Friday, January 4, 2019

The Evangelist's Job

Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. - Acts 8:4

The early church suffered persecution for proclaiming Jesus Christ had risen from the dead and was the Savior of the world. This led to their being scattered throughout Israel. They fled for their safety from Jerusalem. Then they huddled in homes with fear until the danger past. Not! The gospel continued to be proclaimed with boldness. The question is: By whom? The answer—by everyone!
The only way to impact a world with the radical message of Jesus Christ is when every believer is committed to the cause. “Isn’t that the job of the evangelist?” some may ask. Yes, evangelists should call people to turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. But their job is much, much more! The evangelist is to equip all Christ’s followers to evangelize, as we read in Ephesians 4:11: “And He gave some as . . . evangelists . . . for the equipping of the saints for the work of service.” Their job is to model, train, and inspire all the saints to sincerely care enough about unbelievers so that they share Christ with them in word and deed. They should inspire all the saints to live exemplary lives where Jesus Christ is seen in their marriages, friendships, at work, and at home.
Evangelism is much more than a message; it’s revealing Jesus Christ alive in us! In my opinion, the evangelist has failed if he or she does all the evangelizing. Furthermore, evangelism is much more than learning a gospel presentation and going out to share it with others. It is developing a heart of compassion for those who don’t know Christ yet, praying fervently for them to be saved, and sincerely caring about them. The lost are not to be viewed as our projects! God, help all of us today to have Your compassion for unbelievers.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - December 2018


Merry Christmas!

It is with deepest gratitude that Danelle and I write to you today for your loyal friendship, effective prayers, and faithful financial support of our work in the gospel. You all have made this year one to celebrate and praise God for! Here are a few highlights from 2018…

Atlanta House Church God blessed our church family tremendously in 2018. We had babies – physical and spiritual! For a parent, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your own children follow the Lord Jesus. "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4)


Eric & Sarah Morris saw all three of their children come to know Jesus as their Savior in 2018! Our church celebrated their new birth with a baptism & picnic in September.


Alex & Oksana welcomed Amy into their family in June. Her two brothers are excited to have a sister! This year dozens of other friends and family members also heard the good news of Jesus from us, and a number of them began a relationship with Him! To God be the glory!
                                                                                             
                                                     Southeast Region

Clemson Ministry Danelle & I continue to work with Brian Bridgeman at Clemson University. In February we led a retreat (photo left) for students about God’s purpose for our lives. God showed up and hearts were touched!


We returned in June to spend several days with Berk and Barbara Wilson and the LINK team sharing the gospel with students. Steve went to Clemson again in November to meet Brian & share the good news and then lead a discussion with the young men Brian is training. Here is a photo of Brian with Shaw, one of the young men he mentors.



David Henson Our dear friend and fellow missionary went to be with the Lord in March after a battle with pneumonia. David was a compassionate servant to everyone he met! He was a good friend of ours for many years, especially when Danelle, Grace, Merry, and I lived in Ukraine. Please keep praying for his wife, Mindy, who continues to serve God in Ukraine.



Florida Churches Danelle and I were invited by the pastors to minister to the church in Gainesville in April and St. Petersburg just last weekend. In both situations they faced challenges that come with change and needed encouragement to trust God with their future. We were able to sit with a number of folks and listen to their concerns, encourage then with God’s faithfulness & His promises, and to pray with them. Ask God to lead, comfort, encourage, and help them take steps of faith to follow Him in 2019.

Nelson Family Our family continues to grow. Stephanie and David just found out the exciting news that they will have their first girl in May, 2019 to go along with their three sons. Danelle and I praise God for all our children, their spouses, and the 15 grandchildren. We must exercise so we can keep up with them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    
                                                                             Prayer Requests

1. Regional House Church Conference Please pray for our January 25-27, 2019 House Church Conference. We are excited that Wayne Jacobsen is coming to speak to the churches from Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina who will attend. Ask God to give us hearts to learn and grow, and to strengthen the relationships among our churches in the region.

2. Faithwalkers Conference On December 27-30 Danelle and I will again travel to Asheville to teach a seminar on Enjoying Evangelism - how we can build relationships with those who don’t know our Savior and enjoy it!  Ask the Lord to give everyone a heart to learn and for the speaker to be Spirit-led. ;-) Pray for all those speaking and the 600+ attendees to encounter the Living Christ and lives to be transformed.

3. Florida Churches Please ask the Lord to encourage and lead our fellow believers in Gainesville and St. Petersburg. May they listen to His voice and follow Him in 2019, knowing His love and grace is enough.

4. Our Support Thank you to each of you who have supported us in 2018! God has provided for our needs through many of you. If you wish to give a special gift in December, or become a monthly partner in 2019, simply follow this link: https://reliant.org/steve.nelson?newGift.  Of course you can always mail your gift to the address below. Every gift is greatly appreciated!

Thank you for being our friends in ministry,        

Steve & Danelle   



                                  
wwww.reliant.org 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832    www.gcmnelson.com

Friday, November 9, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - November 2018



Dear fellow sojourners,
Who do you know who needs to be rescued by the Lord Jesus, like Paul was, and receive the forgiveness of their sins? What are their names? The Lord has sent us (all of us) to help open their eyes to the beautiful new life in Christ! Bringing people to faith in Christ, starts with sincerely caring for others. Let’s ask the Lord to give us His compassion for those in darkness as we used to be. Remember where you came from!

Atlanta House Church
Our church has been reading Ephesians together. Paul reminded them, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.”  (2:1-3) Remembering our past life helps us be humble, thankful, and empathize with unbelievers. Our church is remembering so that we care for others!

Regional Leadership Meeting I went to Columbia, SC a few weeks ago to join my fellow church leaders. We shared what God is doing in our churches, families, and personal challenges. Then we prayed for one another’s specific needs. We also discussed “The Disciple Making Process” we use in our respective churches. Pictured here with me is our long-time friend and fellow pastor, Robbie McAlister from South Carolina.
                                                                                                 
                                       
                                        Prayer Requests
1. Atlanta Church Pray for Ace, our lifeguard, to come to know Christ. He is reading Secure In An Insecure World and is coming over for dinner this Friday. Pray for our church members to remember our past so that Christ’s compassion will motivate us to build relationships & rescue unbelievers here in Atlanta.

2. Regional Need Pray for God’s wisdom and grace for Danelle and I to help a church in our region that is having some problems. We have been asked to come alongside to meet the needs.

3. Alice Nelson Pray for my mother’s eye to heal. She has lost sight in one eye and is receiving injections to promote the healing.

Thank you for being our partners in the rescue,        

Steve & Danelle   
                                    
wwww.reliant.org 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832    www.gcmnelson.com     

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Start With The End In Mind

Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations....” - Matthew 28:18-19
If any project, business, or mission is to succeed, it must be started with the end in mind. There will need to be constant reminders of what the goal (or purpose) is throughout the process if it is to stay on target and finish well. Finally, there will also need to be course corrections as we stray from the mark we aim for, or find better ways of reaching the goal.
In the same way, we must start with God’s end in mind for us. What is His ultimate purpose for you and every person on the planet? God’s purpose is to save us and then transform our lives to be like Christ. He wants to use every circumstance, hardship, difficult person, unexpected financial challenge, and responsibility to make us like Jesus Christ. Know this! His plan is for you to be a mature disciple and to make other disciples.
If every child of God is to be a mature disciple and to make disciples, how does one make a mature disciple? Have a discipleship class? Begin a discipleship program? God chose the church as His method of discipleship, “that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church” (Ephesians 3:10). A healthy body has healthy parts. God has chosen to equip and build His body, the church, by “the proper working of each part.” How do Christians grow and mature? “The whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16).
Keep the end of making mature disciples in mind, and then every decision you make will reflect that purpose.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - September 2018

                             

Dear Friends,    
Paul and Barnabas reported to the church everything God had done on their recent mission trip. It was God who saved lives and made disciples, not these apostles, and they knew it.

God is doing things in and through all of us today! “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13) Here are some ways God has been working through us recently.
Eric baptizing Natalie, Clara, & Luke


Atlanta House Church Our church celebrated the new birth of Natalie, Clara, and Luke Morris with their baptism on a beautiful September morning! Their father, Eric, baptized his children as we all rejoiced. Then we gathered under a shelter to read the Scriptures, pray, and worship the Lord together. While we were under the shelter, a peaceful summer shower appeared as an added blessing. It was also a blessing to have our friends, Alla and Alek, come up from Warner Robins, Georgia to celebrate with us that morning.



You may remember that we baptized Eric a few years ago in the frigid Chattahoochee River. Apropos for the occasion: “The jailer brought them into his house and set food before them, and he rejoiced greatly that he had come to believe in God, together with his entire household.” Acts 16:34

 Granddaughters. Danelle and I had a delightful visit with our daughter, Julie, and her family in NYC. We took our granddaughters, Jasper and Emilia Dewey, to Massachusetts where Emilia learned how to ride a bike! We went swimming in a few magnificent lakes, ate lots of tasty local ice cream, read Count Zinzendorf’s inspiring biography (we highly recommend it), went to a local auction for fun, had discussions about baptism and salvation, and ate more ice cream - just because we are the grandparents! God gave us many sweet memories. J




                                                                                                  

                                       
                                     Prayer Requests

1. Atlanta Church Pray the parents in our church to love and train their young children well. As you know, it is becoming more difficult to raise godly children in our society. They need God’s grace.

Sveta is one of our church members and long-time friend. Her father died last week after being sick for many years. He and his wife have been living in the war zone of eastern Ukraine. Her mother plans to continue living there. Please pray for Sveta’s mother’s relationship with God, as well as for God’s comfort for Sveta and her entire family.

Pray for my friend, Elmer to come to know Christ. He is a father with three young children, whose wife left recently left them. Pray for her salvation and the restoration of their marriage. Elmer is currently reading Secure In An Insecure World in Spanish. Here is the link if you know someone who needs a good book about marriage: http://tinyurl.com/yb4dc2wy

2. NYC Family Please pray for our 2 granddaughters, as they start new schools, to find Christian friends. Pray for our daughter, Julie, as she makes some important business decisions and looks for a new church. 

In front of Jasper's new school



Thank you for being a vital part of what GOD is doing!         

Steve & Danelle  


wwww.reliant.org 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832    www.gcmnelson.com

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Nelson Newsletter - August 2018


Dear Fellow Ambassadors,     

Saul persecuted the early church – binding them and hauling them off to prison. How did they respond? Did they give up? Did they run away in fear? No! They continued to preach the good news about Jesus as He had commanded them. Everyone, not just the leaders, were active in spreading the word. They were all ambassadors! Their love for God and for lost souls drove them on, even in the face of death.

What effect does Christ’s love have on your relationships with unbelievers? How can you be more effective in evangelism? Here are some ways we have spread the gospel through our church and ministry…


Tworek Wedding Thank you for praying for the wedding of Danelle’s niece two weeks ago.  Kelsey and Eddie’s ceremony glorified Christ and the gospel was clearly presented. We also had many gospel conversations at the reception.  Please pray for this new couple to continue to seek God. Pray for them to follow up people who had spiritual interest sparked from their wedding.

Atlanta House Church We are excited to report that all three of Eric and Sarah Morris’s children (in photo below) have made professions of faith in Christ and want to be baptized. September 9th we are going to lake for the baptism and a picnic to celebrate their new lives in Christ! “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT


Trip to NYC & Massachusetts. Danelle and I leave this Saturday for New York to visit our daughter, Julie, and her family. We will take our granddaughters, Jasper and Emilia, to my brother’s cabin in Massachusetts for 5 days. Ask God to give us grace to show them Christ’s love.
                                                                                                                                        
                                     Prayer Requests

1. Eddie & Kelsey Ask God to help this new couple to find good fellowship, to grow in their faith, to strengthen their love for each other, and to have wisdom for raising Eddie’s two young sons.

2. Atlanta Pray for our church to be captivated with the Lord and His love for us. Pray that we would sincerely love unbelievers, build relationships with them, and boldly share Christ as often as possible. Pray too for the baptism, September 9th, to be especially meaningful to the three Morris children.

3. NYC Family Pray for Danelle and I to have quality time with our daughter Julie and her family from August 25-September 1st. We are taking our 2 granddaughters up to Massachusetts for 5 days during this time.  

Thank you for faithful support!         

Steve & Danelle   
  






wwww.reliant.org 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832    www.gcmnelson.com     


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

God Is Never Surprised



Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.” Luke 22:1-2

Surprises can be good or bad, wanted or unwanted, painful or pleasant. We are surprised by an unexpected check in the mail, meeting a kind client, or a cheerful server on a rainy day. On the other hand, a change in the weather that ruins our plans, or an unexpected illness or bill, are surprises we wish we could avoid.  How can we prepare for surprises and not become discouraged by the bad news or feeling prideful that our abilities made something good happen when things were unexpectedly positive?

Jesus was going to be betrayed, beaten beyond recognition, and then crucified. He was not surprised. He was never surprised because He was God and knew the future. He also knew there would be a victorious resurrection and the purchase of a bride made from sinful people! Knowing the future gave Him courage to face the present trials, as well as the future betrayals, and abandonment by His best friends.

You do not know the future. But then again, you actually do! If you are a Christian, you know that you will be raised to eternal life with Christ! You also know the One who knows everything about the future! You can live with consistent hope, courage, and optimism when difficult surprises come by trusting God who knows your future and loves His children. You don’t have to be caught off guard or discouraged when nasty surprises come. Your God was not! 

Remember, He has you in the palm of His hands. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28