@MelindaVInman is a faith-filled writer of fiction, wrestling with human brokenness & the storms that overturn our lives. She nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award! Click the link to see who I nominate... Click To TweetThank you, Melinda, for this nomination! It’s been a true joy to be part of a blogging community with other Christian writers who encourage me and challenge me every week with their solid content. So, I’m thrilled to nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award other writers and bloggers who encourage and challenge me.
(Others in our blogging circle also nominated me after Melinda did: Lifestyle blogger, Ava James is one; Christian author, Yvonne Morgan, and Jessica Brodie, a freelance writer, were all so kind enough to include me in their nominations. Check out their blogs – they all have unique voices. If I forgot someone, please forgive me!)
First, here are the rules:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog. (Thank you again, Melinda!)
- Answer the 11 questions that were presented to you by your nominator. (See below.)
- Nominate 11 bloggers. (See below for my nominations; if you don’t know 11 others, please just answer the questions & nominate as many as you’d like.)
- Ask 11 questions. (These must be different from the ones you answered.)
- List the rules. (Check. Here they are & you can just copy/ paste this post & rework it, for simplicity sake.)
- Display the Sunshine Blogger logo in your post or blog site. (Check. See above.)
And now to answer Melinda’s questions for me:
- How did Jesus first cause you to fall in love with him?
I was a very broken young woman, looking for answers and meaning to life. I met a guy who gave me an easily understood Bible translation (I had an old King James but never got past Genesis), and told me to read the Gospel of John first. I had tried just about everything else spiritually and non-spiritual, and thought why not this? Later that evening, I opened to John and began to read these words… “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1.) As I continued to read, something inside me just simply knew what I was reading was the truth. Had this been the love I had been looking for all of my life? The answer came as YES!
- How did you come to the point of committing your life to Jesus and entrusting him for your salvation?
So, after I read John’s Gospel, I found a church to attend on Easter Sunday in 1988. I was alone. My family was no longer together due to divorces and moving away, so I had no one to go to church with that Easter Sunday. I didn’t care. I wanted to figure out if this stuff I was feeling was really real or not. Upon entering the church, the worship music floored me. I had never heard contemporary worship songs before, and these people were basically singing love songs to God! I was captivated by it. I sat near some woman I’d never met, and began to cry. She asked me what was going on, and before I knew what I was saying, these words blurted out of my mouth: “I just want Jesus.” (What!?!?) And then she asked if she could pray with me, and led me in the sinner’s prayer. I felt as if a warm blanket covered me in that moment, and even though my eyes were closed, it was as if that blanket turned to light as it covered my entire being. I literally felt bathed in light! It was unlike any sensation I had ever had in my life. I knew God was real, and I knew He loved me and forgave me. I’ve been sold-out for Christ ever since.
- How has he gifted you to serve him in this world?
I think God has given me a gift of encouragement. I love people and it’s the love of God that flows through me to see others as if I have a “God lens” on my eyes. I truly delight in His people and enjoy encouraging them through my writing, teaching or speaking engagements.
- How did you discover your gifting?
It came naturally, and someone just called it out in me; gave my gift a label, you could say.
- What’s the most difficult trial the Lord has brought you through or is currently bringing you through?
The most difficult trial was my dad’s suicide. He shot himself in the chest in 2006, on the Thanksgiving holiday. He was alone, and had been depressed. I knew he was not in a good place, but I never thought he’d harm himself. He was not a Christian, and I had been praying for him for years to get saved, but I didn’t see that happen. My dad’s life ended unhappily, and I don’t know if he is in heaven or not. That is what I must live with every day.
- How did or how is the Lord using that trial for good, or do you know that part yet?
My dad’s suicide is one of the reasons that I got into apologetics. My dad was a skeptic and I didn’t have the answers to his skeptical questions back then. Now I realize that no argument will save someone; only God can do that. But I do know we are called to help remove any stumbling block someone might have to accepting the Christian faith.Today, I am much better equipped to help remove any intellectual stumbling block someone might have to believing that Jesus is God, the Savior of the world. My heart is to help people, like my dad, come to see that faith is not some blind leap into never-never land, but is based in knowledge that gives us good reasons to accept Christianity is true. There will always be an element of faith we need to exercise, and that pleases God, but there is enough good evidence in history and the way the world works to recognize that having faith in God takes less faith than believing nothing created everything.
- When you were a small child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- Now that you’re grown, what have you become?
A reporter for God! (Ha ha ha.)
- How did you arrive at that vocation or calling?
I was a reporter when I first became a Christian. I always liked to write and thought reporting could help the world by informing people. Instead, I found it focused mostly on bad news, and after becoming a Christian, I didn’t want to spend my life focusing on the bad news, but the good news! So, I am much happier today being a Christian Apologist.
- What is your purpose for writing and blogging?
To have people know what they believe and why; to show them that the Christian faith is true and that Jesus is The Way.
- What do you imagine eternity with Christ will be like?
I think it will be a place where we can finally learn about the fulness of love with no sinful constraints that bind us. We will be learning about Love (a.k.a. God, who is Love) forever.
Next, (drumroll) my nominations. This is a bit of a conundrum I have found myself in—Melinda knows most of the bloggers I know, and so there already has been some overlap in nominations. I know of others who blog, but I am not sure they’d have the time to commit to this. Nonetheless, I nominate these wonderful people:
Read these people. Connect. Subscribe. Here they are:
- Paul Zunker, Twitter: @paul_zunker. paulzunker.org.
- Bob Hayward, Twitter: @bobhayward. bemoreeffective.com
- Heather Schuldt, Twitter:@hmschuldt. LadyApologist.com
- SJ Thomason, Twitter:@Lead1225. Christian-Apologist.com
- Alynda Long, Twitter:@AlyndaLong. AlyndaLong.com
- Lori Morrow, Twitter: @TheSpoonfedSoul, TheSpoonFedSoul.com
- Claudia Kalmikov, Twitter: @ClaudiaKalmikov.StraightTalk
- Kathy Calrton Willis, Twitter:@KCWComm. God’sGrinGal
- Carrie Anderson, Twitter: @womanapologist. ChristianWomenApologists.com
- Jean Jones, Twitter:@JeanEstherJones. JeanEJones.net
- Vickie Price Taylor, Twitter: @VickiePTaylor, ThisSideofHope
For those I nominated, if you want to participate, great. If not, that is fine, too! I realize we are all busy people, especially this time of year.
If you have the time and would enjoy participating, here are the 11 questions I’d like you to answer:
- Why are you a Christian?
- What would you tell a skeptic who asked you to prove that God exists?
- Why should someone believe Christianity is true over other faiths?
- Why do Christians claim Jesus is the only way to heaven?
- If you were to choose a logical argument to show the reasons why Christianity is true, what argument if your favorite? (i.e., the evidence for the Resurrection)
- If the Church is supposed to be the Body of Christ, why are there so many different denominations?
- What do you say to a skeptic who claims that the Bible is full of errors?
- What is your favorite book in the Bible and why?
- Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
- What makes you stand firm in your faith even when God seems distant?
- What do you most look forward to in heaven?
Thank you for reading! And thank you again, Melinda and my other blogging frinds, for the kind encouragement your nomination brings.
God bless you all, dear writers, for the joy, the uplifting words, and the many lessons you bring into our lives through your writing!