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Archive for July, 2011

Catching up on Bible reading

Every few weeks I count up the number of days spent reading the Old Testament and the New Testament. I then compare them with the number of days so far in the year and use that to calculate how far behind I am on my Bible reading.

So far, I am about a week behind schedule.

Once I am caught up, I will compare the days again to make sure I’m caught up. Then I will be able to relax and focus on that day’s reading instead of having to read three days’ worth.

My excuse? There really isn’t one. You have to purpose to yourself to spend time with God every day.

My recommendation? Read each day. Preferably in the morning.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

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An Aussie friend talks about how witnessing can be effective

July 14, 2011 5 comments
It’s been a few years since I did door-to-door evangelism, and it’s because I got spooked.
 
About 15 years ago, I and a gentleman from church visited an apartment in Beeville, Texas and witnessed to the young man who answered the door. I presented the gospel to “Juan”, who seemed very receptive. He then prayed the sinner’s prayer.
 
Juan nodded when we asked him what he’d done. I recorded his name in my Bible as one of the people I’d led to the Lord.
 
Great news, right?
 
About 10 years later in the public records of the newspaper, I saw Juan’s name mentioned in a crime.
 
Now, it’s possible he received Christ but backslid, and it’s possible we never properly discipled him. It’s also possible he just said some words because that was the path of least resistance.
 
It made me think that door-to-door evangelism is completely useless unless there is a solid method of follow-up and discipleship.
 
Recently, I spoke about this on Facebook with Lyndee, an Australian Christian who also attended Pensacola Christian College. (We never met, but I knew who she was).
 
I told Lyndee: “You know, one thing life has taught me is that there is a very wide spectrum in Christianity. God needs people everywhere. I mean, do you really think an Independent Fundamental Baptist fresh from Pensacola Christian College would succeed trying to pass out gospel tracts at a biker bar?”
 
Lyndee replied with a thoughtful respose:
 
“why waste your time passing out Gospel tracts when they will only end up littering the parking lot. Rather use that money to buy a couple of biker mates a round of beer and sit down and talk with them… not about Jesus at first, but about them. Everyone loves talking about themselves. Find out who they are, what they love, what they hate, and eventually where they hurt. Prove to them you care about them and not some notch in your christian belt (which i know is not what you want, but is how they perceive many witnessing Christians). Witnessing is not a numbers game, its a life long process of relationships in loving people exactly where they are, not where someone else thinks they should be.”
 
You know, even though I don’t drink beer (to be honest, I hate it immensely), I honestly cannot find anything I disagree with in Lyndee’s assessment.
 
It makes me think that if there’s a Christian who prefers this approach, go for it. Bars aren’t my thing, but I’m sure God has others He can use.
 
Tell me, Richard’s Two Shekels reader, is what Lyndee suggests really radical or is it radically filled with theological common sense?
 
I believe it’s definitely the latter.
 
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Reading the Bible, and a few thoughts on some friends

Didn’t go to church today, partly because I was a little tired and a little depressed from being back from my vacation.

Was that the right decision?

No.

I did read the Bible and knocked out chunks both Testaments. Am still behind schedule but I know that if I stick to the schedule I have, I will be caught up by August. It can be done: I just have to do it. Period.

Have spoken to God a lot and have received lots of great advice from different people. Soon I will blog about an approach to witnessing that my friend Lyndee suggested. Some won’t like it, I know, but people have to realize that when you talk at the lost instead of to them or with them, you really won’t get anywhere.

I was very encouraged recently to learn of a schoolmate, Dionicio, is now a practicing Christian and is active in his church. Back in Beeville, I and others knew him as Chico, but he told me he prefers DCO these days. As I read his testimony on his Facebook page, it really made me think that God the Great Fisherman uses countless baits, lures, hooks, to bring people to Him. Some through a church sermon, some through hitting rock bottom, some through years of a good friendship with a Christian and some through God allowing them to believe He has chosen them and that they must come to Him.

So now, one of my ventures is to encourage others. Two friends, both of whom have been divorced twice, come to mind.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.