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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Persuasion (not about the book) (09/01/11)

TITLE: "But I Don't Have a Testimony
By Noel Mitaxa


Brett had big hopes for getting a handle on how to share his faith, and breakfast with Pastor Kelvin promised to be a step in the right direction.

A bottomless coffeepot and a disappearing stack of donuts on the table of their diner booth would only enhance his prospects.

Their bibles were open at 1 Peter 3: 15 - “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to everyone that asks you to give an account of the hope that is within you,” but Brett was still struggling…

“But I don’t have a testimony, Pastor,” he protested. “I was raised in a Christian home; I attended a Christian school; I’ve only ever played sport with church teams; and I teach in a Christian school. Nobody would notice anything I say.”

“Do you mean you haven’t ever been bad enough to suddenly become good enough for people to notice a change in you?” his pastor replied. “Brett, is your testimony about you, or is it about Jesus and the hope that he gives you?

“Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give us power to be his witnesses; in Acts 1:8; so we may discern what he is doing wherever we are – with us and in the lives of the people around us; even if they don’t know he’s there for them,” he continued.

“It doesn’t matter how bad or good you have been. Maybe your worst crime was to burn your dad’s toast on Fathers’ Day when you got him breakfast in bed! What matters is how you open your heart and mind to discern what Jesus is up to in your world.

"Then you may be his witness to those around you; and as they discover how available he is for them, they are more likely to want to know more about him.”

“But what about the questions they’ll ask?” countered Brett; “I won’t know what to say!”

“Not a problem, Brett,” said his pastor. “If you keep showing your interest in them, your conversations will keep going as long as they want. If they ask something you don’t know, offer to check it out and get back to them. That kind of respect will cut more mustard with them than trying to dazzle them with science. Besides, if you clutter up your mind with answers to questions they may never ask, you’ll be less alert to what they really want to know.”

“But Pastor, what about being ready, like it says in this verse in 1 Peter?” asked Brett.

“I find it helps to pack my story into three simple sentences,” Kelvin replied. “What life was like before I became a Christian; how I came to Christ and how life is for me now. It’s short enough to catch their interest, and because it’s my own experience they cannot argue with it.”

Brett leaned forward: “So, what are your three sentences, Pastor?”

A smile flicked across Kelvin’s face: “I thought you’d never ask, Brett. If they ask me I just tell them: ‘Before I became a Christian I was a foul-mouthed fool. Then I was almost shot dead and I realised how much life I was wasting. I asked Jesus to come into my heart and he filled me with peace that has never left me.’

“Your story will be different, Brett, but shape it up and it will be your story. And I guarantee you that God will release opportunities for you to share it as you keep looking for his grace working with anyone in your circle of influence.”

As their donuts disappeared; they finally reached the bottom of the coffeepot. But when Brett left the diner, his feet were firmly on the ground, his testimony was taking shape and his heart was reaching for the skies.

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This article has been read 586 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Danielle King 09/08/11
I like down to earth,'tell it like it is,'stories with characters I can identify with. These two were very credible and their discussion was a worthwhile message that can apply to all of us.

It had the ring of a true account and I suspect that you are Pastor Kelvin, although that also means that you're the foul mouthed fool - so maybe that's why you almost got shot!

A good story with sound teaching!
C D Swanson 09/09/11
Nicely done. God Bless~
Linda Goergen09/09/11
I have always heard it said that those who have been Christians most all of their lives have the greater testimony than those pulled from the grips of hell because they have not been swayed by the temptations of Satan, they have lined their will with God’s and stood against the temptations and allowed God to keep them and that requires amazing faith and strength of will. So this young man HAS a great testimony and as the story says, he just has to form it into words where people can grasp how God has given him strength to win through many battles. I enjoyed this read and the pondering path it took me on! Good job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/10/11
This is a charming story. How true it is we all have a story abouthow Jesus influences our lives and it is important to share it with others.
Ebony Murdoch09/12/11
I enjoyed this story, and it's so true. Sometimes when being raised in church, one can feel less qualified to speak than others who have had really dramatic conversion experiences, but everyone has a testimony. Great job!
Patricia Protzman09/14/11
Yes, everyone has a testimony. Sometimes it just takes a while to pull it together. An enjoyable read.
Allison Egley 09/14/11
You know, this actually works pretty well for "persuasion" too, if you ask me. :)

I liked this. Though I kind of wish we had seen the MC's final testimony also.

Nice job with this.
Fiona Stevenson09/15/11
Well written, Noel, and so very true. I have heard far too many 'testimonies' that give more glory to the devil than to the Lord - and get more attention, but don't add more to the kingdom of God. God bless you.
Irene Patterson 09/17/11
Hi Noel,

I loved your story. So many testimonies of failure and repentence, and not nearly enough from those who were raised "as unto the Lord" and have lived their lives accordingly. Linda Goergen's comments were so appropriate. We need more testimonies like this, that glorify our Lord Jesus. His last words on earth commanded us to go into all the world and deliver the good news. He didn't say, if you've failed miserably and I've had to pick you up, go and tell. No, he just said we are all to go and let others know about Him.

God's blessings to you!
Beth LaBuff 09/21/11
I cringe when I hear testimonies that expound on the former life of sin, especially those that go into too much detail. You story perfectly illustrates a better solution. I could see Brett listening to and being led by the Spirit in your final paragraph. You've given this a lot of thought and give your reader much to consider. Thanks.