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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Top Ten Perks to Being an Evangelist and Christian Writer

By Cheryle M. Touchton

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Phil 4:4 NIV

My Christian writer’s group asked us to come up with the perks of being a Christian writer. In 2002, I left a lucrative and exciting corporate career to answer God's call to evangelism and writing. Since then, I have traveled to all fifty states evangelizing and published five books. I had only planned a 2-month sojourn between executive jobs but life became so interesting, I simply forgot to job hunt.  If you don’t job hunt, I suppose you never find a job. I pondered my "Top Ten" list and altered it to include both my call to writing and evangelism. As I wrote it, I realized that I enjoy my life.

Top Ten Perks

  1. I am no longer tempted by the "evils" of money.
  2. Since I spend much of my life in campgrounds, I really enjoy nice hotels.
  3. I can't always get showers on the road so I now appreciate showers. It is a real bonus when they are clean, hot, and bug-free.
  4. Other people now get to talk at parties and Bible Studies. I now have an outlet for the stories running around in my head. 
  5. My husband makes more money than I do, which is really good for his male ego. (He has offered to get over the ego thing in exchange for my former salary.)
  6. My own ego is kept in check by humiliating book signings where people walk by me while avoiding eye contact.
  7. If the writing thing doesn't work out, book signings have prepared me to work at carnival booths.
  8. The galleys I deal with are less fattening then the galleys of yachts and cruise ships. (Galleys are the type set proof copy that writers review just before a book goes to press.)
  9. I spend so much time with my dog that I hear her voice. My readers like her voice better than mine.
  10. My clothes cost a lot less and are more comfortable and interesting.
I enjoyed my last job and I enjoy this one. In fact, I rejoice in my life. I love being with people when they pray to receive Jesus. I love people saying my books helped. Would you believe I almost rejoice in the Lord when showering with bugs? I once showered with a mouse and discovered just how well Baptists could really dance. I enjoy my life. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Gift

Nancy Norris Edwards

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.James 1:17-18

A life time friend is a gift. A life time friend who who shares your values, faith, and interests is a really "good" gift. Nancy has been my best friend since high school. She knows all of my secrets. She knows everything wrong with me and loves me anyway. She has been a faithful friend and a supporter of Pocket Full of Change Ministries since the beginning. She prays for me, has donated money, occasionally evangelizes and travels with me. She keeps me sane.  Nancy is a gift from from God.

Time together is also a gift because she lives in Georgia and I live in Pennsylvania. A few years back, I had planned a visit to Nancy. In anticipation of our time together, I had asked God for a special gift. God, Nancy is so faithful to this ministry. It would be a special gift to both of us if you would let us lead someone to Christ together.

We went to dinner that night and I looked for the gift I'd hoped God would send. Nothing happened – no doors opened. I was leaving early the next morning so I accepted that God had said no to my request.

Just before bed, Nancy suggested we go out to breakfast the next morning. I slept later than I expected and woke up rushing. I forgot about my request to God.

At breakfast, I did something I often do. I asked the waiter, “We’re Christians and are going to bless the food. Is there anything you’d like us to pray for?”

“Yes,” he said, grinning. “Pray for my hockey team to win.” Matt was a college student about to graduate. I knew the twinkle in his beautiful eyes was going to serve him well.

“What if someone from the other team is also praying?” I quipped.

“You’ll just have to pray harder than them.”

We prayed for Matt’s hockey team. That began the conversation where Matt talked about Jesus and growing up in a church school. He wasn’t in church and had never actually prayed to ask Jesus to become his Savior. I pulled out a tract from my purse.

“This is written by Billy Graham.” I said. “Do you know who that is?”

He thought for a minute. “I don’t think so,” he said. Nancy and I had never met anyone who didn’t know Billy. “Trust me,” Nancy and I said almost at the same time. “His work is worth reading.” Matt took it and promised to read it. Matt kept returning to our table to talk about jobs, his future, God, and life issues. Suddenly, I knew God was going to give Nancy this gift and was going to give Matt "The Gift."

“Matt,” I asked. “Would you like to change your destiny right now?” Matt looked interested so I continued. Together, Nancy and I gave him the Gospel. I ended by saying, “You could pray right now and become a Christian. We could read the prayer that is in that tract.” 

“Ok,” he said.

Wow, I thought. That was easy.We opened the tract and Matt invited Jesus to become a part of his life. I gave him a card and left thrilled with God’s gift to Nancy and me. I thought about my doubts from the night before. God was waiting for just the right time to answer my prayer.

Nancy already knew she was a part of everyone this ministry leads to Christ because of her support. She had read all of the stories I posted so she already knew what happens on the road. Knowing and experiencing it are two different things and I was grateful that God gifted us with being able to, together, be a chapter in Matt’s story, “The Day My Destiny Changed.”

Since Matt's story, Nancy and I have have led many people to Jesus together. Thank you Nancy for being my friend. Thank you God for gifting me with Nancy.Thank you Jesus for being "The Gift" to a lost and dying world.