Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sickly

That's how I was feeling all of yesterday, and actually since Friday. I don't know how I made it through Team Hope Friday evening, I was not playing well during flag football Saturday, Lana made me cancel everything I was planning to do after church Sunday (thanks, Lana), and I ended up calling in sick to work on Sunday. I could barely even speak.

But I felt much better Monday evening, having gotten much rest, so I did go ahead with the Bible study I had been asked to lead, and it went well. But, riding the bus home, I didn't think my voice would let me witness to anyone, and, as usual, I had run out of tracts (forgot to take some home with me after Team Hope). The Lord was faithful and let me pipe up just enough to witness to several people on the 52 southbound.

I didn't get their names, but I ran two of them through the Good Person Test (one was off the bus smoking during the layover at the Shoppes at Park Place), and the third was a drinking Vietnam veteran who tried to say that one could have faith in God without reading His Word. No, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). I had to repeat this over and over again, because he would not accept it.

The reason was that he felt that God was always answering his prayers, that life was going just fine for him...which is why he had a bottle in his hand? It's one thing to have an occasional drink. It's quite another to be trying to hide from the bus driver that you are imbibing alcohol on his bus, when you are clearly already drunk. The Bible may not say that it is a sin to drink, but it makes it very clear that it is a sin to get drunk (Proverbs is full of admonitions: 20:1 to start). So I challenged him about it. But he insisted that Heaven's ears were open to his prayers. I didn't go down the road of telling him that the devil answers prayers, too, because I wanted to stay focused on Jesus. So I just told him,

"This thing I know: Jesus said, 'Except you repent, you will all likewise perish.' You can't hold on to sin and hold on to Jesus at the same time." To which the first guy I tested agreed (he seemed to be a Christian, but certainly not well versed in the Word; the second guy wasn't talking to me anymore: oh well). "Jesus also said, 'What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul?' So, no matter how well your life is going here, if you don't have eternal life, your religion is worthless." To which both he and that first man agreed.

As the bus neared my stop, I warned the drunk guy not to play with his eternity, noting that his life could end any day, especially the way he was treating his liver. He wasn't mad at me, either.

All this with a voice barely above a whisper. The Lord works mighty things through the weakest of vessels. I can testify to that!

P.S.

Patmos Five is in full swing. Please pray for the students as they continue to get the culture-shock of culture shocks this week. Please pray for the staff and interns as they administer it. Ah, I don't miss those days.

Oh, and tonight Brett Robinson, Andy Falluer, and Dave Vollmer are going to speak on the subject of Church Planting at 7 PM. If you are remotely interested in how churches get started, and you live somewhere near Pinellas County, Florida, you don't want to miss this. I won't. (And I'm not missing work today, either!)

And don't forget the Love and Respect Marriage Conference on Feb. 13-14. Pastor Danny's encouragement to singles to attend (for only $20) certainly changed my mind on the option. Please pray for everyone in attendance, especially if you are going.

Last commercial: The Super Bowl Outreach is coming to town. Team Hope is still working out details of how to join forces with them. I will let you know when I know for sure.

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