by Al Maxey

Issue #341 ------- March 19, 2008
I look upon all the world as my parish; thus far
I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge
it meet, right, and my bounden duty to declare unto
all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.

John Wesley {1703-1791}

Six Effective Evangelistic Styles
Reflective Analysis of Personality Traits
Impacting the Sharing of our Faith

"Though all men be made of one metal, yet they be not cast all in one mold." So wrote John Lyly (1554-1606) in the year 1579. His point is obvious, and has been evidenced time and again throughout the history of mankind -- we are all different. No two people are exactly the same. This is by divine design. And yet, in the face of such tremendous diversity, there is always the potential of a blessed unity and oneness. By allowing our unique traits to work in complement with those of others, there is truly to be experienced a wondrous perfecting of functional unity. It's in the condemnation of those characteristics that make us individually unique, however, that one walks the pathway leading to collective dysfunction.

In the congregation where I serve as one of the four shepherds, it is probably obvious to most who know us that we are each very different from the other three. We are four separate individuals with different strengths, abilities, interests, backgrounds, concerns, hopes, likes and dreams. What excites one, may bore another. What one finds relaxing, another may find stressful. What invigorates the soul of one, might produce the exact opposite effect in another. And yet, with a common love for the Lord and His cause, and with an ever deepening love and respect for one another, we serve together as a united eldership: one in the Spirit of our Lord. I'm convinced that part of the success of this leadership is the willingness of each elder to accept the unique individuality of the other three. In so doing we embody the truth of unity in diversity.

I have mentioned all of this in order to point out what should be obvious: a goose-stepping uniformity of mindless minions has never been the way to bring about responsible change in the world about us. Such folly only leads to the further enslavement of the masses under the tyranny of the few. The pathway that will lead to liberty for all is to be found in embracing responsible change, and this can only be accomplished when the worth of the individual is promoted. We must each be free to be who we are, rather than becoming who others would have us to be. There is unity in the former, and freedom; there is only uniformity in the latter, and bondage. President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) said, "In a nation of millions and a world of billions, the individual is still the first and basic agent of change." He's right!

I happen to be thoroughly convinced that our Lord Jesus desires His church to be evangelistic: to win the lost of this world to Him. I'm also convinced that His great commission was/is to individuals. As one person once characterized it -- evangelism is nothing more than one hungry man telling another where to find bread. Too often we have sought to rely upon programs, campaigns, gimmicks, films, books, and paid professionals to achieve the goals of evangelism, and in so doing we too often overlook the fundamental truth that genuine evangelism is simply one man telling another where to find a saving relationship with Jesus. And this is where the worth of our unique characteristics, and the very purpose of our individuality, becomes clearly evident. The world is filled with all types of people, with all types of spiritual needs, and with all types of problems. To reach them effectively will require all types of workers for the Lord. In this world of ours, one size does not fit all when it comes to reaching people for Christ. What may touch the heart of one, might very well turn off another. Those whom I may be able to reach, you just might drive away (and vice versa). The real key to success in evangelism begins with knowing yourself, a basic truth too often overlooked in preparation for carrying out the great commission of our Savior.

I would like to highly recommend to you a fabulous series of lessons that may be purchased on DVD; lessons that seek to promote this very concept of individual uniqueness and responsibility for sharing the Good News of salvation in Jesus. It is a series titled Becoming A Contagious Christian. It is a six-session course put together and presented by three dynamic Christian leaders: Bill Hybels, Mark Mittelberg and Lee Strobel. Their goal is not to "do" evangelism for you, but rather to motivate you to get out into the lives of those about you and "do" it yourself. We are currently showing this series at our congregation on Wednesday evenings, and it is outstanding. In the synopsis of this course, one will find the following statement: "It is designed to equip believers for effective evangelism by showing them how they can share the gospel in a natural and powerful way while being the person God made them to be." Did you notice that last phrase? You do not have to pretend to be something or someone you are not in order to be effective at evangelism. You simply have to be yourself. The Father will use you just as you are! And why wouldn't He?! After all, God made you the way you are ... and for a purpose! The second session in this wonderful, inspiring series of lessons is aptly titled: Being Yourself and Impacting Others. I think this says it all.

The Direct Style

If you were to respond "That's totally me; that's who I am!" to the following six statements, you would most likely fall into this category: (1) In conversations, I like to approach topics directly without "beating around the bush." (2) I don't shy away from challenging someone when it seems necessary. (3) I do not have a problem confronting my friends with the truth even if it strains the relationship. (4) I think the world would be a lot better place if people would stop being so sensitive about everything and just speak the truth! (5) A motto that would fit me perfectly is: "Make a difference or a mess, but do something." (6) I sometimes get in trouble for lacking gentleness and sensitivity in the way I interact with others. Does all of this sound like you? Can you relate? Then you very likely are the embodiment of the Direct Style. Such persons, from a positive perspective, are quite confident, bold, assertive and to-the-point. They have a tendency to be rather confrontational in their approach to people and situations (which can be either positive or negative depending on attitude and motivation). On the negative side, such persons tend to be somewhat "in your face" with regard to matters about which they feel strongly. They are right, you are wrong, and they are there to confront you and convert you ... whether you like it or not. This would be the preferred style of most disciples who consider themselves to be militant in their efforts to "contend for the faith." The downside of such is that this too frequently devolves into being contentious for the faith, which only serves to drive people farther away from Truth. If you've ever had someone knock on your door, only to be asked, when you opened the door to them, "If you died today, would you go to heaven or to hell?" - you have encountered those who have adopted the Direct Style of evangelism. Frankly, this turns most people off, although, it must be admitted, it does prove effective in some cases.

On a more positive note, there are indeed times when it is counterproductive to "beat around the bush" with certain persons and situations. Some sinners don't need subtlety; it flows off them like water off a duck. They need the proverbial 2x4 right between the eyes in order to "get their attention." Those disciples equipped with this evangelistic style are divinely equipped to reach such persons, as long as they employ healthy doses of wisdom and discretion and love in their confrontation of those in need of turning their lives around. Hybels, Mittelberg and Strobel cite the example of the apostle Peter in Acts 2 as being representative of this style. In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter didn't beat around the bush; he got right to the point. He was direct, blunt and in your face! He told the Jews assembled that day that they had murdered their Messiah, and if they wanted to avoid the wrath of God they had better repent. Three thousand responded. Yes, under the right circumstances, and if employed responsibly, this can be a most effective approach.

The Intellectual Style

This is most likely your style if the following statements describe you: (1) I have a hard time getting out of a bookstore without buying a bunch of new books that will help me to better understand what people are thinking. (2) I tend to be analytical and logical. (3) In conversations, I naturally key in on questions that are holding up a person's understanding or progress. (4) I really enjoy discussions and debates on difficult questions. (5) Often, when listening to teachers or TV commentators, I mentally (or even verbally) argue with their positions and logic. (6) I like to get at the deeper reasons for opinions that people hold. If you respond, "That's me!" to these six statements, then you are representative of the Intellectual Style. Such men and women have a rather strong tendency to be inquisitive, analytical, logical, and far more focused on what people are thinking than how they are feeling. Negatively, those within this category are often perceived as cold, aloof, insensitive, impersonal and uncaring. It is not so much that they don't actually experience these various emotions, it is just that they have become adept at suppressing them or relegating them to lesser importance, placing more value upon the intellect than the emotions. Such a focus can most assuredly prove to be a major hindrance to evangelistic efforts among a certain class of people, though, in all fairness, it must be acknowledged that there are indeed those who appreciate a more analytical, logical approach to the study and presentation of the inspired Scriptures, with fewer displays of raw emotionalism (what might be termed as "touchy feely"). People are different, that is a fact, which is exactly why the Lord has created diversity even among His servants, so that there is someone for every kind of seeker.

Not everyone is moved by an appeal to the emotions; indeed, some find it almost offensive, and will virtually flee from such encounters. They will, however, sit for hours upon end and engage in a reasoned dialogue with another on the theological intricacies of God's Holy Word. These seekers also are precious in the sight of God, and He desires them to be brought to Jesus as well. It will take a special kind of evangelistic style to reach them, however -- the Intellectual Style. Hybels, Mittelberg and Strobel cite the example of the apostle Paul in Acts 17:16ff as being representative of this particular style. While in the city of Athens, Greece, Paul "was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present" [vs. 17]. He engaged the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in the Areopagus, and even at times quoted from their own poets and revered writers. Paul knew how to stand toe-to-toe with the best philosophers of his day, and he could hold his own with them; indeed, he even won some to Christ. Not just anyone could have reached these people; it required a certain evangelistic style. The same is no less true today. There is, without argument, a place for reasoned, reflective, analytical, logical dialogue in evangelism. Some, quite literally, will never be reached without it. Thus, God equips some disciples with this personality trait, and then opens doors of opportunity for them to witness to those precious souls in need of enlightenment and liberation. [For the record, this is the particular evangelistic style into which I happen to fall.]

The Testimonial Style

Are the following six statements descriptive of you? (1) I often speak out of my personal background or experience in order to illustrate a point that I am trying to make. (2) I often identify with others by using phrases like, "I used to think that too" or "I once felt the way you do." (3) When I talk around the locker room or the drinking fountain, people really listen. (4) I intentionally share my mistakes and struggles with others when it might assist them in considering solutions that could help them. (5) People seem interested in hearing stories about things that have happened in my life. (6) I am still amazed at how God has worked in my life, and I would like others to know about it. If, after hearing these characterizations, you exclaim, "That's me!", then you most likely are the embodiment of the Testimonial Style. [Note: it was this style that ran a very close second for me.] Those men and women within this category have a tendency to be good listeners, clear communicators, and rather compelling storytellers. They have the ability to hold the interest of those with whom they seek to communicate, whether those people necessarily agree with what they're hearing or not. From a negative perspective, such persons may be characterized by some as "theologically shallow" -- "He tells a good story, but there is no depth." I have heard this criticism of Max Lucado, for example. He is a master storyteller, yet there are some who feel it is all "fluff" and no "substance." I do not concur with that assessment, but that is the impression of some. The simple reality, however, is that many seekers are moved by such dynamic narrative. For them such a style is exactly what is needed to bring them into a relationship with Christ Jesus. Again, people are different, so the Lord has raised up servants with differing evangelistic styles so that all may be reached.

The blind man in John 9 is given as an example of this particular style. One day Jesus and His disciples came upon a man blind from birth. "And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?'" [vs. 2]. An interesting question! Have you ever thought about it?! Just when would this man have committed sin, and what would the nature of that sin be, for him to be BORN blind?! Did he commit sin prior to his birth? Some Jews actually believed in the pre-existence of souls, and that some birth defects might be attributed to sin by these "souls" prior to being "put inside" a human body. That's a pagan notion that found its way into certain factions of Judaism during the so-called Intertestamental Period. Jesus doesn't even waste His time debunking it, but merely declares that what is about to occur is to the glory of God. Jesus healed him, and, needless to say, news of the miracle spread rapidly. This man was brought before the religious leaders and they questioned him repeatedly. He stuck to his story, however, and gave testimonial to the divine healing power of this Jesus. The leaders did not like what they were hearing, but he definitely had their attention. His testimony was riveting. And yet, at the end of the day he was cast from the synagogue, "for the Jews had already agreed, that if anyone should confess Him to be the Messiah, he should be put out of the synagogue" [vs. 22]. Yes, the Lord Jesus needs people with a compelling story to tell. Personal testimonies clearly have a place in evangelism, and they can be used to touch the hearts of many seekers, as people can easily relate to them.

The Interpersonal Style

How do you personally relate to the following? --- (1) I am a "people person" who places a high value on friendship. (2) People have commented about my ability for developing deep friendships. (3) I would rather delve into personal life issues than abstract theoretical ideas. (4) I prefer discussing a person's life before getting into the details of their beliefs and opinions. (5) I enjoy long talks with friends, and it doesn't matter much where we are or where we're going. (6) People generally consider me to be an interactive, sensitive and caring kind of person. Does this all sound like you? If so, then you are the embodiment of the Interpersonal Style. You have a tendency to be warm, compassionate, conversational, friendship-oriented, and focused upon people and their needs. Frankly, it is hard to see too many significant negatives associated with being a good friend to others and seeking to be involved in their lives, with the possible exception that some might perceive your interest and concern as meddling. I am personally a strong believer in what is known as "Friendship Evangelism," which simply suggests that the most effective way to share one's faith with others is to do so from a foundation of a close interpersonal relationship. "Cold Turkey Evangelism," which is characterized by knocking on the doors of perfect strangers and hoping to lead them "from doorstep to baptistery," is the complete opposite, and, in my view, the least effective methodology (in fact, most people find it rather offensive).

Hybels, Mittelberg and Strobel cite the example of the apostle Matthew (Levi) in Luke 5:29 as being a fitting representative of this particular style. After having been called to leave his tax booth and follow Jesus (at which time "he got up and left everything and followed Him"), "Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them." This devoted follower wanted to share his newfound faith in the Messiah with as many people as he possibly could, so he hosted a large party for the Lord at his home, inviting all his friends and loved ones to come. Friendship evangelism is the methodology of those with the Interpersonal Style. When they find something wonderful, they immediately want to share it with all those with whom they have a close relationship. Again, I am convinced it is probably the most effective means of reaching others with the Gospel, and the one which I believe produces the most lasting results.

The Invitational Style

(1) I enjoy adding or including new people in activities I am involved in. (2) To be honest, I often watch for situations in which someone "better qualified' can explain concepts to my friends. (3) It is not unusual for me to attend special events or concerts and bring along a car full of friends. (4) I tend to watch for worthwhile events to which to bring people, such as enriching seminars, retreats, classes, or church services. (5) I am always looking for a good match between the needs and interests of my friends and various books, classes, and programs that they would enjoy or benefit from. (6) A highlight of my week is when I can take a guest along with me to a helpful learning event, including church. Is this a good description of who and what you are? Then it is probably safe to state that you are very likely part of the group possessing the Invitational Style. This is very similar to the previous style, as it is most definitely people-oriented, however the emphasis is somewhat more upon those with whom you don't yet have a close, intimate relationship than with those you do. It is focusing upon bringing new people into your circle of intimacy. Those who possess this style are hospitable, inviting, persuasive, enthusiastic. They have what some have termed a "bubbly" personality. They almost always seem to be "up," and people enjoy being around them; indeed, they seem to be irresistibly drawn to them.

The Samaritan woman whom Jesus encountered at Jacob's well just outside of the village of Sychar (John 4) is given as a good example of this style. Although Jews did not normally relate well to Samaritans [vs. 9], and it was not considered fitting for a woman to converse with a man in an unsupervised setting [vs. 27], yet these two struck up a rather intimate conversation. When she realized that the One to whom she was speaking was someone quite special, she "went back into the village and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?' So they came out of the town and made their way toward Him" [vs. 28-30]. Later we are informed, "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman's testimony" [vs. 39]. We may not all be equipped to "close the deal" evangelistically, but most can at least invite others to "Come, and see!" Andrew did this for Peter [John 1:41-42], and so did Philip for Nathanael [John 1:46] and then later for the inquiring Greeks [John 12:20-22].

The Serving Style

This is most likely your dominant style if the following statements best describe you: (1) I see needs in people's lives that others often overlook. (2) I find fulfillment in helping others, often in behind-the-scenes ways. (3) I would rather show love through actions than through words. (4) I have found that my quiet demonstrations of love and care sometimes help people open up and become more receptive to what I think. (5) I think the world would be a better place if people would talk less and take more action on behalf of their friends and neighbors. (6) I tend to be more practical and action-oriented than philosophical and idea-oriented. If you have responded, "That's me!" to these six statements, then you are representative of the Serving Style. This is the category into which my wife, Shelly, falls. It describes her perfectly. Such people have a tendency to be others-centered, patient, willing to work behind the scenes, and typically demonstrate love through their actions, rather than through mere words alone. Again, it is hard to find many negatives with respect to people who simply want to love one another, and who seek to do so in a quiet, unassuming manner.

The biblical example given by Hybels, Mittelberg and Strobel is that of Tabitha (Dorcas) in Acts 9:36-42. This woman lived in Joppa, and "was always doing good and helping the poor." One of her talents was making clothing for the poor, a gift for which she was well-beloved in that area. Following her death there was much grieving among the widows, to whom she had apparently been a great blessing. The apostle Peter was summoned and he raised her from the dead. "This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord." Not only the miracle of her restoration to life, but the grace of her service while living, had touched many people's lives. Tabitha was truly the embodiment of the Serving Style of evangelism, and she was most effective in her ministry. Not all evangelism has to be showy or dramatic. Sometimes just simple acts of loving charity will do more to reach the lost than just about anything else. After all, as the saying goes, "people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care!" Tabitha cared -- so she served -- and she won souls to Christ Jesus.

Concluding Thought

Not to belabor the point, but it should be rather obvious by now that we are all different. There are different types of seeking souls, and there are different types of soul-winners. Each is unique; each is precious; each is of immense value in the eternal scheme of things. Each evangelistic style has its obvious strengths, and each has its advantages, just as each has its inherent weaknesses and its challenges. God has blessed me personally with certain abilities that He expects me to use to win souls to Christ. He has blessed others with differing abilities, but His expectation is the same -- win the lost to Jesus. Based upon our individual abilities, He places before us open doors of opportunity. It is then up to us to take every advantage of them to His glory and to the benefit of those around us. "He who is wise wins souls!" [Prov. 11:30]. We certainly don't have to be alike in our evangelistic approaches, nor should we suggest one disciple is inferior or superior to another simply because of his individual style or ability. Regardless of our style, may we each prove "wise" in the eyes of our Father! May we all, according to our ability, style and opportunity, win souls.

Reflections on CD
Down, But Not Out
A Study of Divorce and Remarriage
in Light of God's Healing Grace

A 200 page book by Al Maxey
Order Your Copy Today
Publisher: (301) 695-1707
Reflections on the Holy Spirit
A Published Tract by Al Maxey
Order Copies From:
J. Elbert Peters
1701 Jeannette Circle, NW
Huntsville, Alabama 35816
(256) 859-3186
Readers' Reflections

Special Note --- I must admit that I was very disappointed to see a short article in the March, 2008 issue of Rocky Mountain Christian, a newspaper that has been serving Churches of Christ for close to four decades, in which former editor Ron Carter condemned the Quail Springs Church of Christ for their decision to offer a contemporary service with instruments in addition to their more traditional service with a cappella singing. Carter began the piece with this statement: "The Rocky Mountain Christian has always had the policy of not attacking individuals or congregations. However, from time to time there are situations that require that we publish both the names of people and congregations involved." In other words, the editorial leadership of the Rocky Mountain Christian determined to make an exception, departing from long-standing policy, so as to condemn this distant congregation for daring to differ with their own particular traditional perceptions of what is or isn't acceptable in a Sunday morning "worship service." Carter ended the piece with this statement: "Our prayer is that no other congregation of the Lord's Church will be influenced by Quail Springs' decision to oppose the authority of biblical silence involved in God's pattern of obedience." Wow!!! Once again we see this elusive "pattern" mentioned, as well as the "authority of biblical silence." First of all, there is no authority in silence! That is a fallacy of the CENI hermeneutists, as is the concept of a "pattern" (which no one can even agree upon with regard to specific particulars). Frankly, I was truly saddened by this article in this otherwise excellent Christian publication, and I pray that readers across the nation will write them and express their disappointment. The address is: P. O. Box 803, Eastlake, CO 80614-0803. Email: --- Al Maxey

From a Missionary in Honduras:

Brother Al, I look forward to getting your Reflections each week. Thank you! If you are ever in need of something really different in your work, please come and visit us here in Honduras. We will go build a house, or go and feed some of the people who try to survive this life by digging in the Tegucigalpa city dump along with the buzzards!

From a Missionary in the Philippines:

Dear Bro. Al, Amen and Amen to your response to John Waddey. In my lifetime I have seen honest brethren, contending for God's authority, being replaced by something less than that: by those seeking to establish an agenda that just "coincidentally" makes them numero uno. What has been substituted for God's authority is exactly what Christ rebuked the Pharisees for in Mark 7:1-13 -- replacing God's laws with their traditions. I am in the process of writing a book exposing these modern-day Pharisees. When I get the book out, I expect I'll be cast completely out of the synagogue (being one of those "heretics" Waddey mentions). It is fast becoming "my way or the highway" with these people, and it's really not about doctrine, so much as a grabbing for power. Keep kicking at them, Brother Al, and possibly some, even if only a few, may listen. All the best to you and yours.

From a Reader in Nevada:

Brother Al, I returned this morning from a week in Hawaii and was happy to find your article "Narrow Way or Narrow-Minded?" awaiting me. It is outstanding and really strikes a chord with me because while in Hawaii I prepared a sermon on Matt. 7:13-14 -- the broad and narrow ways. We have adjusted, twisted and misapplied so many scriptures for so long!! I pray God's blessings on you as you continue to give us so much righteous guidance.

From a Reader in Arkansas:

Bro. Al, Would you address this in your Reflections? You chide the patternists for not providing all the particulars of the pattern. Well, do you believe in "continual cleansing"? I know that you do. Yet, you will not, and you cannot, provide a list of all the sins one may commit while walking in the light. Just because no one can provide the list you request does not mean we should reject the idea that there is a pattern in religion.

From a Reader in Texas:

My dear brother in Jesus -- as usual, this is a superb article. Your answers to John Waddey's article are very well-written, are to the point, and are not caustic, but kind. Our God is truly your guide. Keep up the good work, and may God bless you.

From a New Reader in New Mexico:

Dear Brother Maxey, We would like to thank you and your members for the warm welcome we received from the Cuba Avenue Church of Christ last Sunday morning, and to let you know how refreshing and uplifting we found that welcome. We look forward to meeting with you all again. We found your mission statement on your bulletin very refreshing -- "Building loving relationships" and "Christ-centered." These things are lacking in so many of the congregations of the Lord's church today. Many have forgotten why they're really here, Who it is they serve, and what their purpose is here in this life. Many cut themselves off from society, forgetting about evangelism and converting people to Christ, spreading God's Word and establishing loving relationships as brethren. With a single visit to your congregation our spirits have been refreshed and uplifted, and we would like to thank you all most sincerely. We found your sermon very timely, as we were discussing that very topic on our way to Alamogordo, wondering if we could find a congregation there that really had the Lord centered in their assembly, and we talked of nothing else on our return trip home. You all have given us hope, and a very bright light in a darkened world. Again, let us thank you all for being the way the Lord intended His church to be -- gracious. Also, please add us to your Reflections mailing list.

From a Minister in New Mexico:

Brother Al, Satan's strategy of dividing and conquering through zeal for dogma has been extremely successful. That zeal for dogma pervades the entire church as charismatic preachers gather followers wearing diverse man-made labels. I think the root cause of much division among and between Christians is a widespread failure to realize the meaning of the Good News -- the good news that God loves and forgives all sorts of mistaken beliefs that cause individuals to separate from other members God has added to the Body of Christ. Why would one ever think that God is more willing to forgive my own errors in dogma than the errors of others?! God's willingness to accept as His children those who are imperfect in perception is at the epicenter of His grace.

From a Reader in New Jersey:

Bro. Al, Would you please sign me back up for your weekly Reflections articles. I have struggled so much with my faith over the last year, and so I had canceled my subscription to your Reflections. I am now taking baby steps toward the Faith, and have come to realize that, even when I was in doubt, your articles were of great encouragement to me and they shed some much needed positive light on our wonderful heritage in the Churches of Christ. Thank you!!

From a Reader in Texas:

Bro. Al, Amen to your last Reflections -- "Narrow Way or Narrow-Minded?" Change is truly the new "hot button" in religion and politics. Reading your diagnosis of the current ebb and flow within the church, and the vitriolic atmosphere in which this is occurring, once again I offer my support to your ministry and my prayer to God for the unity of all believers. Now comes the real challenge -- how do we love our legalistic brothers into freedom? We all need your guidance and wisdom for this task, and I, for one, genuinely believe you are up to it, if for no other reason than you have clearly stated you have chosen this as your mission in life, regardless of the personal consequences. The good news is, brother, you don't have to do it alone!! Count me in!! And may I challenge every one of your 13,000+ readers to send you a vote of confidence and a prayer that God will continue to bless you, your family and your home congregation.

From a Reader in Georgia:

My Dear Brother Al, I must tell you that I had only read the first two paragraphs of your latest Reflections (issue #340), when I had to stop long enough to shout AMEN. You may have heard me all the way to New Mexico! God bless you, Al. And may God give you continued courage and determination. You're right. It is time to stop the loveless nonsense of some brethren who are holding other dear saints in chains! Too many of our brethren are being held captive by these self-appointed high priests of lifeless, loveless legalism. Brother, I can't tell you how much your Reflections mean to me. I am strengthened by your ministry. We often look at the pictures we took when we came to visit you and Shelly in Alamogordo. Wow! How we would love to see you two again. It would mean so much. We pray for you, Shelly and your family, and hope that all is well. Thank you for teaching me God's grace!!! Please keep on, no matter what.

From a Reader in California:

Brother Al, Thank you so much for your latest Reflections. I must admit that I "snuck a peek" at your web site and read the article before you sent it out. It is truly fascinating that when you look at the bare essentials of Christianity, there really aren't all that many moving parts!! Yet we humans keep complicating the simple, beautiful truth of God's love for us. Thanks for taking "Occam's Razor" to Waddey's message!

From a Minister in Missouri:

Great article, Bro. Al. I appreciate your vigilance, scholarship and compassion for Christ's church and His people! With regard to the professor from Pepperdine, who made mention of your studies in the Minor Prophets, may I suggest the following link as one that your readers might find helpful - Minor Prophets Acrostic. Blessings to you, your family, and your labors for our Lord.

From a Reader in Florida:

Brother Al, Thank you so much for changing my fears of hell into hopes of heaven!! You are my new earthly hero!!

If you would like to be removed from or added to this
mailing list, contact me and I will immediately comply.
If you are challenged by these Reflections, then feel
free to send them on to others and encourage them
to write for a free subscription. These articles may all
be purchased on CD. Check the ARCHIVES for
details and past issues of these weekly Reflections: