EVERYONE HAS A STORY – Part Four

In review, we have previously looked at the following points regarding telling your story about what Jesus has done and is doing in your life…

1> Ask for permission and don’t be pushy.                                                                                    2> Use ordinary language.                                                                                                                  3> Start briefly and share more as it becomes appropriate.                                                        4> Highlight God’s presence and power

5> Clearly present the before-and-after pictures

6> Share the source of life transformation

7> Let the joy shine through

8> COMMUNICATE WITH HUMILITY

A testimony is not a bludgeon we use to pound people into submission. It is a witness to what God is doing in our lives and a gift for others to enjoy. We need to be careful that our testimony does not come across as a speech in which we tell people that we are right and they are wrong, or point out how good we are now and how bad everyone else is who does not know Jesus. Rather, a testimony is a humble declaration that God is moving in our lives and that we are grateful for what He is doing.

9> REMEMBER WE HAVE MANY TESTIMONIES

Be careful not to get locked into one testimony. Don’t just memorize a scrip and robotically deliver the same words with the same inflection every time you tell your story. Instead, listen to the people around you and discover where they are in life. When you share a testimony, make sure it is relevant for them.

For example, if you are talking with someone who is dealing with loneliness and you have experienced God’s presence in a way that has strengthened you when you have felt alone, share that testimony. But if you are conversing with a spiritual seeker who is wondering if God provides for our needs and takes care of His people, you might tell a very different story – a different part of your testimony. As you walk with Jesus, you will have more and more stories about how a relationship with God transforms various areas of your life.

People love to hear stories, and that’s all a testimony is. In the course of most days you will have opportunities to share organically about the difference your faith in Jesus is making in your life. Pray for these opportunities, notice when the door is open, and then share your stories in a natural way. 

The Holy Spirit will infuse what you share with power. Remember, your part is not to change lives or even to have all the answers. But you can talk about the ways God is moving in your life. Your stories might be just what another person needs to hear.

EVERYONE HAS A STORY – Part Three

This is the third in this series of blogs regarding giving your personal testimony. Previous blogs had commented on the following points regarding giving a part of your Jesus story…

1> Ask for permission and don’t be pushy.                                                                 2> Use ordinary language.                                                                                              3> Start briefly and share more as it becomes appropriate.                                  4> Highlight God’s presence and power

5> CLEARLY PRESENT THE BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES

When giving your testimony work to present a contrast between who you were and who you are now. In other words, gently state the difference encountering Jesus has made in your life. For example:

  • From hate-filled and self-centered relationships to loving and caring relationships
  • From a life without purpose and direction to a life of deep meaning and clear direction
  • From fear of death to confidence in this life and hope for eternity

Though such a pattern isn’t mandatory for every testimony, it does help people see the difference Jesus can make in a life. If you have experienced a transforming work of God, let it become the focus of one of your testimonies. Here are a few more examples:

  • From loneliness to a sense of belonging (to God and His family, the Church)
  • From anxiety to peace
  • From financial irresponsibility and fear to hard work and financial stability
  • From selfishness to generosity
  • From addiction and enslavement to freedom from addictions

The list of options is as diverse as our life experiences.

6> SHARE THE SOURCE OF LIFE TRANSFORMATION

As we share the story of our life transformation, it is critical that we articulate that Jesus is the source of the change. We could not have brought it about on our own. We don’t want our lost friends and family members to think that the transformation in our lives is the result of going to church or hanging out with a nice new group of people or even getting ‘religious.’ The only power that can changes from the inside out is the work of Jesus. His death on the cross, in our place, and His resurrection in glory are the reason we are becoming new people. We should be careful to express this as we share our stories. 

7> LET JOY SHINE THROUGH

Joy is a universal language. If we talk about God’s work in our lives, the amazing changes we are experiencing, and the relationship we have with Jesus, but do so without joy, we will send the wrong message. Knowing the Father, walking with Jesus, and being filled with the Holy Spirit should bring a flow of joy that is visible and contagious.

This is not to say that we should paste on a fake smile and blurt, “Praise the Lord,” at the end of every sentence. It means the joy of the Lord is evident in our lives, even in the tough times. When the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is growing in our lives, people will see it. Joy is always part of our story, because we know Jesus, the Author of joy. 

An Encouraging Word

Hey pastor Ralph,

As we spoke that Sunday it would be a really neat opportunity to join you on a trip. I feel I would learn a lot in a very short time by tagging along on a trip!

As you spoke I found that you have a tangible and raw faith that I have found in very few people that I have personally met face to face. I see a hunger for the lord and a zeal that drives you to live a lifestyle that is both rare and admirable. I learned somewhere along the way that people usually forget the majority of what you say (I want to say 85% but don’t quote me haha), but they rarely forget how you make them feel. As you spoke I felt energized, rejuvenated, and overall like a life with Jesus is both rewarding and attainable. As I am usually a part of the forgetful statistic, I wrote down the main points from your sermon and they have been great checkpoints as I work on my heart.

I will say things have been difficult lately as I have been feeling like my faith is something I’m dragging along through life lately and not necessarily allowing it to push me and give me purpose… if that makes sense. As I look at the list of checkpoints I have been easily able to find where I have been slipping. All that to say I really found your message encouraging so thanks for that!

I really appreciated getting to know you and I also hope we are able to keep in touch and develop a deeper relationship! I know you are busy and so I really appreciate you reaching out and getting in touch with me!

Thanks again for everything,

Matt J.

The Word – A television series on Access 7 television

Photos from the taping sessions of the new television series, “The Word”.
Watch for the Series, when it runs on Access 7 television.
Always delighted to have you participate, Ralph Howe Your personal testimony of the power of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth to transform lives is refreshing and the message you brought to the viewing audience of “Fear of God” was solid and edifying. Blessings!    ~ Leon Cairns

 

Andrew in Tanzania

Thanks for anointed messages in your website. I am highly blessed!

Marilyn M.

Thank you, Ralph! I heard part of this the other day and knew I wanted to go back and hear the whole thing! Was able to do that today…so convicting, so true, so encouraging, so blessed. Thank you so much for helping me to get back on track! Blessings go to you and Louise. Enjoy that front porch! 😘😘 Praising God for all that He is doing through you.

Oleva

Dear Ralph,
It was so nice to see you Sunday. You are looking really nice and healthy these days. Isn’t God good!
Ralph, the main reason for this letter is because your sermon last Sunday was one of the best sermons I ever heard! Im doing a complete write-up of your notes and writing out all the scriptures with each point you gave us about returning to the basic. Ralph, I am so hungry to hear about Jesus. To her his name be lifted up! To see him glorified in our talks, our songs, our life! Your sermon Sunday just took us to the place of love, God himself. Thank you very much!
God bless as you go to places of the planting of Christ Jesus all over the world.
Your sister-in-Christ,
Oleva
P.S. May you prosper and be in health, even as your should prospers!

GALINA

Dear Ralph, once again thank you so very much for your ministry. Kostya and I talked all the way home about how blessed we feel to have you here. Your teachings help us and stretch us and take us to the new level. May God reward you for being faithful and doing your part! May He give you the desires of your heart!
It was a wonderful blessed day today!

Yulia Nemishev

Dear Pastor Ralph,
You do not know me but I still decided to email you and just thank you for that precious God’s word you shared with the young people during the youth conference in YaroslavI, Russia, in the beginning of November. Read more

Jeremy Wachtel

This is a testimony from Jeremy (Ohio who travelled to four nations with Ralph) about his experience with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit …

My name is Jeremy Wachtel. I currently work in a small, local business. I have helped with a few church plants and I am co-leading a ministry training school through my local church. I believe fully in doing what Jesus did while He was on earth: teaching, evangelizing, healing, deliverance, and I believe it is only really possible through the power of the Spirit. For believers to walk out their calling and fulfill the Great Commission we must be born again and baptized in the Spirit. This is the story of my journey to being baptized with the Holy Spirit and how I have come to understand the Holy Spirit baptism biblically.

Read more