9 Quotes From “Purple Fish”

Purple FishI thoroughly enjoyed my time reading Purple Fish (you can read my book review by clicking here), and now I’m looking forward to sharing with others about this eye-opening book. To start with, here are a few quotes from the author of Purple Fish, Mark O. Wilson.

“We write off people too quickly as lost causes when we thought to consider them lost treasures instead.”

“In God’s grand redemption story, we humans are created for good, broken by sin, redeemed by grace, and sent to bless and heal.”

“The love of marriage, joys of childhood, and peace of home are all snippets of Eden, pointing to our original creation.” 

“Evangelism is simply how followers of Jesus interact with the world. It’s not a program or a project; it’s a life.”

“God loves us too much to waste our painful experiences. He salvages our shame and redeems our regrets. The place of great pain becomes the place of great gain. When Jesus steps in, His healing touch changes the entire outcome. Jesus mends us to send us—joining Him in the greatest adventure on earth. Salvation joy overflows. We can’t help but share this with others.” 

“We are more inclined to look up when things are looking down. … Painful experiences open the soul’s windows. … Christ stands as the solid rock for those overwhelmed by uncertainties.”

“Someone who crosses boundaries without permission is trespassing. Stepping into space where hospitality is not extended is rude and intrusive. When it comes to faith sharing, there are several layers of permission giving, and you should not trespass beyond the area you have been invited to enter. Knock gently and then follow the hints from the other person concerning how deep the conversation goes.”

“If you start with lost, then your job is to set them straight. That means you know something and they don’t. In other words, you assume you’re smart and they’re stupid. But when you start with hurting, your job is to bring healing. … When we begin with healing, we follow the Jesus path and find a strong connection. Distressed people will avoid you if they perceive you are trying to change or correct them. If, on the other hand, through kind words, gentle touch, and understanding, you bring healing and grace to their painful situations, they will seek you out.”

“Does our worldview leave room for the supernatural? Is God truly present and active in our lives? Can He really guide us by the Holy Spirit? If you only listen to your rational side, the answer is no, and you won’t see much in the supernatural department. You’ll accomplish good things, of course, but won’t experience anything marvelous. Those who believe in miracles are much more likely to experience them.”

Purple Fish (book review)

Purple FishThere’s a quote from Becky Pippert right near the beginning of Mark O. Wilson’s book Purple Fish that sets the tone for the whole book: “Christians and non-Christians have something in common: we are both uptight about evangelism.”

My question is: why? And that’s Mark’s question as well. So Mark uses a candid look at his own journey of discovery, personal stories, thoughts from Scripture, and insights from others to slowly, surely change our paradigm about what “evangelism” really means for a Christian.

The idea of a “purple fish” relates to a fantastic treasure (but you’ll learn more as you read this fascinating book). Let me also add that Mark Wilson is a fisherman, and uses tons of fishing analogies that other sportsmen will really relate to. But whether you enjoy fishing or not, there is so much to appreciate in this book about how Mark makes Christians excited about sharing their faith every single day.

I’m looking forward to reading and discussing this book with lots of other folks!

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading & watching from today…

“Christ calls us to take risks for kingdom purposes. Almost every message of American consumerism says the opposite: Maximize comfort and security—now, not in heaven. Christ does not join that chorus. To every timid saint, wavering on the edge of some dangerous gospel venture, He says, ‘Fear not, you can only be killed’ (Luke 12:4).” —John Piper

“Impotent dreaming will not do. The religious urge that is not followed by a corresponding act of the will in the direction of that urge is a waste of emotion.” —A.W. Tozer

“We dare not eat our seed. It’s our turn to give ourselves in mission. It’s our turn to take the baton and continue the tradition that began 100 years ago and with God’s help participate in the greatest evangelism the world has ever seen.” —Bill Leach

“Here’s what I know: If you don’t do it, it can’t come back to haunt you. That doesn’t just go for taking nude pictures of yourself. It also goes for speaking angry words, buying something you can’t afford, flirting with a married coworker, gossiping about a friend, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or letting a relationship go too far.” —Mark Atteberry

[VIDEO] The hilarious Ken Davis says, “Husbands: Do Not Answer This Question!”

Pastor Dave Barringer tells us to stop trying to be the perfect spouse!

I love this: Special Kneads Bakery creates jobs just for special needs adults.

Great reminders: 14 quotes from Mother Teresa on changing the world.

Believe it or not, there was a time when the US government promoted sexual purity & abstinence.

Good news: the Obama administration is dropping their appeals against some businesses after the Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby’s case.

Thursdays With Oswald—Too Focused On Numbers?

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

Too Focused On Numbers? 

     We don’t go in for making disciples today, it takes too long; we are all for passionate evangelism—taken up with adding to the statistics of saved souls, adding to denominational membership, taken up with the things which show splendid success. Jesus Christ took the long, long trail—“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself”—take time to make up your mind. Men were not to be swept into the Kingdom on tidal waves of evangelism, not to have their wits paralyzed by supernatural means; they were to come deliberately, knowing what they were doing. One life straight through to God on the ground of discipleship is more satisfactory in His sight than numbers who are saved but go no further.

From Conformed To His Image

When Jesus first called His disciples He simply said, “Follow Me.” They followed Him for nearly four years, learning from Him exactly what it meant to be disciples. There was not one “Aha!” moment of complete surrender to Jesus, but a long, gradual, sometimes stumbling and painful process to discipleship.

Jesus was focused on true disciples, not multitudes of fickle fans.

Why have we gotten this backwards in our churches? When someone asks, “How’s your church doing,” they are really asking, “How many people show up on Sundays?” Perhaps a better gauge of God-honoring success would be: How many disciples?

What do you think?

Evangelizing The Evangelized

I was talking to a friend the other day about church growth, and we both notice something disturbing: Most of the “new” people coming to church are actually not so new. Much of what has been called church growth is actually church transplants.

We’re not reaching the lost. Ouch!

I think Howard Hendricks nails it with this:

The Gospel is failing to produce results in some places today because it lacks an audience. Christians in churches are busy evangelizing the evangelized. We constantly face the danger of developing a fortress mentality: making occasional excursions into unfriendly territory and scurrying back to the safety of our church and its people when opposition arises. We tend to derive security from friendly surroundings rather than from Jesus Christ, and so we fail to penetrate our society for Christ.

I pray my greatest strength is my relationship with Jesus Christ, and that my driving passion is for others to know this beautiful relationship too.

May God help me to have an audience in Cedar Springs!

Um, That’s A Bit Awkward

Somehow I don’t think this is the most effective way to start a conversation about your faith!

Here are a few thoughts I have…

Don’t compartmentalize. In other words, don’t put on your “Christian hat” to talk about your relationship with Jesus. Just be Christ-like all the time. People are looking for something real, not someone who’s playing an act.

Develop relationships first. Don’t lead with a sermon; lead with a friendship. As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much (or Who) you know, until they know how much you care.” Be a genuine friend first.

Wait until they’re ready. Jesus told stories with a deeper meaning and asked a lot of questions of people before He spoke to them directly about the kingdom of God. Don’t force people into a conversation. Keep the door open, and let them step in when they are ready.

Don’t get discouraged. Just like there are some topics you’re not ready to discuss right now, others feel the same way. So just because they say “No thanks” today doesn’t mean nothing happened. The Bible says that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Salt and light are always seasoning and illuminating everywhere they go. Your life is making a difference.

Any thoughts you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments.

Thursdays With Oswald #30

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Pseudo-evangelism

It was this form of pseudo-evangelism, so unlike the New Testament evangelism, that made [Thomas] Huxley say — “I object to Christians: they know too much about God.” …God is the only Being who can afford to be misunderstood; we cannot not, Job could not, but God can. If we are misunderstood we “get about” the man as soon as we can. St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.” God never vindicates Himself, He deliberately stands aside and lets all sorts of slanders heap on Him, yet He is not in any hurry.

From Baffled To Fight Better

I’m learning more and more that when people ask why God behaves in such-and-such a way that the best answer may be, “I don’t know why, but I still trust Him.” I trust Him even when I don’t have all of the answers, because I know He has all of the answers.

To try to answer for God — or, as is probably more likely, to try to defend my theology — is rightly called pseudo-evangelism. O Lord, deliver me from pseudo-evangelism!

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