Friday, June 29, 2018

Nelson Newsletter

Dear Partners, 
Isn’t it an honor to be Christ’s ambassadors? Wow! Our sins are forgiven, we are children of God, and we are a light to those still in darkness. Here are some recent opportunities we had to be the light of Christ…

Clemson Outreach Danelle and I always enjoy engaging students in discussions about the purpose of life and explaining the good news of Jesus Christ to them. We did just that recently at our alma mater in Clemson along-side our good friends Berk and Barbara Wilson and the LINC team. We also went to support Brian Bridgeman and the student ministry of Clemson Community Church, as well as to help train the students with the LINC program. Hundreds heard God’s plan of salvation and many came to faith the Lord! It was beautiful! Thank you for praying!                      

                       Steve’s teaching on marriage and relationships.

Good News Going Out In Atlanta We are thankful for our church family and their steadfast faith. We have new babies, new homes, and new locations (the Powers in Clarkston) for outreach in Atlanta. We continue to have opportunities to share Christ with folks at the pool where Danelle and I swim. Last week I engaged two ladies in a serious conversation about death to find out they are both believers. One of their husbands probably doesn’t know the Lord yet. Please pray for him! We also shared Christ with a young lady from Kazakhstan a few days ago. She came by our house selling books. Yes, we shared about how to know God personally in both English & Russian. J Pray for Dianna to believe in Christ. She is reading Secure In An Insecure World in Russian. Finally, my son Scott and I recently met Mustafa and his wife, Apear, and their niece, Nour, who are refugees from Syria. We plan to continue to build friendships and to show them The Way. (Update since I wrote this a few days ago: Today they enthusiastically agreed to come over and read stories about Jesus!) Please pray for our church to understand Christ’s love for us which will result in a growing love for one another and for unbelievers.                                                    

                                                                      Alex & Oksana with their new baby Amy                                                                                                                     
                                     Prayer Requests

1. Clemson Outreach Pray for the students who found the light of Christ to grow in their new relationship with Him. Pray for their love for God’s word to result in fruitful lives. Ask God to save even more of those who heard but have not believed yet to see the light.

2. Atlanta Pray for the unbelievers that we are befriending to come to Christ. Pray for us to love Jesus!

3. Family Pray for the upcoming opportunities this summer to build our children and grandchildren’s faith in God.

You are God’s light to us. Thank you!         

Steve & Danelle   

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Has Your Christianity Become Religious?

“Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves?” Zachariah 7:5-6

We read above how the Jews were very religious – observing the holy festivals, devoutly fasting and mourning. Our first thoughts after reading this might be, “That was impressive. They were devoted to the Lord their God!” On the contrary, the prophet reprimanded them for fasting for selfish reasons!

We too can become religious. Our Christianity has gone sour. Our relationship with God is dead or on life support. Our religious activities have become self-serving and self-centered. We need to get heart right and return to Christ – to the relationship.

The apostle Paul understood the natural human tendency to be distracted from our devotion to Christ when he wrote the Christians in Corinth, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3. We all default to being self-centered, and sometimes it is disguised with/by religious activity – fasting, prayer, Bible study, mission work, and Christian service.

Ask the Lord to show you your heart. Have you fallen into doing spiritual activities with selfish motives? Have your activities for the Lord become merely routine or self-serving? If so, do not despair or get down on yourself; instead ask Him for the grace to return to your simple and pure devotion to Christ.