Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Coffee and Christmas Nails

Leslie Basham: Here's one way Kim Wier approaches others during the Christmas season.

Kim Wier: Come into my home, not because I have a hidden agenda but because I want to know you, because I want to get to know what your life is like, because I want to share your burdens and I want you to know me. And I want to be honest, and I want you to see the imperfections in my life.

Now, if you're going to have a coffee, the fun thing to do is to share all of your life and that includes your faith.

Leslie Basham: We've made it to December. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We're talking this week with Pam McCune and Kim Wier about how to redeem the Christmas season. Christ came to this earth to redeem us, and so often we find that this time of the year gets lost with all the tension, busyness, the activities, the things we think we have to do. And it's so easy to get through this season and then feel that we missed what was really most important -- the things that mattered most.

We want to talk today about how you can have something eternal to show for all the effort and time that you put into your Christmas celebration.

First, let me just welcome Kim Wier and Pam McCune. Thank you for writing this book, Redeeming the Season, and for sharing with us just practical ways that we can have a meaningful and memorable Christmas celebration.

Kim Wier: We've loved sharing what God has trained us in, and we're excited about sharing them with anyone else.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Now, I think one of the neatest things about the Christmas season is that it seems to be a time of year when people who don't know Christ, whatever their religious background, are more open to talk about the Lord.

And I know sometimes I'm a little timid about sharing my faith with people who don't know Christ, but at Christmas time I find that it's a little easier to get into the conversation.

I want us today to talk about how we can reach out during this Christmas time to people who don't know Jesus Christ, and one of the ways we can do that, Pam, is to use our home as a place where people can come and hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pam McCune: What a great opportunity to open our homes. I mean, this is a time that. For one, it's okay to say the name of Jesus without people just freaking out -- "What are you talking about."

But two, it's about being with people. And I think it's harder in today's day for us to stop long enough, to not have our homes perfectly decorated and to actually open the door and invite our neighbors (that some people call strangers) into our homes and say, "You are important enough to me for me to slow down my busy pace and to invite you in and for me to get to know you a little bit."

We're not talking about entertaining people and having everything perfect. But we're talking about loving on people and being hospitable and inviting them into your home.

But the important thing is not that you have it together. And it's not even that you can cook a great meal -- and it's great if somebody loves to cook and wants to be in the kitchen and that's their love language of giving (it's not mine) -- but the important thing is having them in the home, loving on them. And what a time to celebrate the Savior's birth by being with neighbors.

Or maybe it's your office workers or maybe it's kids from your school -- whoever it is, invite them to your home and love on them.

Kim Wier: Invite them in because you want to share the love of God. But sharing the love of God starts with sharing yourself. It's about building relationships. It's not about beating people over the head. We love 1 Peter 3:15 [NIV] because it says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

But you don't always hear the rest of that verse and that's the part I think we need to remember but do this with gentleness and with respect. And when you say to people, "Come into my home, not because I have a hidden agenda but because I want to know you, because I want to get to know what your life is like, because I want to share your burdens, and I want you to know me, and I want to be honest, and I want you to see the imperfections in my life."

Now, if you're going to have a coffee, the fun thing to do is to share all of your life, and that includes your faith.

So what you can do is you can spend the first hour and a half of just social time. But before you close the time, you just get everyone's attention and you thank them for coming, and you tell them how important it is that you've had the opportunity to get to know them a little bit, and that you hope it will be just the first of many more opportunities.

Say that Christmas is very special to you and you just want, in a minute or two, to share with them why Christmas is important to you. It's not a "bait and switch." It's sharing your life and then just sharing who Christ is to you and why it makes Christmas significant. And you know what, it's amazing the opportunities that will open.

People who have a spiritual hunger that you didn't know was there, they will be calling you. They will be pursuing you for a relationship because, for the first time, they're seeing, "Oh, is that what makes them seem so different than everyone else." And you can do the same thing with kids with the caroling party. And you know what? You might just get some new friends out of it.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And you know, Kim, friendship is what so many people are starved for. People are hungry for relationships today. They need to know that they are loved, that they're cared for, that they're valuable to someone because, frankly, I think we all know what's going on inside the four walls of most homes is a lot of pain, a lot of tension, a lot of broken relationships, a lot of conflict.

And that doesn't mean your home has to be perfect or your family has to be perfect in order to welcome others in. But those of us who have Christ in the center of our lives and our families really do have something relationally to offer people that we want to see come into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Kim Wier: And the neat thing about that is even if you don't have the opportunity to spend an hour and a half with someone, believe it or not, in a 60-second encounter you can still make a difference because they could be knocking on your door.

Pam McCune: I love it because as I travel throughout the country with Campus Crusade for Christ, I'm always looking for opportunities that God is bringing my way to tell others about the Savior. And as I travel, I love to have big eyes and big ears to see where God is bringing people to me.

But Nancy, when I get into my schedule and my everyday life at my house, I don't always look with those big eyes and those big ears to see who God is bringing to me when I'm just in my day-to-day schedule.

But I've learned to stop and think about whomever comes to my door at Christmas, that's an opportunity knocking. That is someone that God has brought into my life.

If the pizza delivery guy brings me my pizza, hey, it's Him. That's a divine opportunity. And so we, in my family, love to have this basket of gifts by the door. Now we have these 8-inch spike nails that resemble the first Christmas nail of when Christ was nailed to the cross.

He was our first gift given to us, so we have these nails that you can get at the landscape store. And we have a scripture tied to it telling about how "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 NKJV).

And when the Terminix man came to our door and he sprayed my house down, as he left I said, "Oh, wait. I want to give you a gift. I love Christmas. I love celebrating Christ's birth. Here's a gift that your family can enjoy."

He looked at me in shock. He said, "I've never received a gift from spraying someone's house." And then he was even more shocked and saying, "And I've never received a nail." But he stopped and he read the verse and he said, "This is special."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And I love what you have on the card that goes with the nail. It says, "This Christmas nail is a secret ornament. Place it in the center of your tree so that only your family knows of its presence. Others will take no notice of it, but to you the nail symbolizes the true Christ tree or cross which Jesus decorated for us with the sacrifice of His life."

Kim Wier: You know, there are all kinds of Christmas nails out on the market, and you can buy them, or you can make them, but this is just a fun way to make something meaningful to give to someone that you may only have a 2 or 5-minute encounter with. But God's Word is powerful, Nancy. [In Isaiah 55:11] He promises that it will not return void.

They're going to forget everything we've ever said to them, but God has worked it so that He indwells His very Word, and that if you give out His Word, He will be faithful to use it for eternal significance.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You know, I'm thinking about that passage in the telling of the first Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke after the shepherds heard the news about the birth of Christ. Then they went to see Christ for themselves to experience Him personally and then, when they left -- do you remember what they did? They went back telling everyone what they had seen and heard.

They were the first missionaries, the first evangelists. This was Good News. It was too good to keep to themselves. For thousands of years, people had been waiting for God to come to earth, to send a Savior to save us from our sins. So those shepherds, they weren't well-educated. They weren't cutting-edge type people. They didn't have it all together. They were just common ordinary laborers.

I'm so thankful that I grew up in a home where my parents were always looking for opportunities to share Christ with people who did not know Him. So we were always talking to people at work, people in the neighborhood, people that we would meet in different places.

And the first thing we wanted to know was, "Do they know Jesus?"

We were just trained to think that way, and then to watch my parents always looking for opportunities and us as a family praying for opportunities to share Christ with these individuals. And over the years, not just at Christmas time but year round, we saw people coming to faith in Christ in our home.

And let me say, by the way, those of you who have children, if your children grow up in a home where they're seeing the difference that Christ makes in changing lives, they will not easily reject that faith.

Kim Wier: And you know the neat thing is whether someone was raised with your background or someone was raised in a home where religion really was never even mentioned, "A relationship with Christ -- what is that?" The wonderful thing is we can start the legacy. You can start because God is our Father and everything that we need to know, He has put in the Word of God for holiness.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: And I want to encourage you as you're listening this week to be more than a listener, not just to enjoy this week, to enjoy our guests, Kim and Pam -- they're a lot of fun to listen to -- but the Scripture says we need to be not only hearers of the Word but doers also (James 1:22). And I believe as you've been listening that God has been putting some people on your heart. There are people in your life who need Jesus.

Ask God who those people are and to give you eyes to see them as people who need Christ, and then to open doors of opportunity for you to give a word of witness. It may be that you get some of these Christmas nails and you have a gift like this that you can give them to help connect them or give them a first introduction into who Jesus is. It may be that you host a Christmas coffee for adults or one of these caroling get-togethers for children.

I hope you order Pam and Kim's book, Redeeming the Season, which will give you a lot more how-tos about implementing these ideas. But you know what? You'll never implement them if you don't get started by saying, "Lord, give me a heart for this and show me who You have put into my life, into my path and help me to have a heart to reach out to them in the name of Jesus during this Christmas season."

Leslie Basham: Nancy, it's a good time to think about how God wants to use us to reach out to others. It's also a good time to look back at how God has been using Revive Our Hearts to speak to women's hearts. Would you give us an update?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Just this morning I received an e-mail that was such a blessing to me from a single mom who said that as she grew up she got away from the church. She said, "One day while flipping channels on the radio, I came across your program and started listening. It has truly made an impact on my life." She said, "I'm not where I need to be, and I cannot say that I am saved, but you started a kindling and I am now searching for a closer relationship with the Lord."

And I wish you would pray for that woman and others like her that God is using this ministry to draw into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

You know that ministry is made possible because of friends like you who hear it and believe in its message and give financially to support this ministry. Those gifts are always important to us, but they're especially crucial to us this month because a friend of the ministry has said that they would double every gift that comes into Revive Our Hearts between now and December 31, up to $250,000.

So I want to encourage you to ask the Lord what part He might want you to have in this special matching challenge. By God's grace, those funds will be invested in this ministry and will be used to reach women like this one woman whose e-mail I just read. You can be a part of lives like hers being eternally transformed as you give toward this special matching challenge.

Leslie Basham: To send your donation by mail, write to Revive Our Hearts, Box 82500, Lincoln, NE 68501. You can also call 1-800-569-5959. That's 1-800-569-5959 or donate on-line. Visit ReviveOurHearts.com and while you're there, you can get more information on the book we heard about today.

Ornaments can be sparkly and fragile or they can be used to teach children about Christ. Find out more tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

Thank you, Amy, for preparing today's Revive Our Hearts for the Internet.

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