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Friday, September 3, 2010

Beyond ferris wheels

Yesterday's fair time was really interesting. Early in the morning two ladies came by and one of them was an old acquaintance. She used to have a gift shop that I would make things for, but we had not seen one another for years. We had a catching-up chat and they both said they are retired. As they turned to go, I picked up one of the Million Dollar Bill tracts from the Way of the Master and suggested they read it during some of their retirement time. They took the tracts and came back, asking for more information. I took the plunge and presented the Gospel. As I was speaking, my friend was affirming everything I said, but the other lady was less receptive. I was excited to see that my friend was probably a Christian and started making more eye contact with her friend instead. When I was finished, they both let me know that they are believers! It was like good cop/bad cop - though they obviously hadn't planned it ahead of time. It was great. Iron sharpens iron and it was a blessing to get in a practice presentation. They said I did well and that they would be praying for all of those manning the booth this week.

Several believers came by and it was very sweet. They all were pleased we were there and said they would pray for us. I was able to give out information for The Way of the Master to them as well. I love their method of evangelism and their materials and was happy to promote them.

The day was long and I don't remember everyone I spoke to, but there were a ton of Mormons who stopped by; most of them responded in similar ways as those the night before, but toward the end of our shift there was one twelve-year-old girl who came up and wanted materials. I told her that because of her age she needed to have her parents come back and say it was okay for her to have them. Samantha, who took over after Bern and I, told me this morning that she did indeed return with her father. It was then that she said she is LDS, but Samantha couldn't tell if her father is or not. He stood there quietly and allowed his eager daughter to hear the Gospel. I am amazed and pleased that the Lord orchestrated this opportunity, and I pray that the young lady and her family will come all the way to faith.

There was a woman who came by with a young girl who is the right age for Awana. I asked the mother if she would be interested in having her child come. I explained the program and the little girl said she would like to come. The mother looked at her with doubt, leaned over and said in that secretive, yet comical out-the-side-of-her-mouth-so-no-one-else-can-hear-but-everyone-can way, "it's church." The little girl said - making eye contact with me, "I know. I think it sounds interesting."

An older couple came up and I showed them the Million Dollar Bill and asked them if they believed they would go to heaven when they died. They both affirmed that they would. I asked them how they knew that (thanks for mentoring me in this, Matt) and what followed was really...interesting. The man did most of the talking and he said that he is a spiritist (spell checker rejects this word, but Professor Google affirms it). I encouraged him to go on and his wife said something like, don't get him started.  He said he has a medium and that he has spoken to those on the "other side." I did not doubt him. Satan and his minions are active. Like Glenn Beck, he believes that all gods of all religions are one god going by different names. We went back and forth for a while and finally I told him that pursuing this nonsense was keeping him from facing the fact that he is a sinner in need of a Savior. I told him that Satan is working very hard to keep as many people as possible from seeing the truth and that he is being deceived by him (John 8:44). My husband noted that this bottom line apparently got to the guy; that was when he started pounding the table and swearing. I want to clarify that he was not making a spectacle of himself so that others would hear. He actually didn't raise his voice or pound loudly, but his emotions were clear. Interestingly, they walked through again later on and he smiled and waved at me.

My husband had a hard time with that conversation. He has never had any dealings with or dabblings in the occult and it was creepy to him.* It didn't bother me so much because of my background. When I was young, my cousins and I used to do séances for fun. There were some very strange things that happened then that convinced me that there is indeed a spirit world. We also had Ouija boards and definitely had those things move themselves. At the time, I was both fearful and thrilled with the results that we got and somewhere along the way I got the idea that God is okay with all things spiritual. 

When I was a young believer, I read Piercing the Darkness and it scared me very much; however, not long after that my pastor did an extensive teaching on Satan and the demons which helped me to understand what the truth about them is. They are subject to the will of God and cannot do anything that He doesn't allow (Job 1:12; 2:6). A believer cannot be possessed by demons (1 John 4:4) and the only way Satan can have any external influence over believers is if they allow it (James 4:7). I am not saying he is not a threat. I am saying his power is limited. However, he is a formidable enemy, is extremely powerful, and is nothing to mess with.

Having said all that, it is this perspective that kept me from being creeped out when speaking to that couple yesterday, but what they are involved in is very serious and very frightening. My background helps me to understand where they are coming from and I have compassion for them in their lost, hopeless situation. I pray that the Lord delivers them from that bondage.

I am revising the end of this, so if you read it before, you are not seeing things; it has changed.

The time spent at the fair was really good for me. It was good to be face to face with people and to have to defend what I believe. It was wonderful to have the privilege of speaking of the life and works of Jesus Christ with a few people who were hungry to know the truth and to speak with fellow believers as well. It was not so wonderful when I found myself at a loss for words when faced with the hardness of some of those who came by the booth. It easy to battle against lies when I am at my computer. Here I can write something, read it, analyze it, delete it, re-write it, step away from it to think about it, come back with fresh eyes and change it some more, but when you are standing toe to toe with someone, you have to be able to say it right the first time. You have to be able to think on your feet. Sometimes that goes well for me and other times it does not. This experience was a good reminder of the importance of continual, deliberate, diligent study of God's Word. It is spiritual food and the definitive weapon for the believer.

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*I appreciated my husband's analysis of this guy as he compared him to a Mormon we had spoken to earlier. He noted that though they clothed their beliefs differently, both said that a loving god would only do things their way. Of course God and His word are true. No sinful person would ever conceive of a God who is sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, righteous, just, merciful, wrathful, jealous, incomprehensible, holy, holy, holy...

Ultimately, no matter what the non-believer's system of ideas are, they really all just don't believe in the God of the Bible and unless they repent, they will end up in the same place.


Christine said...

Hi, I have not kept up with my blog reading and am catching up today. My best friend & her husband are going to a booth at their local farmer's market and using the Way of the Master tracts and are witnessing each week. I admire you for sharing your faith, until we see those lost sheep as God sees them, we are oblivious. It scares me to think they are blinded and need to be reminded to pray for them. Thanks for your encouragement on this blog to keep witnessing everywhere we go, that is the great commission! God bless you!

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Thank you for your kind words. It is so easy for us to get so caught up in our own problems and/or activities that we do not act upon the witnessing opportunities that the Lord brings our way. I am so pleased that He has given us each other. Iron sharpens iron. We are to keep each other accountable. Honestly, even having you comment here, causes me to come back and be reminded of what happened at the fair and to refocus my thoughts toward evangelism.

What a great ministry your friends have! I would not have thought to evangelise at a farmer's market (I would be too busy buying fruits and vegetables). I think I will suggest their idea to my buddies. What a great place to plant seeds!

Have you used the Way of the Master, Christine? I would love to hear about it if you have. I have been speaking to a young man in our neighborhood and my husband and I are hoping to have a conversation with him about spiritual things this week. Because he lives nearby, we have the opportunity to follow up on the initial Way of the Master conversation that I have had with him. I am praying that the Lord will soften his heart and prepare him for it.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a blessed week.