Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Green Day

Well, the Lord guided me to more bus routes, gave me more time (by having me iron my clothes the night before), and gave me some good conversations along the way. I had bought about 1400 tracts, and I think I have about 900 left. Unfortunately about 45 of them blew away between two different occasions when I didn't secure them properly, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were wasted.

I first caught #52 to Clearwater. I didn't know the bus driver was a Christian, but she called me back to the bus at the end of the line and wanted to make sure that I had given tracts to the men who had disembarked at the jail. Yes, I had gotten them when I first boarded, because I always give to everyone already aboard, and then sit near the front to give to the newcomers. (Ironically, there is a high school right across the street from the jail. *sigh* No further comment.) She was greatly encouraged, and I showed her the website so she could get some for herself.

At the Park Street Terminal (which is in downtown Clearwater), I tracted everyone I could, including a lady who tried to return the ones I had given to her and her husband, saying, "Hey, we're Christians: pass this on to someone else." I looked at her funny: "You pass it on! I'm sure you know somebody I don't!" A tract is never "wasted" just because the person who gets it is already saved.

I then took #61 to the Indian Rocks Shopping Center, which is also the terminus for #74, which runs right by my trailer park. I thought that I would pick up #74 after lunch and then either go home or catch #19. Well, I ended up on #66 instead, and it was clearly a divine appointment, though that was not immediately apparent.

It was only after I had been on the bus for about an hour, and passed up several opportunities in Clearwater to just get off the bus and tract the "blarney" events that were going on, that a young man boarded the bus, took the tract, read it, and then quietly thanked me for it. So quietly, in fact, that I had to ask him twice what he said!

Then, watching the clock, because I had to be at work by 4, I got off in Tarpon Springs at the point at which I could catch #19 southbound, which isn't the end of the line for #66, which was where I had originally planned to be. During the ride south, among the other passengers, two high school girls got on and sat nearby. As I continued to tract those who entered, some of whom rejected, the more loquacious one asked, "Do most people take them?"

"Yes. I think I've had about 10 people not want it, and I've handed out about 200 so far."

"Ooh! That's really good!" I don't know when or why this came up, but she said, "My sister hands out the smiley-faced ones...the ones that say, 'Jesus loves you,' on the front."

"What church do you go to?" I wasn't sure if there was a divide in the family, or if this was just the rebellious one talking to me.

"She goes to...what's the name of it?" she asked her friend. "Crossroads, over on Curlew." Apparently, it's a Baptist church, and, apparently, she's the only one who goes. Yep, a divided family. "She's getting baptized [this weekend]."

"Hmm...that's cool..." I hesitated, but then I decided to go for it: "You know, in the early days of Christianity, if you got baptized, you lost everything. You could lose your family, your job, and sometimes even your life. If you were a Roman citizen...,basically, you were telling Caesar that you would no longer bow to Caesar, you would bow to Jesus, and, if Caesar didn't disagree with Jesus you would obey Caesar, but, as soon as Caesar disagreed with Jesus, you were going to obey Jesus and not Caesar, and Caesar didn't like that idea very much."

"Wow... I bet he didn't. I heard that he wasn't a very nice guy."

"None of the guys who held that position were. And if you were not a Roman citizen, and you were annoying enough, you got crucified."

"REally?"

"Yep, that's what happened to Peter." Now, why would I tell all this frightening history to this impressionable young teenager? Because I want to impress on her the seriousness of baptism. Believer's baptism is a matter of much debate in some circles, but the tradition from which it arose draws the lines very clearly. You did not get baptized until you had decided that Jesus was worth losing everything else in life. In this country, we aren't required by society to make that declaration, yet, and the lack of pressure has created a lack of clarity about the decision to follow Christ. Thus many people claim to follow Jesus but their lives have no fruit, because the Jesus they follow doesn't hate the world and its evil system (see 1 John 2:15-17). Therefore, many people in the church are still enemies of God, because they are such good friends with the world (James 4:4). Ray Comfort covers this topic more extensively in his audio CD "Hell's Best Kept Secret." You can listen to this for free at

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I have compromised enough in my short life not to know the dangers of doing so. I therefore urge others not to do so, either. You may be offended, but I know what I'm talking about.

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