Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sabbaticals, Reflections, Open Doors

I know, it has been a while.  It is a long story, full of adventure and heartbreak and revelation.  Eventually I will share it all.

Earlier today I posted a book review.  If you scroll down my page you will notice I am signed up with Tyndale to do reviews.  The book which arrived at the beginning of the month had been ordered a while ago, before it was even released, and, honestly, I totally forgot about it!!  None-the-less, it came, I read, and I gladly fulfilled my end of the deal which involves a blog post and two online store reviews.

Funny thing, how books can open doors.  This one by it's real conversational content and grace-filled perspective on sharing faith with others.  But also, as I have prayed over when God would have me return to the blog, I felt this book opened a door to begin the conversation about why I have been gone and when I am coming 'back'.

I have been on sabbatical.

All part of that long story, full of adventure and heartbreak and revelation.  As I started down the rocky path last spring which ultimately led to a full shut-down by end of summer... I knew I needed time for quiet and prayer and searching.

I don't know if this book was God's way of saying "It is time"... time to get back to the blog and life as a writer.  But I do know it was time to touch base with YOU, my dear reader, and let you know I am constantly thinking of you, praying for you and praying for when I can return to share heart renderings and hear heart renderings.

I'm still here.  Quietly listening.  Please feel free to contact me any time.  I will be back.... soon I hope and when I still pray.


Let's Talk About God

Have you ever wondered HOW to talk to your friends and acquaintances about God?  How much Jesus do you throw at them?  When do you pull out the Good Book and start pointing out scriptures?

I have read many books and even been through some great training programs on sharing faith but when I got out into the 'real world' it rarely ever went as text-book-like as these situations planned.  I have to admit, it left a lot of insecurities even when we were in full-time missions.  Enter, "Talking About God" by Steve and Cheri Saccone.

This book is a real, personal, authentic look at conversations with both friends and acquaintances which opened opportunity to share gospel Truth.  I loved reading it and seeing how they handled each situation, some more difficult than others. 

Steve tackles conversations from the guy's point of view with other men he has had the privilege to disciple.  Each struggling with their own sins and paths in lives from alternative religions to alternative lifestyles and variations in-between.  His answers and guidance are absolutely grace-filled and helpful for the rest of us!

Cheri enters relational situations from the lady's point of view.  Seeing the tender heart side of women and the insecurities we tend to struggle with and our desire to be in community with each other.  She shows how to be in community with others who may not believe like you do but always maintaining that Christian witness in attitude and posture and praying for them as well as recognizing (and seizing) those moments God provides to really share faith and help the ones we care about find Christ and grow in Him.

Both draw from REAL life, REAL conversations and situations.  You can't get more real and personal than that!

I was surprised that they never went into the actual, 'This is how you accept Christ' talk.  In one particular story I feel a few months of heart ache and struggles could have been avoided if Cheri had been more deliberate with that. 

However, I did recognize how grace-filled each scenario was and the tremendous amount of respect and dignity they gave those whom God gave them to minister to.  I believe it was this approach which allowed them the extensive opportunities to impress change in the other persons' lives.  Not a superficial "just believe in Jesus and it will all be alright" kind of faith.  No, I believe their interactions plant the seeds for truly relational "pick up your cross and follow Jesus" kind of faith.  The best and most sure-footed kind a person can have!

Would I recommend this book?  Yes, definitely.  If you want to learn how to share Christ in a more relational setting... something I feel we all need to know how to do well and grace-filled.  However, if you want to learn how to lead someone to Christ, you might throw these books in the pile too: "The Way of the Master" by Ray Comfort or "Share Jesus Without Fear" by William Fay .  But always, always with grace and dignity and gently handling the other person's heart.  Their salvation is VERY important, but it can't be knocked into them!  Got a hold of "Talking About God" and you'll see what I mean!


Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.