Archive for the ‘Christ’ Category

27Sep

Q&A post: How do I overcome the fear of sharing my faith?

fear of evangelism, sharing your faith, Jesus Christ, sharing Christ with others, Toni Birdsong, boldness, sharing the gospel, getting over fear, evangelism online, atheism, atheistby Toni Birdsong
A question I get a lot on the topic of evangelism (the “e” word) is this: Do you ever get scared when you share your faith?

It’s a great question to which I answer: not as much as I used to.

My personal evangelism story begins with going to Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break with InterVarsity to share the gospel with other college kids fixed on partying (pretty extreme, right? And yes, s-c-a-r-y). Since then, I’ve shared my faith with countless neighbors, co-workers, and strangers that God has put in my path. I’ve shared with large and small groups. I’ve seen God move in both subtle and dramatic ways. Sometimes I’d give myself a 7 in ability. Other times, I’d be exaggerating to give myself a 2. Each time I was faithful.

My fear dramatically decreased when I understood 3 Key Things:


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15Sep

7 digital realities Christians can’t afford to ignore any longer

wake up call for Christians, Christians online, Christians and social networking, Christians on Facebook, Christians on Twitter, digital evangelism, digital outreach, Greg Laurieby Toni Birdsong
With images of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 fresh in our minds, we must never forget that Satan is still the world’s #1 terrorist at large. Evil wasn’t killed by U.S. Navy Seals in a secret compound in Pakistan. He is feasting on our fear and planning his next strike against our souls and the souls of those we love. Now more than ever, the Church is called to a digital awareness, to get a plan, and to get in the game.

Here are 7 cultural realities of technology we can’t ignore:

  1. Satan is a terrorist. He understands the power of social networks as channels of unprecedented influence. So he logs on each day to destroy and divide with words, images, threats, perversions, and bizarre ideologies that get shared globally. He goes where hearts congregate. Will you stand up like David with a sling and a stone and tell Goliath you’ve come to take back the land in the name of the Lord? (1 Sam. 17:1-50)
  2. This generation is commanded to lead the next [online]. Christians who are Digital Immigrants (those over 30) are called to biblically “raise up” the next generation of Christians who are Christian Digital Natives (those born with iPods in their hands). Technology minus a firm commitment to godly discipleship is sure disaster for the future of the church and a forfeit of Kingdom influence and mission here on earth. (Deut. 6:1-2, 2 Thess. 2:14-15)
  3. Culture is winning. Look around. The voice of the Lord (His Church) has become a mere whisper on television, radio, publishing and the web. Values of family, relationship, life, marriage, purity, service, and community are being aggressively pursued—for extinction. Will you be part of God’s commandment to influence culture for His eternal Kingdom or will you throw up your hands and let culture influence (and silence) you? (Rom. 12:2, Rom. 1:26, Rom. 2:1)

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13Sep

Have you even opened The Book?

scriptures on grief, scriptures on power, scriptures for healing, scriptures for hope, scriptures for depression

Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. ~ Matthew 24: 35


by Toni Birdsong
There’s no getting around it this time.
It’s time to open the book.

Stop pacing. Stop pondering. And (please), stop talking so much.
Sit down. Hush up.
It’s time to open the book.

Not on Sunday or someday—but on this day.

Before you pick up the phone, it’s time to take your dilemma and heartbreak to the throne.

Before you turn on Oprah, ask Dr. Oz, or get an Osteen fix . . .
It’s time to open the book.

No one’s going to do it for you. You can wait at the station all day. But that’s one train that’s not coming.


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31Aug

Defriend me . . . please?

....but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. ~ John 15:19

by Toni Birdsong
The direct message in my Facebook inbox was titled “enough Jesus already.”

The message, sent by a longtime friend, just got better from there. “I regret having to do this but I have to defriend you. I’m seriously over the 24/7 Jesus feed. If you want to go to church, do you really have to do it on Facebook? So that’s it. Don’t take it personally.”

I logged-off and prayed. A few hours later I wrote my friend back. I told him I would miss the great updates about his life and the pictures of his adorable kids but that I respected his point of view and still loved him.

Then I told him this: “You said not to take it personally but I’ll confess, I’m actually overjoyed to take it personally. You see, to be associated with Jesus Christ is my highest honor. You don’t know Him yet but He’s amazing! Who else do you know who would willingly climb up on a cross and suffer a violent death in your place? When He did that for me, and I truly understood it, it “clicked” in my heart in a huge way. His gesture meant that I—a total misfit and sinner—would get to experience God’s friendship and love . . . forever. So, you see, you defriending me is one ‘nail’ I can take. If this is the price I have to pay for sharing that miracle, then please, defriend me.”


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21Jul

30 scriptures to awaken trust, truth, and triumph

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11

by Toni Birdsong
Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most quoted scriptures of all time. And therein lies the rub.

We sing it, shout it, and share it with strangers—but still, like so many familiar scriptures, God’s words to Jeremiah have yet to arrest and take us captive. Why is it that the slightest crisis can so easily eclipse our hope?

Perhaps it’s because the one thing needed to ignite God’s power, is the one thing we refuse to fully render: trust


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5Jul

10 powerful ways to make digital amends

forgiveness, apology online, digital amends, Christians online, Facebook friends, direct messages, Toni Birdsong

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~Paul Boese

 

 

 

by Toni Birdsong
Twenty five years is a long time to wait for an apology. Still, the moment went something like this thanks to our ability to send anyone, anywhere a private Facebook message:

Me: Dear Kelly, I certainly wouldn’t blame you if cuss me out, block me, or never even respond to this message. The way I treated you in high school haunts me to this day. You didn’t deserve any of it. The real truth? You were prettier than me, smarter, and basically—everything I wasn’t. I was jealous and I made your life hell because of it. I’m so ashamed of the hurt I caused you. Is there any way you would even consider forgiving me?


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27Jun

10 steps to becoming a hero

 

Peter, my young friend in Jeremie, Haiti

By Tami Heim

I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters; you were doing it to me. Matthew 25:40, NLT

Do you ever feel numb to the tragedy and pain in the world? Perhaps it happens most often on those days when you find yourself wondering, “Will there actually be enough grace to get me through this life I’m living?”

How do you wrap your head around need in the world? It’s too big, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible to satisfy. Present everywhere, philanthropic and mission-oriented organizations approach you with a plea for help. How can you bring relief, a smile, or anything that would make a difference?

So much need  and so little you.

Do you can look away, turn the TV channel, flip the page, change the radio station, click off the video, or allow an urgent request to float right by in a social media stream?


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24Jun

An open letter to the Church: will you lead the technology conversation?

Barna Group, David Kinnaman, technology and families, churches, Christians online, Toni Birdsong, sticky Jesus, digital age, online evangelismBy his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. ~2 Peter 1:3

by Toni Birdsong
This letter is to the Church; to pastors, bishops, elders, deacons, youth pastors, and anyone accountable for leading and discipling God’s people.

A recent Barna Group study reveals striking new data on how the digital age is shaping parent-child relationships. For us, the study begs the question: Why isn’t the church taking a stronger lead in teaching proper technology use in families?

We believe the study should compel church leaders everywhere to find the resources to equip their congregations in this area. In addition, this focus needs to take place immediately—not worked into a five-year plan.


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21Jun

18 ways to deal with mean people online

by Toni Birdsong
Mean people will always be part of life’s equation. And yes, this reality can multiply when you decide to go public with your biblical values online. Take it from us: With a name like “@stickyJesus” we’ve been in our share of cyber clashes . . . and emerged with God’s glory in tact.

God’s Truth will always bring out the toxins of this world. No one knew this better than Jesus—a magnet for persecution but a master at maintaining His cool. Thankfully, He taught us how to respond when the bullets fly and how incredible things can happen when we choose His ways over our own.

So here you go—18 ways to help you deal mean people online:


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15Jun

choosing faithfulness and why it matters

Choose faithfulness.

I choose faithfulness…Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home. – Max Lucado

By Tami Heim
Faithfulness is a sticky word. It adheres firmly and steadfastly connects to a person, cause, or idea. It’s loyal, constant, and true – worthy of complete trust and absolute belief. It breathes affection and speaks allegiance. Resolute in cause and purpose, faithfulness is both determined and reliable. It never quits.


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