Sunday, September 28, 2008

Preaching with a Scattered Brain! :-)

This Saturday afternoon was another interesting one for evangelism at Fort Myers Beach (SW Florida). The day before, I’d gotten some new serious medical news, so was a little distracted and struggling in my own head. Honestly, I didn’t feel like going, but we went anyway. Just two of us this week, Bobby & I.

As usual, I forgot to write notes on a bunch of folks I talked to & some others I wrote names but now can’t remember the conversation (what happens at 40 anyway?). I’ll tell you a little about the ones I have both. J

Early on, we met a British family (now living in NJ). She was pretty defensive & they both so badly wanted everyone to respect everyone else’s beliefs but NOT question her own assessment of God, death and eternity. The husband was a geologist so got going about the geological evidence for zillions of years…seemed to think a bit when I suggested that he was telling me he believed that in the beginning there was an explosion out of nowhere with no energy and not matter from no place in nothing and out of that mystery explosion all this incredible order came….who had the blind faith? We warned them of the coming Day of Judgment & bid them a good day.

Bob & I talked to a young man Zach & his girlfriend Rochelle (Zach’s mother hanging around). Rochelle had a Christian background but no real understanding of the Gospel, of God as Judge & of the wrath of God. Zach began to be quite concerned & thoughtful as we explained to him his guilt & the coming Great & Terrible Day of the Lord. You could see in his face that he’d always considered himself a good person but not saw for the first time that he was in trouble.

I met an older couple (Norm & Judy) sitting on a bench, he wearing a prosthetic leg. I pointed to the prosthetic leg & commented, “There must be a good story behind that!”. Norm told me he was working on a scaffold, when it collapsed, severing his leg….he’d not been able to work since, but was thankful to be alive. I asked Norm what would have happened if he’d died. Really gently & kindly (with a smile) & walked Norm through the commandments and with a soft-voice explained the wrath of a Holy & Just God & then the Gospel. Pray for Norm & Judy, they seemed to have never understood the Gospel before.

I have been amazed too how someone can CLEARLY hear the message of the Gospel preached, the New Birth explained & immediately when questioned on how to be born again, answer something like Baptism or some other thing. It’s good sometimes to check with the hearer to see if the truth is getting through to them.

Rob & his girlfriend were sitting on a park bench. I began to talk to them; Rob began to proclaim he’d not lied (she corrected him). We had an extensive conversation & I found that Rob had spent years as a caretaker of an evangelical church & was sickened with the focus on money and the hypocrisy….he knew far more of the scripture than he first let-on. We did talk about false religion vs. what was going to happen when he died and stood before God, his creator.

Later as I was getting ready to preach, I talked to three drunk young-men, two laughed and jeered while their friend was walked through the Law, showing His guilt. The young-man I was talking to professed to be not concerned….figured he was guilty & going to Hell, so ‘party on’. I told him there was good-news, but until he was concerned why would I explain it to him. I gave him a “Are You Good Enough To Go To Heaven” tract, had him tuck it in his pocket, instructing him to read it in the morning when he sobered up.

My mind was a little muddled up & I was pacing back and forth, fearful to get up and preach. My brother Bobby was so compassionate for my situation that he simply began introducing me to those standing around as his friend that was about to get up and preach & that they should pay attention and listen. No pressure or anything! J

I got up and preached; it was just after a rain so very small crowd…..but it only takes one to hear the Gospel, right? A woman working on a T-shirt shop across the square listen for most of the time we preached, two men from the ice cream shop kept coming out to listen in between serving customers & several working in the pizza shop in front of us stood and listen (plus those coming and going, sitting eating ice cream and so on). After we’d preached for about a half-hour Bob and I sat together praying…..a woman from the pizza shop walked past and made a point of speaking to us, wishing us a good night….she’d listened for quite a while….God is an amazing God…we’d almost not preached, because of my scattered brain and ‘cause there were so few people right after the rain.

I’d really appreciate your prayers this week; I’m undergoing some medical treatments all week that could have side-affects. I’m to be traveling to the Bahamas all next week as an evangelist trainer & need to be ready to lead teams on the street….please pray.


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