Monday, August 13, 2012

Why we do what we do

I guess there are two main reasons we do things - to prevent bad things from happening, or to make something good happen. Which motivates us may depend on whether we are optimists or pessimists.

A key aspect of T4T gatherings is Vision Casting - a reminder of why we do what we do, and of what God can do in and through us. Because I am a natural optimist, I attempt to cast vision by inspiring faith in others, telling encouraging stories, reminding them of God's promises...if we are obedient, God will do great things. But every now and again something happens that causes me to cast vision by urging people on because of what will happen if we don't obey the Great Commission.

We met Betty one day while door-knocking. She had ongoing contact with the Jehovah's Witnesses, but was always friendly on our frequent visits. She was not in the best of health, so standing was not something she could do for long, and even sitting became uncomfortable. She felt was "winding down her life", so we assured her God had a purpose for however many days she had left on earth. She allowed us to explain the Christian Gospel to her, and we spent time looking at Bible verses regarding "assurance."

Last week Betty wasn't in the three times when we called, and we found out yesterday that she was in a hospice. We tracked her down, and went to visit this afternoon, only to be told that Betty died this morning.

I am relieved that Betty heard the Gospel explained to her so she could understand and respond. Betty would not have walked into any local church, nor would me living a holy life have somehow communicated to her the fact that like all of us, she needs a Saviour, or the importance of Jesus' death and resurrection, or His readiness to embrace, welcome and save her.

Sometimes words are absolutely essential.

So who will you tell?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Name and Shame

J-P is an alcoholic. He lives with his brother, cares for his elderly Mum, and by his own admission has an empty, meaningless life. He wanders around our community asking for coins. Today we freaked him out a little bit!

Monika responded to his request for money with "hi, it's J-P isn't it?" He was stunned, shocked that someone who wasn't a law enforcement officer knew his name! He slowly recalled the day a few weeks ago when Monika had sat with him on the footpath for an hour.

The conversation quickly moved onto real issues - he had cut down on his drinking, but had no desire to give it up, explaining that he had nothing else to enjoy. He was comfortable talking about Jesus too, and welcomed our promise to pray for him. He received a hug, and apologised for asking us for money - you ask strangers, not friends.

Application? 1 - make the effort to remember people's names. God writes our names on the palm of his hand - names matter. 2. Talk about Jesus, don't decide for anyone else that they are not interested. 3. Be real, confront hard truths, speak truth into people's lives and they'll love you for it.