As I sit down to write this story, I am reminded of my own shortcomings. One important aspect of evangelism is that it will keep the evangelist humble. Every time there is a conversation, it is an opportunity to be reminded that the Holy Spirit is the one that leads people to faith in Jesus. We are so incapable on our own of any good that even trying to make a clear presentation of the gospel without the Holy Spirit working both in us and in the hearer is futile.
I was walking out of the grocery store when a friendly officer took a look in my cart and made some jesting comment about the lack of steaks. We walked on, and I began to ask him some questions about his gun. (Note: I have several friends that are interested in target shooting, and they have helped awaken in me a general interst in firearms.) I asked him how long he had been on the police force, and it turns out he is relatively new to the job. However, he spent years as a fireman and prison guard. Anytime someone works in a more high risk position, I think it is pretty easy to transition into an eternal conversation. This officer has seen death more than one time. He may have even been in situations where his own life was in danger. So I simply asked him, “What do you think happens after we die?”
I do think this officer was a Christian, but he was surprised by my question. It is funny how the toughest guys are a little startled by questions about eternity. The bottom line is that maybe he needed to think about his beliefs again. Maybe he knows someone who also sees death as part of their job but does not know what will happen when they die. Sometimes, maybe most times, we do not get to find out the reason why God gave us someone who needed a conversation about eternity. Our responsibility is not knowing the reason but rather being faithful to the task.
The weeks pass as if a day…
This week’s highlights were:
- 15 delightful girls at Dance, Dance, Dance camp.
- Much progress working on my business.
- A training for a possible new job opportunity to supplement my other work.
- A conversation about eternity with a local police officer (story forthcoming).
- An evening out with a friend and hearing the ways God is blessing her life.
- The opportunity to introduce two girls at camp to some conflict resolution skills.
- Learning that boundaries given in love will make a child feel more loved than giving in to their sin (the same two girls!).
- Tastes of God’s glory and touches of His love.
My Friday Find for this week is the sermon by John Piper, Never Thirst Again. Here is a video clip of this great message.
Click here to view!
The deeper one gets to the heart of evangelism, the less intimidating it is to talk to people about the Gospel. My mechanic has quite a presence. Ok, he is huge. At six and a half feet tall, he just does not quite come across as a teddy bear. But he does like to talk.
So as he ranted about politics and the economy, I could tell he is a thinker. I used this as the lead in, “It is obvious that you think through things. So what do you think happens after we die?” It turns out he is a non-practicing Catholic with a lot of new age philosophy in the mix. He talked about his concept of old souls and his personal experience with memories from a time past. Everything was very general because if he were to get too specific, he knows it would not make sense.
So I asked him the question I now like to ask Catholics. I draw on whatever language they have used and form it into a question. “So Catholics believe in the Scriptures plus the Apocrypha. If you believe that those who do well in this life get a straight pass to heaven and those that do not do well get a second chance in purgatory, then why did Jesus come to die?”
He responded with a casual “to pay for our sins” said with a degree of hesitancy that tells me he does not really believe that. “That’s a good question though,” he said in a pondering tone. He followed up with questioning Scripture saying that He does not believe it is all true. Ultimately, he demonstrated to me just how confused he is. He is a big talker and did not let me get too many words in, but I do think he was encouraged to examine his own beliefs. I made sure to mention the reality of hell and the importance of being sure we have found the truth.
Talking to my mechanic was a reminder to me how there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sharing the Gospel. There are methods that work a lot of the time in a street evangelism setting. But ultimately, sharing the Gospel is an art. And as with any art, we will only get better with practice.
Outside my window… night is falling (writing this Sunday evening).
I am thinking… what a busy week I have ahead of me.
From the learning rooms… teaching a bunch of girls a bunch of fun dances this week at camp.
I am thankful for… my Heavenly Father.
From the kitchen… fresh blueberries- a gift from a sweet friend.
I am wearing… this very different skirt with turtles on it. I’ve had if for a year and finally felt in the mood to wear it.
I am reading… Deuteronomy.
I am hoping… to have a week even better than last week filled with reminders of my Gracious God.
I am creating.. art projects for this week’s camp.
I am praying… for more grace and opportunities to share the Gospel.
Around the house… I accomplished nearly everything on my to-do list today!
One of my favorite things… an organized room, John Piper’s sermon playing…
Have a blessed Monday!
HT: The Simple Woman’s Daybook
The weeks pass as if a day…
This week’s highlights were:
- Six amazing little girls at Princess Ballet Camp.
- Two successful open houses at my studio and the blessing of new faces registering for fall.
- A makeover of the art room at the studio- thanks to the moms who painted, and painted, and painted to cover the cave of wood paneling!
- My Vista Print order came. Lots of great promotional materials. Time to paint the town!
- An eternity conversation with my mechanic (story coming this week).
- Reminders of God’s faithfulness through friend’s encouragement.
this adorable proposal at a Living Proof Ministry event?
Kevin & Ashley at Living Proof Live from Kris Seidenkranz on Vimeo.
If you are just joining, please see Reasons: Part I , Reason: Part II, and Reasons: Part III.
The Bible is open to interpretation. Everyone interprets it in the way that suits them best or serves their purposes.
Were the Apostles just interpreting Scripture the way that best suited them in order to be thrown into prison, stoned, or crucified? Are Christians now interpreting Scripture the way that suits them best in order to face persecution and even sometimes martyrdom?
Even in the free country of America, is is far easier to live a life of one’s own choosing than the Christian life. Choosing to live as a Christian means that I daily kill my flesh and the desires of the flesh, and I pour my life out for Jesus. In the eternal, yes it does serve me best. But in the flesh, I have chosen a harder life.
The Bible is somewhat open to interpretation. So is the statement given above. Every word is open to interpretation. But that does not mean it is inaccurate. Besides, it is an enormous blanket statement to say that EVERYONE interprets the Bible in the way that suits them best or serves their own purposes best. Certainly there are people that take the verses in the Bible that they like and use them for their own purposes. That does not mean that the Bible cannot be trusted; it simply empasizes that people are not trustworthy and we must trust in a Power higher than we are: the Lord Jesus Christ.
But I love the actual even more…
A New Style of the Limbo
Summer Camps at my studio are in full swing, which means less time to blog (for a few days). The girls had such fun doing the Limbo… with a little twist.
Stay posted this week: Wordless Wednesday, Reasons: Part IV, and more!