The first thing to consider in writing your One13 Letter is that it is a story. In many good stories, you will notice that they have a beginning, a major event, and then a transformation.
For example, in the original Star Wars hit movie decades ago, the story is about Luke Skywalker. His beginning is as an unhappy young man living on the farm of his aunt and uncle. The major event is the murder of his aunt and uncle and his transformation is into the warrior to fight evil.
In your One13 Letter, you likewise have a beginning, a life changing event, and a transformation.
“Story is a common term for a recounting of a sequence of events, narrative,
or for a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question.
It is defined as a narrative or tale of real or fictitious events.” ~ Wikipedia
While you are writing your One13 Letter, in the above three sections, you should focus on telling the story. Practice telling the story in a mirror. When you feel you can tell yourself the story well, then tell it to your family. Then tell it to your friends… When you feel confident, try telling it to a stranger, like on a bus or train. Finally make an arrangement to tell your One13 Story, to a group of people (More suggestions on this later!).
So now that we know that your One13 Letter is actually a One13 Story, let’s divide it up based on time! Time? A letter based on time? Yes, remember we are thinking of the length of your story! When you finish, your One13 Story will take just Five Minutes to tell! Telling your One13 Story in Five Minutes will also give you the perfect One13 Letter! Hooray!
Now that we know the over all length of your story, let’s look at the timing of each section…
Each section should NOT be equal, like one third. Remember our Star Wars movie? The Major Event took only one quick scene of the burnt out farmhouse and murdered uncle. It was very short… So here is a guide for your One13 Story:
Beginning: Use One Minute or Less
Major Event: Use One Minute or Less
Transformation: Use Three Minutes or More – but only a total of 5 minutes.
Example A: Beginning: 60 seconds, Major Event: 60 seconds, Transformation: 3 minutes.
Example B: Beginning: 55 seconds, Major Event: 55 seconds, Transformation: 3 minutes 10 seconds.
Example C: Beginning: 50 seconds, Major Event: 20 seconds, Transformation: 3 minutes 50 seconds.
Example D: Beginning: 15 seconds, Major Event: 40 seconds, Transformation: 4 minutes 5 seconds.
However, Example A should be your target when you first start to write your One13 Story.
One13 Section Titles
So far we have just called our sections the generic beginning, major event and transformation. Here we will give each of our section it own title. This will focus our attention on what we will put in our sections…
- Beginning: My Old Life
- Major Event: Entering Into My Exchanged Life
- Transformation: Living My Exchanged Life
My Old Life
One minute or less!
This is how you were in your old life. Your life before you accept Yeshua (Jesus) into your heart. Many people start with the words “My old life…”, “My original life…”, “My life before…” or simply “From my birth…” Then you want to tell a little about how your life was and what you were missing or unhappy about your life… Perhaps feelings of emptiness or guilt… Remember this is YOUR Story…
Keep it to under 1 minute when you tell this…
Do not use religious sounding words like “I was lost”, “wretch”, “sin” or “sinner”. Also do not use offensive words or be explicit about the graphic details of acts you committed. However, if you were an adulterer, murderer, prostitute, drug user, drug dealer, thief, cheat, liar, or a nice guy that was empty inside, feel free to mention that to show what life God helped you get out of. Just use polite language, not religious language.
Polite language is like you would use at most business offices or in a birthday party for your respected boss.
Entering Into My Exchanged Life
One minute or less!
This is your story. How did you invite Yeshua (God, Jesus) to be your Lord. Some examples of things you might say… but this is your story, use your own words…
“The day I entered into my exchanged life…” Keep in mind that you exchanged your old evil (“sinful”) life and received God’s life in return… (Do not use the religious words “born-again”, “saved”, “received Christ”)
“I decided to turn away from my evil actions…” (Don’t use religious words like “repent.” Remember this is how you would talk to your work buddies or in an office of people you did not know.)
“I invited Yeshua into my heart, and to control my life from then on…”
Again, use your own words and avoid religious sounding words that people at your supermarket may not understand.
Keep it to under 1 minute when you tell this…
WHEN and WHERE
This is an event… Later, in follow up or in a Bible study, they will discover that this is when they became born again… So think of what is on your birth certificate…
I exchanged the evil life I was living, for God’s life of following the Bible, on August 13, 1972 in a church in Manhattan Beach, California.
Notice that this qualifies a when and where! However, what I really gave you was date and place. That is ok, but not everyone knows the date and place, but everyone knows the when and where.
My friend, a missionary, disagreed with me. They told me they KNEW they were born-again, but they could not tell me when and where! Knowing them and how much they loved the Lord, I quickly realized they were thinking about date and place and not when and where. So I asked my friend to please tell me how they “knew” they had received the Lord and had become born-again by entering into an exchanged life as the scripture says…
Therefore, if anyone is in the Messiah, he is a new creation.
Old things have disappeared, and – look! – all things have become new!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 ISV)
My missionary friend told me this story… “When I was about five years old, my papa lifted me up on his knee and told me the story of Yeshua’s love. He asked me if I wanted to ask Yeshua to live in my heart and to follow the Bible and I did. So I prayed with my papa that Yeshua would take me and lead me in life.”
Therefore if any man be in the Messiah, he is a new creation:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 TKJV)
I thought to myself, what a great story about how my missionary friend entered into an exchanged life… Then I repeated to them their exact words… “When I was about five years old.” “When?” I respectfully asked. You could see the insight in their eyes… “When, not date!” they said softly. I asked, “And where were you?” “On papa’s knee!” they said with excitement!
“In my sophomore year, in my dorm room.” “During the summer of ’73 on the Hermosa Beach Pier…”
Some people can say “It was August 13, 1972 at 8:17pm at my friend house at…” and give you the exact address. Others will say “It was midway through high school on a band school bus, when my friend and I got talking…”
All of these will bring memories of the Major Event, when you invited Yeshua (Jesus) to be the Lord of your life… When and Where you were when you entered into an exchanged life with God. Believe me, you will not forget it.
Note: If you have been going to church all your life and you cannot remember when and where you entered into an exchange life, it is because you did not! Being religious and entering into an exchanged life are not the same. You need to do this as soon as possible.
Living My Exchanged Life
The remainder of the five minutes.
Some people call this My NEW Life!
Use the rest of your 5 minutes (do not go over 5 minutes total) to explain how your life changed.
This is your exchanged life, you got rid of your old life by giving it to God. Now you are living the life of Yeshua, that he gave you…
Do you have peace, contentment, happiness? God changed your behavior and your attitudes, How?