BRANDON — Rick Christensen walked away from God in college.
More than 20 years later, with the help of a spiritual mentor, he returned to faith, and just a few years ago, he felt God asking him to “write a daily devotional.”
Christensen, with a master’s degree in mental health counseling and careers as a photographer and broker, said, “I was stunned. God and I had many conversations about this, as I was sure He had the wrong Rick!”
Nevertheless, he decided to write and see what would happen. He worked with a creativity coach and joined the Brandon Christian Writers group. He self-published two spiral-bound books and started a blog, discoveringand sharinggrace.com.
In February, Amazon released the 60-year-old author’s first paperback, a 30-day devotional called “Discovering and Sharing Grace: Words of a Gentle Witness.” It is designed for individual meditation and small-group study.
“On my blog, I share how I struggle on my walk of faith,” said Christensen. “God has given me the gift of seeing His grace in everyday situations, and that is the basis for my writing.”
His book, blog and speaking engagements are the vehicles he uses to carry out his mission of introducing people to Jesus. Gently.
“My heart breaks when I think about the people I know who will not even consider being introduced to Jesus due to the way they were approached,” Christensen said in his March 2 blog post, ‘Taking Bigger Steps.’ “Some were judged. Some were preached at. Some were told they were not good enough. Some felt like they were on the wrong end of a sales presentation. I have written extensively (and will continue) about the importance of being a gentle witness.”
He remembers his time away from God, when he looked elsewhere for answers. Little did he know, he said, Jesus was next to him the whole time, simply waiting, wanting him to return. Christensen’s writings encourage people to share their stories with others, walk with them and discover and share God’s grace together.
Send news of community interest to Barbara Routen at Neighbors@tampabay.rr.com.