.more than a missionary

When you hear the word "missionary", what comes to mind?  Someone who spends a prolonged amount of time immersed in another culture with the purpose of spreading the gospel, right?  Google the word and you'll get plenty of results.  Look it up in your concordance, not so much.  The word "missionary" never appears in the Bible...not even once.  The word "witness", however, appears 175 times in the New King James Version of the Bible.

The word "missionary" implies that it's the job of certain people to spread the gospel.  The word "witness" implies that it's the job of EVERY believer to spread the gospel.  Hear just one of the 175 accounts: Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Acts 1:8 identifies two characteristics of the word witness and what Jesus meant by the concept. (1) They shall proclaim him king, and publish those truths to the world by which his kingdom should be set up, and he would rule. They must openly and solemnly preach his gospel to the world. (2) They shall prove this, shall confirm their testimony, not as witnesses do, with an oath, but with the divine seal of miracles and supernatural gifts.

The whole idea here is that the responsibility of sharing the gospel does not merely apply to a select few, but that it is the job of every believer to proclaim Jesus Christ and expect God to confirm this proclamation with the divine seal of miracles, signs and wonders.

The premise behind being a witness is not merely to tell, but to SHOW AND TELL.  I loved Show and Tell when I was a kid.  It was a time where if you had stuff, you got to show it off and if you didn’t have stuff, you got to see if the people who said they had stuff were really telling the truth.  Like that kid who always talked about his dog Spike and how it was the best watch-dog ever…but then when he brought him to Show and Tell, Spike wasn’t a Doberman, he was a dachshund.

Show and Tell is about furnishing proof.  You not only tell about something, but you back it up with a demonstration.  The door to door salesman has perfected this art.  "Let me tell you about my vacuum.  Now, let me pour this dirt on your carpet and show you how this vacuum sucks."

Here’s the bottom line:  Miracles confirm the truth of the gospel.  If Jesus was merely a good teacher, a Prophet, a good man, people would have dismissed him as the Messiah.  But He proved He was the Son of God and a sinner’s Savior through the works that He did (the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk and the dead are raised).  He gave us authority to do the same works that He did and commissioned us to do likewise.

Paul understood this commission, but not before having a reality check.  In Acts 17, he had the opportunity to preach to a packed house of intellectual leaders in the great amphitheater on Mars Hill in Athens.  His sermon was flawless, filled with quotes from their own poets and philosophers, and he even used an idol from their city to show them honor and grab their attention.  But after all was said and done, the results were minimal.  The Bible says, “"And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter’” (Acts 17:32).

After the meeting, a group of people stayed with Paul, but the Scriptures do not specify how many of them became believers.  When he left Athens, surely he thought about the results.  What happened?  Why weren’t more saved?  How could they reject such a well-crafted message?  (I’ve had these thoughts myself at different times!)  As he thought about these things, he came to a conclusion.  It’s found in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2.

1 Cor 2:1-2 NIV 1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

After the Athens experience, Paul resolved to never again lean entirely on the extent of his brain power to preach the gospel.  He continues his resolve in verse 4.

1 Cor 2:4-5 NIV 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

He resolved to not merely tell of God’s goodness and mercy, but to demonstrate His power. The word "demonstration" refers to something that is outwardly seen or something visible that authenticates, proves, and guarantees the message to be true. It means to display or even to show off.  Paul learned that Show and Tell was a much more effective method than simply Tell.

So, how about you bring a little Show and Tell to your world?  Be more than a missionary.  Be a witness.


.shockwave sabbatical?

I've taken some time off over the holidays to do some reflecting and praying about the blog, the challenge and where to go from here.  In a number of ways, I've forced myself to do the challenge and it's been easier for it to become just another item on the religious checklist.  Pray?  Check.  Read the Bible?  Check.  Share the gospel with someone today?  Uh-oh...better get to it so I can check it off.  That was never the intended purpose of the shockwave challenge.  It's all been about motivating you (and me) to act in obedience to the Great Commission.  It's been about overcoming your (and my) fears in doing so.  It's been about stirring up God's love within us as believers and unleashing it upon our respective worlds.

Having said that, just like any other spiritual discipline, it's easy to get into a routine where you do something without even thinking.  And by not thinking, you don't reap all the benefits that were intended to accompany that spiritual discipline.  For example, I could mindlessly read my Bible while focusing on all the tasks I have to accomplish for the day and not glean one iota of spiritual truth from the time I spent skimming the words on the page.  Perhaps you're doing that right now as you read this post.  I hope not.  Or, I could pray selfish prayers according to my desires alone and not base anything I say on God's Word and I would be wasting my breath.  Religiously, I could "check them off my list" and say I've completed the task for the day.  But I would be no better as a result.

One major thing I've learned from doing the shockwave challenge is that it's more important to follow God's leading in sharing the gospel than it is to share the gospel as a religious duty.  There have been days where I've simply done the challenge just to say I did it.  And by doing it, I told myself I was "off the hook" for the rest of the day.  There have been other days where I've truly experienced God leading me to share with someone and it's led to salvation, healing, miracles and changed lives.  Those days when I partnered with God to share the gospel were much more fruitful than the days I did it just to appease my religious ideology.

So, for now, I'm taking a break from POSTING about my shockwave moments.  I'll still be doing the challenge, but with a renewed sense of purpose.  I'm refocusing on the original intent...reaching people and giving life.  I'll be praying for opportunities and taking the opportunities God sends my way.  I will be sensitive to His voice and follow His leading.  I suggest you do the same.


.shockwave challenge - day 95

We went to Moore today so Karis could spend some time with her cousins. We stopped for lunch at The Clock and after we ate, I asked our waitress if she needed prayer. She was obviously in a hurry because she kept cleaning the table while I was talking to her. She said I could pray for her transportation to be fixed. I said I would and then asked her the million dollar question. She said she thought she would go to heaven and then said no one could know for sure but she would find out on judgment day. She said she went to her own church and that was good enough for her. I tried to get in there with the gospel but she had already moved on. I prayed for her and told her to have a great day.

Sometimes you may find yourself with a person who is busy or preoccupied with something else. It's so important to remember that you don't have to force the gospel on anyone and make them listen to you. You can sow a seed by sharing with them what they are willing to hear and do your part by not turning them away from Christ through your actions. If they only let you get a prayer in, pray out the gospel so they can hear. Then trust God with the rest. Go out and give life today!


.shockwave challenge - day 94

We drove to Greenville this evening to get geared up for all of our Thanksgiving festivities this week. I was a little hesitant about doing my shockwave challenge while we're here because my tried and true invitation method wasn't going to work. I knew I would have to get creative in order to drop the million dollar question bomb on people. I prayed during some silent moments on our drive and asked God for creative ideas and for people to come across my path that were open and receptive.

We went to Walmart when we got here to pick up a few choice snacks for Karis, so I immediately left Kristen in the health and beauty aisle and went on my search for my next shockwave victim. Just a few moments later, I was walking down a main aisle and a woman and her son walked past me and then turned around and asked if I knew where the shower curtains were. I didn't, but I knew I could find them. I led her right to them and then said, "Since you asked me a question, now I get to ask you one!" I asked them the question and they both said they knew for sure they would go to heaven because they had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

I overheard the mom say to the son as they walked away, "That was a good question, huh?" I was amazed at how easy God made it for me tonight. I have a new sense of confidence about shockwaving in another city this week. I know it's going to be challenging, but I believe I'm up for it! Who knows? Maybe I'll get some of my family in on the action!

Perhaps you'll be out of town this week in a new environment without any invitation cards to open the door for you to talk to someone about Christ. Be prepared for God to set you up and then seize the moment!


.shockwave challenge - day 93

I shared the gospel with a guy at Chick-Fil-A tonight while we were there for dinner. He was already saved and attended church in Aiken.

The more you share the gospel, the easier it gets. So start today and it will be easier tomorrow!


.shockwave challenge - day 92

Today my brother officially used shockwave as a verb. Shockwave - v. to share the gospel with an unsuspecting stranger. "I shockwaved the waiter yesterday!"

That's pretty cool! I'm definitely adding this to the book.

Karis and I went to WalMart after church today to pick up some eggs so YaYa could make brownies. While we were walking through the aisles I felt led to talk to a couple, but shrugged it off. I've been doing more of that than I care to admit, so I've been even more aware of it lately. So before we left, I went back through the aisles and looked for the couple I passed earlier. While waiting for the opportune moment to invite them to church, I decided just to interrupt them and hand them the card. We talked about the church for a little while and found out that they were in between churches right now. I asked them the million dollar question and the wife laughed and patted her husband and said, "I know he's going to heaven but I'm not sure. I think I've backslidden." I shared the story of the prodigal son with them and assured them of their salvation because they had both accepted Christ earlier in their lives. Even though the son turned his back on his father, it didn't affect his status as a son. But it did affect his view of their relationship and the intimacy they experienced.

They were encouraged by our conversation and told me they would come to church soon. Which reminds me that a couple I invited to church about 6 weeks ago came to church today and recommitted their lives to Christ during Pastor's invitation. It really is wonderful to be used by God to do a simple shockwave and watch Him work in their hearts and lives!

Go out and shockwave somebody today!


.shockwave challenge - day 91

We had a great time in Atlanta today hanging out with my bro and going to the Georgia Aquarium. We were by the fountain in Centennial Park taking a few pictures with the self timer on our camera when a guy walked up and asked if we wanted him to take a few. We agreed and then I returned the favor for his family. After they walked away, Gregg busted me. He said, "I thought you were about to shockwave those people and I'd get to see you in action." I told him that sometimes I miss 'em and sometimes I don't. I knew I should have shared the gospel with them after I let them get away. It's just another reminder that opportunities are coming toward us or past us everyday. I was certain I wouldn't let another one pass by today, so after we ate dinner, I asked our waitress if she needed prayer. She said she could use a prayer for health and strength. I said we could take care of that and then I asked her the big money question. She told me she hoped she would go to heaven and I asked her what would qualify her to get in. She answered that she tried to do everything right and live up to the Bible. I shared the gospel with her and learned that she had accepted Christ when she was younger but didn't get to church that often now because of her job. I assured her of her salvation and told her that getting into heaven isn't based on what she does, but receiving what Christ had already done. We prayed for strength and healing and then she said, "Thanks! That made my night!"

On our way back to the car, Gregg and I had a great chat about evangelism triumphs and tips. It's really cool to see how God is working in his church to reach the lost in Colorado. It reminds me of 1 Timothy 2:4 - "He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we've learned." God desires all people everywhere to be saved and the only way that's going to happen is if His people everywhere share the gospel everyday.

What are you going to do about it?


.shockwave challenge - day 90

It's been 90 days of shockwave in my life! I've had the privilege of leading 72 people to Christ and praying with even more people about their lives, bodies and relationships with God. I've seen miracles and lives changed right in front of me. I've done a number of other challenges in my life (including a 90 day fitness challenge), but none have been more fulfilling than this. Praise God!

Today we went to Atlanta to hang out with my bro. After we had lunch together, my crew had to go to the store for a few things and I met a young guy who didn't know if he'd go to heaven when he died. After I shared the gospel with him and told him about Romans 10:9, he told me he'd already prayed that prayer. I assured him of his salvation and encouraged him that it wasn't about what he had done in his life, but receiving what Christ had already done for him.

Later we were at Centennial Park downtown and Karis met another little girl and began playing together. I talked with her parents and found out that the dad was a PK (preacher's kid) and had accepted Christ when he was young. We prayed together for his family and asked God to help them fulfill His plan for their lives.

Are you taking the challenge? Commit to taking time on purpose to share your faith each day. God will bring people across your path who need Him. Do your job and point the way to Christ!


.shockwave challenge - day 89

I went to Wal-Mart tonight to do my shockwave challenge. After grabbing a Christmas present for Karis (I couldn't resist) I was walking out to my car and saw two cart pushers standing around talking. I approached them and invited them to church. I asked them the million dollar question and one of them said he hoped he would go to heaven and the other said he knew for sure. After I shared the gospel with them, I found out that both of them had already confessed Jesus as Lord. I prayed with them about their job and encouraged them to not let the mistakes they make discourage them from being secure in their salvation.

Don't forget about the challenge! Get out there and share your faith!


.shockwave challenge - day 88

Today at church, we were having some plumbing repairs done and one of our volunteers was having a hard time finding the water supply shut off valve for the main water.  After looking around for a while myself and looking around where the water meter is outside, we couldn't find a way to turn it off.  So I called Augusta Utilities and they sent someone over to turn it off for us.  It turns out that our volunteer had actually put the grate from one water meter box on top of the shut-off valve hole, so we couldn't see it when we were looking around.  After I discovered this riveting knowledge from the crew member of AU, I thanked him, asked him his name and if I could pray for him.   He told me to pray for his family.  I told him we could do that and then I asked him the million dollar question.  He was certain of his salvation and attends church across town.  I prayed for his family and God's plan for their lives to be fulfilled.

In spite of feeling like a dimwit for not looking under the grate, I was glad I had the opportunity to minister to this gentleman and ask him the million dollar question.  When you begin to take advantage of the moments to share the gospel, it gets easier and easier to do so.  I recommend you start where you are and make it a point to share the gospel with at least one person a day.  Join the movement!


.shockwave challenge - day 87

Kristen and I went to Target tonight to do a little shopping before a meeting we had. While we were in the toy section, we ran into a young woman with a one-year-old daughter. We approached her and invited her to church. She thanked us and then we started talking about her daughter a little bit. I then asked her if we could pray for her about anything. She said no, so I asked her the million dollar question. She said she didn't know whether she would go to heaven or not. I shared the gospel with her and prayed with her to be saved. Kristen talked with her further and before we walked away, I felt led to give her some money. I handed her a twenty and told her God loves her. I'm learning to be more and more obedient and sensitive to the Holy Spirit than ever before. I remember about a year ago I sensed God leading me to give a stranger in the grocery store some money to help with her groceries and I didn't do it. I hate that feeling of remorse you get after you don't do something you know you should. I'm ready for that emotion to be a thing of the past. With every obedient action, it fades away into the distance more and more.

Perhaps God has urged you to share the gospel with someone and you didn't. Don't let it happen again. Remember that feeling of remorse and act in a way to banish it forever. Start today!


.shockwave challenge - day 86

Tonight we took Karis to the park at Evans Town Center and she had a great time playing on the playground. After we left, we went to grab a bite to eat and we met an older woman and her son in the parking lot. Karis asked them what their names were and made them laugh so I took advantage of the opportunity and invited them to church. They said they would definitely come check us out. I asked if they had any prayer needs and they told me about the woman's sister who was scheduled to have surgery at the end of the month. Before we prayed, I asked them both the million dollar question and they were very upbeat and positive with their answer. They believed in God and depended upon Christ daily. We prayed together for their health as well as her sister. They left encouraged and strengthened.

Who could you encourage today? You never know how you might brighten a stranger's day by simply offering to pray for them. Go for it!


.shockwave challenge - day 85

We went to lunch at Goolsby's after church today and I shared the gospel with our waitress. She was already a believer and asked that I pray for her continued health. I encouraged her and agreed together with her.

Maybe you'll go out to dinner this week. Utilize the connection with your server, leave a good tip and then share the gospel with him or her. You'll be glad you did.


.shockwave challenge - day 84

I was at the gas station today repairing a leaking tire with some tire sealant when another guy came up to use the free air pump. I told him to go ahead of me and we chatted for a bit and then he helped me out by letting me use his tire gauge. He asked if I was from Colorado because of the tags on my Explorer. I got to share with him the story of the miracle mobile at this point (check out my YouTube page for this testimony in detail). Before he left, I invited him to church and offered to pray for him. He didn't want prayer so I asked him the big question. He said, "I hate to tell you this, but I don't believe in God." I found out that he was raised in church and went to a Christian school, but wasn't seeing any evidence of God in his life. I told him how I could never deny the existence of God and His goodness because of all the wonderful things He's done for me and my family. He agreed that my car testimony was definitely supernatural. I didn't get to pray with him, but he said he would come check out the church sometime. I hope he does! He'll definitely experience God's goodness there!

While you are out around town today running errands or working, keep your eyes open for opportunities to share the gospel with someone. God is bringing people across your path all the time, you just need to be aware of it and seize the moment!


.shockwave challenge - day 83

Tonight after an awesome service at church, we went to Publix to pick up a few groceries. I saw an employee in the produce section and approached him. I asked him how his day was going and then invited him to church. I asked if he needed prayer and he said I could pray for his family and friends. I said I would and asked him the million dollar question. He said he knew he would go to heaven because he was raised in church and was a Christian. I made sure he had accepted Christ and then encouraged him a bit more in his faith.

Take a moment today and make sure you ask someone the big money question. Make sure they know for sure how to get to heaven and tell them about God's great love for them.


.shockwave challenge - day 82

Yesterday I left you with a cliffhanger. After I texted my cousin, two hours passed before I received an acknowledgement that she had gotten my message. She responded by saying she didn't know for sure if she would go to heaven. I was half hoping she would say she knew for sure. I didn't quite know how to share the gospel via text so I texted her back asking if she could call me and I would explain to her how she could know for sure.

She said she was about to go to bed but could call today. We set up a time to talk and I called her on my way home. We took some time to catch up on life in general and then I shared the gospel with her. She told me she believed in Jesus and I got to lead her in the prayer of salvation! It was a great experience! I encouraged her to find a good church and continue to grow in her faith. I'm committed to staying connected via Facebook and help her get plugged in somewhere.

How about you? Do you have any family members you could reconnect with and share the gospel with them? Give them a buzz and make it happen! It's good to be family by blood, but even better when you become family in Christ!


.shockwave challenge - day 81

I had gone through the whole day without talking to anyone about the gospel. So after church, I planned to pick up some food and do it then. I had Karis with me tonight and most of the time she is pretty cooperative and even helpful. But she wasn't being either tonight. I was thankful to just get out of the restaurant with my food and sanity in tact. Thus, my shockwave mission was aborted for the moment.

The idea of failure to complete my challenge was looming and I thought of even giving up altogether. It's late. I'm tired. My back is hurting. All these thoughts started running through my head begging me to accept any of them as a valid excuse for throwing in the towel tonight. It would just be one day without doing the challenge, after all. But I know myself all too well. One day could turn into two and then a week and before long, I would revert back to the silence of my comfort zone. And I'm determined to not retreat! I've come too far to turn back now!

As a last ditch effort, I started going through the contacts on my phone in hopes that I would come across someone, anyone, whom I knew hadn't already accepted Christ. But to no avail. Then I remembered about a cousin that my mom wanted me to check in on. I got her number again and plugged it in my phone. It was still late so I decided to text her. I asked how she was and then dropped the million dollar question on her. As with any time you text someone, you don't always get an immediate response. That's the nature of the text message. So I wondered if she even received it. Was she asleep or did she just not care enough to answer? Does she even get text messages on her phone? While I wait for a response, my prayers go out for her...that if she hasn't received Christ, her eyes would be open to the truth and she would see the gospel with clarity and be drawn to the One who could change her life for GOOD!

With the ever-increasing avenues by which we can present the gospel, it's easier now to get the gospel to someone than ever before. We can utilize all sorts of methods and reach all types of people. Use whatever means you can to get the message of Christ's love to your world today. If an opportunity doesn't come your way, or you miss it like I did today, just create your own. Text somebody. Message them on Facebook. Post a gospel video on their wall. Send them an email. It doesn't matter what method you use, just share the good news!


.shockwave challenge - day 80

We went to lunch with some of the gang from church at Buffalo Wild Wings today. After doing the Blazing Challenge, I was even more immensely aware of how hot hell could be. I completed the challenge in 3 and a half minutes with just a little sweat and tears. Those wings were hot though!

Before we left, Karis got one of the waitresses attention and she started talking to her. After a couple of minutes I handed Karis an invitation card and she invited the waitress to church. It turns out that she had visited our church once a few years ago. I asked her if she needed prayer and then asked her the million dollar question. She laughed when I did and told me someone from her doctor's office asked her the same question a couple of years ago and she prayed with her to be saved. I encouraged her to come to church soon and get plugged in.

It's so good to know that there are other people sharing the gospel consistently. If you aren't yet, what's stopping you? Get out there and spread the good news about Christ!


.shockwave challenge - day 79

We went to Chick-Fil-A tonight for a BOGO chicken sandwich with our church bulletin and ran into a few fellow church members.  After we grubbed down on our sandwiches, Karis wanted an ice cream and the lady behind us told us we could trade a kid's prize/book in for an ice cream there.  We were already privy to this all-important CFA knowledge but thanked her nonetheless.  We didn't get Karis a kid's meal this time because of our free sandwiches, but Neva and Isabella offered to buy Karis an ice cream.  We never turn down free ice cream so they went to the counter and ordered.  After I came back from cleaning up our table, I offered the lady sitting behind us an invitation card and told her a little about the church.  She said they didn't attend church anywhere now, but were looking for a church.  I asked her the million dollar question and she assured me she had been saved and baptized.  She went to Curtis Baptist School as well.  We told her that they would fit right in at church and we would love to have them there.  I pray that they'll check us out!

Maybe while you're out scoring some free chow, you could think about the free gift God offered us through Christ - salvation.  I'm reminded of Romans 1:5 in The Message: Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ!

We've been given something free and it's our job to tell others about it as well. Just like I'm telling you about the BOGO at Chick-Fil-A on Washington Rd. on Monday nights with your church bulletin.  So share this free gift of salvation with others.


.shockwave challenge - day 78

We went to the Big Mo tonight to see Puss in Boots. While we were there, we saw one of the concession workers outside sweeping. We talked for a minute about the drive-in and how much longer the season will go then we offered to pray with her about anything. She told us of a few requests and I told her we'd pray right after I asked her a question. I asked her the million dollar question and she told us she believed in Christ and had confessed him as her savior. We prayed for her requests and told her more about the church.

Whatever you're doing, don't forget about the challenge. You can encourage someone. You can share the gospel. You can change a life!


.shockwave challenge - day 77

We were on our way out to Kackleberry Farm today for a family adventure and we stopped for lunch. After we ate, I noticed a lady sitting alone, so we approached her and invited her to church and offered prayer. She told us she was getting ready to move and needed some more money for her deposit. Before we prayed, I asked her the million dollar question and she told us she would go
to heaven because she was a good person and hadn't sinned all that much. I shared the gospel with her and found out she had already confessed Jesus as Lord.

Make sure that no matter where you go, God's number one priority is at the top of your to-do list. Shockwave is all about every believer, everywhere sharing the good news everyday.


.shockwave challenge - day 76

Kristen and I had a date tonight - two weeks in a row (brownie points) - and we went downtown for First Friday to eat at the Blue Sky Kitchen. Afterward, we were walking on Broad Street and saw a young woman selling various goodies to support a study abroad to Sweden. I asked if I could pray for her about raising funds for her trip and she wholeheartedly accepted. Before we prayed together, I found out she was already saved and went to The Well church.

As you're out doing something fun, don't forget about the shockwave challenge. Share your faith, offer prayer, give life!

.shockwave challenge: day 75

After lunch I came back to work and found a guy in the parking lot with a flat tire. I knew I had found my next shockwave victim.

I walked up and asked if he needed any help. He said he had it under control, so I asked him the million dollar question. He told me he wasn't sure if he'd go to heaven. So I began to share the gospel as he struggled with loosening the lugs on his blown out tire. I could tell he needed more than a few words at this moment, so I jumped in to help him, but they were just too stubborn. I offered to give him a ride somewhere and he told me his brother-in-law had a better lug wrench, so I drove him over there to pick it up. It was a short ride, but I used the opportunity to share the rest of the gospel with him. He had a few doubts about the resurrection and wasn't ready to pray with me. I got to share a few testimonies of God's goodness in my life and encourage him to come to church. After we got back and he got the lug-nuts loose, I gave him a "road to salvation" card and he thanked me for my help. I pray that he says the prayer on his own once he realizes the truth of the resurrection.

Perhaps you'll see someone in need today. Be like the good Samaritan and offer some on-time help. And don't hesitate when it comes to sharing the gospel!


.shockwave challenge - day 74

I went to BiLo after church tonight before we picked up dinner. While we were checking out, I asked the cashier the million dollar question. She told me she knew she was going to heaven and said she had been saved since she was a kid.

I also missed an opportunity today to share with the FedEx lady. After I missed it, I followed her out and invited her to church, but her supervisor came out from the back of the truck and I didn't ask her the question. I felt terrible. I pray God gives me another opportunity to share with her or sends someone else across her path.

Who can you share with today? Get out there and preach the Word!


.shockwave challenge - day 73

We went to lunch with YaYa and LaLa today before they left to go home.  After we scarfed down our food at Zaxby's, I handed one of the employees an invitation card and she immediately said, "Praise the Lord, I guess you know where to find the heathens."  She was making a joke and told me that she was a minister.  I told her that I use the invitation cards as a way to open the door to ask a more important question and I made sure that she had accepted Christ as her Savior.  You never know what someone means when they say, "I'm a minister." People have all kinds of definitions for various Christianese.  That's why we don't ask people if they are "saved," "born again," "Christian," or "go to church."  We ask them if they know for sure they will go to heaven and also clarify how they know if they tell us yes.  Any answer other than, "Jesus is my Lord," or something similar warrants further preaching of the good news and explanation of the truth of salvation.

We spent some time talking with her and listened a lot to what she had to say.  She believed there was a purpose for our meeting today and said she had a church, but would pass on the card to some of the people that she ministers to.  I handed her a few more cards and our "road to salvation" tract to share with others as well.  She was encouraged by our encounter and told us how thankful she was for our obedience to talk to her because she had been feeling alone on her new job, but knew God had a purpose and ministry for her there.  She was fueled up for her next customer or co-worker.

If you've never shared the gospel with someone, why not today?  My mom told me the other day that she shared the gospel with someone for the first time while she was here with Karis at the park on Sunday.  She was so excited!  I remember the feeling well because it never goes away.  I'm excited every time I act in obedience to the great commission.  If you're feeling some staleness in your relationship with God, perhaps it's because you've neglected the number one priority.  Step out and talk to someone about Christ for the first time or second time or one-hundredth time and allow God to breathe some new life into you as you give life to others!


.shockwave challenge - day 72

We had our annual Trunk or Treat at church tonight and so many people worked together to create an environment where lives could be changed. As a result of people doing trunks, donating candy, running concessions, getting people registered, doing security, hosting, praying, playing music, doing sets and lights and acting for the gospel hayride, and setting up and tearing down, thirty-nine people called upon the name of Jesus to be saved.

I actually did my shockwave challenge during the event as well. I saw a woman with a cane and was drawn to talk to her and her family. I introduced myself and talked to them about the event for a moment and asked if they had ridden the hayride. They hadn't and were actually about to leave because of the cold weather. I asked what happened to her leg and found out she was injured during her military service and it affected her gait. I asked if I could pray for her. She agreed and I told her to expect a difference after we prayed. She wasn't in any pain, so I told her to continue acting in faith. I asked her and her husband the million dollar question and neither of them knew for sure that they would go to heaven. I shared the gospel with them and asked if they believed that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. The husband did but the wife had some doubts. She didn't understand why God would punish His son like that. I shared with her further how Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because he hadn't sinned and he willingly took on the punishment in order to save us...much like a soldier sacrifices him or herself to save others. She understood more then and I prayed with both of them to be saved.

I'm so thankful for all the people who helped with the Trunk or Treat and did their part to see lives changed. What about you? Are you doing your part? Share the gospel with someone today and make a difference in someone's life!


.shockwave challenge - day 71

We took Karis to a Trunk or Treat at another church tonight and while we were in line, I saw a large group of people sitting on the curb. I walked over to them and invited them to our event tomorrow night. I offered to pray with them and then asked the million dollar question. A number of them were unsure about their eternal destination, so I shared the gospel and prayed with 6 of them to be saved. Before we prayed, I looked down and saw one lady had a brace on her foot.
I told her we would take care of that in a moment. After we said amen, I shared the truth about healing with her and prayed for her foot because she had broken two of her toes. I grabbed her by the hand and pulled her onto her feet and told her to walk in the name of Jesus. She did and said it was much better. I commanded the pain to go again and told her to stomp her foot. When she did, she was completely healed.

She told me she recognized me and asked if I had been to River Glen. I told her I had and she said she remembered me praying for her mother who had lung cancer and she was healed. I asked how she was doing and she said, "Oh, she's fine! She's in the line gettin' candy!" I laughed and said I would go find her. When i tracked her down, she told me she was feeling great and the cancer had been gone since I prayed for her. She told me she was exercising every day and felt awesome. I hugged her and told her how great it was to hear what God had been doing in her body.

What about you? Have you ever seen someone with crutches or a brace and felt like you should pray for them, but didn't? What's holding you back? You have just the thing they need. Read John 14:12 and Mark 16:18 and start doing what you were meant to do! Do it with fearless confidence!


.shokwave challenge - day 70

Today marks 10 weeks of the shockwave challenge. I went to the library with Karis and on the way out, I saw a gentleman sitting on a bench. I approached him and invited him to church. I offered to pray with him and then asked the big money question. He said he thought he'd go to heaven because he was living right. So many people have this mindset!

He then told me he read his Bible and prayed as well. I had a feeling that he might have already accepted Christ as his savior, but I asked to make sure. I told him that Jesus is the way to heaven and it's got nothing to do with his right living. He can live right without Jesus and still die and go to hell. But Jesus is the only one who lived a perfect life and took our punishment on himself so we would have a way into heaven.

Have you taken the challenge yet? Go out and share the gospel with at least one person a day and watch what God can do through you! Happy shockwaving!


.shockwave challenge - day 69

I stopped by Wal-Mart this afternoon with the express purpose of completing my shockwave challenge. I walked around for a bit and then saw a couple of guys checking out the posters. They were both wearing funky halloween wigs, so I just started a conversation about that. After a couple of minutes, I whipped out some invitation cards and offered to pray for them. They declined and then I asked the million dollar question. They both said they thought they would go to heaven because they prayed and repented for their sins. I investigated further into what they understood that to mean. After sharing the gospel with them, I learned that they had already accepted Christ and so I told them they should be completely sure, not just kind of sure. I told them they would be completely welcome at our church and they should wear their wigs when they come!

How about you go out on purpose to share the gospel today! You can do it!


.shockwave challenge - day 68

At work today, I overheard Rhonda (our administrative assistant) do the shockwave challenge. God totally set her up when a lady came in from the street to use the phone. She had just moved into town and didn't have a home phone and needed to make some important calls. After she used the phone, Rhonda started the shockwave! After a few minutes, she led her in the prayer of salvation. I was elated just to be eavesdropping on her evangelism explosion! Way to go, Rhonda!

Tonight, we went to the park so Karis could play for a little while. When we got there, we saw two guys sitting on a bench. I walked up to them and invited them to church.

I told them a little about the church and then I asked them if they needed prayer for anything. After they said no, I asked them the million dollar question. They both thought they should go to heaven because they hadn't done anything too wrong. I shared the gospel with them and told them that Jesus is the only way and we can't get to heaven based on our good deeds. They told me they believed in Jesus and the resurrection but had never said the prayer. I led them in the prayer of salvation and they both called upon the name of Jesus and were saved.

No matter where you are today, someone needs to hear the good news. Why don't you share Jesus with them? If you don't, who will?


.shockwave challenge - day 67

I talked briefly with the copier technician today about his relationship with God, but that didn't count as my challenge for today because I didn't get to ask him the question, he volunteered the info that he was saved because we were at the church talking ABOUT church.

I didn't see anybody else today, so we went out to eat after church and I asked the cashier the million dollar question after she took our order. She immediately told us she had accepted Christ when she was 9 years old and that she was a preacher's kid.

Make a commitment that you won't let your head hit the pillow until you've shared the gospel with someone today!


.shockwave challenge - day 66

The pest control guy came to the church today to do the usual treatment.  After he did his job, I asked him if he needed prayer for anything.  He told me about his family and how his grandmother had passed away a month ago and they could use some prayer for that.  I offered my condolences and shared a little about God's comfort and peace.  Then I asked if he knew for sure he would go to heaven when he died.  He said he believed he would and I asked him why.  He told me he was a pretty good person and even though he had made some mistakes when he was younger, he's gotten his life straightened out since he has become a father.  I acknowledged how noble that was and I shared with him what the Bible had to say about how to get to heaven.  I told him that no good deed made him good enough to get into heaven and that Jesus was the only way.  After I presented the gospel and told him about Romans 10:9, I asked if he had ever said a prayer to make Jesus his Lord.  He nodded his head emphatically and said, "Oh, yeah."  I encouraged him to attend church regularly because it would help him grow in his faith and develop relationships with other believers.  Before he left, I prayed with him for his family and believe that the Holy Spirit is comforting them in their time of loss.

Maybe you'll have an expected or unexpected visitor today and I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity and share the gospel with him or her.  Don't let that moment slip away!  Capitalize on it by offering prayer, inviting them to church, or in some other way, get to that important question about their eternity.   You'll never what kind of difference you can make!  Go give life!


.shockwave challenge - day 65

Kari's and I headed out in our pjs this morning to grab some doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. We ordered up our delicious delights and then saw a young woman filling out an application. She commented on how adorable Karis is and so I struck up a conversation with her. I invited her to the Trunk or Treat and asked her the million dollar question. She was already saved so I encouraged her about the job she needed and we were on our way.

You just can't beat a Krispy Kreme and a shockwave for breakfast! Head out today and share the gospel with someone you meet!


.shockwave challenge - day 64

After church today, we went to lunch and I invited our server to church while I handed her a generous tip. (A little note of exhortation here: you never represent God well while being stingy. Don't attempt to lead your waitress to Jesus with anything less than 20%.)

I cornered her by the drink stand, thanked her for her service, then gave her the tip and an invitation card. I offered to pray with her and she immediately told me she had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I said I would pray for her and she continued to fill up her drinks. I told her we would pray right then. So she immediately grabbed my hands. I told her about John 14:12 and Mark 16 then I commanded the cancer to be gone in Jesus name.

After we prayed, she thanked me and tried to get back to work, but my job wasn't done yet! I asked her the million dollar question and she said she would go to heaven because she hadn't really done anything bad. I shared the gospel with her and found out she was raised Jehovah's Witness but wasn't practicing. I told her about Romans 10:9 and asked if I could lead her in the prayer of salvation. She agreed and I led her to Christ right there.

Are you planning on eating out somewhere in the next few days? Leave your waiter or waitress a generous tip and then give them the best tip of all: the gospel! Be bold and let God use you!


.shockwave challenge - day 63

Nine weeks ago, I started an incredible journey with the intention of sharing the gospel with at least one person a day for a week. I didn't know I could do it, and I definitely didn't foresee the results of how it would change me. I've prayed with 59 people to be saved, 3 people have been miraculously healed and many more have been impacted by God's amazing love. It's been an incredible ride and I feel like I'm still barely scratching the surface of what God's going to do through the shockwave movement.

Today we went to the fair and had a great time. While Karis was riding the swings, I struck up a conversation with another dad who was watching his kid. We talked about the fair briefly and then I dropped it on him - the million dollar question, that is. He said he believed he would go to heaven and when I asked him why, he said what many others have said: "Because I've been a good person."

I told him that wasn't good enough as I shared the gospel. After I went through our script with him, I asked if I could lead him in a prayer to make Jesus his Lord. Then he said he'd already said a prayer like that before. I encouraged him that Jesus was the only way and his good deeds had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Will you take my challenge? Join me on an adventure like no other and watch as God changes your life in incredible ways!


.shockwave challenge - day 62

We were all over town today and I didn't create any opportunities to share the gospel at all. There weren't any opportunities that were blaring, but I didn't make any either. I did talk with a personal banker about church and found out she was already saved, but I knew that didn't count as my shockwave challenge today.

As we got home tonight around 10, I kept thinking about my day and how I had completely missed it. I also knew that the day wasn't over and I still had time to get my challenge completed. I began thinking about family members or friends of friends that I could call with the purpose of sharing the gospel. So I texted my mom to get her stepson's phone number. I knew from conversations we've had previously that he really needed to hear the truth about God's love and grace. I had already been praying for him, but I said another quick prayer before I gave him a call and asked God for just the right words to say and that his heart would be open and receptive.

I called and we talked for a few minutes and then he asked me to hold on for a minute. I prayed in the Spirit while I was on hold. He said he had to go help his aunt move some furniture. I almost let him go and then I stopped him to ask the million dollar question. I told him how important it was and that I would regret not asking him. He said he knew he would go to heaven because he believed. He talked about how his mom and dad had raised him and then I asked what he believed about how a person gets to heaven. He said he wasn't really sure. I shared the gospel with him and found out that he had prayed the prayer of salvation when he was younger. I knew he had to go, but I assured him of his salvation and told him to call anytime with any questions.

Who is it in your life that you know needs to hear the truth about God's love and grace? Why not give them a call tonight or in the next few days and tell them how much you care and how much more God cares about them? Ask them the million dollar question and make sure they know they would go to heaven when they die. That's the most important thing you can do for someone. Why would you hesitate when it comes to those you care about?


.shockwave challenge - day 61

I met up with someone who wanted to buy something I had on craigslist and after we made a deal, I invited him and his girlfriend to church. I offered to pray with them and he shared a request for a friend with a drug problem. I then asked if they knew they would go to heaven. The man said yes and that he was raised Christian and the woman said she didn't know. She said she had never been to church but was raised in the Kingdom Hall. She was a Jehovah's Witness. I shared the gospel with them and she prayed the prayer of salvation with me! She told me that no one had ever asked her a question like that before...not even her boyfriend. I wasn't shocked at all. The stats are astounding. Only 2% of Christians regularly share their faith. Are YOU sharing?

Keep your eyes peeled and your heart open for opportunities to share the gospel. You'll never know what kind of impact you'll have on someone unless you step out in faith to share Jesus.


.shockwave challenge - day 60

After lunch, we went to a local store to pick-up a few things and get some more candy to donate for the Trunk or Treat.  While we were there, we saw a lady with a toddler in her cart.  After Karis had already approached them, I sent her back over with an invitation card and then struck up a conversation.  I invited her to church and offered prayer.  She said she was fine and then I asked her the million dollar question: "If you were to die today or within the next 100 years, do you know for sure you'll go to heaven when you die?"  She said she believed she would and went on to explain how she had a close relationship with God and believed Jesus died on the cross for her sins.  I made sure that she had confessed Jesus as her Lord and had gone beyond just believing.  She was thankful for our conversation and we invited her to the Trunk or Treat as well.  She said she would come to the church and visit some time.

As you're out and about doing your daily deal, keep in mind that we have a responsibility as believers to share our faith with others.  We are partnering with God in this great commission and He backs us up wherever we go.  So, go and tell somebody about Christ today!


.shockwave challenge - day 59

We went to Smoothie King for a dinner smoothie tonight and I invited the smoothie barista (is that even the correct terminology?) to church. I offered to pray with her and she said she was ok. So then I immediately followed up with the million dollar question. She said she would probably go to heaven because she believed she was a pretty good person. I asked her permission to share with her what the Bible says and she agreed. I presented the gospel to her and she said she believed that Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead and had attended a local church when she was younger. I told her about Romans 10:9 and asked if she had ever prayed a prayer to confess Jesus as Lord and she said no. I was excited because I just knew the next part would be so simple! I was shocked when I told her I could lead her in a prayer to do that and she said, "No, that's ok." Wow!

I just stood there for a moment and so Kristen chimed in with some encouragement about how easy it is and how it's a simple statement of what you already believe is true. She declined again, so Kristen remembered that we had some "road to salvation" cards in the SUV and she told her she'd be right back with a card that has the prayer that she could say on her own. We ran to the car and searched, but couldn't find any cards!!! Aggghh! So I told Kristen to write out the prayer on the back of a Trunk or Treat invitation. She went back inside and handed her the prayer and encouraged her to say it by herself and she would be saved.

I believe she will say the prayer on her own and call on the name of the Lord. We both wished we had those cards with us and we encourage you to take 'em with you as well. You will be able to get a copy on our church website in the next day or so!

Go out armed with the tools you need to be ready to preach the gospel wherever you go! And if you find that you don't have what you need handy, improvise and trust God!


.shockwave challenge - day 58

I went up to BDubs this morning to meet up with Jason and Cullen to check in on them and of course, see about the possibility of scoring free wings for a year.  I realized that it wasn't going to happen for me this morning.  Unlike the "five o'clock people" in the parable, this time, you'd have to show up early enough to get in on the action.

While we were there, they did a few giveaway contests and then a lady walks up to me and asks if I knew whose car was double parked behind me.  So I pointed out the culprit and then struck up a conversation.  I knew this would be an opportunity to share my faith.  I waited on her sister to park the car and get out and then I invited them both to church and offered to pray with them.  They didn't want prayer at that moment, so I asked them the million dollar question to which they both replied, "Yes."  I asked them how they knew they would go to heaven and they said they were saved.  I was glad to meet some fellow believers and I encouraged them to share their faith with others.  I didn't stick around for the rest of the time, but if I thought I had even a remote chance of scoring some free wings, I would have stayed!

Later, while at work, a delivery guy came by to drop off an order from Office Depot.  I signed for the order and then asked if I could pray with him about anything. He told me his grandmother had just passed away and that we could pray for the family.  I encouraged him and then asked him the million dollar question before we prayed.  He assured me that he was saved already and then we agreed together for comfort and peace for his family.

I couldn't think of a better way to get my day started than with the shockwave challenge!  How about you make a plan to start your day that way, too?  Get out there and meet somebody new and then share the gospel with him or her.  You'll be amazed at how invigorating it is!


.shockwave challenge - day 57

After church, we went to Maurice's BBQ for lunch and grubbed down! There was nobody else there, so after we ate I talked with the manager for a little bit about how business was going. I asked him about the church crowd and told him we had just come from church and if he needed prayer. He declined. Then I asked if he knew whether he would go to heaven. He assured me that he would and when I asked why, he said that he believed in God. I then asked if he believed in Jesus and that he died on the cross and rose from the grave. He said yes, so I shared Romans 10:9 with him and asked if he had ever confessed Jesus as Lord and he told me that he had when he was young.

Why don't you take some time today to talk with someone and share the gospel with them? You CAN give life!


.shockwave challenge - day 56

Karis and I went to Wal-Mart to get a "shockwave sandwich" as she calls the shockwave challenge.  We went in armed with 7 invitations and were determined to leave without any left.  While we were doing our shopping for a few items, we were on the prowl for people who needed Jesus!  At one point, we were following a couple up and down several aisles looking for the perfect opportunity to approach them.  We invited 7 people to church and prayed with all of them for various needs.  One grandmother asked her grandson if he wanted us to pray for his school, so we did. They were already saved.

Another couple we met said they knew they would go to heaven because they were good.  Like many people we've met, we found out later that they had already accepted Christ as their Savior.  They said, "We haven't ever had anyone ask us that in a store before."  I laughed aloud, but cringed inside.  Isn't it sad that so few believers are doing our part?

While we were finishing up our shopping, I noticed a lady with a cane shopping with her family.  I told Karis that we were going to invite them to church.  The approach was a little awkward because Karis said, "Excuse me" when we walked up to them and they tried to move as if we were asking them to get out of the way.  I jumped in and said that she wanted to invite them to church.  There was a little girl there that was the same age as Karis, so she wanted to get out of the cart and personally hand the card to her.  She handed out a card to each person in the family and we told them about our Trunk or Treat event.  I asked them if they needed prayer, and immediately the lady with the cane said she had some serious health issues.  I inquired further about her health condition and found out that she had been diagnosed with quite a number of things from high blood pressure to blood clots and back problems and other things I couldn't remember.  I began telling her how Jesus healed the blind, lame, deaf and mute and that her problems were nothing for Him. I shared with her from John 14:12 and Mark 16 about how Jesus had given believers the commission to lay hands on the sick and we could do the same works and even greater works than He had.  I shared the testimony of the lady with the broken thumb, whom I prayed for last week, and told her God's power would work the same way for her.  Then, with her permission, I laid hands on her and commanded her body to be made whole.  After we prayed, I asked if there was any difference.  She looked at me, wide-eyed, and speechless.  I said, "Your back's warm, isn't it?"  She said, "Why, yes!  This is weird. I could hardly stand up in here shopping before, but I feel better now!"  I explained about the power of God working in her body to bring about a healing and a cure for her condition and then shared the gospel with her and her daughter.  The two of them prayed the prayer of salvation with me!  They were both so thankful that I had approached them because they needed what I had to offer.

And, if you're a believer, you have something to offer, too!  Get out there and give life to someone today.  Don't let another opportunity to minister healing or salvation to someone slip away.  Seize the moment and you won't have any regrets!


.shockwave challenge - day 55

We were at the Montclair park today and while Karis was playing, I saw the tennis instructor who is always at one of the parks giving lessons. He walked to his car during a break and as he walked back to the tennis court, I approached him and said, "Another great day at the office, huh?" He agreed and we talked for a bit. Before I walked away, I invited him to church and asked him the million dollar question. He said that he should go to heaven and didn't see any reason why not. I asked him why and he said because of doing good things and not doing anything really bad like killing someone. I shared the gospel with him and found out that he believed in the resurrection. I asked if he had ever prayed a prayer according to Romans 10:9 and he said, "a bunch of times!" I assured him that he was saved according to the Bible and it only took one time. He said he was raised in the "holiness" denomination, but wasn't attending church now because he works 7 days a week. I told him to come to church the next time he gets a break.

Religion is rampant in the church today! Christians are convinced that their good works or own holiness makes them right with God. But according to the Bible, Jesus is the ONLY mediator who can make us right with God. (1 Tim. 2:5) Let's make sure people know that Jesus is the only ticket to heaven and he promised us an abundant life!

Later, two high school girls came down to the swings, so Karis went over and invited them to church. They were both believers and attended church and also went to a Christian school. Kristen told them about our outreaches and invited them to join us in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

You should join us, too. Wherever you are, take the shockwave challenge and share the gospel with at least one person a day!


.shockwave challenge - day 54

We went to the Kroc center this afternoon to workout and swim.  After my run, I walked over to the water fountain and saw one of the lifeguards watching an indoor soccer game from outside the gym.  I walked up and asked if he was just getting off of work or taking a break.  He said he was happy to be going home and was ready for some sleep.  After a little small talk, I invited him to church and he said, "You know, I've been wanting to get back to church but I've just had some bad experiences at churches."  I promised he would find just what he needed at Good News Church and then I asked how he got involved in church in the first place.  He said he was really involved as a kid when the local church sent a van into the neighborhood to pick kids up.

I told him I didn't want to assume anything just because he attended church and that I needed to ask him an important question.  Then I dropped the million dollar bomb on him.  He said he thought he'd go to heaven because he was a good person.  He said that he felt like the more good you do, the closer you get to God and the more bad you do, the closer you get to the devil.  I told him that I could tell he seemed like a good person, but ultimately how good do you have to be to get into heaven?  He nodded his head like he understood.  I then shared the gospel with him and pointed out that there's no way we can be good enough and that's why God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.  I shared Romans 10:9 with him and asked if he'd ever prayed a prayer like that.  He said he thought he had when he was a kid, but wanted to do it again because he felt like he needed to.  I was happy to oblige and so I led him in the prayer of salvation.  After our prayer, he said, "I really needed that today.  I feel good now!"  I continued to share with him about the benefits of salvation and encouraged him to come to church to grow in his faith.  He said he'd like that.

Who can you share the gospel with today?  Go out and give life!  You could encourage someone.  You could lead someone else to Christ.  You could challenge another believer to share his faith.  You could lay hands on the sick and heal them.  You could do the works of Christ and join the most important ministry there is: the ministry of the believer!


.shockwave challenge - day 53

Earlier today, I was very aware of missing several opportunities to present the gospel...one was quite blaring.  The FedEx guy came by the office today to deliver a package and instead of having us sign, just dropped it off at the front and rang the doorbell.  I ran to the door and opened it, fully expecting to present the gospel.  Well, I ran all the way down the ramp after him asking if I needed to sign (hoping it would give me more time to talk to him).  He said it wasn't necessary for this package and he was apparently being trained because there was another person driving and waiting on him.  Boo!  I bid them good day and I walked away wishing I would have ran over to the truck and stopped both of them for a moment to ask them that all important question about their eternity.  But I didn't.  For all of the opportunities I seize, there are probably dozens more that I miss.  That's why it's even more important for every believer to do the work of the ministry!

I had to make up for the timidity I let out, so I walked over to the park before church this afternoon to invite people with children to our Trunk or Treat event using the invitation cards.  I met a couple (even on a rainy afternoon) at the swing set with their four year old, so I invited them to the event.  They lived close by and said they were wanting to take her to the Trunk or Treat so she could get some candy.  I asked if they needed prayer and they said no.  I then asked if they knew they would go to heaven, to which they also replied no.  After I shared the gospel with them, I gave them an opportunity to receive Christ as their Savior.  The mom declined and walked away and I further investigated with the dad.  He felt the same way, so I didn't pressure them.  I trust that they will come to the Trunk or Treat event and participate in our Gospel Hayride and their eyes will be opened to the truth.

On my way back to the church, I saw a young man walking home from school.  I pulled into the side parking lot and hopped out real quick to invite him to church.  After asking him the million dollar question, he said, "I know I'm going to heaven because I'm saved!"  I knew what he meant, but clarified whether he had invited Jesus into his life and confessed Him as Lord.  He had indeed!  It was awesome to meet a teenager who knew he was going to heaven because Jesus saved him!

How about you invite someone to church today and share the gospel with them?  If you need a script to help you with that part, you can download it on our church website here.  Go give life today!


.shockwave challenge - day 52

I was at work today when the UPS guy came by to deliver a package.  I opened the door and signed for the box and after we made a little small talk, I asked him the million dollar question.  I actually chased him down the sidewalk because at first I wasn't going to ask him.  I almost chickened out, but then I thought about the prayers I've been praying that go a little something like this: "God, send people to me who need to hear the good news and be saved."  I realized that this could be one of those people, so I didn't let the opportunity slip by without doing my part.

He said he knew he was going to heaven because he had a pure heart.  After asking what made his heart pure, we got down to the only way to get to heaven - Jesus!  He was a fellow believer after all, but I still recognize that I was obedient and know that God can trust me with sharing the gospel with those he brings across my path.

What about you?  Can God trust you with sharing the message of His love and goodness through Jesus Christ to those He brings across your path?  What did you do with those opportunities that presented themselves today?  That's a good indicator of how trustworthy you are with His message.  If you missed it today (like I almost did) then get back up and make a change for tomorrow.  You'll never know the outcome unless you do.


.shockwave challenge - day 51

We went to Target tonight after an appointment and I met a gentleman in Starbucks and invited him to church. I offered to pray with him and he declined, then I asked him the million dollar question. He said that was a pretty big question and he had to think about it for a minute. He said he believed in it. I asked him if he believed in God, Jesus and the resurrection to which he replied "Yes!" I then share Romans 10:9 with him and asked if he had ever confessed Jesus as his Lord. He said he had and was baptized when he was 12. I told him that was the only way to heaven and assured him of his salvation. When I asked him if he attended church, he said at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. He asked me about my testimony of coming to Christ and we had a great conversation. I believe he was saved according to the Bible.

Regardless of your view of different religions and denominations, we have a responsibility to share the truth of the good news with others. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life! The only way to heaven is through him and according to Romans 10:13, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Be a lifegiver today and share God's good news with somebody!


.shockwave challenge - day 50

Karis and Yaya and I went to the park tonight and I met a guy on the basketball court. I invited him to church and shared the gospel with him. He didn't know if he'd go to heaven but wasn't ready to pray with me. I persisted with the gospel and told him it was as simple as receiving a gift but I perceived that he had the idea that he wanted to get his life right before praying. I told him it wasn't about what he had done but receiving what Jesus has already done for him. As much as I wanted him to be saved, he wouldn't pray with me even though he believed in Jesus.

I kept thinking about how patient God is and how much He desires all of humanity to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4). I pray that Jamal takes into consideration what I said and prays to accept Christ on his own.

While we were there, Karis invited a little boy to Trunk or Treat and we found out that his family was already saved. They said they would come and loved the idea!

Could you invite someone to church this week and share the gospel?


.shockwave challenge - day 49

We started our day this morning with an outreach blitz at church so I had to run to WalMart to pick up some bottled waters to pass out. Before I went in, I met a lady in a wheelchair and offered to pray for her. She asked if I could pray for a situation with her drivers license but didn't authorize me to pray for her legs. We prayed together about that situation and I learned that she was already saved.

We had 9 people go out with us on outreach and we prayed with 88 people to be saved and ministered to dozens of others about different things from jobs, finances, and healing in their bodies. Harry and I met one lady who was experiencing pain in her abdomen. After we shared with her from the Bible about believers laying hands on the sick and healing them, we commanded the pain to go and she said she felt about 40% better. So we spoke to the pain again and she was healed completely! Afterward, she let us record her testimony on video.

One lady who went out with us today had the opportunity to pray with someone for the first time! She was so excited when we came back and said, "I want to do this again!" I told her she could do it everyday!

After outreach, I went home to pick up Karis and Kristen for lunch and we went to Zaxby's. We ate and then Kristen saw someone she wanted to minister to, so she went and shared the gospel with her and led her to Christ. The lady said, "I was having a bad day, but you just made my day so much better!"

We realized today more than ever that "the harvest truly is plentiful, but the workers are few." (Matthew 9:37) We need more harvest hands! Get in on the shockwave and share the gospel with someone you meet!


.shockwave challenge - day 48

Kristen and I went on a date tonight and saw the movie Courageous. What a great flick! It was so inspiring and challenging in many ways. It even had a shockwave moment in there that reminded me that I hadn't done my challenge yet today.

After we left the movie, Tutti Frutti was calling our names, so we scooted over there to scarf down some delicious fro yo! On our way out, we invited a couple to church and talked to them about the gospel. They were both under the impression that they'd go to heaven because they were good people. The young girl had been raised Muslim and the guy was open minded but didn't have a clear understanding of who Jesus is. We did our best to present the gospel to them, but they didn't pray with us to be saved.

It's difficult sometimes to get the entire gospel out to someone in a conversation, especially when they have solid viewpoints and opinions about religion. I attempted to explain to them the major difference in other world religions and faith in Christ being that of human achievement versus divine accomplishment. In a very real sense, religion attempts to reach God on its own merit, while faith in Christ is belief and acceptance of what God accomplished for us through Jesus.
While getting to this point, he cut me off and I wasn't able to finish. We wish we had the chance to share further with them, but they insisted that they were on their way to the movies. She had mentioned earlier that she wanted us to pray for her brother so I used that opportunity to pray also for them that their eyes would be open and that they would see clearly God's plan for their lives. We believe other laborers will come across their path to water the seed we planted.

Will you be a laborer? Will you make a conscious decision to go out into the harvest fields to share what God has done for humanity and bring them to a point of decision about Christ? Take the challenge and rise to the occasion!


.shockwave challenge - day 47

We were on our way to dinner with some friends and we had to stop and pick up a dessert. While I was standing in the frozen food section studying the delicious delectables, I noticed a gentleman picking up some ice cream. I quickly walked over to him and invited him to church and offered to pray for him. When I asked him if he knew he would go to heaven, he said no. So I shared the gospel with him and he found forgiveness right there in the frozen food aisle. At first, he said he couldn't pray with me because he had to go to work, but before I said anything, he said, "No, let's go ahead and do this!" So he called upon Jesus to be saved.

The whole interaction took about three minutes. Why don't you give God some of your time today to talk to someone about the gospel? It is easier than it seems and God works with you to reach out to people. As my friend Jason said, "put a little shockwave in your coffee" and get going!


.shockwave challenge - day 46

Karis came to church with Kristen this afternoon and told me she wanted to go invite people to church. So we went across the street to the park where we met a lady who was there with her 3 year old daughter. After we invited them to church, I asked her if she needed prayer. She had an ace bandage wrapped around her hand and she told me I could pray for her thumb because she had broken it when she was working out.

I shared with her from Acts 10:38 and John 14:12 and then told her a testimony of when I prayed for a woman with a similar condition and she was healed. I asked if I could lay hands on her in Jesus name and she agreed. Karis and I prayed for her and then I told her to go ahead and move her thumb. When she did, she smiled really big and said the pain was gone! She said, "For real! It's all gone. I didn't know it would be instant!!" I laughed and told her that's what happens when you take God at His word! I then shared the gospel with her and she prayed with me to receive Jesus because she didn't know if she would go to heaven when she died. She was adamant that she would be at church on Sunday because they were new to the area and she wanted to meet some new people.

Karis and I continued to invite people to church and at one point, I saw her chasing a little boy with an invitation card in her hand. She invited a number of kids to go to her church right across the street! We also got to pray with another woman who was already saved, but needed a job.

I missed an opportunity at lunch today, but I wonder if I would have gone to the park if I had shared the gospel with someone at lunch. Maybe I didn't miss it at all because I believe meeting Rina at the park was a divine appointment. She knows that God's power is real and now she knows that heaven is her eternal home.

Make a divine appointment today and see how God can use you to reach people in your world! You'll be amazed at His goodness!


.shockwave challenge - day 45

Last week I met a number of people who were already believers and I'm thankful for the opportunity to encourage them. But I also know that my mission is to make disciples, so I've been praying more earnestly that God would bring people across my path that need Him. Tonight, He did just that.

We went to Wal-Mart to meet someone who was buying something we listed on craigslist. We didn't end up making the deal today, but I introduced him to a better deal! I shared the gospel with him and both he and his nephew prayed the prayer of salvation with us!

It's so exciting to see God work in someone's heart and see the transforming power at work. Maybe you can make a grace transaction today! Share the gospel with the people you meet and introduce them to the One who can turn their lives around!


.shockwave challenge - day 44

We went to DiChicko's cafe for lunch today and while we were there, I talked to a couple looking around the store. After sharing the gospel with them, I found out they were Christians and already attended church. I encouraged them and prayed for them about their relationship.

Later, we stopped by the gas station and I saw an older gentleman working on his car. I approached and invited him to church and for the first time in over 6 weeks, someone refused my invitation card. I proceeded with the million dollar question and he ignored me. I asked him if he had a response and he told me he didn't really feel like talking. I said a blessing over him and walked away. Most Christians in this case may have pressed the issue or condemned the man for his rudeness, but that would have just made his heart harder. I believe God's goodness draws men to repentance. (Romans 2:4). I fully expect God to reveal Himself to this man!

Can you be a dispenser of God's goodness to someone today through offering them an invitation to accept Christ's free gift of salvation? I certainly plan to!


.shockwave challenge - day 43

While we were at church this morning, I saw one of the people I met at Wal-Mart and invited to church.  I've invited a number of people to church over the past six weeks and I'm excited that one person finally came!  I hope she continues to come and gets plugged in because it's life and death where you go to church.  Make sure you're in a Bible-believing church that preaches about salvation through Jesus Christ and presents an image of God as portrayed in the Bible as a loving Father who wants the best for His children.

After church today, we went out to Chili's for lunch and while we were waiting for our table, I stepped outside to talk to a guy I saw taking a smoke break.  I invited him to church and offered to pray with him.  He said he could use prayer for a new position at his job that he wanted.  I told him we'd pray about that later, but first I wanted to ask him an important question - the million dollar question!  He said he knew he'd go to heaven when he died and I learned after he said he believed the right things that what he believed about getting to heaven was actually right!  He had confessed Jesus as His savior when he was a child and even though he wasn't doing what he thought was right at this time in his life, he knew he was going to heaven because of Christ.  I was encouraged about his answer and began to talk to him more about his life.  I then ministered to him and prayed with him about his job.

What about you?  Can you invite someone to church and then use that opportunity to investigate into their eternal destination?  It's so simple that you've probably psyched yourself out of doing it too many times over nothing.  Just be yourself and allow God to show Himself through your words and actions!


.shockwave challenge - day 42

We had lunch at Wendy's today and before we left I shared the gospel with the guy who took our order. He was already saved and attended another church but was appreciative that I shared with him.

I had put my PS2 on craigslist for sale and someone came by to buy it today. After we finished our transaction, I shared the gospel with him and his girlfriend and they were already saved too.

Be open for opportunities to come your way today and then seize them!


.shockwave challenge - day 41

We were out at Old Navy this afternoon and I shared the gospel with two different people. They were both saved and one of them had a daughter that goes to school with Karis.

Then we went to McDonald's for some nuggies and I met a guy who was a youth pastor in Aiken. Hopefully we'll be able to hook up with them for an outreach and training sometime in the future.

Why don't you look for some people to share the gospel with tonight? It's easier than it seems. Trust me! You can do it.


.shockwave challenge - day 40

We had our AC go out last night so we called the company to send out a tech today. He assessed the situation and got us back up and running. Afterward, I asked him the million dollar question and he said he didn't go to church anywhere but he was a "die hard Christian" and reads his Bible everyday. I invited him to church and encouraged him to share with others.

Later, I went back to work and a roofer shows up to repair a leak we've had. After he was done, I asked him if he attended church and he told me where he went and that he was actually getting his doctorate in theology! We had quite the discussion about his thesis on Calvinism versus Arminianism - a much debated topic among denominations. I encouraged him that no matter what side of the fence he was on that it doesn't change the great commission. We have a responsibility to share the gospel with people wherever we go.

After I got home, YaYa wanted to take Karis to the park at the elementary school, so we went and played for a while. I saw a couple sitting on the bench so I approached them, invited them to church and asked them the million dollar question. They said they hoped so, but weren't sure. I shared the gospel with them and learned that they had already accepted Christ as their savior. I prayed with them further about her mom who needed healing for constant headaches and high blood pressure. I believe God will bring laborers across her path who are equipped to give life!

What about you? Who can you give life to today? We need all the harvest hands we can get out here in the fields!


.shockwave challenge - day 39

Kristen and I were on our way to lunch and I had to stop by the gas station to fuel up.  I gave the lady across the pump an invitation card and asked her the million dollar question.  She said she knew she'd go to heaven when she died and then I asked her how she knew.  Before she sped away, she said, "Because I'm saved!"  

I now know more about Christ's mission to "seek and save the lost" than I did 39 days ago. (see Luke 19:10)  I have prayed with 39 people to be saved in 39 days and today I wasn't satisfied in my brief encounter with another believer, so I looked around for someone else to talk to.  I saw the store manager standing outside taking a break, so I pulled the car into a parking space and hopped out to talk to her.  After talking with her for a few minutes, I discovered that she, too, was a believer.  I left knowing that I had encouraged her in her faith, but all the while I'm thinking about that lost man or woman that I didn't get to talk to.  Now I'm praying for more opportunities than ever and that God would lead me to people who need His grace and power working in their lives!

Who are you seeking and saving today?  Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to talk to the person across from you at the gas station or in front of you in the line at the grocery store or WHEREVER you go!


.shockwave challenge - day 38

We went out to lunch for my mom's birthday today at Salsa's.  While we were on our way out stopping to grab Karis some mints, we ran into (literally almost) a few ladies who were doing the same.  While we walked out, I casually invited them to church and offered to pray with them.  One of them said she had already prayed this morning and the others said they were good, too.  I asked the million dollar question and they all answered with an affirmative exclamation.  When I asked why they were so confident that they would go to heaven, one of them said because she was so strong in her faith.  The other two didn't respond.  After asking specifically whether they had asked Jesus to come into their lives and hearts, they assured me that they had.

I have often wondered why so many "Christians" don't immediately answer with "Jesus is my Savior" when asked why they know they would go to heaven.  My hypothesis would be that there's a tremendous lack of biblical teaching in the body of Christ.  People believe that Jesus saves them, but in order to stay saved, they must live up to a standard with their works.  I would assume that the standard most people believe they must live up to is impossible to say the least.  That is why we need a Savior!

I have met so many people who have told me they know they would go to heaven based on the fact that they haven't sinned a LOT.  And after sharing the gospel with them and giving them the invitation to accept Christ, many have said, "Oh, I've already done that."  You're kidding, right?  If you've already done that, why didn't you mention Jesus Christ anywhere in our conversation?  I know why.  They don't understand that the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was enough.  And I get it.  Shouldn't there be MORE we have to do to earn such a luminous place in eternity?  I mean, our entire society is performance-based.  Do poorly on your job? Get fired!  Do poorly in school?  Repeat the 9th grade.  Do poorly in your relationship? End up with a divorce.  Herein lies the problem with modern Christianity.  People, believers even, think that the kingdom of heaven operates like the world's system.  God's system is unfair in its own right.  He simply requires that one believe in the resurrection and accept His free gift of salvation in order to be saved. (Romans 10:9)  It doesn't seem fair that a murderer could call out to Christ before being sentenced to death and get a spot in heaven with all of the others who called out to Christ, but ALSO went to church every Sunday, paid their tithes, ironed their clothes and gave to the poor.  (See Matthew's story about the "five o'clock people" in chapter 20 for a great parable of the unfairness of God's kingdom.)

Now, I know this rant is a bit out of fashion for my usual shockwave challenge report of the day, but I've encountered too many believers who have been deceived.  I understand that you're probably poking holes in my theology right about now, wondering if I think that Christians can do whatever they want (sin) and get into heaven.  That's not the point of this post at all.  The question is simply this, "Was Christ's sacrifice ENOUGH to cover my sin and pay the price for my spot in heaven...or was it not?  Did Jesus pay it all or did he leave a balance due?  Did he get most of it and want us to leave the tip or did he foot the entire bill?"

Next time you ask someone, "if you died tonight or 100 years from now, do you know for sure you'll go to heaven when you die," and they answer in the affirmative with any other reason than "Christ is my Savior,"  make sure you point them to the fact that Christ paid their ransom...ALL of it!


.shockwave challenge - day 37

Karis and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a birthday card for YaYa.  On our way in, we met a lady and invited her to church.  When I asked her the million dollar question, she said she knew she was going to heaven because she had already accepted Christ.  I asked her if I could pray for her about anything and she told me she needed a job.  We prayed together and I believe God will provide!  As we continued shopping, we met another family and invited them to church as well.  We asked them the million dollar question and they were already saved too.

Make it a point to share the gospel wherever you go!  Karis was excited about doing the "shockwave sandwich" with me...that's what she calls the shockwave challenge.  It's so important that we don't neglect our mission and teach our children to share the gospel as well.

I've been hearing great testimonies of people doing the shockwave challenge all over the place.  One kid in our church is 8 years old and he was so excited when he got to lead 2 of his classmates in the prayer of salvation one day.  Another young woman led one of her clients to Christ over the phone today!  She told me she felt like she was going to explode because she was so happy!  There's no greater feeling than giving life to someone!  Go give life today!


.shockwave challenge - day 36

After lunch, we went to Target to pick up a few things. While we were checking out costumes for Karis for Trunk or Treat, I saw a young man with a cane and a knee brace. Immediately, my heart went out to him and I was moved with compassion. I knew I had to talk to him. We went down the aisle they were in and I invited them to church. They were a military couple and were looking for a good church to attend. We assured them that they would be welcome and would fit right in. I asked him how he injured his knee and he told me he fell down a ladder in the submarine he worked on. I began telling him about Jesus and how he went about healing the sick and said those who believe in Him could do the same. He wasn't ready for me to pray for him right then, but said they would come to church and would let me pray for him there. I asked the million dollar question and learned that they were both believers. We encouraged them again and before we left, I offered another invitation for healing but he wasn't comfortable praying there in the store. I sincerely believe that it's not God's plan for anyone to experience the kind of pain he was going through. I pray that they will come to church so that I can minister to him again. And if not, I pray for other believers to come across his path to minister God's healing power to him.

Regardless of where you are today, don't let that stop you from taking advantage of an opportunity to share the gospel with someone. See a need and then jump into action with God's compassion.


.shockwave challenge - day 35

Karis and I had a daddy-daughter date today with Jay and Lilli bicycling down the Augusta Canal. While we were there, we stopped at the sweet spot by the river and there was another family there. We invited them to church and then asked them the million dollar question. They assured us they were already believers and attended church in Hephzibah.

Maybe you are out and about today having a good ol' time, too. Don't forget about God's mission wherever you are. Find someone to share the gospel with today!


.shockwave challenge - day 34

Karis and I went to the bank today. She loves the bank because they give you money and lollipops!

After we made our transaction, I saw the guy next to me and knew I should share the gospel with him. I walked outside and got Karis situated in the car and waited for him to come out. He came out and I pounced! I invited him to church and asked I I could pray for him. He declined and I asked him the million dollar question. He said he wasn't into church. I told him going to heaven had nothing to do with going to church as I shared the gospel with him. He said he believed in Jesus but was ultimately unwilling to let me lead him in a prayer to confess Jesus as Lord.

As I was pulling out of the bank, I saw a couple walking and so I drove past them and parked. I hopped out and invited them to church. They told me they were looking for a church to attend and they needed prayer. I found out that they were already believers and they asked me to pray about a job and transportation. I encouraged them and then we prayed together.

At times, you may feel discouraged because someone doesn't accept Christ, but don't let that stop you from sharing with the next person. You may never know who needs your encouragement and prayers of faith. You must be willing to share no matter how you feel at the moment. Take my challenge and share the gospel with someone today!


.shockwave challenge - day 33

Last night while I was preaching for Overflow, we were talking about friends and family members that we need to reach with the gospel. I was suddenly convicted because several years ago while we were doing the Impact meetings, God had brought a couple of uncles to my mind to pray for them. Well, I prayed for them at the time, but did nothing to reach out to them. You see, we don't really have a current relationship because they live out of town and we just aren't very close. But they are still family and God wants them all to be saved!

During the service, while the students were in their small groups, I texted my mom to get their phone numbers. She replied with one phone number and I immediately went to my office to call my uncle. As my heart was racing and I anticipated what I might say, the call went straight to voicemail. I left a message and said I would try to call again tomorrow. My heart sank because I wondered if I might have been too late. I kept thinking, "What if I didn't share the gospel with them and they died tonight?" Then I was reminded about 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Thank God for His patience and all of the chances He gives us to respond to Him.

I made the phone call again today. I got to talk to both of my uncles and found out that one of them was already saved and gave his life to Christ a few years ago before he was about to be operated on to remove a tumor from his throat! The other uncle laughed when I asked him the question and said, "That's the reason you called me?" I was sincere and shared the gospel with him. He wasn't ready to receive and said he was set in his ways and didn't want to change. He grew up in a children's home and learned about the Bible and he believes in the Bible and in Jesus, but wasn't willing to confess Jesus as Lord. He said he'd had religion shoved down his throat too many times. I tried explaining to him that religion isn't the way to heaven and that the people who had forced it on him were wrong. While he didn't pray the prayer, he did let me pray for him before we ended our call.

I hate religion. It has warped the view of God for so many people and well-meaning believers have turned people away through their tirades about people getting their lives right before they come to Christ.
Nevertheless, I was finally obedient and made the call to share the gospel with those family members whom God had placed on my heart. I know I've done my part and I believe God will continue to work in the lives of my uncles.

Do you have some family members or friends that you are unsure of whether they will go to heaven or not? How about you ask them right now? Go look up their phone number and give them a call! What's stopping you?