A Favorite Fishing Hole: County Fair

I was sitting down to rest at the county fair, watching thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world walk past me. I wanted to talk to them all. I wished I knew how to speak their languages. Behind each person’s beautiful eyes, lies an eternal soul with a destiny. What is this feeling? It is painful. It hurts. It is hard to describe. I prayed for His redeeming mercy. I prayed for those He would add to His Kingdom, and asked the Lord for opportunity to be a carrier of the Good News to His lost sheep.

First I went to visit my Senegalese friend who mans the “One Love-Bob Marley-Drugs as religion” booth. He immediately remembered our conversation from last year and brought up the things we spoke of. He introduced me to his friend, also from Senegal, then he asked me to tell them something important. I told him there is only one God, the God of Israel, the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ; the only One who can forgive sins. We talked about this for a while, until customers arrived. I gave him a Gospel website link. Maybe I’ll see him again next year.

At the “Legion of Mary” table, I talked to a young Catholic woman who tried very hard to convince me of the importance of “Roman Church tradition and Papal infallibility”; that Mary is the mediator between us and Jesus, and hears and answers our prayers. Mary was being exalted (as a “goddess”) at this table. I started with Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus and then spoke Truth from Hebrews regarding Jesus being the only mediator (and Savior) between God and men. Then I shared my testimony of how after being told to work for my salvation by being a good Catholic, Jesus revealed Himself to me that salvation is through Jesus alone, by faith alone. I said I was telling her these things because I care about her and I could see she was becoming affected by what she was hearing. She said she would read the Bible for herself.

“I believe in Jesus, but I don’t know who he is. Who is he?” ~Joel

A man was standing there wearing a t-shirt that said, “My peace is growing”. He was also wearing a huge cross necklace. So I walked up to him and asked him what his peace was. He said, “I believe in Jesus but I don’t know who He is.” I told him I knew Who He is. He asked me to tell him! So I got to share the entire Gospel, starting with God’s attributes, and man’s sin, and judgment. Then I told him Who Jesus is, and what He did for us, that we might be forgiven by faith in Him. This man, named Joel, stood still soberly listening to every word about the One who came to bring peace between sinful men and the Holy God.

Sitting on a park bench I began a conversation with a man in Spanish. After sharing the Gospel with him for a while, I found out he is a J.W. He tried laying on the J.W. doctrine, but God helped me remember how to tell him that Jesus is God, (John1:1) as well as what He did, in Spanish.

A large group of teen boys were standing around, asking passersby a question. I went up to them and asked them what they were doing. They were seeing if anyone leaving had a carnival wristband they would be willing to give away to them. I hardly ever do “MDBs”, but I pulled out my two Obama millions from my bag and gave them to the boys. I can’t believe how excited they were. They kept asking me if they were real money! After asking them the “million dollar question”, one boy, Erik, answered, “I hope I go to heaven”. Of course, his hopes were based on his perceived goodness and the fact that he “does religion” according to tradition. This opened up the blessed opportunity to speak with this group of boys while they heard of the Attributes of God, the Truth of sin and judgment and the Hope of reconciliation through faith in Jesus Christ. Most of the boys took off but Erik remained with me- he wanted to hear more about forgiveness through the person and work of the Holy, Righteous, Merciful Lord Jesus.

The Proud and the Humble, pt. deux

At the dog park this week there was another stark example of the proud and the humble. It was another one of those interactions which makes me seriously consider carrying around a small digital recorder so I can better remember the details of these conversations.

So I was talking with this man for quite a while on the subject of idolatry. He brought up the subject himself and was criticizing that segment of American society which worships sports as “god”. Agreeing with him, (that sports is an American idol) I used that as my opportunity to speak to him on the subject of spiritual things and decided to bring up all the other things people worship, and all the rest of the Law. But after identifying as a Humanist, he responded to God’s Word by declaring his good deeds and self-righteousness. He then went on a rage about how he should not have to thank God (if there was one) for anything; for “what has He done for me lately?” He accused God of being responsible for evil in the world, and accused Him of not doing right (or making this messed up world right). He praised the superiority and independence of Humanity, then lifted his fist high in the air, and shook his fist at God in defiance, loudly yelling his curses against God.

Towards the end, another man began listening and joined the conversation. He also witnessed to the Humanist. This man was a brother in Christ, and not only did he proclaim the truth that God is Creator, Judge and Savior, but he also, with great love and gentleness of spirit, declared his gratitude to God for salvation, and for His goodness, even through severe and painful life trials. This man publicly blessed the Lord with thanksgiving.

The thing I found so wonderfully amazing was that this brother that proclaimed his gratitude to God, did not begin hearing the conversation until after the first man completed his diatribe of hateful ingratitude against God. Thus they both demonstrated who they were before God: one demonstrating the text of Romans 1:18-25, and the other demonstrating every scripture about believers giving thanks to God for all His blessings, especially salvation of sinful men, by His grace.

Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations. Ps.100:4-5.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (surpassing grace!) 2Cor.9:15.

The Proud and The Humble

Several of us went to do some fishing in San Francisco at the Chinese new year parade a few weeks ago. There were five men who took turns preaching all evening, and the three of us women gave out gospel materials. We all had opportunities to talk to people one on one as they stopped by on their way to the parade. There were only two conversations I had that night; the proud and the humble.

A man about my age came up to me and started asking me apologetic type questions and I did my best to try to answer him. He was skeptical and started arguing with an amused attitude. I realized he was only doing this for his entertainment. Laughing and mocking, he began making fun of God. “Why do you believe in that Jewish God?” I told him because the Jewish God, IS God. He told me that we should be loyal to our ethnic heritage and believe in the gods of our fathers. He said he was from China but raised in Indonesia, and worshiped many gods. He asked me if I was of German heritage and I told him yes (among other things). He told me I should not worship a “foreign” God but I should worship the gods of my heritage. So I asked him, “You think I should be worshiping Thor then?” He enthusiastically said yes! I quickly told him about how Boniface came from another country to tell the Germans that Thor was not god, but Jesus Christ is God. I07-02-09_lorettawitness13 talked about the first two commandments and he went on a diatribe of laughing, mocking God and calling the Lord Jesus some choice names. God directed me right then to be done with him. He boasted in his idolatry and his own righteousness. He loved mocking Christ!

Later in the evening, a young man came up to talk to me. What an encouragement to talk with this young man! God had prepared his heart, and arranged this “divine appointment.” I don’t remember how the conversation started, but he wanted to hear the gospel. He asked me to tell him. His attitude was sincere. Starting at the beginning, I brought him through the character of God, the Law, our sin against God, and the Gospel. He stood there quietly listening, intently staring into my eyes. He was not just listening, he was hearing. He was convicted of sin. He saw his need for a savior. He admitted his sin. He wanted forgiveness. He wanted mercy and grace. This news of grace and forgiveness in Christ was life and hope to him! Don’t be discouraged by the mockers, saints; keep on working. God is still calling sinners and bringing the humble to repentance!

“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke5:32.