Monday, June 20, 2022



“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

     Welcome to the website. Last week we talked about where along the way did Christians stop openly sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ . . . and went to what I call “the learning by osmosis” theory. I discussed that I don’t blame the Christian body, as they were never taught and encouraged to openly share the gospel. I want to do a follow up this week to that post.
     On 9/11 in the year of 2001 many of you remember what Todd Beamer said who was a passenger on a jet over Pennsylvania that had been commandeered by terrorists. The westbound plane unexpectedly veered back eastward, and by that time the passengers learned by cell phone calls with family members about the three jets already crashed in New York City and Washington D.C. They knew that all the lives of the people in the plane were in danger, not to mention many other people that were in the targeted building back east, whom many thought later to be the White House. Mr. Beamer famously encouraged nine other passengers and two flight attendants to thwart the attack in his final statement heard over a phone call he made to an airline phone worker. Mr. Beamer said to the group, “Let’s roll!” The action of those brave people likely prevented an even greater disaster.

     Do you see the parallel to the world today? Do you understand there is a diabolical scheme conjured up by someone exponentially eviler than the terrorists of 9/11? You do realize, don’t you, that this evil schemer’s end is inevitable, and he, like the terrorists in those jets, want to take you, and as many people as possible out with him?
     Considering that, I want to be like Todd Beamer to attempt to thwart the enemy. I want to be one of many to say, “Let’s roll” in openly sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost to save them from disaster.

Until I see you next time, keep sharing the love of Jesus,

Sunday, June 12, 2022



"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

     Welcome to the website. Last week we discussed what were the influences in our lives that directed us toward coming to Jesus. I gave examples in my own life of the people and things that influenced me. The sad thing to me is the fact that not one of those nine influences openly and directly shared the gospel with me. And for sure I didn’t have one person available to follow along to disciple me, as was encouraged by Jesus in Matthew 28:19. The people and things I mentioned last time as influencers made me think about there being something more to life, but none shared with me exactly how to find the something more. So that’s why my post today is entitled, “Evangelism Question 4: Is It Time to Open Up?”
     Hindsight is always 20/20 . . . but what if the influencers in my life had openly shared the gospel with me, or you, rather than to allow us to come to Christ by a type of learning by osmosis process? And what if they had followed along with us to disciple us?

     I don’t fault the influencers in my life. They were never taught and encouraged to openly share the gospel. And they were never taught and encouraged to disciple ones like me after accepting Christ. But I do fault the church, and church leaders. I don’t, however, want to be dogmatic in advocating punishment for the church and church leaders for their failures. On the other hand, I want to be a change agent, one of many, who turns the church around in this area.
     Let’s start by asking WHY did we stop openly sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and teaching and encouraging others to do so? I have a few of my own thoughts, but I also welcome your thoughts about why:
  1. Feeling inadequate to share. The gospel message and the Bible are things you and I will never understand 100%. I think God made it that way. The mystery and intrigue of the gospel message is what makes it so wonderful. We never know it completely, and we can constantly learn more and more about it.
  2. Feeling ill at ease sharing the gospel with others. I took a Dallas Theological Seminary online course, and the instructor made it clear that we will likely never feel totally comfortable sharing the gospel with other people. But he made it clear that is no reason to stop doing it, and God can work in us despite our feeling of unease.
  3. Somewhere along the way, church leaders stopped teaching us HOW to share the gospel, and they stopped encouraging us TO share the gospel.
     WHEN then, did we, individually and collectively, stop openly sharing the gospel message with others?
  1. I don’t think anyone really knows. We do know the apostles and the early church DID openly share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ wherever they went, and whoever they spoke to, even if it meant people would go so far to put them to death for doing so.
  2. I also think the “familiarity breeds contempt” type of phrase applies. Or perhaps an applicable phrase for non-sharing of the gospel might be “familiarity breeds passivity”. Remember how excited you and I were when we first started a new job, a new hobby, and even a new relationship. Then sometime later our excitement turned almost to disdain. Below are some examples of the familiarity breeds contempt or passivity concept:
  • First Example: My North Central Technical College graduation in 1990 as an older adult: Up to that point I had blue collar jobs, mostly as a factory or construction worker. But after I got my degree in Social Services, I got a professional job working in community mental health, had my own office cubicle, and wore slacks and a dress shirt instead of blue jeans and a t-shirt. I loved sitting in meetings with other professionals and helping mental health clients in the community . . . instead of running a machine. After almost 29 years in that job, however, I was more than ready to retire. The increased mental health “red tape”, productivity and political correctness requirements, and incompetent co-workers led me to feel almost contempt, or passivity about my job. I went from a starry-eyed dreamer to a weary worker. Don’t get me wrong. I developed many wonderful relationships during those years, but I don’t regret retiring, especially since open evangelism on the job in community mental health was not allowed.
  • Second Example: Remember when you and I first came to Christ: Remember how excited we were when we accepted Jesus as our Savior? We wanted to tell everyone we knew about what happened to us. Then over time the excitement wore off. Perhaps family and friends started giving us the cold shoulder, maybe even calling us religious fanatics. Our sharing of Christ somewhere along the line may have ground to, almost a virtual halt.
  • Third Example: Over time since the Acts of the Apostles our fervor for sharing the gospel has waxed and waned. Currently it is my strong opinion that it is in a waning cycle. Many pastors and church leaders share with gusto their opinions on their beliefs about the Bible. But few share with gusto encouragement to their flock to fulfil The Great Commission.
     What then, are the steps to change from passivity to an open sharing of the gospel?
  1. Admit there’s a problem. The Great Commission in the Bible is very clear. When we don’t “go, therefore, and make disciples”, as Jesus stated in Matthew 28:19, I think strongly we have a problem.
  2. Prayer: In a May 16 post, I talked about the many instances where Jesus and His disciples encouraged us repeatedly to ask Him to meet our needs, and He would grant them. I quoted ten scripture passages then, and there are many more, so I’m not going to repeat them here. Would you and I agree that to openly share the gospel with a dying world is a dire need? If so, according to Jesus and his disciples, we should pray for that dire need to openly share the gospel, and He will respond and give us our request. He promised to do so.
  3. Start a movement. My whole purpose of the website in the first place over a year ago, was to start a movement, beginning with myself, to encourage myself, and others, to begin to openly share the gospel with a dying world.
     So, there you have it. I feel very strongly that the time has come, “To Open Up” in sharing the Gospel.

So, until I see you next time, keep sharing the love of Jesus,

Saturday, June 4, 2022



“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.

Hello Friends:

     Welcome to the website. Today I want to explore the variety of means that God used to get yours and my attention resulting in our accepting Him as our Savior and Lord. I entitled the post “Evangelism Question 3: What Tipped Our Scales Toward Jesus?” I want to explore, the influences in our lives that helped direct us toward coming to Jesus.
     The first obvious answer is that the God by His Holy Spirit drew us to Jesus, according to John 6:44. Who else, or what else did God by His Holy Spirit use to exert influence on you and me to help us decide to follow Jesus?
     I came to Christ by myself, and the Holy Spirit of course, inside my car, driving around Holmes County on the day of my Amish Grandpa’s funeral. But there were other influences in my life before that time which I believe strongly were sent by God's Holy Spirit that tipped the scales for me toward Jesus. Here they are:
  1. Myron Weaver, my sixth grade Martins Creek Mennonite Church boys club leader: Myron didn’t come right out and share Christ with us boys, but he had a quiet, gentle spirit about him. I still remember the sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes of a campout on a farm hillside. Myron showed great patience teaching us crafts, and I especially remember weaving keychain fobs from plastic strands, although I wasn’t very good at figuring out the various weaving configurations. Boy, I wish I still had my woven key fob!
  2. The “Angels We Have Heard on High” song: Mom had a Christmas album sung by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. The song “Angels We Have Heard on High" had a profound influence on me with its story of the angels coming to the shepherds in the field to proclaim the birth of Jesus. I listened to that song, and still do, repeatedly.
  3. A set of Bible encyclopedias: I remember scrolling through the pages of the books of that set and being fascinated at the many pictures. I was never much of a reader like my brother Merv, but the pictures of Jesus, the apostles, the Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, and again the wonderful pictures of angels captured my imagination. 
  4. The Brunk Revival tent meetings: Almost every year two fields away from us in the flat valley near Berlin, Ohio the Brunk Revival meeting drew my ear as my brother and I played ball in our big front yard, and as Mom sat contentedly on the front porch listening to the music and the sermon, which boomed from the loudspeakers across the fields.
  5. A church revival meeting: In my early twenties I attended a revival meeting at Martins Creek Mennonite Church during the time I was running from God. I remember being so convicted of my sins that I kicked up stones as I sped out of the parking lot in my brand-new Camaro before the service was completed. I had a good job, plenty of money, but still felt extremely empty.
  6. Grandma Miller with her kind smile and acceptance: I could never understand, however, when she repeatedly said that she was ready to die and go to heaven to meet with her husband, my Grandpa Lee who died before I was one year old.
  7. My Uncle Eddie and Aunt Mary: My uncle and aunt didn’t share with me directly about the love of Jesus, but the fact that they followed Him was evident. And whatever you think of it, right or wrong, the fact they were very involved in the PTL Club in North Carolina. Uncle Eddie and Aunt Mary repeatedly invited me into their home when I was single after their children left to start their own families. I can still hear them saying whenever they saw me, “Stop by anytime!”
  8. Uncle Bob and Aunt Ellene in Indiana: I knew that Uncle Bob and Aunt Ellene shared a faith that I didn’t have, or just had a semblance of. I went to visit them a couple times during my searching years. I wanted to explore why they and their children, Steve, Bruce, and Beth carved out paths of faith so different than what I experienced in my sheltered Amish/Mennonite community.
  9. My Amish Grandpa, uncles, aunt, and all their families: My Amish relatives were not open, as is the case with most of the people listed previously, to share about their relationships each had with God, His Son Jesus, and the Blessed Holy Spirit. But I have very fond memories of each and their love for their families and God, and I look forward to meeting them again someday in heaven.
     These are a few of the influential people and experiences I had that tipped my scales toward Jesus. How about you? 
     The next time I want to explore how to change from being reluctant sharers of Jesus with others, which I experienced much of growing up . . . to open sharers of His great love . . . with the goal of expediting instances of family members, friends, and others following Christ!

See you next time,