"There's no such thing as a solitary Christian."

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church

Friday, September 23, 2016

345 Rule of Evangelism

1 Peter 3:15

Telling people about God and Jesus is not always easy, and sometimes it gets harder when you meet someone who has never heard about the Bible before or its contents. The 345 Rule is not a demand, or something that has to be done to convert someone. It is just a simple way to get started and think about what you're going to tell other people when you start to talk to them.

3 Prepared Statements These statements should not be loaded with a lot of Biblical lingo. It's not always easy to understand. If at all possible start by avoiding the specific terms "Sin" "Resurrection" "Apostle" or anything else that goes along those lines. It is easy to replace these words with new things, you just have to be aware of what you're doing. Also, don't load them down with "Jesus died for you, so that you can be welcomed into Heaven." Say something like that, but try to simplify it so that it doesn't sound so harsh. To you and me, that sounds like a blessing, but to people who don't get it, it sounds like a bunch of made up stuff that no one would want to believe.

4 Prepared Reasons This is where you can start talking about all of the Christian lingo. You should always have reasons for your faith, whether that be personal experiences, scientific evidence, historical evidence, or whatever. You should not just say that it is the only way. You can and should say that, but give a reason. "I made bad choices, and I felt horrible, how could God ever love me? But then I learned about Jesus." This is a perfect example of what you could propose.

5 Prepared Questions and Answers You should always be prepared for what people are going to say. People are going to question you about your faith, and whatever those questions may be, you should have a legitimate answer. So, what you should do before you begin is thinking of 5 questions that someone might ask you, and then come up with answers for all of them. Most of the time people will ask you personal questions, or factual questions. When someone that is a believer tells you, you don't need evidence because you have faith. That is true, but for some people they need little scientific evidence to give them a push to start believing.

If you have any other questions, tweet me! My twitter is on the top of the blog page! Get out their and tell people about your faith! Remember: you're important! Have a great weekend! God bless...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Call to Action

People get scared when someone says, "The Lord spoke to me!" It's an understandable thing to get afraid of, but the Lord talks to people in mysterious ways. I always thought that the word "calling" was just a metaphor meaning that you prayed about stuff and then finally understood what they are supposed to do with their lives. Of course I believed in God at this point, but I always thought that God was just there to help you make decisions, in recent days I have come to understand that this assumption of mine was very much wrong. When someone speaks of their conversation with the Lord, some people get sad, and others get frustrated. They want to know why the Lord won't talk to them, but the Lord is wondering at the same time why we won't listen. You have to be able to recognize when the Lord is trying to telling you something, and I am going to give you my own personal experience with this. Don't worry, I'm not saying that at my young age I have already found my calling, and people at thirty haven't, but I really feel like the Lord has already started talking to me, and I am going to listen.
**I would like to start this by saying that while this website, my biblical posts on Twitter and Instagram, and my talking about religion in everything I do is one of the most important things to me. But this story is not about this, but it does fall under always talking about it.**

In recent weeks, the world around me has been falling apart, not my own personal world, but THE world. My mother tells me that some things that happen will be ingrained in your head forever, it's kind of like a traumatic experience, but not exactly. One of these ingrained images in my mind was the little boy rescued after the bombing in Aleppo, Syria. I get sad when I think of this, but then I get angry that anyone would do this. The other ingrained image is actually a story, it's about a wedding the happened near the Turkey-Syria border, on the Turkish side. A young boy, probably of age fourteen was sent to ISIS by his parents and bombs were strapped around his sides. He sneaked into this wedding, and was blown up. This little boy, (not really little, but you know what I mean), blew himself up and killed 50 other people. Just think about what he could have done with his life if he had known Jesus.

Now, these stories are sad, and they pulled on my heart. I know that's just a metaphor when people are sad, "Oh, that story just pulls on my heartstrings!" No, that is not what's going on, to me, these stories are signs. God is reaching into me, and pulling at my heart and telling me to do something. Because of my age, I'm being told that "I'm doing enough." and "You can't save the world on your own." But those are the exact statements that I am going to ignore. I'll never feel like I'm doing enough if there are still children out there who are suffering at the hands of the world, when they could be joyful when resting in the hands of the Lord. And, yes, I know that I can't save the world on my own, but I can at least try to help. My mission is to teach children about God, and make sure that they are going to live their life in him, and live their life happily. I know that sometimes actions speak louder than words, and I am helping children everyday, especially one awesome 1st grader who needs a little guidance right now. But all of this is going on in a public school, even though I'm not a teacher, I am a mentor, and I am sure that if I institute God into a conversation, someone is going to get mad at me, and stop me from doing what I love everyday. I want to teach children about God, and I'm not going to stop pushing until I can start doing this. I hope that when God calls you, you are persistent in following what God wants you to do, and don't give up on Him when he stays silent. Sometimes, silence is all you need, and sometimes silence is there to tell you something that you refuse to hear. Don't shut your ears, listen to God in all the ways he tries talk to you.

Have a great weekend!
God bless you all!!!
If you have any questions, tweet me @jennings_clay and when questions build up, I'll make a post all posed to that purpose!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

God's Not Dead 2

I just watched the movie, God's Not Dead 2, and I have to say that it really speaks to me. The original movie was amazing, and provided lots of reasons that God is surely alive, but the sequel really had more impact on me. It relates more to me, as high school Christian, struggling to keep my faith in a society where Jesus is hated. I'm not going to give a full review, other than fully recommending it for people who feel like they are having the same problems as Grace Wesley in the movie. You have the right to have your beliefs, and in the movie, they touch hardly on the idea of "separation between church and state." Expect a post soon about the separation between church and state, and how you can bring God into anything you do, and not have to worry about what other people think. Don't think about how many people you touch, but that you touch at least one person. Have a great night! God bless you all!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What can I watch? What can I read? What can I eat?

These three questions seem to plague Christian controversy the most!  I will try to approach each topic with as much consideration, and Biblical direction as I can! Hope you enjoy!

What can I watch? What can I read?

So, these first two questions go right along with one another. Many people struggle with what to read or watch because it most likely is coming in from the secular world. I've been struggling with this concept quite a bit with the release of the new Harry Potter edition. Of course, I went ahead and read it before I dove in trying to figure out if this is okay. I know that in many places the Bible says that we should have nothing to do with witchcraft. However, this applies to existing witchcraft, I really hope that you wouldn't believe that Harry Potter is a non-fiction tale. And, if it makes you feel much better, J.K. Rowling and many other places have delved into the concept of Christian allegory placed in the seventh Harry Potter novel. Then comes the question, what about fiction? Technically, fiction is not truthful, therefore some people call it lying. There are a few places in the Bible that I would like to point you to in these questions. The first is 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, "'I have the right to do anything,' you say, but not everything is beneficial 'I have the right to do anything,' you say, but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others." This goes in more depth later on in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 as well. But, with these two verses, we see that as long as what you're watching or reading is not interfering with the good of others, and that you always have the good of others in mind, you are okay to continue forward. This does not mean that you should watch and read everything! Just because it says it's okay, per se, don't go about reading things that will change your well-being, because if you change, that affects the people around you drastically. If you get in to reading secular novels or watching secular television, be aware of what's going on inside of you and around you. If you're attitude picks up, you are not working for the well-being of others, target that problem and get rid of it. If some sort of depression sets in because of what you've devoted your time to, put the book down and pick up the good and joyful Bible. Nothing you do on earth should cause you to shy away from your walk with God. If reading Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or anything along those lines, puts you in a situation where you question your faith, then STOP READING THEM! As long as you are sure that there is nothing on the earth you hold above God and Jesus Christ. I know that you might be tempted to say that nothing on earth you could possibly hold above God. That is false, I'm so sorry to tell you. When you sin on earth, you are pushing God out of your mind because you're afraid. Of course, we know that through Jesus you are forgiven of your sins, but they are  still sins. Even though you know you have the Savior,  Satan is still coming after you. If you fall to sin, then you're on the road to falling from God, Satan is always ready to lead you away. Don't let what earthly things you do be the cause of this new and treacherous path that brings you away from God.

What can I eat?

I know that there is a big long list of things in Leviticus that we cannot eat. Unfortunately, this has become the target point from secular, and even some Christians, rationalizations of other sins that have come in to this world. There are two quick places in the New Testament that I'm going to take you to bring an answer to these accusations used to rationalize other sins. The first is Mark 7:17-19, "After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about his parable" (see earlier in Mark 7 for the parable) "'Are you so dull?' [Jesus] asked. 'Don't you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn't go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out the body.' (in saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)" The second place in the Bible is Acts 10:10-15, "[Peter] became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened up and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, 'Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'
"'Surely not, Lord!' Peter replied. 'I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.'
"The voice spoke to him a second time, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.'"
I feel like these two sets of verses don't need anymore explanation than what is presented in and of themselves, but in case you do have questions, tweet me! My twitter will be above with the quote from John Wesley.

I hope that this long post provided a little insight into helping you decide how to live your life on the Christian walk with Jesus. I will add one more thing to the first question, I have come to the conclusion of stopping watching cable television. Note! This is my own personal preference, not a condemnation for other people! I came to this conclusion because of the increased secularism, dramatization, rationalization of sin, and flat out sadness and discomfort each show leaves me with. I went back to my childhood years of watching Disney movies, and reading, lots of reading. Old Disney movies and just old shows from the 20th century, are much better and more appropriate for all ages in my opinion. I will write again soon! Have a great night! And God bless!

Blog Update

I know that when this blog began I said I would be posting a devotion everyday. Well, it's been less than a month, and that has been changed. I also missed the news update on Friday, I apologize for that as well. In the past week I haven't felt moved to tell you anything yet, it's still summer vacation for me and I haven't been exposed to lots of thought provoking things. I start school next week, and I'm finally up and running again! This means that there may still be hiccups of days or a week that I miss a few things, but please forgive me, I'm still getting a hang of this concept. New post should be up within the hour! Have a great night! God bless!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26, 2015 Devotion: Showing Commitment

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Using the reference of the newborn from yesterday, it will also apply to today's lesson. Once you have a newborn, until they're old enough, you have to be committed to their welfare and well-being, and even after that! This also goes back to the Bible verses we looked at on the first day of this miniseries. It says that we should spread the Word, which means we take the Word to people so that they can come to faith. Jesus also says that we have to teach the faith, which means that we have to continue to educate. A teacher doesn't come in on the first day and hand you a textbook and tell you to learn the stuff on your own. In the same way we shouldn't hand people the Bible to learn the Word on their own. We have to continue to teach them about the Word and about God. 

This was the shortest devotion of this miniseries, but it could be the most important. It apples to every lesson, not just being committed to your Christian friend. You should also be committed to your evangelism, committed to your compassion towards others, committed to your knowledge and education, and committed to the strength you show in your conviction of your faith. Commitment means that you know what your goal is, and you strive for that goal every single day of your life. In this case, you are committed to bringing as many stray children of God back to Him. The Lord will leave his flock to find on lost sheep, and through you all He will find all of the sheep He has lost since the beginning of time. Don't deny the Lord when He calls you! Stay committed to your faith!

Throughout your whole life, you should try to bring people to God. But if you only bring one, you have accomplished more than anyone could dream. However, don't stop when you've converted one, keep going! Keep working! Help God bring everyone back to the Word! Have a great evening, you all are awesome! God Bless!

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016 Devotion: Showing Strength

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that they hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey you also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now the have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me, hates my father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law, 'They hated me without reason.'"
John 15-18-25

"'They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,' declares the LORD.'"     Jeremiah 1:19

Some people out their are not going to want to accept God into their lives. A few of these some are going to not want anyone to accept God into their lives. They're going to fight against you and challenge you. I personally have had a lot of experience with people fighting my statements because of my belief. I can assure you that it helps to take the advice of yesterday's devotion, know what you're talking about before you go talk about it! But not only do you need to to have knowledge, you also have to have the willpower to stand your ground, and help God stand His ground in your place.

Jesus predicted this moment of hatred towards His disciples in the book of John. If you believe in the "live by example" motto, you need to make sure that you stand your ground. By standing your ground, you can teach your new convert to stand his or her ground alongside of you, or on his or her own. Sometimes these antitheists (people who don't want anyone to believe in Jesus and God) will try to argue your recruit out of their new life-changing decision. You have to help them, and be their shiled. When you come to the Christian faith, it's like becoming a new born. Until this person learns to walk on their own, they have to be protected by the bigger and stronger, let that bigger and stronger be you!

July 24, 2016 Devotion: Showing Knowledge

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7

Once you've stopped having this personal conversation with your potential new convert, what do you do next? You have to know about the Gospel to be able to preach it. There aren't too many verses about this from Jesus and Paul, but this one from Proverbs that I find very important in this discussion. Proverbs 1:7 states, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." So, this starts by saying that your knowledge starts by confessing your love for Jesus, but you cannot continue if you lack or don't want to receive instruction. You cannot expect there to be a new Christian among you, if you cannot take the time yourself to bring in some knowledge to show other people, that is just foolish!

This does not meant that you have to know every last detail about the Gospel, but you need to have a general idea, and a motive to keep on learning. If you cannot answer you new friend's questions, don't pretend like you know the answer, take one of these two approaches. The first option is to open that Bible in your bag or tucked under your arm and try to answer the questions together. The second option is to direct your friend (and yourself) to your pastor who can probably answer your questions. Once you have brought this knowledge to one new recruit, or many potential converts, you need to make sure that you have the ability to stand your ground against those who are going to try to cause you to fall, or the new Christian to lost their faith right away!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

July 23, 2016 Devotion: Showing Compassion

John 4: Jesus talks to a Samaritan Woman at a well in Samaria and brings her to God, when she comes aware of Him being the Messiah, she decides to follow Him.

When you begin to have a conversation with the intention of conversion, there is something you should keep in mind. Running up to someone and yelling in their face, "Confess your love for Jesus or you will go to Hell!" While this may be true, it tends to turn people people away. Talk to them about the problems and worries that are going on in their lives. Then, move on to find out why, or if, these problems turned them away from the Lord. Jesus did this with the Samaritan woman at the well too! He spoke kindly to her, listening to what she had to say, and then He said things that only she and God could know. She knew that He was the Messiah and spoke with Him as such.

Of course you cannot speak to someone and tell him or her things that only they could know. What you can do is listen to them, and then try to explain how it is possible that all of these trials could lead them to Jesus. Show them that there is joy in your life even in the hard times, only if you have Jesus. Show them that you know that they are having a hard time, but that you know that Jesus could really turn their lives around.

You can show people Jesus through the kindness that you show them. What happens next, though? Should you just walk away after being nice to them? Should you not inform them of the Gospel? Should you not stand strong by your faith, and help them to stand by theirs? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO! Keep tuning in so that you can learn what you can do to bring people to the Christian faith!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Togetherness in Light of Separateness

Even though there are many problems in this country and world, there is no way that there is nothing but bad in the world. God would simply not allow that. I am not saying that this is the End of Times, because Jesus said that only God can know when that is going to happen, and we can not see signs of it coming before it actually comes. However, even in the End of Times (read the book of Revelation for details) there is not only pain and suffering. There is also saving, hope, and faith that everything will be better. Today is the first day that I will tell you about a certain time when God is really at work in this world. Today's story(ies) is(are) about the racial tension in our world, and how there's really not as much bigotry and fear in every police officer and in every black person in the country.

Deputy Powell of Columbus, Georgia walked in to his local Wal-Mart most likely not expecting what happened there. A young man named Avery Rosser stopped this police officer and prayed with him. In the "realm of prayer" there is no color or ethnicity, but the way we reach that realm is to deny color and ethnicity separation and come together as one. Everyone knows that God does not discriminate, and judges everyone fairly, and according to their decisions and love for Jesus. And I would hope that everyone knows that Jesus was not a white American, He was a middle-easterner that stood for everyone's freedom when they find God.

The Good News Network (the website where these stories were found) also included two more wonderful incidents like this one. The link is written at the bottom of this article, but I will share with you one more from this site.

A woman in Kentucky was stopped at a light when she saw a homeless man standing with a police officer praying on the side of the road. Of course she couldn't know what they were praying about, but it had to have been an amazing sight. She posted this on Facebook, and on the website below you can see the picture she posted along with this wonderful story she wanted to share.

Tune in next week for another uplifting news story! And tune in tomorrow for the next part of the devotion about evangelism! Have a great evening, and God bless!

The website below holds all of the stories I shared and more, and if you go to their home page you can read all of the good stories that are happening in this world:

July 22, 2016 Devotion: Showing Evangelism

 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 19-20 NIV

  "and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." Luke 24:47-48 NIV

 To open up this website, I decided to provide you with five days of five tips on how to evangelize our faith in Jesus Christ. Understand that I am not telling you that you are doing anything wrong, I am simply telling you a new method of preaching and teaching the Gospel. The first step to evangelism is to understand what evangelism really means. To be an evangelical Christian means that you don't keep the Word of God to yourself, you go out there and tell people about the Lord! If you're reading this, then I can hopefully assume that you are a Christian, or wanting to become one, and you follow/want to follow what our Savior,  Jesus Christ says. In Matthew's 28th chapter, verses 19 and 20 it says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the nam efo the Father and of hte Son and  of the Holy Spirit, and teaching tehm to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age." (NIV) In this case, Jesus is point blank telling us to go out into all the world's nations telling them about Him. He also says that not only should you tell them about God, you should continue to teach them about God, and continue to lead them in the right direction.

The dictionary definition of evangelism is, "The spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or public witness." Wikipedia also provides the little extra tidbit, "with the intention of converting others to the Christian faith." This means that you shouldn't just go out and talk about the LORD, you should go out there with the intention of bringing all of God's lost sheep back to Him. Over the next four days, I will write to about some big points of evangelizing and helping others to convert. These include, Showing compassion and understand, really knowing what you're talking about, not giving up when people fight back, and helping the people that have come to the faith but don't know where to go from there. You can take any approach that works for you, but this approach seems like it could bring a good number of new Christians into the world. 

These five days were inspired by the book Tell Someone by Greg Laurie, it is a wonderful book, and I advise you to check it out if you want to learn even more about evangelizing than what I'm going to tell you! Have a great day, and God bless!

Welcome to the Blog

This blog is meant to help you deepen your faith and spread the wonderful Word of God. This blog will provide devotions, tips and tricks of evangelism, empowering news stories, and ways to show the world God's love. Everyday there will be a new devotion for readers, and every Friday there will be some sort of empowering news story that is going on in the country or world. For the time being that is how things are going to go on this site, but as it progresses we will expand the things that are posted! I hope you enjoy! Have a great day, and God bless!