How Steve Jobs Can Influence a Christian Revolution, Part 1: Trust

--Steve Jobs Headshot 2010-CROP- bySteve Jobs wasn’t a Christian. He considered himself a Zen Buddhist. But regardless of his religious background or whether or not he was particularly likable, few people can deny that Steve Jobs revolutionized the world. With a clarity of vision and attention to detail, Jobs, and the teams he led, created a world where ideas that many wrote off as futuristic non-sense actually came true.

One of the things God spoke to me when He revealed this current phase of my ministry was, “Why can’t someone do with Christianity what Steve Jobs did with computers?” or in other words, start thinking and praying about the Christian walk in such a way that leaves a permanent global fingerprint on how the world worships and grows with Jesus. It’s a big idea and I’m not necessarily saying that I’m going to be the one who is anointed in this way, but the world is primed for a religious revival and it can’t hurt taking a look at some of Steve Job’s wisdom and seeing what Christian ideas we can pull from it.

Like I said earlier, Steve Jobs was not a Christian and I don’t intend to suggest that he was, but it’s silly to refute his wisdom without at least holding it up and seeing what wisdom falls in line with our Christian beliefs.  In several places the Bible tells us to test things like this and take what is good and leave what is bad.  I know some will try to push back and say we should use the Bible as our only source of wisdom or at least take wisdom from someone who is a Christian.  But for one, God specifically mentioned Steve Jobs to me several times in prayer, (He also mentioned Walt Disney…that blog series may come later!), and two, I foresee the kind of revolution for the Kingdom of God that Steve Jobs led for computing.

So, here is the first post in a series on quotes by Steve Jobs and what Christianity and the Church can take from them.  Let’s see what we can learn!

 

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” -Steve Jobs

Well, Steve Jobs may not have known what that something to trust in was, but we do…Jesus!

When people have trouble trusting God, I usually suggest they begin keeping a prayer journal.  It is as simple as getting a notebook or starting an Excel spreadsheet and doing three things.  First, record what you pray about.  Second, review it once a week or so and make notes when you see that God answered a prayer or intervened in some way.  Lastly, record any time God provided for you, whether it was a Godly coincidence, money that came unexpectedly, guidance that came at the right time.

Why do this?  Because as the weeks and months go on, we begin compiling evidence of God’s goodness.  We see time and again how God has things planned from the beginning and how well He provides for us.  You will compile an amazing record of how God moves in the world.

When it comes time to trust God on a difficult matter, I suggest you go back and look at the journal and remind yourself of how faithful and trustworthy God has been to you in the past.  As Dr. Phil says (it pains me to quote Dr. Phil, but this is spot on), “The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior”.  When you are faced with the unknown, being fully confident in God honoring His promises will make the difference between the courage to take a risk and letting fear paralyze you.

If we are going to lead a Christian revolution, we are going to need to unequivocally trust that God is who He says He is and He is miraculous and intervenes heavily in our world.  His promises are true and He keeps them just as much today as ever.  We have to have the faith to step out boldly and be willing to risk it all for God’s Kingdom.  Either God is real and He is all He says He is, or there is no sense in doing anything in His name.  It is critical that we get the most important things set first, and that is complete trust in the Almighty.

When have you been able to connect the dots in your life and have seen the presence of God?  Share your testimony in the comments below!!!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (or “Why Your Foundation is Crumbling”)

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes“Some things never change.”

I have a hard time with change.  Okay, that is an understatement.  I’ve actually been diagnosed with chronic Adjustment Disorder twice in my life from two different mental health professionals.  While it can be one of those catch all, we-need-to-write-something-down-so-the-insurance-pays-for-this, kind of diagnosis, it is still marked by a unusually difficult time coping with change.

What makes a chronic disorder like this so difficult is that change is constant.  In fact, there is a saying that goes, “The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself,” which for someone like me means that I’m going to constantly be dodging anxiety and stress at every turn.  Even for the average person, though, constant change and the constant possibility of change can be a huge albatross.  If we let it, it can drain us and leave us feeling stressed and depressed.

But there is one other thing that doesn’t change, and it turns out it’s the key to healing all this change related anxiety:  Jesus.

Maybe it’s because of my mental health struggles or just because of the number of curve balls life has thrown me, but one of my favorite, most cherished, characteristics of Jesus is that He never changes.  Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  The world may change, we may change, even the way we do church or pray or worship may change, but Jesus is eternal.  Everything that was true about Him before the creation of the world was true about Him when He was born of a virgin and walked the Earth, is true about Him today, and will be true about Him at the end of the world.

Why is the fact that Jesus never changes so important?  In order to function, we need to be able to trust that certain things will stay true long enough for us to function in our daily lives.  Yes, all kinds of things happen that can change our world in an instant, but for the most part, when we leave work in the afternoon, we trust that we will still have a job the next morning.  When our spouse goes to the grocery store, we trust that they are coming back.  When we put money in our retirement account, we trust that it will be there, hopefully with interest, when we retire.  We set a foundation on the things we perceive as constants and we build our lives from there.

The problem is, though, when we realize that those constants aren’t as constant as we thought they were.  What happens to your life when you’ve built it on a foundation that you will have a job the next day only to find out that your company has closed and now you’re jobless?  Or you’ve built your foundation on having a spouse and they tell you they want a divorce?  Or when the economy crumbles and your retirement account starts losing money?  Even changes we know are coming, like our kids growing up and moving out, or our bodies aging, can destroy us if we’ve built our lives on a foundation of being a parent or being young and strong.

That is why Jesus is so important.  He never changes.  He isn’t going anywhere.  He is right there with you whether you like it or not.  You can be confident in building your life on a foundation of Jesus, because that foundation isn’t going to crumble with time.  Like the old hymn says, “On Christ, the solid rock, I stand.  All other ground is shifting sand.”

If Jesus is your foundation, no matter what else happens in your life you have a “solid rock” to cling to.  Change can’t drag you off course.  It can’t control you.  It can’t victimize you.  Yes, change will have it’s effect on temporary things, but your roots will hold tight in Christ.

So, ask yourself…what, if anything, in my life has to stay the same or it will destroy me?  If you answer anything other that Jesus, you have some work to do.  You will have to dig those bricks out of your foundation, and replace them with Him.  In other words, you have to let the need to cling to those things go and trust that Jesus will provide and take care of you.  Remind yourself that no matter what happens between now and our death, the destination will be Heaven (I feel another post coming on that compares life to Clark Griswold and his family’s trip to Walley World…lol).  If you keep your eyes focused on the unchanging Jesus, everything else become just minor swerves and potholes instead of major detours and dead ends!

How has Jesus being “the same yesterday, today, and forever” played an important role in your life?  Tell us by commenting below!

7 Things You Should Do When Life Gets Busy

7 Things to Do When Life Gets BusyIt’s the end of the school year.  For a mommy of two elementary aged kids, life is pretty hectic right now.  I have to remember all the end of the school year events, sign my kids up for things to do in the summer, remember deadlines for sending in this form or that money, and I have a whole list of things that need to be done before the kids are out of school.  Trying to fit in my regular routine of chores, writing, and ministry feels like a lofty, unattainable goal right now.  Oh yeah, and I’m in charge of the set design for VBS which is only two months away….

Yesterday, I fought a sinus headache and nausea.  It was so bad, I really couldn’t do much of anything without throwing up.  At least I got my stack of medical bills that have been accumulating since my breast cancer scare paid.  I didn’t have to move around much to do that.  But the dishes and sweeping and straightening have to be fit in today, along with sermon prep for this afternoon, and then actually giving the sermon.

My life is busy right now.  The exhaustion from all the things that have to get done plus the guilt about the things I’m neglecting is slowly building into a tempest that, if unchecked, will lead to a breakdown.  Breakdowns are bad because, just like when a car breaks down, it means we come to a screeching halt, and are no longer doing what we were meant to do.  Usually for me, breakdown means I get sick or my body gives out on me, but for others, it could be a mental/emotional breakdown, financial breakdown, or relationship breakdown.

So…here are seven things to do when we start to get busy so we can persevere and avoid the dreaded “breakdown”.

1.  Make lists.

This may seem like you are adding one more task into your already busy schedule, but this will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and mental clutter.  Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done today.  Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done by the end of the week or month.  Make a list of all the people you need to have contact with.  Make a list of any fears or anxieties weighing on you.  Anything that can be put in a list, make a list.

Once you have all your lists, two things happen.  First, all the mental clutter swirling around in your head, fighting to be remembered, can be set free.  You don’t have to keep it all crammed in your mind because you have it down on paper.  Second, you see exactly what you are dealing with.  You may think of everything that needs to be done and be suffocated because everything seems so huge.  As soon as it’s in a list, though, it just becomes another thing on the list, something that is tangible and can be counted.

2.  Get organized.

The first thing I did when I started to feel the weight of the world pressing on me was dig out my Franklin-Covey planner and start writing everything down.  Every flier that came in the mail or came home in the kids’ backpacks went into a pile to be written down.  All of my events were written down in the planner.  If I wrote down which kid, where, time, what to bring, and maybe who to contact in the planner, I could throw all those scraps of paper away.  Anything that needed to be filled out and either mailed in or sent back to school either was done right away or was put in a separate pile for when I had a minute to work on it.  I could throw away some of the lists I made in number 1 because now they were accounted for in my planner.  Other things, like my to-do lists or my chores lists could now be fit into my schedule where I had blocks of empty time.  Just knowing that there is a time for everything to get done and it all isn’t pressing on me right now is a huge relief!

3.  Evaluate your priorities.

You have a choice to make…your activity can determine who you are or you can determine your activities.  It is possible to do every single thing, bake cupcakes for every party, make a gift for every teacher, attend every event you are invited to.  I’ve lived that kind of life.  I also would get so sick, I couldn’t function for a week afterwards.  It is up to you to determine what is important to you and remind yourself that it is okay to only do the things that you feel fall inside your priorities.

For me, at this time of year, my kids having a good time at all their special events and keeping my ministry going are my biggest priority.  In order for me to do my best on those things, I have to set some other things to the side.  For my daughter’s one party, parents had to sign up for something to bring.  I signed up for a fruit tray and potato chips.  I ran in, bought them and ran out.  No two hours of baking cupcakes for me!

anger4.  Allocate your willpower.

Studies show that we only have so much willpower.  We can’t discipline ourselves to do more than what our willpower allows.  So, for those tasks that you are dreading, and have to force yourself to do, make sure to space them out and give yourself time to recuperate between them.  This is also not the time to do anything extra that requires will power, such as start a diet, an exercise program, a budget, or a new routine.  Save those for a time when you are less busy and have more time and energy to focus on them.

5.  Take care of your physical needs.

There are literally times when I am so busy that I feel like stopping to take a shower is a waste of my time.  If more than 48 hours goes by, though, I just feel disgusting and irritable.  The same goes eating healthy.  It seems easier to get food from a drive thru for lunch and dinner, but too many days of that and you are going to feel sluggish and grumpy.  Sometimes in the midst of the craziness, we forget things like taking our pills, getting enough sleep or remembering to get some fresh air.  Sometimes we can do a world of good by simply eating a salad, taking a walk, and then laying down for a short nap.

6.  Be around people that renew you.

This is the one I’m worst about.  When things get busy, I start to isolate myself from my friends.  I tell myself I don’t have time to meet up with them or I’m too tired to carry on a phone conversation.  I feel like if I just keep my nose to the grindstone, I’ll get everything done faster.  The problem is that when I haven’t been around people who build me up or who are fun to be around, every little thing starts to get to me and I get so wrapped up in those issues that I don’t have any energy left for the things I need to do.  Even if you are an introvert and people wear you out, you still need some sort of contact, even if it is just texting a good friend or spending time with one person.  It’s amazing how much positive energy can recharge you!

7.  Reconnect with God.

It’s just human nature, but when things are going well, we tend to forget about our relationship with God.  The problem is, though, when life gets hectic or takes a turn for the worst, we are just that much farther away when we need Him most.  He is our safe harbor when life starts going crazy.  Prayers such as, “Help me to see what is most important,” or “Lord, help me get to these three different things for my kids in time,” allow us to cast our anxieties on Him and tap into His grace and love.  You may feel like you don’t have the time to connect with God, but are you ever in the car alone?  Are there any of your chores that are simple enough that you can pray during them?  You don’t have to get down on your knees to pray.  God is always with you and always listening.

 

In what ways have you coped with busyness?  Do any of these suggestions work really well for you?

What It’s Like to Go Without Internet for a Week

What It's Like to Go Without InternetI haven’t had internet access at home for a week.  We live in this dead zone where we can’t get normal high speed internet, so we have to get it over cellular signals via a mobile wi-fi hot spot (it boggles my mind that people in remote tribes in Africa who barely have electricity can somehow get high speed internet, but we can’t!).  It works great most of the time, but it has a data limit on it just like a smartphone.  It’s hard to believe it used to only be 5gb a month.  Now we have it up to 60gb a month and somehow last month, we went over in just three weeks.

Yeah, we could have just kept using the internet, but at $15 for each gigabyte that exceeds the limit and with two kids in the house who don’t have any concept about how much data things use, we just had to unplug the hot spot from the wall and say, “No internet until the new billing period, May 5th”.

It’s kind of funny how much a hiatus from the internet makes life difficult.  Here is a (tongue and cheek) look at how primitive my life became when I was forced to unplug.

1.  I didn’t have anything to read.

I rely on my smartphone to be the book I used to carry with me everywhere.  If I’m waiting in line at the pharmacy or sitting in traffic that is completely stopped (never read and drive!!!), for five years now, I’ve used my phone to keep a list of articles or e books that I want to read so that I don’t feel like I’m wasting time when I have to wait.  I remember the first time last week when I was stopped for 15 minutes in stand-still traffic and the data on my phone was turned off.  Why hadn’t I saved a few articles to the phone so I could access them online?!?  It ended up reading the back of fast food receipts that were stuffed down in the garbage can I keep in the car.  Did you know if you take Taco Bell’s survey, you could win $1,000.  Too bad I couldn’t take the survey…IT REQUIRED AN INTERNET CONNECTION!

2.  I didn’t have anything good to listen to.

I’ve long since abandoned the radio.  I love classic rock, but when you start hearing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on the classic rock station, this sickly, weird, old lady feeling comes over you.  And I’ll share a little secret with you if you promise not to tell anyone else…I don’t like Christian music.  At least not what gets played on the Christian stations.  The Christian music I like sounds more like what we called “alternative” in the 1990’s and it’s few and far between.  So, if I’m not listening to sermons off the internet while I’m in the car, I hit up Pandora, put in a song I actually like, and usually just leave it there.  But with no internet, there was no Pandora and no sermon’s I could download.  The car was eerily quiet.  The upside is I did a lot of praying in the car since it felt so silent!

3.  I actually had to watch TV.

I can’t just sit down and watch TV.  If I’m going to watch a TV show or a movie, I have to be doing something else at the same time.  I blame it on my dad who was always reading car manuals or train magazines while he watched TV (now he does it with two TV’s on different channels going at the same time!).  Since we don’t have broadcast TV coming into our house, everything we watch are either seasons of TV shows on DVD or movies.  So, to keep me from getting too antsy during family movie night, I either read all about the TV show or movie we are watching on Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) or I read something online, or if I really want to check out of whatever we are watching, I’ll write or play an online game on my iPad.  Watching four seasons of ALF for the tenth time is so much more enjoyable when you can get online and read about how much the actors hated that little puppet!  Luckily the weather was nice last week and we spent most of it outside, but those rainy days inside watching TV went so slow!   (Before you judge me for occasionally checking out during family movie night, let me tell you that even the saintliest of mothers can only watch the Chinese knock-off version of Kung-Fu Panda…creatively titled, “Kung-Fu Rabbit”…so many times before her brain melts and runs out of her ears!)

4.  I had to go and get my Bible every time I needed to study something.

When I preach, I always read the passages out of my actual Bible, and when I’m in church, I always take an actual Bible with me.  But when I’m at home writing my sermons or working out of a Bible study book, I admit, I’m usually too lazy to get up and go grab my Bible.  I either pull up biblegateway.com on my computer or go to one of the Bible apps I have on whichever mobile device is closest to me.  I realized it is really hard to study with an actual Bible when sitting in my recliner.  I can usually balance one book on my leg, but a study book or notebook AND a Bible…I’m not that coordinated.  The upside was it made me clean off my desk and do my studying in my office.  And I don’t want to fall asleep while I’m reading if I’m studying at my desk instead of sitting on the recliner.  But now that we have internet again, guess where I’m writing this…on my laptop while sitting back in my recliner!

5.  I spend a lot of time shopping online.

I don’t necessarily buy a lot of things online, but apparently when I think of something I might want or need, I go online and shop for it.  I already knew I am a person who will fill up an online shopping cart, and never follow through with buying the things, but I didn’t realize how often I did that!  I don’t know how many times a day I would have the urge to get online and shop for something only to remember that we didn’t have an internet connection and then mope away disappointed.

6.  It is really hard to be a blogger, or even a writer in general, without the internet.

I knew I couldn’t get online and post stuff, but I figured I would still be able to sit down and type up some posts for the future.  NOPE.  For one, I couldn’t do the online research I usually do.  And two, there was something about knowing that you wouldn’t be hitting “publish” or “send” afterwards that would take the wind out of your sails and make it hard to motivate yourself to finish.  I did go up to church one day and mooch off of their internet, so that I could post two book reviews on my other blog before the end of the month, but other than that, I did no writing!

 

What is hard for you when you are away from the internet?  Have you ever suffered through a black out period?  Share your story below!

6 Ways to Connect With the Spiritual Side of Easter

6 Ways to Connect with the SpiritualEaster is the most important event of the year in most churches, which makes it a double edged sword.  In some ways it is an incredibly spiritual time.  In other ways, it is draining.  Personally, I’m in the middle of doing a VBS preview set for our church’s Easter egg hunt, I’m prepping for my Easter sermon at the nursing home tomorrow, I’m trying to get things together for my kid’s Easter baskets, I’m getting ready to have my kiddos home for spring break and I’m struggling to keep up with all the craziness that normally goes on day in and day out…and this Easter is the least busy that I’ve had in several years!

Amid all the bunnies and eggs and church production, it is easy to forget to embrace this spiritual season for ourselves.  Here are some suggestions to help you connect with this incredible celebration.

1.  Attend at least one of the special services this week.  Depending on your denomination, there may be a service Thursday that celebrates the Last Supper, a service on Friday to remember the day of the Crucifixion, and a service on Saturday called Easter vigil or an Easter prayer service, in addition to the Easter service on Sunday morning.  Often times these services focus intently on certain aspects of our Lord’s journey to the Cross.  It can be a refreshing time to stop and think about where Jesus would be in the events leading up to His death.

2.  Take a prayer walk.  In most places in the US, spring has sprung, the weather is nice, and things are drying out enough that you don’t need rubber boots to walk out into your yard.  Enjoy all the new life around you by taking a walk and praying as you walk.  Maybe there is something you really need to talk out with God or maybe you just thank Him for all the beauty you see around you.  Either way, this can be a nice way to take a break and spend time with God.

3.  Read at least one version of the passion story.  You can find them in Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, and John 12-20 (the longest and most detailed version).

4.  Read the book of Revelation.  The book of Revelation, if you just read it straight as written and not try to interpret it, just read it as it is written, it parallels the Easter story in awesome way.  And it makes sense…it is Jesus’ second coming, when the world will be redeemed for all time.  It can help restore our hope in a world that seems to get crazier each day.

5.  Serve.  Many people suggest to take some time during Christmas to serve those less fortunate, but Easter is just as good a time.  In fact, many charities have trouble getting volunteers this time of year, which makes Easter an even better time to volunteer.  Sometimes simply seeing how much we’ve been blessed can reconnect us to the joy we have in Christ.

6.  Find somewhere where there is a large, life-size if possible, crucifix and spend time sitting before it.  It may be hard to find a crucifix in a protestant church, but many Catholic churches, shrines or other sacred places have a cross with a realistic crucified Jesus on it.  We talk a lot about laying ourselves down at the foot of the cross, but putting yourself in a place that replicates that moment can help you connect in a much more tangible way.  Sometimes literally leaving something at the foot of the cross, if you are allowed, makes the experience stick more in your heart.

Back to the Basics: The Gospel

TheBasics Right now, get a piece of paper and a pen, or open up your word processor, and write out what the “Good News” is that we are told to spread to the world?  This is also known as the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  It should only take you a minute or so and no more than a single paragraph to state it.  I’m serious, actually write it out, put it into words right now.  I’ll wait.

No, really, don’t go any farther without writing it down.  It should only take a minute.  This is super important.

Take a look at what you wrote down.  Did you know exactly what to write or did you struggle with putting it into words?  Did you even know what to write down, if anything?  If you struggled through this assignment, you are not alone.  In fact, just based on experience, I would venture to say less than 10%, or maybe even as low as 5%, of Christians can write out precisely what the Gospel message is.

Here are the components of the “Good News”:

1.  God is perfect and God is life.

2.  We are sinners, every one of us equally.

3.  When we sin, we create a debt that separates us from God. 

4.  Nothing we can ever do can be enough to repay that debt.

5.  Because we have separated ourselves from God through sin, we are cut off from the source of life, and our only hope is death.

6.  While we were still sinners, God sent His Son, Jesus, who is 100% God and 100% man, to Earth. 

7.  Because Jesus is perfect and God is perfect, Jesus’ life is the only thing that can cancel the debt that separates us from God.

8.  When Jesus was on the cross, He took on the burden and debt created by all the sin that had ever happened or will ever happen.  His death on the cross, then, was payment, once and for all, for those sins.

9.  Because Jesus took all those sins on, when He died, He descended into hell.  By the third day, He had overcome Satan and was able to arise from the dead, thus overcoming death as well.

10.  We are given the choice to receive the gift of Jesus.  If we choose to reject the gift, then we will struggle in vain to atone for our sins and guarantee death and permanent separation from God.  If we accept the gift, we accept Jesus’ sacrifice and death in place of the sacrifice and death we deserve.

11.  There is nothing we can do to earn this gift or disqualify ourselves from this gift.  We only need to receive it.

12.  If we accept Jesus’ sacrifice as a substitute for what we owe God, the debt that keeps us separated from God is forgiven and now we can have eternal life with God.  We also share in Jesus’ victory over sin and Satan.

New TestamentI was purposely very detailed in what I wrote, so I’m sure it is longer than what most would have said.  Some people may have put down John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son so that those who believe in Him shall not perish but live eternally.”  Others may have put down the Roman Road, which is a list of scriptures found in the book of Romans which details the Gospel message.  They all say basically the same thing.  As long as you understand exactly what those scriptures mean and can put them in your own words and explain them to a non-believer, that is fine.

My worry, and why I wrote this blog post, is that many Christians either have no idea what to say when they are asked to explain the “Good News” or they simply give a wrong answer.  I’ve heard many Christians say the Good News is something like this:  live a good life, follow the rules, and go to Heaven.  WRONG!  If you are a Christian, you believe that there will be a lot of good people who have lived a good life and followed all the rules and still end up in hell.  Many Christians want to push back on this, but it is a hard truth of Christianity.  There are only a handful of things you HAVE to believe in order to be a follower of Christ and this is one of them.  “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one gets to the Father except through me.”  We get to Heaven by going through Jesus.  No amount of good works will get us there.

In the networking world, there is something called an “elevator pitch”.  The idea behind the elevator pitch is to be able to give a good idea of what you do for a living and why it is important in the amount of time that it would take to get between floors on an elevator.  My elevator pitch for what I do is something along the lines of, “I’m a Christian author, blogger and preacher.  I focus on making God’s word and the Christian life understandable and relevant to the average person.  I want to see more people experience God in more powerful and more tangible ways.”

I believe as people who have been commissioned by Christ to spread the Good News, we each should have an elevator pitch ready of what the Gospel message is.  While my twelve points above are good to have handy, being able to condense them down into a couple of sentences in your own words is a good idea.  I don’t necessarily recommend having a rehearsed script, because from personal experience I can tell you that each opportunity to present the Gospel is slightly different and you will be most effective if you can present it in the context of your situation.  As a follower of Christ, we need to have the Gospel clear enough in our mind that we can share it at a moments notice.

There is nothing the world needs more than to understand the Gospel.  Be prepared to feed those you encounter with what they are starving for!