “Self-Care Isn’t Selfish.” This message really resonated with me. As women, wives, and mothers, why do we think it is selfish to tend to our own needs? For years I have poured my life out for others and neglected to care for myself. The Lord is showing me that life is a marathon and not a sprint. Runners don’t run marathons without first being properly nourished, rested, and hydrated.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us – Hebrews 12:1

As Christian women, we are called to run our race in life with endurance. To run with endurance, we also need to be properly nourished, rested and hydrated. Our nourishment comes from spending time in the presence of God, meditating on His word, and loving others.  Before any flight takes off, the flight attendant instructs passengers of what to do in an emergency.  Passengers are told to put on their own oxygen mask before assisting anyone else.

This past weekend was a breath of fresh air for my soul, it was a privilege to attend the Refresh Gathering hosted by my friend Debi Chapman. I am so excited to share the Refresh Gathering with you this week.  I love Debi’s heart for the Lord, and her multigenerational vision to encourage women. The Refresh Gathering was held at a beautiful venue in Grapevine, Texas called the Laurel. The day was referred to as a “spa day for your soul.”

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It is a beautiful thing when women of all ages come to together to enjoy Christian fellowship with one another and to encourage one another in their Christian walk.

Debi Chapman’s great opening session centered around the story of Lazarus in John 11. The key scripture from her talk was John 11:40.

Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40 ESV

If you believe (in the midst of your pain, suffering, and mistakes), then you would see the glory of God. The enemy wants us to question God when things go wrong in our life. We can’t go back and change the past, but we can choose to see Jesus in the midst of our circumstances.

We must believe that no matter what happens in life….. that Jesus sees us, He hears our prayers, and He loves us!

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[ctt template=”2″ link=”a148b” via=”yes” ]Where do you need to be refreshed today?[/ctt]

Colleen Stickl of Awakened Heart spoke on receiving refreshment and taught from the scripture in John 4 about the woman at the well and our need to be refreshed by living water. Colleen focused on three specific areas where we refreshment, our identity, our perspective, and our purpose. Each day our souls need to be refreshed by living water so that we can refresh others out of our overflow.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” – John 4:10 ESV

The woman at the well was full of regret and was isolated. As Christians, our identity is not shame or regret. We need to remember who we are, and whose we are!

Our identity is in Jesus, and we are called, chosen, and forgiven.

My favorite statement of Colleen’s was this….

The enemy wants me to look back at regret and look ahead and fear.- Colleen Stickl

Our identity, our perspective, and our purpose need to be in Jesus. 

Monica Zuniga of We Are Unveiled spoke on being refreshed through forgiveness. She taught from the story of Joeseph and reminded us that we have been set free so that we can forgive others. My two favorite quotes from her talk were….

The enemy will always divide

Man will subtract

God brings Unity

Our encounter with grace and mercy with the King of the universe should affect our encounters with others. – Monica Zuniga

Next, we heard from Emily Thomas of Mom Struggling Well. She encouraged us to obey God, and if God is telling you to do something, just do it. He will help you do whatever it is he calling you to do!

Kaye Haun of House on Oak Street encouraged us to allow the Lord to renew our souls. To create an environment that brings refreshment to ourselves and those who we have the opportunity to serve in our homes, we need to be sensitive to our season in life. She talked about slowing down and being present with the people in front of us and being present with the Lord. She encouraged us to spend time with the Lord listening to how he would have us care for ourselves and for others, and allow him to give us ideas of refreshment.

Cindy Haggerton spoke on wellness. Dr. Jim Bob and Cindy Haggerton are a husband and wife chiropractic team who have dedicated their lives to educating the public about health and wellness. I encourage you to find out more about them here at Family Wellness. Cindy shared her powerful healing of restoration in her marriage to Jim Bob. She taught about the brain, digestion, and chronic inflammation and it was fascinating. Her philosophy is “move well, be well, think well,” but this is my favorite quote from her session.

“Your husband needs to see you refreshed.”- Cindy Haggerton

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Susan Ryan has lived an incredible life of international travel and is passionate about developing leaders. Through humor and wit, she encouraged us to embrace life in all its fullness, messiness, and beauty.

I love this quote from Susan!

“Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.”- Susan Ryan

Lexa Brecheen of Gateway Church was precious! She spoke on God’s sufficiency to supply all of our needs. She told us about the importance of one word of refreshment and how it can change the course of someone’s day. Refreshing other people is not about us. It is about God being glorified. Make it all about Jesus.

The day concluded with an insightful panel discussion and Q&A with the speakers, and Debi Chapman closed out by sharing Jeremiah 15:19.

Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.- Jeremiah 15:19 ESV

Her final charge was this: We are precious because we are made in the image of God, and that the enemy tries to convince us that it doesn’t matter what we do, but what we do matters!

What we do matters!

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -Proverbs 4:23

We are salt and light, and as we are refreshed by the Lord, we need to refresh others. There were other amazing vendors and sponsors, so be sure to check out Refresh Gathering for all of the details.

I want to close with one final thought from the book of Hebrews.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

Let us encourage one another to love and good works. I would love to know how you inspire and refresh others in your sphere of influence!

 Link ups this week.


 

alongside

Life can be so complicated and unpredictable. Today has been one of those days for me. My day started off with three MRIs: one for my brain, one for my neck and one for my back. My dear sweet husband took the morning off from work to hold my hand, comfort me, and pray for me because he knows that I am claustrophobic and that MRIs cause me great anxiety! Today was one of those days when I just needed my husband’s presence. As I went further into the MRI tube, he held my leg, and just knowing he was there brought me tremendous comfort. While sitting in the waiting room before my MRI and filling out my paperwork, I realized that today is February 13, my mom’s birthday. If my mom were still alive today, she would have turned 77!

We think we have to do something, but presence is a powerful action of its own. – Sarah Beckman

I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately. She died a few years ago after she was taken off of life support just days after Christmas. Family relations and emotions were all running high. Many friends called, texted and offered support. Whenever anyone offered to help I would simply ask for prayer. I would say that I was alright when in reality I wasn’t.

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In trying times, people tend to say they are okay and don’t need anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I will never forget the loving kindness of a friend who offered to stop by the hospital to bring food, and she would not take no for an answer. Not only did she bring me food, but she also took the time to listen to me. We prayed, we sang, and she sat with me as the Lord called my mom home. Her presence at that moment in my life was powerful and it is a gift that I will forever cherish.

How do we walk alongside someone in the midst of trying circumstances?

There’s a unique opportunity to love our neighbor when they experience a time of trial in their life. – Sarah Beckman

We all experience difficult trials in life, and we know people close to us that suffer hardships. How do we love and care for others well in their crisis?  The answer to this question is the purpose of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial. This must-read book is an invaluable resource for walking alongside those in need.

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This book is filled with questions to consider. It offers practical ways to love people through the storms of life and will help you figure out the best way to respond to the individual’s needs. You will learn to know your place in relationship to the person in need, and what you should do accordingly. It will also give a good understanding of possible needs and how people may be feeling, including general guidelines to consider and questions to help prepare for the journey ahead.

Part 2 of the book is dedicated to taking action. Know when to go, and when to pray. When I went to the hospital to give birth to my son whose heart had stopped beating in my womb, my sweet friends wanted to come to the hospital. While having my friends at the hospital that day was a kind gesture, what I needed most was time to grieve alone with my family. There is a chapter dedicated to respecting the person’s journey and includes information on privacy and dignity, and other chapters offer specific help, including being present, showing love through food, listening well and much more.

Finally, the book concludes with chapters on special circumstances, including: messy situations, when faith isn’t shared, when you’ve been there, when someone is aging, and terminal illness. In the appendix, there are scriptures for loving your neighbor which are divided into categories and a list of websites, books, and other helpful resources like meal coordination and online fundraising.

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For more information visit Sarah Beckman’s website.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

I have one autographed copy of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial to give away! 

From now until February 28th, leave a comment below with either a way that you have come alongside someone in need or how someone has blessed you in a difficult time, to be eligible to win. Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog post please share with a friend.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

This week’s Linkups:

 

Creative Ways to Engage with God!

  Where are my creative peeps?

You know who you are! My right-brained people who just need to create. Our Heavenly Father is the original creative! In the beginning, God created the heavens and filled the earth with such Majestic beauty! Even the Heavens declare the glory of God!

We do not serve an in-the-box one-size-fits-all God.

So why not communicate with God in creative ways? 

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God is always ready to connect with us, and we have access to throne room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can boldly approach the throne at any time, no matter where we are! No longer do we need a High Preist to offer sacrifices or atone for our sins. Jesus is our mediator and great High Priest. Have you ever thought about communicating with God through your art or another innovative way?

You have got to get a copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God: Designed to Pray!

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Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray is not your typical prayer book! This little gem is filled with both wisdom and fun ingenious ways to connect with God in a visually stunning way.  Creative Ways to Engage With God takes you on an eight-week journey that includes quotes, Scriptures, reflection questions, prayers, and songs. Whether you are new to prayer, have been praying for years, or just want to infuse new life into your prayer time, this book is for you, especially if you appreciate both art AND the importance of prayer!

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Explore, Play, Pray

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

This week one lucky person will win a copy of this inspirational prayer book! There are two easy ways to be eligible to win your very own copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray:

  1. If you are new to my blog – Follow MistyPhillip to enter to win
  2. If you are a current MistyPhillip subscriber – Comment on your favorite way to engage with God!

Kelly O’Dell Stanley books were featured at the book tables of the Belong Tour, a spin-off of Women of Faith events. Learn more about Kelly O’Dell Stanley.