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I remember when my neighbor Gladys visited our Bible study. She was so quiet that I stopped by the next day with banana bread, thanking her for coming, telling her I hoped she’d come again, praying she might open up.

She asked me to stay for tea (a good sign!) and over steaming cups of orange spiced tea, I queried, “You were so quiet at study — what you were feeling and thinking?”

“Honesty, I felt kind of stupid — the other women seem to get it, but Dee, when I read the Bible, I feel like it is written in a foreign language.”

She was an intelligent woman, so I was quite sure what the problem was. Was the wind coming up? I wasn’t sure, but I tentatively lifted the sail. “You are a very bright woman. So…” I hesitated, losing my courage.

“So?” She cocked an eyebrow.

I hoisted the sail.

“I can remember looking at the Bible before I knew Christ and feeling a like you do. But after I responded to Christ, who was definitely wooing me despite my resistance, it was like He gave me new eyes. That was the Holy Spirit in me, helping me to understand what I couldn’t before.”

She was quiet — I put my hands in my pockets to keep them still. Then Gladys shocked me.

“That’s my problem.”

I couldn’t help but smile at her authenticity and at the wind of the Spirit I felt on my neck.

“You think?” 

“Yep,” she nodded, “that’s it.”

“Gladys, would you like to put your trust in Christ?”

“I would!”

And so I explained the gospel, the Lordship of Christ, and she prayed her own prayer of repentance and faith. The next day she called me and said, “Dee, the Bible is in English now!”










gentle-wind907ad7855740f08db94faaf946903585_largeBUT HOW?








the-art-of-asking-survey-questions-4-638Please watch this four minute clip from the panel —

this interchange is between Tim Keller and Rebecca Pippert.


Did you see how Becky discovered her friend’s passion and then gently turned the conversation to Christ?

From there she could discern that her friend was open, that the gentle wind of the Spirit was wooing her.

I’m not saying this is easy — a canned approach may seem easier, but it is so much better to move with the Spirit. It’s not wrong to start with something that has been helpful in the past, but you must listen to your friend carefully, asking the Spirit to show you her heart and how you might make a natural turn toward Christ. There’s a lot of trial and error, and for me, there’s more error, but then there are those sweet successes. This was my conversation yesterday with a woman at pickleball. I haven’t had her over yet, but we’ve had some really good talks about our kids, our frustrations with the candidates, and yesterday here is how the conversation went:

Me: “So what have you been up to this week?”

She: “With the rain, I’ve been cooking a lot — apple pie, muffins, and soup to freeze!”

Me: “Sounds good. Do you love to cook?”

She: “Not really — but I am glad to have that all stored up!”

Me: “That’s exactly how I feel — especially with all the guests we have in Door County. So what do you love doing? What are you passionate about?”

She: “I love sewing. I’ve been making a Christmas stocking for my grand-daughter.”

I’m thinking — okay — she celebrates Christmas…she’s not Jewish…

Then she asked me what I was passionate about and either out of fear or being led by the Spirit (sometimes I don’t know!) I retreated to common ground for I knew she was an athlete. “I do love cross country skiing up here. It’s so beautiful — my body and soul are both restored.” She agreed — and then we got called to the court. After we’d played a game together, I found the boldness to tell her I also had been having lots of fun planning a Christmas tea with a few of the women from pickleball who were from different churches.  I told her women were decorating tables, there would be a ballet, music, and other good things. She seemed interested so I took the plunge and told her I would really love for her to come!

She hesitated, but then she said yes.

It’s a beginning.

Should be an exciting week of catching the wind and encouraging one another!



I must make a comment about last week. You were living proof that we can listen lovingly when we disagree, and in so doing, may even have our minds changed. Silent bloggers e-mailed me and told me how impressed they were with you. My dad used to quote John Stuart Mill to me: “There is always hope when people listen to both sides, for if they listen only to one, errors harden into prejudices and truth ceases to have the effect of truth.” I myself was stirred — torn between voting for the party platform and doing a write-in because of not wanting to support such terrible immorality. I think it is a Romans 14 kind of issue where we each need to be fully persuaded in our mind as we stand before the Lord and not judge one another, but it was such a good discussion. It is the kind of dialogue God calls us to as sisters. At the close of last week our dear Jackie told us with tears that she must take a sabbatical from the blog — and we will miss her so, but pray so for her, for she means so very much to us as contributor, mentor, and encourager. (And to all who feel led to take a time apart, you are free, but NEVER hesitate to stick your head back in to say hi or make a quick comment!)

1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?




Read this article from Rebecca Pippert and share your thoughts:


2. What were Pippert’s main points? Comments?

3. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-6

A. What are we exhorted to do in verse 1?

B. What does God desire according to verse 4?

4.  Read Acts 26:18 and from it formulate a prayer for yourself before you go out today.

5.  As the week progresses, share any conversations you had, whether fruitful or not, in which you were endeavoring to move with His Spirit.

Here is another video to encourage you:


6. What thoughts do you have on the above?

Jesus was continually discerning open hearts. He walked through Samaria, and used questions to intrigue the woman at the well. He called Zaccheus down from the tree to go to his house. Likewise, Philip was told to go and wait at a certain road, for a man open to the Spirit, an Ethiopian eunuch, would soon appear. Paul, who had the Spirit within him, felt led to go into Athens. See how he turned the conversation…

7. Read Acts 17:16-28

A. Why was Paul’s spirit provoked according to verse 16?

B. How did he find common ground with the men of Athens in verse 22?

C. How did he turn it to their need in verses 23-27?

D. How did he again find a way to affirm them and connect with them in verse 28?

8. Pray for the people in your path that God brings to mind.

The following are some sample conversation starters I have used:

         “What have you been thinking a lot about lately?”  

        “What are you passionate about and why?”

        “What do you love or not love about your job?”

If they tell me about something hard going on in their life, I might ask, “What helps you to deal with that?”

   9. What conversation starters have you tried?

10. Sometimes the person will answer and then ask you the same question. What does 1 Peter 3:15 tell us?

11. To be prepared, try answering the following in an authentic yet not scary way

A. What have you been thinking a lot about lately? (This can be an opportunity to share a way you’ve blown it, and yet what hope you are finding for your failure in Jesus — for that prevents you coming across as “holier than thou.”) What might you say?

B. What are you passionate about? (This can be an opportunity to share that you are a little hesitant to share for fear of offending, but that you were a mess, and very discouraged, but Jesus has made a difference — and if they wouldn’t be offended, you’ll tell them more.) What might you say?

Remember to share any conversations you have had with us — fruitful or not. Don’t be afraid to share failures. One man said, “Even though I blow it often, I still know my stumbling way of doing evangelism is better than my critic’s way of doing nothing.”



12. What is your take-a-way this week and why?






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  1. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    you are a brave soul Dee; having the conversation with the woman at pickleball was so good! I want to have those conversations and hope that I can sometime in the future. I’m specifically wanting to discuss Christ with my sister, who is in relatively poor health and very discouraged about church because of an incident that happened when she was a teen. She has never attended a church and is in her 60’s.
    I also loved the discussion with TK and BP. Becky sure knew how to draw that artist out! Will definitely be trying this out as I get more brave.

    1. Laura–praying now about an opportunity with your sister! And I think you are a brave one yourself! 🙂

      1. ?

      1. It was Christians for sure….rumors of her as a teen; gossip. Others went to the pastor and my sister was humiliated. I don’t think she ever forgot that feeling. 

        1. I’m so sorry to hear this, Laura.  I pray that she will come to know the only One we can trust to never leave us or disappoint us.

        2. Laura I too will be praying for your conversation with your sister. Lord I pray you show Laura by the power of your Holy Spirit just the right type of questions to ask. Show her that bridge and that connection to you. 

    2. Praying for your sister and your conversation with her, Laura.

  2. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    I look forward to listening to the panel later today and reading the rest of the lesson, but am already struck by one thing in reading this first section. While we know there are no formulas and “canned” approaches rarely work, I am struck by one “key” to the heart you mention–“THEY MUST HAVE EVIDENCE THAT WE CARE”. It really is the key, the path to their heart. That was the banana bread, the asking about her passions–evidence you care. And it makes me smile, it is so like Jesus, that the key to drawing a heart out, is to show we care about them personally. Rather than try to “win” them with perfectly worded arguments or discussion–show you care, LOVE them.
    It also takes out some of the fear of knowing exactly what to say. Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but I think the whole evangelism path is much slower usually than I’d like. It’s less about knowing exactly what to say, and more about showing I care. And I am equip to do that. 

  3. 2. What were Pippert’s main points? Comments?
    Wow this is so helpful!  Ask good questions–…most people are touched that we want to get to know them.
    1. General interest questions: “What do you do? Do you have family? Where are you from?”
    2. Specific interest questions: specific questions about their area of interest: what, why, how?
    3. Issue questions: cause them to reflect on what they believe.
    4. God questions: We need to ask a spiritual question—a “God question”.
    Also this was key to me: “You might spend quite a bit of time on the first two areas just getting to know a person. You might ask these questions over the course of several conversations. But at some point we need to ask the “issue” and “God” questions.
    Love the scenarios she gave—that was really helpful. Bookmarking this one!

  4. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?       Well, I’m home sick this morning, and our church is doing a morning of serving others.  A short gathering to sing and pray and then going into the community, to do service projects;  raking yards, helping with painting, planting….cleaning whatever and/or visiting at nursing homes or for those who aren’t able to do these things; sit down jobs at church, such as making greeting cards etc.   I love this Sunday, but knew my energy would not last to do any of those things; nor should I ‘share’ my cold with others. 
    But as I came here and saw the beautiful photo of the Lion  (of course, we believers see the Lion of Judah)  with the Wind (of the Spirit) blowing on Him I was really stirred.    1)   I have sensed a moving of the Spirit in the heart of one of my own wanderers, this summer and it has so encouraged and prompted me to continue to pray and not give up.  2)  I witnessed my husband being obedient to the Wind of the Spirit just moments after I opened this blog and saw the photo.  He showed up at church,  plugged in the crock pot with our contribution to the meal and then saw a man he’s been trying to connect with, who upon realizing that it wasn’t a ‘normal’ Sunday…was leaving the parking lot.  Pastor asked my husband if he would reach out to this man a few months ago, and he has….but this man is very elusive and very ‘paranoid/troubled’  to actually commit or even stay once he has shown up at church.   So hubby ran after him and asked if he’d like to meet for coffee or spend a couple hours in the fishing boat.  That is where they are now.  On the lake.  And hopefully, they will go back to church for lunch together afterward.     Complete change of plans.   Hubby showed up at church ready to rake or do physical work for others.  Instead, the Spirit led him in this way.    He has tried multiple times to get J. to come out fishing with him.  Seems he has the best conversations and finds men most open when they’re on the water.     
    I appreciate what Becky said.  What I like most, is that it shows us how to be completely present with the person we are talking to.  Not looking to slip in a pre-determined question or thought…..but to look for ways to actually engage the person where they are comfortable.  Such a better way of connecting, I think. 

    1. Wanda, glad he is a fisher of men as well as of fish!  Did they catch any fish?

      1. I didn’t actually hear if they caught any!  But they did have a good talk and J. left him a voice message saying how appreciative he was.   So good outcome!  I think it seems like  a very long term process for J. to see his need can be met in Jesus….from what he’s experienced so far…but God’s Spirit will some day start to work in visible ways in his life. 🙂

        1. Wanda, Thumbs up!  I think this whole process, including going after the guy, sounds very much in-character for your Mr.

    2. Oh Wanda!  Wonderful example!  And I’m proud of your husband!  I’m sure that was out of his comfort zone, but he did it! 😀

    3. Love the story of your husband taking the man fishing, Wanda. So glad for the good outcome. May the wind of the Spirit continue to blow on this man!

    4. Hope you feel better Wanda. Love the heart of your husband here. I can imagine fishing is a great time for conversation 

    5. Wanda, I admire your husband for being so flexible and willing to change his plans….to just go with the flow in order to reach out to this man!

  5. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?   I read this earlier this morning and kept going back to the photo of the lion — because it looks so CUDDLY!   But since that is sort of an irrelevant answer, something that stands out to me now is the “gentle wind of the Spirit.”   I wonder if the main difference between being intentional about listening/sharing the Gospel and being manipulative IS the wind of the Spirit??  Otherwise, there seems to be a very fine line between learning the “right” communication skills and being manipulative.  I’m also still thinking about last week and wondering about gender (or possibly personality) differences in talking about the Gospel and Christian-related stuff.  As I reflect and think about how I often follow the lead in conversations, the experience sometimes, not always, differs between men and women.  Also, I see age and cultural differences in how we discuss issues.  Because I’m used to being around a variety of people, I’m not particularly consistent in how I relate to others (except the cave part; I do tend to like some time alone regardless…)

  6. 3. A. What are we exhorted to do in verse 1?
    Pray for others—but there is more here. The words used–we are urged to do this—it is important! “Supplication” is defined “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly”. We are to ask for salvation  on their behalf.  “Intercession”—“the action of intervening on behalf of another.” And then “thanksgivings”—reminds me to give thanks to God for what He will do, believing He has heard and will answer. 
    B. What does God desire according to verse 4?
    He desires for all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
    4.  Read Acts 26:18 and from it formulate a prayer for yourself before you go out today.
    Lord, I pray for those who do not know You. I ask that You would open their eyes, so they may turn away from the darkness that entangles them and turn to Your Light of truth. I pray You will bind the enemy from power over them, and that You would grant them forgiveness of sin and adoption as Your child. 

  7. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    I love the true stories of Gladys and the lady at pickleball. Dee, it seems that the wind of the Spirit follows you around! I do agree that the “Four Spiritual Laws” are not well-received in our culture today. What can be discouraging is when the people closest to you do not have the Spirit moving or “blowing” and their hearts, minds, and ears are closed, and the conversation can never be about spiritual things because they will shut you down immediately. The video clip of Keller and Pippert was very good. I like her examples of questions and her emphasis that you cannot be manipulative.

  8. 2. What were Pippert’s main points? Comments?
    I like how this article opens up with the frustration of wanting to talk about Jesus, but the topic never comes up. Except that I have found when people are in the midst of a crisis, they are more open to talking about God. God, in the Bible, asks questions and He tells stories, and we should follow His example. Asking good questions begins with first, asking general interest questions (Are you married, do you have any children, what do you do?) Next, ask more specific questions about their interests. (If they are a doctor, for example, you could ask what led them to choose this profession?) Then come the issue questions that ask them to reflect more on their beliefs as they relate to what they love to do. The last question is the God question where you bring Him into the conversation.

  9. Susan I understand your discouragement. I encourage you to never look at how things may appear. I believe the shutting down immediately is an indication the Spirit is moving. Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence not yet seen.

  10. 2. What were Pippert’s main points? 
    Pippert: general questions, then find out a person’s passion — sincere, not a trick to slip in the gospel; Then need skill to ask the thought-provoking issue question , asking  questions about their area of interest can lead to a God question
    Keller: there’s not a set of questions you can memorize

    My comment: Finding out a person’s interests and passions seems reasonable (and relatively easy).  Some of her thought-provoking questions might have scared me off if asked too soon.  I would’ve thought “where did this question come from?” or “this question is weird” unless I already knew the person well.  I think maybe the thought-provoking question has to fit the style of the questioner and the person being questioned or it will feel like philosophical weirdness.  I love talking about philosophical stuff, but can’t imagine getting the following question out of my mouth: “where do you think we get our ability to appreciate what is beautiful & what is ugly?”  It feels like a leading question — but my feelings may be related to hearing the whole process.  It possibly could be different in conversation, even though hearing it feels awkward to me.   However, it wouldn’t feel awkward for me to play the video for a friend and ask what s/he thought — then tell her I thought that question felt weird!   I dunno — I’d like to do some research asking nonbelievers how they prefer to hear about God rather than trying to steer a conversation about Him!

    1. Oops, I commented more on the video than the article…liked the concentric circle diagram

  11. What stood out to me  is the lion in the wind He is beautiful!!! Also the concept of the sail going up. The wind of the spirit.  I LOVE asking questions so this comes easy to me. Not sure why but I have always asked people questions. How better to get to know them. I find myself with some people wanting them to ask me questions back and some people just won’t. Some will, some won’t I cannot take it personally. Perhaps they just do not want to take the time to know me or maybe it is not a natural thing for them to do???? I too can get in my moods sometimes where I do not want to either:)

  12. I am just going to jump in before reading anything of this week’s study so that I can go back to Dee’s challenge of two Sundays ago.  I decided I needed to talk deeply with my husband’s brother in law, as doctors told him they wouldn’t be able to keep him alive much longer.  I went to his hospital room early, knowing I could be alone with him, and said that since we’d never talked spiritually, if it was OK with him I’d like to do that.  He said yes, so I told him about how I grew up knowing about Christ but never getting it, and how there came a time in my life where I confessed that I couldn’t do life on my own and surrendered myself to Him and how that had made me a different person.  He answered that he had always loved God.  He told me that he appreciated having the good conversation with me, and that was basically the end of it.  I left frustrated, knowing that I had failed, but not knowing what I should have said.  We left on vacation the next day, and a week later he died.  I feel like I have two kinds of people in my life.  One set are good, moral people who think they have heaven.  The other set see me as ‘religious’, and relegate me to the nut pile because of it.  I am a deeply flawed human who frequently is content to let things continue as they are.  But, Dee, I want to change.  I want to love them more than that.  What should I have said??

    1. Oh MaryB, I am so sorry about your husband’s brother-in-law — and so impressed that you did plant seeds.  You didn’t fail.    You wrote “I am a deeply flawed human who frequently is content to let things continue as they are.  But, Dee, I want to change.  I want to love them more than that.”   AMEN, sister.  Me, too.

    2. Mary B.   I so agree with Renee and Dee.  You did not fail.   You followed the lead of the Spirit when you knew He was calling you to talk to your brother in law.   I had very much the same experience when an aunt of mine was in the hospital.  I left so disappointed because all she said was ‘I always have’  (trusted God)….but I didn’t think I could see any of that fruit.  But who am I?  I can’t see what God is doing.  I can only follow where He leads.  And that is just what you did here.  I’m sorry for your loss and your struggle….but it is so clear that God is shaping you and using you!  (And I empathize with you as you described the people in your life…. I see that in mine too)

    3. Oh Mary! I wish to be like you! How brave and how wonderful you spoke to him. Tears…

  13. Back to 2.  I am not too comfortable with parts of this.  It feels as if I am setting a trap for someone when I imagine this process.  If I knew someone were planning to use this on me, I would avoid them.  Actually, I am VERY uncomfortable with the idea — not with the conversation in general or getting to know people, but with using the steps of asking progressively closer questions to jam God into the conversation — I could be convinced otherwise if I see a similar model in Scripture. Otherwise, this does feel manipulative to me.

     What I have been wondering this morning (woke up EARLY thinking about this):  How do I become more attuned to when the Spirit is working? (and I kinda know how that can improve anyway)

    1. Acts 26:18 reminded me of hymn So Send I You https://youtu.be/BDSEbgqd2u8
      and that reminded me of the OMF hymn recently updated by the Gettys, Facing a Task Unfinished

  14. 2. What were Pippert’s main points? Comments?
    We need to take our conversations to a deeper level. There are 4 types of questions to do this: the general, the specific, the issue, and the God types. The first two are easy for us and we usually use these. The issue and God questions are types that we need to work on, asking the Lord to help us know what to say. The issue type is that type that has them reflect on what they believe. The God question is seemingly the hardest;it is the spiritual question.

  15. 3. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-6  
    A. What are we exhorted to do in verse 1?  -supplications, -prayers, -intercessions, and -thanksgivings for all people (This is what prevents the series of questions from becoming a manipulative formula).  This is definitely more than a quick “God bless everyone.”  It’s especially relevant right now that v 2 specifies to do this for kings and those in high positions.
    I first turned to 2 Tim 2 first and didn’t read what I expected.  But this was encouraging:  “be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
    B. What does God desire according to verse 4?  that “all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

  16. OH…. just looked ahead to next video.  I LOVE IT, including ending:  “My style is trial and error, with emphasis on error.”  This does encourage me and also gives me actions to take

  17. OK.  Now that I’ve read through the lesson, let me take a stab at what I could have said to my brother in law.  When he said he had always loved God, I could have asked for him to say more, or said: so, you feel that you’ve never been without Him.  How did that show itself when your wife died?  No.  Too strong.  Maybe just, how does that show itself in your life?
    4.  O Lord, only You can open minds and hearts; only You can turn a person to Yourself.  Please, Lord, today, help me be Your tool to move at least one person one step closer to You.
    5.  I have such a back log of wrong thinking about this.  So many fears and self absorption.  Lord, please chip away at the falsehoods and keep confronting me with Your truth.

  18. 1.  What stands out and why?
    I remember this clip from the full panel discussion a few weeks ago and thought it was good then.  I do think, though, that some people like Pippert and you, Dee, just seem to be exceptionally gifted in knowing the thoughtful questions to ask (coming up with them on a moment’s notice, naturally) and others of us would love to have a memorized list because we just don’t think that fast on our feet!  Sometimes, when the Holy Spirit literally puts the words in my mouth, I will have a moment like that, where it just naturally flows into spiritual conversation, but it is extremely rare…and yet I can’t believe it’s because He rarely wants me to share Christ! (?)  But if I always waited for it to feel natural, it would be maybe once or twice a year!  That can’t be correct, right? 

      1. Have CT scans tomorrow morning, have been praying/thinking maybe a wind will come up? 🙂 Even just a tiny wind with just a single, carefully chosen word?  Lord, make me heart attentive to what you might be doing.  

        1. Praying now about your CT scans and for the wind of the Spirit in you.

        2. Praying Mary…

        3. “Carefully chosen word…” Thank you, Mary. There is such an excitement in looking forward to what the Lord will do. Praying for you.

        4. Mary, I agree-you aren’t backing up! Lord thank you for your light in Mary-how You shine and she isn’t backing away from you-it is so sweet to us to see that she is finding her joy in you desiring to feel your wind despite her circumstances-oh for that is You. We ask your wind would blow this morning among those she meets as she has her CT scans-encourage her with your presence. Thank you for Mary.

        5. Praying, Mary

        6. Praying, Mary, and believing God will give you a carefully chosen word. Your words inspire me. Thanks for all you share.

  19. 3. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-6 
    A. What are we exhorted to do in verse 1?
    We are to make all requests, praises, and prayer for others, including those we don’t agree with or care for (our enemies), so that all have a chance to know Jesus, and be able to live a peaceful, Godly life.
    B. What does God desire according to verse 4?
    He would like all people to be saved, and come to the knowledge of truth.

  20. 4.  Read Acts 26:18 and from it formulate a prayer for yourself before you go out today. 
    Dearest Lord Jesus, thank You for helping me recognize those who need You today. Allow me to stumble upon those in need of hope, and to be the one who gets to share something with them, of You. I understand that people are lost; they need You, we all need You. No matter who we are. In Your Holy Name. Amen.

  21. 1. What stands out to you from the above, and why?
    I hate to lose Jackie-even for a season so I will pray she will poke her head in whenever He leads her. 
    There is so much here it is hard to nail down one thing that stood out. I love Keller and Pippert’s conversation and how Pippert asks questions about passions and lets Him lead her with further questions. 
    I found myself in the same room with Dee and her next door neighbor as I was reading-sweet moment of catching His wind! 🙂 🙂 🙂  I also caught Dee’s comment about not sensing His Wind yet she trusted and asked more questions. She tentatively raised her sail and trusting with a risky question and then His wind blew! It doesn’t always go as we plan but we can rest assure it will go as He plans and so we trust and asking questions is so good.
    I am finding at home is the hardest and especially so with my oldest. Last week he was struggling emotionally with a relationship and I asked him where he went with the pain inside. Where does he turn when no one can soothe the pain? Where does he find hope? He said he goes to his friends or us. I asked him if his friends soothed that pain. He said sometimes. Then God opened the door for me to share how God soothes my pain-how dependable He is compared to friends who aren’t strong enough to be everything I need. He said it sounded like a crutch to him and laughed. All I could answer with was that I understand how ridiculous this sounds to you but I am so glad He is my crutch because I have found He is more sure than my friends are as my crutch. He is more sure than me (especially). The conversation ended well but I sense it isn’t his time yet.

    1. Praying right now for you son, Rebecca!  I just assumed that all of your sons knew the Lord.  Not so?

      1. Mary, how did it go this morning? 

        1. The process took 3 hours (had to drink stuff, then wait 2.5 hours) and I’m so glad it’s over.  I did get an opportunity to share the Lord a bit, but it turned out to be with a Believer!  The tech who did my CT scans!  He was asking why I was having the scans and I told him about the breast cancer spread to multiple bones and recent increase in pain, and he commented that he’d never know by looking at me.  I said, “Well, thank the Lord I have done fairly well for over 2 years now.”  He said, “You said, Lord, so you must at least believe there is a God” (I think he was putting up his sail!)  I told Him that I am a Christian and accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 5 and then he told me he was also a Christian and that he had been a chaplain in the Army!! 😀  So…didn’t get to share with a seeker, but it was good practice anyway! 
          Thanks Rebecca, and thank you to all for your prayers.  I probably won’t know the results of this until my next oncology appointment in a couple weeks…unless I can’t stand it and end up calling before then.

        2. Mary-WOW..His wind blew! 🙂 You never know-he may have needed encouragement and God sent you- love this update. 🙂 

      2. Oh and yes..please keep praying for my son. I have been too and because of his control idol..part of me fears what it might take-but I am willing. 

    2. Rebecca, I think you answered your son wisely. You did not attack nor become defensive. You simply stated the truth of who God is to you. I understand though how hard it is when our children don’t have an interest or desire for God. I will stop and pray now for your son.

  22. 7. Read Acts 17:16-28
    A. Why was Paul’s spirit provoked according to verse 16?  city was full of idols
    B. How did he find common ground with the men of Athens in verse 22?  He acknowledged that they, too, were religious and worshipped.
    C. How did he turn it to their need in verses 23-27?  This has been one of my favorite passages, ever since I studied postmodernism >25 years ago.  Building on their shared background of being religious & worshipping, Paul first referred to the inscription on one of their altars – “to an unknown god.” Then he began to describe the real God and that/how He can be known.
    D. How did he again find a way to affirm them and connect with them in verse 28?  He quoted their authors/poets.
    Working through these verses step by step helps me understand how I can be better prepared to find points of commonality, too.

  23. 3. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-6
    A. What are we exhorted to do in verse 1?
    To pray for and be thankful for all people. Being thankful for all people stuck out to me this morning! Thanking God for the people he puts in my life and praying for them.
    B. What does God desire according to verse 4?
    He desires all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. I think of who God is..He designed us for Him..He designed us for Eden to be intimate with Him-before the Fall. He didn’t change His desires for us because of the Fall. He doesn’t change, so His heart desires for all men to know Him.

  24. 3. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-6
    A. What are we exhorted to do in verse 1?
    That “requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving” be made for everyone, including for kings and all who are in authority. (Good reminder because when we disagree with those in authority or power, we can tend to write them off, but we are told to pray for them, and we can make a request for God to work in their hearts.)
    B. What does God desire according to verse 4?
    God wants all men to be saved and to know the truth about Him.
    4. Read Acts 26:18 and from it formulate a prayer for yourself before you go out today.
    OH Lord, this morning, as with so many other mornings, I feel rushed and hectic. My “to do” list always looms in the back of my mind and I feel a little overwhelmed. I had to give medicine to my cats this morning and they didn’t cooperate very well, and that put me in somewhat of a bad mood. Life just seems to keep moving faster than I can keep up. Help me to take a step back. I am going to work this morning, and You are sending me out into a world where I might encounter someone who is walking in the darkness. All of my minor annoyances are just that – minor. The world and everyone in it belongs to You, and it is Your Story that matters. People matter to You. Lord, You will take my feeble abilities, where I go today, the people I encounter, and You want me to trust and believe that You may put someone in my path today who needs to have their eyes opened and be turned from darkness to light and to be freed from Satan’s power. Lord, I don’t have the power to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, but You do, and there may be someone who You are already working on drawing them to Yourself. Help me to be sensitive to that, to really listen, and to care like You care. In Jesus Name, Amen.

  25. 2.  Pippert’s main points, comments?
    Wow, great article.  She talks about how to get to the “God question” by asking 3 other types of questions that lead up to that.  Basic information questions, interest questions, passion questions, etc… (not quoting her’s directly) and finally a “God question.”  I’m still pondering all of this with regard to my Aunt Janet.  My mom and I did share the gospel with her a couple weeks ago (she is 75, I’m sure she has heard Billy Graham in her lifetime, so I’m guessing it was not the first time she has heard the gospel.)  She seems to be open to all things spiritual and yet NOT the gospel!  So yesterday we did lunch again, but this time my dad was there as well and it was just too awkward with 3 Believers and just her to get into the God issue much.  She actually IS an artist! (One of Pippert’s examples was that!)  She did not make a living at it (she ran a daycare) but she majored in art education in college and still has a art room in her home, lots of art in the house, etc..  She also has mystic, “spiritual” items in her home, like Native American things, New Age, etc… and she reads books about that kind of stuff.  So she’s always offering us books to read, “I have some great books on relationships”  She said yesterday.  “If you ever want to read a book, come to me first!”  (of course I’m thinking…are you kidding, your stuff is probably rooted int he demonic!!)  But now I’m wondering… do I read a book of hers, with the goal being having something to discuss???  I hate to dabble in anything occult, etc… perhaps I could look a few of them over and choose one that seems the least likely to be that way?  (As a teen she gave me these cassette tapes on “TA for Teens” (Transactual Analysis, meditation…began listening to it, UGH!!  Not good!)

      1. Oh yes, that would be good!  Okay, praying!

  26. So this week has been strange….I have injected spiritual words at the most interesting times! I haven’t meant to; it just happened.
    For example, yesterday a colleague was at his desk with his head in his hands. I asked him if he was ok. He said, “yes, it’s just the election…” I said, “stop fretting! because on November 9, our good God rules the world!” We then had a very nice discussion about the election and we are both very opposite in our thinking. 
    Another time this week I was in a workshop with other science teachers and we were asked a question for an “icebreaker.” The question was who would we want to meet if given the chance. My colleague said Charles Darwin (of course; we are science teachers) and I said Jesus! She thought they were opposing, and I said no, in fact, I believe they are complementary! If I had more time I would have told her that Jesus made evolution occur. 
    Finally, this evening a colleague was very upset about the way she has been treated by administration and had filed a grievance against the principal. She has decided to find another job. My husband and I went to listen to a jazz band tonight and met a person who said his district was looking for a science teacher next year in the exact place she lives! I texted her to tell her and she said, “God is good.” BTW, she is agnostic! I texted back, “yes He is; He gives us hope.”
    so excited with the way He has worked in my life this week!!

    1. Oh Laura!  This IS so exciting!  And even when all I get to do is just make small, spiritual comments I believe that is a SEED that He can take and cause to grow!  You planted several in a very short time! 😀

  27. 7. Read Acts 17:16-28 
    A. Why was Paul’s spirit provoked according to verse 16? 
    He saw that the city was full of idols and felt compelled to speak out.
    B. How did he find common ground with the men of Athens in verse 22? 
    He said he thought they were very religious.
    C. How did he turn it to their need in verses 23-27? 
    He noticed they gave credit to some “unknown God.” He defined that God for them.
    D. How did he again find a way to affirm them and connect with them in verse 28?
    He said that they were all able to know God; He was in each of them and that everyone there was His offspring.

  28. 7. Read Acts 17:16-28
    A. Why was Paul’s spirit provoked according to verse 16?
    Because he saw that Athens was full of idols.
    B. How did he find common ground with the men of Athens in verse 22?
    He affirmed them by saying that he could see that they were very religious. In verse 23 it says that Paul had taken the time to examine each of their altars, reading the inscriptions on them.
    C. How did he turn it to their need in verses 23-27?
    Paul had seen one of their altar’s inscribed with this: “To an unknown God”. Their greatest need is to have this unknown God be made known to them, and Paul begins to tell them who this real, living God is. He is the One who made the world and everything in it, and He gives life to every man. They need to know why they are here, and he is telling them.
    D. How did he again find a way to affirm them and connect with them in verse 28?
    Paul quotes one of their own poets, showing again that he hasn’t disregarded their culture, their works of literature….he has taken the time to read Greek poetry.

  29. 8.  Prayer- Lord, please move my heart as Your’s is moved.  May I beat in time with You.  I don’t share with acquaintances because I don’t care about them.  Then I feel guilly because I don’t share with those I do care about, either.  I’ve botched it so badly in the past.  Get me off dead center, Lord.  Help me to follow through with the people You put in my path, wherever I am.  I pray You will help me to really listen.
    I have been praying, and watching for opportunities.  Today when I got my hair cut, I had a chance to practice asking general and specific questions and really listen.  Didn’t get further than that in the 20min I had, but I was encouraged and am excited to keep trying this.  I think the jump to God and truth will still be really hard for me, and I might still fall on my face, but it will “be better than doing nothing”.
    12.  Take away.  There was a time when I got some ‘method’ of doing something that was hard for me, but I’d been in the position before and hadn’t been able to hold on to the method.  And I asked the Lord how long it would work this time.  His answer to me was that it would work for as long as I wanted it to.  In other words, when I want His help and submit to it, He makes a way.  But when my sin nature rises up, and I give in to it, then His help doesn’t “work” anymore.  Lord, please train my fickle heart to stay close to You.  As the hymn says, bind my wandering heart to You.  And please keep giving me hope that You can make me more than I have been in the past.

  30. Oh my gosh it eeems like everywhere I turn He is putting people in my face to evangelize! I’m not even “planning” these occurrences; the Holy Spirit is with me! 
    last night I had a sweet young friend join us in dance because she is a beautiful ballerina whom I’ve known for years. Her mother was our choir director/organist years ago in our church and we knew them well (or so we thought!).  needed some help with choreography on our latest piece (which, BTW, is one to bring attention to the persecuted Christians (and others) around the world. 
    Anyway….I always assumed she was a believer because of her upbringing. At the end of the night as we were leaving, she and I were talking about movement to include in the dance that was relevant, and she said, “I need to be honest with you; I believe (she stumbled on the words) but I am not very religious; we don’t really go to church anymore. Oh my!!! The door was WIDE open!! I then began to talk to her about Jesus!! We had a 20 minutes conversation. Wow. He is moving with me. 
    I really need need quick PRAYER right now also. I am being accused of being a “racist” by a student. It is ridiculous on many levels. I have a meeting with her mother and my boss in a couple of hours. Please pray that we all listen to each other and resolve this awful situstion. This is what our world has come to. so sad. Thank you.

      1. It went well and thank you for praying! 

    1. Laura, praying right now about your meeting (after the fact, I see). So sad and disturbing to be accused. Satan is the great Accuser and he longs to destroy us. Hope it went well and the matter was cleared up.

  31. 9. What conversation starters have you tried? 
    10. Sometimes the person will answer and then ask you the same question. What does 1 Peter 3:15 tell us?
    I’m pretty good at just “chatting.” I start conversations about trivial things usually. If the conversation progresses then I (am trying) listen carefully for a place to aska question like those Dee proposes. I might say, “how didyou get where you are in your life?” I love this one because it is so wide open. I then listen and if I need to come back to the conversation at a later I can by saying, “the other day you spoke of….”
    1 Peter tells us to be ready at any time to defend Christ.

  32. No specific question I am responding to here but rereading the intro. “Move with the Spirit”. Because of parent-teacher conference this week, I have had more conversations than I ever have had this year so far with students, colleagues and parents.  I am finding that the time factor is really important and what seems to get in the way for me in asking the right questions. I do not want to be manipulative and “canned”. If they were given all the time, parents would have stayed and talked some more! I am praying for continued conversations esp with parents of students who are struggling in my class. And I pray that I will be sensitive to the Spirit’s moving and to know what questions to ask.
    I pray with 2 other colleagues before school and we have been praying for the Lord to continue to work in our midst. I am finding the battle is fiercer in the sense that the needs are being brought into our seeing hearts and eyes. This week we used “God is the Victor” as the key character of God to reflect and recall. The more needs I see, the more I feel discouraged and insecure. But God is good to remind me that the battle belongs to Him and He is with me ALWAYS. This study has been key to keep me going.

  33. 7. Read Acts 17:16-28
    A. Why was Paul’s spirit provoked according to verse 16?
    The City of Athens was full of idols.
    B. How did he find common ground with the men of Athens in verse 22?
    They were religious for they worshiped various gods. That opened the door for him to relate in regard to God. 
    C. How did he turn it to their need in verses 23-27?
    They inscribed in their Temples, “To the unknown god”..so Paul saw their need for intimacy with God so that is how he turned it around. From religion to relationship. The impersonal gods that have to be brought to life by man vs. a personal God who is alive and who gives us life.
    D. How did he again find a way to affirm them and connect with them in verse 28?
    This is really awesome. He uses quotes that their poets wrote to bring home that God is alive and the one who gave them breath and that He made them for Him. It shows that Paul not only has taken the time to ingest something that is meaningful to them, he likes what it says as they do. 

  34. 9. What conversation starters have you tried?
    So I have been using these questions in our teen group on Wed. nights. Last week I used, what are your passion or passions? They really liked that and all of them contributed. Our study was on Image. Middle Schoolers struggle with that. So we went into other questions like, “What have you been thinking about lately? Then it went into “How do you think others perceive you, friends, parents, teachers? “How do you perceive yourself?”  “What does Image mean?” “What is the difference between identity and Image?” Then the final question was, “How do you think God perceives you?” 🙂 I loved last Wed night. I saw a glimpse of longing in a few of the girls eyes as they heard how Jesus sees them. It was sweet to catch the wind and get a glimpse of the longing inside a fertile heart and then He plants the seed. 

    1. I have to add that this week has been really good for me in learning to ask these questions and Paul’s example in Athens is a wonderful help. I have also been asking these questions to some of my co-workers, and just asking them more as they tell me how their weekends went. There hasn’t been any special moments other than a few of them seem to be coming to my desk to talk with me more. God hasn’t opened a door to go deeper yet. I am praying God would melt my heart more with the Gospel for I need more carving off of my self-centeredness though He has given me a huge inspiration: Dee and Steve Brestin.

  35. 7. Read Acts 17:16-28 A. Why was Paul’s spirit provoked according to verse 16?
    He saw that the city was full of idols.
    B. How did he find common ground with the men of Athens in verse 22?
    He recognized they were “religious”—that their hearts were practicing worship.
    C. How did he turn it to their need in verses 23-27?
    He pointed out that their gods were man made and “unknown”, but that the True God is not made by man but is the Creator of all things, the Life-Giver. 
    D. How did he again find a way to affirm them and connect with them in verse 28?
    He uses the words of  Aratus, a Greek poet they were familiar with. 
    9. What conversation starters have you tried?
    This week I had my semi-annual hair cut and though I rarely see her, my hair dresser and I always have full conversations. She is not a Believer. I focused on really listening to her, the stories about her grown kids, her trials. I had remembered some things she’d shared when I saw her 6 months ago, and asked for an update. She was surprised I remembered, that I cared. In my mind I thought of the quote from a few weeks ago—how listening makes us feel loved. She talked about her dream of a villa on a beach island. I told her our plans to adopt again, and why. I told her it’s ok to think we’re crazy, a lot of people do. But she was very curious, and then genuinely supportive. There was not a golden moment but I really felt I left her with something—that she felt cared for, and also that maybe she got a vision of a different perspective. Later I wish I’d probed a bit more, but I confess it’s hard–hard to not want to make them feel uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like I cared much what she thinks of me, but more I didn’t want her to feel threatened or judged if I went too far. Just takes time. Maybe I should start getting my hair cut more often! :0

    1. Lizzy,  I was going to say-you are so beautiful..I wish I could get my hair cut semi-annually and look as beautiful as you! 🙂 Lizzy I think this conversation was a golden moment! she felt His love through you. That is huge.  it is VERY odd and unusual now a days for anyone to really care about what someone has to say or about what is going on in their life. I am sure your discernment that she felt cared for was spot on. Love hearing about how His wind blew! 

    2. Sounds like you did exactly the right thing, Lizzy! You opened the door and can continue the conversation the next time ?. I get my hair cut twice a year also! Sometimes slow is good; you don’t run people off that way.

      1. thank you dear Laura–you encouraged me! : )

  36. 11. To be prepared, try answering the following in an authentic yet not scary way
    A. What have you been thinking a lot about lately? (Great idea about sharing a failure and how Jesus met me.) Well, honestly I have been feeling horrible for getting angry at my son the other day. My desire was to show him how foolish he is being-to save and fix him-but it only made it worse between us, yet Jesus comforted me by reminding me, as he does a lot, how He was hurt by my rejection of Him yet He was so passionate for me He went to the cross for me in my foolishness and loves me to the moon and back. So He is helping me to step into my son’s shoes and instead of continuing to be frustrated with him, he melted me to ask for forgiveness and it opened a door to draw him out and help him think through some decisions-I just want my son to know I love him no matter what and God is helping me to not parent toward a desired outcome. The teen years are hard and especially the transition into adult hood at 17-I am so glad God knows that and designed them that way so I can go to Him for help!

    1. OH REBECCA. What an example you are–this is AMAZING. I hate the pain you have endured, but love how you went to your son, with such tender humility–oh how He shined through you and what a beautiful picture for your son. I truly believe the key for our walk is humility–we will fail, but to turn so humbly and ask forgiveness–that is the beauty of the Gospel lived out. I am praying now for the Lord to use this mightily–how you showed Him Jesus. Such beautiful grace you gave.

    2. I agree with Lizzy, Rebecca, and I think the “ALL” in “all things work together for good” includes even out mistakes, when given to God, (as you did, seeking forgiveness from you son) will also be used for good and for His glory. 

    3. Rebecca, so challenged by your example in going to your son to ask for forgiveness. Your humility is a reflection of Christ in you.

  37. That “my stumbling way of doing evangelism is better than my critic’s way of doing nothing.”
    This study has REALLY challenged me to work on making my conversations with others count. I have had a very nonchalant attitude towards evangelism; not in any way that this study has presented it. Here evangelism is more thought of, deliberate (though not canned) and practical. This study has pulled together what I have relegated to the back burner of my mind hoping that it will come handy in time. I realized all are still in the back burner percolating but never put to the forefront until now. I saw evangelism as more the “responsibility” of others who are gifted at it.
    Acts 17:26 is one of my favorite verses “He determines the times set for them and the exact places where they should live…” I am where I am at right now for a purpose and one of them is sharing the gospel. God is using my job, my neighborhood, my “ministry” as a pastor wife as platforms to share the most important Person one can ever have in his/her life! So help me,Lord!
    The soft wind of the Spirit is moving among my students and their families. I now have 2 who I believe God has allowed for our paths to cross. Their “issues” are products of broken homes and depression. “I do not know what to do, Lord but my eyes are upon you.” Please help me not ruin my opportunity, Lord and help me when to catch the wind and hoist the sail. (with gentleness and respect I Peter 3:15)

    1. Bing, I echo your thoughts here about having had a “nonchalant attitude” towards evangelism, feeling that it is for those who are more gifted at it. It looks like you’ll be having opportunities to share with some of your students as you sense the Spirit moving in their lives!

    2. Bing love this post. It truly is something we have to keep on the forefront of our minds because when not we can so easily slip back into our own worlds living for ourselves. I am speaking for myself. My prayer is that the Lord will help me to be evermindful of Him and  others who do not yet know Him. The paths we cross on a daily no accident accident. I am so grateful for the woman who was bold to share Christ with me. Who knew her calling and loved me and shared in a winsome way. To God be all the Glory!!!!! Thank you Dee for these weeks of reminders. Evangelism is a calling for all of us. I want to be able to say ” I am willing to endure anything if it will  bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen” 2 Timothy 2:10

  38. 10. What does 1 Peter 3:15 tell us?
    Be ready to answer if someone asks you why you believe as you do, and do it in a gentle, respectful way.
    11. To be prepared, try answering the following in an authentic yet not scary way
    A. What have you been thinking a lot about lately?
    How I am spending my life….I’ve been thinking about that A LOT. Even though I am a believer, I find myself asking, “Is this all there is to life?” I feel that the responsibilities of daily life – work, taking care of home/family, just keeping up with everything, consumes so much of my time! I want my life to be about something important, something with an eternal purpose, not just taking care of stuff that won’t last anyway. I was listening to a podcast recently and heard a quote by Mother Theresa. They were talking about how we often want to be like someone else….like Mother Theresa, for example. When someone said to her that they wanted to do what she did, she said, “Find your own Calcutta”, meaning we all have our own mission field. I have learned that my current job will be taken away next April and outsourced. I have been doing discharge call-backs at the hospital with a group of six other nurses. We call all patients discharged from the hospital to follow-up. Our job will be outsourced to a professional call center. It’s been a nice break from staff nursing, which I needed, but I don’t feel like it’s really my “calling”; in fact, I’ve found myself pretty bored with it lately. I am thinking a lot about what to do next. None of the other gals I work with want to go back to the “floor” as bedside caregivers. Honestly, I don’t like the “technical” aspect of nursing – the passing medications, having to spend so much time on the computer charting, but I do like to take care of people and I always loved just talking to my patients and listening. I am thinking, pondering, and asking God to help me find some purpose and direction in my life. First and foremost, I always wanted to just be a mom and take care of my children! But that chapter of my life is coming to a close. I know some very mature, godly Christian women who would say that if you are married, then your husband is still to be your primary focus in life. I just feel sort of stuck and I am questioning my beliefs about a lot of things. One thing I am pondering is, what does it really mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
    If I was having this conversation with someone who isn’t a believer, I might ask them from where do you derive your meaning/purpose in life? Where or from who do you seek answers to these questions? The world has plenty of answers, but they are empty in the end. We all follow somebody – who do you follow?

    1. Susan, this is a wonderful dialog with yourself! I especially liked the ending questions about following someone, and your purpose in life. I have also had these types of thoughts. Through this blog I haves learned our true purpose (ultimately) is to bring others to Christ. As long as we have others around us, we are able, right? We can’t isolate ourselves, we must engage.