.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!