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Tag Archives: Sharing the Gospel

Don Knowlton’s Beautiful Feet

More than once when I was in college, I received a check from a friend of my parents named Wally Qualley. Yep, that was his name. I don’t remember anything about this man who sent me at least a couple of checks for about $500 each, except that I had a sense he was wealthy, and wanted to help out the son of old friends. Kinda cool.

Well, one day, some many years later, my dad asked me to read a letter he had written…to Wally. Dad had come to Christ during my college days, and after a time, the Lord put Wally Qualley on his heart. As far as my father knew, his old friend didn’t know Christ, and If possible, Dad wanted to “make an introduction”.

Dad’s letter to Wally captures the spirit of one of the most beautiful passages in Paul’s letter to the Romans. It is found in chapter 10, where the apostle writes…

But how are they to call him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him “of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14, 15

In the spirit of my father’s beautiful feet, I include here the full text of his letter…

June 17, 1997

Dear Wally,

You have been on my mind for the last several days – I know you are hurting and lonely. If you will bear with me for a few paragraphs, I have a short story to tell you.

Sometime in the early to middle 80’s, Eleen and I became disenchanted with our church. She was more discerning than I by far. We had been growing apart for sometime and I believe we were searching for spiritual answers. We watched religious programs, visited churches and generally immersed ourselves in seeking. Eleen and Roger were way ahead of me in coming to the Lord, but with both of their help, I came to the Lord Jesus Christ on March 16, 1986. Eleen gave me a rather abrupt wake up call shortly before that time with the admonition to me saying, “You know what’s right.” (And I did know what’s right.) We have grown much closer together since that time.

Wally, the good news stated in the Bible is that, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

I believe that we are all sinners and need to confess these sins. Christ died on the cross for all of our sins and was resurrected three days later to sit at the right hand of God.

Wally, I spent the first 62 years of my life thinking I was a Christian only to find out that I wasn’t.

You have been a good friend over the years, and I would be remiss in not telling you about Jesus. This has to do with where you spend eternity, and it’s never too late to decide. You have to take action and ask Jesus into your heart. If you have a Bible, I would refer you to several verses. Romans 10:9, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:13.

I’ve probably done a poor job of explaining the love of God and salvation but it’s true and there for the asking. Please give serious consideration, you’ll never be sorry.

Love,

Don

Sometime ago I told about Dad’s letter in a sermon, and then recently, a friend told me that she had written a “Wally Qualley” letter to someone she loved. Maybe Dad (and my friend) are the forefront of a trend.

So get on the wave…who is your Wally Qualley?

 

If you’re interested (and want to indulge me!), here’s the article I wrote about about how one of the greatest men I have ever known, my dad, came to Christ.

For Friday, April 3rd: Romans 11

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Testimony: One of the Best Ways to Fish for Men

When I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Chicagoland and the Washington D.C. area during the late 80’s and early 90’s, occasionally I would find myself one on one with a co-worker for a longer period of time. Maybe it was just a lunch hour and two of us made plans to grab a Chicago style hot dog at Luke’s (try it when you’re near the Windy City). Maybe the Vienna, VA office was running out of cars and we needed to get to Gaithersburg to pick one up. Whatever the case, I remember asking a question on a long ride that yielded fruitful conversation on at least more than one occasion.

“John, what’s the story of your life?” I would ask.

“Well, I graduated from Purdue…”

“No, no…” I might counter. “…the story of your life. Go back further…like where were you born? Your family. Give me details.”

And so it would begin. I would ask questions along the way, really trying to draw them out. I’ve found that most people like to tell about themselves, and as long as the questions are not too prying, it can be a great way to get things going.  And for my part, I find people interesting…a great way to pass the time.

Invariably, after chatting through the notorious D.C. traffic and maybe on the beltway for a while, they would turn to me: “OK, now your turn. Tell me the story of your life.”

And I would…Born in Jackson, Mississippi, an only child, moved to Antioch, Illinois when I was 7, became an atheist in middle school/high school. Got an appointment to West Point…

“And you know, when I got to West Point, it was interesting – they suggested we go to church.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, I think they felt it was good for your reputation as an officer….”

And so it went. I would tell about how at the protestant church service, the Chaplain talked about Jesus in a way I had never heard…etc…all the way to when that cadet Bob Maruna dropped by my tent and showed me the Bridge diagram and that verse:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

For those who are uninitiated, what I was doing here is called sharing your testimony, and I have found the testimony to be a really great way of explaining the faith. It’s a method of fishing for men which has a long and honored tradition, starting with a man named Paul in the 1st Century A.D.

…when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet. And he said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women…” Acts 22:2-4 (ESV)

And so, before a hostile crowd of his fellow Jews, the testimony of the Apostle Paul begins from the steps of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem. It would not be the only time Paul would tell his story in this manner in the book of Acts – a wonderful opportunity would afford itself before King Agrippa, recounted in Acts 26.

I have personally found that sharing my testimony is a very effective way of telling someone about Jesus.  Who can argue with it? It’s your story. And the format is pretty simple.  Tell about your life before you met Christ. Tell how you met Christ, and try to include a verse at this point, especially one that meant something to you at the time and helps to explain the gospel (like mine: Ephesians 2:8, 9). Then finally, tell about what has happened in your life since you met Christ.

I hope you’ll give it a try sometime. If it was good enough for Paul, why not you and me?

 

For tomorrow, Thursday, March 12: Acts 23

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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