Me reading on my Kindle; apparently I read so fast it gets blurry
Me reading a favorite author; OK, I just grabbed book from the bookshelf
The first decision was who to write and where I could get their address. I wanted to write Francis Chan but the website I found for him basically said he was real busy and probably would not have time to read or answer the email. I understand and appreciate that. The truth is I'd rather him be doing something besides looking at emails. I don't want to just fill up his inbox. I thought of Jim Cymbala but could not find an address. So, I thought some more. I get an email from Ann Voskamp each day delivering her blog to me. I tried simply replying to her email. I love reading her blog each day and I loved her book "One Thousand Gifts." She is really a gifted writer and seems to have a real heart for the Lord. I also appreciate that she has only written the one book (I think maybe a couple of books to go along with that one). She seems to have written her heart and is not interested in just churning out more books. Replying to her email actually worked. I got a beautifully written auto-generated reply that said she might not reply back, but that she would pray for me and read my email. That's more than I can ask for.
I flipped through my Kindle app looking for more books. I came across a book I read titled "The Insanity of God" by a guy named Nik Ripken (not his real name because he as a missionary in persecuted countries). It was a wild book. This guy went around to countries where Christians either were persecuted or are right now being persecuted and interviewed them about how they persevered strong for Jesus despite persecution. He had some mind-blowing interviews. He listed a website at the end of his book and there was place to email him. So, I did.
I was looking through my bookshelf to find another author that maybe wasn't too famous and might actually read my email. I saw the book titled "The Cross" by Arthur Blessitt. I loved reading his book and watch the movie by the same name about his life. Arthur is a guy that is in his 70's now. About 30-35 years ago, he felt God had called him to walk around the world with a big old cross on his shoulder telling people that Jesus loved them. He did. He carried the cross for 38 years totaling over 38,000 miles in just about every, if not every, country in the world. I just love hearing Arthur speak about his journeys with Jesus. So, I wrote Arthur as well. I also received one of those automatic email replies back. In typical Arthur fashion he asked if I knew Jesus and if I did not, to click on the link provided. He's one evangestic guy.
When I wrote these people, I told them why I appreciate their work. I explained I was a pastor of small church in rural, south Alabama. It was a quiet place and they were welcome to come for a visit. I would even let them preach! Will I get a response? Who knows, but I have a better chance than I did yesterday!
Me looking to see if Ann, Nik, or Arthur are coming
I don't really expect a response. These people are busy and have lots to do for the kingdom. Here's a beautiful thought. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." God will listen to me when I pray in the authority of Jesus and for His glory. He's more famous than any of my authors. The reason I picked the people that I did is because they seem to have a great love for Christ and a close relationship with Him. I'd like to have them come over and share about their journeys with Jesus. I want to get closer to Jesus by hanging out with people who are close to Jesus. That's a good strategy. We all need people in our lives who challenge us to live closer to Jesus and to get to know Him better. I also don't need to forget that I can draw near to Him in prayer and He will answer me and show me things that nobody else could. If I just live off of other people's stories and ideas, I'll end up with a second hand relationship with Christ. A second hand relationship will end up being second rate and that's just not good enough where Jesus is concerned. Let's help each other and not forget to go Jesus Himself first.
Calling to Him for the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Trials that bring me closer to Him
2. Arthur Blessitt
3. The fascinating people in Nik Ripken's book (if you decide to read the book, the second half tells the stories of him interviewing persecuted Christians).