October 2018   
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But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, I Peter 3:15


I heard someone say that those who are His should live lives worth telling stories about. Here's the twist. The story would not be about you, but about Him. Christ the King. At this place in your life, my life, what kind of story of Christ are we telling. Is it worth reading about, listening to? What kind of Kingdom storytellers are we?


The world, and even the church, have too often conditioned us to think that only the great and grand stories are worth telling. We love the spectacular. We don't see how the everyday can be inspiring to anyone. But it's in the everyday where His Life and Light shine most brightly. It's in the everyday that a lost and dying world needs to see that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Answer, the Truth, and the Life. Those are the stories His followers need to be telling. Stories that are "read" and "heard" by a world in desperate need of knowing them. 

Two storytellers had a deep impact on my coming to Christ. The first was a young girl I knew at the small northwestern Pennsylvania college I attended in the 70's. I never knew her well, but she moved in the circles I did, the party crowd. I don't remember ever encountering her when she wasn't high on something. Of course, I was as well. Such is the life of the party crowd. I eventually left school to work and earn money, and was gone for a year. When I returned, that young girl was in one of my classes. Once a burnt out "hippie chick," I now beheld a young girl that l glowed with joy and peace. I began to talk with her, and she, quietly, but powerfully, told me of how her life had changed, and more, Who had changed it. Gone were the dead eyes that my own dead eyes had looked into. They were replaced with eyes that sparkled with life and light. She told me her story, which was His story in her. No, she didn't lead me to Him, but what I had seen and heard deeply impacted me. I never forgot it, and today, more than 40 years later, it still resonates with me.


Several years later I listened to another storyteller. He was also a fellow "party circuit" guy. When last I'd seen him, he'd had long, greasy hair, and was wasted on drugs and alcohol. He was at my 10th year high school reunion. I went up to him hoping he might be able to share some dope with me. He shared Jesus instead, and what had happened in his life. Once more, I could not deny the transformation. The man before me was no longer the man I'd known. This storyteller, like the last one, left the imprint of Christ on my dead heart. 

Almost a year to the day later, I once more came across him in a chance encounter that was not a chance encounter at all. He invited me to his church. My heart was ready to at least see what this was all about. I went, and I heard the preacher tell His story through His Word. My heart was impacted again. I went back several more Sundays, and then, one evening, in the home I grew up in, my desperate heart just simply cried out to Him, "Jesus, I need you." And into my heart came Christ......And all because of two storytellers sent to me by Him, to tell His story through theirs. Ever since, it's been my heart desire to tell His story through mine. And if I tell it right, no one notices me, but everyone cannot help but see Him. We are called to be storytellers. We tell His story in us, and then we leave the results of the storytelling to Him. I never saw that young girl again after I left school, but her story remained. A good story always does. The story of Christ, alive in us and through us, is the greatest story there can be.


The Father created each of us in part, for the purpose of telling His story, His Son's story, through us. Each is intended to be a "masterpiece," a "classic." He writes His story on our hearts, and that story then flows out of our lives and into the lives of others....and all through the everyday wonder of our living in Him. We are letters from His heart to a heartsick world. He intends for us to be read, and we will be read. The question for each of us is, what is being read by those we encounter. Are we stories that give witness to the miraculous transforming power of Christ, or do we just pass through unnoticed, because the world's story is seen so much more clearly through our lives than His is? 


Storytellers continue to come my way. I gain much by hearing them. They've lived lives in Christ worth telling stories about. The world likely has never noticed them. Sadly, much of the church hasn't as well. Yet they're heart stories written from His heart by the blood of His Son. I long to keep reading them. I want my life to be a story of Him read by those He places me before. How about you?


Pastor O

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