The Truth We Can No Longer Deny Since the Pandemic

by Lori Roeleveld @LoriSRoeleveld

“‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.’”                                                                                                                  Joel 2:28-29 ESV

Here’s what’s clear to us in June that may have eluded us in January: each one of us impacts more lives than we ever imagined.

A microscopic virus has illustrated that a single touch can affect worldwide change. We are viral in scope – no matter how small we feel.

The idea that our individual lives are insignificant is a convenient illusion we Christians often embrace to comfort ourselves when the prospect of representing Jesus feels overwhelming, or our failures make us seem ineffective.

Jesus was God. He came into the world thousands of years before social media and took on human form – one man. His disciples could barely agree on how to secure lunch prior to the cross, but after the cross, as witnesses of the resurrection, they went viral.

Peter, James, John, Paul, Mary and the rest could not have imagined the scope of their testimonies, but I don’t get the impression from the New Testament that they wasted much time fretting over it.

They devoted their lives to telling others the truth they knew. They lived so that the Holy Spirit had free reign to work through them, and every person they touched made a choice to accept that truth or reject it. And here we are.

Each of us is so potent, our enemy has had to flood the air with the lie that we don’t matter. This pandemic reminds us that we do.

From the most powerful world leader to the homeless beggar who has forgotten her own name, we have the same potential to pass on what we carry within us – sickness, cynicism, fear, doubt, corruption, evil, and death, or health, hope, life, light, love, and truth – the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God, in His mercy, and us, if we’re paying attention, can transform this moment of global panic into the greatest resurgence of faith the world has ever seen. The only question is this – will we choose the comfort of the convenient delusion or will we choose the courage to go viral with the gospel?

Because we can no longer deny that we can.

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The Truth We Can No Longer Deny Since the Pandemic – Insight from @LoriSRoeleveld on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

lori Roeleveld Headshot 2015About the author: Lori Stanley Roeleveld is an author, speaker, and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored four encouraging, unsettling books. Her latest release is The Art of Hard Conversations: Biblical Tools for the Tough Talks that Matter. She speaks her mind at www.loriroeleveld.com.

Join the conversation: How will you carry life and light to those within your influence?

Influencing with Pumpkinality

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify you Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14, 16 NASB

How can you tell it’s fall? The answer:  Pumpkins. Not necessarily pumpkins in the garden. No, it’s about much more than that. It’s pumpkins on every store shelf in every form you can think of—and some you never thought of. And some you’d rather not ever have thought of.

Pumpkins on every front porch. On tables. In baskets. Arranged, prepared, decorated. You’ll find pumpkin in your breakfast pastry. In your lunch soup. In your dinner salad. It’s in your coffee! We eat, sleep, breathe pumpkins. Literally “breathe” because the number of pumpkin-scented candles, perfumes, air fresheners and the like is getting more impressive by the autumn-minute.

Pumpkins have been tinted and whittled, glittered and frittered. That doesn’t even count the fake ones. Fabric, metal, wood—will that be paper or plastic? They’re sculpted, whipped and crafted. We have pumpkins for every personality. Anyone else close your eyes at night and see orange? We’ve got pumpkinality!

There have also been a few disturbing turns for pumpkins. Chicken pumpkin taco. Really? Seriously, why? Pumpkin potato chips. Pumpkin pizza. Those are all ideas that should’ve been squashed. (Squashed? Mercy, there’s even pumpkin in our humor. “Pun”-kins?)

What’s with the extreme pumpkinization of our society? And I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’ve been sucked in. Willingly, even. Well, not the tacos, chips or pizza. But the rest? Wholeheartedly, all in.

It’s good to remember that our society can be influenced. And that it needs to be. Not really for pumpkins—though I confess, I do love them. But for Jesus. For truth. The kind of influence that counts for eternity.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” He wasn’t talking about Jack-o-lanterns when He said, “A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:14-16, HCSB.

Put your pumpkins in a basket, fine. But not your light. It’s meant to be shining, influencing—pointing a lost world to a saving Christ. We’re to shine by sharing the Gospel of Jesus, and by the way we live to bring Him glory.

First Peter 2:12 says to “conduct yourselves honorably” among unbelievers. The next verses get a bit more specific about that conduct. Verse 13 says to “Submit to every human authority because of the Lord” and in verse 17, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor,” (HCSB).

I’m so much more wholeheartedly “all in” when it comes to shining the light of Christ in this culture. I don’t want to be remembered merely as the lady with the pumpkins on her porch. I would much rather be known as one who lives and influences with integrity, and that one who can’t quite shut-up about all things Jesus.

Meanwhile, when it comes to squash, I won’t try to tell you what you pump-“kin” and “kin-not” do. But I’ve heard you can even make it into pie. Wow, there’s an idea.

TWEETABLE
Influencing with Pumpkinality – insight from @RhondaRhea on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

rhonda rheaAbout the author: Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and an award-winning humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and many more. She is the author of 17 books, including the Fix-Her-Upper books, co-authored with Beth Duewel, and the hilarious novels, Turtles in the Road and Off-Script & Over-Caffeinated, both co-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea.

Rhonda and Kaley are also excited to be teaming up with Bridges TV host, Monica Schmelter, for the Messy to Meaningful series, with My Purse Runneth Over coming soon. Edie Melson and Rhonda have a new book as well, Unruffled—Thriving in Chaos.

Rhonda lives near St. Louis with her pastor/hubs and has five grown children. You can read more from Rhonda on her website or Facebook page.

Join the conversation: What effective ways have you found to share “all-things Jesus”?