Thursday, February 19, 2015

Nelson Newsletter–February 2015

Alexandyr On Super Bowl Sunday I got a call from Alexandyr who told me about his father’s upcoming surgery. I asked how his wife was doing. He said that they were still living separately and it didn’t seem like she would return. I asked him, “What prevents you from giving your life to Christ right now?” He said, “Nothing.” I led him in a prayer of repentance and faith on the phone. You see, we had numerous conversations on the phone about salvation. I had even driven two hours south to Warner Robins, Georgia to share Jesus with him in person a month before, but he was not ready. But, that Sunday evening God forgave his sins and made him a new person! I met him a few days later and he is reading the Word of God and learning to trust Him. Please pray for Alexandry to grow in Christ, and for his wife  (in the photo) to see her need for Jesus too. Thank you!


Rich’s Testimony This month we feature Dr. Richard Suplita’s personal testimony. We have been friends 15 years, ever since we met at UGA when I was doing campus ministry. Enjoy!

Parenting Seminar Danelle and I travel to Jacksonville, Florida this Saturday, February 21st, to teach an all-day parenting seminar. We are acutely aware of our inadequacy in ourselves, and covet your prayers for us and all those who come.

Mark I met Mark a year ago. He is an entrepreneur who has been developing a defense contract for several years, sinking all his savings into this project. This week he wrote, “Please pray for me. My business has failed and I lost a huge sum of money. I am feeling very depressed. I have not been a religious man but think I must reconsider. Thanks.” I shared the gospel with him on the phone. Afterwards he wrote, “The hole in my heart is soooo deep it will never heal.” Pray that we can meet face to face so that I can share Christ with him again, and for God to save him!

Prayer Requests

1. Parenting Seminar Feb 21. Pray for effective communication, & the parents to be encouraged.

2. Alexandyr. Pray for him to grow and learn to trust God. Pray for his wife’s salvation.

3. Ukraine. Please continue to pray for safety, justice, and peace for Ukraine.

4. Mark. He would see that only Jesus can fill the hole in his heart and remove his depression.

With profound thanksgiving for your partnership,

Steve and Danelle

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Life Examined

The great philosRich's testimony photoopher Socrates is credited with saying that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Like many, I turned to higher education in a quest to examine life. I eagerly began to study psychology and the human brain and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in those fields. As I embraced this new perspective on the human mind, the religion I had grown up with in West Virginia seemed increasingly outmoded and irrelevant.

In search of fresh answers, I turned to the natural sciences and secular psychology. No longer having to answer to God, I created my own agenda, made up my own rules and lived to pursue my own selfish desires. But rather than bringing fulfillment and understanding, I found life lacking in meaning and ultimate purpose. In short, I had neither hope nor peace.

In His wisdom and providence, God put a few spiritually-mature Christian men in my path to speak truth into my life. I witnessed how they lived their lives, loving God and putting Him first in all of their affairs. These men deeply loved their families and poured their lives into serving others. Having surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, they were empowered by Him to live with authenticity, compassion, love, commitment and great purpose!

As it happens in all of our lives, I faced some stormy trials. I experienced the heartbreak of divorce, followed by a trail of painful relationships when I turned to romantic love to give me a sense of purpose and significance. In what proved to be the last straw, I was unexpectedly released by my employer from the position I had held for over a decade. Angry and depressed for having been terminated unfairly, I felt the strongest urge ever to turn away from God completely. How could I believe that He was truly looking out for me when everything was so chaotic and uncertain? I would rid myself of the last residue of belief buried beneath layers of pain and frustration.

However, I found myself doing the complete opposite. Driving late at night to ease my mind, something deep inside me simply trusted like never before. It was as if a veil had been removed from my eyes, and I saw clearly that Jesus would take the brokenness of my life, would forgive me for trying to do life my way, would heal me, would walk beside me through present and future trials, and would never abandon me or reject me! Alone in my car, I simply uttered the words “Yes, I believe this. I trust you with my life, Jesus”.

Since then, He has walked by my side daily and is at work in my heart to bring forth new life from the inside out. I have been given a new direction for my career. God is giving me the strength and wisdom to seek Him first in my relationships. More than ever, I am living with a real and eternal sense of purpose and meaning, amid the trials and uncertainties of life.

I discovered that Socrates was onto something in challenging people to examine their lives. Jesus said, “I have come that they (we) might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). May I encourage you to ask God to help you examine your life and show you how to experience real life in Him. He will! Please contact me if you have any questions.

Rich Suplita