A burning heart is contagious.

“People say, that when you stay in one place for so long, you become that place.” -Rocky Balboa.

I was born in a somewhat rough section of Philadelphia. Back in the day, this area was not like it is today. Then, it was an amazing multicultural urban community.Today, it looks like a shadow of what it once was. Sometimes I drive through the old neighborhood, and think about how this area helped mold me into the person I am now.

My parents moved here from the farmlands of Ohio, so my father could go to seminary. (Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it?) After I was born, my folks unintentionally decided to stay, just for a little while. 41 years later, here we still are.

I was the first of my family born in Philadelphia, But ironically, I became the only one to really embrace it. My brother and sister have both moved away, as far as they could get from the city. But for some strange reason, I am still here. I can’t explain it, but something inside of me won’t let go. I just feel like, this is home.

I love to hop a train from the suburbs, ten miles into the heart of the city.

And walk.

That’s Right, walk. Meet people. Talk with someone I do not know. Its an opportunity to share my faith, talk about Jesus. Or even pray with someone. Just get to know someone. Share my story.

That’s right.

Walk, share, pray.

It’s a unique way of spending an afternoon. I have found that if you set out, with the purpose of sharing the gospel with someone and then you don’t, your heart feels burdened. Almost burning to share what you know with someone. My heart constantly burns to reach the people of my community for Jesus. Hopefully, yours does too.

Here is the cool part. That burning heart, it’s contagious.

Check it out.

Every year on the last Sunday afternoon in November, we take a group of friends downtown with us to go and watch a few Christmas light shows. What started as a fun trip to celebrate Christmas, quickly became something more. See, there is this young lady in our church, who’s heart began to burn for the homeless folks we would often pass on the street. So the first year, she would make them little snack bags. The second year, the snack bags became blankets that she paid for with her own money. Then, just this past year, she made backpacks. Not just your run of the mill pack, these babies were equipped for anything a homeless person could possibly need on the streets. Anything.

Watching this unfold made my heart warm. You see, it’s not just me. God will use anyone inside or outside of their culture to reach people, just by placing a burden on their heart. This kid is not even from this area, and she is probably not super comfortable in the city. But God used her, at the right moment to touch the lives of some folks that everyone else wrote off.

Imagine what you could do.

It all starts with your story. That’s right, YOUR STORY. What has God done for you that is amazing?

Got it?

Now share it with someone. The greatest evangelism tool that we have, is our lives. Most people who find Jesus are introduced to him by someone they know. Someone they trust. Someone who has been there.

Maybe you.

Share your story. It may change someone else’s life.

What do you think?

Till next week,

PJ

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