Share the Good News of the Gospel

These are words of exhortation for Christian witnesses. We need to share our testimony about how Jesus is in our lives and has acted to save us so others may believe::

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14, 15 NLT)

Shine the Light of Jesus

I love these verses. I have shared a reference to these words many times in presentations in reference to student work, which we should share and celebrate rather than hide / keep private.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)

Tell Others How Jesus Has Saved You

The commandments of Jesus are not difficult to understand, but they can be very challenging to follow. One of the most basic commands Jesus gives us all is to tell others how God has provided for us and saved us from perils. In the Gospel of Mark we hear this after Jesus heals the man of Legion (many demons):

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. (Mark 5:18-20 NLT)

God saved me from death when I was in pilot training, but I was loth to tell this story to others because of my own shame and embarrassment at not achieving what was MY goal in life, becoming a pilot and a career Air Force officer. God’s providential act became a story I largely kept to myself and hid away, instead of something I joyfully shared with others.

I have lived many years of my life in a secular stupor. Even though I professed faith in God with my lips, in my heart I ignored the reality of His Holy Spirit and His Holy Son. I want to live my life with my eyes and my heart wide open to God and His Word. I do not want to hide away the stories of how God has acted to save me for His own purposes.

I see in my own family and the lives of our children the tremendous blessings which God has poured out. These are not things we deserve or have earned. These blessings are from God’s grace, and we are called to respond to Him by living our lives for Him.

Praise God for the lost souls like mine which He has saved from the darkness! Praise Jesus that He still works miracles today, claiming His sheep and bringing them safely into His sheepfold for protection.

Remember Children of Single Moms

As I read these verses from the author of Hebrews today, I was reminded that not everyone on earth has experienced the positive and loving discipline of an earthly father. Single moms face special challenges, and so do their children. Assumptions are dangerous. Remember not everyone has shared your life experiences or mine.

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:9-11 NIV)

Notes from Tony Evans’ Sermon Today in Dallas

These are some of the verses shared by Dr Tony Evans in his sermon today at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in south Dallas, Texas.

http://www.ocbfchurch.org

The church has an education and technology summer program that looks interesting:

http://www.turnaroundagenda.org

If you ever have a chance to hear Tony preach, don’t miss him!

Luke 4:14-20 NLT
“Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Luke4.14.NLT

2 Chronicles 15:5, 6 NLT
““During those dark times, it was not safe to travel. Problems troubled the people of every land. Nation fought against nation, and city against city, for God was troubling them with every kind of problem.”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/2Chr15.5.NLT

James 4:12 NLT
“God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Jas4.12.NLT

Psalm 89:14 NLT
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Ps89.14.NLT

Deuteronomy 17:18-20 NLT
““When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Deut17.18.NLT

Leviticus 19:15 NLT
““Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Lev19.15.NLT

Leviticus 24:22 NLT
““This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.””

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Lev24.22.NLT

Deuteronomy 4:5-8 NLT
““Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!’ For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him? And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today?”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Deut4.5.NLT

James 2:1-7 NLT
“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Jas2.1.NLT

Galatians 2:14 NLT
“When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/Gal2.14.NLT

Leveraging YouTube to Tell The Story of Your Church Mission Outreach

YouTube and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter offer incredible opportunities for Christian mission outreach ministries to “tell their story” and share with communities both local and international about the work God is doing through their volunteers. For several years I’ve felt God is calling me to use my knowledge and skills with digital media technologies to further the gospel and support the ends of His church on earth… and tonight I had another long awaited opportunity to answer that call in a small way.

Upendo Kids International is a mission outreach non-profit based in Edmond, Oklahoma, which sends teams each summer to Kenya to show God’s love and kindness through a variety of activities. This evening, I had an opportunity to show the nineteen members of the June 2012 Upendo Kids mission team how to use the iPad application “Explain Everything” to briefly narrate five photos from their trip. All together, mission team members brought home thousands of digital photos. Until this evening, however, I don’t think any of them had recorded their voices alongside selected photos and published them as videos on YouTube. Here are the two narrated slideshows we created at the end of their meeting tonight.

Kids Touched by God in Kenya by Kelly Ewing (2.5 min)

Selfless Faith in Kenya by Carly Murray (3 min, 48 sec)

I challenged each of the mission team members present at the meeting tonight, who are mostly high school students, to create a narrated slideshow like these before school starts for them on August 19th. I told them “the devil would do a happy dance” if they stop talking about their mission trip experiences and the ways they saw God at work in Kenya after school starts in August. I dearly hope each one of them will accept my challenge and create a short narrated slideshow about their experiences in Kenya this summer, and publish it on YouTube. Some of the students and parents reported they were providing their trip sponsors / supporters with CDs including hundreds of photos from their trip. I really think a two or three minute narrated slideshow with five key photos from the mission trip would be worth MUCH more to a person or family who donated to make their trip possible.

People say “pictures are worth a thousand words,” but I agree with Margaret Nan Harkey who created the video for Celebrate Oklahoma Voices, “What’s Your Story? The Importance of Telling the Stories of Your Photos.” Photographs can become MUCH more meaningful and powerful when we put our words with them.


Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

I applaud both Kelly and Carly for their courage in sharing part of their stories and experiences in Kenya this year. To check out more Kenya Mission Trip stories from June 2012 and Upendo Kids International, subscribe to UpendoKids on YouTube.

If you’re interested in leveraging the power of YouTube and digital storytelling to “tell the story” of your non-profit, I encourage you to attend an upcoming “iPad Media Camp” workshop on creating narrated slideshows. I’ll be offering this workshop again in Oklahoma City on August 31, 2012, and again on December 18th. Please check the registration page on iPadMediaCamp.com for other dates and registration links.

Also, be sure to check out the YouTube Nonprofit Program and also read the PDF, “Playbook Guide: YouTube for Good.” The price is right: YouTube video hosting is FREE. To create videos like Kelly and Carly’s, you’ll just need an iPad with the app “Explain Everything” along with photos and your voice!

Be A Digital Witness for Jesus

Today at the 61st annual Men’s Conference at Mo-Ranch near Hunt, Texas, I shared a presentation titled, “Be A Digital Witness for Jesus.” I audio recorded the second session, and added that audio to my presentation slides on SlideRocket. You an hear the entire 60 minute presentation by pressing “play” on the embedded version below, but you’ll have to manually advance the slides because it doesn’t appear that SlideRocket lets me set the synchronization/advance timings.

Please access all referenced resources on this Google Site, including all videos except the profane one I discussed briefly. I don’t have the presentation slide I used for it or the video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” included on SlideRocket, I added those slides after I’d already uploaded my presentation.

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me directly. Please share this idea with your own church members and encourage them (especially your youth) to get involved documenting the stories of faith in your community. We all can be digital witnesses for Jesus.

Be a Digital Witness for Jesus

On September 14th I’m going to share “the chapel message” at Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond for students and teachers. My topic is, “Be a Digital Witness for Jesus.” I started an outline and resource webpage today, and included seven different examples. If you have links to other videos which are good examples of “Christian Digital Storytelling” or Christian testimonies online, please share them as comments here!

Jesus is my Super Hero

In the weeks and months ahead, please consider submitting a video to “3 Minutes About Jesus.”

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Stories of Faith: digital witnesses for Christ

At long last, a new podcast channel for “Stories of Faith: digital witnesses for Christ” is available online at faithstories.speedofcreativity.org. I first wrote about this idea in September of 2008, but the idea of “Christian Digital Storytelling” is something that’s been on my heart since the summer of 2004 when I attended the Digital Media Academy at Stanford. I wrote about this in October of 2004, and still have some resources about “Christian Digital Storytelling” online at www.wesfryer.com/cds. I started the “3 Minutes About Jesus” project (3minutesaboutjesus.org) in the fall of 2010 and hope that project will grow in the months ahead.

Stories of Faith Podcast: digital witnesses for Christ

I’m THRILLED to at last have the seven audio podcast interviews from 2008/2009 online in a “Stories of Faith” podcast channel. One of the big reasons this is “doable” at this point (besides finding the flash drive recently which contained three of the original, finished interviews) is my learning about Podcast Generator last semester teaching at UNT. See my September 2010 post, “Creating a course audio lecturecast (podcast) with Podcast Generator,” for more background. Podcast Generator is open source (free) and the easiest way I’ve found yet to publish a “real” podcast channel which includes a subscribable RSS/web feed on your own site. Sites like iPadio are great too, but there is no guarantee third-party commercial sites like this will be around in a month or five years. If you use an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, consider using the $2 app Podcaster to manage your podcast channels from your device WITHOUT needing to sync to iTunes. More info about that process is also available.

A simple keyword search on Google today for “stories of faith” (without quotation marks) yields over 48 million results. These include sharingfaith.org, greatfaithstories.com, ChristianFaith.com (a site filled with ads) and Inspiring Stories from Georgia Girl. Our landscape of voices is only going to grow more diverse in the years ahead. I think it’s important we share our Christian witness and testimony with others on the digital, global stage– and we invite others to share their stories too.

I submitted the “Stories of Faith” podcast channel to iTunes this evening so it will be listed there soon. I pray the sharing of these audio interviews and testimonies will bring more people to know Jesus Christ and join a local, loving community of Christian brothers and sisters.

Modified Podcast Logo with My Headphones Photoshopped Onphoto © 2009 Colleen AF Venable | more info (via: Wylio)

 

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