Category Archives: eNEWSLETTER

This is a periodic enewsletter with testimonies, stories, and updates about C.R.O.W.N. Connections.

Witnessing For Christ Ideas in Life – Crown of Rejoicing

On the way back from a mission trip to India, our boarding seats were scattered all over the plane. Although witnessing for Christ was the last thing I wanted to do, I  said, “I wonder what assignments the Lord has for us now?”

Pastor Marty looked at my seat assignment, a number B, and said, “You have a double assignment, A and C.”

“Oh no! I don’t think I can handle that.” It had been over 24 hours since I’d slept.

Witnessing-for-Christ-Ideas-in-Life-with-Cerative-Ideas-and-Divine-Encounters

Finally, it was time to board the plane. As I found my seat the lady on the aisle did not budge. She had her eyes closed while she asked me if I could step over her, which I managed to do. She obviously was very tired and not in the mood to talk. Whew!! Me too!

The young lady by the window was a beautiful young lady wearing a brown and tan plaid hajib which revealed to me she was Muslim. We smiled at each other as I thought, Lord, do you really expect me to witness to this lady?  I don’t know the first thing about witnessing to a Muslim. All I know is that Allah is not God and they believe Jesus was only a prophet, not God. But Lord you know I’m willing. Give me the right words. So, for the next hour the Lord gave me His strength beyond anything I’d experienced before.

I learned her name and that she was returning to America from seeing her sister in Pakistan. Her husband was a physician; she was also, yet, she chose to be home with her three children.

That gave me something to say. I told her she reminded me of my daughter because she was just as pretty, and her children were about the same age. Then, it occurred to me to ask her the questions I’d been thinking since being in Dubai––our layover.

“Can you tell me the difference between how you dress and those who wear all black with the black headdress and face covered? Does it have to do with the Muslim sect?”

She explained. “The extent to how we dress is by choice. I just cannot live with the mouth covered. Many wear makeups. I don’t.” That explained the many women I saw in Dubai with bright red lipstick and fancy headdresses, especially the stewardesses.

She spoke of the things she had to do, like praying five times per day. saying, “I believe it’s good that we learn about each other’s religion. That’s good.” She kept bringing up the word “religion” until I could take it no longer. I realized then how important it was to be at a church with the motto: Relationship not Religion, and I could hardly believe she was the one bringing up ‘religion.’

“I must say respectfully, I don’t believe in religion, I believe in a relationship, a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have the Quran, but I’ve never read it. Is it a book about love?”

She didn’t answer, but said, “I’ve never read the Bible.”

“Well, I just happen to have a little New Testament with me you can have.” I explained how it was only part of the Bible and how it related with the Old Testament. I turned to John 3:16-17 and couldn’t even see the words, so I asked her to read them.

She looked at me with a shocked face and said, “If I say those words, it will change who I am! I’m told I will go to hell if I even say those words!” I nodded as she said it would change who she was.

I called her by her name and said, “I want you to know it’s not just by chance we are sitting beside each other now. God is here with us.”

“I know.” She motioned with her hands in the air and said, “I can feel him.”

That opened the door for me to share the high points of my testimony that I’d practiced for the India trip. A printable pdf file of my testimony >> My Story How God Found Me  << is at this link. (It includes my Red Umbrella Story with diagram.)

Witnessing for Christ - Crown of Rejoicing

I looked right into her eyes and could see tears that she immediately tried to hide. She said, “Well, I know I’m right.” She didn’t sound convinced, but she knew I was.

“If you aren’t right, wouldn’t you want to know it?” She didn’t answer and took no offense. “Are you aware that millions of Muslims are turning to Jesus Christ right now?”

“Christians are turning to Muslim, too.”

“If they are Christians who are turning, it’s because they don’t know who God is, and therefore, don’t know who they are.” I couldn’t believe I’d said that, but she still took it in. I felt like maybe she had heard the Truth about Jesus before.

The words to the old hymn from In the Garden came to mind, “He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own. And He loves you, too.”

Suddenly, I couldn’t say another word and said, “I’ve enjoyed our conversation, but I have to sleep now.” I tucked my written testimony in the New Testament, with my Scripture booklet, “Because God Is . . . I am,” and my Two Super-Natural Events paper. She took them all. I felt like I was pouring water on a dry and thirsty heart.

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:7 NKJV

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:7 NKJVClick to Tweet

As the plane neared our destination and morning had come, the lady on my right was watching a movie and finally finished. I had no clue what to say to her, if anything. Before leaving Dubai, a stewardess came up to her when she had her eyes closed and expressed appreciation for her being on their flight, calling her by her name. So, I knew she was some kind of frequent-flyer VIP.

I thought maybe I should use a friend’s tactic and told her the truth of not being able to get into India because our visas were not accepted even though they were granted. I would at least find out where she stood. She said she goes to India about twice per year – with Texas Instruments. Her daughter had met her there this time and she had pictures. She showed me her pictures of India! They were amazing, and I let her know how much I appreciated her doing that, saying, “We didn’t even get to see Chennai.”

“Chennai! That is absolutely the hottest place on the planet I’ve ever been. It’s at least 120 degrees this time of the year.”

She continued, “All the different religions in India are each trying to force the other to convert to their own. It’s pretty volatile right now.”[1]

“Trying to force?”

“Well, I just don’t think it’s right to tell another, ‘you are wrong.’”

“I couldn’t agree with you more.”

“It’s about sharing.”

“Exactly.”

“Do you mind if I share with you my story?”

“That would be okay,” she responded, and I pulled out my Two Super-Natural Events paper and handed it to her as the plane landed. I wondered did she hear me talking with my new friend? I wish I had another story of my testimony and brochure.

I turned to my left and asked my new friend if I could take her picture for my prayer book. She said it was okay as long as I didn’t share it with anyone else. We also exchanged phone numbers, but she wouldn’t give me her address saying, “If something comes in the mail, my husband . . . ”

When we got to Baggage Claim, our eyes met, and she smiled. Her husband’s family and her mother live with them in a 7,000 square foot home—each family on opposite ends. They all need to come to the Lord together, and I will forever pray and believe God for that.*

“We are in control of who gets in to see the King. When we are silent, we’ve chosen to keep those who would hear away from eternal life. Sobering indeed.”––Bill Johnson

“We are in control of who gets in to see the King. When we are silent, we’ve chosen to keep those who would hear away from eternal life. Sobering indeed.”––Bill JohnsonClick to Tweet

God taught me a valuable lesson that day: witnessing for Christ is easy when we are prepared, ready, expectant and alert to opportunities with a written plan. That plan can be our written testimony or other creative, easy ideas we will address in this article.

This is the last of the five crown rewards in heaven we are examining. Today––the Crown of Rejoicing, or the Soul-Winners Crown. A pdf file summary printable of all five with Scriptures is at the end of the overview article HERE.

What is the Crown of Rejoicing – or the Soul-Winner’s Crown?

This crown reward comes from 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For YOU are our glory and joy.”

The Crown of Rejoicing is also called the Soul-Winner’s Crown because the people at the church of Thessalonica were the apostle Paul’s converts and reason to rejoice. He and Silas led many people there to Jesus Christ with their witnessing and teaching so that the church became the second major one on the European continent.

Creative Ways to Witness for Christ – for Individual or Group

My friend Dwight taught me how to witness for Christ with a New Testament on hand––with highlighted Scriptures––an easy way to witness. He quit his job with a diesel repair shop and started his own so he could treat people honestly. One day, his employee, Sam approached him, “I’ve noticed things are done differently around here. Do you mind sharing with me why you believe the way you do?”

Dwight had not been talking about God at work—only working . . . honestly. He tried desperately to share about Jesus with Sam that day but felt he had botched it up good. At church the next Sunday, he shared his frustration with an older lady. She told him about a book by William Fay (with Linda Evans Shepherd) called Share Jesus without Fear. William had run a house of prostitution until he found Jesus. The lady felt Dwight could learn from this man who had led 25,000 people to the Lord one by one.

Dwight bought the book and devoured reading it in two days. He bathed the situation in prayer for God to prepare Sam’s heart. Dwight wanted more than anything to share his faith, and hopefully, help someone else avoid making the mistakes he had made with two divorces.

“Sam, will you allow me to try again to share my faith with you? I feel I did a lousy job the other day.”

“Well sure. Go ahead.”

Dwight highlighted John 3:16 in the New Testament, plus other Scriptures as indicated in the book. He opened the Bible to the very first page that said, “Turn to John 3:16, page ___.”

“Sam, will you read this verse out loud?”

“You want me to read it?”

“Yes, and when you finish, at the bottom of that page is another Scripture. Turn to the page number listed and read it too.”

After Sam read the verses out loud to Dwight and voiced what they meant to him he said, “If I receive Christ, I will have to change my entire life!”

There was nothing in there that told Sam he would have to change his life, Dwight thought. He witnessed the Holy Spirit working through the Word—convicting of sin and righteousness—that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, that the wages of sin is death, and that all must be born again spiritually to have eternal life.

Sam made no decision right then, and Dwight said, “Okay. Just remember . . . if you die tonight without choosing Jesus . . . you will go to hell. Drive carefully!” [This is not a recommendation from the book he read, but the words that came to his mind to say to Sam.]

About one week later, Dwight arrived at work. Sam was already there and announced, “I got saved last night!”

Sam’s wife had kicked him out of the house. With nowhere to go, he went to the shop and read and reread the Scriptures from the New Testament Dwight had given him. He asked Jesus to come into his heart. God restored their marriage. They now serve the Lord and have a new baby. [These are the Scriptures Sam meditated on that night: John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; John 3:3; John 14:6; Romans 10:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Revelation 3:20.]

After this experience, Dwight taught a class at his church to forty other Christians who felt inadequate to share their faith. He told them what he learned: “It takes between six and seven times of hearing the Gospel for a person to make the choice to follow Jesus. We want to be the one to reap the harvest, but we are successful in sharing if we have shared in a clear manner. It’s like a chain where we are only one link. If we are silent when given opportunity, we break that link. God cannot use our silence—we must be prepared!”

[New Testaments can be purchased at discount INDIVIDUALLY or BY THE CASE and IN BULK   – all below two dollars each, even whole bibles. How easy and fun it would be to have a highlighting Bible-marking party in a small group.]

Witness for Christ with Your Own Written, Salvation Testimony

OR

How to Witness to Strangers

A complete stranger came up to me and handed me her written salvation testimony. She was certainly witnessing for Christ proactively. It was about her husband’s legs being crushed behind a trash truck by another vehicle when he was working. This incident brought both of them and their children to Jesus, and her written story found its way into the local newspaper—the same newspaper that reported the accident a few years earlier.

This lady’s obedience to Christ to witness for Him has been like the link in a chain that Dwight mentioned. Look where her story and example has landed right now. The power of the printed word is just that––powerful!

I give you permission to use my testimony shared above if you don’t think you can write yours. Grandmothers have used mine to lead their grandchildren to the Lord. The John 3:16 prayer is good for young and old.

I personally don’t use tracts, but they are good. I believe personal stories are better. You have a story, too. Put it in writing. Above all, please don’t do what I’ve seen some Christians do: put a tract or fake 100-dollar-bill tract on the table for the waitress’ tip with no real money with it! How can anyone think that is witnessing for Christ?

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When NOT to Witness for Christ With Your Words – Spoken or Written

When it comes to witnessing for Christ to our families, especially our spouse, our words don’t do the trick. In fact, they will turn them off, unless under the leading of the Holy Spirit in certain situations.

“Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition” (1 Peter 3:1 The MSG).

Other translations say, “they will be won by the conduct of their wives.” Creating that inner disposition that will win a person to Christ whether it is a wife or husband or family member may take a lifetime, but isn’t it worth it to see them in heaven and out of hell at the end of life?

You may remember Don Piper’s story in the book 90 Minutes in Heaven. This Baptist preacher was killed in a car wreck and spent 90 minutes in Heaven until he woke up singing with a man in the back of his car who was praying for him.

In this incredible true story, Don said everyone who had mentored him and witnessed Christ to him met him at the gate. He immediately saw everyone who was responsible for him even being in heaven.

WITNESS FOR CHRIST: SHARE-JESUS-WITHOUT-FEAR-EASY-IDEAS-INSPIRING-TRUE-STORIES

How to Share Jesus Without Fear

The “How to Share Jesus Without Fear” book contains questions and answers to guide us in how to answer seekers we are willing to engage in conversation as we seek to witness for Jesus Christ.

However, I believe the KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) principle is the way to go. It removes anxiety in the process when we have a testimony or marked Bible in our purse or pocket that we can hand to someone at a given notice—like the lady I met on the plane.

When we are ready God will do the impossible. We were not supposed to be on that plane on that day at Spring Break when my Muslim friend was returning home from Pakistan, but it was a set up by God Most High of the universe. If I had not been ready, God would not have been able to do anything through me. What a valuable lesson I learned that day.

It’s not about rules or steps, it’s about being ourself from our relationship with Jesus Christ. When we keep ourselves filled up with His Word and Holy Spirit, He will witness from our overflow to those around us.

When we make God’s mission our mission, it’s especially easy when we are proactively willing, and expectant with a ready and written testimony or marked Bible to witness for Jesus. There is no greater joy. The Crown of Rejoicing award in heaven is only an added benefit.

And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11

And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11Click to Tweet

Do you have a witnessing for Christ story to share to encourage us and/or to give us new ideas?  And remember – sharing is caring!

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[1] My friend, Diane Fitzgerald, who had returned from India said they have a Muslim Reclaim Day where Christians are told to “renounce or go to your funeral.”

*An Excerpt from 8 Hours in India.

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